A few thoughts on the upside of oil production in North Dakota.
6/14 – Million Dollar Way – A Long Rambling Note on a Bunch of Things Regarding the Bakken – If you are still wondering why I am so powerfully positive on the Bakken, check out Mr. Oksol’s post.
My overly compressed summary:
With the current estimates of total oil in place (likely understated) which excludes a couple of layers of the overall formation (that haven’t been explored which means there is an unknown amount of technically recoverable oil there) and the previously estimated ultimate recovery of around 300K barrels per well (probably higher now with some wells at 1M barrels EUR) and the current technology (which is constantly being improved, which include the possibilities of refracking which are being tested now) leading to around 7% recovery (will probably be higher eventually) at 1M bopd production, there is enough oil to produce for about 95 years.
Adjust each of those factors up, and there is no telling how long Bakken will be producing.
Here’s the simple math: 500B estimated original oil in place x 7% recovery = 35B barrels / 1M bopd = 35,000 days / 365.25 = 95.8 years
Unless our political system kills the economy or kills fracking or unless some scientific wizard invents a new form of cheap, reliable, & transportable energy, there will be enough long-term energy-driven jobs available in North Dakota for my son’s childrens’ children to retire from.
That should be enough info to put the blood pressure through the roof for my flat-earth-believing Peak Oilist buddies. Sorry guys.
Check out the article for a long list of reasons why the production level will likely be sustained even though the count of completed wells drops (hint: choking back production and fracklog for starters).
6/4 – Bakken.com – 2015: Will the Balkan hit 1.2 million barrels per day? – An analyst with Wood Mackenzie thinks the average production in North Dakota will be 1.2M bopd in 2015, up from an average daily production of 1.1M bopd in 2014. Remember this estimate is with rig count dropping fast.
Before you laugh, keep in mind there were 880 wells on the fracklog in March. That is an amount equal to just under half a year worth of well completions that is in the status of drilled but waiting to be fracked. Backlog almost a year long.
In the first post above, Mr. Oksol thinks output in the state could hit and sustain at the 2M bopd level if the prices were right. That would of course reduce the expected life of the field to merely 50 years, assuming none of the long string of understated factors mentioned above stay low.