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Snoop
November 10th, 2007, 06:58 AM
This all seems surreal to me. Does anyone see a benefit to civilization in the long run or are we living for today only? How do we wean people off of oil if we keep using more of it? It just doesn't make sense. We're talking about "more than one percent of the world's Gross Domestic Product" - Is that alot or not?

Huge oil reserves discovered in Brazil


Rio de Janeiro - Brazil has discovered new crude oil reserves off its Atlantic coast that could potentially increase its reserves by 60 per cent, the state oil company Petrobras has confirmed. The reserves could total some 8 billion barrels and are located about 250 kilometres off the coast of the state of Sao Paulo, Petrobras President Jose Sergio Gabrielli said Thursday. The commercial exploitation of the resource could begin in five to six years, he said.

The Brazilian government said the find boded well for more discoveries in the region, which could catapult Brazil into the top 10 world oil producers. Brazil had already declared itself energy independent, in large part due to its use of ethanol made from sugar cane to power transport vehicles.

But experts warned that developing the site would require new technologies, as the oil field was about 7,000 metres under water and earth. A test drill alone would cost about 1 billion dollars, a spokesman for Petrobras said. Huge oil reserves discovered in Brazil : Energy Environment (http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/139406.html)

In related news:

Oil Price Rise Causes Global Shift in Wealth
Iran, Russia and Venezuela Feel the Benefits


By Steven Mufson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, November 10, 2007; A01

High oil prices are fueling one of the biggest transfers of wealth in history. Oil consumers are paying $4 billion to $5 billion more for crude oil every day than they did just five years ago, pumping more than $2 trillion into the coffers of oil companies and oil-producing nations this year alone.
The consequences are evident in minds and mortar: anger at Chinese motor-fuel pumps and inflated confidence in the Kremlin (http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/related/topic/Moscow+Kremlin?tid=informline); new weapons in Chad (http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/related/topic/Chad?tid=informline) and new petrochemical plants in Saudi Arabia (http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/related/topic/Saudi+Arabia?tid=informline); no-driving campaigns in South Korea (http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/related/topic/South+Korea?tid=informline) and bigger sales for Toyota (http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/related/topic/Toyota+Motor+Corporation?tid=informline) hybrid cars; a fiscal burden in Senegal (http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/related/topic/Senegal?tid=informline) and a bonanza in Brazil (http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/related/topic/Brazil?tid=informline). In Burma (http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/related/topic/Myanmar?tid=informline), recent demonstrations were triggered by a government decision to raise fuel prices.
In the United States, the rising bill for imported petroleum lowers already anemic consumer savings rates, adds to inflation, worsens the trade deficit, undermines the dollar and makes it more difficult for the Federal Reserve (http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/related/topic/U.S.+Federal+Reserve?tid=informline) to balance its competing goals of fighting inflation and sustaining growth.
High prices have given a boost to oil-rich Alaska (http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/related/topic/Alaska?tid=informline), which in September raised the annual oil dividend paid to every man, woman and child living there for a year to $1,654, an increase of $547 from last year. In other states, high prices create greater incentives for pursuing non-oil energy projects that once might have looked too expensive and hurt earnings at energy-intensive companies like airlines and chemical makers. Even Kellogg's (http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/related/topic/Kellogg+Company?tid=informline) cited higher energy costs as a drag on its third-quarter earnings.
With crude oil prices nearing $100 a barrel, there is no end in sight to the redistribution of more than 1 percent of the world's gross domestic product. Earlier oil shocks generated giant shifts in wealth and pools of petrodollars, but they eventually faded and economies adjusted. This new high point in petroleum prices has arrived over four years, and many believe it will represent a new plateau even if prices drop back somewhat in coming months.
"There's never been anything like this on a sustained basis the way we've seen the last couple of years," said Kenneth Rogoff, a Harvard University (http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/related/topic/Harvard+University?tid=informline) economics professor and former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund (http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/related/topic/International+Monetary+Fund?tid=informline). Oil prices "are not spiking; they're just rising," he added.
The benefits, to the tune of $700 billion a year, are flowing to the world's oil-exporting countries.
Two of those nations -- Iran (http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/related/topic/Iran?tid=informline) and Venezuela (http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/related/topic/Venezuela?tid=informline) -- may be better able to defy the Bush administration because of swelling oil revenue. Venezuela has used its oil wealth to dispense patronage around South America (http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/related/topic/South+America?tid=informline), vying for influence even with longtime U.S. allies. And Iran could be less vulnerable to sanctions designed to pressure it into giving up its nuclear program or opening it to inspection.
The world's biggest oil exporter, Saudi Arabia, is using its rejuvenated oil riches to build four cities. Projects like these are designed to burnish the country's image, develop a non-oil economy and generate enough employment to maintain social stability.
One is King Abdullah Economic City, a mega-project on the kingdom's west coast. According to Emaar, a real estate development firm in Dubai (http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/related/topic/Dubai?tid=informline), the city will cost $27 billion and be spread across an area three times the size of Manhattan (http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/related/topic/Manhattan?tid=informline). A contractor who works there said a wide, palm tree-lined boulevard cuts a dozen miles across an ocean of sand and ends at the Red Sea. Construction workers in hard hats are navigating excavators, dredging land and digging foundations for a power plant, a desalinization plant and a port. The project will eventually include an industrial district, a financial island, a university and a residential area, and is expected to house 2 million people.
Despite mega-projects like this, Saudi Arabia is running a budget surplus. It has paid down much of the foreign debt it accumulated in the late 1990s and is adding to its foreign-exchange reserves.
cont. here: Oil Price Rise Causes Global Shift in Wealth (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/09/AR2007110902573_pf.html)

FruitandNut
November 10th, 2007, 07:12 AM
I am with you Snoop, finding more fossil fuel and burning more of it to satisfy short term 'needs' of increased industrialisation is just looking after 'today' and to hell with 'tomorrow' and the generations to come.

It smacks of 'I'm alright Jack, b*gger you lot'.

Snoop
November 10th, 2007, 11:27 AM
Here's a picture of Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro:


http://www.toanthai.com/rio2004/photogallery/images/rio2004_11.jpg


... and Ipanema Beach:



http://www.toanthai.com/rio2004/photogallery/images/rio2004_15.jpg




http://www.toanthai.com/rio2004/photogallery/images/rio2004_16.jpg




Here's what they may look like in the future:


http://www.alaska-in-pictures.com/data/media/17/exxon-valdez-tanker_3195.jpg


http://seawifs.gsfc.nasa.gov/OCEAN_PLANET/IMAGES/G-432.gif http://seawifs.gsfc.nasa.gov/OCEAN_PLANET/IMAGES/G-108.gif



The graph below shows how many millions of gallons of oil each source puts into the oceans worldwide each year
http://seawifs.gsfc.nasa.gov/OCEAN_PLANET/IMAGES/spills_chart.gif


Ocean Planet: Oil Pollution (http://seawifs.gsfc.nasa.gov/OCEAN_PLANET/HTML/peril_oil_pollution.html)

F1Fan
November 10th, 2007, 03:17 PM
It's not as if we couldn't see this coming. Frankly I don't see humans making very wise choices on large scales, such as governments and corporations, and even wasteful individuals. I've come to have some contempt for humanity, as despite the ability to think, the desire for short-term gains and toys comes at the cost of long-term effects. The SUV craze a few years ago was easily seen to be little more than wasteful extravagance. Higher costs for goods sold, plus higher oil costs to the consumer will bite the economy in the ass, if it hasn't already.

Snoop
November 10th, 2007, 03:43 PM
This seems like a good solution and this is where the profits should go. The same refineries that produce gasoline can be retrofitted to produce cellulosic ethanol:



Creating Cellulosic Ethanol: Spinning Straw into Fuel
by Diane Greer
April, 2005

In the Grimm Brother's fairy tale, Rumpelstiltskin spins straw into gold. Thanks to advances in biotechnology, researchers can now transform straw, and other plant wastes, into "green" gold - cellulosic ethanol. While chemically identical to ethanol produced from corn or soybeans, cellulose ethanol exhibits a net energy content three times higher than corn ethanol and emits a low net level of greenhouse gases. Recent technological developments are not only improving yields but also driving down production cost, bringing us nearer to the day when cellulosic ethanol could replace expensive, imported "black gold" with a sustainable, domestically produced biofuel.

Cellulosic ethanol has the potential to substantially reduce our consumption of gasoline. "It is at least as likely as hydrogen to be an energy carrier of choice for a sustainable transportation sector," say the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the Union of Concerned Scientists in a joint statement. Major companies and research organizations are also realizing the potential. Shell Oil has predicted "the global market for biofuels such as cellulosic ethanol will grow to exceed $10 billion by 2012." A recent study funded by the Energy Foundation and the National Commission on Energy Policy, entitled "Growing Energy: How Biofuels Can Help End America's Oil Dependence", concluded "biofuels coupled with vehicle efficiency and smart growth could reduce the oil dependency of our transportation sector by two-thirds by 2050 in a sustainable way." Cellulosic Ethanol (http://www.harvestcleanenergy.org/enews/enews_0505/enews_0505_Cellulosic_Ethanol.htm)

Bf55
November 10th, 2007, 04:32 PM
What is so bad about alternative energy?

ladyphoenix
November 10th, 2007, 04:50 PM
That entirely depends on the means of alternative energy. A lot of renewable energies are very damaging to the environment. Then there's the alternative non-renewable ones, like natural gas. My company makes natural gas engines, and since I'm in R&E, I get to see them during the whole development process. But to shift from one non-renewable energy to another makes no sense. The trick is getting a renewable energy that doesn't pollute any worse than our current petrolium energies, and is not insanely expensive to produce.

MindTrap028
November 10th, 2007, 04:50 PM
SNOOP... I wonder what the third picture would look like with a little oil... just a thought..

Anyway.The only fix that I can see is. To allow drilling all over the U.S. And take a percentage of the new moneys generated to go to renewable resources. Use oil money to fix the problem. Instead of shooting ourselves in the foot, by pretending we don't need oil, or that oil is evil. if oil is evil it is a necessary evil. With china's oil needs looking to dwarf that of the U.S. It would be nice if we could sell our oil to them and not need it at home.
We need to change what our economy uses, the only way to do that is to develop new energy sources. However, you need money to do that. Instead of making the American Consumer pay for it, make foreign consumers do it, by making the U.S. the #1 oil producer. We are going to do it the cleanest anyway.

manise
November 10th, 2007, 06:18 PM
The only fix that I can see is. To allow drilling all over the U.S. And take a percentage of the new moneys generated to go to renewable resources. Use oil money to fix the problem. Instead of shooting ourselves in the foot, by pretending we don't need oil, or that oil is evil. if oil is evil it is a necessary evil. With china's oil needs looking to dwarf that of the U.S. It would be nice if we could sell our oil to them and not need it at home.From my understanding, it will take at least a decade before a single drop of Alaskan ANWR crude arrives in the Lower 48. Alaska's proven reserves (including ANWR) are around 30 billion barrels of oil. Even if all of the 30 billion barrels could be recovered with current technology, which it can't, it would supply Americans with, at most, 4-5 years of oil (based on 20 million barrels consumed per day or 7 billion per year according to the latest U.S. government energy statistics). The best case scenario if we had the technology available is 4-5 years at current rates of consumption.

The Lower 48 has about twice as much in proven reserves than Alaska, so in the best case scenario, add on additional 10 years. That's 15 years of oil beginning after about one decade infrastructure investment if we could just pump it out of the ground like Saudi crude, which we can't. The stuff is in sand or shale or deep under the ocean in difficult geologic regions.

Alaska is the easiest to consider from a political point of view--caribou and seals don't vote. But in California and Florida, the two states with the highest proven reserves outside of Texas, opening up massive new fields offshore and onshore is a non-starter. Take Florida for example. Even solidly conservative Governor Jeb Bush told his brother to forget about drilling in the Everglades or anywhere near it on the Gulf side. Californians have the same love of their coastlines, particularly the Big Sur and Monterey areas. The recent oil tanker collision in San Francisco Bay will not make new oil drilling proposals any more popular. In any event, most of California's proven reserves are onshore in the great San Joaquin Valley. They lie under the most fertile agricultural land in the West. Like it or not, that oil stays put.

Let Brazil and Venezuela and Canada and others develop their reserves to feed big guzzlers like China and Japan while we retool our economy for a petroleum-free or almost-free future. In the end our economy will thrive while others compete for scarcer and more expensive supplies of oil. Let the others chase the black goo--we'll export the technology to cure the oil addiction as world consumption outpaces available supplies.

EIA - Petroleum Basic Data (http://www.eia.doe.gov/neic/quickfacts/quickoil.html#anote)

http://www.eia.doe.gov/pub/oil_gas/natural_gas/data_publications/crude_oil_natural_gas_reserves/current/pdf/ch3.pdf#page=2

MindTrap028
November 11th, 2007, 10:56 AM
From my understanding, it will take at least a decade before a single drop of Alaskan ANWR crude arrives in the Lower 48.
I understand that.. but that is a really irrelevant argument. We will still need oil in 10 years. Also, oil will probably cost more then, so that could really help when we need it.
Not to mention that if we would have drilled when they first started talking about it.. then we would only be a year away from getting that oil.


Alaska is the easiest to consider from a political point of view--caribou and seals don't vote.
That entire paragraph is an excellent, and a true to life point. Most states don't want to drill. This is IMO the dumbest thing in the world. It is states pretending that we don't' need oil. The price will be, higher and Higher oil/gas prices, until states start thinking differently. Not to mention all the Jobs they are turning away. In 15 years when we are still desperate for oil, and our economy is suffering from High gas/oil prices. We will only have our selves to blame. Not to mention that foreign nations will gain even more power over our economy.


In the end our economy will thrive while others compete for scarcer and more expensive supplies of oil.
A little bit of counting chickens before they hatch. We don't have anything as cheep and abundant as oil yet.
The logic is simple.. We have oil.. we Need Oil. To not use our own oil makes us vulnerable. IMO unless a state is willing to drill, they should keep mouths shut about oil prices.
I'm all for getting off oil. But we can't pretend we don't need it now.. and over the next ..well, until our infrastructure is changed.


Who'd've thunk that the MT had a DIRTY mind..
You do realize, I'm read blooded.. and Breathing. :) .. and oil is O so Durty.:evil:

manise
November 11th, 2007, 06:30 PM
I understand that.. but that is a really irrelevant argument. We will still need oil in 10 years. Also, oil will probably cost more then, so that could really help when we need it.
Not to mention that if we would have drilled when they first started talking about it.. then we would only be a year away from getting that oil.First off, even if the oil flows in ten years, nothing guarantees sales to American customers. Private oil companies could send large shipments to China and Japan and reap the profits. Demand for oil supplies is increasing at alarming rates worldwide. That's the main reason gasoline and heating oil prices haven't dropped today. Supplies are plentiful but demand is growing.

More importantly, if our government continues to chase every possible oil field, Americans and corporations will have less incentive to a) conserve gas and oil and b) invest in petroleum alternatives. Americans first must see that gas and oil will never go down in price before they DEMAND that auto companies supply affordable non-petroleum or partial-petroleum automobiles and machinery. We can't afford to waste another decade or two chasing the black goo. We couldn't afford it a decade ago when America needed a crash conservation and investment program for a petroleum-restricted future.


That entire paragraph is an excellent, and a true to life point. Most states don't want to drill. This is IMO the dumbest thing in the world. It is states pretending that we don't' need oil. The price will be, higher and Higher oil/gas prices, until states start thinking differently. Not to mention all the Jobs they are turning away. In 15 years when we are still desperate for oil, and our economy is suffering from High gas/oil prices. We will only have our selves to blame. Not to mention that foreign nations will gain even more power over our economy.Thank you for the complement on my paragraph; politics is a key component to this issue. Massive new drilling initiatives are just not politically feasible. Just like nobody wants a prison in their back yard, few Americans want oil fields nearby, especially where tourists and farmers gather (ie California and Florida). One can wish the opposition away or shame them with guilt trips about gas price complaints but the reality doesn't change. I know lots of conservatives who rant and rave about law and order and the need for prisons, but few volunteer their neighborhoods for the cause. Why?

Economics and environmental concerns. Look at the mess created by ONE oil tanker in San Francisco Bay. Just one boat skippered by some daydreaming (or drunk) idiot made headlines around the world--San Francisco's giant oil slick. What if a similar disaster befouled Everglades National Park? These are not acceptable trade offs for technically difficult and expensive oil drilling operations in crowded states. Add in California's active seismic faults onshore and offshore and you've got the makings of a political disaster for anybody who advocates major drilling there.

For similar reasons, California's major oil reserves (almost Alaskan size) under San Joaquin Valley will never be touched. San Joaquin grows most of the western US supply of vegetables and certain fruits. An oil disaster or environmental issues in that part of the state would strike at the heart of California's multi-billion dollar ag industry. You want to know how powerful those ag folks are in Sacramento and Washington D.C.? No California politician can win a statewide election without their support. Forget about oil drilling expansion in California. And I'd wager Florida has the same story, as George W. Bush learned all-too-well from his brother Jeb.


A little bit of counting chickens before they hatch. We don't have anything as cheep and abundant as oil yet.Not yet. But in today's technological environment, five years is a long, long time. Look at some of the advancements in electric cars alone (links below). Improvements in battery cell life (nanotechnology), engine efficiency (the Wales Project), and countries ready to retool for cheap electric car production (China) all point to a bright future when Americans finally tire of paying for 4-5 dollar a gallon gas and huge heating bills. Why would this nation remain focused on domestic oil reserves, and the tremendous legal, political, economic, and technological challenges they face, when we have the opportunity to rebuild our entire economy for the new millennium. How?

First, we need supply networks of electricity or biodiesel or whatever to make filling up convenient. The cars and technology exist, but not the infrastructure. Who is in the best position to provide roadside fueling? The oil companies and their independent contractors. But they have no incentive to change if drilling permits come their way and Americans stop pushing for non-petroleum cars and machines.

Second, gas won't disappear. It will just compete with other energy sources. People will use smaller electric cars for local driving and keep larger vehicles for the rarer long drives until the technology can produce a high-powered non-petroleum vehicle. If we keep hoping for domestic oil to save the day, who will invest in these newer technologies? Nobody sane.

Here Come Chinese Cars (http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/05_23/b3936033_mz011.htm)

www.smart.com (http://www.smart.com)

Welsh car team pioneer electric dream - Wales News - News - icWales (http://icwales.icnetwork.co.uk/news/wales-news/tm_objectid=15580050&method=full&siteid=50082&headline=welsh-car-team-pioneer-electric-dream-name_page.htmlmick)

Toshiba's 'NanoBattery' Recharges In Only One Minute (http://www.physorg.com/news3539.html)

ladyphoenix
November 12th, 2007, 04:55 AM
I think that one thing we should remember here is that everything we encounter on a daily basis that is made from plastic, is made from petroleum.


February 2, 2006: BOTTLED WATER: Pouring Resources Down the Drain (http://www.earth-policy.org/Updates/2006/Update51.htm)

Fossil fuels are also used in the packaging of water. The most commonly used plastic for making water bottles is polyethylene terephthalate (PET), which is derived from crude oil. Making bottles to meet Americans’ demand for bottled water requires more than 1.5 million barrels of oil annually, enough to fuel some 100,000 U.S. cars for a year.* Worldwide, some 2.7 million tons of plastic are used to bottle water each year.

That's JUST from BOTTLED WATER... How many other millions of bottled beverages do we consume in the US? I have no idea. I'm having problems finding overall stats.

Snoop
November 12th, 2007, 05:45 AM
I think that one thing we should remember here is that everything we encounter on a daily basis that is made from plastic, is made from petroleum.... and for some bizzare reason, there is no bottle deposit on water and juice - only soda and beer. Wine and liquor bottles have no deposit fee but beer bottles do. Where is the logic here?

Hey - condoms are made from latex rubber - I hope they don't recycle those :).

MindTrap028
November 12th, 2007, 05:33 PM
Mainse, I had a brilliant and pithy response that got deleted... Trust me, it was Legen...... dary!
Anyway, Now I'm stuck with this one as a replacement. :(


nothing guarantees sales to American customers.
That really doesn't matter, as long as it effects the overall price of oil.


Supplies are plentiful but demand is growing.
This is going to continue in the future. That is why I proposed to make a deal with oil companies so that America can benefit from the profits of the future.


More importantly, if our government continues to chase every possible oil field, Americans and corporations will have less incentive to a) conserve gas and oil and b) invest in petroleum alternatives
That is why I proposed that the Gov step in, and make a deal with the oil companies, that would make them invest in infrastructure of alternative fuels.
Need a new refinery? .. build 2 solar power plants, and you can build your refinery.
Things like that.. only with a little more thought.
I like the idea, of letting oil companies subsidized the solution to the current Chicken or the Egg problem alternative fueled cars present... Namely No infrastructure to fuel the cars.. so no demand for cars so No infrastructure is built...
By allowing unrestricted drilling in the gulf of mexico.. (minus most of Florida). It would produce more than enough money to build that required infrastructure, heck even in just the major cities would be a big contribution.


Massive new drilling initiatives are just not politically feasible. Just like nobody wants a prison in their back yard, few Americans want oil fields nearby, especially where tourists and farmers gather (ie California and Florida).
I have been to grand Isle..and Galveston.. Both sky lines are full of drilling rigs. I understand why the states you listed would not want that.
However, that is no reason to stand in the way of the huge oilfields in the gulf, to far in the skyline to remotely effect Florida. I believe Bush's first energy bill (first term) would have opened 3 huge fields, but by the time it passed (if memory serves) it was cut down to one small one. This of course is inexcusable obstruction, and self sabotage of our economy.

Also, it is funny you use prisons as an example. People don't want them, but they help the local economy. A lot like oil.





http://www.nytimes.com/books/01/04/22/reviews/010422.22massint.html
Despite such conditions, Hallinan found, people were eager to work in these institutions. For the jobs are considered very desirable. At the McConnell Unit, for instance, a corrections officer after 18 months earns $24,324 a year -- nearly three times the county's per capita income of $8,600. The prison was also valued for the boost it gave the local economy. Since the opening of McConnell and a second unit, Beeville had gotten ''a new Taco Bell, a new movie theater and three State Farm agents where before there had been only one.'' Interestingly, back in the 1960's, most communities in Texas had opposed all efforts to build prisons in their backyards. But in the mid-1980's the state's oil industry collapsed, and by 1990 prisons had come to be seen as ''engines of economic salvation.''
I originally heard a similar story on NPR radio.


Economics and environmental concerns. Look at the mess created by ONE oil tanker in San Francisco Bay. Just one boat skippered by some daydreaming (or drunk) idiot made headlines around the world--San Francisco's giant oil slick.
It made news because it was in the U.S. In other countries, they don't care about oil spills. The U.S. makes oil companies clean it up. So if you are really concerned about the environment, then it is best to let the country that cares do the drilling.. Also, the oil spills that I always hear about are from tankers. That wouldn't be the case if we piped it in/around our own country.

hat if a similar disaster befouled Everglades National Park?
1) Oil companies would clean it up.
2) It wouldn't be an ecological disaster spreading/drifting across miles of water, and out to sea.
It is a lot easer to take off the top 5 inches of soil, and depose of it, than to sift through 3,000 square miles of ocean. (or whatever it is)


The cars and technology exist, but not the infrastructure. Who is in the best position to provide roadside fueling? The oil companies and their independent contractors. But they have no incentive to change if drilling permits come their way and Americans stop pushing for non-petroleum cars and machines.
Yea, that chicken and the egg... Like I said, I think my idea covers this. Basically a tax on oil to build said infrastructure.