Arctic oil reserves

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ron45's picture
ron45
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 12 2010
Posts: 40
Arctic oil reserves

That's pretty much the question. Where they taken into account in Chris' projections of big trouble with in 40 years? How much is there? Because you know they will go for them in a heartbeat as soon as the squealing and hand wringing starts.

Ron

Arthur Vibert's picture
Arthur Vibert
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: May 16 2008
Posts: 116
Re: Arctic oil reserves

Not enough to make any appreciable difference.

There's a 95% probability (http://www.energyandcapital.com/articles/arctic-oil-gas/890) that there are 44 billion barrels of oil there. Forgetting the difficulty of extracting oil in that particularly challenging part of the world for the moment, and assuming that ALL of it is recoverable (which it probably isn't), at current daily world consumption rates of roughly 85 million barrels a day it would take 517 days to use it up. 

Bear in mind that it will take a LONG time to actually begin extracting that oil as there are many engineering challenges to overcome. Deep ice, temperature extremes, weather, etc. 

I wouldn't be looking to Arctic oil as any sort of solution.

Arthur

Mike Pilat's picture
Mike Pilat
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 8 2008
Posts: 929
Re: Arctic oil reserves

The only "arctic" oil I think has any chance at true feasibility *might* be on land antarctic petroleum. But I've never heard much about potential reserves there or even any widespread exploration, so I think that's up in the air. The technical difficulties of getting oil from the arctic ocean strike me as so challenging that I think simply having 44 billion barrels up there is not enough. You would either need a great portion of that oil right near landmasses or half of it in a single large field to make this sort of project even worth discussing, IMHO. I have heard there is exploration going on off the coast of Greenland and I'm sure they will find something, I'm very unsure it will be very good, and I'm certain it won't be a complete game changer.

Have you ever see the Deadliest Catch tv show on the Alaskan king crab fisherman? Apparently arctic storms at sea can be quite rough. I'm sure the presence of sea ice and extreme wind chills (due to wind and cold) would put any offshore projects here in a complete class of their own. EROEI of 3 maybe?

As a society and as individuals, we have to start asking ourselves: Is it truly easier to get oil out of the arctic or might it be easier to attempt to reduce our oil consumption by the amount that we would hope to get from the arctic? The EROEI of conservation is usually infinity and the EROEI of efficiency upgrades is significantly higher than that of which arctic oil is likely to have.

Here's another take: In the best case scenario, this arctic oil *might* supply the earth for a couple years. If I had billions of dollars to invest, I personally would prefer to throw them into fusion research than into arctic oil. There is no long term future and no significant long term energy dividend from the arctic. Fusion may never happen, but it would be far more of a positive game changer than arctic oil would be. For that matter, we could simply put the money into wind power or into research for using offshore wind to generate ammonia and desalinated water (a la Matt Simmons). This is not going to "save" us from Peak Oil, but it would certainly provide some energy options (albeit expensive ones) out into the future.

ron45's picture
ron45
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 12 2010
Posts: 40
Re: Arctic oil reserves

Hi Mike, As someone who's lived off grid since 1983, I understand what you are saying. I wasn't hoping for more oil. I just wanted to be sure I was on the right band wagon where Chris' information is concerned. I've taken it upon myself to tell everyone I can think of about Chris and his efforts.

 

Ron

ron45's picture
ron45
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 12 2010
Posts: 40
Re: Arctic oil reserves

Actually Arthur since 1983 when we moved off grid and built our own passive/active solar adobe, we have been looking for ways to use less not more oil. The sooner it goes the better. Maybe when the smoke clears we will explore more intelligent ways to use energy......  whatever is next. But don't be surprised if most people just try to go back to biddness as usual. 

 

Ron

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