2016-11-21. Largest Ever U.S. Shale Oil Deposit Identified in Texas.

posted Nov 25, 2016, 11:22 AM by Alan Gould

By Aaron Sidder, Earth & Space News (EoS), AGU. For GSS Energy Use chapter 3 and Climate Change chapter 10. Excerpt: As global oil prices remain mired in their worst downturn in decades, news from western Texas suggests that petroleum fortunes continue to smile on the region. In its first assessment in nearly a decade of the Permian Basin, a large sedimentary basin underlying parts of Texas and New Mexico, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has determined that a vast deposit of shale there, known as the Wolfcamp shale, contains much more oil than previously estimated. ...the region contains what is estimated to be the largest amount of continuous oil—meaning oil accessible only by means of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking—ever assessed in the United States. The agency estimated the Wolfcamp shale contains 20 billion barrels (3.2 billion cubic meters) of oil that can be recovered using today’s technology. That’s nearly 3 times as much recoverable oil as estimated in the Bakken–Three Forks accumulation in North Dakota.  ...unconventional continuous oil accumulations commonly occur in shale reservoirs or coal beds. In these accumulations, the oil has dispersed throughout the geologic formation. ...The Wolfcamp shale also contains an estimated 16 trillion cubic feet (453 billion cubic meters) of associated natural gas and 1.6 billion barrels (245 million cubic meters) of natural gas liquids, according to USGS. ...In a statement to Eos, the Permian Basin Petroleum Association commented that the USGS estimate was exciting but was more of a confirmation than a new story. ...“The fact that this is the largest assessment of continuous oil we have ever done just goes to show that, even in areas that have produced billions of barrels of oil, there is still the potential to find billions more.” The USGS assessment, although large, may not capture the full extent of the Wolfcamp resource. Because well production data inform so much of the estimate, the estimated resource could grow even larger in time as new wells provide more data, Schenk said....  https://eos.org/articles/largest-ever-u-s-shale-oil-deposit-identified-in-texas