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Does anyone here think there is an infinite supply of oil?

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mike1963 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-08-04 10:49 PM
Original message
Does anyone here think there is an infinite supply of oil?
I ask because I see a lot of posts from folks who think the potential problem is somehow 'overblown.'

I've been somewhat 'in' the oil business for 50 years. My dad brought in one of the largest oil production fields in US history (southeastern Illinois which still produces - at obviously far less levels than in the early 50s) and I worked on oil wells when I was a virtual child (age 8 or so when I learned to operate a rig, drive a bulldozer building "slush pits" and place a 42 inch Stillson wrench on a drillstem)

My dad was a hugely smart guy in most ways, which is laudable, but he was a racist bigot at the same time. I embraced some of that bigotry, to my shame, for some years...but that's another story.

And now, I'm pretty much an 'old phart', 61. But I don't think I've reached senility...and have to say I'm damn sure certain that we've just about used up well over 90% of the oil that's economically recoverable.

Not enough people are concerned about the problem (the "high" gas prices the last couple weeks might get some attention, though, even though they're still lower than 99% of countries in the world) to fix the problem. We're all willing to let it slide and let our progeny take care of it.

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mhr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-08-04 10:52 PM
Response to Original message
1. Fixed World Supply With Half Gone - The Remaining Half Won't Last Long
Edited on Mon Mar-08-04 10:52 PM by mhr
eom
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brokensymmetry Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-08-04 10:56 PM
Response to Original message
2. There's another indication that you're right.
Take a look at what oil stocks have done over the last five years. Oh, I know, some have done better than others - but whatever else one might think of Wall Street, the truth is that stocks are a pretty good (not perfect...) predictor of long term trends. And those stocks have more than doubled.

I also think that Iraq was all about oil - and, for that matter, so was Afghanistan.

What we as a nation will do when the crunch hits, I simply do not know. But I suspect we're not going to have a happy time of it.
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maggrwaggr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-08-04 11:16 PM
Response to Reply #2
6. sorry, not a good indicator. Many stocks have doubled in last 12 mos
in a variety of businesses.

What I find interesting is that the big oil companies have reported record PROFITS lately.

They've gotten very good at tweaking the supply so that they can keep prices quite high.

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GoneOffShore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-08-04 11:02 PM
Response to Original message
3. Oil Supply and carrying capacity
Take a look at
Kelpie Wilson | We're Closer to the Edge Than We Think
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/022904G.shtml

Perhaps if gas prices go up, we'll get the will to do something about the enormous problem of global warming. One way is to encourage alternative energy and also to improve our public transportation system.

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DenverDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-08-04 11:03 PM
Response to Original message
4. It will be the end of world civilization as we know it.
We are in deep denial about this as a culture and it will have catastrophic repercussions consequently.
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MajorFlaw Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-08-04 11:05 PM
Response to Original message
5. The best estimates I've seen
predict that, at the current rate of consumption there is somewhat less than 50 years
worth left. Kerry is right on target when he talks about a serious program to find new and renewable sources of energy.
Energy independence is critical not least because if it weren't for our oil addiction, the radical Islamists who are our real threat would be fighting each other on camel back in the middle of the desert.
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maggrwaggr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-08-04 11:17 PM
Response to Original message
7. and now they're building auto plants in China
to meet the demand for more and more cars in China.

The demand for oil is going up and up. It's not even levelling off.

Everybody wants to live like Americans, where we use 25% of the earth's resources already.

Do the math. It can't work.
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GoneOffShore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-08-04 11:36 PM
Response to Reply #7
11. Chinese government and bicycles
I read somewhere recently (sorry, no link) that the Chinese Government, after years of encouraging the use of bicycles, calling them the most efficient form of transportation for everyone, is now, in order to sell the cars they make, discouraging bicycles.
The world has indeed gone mad.
I'm thinking about getting a bumper sticker that says something about SUV's and small organs.
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disgruntled_goat Donating Member (637 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-08-04 11:19 PM
Response to Original message
8. there was some RW claptrap about this
last year IIRC...some hackjob was positing that oil reserves regenerated (to a useful degree).

keep in mind:
Bush has ordered the US strategic oil reserves filled to capacity. gas price october surprise? in any case something is not right.

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tedoll78 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-08-04 11:21 PM
Response to Original message
9. I'm interested to hear.. what are you all doing to prepare?
I'd planned on buying some rural land and building a house before I found-out about this (off-grid, solar/wind-powered, water wells drilled, chickens, small crops, etc). Now it's sounding like a better idea.

Maybe I should add "food storage" to that list..
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Indiana_Dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-08-04 11:55 PM
Response to Reply #9
12. I don't know what is best.
I can only picture a worst case scenario where people are scrounging around in the night (even in the day, perhaps) looking to loot the homes of those who've prepared for a worst case scenario....so do I really want to have me and my family on "watch" 24 hours a day to protect our own resources and die fighting for food and supplies???

If it's going to be a better scenario than that, then I would like to try going solar and wind with maybe a generator available for the blackout times. Gas stored for shortages and to power the generator during the blackout times. Water and food supplies. I don't like guns but if I see things getting bad I may just go and get some and some ammo and go somewhere and learn how to properly use it along with my family. I also need to learn to garden and how to can.

I checked out solar panels in my state and I can't even find any dealers in the state. We don't even get that much sun or wind in Indiana. I don't know if it would work very well. It's expensive and I don't have 4-10 thousand to buy the solar panels right now. We really could use a fireplace or a woodburner or cornburner or something. I think that might be beneficial as things get worse.

I need to go to pawnshop and maybe buy some bicycles. They would make good transportation except in the winter.

Maybe some type of water purifier would be a good purchase in case the utility company/power goes down.

I live in a small town so I can't really have any chickens or livestock. There are a lot of deer that run around here though!! I don't know how to clean and prepare wild game, though!!! lol
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tedoll78 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-09-04 12:37 AM
Response to Reply #12
13. Actually..
My biggest fear with this little "oasis" I'm planning? There will be hordes of people fleeing the cities in search of food and water. I'm betting they'll determine that my family has supplies and facilities, which means we'll have to go on defense, just like you said. Those people will be hungry and desperate; I can only imagine the horrors of what they'll try.

Then again.. maybe I'll be far away enough from the nearest population centers such that the hordes dissipate by the time people reach our farm? My partner and I are looking at land north of Lake Pontchartrain (about 2 hours north of New Orleans), a good distance away from the interstate. The land will hopefully be pretty isolated and wooded. I'm hoping for a stone home with crops in a clearing in the woods.

The home itself will contain pretty much anything you'd expect to find in a home currently. A functioning kitchen, an entertainment center, a wood & metal workshop, wall-unit A/C, etc. Dad says solar panels can provide enough energy to power these things, if done properly. And we'll set-up a solar-powered hot water heater as well. And a windmill will be set-up for supplemental energy; Louisiana can get some good breeze sometimes. We'd probably drill a few wells on the land for a steady water supply; filtering it shouldn't be much of a problem.

And this may sound shallow, but I will have an entertainment center at the farm. I would miss 20th century entertainment greatly, so a huge collection of movie and television DVDs would be something nice to have around, for reflection on old times. But I'll have to learn TV and DVD repair; things are bound to break. That shouldn't be too bad. (I wonder what kind of TV broadcasts will be around then, if any? Will the govt control these things?)

It'll take an acre to provide food for one person.. not too bad. The soil here in Louisiana is pretty good. The growing season is nice also. To be sure, I'd probably stockpile food to supplement the crops and chickens we'd raise, but we'll have a stockpile of crop seed also. And I'll probably stockpile prescription medications while learning about natural remedies. It's the realistic thing.

(God, I feel like such a kook! Given, I was planning a nice, self-sufficient farm for retirement, but never in this context! Peak oil.. strange.)

Still.. the big question mark keeps coming back to security from other folks. According to one website, America will end-up resembling the Soviet Union during its hardest times.. a pretty rough place. So do I get security dogs? A big security wall? A pit with alligators (j/k.. hehe..)? Armed guard duty for each of us?

And then what happens if China and the U.S. get into a war over the remaining oil supplies? Will it go nuclear?
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DenverDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-09-04 12:56 AM
Response to Reply #9
15. Start collecting heirloom seeds.
The only way to regenerate veggies.
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tedoll78 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-08-04 11:22 PM
Response to Original message
10. Wanna hear something interesting..?
Oil production peaked in 2000 and we still haven't beaten that year's production record. Very scary.
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wuushew Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-09-04 12:39 AM
Response to Original message
14. Here is a junk science link
Edited on Tue Mar-09-04 12:39 AM by wuushew
Astronomer Thomas Gold of Cornell University has long been dissatisfied with the dead dinosaur theory of oil's origins. He argues that oil and gas are in fact the remains of methane left over from the Earth's origin. Methane, he points out, is one of the most common minerals in the universe. When the stars and planets were formed eons ago, it was one of the central building blocks from which matter formed.

If Gold's theory is true, then it makes sense that we would continue to find hydrocarbons everywhere within the Earth's core, and not just at the surface, where plants and animals exist. Thus the new research is at least consistent with Gold's theory, even if it remains to be proven.

http://www.detnews.com/2002/editorial/0205/29/a11-50086...
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