More On Upside-Down Peak Oil in US
US oil production peaked in 1970 at 9.637 million bpd. But US oil production in the US for 2009 is on schedule to achieve 5.268 million bpd -- more than any year since 2004. Oil imports have been dropping recently.
Projections from the U.S. Minerals Management Service (MMS) indicate that the primary driver for this year's U.S. oil production resurgence is actually just getting started. That driver is the Gulf of Mexico, where operators have begun launching a group of new fields, fulfilling what has been a decade-long focus on unlocking the promise of deepwater exploration there.When oil production enters a long term expansion after a supposed 30 year old peak, it may be time for peak oil disciples to re-assess the meaning of their religion.
In its reporting, Platts concluded that with the jump in the Gulf of Mexico, combined with the emergence of two other new oil-production trends, it appears the U.S. has a chance of at least maintaining oil output in the range of five million to six million b/d for some years to come. "We see it above five million barrels per day for the next 10 years or so," Platts quoted Peter Jackson, senior director for IHS CERA, as saying. "There is still a tremendous amount of exploration potential in the U.S. and that plateau could be sustained."
The Gulf posted its biggest oil production year in 2002 with 1.556 million b/d, but only 61% of that total came from deepwater. In contrast, this year the MMS projects oil output of 1.213 million b/d with 76% from deepwater as the Gulf ramps toward an expected new oil production record of 1.635 million b/d by 2011
Besides growth in the Gulf, those other trends involve further development of the Bakken Shale oil play in North Dakota and success by a group of operators now training their onshore exploration sights toward new oil targets at the expense of natural gas.
The development of the Bakken into a robust, new oil province is well under way, according to data from EIA. Bakken oil output has already elevated North Dakota into fifth place among U.S. states for oil production with average daily output of 202,000 b/d at the end of 2008. But that number already appears to be old, even though is was 50% more than 2007 figures. For example, in June of this year, production in North Dakota had climbed to 215,000 b/d. _BusinessInsider
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