New Pipeline is Good News for the Energy Sector

John
Verum Serum
11/5/2010

Yesterday, Plains All American Pipeline LP of Houston announced plans to build a one hundred mile pipeline to the Bakken oil field in North Dakota. The new pipeline is expected to deliver 50,000 barrels of oil per day, a figure which may expand to 75,000 bpd later. For comparison purposes, the Alaskan oil pipeline pumps about 700,000 barrels a day.

Still, the Bakken formation is a significant oil field according to new estimates which were made by USGS two years ago:

The Bakken Formation estimate is larger than all other current USGS oil assessments of the lower 48 states and is the largest “continuous” oil accumulation ever assessed by the USGS. A “continuous” oil accumulation means that the oil resource is dispersed throughout a geologic formation rather than existing as discrete, localized occurrences. The next largest “continuous” oil accumulation in the U.S. is in the Austin Chalk of Texas and Louisiana, with an undiscovered estimate of 1.0 billions of barrels of technically recoverable oil…

The USGS estimate of 3.0 to 4.3 billion barrels of technically recoverable oil has a mean value of 3.65 billion barrels.

For comparison purposes, that’s about 1/3 the size of the ANWR oil field in Alaska. The construction of the new pipeline in North Dakota means more of this oil will make its way to markets in the US, which should help ease oil prices slightly.

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