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Mon Mar 11, 2013, 03:12 PM

Enough oil no longer the problem


A few years ago the doomsayers were sure we would peak in oil supplies in the near future and eventually run out in years to come. It was made explicit in the book, "American Theocracy" by Kevin Phillips, which makes good reading. But, in fact, world oil production continues to rise, and the USA is one of the leaders in production.

Eventually consumers could decide they can do without some of the oil products, especially at the prices gasoline has risen to, and the oil futures investors, which have considerable control over pricing, will no longer be interested. The oil will just remain underground, unused, probably forgotten.

However, David Frum of CNN says "Our oil problem is not that 'we're running out.' Our oil problem is that we're producing so much of the stuff that we are changing the planet's climate." Whoa, now we bring in the environmentalists. But then there is fracking which produces cheap natural gas, which is a plus for the environment.

So what do we do next?

Read more here: [link:http://www.cnn.com/2013/03/04/opinion/frum-peak-oil|

34 replies, 6653 views

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Arrow 34 replies Author Time Post
Reply Enough oil no longer the problem (Original post)
Nasty Jack Mar 2013 OP
Champion Jack Mar 2013 #1
Nasty Jack Mar 2013 #2
Champion Jack Mar 2013 #7
Nasty Jack Mar 2013 #8
Spider Jerusalem Mar 2013 #3
Nasty Jack Mar 2013 #5
BlueStreak Mar 2013 #4
Spider Jerusalem Mar 2013 #6
BlueStreak Mar 2013 #9
Spider Jerusalem Mar 2013 #10
BlueStreak Mar 2013 #11
Spider Jerusalem Mar 2013 #12
BlueStreak Mar 2013 #13
Spider Jerusalem Mar 2013 #14
Socialistlemur Sep 2013 #25
BlueStreak Sep 2013 #27
Socialistlemur Oct 2013 #29
Socialistlemur Sep 2013 #26
Socialistlemur Oct 2013 #31
Spider Jerusalem Oct 2013 #32
Socialistlemur Sep 2013 #24
happyslug Mar 2013 #15
TooManyPeople Mar 2013 #16
golfguru Apr 2013 #17
markboxer Apr 2013 #18
golfguru Apr 2013 #19
Bay Boy May 2013 #20
Socialistlemur Sep 2013 #23
4dsc Aug 2013 #21
Socialistlemur Sep 2013 #22
PATRICK Oct 2013 #28
Socialistlemur Oct 2013 #30
EconGreen Jan 2014 #33
Name removed Mar 2014 #34

Response to Nasty Jack (Original post)

Mon Mar 11, 2013, 03:22 PM

1. Fracking does not produce cheap natural gas

Nor is it good for the environment. Natural gas burns 25% cleaner, but, the extraction process is every bit as dirty as coal. Not only that but, they use 5 to 12 millions gallons of fresh water for every Frack. A well can be fracked 15 times or more.This water can not go back into the natural cycle because it is poisoned with a cocktail of chemicals many undisclosed due to the halliburton loophole.

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Response to Champion Jack (Reply #1)

Mon Mar 11, 2013, 03:41 PM

2. Think you're wrong


Wikipedia says, " fracking, is a technique used to release petroleum, natural gas (including shale gas, tight gas, and coal seam gas), or other substances for extraction.

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Response to Nasty Jack (Reply #2)

Mon Mar 11, 2013, 06:13 PM

7. Wikipedia? Are you fucking serious?

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Response to Champion Jack (Reply #7)

Mon Mar 11, 2013, 09:47 PM

8. Yes I am serious


And now I can consider the source.

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Response to Nasty Jack (Original post)

Mon Mar 11, 2013, 03:42 PM

3. How is cheap natural gas a plus for the environment?

It releases CO2, as well, just less of it than gasoline, diesel fuel and coal; it's marginally "greener" by some metrics but it's a hell of a long way from carbon neutral (and replacing coal with natural gas for electric power generation would have the same longterm climate effects).

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Response to Spider Jerusalem (Reply #3)

Mon Mar 11, 2013, 04:10 PM

5. At least it's a little better


It outperforms what we have now and at least that's a start.

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Response to Nasty Jack (Original post)

Mon Mar 11, 2013, 03:42 PM

4. Everybody hates Thomas Gold, but maybe he was right

 

Gold was a brilliant scientist who opposed conventional wisdom many times during his life, and was vindicated many times. He died still believing in the theory that not all oil is of "fossil" origins. The theory says that we have a very active inner core to the planet (there is no dispute about that) and that one of the byproducts of this inner earth activity is the production of oil (and that isn't serious disputed. The only dispute is HOW MUCH of this deep oil might end up near the surface.)

Gold theorized that it was possible that some of our largest known reservoirs could can actually be refilled from below. That has never been proven, but it is interesting to note that every few years geologists (100% of them brainwashed to evaluate everything through the lens of the fossil fuel theory -- and it is just a theory since nobody has actually seen a dinosaur turn into a bucket of oil) come back and say "Golly, I guess these wells have a lot more oil than we ever calculated before.

It is entirely possible that our knowledge of geology is so limited that we simply underestimate the oil fields by orders of magnitudes. In fact, a massive miscalculation is the only way to account for the expanding supply of oil and still remain consistent with the fossil fuel theory. Add to that the dilemma that some of the largest oil fields were never in a position to accumulate the largest deposits of organic vegetation and fossils.

So here we are again, with the geologists giving us another "Golly we miscalculated again" stories. But they get away with that because everybody hates Thomas Gold. The oil barons hate him because if he was correct, their oil is worth much less. The environmentalists hate him because if he was right, that means we could potentially smoke up the atmosphere with ten times more pollution than we think our worst case is today.

RIP Tomas Gold. We all hate you.

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Response to BlueStreak (Reply #4)

Mon Mar 11, 2013, 04:26 PM

6. Nah, Gold's abiotic petroleum theories are still zany and unsupported by evidence

the fact that there are unconventional reserves recoverable through newly developed technical means like hydraulic fracturing (that have only become economically viable with historically high oil prices) doesn't mean Gold was right about abiogenesis of petroleum; it just means that with the exhausting of conventional crude provinces we're having to look elsewhere for hydrocarbons.

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Response to Spider Jerusalem (Reply #6)

Mon Mar 11, 2013, 10:57 PM

9. That's not entirely true. You are repeating the conventional wisdm of geologists

 

that were all educated (i.e. institutionally brainwashed) that this is all "fossil fuel". What is the evidence for fossil fuels, especially in areas like ANWR and the UK north slope -- 2 areas that were never in a good position to accumulate huge masses of vegetation? Or what abut the Gulf of Mexico -- an area that was formed from a void as continental plates separated and largely missed on out the eons of organic deposition.

Geologists have ZERO answers for this. Their answer is always an ad hominem attack on anybody who doesn't immediately go along with their theory. Yet these are the same people who are missing their estimates by orders of magnitude.

Yes, there are some places where we are counting more reserves due to advances in technology. The coast of Brazil would be such an example. But that does not explain places like Saudi Arabia and the relatively shallow wells in the Gulf of Mexico that are also beating the geologists' estimates with no introduction of new technology.

I'm not saying Gold is right. I'm saying Gold's theory comes as close as the fossil fuel theory to meeting the COMPLETE set of facts we have today.

But you proved my point. We all hate Gold. Most of the people on this site who hate him do so because of the dire implications on the atmosphere. I share those fears, but would rather do so on the basis of objective facts rather than conventional wisdom from geologists that have been so badly wrong time after time.

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Response to BlueStreak (Reply #9)

Mon Mar 11, 2013, 11:22 PM

10. I'm sorry but this can't be taken seriously, at all.

Two things: Climate change and the ice age cycle, and plate tectonics. If you know anything about either you'd know that saying "ANWR and the North Sea were never in a good position to accumulate huge masses of vegetation" is completely absurd; both were at previous epochs tropical, in fact, and much closer to the equator than presently. As to the Gulf of Mexico, it lies on a tectonic plate boundary. Fossil fuels are commonly found along plate boundaries. This basically amounts to "I'm completely ignorant of geology and geophysics so maybe Gold had a point!"

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Response to Spider Jerusalem (Reply #10)

Tue Mar 12, 2013, 12:34 AM

11. You are illustrating my point very well -- jumping to unsupported conclusions

 

ANWR and the North Slope were not in tropical latitudes for any significant length of time compared to other continents that are lacking the same degree of oil.

The fact that there are weaknesses at the plate boundaries (you did get that much right) SUPPORTS Gold's theory, far from refuting it. The fact that you would make such an argument tells me it is you who need to learn a bit more on the subject. Moreover, because the Gulf emerges from a plate boundary, it mostly "new" material (in geological time spans), missing most of the opportunity to accumulate organic deposits even though it was at a "good latitude", so to speak, most of its life.

These are exactly the questions that geologists refuse to address because doing so throws their fundamental assumptions into disarray. And everybody profits from the current set of assumptions. Much easier for them to say "Oh that's just preposterous. I won't dignify that with a response." Because they have no reasonable explanation.

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Response to Spider Jerusalem (Reply #12)

Tue Mar 12, 2013, 09:29 AM

13. I only made it through the first sentence of the first references before

 

I had to give up because that very first statement is absolutely, provably wrong. At best, it is nothing more than a opinion by somebody who is comes to the subject with a unmovable bias. Gold did indeed drill deep below the sedimentary layer in Norway and produced oil in small samples. Others, particularly Russians, have achieved identical results. That does not prove that there is a vast amount of oil beneath the so-called "fossil" layers, but it absolutely disproves that first statement, and in turn calls into question much of the dogma drummed into the brains of "educated" western geologists.

You can't just ignore facts like that. Or maybe you can.

http://www.viewzone.com/abioticoilx.html

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/01490450500184876

http://seekingalpha.com/instablog/400230-vinod-dar/47079-abiotic-oil-and-gas-a-theory-that-refuses-to-vanish

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Gold#Drilling_in_Siljan

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Response to BlueStreak (Reply #13)

Tue Mar 12, 2013, 09:46 AM

14. Not true, and you are obviously a crank

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Response to BlueStreak (Reply #13)

Mon Sep 2, 2013, 08:48 AM

25. I think you are confused

Thomas Gold never drilled anywhere. He convinced the Swedish government to drill the Syljan Crater in Sweden. He felt the hydrocarbons could come to earth riding on comets. The well was drilled and at one point some rock samples had some black tar like material stuck to them. Gold, who was a self promoter claimed these smudges proved his theory. But the smudges were proved to be small amounts of the grease used on the threads of the pipes which were joined together to make up the really long drill they had used. As it turned out, Gold's claimed "outer space tar" was grease made by humans using hydrocarbons derived from un oxidized organic matter.

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Response to Socialistlemur (Reply #25)

Mon Sep 2, 2013, 11:12 AM

27. He pumped 80- barrels of oil from a depth of 7 km

 

That is geology that never had sedimentary layers of organic material.

I'm not going to get into a big debate on this. The oil industry has a vested interest in this being perceived as a limited commodity. The entire oil economy is based on the "fossil origin" theory and everybody gets paid on that basis. And at the other end of the spectrum, environmentalists abhor the idea that there might be magnitudes more oil that could push the planet to CO2 levels never experienced in the entire history of the earth's geology. So they also deny this.

Gold has been dead a decade, and we still see reserves expanding all over the world in places where there never was a big storehouse of biological materials. We still see the gulf oil fields seemingly replenishing themselves. Gold's predictions are still proving to be valid.

I wish we would run out of oil this year. I am a big supporter of wind and solar energy. But in supporting those things, I never took a pledge to be stupid to the basic facts. I don't know that Gold's theory is true. But I do know that his deniers have relied on character assassination and ostracization rather than evidence to keep his theory from getting clear scientific evaluation.

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Response to BlueStreak (Reply #27)

Sun Oct 13, 2013, 07:08 PM

29. Gold didn't pump anything

Whatever report you read is false. They recovered a few tea spoons of grease used to coat the drill pipe threads.

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Response to Spider Jerusalem (Reply #10)

Mon Sep 2, 2013, 08:57 AM

26. Actually both of you are wrong

A tropical climate isn't required to make up the organic matter which is eventually buried and becomes oil and gas. Furthermore, most oil isn't derived from vegetation. It's derived from marine creatures, plankton, which dies, falls to the sea floor and fails to rot because the seawater is low in oxygen and/or its buried very fast.

It is also true the Arctic was at one time found in a much warmer environment. Warm helps, as does sunlight and a lot of nutrients, a narrow, isolated, or deep ocean really helps because it tends to receive a lot of sediments and the waters can be fertilized. This leads to more anoxic conditions at the sea floor and a lot more crap gets buried which hasn't rotted and can then turn into oil.

Some oil generating rocks are incredibly old. Devonian source oils are very common. Others are sourced by Jurassic and Cretaceous sources. What happens to be t the surface today tends to be quite different of what was being deposited so long ago. But lets be clear, the one thing oil isn't made of is dinosaurs.

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Response to Spider Jerusalem (Reply #10)

Sun Oct 13, 2013, 07:17 PM

31. Fossil fuels found along plate boundaries?

I don't think that's necessarily true. There are lots of plate boundaries but the oil doesn't necessarily get deposited at the boundary. The largest oil deposits in the world such as in Venezuela, Canada, and Siberia aren't near plate boundaries.

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Response to Socialistlemur (Reply #31)

Sun Oct 13, 2013, 07:45 PM

32. Not along plate boundaries, no

crustal movements from equatorial to polar regions over geological timespans.

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Response to BlueStreak (Reply #4)

Mon Sep 2, 2013, 08:42 AM

24. I guess it must be easy to formulate a theory, fail to prove it then die?

This Thomas Gold theory was born out of ignorance of basic physics. This in turn tells me Dr Gold was a specialist who also seemed to lack the intellectual curiosity to read about the behavior of rocks and water at high temperatures and pressures. Unfortunately for dr Gold's theory, hydrocarbon molecules do not assemble by themselves in the high temperature and pressure environment which reigns deep underground. Hydrocarbons do assemble in space under very low pressure and temperature conditions..when they are exposed to high temperature and pressure they fall apart. This means hydrocarbons riding a comet impacting earth would not survive the impac. And they definitely would not self assemble deep underground in an impact crater. The whole idea is baloney. .

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Response to Nasty Jack (Original post)

Tue Mar 12, 2013, 06:13 PM

15. Shale oil boom is only expected to last to 2017, then decline rapidly till about 2022 to 2012 levels

 

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Response to Nasty Jack (Original post)


Response to Nasty Jack (Original post)

Fri Apr 5, 2013, 11:59 PM

17. Why is burning natural gas any better than burning gasoline?

 

Both produce CO2.

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Response to golfguru (Reply #17)

Sun Apr 7, 2013, 02:34 AM

18. Why dont we all buy solar panels

 

and run the houses electricity off that. no co2

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Response to markboxer (Reply #18)

Sun Apr 7, 2013, 03:07 AM

19. Very true but...........

 

what do we do on cloudy days and nights? Here in Seattle area, there are more cloudy days than sunny days. Another problem is cost of installing solar panels is high and that much money not always sitting in my checking account. What happens when my roof needs repairs, do I have to remove the solar panels and re-install them?

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Response to golfguru (Reply #19)

Wed May 1, 2013, 07:57 AM

20. If you buy the Dow solar shingles

the panels are the roof.

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Response to golfguru (Reply #17)

Mon Sep 2, 2013, 08:36 AM

23. Natural gas has more hydrogen

Natural gas is mostly methane, CH4. Gasoline is a mixture of hydrocarbons but lets consider the pentane molecule: C5H12. Pentane is also known as "natural gasoline". If you look at the ratios of hydrogent to carbon you can see methane has a much higher hydrogen ratio. When methane burns it generates one CO2 molecule but the hydrogen burns too, generating 2 molecules of H2O. The net result is that lighter hydrocarbons generate less emissions per energy unit.

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Response to Nasty Jack (Original post)

Sat Aug 3, 2013, 10:38 AM

21. How wrong can you be?

 

I don't know of anyone with a lick of intelligence on this matter who ever claimed we run out of oil. Typical strawman approach to this subject which indicates the author truly knows little about peak oil.

Thanks for laugh.

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Response to 4dsc (Reply #21)

Mon Sep 2, 2013, 08:24 AM

22. I guess you can say we hit peak oil and decline

Since oil is found in limited amounts it makes sense to think eventually we will hit a peak in oil production. Evidently to produce x quantity of oil at the surface there must be x multiplied by a functio of y volume of oil left underground. We must describe x as a function of y which likely depends on the actual environment in which the oil is found. Since there are many different environments this would be sigma x = sigma of many different functions of many different y's. sigma y would be the amount left in the ground at any given time.

The above seems to me to be rock solid math. Therefore we can conclude the decay function is likely exponential but may turn hyperbolic over time. This implies we will never run out of oil but reaching peak oil is an absolute certainty.

Since the y volumes of oil are found in different environments and the oils are of different qualities then we can also pose a law which states some kinds of environments and some kinds of oil will reach peak production before others do. This seems banal but it seems to point that the most desirable oils coming from the environments which are easier to exploit will peak first.

Therefore we can also conclude the oil price influences the peaks for these different oils. And this implies with a near absolute certainty that oil prices will rise as the peak is approached.

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Response to Socialistlemur (Reply #22)

Fri Oct 11, 2013, 08:24 AM

28. An intelligent race

would have had some foresight regarding an non-replenishable resource. Stretch out and conserve its use, ban wasteful retrieval, production and usage, forecast the point of rational profitability and heat sink damage.

If we had even curbed the economic vampirism and general usage to last easily a few hundred years, perhaps the climate change scenario would have been slowed or even entirely mitigated. Certainly it would have given humans time to evolve and handle the problem and historically- if not genetically- change.

Instead, in a mere century of brutal waste and economic decadence we have blown through the easy stuff with unfortunately just enough tech advancement to squeeze more damage and keep full denial and the giant economic gas bubble. Climate change moves parallel to economic apocalypse maybe at a slower but more inevitable pace. Also when an easy alternative energy and carbon resource might be needed it will simply be gone for eons.

The big picture shows a relatively fast and relatively unchanged(even that which is theoretically under human control) catastrophe that to a large extent has already happened.

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Response to PATRICK (Reply #28)

Sun Oct 13, 2013, 07:12 PM

30. Which catastrophe are we discussing?

I got lost

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Response to Nasty Jack (Original post)

Thu Jan 16, 2014, 07:47 PM

33. See: Elasticity of Demand

A lot I disagree with. But I'll focus on this one...
Eventually consumers could decide they can do without some of the oil products, especially at the prices gasoline has risen to
Sorry Jack, but this just is not likely to be true. Demand for oil is far to inelastic for us to think that demand for it will fall anytime soon. Our best bet is to invest heavily in further developing/improving renewable resources so that these better resources can drive out oil altogether. To think that demand for oil will change significantly as prices rise contradicts all the data we have seen to date

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