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WikiLeaks cables: Saudi Arabia cannot pump enough oil to keep a lid on prices

Discussion in 'Political Discussion' started by The Brandon Five, Feb 9, 2011.

  1. The Brandon Five

    The Brandon Five Rookie

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    Last edited: Feb 9, 2011
  2. Holy Diver

    Holy Diver Rookie

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    BF,

    don't you know that Earth's core is made of crude oil and actually produces more oil that we as a race can consume?

    back to reality:

    How ANYONE can think there is some unlimited supply of a 'fossil fuel'? Unless we get some kind of a Manhattan Project rolling on an energy supply/source....we are screwed.
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2011
  3. Nikolai

    Nikolai Football Atheist PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #54 Jersey

    There's also a limited supply of uranium. Time to revisit Thorium, maybe? Hope for a supervirus to wipe out 1/3 of the earth?

    Seriously though, Bahrain has pretty much run out of oil, and other states won't be far behind. Unfortunately, this song and dance has been playing for a very long time, and a whole lot of inaction has followed.

    Yep, the energy crisis is a comin', but outside of nuclear power (with its uranium issues), there aren't a lot of viable options that can continue to provide us with the same energy yield we get today. Big problems or big adjustments; it's a matter of time. It will be interesting to see where this goes...
  4. Holy Diver

    Holy Diver Rookie

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    Helium-3 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    just a thought.
  5. Nikolai

    Nikolai Football Atheist PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #54 Jersey

    Thanks for posting that. I was not aware of Helium-3. Like other proposed elements, it has upsides and drawbacks, but doesn't appear any less viable than Uranium and Thorium; at least after a cursory review on wikipedia (heh).

    I actually think part of the problem is that everyone is looking for a smoking gun to fix this problem and essentially replace fossil fuels wholesale as an energy source; cold fusion, this element, that element, etc. People are waiting until this miracle solution comes about before serious effort is devoted to alternative energy instead of scraping the bottom of the barrel for fossil fuels. Is it realistic to keep doing trial and error? I'm not convinced, but we need to find an acceptable network of alternatives, rather than one silver bullet.

    Unfortunately, I was a C chemistry student, so I'm not going to be much use in a practical discussion of where we go from here from a scientific and engineering standpoint, but strategically speaking, it seems we've got the ol' paralysis by analysis. It's up to the decision makers and people movers to help those who know what the hell they're doing get moving in a meaningful way; which brings us full-circle to your Manhattan Project statement.
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2011
  6. The Brandon Five

    The Brandon Five Rookie

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    If we can figure out how to harness that we're all set!
  7. wistahpatsfan

    wistahpatsfan Rookie

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    Fo sho.
    We haven't been asked by our "leaders" to do a damn thing about it. We don't conserve. The slightest whisper of raising CAFE standards is met with some "Nanny State" hysterics from Big Oil employees Michael Graham and Rush Limbaugh. We have no energy policy. We have no unified effort to accellerate the research process for energy alternatives. We will be the last developed nation on the planet still using fossil fuels at the end of this century, and China will be rigged with new sources and regulated consumption. We're going to find ourselves behind everyone else if we don't wake up.
  8. wistahpatsfan

    wistahpatsfan Rookie

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    And why do you suppose the Saudis have inflated their capacity to this point? Could it be that they want everyone to believe they have more than they really do? Maybe they can leverage that perception into political protection, weapons and "mutual" defense arrangements. How else will the Royal Family retain control in this recent climate? Without the world thinking they can supply part of its energy supply, the KofSA is just a sand pit populated by nomads.

    [​IMG]
  9. Harry Boy

    Harry Boy Look Up, It's Amazing PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Why don't we drill for oil--------:confused:
  10. The Brandon Five

    The Brandon Five Rookie

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    Renewable energy in the United States - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  11. reflexblue

    reflexblue PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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  12. The Brandon Five

    The Brandon Five Rookie

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    It's from yesterday's Guardian. Do articles have a 24 hour expiration now?:confused2:
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2011
  13. reflexblue

    reflexblue PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    There use to be someone here by the name of Press Coverage, he started many a thread about the Guare oil field and how it way past its peak. That by looking at the out put it was obvious that they couldn't keep up with demand. That was about two years ago.
  14. Stokes

    Stokes Rookie

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    Good old PC, this was one of the few things we could agree on!
  15. Harry Boy

    Harry Boy Look Up, It's Amazing PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Why don't we drill for oil-------------:confused:
  16. Titus Pullo

    Titus Pullo Banned

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    Because by all estimates, there's barely any light crude here to offset growing demand... and dry holes cost a lot of money?

    Shale oil, shale gas and tar sands are plentiful, ... at 5-10x the cost, and devastating to the environment (which also factors into cost). :eek:

    Of course, if we learned anything about the Cheney years, it's "to hell with the environment."

    No one is surprised that Saudi has inflated their reserve totals. The same is true for all the other OPEC nations desperate to maintain foreign investment. The problem is that they can no longer keep a lid on the reality, and western corporate interest do NOT want a new, progressive energy policy that might shut off the gravy train.
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2011
  17. Real World

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    Like any tangiable resource, oil is finite. That shouldn't come as a surprise to anybody. The real question is when a resource is reaching a level of decline. I don't think oil is at that point.

    I was just up in Canada and I was reading one of their daily's, and all the talk was how Canada's oil export industry is becoming the driving force of their economy. Oil is already around $80-100 a barrel, so the increased costs associated with harvesting more difficult reserves, is already being realized at the consumer level. The flow and availability remaining constant is really the key. All that being said, it's why a genuine and comprehensive long term energy strategy is needed. It was needed 30-40 years ago. Part of that strategy has to include searching for, and drilling more of our own. Since we don't yet have a viable replacement for oil, we will need more of it in order to bridge the time until a replacement is in place. Maybe that replacement is hydrogen, but who knows. Comprehensive policy people. One that utilizes our domestic supply in the short term, with investment and emphasis placed on a viable replacement long term. It's really not that complicated.
  18. Triple-T

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    It's all part of the plan...

    1. Don't drill our oil
    2. Suck the rest of the world dry
    3. As the world collapses, we drill our oil, sell it off at a massive premium and convert completely to renewables
  19. Titus Pullo

    Titus Pullo Banned

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    Actually, it's INCREDIBLY complicated, considering decades of agreements and industries tied to existing energy contracts, in addition to endless droves of people who still insist the condition is one of "false scarcity."

    And when you allude to Canada's blossoming energy industry, keep in mind that the vast majority of it is attributed to their tar sands, which is enormously expensive to extract and refine.

    People can make mention of the market, the market, the market all they like, as if price points will spawn alternative investment and a smooth transition. But they fail to realize two important factors:

    1) It takes 20-30 years to transfer to something else.
    2) If the average consumer can not afford $125-, $250-barrel oil, no one's gonna be able to buy it anyway. Every oil shock in modern history has preceded a recession. If brief $147 oil in 2008 led to the greatest economic crash since 1929, what do we think sustained $150 oil will mean DURING a recession?
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2011
  20. Titus Pullo

    Titus Pullo Banned

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    Watch the documentary "Gasland" and then tell us how this puff piece you link to above has any traction. It's on HBO this month.
  21. Nikolai

    Nikolai Football Atheist PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #54 Jersey

    Even if people can't be bothered to buy into the idea of the finite nature of fossil fuels, I think it's been amply demonstrated that our reliance on oil has been a geostrategic liability. We may be able to drill for more on our shores, but it won't be able to mitigate our reliance on foreign oil in a manner reliable enough to relax the strategic pressures we face in oil-producing regions. I would have thought the oil embargoes of the 1970s would have taught us this basic principle.

    Interesting thought, and I'm not sure if it's a bit tongue-in-cheek, but number three takes for granted the world will collapse, when it could just as well adapt, create renewable energies and leave the US in the dust. It also assumes that we can control how much oil is consumed when both India and China are consuming exponentially higher amounts of oil every year.
  22. patsfan13

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    We have more than enough energy resources, what we don't have is the political will to come up with a sustainable energy plan.


    First cannot support a prosperous society from renewable energy source, no matter how much money we throw at them. This is a matter of physics, these laws don't change regardless of how much we wish they would.


    Energy Tribune- Understanding E = mc2




    We should get ALL our electricity from Nuclear sources of power. We have all the Uranium we need btw the Japanese are rapidly developing processes to extract Uranium from sea water.


    http://www.physics.harvard.edu/~wilson/energypmp/2009_Tamada.pdf


    We should also develop thorium reactors.



    There is increasing evidence that oil and methane can be developed using abiotic process at temps and pressures in the earth's crust.

    From Nature Geoscience magazine:

    Methane-derived hydrocarbons produced under upper-mantle conditions : Abstract : Nature Geoscience

    KTH | Easier to find oil


    Currently we are draining known fields faster than they are refilling and getting to oil is becoming more difficult. There is still a huge need for liquid fuels which are well suited for transportation. Algae processes are being developed that may result in the ability to produce large amounts of liquid biofuels.



    Currently we use coal to produce most of our electricity as I said above we should convert to nuclear energy for electricity production (and we should be using breeder reactors, like the French). There are over a trillion tons of known coal reserves, so if we aren't going to use it for generating electricity what shroud we do with it if anything? We should use it to obtain our liquid fuels for transportation (ie gasoline and diesel).


    The processes to do this at ~ $30/bbl of oil are in testing phases.

    Texas university has eureka moment for coal-to-gas - The Globe and Mail

    Oh yeah we can get natural gas from coal also.

    Cheaper Natural Gas from Coal - Technology Review



    Sadly we are impoverishing our society by chasing the ghost of renewable energy instead of investing in real solutions.
  23. IcyPatriot

    IcyPatriot ---- JAG ----- PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #87 Jersey

  24. The Brandon Five

    The Brandon Five Rookie

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    No, we can't. We're doomed!

    All good points, but as of today it is not likely that we are going to get any new nuclear plants. This is one area where I wish that we would emulate the French.

    Higher oil prices will drive investments in alternatives and energy efficiency. The opportunities are massive:

    http://www.worldenergyoutlook.org/docs/weo2008/WEO2008_es_english.pdf
    That's just the investment.

    There are tremendous opportunities in this space. Unfortunately, a lot of this investment will be misallocated due to the mass delusion about climate change.

    I am not sure where people get the idea that the U.S. is behind in developing alternatives, but, as you point out, most of the renewable sources that are popular in faculty lounges and Manhattan c*cktail parties are not feasible replacements for fossil fuels anyway.
  25. Triple-T

    Triple-T Rookie

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    Yeah, it was most certainly tongue-in-cheek, but one way to view recent US actions. We are not actively exploiting our fossil fuel resources to the extent we could, but spend an inordinate amount of money in the middle east, presumably to keep oil flowing. Maybe the US strategy is to exhaust all foreign sources first? The transition period to non-fossil fuels will take time and will certainly have some nasty bumps in the road, but if the US still has sufficient resources, at least for the military, then our transition becomes far less painful than others. It's a chance to jump ahead without extreme pain. Just trying to make sense of the actions over the last 40 years.

    To Titus, yes, I've heard about the issues with this methodology and am not in favor of it in populated areas and the way it has been carried out. It simply points to other means for the US to continue to extract fossil fuels if the need is great, which it eventually will be.
  26. Nikolai

    Nikolai Football Atheist PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #54 Jersey

    It definitely is, and I can't speak for others, but I have appreciation for the kind of outside-the-box strategic thinking that you're posting here. I think there are problems with that approach, but it is one possible strategy or outcome of our current policy.
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2011
  27. Real World

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    I know Tar Sand oil is costly to extract, and the last time I looked (a few years ago) I believe it was in the $30-40 range per barrel to bring to market. At $80-100 per, the cost isn't an issue at all. It is the higher cost of oil that has made TS oil so viable.

    Until people realize that we will need oil for at least 3-5 more decades, we won't be able to pass a worthwhile energy policy. Were it up to me, I'd have made energy a a matter of national security, and had us exploring/drilling our own supply, while investing massive capital in alternatives and their needed infrastructure. Wouldn't it make more sense to invest the countless billions we send to unpopular countries here at home, while also creating the industry and technology to propel us, and the rest of the world forward? To me this is really a no brainer. It doesn't happen because you have big oil on one side pimping their agenda, and the enviro-police on the other hoing theirs.
  28. Titus Pullo

    Titus Pullo Banned

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    Energy not only IS a matter of national security already, it is THE MAIN matter of national security and has been since WW2. It's just that the methods used to "secure" us differ wildly. Some regimes prefer invasion, hegemony and creation of things like CENTCOM for the express purpose of "maintaining security."

    We all understand that higher oil prices pave the way for increased investment in unconventionals. That says nothing about the ability for the average small business owner and consumer to afford those prices. When oil begins to cost $100, $150, $? per barrel, demand begins to get crushed, food prices skyrocket, economies suffer greatly, and growth can not sustain.
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2011
  29. The Brandon Five

    The Brandon Five Rookie

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    No argument there, although methinks it will also lead to more exploration and drilling.
  30. Titus Pullo

    Titus Pullo Banned

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    So to review: Two huge stories broke this week on the energy front. Let me repeat for effect: Huge.

    I, for one, can't quite get over how the sour milk Saudi story preceded the yummy good "new shale drilling technique" story by about 12 hours. Even though there is nothing "new" about the "new" drilling process for shale oil really at all.

    I continue to find it striking that a Google cut-and-paste of the lede graph on the Saudi VP story yields 8000 hosts, while a cut-and-paste of the lede on the "new" shale drillng story brings back some 65,000 hosts.

    Americans are allergic to bad news. The Madison Ave. news conglomerates know this full well.
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2011

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