Friday, February 11, 2011

North American Oil Boom Moves into Manitoba

"Peak oil in North America is likely not to be peak" given $90 per barrel prices and new technology that makes it easier to recover oil, he [Peter Tertzakian] said.

...Oil companies are adapting the same advanced drilling techniques that created the boom in shale gas: horizontal drilling and multistage hydraulic fracturing that allow them to break open the rocks at various points and capture the hydrocarbons trapped within.

The other key factor in the tight-oil boom is a high oil price, as North American crude is trading around $90 (U.S.) a barrel and international grades, near $100.

"High oil prices are definitely driving this thing," said Stephen Sonnenberg, a leading geologist at the Colorado School of Mines. "Gas prices are suppressed, oil prices are quite high and everybody is really excited about these tight oil plays." _Globe&Mail
The shale oil technology revolution is moving into Manitoba, boosting local economies there, just as it has in Alberta and Saskatchewan -- and in several US states as well.
In the Bakken formation, production is rising so fast there is no space in pipelines to bring the oil to market. Instead, it is being transported to refineries by rail and truck. Drilling companies have had to erect camps to house workers. _AP
Oil production is once again rising in North America -- despite the de facto Obama moratorium on offshore drilling.

Many informed energy experts believe that the US government under Obama has gotten itself far too involved in the energy picture -- to the point of instigating an underhanded form of "energy starvation."
The more the government gets involved in energy, the more expensive energy becomes and the less we produce here at home. The Department of Energy was created to reduce dependence on foreign oil.

...We have doubled imports since then. The constant drumbeat of "energy plans" pushed by politicians simply pick winners and losers in the energy business, rewarding political friends on both sides of the aisle. The less government is involved, the more consumers can make decisions for themselves. _MSNBC

Energy policies in Europe are even worse than in Obama's US. Big bets placed on wind and solar energy by European governments are beginning to hit their economies with a devastating back-bite. From the UK, to Italy, to Germany and Spain, to investors across the developed world, there is a dawning of awareness that neither wind nor solar are ready for prime time energy production. Such intermittent, unreliable, exorbitantly expensive, prone-to-failure energy sources never made sense for large scale on-grid production. Particularly when far more reliable nuclear reactor designs are available -- once Obama's fat and lazy-assed NRC gets around to certifying them.

The "energy crisis" is certainly more a failure of government than anything else, but there is another big problem feeding into the "crisis." A growing shortage of skilled manpower in the energy industries is a ticking timebomb for advanced industrial civilisations. The coming Idiocracy -- the dysgenic future trends of current demographics -- portends far greater problems for civilisation than any shortage of fuels or any possible hazards from marginally higher levels of the trace gas CO2 (only 0.04% of Earth's atmosphere).

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