This is a Canadian website.
Amidst the doom and gloom headlines presaging dire prognostications for the Western economies in 2012 there is the very real promise of a global economy re-directing miracle in the making. The impact and promise of shale gas and shale oil is probably the good news story as we step into 2012. Not that you would know it, given the media’s predilection for bad news.And then this:
Only two obstacles stand in the way. First, bad energy policies that do not prioritise cheaper fossil fuels – dumping countless millions out of jobs and into fuel poverty. Second, environmentalist campaigners implacably opposed to any hydrocarbon-fuelled energy development. It threatens their Disney-esque utopian blueprint.
But before we glimpse a rare ray of sunshine amidst the stretching economic gloom, we must first demolish a key widely held myth that is fuelling bad energy policy-making: that oil and gas prices will only go on rising, ultimately rendering their cost comparable to expensive and feeble renewable energy generation. As economist and professor of energy policy Dieter Helm’s recent excellent article pointed out, the UK’s current bias towards expensive renewables is a direct result of energy secretary Chris Huhne’s unwavering faith that the price of fossil fuels can only go on rising.
That’s precisely the mistake an incoming Conservative Government made in 1979. Then oil prices peaked at $39 a barrel (the equivalent of $150 today). In the mid-1980s, however, the bottom dropped out of the oil price ‘barrel’ taking over 25 years to recover. As Helm points out, it is the peak oil and gas brigade – today, a useful ally to the green lobbies – who assume depleting resources based on then known reserves. As Helm says: “Nonsense – and some of it dangerous nonsense."
According to EIA figures at the end of 2011, U.S. net imports of oil hit 45 percent from its high of 60 percent in 2005. That’s its lowest level since the mid-1990s. While reduced demand and greater energy efficiency played a part, a significant element is imputed to increased U.S. oil production, especially from shale-oil rich North Dakota. At the end of 2011 oil production in the ND Bakken formation hit a record high of over 600,000 barrels a day. In 2000, the formation was producing less than 100,000 barrels a day. Production here is now set to see the state outstrip California and Alaska early in 2012, making it America’s second largest oil producing state. While much of the United States is suffering economic hardship with employment at around 9 percent, North Dakota’s Bakken region has less than 2 percent joblessness. Further, the region has significant income levels, tax revenue growth, and the housing market is holding its own with the lowest number of foreclosures nationally.I am not aware of the source for the "600,000" bopd noted above. Maybe I'm getting confused or missing something. But --
The most recent Director's Cut, December 12, 2011:
- Production hits all-time high in North Dakota (again):
Oct, 2011, oil: 488,066 bopd (preliminary, all time high)
Sep, 2011, oil: 463,887