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  #1  
Old 03-13-2006, 12:43 PM
mikemover's Avatar
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Running out of oil?.... Not anytime soon.

Are we running out of oil? That's what the doomsayers say. We are past our (Hubbert's) peak and it's downhill from here. War, famine, pestilence, perhaps even extinction – those are the apocalyptic scenarios posited by folks predicting the oil age is over and the era of stringency is nigh.

Whether we are running out of oil or not, one thing we're certainly not short of is people who claim that we are. The good news about this bad news is that, historically, the doomsayers have always been wrong.

Almost since the first discoveries of oil in the U.S. in 1859, people have been saying we're running out. In 1874, the state geologist of the nation's leading oil producer, Pennsylvania, warned the U.S. had enough oil to last just four years. In 1914, the federal government said we had a ten-year supply. The government announced in 1940 that reserves would be depleted within a decade and a half. The Club of Rome made similar claims in the 1970s. President Carter famously predicted in 1977 that unless we made drastic cuts in our oil consumption, "Within ten years we would not be able to import enough oil — from any country, at any acceptable price." And so it goes today, where a slew of books and Web sites make fantastic claims about dwindling supplies of crude.

The chief problem with those who say the world is running out is that they have always looked at the issue the wrong way. Questions about energy supply shouldn't be thought of in terms of how much is available, but in terms of how good mankind is at finding and extracting it.

In the years after Col. Drake discovered oil at Titusville, Pennsylvania, on the eve of the Civil War, wildcatters could only drill down several hundred feet. If we were confined to relying solely upon the technology available in the 19th century — or, for that matter, the tools available just three decades ago — then yes, quite possibly we could be looking at the end of oil.

But we don't use those outmoded technologies. Advances in seismology and engineering have placed well within our grasp supplies of oil previously considered inaccessible. Today they are easily and economically recoverable.

Today's drills don't stop at a couple hundred feet. They bore miles into the earth. They travel laterally as well, so that a well dug in one spot might recover oil underneath locations miles away. Because of directional drilling, today one derrick can do the work that once took dozens, reducing the surface footprint of oil extraction.

Energy companies today can drill far offshore, too, in very deep water. They recover deposits that doomsayers of the past thought would be impossible to get at. Other technologies and advanced processes have boosted the recovery rates of fields thought to be tapped out.

The Kern River Field near Bakersfield, California, for instance, pumped nearly 30,000 barrels per day throughout much of the first decade of the 20th century. After 1910, production declined for the next 40 years. The field was nearly abandoned.

Innovations like pressurized steam and hot water injections changed that. Production at the Kern River field steadily ramped up after 1960, and the field has produced more than 125,000 barrels of oil per day since 1980. Recent estimates suggest Kern River still holds an additional one billion barrels of recoverable reserves.

That example mirrors the larger trend about oil. In 1970, experts believed the world had 612 billion barrels of proved reserves. Over the next three decades, more than 767 billion barrels would be pumped. Did we use up all the world's oil and then some? Hardly. Conservative estimates today place the world's provable oil reserves at 1.2 trillion barrels. New deposits of oil haven't been created. It's just that human ingenuity has come up with ways to get hard-to-reach deposits.

Expect that trend of increasing reserves to continue. Earlier this month the Department of Energy released a set of reports suggesting that enhanced 21st century oil recovery techniques might quadruple the amount of recoverable oil in the United States. DOE predicted that carbon sequestration technologies that inject carbon dioxide into oil reservoirs could soon add perhaps 89 billion barrels to the 21.4 billion barrels of proven reserves. More fantastically, government researchers found that "in the longer term, multiple advances in technology and widespread sequestration of industrial carbon dioxide could eventually add as much as 430 billion new barrels."

The same goes for Saudi Arabia, the world's largest oil producer. The Saudis have 261 billion barrels of proven reserves. A year and a half ago, the Saudi energy minister suggested that number was way too small. "There are big chances to increase the kingdom's producible reserves by 200 billion barrels," he said. "This will come either through new discoveries or through increasing production from known deposits."

Questions about global oil supplies also must take into account unconventional sources of oil, like Canada's tar sands or shale oil in Colorado. These offer the promise of many hundreds of billions of additional barrels of oil that are currently extractable using today's technology. Processes for shale and tar sand oil generally are more expensive than conventional oil drilling. If crude oil were trading at $20 per barrel, they wouldn't make to produce. With the global price of crude trading above $60, however, they are attractive economically.

None of this is to suggest the world won't run out of oil one day. That could happen. It just isn't going to happen anytime soon.

--------Max Schulz is a Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute. He can be reached at mschulz@manhattan-institute.org.

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Mike

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  #2  
Old 03-13-2006, 01:10 PM
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Nothing new here to anyone who is associated with the oil biz. But, still nice news to us with producing properties and enjoying the benefits of regular royalty checks.
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  #3  
Old 08-02-2006, 09:01 AM
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Patrice Hill, THE WASHINGTON TIMES 954 words 24 July 2006 The Washington
Times A01


ServiceLine C 2006 Washington Times Library


Cuba is drilling for oil 60 miles off the coast of Florida with help from
China, Canada and Spain even as Congress struggles to end years of
deadlock over drilling for what could be a treasure trove of offshore oil
and gas.


Republicans in Congress have tried repeatedly in the past decade to open
up the outer continental shelf to exploration, and Florida's waters hold
some of the most promising prospects for major energy finds. Their efforts
have been frustrated by opposition from Florida, California and
environmental-minded legislators from both parties.


Florida's powerful tourism and booming real estate industries fear that
oil spills could cost them business. Lawmakers from the state are so
adamantly opposed to drilling that they have bid to extend the national
ban on drilling activity from 100 miles to as far as 250 miles offshore,
encompassing the island of Cuba.


Cuba is exploring in its half of the 90-mile-wide Straits of Florida
within the internationally recognized boundary as well as in deep-water
areas of the Gulf of Mexico. The impoverished communist nation is eager to
receive any economic boost that would come from a major oil find.


"They think there's a lot of oil out there. We'll see," said Fadi Kabboul,
a Venezuelan energy minister. He noted that the oil fields Cuba is
plumbing do not respect national borders. Any oil Cuba finds and extracts
could siphon off fuel that otherwise would be available to drillers off
the Florida coast and oil-thirsty Americans.


Canadian companies Sherritt International Co. and Pebercan Inc. already
are pumping more than 19,000 barrels of crude each day from the Santa
Cruz, Puerto Escondido, Canasi and other offshore fields in the straits
about 90 miles from Key West, and Spain's Repsol oil company has announced
the discovery of "quality oil" in deep water areas of the same region, the
National Ocean Industries Association said.


Cuba's state oil company, Cubapetroleo, also has inked a deal with China's
Sinopec to explore for oil, and it is using Chinese- made drilling
equipment to conduct the exploration.


That compounds the frustration for U.S. oil companies and other businesses
that have lobbied to open up the estimated 45 billion barrels in oil
reserves and 232 trillion cubic feet of gas reserves in banned drilling
areas of the Gulf - enough to fuel millions of cars and heat millions of
homes for decades.


U.S. companies, which have the best deep-water equipment, cannot
participate in the Cuban drilling because of the 45-year economic embargo
against Fidel Castro's communist regime.


If oil is found in commercially viable quantities, Cuba could be
transformed from an oil importer into an exporter, ending chronic energy
shortages on the island and generating government revenue.


That prospect and the involvement of China and Venezuela in exploration
activities have attracted the attention of the CIA and other national
security agencies, even if congressional opposition to offshore drilling
has not budged.


Sterling Burnett, a fellow at the National Center for Policy Analysis, a
conservative think tank, said Cuba's activities show that the
quarter-century ban on offshore drilling is putting the U.S. at a
strategic disadvantage at a time of increasingly scarce energy resources
and record high oil and gas prices that are hampering economic growth and
stoking inflation.


"Canada and even economically backward Cuba are moving forward with plans
to drill in offshore areas that abut U.S. coastal waters," he said. "Since
pools of oil do not respect international boundaries, it is almost
certainly true that Canada and Cuba will be accessing oil that could
otherwise be developed by and for the benefit of Americans."


More than half of the nation's untapped offshore oil and gas reserves lie
within the Gulf, much of it within Florida's protected waters. In the
latest attempt to exploit the reserves, the House last month passed a bill
that would allow coastal states to decide whether to open the first 100
miles of their waters for exploration.


The bill allows states such as Florida and California to vote for a
permanent moratorium on drilling but also includes a powerful enticement
to allow exploration: half of the hundreds of billions of dollars in
royalties and fees from drilling that otherwise would go to the federal
government.


The bill's authors are calculating that the public will support drilling
more when people are able to share in the revenues. That is the case in
Alaska, for example, where drilling faces little opposition because each
resident receives a prorated check for thousands of dollars in oil
royalties each year.


Although coastal states stand to benefit greatly from the revenue- sharing
provision, the Office of Management and Budget said the drain on federal
revenues would amount to hundreds of billions of dollars.


The White House particularly objected to extending the revenue- sharing
provision to Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi and Alabama, which already
allow drilling offshore, and said revenue should be shared only in new
drilling areas.


A bill that the Senate is scheduled to debate this week is far narrower in
an attempt to attract Democratic votes. It focuses on allowing drilling in
a key area in the eastern Gulf thought to contain large reserves, while
ensuring that Florida still enjoys a 125-mile no-drilling buffer zone.


The Senate bill's more targeted revenue-sharing provision would authorize
states that already allow drilling to start earning a one- third share of
royalties in 2017. The provision was added to attract support from Sen
Mary L. Landrieu, Louisiana Democrat.
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  #4  
Old 08-02-2006, 09:05 AM
R Leo's Avatar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Botnst
Cuba is drilling for oil 60 miles off the coast of Florida with help from
China, Canada and Spain even as Congress struggles to end years of
deadlock over drilling for what could be a treasure trove of offshore oil
and gas.
This is the BEST news! Now, we won't have to ship our soldiers nearly so far in the next war.
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  #5  
Old 08-02-2006, 09:14 AM
Botnst's Avatar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R Leo
This is the BEST news! Now, we won't have to ship our soldiers nearly so far in the next war.
You're one cynically humorous mofo!
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  #6  
Old 08-02-2006, 09:49 AM
Mistress's Avatar
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Does anyone know the amount of oil we are STILL EXPORTING to Japan?
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  #7  
Old 08-02-2006, 10:20 AM
R Leo's Avatar
Stella!
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Botnst
You're one cynically humorous mofo!
You've made my day.

Someday, when the cabin in the glade is done, you and I need to sit on my porche de la renommée, consume refreshing, adult beverages and criticize the seriously f***ed-up world we live in.
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  #8  
Old 08-02-2006, 12:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R Leo
You've made my day.

Someday, when the cabin in the glade is done, you and I need to sit on my porche de la renommée, consume refreshing, adult beverages and criticize the seriously f***ed-up world we live in.
Just you and Bot or is this an open invitation?
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  #9  
Old 08-02-2006, 01:09 PM
R Leo's Avatar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Siduri19
Just you and Bot or is this an open invitation?
Make my day and get invited too.
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  #10  
Old 08-02-2006, 01:22 PM
Hatterasguy's Avatar
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Old news. I have a feeling my grand kids will be learning how to drive with gas powered cars.
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  #11  
Old 08-02-2006, 01:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hatterasguy
Old news. I have a feeling my grand kids will be learning how to drive with gas powered cars.
AND you'll teach them how to work on them too.
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  #12  
Old 08-02-2006, 01:33 PM
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Probably. The internal combustion engine isn't going away any time soon. No reason to get rid of it anyway, the new ones are extremly clean.

Unless fuel cells are phased in which won't happen until its profitable, there won't be any change, and there is no reason for it.
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  #13  
Old 08-02-2006, 01:53 PM
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What knockers!
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R Leo
You've made my day.

Someday, when the cabin in the glade is done, you and I need to sit on my porche de la renommée, consume refreshing, adult beverages and criticize the seriously f***ed-up world we live in.
Ill bring the beans, you bring the chili. Then we'll mix it up, big time.

Walkers, at 20 paces. And I don't mean the pistol, either!
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no sense of responsibility at the other'
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  #14  
Old 08-02-2006, 02:01 PM
R Leo's Avatar
Stella!
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Botnst
Walkers, at 20 paces.
Those will be shots heard 'round the world.
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  #15  
Old 08-02-2006, 02:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R Leo
Those will be shots heard 'round the world.
No doubt. Shots heard and drunk as well.

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