Shale Drilling Drives Growth in U.S. Natural Gas Reserves


"U.S. nat gas proved reserves jumped to highest level in nearly 40 years in 2009."

U.S. natural gas proved reserves jumped to their highest level in nearly 40 years in 2009, primarily driven by unconventional natural gas developments like Arkansas' Fayetteville Shale play, the EIA announced Dec. 1.

U.S reserves, estimated as "wet" gas which includes natural gas plant liquids, increased by 11% in 2009 to 284 trillion cubic feet (Tcf), according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration's summary on U.S. crude oil and natural gas reserves.

"Shale gas development drove an 11% increase in U.S. natural gas proved reserves last year, to their highest level since 1971, demonstrating the growing importance of shale gas in meeting both current and projected energy needs," said Richard Newell, EIA's Administrator. "Louisiana, Arkansas, Texas, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania were the leading states in adding new proved reserves of shale gas during 2009."

According to the EIA annual report, Louisiana led the nation in additions of natural gas proved reserves with a net increase of 9.2 Tcf (77%) owing primarily to development of the Haynesville Shale. Both Arkansas (Fayetteville Shale) and Pennsylvania (Marcellus Shale) nearly doubled their reserves with net increases of 5.2 Tcf and 3.4 Tcf respectively."

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