According to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), US crude oil proved reserves rose for the fourth consecutive year in 2012. Data gathered for the US Crude Oil and Natural Gas Proved Reserves (2012) report, release on 10 April, indicates that reserves have increased by 15% to 33 billion bbls.
US crude oil and lease condensate proved reserves were the highest since 1976. The 2012 increase of 4.5 billion bbls was the largest annual increase since 1970.
The largest volumetric increase in proved oil reserves was seen in Texas (3.0 billion bbls), largely due to development in the Permian and Western Gulf basins. North Dakota demonstrated the second largest increase (1.1 billion bbls), driven by development of the Bakken and Three forks formations in the Williston Basin.
Contributing factors to higher crude reserves include:
- Increased exploration for liquid hydrocarbons.
- Improved technology for developing tight oil plays.
- Sustained high historical crude oil prices.
Tight oil plays accounted for 7.3 billion bbls (22%) of proved reserves of crude oil and lease condensate in 2012.
Adapted from a press release by Emma McAleavey.
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