Energy Resources Program
Friday, July 27, 2018
Tuesday, June 26, 2018
The application of horizontal and hydraulically fractured wells for producing oil from low permeability formations has changed the face of the North American oil industry. One feature of the production profile of many such wells is a transition from transient linear oil flow...
Wednesday, November 29, 2017
Wednesday, August 02, 2017
Monday, July 17, 2017
The U.S. Geological Survey has evaluated three methods for estimating how much oil and gas could be produced by injecting carbon dioxide (CO2) into petroleum reservoirs.
Wednesday, September 07, 2016
Outside Publication: Natural Resources Research
Carbon capture from stationary sources and geologic storage of carbon dioxide (CO2) is an important option to include in strategies to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. However, the potential costs of commercial-scale CO2 storage are not well constrained, stemming from the inherent uncertainty in storage resource estimates coupled with a lack of detailed estimates of the infrastructure needed to...
Monday, August 01, 2016
Wednesday, May 04, 2016
Thursday, March 03, 2016
The members of this project have prepared a number of analyses that constitute the economic components of energy resource assessments. They have also proposed enhancements to geologic assessment data and methods that make results of assessments immediately amenable to economic analysis. In addition, they apply theoretically sound valuation methodologies to assess the commercial value of currently marginal oil and gas resources, such as heavy oil, natural bitumen, stranded gas, and resources in high cost environments.
The U.S. Geological Survey prepares geologic assessments of undiscovered and undeveloped (identified) oil and gas resources (see National Oil and Gas Assessment website). In addition to our USGS oil and gas geologic assessments, economic research gives policymakers and analysts in the private sector additional information by scaling economic variables. Economic attributes must include the costs of finding, developing, and producing undiscovered and undeveloped resources for both conventional and unconventional oil and gas occurrences. This research activity provides for the economic analysis of selected USGS energy resource geologic assessments so that government policymakers and industry decision makers have information on what part of the resource is commercial and, if currently produced, how long production can be sustained. Another thrust of this ongoing research is to propose enhancements in assessment methods that would permit more transparency in the economic analysis of the assessed resource.
During the last decade many producing countries have reassigned conventional oil and gas development rights to their national oil companies (NOCs). In fact the 13 largest energy companies, when measured by oil and gas reserves, are controlled by sovereign governments. The result is that the NOC’s will control a significant share of future oil and gas production. The international oil companies (IOCs) are relegated to minority project partners, contractors, or to marginally economic hydrocarbon resources. These latter resources may require special extraction technologies because of location, environment, or because they are unconventional. The largest part of the remaining hydrocarbon resource base is associated with unconventional oil and gas resources. These resources include stranded gas, heavy oil, and natural bitumen; resources that historically did not enter established markets because of quality, location, or extraction technology. The resource volumes that make up these massive accumulations must be scaled by economic variables for energy policy analysts and industry decision makers to predict when these resources will enter international oil and gas supplies. Research focuses on development of theoretically sound methods to value these marginal resources and to characterize the commercial and social costs of their development.
USGS Podcast (Episode 155): USGS Economic Analysis Updated for the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska (NPRA)
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A Strategy for Low Cost Development of Incremental Oil in Legacy Reservoirs (OnePetro)
Page Last Modified: Monday, May 23, 2016