Permian Basin Will Run Out of Oil in Seven Years, Says Houston-based Geologist

The geologist who earned the wrath of shale drillers a decade ago with forecasts that natural gas was about to run out is now warning that the Permian Basin has just seven years of proven oil reserves left.Arthur Berman, a former Amoco scientist who now works as an industry consultant near Houston, said the Permian region of Texas and New Mexico that currently pumps more oil than any other North American field won't last for long. And the Eagle Ford shale about 350 miles (560 kilometers) away in South Texas isn't looking good either.Berman's grim outlook, based on analyses of reserves and production data from more than a dozen prominent shale drillers, flies in the face predictions from the U.S. Energy Department, Chevron Corp. and others that the Permian is becoming one of the dominant forces in global crude markets.Permian output already exceeds that of three-fourths of OPEC members. "The best years are behind us," Berman told a gathering of engineers, geologists, lawyers and financiers at the Texas Energy Council's annual gathering in Dallas on Thursday. "The growth is done."  Continue reading...

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