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Old 14th June 2011, 05:05 AM   #1
FrankWW is offline FrankWW  Canada
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Default Shale Oil

Quote:
Originally Posted by abraxalito View Post
n-hexane is a material used in cars. Any viable replacement on the cards?
That is a byproduct of oil refining.

The world is awash in oil. The problem is extracting it in non-kleptocratic, undemocratic countries. That is about to be solved by latest advances in clean shale oil extraction. We don't need a replacement.
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Old 14th June 2011, 05:23 AM   #2
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That is about to be solved by latest advances in clean shale oil extraction
It's a big deal in the Dakotas, and there is big goings-on near San Antonio. Google "Eagle Ford oil field Texas." I lived in the West Texas panhandle, land of oil and cotton all the way to the flatland horizon, and was a drilling rig roughneck in my younger days.

On 2nd thought, this might be different than the shale extraction FrankWW is referring to. Nonetheless...
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Old 14th June 2011, 05:26 AM   #3
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My dad was one of Gulf Canada's top engineers. I remember when i was a kid, he talked about the HUGE reserves of petrol in the shale, all too expensive to harvest. Back then an imperial gallon of gas was <25 cents. Technology & oil prices have conspired to make it feasible to extract.

Estimated U.S. oil shale reserves total an astonishing 1.5 trillion barrels of oil – or more than five times the
stated reserves of Saudi Arabia

Estimated U.S. oil shale reserves total an astonishing 1.5 trillion barrels of oil – or more than five times the
stated reserves of Saudi Arabia

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Estimated U.S. oil shale reserves total an astonishing 1.5 trillion barrels of oil – or more than five times the stated reserves of Saudi Arabia
There is also shale in places like Australia & Sweden...

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Old 14th June 2011, 05:40 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abraxalito View Post
the claim is one for 'clean shale oil extraction'. Any input on that?
Hydraulic fracturing is probably one of the biggest "can-o-worms" right now in the oil industry.

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Old 14th June 2011, 07:21 AM   #5
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So you share my incredulity then?
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Old 14th June 2011, 07:29 AM   #6
FrankWW is offline FrankWW  Canada
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It's all relative of course, but this comes pretty close.

Oil from a stone - Oct. 31, 2007

The problem with shale is making sure your process doesn't create overburden and doesn't negatively effect water supplies. Shell seems to have put together a technique for dealing with these problems. The article is three pages - couldn't find a collapse it to one page version.

The upside to what Shell has been developing is that the "crude" that comes from the process is very, very light. The actual "refining" would require a much more modest plant than what's needed for the heavy crudes.

Last edited by FrankWW; 14th June 2011 at 07:37 AM.
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Old 14th June 2011, 07:36 AM   #7
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Probably not. You can have accidents like the blowout preventer failure like the recent Gulf Coast spill, they're rare, but tbh I tend to put those things in the same group as hotel fires and highway fatalities. __ happens. A large chunk of Joplin MO reduced to rubble. IMHO one should care for the affected, not cry in the dark.
I am reasonably confident in the mature industry. Some of it I've seen up close. Fracking isn't a new technology at all, but there is something new about the way they do it (that I haven't bothered to research and find out what exactly).
And this is Texas, Pardner. Oil is like beef and blue jeans!
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Old 14th June 2011, 07:46 AM   #8
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With oil, the main question is how quickly it can be extracted, not the size of the reserves per se. On average the rate of global extraction must increase over time to maintain economic growth and prevent collapse (not my idea of how it should work, but that's how it is).

When we say shale oil is "expensive" we mean that it takes a lot of energy to extract it. Can it be extracted quickly enough to compensate for declining supplies elsewhere?
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Old 15th June 2011, 07:21 AM   #9
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With oil, the main question is how quickly it can be extracted,
Not sure how that conclusion was reached. I don't agree.
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On average the rate of global extraction must increase over time to maintain economic growth and prevent collapse (not my idea of how it should work, but that's how it is).
I take it that the "on average" is superfluous to the point being made? I agree then. Up to the "and prevent collapse" part.
Quote:
When we say shale oil is "expensive" we mean that it takes a lot of energy to extract it.
Don't include me in "we." The cost is about more than energy usage. It's lease royalties, taxes, equipment and insurance costs, labor, etc. The daily cost to have a rig running is measured in much more than just gallons of diesel.
Some of the stuff I've read about the local field is that they drill a new well to frac, but then existing surrounding wells are affected, eg a well pumping 100 bbl/day today may pump 1200 bbl/day after the fracking. That's part of the reason for the boom.
On a related personal note, one of my favorite things about my job there was that unlike a corporate bureaucracy's glacial pace, when something was needed or needed done, it happened muy pronto.
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Old 15th June 2011, 08:07 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by sofaspud View Post
Not sure how that conclusion was reached. I don't agree.

I take it that the "on average" is superfluous to the point being made? I agree then. Up to the "and prevent collapse" part.

Don't include me in "we." The cost is about more than energy usage. It's lease royalties, taxes, equipment and insurance costs, labor, etc. The daily cost to have a rig running is measured in much more than just gallons of diesel.
Some of the stuff I've read about the local field is that they drill a new well to frac, but then existing surrounding wells are affected, eg a well pumping 100 bbl/day today may pump 1200 bbl/day after the fracking. That's part of the reason for the boom.
On a related personal note, one of my favorite things about my job there was that unlike a corporate bureaucracy's glacial pace, when something was needed or needed done, it happened muy pronto.
It depends on how dependent you think the global economy is on oil. If you believe that without oil, each person's economic output would shrivel to virtually nothing, then to a certain approximation money = oil. When oil becomes "expensive" it means that we need to swap more and more economic activity based on oil to pay for oil!

If you believe that there are substitutes just around the corner, or that there are no limits to the rate of extraction then that's fine; we have no problems, and Adam Smith will see us all right.

However, the timing has to be right, because our economic system depends on continual growth and expansion - a gentle decline into continuous 'negative growth' that most people imagine, is not an option. If the oil supply simply levels off, never mind declines, the economic system collapses within a few years anyway - unless we can seamlessly segue into a substitute system of economic activity that doesn't need oil.

The economic system is currently collapsing anyway! But as things stand, if there ever were a 'recovery' it would be dead in the water if the oil supply couldn't ramp up to match it.
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