Tuesday, December 13, 2005

More or less

Jerome Corsi’s latest article, entitled “Profitable new natural-gas technologies,” -- like all of his recent articles -- is dedicated to debunking Peak Oil. Using the usual misleading argument, Corsi summarizes his article by writing:
Devon's story defies "Peak-Production" theorists, such as M. King Hubbert, famous for the bell-shaped "Hubbert's Peak," a chart that predicted the United States would eventually run out of oil and natural gas reserves. Hubbert, a Shell Oil employee, drew his famous "peak" in 1956, decades before the Barnett Shale's potential for producing natural gas was discovered.”
Hubbert did not inaccurately predict that the US would run out of oil, he accurately predicted that we would reach a point of peak production and then go into decline. Peak Oil is when approximately half the oil is gone, not all of it. The United States peaked in the 1970s, just as Hubbert predicted. Since then domestic production has declined, but we’ve continued to increase consumption by importing more every year. When the world peaks, there will be no place to import from.

The rest of Corsi’s arguments are equally flawed. The article is based around
Devon Energy Corporation’s success at the Barnett Shale field in Texas, which has been based on the use of “water frac” technology. Of course, Corsi failed to mention the following:
Statewide production of both crude oil and natural gas declined during the first six months of 2005 from the previous year, despite a 17 percent increase in production in the burgeoning Barnett Shale. ...

annually is the largest single producer of both oil and gas among the 50 states. But production has declined steadily for three decades. The state's peak production for both crude oil and natural gas was 1972, when Texas produced 1.26 billion barrels of crude oil and 9.6 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Last year, Texas produced 349.2 million barrels of crude oil and 5.8 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.”
This trend has continued, and will continue, despite Corsi’s dreams of debunking Peak Oil.

--Update Dec. 19th-- In Corsi's newest article, he argues that "By opening ANWR for oil exploration, we would make an important step to reversing the danger that every day we are becoming more dependent on foreign oil." What ever you say, Jerome.

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