Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Big Oil struggles to Find Oil

I saw this on the front page of the Wall Street Journal, as such it may avoid the usual pay wall, it ties in well with the earlier post.  They are finding natural gas in sufficient quantities to depress the price of coal.  And that is good in so far as the continued fueling of our electrical grid.  But I am at a loss at how we are going to avoid some expensive changes to our transportation system.

HOUSTON—Exxon Mobil Corp., the world's largest publicly traded oil company, is struggling to find more oil.

In its closely watched annual financial report released Tuesday, the company said that for every 100 barrels it has pumped out of the earth over the past decade, it has replaced only 95.
It's a conundrum shared by most of the other large Western oil-producing companies, which are finding most accessible oil fields were tapped long ago, while promising new regions are proving technologically and politically challenging.

Exxon said in the report that it more than made up for the shortfall in oil by stocking up on natural gas, mostly through its acquisition of XTO Energy Inc. last year.
But the shift toward gas is troubling some investors, because gas sells for less than the equivalent amount of oil. Many observers feel the move toward gas—a trend across the oil industry—is dictated more by shrinking access to oil fields than by a strong desire to emphasize gas production.  Russell Gold and Angel Gonzalez, Exxon Struggles to Find New Oil, Wall Street Journal, page A1, February 16, 2011.


Waldow said...

After XTO buy, Exxon Mobil's untapped supplies are more than 50 percent natural gas...and this gas supply largely comes from shale fracturing, which we are told is a new technology.

Fracturing shale for gas is not a new idea. In the 70s VP Rockefeller outlined a plan to use nukes to fracture shale in the Rockies. I mention this to illustrate how insane the people behind this sort or mineral extraction can be.

Today, proprietary cocktails of chemicals are pumped underground by the tens of thousands of gallons to create hydraulic pressure. They are left to contaminate groundwater after the gas is gone.

Better find something sun or gravity based (and for God's sake, put it in space).

russell1200 said...

Could not agree more.

But I believe we will burn every last bit of fossil fuel we can plausibly get out of the ground before it is over.