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US natural gas reserves increase 10% in 2013

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

According to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), US total natural gas proved reserves increased 10% (31 trillion ft3) in 2013 and reached a new US record of 354 trillion ft3.

At the state level, Pennsylvania and West Virginia reported the largest increases in natural gas proved reserves in 2013, driven by continued development of the Marcellus Shale gas play in the Appalachian Basin. Pennsylvania added 13.5 trillion ft3 of proved natural gas reserves, an increase of 37% in 2013. West Virginia had the second largest increase, an addition of 8.3 trillion ft3 (56%0 of natural gas proved reserves. Combined, these two states had 70% of the net increase in US natural gas proved reserves in 2013.

Texas, which benefits from having the Barnett and Eagle Ford Shale plays within its border, had the third largest increase in 2013, a 5% gain (4.4 trillion ft3 of proved reserves). Proved reserves of natural gas in shale gas plays accounted for 45% (159.1 trillion ft3) of all US natural gas reserves in 2013.

Alaska had the largest decline in natural gas proved reserves in 2013, the result of deteriorating well performance in certain oil fields. The two fuels are linked because most (87%) of Alaska’s natural gas reserves are within reservoirs that also contain and produce crude oil.

Changes in reserves reflect both geological and financial factors. In 2012, low natural gas prices led to significant downward revisions to the reserves of existing natural gas fields. As natural gas prices increased in 2013, a portion of those reserves from existing fields were restored by positive net revisions. Other increases in natural gas reserves came from extensions of existing natural gas fields and new discoveries.

Adapted from a press release by Emma McAleavey.

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