The Permian Basin’s Wolfcamp and Bone Spring formations hold more than seven times the oil North Dakota’s Bakken shale holds, according to a U.S. Interior Department in an assessment made on Thursday. It makes Wolfcamp’s oil and gas resources the most potential oil to ever be assessed in history.
The new assessment shows that the Delaware Basin holds more than twice the oil as the largest previous assessment of the region. That study was completed two years ago.
The U.S. Geological Survey’s new assessment found that the Wolfcamp shale and overlying Bone Spring in the Permian holds an estimate 46.3 billion barrels of oil, 281 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, and 20 billion barrels of natural gas liquids.
Interior Secretary and oil and gas advocate Ryan Zinke said the news is an early Christmas present for the energy sector.
"American strength flows from American energy, and as it turns out, we have a lot of American energy," Zinke said. "Before this assessment came down, I was bullish on oil and gas production in the United States. Now, I know for a fact that American energy dominance is within our grasp as a nation."
The study is based on undiscovered oil and gas that is considered recoverable due to modern extraction methods.