From the “Doom, postponed again” heading, we have had a couple of Billion bbl oil finds in the news in this month. I’d been planning to comment on the first one, then the second one hit before I was done.
First up, we all “know” that Alaska has been pumping like crazy for decades now and the Trans Alaska Pipeline is now running low. Tapped out, the North Slope is slowly dying and on a death watch, right? When flow rate gets too low, it will solidify the oil in the pipeline and that’s that. So finding more is rather important. (Ignore the vast amount of oil in the Navy Oil Reserve lands that are all off limits…) No, this is Yet More Oil beyond that.
Massive oil discovery in Alaska is biggest onshore find in 30 years
by Matt Egan @mattmegan5 March 10, 2017: 11:45 AM ET
Some 1.2 billion barrels of oil have been discovered in Alaska, marking the biggest onshore discovery in the U.S. in three decades.
The massive find of conventional oil on state land could bring relief to budget pains in Alaska brought on by slumping production in the state and the crash in oil prices.
The new discovery was made in just the past few days in Alaska’s North Slope, which was previously viewed as an aging oil basin.
Spanish oil giant Repsol (REPYY) and its privately-held U.S. partner Armstrong Energy announced the find on Thursday, predicting production could begin as soon as 2021 and lead to as much as 120,000 barrels of output per day.
The oil resources lie in a well, called Horseshoe, that’s 75% owned by Denver-based Armstrong. Repsol owns the rest of this well.
The discovery is 20 miles south of where the two companies have already found oil in a project known as Pikka. That northern project is already in early development and is 51% owned by Armstrong, which is the operator on both developments.
“The interesting thing about this discovery is the North Slope was previously thought to be on its last legs. But this is a significant emerging find,” Repsol spokesman Kristian Rix told CNNMoney.
Of course, this news won’t ease rising concern among investors about the stubborn glut of oil in the U.S. There are increasing signs that shale oil producers are preparing to ramp up output after surviving a two-year price war with OPEC.
An “aging oil basin”. A Billion bbls. “Massive find”. Not to mention that “Pikka” is also a new find.
Then there is that interesting phrase: “stubborn glut of oil”… and not including shale oil, yet…
So, about that whole “Running Out” thing…
Then, before I could get’r done:
Hurricane makes ‘largest undeveloped’ oil find in UK waters
28 March 2017
From the section NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland
An oil exploration firm has made what it has described as the “largest undeveloped discovery” of oil in UK waters.
Hurricane Energy said one billion barrels of recoverable oil could be contained within the Greater Lancaster Area, 60 miles (97km) west of Shetland.
The company hopes to begin production in 2019.
Dr Robert Trice, Hurricane’s chief executive officer, described the find as “exciting times”.
He said: “This is a highly significant moment for Hurricane.
“We believe that the Greater Lancaster Area is a single hydrocarbon accumulation, making it the largest undeveloped discovery on the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS).”
The discovery is significantly larger than the average find in recent years, which has been about 25 million barrels.
However, it is still a fifth of the size of the Forties field, which contains about five billion barrels – of which approximately two billion have been recovered.
Hurricane discovered oil in two wells which sit about 30km apart.
BAM! Another Billion bbls. Shetland, Scotland, UK.
“Giant Field”. Then a mention of the “Forties field” that, it would seem, has 3 billion still in it (that they know of).
The company believes the oil they found forms part of the same giant field.
Drilling at the Halifax prospect found a column of oil-bearing rock of at least 1,156m. It has been described as “very significant” in an independent analysis.
I think that means 1.1 km thick oil strata… Yeah, “very significant” when you find a km of oil.
So is that IT? Is there nothing left after this one is tapped?
‘Signs of optimism’
Operations had to stop for budget and safety reasons, but Hurricane Energy plans to return for further appraisal.
Shares rose 6% in early trading after the Halifax announcement. In the past year, their value has risen five-fold.
Hurricane Energy has focused its efforts on what it believes are neglected geological formations known as naturally fractured basement reservoirs.
These occur in a series of drilling blocks west of Shetland, which Hurricane has apparently named after RAF aircraft, also including Typhoon, Whirlwind and Warwick.
Lancaster and Halifax lie between the Schiehallion and Solan fields, west of Shetland, and to the south-east of Foinaven.
Hurricane Energy claims to have found more oil in UK waters than any other exploration company over the past 10 years. All its prospects are wholly owned by the one company.
Deirdre Michie, chief executive of industry body Oil and Gas UK, said: “This is extremely exciting and welcome news for the UK Continental Shelf.
“Hurricane Energy’s announcement – coming just days after the Oil and Gas Authority awarded new licences to companies to explore for oil and gas in frontier areas – demonstrates the significant remaining potential of the UKCS.
“Signs of optimism, mainly led by exploration and production companies, are returning to the basin, which has worked hard to reduce its costs and improve efficiency.
“However, the UKCS needs fresh investment so it can capitalise on its potential, whether that be from new geological plays, or from enhanced recovery from existing fields.
“There are still up to 20bn barrels of oil and gas to go after in the UKCS and we believe that makes the basin a very positive investment prospect indeed.”
Paul Wheelhouse, minister for business, innovation and energy said: “Today’s announcements of the first oil from the Flyndre field and the undeveloped discovery within the up to one billion barrels of oil equivalent thought to be recoverable from the Greater Lancaster field make it clear that the continental shelf in waters adjacent to Scotland, such as areas to the west of Shetland, continue to hold very significant potential.
“In total, it is estimated that up to 20 billion barrels of oil equivalent remains under the North Sea and in the wider basin.
“I congratulate both companies on their announcements which further demonstrate Scotland’s oil and gas industry has a bright future, for decades to come.”
Oh… 20 Billion more bbls likely to be lurking there…
Gee, if the UK leaves the EU, and the EU refuses to do a deal with them, wonder to whom all that loverly oil will be sold?…
Can you say “leverage”? I knew you could…
A Brexit we will go, a Brexit we will go, Hi Ho the Oil-O, a Brexit we will go…