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Permian Boosts Texas Oil Reserves, But Total U.S. Reserves Flat

Oil barrels

The fast-paced development of the Permian basin led to Texas showing the largest net increase in proved reserves of crude oil and lease condensate of all U.S. states between 2015 and 2016, although the total U.S. crude oil reserves at end-2016 were virtually the same as at end-2015, the EIA said on Thursday.

Mostly thanks to the development in the Permian, Texas added 941 million barrels of proved crude oil and lease condensate reserves in 2016, the EIA said in its U.S. Crude Oil and Natural Gas Proved Reserves report released this week. Most reserves additions in Texas, in the form of field extensions, were made in the Spraberry Trend Area and Wolfcamp shale play in West Texas.

Total U.S. proved reserves remained at 35.2 billion barrels, a net decline of just 17 million barrels from end-2015. In the onshore Lower 48 states, proved reserves for crude oil and lease condensate rose by 3 percent, or by 846 million barrels. Those gains in the Lower 48 states were offset by a total drop of 865 million barrels in proved reserves in Alaska and the Federal Offshore, where development costs are higher.

After Texas, the state with the second-largest net increase in proved reserves of crude oil was Oklahoma, thanks to the SCOOP and STACK plays.

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The largest net declines in proved oil reserves were in Alaska, California, the Federal Offshore Pacific, and the Federal Offshore Gulf of Mexico, according to the EIA.

While total U.S. crude oil reserves were basically unchanged, total natural gas proved reserves rose by 5 percent to 341.1 trillion cubic feet (Tcf), with Pennsylvania leading with the largest net increase thanks to the Marcellus play, followed by Oklahoma and Ohio.

The U.S. crude oil reserves may be unchanged, but its crude oil production is booming, and earlier this week the International Energy Agency (IEA) said in its latest Oil Market Report that U.S. production growth is leading non-OPEC supply growth that could outpace demand growth.

“The main factor,” the IEA said, “is US oil production. In just three months to November, crude output increased by a colossal 846 kb/d, and will soon overtake that of Saudi Arabia. By the end of this year, it might also overtake Russia to become the global leader.”

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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