gokeefe wrote:Sure, on to the next one. Just imagine how long it will take before that runs out. Probably not in most of our lifetimes.Hard to say. You are probably right that it won't be North Dakota's last oil boom, it definitely isn't their first. Most people speculate that what is going on in ND could last 10-20 years but for all we know it could dry-up in as little as 5 if oil prices were back at $110 a barrel, given current technology.
No real predicting how long before it runs out, just depends on who you talk to. If you line all the industry experts up from end to end, they would not reach a conclusion. New reserves are continually being discovered, AND technology is making other reserves accessible which were not previously.
Ultimately, economics drive it all. Fracing is a technology that has been around since the late 40's, horizontal drilling has been around since about the 80's. However, it wasn't until oil got to around $100 a barrel that the widespread use of them became profitable.
However, both technologies have improved DRASTICALLY in the last few years. In 2011, it took about a month to drill a horizontal well. Fracing a well allowed for about 60%-70% recovery of the oil in that well (meaning 30%-40% was left in the ground). Break even point of this process $65-$70 a barrel.
These days it takes about a week to drill a horizontal well, and fracturing allows nearly full recovery. Break even point is about $45-$50 a barrel. Read an article the other day claiming its down to $30 a barrel which although technically could be true, it is unsustainable as it is resulting from the contractor doing work at well below cost right now.
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