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Professor H

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Re: Gasoline Prices
« Reply #15 on: February 23, 2011, 09:45:07 PM »

It's oil shale, and they are trying to develop it. It's not as easy as you'd think.


I agree, but they have been exploring technologies that appear to be promising.
The excerpt is from an investment newsletter type source - but the explanation of the technology and its comparable efficiency to heavy oil extraction efficiency is interesting.

The article states we have 1.5 trillion barrels in reserve and the US owns 72% of the land covering these reserves.

Shell is supposed to be able to recover this at an approximate price of $30/ barrel 

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But a new technology has emerged that may begin to tap the oil shale’s potential. Royal Dutch Shell, in fact, has recently completed a demonstration project (The Mahogany Ridge project) in which it produced 1,400 barrels of oil from shale in the ground, without mining the shale at all.

Instead, Shell utilized a process called “in situ” mining, which heats the shale while it’s still in the ground, to
the point where the oil leaches from the rock. Shell’s Terry O’Connor described the breakthrough in testimony before Congress earlier this summer (And Congress may have an acute interest in the topic, since the U.S. government controls 72% of all U.S. oil shale acreage):

“Some 23 years ago, Shell commenced laboratory and field research on a promising in ground conversion and recovery process. This technology is called the In-situ Conversion Process, or ICP. In 1996, Shell successfully carried out its first small field test on its privately owned Mahogany property in Rio Blanco County, Colorado some 200 miles west of Denver. Since then, Shell has carried out four additional related field tests at nearby sites. The most recent test was carried out over the past several months and produced in excess of 1,400 barrels of light oil plus associated gas from a very small test plot using the ICP technology…

“Most of the petroleum products we consume today are derived from conventional oil fields that produce oil and gas that have been naturally matured in the subsurface by being subjected to heat and pressure over very long periods of time. In general terms, the In-situ Conversion Process (ICP) accelerates this natural process of oil and gas maturation by literally tens of millions of years. This is accomplished by slow sub-surface heating of petroleum source rock containing kerogen, the precursor to oil and gas. This acceleration of natural processes is achieved by drilling holes into the resource, inserting electric resistance heaters into those heater holes and heating the subsurface to around 650-700F, over a 3 to 4 year period.

“During this time, very dense oil and gas is expelled from the kerogen and undergoes a series of changes. These changes include the shearing of lighter components from the dense carbon compounds, concentration of available hydrogen into these lighter compounds, and changing of phase of those lighter, more hydrogen rich compounds from liquid to gas. In gaseous phase, these lighter fractions are now far more mobile and can move in the subsurface through existing or induced fractures to conventional producing wells from which they are brought to the surface. The process results in the production of about 65 to 70% of the original “carbon” in place in the subsurface.

“The ICP process is clearly energy-intensive, as its driving force is the injection of heat into the subsurface.
However, for each unit of energy used to generate power to provide heat for the ICP process, when calculated on a life cycle basis, about 3.5 units of energy are produced and treated for sales to the consumer market. This energy efficiency compares favorably with many conventional heavy oil fields that for decades have used steam injection to help coax more oil out of the reservoir. The produced hydrocarbon mix is very different from traditional crude oils. It is much lighter and contains almost no heavy ends.

Read more: Oil Shale Reserves http://dailyreckoning.com/oil-shale-reserves/#ixzz1Eq7blhUe
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Baby Hitler

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Re: Gasoline Prices
« Reply #16 on: February 23, 2011, 10:00:02 PM »

Well Professor, you stated that they are "Just sitting on it", and not developing it, and in fact, they have been developing it for at least the last 23 years, and then come back with an article that states exactly how hard it is to extract this oil, and that it can take up to 3 to 4 years to get it to start flowing, not to mention the possible environmental impact of heating the subsurface to 700 degrees.

No, I'm not saying that they should continue putting this "on hold" as you say they have, but it seems that you were implying that it is just sitting out there waiting to be pumped out of the ground, when that is hardly the case.
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SidecarFlip

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Re: Gasoline Prices
« Reply #17 on: February 23, 2011, 11:01:01 PM »

$3.26 on Alexis tonight.  I'm looking for 4 bucks soon....come on. ;D
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The Fuzz

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Re: Gasoline Prices
« Reply #18 on: February 24, 2011, 01:52:21 AM »

Just a fraction of a penny under $4/gallon in San Jose.
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Professor H

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Re: Gasoline Prices
« Reply #19 on: February 24, 2011, 07:46:38 AM »

So if $120/barrel is acceptable and that makes gas around 4/gal - do we:

take the beating and wait for inflation?
Switch to electric cars?
put effort and research into developing our shale reserves?

Reserves of which a majority is on government lands and we could actually help the debt and tax needs of the US instead of OPEC.

We've let an oil company (Royal Dutch Shell) take the lead, when we could be utilizing our own universities.   They've come up with a viable solution, but not a master plan for a large scale operation.  At the current price of oil, it's not hard to break even even.

I would at least like to see an attempt - instead of just sitting back and saying we can't - it's too hard.
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sawdust

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Re: Gasoline Prices
« Reply #20 on: February 24, 2011, 10:52:38 AM »

...I would at least like to see an attempt - instead of just sitting back and saying we can't - it's too hard....

Until the price of crude stays high, there is virtually no financial incentive for them to do so.   Why invest gobs of money extracting oil from shale, only to have crude prices plummet again.   Of course, it doesn't help that decades of tax policy have given the oil industry (crude oil...not oil shale) a gold mine of loopholes, incentives and lower taxes.   Remove those perks, and oil shale suddenly becomes more viable.   But just look back and see the cries of foul, when Obama suggested just such a thing. 
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Baby Hitler

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Re: Gasoline Prices
« Reply #21 on: February 24, 2011, 11:03:32 AM »

Of course, it doesn't help that decades of tax policy have given the oil industry (crude oil...not oil shale) a gold mine of loopholes, incentives and lower taxes.   Remove those perks, and oil shale suddenly becomes more viable.   But just look back and see the cries of foul, when Obama suggested just such a thing. 
Exactly! We need to close those loopholes and remove the "perks" for the oil industry, and instead offer corporations incentives for alternative fuels, including the oil shale, wind, solar, geo-thermal, off shore hydro electric (wave power), etc.

It could be a deficit neutral program as well. Whatever money is saved by closing those tax loopholes for the oil companies, would go towards incentives for alternative energy sources.
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blue2

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Re: Gasoline Prices
« Reply #22 on: February 24, 2011, 11:23:34 AM »

Libya is hardly a dent in the whole oil supply chain.  The Saudias have said they will increase production to offset any loss from Liyba.  So why doesn't that calm things down?  Because the speculators and oil compaines want more money.
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family man

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Re: Gasoline Prices
« Reply #23 on: February 24, 2011, 11:45:45 AM »

So why doesn't that calm things down?  Because the speculators and oil compaines want more money.

ding ding ding, we have a winner.
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lordfly

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Re: Gasoline Prices
« Reply #24 on: February 24, 2011, 04:13:27 PM »

Libya is hardly a dent in the whole oil supply chain.  The Saudias have said they will increase production to offset any loss from Liyba.  So why doesn't that calm things down?  Because the speculators and oil compaines want more money.

Libya produces about as half as much as the United States does (we're the #2 producer of oil), so yes, they make a big dent. And the Saudi oil reserves are in constant question.
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Griff

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Re: Gasoline Prices
« Reply #25 on: February 24, 2011, 06:15:33 PM »

Libya produces about as half as much as the United States does (we're the #2 producer of oil), so yes, they make a big dent. And the Saudi oil reserves are in constant question.

If you do a quick Google search you will find that virtually every source identifies the US as the THIRD largest producer of oil on a per barrel per day basis; additionally Libya is identified as producing about a fifth of the US output.

peace
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SidecarFlip

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Re: Gasoline Prices
« Reply #26 on: February 25, 2011, 08:41:26 AM »

Bottom line is, at least for the immediate future, you gotta have it so you'll pay for it.  Whining is optional but not recognized by those who provide the product.

Oil companies are businesses, first and foremost.  In business to make money, just like every solvent business.  I have no problem with that.

You gotta pay to play (or drive your internal combustion vehicle)...lol
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Professor H

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Re: Gasoline Prices
« Reply #27 on: February 27, 2011, 11:38:06 AM »

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First, it was not a strip bar, it was an erotic club. And second, what can I say? I'm a night owl.
Marion Berry

But we have to pass the bill so you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of the controversy.
Nancy Pelosi

SidecarFlip

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Re: Gasoline Prices
« Reply #28 on: February 27, 2011, 03:24:50 PM »

$3.34 in Toledo at Meijers on Alexis this afternoon.
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Griff

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Re: Gasoline Prices
« Reply #29 on: February 27, 2011, 03:30:02 PM »

Higher gas prices... brought to you by the Fed and Quantitative Easing.
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