New Sources of Domestic Hydrocarbon Fuels
The technology featured in the video above is but one technology of several that are coaxing large amounts of new oil out of old North American oil wells once thought depleted. The graphic below illustrates how oil wells that have "peaked" may be re-energised to "peak" again.There are a lot of reasons to suspect that "peak oil" has been hyped far beyond any contact with reality.
The U.S. DOE calculates that amount of oil in already discovered U.S oilfields at less than 5000 feet to be more than 218 billion barrels. Keep in mind that just 10% of that equals 10 years of OPEC imports at today’s rates, all of it is enough to run the U.S. economy for 25 years. All of which is just sitting there, in known places, thousands of them that at the 5000-foot and shallower level which exceed the proven reserves of Saudi Arabia. It also leaves out all the oil left behind when wells ran dry – which comes to 300 billion barrels. It’s a resource that the 7000 or so non “Big Oil” U.S. oil companies can bring to market.New Energy and Fuel
Better drilling and discovery technology is likely to bring in a lot of new conventional oil. What other new petroleum resources are in the pipeline?
In a massive new multivolume report on energy strategy in the United States, a high-powered federal task force puts "peak oil" into perspective. On the one hand, it says, the country has already consumed, in 150 years, 446 billion barrels of its own fossil-fuel endowment. On the other hand, it says, the country has 8.59 trillion barrels left - or more "oil equivalent" than the rest of the world combined. More than 95 per cent of America's oil reserves, in other words, are still in the ground.Q and O
Key phrase? "Oil equivalent". Wrap your head around that - "more "oil equivalent" than the rest of the world combined."
For instance - oil shale:
"North American oil shale and [oil] sands alone far exceed all the remaining proven and undiscovered oil resources of the entire world," the task force reports. "They represent 3.5 trillion barrels of oil resources. America's commercial-quality oil shale resources alone exceed two trillion barrels. This shale can be processed to generate ultraclean, high-quality diesel and jet fuels, along with high-value chemicals - with existing technologies under normal economic conditions."
Several other interesting technologies for producing new hydrocarbons include energy from garbage (landfills), oil from discarded automobiles (tires, foams, plastics etc.), oil from biowaste (with catalysts, T, P) and oil from synthetic micro-organisms. Many more ingenious energy technologies are in the pipeline. $100 a barrel oil is a powerful incentive for innovation.
As I have stated before, I am a firm believer in photovoltaics, wind energy, micro hydro, OTEC, tidal energy, geothermal, and other clean forms of energy. I am also a proponent of using safe nuclear energy as a way of easing the transition from dirty oil and coal to cleaner, sustainable power.
It is time for the pop media and other influential but unserious voices to stop promoting false images of doom such as CAGW and Peak Oil. We need to outgrow these childish tendencies to promote dishonest scare tactics just to get attention. We need all the brainpower we have to effect a fairly smooth transition to long term clean energy, while also working to bring about the next level.
Hat tip Philosophical Detective