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 there are about 2,214 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of natural gas that is technically recoverable in the United States.  At the rate of U.S. natural gas consumption in 2013 of 26 Tcf per year, the United States has enough natural gas to last about 85 years.

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 are additional volumes estimated to be technically recoverable without consideration of economics or operating conditions, based on the application of current technology.

Learn more:

Technically recoverable natural gas resources reflect updated assessments (slide 10)

Oil and natural gas resource categories reflect varying degrees of certainty

Geology and Technology Drive Estimate of Technically Recoverable Resources

Annual Energy Outlook 2012: Issues in Focus: U.S. crude oil and natural gas resource uncertainty

Annual Energy Outlook 2014: Shale gas provides largest source of growth in U.S. natural gas supply

Natural Gas Consumption by End-Use

Shale in the United States

Last updated: December 3, 2014

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