Proved reserves of natural gas increased for the fifth year in a row, according to "Advance Summary: U.S. Crude Oil, Natural Gas, and Natural Gas Liquids Reserves 2003 Annual Report" released today by the Energy Information Administration. U.S. natural gas reserves increased by 1 percent in 2003.
The majority of natural gas total discoveries were from extensions of existing conventional and unconventional gas fields. Reserves additions replaced 111 percent of 2003 gas production. U.S. gas production remained almost level in 2003 as declines in the Gulf of Mexico and New Mexico were offset by production increases in the Rocky Mountain States and Texas.
Crude oil proved reserves declined 3 percent in 2003, the first decline in five years, as operators replaced only 58 percent of oil production with reserves additions. Total discoveries included significant new field discoveries in the Gulf of Mexico Federal Offshore, but proved reserves in several fields were lowered substantially because of poor well performance accompanied by engineering reassessments. U.S. crude oil production remained almost level in 2003.
The Rocky Mountain States and Texas saw large gas reserves additions in 2003, driven by continuing development of unconventional gas fields, i.e., fields developed in tight sands, shales, and coalbeds.
Significant reserves were added in the Powder River basin (coalbed methane) and Green River basin (deep and tight sand) in Wyoming, and in the Wattenberg Field (tight sand) and San Juan basin (coalbed
methane) in Colorado and New Mexico. Significant reserves were also added in Texas' Newark East Field (Barnett Shale) which is the Nation's sixth largest natural gas field.
Coalbed methane reserves increased 1 percent from 2002 and accounted for 10 percent of U.S. dry gas proved reserves. Coalbed methane production declined very slightly in 2003 (less than 1 percent) and
accounted for 8 percent of U.S. dry gas production.
"Advance Summary: U.S. Crude Oil, Natural Gas, and Natural Gas Liquids Reserves 2003 Annual Report" is available on the EIA Internet site at: