First of all, do not panic by the news before reading it carefully. British Petroleum has provided a shocking update to its global oil reserves which are yearly estimates of energy. BP raised its reserve estimate by 1.1% to 1687.9 billion barrels, which is enough only to last 53.3 years at the current consumption rates. However, there’s likely a lot more oil left in the tank beyond what BP sees today being said by analysts and experts. A huge sum of the growth in global oil reserves in the current BP report comes from the USA. According to BP, the U.S. has 44.2 billion barrels of oil reserves, which is 26% higher than it previous analogies. The reserve of oil seems to be an elevator which keeps going up and down by various methods and calculations being used to determine how much oil is left.
The overall cause for the up and down is because of a new surge in oil reserves, because of America’s Shale Oil Plays. The Bakken, Eagle Ford and Permian Basin are rocks which are broken to make natural gas, something which has been used instead of oil and is now being unlocked through horizontal drilling technology. The big boost in reserves over the past year, there appears to be much more oil potential in each shale play than expected. The Permian Basin really standing out of the other three materials mentioned above. Hence this is one of the reasons why BP’s analysis and US’s Energy Information Administration is posting numbers which are going up and down during the very same year and let’s not forget annual analysis like this current one.
A company called Pioneer Natural Resources now estimates the Spraberry/Wolfcamp shale formations in the Permian Basin contain 75 billion barrels of recoverable oil and gas, which as we can see is an enormous amount but a good amount of it will be used to create electricity rather than being totally converted into oil. That number is a major upward revision from last year when Pioneer estimated the two formations held 50 billion barrels of recoverable oil and gas. Another company which is regular in posting numbers which are sliding up and down.
These three “plays” do all the current heavy lifting to grow reserves, new oil plays continue to emerge too. There are two more which are appearing to have more reserves. The Tuscaloosa Marine shale in the Gulf Coast region and several shale plays in the Rockies. Four new horizontal oil discoveries in the Rockies have been made too. There are estimates that it will ultimately recover about a whopping amount of four billion barrels of oil as it develops from the Rockies. However, it’s likely there is a lot more upside in the Rockies as EOG Resources and others develop and find even more oil rich shales in the region. So the total number of barrels which will keep coming is already going above 70 billion barrels which is too much and pretty much never ending.
First things first, despite what BP sees, it might just hold 53.3 years worth of oil, that certainly does not mean we will run out of oil anytime soon. These new “Shale Plays” continue to be discovered in the USA which should fuel our reserves over the next decade. However, there is plenty of oil still left in the world’s tank thanks to the development of America’s newly found Shale resources which is enough to last for uncountable number of years.