Cartoon Of the Year

I often use other people's political cartoons to make my own political statements and this one, by the late, Glenn Foden, is my favorite for 2018.

At year-end 2017 the EIA (AEO 2017) suggested America had 43 billion barrels of proven (1P) oil reserves. In a recent report by the EIA (STEO Decemeber 2018) ) it placed total daily crude + condensate production at 11.3M BOPD. That means we have ten years of proven oil reserves remaining in the United States. Let me repeat that, please...just 10 years.

Any new oil reserves currently being added to United State's inventory will be light, tight unconventional reserves that are known to decline at the rate of 22-27% annually the first three years of production life, then 11-15% annually thereafter. To replace declining LTO reserves the US shale oil industry needs a constant influx of capital to stay on the drilling hamster wheel. With oil prices of less than $55 per BO, 95% of the wells drilled in the future will be unprofitable, or marginally profitable, to produce.

The public and private shale oil industry in America has drilled 70,000 wells the past 10 years and has approximately $280 billion of long term debt; $85 billion dollars of long term debt as already been walked (Haynes & Boone). In other words, the shale oil industry has not even paid for what it has already produced yet.

Recent studies by the EIA and the USGS regarding "technically" recoverable, as yet undiscovered light tight oil "resources" will require MUCH higher oil prices to even remotely be economical and have a less than 50% probability of ever being realized (SPE).

As an American your oil future is now totally dependent on the shale oil industry's ability to keep borrowing money.

Exporting, or 'amputating' any [1] of America's light, tight unconventional oil supply, at $20 per BO discounts to Brent, while its associated gas is flared, is stupid energy policy [2] [3]. We do not have the oil resources left in our nation to do that.

'Conservation' is not a four letter word. We're leaving our kids with a damn mess to sort out down the road.

Mike Shellman

[1] Current volumes of LTO being exported is estimated by the EIA to be 2.0-2.3MM BOPD. At $45 gross WTI postings, after all costs are deducted, the net 'take home pay' in most of America's shale basins is $14-16 per barrel of oil. 2.0 MM BOPD does not even come close to paying for the US shale oil industry's interest expenses on long term debt. Current exports represent 1G BO every year...that's a lot of oil that we are going to wish we had back some day.

[2] Crude oil exports were suppose to lower gasoline prices to American consumers, so said Congress in 2015. Not so:

[3] Crude oil exports were suppose to improve the United States trade deficit, so said Congress and the US shale oil industry that pushed, strongly, for crude oil exports. Not so: