Oil explorers in the U.S. state of Texas say they’ve discovered the largest deposit of shale oil in a region known as the Permian Basin.
U.S. drilling activity is increasingly concentrated in the Permian Basin, which spans parts of western Texas and southeastern New Mexico.
The Permian now holds nearly as many active oil rigs as the rest of the United States combined, including both onshore and offshore rigs, and it is the only region in EIA’s Drilling Productivity Report where crude oil production is expected to increase for the third consecutive month.
The so-called Wolfcamp formation, explorers believe, could hold up to 20 billion barrels of oil, worth up to $900 billion.
The find could be three times bigger than the state of North Dakota’s Bakken rock formation, the largest find of unconventional oil ever discovered.
A government spokesperson underscored the historic nature of the finding in a release.
«The fact that this is the largest assessment of continuous oil we have ever done just goes to show that, even in areas that have produced billions of barrels of oil, there is still the potential to find billions more,» said Walter Guidroz, for the USGS Energy Resources Program. «Changes in technology and industry practices can have significant effects on what resources are technically recoverable, and that’s why we continue to perform resource assessments throughout the United States and the world.»
The find also gives credence to those who think the Permian Basin could hold up to 75 billion barrels of shale oil.
That would be the second largest in the world, behind Saudi Arabia’s Ghawar field.
To read this news in Russian.