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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Bakken Oil Analysis Out

The USGS released its Bakken Oil analysis today.

Back in 2000 a guy by the name of LC Price put together a paper on the Bakken oil reserve and estimated the the reserve to hold between 200 and 500 Billion bbl.s of oil. I have seen some estimates go as high as 900 Billion barrels of oil. For comparison Saudi Arabia is thought to be sitting on 260 billion barrels of oil. However, the USGS did not release Price's report (Price has since died) and did further analysis of the reserves. The USGS released the much anticipated report today and the result is...

Nowhere near the numbers tossed around above. The USGS estimates the Bakken Reserve to hold about 3.65 billion barrels of recoverable oil. This increases our nation's known reserves from 14% to 19%. Not quite the spectacular as the hype (how typical). However a few things.

As our technology and expertise increase we will most likely bring more of the oil in the reserve into production. Secondly I recall reading (sorry can't get the source) that oil production in Alaska is outperforming early reserve estimates.

However, remember what I was saying yesterday, this is not cheap oil. Even if the amount was according to the hype the oil is hard to recover and most likely is more problematic to refine.

In addition the the petroleum there is natural gas to be found there.

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