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Found 1 result

  1. Bartenders should not attempt to lecture anyone about oil. I've heard Sean Hannity shout it at least a hundred times, that America is energy independent! We have more oil and gas than any other country in the world! We can push Putin into bankruptcy by exporting U.S. oil and gas to our allies in Western Europe! Jeez. Item One. Domestic production of conventional crude has been in slow decline since 2005. Horizontal shale fracturing in North Dakota is not a profitable business at $50 a barrel. We do not have the world's largest oil reserves. Not second, third, fourth -- or even tenth largest. It would be nice to drill offshore California, but that's politically verboten. We import oil from Canada, Arabia, and (oops) Venezuela. America is not the world's largest producer. We're the largest consumer, over 20 million barrels a day, about 1/4 of all worldwide oil production. Item Two. Natural gas is not oil. Same situation. U.S. conventional production is in decline. Horizontal gas fracturing is upside down financially, roughly $100 billion in debt. Most of the sweet spots have been drilled and exhausted, with the exception of the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania. New York and California banned shale drilling. World class conventional gas reserves are in Siberia and offshore Persian Gulf (shared 50/50 by Qatar and Iran). Item Three. France, Germany, and Britain are not allies. They are beggars, no oil or gas in the ground. Britain drilled the North Sea to death, depends on Holland for natural gas, and was forced to import LNG from Qatar in frozen winter, when the Dutch pipeline failed. Norway is exploring their northern Arctic shelf for a reason. Europe is screwed, after exhausting all the low-hanging fruit. European oil leases in Africa have always have been difficult to produce. Corruption, crime, and tribal wars are constant threats. Drilling rigs have been attacked. Item Four. The price of oil is rising because Venezuela and Libya have been destroyed, plus U.S. sanctions against Iranian exports. When the price of oil goes up, demand goes down. We stop driving. No fancy dinners out. We make decisions like that as individual citizens in a free society. Others are less free. Japan and South Korea have no oil or gas, totally dependent on imports. 600 million people in Europe and the Far East are supplied by a fleet of supertankers from Kuwait, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE. Our 4th, 5th, and 7th Fleets usher Middle East supertankers through the threats and guns of adversaries and pirates. The world's grisliest conflicts including both World Wars were fought over oil. Item Five. The one and only U.S. energy resource worth talking about is coal. If our future is firetrap electric cars, then coal-fired power plants are the only hope of affordable electricity generation. Wind and solar are subsidized show pieces that require costly maintenance and replacement of unreliable parts made in China. However, abundant coal power is not a full solution to our energy needs. We have a huge fleet of diesel tractors, harvesters, bulldozers, dump trucks, and big rigs that are NOT going to work with batteries. Commercial passenger aircraft need jet fuel, and our military is the largest consumer of refined products on Earth. Bunker fuel powers oceangoing container trade, tankers, tug boats and barges. Every pump, engine, elevator, and axle needs lubricants. Poor Hannity, a big oaf who can't dance and needs a radio script and staff to function at all. Sean could be right about oil -- we could ship supplies to Europe -- if we suffer severe global warming, no need for winter heat, and a ban on all air travel, mining, beef cattle, road traffic, and industrial production. That's not going to happen. Solar Cycle 24 has been quiescent and the trend is tilting toward global cooling again, just like the 1970s, when Royal Dutch Shell funded East Anglia's Climate Centre to study the dire threat of everybody freezing to death, because global oil and gas reserves were small. They still are. We've already consumed half of the world's proved oil endowment. Cars are more fuel efficient today, particularly hybrids. Governments wasted hundreds of billions of dollars on "renewables" and mass transport, especially in oil-starved Western Europe and Japan. Adequate U.S. electricity in the future can be generated by cheap, abundant coal. It's not rocket science to scrub emissions squeaky clean and make inert construction materials from ash. We'll need it to deal with mountains of nuclear and biohazard waste. Poland has big coal reserves to keep shivering Brits and Krauts warm in winter. The only thing goofier than Sean Hannity posing as an oil analyst is the BBC. Last night, they broadcast a program on "Saving The World" by refilling empty shampoo bottles, plastic water bottles, fizzy drink bottles, etc. Screwballs in England are carrying empty plastic bottles to a guru with 25-liter tubs of generic shampoo and dishwashing liquid. Evangelists are pitching UK retail chains to install nonexistent vending machines that would dispense name brand products to refill empty plastic bottles. Messy aisles in the grocery store. Consumer product companies would have to cooperate to supply uniformly shaped bulk competitive brands for a monster vending machine, to be designed, built, and serviced by somebody (?) as a public service. Shredding and recycling plastic bottles isn't good enough for BBC. Meanwhile, little Greta from Norway told cheering crowds in London that the world will end unless governments shut down oil production. She's leading a global boycott of education. I grieve for the folly of true believers in climate change. It's an article of faith at BBC that we have to abandon internal combustion engines, kill coal and liquid fuels, walk to work or use an electric scooter in winter, in a thunderstorm, or on a blazing hot summer day, no way to carry groceries and jugs of milk home to feed a family of five. Silly me. Plastic bags and jugs will be outlawed, no refrigeration at home or in the store, no air conditioning, no big rigs to stock a dimly-lit WalMart, no dairy or meat, no mechanized agriculture. Childbirth will be dangerous, medical care filthy, and surgery a rigged dice roll without one-time-use plastics. No utility pumps to push water over the mountains in the California Aqueduct. No sewage treatment or garbage trucks. No fire engines, buses, or digital server farms. That's what solar power implies. A couple of LED lamps at night while you charge your electric scooter. Mistakes of this size are not made innocently, as Miss Rand used to say. The only difference between an industrial society and savages squatting in mud huts is a portfolio of high voltage power distribution, heavy equipment, and widely available refined petroleum products. Whether it's Sean Hannity or Greta Thunberg or the IPCC climate change fakirs, none of them know what it takes to successfully explore for, discover, engineer, lift, separate, transport, refine, and deliver a gallon of diesel, gasoline, engine oil, or cubic foot of natural gas. The "Oil Patch" is a vast pyramid with academic centers of excellence like Texas A&M, Colorado School of Mines, and UT, tens of thousands of geophysicists, geologists, reservoir engineers, seismic processors, software developers, oilfield tool designers, rig manufacturers, semi-submersible deepwater platforms with GPS positioning thrusters and service boats, highly skilled "toolpushers" and drillers, welders, helicopter pilots, safety managers, executives, and lawyers to deal with an infinity of permits, state and Federal reports, and SEC filings. And worse, 80% of all proved oil and gas reserves are owned and operated by Third World "national oil companies" -- hissing snakepits of hereditary princes, bureaucrats, and thieves. They hire contractors and oil service companies to do the actual work of production, field development, reservoir management, secondary recovery (water injection) and processing. Major international oil companies like Exxon, Chevron, BP, and Shell compete against each other to exploit 20% of global reserves. Russian oil companies offered joint ventures and raped all four of the aforementioned majors. The same thing happened historically in Iran, Mexico, Venezuela, and Saudi Arabia. US-UK brains discovered oil. It got expropriated. All this financial pain and toil and risk is so you can have a car, a fleet of 18-wheelers, bumper crops in farmers' fields, oceangoing trade, tens of thousands of scheduled passenger flights, and stupid shit on TV, backed by a million soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines equipped to defend you with missiles, carrier battle groups, stealth fighters, bombers, and artillery. To hell with the Green New Deal or whatever else the politicians cook up. Vote for rational self-interest and a prosperous industrial society that the men and women of "Big Oil" make possible. They are your neighbors and benefactors, many of whom work for small companies called "independents," over 18,000 of them operating in 32 U.S. states, drilling 94% of U.S. oil and gas wells, responsible for direct and indirect employment of four million workers. Another six million Americans work for international majors and the oil service companies operating offshore in deep water, in overseas deserts and jungles, U.S. ports and refineries, storage facilities, pipelines, specialist steel tube producers, and dependable distribution of diesel, gasoline, jet fuel, heating oil, natural gas and LPG delivered to every city and village, every factory, farm, shop, and construction site, every school and university from coast to coast. You open the refrigerator door, adjust your thermostat for comfort, eat well, drive to work, board an airplane, check into a hospital when necessary, confident that you, your wife and children will survive and thrive, because American oil companies fuel prosperity and highly mobile emergency first responders. Forget about Europe, Sean, unless you plan to move there, which you won't. .