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Bakken Reality Check

In Bakken Reality Check: The Nation’s Number Two Tight Oil Play After a Year of Low Oil Prices, David Hughes—author of Drilling Deeper (which likely remains the most thorough independent analysis of U.S. shale gas and tight oil production ever conducted) and a number of other reports on North American shale gas and tight oil production—looks at how production in the Bakken has changed after a year of low oil prices.

Tight Oil Reality Check (2015)

In this update to Drilling Deeper, David Hughes explores how the EIA’s 2015 tight oil projections and assumptions have changed over the last year, and assesses the AEO2015 against both Drilling Deeper and up-to-date production data from key tight oil plays

Shale Gas Reality Check (2015)

In this update to Drilling Deeper, David Hughes explores how the EIA’s 2015 shale gas projections and assumptions have changed over the last year, and assesses the AEO2015 against both Drilling Deeper and up-to-date production data from key shale gas plays

Afterburn: Society Beyond Fossil Fuels

Climate change, along with the depletion of oil, coal, and gas, dictate that we will inevitably move away from our profound societal reliance on fossil fuels; but just how big a transformation will this be? While many policy-makers assume that renewable energy sources will provide an easy “plug-and-play” solution, author Richard Heinberg suggests instead that […]

Drilling Deeper: A Reality Check on U.S. Government Forecasts for a Lasting Tight Oil & Shale Gas Boom

Drilling Deeper reviews the twelve shale plays that account for 82% of the tight oil production and 88% of the shale gas production in the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reference case forecasts through 2040. It utilizes all available production data for the plays analyzed, and assesses historical production, well- and field-decline rates, available drilling locations, and well-quality trends for each play, as well as counties within plays. Projections of future production rates are then made based on forecast drilling rates (and, by implication, capital expenditures). Tight oil (shale oil) and shale gas production is found to be unsustainable in the medium- and longer-term at the rates forecast by the EIA, which are extremely optimistic.

Drilling California: A Reality Check on the Monterey Shale

Drilling California: A Reality Check on the Monterey Shale provides the first publicly available empirical analysis of actual oil production data from the Monterey Formation. It lays out some of the play’s fundamental characteristics compared to other tight oil plays, including geological properties, current production, production potential, and associated environmental issues.

Snake Oil: How Fracking’s False Promise of Plenty Imperils Our Future

The rapid spread of hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) has temporarily boosted US natural gas and oil production… and sparked a massive environmental backlash in communities across the country. The fossil fuel industry is trying to sell fracking as the biggest energy development of the century, with slick promises of American energy independence and benefits to local […]

Drill, Baby, Drill: Can Unconventional Fuels Usher in a New Era of Energy Abundance?

In this landmark report, PCI Fellow David Hughes takes a far-ranging and painstakingly researched look at the prospects for various unconventional fuels to provide energy abundance for the United States in the 21st Century. While the report examines a range of energy sources, the centerpiece of “Drill, Baby, Drill” is a critical analysis of shale gas and shale oil (tight oil) and the potential of a shale “revolution.”