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Monday, August 12, 2013

Analysis Reveals Vast Complications to the Growth of Shale Production

From The National Interest:
In fact, the extremely low porosity of shale-reservoir rocks limits the recoverability of oil from one single well. On average each loses 50 percent of its output after twelve months of activity. To offset this dramatic decline of the production and get an higher production, an oil company must thus drill an ever-increasing number of wells.
For example, in December 2012 it was necessary to bring ninety new wells on stream each month to maintain the production rate at Bakken-Three Forks (so far, the largest shale-oil play in the United States)—770,000 barrels per day. But as production grows in North Dakota, the number of wells also must grow exponentially.
The large and scarcely populated territories of North Dakota and Texas are capable of sustaining such ever-increasing drilling intensity for many years to come, to over one hundred thousand active shale-oil wells—as against around ten thousand to date.
Nevertheless, the sheer number of productive wells required in shale production is unprecedented and, from an environmental perspective, will probably represent a major obstacle to the expansion of shale activity even in the United States. Apart from Texas, North Dakota and a bunch of additional states with vast territory, scarce populations and a long history of drilling intensity, the rest of the country likely will not embrace the “drill or die” logic.
Read more of this interesting article by clicking here. 

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