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So Much Tight Oil From So Few Places

There are somewhere around 92,000 HZ tight oil wells in the Bakken, DJ, Permian and Eagle Ford tight oil basins in America (including drilled but uncompleted wells and 8,000 !! plugged or temporarily abandoned wells). Most of those wells are located in just 16-17 counties in four states.

From over drilling core areas and corresponding pressure depletion in all four of America's major tight oil basins, gas to oil ratios are going up and gassy oil wells are turning into oily gas wells. Production levels in three of America's four major tight oil basins peaked in 2019 and it is now taking more wells, longer laterals, more water, more proppant and more capital just to maintain current production levels. That will not continue much longer and production from those three basins will begin to decline, rapidly.

Permian Basin; America's Last Hope

Portions of just 8-9 counties in the giant, Permian Basin account for more than 63% of all HZ tight oil production in the United States and most of that production comes from 2-3 benches in the Upper Wolfcamp formation; see below, from Enverus.

Something like 33% of the 2021 rig count in the Permian Basin was located in the SW portion of Lea County and the SE portion of Eddy Counties in New Mexico where production is still growing ever so slightly.

The Texas portion of the Permian Basin tight oil play, however, is actually declining. Water to oil ratios in Texas portions of the Delaware Basin are escalating at a disproportionate rate to gas to oil ratios and both sub basins in the Permian are making so much produced water from HZ tight oil wells disposing of it is causing significant seismicity events, some near heavily populated areas of West Texas. So serious is the problem the TRRC is shutting down SWD facilities. This is a big time threat to production levels from the Permian.

In Midland County of the Midland Basin, the Permian's top producing county and home of the Permian's top producer, well productivity has been declining since 2017, in spite of longer laterals and more proppant per perforated foot, left.

4.5 MM BOPD (8.21) is a lot of tight, shaley carbonate oil coming from a very few places in the big 'ol Permian Basin and a lot of those places are starting to poop out and have big problems from over drilling. Take those "few places," those heavily saturated core areas, the hearts of the two watermelons, out of the Permian Basin picture and America's last hope for long term oil supply and long term energy security goes from 4. 5MM BOPD down to less that 400,000 BOPD...

And remember, please, 70% of all Permian Basin tight oil production, from just those few counties, gets exported, most of it to Asia, some to China. In spite the bullshit from the tight oil sector and its paid cheerleaders, US crude oil exports offer very little benefit to the American consumer.

The public is being horribly misled about tight oil longevity and that our nation has enough tight oil reserves to spare, to export to other countries. We do not. Our children deserve the hydrocarbon option while the renewable transition occurs. That's a long way down the road.

If you are not worried about all this, you oughta be. Neither goats, nor shale oil, grows on trees...


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