While other natural gas drillers are paying a premium for acreage in prized U.S. shale formations across Texas and Pennsylvania, BP Plc may have just found a gem in a largely ignored corner of New Mexico.
The London-based oil giant started producing from a gas well in New Mexico’s Mancos shale that could turn out to be a “significant new source of U.S. natural gas supply,” according to a statement Monday. The well averaged 12.9 million cubic feet a day in its first month, the highest output achieved in the San Juan Basin in 14 years.Data points to follow.
For a look at the Mancos in New Mexico, see this link, which will take you to a PDF:
- "The Upper Mancos Shale in the San Juan Basin: Three plays, Conventional and Unconventional," Ronald F. Broadhead
The Colorado Mancos
For an extraordinary story on the Mancos -- but this in Colorado -- see this post. The Colorado Mancos is linked at the sidebar at the right. For reminders, from that post:
USGS Estimates 66 Trillion Cubic Feet of Natural Gas in Colorado’s Mancos Shale Formation.
The headline fails to note that the previous USGS assessment was less than 2 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.
The report begins: This is the second-largest assessment of potential shale & tight gas resources that the USGS has ever conducted. [Natural gas: Marcellus was probably the largest?]
Then this bombshell:
The Mancos Shale in the Piceance Basin of Colorado contains an estimated mean of 66 trillion cubic feet of shale natural gas, 74 million barrels of shale oil and 45 million barrels of natural gas liquids, according to an updated assessment by the U.S. Geological Survey.This estimate is for undiscovered, technically recoverable resources.The previous USGS assessment of the Mancos Shale in the Piceance Basin was completed in 2003 as part of a comprehensive assessment of the greater Uinta-Piceance Province, and estimated 1.6 trillion cubic feet of shale natural gas.This is extraordinary by any standard. Natural gas:
- In 2003, the USGS estimated the Piceance to hold 1.6 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.
This is extraordinary by any standard. Oil:
- Now, in 2016, the USGS revises that estimate to 66 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.
- If I'm reading this correctly, this is not original natural gas-in-place but what is considered technically recoverable.
- Seventy-four million bbls of shale oil doesn't seem to be trivial either.
- Original oil in place (OOIP) in the Bakken is estimated to be around 500 billion bbls of oil. At 5% primary recovery rate, that works out to 25 billion bbls of oil.
So, 75 million bbls of recoverable oil in this basin seems to be a pretty big story.
North Dakota Perspective
"The Sleeping Giant" -- X-Strata.
Another natural gas formation in North Dakota.