His observations and conclusions:
- daily Bakken production in October, 2008: 75,000 bopd
- it seems unlikely that total Bakken production will exceed 2x to 3x current rate of 75,000 bopd (or 225,000 bopd) -- for newbies, unfettered, the Bakken can produce 2.2 million bopd; currently it produces over 1 million bopd, down from its all-time record due to low price of oil
- based on current production, the USGS estimate of technically recovery recovery (sic) resources seems optimistic
- the Bakken will have minimal impact on US production or imports -- for newbies, Saudi has slashed crude oil exports headed for the US
- a rate of 75,000 bopd amounts to only 0.4% of US oil consumption, or 0.6% of imports -- for newbies, I believe the Bakken now accounts for about 10% of total crude oil production
- per-well Bakken production peaked in August, 2005, at 116 bopd, and was down to 79 bopd in October, 2007; if the Bakken production history in the 1990s can be used as a guide, the peaking of per-well production may portend a peak in total Bakken production
Comments on the article, I particularly enjoyed:
Thanks for the superb rundown on Bakken. I'll read it carefully later -- but it certainly is in accord with other things I have read.I just went through there on Amtrak Empire Builder -- there is a huge buzz in North Dakota about the possibility of vast riches to be had. I fear there will be massive disappointment when the reality hits.From Will Stewart:
Not surprisingly, the hype about the Bakken's potential ends up being hype after all. Even if the Bakken's could be produced at peak levels starting right now (which it can't), it would only delay global peak production by approximately 6 weeks; so much for the "Saudi Arabia" of Northern Plains that oil company surrogates have attempted to spin.From Gwydion:
You know how the old saying goes: A gold mine is a hole in the ground with a liar on top. Something similar might be said for oil too.
However, we've talked about this a bit previously on this site and up until now I've been pretty skeptical but now that I've read this I'm fairly impressed.
Even if this does nothing for global supplies, or make a dent in the U.S. imports, this will be a boon for the economy of these states. Or rather, it will be a boon to the finances of those who lease the land the wells are on and the few people who are actively engaged in extracting and shipping the oil. Yet, translating mineral wealth into a diversified economy has always been a challenge for the western states.From Dave Cohen:
I came to the same conclusions as you did, saying that production would peak somewhere in excess of 100,000 barrels per day but likely never matching peak output from Thunder Horse (250,000 b/d). I also said that peak rates from the Middle Bakken won't come for another 5-10 years.As you say, longer term production will depend on the number of wells drilled. A few thousands wells will be required to boost production to the eventual peak in the low hundreds of thousands of barrels per day.Alright, enough of this. Time to find that other article. I apologize for posting this song again, so soon, but there is simply not a better song for this post: