The manufactured myth of "peak oil"

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The manufactured myth of "peak oil"
« on: February 26, 2010, 02:54:15 pm »
From pages 108-114 of Armed Madhouse by Greg Palast (all emphasis original):

------------------------------------

...we really should take a look at the theory that we went into Iraq to get its oil. A ride up “Hubbert’s Peak” will allow a clearer view of the real topic of this chapter: the geo-politics of petroleum.

No Peaking: The Hubbert Humbug

On March 7, 1956, geologist M. King Hubbert presented a research paper that would, a half century later, become the New Gospel of Internet Economics, the Missing Link that would Explain It All from the September 11 attack to the invasion of Iraq.

In his 1956 paper, Hubbert wrote:

    On the basis of the present estimates of the ultimate reserves of world petroleum and natural gas, it appears that the culmination of world production of these products should occur within a half a century (i.e., by 2006).

So get in your Hummer and take your last drive, Clive. Sometime during 2006, we will have used up every last drop of crude oil on the planet. We’re not talking “decline” in oil from a production “peak,” we’re talking “culmination,” completely gone, kaput, dead out of crude--and not enough natural gas left to roast a weenie.

In his 1956 treatise, Hubbert wrote that Planet Earth could produce not a drop more than one and a quarter trillion barrels of crude.

    We obtain a figure of about 1,250 billion barrels for the ultimate potential reserves of crude oil of the whole world.

That’s the entire supply of crude that stingy Mother Nature bequeathed for human use from Adam to the end of civilization. Indeed, our oil-lusting world will have consumed, by the end of 2006, about 1.2 trillion barrels of oil. Therefore, by Hubbert’s calculation, we’re finished; maybe in the very week you read this book we’ll suck the planet dry. Then, as Porky Pig says, “That’s all, folks!”

But the pig ain’t sung yet. Planes still fly, lovers still cry and smog-o-saurus SUVs still choke the LA freeway. Why aren’t our gas tanks dry? Hubbert insisted Arabia could produce no more than 375 billion barrels of oil. Yet, Middle Eastern oil reserves remaining today total 734 billion barrels. And those are “proven” reserves--known and measured, not including the possibility of a single new oil strike or field extension. Worldwide, ready-to-go reserves total 1.189 trillion barrels--and that excludes the world’s two biggest untapped fields, which could easily double the world reserve. (One is in Iraq, the other we'll get to in Chapter 4.)

In all fairness to the Hubbert Heads, there’s a more sophisticated, updated version of Hubbert’s theory. This is where the “peak” concept comes in. In this version of the Hubbert scripture, we ignore his dead wrong prediction of total crude available and look only at the up and down shape of his curve, the “peak.” The amount of oil discovered each year, Hubbert posited, will stop rising by 2000, then will crash rapidly toward zero when we will have used up our allotted 1.25 trillion barrels.

We haven’t crashed or even peaked. Oil production has risen year after year after year and discoveries have more than kept pace. Nevertheless, like believers undaunted by the failure of alien spaceships to take them to Mars on the date predicted, Peak enthusiasts keep moving the date of the oil apocalypse further into the future. In the new, revisionist models of Hubbert’s prediction, the high point in the curve of discoverable oil on our planet will come in a decade or so. Though we have a reprieve, goes the new theory, still, we’re running out of crude, dude! There’s only another twenty years left in proven reserves! Oh, my!

“It’s true that there’s only twenty years’ supply left-and that’s been true for the last hundred years,” Lewis Lapham told me over a decent sauterne at Five Points....Lapham of Harper’s magazine is the only editor in the hemisphere with hard knowledge of the petroleum market, insight he inherited legitimately: His family helped found Mobil Oil, the back half of what is now ExxonMobil.

He asked, “Why in the world would oil companies, or any company, announce that there’s lots of its product out there? You’d bust your own market. It’s better to say the cupboard’s bare.” As Lapham noted, we have been “running out of oil” since the days we drained it from whales.

OPEC’s big headache before the war shut down Iraq’s fields was that there was way too much oil. We were swimming in it and oil prices stayed low. The last thing oil companies want is more oil from Iraq, any more than soybean farmers want more soybeans from Iraq. Increasing supply means decreasing price.

This war is about the oil, but what about the oil? The Hubbert Peaksters think they know. They are convinced that Dick Cheney in his bunker is panicked that the world’s supply of oil is about to run out, and so to Iraq we go, to seize the last of it. Here’s the flaw in that argument: To believe that George Bush and Dick Cheney hustled us into Iraq to open up that nation’s untapped bounty of petroleum is to believe that these two oil Texans in the White House are deeply troubled that the price of oil will rise unless they get us more crude. But Dick and George get a rise out of the rise.

Have we peaked? The planet is producing today twice as much as the maximum predicted in 1956 by the “Peaking Man.” But the political uses of holy-sh*t-we’re-running-out-of-oil! has yet to peak.

Indeed, Bush and Cheney are more than happy to allow others to promote Hubbert Peak hysteria in the public. “We need Iraq’s oil” is used as a good bogeyman to get the public behind an invasion that promises to get Americans a fill-up for the family gas guzzler for less than a hundred dollars. Anti-war progressives seized on the Hubbert humbug as proof that Bush’s invasion was a war of “Blood for Oil.” Nuns, professors and rock stars were outraged. But the average American thinks, Blood for oil? That’s a BARGAIN.

The Shell Game

Hubbert’s predictions may have been astonishingly wrong but his little forty-page research report is, nevertheless, astonishingly important in understanding the mindset of Big Oil.

Almost everything you need to know about Hubbert and the agenda behind his crucial 1956 study is contained on its cover page. The oil doomsday pronouncement is “Publication No. 95, Shell Development Company, Houston, Texas.” Hubbert was the chief Consultant on general geology for Shell Oil and his “end of oil” paper was presented to the Texas meeting of the American Petroleum Institute. All else flows therefrom.

Every once in a while the landlords of the planet have to remind us to be grateful for their services. In 1956 it was Shell Oil’s turn and Hubbert was their man for the job. It was not a happy time for the oilmen of Texas. Shell and the other Seven Sisters, as Big Oil was then known, faced a heck of a problem: crude was cheaper than dirt--$2.77 a barrel, that is, a nickel a gallon-and sinking. Worse, they were finding more of the stuff all over the planet, meaning prices would fall further.

In March of that year, Hubbert presented the solution to his fellow oilmen at the API in Houston. He unveiled this magical chart. [viewable here]

Look closely. When Hubbert spoke, oil reserves worldwide were zooming heavenward. Despite the tide of petroleum rising around us, Hubbert declared that oil discoveries in the USA had begun to peak “as recently as 1951 or 1952" and that the world’s reserves would follow not long thereafter. He didn’t need to wink. His oil industry audience understood what oil giant Shell wanted America to believe: Oil isn’t abundant, it’s a scarce commodity and therefore...

1. It’s too cheap--so oil companies should, for the public’s own good, raise the price to conserve this precious resource.
2. We need to find an abundant alternative to fossil fuel.
3. We need to protect our access to dwindling sources of crude, by force if necessary.

Shell Oil, through Hubbert, sought, successfully, to change the way America thought of oil’s price, alternatives to oil and access to oil.

PRICE: The problem of falling oil prices was solved for Shell, brilliantly, in four years, in 1960, by the creation of OPEC. On paper, OPEC was created by national governments. If oil companies had created this cartel to fix prices, that would have made it a criminal conspiracy--cartels are illegal. But when governments conspire for the same purpose, the illegal conspiracy turns into a legitimate “alliance” of sovereign states. OPEC’s government cover makes the price-fixing perfectly legal, and Big Oil reaps the rewards....

Have we peaked? Worldwide oil reserves continue to rise even faster than America and China can burn it. Since 1980, reserves, despite our binge-guzzling, have risen from 648 billion to 1.2 trillion barrels. Yet, weirdly, despite the rising flood of discovered crude, its price quadrupled between 2001 and 2005. Supply choked, yet there’s no peak in sight....

So please don’t slander Mother Earth and say she’s run out of oil when it’s man-made mischief to blame. Evil, not geology, has a chokehold on energy; nature is ready to give us crude at $12 a barrel where it was just a few short years ago.



------------------------------------

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jL6pca_1DG4 (Alex Jones In Studio With Greg Palast: Big Oil & The Armed Madhouse)
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

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Offline Geolibertarian

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Re: The manufactured myth of "peak oil"
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2010, 02:54:58 pm »
http://www.counterpunch.org/zadeh10012008.html

The Recurring Myth of Peak Oil

By Ismael Hossein-Zadeh
CounterPunch
October 1, 2008

The Peak Oil theory maintains that world production of conventional oil will soon reach a maximum, or peak, and decline thereafter, with grave socio-economic consequences. Some proponents of the theory argue that world oil production has already peaked, and is now in a terminal decline [1].

Although, on the face of it, this sounds like a fairly reasonable proposition, it has been challenged on both theoretical and empirical grounds. While some critics have called it a myth, others have branded it as a money-making scam promoted by the business interests that are vested in the fossil fuel industry, in the business of war and militarism, and in the Wall Street financial giants that are engaged in manipulative oil speculation.

Regardless of its validity (or lack thereof), the fact is that Peak Oil has had significant policy and political implications. It has also generated considerable reactions among various interest groups and political activists.

While environmental and similar activists have used Peak Oil to promote more vigorous conservation and more energetic pursuit of alternative fuels, the oil industry and its representatives in and out of the government have taken advantage of Peak Oil to argue in support of unrestrained extraction of oil and expanded drilling in the offshore or wildlife regions.

Because of its simple logic and facile appeal, Peak Oil has also led many ordinary citizens, burdened by high fuel bills during periods of energy crisis, to support unrestrained or expanded drilling. According to a recent Rasmussen poll, 57 percent of Americans favor more offshore drilling. Misled and misplaced popular perceptions, in turn, play into the hands of the oil industry and their representatives to lobby for the lifting of the Federal ban on oil production in hitherto restricted regions.

Citing voter anger over soaring energy prices, Senator John McCain of Arizona, the Republican presidential nominee, recently argued that opening vast stretches of the country’s coastline to oil exploration would help America eliminate the dependence on foreign oil. "We have untapped oil reserves of at least 21 billion barrels in the United States. But a broad federal moratorium stands in the way of energy exploration and production," he said. "It is time for the federal government to lift these restrictions" [2].

Perhaps the financial giants of New York and London have benefited the most from the misleading implications of Peak Oil: “As much as 60% of today’s crude oil price is pure speculation driven by large trader banks and hedge funds. It has nothing to do with the convenient myths of Peak Oil. It has to do with control of oil and its price. . . . Since the advent of oil futures trading and the two major London and New York oil futures contracts, control of oil prices has left OPEC and gone to Wall Street. It is a classic case of the tail that wags the dog,” points out William Engdahl, a top expert on energy and financial markets [3].

Just as Peak Oil plays into the hands of manipulative speculators and beneficiaries of fossil fuel, so too can it be used by the champions of unilateral wars and military adventures, as it implies that war power and military strength are key to access or control of the “shrinking” or “soon-to-be-shrinking” oil. It thus provides fodder for the cannons of war profiteering militarists who are constantly on the look out to invent new enemies and find new pretexts for continued war and escalation of military spending—that is, for the looting of the national treasury, or public money.

By the same token that Peak Oil can serve as a pretext for war and military adventures, it can also serve as a disarming or pacifying factor for many citizens who accept the Peak Oil thesis and, therefore, internalize responsibility for U.S. foreign policy every time they fill their gas tank. In a vicarious way, they may feel that they own the war!

Thus, Peak Oil serves as a powerful trap and a clever manipulation that lets the real forces of war and militarism (the military-industrial complex and the pro-Israel lobby), and the main culprits behind the soaring energy prices (the Wall Street financial giants engaged in manipulative commodity speculation) off the hook; it is a fabulous distraction. All evils are blamed on a commodity upon which we are all utterly dependent.

Not only millions of lay-citizens, but also many scholars and academics have taken the bait and fallen right into this trap by arguing that recent U.S. wars of choice are driven primarily by oil and other “scarce” resources. More broadly, they argue that most wars of the future, like the recent and/or present ones, will be driven by conflicts over natural resources, especially energy and water—hence, for example, the title of Michael T. Klare’s popular book, Resource Wars [4].

As a number of critics have pointed out, this is reminiscent of Thomas R. Malthus’s theory of “scarcity” and “overpopulation.” Malthus (1766-1834), a self-styled British economist, argued that the woes and vagaries of capitalism such as poverty, inequality and unemployment are largely to be blamed on the poor and the unemployed, since they produce too many mouths to be fed, or too many hands to be employed.

In a similar fashion, Peak Oil implies that current crisis in energy (and other commodities) markets is to be blamed, in part, on less-developed or relatively poorer nations such as India and China for growing “too fast” and creating “too much” demand on “scarce” resources. (Similarities between the Peak Oil theory and the Malthusian theory of scarcity are further discussed below.)

[Continued...]
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

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Re: The manufactured myth of "peak oil"
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2010, 02:55:25 pm »
http://www.prisonplanet.com/archives/peak_oil/index.htm

The Myth Of Peak Oil

Paul Joseph Watson & Alex Jones
PrisonPlanet.com
October 12 2005

Peak oil is a scam designed to create artificial scarcity and jack up prices while giving the state an excuse to invade our lives and order us to sacrifice our hard-earned living standards.

Publicly available CFR and Club of Rome strategy manuals from 30 years ago say that a global government needs to control the world population through neo-feudalism by creating artificial scarcity. Now that the social architects have de-industrialized the United States, they are going to blame our economic disintegration on lack of energy supplies.

Globalization is all about consolidation. Now that the world economy has become so centralized through the Globalists operations, they are going to continue to consolidate and blame it on the West's "evil" overconsumption of fossil fuels, while at the same time blocking the development and integration of renewable clean technologies.

In other words, Peak oil is a scam to create artificial scarcity and drive prices up. Meanwhile, alternative fuel technologies which have been around for decades are intentionally suppressed.

Peak oil is a theory advanced by the elite, by the oil industry, by the very people that you would think peak oil would harm, unless it was a cover for another agenda. Which from the evidence of artificial scarcity being deliberately created, the reasons for doing so and who benefits, it’s clear that peak oil is a myth and it should be exposed for what it is. Another excuse for the Globalists to seize more control over our lives and sacrifice more American sovereignty in the meantime.

The lies of artificial scarcity

The crux of the issue is that if oil was plentiful in areas in which we are being told by the government and the oil companies that it is not, then we have clear evidence that artificial scarcity is being simulated in order to drive forward a myriad of other agendas. And we have concrete examples of where this has happened.

Three separate internal confidential memos from Mobil, Chevron and Texaco have been obtained by The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights.

These memos outline a deliberate agenda to gouge prices and create artificial scarcity by limiting capacities of and outright closing oil refineries. This was a nationwide lobbying effort led by the American Petroleum Institute to encourage refineries to do this.

An internal Chevron memo states; "A senior energy analyst at the recent API convention warned that if the US petroleum industry doesn't reduce its refining capacity it will never see any substantial increase in refinery margins."

The Memos make clear that blockages in refining capacity and opening new refineries did not come from environmental organizations, as the oil industry claimed, but via a deliberate policy of limitation and price gouging at the behest of the oil industry itself.

[Continued...]
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

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Re: The manufactured myth of "peak oil"
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2010, 02:56:33 pm »
http://www.counterpunch.org/nader04292006.html

Break Up the Big Oil Cartel

Republican Rhetoric; Democratic Cluelessness

By Ralph Nader
CounterPunch
April 29 / 30, 2006

What a week it has been for the giant oil companies! Billions in record quarterly profits rushing into their coffers. An even bigger round of quarterly profits coming up. Gargantuan executive pay bonanzas. And a pile of "forces beyond our control" excuses to publicize in response to the empty outrage of Washington politicians and the real squeeze on consumers and small businesses.

Oil man Bush, atop his administration marinated with ex-oil executives in high positions, keeps saying there is little he can do. It is the market of supply and demand. Only fuel cells and hydrogen sometime down the 21st-century road can save the country from dependency on foreign oil, he says repeatedly. Plus more drilling in the Arctic Wildlife Refuge.

The public heat about energy prices prodded Mr. Bush this week, however, to at least make a little change in rhetoric. He repeated his warning that his government will not tolerate any gouging. Yet the supine reporters did not ask him whether he has ever caught a gouger. But he did mumble something about higher fuel economy standards so that your car guzzles a little less gasoline. He said he will be meeting with the domestic auto company executives in the White House in mid-May. He praised ethanol again. He visited a gas station in Mississippi to feel the pain of the motorists.

Will Hollywood ever leave Washington, DC?

On Capitol Hill--aka wurthering heights--the Republicans are starting to talk tough, mumbling about larger taxes on oil industry profits--an idea Bush said he would veto last year. The Democrats cannot even agree on an excess profits tax, preferring the greasy band-aid of lifting the 18.4 cent gasoline tax for sixty days. This new detour is pathetic since it takes the heat off the industry's skyrocketing gasoline price which are well into the $3 to $4/gallon range in many places.

A few, very few members of Congress, like Senator Byron Dorgan (D--North Dakota) know what has to be done to this industry and its long-time grip over the federal government. First, the gouging profits must be recaptured and returned now to the consumer. The government must also invest in advanced public transit systems.

Big oil has been on a marriage binge and the mergers, including the wedding of Exxon (number one) and Mobil (number two), have tightened further the corporate cartel of oil as it feeds off the government producers' cartel of oil abroad. Antitrust break up action is necessary.

The claim by the oil barons that they're just responding to the marketplace of supply and demand is laughable. Why are they making double and triple profits? Why are their top executives tripling their own pay? Hard-pressed sellers of oil would not have such a luxurious profit and pay spiral. Hard-pressed sellers of oil would not have paid $144,000 every day to Exxon CEO, Lee Raymond since 1993 and then send him off with a $398 million retirement deal.

A competitive domestic oil industry would not be so able to close down scores of refineries and then turn "refinery shortages" into higher gas prices at the pump. Nor would competitive companies get away with a return on capital of 46 percent for upstream drilling and production operations, plus a 32 percent for refining and marketing. Washington Post business reporter, Steven Pearlstein, call these returns "hedge fund returns." Except with hedge funds there is a risk of losing from time to time. Not so with the corporate government of Big Oil.

A President, preoccupied with his criminal, fabricated war in Iraq, would not leave Americans defenseless as oil prices eat into their family budgets. A standup President would order an all-fronts investigation of the oil industry's pricing practices from the oil well to the gasoline station.

There would be full use of subpoenas and public testimony from the oil bosses under oath by his regulatory agencies. He would organize with his Republican majority in Congress a repeal of past and recent unconscionable tax breaks and stop giving away your oil on federal property in the Gulf of Mexico to the oil companies without any royalties. He would press for an excess-profits tax and legislation raising by statute the fuel efficiency performance for new motor vehicles, including SUVs, Minivans and light trucks.

A standup President would raise margin requirements to tone down the speculation in oil futures that are swelling the New York Mercantile Exchange and contributing to higher gasoline and heating oil prices. He would support tariffs on imported refinery products to push the companies to expand and build new cleaner refineries in the U.S. Where? In some of the exact locations where the oil industry shut down these refineries over the past thirty years to contract overall output and move operations to cheap labor locations abroad.

[Continued...]


http://motherjones.com/politics/2000/07/solution-rising-gas-prices-antitrust-action

The Solution to Rising Gas Prices: Antitrust Action

Merger mania in the oil industry demands more government intervention in the market, in the style of the Microsoft breakup. The only other choice is anathema to big business: federal regulation.

By Russell Mokhiber and Robert Weissman
MotherJones
July 6, 2000

The startling concentration of economic power that has resulted from the US merger wave of the last several years is going to require new levels of government intervention in the marketplace.
Either the federal and state governments will act to break up monopolistic and oligopolistic corporations, or government agencies will assume regulatory authority of a kind largely abandoned in the United States, or consumers will be gouged and innovation stifled.

Case in point: the oil industry and skyrocketing gasoline prices--now more than $2 gallon in parts of the Midwest.

Vigorous antitrust enforcement may be preferable to government regulation. But government regulation of industry is certainly preferable to industry regulation of consumers and the marketplace.

A year and a half ago, when Exxon and Mobil merged in an effective effort to begin restoration of John Rockefeller's Standard Oil, the conventional wisdom was that the merger would not affect gas prices.

"The change in the structure of the industry is such that the trend toward lower gasoline prices and more efficient distribution of gasoline is well underway and this is not going to stop it," one analyst said to National Public Radio in a typical remark of the day.

The Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel went so far as to say that predictions that the Exxon-Mobil merger would increase prices were "delusional."

Now, conventional wisdom is rapidly changing.

With oil prices skyrocketing nationwide, prices spiking in the Midwest and industry profits reaching stratospheric heights, even the Clinton administration has called on the Federal Trade Commission to investigate whether the oil industry is illegally colluding to raise prices.

The oil industry, as always, has a series of rationalizations for the sudden jump in gas prices.

OPEC has cut production and world prices have risen, say industry representatives, even as global demand is increasing. The industry also complains that a Unocal patent on a means to formulate cleaner-burning gas has impeded the use of the most efficient gasoline formulation techniques. All of that's true, but those factors do not account either for the unique price spike in the Midwest, nor for the surge in industry profits.

New requirements to sell cleaner-burning gasoline have boosted prices, the industry complains, and led to special difficulties in the Midwest, where refiners use ethanol instead of alternative blending components. That's also true, but the Environmental Protection Agency -- noting that the oil industry has had six years to prepare itself for the implementation of cleaner fuel standards that the industry helped negotiate -- says the cleaner-burning gas should only cost 4 to 7 cents more per gallon.

It is hard to escape the conclusion that some significant part of the story involves industry profiteering -- with the oil giants using the input cost increases from OPEC and the reformulated gasoline standards as cover to pile on additional charges.

[Continued...]
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://webofdebt.com
http://schalkenbach.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

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Re: The manufactured myth of "peak oil"
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2010, 05:11:26 am »
have you read the Austrian view on Anti-Trust?
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Re: The manufactured myth of "peak oil"
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2010, 09:48:22 am »
have you read the Austrian view on Anti-Trust?

Yes, and like their view on the theory and origin of money, it's mostly hogwash.

Although I disagree with him on several key issues (gun control, public schooling, the rose-colored glasses through which he views Keynesian economics and debt-based money, etc.), I nevertheless generally agree with what Steve Kangas has to say on this particular matter:

----------------------------------

http://www.huppi.com/kangaroo/L-ausmon.htm

MONOPOLIES

Austrians believe that the government destroys the market process for several reasons. Rockwell writes:

    "One obvious example… takes place at the Justice Department's antitrust division. There the bureaucrats pretend to know the proper structure of industry, what kind of mergers and acquisitions harm the economy, who has too much market share or too little, and what the relevant market is. This represents what Hayek called the pretense of knowledge.

    "The correct relationship between competitors can only be worked out through buying and selling, not bureaucratic fiat. Austrian economists, in particular Rothbard, argue that the only real monopolies are created by government. Markets are too competitive to allow any monopolies to be sustained."

The claim that governments cause monopolies defies the historical evidence. History actually shows the opposite: the more unregulated the market is, the worse the problem of monopolies.

However, the Austrian claim is not wholly without merit. Utilities are examples of monopolies run or regulated by the government (although they are natural monopolies, and privatizing them doesn't work, as Britain found out in the 80s). Often companies persuade governments to erect barriers of market entry to potential competitors. Sometimes government subsidies allow one company to overpower its competitors. But such cases are usually the result of money-based lobbying, which is a corruption of the system. Corruption in the public sector no more "refutes" its central principle than does corruption in the private sector. The solution to corruption is to eliminate it by enforcing better laws. European democracies offer broad practical evidence that this sort of corruption can be greatly reduced.

But this Austrian critique completely ignores another, more common type of monopoly: that which forms naturally on the unregulated market. There are many reasons for this tendency, ranging from "it takes money to make money" to the greater efficiency of large corporations. Without antitrust laws or some other countervailing market force, growing companies will not stop until they become monopolies or oligopolies.

The height of monopoly growth and abuse in the U.S. coincided with its greatest period of laissez-faire, or government nonintervention in the market. Known as the Gilded Age (the period between the Civil War and World War I), this period saw the phenomenal rise of the Robber Barons and their great trusts (monopolies). John D. Rockefeller monopolized oil under his Standard Oil Company; J.P. Morgan dominated finance; Andrew Carnegie, steel; James Hill, railroads. Historians have well chronicled the ruthlessness of these men -- Morgan once remarked that "I don't know as I want a lawyer to tell me what I cannot do. I hire him to tell me how to do what I want to do." Rockefeller's father once boasted that "I cheat my boys every chance I get, I want to make 'em sharp." These men lived for market conquest, and plotted takeovers like military strategy.

In the late 19th century, trusts formed also in wheat, fruit, meat, salt, sugar refining, lumber, electrical power, rubber, nickel, paper, lead, gypsum, iron, cottonseed oil, linseed oil, whiskey distilling, cord manufacture -- and many others. Once a trust emerged, it would raise its prices and drop its quality of service, as well as engage in unfair trading practices that drove other firms out of business. The abuses of these monopolies became so great that they became a national scandal. So deep was antitrust sentiment that when both houses of Congress passed the Sherman Antitrust Act in 1890, there was only a single dissenting vote! But U.S. presidents did not bother to enforce it, and the monopoly problem continued to worsen.

The worst period of monopoly formation was between 1898 and 1902. Prior to this, there was an average of 46 major industrial mergers a year. But after 1898, this soared to 531 a year. By 1904, the top 4 percent of American businesses produced 57 percent of America's total industrial production, and a single firm would dominate at least 60 percent of production in 50 different industries. The power of these monopolies easily dwarfed the governments that oversaw them. As early as 1888, a Boston railroad company had gross receipts of $40 million, whereas the entire Commonwealth of Massachusetts had receipts of only $7 million. And when Rockefeller, Carnegie and Morgan united in 1901 to create U.S. Steel, the result was an international sensation. Cosmopolitan magazine wrote:

    "The world, on the 3rd day of March, 1901, ceased to be ruled by… so-called statesmen. True, there were marionettes still figuring in Congress and as kings. But they were in place simply to carry out the orders of the world's real rulers -- those who controlled the concentrated portion of the money supply."

The role of government in all this was to stand back and let this market process happen. It wasn't until Teddy Roosevelt launched his great "trust-busting" campaign in 1902 that this process was reversed. Actual enforcement of the Sherman Act reduced monopolies until the Roaring 20s, when laissez-faire policies again returned to Washington. Over that decade, about 1,200 mergers swallowed up more than 6,000 previously independent companies; by 1929, only 200 corporations controlled over half of all American industry. The New Deal era ushered in yet another era of antitrust policy, again reducing the percentage of monopolies. This was followed by the Reagan era, a period which saw both massive deregulation and another frenzy of mergers and takeovers. In 1988, Federal Trade Commissioner Andrew Strenio remarked:

    "Since Fiscal Year 1980, there has been a drop of more than 40 percent in the work years allocated to antitrust enforcement. In the same period, merger filings skyrocketed to more than 320 percent of their Fiscal Year 1980 level."

Two objections are possible here. The first is that these growing corporations may have captured government and then used it as a tool to capture the market. Those familiar with the Golden Age and Roaring 20s know, however, that governments were basically bribed to stand back and do nothing. They passed very little legislation that actively prevented any firms from entering the market and competing. The Reagan era was different, in that corporate lobbyists began using government as a proactive agent to discourage competition. Nonetheless, the periods of government trust-busting show the proper role of government, and its effectiveness in restoring market competition.

The second objection is that a wave of mergers may result in a more natural and efficient equilibrium of larger players, and this could be beneficial for the economy. The result doesn't have to be a monopoly -- perhaps just an oligopoly. The problem is that at the top end, mergers become increasingly harmful to the economy, with monopolies merely representing the worst result. Even oligopolies engage in price-gouging and collaboration. A natural equilibrium hardly represents the best equilibrium -- as recessions and depressions show.

How do Austrians deal with the historical correlation between laissez-faire and monopolies? By denying it, of course. The presence of any government at all proves that their conditions of a free market were not met, so the entire correlation is rejected. This is like someone attempting to argue that not watering a plant will result in the fastest growth. And when you point out to him that there is a correlation between the amount of water given to a plant and its rate of growth, he dismisses these experiments on the basis that they all used water.

----------------------------------

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tuHCAXtjZ6Q (part 1 of 4)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rlJT-5w21IY (part 2 of 4)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rxe-LlAO_cQ (part 3 of 4)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bl5jOUvIcuI (part 4 of 4)
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Re: The manufactured myth of "peak oil"
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2010, 01:45:41 pm »
Peak Oil Myth - Scam Busted by Noe van Hulst - Secretary General of the International Energy Forum
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6v3w4eyXVWE
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Re: The manufactured myth of "peak oil"
« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2010, 09:27:29 am »
http://www.prisonplanet.com/oil-companies-conspiring-to-jack-up-gasoline-prices-by-creating-artificial-scarcity.html

Oil Companies Conspiring To Jack Up Gasoline Prices By Creating Artificial Scarcity

Internal oil company documents prove conspiracy to reduce refinery capacity in order to jack up prices

Paul Joseph Watson
Prison Planet.com
Friday, April 16, 2010

Alex Jones appeared on Russia Today to expose how major oil companies are driving up the price of gasoline by reducing refinery capacity, a familiar ploy that was exposed by Senator Ron Wyden’s 2001 investigation which published leaked oil company documents proving collusion between oil cartels to manufacture artificial scarcity.

We were particularly amused by the woeful inaccuracy of a neo-con in the You Tube comments section who claimed the following.

“Jones is such a fraudster. Jim Tucker is an old conspiracy crackpot fart who make ridiculous crackpot conspiracy du jour claims repeatedly that never are true. It’s the environmentalists and their Democrats politicians that are blocking new refineries. Jones definitely doesn’t know anything about the oil business.”

In actual fact, Tucker has become renowned for making accurate predictions. He reported that the invasion of Iraq had been delayed by Bilderberg until 2003 when all the corporate media was reporting a 2002 attack date in unison.

On the subject of major oil cartels artificially reducing refinery capacity in order to jack up profits, this was reported on as recently as last month by the L.A. Times.

“Energy companies are suffering huge losses from refining because of slumping gasoline use — a product of the economic downturn and changing consumer habits and preferences. Energy experts say refining cutbacks have begun and will accelerate as corporations strive for profits,” states the report.

Tyson Slocum, director of Public Citizen’s energy program, makes reference to the leaked documents Alex referred to in the interview, where oil companies conspired to create artificial scarcity.

“We know from internal documents from the last time we had a situation like this, in the 1990s, that there was an intentional strategy on the part of some companies to drive up profit margins by shuttering or closing refineries,” states Slocum.

A 2001 investigation led by Senator Ron Wyden found that, “Facing what they deemed inadequate profit margins in the mid-1990’s, oil companies readily recognized that the surest way to drive up profits was to drive down oil and gasoline supply. By restricting supply, they would be able to demand higher prices and reap higher margins for their product.”

The full report, as well as excerpts from the oil company internal documents proving collusion to reduce refinery capacity can be read here [.pdf].
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

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Gulf Oil Rig Fiasco: It’s About Scarcity and World Government
« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2010, 10:26:54 am »
http://www.prisonplanet.com/gulf-oil-rig-fiasco-it%e2%80%99s-about-scarcity-and-world-government.html

Gulf Oil Rig Fiasco: It’s About Scarcity and World Government

Kurt Nimmo
Infowars.com
May 2, 2010

A second oil rig has overturned on the Gulf coast. It is not being widely reported. The Wall Street Journal’s MarketWatch reports:

    The U.S. Coast Guard said Friday it is responding to a second oil-rig accident. A “mobile inland drilling unit” with a 20,000-gallon diesel fuel capacity overturned in the Charenton navigational channel south of U.S. Highway 90 near Morgan City, La. No fuel leak or injuries have been reported but 500 feet of containment boom has been deployed around the rig, the Coast Guard said.

On Friday, radio talk show host and former Reagan cabinet advisor Mark Levin accused the Obama administration of a plot to nationalize the oil industry. “I think those SWAT teams are there in coordination with the attorney general’s office, the Interior Department, Homeland Security, maybe the EPA….to seize records at these sites and to lay the foundation for more government takeover,” said Levin.

Obama said on Thursday he was dispatching SWAT teams to inspect oil rigs in the Gulf, a response that struck many observers as odd.

This is a public relations stunt designed to make Americans think the federal government is responding to the disaster. In fact, the government has no intention of doing anything significant. Obama’s response if purely cosmetic and for public consumption.

Levin and many Republicans think Obama is a Marxist and wants a Soviet-like centralized economy. Obama, however, is not surrounded by textbook Marxists who want a revolution in the name of the proles. He is surrounded by bankers and monopoly men. The Obama administration is a creature of the CFR, Trilateral Commission, the Federal Reserve, and Wall Street banks, not the Comintern.

Oil rigs are being attacked in order to shut down oil production, not nationalize it. The name of the game is artificial scarcity designed to further cripple the economy.

On Friday, Obama promised that no new offshore oil drilling leases will be issued unless rigs have new safeguards to prevent a repeat of the explosion that unleashed the massive spill threatening the Gulf Coast, according to the Associated Press.

The number of structures in the Gulf is roughly 4,000, with 819 manned platforms. How long do you think it will take an ossified federal government to install these safeguards?

As Lindsey Williams has noted, the global elite are manipulating oil in order to create a world-wide economic depression. “America will see a financial collapse so great that it will take years to come out of it,” Williams told Alex Jones on November 21, 2008.

“Publicly available CFR and Club of Rome strategy manuals from 30 years ago say that a global government needs to control the world population through neo-feudalism by creating artificial scarcity,” Steve Watson, Alex Jones and Paul Watson wrote in 2005. “Now that the social architects have de-industrialized the United States, they are going to blame our economic disintegration on lack of energy supplies.”

“Isn’t the only hope for the planet that the industrialized civilizations collapse? Isn’t it our responsibility to bring that about?” asked Maurice Strong, the founder of the UN Environment Program, during his opening speech at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992.

During an interview conducted in 1972, Strong talked about the concept of zero growth put forward by the Club of Rome in the late 1960s which called for the control of population and economic growth. The Club of Rome is a neo-Malthusian organization with interlocking membership with the European banking elite such as the Committee of 300 and the Bilderberg Group.

“Federal authorities have shut down two offshore platforms and evacuated one of them near a massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico,” reports the Associated Press today. “The Coast Guard said Saturday that the shutdowns were a safety precaution.”

More offshore platforms will likely be shut down in the days ahead.

Meanwhile, members of Congress are calling for expanded oil exploration plans to be dropped. “I’ve said to the White House, ‘Don’t you dare think about your five-year plans [for offshore oil leases] … We’re just not going to let you,’” said Florida Sen. Bill Nelson on Friday. “Nelson said the state’s multibillion-dollar tourist industry and fisheries shouldn’t be imperiled for oil’s sake. He said the spill may ultimately serve as a lesson that the country needs to develop cleaner energy sources,” reports The Florida Times-Union.

As if on cue, the Soros foundation MoveOn has called on its members to telephone the White House and demand that Obama reinstate the ban on offshore oil drilling. “The MoveOn campaign is just one of a series of pleas from lawmakers and environmental groups for the administration to reverse its policy in the wake of the explosion and spill,” reports The Washington Post.

The explosion and massive oil spill will be used to make sure artificial oil scarcity continues. The ultimate goal is not clean energy or so-called energy independence but delivering the once great United States into the maw of the bankers who are determined to consolidate power and convert the world into a sprawling high-tech prison planet.
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http://www.prisonplanet.com/the-cover-up-bps-crude-politics-and-the-looming-environmental-mega-disaster.html

The Cover-up: BP’s Crude Politics and the Looming Environmental Mega-Disaster

Wayne Madsen
May 7, 2010

WMR has been informed by sources in the US Army Corps of Engineers, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and Florida Department of Environmental Protection that the Obama White House and British Petroleum (BP), which pumped $71,000 into Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign — more than John McCain or Hillary Clinton, are covering up the magnitude of the volcanic-level oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico and working together to limit BP’s liability for damage caused by what can be called a “mega-disaster.”

Obama and his senior White House staff, as well as Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, are working with BP’s chief executive officer Tony Hayward on legislation that would raise the cap on liability for damage claims from those affected by the oil disaster from $75 million to $10 billion. However, WMR’s federal and Gulf state sources are reporting the disaster has the real potential cost of at least $1 trillion. Critics of the deal being worked out between Obama and Hayward point out that $10 billion is a mere drop in the bucket for a trillion dollar disaster but also note that BP, if its assets were nationalized, could fetch almost a trillion dollars for compensation purposes. There is talk in some government circles, including FEMA, of the need to nationalize BP in order to compensate those who will ultimately be affected by the worst oil disaster in the history of the world.

Plans by BP to sink a 4-story containment dome over the oil gushing from a gaping chasm one kilometer below the surface of the Gulf, where the oil rig Deepwater Horizon exploded and killed 11 workers on April 20, and reports that one of the leaks has been contained is pure public relations disinformation designed to avoid panic and demands for greater action by the Obama administration, according to FEMA and Corps of Engineers sources. Sources within these agencies say the White House has been resisting releasing any “damaging information” about the oil disaster. They add that if the ocean oil geyser is not stopped within 90 days, there will be irreversible damage to the marine eco-systems of the Gulf of Mexico, north Atlantic Ocean, and beyond. At best, some Corps of Engineers experts say it could take two years to cement the chasm on the floor of the Gulf.

Only after the magnitude of the disaster became evident did Obama order Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to declare the oil disaster a “national security issue.” Although the Coast Guard and FEMA are part of her department, Napolitano’s actual reasoning for invoking national security was to block media coverage of the immensity of the disaster that is unfolding for the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean and their coastlines.

From the Corps of Engineers, FEMA, the Environmental Protection Agency, Coast Guard, and Gulf state environmental protection agencies, the message is the same: “we’ve never dealt with anything like this before.”

The Obama administration also conspired with BP to fudge the extent of the oil leak, according to our federal and state sources. After the oil rig exploded and sank, the government stated that 42,000 gallons per day was gushing from the seabed chasm.  Five days later, the federal government upped the leakage to 210,000 gallons a day.

However, WMR has been informed that submersibles that are  monitoring the escaping oil from the Gulf seabed are viewing television pictures of what is a “volcanic-like” eruption of oil. Moreover, when the Army Corps of Engineers first attempted to obtain NASA imagery of the Gulf oil slick — which is larger than that being reported by the media — it was turned down. However, National Geographic managed to obtain the satellite imagery shots of the extent of the disaster and posted them on their web site.

There is other satellite imagery being withheld by the Obama administration that shows what lies under the gaping chasm spewing oil at an ever-alarming rate is a cavern estimated to be around the size of Mount Everest. This information has been given an almost national security-level classification to keep it from the public, according to our sources.

The Corps and Engineers and FEMA are quietly critical of the lack of support for quick action after the oil disaster by the Obama White House and the US Coast Guard. Only recently, has the Coast Guard understood the magnitude of the disaster, dispatching nearly 70 vessels to the affected area. WMR has also learned that inspections of off-shore rigs’ shut-off valves by the Minerals Management Service during the Bush administration were merely rubber-stamp operations, resulting from criminal collusion between Halliburton and the Interior Department’s service, and that the potential for similar disasters exists with the other 30,000 off-shore rigs that use the same shut-off valves.

The impact of the disaster became known to the Corps of Engineers and FEMA even before the White House began to take the magnitude of the impending catastrophe seriously. The first casualty of the disaster is the seafood industy, with not just fishermen, oystermen, crabbers, and shrimpers losing their jobs, but all those involved in the restaurant industry, from truckers to waitresses, facing lay-offs.

The invasion of crude oil into estuaries like the oyster-rich Apalachicola Bay in Florida spell disaster for the seafood industry. However, the biggest threat is to Florida’s Everglades, which federal and state experts fear will be turned into a “dead zone” if the oil continues to gush forth from the Gulf chasm. There are also expectations that the oil slick will be caught up in the Gulf stream off the eastern seaboard of the United States, fouling beaches and estuaries like the Chesapeake Bay, and ultimately target the rich fishing grounds of the Grand Banks off Newfoundland.

WMR has also learned that 36 urban areas on the Gulf of Mexico are expecting to be confronted with a major disaster from the oil volcano in the next few days. Although protective water surface boons are being laid to protect such sensitive areas as Alabama’s Dauphin Island, the mouth of the Mississippi River, and Florida’s Apalachicola Bay, Florida, there is only 16 miles of boons available for the protection of 2,276 miles of tidal shoreline in the state of Florida.

Emergency preparations in dealing with the expanding oil menace are now being made for cities and towns from Corpus Christi, Texas, to Houston, New Orleans, Gulfport, Mobile, Pensacola, Tampa-St.Petersburg-Clearwater, Sarasota-Bradenton, Naples, and Key West. Some 36 FEMA-funded contracts between cities, towns, and counties and emergency workers are due to be invoked within days, if not hours, according to WMR’s FEMA sources.

There are plans to evacuate people with respiratory problems, especially those among the retired senior population along the west coast of Florida, before officials begin burning surface oil as it begins to near the coastline.

There is another major threat looming for inland towns and cities. With hurricane season in effect, there is a potential for ocean oil to be picked up by hurricane-driven rains and dropped into fresh water lakes and rivers, far from the ocean, thus adding to the pollution of water supplies and eco-systems.
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Obama Sheltered BP's Deepwater Horizon Rig from Regulatory Requirement
« Reply #10 on: May 07, 2010, 10:45:23 am »
http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=19027

Obama Sheltered BP's Deepwater Horizon Rig from Regulatory Requirement

by Tom Eley



Global Research
May 6, 2010

Last year the Obama administration granted oil giant BP a special exemption from a legal requirement that it produce a detailed environmental impact study on the possible effects of its Deepwater Horizon drilling operation in the Gulf of Mexico, an article Wednesday in the Washington Post reveals.

Federal documents show that the Department of the Interior's Minerals Management Service (MMS) gave BP a "categorical exclusion" on April 6, 2009 to commence drilling with Deepwater Horizon even though it had not produced the impact study required by a law known as the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The report would have included probable ecological consequences in the event of a spill.

The exemption came less than one month after BP had requested it in a March 10 "exploration plan" submitted to the MMS. The plan said that because a spill was "unlikely," no additional "mitigation measures other than those required by regulation and BP policy will be employed to avoid, diminish or eliminate potential impacts on environmental resources." BP also assured the MMS that any spill would not seriously hurt marine wildlife and that "due to the distance to shore (48 miles) and the response capabilities that would be implemented, no significant adverse impacts are expected."

Kierán Suckling, director of the Center for Biological Diversity, told the Post that the Obama administration's exemption effectively "put BP entirely in control," adding, "The agency's oversight role has devolved to little more than rubber-stamping British Petroleum's self-serving drilling plans."

In fact, BP's self-assessment of the potential for a disaster reproduced that of federal regulators. In 2007, under the Bush administration, the MMS carried out three studies of the potential environmental impact of deep sea drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, including one that pertained specifically to the area where Deepwater Horizon was ultimately deployed, known as "Lease 206." The MMS determined that a "deepwater spill" would not reach the coast and would not exceed 4,600 barrels.

The most conservative estimates now put the Deepwater Horizon spill at about 72,000 barrels and counting. The real figure could already be as high as 350,000 barrels, about 75 times the MMS's worst-case-scenario prediction. In closed-door congressional hearings on Tuesday, BP executives admitted that the well could begin to emit as many as 60,000 barrels, or 2.5 million gallons, a day. At such a pace it would eclipse the size of the Exxon Valdez spill every five days.

The Obama administration's delivery of a special exemption for Deepwater Horizon in April 2009 is the latest in a litany of examples that reveal the close collaboration between the MMS and BP.

Only 11 days before the explosion, BP requested a broadening of the April exemption, and in a separate letter dated September 14, 2009, a BP vice president for operations in the Gulf, Richard Morrison, requested that the Obama administration not put in place new guidelines that would have required audits of its rigs every three years. "We are not supportive of the extensive, prescriptive regulations as proposed in this rule," Morrison wrote. BP favored voluntary self-regulations, which, Morrison said, "have been and continue to be very successful."

As late as March 2010, the MMS approved new deep sea oil drilling operations for another Gulf lease, referred to as "215." The approval cited the safety of other drilling operations, including Deepwater Horizon's Lease 206. (http://www.gomr.mms.gov/PDFs/2010/2010-003.pdf.)

At the end of March, Obama announced a dramatic expansion of offshore drilling in Florida's Gulf waters, the Atlantic seaboard, and the northern waters of Alaska—basing himself largely on MMS claims that new drilling poses no major risks to the environment.

The MMS is, even by the standards of Washington, openly in the embrace of the oil industry. A September 2008, Inspector General's report revealed that MMS regulators had for years accepted gifts and money—and even drugs and sex—from the same oil industry executives they were ostensibly tasked with monitoring. The Obama administration's rubber-stamping of "self-regulation" for the oil industry makes clear that while the top political appointees at MMS have changed since the Bush years, the policies have not.

As more details emerge, it is becoming increasingly clear that federal regulators under both the Bush and Obama administrations ceded enforcement of legally-mandated safety and environmental regulation to the oil industry, while providing governmental approval for unproven methods. It is these policies that led directly to the deaths of eleven workers on the Deepwater Horizon and the environmental catastrophe overtaking the Gulf of Mexico.

The Obama administration's and BP's protestations that the Deepwater Horizon disaster was unforeseeable are lies. In fact, not only had scientists and environmentalists warned for years that an uncontrollable spill from a deep water oil rig was likely, sources in the Bush and Obama administrations had made similar warnings.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) sharply criticized the very MMS studies that Obama used to approve the Deepwater Horizon site, it has been revealed. Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), which supports whistleblowers among federal employees, published a memo sent by NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco in October 2009 to the Department of the Interior ridiculing MMS assessments of drilling operations.

Among other comments, Lubchenco called the MMS studies "understated and generally not supported or referenced, using vague terms and phrases such as 'no substantive degradation is expected' and 'some marine mammals could be harmed.' This is particularly problematic for expanding oil and gas production."

The internal warnings go back as far as 2004. The Wall Street Journal on Monday reported the contents of a study, commissioned and reviewed by the MMS that year, which raised serious doubts as to whether blowout protector mechanisms—the equipment that failed to seal the Deepwater Horizon well after its piping ruptured—could even function in the deep sea. The devices were simply untested under such oceanic pressures. The study warned that “this grim snapshot illustrates the lack of preparedness in the industry to shear and seal a well with the last line of defense against a blowout” in deep water.

Obama's decision to disregard scientific evidence is not the result of a mistaken policy, however. It is the result of definite class interests.

[Continued...]
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Gulf Oil Spill: The Halliburton Connection
« Reply #11 on: May 07, 2010, 10:57:46 am »
http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=19024

Gulf Oil Spill: The Halliburton Connection

by Margot Roosevelt and Jill Leovy



Global Research, May 6, 2010
Los Angeles Times Blogs - 2010-04-30

Investigators delving into the possible cause of the massive gulf oil spill are focusing on the role of Houston-based Halliburton Co., the giant energy services company, which was responsible for cementing the drill into place below the water. The company acknowledged Friday that it had completed the final cementing of the oil well and pipe just 20 hours before the blowout last week.

In a letter to to Halliburton Chief Executive David J. Lesar on Friday, Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Beverly Hills) chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, and Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.), chairman of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, called on Halliburton officials to provide all documents relating to "the possibility or risk of an explosion or blowout at the Deepwater Horizon rig and the status, adequacy, quality, monitoring, and inspection of the cementing work" by May 7.

In a statement Friday, Halliburton said "it is premature and irresponsible to speculate on any specific causal issues." The company had four employees stationed on the rig at the time of the accident, all of whom were rescued by the Coast Guard.  "Halliburton had completed the cementing of the final production casing string in accordance with the well design," it said. "The cement slurry design was consistent with that utilized in other similar applications. In accordance with accepted industry practice ... tests demonstrating the integrity of the production casing string were completed."

More than two dozen class action lawsuits have been filed after the explosion against BP PLC, the British company that leased the Deepwater Horizon rig, against the rig's owner, Transocean Ltd. and against Halliburton. BP is "taking full responsibility" for the spill and will pay for legitimate claims by affected parties, company spokeswoman Sheila Williams said.

Cement is used at two stages of the deep-water drilling process. It is used to fill gaps between the well pipe and the hole drilled into the seabed so as to prevent any seepage of oil and gas. And it is used to temporarily plug an exploration hole before production begins. At the time of the accident, the Halliburton statement said, "well operations had not yet reached the point requiring the placement of the final cement plug which would enable the planned temporary abandonment of the well."

Experts say cementing is a basic part of drilling, exploration and production of oil on the sea floor. Drill ships or rigs plant large pipes called "conductors" on the sea floor, and casings, or nested pipes, are placed inside of them. The pipes are fixed in place by cement, some hanging inside other pipes, and a drill string is run down a casing, and extended to the sea floor to bore holes.

Mud works its way back up the pipes and the “riser,” a pipe that connects the drill site to the ship or rig above. Or oil is brought up. Cement fixes the operations in place. Cement may also be used to plug a well, pumped down the string until it comes up on the sides, and stops the hole.

Cementing a deep-water drilling operation is a process fraught with danger. A 2007 study by the U.S. Minerals Management Service found that cementing was the single most important factor in 18 of 39 well blowouts in the Gulf of Mexico over a 14-year period -- more than equipment malfunction. Halliburton has been accused of a poor cement job in the case of a major blowout in the Timor Sea off Australia last August. An investigation is underway.

According to experts cited in Friday's Wall St. Journal, the timing of last week's cement job in relation to the explosion -- only 20 hours beforehand, and the history of cement problems in other blowouts "point to it as a possible culprit." Robert MacKenzie, managing director of energy and natural resources at FBR Capital Markets and a former cementing engineer, told the Journal, "The initial likely cause of gas coming to the surface had something to do with the cement."

In its statement, the company said, "Halliburton originated oilfield cementing and leads the world in effective, efficient delivery of zonal isolation and engineering for the life of the well, conducting thousands of successful well cementing jobs each year."

The company, which was once headed by former Vice President Dick Cheney, has been in the media spotlight before -- under under fire in recent years for its operations as a private contractor in Iraq.
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Re: The manufactured myth of "peak oil"
« Reply #12 on: May 07, 2010, 11:18:30 am »
Oil Fields Oil Are Refilling Naturally - Sometimes Rapidly

http://www.scribd.com/doc/4847745/Oil-Fields-Oil-Are-Refilling-Naturally-Sometimes-Rapidly



http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090513130944.htm

Natural Petroleum Seeps Release Equivalent Of Up To 80 Exxon Valdez Oil Spills




ScienceDaily (May 18, 2009) — Twenty years ago, the oil tanker Exxon Valdez was exiting Alaska's Prince William Sound when it struck a reef in the middle of the night. What happened next is considered one of the nation's worst environmental disasters: 10.8 million gallons of crude oil spilled into the pristine Alaskan waters, eventually covering 11,000 square miles of ocean.

Now, imagine 8 to 80 times the amount of oil spilled in the Exxon Valdez accident.

According to new research by scientists from UC Santa Barbara and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), that's how much oil has made its way into sediments offshore from petroleum seeps near Coal Oil Point in the Santa Barbara Channel. Their research, reported in an article being published in the May 15 issue of Environmental Science & Technology, documents how the oil is released by the seeps, carried to the surface along a meandering plume, and then deposited on the ocean floor in sediments that stretch for miles northwest of Coal Oil Point.

In addition, the research reveals that the oil is so degraded by the time it gets buried in the sea bed that it's a mere shell of the petroleum that initially bubbles up from the seeps. "These were spectacular findings," said Christopher Reddy, a marine chemist at WHOI and one of the co-authors of the new paper.

Other co-authors include UCSB's David Valentine, associate professor of earth science; and Libe Washburn, professor of geography; and Emily Peacock and Robert K. Nelson, both of WHOI.

The lead author is Christopher Farwell, who at the time of the research was an undergraduate studying chemistry at UCSB. Inspired by this project, Farwell has changed his career path and is now a graduate student at UCSB studying marine science and earth science.

In an earlier paper published in 2008, Valentine and Reddy documented how microbes devour many of the compounds in the oil emanating from the seeps. The new study examines the final step in the life cycle of the oil.

"One of the natural questions is: What happens to all of this oil?" Valentine said. "So much oil seeps up and floats on the sea surface. It's something we've long wondered. We know some of it will come ashore as tar balls, but it doesn't stick around. And then there are the massive slicks. You can see them, sometimes extending 20 miles from the seeps. But what is really the ultimate fate?"

Based on their previous research, Valentine and Reddy surmised that the oil was sinking "because this oil is heavy to begin with," Valentine said. "It's a good bet that it ends up in the sediments because it's not ending up on land. It's not dissolving in ocean water, so it's almost certain that it is ending up in the sediments."

An all-night sampling marathon on the research ship R/V Atlantis, funded by the National Science Foundation, provided the means to test that hypothesis. With Farwell and Reddy leading the way, the team used what Reddy called an "old school" sampling device to take 16 sediment samples from the ocean floor, following a carefully calculated path mapped out by Farwell. The researchers were hoping that their route, described by Farwell as a "rectangle along the coast from Santa Barbara to Point Conception," would match the trail of the plume. Farwell's calculations were perfect, Valentine said. The 16-point route yielded an unmistakable pattern of oil-saturated sediment all along the ship's path.

The scientists then painstakingly analyzed the samples using Reddy's comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatograph (GCxGC). "What we saw is that we can link the seep oils to the oils in the sediment," Valentine said. "We can do that through the composition of select molecules that are specific to the oils from the seeps. So, being able to link them, and being able to quantify how much is there, we can see the pattern of the oil. It's coming from the seeps."

Washburn, who has been using radio waves to map ocean currents off Santa Barbara for a number of years, provided additional evidence. "Libe took a seven-year average of surface current flow in the region, and plotted that out," Valentine said. "It matched perfectly with our plume."

This research proved to be an extension of the 2008 study by Valentine and Reddy: that the oil has indeed degraded, largely eaten away by microbes, before it settles back to the ocean floor and becomes buried.

"For all of these samples, the bacteria seem to hit a common wall, where they don't eat anymore," Valentine said. "In the previous study, we were looking at subsurface biodegradation where there is no oxygen. Now, you still have thousands of compounds in that oil, but now we're seeing all of the evaporation and dissolution that happens to the slick, and then the biodegradation happens in the slick with oxygen present, and then when it falls to the sea floor, it continues to be biodegraded. All the oil seems to be biodegraded to the same point and then it just stops."

"It's dramatic how much the oil loses in this life cycle," Reddy said. "It's almost like someone who has lost 400 pounds."

It's the amount of residual oil that made it to the ocean floor that surprised all of the researchers. "Based on what we found in the sample cores at our sites, we calculated the amount of hydrocarbon in the whole area," Valentine said. "We have to make assumptions about how deep the sediment is, so we assume a range of between 50 centimeters and 5 meters. We come out with 8 to 80 Exxon Valdezes worth of oil, just in this area."

"When we got reviews for the paper, one reviewer said it should actually be more, because of how much has been degraded out," Farwell said. "The amount that actually seeped out is more like 11 to 110 Exxon Valdezes, just in this area."

Washburn thinks that this research will resonate among scientists who have studied oil. "I think it's giving us a lot of insight into the fate of oil and hydrocarbons in the ocean," the UCSB oceanographer said. "There may also be some applications for oil spills."

Offline Geolibertarian

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Gulf Oil Disaster: A Mere "Accident" or an ENVIRONMENTAL 9/11?
« Reply #13 on: May 07, 2010, 11:20:10 am »
http://www.prisonplanet.com/oil-companies-conspiring-to-jack-up-gasoline-prices-by-creating-artificial-scarcity.html

Oil Companies Conspiring To Jack Up Gasoline Prices By Creating Artificial Scarcity

Internal oil company documents prove conspiracy to reduce refinery capacity in order to jack up prices

Paul Joseph Watson
Prison Planet.com
Friday, April 16, 2010

http://www.prisonplanet.com/gulf-oil-rig-fiasco-it%e2%80%99s-about-scarcity-and-world-government.html

Gulf Oil Rig Fiasco: It’s About Scarcity and World Government

Kurt Nimmo
Infowars.com
May 2, 2010

http://www.prisonplanet.com/the-cover-up-bps-crude-politics-and-the-looming-environmental-mega-disaster.html

The Cover-up: BP’s Crude Politics and the Looming Environmental Mega-Disaster

Wayne Madsen
May 7, 2010

http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=19027

Obama Sheltered BP's Deepwater Horizon Rig from Regulatory Requirement

by Tom Eley
Global Research
May 6, 2010

http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=19024

Gulf Oil Spill: The Halliburton Connection

by Margot Roosevelt and Jill Leovy
Global Research, May 6, 2010
Los Angeles Times Blogs - 2010-04-30

In light of the above -- and in light of the literal economic "war" being waged against us by ruling-class oligarchs (who obviously include oil barons as well as bankers) and their puppet politicians in Washington -- is it reasonable to conclude that it's more likely than not that Halliburton didn't just goof, but actually rigged the gulf oil rig to explode?
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Offline RabidSheep

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Re: The manufactured myth of "peak oil"
« Reply #14 on: May 07, 2010, 11:51:05 am »
I highly doubt that. The cost of that rig($365 million) and this spill(cost yet to be seen) are going to take them some time to recover those loses. If Halibutron rigged it Bp would be screaming to the heavens. We may see this later in future though. Anything is possible. It would make more sense that they only manipulating prices based on peak oil. Also they shut down refineries here to manipulate oil price. It would not make sense for them destroy a project as large as Deepwater Horizon. It was one of their prize rigs. Just my opinion.

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Evidence Points To BP Oil Spill False Flag
« Reply #15 on: June 08, 2010, 03:22:01 pm »
http://www.prisonplanet.com/evidence-points-to-bp-oil-spill-false-flag.html

Evidence Points To BP Oil Spill False Flag

- Sales of shares and stocks in days and weeks beforehand

- Halliburton link, acquisition of cleanup company days before explosion

- BP report cites undocumented tampering with well sealing equipment

- Government uses disaster to push for Carbon Tax, Nationalization talk




Steve Watson, Paul Joseph Watson & Alex Jones
Prisonplanet.com
Tuesday, Jun 8th, 2010

Troubling evidence surrounding the Deepwater Horizon explosion on April 20th suggests that the incident could have been manufactured.

On April 12th, just over one week before the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded, Halliburton, the world’s second largest oilfield services corporation, surprised some by acquiring Boots & Coots, a relatively small but vastly experienced oil well control company.

The company deals with fires and blowouts on oil rigs and oil wells. It was responsible for putting out roughly one third of the more than 700 oil well fires set in Kuwait by retreating Iraqi soldiers during the Gulf War.

The deal itself is still under scrutiny with Boots and Coots facing an ongoing investigation into “possible breaches of fiduciary duty and other violations of state law”

Where this information gets really interesting is with the fact that Halliburton is named in the majority of some two dozen lawsuits filed since the explosion by Gulf Coast people and businesses who claim that the company is to blame for the disaster.

Halliburton was forced to admit in testimony at a congressional hearing last month that it carried out a cementing operation 20 hours before the Gulf of Mexico rig went up in flames. The lawsuits claim that four Halliburton workers stationed on the rig improperly capped the well.

As the New York Times noted on May 26th, “BP officials chose, partly for financial reasons, to use a type of casing for the well that the company knew was the riskier of two options,”

Workers from the rig and company officials have said that hours before the explosion, gases were leaking through the cement, which had been set in place by the oil services contractor, Halliburton. Investigators have said these leaks were the likely cause of the explosion.”

According to a 2007 study by Minerals Management Service, cementing was a factor in 18 of 39 rig blowouts in the gulf between 1992 and 2006.

Another intriguing connection Boots and Coots has to the Deepwater Horizon explosion comes via Pat Campbell, the man BP has employed to cap the well beneath the ruined rig. Campbell worked for Boots and Coots as general manager for many years.

BP has admitted to buying Yahoo and Google keywords in an attempt to control publicly available information in the wake of the catastrophe. It seems that the company is taking all the flack for the spill while the Halliburton link is being roundly ignored.

BP’s prepared testimony briefing, which has since leaked online, also intriguingly notes that the Hydraulic Control System on equipment designed to automatically seal the well in an emergency was modified without their knowledge sometime before the explosion.

“the extent of these modifications is unknown at this time” states the report on page 37.



Possible prior knowledge of the explosion is also evident via huge dumping of stocks and shares in the weeks and days prior to the incident.

Goldman Sachs dumped 44% of its shares in BP Oil during the first quarter – shares that subsequently lost 36 percent of their value, equating to $96 million.

Other asset management firms also sold huge blocks of BP stock in the first quarter. Though the amounts pale in comparison to Goldman’s holdings, Wachovia, owned by Wells Fargo, sold 98% of its shares in BP and Swiss bank UBS sold 97% of its BP shares.

Furthermore, as reported by the London Telegraph on June 5th, Tony Hayward, the chief executive of BP, sold £1.4 million of his shares in the fuel giant weeks before the spill.

In the days before the Deepwater explosion, Obama had announced a new effort to explore for and lease new drilling locations in the deep Gulf and in Alaska. In the wake of the disaster, these plans have been cancelled and BP is taking a PR bashing.

All of which has been capitalized on by the Obama administration to reinvigorate talk of a carbon tax and has created the opportunity to reintroduce the idea of nationalizing oil, which the Democratic leadership has long sought.

The full story of what is happening in the Gulf of Mexico is yet to emerge, there are rumours of more spills and an ongoing coverup. The site represents a $2.2 trillion source of wealth and power, a motive along with a plethora of suspicious activity that needs to be investigated further.
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Offline Geolibertarian

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Re: Evidence Points To BP Oil Spill False Flag
« Reply #16 on: June 08, 2010, 03:41:28 pm »
http://www.prisonplanet.com/evidence-points-to-bp-oil-spill-false-flag.html

All of which has been capitalized on by the Obama administration to reinvigorate talk of a carbon tax and has created the opportunity to reintroduce the idea of nationalizing oil, which the Democratic leadership has long sought.

Whenever corporate-whore Democrats start blabbing about the need to "nationalize" something, readers would be well advised to remember the contents of the following thread:

     http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=223151.0 (Euphemisms)
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Offline Letsbereal

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Re: The manufactured myth of "peak oil"
« Reply #17 on: June 08, 2010, 03:47:48 pm »
VDR Blackbox and Log books of what happened on the oil rigg are missing!
Rendlesham Forest UFO Incident (1/8) James Fox on Coast to Coast AM http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ia693C3wgLk

Millions of gallons of crude have poured into the Gulf since late April when A SERIES OF EXPLOSIONS sank the Deepwater Horizon rig off the Louisiana coast, killing eleven people and triggering the worst environmental disaster in US history. http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=173787.0
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Re: The manufactured myth of "peak oil"
« Reply #18 on: April 26, 2012, 12:16:26 pm »
http://www.prisonplanet.com/the-united-states-has-plenty-of-oil-10-facts-about-americas-energy-resources-that-will-blow-your-mind.html

The United States Has Plenty Of Oil: 10 Facts About America’s Energy Resources That Will Blow Your Mind

The American Dream
April 26, 2012

The United States is not running out of oil.  In fact, nobody on the entire globe has more energy resources than the United States does.  The truth is that we are absolutely swimming in oil and natural gas and we have so much coal that we have no idea what to do with it all.  At current consumption rates, America has enough energy resources to completely satisfy all of its needs well into the 22nd century.  If we would just access those resources, we would not have to import a single drop of foreign oil.  But most Americans don’t realize that we have plenty of oil.  In fact, our education system has brainwashed most Americans into believing that our energy resources are rapidly being depleted and that we will soon enter a great energy crisis.  We are all constantly told that we must transition to “green energy” before it is too late.  But the reality is that America is an energy rich nation and new discoveries of oil and natural gas deposits are being made all the time.  Shouldn’t someone tell the American people the truth about these things?

Sadly, Barack Obama keeps running around the country declaring that there is no way that the United States can supply itself with enough oil.  During one speech a while back, Obama made the following statement....

    “With only 2% of the world’s oil reserves, we can’t just drill our way to lower gas prices”

The funny thing is that what Obama said sounds very similar to something that Jimmy Carter said back in 1977....

    “Unless profound changes are made to lower oil consumption, we now believe that early in the 1980s the world will be demanding more oil than it can produce”.

How did that prediction work out for Jimmy Carter?

Not too well.

The truth is that Obama is misleading the American people just like Jimmy Carter did.  A recent Investor’s Business Daily article explained how Obama is twisting the truth….

    But the figure Obama uses — proved oil reserves — vastly undercounts how much oil the U.S. actually contains. In fact, far from being oil-poor, the country is awash in vast quantities — enough to meet all the country’s oil needs for hundreds of years.

At current consumption rates, the United States has enough oil to last into the 23rd century without ever importing a single drop of oil from another country.

But only a very small fraction of the American people know this.

So when are we going to start hearing the truth?

The following are 10 facts about America’s energy resources that will blow your mind....

#1 Back in 1995, the U.S. Geological Survey told the American people that the Bakken Shale formation in western North Dakota and eastern Montana only held 151 million barrels of oil.  Today, government officials are admitting that it holds 4.3 billion [.pdf] barrels of recoverable oil, and some analysts believe that the actual number could be closer to 20 billion [.pdf] barrels of oil.

#2 It is estimated that there are up to 19 billion barrels of recoverable oil deposits in the tar sands of Utah.

#3 It is estimated that there are at least 86 billion barrels of recoverable oil deposits in the Outer Continental Shelf.

#4 It is believed that there are 800 billion barrels of recoverable oil deposits in the Green River formation in Wyoming.

#5 Overall, the United States is sitting on approximately 1.442 trillion barrels of recoverable oil deposits.

#6 According to the Institute of Energy Research, the United States has a 120 year supply of natural gas.

#7 According to the Institute of Energy Research, the United States has a 200 year supply of oil.

#8 According to the Institute of Energy Research, the United States has a 464 year supply of coal.

#9 According to Pastor Lindsey Williams, absolutely gigantic oil fields have been discovered up in Alaska that the American public is not being told about.

#10 Goldman Sachs is predicting that the United States will be the number one oil producing country in the world by the year 2017.

But you never hear any of these statistics from Barack Obama, do you?

And some of our oil fields that were thought to be “depleted” are actually filling back up with oil.  Many scientists are extremely puzzled by this.  The following quote is from a 1999 Wall Street Journal article....

    Production at the oil field, deep in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Louisiana, was supposed to have declined years ago. And for a while, it behaved like any normal field: Following its 1973 discovery, Eugene Island 330′s output peaked at about 15,000 barrels a day. By 1989, production had slowed to about 4,000 barrels a day.

    Then suddenly—some say almost inexplicably—Eugene Island’s fortunes reversed. The field, operated by PennzEnergy Co., is now producing 13,000 barrels a day, and probable reserves have rocketed to more than 400 million barrels from 60 million. Stranger still, scientists studying the field say the crude coming out of the pipe is of a geological age quite different from the oil that gushed 10 years ago.

The truth is that there is still much about the formation of oil that is a great mystery to our scientists.  For much more on this, you can listen to a recent interview with Dr. Jerome Corsi on Coast to Coast right here.

Unfortunately, much of the information that you have read above is being repressed because it would be very damaging to the “green agenda” that the global elite are trying to impose on all of us.

As I wrote about yesterday, a “green economy” is absolutely central to the “sustainable development” agenda that the United Nations is promoting.

The elitists at the UN believe that carbon dioxide is evil and that it is going to cause catastrophic climate change.

But the truth is that we have always had “climate change” and even if you eliminated all forms of human activity it would only reduce carbon dioxide levels on our planet by a marginal amount.

And carbon dioxide is not a pollutant.  Every plant on earth uses carbon dioxide.  In the past, our planet actually had much higher levels of carbon dioxide.  When there are high levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, plant life thrives and more food can be grown.

So if you want the earth to be more “green”, then you should actually want levels of carbon dioxide to be even higher.

Unfortunately, this kind of logic evades the “true believers”.

[Continued...]
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

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The Biggest Oil Discovery In 50 Years?
« Reply #19 on: July 24, 2013, 09:11:58 am »
http://www.prisonplanet.com/the-biggest-oil-discovery-in-50-years.html

The Biggest Oil Discovery In 50 Years?

Economic Collapse
July 24, 2013

In a virtually uninhabitable section of South Australia, a discovery has been made which could rock the world.  Some are calling it the biggest discovery of oil in 50 years.  Earlier this year, a company called Linc Energy announced that tests had revealed that there was a minimum of 3.5 billion barrels of oil equivalent sitting under more than 65,000 square kilometres of land that it owns in the Arckaringa Basin.  But that is the minimum number.  It has been projected that there could ultimately be up to 233 billion barrels of recoverable oil in the area.  If that turns out to be accurate, the oil sitting under that land is worth approximately 20 trillion dollars, and it would be roughly equivalent to the total amount of oil sitting under the sands of Saudi Arabia.  In essence, it would be a massive game changer.

If the 233 billion barrel figure is accurate (and some have even suggested that the true number could actually be 400 billion barrels), that would make it nearly 10 times larger than the Bakken formation, 17 times larger than the Marcellus discovery and 80 times larger than the Eagle Ford deposit down in Texas.

It would also mean that Australia now has more “black gold” than the nations of Iran, Iraq, Canada and Venezuela.

[Continued...]
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Offline EvadingGrid

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Re: The manufactured myth of "peak oil"
« Reply #20 on: July 24, 2013, 09:18:32 am »
So how long before America invades Australia ?
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US oil reserves reach highest level in 28 years
« Reply #21 on: August 15, 2013, 02:51:23 pm »
http://www.prisonplanet.com/us-oil-reserves-reach-highest-level-in-28-years.html

US oil reserves reach highest level in 28 years

ASHE SCHOW
Washington Examiner
August 15, 2013

U.S. proven reserves of crude oil and lease condensate totaled 29.5 billion barrels in 2011, a 15-percent increase from the previous year and the highest level since 1985, according to a new report from the Energy Information Administration. Crude oil proven reserves alone totaled 26.5 billion barrels, a 14 percent increases from 2010.

Liquid natural gas proven reserves (which contain methane as well as ethane and butane) also increased in 2011, up to 348.8 trillion cubic feet. That’s a 10-percent increase from 2010. Dry natural gas proven reserves (which is just methane) increased 10 percent as well, to 334 trillion cubic feet.

President Obama’s frequently repeated claim that the U.S. only has 2 percent of the world’s oil reserves is misleading. While the U.S. has only 2 percent of the world’s proven oil reserves, the U.S. has more total recoverable oil than the rest of the world’s proven reserves combined. That means the U.S. can and should be energy independent, regardless of what happens with alternative sources like wind and solar.

Full article here
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