Saturday, April 16, 2011

Ohio Looks Unapologetically to Utica Shale

In a presentation to the Ohio Oil and Gas Association last month, Larry Wickstrom, the state's geologist, estimated producers could recover as much as 15.7 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 5.5 billion barrels of oil from Ohio's share of the Utica Shale.

That's a "very conservative estimation," said Mac Swinford, assistant chief of the Ohio Geologic Survey.

While far smaller than gas fields in other states, it's not small change. At today's values, the Utica Shale could contain more than $600 billion in oil and natural gas _PortClintonNewsHerald
Some US state governments have intentionally handicapped their states' ability to profit from rich shale hydrocarbon deposits. But oil & gas wealth is nothing to apologise for:
. "Peak oil"—the theory that global oil production will soon hit maximum levels and begin to decline—is a favorite among this crowd, and it is one basis for their call for more biofuels and solar power. Mr. Watson doesn't dismiss the idea but explains why it remains largely irrelevant.

In theory, he says, "we've been running out of oil and gas for a long time," yet technology creates new opportunities. Mr. Watson cites a Chevron field long in decline down the road in Bakersfield—to the point that for every 100 barrels of oil "in place," the company was extracting only 10 or 20. But thanks to a new technology called steam flooding, Chevron is now getting 70 to 80 barrels. "Price creates incentive, and energy will be developed if there's demand for it at the price you can develop it," Mr. Watson says. In that sense, "oil and gas are plentiful."

Don't believe it? Over the past 30 years, even as "peak oil" was a trendy theme, the world's proven reserves of oil and natural gas increased 130%, to 2.5 trillion barrels.

...Or consider America's latest energy innovation: hydrofracking for abundant and cheap natural gas. This advance, says Mr. Watson, took even the industry "by surprise"—as evidenced by the many U.S. ports to import liquid natural gas that are now "sitting idle." _WSJ
The alternative to using hydrocarbons is a return to the stone ages, or worse, for billions of people. Lefty-Luddite greens of the dieoff.orgy persuasion actually long for a huge dieoff of the human population. It is possible that Mr. Obama and many of his closest aides consider themselves among such greens, in outlook. That would certainly explain President Obama's energy and economic policies.

But leftists and faux environmentalists have ridden their hysterias almost to the limit. It is becoming more difficult for them to disguise the horrific end result of their policies -- even from a massively dumbed down Idiocracy.

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