On this episode, petroleum geologist Arthur Berman returns to discuss recent diesel shortages and go into depth on the importance of diesel and the complexity of getting it and other products from a barrel of crude oil.
During the past few years, it has become fashionable to say that the US has, in fact, become energy independent, even though it is not true. And, doubling down on this concept, there came the idea of “energy dominance,” introduced by the Trump administration in June 2017. It is now used at all levels in the press and in the political debate.
It’s a ritual long familiar to observers of American politics: presidential hopefuls with limited international experience travel to foreign lands and deliver speeches designed to showcase their grasp of foreign affairs.
There has been considerable talk in the US of late about not only future energy exports but even about using an “energy weapon” against Russia. While that might be nice, it’s wishful thinking.
US shale oil has so far replaced 2 mb/d of its crude oil imports which peaked at around 10 mb/d in 2005. If this effort can be doubled the US would still need to import around 6 mb/d.
“Many small creeks make a large stream” is a Swedish saying that describes well the production of shale oil and shale gas. Equivalent English sayings are, “Many a little makes a mickle”, (that originated in Scotland and then President George Washington used in a text of 1793) and “Many drops make a river”. If one looks at a map of the Bakken showing only the top 20% best producing wells one cannot deny that there are many “drops”. The hearing that the Subcommittee on Energy and Power (US House of Representatives) held on 5 February, investigated whether all these many wells can amount to “American Energy Security”.