Outrun Change

We need to learn quickly to keep up with the massive change around us so we don't get run over. We need to outrun change.

Two new fields found where the energy wizards didn’t realize there were billions of barrels of oil in the ground. Oh, what Peak Oil? #48

Smith Bay drilling site. Image courtesy Caelus Energy LLC, used with permission.

Smith Bay drilling site. Image courtesy Caelus Energy LLC, used with permission.

There are two big finds in the last few weeks of fields with a few billion barrels of recoverable oil each where the petroleum engineers didn’t realize there were billions of barrels of oil.

Still needs to be a lot of work to develop the fields, but major point is the wizards know today there is somewhere around 5 billion more barrels of oil “we” can use to power our comfortable industrialized life than the wizards knew about a month ago.

Not that it is really necessary, but those two big finds prove yet again that Peak Oil is a busted, bankrupt, invalid theory.

10/5 – New York Times – Oil Glut? Here Comes Some More! Author spends the first one-fifth of the article bemoaning the discovery of two new oil fields (yeah, I eye-balled the amount of pixels allocated to bemoaning).

The last thing the world needs is more oil and gas he points out, while typing at his coal-powered computer, which was constructed with plastic made from cracked natural gas, his words stored on a server farm powered by natural gas, his article delivered around the world at the speed of light, visible to me on my nuclear power driven monitor, which I read in my natural gas warmed office.

After the lamenting, he provides more detail.

Caelus Energy announced they believe there is potentially 2.4 billion barrels of recoverable oil in the Smith Bay field, closely offshore in Alaska, west of Prudhoe Bay. After 2 exploratory wells and 3D seismic testing, the company thinks they could get 200K bopd out of the field.

Apache Corporation has been looking at a new field they call Alpine High  which they think holds 3 billion barrels of oil and 75 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. This field is described as overlooked in the article. It is near the Permian Basin.

Company bought up lease rights for one-fortieth of the price Permian leases are going for.

Article cites unnamed industry execs saying the E&P budgets industry-wide were cut $250B in 2015 and another $70B in 2016.

10/5 – Caelus Energy LLC – Caelus confirms large-scale discovery on the North Slope of Alaska – Press release says the company estimates 6 billion barrels of oil in place with recovery estimated at 30% or 40%. That would mean they are estimating recoverable oil in the range of 1.8B to 2.4B barrels.

That makes two finds in the last few weeks, both in the U.S., neither of which were part of the proven reserve calculation a year ago. The assumption that energy wizards will never find another oil field is one of a long list of reasons why Peak Oil is such a foolish concept.

One more super-cool (um, make that freezing cold) photo from Caelus:

Smith Bay drilling site. Image courtesy Caelus Energy LLC, used with permission.

Smith Bay drilling site. That looks reeeeeeally cold. Even I can see several things they do to fight the cold. Image courtesy Caelus Energy LLC, used with permission.

10/4 – Bloomberg – Alaska Oil reserves May Have Grown 80% on Giant Discovery – Proven reserves in Alaska are about 2.86B barrels. Another 2.4B would be an increase of 84%. A recovery rate of 30% would be 1.8B, or an increase in reserves of 63%.

According to the company, this would be the biggest discovery in the state in the last 40 years.

The total project will cost about $8B or $10B to fully develop. It could start producing by 2022.

10/5 – The American Interest – So much for Peak Oil / Alaska Just Nearly Doubled its Oil Reserves – Article quotes a WSJ comment that the volume of oil going through the Alaska Pipeline is declining enough that it might have to close. If there isn’t a certain volume of oil, the pipeline won’t work. The Smith Bay find would keep the pipeline open.

Article points out this find is very bad news for two groups of people.

First, OPEC. The big petrostates need to see higher prices, not more oil supply on the market, especially oil with a production break-even of somewhere around $40.

Article gently hints the second group for whom this is troublesome is those few remaining folks advocating Peak Oil foolishness. They just saw another proof of the foolishness.

Okay, okay, here are two more fantastic photos from Caelus Energy.

Image courtesy Caelus Energy LLC, used with permission.

Image courtesy Caelus Energy LLC, used with permission.

Last view. Thanks to Caelus Energy for permission to use their photos.

Image courtesy Caelus Energy LLC, used with permission.

Image courtesy Caelus Energy LLC, used with permission.

 

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