Corn and Oil

Discussion in 'Energy Futures' started by ShoeshineBoy, Feb 13, 2004.

  1. adonos

    adonos

    The problem with hydrogen as a fuel source has always been production. It is cleaner and more efficient than fossil fuels. Using ethanol to produce it is a good step in the right direction, however I imagine the costs of using this hydrogen will be quite high, since ethanol isnt cheap itself and it must be used in one more step to produce hydrogen. I also question how efficient this process will be, since making pure hydrogen requires a lot of energy.
     
  2. Well, eventually some of the things he says will happen of course. The question is when though. I find it hard to believe that it's already occurred.

    But who knows. Perhaps this is why the government and even oil producers are finally looking into alt fuels...
     
  3. The thing about ethanol is that it's a negative energy source, which means it takes more energy to produce than is available in the end use. The cheapest way to obtain hydrogen is through natural gas steam reforming, again we are back to fossil fuels...the problem in the first place.
     
  4. Interesting stuff. I think I did hear a report that production is declining.

    The other side of the argument is the Paul Zane Pilzer (sp?) concept that technology often comes into play at some point so that traditional economic analysis of a commodity such as oil is invalid. For example, technology will either (1) find an alternative source; (2) find a more efficient way to use oil; or (3) find a better way to obtain oil.

    Nevertheless, assuming we do find a valid alternative (e.g., hydrogen, etc.), what happens to the Middle East whose economies are built entirely on the oil industry?


     
  5. Yes, we will have a world peak in the next five to ten years....but the important thing to remember is that it took a very significant time to get here and the unwinding will be more akin to a freight train arriving at 2 mph along a twenty mile stretch of visible track as opposed to a spigot suddenly gurgling dry.

    It seems more than questionable that 500 million folks will not be able to pull themselves from the tracks in time.

    On the bright side, this is about as close to a megatrend as it gets. I work for a petro company as an Engineer and have 5 stripper oil wells on the back of my farm. They are 40 years old and still pay their way quite well ...though they are depleting. However, in the 60's they didn't have quality seismo, multidirectional horizontal drilling, etc. So I expect to see these old wells viewed as new plays as the peak passes and new drilling activity will perk up as the rewards increase. (What reservoirs lie another 100m or 1000m down? ... I doubt it is zero.)

    He is correct that supply will be trending down, demand will be trending up....so in the meanwhile (20-30 years) proven (producing) reserves will become increasingly more valuable as well as the stocks that represent them.

    Google up some presentations that Scotia Capital has made about a number of Canadian Income Oil Trusts. Did you know our neighbors to the north rank just behind Saudi Arabia in reserves considering the now profitably producing oil sands? Also, tremendous amounts of capital is flowing into Exploration as well as production technology. So it really will be a slow unwind.

    Even though Hydrogen is just a 'carrier' of energy and not a 'source', there will be lots of alternative energy sources to come along (through market forces) to fill the bill.

    (Example: German wind turbine power production just recently surpassed the total amount of hydro gigawatt hours produced in their country...and the really efficient wind turbines have just recently (last 2 years) come into their own.) This will be a good investment opportunity...if the Teddy Kennedys of the world don't shut them down first because someone that doesn't understand the way the world really works ... is 'offended'. Ignorance and envy are still the greatest threat to mankind.

    Like Sir John Templeton said "Trust the market and free enterprise." It will certainly produce more terawatt-years than the rabble of ivory tower intellectuals seeking self-important govt grants for more 'research'. I've seen roustabouts that have more practical knowledge about the real world of oil than these graduate web page builders.

    Chicken Little is just a tad premature.