Hat tip to reader sammy
Title: Are We Really Running Out of Oil?
This post might give the Peak Oilers pause.
It has become something of an article of faith among those who oppose drilling in the Arctic that it’s too much trouble for too little oil. Well, how about 90 billion barrels of oil? Too little for you?
That’s how much oil is estimated to be in the Arctic region, with at least a third of it under sovereign U.S. territory, according to a new study by the U.S. Geological Survey.
Put into perspective, the U.S. “official” estimate for total oil reserves is 21 billion barrels. So by putting our Arctic resources into play, we would more than double our reserves overnight.
What’s more, there could be more oil up there — much more — according to Donald Gautier, who wrote the report.
“Most of the Arctic, especially offshore, is essentially unexplored with respect to petroleum,” Gautier said. “The extensive Arctic continental shelves may constitute the geographically largest unexplored prospective area for petroleum remaining on Earth.”
That phrase stuck in our mind — “essentially unexplored.” How much of the rest of the U.S., including the oil we have offshore, is likewise “essentially unexplored”? And this study only counted oil that could be retrieved using current technologies. So Arctic reserves may ultimately prove to be much larger.
By the way, the report adds almost as an aside, there’s also about 1,669 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in the Arctic region. That’s about 27% of the world’s total.
This again puts the lie to the “peak” oil theorists, who have asserted repeatedly that the amount of oil we can use is in terminal decline and that it’s therefore futile to drill for more. It’s not……In short, we’re not running out of oil, we’re swimming in it.
Bush on Tuesday said he wants to remove all barriers to extracting the oil thought to be trapped in shale rock formations in a swath of territory encompassing parts of Colorado, Wyoming and Utah.
The quantity of oil to be found in this shale is almost unfathomable. The government conservatively puts it at 800 billion barrels. Other estimates say we have as much as 2 trillion barrels, though some of that wouldn’t be recoverable.
As the chart shows, that could potentially give the U.S. oil reserves equal to three times those of Saudi Arabia. Indeed, it would be more oil than in Saudi Ara bia, Iran, Russia, Venezuela, Iraq and Mexico combined.
These reserves, if fully exploited, could ensure America’s energy needs for at least the next century, and possibly longer. As John Hinderaker of the popular Power Line blog notes, 1 trillion barrels of oil is roughly the amount of crude the world has used since oil was first found in Titusville, Pa., in 1859.
Check out the bar graph in the link.
Short the oil bubble!
Rdan here: Sammy indicates he thinks the op-ed is a good summary of current status of the situation. More on this later.
Update: Some concern has been expressed in comments that the post might indicate implicit endorsement of the views expressed, or that it is offered without an explanation of why it is accurate by the person sending it in.
Guest posts are an important part of Angry Bear offerings. A more explicit set of guidelines might be useful in general. We could also offer an op-ed piece as an example of the presentation of a different viewpoint, but do so at the beginning. Also, sammy could offer more of his own justification and links to better define the idea he is proposing.
Anyway, this post can draw attention to the idea being tossed around of plentiful reserves that are handy. The piece itself offers no detail, so of course is an advertisement and not a report or even article. The USGS report offers a lot of detail which to my reading suggests much less optimism and certainty.