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Reserves Grew Slightly in 1999

Reserves Grew Slightly in 1999

A close look at the status of the nation's gas resources last year reveals a lethargic industry barely able to build reserves. However, last year was an improvement over the year prior. Dry gas reserve additions reversed the 2% decline in 1998 and grew last year by 2.1% to 167,406 Bcf in the United States, according to an Advance Summary: U.S. Crude Oil, Natural Gas and Natural Gas Liquids Reserves 1999 Annual Report by the Energy Information Administration. Reserve additions replaced 118% of gas production. It was the fifth time in the past six years that reserves have grown.

However, reserve additions in 1999 were higher because the net of revisions and accounting adjustments to reserves (11,486 Bcf) was more than twice as high as in 1998 and 70% higher than the prior 10-year average.

While gas prices were up 7% last year to $2.08/Mcf, proved reserves in the Gulf of Mexico Federal Offshore declined even though deepwater reserves were up substantially as was production, EIA said in its report. For the fields in the shallow areas of the Gulf (less than 200 meters deep) reserves declined 5% and production dropped 9%.

Total discoveries declined last year to 10,807 Bcf. New field discoveries were 1,568 Bcf slightly more than the prior 10-year average. Field extensions were 7,043 Bcf, down from 1998 but near the 10-year average. New reservoir discoveries in oil fields added 2,196 Bcf, which was about the same as the year prior but 6% less than the 10-year average.

Coal-bed methane reserves continued to make rapid gains last year in contrast to conventional resources. Coal-bed reserves grew 8% to 13,229 Bcf and accounted for 7% (1,252 Bcf) of total dry gas production.

Meanwhile crude oil reserves rebounded from their unusually large decline in 1998 by growing 3.5% to 21,765 million bbl. Natural gas liquids reserves increased 5.1% last year to 7,906 million bbl.

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