Lv 4
Abox5 asked in EnvironmentConservation · 1 decade ago

BP Makes "Giant" Oil Find in Gulf of Mexico?


Doesn't this sound like great news, it could help us achieve energy independence and keep the price of oil down? Possibly 3 billion barrels of oil in one spot.

5 Answers

  • John W
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    This is all related to subsalt formations. The Gulf of mexico has huge sheets of salt. Traditionally, we've never been able to "see" through salt because salt behaves a little like a liquid so sound waves get distorted when going through salt. In the past, we just assumed that nothing was down there because we couldn't see anything but one day, they decided to just drill anyways and they hit oil. Now we realize that just because we don't see it doesn't mean it isn't there.

    Efforts are being made with more and more computers, with sound and receiver sources that are very far apart to try and see under the sheets from the sides (we're talking about trying to look under the salt sheets in the Gulf of Mexico from the coast of Africa) and just about anything we can think of to look through the salt (generally we call it reverse time migration which basically means more thorough than we've done so far).

    Meanwhile, the estimates of the oil reserves that's under the sheets vary incredibly. It is possible for huge oil reserves to be found under the sheets but it's also likely that the estimates are artificially inflated in order to attract investment.

    Such sheets exist in a lot of coastal areas such as the "find" off the coast of Rio de Janeiro and the "find" off the east coast of Canada, both of which have been estimated to be larger than the oil fields of the middle east. All we really know is that there is oil that we hadn't found before.

  • 1 decade ago

    It is good news, but the find is not sufficient to achieve energy independence and here is why:

    1) It is uncertain if current technology has the capability to reach the depth of the find;

    2) Current crude oil prices are too low to offset the cost to develop the field;

    3) It is estimated that the field will yield 300,000 barrels a day, which is only about 1.5% of the United States' daily consumption. At a 300,000 barrel a day production rate the field will at best have a 27-year life expectancy, which is not very long;

    4) It may take upwards to 10-years before the field is in production.

    Is great news? Absolutely hydrocarbon based energy will be around for many more years to come, even with the shift to alternative energy sources.

    However, in a mean time we must aggressively pursue the reduction of energy consumption regardless of whether that energy source is hydrocarbon based or not.

  • 1 decade ago

    I think it's horrible news. It will just prolong our broken way of life, as well as contribute to further global warming. If we did something with the energy aside from stuff our collective craws with fatty foods in our gas-slurping SUV's on our fifth trip to Wal-Mart for oversized bags of Cheez-Doodles and (ironically) Diet Soda, I might be happy.

    If we use this energy the right way, it could buy us JUST ENOUGH TIME to build the clean-energy infrastructure we need for the not-so-distant future. Unfortunately, all I see is more suburban housing developments, plastic happy meal toys, and fingers covered with greasy cheese dust.

    Source(s): American "Culture"
  • 1 decade ago

    It is not HOW MUCH there is, but how much IT COSTS, and HOW MUCH production is available.

    I read the story, and it points out that the costs are higher making it more expensive, and ALSO that it is NOT capable of any great production at this time.

    You need to learn to read MORE than just the headline!!

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  • 1 decade ago

    its a lot of oil......about one years worth for the US

    so energy independence? sorry, no, not till we build nuclear reactors to power all those electric cars!

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