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Dr. Hess
Dr. Hess SuperDork
6/18/08 9:37 p.m.

Well, the Iranian President, Ahm-a-nut-job, in a news report I saw today, said that there is plenty of oil production/supply and demand is dropping. He went on to say that the current extremely high price was being orchestrated in order to promote US development of our own oil fields instead of using the PG's oil, and the devalued dollar was also in part to blame. In so many words. I'll leave the exact quotes as a google exercise to the reader. I don't think he's lying. He then goes on to say that oil sold in US dollars is bad, blah, blah, need new currency for oil, etc. My take from it was that the high oil price was going to berkeley the PG oil producers in the long run.

Next, it seems that the US hasn't built a nuke plant in 30 years and hasn't seriously drilled for oil in 30 years either. Combine that with 30 years of normal population growth piled on with a run-away imigration policy of "I don't see no illegal aliens" boosting demand, Uncle Bill dropping the CAFE requirements, a demand for SUV's from soccer moms, "environmentalists" that think baby fish are more imporant than baby people, and a new religion of Global Warming promoted by people getting filthy rich from it, and we have a perfect storm of no energy available while demand goes through the roof.

So, we put all this together and someone really big is playing games with us so that we'll take whatever comes next in energy and be happy about it. There is finally a push to develop our own oil resources, blocked by Democratics. There seems to be a Democratic push to nationalize parts of the oil industry, without actually doing anything productive about it. Maybe they'll do that at the same time as healthcare gets "fixed," In the "we're gonna get the cat fixed" sense.

It's all very interesting. I suspect that we are finally about to rid the world of the Arabs and their oil. If the US develops its own oil, we will have no need for the Persian Gulf. It can go to hell. Oh, wait, it's there already. I suspect that the current oil prices are a last effort to give them some money so they can buy some infrastructure and maybe build a sustainable economy instead of just flying to whore houses around the world. Meanwhile, the high price means we can develop our own resources, like so-called synthetic fuels which cost about $40/bbl to produce, bio-fuels which mean the rest of the world can go hungry, nuclear energy, etc. About everything except cold fusion or solar, because that would reduce the money we send someone.

I just thought it was rather funny that Ahm-a-nut-job was saying stuff that I've been saying.

ignorant
ignorant SuperDork
6/18/08 9:48 p.m.

Dr. Hess. Is that you?

neon4891
neon4891 HalfDork
6/18/08 9:54 p.m.

Well, without going into the politics of it all, we are all pretty breklied for now.

Time to start talking to a friend of the family who does all sorts of hydrogen set-ups(water to hydrogen converters, Gas apliance conversion, and full blown Internal combustion Hydrogen set ups, not just these rinky dink "brown gas" kits that run off of your cars electric system). Yes I know that E36 M3 can be dangerous, but it's safer than putting a bullet thrue your brain when you are at the gas pump.

Salanis
Salanis HalfDork
6/19/08 1:27 a.m.
Dr. Hess wrote: Next, it seems that the US hasn't built a nuke plant in 30 years and hasn't seriously drilled for oil in 30 years either. Combine that with 30 years of normal population growth piled on with a run-away imigration policy of "I don't see no illegal aliens" boosting demand, Uncle Bill dropping the CAFE requirements, a demand for SUV's from soccer moms, "environmentalists" that think baby fish are more imporant than baby people, and a new religion of Global Warming promoted by people getting filthy rich from it, and we have a perfect storm of no energy available while demand goes through the roof.

Okay, I'm going to totally just pick at the least important point in your argument. Actually have had the chance to learn about the issues killing off the baby fish in CA's San Joaquin River. The things causing all the fish to die out aren't doing anything to help the baby people either. And a lot of the issues that have led to the decline of these fish aren't helping some of our other significant issues, like flood control.

geomiata
geomiata New Reader
6/19/08 3:04 a.m.

i have to agree with you Dr. Hess, this is an enormous opportunity for the American people to get to work developing the cheaper greener fuel sources, that algae crap, and the plant gas.

The thing that pisses me off the most in this whole thing is that us Canadians are the single biggest supplier of your oil, and yet we pay more for it than you do. WTF??

The last estimate i saw, we were providing Americans with 15% of the oil they consume, and our gas is at ~$6.00 . Consider that Canada has about one tenth the population of america, meaning that we give americans one and a half times as much oil as we need. and yet we pay more than you do. bullE36 M3.

thank god bush is on the way out, because i am sure by now he has figured out it would have been much eaisier to attack us for our oil instead of iraq. although alberta would still be very tough.

foxtrapper
foxtrapper SuperDork
6/19/08 5:30 a.m.

The US has never drilled for oil. US companies have drilled for oil. There is a major difference there, and it's not just semantics.

The democrats have not blocked oil exploration, they've been blocking the slavering of a single restricted area. The oil companies have drilling rights around the refuge, but refuse to use them. They simply want what they've been told they can't have, ignoring the oil around the area they can already get.

No oil from Alaska is used in the US for energy production. That's important to note, and usually overlooked by the dittohead types. The oil is sold on the world market and shipped overseas. Opening up the alaskan refuge would not help the US in the slightest.

There is no shortage of energy, merely a steadily increasing is cost. Most of which is a function of the commodities market. As long as people believe oil will cost more in the future, that will continue to drive up the price speculators are willing to pay for it. Who are major speculators? Retirement fund investors. Your 401K is one of the major drivers of high oil prices.

GregTivo
GregTivo New Reader
6/19/08 6:01 a.m.
foxtrapper wrote: The US has never drilled for oil. US companies have drilled for oil. There is a major difference there, and it's not just semantics.

neither has the government of any other country. sure they have politically controlled NOC's, but its not the government doing the drilling, its the drilling engineers and geologists of the NOC.

The democrats have not blocked oil exploration, they've been blocking the slavering of a single restricted area. The oil companies have drilling rights around the refuge, but refuse to use them. They simply want what they've been told they can't have, ignoring the oil around the area they can already get.

I find that hard to believe. More likely, the geology around the refuge is not conducive to oil and gas whereas the geology within the refuge is.

No oil from Alaska is used in the US for energy production. That's important to note, and usually overlooked by the dittohead types. The oil is sold on the world market and shipped overseas. Opening up the alaskan refuge would not help the US in the slightest.

that's rediculous. oil is a commodity that is used where it is refined and alaska oil is refined on the gulf coast. Of course it will be used in the US. Just because it will be priced similar to oil on the rest of the world market (minus transportation costs) doesn't mean that we'll send it away. The US is a net importing country, so we're unlikely to send any refined products away from us.

There is no shortage of energy, merely a steadily increasing is cost. Most of which is a function of the commodities market. As long as people believe oil will cost more in the future, that will continue to drive up the price speculators are willing to pay for it. Who are major speculators? Retirement fund investors. Your 401K is one of the major drivers of high oil prices.

yes, which is why getting mad at speculators doesn't work. they're concerned with oil supplies as much as the rest of us and are hedging that concern by buying contracts. That prices out the future risk of oil decline bette and smooth over the bumps of production shortfall in any particular quarter because it creates advanced demand destruction. We're approaching a post oil economy and so we better prepare ourselves in any case.

alfadriver
alfadriver GRM+ Memberand New Reader
6/19/08 6:47 a.m.

I'm actually very torn by all of this.

My brother, who lives in Alaska, knows a lot of the oil people up there, and apparently they are very much low-balling what is still available in Alaska.

Why? Control.

When the time comes and world demand is high, the theory is that "we" want to be part of the group that still has a lot of this very valuable resource available.

So while we send out our money to areas that we don't deem acceptable, in the end, the US comes out ahead since we have more resource in later years.

At least that's the theory.

There are plusses and minuses to it, but it could mean that we are far more secure than most Amercians think.

While I'm very much for new Nuke plants, I'm not so sure we really want to stop using everyone elses oil before ours.

Eric

John Brown
John Brown GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
6/19/08 8:40 a.m.

I still think Geothermal and Nuclear is the key.

Small "Personal" geothermal stations that can power a block can be developed to work in most communities. Larger nuclear stations can run cities and infrastructure. Clean coal stations are not nearly as romantic and still pollutes like a beyotch but at least it is something we can convert to (versus "dirty coal") quickly without dramatically increasing food costs like corn based fuels are doing.

Dr. Hess
Dr. Hess SuperDork
6/19/08 8:56 a.m.

FT, the Alaskan Pipeline oil did mostly flow to the US. When I was hauling it on VLCCs, we carried it down to PTP (Petro Terminal de Panama), where it was pumped across Panama to the East coast. (OT: That was a great run. One month round trip, stop off in Long Beach for bunkers, top pay, top vacation....) Other times when I was on smaller ships in the 300K bbl size, we ran from the Panamanian east coast terminal up to the US Gulf Coast and East Coast with that same oil. There was some Congressional mandate that it go to the US and go on US bottoms, but I think by the late 80's they started to ignore the law and start to sell some of it to Japan. What they are doing with it today, I don't know.

Democratics have been blocking: Offshore oil, ANWR, the Green River Valley (Uncle Bill's last minute decree), coal, nuclear plants. Those are just the ones I can think of right now. When was the last time we built a hydro electric plant? Did the Snail Darter kill off that last one or did they build it? Republicans hoot and hollar, but don't do anything different either.

Believe me, I have a tremendous dislike for oil companies, especially Exxon, which was instrumental in destroying my job sailing. However, putting up bogus rules about where they can't drill doesn't help our oil supply. In fact, I think that the oil companies like those rules and likely authored them in order to purchase the oil from the PG and elsewhere because I think they were making more money acting as middle men than as a supplier. It is certainly easier to just sit in the office and be a middleman than to go out and drill for oil.

This whole "use their oil first" thing sounds good, but I think is vastly flawed. Oil as an energy source has a limited lifespan, and not because we'll run out, but because there are cheaper, cleaner and easier sources in the long term. By the time we use up the easy oil of our current suppliers, the next energy source will be available and we'll have no use for the oil we say we are hording. Meanwhile, we are transferring our wealth to a lot of places that shouldn't have it. Not Canada, of course, which is sort of "North U.S.," (except for Quebec) but the Pavement Challenged parts of the world.

Believe me, my 401K isn't driving anything. Unfortunately. I'm also not a believer in the "evil speculator" theory. While it can have some effect, at the end, when the contracts have to be delivered or destructed, it's the spot market that drives the price.

Hey geomiata, is that six bucks a gallon by the U.S. Gallon or Imperial Gallon? Any difference in actual price would largely be attributed to your tax system. Like beer: Taxed to death on both sides of the border, but even high in the Great White North.

Rangeball
Rangeball New Reader
6/19/08 9:47 a.m.

Interesting thread. I am leaning towards what Dr. Hess is saying. There has to be a better way then what is setup now. Unfortunately there are too many political moves on both parties that will not allow anything to move forward until after November.

The thing that gets me (if its true) is that Bush Jr. has the right to revoke the executive order put in place by Bush Sr. to drill for oil. But he won't and instead puts the blame on congress for not lifting the ban on exploration. Both sides, president and congress, could do more but won't until after November when a party can take full credit. /rant

John Brown
John Brown GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
6/19/08 9:57 a.m.

And saying it (the wealth) is going to the PC world is shading the truth.

It is going to a wealthy few people IN the PC world who only share the wealth with their sons which waste it by sending their kids to College in the US and buying them Touaregs to run around campus with. (personal experiences not withstanding ;) )

Dr. Hess
Dr. Hess SuperDork
6/19/08 10:13 a.m.

Yes, it goes to a very small number of people in the PC world. Those people then dole out a small portion of it to their masses to keep them happy. This has resulted in a great population explosion among the masses. Kinda like rats: You feed them and the numbers increase to the amount of food available. When I was in the PG, the people in Bahrain used to biatch that just across the causeway the Saudi citizens got paid to do nothing but be Saudies and the people in Bahrain had to actually have jobs. It was terrible. That economic model (Saudi) can't go on forever and is colapsing under its own weight. Al Queda hasn't been helping either.

When I was at TAMU, there was a Pavement Challenged grad student. Parking on the campus was terrible. A parking permit wasn't a right to park, it was a right to hunt for a parking spot. The head of campus police came out and said that. So, with 45K students and 20K parking spots, or whatever, it was a game of musical parking spaces. This PC student drove a brand new European car, Merc or BMW, I forget, and he would park anywhere he damn well pleased. No parking, faculty parking, reserved parking, whatever. He would get a parking ticket every day. He'd just pay them and considered it the cost of parking.

PHeller
PHeller New Reader
6/19/08 10:37 a.m.

Pavement Challenged?

A Saudi? Arab? I'm confused.

neon4891
neon4891 HalfDork
6/19/08 10:45 a.m.
Dr. Hess wrote: Hey geomiata, is that six bucks a gallon by the U.S. Gallon or Imperial Gallon? Any difference in actual price would largely be attributed to your tax system. Like beer: Taxed to death on both sides of the border, but even high in the Great White North.

My sister spends alot of time up in canada, i dont mean to get into conversions and exchange rates but in the end it costs her about 50% more, no mater how you cut it

aircooled
aircooled Dork
6/19/08 11:13 a.m.
John Brown wrote: And saying it (the wealth) is going to the PC world is shading the truth. It is going to a wealthy few people IN the PC world who only share the wealth with their sons which waste it by sending their kids to College in the US and buying them Touaregs to run around campus with. (personal experiences not withstanding ;) )

This is a good point, and is creating a few VERY VERY VERY wealthy people. It may be somewhat of a good thing since it is not being used to strengthen the countries, which could make them very powerful (and very pissed off when the money train stops).

GregTivo
GregTivo New Reader
6/19/08 1:03 p.m.
neon4891 wrote: My sister spends alot of time up in canada, i dont mean to get into conversions and exchange rates but in the end it costs her about 50% more, no mater how you cut it

taxes

Strizzo
Strizzo HalfDork
6/19/08 2:15 p.m.
foxtrapper wrote: The democrats have not blocked oil exploration, they've been blocking the slavering of a single restricted area. The oil companies have drilling rights around the refuge, but refuse to use them. They simply want what they've been told they can't have, ignoring the oil around the area they can already get.

The oil companies have to be able to get the hole dug, oil out of the ground, and to refineries for a cost that doesn't exceed what they can make by selling the oil. the amount of available reserves aren't economical given the cost of bringing that oil to market. if they were to open up ANWR, there would be more oil available that could offset the cost of building the infrastructure(read: pipelines and roads) to get the oil to market.

to give you an example, Exxon worked out an "agreement" with an indian nation in CA to bring a pipeline onshore after they built a giant steel cap over oil seeps off the coast. once the cap was built, the reservation decided that exxon needed to build them a new school, then a new library, then something else. exxon got fed up with it and said 'screw it', capped the thing and no further development was done because they had the oil, but couldn't bring it to market economically

confuZion3
confuZion3 HalfDork
6/19/08 3:26 p.m.

Why do people think that hydrogen is so dangerous? Because it's combustible? Have you ever doused yourself in gasoline and lit a match? Yeah, hurts like hell, doesn't it? That's because YOU'RE ON FIRE!

Let a puddle of the stuff sit beneath your car and catch on fire. You'll burn. If your hydrogen fuel tank catches on fire, the fire will vent upward and away (maybe) from you and your car. You'll probably still burn.

aircooled
aircooled Dork
6/19/08 3:34 p.m.
confuZion3 wrote: Why do people think that hydrogen is so dangerous? Because it's combustible? Have you ever doused yourself in gasoline and lit a match? Yeah, hurts like hell, doesn't it? That's because YOU'RE ON FIRE!

Although true, you also don't compress gasoline into a tank at 3000 psi!!!

It would make many movies a lot more accurate though. I imagine a high caliber bullet could puncture one of those tanks, all you would need is a spark, then its rocket sled time! I personally would prefer batteries (not lead acid) to compressed hydrogen.

Tim Baxter
Tim Baxter Online Editor
6/19/08 3:48 p.m.
confuZion3 wrote: Why do people think that hydrogen is so dangerous?

Hindenburg. That's all they know about hydrogen.

16vCorey
16vCorey Dork
6/19/08 4:08 p.m.
aircooled wrote:
confuZion3 wrote: Why do people think that hydrogen is so dangerous? Because it's combustible? Have you ever doused yourself in gasoline and lit a match? Yeah, hurts like hell, doesn't it? That's because YOU'RE ON FIRE!
Although true, you also don't compress gasoline into a tank at 3000 psi!!! It would make many movies a lot more accurate though. I imagine a high caliber bullet could puncture one of those tanks, all you would need is a spark, then its rocket sled time! I personally would prefer batteries (not lead acid) to compressed hydrogen.

I wouldn't worry about that too much. I work in the auto salvage industry, and have easily seen 10,000 cars(almost all of them wrecked) pass through the doors.I can't really think of any of them that the fuel tank was compromised in the accident. I'm sure it's happened, but I'd say it's probably a .01% chance of it happening. Now if you participate in high speed chases/shootouts, I could see avoiding the compressed hydrogen.

Rangeball
Rangeball New Reader
6/19/08 4:13 p.m.

We need to have nuclear fussion. Then we can all drive electric cars with instant torque!!

John Brown
John Brown GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
6/19/08 4:25 p.m.
16vCorey wrote: I'd say it's probably a .01% chance of it happening. Now if you participate in high speed chases/shootouts, I could see avoiding the compressed hydrogen.

Let's face it every punctured fuel tank I have seen in the salvage yard was put there by a yard hand with a brass punch.

Purplehaze
Purplehaze New Reader
6/19/08 4:30 p.m.

Leaked gasoline, while combustible, has to at least evaporate some before it can really blow. A drippy gas tank or line is dangerous, true, but chances are the pilot light in your water heater 20 feet from the puddle is not going to set anything off.

And a gasoline leak is VISIBLE. I imagine that a hydrogen leak would be audible though.

A pinhole leak in your gas tank might puddle a gallon overnight. A 3000 psi pinhole leak in your hydrogen tank would fill the entire atmosphere of your garage with combustible gas overnight. Then all it needs is a tiny high voltage spark, like say, the one that could happen between the contacts of the garage light switch when you flip it in the morning.

In short, gasoline is explosive, but it needs some convincing to really unleash all its energy at once. Hydrogen needs convincing NOT TO.

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