The ANWR Is Nothing But One Giant Dry Hole

Oil People are nothing but proven liars. There is always “oil down there” they tell investors. But only 10 or 20 of the holes they drill actually produce any oil, so is it any wonder that they are unprepared when they come in? Especially in the case of the Gulf Spew if they come in violently.

The Peak Oil Crisis: The Leading Edge

By Tom Whipple
Wednesday, November 03 2010 01:01:22 PM

Do you remember the furor over drilling for oil in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge a few years back? The whole country was up in arms. At various times some 50 to 60 percent of Americans favored drilling in the area as they were told this would result in lower gas prices.

Last week the USGS lowered its estimate of the amount of oil that could be extracted from the region all the way from 10 billion barrels down to less than one billion, making drilling in the area uneconomical. By the way, the amount of crude being pumped down the Alaskan pipeline now has fallen from 2 million barrels a day (b/d) when the pipeline first opened back in the 1970’s to about 600,000 b/d in recent weeks. The trouble is that when the flow of oil falls below a quantity estimated to be 200-300,000 b/d (some say 500,000) the line will have to be closed as there will simply not be enough hot oil being sent down the pipeline to keep it from freezing in winter.

Last week an organization in California, The Post Carbon Institute, released a new book, “The Post Carbon Reader,” which draws a much broader picture of the serious issues facing mankind. With 30 authors, each specializing in some aspect of the multiple troubles we face, the scope of the book touches on nearly every aspect of our civilization that is out of balance, unsustainable, and headed for a fall. The basic proposition of the book is that the world has reached the limits of growth in terms of its population, economic activity, and the ability of the atmosphere to absorb more carbon emissions. Either the world’s peoples must transform themselves into a sustainable number living in a sustainable manner or there will be many dire consequences right up to the possibility that the human race itself could become extinct. Clearly, this is serious stuff.

As long as a problem is perceived as being decades, or even a few years away, it is not a concern.

Some hold that our sustainability problem started when we first started planting crops and domesticating animals 10,000 years ago. This thesis says if we had stuck with hunting and gathering as a race we would have been able to sustain our act indefinitely, but then we would never have had enough surplus energy to learn reading & writing, and to build cities, the Internet and space ships. Our immediate problem, however, started in earnest with the industrial revolution about 200 years ago when we first started digging up prodigious quantities of coal and feeding it into steam engines. It wasn’t long before we struck oil and the rest is history. The world’s population went from an estimated 5 or 10 million when we first started farming, to a billion when we started serious coal digging, to about 7 billion today. We also got incredibly richer in terms of material goods and could sure get around much faster.


More tomorrow.


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