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FF_Canuck





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PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 2:17 pm    Post subject: Oil: A lot more out there than you may think Reply with quote

From FrontPageMag.com:

Vasko Kohlmayer wrote:
According the Energy Information Administration as of January 2007 there was more than 1.3 trillion barrels of proved crude oil on earth. Even if this were all the oil on the planet there would be no immediate danger of shortages, because at the current rate of consumption – roughly 85 million barrels a day – this supply would last for more than 40 years.

But the 1.3 trillion in these so-called proved reserves refers only to a tiny fraction of earth’s oil, designating only that portion which can be extracted under current ‘economic and operating conditions.’ As it happens, this figure grows with each decade and usually dramatically so.

In 1882, for instance, there were 95 million barrels of proved petroleum reserves. This number jumped to 4.5 billion in 1926 and then to 10 billion in 1932. In 1944 the quantity stood at 20 billion. In 1950 it leaped to 100 billion and in 1980 it was 648 billion. In 1993 the world’s proved reserves grew to 999 billion, and today they stand at 1.3 trillion barrels...

...Adding appreciably to the proved reserves is the continual perfecting of drilling techniques. This makes it possible to tap deposits which because of their depth or geological environment were off limits only a few years ago. Today’s equipment can perform mind-boggling feats of horizontal drilling and there are oil rigs capable of reaching 35,000 feet under the surface, about double of what the previous generation could do.

Rising prices also make available oil which was previously considered unrecoverable commercially, because for whatever reason the extraction cost per barrel exceeded the price it could fetch on the market. With every jump in price, however, more and more of such oil is brought up as its production becomes profitable.

Finally, improvements in extraction processes make it possible to more fully utilize currently harvested reservoirs. Due to technical and economic limitations, normally only a portion of an oilfield can be recovered (it is this part that is referred to as the ‘proved’ reserve). A few decades ago the average oil recovery rate from reservoirs was 20%, but thanks to technological progress this rate is nearing 40% today...

...Due to the continuing exploration and technological advancement, we can be virtually assured that two or three decades from now we will be talking about another 40 or 50 or more years worth of crude. Cambridge Energy Research Associates, one of the world’s premier energy advisors, predicts that earth’s proved reserves could increase by as much as 25% by 2015.

But there is more to the story. So far we have only been considering crude oil, but crude is not the sole source of this strategic commodity. There are far greater amounts of it locked in other materials such as shale, coal and tar sands...

...America is especially well endowed on this front as it has nearly 75% of the planet’s known oil shale deposits. The Bureau of Land Management estimates that the Green River Formation of Colorado, Utah and Wyoming alone ‘holds the equivalent of 800 billion barrels of recoverable oil.’ This is three times the proved oil reserves of Saudi Arabia. At current consumption levels, that quantity would satisfy America’s needs for 110 years.

Like shale, coal is another enormous repository of oil. Technology to liquidify it has been around since the 1920s. Germany was the first country to utilize it on a mass scale when during World War II it sought to compensate for a lack of crude. Today this technology is successfully exploited by South Africa whose three liqudification plants produce150,000 barrels a day, the equivalent of the output from a medium-sized oilfield.

The United States – with roughly 27 per cent of the world’s recoverable coal – is especially well positioned to benefit from this resource. A couple of years ago, the New York Times pointed out that ‘the coal in the ground in Illinois alone has more energy than all the oil in Saudi Arabia.’ It is estimated that at a standard conversion rate of two barrels of synthetic fuels from one ton of coal, America’s reserves are equivalent to 20 times the nation’s proved crude. In other words, liquefied coal could satiate America’s petrol thirst for two hundred years.

But even coal’s potential is exceeded by that of tar sands which may hold as much as two thirds of the planet’s petroleum. Tar sands occur in many parts of the world with large deposits in Canada, Venezuela, the United States, Russia and various countries of the Middle East. Canada alone is estimated to have some 1.7 trillion barrels of which about 10% is recoverable at today’s prices and with existing technology. The country’s tar sands alone make Canada second only to Saudi Arabia as an oil resource country.

Tar sands account for one million barrels (about 40%) of Canada's oil production with the number growing each year. America’s largest oil supplier, Canada provides about 20% of our imports of which a substantial portion comes from this untraditional source. So vast is its potential that a CBS broadcast stated ‘the reserves [of tar sands] are so vast in the province of Alberta that they will help solve America's energy needs for the next century.’...

...This, however, is the worst case scenario. We can be reasonably certain that new exploration and advancing technologies will in coming years greatly add to the quantities of available oil. So much so that Morris Adelman, Professor Emeritus in Economics at Harvard, has argued that the ‘amount of oil available to the market over the next 25 to 50 years is for all intents and purposes infinite.’

The notion that this planet is running out of oil is one of the great misnomers of our age. There is more oil available today than there was a hundred, fifty or ten years ago. And there is every indication that this trend will continue into the future....


Lots of food for thought.
Mac





Joined: 02 Sep 2006
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PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2008 12:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So I don't have to park the Hummer? Excellent... 8)

-Mac
kwlafayette





Joined: 03 Sep 2006
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Location: Saskatoon Saskatchewan

PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2008 10:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, people are beginning to realize that Hubbert's peak is always looming on the horizon, but you never seem to be able to get there.
mrsocko





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PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2008 9:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
So I don't have to park the Hummer? Excellent


You should park. Driving while getting one is dangerous. :?
Mac





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Location: John Baird's riding...

PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2008 12:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mrsocko wrote:
You should park. Driving while getting one is dangerous. :?

More dangerous than driving while talking on the cellphone? :lol:

-Mac
Christian Conservative





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PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2008 3:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting piece for discussion... thanks.
Craig
Site Admin




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PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2008 7:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If the price of oil reaches $1 million per barrel someone will figure out how to make oil out of gold. The bottom line is that supply is (and will continue to) grow faster than demand and that is why oil is double what it was two years ago. Until these reported supplies become viable the situation isn't going to change.
mrsocko





Joined: 29 Oct 2006
Posts: 2463
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votes: 8
Location: Southwestern Ontario

PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2008 8:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
More dangerous than driving while talking on the cellphone?



Setting your cell phone to vibrate instead of wring and leaving it in your pocket is probably the best bet. :P
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Oil: A lot more out there than you may think

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