Monday, March 23, 2009

Out of Alaska

This is the twentieth anniversary of Exxon's 11 million gallon oil spill in Prince William Sound in Alaska. The scum got out of about $2 billion of a judgment against them last year on the argument that shipping is special and above the law. While they may be able to play fast and loose with that law, the law of just deserts might still come up and bite them.

There is a whole lot of noise about energy independence these days. And while Exxon figures it is going to be importing oil for a long time, it does not mind the possibility of getting low cost oil leases and favorable tax treatment for oil on federal land. So, they give a lot of money to the "drill booboo drill" crowd to make noise about how we could get all the oil we need if we just drilled more oil wells domestically. These people are completely wrong but they are loud because they get all that money to say these things. They are wrong because essentially no amount of effort can produce what we consume domestically. There are only three years of recoverable oil in the ground and we can't make oil wells flow fast enough to bring all that up in three years. It is very unlikely that US production will do anything but decline for the next twenty years.

So, what would it take to get energy independence? We would have to stop using oil for the most part. The promise of the Obama administration is that we will get there in ten years. That means cutting about 13 million barrels a day of imports plus whatever decline in domestic production occurs in that time. Cutting consumption at that rate should keep the price of oil fairly low during that time, perhaps around $35/barrel. But, holding the price of oil down to that level means that there is very little new domestic oil that would be worth developing since we've already developed all of the cheap oil here. Thus, in a very real way, energy independence means not drilling for oil in the US. Continuing energy independence beyond that 10 year goal implies continuing to cut consumption as domestic supplies continue to decline. but if we do that, then we extend the period over which the world price of oil remains low and there remains no incentive to develop more domestic supply. Thus, it would seem that pushing the energy independence idea yields a smaller oil business sooner than otherwise. If this means that Exxon loses a trillion dollars or so, then perhaps the punishment they avoided for their oil spill will come right back to them.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

OT Chris. I have tried to post this on CP but it has been stuck in moderation for 3+hours. Does not like my language I guess.

“Main Line Kill” revisited. There are current reports of significantly higher flow rates than reported in the past and used in our original math to kill this well.
http://climateprogress.org/ 2010/ 06/ 04/ pictures-bp-oil-spill-media/
Our solution of just getting past the high velocity BOP restriction and injecting high density shot to sink to the bottom and piling up and euthanizing the bitch would not work with very much higher flow rates. Not to worry.

Our present solution disregards increased flow speeds. We required a 1″? id metal pipe, welded tube?, with a friction fit shouldered tip plug to pass the BOP restriction. By feeding this “catheter” thru the existing “suck tube” which needs to be a mile long, and increase to ~three miles and reach close to the true bottom. Once in position we start to drop in Depleted Uranium 3/4″ marbles. We require an air lock at the top to add marbles and not deal with pressure differences and thus flow problems. As the column builds up it will overpower the end plug and be injected into the rising column of ejaculate. Within minutes we will have injected many tons of marbles increasing the density of the flow many times over. Removing energy! We have miles to work with and many minutes before we start losing bearings to the volume of the upper well. And eve then it would make no difference. However I contend that submission will happen way before.

Suggestions of failure mode requested. In the mean time it is off to the CG response team again.

Leif

pas cher jean said...

Once in position we start to drop in Depleted Uranium 3/4″ marbles.

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