ISGS Special Seminar: The Role of Shale Gas in the US Energy Future
Scott W. Tinker
Director, Texas Bureau of Economic Geology and State Geologist of Texas
The development of unconventional reservoirs followed a different path from conventional reservoirs. Independent producers led the way in US shale. In the mid 2000's, the international oil companies realized that they could grow long-term reserve positions, and the acquisition rush was on. Ironically, in the United States, land that had been broken into ever smaller tracts for nearly a century was once again being aggregated into larger, contiguous tracts in the onshore US shale gas plays. Low natural gas prices followed the increase in shale gas production. Some independents adapted quickly and led the charge into shales with natural gas liquids and oil: the Bakken in North Dakota followed by the Eagle Ford in South Texas. And once again, the major oil companies followed with acquisitions of independent producing companies in these and other shale oil plays. Where does shale stand today? There are international opportunities in shale, but those carry higher costs and political risks. There are offshore shale gas and oil, but those require expensive infrastructure and new regulatory policies. There are also the existing shale plays. Recent work on shale gas reserves and production at the Bureau of Economic Geology shows that significant economic drilling opportunities remain in the better quality and higher liquids areas.
Scott W. Tinker is director of the Bureau of Economic Geology, the State Geologist of Texas, and a professor holding the Allday Endowed Chair and acting Associate Dean of Research in the Jackson School of Geosciences at The University of Texas at Austin, and director of the Advanced Energy Consortium. Scott is past President of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG), the Association of American State Geologists, and the Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies. Tinker is a Fellow of the GSA; has received the American Geoscience Institute Outstanding Contribution to the Public Understanding of the Geosciences award, and the American Institute of Professional Geologists John T. Galey, Sr., Memorial Public Service Award. Scott has given over 500 invited and keynote lectures in nearly 50 countries to groups of all kinds, and most recently co-produced and is featured in the acclaimed documentary, SWITCH. Tinker’s degrees are from the University of Colorado, the University of Michigan, and Trinity University.