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Old 02-03-2007, 01:33 AM
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retx retx is offline
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Location: Charleston WV
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Originally Posted by patbob View Post
I'm not sure this can happen. Synthetic oil is synthesized from something, using energy from somewhere.

At best, it is synthesized from some renewable source molecules that is already close to the final result (so it takes less energy to get to the final product) using energy also from some renewable source. Then you put that in your tank and burn it, loosing at least 70% of the energy available in the raw fuel. The further you start from molecules near the final result, the more it energy it takes to make.

I haven't looked into it, but I suspect the source chemicals are highly refined distillates of crude oil and the energy used is almost exclusively fossil fuel based.
you are 100% correct.

Originally Posted by MathewHennessy View Post
There's no such thing as running out. What will happen is:
  • cheaply-recoverable oil will no longer be cheap to recover
  • the price of oil will rise to reflect this
  • the price of oil will rise to the point where synthetic oil is cheaper than 'traditional' oil
  • synthetic oil will replace 'traditional' oil.

The North American continent contains enough coal and shale to produce synthetic oil sufficient for several centuries of forseeable use.

Note I say nothing about the environmental impact of such a scenario. Nor do I say anything about the intervening years where we send money to countries that we should be detonating hydrogen bombs over. But the idea that we're in danger of running out of oil is a fallacy. We're running out of cheap oil, and that happened to western europe years ago (due to gas taxes removing the 'cheap').
you are nearly 100% wrong.
we are living on the razor sharp edge of cheap oil being not sure if you noticed the last few years...but gas/diesel is pretty pricey. my home heating bill and electric bill have been going up steadily. this is not an endless supply. we WILL run out. did you know that the Jack2 field in the gulf of mexico costs $40 just to bring one barrel to the surface? we are drilling in places we werent able to years ago, but it is costing. so why would a company who stands to make less and less per barrel, costing nearly the cost of a barrel on the market just to bring it to surface, be spending that money to drill it? because the known fields in the world are be depleted faster than we are finding new sources. my fiance is a petroleum geologist. thats where these figures come from...her actual daily job. these are not just hear say or speculations....we are paying more for fuel because we are running out. it WILL run out.
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