Saturday, July 31, 2010

New Oil Production and Discoveries Pushing Peak Oil Back

As predicted here near the first of this year, Russia is ramping up its energy production, with no peak in sight.
"We are ordering more advanced, heavier and mobile rigs. Now operators are willing to pay more for better efficiency," said Kim Kruschwitz, marketing manager at Russia's top drilling firm, Eurasia Drilling.

He said West Siberia - an oil Eldorado that helped the Soviet Union fund the arms race with the United States - could see output up 10 percent in coming years despite wide industry belief its reservoirs were ruined by speedy Soviet exploration.

"The gain in efficiency and output that results from improved technology will only become more pronounced in the next few years, and I expect Russian production to hold around the level of 10 million barrels per day for years to come," said Kruschwitz. _Source

OPEC nations are also likely to continue increasing output -- led by improved production from Iraq. Mexico is finally beginning to invest in new technologies to allow it to produce more out of its Gulf of Mexico fields and older giant fields, which have suffered declining production. Canada is beginning to do more than just think about exploiting its vast arctic reserves of oil and gas -- and is steadily and incrementally building its oil sands production, thanks to investments from China. North Dakota is setting new oil production records.

New oil finds in Egypt and several countries in Africa are stressing the ability of oil field companies to keep up with the demand. At least there will be a lot of free offshore rigs -- thanks to Obama and Salazar driving a stake through the heart of the Gulf of Mexico economies with a hasty and ill-advised oil moratorium.

New natural gas finds are breaking out all over -- from Eastern Europe to Lebanon to Southeast and East Asia. Technology for extracting and exploiting oil sands, oil shale, and heavy oils are only going to get better and more economical -- with steadily decreasing water and energy demands. Better methods of converting coal to liquids, gas to liquids, biomass to liquids are being invented and adapted weekly.

If we really get desperate for hydrocarbons (for materials production) in a hundred years or so, we may have to learn to develop methane clathrates safely and economically. Automated robotic harvesters make the most sense for such deep sea and arctic production.

But the real heart-breaker for true-believing peak oil disciples will be safer and more abundant forms of nuclear energy -- fission first, then fusion. All of that electricity and heat can be turned to an almost infinite number of ways of producing other forms of energy -- or for substituting for hydrocarbon combustion in ships, locomotives, industrial process energy, and other significant forms of energy use.

I am not describing a cornucopian future here. But if you wish, I certainly could. The main obstacle to a better future is the basic underlying dullness of those barely evolved apes, known as humans.



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