Problems in no certain order…
Number one problem…crude oil is now at $74 per barrel and may top out at $95 per barrel by fall. This week even the National Petroleum Council (NPC) is expected to release a report suggesting the global demand will exceed supplies in the next 25 years. Meaning your gas price at the pump is going to stay this high.
How much oil is left? The U.S. Energy Information Administration’s International Energy Outlook 2007 calculates that world proven reserves of oil are 1.3 trillion barrels and projects that world consumption will rise to 118 million barrels per day by 2030. In 2002, U.S. Geological Survey researchers estimated that 3 trillion barrels of conventional oil remain to be recovered. “It’s not peak oil: it’s in the ground, we know where a lot of it is, but it’s getting it out,” said Leo Drollas, an oil expert at the Centre for Global Energy Studies in the Guardian.
What do we do? What do we do?…Craig says as he runs around room with his arms in the air.
Offshore oil was once unconventional and depending on technology and economics ultra-deep sea oil and tar sands may become conventional sources of crude.
Whew were saved?! As I said here in the past…
So what of these massive offshore deposits? There is Lease Sale 181 in the Gulf of Mexico, large enough to support 2/3 of the annual need for mobile homes in the U.S. for 15 years. The North Sea oil field hit peak production in 2004 and fell 18.5% in 2005. The USGS estimates that the total unexplored, offshore reserve is 300 billion barrels. So the amount we have not accessed as of yet would last the world 9.5 years (at 84,000,000 barrels a day).
Decommissioned oil rigs off Australia’s coastline could become hubs for marine-based businesses such as coral harvesting for aquariums, a fish expert says. Professor David Booth, of the Sydney Institute of Marine Science and University of Technology, Sydney, says there are up to 60 oil rigs in Australian waters that are due to be decommissioned in the next decade. I am am not in agreement with Dr. Booth. Where I am in agreement is with his latter comments.
“There is no easy answer … you can’t just say take them all away,” he says, adding the issue will have to be dealt with on a case-by-case approach. Booth says, for example, the removal and towing of the rig to Singapore or India for dismantling could have a negative impact on the environment due to the carbon cost of towing the rig and the risk of oil spills. “If you did all the sums it might not be an environmentally friendly thing to do,” he says. The marine ecologist says one of the programs he highlighted in last year’s government talks was the “rigs to reefs” project in the southern US state of Louisiana. He says there are about 3000 oil rigs in shallow waters off Louisiana’s Gulf of Mexico coastline. Under the program, some decommissioned oil rigs have been used for marine-based industries including fish and oyster farming, dive tourism and growing coral for aquariums. “It has brought amazing economic benefits to the place,” he says.