In 1956, M. King Hubbert established the first scientific model behind peak oil to accurately predict the height of U.S. oil production.
Hubbert, a well-known geologist, theorized that oil production would peak between 1965 and 1970.
In 1971, oil production did indeed peak. And, for the last 50 years, Hubbert’s theory has held true as global oil production has been in gradual decline since that time. However, new discoveries in the Gulf and the rise of unconventional resource plays across the nation are drilling a metaphorical hole in the peak oil argument. America’s newfound resources are not only challenging peak oil, but they are also building the case for U.S. energy independence.
According to data from the U.S. Energy Information Agency, U.S. oil production peaked at 9.6 million barrels, and despite short-term reversals, has been in constant decline to 4.95 million barrels per day by 2008. But today we see oil production on the rise.
U.S. oil production has seen a gradual increase to approximately 5.5 million barrels per day. A large portion of this increase has come from oil shale plays like the Bakken in North Dakota and the Eagleford in south Texas. On top of that, we are producing more natural gas than ever in history. In this year alone, we will have produced nearly 30 trillion cubic feet of natural gas from offshore and onshore resources.
Without question, the use of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing has unleashed these vast reserves and led to the inevitable lowering of U.S. dependence on imported oil by a quarter — from 60 percent of overall oil consumption a few years ago to about 46 percent currently.
On Dec. 6, the Institute for Energy Research released a groundbreaking report claiming that the amount of oil that is technically recoverable in the U.S. is more than 1.4 trillion barrels, with the largest deposits located offshore, in portions of Alaska, and in shale deposits throughout the country. The report estimates that when combined with resources from Canada and Mexico, total recoverable oil in North America exceeds nearly 1.7 trillion barrels.
To put this into perspective, the largest producer in the world, Saudi Arabia, has about 260 billion barrels of oil in proved reserves. It’s suggested that the technically recoverable oil in North America could fuel the U.S. with 7 billion barrels per year for almost 250 years.
So, what does this mean for our energy future? For starters, it could mean the end of our reliance on imported oil from unfriendly nations.
In April 2006, Saudi Aramco admitted that it’s facing a national composite oil production decline of 2 percent per year, and its mature fields are declining at a rate of 8 percent per year. Additionally, OPEC has estimated that the world’s production of nonconventional oil will reach 8.4 million barrels a day by 2035. By then, they estimate that 6.6 million (or nearly 80 percent) of that will be produced in North America.
The global energy balance is shifting, and the U.S. could soon find itself at the top of list of the world’s oil and gas producing countries.
While primary global sources of energy are in decline, the U.S. is experiencing a renaissance in fossil fuel production.
Don Briggs is president of the Louisiana Oil & Gas Association.
Shoppers familiar with Louisiana-based Rouses Market might be surprised when they walk into the new third location set to open at the Corner of Johnston Street and Duhon Road south the Acadiana Mall on Wednesday.
Noted architect and co-founder/principal of Architects Southwest receives highest honor given to former student.
Know an innovator, job creator and visionary with a penchant for hard work? We want to know that person.
If you care about the wellbeing of Louisiana’s college students, vote against Amendments 1 and 2.
A Mandeville media consultant with big name political connections pleaded guilty Monday to a series of federal mail fraud charges.
Despite a decline in global oil prices affecting the outlook for domestic ethylene producers, South African company moves forward.
1,595 rigs were exploring for oil and 332 for gas. A year ago there were 1,738 active rigs.
Prestigious honor annually recognizes a single attorney for excellence in public interest/pro bono work.
JPMorgan Chase is giving $1 million to Louisiana's community and technical colleges, to help with workforce training efforts to match students to available jobs.
Law firm unveils newly renovated 200-year-old building.
UL grad named web developer at BBR Creative
Lafayette-based emergency department staffing and management company raises $120 million in senior credit facilities through GE Capital, Healthcare Financial Services.
High-rise apartment building, parking garage, hotel and retail part of new development.
The number of Louisianans with jobs continued to set records in September, but the state's unemployment rate kept rising.
Louisiana is drowning, quickly.
An investment group led by Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets will buy the Louisiana power company Cleco for $3.4 billion.
Local developer’s Lake Charles Gardens LLC purchases buildings and leases; land still owned by Dugas family.
Economist Loren Scott says Louisiana is in the midst of an industrial boom unlike any other in its history, with more than $100 billion in industrial projects either under construction or in the engineering and design phase.
The Louisiana Treasury holds $18 million in Israel Bonds — bonds that earn 2.868 percent when the three-year U.S. Treasury is yielding 1.08 percent.
ABiz celebrates another class of Acadiana's most influential female trailblazers, the Lourdes Foundation honors a local philanthropist and MedExpress in Opelousas celebrates its 22nd year as the “little ambulance service that could.”
Is Louisiana’s O&G industry ready to head south of the border?
Downtown’s newest live-work space for creatives doubles as a gallery for other upcoming artists to show their work.
A maritime case originating in Lafayette federal court could become a game changer for the oil and gas industry.
Here’s what’s at stake in the November Senate race — regardless of whether Republicans gain control of the upper chamber.
From the publisher’s in-box: ABiz reaches out to Lake Charles, time to “Come Home, Louisiana,” and now accepting nominations for Entrepreneur of the Year.