<< Chapter < Page Chapter >> Page >

Rapid decline rates in shale wells are not only reasons for caution in predicting U.S. oil independence over the next few years. Fracking as practiced in the U.S. is expensive ($5 million per well and up). High prices, reaching a peak of over $120 per barrel (2014) have attracted high investment levels in shale-bearing regions. Fracking operations turn out to be quite sensitive to oil prices. From June 2014 to mid-November 2014, oil prices per bbl. (Brent prices)

The reader should be aware that there are two distinct benchmark prices for petroleum: the Brent price and the price for West Texas crude. The Brent price (named after the Belgian port) is typically used in reference to prices in Europe, Africa, South Asia and parts of East Asia. The West Texas crude price is ordinarily quoted for U.S.-source crude.

The Brent price is typically 10% to 15% above that of West Texas crude. In July 2014, the Brent price was $115 per barrel, versus $106 for West Texas crude. Both prices dropped sharply by December 2014: the Brent price was $60/ bbl., while that for West Texas crude was $55. This figure is based on a sample of operating costs in eight large independent firms. Some firms, however, have costs exceeding $40/bbl. The sample is cited in the Economist, December 6, 2014. p.81.

fell by 30%, to $82.00 and then to $62.00/bbl. in mid-December. The International Energy Agency predicted that this price decline, if not reversed, could lead to a 10% decline at least in U.S. shale investments in 2015. This would eventually place at risk any sustained energy independence for the U.S. By January 2015 the price of Texas crude had fallen to $48.00/bbl. Even if oil prices were to fall below $50/bbl, wells that are already in place would continue to produce, because capital costs have already been sunk. Operational (variable) costs lie well below $50 for all but the most inefficient firms. Operational costs of independent drillers in 2014 averaged less than $20/bbl. This even at $50/bbl oil would continue to flow from wells already in place, but at the rapid decline rates noted above.

In any case, it is apparent that the combination of the innovation of directional drilling and octopus drilling with changes in fracturing practices that has been responsible for the huge recent increases in gas and oil output reserves in the U.S. and elsewhere, especially from shale formations.

By 2015 the shale boom in the quest for hydrocarbons has hardly begun in the rest of the world, especially in emerging nations (see Figure 15-6).

The reader may wonder why the discussion on shale, directional drilling/fracking has been presented in such detail. There is in fact a very good reason. These developments have already begun to materially change the world energy picture, not only as it pertains to developed nations, but to emerging nations as well. Notable environmental risks may also be involved. But that is not all. The reverberations from shale will resound down through the next 30 years, and will affect the lives of hundreds of millions worldwide.

Questions & Answers

Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
Got questions? Join the online conversation and get instant answers!
Jobilize.com Reply

Get the best Algebra and trigonometry course in your pocket!

Source:  OpenStax, Economic development for the 21st century. OpenStax CNX. Jun 05, 2015 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11747/1.12
Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google Inc.

Notification Switch

Would you like to follow the 'Economic development for the 21st century' conversation and receive update notifications?