Essentially I was trying to see what it would take to arrive at the 24 billion barrels of Bakken oil that Harold Hamm often claims. It takes 69,000 wells (at 2400 new wells per year) and no decrease in new well EUR (up to 2041) to accomplish this with a realistic well profile (similar to USGS estimates). I really thought that people would realize (given the date), that this should not be taken seriously.
I was incorrect and again my apologies.
There has been a lot of discussion about the United States as the new Saudi Arabia. Output of crude plus condensate has been expanding rapidly in the light tight oil plays in North Dakota (Bakken) and Texas (Eagle Ford). In the past I have been very skeptical of how long this rapid increase could continue.
The argument was basically that some areas are more productive than others and that these “sweet spots” would run out of room for new wells eventually and that well productivity would decrease.
I have revised my thinking based on the continually upbeat predictions by CEO’s of successful oil companies such as Harold Hamm of Continental Resources. In addition, there have been several encouraging pilot projects suggesting that well spacing might be dramatically reduced. This will allow many more wells to be drilled than the 40,000 wells that I have often used in previous scenarios.
Technological advancements will likely allow oil companies to keep well productivity at present levels for the foreseeable future, or possibly increase well productivity. To remain conservative I have assumed that the technological progress will balance any difficulties with lack of room in more productive areas and that new well productivity will remain constant rather than increase due to improved technologies and methods.
For the Bakken I assume wells are added at about 2400 wells per year until about 2037 and then the rate that new wells are added begins to decrease, a total of about 69,000 producing wells are added by 2041.
A peak of 2300 kb/d is reached in 2038 and total cumulative C+C output is 24 Gb.