U.S. Oil Reserves at Highest Level Since 1985

Our reserves in one chart, via the Institute for Energy Research:

The tradeoff is the cost to get the oil or gas out of the ground. While U.S. reserves are increasing, the cost to get the energy is still high compared with, say, the Middle East:

  • $81 per barrel for Canadian oil sands
  • $70 a barrel for an onshore U.S. field (it ranges from $45 to $95 per barrel, depending on the rate of oil flow)
  • $63 a barrel in the Gulf of Mexico
  • $23 a barrel in the Middle East

But the good news is that the more oil and gas we find that’s recoverable, the less we’re at the mercy of events around the globe that could cut off our supply. 

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