Another 20 billion barrels of oil. What Peak Oil? – #49

We are gonna' see a whole lot more of those things in Texas over the next few decades. Photo by James Ulvog.
We’re gonna’ see a whole lot more of those things in Texas over the next few decades. Photo by James Ulvog.

Oh, by the way, the geology wizards just discovered another twenty billion barrels of recoverable oil where the wizards knew something existed but had no idea how much.

Twenty billion barrels. Billion, with a B.

11/15 – Star-Telegram – Permian’s Wolfcamp formation called biggest shale oil field in US – Estimate from USGS is the Wolfcamp formation in the Permian Basin holds 20 billion barrels of oil. There are four layers of shale that make up Wolfcamp. That puts this find somewhere in the range of three times the size of the entire Bakken formation in North Dakota.

Several drillers with leases in Wolfcamp have increased their estimates of proven reserves

Figuring out there’s many billions more barrels of oil under the ground than the wizards realized was there a year or decade ago is a recurring reason I keep asking What Peak Oil?

11/17 – Watts Up With That – Newsbytes: US geological Survey Discovers “Largest Oil & Gas Deposit Ever Discovered In America” – Article points out this one find is equal to three years worth of petroleum consumption in the entire United States. This one field increased our reserves by three full years.

To put this into perspective the article gives some comparison. Wolfcamp has more technically recoverable oil than the Prudhoe Bay field on the North Slope of Alaska has produced in the last 43 years. This field has not quite three times the amount of oil as produced in the largest field in the contiguous states.

11/15 – USGS – USGS Estimates 20 Billion Barrels of Oil in Texas’ Wolfcamp Shale Formation – official estimate is:

…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 is technically recoverable:

This estimate is for continuous (unconventional) oil, and consists of undiscovered, technically recoverable resources.

An explanation of those terms:

Continuous oil and gas is dispersed throughout a geologic formation rather than existing as discrete, localized occurrences, such as those in conventional accumulations. Because of that, continuous resources commonly require special technical drilling and recovery methods, such as hydraulic fracturing.

Undiscovered resources are those that are estimated to exist based on geologic knowledge and theory, while technically recoverable resources are those that can be produced using currently available technology and industry practices. Whether or not it is profitable to produce these resources has not been evaluated.

The field is three times the size of the 2013 assessment of the Bakken-Three Forks field.

Imagine that. There is a new field in the Permian equal in size to the already massiveBakken, and another field equal to Bakken next to that one, and yet another field equal to Bakken next to that one. Picture three Bakkens sitting side by side. In addition to all the other oil in Texas.

Oh, the geological wizards previously knew there was something there, but they just figured out there were 20B barrels of technically recoverable oil that they couldn’t quantify before. Twenty billion barrels of new oil.

Again, What Peak Oil?

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