jonflanders at jflan.net
Wed Jul 16 13:56:10 MDT 2008
I really recommend that you read "Hubbert's Peak" by Kenneth Deffeyes.
Deffeyes is a geologist who actually worked in the oil industry and now
is a professor(emeritus?) at Princeton.
He explains mostly in layman's terms the geological problems with oil
Drilling for oil has almost nothing to do with sucking water with a
straw. There can be explosive pressures that must be throttled back, and
the reason for the bell shaped curve has to do with the opposite,
lack of pressure after a while requiring pumping water and other fluids
into the well to push the oil to the surface. At a certain point, even
though oil is left in the well, it becomes impossible to get the rest of
the oil, and the oil left stays in the ground. That's why we will never
"run out of oil".
There's much more to the process than the above, but read Deffeyes to
get grounded in the basics.
On Wed, 2008-07-16 at 15:10 -0400, Mike Friedman wrote:
> I do have a question, though, maybe a stupid one.... Why would oil
> production follow a bell-shaped curve? If you stick a straw in your
> tub and start drinking, when you get half-way done, there's no reason
> your rate of "production" should start falling. It's no harder to suck
> the water than it was before, nor should it get any harder until
> slurping up what's left on the bottom. This would seem to be even more
> true if you don't even know how much is in the bath tub...
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