Skip to comments.Shale Play in Western Siberia is 80 Times Bigger than the Bakken
Posted on 06/10/2012 4:00:58 PM PDT by Recon Dad
The Bakken shale is a huge expanse of oil-bearing rock that lies underneath Northern Dakota and Montana. Oil production in the Bakken has grown from just 60,000 barrels per day (BPD) five years ago, to 500,000 bpd now. It is predicted that the formation holds more than 24 billion barrels of oil, and that given enough rigs it could produce more than a million bpd by 2020 and continue that level of production for half a century.
The Bakken shale play is one of the biggest in the US, but is absolutely dwarfed by a shale play in Russia. The Bazhenov is located in Western Siberia, and according to Oswals Clint, Sanford Bernsteins lead international oil analyst, it covers 2.3 million square kilometers or 570 million acres, which is the size of Texas and the Gulf of Mexico combined; an area 80 times bigger than the Bakken.
The region which is covered by the Bazhenov has many cracks and fractures which could make its oil flow more readily, and therefore production much cheaper. A couple of test wells have been drilled in the region which operated at 400 bpd; the same as an average Bakken well.
News of the Bazhenov may be new to many of us, but geologists have actually been studying it for at least 20 years, however it is only in the last few years that the technology and expertise necessary to drill the oil has been developed.
ExxonMobil and Statoil have agreed to start joint venture operations in the region with the Russian, state-owned Rosneft in an attempt to secure access to the Bazhenov. Exxon made a recent statement which confirmed the agreement to jointly develop tight oil production technologies in Western Siberia.
Oswald Clint warned that oil companies will face challenges of drilling in the region as during the summer the weather in Siberia warms and softens the ground enough to prevent drilling. Although if 300 rigs can be quickly deployed he believes that by 2020 the Bazhenov play could be producing one million bpd.
If mankind doesn’t stop finding oil we’re going to be swimming in it!
The USGS has estimated recoverable oil reserves in the Bakken and Three Forks Formations to be between 4 and 6 Billion barrels of oil. However, industry professionals peg the current recoverable reserves at approximately 24 Billion barrels with todays technology. This is a staggering number but even more staggering is the projected original oil in place (OOIP) at 400-500 Billion barrels! The USGS is conducting more research and will be publishing their revised estimate in October 2013.
Why do they call these geological findings “plays?” What game is being played? Is it as though “price” is somehow part of a game? Very confusing ....
Let’s just hope that the Chinese don’t try to “acquire” the region to satisfy their need for resources.
Seriously though this is good news. Anything that lessens the world’s reliance on Middle-Eastern oil is a good thing.
The problem is that Obama is not permitting Drilling in the USA and it does not matter if there is oil in the Bakken as long as Obama prevents us from drilling there.
Only a handfull of well have gone down on government land because O’dumbo has it locked up tighter than a frog’s butt. Almost all the new drilling in the US is being done on private land and “Ears” can’t stop it.
He can’t stop much in the Baaken, it’s all private land.
At what point can we stop giving our money to those muslom animals?
And China will absolutely take Siberia back and they will have oil a plenty
Tom Clancy wrote “The Bear and the Dragon” about just what you suggested, good book.
You’re right about all oil is good oil and it looks like we’re coming into the second Golden Age of oil.
In WWII, Germany wanted access to oil in the Middle East and southern Russia; their failure was a contributing factor in their eventual defeat. Likewise, Japan needed access to oil and needed control of Pacific shipping lanes; their failure was a contributing factor in their eventual defeat.
If things get hairy, I think China would definitely move on Siberia, and I don't think the Russians would have a hope of stopping them.
How much money could the US govt rake in if Bammy would allow drilling on government land?
It has to do with the extent of a oil/gas formation. The term is one of convenience for discussion, and may refer to geologic time intervals, rock types, structures, or some combination of them.
“Play” from the Schluberger Oilfield glossary:
1. n. [Geology, Shale Gas] ID: 398
An area in which hydrocarbon accumulations or prospects of a given type occur.
For example the shale gas plays in North America include the Barnett, Eagle Ford, Fayetteville, Haynesville, Marcellus, and Woodford, among many others. Outside North America, shale gas potential is being pursued in many parts of Europe, Africa, Asia, and South America.
Synonyms: accumulation, exploration play
Way back in the day before scientific measures could reliably assess the oil under a particular area, it was a game/gamble and you either won or lost. If you don't play you can't win.
I just read the following......
Continental Resources is redefining the Bakken petroleum system, raising its estimated in-place liquids reserves for the play by a whopping 56 percent, or from 577-to 903 billion barrels of oil equivalent. The increase is based primarily on numerous oil-saturated core samples taken at various locations, deep within the Three Forks formation, the company said.
Weve added a lot more oil. The question is how much of it is technically recoverable, Jack Stark, Continental Resources senior vice president of exploration, said on the sidelines of the 12th Williston Basin Petroleum Conference, May 22-24 in Bismarck, N.D.
We are looking at the total Bakken petroleum system, Stark added. Before we were looking at pieces of it. The actual definition of the Bakken will be redefined.
Continentals recovery rate for the Bakken system on 577 billion barrels of in-place oil, calculated in 2010, was 24 billion barrels, or 4 percent. However, establishing that recovery rate evidently was more certain than trying to figure a new rate for the 326 billion barrels of recently added in-place reserves.
This was based on how wells were performing, how many we could drill based on 320-acre spacing in areas we felt had the productive capacity, Stark said of the 24 billion barrel estimate. Thats really key. Its not a pie in the sky thing.
When recoverable estimates were crunched on 577 billion barrels, virtually all company production came from the Middle Bakken and the first bench, or first zone of the underlying Three Forks formation.
Except for all those nukes.
Any nuclear power is essentially untouchable, and Russia has WAY more nukes than any other except USA.
However, in the long run an almost entirely empty, incredibly resource rich territory next door to a massively over-populated and rapidly developing one will wind up under its control. De facto if not de jure.
Russians have been fleeing Siberia ever since Communism fell. A lot fewer people there now than 25 years ago.
That book did cross my mind all there needed to be was a massive gold strike too. Life following fiction...
Siberia belonged to myChina 180 year ago. Russia is in serious need of labor in them parts and China is accommodating them with serious lift of immigrants.
Once a threshold of emigres and financial tints to Chinas faire they won’t even make demand on Russia, whose populace is aging and it census shrinking, then China will just declare reunification .....
Look for it in about 10-15 years....
I haven’t read that one. Thanks for making me aware of that one.
Add in the fact that Russia’s population is imploding, and there will be real problems maintaining Siberia. I think Russian nukes, combined with Russia’s willingness to get nasty, trump all though.
The best hope is to repopulate Siberia with Western Oil companies and their workers. Alaska is perfectly placed as a transit location for equipment, supplies, and people. This could be quite lucrative for all involved, including oil consumers as prices fall from increased global supply.
I’m getting my popcorn ready!
Do you remember the part where the young woman states that she prefers Japanese sausages to Chinese noodles?
A “play” was a gamble. Your money was in play or on the table to win big or lose.
One day the oil in the Arab world will disappear and all that will be left is oil in the western world.
Then they can go back t the 7th century.
Oh no, let me correct you sir. I have been reliably informed by many ahem "experts" on the matter (all of whom by the strangest coincidence happen to be arch-leftists) that we reached peak oil production about twenty years ago. So there is no more oil to be found. Despite the fact that we keep finding enormous reserves of the stuff. Does that make sense to you? Yeah, me neither.
there’s probably huge reserves of oil in chiner that have not been discovered.
But, but, are there any spotted owls in that area the size of Texas and the Gulf of Mexico combined? How about salamanders? Salmon?? Tree toads? Polar Bears? Lakes and Rivers, or maybe pretty mountain scenery
Surely something will take all that land out of production!
Or maybe the Russians will just gut the land and ruin Gaia for the rest of the human race - even before globull warming kills us all off!
For more than a decade I've said that the world is awash in oil.
I've been laughed at, including even here on FR, more than a few times. Not lately though.
The Russians still have one heck of a nuclear arsenal. You think they wouldn’t use it if the Chinese invaded Siberia?
80X the land area, only 2X the potential recoverable reserves. That was a very deceptive headline.
Extra butter baby!
80 times bigger? Really? They know already?
Sounds like typical 3rd-world hype and attempt to get Western oil co’s with deep pockets into a bidding war.
It’s a shale formation and it’s huge. I guess Exxon Mobile will give it a run. The conditions could be an issue along with logistics, but the industry seems to overcome almost anything.
China is experiencing a labor shortage right now and their one child policy means that in the next 10-15 years their population will start dropping rather quickly.
Not to mention all the social problems inherent with a population having a distinct shortage of females due to female infanticide as a result of the one child policy. It is a double whammy on future population.
But seriously I have read where the better off young Chinese males,not rich just working middle class, have resorted to taking Filipino,Laotian,or Cambodian wives. I've also read where Chinese workers in Africa have taken Africans as wives.
I keep expecting a really big African expedition. Most of the other likely places would have too much possibility of being too painful militarily. Africa? Who would go to war for any of the African countries against a Chinese occupation?
I was wondering about that as well. It could be as far west as just east of the Ural Mountains. Which would put it a long way from China, especially the heavily populated/developed parts.
Well the Chinese are investing heavily in Africa. The Chinese are buying up mineral rights and laying down the groundwork for a very large African infrastructure that will support their big African expedition. I wonder if there is a Chinese Kurtz out there?
I told my kids that before I die the world will be awash in oil again.
Nope. The Ching Empire ruled what is now Manchuria and Mongolia, and possibly a little way to the north, but you can't say it "ruled Siberia."
Well, you can say it, but that doesn't make it true. :)
The Yuan (Mongol) Empire ruled much of what is now Siberia, or as much of it as they cared to bother with, but that was China being ruled by the same foreign power, not China ruling Siberia.
This should put watermelon enviros in a quandary regarding the “dangers of fracking”, eh?
Wasn’t it just a year ago the Libs were warning about the end of oil...
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