Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Oil: The U.S. Geological Survey Says There Are 20 Billion Barrels of the Stuff In the Wolfcamp Shale, Triple the Bakken Play (PXD)

As the tipster on the story says:
The estimate lends credence to Pioneer Natural Resources Co. Chief Executive Officer Scott Sheffield’s assertion that the Permian’s shale endowment could hold as much as 75 billion barrels, making it second only to Saudi Arabia’s Ghawar field....
Links below.

From the USGS:

USGS Estimates 20 Billion Barrels of Oil in Texas’ Wolfcamp Shale Formation
Release Date: November 15, 2016
This is the largest estimate of continuous oil that USGS has ever assessed in the United States.
The Wolfcamp shale in the Midland Basin portion of Texas’ Permian Basin province contains an estimated mean of 20 billion barrels of oil, 16 trillion cubic feet of associated natural gas, and 1.6 billion barrels of natural gas liquids, according to an assessment by the U.S. Geological Survey. This estimate is for continuous (unconventional) oil, and consists of undiscovered, technically recoverable resources. 
The estimate of continuous oil in the Midland Basin Wolfcamp shale assessment is nearly three times larger than that of the 2013 USGS Bakken-Three Forks resource assessment, making this the largest estimated continuous oil accumulation that USGS has assessed in the United States to date.

“The fact that this is the largest assessment of continuous oil we have ever done just goes to show that, even in areas that have produced billions of barrels of oil, there is still the potential to find billions more,” said Walter Guidroz, program coordinator for the USGS Energy Resources Program.

“Changes in technology and industry practices can have significant effects on what resources are technically recoverable, and that’s why we continue to perform resource assessments throughout the United States and the world.”
Image shows an outline of the Midland Basin and assessment units on a Texas County Map
Although the USGS has assessed oil and gas resources in the Permian Basin province, this is the first assessment of continuous resources in the Wolfcamp shale in the Midland Basin portion of the Permian.

Since the 1980s, the Wolfcamp shale in the Midland Basin has been part of the “Wolfberry” play that encompasses Mississippian, Pennsylvanian, and Lower Permian reservoirs. Oil has been produced using traditional vertical well technology.

However, more recently, oil and gas companies have been using horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, and more than 3,000 horizontal wells have been drilled and completed in the Midland Basin Wolfcamp section....MORE
HT to Bloomberg for yesterday's "A $900 Billion Oil Treasure Lies Beneath West Texas Desert" and last May's "How Oil’s Most Boring CEO Found Himself Atop 10 Billion Barrels".

Good time to find a super-giant field. As noted at Resilience in May 2003:
Ghawar Is Dying
"Ghawar is dying." Could those three simple words signal the beginning of the end for the industrialized human civilization on Planet Earth? No one in a position of knowledge or authority has uttered them publicly yet, nor are they likely to for a few years to come. So we do have some time--but not much....
That was followed in August 2004 by "Cantarell, The Second Largest Oil Field in the World Is Dying".
So yes, a good time for a super-giant.