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Sunday, 20 November 2016

How Opec’s leaders can smash the Texas upstarts | The National

How Opec’s leaders can smash the Texas upstarts | The National:
"The Permian period, which ended 250 million years ago, was a good time for the global oil industry. The rocks of that time now hold much of the Middle East’s gas, including the world’s largest field, between Qatar and Iran. But Permian rocks on the other side of the world are now a threat to Opec, and an alluring but dangerous prize for international oil companies.

The Permian Basin of west Texas and Mexico has emerged as the most resilient play in the US oil sector. Proximity to pipelines, low drilling cost and a layer cake of geology that offers multiple drilling targets have kept activity high. A well that cost up to US$11 million in 2014 can now be drilled for about $7m.

This month, the United States Geological Survey published its estimate that just one rock formation – the Wolfcamp Shale – in this area contains another 20 billion barrels of oil and 16 trillion cubic feet of gas yet to be found. In September, the oil corporation Apache estimated it had found 75 trillion cubic feet of gas and 3 billion barrels of oil in part of the basin it called the Alpine High area."

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