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View Full Version : GAO To Obama: More Oil (in U.S.) Than Rest Of The World


grundle
05-16-12, 01:13 AM
If this claim is true, it sure debunks the claim that we're close to, or already at, "peak oil."

Of course, even if the claim is true, there is a lot of political opposition to oil drilling in the U.S.


http://news.investors.com/article/611380/201205141900/green-river-equal-to-worlds-oil-reserves-.htm

GAO To Obama: More Oil Than Rest Of The World

5/14/2012 07:00 PM ET

Energy: The Government Accountability Office tells Congress the Green River Formation out West contains an "amount about equal to the entire world's proven oil reserves." So why are we keeping it locked up on federal lands?

Exploding the Big Lie pushed by President Obama that we can't drill our way out of high gas prices because we have but 2% of the world's proven oil reserves, Anu Mittal, GAO director of natural resources and environment, testified before Congress last week that just one small part of the U.S. is capable of outproducing the rest of the planet.

That small part is known as the Green River Formation, the world's largest oil shale deposit, and is located in a largely vacant region of mostly federal land on the western edge of the Rocky Mountains that includes portions of Wyoming, Utah and Colorado.

As we have written in our "Oil And Gas/Fact And Fiction" series, the Green River Formation has been dubbed our Persia on the Plains, an area with technically recoverable oil in an amount estimated at four times the proven resources of Saudi Arabia.

Given that current U.S. daily oil consumption is running at 19.5 million barrels, the staggering amount of Green River reserves would by itself supply domestic oil consumption for more than 200 years. That sure blows the heck out of the "peak oil" theory that the world is running out of oil.

According to Mittal's testimony before the House science subcommittee on energy and the environment, the U.S. Geological Survey "estimates that the Green River Formation contains about 3 trillion barrels of oil, and about half of this may be recoverable, depending on available technology and economic conditions."

According to the president's bizarre formulation, this oil does not count as a "proven" reserve because little drilling has been done. There is a reason for that. As Mittal testified: "The federal government is in a unique position to influence the development of oil shale because 72% of the oil shale within the Green River Formation lies beneath federal lands managed by BLM (Bureau of Land Management)."

The Obama administration also is in a unique position to block shale oil development. And while it says we can't drill our way to energy independence, it blocks drilling wherever it can. When it can't, as in the Bakken Formation centered on North Dakota, the economy booms and joblessness falls as oil is extracted from shale on private and state lands.

kvrdave
05-16-12, 01:24 AM
We can't drill our way to energy independence, but we can tax our way to a balanced budget. Hmmmmm.

Years ago we had threads about this and at the time Shell said they could make money extracting oil at $40/bbl.

DeputyDave
05-16-12, 03:18 AM
Waiting for the standard "drilling now won't affect gas prices anytime soon" argument.

classicman2
05-16-12, 08:16 AM
Even if it were possible to become entirely energy independent - would that be the wise thing to do?

Lastdaysofrain
05-16-12, 02:43 PM
We already export the vast majority of the oil we currently produce in the US, so why would we utilize any additional oil for the US? If we can't police where the stuff goes it doesn't make a difference how much of it we have.

kvrdave
05-16-12, 02:56 PM
Even if it were possible to become entirely energy independent - would that be the wise thing to do?

No. I don't mind using everyone else's oil first, but I also recognize that oil brings lots of jobs, and we could use that now. Plus, it's organic.

Mabuse
05-16-12, 04:12 PM
We already export the vast majority of the oil we currently produce in the US, so why would we utilize any additional oil for the US? If we can't police where the stuff goes it doesn't make a difference how much of it we have.

I don't think that's true. We export more refined gasoline than we consume, but that's different than oil.

Beery
05-16-12, 08:07 PM
If the GAO said that, the GAO is lying. Certainly there's a lot of stuff under US soil that is either oil or can be turned into oil. But that's not the point. Peak Oil is all about extraction rates and price, and post-peak, those equate to 'slow' and 'expensive', especially when all the US has left is shale oil, oil shale (neither of which is going to make the US energy independent) and a few remaining oil rigs that are producing only a few buckets of oil per day.

Heck, the Green River Formation doesn't contain a single teaspoon of oil. That stuff is kerogen - it's not oil. Kerogen is about the consistency of wax - you cannot drill for it, you can't even mine it. To turn it into oil, you need to cook it at 1000 degrees - deep in the ground for about three years, which (even in the most optimistic view) takes almost as much energy as you eventually get from it, and we don't even know if it will stay viable at those temperatures. The idea that the Green River Formation can bring on a new age of oil is stupidly optimistic at best, and a cynical scam at worst. Even if they do eventually get oil out of it, it will only be useful to those who can afford to buy it at some ridiculously inflated sum, such as $50/gallon.

Look it up if you don't believe me - Google "Green River Formation Kerogen"

slop101
05-16-12, 09:32 PM
The problem is that it's shale oil, which is still a massive pain in the ass to refine. It costs more to extract one barrel of shale oil than the the actual oil you're extracting. Give it 10 years, and we should have a better means of getting it into a usable state without spending so much to do so.

PopcornTreeCt
05-16-12, 09:38 PM
I never understood the drill baby drill argument. The oil companies are some of the most profitable companies on the planet, if they wanted to lower the price, they would lower the price.

DVD Polizei
05-16-12, 10:14 PM
No. I don't mind using everyone else's oil first, but I also recognize that oil brings lots of jobs, and we could use that now. Plus, it's organic.

And 0 TRANS FAT. :up:

kvrdave
05-16-12, 10:31 PM
If the GAO said that, the GAO is lying. Certainly there's a lot of stuff under US soil that is either oil or can be turned into oil. But that's not the point. Peak Oil is all about extraction rates and price, and post-peak, those equate to 'slow' and 'expensive', especially when all the US has left is shale oil, oil shale (neither of which is going to make the US energy independent) and a few remaining oil rigs that are producing only a few buckets of oil per day.

Heck, the Green River Formation doesn't contain a single teaspoon of oil. That stuff is kerogen - it's not oil. Kerogen is about the consistency of wax - you cannot drill for it, you can't even mine it. To turn it into oil, you need to cook it at 1000 degrees - deep in the ground for about three years, which (even in the most optimistic view) takes almost as much energy as you eventually get from it, and we don't even know if it will stay viable at those temperatures. The idea that the Green River Formation can bring on a new age of oil is stupidly optimistic at best, and a cynical scam at worst. Even if they do eventually get oil out of it, it will only be useful to those who can afford to buy it at some ridiculously inflated sum, such as $50/gallon.

Look it up if you don't believe me - Google "Green River Formation Kerogen"

We covered all that years ago. It is an interesting process. Essentially heating up a giant circle of rods in the earth and extracting out of a center point. As I mentioned earlier, it can be done, and it can be done at $40/barrel. But any time there is a new system (like fracking in North Dakota) there are a bunch of earth worshipers who who claim it will never be viable, just like they said with Prudhoe Bay. Just like they say for everything, including wind energy when it happens to be in their back yard.

Well, there is a very good way to tell whether or not it is viable....open the land up to open bids and let companies extract it. Do it without any subsidies. Require a minimum investment. Require a minimum amount of extraction. If they decide to extract, obviously the granola group is full of shit. If they decide to not even bid, then the "drill, baby, drill" people are full of shit.

But to declare things like this are not viable without even trying is just an attempt to please the earth goddess. No different than saying that ANWR doesn't have enough oil to make it worth opening up, yet refusing to drill a single fucking test well to see if that is even true.

All of these "it doesn't work out" people think that it doesn't make sense to drill. For one time in their fucking lives they should apply the same standard to solar, wind energy, etc. I have windmills all around me, and they all admit that if it weren't for the subsidies, not a single one would have been built.

Oil is organic, cheap, and abundant. Use that shit, yo.

slop101
05-16-12, 10:48 PM
Only thing is that they ARE trying it up in Canada, and they know full well how it's not viable... just yet - companies researching it and working with the shale oil in Canada say it'll be about 5-10 years until they can do it without incurring too much extra costs.

kvrdave
05-17-12, 12:21 AM
I understand there is a good way to find out. Apparently we could put it up for bid, adding performance standards, etc., and see if anyone bids. Similar to how we could drill a single test well in ANWR. Seems like that is a good scientific way to find out if there is much oil there. Why do liberals have such a distrust of science?

grundle
05-17-12, 12:50 AM
If the GAO said that, the GAO is lying. Certainly there's a lot of stuff under US soil that is either oil or can be turned into oil. But that's not the point. Peak Oil is all about extraction rates and price, and post-peak, those equate to 'slow' and 'expensive', especially when all the US has left is shale oil, oil shale (neither of which is going to make the US energy independent) and a few remaining oil rigs that are producing only a few buckets of oil per day.

Heck, the Green River Formation doesn't contain a single teaspoon of oil. That stuff is kerogen - it's not oil. Kerogen is about the consistency of wax - you cannot drill for it, you can't even mine it. To turn it into oil, you need to cook it at 1000 degrees - deep in the ground for about three years, which (even in the most optimistic view) takes almost as much energy as you eventually get from it, and we don't even know if it will stay viable at those temperatures. The idea that the Green River Formation can bring on a new age of oil is stupidly optimistic at best, and a cynical scam at worst. Even if they do eventually get oil out of it, it will only be useful to those who can afford to buy it at some ridiculously inflated sum, such as $50/gallon.

Look it up if you don't believe me - Google "Green River Formation Kerogen"


Even if it's not practical with current technology, that doesn't mean it won't be practical with new technology in the future. Much of the oil that gets drilled for today was considered unobtainable just a few decades ago.

grundle
05-17-12, 12:52 AM
I never understood the drill baby drill argument. The oil companies are some of the most profitable companies on the planet, if they wanted to lower the price, they would lower the price.


That's only true if you measure their profit in dollars. But that's not what really matters. What really matters is the annual percentage return on investment. And by that measurement, there is nothing particularly high about the oil companies' profits.

grundle
05-17-12, 12:55 AM
We covered all that years ago. It is an interesting process. Essentially heating up a giant circle of rods in the earth and extracting out of a center point. As I mentioned earlier, it can be done, and it can be done at $40/barrel. But any time there is a new system (like fracking in North Dakota) there are a bunch of earth worshipers who who claim it will never be viable, just like they said with Prudhoe Bay. Just like they say for everything, including wind energy when it happens to be in their back yard.

Well, there is a very good way to tell whether or not it is viable....open the land up to open bids and let companies extract it. Do it without any subsidies. Require a minimum investment. Require a minimum amount of extraction. If they decide to extract, obviously the granola group is full of shit. If they decide to not even bid, then the "drill, baby, drill" people are full of shit.

But to declare things like this are not viable without even trying is just an attempt to please the earth goddess. No different than saying that ANWR doesn't have enough oil to make it worth opening up, yet refusing to drill a single fucking test well to see if that is even true.

All of these "it doesn't work out" people think that it doesn't make sense to drill. For one time in their fucking lives they should apply the same standard to solar, wind energy, etc. I have windmills all around me, and they all admit that if it weren't for the subsidies, not a single one would have been built.

Oil is organic, cheap, and abundant. Use that shit, yo.


I agree with you on all of that, except for the curse words!

kvrdave
05-17-12, 01:02 AM
Fracking is actually the name of the process they use in North Dakota.

Tracer Bullet
05-17-12, 09:17 AM
Everyone talks about the cost, but the thing no one ever seems to mention is the energy ROI of shale.

kvrdave
05-17-12, 11:24 AM
I would put it up against wind and solar any day.

Tracer Bullet
05-17-12, 11:26 AM
I would put it up against wind and solar any day.

Maybe. I don't know.

kvrdave
05-17-12, 11:31 AM
Then I win....even though I don't know either. :)

Tracer Bullet
05-17-12, 11:43 AM
Then I win....even though I don't know either. :)

I found this chart on Wikipedia which suggest that solar is better than shale oil, but shale oil is better than solar. Who knows how accurate this is, though.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/f/fe/EROI_-_Ratio_of_Energy_Returned_on_Energy_Invested_-_USA.svg/500px-EROI_-_Ratio_of_Energy_Returned_on_Energy_Invested_-_USA.svg.png

Tommy Ceez
05-17-12, 11:54 AM
I found this chart on Wikipedia which suggest that solar is better than shale oil, but shale oil is better than solar. Who knows how accurate this is, though.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/f/fe/EROI_-_Ratio_of_Energy_Returned_on_Energy_Invested_-_USA.svg/500px-EROI_-_Ratio_of_Energy_Returned_on_Energy_Invested_-_USA.svg.png

Adjust for 2 years of technology advances, too

Tracer Bullet
05-17-12, 11:57 AM
Adjust for 2 years of technology advances, too

I guess, but I don't recall any huge advances in shale oil, wind, or solar technologies, so it's probably not that different.

kvrdave
05-17-12, 12:27 PM
I found this chart on Wikipedia which suggest that solar is better than shale oil, but shale oil is better than solar. Who knows how accurate this is, though.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/f/fe/EROI_-_Ratio_of_Energy_Returned_on_Energy_Invested_-_USA.svg/500px-EROI_-_Ratio_of_Energy_Returned_on_Energy_Invested_-_USA.svg.png

Interesting. Any guesses on when the next dam will go in? :lol:

wishbone
05-17-12, 12:30 PM
The Bui Dam (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bui_Dam)! :banana: In Ghana... :sad:

starman9000
05-17-12, 01:16 PM
I wish they'd get rid of all the shiny barely used ethanol plants around here and make more refineries.