Natural gas in the United States
The global volume of proved natural gas reserves has increased from 5.15 quadrillion cubic feet in 2000 to 6.97 quadrillion cubic feet in 2014. Proved reserves indicate the amount of a resource that can be produced economically under current prices and technologies. Reserves can change annually with new discoveries, thorough appraisal of existing fields, and production of existing resources. In 2014, over 42 percent of the world’s natural gas reserves were located in the Middle East. Iran held about 18.2 percent of the global share of reserves during this time. In North America, economically viable natural gas reserves have increased, most notably in the United States.
The United States has experienced a relatively large surge in proved natural gas reserves, reaching record numbers. Most of these new reserves have been found in Pennsylvania, Western Virginia, and Texas. The United States has also increased their consumption of natural gas due to increased use of hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”). Shale gas production has increased rapidly from 1.52 trillion cubic feet in 2007 to 9.96 trillion cubic feet in 2015. However, there has been a lot of controversy surrounding fracking. New York has banned this production method and currently, imports almost all of its natural gas, yet, still relies primarily on gas for electricity. As lower heating demands in winter are expected in the next few years, natural gas consumption is projected to decrease across the United States.