Domestic Oil: 5 years from exploration to production
By Josh Painter Posted in Energy — Comments (13) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »
How often have you heard Democrat politicians and liberal environmentalists argue that it makes no sense to drill for oil domestically because it will take at least ten years before we will see any of that oil?
Let's put that old canard permanently to rest, shall we? According to a report from APRN, Alaska's Public Radio Network, it's been done in just half that time:
Pioneer Natural Resources Company has brought a near-shore oil production unit on line. Pioneer spokesman Tadd Owens says the first barrel from the Oooguruk facility was sold yesterday. The unit lies northwest of the Kuparuk river, inside the barrier islands of the Beaufort sea. Owens says Pioneer is the first independent to bring new operations on line and they did it quickly — from exploration to production took only 5 years. He says the plan is for 40 wells to be on line within 3 years.
So why do they insist that it would take ten years before we see any oil from new domestic drilling? Since I'm at a loss to understand the liberal thought process, I can only guess.
One, it's a nice, round number which would tend to discourage those, now a majority, who want to see the U.S. domestic oil industry revived. "Ten years, wow, that's like a whole decade, dude!"
Two, perhaps wanting to inject a grain of truth into the big lie, they grabbed the number from the history of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, a nearly 800-mile project which was almost ten years in the making, from the 1968 confirmation of a major oil find in Prudhoe Bay to 1977, when a tanker sailed out of Valdez carrying the first load of North Slope crude.
We could speculate on their research (or lack of it) and motivation for not being fully forthright about the length of time required to bring in an oil field, but that's not the point. The point is that a field in Alaska was made to produce in just five years from when it was explored. Given the harsh Alaskan climate, one is led to wonder how long it would take to bring fields in the much less demanding conditions of the lower 48 into production.
Consider that the the Elm Coulee oil field in Montana, part of the Bakken Formation, was only discovered in 2000, yet it had produced 32 million barrels of oil just six years later and has produced about 65 million barrels to date. That was done using horizontal drilling tecniques and other new technologies to meet the unique challenges of the formation.
Five years. That's not a long time to have to wait to bring in an oil field. It's just a year longer than a single presidential term and a year less than a senator's term. Hmmmm...
Drill here. Drill now. Pay less. One by one, the Democrats' weak arguments against domestic drilling are being shot down and exposed for the bunk that they are. We shouldn't even be having this discussion. We should be getting about the business of reviving the American domestic petroleum industry. Wouldn't you just love to see an APEC, consisting of the United States, Canada and Mexico, organized to give OPEC some competition?
Hat Tip: Maggie Thornton