EIA ups world total for recoverable shale oil

The Energy Department said on Monday that billions more barrels had been added in 2015 to its estimate of recoverable shale oil around the world.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration said that new estimate comes after reviews of shale oil and natural gas reserves in four more countries — the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Chad and Kazakhstan.

The new reserves in those countries pushed up the worldwide total of shale oil that can be recovered using existing technology to 419 billion barrels, a 13 percent rise over the EIA’s previous estimate, or about 48 billion barrels. The review also resulted in a smaller increase in shale gas reserves to 7.5 trillion cubic feet, a 4 percent increase.

The EIA report noted that most countries, including the most recent four added to the report, still can’t deploy the drilling technology capable of accessing shale oil reserves that has turned the United States into the world’s largest oil producer. Only the U.S., Canada, China and Argentina are current shale oil producers, and the U.S. owns more than 90 percent of that production.