Feb. 15 (UPI) -- Texas added almost 1 billion barrels of proved oil reserves at the end of 2016, but net proved reserves were unchanged from the prior year, new data show.
The United States is on pace to become the largest crude oil producer in the world and its current rate of production of around 10 million barrels per day is rivaling that of Saudi Arabia, which is holding back as part of a coordinated effort with the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to balance an oversupplied market.
An annual review from the U.S. Energy Information Administration of proved reserves of crude oil and lease condensate, an ultra-light form of oil, found Texas was the clear leader, adding 941 million barrels between 2015 and 2016. Most of it came from the Permian shale basin.
In its latest drilling productivity report, EIA found most of the new oil production for March is expected from the Permian and Eagle Ford shale reservoirs in the U.S. south. Permian production is expected to increase by about 2.5 percent from February.
Occidental Petroleum, which reported earnings earlier this week, said Permian production improved from the third quarter by close to 15 percent due to increased drilling and productivity.
For the United States as a whole, however, EIA said proved reserves, at 35.2 billion barrels, were more or less unchanged from 2015.
Natural gas is another story. EIA data show the 341.1 trillion cubic feet of proved reserves as of year-end 2016 was a 5 percent increase from the previous year. Most of that came from Pennsylvania, which added just over 6 trillion cubic feet to proved reserves in its Appalachian shale basin.
Total U.S. gas production set a record in 2015, though output declined 1 percent the following year for its first drop in a decade.
The EIA characterized proved reserves as those with a "reasonable" chance of being recovered.