‘Christmas came early’: New energy reserve may be largest ever in U.S.

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by WorldTribune Staff, December 24, 2018

What is believed to be the largest oil and natural gas reserve ever assessed in the United States has been discovered in Texas and New Mexico, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

The Wolfcamp Shale and overlying Bone Spring Formation in the Delaware Basin portion of Texas and New Mexico’s Permian Basin revealed underground petroleum reserves that may potentially hold up to 46.3 billion barrels of oil, 281 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 20 billion barrels of natural gas liquids, the USGS reported earlier this month.

“Christmas came a few weeks early this year,” departing U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke said in a press release.

“American strength flows from American energy, and as it turns out, we have a lot of American energy. Before this assessment came down, I was bullish on oil and gas production in the United States. Now, I know for a fact that American energy dominance is within our grasp as a nation.”

A four-year assessment on the deposit found that it has nearly three times more oil and gas than the USGS found in 2013 in North Dakota’s Bakken shale. To get to the oil and gas, companies will most likely need to use hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

“This is really bad news for places like Russia and Iran,” Raymond Woodward of BHL Consulting, Inc in Tyler, Texas, told easttexasmatters.com. “Its relatively bad news for OPEC and perhaps Nigeria and a lot of exporting countries.”

The American Petroleum Institute (API) applauded the latest USGS assessment.

The USGS announcement “reflects yet another benefit of America’s shale energy revolution,” Mike Sommers, API’s president and CEO, said in a statement emailed to Rigzone. “Now the world’s largest producer of natural gas and oil, the United States is a global energy leader at the same time we are driving down GHG emissions.”

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