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Posted on April 25 at 9:39 p.m.
I agree with you Nativegeo that producing in fields that have a higher gas to oil ratio makes the steaming option less expensive. However, even so, isn't the ability to make money on such projects dependent on the oil selling for somewhere in $70 - $80 per barrel range (in 2015 dollars)? It seems to me that $43/barrel is pretty far off that mark. I am open to correction if I am wrong about this. I didn't call you a liar. I just thought that you were being a little disingenuous by not acknowledging certain facts about the reality of the quality of the oil in Cat Canyon and cost and energy inputs necessary to extract it. I'm not anti-petroleum (I drive a car and play on surfboards, etc.). However, it seems to me to be weird to spend far more Btu inputs to extract the oil than it would ever pay out in Btu energy outputs as refined fuel. Making asphalt to spread on roadways is another calculus, but still the energy inputs to produce that asphalt should be considered. You are correct though that if Area wants to bet the farm on higher oil prices that is their economic affair and not mine. However, chasing an $80/barrel profit point with $43/barrel oil seems a bit silly to me.
On Oil Company Proposes 296 New Wells
Posted on April 24 at 9:44 p.m.
Nativegeo, you have not contradicted or presented any facts to counter anything that I have posted on this string. I agree with you (as I must because those are the facts) that there is a great deal of residual oil left in Cat Canyon. However, the quality of that oil is poor (far less than 20 gravity), the emulsion is mostly water (in some cases exceeding 90%), and it costs a lot of energy and money to extract it. I am not making a judgment as to whether or not we should extract it. I am just musing as to whether or not it is worth it in terms of safety and economics. I wish I could live up to your label "greenie," but, alas, I spend much to much time on the deck of plank of polyurethane foam that is encased in fiberglass and resin to be able to get up on the "greenie' high horse. I just calls 'em like I sees 'em.
Posted on April 24 at 7:51 p.m.
Come on Nativegeo, you know better than that if you were around in the 70s and 80s. Steam enhancement only became cost effective after the Arab oil embargo increased the price of crude. Some of the early steaming projects actually used the produced crude as fuel for the steam generators. Some fields produced enough gas to use that as fuel (often high sulfur gas as that). When the price of natural gas dropped it made the practice even more profitable because environmental regulations were cheaper to comply with. All the time the price of crude continued to increase (with some dips and jumps here and there), which made steaming even more profitable. Now that oil is back down to around $50/barrel (and who knows what that Cat Canyon goo is worth per barrel ($7? $10? even as much as $20?), steaming just does not make sense unless the product is specialized (like asphalt) or Saudi Arabia blinks and cuts production and the price goes back up. I am not offended by your bias Nativegeo, but I am rather put off when you are not honest.
Posted on April 24 at 4:25 p.m.
Cyclic steaming is a little safer than steam flooding (it was also called steam drive in the past) because with cyclic steaming you actually put steam down the well you want to produce and then after letting it "soak" you produce that well. If there are problems you can simply shut off that well until you figure out the problems. With steam flood you designate certain wells which you use to inject steam in order to "flood" the field with heat in the hopes that the heat will transfer somewhat uniformly throughout the field to reduce viscosity of the goo and enhance production. The problem with steam flood is that it almost never affects all the production wells uniformly and when you encounter problems it is more difficult to pinpoint the cause. Finally, steaming is very energy intensive and expensive. Aera is either betting that the price of oil is going to climb back to $100/barrel range or they have found a market for very expensive asphalt for some future road construction project. Otherwise, I don't see how this pencils out economically.
Posted on April 9 at 8:47 p.m.
For ten years I commuted to and from work on my bicycle. Not being concerned with speed (the commute was only a couple of miles) and not being part of the spandex hoard (which annoyed the hell out me), I scrupulously followed all the rules of the road. Regardless of my scruples, I was nearly hit by cars (nearly killed?) many times. For a while, I took an alternative route that was two miles out of my way just to ensure that I made only right turns. It is dangerous out there for bikes. Becker thinks that the streets belong to cars and maybe he is right. The cars act like that in any case. Now I drive a car everywhere. My old mountain bike sits dusty in my garage with flat tires. But I always give bikes on the road a wide berth and let them streak in front of me ignoring stop signs, just for old times' sake. I think the solution to this whole problem is for both bicyclists and auto drivers to not be in a hurry to get anywhere. Slow down, be late to that appointment, enjoy life at a leisurely pace. This might sound like a contradiction, but life is too short to spend it in a hurry.
On Car Chasing the Dog
Posted on April 9 at 3:20 p.m.
Why the heck would we spend $120 million in construction and $18 million every year in operations costs for a jail that we do not need? Has Brown been smoking the weed that the Sherriff's Department has been confiscating? He doesn't even have a plan to raise the revenue for the $18 million a year operations costs. He just wants the Supervisors to give it to him as if he were a teenager looking for a raise in his allowance. When both the North County Supervisors are expressing skepticism about the need for a new jail, you know the project is on the ropes. All we need now is strong body shot and then a decent knock-out blow to the jaw, followed by a slow count to ten.
On Sheriff Misfires in Budget Shootout
Posted on April 7 at 9:26 p.m.
John Tieber, from reading many of your posts, I have come the conclusion that your circle of concern and your circle of influence do not touch on very many points. Your life must be stressful.
On Clinic May Have Infected Patients with Hepatitis, HIV
Posted on March 25 at 9:38 p.m.
Bravo! Starshine. I fought against jargon for over 30 years in my career (and lost that battle). I was told that language is "fluid" and that we had to put up with turning nouns into verbs and adjectives into nouns. That is all B.S. Sure, slang is understandable and actually serves a communication purpose in its place, but there is nothing like precision and clarity to foster, well, precision and clarity. If you are searching for a word to express your unique and important idea, it is better to take the time to find the correct and precise word rather than make one up. Shortcuts are nice, but often lead one to mires.
On The Cacophony of Corporate Squawk
Posted on March 25 at 9:18 p.m.
This is what happens when you steam drive shallow petroleum reservoirs. All that asphalt gets loosened-up and where it was once a patch of congealed tar on the side of a road cut it becomes a seep. The same thing happened in Price Canyon in San Luis Obispo County when they started the intensive steaming of that field. They had to prevent the seeps from getting into Pismo Creek (the Native American word Pismo, by the way means tar). Those seeps had been leaking into the creek for millennia but the steaming process made it worse. I am not passing judgment on whether or not this is a terrible thing, but it could have and should have been foreseen and mitigated from the beginning. What fool wrote that EIR?
On Pacific Coast Energy Installs New Seep Cans
Posted on March 24 at 9:35 p.m.
People are not born with "roles" to play in society. People are born with potential. It is true that men are unable to bare children and women are unable to conceive children without men. But this is about the extent of any roles we must play. A woman does not have to bare children if she chooses not to do so and a man may equally refuse to participate in the conception of children. At that point the "roles" are mute. As long as any society assigns "roles" to people based on gender, it is an oppressive society and should be dismantled and scattered to the four winds like fine ash. I person should be free to realize his or her full potential to be whatever and whomever they wish to be.
On Women's Roles in Islam