Bureau of Economic Geology

TORA Program Unveils Interactive Portal to U.S. Shale Gas and Tight Oil Play Studies

April 7, 2022

The Bureau of Economic Geology’s TORA (Tight Oil Resource Assessment) consortium is pleased to announce the launch of a new, interactive online portal into its comprehensive studies and maps of U.S. shale gas and tight oil plays. TORA’s play-wide but granular mapping highlights areas of highest productivity, in-place resources, and technically recoverable resources (TRR) based on a robust workflow, which characterizes the subsurface and incorporates economic analysis, including profitability-driven future activities. A limited version of the portal will be available to the public with TORA member organizations having access to the full content of the basin and play content.

“We’re very excited to have released this new portal to our sponsors and now to release some general interest content into the public domain,” remarked Bureau Director Scott Tinker. “The war in Ukraine is exacerbating the energy crisis in Europe, which is less resilient due to policies forcing production towards expensive and unreliable sources. It’s more important than ever for the U.S. to have a science- and economics-based understanding of its resource endowment and the development potential of its major tight oil and shale gas plays.”

Designed by Bureau web developer Aaron Averett, the main goal of the new sponsor-restricted version of the portal is to create an intuitive, user-friendly, and interactive space allowing sponsor management and staff to directly access their TORA reports, presentations, shape files, and models. The version of the portal accessible by the public contains three main features: 1) a single click inside a play outline brings up a callout box with summary information, 2) an interactive feature showing the evolution of horizontal drilling in ten different U.S. basins using a wide choice of base maps, and 3) a link to a short slide set containing visual volumetric comparisons of oil and gas resources, TRR, and production to date from horizontal wells for each play.

“These detailed maps of the major U.S. tight oil and shale gas plays will evolve continually as important new research adds to our understanding of them,” remarked TORA’s Principal Investigator, Dr. Emery Goodman. “The new sponsor-restricted portal is a major benefit for TORA partners, allowing them to quickly access key features of TORA research. The new public version will provide folks a window into the great potential these plays have for U.S. oil and gas production over time.”

TORA began in 2016 as a new research consortium at the Bureau, and consortium partners include corporations and other energy-related organizations. Its research builds on prior groundbreaking Bureau studies of U.S. shale plays funded by the Sloan Foundation and the U.S. Department of Energy. While TORA’s current focus is on the Permian Basin, its research continues to revisit other key tight oil and shale gas plays in the U.S. TORA’s mission is to provide its stakeholders with reliable, unbiased, and up-to-date projections, models, and insights at the basin scale for the major U.S. unconventional plays. TORA conducts innovative, integrated research of in-place resource and recoverable volumes, play and well economics, and production forecasts with their environmental implications.

You can access the public version of the portal here. For more information on TORA, or to join, please contact Emery Goodman.

screenshot of the portal

University of Texas at Austin

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