The wonders of a media-rich world and its information

Those following the various Megaproject prediction tables can now put a tick mark beside White Rose the Canadian site off Newfoundland, which has just started shipping oil, and is on track to reach its targeted 100,000 bd by early next year.  

I began my day by watching the Matt Simmons DVD as I did my exercising for the day.  The advantage of these four-hour tapes is that they allow the subject to range over a variety of different topics and you get a lot more information than just looking at the slides (which can be found under Matt Simmons speeches). So far I have heard the interview explain the story of A Dickens Walk Through Energy (52nd Annual Houston Consular Forum, Lakewood Yacht Club, Seabrook, Texas, October 24, 2003), and watched the presentation to the CSIS (The Saudi Arabian Oil Miracle, Center for Strategic & International Studies, February 24, 2004).   Coming back from the Denver Oil Conference I had also brought the Colin Campbell interview and the End of Suburbia.  I prefer the Simmons interviews if you wish to only get one.  Lots of nugget information (Saudi Arabia has 5,000 wells, Russia has 170,000, the US has over 500,000 producing wells were numbers that got my attention among much else). (UPDATE Having now watched the Q & A for the CSIS meeting, Dr Saleri said it takes 21 days to drill a conventional well in Saudi Arabia, 40 - 50 days to drill a horizontal well.)

Then, seeking a little diversion from the usual end-of-semester academic frenzy I listened in on a little of the House hearings through the computer, though that had to be cut short by visitors and meetings. (Thanks to those who gave us the links).

And tonight I returned to the more old-fashioned way of gaining knowledge and finished reading the book  "High Noon for Natural Gas" by  Julian Darley (who does the interviews for the DVD's mentioned above).  I had some hopes that this would give the level of information that seems a bit lacking on natural gas, perhaps in the same way that "Twighlight in the Desert" did for the oil patch.

Unfortunately it was not in that class.  Perhaps you can see the difficulty I had with the book from two quotes.  The first (page 164) comes when talking about the then pending energy bill and its consequences (the book was written last year).

If the oil and gas companies do find and deliver more supplies, it will only help prolong America's chronic and catastrophic hydrocarbon addiction by continuing the illusion of cheap and plentiful supply.
And earlier in the book (page 41), when talking about the potential of methane hydrates, he writes
If methane hydrates were to be produced commercially, given that numerous scientists offer evidence of a strong connection between fossil-produced carbon dioxide and global warming, the prospects of being able to burn almost unlimited quantities of natural gas should be enough to galvanize the world community into demanding that we not go down that path, even if we can.
This view of natural gas, sadly, pervades the entire book, with no recognition that to get from where we are to whatever future lies ahead, we have to be able to continue to supply fuel and as levels available decline, prices will go up, and will in themselves act as a brake.   There was some of the information that I was hoping to find in the book there, but not as much as I had hoped, and so it also will move into the more shadowed end of the bookshelf - though in a place that I will try to recollect, since I may want to use the odd reference from it in the future, but not, I suspect, that often.