University of Texas, Austin

To examine the capability of U.S. shale oil to contribute significantly to oil supply for the next 20 years, under various economic and technology assumptions

  • Amount $1,516,462
  • City Austin, TX
  • Investigator Scott Tinker
  • Initiative Shale Gas
  • Year 2013
  • Program Research
  • Sub-program Energy and Environment

The Bakken Shale in North Dakota and the Eagle Ford Shale in Texas are currently producing well over a million barrels of shale oil per day and have been largely responsible for the recent increase in U.S. domestic oil production and the reduction in U.S. oil imports. Understanding the productive capacity of these plays is essential to understanding how shale oil is likely to shape the future of U.S. energy production. Funds from this grant support a project by the University of Texas at Austin’s Bureau of Economic Geology (BEG) to model the current and future productive capacity of the Bakken and Eagle Ford shale oil plays. Using government and industrial data—some public, some proprietary—the BEG team will conduct a well-by-well analysis to determine the total oil and gas resources in each play, perform decline analyses; calculate current technically recoverable resources; assess acreage drained by existing wells and locations remaining to be drilled; and build a production outlook model that projects the development of acreage and economic reserves over the next 20 years in each basin, given a variety of assumptions about the pace of technology improvement, logistical constraints, and well economics.

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