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Tight oil (also known as light tight oil, abbreviated LTO) is a Petroleum play that consists of light crude oil contained in petroleum-bearing formations of relatively low porosity and permeability (shales). It uses the same horizontal well and hydraulic fracturing technology used in recent boom in production of shale gas. It should not be confused with oil shale and shale oil as it differs by the API gravity and viscosity of the fluids, as well as the method of extraction.
Tight oil formations include the Bakken Shale, the Niobrara Formation, Barnett Shale, and the Eagle Ford Shale in the United States, R’Mah Formation in Syria, Sargelu Formation in the northern Persian Gulf region, Athel Formation in Oman, Bazhenov Formation and Achimov Formation in Russia, and Chicontepec Formation in Mexico.