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Page added on February 21, 2019

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It’s Not Just The Permian. Super Basins Are A Global Phenomenon

Geology

Forget what you may have heard. Fossil fuels aren’t going anywhere.

There is a lot of excitement, and deservedly so, about renewables, but the foundation of our energy supply is and will continue to be hydrocarbons for at least the next few decades.

There are several reasons for that, but an important part of the story is that advances in seismic imaging and other new technologies have shown that these fuels are in abundant supply, both in the United States and globally, including massive offshore deposits.

As super basins gain attention – basins that already have produced five billion barrels of oil and contain the potential to produce an additional five billion barrels (IHS Markit)– a mood of optimism has replaced fears of shortage and “peak oil” declines. The potential for this reset in thinking at a global scale offers profound opportunities regarding energy, environment, economics, and security.

What’s ahead?

Predicting future energy supply and demand is a mix of art and science, balancing the need for more energy as the global economy grows – developing countries are still trying to ensure their populations have sufficient energy to participate in rising standards of living – with concerns about climate change and demands for a lower-carbon future. The growth of electric vehicles is surging.  But the electricity to power those vehicles has to come from somewhere, and we have to look at the all-in costs of electricity, creating it in responsible ways and eliminating, not just redistributing, emissions. That’s no trivial task.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) predicts energy demand will double over the next 50 years, with historic levels of solar, wind and other renewable technologies deployed during the coming decades.

But fossil fuels make up about 80% of the global energy supply today, and IEA forecasts show that percentage will be unchanged in 2040. Increasingly, we expect that natural gas will make up a large and growing share of that category, with climate concerns contributing to a drop in the use of coal, at least in the United States. Global coal use actually rose last year, making the potential for producing vast amounts of clean-burning natural gas even more important

That’s where the new emphasis on technology and super basins comes in. Onshore basins with unconventional resources are benefitting from engineering breakthroughs in stimulation and recovery. Offshore basins with conventional resources are being revitalized below salt and other barriers by enhanced seismic imaging.

In addition to past production and the prospect for future production, these basins include many pays and plays, along with substantial infrastructure. In contrast to rank frontier exploration, super basins are well established basins where new technology is the game changer. Super basins combine geoscience architecture, commerciality, infrastructure and above-ground issues in a holistic review.

The Permian Basin is the prototype onshore unconventional super basin . It possesses key geological fundamentals in abundance. In addition, the Permian Basin and other North American basins are a fertile cradle of technology. They possess critical factors for innovation: private mineral ownership, a strongly networked community, service company partnerships and immediate rewards for risk taking. The Permian offers hard won lessons from more than a decade that include: addressing needs for energy transport, water handling, sand usage and variations in gas/oil ratios. Building on this experience, other basins can leapfrog ahead.

That is important, because the super basin phenomenon isn’t just about the Permian, or even the continental U.S. In the global energy conversation, geoscience matters and prosperity is a choice.

Global Shale Gas Basins, Top Reserve HoldersReuters

So where will the super basin renaissance go next? That will be largely driven by above-ground issues. Drilling began in South America’s Neuquen Basin in 2018, and with favorable regulations and government support, it is one of the few basins outside the U.S. where producers are pursuing horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing with commercial results.

Mexico, too, is home to potentially ripe basins, while offshore basins in the North Sea, Brazil and the Gulf of Mexico (and other areas) are benefiting from geophysical enhancements.

The industry takes seriously our mandate to provide affordable and environmentally sustainable energy. As past-president of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists and an adjunct professor at the University of Houston, I often talk with students about their future plans. Despite what you may have heard, many want to go into the energy field. Their reasons? They want to work with teams of smart people. They are drawn to the challenge, adventure and the high-tech aspect of the industry. And students have a strong sense of social responsibility. We encourage them to help industry do a better job and to be a part of the energy solution.

The super basin renaissance is just beginning. Providing energy prosperity for the world is a noble pursuit and hydrocarbons have a key role to play.

Forbes



22 Comments on "It’s Not Just The Permian. Super Basins Are A Global Phenomenon"

  1. Chrome Mags on Thu, 21st Feb 2019 8:19 pm 

    What if the transition to electrification (supported by renewables) is mandated due to climate change? Oil suppliers may find demand for their product declining in the years ahead, in which case there would be a glut of oil and price would plummet. That basin oil could end up uneconomical to extract.

  2. jef on Thu, 21st Feb 2019 8:26 pm 

    We live in a world where TPTB understand that the only constraints are monetary and therefor under their complete control. The turning point will be when the physical world rears up and bites or when the bottom half of the economy figures it out and rears up and bites first.

  3. makati1 on Thu, 21st Feb 2019 9:19 pm 

    Chrome, but FFs are required to make that “transition”, meaning more would be needed than now. And with supplies already contracting, that would mean that there would have to be a sacrifice from the FF users to the Renewable crowd.

    BTW: Legislation will never change anything. Legislators are owned by the FF industry.

  4. makati1 on Thu, 21st Feb 2019 9:27 pm 

    jef, you are correct. TPTB see what is coming. That is why the chaos and insanity is increasing as they try to take or control everything before their end. The world system will break up and they will no longer have any significant control, just like in the Dark Ages. Survival of the fittest is coming back into style and they are not suited for the struggle. (Pun intended.)

    What does owning a factory mean if no one wants their product, or can afford it? What good is a mine if there is no use for the mineral mined? What value is an oil well if…? You get the picture. And ‘money’ is just paper. Ditto for stocks, bonds, etc. Zero value.

    That is the future, I think. Not just a techie version of BAU. We shall see.

  5. Pete Bauer on Thu, 21st Feb 2019 9:41 pm 

    But these shale resources need continuous drilling as opposed to 1 time drilling with conventional vertically drilled wells.

    Is IEA saying that even in 2040, the fossil fuels will retain 80% share. They better look at electric vehicle sales and the growth of renewable energy. How long are they planning to bluff.

  6. Go Speed Racer on Thu, 21st Feb 2019 10:57 pm 

    Seems like a bullkrap article.

    If there was a great big gigantic
    amazing oil discovery, and its so common
    it happens all the time, then surely
    somebody would report that news
    when it happens?

  7. Cloggie on Thu, 21st Feb 2019 10:59 pm 

    advances in seismic imaging and other new technologies have shown that these fuels are in abundant supply, both in the United States and globally, including massive offshore deposits.

    As super basins gain attention

    Told you so:

    https://deepresource.wordpress.com/2015/04/07/fracking-is-for-amateurs/

    Ignore the peak fossil supply peddlers. The true limit is the number of O2 molecules in the atmosphere that can be combined with C and H atoms from hydro-carbons in the crust. We will run out of oxygin long before we run out of fossil fuel and would be stuck with an atmosphere consisting of nitrogen and CO2. Obviously human and animal life would go extinct long before.

    The end of fossil fuel will be prompted by a run in panic to the exits.

    Yesterday in the prime time news: several farmers in former water-rich country Holland are seriously contemplating NOT sowing at all because it would not make sense anyway because water is lacking to ensure full growth. This is not Egypt, we are talking Holland here.

    In the middle of Februari we are seeing temperatures of 17C in Germany, Holland and Britain! What will August have in store for us? 40C?

    The only real challenge is how we bring ourselves to dump the fossil poisson as soon as possible and limit or even forbid private car use and switch to shared, autonomous e-vehicles, with miles rationed, otherwise “everybody will be from Venus and nobody from Mars”. Limiting international trade could be another necessary measure.

  8. makati1 on Thu, 21st Feb 2019 11:21 pm 

    Cloggie, you point out the obvious but there will be no change. FFs will be recovered, processed and consumed until it is not possible (EROEI).

    With over a billion FF cars on the road and more added every year, and at least a billion homes that are heated by FFs, not counting businesses, there will be no change until it is not possible to acquire FFs to burn them.

    No legislation is going to be put forward to do any serious changes as the legislators are owned by the FF industry. We will broil ourselves in the end. Every year will get worse. That is the real world.

  9. makati1 on Thu, 21st Feb 2019 11:24 pm 

    Go Speed it is Forbes, the lying arm of the Stock Market Casino gang. A smart investor would be selling all of his/her stock and be buying physical gold and silver and storing it out of reach of their government.

  10. Cloggie on Fri, 22nd Feb 2019 1:03 am 

    Danish bicycle innovation…

    Does your car or bus or train use a chain to transfer power from the motor to wheels? Of course not! So why should a bicycle?

    http://www.spiegel.de/video/fahrrad-ohne-kette-daenische-firma-entwickelt-antriebssystem-video-99025132.html

  11. Shortend on Fri, 22nd Feb 2019 3:48 am 

    Just put a hose up the butthole of the joker’s that post here another vast gas basin

  12. Free Speech Forum on Fri, 22nd Feb 2019 8:04 am 

    Most people support the police state until they become a victim of it.

  13. print baby print on Fri, 22nd Feb 2019 1:00 pm 

    The only real challenge is how we bring ourselves to dump the fossil poison as soon as possible and limit or even forbid private car use and switch to shared, autonomous e-vehicles, with miles rationed, otherwise “everybody will be from Venus and nobody from Mars”. Limiting international trade could be another necessary measure.
    Wait a minute cloog what happened with trillions of tons of fossil poison which you advocate under the sea

  14. Cloggie on Sat, 23rd Feb 2019 4:24 am 

    The only real challenge is how we bring ourselves to dump the fossil poison as soon as possible and limit or even forbid private car use and switch to shared, autonomous e-vehicles, with miles rationed, otherwise “everybody will be from Venus and nobody from Mars”. Limiting international trade could be another necessary measure.
    Wait a minute cloog what happened with trillions of tons of fossil poison which you advocate under the sea

    Please use quotation marks.

    What happened to these trillions of tons of fossil poison under the sea?

    Probably still there. Leave’m there. I never advocated to harvest them other than perhaps to rapidly set up a 100% renewable energy base.

    I always love to bring them up when the resident mobster Marxist pushes his peak oil superstition once again.

  15. print baby print on Sat, 23rd Feb 2019 7:38 am 

    ok then we agree leave them there. The only thing then which me and you dont agree is you think solar wind etc will keep the civilization going and I think the same as mob no chance without oil and elephants fields we are fucked

  16. Cloggie on Sat, 23rd Feb 2019 7:47 am 

    OK, agree to disagree then.

  17. Outcast_Searcher on Sat, 23rd Feb 2019 11:15 am 

    But dim Makati, the whole point of the article is that with huge supplies of frackable oil globally, the idea we’re running out is nonsense.

    Not that I’d expect that idea to penetrate with you.

  18. makati1 on Sat, 23rd Feb 2019 5:19 pm 

    Outcast, are you a relative of the Missouri Jackass and retarded his son, MOB? It appears so.

    Who gives a fuck how much “frakable” oil is still in the ground? Most of it is useless without extra, expensive, additives and distillation. Most of it will still be in the ground when the pumps stop.

    “…the U.S. refining system is close to being maxed-out on the amount of shale oil it can process,” a Morgan Stanley research note concluded this month, citing shale oil’s light hue, which makes it ill-suited to make high octane gas, as well as jet fuel and diesel.” Note the “ill suited” comment?

    https://www.desmogblog.com/2018/04/24/octane-surprising-reason-shale-oil-makes-poor-fuel-high-tech-cars-and-trucks

    Fraking is desperation in action. Nothing more. No future.

  19. Davy on Sat, 23rd Feb 2019 5:27 pm 

    Outcast has you pegged makato, dim wit. You don’t know shit about oil and you have been here 8 years daily. You are a step above Mr mental illness juanpee becuase at least you try. JuanP just shits all over the place and runs people off.

  20. Davy on Sat, 23rd Feb 2019 5:57 pm 

    Not me.

    Davy on Sat, 23rd Feb 2019 5:27 pm

    Thanks for the link makati1. As always appreciated. Everyone knows that I never act out emotionally like the jackass stealing my handle did above.

  21. Juanpee identity theft on Sat, 23rd Feb 2019 6:05 pm 

    Not Davy

    Davy on Sat, 23rd Feb 2019 5:57 pm

  22. Not Juanpee on Sat, 23rd Feb 2019 9:32 pm 

    Juanpee identity theft on Sat, 23rd Feb 2019 6:05 pm

    Not Davy
    Davy on Sat, 23rd Feb 2019 5:57 pm

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