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4dsc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 04:43 PM
Original message
Oil Poised to Climb 20% as BP Shutdown Shows Industry Distress
This is only the tip of the iceberg for sure!!

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=a8j...

BP Plc's shutdown of the largest U.S. oil field may be the first of many, as decaying pipelines threaten to add 20 percent to energy prices in the next decade.

``We'll look back on this event as the Pearl Harbor Day in energy,'' said Matthew Simmons, chairman of energy investment bank Simmons & Co. International in Houston. The chance that the leaks and corrosion found at Prudhoe Bay by BP, Europe's second- largest oil company, are an isolated occurrence is ``zero,'' said Simmons, who's writing a book on aging oil infrastructure.

A growing minority of analysts, oil executives and government officials say the current system for producing and transporting crude will be unable to deliver the energy needed in the next 10 years. Repairs and replacement of pipes, valves and refineries will help push oil to $93 a barrel by 2015, from around $70 today, says Barclays Capital analyst Kevin Norrish in London, the most accurate price forecaster in a survey by Bloomberg News last year.

Repair of the oil production facilities built in the 1970s is part of the $6 trillion that needs to be spent by 2030 to meet global oil and gas needs, according to the Paris-based International Energy Agency.
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panader0 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 04:45 PM
Response to Original message
1. BP= British Petroleum. Why are the British in Alaska? WTF?
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4dsc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 04:48 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. If I'm not mistaken they bought the US company
that controlled the pipeline before.. Was it Standard oil perhaps??
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OzarkDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 04:56 PM
Response to Reply #3
8. SOHIO, yep
Standard Oil of Ohio. Not such a great idea after all.
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hatrack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 05:01 PM
Response to Reply #1
10. Simple - money knows no country nt
.
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Deja Q Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 04:47 PM
Response to Original message
2. The oil execs seem to have a lot of profit-generated income...
Usually, profits go back into the company to maintain and improve its product.

Silly me, this isn't 1950 anymore like in that Looney Tunes cartoon where Elmer teaches Sylvester how capitalism works. :crazy:

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ecoalex Donating Member (718 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 04:53 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. Bastards didn't add anti corrosion chems to the oil transported
benign neglect. Some want to sue.They sacrificed the pipeline for profits.Bastards!
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Blue_In_AK Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 04:55 PM
Response to Reply #4
7. The state is definitely looking at a lawsuit.
BP f***** up bigtime.
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Blue_In_AK Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 04:54 PM
Response to Original message
5. BP screwed up so bad up here
that even Ted Stevens is mad at them. It seems like they're going to try to make Alaska pay for the repairs, too, indirectly, as our legislature just passed a petroleum PROFITS tax, which, as I understand it, means they can deduct the cost of the repair from their profits before paying their taxes to the state. I don't think this is fair at all.
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BootinUp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 04:54 PM
Response to Original message
6. Let them sell stocks to raise capital. n/t
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Kelvin Mace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 04:59 PM
Response to Original message
9. $93 by 1015? That's a fantasy
It will hit $100 by 2008.
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jpak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 05:09 PM
Response to Reply #9
11. lol - I was just about to say the same thing
$93 a barrel will be a bargain in 2015...
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notadmblnd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 05:12 PM
Response to Original message
12. maybe they should take some of those record profits
and invest them in their business? Odd. the pipeline has been shutdown 2weeks and gas has gone down about 30 cents a gallon, suddenly it going to make the price rise?
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AX10 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 05:53 PM
Response to Original message
13. And the fall elections are just around the corner.
With gas nearing $4 a gallon and the economy moving towards a "slowdown" (recession), this will bode quite poorly for the GOP.
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Delphinus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 02:00 PM
Response to Reply #13
30. Gas seems to be going down in my neck of the woods ...
down to $2.76 regular here (NE Indiana).

When I see it falling, especially in light of BP, I wonder if they're not doing it to prop up the repugs in the election.
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phantom power Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 07:04 PM
Response to Original message
14. $6 trillion would purchase a lot of nuclear reactors...
(or thermal solar plants, or wind turbines...)
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NNadir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 07:08 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. Probably about 3000 of them, enough to make oil, coal and gas worthless.
Edited on Mon Aug-21-06 07:08 PM by NNadir
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AZCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 07:16 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. Are the secondary functions of these fuels that unneccessary?
I understand that the overwhelming use of hydrocarbons is as fuel, but I wonder what percentage of oil is used to make other petro products such as plastics or lubricants. Perhaps I shall look into that when I'm back at the office this evening.
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NNadir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 07:26 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. A graphic I often post demonstrates the size of the non fuel use.
Edited on Mon Aug-21-06 07:32 PM by NNadir
Here it is.



It can be accessed any time by looking in my journal or by referring the the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory site.

The non-fuel uses of the three environmentally unacceptable fossil fuels coal, oil and gas, constituted in 2003 about 6.3 exajoules, or roughly 6% of our total energy requirement.

We live in the golden age of chemistry. Archimedes said, "give me a place to stand and I can move the earth!" Modern chemists say, "give us enough energy and we can make any simple molecule." (We can also make many less than simple molecules.)

The non-fuel molecules constituting the vast bulk of that 6.3 exajoules are almost all constituted by chemical simplicity. Polyethylene for instance is just what it sounds like, "lots of ethylenes," where ethylene is a simple molecule having just two carbons and 4 hydrogens.

It is fairly trivial to replace all of the compounds that are found in oil. My personal opinion is that we don't want most of the compounds found in oil around in the first place, but if we wanted them, we could have them. They are trouble, and there are far more acceptable alternatives to all of them.

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AZCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 07:34 PM
Response to Reply #17
18. It's interesting that they don't show a link between...
nuclear resources and nonfuel uses. Is the amount of nuclear material used in medicine not amount to that much? I know that health care produces some radioactive waste but I guess there just isn't that much fuel used.

So ethylene (and all the other compounds) are available outside of petroleum? Why do we insist on using it (oil) as a source for them - is it just industrial inertia?
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NNadir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 08:37 PM
Response to Reply #18
20. We insist on using oil because the INTERNAL cost of oil is low.
Edited on Mon Aug-21-06 08:48 PM by NNadir
The original reason that oil was first refined was to power kerosene lamps - which up until that time, the 1860's, were fueled by whale oil. One of the driving forces for the development of petroleum was a shortage of whales.

It is a mixture of things that causes the continuing oil fetish in my opinion. One is certainly inertia. Another is that we only count internal costs - the price of oil per barrel - and ignore the external cost - air pollution including carbon dioxide, health costs, destruction of habitat and land, for example.

If we charged the true external cost of oil, my guess is that oil would easily be measured in the hundreds of dollars, in which case people would not use it very much.

The most important factor in the continued use of oil is ignorance. Add a fair amount of panic with a dollop of paranoia and a few wisps of indifference and you have a perfect storm.

Oil depletion is no where near as disastrous as climate change. Oil depletion is a good thing. Oil use should be phased out and banned as soon as is possible, and replaced by nuclear energy and to the extent they are available, renewable forms of energy.

As for your question about the use of nuclear materials for non-energy use, I would expect, without calculation, that the total amount of radioactivity contained in all the world's medical uses does not even equal the output of a single reactor.

That noted, the entire inventory of nuclear fuel material on the planet does not exceed the radioactivity of the ocean. The inventory of potassium-40 alone in the ocean exceeds 500 billion curies. Here is a calculation from early in my tenure at DU that I did showing this:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

The Chernobyl reactor is said to have contained about 1 billion curies. (This estimate can be calculated from this reference, table 1: http://www.unscear.org/docs/reports/annexj.pdf . I have used the column for S1 to estimate this number, converting petabequerels to curies.)

Chernobyl was a reactor at the end of its fuel cycle when it exploded, thus it's radioactivity was at it's maximum. Thus, for this reason and a lot of other reasons, Chernobyl is the worst possible case.

It would take, therefore 550 Chernobyl/fuel cycles to equal the normal radioactivity of the ocean from potassium alone. But the radioactivity of the ocean is not just determined by potassium, but also by the uranium present and all of the decay daughters of this uranium. I have argued in the past on this site for removing this radioactivity (from uranium) from the ocean for industrial purposes.

There is an important difference between the radioactivity in a nuclear reactor and the potassium in the ocean. All of the potassium in the ocean is mobile and readily soluble. By contrast, much (but not all) of the material released by the Chernobyl reactor is basically immobile, and will remain for quite some time near the place it landed, mostly the immediate vicinity of the reactor. The most serious isotopes released were those with the shortest half-life, because half-life is inversely proportional to radioactivity. (The proportionality constant is the negative natural logarithm of the number 2.) Thus much, though certainly not all, of that billion curies has now decayed to background. For instance, all of the cerium-144 released by the reactor is gone and now has transformed into nonradioactive neodymium. All of the radioxenon isotopes are gone. All of the iodine-131 is gone. The disappearance of these highly radioactive isotopes means that a great deal of the radioactivity originally present has decayed away.

It can be shown that the radioactivity associated with nuclear power does not rise linearly with time. On the contrary, it rises, depending on the power used, asymptotically to a defined limit, beyond which it cannot increase unless one increases the power. For an ith isotope present in a nuclear reactor, as a loose first approximation, the amount of a particular "waste" product approaches its limit (which depends on factors including the fission yield for a reactor type - fast, epithermal, or thermal - and total power of the reactor or a large number of reactors of that type) Li according to the following equation Ai = Li(1 - e-kt) where k is the activity constant (the negative natural logarithm of 2 divided by the half-life), and t is the time that the ith isotope has been accumulating. Without simplification, the mathematics is somewhat more complex, but that is the basic idea to a first approximation.

A more detailed discussion of this phenomenon, which is almost always overlooked by people who don't know what they are talking about, can be found, among other places in William Stacy's Nuclear Reactor Physics, (Wiley, 2001) on page 213. (Stacy's solution to the equation, which he provides for Iodine-135 in a function called I(t) includes another term to include any of the iodine isotope that may have been present before reactor start. If the reactor is starting for the first time, this parameter is equal to zero. His function specifies the parameter I call, for simplicity, "Li" in terms of its constituents, including fission yield, the half-life of the isotope, the bulk neutron capcture cross section for the isotope, and the neutron flux.)
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AZCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 09:07 PM
Response to Reply #20
21. Whew (long post).
Perhaps I wasn't clear - I understand the reasons why petroleum/gas/coal continue to be popular energy sources, but I was wondering specifically about the nonfuel uses of petroleum - how hard would it be to replace it for these uses?

So the amount of radioactive material used in the medical field in no way affects the price or availability of nuclear fuel for reactors, or am I completely misunderstanding the whole thing? I just don't have a very good grasp of whether or not these two areas even use the same sort of material, or how much is used in one application relative to the other. My exposure (hah!) to this is limited to the power generation function of nuclear reactors, and even that didn't stick well.
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NNadir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 09:23 PM
Response to Reply #21
22. Well here's the short answer:
Edited on Mon Aug-21-06 09:29 PM by NNadir
Not very hard at all. Rather than run off at the mouth, as I often do as I like to be pedantic, take my word for it. The non-fuel use is over represented in terms of how dire it is. In the most important non-fuel use - nitrogen fixation - the original (Haber) process was originally, as invented, coal based, not oil based. (In fact, most Haber chemistry now uses natural gas - but that's the same idea.) "Peak oil" types always carry on about fertilizers, but mostly it's nonsense.

Very little nuclear fuel is used for medical purposes. In fact there has been movement away from nuclear fuel based sources (like Cs-137) to accelerator based sources like I-125. These are available without nuclear power at all.

An important exception to this case is the case of Californium-252, which must be prepared in nuclear fission reactors for practical amounts. Recently it has been found that Cf-252, a neutron emitter, is very useful in treating certain cancers. It takes about 1600 atoms of uranium to make 1 atom of californium-252. The californium-252 could, in the future, become an important by-product in the nuclear energy industry.
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AZCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 09:30 PM
Response to Reply #22
23. Many thanks.
It always helps to have a knowledgeable person around to answer these questions. :)
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4dsc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 07:46 AM
Response to Reply #20
24. Comparing sand pebbles to boulders
I just love your analogy(not). So now we are suppose to think in terms of the vast oceans and amount of radioactivity contained within them to land based radioactivity of nuclear waste?? That's like comparing a sand pebble to Mt Everest!! Incredible..

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NNadir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 08:30 AM
Response to Reply #24
25. Numbers are numbers. If you can disprove any of the calculations
Edited on Tue Aug-22-06 08:44 AM by NNadir
do so.

If you just want to tell us what you love and don't love, I'm really not interested. I really don't care either what you may or may not know about Everest and pebbles specifically or geology in particular. I note that the answer to the question that so troubled no less than Lord Rutherford - the question of where the internal heat of the earth comes from = was only recognized after it was appreciated how radioactive the planet is. (Rutherford himself published the solution to the vexing problem: Rutherford, E. & F. Soddy. 1903. Radioactive change. Philos. Mag., Ser. 6, 5: 576-591.) All of the that heat comes from the nuclear decay of radioisotopes in the earth. This planet has always been radioactive, and the quantity of radioactivity has been vast. This radioactivity has been decaying throughout geological time, and is now lower than it has ever been previously. We can accelerate this decay, at least in the earth's crust and oceans, through the use of nuclear power.

At one time, in fact, the earth was so radioactive and contained so much U-235, that natural nuclear reactors went critical:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_nuclear_fission_re...

Happily or unhappily much of the U-235, half-life, 703,800,000 years has decayed since that time and uranium ores can no longer be considered to be LEU and therefore do not naturally go critical.

But let's cut to the chase:

There are two kinds of people, in my view. There are those who can think for themselves, and those who reproduce accounts of what other people say. In the latter case, those who merely reproduce often do so irrespective of the merits of what they are reproducing.

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/dalrymple/summary.html#...

My original calculation about the radioactivity in the ocean is explicit and detailed. If you can prove that the radioactivity associated with potassium-40 in the ocean is not around 550 billion curies, prove it.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph... Post 98.

Similarly, if you can prove that the accumulation of radioactivity in a nuclear reactor does not rise to an asymptotically approached limit, do so. I have given a scientific reference for the same, not a link to some peak oil website.
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jpak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 10:59 AM
Response to Reply #25
27. You are wrong
The annual internal dose from 40K (naturally occurring potassium-40 in human tissues and fluids) is only 0.4 Gy.

The activity of 40K in seawater is only 11 Bq . L-1. The external dose from 40K to anyone swimming in the ocean is less than trivial.

On the other hand, the average dose to people living near Chernobyl at the time of the accident was 430 Gy (the ones that lived through it anyway).

That's ~1000 times greater than the internal dose from naturally occurring 40K.

And anyone can transcribe a book.

Nice Try...
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hunter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 01:26 PM
Response to Reply #27
29. Rather than Chernobyl, what's the dose of someone who surfs San Onofre?
How do the hazards of this radiation compare to something like the ordinary hazards of street drainage?

http://www.surfrider.org/socalwater.aspx

Where do you set your level of "less than trivial?"

Is that "less than trivial" level different depending upon whether or not the toxin is radioactive? Do radioactive toxins have a lower "less than trivial" thresholds then say something like E. coli levels?
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jpak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 02:31 PM
Response to Reply #29
31. Coliform bacteria and rip currents are more of a beach hazard than 40K
11 Bq per liter is extremely low level of activity.

Even if you spent all your time in the ocean, your internal 40K dose would be much higher than your external dose (only ~10% 40K decays are gamma branches, the rest are beta emissions that would not penetrate your skin or travel very far through water).

So yeah, it is trivial.
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NNadir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 08:03 PM
Response to Reply #29
32. San Onofre.
Edited on Tue Aug-22-06 08:42 PM by NNadir
I had great fun with this one last week.

Some people were having an ignorance fest because there was (gasp) tritium under the reactor.

Curiously, in spite of the fact that nuclear power has been growing since 1963, the world's tritium concentration has been falling.

Still in la-la land, they think that surfers are tritium concentrating devices. In that alternate universe, tritium makes a bee line to every glass of water.

I showed that the "dangerous" concentration level of tritium from the reactor would involve drinking the water under the reactor for 51 years in order to raise the risk of cancer by one in a million.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

My post #24 seems to have been the last word, although the thread is still open for the posting of silly comments.

The mere fact that you are discussing surfers would seem to indicate that the subject has been changed from whether the fuel depletion equations are true, or whether there a 500 billion curies of K-40 in the ocean has been

If I didn't know what I was talking about, I would change the subject too.

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Strelnikov_ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 07:50 PM
Response to Reply #16
19. Relatively Little Is Used For Non-Fuel Purposes
Edited on Mon Aug-21-06 07:54 PM by loindelrio
What we do need (that for which a practical substitute could not be found) we can obtain from cooking off oil shale using the 'in-situ' method being tested by Shell, or from the tar sands.

Looking at the following table, between road oil, lubricants, and industrial feedstock, we need about 1 M bbl/dy +/-


http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/aer/pdf/pages/sec5_25.pdf

And:

http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/aer/pdf/pages/sec5_31.pdf
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hunter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 10:53 AM
Response to Reply #19
26. I don't see anything on your list to justify shale oil or tar sand use.
"... road oil, lubricants, and industrial feedstock" use oil, because that's what was inexpensive and easily available when these products were developed. The "practical substitute" is not simply replacing one substances with a functionally equivalent substance, but in changing the overall way things are done.

Take "industrial feedstocks" for example. In many cases the same end results might be obtained from agricultural feedstocks using entirely different chemistries than are used with oil based feedstocks.

Roads can be made with concrete.

If you are thinking about the oil in your car, well maybe your new stirling-electric car won't need anything but a few ounces of synthetic lubricant every 100,000 miles.

The best thing we can do with remaining natural gas, oil, coal, shale oil, and tar sands is to leave them undisturbed in the ground. If we can't do that then our civilization is an ephemeral phenomena.
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Strelnikov_ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 12:17 PM
Response to Reply #26
28. Whatever. PC Concrete Pavement Is Not Practical In All Applications
And I cannot see a substitute for bitumen being developed when we have 100's of years available in the Tar Sands.

Will there be reduced use of bitumen as a thermosetting cement, yes. Primarily due to less road construction, and increased use of concrete where feasible.
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