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  1. #1 Oil V2.0 (renewable petroleum) 
    Senior Member hampshirebrit's Avatar
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    This is really interesting. If it can be made to scale up, it will prevent us falling off the otherwise inevitable energy cliff (due no later than 2012) and the not so inevitable wobal glorming problem.

    From today's London Times. For anyone getting concerned with global oil reserve depletion (which should by now be pretty much everyone), the whole article merits your full attention, at http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/new...cle4133668.ece

    Scientists find bugs that eat waste and excrete petrol

    Silicon Valley is experimenting with bacteria that have been genetically altered to provide 'renewable petroleum'



    “Ten years ago I could never have imagined I’d be doing this,” says Greg Pal, 33, a former software executive, as he squints into the late afternoon Californian sun. “I mean, this is essentially agriculture, right? But the people I talk to – especially the ones coming out of business school – this is the one hot area everyone wants to get into.”

    He means bugs. To be more precise: the genetic alteration of bugs – very, very small ones – so that when they feed on agricultural waste such as woodchips or wheat straw, they do something extraordinary. They excrete crude oil.

    Unbelievably, this is not science fiction. Mr Pal holds up a small beaker of bug excretion that could, theoretically, be poured into the tank of the giant Lexus SUV next to us. Not that Mr Pal is willing to risk it just yet. He gives it a month before the first vehicle is filled up on what he calls “renewable petroleum”. After that, he grins, “it’s a brave new world”.

    Mr Pal is a senior director of LS9, one of several companies in or near Silicon Valley that have spurned traditional high-tech activities such as software and networking and embarked instead on an extraordinary race to make $140-a-barrel oil (£70) from Saudi Arabia obsolete. “All of us here – everyone in this company and in this industry, are aware of the urgency,” Mr Pal says.

    Much more at the link provided.

    I really hope this is the real deal.
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  2. #2  
    Vepr
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    If it can be scaled up properly this could be very interesting especially if we could turn waste dumps into oil fields. It is good to see so many avenues finally being explored hopefully it is not to late.
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  3. #3  
    CU Royalty JB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hampshirebrit View Post
    Mr Pal...embarked instead on an extraordinary race to make $140-a-barrel oil from Saudi Arabia obsolete. “All of us here – everyone in this company and in this industry, are aware of the urgency,” Mr Pal says.

    I really hope this is the real deal.
    On a related note:

    Saudis set to raise oil production by 500,000 barrels per day.

    From the article:
    The Saudis are concerned that sustained high oil prices will eventually slacken the world's appetite for oil, affecting them in the long run.
    'bout freaking time they started to panic. Hopefully this bug shit will make their dead dinosaurs obsolete.
    Be Not Afraid.
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  4. #4  
    Senior Member hampshirebrit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JB View Post
    On a related note:

    Saudis set to raise oil production by 500,000 barrels per day.

    From the article:'bout freaking time they started to panic. Hopefully this bug shit will make their dead dinosaurs obsolete.
    Interesting ... pop the link and it tells a different story. The headline is "Saudi oil chief to address reports of oil increase", not that they are about to actually increase production. I'm not sure that they can, any more.

    There are a lot of indications to support the view that the world's largest exporter is no longer able to increase production. There was a statement in April this year that they would, indeed, not do so, on the pretext of "saving it for the next generation". Saudi has been concealing the facts of their proven reserves for years.

    It is highly likely that the largest Saudi field, Ghawar, has peaked, and has started to decline. Ghawar is the world's most productive field, in the worlds most oil -productive nation.

    In every case, when a given field has started to decline, the rate of decline has proven to be far steeper than predicted.

    In many cases, the sharper rate of decline is due to government interference, in both the OECD nations (the UK and US being good examples) and in the ME, African, and South American regions.

    It does not matter what the causes are...the effect on our economies are the same.

    What matters right now is how much can be shipped to refineries, not how much remains that can or cant be extracted from the ground. I do think that the latter is becoming much more of an issue affecting prices, though.

    Global production has been static since 2005, at around 81 - 82 mbbd/day. We may not be at peak oil, but we are statistically, and proveably, at plateau oil, and have been so for three years.

    BP's latest analysis stated that global production declined in 2007. This would not be a big deal, except when taken in the context of unprecedented global demand, especially from China and India.

    Which is why I really want my OP to be true.
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