[CAMWEST-discuss] Fuel giant chief denies oil crisis

Ian Macindoe imacian at bigpond.net.au
Mon Sep 18 23:25:21 UTC 2006

It is all very well for these oil executives whose livelihood and that of their investors is reliant on the ability to extract and produce oil to say that there is still stacks of it in the ground

Sent: Monday, September 18, 2006 1:01 PM
Subject:  Fuel giant chief denies oil crisis

It is all very well for these oil executives whose livelihood and that of their investors is reliant on the ability to extract and produce oil to say that there is still stacks of it in the ground. But no where do I hear them mention EROEI, a term well known to the peak oil theorists. EROEI is an acronym for Energy Returned Over Energy Invested. Quite simply it means that when it takes the energy equivalent or more than the energy equivalent of a barrel of oil to extract a barrel of oil from anywhere, there is no sense in doing so unless the oil is very valuable for another purpose other than for providing fundamental energy. The much mooted oil from tar sands and shale oil, even stranded very deep sea oil is approaching a negative EROEI according to some peak oilers.

I look forward to a follow up article asking this vital question about EROEI.

Brian A Bucktin

24 Greenwood Way


Ph        08 9537 6372

Mob      04 0737 6372

Email    buckos at westnet.com.au. 



Fuel giant chief denies oil crisis

16th September 2006, 16:00 WST


Contrary to what the energy doomsayers suggest, the world has an abundance of oil. 
ExxonMobil Australia chairman Mark Nolan has told a conference in Adelaide world oil resources can be measured in trillions of barrels –— at least three trillion. 
And so far in all the factories, all the cars and all the homes, the world has used only about one trillion. 
Taking aim at proponents of peak oil, which suggests world oil supplies have peaked or are close to and will dwindle over the next 20 years, the oil company boss says such theories have no merit. 
In a bid to debunk the peak oil predictions, Mr Nolan told the Asia Pacific Oil and Gas Conference this week peak oil theories had been around since the 1920s, particularly at times of high oil prices. 
“The fact is that the world has an abundance of oil and there is little question, scientifically, that abundant energy resources exist,” Mr Nolan said. 
“According to the US Geological Survey, the Earth currently has more than three trillion barrels of conventional, recoverable oil resources.” 
Mr Nolan said the oil industry had always underestimated the extent of global resources and the ability of technology to both extend the life of existing oil and gas fields and find new ones. 
“We should not forget that we can recover almost twice as much oil today as when we first discovered it over 100 years ago,” he said. 
“And when you consider that a further 10 per cent increase in recoverability will deliver 800 billion barrels of oil to our recoverable total, we have every reason to be sure that the end of oil is nowhere in sight.” 
If it is right, Mr Nolan’s assessment should allow the industrial world to breathe a sigh of relief. 
If oil supplies are as big as he suggests, then even the escalating demand for energy from the developing world, especially China, will do little to dent supply capacity. 
But there is a catch. 
Taking a look at the US Geological Survey indicates that of those three trillion barrels of oil, more than 700 billion are undiscovered. 
And the survey suggests that even if they are found there’s a chance that what’s there may only amount to 300 to 400 billion barrels. 
There is also the matter of rising energy demand, with oil consumption tipped to rise 54 per cent in the first 25 years of this century. 
But the survey also estimates that the peak in world oil output is still more than 50 years away. 
Mr Nolan’s comments also drew support in Adelaide from Eve Sprunt, the president of the Society of Petroleum Engineers. 
Many people, Ms Sprunt said, when talking about peak oil had confused known oil reserves with the world’s oil resources. 
“When you are talking about reserves, you are only talking about a very small fraction of the total resource base,” she said. 
“The reserves are the portion for which the infrastructure is largely in place, the technology is in place and that can be produced at the current oil price. 
“But if you are planning for the long-term energy future of your country you need to understand the resource base. The whole name of the game is moving resources into the reserves category.” 
The chief executive of oil and gas producer Santos, John Ellice-Flint, had a note of caution in his call for the industry to make the most of the current high oil price regime to advance exploration and production technologies. 
There was, Mr Ellice-Flint said, an increased awareness of the physical vulnerability of the planet. 
“This combined with the maturity of our established oil and gas producing basins has increased pressure on the oil supply-demand balance,” he said. 




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