The 23 biggest “tight” oilfields—the kind of plays that require fracking—outside the US and Canada contain more than four times the oil found in North American tight oilfields. The FT reports on a new study:
Analysis by IHS published on Tuesday morning suggests fields including the Vaca Muerta of Argentine, the Bazhenov shale of Siberia and the Silurian shales of north Africa could produce more than the Bakken shale of North Dakota and the Eagle Ford of Texas. […]Peter Voser, chief executive of Royal Dutch Shell, said last month that the talk of a global shale revolution was “a little bit overhyped”.However, IHS believes that countries such as Russia, Algeria and Argentina, that have long experience of fossil fuel production, will be able to win political support for shale production and deploy the necessary people and equipment.
For some time, it will be a great deal more difficult to extract tight oil outside of America than inside it. For a wide variety of reasons—from mineral rights to technical know-how, from geology to plentiful water—the US is uniquely suited to frack, baby, frack. Much of the black gold in these 23 fields won’t be coming out of the ground until the price of oil goes up. But it’s there, and you can be sure that wildcatters are already working on innovative new ways to get it out of the ground.The world’s energy future has changed dramatically in just a few short years. America’s ability to quickly adapt has helped it to lead the pack, but the rest of the world is working to catch up.[Oil rig image courtesy of Shutterstock]