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The lowdown on offshore oil reserves
San Francisco Chronicle ^ | 7/22/8 | David R. Baker

Posted on 07/22/2008 10:23:38 AM PDT by SmithL

U.S. offshore oil fields could hold enough crude to supply all of the country's needs for more than 11 years.

Or they might not. No one knows for certain because, with new offshore oil drilling banned on the East and West coasts, no one has gone looking for oil there in years.

Now congressional Republicans are pushing hard to make offshore drilling a key issue in the presidential campaign, hoping to channel the anger Americans feel over historically high oil and gasoline prices. More oil, they argue, will bring lower prices.

The federal government estimates the nation's outer continental shelf might hold 85.9 billion barrels of crude, including 10.13 billion barrels off California. For comparison, the United States consumes about 7.56 billion barrels of oil per year. The nation's sea floor also could hold 419.9 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, equal to U.S. consumption for 14 1/2 years. But the federal estimates are just that - estimates.

"You don't really know what's there until you go out and drill a well," said Ken Medlock, an energy research fellow at Rice University's James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy. "And even then, you're not 100 percent sure of what you're going to get."

In addition, offshore oil exploration is slow and costly.

If the federal government opened California's coast to drilling tomorrow, the first exploratory wells probably wouldn't be drilled for at least six years, Medlock said. Bringing newly discovered oil fields into full production would take longer.

That means any new oil wouldn't arrive on the market until midway through the next decade, at the earliest.

..."It's a crock to say that's any kind of near-term solution for the pain drivers are feeling at the pump," said Bill Corcoran, senior regional representative for the Sierra Club.

(Excerpt) Read more at sfgate.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Editorial; Government; US: California
KEYWORDS: 110th; coastalenvironment; democrats; domesticoil; drilldammit; drillheredrillnow; drilling; elections; energy; environment; gasprices; offshoredrilling; offshoreoil; oil

1 posted on 07/22/2008 10:23:38 AM PDT by SmithL
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To: kellynla

And the propaganda continues. The “no immediate benefit” argument is the stupidest excuse not to drill. The longer we put off drilling, the long we get held hostage by OPEC.


2 posted on 07/22/2008 10:26:15 AM PDT by SmithL (Drill Dammit!)
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To: SmithL

“More oil, they argue, will bring lower prices.”

Another institution that has no clue how supply and demand works.


3 posted on 07/22/2008 10:26:49 AM PDT by Slapshot68
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To: SmithL
If the federal government opened California's coast to drilling tomorrow, the first exploratory wells probably wouldn't be drilled for at least six years, Medlock said.

How many of those six years is jumping through insane bureaucratic hoops and dealing with environmentalist lawsuits at every step of the process in order to get government permission to drill the exploratory wells?

4 posted on 07/22/2008 10:28:27 AM PDT by mvpel (Michael Pelletier)
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To: SmithL

I’m old enough to recall the oil boom years of the early eighties. Many friends had jobs in the industry and it brought in big time dollars to an economy that really needed it after the Carter years.


5 posted on 07/22/2008 10:29:23 AM PDT by Wiseghy ("You want to break this army? Then break your word to it.")
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To: SmithL
"It's a crock to say that's any kind of near-term solution for the pain drivers are feeling at the pump," said Bill Corcoran, senior regional representative for the Sierra Club.

What kind of expertise does a regional rep from the sierra club have markets, economics, or commodities? They should be embarrassed.

6 posted on 07/22/2008 10:29:36 AM PDT by tcostell (MOLON LABE - http://freenj.blogspot.com - RadioFree NJ)
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To: SmithL

Drilling Iraq would be more cost effective.


7 posted on 07/22/2008 10:29:46 AM PDT by kcm.org (Conservatives bashing Sen. McCain has Ronald Reagan spinning in his grave!!!)
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To: SmithL

I guess this SF Chronicle writer and his editor haven’t heard that the price of a barrel of crude has been dropping like a rock just due to us talking about allowing drilling. The actual drilling of course wouldn’t cause the price to drop further.

LMAO

Evidently they don’t mind if the Chronicle’s credibility drops below that of the the weekly reader.


8 posted on 07/22/2008 10:31:38 AM PDT by DoughtyOne (Oh my coolaide has a fist name, it's B A R A K, my coolaide has a second name it's J U A N Y...)
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To: tcostell

“”It’s a crock to say that’s any kind of near-term solution for the pain drivers are feeling at the pump,” said Bill Corcoran, senior regional representative for the Sierra Club.”

Bush rescinded the executive order on offshore drilling and the price dropped huge...so I guess this guy is just a complete fool.


9 posted on 07/22/2008 10:32:28 AM PDT by Slapshot68
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To: mvpel

8 years...

LOL


10 posted on 07/22/2008 10:32:41 AM PDT by DoughtyOne (Oh my coolaide has a fist name, it's B A R A K, my coolaide has a second name it's J U A N Y...)
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To: SmithL

If we don’t drill for it, someone else will.


11 posted on 07/22/2008 10:33:19 AM PDT by Slapshot68
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To: SmithL

” The longer we put off drilling, the long we get held hostage by OPEC.”

Elementary, my dear, Watson. LOL


12 posted on 07/22/2008 10:36:00 AM PDT by kellynla (Freedom of speech makes it easier to spot the idiots! Semper Fi!)
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To: thackney

ping


13 posted on 07/22/2008 10:37:51 AM PDT by kellynla (Freedom of speech makes it easier to spot the idiots! Semper Fi!)
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To: SmithL

check out rigzone.com for current oil-patch information.


14 posted on 07/22/2008 10:48:14 AM PDT by fella ("...He that followeth after vain persons shall have poverty enough." Pv.28:19')
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To: SmithL
Hmmm, this comes only one day after Comrade Feinstein uttered her Can't drill our way out of this Manifesto, which was published on the Op Ed pages of every newspaper in California. This is so much like the old Soviet Union, where Politburo pronouncement would be echoed as gospel by Pravda and Izvestia, that's is terrifying.
15 posted on 07/22/2008 10:49:54 AM PDT by atomic_dog
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To: kcm.org

Yeah, a lot of people actually thought that would happen...or we would at least get some revenue from it.


16 posted on 07/22/2008 10:51:19 AM PDT by stuartcr (Election year.....Who we gonna hate, in '08?)
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To: Slapshot68
If we don’t drill for it, someone else will.

Someday, the Communist, er, DemocRAT party may achieve its objective of destroying the United States of America as it is currently constituted. When that shining socialist future day comes, the successor nation(s) will drill for the oil that we once locked up in order to appease DemocRAT special interests, er, environMENTAL extremists.

What irony -- I wonder if we'll be around to witness it -- hopefully the gulags that the latter-day Stalinists open will have cable TV and broadband access in order to trumpet the success of the latest USSA 5-Year Plan ... :^).

17 posted on 07/22/2008 10:51:52 AM PDT by bassmaner (Hey commies: I am a white male, and I am guilty of NOTHING! Sell your 'white guilt' elsewhere.)
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To: SmithL
You don't really know what's there until you go out and drill a well," said Ken Medlock, an energy research fellow at Rice University's James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy. "And even then, you're not 100 percent sure of what you're going to get."

Noticew they were careful not to ask a real oilman because they wouldn't have gotten the answer they wanted. Instead, they get a researcher whose entire life occurs within the walls of a university.

Not a real credible source, IMO.

18 posted on 07/22/2008 11:00:05 AM PDT by DustyMoment (FloriDUH - proud inventors of pregnant/hanging chads and judicide!!)
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To: bassmaner

The ‘Rats just want us all riding in government mass transit like good little comrades.
And they want government ownership of all American oil companies.

“Liberalism is just Communism sold by the drink.”
P.J.O’Rourke


19 posted on 07/22/2008 11:05:16 AM PDT by kellynla (Freedom of speech makes it easier to spot the idiots! Semper Fi!)
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To: SmithL
the first exploratory wells probably wouldn't be drilled for at least six years.

That "6 year" estimate is total baloney, based on past practices of endless "environmental" studies, open bidding, contested federal leasing practices which end up in court, with endless appeals, etc.

Congress could cut through all that red tape with the stroke of a pen, and we would be drilling exploratory wells within months, with production likely within 18 months.

My best buddy is an oil well investor. (small time). He basically bids on oil and natural gas wells in the continental US and offshore, with the hope that they will produce more than expected, or that the acres attached to the lease will ultimately yield more production.

His buying price range is between $50,000 and $250,000 --

It is a game wholly dependent on getting the best geologist who knows the particular ground characteristics.

Depending on how the well is fractinated ??, and depending on the new horizonal drilling techniques, a well can end up producting waaay more than estimated... or it can begin to produce less within a few months or years, he says.

20 posted on 07/22/2008 11:06:05 AM PDT by Edit35 (.)
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To: Slapshot68
Bush rescinded the executive order on offshore drilling and the price dropped huge...so I guess this guy is just a complete fool.

Bloomberg has oil down 4.27 on the NYMEX exchange, and gasoline futures down close to 10 cents

21 posted on 07/22/2008 11:06:25 AM PDT by PapaBear3625 ("In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act." -- George Orwell)
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To: SmithL
[ But the federal estimates are just that - estimates. ]

True.. but estimates (as usual) could be WRONG there could be 114 years of oil or 214 years of domestic oil supply.. Especially off the EAST coast.. where almost ZERO effort has been expended to determine "estimates"..

Even worse when "some/various" federal party sources are and have been AGAINST drilling offshore and have been "spinning" estimates for 50 years.. Almost ALL of Alaska is OWNED by Washington D.C. ... OWNED not controlled but OWNED.. which itelf is obscene..

Federal estimates of KNOWN BAkken formation(N.Dakota) oil reserves have been SPUN like a top(to less than is really there).. not to speak of obscene federal control of oil shale and oil sands in mid America..

There is federal malfeance afoot with this Domestic Oil situation.. If the american villagers DON'T lite some torches and MARCH.. nothing will change.. The federal Frankenstein is running amuck and scaring the villagers.. I say grab some pitch forks and advance on the Capital.. with torches and everything.. YES singing the witch is dead too..

22 posted on 07/22/2008 11:13:14 AM PDT by hosepipe (This propaganda has been edited to include some fully orbed hyperbole....)
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To: DustyMoment
Noticew they were careful not to ask a real oilman because they wouldn't have gotten the answer they wanted. Instead, they get a researcher whose entire life occurs within the walls of a university.

When a Republican administration wants to learn something about the oil bidness, they ask oilmen.

When a Democrat administration wants to learn something about the oil bidness, they ask academics and lawyers, i.e., "experts".

23 posted on 07/22/2008 11:14:30 AM PDT by okie01 (THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA: Ignorance on Parade)
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To: SmithL

Trees take about 10 years to grow big enough for lumber.

Let’s stop planting new trees for lumber...


24 posted on 07/22/2008 11:16:12 AM PDT by Former MSM Viewer ("We will hunt the terrorists in every dark corner of the earth. We will be relentless." W 2001)
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To: SmithL
If the federal government opened California's coast to drilling tomorrow, the first exploratory wells probably wouldn't be drilled for at least six years, Medlock said. Bringing newly discovered oil fields into full production would take longer. That means any new oil wouldn't arrive on the market until midway through the next decade, at the earliest. ..."It's a crock to say that's any kind of near-term solution for the pain drivers are feeling at the pump," said Bill Corcoran, senior regional representative for the Sierra Club.

Whether through ignorance or intentionally, he is lying. There are rigs in place ready to start drill from when the ban was first put into place. Their progress was frozen in place. Those wells could be producing inside of a year. Since they are shallow water sites, they would not need the scarce drilling ships to drill additional wells.

25 posted on 07/22/2008 11:23:51 AM PDT by CMAC51
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To: Slapshot68

I would prefer now to see the price of gas to stay at least at $4 until the election.If McCain could actually get on the issue and push it he would guarantee his own election by a big margin and it would bring a much better Congress, too. That, of course, is the hangup for McCain. A more conservative Congress would deny him McAmnesty which seems to be his primary issue. He would probably rather lose the election than lose Amnesty.


26 posted on 07/22/2008 11:29:04 AM PDT by arthurus
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To: Former MSM Viewer

Let’s also stop researching cures for cancer and all the other diseases. Why bother? It takes too long. Why bother to do anything if it takes several years to accomplish?

If we had been utilizing all domestic energy sources for the past 30 years, we would not be so dependent on foreign oil now.

Has anyone noticed that the biggest oil producing countries have the lowest gas prices? Gee, I wonder why. Duh.


27 posted on 07/22/2008 11:30:05 AM PDT by pleikumud
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To: DoughtyOne

Actually yall can thank me for the decline in the oil price. As is usual when I make Big Decision the reason for the Decision disappears rapidly. I ordered a scooter and the next day the price of oil, of course, dropped. I expect that when the truck drops off the scoot at my door the price of oil will drop down to $1.99 gas, maybe lower. Just remember i’m the guy who did it.


28 posted on 07/22/2008 11:32:58 AM PDT by arthurus
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To: arthurus

That’s funny. I hear you bud. I was the guy that caused gold and silver to drop in the 80s. I didn’t get hurt at all, but I did talk one of my co-workers into buying a one ounce silver coin at $14.00. Within months it was worth $2.50. (well a few years, but you get the point)

I haven’t been tempted to get a scooter, but I can see where one would be a lot of fun.

Be careful. Folks won’t see you.


29 posted on 07/22/2008 11:40:28 AM PDT by DoughtyOne (Oh my coolaide has a fist name, it's B A R A K, my coolaide has a second name it's J U A N Y...)
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To: SmithL

I don’t know whether it is feasible to drill off of the Oregon/Washington coastline, and I’m no greenie.

My concern is the deep subduction earthquakes that occur in those offshore areas coupled with storm driven waves throughout the winter which have been known to overtop the Tillamook Point Lighthouse, over a hundred feet above sea level.

This lighthouse’s nickname, Terrible Tilly, is well deserved. Located more than ten miles from shore and built upon a very tall spire of basalt rising from the sea floor, it is difficult to land there even under good weather conditions. Unmanned now and terribly battered by storms, it is a good example to consider when contemplating offshore drilling platforms.

Drilling platforms in the Gulf of Mexico are battered by the occasional hurricanes and have good records for durability. But the north Pacific is anything but pacific during the winter. The North Sea off Norway would be comparable but it lacks the huge long distances that the storms in the northern Pacific have that allows giant rollers to build up to incredible wave heights.


30 posted on 07/22/2008 12:13:04 PM PDT by SatinDoll (Desperately desiring a conservative government.)
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To: tcostell
"It's a crock to say that's any kind of near-term solution for the pain drivers are feeling at the pump," said Bill Corcoran, senior regional representative for the Sierra Club.

You said: What kind of expertise does a regional rep from the sierra club have markets, economics, or commodities? They should be embarrassed.

Where as it is much better near-term solution to just do nothing at all. That will bring relief at the pump immediately./SAR.

Anyone who listens to this sh** and doesn't want to puke has something wrong with them.

31 posted on 07/22/2008 12:14:28 PM PDT by calex59
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To: arthurus
Actually yall can thank me for the decline in the oil price. As is usual when I make Big Decision the reason for the Decision disappears rapidly. I ordered a scooter and the next day the price of oil, of course, dropped. I expect that when the truck drops off the scoot at my door the price of oil will drop down to $1.99 gas, maybe lower. Just remember i’m the guy who did it.

Your whole problem is you cannot accurately predict the course of events, for instance, the price won't drop when you get your scooter. It will drop immediately after you finish filling the tank the first time with 4.00 Gas.

32 posted on 07/22/2008 12:22:07 PM PDT by calex59
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To: SmithL

We are awash in hydrocarbons that we can directly use and even more hydrocarbons we can use after conversion such as we are doing with corn to ethanol.

The only issue that is important is cost of bringing those hydrocarbons to the end user in a suitable form. The present world price is far above the break-even cost of many conversions technologies.


33 posted on 07/22/2008 12:24:44 PM PDT by theBuckwheat
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To: DoughtyOne

I rode two wheelers(I had 28 or 29 different ones, one even new) exclusively for many years and many thousands of miles a year before I got my first car. I also had 4 major trips to the hospital and there is enough steel and exotic metal in my body that I will not be buried when I die. I will be sold for scrap.


34 posted on 07/22/2008 12:41:57 PM PDT by arthurus
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To: arthurus

Sorry to hear about your trips to the hospital. I’m sure you got a lot of enjoyment out of those two wheelers though.

Take care bud.


35 posted on 07/22/2008 12:45:24 PM PDT by DoughtyOne (Oh my coolaide has a fist name, it's B A R A K, my coolaide has a second name it's J U A N Y...)
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To: DoughtyOne

My best ride was the Al Can on a CB-750 to Fairbanks then back around down to Juneau and the ferryboat to Prince Rupert. The CB was trash after that, though. I left it in a parking lot in Pocatello.


36 posted on 07/22/2008 12:52:11 PM PDT by arthurus
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To: All
There is something you can do.

Get Your New Gas Pump Stickers Here! 

and here

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Here's a sample:
 
 

 

37 posted on 07/22/2008 12:53:13 PM PDT by coffee260 (coffee)
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To: arthurus

I’ll bet that was a lot of fun. I’ve wanted to do something like that by SUV. Were gravel or rocks from opposing traffic a problem?


38 posted on 07/22/2008 12:55:09 PM PDT by DoughtyOne (Oh my coolaide has a fist name, it's B A R A K, my coolaide has a second name it's J U A N Y...)
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To: SmithL
Applying the "no immediate benefit" argument to

children: why send them to school, it will take 12 years (at least) for them to graduate

an orchard: why plant trees, it will take from eight to ten years for them to produce fruit, nuts or whatever

a wind farm: why bother, it will take five years or more to order, produce and install enough of the windmills to be worthwhile and build the power distribution system

and on and on and on ...

But logic is not the Democrats' strong suit.

39 posted on 07/22/2008 1:03:29 PM PDT by RightWingConspirator (Redefeat Communism by defeating the Obamanation in 2008)
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To: SmithL

“If the federal government opened California’s coast to drilling tomorrow, the first exploratory wells probably wouldn’t be drilled for at least six years, Medlock said. Bringing newly discovered oil fields into full production would take longer.”

If they took the rock from the quary on Catalina and built an island on the Horseshoe Kelp which is 43 feet deep and 7 miles off San Pedro they could have it ready for drillng in less than 6 months!

Clear up into the late 70s there was a substantial amount of natural seepage there.

I’m sure that the wells on the Long Beach oil island and the platform off Seal Beach have reduced substantially the amount of natural flow.


40 posted on 07/22/2008 1:09:12 PM PDT by dalereed (both)
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To: DoughtyOne

That is why the Honda was trash at the end. You have to do it with a fairing and screen. It gets all beat to pieces but keeps most of the rocks off the rider.


41 posted on 07/22/2008 1:38:26 PM PDT by arthurus
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To: DoughtyOne

Eight years, rubbish. The location of the oil of CA is already known and could come on line in two years. Also, from what I’ve heard, preliminary exploration has already been done in many areas of the Gulf of Mexico.


42 posted on 07/22/2008 1:57:36 PM PDT by quadrant
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To: arthurus

Thanks. I had always considered that to be a real down side to traveling over AlCan.


43 posted on 07/22/2008 1:59:57 PM PDT by DoughtyOne (Oh my coolaide has a fist name, it's B A R A K, my coolaide has a second name it's J U A N Y...)
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To: tcostell

“it’s a crock to say that’s any kind of near-term solution for the pain drivers are feeling at the pump, “ said bill corcoran...for the sierra club.”

another brilliant, self-appointed intellectual, who knows all, has decided for the rest of us that any reasoning that doesn’t coincide with his is a “crock”.

their arrogance knows no bounds and is becoming totally disgusting and filled with hubris to the point of insanity.

IMHO


44 posted on 07/22/2008 3:24:35 PM PDT by ripley
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To: Edit35

There has to be a vote in Sept. to continue the drilling moratorium currently in effect. Bush should call a presser the day before and announce and sign an Executive Order in anticipation of Congress “doing the right thing” and voting to ALLOW drilling to proceed. The EO should contain all and anything necessary to expedite getting land leased, drlled, producing, refined and to the pump to help the “suffering American public”. Then Pelosi and Reid can scream like stuck pigs and twist in the wind after they vote to renew the moratorium. Bush can then call another presser and say I really tried to help get the price down, but...


45 posted on 07/22/2008 9:29:33 PM PDT by Atchafalaya
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To: arthurus

Depending on the metal and if prices hold up, you may be able to finance most of your own funeral!


46 posted on 07/30/2008 12:51:33 PM PDT by Free Vulcan (No prisoners. No mercy. Fight back or STFU!!!)
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To: Free Vulcan

Surgical steel and a lot of titanium. I clank when I fall down.


47 posted on 07/30/2008 4:38:16 PM PDT by arthurus
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