ANWR - Who is right?
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  1. #1
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    ANWR - Who is right?

    http://www.cnn.com/2005/ALLPOLITICS/...rgy/index.html

    Advocates like the American Petroleum Institute, the oil industry's trade association, say the refuge sits atop enough oil to replace U.S. imports from Saudi Arabia for two decades.

    Environmental groups like the Sierra Club say that figure is wildly overstated, arguing that any oil reserves beneath the refuge's coastal plain would last less than a year -- while opening the refuge to oil exploration would inflict irreparable damage to the vast wilderness area.

    I think that we should increase reasearch on alternative fuel, better plan cities, and invest in public transportation.

    On a related note, I heard on NPR the other day where a study was done that shows the economy is suffering because of transportation problems -- people and goods spending too much time in traffic, lack of mass transit, poor city planning. They talked about how it takes people longer to get home from work, and then when they finally do get home they are less likely to leave which caused consumer spending to be down.

  2. #2

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    Usually, neither one or both

    Quote Originally Posted by lspangle
    http://www.cnn.com/2005/ALLPOLITICS/...rgy/index.html

    Advocates like the American Petroleum Institute, the oil industry's trade association, say the refuge sits atop enough oil to replace U.S. imports from Saudi Arabia for two decades.

    Environmental groups like the Sierra Club say that figure is wildly overstated, arguing that any oil reserves beneath the refuge's coastal plain would last less than a year -- while opening the refuge to oil exploration would inflict irreparable damage to the vast wilderness area.
    Any time you have a polarizing issue, the advocates on either side are usually overstating their case, and the "truth" is somewhere in between.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by lspangle
    Environmental groups like the Sierra Club say that figure is wildly overstated, arguing that any oil reserves beneath the refuge's coastal plain would last less than a year -- while opening the refuge to oil exploration would inflict irreparable damage to the vast wilderness area.
    It doesn't make sense for the Petroleum industry to make the huge investment and do several years of construction to get a year's worth of oil. The Sierra Club can't possibly be correct. I'm not saying the Petroleum people are right, but I think they probably know a little more about finding and getting oil.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by mohair_chair
    It doesn't make sense for the Petroleum industry to make the huge investment and do several years of construction to get a year's worth of oil. The Sierra Club can't possibly be correct. I'm not saying the Petroleum people are right, but I think they probably know a little more about finding and getting oil.
    They could both be right. We [the United States] import about 1.4M barrels per day from Saudi Arabia, so that's 511M barrels per year. We consume about 20M barrels per day, or 7,300M barrels per year. So to replace Saudi Arabia's oil for 20 years would take ~10,000M barrels of oil. Which is ~2,700M barrels more than we consume in a year. So if the Sierra Club were saying 18 months (or the Petroleum folks were saying 15 years), they'd both be right.

  5. #5

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    exactly

    Quote Originally Posted by mohair_chair
    It doesn't make sense for the Petroleum industry to make the huge investment and do several years of construction to get a year's worth of oil. The Sierra Club can't possibly be correct. I'm not saying the Petroleum people are right, but I think they probably know a little more about finding and getting oil.
    There is no way the industry would spend the millions it takes to do wells under normal circumstances, like in California or Texas, much less in such a remote, hostile environment, unless they were expecting something like a 15-25 year payout. The oil does not come out of the ground fast enough to have only an 18 month production.

    With something like 2 million acres in the reserve, I see no reason a few thousand can't be used for drilling. Make the companies post a clean up bond prior to drilling, then let free market decide whether it works financially.

    This is not to say we shouldn't conserve or find alternatives, but I think drilling a few thousand acres is a small price to pay for a bit less foreign dependence.

  6. #6
    Prairie Smoke
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    I don't exactly trust the Petroleum industry...

    Quote Originally Posted by mohair_chair
    It doesn't make sense for the Petroleum industry to make the huge investment and do several years of construction to get a year's worth of oil. The Sierra Club can't possibly be correct. I'm not saying the Petroleum people are right, but I think they probably know a little more about finding and getting oil.
    I wouldn't put it past them to "create the jobs", mess up the refuge, and then say "oh look, there's only enough oil for 5 years". It's not like they will be held accountable. And even if they ARE held accountable they'd still manage to weasle out of it.

    A friend of mine has property that he had restored to a prairie, but one of the Texas oil companies somehow has the right to run put a pipeline through it. They really messed up his land. They were supposed to pay to restore it back how it was (even though the process would take 20-30 years to get it back how it was). They wouldn't give my friend the money to buy the seeds and do it himself, THEY had to do it. They used some cheapo seed that had a bunch of non-native, invasive crap weeds in it, and now he's having to deal with that. Hate to see what would happen to a wildlife refuge.

    Guess I'm not very objective.

  7. #7
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    We should develop any domestic sources that are not so environmentally problematic and of questionable yield, but the problem is that we cannot drill our way out of foreign oil dependence. ANWR is fundamentally immaterial.

    We must conserve and invent ourselves out of foreign oil dependence as far and as soon as possible. That focus should be of at least equal importance to finding new, environmentally sound sources.

    ANWR seems more a political football than a real energy issue. It won't solve anything long-term but will cause long-lasting damage to that ecosystem.

    It's an emotional issue for George Bush.

  8. #8
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    Don't worry they put this guy in charge

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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by lspangle
    http://www.cnn.com/2005/ALLPOLITICS/...rgy/index.html

    Advocates like the American Petroleum Institute, the oil industry's trade association, say the refuge sits atop enough oil to replace U.S. imports from Saudi Arabia for two decades.

    Environmental groups like the Sierra Club say that figure is wildly overstated, arguing that any oil reserves beneath the refuge's coastal plain would last less than a year -- while opening the refuge to oil exploration would inflict irreparable damage to the vast wilderness area.

    I think that we should increase reasearch on alternative fuel, better plan cities, and invest in public transportation.

    On a related note, I heard on NPR the other day where a study was done that shows the economy is suffering because of transportation problems -- people and goods spending too much time in traffic, lack of mass transit, poor city planning. They talked about how it takes people longer to get home from work, and then when they finally do get home they are less likely to leave which caused consumer spending to be down.
    Aside for the issue of how much oil is "one year's worth", there is no concrete way of knowing how much oil is beneath ANWR. Educated guesses can be made from the available geologic data, but they are still estimates.

  10. #10
    Adorable Furry Hombre
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    In the long run--probably not the oil companies

    With no end in sight for the American thirst for more gas-R&D would be better spent at getting the US out of the situation of needing petrol in the 1st place (foreign or no). Fossil fuels are just that-they take a very long time to produce 'naturally'-and in the last 50 or so years very little more has been produced in the environment to be drilled anyway. In any case based on the average age at which most people get their 1st car-I don't see much of a reason to think that drilling in ANWR would do anything but put off the inevitable, for a little while(maybe a year maybe more-the time period doesn't really matter, the outcome is the same).

    The problem with these estimates is that they all have to assume a certain level of oil consumption... i.e. the oil companies will want to take the minimum figs for their estimates and the Sierra folks will use worst case figs...in order to bolster their POV.

    Well, from what I've seen-the only time Energy issues go beyond being a political 'hot-potato' is when gas costs go up-and only then do people start questioning whether or not buying a Hummer is a 'good idea'. In most of the rest of the world gas costs twice as much (per litre)!!

    Also, with regards to the schemes to 'reduce traffic congestion'-there are are several studies (by some of the scientists @ the UCS) that these 'public projects' only worsen the traffic problems they are trying to solve...

    the logic goes is that if people know that X intersection gets clogged-and there are other faster routes that can be used-if they are rational they will take another route (thereby reducing traffic issues by themselves). Whereas by increasing the capacity of these 'bottle-necks' creates the problem that they are supposed to solve by effectively encouraging more people to use the same route (and not take other routes)-and in the long run generating more congestion than eliminating it.

    that ended up being a digression, maybe there was a point ;)

  11. #11
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    why don't we just use

    all those capped wells in Texas, Ok, CA and elsewhere? why dig for more when shop is already set up?
    oh yeah, 'strategic oil reserves'. who needs that silly Alaskan wilderness anyway. Heck oil spills make pretty colors on the water and we can wipe out a super fragile ecosystem while we're at it. proceed.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by atpjunkie
    all those capped wells in Texas, Ok, CA and elsewhere? why dig for more when shop is already set up?
    oh yeah, 'strategic oil reserves'. who needs that silly Alaskan wilderness anyway. Heck oil spills make pretty colors on the water and we can wipe out a super fragile ecosystem while we're at it. proceed.
    Where are these capped wells?

  13. #13
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    Look up 'U.S. Strategic Oil Reserves'

    we have tons of oil 'on reserve' in case of war, etc.. emergency. I dated a girl from Texas whose family owned a bunch of capped wells. It is most safely stored in the earth.

    but if we're still thinking 'oil' we are clearly not looking forward.


    http://www.fe.doe.gov/programs/reserves/

    or


    http://www.businessweek.com/ap/finan...=apn_home_down

    or 'at an all time high'


    http://www.rense.com/general31/alltime.htm


    do you think I make this stuff up?

  14. #14
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    or 700 million barrels stored in one spot

    http://www.energybulletin.net/3544.html


    something like a thousand years worth.
    Last edited by atpjunkie; 03-10-2005 at 07:40 PM. Reason: text dropped

  15. #15
    "El Bwana"
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    I swore I'd never post on this board, but...

    The original USGS report for ANWR was released (IIRC) in 1987 and based on data collected in the early 1980s. The number contained within that report (18 or so months cited by the crowd who don't want drilling) was based on "primitive" modeling and the results from the modeling were not calibrated to actual well drilling.

    In the early 1990s a partnership of oil companies drilled an exploratory well on private property. The information derived from that well coupled with additional modeling greatly increased the supply estimates. Interestingly, the yield estimates were increased, but the geologists associated with the drilling completely shut up. No public reports were provided because the well was drilled on private property. They and the oil companies know what exists in ANWR. Speculation by engineers and geologists smarter than me suggest it is a pretty damn big reserve. Analogously, oil production just accross the border in Canada is chugging along nicely. Production at Prudhoe Bay is still going strong.

    Oil companies are in the business to make money. They will not spend it if they are not planning on getting a financial return.
    "Pardon me, but could you help out a fellow American who's down on his luck?"

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by atpjunkie
    we have tons of oil 'on reserve' in case of war, etc.. emergency. I dated a girl from Texas whose family owned a bunch of capped wells. It is most safely stored in the earth.

    but if we're still thinking 'oil' we are clearly not looking forward.


    http://www.fe.doe.gov/programs/reserves/

    or


    http://www.businessweek.com/ap/finan...=apn_home_down

    or 'at an all time high'


    http://www.rense.com/general31/alltime.htm


    do you think I make this stuff up?
    The Strategic Reserve is oil that was purchased and pumped back into the ground and that oil is under government control. I have worked in the oil field in production and processing all my life and I don't know of any of these "capped" wells. We are currently producing everything that we can and are going back to idle wells that were previously unprofitable to produce. At todays prices many of them have once again become profitable. I didn't read the information in your llinks because I know it is either inaccurate or you have drawn the wrong conclusion from what you have read.

    I don't have any idea what the reserves may be in the Alaska fields but it would be 10 years from the day the project starts until the field would be in production and the normal life of that field would probably be twenty to thirty years. It may be less due to the difficulty and expense to produce it, maybe significantly less but more than the time I hear from those opposed.

  17. #17
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    Welcome Lurker

    well put. but that's not my issue. the WR in ANWR is Wildlife Refuge which to me implies a place where Wildlife can exist unbothered by man. isn't that what a refuge (safe place) is? So wouldn't drilling and exploring and building rodes and pipelines kinda kill the whole Refuge Thing? Wouldn't that be against the entire purpose of the area? So do we change the name and therefore it's function. I'll go a bit rhetorical. You have a 'home' it is your home by the definition of 'the place you live'. Now in, around or under your home is something the Big Industry / Government desires. So they claim imminent domain and take your home. Luckily you are human and you'll at least get some aid in relocation (and a place to go) how would you feel if they said "sorry, you are on your own."
    Once again if we're thinking oil, we're missing the boat, it's a dead end.

    and we can't just keep 'biggering and biggering'

    I guess most of you never read "The Lorax" as kids.

  18. #18
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    I just tried

    Quote Originally Posted by atpjunkie
    ..I guess most of you never read "The Lorax" as kids.
    While this is one of my favorite authors and environmental experts, I just tried to read "The Lorax" online but found it to be a little Verbose. Maybe I'll wait for the movie.
    Joined the other team in the name of the economy

  19. #19
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    Movie is on DVD already

    you can rent it. I can't remember who does the narration. quite good.

    also here's some other great reads by the greatest libbie to ever live: should be about your speed.

    on Tolerance: 'The Sneetches' or "What was I scared of"

    on being inflexible: "The Zax"

    start with those, in a year or 2 we'll have you reading Marx and Engels.

    I hope you aren't a parent. If you don't know these books I feel sorry for Your Children.
    Touche!

  20. #20
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    Unless

    "someone like you cares a whole awful lot
    it won't get better, no it will not."

    that my son is called wisdom, understandable to any age


    -tree hugger from as far back as I can remember.

  21. #21

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    Lmao

    Quote Originally Posted by thatsmybush
    ...What me worry?
    Hey, thatsmybush-

    Nice touch bringing up Hazelwood! The unfunny footnote: He was actually hired after the spill as an instructor at the Merchant Marine Academy...I guess they didn't see the irony...
    "Do I know what rhetorical means?"

  22. #22

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    What puzzles me is our refusal to face the inevitable

    FWIW, I say don't drill, whether it's six months or 60 years' worth of oil. The refuge is worth more to me as a refuge than it is as a source of energy.
    What we need to face, seems to me, is that there's a finite amount of petroleum on the planet. At some point--next year or next century--we'll have to find a way to get along without it. It just makes sense to start easing our way into it gently, while we still have some choice and some time to act, rather than waiting until it's a crisis and we have to spend huge amounts of money without time to do the research. Bush, and most of the rest of the GOP, do all they can to resist that.
    How come they can see a crisis in Social Security, where there isn't one, but not in Medicare or energy, where there is? Could it have anything to do with the Bush family and all their friends being in the awl bidness?

  23. #23
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    No, just two months' worth of imported oil.

    Quote Originally Posted by atpjunkie
    http://www.energybulletin.net/3544.html


    something like a thousand years worth.
    You misread the '1000-year' sentence. It was a reference to the stability of the salt dome.

  24. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by atpjunkie
    http://www.energybulletin.net/3544.html


    something like a thousand years worth.
    As you'll note from my post above, 700M barrels is about a 33 day supply for the United States' consumption.

  25. #25
    "El Bwana"
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    Fair enough

    I was just trying to stay on topic and answer the original question.
    "Pardon me, but could you help out a fellow American who's down on his luck?"

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