2054Re: [hreg] Media Meeting Monday Night
- Jul 1, 2003Another way to keep supply ahead of demand (for a while, anyway) is to drill more wells in the producing fields. Saudi Arabia and Iraq have huge reserves that will last for many years, at a steadily declining rate. But if you drill a lot more wells - go from say 80 acre spacing to 40 acre spacing - you can really increase the production rate (and of course deplete the reserves twice as fast). The fields would only last half as long, but with the short-term orientation of our corporations (and our politicians) that is not a consideration. They don't worry much about anything past the next election or the next quarterly earnings report, so that would be a fine solution so far as they are concerned.
Another major variable that could affect all this is the definite possibility that we could have a major worldwide recession or even a depression, which would - needless to say - greatly reduce consumption (among many other unpleasant effects).
As for the coal shipments into Houston, I have never seen long lines of coal cars coming into town, but I think San Antonio and several other south Texas towns use a lot of coal. This is a carryover effect of Oscar Wyatt's operations years ago, an early day Enron type scam that should have resulted in the bankruptcy of Coastal States, but due to his effective wheeling and dealing and his sharp lawyers, he was able to wiggle out of it. Older folks will remember the details but anyway SA and some other south Texas towns switched over from gas to coal and have been using it ever since. In fact, unless I am mistaken, Texas is a net importer of energy, mostly coal from Wyoming or somewhere in that area.
But whatever the details, it's a lead pipe cinch that you can't keep on forever increasing consumption of a finite wasting resource. Sooner or later the fiddler must be paid or the fat lady will sing or whatever, and the sounds of their warming up just offstage are getting louder every day. Unfortunately, it's the nature of the system that we don't react until there is a full-blown crisis, and when it hits, there will be hell to pay. We can all work and hope for an outbreak of sanity but it's a long shot. If history is any guide, we will probably have to do it the hard way. Damn.
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