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Gas Energy Reserves—Oil Coal and Uranium - Crude Oil, Undiscovered Oil And Gas Resources, Coal, Uranium, International Reserves - NATURAL GAS

united recoverable economic proved

Fossil fuels and uranium are nonrenewable resources. Nonrenewable resources are defined as concentrations of solid, liquid, or gaseous hydrocarbons that occur naturally in or near the earth's surface. These resources must be currently or potentially recoverable for economic use. They are formed much more slowly than they are consumed, so they are considered nonrenewable. Knowing estimates of the recoverable quantities of crude oil, natural gas, coal, and uranium resources in the United States and worldwide is essential to the development, implementation, and evaluation of national energy policies and legislation since these resources are finite (can be used up). In the United States, Congress requires the Department of Energy (DOE) to prepare estimates of energy reserves.

Proved reserves are reserves from known locations that geological and engineering data demonstrate, with reasonable certainty, to be recoverable with current technological means and economic conditions. Undiscovered recoverable resources are quantities of fuel that are thought to exist in favorable geologic settings. These resources would be feasible to retrieve with existing technological means, although they may not be feasible to recover under current economic conditions.


Figure 7.2 shows that in 2002 the United States had about 187 trillion cubic feet of dry natural gas proved reserves, which reflects an increase of 3.5 billion cubic feet from 2001. The United States also had 196 trillion cubic feet of natural gas liquid proved reserves, which reflects a 2% increase from the volume reported in 2001 in the lower forty-eight states, and a 4% decrease in Alaska.

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