The Utica Shale contains about 38 trillion cubic feet of undiscovered, technically recoverable natural gas (at the mean estimate) according to the first assessment of this continuous (unconventional) natural gas accumulation by the U. S. Geological Survey.
The Utica Shale has a mean of 940 million barrels of unconventional oil resources and a mean of 9 million barrels of unconventional natural gas liquids.
The Utica Shale lies beneath the Marcellus Shale, and both are part of the Appalachian Basin, which is the longest-producing petroleum province in the United States. The Marcellus Shale, at 84 TCF of natural gas, is the largest unconventional gas basin USGS has assessed. This is followed closely by the Greater Green River Basin in southwestern Wyoming, which has 84 TCF of undiscovered natural gas, of which 82 TCF is continuous (tight gas).
“Understanding our domestic oil and gas resource potential is important, which is why we assess emerging plays like the Utica, as well as areas that have been in production for some time” said Brenda Pierce, USGS Energy Resources Program Coordinator. “Publicly available information about undiscovered oil and gas resources can aid policy makers and resource managers, and inform the debate about resource development.”
The Utica Shale assessment covered areas in Maryland, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia.
Some shale rock formations, like the Utica and Marcellus, can be source rocks – those formations from which hydrocarbons, such as oil and gas, originate. Conventional oil and gas resources gradually migrate away from the source rock into other formations and traps, whereas continuous resources, such as shale oil and shale gas, remain trapped within the original source rock.
These new estimates are for technically recoverable oil and gas resources, which are those quantities of oil and gas producible using currently available technology and industry practices, regardless of economic or accessibility considerations.
This USGS assessment is an estimate of continuous oil, gas, and natural gas liquid accumulations in the Upper Ordovician Utica Shale of the Appalachian Basin. The estimate of undiscovered oil ranges from 590 million barrels to 1.39 billion barrels (95 percent to 5 percent probability, respectively), natural gas ranges from 21 to 61 TCF (95 percent to 5 percent probability, respectively), and the estimate of natural gas liquids ranges from 4 to 16 million barrels (95 percent to 5 percent probability, respectively).
USGS is the only provider of publicly available estimates of undiscovered technically recoverable oil and gas resources of onshore lands and offshore state waters. The USGS Utica Shale assessment was undertaken as part of a nationwide project assessing domestic petroleum basins using standardized methodology and protocol.
Fugro (Mexico) in conjunction with long-time associates, Constructora Subacuatica Diavaz, S.A. de C.V., has been awarded a large offshore multi-site high resolution geophysical and geotechnical survey by Mexico’s national oil company PEMEX.
Overall value of the contracts is estimated to be approximately EUR 50 million. Activity is scheduled to start late September 2012 and will continue through to August 2013.
- US Cal Dive, Fugro Enter Strategic Partnership for Toisa Paladin Charter (worldmaritimenews.com)
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) announced yesterday that it was seeking public input on issues that should be tackled by the bureau in preparing an Environmental Assessment for proposed seismic data acquisition activity in Arctic areas of the Alaska Outer Continental Shelf (OCS).
ION Geophysical Corporation has applied to conduct an exploratory 2D marine seismic survey during the fall of 2012. The application proposes conducting operations throughout much of the Beaufort Sea Planning Area, with specific transect lines and segments within the Chukchi Sea Planning Area. Data obtained during this survey would be used by geologists and geophysicists to view and interpret large-scale subsurface geologic structural features and evaluate prospects for oil and gas reserves.
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), an agency under the United States Department of the Interior that manages the exploration and development of the nation’s offshore resources, has also on its website announced ION’s permit application #12-01 and the associated area coverage map. BOEM has also explained the the procedures required for submission of comments, setting the deadline for April 30, 2012. More information can be found at BOEM’s official website.
Below you can see ION’s recent video: Case Study in Challenging
Environments: The Arctic Environment
Top of the world tactics at ION. See the ION approach in action as Joe Gagliardi, Director Arctic Technology & Solutions, tackles the punishing Arctic environment. By combining the capabilities across the company, ION delivers the answers and the technology that allows operators to acquire data further north than ever before and dramatically extends the short working season.
Octanex has been advised by Shell Development (Australia) Pty Ltd (Shell) that it has completed acquisition of the new Tortilla 2D seismic survey in the WA-385-P permit.
The Tortilla survey is a relatively small 783 km 2D marine seismic survey that fulfils the final work commitment for the WA-385-P permit in the current term. It was acquired off the North West Cape of Western Australia, largely within the area of the WA-385-P permit.
The survey also acquired ‘tie lines’ between the planned location for the Palta-1 well (to be drilled in the WA-384-P permit to the north) and previously drilled wells Herdsman-1 and Pendock-1A to the south and Falcone-1A to the north-east.
The acquisition of the Tortilla 2D survey was timed to avoid the humpback whale migration and took place over the last 10 days of March. As part of a range of management measures, Shell elected that the seismic survey would not come within a 10 km buffer zone to the outer boundary of the Ningaloo World Heritage Area.
Shell has committed to drill the Palta-1 exploration well in the WA-384-P permit and has received environmental approval for the drilling operations. The WA-384-P permit is adjacent to WA-385-P where the Tortilla 2D seismic survey was acquired.
Shell has advised that drilling operations on Palta-1 are being planned for Q3 2012, subject to their receiving all required regulatory approvals. The well is to be drilled in water depths of approximately 1350m and to a total depth of 5325m – 5675m. The Octanex Group originally held 100% of the WA-384-P, WA-385-P and WA-394-P permits that are located in the southern Exmouth Sub-basin.
In 2008, Octanex concluded an agreement with Shell for the disposition of a 100% working interest in each of the three permits. Octanex holds residual rights in each of the permits in the form of discovery payments and a 1% royalty over any production from the permits, as well as rights of re- conveyance.
- Namibia: Spectrum Starts Seismic Survey in Luderitz Basin (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Australia: Exmouth Plateau Brings Joy to Chevron (mb50.wordpress.com)
- French Guiana: Shell to Begin Guyane Drilling in Mid 2012 (mb50.wordpress.com)
Spectrum, in partnership with the National Petroleum Corporation of Namibia (NAMCOR), has commenced a new project in the Luderitz basin following the successful completion of an extended 2D Multi-Client seismic survey covering the deep water Orange Basin, offshore Namibia.
The Orange Basin program acquisition has been completed with additional lines now extending the program to over 8,000 km of long offset data. The vessel has now commenced a new regional program in the Luderitz Basin consisting of 4,400 km plus a potential infill of 1,200 km.
Seabird Exploration is providing the acquisition services through their Northern Explorer vessel which performed exceptionally well during January and February. Nearly 4,000 km of high quality data was acquired in February and the extended survey was completed ahead of schedule. Further prefunding has enabled Spectrum to add additional lines to the Orange Basin program and to commence the new Luderitz Basin survey.
There is considerable attention in the area at this time. The new survey is located immediately between the recently announced BP farm-in to the Serica 2513 A&B blocks and the potential in the Petrobras/BP/Chariot 2714A block. Very little seismic data is available over these blocks and Spectrum’s survey will provide both Operators and potential Partners with a good quality regional dataset to evaluate this almost unexplored area.
The Orange Basin survey is now in processing with final deliverables expected to be available in June 2012. The Luderitz basin survey will be available in August.
Over 35,000 km of high-quality 2D multi-client data is now available through Spectrum from offshore Namibia in ten individual surveys. Each survey has been designed to target key plays within the offshore area. The data vintages range from the 1989 regional survey, through to detailed block specific surveys including the 2003 survey acquired around the Ondjou prospect in the northern Walvis Basin. There is also a comprehensive suite of surveys around the Kudu field, as well as covering the Orange and Luderitz Basins.
- Polarcus Acquires 3D Seismic Data Offshore Ivory Coast (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Hyperdynamics Halts Drilling Offshore Guinea (mb50.wordpress.com)