$20 Trillion of Oil in Coober Pedy?

Friday File look at a Kent Moors teaser about Australia's Arckaringa Basin ... and updates on a few faves

By Travis Johnson, Stock Gumshoe, February 24, 2013


The latest teaser ad for the Energy Inner Circle newsletter (edited by Dr. Kent Moors) is pitching the next great shale oil area — and it’s in Australia.

The tease tells us that a tiny town called Coober Pedy, which is in an almost uninhabitable part of South Australia, is about to become an immense power center of such influence that it will rival the oil sheikdoms of the Middle East, all because of a $20 trillion find that’s going to make at least a few companies (and you, of course) stinkin’ rich.

Coober Pedy is a mining town, miles from anywhere and unusually dry and hot even for the driest continent on earth, and they’re known for mining opals — it’s also a place where only a couple thousand people live, and much of the revenue comes from tourists who come to see the old opal mines and gawk at the underground houses and churches that have been built to help people survive the desert heat. Other than that, there’s not much reason anyone should have heard of it.

Until recently, apparently — there have been rumors and explorers about the work that Linc Energy and others have done exploring for shale oil in Australia, and particularly of the Arckaringa Basin in this specific area. It’s not too far from other tight oil and gas formations in Australia (200 miles counts as “not too far” in the boonies), but there’s not been enough promise of economic reservoirs of oil to get much investment into the area. Until, perhaps, now.

Linc Energy is the central focus of the ad and of any stories about the Arckaringa Basin, and it’s pretty well known (and revealed in the “interview” teaser ad, this isn’t the secret pick) — they have all the leases in the Arckaringa Basin and have been the ones drilling and exploring there for a few years. And they also released impressive estimates in January that got everyone excited, talking about the potential for 200 billion barrels of oil or more. You can see the chatter that’s been happening over this massive Arckaringa Basin potential and Linc Energy in a Wall Street Journal piece here, and in a CBC piece here. It sounds like most of the experts, and Linc themselves, are talking it down to maybe three or four billion barrels as the more reasonable lowball expectation ...

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