Less oil and more oil

Two petroleum articles from Yahoo News…

The first article is about declining petroleum outputs from Saudi Arabia: WikiLeaks: Saudis running out of oil

The latest startling revelation to come via documents leaked to Julian Assange’s muckraking website and published by The Guardian should give pause to every suburban SUV-driver: U.S. officials think Saudi Arabia is overpromising on its capacity to supply oil to a fuel-thirsty world. That sets up a scenario, the documents show, whereby the Saudis could dramatically underdeliver on output by as soon as next year, sending fuel prices soaring.

The cables detail a meeting between a U.S. diplomat and Sadad al-Husseini, a geologist and former head of exploration for Saudi oil monopoly Aramco, in November 2007. Husseini told the American official that the Saudis are unlikely to keep to their target oil output of  12.5 million barrels per day output in order to keep prices stable. Husseini also indicated that Saudi producers are likely to hit “peak oil” — the point at which global output hit its high mark — as early as 2012. That means, in essence, that it will be all downhill from there for the enormous Saudi oil industry.

The second article is about a combination of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing (“fracing” or “fracking”) that is used to enhance production from oil and gas wells: New drilling method opens vast oil fields in US

Companies are investing billions of dollars to get at oil deposits scattered across North Dakota, Colorado, Texas and California. By 2015, oil executives and analysts say, the new fields could yield as much as 2 million barrels of oil a day — more than the entire Gulf of Mexico produces now.

This new drilling is expected to raise U.S. production by at least 20 percent over the next five years. And within 10 years, it could help reduce oil imports by more than half, advancing a goal that has long eluded policymakers.

“That’s a significant contribution to energy security,” says Ed Morse, head of commodities research at Credit Suisse.

The first article is bad news for the world if we just sit back and do nothing. The second article is good news for America’s economic and military security, at least in the short turn. In the long term, of course, we need to find alternatives.

Grace and Peace

3 thoughts on “Less oil and more oil

  1. Jay

    The process of Fracing (Hydro Fracturing) is necessary for the production of oil and gas from shale deposits from which US production is and will continue to increase. Fracing is getting a bad rap from environmental sources–some of which may be justified, because water and toxic chemicals are injected into the ground. Only about 50% of the injected material is recovered leaving the balance in the ground

    However, a Canadian company, Gasfrac Energy Services, has developed a process using liquid petroleum gas for Fracing. They are able to recover 100% of the material injected leaving nothing in the ground–thus removing the threat of ground water contamination.


  2. WebMonk

    In spite of its challenges, I really think that nuclear energy is the only medium-term (30-100 years) that can provide energy in the scale and cost we want.

    Short term we’re stuck with oil. Med-Long term (100-300 years) I think solar/nuclear is going to be the answer. Longer than that, solar power is going to be the only feasible large-scale source.


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