Sunday, 27 February 2011

'Peak' Oil?

Once upon a time it was said that the worlds fossil fuel reserves would run out because the rate at which we consume it far exceeds the rate of 'time' it takes for the process to form it (living things dying and being compressed and exposed to heat generated by the Earth's core)
The vast majority of off shore fossil fuels, oil and gas, are found on what is called the 'continental shelf'' which is an area around the coast line about 200m below the surface of the ocean.  With this being the case why would any sane person think it sensible to branch out in the deep blue and start drilling for 'black gold' and risk ruining our beloved planet anymore than we already have?

"..the days when the industry could merely drill on land and wait for the oil — and the profits — to flow are coming to an end. Because of that, companies feel compelled to sink wells at the bottom of deep oceans, inject chemicals into the ground to force oil to the surface, deal with unsavory regimes, or operate in some of the world's most environmentally sensitive and inaccessible spots, far from ports and decent roads. All those factors could make it difficult to move in equipment and clean up a spill..."

The harsh fact of the matter is this 'unsane' use of what fossil fuel resources we have left to speculate for more, in obscure deep drilling pits, with crude practices of pushing chemicals into the Earth to force more oil out, is nothing short of ludicrous...and all in the name of greater 'profit' for the '1 percenters'

"...Drilling is proceeding in countries with extremely weak regulations and a lack of skilled operators, and in geological settings much like the northern Gulf of Mexico, with high pressure and weak rock formations ripe for blowouts.
Companies are seeking the new frontiers amid warnings from some analysts that worldwide oil production will peak and then decline as onshore wells dry up. It's not that oil itself is scarce — global reserves are estimated at 1.2 trillion barrels — but getting to it requires large investments in treacherous places..."

"...BP CEO Bob Dudley argued last week that deep-water drilling is necessary despite the dangers because the world could be consuming 40 percent more energy by 2030...."

To put some of this 'unsanity' in to some perspective the BP oil disaster in 2010 was at a well 1mile deep, the fall out from the clean up opearation was well documented in the difficulty there was with current technologies to stop the leak. The drilling to take place off of the coast of Brazil is in water 2 miles deep with the need to drill through up to 3 miles of salt layers on the ocean floor...

"...Environmentalists estimate as much as 550 million gallons of oil have poured into the Niger Delta and its surrounding waterways during 50 years of crude production. That is roughly comparable to one Exxon Valdez disaster per year.
The pitfalls of doing business with certain regimes were brought into sharp focus when questions were raised about whether BP tried to procure a $900 million exploration agreement with Libya by seeking the release of the man convicted of bombing Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. The 1988 attack killed 270 people. BP says it urged the British government to sign a prisoner transfer agreement with Libya but did not specify Abdel Baset al-Megrahi's case..."

This goes to show that they are not in it for our us but themselves as people seek to broker deal with the likes of Gaddafi for a few barrels of oil.
This ever maddening series of events must surely mean there must be a drive to find our energy in other ways, cleaner and renewable ways? Perhaps by harvesting the sources of energy that could be best utilised by a certain country or land mass...live on an island? Try combining off shore wind and tidal power for example...it is only an idea, but then again how can you make 'profit' from something that could be free for all and provide a better environment for us, our children and our great grandchildren. I guess we all better keep paying those ever increasing British Gas bills (as their profits increase to 24% as they increase your bills by 7%!!) whilst they continue to destroy our planet.

The quoted posts are attributed to Harry R. Weber and John Flesher of the Associated Press Nov 2010

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