A New Way to Find Oil

October 24, 2007 | 3 Comments

Last week news broke that Per Arne Bjorkum, University of Stavanger, Sweden and Paul Nadeau and Olav Walderhaug at Statoil have developed a new theory for locating oil and gas reserves.  After examining databases of 120,000 oil and gas fields they confirmed that the theory “The Golden Zone” is a fact that applies 90% of the time.  That forms the basis for geologists to use new tools for simpler and cheaper ways to find new reserves.

Ten years of research promulgated a theory that surprises the oil industry.  Yet the theory makes work easier as effort can concentrate on areas where the temperature ranges from 60C to 120 C.

But the question is will the new tool the theory creates be put to use?  With 80% of the reserves under the control of states rather than oil companies the incentive to market products is replaced by the policy desires of a few leaders.  Their choice easily has become an ever-rising price for a continuously declining volume of product.  That choice, to pinch off the supply by whatever means suitable for the minds of such leaders has brought the idea of peak oil much closer than it otherwise might be.  See:

University of Stavanger News Release

In a full spectrum look at the research one hopes that more and better instruments will be coming to detect and measure temperatures deep in the earth.  As that would improve the use of the new theory it might also be developed for deep looks for geothermal sites.  As noted in yesterday’s post, instrumentation is one of the areas that geothermal energy development needs.

It’s becoming clearer that politics and diplomacy are playing a more important role in supplying fuels for the world’s economy.  The state oil producers are having their way for now, but one wonders just what the consuming nations can or will be willing to do to keep supplies adequate for survival.  With news like this, the pressure on the states controlling oil resources become higher to behave in a more humane and socially decent manner.  That’s a good thing – as consumers discover how much of their lifestyle and survival depend on petroleum products the risk to states that game for lower production will see increasing risks to their survival.


3 Comments so far

  1. Jane Van Ryan on October 24, 2007 10:42 AM

    The National Petroleum Council addresses the issues of global energy supplies and state-owned oil companies in its recent report, “Facing the Hard Truths about Energy,” which was published this summer. It notes that the world is not running out of energy resources, but that “there are accumulating risks to continuing expansion of oil and natural gas production.” The NPC report also states that “to mitigate these risks, expansion of all economic energy sources will be required.”

    The NPC report and background papers are available online at http://www.npchardtruthsreport.org/

    Jane Van Ryan

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  3. Peter on March 29, 2017 7:02 AM

    thanks a lot for posting this article!

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