The US has surpassed Russia by volume of recoverable oil reserves


The US surpassed Russia and Saudi Arabia in recoverable oil reserves: 264 billion barrels vs 256 billion barrels and 212 billion barrels, respectively, it follows from the results of the analysis of about 60 thousand oil fields that the Norwegian consulting company Rystad Energy has conducted in the past three years. More than half of these stocks accounts for unconventional shale oil, noted in a research note Rystad. We are basically talking about shale resources to be developed in the long term after 2025. Only one Texas has reserves of shale oil in the amount of 60 billion barrels — more than the amount of recoverable oil reserves of China (59 billion barrels) and Kuwait (52 billion barrels), according to the company.

In the US there can give us surprises and increase the recoverable reserves, whereas other countries hardly commented on FT insights research analyst at Rystad Energy Per Magnus Nysveen, citing the recent discovery of oil deposits in the Permian basin, located in the territory of the States of Texas and new Mexico. “Three years ago, USA with recoverable reserves behind Russia, Canada and Saudi Arabia.

A significant increase of recoverable reserves (at least in 2014) as key fields, as well as on pending projects — a consequence of the improvement of the whole spectrum used by the enterprises know-how, senior analyst at Rystad Energy Artem Abramov. In particular, many companies have successfully tested seal technology, well spacing (down spacing), which in some cases doubled estimates of recoverable reserves. So, if wells were drilled based on 80 acres (323 749 sq. m) per well, and now it’s dropped to 40 acres (161 874 sq. m.) without loss in yield of wells. Actively implemented method of commissioning of the wells using the slick water (slickwater) mixtures with low concentrations of proppant and high concentration of water, which is pumped at a rate of 100 barrels per minute at a hydraulic fracturing. The transition to this technology has allowed many operators to increase the expected recoverable reserves (Estimated Ultimate Recovery) by 50-70% per well. EOG Resources has successfully tested the injection of gas into wells in the field Eagle Ford, which led to the increase of 30%. However, the introduction of this technology everywhere will take at least a couple of years, said Abramov.

According to other estimates, for example according to the BP Statistical Review, the United States continues to lag behind in stocks not only Russia and Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, Canada, Iraq and Kuwait: the proven reserves of the US are only 55 billion barrels, while Saudi Arabia five times more (266,6 billion barrels), and Russia — in two (102,4 billion barrels.). But BP, in its review, based on official data, which are sometimes distorted, analysts Rystad Energy. The company uses a single standard to the assessment of stocks in all countries, they stressed.

According to the company, the total volume of world oil reserves is of 2.09 trillion barrels (BP – 1.7 trillion barrels), which is 70 times the current world production — 30 billion barrels per year. For comparison: prior to 2015, the world had produced 1.3 trillion barrels of oil. Unconventional oil accounts for 30% of recoverable world reserves. The data obtained are evidence that the planet has a relatively limited volume of recoverable oil, says Rystad Energy. Given the expected growth of the global vehicle fleet from 1 billion to 2 billion cars within the next 30 years oil will not be able to meet the increasing demand for energy related to the increase in the number of private vehicles, says the company.

Although the volume of reserves is a key factor, the cost of production is no less important, the FT said Richard Mallinson of London consulting firm Energy Aspects. “The increase in the United States does not diminish the role of neither Saudi Arabia nor Russia, whose cost of production is one of the lowest in the world,” he said. According to the head of “Rosneft” Igor Sechin, the cost of production of his company is only $2.1 per barrel. The CEO of BP, Robert Dudley, admitted in June that this is one of the lowest pokazateley in the world.