Oil Forever if Properly Managed?

Discussion in 'General' started by Bike123, Apr 26, 2008.

  1. Bike123

    Bike123 Well-Known Member

    "Saudi Output Growth Can Help Forestall Peak Oil, Bernstein Says
    By Greg Walters
    April 25 (Bloomberg) -- Saudi Arabian oil output has the potential to rise, helping avoid a peak in world crude production, according to Sanford C. Bernstein & Co.

    Oil prices may fall toward the end of this year as worsening economic conditions reduce demand, analysts Neil McMahon forecast in a report today. Prices will probably rise later, beyond 2010, and reach $114 a barrel by 2015 as spare capacity declines, they wrote.

    ``Saudi and global oil production has the potential to grow slowly going forward,'' the authors wrote. ``We do not believe world oil production supply is peaking today.''

    Proponents of peak-oil, the theory that global production has or is about to reach its zenith, say booming demand and dwindling supply are responsible for the rising price of oil. Analysts debate the extent and timing of a drop in crude production in Saudi Arabia, the world's biggest oil exporter. Some argue Saudi Arabian Oil Co., known as Saudi Aramco, is downplaying reservoir declines and that the country may be forced to reduce output.

    Sanford Bernstein commissioned a survey by GeoVille Information Systems to use satellites to monitor drilling at Ghawar, Saudi Arabia's biggest oil field. The analysis ``concludes that the Saudi peak oil production conspiracy theories, based on little or incomplete current field data, do not fit with our findings.''

    The study processed field data from recent years to try to detect subsidence, or sinking, in the reservoir. Rapidly depleting reservoirs tend to collapse slowly in small ``micro-earthquakes'' if oil and gas are extracted too rapidly for water or other substances to fill the gaps, McMahon told Bloomberg News in December.

    The study suggests Ghawar is ``not in significant reservoir trouble,'' the report said. The field may be showing signs of ``mild production decline rates at worst.'' The field has been properly managed, it said. "

    read more:

    It is well known that Saudi Aramco injects several barrels of seawater for every barrel of oil they extract, in order to keep reservior pressure up. Matthew Simmons (author of Twilight in the Desert, a "must read") hasn't been claiming that the fields are mismanaged. He has claimed that water injection will keep production high until the field is near exhaustion, and that production decline will be very abrupt. He also believes that Ghawar is near that point.

    I sure wouldn't count on prices in 2015 being lower than today (~$119/bbl). The International Energy Association (IEA), which always predicted demand and assumed production would be there to match out to 2030, now forsees a shortfall by 2012.
  2. vtec-e

    vtec-e Celtic MPG Warrior

    Already there!!

  3. Jimmy

    Jimmy Well-Known Member

    As to the question in the title of this thread ("Oil Forever if Properly Managed?"), the answer is no. If properly managed, oil will last longer, but being a finite resource, will not last forever.

    There is an exception. We could wait a few million years, until today's animal and plant life have been buried, compressed, and turned intil oil. Of course humanity may have become extinct by then, to be replaced by intelligent life forms. :D
  4. BailOut

    BailOut My favorite holiday is Earth Day!

    What a total crock. :( That little essay is so riddled with holes that I'm not sure where to start.

    I'll try to quickly cover the salient points:

    1) Yes, Saudi oil production can increase a little from where it is today, but not by much and not for a few years yet. Every time they've overproduced even a smidgen it has taken the affected fields more than a decade of "resting" before they were ready to produce properly again.

    2) Yes, much of the speculation regarding peak oil is "based on little or incomplete current field data" but this is by no means through negligence or omission by authors and pundits. The Saudis simply don't release any kind of empirical data whatsoever when it comes to anything in their kingdom, let alone their oil fields. Even their "proven reserves" are a total sham, a number pulled out of thin air to quell Western concerns.

    3) The satellite study commissioned by this group is no more complete or data-intensive than anything else that's been done so far. If managing oil fields were as simple as taking a few thermal images with a satellite the Saudis would have their own space station for launching them.

    4) The satellite(s) was/were used to look for evidence of micro-quakes which no one has ever claimed took place, but they are by far not the only evidence that a field is being overproduced. What the Saudis found in times of overproduction, for example, were wildly variable but generally declining reservoir pressures punctuated by migrating pockets of high pressure, non-oil components. Each time they came across these early signs they backed production off and/or moved production to another field. In other words the satellite was being used to look for burned down homes but while the Saudis definitely started many fires over the years they reacted quickly enough to limit the damage to individual rooms, leaving no outward signs of damage.

    5) The absence of "burned down homes" does not diminish "the threat of fire". Saudi Aramco has become masters of oil field management through a lot of trial and error over the years but the neatness of their operation should never be confused for anything more than that. For example, you cannot infer a home's quality of construction based on how clean the occupants keep it.

    6) No matter how much anyone wishes it wasn't so oil is a finite resource. There was only so much biomass available for its creation eons ago, and not all the biomass on Earth was in the proper place at the proper time to do it. The question has never been if it will run out, but when. Anything else is wishful thinking.
  5. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Brian:

    ___Nice reply!

    ___Good Luck

  6. brick

    brick Answers to "that guy."

    I searched through all of our dancing bananas and not one is a banana smacking its forehead. We should probably get on that while people make those last desperate attempts to find a convoluted path to blissful ignorance.

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