In her latest article, Shale Oil Reserves Questioned Too, Deborah Rogers said:
…after careful scrutiny of shale oil, it looks to be little more than a shale gas makeover: same girl, different shade of lipstick.
Photo of girl applying a nice shade of apricot HERE.
Industry seems to be overstating their estimated ultimate recovery figures in the Eagle Ford Shale by four times.
About Sharon Wilson
Sharon Wilson is considered a leading citizen expert on the impacts of shale oil and gas extraction. She is the go-to person whether it’s top EPA officials from D.C., national and international news networks, or residents facing the shock of eminent domain and the devastating environmental effects of natural gas development in their backyards.
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Anything under the ground is an estimate. There are too many variables for anyone to truly include them all to come up with a never changing number.
I suppose the multiple of the different sources Deborah used could be of concern? It’s relative, I suppose. Reserve estimates vary that much & more for @ least, the first 5-10 years of the wells producing lifel. “Unconventionals” are younger than that.
I do not believe we should feel comfortable living off hydrocarbons at the alarming rate we are currently doing, regardless of what estimate du jour tries to convince us of.
Deborah Rogers says
I could not agree more with your assessment as to the alarming rate we are using hydrocarbons. That is one reason I find all this hyperbole so disturbing. It is apt to give people a false sense of security. The term reckless abandon springs to mind.
I also agree with your assessment of reserves. One cannot possibly know for quite some time what the actual reserve figures will be, particularly in shales because the technology is so new. Having said that, I would like nothing more from this industry than a circumspect, prudent discussion and evaluation rather than the soap opera that shales have become.
I’m old enough to remember the hoopla of new oil fields that were supposed to end US oil importing: First, it was Alaska in the 1970’s. Well, that didn’t cushion the oil price hikes from the Iranian Revolution starting in 1979. And, the Alaskan Pipeline is getting worried about having enough oil flowing to keep it from freezing up in the winter. Then, the Overthrust Belt in the Rockies was the cure-all oil source coming on in the 1980’s. Well, they do some production there, but it’s not Saudi Arabia 1960, by any means. And, prices STILL went up when Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait, despite the 2 above sources.
They drilled a bunch of exploratory wells NE of Jacksonville FL, off the coast of GA, in the 1980’s. They all came out dry. So, don’t hold your breath over large oil deposits on the Atlantic Shelf. Recently, Cuba has had 2 dry exploratory wells in an area with a lot of optimism for finding oil.
Shale oil, the kind you have to roast to get the oil out of, had huge estimated reserve numbers in the past, but recoverable reserves are always less. I suspect tar sands crude will also run into the same problem of recoverable reserves being *much* less than estimated values. Is it really practical to have strip mines 4 miles deep & many miles wide to get to 100% of tar sands & shale oil? No way!
I don’t see anything that makes oil & gas fracking “magic”, as to be almost limitless. If I was a contractor that submitted a bid at one quarter of the actual costs to build something, I’d been run out of the field.
Is it a Used Car Salesman mentality with pushing fracking? That’s why I doubt a rational, prudent discussion about reserves will happen. I’d also like diminishing returns of refracking charted, but that could lead to SEC & Investor wrath.
Fracking Crazy says
I truly think one of the reasons Tar Sands is so popular is because it uses so much natural gas to produce.
It’s the rabbit chasing the carrot.
Of course, we want to use enough natural gas to power a large city on a daily basis to get a trickle of oil.
Here is a good example of the fracking soap opera:
Phelim McAleer @PhelimMcAleer
@WCGasette @FrackAction @NYGovCuomo yes, it like that for 3 days til #fracking ends then thy leave & gas for 40 years r u against bridges?
Gas for 40 years? Based on what data? (rhetorical question)