US holds world's fourth largest oil reserve

Wolfcamp shale estimated to have 20 billion barrels worth $1 trillion

US holds world's fourth largest oil reserve

World Bulletin / News Desk

The world's fourth largest oil reserve has been found in west Texas, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) said Tuesday.

The Wolfcamp shale in the Permian Basin is estimated to contain 20 billion barrels of oil,

That makes Wolfcamp fall behind only Saudi Arabia's Ghawar field with 75 billion barrels, Kuwait's Burgan field with 65 - 70 billion and Saudi's Safaniya field with 50 billion barrels remaining.

Wolfcamp’s reserve holds three times more than the Bakken formation in North Dakota and is "the largest estimated continuous oil accumulation" in the U.S. so far, the statement USGS said.

With oil prices fluctuating between $45 and $50, Wolfgang is worth between $900 billion to $1 trillion. It is also estimated to hold 16 trillion cubic feet (450 billion cubic meters) of natural gas, according to the USGS.

The field has produced crude since the 1980s through conventional methods. New techniques, however, such as hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling that have facilitated the U.S. shale boom since 2008, is expected to increase shale production from Wolfcamp as well.

"Even in areas that have produced billions of barrels of oil, there is still the potential to find billions more,” Walter Guidroz, program coordinator for the USGS Energy Resources Program, said in the statement.

“Changes in technology and industry practices can have significant effects on what resources are technically recoverable, and that’s why we continue to perform resource assessments throughout the U.S. and the world," he added.

The U.S. had 55 billion barrels of proven reserves as the end of 2015, according to the British Petroleum's Statistical Review of World Energy published in June. That ranks 9th among the world's total reserve holders.

Venezuela is first with 301 billion barrels in reserves, while Saudi Arabia is second with 267 billion and Canada tanks third with 172 billion barrels.

They are followed by Iraq, Iran, Russia, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates, according to the Review.

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Last Mod: 17 Kasım 2016, 07:32
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