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Page added on October 13, 2012

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Huge Oil Shale Discovery in Oklahoma

Huge Oil Shale Discovery in Oklahoma thumbnail

Continental Resources Inc. unveiled its newest oil field with a reservoir rock of an oil-rich portion of the Woodford Shale that lies beneath oil fields tapped long ago by some of the state’s biggest oil names, including Phillips Petroleum, Noble, Hefner and Skelly Oil.

The Woodford Shale Located in Oklahoma

The new field is in an area of southern Oklahoma that has produced some of the state’s richest discoveries.  The South Central Oklahoma Oil Province, that Continental is calling ‘SCOOP’, covers much of four counties in south central Oklahoma and is within the famed Anadarko Basin.  The first oil was found in the area more than 100 years ago.

Petroleum Basins of the Central US. Click image for the largest view.

Jack Stark, Continental’s senior vice president of exploration said, “It’s a huge opportunity for the company and another great asset for us because we’re looking at an asset with rates of return that compete head-to-head with what we’re doing in the Bakken” in North Dakota and Montana.”

What stands out about the discovery is its thought to be huge.  The company reports it may have found 1.8 billion barrels of oil equivalent.

Stark explains in part how the discovery was made, “Technology transfer is a huge part of this business right now. We’re accessing what were once considered just source rock. To be able to do that takes technology. Anything we learn on one resource play can be transferred to the next play. There’s always some adjustment here and there, but the bottom line is the technology we have perfected in the Bakken is directly transferable to what we’re doing here in the Woodford.”

This new discovery announcement shouldn’t be taken lightly.  Continental is the largest producer, driller and leaseholder in the new Bakken field. The company produced 22.2 million barrels of oil over the past year, has 576 net wells in the region and has identified at least 4,000 potential wells.

For observers the key is Stark’s comment, “We’re accessing what were once considered just source rock.”.  Many oil reservoirs are pooled from seeps out of source rock where the oil formed.  Pooled reservoirs are not the whole of the reserve, but only the easily accessed and freest flowing of the petroleum.

We’re still learning about subsurface oil and gas.  The amounts of oil and gas to be recovered are still incalculable.  The extent of petroleum to be discovered isn’t known.  How much oil is in source rock from the reservoirs already found is still a big question without hard answers.

The new Woodford Shale discovery is great news for the U.S.  Once the world’s largest oil producer, the U.S. could do it again in phase two of mankind’s oil age.

new energy and fuel



14 Comments on "Huge Oil Shale Discovery in Oklahoma"

  1. Arthur on Sat, 13th Oct 2012 5:00 pm 

    “1.8 billion barrels of oil equivalent.”

    90 days at current US consumption levels. Nice.

  2. dhymers on Sat, 13th Oct 2012 7:41 pm 

    “The new Woodford Shale discovery is great news for the U.S.  Once the world’s largest oil producer, the U.S. could do it again in phase two of mankind’s oil age.”

    Phase 2 where oil costs between $90-150/barrel and has dwindling net energy returns. Woo!

  3. Newfie on Sat, 13th Oct 2012 9:00 pm 

    “This new discovery announcement shouldn’t be taken lightly. Continental produced 22.2 million barrels of oil over the past year”

    Wow. One whole day of US oil consumption. Wow.

  4. DC on Sat, 13th Oct 2012 10:49 pm 

    More, not-Oil that,if left alone for another 10-20 millions years, *might* actually start to resemble something we would recognize as ‘oil’. But, we got to keep the machine fed and cant wait 10 million years, we gota have that 5% of daily world consumption like, now. Cept of course, to pry that 1.8billion(alleged) barrels of oil out the ground will take a decade or longer, and piss a lot of people off that happen to have homes, farms and businesses directly above it….

  5. Gale Whitaker on Sun, 14th Oct 2012 1:04 am 

    Sara Palin wants to dig up and burn it up. Pretty stupid. The pipeline will be finished just in time. They can shoot the oil down to Louisiana, refine it into gasoline and ship it South America. I’m sure that Sara doesn’t realize that the stuff gets sold on the world market to the highest bidder and that finding oil in the US does nothing to lower local gasoline prices.

  6. DMyers on Sun, 14th Oct 2012 1:07 am 

    Good point, DC, the 10-20 million year possibility It suggests there could be another chance in the future of ascendance to high technology. We’re not only robbing our children and grandchildren through current deficit spending, we’re even robbing distant generations of their shot at the moon.

    Sir Fred Hoyle is quoted by Richard Duncan as saying the following regarding the ascension to intelligence and high technology: “The same will be true of other planetary systems. On each of them there will be one chance, and one chance only. (Hoyle, 1964)” [taken from “The Peak of World Oil Production and the Road to the Olduvai Gorge”, Richard C. Duncan, 2000] see dieoff.org for link.

    Interesting how this is playing out. While there might have been the opportunity for a second ascendency, we are picking even the green fruit to satisfy our present addiction, dependency, and hunger. And for that excess and indulgence, Hoyle is affirmed. We will insure the destiny of “one chance only.”

  7. BillT on Sun, 14th Oct 2012 1:41 am 

    More Big Petro porn to give the Peak Oil deniers wet dreams of a rich oil future. The race is on between collapse of the financial system and the collapse of the fraking bubble. Dream on…it’s not going to last long.

  8. MrEnergyCzar on Sun, 14th Oct 2012 2:38 am 

    What’s the EROEI?

  9. autonomous on Sun, 14th Oct 2012 3:45 am 

    The Financial Times: “sleight of hand” in shale company financials. The only way some of these companies have been able to generate cash is through such pumped up and puffed up asset sales filled more with hot air than with oil.

  10. Science sans conscience on Sun, 14th Oct 2012 5:45 am 

    The most alarming parameters for the United States remain the important population increase and the skyrocketing obesity rates. How are they going to be able to sustain a growing diabetic population who can’t walk much?

    Even without a car, it’s still very difficult to shed 40 pounds…

  11. BillT on Sun, 14th Oct 2012 6:01 am 

    Science, most would be lucky if 40 pounds was all they had to shed.

    “… 40 Million Obese; 3 Million morbidly Obese …”

    Obese is about 40 pounds over your BMI healthy size (no more than 30). Morbidly is about 100+ pounds over.

    http://www.bmi-calculator.net/

    Me? BMI of 21.5 ^_^

  12. Arthur on Sun, 14th Oct 2012 12:38 pm 

    Democracy in action:

    Party A: we need austerity, oil is running out, we have to abandone our cars, growth is over for ever. Vote for me.

    Party B: we are in a dip, renewed growth is just around the corner, let’s spend ourself out of the crisis, oh and we are the new Saudi-Arabia. Vote for me.

    Now, who do you think is going to win the election? Politicians may suck, the electorate is just as bad.

    Reasoning from a cynical angle, one might even wish for a war in the Gulf and subsequent destruction of oil infrastructure there, to force people in the west to back away from oil and set up something new, something (much) more modest.

    But then again, wars escalate and you never know when they stop. How will a war between the US and Russia/China stop? With a draw? Unconditional surrender? Mutual assured destruction?

  13. SilentRunning on Mon, 15th Oct 2012 3:08 am 

    >What stands out about the discovery is its thought to be huge. The company reports it **MAY** have found 1.8 billion barrels of oil **EQUIVALENT**.

    Gotta love those qualifiers!

    >>This new discovery announcement shouldn’t be taken lightly.

    No, it should be taken with a very large grain of salt.

    >>Continental is the largest producer, driller and leaseholder in the new Bakken field. The company produced 22.2 million barrels of oil **OVER THE PAST YEAR**, has 576 net wells in the region and has identified at least 4,000 potential wells.

    22.2 million barrels per year with 576 wells works out to a paltry 105 barrels a day per well. Not really a gusher. Even if the “potential wells” all produce the same, that’s still a mighty slow delivery rate. Then there is the very, very nasty problem that all of these wells very quickly peter out and produce next to nothing in just a small number of years. So what are you left with? Just a HUGE amount of hype and not much oil.

    The fact that stuff like this is considered to be worthy news by the cornies shows how dire the situation really is.