WASHINGTON/NEW YORK, Sept 15 (Reuters) - North America's nascient shale oil fields could one day produce as much crude
as Venezuela, an advisory panel to the U.S. government said on Wednesday in a report urging policies to aid expansion.
The surprisingly optimistic assessment of the country's fastest-growing source of new oil came from the industry-led
National Petroleum Council in a report to Energy Secretary Steven Chu -- but it also came with a warning against excessive
By 2035, shale oil -- also known as "tight oil" because it is sandwiched between hard layers of shale rock -- could produce 2 to 3 million barrels of oil per day given the right regulatory environment and technology breakthroughs, said the panel, which includes a who's who of the oil and gas industry. Output from such fields has jumped from near nil to 600,000 bpd.
The increase in supplies would be equivalent to about a 50 percent boost in current domestic output, but far from enough to replace imports. The United States consumes about 20 million barrels of oil per day, importing about half of that.
But the potential growth in oil production that could come from shale oil, offshore drilling, and the Canadian oilsands belies the conventional wisdom that North American oil production is on an inevitable decline, said Andrew Slaughter, a Shell official who led the council's study of resources.
David Fuller's view This is a cautious report in my view because the USA has the world's largest known reserves of shale oil, in addition to the second largest known reserves of shale gas. Combine these with conventional oil and gas production, a modernised and expanded nuclear power programme plus renewables, and energy self-sufficiency should be obtainable for the USA within twelve to fifteen years. Think what that would do for GDP growth.Back to top