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Old 09-05-2006, 01:18 PM   #1
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Major U.S. oil source is tapped

Successful test by Chevron partners in deep Gulf waters could rival Alaska in potential supply; U.S. reserves may swell 50 percent.

By Chris Isidore, CNNMoney.com senior writer
September 5 2006: 1:31 PM EDT


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Chevron and its partners have successfully extracted oil from a test well in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico, an achievement that could be the biggest breakthrough in domestic oil supplies since the opening of the Alaskan pipeline.

The news sent oil prices lower, with U.S. light crude for October delivery sinking 69 cents to $68.50 on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The announcement helped dampen fears that oil supplies would be swamped by growing global demand, a concern that helped lift oil to record highs this summer, unadjusted for inflation.

But experts cautioned that relief at the pump from the breakthrough is many years away.

"It sounds terrific, but this means nothing for the near-term period," said Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst for the Oil Price Information Service, which surveys gasoline prices daily for AAA.

"But it should remind everyone that before they buy into the reckoning of $100 a barrel oil that all those estimates don't take into account tremendous amount of money can be spent on exploration when prices are at these levels."

Shares of the three partners in the test well known as "Jack 2" rose sharply in trading Tuesday. Chevron (up $2.10 to $66.93, Charts), which owns a 50 percent stake, jumped 3 percent, while Devon Energy (up $8.21 to $72.36, Charts) soared nearly 12 percent, and Norwegian oil company Statoil (up $0.57 to $28.08, Charts)'s U.S. shares added about 2 percent. Devon and Statoil each own 25 percent stakes.

Shares of other major oil companies with rights to this area of the Gulf, including Exxon Mobil (Charts), BP (Charts) and Royal Dutch Shell (Charts), rose modestly on the news.

Neither Chevron nor Devon would say how long it would take for oil from the well to reach market. Experts say it will take billions of dollars to build the deepwater oil platforms and pipelines needed to extract the oil and get it into world markets.

"At best we're not going to see a drop of oil for five years, maybe seven years," said Fadel Gheit, oil analyst for Oppenheimer. "It's great news for Chevron and even more so for Devon. But you can't hold your breath waiting for it."

A boon for the United States

Almost all the oil platforms in the Gulf are relatively close to the shore, on a shelf that puts them in less than 1,700 feet of water.

In recent years, oil has been found in the deeper waters of the Gulf known as the "lower tertiary" area, where the water is between 5,000 to 10,000 feet deep, but it had yet to be proved that oil could be extracted in enough volume to make such finds practical.

The Jack 2 well, which is 175 miles offshore, is in more than 7,000 feet of water and then drilled through more than 20,000 feet of rock below the sea floor, or about five miles below the surface of the Gulf. Chevron said the test had a flow rate of more than 6,000 barrels of crude oil a day.

Chevron would not estimate how much its reserves would be increased as a result of the test, nor would Devon. But Chevron said that it now believes the lower tertiary region of the Gulf could hold reserves of 3 billion to 15 billion barrels of oil. Total established U.S. reserves are estimated at less than 30 billion barrels.

"Until now no one was sure if the oil in this play would flow," said Zoe Sutherland, North American oil exploration analyst for Wood Mackenzie, a global oil research and consulting firm. "It doesn't matter how many large discoveries you have if you can't produce it. This is very exciting news."

Sutherland said it is fair to compare the breakthrough with the opening up of the North Slope of Alaska in terms of U.S. supply.

Ohio Northern University Professor A. F. Alhajji said the implications of this successful test could also help to open greater offshore supplies at other fields around the globe. He said that could mean even greater addition to worldwide reserves than those that now seem to be within reach in the Gulf.

"Whatever technology they used, I can tell you companies are scrambling right now to try to use it," said Alhajji.

Gheit said that it is only with oil at its current historically high prices that exploration at these depths really became economically practical.

"This is the silver lining of higher oil prices," he said. "If we didn't have higher oil prices, they wouldn't have dared to risk this much capital here."
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Old 09-06-2006, 02:18 PM   #2
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CNN today...oil is a major bargain now! Reporter stated that oil per barrel closed at $1.10 less expensive than yesterday. They said that is a major drop in price due to the deep water drilling and finding of the Gulf oil source. This is excellent news. Let's hope is continues!!!
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Old 09-14-2006, 12:10 PM   #3
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Ok...regular unleaded when I posted this above was $2.70 near my house. Yesterday, when I passed the gas station...$2.42. And, it's supposed to keep steadily dropping now that we've got our oil reserve that could double or triple in quantity.
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Old 09-15-2006, 02:26 PM   #4
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Ok...regular unleaded when I posted this above was $2.70 near my house. Yesterday, when I passed the gas station...$2.42. And, it's supposed to keep steadily dropping now that we've got our oil reserve that could double or triple in quantity.
Yup, dropped 30-40 cents around here for premium FINALLY!
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Old 09-15-2006, 04:37 PM   #5
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Last weekend down the street from my house regular unleaded was $2.17. Since then it has gone up a little to $2.22.

I live in northern Virginia.
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Old 09-15-2006, 08:43 PM   #6
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Ummm....don't want to say anything for fear of jinxing the gas prices 'round here.
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Old 09-16-2006, 01:16 AM   #7
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Ummm....don't want to say anything for fear of jinxing the gas prices 'round here.
Ok, down another 3 cents since yesterday to 2.39 for ... regular. But, Super, which is all I put in my SS, has still gone down from $3. to $2.59. That is too cool to see prices continuing to drop like this.
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Old 09-16-2006, 02:46 PM   #8
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I just filled up my saturn for 2.29.
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Old 09-18-2006, 08:12 AM   #9
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$2.01, $2.03, $2.05 at the three closest stations to my house for regular unleaded.
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Old 09-18-2006, 10:48 AM   #10
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$2.01, $2.03, $2.05 at the three closest stations to my house for regular unleaded.


That's what I'm talking about. Eventually, it'll get that low here too. Best price in SA is 2.25
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Old 09-18-2006, 12:25 PM   #11
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Think I'll go take the SS out and stretch "her" legs... And fill up while prices are reasonable.
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Old 10-28-2007, 03:28 PM   #12
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does anyone know when is the oil goin to be depleted?? at least for america
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Old 10-28-2007, 03:37 PM   #13
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Years ago people were predicting the oil supply would run dry within a few years. Then it never happened, so they guessed another date. It didn't happen then, so they guessed again, and so on. I figure we'll start favoring another fuel before petroleum runs out.
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Old 10-28-2007, 04:22 PM   #14
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Oil will never run out. Ever. It will be impossible to extract the last drop from the ground. Oil fields aren't underground lakes of gasoline. The stuff is traped in sand or porous rock. Its a mixture of diesel, fuel oils, gasoline, jet fuel, kerosene and more, commonly known as crude oil. Anyway, the reason why we will never run out of oil is because its like trying to get all the water out of a damp towel by wringing it out. You might get most of it out but never all of it. The current estimate is things will be depleted around 2040. But i don't think that considers advances in economy, increasing use (China and India), alternate technologies, undiscovered reserves, or tarsands (at least i don't think it includes them). Everybody thinks that the saudis have the most oil in the world. Not true. Its Canada, we have about 5 times as much as they do, mostly in tar sands. In fact, about half of the worlds oil is in tar sands. that might make a bit of a difference in the estimates. Besides, as demand increase while the supply decreases, the price will soar. High gas prices will reduce the usage and therefore demand, evening things out.

Also, while the price of oil is rising its not climbing as fast as everybody things. Why? inflation. Look back to the late 60's. How much did cars cost, 3000-4000 mostly. Now its 30 000 - 40 000 to buy the equivelent. The price of gas was what, $0.20-$0.25/gallon. Now its $3.50 or so. Accounting for inflation it would have been about $2.25/gal in modern terms. So yes it has increased, almost doubled. But that isn't nearly the 1000% increase people tend to think about.
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Old 10-28-2007, 04:39 PM   #15
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Supposedly we, the US, have generous untapped oil reserves in Alaska...but we can't drill because the tree-huggers are protecting it....

BUT this has strayed so very far off topic. Start a new 'oil' thread if you must.
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Old 10-28-2007, 06:56 PM   #16
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If we were to tap into the Alaskan Oil fields we'd have enough oil to sustain for over 100 yrs... easily. But that won't ever happen, until they find a way to drill and guarantee no spills in the national reserves, forests, parks, etc.
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Old 10-28-2007, 07:12 PM   #17
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Damn tree huggers,
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Old 10-29-2007, 02:44 AM   #18
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Oil Reserves

So...Alaska has a ton of oil. And, did someone say that Canada has 5 times as much oil as the Saudi's? Hmmm....So. Here we are...sucking up and paying trillions for all the middle easter oil. When they run out...and they need it...who will they come to....:p Hypothetically speaking, of course.

Makes for a good conspiracy theory, though.
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Old 10-29-2007, 08:25 AM   #19
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Soo, with the millions of acres of forest land up in Alaska, these freaking tree huggers are gonna tell that a ten acre +/- chunk of land for the oil rigs are going to destroy the land up there? What about that huge reserve they just found a few years ago in the Gulf of Mexico? Mexico's already exploring the area getting ready to drill. If it means getting out from under opecs thumb, I say go for it. If it were me, I'd tap those reserves, but for a limited time and put more money into research on alternate fuels, until we're weened off the huge amount of oil we buy from opec.
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Old 10-29-2007, 10:10 AM   #20
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Man, if people think that drill's in Alaska are bad for the envrionment, this is what happens in the tar sands. The dump truck is about 30' tall and weights more than a 747 jumbo jet
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Old 10-29-2007, 12:08 PM   #21
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Oh yeah...deep sea oil drilling. Exxon was already out there drilling and were the first to figure out the whole deep sea drilling deal. But, they said it was going to take something like 4 years to get the set up complete to where they could pipe the oil to land.
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Old 10-29-2007, 12:34 PM   #22
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I also remembered on some other news site that I was flipping through seen that opec warned the US that if we tapped those reserves that they would jack the price of oil way up(as if they're not doing that already) as punishment, cause as you said, it'd take years before that oil actually came on line. But oil isn't the only problem we have, the other one is the lack of refineries, there hasn't been a new one built in years because of the damn tree huggers, cause if we built a few more of them, they might interrupt the mating habits of the spotted hamster or sparky the sand flee or some damn thing.
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Old 10-29-2007, 12:46 PM   #23
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Yup...a new oil refinery can be done right and be built/run safely. Carve out a little peice of land way out there and do it right. Tell the tree huggers they won't be able to see it and won't ever know it'll be there. They'll still be complaining. I understand where they come from, but come on. It can be done right and won't kill the environment.
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Old 10-29-2007, 01:59 PM   #24
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Quote:
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If we were to tap into the Alaskan Oil fields we'd have enough oil to sustain for over 100 yrs... easily. But that won't ever happen, until they find a way to drill and guarantee no spills in the national reserves, forests, parks, etc.
they are working on that already with bendable drilling lines that can go down, then snake along at a certain depth to scavenge the oil in the surrounding miles. and is that 100yrs estimate add in the number of new cars on the road and drivers as well, plus military, airways, etc?


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So...Alaska has a ton of oil. And, did someone say that Canada has 5 times as much oil as the Saudi's? Hmmm....So. Here we are...sucking up and paying trillions for all the middle easter oil. When they run out...and they need it...who will they come to....:p Hypothetically speaking, of course.

Makes for a good conspiracy theory, though.
canada is estimated to have a bunch of oil, however like they said, its in the sand below the surface, and it takes a lot more $$ to mine and refine it than normally.


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Soo, with the millions of acres of forest land up in Alaska, these freaking tree huggers are gonna tell that a ten acre +/- chunk of land for the oil rigs are going to destroy the land up there? What about that huge reserve they just found a few years ago in the Gulf of Mexico? Mexico's already exploring the area getting ready to drill. If it means getting out from under opecs thumb, I say go for it. If it were me, I'd tap those reserves, but for a limited time and put more money into research on alternate fuels, until we're weened off the huge amount of oil we buy from opec.

the main thing is that the system we have now works. and everyone has always known that prices will rise as the days go by so they just accept it.


What I want to know, is why people will bitch about $3.00 a gallon for gas, but will walk into the store and pay the same price for a 1/2 liter of Water?!?! Wiskey Tango Foxtrot
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Old 10-29-2007, 03:04 PM   #25
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Canada is estimated to have a bunch of oil, however like they said, its in the sand below the surface, and it takes a lot more $$ to mine and refine it than normally.
What I want to know, is why people will bitch about $3.00 a gallon for gas, but will walk into the store and pay the same price for a 1/2 liter of Water?!?! Wiskey Tango Foxtrot[/B]
Our tar sands require around 2 tons of sand to get 1 barrel of oil. And its really thick crap too so yes there is more refining needed than normal. But it is on the surface not under ground (see pic in my previous post). The are run like open pit mines, in fact they are the largest mines in hte world. The entire oil sands area is larger than florida. One of the problems though is that over the course of a year the temp goes from 90 degrees in the summer down to minus 20 in the winter. The workers don't mind that much but the ground goes from rock hard in the winter to something akin to raw bread dough in the heat and 400 ton dumptrucks tend not to like that. The cost of production is only about $15/barrel, about double the cost compared to conventional methods in North America.

And as far as the water vs gas thing goes, I laugh every time i hear it. Personally, I've always wondered how so many people pay so much for water that is nearly the same as what comes from the tap, which you can use to fill reusable bottles.
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