RE: Doom and gloom

From: Glenn Morton (
Date: Wed Sep 04 2002 - 19:58:24 EDT

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    Walter wrote:
    >One can almost always find a reference to support one point of view or
    >The trouble with all of this is that you reference conflicting information.
    In one of your last references in
    >was shown that world's oil reserves are increasing, not decreasing , and
    that they represented a several
    >decades' supply. (Your story is that reserves don't count -- only
    production. ) Either reserves are
    >increasing or decreasing -- it can't be both ways.
    >The data you referenced calls the oil reserves "usable", while you claim
    that they are not.

    No, I didn't claim they weren't usable. Listen carefully to what I
    re-explain below.

    Who then are
    >these idiots that publish such grossly misleading data and what is their

    Walter, I explained this before. Oil is moved from non-reserve to reserves
    when someone decides to develop the discovered oil. This may be many years
    after the oil was discovered. Reserves increase but no new oil was
    discovered at the point the decision was made to develop the reserves.

    Secondly, what difference does it make if you have a gazillion barrels of
    reserves if you can only get it out one barrel per day? You aren't rich
    under those circumstances. You are very poor. Fields which take a long time
    to be developed have something wrong with them. Often it is heavy oil. I
    know right now where 60 million barrels of 8 degree API oil is. That won't
    mean much to you and you will think it is great. The problem is that the
    stuff won't flow and will plug up any pipeline you put it into. It is
    discovered. We know about it, but it isn't reserves. If someday someone
    decides to take a stab at developing this, they will have 60 million barrels
    of reserves, but it will come out so slowly as not to make a significant
    impact on the world's economy (or the oil operator's economy either). Try to
    remember Walter, rate is more important than reserves. You forgot it again.

    Here is a real example to try to get you to understand the issue. The
    Orinoco Tar Belt is the largest deposit of petroleum on earth with over 3
    trillion barrels of oil in place. You haven't heard of it because it is tar.
    At current rates of world CONSUMPTION this represents a 111 year supply of
    oil. But don't get excited. We can only recover a tiny fraction of it
    which we call reserves. The rest isn't reserves because we can't get it to
    market. Lets assume that 15% of that is recoverable oil(which is probably on
    the high side). The Orinoco tar belt was discovered in the 19th century so
    on the day that the Venezuelans decided to develop the field, no new oil was
    discovered because it was discovered a century ago. But, at 15%
    recoverable, they added 450 billion barrels to the world's oil reserves.
    Right now, the Venezuelans are trying to get 400,000 barrels per day out of
    it (146 million per year or 1/50th of what the US burns each year). Assuming
    that is what they get it will take 3100 years to get all the recoverble oil
    to market. THus, on the day they decided to develop the tar belt, they
    added a huge quantity of reserves, but production is another issue and what
    the world burns in their cars and trucks is PRODUCTION, not reserves!!!!!
    Pay attention please and remember this. If you have to read it 3 times, then
    do so.

    In short, Oil discoveries are decreasing, reserves are increasing,
    production rates are decreasing!


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