Après avoir vu leur production tripler entre 2010 et 2014, les « light tight oil » américains (LTO), fréquemment appelés « pétroles de schiste », ont fait preuve d’une résilience étonnante lors de la chute des prix. Ils surprennent aujourd’hui à nouveau les marchés et pourraient contrarier la stratégie de l’OPEP.
Dans cette étude publiée par le Centre Énergie de l’Ifri, Sylvie Cornot-Gandolphe (voir le .pdf ci-dessous) présente les grands changements du secteur des LTO américains au cours des dernières années en expliquant leur résilience lors de la chute des cours et leurs perspectives de croissance.
While the United States gears up for what is expected to be a record-breaking production year in 2018, the rest of the world remains far away from catching up to America’s runaway shale success. But while the U.S. may be the only country producing commercially significant volumes of shale today, it’s not the only one with sizable shale reserves—according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Argentina, Algeria, and China all have more shale gas than the United States, and Russia has nearly as much tight oil
Canada’s tar sands, which contain the planet’s third-largest oil reserves, were a prized possession for global energy companies when crude was trading above $100 a barrel. But since prices fell to $50 in 2015, where they have lingered, Royal Dutch Shell, ConocoPhillips, and Marathon Oil have unloaded their holdings amid concerns that these capital-intensive projects would struggle to turn a profit.
(…) In recent earnings announcements, Suncor and rival Cenovus Energy Inc. said they can now sustain production with oil at $40 a barrel without jeopardizing the dividend they pay shareholders.
Since 2005, the U.S. has added more than 120,000 gas wells, mainly in Texas, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma and Colorado. In 2015, there were 555,000 in total.
Those onshore wells have not just made up for declining offshore production, they have handily exceeded it. Offshore gas is now only 4 percent of total U.S. withdrawals. Texas, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma and Colorado are 53 percent of all production.
Weinberg advised OPEC to change tack and go back to what it set out to do initially: stifle U.S. shale by pumping at maximum. “They should let prices crash to kill shale and then aim for steady price increases in the long term,” Weinstein told Bloomberg. The question remains, however, whether OPEC, with oil-reliant budgets already strained, could afford this tactic reversal now that they’ve suffered price lows for an extended period of time.
But now, just as shale gas prices are finally rebounding from last year’s all-time-lows, the United States’ two biggest shale gas deposits are producing record amounts of fuel, threatening to push gas prices back down. As the Appalachian Marcellus shale basin and the Texas-based Permian basin rush to conquer a market share, the U.S. gas glut shows no signs of stopping.
The speed and scale at which U.S. shale production has bounced back from the slump in 2015/16 has confounded OPEC and all the other major forecasters.
The oil market is on an unsustainable course with output from U.S. shale and other non-OPEC sources 010increasing rapidly, while OPEC and its allies trim production to reduce inventories and prop up prices.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) projects non-OPEC output will increase by 1.5 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2018 (“Oil Market Report”, IEA, June 2017).
If that proves correct, non-OPEC suppliers will capture all the increase in demand next year, because the IEA predicts consumption will increase by only 1.4 million bpd.
Drillers have mastered feat of pumping more at less cost
On a drilling rig towering above quiet cattle farms in Southeast Texas, Eric Williams perched inside the cabin of the 16-story machine, twisting a pair of joysticks to guide a gigantic wrench roaring into action, drowning out every sound as it reached for a 1,500-pound pipe emerging from the earth – pipe that soon will feed oil into a second shale boom.
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