Posted by Rune Likvern on January 1, 2013 - 7:12am
Tags: baker hughes, bakken, breakeven price for shale oil, brigham, eagle ford, eur, marathon, north dakota, nymex oil futures, oil prices, rockman, sanish, shale oil, spe, statoil, the red queen, three forks, usgs, whitting oil and gas corporation, wti [list all tags]
The Oil Drum staff wishes a Happy New Year to all in our readership community. We are on a brief hiatus during this period, and will be back with our regular publications early in the new year. In the meantime, we present the top ten of best read Oil Drum posts in 2012. The eight in this series is a post by Rune Likvern on shale oil production in the US Bakken basin.
In this post I present the results from an in-depth time series analysis from wells producing crude oil (and small volumes of natural gas) from the Bakken - Bakken, Sanish, Three Forks and Bakken/Three Forks Pools - formation in North Dakota. The analysis uses actual production data from the North Dakota Industrial Commission as of July 2012 from what was found to be a representative selection of wells from operating companies and areas.
The reference in the title to the Red Queen from “Through the Looking-Glass” by the English author Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (perhaps better known as his pseudonym Lewis Carroll) who was also a mathematician and logician, is deliberate to create associations with the Red Queen’s statement "It takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place".
After presenting, discussing and concluding the results from the study presented in this post, the reference to the Red Queen was found to be an apt analogy to describe why technology and/or price cannot overcome the inevitable fact that field size and well productivity declines in most plays, whether in shale or any other plays. Put in a different way: shale plays do not get a pass on the laws of physics or the history of play and basin developments.The potential and technology for extraction (production) of shale/tight oil has been around for several decades.
There is every reason to embrace the recent additions of shale oil (from Bakken, Eagle Ford and other plays). These additions will help ease the present tight global oil supply situation and thus slow down the growth in oil prices.
Figure 01: The illustration above is from “Through the Looking-Glass”. At the top of the hill, the Red Queen begins to run, faster and faster. Alice runs after the Red Queen, but is further perplexed to find that neither one seems to be moving. When they stop running, they are in exactly the same place. Alice remarks on this, to which the Red Queen responds: "Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do to keep in the same place".
Continued below the fold.
The Oil Drum staff wishes Happy Holidays to all in our readership community. We are on a brief hiatus during this period, and will be back with our regular publications early in the new year. In the meantime, we present the top ten of best read Oil Drum posts in 2012. The seventh in this series is a post by JoulesBurn on the North Sea Elgin gas leak which took the news headlines in March 2012. The leak was successfully plugged May 15, 2012, and a permanent plug was put in place in September.
A crisis situation has developed at a gas and condensate production platform in the Elgin field in the North Sea. Gas is leaking out of a well near a offshore platform at a rate of approximately 2 kilograms per second (12 MMCF/day if gas), and a large sheen (assumed to be condensate) has been observed on the water. All workers on Total's Elgin PUQ (production-utilities-quarters) Platform plus those on the Rowan Viking drilling rig, which had been working next to it, have been evacuated. On Monday, workers on a platform and drilling rig at the Shell-operated Shearwater field (4 miles / 6.4 km away) were also evacuated. There is currently a two-mile vessel exclusion zone around the site and a no-fly zone. As current winds are light, the most immediate concern is the potential for explosion both at the PUQ and elsewhere. While it is possible that the leak rate will lessen over time, the Rowan Gorilla V jack-up drilling rig is being provisioned by Total for a possible relief well that could take months to drill.
The Oil Drum staff wishes Happy Holidays to all in our readership community. We are on a brief hiatus during this period, and will be back with our regular publications early in the new year. In the meantime, we present the top ten of best read Oil Drum posts in 2012. The sixth in this series is a post by Jonathan Callahan on the US gas market and its unsustainable price level.
The current boom in drilling for ‘unconventional’ gas has helped raise US production to levels not seen since the early 1970′s. This has been an incredible boon to consumers and has kept spot prices contained below $5 per million BTU for the past year, recently dropping below $3/mmbtu. Unfortunately, this price is below the cost of production for many of these new wells. When the flood of investment currently pouring into natural gas drilling operations dries up, the inevitable bust will be as scary as the boom was exciting.
The Oil Drum staff wishes Happy Holidays to all in our readership community. We are on a brief hiatus during this period, and will be back with our regular publications early in the new year. In the meantime, we present the top ten of best read Oil Drum posts in 2012. The fifth in this series is a post by Chris Cook, former compliance and market supervision director of the International Petroleum Exchange.
All is not as it appears in the global oil markets, which have become entirely dysfunctional and no longer fit for its purpose, in my view. I believe that the market price is about to collapse as it did in 2008, and that this will mark the end of an era in which the market has been run by and on behalf of trading and financial intermediaries.
In this post I forecast the imminent death of the crude oil market and I identify the killers; the re-birth of the global market in crude oil in new form will be the subject of another post.
The Oil Drum staff wishes a Merry Christmas to all in our readership community. We are on a brief hiatus in this period, and will be back with our regular publications early in the new year. In the meantime, we present the top ten of best read Oil Drum posts in 2012. The fourth in this series is a March 2012 post by Robert Rapier reacting to statements by Bill O'Reilly on US oil supply and demand.
Last week I was interviewed by Alan Colmes from Fox News Radio on the topic of gas prices. During the interview, he mentioned an idea that Bill O'Reilly has proposed, and that is to address gasoline prices by discouraging U.S. oil companies from exporting their products. The critics of Bill's proposal have generally focused on the notion that "We can't tell the oil companies where to sell their product."
However, there is a far more fundamental issue, and that is that the basic facts of his proposal are based on an erroneous assumption. Let's first have a look at the proposal, in his own words:
O'Reilly: We began covering the skyrocketing oil prices last Friday with Lou Dobbs. He was candid, saying because of the mild winter, there is plenty of oil and gas in the U.S.A. So supply and demand here should dictate lower prices.
With all due respect, Bill O'Reilly has a fundamental misunderstanding about oil supplies. There is not "plenty of oil and gas in the U.S.A." He has mistakenly translated net exports of finished products like gasoline and diesel into "plenty of oil and gas in the U.S.A.", as I explain below.
The Oil Drum staff wishes a Merry Christmas to all in our readership community. We are on a brief hiatus in this period, and will be back with our regular publications early in the new year. In the meantime, we present the top ten of best read Oil Drum posts in 2012. The third in this series is a January 2012 guest post by Matthieu Auzanneau, a freelance journalist living in Paris. This article previously appeared in Le Monde.
Olivier Rech developed petroleum scenarios for the International Energy Agency over a three year period, up until 2009. This French economist now advises large investment funds on behalf of La Française AM, a Parisian assets management firm. His forecasts for future petroleum production are now much more pessimistic than those published by the IEA. He expects stronger tensions as of 2013, and an inevitable overall decline of oil production "somewhere between 2015 and 2020", in the following interview.
Olivier Rech, responsible for petroleum issues at the International Energy Agency from 2006 to 2009.
The Oil Drum staff wishes a Merry Christmas to all in our readership community. We are on a brief hiatus in this period, and will be back with our regular publications early in the new year. In the meantime, we present the top ten of best read Oil Drum posts in 2012. The second in this series is a summary by Rembrandt on shale oil developments and production expectations.
The impact of unconventional fuels like shale oil on the global energy system is still an issue of great uncertainty. Not so much because of the size of the tank (the resource base), but due to the large physical effort necessary to obtain a sizeable supply of this type of fossil fuel. For instance, to exploit tight shale oil formations we need large capital expenditures to obtain relatively low flow rates from many horizontally drilled wells.
The developments of all things shale oil were discussed at a seminar organized by Allen & Overy and their Future Energy Strategies Group in London on 16 October, of which a summary and key take-away points can be found below the fold. With many thanks to both Allen & Overy and the speakers at this event for sharing their knowledge on these important developments in a public setting.
The Oil Drum staff wishes a Merry Christmas to all in our readership community. We are on a brief hiatus in this period, and will be back with our regular publications early in the new year. In the meantime we present the top 10 of best read Oil Drum posts in 2012. The first in this series is an analysis by Heading Out discussing the report by Leonardo Maugeri on future oil production, originally published in July 2012.
The Tech Talks of the last few months have followed a path of looking in a relatively realistic manner at crude oil production with emphasis on that coming from the United States and Russia, as well as Saudi Arabia, the current focus of my weekly pieces. An earlier piece looked at a Citigroup report of considerable optimism, and the post explained why, in reality, it is impractical to anticipate much increase in US production this decade. Since then, after reviewing the production from Russia, several posts have shown why the current lead in Russian daily crude oil production is likely to be soon over and then decline, as the oil companies are not bringing new fields on line as fast as the old ones are running out. Saudi Arabia, as the current posts are in the process of explaining, is unlikely to increase production much beyond 10 mbd, since Ghawar, the major field on which its current production level is built, is reaching the end of its major contribution, though it will continue to produce at a lower rate into the future. The bottom line, at least to date, is that there is no evidence from the top three producers that their production will be even close, in total, to current levels by the end of the decade.
So, (h/t Leanan) there now comes an Energy Study from Harvard which boldly states that this is rubbish - that by 2020, global production will be at 110.6 mbd and these concerns that most of us have at The Oil Drum (inter alia) are chimeras of the imagination.
Posted by Heading Out on December 23, 2012 - 5:40am
Tags: azerbaijan, caspian sea, iran oil exports, iran sanctions, iraq, kyapaz, kyrgyzstan, serdar, turkmenistan [list all tags]
As we come to the end of the year, Leanan continues to point to the many stories that now fill the media reporting on the perception that the time to worry about peak oil is over. However, as Darwinian perceptively points out, the global supply of oil (crude and condensate) is not going up with the celerity that most commentators are envisaging.
The global balance between available supply and demand is in a balance, where the amount of oil remaining available to meet a surge in market demand is quite small. OPEC (and largely Saudi Arabia), by adjusting their production, ensures that the balance is maintained and prices remain at a level with which they are comfortable.
In the December 19th TWIP, the EIA has explained, without endorsing the statement that the US might surpass Saudi Arabia in global fuel production, why that is a less important statistic than folk are generally making it out to be.
The EIA note, in their review, that this balance is predicated on a sustained production from the Middle East. Yet, for several years now, reliance on maintaining current supplies, and guaranteeing adequate supplies in the future has assumed a steadily growing production from Iraq. The EIA notes that it is in the combined production from Iran, Iraq and Saudi Arabia that contains the additional oil needed for significantly greater production. (Venezuela is also mentioned, though there are more obstacles to overcome before their oil production can increase).
There is, unfortunately, a down-side to the glee which many commentators have greeted the news of potential US production gains. With the assumption that North America (and for this Mexico and Canada are included) can reach the higher targets projected, there is less concern with ensuring that alternate supplies remain available, as world demand continues to rise. This failure to ensure “insurance” may well cause some significant changes in the global market in the non-too-distant future, should the existing projections prove overly optimistic. (And Leanan referenced Kurt Cobb’s more realistic assessment, on Friday).
Continuing on from six posts that looked at global oil production trends, we now turn our attention to oil consumption / demand, which in our opinion, is every bit as fascinating and important to understanding the global energy system. In this post we focus on Europe and North America using JODI data (Joint Organisations Data Initiative) which is based upon figures reported by national governments which we therefore assume to be reliable. The JODI data base is not complete. Reporting began in January 2002. Most OECD countries have a complete set of reports but a number of countries like China only began to report in January 04 and many developing countries have a patchy reporting record. Russia and the former states of the Soviet Union do not report oil consumption figures at all.
Figure 1 This group of 11 countries classified as "Europe Core" combined show near uniform demand for oil products for the past decade. We consider this to be a somewhat remarkable trend since oil prices rose from $31/bbl in 2002 to >$100/bbl in 2008 (annual averages). Following 2008 the world has witnessed the biggest financial crisis since 1929. And yet demand for oil in this group of countries has been hardly affected by these momentous events. Note that this group includes Switzerland and Norway, neither of which are members of the Euro or the EU. These 11 countries typically have strong manufacturing / exporting economies. It seems likely that none will have significant oil fired power generation. All have modern motor vehicle fleets that already deliver fuel economy much higher than in N America. All but Norway are dependent upon imported oil.
Oil Watch posts are joint with Rembrandt Koppelaar.