EIA: US Oil Reserves Jump On Shale, But Gas Tumbles In 2012

Reserves in the Eagle Ford shale oil play in Texas, at 3.4 billion barrels, surpassed that of North Dakota's Bakken play, which had 3.2 billion barrels. In 2011 Bakken held 2.0 billion barrels and Eagle Ford 1.6 billion barrels.

"Geographically, the largest total oil discoveries in 2012 were from Texas, North Dakota and Oklahoma. Texas led by a considerable margin, with discoveries of 3.0 billion barrels (mostly in the Eagle Ford play)," the EIA said.

"North Dakota added nearly 1 billion barrels, marking that state's fourth consecutive year as a major source of total discoveries," the report said.

The sparsely populated prairie state has been transformed since the Bakken began significant oil production and is now second only to Texas in U.S. oil production. As of 2012, it is also the third largest state in terms of reserves after Texas and the Gulf of Mexico, which the EIA terms as a "state."

In previous years Alaska and California were ahead of North Dakota in reserves.

Outside The World's Top Ten

U.S. oil reserves are now at their highest since 1976, underscoring renewed hopes for U.S. energy independence. But the country still stands just outside the world's top 10 in terms of reserves.

Even after the increase, it holds less than half as much crude as Russia, which ranked No. 8 in 2012 with 87 billion barrels in BP Plc's benchmark Statistic Review of World Energy published last year.


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