What if new production of one million barrels of oil per day from just two fields is just the opening round of new production in the US? What if that is just the start of worldwide growth in production?
I just took a first glance at Oil: The Next Revolution – The Unprecedented Upsurge of Oil Production Capacity by Leonardo Maugeri.
The natural endowment of the initial American shale play, Bakken/Three Forks (a tight oil formation) in North Dakota and Montana, could become a big Persian Gulf producing country within the United States. But the country has more than twenty big shale oil formations, especially the Eagle Ford Shale, where the recent boom is revealing a hydrocarbon endowment comparable to that of the Bakken Shale. Most of U.S. shale and tight oil are profitable at a price of oil (WTI) ranging from $50 to $65 per barrel, thus making them sufficiently resilient to a significant downturn of oil prices.
Wow. There could be more than 20 fields like Bakken. The second one in play is Eagle Ford.
What do those two fields look like?
One million new barrels per day from two fields.
In April 2012, EIA estimated production in Eagle Ford would hit 500K bopd. North Dakota production was over 600K bopd in April. That is up from about 150K bopd from both fields combined about 6 years ago. Neither field is within 3 or 5 years of hitting their maximum production.
Just ponder the possibility that there could be another 10 or 15 or 20 fields like Bakken and Eagle Ford.
Then consider the number of tight oil fields around the world that we don’t even know about:
The shale/tight oil boom in the United States is not a temporary bubble, but the most important revolution in the oil sector in decades. It will probably trigger worldwide emulation over the next decades that might bear surprising results – given the fact that most shale/tight oil resources in the world are still unknown and untapped. What’s more, the application of shale extraction key-technologies (horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing) to conventional oilfield could dramatically increase world’s oil production.
I’ve just glanced at the paper and will be reading it soon. Looks like there is a lot of great stuff.
If you want a survey of the report, check out Mark J. Perry’s summary at No Peak Oil in Sight: We’ve Got an Unprecedented Upsurge in Global Oil Production Underway.
Hat tip to Professor Perry at Carpe Diem for pointing me to the report.
The above quotes are from Maugeri, Leonardo. “Oil: The Next Revolution” Discussion Paper 2012-10, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School, June 2012.