Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Mid Term Energy Independence?

So much as I'd prefer that we in North America switch over to electric driving it increasingly looks like that we don't need to do it in a hurry (the Europeans on the other hand need to do it last decade because they depend on the Russians and the Middle East for their Oil Supplies, neither of whom are their best buddies).

Occidental Petroleum and Pioneer Petroleum have trialed some test wells in the well known (but up till now considered unrecoverable reserves) massive permiam basin in West Texas called the wolfcamp.

What's interesting about the Wolfcamp is that it's similar to the bakken but is a strata ten times as deep. In fact there is so much oil in it recoverable using horizontal drilling technologies that it appears to be second in size to the world's biggest petroleum field (the Ghawar in Saudi Arabia).

Why that's interesting is that North America over the last decade has gone from declining production (and having to import more from potentially hostile regions (like it looks the the Europeans are going to have to do unless they switch aggressively to electric transportation) to increasing production. Given that in the last five years, petroleum demand in Nroth America in aggregate has declined and supply has gone up (and continues to do so) - currently at 16 million barrels per day compared to demand of 19 million barrels per day) - it's not outside the realm of possibility that North America is petroleum independent within the next five years.

No dieoff for us then.