The recent threats by Beijing to cut off American access to critical mineral imports has many Americans wondering why our politicians have allowed the United States to become so overly-dependent on China for these valued resources in the first place.
Today, the United States is 90 percent dependent on China and Russia for many vital “rare earth minerals.”
The main reason for our over-reliance on nations like China for these minerals is not that we are running out of these resources here at home. The U.S. Mining Association estimates that we have at least $5 trillion of recoverable mineral resources.
The U.S. Geological Survey reports that we still have up to 86 percent or more of key mineral resources like copper and zinc remaining in the ground, waiting to be mined.
These resources aren’t on environmentally sensitive lands, like national parks, but on the millions of acres of federal, state and private lands.
The mining isn’t happening because of extremely prohibitive environmental rules and a permitting process that can take 5-10 years to open a new mine. Green groups simply resist almost all new drilling.
What they may not realize is that the de facto mining prohibitions jeopardize the “Green Energy Revolution” that liberals so desperately are seeking.
How is this for rich irony: To make renewable energy at all technologically plausible, will require massive increases in the supply of rare earth and critical minerals.
In a letter to the UK’s Committee on Climate Change (CCC) on Wednesday (5 June), a team of scientists suggests that the CCC’s proposed target of net-zero emissions by 2050 will need almost all cars and vans on British roads to be electric-battery powered.
The team, which supports that goal, outlined the raw material needs and challenges that will come hand-in-hand with such an ambitious target. Current battery production requires materials like cobalt, copper and nickel.
Professor Richard Herrington of the Natural History Museum said in a statement that “there are huge implications for our natural resources not only to produce green technologies like electric cars but keep them charged”.
He and his colleagues calculated that switching all of the UK’s light vehicles to electric will require 207,900 tonnes of cobalt, 264,600 tonnes of lithium carbonate and over 2,300,000 tonnes of copper.
Apparently, those who currently trade in sand and gravel sometimes do so in an unsustainable manner. “[R]ules, practices and ethics” apparently differ worldwide. Imagine that. Moreover, “irresponsible and illegal extraction” needs to be curbed. In other words: the UN has now set its sights on this industry.
While this report says it merely wants to spark a conversation, that it doesn’t intend to be “prescriptive,” Msuya’s remarks belie that. She advocates “improved governance of global sand resources,” talks about implementing global standards, and looks forward to the creation of brand new “institutions that sustainably and equitably manage extraction.” What’s another level of red tape, after all?
The plots of the Seinfeld TV show often revolved around trivializing important things and blowing trivial things out of proportion. While not a Seinfeld fanatic (I’m more of a Frasierfanatic), I thought the comedy routines were generally brilliant and quite effective.
Peak Oil, abiotic oil and EROEI (energy returned on energy invested) are largely academic concepts. They are the subject of books, academic publications and Internet “debates” The “debates” about Peak Oil, abiotic oil and EROEI are a lot like the Seinfeld show. They magnify the trivial and trivialize things that actually matter. The “debates” often divide into two camps:
It’s the end of the world (Peak Oil, EROEI).
It’s our salvation from the end of the world (Abiotic oil).
While all three of these energy-related topics are, at least to some extent, real, none of them have the slightest relevance to energy production… except for Peak Oil… But the relevance is generally missed by both sides in Internet “debates.”
I had originally intended on combining Peak Oil, abiotic oil and EROEI into one post; but realized that it would have been longer than Tolstoy’s War and Peace. So, this post will be limited to Peak Oil. Part Deux will deal briefly with abiotic oil and Part Trois will deal more extensively with EROEI.
How big is Ghawar? Has it peaked? Is it “fading faster than anyone guessed”? The answer to the first question is: FRACKING YUGE. The answer to the second question was not easily answerable before Saudi Aramco began the process of becoming a publicly traded company. The answer to the third question is: Of course not.
As Saudi Aramco proceeds towards a 2021 IPO, it has had to embrace transparency. This involved an audit of the proved reserves in their largest fields, comprising about 80% of the company’s value. The audit was conducted by the highly respected DeGolyer and MacNaughton firm (D&M). The audit actually determined that the proved reserves are slightly larger than Aramco’s internal estimate.
I ran across a very lucid and informative article on Real Clear Energy today. The author is Robert Dillon, “a senior adviser on energy security at the American Council for Capital Formation and the former communications director of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.” The article includes numerous links to supporting information, particularly the National Petroleum Council’s (NPC) 2015 report on U.S. Arctic oil & gas resource potential.
Du gaz et du pétrole de schiste sont découverts à profusion dans le monde, notamment aux États-Unis. Qui en parle dans nos grands media ? Serait-ce politiquement incorrect de l’évoquer ?
LE SUCCÈS DU PARI DU GAZ ET DU PÉTROLE DE SCHISTE
Le Texas aux États-Unis regorge de pétrole et de gaz de schiste au point que les gazoducs existants sont saturés ! Le gaz doit même être « torché » ou « éventé ».
En attendant la mise en service de nouvelles capacités de transport, la production doit être réduite faute de pouvoir exporter les quantités extraites. La production de pétrole de schiste doit aussi être réduite en parallèle car il est extrait avec le gaz (et vice-versa).
Des projets sont en développement pour évacuer le gaz vers le Golfe du Mexique pour le liquéfier (GPL) et pouvoir ainsi l’exporter par bateau méthanier.
Après avoir stagné autour de 6 millions de barils par jour (Mb/j) en moyenne de 1933 à 2013, la production a grimpé à 9,4 Mb/j en 2017, puis à 10,4 Mb/j en 2018, et elle passera à 11,5 Mb/j 2019.
La surabondance de gaz de schiste associé à l’extraction du pétrole de schiste a fait chuter les prix au terminal gazier à l’ouest du Texas jusqu’à 1 dollar par million d’unité thermique britannique (dollar/MM-Btu), alors qu’il vaut 13 à 14 dollars/MM-Btu sur le marché européen.
The Northern Territory holds enough natural gas to supply Australia for 200 years-plus and is comparable to the shale resources that have revolutionised the US energy sector, Resources and Northern Australia Minister Matt Canavan says.
Such abundant gas should enable Australia to reduce its current high energy prices, which were the fault of southern states preventing development, Senator Canavan told an NT Resources Week conference in Darwin.
India’s cabinet approved on Wednesday a policy to allow companies to explore and exploit unconventional oil and gas resources such as shale oil and gas and coalbed methane under the existing production sharing contracts, as it aims to reduce its dependency on energy imports.
There may be more than a quadrillion tons of diamond hidden in the Earth’s interior, according to a new study from MIT and other universities. But the new results are unlikely to set off a diamond rush. The scientists estimate the precious minerals are buried more than 100 miles below the surface, far deeper than any drilling expedition has ever reached.
The ultradeep cache may be scattered within cratonic roots — the oldest and most immovable sections of rock that lie beneath the center of most continental tectonic plates. Shaped like inverted mountains, cratons can stretch as deep as 200 miles through the Earth’s crust and into its mantle; geologists refer to their deepest sections as “roots.”
In the new study, scientists estimate that cratonic roots may contain 1 to 2 percent diamond. Considering the total volume of cratonic roots in the Earth, the team figures that about a quadrillion (1016) tons of diamond are scattered within these ancient rocks, 90 to 150 miles below the surface.
by A. Préat, 16 juillet 2018 in ScienceClimatEnergie
L ’hydrogène, un gaz peu abondant…
L’ hydrogène n’est présent qu’à concurrence de 1 ppm ( = une ‘partie par million’, soit 0,0001%) dans l’atmosphère : autant dire que c’est presque rien. D’où vient-il ? Peut-on en produire de grandes quantités à partir de ressources naturelles (géologie) ou artificielles (chimie) ? Autant de questions que de plus en plus d’industriels, de scientifiques, de politiques et de citoyens (?) se posent pour faire face à ce qu’il est convenu d’appeler la transition énergétique tant à l’ordre du jour, à raison ou à tort, là n’est pas l’objet de cet article. Comme nous le verrons par la suite, l’exploitation directe de l’hydrogène naturel n’est pas encore rentable et il faudra sans doute le produire à partir d’une autre source d’énergie, car il n’est pas lui-même une source d’énergie, mais au contraire un simple vecteur d’énergie.A l’heure actuelle il n’est donc pas exploité à une échelle suffisante en raison des contraintes géologiques et économiques, et il faut le synthétiser . C’est ce que réalise aujourd’hui l’industrie principalement en vue de la fabrication de l’ammoniac pour les engrais ou des plastiques.
Very few people realize that the entire concerns about peak oil were based on misinformation or junk science.
A decade ago, the media was filled with stories about peak oil, numerous books were published on the subject (such as Half Gone and $20 a Gallon!), and even the Simpsons mentioned it in an episode about doomsday preppers. Now, the topic is largely forgotten and the flavor of the month is peak oil demand. Anyone concerned about the quality of research that works its way into the public debate should be curious about how so many were so wrong for so long. (Buy my book for the full story.)
First and foremost, realize that in the 1970s, numerous analysts and institutions made similar arguments, arguing that geological scarcity was responsible for higher prices not the two disruptions of production in 1973 and 1979. Indeed, in the months before oil prices collapsed in 1986, the consensus was that prices were too low and had to rise to make upstream investment profitable, despite the fact that OPEC production was collapsing (down from 30 mb/d in 1980 to 15 in 1985). You would think that this would make people more skeptical about claims that geological scarcity was responsible when the shutdown of Venezuelan production and the second Gulf War cut off Iraqi supplies sent prices higher starting in 2003.
La géologie, une science plus que passionnante … et diverse