USA Sees 6B Barrel Rise in Crude Oil and Lease Condensate Proved Reserves

Proved reserves of U.S. crude oil and lease condensate increased by 6.2 billion barrels.


Proved reserves of U.S. crude oil and lease condensate increased by 6.2 billion barrels, or 16 percent, from 2020 to 2021, a new report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) has highlighted.

These proved reserves stood at 44.4 billion barrels at year end 2021, compared to 38.2 billion barrels at year end 2020, a data table accompanying the report showed. U.S. crude oil plus lease condensate proved reserves stood at 47.1 billion barrels in 2019, 47.0 billion barrels in 2018, 41.9 billion barrels in 2017, and 35.2 billion barrels in 2016, the data table outlined.

The Lower 48 states contributed 41.2 billion barrels to the total 2021 figure, according to the data table, which highlighted that Texas alone contributed 18.6 billion barrels. New Mexico was shown in the table to have contributed 4.9 billion barrels and North Dakota was shown to have contributed 4.3 billion barrels. In 2020, Texas contributed 16.6 billion barrels, North Dakota contributed 3.6 billion barrels, and New Mexico contributed 3.5 billion barrels, the table showed.

Proved reserves are estimated volumes of hydrocarbon resources that analysis of geologic and engineering data demonstrates with reasonable certainty are recoverable under existing economic and operating conditions, the EIA report notes. Reserves estimates change from year to year because of new discoveries, thorough appraisals of existing fields, production of existing reserves, changes in prices and costs, and new and improved techniques and technologies, according to the EIA report.

To prepare its report, the EIA revealed that it collects independently developed estimates of proved reserves from a sample of operators of U.S. oil and natural gas fields with Form EIA-23L. The organization said it uses this sample to further estimate the portion of proved reserves from operators who do not report.

Lease condensate is defined by the EIA as a mixture consisting primarily of pentanes and heavier hydrocarbons which is recovered as a liquid from natural gas in lease separation facilities. This category excludes natural gas plant liquids, such as butane and propane, which are recovered at downstream natural gas processing plants or facilities, the EIA highlights.

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