A few times now I’ve said that the ‘deep oil’ found in the Gulf of Mexico meant there was a “whole new shell of depth” to be drilled. That even in places where we already “depleted the field” there could be more oil down below it.
Older theory had said the oil was made in ‘source rocks’ but had largely migrated upward to where we drained the pools, and that deep areas were just so hot that oils would break down (oddly, the typical ‘story’ would say something like “into natural gas” … like that was a bad thing…)
So I’m doing some digging on LENR / Cold Fusion ( Rossi was to give a conference / news / something on Oct 12th that turned out to be a bit of a dud…) and stumbled on this interesting blog and article:
Huge Oil Strike in Oklahoma
October 11, 2012 |
Continental Resources Inc. unveiled its newest oil field with a reservoir rock of an oil-rich portion of the Woodford Shale that lies beneath oil fields tapped long ago by some of the state’s biggest oil names, including Phillips Petroleum, Noble, Hefner and Skelly Oil.
The first oil was found in the area more than 100 years ago.
Jack Stark, Continental’s senior vice president of exploration said, “It’s a huge opportunity for the company and another great asset for us because we’re looking at an asset with rates of return that compete head-to-head with what we’re doing in the Bakken” in North Dakota and Montana.”
What stands out about the discovery is its thought to be huge. The company reports it may have found 1.8 billion barrels of oil equivalent.
Stark explains in part how the discovery was made, “Technology transfer is a huge part of this business right now. We’re accessing what were once considered just source rock.”
I’ve bolded a few bits. It’s deep, below fields that have been producing for 100 years, and it’s unexpected (by most folks). But what really made me sit up and take notice was the next section:
For observers the key is Stark’s comment, “We’re accessing what were once considered just source rock.”. Many oil reservoirs are pooled from seeps out of source rock where the oil formed. Pooled reservoirs are not the whole of the reserve, but only the easily accessed and freest flowing of the petroleum.
We’re still learning about subsurface oil and gas. The amounts of oil and gas to be recovered are still incalculable. The extent of petroleum to be discovered isn’t known. How much oil is in source rock from the reservoirs already found is still a big question without hard answers.
The new Woodford Shale discovery is great news for the U.S. Once the world’s largest oil producer, the U.S. could do it again in phase two of mankind’s oil age.
A whole new shell of depth, and drilling in it, we’ve found a whole lot more oil…
In related news, lots of folks have their panties in a bunch about the amount of natural gas used to extract oil from tar sands (hot liquids basically melt the tar by heating the ground ‘way down there’ but that takes burning a lot of natural gas on top, even though it’s relatively cheap and often ‘stranded gas’ that can’t be shipped to markets due to no pipelines out of the area.) While checking on comments on a Thorium Reactor thread at WUWT, there was this bit in a comment at the bottom:
October 8, 2012 at 1:12 am (Edit)
According to Dr. David LeBlanc in his presentation at the TEAC4 Future of Energy Conference, there appears to be gathering serious interest in Canada for developing liquid fueled uranium burner reactors, similar to the Molten Salt test unit built at Oak Ridge–to help recover petroleum from the tar-sands. This application could serve as a proving ground for the technology. He said that these burner reactors would be so efficient that if uranium prices rose to $500 per Kg, the impact would only be about 0.2 cents per kw-hr.
David LeBlanc – Molten Salt Reactor Designs,
Options & Outlook @ TEAC4
“Published on Jul 20, 2012 by gordonmcdowell”
32 likes, 0 dislikes; 1480 views; 19:46 min
“Canadian David LeBlanc describes the benefits of liquid fuel Molten Salt Reactors over solid fuel reactors, emphasizing reactor design over any relative advantages of thorium or uranium.
“Come for the thorium, stay for the reactor!”
Followed by a video. (Inserted below). But think about that for a minute. Relatively small THERMAL sources. Displacing a lot of natural gas. At extraordinarily low cost per kWhr-thermal.
Kind of blows giant crater sized holes in that whole “energy ROI” argument. (As I’ve pointed out before, it’s the FORM of the energy that matters. Most energy is thrown away in the process of giving the form we want in the place we want it. Even burning for heat, or to make a wheel turn, tosses lots of BTUs to get the desired form…)
So using nuclear process heat gives us a giant (Trillions of bbls scale) “new” oil reserve in North America. But as it is “non-conventional oil” the Peakers will continue to shout that we’re at (or past) Hubbert’s Peak of Oil!!! while ignoring that is “conventional oil” and the unconventional oil is just starting up the production ramp.
Both of them give us the same “oil products”, so as consumers we don’t really care if our gasoline is “unconventional”, or not, or came from “source rocks” directly, or after oozing for a few million years on their own into a small pool.
Sidebar on Cold Fusion
There was supposed to be a ‘big deal’ of some sort on October 12th. IMHO it’s Yet Another Fizzle. Rossi sent out a report on the “Third Party Test” that again did not include the Third Party report, just his summary. BUT it was wrong, and he claimed to have fumbled and sent out a draft, so sent out a ‘correction’ that’s full of basic math / physics errors…
So once again we have a ‘perhaps he got real run time hot’ or ‘perhaps he is just fudging numbers and doing it badly’. So more “watchful waiting”…
Report, such as it is, in the top of this article:
While the comments that follow point out a lot of “just plain wrong” and dissapointment in it…
Also we’re coming up on a year since the Greek folks, Defkalion, claimed to have ‘the magic formula’ and promised to ship product in 2012. But no product yet…
and the Big Boys have lots of promising toys, and requests for even bigger toy budgets next year… along with the perpetual promise of “Energy Breakeven Real Soon Now!!” that’s at least one career / lifetime in the future…
I wonder if someone ought to remind them that Be is rather seriously toxic? And tungsten a bit of a bitch to machine and form…
The Most Expensive Irrational Optimism for Fusion Power
October 9, 2012 | 2 Comments
Yesterday Dr Francesco Romanelli, Leader of the European Fusion Development Agreement (EFDA) and the Joint European Torus (JET) Leader, delivered a summary of the JET results at the IAEA Fusion Energy Conference in San Diego.
The conference aims to discuss various options with the goal of building the first demonstration power plant before the middle of the 21st century, 38 years out in the future.
Before simply thinking things though is interjected, operation with a new lining inside JET has demonstrated the suitability of materials for the much larger and more powerful ITER device.
For the tests JET was transformed successfully into a ‘mini-ITER’ with an inner confinement wall made of the same materials – beryllium and tungsten – that ITER plans to use.
[…]The good news begins with the first test in August 2011 when the beryllium and tungsten lining enabled more reliable plasmas to be produced. The JET work found that the amount of fuel being retained in the wall is at least ten times less than in the previous, carbon-based, configuration. The results achieved may lead ITER to drop plans for an initial phase of operation with carbon and adopt a beryllium-tungsten wall from the outset, bringing a significant savings in time and cost for the project.
So in 38 years, the present staff ought to be long retired on nice pensions… as long as the Euro Zone / EU holds together… Even the “Twenty Somethings”…
But hey, it’s progress, I suppose.
Personally, I’d bet on Cold Fusion before I’d bet on them. Cold Fusion is already showing “anomalous heat”, so is past break-even.
Before that, we could make one of these starting tomorrow:
Note that he says “2 cents / kw-hr” so the quote above has the decimal wrong…
The bottom line doesn’t change in any case: We’re up to our eyeballs in energy choices. We just need to use them.
I especially like the parts where he talks about getting even MORE of the oil out of the ground using nuclear powered SAGD and the frequent references to massive amounts of energy ;-)
So a hearty “Go Canada!” from down here south of the border…