Daily Management Review

Second wave of the shale revolution in Alaska


04/19/2017


Arctic territories are becoming incredibly attractive for world oil companies. Opposition from environmentalists and the presidential oil drilling ban did not scare oil companies away, the more so a study in Alaska revealed huge oil reserves.



usresponserestoration.wordpress.com
usresponserestoration.wordpress.com
A new upsurge of interest to the region will contribute to the US oil production growth and will have an impact on the industry in the next few decades.

This situation is caused by the growing popularity of oil in the world, particularly in Asia, the oil industry’s dynamic character and the fact that the US has become the main new oil exporter, which just recently seemed impossible. All this makes us think that decisions of the country’s government are far from the energies forming the US energy sector and the environmental movements.

One of the largest deposits is Tulimaniq, found in Dallas Caelus Energy in public waters, near the Prudhoe Bay deposit. In October 2016, the level of reserves in the field was confirmed at 10 billion barrels of oil. Other three to four billion barrels will possibly be produced at a price of $ 50 per barrel.

These new discoveries promise more. Age of the first to be developed reservoirs at Tulimaniq’s deposit is nearly equal to the Horseshoes and Willows deposits 75 miles to the southeast. This is a strong evidence that the new large section of the Northern Slope has been allocated for further research. Burgundy Xploration and Australian 88 Engery are also implementing yet another programme to check Prudhoe Bay oil shale, a super-giant deposit with current recoverable reserves of thirteen billion barrels.

Some oil-bearing rocks with low permeability are currently being studied on the Northern slope. The company's specialists believe that hydraulic fracturing of the reservoir will release the oil and facilitate the extraction process.

Italian Eni has is preparing to extract oil on a field located in public waters, and therefore not covered by Barack Obama’s ban on drilling. The the Beaufort Sea oil is called the Nikaitchuq Unit and lies to the west of the Prudhoe Bay, daily producing about 25 thousand barrels. 

Eni actively operated the area between 2005 and 2015. The company ceased operations two years ago, when prices fell. Now, however, the company is going to create around six wells this year. Eni needs permission to conduct drilling operations, the company has already applied to the US Department of the Interior. The Italians are going to gain access to additional volumes of oil.

The situation on the oil market is not inviting, yet there’s clearly a boom in the Arctic. Why? The collapse in oil prices, continuing for more than two years, is the lowest fall since 1986.

Oil companies are able to survive in severe market conditions. They can put assets on sale, adapt level of production or merge. Now, latest technologies in drilling, seismic and     information treatment will allow well-performing companies to save money in various areas. Some companies nowadays can survive at prices ranging from $ 35 to $ 40 per barrel or less.

Pacing technologies and lower spending have turned the US companies into a powerful force that undermines OPEC's domination of high oil reserves, in spite of weaker production of the organization and many non-member countries. This is a new age, and minor companies are invading areas once occupied by giants such as BP and Exxon Mobil. This shift is significant, since smaller, independent companies for which new deposits are crucial, seem to be quite aggressive in their researches. 

Oil remains the number one energy source for many industries. The global demand, concentrated in developing countries in Asia, will be rising for some time, as it was from 2010 to 2014, when prices were much higher than now. 

Every day, America sends about 5.7 million barrels of oil and oil products abroad. It is the highest amount in the country’s history due to the growth of sales to Asian countries. In short, the expansion of the production of fossil fuels would have taken place even without Trump's victory. 

If the explorers discover new deposits, the Arctic will enter a new stage of the rise of the US oil industry. This will increase the country’s leverage of influence on OPEC and help counter geopolitical influence of Russia. And then another question arises: how will the US use its influence as a hydrocarbon power in the world?

source: marketwatch.com






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