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Something we REALLY can do about oil

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  • Something we REALLY can do about oil

    Two words: shale oil.

    RAND has just released a study that shows that given advances in technology from where the work left off in the Carter administration, it is now feasible to extract oil from shale for roguhly $40/bbl, making it competitive with crude oil. Here are the advantages:

    There is enough shale oil in three Western states (Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming) to supply the US for four hundred years even assuming reasonable growth curves in usage. There is three times as much oil in just the Green River basin of Colorado as there is on the entire Saudi peninsula. Shale oil is a resource the rest of the world does NOT have in abundance - most of the known deposits are in the Western United States. Total shale oil deposits in the three states mentioned comfortably exceeds the entire world's supply of crude oil (1.5T bbls vs 1.1T bbls) even using very conservative projections. Tapping these reserves could make the US completely independent of foreign oil, and we might even be a net exporter.

    There is basically only one disadvantage: we have to build the infrastructure for mining and processing, and it will take 15 years before we get any meaningful output. In 20 years, we can be producing 3M bbl per day, with the curve sharply increasing for decades after that.

    You want to be independent of Middle East oil? You want to improve standards of living while not driving Americans to dump their transportation? You want gas prices back down into the $1.89 range? Well, here it is. All we have to do is find politicians willing to make this THE major issue of their campaigns. It's gonna take subsidies and/or taxes to build that infrastructure, and we won't see any benefits for 20 years. Are people willing to wait that long? More to the point, are politicians willing to sell that to people when they can't take the credit in time to get re-elected?

    Don't know what the position of "Big Oil" will be on this. Probably they'll fight it. But maybe not, because they are the probable operators of the future shale oil extraction facilities.

    The presidential candidate in 2008 that convinces me that this will be a major push for their administration will get my vote, be they Democrat or Republican.

  • #2
    "Something we can do about oil": drill for more oil.

    Effect on reducing our use/dependence on crude oil: zero.

    Sigh...
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    • #3
      That's too long..according to Skeptic we will all be living in the ghetto by then
      Go Cards ...12 in 13.


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      • #4
        Originally posted by kah@Sep 1 2005, 12:00 PM
        "Something we can do about oil": drill for more oil.

        Effect on reducing our use/dependence on crude oil: zero.

        Sigh...
        Of course you're against it, Kah. You prefer to wait until the magic fairies wave their wands and remove our need for energy.

        And you're wrong, BTW. This isn't drilling for anything. This has the potential to eliminate our need for crude oil entirely.

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        • #5
          Ok, so how hard is it to get out of the ground, and how much infrastructure needs to be built? Easy to put up fields of oil rigs in Texas where there is nothing but flat land, but in the Mountain West would rigs be the way to get the oil? And would it be anywhere near as efficient?

          Moon

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Airshark+Sep 1 2005, 01:02 PM-->
            QUOTE(Airshark @ Sep 1 2005, 01:02 PM)

          • #7
            Don't know what the position of "Big Oil" will be on this. Probably they'll fight it. But maybe not, because they are the probable operators of the future shale oil extraction facilities.
            I'd think it would be the smart move for Big Oil to get in on this for any number of reasons.

            How cleanly would it burn? What are the essential differences between it and crude?
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            • #8
              Originally posted by Airshark@Sep 1 2005, 01:02 PM
              This has the potential to eliminate our need for crude oil entirely.
              I'm all for it then tell the damn Arabs to suck on their oil. In fact, do it more aggressively. We sent people to the moon for chrissakes when we didn't have the required technology.

              Set a goal...make it happen.

              In the meantime, we need to conserve more.
              Go Cards ...12 in 13.


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              • #9
                Originally posted by Airshark@Sep 1 2005, 11:02 AM
                Of course you're against it, Kah.
                I didn't say I was against it. Go get all the shale oil you want. Lovely idea. Have at it. But I'd prefer to see us reduce our consumption of oil by use of alternate fuels, if given the choice.
                Official sponsor of the St. Louis Cardinals

                "This is a heavyweight bout indeed."--John Rooney, Oct. 27, 2011

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                • #10
                  Originally posted by Lippa@Sep 1 2005, 01:07 PM
                  Don't know what the position of "Big Oil" will be on this. Probably they'll fight it. But maybe not, because they are the probable operators of the future shale oil extraction facilities.
                  I'd think it would be the smart move for Big Oil to get in on this for any number of reasons.

                  How cleanly would it burn? What are the essential differences between it and crude?
                  Tree hugger!
                  Go Cards ...12 in 13.


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                  • #11
                    Drilling in alaska would be easier.

                    But to your point .. why would it take 15 years to get something from it?

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                    • #12
                      Originally posted by Moon Man@Sep 1 2005, 12:03 PM
                      Ok, so how hard is it to get out of the ground, and how much infrastructure needs to be built? Easy to put up fields of oil rigs in Texas where there is nothing but flat land, but in the Mountain West would rigs be the way to get the oil? And would it be anywhere near as efficient?

                      Moon
                      Answer - it's hard. Unacceptably hard until recently, when apparently mining technology has improved greatly. It's never going to be super-cheap, the way some oil fields are (Elk Hills NPR has oil so close to the surface your feet almost squish when you walk there). It's never going to produce oil cheaply enough that it'll be a pleasure to pay for it. $40/bbl in today's money, not much less.

                      It's not oil drilling rigs. It's open-pit strip mines. And yes, it's gonna fuck up those particular parts of Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah (almost all of it is in Colorado, actually), though the actual areas are very small.

                      The advantages are enormous. Other countries don't have this resource. I say let the Euros, Chinese, and Japanese deal with the freakin' Arabs. We can be energy-independent. Hell, that'd be worth higher gas prices, wouldn't it?

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                      • #13
                        Originally posted by TTB+Sep 1 2005, 02:08 PM-->
                        QUOTE(TTB @ Sep 1 2005, 02:08 PM)

                      • #14
                        Originally posted by Airshark+Sep 1 2005, 01:08 PM-->
                        QUOTE(Airshark @ Sep 1 2005, 01:08 PM)

                      • #15
                        Originally posted by Lippa+Sep 1 2005, 01:09 PM-->
                        QUOTE(Lippa @ Sep 1 2005, 01:09 PM)
                        Originally posted by [email protected] 1 2005, 02:08 PM
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