Wolfcamp Shale Tops Permian Basin Oil

Wednesday, December 28th, 2016 and is filed under Uncategorized

Wolfcamp Shale in the Permian Basin

Per a new assessment by the US Geological Survey, the Wolfcamp shale formation in the Midland basin section of the Permian Basin contains approximately 20 billion barrels of oil. Twenty billion barrels makes the Wolfcamp shale the largest deposit of continuous oil ever discovered in America. And even a West Texas Intermediate crude oil price of $50 per barrel would make these deposits worth around $1 trillion – that’s trillion with a “t”.

Wolfcamp Shale Map

“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,” said Walter Guidroz, program coordinator for the USGS Energy Resources Program. “Changes in technology and industry practices can have significant effects on what resources are technically recoverable, and that’s why we continue to perform resource assessments throughout the United States, and the world.”

Bakken Three Forks MapAs large as today’s assessment of the Wolfcamp shale is, it still does not include the Wolfcamp portion of the Delaware basin, which would further increase the estimates of the area.

To give perspective to the Wolfcamp estimates, they are almost three times larger than those of the 2013 US Geological Survey (USGS) Bakken-Three Forks resource assessment and almost 19 times that of the USGS 2012 estimate of continuous oil in place for the Eagle Ford Shale area. To add further perspective, the Prudhoe Bay formation on the North Slope of Alaska, the largest producing oil field to date in the United States, has produced 12 billion barrels of oil over the last 43 years.

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