• The End of Cheap Oil

  • General discussion about railroad operations, related facilities, maps, and other resources.
General discussion about railroad operations, related facilities, maps, and other resources.

Moderator: Robert Paniagua

  by UPRR engineer
See how everthings starting to spike? i've been watching alot of C-SPAN here in the last couple weeks, power, food, gas is all going up, economy going in the toliet. Middle east doesnt wanna increase production, they wont tell you its peaked but you'll hear alot on how nothings been done in years. The world demand keeps going up. Rumors of OPEC lying about how much oil is left over there.... Goverment, Railroads, Airlines, Truckers freaking out about the price of oil. Pretty scary stuff.

  by DutchRailnut
In short , they are winning the war, dollar for dollar as long as we keep spending money on an endless war the countries we try to correct are just laughing their ass off.
With oil price going up and dollar going down and our leaders trying to make ethanol out of our food supply we are slowly deteriorating to point of no return.
Soon we will be boasting the merrits of the American peso ;-)

  by David Benton
this week opec has warned that oil may reach USD $ 200 per barrel .

  by conrail_engineer
I should know better than to stick my nose into this, but - being me - I'm gonna do it. :-D :-) :(

I've been around a lot longer than many posters here...and I heard this SAME tripe in the 1970s. We're running out of oil; we're gonna haveta cut back; we'd better get used to walking and eating grass out in the city park...yada yada yada.

Point One: We are NOT running out of oil. Major discoveries THIS YEAR were announced under the Dakotas and Colorado; with new "horizontal drilling" techniques these finds could be recovered with a minimum of impact. Then there's that oil safely locked up in ANWR by the eco-nuts...and contrary to popular opinion, ANWR does NOT look like Yellowstone or even Juneau. It's tundra - frozen desert.

The Brazilians are launching a major effort to recover a large pool that was inaccessable previously.

Add to this, geologists are re-thinking theories on how oil was FORMED in the first place. One theory, which seems to be borne out by these new finds, is that oil generation deep within the earth is a CONTINUAL process - not something that happened once long ago.

Oil may or may not be finite, but there's plenty to carry us through another couple of generations at least.

Point Two: This crisis is POLITICAL, not scientific or geological. There is oil in many locations; yet we WILL NOT use or recover our OWN oil, relying on Middle East sources.

This gives the OPEC cartel ENORMOUS power - which they are now using.

Unlike the Western nations, OPEC nations mostly do not HAVE other sources of revenue or industry. They are milking this for all it's worth - but if it somehow collapses, they will have NOTHING.

If we started drilling in ANWR it would be ten years before oil hit the market, true. But it wouldn't be that long for the OPEC nations to panic; see the threat, and roll back prices and flood the market.

Because the oil they're selling for $120 a barrel costs them less than a dollar a barrel to recover.

This is EXACTLY what happened in the 1980s - the OPEC members saw that the United States was getting SERIOUS about drilling - and cut prices and increased production.

These Arab Oil Ministers today, they watch us clown around with ethanol and they laugh. But if we started serious drilling, they'd mess their bathrobes.

So...this "crisis" is going to continue until we get the 'nads to call this crash-ethanol program for what it is, a loser, and get serious about energy needs.

  by DutchRailnut
My money is on the scientist , just can't take the word of a conrail_engineer as proof that oil is fine.
  by toolmaker
May 1st, 2008
The U.S. Geological Survey just published its official results of a groundbreaking study.
Its report confirmed a massive oil reserve in an area the locals have nicknamed the "Bakken," which stretches across North Dakota, Montana and southeastern Saskatchewan.
The new USGS study estimates a whopping 3.65 billion barrels of oil in the Bakken... but here's what they didn't mention:
The reported 3.65 billion barrels of oil mean estimate is for 'undiscovered' oil only, and doesn't include known oil, such as reserves.
In fact, the study reports a 25-fold increase in the amount of oil that can be recovered... compared to the agency's estimate back in 1995.
Discovered over 50 years ago, the Bakken deposit--once impossible to extract--is now being hailed as the single largest oil find in US history.
That's because, today, thanks to breakthrough drilling techniques like horizontal drilling, the Bakken's oil shales can be extracted relatively cheaply.
When that happens, this light, sweet oil will cost Americans just $16 per barrel!
The next oil boom is already upon us.
And, considering that oil prices are likely to remain above $100 a barrel, the time for shock is over. Investors are now faced with an unprecedented opportunity to play the U.S. and Canada's new hottest oil stocks... several of which are poised to make 300% gains during 2008.
To get the full details on the Bakken and the leading stocks behind it--before the story goes mainstream--simply sign up for the free Energy and Capital e-Letter, a daily advisory on the fast-moving profits in the energy stock sector, written and edited by energy and natural resources investing experts Chris Nelder and Keith Kohl.


  by DutchRailnut
That huge field is miniscule in scheme of things, concidering the US uses 20 million barrels per day

  by toolmaker
that was one, here is another recent discovery read the link below;

http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/artic ... E_ID=58682

  by DutchRailnut
Again it only expands Brasil's reserves by 40 % , it does do diddles to our oil supply.

  by 2nd trick op
toolmaker wroter:
The reported 3.65 billion barrels of oil mean estimate is for 'undiscovered' oil only, and doesn't include known oil, such as reserves.
By the attached link to Wikipedia:


Three billion barrels represents about all that's easily recoverable from the Prudhoe Bay field in Alaska, now nearing thirty years in production with no major (10 billion barrels or so) discoveries since.

also from toolmaker:
In fact, the study reports a 25-fold increase in the amount of oil that can be recovered... compared to the agency's estimate back in 1995.
That increase in supply has come about precisely because the threefold-plus increase in the "spot" oil price has made more of the Bakken reserve recoverable. You can extract it, but not at a price that will drive gasoline back to $2.00/gallon.

The same reasoning applies to oil shale, tar sands, and all the other trumpeted "solutions"

Gentlemen, we have to face the facts; the age of petroleum is drawing to a close. The only event that would take the starch out of the current threat is a major recession, which would curtail demand, but leave most of us with lower incomes. It should also be noted that much of that demand comes from industrializaing nations who can choose to pay in something other than the (currently)-deposed US dollar, if they wish.

So what can we do?; we can find ways to run our economy with less petroleum, one of the least painful would be to electrify 40.000-or-so mles of mainline railroad, and likely to add additional track-miles, particularly on the fringes of the major metropolitan centers, which could then considerably expand the range of their suburban/commuter rail services. In the process, the demand for well-paid construction and rail operating skills will increase, and a revival of nuclear power, which was hobbled only by the irrational squeals of the environmental radicals, is another plus; even the (shudder!) French are ahead of us on this one.

It is time the public learned that the solutions to problems such as this one come neither from within the Beltway, nor in the pages of Popular Mechanics; also, that the more extreme and strident the demands of the environmental lunatic fringe, the greater the burden on those of us who have to live and work in the real world.
Last edited by 2nd trick op on Tue Jan 20, 2009 10:30 am, edited 3 times in total.

  by slashmaster
I don't know if I should be worried or not but it seems to me that with each of the things oil is used for, people are switching over to something else when the price of oil is more expensive than the alternative. I think I've noticed more piles of wood in peoples yards to heat houses lately. I use an electric heater in my room instead of the oil burner heat now. Lots of people are getting hybrid cars and a few converting cars to electric. Then there are all these electric snowblowers, mowers and chainsaws. Seems to me people are turning away from oil fast enough for it to not be a problem. Or am I wrong?

  by David Benton
that is ture to some extent .as far as transport goes , people may simply not travel as much .
however the vast majority will complain alot , and do nothing .
i like this cartoon .

  by DutchRailnut
As for using electric appliaces and heat instead of oil, that is just moving point where fuel is used, most electric generating facilities run on oil, thanks to enviromentalist hammering away on coal and nuclear.
In North East power is supplied by the biggest extension cord in history from Hydro electric plants in Canada, the USA has to learn to be self sufficient, todays coal plant is not same as coal plant from 25 years ago.
Same with Nuclear, the incidents at Chernobil was a plant doomed from beginning, Three Mile Island was more of a regulatory fault than a design fault.
If a Country like France can run its entire network on Hydro and Nuclear and have zero coal/oil facilities we, in a country like US, should be able to do better, we should have enough capacity to have spare capacity and export electricity.
We live in a counrry were we rather bitch about everything untill the power quits, and we again can point fingers about what has gone wrong.
the finger never points to NIMBy's or tree huggers, but you got to hear them howl when the power stops and their little electric car and electric lawnmower no longer works.

  by scharnhorst
The best way to get the price of oil down is to invite these big CEO's down to a meating line them up and tell them to lower the price of oil and to make sure of your intentions exacute one. If the price dose not lower with in 24 hours exacute anouther and keep going down the line you'll find that what ever CEO's are still alive will drop the price so fast that there would be a gas station on every city block.