Parent says large US oil find will end crisis - any truth to this?

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catastrophist's picture
catastrophist
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Parent says large US oil find will end crisis - any truth to this?

I have a parent who has viewed the Crash Course, but says there will be no oil crisis because he was told by someone in montana that in that state there is a large find of oil that can power the US "forever" but will not be tapped because environmentalists are preventing its production.  I cannot find any evidence of this online, but he swears it is true.  Does anyone know what, if anything, is he referring to and how can I show him it will not solve the oil crisis?

Johnny Oxygen's picture
Johnny Oxygen
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Joined: Sep 9 2009
Posts: 1443
How can I disprove a rumor

How can I disprove a rumor that doesn't have a source? It sounds like wishful thinking in face of the facts.

The US currently uses about 19.6 million barrels per day, of oil, which is more than 25% of the world's total. So that oil deposit better be the size of the entire state of Montana and tens of miles deep.

 

jturbo68's picture
jturbo68
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Joined: Aug 4 2009
Posts: 207
catastrophist wrote: I have
catastrophist wrote:

I have a parent who has viewed the Crash Course, but says there will be no oil crisis because he was told by someone in montana that in that state there is a large find of oil that can power the US "forever" but will not be tapped because environmentalists are preventing its production.  I cannot find any evidence of this online, but he swears it is true.  Does anyone know what, if anything, is he referring to and how can I show him it will not solve the oil crisis?

 

The reference is probaly to the Bakken Shale Basin that covers much of montana, N. Dakota and into canada.  It is estimated to contain 3.6 bln barrels of oil.

http://geology.com/usgs/bakken-formation-oil.shtml

 

The issue with this kind of oil is that it is not conventional oil.  As such, it is difficult to extract and because it needs to be heated to be turned into oil, it does not have a very good energy return on energy invested.

 

http://bakkenshale.net/

Oil can be extracted out of the Bakken Shale formation area but the process is tricky and expensive since the shale is a solid.  The Bakken oil shale must be mined and heated at high temperatures.  This is referred to in the oil business as retorting.  After the Bakken Shale is retorted, it is separated and collected.  The Bakken Shale formation can also be heated under the ground at high temperatures in which companies can pump the oil out of the ground.

 

If it were a great panacea, it would be extracted in larger quantities than it has been regardless of the environmental impact.

 

 

SteveW's picture
SteveW
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Joined: Jan 21 2010
Posts: 490
3.6 billion is not a large number

Even if the entire 3.6 billion barrels of oil could be easily recovered then with US usage around 20 million bpd (0.020 billion bpd) it would supply the entire US for 180 days.

Dwig's picture
Dwig
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Joined: Mar 4 2009
Posts: 141
Is he open to learning?

Previous posts have given a good set of starting points for convincing someone whose mind is open to the possibility.  An in-depth treatment of the issue is given nicely in Richard Heinberg's writings, especially his new book "The End of Growth".

However, this is a lot for many people to absorb.  It sounds like your parent may have essentially shut down his mind at some point, given that he's willing to believe a conspiracy theory (and a pretty far-fetched one at that) from a second-hand source over what his own child says.

agitating prop's picture
agitating prop
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Joined: May 28 2009
Posts: 854
petrodollars

The oil problem is a geological reality, but ultimately a political problem. The dollar is backed by oil, just for starters. Peak oil is framed as a problem, with the implicit understanding that no meaningful alternatives to oil are presently "in the pipeline". They exist, they could go forward full bore, but they are being held back for a number of reasons, some practical, some political, and some paranoid.  But chief among these reasons, is the requirement of the patent office that NASA (if you can believe it. Like why Nasa?) review all patent applications for national security implications. How easy would it be for the massive military industrial complex to subvert, manipulate and compromise that tidy little system?

When the discomfort for the elite controllers of being mired in a self created system reliant on oil, begins to outweigh the comforts of being the recipients of a petrodollar hegemonic state, you WILL see change. All the fretting about this find and that find and how many barrels will be revealed to be essentially and unwittingly bogus.  

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