Latest guess, from someone who has a clue about such issues, on where production is going in North Dakota is somewhere around 1.5M or 1.6M barrels a day late this year or early next year.
Huge finds off coast of Guyana and in New Mexico/Texas.
Question needs to be asked again: What Peak Oil?
The Million Dollar Way – 7/7/19 – ND Oil Production to Surge – Lynn Helms. Citing another source, the article says Lynn Helms, director of DMR, thinks production in North Dakota will surge later this year after gas infrastructure construction is done.
Update: If you have any passing interest in what I say about the energy industry or oil or North Dakota, you really, really should be reading The Million Dollar Way regularly. If you landed here from the gracious shout-out over at MDW you already knew that. Mr. Oksol’s writing at that blog has provided a large portion of the learning I’ve gained on energy issues.
Outlook for energy production in the US is getting better and better. Might want to get out your sunglasses.
Low oil prices have spurred innovation amongst US drillers; file this under unintended consequences for OPEC.
Breakeven prices in US shale approaching that of OPEC producers; ponder that the breakeven price for Saudi Aramco is not the same as breakeven price for the Saudi government.
Overview of news in 2016 for oil & gas; good news for companies that survived the year.
12/2 – Tyler Morning Telegraph – Saudis awakened a sleeping giant when they declared war on fracking– Editorial says the Saudis made a serious mistake waking up the slumbering giant of fracking land. The artificially high prices allowed the frackers to get started. The artificially low prices forced them to innovate, cut costs, and start producing at breakeven points competitive to the OPEC giants. Not a good move.
Wouldn’t it be grand if that paragraph was the four-sentence history of fracking?
Production costs are half what they were two years ago.
Shale oil is crude oil that is trapped in rocks. Fracking is the way to get shale oil out of the ground.
Oil shale is sort-of-like crude oil stuff (actually kerogen, but that label doesn’t register for me) that has to be heated, or cooked, out of the rock. Usually done by strip mining then cooking the stuff. Other option is steam injection to liquefy the oil shale which then can be pulled out of the well. Fracking won’t do the trick.
Try this on for size: Using microwaves comparable to the power of 500 household machines to heat the rock turning the oil shale liquid. The water, which is mixed in with the kerogen will be converted to steam, which in turn will help pull the liquefied oil to the wellbore.
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.
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.
He has discussed this pad before. See his post for links.
Mr. Oksol links to a photo of the site taken by Vern Whitten: Vern Whitten Fall Portfolio. Since I try really hard to avoid copyright violations, you won’t see his photo on this blog. Instead you can see Mr. Whitten’s photo at this link. It is photo 28 of 39.
Here are three more stories in just the last week proving yet again the foolish of Malthusian thinking. The experts in a field have no clue, absolutely no clue, of the total amount of any resource available on this amazing planet. Whether it is water, crude oil, or helium, the experts don’t know what previously unknown field they will find next.
The new field, called Liza, likely has somewhere between 800M and 1.4B oil-equivalent barrels. Yeah, that’s somewhere in the range of one and a half billion barrels of oil. That nobody knew about. Until now.
To put this in context, there have been only five brand-new discoveries in the last four years with recoverable amounts of over 500M barrels. Only five? ONLY? To my little brain that is astounding.
Bruce Oksol wonders whether Bakken oil production is entering the manufacturing phase after a frantic construction phase.
2/3 – The Million Dollar Way – Idle Chatter on DUCs and Related Data Points – Before a big factory or electrical plant or other major project begins production there is a massive construction effort. The number of jobs to run the facility is a fraction of the number of workers needed to construct the thing. When completed, the number of jobs at the facility drops off.
Mr. Oksol uses the illustration of a natural gas plant being built. During construction there will be around 2,000 temporary jobs. When that gas is turned into electricity, the plant will employ 45. That’s 2,000 temporary and 45 permanent jobs.
He wonders if Bakken is like that, having finished the ‘construction’ and now moving into manufacturing.
Here are three very different articles on the future of crude oil prices.
One of the memorable things I learned in grad school was the idea that you can’t project the current trend of something into the future forever.
Keep in mind that West Texas Intermediate price was somewhere in the region of $100 a barrel in mid ’14. WTI is now about $26. Let me round off some calculations for simplicity. Let’s call that a current price of $30. Let’s call that a year and a half.
So we see a drop of about $70 in 1.5 years. A straight line projection would calculate out as another $45/bbl in another year. Thus, by 12/31/16 WTI price will be $30 minus $45, or a negative $15. Yes, you read that right. A straight line projection means that oil producers will be paying refineries $15 for every barrel the refiners agree to take off the producer’s hands. Gas prices will consist only of the refining costs, a humongous list of taxes, with an offset for the negative cost of raw material.
You can’t do straight line projections forever.
Here are three superb articles that help me understand what is going on in the world of crude oil…
After the Carnage, Shale Will Rise Again
Helms predicts oil prices to rise again in foreseeable future
Innovation leading to technological advances creates wealth, improves health, and makes everyone better off. Some people in some places have been left behind by the dramatic economic improvements of the last two centuries. The best way to make life better for those folks is to continue innovating and make cheap, small, fast, highly economical tools and resources available to them.
The book as so many explanations and illustrations. I’d love to describe dozens of things that caught my eye. I will mention merely a few.
You will often see the foolish and erroneous statement that we only have X years of some resource left on the planet. When you look at the built-in calculation you see the presence of the silly fallacy of dividing known reserves by current consumption.
The reason that calculation is so foolish is it completely ignores exploration that finds new fields, innovation in recovering more resources, and economic changes that make it worthwhile to gather something that was uneconomical before.
Consider for a moment the idea that we are going to run out of oil because at current consumption rates will use up all the proven reserves in however many years. The formula is
divided by current consumption
equals years until we completely, totally exhaust all of that item on the entire planet
I have just started reading both of the reports. Plan to finish them in the next few days and will have more to say then.
A couple of initial thoughts:
The Manhattan Institute study suggests the shale revolution of the last five or seven years is barely getting started. The technological innovations in the last couple of years are going to accelerate.
A few articles on the shale revolution: scale of layoffs, improving efficiencies by drilling companies, and China scraps a shale gas project.
3/16 – Forbes – Itemizing the Oil Bust: 75,000 Layoffs and Counting – Article reports on a tally given the author by an insider of the known layoffs in the oil & gas industry. Insiders tell him that stacking a rig costs 40 jobs. Based on the rest of the article, I think that is direct jobs.