New report looks at production potential of U.S. shale plays

Barnett shale

U.S. oil supply has been on an unprecedented surge since its all-time historical low in 2008. Current production of crude oil is 6.3 million b/d, the highest level since 1997. That amount is expected to increase in 2013. This growth in output was triggered mainly by major breakthroughs in production technology for tight oil resources, exemplified by several shale plays.

A new report from PennEnergy Research, Evaluating Production Potential of Mature US Shale Oil, Gas Plays, looks at this surge and uses the latest information to estimate its future potential. The report is written by Dr. Rafael Sandrea, the petroleum expert whose detailed analysis of the industry is establishing him as an important thought leader.

This paper addresses some of the major technical issues that affect estimates of two key parameters: the volume of recoverable oil or gas, and its production potential, which ultimately determine the value of the asset. Both factors are physically interrelated, and are indispensable for the planning of field infrastructure and take-away capacity.

The 20-page report features detailed figures and tables to accompany the extensive analysis. Some of the major U.S. shale plays are highlighted, and comparisons are made between these active plays and producing regions across the world. The report closes with detailed information on recovery efficiencies, field decline predictions, and production comparisons.

Evaluating Production Potential of Mature US Shale Oil, Gas Plays is available now at PennEnergy’s Research area.

About Dr. Sandrea

Dr. Rafael Sandrea graduated cum laude in petroleum engineering from the University of Tulsa and received his Ph.D. from Penn State University. He headed the petroleum engineering department at the Universidad de Oriente in Venezuela and later was the Ford Foundation Professor in the Graduate School of petroleum engineering at the Universidad Nacional of Mexico. Dr. Sandrea and his professor from Penn State, Dr. Ralph Nielsen, published Dynamics of Petroleum Reservoirs under Gas Injection, Gulf Publishing, 1974, a book used extensively in petroleum engineering courses around the world.

In 1974 he founded a Caracas-based engineering company, ITS Servicios Tecnicos. During his 30-year tenure as President and CEO, ITS provided the oil and gas industry a wide range of technical services and products, including project management, reservoir engineering, geology, seismic processing, E&P Data management and business archiving. ITS carried out projects in several countries around the world including the US, Chile, Pakistan, Trinidad and Tobago and Venezuela. During this time Dr. Sandrea served on the Board of Joint Venture Alliances with international companies from the United States, Great Britain, and France.

Today Dr. Sandrea is President of IPC Petroleum Consultants, Inc., a Tulsa-based international petroleum consulting firm that specializes in oil and gas reserves appraisals and risk analysis for international upstream petroleum investments. He is very active giving seminars, workshops, and speaking on the reserves theme around the world.

He is a life member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers and member of the Editorial Advisory Board of the forthcoming Petroleum Encyclopedia, of the Board of The Open Petroleum Engineering Journal, and of the UN Ad Hoc Group of Experts on Fossil Resources. Dr. Sandrea has published over 30 technical papers, a dozen within the last five years, which include a 2011 eReport: “An In-Depth View of Future World Oil & Gas Supply”. His latest publications cover areas such as risk analysis for international upstream petroleum investments, appraisal of global oil and gas reserves, development of algorithms for estimating the production capacity of new oil fields, global offshore oil reserves potential, assessment of global oil and gas resources and their potential for enhanced oil recovery. Some of these articles have been featured in CNN Money and They are available on IPC’s website at

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