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View Diary: The End of Economic Growth (188 comments)

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  •  Maybe Not- Bakken Oil Field in ND (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pozzo

    Not so fast:

    From there, itʼs simple arithmetic. The basin covers about 8 million acres. Hamm figures there’s room for 48,000 wells. If each one delivers that 500,000 barrel average, you get 24 billion barrels. Even then, drillers will be harvesting well less than 10% of what geologist Edward Murphy of the North Dakota Geological Service figures is 250 billion barrels of original oil in place. The Williston basin is churning out 450,000 bpd now. Within four years, says Hamm, it will be producing 1.2 million bpd — as much oil as is currently recovered from the entire U.S. side of the Gulf of Mexico.

    http://www.forbes.com/...

    "I don't feel the change yet". Velma Hart

    by Superpole on Mon Oct 03, 2011 at 05:34:29 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  We weren't supposed to be finding these things (0+ / 0-)

      due to "Peak oil".

      •  It's not a new find. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        letsgetreal, Sparhawk, old possum, OHeyeO

        It was discovered decades ago.  It just happens to be economical now because prices are so high that even marginal quality reserves like shale oil and tar sands are gaining interest from oil companies.

        contraposition.org - thoughts on energy, the environment, and society.

        by barath on Mon Oct 03, 2011 at 06:39:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Pointing out the major flaw in peak oil theory (0+ / 0-)

          What is not economically feasible today might well be tomorrow.

          •  Heh... (8+ / 0-)

            That's not at all a flaw.

            Peak oil is about production.  Not reserves, not discoveries.  Production.

            Also, peak oil is not the same as the end of oil.  It means that production has reached its peak, but we will probably never run out of oil.

            Jeffrey Brown explains nicely how peaks in production happen regardless of best attempts to prevent them.

            contraposition.org - thoughts on energy, the environment, and society.

            by barath on Mon Oct 03, 2011 at 06:48:09 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Ok but (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              divineorder
              Peak oil is about production.  Not reserves, not discoveries.  Production.

              You cannot produced that which is not discovered. New discoveries like the one in Norway mean that more can be produced. Plus improved techniques increase the amount that can be feasibly extracted.
              •  40-year lag. (4+ / 0-)

                There are a number of reasons that these new discoveries are insignificant.

                1. The magnitude of such discoveries is small compared to historical discoveries.  We peaked in discoveries in the 1960s globally.

                2. There's been a historical trend of about a 40 year lag between peak discoveries in a region and peak production in a region.  (1930s we peaked in U.S. discoveries, and peaked in production in 1970; globally discoveries peaked in the 1960s and conventional oil peaked in 2005, etc.)

                3. We've been consuming far more each year than we discover globally for the past couple of decades.

                contraposition.org - thoughts on energy, the environment, and society.

                by barath on Mon Oct 03, 2011 at 07:28:24 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Not to mention (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  barath, SuWho, No one gets out alive

                  that discovering more and spewing more and refining and trashing and recycling more is kinda killing the planet, isn't it? Isn't it true that, at least in terms of our being able to live on this planet, that petrochemicals, in the way that we use them, are causing us a lot of harm as well as good?

                  Even if it were limitless, does oil work for us or against us in the way we use it? Not to mention having the United States military take over countries and plunder their people as well as their resources just so a small handful of companies can compete in the style they're accustomed to. That costs us dearly.

                •  Also (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  barath, old possum, divineorder

                  These 'discoveries' are piddling small and very difficult to develop. So, you put a tremendous amount of effort into developing this painful and difficult tar sands project or whatever, only to have its output just offset by declines from traditional easy-to-exploit oil fields.

                  (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
                  Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

                  by Sparhawk on Mon Oct 03, 2011 at 08:51:31 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  Avaldsnes moves peak oil back (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Sparhawk, divineorder

                40 days, taking the rosiest guesstimates of what they've found. It's a big deal for Norway. Otherwise, not so much.

                Republican tears sustain me.

                by orson on Mon Oct 03, 2011 at 08:12:37 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Costlier to extract (0+ / 0-)

                It is going to take a barrel of oil to produce the energy required to extract every six barrels of of oil from the Canada tar sands. In addition, copious amounts of fresh water will be required to process the tar sands to get the oil. New finds will use more and more energy and other resources just to extract.

                There has never been a protracted war from which a country has benefited. The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting. - Sun Tzu

                by OHeyeO on Mon Oct 03, 2011 at 08:02:46 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  What? Peak Oil is not also About Consumption? (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              FG, Linda Wood, divineorder

              Prior to the financial meltdown, and GM being exposed for the giant, status-quo supporting typical big corporation they are, they were fond of saying: "we can't make money from small, efficient cars". and I'm guessing they were among those initially critical of the Prius- "Oh, that'll never sell!!".

              Just as we can cut energy use/cost/carbon emissions by building more energy efficient commercial and residential buildings, we can reduce gas consumption via smaller more efficient cars, hybrid cars, electric cars, etc., - thus reducing the demand for oil-- and with recent discoveries like Bakken, push peak oil off years into the future.

              Of course one can argue this is a bad strategy; i.e. we need to deal with the implications of limited fossil fuels-- no argument there. However, business people like Mr. Hamm are out there, and we're not going to stop them from discovering/exploiting oil-- as long as it makes financial sense (i.e. his company profiting) for him to do so.

              Want to slow him down or stop him? push for more efficient cars, electric cars, reduce your consumption, etc. if demand for oil drops, the price per barrel drops.. if it stays low, the drillers can't make (enough) money. Mr. Hamm is betting against this, and he's probbaly correct.

              "I don't feel the change yet". Velma Hart

              by Superpole on Mon Oct 03, 2011 at 10:50:56 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  I include EROEI as a factor. (0+ / 0-)

            FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

            by Roger Fox on Mon Oct 03, 2011 at 02:29:18 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Oil is still found, but it worse places (0+ / 0-)

        Actually, as I understand it, the idea of peak oil does expect that more discoveries will be made -- but they will be made in more and more remote and hard-to-reach places.  In the case of these North Dakota fields, they might be producing a lot, but how much depth do they have to go to get the oil?  And hence, how expensive is it to pump it out?  If it's really expensive, then that oil might reach the market, but it will have a big fat price tag on it, which means things like gasoline will still be expensive.

        Think of Deepwater Horizon.  Part of why that accident was so bad is that they were drilling much deeper waters than anyone used to do thirty or forty years ago.  Which means it was expensive and very dangerous.

    •  Peak oil production in the US (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Linda Wood

      which took away the ability to control global oil prices, set the "need" for greater geopolitical control of oil producing regions, and ushered in the era of the petrodollar with its attending effects on debt and reserve currency.
      Cheap oil largely enabled the spectacular growth of the first 3/4 of the 20th century for OECD nations. Finding additional expensive oil reserves today (or known reserves becoming economical with rising oil prices) isn't going to allow for the same type of expansion.

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