Geologists have found a site in the Permian Basin in Texas that holds some 20 billion barrels of oil. The entire area may hold 75 billion barrels, making it the largest unconventional deposit in the United States, and the second in the world, next only to the Ghawar field in Saudi Arabia.
The oil is in shale and will take fracking. This will bother some people. Does it bother you, or do you see this discovery as a big economic shot in the arm for the country?
In a troubled oil world, the Permian Basin is the gift that keeps on giving.
One portion of the giant field, known as the Wolfcamp formation, was found to hold 20 billion barrels of oil trapped in four layers of shale beneath West Texas. That’s almost three times larger than North Dakota’s Bakken play and the single largest U.S. unconventional crude accumulation ever assessed, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. At current prices, that oil is worth almost $900 billion.The estimate lends credence to the assertion from Pioneer Natural Resources CEO Scott Sheffield that the Permian’s shale could hold as much as 75 billion barrels, making it second only to Saudi Arabia’s Ghawar field. Irving-based Pioneer has been increasing its production targets all year as drilling in the Wolfcamp produced bigger gushers than the company’s engineers and geologists forecast.
“The fact that this is the largest assessment of continuous oil we have ever done just goes to show that, even in areas that have produced billions of barrels of oil, there is still the potential to find billions more,” Walter Guidroz, coordinator for the geological survey’s energy resources program, said in the statement.