The proliferation of oil and gas wells in urban areas is a sign the shale below the Permian Basin is being tapped out, Bloomberg reports. During the early days of the shale oil and gas boom, drillers had no reason to bother with the safety requirements of operating in populated areas, but even after years of experience and improved techniques, they’re blasting less oil out of each foot of rock than ever before.
The explosion of Permian oil and methane gas extraction has accounted for 90% of global extraction increase over the last decade, as well as 80% of the increase of North American methane pollution. “We’re going to run out of inventory in the next four to six years,” James West, an analyst at Evercore ISI, told Bloomberg. “We probably saw it earlier in other shales, which is why we left those other shales and moved so much activity into the Permian. It’s now rearing its ugly head in the Permian.” (Bloomberg $)