Thursday, July 27, 2017

This I like, and it's your good news of the day

I recall the fear over peak oil, and that fear is the basis for much of the push for renewables like solar and wind.  As much as that is superficially a good idea, the real energy pool is in oil/gas/coal, and making that energy cheap and plentiful is a ticket to high living standards.

 "2017 has already been a banner year for American oil production. U.S. shale producers have gotten their feet underneath them once again, adapting to the low oil price environment by cutting costs and improving efficiencies en route to turning a profit at $50 crude, and we’ve seen output surge accordingly. Since last October, U.S. oil production has increased more than 900,000 barrels per day, but according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), the party’s just getting started—it expects American producers to break a 47 year old record for production in 2018. . . .
The United States is already the world’s biggest producer of oil and gas, thanks to a recent surge in production of hydrocarbons trapped in shale. Fracking has catapulted the U.S. to the front of the energy producing pack, so to speak, and now it’s going to hurtle us past another important milestone, into uncharted territory.
Policymakers and the public are both still playing catch-up to this extraordinary transformation. For decades, the U.S. energy debate was framed in terms of scarcity, as the legacy of the Arab oil embargo of the 1970s loomed large in American minds. We’ve moved far, far beyond that, as next year’s projected milestone shows, into a new era of energy abundance.
And just as we once transitioned from a discussion of achieving energy “independence” (a farcical idea) to shoring up energy “security,” we might now shift again to discussing how to achieve American energy “dominance,” as the Trump Administration has described it."


  1. The threat of an oil embargo to the US has passed. Though there may come a time that the US/Canada could embargo North American oil...

  2. This post is very misleading and inaccurate... first fracking is a short lived last ditch effort to extract oil that cant be pulled out of the ground by conventional means. Fracked wells deplete at ~70% per year while large conventional wells deplete at 3% to 5% per year. Fracking is very expensive and can be very bad for the environment. Fracking is a clear sign that we've run out of new conventional oil wells in North America... as well as the rest of the world.

    Second, Oil is used primarily for transportation, i.e. commerce and the military. Gas is used primarily for heating and coal is used primarily for electricity. So oil needs to be considered separately.

    Using EIA data, North America produces 14 MB/day of oil and condensates, while consuming ~23 mb/day.... clearly a very large gap exists wich is made up by importing oil from places like the Mid East. Fracking only closes this significant gap by a few MB/day... and will never com close to completely closing this gap.

    All of the rha rha about America and energy independence is is a sham when the data is looked at accurately... i.e. by not lumping all carbon based energy sources together.

    1. But, it's progress. And, it keeps the price of gas down. And it worries the OPEC boys, and if they are worried, it means there just might be something to it.

      The depletion rate for fracked wells is of concern - I've seen that statistic, and I wonder how much it varies depending on the region, or whether it's an average nationwide.

    2. Rob, you are right that the article doesn't tell the whole story. However, to say fracking is a "short-lived last ditch effort" is also incorrect. the true meaning of fracking success is that at higher prices we get increased supply. "Peak Oil", which I originally bought into, didn't take into account how technology would respond with an incentive. At $100/bbl, there is a lot of oil to be had and is not "short-lived" although individual well production declines quickly. Of course other sources of transportation energy may become economically viable and that is fine. Creative destruction, baby. But we should let that happen naturally and not with crony subsidies and carbon taxes. And in the short term, it's nice to see OPEC's power to control the market collapse. Couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of guys.