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USGS Assesses the Growth of Conventional Oil Reserves in the US

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) is charged with the cataloguing an assessment of land formations and mineral reserves in the United States. They have recently assessed the potential additions to domestic oil and gas reserves from reserve growth in discovered, conventional accumulations. All the assessed reserves are believed to be technically recoverable and do not include Federal offshore areas. The numbers show significant growth in the known (discovered) fields throughout the country.

Reserve growth is one component of overall oil and gas endowment. The other two components are from reserves and undiscovered, but technically recoverable reserves. All three parameters are used to make energy decisions by government and industry.

USGS used an updated methodology to assess reserve growth in comparison to previous assessments. In the past, estimates relied on statistical extrapolations of growth trends. The new method is more scientifically grounded, based on a detailed analysis of geology and engineering practices used in producing fields.

"By providing geologically based, domestically consistent estimates of the potential additions of oil and gas from the growth in reserves in known fields, and placing that information in the public domain, we are furnishing a valuable projection on how much and where fossil fuels may be produced in the future," said USGS Director Marcia McNutt. "When combined with our estimates of undiscovered resources, policy makers can obtain a more complete picture of domestic, technically recoverable oil and gas."

The following are some highlights from the USGS report:

- Convention reserve growth for Oil: 32 billion barrels
         Natural Gas: 291 trillion cubic feet
         Natural Gas Liquides: 10 billion barrels

- Most reserve growth for oil is in the Alaska/Pacific region (20 billion barrels)

- Most reserve growth for natural gas and natural gas liquids is in the Gulf Coast region (144 trillion cubic feet).

USGS also released a report of oil and natural gas reserve growth in the entire world outside of the US. There was a total of 665 billion barrels of oil, 1.429 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, and 16 billion barrels of natural gas liquids.

Link to USGS US Report

Link to USGS World Report

By. David A Gabel of ENN.com


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