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View Diary: The 4 biggest oil fields in the world are in decline (197 comments)

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  •  What about non-traditional oil? (none)
    Are the heavy oils in Venezuela, the tar sands in Alberta or the oil shale in Colorado and Wyoming of any use?

    At what price per barrel do they become economical?

    I read that Venezuela has from 300 billion barrels of heavy oils  and tar sands above and beyonf their 90 billion barrels of traditional oil.; an oasis of truth. -1.75 -7.23

    by Shockwave on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 09:04:09 AM PST

    •  Monetary Costs are Irrelevent (4.00)
      The monetary cost of an energy technology isn't relevant.  If it costs more in energy to extract/produce one unit of usable energy then the cost is too high.  1:1 is the worst case.

      With the inherent losses of processing, typically the net energy exchange ratio must initially be in the 1:2.5 range or greater in order to achive at least a 1:1 input/net output ratio.

      My reading suggests that most tar sands and other 'heavy' resources are marginal at best and become a net energy loss proposition when pollution and the resultant cleanup is factored in.

      Perhaps technology will find a way to reduce the amount of 'purification' that these heavy deposits require for efficient use, but the tooth fairy leaves money for adults too...

      •  People will use other forms of energy. (none)

        People will pay energy in some forms to get oil---transportable energy.

        I would hope the new energy is wind and possibly solar (but there isn't that much in northern Candian regions) and nuclear, but most likely it will be coal.  

        And that will suck.

        Because even as oil prices go out of sight and people are trying to conserve like crazy, the net emission of greenhouse gases will explode further and further.

        •  It's already happening (none)
          The International Energy Agency predicts that fossil fuel combustion is only going to increase to keep up with world demand for electricity.  

          Wind and solar will increase but continue to contribute only a tiny fraction, unfortunately.  Hydro-Quebec has a plan to build a gigantic windfarm in the north to take advantage of is power lines.  At least that's something.  It will cover tens of thousands of acres.

          In the US nuclear power will likely increase.  For the first time in over a decade, there are a bunch of plant licensing applications, 14-15, in the works.  But then over 100 new coal-fired plants are also in the works, and the coal industry gets to regulate their emissions--thanks to the Bush policy.

          We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them. -Albert Einstein

          by Plan9 on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 01:07:17 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

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