Thursday, May 05, 2005

More On Wolverine's "Billion Barrel" Utah Strike

One of the more popular stories I've had lately in my referrers is the link to the Explorer story about Wolverine Gas & Oil Co. claims of finding a "billion barrel province" in Utah. Yesterday, an Associated Press article indicates others find such claims difficult to swallow:
"It's just very highly unlikely [that the size of the field will approach a billion barrels] because the U.S. onshore has been picked clean, if you will," said Fadel Gheit, senior oil analyst at Oppenheimer & Co. in New York.

"That's like finding a wallet in the subway after all the cleaners went through it. It's possible, but very highly unlikely," he said.

Part of the reason Wolverine is optimistic about the amount of oil in this zone is that it's not like finding one wallet, but many small ones:
Wolverine and government geologists said the company is examining 25 deposits in all that could contain 1 billion barrels of oil.

Those underground deposits are widely scattered over a crescent-shaped belt 100 miles long and up to 50 miles wide that contains all the geologic "right stuff" for oil pockets in folds of Jurassic Navajo sandstone, said Tom Chidsey, petroleum section chief for the Utah Geological Survey.

The oil thus far produced is "high-quality", "commanding a premium at refineries", according to the AP article. The result is expected to be a bidding war in the area at the next leasing auction, scheduled for May 17 in Salt Lake City.