Wednesday, February 14, 2018
07.54PM / By James Stafford
The United States is in the midst of an energy revolution.
Oil production has risen by 5 million barrels per day (bpd)
since 2010, an increase of nearly 100 percent. New technology, particularly
techniques in shale oil drilling, has opened up vast new opportunities for oil
and gas companies. The proof is in the numbers. In 2017, the United States averaged 9.3 million
bpd. This year, the EIA predicts
that U.S. oil and gas production will reach record levels, averaging 10.3
million barrels bpd to surpass the record reached in 1970 (9.6 million bpd). In 2019, the EIA expects U.S. production to average 10.8 million bpd, which
will allow the U.S. to rival Saudi Arabia and Russia as the world's largest oil
If there's one big reason for the U.S. energy revolution, it's that new
technology has allowed American companies to beat the competition
Not even OPEC could stop the host of American shale drillers, who persevered
through a global production glut and historically low prices from 2015 to 2017,
and who have now emerged victorious.
Companies like Petroteq Energy Inc. are pioneering new approaches to
energy extraction. While OPEC producers stick to the tried-and-true methods,
American companies are exploring new horizons, watching production costs fall
and profits shoot through the stratosphere.
A key area where advancements will be made is in oil sands, a sector most
companies had left for dead. Thanks to Petroteq and other innovative firms, the
technology to unlock clean, cheap oil sands could soon fuel the next chapter of
the U.S. energy revolution.
Oil Sands: the Alternative Unconventional
Oil sands are deposits of bitumen, a thick and viscous substance that can be
refined into petroleum products.
The potential trapped within oil sands deposits is staggering: the Canadian tar
sands deposits in Alberta is estimated to contain 165.4
billion barrels. In the United States, large deposits of oil sands bitumen remained untapped. In
Utah, for instance, there are bitumen deposits totaling 30 billion barrels.
However, three things are holding back oil sands exploitation: cost, political
opposition and environmental risk.
Producing from oil and tar sands had always been a costly enterprise. When prices fell in 2015, companies
began divesting from their tar sands investments, cutting and running from oil
that was now too expensive to produce. In 2017, oil giant Royal Dutch Shell completed its divestment from the Canadian tar sands. After
entering the unconventional drilling field several years before, Shell
concluded that the cost to continue investment in Canadian tar sands was simply
too high. Other companies have done the same: investment in Alberta tar sands fields was
dumped by Marathon Oil, Statoil and other companies.
Low prices and rising concerns over the “dirty” nature of tar sands production,
which is believed to be one of the most carbon-heavy methods of energy
production, fueled an exodus.
Oil sands gained a bad reputation as the dirtiest source of energy, which
fueled a political backlash. News coverage of Canada's oil industry has lately
focused on how tar sands production is dirty, costly, destructive and ultimately non-economical. Opposition to new tar sands projects inside the U.S. has risen in recent
But that trend may be reversing. Despite divestment, bad press and lower-than-average
prices, oil sands production will increase in 2018.
Advances in oil sands technology, and efforts to make the process cleaner and
cheaper, means that the sector could be poised for a turnaround.
Petroteq Energy is
pioneering safe and clean methods for unlocking oil sands assets. The
company has two patents on technical methods for extracting oil sands in a way
that avoids producing waste materials.
The company produced 10,000 barrels from its production facility in Utah in
2015 using its brand-new technology, and now it's upgrading a second facility
in Utah to increase its production capacity.
The company's goal, according to CEO Alex Blyumkin, is developing
“sustainability.” Proprietary methods allows Petroteq to extract oil sands
without producing excess waste. By utilizing blockchain technology, the company
cuts down on production costs and allows oil sands production to be more
Petroteq has already found interested partners in Mexico, where it has signed a
lucrative deal with national energy company Pemex for its blockchain-based
management platform. Other companies are getting in on the action as well. By
following Petroteq's lead, unconventional drillers are taking a second look at
oil sands production.
Question of Cost
What made shale drilling in the U.S. so successful was the question of cost. At
a time when oil prices were plummeting, American drillers used new technology
to radically cut costs and maintain competitiveness. By 2017, shale drillers
had reduced cost by as much as 42 percent. Today, the average cost of a barrel of fracked oil varies between $20 and $50. That might look like a lot compared to
cheap oil from Saudi Arabia or Kuwait, where per-barrel costs can be as low as
But that doesn't take into account “social costs” that OPEC states have to
consider. The plunge in oil prices after 2015 placed immense pressure on OPEC
states, which all depend on oil exports to maintain fiscal equilibrium.
Middle Eastern oil producers have endured immense pressure, while Venezuela was
thrown into political and economic chaos by the drop in prices.
Now, thanks to technological advances from Petroteq and other companies, oil
sands could be as profitable and as cheap as shale.
Through cleaner methods and blockchain-based management, Petroteq can produce
for as little as $20 a barrel.
Petroteq's methods can be licensed anywhere, and could release the billions of
barrels locked inside oil sands deposits all across the American West.
If its technology catches on, oil sands could be the next big play in the U.S.
energy revolution, ensuring American oil dominance for years to come.
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