Hope for U.S. Oil: Where It Could Come From

10 Feb 2012

I have a long article on National Geographic News today about hope for a “great revival” of U.S. oil production—along with more sober assessments of how much the country might be able to boost production, and where it would come from.

Here are more details on the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s latest outlook, published in Jan 2012, of where that additional oil production could come from, using data that I got from them that underlies their projections but that has not been published on their website or in their reports.

They foresee a sharp change in the decline of conventional oil fields in the lower 48 states—but not enough to make a significant boost in production, or prevent a downward slide later.

To get the production level up significantly would require a hearty dose of enhanced oil recovery, from pumping CO2 into fields to flush out recalcitrant fluids, as well as big efforts to frack more tight oil (aka shale oil) deposits, as well as deepwater fields.

And to put it in a longer-term perspective, here’s the whole history of U.S. crude oil production, along with the EIA’s latest projection.


books I've read on failure & grace

The World Without Us
The Last Oil Shock: A Survival Guide to the Imminent Extinction of Petroleum Man
A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities That Arise in Disaster
Hell and High Water: Global Warming--the Solution and the Politics--and What We Should Do
The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl
The Tipping Point
Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace... One School at a Time
The Upside of Down: Catastrophe, Creativity and the Renewal of Civilization
Out of Poverty: What Works When Traditional Approaches Fail
The Little Ice Age: How Climate Made History, 1300-1850
Confessions of an Eco-Sinner: Tracking Down the Sources of My Stuff
Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future
The Geography of Bliss: One Grump's Search for the Happiest Places in the World

Mason's favorite books »