Thursday, July 19, 2012

Peak Oil? Not Yet, Not For A Long Time

Here is some food (or oil) for thought.  Just in case anyone wonders why ExxonMobil bought the horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing expertise of XTO a few years back, here's why.  This is of big-time, world class importance.  We should all pay close attention.  Don't underestimate the Russian Bear.


Meet The Oil Shale Eighty Times Bigger Than The Bakken

An oil drilling rig is seen September 29, 2010...
Drilling the Bakken. (Image credit: AFP/Getty Images via @daylife)

Everyone has heard about the Bakken shale, the huge expanse of oil-bearing rock underneath North Dakota and Montana that billionaire Harold Hamm thinks could yield 24 billion barrels of oil in the decades to come. The Bakken is a huge boon, both to the economic health of the northern Plains states, but also to the petroleum balance of the United States. From just 60,000 barrels per day five years ago, the Bakken is now giving up 500,000 bpd, with 210,000 bpd of that coming on in just the past year. Given the availability of enough rigs to drill it and crews to frack it, there’s no reason why the Bakken couldn’t be producing more than 1 million bpd by the end of the decade, a level that could be maintained for halfway through the century.

But as great as the Bakken is, I learned last week about another oil shale play that dwarfs it. It’s called The Bazhenov. It’s in Western Siberia, in Russia. And while the Bakken is big, the Bazhenov —