March 17, 2008

More estimates of Bakken oil size and timing

The Kiplinger Letter talks about the potential and timing of the Bakken oil play

An official government survey of the Bakken region's oil treasure trove is due out next month. The report is expected to play it very conservatively, because it will confine estimates to the amount of oil that likely can be produced profitably based on last year’s oil prices. It will also not take into account any further technological advances that might make it even easier to extract more oil.

"The Bakken is much like the enormous natural gas field that sat for many years under and around Dallas until people figured out the geology and how to drill it out economically," says Lucian Pugliaresi, president of the Energy Policy Research Foundation.

Figure on at least five years before the oil starts flowing in large volumes. A lot of work will need to be done first. In addition to installing drilling gear, firms must build supporting infrastructure, including roads, pipelines as well as new water, sewage and sanitation systems to meet the needs of workers and other area residents.

Note that the Bakken Play region is not an environmentally sensitive area similar to Alaskan tundra that has stymied much oil field development because of concerns about damage to the fragile environment. Still, some environmental protests are sure to emerge and may gum up development for a while, but they’re unlikely to stop oil production from the Bakken fields.

Bismarck, N.D. oil companies are now drilling beneath North Dakota's big lake.

Oil companies are using advanced horizontal drill techniques to tap crude oil and gas underneath Lake Sakakawea.


Doomer'84 said...

This is a joke, man, a joke. Peak Oil is already here everyone who is a realist and not in denial will tell you it happened in 2005-2006.

This field will do NOTHING for us. We are still destined to collapse. Period! Ever heard of Jevons Paradox, buddy? Well we're are consuming it more quickly, instead of posting this you should head over to He knows EVERYTHING about what will happen. He has facts and links to prove it all. We are doing nothing but advancing the dieoff much more quickly.

bw said...

I look at the thoildrum and peakoil sites fairly regularly and I am aware of the arguments and their statistics and the case and statistics against peak oil.

The last two months the IEA liquid numbers have reached new peaks above 2005 and 2006. World oil production is also heading up and should exceed the 2005 and 2006 peaks.

I believe that we will be moving up from about 100,000 barrels per day from the Bakken at the end of last year to 200,000+barrels per day this year and 400,000+ barrels per day next year (from all states and provinces) and then over 4 more years it will be over 1 and headig to 2 million barrels per day.

Next month we will see what the new USGS survey says.

I think the higher prices are good to get people conserving and becoming more efficient. Enhanced oil recovery (THAI and CAPRI processes) and cheap supercomputer oil field analysis will also help. However, I would prefer that this be used for a smooth transition to nuclear clean fission, fusion and other electrical energy sources.

Gary said...

Yes, very interesting indeed. I agree with you BW. We do not need to stay on Oil, even if Bakken is the "next oil boom" We still need to mitigate. However the Bakken will serve us in making our mitigation all the more smoothly. Doomer you actually believe in Jevon's paradox? To each his own.