How big is this oil strike? It is three times larger than the Bakken play in North Dakota. The Wolfcamp formation in the Permian Basin in West Texas has been found to have 20 billion barrels of oil.
The Permian Basin may have 75 billion barrels of oil which would make it the second largest oil field in the world. Only the Ghawar field in Saudi Arabia would have more oil, if that estimate is correct.
From The Star-Telegram:
In a troubled oil world, the Permian Basin is the gift that keeps on giving.
One portion of the giant field, known as the Wolfcamp formation, was found to hold 20 billion barrels of oil trapped in four layers of shale beneath West Texas. That’s almost three times larger than North Dakota’s Bakken play and the single largest U.S. unconventional crude accumulation ever assessed, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. At current prices, that oil is worth almost $900 billion.
The estimate lends credence to the assertion from Pioneer Natural Resources CEO Scott Sheffield that the Permian’s shale could hold as much as 75 billion barrels, making it second only to Saudi Arabia’s Ghawar field. Irving-based Pioneer has been increasing its production targets all year as drilling in the Wolfcamp produced bigger gushers than the company’s engineers and geologists forecast.
“The fact that this is the largest assessment of continuous oil we have ever done just goes to show that, even in areas that have produced billions of barrels of oil, there is still the potential to find billions more,” Walter Guidroz, coordinator for the geological survey’s energy resources program, said in the statement.
Not only does Wolfcamp have lots of oil, but it also has lots of natural gas. Geologists estimate that it has 16 trillion feet of natural gas and 1.6 billion barrels of gas liquids. One of the biggest reasons why CO2 levels have fallen has that fracking has made natural gas cheap enough to replace coal as a source of energy.
What could this mean? For starters, cheap energy fuels economic growth which in turn creates jobs. Secondly, this could weaken Iran, Russia, and Saudi Arabia on the world stage, especially if the U.S. becomes more of an oil and gas exporter. Instead of Europe and Asia buying energy from those three places, they could buy from the U.S. Fortunately, it does appear that President-elect Donald Trump realizes all of these things.
More domestic energy is a good thing and this new oil strike is a good thing.