Our economy, like it or not, runs on oil, and it looks like two oil companies have just found a metric shitload of it (for the record, that’s 1.14 standard shitloads) in Alaska. And there’s more. Excerpt:
Spanish oil giant Repsol (REPYY) has revealed the largest U.S. onshore oil discovery in 30 years, located in Alaska’s North Slope.
Repsol and joint venture partner Armstrong Energy claim to have found a massive conventional oil play that holds up to 1.2 billion barrels of recoverable light crude. The discovery was confirmed after Repsol drilled two test wells during the 2016-2017 winter season. According to the company, the area was previously considered to be a mature oil basin. Oil is expected to flow beginning in 2021, with a potential rate approaching 120,000 barrels per day.
Denver-based Armstrong, a privately held exploration company, operates the North Slope project and holds a 75% working interest in the Horseshoe discovery. The Repsol discovery follows the revelation of what geologists believe is the largest shale oil play in the country.
In November, the U.S. Geological Survey said the Midland Basin, which is part of the oil-rich Permian shale play, is estimated to contain 20 billion barrels of oil and 1.6 billion barrels of natural gas. The new figures would make the Midland Basin about three times bigger than North Dakota’s Bakken formation.
Exxon is betting on these finds – betting big.
President Trump has already opened the door his predecessor closed on the Dakota Access and Keystone pipelines. Opening that door will being another shitload (metric or standard, you choose) of Canadian crude into American refineries, and protests from environmentalist radicals aside, that’s manifestly a Good Thing for President Trump’s stated goal of kick-starting the American economy.
Why? That’s simple. As stated, our economy runs on oil and natural gas. More domestic sources mean less energy we have to purchase from other countries. A significant amount of those other countries don’t like us very much, and at present we’re sending them a lot of American petrodollars.
But more to the point, the laws of supply and demand obtain here. A find this size, once developed – and it looks like the North Slope finds will be coming online pretty quickly – will reduce the price of oil (which, I remind you, is a fungible commodity with a global market) significantly.
Want to kick-start the economy? Cheap energy is the best way to do that. It doesn’t matter what your company does, what product they build, what service they provide, they need energy to do it. Solar and wind power don’t produce enough for a modern industrial economy.
And there’s more. Take a look at your computer, or your tablet, or your cellular phone; whatever you are using to read these virtual pages. A good part of it’s material, whatever it is, derives from petroleum. Take a look at your car; if it’s a recent model a good part of it’s high-tech, modernly engineered structure is plastic; plastics derived from petroleum.
Our modern technological economy runs on oil and gas. Repsol and Armstrong have just changed the oil and gas game with this discovery. President Trump may take the credit for the boom that should result (and in the case of the pipelines, he does deserve a bit of the credit) but Repsol and Armstrong are the names to watch for the next couple of years.