Earth may have more oil than anyone thought
The Energy Information Administration raises its estimates of shale oil and gas, which are both costly to extract.
The Department of Energy's Energy Information Administration has upgraded its estimates of global oil reserves by 11% after scouring 41 countries and finding a lot more "technically recoverable" shale oil and shale gas than it did the last time it filed a similar report, in 2011.
Since then, the EIA's shale gas estimates alone have jumped by 10% and its estimate of gas reserves has soared by 47%. The U.S., China and Argentina are largely responsible for the upticks in shale oil and gas numbers, while Russia's shale oil stockpile and Algeria's shale gas resources also place them among the EIA's top four potential producers in each category.
Note the use of "potential" there. As we noted in November -- just after Superstorm Sandy slammed into the East Coast, wrecked refineries and caused a supply shortage that led to gasoline rationing and military assistance -- the idea of peak oil remains far more frightening than it appears.
While the EIA's numbers are promising, they'll ward off peak oil only if extraction technology catches up to the potential of that latent supply. M. King Hubbert created the first peak oil model in 1956 and predicted U.S. oil production would peak between 1965 and 1971. Globally, he believed oil production would peak in 1995, which clearly didn't happen.
Even if oil hasn't peaked, it's starting to feel as if it has. Exxon Mobil (XOM) said in 2005 that "all the easy oil and gas in the world has pretty much been found." Meanwhile, former Shell chairman Lord Ron Oxburgh warned in 2008 that "any new or unconventional oil is going to be expensive."
The Bakken Shale Formation sitting beneath North Dakota, Montana and Canada's Saskatchewan and Manitoba provinces, for example, has been estimated to contain anywhere from 4 billion to 150 billion barrels of oil, though current extraction methods provide access to less than 10% of it. Oil sands just beneath Edmonton in Canada's Alberta province hold an estimated 175 billion barrels, making it the third-largest oil reserve in the world. But it's going to spend much of the near future untapped.
The problem is that even extraction methods like fracking are in their crudest stages and don't come close to being adequate for most oil sand extraction. The oil in those shales isn't easy to separate from the sand and water surrounding it and leaves huge waste pools in its wake. That mess costs money, and it's only going to get messier as those oil numbers surge.
Good news everyone!
This means we'll be able to purchase gasoline north of $4.00 a gallon for three decades longer than originally anticipated!...
Hubbert"s prediction's were accurate. The deviation's are based on: oil producing production reductions at a political level and to a small part the technological revolutions around new oil recovery techniques. "Conventional" Peak US oil occurred in the 1971 timeframe and peak world oil production occurred in the 1999 -2004 timeframe. The shale oil fields discussed in this article and other new extraction techniques were not part of Hubbert's estimates and today are a large delta in his estimates. The new techniques are only viable post 2006 prices. These estimates changes are not revolutionary in themselves they are small changes in the estimates of the downward slope. A 10% change isn't going to change the slope's aspect (down), but it may delay the day's of worldwide starvation a few years... The new techniques might put off those dark day's for another generation...
Low information voters aren't aware that there is a Global Crisis concerning Groundwater supplies shrinking due to overuse. Low information voters aren't aware that 50% of folks in the United States get their drinking water from groundwater and that it's biggest use is irrigation. Almost 2 Billion humans across the Globe rely on underground aquifers and most are being rapidly depleted. It would take thousands of years to refill those aquifers once depleted. So as we use them faster than Rainfall replenish them, It's no wonder that many say that the next War will be fought over WATER, not Crude Oil.
The Dept. of Energy can find oil by flying in a plane and scanning .. then the Dept. of Energy developed deep water drilling now... private oil companies get all the benefits.. about time to nationalize oil and gas to pay for HEALTH CARE
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