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Peak Oil Myth

 
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jabailo



Joined: 20 Mar 2006
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Location: Kent (East Hill), WA

PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2008 8:45 am    Post subject: Peak Oil Myth Reply with quote

http://www.michnews.com/artman/publish/article_18184.shtml

Quote:
Yet another way of looking at Peak Oil is that it is now sustained, not by facts, but by public relations in the form of new books, new studies, international symposia and conferences, websites devoted to the subject, and all the ways the idea is maintained despite its questionable merit.

Like environmentalism, it is less a science and more a new form of religion in which one takes its “facts” on faith. Selective computer models keep producing these “facts”, but events like the September 2006 discovery by Chevron of a huge deep water new field in the Gulf of Mexico keeps contradicting them.
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jabailo



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PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2008 7:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://blogs.motortrend.com/6245781/editorial/is-the-earth-producing-more-oil/index.html

Quote:
Just what the latest Brazil find (dubbed "Sugarloaf ") could mean to our oil-ravenous world isn’t yet completely clear, but the Associated Press quoted Roger Read, an energy analyst at New York-based investment bank Natixis Bleichroeder Inc., as saying, "This would lay to rest some of the peak oil pronouncements that we were out of oil, that we weren't going to find any more, and that we have to change our way of life."

The find also brings up a name worth remembering: Thomas Gold. The Austrian-born astrophysicist, who died in 2004, was a renowned maverick in the science community, a brilliant rogue whose anti-establishment proclamations were often proven right. For instance, in the 1960s, as NASA began its assault on the moon, many scientists debated whether the moon's surface was comprised of hard rock or might in fact be a layer of dust so thick that, upon touchdown, the Apollo lunar modules would sink out of sight. Gold, studying evidence from microimpacts, moon cratering, electrostatic fields, and more, boldly predicted that the astronauts' boots would sink into the lunar regolith no more than three centimeters. And, give or take a centimeter or so, he was proven right.
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jabailo



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PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2008 5:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/short/319/5863/604

Abiogenic Hydrocarbon Production at Lost City Hydrothermal Field

Quote:
Radiocarbon evidence rules out seawater bicarbonate as the carbon source for FTT reactions, suggesting that a mantle-derived inorganic carbon source is leached from the host rocks. Our findings illustrate that the abiotic synthesis of hydrocarbons in nature may occur in the presence of ultramafic rocks, water, and moderate amounts of heat.
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brian-hansen
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Joined: 17 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2008 3:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm interested in revisiting this topic.

You've brought up some exceptions (a la "deep hot biosphere"), but the generally accepted view is that petroleum products are not generally "renewable" on a practical timeframe. The most cogent way I've heard of describing oil is as "stored solar energy" from millennia of the decomposition of plants and animals.

In this context, new oil is formed, but only very slowly, and, in effect, there is a finite amount of oil available to be discovered and extracted. World and population dynamics models (a la Forrester and Club of Rome) either treat oil as a fixed finite resource, or, alternately, a varying supply that increases as the cost increases, representing the idea that the more we're willing to pay to find and exploit it, the more we'll find. Either case, though, ultimately ends in the same place. Either with the depletion of all available reserves, or depletion to the point where it takes more than a gallon of oil to gain a gallon through discovery and extraction.

I don't represent myself as more than an interested spectator in discussions of just when the point of diminishing returns becomes the central factor in the production of oil, but I've seen presentations where "Hubbert's peak" has been discussed. From what I've seen, Hubbert accurately predicted the peak of US production, and I give credence to his predictions of world production peaks. The analysis I've seen looks at the limitations at many stages, from discovery of new fields, to rate of extraction, and refining. What I saw was persuasive evidence that a peak of overall production is imminent, if not already upon us. While there could be a change in at-the-pump prices as early as tomorrow, it seems the market is taking Hubbert and the notion of peak oil quite seriously.

You've offered some alternative views, both of large new discoveries, and of a different model of the origin of petroleum (the deep hot biosphere). While it is possible that these considerations may push out the "envelope" of peak oil, they invite a lot of questions within the conventional context I've described. How does the Venezuela discovery fit within Hubbert's model? and if deep, non-organic based oil is a reality, what is the rate at which it can be exploited before the extraction cost exceeds the extraction benefit in terms of energy usage? In other words, what is the significance of these notions in a world of rising demand, where I have to believe we're burning centuries (if not millennia) of stored solar energy every year?

It seems to me that, while it may seem unfair, someone proposing a contrarian view that says that concern and changes to our individual and collective behaviors is not warranted has a heavy burden to overcome. I'd like to believe that I have an open mind on the subject, so I don't see this posting as a personal attack, but an attempt to reconcile conflicting arguments. In some ways, I'd love to see the status quo go on and on, but the evidence I've seen suggests that we'd be prudent to start making some big changes in the way we treat oil and natural gas resources.
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jabailo



Joined: 20 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2008 8:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This blog is a great clearinghouse for all things abiotic with regard to oil:

http://oilismastery.blogspot.com/

Today's entry features a smart little jab at fossil fuel cultists:

http://oilismastery.blogspot.com/2008/05/fossil-fuel-cultists-in-their-native_30.html

On a more serious note, this post discusses the "Oil Window"...the strata at which oil is being found which is (a) far below the depth at which biogenic oilers would predict finding oil and above the level at which the oil would heat and gasify into methane.

http://oilismastery.blogspot.com/2008/05/oil-window.html

It's pretty simple proof that oil cannot be biotic.
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jabailo



Joined: 20 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 8:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601170&refer=home&sid=ayj1uo_gdNI4

Quote:
And unlike the tar from Canada's oil sands, Bakken crude needs little refining. Swirl some of it in a Mason jar and it leaves a thin, honey-colored film along the sides. It's light - -almost like gasoline -- and sweet, meaning it's low in sulfur.

Best of all, the Bakken could be huge. The U.S. Geological Survey's Leigh Price, a Denver geochemist who died of a heart attack in 2000, estimated that the Bakken might hold a whopping 413 billion barrels. If so, it would dwarf Saudi Arabia's Ghawar, the world's biggest field, which has produced about 55 billion barrels.
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jabailo



Joined: 20 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2008 8:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/2619313/Oil-boom-is-changing-the-landscape-and-finances-of-North-Dakota.html

Oil boom is changing the landscape and finances of North Dakota

Quote:
Although oil prices have fallen back from the dizzying heights of nearly $150 a barrel earlier this summer, they are still making the owners of underground mineral rights here wealthy beyond their wildest dreams. "For the first time in my life, I'm not in debt. That's a godsend for folks like us," said Mr Kupper.

His ranch sits two miles above the 365 million-year-old Bakken shale formation that holds the largest contiguous onshore oil deposit ever surveyed in North America - a sticky black "sea" of up to 4.3 billion recoverable barrels stretching across 25,000 square miles.

The complicated geology meant that it was not viable to extract the oil until spiralling commodity prices and major advances in horizontal drilling technology combined during 2006. The first royalty payments started to roll in last year and some amazed beneficiaries even contacted the oil companies as they presumed their cheques had too many noughts.

Oil prices currently stand around $115 a barrel, well above the $60 cut-off below which the viability of Bakken extraction would come into question. And there are few complaints about roller-coasting prices from the Kuppers.
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jabailo



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2009 11:41 pm    Post subject: Hydrocarbons In The Deep Earth? Reply with quote

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090726150843.htm

Quote:
Now for the first time, scientists have found that ethane and heavier hydrocarbons can be synthesized under the pressure-temperature conditions of the upper mantle —the layer of Earth under the crust and on top of the core.

The research was conducted by scientists at the Carnegie Institution's Geophysical Laboratory, with colleagues from Russia and Sweden, and is published in the July 26, advanced online issue of Nature Geoscience.


Earth's mantle an untapped oil source

http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2009/07/28/2638484.htm

Quote:
For decades, though, scientists have toyed with an alternative theory of petroleum formation: What if chemical reactions between water and minerals deep in earth's mantle could send black gold bubbling up into the crust?

Dr Alexander Goncharov of the Carnegie Institution of Washington and a team of researchers have shown that just such a thing is possible. They heated methane (CH4) up to 1500 Kelvin (1200°C) and mimiced the squeezing effect of being buried under over 100 kilometres of solid rock.
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jabailo



Joined: 20 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2009 6:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

New York Times chimes in, following YRIHF's lead:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/25/opinion/25lynch.html?_r=2&ref=opinion

‘Peak Oil’ Is a Waste of Energy

Quote:
Like many Malthusian beliefs, peak oil theory has been promoted by a motivated group of scientists and laymen who base their conclusions on poor analyses of data and misinterpretations of technical material.
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jabailo



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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 7:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703795004575087623756596514.html?mod=WSJ_latestheadlines

Oil Industry Booms—in North Dakota

Quote:
The Bakken Shale could contain up to 4.3 billion barrels of recoverable oil, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. That would make it the biggest oil field discovered in the contiguous U.S. in more than 40 years—and many in the industry believe the amount of recoverable oil could be even greater as new technology allows companies to tap more of it.

U.S. oil production has fallen by nearly 50% since its peak in the 1970s. Even with the Bakken Shale, U.S. oil production isn't expected to ever return to 1970s levels, and even the most optimistic projections of production from the North Dakota field don't account for more than a small fraction of total U.S. oil demand. But new production from the Bakken Shale, combined with other big oil discoveries in California and the Gulf of Mexico, helped U.S. oil production rise last year for the first time since 1991, according to U.S. government figures.
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brian-hansen
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 9:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
...U.S. oil production has fallen by nearly 50% since its peak in the 1970s.
Even with the Bakken Shale, U.S. oil production isn't expected to ever
return to 1970s levels...


Peak Oil would appear not to be a "myth", since it is the most likely
expectation, at least for the US, and according to this source.
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jabailo



Joined: 20 Mar 2006
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Location: Kent (East Hill), WA

PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 6:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

brian-hansen wrote:

Peak Oil would appear not to be a "myth", since it is the most likely
expectation, at least for the US, and according to this source.


It was confusing to me as well, but I didn't want to mask the "whole truth" of what the article says. What I remember from other articles about Bakken is that there is a crapload of resource, but it's very hard, thick rock. Recently they've used a lot of slant drilling to get at it.

My interpretation was, the easy stuff is drying up, but there is (we "think") lots more down there...
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jabailo



Joined: 20 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2010 8:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

All Hail the Shale

http://littlemissattila.com/?p=14096

Quote:
WALL STREET JOURNAL — "A massive oil reserve buried two miles underground has put North Dakota at the center of a revolution in the U.S. oil industry, a shift that has radically altered the fortunes of this remote area. The Bakken Shale deposit has been known and even tapped on occasion for decades. But technological improvements in the past two years have taken what was once a small, marginally profitable field and turned it into one of the fastest-growing oil-producing areas in the U.S.



Game-Changer: Oil Industry Booms in North Dakota

http://mjperry.blogspot.com/2010/02/game-changer-oil-industry-booms-in.html

Quote:
The real shift has come in the past two years as companies honed drilling techniques, leading to bigger wells, faster drilling and lower costs. Marathon, for example, last year took an average of 24 days to drill a well, down from 56 days in 2006."
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