We all know the U.S. is beyond rich in natural resources. Witness the shale revolution that has unlocked more crude oil and natural gas than we as a nation can even consume. We also happen to be sitting on top of one of the world’s largest deposits of lithium—which, ironically, we must import to the tune of 3,600 metric tons last year.
Reese Energy Consulting today is following the latest on lithium here at home and those who are reawakening an industry we literally exported out of the country in the 70s. Okla. City-based Galvanic Energy has announced the $100 million sale of its drilling rights across 120,000 acres in the brine-rich Smackover Formation in Ark., to ExxonMobil. Seems Exxon aspires to become a major lithium supplier to the U.S. electric vehicle market—something it calls “Drilling for electric cars.”
At the same time, same formation, Ark.-based Standard Lithium has drilled and sampled what it calls the highest confirmed lithium grade in the state. A 2022 estimate of the Smackover Formation estimates the petroleum reservoir has enough lithium—newly dubbed “white gold”—to produce batteries for 50 million electric vehicles. Meanwhile, Lithium Americas is constructing the Thacker Pass mine in Nev., that’s estimated to hold 13.7 million tons of lithium carbonate, making it the largest known lithium resource in the U.S.