Frequently Asked Questions

How much natural gas does the United States have, and how long will it last?

The U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates that as of January 1, 2013 there were about 2,276 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of technically recoverable resources of dry natural gas in the United States. At the rate of U.S. dry natural gas consumption in 2013 of about 27 Tcf per year, the United States has enough natural gas to last about 84 years. The actual number of years will depend on the amount of natural gas consumed each year, natural gas imports and exports, and additions to natural gas reserves.

Technically recoverable reserves consist of proved reserves and unproved resources. Proved reserves of crude oil and natural gas are the estimated volumes expected to be produced, with reasonable certainty, under existing economic and operating conditions. Unproved resources of crude oil and natural gas are additional volumes estimated to be technically recoverable without consideration of economics or operating conditions, based on the application of current technology.

Learn more:

Table 9.2. Technically recoverable U.S. dry natural gas resources as of January 1, 2013
Oil and natural gas resource categories reflect varying degrees of certainty
Geology and technology drive estimates of technically recoverable resources
Annual Energy Outlook 2015: Natural Gas—Production
Annual Energy Outlook 2014: Shale gas provides largest source of growth in U.S. natural gas supply
Annual Energy Outlook 2012: Issues in Focus: U.S. crude oil and natural gas resource uncertainty
Natural Gas Consumption by End Use
Shale in the United States
Articles on reserves

Last updated: November 18, 2015

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