Oil Sands Recovery Techniques

This chart provides an overview of Bitumen Recovery techniques for mining and in situ projects in Alberta.

  • Generally, bitumen can be mined through open pits when the overburden is less then 75 meters (250 ft). Deeper deposits are accessed through in situ methods. The oil sands resource is shallowest in the farther Northern projects (North of Fort McMurray) and deepest in the south.
  • As bitumen is very viscous, in situ removal requires “heat energy” to increase bitumen flow to the surface. The heat energy is supplied by steam, which is generated by heating water with natural gas. To produce the deeper bitumen, Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD) in situ is viable deeper than 75 meters (250 ft), and Cyclic Steam Stimulation (CSS) in situ is viable at more than 200 meters (660 ft).
   Download File    Download Data    Read More ...

Oil Sands Locations

Today, the Alberta oil sands account for nearly 60% of Canada’s oil production and this percentage will increase by 2025. This map shows the location of the three oil sands regions in Alberta—Athabasca, Cold Lake, and Peace River.

  • The location of the oil sands mines at the north end of the Athabasca deposit is shown by the green area.
  • The Grosmont carbonate bitumen deposit is shown in blue. It has several in situ pilot projects, though no commercial development.
  • In situ projects are located in all three areas, with the Athabasca region being the most prolific.
   Download File    Download Data    Read More ...

Oil Sands Mining and Upgrading Process

This slide shows the Oil Sands Mining and Upgrading process.

   Download File    Download Data    Read More ...

Forecasting Oil Costs & Supply

Solomon Natural Gas Methodology

Solomon maintains proprietary production models for key oil and gas plays in North America. These models analyze production histories and forecast annual average production for each play or basin based on:

  • Regional drilling and completion activity. This depends on new well supply costs relative to costs in other plays, expected oil prices, natural gas liquids content, play maturity (well density and resource potential), and availability of equipment.
  • New oil well initial productivity (IP), projected from recent trends, considering play maturity and the potential for incremental technology improvements.
  • Production decline rates. Decline rates are applied to new and existing wells considering the age of wells.

The models generate an oil production forecast. The associated gas production is estimated based on the historical and forecasted gas-oil ratio. Total production is sensitive to even small changes in these parameters, decline rates in particular. Production of each individual basin is forecasted based on cost curves: basins with lower full-cycle cost will be developed first.

   Download File    Download Data    Read More ...

North American Oil Production Outlook to 2025, MM bbl/d

This chart illustrates historical crude oil and lease condensate production through 2016 and the North America outlook to 2025. High-productivity, unconventional tight- and shale-oil activity will continue to displace higher-cost conventional crude oil development. The Permian, Bakken, and Eagle Ford basins will provide production growth over the forecast period. Tight oil basin production growth will be substantial, but will be partially limited by transportation and refining constraints. Many US refineries are not configured for lighter grade crudes coming from tight-oil formations. Such crudes may need to be blended with heavier crudes, including from Western Canada. Some Gulf Coast refiners are investing in increasing capacity.

   Download File    Download Data    Read More ...

Average Oil Full-Cycle Production Costs for Three Growth Basins

This chart provides Solomon’s summary of full-cycle costs for 90B bbl of undeveloped and recoverable US unconventional-oil resources in the Bakken, Eagle Ford, and Permian basins.

   Download File    Download Data    Read More ...

Effect of Cost Escalation on Oil Resources

This chart shows how capital and operating cost escalation will affect oil resources. Capital and operating cost escalation will affect the profitability of production, but will not significantly affect recoverable resources under short-term oil prices.

   Download File    Download Data    Read More ...

2005–2025 Oil Production, MM bbl/d

This chart shows each key region’s production forecast to 2025. The oil basins or plays within are analyzed based on the full-cycle cost of oil. Low- to average-cost plays attract investment capital and growth; investment in higher-cost plays stagnates and production declines accordingly. All areas with predominantly low- to average-cost unconventional oil development have production growth over the forecast period. Deepwater production will begin declining after 2018. Western Canadian conventional and tight-oil production will decline slightly over the forecast period.

   Download File    Download Data    Read More ...

Bakken Basin Initial Productivity Distribution Map

This figure provides an IP map of the Bakken basin. Solomon estimates that the US portion of the Bakken (Williston Basin) is over 22,000 square miles.

   Download File    Download Data    Read More ...

US Bakken Rig Count, Production, Connections, and Initial Productivity Forecast

This figure shows the Bakken rig count, crude oil and condensate, associated gas production, initial oil well productivity, and oil well connections.

   Download File    Download Data    Read More ...

US Bakken Full-Cycle Oil Resource Cost

This figure shows average oil full-cycle oil production costs for Bakken.

   Download File    Download Data    Read More ...

DJ Niobrara Initial Productivity Distribution Map

This figure provides an IP map of the DJ Niobrara.

   Download File    Download Data    Read More ...

DJ Niobrara Rig Count, Production, Connections, and Initial Productivity Forecast

This figure shows the DJ Niobrara rig count, crude oil and condensate, associated gas production, initial oil well productivity, and oil well connections. Production of DJ Niobrara is significantly lower than other tight oil basins due to lower productivity and a smaller resource base.

   Download File    Download Data    Read More ...

Eagle Ford Basin Oil Initial Productivity Distribution Map

The Eagle Ford includes various zones differentiated by liquids yield. Currently development is focused on the northern portion of the basin, which has both oil and condensate zones. Most wells classified as oil in Eagle Ford produce oil, condensate, and associated gas. The figure provides a new oil well IP map of the Eagle Ford basin (crude oil only).

The northeastern portion, including Lee and Burleson counties, lies in the maturity window of Eagle Ford, but the formation is thinner and clay content is higher than in the western portion of Eagle Ford. Therefore, well productivity in this area is much lower than in the western portion of Eagle Ford.

   Download File    Download Data    Read More ...

Eagle Ford Rig Count, Production, Connections, and Initial Productivity Forecast

This figure shows the oil rig count, crude oil and condensate including associated gas production, initial oil well productivity, and oil well connections for the Eagle Ford.

   Download File    Download Data    Read More ...

Eagle Ford Full-Cycle Oil Resource Cost

This figure shows average full-cycle oil and condensate production costs for Eagle Ford. Eagle Ford has 12.9B bbl of resources with cost less than 50 USD/bbl.

   Download File    Download Data    Read More ...

Eagle Ford Maintaining Tight Oil Production

This chart shows that despite high decline of tight oil wells, they remain productive for a long time (based on the example of a typical Eagle Ford well).

  • The chart compares 20 tight oil wells (20 wells per year, or around 1 pad per year).
  • 10 additional wells are required to maintain production after the first 3 years.
   Download File    Download Data    Read More ...

Permian Basin IP Distribution Map

This figure provides a new oil well IP map of the Permian basin. It is one of the most mature and largest oil-producing basins in North America, with three sub-basins—the Midland and Delaware separated by the Central Basin Platform, and the deeper Val Verde sub-basin to the southwest. The Permian basin includes both conventional and tight-oil development. The unconventional growth plays include the San Andres, Spraberry, Wolfcamp, Avalon, Bone Spring, and Yeso.

   Download File    Download Data    Read More ...

Permian Rig Count, Production, Connections, and Initial Productivity Forecast

This figure shows the oil rig count, crude oil and condensate including associated gas production, initial oil well productivity, and oil well connections for the Permian.

   Download File    Download Data    Read More ...

Permian Full-Cycle Oil Resource Cost

This figure shows average oil full-cycle oil and condensate production costs for Permian. Permian has 44.3B bbl resources with cost less than 50 USD/bbl.

   Download File    Download Data    Read More ...

Permian Oil Infrastructure Capacity to 2025

Oil production in Permian growth will slow down after 2018 due to infrastructure constraints.

   Download File    Download Data    Read More ...

Gulf of Mexico Deepwater Rig Count, Production, Connections, and Initial Productivity Forecast

This figure shows Gulf of Mexico oil and associated gas production, initial oil well productivity, and oil well connections.

   Download File    Download Data    Read More ...

Raw Associated Gas Production, Bcf/d

Increased levels of unconventional oil drilling and production have resulted in a corresponding increase in associated gas production. Gas associated with oil production displaces gas-focused exploration and development activity that would otherwise occur. The chart provides the raw associated gas production forecast for North America to 2025. Associated gas production growth up to 2015 is attributed to unconventional oil development in the US basins.

The Permian region is forecast to produce nearly 50% of associated gas in 2025 with the Eagle Ford and Bakken both at 12% each. The increase in Permian associated gas is primarily the result of a higher gas-oil ratio compared to other supply basins. Raw associated gas production is calculated based on historical and forecasted gas-oil ratios within the plays and basins reviewed.

   Download File    Download Data    Read More ...

Cost Curve Calculation Methodology

This figure shows the detailed process of Solomon’s cost curve calculation methodology.

The cost curve is the foundation of Solomon’s oil or gas production forecasting for the primary plays and basins reviewed. The lowest-cost areas of a play or basin will produce first, after which production moves to the next most cost-effective areas; these producing areas are then summated to provide an overall production forecast.

The input for cost curve calculation is resource data and cost data obtained from public and proprietary sources.

   Download File    Download Data    Read More ...