Last week, I ran a couple of posts (here and here) about an especially-egregious example of the Cornucopians’ magical world of energy abundance (with its by-now obligatory preference to trip lightly over anything other than a few cherry-picked and out-of-context facts).
I’ve already had my say on that article’s most glaring offense: the particularly shameful/shameless failure to mention that fracking for oil and gas also involves a fair amount of chemicals (whose properties are rarely-disclosed) as part of the production process.
A different spin results when a reader moves from an initial understanding that “water and sand” appear to be the only “ingredients” to the truth that fracking actually requires “water, sand, and chemicals.” Not too difficult to understand the reasons for the omission. Not too difficult to judge the behavior, either. Wouldn’t want to answer any of the obvious questions that come to mind when “chemicals” become part of the discussion, Right?
Before I let that awful effort go, I just had to clean up a bit more of the mess it offered.
What does this mean?:
Canadian production is expected to increase to 6.5 million barrels per day, and even Mexico is now expected to join the North America energy renaissance under a new government interested in exploiting its resources….
First up: Who expects Canadian production to increase? How soon? Any potential obstacles?
I’m curious because this PDF, courtesy of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, seems to suggest that Canada has a ways to go.
The Executive Summary page shows total 2011 production of 3 million barrels per day. An accompanying chart indicates a 2030 landing for that 6.5 million barrel per day forecast. I wonder why that information didn’t show up in the article? No explanations about investment obstacles either … or pretty much anything else one might consider as supporting evidence to give credence to the forecast. Standard M O.
Given that depletion in existing conventional oil fields occurs pretty much ‘round-the-clock at anywhere from 4 million barrels per day to approximately twice that amount, 6.5 million barrels per day [guaranteed, Right?] nearly 20 years from now … not so special.
And are we assuming Canada is going to sell it all to us? Canadian citizens might have different ideas in mind.
But, as Citigroup’s Edward Morse was reported as saying: “The U.S. could in theory need to import only from Canada within five years.” Pigs, in theory, could fly, too.
How much production should we look forward to from Mexico, given that it has “a new government interested in exploiting its resources?” How many barrels per day does “interested in exploiting” work out to be? When should we expect that supply to come on line? Is June too early? [June in a decade or two, I mean.]
Of course, there’s that little problem about successfully converting exploitable resources into … you know, actual production. Usually, that involves taking care of a consideration or two, first. [That whole investment, testing, proper technology, staffing, quality, etc., etc. set of issues.] But why explain any of that to readers, Right?
What’s more offensive: making an unwarranted assumption that readers are too ignorant to ask questions, thinking they don’t deserve enough respect to be properly informed, or the arrogance of the already-informed in thinking they can get away with this? Payback, as they say, is a bitch.
Before my head officially explodes, one more observation regarding a rather creative commentary and explanation included in the article:
Some energy analysts are concerned that the new ‘unconventional’ supply is limited and will be quickly tapped because some of the impacts of the new drilling are unknown and the history is so new.
Actually, the reason energy analysts are concerned is because of those whatchamacallits … facts. Must be nice to live in a world where facts, studies, evidence, and truths can all be ignored whenever it’s convenient. “Gee, fracked wells deplete, too? Faster than conventional supplies? Wow! Resources aren’t reserves? Reserves aren’t automatically produced? It costs more? Water concerns? Environmental issues, too? Who knew?”
An especially thorough, well-researched, and terrific report by J. David Hughes/Post Carbon Institute should provide the parties to this nonsense an explanation or two about why energy analysts are concerned. Perhaps someone might show those fine people that Internet thing … you know, the Google.
Then again, why would investors and readers want to know more before committing themselves to business endeavors or policy support, Right?
Silly me … I always thought being kept in the dark was useful only when someone wants to go to sleep.
* My Photo: morning sky in Ft. Lauderdale – 02.08.13