Floating LNG: The Final Frontier Of The Gas Age

Shell recently announced that their Prelude floating LNG project off northwest Western Australia has passed another milestone, with the $US12.6 billion ($11.8bn) project receiving final investment approval.

Prelude is expected to produce 3.6 million tonnes (0.175 tcf) per annum of LNG, as well as 1.3 million tonnes of condensate and 400,000 tonnes of LPG.

The facility is scheduled to begin production in 2016. The gas will be cooled by cold water pumped from about 150m below the ocean’s surface - allowing around 50,000 m3 of cold seawater each hour to cool the gas.

The project will be the world’s first floating LNG development and the facility will be the largest floating structure ever built. The vessel will be built by South Korea's Samsung Heavy Industries. At 488 metres long, 74 metres wide and 600,000-tonne in weight it will be longer than four soccer fields laid end-to-end and will be six times heavier than the world's largest aircraft carrier.

The vessel will be permanently moored about 200km off the coast for its 25 years of production and is designed to withstand severe category 5 cyclones (or a “one-in-10,000-year" tropical cyclone, as Shell executive director Malcolm Brinded put it).

Shell has self-insured the project, so its not clear what the view of maritime insurers is of the likelihood of the project suffering significant damage from cyclones or rogue waves during its lifetime.

In Australia we’ve seen onshore natural gas largely depleted, near offshore natural gas well developed (the north west shelf LNG operation has now been in operation for decades and long-stalled projects like Gorgon are now well underway), a boom in coal seam gas and emerging interest in exploiting shale gas (local producers seem to view speculation that US shale gas production will undermine Australian LNG export markets in Asia as unfounded, notwithstanding the strong Australian dollar) and biogas.

Research by the CSIRO (the Australian government's "Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation") in 2008 found that up to half Australia's natural gas resources (140 trillion cubic feet) could not be developed because they were too remote to be connected to onshore processing plants.

Floating LNG platforms remove this barrier and would seem to be the final stage of our entry into what has been dubbed by some - including the IEA [pdf]) - as "The Gas Age". I guess you could view the fossil fuel era as an act in 3 parts, similar to the era of the dinosaurs, with the coal age being analagous to the Triassic period, the oil age to the Jurassic and the gas age echoing the Cretaceous, with the end of the era approaching.

By adopting the offshore floating LNG solution, Shell hopes to also substantially reduce the time and cost of the project development phase.

Global LNG demand is expected to double this decade and the introduction of floating storage and regasification vessels in recent years has enabled fast entry of new buyers to the market such as Argentina, Brazil, Kuwait and Dubai in recent years. Thailand and Singapore will soon also be able to import LNG and Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and possibly the Philippines are expected to follow a few years later.

Shell is already looking at a number of other locations for floating LNG projects, including the Greater Sunrise project in East Timor, and projects in Indonesia, Cyprus, East Africa and South America. Other companies are also interested in floating LNG with the BBC claiming Flex LNG and Hoegh LNG hoping to make final investment decisions shortly on projects in Papua New Guinea.

Jarand Rystad, founder of a Norway-based research consultancy for the oil industry says there are up to 160 gas fields where floating LNG could be applicable worldwide over the next decade.

The prospect of a number of floating LNG developments has Darwin excited, with the town hoping to be the base for servicing Prelude and up to 10 additional platforms over time.

The 10 platforms figure may have emerged from a statement from Samsung Heavy Industries estimating the size of the market last year.

Besides the PNG projects mentioned earlier, Woodside have been pushing for a floating LNG development for the Sunrise development between Australia and East Timor, and there has been some speculation that Woodside's Browse development could avoid opposition to plans to build an onshore LNG plant in the Kimberly region. There has also been speculation that Inpex's Abadi and Ichthys projects could be candidates.

Related posts at The Oil Drum:
Offshore LNG Generation
Australian Natural Gas - How Much Do We Have And How long Will It Last ?
Australia: A Rising Source for LNG Exports Using Coal Seam Gas?
Pig Poo Power And Other Uses For Biogas

Cross posted from Peak Energy.

The sad thing about this LNG development is that it doesn't replace coal in the destination country, it's just added on top of it and therefore it is yet more CO2. If at least we would use the gas as transport fuel to replace oil. With all offshore gas locked into long term export contracts, when the oil crunch comes, we may be forced to use coal seam gas as transport fuel, damaging our agriculture in the process.

No matter how you look at it, from the peak oil point of view or the climate change point of view, the way this gas development is done, it's wrong and it will be bitterly regretted.

The timeframe is now only 5 years for the oil crunch to become physical:

Iran needs $60 bn from foreign banks to stop 1 mb/d oil production drop by 2015. Anyone interested?

Re Jurassic. We are as good as back there already:

The incredible journey of oil

You won't see any replacement until or unless coal is depleted. You could say the same thing about renewables.

One of the only pre-emptive replacements of any fossil fuel that I'm familiar with is nuclear's replacement of oil for electricity generation in markets like the United States, and that simply allowed the oil to be used for cars instead.

I suppose France replaced a lot of coal and gas with nuclear too... though it depends on if you do an open system or a closed system analysis of France. France doesn't have a lot of domestic fossil fuel, so they used nuclear so heavily so they wouldn't be dependent on neighboring states for power. Something about being dependent on Germany for power probably didn't sit well in France... :)

But... since energy markets are global... I'm sure France's replacement simply allowed the coal to be sold and burned elsewhere too...

From a global point of view, I think replacement of fossil fuels will only occur when the global energy flow from fossil fuels actually begins to contract... which has not happened yet and may not happen until after both gas and coal peak.

The video you linked to looks nicely done (incredible journey).

I think the subject of this post demonstrates the massive amounts of capital and engineering talent available to extract fossil fuels and bring them to market, regardless of where they are found. $12 billion for a ship? Small potatoes for the natural gas and oil industry, really. The stuff is going to get produced.

The only way to prevent all the natural gas and oil from being used is to come up with cheaper substitutes.

"The only way to prevent all the natural gas and oil from being used is to come up with cheaper substitutes."

...or, more likely, to crash the economy back to where the cheap-energy-subsidized complexity required to get this poison is forever out of reach.

That'd do it too.

...or rather, that WILL do it. (...or else)

TOD authors and editors would prefer that the article threads relate directly to the MAIN article topic. Please review the Readers Guidelines at http://www.theoildrum.com/special/guidelines

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Given human error, and or malice, what would happen if that thing caught fire? Are we looking at the mother of all explosions, possibly followed by a rather serious tsunami? Or would it just burn?

If it can go wrong, it will go wrong...

While I wouldn't rule out a giant ball of fire, a tsunami of any kind appears highly unlikely. I'm too lazy to do the math right now but tsunami have wavelength measured in kilometers and probably involve a whole lot more energy. Besides, it apparently couldn't even be done on purpose.

peak - I suspect a giant fire ball is the less likely event. A massive burn would be nasty. But the truly worse case scenario would be just a leak. LNG itself won't burn or explode without a significant O2 source. The most powerful non-nuclear weapon is the air/fuel bomb. Essentially a giant canister of NG droped from a cargo plane. A certain distance above ground level the NG is rapid vented. The resultant mixture of NG and air are then ignited. Thus if there were an accident with an LNG tanker it would probably be much better to have the escaped NG ignited immediately.

This is the standard practice in the oil patch when NG is vented: ignite it before it becomes a deadly explosive after mixing with air.

You will get a vapor explosion even if the gas does not ignite. LNG suddenly being heated with water will do that.

"This is the standard practice in the oil patch when NG is vented: ignite it before it becomes a deadly explosive after mixing with air."

And in chemical plants. The flare stack is a chimney with a pilot light at the top. In case of a leak, yor get a little candle flame at the top. Or a great roaring geyser of flame. What you do not get is a gas cloud that can quietly grow until it finds an ignition source.

There is this little welder practical joke where you fill up a plastic bag with acetylen and tie the bag. Then sneak it into the place where your victim is working. Sparks from the welding process will punctuate the bag and vent the gas. When the mixture is right a spark will ignite it and there will be a boom.

Nat gas at concentrations <<5% volume in air is quite safe. But >>5% volume in air it is explosive. Not sure what the upper concentration limit is for explosive behavior.


google sandia labs several risk assessments. yes they can go bang but no Tsunami

At 488 metres long, 74 metres wide and 600,000-tonne in weight it will be longer than four soccer fields laid end-to-end and will be six times heavier than the world's largest aircraft carrier.

And I wonder what the EROI on that project will be? Since this is stranded gas, I guess one could argue that any return is better than none (yes, climate change considerations aside). The use of cold seawater to cool the compressors is interesting.

Has anyone seen the projects financials?

jon - Pehaps an even more important consideration than EROI is the aspect of all the NG just being flared. I recall the story of one Persian Gulf field where several TCF of NG as going to flared so they could recover 400 million bbls of liquid. Fortunately they did build an LNG plant. Granted in the end the NG will still be burned but at least the global economy would gain some energy out of the deal.

I still easily recall the dozens of huge NG flares off the coast of Nigeria I could see at night from my platform. AGW as a result of a decent EROI is one thing...AGW just because it's convenient is another matter.

And what is really a shame is the power outages going on in Nigeria at the same time. I have often thought the companies operating there could have saved a lot of money in fighting the rebels if they had bottled the gas and offered free refills to the natives... A pittance on the value of the oil, but a bottle of cooking gas is a pittance anyone could use.

So I have often wondered why don't these companies reinject the gas and boost oil flow? The gas could power the compressors. Any thoughts?

jon - ExxonMobil offered to lay a pipeline to shore for free but the EG govt turned it down: didn't want to build a distribution system.

Why not inject? First, most of those reservoirs are water drive and benefit little or not at all from NG injection. IOW they don't require pressure maintenance. They could inject just to save it for future production but 1) injection wells cost more than producing wells, 2) insufficient space for the injection equipment on the platforms, and 3) someone will still have build a pipeline eventually. I suspect bottling NG ould be too tough logisticly.

Regradless, a disgusting waste

And what is really a shame is the power outages going on in Nigeria at the same time.

This is a pretty good explanation why there is rebels. The natives must be outrageous then they could see foreign companies earning fortunes on natural resources from there country and they get nothing.

I recall many years ago seeing pictures of the flares in the Saudi Arabian oil fields. They used to have up to 20 flare stacks at each oil well to burn off the associated gas. The amounts of natural gas that were flared off were mind-boggling. The flares were the brightest things on Earth that were seen by orbiting astronauts.

I'm just guessing, but I bet now that the Saudis are short of natural gas and are having to burn oil for power generation, that they wish they had reinjected all that gas back into the oil fields, and could burn it in those power plants now.

It is very difficult to include instalation costs in an EROI calculation. Only once the instalation has been scrapped and you know how much energy it produced can you divide costs on production volumes and get the value.

Please, I am curious, what is that roundabout on the back for?



The big Yellow thing is a turret. It allows the ship to weather vane with the wind and decrease the side loadings on the mooring system. The flow lines or riser will pass up through the middle.

Ah, thanks, makes sense. I've been puzzling over it since this was first mentioned, IIRC in Drumbeat, a while back.


EDIT: Thanks to idontno too.

The floating hub avoids the problem of landing a pipe onshore which has lead to disputes with East Timor over the Sunrise field and with aboriginal land owners at James Price Point. It means working class Australia gets less of the action since Korea gets the big bucks for construction, governments get royalties and Shell stockholders get profits. Perhaps a few local workers and catering suppliers will benefit.

In other gas fields in Western Australia the rule is 15% of the output must be reserved for Australian customers. It is wasteful to liquefy the gas, ship it to a city or iron mine then re-gasify it. A seabed pipe would be more efficient. The biggest anomaly of all is that local buyers would have to pay Australia's carbon tax starting July 2012 wheres overseas buyers don't have to. If that gas is additional to coal or to replace crippled nukes Australia is adding to global CO2 which makes efforts at home seem somewhat pointless.

This is no bonanza for new liquids. At 7 barrels per tonne 1.3 Mt is 9.1 mb per year, not per day. I'd be happier if Australia got more physical gas, not just some minor side payments.

If the ship was fatally stricken by whatever means and caught fire or its LNG storage tanks were compromised, I wonder how likely the chance of a BLEVE. Also, what types of prevention mechanisms are present to prevent such an explosion?




BLEVE is my concern. I really don't trust assurances that a RPG couldn't do it. I would be a lot happier if they tried that then built security measures based on the results.


So is the Australian government going to keep an armed surface patrol vessel or submarine in the area to protect it? Or is Shell hiring a private security company like the former Blackwater to do that job? Or is Shell going to install one or two Goalkeepers on that ship?

That thing would make a very tempting target for militants with a grudge against 'The West' to drive an inflatable laden with explosives into the side. A few RPG's might do the job as well, and there's no shortage of either militants nor RPG's...


Maybe even a pissed off, undocumented boat person who has sailed his boat all the way from his land locked country could do some damage!

You think?

Risk aversion is a nice research field. Chance multiplied by possible damage makes an interesting calculation regarding a 13 billion dollar ship and lots of personnel, even if the chance is slim. Now that includes only possible material damage, but add instant fame, anger, propaganda and modern technology for the terrorist in the mix (yes, not every militant floats in a canoe) and it starts to get interesting.

Remember USS Cole? Remember Somalian pirates highjacking big ships more then 1000 miles off the coast of Africa? Remember the Australian terrorist attacks in the last 10 years?

So what type of risk aversion applies Shell regarding this subject? Type 1 or Type 2?

notOilman -

The first line of your wikipedia link says: "A boiling liquid expanding vapor explosion (BLEVE) (pronounced /ˈblɛviː/ blev-ee), occurs when a vessel containing a pressurized liquid above its boiling point ruptures."

LNG is at ambient pressure, not pressurized. The video is a pressurized tank, probably propane. It is really hard to get LNG to explode - never has happened "in the wild." Secondarily, the LNG evaporates to natural gas, and may be in the 5-15% ratio needed for explosion. Lighter than air, it can float away. With little wind, it gets mixed to below 5% and cannot explode.

See http://www.netl.doe.gov/publications/proceedings/02/ngt/Quillen.pdf, pages 8-ff

LNG is not idiot-proof or absolutely safe - nothing is - but the most of the risks are mythological. Compressed gases, crude, and ambient liquid fuels (gasoline, distillates) are all more dangerous and more polluting.

I understand what you are saying it is just that I would feel a lot more comfortable if they took a tank, perhaps 1/2 or 1/4 scale, and tried it. If the liquid leaks, when hit with a missile, and ignites then it can heat the tank leading to the BLEVE. I don't doubt the 'has never happened despite accidents' but past performance is not always related to the future in a very different situation. LNG pouring onto the ocean surface is a bit different to being in contact with an explosion, dilution of gas by dispersion won't be occurring next to the bang. Try blowing up a tank and if it does not CATO then OK. I get nervous when the safety is based on theoretical hypotheticals especially after a certain recent Japanese problem. At the very least a test would be an opportunity to study what happens to help refine safety mechanisms and procedures.

Yes, the theory of the safety sounds fine but let us see some practical work too, given this day and age, while scaling things up to this extent.


Apparently the risks of terrorists using RPGs or additional explosives maliciously, and other ruptured LNG tank scenarios, have been studied. The risks from modern LNG technology appear, from everything I have read, comparable or safer than most other hydrocarbon transportation technologies. LNG is within the risk profile people have accepted for modern life. If you have some factual references to the contrary, I would love to read them.

There are lots of articles on web from under-informed journalists speculating, without research, on LNG safety. Certainly skepticism is in order; the nuclear industry, in cahoots with the regulators, has blocked access to actual risk scenarios and mitigation plans. The recent example at Fukushima is just one more example of regulatory capture: see http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/13/world/asia/13japan.html.

A skeptic myself, my research found that LNG is a viable, reasonably safe way of transporting a lot of energy. Contrary facts welcome.

See http://www.touchoilandgas.com/ebooks/A1anwf/hydrovol4iss1/resources/86.htm , pp 86-90.

Thanks for that link, it does indicate safety but it also points out oversights. Perhaps I am a little distrusting since a part of a village, near where I used to live, was destroyed by a road tanker explosion although that was LPG not LNG. The theory looks fine but I would be more comfortable if it was put to the test as other transport/terrorist scenarios have been. If you test planes, car bombs, nuclear installations then why not test the system for carrying large quantities of hazardous fuel? Just seems logical to me.


Floating LNG platforms remove this barrier and would seem to be the final stage of our entry into what has been dubbed by some - including the IEA [pdf]) - as "The Gas Age". I guess you could view the fossil fuel era as an act in 3 parts, similar to the era of the dinosaurs, with the coal age being analagous to the Triassic period, the oil age to the Jurassic and the gas age echoing the Cretaceous, with the end of the era approaching.

Which was followed by the Cenezoic Age, featuring far more advanced mammals, a proliferation of flowing plants, etc etc.

So Australia is going to produce 600,000 tonnes of iron ore, ship it to Korea using crude oil, so they can use millions of tonnes of coal and gas, to convert the ore into a large floating platform. The by product of this is that 70% of the carbon will settle in the sea, raising its height ever so slightly. Then this ship is going to displace approx 144,000 cubic metres of water raising its height ever so slightly. Then the project will pump up 50,000 cubic metres of cold water each day, increasing its temp, and returning it to the top of the ocean in greater volume. And the result will be that by using this gas, we can slow our use of greenhouse gases and thus slow the level of sea rises. You gotta love the logic, slow sea level rises by increasing sea levels.

LNG has 60% the volumetric energy density of oil and the price of LNG is $2 per gallon.
Bituminous coal has 54% of the energy of oil and at $50 per ton the price of an equivalent amount of btus in coal is 30 cents.


A worldwide global stampede for offshore stranded NG seems improbable.

It pays to google a subject. I suggested upthread that the floating LNG platform would deny piped gas to the iron ore mines 200-300 km away. It turns out liquefied gas can be used in mine trucks
I thought cryogenic tanks wouldn't like large rocks dropped on them. Road going semitrailers can also use LNG.

Due to a diesel subsidy in Australia mine vehicles pay about $1 per litre which works out about $1200 per tonne. After carbon tax and any fuel excise LNG used in Australia might work out less than $500 per tonne. Strictly speaking the offshore platform should also pay carbon tax on gas burned to drive the compressors but few are thinking that far ahead.

If big rigs pay $500 a tonne (55 GJ) for LNG that works out less than $10 per gigajoule or million btu's. That's still double what gas fired power stations want to pay. When LNG or CNG takes over from diesel in vehicles then industrial stationary gas users should eventually expect to pay double.

Thing is though, the gas fired power stations don;t need liquefied NG, just high pressure gas from a normal pipeline will do fine - which is cheaper than LNG.

But yes, LNG/CNG for vehicles is a great option for Australia, and I really don;t know why it is not being pushed more - maybe the industrial users are resisting so they don;t have any competition for the supply?

There are a lot of mining trucks, road trucks and trains that could run on L/CNG. It may not be fossil fuel independence, but Australia could move a lot closer to imported oil independence.

There is really no need to rush to sell our NG to Asia.

Concerning markets for liquefied NG, then I would see this as a opportunity for Britain to diversify its supply, give them a little more political freedom because most of the supplies are coming from Qatar at the moment.

I can clearly remember flying down the Gulf in the 1970s and looking out of the window at 30,000 feet and seeing hundreds of these gas flares, what a waste, but when it is so cheap, who gives a dam. I think one of the problems is that you have to have to first have an income from the oil before you can decide what you want to do with like build a Urea plant, all massive investments.


Westfarmers seem to be only ones pushing LNG for trucking, through their EVOL and BOC brands, but going by their annual reports are having a hard time selling the idea. I do not believe they have broken into the off road mining market, though they are selling LNG to mines for power production where pipe lines are not available.

Their Chinchilla plant should not be too far from start up and should help cover a wider geographical area. With the strong Aussie dollar the diesel price has been held down, and next year alternate fuels, LPG, CNG, and LNG looses some of their tax advantage.

The government and the green movement are all focused on Carbon, nobody in the main stream even talks about the future availability of oil, let a loan push to minimize its use by using alternatives.

What plant does Wesfarmers have coming online at Chinchilla ?

I know there was a UCG plant planned for there (by Linc Energy I think) but haven't heard about Wesfarmers doing a gas related project...



Not 100% sure of the company structure but Westfarmers are tied in to BOC which is Linde and marketed under EVOL.
If you work out please let me know but they are all tied together.

There are currently 3 sources of LNG for road transport, Kwinana, Westernport Tas, APA Dandenong which is being expanded and Chinchilla Qld under construction. Not sure if there is a production unit in the Pilbara as there is a filling station in Newman.


Thanks Toolpush,

This story was linked in yesterday's Drumbeat - Volvo releasing the first run of 100 factory equipped LNG/diesel trucks;

I think it's a mistake for the Oz gov to reduce the excise exemptions on alt fuels - they should be encouraging them.
All this fuss about carbon is a waste of time. We already have $25/ton carbon tax here in British Columbia and it doesn't make any difference to anything, except raise some tax revenue.

Far more important is Australia's oil dependency - any and every effort that reduces that should be being encouraged.

I have often wondered of there had been an export ban on LNG, would the gas just sit there, or would the gas co's have made good efforts at developing more markets within Aust? that would be a good incentive for an industry sponsored national LNG/CNG program.

During a panel discussion on nuclear energy recently I heard one person, an international energy consultant claim that Japan had taken long-term options on a large part of the world's production of LNG for the next fifteen years.

The Japanese can't use pipelines as they're much too far from the major fields in the South China Sea, they have no indigenous coal left to fire their existing coal-thermal power stations and insignificant native gas fields on or off-shore. They're going to need new electricity generation capability quick given the loss of the Fukushima and Hamaoka reactors and gas turbines are drop-in replacements assuming a sufficient on-going supply of LNG or LPG to fuel them.

Increasing coal consumption as Germany is planning would be another option for Japan to replace their generation shortfall but again the distance from any suppliers adds to the cost of shipping. This sort of offshore LNG operation in the Pacific is ideally situated to supply places like Japan and other smaller nations in the area with energy.

I believe the big round thing that resembles a Ramada Inn is a rendering of a turret. The turret houses the swivel, manifolds, risers, and mooring lines. There are also chemical injection lines and umbilicals inside the turret. The turret provides a tether for the ship. The swivel allows the FPSO to weathervane without destroying the risers. As the direction of the seas and wind change the ship will rotate around putting its head into the seas. There are some models where the ship can disconnect and make run for the open seas in case of severe storms. A swivel that disconnects is useful in areas where there is much ice flow. The FPSO can disconnect and move away from the iceberg. Some FPSO’s disconnect and offload their cargo.
A tsunamis would not be dangerous to a FPSO because the amplitude is very low. The tsunamis would probably pass under the ship undetected. If the captain has enough warning, he can rotate the ship into the seas and ride over the wave.

It looks like the Hail Mary pass at the end of a football game. An elaborate engineering marvel no doubt, but the sophistication harkens to the deep water drilling and the BP disaster. Too much complexity even for oil and gas engineers to comprehend. Hence I imagine a few of these will sink.

But the investment is staggering considering the economy is so bad. I do wonder why this is possible but daisy-chained wind and solar and/or storage are not invested in. I know ... blah blah blah. I think it is cultural. The science of the efficiency is getting sketchy when the thing is cooled by ocean water.

Best of luck on a great bit of engineering but I am sure the industry will need some luck for these monsters to survive the real world.

Funny that the project will be made in Korea. The Gas Age also marks the end of the American Age. LOL.

Hello Moderator,

I am new to commenting on TOD. I have a fair bit I wanna say but there seems no-where to say it since most comments are highly technical and specific to a particular topic. I have a more general conceptual, bigger picture perspective which I would like to contribute. Such as; energy is central to capital formation - which has huge economic implications as we move further into the second half of the Age of Oil.Cheap easy oil generated huge amounts of capital in the 50's and 60's we are basically still living off that. However since then. diminishing returns to further investments in complexity become more and more relevant. There is so much to analyse. The bigger picture is moving beyond when the peak will be. Total production is less important than a focus on how much further complexity is invested in order to maintain the plateau. Hubbert's analysis can be built upon. At some point, global society will run out of the economic capital necessary to maintain the plateau.

MR no-longer

n-l-e: Well buddy...you're nuts. LOL. You articulate quit well and seem to have a firm grasp on the situation. The topics you toss out have been hit hard and regularly on TOD. Maybe you have some unique perspective to add. Or maybe a lot of the same ole same ole. But that's OK too. New folks show up here and join in with us aged members who have little other life so we have to keep repeating ourselves. Fortunately for me each day seems new. I have Irish Alzheimer's - I tend to forget everything but grudges.

If you want to make general (ie. off-topic) comments, the spot for these is the latest Drumbeat.

If you have some in-depth you want to say about a particular topic, you are welcome to write a guest post and submit it to the editors for consideration.

Hello and welcome,

When there aren't articles specific to the topic you'd like to discuss, you're always welcome to post in the current Drumbeat thread.

You may find over time that there are articles about oil where a more general analysis is appropriate.

All the best,

FuturePundit's sentence up the string, "I think the subject of this post demonstrates the massive amounts of capital and engineering talent available to extract fossil fuels and bring them to market, regardless of where they are found.", continues to haunt me.

12 billion dollars. Interesting to think what kind of Concentrating mirror thermal solar installation a group could build with that. Say three of them scattered across the southwest U.S. at some 3 billion bucks apiece with the last 3 billior alloted to the hot oil overnight storage, how many megawatts could we be talking about? Completely reliable, no greenhouse gas emissions after the construction, no having to transport gas or oil to them. Some of the little pilot plants built in the 1970's are still running strong...

Ah well. a few acres of mirrors will be dismissed as a horrible waste of resources (what about EROEI the doubters will shout), and any thought of using cryogenic cooling of air as a storage medium is dismissed is not viable while the gas industry can cool TONS of natural gas....and of course, the sun will still be shining when the natural gas field this beautiful giant beast is sucking from runs out.

It is not about what we can do. It is about what we want to do.