Any article that does not discuss the supply of something without discussing its price is nonsense. The higher the price offered, the greater the supply.
The question is this: How high must the price go in order to increase the supply. . . and how long?
Here is an article that skipped the question of price and cost.
When you look at the whole picture, it turns out that there are vast supplies of oil in the U.S., according to various government reports. Among them:
At least 86 billion barrels of oil in the Outer Continental Shelf yet to be discovered, according to the government’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.
About 24 billion barrels in shale deposits in the lower 48 states, according to EIA.
Up to 2 billion barrels of oil in shale deposits in Alaska’s North Slope, says the U.S. Geological Survey.
Up to 12 billion barrels in ANWR, according to the USGS.
As much as 19 billion barrels in the Utah tar sands, according to the Bureau of Land Management.
Add up these figures. You get 143 billion barrels. Of this, 86 billion are somewhere, under the rainbow, way down low.
The world consumes a billion barrels of oil every two weeks (74 million bbl/d). So, these reserves would add a grand total of 286 weeks (2 weeks x 143), or 5.5 years, assuming that demand does not rise, which it will, with China and India buying more oil.
There is even better news, we are told.
Then, there’s the massive Green River Formation in Wyoming, which according to the USGS contains a stunning 1.4 trillion barrels of oil shale — a type of oil released from sedimentary rock after it’s heated.
Heated. I see. With what? At what cost?
It also takes huge amounts of water to get oil out of shale. Where will the oil companies get water in Wyoming and Colorado? At what price?
Here is an article on this:
Billions of Barrels of Oil locked Up in Rocks, by Guy Elliott Mitchell, Of the United States Geological Survey, with 10 Illustrations
Source: National Geographic (1918). That’s right: 1918.
When someone tells you “there’s black gold in them thar hills,” but he seems unaware that this has been well known for a century, you are dealing with someone who is out of the loop.
If it were profitable to obtain all this oil at market prices, someone would have gotten it a long time ago. It’s in reserve in rocks because it is very expensive to get it out of the rocks and into a refinery .
Whenever anyone assures you that America has plenty of oil, always ask yourself this: “At what price?” When it comes to oil reserves, the correct answer is “a lot higher.”