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Page added on September 25, 2014

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New shale methods could yield huge results


A Wednesday report for energy consultant group Wood Mackenzie finds emerging shale technology could add at least 1 million barrels per day to U.S. output.

Primary recovery from oil deposits in the United States relates to natural pressure in the reservoir. Secondary recovery involves water or gas injection into the well to increase production. Enhanced oil recovery techniques include further stimulation from steam, gas or chemical injections into the well.

Wood Mackenzie finds enhanced oil recovery is still in its infancy in U.S. shale plays like Bakken, Eagle Ford and Permian.

The consultant group finds the emerging shale technology could result in a 100 percent increase in recovery rates and add between 1.5 million and 3 million barrels per day in oil production by 2030.

Some of the early efforts at enhanced oil recovery have been problematic. Regulators in Canada placed restrictions on steam injection at an Alberta exploration site in June 2013.

The Alberta Energy Regulator said four so-called flow-to-surface events spoiled about 50 acres of land. A report from operator Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. said a process called cyclical steam stimulation, or CSS, may have cracked open other subsurface layers, allowing oil to leak out of control from the site.

23 Comments on "New shale methods could yield huge results"

  1. Nony on Thu, 25th Sep 2014 6:26 am 

    Go shale!

  2. rockman on Thu, 25th Sep 2014 6:59 am 

    Certain lots of oil left in the shales after the primary recovery phase. But “…enhanced oil recovery is still in its infancy in U.S. shale plays like Bakken, Eagle Ford and Permian.”. The Bakken and Permian reservoirs have had intensive EOR projects conducted in them for many decades. That statement is so ridiculously wrong I have to take it as intentional deceit.

  3. shortonoil on Thu, 25th Sep 2014 8:04 am 

    There seems to be an avalanche of new, revolutionary, world changing technology announcements that are either some rehashed 50 year old technology, or some completely unspecified techniques. The shale industry is in trouble, and they know it! The drop in EF condensate production is proof that things are not going well. So they are using the time tested obfuscation method, “if you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit”. In both printed material, and on the internet they appear to be in maximum “crapola mode”. Shale is primarily a non-energy source. Its high priced hydrocarbons have found a market as a diluent, and as a feedstock. Its high decline rates, and ever increasing cost of production is now coming back to haunt it. Expect a lot more of this over the next year or so.

    Can’t wait until EOG begins telling everyone that their production is better for you than “moms apple pie”!

  4. marmico on Thu, 25th Sep 2014 8:07 am 

    That statement is so ridiculously wrong I have to take it as intentional deceit

    Why don’t you read the WoodMac LTO EOR analysis and report back on the intentional deceit…err errors?

  5. Dave Thompson on Thu, 25th Sep 2014 8:22 am 

    Another “invest in shale ” come on.

  6. Plantagenet on Thu, 25th Sep 2014 10:22 am 

    Of course secondary recovery technology can produce more oil from tight shale. But secondary recovery is expensive, and the profit margins on tight shale oil are already small.

  7. Nony on Thu, 25th Sep 2014 10:53 am 


    You fire from the hip too much and rely to much on a view of “we did it before, nothing has changed”. Lots of reputable analysts (not just journalists, but industry veterans) are starting to talk about new techniques being developed for CO2 recovery from long lateral, massively fracked tight shale rocks. Go read some of that stuff instead of just relying on snippets from a peaker site.

  8. rockman on Thu, 25th Sep 2014 11:35 am 

    Nony – I was doing massive fracs (bigger then anything I’ve seen lately) in tight shale rocks over 30 years ago. I don’t need to read anyone’s hyped up chatter. I talk regularly to the folks who are actually in the field doing the work. There aren’t many here that have that first hand exposure. I put more faith in some one actually drilling and frac’ng in the trends then some operator’s or service company’s PR machine. I’ve spent 4 decades listening to more BS then you’ll find in an Amarillo feedlot. LOL.

  9. Nony on Thu, 25th Sep 2014 11:41 am 

    Yeah, but you were wrong about the Austin Chalk being a bigger boom than EF or Bakken. We looked up the numbers and you were just…wrong. The “I’m an old salt” is getting old.

    If everything was known in geology and technology, then why weren’t the leases for the Marcellus bought up earlier?

    There is an entire industry out there…and plenty of people who have drilled as many wells as you. And they DO talk about the evolution of techniques. You’re the outlier.

  10. Nony on Thu, 25th Sep 2014 12:01 pm 

    “horizontal drilling and completions technologies, arguably the most important for the development of unconventional resources, are evolving very rapidly.”

    The Society of Petroleum Engineers:

    It’s great that you’ve drilled some wells, Rock. Serious. But you’re not current. If you wanted to get a job with EOG in the Eagle Ford, they might give you one…but they would still think you need some getting up to speed. Would not bow down before your “I was in the Austin Chalk” rap.

    Instead of being so cocky (and acting like a big frog in a small pond), you should be more humble and learn more. And get off sites like this, where you lecture to people who don’t know squat. Mix it up with your own industry veterans.

    Oh…and having drilled some wells sure as hell does not make you an expert in economical analysis.

  11. markisha on Thu, 25th Sep 2014 12:20 pm 

    O already we have ” enhanced oil recovery” in shell play. The things must be pretty bad

  12. shortonoil on Thu, 25th Sep 2014 12:30 pm 

    “I’ve spent 4 decades listening to more BS then you’ll find in an Amarillo feedlot.”

    One of our colleagues is a retired reservoir engineer. Like you he spent 35 years plowing through every swamp, mud hole, and half the moose pasture on the planet. His opinion of shale; “he says its the toughest place in the oil industry he has ever seen to make money”. Its seems a lot of you experienced guys are saying the same thing. From a mining engineer’s point of view (mine) I’ll wager a $100 that half of these outfits are losing money. I’ve seen it so many times before in the mining industry; one guy makes a good strike, and in a year there is 10,000 cowboys trying to imitate him. In two years they have flooded the market so badly, that nobody is making money. The problem with shale is that anyone who can steal, borrow, or invent $10 million can become a shale operator. Hell, I’ve spent $10 million at one equipment auction. Entrance costs are peanuts. CAT made modern mining a reality, Halliburton did the same for shale, and in the process they took the profit right out of it.

  13. Nony on Thu, 25th Sep 2014 1:07 pm 

    That’s economics. Happens in any industry. Competition drives profits down until the equal the cost of capital (half the people earn more than the WACC, half earn less). Econ 101.

    Of course, the early movers make a bundle. Look at EOG. Look at CLR: “we don’t pay retail”. But at this point, the leases have gone up radically in cost, so new entrants will find it hard to make money. But so what…that doesn’t stop wells from getting drilled or oil from flowing. Just means people have to scrape by.

  14. Nony on Thu, 25th Sep 2014 1:08 pm 

    The Bakken has already hit 1 million after all the peakers RIPPED it to shreds. How can you talk about shale scam with that kind of production? Are you going to say the same thing at 2 million? At some point, it becomes intellectual dishonesty.

  15. Apneaman on Thu, 25th Sep 2014 1:25 pm 

    And what a boon to the economy the “shale revolution” has been (as promised). Is it wrong to find the desperation and denial entertaining?

  16. shortonoil on Thu, 25th Sep 2014 2:17 pm 

    Any hydrocarbon with energy extraction cost of more than 853,000 BTU/barrel, or $48/b is a net energy loser. Our analysis of 4598 operating Bakken wells thru 05/12 put drilling cost at an average of $53/barrel. The Bakken came into being because it supplied a necessary feedstock to Canadian bitumen producers; diluent for their 8.5 API tar. With the Duvernay coming on line over the next couple of years that market is going to disappear. With Eagle Ford condensate production now in decline the entire shale industry will soon be going into decline. It will soon be necessary to drill twice the number of wells to keep production constant.

    Why don’t you guys write stupid, uninformed shale industry cheerleader on your forehead so we can recognize you when you show up. To the investor who worked for their money, keep it out of the shale industry. It has become a hyped up Ponzi scheme designed to empty your pockets, into theirs.

  17. Nony on Thu, 25th Sep 2014 2:26 pm 

    Yeah…short. The Hills Group versus Platts, Wall Street, the EIA, IEA and the AAA (lying about the last one). 😉

    Also against the entire weight of free market invested capital.

  18. Northwest Resident on Thu, 25th Sep 2014 2:38 pm 

    Shale oil development is nothing more than a sideshow. If the world we live in was a three ring circus (and it kind of is), then shale oil extraction would be a little dog and pony show off to the side of the big tent, in the shadows, barely noticed by anybody except those few “shale industry cheerleaders” who just happen to be fascinated by that particular little act, and finding in it an opportunity to puff up their ego and pretend to be an “expert” by reciting investment-related promo one-liners and otherwise irrelevant “facts”. What these myopic shale cheerleaders are missing is the Main Act — BAU walking the high wire with no safety net below — the global economy jumping through flaming hoops in death defying acts of desperate survival — wars famine and drought swinging across the big tent in all directions brushing against BAU and threatening to knock him over as he trembles and sweats with every death defying step forward. If every technological fantasy that the shale cheerleaders cherish come true and if every shale play that those circus clown hope will produce come to fruition, it STILL won’t be enough to save humanity from the dire consequences of peak oil. The shale cheerleaders are ninnies, goofy clowns and clueless goofballs stuck in their own little corner of the universe, pretending or perhaps in fact knowing a lot about the minutia of shale oil extraction, but totally unaware that shale oil is ultimately nothing more than a gnat on an elephant’s ass. It hurts to be exposed to so much of the stupidity that the shale cheerleaders plaster on this forum, but not as bad as reality is going to hurt those bozos when the real deal starts coming down.

  19. Northwest Resident on Thu, 25th Sep 2014 2:55 pm 

    Nony — “… entire weight of free market invested capital.”

    In that one phrase you expose yourself to be ignorant and detached from reality. I’m not even going to try to explain why your statement is so absurd because it has been explained to you numerous times on this forum already and you STILL don’t get it, or you choose to ignore the truth — all the better to continue your little fantasy of being some kind of analytical shale/oil expert. You prove repeatedly what puny intellect you are with your posts, and this one is just more of the same.

  20. Beery on Thu, 25th Sep 2014 3:43 pm 

    “New shale methods could yield huge results”

    New methods of arm flapping “could” enable unaided human flight.

    Forgive me for not getting too excited about either possibility.

  21. J-Gav on Thu, 25th Sep 2014 5:29 pm 

    Whoop-te-doo! Let’s fry this sucker good!

  22. Brent on Thu, 25th Sep 2014 7:24 pm 

    I found this article interesting they are finally starting to talk some about the price of fracking and how the recent slide in the price of oil might just shut the whole thing down soon.

  23. Nony on Thu, 25th Sep 2014 11:12 pm 

    an oil price crash will certainly shut down shale drilling. We saw this already in 2008-2009.

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