Thursday, December 04, 2008

Ooh! Ooh! I know! Pick me!

Chas asks "Who gets to import bottled water so we can get oil out of shale?"

Cast your vote...

14 comments:

Ed Foster said...

The Canucks built a water pipeline from the Great Lakes to the Athabaskan oil sand fields.

Nathan Brindle said...

Clean, cheap nuclear power + salt water desalination = less dependence on the Colorado River for LA.

If the treehuggers would admit this, Colorado River water wouldn't be overappropriated.

TJP said...

Yes, but that's just one of the issues for shale oil. The biggest problem at the moment is that it isn't exactly economical to produce when the price of crude remains low. (It's $45 a barrel as I type this.) Also: not all "crude" is equal, and the process for refining shale goop into fuel products is different--different as in "costlier".

And there is still a respectable quantity of bullsh*t floating around about our refineries.

I need to have a bumper-sticker made up...

Drill Here
Drill Now
Still Pay Market Price


Folks, no company is going to dive into the red trying to sell more expensive petro products, no matter if the people think it'd be more patriotic that way. The natural order of things causes employees to leave when they stop getting paychecks. It is (obviously) the government's job to prop up failed market ideas, like the ethanol industry, so maybe the shale oil ventures should be nationalized, too? </sarcasm>

Tam said...

I'll pay at least $75/bbl if it means Angelenos have to wash their hair with Evian.

Ed Foster said...

Go TJP. Break even point, according to the brother of a buddy, a guy who does refinery stuff for Babcox & Wilcox, is about $90-95 per barrel, assuming water is available.
The Bakke formation would make us energy independant for the next century and a half.
If (big if's here) we committed to a major pipeline dig from Duluth to the fields for water, if we built a new refinery every 3 months for the next 6 years (we haven't built any in almost 30 years, and most of them are in Hurricane Alley), if we can convince the tree huggers their electic cars are part of the problem rather than the solution, and if we accept the simple facts that every winfmill farm needs a smoke belching power station on standby for when the wind isn't blowing.
Think about that. A station that needs to be built and manned, but one that actually only returns value for the expenditure on an intermittant basis.
Basic fact:132x106 joules of energy in a gallon of gasoline. To hold that much energy in even state of the art lithium-ion batteries requires 400 pounds of battery, at a cost of about $1,100 dollars.
Multiply by at least four to get a marginably useable vehicle, then tag on the cost of new electric plants to provide the power to charge them, and the clean-up costs from producing all those nasty batteries.
Plus the cost of changing out and disposing of said batteries every few years.
Also, as TJP has pointed out, ethanol is a major scam, but the alcohol states are a swing thing for votes, and nobody can win without kissing their corn fed butts.
Alcohol has roughly 20% less energy than gasoline, and in an E90 or E85 mix will reduce mileage by about 3%. Add in the mostly diesel burned to make the stuff, and we would be better off simply not using it. Also, it's not taxed, forcing up the taxes on gasoline to compensate.
Sadly, the technology does exist to run all alcohol cars, with power and fuel efficiency. It was invented by NASCAR, and is the reason stock cars don't go boom when they hit the wall.
Running higher compression ratios makes use of alcohol's naturally high octane rating, improving both power and mileage, and all alky cars would make sense in poorly ventilated cities like L.A. But, for most of us, a total ripoff.

Matt G said...

Holy crap, but you guys go off on tangents!

Is there anything funnier than a tree-hugger in LA, though? Does NOBODY there get the irony?

Anonymous said...

...on the Bakke(n) formation....avg. cost to drill and complete,8 million per well....43 dollars per barrel today and dropping.... Baker - Hughes boys here in Eastern Mt. say 59+ to break even...ethanol... ADM = Obamas home state=not going away. T. Boone Pickens will blow you the answers...and the Big Three...your tax money today...results tommorrow...

TJP said...

LOL @ Tam 2:48 PM

Schadenfreude as a publicly-traded commodity.

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

Well, I wonder what'll happen if Lake Meade get's much lower and NOTHING goes down to LA, shale or no shale, all by it's ownself? Another dry winter may be all it takes.

Anonymous said...

It's Babcock & Wilcox, Ed, and I don't expect you to get away with giving NASCAR credit for "inventing" an engine that was perfected at Rose-Hulman. Harry Miller apprenticed at a Hispano-Suiza plant (in New Jersey!), so I'd go with Marc Birkigt--but hey, we really mean Offenhauser so let's just say so.

Jack said...

I really would like to know where this 1000+ mile pipeline from the Great Lakes to the Athabascan oil fields is. It must run across all of Manitoba and Saskatchewan, across the Nelson-Red-Saskatchewan water shed and be within a tank of gas of my house. If they really need the water in my old stamping grounds, and they don't, they can pipeline it 100 miles from Lake Athabasca.

alcibiades said...

I vote Denver since people can't drink the water there, anyway.

Word verification: trandoo

butch_s said...

Have to agree with Anon above. There are several types of race cars that run on alcohol, but NASCAR stock cars aren't one of them.

They don't go boom because onboard fuel is stored in fuel cells instead of gas tanks.

Anonymous said...

Butch, I'll bet you've joined me in wondering why fuel cells and integral roll cages have not found their way into consumer use, NASCAR being all stock and all, the way the rear-view mirrors, shock-absorbing barriers and caution lights at Indianapolis did. I mean, it's not like Clabber Girl and La Fendrich had better PR than Winston or Busch.