Thursday, February 10, 2011

Not Really New, But Good Fuel for Cornucopians....

New drilling method opens vast oil fields in US

By JONATHAN FAHEY, AP Energy Writer Jonathan Fahey, Ap Energy Writer – Wed Feb 9, 4:59 pm ET

A new drilling technique is opening up vast fields of previously out-of-reach oil in the western United States, helping reverse a two-decade decline in domestic production of crude.

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.

Oil engineers are applying what critics say is an environmentally questionable method developed in recent years to tap natural gas trapped in underground shale. They drill down and horizontally into the rock, then pump water, sand and chemicals into the hole to crack the shale and allow gas to flow up.



At 11:15 AM, Blogger DB said...


I deleted your comments by accident over at

Though I don't necessarily concur with all of your points of view, I appreciate you taking the time to comment so if you are interested in reposting I will make sure to publish them.

Nice blog by the way (though I note you are further towards the doomer end of the scale than I am LOL)

At 12:12 PM, Blogger Weaseldog said...

No problem DB.

You can't debunk my argument if you don't let it through. :)

At 6:34 PM, Anonymous edgar said...

+2 mb/d? Color me dubious.

At 6:37 PM, Blogger Weaseldog said...

What the article fails to mention is that this technology is not new.

The EPA just hadn't allowed them to use a cocktail dangerous chemicals to boost production before. The new EPA understands that the USA needs to become more like China if the oil industry is going funnel many billions more dollars into Middle Eastern bank accounts.

At 3:37 AM, Blogger greenJamie said...

Hmm if Americans want to turn their land into a trashed wasteland of toxins, undrinkable water and industrial effluence so they can aimlessly drive for another decade then have at it. Watch Gasland to see the end result of this cultural insanity

At 4:37 AM, Blogger Weaseldog said...

Welcome GreenJamie.

Thanks for the movie suggestion.

Most of my readers here are way ahead of the curve on the Peak Oil situation.

While the cornucopians wait for money to magically evoke a new energy source from the garage of an unknown eccentric backyard inventor, my readers are loooking at a future where our economiy and lifestyle and constantly being ratcheted down for the rest of our lives. We see Egypt's troubles, not as a far off foreign event, but a peak into our own future.

In just a few decades, the USA will have few jobs, little food, 400 million starving people, polluted food and polluted water. That is the world that the children playing today will inherit.

At 10:05 AM, Blogger greenJamie said...

It worries me too - the amount of pollution in food and water in the future. Combine this with climate change (the last year really starts to highlight how little we can predict anything) and having to go to increasing lengths to scrape the bottom of the oil barrel and people might start to think im pessimistic :P

However, I see it as an opportunity for culture to change and morph into something a lot more rewarding. As nature and reality hit home the ridiculous way we live our lives today; I think the decline of industrial civilization will spurn a new era of respect for the Earth and respect for ourselves.

Another good movie suggestion is Our daily bread (Unser täglich Brot) which is a wordless documentary on how mechanistic our food production is

Nice blog :)

At 2:01 PM, Blogger Bukko Canukko said...

It's gonna be hell in Texas, Weas. If you're young, you will stay dumb. If you're sick, it won't be worth a doctor's time to see you. If you're in prison -- and many more people will be, thanks to deteriorating social conditions that push them into crime -- you can just die of illness or get murdered by some insane fellow inmate.

None of that applies if you're well-off financially, of course. The well-to-do are the only citizens that count. Only, their numbers are going to shrink, because it takes a certain number of employed, upwardly mobile workers to produce each well-off person. The overlords are going to be living in a sorry-ass world.

The one thing I'll give Texas with this austerity budget is that it's being a forerunner with what most other states will do. Cut, cut, cut with no mercy, and let people die -- that's the Austerian School of Economics prescription. Some states like California might try to stave it off for a while, but I believe that they'll all take the Texas route eventually. Should be interesting to see how it plays out.

I predict die-back, of course. "Die-OFF" implies total elimination. I reckon it will be more like 2/3, not 100%, eh?


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