U.S. Crude Reserves Hit Highest Levels in nearly 40 Years

New data from the Energy Information Administration shows that crude reserves in the U.S. hit their highest levels since 1976.

Apr 14, 2014 at 10:10AM

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New data from the Energy Information Administration shows that crude reserves in the U.S. hit their highest levels since 1976. The EIA released a report on April 10, entitled "U.S. Crude Oil and Natural Gas Proved Reserves (2012)," which indicated that 2012 marked the fourth year in a row that proven oil reserves increased. Not only that, but 2012 marked the largest increase in oil reserves for a single year – 4.5 billion barrels – since 1970. That is a remarkable feat since 1970 was the year that vast reserves, around 10 billion barrels, were booked in Alaska.

 US Crude Oil and Lease Condensate Proved Reserves

Source: EIA

Why the rapid growth in crude reserves when it appears that oil is becoming increasingly difficult to find and exploit? The EIA says that improved technology is allowing companies to find greater and greater amounts of oil. Moreover, high oil prices and several years of successful production has companies exploring for oil at an elevated rate.

Most of that recent production has come from tight oil in places like the Bakken and the Eagle Ford basin. In fact, tight oil accounted for 22% of proved reserves in 2012. By state, Texas posted the largest increase in proved reserves between 2011 and 2012, adding 3 billion barrels. North Dakota came in second with 1.1 billion barrels. The Gulf of Mexico federal offshore area also added a smaller 137,000 barrels.

Proved reserves do not mean that successful production is a 100% certainty. Proved reserves indicate that the oil can be recoverable in future years with "reasonable certainty" under existing economic and operating conditions. For example, if oil prices dropped significantly, some of the more expensive, harder-to-reach oil would not necessarily be accessible. For now, there is no indication that drilling will slow down in the United States.

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Written by James Burgess at Oilprice.com.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

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David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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