This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Shale Oil: Geologist's Alaska Gamble Could Turn Into America's Next Big Shale Play

He added: "The rocks are going to tell us what we want to do."

Duncan predicts that the North Slope could see massive new unconventional oil development, beginning with the Great Bear prospect.

"I think a reasonable pace of development for a play like this for our company would be eight development pads per year with perhaps as many as 20 to 24 wells per pad," he explained. "So if everything goes well, 200 wells per year would be a meaningful number."

In 2011 testimony before the Alaska Legislature, Duncan boldly predicted that the unconventional oil fields on his leases could produce 200,000 barrels of crude per day by 2020. He expects production to peak at 600,000 bpd in 2056. If the North Slope shale oil fields are as rich as Duncan anticipates, Alaska could see decades of unconventional oil and gas development.

"Just as we're seeing with the Bakken and the Eagle Ford and the Marcellus in the lower 48, these are plays that will be actively drilled through the next 30 or 40 years," he predicted.

Those rosy forecasts are making state officials bullish on Alaska's unconventional oil and gas future. "We're really just starting to unlock the unconventional plays here," Alaska Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Dan Sullivan said. "The key is the technology and the cost to unlock it."

'Seed kernel' planted in the '80's

Great Bear's Anchorage conference room is dominated by a massive canvas map of Alaska's North Slope, with ownership of the oil leases marked in bright squares of color across the terrain. The company's leases, designated in yellow, stretch across the state's transportation spine -- the Dalton Highway and the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System.

The proximity is no accident. Great Bear officials recognize that the gravel Dalton Highway, the only road that runs from Fairbanks to the North Slope oil fields, would provide year-round access to their drilling sites. The pipeline would be the ideal vehicle to ship crude to market.

2 of 7

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 17,018.88 -20.61 -0.12%
S&P 500 1,989.44 -2.93 -0.15%
NASDAQ 4,540.0160 +7.9120 0.17%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs