Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Just In Time, Our Salvation Bakkens

Shale Oil Drilling in the Bakkens
How many will be dismayed to distraction over the latest developments in U.S. energy independence? Certainly there are those who giddily believed  - through our dependence on Arab oil - that finally the haughty United States would be brought to her knees.

And then there are the purveyors of the poppycock that crude oil is a finite resource, who will cringe at the vast amounts not only recently discovered right here in the good old USA, but which is recoverable in a relatively brief amount of time.

And there is also the group that represents the "green industry", the Al Gore's whose cottage industry may just well take a hit if we Americans are suddenly awash in "Black Tea", a prospect that will most likely make our fuel more easily affordable. Not to mention the relief on the collective consciences of consumers here who feel that their habit aids terrorism.

The latest development is that there is a new drilling technique that is opening previously out of reach oil fields in the mid and south west, including such states as North Dakota, Colorado, Wyoming and California. Analysts and oil executives are saying that by as early as 2015, the yields from these areas could approach as much 2 million barrels of oil per day. That can't be good news to environmentalists or their enablers.

It was reported in 2007 that the Bakken formation under Montana and North Dakota held an enormous amount of oil shale, perhaps more than the Saudi reserves. In the Spring of 2008, the Senate Appropriations Committee voted on a bill that would have ended a one-year moratorium on enacting rules for oil shale development on federal lands, but the moratorium earned a stay on a 15-14 vote, primarily because Mary Landrieu (D-LA) voted nay, despite her open opposition to the moratorium. She stated at the time that she cast her vote at the behest of the Democrat Senator from Colorado, who asked that she vote to uphold the moratorium.

*Special side note: Shortly after the vote, Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) said in an interview with Jon Birger of
It's pathetic. Environmentalists are very happy having us dependent on foreign oil. They're unhappy with us developing our own. What they forget to say is that shipping fuel all the way from the middle east has a big greenhouse gas footprint too.
That Senator was none other than Ken Salazar, who just happens to be the Obama administration's Secretary of the Interior. Salazar is no friend of the oil industry, heavily favoring "renewable energy" policies like wind, solar and geothermal instead. Combine that stance with the fact that - as Secretary of the Interior - Salazar controls most federal lands and natural resources, and there could be severe obstacles to the success of the new oil discoveries.

An Angry Opposition to Oil?
Al Gore and his lobby will certainly pressure the Interior to act to prohibit the development and refining of that oil, and one can wager confidently that the mainstream media will pile on to keep the facts from getting out. But the Associated Press may have made such future endeavors at obfuscation moot with this article released today.

While political opponents to the notion of America's long last energy independence will play on the fears of the eco-masses, you must remember this excerpt from the aforementioned article (emphasis mine):
Environmentalists fear that fluids or wastewater from the process, called hydraulic fracturing, could pollute drinking water supplies. The Environmental Protection Agency is now studying its safety in shale drilling. The agency studied use of the process in shallower drilling operations in 2004 and found that it was safe.
Combine this with the economic figures, which include record low unemployment numbers in North Dakota at 3.8%, and the prominence of talk radio and the Tea Party movement, and it stands to reason that the American public will welcome this news and clamor for the continuation of the Bakken conquest.

Add in the newer finds of Eagle Ford in southern Texas, the Niobrara that lays beneath portions of Wyoming, Colorado, Nebraska and Kansas, the Leonard, in New Mexico and Texas; and the Monterey, in California, and hope seems assured of victory over fear in the battle that will surely be waged in the coming months and years.

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