The canary just died

Reflections on fusion history, current events, and predictions for the 'fusion powered future.
3l
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The canary just died

Post by 3l » Fri Oct 08, 2004 2:16 pm

Hi Folks:

Heres a little quote from one of the titans of the oil and gas bussiness.

Quoted from Rude Awakening

In late April of 2003, T. Boone Pickens kicked off the Grant's Spring Conference here in Manhattan by declaring, "I don't believe I'll ever see natural gas below $4.50 again." Inventories are extremely low, he explained, supply is falling and demand is holding steady - a potentially explosive situation for gas prices. "If we get another cold winter next year," Pickens predicted, "the gas price could go to $10 an mcf or more...the gas price could do anything, and I mean anything!"

Sure as shucks, the gas price soared above $7.00 later that year, and has only "kissed" $4.50 a couple of times since then. More to the point, the gas price has averaged about $5.60 since Pickens' declaration and topped $7.00 again yesterday.

Fresh from his dead-on prediction for natural gas prices, Pickens issued a second Delphic forecast last May - this time about crude oil prices. "I think you'll see $50 before you see $30 again," said Pickens. At the time, crude oil was changing hands for $41.50, and had averaged only about $36 for the year-to-date. But as we all know now, the price profile of the crude oil market has changed dramatically since then. Crude decisively scaled the $50-mark yesterday and planted its flag at $51.29 before settling in for the night at $51.09.

Pickens continues to up his forecasts. On September 27, he said in a radio interview with Bloomberg News that he expects the price of crude to surge to $60 before it returns to $40. Should we trust his judgment?

Many of the attendees of the May 2003 Grant's conference wondered the same thing, when Pickens' predicted a new era of permanently higher natural gas prices. One skeptical attendee asked the oilman, "If high, and rising, natural gas prices seem so probable, why aren't the exploration and production companies working feverishly to increase their drilling activity?"

The answer, according to Pickens, was that "there's nuthin' to drill." The oil and gas industry keeps poking holes, of course, but they aren't finding very much oil or gas to suck out of those holes. About 1,243 drilling rigs are currently operating on U.S. soil and in contiguous waters, according to Baker Hughes - that's about 12% more than this time last year, and about 40% more than two years ago. Even so, domestic production of crude oil and natural gas has tumbled 5% since 2001.

Proven reserves of U.S. crude oil are close to a 29-year low after falling 3.5% last year. Meanwhile, demand charges ahead. Worldwide oil demand will average 82.2 million barrels a day this year and jump by another 1.8 million barrels next year.

Happy Fusoring!
Larry Leins
Fusor Tech

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Richard Hull
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Re: The canary just died

Post by Richard Hull » Fri Oct 08, 2004 8:18 pm

I've always said we don't even need to come close to running out of oil. A sudden but permanent 10% drop in supply or loss of same could percipitate disaster.

Richard Hull
Progress may have been a good thing once, but it just went on too long. - Yogi Berra
Fusion is the energy of the future....and it always will be
Retired now...Doing only what I want and not what I should...every day is a saturday.

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Adam Szendrey
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Re: The canary just died

Post by Adam Szendrey » Fri Oct 08, 2004 11:13 pm

Things seem to have an exponential nature.
The end of the oil age might be a fast one, after a slow but ever accelerating evolution of the situation.
These days the oil industry is very sensitive...a more pronounced kick of some sort (destruction of a bunch of wells, or something similar, like a hurricane recently did, and oil prices DID rise) might brake the fragile support and, the whole thing can collapse...Richard is probably right...the end will come much sooner than our reserves run out. So...what are they planning to do?

Adam

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Richard Hull
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Re: The canary just died

Post by Richard Hull » Mon Oct 11, 2004 2:43 pm

They'll diversify!! Just Like Philip Morris did in the 80's! The tobacco companies smelled the end and so they gradually gobled up companies like Kraft Foods and Nabisco to create a non tobacco cushion. So it will be with the oil industries, I figure those that aren't already involved will just slide into the petro-chemical and specialty organics market, plastics, pharmaceuticals and the like.

Remember they are a business entity first and not an altruistic energy supplier looking to supply new energy. They will sell what ever is profitable with the least hassle on the business entity. Currently, they are just pushing petroleum product out the door. They obviously would like to just make a lateral move with little or no change in infrastructure and petro chemicals, plastics, etc would be just the thing. However, there are a lot of nice failing or distressed businesses that come on the market, far outside their field, and they just might pick up a few here and there.

There is no law that says an oil company has to sell oil or gas.

Richard Hull
Progress may have been a good thing once, but it just went on too long. - Yogi Berra
Fusion is the energy of the future....and it always will be
Retired now...Doing only what I want and not what I should...every day is a saturday.

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Adam Szendrey
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Re: The canary just died

Post by Adam Szendrey » Mon Oct 11, 2004 4:04 pm

Exactly...i have been talkin with others about the same thing, and what you have just wrote is the logical conclusion...maybe the oil industry itself will become the hydrogen industry...i'm sure they have all the business plans ready.

Adam

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Re: The canary just died

Post by Captain_Proton » Tue Oct 12, 2004 1:10 am

Is this still a forum about fusion, or can we all post random thoughts and musings?

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Richard Hull
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Re: The canary just died

Post by Richard Hull » Tue Oct 12, 2004 5:35 am

As fusion touches on energy issues, this forum was granted a bit of leeway in discussing energy issues. The future of hot fusion looks very bleak as does all other forms of energy. Viable alternatives are topics that may be touched on. If any forum here can get political or dance slightly askew, this one is it.

The technical forums are for dry facts, fanciful theories and "how-to" construction details. I just don't want politics and side-show jaw jackin' in those, so we sort of allow this forum a bit of play to more general energy issues and the politics of energy as relates to our future as well as fusion's future.

Richard Hull
Progress may have been a good thing once, but it just went on too long. - Yogi Berra
Fusion is the energy of the future....and it always will be
Retired now...Doing only what I want and not what I should...every day is a saturday.

3l
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Re: The canary just died

Post by 3l » Tue Oct 12, 2004 3:01 pm

Hi Captain Proton:

To be more technical about this post , I was reading this quote when I looked up at my vacuum system. I could not do a single thing without oil of some sort. Rough pumping and diff pump tho cheap to run and buy will not be useful in the future without cheap oil.
Turbo pumps will rule the roost in fusion research after the fall (or rise in the price) of oil. Also since we haven't achieved fusion breakthrought yet, the social and economics of this great shift will dirrectly effect the work of the fusor group.
We have a firm base of folks now so the work just won't get snuffed out as in the past but now is the time to gather parts and supplies. Just because a part is made of metal or does not use oil in it construction , that part has to be delivered to your door.
Eye there's the rub!

Happy Fusoring!
Larry Leins
Fusor Tech

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Re: The canary just died

Post by DaveC » Wed Oct 13, 2004 7:25 am

I am inclined to doubt we are yet running out of oil. T Boone Pickens is not exactly an unbiased source.. and has serious vested interests in being justified in raising prices.

You make more money at 4$ /gal than at $2. The oil companies already view themselves as "energy companies". So a logical market for them is nuclear, probably fuel production and recycling., if they begin to diversify out of carbon and hydrocarbon fuels.

But one way or the other, the future holds some very interesting and challenging times, for the next generation.

Dave Cooper

3l
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Re: The canary just died

Post by 3l » Wed Oct 13, 2004 1:05 pm

Hi Dave:

Pickens is not the only insider to raise the alarm.
Commodity traders and bankers now assume 70 dollar a barrel oil is a done deal. I know these folks are biased but the oil biz has changed a bunch since the 90's. They they no longer cover shortfalls in production by pumping more out of the ground.
All sectors of fossil fuel are up because oil is not pulling the slack
anymore in heating oil. LP and Natural gas have almost doubled in price this year due to oil supply problems. Richard's right about diversification . Prime examples BP,Exxon Mobil,Kerr Magee with solar and nuclear options in hand and ready. All my solar panels are from BP. The future is ramping up pretty fast.
Buckle your seatbelts! The talk on the street is 90 dollar a barrel oil.

Happy Fusoring!
Larry Leins
Fusor Tech

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