Monday, February 21, 2011

BBC Video: Can Basra Bankroll Iraq's Reconstruction?


Maury said...

I don't know if you've been keeping up with what's been happening in US oil shale regions Joel. I saw a report by the EIA that says world shale deposits contain 10-16,000 TCF of recoverable natural gas. 80% of shale deposits are in the US. That means the US is sitting on 8000 to 12,000 TCF of newfound reserves. Compare that to current world reserves of 6200 TCF. It's enough to boggle the mind.

There's also some good news for oil drillers in that shale. The Bakken shale deposit holds 300-500 billion barrels of conventional crude. Until now, little of it has been accessible. The formation was just too tight. New techniques have opened fractures and let more oil out. In just a few years, oil production in North Dakota went from 75,000 bpd to over 500,000 bpd. It will surpass 1M bpd within 5 years. Recoverable reserve estimates have jumped from 4 billion barrels, to 20 billion barrels. That would double US reserves. There's also a lot of oil activity happening in the Eagle Ford shale deposit in south Texas. Texas isn't "played out" any longer. Production is actually rising, for the first time in decades.

The only point I'm making here, is that US oil and gas production is rising. We're smacking Hubbert's curve upside the head. And, we're doing it without government involvement. In fact, the government is as surprised as anyone. Out of nowhere, the US went from barely producing enough natural gas to meet our own needs, to having 2/3's of the worlds' reserves. Fact is, we also hold 2/3's of the world's oil reserves, but unlike natural gas, we haven't found a way to unlock it all......yet.

Don Cox said...

The US also has big areas of desert for solar power, and coastlines for wind power.

It also has strong research in nuclear physics which could lead to a working fusion reactor some day.

Maury said...

Don, I expect deep geothermal, or hot rock technology, to power the world someday. MIT says there's enough heat down there to power the world 50,000 times over. Once again, the US is blessed with a massive resource. We have the best geothermal potential, by far.

I like deep geothermal, because it's uber clean, has a very small footprint, and is 100% renewable. The only downside is the small tremors(1-3 on the Richter Scale) found around any geothermal site. Yellowstone experiences them constantly.

The auto industry has embraced electrifying the transportation fleet. Whether it's pure electric, or gas/electric like the Volt, the trend will be less reliance on gasoline and diesel over time. The world has multiple options when it comes to electricity. By the time Iraq gets its house in order, oil may very well be irrelevant.