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Oil Exploration Ramps Up In US Arctic

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the gotta-bring-those-gas-prices-down dept.

Earth 182

ananyo writes "A new round of exploratory oil drilling is due to begin in the Arctic this July. The oil giant Shell was granted permission some months ago by the U.S. government to drill two exploratory wells in the Beaufort Sea and three in the Chukchi Sea, both north of Alaska, this year — between 15 July and late September. The project is finally coming to fruition after years spent fighting legal challenges. It will be the first oil-exploration program to run in U.S. Arctic waters since 2000, and could mark the start of the first offshore commercial drilling in the American north, although it would take another decade to establish production wells."

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182 comments

Burn it (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40470801)

Nothing changes until it is all gone.

Borrow it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40470863)

Same thing with US creditors.

Good (3, Insightful)

Stumbles (602007) | about 2 years ago | (#40470825)

Good.

Re:Good (4, Insightful)

i kan reed (749298) | about 2 years ago | (#40471191)

Bad.

I provided 1 trillion times the evidence and supporting reasoning of the parent. My post is better.

Re:Good (5, Insightful)

Penguinisto (415985) | about 2 years ago | (#40471345)

You both have it wrong. Here's how US public opinion on the matter actually works:

Average gasoline prices under $3.75/gal? "Bad oil company! No drill! NO DRILL! bad! bad! bad!"

Average gasoline prices over $4.50/gal? "I don't care if you have to line the well with baby seal fur and lubricate the rig with infant dolphin blood! Drill, damn you! DRILL!"

Re:Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40471461)

Well it's a good thing that science is simultaneously looking for viable alternatives, optimizing production, and increasing efficiency; and that those actions don't care about public opinion.

Re:Good (0)

fluffythedestroyer (2586259) | about 2 years ago | (#40471543)

Control what information you give to the public and you control the public in the end. Inform yourself about viable alternatives like electric cars. Theres lots of info and documentaries on that subject. The car industry did everything they can to shut it down and make sure it wouldn't work.

Re:Good (3, Interesting)

characterZer0 (138196) | about 2 years ago | (#40471613)

Electric cars are not the answer. Better city planning, public transportation, and human-powered transportation are the answers.

The second half of the 20th century was an experiment in car-centric city planning. It failed.

Re:Good (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40471669)

Electric cars are not the answer. Better city planning, public transportation, and human-powered transportation are the answers.

Higher oil prices are the answer. They are the only external force that will cause Joe 6-Pack to care about better city planning, public transportation and the like.

Re:Good (3, Informative)

Githaron (2462596) | about 2 years ago | (#40471905)

Electric cars are not the answer. Better city planning, public transportation, and human-powered transportation are the answers.

Higher oil prices are the answer. They are the only external force that will cause Joe 6-Pack to care about better city planning, public transportation and the like.

What about those of us that do not live in a city? Everywhere I need to go is 20 minutes from where I live.

Re:Good (1, Flamebait)

CaptainLugnuts (2594663) | about 2 years ago | (#40472233)

Move out of the sticks, hayseed!

Re:Good (2)

characterZer0 (138196) | about 2 years ago | (#40471907)

Joe 6-Pack cares about the cost of gas at the pump, not the cost of crude. If we stop subsidizing car traffic by cutting subsidies for oil, refining, road building, maintenance, and parking space and let the price of gas (and tolls and parking rates) go up accordingly, Joe will notice.

Re:Good (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 2 years ago | (#40472729)

Joe 6-pack won't know. Because the real cost to oil spikes is goods. When everything in the US is moved by diesel trucks, the cost of everything goes up, and unlike airlines and cruise ships, you don't get a "fuel price" fee on your veggies.

Re:Good (2)

Darinbob (1142669) | about 2 years ago | (#40472187)

Better work planning too. Ie, work from home, don't put offices miles away from residential areas or in upscale neighborhoods where workers cant' afford to live. Even then you will have problems due to geography. Ie, SF Bay Area is never going to have great public transportation or city planning because the geography is oddly shaped and confining. Never the less SF area has better transportation than LA which is flat and perfect for designing things efficiently. Still you have yuppies commuting an hour outside of SF for jobs while others commute for an hour to get into SF. Economics just does not put jobs where people live. If you do have a nice commute it can all change suddenly if you lose a job and have to work 50 miles away from the place where you have a mortgage. Meanwhile no matter how long your commute, or how many hills there are, or how dangerous the roads, or if you have a history of cardiapulmonary problems, some militant idiot at work wearing spandex is going to hound to commute on a bicycle.

Re:Good (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 2 years ago | (#40472709)

But electric cars powered from coal plants will reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. All we have to do is listen to the "clean coal" supporters.

Re:Good (3, Insightful)

jmorris42 (1458) | about 2 years ago | (#40471695)

Electric cars are a stupid idea. And they will be until we get much better batteries, they must be smaller, lighter, charge faster and be cheaper. That is a lot of miracles that need to happen. If only one of those things had to happen we could probably do a massive research push to get there, but with everything needing to get dramatically better it is a dumb idea to cast all of our future on one dice roll.

Combine with the hard reality we will also require a massive new electrical generating and distribution capacity if electric cars are to be anything but egoboo for a select few wealthy greens subsidized by the taxes of 'wasteful' slobs they despise. And unless you know of a viable 'alternative' energy source that can not only supply current load but the massive new one implied by electrifying transportation all al electric car's battery is is a semi efficient storage medium for electricity generated by fossil fuels.

No, what I get out of this announcement is an oil company is willing to plunk down coin to drill somewhere there is no chance Obama's regulators will ever allow actual production so they are betting on that not being a problem.

Re:Good (0)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | about 2 years ago | (#40471729)

Try getting a sig without an error in every word, then someone might take your seriously. Also, a brain.

Re:Good (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40471879)

"Try getting a sig without an error in every word, then someone might take your seriously."

"your". Uh huh.

Re:Good (4, Interesting)

AK Marc (707885) | about 2 years ago | (#40472801)

Electric cars are a stupid idea. And they will be until we get much better batteries, they must be smaller, lighter, charge faster and be cheaper

Those are easy to fix. They have all been fixed on a small scale already, and the solution scales well. The problem is that nobody wants to invest the capital to make it work. Everyone expects the government to pony up a trillion dollars or so for the fix, so any private work done before that is at a loss. After all, we spent multiple trillions to kill two people (neither of which tried for the reason we initiated aggression against them), so what's another trillion to greatly improve the US? If we can find so much money to ship overseas, why can't we spend a fraction of that domestically?

Eletric cars are easy. They pre-dated IC for a reason (they were easy). The *only* issue left is that with everything solved, nobody will do it. Selling a few here or there to the niche makes more money and protects the embedded interests better than raising CAFE to 50 and mandating appropriate standards on electric cars, which would solve the problem in less than a year.

And here's how pump prices really work... (1)

tlambert (566799) | about 2 years ago | (#40471615)

Chevron: We really don't care about the price of a barrel of oil one way or the other, except for those of us who have commodities futures in our portfolios. We've just successfully lobbied California to get the gas reformulated again so out of state gas can't compete in our private sandbox. Oh yeah, we'll be taking two of our refineries offline for preventive maintenance to celebrate this achievement.

Re:Good (3)

similar_name (1164087) | about 2 years ago | (#40471657)

What's interesting is that we're okay with $3.75/gal. 10 years ago $2 made people angry.

Re:Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40472029)

You forgot to adjust for inflation.

Re:Good (1)

nitehawk214 (222219) | about 2 years ago | (#40472097)

You forgot to adjust for inflation.

Inflation was not 40% in the last 10 years.

Re:Good (1)

roman_mir (125474) | about 2 years ago | (#40472459)

Inflation is expansion of money supply, this does not directly translate into rising prices.

Inflation is about 11-15% per year.

Re:Good (1)

mk1004 (2488060) | about 2 years ago | (#40471927)

So obviously the goal of the oil companies would be to keep the price somewhere between $3.75/gal and $4.50/gal.

Re:Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40472305)

Average gasoline prices over $4.50/gal? "I don't care if you have to line the well with baby seal fur and lubricate the rig with infant dolphin blood! Drill, damn you! DRILL!"

So this seal walks into a club...

Re:Good (3, Informative)

Billly Gates (198444) | about 2 years ago | (#40472265)

Not good great!

Living in Alaska gave me a different perspective. The oilpipeline is Alaska. What I mean by that is it funds natives(indians) to survive, pays for education, gives research money to conservation and global warming researching indirectorly by funding the U of Alaska system, brings in 20% of the population in Anchorage and so on.

By 2016 the oil pipeline will be done! The state and its people will be devestated. Any oil they find needs to quickly be pipped to the oil pipeline. The oil industry is not this evil thing up there and people depend on it. It has done amazing things with a great education system in the state and funding for many poor native Americans in rural areas who survive by hunting and fishing. With milk $7 a gallon the dividend fund can really help as every man,woman, and child is paid by it. ... just giving slashdotters another perspective.

The arctic in Alaska is not negatively effected at all by the drilling. It enables more of us to enjoy its wilderness by creating jobs for those who want to move even if they are not paid directly by the big oil companies.

Re:Good (0)

scot4875 (542869) | about 2 years ago | (#40472469)

What makes you feel that you're entitled to live in Alaska? Are you a native? Why should we pawn future generations' climate for cheap oil so that you can live more comfortably in one of the harshest climates on Earth?

--Jeremy

Re:Good (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40472615)

If I was standing near you, I'd bitch slap you.

He can live where ever the fuck he wants. Who the hell are you to bitch about anything?

This is news? (4, Interesting)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 2 years ago | (#40470857)

For techy people? Oh well, probably more topical that a fake severed head on a fake TV show.

FWIW, Shell has drilled in the Arctic before - several other exploratory wells. They've done quite a bit of due diligence to mitigate problems including painting their disaster recovery ship a dark blue so as not to scare the whales.

They realize quite perfectly if they have a major spill or blowout then the game is over. Further, there is no assurance that this will go anywhere beyond the exploratory wells - they may not find oil, they may not find much oil, it may cost too much to pull out.

And if they wait long enough, the whole area may turn into a tropical paradise, much like it was when the algae, etc. that created the biomass that subsequently became oil was alive.

Re:This is news? (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 2 years ago | (#40470989)

It sounds like you're trying to say "people are behaving responsibly to meet their goals with minimum damage" on a Slashdot article about a mix of environmentalism, technology, and politics... Your signature is wonderfully appropriate.

Re:This is news? (2, Insightful)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 2 years ago | (#40471105)

This is likely to be the best scenario in a potential worst case scenario. Even if Shell doesn't drill in the Beaufort Sea, the Russians, Canadians, Danes and anybody else who can manage to plant a flag above the Arctic Circle will.

We ARE going to Drill Baby, Drill until it costs too much to pull the stuff out of the ground. If we have any collective brains we will use that time to figure out how to power civilization using less environmentally disastrous methods. I'm not to sanguine about the collective intelligence of humanity however.

"A person is smart, people are dumb, panicky animals and you know that".
          Agent K

Re:This is news? (3, Insightful)

sycodon (149926) | about 2 years ago | (#40471145)

"...how to power civilization..."

We know how...Nuclear.

But that's on the list of OhNoes!

Re:This is news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40472005)

Only until true renewables (million + years) have been developed enough to be used on there (their? its not a person) own.

Re:This is news? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40470995)

Lets hope this fake global warming turns the whole area into a damn desert. This site is more like news for doe doe birds. I love oil I'd take a bath in it if I could. Que all the anti oil solar fantasy types now...

Re:This is news? (5, Insightful)

d'baba (1134261) | about 2 years ago | (#40471053)

They realize quite perfectly if they have a major spill or blowout then the game is over.

You mean like BP's game is over?
---
Any conversation about a sufficiently complex subject is indistinguishable from babble.

Re:This is news? (1)

mosb1000 (710161) | about 2 years ago | (#40471115)

It should be. They have an appalling safety record. Why anyone would sell them an oil lease is beyond me.

Re:This is news? (2)

Delarth799 (1839672) | about 2 years ago | (#40472175)

Money makes everything happen, its just that sometimes you just need a little extra money to get things moving.

Re:This is news? (1)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | about 2 years ago | (#40471211)

You mean like BP's game is over?

Good point, but keep in mind It would be over if people were to go elsewhere for gas.

Re:This is news? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40471277)

Can't actually do that. Gas for a geographic area is usually supplied by the nearest refinery. Here in Denver all you can get is Conoco gas. I don't care where you go Shell, Wal Mart, Costco, Safeway, etc. you're getting Conoco gas. The only difference is the additives.

Hooray for free market competition!

Re:This is news? (2)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 2 years ago | (#40471807)

Gasoline is fungible. The pipeline operators are just optimizing the physical flow.

Money flow follows entirely different patterns that reflect ownership.

Re:This is news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40472085)

Conoco was forced by anti-trust to sell that off. They sold that refinery to Suncor. So now all you can get is Suncor gas. In fact, they used to be two refineries and were combined into one larger refinery.

Hooray for free market competition!

Re:This is news? (1)

quarkscat (697644) | about 2 years ago | (#40471101)

"And if they wait long enough, the whole area may turn into a tropical paradise ..."

You mean, like with a dramatic shift in the magnetic poles? Do you know something that the rest of us are not aware of, like perhaps being associated with the HAARP program?

BTW, IIRC Shell Oil has had a number of less-than-stellar environmental issues in regions like Nigeria and Brazil. BP also had a reasonable environmental record, but only so long as their operations were located off-shore of a country that actually gave a good GD, like the North Sea off the coast of Britain. The Arctic Ocean is a quite sensitive region ecologically, considering the recent discovery of major bloom fields of plankton under the ice.

Re:This is news? (1)

Pope (17780) | about 2 years ago | (#40471919)

Continental Drift.

Re:This is news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40472301)

While continental drift (or more precisely, plate tectonics) is partially responsible for the changes in climate, it doesn't explain all or even most of it in this case. Back in the Cretaceous Period, for example, the paleopole was located roughly in northern Alaska, so, if anything, it was further north back then than it is now. Even so, the climate was considerably warmer there. It was roughly on par with somewhere like the modern-day Carolinas, with no big ice sheets, with warm temperate forests (trees such as the bald cypress grew in Alaska and what is now the Canadian Arctic), and temperatures that dipped below freezing infrequently. The continents haven't moved enough to account for that much climate change. The difference was: the entire Earth was warmer back in the Cretaceous, probably due to higher CO2 concentrations at the time, but also due to differences in continental position affecting the ocean currents that move heat from the tropics towards the poles. It was a "greenhouse" phase of Earth climate, whereas now we live in an "icehouse" phase.

Re:This is news? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40471535)

For techy people? Oh well, probably more topical that a fake severed head on a fake TV show.

Hate to be pedantic* but it's certainly a real TV show. The content is fake, but the show really exists.

* blatant lie, obviously

Re:This is news? (1)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | about 2 years ago | (#40471673)

To be more precise, Shell has drilled several other dry exploratory wells...

So long, Arabia (3, Interesting)

ch-chuck (9622) | about 2 years ago | (#40470899)

The sooner we decouple [wsj.com] from the Muslim extremists the better

Re:So long, Arabia (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40471031)

Let China have the arab oil. We don't need it anymore. The Chinese will do a better job with those atavists anyhow; someone trashes a Koran and the Chinese will shoot the first mooj that bitches about it.

Re:So long, Arabia (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40471065)

We buy most of our oil from Canada but oil is a global market, so this will only help drive down prices long term.

If you buy any oil, you can't really say you are not buying or contributing anything to "Arab" countries, even if you only buy it from one place due to oil's global nature.

Re:So long, Arabia (1, Insightful)

Princeofcups (150855) | about 2 years ago | (#40471561)

We buy most of our oil from Canada but oil is a global market, so this will only help drive down prices long term.

If you buy any oil, you can't really say you are not buying or contributing anything to "Arab" countries, even if you only buy it from one place due to oil's global nature.

This has nothing to do with lowing the price of oil, and everything to do with making the oil companies richer. They've proven that all it takes is to raise the prices $2 for a while until everyone is upset, and then drop it down a $1, and everyone is happy again. Kaching. $1 price increase and no one seems to care. The price of oil right now is based purely on the highest rate that the customer is willing to bear, and has little to nothing to do with availability.

Bzzzzzt Sorry... (1)

SuperCharlie (1068072) | about 2 years ago | (#40471953)

Oil prices have everything to do with futures speculation and nothing to do with availability.

Re:Bzzzzzt Sorry... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40472531)

And how did you figure that out? Wishing to the economist fairy that a non-renewable resource will instead last forever, production will never be less than demand (despite demand rising exponentially), and never go into permanent supply decline?

Futures speculation affects short-term prices. Yes. But actual supply and demand affects long-term prices. Even OPEC learned this back in the 1970s when they artificially flattened supply increases, prices spiked during the oil crisis, the global economy crashed, demand correspondingly crashed, and then so did the prices despite OPEC desperately reducing supply. If OPEC couldn't artificially dictate whatever price they wanted back in the 1970s, what makes you think speculators can artificially set whatever price they like? Speculators can perturb the overall trend for a little while, and that's where they make their money, but the price is not disconnected from availability over the long term. On top of that, if prices rise sufficiently, demand empirically falls. If the economy does poorly, demand falls, and so do prices. This is not the signature of a system entirely controlled by speculation.

Also, if supply wasn't ultimately a constraint, then you wouldn't have companies spending money to try to find oil in remote and/or deep-water and/or harsh Arctic environments where it easily costs 10x as much to drill and produce as it would on land closer to markets. They're drilling here because the conventional/cheap supplies are dwindling away. They're drilling here because they have no other choice if they want to maintain production levels. If that's not a sign of a real issue with regards to availability, I don't know what could convince you. Why spend 10x as much for a barrel of oil there if, supposedly, they could get all the oil they wanted from somewhere else cheaper?

We're genuinely in the bottom half of the barrel.

Re:So long, Arabia (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40471635)

but oil is a global market

Yes, you can trade petroleum commodities planet wide, so there is a global price. That global price is quoted sans delivery costs. The FOB price doesn't including refining costs either. You don't burn FOB quoted Brent Crude next to a Saudi well. You burn gasoline, here.

Most US consumed oil is sourced from North America (US, Canada, Mexico) so the delivery costs remain a small factor in the price of finished petroleum products. If all the oil had to come from the middle east then delivery would be much more expensive; the global futures price would be the same but the price of actual 'gas' to you would be much higher.

You hear this 'global market' argument from anti-fossil fuel types that want to convince you that domestic drilling won't effect price. They're wrong and you should stop listening to them. The question of whether they're misdirection is due to ignorance or deceit is left as an exercise to the reader.

Re:So long, Arabia (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40472329)

If all the oil had to come from the middle east then delivery would be much more expensive; the global futures price would be the same but the price of actual 'gas' to you would be much higher.

How much more expensive? How much are oil delivery costs?

Re:So long, Arabia (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40472347)

Most US consumed oil is sourced from North America (US, Canada, Mexico) so the delivery costs remain a small factor in the price of finished petroleum products. If all the oil had to come from the middle east then delivery would be much more expensive; the global futures price would be the same but the price of actual 'gas' to you would be much higher.

Source? I didn't think so.

Re:So long, Arabia (1)

mk1004 (2488060) | about 2 years ago | (#40472449)

You are correct that location affects price. That's why, for instance, Cushing OK has lower gas ($0.10 to $0.15/gal) prices than surrounding areas, because the existing Keystone pipeline terminates there.

You're arguing that increased production can significantly change prices on a local level, and that delivery costs are a big issue. If that was the case, no one would care if the XL pipeline is extended from Cushing to the Gulf--which is in progress. The purpose of adding that leg is to get oil to the refineries AND shipping terminals there. That $0.10-$0.15/gal loss in revenue is enough to make the expense of running the pipeline worth it to the oil companies. They plan to refine and ship product from the Gulf. That will increase gas prices in the Cushing area. Increased local production will cause global demand to shift delivery origins/destinations enough to limit the local effect.

Re:So long, Arabia (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40472471)

That's a joke on multiple levels. 1) the US imports more oil from Canada than any country in the Middle East; 2) any production in Alaska from this exploratory drilling is at least 10 years off (assuming it is successful); 3) any production in Alaska from this drilling assumes significantly higher prices (because this is a VERY expensive place to drill and produce compared to on land or less remote areas); 4) improvements in technology to extract oil and gas prolong supplies, but they don't solve the issue forever (it's still a non-renewable resource), and conventional Middle East production would still likely be cheaper (so, get ready to pay more); and 5) even if you ceased importation of oil the oil would still be sold somewhere in the world and there would still be religious extremists of a variety of flavors being funded by it.

This is kind of like saying because you're buying your drugs from Columbia instead of Mexico, you aren't supporting the drug trade. In a global market, demand is demand. All you are doing is swapping demand from one area for another, which means your former suppliers will send their product elsewhere to be sold if you won't buy it. They certainly won't be out of business, because you'll be buying from elsewhere and still driving up the global price for the product, which means they'll get more money than if you had quit cold turkey. If you actually want to hurt them, then stop buying the product at all, or at least learn to cut back (park the stupid SUVs, for example).

the what ??? (1, Interesting)

fluffythedestroyer (2586259) | about 2 years ago | (#40471019)

Uhh, anyone remember the BP oil spill ? I guess no one can forget that. It's clear with that attempt to stop the oil spill, any organisation or company didn't know how to stop it. It's also clear that any spill can't be stopped right now so why in the hell can the US go dig there ? This is beyond stupidity if you ask me.

Re:the what ??? (4, Funny)

benzaholic (1862134) | about 2 years ago | (#40471079)

Huh?

One spill wasn't stopped. Therefore, no spill can be stopped.

I applaud your flawless logic.

Clap.

Clap.

Re:the what ??? (-1)

fluffythedestroyer (2586259) | about 2 years ago | (#40471199)

Want to repeat what happened with BP...be my guest...fucking idiot. no seriously. How much time did BP took to fix the problem...how much resource it took and what are the consequences to that ? Ask yourself these basic questions and you'll know why I'm so septic about this project. Accepting this project is idiot so I applaud your flawless logic as you defend Shell with this as they got almost nothing to prevent these types of situation as it wasn't tested as it should be done before this project gets accepted.

it's like Shell said "we got a plan to fix the oil spill" so the other guy says "Ok but does it work...was it tested". And the reply is "I don't know..it didn't happened yet."

Re:the what ??? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40471435)

So how much oil do you consume? Put your best foot forward and turn the number into a zero if you don't want a repeat of what happened with BP. Otherwise your point is hypocritical.

Re:the what ??? (2, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 2 years ago | (#40472043)

This is what we in the debate business call misdirection. Rather than conceding the parent's point, the above poster attempts to lead the debate away from that by asking what he feels is a humiliating question.

Re:the what ??? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40472221)

...or that the first person to call the opposition names in a debate is the first side that loses?

Re:the what ??? (1)

fluffythedestroyer (2586259) | about 2 years ago | (#40471225)

and look at this [nytimes.com] before you puke your words at me. And yeah, BP isn't the only idiots who left a mark.

Re:the what ??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40471309)

"and look at this [nytimes.com] before you puke your words at me."

1 no thanks

2 shut up retard

Re:the what ??? (2)

Jeng (926980) | about 2 years ago | (#40471289)

Go back and look at the causes of that oil spill and why it was unable to be plugged quickly. It was easily preventable, and Shell should be making doubly sure that all of their safety devices work.

If Shell has a spill in the Arctic on the scale of BP's spill in the Gulf then NOBODY will be allowed to drill in the arctic for probably another decade. The environmental groups will go absolutely nuts.

If Shell does not have a spill in the next decade it will be a lot easier for them to convince the environmental groups that they will drill responsibly in ANWR.

Re:the what ??? (-1)

fluffythedestroyer (2586259) | about 2 years ago | (#40471335)

so nothing is being tested in terms of a "what if it happens [situation]" and you approve this ?... bravo ??? your logic is flawless ... like you said

/sarcasm

Re:the what ??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40471375)

Go puke your liberal lies some place else, jerk off. Stop using oil/power cry baby puke.

Re:the what ??? (1)

Jeng (926980) | about 2 years ago | (#40471459)

You make no sense, can you please pull your head out of your ass explain that random collection of characters you typed?

Re:the what ??? (0)

fluffythedestroyer (2586259) | about 2 years ago | (#40471477)

don't mind Anonymous Coward...he's a natural born idiot

Re:the what ??? (2)

Jeng (926980) | about 2 years ago | (#40471541)

No seriously, go back and re-read what you wrote. It only makes sense in your head because there is a lot of context you are not writing out that exists only in your head.

I don't know what is up with you today, but you are being a huge fucking asshole, it is probably best for you to get up and take a little walk and clear your head.

Re:the what ??? (2, Insightful)

Sarius64 (880298) | about 2 years ago | (#40471381)

No more stupid than people basing personal and political modern nuclear power stations on 40+ year old models breaking that were far over their mean-times for operation. More people have died from sugar plant explosions than nuclear power; this even in the primitive models. A few hundred liquid fuel thorium reactors would dissolve the need for high-price municipal monopolies on energy generation and distribution. That's the real issue here.

LFTR's eat old nuclear waste from the U235 systems Carter forced upon us. So, no more poisoning the water tables!

Re:the what ??? (1)

fluffythedestroyer (2586259) | about 2 years ago | (#40471521)

The real issue is about oil rigs being (or will be ?) built in the artic...keep to the subject please.

Re:the what ??? (1)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | about 2 years ago | (#40471827)

Seriously, you are still butthurt about Carter?

Re:the what ??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40471455)

Did I miss something or is the Macondo well still spewing oil?

OH..sorry...it's you that is spewing.

Discovery Channel Show in the Making (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40471119)

I expect "Deadliest Drillers" to premiere any day now

Re:Discovery Channel Show in the Making (0)

fluffythedestroyer (2586259) | about 2 years ago | (#40471273)

I'll start drilling your mom...

Re:Discovery Channel Show in the Making (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40471397)

To late, she's already dry

Re:Discovery Channel Show in the Making (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about 2 years ago | (#40471967)

I'll start drilling your mom...

Hi, Eugene! [slashdot.org]

I thought all drilling was banned.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40471185)

I thought all drilling was banned - Hope & Change I can believe in.

Re:I thought all drilling was banned.... (1, Troll)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 2 years ago | (#40471387)

I thought all drilling was banned - Hope & Change I can believe in.

And I thought monkeys couldn't stop jerking off long enough to type a legible sentence, yet here you are...

Re:I thought all drilling was banned.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40471625)

Best fucking come-back ever. I actually laughed out loud.

What is the US Arctic? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40471339)

Is the US arctic over near Alaska, because I am pretty sure it is. The Canadian arctic is completely different. Thanks.

Economist article on Arctic warming (5, Interesting)

DavidHumus (725117) | about 2 years ago | (#40471429)

The Economist has a funny quote in their article -http://www.economist.com/node/21556800 - on how faster-than-expected warming in the Arctic will open up previously inaccessible resources:

"Oil companies are reluctant to admit that climate change plays a part in their northward shift. They do not want to be seen to be profiting from the environmental damage to which their activities have contributed."

Re:Economist article on Arctic warming (2)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | about 2 years ago | (#40471849)

Heh, yeah, they are pretty much placing their bets on the ice-free summer arctic within the next couple of years with this.

Re:Economist article on Arctic warming (2)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 2 years ago | (#40472059)

Nothing to worry about. The Heartland Institute has their backs. They can safely ruin the environment while the Heartland Institute and like-minded organizations go around teaching school children that God wants us to puke CO2 into the atmosphere and that nothing can possibly go wrong with it.

Re:Economist article on Arctic warming (3, Interesting)

hey! (33014) | about 2 years ago | (#40472149)

They're not the only ones. Russia has also been making noises about creative interpretation of the international law rules about territorial waters. The UN Convention on the Law of the Seas (which the US has signed but not ratified) allows countries to measure their territorial waters and exclusive economic zone from the edge of the continental shelf rather than from land. Russia has claimed that a undersea mountain range crossing over the North Pole is part of the East Siberian Shelf, which if allowed gives them sovereignty over the North Pole and exclusive economic control over a vast swath of the Arctic Ocean running from Komsomolets Island to almost Greenland.

With about equal justification, Denmark has argued that the same range is an extension of Greenland, and Canada that it is an extension of North America. Russia has already sent a deep submersible to plant the Russian flag at the North Pole. If there are significant resources found in an ice-free region of what is now international waters, we could well see a serious conflict develop as each claimant seeks to control who gets to extract those resources.

This business of allowing territorial claims out to the continental shelf is insane, and very dangerous.

Efr0st pist (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40471505)

aacording tothis Maggot, vomit, shit most people into a towels on the floor Creek, abysmal Up today! If you

Granted by US? (1)

majorme (515104) | about 2 years ago | (#40471637)

why would they ask america (fuck yeah) for permission to drill there? its a sad sad news, though, bye bye penguins :(

Re:Granted by US? (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 2 years ago | (#40471875)

Penguins in the Sahara?

Giant electric penguins! When we paint the sand white it looks more like snow then snow.

Re:Granted by US? (1)

Algae_94 (2017070) | about 2 years ago | (#40471991)

There's no penguins in the arctic. They asked America for permission, because its in American territorial waters.

Re:Granted by US? (1)

Jeng (926980) | about 2 years ago | (#40471995)

Penguins are in the antarctic.

When referencing cute cuddly arctic animals go with Polar Bears and Seals.

Re:Granted by US? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40472091)

When referencing cute cuddly arctic animals go with Polar Bears and Seals.

And 18-year old Eskimo chicks!

Re:It is off Alaska (1, Redundant)

Billly Gates (198444) | about 2 years ago | (#40472193)

Last time I checked it was owned by the US.

This is really great news. For the record I lived in Alaska and just moved back last year to the lower 48 and miss it greatly. Everyone is terrified of the oil pipeline shutting down completely by 2015. Besides the military there are no other employers in Alaska! The dividend fund where you get paid to live in Alaska is based off the oil pipeline, teachers including my exwife are paid by the oil pipeline. Even the universities get their money from the pipeline and are the next major employer over there.

By 2015 if the pressure is too low the pipeline will no longer be able to pump itself and it is game over. 40,000 would leave Anchorage overnight and devestate the housing market. The rest of the fallout would happen as I outlined above.

This is a great thing for the Indians who live up there who need jobs and get funds even and free education even if they are not employed by the oil industry directorly. Prudhoe buy in the arctic is perfectly clean and wildlife flourishes. The environmental record is fine and conservation and funding for researching into the arctic environments and protections of wildlife by the universities up in Alaska are all indirectly funded by big oil. It would be a loss.

Of course they are. (2)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | about 2 years ago | (#40471985)

They're desperate, as they should be. There's less then 40 years of conventional oil at current usage rates. Far more importantly, the remaining oil is going to have declining energy return all the way to the bottom. If the oil companies can put the days of reckoning off for five more years, they've done well for themselves, and we have that much longer before people start starving.

A convo i inagine... (5, Insightful)

cant_get_a_good_nick (172131) | about 2 years ago | (#40472063)

Oil Guy: Do you find it ironic that we denounce global warming, but use higher temps and lower ice mass to get more oil for more Carbon emissions?

Tobacco Guy: no, not at all.

Alaskan Pipline may have to shut down (4, Interesting)

peter303 (12292) | about 2 years ago | (#40472145)

I heard [popularmechanics.com] below 20% capacity or about 400,000 barrels a day it can become unsafe to operate in the winter. Its down to about 500,000 now.

I drove along the pipeline road from Valdez to Fairbanks 6 years ago. Its an amazing thing to see,

Re:Alaskan Pipline may have to shut down (1)

rubycodez (864176) | about 2 years ago | (#40472203)

you're not thinking fourth dimensinally, Marty. why use a pipe when we can have caravans of supertankers burning #2 bunker oil? That makes demand even higher, and drives up shareholder and executive satisfaction.

Meantime, Car Companies (1)

DaKong (150846) | about 2 years ago | (#40472159)

Meantime, many major car companies have come out with either EVs or plug-in hybrids. In the United States, automotive use accounts for the vast majority of our oil consumption, so how long before those two juggernauts collide?

When the tipping point is reached and people switch to EVs because OMG the sky is falling "range anxiety" issues disappear and because it's quicker, easier, cheaper, and feel-good-er to drive an EV, then the oil industry could well find itself in Kodak's shoes in the face of the digital camera revolution.

I for one am stocking up on hot dogs and marshmallows to roast over the bonfire of their vanities...

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