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  • Not All the 'Easy' Oil is Gone Mr. President

    At the press conference accompanying the political hara-kiri by his director of the Minerals and Management Service, President Obama changed topics and said, “Now let me make one broader point, though, about energy. The fact that oil companies now have to go a mile underwater and then drill another three miles below that in order to hit oil tells us something about the direction of the oil industry. Extraction is more expensive, and it is going to be inherently more risky. … The easily accessible oil has already been sucked up out of the ground.”

    Not all of it. He also could have noted that billions of barrels of “easily accessible” oil have been turned into “impossible to access” oil by federal regulations and moratoria that block any access. There is still a lot of non-deep sea oil available off the coast of California that can be accessed from onshore. And, don’t forget, there are the 10 billion barrels in ANWR. All of this oil has been placed completely off limits by federal regulations.

    As for the rest, of course we pumped the easy-to-extract oil first. It would be silly if the oil companies drilled in deep water first, then drilled in shallow water, and then drilled on shore. The president could have said “the easily accessible oil” comment ten minutes after the first barrel of oil came to the surface in Titusville, Pennsylvania 160 years ago. The comment wouldn’t have been much more insightful then than it is now.

    There has been a constant drum beat for decades claiming that we are about to run out of petroleum (and coal before that) based on the logic that you get the low-hanging fruit first. Farmers don’t quit the harvest after getting the first and lowest apple, and fortunately oil companies decided that it might be worthwhile going deeper than the 70-foot depth of “Colonel” Drake’s first well.

    The technology for getting the harder-to-reach oil deposits has been improving as fast or faster than our extraction of the easy-to-get stuff-the net, long-run impact is that fueling our cars takes a smaller fraction of our income now than 50 years ago.

    This may not last. If it doesn’t, real oil prices will have a long-term rise, all the other sources will become more attractive and entrepreneurs/inventors will get rich coming up with superior (cost-effective) alternatives … pretty much the result the president claims his energy policies will do.

    The problem is his set of subsidies, regulations, and energy taxes would forsake affordable fuels while they are still abundant and have bureaucrats and lobbyists pick replacements that may never become practical.

    Of course one of the President’s proposed solutions is wind power. So maybe we should look at what that industry is doing.

    The wind-power companies are building taller and taller windmills and putting them further out in the sea. What does this tell us about wind-that we are running out of it?

    Maybe we are at the start of the market switch away from petroleum, maybe we are in the middle of it, or maybe it hasn’t really started in earnest. In any event, subsidizing $400/kWh solar power (the venue for another of the presidents recent photo ops) to replace $78/kWh coal power doesn’t do anything to change the economics of petroleum.

    Windmills and solar cells make electricity. Less than two percent of our petroleum consumptions goes toward producing electricity. So, if you are worried about oil spills, solar and wind don’t help. If you are worried about getting oil from OPEC (note, however, that Canada is our number one foreign supplier) solar and wind don’t help. In fact, forcing consumers to use the much more expensive wind and solar generated electricity will only slow any changeover to electric vehicles.

    Without a doubt, we need to figure out what happened at the BP well site. We need to evaluate all the costs of the spill and make sure we aren’t moving ahead of the technology as we drill deeper. But the deep wells aren’t a sign if imminent exhaustion of petroleum and they are even less an argument for the higher electricity prices we will see if we force a switch to unreliable solar and wind power.

    Posted in Energy [slideshow_deploy]

    40 Responses to Not All the 'Easy' Oil is Gone Mr. President

    1. John Schuh, Lake Dal says:

      Mr. Keutzer, of course, is exactly right. That does not man that Mr. Obama, our most ideologically driven President since Wilson will not continue down his chosen path. They were already talking about "peak oil" at a time when Henry Ford was putting ordinary Americans in cars and the Lincoln Highway was being built. Then we get something like the East Texas field, which like Spendletop before it drives down the price of oil to pennies a gallon, and we have a new game. "It cannot last," they say. Well, no truer words were ever spoken. Nothing last forever. But….

    2. Jeanne Stotler, wood says:

      It's the gov't. and EPA who are blocking drilling in America and on land. We could be free of Arabian oil if someone had enough backbone to challenge this. Since the USa owns 1/3rd of this country, I am sure there are lands we can get oil from without interrupting ecology.

    3. Ace Sez Bishop,Calif says:

      We're seeing the worst administration the USA has ever suffered from.

      An idiot in charge and depending on ppl he has hired–not for their technological expertise but for their ability to raise campaign funds. We need a 'recall election' now!

      A ballot with these four names on it for recall Osambo, Biden Pelosi Reid–we'll get the rest of them in Nov. 2010

    4. Carl Ring says:

      What about all the oil in the western States they keep talking about and no one is drilling because of regulations. Tell Obama to lift these and the oil company's will start drilling on land. No spills on land.

    5. Lloyd Scallan - New says:

      Enough oil and natural gas lies under millions of acres if Western lands and Alaska to make us oil independent for a hundred years. But Obama is contining to keep that land "off limites" to oil exploration, which forces oil companies to drill futher and futher off-shore, at deeper and deepers depths, which make risk higher and cost of oil more expensive. "Easy oil in gone" is just more of Obama's

      lies to force us into another "crisis", this time with energy.

    6. Tim Az says:

      Mao-Bama is engaging in another of his pastimes known as misdirection when he says that all the easy oil has already been had. Mao-Bama firmly believes that the American citizenry is brimming with enough stupidity to believe that govt. is not responsible for oil drilling in deep water. At the same time the govt. refuses to allow drilling of the massive deposits of easily accessible oil. Not to mention all the wells that have been capped or abandoned because of socialist organizations that litigate oil companies out of business to advance their green socialist agenda. Mao-Bama probably believes that he can spin straw into gold also.

    7. Bill, Kansas City says:

      He is playing to the Left and trying to scare everyone else into supporting his crap and tax plan.

    8. Lynn Bryant DeSpain says:

      Oil is not vastly more expensive to drill, nor requires deeper wells. We just need to drill our own land, right here on our own property in American soil! If there were a leak, the problems of fixing it are greatly diminished because of the workable enviroment.

      Check out the Tea Pot Dome Reserve. In fact, check all the reserves under what past presidents and Congress has declared National parks and game reserves.

      Then keep in mind that once the well s are in, there is nothing there to bother any wildlife or plants.

      Then America needs to get down to the job of building more refineries, because we have less than half now then we did in 1965 and triple the population and demand. Refineries break down and blow up when run at maximun capacity, just as any other equipment on this earth!

      Lastly, let Nature do her thing and mankind do its. All the reduction of polution and CO2 over the past forty years was wiped out by Iceland's volcano the first week of its eruption, and that was over one month ago.

      We are America, we are the leaders of the World, and we are not One World, or all will end up as the worst of the worst of this planet. The World needs our leadership in self reliance for an ideal to follow, for something to believe in.

    9. Lynn Bryant DeSpain says:

      The one true fact that we know about this President is he has more forks in his tongue than two! We have more oil reserve in our American soil, shallow reserve, than most of the rest of the World combined.

      It was laying on the top of the ground in Pennsyvania when the settlers moved there and large parts of the west.

      The problem is that our own Government has made most of this oil rich land untouchable as game reserve, Federal Parks, BLM, Military bases, no longer in use, and Naval reserves of oil, such as the Tea Pot Dome area.

      As a matter of fact, America has more game reserve than all of Africa, yet in proportion we are only the size of the Sahara Dessert.

    10. Douglas Strandness, says:

      I received the following as an email from a friend. Is the info in it true? If it is, how will this impact our dependence on foreign oil?

      Ask why we’re not drilling for oil, in the Gulf, Pacific, and the Bakken?

      Also ask how many jobs that would create?

      And it would not require any stimulus $’s.

      Here's an interesting read, important and verifiable information :

      About 6 months ago, the writer was watching a news program on oil and

      one of the Forbes Bros. was the guest. The host said to Forbes, "I am going to

      ask you a direct question and I would like a direct answer; how much oil

      does the U.S. have in the ground?" Forbes did not miss a beat, he said, "more

      than all the Middle East put together." Please read below.

      The U. S. Geological Service issued a report in April 2008 that only

      scientists and oil men knew was coming, but man was it big. It was a

      revised report (hadn't been updated since 1995) on how much oil was in

      this area of the western 2/3 of North Dakota, western South Dakota, and extreme eastern Montana ……. check THIS out:


      The Bakken is the largest domestic oil discovery since Alaska's Prudhoe

      Bay, and has the potential to eliminate all American dependence on foreign

      oil. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates it at 503 billion

      barrels. Even if just 10% of the oil is recoverable… at $107 a barrel,

      we're looking at a resource base worth more than $5..3 trillion.

      "When I first briefed legislators on this, you could practically see

      their jaws hit the floor. They had no idea.." says Terry Johnson, the Montana

      Legislature's financial analyst.

      "This sizable find is now the highest-producing onshore oil field found

      in the past 56 years," reports The Pittsburgh Post Gazette. It's a

      formation known as the Williston Basin, but is more commonly referred to as the

      'Bakken.' It stretches from Northern Montana, through North Dakota and

      into Canada.. For years, U. S. oil exploration has been considered a dead

      end. Even the 'Big Oil' companies gave up searching for major oil wells

      decades ago. However, a recent technological breakthrough has opened up

      the Bakken's massive reserves…. and we now have access of up to 500

      billion barrels. And because this is light, sweet oil, those billions of barrels

      will cost Americans just $16 PER BARREL!

      That's enough crude to fully fuel the American economy for 2041 years

      straight. And if THAT didn't throw you on the floor, then this next one

      should – because it's from 2006!

      U. S. Oil Discovery- Largest Reserve in the World

      Stansberry Report Online – 4/20/2006

      Hidden 1,000 feet beneath the surface of the Rocky Mountains lies the

      largest untapped oil reserve in the world. It is more than 2 TRILLION

      barrels. On August 8, 2005 President Bush mandated its extraction. In

      three and a half years of high oil prices none has been extracted. With this

      motherload of oil why are we still fighting over off-shore drilling?

      They reported this stunning news: We have more oil inside our borders,

      than all the other proven reserves on earth. Here are the official estimates:

      - 8-times as much oil as Saudi Arabia

      - 18-times as much oil as Iraq

      - 21-times as much oil as Kuwait

      - 22-times as much oil as Iran

      - 500-times as much oil as Yemen

      - and it's all right here in the Western United States .

      HOW can this BE? HOW can we NOT BE extracting this? Because the

      environmentalists and others have blocked all efforts to help America

      become independent of foreign oil! Again, we are letting a small group of

      people dictate our lives and our economy…..WHY?

      James Bartis, lead researcher with the study says we've got more oil in

      this very compact area than the entire Middle East -more than 2 TRILLION

      barrels untapped. That's more than all the proven oil reserves of crude oil in

      the world today, reports The Denver Post.

      Don't think 'OPEC' will drop its price – even with this find? Think


      It's all about the competitive marketplace, – it has to. Think OPEC just

      might be funding the environmentalists?

      Got your attention yet? Now, while you're thinking about it, do this:

      Pass this along. If you don't take a little time to do this, then you

      should stifle yourself the next time you complain about gas prices – by

      doing NOTHING, you forfeit your right to complain.


      Now I just wonder what would happen in this country if every one of you

      sent this to every one in your address book.

      By the way…this is all true. Check it out at the link below!!!

      GOOGLE it, or follow this link. It will blow your mind.


      &lt ;http://www.usgs.gov/newsroom/article.asp?ID=1911 >

    11. Patrick Manley, Colu says:

      Good concise assessment. I agree with the author's reasoning.

      If I may make one critical comment, I noticed the recent trend to refer to both wind and solar as unreliable. Because the sun doesn't always shine and the wind is variable, the annual output of these sources is predictable to a reasonable degree when annualized for a particular geographic location.

      The same can be said of coal, oil and natural gas. These fuels are not consistent, but instead, we talk in terms of average BTU outputs.

      With solar and wind, as long as a storage medium is available, or it feeds back into the grid, the fluctuations in output are meaningless, although the cost when compared to oil and coal is not.


    12. Gregory Johnson Rifl says:

      Tesla motors is already coming out with electric vehicles and you could use electric or solar for the motorcycles. Boats could also run on electric and Jet skiis could probably run on Solar. Trucks would have to be converted to Natural Gas. I am not sure what our Military vehicles could convert to but I am sure you could ask them about that. Most products are higher priced when they first come onto the market and then the price goes down. I realize that this has not been the case with our Utilities, however.

    13. Billie says:

      he's one excuse after another. It's more costly because of government. lift the rules and regulations that were brought on by the fictitious man-made global warming and all the other nonsense mandates. This man is nothing but unproductive and dangerous. And speak for yourself, Mr. President. "We" don't see what you do.

    14. Billie says:

      It's more dangerous because of government and the epa also.

    15. Pingback: Must Know Headlines 5.29.2010 — ExposeTheMedia.com

    16. Fred, Tampa, Fl. says:

      Why is it that the media has not picked up on the blundering of this and the White House lies, Mr. Hussein promised there would be no drilling offshore when he ran for president if he got elected, simple right? What did he announce just a month or two before this accident happened? You guessed it, he is now for drill baby drill off the coast of Fl. and any other offshore sites. Lies again, right. Well during his news conference he said he was never for drill baby drill, when just two to three months before he did say just that. Another lie, so why don't this guy just stick to reading his teleprompter or stick his head in the sand. Very shameful.

    17. Pingback: Morning Bell: White House in Disarray | Step Down Obama

    18. William says:

      Oil is a renewable resource.Read this article from World Net Daily on what Mendelev, the creator of the Periodic Table of Elements (and others) has to say about the true nature of where oil comes from: http://www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=38

      If that link does not work, just Google, World Net Daily Sustainable Oil and you'll find the article. Very interesting. Deep Hot Biosphere.

    19. Nicolai Alatzas says:

      You are some amazingly misguided bitter individuals, I mean you would actually have me believe from reading this blog that all oil drilling has ceased and that Obama is trying to scare us not to drill in our pristine natural resources we have left. We are Putting up Wind Farms on Oil Platforms cause we ran out of wind on land….. and that we could be the Saudi Arabia of Oil.

      We shouldn't worry about our Energy Consumption cause Global Warming is a myth, pollution is good and who cares about 20 million barrels of Oil in the Gulf shouldn't scare you as long as your gas doesn't get too expensive for your SUV.

      I mean really people do you even try to think, or do you just jump on every Red bandwagon that drives by.

      If you want to look at some facts on the Cost of Energy Production I suggest you look at Exxon's Annual Energy Cost Report.

      You can find it at the bottom of http://www.com4tengineeredsolar.com/gulf-oil-spil….

      You will find that Oil and Gas are more expensive than every other fuel source except Solar.

      However you are terribly misguided in the Worlds pursuit of Technology and making it affordable. I remember when my parents brought home our first VCR that they paid $400 dollars for in 1983. Now we have DVD players for less than $50….

      I mean in 1962 computers cost way to much for people to use. And they were really less powerful than our modern day wrist watch. Have some Faith and stop trying to take the easy road.

    20. Linda Maddox, Carlsb says:

      Obama did nothing to stop this disaster. For him to stop drilling is totally wrong . What about all the oil on our land. I'am sorry his windmills are not going to do the job. This was one more disaster to promote his agenda.

      Obama own this. He is to busy playing golf, showing up for Barbara Boxer.

      We have a President that is absent unless he can promote his agenda.

      Vote in November, lets start changing Washington!

    21. Grace, Colorado says:

      Sadly the Feds were and are unprepared!

      Does anyone know how many off shore deep water operations there are in the Gulf? How many of those are ours? And consider this: What if one of those belonging to another country blows or what if any of them are blown up by a terrorist group? How would we deal with that? If it threatens our coasts and the Feds keep piddling like Obama and his minions are this time, what do we do then? Have they thought of any of this at Homeland Security? Call Obama's "brain trust"! Sigh…

    22. Pingback: Must Know Headlines 5.30.2010 — ExposeTheMedia.com

    23. Jeff Maloy, Oklahoma says:

      They keep saying that it will take 10+ years to see any of the oil in Alaska. The first time I heard that it was 3 years ago. Howcome we are still at 10 years away? This is why I am getting fed up with the people that have been elected.

    24. James Barnett, Rehob says:

      What a sad commentary. Who cares if we're running out of oil or not. An entire region of the USA is dying and it looks like its going to get worse. I do seem to remember a few oil executives pontificating about whether we were running out of oil. The real issue is whether we should continue to hitch our future upon fossil fuels. Please write about that.

    25. Rich says:

      Not matter what happens we are dependent upon fossile fuels for at least 100 years in the future. Stop being illogical and get goverment out of the way.

    26. Nana, Colorado says:

      How then does Obama explain the fact that the Chi Coms are drilling in the Gulf off the shore of Cuba and that drilling currently is under way off the shores of Brazil and Venezuela??? Yet America is restricted from drilling on its own land and is forced by federal regulations to rely on off-shore, deep-water drilling, which obviously is more difficult and more expensive to access than say that which is available in Alaska and other western states!!!!

    27. william durgan, NH says:

      Hello all,

      Just to play devils advocate for the sake of one contrary post on this topic. Everybody who posted here should read "Confronting Collapse" It is about the links between the end of cheap energy, our money, and the world's food supply. There are some startling scenarios written in the text which deal with this issue and I recommend everyone read it. Knowledge is power. If what is written is even half true, then there are some steps we should take as a nation to prepare for the inevitable rise of the price of oil and the corresponding rise/shortage of food which is required to keep six billion people alive and happy.

      Perhaps we will have enough oil and enough political will to go and get it to keep us fat, dumb, and happy for another 100 years, but anyone who places their faith in government to solve our energy issues, at this point, places their faith in nothing…

    28. William says:

      I'm not exaggerating," I say. "Environmental leaders, the Democrat Party … called the oil spill 'Armageddon.' Armageddon! 'End of the Louisiana coast and the Gulf of Mexico as we know it.' So after the oil spill, I looked around to see if there were any asteroids falling or some cracks opening up in the earth. Turned out it was a nice day. Birds were chirping. Folks were strolling down the Mall."…I think you get my point. We will get over this, and things will get back to normal if we LET it. This is NOT the end of the world. http://good-gov.com

    29. Cybergeezer; St. Lou says:

      This pathetic individual must get his PDB (presidential daily briefing) from the New York Times!

      Lame; Egregious; Juvenile!

    30. Pingback: MoConservativePatriot.com » Gulf Oil Spill and the Quid-pro-quo of Policy

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    35. Ray B Northern WI says:

      The mess in the Gulf of Mexico is an environmentALIST disaster. By systematically eliminating the easier oil on land via 'green' policies and regs, the enviros forced drilling 100 miles out to sea. There are generations of oil on land, just look for your closest nature preserve or federal monument.

      On land the DWH well would have been capped in a day or two. The balance after that is directly the environmentalist's responsibility and that of the dems that they bribe to impede energy production in all forms. Energy is prosperity, and that would be bad for the planet because prosperous people have babies.

      The dems and greens are dismantling this country one plank at a time. They have eliminated raw materials extraction as in mining, timber and oil. They have terminated our steel, manufacturing, and heavy industries and sent our prosperity overseas. They crippled NASA and the military. They burdened our country with debt. They eliminated the middle class and herd the remains into the cities where they can easily be controlled through manufactured shortages of resources like food and water.

      It is time for the frog to jump out of the hot water in the soon to be boiling pot.

      What if we went to war with china? Would we be expected to borrow money from them for the war, ask them to kindly make steel for our battleships and missiles, and watch the QC on the guidance systems too? Pleeeeeease!!

      …All enemies foreign or domestic.. When will we figure out that our biggest enemy is already on our shores? Hint- It is not the oil on the beach, it is the environmentalists and democrats that put it there.

    36. Pingback: Obama’s Oil Spill Speech Overreaches on Cap and Trade, Cancelled Drilling | Conservative Principles Now

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    38. Pingback: Morning Bell: Obama and the Oil Spill | Step Down Obama

    39. ?????? says:

      Hi guys, tried loading this blog through Google RSS reader and got a strange error message, any ideas what could be the issue?

    40. face meet palm says:

      I'll just go ahead and leave this here …


      also do yourself a favor – google these

      Joint Forces Command Joint Operating Environment Report 2010 and

      Lloyds 360 Risk Assesment on sustainable energy security

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