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New Assessment: West Texas Oil Field
Dwarfs All Other in U.S.


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U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) geologists say the Midland Basin of the Wolfcamp Shale area in the Permian Basin in West Texas is the largest it has ever assessed in the U.S. The oilfield encompasses the cities of Lubbock and Midland, which are 118 miles apart.


According to a U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) survey (http://tinyurl.com/zbreofe), the Wolfcamp shale in the Midland Basin portion of Texas' Permian Basin will produce 20 billion barrels of oil, 16 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 1.6 billion barrels of natural gas liquids. This resource is nearly three times larger than the 2013 USGS Bakken-Three Forks, North Dakota resource assessment.

USGS says this is the largest estimate of "continuous oil" it has ever assessed in the U.S. "Continuous" or "unconventional" oil accumulation means the oil is dispersed throughout a geologic formation.

USGS has assessed oil and gas resources in the Permian Basin province before, but this is the first assessment of the "continuous oil" resources in the Wolfcamp shale in the Midland Basin portion of the Permian.

Since the 1980s, traditional vertical well drilling has been going on in the Wolfcamp shale in the Midland Basin. More recently, oil and gas companies have been horizontal drilling and doing hydraulic fracturing. Now, more than 3,000 horizontal wells have been drilled in the Midland Basin Wolfcamp section.










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November 23, 2017, 11:25 pm PST

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Last Updated 11-23-17
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