The United States has double the amount of oil and three times the amount of natural gas than previously thought stored deep under the states of North Dakota, South Dakota, and Montana, according to new data the Obama administration released Tuesday.
In announcing the new data in a conference call, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell also said the administration will release within weeks draft rules to regulate hydraulic fracturing, technology that has come under scrutiny for its environmental impact but that is essential to developing all of this energy.
“These world-class formations contain even more energy-resource potential than previously understood, which is important information as we continue to reduce our nation’s dependence on foreign sources of oil,” Jewell said in a statement.
This article is circulating among the anti-peak oil crowds. To me, the bigger story is about the left’s environmental heroine, Sally Jewell, who used to frack wells. As new head of the Dept. of Interior, she will (with Obama’s encouragement) - will - allow aggressive fracking on more public lands, possibly much more in our National Parks. To forgiving environmentalists, she’s Obama’s replacement for the DOI and former CEO of REI.
Saudi Arabia to invest $100 billion(!) in alternative energy over the next few years. More importantly, they openly tell the world why they switch - peak oil:
“Given consumption forecasts, Saudi Aramco Chief Executive Officer Khalid Al-Falih warned last April that national daily energy demand would more than double to 8.3 million barrels of oil equivalent in 2028 from 3.4 million barrels in 2009.”
Besides the glaring math error, it strikes me as odd that this fundamental premise was buried so deep in the article. If there’s peak oil recognition in the Middle East, does this mean we really, really are running out faster than predicted?? That seems to be the real story here.
Of this $100 billion, only 20% or less would come from solar. The other alternative sources include nuclear, geothermal(!), and wind. I’m surprised they don’t mention biofuels or natural gas, but maybe they’re not getting into that (let me know if you hear otherwise).
I dug up this NYTimes piece on oil reserves from 2005. It outlines the historic doubts insiders have had about the actual amount of the world’s reserves.
Oil industry insiders have been skeptical of Saudi Arabia’s reserves for decades. The information contained in the latest Wikileak’s US cables on SA’s reserves are not new information. What is new, however, is that the cables confirm that US diplomats, and therefore ostensibly politicians, O&G CEOs, and even OPEC, have been keeping the public in the dark about the how much oil is really left in the ground. This is the problem,
“If consumption begins to exceed production by even a small amount, the price of a barrel of oil could soar to triple-digit levels. This, in turn, could bring on a global recession, a result of exorbitant prices for transport fuels and for products that rely on petrochemicals — which is to say, almost every product on the market.” See, here and Peter Maas’s piece, below:
The largest oil terminal in the world, Ras Tanura, is located on the eastern coast of Saudi Arabia, along the Persian Gulf. From Ras Tanura’s control tower, you can see the classic totems of oil’s dominion — supertankers coming and going, row upon row of storage tanks and miles and miles of pipes. Ras Tanura, which I visited in June, is the funnel through which nearly 10 percent of the world’s daily supply of petroleum flows. Standing in the control tower, you are surrounded by more than 50 million barrels of oil, yet not a drop can be seen.
Oil-drilling activity in the U.S. has accelerated to a pace not seen in a generation as energy companies, oilfield contractors and landowners rush to exploit newly profitable sources of crude.
The number of rigs aiming for oil in the U.S. is the highest since at least 1987, according to Baker Hughes. The 818 rigs tallied by the oilfield-service company last week are nearly double last year’s count and about 10 times the number in the late 1990s.
While the drilling surge is unlikely to yield enough crude to alter the global oil-supply picture, analysts predicted that the new activity, centered on so-called unconventional reservoirs, could greatly boost domestic oil production and help offset declining output in Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico.
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I'm a climate change consultant specializing in climate adaptation, environmental law, and urban planning based in the U.S. In addition to traveling and hiking, I research, publish, and lecture on how cities can adapt to climate change.
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