A few more signs of energy recovery

Where crude oil goes for refining so we can have the gas to drive our cars. Photo courtesy of DollarPhotoClub
Where crude oil goes for refining so we can have the gas to drive our cars. Photo courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.

There are some signs that oil production is slowly recovering. Productivity improvements continue. Hints that the US has more oil reserves than Saudi Arabia.

7/1 – The American Interest – Frackers Fix Their Fatal Flaw – A report from Reuters indicates several drillers have figured out how to ease the extreme drop in production early in a shale well’s life.

Average wells in Permian basin drop 18% by the fourth month of production compared to 31% back in 2012 and 20% in 2013.

In Balkan the decline rate at the four-month point went from 31% back in 2012 down to 16% in 2015.

Innovation is credited as the cause of the change.

7/9 – American Interest – Another Sign Shale is Rebounding Count of rigs in field drilling for more energy increased for five the preceding six weeks. One more hint of a whiff in the air that oil may be recovering. Prices are in the neighborhood of $50 a barrel.

7/4 – Financial Times – US oil reserves surpass those of Saudi Arabia and Russia – A private research company, Rystad Energy, estimates the US now has the largest amount of recoverable oil. Their estimates:

  • 264 billion barrels – US
  • 256B – Russian
  • 212B – Saudi Arabia

Worldwide reserves are estimated by Rystad as 2.1 trillion. With current production about 30B barrels a year, that means the current reserves are equal to about 70 times production.

(Don’t anyone suggest that means we will have no more crude left on the planet in 71 years or I will have to write a post on the idea that we have never had more that a 60 or 70 years reserves. Ever. The key idea is for the energy wizards to discover previously unknown oil as fast or faster than we use it. Break open the topic for discussion and I’ll point out yet again the destructive foolishness of Mathusian thinking.)

After reading the article, I’m a bit fuzzy on whether the research is discussing proven reserves (oil the wizards know we can get with current technology) or recoverable reserves (oil we can get at current prices with current technology).

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