U.S. Energy Information Administration - EIA - Independent Statistics and Analysis
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does it cost to produce crude oil and natural gas?
A measure of the total cost to produce crude oil and natural gas is the upstream costs. The upstream cost includes lifting and finding costs. Lifting costs are the costs to operate and maintain oil and gas wells and related equipment and facilities to bring oil and gas to the surface. Finding costs are the costs of exploring for and developing reserves of oil and gas and the costs to purchase properties or acquire leases that might contain oil and gas reserves.
EIA collects data related to these costs from the largest (major), U.S. oil and gas producers in its Financial Reporting System (FRS). The data are generally representative of the average cost for the FRS companies to find and produce their own particular mix of crude oil and natural gas in their production locations in the U.S. and in other countries and regions of the world. The table below is adapted from the most recent report of the Performance Profiles of Major Energy Producers, 2009.
Costs for Producing Crude Oil and Natural Gas, 2007–2009
2009 Dollars per Barrel of Oil Equivalent1
|Lifting Costs||Finding Costs||Total Upstream Costs|
|United States – Average||$12.18||$21.58||$33.76|
|All Other Countries – Average||$9.95||$15.13||$25.08|
|Central & South America||$6.21||$20.43||$26.64|
15,618 cubic feet of natural gas equivalent to one barrel.
Source: Tables 10, 11 and 12, Performance Profiles of Major Energy Producers, 2009.
Last reviewed: January 15, 2014
Other FAQs about Natural Gas
- Can I obtain a list of companies involved in the natural gas industry, such as utilities, pipeline companies, and storage operators?
- Does EIA have city or county-level energy consumption and price data?
- Does EIA have maps or information on the location of natural gas and oil pipelines?
- Does EIA have projections for energy production, consumption, and prices for individual states?
- How can I choose my natural gas supplier in my state?
- How does EIA calculate the year-ago and five-year averages in the Natural Gas Weekly Storage Report?
- How much coal, natural gas, or petroleum is used to generate a kilowatthour of electricity?
- How much does it cost to produce crude oil and natural gas?
- Where are the historical spot prices for natural gas?
- Where can I find shale gas and coal bed methane production and reserves data?
- Where is the boundary for state and federal offshore oil and gas production?
- Which states consume and produce the most natural gas?
- Why am I being charged more for propane than the price on EIA's website?
- How much natural gas does the United States have and how long will it last?
- How much natural gas is consumed (used) in the U.S.?
- How much shale gas is produced in the United States?
- What are Ccf, Mcf, Btu, and therms? How do I convert prices in Ccf and Mcf to Btus and therms?
- What are the major factors affecting natural gas prices?
- What can I expect to pay for heating this winter?
- What is the average price of natural gas for electric-power-generation?
- What is the outlook for home heating fuel prices this winter?
- What is the total working gas capacity in underground natural gas storage?
- What is the volume of world natural gas reserves?
- What percentage of homes in the U.S. use natural gas?
- What types and amounts of energy are produced in each state?