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Mary Leshper

Mary Schaper
Posted April 10, 2014

Crude Oil Reserves at Start of 2013 Reach Highest Level Since 1976

EIA Today in Energy: U.S. crude oil proved reserves rose for the fourth consecutive year in 2012, increasing by 15% to 33 billion barrels, according to the U.S. Crude Oil and Natural Gas Proved Reserves (2012) report released April 10 by the U.S. Energy Information Administration. U.S. crude oil and lease condensate proved reserves were the highest since 1976, and the 2012 increase of 4.5 billion barrels was the largest annual increase since 1970, when 10 billion barrels of Alaskan crude oil were added to U.S. proved reserves. Contributing factors to higher crude oil reserves include increased exploration for liquid hydrocarbons, improved technology for developing tight oil plays, and sustained high historical crude oil prices.


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


Tight oil plays, which contain conventional oil in reservoirs of low permeability that is accessed through advanced drilling techniques, accounted for 7.3 billion barrels (22% of the U.S. total) of proved reserves of crude oil and lease condensate in 2012.

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Mary Schaper is a Digital Communications Manager for the American Petroleum Institute. She previously worked on Capitol Hill for the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee as Digital Director and for Senator Lisa Murkowski. Before coming to D.C., she spearheaded digital strategy for Murkowski's successful Senate write-in campaign in 2010. Schaper enjoys traveling and taking in the local culture alongside her husband, their son and loyal springer spaniel.