Nov 23 (Reuters) - Reserves of oil and natural gas in the United States shot higher last year, according to government data released Monday, setting records that reveal the extent to which a decade-long drilling boom has transformed the energy landscape.
Proved reserves of natural gas rose by 34.8 trillion cubic feet (tcf), or 10 percent, to a record high of 388.8 tcf in 2014, while oil reserves rose 3.4 billion barrels, or nine percent, to 39.9 billion barrels, the highest since 1972, the Energy Information Administration said in a statement.
The EIA describes proved reserves as oil and gas that can be extracted using current technology and under today's economic conditions.
The increases, which were the sixth in a row, were driven by prolific production from shale plays that, through hydraulic fracturing, have produced vast amounts of fuel, creating a market glut and causing steep price drops. The price of oil has fallen more than 50 percent since last summer and natural gas prices have been depressed for years, both due to oversupply.
The Marcellus shale in Pennsylvania, which currently produces about 20 percent of the country's natural gas, contributed most to the increase in gas reserves, adding 10 tcf of proved reserves. The Texas portions of the Eagle Ford and the Permian Basin saw the largest increase in oil reserves, adding 2.05 billion barrels. North Dakota saw the second largest increase, a gain of 362 million barrels, driven by the Bakken shale.
Production of oil and natural gas increased in 2014, the EIA said. Production of crude oil and lease condensate increased about 17 percent, from 7.4 to 8.7 million barrels per day. Gas output increased 6 percent, from 73 to 77 billion cubic feet per day.
(Reporting by Edward McAllister; Editing by Alden Bentley)
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