Proved Natural Gas Reserves Grow by 14.2 Trillion Cubic Feet in PA!

Tom Shepstone
Shepstone Management Company, Inc.


Pennsylvania natural gas reserves grew by an astounding 14.2 trillion cubic feet in 2018 demonstrating the amazing bounty of the shale revolution.

Natural gas reserves, contrary to popular perception, are growing. That’s because innovative technology makes it ever more possible to extract what is there. Even at today’s low prices, modest increases such as experienced in 2018, open the potential to develop natural gas that wasn’t feasible yesterday. Combine that with the lowered costs of technology over time and natural gas reserves, therefore, grow even though consumption is at record levels. It’s a paradox of sorts, but adoption of natural gas as a fuel of choice means reserves of it grow rather than shrink.

This fact is demonstrated by what has happened since the onset of the shale revolution, which is nicely summed up in this chart and the following insights from an Energy Information Administration (EIA) Today In Energy post on Monday:

proved natural gas reserves

U.S. oil and natural gas proved reserves had another record-breaking year, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) U.S. Crude Oil and Natural Gas Proved Reserves, Year-End 2018 report, released in December 2019…

U.S. proved reserves of natural gas rose to 504.5 trillion cubic feet (Tcf), a 9% increase compared with the record level set in 2017 of 464.4 Tcf. The growth in oil and natural gas proved reserves was driven by an increase in 2018 oil and natural gas prices.

Proved reserves are those volumes of oil and natural gas that geological and engineering data demonstrate with reasonable certainty to be recoverable in future years from known reservoirs under existing economic and operating conditions.

A favorable price environment in 2018 with relatively higher oil and natural gas prices drove the record U.S. oil and natural gas proved reserve levels. Higher fuel prices can often increase the proved reserves estimates because a larger portion of the oil or natural gas resource base can be economically producible…

The annual average natural gas spot price at the Henry Hub national benchmark in Louisiana rose from $2.99 per million British thermal units (MMBtu) in 2017 to $3.35 per MMBtu in 2018, a 12% increase…

U.S. marketed natural gas production increased 12% in 2018 compared with 2017. Operators produced 89.9 billion cubic feet (Bcf) of marketed natural gas per day in 2018, 10 Bcf/d more than in 2017.

Texas saw the largest net increase…

The next-largest net gains in natural gas proved reserves in 2018 were in Pennsylvania and New Mexico. Pennsylvania’s natural gas proved reserves increased by 14.2 Tcf and New Mexico’s increased by 4.2 Tcf in 2018. Development in these states was led by the Marcellus shale play in the Appalachian Basin and the Wolfcamp and Bone Spring shale plays in eastern New Mexico.

Catch that? Pennsylvania natural gas reserves increased the second most of all the states. Additions to Commonwealth’s natural gas reserves represented a 2.8% increase in the national reserves. This shows how critically important the Keystone State is to our national energy security. The shale revolution has been a spectacularly glorious one. It is producing gobs of energy, tons of opportunity, lowered consumer costs and revitalization of our rural areas. It has made us energy independent again, once thought impossible. Indeed, it has made us energy dominant.

proved natural gas reserves

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1 thought on “Proved Natural Gas Reserves Grow by 14.2 Trillion Cubic Feet in PA!

  1. Rhode Island will be phasing out natural gas for electricity and moving to 100 percent renewable electricity by 2030, or so the new goal for the state will be via an executive order the governor will sign by the end of this week. That’s a big step further than even NY which only has a 70 percent renewable energy goal by 2030, but nevertheless is clearly attempting to phase out nearly all natural gas for electricity since nuclear energy already makes up a significant percent of generation, regardless of Indian Point shutting down.

    Pennsylvania gas currently being produced can’t move through several defeated pipeline projects like Constitution, PennEast, Williams NESE and a couple of other pipelines like Atlantic Coast are being resisted by AlGore and his daughter.

    Two of the leading democrats in the 2020 race, Warren and Sanders want fracking, so therefore most natural gas production, banned in the nation.

    In Massachusetts Brookline has banned new natural gas heating. In California there are new local bans, but it looks like the California goal of phasing out all natural gas for electricity is pretty tame compared to the Rhode Island and NY goals of 2030 and 2030ish, at the latest 2040.


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