The United States is now the 3rd largest crude oil exporter in the world. Almost all that oil comes from just eight counties in the Permian Basin
Sky Truth Map Showing Flaring Intensity At July 15, 2022. Click Thingy Upper Right To Enlarge
The future of U.S. oil production now lies almost entirely in just 8-10 counties of the Permian Basin in West Texas and New Mexico. That's the last remaining hope for long term energy security for our nation, our children, and their children. Truthfully, the Permian Wolfcamp is the last remaining hope for the entire Western Hemisphere.
Compare the areal size of the Permian Basin to the rest of the producing basins in the Eastern Hemisphere. The East actually has "reserves" and reserve to production ratios (R/P) in double digits; 75% of Permian Basin tight oil EUR's are recovered in the first 4 years of production life.
Remember, please, the US is the largest oil consuming nation in the world by a significant margin. US population is 333 MM, third behind China and India with 1.4 B each, both countries major oil importers.
40% of total US oil production comes from those eight counties in the Permian Basin, yet 70% percent of that Permian tight oil production is exported to foreign countries, a large part that to countries in the Eastern Hemisphere.
Russia, China, India and OPEC (primarily the KSA) are all now forming coalitions to ensure long term oil supplies STAY in the East. The US is NOT included in these long term plans. The US has placed embargoes on the largest heavy oil reserve holder in the world, Venezuela, and won't allow more infrastructure from Canada to be able import heavy oil from it. What's THAT about?
The Permian already has 40,000 HZ wells producing in it, half of those wells now make less than 40 BOPD, on AF, with WOR of 3.5: 1 and have terminal annual decline rates of 12%. The play is just eight years old. Many tight oil cheerleaders suggest the Permian Basin tight oil play has room for 150,000 more HZ wells and most of those estimated wells will be completed in one of three benches in the Wolfcamp formation.
Does the US have enough Permian tight oil left to act as though it is the world's ATM machine for oil?
No. Well productivity in the Permian is declining, gassy oil wells are becoming oily gas wells, GOR and WOR both are increasing. wells are interfering with each other both horizontally and vertically and decline rates appear to be accelerating.
Current vertical and horizontal wells in the core of the Midland Basin tight oil play. 150,000 more wells and 200 years of supply? Don't count on it.
The use of US HZ tight oil as a foreign policy tool, or a means to protect the US dollar, is a grave national energy policy mistake, perhaps the worst ever in history. Our country is being drained now at an alarming rate.
What's the fix? Ninety (90) plus percent of US tight oil exports now leave the beach thru hubs in Corpus Christi. Revamp refineries in the area with additional splitters and stabilizers, build a refinery that can specifically process Permian tight oil into feedstock. Dump the sanctions on Venezuela, provide other Gulf Coast refineries incentives to use heavy Venezuelan and Canadian oil sand oil for blending with LTO. Axe the stupid Jones Act so we can move finished product around, in-country. It's all very doable.
Keep American tight oil in North America for our children's oil future, for the energy future of our neighbors to the north, and to the south, for the energy security of the entire Western Hemisphere. The rest of the world has a long term plan, North America needs to do the same.
Before it's too late.