USGS Estimates Size of Wolfcamp

By: Michael K. Reer

On November 15, 2016, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated that the Wolfcamp shale in the Permian Basin contains 20 billion barrels of oil, 16 trillion cubic feet of associated natural gas, and 1.6 billion barrels of natural gas liquids.  The USGS estimate makes the Wolfcamp shale the largest estimated continuous oil accumulation found in the United States. 

USGS estimated the size of the Wolfcamp as part of a nationwide project designed to assess domestic petroleum basins using standardized methodology and protocol.  USGS estimates continuous oil based upon undiscovered, technically recoverable resources.  The Wolfcamp is part of the Wolfberry play near Midland, Texas, which has seen a resurgence of activity since the advent of hydraulic fracturing.
Monday, November 21, 2016

Western Energy Alliance, IPAA Challenge BLM Methane Regulations

By: Michael K. Reer

On November 15, 2016, the Western Energy Alliance and the Independent Petroleum Association of America filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Wyoming, challenging the Bureau of Land Management's final rule; "Waste Prevention, Production Subject to Royalties, and Resources Conservation."

While the rule has been finalized by BLM, it has yet to be published in the Federal Register. As proposed, the rule would regulate venting, flaring, and leaks during oil and natural gas production activities on onshore federal and Indian leases. The regulations would also clarify when produced natural gas lost through venting, flaring, or leaks is subject to royalties, and when oil and natural gas used on site would be royalty-free.

The lawsuit alleges that the final rule seeks to regulate air quality from oil and natural gas production facilities on non-federal lands, which the plaintiffs allege is a function delegated exclusively to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The lawsuit also alleges that the final rule is an abuse of discretion, arbitrary and capricious, not supported by the administrative record, and procedurally deficient.
Thursday, November 17, 2016

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