Friday, October 21, 2011

An Embarassment of Riches.

Around the time the Soviet Union collapsed and Yeltsin was installed as President of Russia, Russian scientists in the oil and gas industry made a fantastic observation.

What were thought to be old, played out oil wells in the Siberian Fields had somehow been Mysteriously refilled with crude and gas. Well after well confirmed this discovery to be fact. These dried out old wells were again viable as sources of crude and revenue. 
The Russians surmised that these relatively shallow wells were being replenished by a much deeper source of crude and that this major source of crude oil was actually forming new oil at these tremendous depths.
The Russians immediately declared these findings as state secrets and set about to develop safe and effective super deep drilling technology to extract this bonanza. It looks like they may have found these techniques because Russia is the second largest exporter of oil after Saudi Arabia and no accidents.

American oil companies discovered the same refilling of played out wells in the Gulf of Mexico shortly thereafter. They too saw the enormous potential for inexhaustible sources of crude but it was a dangerous discovery as the whole "Peak Oil Myth" they had cultivated over the years would be destroyed and the price of oil would plummet. Best not let the knowledge of that embarrassment of riches escape to the general public.

When Russia refused to sell interests in there own oil giants to the Americans (and locked up the Russian Oligarchs that bought them from Yeltsin) US oil giants (and BP) were deprived of this Russian, advanced deep well drilling technology. That was not going to stop BP though.

Even money says BP (and probably others) attempted to duplicate what the Russians were doing to get at this mother load of inexhaustible crude oil sources more than a mile below the sea bed.
It looks like they did in the Gulf of Mexico but weren't as smart as the Russians and they inadvertently released an enormous, unstoppable source of crude oil and Methane that is contaminating the entire region.

Their only option now is to devise technology to contain this source and keep pumping it into tankers or pipeline it to an offshore terminal until they can figure out a way to stop the flow and that could take years.
Just think for a moment what this enormous, unstoppable, continuous flow of hundreds of thousands of barrels of crude daily will do to the price of crude oil on the world and domestic markets?

It reminds me of the Walt Disney Cartoon Classic, The Sorcerers Apprentice where the apprentice got lazy and conjured up some magic to bring buckets of water so as to scrub his master's floor. But not being as accomplished a sorcerer as his master, soon found he could not control the buckets of water being poured on the floor and flooded the entire palace and surrounding area. It took his master's return to stop the out of control magic that was flooding his home.

I wonder if those BP guys ever watched any Disney Movies?