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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Peak Oil is a Myth

Myth: The World is Running Out of Oil (5min)



175-315 Billion barrels of oil are recoverable at $15 a barrel in the Oil Sands of Alberta, Canada. With a remaining potential of 1.7-2.5 Trillion barrels. In Canada's oil sands alone, the supplies will last over 100 years.


The Bottomless Well (Peter Huber, Mark Mills, 2005)


Despite Popular Belief, The World is Not Running Out of Oil, Scientist Says (Science Daily)
It’s a myth that the world’s oil is running out (The Times, UK)
Myth: The World is Running Out of Oil (ABC News)
No Evidence of Precipitous Fall on Horizon for World Oil Production (Cambridge Energy Research Associates)
Oil: Never Cry Wolf—Why the Petroleum Age Is Far from over (Science)
Oil, Oil Everywhere... (The Wall Street Journal)
The World Has Plenty of Oil (The Wall Street Journal)


Environmental:
Oil sands cleanup (Financial Post, Canada)
Yes, we can strike a balance on the oil sands (Financial Post, Canada)

EROEI (Energy Return On Energy Invested):
Thermodynamics and Money (Peter Huber, Ph.D. Mechanical Engineering, MIT)
"The economic value of energy just doesn't depend very strongly on raw energy content as conventionally measured in British thermal units. Instead it's determined mainly by the distance between the BTUs and where you need them, and how densely the BTUs are packed into pounds of stuff you've got to move, and by the quality of the technology at hand to move, concentrate, refine and burn those BTUs, and by how your neighbors feel about carbon, uranium and windmills. In this entropic universe we occupy, the production of one unit of high-grade energy always requires more than one unit of low-grade energy at the outset. There are no exceptions. Put another way, Eroei--a sophomoric form of thermodynamic accounting--is always negative and always irrelevant. "Matter-energy" constraints count for nothing. The "monetary culture" still rules."

Facts:

- 95% of the world's proven oil and gas reserves are controlled by national oil companies (Forbes)
- Only 16% of U.S. oil imports come from the Middle East (EIA)
- The largest supplier of oil to the U.S. is Canada (EIA)
- The second largest supplier of oil to the U.S. is Mexico (EIA)
- Only 0.005% of U.S. domestic oil production is exported (EIA)
- Only 1.5% of the United States electrical generation comes from oil (EIA) (48% Coal, 20% Natural Gas, 19% Nuclear)
- The U.S. uses 25% of the world's oil supply because it produces over 25% of the world's economy (World Bank)

Failed Predictions:
- 1885, U.S. Geological Survey: "Little or no chance for oil in California."
- 1891, U.S. Geological Survey: "Little or no chance for oil in Kansas and Texas"
- 1914, U.S. Bureau of Mines: Total future production limit of 5.7 billion barrels of oil, at most a 10-year supply remaining.
- 1939, Department of the Interior: Oil reserves in the United States to be exhausted in 13 years.
- 1951, Department of the Interior, Oil and Gas Division: Oil reserves in the United States to be exhausted in 13 years.

Reserves:
- 1.3 Trillion barrels of 'proven' oil reserves exist worldwide (EIA)
- 1.8 to 6 Trillion barrels of oil are estimated in the U.S. Oil-Shale Reserves (DOE)
- 986 Billion barrels of oil are estimated using Coal-to-liquids (CTL) conversion of U.S. Coal Reserves (DOE)
- 173 to 315 Billion (1.7-2.5 Trillion potential) barrels of oil are estimated in the Oil Sands of Alberta, Canada (Alberta Department of Energy)
- 100 Billion barrels of heavy oil are estimated in the U.S. (DOE)
- 90 Billion barrels of oil are estimated in the Arctic (USGS)
- 89 Billion barrels of immobile oil are estimated recoverable using CO2 injection in the U.S. (DOE)
- 86 Billion barrels of oil are estimated in the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf (MMS)
- 60 to 80 Billion barrels of oil are estimated in U.S. Tar Sands (DOE)
- 32 Billion barrels of oil are estimated in ANWR, NPRA and the Central North Slope in Alaska (USGS)
- 31.4 Billion barrels of oil are estimated in the East Greenland Rift Basins Province (USGS)
- 7.3 Billion barrels of oil are estimated in the West Greenland–East Canada Province (USGS)
- 4.3 Billion (167 Billion potential) barrels of oil are estimated in the U.S. Bakken shale formation in North Dakota and Montana (USGS)
- 3.65 Billion barrels of oil are estimated in the U.S. Devonian-Mississippian Bakken Formation (USGS)
- 1.6 Billion barrels of oil are estimated in the U.S. Eastern Great Basin Province (USGS)
- 1.3 Billion barrels of oil are estimated in the U.S. Permian Basin Province (USGS)
- 1.1 Billion barrels of oil are estimated in the U.S. Powder River Basin Province (USGS)
- 990 Million barrels of oil are estimated in the U.S. Portion of the Michigan Basin (USGS)
- 393 Million barrels of oil are estimated in the U.S. San Joaquin Basin Province of California (USGS)
- 214 Million barrels of oil are estimated in the U.S. Illinois Basin (USGS)
- 172 Million barrels of oil are estimated in the U.S. Yukon Flats of East-Central Alaska (USGS)
- 131 Million barrels of oil are estimated in the U.S. Southwestern Wyoming Province (USGS)
- 109 Million barrels of oil are estimated in the U.S. Montana Thrust Belt Province (USGS)
- 104 Million barrels of oil are estimated in the U.S. Denver Basin Province (USGS)
- 98.5 Million barrels of oil are estimated in the U.S. Bend Arch-Fort Worth Basin Province (USGS)
- 94 Million barrels of oil are estimated in the U.S. Hanna, Laramie, Shirley Basins Province (USGS)

For Comparison:
- 260 Billion barrels of oil are estimated in Saudi Arabia (EIA)
- 80 Billion barrels of oil are estimated in Venezuela (EIA)

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