What Peak Oil? I’m having trouble keeping up with all the billion barrel finds.

15 wells on 1 pad. Notice a drilling rig on right edge of view. September 2015 photo by James Ulvog.

Yeah, I’m still new to this effort of watching the energy field. One of the things that still amazes me is the frequency with which the geology wizards find another billion or so barrels of recoverable oil that ‘we’ didn’t know about and a decade ago couldn’t get out of the ground profitably even if the wizards had known for sure it was there.

3/9/17 – E&P – Repsol, Armstrong Strike Big Oil Find in Alaska’s North Slope – The two companies announced a find in the Nanushuk Play with 1.2 billion barrels of recoverable oil. Two wells confirm the find.

First production is expected in 2021, four years from now. Production level expected to hit 120,000 bopd, or 43.8M barrels a year.

Oh, what Peak Oil?

By the way, I’m having a hard time keeping track of all these massive new finds of oil which either nobody knew about a decade ago or it would have been technically impossible to ever get any of it out of the ground.

Again. What Peak Oil?

(Hat tip to The Million Dollar Way.)

3/10 – Energy Media Group – at Bakken.com – Respol announces largest U.S. oil discovery in 30 years – Announced estimate is 1.2 billion of recoverable light oil.  This is asserted to be the largest onshore find in three decades.

This will also be a boon to the Alaska Pipeline since the daily delivery has dropped from 2.1M bopd to 520k bopd in the last 28 years.

12/13/16 – Rigzone – After Alaska Flop, Shell’s Search For Oil Moves Closer to Home – Shell, along with BP and Exxon Mobil are pulling back from looking for massively huge finds and previously undeveloped areas. Instead they are looking for modest finds near where there is current drilling. This is far cheaper and with improved technology, including better sonar mapping, can find fields quicker and bring resources online faster.

To illustrate the payoff, in the past 28 months Shell has found 16 fields that hold 1 billion boe (barrels of oil equivalent).

A billion barrels found. Sixteen times.

Apart from the change in strategy, which is brand-new to me, I’m prompted to ask yet again, What Peak Oil?

And the discoveries are going to continue and continue….

Another view of the 15 producing wells. September 2015 photo by James Ulvog.

3/10/17 – The American Interest – Oil Prices Stumble as American Shale Rebounds – Many articles recently have commented on the rising output from American shale. This article has the best summary.

OPEC efforts to balance world supply of oil have hit the snag of increased output from shale. US production is up 500k bopd and thus crossing the 9M bopd level for the first time in a year.

One of many consequences is that prices aren’t up much, which was the goal of the entire production freeze. Remember, Saudi Arabia needs $100 oil. They have rebudgeted for $80.

Most entertainingly, the article point to another article which mentions that some frackers have relocated their operations to Alaska so they can sort out how to apply fracking technology on the North Slope.

Article mentioned above from Energy Media Group says fracking is about three times as expensive in Alaska as in Permian (or Bakken I assume). Several reasons for that include the higher cost to move water and proppant long distances along with regulatory requirements for water testing.

Get ready for more billion barrels fields being moved from

  • we-don’t-know-how-much-is-there-and-we’re-never-going-to-touch-it-anyway category


  • recoverable.

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