In August 2020, the Trump Administration opened the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in Alaska to oil drilling for the first time. The U.S. Department of the Interior believes that this area can be drilled in a responsible and sustainable manner only taking up 0.01 percent of the 19 million acres of wildlife refuge. At the time of this decision, nearly 70% of Americans apposed drilling in this protected space. The initial land auction was supposed to take place at the end of 2020, but it was noted that the interest in the sale was quite low as most of the larger oil companies avoided the controversial sale. Read More
The United States Department of the Interior announced a revision last week about an increase in the potential production in the Wolfcamp Shale and Bone Spring Formation. The announcement stated, two underground layers in the Delaware Basin in the Permian shale play of West Texas and New Mexico, contain 46.3 billion barrels of oil, 281 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 20 billion barrels of natural gas liquids. This represents the largest pool of oil and gas reserves anywhere in the United States. The Permian is already the driving force in production hitting an all-time high in November of 11.7 million barrels per day (bpd) as it is the biggest producer and boasts the quickest rate of production at 3.63 million bpd.
Oil well drilling in the United States has increased dramatically in the last five years. The increase in drilling activity has had a direct impact on petroleum pricing. Rig counts are an indicator for the potential supply picture of the oil and gas industry. A sharp increase in the number of drilling rigs domestically, would potentially affect the direction of product prices. The industry tends to speculate the greater number of active drilling rigs, the lower the price.