US shale oil boom visible from space

The drop in oil prices continues though somewhat slowed down by Chinese import demand:

WSJU.S. and global crude benchmarks ended lower Monday amid choppy trading and concerns that member nations of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries will maintain high production levels in a bid to compete for market share despite growing global crude supplies.

The current drop in oil prices is put down to a glut on the market caused by the boom in shale oil production in the US and the slow-down in the global economy.

The boom in shale oil production is even visible from space.

Satellite Images Reveal How the U.S. Oil Boom Is Creating New Cities

bakken shale field shows up from space Image NASA/io9

io9This image from NASA reveals a massive cluster of lights in what was — until recently — desolate prairie. This is the Bakken Shale, an oil-rich rock formation stretching across parts of North Dakota, Montana and Canada. The lights are from the illuminated derricks, local boomtowns and gas flares of the oil fields.

Misguided alarmists who have demonised fossil fuels don’t like this. But I find the picture and the visibility of the shale production greatly encouraging. Carbon dioxide has no significant deleterious impact on climate and the availability of fossil energy is what will ensure continued human development.

The Bakken Shale field is a vast resource across Montana, North Dakota, Sasketchewan and Manitoba and a significant contributor to the game changing advent of shale oil and shale gas.

The Bakken Shale ranks as one of the largest oil developments in the U.S. in the past 40 years. The play has single-handedly driven North Dakota’s oil production to levels four times higher than previous peaks in the 1980s. As of 2012, ND is second to Texas in terms of oil production and boasts the lowest unemployment rate in the country at ~3%.

The Bakken Shale Play is located in Eastern Montana and Western North Dakota, as well as parts of Saskatchewan and Manitoba in the Williston Basin. Oil was initially discovered in the Bakken play in 1951, but was not commercial on a large scale until the past ten years.

… The Bakken is estimated to hold as much as 400 billion barrels of oil equivalent in place.

US shale fields map EIA


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