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Saturday, August 13, 2005

Sponsors and radio show collude: Shhh!

High gas prices finally forced the local politically-connected right-wing radio talk station to start yapping. Unfortunately, the yapping only indicates that they have reached Stage 1 of oil depletion awareness. They still think the current price predicament relates to excess oil demand caused mainly by refinery problems, reaffirmed here by the economist of the bunch.

Most of the supply&demand rationalizations came from BushCo talking points, including these delivered in the most monotone of cadences:
  1. China not efficiently using energy.
  2. Arctic National Wildlife Refuge not online yet.
  3. When oil reaches $100/barrel, you will be able to fill your tank with nuclear fuel.
  4. Oil exists in western North Dakota, that we can now get at due to better ROI.
  5. Tar sands in Canada.

Lots of what they say on air causes confusion when you read their blogs. For example, the economist says in his blog that the Arctic sites won't come on line (in any case) for 7 years; I didn't hear them mention this on the air, which would have punctured their own arguments. On the other hand, he does teach at St. Cloud State University, the equivalent of a beauty school for the rather limited education they provide their students.

The comment on western North Dakota proved the most frustrating and annoying. They really have no clue. An investment firm advises:
The Middle Bakken horizontal oil play in Eastern Montana and Western North Dakota is one of the largest onshore oil fields found in recent years. Seventeen rigs are running continuously to develop the field and over 120 wells have been drilled with no dry holes. Current production from the Field is in excess of 700 MBO per month with cumulative Field production in excess of 10 MMBO. Primary ultimate reserves for the Field are estimated at between 250-350 MMBO recoverable. The Middle Bakken pay zone is generally produced with either one or two 4,000-5,000-foot horizontal laterals or occasionally one longer 8,000-9,000-foot lateral. Estimated ultimate recoveries range from 250 MBO to 700 MBO. Typical initial production rates range from 300-1,000 BOPD yielding relatively quick payouts of a year or less. Headington Oil Company L. P., Dallas, TX, has staked a drilling location immediately offsetting the acquired acreage. This well should be drilled during the first half of 2005.
You really have to read this correctly.
  BO="barrels of oil"
MBO="thousand barrels of oil"
MMBO="million barrels of oil"

So the largest western NoDak oil field provides a little over 20,000 barrels per day, with initial runs less than 1000 per day. Whoopie. If that does not convince you of a delusional Stage 1 thought process, an oil exploration firm advises:
On our North Dakota acreage, we have reentered seven wellbores and in each of the wellbores have drilled single laterals to test the Bakken. Results have been mixed with an average initial post frac production rate of 125 BOEPD from the six wells completed to date.

125 Barrels of Oil Equivalent per Day. Either they know something I don't or they misread MBO as million barrels of oil per day.

Not once did they mention Peak Oil (closest they came near the end of the hour-long segment: "although we are using up oil, oil is not running out, there will always be oil"). Neither did they mention the energy bill. And they also did not mention conservation. Why, you may ask?

Because they did the radio show from a remote location at a GM car dealership! They had a car dealership as a sponsor! AssMissile kept reminding everyone "Yukon SUV's $10,000 off!". No wonder they didn't want to talk conservation. They did not want to get frog-marched out of the car lot by the sales weasels.

I will continue to keep an eye for when they reach Stage 2 of realization. That part scares me -- they like guns.

The participating web sites from the radio show here:
Afghani Northern Alliance Radio (Warning: An alternative flash site with an W3C XHTML compliant sticker attached. How dweebishly sick to display the top-level html containing the flash as W3C compliant. )
1 2 3 4 5

I found it fascinating when the radio bloggers stated that chief BushCo supporter Sen. Norm Coleman voted against drilling in the Arctic because he wanted to protect Minnesota corn growers (I actually thought he had promised Minnesota voters he would protect the environment). If Coleman thought corn ethanol could beat the oil brat just by believing in questionable marketing schemes, he truly has a low threshold for services rendered.

Update: The economist's blog recieved this floater in his comment section. It basically deflates all the refinery capacity arguments you will ever hear, from the Cato Institute no less. And I don't understand how the radio economist can link to The Capital Spectator, who has written about peak oil for at least a year, without grasping the obvious.


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