02 January 2008

Oil Touches $100

Crude oil managed to hit three digits today for a brief period. A flight to safety it seems, what with the bump in gold as well.

Robert Rapier is pretty lucky on his bet. I think it was the holiday break that saved him.


Krassen Dimitrov said...

Robert, this is off-topic.
I read with great interest your 2005 entries on nuclear steam for the oil sands. Are you planning an update? Your recent posts confirm that Alberta is running out of natural gas, what is the current thinking in your neck of the woods?
Obviously with oil at ~ US$20/GJ (as per today), using the syncrude for steam generation is not much of a winner. Is nuclear still a viable option.
Finally, one thing that you didn't adress is coal. Coal prices per GJ are still reasonable and CO2 constraining is still mostly in the "talking heads" domain. Setting up a coal-fired boiler should be a low capital, quick and cheap proposition (admitedly dirty, but when was the last time that had anything to do with the quest for oil...)

Robert McLeod said...

I looked at coal syngas versus steam-methane reforming a little bit:




with some corrections:


Atomic Energy Canada apparently has a contract to build a pair of advanced CANDUs up by Peace River, but I think they are planning to sell electricity only.

Unknown said...

With the cost of gas so high and the instability in the middle east, Big Oil has realized that their days are at a minimum very turbulent. Cars made with rechargeable batteries are here and GM also realizes that fuel cell cars are years away and that rechargeable is the way forward. That means trouble for Big Oil. Recently private equity funds (Big Oil and Saudi Arabia) has purchased the biggest electrical utility (TXU) in the country for $32 Billion. Utilities were never a good investment for private equity funds, thus the only reason for this purchase and others to follow are to control and own their competition. The rechargeable battery is one technology that stand in the way of Big Oil continuing to dominate the energy markets.

Plug-in hybrids as you know, would be a simple adaptation of existing hybrid technology by adding a battery that can recharge from the grid. You'd charge your hybrid at night and drive about 10 to 30 miles on the overnight power before you start using liquid gas, which means your 50-mpg Prius now becomes a 100- to 150-mpg Prius. Based on current electricity prices, you would get the functional equivalent of 50-cent-a-gallon gasoline. How do you sell $3/gal gas if your competition is $.50/gal.?

TXU purchase was followed by the cancellation of 9 new coal fired plants in the works for this Texas utility. You can not recharge your car without power, thus the global war on the dirty coal fired plants is financed by Big Oil. Who but Big Oil could make a bet like TXU and remember that another eight billion dollars debt was assumed.

Anonymous said...

Hi Robert,

I need to talk more on your comparative study on Thermal vs. PV driven cooling system. I am a grad student at Kentucky. please send me an email : syeduddin@uky.edu