This might be interesting

From SFGate/AP:

Small Oil Company Touts Discovery
A tiny oil company has snapped up leasing rights to a half-million acres in central Utah that it says could yield a billion barrels or more of oil.

Geologists are calling it a spectacular find - the largest onshore discovery in at least 30 years, located in a region of complex geology long abandoned for exploration by major oil companies. It's turning out to contain high-quality oil already commanding a premium at refineries.

With the secret out, industry players expect a bidding war to break out at the next Utah leasing auction, set for May 17 in Salt Lake City.

At today's prices the oil reserve could bring Utah $5.6 billion in royalties, state auditors conservatively estimate. Although the discovery is still playing out, the oil will take years to recover and some skeptics question the company's projections for a region yet to be fully surveyed.

This may be smoke and mirrors but I do not know and it will be interesting to watch. The company in question:

The find, 130 miles south of Salt Lake City, was made by Wolverine Gas & Oil Corp., a privately held company with just 25 employees improbably located in Grand Rapids, Mich.

Wolverine's test well hit "pay" in late 2003, and by May 2004 it started producing from a single deposit estimated to contain 100 million to 200 million barrels of oil.

Wolverine and government geologists said the company is examining 25 deposits in all that could contain 1 billion barrels of oil.

People say that we are running out of oil. We are but the undiscovered resources are a lot greater than people imagine. I remember the whole 1972 Malthusian farce of the "Club of Rome" "Limits to Growth" publication.
From this website:

In 1972 the Club of Rome published its landmark report, Limits to Growth, which dramatically predicted the inevitable collapse of civilization unless economic growth was halted immediately.

Relying on a computer model developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Limits to Growth predicted that world population would hit 7 billion by 2000 and set into effect a deadly chain reaction. The world would begin to run out of farm land in a mad scramble to feed everyone. The price of natural resources such as copper, tin, silver and oil would climb through the roof as the world began using them up.

Inevitably, no matter what sort of technological innovations or changes in the rate of population growth were made to the MIT model the result was always the same -- the collapse of industrial civilization sometime in the 21st century.

The only solution to avoid this horrible outcome? Strict government-imposed controls on just about everything and a restriction of "average industrial output per capita at about the 1975 level." Failing to act immediately would result in disaster. "Every day of continued exponential growth brings the world system closer to the ultimate limits to that growth," the report claimed. "A decision to do nothing is a decision to increase the risk of collapse."

Of course the Club of Rome's predictions were far off the mark. World population will barely hit 6 billion by 2000 and total farm land has increased by only 5 percent. Although the world economy has doubled since Limits to Growth was published, natural resources remain abundant and cheap. Known oil reserves have doubled since 1980, for example, and the cost of finding each additional barrel keeps dropping.

By almost every measure of the quality of life, from life expectancy to infant mortality to per capita income, the world in 1997 is a far better place to live than it was in 1970 and will likely be even better 25 years from now.

There are several lessons the Limits to Growth fiasco can teach us about how to judge other predictions of doom such as those made today about global warming.

The best thing the environmentalists can do right now is to send their kids to a good school and make damn sure that they get good grades in Math, Statistics and Science and that is Hard Science and not "Environmental Studies" -- I'm talking O-Chem, Microbiology, Physics. That done, they can rest assured that although the "Environmental Movement" has taken a fifty-year leave of absence, the children of these people will look at the real situations with eyes that can actually see what is happening instead of hiding behind computer models that turn out the data that the authors are looking for. I wonder if there is a computer model graveyard. Turned up zero hits on Google. Figures...

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This page contains a single entry by DaveH published on May 4, 2005 9:58 PM.

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