Saturday, May 15, 2010
GOM Leak Hastens Peak Me Thinks
The magnitude of the consequences of the Horizon explosion and subsequent Oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico ("GOM") is really not to be underestimated.
I have been noodling this for the past couple of weeks. Initially I thought that these companies had contingency plans for just this sort of thing. Egh! Wrong! Thanks for playing.
The Horizon Incident will forever change the mentality of "Drill, Baby, Drill", at least as far as off shore drilling is concerned. For better or worse, Off Shore is where any significant Oil finds are left to be found. Geologists have covered nearly every square inch of land, and for the most part, there is nothing big, Oil wise that is Nat Gas is another story, left to be found On Shore.
This may or may not be the right thing or a good thing. I tend to think that in less than 1 lifetime from here, we will be essentially out of Liquid Petroleum, and in 20 years countries like the U.S. will be consuming only 25% or so of what we are now - so what is to be gained by pretending that we can solve our energy issues with "Drill, Baby, Drill"?
Oil has done a great deal of harm to humanity, and made life infinitely easier and more comfortable; a Faustian bargain if ever there was one. Industrialization has made it possible to mass produce goods and services as well as the assembly line murder of the Third Reich (kind of ironic that nuclear weapons have likely ended industrialized death manufacture.... well, for the most part).
This is likely the point that politics enters the Peak Oil thing with gusto. The slope of the decline in world Oil production could well be breathtaking if off shore exploration and production is hampered in ANY way. I cannot foresee a circumstance where this does not happen at some level.