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United States Technology

Oil May Be Finite, But U.S. Production Is Ramping Up 745

Hugh Pickens writes "The WSJ reports that the discovery of the gigantic and prolific Bakken oil fields of Montana and North Dakota have already helped move the U.S. into third place among world oil producers, and according to Harold Hamm, CEO of Continental Resources, the 14th-largest oil company in America, if fully developed the field in Bakken contains 24 billion barrels, doubling America's proven oil reserves. One reason for America's abundant supply of oil and natural gas has been the development of new drilling techniques, including 'horizontal drilling,' which allows rigs to reach two miles into the ground and then spread horizontally by thousands of feet." Not surprisingly, Hamm considers some of the current administration's loans and subsidies for alternative energy ventures to be misplaced.
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Oil May Be Finite, But U.S. Production Is Ramping Up

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 09, 2011 @10:01AM (#37653642)

    Please note the byline at the bottom of the article stating, "Mr. Moore is a member of the Journal's editorial board. ". This is an editorial, not a factual article. It's also informative to temper Mr. Hamm's personal enthusiasm with a look at the US oil production record from the U.S Energy Information Administration ( Although there is an upturn in US production since 2006, it is unlikely that we will drill our way out of the peak oil decline.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 09, 2011 @10:10AM (#37653696)

    "...He is probably one of those people who don't believe CO2 is responsible for the heating..."

    The IPCCs own figures show CO2 rising while the temperature stopped rising in 1998 and is now dropping.

    I can't see how any sane person can believe that 'CO2 is responsible for heating' any more. It's obviously not the case. Even the scientists who were the most committed to this mistaken hypothesis have been saying:

    "The fact is that we can't account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can't." (Trenberth 2009)

    Their latest idea is that somehow the heat is 'hiding in the deep ocean where it can't be measured' - the last gasp of a dying theory...

  • by Lonewolf666 ( 259450 ) on Sunday October 09, 2011 @10:20AM (#37653750)

    CO2 concentrations have already significantly increased due to human influence (burning of fossil fuels). So there should be more than enough for the growth of plants.

    The contribution to the Greenhouse effect is estimated at 9-26% of all greenhouse gases according to Wikipedia. Not dominating, but not negligible either.

    So GP was either uninformed or trolling. Probably the latter.


  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 09, 2011 @10:25AM (#37653780)

    "The sky is falling" AGW crowd funding is orders of magnitudes larger than any funding coming from the oh-so-evil oil industry.

    Look it up, if you're truly interested. Start with Hansen's millions.

  • Re:Idiot (Score:4, Informative)

    by jaydonnell ( 648194 ) * on Sunday October 09, 2011 @10:38AM (#37653868) Homepage [] Our own oil is running out, and the competition for international oil is rising rapidly. We can't sit on our laurels.
  • by RebelWithoutAClue ( 578771 ) on Sunday October 09, 2011 @10:52AM (#37653962) Homepage
    But the taxpayer's investment is never paid back. Subsidies are not a solution, it's a broken window fallacy that replacing powerplants with solar panels makes things better.
  • Re:Idiot (Score:4, Informative)

    by roman_mir ( 125474 ) on Sunday October 09, 2011 @11:25AM (#37654166) Homepage Journal

    Yeah, things are not all peaches and butterfly farts. Do you know what they do to get hydro electrical power sometimes? They flood entire valleys, destroys rivers and grounds, they destroys forests.

    Do you know what kind of nonsense the solar is? The poisons that are created by the manufacturing process are not better than any other industrial waste, it's at least as bad as most other manufacturing processes out there. []

    Gas and oil are the simplest forms of fuels to store. We figured out the way to store them that are the simples, safest forms of storage developed compared to ANY other types of fuels. Your assertion has no value here, no electrical battery is better than a gas tank.

    They are the simplest to handle, they are liquids basically, they are the easiest to refill into a container, they are the most convenient, obviously there are no nuclear rods and there are no dams.

    There is NOTHING that people do that does not produce SOME FORM of pollution. It's physically impossible to produce no pollution of any kind at all while storing/using/generating energy.

    Even electrical transmission lines can be called 'polluting' or 'hurting' the environment in some other ways.

    Do you know why that is? It's because it's energy. We need energy to do stuff and if we don't have energy, we die. We die from hunger, from dirty water, from lack of sanitation, from cold, whatever. We MUST modify our environment and that's how we will survive and we MUST use the cheapest ways of producing energy that are available at any point in time so we can concentrate our attention on the pressing things that we DO with that energy, which probably lead to our continuous survival not only on this globe, that is now supporting 7billion people and will support probably 1000 times as many people in 1000 years, but also off this planet. There is nothing that we do that can be considered 'clean' by everybody, but we do what we must.

  • by patfla ( 967983 ) on Sunday October 09, 2011 @11:32AM (#37654218)

    Horizontal drilling isn't fracking. You frack frist to break rock which then allows horizontal drilling.

    And of course the environmental impact of fracking is increasingly being called into question.

  • by RockDoctor ( 15477 ) on Sunday October 09, 2011 @11:53AM (#37654310) Journal

    ... of techniques. Nor is it new, for any meaningful meaning of "new". In fact, it was old hat a decade ago. As was "extended reach" drilling, which is likely to be next week's buzzword.

    I've been doing horizontal drilling, in the oilfield sense, using Norwegian techniques from Finnish and South Korean rigs, with multiple nationalities, for longer than I've been posting on Slashdot. All of which time spans are bloody long times (in a non-geological sense of "bloody long").

    ("Extended reach" drilling ... about the same duration that I've been on Slashdot. Give or take a half-decade.)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 09, 2011 @05:03PM (#37656298)

    The right wing spin machine has taken up the banner of Solyndra being an example of fraud and corruption, if you don't know about that, then I suggest you check and see how hysterically they are shrieking about it.

    I think you'll find it to be quite popular on those blogs. Your adoption of it puts you in their crowd, because you've obviously done the same lack of fact-checking they did. It's a propaganda piece, not a reality.

    If you're not involved with them, fair enough, but you should do some checking yourself and see where the story came from. Then maybe you'll think about the real story.

    Fraud didn't happen. Not on a large scale anyway, they actually built the factory. It works. The money did not just disappear, they have receipts for what they bought with it. It may not all be wise investments. I'm sure somebody somewhere cheated someone, but it had no real connection to why the company filed for bankruptcy.

    That's due to the Chinese subsidies of their own industries. They don't just buy the products, they help build the factories, because they know how industrial development works. And no, once again, the money was not thrown out there to see what stuck, it was invested in a company that had a working plan, that had revenues and an actual product, and in its way, that kind of investment is more desirable than just saying they'll buy something if it is offered. There's just so much in the way of upfront costs to reach a scale of economy that you can't just start buying and hope for the best.

    And there ARE huge tax breaks for people who install Solar, asking for common sense when something is already being done...does not make you look wise. It makes you look like a fool who doesn't know what's already happening.

    Really, you want to not be criticized for taking up with the spin machine? Show you've taken the time to be somewhat informed yourself. I'll accept that you innocently adopted the Solyndra as a fraud idea without knowing that it came not from the truth, but from spin and hyperbole, but ignorance of the tax breaks from installing Solar...that does not give you much credit. About all it does is make me believe it's slightly more likely you didn't know about the Solyndra story, because you should have at least been aware of the tax breaks.

The absent ones are always at fault.