Oil reserves soared by nine per cent in 2014, to 39bn barrels, according to US energy forecaster Energy Information Administration, which also found that natural gas reserves hit an unprecedented high of 388.8trn cubic feet.
This is the sixth consecutive year that US crude reserves have been rising. As prices continue to drop, however, production is beginning to fall in turn, which forecaster predict will begin pushing reserves down.
The EIA’s news follows on the latest International Energy Agency report showing global oil inventory hitting a record high, as plunging prices send demand soaring to a five-year high.
Oil prices have been plummeting over the year, with international benchmark Brent crude falling from over $100 a barrel in July 2014 to trade at just $44.80 today. US benchmark West Texas Intermediate has made a similar journey to trade at $41.70 a barrel.
And it could be decades before anything changes, as forecasters have predicted that oil prices will remain below $100 until 2040.