HOUSTON, Nov. 29 (Xinhua) -- U.S. crude oil and natural gas production in 2017 reached their highest levels, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported on Thursday.
According to the EIA's report, U.S. crude oil production reached 3,413 million barrels in 2017, an increase of 6 percent from 2016.
U.S. marketed natural gas production was 29.2 trillion cubic feet (about 826.9 billion cubic meters) in 2017, an increase of 3 percent from 2016. Meanwhile, U.S. production of total natural gas increased by 4 percent from 2016 to 2017, reaching a new record level.
The annual average spot price for a barrel of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil at Cushing, Oklahoma increased 20 percent in 2017, from 42.59 U.S. dollars in 2016 to 51.03 dollars. At the end of 2017, the WTI spot price exceeded 60 dollars per barrel for the first time since June 2015.
The annual average spot price for natural gas at the Louisiana Henry Hub increased by 21 percent from 2.47 dollars per million British thermal units (MMBtu, or about 28.3 cubic meters) in 2016 to 2.99 dollars per MMBtu in 2017.
The EIA said that stronger oil and natural gas prices combined with continuing development of shales and low permeability formations drove producers of crude oil and natural gas in the United States to report new all-time record levels of proved reserves for both fuels in 2017.
Both U.S. proved reserves of crude oil and natural gas are approximately double their levels from a decade ago, according to the report.