Sunday, March 4, 2012

America’s Energy Potential, Circa 2012 A. US Petroleum

Despite Obama’s desires to shut down America’s largest single source of electricity, coal—and watch oil prices spike to European levels, the US energy sector is rounding into splendid shape. Consider just a few of our states:

1 Texas
Consider the state of US oil supply and discoveries. Just in Texas, production is exploding, with a Feb. 26, 2012 article stating,

The Permian Basin of West Texas is experiencing an oil boom. Production will double within 5-7 years, averaging last year a million barrels per day for the first time since 2001. “Right in the basin, we could get up to 2 million barrels a day,” Jim Henry of Midland-based Henry Resources claims. “We have 30 billion barrels of new oil discoveries,” said Tim Leach, chairman and CEO of Midland-based Concho Resources.

In southern Texas, the Eagle Ford play is booming. Says another author on Feb. 27, 2012,

A similar boom is under way in the Eagle Ford Shale of South Texas. “I could paint a scenario for you where we are producing 3 million more barrels per day by 2016, which would almost get us to the point where we could eliminate 60 to 70 percent of our OPEC imports,” said Texas Railroad Commissioner Barry Smitherman.

Of course, there are other Texas oil producing areas.

2. Montana & Dakotas
Bigger than Texas—Montana and the Dakotas boast a giant petroleum field called the Bakken. On expert claimed this field holds more than 500 billon barrels. Writes one author recently on the Bakken,

Oil production in North Dakota exceeded an all-time high last month, a record of 535,036 barrels a day in December. The Bakken Shale, which extends south from Canada into North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana, is the largest contiguous oil deposit in the continental U.S. (this will double the next decade).

3. California
The US government recently announced the shale of So CA could have more oil than the Bakken formation. (For all of USA, please see EIA US Review of Emerging Resources: US Shale Gas and Shale Oil Plays, July 2011 {105 pages pdf}). Writes one author,

The California Monterey/Santos oil field has estimated 4 times the technically recoverable oil as Bakken Oil Field in North Dakota, an estimated 500 billion barrels. Bakken oil field estimates range from 271 billion to 503 billion barrels. Harold Hamm (billionaire owner of Continental oil) estimates Bakken will produce six times (24 billion barrels) the oil of the EIA estimate.

4. Alaska
And don’t forget Alaska, which according to this article:

Alaska’s North Slope may hold as much as 2 billion barrels of oil, the second-largest U.S. deposit of unconventional crude, and 80 trillion cubic feet of gas, the fourth-largest gas-shale deposit, the U.S. Geological Survey said today.

With only 4 states examined, much oil rich country is ignored—like the recent 1.5 billion barrel find in Colorado. Overall, American oil reserves, which also include much undiscovered in areas which ban drilling, like most coastal regions, is absolutely massive. Says one headline: USA has 7-9 trillion barrels of oil—possibly over 1 trillion barrels recoverable.

B. Natural Gas

It would be tedious to cover all the massive new natural gas deposits discovered in the last few years in America. Suffice it to say that one author titled an article: The Dawn of the Natural Gas Era. Another claims America has 500 years of gas with present reserves. Writes petroleum expert Daniel Yergin,

The biggest energy innovation of the decade is natural gas—more specifically what is called “unconventional” natural gas. Some call it a revolution. Yet the natural gas revolution has unfolded with no great fanfare, no grand opening ceremony, no ribbon cutting. It just crept up. In 1990, unconventional gas—from shales, coal-bed methane and so-called “tight” formations—was about 10% of total U.S. production. Today it is around 40%, and growing fast, with shale gas by far the biggest part.

States another source,

America has become, in the eyes of energy professionals, the Saudia Arabia of natural gas thanks to shale gas. The DOE estimates that shale gas reserves alone are 750 trillion cubic feet. Combined with other domestic sources of natural gas, the United States has enough natural gas to last for over a century, and the numbers continue to climb.