The Three Forks formation in North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana could hold more undiscovered, technically recoverable oil than the Bakken Shale that lies above it, according to the United States Geological Survey’s (USGS) latest assessment.
The mean of the estimate for the two formations’ combined undiscovered, technically recoverable oil is 7.38 billion barrels, effectively doubling the 2008 estimate for the Bakken shale alone. The mean estimate for Bakken oil, at 3.65 bn bbls – the same as in 2008 – is just shy of the Three Forks’ 3.73 bn bbl estimate. Keep reading →
Oil products are needed to fuel the development of, well more oil. Booming oil production in the Bakken formation primarily located in North Dakota and Montana has driven up local demand for diesel fuel used to run the hundreds of rigs and thousands of trucks and locomotives that undergird the industrial supply chain.
“Much of the increase in demand has been fueled by the boom in crude oil production from the new wells in the Bakken Formation in North Dakota’s northwest corner. The demand for these middle distillates rose 80% in North Dakota from 2009 to 2012, providing the incentive to invest in local refineries,” said the EIA in its “Today in Energy” update. Keep reading →
The use of rail cars to transport crude oil in the U.S. reached a record in 2012 and continues to rise, the Association of American Railroads said Thursday.
US refining economics have been under pressure in recent years, particularly on the East Coast, where lack of infrastructure or bottlenecks forced some refineries to process crude imported from overseas markets at prices linked to the more expensive Brent benchmark. But independent refiner PBF Energy saw an opportunity and bought 3 major facilities between late 2010 and early 2011 in an effort to access increasing volumes coming on from the Bakken region and Western Canadian oil sands via rail.
PBF acquired 2 refineries located in Delaware City, Delaware and Paulsboro, New Jersey from Valero with a combined refining capacity of 370,000 b/d. Crude was traditionally transported to these plants via barge and ship along the Delaware River, but PBF constructed a crude rail unloading facility at the Delaware City refinery designed to accept shipments from the Mid-Continent and Western Canada at prices linked to West Texas Intermediate – the US benchmark grade – currently trading at a roughly $20/barrel discount to Brent. Keep reading →
It’s hard to imagine two people less alike than Harold Hamm and Heather Zichal, the top energy advisers to the presidential candidates.
Hamm, energy czar for Mitt Romney, is a billionaire oil man who rose to success with only a high school diploma. Raised as a sharecropper’s son, he is now the 35th richest person in America.
Heather Zichal, President Barack Obama’s deputy assistant for energy and climate change, is the daughter of a medical doctor. She was an intern for the Sierra Club while at Rutgers University. After graduating, she soared up Washington’s policy ranks to a top White House position in little over a decade. Keep reading →
US dependence on imported crude oil is expected to drop to 41% this year, but it could drop even faster, and even to zero, says Adam Sieminski, Administrator of the Energy Information Administration.
EIA’s forecast is a substantial reduction even from 2011, when imports met 45% of US demand, and way below the record year of 2005 when the US imported 60%. Analysts agree that discoveries of new US resources, improvements in US auto fuel economy, and lower overall demand due to the recession have combined to reduce the need for imports. Keep reading →
Prime Minister Stephen Harper (L) of Canada welcomes US President Barack Obama to the G8 Summit at Deerhurst Resort in Huntsville, Ontario, on June 25, 2010.
The recently announced high-profile oil and gas acquisitions by Chinese state-controlled companies highlight the numerous opportunities for the US and Canada to both partner and compete in global energy markets. Keep reading →
Just how quickly domestic US oil and gas plays can begin moving products to market remains a vital question following the Arab Spring, when political changes across the Middle East and North Africa put one third of the world’s oil and natural gas liquids at risk, prompting stockpile releases coordinated by the International Energy Agency.
Planning for new infrastructure spending and other capacity is extremely challenging given the volatile pricing that dependency on a limited number of foreign oil and natural gas sources entails, Frank Verrastro of the Center for Strategic and International Studies says in this video, an edited version of his presentation to the US Association for Energy Economics summit in Washington, DC earlier this year. Keep reading →