Shale discoveries dominate US figures

THE Energy Information Administration has issued its 2015 update ranking the 100 largest oil and gas fields in the US.
Shale discoveries dominate US figures Shale discoveries dominate US figures Shale discoveries dominate US figures Shale discoveries dominate US figures Shale discoveries dominate US figures

Haydn Black


It says the Eagle Ford Shale and the Spraberry Trend in the Permian Basin are now the nation's two largest oil fields, while the Marcellus Shale in the Appalachian Basin has overtaken Barnett field in Texas as the single biggest gas play.

Prominent new additions to the top 10 oil fields are the Eagleville and Briscoe Ranch fields within the liquids-rich Eagle Ford Shale, Texas.

Eagleville, discovered by EOG Resources in 2009, spans 14 counties in south Texas and is the country's largest oil field as ranked by estimated proved reserves.

Prudhoe Bay in Alaska, which was the US's largest field in 2009, now sits at third place, behind the Eagleville and the Spraberry trend in Texas' Permian Basin.

In 2009 the US had 22.3 billion barrels of crude oil and condensate proved reserves, and its top 100 oil fields held 62.3% of that total, or 13.9Bbbl.

In testament to the strength of the development of shale oil and tight oil fields that figure had increased to 36.5Bbbl in 2013, and the top 100 US oil fields now contain 56.4% of that total, or 20.6Bbbl, with old areas like the Spraberry trend revitalised.

The top 10 oil field list was rounded out by Colorado's Wattenberg field [discovered 1970], the Briscoe Ranch [discovered 1962], Kuparuk River in Alaska, the Thunder House field in the Gulf of Mexico [discovered 1999], Wasson in Texas [discovered 1937], the 103-year-old Belridge South field in California and the Gulf's Atlantis field [discovered 1998].

A notable addition to the top 10 gas fields is the Marcellus Shale, which includes proved reserves from north central West Virginia and a large expanse of Pennsylvania.

The Marcellus Shale has now surpassed the Barnett Shale to become the largest single US gas field ranked by estimated proved reserves in 2013.

The top 10 gas field list also includes Newark East in Texas' Barnett Shale; B-42 in Arkansas' Fayettesville Shale; Colorado and New Mexico's San Juan Basin; Louisiana's Haynesville Shale; and the Pinedale, Carthage, Jonah, Wattenberg and Prudhoe Bay fields.

In 2009, the US had 283.9 trillion cubic feet of total natural gas proved reserves, and its top 100 gas fields had 60.8% of that total [172.7 Tcf] but by 2013 gas reserves had swelled to 354Tcf, with the top 100 fields containing 67.7% of the total [239.7Tcf].