And also, the Big Green environmental movement:“Fracking” plays (Oil Speak Note: Play = producing oil well) are normally for four years, with most of the oil in the first two years. They cost $10 to $15 million. They are profitable at $50 a barrel for a new play and already fracked wells cover their costs at half that price. The “new revolution” technique the oil service firm mentioned doubles those times to four years of high flow with a further four years of declining flow. Depending on whatever drilling costs are involved, this effectively earns them profit at a price as low as 1/2 of the per barrel cost of previously fracked wells over the new well’s longer productive lifetime.A Big Oil drilling play in the deep ocean, arctic, or politically unstable/corrupt 3rd World nation (This now includes Putin’s Russia) runs between $1 and $5 billion because of all the infrastructure Big Oil has to build to extract and move the large quantities of oil from howling wilderness at the edge of civilization. They run 7 to 15 years.The disinvestment that this Saudi-caused oil price crash is bringing on will see declines by corruption of existing big-oil-type production in various national oil companies, followed by a massive market share shift to fracking when the reduced-by-disinvestment Big Oil production curves start bumping reduced oil supply into increased oil demand.CONFIRMING FRACKING IMPRESSIONS
These facts left me with several impressions that I later confirmed.First, this new extended frack technology is what is driving the “Fracking to Frack-log” drilling decline by the mid-to-large oil industry players in the last 9 to 12 months. Effectively, mid-to-large fracking firms have stopping current style fracking to get a piece of the new technique for the next oil price rise, AKA when the Saudis have burned through their foreign investments and sovereign-debt credit rating.Second, cheap fracking-type drilling also moves all future oil extraction to places that have certain legal and regulatory regimes for quick market moves. Places like private lands in Texas and other traditional American oil states that have existing transportation infrastructure, laws and regulations for land use plus a stable & (relatively) honest political culture adapted to running them.
If most of the new production is on private land and transported/refined in existing infrastructure, then this is a big, big problem for all the Green mouthes that are used to eating high off the hog today.Big Green has a March-of-Dimes-after-the-Salk-Polio-vaccine problem.The environmental movement arose in part due to real and imaginary environmental abuses of Big Oil, notably its huge infrastructure requirements generating “Not in my back yard” (NIMBY) resistance in many American states. The size and scope of these infrastructure programs required multiple levels of local, state and federal regulatory approval which allowed protracted opposing environmental lobbying and media campaigns. Those campaigns required huge standing organizations, raising and spending money on political lobbying and public education/awareness. This in turn created huge INCOME STREAMS with a familiar pattern of fund-raising consultants getting a percentage of the take, plus ditto for related lobbyist and publicity staff, all of whose livelihoods and identities are wrapped up in environmentalist political action. Big Green is merely one of, albeit now the largest, of many such self-licking ice cream cone institutions in America.
Left unstated is whether a successful effort by Big Green to stifle a Texas-only economic development might spur talk of secession.
This is a very interesting article.