EPA abuses the permit process for an icebreaker

Earth killing GHG spewing icebreaker Image:US Coast Guard

Jeez Louise. They may need an icebreaker for the project, and so since they didn’t account for its exhaust, let’s scuttle the whole thing and the 4 billion invested so far.  I’m no fan of Shell, but this is just wrong. This makes me angry, especially when we have these nether-NGOs like “Earthjustice” involved.

The irony is, we are being told the polar ice is melting at an unprecedented rate, so why are they worried about needing an icebreaker again? The whole thing is bollocks. On one hand we have Obama telling us we need to end our dependence on foreign oil…

“I will set a clear goal as president: in ten years we will finally end our dependence on oil in the Middle East,” said Democratic Presidential nominee Barack Obama. ” Source here

….then we have the EPA pulling this crap to prevent domestic oil production with the help of NGO’s.

EPA Shuts Down Drilling in Alaska

by Brian McGraw on globalwarming.org

Shell announced today, for now, it must end a project to drill for oil off the coast of Northern Alaska, because of a decision made by an EPA appeals board to deny permits to acknowledge that Shell will meet air quality requirements. This is not part of ANWR.

Companies that drill for oil must go through extensive permitting processes and invest billions of dollars as payments for leasing the land, exploring for possible oil fields, equipment, etc. This is all done with the understanding that assuming they follow the letter of the law, there is a chance that this investment won’t be flushed down the toilet at the end of the tunnel. It appears that in this case Shell has followed procedure and that emissions will be below any standards required by the EPA:

The EPA’s appeals board ruled that Shell had not taken into consideration emissions from an ice-breaking vessel when calculating overall greenhouse gas emissions from the project. Environmental groups were thrilled by the ruling.

“What the modeling showed was in communities like Kaktovik, Shell’s drilling would increase air pollution levels close to air quality standards,” said Eric Grafe, Earthjustice’s lead attorney on the case. Earthjustice was joined by Center for Biological Diversity and the Alaska Wilderness League in challenging the air permits.

Talk about moving the goalposts. They must have been really desperate to cancel this project given that this was the best straight-faced excuse they could muster. Not only do you have to be below the legally required emission limits but you must also not even be “close” to the limits, as defined by unelected officials, one of whom is a former attorney for the Environmental Defense Fund.

Events like this are a prime example of why many in Congress want to strip authority from the EPA. Shell had reportedly invested over $4 billion in this project. When companies make investment decisions, consideration is given to whether or not bureaucrats can make arbitrary decisions to shut the project down halfway through a multi-year process. There are many other countries with natural resource reserves who do not subject economic activity to such unpredictable insanity, and in the eye of a corporation, after an event like this these locations begin to look more preferable to dealing with the United States.

=================================================================

Events like this are a prime example of why many in Congress want to strip authority from the EPA. Shell had reportedly invested over $4 billion in this project.

Ya think?

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168 Responses to EPA abuses the permit process for an icebreaker

  1. DirkH says:

    Shakedown Socialism. Shell didn’t pay the right Kommissar.

  2. peat says:

    This would easily fit into the plot of Atlas Shrugged, which I watched last night. It seems clear that there is an agenda involved other than ice-breaker exhaust.

  3. Johna Till Johnson says:

    Yeah. I think.

    If the goalposts keep moving, why would ANYONE sane keep doing business in the United States?

    Like you, I’m no fan of Shell–but WTF? If this is the payoff for a $4 B investment, Shell would have been better off speculating in the international stock market. Which would, of course, have eliminated several hundred jobs for U. S. based scientists and engineers.

    But hey, looks like we’d rather fund international financial wizards than pay to create jobs….wealth… and U.S.-based energy sources.

    OOOOOOOKay. Just so we’re clear on priorities, people!

    (Sorry, Anthony/Mods.. feel free to snip.. this just makes me crazy. At the end of a long day working my tail off to make this country’s economy slightly better—this feels like a smack in the face…)

  4. jack morrow says:

    Wow! It is hard to understand our leaders. I think if I was a representative of congress I would be on the floor everyday exposing these things and trying to curb the power of the EPA . I am perplexed, and I think lots of Americans are too and are approaching the famous “Tipping Point.”

  5. Frank says:

    Barak Hussein Obama

    Blood is thicker than oil.

  6. TomB says:

    I too have watched http://www.atlasshruggedpart1.com/ (and strongly urge you all to do likewise) after having read it, and re-read it several times. Whilst I understand the criticisms aimed at Ayn Rand, this is a picture postcard example of exactly what she illustrates in Atlas Shrugged. I’m sad to see it in my lifetime.

  7. TomRude says:

    EPA= Obama Reelection Committee

  8. DirkH says:

    The fun thing is, on this side of the Atlantic, all that we hear is that the evil anti-science congress wants to strip the EPA off its powers because Reps are against clean air. I constantly correct the misperceptions of my German friends. I am sure most of our journalists are bought or naturally unfit for the job.

  9. James Sexton says:

    Why does our administration hate the idea of real energy independence for this nation? Do they really think planting pinwheels and whirlygigs are going to solve our problems? Or, if we plant more corn? Milo was pretty high today, how does this equate with a solvent U.S.? Given the S&P’s recent rating, you’d thought the EPA would be more cognizant of this nation’s situation.

  10. Katabasis says:

    That has made my day Anthony, to see you say – “The whole thing is bollocks.”

    That describes how I feel every day when I see or hear a BBC news item that covers anything vaguely weather, energy or science related and I find myself tensing up waiting for the inevitable mention of “climate change”…

  11. Catcracking says:

    This is just another of many examples the Administration is attempting to choke off the production of oil and gas. It’s part of the irrational religion of hating fossil fuels at the expens of our economy. Of course the regulation of CO2 emissions by the EPA will be the ultimate killer of our economy unless throttled by sane forces in the House of Representatives.
    I wonder if the Administration still believes that the alternative energy sources can ever supply a significant part of our energy needs. They are a hoax even bigger than that the climate change debacle. We are pouring dollars down a rat hole, and the Administration wants to tax fossil energy sources to increase the size of the rat hole.
    The irronic thing is that this president is himself one of the worst offenders of wasting fossil fuels flying around in Air Force 1 for no good reason other than to stir up his base.
    For some other examples see below:
    http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article.aspx?id=570276&p=1
    “On the day Obama took office, gasoline was $1.83 a gallon. On Tuesday, according to the American Automobile Association’s Daily Fuel Gauge Report, the national average was $3.87. While electricity prices haven’t yet necessarily skyrocketed, gasoline prices sure have.”

    “Obama could have prevented this. But he’s done nothing to push crude supplies up and thereby bring gasoline prices down. In fact, it appears that his goal is to reduce domestic supply. Among the energy roadblocks his administration has thrown up:

    • An illegal moratorium on drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.

    • The rescission of permits that had already been issued for drilling in the Chukchi Sea off Alaska.

    • The withholding of air permits for drilling, prompting Shell to walk away from an estimated 27 billion barrels of Arctic oil.

    No, the oil in those reserves would not be in tomorrow’s pipeline. But the promise of more oil in the future has an effect on prices today. The opposite — a future of artificial scarcity — is the reason oil is currently trading at elevated levels.”

  12. Martin C says:

    November 2012 CAN’T COME QUICK ENOUGH. !

    And with gas prices going up, I would say the obama isn’t looking out for the US interests. Isn’t that one of the presidents’s jobs, not hurting the US, which this sure is . . . gee, is that an impeachable offense . . ? (a bit of sarc obviously, but still . . .) though the VP likely wouldn’t be any better if he were there . . .

  13. Latitude says:

    President Obama said today his Justice Department is creating a team to “root out any cases of fraud or manipulation in the oil markets that might affect gas prices.”

    “When I was asked earlier about the issue of coal…under my plan of a cap and trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket…even regardless of what I say about whether coal is good or bad, because I’m capping greenhouse gasses, coal power plants, natural gas…you name it…whatever the plants were, whatever the industry was, they would have to retro-fit their operations.
    That will cost money…they will pass that money on to the consumers.”

  14. PaulH says:

    The USA can buy ethical oil from the Canadian oil sands today, instead of grappling with the EPA who prefers Middle Eastern oil.

  15. Latitude says:

    “When I was asked earlier about the issue of coal…under my plan of a cap and trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket…even regardless of what I say about whether coal is good or bad, because I’m capping greenhouse gasses, coal power plants, natural gas…you name it…whatever the plants were, whatever the industry was, they would have to retro-fit their operations.

    That will cost money…they will pass that money on to the consumers.”

  16. danj says:

    Two comments:

    1. Shell was negligent to not include George Soros in ownership of the leases. That would have expedited the permit approval.
    2. I wonder if they will return Shell’s $2 billion lease payment that they put up for the right to explore and drill on the leases. (Probably not, huh?)

  17. Catcracking says:

    The other sad fact is that in recent years, oil/gas lease purchases and production royalities have been the gratest source of Revenue to the US Treasury after income tax!!

    Could we use the increased revenue as well as the high paying jobs created by oil/gas exploration and production?

  18. George E. Smith says:

    All the Silicon Valley Industrial Welfare Socialists; aka the renewable energy “investors” are in Obambi’s pocket. Sarah Palin is from Alaska. What else do you need to know ?

  19. Gary Hladik says:

    Maybe Alaska should secede and join OPEC.

  20. SSam says:

    I am a bit perplexed with regards to the “subsidies” that the Luddites want to strip from the oil companies. Are these the same royalty waivers that the MMS uses to entice development of the deep and ultra deep fields in the GOM? If not, please elaborate.

  21. SSam says:

    Eh… sore subject.

    West Texas Intermediate showed 107.18/bbl on 4/19/11. That works out to $2.55/gal of crude oil. (42 gallons/barrel)

    Based on recent historical production/transport/markup, that pencils in at $4.08/gal on the National Pump Price.

    And this cheeze-whiz wants to look for price gouging.

    http://i52.tinypic.com/dgp6xw.png

  22. danj says:

    SSam says:
    April 26, 2011 at 4:54 pm
    I am a bit perplexed with regards to the “subsidies” that the Luddites want to strip from the oil companies.
    —————————————————————————
    Primarily they are the deductions for intangible drilling costs and the depletion allowance…

  23. James Sexton says:

    Gary Hladik says:
    April 26, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    Maybe Alaska should secede and join OPEC.
    ==================================
    That would indeed, secure the oil for Shell and ensure the purchase by the U.S……… Oddly, I think the various separatist movements in AK would never come to an agreement on how to accomplish such an action.

    The impact on a village several miles away from the icebreaker……yeh, thank goodness the EPA is there to keep them safe……….from jobs.

  24. Just The Facts says:

    I assume this means that the US Coast Guard Icebreaker Healy;
    http://www.icefloe.net/healy-main

    won’t be gallivanting around the Arctic like it has in previous years?:
    http://www.icefloe.net/docs/healy2008.pdf
    http://www.icefloe.net/cruise-reports-overview
    http://www.rvdata.us/catalog/Healy

    And from this page;
    http://www.rvdata.us/catalog

    only the Corwith Cramer and Rovert C. Seamans should be doing any exploring lest we “increase air pollution levels close to air quality standards”.

    Perhaps Arctic Sea Ice Extent would “recover” further;
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/reference-pages/sea-ice-page/

    if hundreds/thousands of ships stopped carving it into pieces/covering it in soot during the melt season…

  25. TheOldBear says:

    Perhaps they should have chartered one of the Russian nuke ships [ZEIB = Zero Emission Ice Breaker]
    ;-)

  26. Smokey says:

    IIRC, when oil was around $143 a barrel in 2008, President Bush simply announced that he was lifting the drilling moratorium. Although no extra oil came on line as a result of his announcement, the price of oil immediately began to decline. It went down to $33 a barrel, and gasoline was $1.87 a gallon when Obama was sworn into office.

    The first thing Obama did as President was to impose a new drilling ban. Obama’s ban covers much more area than the previous moratorium that both Presidents Bush 41 & 43 inherited from the Clinton Administration.

  27. ew-3 says:

    Remember, Bambi gets funding from BP and is a friend of Petrobras. Screw all the other oil companies (till they contribute to his 2012 election campaign).

  28. danj says:

    Obama’s Gulf of Mexico oil moratorium and subsequent “permitorium” will, within 18 months, result in a loss of GOM crude oil production equivalent to a supertanker load every two days–just what the nation needed…

  29. WTF says:

    Didn’t Obama and the Dems muse about fines or outright revocation of leases for oil companies that didn’t drill on their leases not too long ago?

  30. starzmom says:

    So Shell failed to consider greenhouse gas emissions from its icebreaker and that pushes it to a level where it might violate air quality standards? There are no air quality standards for greenhouse gasses, only EPA “guidance.” So now facilities/sources have to meet non-existent standards for unspecified emissions. Nothing will ever get done.

  31. elbatrop says:

    If the US wants oil independence then it had better use less cause it can’t drill its way there, hasn’t been able to for well over 30 years. Isn’t from a lack of trying either.

    domestic drilling also has very little effect on price, few cents at best since oil is priced on the world market

    Obama is like every other POTUS going back to like Carter, mentioning oil independence is something they all have done and they all have been lying, this is old news.

    Until the pricing of oil is no longer distorted by policy the US is going to increasingly find itself in an impossible and tragic situation. Judith Curry talks about “wicked” problems, oil depletion is a real bear of a problem that makes others look tame.

  32. Bob in Castlemaine says:

    Sadly things are no better here in Australia.
    Here it can take the State Government department concerned more than three years to permit even a small tailings extraction plant in the middle of nowhere. And this for a plant that will remediate sands that have lain contaminated with high levels of arsenic and heavy metals for more than 100 years.
    We also have a National Government that seeks to kill-off profitable mining companies with its super tax, a tax which would take the overall level of royalty/tax to not far short of 50%. We are in a resources boom they say you must share the profits – no heed of the decades of poor markets, the years of exploration and development. This is all before we even consider the Government’s ill conceived carbon dioxide tax on everything.
    It’s no wonder people just give up and go elsewhere.

  33. Fred from Canuckistan says:

    Let me fix that headline for you . . .

    “Obama’s EPA Shuts down America”

    Just like he said he would.

  34. earthdog says:

    This is completely unacceptable. Can’t wait for the elections to come around. I will be hitting the streets.

  35. Ric Werme says:

    One thing we’ve all seen are requests from many sources to write your congresscritter to support or oppose some random bill. I wonder how much mail they get about the government squashing projects like this. So…

    Please write your congresscritters. Keep the letters short, but given the plethora of issues behind this action, write several letters.

    How many subjects are there on this?

    Increase supply of oil to lower prices.

    Decrease dependence on foreign oil.

    Blow off a $4,000,000,000 investment by a US company by a federal agency’s individual action.

    Waste a $4,000,000,000 that would have created hundreds? of direct jobs and orders of magnitude more indirect jobs. (Jobs are fashionable – New Hampshire politicians are very sensitive to bills that improve or harm the job market.) If this project were to produce any oil price decline, then that will affect millions of people.

    Government inefficiency and waste should be kept in Washington. (Umm, that’s a bit negative.) (But it should be!) (And bring the recession to DC!)

    Why worry about the cost and pollution from an ice breaker? Arctic Sea Ice will be gone by the time they produce their first barrel! (Can we call that “Appeal to the Consensus?” Sort of like “Appeal to Authority.”)

    What happened to the “Greatest Good Principle” (probably a number of good communist angles). Apply with care!

    If you have a good topic or write a good letter, post it here.

  36. Doug Badgero says:

    The Obama EPA has taken this to a whole new level but this has been occurring in the USA for decades now. As others have said, how can anyone invest long term capitol in this environment………never knowing when some NGO or local opposition group will successfully destroy all, or part, of your invested capitol? There are MANY socialist European societies that do a better job of encouraging capitol investment than we do. There is a saying in economics………”Capitol goes where it is needed, and stays where it is treated well.” We do not treat it well in the United States.

  37. mike g says:

    Well, I’m for the Chi-comms coming in a tapping this reserve with their sideways drilling. Somebody needs to bring this field into play and if I was them I’d say “put up or shut up” to anyone who claimed more than a three mile limit. Other than the jobs lost, at least that way we get oil into the market to help balance the demand with supply.

  38. Kum Dollison says:

    Why doesn’t Shell just agree to power any needed icebreakers with Veg. Oil, or Cellulosic Ethanol, or some other fuel that the EPA is down with?

  39. Mac the Knife says:

    Yes. The EPA action, destroying a$4 billion dollar investment with the most trivial of bureaucratic excuses, is profoundly wrong. We must do more than write about it on blogs, though. We must immediately call our legislators and, in the strongest terms, tell them to cut all funding for the EPA until this decision is reversed and every person in the approval chain of this travesty is fired, including AdministratorLisa Jackson.

    Then, hike thee (physically, electronically, and financially) down to your favorite local political organization and work your butts off for the next year and a half to defeat all politicians supporting these EPA hacks and the current administration that installed and sustains them! It is a many headed hydra, we must slay… and no time to spare but for sharpening your grass roots swords.

  40. danj says:

    elbatrop says:
    April 26, 2011 at 5:22 pm
    If the US wants oil independence then it had better use less cause it can’t drill its way there, hasn’t been able to for well over 30 years. Isn’t from a lack of trying either.
    —————————————————————————
    I disagree. We import 10 million bbls of crude a day. There are an estimated 800 billion bbls of shale oil in a play near the Utah, Wyoming, and Colorado borders that the federal government puts off limits for drilling. In the central part of Louisiana, the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale play is now being leased. It has an estimated 70 billion bbls of shale oil reserves. None of this even includes huge reserves still left on the OCS. Do the math…

  41. danj says:

    Smokey says:
    April 26, 2011 at 5:12 pm
    The first thing Obama did as President was to impose a new drilling ban. Obama’s ban covers much more area than the previous moratorium that both Presidents Bush 41 & 43 inherited from the Clinton Administration.
    ———————————————————————————
    What most people don’t realize is that there is about to be a bonanza of drilling in the Gulf of Mexico off the northern coast of Cuba. Nine foreign countries have leases to drill there. Some of them are so close to Florida, you could spit on it. Cuba will get the jobs, the oil, and the hard currency. We are still waiting for our domestic Gulf of Mexico jobs and investments that Obama took from us to return. Maybe some of our rigs will go to Cuba. That would be tragic irony…

  42. Kum Dollison says:

    Uh, and besides, that’s not exactly how this deal came down.

    The regulatory status in Alaska is “much different,” he said. Odum said he’s hopeful the delay will be resolved and he appreciates EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson looking at the issue.

    Several federal agencies have worked with Shell to help the company in Alaska, including the EPA, which issued a permit on March 31, 2010, according to a statement.

    “That permit was subsequently appealed by outside groups, including local Alaskan stakeholders, and overturned by the independent Environmental Appeals Board,” according to the statement. “EPA immediately appealed for reconsideration and we have worked with Shell to address the concerns.”

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-04-26/shell-says-slow-u-s-drill-permits-in-alaska-irresponsible-1-.html

  43. Wade says:

    This makes about as much sense as taxing oil companies more so they will lower prices. With that kind of logic, is it any wonder western civilization is going down the low-flow toilet?

  44. LearDog says:

    The sad reality is that this is NOT isolated. All sorts of groups – EVERYwhere – are impeding energy independence. Whilst simultaneously decrying gasoline and food prices. The intellectual dissonance is stunning.

    Consider this one example – http://www.star-telegram.com/2011/04/26/3027935/xto-energy-drops-plans-to-drill.html

    Just today. Not isolated by any stretch of the imagination. It goes on, and on, and on….

    And they wonder why the US companies leave…..

  45. Frank K. says:

    Well, well…here’s the culprit…

    What the modeling showed was in communities like Kaktovik, Shell’s drilling would increase air pollution levels close to air quality standards,” said Eric Grafe, Earthjustice’s lead attorney on the case.

    Does anyone have any references to the “models” that were employed in the “study?” And were the models enough evidence for the EPA to scuttle billions of dollars invested oil exploration by Shell?? You’ve got to be kidding!

    But, again, for anyone who wants to know what the end game is for the CAGW alarmism being spread by the likes of Hansen, Schmidt, Mann, Santer, Trenberth, et al., here it is, writ large.

    Also…remember that the climate elites (who have raked in billions of dollars for themselves and their research) don’t care about your job, your family, or your community if it gets in the way of their aims – specifically, total government control of the economy in the name of global warming…

  46. Al Gored says:

    On another front, watched Evil Fox news today and caught an interview with an oil guy about EPA plans to list some lizard… which will shut down oil drilling in western Texas.

    Sorry, can’t find a link.

    But that should help. After all, under Barry’s plan – well, actually his masters’s plans – energy prices will necessarily skyrocket.

  47. Al Gored says:

    So sad… but it is happening right before our eyes. As this begins… “read it and weep” for the good old days.

    http://sppiblog.org/news/the-abdication-of-the-west

  48. drjohn says:

    “I will set a clear goal as president: in ten years we will finally end our dependence on oil in the Middle East,” said Democratic Presidential nominee Barack Obama. ”

    Don’t get sucked in. Obama’s plan isn’t to reduce oil consumption, only to change vendors. That’s why he’s promising to be Brazil’s best customer. One has to wonder why we don’t spend the money here and not in foreign countries.

  49. Ted says:

    The world is full of these sad sack leftist like Obama and his EPA they do 5% good and 95% bad. I’ve watched it all my life, from the many countries I’ve lived in and the modus oparandi is always the same. Promise, subvert,tax and destroy.

    But of all of them Obama takes the cheese with his Czars/comrades and agency’s such as the EPA, it’s amazing how much damage socialist cooks can do in such a short period of time. Some say Obama is so a-peeling, so nice,hes so charming, he has a nice smile? So did Stalin and he was one of the most vicarious mean bastards in history!

    Obama and his like will reap a whirl wind of financial and emotional hurt to America and it will reverberate around the world! Voters are enamored with the smile and a turn of phrase and never with the consequences or substance!

    “A pretty face don’t make a pretty heart, I’ve learn’t that right from the start”
    Robert Palmer from Doctor Doctor give me the news!

  50. Pamela Gray says:

    My goodness. For this one-time Dem, 2012 can’t come fast enough. I don’t care how bad the Repub nomination turns out to be, this just cannot continue. A bad, blond, back of the head comb-over with pursed lips, and hot-headed sound bites is better than “devastating”.

  51. philincalifornia says:

    danj says:
    April 26, 2011 at 4:46 pm

    2. I wonder if they will return Shell’s $2 billion lease payment that they put up for the right to explore and drill on the leases. (Probably not, huh?)
    ————————————————————————-

    I hope they sue to get the $2.2 billion back, and maybe the whole $4 billion. Then we might see what the EPA is actually worth in dollars, beside f***-all these days.

  52. Catcracking says:

    Here is the link for another EPA plan to stop drilling in Texas via the 3 inch Lizzard

  53. elbatrop says:

    @danj

    http://www.eia.gov/countries/country-data.cfm?fips=US

    Shale oil isn’t crude oil, its kerogen first of all, second of all the flow rate is abysmal and will never reach any meaningful levels and the actual recoverable reserves are far less than 800 billion barrels. All oil grades are not the same nor are the fields they are found in comparable. The US is down to just under 5 million barrels per day or crude + condensate production, been falling since 1971. Flow rate is the name of the game and the US lost the ability to boost production enough to overcome the decline rate of existing fields a long time ago.

    the OCS reserves are puny as well, small, expensive, short lived describes them best

    The US peaked in domestic production not due to drilling restrictions but because it simply ran out of the easy to get to plentiful oil fields with large reserves just like every other nation that hit their peaks which about 40 nations at this point.

  54. Jeremy says:

    There appears to be big money to be made by shutting down legitimate industrial activity.

    http://fairquestions.typepad.com/rethink_campaigns/2011/04/telling-grants-from-usa-foundations.html

  55. Smokey says:

    elbatrop,

    America is a “Can Do” country, and if the government simply gets out of our way there will be ample energy. The problem is that Obama is doing his level best to neuter our great exceptionalism. He is a craven traitor IMO.

  56. Wayne Delbeke says:

    PaulH says:
    April 26, 2011 at 4:43 pm
    The USA can buy ethical oil from the Canadian oil sands today, instead of grappling with the EPA who prefers Middle Eastern oil.
    __________________________________________________________
    From a still frozen Canuck:

    Not really, the US, including Obama have called Canadian Oil Sands “Dirty Oil” along with other sources and are delaying/blocking approval of pipelines to ship Canadiab oil to US refineries. So, Canadian, European and Asian countries are looking at shipping oil west and east instead of south as it is getting ridiculously difficult to ship south. It the US doesn’t want our “Dirty Oil” regardless of its origin, then it will go elsewhere and more high paying US refining jobs will be lost. The Obama government is pretty much sticking to the plan they laid out pre-election. A lot of people must not have read his platform before the election as I told a lot of my US cousins to read it before they voted …. but all they heard was the rhetoric and they didn’t read it. Obama is just doing what he said he would before he was ever elected.

    So next election …

  57. Colonel Sun says:

    The minuscule CO2 emissions from an icebreaker?

    That makes less sense than fining someone for p*ssing in the middle of the Pacific.

    Shirley they must be joking.

  58. danj says:

    elbatrop says:
    April 26, 2011 at 6:50 pm

    …second of all the flow rate is abysmal and will never reach any meaningful levels and the actual recoverable reserves are far less than 800 billion barrels.
    ———————————————————————————-
    You are right about not being able to recover all of the 870 billion barrels of shale oil reserves I referred to. You can certainly, according to experts, recover a third of that amount. That leaves over 200 years worth of oil if it offsets the current rate of 10 million barrels a day of imports (and some of the imports, like those from Canada, are safe and secure.) And, again, that is not counting any other oil reserves either onshore or on the OCS. It can be done if government lets it happen…

  59. Curiousgeorge says:

    People need to understand that this sort of thing is right out of the Socialist playbook. Obama is deliberately creating confusion and uncertainty about as many issues as possible. That’s how you bring about “Fundamental Change”. Pay attention folks. It’s working.

  60. David L. Hagen says:

    Obama promised:
    “I will set a clear goal as president: in ten years we will finally end our dependence on oil in the Middle East,”

    Yet his policies are diametrically opposite to his promise.

    He committed to reduce oil imports to the United States by a third over the next 10 years.

    Yet he is hindering fuel development at every turn, directly opposite his commitments.

    See Globalwarming.org
    “Talk about moving the goalposts. They must have been really desperate to cancel this project given that this was the best straight-faced excuse they could muster.”

    This is a severe abuse of the rule of law.

    For a glimpse of the challenge before us, see Robert L. Hirsch The Impending World Energy Crunch.

    The real challenge is that domestic consumption by oil exporting countries will be reducing global oil exports by about 9%/year.

    See: Brown et al. 2010
    “Peak Oil Versus Peak Net Exports–Which Should We Be More Concerned About?”

    He cannot prevent the US from descending into severe financial depression unless he sets a total moon shot goal for liquid transport fuels on a war time footing.

    I strongly challenge those aspiring to President or Congress to grasp a hold of this challenge and rise to the challenge.
    Screw up your courage, grab a hold of the challenge, and do it!

  61. crosspatch says:

    We have about 18 months to grease those rails in DC. If the Democrats were surprised in 2010, I think they will be absolutely “gobsmacked” in 2012.

  62. Tom in Florida says:

    Let’s see, Shell share holders just lost $4 billion. I wonder how they will make that up?
    End users get the big wazoo once again. Thank you Mr President, may I have another!

  63. Catcracking says:

    elbatrop,
    Unfortunately you are not “talking” to the uninformed on this site. Very few will buy the Kool Aid from the administration and the MSM. There are just too many restrictions on drilling to believe your claim. While in the house Obama was pushing a bill to prevent new technology being used to survey not recently surveyed. Also Oil/gas production increased as the result of Bush policy of opening up lands during the last high price gas crisis. Prices came down to circa $1.80.

    Do you really believe that the Environmental policy of taking so many promising energy producing sites off the table has not significantly affected our oil and gas reserve/production? This administration has significantly expanded the acerage where exploration and production has been banned. Just read the posts listed here to learn about some of the areas that have been declared off limits by the Goverment. If there really is no oil there, take the royality payments to enrich the treasury, and let the oil companies go broke.

    What are you afraid of, Just open up these areas and then maybe you can prove your point. The drilling ban is a self fufilling prophecy re peak oil.

    For a list of recent bans by the Administration check this site out:
    http://media.www.claremontindependent.com/media/storage/paper1031/news/2011/04/12/Editorial/Tapping.Obamas.Will.To.Drill-3993944.shtml
    “This figure (Obama’s false claim the US has only 2% of reserves), much bandied about by environmentalists, is misleading, as it includes only the proven reserves where drilling already occurs, ignoring those (like in Alaska, the Outer Continental Shelf, and the shale deposits in Wyoming, Utah, and Colorado) where drilling has been banned through executive fiat. These reserves, worth some 900 billion barrels, languish untapped. They could change America from a net importer to net exporter of oil. But Obama remains uninterested. In fact, his Secretary of the Interior canceled 77 leases for oil and gas drilling in Utah as one of his first acts on the job.”
    Time for some honesty.

  64. Sun Spot says:

    Won’t Shell just write it off as a business loss and write it off on their taxes ? Oh I forgot does Shell actually pay any business taxes (I know GE dosn’t) ???

  65. Louis Hissink says:

    Damn government departments – just spoke to a colleague in the West Australian Department of Mines, who wise cracked that the Mine-safety rules applied to exploration would mean no one could do any exploration field work. My sarcastic response was that this is probably the goal. (Conversation was about my field crew being stranded in a country town with the latest Landcruiser utility (16,000km on the clock, brand new sort of) that had a flat battery. Flat battery and US battery literally means no go for the modern computerised engine management systems.

    The long term game plan is to shut down the mining industry (including petroleum) by locking us out of our own countries, or making life so intolerably difficult for safety concerns.

    Yup there is an agenda here.

  66. Rachelle Young says:

    Imagine if the EPA had been around when the Mayflower was preparing to sail.

    It would never have left port and would instead have been broken up and tossed in a compost heap.

  67. rbateman says:

    It is very clear that the EPA and Obama want to separate the US from any and all activities relating to Energy. Oil happens to be target #1. They are just getting started.

  68. Socratease says:

    Does anybody else notice that, once again, opaque and unquestionable “computer models” are used in a government decision as a substitute for facts or evidence in order to expand the power of government? Maybe we need a Constitutional amendment specifying that computer models are not admissible in any court or government decision-making body.

  69. Any time an advocacy group is involved you can bet it is in anything but the public interest and only in the interest of that group or its position. ANWAR is a red herring too, all sides in this are suspect. If we are serious about energy independence then we need to do several general things. 1. Get busy with increased development of convention crude in places like the Williston basin and enhanced recovery techniques. 2. start developing resources like coal and keragon shale as sources of fuel liquids. 3. Natural gas is another source. 4. increased efficiency is always good. 5. lots of possibilities in recycling like tires and other stuff and bio-waste. 6. Hire me to advise you.

  70. Shanghai Dan says:

    elbatrop posted:

    Shale oil isn’t crude oil, its kerogen first of all, second of all the flow rate is abysmal and will never reach any meaningful levels and the actual recoverable reserves are far less than 800 billion barrels.

    Source? Because it appears to me we have ~270 YEARS of 100% of our needs locked up in our shale oil reserves. We could be a net-exporter of petroleum on the scale of Saudi Arabia if we really wanted to, and have abundant oil at under $30/barrel (gas down around $1 per gallon) if desired.

  71. Petrol Geologist says:

    elbatrop says:
    April 26, 2011 at 6:50 pm
    Shale oil isn’t crude oil, its kerogen first of all, second of all the flow rate is abysmal and will never reach any meaningful levels and the actual recoverable reserves are far less than 800 billion barrels. All oil grades are not the same nor are the fields they are found in comparable. The US is down to just under 5 million barrels per day or crude + condensate production, been falling since 1971. Flow rate is the name of the game and the US lost the ability to boost production enough to overcome the decline rate of existing fields a long time ago.

    the OCS reserves are puny as well, small, expensive, short lived describes them best

    The US peaked in domestic production not due to drilling restrictions but because it simply ran out of the easy to get to plentiful oil fields with large reserves just like every other nation that hit their peaks which about 40 nations at this point.
    ———————————————————————————-
    Sorry, but your link itself clearly shows that the U.S. reversed its crude production decline in 2009. This was due to both shale oil and those “little” OCS fields like we saw in the BP blowout.

    Thirty years ago, Brazil had ZERO deepwater oil reserves. Today, it produces over 2 million barrels/day -on the way to becoming a member of OPEC. You have to explore before you have have proven reserves. Over 85% of the U.S. Offshore is off-limits to all exploration.

    Even with these severe restrictions, the U.S. is the Third largest oil producer in the world. Lack of domestic oil production is a self-induced political problem -not a resource problem.

  72. Shanghai Dan says:

    Sunspot:

    Royal Dutch Shell paid about $17 billion in income taxes last year. Of course, their CEO isn’t buddy-buddy with our President, either…

  73. Christian Bultmann says:

    Flashback, only 2 years ago scientist on a “Climate Tour” joy ride on an Icebreaker got stuck. Clearly the emissions of that Icebreaker have been of the non polluting kind.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/05/27/cold-irony-arctic-sea-ice-traps-climate-tour-icebreaker/

  74. noaaprogrammer says:

    Just yesterday, April 25, 2011, I and many fellow hobby farmers received in the mail from a county clerk a new bill (tax) of $72 a year for managing rain run-off water from our roofs. (I live in the country outside city limits far away from any storm sewer system.) This is the first of many unfunded mandates that are coming down from the EPA to state departments of ecology and to local municipalities with heavy penalties for non-compliance. PLEASE! Could someone advise us as to how best to combat this creeping taxation without representation? Congress is not doing its job.

  75. kramer says:

    We need to let other countries find the oil in the Arctic, drill for it, and sell it to us. This is a form of wealth redistribution, and it’s probably being done in part for our colonialism sins.

  76. elbatrop says:

    @ Catcracking and danj

    Experts say 1/3rd is recoverable huh, cite that since your earlier numbers were easily blown out of the water, then knock a bunch off that due to the reduced energy content to boot. What’s the ROI look like? Pretty crappy isn’t it, and what’s that do to flow rates which you keep ignoring?

    As far drilling restrictions go, sorry but not only does US oil production history make any claims of restrictions causing an artificial peak absurd but it also applies in all the other nations which have never had such restrictions. Look at the start dates, rig counts and time frames. US offshore restrictions didn’t even start till late 1969. Funny how in the late 60’s oil was still considered infinite in the US despite being told otherwise then 2 years later the US had its oh crap moment followed by a huge spike in drilling with no results. Not the first time drilling has gone nuts with production declining anyway either, that’s been going on since 1971. This exact same scenario has played out in numerous countries. Flow rate is everything, want high flow rate then you need big shallow easy to get at oil fields and the US used those up. The low hanging fruit is gone. Just to break even the US only has to replace a mere 200,000 barrels per day at current rates each year, it has been unable to regardless of price. Going back to 1971 at that stage to stave off depletion rates it only had to replace a mere 330,000 barrels per day and it couldn’t do that then either even though price went thru the roof in the 70’s. Shale oil has been available and in play the entire time, knock yourself out and give it a shot but its production history tells the story there too. Getting oil out of very hard and not porous rock thousands of feet underground is far easier said than done.

  77. Smokey says:

    elbatrop says:

    “Getting oil out of very hard and not porous rock thousands of feet underground is far easier said than done.”

    That is simply Luddite naysaying. Get the government out of the way, let the free market operate, and ample oil will be produced. “Very hard” in the American lexicon is just an obstacle to be overcome. Producing energy is nothing compared to putting men on the moon.

  78. Dave says:

    Environmentalists attack on U.S. oil production is not limited to Alaska offshore. Take a look at http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=FWS-R2-ES-2010-0041-0001 which proposes endangered species status for the “Dunes Sagebrush Lizard”. Such a finding could markedly limit future production from long producing fields in Eastern New Mexico (Chaves, Roosevelt, Eddy, and Lea counties) and Western Texas (Andrews, Crane, Gaines, Ward, and Winkler counties).

  79. Mr Lynn says:

    David L. Hagen says:
    April 26, 2011 at 7:37 pm
    Obama promised:
    “I will set a clear goal as president: in ten years we will finally end our dependence on oil in the Middle East,”

    Yet his policies are diametrically opposite to his promise. . .

    Actually, they’re not. If the string-pullers of the Puppet President have their way, they’ll wreck the American economy—in the name of enviro-correctness (‘alternative’ energy, elimination of automobiles, shutting down smokestack industries, etc.)—and American demand for oil will evaporate. We won’t be dependent any more, just like all the other third-world countries.

    /Mr Lynn

  80. Colonel Sun says:

    re: danj says:
    April 26, 2011 at 6:00 pm

    “There are an estimated 800 billion bbls of shale oil in a play near the Utah, Wyoming, and Colorado borders that the federal government puts off limits for drilling. In the central part of Louisiana, the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale play is now being leased. It has an estimated 70 billion bbls of shale oil reserves. None of this even includes huge reserves still left on the OCS.”

    As has been pointed out previously, shale oil is not oil, but a precuror to oil known as kerogen. The energy density of shale oil is comparable to that of a baked potato. In order to be converted into useful oil, the long hydrocarbon chains of kerogen must be cracked into shorter hydrocarbons. This requires a considerable amount of energy in the form of heat.

    The shale oil situation is quite different from that of the oil sands of Canada.

    Wikipedia: http://goo.gl/bvemH

  81. BravoZulu says:

    “The EPA’s appeals board ruled that Shell had not taken into consideration emissions from an ice-breaking vessel when calculating overall greenhouse gas emissions from the project. Environmental groups were thrilled by the ruling.”

    They are talking about drilling for billions of barrels of oil and they are are shut down by the EPA because they didn’t account for the CO2 emissions of the icebreaker? That goes far beyond abuse and blatant stupidity. It is time to completely defund and defang that group of tyrants when it comes to anything remotely involving CO2..

  82. juanslayton says:

    Sun Spot: Won’t Shell just write it off as a business loss and write it off on their taxes ?

    Tom in Florida: Let’s see, Shell share holders just lost $4 billion. I wonder how they will make that up?

    Latitude: That will cost money…they will pass that money on to the consumers.

    Either consumers or shareholders–or both. There is a widespread naive populism that says ‘Sock it to the plutocrat shareholders,’ not recognizing the extent to which corporations are now effectively owned by the average working stiff. For example, the currently reported holdings of Royal Dutch Shell by CALPERS retirement system is $489,961,936. Check it for yourself at:

    https://www.calpers.ca.gov/mss-pub/SearchController?viewpackage=action&PageId=SearchCatalog&package_code=1861

    And the California teachers retirement system (CALSTRS) holds $227,403,000 worth.
    http://www.calstrs.com/Investments/portfolio/nonUS.asp

    Considering that these are figures from just one state, and just two of the many institutional owners providing benefits to the general public, it is clear that the losses from arbitrary governmental abuse of power will be generally distributed across the population whether at the pump or in the future retirement check.

  83. Graeme says:

    Undeveloped resources will be taken by cultures that are more aggressive than the incumbents.

    Every action has an equal and opposite reaction – the EPA is creating the backlash that will destroy it.

    Environmentalism is a classic malinvestment that will be unwound with the fiat currencies that are required to allow it to persist.

  84. Houston Miller says:

    FoxNews also ran the story[3] about Shell abandoning drilling this summer in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas off Northern Alaska because the EPA will not give them a critical air permit. Part of the story refers to the Trans Alaska Pipeline and how 30 years after it was built, it is running 660,000 bbl per day, < 1/3 of capacity, due to production declines from the existing North Slope fields.

    Production on the North Slope of Alaska is declining at a rate of about 7 percent a year. If the volume gets much lower, pipeline officials say they will have to shut it down. Alaska officials are blasting the Environmental Protection Agency.

    Why shut the pipeline down? I think it is because that over the length of the pipeline, the oil has to move above a critical velocity so that it stays warm via head loss from its viscosity. If the oil cools below its pour point, the pipeline will turn into an 800 mile long candle.

    So lets suppose that we close the TAPS and lose 600,000 bbls of oil per day. What does that mean in energy loss? Let’s put it into wind turbine equivalents. One 1.5 MW wind turbine equals about 20 bbls of oil per day at the name plate rating or about 6 bbls of oil per day assuming typical energy factor for usable wind availability[1]. So closing the TAPS will be the energy equivalent of loosing 100,000 wind turbines. Over the course of 800 miles, that would be one wind turbine every four feet. Given needed separation between turbines, that would be a windfarm 800 miles long and 20 miles wide.

    As of today, there are fewer than 35,000 wind turbines installed in the USA with nameplate capacity of < 45,000 MW.[2] So closing the TAPS, a 30 year old asset running at 1/3 of its capacity, will result in the loss of energy production equal to over 2 times all the wind power currently installed with GAO-knows how many billions of taxpayer subsidies. All because the EPA will not issue the air permits to allow drilling.

    For the want of a permit, a pipeline may be lost.
    For the want of a nail….. a war was lost.
    Of course it depends on whose side of the war you are on.

    [1] http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/04/01/giant-7-megawatt-sea-fan-announced/#comment-634470
    [2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wind_power_in_the_United_States
    [3] http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/04/25/energy-america-oil-drilling-denial/

  85. John Tofflemire says:

    Just curious, but are these members of this EPA appeals board political appointees of the current administration or EPA bureaucrats?

  86. John McDonald says:

    Can you blame companies for outsourcing. Obama and company are turning every US industry into villains from oil, oil services, pharma, coal, banking until they took it over, insurance, wall street, software, semiconductors, autos until they took them over, construction, timber, nuclear, and mining. Even their pet projects of wind mills, solar panels, high speed rail, have fled or are fleeing the country — and the fleeing continues even through the recession. If the government were not spending 10% of the GDP in deficit each year, our economy would be shrinking by about 7 to 8% per year. What businessman in his right mind wants to put up with the legal threats and the unstable, costly, and lengthy permit processes?

    Those EPA folks apparently don’t realize that at the end of the day they are paid by Private Industry.

  87. Chris Riley says:

    This has to stop. I am beginning to think that the Administration has embarked on a scorched earth policy to do as much damage as possible in the 20 months they have left.
    This is our punishment for the rejection of the progressive agenda on November of 2010.

  88. Mike D in AB says:

    It’s called lawfare. The deliberate obstruction of a project by every means available within the letter of the law, regardless of the intent of the law. Sierra club are experts at it. They don’t necessarily need to get a cease operations order, only to slow things to a molasses in January pace so that the investors will complain that there’s no return, and seek developments elsewhere.

  89. Houston Miller says:

    Correction to the above comment about windmills along the TAPS:

    So closing the TAPS will be the energy equivalent of loosing 100,000 wind turbines Over the course of 800 miles, that would be one wind turbine every forty feet. Given needed separation between turbines, that would be a windfarm 800 miles long and two miles wide.

  90. Richard111 says:

    Environmental groups were thrilled by the ruling.

    These same environmental groups appear to be unfazed by the large number of Russian icebreakers that operate in Arctic waters throughout the year.

  91. SSam says:

    Smokey says:
    April 26, 2011 at 9:07 pm

    elbatrop says:

    “Getting oil out of very hard and not porous rock thousands of feet underground is far easier said than done.”

    “That is simply Luddite naysaying.”

    I strongly agree with the Luddite analogy.

    Getting stuff out of “very hard and not porous rock thousands of feet underground” is quite easy… it’s call Hydrofracking. But then, the self lobotomized naysayers have made that an evil technology buzzword as well.

    When Clarita Operating and Chesapeake Operating agreed to shut down operations at two wells in Arkansas, at the behest of the AOGC and CERI who were concerned about an ongoing earthquake swarm, the crowd went wild citing it as an end to hydrofracking. Too bad they were both class II disposal wells used to get rid of the saltwater byproduct of natural gas production. See, the EPA won’t let you dump it in the local watershed. (not a bad policy). A class II well in Arkansas has stringent guidelines on the maximum insertion pressure… determined by a calculation that is based off of the fracture gradient. See, if you exceed that, you fracture that “very hard and not porous rock thousands of feet underground.”

    So… in a nutshell, your statement is wrong.

  92. DesertYote says:

    [snip - just a bit to much over the top to be posted here - Anthony]

  93. Layne Blanchard says:

    I’m afraid the truth is more terrible than anyone imagines. It isn’t just stupidity. This is a deliberate plan to strip us of independence. It is a financial and perhaps ultimately military assault.

  94. Nik Marshall-Blank says:

    With oil exploration comes risks and occasionally some splills. Each time it is hailed as the worst evil in the worls yet the banking industry very nearly brought about the collapse of civilization as we know it and they’re already back to their old ways of double dealing and big bonuses. When will the worlds governments get their priorites right.
    The world is brimming over with governmental organizations placing restrictions on the lives of ordinary people and each time without deference to the people who voted them into power.

    “When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty. ”
    Thomas Jefferson

  95. GeneDoc says:

    Shell’s been trying earnestly to drill its exploratory wells since 2005. Each summer it’s something else that prevents them (last summer it was BP’s mess in the Gulf of Mexico, before that there were a number of lawsuits by environmental groups). They had finally cleared court hurdles and now this. An estimated 25 billion barrels of oil is waiting to be discovered and produced. It’ll still be there when some sanity returns.

    The environmentalists are also waging a campaign to keep GoM operations shut:
    http://fuelfix.com/blog/2011/04/26/feds-should-pull-gulf-permits-until-environmental-impact-clear-activists-say/

    And the President continues to demonize “big oil” and to call for elimination of “these wasteful subsidies” (tax breaks) and to replace them with investments “in clean energy to reduce our dependence on foreign oil.” http://fuelfix.com/blog/2011/04/26/obama-repeats-call-to-end-oil-industry-tax-breaks/

    Oh and there’s the war on hydro-fracturing: http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/business/7538620.html

    Who in the world does he think is going to pay for this? He cannot conceive that ultimately, we consumers pay for corporate taxes and also for “investments in clean energy”, whether they pay off or not. Not to mention that the evil big oil companies may be the best places to “invest in clean energy”. What an embarrassment this administration has become.

    Disclaimer: My spouse has worked for a quarter century as a geologist for Shell Oil. There is some amazing talent in that organization, especially on the R&D side, but the company is rapidly losing interest in US operations. There is less emphasis in recent years on replacing the rapidly retiring “Bell Labs” quality talent. Sad to watch, but a symptom of the political instability in the US.

    [ Square Brackets around "b" replaced with angle brackets so your bolding would work...
    -ModE ]

  96. JPeden says:

    Understandably, by now wealth creation itself always threatens the essentially parasitic Communist/Totalitarian throwbacks because it suggests their basic lack of importance to other people within a society and to Humanity in general. Also, as effective infants, it more primarily gratifies them to vandalize, destroy and impede the workings of the wonderous and beneficial things others have produced, in contrast to spreading and encouraging their development and use.

  97. Stephen says:

    Can Shell just “donate” the necessary materials, have relevant employees sign appropriate contracts, and just run the same project through its Canadian branch with vessels under Canadian flag and jurisdiction? It would have to go back through all the red tape, but unless I missed something I don’t see this effectively killing the project.

  98. Rhoda Ramirez says:

    The ultimate goal is to nationalize the oil industry they way they’re nationalizing the auto industry and the health care industries. About all we can do is to write our congress critters – even the liberal ones – and educate people about the real reason why gas prices are going up – and vote, of course.

  99. GeneDoc says:

    Thanks ModE! I meant to fix that…glad you did.

  100. John Marshall says:

    How many times have I said this?—

    GET RID OF THE EPA

    Then America could start to make things again instead of driving jobs overseas.

  101. Keith Battye says:

    What were you guys thinking when you voted this anti-business administration in?

    At every turn Obama and the Democrats have blamed big business for the problems in America when just the opposite is true.

    Clinton built the platform for the sub-prime catastrophe yet the banks are blamed.

    BP was crucified for an industrial accident that happened under government regulations.

    Now Obama is implying collusion and gouging on the part of big oil.

    Such a splendid giant of a country controlled by midgets.

  102. jheath says:

    While most commentators understandably and rightly discuss the impact of US energy and environmental policy on the US economy, it is worth noting that a number of countries in the Americas are suffering from high oil prices and do not have the wealth of the USA to allow them to pay. And they have noticed that the real culprit in oil price rises is not little Libya and its war but big USA and its resrictions on energy exploration and development. Not surprisingly they are now much keener on links with Venezuela and a slowly liberalising Cuba, not to mentin Brazil and Nigeria as oil producing and exporting countries. How easily does the USA lose influence in its own economic area!

  103. Geoff Sherrington says:

    Shell, tell them that you were going to use a Russian nuclear powered ice breaker.

  104. Ryan says:

    You gotta love the way the Democrats ban this stuff to keep their Green credentials intact knowing full well that the Republicans will lift the ban the moment they get back in.

    Democracy is just a big joke really.

  105. Robert of Ottawa says:

    When I saw this, I just saw the US President ruling by dictat. Chavez would be proud how he pulled this off in a democracy.

  106. Robert of Ottawa says:

    Gene Doc, you ask of Obewone

    Who in the world does he think is going to pay for this?

    He doesn’t care; he won’t. It is ideological for him.

  107. Allen63 says:

    Obama flies nearly every other day to give a “political speech” or “political fundraiser” or “attend the theater”.

    Airforce 1 and the large motorcade (SUVs in it) may burn more fuel per trip than an icebreaker does in a month. Some in-USA trips burn over 50,000 gallons, if reports are to be believed.

    Very expensive and wasteful of fuel (we pay for it). And, lots of CO2 for those that care about such things.

    “Do as I say, not as I do” — comes to mind. The President must set the “example for the nation”. Its the job that he applied for. Its called “being Presidential”.

  108. LearDog says:

    Oh – but SSam (SSam (April 26, 2011 at 10:46 pm)) – the shale oil is still a solid, and due to the high organic content – its a ‘rubbery’ solid. So even if one CAN frac it, it still needs to be heated up to convert the solid kerogen to a more liquid form (oil).

    Lots of research still required. Which is why its sooo disconcerting that the Obama administration canceled the research plot licenses.

    Its all just astonishing to me.

  109. David says:

    We get ‘Ice Road Truckers’ here in the UK….
    Does your nice EPA take into account the exhausts from all those mighty Kenworths flogging up and down the Dalton Highway in permitting the drilling at Prudhoe Bay..?
    One icebreaker..? If it wasn’t so serious it would be laughable…

  110. SteveE says:

    Shanghai Dan says:
    April 26, 2011 at 8:45 pm

    Source? Because it appears to me we have ~270 YEARS of 100% of our needs locked up in our shale oil reserves. We could be a net-exporter of petroleum on the scale of Saudi Arabia if we really wanted to, and have abundant oil at under $30/barrel (gas down around $1 per gallon) if desired.

    ————–

    That article kind of misses the point which isn’t a reserves issue, but a rate of production issue and cost. How many barrels of oil a day can be produced from the oil shale reserves and how much does it cost per barrel.

    The article it links to says intial costs would be $70-$95 a barrel and so to make a profit you would need the oil price to stay above that for the duration of the operation. It suggests that it might come down with time, but you wouldn’t invest $billions in the hope that it might come down over time.

    The only way to stop the US being dependent on Middle East oil is to use less oil.

  111. Adam Collins says:

    I have a splendid idea for BP, Shell et al…
    Cut off ALL supplies of fossil fuel product to all countries. Coal & oil.

    I think the governments of the world will think twice about their energy policies when they’re presented with 2 weeks of nothing but “clean green energy”.

    Sure, Joe Public will hate the mere thought of this kind of thing occurring, but sometimes desperate times call for drastic measures.

    No oil. No electricity. I don’t know about you lot, but i’d be willing to personally put up with it if it teaches these bloody idiots in charge of our countries a good lesson about who’s REALLY in charge…

  112. Pull My Finger says:

    I used to snicker at all the Manchurian Candidate comments about Obama, now I find the scenario quite possible. The man is total disaster and is bringing this country to its knees. Please don’t show him the Queen of Diamonds.

    I wish Donald Trump would dump the Birther thing, stop “converting” to Social Conservatism and just hammer the Democrats and Barry on the economy, immigration, and China non stop, for a year and a half. Getting the nomination is not even important, just to have someone who has the balls and the experience to tackle this administration head on and set an agenda for the Republicans is plenty beneficial.

    That being said I think this country is more than ready for a real outsider with business acumen to take the helm. Green technology was all fine and dandy when gas was under $2 and unemployment was under 6% an we all felt warm and fuzzy about saving baby seals and owls. Now we’re feeling the reality of what Green Energy means, high unemployment, skyrocketing fuel and food prices, and a fascist regulatory scheme that wields total and arbitrary power.

    Even Democrats I know are tired of Obama, only the far left ideologues and dupes who will fall for his lies again will vote for him.

  113. wsbriggs says:

    I haven’t read all of the previous posts, so if this is a duplicate, I apologize.

    Shell has been an ardent supporter of “Green” projects, just like BP. I suspect it’s to try to deflect criticism, “Why we’re big supporters.” Now it’s not working. The Greens in power see no need to deliver special favors any more.

    We’ve reached the rule of Caesar. Edicts, edicts, and more edicts. We are no longer ruled by law.

    We’re in deep trouble.

  114. Catcracking says:

    elbatrop says:
    April 26, 2011 at 9:00 pm
    Experts say 1/3rd is recoverable huh, cite that since your earlier numbers were easily blown out of the water, then knock a bunch off that due to the reduced energy content to boot. What’s the ROI look like? Pretty crappy isn’t it, and what’s that do to flow rates which you keep ignoring?

    Are you talking about the “experts in the white house with their community organizing experience?
    Why do you give up on developing resources that the investors and oil companies are willing to spend their stockowners money on? Besides they will buy leases to provide revenue to the Tresury and reduce our massive debt. I don’t get the logic?

    I suspect that the Administration and others really know better and are afraid that if the restrictions are lifted there will be a bonaza of production that will decrease government control of our lifestyle.

    Why bring up ROI if the Companies are willing to invest? Are you smarter than them? I believe in the free market, not an environmentalist or others from the oil hate religion.
    How about the negative ROI for biofuels, ethanol, solar, electric cars, and windmills. Does that bother you that we are wasting billions of these activities. That bothers me!!

    Also how about the specific EPA ban on Shell and all the other restrictions such as offshore Pacific (where oil naturally leaks to the surface), offshore atlantic, Off the straits of Florida where Cuba is drilling, ANWR, Arctic, Gulf, etc. How could you possibly know how much oil is there if exploration and development is banned. No reasonable person would make that claim considering the technology developments in the oil/gas business.

    Finally most experts in the industry now believe that there will be an abundance of natural gas based on recent discoveries. Major oil companies are buying up the properties. I find it strange that the Administration and the EPA are attempting to
    stop this development rather than finding ways to make it safe and clean. Does anyone see a pattern here from the Administration?

  115. R.Connelly says:

    The Oil Shale reserves in the USA are around 2 Trillion barrels of technically recoverable oil. There are issues, but the technology is advancing.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oil_shale_reserves

    As technology improves Oil shale may indeed become a game changer.

  116. David Middleton says:

    From 2010 through 2012, Obama’s & Boot’s MORONIC drilling moratorium/permitorium will result in a loss of ~267,000 barrels of oil production per day… 292 million barrels of oil lost production. Oil that will be imported rather than domestically produced. A loss of ~$23 billion in total revenue to the oil companies that would have produced that oil… A loss of close to $5 billion in Federal royalty and tax revenue.

    The industry-wide tax “subsidies” that Obama endlessly drones on about, amount to a bit more than $4 billion per year and save consumers at least $11 billion per year. Even with those subsidies, the average effective tax rate on US oil & gas income is about 40% – Almost three times the average effective tax rate of multinational corporations like GE.

    This single stroke of EPA regulatory malfeasance could cost Shell more than $4 billion in lost investments in leases, seismic data and time.

    A pair of papers presented by Shell geoscientists at the recent AAPG convention recounted the paralysis of their exploration program by junk lawsuits and regulatory red tape…

    Unlocking the Exploration Potential of the U.S. Beaufort Sea Continental Shelf, Offshore Arctic Alaska

    Unlocking the Exploration Potential of the U.S. Chukchi Sea Continental Shelf, Offshore Arctic Alaska

    I attended those two presentations… The abstracts don’t convey the frustration that the Shell geoscientists conveyed. According to Shell, the problem is that the permits that they do get from the gov’t are worthless. Every time a permit is issued, environmental activists sue to have the permits revoked and the US gov’t refuses to defend its own permits in court. One Shell geologist that I know said that they are dismantling exploration groups they had assembled to work the Atlantic OCS and other areas because of Obama’s & Boot’s illegal permitorium. They are shifting focus overseas to countries with less political risk.

    According to President Obama…

    “U.S. oil production is essential. It cannot, though, shield us from global price and supply shocks that we can’t control. We can’t drill our way out of this. We must break our dependence on oil.”

    The United States has not even begun to exploit about 60% of its oil & gas potential. While we may very well be on the back side of the decline curve for the areas currently being exploited, we could easily double our daily oil production within a few decades.

    Mister President, we can drill our way out of this!

  117. Smokey says:

    SteveE says:

    “The only way to stop the US being dependent on Middle East oil is to use less oil.”

    No, that’s only one way, and it’s the worst choice. The U.S. could stop depending on Middle Esat oil if oil companies were permitted access to the enormous store of oil under the continental shelf. But they’re not. We sit idly by as China and Cuba partner to drill for our oil 30 miles off the Florida coast. That is A-OK with the Obama Administration. And when there’s a well blowout, the media will hardly mention it.

    Meanwhile, we diddle around with shale oil and tar sands, and the very same manchurians who will not allow drilling are now going after frakking, which is providing enormous new energy reserves.

    You don’t have to be a conspiracy theorist to see that they’re deliberately kiling the goose that lays the golden eggs. But if it’s not a conspiracy, I’d like to know why they’re deliberately destroying the greatest prosperity engine in the world.

  118. greg holmes says:

    The Roman Empire became decadent and fell, China became inward looking and favoured the arts and fell behind, The british Empire also. USA? who knows? but the writing in the wall is getting larger chaps. take great care, the spenders are outnumbering the generators.

  119. SteveE says:

    Smokey says:
    April 27, 2011 at 6:42 am

    Nice map.

    The zone on the West coast is unlikely to contain much in the way of oil so there’s not much point looking there.

    The East coast has the posibility of containing some oil, comparable to the quantities found off of the Atlantic margin in Ireland, France and Spain. In other words not a lot.

    GOM around Florida is possible I guess, but as much of the trapping is a result of salt movements and reservoired sands from the mississippi I’d imagine you’d have limited success. That’s not to say you won’t find any, but you’re unlikely to find anything close to what the US needs in terms of production to stop it being dependant on the Middle East.

    Sorry, but it’s just not there to find.

  120. SSam says:

    LearDog says:
    April 27, 2011 at 5:00 am

    “Oh – but SSam (SSam (April 26, 2011 at 10:46 pm)) – the shale oil is still a solid, and due to the high organic content – its a ‘rubbery’ solid. So even if one CAN frac it, it still needs to be heated up to convert the solid kerogen to a more liquid form (oil).”

    Which is why numerous tactics are used to liquefy it. CO2 injection (solvent), steam injection, or firing and cooking it in place etc.

  121. Smokey says:

    SteveE,

    That map doesn’t show the north coast of Alaska, which holds many billions of barrels of oil – with much more waiting to be discovered. But the manchurians have made it illegal to even look for new oil. How stupid/devious is that?

    It’s true that the ‘low hanging fruit’ has been produced. But there are enormous oil reserves still available. The problem is government, no more and no less. If exploration and drilling was encouraged, instead of being disallowed, the price of oil would fall drastically, just as it did when President Bush lifted the moratorium in 2008: the cost of oil fell from $147/bbl to $33, and gas was under $1.90 a gallon when the treacherous Obama took office.

    Obama has singlehandedly caused the price to rise to well over $100/bbl; the blame is his alone. The following information shows the always-pessimistic government forecasts, and the actual reserves:

    OIL RESERVES:

    – 1885, U.S. Geological Survey: “Little or no chance for oil in California.” 

    – 1891, U.S. Geological Survey: “Little or no chance for oil in Kansas and Texas” 

    – 1914, U.S. Bureau of Mines: “Total future production limit of 5.7 billion barrels of oil, at most a 10-year supply remaining.”
    
- 1939, Department of the Interior: “Oil reserves in the United States to be exhausted in 13 years.” 

    – 1951, Department of the Interior, Oil and Gas Division: “Oil reserves in the United States to be exhausted in 13 years.”
    


    Current reserves: 


    – 1.3 Trillion barrels of ‘proven’ oil reserves exist worldwide (EIA)
    
- 1.8 to 6 Trillion barrels of oil are estimated in the U.S. Oil-Shale Reserves (DOE)
    
- 986 Billion barrels of oil are estimated using Coal-to-liquids (CTL) conversion of U.S. Coal Reserves (DOE) 

    – 173 to 315 Billion proven (1.7-2.5 Trillion potential) barrels of oil are estimated in the Oil Sands of Alberta, Canada (Alberta Department of Energy)
    
- 100 Billion barrels of heavy oil are estimated in the U.S. (DOE) 

    – 90 Billion barrels of oil are estimated in the Arctic (USGS) 

    – 89 Billion barrels of immobile oil are estimated recoverable using CO2 injection in the U.S. (DOE) 

    – 86 Billion barrels of oil are estimated in the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf (MMS) 

    – 60 to 80 Billion barrels of oil are estimated in U.S. Tar Sands (DOE) 

    – 32 Billion barrels of oil are estimated in ANWR, NPRA and the Central North Slope in Alaska (USGS)
    
- 31.4 Billion barrels of oil are estimated in the East Greenland Rift Basins Province (USGS)
    
- 7.3 Billion barrels of oil are estimated in the West Greenland–East Canada Province (USGS)
    
- 4.3 Billion (167 Billion potential) barrels of oil are estimated in the U.S. Bakken shale formation in North Dakota and Montana (USGS)
    
- 3.65 Billion barrels of oil are estimated in the U.S. Devonian-Mississippian Bakken Formation (USGS)
    
- 1.6 Billion barrels of oil are estimated in the U.S. Eastern Great Basin Province (USGS) 

    – 1.3 Billion barrels of oil are estimated in the U.S. Permian Basin Province (USGS)
    
- 1.1 Billion barrels of oil are estimated in the U.S. Powder River Basin Province (USGS)
    
- 990 Million barrels of oil are estimated in the U.S. Portion of the Michigan Basin (USGS) 

    – 393 Million barrels of oil are estimated in the U.S. San Joaquin Basin Province of California (USGS)
    
- 214 Million barrels of oil are estimated in the U.S. Illinois Basin (USGS)
    
- 172 Million barrels of oil are estimated in the U.S. Yukon Flats of East-Central Alaska (USGS)
    
- 131 Million barrels of oil are estimated in the U.S. Southwestern Wyoming Province (USGS)
    
- 109 Million barrels of oil are estimated in the U.S. Montana Thrust Belt Province (USGS) 

    – 104 Million barrels of oil are estimated in the U.S. Denver Basin Province (USGS) 

    – 98.5 Million barrels of oil are estimated in the U.S. Bend Arch-Fort Worth Basin Province (USGS)
    
- 94 Million barrels of oil are estimated in the U.S. Hanna, Laramie, Shirley Basins Province (USGS)
    


    For Comparison:
    
- 260 Billion barrels of oil are estimated in Saudi Arabia (EIA)
    
- 80 Billion barrels of oil are estimated in Venezuela (EIA) 

  122. reason says:

    This story makes blood shoot out of my eyes.

    Top-down. Bottom-up. Inside-out.

  123. George E. Smith says:

    “”””” SSam says:
    April 27, 2011 at 7:59 am
    LearDog says:
    April 27, 2011 at 5:00 am

    “Oh – but SSam (SSam (April 26, 2011 at 10:46 pm)) – the shale oil is still a solid, and due to the high organic content – its a ‘rubbery’ solid. So even if one CAN frac it, it still needs to be heated up to convert the solid kerogen to a more liquid form (oil).”

    Which is why numerous tactics are used to liquefy it. CO2 injection (solvent), steam injection, or firing and cooking it in place etc. “””””

    Well Occidental Petroleum has that “in situ” process, where they simply set fire to some of that shale, and the heat from that liquifies the rest so they can pump it out of the ground; don’t even need to dig the shale up. Of course that rubbery shale “oiul” is a perfact application for free solar energy from the sun. You simply sink long “heat pipes” down into that shale, and then you put a solar mirror system on the top to concentrate sunlight continuously during the day) onto the top of the heat pipe to be transported by the pipe down to the shale. So what if it takes five years for the sun to warm the shale oil rubber up to the melting point; it’s free, and readily available in places that have oil shales.

  124. David Middleton says:

    SteveE says:
    April 27, 2011 at 7:34 am
    Smokey says:
    April 27, 2011 at 6:42 am

    Nice map.

    The zone on the West coast is unlikely to contain much in the way of oil so there’s not much point looking there.

    The East coast has the posibility of containing some oil, comparable to the quantities found off of the Atlantic margin in Ireland, France and Spain. In other words not a lot.

    GOM around Florida is possible I guess, but as much of the trapping is a result of salt movements and reservoired sands from the mississippi I’d imagine you’d have limited success. That’s not to say you won’t find any, but you’re unlikely to find anything close to what the US needs in terms of production to stop it being dependant on the Middle East.

    Sorry, but it’s just not there to find.

    Sorry, but that’s simply wrong. US gov’t agencies estimate the following volumes of undiscovered oil and gas (Bbl = billion barrels of oil, Tcf = trillion cubic feet of natural gas) under Federal lands…

    Pacific OCS 10.5 Bbl & 18.3 Tcf
    Alaska Onshore 18.8 Bbl & 85.1 Tcf
    Alaska OCS 26.6 Bbl & 132.1 Tcf
    Gulf of Mexico OCS (including Florida) 44.9 Bbl & 232.5 Tcf
    Atlantic OCS 3.8 Bbl & 37.0 Tcf
    Lower 48, Onshore 11.7 Bbl & 145.9 Tcf

    Total = 116.4 billion barrels of oil and 650.9 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

    The phrase “undiscovered technically recoverable oil” is really an oxymoron. Oil that is undiscovered cannot be technically recoverable… But that’s how the gov’t refers to undiscovered oil. 116 billion barrels of “undiscovered technically recoverable oil” is equal to about 16 years worth of current US consumption. However, past history shows us that gov’t agencies always grossly underestimate what the oil industry will find and produce. Alaska’s North Slope has already produced 16 billion barrels of petroleum liquids. Currently developed areas will ultimately produce a total of about 30 billion barrels. The government’s original forecast for the North Slope’s total production was 10 billion barrels. The current USGS estimate for undiscovered oil in the Bakken play of Montana & North Dakota is 25 times larger than the same agency’s 1995 estimate. In 1987, the MMS undiscovered resource estimate for the Gulf of Mexico was 9 billion barrels. Today it is 45 billion barrels. ( SOURCE pp 27-28)

    Based on the government’s track record, the 116 billion barrels of undiscovered oil under Federal lands is more likely to be 680 billion barrels. That’s close to 100 years worth of current US consumption – And that’s just the undiscovered oil under Federal mineral leases.

    When you factor in unconventional oil plays, the numbers become staggering. The USGS estimates that the Green River formation holds “more than 8 trillion barrels of shale oil in place, with an estimated 1.8 trillion barrels marginally attractive to production. SOURCE . A 10% recovery factor (like the Bakken) would yield 180 billion barrels of oil (~25 years worth of US consumption).

    The Federal government is blocking exploration in areas that could easily contain over 140 years of US oil consumption.

    And I haven’t even scratched the surface.

  125. elbatrop says:

    @ smokey

    while you are playing correlation games to establish causality what did world oil demand do when the economies and banking system crashed in 2008? what did commodity prices do? please learn some economics

    Yes Obama and his continued monetary policy of his predecessor can be blamed but not for the reasons you are using. In fact if you had any honesty about this you’d be far more pissed, in fact everybody should be but that is another thread for an econ forum. When your govt conducts financial warfare on you its definitely reason to be pissed.

    here’s what oil shale looks like:
    http://ostseis.anl.gov/images/photos/oil_shale-600.jpg

    It’s a solid, in most places in the US it is buried and buried several thousand feet underground(read way too deep to be mined). It has an energy density not much better than a baked potato. It isn’t crude oil by a long shot. It has crappy characteristics and like the tar sands of alberta it must be processed into a synthetic crude, by the time you are done if you have a net energy gain you are lucky, nobody has been able to pull that off yet with any consistency. Its even worse that the in situ oil sand processes being used. Yes there are some small places where it is close to the surface, just not very many in the US. In europe some places it can be mined and ground up and burned directly, the US doesn’t have those kinds of shale formations though.

    Again, flow rate is everything, doesn’t matter how big the reserve is, if it cannot be extracted at a high enough rate it does almost nothing to mitigate the decline rates of our existing crude oil fields. Plus you are also trading leverage downwards as you go along. Economically leverage is everything, these low quality hard to deal with and extract reserves can easily do more damage than you get in return, this is why they are economically infeasible. The US will see coal being turned into liquid fuels long before shale is, its much more feasible and the returns are far greater.

  126. It is important to remember the distinction between “Reserves” and “Resources”. More specifically “Reserves” are accumulations at known locations with expectation that extraction is profitable. They are further divided into Proved, Probable, and Possible depending upon uncertainties in reservoir shape and recovery factors. Resources are now broken up into “Contingent Resources” (know location, but not currently commercial because of cost, contract, regulations) and Prospective Resources (unknown location, undiscovered, but some expectation there are resources to be found.)

    Oil Shale is a Contingent Resource. We know where it is, but we don’t know how to make a profit with it.
    The Barnett Shale is a Proven Resource, ten years ago, it was Contingent, but we have learned how to make it profitable.
    Athabasca was a Contingent Resource, but some of it (170 Billion bbl) is a Proven Reserve as long as the price of crude is expected to be above $60/bbl. [1]
    Shell (and others) are attempting to drill for Prospective Resources in the Beaufort and Chukchi Sea. All exploration (prospecting) is for Prospective Resources.

    So when you see “Oil Reserves to be exhausted in 13 years.” It might be technically correct because they are only counting the Proved Reserves. Useless and misleading, but technically correct.

    From Wiki:
    \\ A more sophisticated system of evaluating petroleum accumulations was adopted in 2007 by the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), World Petroleum Council (WPC), American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG), and Society of Petroleum Evaluation Engineers (SPEE). It incorporates the 1997 definitions for reserves, but adds categories for contingent resources and prospective resources.[5] /
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oil_reserves#Classifications

    The concept has been around a long time. Search “McKelvey System” or “McKelvey box”

    [1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Athabasca_oil_sands

  127. David Middleton says:

    elbatrop says:
    April 27, 2011 at 9:29 am
    @ smokey

    [...]

    here’s what oil shale looks like:
    http://ostseis.anl.gov/images/photos/oil_shale-600.jpg

    It’s a solid, in most places in the US it is buried and buried several thousand feet underground(read way too deep to be mined). It has an energy density not much better than a baked potato. It isn’t crude oil by a long shot. It has crappy characteristics and like the tar sands of alberta it must be processed into a synthetic crude, by the time you are done if you have a net energy gain you are lucky, nobody has been able to pull that off yet with any consistency. Its even worse that the in situ oil sand processes being used. Yes there are some small places where it is close to the surface, just not very many in the US. In europe some places it can be mined and ground up and burned directly, the US doesn’t have those kinds of shale formations though.

    Again, flow rate is everything, doesn’t matter how big the reserve is, if it cannot be extracted at a high enough rate it does almost nothing to mitigate the decline rates of our existing crude oil fields. Plus you are also trading leverage downwards as you go along. Economically leverage is everything, these low quality hard to deal with and extract reserves can easily do more damage than you get in return, this is why they are economically infeasible. The US will see coal being turned into liquid fuels long before shale is, its much more feasible and the returns are far greater.

    The hydrocarbon characteristics of the the oil shales of the Green River formation in the Piceance Basin are superior to those of the Athabasca oil sands. The hydrocarbon areal density is about 13X that of the Athabasca deposits.

    Source

    Canada is currently producing ~ 1 million barrels of oil per day from Athabasca oil sand deposits. They expect to increase that to 2 million barrels per day over the next decade. The Green River oil shale deposits in the Piceance basin could easily outperform Athabasca within a decade and with a much smaller environmental footprint… The only obstacle are environmental activists and the US government.

  128. richard Ilfeld says:

    elbatrop & others —
    So sure of yourselves…..
    It easy to resolve the uncertainty.
    Allow exploration – with private money.
    Either they will find oil, get rich, and solve our problems …
    Or they won’t, they’ll go broke, and we’ll have to find another way.
    Or they’ll establish, yes, it’s there, and here’s what the economics look like.

    The left can only hold its positions in the face of ignorance — for that matter
    the same is true of the right. But only one party seems willing to look for the
    “ground truth” (and not at taxpayer expense).

    btw, the end of civilization may be the giving of standing in law to any loudmouth with a website and enough money to bring a frivelous suit. Since all the complainers are co2 emitters, I’ve half a mind in my darker moments to regulate them….

  129. SionedL says:

    Funding Sources: per Discover the Networks:
    Pew Charitable Trust gives (gave) grants to EarthJustice, Center for Biological Diversity and Environmental Defense Fund.
    Surdna, and The Compton foundations send grants to Alaska Wilderness League.
    Does one know how many individuals – not foundations and uber rich- support these groups? Do they really represent the little guy? Or are they just names under which the “Progressives” hide?

  130. woodNfish says:

    AW: “On one hand we have Obama telling us we need to end our dependence on foreign oil…”

    That is only a problem if you actually believe anything Obama says, Anthony. I don’t and so I am never fooled.

  131. TonyG says:

    DirkH says:
    The fun thing is, on this side of the Atlantic, all that we hear is that the evil anti-science congress wants to strip the EPA off its powers because Reps are against clean air. I constantly correct the misperceptions of my German friends. I am sure most of our journalists are bought or naturally unfit for the job.

    Dirk, it’s no different here.

  132. TomB says:

    elbatrop says:
    April 26, 2011 at 9:00 pm

    Hasn’t South Africa derived the majority of its fuel from coal liquefaction since the ’50s? Can getting oil from shale be harder than that? Can’t we do the same thing? We’ve got plenty of coal.

  133. Don Shaw says:

    SionedL says:
    April 27, 2011 at 10:37 am
    “Or are they just names under which the “Progressives” hide?”

    You nailed it!
    The real sad part of the Pew Charitable trust is that the Pews were (are?) the principal owners of Sun oil Company, a major refiner, and all those “dirty” oil profits over the years are now being used/abused by the progressives to kill sensible solutions to todays problems.
    Sun oil was also one of the original partners in the original oli sands project in Northern Alberta. (Now called Suncor but not owned by Sun oil Company)
    I suspect that “old” man Pew is turning over in his grave seeing how his hard earned dollars are being abused by those who now run the trust.

  134. David Middleton says:

    elbatrop says:
    April 26, 2011 at 6:50 pm
    [...]

    The US is down to just under 5 million barrels per day or crude + condensate production, been falling since 1971. Flow rate is the name of the game and the US lost the ability to boost production enough to overcome the decline rate of existing fields a long time ago.
    [...]

    US crude oil production (including lease condensate) is currently around 5.4 million barrels per day.

    However, total US oil production (all petroleum liquids and refinery gains) is currently around 9.1 million barrels per day.
    EIA

    The US is actually ranked #3 behind Saudi Arabia and Russia in both crude and total oil production.

    The US oil industry (including Shell USA, BP USA and other domestic subsidiaries of foreign companies) has managed to do this with one hand essentially tied behind our backs – Areas containing ~60% of US oil and gas potential have never been effectively opened to exploration (including ~80% to 85% of our OCS). Obama’s perimitorium has essentially tied the other hand behind our backs.

  135. philw1776 says:

    Meanwhile the numericly challenged White House castigates the bad, bad oil companies for their obscene profits. Not that the administration understands the term, but after expenses, taxes, etc. Shell’s profit margin is under 7%, while administration “green technology” buddy Jeff Imhelt’s GE’s profit margin is 11% much from wind turbines and other govt mandates benefiting corporations playing to the agenda, and major campaign contributor Google gets 34% margins. But the oil companies, they’re bad, bad people.

  136. SSam says:

    OT

    GE exploits TARP loophole

    WASHINGTON – General Electric, the world’s largest industrial company, has quietly become the biggest beneficiary of one of the government’s key rescue programs for banks.

    At the same time, GE has avoided many of the restrictions facing other financial giants getting help from the government.

    Jeff Gerth | The Washington Post
    Published: June 30, 2009

    http://www.tdtnews.com/story/2009/06/30/58963


    General Electric Paid No Federal Taxes in 2010

    The top tax bracket for U.S. corporations stands at 35 percent, one of the highest rates in the world. So how is it possible that a giant of American business, General Electric, paid nothing in federal taxes last year, even as it made billions in profit?

    http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/general-electric-paid-federal-taxes-2010/story?id=13224558

  137. Smokey says:

    According to the Congressional Research Service, hardly a mouthpiece for Big Oil, the U.S. has the largest energy resources of any country, Saudi Arabia and Russia included.
    [source]

  138. agimarc says:

    Another tidbit from Alaska on this topic. You would think that refusal to allow exploration in an area expected to hold over twice as much oil as we have pumped down the Trans Alaska Pipeline System would be a big deal up here. You would be wrong, at least if you worked for the McClatchy fishwrapper here in Anchorage (Anchorage Daily News, the largest newspaper in the state), as it did not carry a single story about the latest permit denial reported elsewhere on Monday. This is intentional. Cheers -

  139. SteveE says:

    David Middleton says:
    April 27, 2011 at 9:26 am

    So they’ve increased the undiscovered volumes.

    This means they haven’t found anything, but they think there is more to find than they thought there was. Still haven’t found anything though.

    Believe the myth if you want, until they actually find find 100+ billion bbls of oil it’s as good as saying they think there 100 unicorns left to find.

  140. roger says:

    Let me declare an interest here. Along with the great providers of occupational pensions, I, a Uk pensioner, have personal money invested in Shell.
    My government has for the past couple of years printed money and let inflation rip to 5% whilst at the same time holding interest rates down to .5%.
    Thus the retired fixed income portion of the population has been forced to watch it’s savings erode so that the government can diminish the structural and national debt.
    Shell currently pay a 6% dividend, which after tax allows me to just about maintain the purchasing power of my savings.
    There is an old stock market saying “NEVER SELL SHELL!”.
    You’re damned right we want our £4billion back!

  141. SteveE says:

    Smokey says:
    April 27, 2011 at 8:54 am

    A lot os “estimates” there. What is the proven reserves for the US then?

    It’s 21 billion.

    Compared to 267 billion for Saudi, 143 for Iraq, 138 for Iran, 108 for Kuwait and 98 for UAE.

    All those estimates mean nothing unless you find it and get it out of the ground.

    If the IPCC said they estimated it had warmed by 2 degrees in the last decade you’d laugh and rightly so! Same applies to the estimates you quote.

  142. Smokey says:

    SteveE,

    Get up to speed here. The link in my post @12:34 above confirms that the U.S. has the largest energy resources of any country, Saudi Arabia and Russia included.

    But thanx for your opinion.☺

  143. 1DandyTroll says:

    In oil country gov bomb the terrorists to create a stable world and a steady flow of oil under the worst of circumstances, in cold country gov gets in bed with the terrorists and offsets the stability of the world to strangle the flow of steady oil under the best of circumstances.

    Only to a terrorist funding organization could that make sense.

  144. Charlie Foxtrot says:

    We have invested in the unelected functionaries working at the EPA the power to destroy our economy at a whim. The EPA is abusing their power. It makes me ashamed of my country.

  145. DesertYote says:

    If you think I was over the top, maybe you should do some research on the Center for Biological Diversity and just what they have been up to the last 20 years! BTW, you might have some difficulty if you just relay on google.

  146. David Middleton says:

    SteveE says:
    April 27, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    David Middleton says:
    April 27, 2011 at 9:26 am

    So they’ve increased the undiscovered volumes.

    This means they haven’t found anything, but they think there is more to find than they thought there was. Still haven’t found anything though.

    Believe the myth if you want, until they actually find find 100+ billion bbls of oil it’s as good as saying they think there 100 unicorns left to find.

    Belief is irrelevant.

    The increased the estimate of undiscovered oil in the Gulf of Mexico from 9 billion barrels in 1987 to the current 45 billion barrels because we discovered a helluva a lot more than 9 billion barrels in the Gulf over the last 20 years. Almost all of the large US fields discovered since 1988 were discovered in the deepwater of the Gulf of Mexico. In 1988, it was unclear whether or not the deepwater plays would prove to be economic. Mars has produced 1 billion barrels of oil and 1.25 TCF of natural gas since coming on line in 1996. It is currently producing over 100,000 barrels of oil per day. Dozens of Mars-class fields have been discovered over the last 20 years… Most of those have only barely come on line over the last 5 years.

    The most significant play in the Gulf of Mexico, the Lower Tertiary, wasn’t even a figment of anyone’s imagination in 1988. These are massive discoveries. Several fields are expected to come on line at more than 100,000 bbl/day. This play is still in its infancy.

    The largest field in the Gulf of Mexico, Shell’s Mars Field, was discovered in 1989. Prior to this discovery, no one thought that Miocene-aged or older reservoirs existed in deepwater.

    Proved reserves represent the audited volume of hydrocarbons that are “proved” in a well-bore that can be economically recovered at the time of the audit. SEC auditing rules are very strict. Auditing rules in Saudi Arabia, Iran and other OPEC companies are, at best, opaque.

    The United States converts its proved reserves to production very quickly and very efficiently. We don’t sit on proved reserves… We can’t afford to because we have to make money and if we don’t produce proved reserves, we stand to lose the leases.

    If you gross up our reserve growth to account for production, our proved reserves would have been growing by an average of 2 billion barrels per year over the last 20 years… And that’s all from relatively mature areas.

    It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to forecast that there’s another 100 billion barrels remaining to be discovered in the US and on its OCS and it’s not much of a leap of faith to think that the oil industry will find about 6 times that estimate, if it’s allowed to explore. It would actually take willful ignorance to believe that there’s not at least 100 billion barrels of oil remaining to be discovered domestically.

  147. elbatrop says:

    @ steve e

    OPEC middle east nations all doubled their reserves at the stroke of pen back in the mid 1980’s. Their quotas are based on reserves.

    Saudi Arabia has been claiming 260+ GB of oil ever since, it doesn’t change no matter how much they produce.

  148. Reference says:

    Shell to forgo 2011 drilling in Alaska Anchorage, Alaska – February 3, 2011 pdf

    Borough and Northwest Arctic Borough Community Open Houses

    All quiet on the Northern Front

    Hosea 8:7

  149. Catcracking says:

    Another reason the Administration no drill policy is suicidial is the fact that shutting down selling new leases deprives the US Treasury of billions of dollars in lease fees and royalities. Note that this was 23 billion dollars in 2008. That does not include the income taxes paid on Oil Company profits.
    How much do you think lease fee income has fallen off since we stopped leasing lands and curtailed production in the Gulf?
    From API Fact Sheet
    “CLAIM: The American people aren’t getting their fair share from oil and gas companies drilling and producing on federal lands in and in federal waters. FACT: The U.S. government’s revenues from federal oil and gas production and leasing is on par with the rest of the world when bonus bids – the upfront fees paid by oil and natural gas companies to purchase leases – are factored in. In 2008, the U.S. collected almost $23 billion in revenues from federal oil and gas production and leases: $13 billion in royalties and $10 billion in bonus bids.”
    Nah we would rather give Brazil 2 Billion dollars to drill offshore and pay market price for their oil!!

  150. Jean Parisot says:

    Who is “EarthJustice”?

  151. Smokey says:

    Jean,

    Earthjustice is a terrorist/lawyer NGO. But they sure do have a pretty website, don’t they?

  152. SteveE says:

    Smokey says:
    April 27, 2011 at 1:05 pm
    SteveE,

    Get up to speed here. The link in my post @12:34 above confirms that the U.S. has the largest energy resources of any country, Saudi Arabia and Russia included.

    —–

    I don’t think the LA times is a valid reference for oil reserves, especially the opinion pages…

  153. SteveE says:

    David Middleton says:
    April 27, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    Ireland seems to think it has 130 billion barrels of oil on it’s atlantic margin, 100+ dry wells would suggest that while they’ve got a World class source rock there’s just not much in the way of oil trapped there.

    Undiscovered estimates are just guesses to keep people investing. Doesn’t actually mean you’ll find anything or that it’ll actually be commercial.

  154. David Middleton says:

    The jeanne d’Arc Basin is just a bit closer to the US Atlantic OCS.

    Hibernia Field has produced 700 million bbl. Remaining proved and probable reserves are currently booked at ~1.4 billion bbl.

    The US Atlantic OCS has a few dozen exploration wells, drilled on 1970’s vintage seismic data. Several found oil & gas pay; but we’re deemed uneconomic. The technology to develop them did not exist thirty years ago.

    Furthermore, the Atlantic OCS represents only a tiny fraction of the gov’t estimate of 116 bbl of undiscovered oil. More than 90% of the potential is in the Gulf and Alaska.

  155. Poptech says:

    Dennis Nikols, P. Geo. If we are serious about energy independence then we need to do several general things. 1. Get busy with increased development of convention crude in places like the Williston basin and enhanced recovery techniques. 2. start developing resources like coal and keragon shale as sources of fuel liquids. 3. Natural gas is another source. 4. increased efficiency is always good. 5. lots of possibilities in recycling like tires and other stuff and bio-waste. 6. Hire me to advise you.

    “Energy Independence” is an emotional delusion pushed by people who either do not understand where our energy comes from or basic economics.

    While increasing exploration and drilling domestically will help reduce the price of oil it cannot replace foreign sources of cheap light crude like Saudi Arabia. The known reserves of light crude do not exist domestically. More expensive forms of petroleum like shale or coal to liquids will not be used until it is economical to use them. Natural gas is another possible far in the future replacement for oil but the market can determine this on it’s own and at an economic price. I am all for domestic exploration and drilling but am under no delusions, we need every foreign source of oil on the market that we can get and should be looking for more.

    Increasing efficiency is another myth, as it just causes people to use more energy,

    The Efficiency Paradox (Peter Huber, Ph.D. Mechanical Engineering, MIT)

    We already have the best energy plan available – the free market.

  156. beng says:

    ****
    Smokey says:
    April 27, 2011 at 6:42 am

    You don’t have to be a conspiracy theorist to see that they’re deliberately kiling the goose that lays the golden eggs. But if it’s not a conspiracy, I’d like to know why they’re deliberately destroying the greatest prosperity engine in the world.
    ****

    It hasn’t technically been a “conspiracy” for decades. Much worse than that, it’s an entire culture — they’ve split off from the “working” culture to an “entitlement” culture (just another form of the old “elitist” culture). One profound characteristic of these elitists is dishonesty — they tell you something & do the exact opposite. The Obamanation is a perfect example. They hide & obscure the details of their motives, but operate right out in the open.

    Eventually, greed & lack of ethics & morals can destroy any economic system or government.

  157. David Middleton says:

    Poptech says:
    April 28, 2011 at 5:26 am
    Dennis Nikols, P. Geo. If we are serious about energy independence then we need to do several general things. 1. Get busy with increased development of convention crude in places like the Williston basin and enhanced recovery techniques. 2. start developing resources like coal and keragon shale as sources of fuel liquids. 3. Natural gas is another source. 4. increased efficiency is always good. 5. lots of possibilities in recycling like tires and other stuff and bio-waste. 6. Hire me to advise you.

    “Energy Independence” is an emotional delusion pushed by people who either do not understand where our energy comes from or basic economics.

    While increasing exploration and drilling domestically will help reduce the price of oil it cannot replace foreign sources of cheap light crude like Saudi Arabia. The known reserves of light crude do not exist domestically. More expensive forms of petroleum like shale or coal to liquids will not be used until it is economical to use them. Natural gas is another possible far in the future replacement for oil but the market can determine this on it’s own and at an economic price. I am all for domestic exploration and drilling but am under no delusions, we need every foreign source of oil on the market that we can get and should be looking for more.

    Increasing efficiency is another myth, as it just causes people to use more energy,

    The Efficiency Paradox (Peter Huber, Ph.D. Mechanical Engineering, MIT)

    We already have the best energy plan available – the free market.

    Well, then, let the free market work.

    A few points…

    1) Athabasca oil sands are economically competitive with the OPEC basket… Green River formation oil shales are superior, by a wide margin, to Athabasca oil sands. The Green River oil shales would yield 100,000 bbl of 38° API sweet refinery feed per 160,000 tons of ore & overburden. Athabasca oil sands yield 100,000 bbl of 34° sweet refinery feed per 430,000 tons of ore & overburden. The unconventional oil is actually very light and very sweet; the OPEC Basket is actually heavier (32.7° API). Athabasca is economically competitive now. Green River could be economically competitive now. The only obstacles are environmental terrorists activists and the US government.

    2) “The known reserves of light crude do not exist domestically” because the areas most likely to host giant and near-giant discoveries are effectively off limits (Chukchi Sea, ANWR) or in the infancy of exploration and under a permitorium (Lower Tertiary GOM).

    3) The Efficiency Paradox is only a “paradox” to Luddite environmental terrorists activists. Increasing efficiency enables industry to do more work (generate more value) per unit of energy consumed. Using less energy is stupid – It destroys wealth linearly. Using more energy, more efficiently is smart – It creates wealth exponentially.

  158. SteveE says:

    David Middleton says:
    April 28, 2011 at 4:32 am

    Acutally I think you’ll find that off-shore Morocco is a better analogue for the US Atlantic margin than the area around the Hibernia Field.

  159. Smokey says:

    SteveE says:

    “I don’t think the LA times is a valid reference for oil reserves, especially the opinion pages.”

    Steve, the reference I provided was to the Congressional Research Service, which states that the U.S. has the largest energy resources of any country, Saudi Arabia and Russia included. The CRS was the source, not the LA Times piece, which only referred to the original source. Sorry you don’t like their conclusion, but there it is.

    The U.S. has enormous reserves of coal and oil waiting to be produced. The only problem is the eco-dictators that control the Obama Administration. They and Obama are solely responsible for our extremely high gasoline and energy prices. The fault is theirs alone.

    As the previous Administration showed, by simply announcing that the U.S. will produce more energy, the price of oil fell by 80%, and the cost of gasoline fell from $4.50 a gallon to under $2. Then Obama took office, and preached that the cost of energy must necessarily continue to rise. See, it’s his fault.

    And I notice that in this entire thread other commentators have provide numerous links and citations, while you just give your opinions. That doesn’t make for a very persuasive argument.

  160. Poptech says:

    @ David Middleton

    1) Oil Sands and Oil Shale are “competitive” at a certain price point and that is when world oil prices are higher than what it costs the OPEC countries for production. Because neither is can produce remotely cheaper than OPEC 1 on 1. It is only when worldwide demand outstrips what OPEC can supply do they become players. Effectively the oil sands are now. Neither can replace OPEC they can only SUPPLEMENT them.

    I am all for going after all the resources but shale is a risky investment that has been tried before and failed,

    Exxon Abandons Shale Oil Project (The New York Times, May 3, 1982)
    Shale-Oil Group Abandons Efforts (The New York Times, October 3, 1983)
    Group Scraps Shale Project (The New York Times, January 1, 1986)

    Oil will have to stay very high for some time before these companies feel comfortable investing in shale again and it is more than just environmentalists, it is basic economics.

    2) Even with ANWR and such they will not replace OPEC,

    – 32 Billion barrels of oil are estimated in ANWR, NPRA and the Central North Slope in Alaska (USGS)

    – 260 Billion barrels of oil are estimated in Saudi Arabia (EIA)
    – 80 Billion barrels of oil are estimated in Venezuela (EIA)

    3) The efficiency paradox has nothing to do with environmentalists,

    The Virtue Of Waste (Peter Huber, Ph.D. Mechanical Engineering, MIT)
    The Jevons Paradox (CounterPunch)

    You obviously have not studied this topic very long. Using energy more efficiently is the reasoning behind forcing us to use eco-bulbs. It is a waste of time and will not change a damn thing.

    The point hasn’t changed, “energy independence” is an emotional delusion spread by those who either don’t know anything about energy (where it comes from and how much it costs) or don’t understand economics.

  161. Poptech says:

    1) The main cause of recent high oil prices is inflation caused by Obama’s reckless deficit spending, a worthless “stimulus” (well it stimulated the price of oil!) and the Fed’s “quantitative easing”,

    Dollar Index

    2) The second is the Obama administration’s restrictions on domestic oil drilling and production.

    3) The third is the turmoil in the middle east, especially oil producing states like Libya

  162. Grumpy Old Man says:

    Obama belongs with the AGW religion and this includes ‘hate the West, especially America’. There is no question of the US being free of Arab oil. The US will be ground down to a supplicant of these barbaric states unless of course US citizens exercise their right and get rid of him. I have not forgotten his wife’s comment about the first time she was proud of her country (when he was nominated). It tells you a lot about their mind-set.

  163. David Middleton says:

    SteveE says:
    April 28, 2011 at 8:06 am
    David Middleton says:
    April 28, 2011 at 4:32 am

    Acutally I think you’ll find that off-shore Morocco is a better analogue for the US Atlantic margin than the area around the Hibernia Field.

    I don’t know what we’ll find until we’re actually allowed to explore the US Atlantic Margin.

    The US Atlantic Margin and Morocco kind of “divorced” a long time ago. They were fairly well separated by the Cretaceous…

    Cretaceous Atlantic

    And the sedimentary volume of the US Atlantic Margin is just a bit larger than offshore Morocco…

    Marine Sediment Isopach

    Oh… And the US Atlantic Margin only represents less than 3% of the total US undiscovered potential.

  164. old44 says:

    Simple solution, Shell shuts down all refineries in the U.S. in the name of CO2 reduction until the EPA “reconsiders”.

  165. Poptech says:

    Oil Facts:

    – Only 14% of U.S. oil imports come from the Middle East (EIA)
    – Only 40% of U.S. oil imports come from OPEC (EIA)
    – The largest supplier of oil to the U.S. is Canada (EIA)
    – The second largest supplier of oil to the U.S. is Mexico (EIA)

    http://tonto.eia.doe.gov/dnav/pet/pet_move_impcus_a2_nus_ep00_im0_mbbl_a.htm

  166. Catcracking says:

    Don’t underestimate all the tools that the EPA and this administration have and will use to strangle our industry. The fact that the US has ample fossil sources is not Revelant.
    See below

    http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/677-e2-wire/158051-industry-calls-for-stay-of-epa-boiler-rules
    EPA issued its final boiler regulations in February under a court-ordered deadline. The rules require that boilers and incinerators install “maximum achievable control technology” to reduce harmful emissions. The agency says the regulations will prevents thousands of deaths and heart attacks at a reasonable cost to industry.

    The boiler regulations have come under fire from Republicans and some Democrats, who say they will impose major costs on industry — one of a series of attacks on EPA regulations in recent months.

    EPA revised its draft standards, issued last year, after industry groups said the regulations were unworkable. Since the final rules differ so much from the draft rules, EPA opened up a reconsideration period in which the public can comment on and review the final standards.

    In a petition for an administrative stay on the regulations, the industry groups say the agency should halt requirements that companies comply with the boiler rules during this reconsideration period.

  167. James F. Evans says:

    Carbon isotope effects in the open-system
    Fischer–Tropsch synthesis

    Yuri A. Taran a,*, George A. Kliger b, Vyacheslav S. Sevastianov c
    a Institute of Geophysics, UNAM, 04510 Mexico DF, Mexico
    b Institute of Petrochemical Synthesis, RAS, Moscow, Russia
    c Vernadsky Institute of Geochemistry, RAS, Moscow, Russia

    “1. Introduction
    The Fischer–Tropsch synthesis (FTS), which generally
    can be defined as the heterogeneous catalytic reduction of
    oxidized carbon compounds by molecular hydrogen, is
    widely accepted as a process potentially responsible for
    the presence of organic compounds in meteorites, submarine
    hydrothermal systems and igneous rocks (e.g. Lancet
    and Anders, 1970; Shock, 1990; Salvi and Williams-Jones,
    1997; Yuen et al., 1984; Foustoukos and Seyfried, 2004;
    Horita, 2005). This ‘‘inorganic’’, ‘‘abiotic’’ synthesis has
    also been considered to be important in global geologic
    processes including production of methane and petroleum
    and finally, as a source of prebiotic compounds on the early
    Earth (Szatmari, 1989; Charlou et al., 2002; Sherwood Lollar
    et al., 2002; Horita, 2005, among others).

    6. Conclusion
    [...] “On the other hand, there are no doubts that the abiogenic synthesis
    of organic matter on the modern and early Earth does and
    did exist and in a large extent is and was realized by the
    FTS-type processes in crustal environment (moderate temperatures
    and pressures and local or regional appropriate
    redox conditions).”

    ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
    This research was supported by Russian Academy of Sciences
    and personally by N.A. Plate´, Director of Institute of Petrochemical
    Synthesis and E.M. Galimov, Director of the Vernadsky Institute
    of Geochemistry. We thank S.N. Khadgiev for the permission
    to use facilities of the Catalytic Synthesis Laboratory. The authors
    are grateful to W. Bandy for polishing English, E. Cienfuegos and
    E. Dubinina for H-isotope analysis, A.N. Shuykin and E.I. Bogolepova
    for the assistance. This paper benefited from careful reviews
    by T. McCollom and an anonymous reviewer. Many thanks to J.
    Horita for very important suggestions and a great patience when
    editing the first versions of the manuscript.

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