Natural gas reserves hit all-time high

The amount of proven natural gas reserves in the United States grew last year to their highest point on record.

The country now has 354 trillion cubic feet of gas in the ground that has been proven to be recoverable under current conditions, a 10 percent increase from the prior year, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported Thursday.

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“At the state level, Pennsylvania and West Virginia reported the largest increases in natural gas proved reserves in 2013, driven by continued development of the Marcellus Shale gas play in the Appalachian Basin,” the EIA wrote.

Pennsylvania’s reserves skyrocketed by 13.5 trillion cubic feet, a 37 percent increase. West Virginia saw the second largest growth, gaining 8.3 trillion cubic feet for a 56 percent increase.

Pennsylvania and West Virginia had 70 percent of the country’s natural gas reserves in 2013, the EIA said. Texas had the third-largest increase.

The Thursday report from the EIA also revealed that North Dakota is now proven to have more crude oil reserves underneath it than the Gulf of Mexico, making it the second most promising area for reserves, behind Texas.

Oil reserves across the country grew for the fifth year in a row, hitting 36 billion barrels for the first time since 1975, the EIA reported.