The US Geological Survey (USGS) said that it assessed in Texas the largest oil deposit ever discovered in the country, the agency announced this week. The USGS says an estimated 20 billion barrels of oil, 16 trillion cubic feet of associated natural gas and 1.6 billion barrels of natural gas liquids were located in the Wolfcamp shale in the Midland Basin area of the Permian Basin province in west Texas. The discovery is valued at $900 billion, based on the current West Texas Intermediate $45 per barrel price. This is the largest deposit ever found in the United States and is three times bigger that the one in the North Dakota Bakken-Three Forks oilfields assessed in 2013. "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 from the USGS Energy Resources Program.
Ken Medlock, director of an energy-studies program at Rice University in Houston, says an assessment Tuesday by the U.S. Geological Survey that the Wolfcamp Shale in the Midland-Odessa region could yield 20 billion barrels of oil is another sign that "the revival of the Permian Basin is going to last a couple of decades."
It's a visual juggernaut but make no mistake – this is shale country and in this part of the Lone Star State, legends are born and billions are made every single day. Take Texas natives Cody Campbell and John Sellers, for example. They met in the seventh grade, played football together at Canyon High School and ended up at Texas Tech University. Cody Campbell had a brief stint with the NFL's Indianapolis Colts before starting a career in the oil business (Getty Images) Campbell went on to the NFL, playing as an offensive guard with the Indianapolis Colts while Sellers made money in real estate. In 2009, the two friends started Double Eagle Energy Holding, where they signed lucrative land deals on the hoods of their pickups and lived lease-to-lease.
The United States has overtaken industry giants Saudi Arabia and Russia in recoverable oil reserves, an international study released Monday says. The U.S. is sitting on 264 billion barrels, 8 billion barrels more than Russia and 52 billion more than Saudi Arabia, the dominant member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), according to the report by Rystad Energy, a respected oil and gas consulting firm based in Oslo. Three years ago, the U.S. was behind Russia, Saudi Arabia and Canada in Rystad's estimates of recoverable oil -- barrels that are technologically and economically feasible to extract. "It is an encouraging study," said Saeed Irani, president of Irani Engineering, a Sacramento company that is one of the state's leaders in oil field operations. "It shows that even though our economy is so vast and diverse, oil is still going to play a big part in it."
The shale "business is fast moving, complex and data rich, which makes it well suited for the application of digital technologies to strengthen our operations and help deliver greater value," Staale Gjervik, an Exxon executive focused on developing the Permian Basin, said in a statement. By using Microsoft's cloud technology, Exxon said it expects to generate "billions of dollars in value" over the next decade and boost its oil production by as much as 50,000 barrels per day by 2025. Exxon said it will be able to use third-party solutions including mobile field data apps and artificial intelligence algorithms for analyzing drilling data. Landing Exxon as a client is a big win for Microsoft's soaring Azure platform, which competes with Amazon Web Service and other cloud platforms. Microsoft has focused heavily on the cloud business, which posted a 48% jump in revenue last quarter to $9 billion.