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Prices and supplies - Aug 13

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Many more articles are available through the Energy Bulletin homepage

Yet Another Forecast for Saudi Oil Production

JoulesBurn, The Oil Drum
Predicting the future of Saudi Arabian oil production is a rather daunting endeavor, given the limited amount of information available upon which to base a prediction.

Presented here is an appraisal for Saudi production through 2015 based on an informed analysis of past production data and a simple extrapolation into the future.

It is found that the oil production trend from the early 1990s through the present is driven more by the addition of new producing areas than by "peak and decline" in the Hubbertian sense.

This trend will likely continue for the next few years leading to a new "peak", although more rapid decline in mature areas of Ghawar will eventually overwhelm both mitigation efforts therein and added production elsewhere.
(12 August 2008)

Does Another Run Higher for Crude Await?

Geoffrey Rogow, MarketBeat, Wall Street Journal
One month, a market does not make for oil.

For more than a year, the push of demand for energy globally has led crude oil prices on an upward climb. Overall, crude has jumped from about $50 a barrel in early January 2007, all the way to above $145 a barrel in the middle of last month. But since its mid-July peak, oil has fallen all the way back to around $115 a barrel, including an 8% decline last week as the dollar rapidly strengthened.

Still, technicians say the move of oil downward over the last couple weeks is only a “short-term pullback” and expect oil to fall just slightly more before once again rallying sharply.
(12 August 2008)

Rush to Arctic as warming opens oil deposits

Zachary Coile, San Francisco Chronicle
It's a scramble for the spoils of global warming as the rapid melting of Arctic sea ice is opening access to previously unreachable deposits of oil and gas, setting off a race by northern nations - including the United States, Canada and Russia - to claim them.

The pursuit of those resources will be underscored this week as the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Healy sails north from Barrow, Alaska, on Thursday to map the sea floor of the Chukchi Cap, an area at the northern edge of the Beaufort Sea. The maps could bolster U.S. claims to the area as part of its extended outer continental shelf.

The U.S. Geological Survey confirmed last month what the oil industry had long suspected when the agency released an estimate that the area north of the Arctic Circle may hold as much as 90 billion barrels of oil and 1,669 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, or roughly 13 percent of the world's total undiscovered oil and 30 percent of the undiscovered natural gas.

The dash to stake out territory across the Arctic has accelerated since Russia sent one of its submarines last August to plant the country's flag on the sea floor beneath the North Pole, provoking an outcry by other nations that viewed it as an unauthorized land grab.
(12 August 2008)

Oil's Big Dirty Secret as Producers Rake in Hundreds of Billions

Raymond J. Learsy, Huffington Post
... The Peak Oil Pranksters are ever ready to carry the message for the oil patch both here and everywhere working near overtime to heighten our anxieties about oil supply, programming us to pay ever more to the oil barons and sheiks.

But wait, suppose, just suppose they are wrong and willfully misleading us. That oil's origins are not, to repeat, not biological, according to the gospel we have been taught to believe. That in effect oil originates from deep carbon deposits dating to the very beginnings of the Earth's formation in quantities vastly greater than commonly thought.

... Is the theory of abiotic oil viable? I am not a geologist so I cannot begin to answer authoritatively. It is certainly worth exploring with far greater seriousness than has been the case to date. But I have come to learn the oil industry and its minions. One can rest assured that if abiotic oil is a true challenge to current theory and most especially in the dimension it is purported to be, the oil patch will do all in its power to divert our attention elsewhere. Were we to learn that the supply of oil is limitless, the emperor's clothes would evaporate and the price of oil would collapse.
(12 August 2008)
Sigh, abiotic oil again. See Heinberg's rebuttal: The “Abiotic Oil” Controversy.

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