The EIA estimates that the U.S. has 223 billion barrels of technically recoverable shale oil. Pioneer Natural Resources estimates that 75 billion barrels are located in the Permian Basin alone, in the Spraberry/Wolfcamp shale formations.
That estimate is up 50% in the last year. … estimates of technically recoverable oil are likely to increase dramatically in the years to come.
For example, in the EIA’s 2011 world shale and tight oil report, the organization estimated that the world had 32 billion barrels of technically recoverable shale/tight oil reserves.
By 2013, those estimates had increased nearly 11-fold to 345 billion barrels. Given the fact that the EIA estimates 3.357 trillion barrels of shale oil resources exist in the world, even today’s lofty estimates are likely only scratching the surface of what future technology can accomplish.The rest of the world might have a lot of oil too.
BUT AMERICA HAS THE IDEAS THAT MAKE THE OIL RECOVERABLE,
and we are in a time where we are finding it in our best interest to use those ideas for ourselves:
The technology of oil discovery and oil production is moving forward at remarkable rates, bringing more and more oil formations into reach.
At the same time, the cost of discovery and production are being brought down by new approaches, and depletion rates are being brought under better control.
The drilling techniques were developed by companies that began drilling multiple wells offshore from one location. The technique is called horizontal drilling, where companies could drill thousands of feet vertically and then drill hundreds of feet horizontally from the same well bore.
Multiple wells could be drilled from the same platform, which saved time and money.
Horizontal drilling moved onshore and became a key component in the production of natural gas, and later crude oil, from shale formations originally in the Barnett Shale of North Texas… …
Companies have been fracturing wells since 1947 in an effort to force open intervals in the rock. Shale, however, created additional problems because of the tightness of the formation. A technique called slick water injections using hydraulic fracturing was developed and the success started a flurry of activity.
Today, companies are experimenting with new technologies that are even more successful.
One such company is BHP Billiton, an Australian based company that plans to spend $4 billion drilling 400 wells in Texas’s Permian Basin and Eagle Ford Shale this year… … poorly propped fracs were the primary cause of rapid decline in production, which caused BHP to turn from the slick water techniques to the BroadBand Sequence technique developed by Schlumberger that creates chemical diversions to improve stimulated rock volume and create a more uniform distribution across clusters.
Skaufels said BHP, which holds about 300,000 net acres in the Eagle Ford play, is the second largest producer in the Eagle Ford, but it has its sights on becoming the largest and most cost efficient producer.
“Our costs have come way down over the last year, and it’s because now we’ve got time to actually be able to look at what we’re doing, analyze our data, and improve,” he said. “We have seen a 25 percent improvement in both time and cost,” Skaufels said …