News from the oil patch

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News from the oil patch

Post by Bryant on Thu May 03, 2012 12:51 am

News from the oil patch
Donald Prothero
Skeptic Blog


Last week, I attended the annual meeting of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG), held in Long Beach, California, from April 21-25. 2012. Although I have done lots of consulting with oil companies over the years, have taught the basics of oil geology all my career, and have many former students working in oil companies, I’m still primarily an academic geologist. Normally I attend the Geological Society of America (GSA) meeting each fall, which is the principal professional meeting for nearly all academic and research geologists. However, it was important for me to attend this AAPG, since I’m currently President of the Pacific Section SEPM (Society for Sedimentary Geology), and had to chair an Executive Committee meeting, judge student posters for our Cooper Award, and present our Lifetime Achievement Award as well. But each time I attend the AAPG meeting, I’m immediately struck by the huge differences between it and more academic conferences like GSA.

The most obvious difference is MONEY: the exhibit area for AAPG is HUGE, and filled with gigantic expensive booths from many of the major companies like Schlumberger and Halliburton. These booths have mini-lecture theaters with multiple big-screen displays where they give free seminars on their methods, thick plush carpets, potted plants, free food and drink, and fancy furniture—all for less than 3 days that the exhibits are open! Professional registration for this meeting is expensive (since most oil geologists make MUCH more than academic geologists, and the oil companies pay their employees to attend), and the dress code is also suits and ties for men (it’s much more casual at academic conferences). You can just smell the money at the meeting, and see lots of geologists hungry to learn techniques so they can jump to a more profitable position in their company, or go off and get rich as an independent (all of whom have smaller booths there as well).

The second difference is the emphasis of the meeting. At GSA, nearly 6000 attendees give more than 4000 talks or posters, 20 talks every 15 minutes for four straight days plus hundreds of posters. By contrast, for the same attendance there were only 5-6 20-minute talks at any given time at AAPG in less than 3 days, and the majority of the attendees didn’t present anything. Their job is to do whatever their company pays them to do, not churn out new research results to present at a meeting every year, like academic geologists must. Most AAPG talks tend to be very narrow and describe details of one particular oil field, not independent research into general principles of geology that academics are trying to decipher. Finally, the demographic differences are striking. Academic geologists are nearly 50% women now, and they are distributed across all age classes. Oil geologists, by contrast, are nearly all old white guys in their 60s or older, with a lot of young men (and a few women) just recently hired in the business. The entire generation that would now be in their 40s and 50s is missing because of the attrition during the oil busts of the late 80s-90s.

But the biggest take-home message is something oil geologists have known for years: oil is never going to be as cheap or easy to obtain again, and the global price of oil will get higher and higher as it becomes more and more scarce, especially with the huge increase in demand from developing countries like China and India. I heard this message over and over again, from the gossip on the exhibit hall floor with friends, to the plenary addresses by the top people in the oil business. Coincidentally, it was the cover story of the April 9. 2012, issue of Timemagazine as well. This fact has been known for some time, and was first predicted by the pioneering oil geologist M. King Hubbert in 1953. Using his knowledge of the history of non-renewable resources (which show a “bell curve” history of production, from their initial log growth phase to an equally rapid decline as the easily obtained resources vanish), plus his deep understanding of the amount and nature of oil reserves. he predicted that U.S. oil production would reach a peak in the early 1970s—and his prediction came true in 1971. Since then, U.S. oil production has steadily declined as fewer and fewer large fields were found, and older fields have been used up.



What about global production of oil? A few quotes from the top people in the oil business says what all the AAPG geologists I met this week have long known:

We’ve embarked on the beginning of the last days of the age of oil. Embrace the future and recognize the growing demand for a wide range of fuels or ignore reality and slowly—but surely—be left behind.”

—Mike Bowlin, chairman and CEO of ARCO, speech in Houston, 9 Feb 1999

Energy will be one of the defining issues of this century, and one thing is clear: the era of easy oil is over

—Chevron, http://www.willyoujoinus.com/vision/

While major new finds cannot be ruled out, recent statistics do provide worrisome signals… Discoveries only replaced some 45% of production since 1999. In addition, the number of discoveries is increasing but discoveries are getting smeller in size. The 25 biggest fields hold some 33% of discovered reserves and the top 100 fields 53%; al but two of the giant fields were discovered before 1970.”

—USGS WPA 2000 part 1 – A look at expected oil discoveries

All the easy oil and gas in the world has pretty much been found. Now comes the harder work in finding and producing oil from more challenging environments and work areas.

—William J. Cummings, Exxon-Mobil company spokesman, December 2005

It is pretty clear that there is not much chance of finding any significant quantity of new cheap oil. Any new or unconventional oil is going to be expensive.

—Lord Ron Oxburgh, a former chairman of Shell, October 2008


As these quotes show, nearly all the geologists (including most oil company geologists) who deal with the realities of oil supply as part of their daily experience, are fully aware that oil is becoming scarcer, and that there are fewer and fewer new oil fields found, and we are nowhere close to keeping up with demand on a worldwide basis. The figure below shows a very sobering “reality check”: a plot of the discovery dates of US oil fields. Notice that there was a “bell curve” with a peak in the 1930s.



Despite the fact that U.S. oil companies have spent billions and developed huge technological advances since the 1930s and 1940s to find oil by better means, the rate of discovery has continued to drop. Even with all these advantages, large oil fields no longer can be found in the lower 48 states. Only the Bakken fields of North Dakota-Montana represent a large new discovery, but they are smaller than the giant Texas oil fields found in the 1930s, and they are the exception that proves the rule. Those in Alaska are near exhaustion, since they peaked in 1988 and are nearly dry now. All these slogans about “Drill, baby, drill” solving our problems are just fantasies. The U.S. oil companies have indeed been drilling as fast as they could everywhere in the U.S., and as the figure shows, getting very little no matter where they look. As the Time magazine article pointed out, now they’re spending most of their time and money on increasingly risky and expensive operations like fracking, pumping water in old fields to push out the last drops of oil, or mining oil sands with all their environmental costs. The biggest push is in offshore oil platforms—and the 2010 Gulf oil disaster (along with previous oil disasters on platforms around the world) shows just how risky it is to drill so far offshore.

One of the favorite arguments is to drill more in Alaska, especially in the ecologically sensitive Arctic National Wildlife Reserve (ANWR) on the North Slope. The entire issue became a political hot button in the 2008 presidential election, as environmentalists pointed out how much habitat would be destroyed in the short-term search for oil. But the answer is clear, no matter what your politics: such exploration and possible production would be just a drop in the bucket. In 1998, a non-partisan federal agency, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated that there were at best only 16 billion barrels of oil in the ANWR and most of these reserves are prospective resources, not proven resources. Sixteen billion barrels sounds like a lot until you realize that it’s less than 1% of the total world oil consumption each year. The U.S. alone consumes over 20 million barrels of oil per day, so even if every drop of oil were actually extracted from the ANWR, it would at best provide two to three years’ worth of oil for the U.S.—and then it would be exhausted, and what would remain would be an ecological disaster.

So what about the world discovery rate? That answer has been known for a long time. World discovery rate peaked in 1965, and has been steeply declining ever since, even though more and more exploration is conducted in the farthest reaches of the globe in the past 47 years. The “peak oil” effect has probably already occurred, and we are likely on the slow downward decline in discoveries of cheap, easy-to-pump oil. Knowing that there are likely no more huge fields in our future, the next step is to calculate how much oil is left. Estimates of the ultimate recovery have fluctuated all over the place in the past few decades, but in recent years most of the estimates place the total volume of ultimately recoverable oil in the range of 1.8 to 2.6 trillion barrels, with most estimates around 2.0 trillion barrels. This was the number that Hubbert himself used when trying to determine the amount of oil left and when the peak would occur (he estimated a window between 1995-2000). Depending upon how the model is run, most scientists predicted that the peak of world oil production would occur around 2005-2010, with most estimates around 2006 to 2007. Although it’s still to early too tell if the peak has fully passed until we view it from a further distance, so far that prediction has proven accurate. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), the peak of global oil production was in 2006, and declined by 6.7% in 2007. As this figure shows, the peak may have occurred between 2006 and 2009, and production has hit a plateau, despite increased pumping while the oil price climbs.



In December 2009, however, the reports of a few large fields seem to have suggested that the peak might have occurred before 2010. In the same interview, the head of the Brazilian oil conglomerate Petrobras pointed out that the decline in supply was so severe that we would need one new discovery the size of the entire Saudi Arabian oil reserve every two years to keep up with increasing demand!

Meanwhile, demand continues to climb, driving up prices. The booming economies of China and India, along with some other developing nations, are greatly exceeding any increased production due to new discoveries. The numbers are truly staggering. From only 50,000 barrels/day in 1980, world consumption is now almost 100,000 barrels/day. As oil executive Peter Tertzakian pointed out in his book title, we’re nearing the once-unimaginable consumption rate of a thousand barrels a second!Even as the U.S. finds more oil in unconventional places, we cannot keep our domestic prices down because demand outside the U.S. is driving the world price upwards. All it takes is a few oil speculators and/or some political event in the Middle East, as happened this spring, and oil prices jump upward. But when they retreat again, they never return to “the gold ol’ days” but keep ratcheting upward to a new base level—this despite a global recession for the past 5 years.



Many oil companies see the handwriting on the wall. They are already spending some of their immense wealth in research and development of alternative energy sources, so their business doesn’t die out when the oil becomes too scarce. In 2000, British Petroleum (BP) decided to market themselves as the environmentally friendly oil company. They changed their logo to a green and yellow shape resembling a flower or starburst, and launched a high-profile $200 million ad campaign touting their alternative energy efforts, with the tagline that “BP” stood for “Beyond Petroleum.” That’s quite remarkable to hear an oil company announce its own transition to non-oil energy sources (even if it was mostly PR hype, since in actuality BP spent only a tiny portion of its research and development budget from its huge profits on non-oil research). Of course, with the BP Gulf oil disaster of summer 2010, the company has other bad publicity to deal with now. As soon as BP dropped its “Beyond Petroleum” campaign, Shell stepped up with their “Let’s Go” ad campaign, touting their research and investment in alternative energy sources, with the slogan, “Let’s make the most of what we’ve got.”

To summarize: the era of cheap, easily obtained, abundant oil is over, and oil will soon become scarce despite more and more costly efforts to squeeze out every last drop from more and more “unconventional” sources. The fact that Hubbert’s model exactly predicted the U.S. oil peak, and seems to be predicting the global peak, should be strong enough evidence in and of itself. There is also the fact that the peak of discovery of major oil fields occurred 47 years ago, and there have been no giant oil fields found in a long time, and most of the world’s older oil fields are nearing their ends. There are no polls that show just how many qualified experts (geologists and geological engineers within and close to the oil industry) accept the concept of peak oil and the end of cheap abundant oil, but a lot of oil experts are on the record as supporting it, including a number of oil geologists and executives. My many friends in the oil business almost all tell me that “peak oil” is widely accepted among their colleagues, and they have long been forced to work with extraordinarily difficult exploration problems because there are no easy oil fields any more.

There are some who say, “If cheap oil ends, we will just go to alternatives”. They say “We’re finding lots of natural gas,” which is true—so far as it goes. This sounds fine in theory, but when you look hard at the evidence, it doesn’t hold water (or oil). First of all, even if we stopped using oil for our cars tomorrow, there would still be huge demands in other areas. Most of our nation’s power plants are oil or gas burning, and they account for a huge percentage of our consumption. Natural gas is indeed more abundant, but it only solves part of the problem—it takes much more of it to get the same amount of energy, and it still produces greenhouse gases—nor is it practical for transportation fuel yet. If we got rid of oil- and gas-powered electricity, we’d have to go to nuclear power (which is still controversial here thanks to the Three Mile Island disaster, or the recent disaster in Japan), or coal. We do have abundant supplies of coal in the U.S., but as many people have shown, coal is one of the dirtiest and nastiest of energy alternatives. Most coal must be extracted either by dangerous shaft mining (which is expensive and produces relatively low quantities of coal) or by strip mining, which literally rips a landscape apart. In addition, most coal is high in sulfur, so it has long been the major source of acid rain. Finally, coal produces far more greenhouse gases than does oil or natural gas, so coal does not solve our carbon footprint problems. And no one is even thinking of using coal to run cars any more (let alone going back to the coal-fired steam locomotives of the past).

People also forget (or do not realize) that we use oil in many other ways besides energy. Nearly every synthetic substance you use, from the huge array of plastics in every product we own, to all the fabrics (nylon, rayon, Dacron, polyester, and many others) are produced from cheap oil. Just look around you and you will probably see dozens of plastics and synthetic fabrics in your clothes, and nearly every object in a typical room has plastic in it. When oil becomes too expensive for these things, what will we do? We will no longer be able to import thousands of cheap plastic toys for our kids’ Happy Meals, or wear synthetic fabrics (even when we need our polyester or spandex), or use products made largely of plastic (like the computer parts I’m using right now), or throw away plastic water bottles by the millions. When cheap oil becomes expensive, plastics will have to be recycled and rationed, and become much too precious for most ways we use and waste it today. And you can’t make plastics cheaply from anything but oil—not coal or anything else.

Anyone who lives in the farm belt knows that there’s another huge consumer of oil: agriculture. When I lived in the farming country of central Illinois for three years, it was striking that all the advertisers for the dinnertime news broadcasts (aimed at farmers when they were having dinner and watching the upcoming weather reports) were producers of fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides. All of these products are derived from oil. Nearly every strain of corn we use today is genetically modified by Monsanto to be immune to their powerful herbicide called Roundup, which kills all plants except this modified strain of corn. Thus, Monsanto can sell both the corn and the poison, ensuring a large crop each year. (To top that off, Monsanto genetically engineered the corn to be infertile, so the farmers are obligated to buy new seed from them each year as well). An acre of corn consumes 80 gallons of oil in the form of pesticides, fertilizers, and fuel for the tractors. We’ve replaced the human and animal labor of a century ago with machinery that requires lots of cheap oil. Our entire modern agricultural system of monoculture crops which have no resistance to pests, and which deplete the soil rapidly, can only be sustained by throwing oil at it in the form of herbicides, pesticides and fertilizers. Without it, our food supply would collapse, and the world would be looking at a global famine. The end of cheap oil will force everyone to re-examine agricultural practices, since you can’t make most pesticides or fertilizers out of coal.

Many of the “energy alternatives” once touted in political campaigns turn out to be illusions. Take the example of biofuels. They have been hyped way beyond their actual worth because they are popular in the farm belt, where politicians must curry favor (especially in Iowa, which has way too much influence because it holds the first presidential caucus). When there was a surplus of corn in the early 2000s, everyone was talking about turning it into ethanol and using it for fuel. But the end result was a classic example of unintended consequences. The increased consumption of corn for biofuels helped contribute to a worldwide food shortage, so that now most corn goes for fuel ethanol or animal feed, and very little goes directly for human consumption. Meanwhile, other countries saw the opportunities, and began to cut down pristine rainforests (with their valuable effect of pulling carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, and of maintaining the highest diversity of land life) and replaced it with biofuel crops like sawgrass. As reported in Time magazine, 750,000 acres of Brazilian rainforests (equivalent to the size of Rhode Island) were cut down in just 6 months in 2007, all to raise biofuel crops. When you do the calculations, one person could be fed for an entire year on the corn required to produce one tank of gas from biofuels. One editorial cartoon lampooned this brilliantly. It shows a rich fat American in the nice suit pulling the ear of corn away from the starving African child and says, “Excuse me. I’m going to need this to run my car.”

Yet there are also signs of hope. Each time oil prices rise abruptly, or cross some psychological barrier (like $4 a gallon), people do conserve, cut down on unnecessary driving, get rid of their gas guzzlers and invest in higher-mileage cars. We may not be able to get Americans to act by preaching at them or by trying to get our political system to work in our best interests, but economic pressures do seem to work. And there are models for an even better alternative to the roller coaster of oil prices. Nearly all the European and Asian countries that import all their oil have already adopted measures that greatly reduce consumption. Through taxation, most of these countries price their gas at a realistic rate that reflects its true, externalized cost in infrastructure and environmental damage (usually $5 or more a gallon), so people are strongly inclined to conserve gas and drive small cars only when their excellent systems of public transport are not sufficient. Those taxes on gas then go into the energy and transportation infrastructure, so the citizens get better mass transit, better roads, and they are invested heavily in energy alternatives, like nuclear, wind, and solar power.

Paul Roberts, in his excellent book The End of Oil, pointed out a model for other countries: Germany. Before 1990, German politics were controlled by big industry (especially coal companies) and coal miners’ unions. But the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear accident in the Ukraine galvanized the environmental awareness of the entire world, and by the 1990s, wind farms and other energy alternatives were rapidly emerging in Germany, spurred on by a law passed in 1990 to invest in carbon-free energy production. In addition, the Green Party became a significant force (not just a token party, as it is in U.S. politics). In 1999, the Greens won enough seats that they formed a coalition government with Gerhard Schroeder’s moderate Social Democrats. Soon laws were passed, policies changed, and subsidies granted, and Germany was meeting a higher and higher percentage of its energy needs through wind and solar power, along with biomass facilities which burn crop waste to make energy. Now Germany leads European countries in its energy conservation efforts, reduced carbon footprint, and in the research and development of alternative energy sources. The German policies are closely emulated by the Scandinavian countries, France, and many other European countries. This was all achieved while Germany continued to thrive economically, and today they are less dependent on foreign oil than ever, and have an economy stronger than that of most other countries. Americans who despair of our getting out of our current addiction to foreign oil need only look to Germany, Scandinavia, France, Japan, and other countries to see that if there’s enough economic pressure and political will, there’s a way.

What do you guys think of this? If you are interested in further examining the topic, I encourage you to go to the above link, where you can access the in text links to Dr. Prothero's references.
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Re: News from the oil patch

Post by Marconius on Sun May 06, 2012 8:19 pm

I thought it was a damn good posting. Kinda sheds light on why the price of oil(and its byproducts) will only continue to climb. We really need to start taking this seriously. I know they always hammer on the energy point, but I think we are much closer to another means of energy than we are to finding substitutes for important (as well as not so important) manufacturing materials.

How is this gonna affect the plastics industry???
How is this gonna affect the pharma industry???
How is this gonna affect the food production industry???

Those three questions start it off, but there are more.

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Re: News from the oil patch

Post by Dennis324 on Tue May 08, 2012 9:28 pm

I have no answers, only questions. PArticulalry that 1st chart.

It shows the US oil production declined steadily from around 1981 until about 2008. Then there appears to be a sharp increase in oil production here. Why is that? Especially given that the Obama administration curtailed a lot of drilling after the BP Gulf disaster.

As far as plastics go....I think plastics are made from petrolium products and if oil costs more, then it will be more expensive to manufacture plastics. That cost is certainly going to be passed on the the consumer. Will we reach a point where we go back to using glass because plastics might become more expensive?

Shippig costs are going to increase. (They already have). Food production depends on oil, so its also going to be more expensive if costs dont go down.

Can ya see how this is quickly becoming a national security issue? IT sounds like the author of this article is sounding a death nell for the oil industry. Funny how I keep hearing that thUS has more oil that Saudi Arabia. But maybe he's right. He'd know better than I.

So lets say we're running out of oil. Nuclear energy is controversial and I'll admit the Japan disaster scared me. I've not given up hope for safe nuclear plants...yet. Also coal. ITs true that coal is nasty if we use it like we did in the 70s. But its my uderstanding that clean coal technology is now here. I think they've opened up a clean coal plant in Germany now. So wile coal wouldnt run out cars, why couldnt we use it to heat our homes?

What about natural gas I thought I'd read somewhere that we're sitting on a gold mine's worth of natural gas reserves. And ist there technology now that allows us to use that in automobiles?


Also is there a technology available now to convert trash into energy? If so why couldnt we burn up our trash and turn it into energy to power our cities? We could kill 2 birds with 1 stone that way. Or is that just something I saw on the Civilazation game? Lol!

I've read hydrogen is an alternative source that can be used for transportation. But isnt that more volitile that gasoline? One can imagine the boom created in an auto accident. I've also read that it isnt really efficient.

At any rate, one thing that aggrevates me about all of this is that if we DID switch over from oil to another source of energy, the companies involved would cut our throats and sell our suply off to other countries to make a fast buck. Then we'd soon find we were running out of natural gas, or coal or methane or whatever.

So we're screwed because of the greed of the executives anyway.

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Re: News from the oil patch

Post by Miles1 on Wed May 09, 2012 6:58 am

Saw this on the history(?) channel a good while ago:

World Without Oil

From the blurb:

"What would our world look like if we ran out of oil? The lifeblood of our high-tech, highly mobile world won't last forever. Watch one scenario of what happens when one day oil does run out. How might our world change and how would we adapt?"

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Re: News from the oil patch

Post by Dennis324 on Wed May 09, 2012 11:07 am

Thats a good video. I think we'd have to go back to living like we did in the 1800s until energy alternatives were found. People would lose jobs because so many of us commute to work. We'd lose electricity and water (because the pumps wouldnt operate). We'd be sitting in the dark, at least for awhile.

(I'd buy a horse).

Another thing is that US foreign trade would most likely focus on Canada and Latin America. Because we wouldnt have much access to other nations.

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Re: News from the oil patch

Post by Bryant on Wed May 09, 2012 11:53 am

Dennis324 wrote:I have no answers, only questions. PArticulalry that 1st chart.

It shows the US oil production declined steadily from around 1981 until about 2008. Then there appears to be a sharp increase in oil production here. Why is that? Especially given that the Obama administration curtailed a lot of drilling after the BP Gulf disaster.

You last statement isn't true. There where restrictions on some off shore drilling, but there was in increase of onshore. Don't believe everything Fox tells you.

As far as plastics go....I think plastics are made from petrolium products and if oil costs more, then it will be more expensive to manufacture plastics. That cost is certainly going to be passed on the the consumer. Will we reach a point where we go back to using glass because plastics might become more expensive?
Perhaps more glass will be part of the answer, however petrol chemicals are so essential to many products that I imagine that there would be a cost threshold where synthetic petrochemicals would become economic.

Shippig costs are going to increase. (They already have). Food production depends on oil, so its also going to be more expensive if costs dont go down.

Yes and no. I could see a possible transition from long range trucking to using more rail infrastructure (trains can be powered by electricity, which can be generated from other, non coal or petrol sources).

Can ya see how this is quickly becoming a national security issue?

Thats part of why we are sitting on our strategic reserves.

IT sounds like the author of this article is sounding a death nell for the oil industry. Funny how I keep hearing that thUS has more oil that Saudi Arabia. But maybe he's right. He'd know better than I.

I really doubt that is the case, and to my understanding most of what we have is either low quality or hard (read expensive/low yield) to extract. Marc probably knows much more about this than I do. My only tie to the oil industry is my AAPG membership, Marc lives it.

So lets say we're running out of oil. Nuclear energy is controversial and I'll admit the Japan disaster scared me. I've not given up hope for safe nuclear plants...yet. Also coal. ITs true that coal is nasty if we use it like we did in the 70s. But its my uderstanding that clean coal technology is now here. I think they've opened up a clean coal plant in Germany now. So wile coal wouldnt run out cars, why couldnt we use it to heat our homes?

Clean is a relative term, coal at its best is still worse than petrochemicals at their worst. I still believe that in most parts of the world (particularly the western US) solar, hydro, and wind generation can economically account for most (if not all) of our energy consumption. Much of California has been powered by hydroelectric systems for going on a century, wind farms have existed over some of the passes in the Coast Range and Tahachippi pass as long as I can remember, and some large solar plants are starting to pop up (in addition to a rapid increase of personal solar in middle class neighborhoods).

What about natural gas I thought I'd read somewhere that we're sitting on a gold mine's worth of natural gas reserves. And ist there technology now that allows us to use that in automobiles?

Much of both City of Fresno and Fresno Unified's bus fleets are powered by compressed natural gas. Its probably worth looking into as an interim fuel source for future passenger cars, however it has the same long term problems that oil does.

Also is there a technology available now to convert trash into energy? If so why couldnt we burn up our trash and turn it into energy to power our cities? We could kill 2 birds with 1 stone that way. Or is that just something I saw on the Civilazation game? Lol!

I like Civilization. They do burn trash for electricity, its called biomass. Its as much a waste management method as a power generation one and often isn't necessarily the cleanest or most efficient way of doing either. That said, the technology and fuel are there is we ever decide to commit ourselves to it.

I've read hydrogen is an alternative source that can be used for transportation. But isnt that more volitile that gasoline? One can imagine the boom created in an auto accident. I've also read that it isnt really efficient.
H2+O2=rocket fuel! From what I heard the primary concern was how expensive it is to produce H2 gas. The nice thing is that a car only needs fuel and oxygen to run, in this case (to use ideal conditions for example) that would mean 2H2+O2+heat=2H2O. The bye-product would just be water!

I saw a couple years ago that BMW (or was it Porche?) came out with a car that could be powered by either H2 or gasoline, depending on which is available and could switch at a push of a button.

At any rate, one thing that aggrevates me about all of this is that if we DID switch over from oil to another source of energy, the companies involved would cut our throats and sell our suply off to other countries to make a fast buck. Then we'd soon find we were running out of natural gas, or coal or methane or whatever.

Methane is renewable (just visit your local dairy!). Solar, water, wind. The power generated by those can only be shipped so far, so what we produce here would stay here (or in northern Mexico and southern Canada if one really wanted to export it).

So we're screwed because of the greed of the executives anyway.

Welcome to capitalism, where rule #1 is to turn a profit.
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Re: News from the oil patch

Post by Dennis324 on Wed May 09, 2012 4:44 pm

Civilization rocks doesnt it? Smile

I do think these are maters of national security. Re trains, We'd still need oil for lubricants. And I suspect that if we really did run out of oil, the govt would seize what little remained to use for itself (military, and other vital systems). But electricity would disappear! Turbines would grind to a halt. Anything where metal moves against metal would seize up.

What I didnt know, however, was that toothpaste depended on oil. Lol! If you really got technical, we'd even lose toilet paper! Ouch! I guess any and all industries which are even remotely associated with oil would shut down.

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Re: News from the oil patch

Post by Marconius on Thu May 10, 2012 1:28 am

Dennis324 wrote:
At any rate, one thing that aggrevates me about all of this is that if we DID switch over from oil to another source of energy, the companies involved would cut our throats and sell our suply off to other countries to make a fast buck. Then we'd soon find we were running out of natural gas, or coal or methane or whatever.

So we're screwed because of the greed of the executives anyway.

Once again Dennis, you are blaming greedy executives for the high price of gas. Do you realize that oil companies make about 6X less profit from each barrel of oil than your own Federal government does??? It's all part of the blame game Dennis and you're buying into it. I've continually told you that oil companies have no control over the price at the pump, but it doesn't seem to sink in. Maybe you will read this:

http://www.gravmag.com/prices.shtml

I know it is kinda old, but the principles still stand. One of the biggest keys that it points out is the debt. As the debt rises, the buying power of the dollars in your pocket decreases. Another difference from that link and today is that taxes on gas at the pump is higher.

I mean really, oil companies make about an 8% profit from each unit they sell.......Apple makes about 2-3X's that in profit off each unit they sell and I see no body bitchin about Iphones, Ipads, and Mac Books.

You wanna talk about greedy executives, then start out at the executive office of our government. You can then go to the legislative branch...after that....you've pretty much covered who's to blame.

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Re: News from the oil patch

Post by Miles1 on Thu May 10, 2012 1:58 am

Dennis324 wrote:
Anything where metal moves against metal would seize up.

Not necessarily, you could use graphite as a lubricant. Altho then there'd be a worldwide pencil shortage......

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Re: News from the oil patch

Post by Miles1 on Thu May 10, 2012 2:03 am

Marconius wrote:
You wanna talk about greedy executives, then start out at the executive office of our government. You can then go to the legislative branch...after that....you've pretty much covered who's to blame.

So if prices go up the govt is to blame, then who gets the credit if prices go down?

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Re: News from the oil patch

Post by Marconius on Thu May 10, 2012 2:39 am

Miles1 wrote:
Marconius wrote:
You wanna talk about greedy executives, then start out at the executive office of our government. You can then go to the legislative branch...after that....you've pretty much covered who's to blame.

So if prices go up the govt is to blame, then who gets the credit if prices go down?

Not a comment on oil or gas prices......just a general comment on who is the greediest. The very end of the sentence could have been worded better.

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"We have four boxes used to guarantee our liberty: The soap box, the ballot box, the jury box and the cartridge box". -- Ambrose Bierce (1887)

"All right, they're on our left, they're on our right, they're in front of us, and they're behind us. They can't get away this time!" -Gen. L. "Chesty" Puller, CO, 1 MARDIV, in Korea surrounded by 22 enemy divisions

Had the Japanese got as far as India, Gandhi's theories of "passive resistance" would have floated down the Ganges River with his bayoneted, beheaded carcass. -- Mike Vanderboegh.
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Re: News from the oil patch

Post by Bryant on Fri May 11, 2012 12:28 am

Dennis324 wrote:Civilization rocks doesnt it? Smile

I do think these are maters of national security. Re trains, We'd still need oil for lubricants. And I suspect that if we really did run out of oil, the govt would seize what little remained to use for itself (military, and other vital systems). But electricity would disappear! Turbines would grind to a halt. Anything where metal moves against metal would seize up.

What I didnt know, however, was that toothpaste depended on oil. Lol! If you really got technical, we'd even lose toilet paper! Ouch! I guess any and all industries which are even remotely associated with oil would shut down.

I think there will come a time when synthetic petrochemicals will become more economic (we can already make oil form non-oil, its just expensive). I doubt this would be practical for meeting our fuel needs, however we use a far lower volume of lubricants and these can generally be recycled/reprocessed.
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