Texas’ Permian basin topped North Dakota’s Bakken play as contributors to a 9% increase in US crude oil and condensate reserves in 2009 as shale plays drove gas reserves to the highest since 1971.
Wet gas reserves climbed 11% (28.8 trillion cubic feet) in 2009 to 284 tcf, and oil and condensate reserves hit 22.3 billion bbl (EIA).
Overall shale gas reserves climbed to 60.6 tcf from 34.4 tcf at the end of 2008. Conventional and tight gas reserves climbed to 283.9 tcf from 255 tcf, with most of the increase occurring in the Lower 48 onshore. Coalbed methane reserves fell to 18.6 tcf from 20.8 tcf.
US crude and condensate reserves in 2009 grew 1.5 billion bbl from discoveries and 2.1 billion bbl from revisions mostly the result of extensions to existing fields. Production was 1.8 billion bbl in 2009.
With rising production from shale fields, the U.S. surpassed Russia last year to become the world’s largest supplier of natural gas. Shale now accounts for 10 per cent of the country’s natural gas production – up from 2 per cent in 1990.
Beyond shale oil and shale gas, there’s the awesome energy promise of methane hydrates, frozen crystals of water and gas that lie beneath the northern permafrost and beneath oceans floors around the world in quantities that boggle the imagination.
“Assuming 1 per cent recovery,” the U.S. Geological Survey says, “these deposits [in U.S. territory] could meet the natural gas needs of the country (at current rates of consumption) for 100 years.”
The UN Environment Program describes methane hydrates as “the most abundant form of organic carbon on Earth.” The agency says field testing, in which Canada has been a leader, will be finished by 2015; and that commercial exploitation will be under way by 2020 or 2025. Within a decade or so, North America will almost certainly emerge as the world’s biggest supplier – and exporter – of reasonably cheap energy.
North Dakota, home of the oil-rich Bakken Shale formation, saw its reserves jump by a whopping 83 percent, or 481 million barrels. Experts estimates have been that 8 billion barrels are recoverable using current techniques from the Bakken and Three Forks oil formations in North Dakota.
North Dakota produced 342247 barrels of oil per day in October, 2010 This was slightly up from the September daily average of 342094 barrels of oil per day.