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http://www.sltrib.com/business/ci_6012082

 

Utah, Colorado rival OPEC oil reserves, lure Chevron, Exxon, Shell

The Salt Lake Tribune

Article Last Updated: 05/29/2007 08:28:38 AM MDT

 

Posted: 8:25 AM- Colorado and Utah have as much oil as Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Venezuela, Nigeria, Kuwait, Libya, Angola, Algeria, Indonesia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates combined.

 

That's not science fiction, according to Bloomberg News. Trapped in limestone up to 200 feet (61 meters) thick in the two Rocky Mountain states is enough so-called shale oil to rival OPEC and supply the U.S. for a century.

 

Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp., the two biggest U.S. energy companies, and Royal Dutch Shell Plc are spending $100 million a year testing new methods to separate the oil from the stone for as little as $30 a barrel. A growing number of industry executives and analysts say new technology and persistently high prices make the idea feasible.

 

"The breakthrough is that now the oil companies have a way of getting this oil out of the ground without the massive energy and manpower costs that killed these projects in the 1970s," said Pete Stark, an analyst at IHS Inc., an Englewood, Colorado, research firm. "All the shale rocks in the world are going to be revisited now to see how much oil they contain."

 

The U.S. imports two-thirds of its oil, spending $300 billion a year, or 40 percent of the record trade deficit. Every $10 increase in a barrel of crude costs an American household $700 a year, according to the Rand Corp.,

founded in 1946 to provide research for the U.S. military.

 

 

Oil prices have risen 63 percent since 2004 and higher fuel costs have slowed growth in the world's largest economy to the lowest in four years.

The last effort to exploit the Colorado and Utah shale fields foundered in the 1980s after crude prices tumbled 72 percent, resulting in a multibillion dollar loss for Exxon. Techniques developed to coax crude from tar sands in Alberta, 1,600 miles (2,500 kilometers) to the north, may help the U.S. projects' engineers.

"The potential for shale is large," said Joseph Stanislaw, senior energy adviser for Deloitte & Touche LLP and co-author with oil analyst Daniel Yergin of "The Commanding Heights: The Battle for the World Economy" (Simon & Schuster, 464 pages, $26). "Assuming the technology proves out, the size and scale of the reserves are significant."

 

Energy providers are investing in shale oil production because the reserves are large enough to generate higher returns than smaller fields in Oklahoma and Texas, where output is declining after eight decades.

Shale is also a more attractive investment than new U.S. refineries, which Shell and Chevron say may lose money as rising use of crop-based fuels such as ethanol lowers domestic gasoline demand. Exxon says it isn't interested in building new fuel plants in the U.S. because the company expects North American fuel consumption to peak by 2025.

 

"You're going to build refineries where demand is increasing, and that's the developing world," Scott Nauman, Exxon's manager of economics and energy planning, said in a May 18 presentation at a University of Chicago oil conference.

 

In the high desert near Rifle, Colo., Shell engineers are burying hundreds of steel rods 2,000 feet underground that will heat the shale to 700 degrees Fahrenheit (370 degrees Celsius), a temperature at which Teflon melts.

The heat will be applied for the next four years to convert the hydrocarbons from dead plants and plankton, once part of a prehistoric lake, into high-quality crude that is equal parts jet fuel, diesel and naphtha, the main ingredient in gasoline.

 

Chevron, which helped build the Saudi Arabian energy industry when it struck oil in the kingdom in 1938, plans to shatter 200- foot thick layers of shale deep underground, said Robert Lestz, the company's oil-shale technology manager.

 

Rather than using heat to transform the shale into crude, Chevron plans to saturate the rubble with chemicals to convert it. The method will reduce power needs and production costs, Lestz said in a May 24 interview. Using chemical reactions to get oil from shale also means fewer byproducts such as ash and fewer greenhouse gases, he said.

 

Chevron scientists are working with researchers at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico to determine which chemicals work best for converting shale to crude oil. Shell's heating technique amounts to "a brute-force approach," said Lestz, who is based in Houston.

Raytheon Co., the maker of Tomahawk missiles and the first microwave ovens, is developing a process that would use radio waves to cook the shale.

 

Irving, Texas-based Exxon Mobil plans to shoot particles of petroleum coke, a waste byproduct of oil refining, into cracks in the shale. The coke will be electrically charged to create a subterranean hot plate that will cook the shale until it turns into crude. The company declined to discuss the progress of its oil shale tests.

 

"These are quite remarkable technological approaches," said Jeremy Boak, a geologist at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colorado, who spent 11 years cleaning up radioactive waste and disposing of weapons-grade plutonium at U.S. government sites. "The oil companies don't have the exploration problem of finding resources to drill. We know the oil is here. It's just a matter of getting it out."

 

U.S. oil shale deposits likely hold 1.5 trillion barrels of oil, according to Jack Dyni, a geologist emeritus at the U.S. Geological Survey. All 12 OPEC countries combined have proved crude oil reserves of about 911 billion barrels, led by Saudi Arabia, with 264.2 billion barrels, according to statistics compiled by BP Plc.

Skeptics of the potential for shale oil include Cathy Kay, an organizer for the environmental group Western Colorado Congress, who says the techniques will drain water supplies, scar the landscape and require so much power the skies will be choked with smoke from coal-fed generators.

 

"They are going to do absolutely massive environmental damage," said Kay, a South African native who's been spearheading the Grand Junction, Colorado, group's anti-shale campaign since September.

"Why don't these companies invest these giant sums of money developing the cheapest, cleverest solar panel or geothermal process, instead of chasing this elusive oil?" Kay asked.

 

Shell, based in the Hague, estimates it can extract oil from Colorado shale for $30 a barrel, less than half today's price of $66 for benchmark New York futures.

 

Shell's process includes surrounding each shale field with an underground wall of ice. The so-called freeze walls are to prevent groundwater from swamping the heating rods and to protect the local water supply from contamination as the organic material in the rocks turns to oil, according to Terry O'Connor, the Shell vice president in charge of the company's Colorado shale project.

 

"There's a lot of testing to be done," O'Connor said in a May 24 interview. "We're proceeding cautiously."

O'Connor declined to say how much oil Shell expects it could produce from shale. Stark at IHS and other analysts said Shell expects to get 500,000 barrels a day from its project, 25 percent more than comes from Alaska's Prudhoe Bay, the largest U.S. oil field.

 

"This is an amazing resource," said James Bartis, an oil analyst at Santa Monica, California-based Rand, whose researchers have included former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and the Nobel Laureate economist Paul Samuelson. Bartis says that success in the Rockies could cut crude prices by 5 percent, saving American consumers $20 billion a year.

 

"It's been raised before as a panacea for impending shortages, but never before has it been shown to be competitive with conventional oil," Bartis said.

 

Drillers, pipe-makers and metal fabricators such as Nabors Industries Ltd. and closely-held UOP LLC will be the first to profit as Shell, Chevron and Exxon drill thousands of wells a half-mile underground by 2011.

The oil companies may begin pumping commercial quantities of oil from Colorado shale within a decade, about as long as Chevron will need to develop the 500 million-barrel Jack prospect in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico, according to Stark, who is a former Mobil Corp. geologist.

 

"Given the state of the oil market, more and more effort is being put into making shale a viable source," said Stanislaw. He estimated it will take six to eight years before oil companies perfect their extraction methods. "The timeframe is very long," he said.

 

In the 1970s, oil shale efforts involved mile-wide strip mines and factory-sized cookers to boil giant limestone boulders. This time, no company expects to bring in front-loaders, heavy- duty dump trucks or thousands of miners to haul shale from open pits.

 

"The old technique required them to dig the equivalent of a new Panama Canal every month," said former Colorado Governor Richard Lamm, whose tenure from 1975 to 1987 included the last attempt to extract oil from shale.

"This new approach is a much more sane process, but that's all relative," Lamm said in an interview. "They're doing this in an immensely fragile area where wagon ruts from the Oregon Trail in the 1840s are still visible. It doesn't excite me because I think they're about to indelibly change our state."

Local residents are also leery, recalling the ghost towns and job losses left behind from the last shale boom and bust.

Battlement Mesa, Colorado, a town Exxon built to house an expected 25,000 shale workers, was abandoned when the company shut its mine on May 2, 1982, a day locals still refer to as "Black Sunday." The town is now a retirement community.

 

"I don't think this is going to go anywhere," said John Savage, an attorney in Rifle whose father started a shale-oil company in 1956. "It's just too tough to get that oil out of the ground. There's trillions of barrels down there, but there's too much rock on top of it."

 

Oil companies also are exploring shale fields in Jordan, Morocco and Australia, though preliminary assessments indicate none is as oil-rich as the Colorado and Utah deposits. The final approval for full-scale projects in the U.S. won't be made until after 2010.

 

"If we waited a few million years, all this stuff would turn to oil," Rand's Bartis says. "Some people don't want to wait that long."

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Wind Power - The United States added enough wind power in 2007 alone to provide electricity to more than a million homes. Texas is the fastest-growing wind power state and about 15% of the country has excellent wind, especially the Great Plains. Today's efficient wind turbines are sleek and powerful, and can be taller than the Statue of Liberty with blades longer than the wings of a Boeing 737. When connected together through a national grid, wind power could provide at least one-third of our total electricity needs.

 

Solar thermal power -- which uses solar energy to drive turbines -- already produces enough electricity in the United States for about 100,000 homes, but several utilities have announced projects to provide enough power for 10 times that many homes in the next several years. And, because solar thermal power plants can store energy to produce electricity at night, they can be installed in place of new coal power plants. Just a small area of solar thermal in the Southwest could supply all of the US electricity needs.

Solar Photovoltaics: States like California and New Jersey are already implementing programs to encourage communities to install solar panels in new homes, buildings, and even on parking lot roofs. Solar photovoltaics, which can now be integrated into roof tiles, have no moving parts and can even produce electricity on cloudy days. It will become more common as global installations of photovoltaics grow by an expected 800% in the next 10 years. If these systems were installed on all sunny buildings in the US, we could supply at least one-quarter of our electricity needs.

 

Geothermal Power: Today, the United States is the leading producer of geothermal power, producing enough electricity from underground hot rocks for more than 2 million homes. Experts say that we could have 15-30 times as much power over the next few decades thanks to recent advances in geothermal technology.

 

 

http://www.wecansolveit.org/content/soluti..._of_renewables/

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Guest Deprok

We can, and must, move biofuels as quickly as possible to non-food biomass that does not aggravate the completion for land to fight global warming and disentangle biofuels from the price of food, but scapegoating biofuels just distracts us from the policies that move the big levers.

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Guest Crystal Livers-Powers

Indianapolis Power & Light Company (IPL) is announcing an agreement that will bring a 100-megawatt wind farm to Indiana. The project will add clean, renewable electric energy into IPL’s generation portfolio, which powers 468,000 customers in Indianapolis and surrounding counties.

 

Called the Hoosier Wind Project, the wind farm is expected to include 67 GE 1.5 megawatt wind turbines. Subject to the approval of the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) and is also contingent on the extension of the federal renewable energy tax credit, which IPL requested on April 22, the energy from the turbines will be purchased by IPL under a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement from enXco, an EDF Energies Nouvelles Company.

 

“With the use of this wind energy, IPL will be able to reduce CO2 emissions by about 230,000 tons per year,” said IPL President and CEO Ann Murtlow. “That’s the equivalent of removing 46,000 cars from the highway.”

 

Murtlow added that “IPL has seen increasing interest in green energy from our customers and we are excited to further diversify our generation portfolio to meet that interest.”

 

The wind farm will be located near the town of Fowler in Benton County, Indiana, and is expected to go into operation in 2009.

 

Steve Peluso, enXco’s Midwest Regional Development Director stated that “enXco is thrilled to be adding ‘home grown’ energy for the people of Indiana. We are looking forward to working with IPL on this important and innovative project.”

 

About Indianapolis Power & Light Company (IPL):

Indianapolis Power & Light Company (IPL) provides retail electric service to more than 465,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in Indianapolis, as well as portions of other Central Indiana communities surrounding Marion County. During its long history, IPL has supplied its customers with some of the lowest-cost, most reliable power in the country. For more information about the company, please visit http://www.IPLpower.com.

 

About enXco, an EDF EN Company:

enXco (http://www.enxco.com) - an EDF Energies Nouvelles Company (www.edf-energies.nouvelles.com) develops, constructs, operates and manages renewable energy projects throughout the United States. For more than two decades, we have been a leader in wind-energy focusing on large-scale wind projects. enXco’s portfolio includes solar and biomass technologies, in an effort to help drive the transition to a sustainable energy economy. enXco has grown to be a significant owner and developer of wind-energy installations in the United States, and is the largest third-party operations & maintenance provider for wind farms in North America.

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Guest Sandra G. Briner

A 99-megawatt wind facility is being built for the Wisconsin Public Service Corporation, a subsidiary of Integrys Energy Group, Inc. Located near Riceville in Howard County, Iowa, the Crane Creek Wind Project will consist of 66 GE 1.5 megawatt wind turbines and is expected to generate electricity to provide for the energy needs of approximately 27,000 homes serviced by WPSC. The project recently won the approval of Wisconsin state regulators and is now subject to standard Iowa state and local permits.

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Guest Greenzen

North Dakota’s congressional delegation says Schuff Steel Co. is getting $7.1 million in tax credits through the federal economic stimulus package to establish a wind tower manufacturing plant in Bismarck.

 

Phoenix-based Schuff Steel describes itself as the nation’s largest structural steel fabricator and erector. It has plants in 10 states.

 

Democratic Sens. Byron Dorgan and Kent Conrad and Rep. Earl Pomeroy say the Bismarck plant will have the capacity to produce up to 300 wind towers per year. They say it will help North Dakota boost its status as a major producer of wind energy.

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North Dakota’s congressional delegation says Schuff Steel Co. is getting $7.1 million in tax credits through the federal economic stimulus package to establish a wind tower manufacturing plant in Bismarck.

 

Phoenix-based Schuff Steel describes itself as the nation’s largest structural steel fabricator and erector. It has plants in 10 states.

 

Democratic Sens. Byron Dorgan and Kent Conrad and Rep. Earl Pomeroy say the Bismarck plant will have the capacity to produce up to 300 wind towers per year. They say it will help North Dakota boost its status as a major producer of wind energy.

 

hydrogen from saltwater should replace coal fired electric power plants

A nationwide list shows over 600 coal plants in the United States

Coal-fired power plants represent over a third of our carbon emissions, and over half of our electricity mix. Emissions from coal have been a detriment to health, agriculture, and social justice for years. If there's any fat to cut out of our energy portfolio first, it's coal. The developed world has been phasing out coal for decades now - at this point any new energy should come from renewable sources, which we know create more jobs per megawatt, at lower cost to society.

If' we're really out to make a dent in our emissions - creating green jobs, cutting carbon - the best way to protect our efforts is to ensure that our resources are invested in better electricity sources. We can do better than coal.

 

Carve up the mountain, Remove the coal, and Fill the River Valleys with Slag.

Plan to strip mine coal right through 11 miles of salmon-bearing streams in Alaska would destroy critical wetlands and headwater streams beyond the point of restoration, according to three new studies by scientists.

What Are the Challenges?

The greatest technical challenge to hydrogen production is cost reduction. For transportation, a key driver for energy independence, hydrogen must be cost-competitive with conventional fuels and technologies on a per-mile basis. This means that the cost of hydrogen — regardless of the production technology, and including the cost of delivery — must be in the range of $2.00 to $3.00 per gallon gasoline equivalent (untaxed). Note: Transportation fuels are often compared based on their equivalency to gasoline. The amount of fuel with the energy content of one gallon of gasoline is referred to as a gallon gasoline equivalent (gge).

What is our solution?

We at b.a.r.industries llc. Have designed an eco friendly electric power system that would replace coal fired power plants using nothing but sea water.

The United States has a very large hydrogen supply.

The ocean.

Our system uses free saltwater to generate unlimited amounts of hydrogen and oxygen.

We use free power to run these power stations.

These systems are completely off grid meaning we don’t need any electric power from the grid.

The problem with most people is they are concentrating their efforts on hydrogen to the auto market.

Hydrogen is best suited for electric power production not cars. contact me at b.a.r.industries llc.1-603-763-8929 bow77666@yahoo.cm

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Guest ria101

The effect of energy efficiency programs may not be evident at the moment but in the long run, for sure we will all benefit from all of these. One of the best way to save money from your utility bills is with the use of window tints. For example, solar control windows tints moderates the sunlight entering your home while balancing the room temperature and capable of blocking up to 99% of UV rays. For each degree you raise or lower your thermostat, you can save anywhere from 1 to 5 percent on your cooling or heating bills depending on where you live. Reputable site such as www.TintBuyer.com informs consumers about the relevant facts on window tints such as type of tints, quotations and will help you locate the best professional tinter near your area.

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Guest Deprok

Physicist Roberto De Luca from the University of Salerno in Italy has suggested that flowing salt water could generate an electromotive force, which in turn could generate an electric power output. In his theoretical analysis, he considers letting salt water (containing sodium and chlorine ions) run through a rectangular pipe that has two metal electrodes on the sides, under the influence of a perpendicular magnetic field. In this set-up, the Lorentz force acts on the sodium and chlorine ions in the salt water, creating a Faraday voltage across the two electrodes, and producing an electromotive force.

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Guest HUMAN

Why can't we "the United States" use technology to synthesis the materials in going green?

 

It's still in the experimental stage, but it does hold out hope.

http://www.azom.com/news.asp?newsID=17858

 

Just cause we can't go green now, does not mean we can't go green in the future.

It will just take time.

 

The democrats think that Republicans such as myself have our eyes closed in going green. It's the contrary, we want to go green.

 

It's just that we don't want to be beholding on other countries in getting there.

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Guest AlwaysRed

We still need oil, coal, and nuclear power. We just have to put stronger safety regulations in place. Companies should be completely liable for the damages.

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Guest Human

Oh!! I agree with you completely, but with the tech that we have at our disposal we should be able too synthesis the materials we need.

 

Again it will take alot of time to synthesis what we need. But it sure is heck alot better then depending on other countries "red".

 

The internet among other things opened up my mind, I hope it does the same to others.

 

Cap and tax can go down the tubes. Don't need it. It's more like cap and destroy our economy.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

We still need oil, coal, and nuclear power. We just have to put stronger safety regulations in place. Companies should be completely liable for the damages.

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Human, I like the original article that started this thread. I remember in the 90's there was a lot of talk about the "oil sands of Alaska" in that there were hundreds of millions of barrels of oil in the sands of the beaches of Alaska, but extraction costs were the main culprit in the tale of the venture being not cost effective. So, my question is to what end have these companies delivered on their astronomical predictions of cheaply delivered ($30/bbl) U.S based oil reserves?

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Guest Human

You will have to refer to executive order that obama signed in reviewing ALL environmental impacts on United States lands by ALL governmental departments with respect to drilling.

 

Those types of executive orders have a way of destroying those types of initiatives real fast.

 

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Human, I like the original article that started this thread. I remember in the 90's there was a lot of talk about the "oil sands of Alaska" in that there were hundreds of millions of barrels of oil in the sands of the beaches of Alaska, but extraction costs were the main culprit in the tale of the venture being not cost effective. So, my question is to what end have these companies delivered on their astronomical predictions of cheaply delivered ($30/bbl) U.S based oil reserves?

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People with ideas need to be encouraged by this administration. It did it in the beginning, but now the energy is gone. What is left is suspicion on both sides.

 

I think it has been the economy, specifically investor confidence has waned. Once people stop thinking what is best for my party things will move quicker. We need what is best for Americans living in this Country. We need jobs. We need to ramp up our manufacturing at warlike pace or accept a lower station of middle class wealth. Manufacturing in America is our only answer. We need to invest in cheaper energy processing before China does. Every type of source has to be considered. Safety and Environmental grants need to be given by Our government immediately. That needs to be changed first.

 

Our government needs to expand resources to the Small Business Administration (SBA). The grant and loan process for small businesses have to made easier as well. I tried to get more information on a grant posted for small businesses. The officer of the program did not return phone calls at SBA.

Edited by Luke_Wilbur
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Guest Dianne

Gobi Desert Becoming a Centre of Renewable Energy Production

 

By Bruno De Wachter / Published on Tue, 2009-09-01 05:30

 

Massive investments in wind and solar energy projects

 

China is well on track to surpass the US as the world's largest market for wind turbines. While the European Union is struggling to reach its renewable energy targets, China is surpassing its own targets with ease. At the beginning of 2008, the target of the Chinese government was to have 5,000 MW of wind power installed by the end of 2010. Only a few months after proclaiming this figure, it was doubled to 10,000 MW. As of today, it looks like China is going to have 30,000 MW of wind power installed by the end of next year.

A favourable regulatory climate

 

The Chinese government has mandated that electricity companies must generate 8% of their power from renewable resources by 2020. Combine this figure with the enormous, steep, and ever expanding energy consumption in the country, and you realise that only a development of renewable energy at an up-to-now unseen scale will accomplish such a goal.

 

For the Chinese energy companies, the 2020 figure is not the only driving power. Chinese authorities are creating more and more barriers to building new coal fired power stations, while renewable energy projects receive easy cash from state-owned banks and are confronted with few regulatory hurdles. As a result, some Chinese regulators now even worry that government mandates might be pushing companies too far too fast.

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Guest Dianne

Boom town in the Gobi Desert

 

The renewable energy boom town in China is Dunhuang, an oasis in the Gobi Desert. In the desert near Dunhuang, a wind farm of no less than 10 GW is under construction. When completed, this plant will have an installed capacity of more than twelve times that of the Horse Hollow Wind Farm in Texas, which is currently the biggest in the world. On top of that, the Chinese government recently solicited offers to build and operate a 10 MW PV plant near Dunhuang. Plans also exist to develop thermal CSP capacity at the same location.

 

Most probably, it will still take some time before all those renewable energy plants in the desert will reach full output. Currently, the plants are being built faster than the national grid can erect high-voltage power lines to transport the electricity to the densely populated east of the country. Moreover, an efficient solution still has to be found to deal with the sandstorms that blow in this region each spring.

 

http://www.leonardo-energy.org/chinese-gobi-desert-becoming-centre-renewable-energy-production

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Guest EnronEx

Mesa Exploration Corp. (CVE:MSA) is a mineral exploration and development company with a diverse portfolio of projects, including lithium in the western United States. The Company’s premier project is the Green Energy Lithium Project in Utah, for which Mesa is creating a work program. Mesa has already undertaken significant drilling for two other projects.

 

The 43 square kilometre, wholly-owned Lisbon Valley Project is located in the Lisbon Valley Mining District, San Juan County, Utah, approximately 56 km south of the town of Moab.

 

The Green Energy Lithium Exploration Project hosts to a mineral-rich brine deposit that containing 40% dissolved solids with values as high as 1,700 ppm lithium. In the 1960s, this super-saturated brine was discovered when oil exploration wells encountered blow-outs with brine flowing at up to 1,000 gallons per minute. The brine is hosted in Bed #31 of the Paradox Formation at a depth of 6,000 feet. As pressure chokes were not used for drilling, the minerals in the brine were allowed to become crystalline and eventually the drill stem became clogged. Efforts to clear the drill stem were unsuccessful and exploration work ceased; modern techniques will keep this from occurring.

 

A work program is being scheduled by Mesa to obtain modern brine samples for chemical analysis and metallurgical testing. Engineering characteristics of the host formation will also be tested to establish pressure, temperature, artesian and precipitation characteristics of the aquifer. The information collected in this drilling will provide the basis for preliminary economic evaluation and metallurgical testing.

 

Brine mines are more economic to mine and can be put into production faster and with less CAPEX than conventional open-pit or underground mines. Brine is also less expensive to process than hard rock mines. According to estimates by Credit Suisse, lithium produced from brine costs around $1,500 to $2,300 per ton, while lithium from hard rock mines costs $4,200 to $4,500 per ton.

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Guest HUMAN

EnronEx; This part of my responce to you, and your group "democrats".

 

 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------http://www.dailycomet.com/article/20110402/ARTICLES/110409879/1214?Title=A-mind-boggling-energy-policy

A mind-boggling energy policy

 

Dan Juneau

Columnist

Published: Saturday, April 2, 2011 at 10:41 p.m.

Last Modified: Saturday, April 2, 2011 at 10:41 p.m.

President Obama’s energy policy continues to become, to quote Alice in Lewis Carroll’s “Through the Looking Glass,” “curiouser and curiouser.”

 

A few weeks ago, the president and members of his staff were touting the fact that domestic oil production in 2010 was at the highest level since 2003. No doubt they were repeating that mantra in part to push back against critics of the offshore oil and gas moratorium and “permitorium” the Obama administration put in place after the Macondo spill in the Gulf of Mexico. If that was their intent, it simply doesn’t fly.

 

The increase in oil production last year came primarily from the production of leases developed in the years prior to President Obama’s election when Outer Continental Shelf drilling wasn’t outlawed or inhibited to the degree that it is now. In fact, it was a political mistake for the president and his spokespersons to try to take implied credit for increased oil production last year.

 

It will lead to comparisons that will soon show just how harmful the president’s policy is to oil production at a time when the price of gasoline is skyrocketing. Those chickens will soon be coming home to roost.

 

A “hat tip” is in order here to “Vladimir” (someone who makes a living taking risks to find oil) who posted an excellent article recently, (http://thehayride.com/2011/03/obama-salazar-moratorium-has-crippled-domestic-oil-production), on the effects of the Gulf drilling moratorium on future oil production in the U.S.

 

The article quotes Obama’s own Energy Information Agency to point out the hypocrisy of the administration’s boasting about increased oil production. According to the EIA data, in 2011 oil production in the Gulf of Mexico will underperform pre-spill estimates by 130 million barrels. In 2012 that shortfall increases to 200 million barrels. As the blog post notes, that is 10 percent of total domestic oil production-and the losses continue into the future due to the action taken by President Obama.

Demand for oil to power vehicles, heat homes, and provide feedstocks for manufacturing is not projected to diminish in the future. That means oil prices are going to soar even higher than the current levels, which will impact the national economic recovery.

 

To add insult to injury, on his trip to Brazil, the president was effusive about expanding OCS drilling — not here but off the coast of Brazil. He wants more oil, but he doesn’t want Americans to get the jobs and the economic boost from producing it. He wants those positive effects to go to Brazilians. Go figure.

 

Most Americans don’t realize that there is already considerable OCS drilling going on in the Gulf of Mexico — in Cuban, not American, waters. Nine nations are developing leases off of Cuba within the shadows of the Florida coast while some deepwater rigs that were set to drill in the OCS off of Louisiana have gone to Brazil, Africa and other regions.

 

There are tremendous reserves of oil in shale deposits onshore in the U.S., but federal policies are preventing those promising reserves (over 800 billion barrels potentially) from being developed. The U.S. is importing 10 million barrels of crude oil a day. The oil available from shale plays and the OCS can remove that dependence on foreign sources for decades to come. Instead of moving forward with an energy policy that gives this nation the secure supplies it needs, the Obama administration is moving in the opposite direction. Keeping our energy future at risk while killing American jobs and investments is an energy policy that, indeed, keeps getting curiouser and curiouser.

 

Dan Juneau is president of the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry.

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Guest Thomas

Hey Liberals read the bold.

 

The president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber's Institute for 21st Century Energy told lawmakers this week that reversing federal policies that have restricted development of America's natural energy resources is the key to creating jobs and addressing increasing energy challenges.

 

Testifying before the House Committee on Natural Resources at a hearing to address the rising cost of gasoline, Karen Harbert called for a reversal of the Administration's policies that are preventing exploration across America, especially in the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska.

 

"It is clear that misguided federal policies are contributing to the recent gasoline price spike," Harbert said. "Reversing these policies presents a ready-made solution for the administration and Congress."

 

Harbert pointed out that 97% of federal off-shore lands and 94% of federal on-shore lands are not leased at a time when America is spending $265 billion to import petroleum and related products from foreign sources. Over 270 permits are pending for exploration in the Gulf of Mexico, according to the Department of Justice, while leases that have already been paid for and issued have remained idle for four years in Alaska due to government delays.

 

"We have an abundance of resources, but from its earliest days, the Obama Administration has continually been taking land and coastal areas off the table for oil and gas production by canceling onshore leases, imposing a moratorium on exploration and production in the Gulf of Mexico, and proposing a leasing plan that prevents us from developing more resources for the next five years," Harbert said.

 

Pointing to vast resources from Canada, Harbert said, "America should also not ignore our most reliable and largest supplier of imported oil, Canada. Congress should repeal a provision that could prohibit oil from the Alberta oil sands from being used by our government, and the Administration should move quickly to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, which would supply more than 1 million barrels of oil per day and create 15,000 jobs immediately."

 

Harbert also highlighted other proposals that would have a negative effect on our economy and could increase energy prices, such as "Use it or Lose it" penalties, which would require companies to begin producing on a lease within a set time period or else risk losing the lease.

 

"Penalizing companies for being responsible and complying with government requirements by imposing "Use it or Lose it" penalties will drive them elsewhere," Harbert said. "In addition, other proposals on the table, such as selling oil stocks from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and raising taxes on oil companies, would take us in the wrong direction."

 

Harbert testified that selling oil stocks from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve would not reduce prices appreciably, but could leave America vulnerable to future geopolitical instability. In addition, she reminded lawmakers that previous attempts to increase taxes on oil and gas companies resulted in lower domestic production, lower federal revenue, and higher imports."

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Guest Melissa Subbotin

U.S. Department of Interior (DOI) Secretary Ken Salazar today announced the Administration will continue to prevent any new mining on one million acres of federal land located near the border of Arizona and Utah, known to contain one of the nation’s most abundant high grade uranium deposits. In 2009, the Administration imposed a moratorium banning mining in this area, which is set to expire this summer. Congressman Rob Bishop (R-UT), Chairman of the House Natural Resources National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands Subcommittee, expressed his disappointment in the decision.

 

“Our country’s energy future remains in limbo because Secretary Salazar has chosen to placate his anti-energy special interest cronies. Instead of using his executive power to create policies that foster greater energy independence he has done the exact opposite, driving us toward increased reliance on foreign resources,” said Congressman Bishop.

 

There are currently 104 nuclear reactors in the U.S. that require uranium to produce clean, safe, affordable nuclear energy. The U.S. presently imports 90% of the total uranium used for nuclear energy production.

 

“Today’s announcement might be considered a win for people like former Secretary Babbitt, who recently called on Salazar to impose harsh new restrictions on energy producers and public land users. However, I can guarantee that the local economies and thousands of unemployed workers that would have benefited from the creation of new jobs and substantial economic revenue do not see it this way. It is certainly not a win for the American people,” Bishop added. “Today’s decision robs us of an opportunity to help reduce energy costs and is yet another disappointing example of how the Obama Administration is either unwilling or unable to do what is necessary to achieve greater energy independence and economic stability.”

 

The one million acres (roughly 25 times the size of Washington, D.C.) targeted by today’s announcement contain 326-375 million lbs of domestic uranium, which is enough to generate electrical power for 40 million Americans over more than 22 years.

 

“It is a good week when the Department of Interior isn’t using its executive power to impose new regulations or mandates that hurt the energy industry and ultimately the American people,” Bishop concluded. “This week clearly isn’t one of them.”

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