US Oil & Gas Availability Estimates

by | Jun 4, 2024 | United States, Crude, Energy, Energy Information Administration, Production, Saudi Arabia, Supply

This figure represents a 15 percent increase from IER’s 2011 report and is more than 5.6 times the proved reserves of Saudi Arabia.

Estimates of Availability for US Oil & Gas


How Much Oil and Gas Does the USA Have?

In a recent report from the Institute for Energy Research (IER), the total technically recoverable oil resources in the U.S. are estimated at an astounding 1.66 trillion barrels. This quantity is sufficient to sustain current consumption rates for 227 years. If dedicated solely to gasoline production, it would fuel the transportation sector for 539 years at 2023 usage levels. This figure represents a 15 percent increase from IER’s 2011 report and is more than 5.6 times the proved reserves of Saudi Arabia. The report also highlights that the U.S. has 4.03 quadrillion cubic feet of technically recoverable natural gas. At the current rate of consumption, this is enough to last for 130 years. This figure shows a 47 percent increase from IER’s 2011 estimates. Moreover, the U.S. holds over 65 quadrillion cubic feet of in-place natural gas resources. If just half of this becomes recoverable, it could supply the U.S. for over 1,000 years at 2022 consumption rates.
A Wealth of Resources and the Call for Utilization

Thomas Pyle, the President of the IER, emphasized in a release accompanying the report that the U.S. has ample reserves of oil, natural gas, and coal, capable of sustaining future generations. He acknowledged technological advancements and the unique system of private ownership for propelling the U.S. to global leadership in oil and natural gas production, leading to economic benefits such as lower energy prices, job growth, enhanced national security, and environmental improvements.

Despite the surge in energy production over the past fifteen years, Pyle stressed that North America’s energy potential remains vast. He warned against political and activist efforts to constrain this potential, advocating for policies that unlock these resources to benefit American families.

Political Perspectives on Energy Policy

Senator John Barrasso noted America’s capacity to produce energy cleaner, faster, and more reliably than the rest of the world, citing the IER report as evidence. He urged President Biden to focus on harnessing American energy resources instead of relinquishing a significant economic and geopolitical advantage.

Chairman of the Western Caucus Dan Newhouse criticized the Biden administration for policies he described as hampering domestic energy production in favor of stringent green policies. He argued that the U.S. can lead in domestic energy production and innovation with proper investment and policy changes.

Pete Stauber, Chairman of the House Natural Resources Energy and Mineral Resources Subcommittee, affirmed the U.S. has the resources needed to power the 21st-century economy domestically and internationally. He advocated for policies enabling ethical and responsible development of U.S. natural resources, reducing reliance on nations like Iran, Russia, and China.

U.S. Reserves Continue to Grow

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), U.S. crude oil and lease condensate proved reserves increased nine percent from 44.4 billion barrels to 48.3 billion barrels at year-end 2022. Proved reserves of natural gas increased ten percent from 625.4 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) at year-end 2021 to 691.0 Tcf at year-end 2022, setting a new record for natural gas proved reserves for the second consecutive year.

Proved reserves are estimated volumes of hydrocarbon resources that analysis of geologic and engineering data demonstrate with reasonable certainty are recoverable under existing economic and operating conditions.


The IER report underscores the immense energy potential of the U.S., calling for policies that leverage this potential to ensure energy security and economic prosperity. As the global landscape shifts, the U.S. stands poised to continue its leadership in oil and gas production, provided it navigates the political and regulatory challenges ahead.