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Posted on October 30 at 4:31 p.m.

LOL I have a feeling Priceless won't be elucidating very clearly. He might call me names though! That's always an effective strategy. :)

Most analysis I've read is calling for an extended period of lower prices, one source didn't predict a return to $100 oil again until 2020.

US production has increased by about 3.6 million barrels per day since 2008, a 73% increase. And here I thought the industry was manipulating supply to increase prices. That's what a lot of people on here told me anyway!

Imagine waking up to a headline tomorrow saying that 3.6 million barrels had just been taken off the market. Imagine what impact that would have on oil prices.

On Gas Prices Dip to More Than Three-Year Low

Posted on October 30 at 3:46 p.m.

@Priceless

Gas is at a 3 year low because oil prices have dropped sharply. Oil is about $25 per barrel off its recent peak, and oil has gone down everywhere, not just in the US. It’s a globally priced commodity.

Let’s look at what this election manipulation would cost some major oil exporters. Below are 4 major oil exporting nations, their current production in barrels per day (bpd), and the dollar amount per day they have all agreed to lose in this scheme.

Saudi Arabia: 11,530,000 bpd; $288 million
Russia: 10,643,000 bpd; $266 million
Iran: 3,680,000 bpd; $92 million
Venezuela: 2,625,000; bpd; $66 million

So what you’re suggesting here, priceless, is that these four countries, have all agreed to jointly invest $712 million PER DAY to … do what? Reelect incumbents? Elect challengers who are claiming credit for the drop in prices? Can you elucidate their strategy for us, priceless? Because I don’t see any incumbents or challengers making this into an issue. I’m not seeing a groundswell of support for incumbents everywhere because of somewhat lower gas prices. This has been going on for about 3 weeks and will presumably continue through Nov 4. So, what does this $712 mm x 30 = $21 billion buy these exporters, exactly? And is it a sure thing? What if the dishonest politicians take the conspirators’ money and then turn around and stab them in the back? What if the electorate doesn’t make the connection you suggest? After all, not everyone can be expected to have your keen insight.

How would you test your idea? Search out average weekly prices for first week in June and for first week in November, going back as far as you please. Compare them. Is there a drop that correlates in magnitude to election years? Presidential years? I have done this. There is no correlation to elections. Prices do tend to fall every autumn, because demand goes down, and because refiners switch over to lower cost winter gasoline blends.

Another thing you could easily check is, when are the autumn lows reached? This same charge was popular in 2008 when gasoline prices were dropping sharply. While gasoline fell by 41% between June 30 and November 1 of that year, it continued to fall another 29% through the first week of January. Every single oil company in the world conspiring to force prices lower in order to cover their trails?

Of course, I’m sure none of this data makes any difference to you, priceless. Evidence is usually unimportant to prejudiced people, and you’ll go on believing what you believe. But maybe there are more serious readers who will see the silliness of this charge that comes up every election year.

Conspiracy theory: the opiate of the uninformed.

On Gas Prices Dip to More Than Three-Year Low

Posted on September 25 at 7:25 p.m.

whitecrow,

Better questions would be, what's the annual volume of oil seeping into the Santa Barbara channel naturally, and what is the actual (as opposed to an allegation) annual volume of produced water released? How do these two volumes compare in terms of toxicity? I assume, since the release of produced water is legal and regulated, that government agencies would be free to obtain samples of this water and run chemical analyses on it. What do those analyses say? No one seems interested in such questions, just as no one seems interested in risk analysis.

A previous study done by UCSB researchers several years ago estimated that about 100 to 200 barrels of oil per day seep naturally into the Santa Barbara Channel. That's roughly in the range of 50,000 barrels, or 2.3 million gallons, per year. The Santa Barbara spill of 1969 was estimated to be anywhere from 80,000 to 100,000 barrels, or about two years worth of natural seeps. Since 1969, according to the BOEM, 884 barrels of oil have been spilled in offshore California out of 1,280,000,000 produced. That's an error rate of 0.00007%. You'll never see that printed in the Independent, or anywhere else for that matter. Why do you think that's the case?

On Fracking and Wastewater Dumping Exposed

Posted on May 29 at 10:56 a.m.

“Pretty shocking to be off by 96 percent!” said Davis. “I think it goes to show that the oil industry’s economic forecasts can in no way be trusted.."

Ludicrous junk science.

In making such a ridiculous statement, Davis shows that she has absolutely no sense of the fundamentals of geology or petroleum engineering. This person has zero credibility on any issues pertaining to subsurface science. But then, objective science is not the core issue for her and her sympathizers: it's all about ideology; it's all about fears and perceptions.

On Less Oil in Monterey Shale Than Expected

Posted on April 17 at 9:45 a.m.

How in the world does Das Williams know what is and what is not a conventional technique? He has no training in drilling engineering, well completion technology, fluid flow dynamics, or rock physics, and he has not one single day's experience in the technology he claims to be an expert on.

He seems to believe that, because a given technology is unfamiliar to him, it must be experimental. Another guy that mixes science with politics, in his case applying more weight to the latter than the former.

On Fracking Freak-Out Justified?

Posted on April 11 at 12:01 p.m.

pony,

Such a convenient philosophy! Somebody is making you pollute, so just go ahead and do it! Oh, the world is so easy to explain, isn't it? :) Bad guys make us good guys do bad stuff. Does that summarize it correctly? If there's a process or phenomenon you don't like…. the bad guys did it!

Pony, can you explain to me why, if the oil industry is forcing oil on us….
The renewable energy industry has grown by about 20% annually for over a decade.
Hybrid sales have grown from zero in 1999 to well over 3 million in 2013.
GDP per barrel consumed in the wealthy western nations is down by 50% since the early 1970's.
Tesla shares have increased 11-fold in the past 5 years.
Googling "renewable energy subsidies" will yield thousands of programs at all government levels in just about all countries.
The state and federal government gave me a tax incentive on the solar installation estimate I got recently, reducing my out of pocket expenses by 50%.
The state with the highest wind energy installation base is Texas.
Some countries, like Germany and Spain, and states like California, have set aggressive renewable energy targets.

And finally, if it's well known that the oil industry is doing this, why do major oil importing powers like China, Germany, Japan, and France allow this situation to occur? They're spending billions annually importing oil, which, according to you, is unnecessary. Or perhaps only you, pony, an anonymous writer reading an obscure American publication, know about this awful conspiracy.

Anyone who actually runs a business (and I assume you haven't) knows that trying to prevent a better mousetrap from reaching the market is a hopeless strategy. History shows that companies who cling to an obsolete technology fail, and companies who innovate succeed.

Tell me pony, if Exxon could develop and alternative technology that could give them a patent, and and increase their profits substantially by taking global energy market share from OPEC and Russia , why wouldn't they do it?

I suppose you also believe doctors are forcing cancer on us to increase revenues on treatment, and the mighty airlines have secretly suppressed light speed travel, and that all powerful shipping industry has prevented the rise of rail and air transportation (oops, I guess it didn't).

You have no expertise. You just believe stuff. So, not understanding much of anything about the topic you discuss here, it's easy for you to just say whatever you want. You have no information to constrain you.

But what the heck. Let's all stand in a circle, join hands, and sing in the sunset, declaring an end to fossil fuels by a week from next Tuesday. When that $30,000 all electric car hits the showroom next week, you'll ditch your car buy one, right?

On Enviro Group Kicks Off Fracking Ban Effort

Posted on April 11 at 11:48 a.m.

spacey,

The reality is knowing the geology of the subsurface and the depth of the aquifer. It's knowing how to drill a well, how to set the casing, and how to set the cement. It's knowing whether the cement seal is adequate by sending sophisticated logging tools down the well, and by conducting sealed pressure tests. It's also knowing what fluids are in the subsurface already, how deep they are, and what fluids you're injecting. It's knowing what the brittleness of the host rock is, modeling the rock elastic properties using high resolution dipole sonic data, and recording the fracture propagation and measuring the fracture dimensions using microseismic techniques. And it's knowing how much of the fluid you inject and how much returns, and observing whether any escapes the borehole. Finally, it's about understanding all of the above variables and technical procedures, and, using historical data, quantifying the risk of contamination and understanding how to prevent and mitigate.

Fantasy is assuming you have something to contribute to the conversation. You don't. You have no expertise. You just believe stuff.

On Enviro Group Kicks Off Fracking Ban Effort

Posted on April 11 at 11:44 a.m.

This public frenzy over fracking has parallels with controversy over evolution and climate change. Each of these three topics is highly technical, yet most people have strong positions on them. If you randomly surveyed 1000 people and asked for their opinions on these topics, you should find no correlation to their political or ideological beliefs. The existence of evolution, the nature of climate change, or the risks of tracking, should have nothing to do with beliefs and everything to do with data and evidence.

Yet there is a strong correlation. Even though 97% of climate scientists agree that the climate is warming and that this has been induced by human activity, many on the right refuse to believe it.

The evidence for evolution is overwhelming and the scientific consensus is probably even higher, yet by one census I saw only about 60% of Americans believe that it's real. Most of these people are conservatives ideologically.

And so we come to fracking. Here, we have the left opposing fracking in a very strongly felt emotional way, even though, as with conservatives in the above cases, they know little about the subject. What does the scientific community say?

The first people I'd ask are hydrologists. These are professionals trained in geology, chemistry, biology, and the dynamic of fluid flow charged with protecting the nation's aquifers. They work for government agencies and environmental consulting firms. They are unaffiliated with the oil industry and have diametrically opposed interests. What do they say? The hydrologists' s professional society, the National Groundwater Association, has a position in paper on hydraulic fracturing. It states that it is not aware of any cases where tracking has damaged an aquifer. After 60 years and over 1 million wells.

Or read the report "Shale Gas Extraction in the UK: A Review of Hydraulic Fracturing" prepared by the UK Royal Academy of Engineering. This report reviewed fracture propagation in hundreds of wells in four major US areas of operations. Their conclusion was that cracked wells posed no more of a risk to aquifers than conventional wells.

Two heads of the EPA have said in testimony to Congress that they were not aware of any cases where fracking has damaged an aquifer.

Steven Chu, former head of the DOE, a Ph.D. physicist and Nobel Prize winner, is on record as saying that fracking could be done safely.

But most people want to hear what Yoko Ono has to say, or some artist, or some uninformed journalist. It's no wonder that 60% of Americans don't believe in evolution. We are not being taught how to think critically. We are being overly influenced by some sort of celebrity/media driven consensus and form opinions on ideological bases.

Forget about conservatism, liberalism, and ideology. Study the data. If you find cases where contamination has occurred, what are the circumstances? We don't ban the airline industry when a plane crashes, we seek to improve safety.

On Enviro Group Kicks Off Fracking Ban Effort

Posted on March 3 at 11:57 p.m.

Kessler is an artist. He has none of the technical education, experience, or expertise that would be required to determine what the impact of acidizing is, and what the risks are. Is it any more dangerous than delivering the gasoline he buys in tanker trucks, for example? What, quantitatively, is the risk that this acid will leak into the ocean? He doesn't know. He's not making conclusions based on evidence and experience, he just believes stuff. This is a textbook example of prejudice. People who would take their scientific and engineering advice from an artist are thinking with their glands.

The extent of Kessler's confusion can easily be seen in his inaccurate statements. He claims that acidizing is a new technology, that it's underdeveloped. It isn't: it has been around for decades. His lack of knowledge of the technique is not the same thing as it being "new" or "underdeveloped." I wonder if he sees the difference? Nor is acidizing similar to fracking. Acidizing does not "dissolve rocks", nor does it end up in the oceans. Kessler seems unaware that the rock that the acid is being injected into is already polluted: it's saturated by oil.

I suggest that before Kessler starts throwing people in jail, he first establishes exactly what the crime is. Where is the damage he can point to? By what physical mechanism would this acid escape from a wellbore into the ocean? SInce he has no expertise, he can't do that, and instead takes his guidance from his ideology.

The Independent damages its credibility when it publishes such buffoonish articles. What other scientifically illiterate purveyors of junk science will the paper give space to? Will we have columns by climate deniers? Flat earthers? Moon landing conspiracy theorists? Crop circle specialists? No. I suppose the only junk science we'll get to read is the politically correct variety, such as artists (!) who believe they can pontificate on well completion technologies and the dynamics of fluid flow in porous media.

On Acidizing Disgust and Fear

Posted on February 20 at 11:32 a.m.

Imagine a given minority group that was subjected to the same level of scrutiny as the oil industry, where their every action was the subject of a headline.

Imagine further a public that was overtly hostile to that group, and that this hostility was publicly acceptable and indeed even politically correct. Imagine that the public assumed this group to be guilty until proven innocent on every charge brought against it.

Imagine further a public and press that knew very little of the technical details behind the groups actions, and was content to go with assumptions based on emotion and not science or engineering realities.

This is the state of the oil industry in the US today.

Briana Mordick has 6 years experience as a petroleum industry geologist. As a relatively green geologist, Mordick would probably at best have had only a superficial appreciation of well completion and stimulation technologies, and no formal education or on the job training in these areas. It's almost certain that she never actually ran an acid or hydraulic fracture job herself, and that she would not know how to do so if asked. She has a vested interest in presenting alarmist scenarios as that increases her job security, confers recognition (what would happen to her career if she determined that the risks of these procedures were low?), and increases funding for the EDC. Yet she is presented as an unbiased industry expert by journalists who don't know any better.

On Questions Remain Over Offshore Acidizing

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