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The Forum > Article Comments > Betting on Mediterranean shale: 3 plays, 1 winner > Comments

Betting on Mediterranean shale: 3 plays, 1 winner : Comments

By James Stafford, published 1/2/2013

There's even more oil in the middle east and north Africa than we thought.

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Israel might pay top dollar to exploit its shale deposits - in order to be gas and oil independent.

In contrast Israel producing oil-gas for export, in competition with Arab countries (as well as Iran and Russia) might return Israel-Arab conflict towards 1973 levels.

Including Algeria - the virtual explosion of al Qaeda style violence and bad press all over North and Sahel Africa translates into higher risk (hence higher costs) for existing oil-gas extraction in both African regions.
Posted by plantagenet, Friday, 1 February 2013 9:57:28 AM
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And as I stated in a post yesterday, the euphoria misses the most important facts which include:

If you take the US as an example of the false euphoria, look at the reality:

Since peak oil production in 1970, the number of operating oil wells in the U.S. has stayed roughly the same while the average productivity per well has declined by 42 percent.

Since 1990, the number of operating gas wells in the U.S. has increased by 90 percent while the average productivity per well has declined by 38 percent.

Shale plays suffer from the law of diminishing returns. Wells experience severe rates of depletion, belying industry claims that wells will be in operation for 30-40 years. For example, the average depletion rate of wells in the Bakken Formation (the largest shale oil play in the US) is 69% in the first year and 94% over the first five years.

The very high decline rates of shale gas wells require continuous inputs of capital—estimated at $42 billion per year to drill more than 7,000 wells—in order to maintain production. In comparison, the value of shale gas produced in 2012 was just $32 billion.

Talk about a law of diminishing returns, nothing to see here!
Posted by Geoff of Perth, Friday, 1 February 2013 10:20:01 AM
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I'm with Geoff of Perth. The US situation should be a warning to all those other countries looking to shale oil as their saviour.

The other issue, of course,is that we should be keeping four fifths of fossil fuels in the ground if we are not to fry the planet.
Posted by popnperish, Saturday, 2 February 2013 3:03:06 PM
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I also agree with Geoff.
If we are talking about shale oil, ie tight oil, then I suggest you
look to see where this article came from.
The shale oil business is a Ponzi scheme, ie to keep it going more
cash is needed in a continuous flow.
The declining rig count in the US shale fields says it all and then to
top it off the pipeline companies refuse to build pipelines to the
shale oil fields. They are shipping the oil out by rail.
Doesn't that tell you something ?
Posted by Bazz, Monday, 4 February 2013 1:49:58 PM
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