Re: Take the prozac--more on energy

From: Bill Hamilton <>
Date: Mon Aug 15 2005 - 12:31:05 EDT

I wonder if one really will be able to take the prozac in the future Glenn envisions. After all there are probably petrochemicals that in some way figure in its manufacture :-).

George Murphy <> wrote:
An interesting post but also a warning: If you use "prozac" - or, I'm sure, "viagra" &c - in your subject line it's likely to get caught by people's spam filters, as this did by mine. Fortunately I give mine a quick look before emptying & fished this out.
----- Original Message -----
From: Glenn Morton
Sent: Sunday, August 14, 2005 6:33 PM
Subject: Take the prozac--more on energy

I just read Twilight in the Desert, by Matt Simmons, an investment banker for the energy industry. I had the pleasure of meeting him several times last year at industry conferences. The 450 page tome discusses the state of the Saudi oil fields and I learned a lot from this book--where is that prozac?
The Sauds are apparently playing a PR shell game. They keep mentioning fields they can bring online to replace Ghawar (the world's largest oil field). The thing I didn't know was that many of these fields have already been produced and found wanting. Consider what Simmons says about Qatif(which has high H2S content and lies beneath a populated area)

“In 1951, following production startup, oil production at Qatif fluctu&shy;ated between 15,000 and 40,000 barrels per day through 1966.

In 1979, the field reached its highest output of 150,000 barrels a day.

By 1982, the last time it was reported, Qatif's production had fallen to 40,000 barrels per day, despite the fact that Saudi Arabia was straining to keep its total oil production at all-time high levels.” Matthew R. Simmons, Twilight in the Desert, (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 2005), p. 216


“Just the fact that Saudi Aramco selected Qatif for its next investment project, following its complicated and expensive Shaybah field development, is further evidence of the limited potential of the almost 90 oil and gas fields ‘found but never produced’ that clutter the company’s asset portfolio.” Matthew R. Simmons, Twilight in the Desert, (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 2005), p.217-218


To claim that one will bring on line a field which has already produced for years is shear fantasy. An UK company went broke this year trying to bring Ardmore field back online in the NOrth Sea.


Simmons also pointed out why the southern part of Ghawar doesn't have many wells in it. The average permeability of the rock is around 13 millidarcies (for the uninitiated, really good fields have perms of over 1000 millidarcies. The lower the millidarcies the less fluid can move out of the rock into the borehole). What this means is that the reservoir model on the bottom of my web page actually covers the sweet spot (Uthmaniya area) in this most important of fields. And it shows that there isn't much oil left which puts a sharp point on the comment of my reservoir engineer friend who, upon seeing that model, said, "Kiss your lifestyle goodbye, its over!" (more prozace needed).


Simmons notes that Uthmaniya accounts for 4.4 of the 5 million barrels per day of production out of Ghawar (p. 379). There isn't much left to it.



Right now I am listening to CNBC and Puru Saxena (an analyst) is saying that over the past 200 years every commodity boom has been associated with a war cycle Commodities of all varieities have been rising quite nicely over the past couple of years.
What a fun century we will have. But not all is doom and gloom. John Bloom's talk at the ASA caused me to re-evaluate solar. The August National Geographic had an interesting article on energy (but said that oil would peak in the next several decades--a hopelessly optimistic view). Like John's experiment with solar this article says:

“At present levels of efficiency it would take about 10,000 square miles of solarpanels—an area bigger than Vermont-to satisfy all of the United State’s electrial needs. But the land requirement sounds more daunting than it is: Open country wouldn’t have to be covered. All those panels could fit on less than a quarter of the roof and pavement area in cities and suburbs.” Michael Parfit, “Future Power,” National Geographic, August 2005, p. 18


But back to the doom and gloom, the article also notes of nuclear:

“The readily available uranium fuel won’t last much more than 50 years.” Michael Parfit, “Future Power,” National Geographic, August 2005, p.26

Have a nice sleep tonight in the US, I must now go to work.


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Bill Hamilton
William E. Hamilton, Jr., Ph.D.
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Received on Mon Aug 15 12:34:23 2005

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