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Al Fin

Al Fin

Al Fin runs a number of very successful blogs that cover, energy, technology, news and politics.

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Oil Production Rising Once Again in North America

"Peak oil in North America is likely not to be peak" given $90 per barrel prices and new technology that makes it easier to recover oil, he [Peter Tertzakian] said.

...Oil companies are adapting the same advanced drilling techniques that created the boom in shale gas: horizontal drilling and multistage hydraulic fracturing that allow them to break open the rocks at various points and capture the hydrocarbons trapped within.

The other key factor in the tight-oil boom is a high oil price, as North American crude is trading around $90 (U.S.) a barrel and international grades, near $100.

"High oil prices are definitely driving this thing," said Stephen Sonnenberg, a leading geologist at the Colorado School of Mines. "Gas prices are suppressed, oil prices are quite high and everybody is really excited about these tight oil plays." _Globe&Mail

The shale oil technology revolution is moving into Manitoba, boosting local economies there, just as it has in Alberta and Saskatchewan -- and in several US states as well.

In the Bakken formation, production is rising so fast there is no space in pipelines to bring the oil to market. Instead, it is being transported to refineries by rail and truck. Drilling companies have had to erect camps to house workers. _AP

Oil production is once again rising in North America -- despite the de facto Obama moratorium on offshore drilling.

Many informed energy experts believe that the US government under Obama has gotten itself far too involved in the energy picture -- to the point of instigating an underhanded form of "energy starvation."

The more the government gets involved in energy, the more expensive energy becomes and the less we produce here at home. The Department of Energy was created to reduce dependence on foreign oil.

...We have doubled imports since then. The constant drumbeat of "energy plans" pushed by politicians simply pick winners and losers in the energy business, rewarding political friends on both sides of the aisle. The less government is involved, the more consumers can make decisions for themselves. _MSNBC

Energy policies in Europe are even worse than in Obama's US. Big bets placed on wind and solar energy by European governments are beginning to hit their economies with a devastating back-bite. From the UK, to Italy, to Germany and Spain, to investors across the developed world, there is a dawning of awareness that neither wind nor solar are ready for prime time energy production. Such intermittent, unreliable, exorbitantly expensive, prone-to-failure energy sources never made sense for large scale on-grid production. Particularly when far more reliable nuclear reactor designs are available -- once Obama's fat and lazy-assed NRC gets around to certifying them.


The "energy crisis" is certainly more a failure of government than anything else, but there is another big problem feeding into the "crisis." A growing shortage of skilled manpower in the energy industries is a ticking timebomb for advanced industrial civilisations. The coming Idiocracy -- the dysgenic future trends of current demographics -- portends far greater problems for civilisation than any shortage of fuels or any possible hazards from marginally higher levels of the trace gas CO2 (only 0.04% of Earth's atmosphere).

By. Al Fin

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  • Anonymous on February 14 2011 said:
    A few counterpoints to the article:1)North American production did peak almost four decades ago. Current production of crude does not even come close to reaching that peak. Bakken is nothing to get excited about, it merely makes up for declines in other fields. The IEA predicts US production to be down this year and next, despite Bakken.2)Environmental considerations are nothing to brush aside. The gulf disaster has harmed a major food supply to the continent, and many other disasters have had nasty effects in the past. I know that some people dream of a world where making money is sacred, and nothing else matters, but we need protection from ourselves, because we are now more potent than ever in affecting our environment.3)Germany is in no way suffering from the environmental policies there. They are in fact the world's second largest exporter, because their economy is twice as fuel efficient as the US, per unit of GDP.
  • Anonymous on February 14 2011 said:
    Zoli, your comment is full of non sequiturs, in terms of the published article above.The article claims only that production of onshore oil in North America is increasing due to new technologies, which has nothing to do with the 1970-ish peak.Faux environmental concerns, exaggerations, and fabrications should always be brushed aside for the fuzzy-headed nonsense that they are. The gulf "disaster" was a disaster mainly for immediate loss of life, loss of a promising oil field -- and for the idiotic Obama overreaction of shutting down oil production and drilling.Germany is in very big trouble, and not just because it has overinvested in unreliable forms of energy and underinvested in more reliable forms. As the native ethnic German population continues to "downsize", the same kinds of economic problems besetting Japan today, will eat away at Germany tomorrow.
  • Anonymous on February 14 2011 said:
    Nice attemp at spin, Zoli, but please tell enough of the truth to make the story interesting. 1. Bakken isn't the only area where shale oil is being developed. There's also Eagle Ford, Niobrara, Leonard in New Mexico and Texas, and the Monterey, in California. New fields and currently being explored. It is anticipated that this new production could reduce our oil imports by up to 50% by 2015.2. You mentioned Environmental considerations, and you are right. But we know what caused the spill in the Gulf and how to correct it. But thanks to the Federalies the deep water restrictions are still in effect. 3. Germany? Really Zoli? As of right now Exxon and other companies are studying the shale gas potential in Germany, Poland, and other European counties. (Uses similar horizontal dilling and fracking technology used in Bakken) France is investigating the possibility of shale oil in the Paris Field.
  • Anonymous on February 14 2011 said:
    The problems is not supply it is the quality.The quality/price point is getting so high that most americans will find it difficult to afford fuel to drive from the Burbs to work. Farms rely heavily of liquid fuels this will drive food prices up higher or lower plantings.Drayage & Lading cost more etc.So what we are about to see is another round of demand destruction of the American consumer followed by another bust cycle etc etcRed
  • Anonymous on February 14 2011 said:
    Ok guys I give up. The truth is that we are saved. Reality is that GOM production is likely to follow the same fast paced rates of decline as was withnessed in the North Sea. If this new technique can add a few billion barells to potential reserves, and some production, great; it will certainly makes things less painfull. Maybe it may be enough to even give up on ethnanol production, so the world can reduce the ranks of the starving somewhat. As for Germany, they are not the ones running 10% of GDP deficits to plug the holles of a leaky economy, but guess who is (their deficits are more like in the 3% range). So the argument that they are in trouble, because they pursued more environmentally friendly policies is empty and fictitious.
  • Anonymous on February 15 2011 said:
    Why don't you all stop messing about with silly arguments? read Gail Tverberg 'Low quality is killing us niot low quantiy'.Also Germany,Russia and most of Europe have poor demographics. Germany has a 10 year window of opportunity before demographics affect the economy. Russia is losing about 1million people a year. She may try to ensnare' Europ to manage this existyential crisis with Germany's help.The US population is consuming more than it produces, so its getting overweight (60-75%) over the next generation. Its losing out to China as a dynamic ecomomnmy. 300m cannot competein the long term with 1.6 billion. Everyone is chasing any quality of oil they can find almost regardlessof cost-its getting truly desperate. The West knows that China and India will guzzle it all within a generation. Peak oil is about cheap high grade oil, not expensive shales or deep sea oil. Expensive fuel/plastics will ruin the economy not enhance it.
  • Anonymous on February 15 2011 said:
    This article shows nothing else than another roadblock to non-fossil fuel alternatives. If the US continues like this, it will be dependent not only on fossil fuels, but also on alternative technology from China and India. If there was such a resistance against air pollution during industrial revolution like there is currently against alternative energy, there would be no internet, no cars, no planes, probably we would be discussing the effects of the transcontinental railroad on turtle life and if this railroad should be built or not.
  • Anonymous on February 15 2011 said:
    Time for Wind and solar to stop posturing and promising, and start performing and delivering. Unfortunately for Germany and Europe, it's all a big scam.The "low quality is killing us" argument is just the latest "fallback position" for peak oil true believers who are seeing the ground fall away from under their feet.Unfortunately, he green doomer structure is built upon a stinking pile of disconnected garbage thinking.
  • Anonymous on February 15 2011 said:
    Ah, Alfonso, what wonderful cock-suredness you have. The Bakken - forget it. Once they realise that they can't make a profit the big boys will be gone faster than my goats can gobble barley.What's the prospects for the Bakken? A million barrels a day by WHEN? You in the US are getting through about 18.5 million barrels a day, and supplies are drying up. When will you no longer be able to import from Mexico (Cantarel). When will the Chinese have bought up all your other options?Fine. Be one of the sheeple. The US is collapsing around your ears but you do not see it.My plans are in place. I love the Internet but I am happy to go to bed by candle light!
  • Anonymous on February 16 2011 said:
    Wind and solar have something to offer, Alfonso, but not nearly enough. That is the lesson to offer the know-nothings. As for shale oil, do you remember the song from WW2 'It seems to me I heard that song before'.

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