U.S. production of tight oil and shale gas has increased significantly through the last decade. The EIA-914 began collecting natural gas production data in 2005 from 5 states (Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, and Wyoming), federal Gulf of Mexico GOM, and other states (as a group). Oil production was not included. In response to major increases in U.S. oil and natural gas production EIA has expanded its reporting of monthly hydrocarbon production to include more geographical coverage and collection of crude oil and lease condensate in addition to natural gas production in 5 states. In 2015, EIA improved the EIA- 914 form to add more states: additional states are Arkansas, California, Colorado, Kansas, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Utah, and West Virginia. "Other States" is much smaller now, reduced from 28 to 17, and only includes Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, Oregon, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia (17) and federal Pacific Offshore. Also, EIA continues its efforts to map hydrocarbon resources related to low permeability plays. Mapping in this case involves taking locational data in three dimensions (oil and gas well latitude and longitude, and the depth and thickness of shale and other tight formations) and then rendering the information as a two-dimensional representation including structure, thickness, and reservoir property maps. Collectively, EIA-914 crude oil and natural gas production data and EIA's mapping project outcomes improves EIA reporting and forecasting, and helps inform policy makers and general public on topics such as hydrocarbon production, refining capacity, and energy legislative initiatives.
EIA's projections are not predictions of what will happen, but rather modeled projections of what may happen given certain assumptions, methodologies, and analytical techniques. The hydrocarbon module of the Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO) model is designed to provide forecasts of U.S. production, consumption, refinery inputs, net imports, and inventories. The Annual Energy Outlook (AEO) is developed using the National Energy Modeling System (NEMS), an integrated model that aims to capture various interactions of economic changes and energy supply, demand, and prices. Energy market projections are subject to much uncertainty, as many of the events that shape energy markets and future developments in technologies, demographics, and resources cannot be foreseen with certainty.