Wednesday, September 30, 2009

2009 First Half US Oil Stats

Interesting. Our production rose a bit despite some offline Alaskan production, and consumption has continued its trek down during this great recession. I would say we probably saw an increase because the Thunger Horse oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico is finally up and running after Hurricane Katrina had set back production by 3+ years. A rig that can produce up to 300K barrels a day will do that for a national output. Hopefully, BP can get this find and the other Kaskida find up and running in the near future. Oil production in North Dakota and Montana has been steadily rising because of Bakken oil plays. I read an article about farmers and ranchers from North Dakota receiving oil royalty checks as the mineral rights for the land paid off handsomely. Bakken Shale has great potential and I hope companies and scientists can properly explore it. (above photo is from Huntington Beach, CA, seeing the rigs offshore is a surprise)

Californians should welcome this oil discovery. They could earn some royalties and tax revenue, which could help the hurting state coffers. While we will not get to a mythical energy independence (this means transportation fuel independence) through expanded drilling, it does show that America does have resources, we just set them off limits or do not invest in the exploration. A wonderful thing of drilling in a country like America is that we have strict regulations so that drilling will be handled with care and natural gas flares will be utilized. I remember the comparison of drilling sites in Jared Diamond's Collapse. This is why I support offshore drilling in America. If the Brits and Norwegians can do it safely, so can we. As I have mentioned before, I'd love to see federal tax receipts from drilling leases go to dun alternative energy tax credits/breaks.
My favorite quote from any of the referenced material is the quote from an author I am reading right now who was interviewed for the LA Times piece on the Cali oil Discovery...

"Every time people start to think that things are over," Yergin said, "technology opens up new horizons and new ways of understanding what is underground."

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