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US Officials Cut Estimate of Recoverable Monterey Shale Oil By 96%

samzenpus posted about 4 months ago | from the I-drink-your-tiny-milkshake dept.

United States 411

First time accepted submitter steam_cannon (1881500) writes "The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA.gov) is planning to release a major 96% reserve downgrade to the amount of oil and gas recoverable from the Monterey Shale formation, one of the largest oil/gas reserves in the United States. After several years of intensified exploration the Monterey oil shale play seems to have much less recoverable oil and gas then previously hoped. This is due to multiple factors such as the more complex rippled geology of the shale and over-hyped recovery estimates by investors. By official estimates the Monterey Shale formation makes up 2/3 of the shale reserves in the US and by some estimates 1/3 of all crude reserves in the US. Not a drop in the bucket. Next Month the EIA.gov will be announcing cutting it's estimates for Monterey by 96%. That's a huge blow to the US energy portfolio, trillions of dollars, oil and gas the US might have used for itself or exported. Presently the White House is evaluating making changes to US oil export restrictions so this downgrade may result in changes to US energy policy. As well as have a significant impact on US economy and the economy of California."

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Good. (1, Insightful)

Snufu (1049644) | about 4 months ago | (#47063581)

Maybe we'll have to start paying the actual, non-subsidized price for petroleum.

Re:Good. (3, Insightful)

SpankiMonki (3493987) | about 4 months ago | (#47063825)

LOL wut? You must live outside the US.

This announced change on estimated US (slash) California reserves will have little to no impact on the markets. It certainly might have an impact on the CA economy in the long term - but for the rest of us...not so much.

Re:Good. (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47063953)

The point is moot. Liberals don't want even 1 drop of it removed from the ground. They would rather it leak out into the Pacific like it does near Santa Barbra. So it would not matter if it was 1/10 or even 10 times the size. The luddites think its icky and we can all just use windmills. Don't ask me how they think they'll ever get a jet off the ground using solar, but I don't think they've even thought that far into it.

Re:Good. (4, Funny)

SpankiMonki (3493987) | about 4 months ago | (#47063963)

The point is moot. Libruls don't want even 1 drop of it removed from the ground..

FTFY

Fixed the fix (1)

justthinkit (954982) | about 4 months ago | (#47064387)

Liberian oils [google.com] don't want even 1 drop of it removed from the ground.

Re:Good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47063997)

Since when are liberals luddites? Anyway, not extracting our crude is an unbelievably good business move if you're able to plan beyond just quarterly profits: the world has already passed peak oil, which means every country thats currently selling oil will likely be dry within our lifetimes; if we refuse to extract our oil and the world is still completely dependent upon it (crude has hundreds upon hundreds of uses, far more than just fuel and lubricants) we could sell it for any price we wanted. We'd be able to make back everything we paid out for crude and everything made from it times a hundred.

Re:Good. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47064389)

Liberals yearn to return to the days of their hippy fathers, who led green blameless lives and hugged every tree and cockroach they met while recycling everything from used toilet paper to toe cheese. They certainly did not contribute any more to global warming than their bus load of freaky friends would generate travelling to the promised band. In those days Banana oil ran freely and you could see God if you took the Orange Sunshine. Marijuana grew in the ditch and every woman would fuck you for a Quaalude.
          WHY wouldnt they be Luddites?

Re:Good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47064463)

... the world has already passed peak oil, which means every country thats currently selling oil will likely be dry within our lifetimes...

Passed peak oil? Really? Based on actual statistics (Here [indexmundi.com] ) is clearly hasn't peaked. With the fracking revolution now gathering steam it's unlikely to peak until a widely available lower cost substitute arrives.

Re:Good. (1, Flamebait)

Megane (129182) | about 4 months ago | (#47064259)

Exactly. This is in California? It's less likely to be recoverable than ANWAR, if only because the greenies would never let it be tapped because of NIMBY.

Re:Good. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47064353)

Beans and Cabbage, you moron. The new green jets run a tube from every seat to the fuel reservoir. New jets use methane.
Think of it as a bicycle built for 320. Everyone contributes some gut gas. Efficiency is improving every day. Fly the stinky skies!

Re:Good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47064409)

We can't even get a Concorde off the ground anymore. Somehow we survived. On long time scales, civilizations come and go, and so will we.

Re: Good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47064439)

I'm sure the industry will figure out a solution. Maybe dropping a nuke down the well would free up the oil, sort of like fracking.

Keystone XL (2, Insightful)

Prune (557140) | about 4 months ago | (#47063583)

I wonder if this might change the Obama administration's calculus and their continued delays on the proposed pipeline.

Re:Keystone XL (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47063625)

I am sure that it will only change the commentary from the sidelines.

Re:Keystone XL (0)

phantomfive (622387) | about 4 months ago | (#47063655)

I wonder if this might change the Obama administration's calculus and their continued delays on the proposed pipeline.

No. AFAICT the Obama administration never wants the pipeline to be built, and will delay it as long as possible. Obama is looking to the future, solar, wind, other renewables, and electric cars. The higher the cost of energy, the sooner we'll get there.

Re:Keystone XL (0, Troll)

Mashiki (184564) | about 4 months ago | (#47063827)

So you're saying that you support expensive energy, and further with that creating misery for those who can't afford cheap energy? If Obama was really looking towards the future he'd be open arms on nuke plants, but he isn't.

Re:Keystone XL (2)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about 4 months ago | (#47064519)

So you're saying that you support expensive energy, and further with that creating misery for those who can't afford cheap energy? .

No, he said Obama does. He didn't make any judgement.

Re:Keystone XL (5, Interesting)

thegarbz (1787294) | about 4 months ago | (#47063833)

Obama is looking to the future of death by oil carrying rail car.

Seriously I work in oil and gas. There pipeline will do NOTHING to hinder or advance the state of green energy. People have product and will sell product and there are plenty of people who want the product given it is sold at an incredible discount to standard oil. One way or the other the oil will get to its customers.

And the result is:
2008: 9500 railcar loads of oil in the USA.
2014: forward estimates indicate 650000 railcar loads of oil in the USA.

No that wasn't a typo. [fas.org] If you're going to transport oil you may as well do it safely. If Obama wants to actually push an environmental agenda then do so economically rather than playing with people's lives and potential oil spills.

Re:Keystone XL (4, Interesting)

peragrin (659227) | about 4 months ago | (#47064179)

pipeline's leak lead to bigger spills.

Every drop of oil that goes through the keystone pipeline will be refined and then shipped to Europe. The companies behind the pipeline have stated as much.

The overall effect on of the pipeline is something like .05% of the world's demand. it isn't but a drop in the bucket.

Smart people would drain the oil away from the middle east first and save the Canadian oil for when things get bad in 50 years.

Re:Keystone XL (3, Insightful)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | about 4 months ago | (#47064317)

Smart people would be investing in nuclear energy, be it fission or fusion, and increasing the throughput of the grid to support fast charging of electric vehicles.

Re:Keystone XL (4, Interesting)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | about 4 months ago | (#47064505)

Quite a few smart people, including me, are profoundly disturbed by the safety problems with nuclear fuels and by their limited reserves. Refining U-235 is quite expensive to fuel grade is quite expensive, and quite toxic. Moreover, the current reserves will only supply about 200 years of energy _at current rates of consumption_. That's currently roughly 12% of world energy production, for roughly 6 billion people, with many in dire poverty and quite low energy consumption.

If we assume that nuclear consumption grows by a factor of 4 due to increased population and increased reliance on nuclear fuels, and reduced by a factor of 2 by switching to breeder reactors and improving efficiency, it's still only a 100 year supply. And as reserves drop, it's going to become much more expensive to mine as the more accessible reserves are consumed,

Fusion has _never_ worked as a fuel source. The main sources of the requisite deuterium and/or tritium are the ordinary fission reactors. Given the limited availability and difficulty of refining the necessary deuterium and/or tritium from any natural source, it is unlikely to ever _be_ an effective fuel source. Even the cold fusion experiments, if successful, promised no solution to providing the necessary fuel source. So one should not rely on fusion ever being useful for energy until it is either able to use plain hydrogen. (Yes, the sun uses plain hydrogen: no, it's not a method that can fit in a normal Earth based fusion reactor.)

Perhaps, in theory, one could refine fusion fuels from solar wind, which is unusually rich in such isotopes. But if one has a large collecting surface in orbit to gather solar wind, why not use that as a direct solar mirror and gather the much higher density and safer optical energy for ordinary solar power? A 100 meter diameter solar mirror gathers approximately 40 MW of power. With typical American energy consumption at approximately 1 kW, that is enough energy for roughly 40,000 Americans.

Re:Keystone XL (3, Insightful)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about 4 months ago | (#47064573)

That's currently roughly 12% of world energy production, for roughly 6 billion people, with many in dire poverty and quite low energy consumption.

I teared up a bit.

But hey, lets propose solutions that don't exist yet rather than one that's already offset more CO2 contribution than we can hope solar and wind will in the next 10 years. Gathering solar wind? Yeah, lets do that while many are in dire poverty.

We need realistic and practicable solutions that we can afford. There are plenty of ways to keep the nuclear fuel supply for hundreds of years. By then, maybe we'll have your solar windmill.

Re:Keystone XL (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47064551)

All you need to see in this statement is "I work in oil and gas."

They buy the propaganda hook line and sinker...wouldn't you if your job depended on it?

Re:Keystone XL (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47064379)

Or it's a subtler tactic. Much as the Iraqi war has effectively kept the Iraq oil reserves under-used and in reserve for future demands, keeping the various pipelines unbuilt until a later, more urgent need does slow US and worldwide energy over consumption. It's why you don't put the whole cake on the table for a bunch of greedy slobs: they'll eat it all immediately, then complain there's no food left even if there's vegetables and fruit. So you dole it out, slowly, along with the veggies.

Re:Keystone XL (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47063699)

This is due to multiple factors such as the more complex rippled geology of the shale and over-hyped recovery estimates by investors.

They mean the industry pushed for this and bought them off to overestimate this shale in order to hurry it along for drilling. I like how they pretend it was completely their fault.

They also have the Marcellus Shale they've been drilling away at, in my state Pennsylvania alone the state will look like the middles east desert by the time they are done drilling. Actually not exactly like it, but you can't go anywhere in the western part of the state without seeing them drilling or having wells finished. It is as bad as the churches and bars which are about every 2 miles.

As far as the XL pipeline, you bring up a point, maybe this report came out on purpose [of course bought and paid for by the ole trusty oil/gas industry] in order to try and bluff the Administration into building this idiotic pipeline.

Re:Keystone XL (1)

KingOfBLASH (620432) | about 4 months ago | (#47063767)

As far as the XL pipeline, you bring up a point, maybe this report came out on purpose [of course bought and paid for by the ole trusty oil/gas industry] in order to try and bluff the Administration into building this idiotic pipeline.

:: begin conspiracy theory ::

The first step of rehab is removing the addictive substance (in a controlled manner in the case of those things that kill you if you go cold turkey). Let's tell the world that all the oil has disappeared to aliens, and for future energy needs we MUST stop depending on dead dinosaur fuel.

:: end of transmission ::

Editors! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47063607)

Do your job and edit!

Who the heck (3, Informative)

Herbster (641217) | about 4 months ago | (#47063609)

Proofread this horrendous summary? Have a little chat with yourself.

Re:Who the heck (2, Interesting)

phantomfive (622387) | about 4 months ago | (#47063659)

The important point is, they are cutting the estimate by 96% of recoverable oil. The oil is there, but not recoverable as easily as in Texas or North Dakota. It's been push deeper by heavy seismic activity in the area.

Re:Who the heck (3, Informative)

phantomfive (622387) | about 4 months ago | (#47063695)

The important point is, they are cutting the estimate by 96% of recoverable oil.

Wow, it says that right in the title. I guess headlines are too much trouble for me tonight.

Re:Who the heck (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47063853)

Don't worry, you're on the forefront of slashdot's latest trend: not even reading the headline. After the long-held tradition of no one reading the article, we migrated in recent years to no one reading the summary, and now we are finally achieving are long-awaited goal.

Re:Who the heck (3, Interesting)

TheRealHocusLocus (2319802) | about 4 months ago | (#47064307)

Don't worry, you're on the forefront of slashdot's latest trend: not even reading the headline. After the long-held tradition of no one reading the article, we migrated in recent years to no one reading the summary, and now we are finally achieving are long-awaited goal.

Don't worry, you're on the forefront of Slashdot's ugliest trend, where Poor Impulse Control and the desire to push out smart-ass remarks takes over other cognitive functions. For an additional empty hooty-laugh the comments are 'further refined' so that they resemble compliments at first glance.

Like a blacksmith who is beating out misshapen horseshoes with full knowledge that his shoddy product will only disturb the beast's gait and cause discomfort and injury -- the final act is one of omission, where the smith chooses not to punch in the mark that identifies him with the product. 'Post anonymously' -- check!

In the smithies of Slashdot ACs have contributed much to discussion and they post anonymously for many good reasons. But too often it is used as a vehicle of anonymity when farting around the campfire.

In human discourse it is appropriate to reward the introspective self-effacing remark politely with a silent nod supportive assent, as if to say, "There, but for the Grace of God, go I." Or if you are an atheist, "Well fuck. You can't fall off the floor."

Re:Who the heck (1)

Pino Grigio (2232472) | about 4 months ago | (#47064199)

"A spokesman for the oil industry expressed optimism that new techniques will eventually open up the Monterey formation."

Well he's right. Fracking technology is moving along at a good clip. I'm sure these unrecoverable reserves will soon become recoverable.

Re:Who the heck (1)

Ol Biscuitbarrel (1859702) | about 4 months ago | (#47063703)

Maybe the submitter just displays complex/rippled grammar, spelling, and punctuation.

Re:Who the heck (1)

tquasar (1405457) | about 4 months ago | (#47064311)

Easy now, play nice. People some different things see.

Irrelevant for the common man (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47063627)

The slave labor jobs with poor conditions and pay will not appear. So what. Only losers are big gov, and the executive parasites that would oversee the exploration. Irrelevant people, irrelevant news. It's not like America wouldn't be off bombing other countries for their oil regardless. All irrelevant.

"I have more oil than you if I take your oil."
"I have more money than you if I take your money."

Irrelevant parasites that will leave an easily forgotten footnote in history.

Re:Irrelevant for the common man (4, Informative)

Isaac-1 (233099) | about 4 months ago | (#47064339)

Where does this myth of slave labor pay in the oil industry come from? I live on the gulf coast in the middle of the U.S. petrochem region and the recent resurgence of U.S. oil exploration has lead to insane levels of job growth and prime pay for those lucky enough to work in the major petrochem plants. I was recently shocked by the reality of this at an extended family event at Easter, where I saw one of my wife's cousins, he is 23 years old, married with 2 young kids, and has a 2 year degree from local trade school and he makes over $100,000 per year doing shift work as an operator at one of the plants.

Re:Irrelevant for the common man (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47064525)

Sure, how many hours a week, what is the injury rate like, what is his cost of living, and how long do you think he'll be able to continue the job, what will he do after?

American foreign policy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47063631)

Incoming conspiracy. (3, Funny)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 4 months ago | (#47063637)

I predict that before a week has passed, someone will be claiming Obama personally rigged the study as part of a deliberate attempt to sabotage the oil industry.

Re:Incoming conspiracy. (1)

vikingpower (768921) | about 4 months ago | (#47063673)

Before a week ? Before the sun has set, you mean...

Re:Incoming conspiracy. (1)

deroby (568773) | about 4 months ago | (#47063701)

Scary but true; from my current point of view it's already in the next comment !?!!!

(http://news.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=5187683&cid=47063651)

Re:Incoming conspiracy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47063939)

Oh don't be ridiculous. Next you'll be saying that he mindlessly stopped a pipeline from being built that his own state dept. approved.

Re:Incoming conspiracy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47063709)

In the very next comment, actually

Re:Incoming conspiracy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47064289)

If the oil industry feels it's being sabotaged, there is always the option of another war aboard.

Multiple Factors (-1, Flamebait)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 4 months ago | (#47063651)

This is due to multiple factors such as... ...the hatred of the oil industry by the current administration.

Politics are firmly in every other science now, no reason not to expect they play a large role in this report also - so take it with a very large grain of salt.

Presentation of math (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47063653)

96% reduction... seems to have less impact on public than "value is divided by 25".

Moreover, if the computation is rounding the error, a change from 96% to 99% would look like only a 3% change, whereas it would change the final value to be divided by 100 instead of 25.

Do not panic.

Re:Presentation of math (3, Informative)

geogob (569250) | about 4 months ago | (#47063875)

From TFA :
The reserves were downgraded by 96 percent, from 13.7 billion barrels estimated by a government-funded report in 2011, to just 600 million barrels, the EIA said.
Absolute values help put things into perspective.

Or do we need more perspective? For those who prefer the typical journalistic approach to understanding numbers, it's a reduction from 872'000 Olympic pools to just under 37'200 Olympic pools.

This could actually be good news (4, Insightful)

vikingpower (768921) | about 4 months ago | (#47063669)

One more incentive to the US to turn towards renewable energy sources. The USA are lagging way behind western and northern European countries in that respect. Last week e.g. the Dutch railways announced that from next year on, 100% of their operations will run on electric power from renewable sources, mainly wind, bought from a total of 5 north west European countries ( DE, DK, BE, NO, NL ).

Re:This could actually be good news (-1, Flamebait)

rrohbeck (944847) | about 4 months ago | (#47063845)

Oh noes! That would make driving more expensive! Can't have that - I'd rather wait until my McMansion in the 'burbs is way underwater and I can't afford to drive any more. Detroit, here I come! Until then, happy motoring! Oh and James Howard Kunstler doesn't exist.

Re:This could actually be good news (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47063961)

Yes indeed. And no one drives a car in California, or any fossil fuel vehicle, jets, helicopters, etc. They all live like the Amish.

Re:This could actually be good news (1, Flamebait)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about 4 months ago | (#47064359)

I'd rather wait until my McMansion in the 'burbs is way underwater and I can't afford to drive any more.

So would I. It would be kind of nice to be alive past 2200AD to see that.

Re:This could actually be good news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47064267)

The amount of solar cells and wind turbines you would need in the US to even make a dent in their power requirements would require astronomical amounts of land.

Re:This could actually be good news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47064441)

...and fossil fuels for mining and production of materials, construction, and transportation. Furthermore, fossil fueled backup plants are required for nearly the full capacity, as wind and solar are unreliable energy sources. Then in 10-20 years, they all need replacement. It is a massive waste of resources for something which can't address but a fraction of our energy needs.

The materials and synthetic liquid fuels could be produced with nuclear heat, and the backup plants replaced by nuclear electricity, but then why bother with the renewables at all?

Re:This could actually be good news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47064277)

Um, the US leads in renewable power generation and usage. I don't know where you guys always get this perception that the US is "behind".

Re:This could actually be good news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47064375)

it depends whether you're talking about gross power generation or as percentage of overall power required

Re:This could actually be good news (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47064521)

it depends whether you're talking about gross power generation or as percentage of overall power required

Yeah, let's all denigrate the US because they don't have as high a percentage of overall power provided by wind and solar as we do in our postage-stamp-sized countries with a fraction of the population, industry, etc.

Stupid big US with big total power requirements, generation/logistics, and demand/distribution needs that wind and solar are not yet capable of meeting!

Re:This could actually be good news (4, Informative)

dave420 (699308) | about 4 months ago | (#47064511)

The US is #3 behind China and the EU in terms of amount of power generated from renewable sources, and is #112 in terms of percentage of renewable power being used in its grid (at slightly over 10%, just ahead of Kazakhstan). So that's probably where "us guys" get that perception from - reality.

Not quite right (0)

sjbe (173966) | about 4 months ago | (#47064509)

Last week e.g. the Dutch railways announced that from next year on, 100% of their operations will run on electric power from renewable sources, mainly wind, bought from a total of 5 north west European countries

Which is a load of nonsense. They might be paying for that amount of power from those sources but the stuff that actually powers their trains is co-mingled with all the other sources of power including fossil fuels and nuclear. Unless you run dedicated lines from the power supply to the end user there is no way that their trains are only powered by electricity from a specific source.

Wait.. (3, Insightful)

pablo_max (626328) | about 4 months ago | (#47063671)

Does this mean that we will need to find some other means of energy rather than burning dead dinosaurs? God forbid.

While this may impact the future economic situation to some degree and CA, it is not like the oil had been extracted and then taken away. The money was never there, it was only the assumption of future money.
I would also point out that the vast majority CA residents are strongly opposed to shale extraction off the coast of CA.

Re:Wait.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47063811)

Sorry. Solar and wind won't cut it. Unless we allow nuclear, when the oil runs out the majority of the global population will simply die. Worse yet, environmentalists orgasm over the possibility of mass die off of humanity.

Re:Wait.. (2)

rrohbeck (944847) | about 4 months ago | (#47063851)

Nuclear won't help either. Even if we started to build nukes like there's no tomorrow (not that we can afford it) it wouldn't fix anything. The energy trap has closed. 40 years ago was the time to act.

Re:Wait.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47063977)

Of course not. Just because you can power electric cars and other vehicles with carbon free nuclear is not a good reason to use it. Also, nuclear can desalinate tons of seawater by the minute. Drought stricken California farmers have no need of water because Californians don't need food. Nope, they just need to live like the Amish. I can't wait for governor moonbeam to pass a law through the state-house outlawing all vehicles since no one there needs transportation anywhere. Ain't being a libtard fun~~~????

Re:Wait.. (3, Insightful)

Eunuchswear (210685) | about 4 months ago | (#47064085)

The energy trap has closed. 40 years ago was the time to act.

That would only be true if it would take more that 40 years to replace all of a countries electricity generation by nuclear.

And we know that's not true, it can be done in 26 years.

(In 1974 France decided that it would transition to nuclear for electricity generation. The first new reactor came online end 1981, the last of 58 came online in 2000).

Re:Wait.. (2)

Eunuchswear (210685) | about 4 months ago | (#47064191)

Sorry, braino, the first came online in end 1977, (Fessenheim), not 1981.

Decide go nuke in 1974, first working plant December 1977, second March 1978, tell that to the kids of today.

Re:Wait.. (0)

tigersha (151319) | about 4 months ago | (#47064545)

I live 7km from Fessenheim (in Germany, Fessenheim is right on the France/German border), and everywhere around here the Green fcktards have posters wanting to close the place down. Every time someone in the plant lets steam escape from the tea-kettle in the kitchen the greens freak out. Every few weeks they block the bloody bridge over the Rhine and then they block the traffic on the highway and then they block this and then block that. As if disrupting normal traffic is going to help.

When we moved into our house a few years ago we got a information sheet from the local government about what to do if Fessenheim blows up. The school has anti-Fessenheim posters in it. So do the creche, the kindergarten, the town hall and probably the its printed on the toilet paper of the mayor too.

Re:Wait.. (5, Insightful)

Cutterman (789191) | about 4 months ago | (#47064153)

The stupidity of ignoring nuclear fission never ceases to amaze me. Fusion is still a long way from practicality, will always expensive and isn't the clean dream - the massive neutron flux just makes even more radioactive waste. The oil & gas are going to run out one day, be it in 5 years or 50. Renewables are unreliable, expensive and the quantities of rare earths required make for horrible mining pollution as well as covering the landscape with ugly windmills and solar collectors.

High activity nuclear waste is a small volume storage problem and if we hadn't wasted the last 30 years we would have modern fission plant designs far safer than any of the chemical polluting shit we have now.

Fricken' ridiculous.

Re:Wait.. (1)

rtb61 (674572) | about 4 months ago | (#47064381)

They still need to make a shift from high output reactors to low output safer reactors. The focus needs to be on reducing energy output, extending fuel life and using many reactors, with fuel lasting the life of the smaller, lower temperature, simpler reactor. The biggest problem with today's reactors is trying to squeeze to much power out of the reaction, which requires refuelling and hugely increases risk as a result of high temperatures.

Re:Wait.. (1)

tigersha (151319) | about 4 months ago | (#47064553)

Close to ITER, the main fusion research place in Provence, the entire countryside is littered with "Iter-Boom!" graffiti. The greens are already up in arms.

Re:Wait.. (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 4 months ago | (#47064571)

So what you are saying is that on paper the problems associated with nuclear are small, yet in the decades we have been using it we have completely failed to solve them? Sounds like a practical solution to me, the kind of thing investors will be willing to throw money at instead of the rapidly expanding alternatives. You should put together a business plan.

Re:Wait.. (1)

Stuarticus (1205322) | about 4 months ago | (#47064107)

Haven't you noticed, in modern Economics real money and assumption of future money are exactly the same!

Re:Wait.. (1)

pla (258480) | about 4 months ago | (#47064237)

Haven't you noticed, in modern Economics real money and assumption of future money are exactly the same!

Only under two assumptions - Investing at the risk-free rate of return, or losing ground against inflation.

In any other scenario, yes, you can compare the future value of two similar risk investments, but failing to factor in different levels of risk commits a grievous error that will leave you begging in the street while your boring neighbor's inflation+1% diversified bond portfolio has him retiring in luxury.

Re:Wait.. (1)

cascadingstylesheet (140919) | about 4 months ago | (#47064109)

Does this mean that we will need to find some other means of energy rather than burning dead dinosaurs? God forbid.

Yes, nuclear. Let us know when you're ready.

Too bad it isn't true (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47063687)

Virtually none of the shale oil and gas exploration and production is being done in CA. This account is just a tad exaggerated... To the point of stupidity. And the hard shale issues in CA are already very well known. The size of the shale layer may sound cool, but it iis irrelevant... Its just a geologic formation, and those tend to run huge anyhow. It doesn't mean the the formation is somehow magically able to be exploited.

When it comes to "big money" (5, Interesting)

anubi (640541) | about 4 months ago | (#47063689)

First, I will say I have worked for a major oil company.

Second, I will say I have read "Twilight in the Desert" by Matthew Simmons, was an ardent follower of The Oil Drum [theoildrum.com] petroleum web site - was more active there than I am here.. That site was full of petroleum engineers and field guys - and I trusted their insight far more than I trust words from any investment advisor sitting behind desk whose job it is to influence my decisions of how to allocate my retirement savings.

And Third, I will say I swallowed the "Peak Oil" paradigm hook line and sinker. Apparently messed up my retirement savings big time by investing in the energy sector as I believed with all my heart that we were in serious decline.

Suddenly fracking made the scene and all the investment buyers saw energy as plentiful again. And the price dropped, And many of the smaller guys sold out.

I cannot help but wonder if all this panic talk is them yet rounding up another round of panicky people and investors to make a poor investment.

I can't help but remember all this talk about how dire our energy situation was coming from our leaders. Then there is no energy crisis, Then there is.

Almost sounds like Donovan singing about petroleum. First there is a crisis, then there is no crisis, then there is.

We pay countless taxes into our government, and countless well-paid bureaucrats are supposed to be leading us, but does anyone up there really know what's going on?

So far, they seem to rank about as reliable as an ouija board.

How in the hell can anyone make rational decisions when no-one seems to take this stuff seriously? It seems lately all our government has wanted to so is snoop. 96% is a helluva big number.

I believe special interest tie guys have the government release all these "facts" in order to manipulate the market.

When I saw fracking, I was and still am concerned that was equivalent to "blowing the gas cap" on a dying oil well as once we relieved the subterranean pressure that was helping to push what was left of the liquid oil to the surface, we were draining the last "fart" from the earth before there was no longer enough energy recoverable from the lift effort than we were able to recover from the oil lifted. It meant the show was over.

I remain very concerned this whole fracking "happy days are here again" thing has been nothing more than a ploy to get control of the remaining oil reserves at a bargain basement price.

Re:When it comes to "big money" (1)

Bob_Who (926234) | about 4 months ago | (#47064031)

A very insightful post. Thanks for your candor and honesty. Its not often we grow to change our perspective so that we can get to the truth even at the expense of being right. Nobody is perfect, we all have a past, but I believe you now.

Then/Than (1)

BlackPignouf (1017012) | about 4 months ago | (#47063707)

I'm not a native speaker and I still often make mistakes in English, but I cannot understand how people can mix those up : then/than, your/you're, its/it's, there/their/they're.
http://theoatmeal.com/comics/m... [theoatmeal.com]

Re:Then/Than (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47063765)

It's because the majority of Americans don't really get taught proper English in school any more, and they pretty much ignore what teaching they do get. But they still get to pass classes and graduate, because it would hurt their feelings to do otherwise.

I used to work at an outfit where the majority of my co-workers were immigrants, as well as a large proportion of our customers. The worst at English spelling and grammar in both groups by far were the people born and raised in the U.S. I never really knew whether to laugh at that or be depressed by it.

Re:Then/Than (1)

rrohbeck (944847) | about 4 months ago | (#47063865)

Mod parent up. Same here - the immigrants' English is better than the natives'. Oh and math and Science too.

Re:Then/Than (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 4 months ago | (#47063863)

I think it's easier for a native speaker to make these sorts of mistakes, particularly if they're not prone to writing. If you learn a language principally by sound, the distinction between "then" and "than" can start to look like a variation on the same word; it's not like English isn't polluted with words with two very different meanings depending on the context.

Of course, comprehensibility in any language comes, in part, from being able to anticipate what structure is being built just as it's being built, and failing to make a distinction like this leads the reader down the garden path.

Re: Then/Than (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47064149)

I agree.
Although I seem to get those right most of the time now, is vs. are still bugs me.

Re: Then/Than (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47064151)

I should have written in some cases.

Re:Then/Than (1)

Megane (129182) | about 4 months ago | (#47064249)

The thing is, it's only been in the past five years or so that I've noticed then/than being a problem at all, like it came out of nowhere. For a long time, the one that annoyed me the most was lose/loose. That one is still around, but it seems less common lately. And your/its/there have always been a problem.

Oh the irony.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47063713)

The next featured article: Professors: US "In Denial" Over Poor Maths Standards

Time for democracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47063727)

Time to go free some more oil rich countries.

Oh well, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47063819)

I guess they'll just have to liberate Venezuela now...

Exports (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47063861)

It's funny because they promised to export lots of this in Europe and encouraged European countries to worsen relationships with Russia based on this promise.

Invasion Time! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47063885)

Lets liberate an oil rich nation and win their hearts and minds.

Coal. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47063897)

The desire to consume energy will not go away, even if the petroleum does.

Coal will be the inescapable American solution, air pollution be damned.

Good news for Tesla (1)

Powercntrl (458442) | about 4 months ago | (#47063975)

Nothing motivates sales of electric vehicles quite like the promise of expensive gasoline. Time to invest in Tesla stock, mark my words.

Amen. (3, Interesting)

korbulon (2792438) | about 4 months ago | (#47063981)

The potential ecological disasters created by such a massive shale extraction operation just ain't worth it. Monterey is surrounded by one of the most beautiful and ecologically diverse coastlines in the world, and they want to jeopardise it to get some short-term, supporting an industry wihich is basicallty like America's crack dealer, and every year seems to report record profits. Wat?

It's the 21st century and we're still having these sorts of conversations about oil? Christ almighty, find another source of energy already, or consider slgihtly changing your behavior. If for nothing else, do it for the children.

Monterey is a Global Treasure (4, Insightful)

Bob_Who (926234) | about 4 months ago | (#47063987)

Some of the most beautiful coastline on earth stretches from Santa Cruz to San Luis Obispo County. The waters are a National Marine Sanctuary. The Monterey Peninsula, Carmel, Pebble Beach, Big Sur are some of the most appealing destinations in California. The Los Padres National Forest extends into miles and miles of virgin wilderness from Ventana through the Santa Lucia and Coastal Range. The collision of the Pacific and Continental plates creates solid granite mountains rising up out of the pounding surf. East of the spectacular coastline is Steinbeck Country - the Salinas Valley, the salad bowl of America some of the most prosperous farmland on planet earth. It finds its water from the Salinas River which is the longest underground river on earth, as spring water percolates up from the range.

The idea of fracking here just makes me wanna stop driving. I can't believe this project has been moving forward all of this time with FALSE DATA from the lying scumbag pigs that want money from resources no matter what the long term cost to the planet. This terrain is the result of tectonics for billions of years, and all some folks can appreciate is that the fault line makes it easier to dig, and the bay makes it easier to transport. In a thousand years there will be nothing worth remembering about this era except for the beauty that was spared from human destruction. Every one of us will be dead in a century, why is that momentary presence so arrogant as to exploit everything possible just because we can.

Life will go on without sucking the Monterey Shale out of the ground so that some people get rich selling old technology to the "free" market. Somehow, I'm sure they can just move along to some renewable energy to sell when the fast easy bucks dry up. Good thing we found out it is already dry here, before they poisoned the golden goose.

Mistakes in article? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47064019)

Maybe I'm confused, but there seem to be a couple of problems in the article, regarding distance and location. One paragraph says, "The problem lies with the geology of the Monterey Shale, a 1,750-mile formation running down the center of California roughly from Sacramento to the Los Angeles basin and including some coastal regions."

In the article's map, the northernmost formation point is south of San Francisco, way south of Sacramento. And even if the Monterey Shale went all the way up to Sacramento, it's still way less than 1,750 miles from Sacramento to LA.

Also, according to http://oilshalegas.com/montereyshale.html, Monterey Shale is just that one large section that's about 1/4 the length of California. Monterey Shale doesn't include the smaller costal regions.

I'm not trying to be critical, but if the article has mistakes regarding distance and location, I wonder if it might also have a mistake regarding volume of oil.

Bubble, bubble... (4, Insightful)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | about 4 months ago | (#47064135)

Perhaps this is a sign that the rumoured Shale bubble is beginning to burst.

it was always just a hope. (5, Insightful)

nimbius (983462) | about 4 months ago | (#47064175)

Peak US oil production begat a rampant speculative market, which in turn sends our oil and gas prices soaring and crashing on a yearly basis. This is always quietly dismissed as seasonal demand so as to coddle speculators and assuage the fears of our politicians. Sustained high crude prices and a rapidly diminishing prospect of respectable foreign policy with regard to the oil market during the Bush administration led many oil and gas producers and their lobbyists to declare a diamond in the rough. This shale oil and gas to be captured through fractionation came at a time when to deem it suspect was nihilistic and we all tacitly agreed it must be true for sake of our own collective future. As our war machine contracted and our focus returned somewhat toward domestic policies and act of sustainability it of course became increasingly difficult to ignore what during the past 8 years was a boon of blank checks and exemptions from the federal government to be applied toward the shale moneytrain. Halliburton certainly wouldnt be the first to fess up, and nor should they as theyd worked hard to secure by hook and by crook some of the most lucrative and reprehensible federal exemptions and contracts in recent history. Shale is good, shale is great.

No. Like an alcoholic stumbling from a hot malt liquor hangover into the nearest gas station we scrambled to find anything to take the hurt away. That we like the rest of the world would have to firm up our collective constitutions and make seriously warranted changes was simply too much. We crawled back into shale oils warm cockle and clutched our crossover SUV for one more year. We looked to the tar sands and their beleaguered machination of destruction and waste as no more than a fine bourbon whiskey we partook of on occasion. Science, like a distant cousin with the bail money for the last bender, is shuffling us along into the rather unpleasant sunlight once again with heavy heart and a morose sigh. We either change or we die, because at this point Science will have existed as much with us as it has without us.

Never mind (1)

Stumbles (602007) | about 4 months ago | (#47064263)

the wookie behind the curtain. I smell bullshit.

More tax breaks for the oil companies next year? (3, Insightful)

WarpedMind (151632) | about 4 months ago | (#47064327)

Wonder how much more of a tax break the oil companies will get because of this. My understanding is that they get a write-off as they deplete a reserve. It is sort of like a capital depreciation. I wonder if the reserve estimate will change that calculation resulting in larger tax breaks since they will have a depleted their asset at a faster rate than previously expected.

Grammar check (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47064413)

"play seems to have much less recoverable oil and gas then previously hoped."

Seriously... then... than... same fucking word.

Distributed Solar (2)

tquasar (1405457) | about 4 months ago | (#47064471)

Dear Oil Company, I have a bunch of batteries. And sunshine. And a thing that makes a light bulb go on. Piss off .

Yeah, right (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47064513)

From this administration, there's certainly no ulterior motive for saying that there's less oil than there really is...............yeah, right. They hate fossil fuels and will do anything and everything that they can to downplay and denigrate it.

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