The US tight oil industry wants America to believe it can replace a large portion of 3.5-4.5 MM BOPD of Russian exports and save the world, one $10MM Wolfcamp well at a time. It just needs to be "unleashed," whatever the hell that means. It has a list of things it needs to get unleashed, starting with more money, naturally, and more "empathy" and understanding from Joe Biden.
I don't get the whining about Biden; since when does free enterprise need the consent of Washington DC to drill more wells? After 50 years of being an oil and gas operator I always wanted those sumbitches in Washington OUT of my business, not IN it. I survived nine presidents in my career, not a one of them knew squat about the oil and gas business.
I am a conservative Republican, by the way; don't give me any shit about politics. When folks starting bellyachin' about politics its because they've lost control of their own lives and need hep. I don't.
So, lets take a gander at this Federal leasing stuff the tight oil sector in the Permian is mule lipped about:
Above is BLM map of active oil and gas leases in Lea and Eddy Counties in the New Mexico part of the Permian Basin HZ, tight oil play.
The past 18 months Lea and Eddy Counties have been carpet bombed with Wolfcamp and Bone Springs wells on BLM leases. Both of these counties have led the entire Basin in rig counts and permits since 4Q20; so active have these two counties been in the Permian that they have carried all growth entirely on their own. Without HZ tight oil production from Lea and Eddy, the Permian Basin would have declined in 2021. Texas HZ tight did decline in 2021. At the moment Lea County has 63 HZ rigs running, more than twice what any two other counties in the Basin have running, combined. Eddy has another 30 rigs slamming wells down. Graphic above courtesy welldatabase.com
The tight oil biz has been awfully busy on Federal land for not having any Federal land to lease anymore. Whatever unleased Federal land the tight oil sector is crying about is so far out in left field its Tier 5.
Lea and Eddy Counties have nearly 8,700 wells already stuffed into them already. In this graphic above, courtesy shaleprofile.com, the really core areas of Lea County can be identified by well densities; that's where the good stuff is.
Or rather it use to be pretty good. Core areas in Lea County, like Reeves and Loving Counties in Texas, that are over drilled are seeing GOR on an elevator to the roof and well productivity on an escalator to the basement.
On the left is a shaleprofile.com well overlay to the 2017 USGS Wolfcamp/ Bone Springs resource assessment. At that time the USGS though there might be some 40 billion barrels of "technically recoverable" oil in the Delaware Basin; so far there has been over 18,000 wells recover 3.8 billion barrels (EIA).
If a moratorium on Federal leasing in New Mexico is holding those Permian tight oil boys up, I don't see it. The play seems pretty much delineated after 8 years.
Come to think of it, once you look at all this stuff maybe this US oil exporting shit isn't such a good idea after all, uh? Maybe it would be a good idea to save some for ourselves... you know, for America's long term energy security? For our kids.
Or...we can just drill it all to hell and gone in a few years and be done with it. That seems to be the plan.
What's next on the whining agenda? Oh yeah... regulations. Tight oil doesn't want to be bothered with piddly stuff like methane leaks, that sort of thing. Its already warning us that there is more flaring on the way...
Politics suck. Rise above it. Start with the truth.
Tight oil abundance is a myth.