Slide in America's oil production to be stopped by technology and algae
[Updated 3-1-2012: Added backlink at end to TN writer, Aaron Turpen's article]
Yes, worldwide demand for crude oil is still high; and, if you believe the news, we’re supposedly running out, especially with China and India coming on-line with industrialization. And what oil is left seems to be trapped in a war zone or in a dying well.
Wouldn’t it be great if we could replenish oil?
Well, that Peak Oil news is so yesterday, because this is now. Investment newsletters look ahead for a reason, and increasingly want investors to consider alternate scenarios. So, imagine a world where so-called Peak Oil is merely applicable to the easy crude oil; that is, oil in the ground like the deserts of Saudi Arabia, Texas and Oklahoma. In that respect, we have peaked our access to easy oil, but not the more difficult access oil like shale, offshore and deep water ocean.
According to many investment newsletters that I receive, the doom and gloom about Peak Oil is unwarranted even there. I know that sounds crazy on the surface, as it's the opposite of everything you've been reading in the news.
Simply realize that Peak Oil does not mean we’re totally dry on this planet; far from it. It means we have merely reached the 50% limit of “known” world oil supplies; in other words, the barrel is still half full. Problem is, more than half of the world's remaining oil reserves are trapped in rocks like chalk and limestone.
That also means, with the help of technology alone, you could see the remaining oil still get pumped; and if the technology really gets applied efficiently, oil supplies as of today could double or triple in your lifetime.
Much to the surprise of those who believe in technology, too many Americans discount ingenuity, and shouldn't. Too many times we have proven there's an upside to every crisis; and the crisis over desperate oil demand and high oil prices is no different. For one thing, new demand for anything old means new incentive opportunities. For oil drillers that means inventing bigger and better ways to get more crude; and that is precisely what they are doing; and in the future, that will extend to other forms of oil.
Now, nobody is saying the cost of oil will go down to the so-called hey days of oil when you could fill up for 19 center per gallon. What they are saying is that supply is no longer a sliding issue, at least in production terms.
In fact, a copyrighted chart that I viewed shows the downtrend in U.S oil production has literally stopped. How can this be? Well, think shale oil. For instance, finding oil used to mean turning rock beds into pin cushions until you got lucky. Today, the industry uses the tech of satellites and ultrasound to find oil-rich new fields like the Bakken oil field between Canada and the United States.
Now, I am not naïve to think that pollution should be set aside. However, I do know that new engine technologies will soon be cleaner, burn more completely and get more miles per gallon than ever in the history of the IC engine. Already we have High Compression Combustion Ignition or HCCI ready to emerge from the labs, where the diesel cycle uses gasoline; and far less of it than today. Instead of gas guzzlers, you will be calling them fuel sippers.
Then we have split-cycle engine technologies like that of the Scuderi Engine and the Tour Engine. In these cases, the ICE is divided into its hot and cold cycle components. In other words, the intake-compression is in one cylinder, and the hot power-exhaust takes place in another or two or three cylinders. One simulated test by Scuderi shows 65 MPG is achievable; and that an air hybrid is part of that scenario.
Now, this does not negate a light form of electrification either. But imagine a split-cycle engine with air hybrid as well
Wait, there’s more with pond scum
Already I can feel the disturbance in the force as Anonymous comments will likely fill the end of this article. Yet, there is indeed more to this future scenario.
See, there is more to technology than inanimate entities. Think living cells that can produce oil. And if you think I'm talking about boring "biofuels" think again.
According to an email newsletter from Teeka Tiwari, the Italian city of Venice is gearing up right now to power half their city with an algae-based power plant. Others will follow. The windfall profits will follow too.
He also states that technicians in a half-dozen labs and companies are figuring out how to "make" oil — and I mean the real kind — in laboratory beakers. It's called "cellular oil" and it could soon replace the need for every drop of oil we now get from the ground... or from overseas... and even from Alaska or offshore drilling.
Think liquid fuel for your car, jet fuel for airplanes, truck and train diesel — all of it homegrown, and as much as we want. In the same way earth "made" trillions of gallons of oil, but at a much faster rate.
See, according to my investment research sources, not only did the earth use the natural lipids in algae to make oil over the millennia, but today's algae — also known as common pond scum — is packed with those same natural lipids.
This isn't "biofuel" from food crops either. For one, you don't eat algae. So using this won't jack up your grocery bill. Furthermore, we can get much, much more more oil out of algae than we can from any other crop source.
For example, an acre of corn, which we presently use for ethanol, yields only 250 gallons of fuel. Even sugar cane only yields 450 gallons of fuel per acre. Meanwhile, just one acre of algae can yield up to 10,000 gallons of fuel. That’s called leverage and throughput.
As a result, the U.S. Department of Energy says we could replace all U.S. oil demand with algae-oil farms totaling just a little bigger than the state of Maryland. And one top biotech engineer from Arizona State recently told NPR that algae-oil technology could meet worldwide demand — not just oil, but all fossil fuels — with as much land-area as Texas.
Furthermore, we don't have to grow algae-oil on land at all. They can make oil for us almost anywhere; out at sea, in skyscraper-like greenhouses, even in wastewater. And oil-producing algae grows fast too. You can replace an entire fuel crop of algae in about 10 days. Then you can harvest the oil and start all over again, as often as you like, with the same algae.
According to my other investment sources, Exxon is already "in" on algae oil for $300 million. That's how much they are giving Synthetic Genomics, a private firm, and just one of dozens of companies working to get this onto the market.
So, the next time someone cries foul with their rant on the benefits of electrification for automobiles, tell them that Peak Oil is about to be negated with more oil. Also read Aaron's article, Algae Oil for as low as $2.28 / gallon possible says OriginOil