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, 2015, there were about 2,355 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 2015 of about 27.3 Tcf per year, the United States has enough natural gas to last about 86 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, 2015
Energy Explained: How Much Natural Gas Is Left?
Oil and natural gas resource categories reflect varying degrees of certainty
Geology and technology drive estimates of technically recoverable resources
Annual Energy Outlook 2017
Annual Energy Outlook 2016: Ample natural gas supply is adequate to meet growth in both export and domestic markets
Natural Gas Consumption by End Use
Articles on reserves

Last updated: July 25, 2017


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