This Week’s Peak Permian Prediction? Why “Peak Permian” is sort of an oxymoron.

Visitor “déjà vu once more” by David Middleton

Midwest Capital Advisers

Will The Permian Peak This 12 months?

By Anes Alic – Jan 16, 2020

Ticker: Just some years again, the U.S. shale trade was drowning in a sea of hubris, with pompous  specialists making outrageous claims such because the Permian Shale is a near-infinite useful resource because of the basin’s explosive manufacturing development within the latter half of the final decade.


To be honest, Mr. Waterous appears to have vested pursuits within the shale saga contemplating that his PE agency has been selecting up distressed vitality property on a budget.


Definitely not everybody shares Waterous’ “Peak Permian in 2020” view, with BloombergNEF analyst Tai Liu saying the shale oil pessimism is overdone. 

Certainly, the overall consensus is that the US shale trade nonetheless has some room to run, with manufacturing within the present 12 months anticipated to proceed to rise, albeit at a slower tempo.

However, it’s additionally noteworthy that Waterous is hardly alone in his gloomy shale outlook.


Anes Alic is a veteran investigative journalist and author whose work in every thing from anti-terrorism and high-level politics, to trade, investing and IT has received him worldwide accolades. He’s the previous director of ISA Intel international due diligence operations. He’s based mostly in the USA.

Oil Value Dot Com

The article was largely a rehash of final week’s Peak Permian prediction; however a minimum of included some opposite commentary.

Earlier than studying the opposite commentary, I used to be all set to mercilessly ridicule this intrepid investigative journalist for this mindbogglingly idiotic remark:

Just some years again, the U.S. shale trade was drowning in a sea of hubris, with pompous  specialists making outrageous claims such because the Permian Shale is a near-infinite useful resource because of the basin’s explosive manufacturing development within the latter half of the final decade.

As an alternative of mercilessly ridiculing the intrepid investigative journalist, I’ll simply clarify, at nice size, why his remark was mindbogglingly idiotic

He’s referring to a 2017 Mark Perry AEI weblog put up a couple of Forbes interview of Drilling Information’s Allen Gilmer. The “near-infinite useful resource” remark had nothing to to with “the basin’s explosive manufacturing development within the latter half of the final decade.” On the time it was written, the Permian Basin was producing 2.5 million barrels of oil per day (bbl/d), up from 1 million bbl/d in 2011. As of January 2020, it’s producing over four.Eight million bbl/d. A lot of the “explosive manufacturing development” occurred after Mr. Gilmer described the Permian Basin as a “close to infinite useful resource”… as a result of that’s what it’s.

“We must always view the Permian Basin as a everlasting useful resource,” he says, “The Permian is finest seen as a close to infinite useful resource – we’ll by no means produce the final drop of financial oil from the Basin.”


In keeping with EIA estimates, the Permian Basin is now producing greater than 2.5 million barrels of oil per day (see prime chart), which is an annual price of almost 1 billion barrels of oil. If Gilmer’s estimate is appropriate that the Permian Basin holds an extra half a trillion barrels of recoverable oil, that may be a 500-year provide of oil on the present manufacturing stage, and at 2 trillion barrels, a 2,000 12 months provide! And if that’s an correct forecast of Permian Basin reserves, Gilmer’s description of the Permian Basin as a “everlasting, close to infinite useful resource” makes excellent sense as a result of the chance is fairly near zero that we’ll be utilizing fossil fuels even 100 years from now, a lot much less 500 years or 2,000 years sooner or later.

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Mark Perry, AEI

Investor sentiment has nothing to do with the vastness of the Permian Basin useful resource… Nor does it have something to do with whether or not or not the expansion of Permian Basin oil manufacturing slows, plateaus and even briefly declines in 2020. That is completely pushed by oil costs, geology and expertise. The geology and expertise current no boundaries to Permian Basin oil manufacturing rising to 9 million bbl/d over the subsequent few years.

The one factor that may sluggish this down is a persistently low oil value.

This Texas space is anticipated to double oil output to eight million barrels in simply 4 years, boosting US exports
Patti Domm


“There’s loads of shale capability being ready. There’s loads of pipeline capability. We’re going to triple pipelines going into the market from three to 9 million in three years, from final 12 months to late 2021,” stated Francisco Blanch, head of commodities and derivatives at Financial institution of America Merrill Lynch.


Citigroup vitality analyst Eric Lee stated Permian output at slightly below four million barrels a day is up about 1 million barrels from a 12 months in the past and needs to be 1,000,000 extra, or 5 million a day, a 12 months from now, in early 2020. The Permian has benefited from constant enhancements in expertise, which more and more have been able to extracting extra oil from the shale formation.

“We’re blissful to look out to 2023, when it will get to eight million. … They found out easy methods to entry it at very low break-evens, like $30/$40. … There are extra layers under it. It’s onerous to know what these are going to imply, break-even-wise,” stated Lee. His estimates rely on the value of crude and world oil demand. Breakeven is the value a producer of a barrel of oil must get better bills, or the place a producer breaks even.



The Permian Basin is fracking YUGE!

The Permian Basin is usually mistakenly known as an oil subject. It’s house to greater than 7,000 oil fields.The Permian Basin is in comparison with different “shale” oil performs, just like the Eagle Ford. Nonetheless, it’s house to greater than a dozen oil performs. These are sometimes stacked. The Permian Basin is sort of a dozen Eagle Ford performs or a dozen Bakken performs stacked on prime of each other.The Permian Basin is definitely a set of three basins (Delaware, Midland and Val Verde) and a number of other different main tectonic options. It’s a Tremendous Basin.

Determine 1. Main “shale” performs of the contiguous United States. (EIA)

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Determine 2. Zoomed in on Texas.

The main performs of the Permian Basin are “stacked.” Discovering stacked pay is like getting a pony for Christmas. Discovering stacked performs is like getting herd of Unicorn ponies for Christmas.

Determine three. Schematic cross-section of the Permian Basin, click on to enlarge. (SEG Wiki)

The three main tectonic options from west to east are:

Delaware BasinCentral Basin PlatformMidland Basin

Determine four. Main tectonic options of the Permian Basin, click on to enlarge. (EIA)

Why “Peak Permian” is sort of an oxymoron

As I discussed earlier, the Permian Basin is akin to a dozen Eagle Fords or Bakkens. The Wolfcamp/Bone Spring play, by itself, is greater than the Eagle Ford and Bakken/Three Forks mixed… And the Permian Basin remains to be rising.

That is from the EIA’s 2018 proved reserves report, printed in December 2019:

Determine 5. Crude oil manufacturing and proved reserves from chosen shale performs. (EIA)

Zoomed in on Wolfcamp/Bone Spring, Bakken/Three Forks and Eagle Ford.

12 months-end 2018:

Million Barrels2018 Manufacturing 2018 Proved ReservesWolfcamp/Bone Spring                          
11,096 Bakken/Three Forks                          
458                                   5,862 Eagle Ford                          
449                                   four,734 Bakken + Eagle Ford                          

The Eagle Ford could have hit peak manufacturing in 2015, though manufacturing has considerably recovered from the 2014-2016 value crash.

Determine 6. Eagle Ford oil manufacturing and rig productiveness. (EIA)

Determine 7. Eagle Ford and Texas crude oil manufacturing at similar scale. (EIA)

Whereas it’s fairly doable that increased oil costs would possibly result in Eagle Ford manufacturing exceeding its 2015 peak in some unspecified time in the future sooner or later, let’s assume that 2015 was the Eagle Ford’s Hubbert peak. The Eagle Ford climbed from about 100,000 bbl/d to just about 1.Eight million bbl/d in simply 4 years. The Permian Basin climbed from 1 million bbl/d to just about 5 million bbl/d in 9 years.

Determine Eight. Permian Basin oil manufacturing and rig productiveness. (EIA)

Determine 9. Permian Basin and Texas crude oil manufacturing at similar scale. (EIA)

Million Barrels2018 Proved ReservesPermian Basin (approx.)                               
16,816 Eagle Ford                                  four,734

The 2018 proved reserves of the Permian Basin had been three.5 instances that of the Eagle Ford. Assuming an analogous Hubbert-like curve for the Permian Basin, it ought to take about 14 years for the Permian to achieve peak manufacturing. That is very a lot inline with reaching Eight-9 million bbl/d over the subsequent 5 years. In fact, this assumes that we don’t discover one thing that we didn’t even know to search for yesterday and that there aren’t any main technological breakthroughs. If the Permian Basin is definitely 12 instances the scale of the Eagle Ford, Peak Permian received’t happen till about 2050… It’d as nicely be an infinite useful resource. Peak oil is solely the utmost manufacturing price achieved in a reservoir, subject, play, basin, and so on. It’s an actual factor and it’s fairly nicely irrelevant.

Peak Permian is just like the the reality within the X-Information. It’s “on the market” someplace.

There have to be a pony in there someplace!

The Pony Joke.

“Over lunch as we speak I requested Ed Meese about one in every of Reagan’s favourite jokes. ‘The horse joke?’ Meese replied. ‘Certain I bear in mind it. If I heard him inform it as soon as, I heard him inform it a thousand instances.’”

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“The joke considerations twin boys of 5 – 6. Anxious that the boys had developed excessive personalities – one was a complete pessimist, the opposite a complete optimist – their mother and father took them to a psychiatrist.”

“First the psychiatrist handled the pessimist. Making an attempt to brighten his outlook, the psychiatrist took him to a room piled to the ceiling with brand-new toys. However as a substitute of yelping with delight, the little boy burst into tears. ‘What’s the matter?’ the psychiatrist requested, baffled. ‘Don’t you wish to play with any of the toys?’ ‘Sure,’ the little boy bawled, ‘but when I did I’d solely break them.’”

“Subsequent the psychiatrist handled the optimist. Making an attempt to dampen his out look, the psychiatrist took him to a room piled to the ceiling with horse manure. However as a substitute of wrinkling his nostril in disgust, the optimist emitted simply the yelp of pleasure the psychiatrist had been hoping to listen to from his brother, the pessimist. Then he clambered to the highest of the pile, dropped to his knees, and started gleefully digging out scoop after scoop together with his naked palms. ‘What do you suppose you’re doing?’ the psychiatrist requested, simply as baffled by the optimist as he had been by the pessimist. ‘With all this manure,’ the little boy replied, beaming, ‘there have to be a pony in right here someplace!’”

– excerpted from How Ronald Reagan Modified My Life by Peter Robinson

The Monday Morning Memo

The model of the joke I bear in mind, or perhaps simply made up, is that little Johnny (if it isn’t Boudreaux & Thibodeaux, it’s all the time little Johnny) was an everlasting optimist (destined to turn into a petroleum geologist). Although he misplaced his father and his mom married a imply outdated SOB, he remained an everlasting optimist. The imply outdated SOB stepfather, Joe Biden if I bear in mind appropriately, hated little Johnny’s everlasting optimism… So one Christmas Eve, he dumped a YUGE pile of horst schist underneath the tree. The following morning, Joe was shocked to see little Johnny gleefully dive into the pile of horst schist as if he was digging for treasure. Joe stated, “What the hell are you so blissful about?” Johnny replied, “With all of this horst schist, there have to be a pony in there someplace!”

Certainly one of my favourite issues to do is to tear aside outdated oil fields, searching for what the earlier operators missed. Every time, I’ve been assigned an outdated subject that gave the impression to be on its final legs, I all the time say, “There have to be a pony in there someplace!” And there normally is.

Concerning the creator of this WUWT put up

In case you don’t already know, or haven’t figured it out, I’ve been a geologist/geophysicist within the oil & gasoline trade since 1981.

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