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Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Siberia Good Alaska Bad

Where are all the greenies, econuts, tree huggers, wind farmers, sandal wearers, body painters, mung bean munchers, peak oilers, meditators and other assrted tatbags when they are needed? The world is going to crash around us and it's got nothing to do with global warming.

While all the worlds's forces for environmental insanity have been focused on protesting against and preventing the Americans from drilling the vast reserves of oil and gas known to lurke beneath the permafrost of Alaska, the naughty old Russians have just got on with it and drilled Siberia and other such climatically benign regions. As a result, the Ivanovs have oil gushing out of their ears in such a flood that they are about to sign up energy deals with Western European countries which will turn these bastions of 'greenism' into vassal states of the modern day KGB.
"One-and-a-half, two years ago we couldn't imagine our production would be so high.

"We achieved these results because of our alliance with foreign contractors.

"Their specialists teach our specialists while we show them how to work in extreme conditions with temperatures below minus 50."
What is hilarious about this is that not only have the Russians stuck an enormous balalaika fair up the jacksies of the peak oilers but they have taught the yanks how to extract oil from the ground in conditions of extreme frijidity. Let's face it, it's pretty hard to find an oil well operating at minus 50 in Texas, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela or Iraq.

Better still, the story gives the lie to the nonsense and bullshit put about by the same Amerrikka hating nitwits that the invasion of Iraq was all about oil.

Now what was that Genetix was babbling about the other day?
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Posted by Adolf Fiinkensein | 10/05/2005 11:10:00 am

19 Comments:

Anonymous Skyman said...

Have you not heard of Prudhoe Bay, Alaska?

10/05/2005 01:25:00 pm  
Blogger Tane said...

Geez, who stole the jam from your doughnut? You're in a happy mood today.

For someone who posts fairly frequently on Peak Oil you haven't really delved into the topic much. Yep, the article is correct, the Russians are expanding production. Yep, those gains on what they were a decade ago are very impressive. What the article touches on, and you neglect to mention, is that FSU oil peaked back in the 80s; at one stage the Soviets produced more than 11 million barrels a day. It's one of the prime reasons the Soviet Union collapsed, as it's main export earner fell away (Saudi competition helped too, by undercutting the price), and they couldn't prop up their decrepit economy. The Russians (and Kazakhs etc) will raise oil production, but it is not predicted to exceed what it was in the 80s (Peak oilers estimate it'll rise to about 9.5 million barrels a day). Rather than a neat little production curve, the FSU will look like a flattened M, with two seperate peaks. The Russians are pumping their way into their second peak.

You'll also note that most of this is not coming from new discoveries, but from fields that were found in the Soviet era. Very poor production practices (as you'd expect from communists :P) mean that the fields have large pockets of oil remaining in them, which were bypassed by water. These can be drilled for and extracted. But they are not new oil, merely oil found in the 30s and 40s which was not extracted.

If you are remotely interested in another side of the arguement, go to the Association of Peak Oil and Gas and look up their country profile on Russia;
http://www.peakoil.ie/downloads/newsletters/newsletter31_200307.pdf

As for the environmental impacts, of course it's just as bad in Siberia as it is in Alaska. But unlike the US, Russia doesn't have a very strong environmental movement to make an issue of it. So yes, I'm sure that the capitalist Russians, just like the communist Russians, are fucking the environment in Siberia. Yes it's a tragedy. Is anyone making a song and dance about it? Yes, but only on a local scale, and here in the west we're more interested in David Beckham's haircut.

And saying Iraq is not about oil is like saying capitalism is not about profit and communism is not about state control. But that's a whole seperate arguement, we can address that later.

So this greeny, econut, tree hugging, wind farmer, sandal wearing, body painted, peak oiler, meditating 'tatbag' (I don't do mung beans) reckons you're wrong. By a country mile.

Cheers. I hope your disposition improves.

10/05/2005 01:42:00 pm  
Blogger Adolf Fiinkensein said...

My disposition will improve greatly when I see 'brief' comments on my blog. You'll run out of ink before the world runs out of oil. The real point, which you seemed to ignore, is that I cannot recall hearing any of your rent a banner friends protesting about Russians drilling in the tundra but the outcry of late from the same gangs of yobbos about American plans to do just the same was deafening.

10/05/2005 02:23:00 pm  
Blogger Tane said...

You got me, brevity is not my strong point. I lack the ability to reduce complex arguments into small soundbites. When you defend the status quo ('We have lots of oil') you can use soundbites. When you don't, you need a bit more time and space. My apologies, but I'm too old to change now.

My rent-a-banner friends protest against the Americans because that country is a real democracy; there is a chance to make a difference. It has an environmental movement that's big enough to make the headlines; I guess some Russians are protesting, but we don't hear about it. Putin and co are not what I'd call hardline democrats, would you? And people in Russia have more pressing short-term problems than environmental destruction.

My previous post was long because I was trying to find that enormous balalaika the Russians had stuck up my jacksie. I looked and looked, but it wasn't there.

10/05/2005 02:51:00 pm  
Blogger darren said...

Nice one Tane. Good reasoning.
And I guess Putin would get his minders to give any protesters a decent shot with a syringe, or worse.
The irony is, of course, here are the Russkies exploiting the environment for all it is worth -and I sincerely hope they don't spoil it.
Yet, under Kyoto, New Zealand will have to pay money to them.

10/05/2005 03:38:00 pm  
Blogger Tane said...

Yep, it's a crap situation all right. I guess they can screw up their own environment, or rather, they will and there's sod all we can do about it. The Chinese are even worse, it's one of the main reasons they're able to make things so much cheaper than anyone else.

Those chickens will come home to roost for the Russkies, the Chinese and everyone else. I only hope we don't have the same toxic environment they've got and have the ability to defend what we have (and I'm aware of the Green Party stance on defence. Give us some time to make our defence policy as realistic as our energy and transport ones).

10/05/2005 05:04:00 pm  
Blogger ZenTiger said...

I think the Greens having a "realistic" defence policy is less likely than the right responding (eventually) to high oil prices.

The Greens anti-war, anti-defence is an ideological stance, one that even a war would doubtfully change. The right's is more a "I don't see a problem just yet, and I'll sort it when I'm convinced."

But back to the issue at hand. Your points are all good Tane. It's just the degree of emphasis I differ on perhaps. It irks me that NZ thinks it is being responsible paying billions of Kyoto tax money whilst Russia will get away with environmental destruction and be earning credits. It irks me that it is Russia, and that because Americans have a democratic right to protest against oil wells in Alaska, it only makes it easier for the Russians. It irks me that NZ could be spending our tax dollars on actually making a difference in NZ, and that the people who think the answer to progressing environmental protection is paying more tax are calling the shots.

Still, I enjoy your comments. I don't mind the length (but I only speak for myself). I also enjoy Peter Quixote's comments, and I seem to be in a minority....

10/05/2005 05:36:00 pm  
Blogger ZenTiger said...

Oh, and you said: "they can screw up their own environment, or rather, they will and there's sod all we can do about it."

We can start by resigning from Kyoto. That is not sod all.

10/05/2005 05:38:00 pm  
Blogger Tane said...

ZenTiger

"Still, I enjoy your comments...... I also enjoy Peter Quixote's comments,"

Maybe you have a masochistic streak in your nature....?

Kyoto is a real bitch. For starters it's not going to do anywhere near enough to halt climate change; at best it's a first step. The problem is that we can't get all of humanity to cut back, it's politically impossible. So Kyoto relies on rich countries taking the lead and getting some momemtum going. If this means we pay while the Chinese pollute, well that's the price. It sucks, but there is no other way to get started. Besides which the Third World has a good point to make. We got rich in the first place by burning shitloads of fossil fuels and cutting down our forests. To expect them to forgo decent living standards and a life expectancy past 40 is a bit much to ask.

Personally I think humanity is stuffed anyway, or rather, our current living arrangement and population is. We won't become extinct, we're too widespread and flexible for that. But as there is no will to avert the coming disaster, at any level, we will plunge over the cliff and undergo a massive collapse. Collapse doesn't always imply 'Mad Max' futures, but it does mean a rapid and far-reaching simplification of our living arrangements, as well as a substantial reduction in population. Kyoto will become a moot point, if it hasn't already.

As for a realistic Green defence policy, this will be a hard thing to push. But I like a challenge. We consider ourselves to be quite realistic on a number of subjects (please restrain the howls of laughter...), the task is to add this to the list along with transport, energy and the environment.

10/06/2005 09:29:00 am  
Blogger tincanman said...

Well Tane, that is working from the assumption that climate change is actually happening. If you're as avid a reader of Sir Humphreys as you seem you' d have noticed a slew of articles pointing fingers at cyclical weather patterns and even at a time when melting the polar ice caps seemed like the solution to avert a coming ice age.

At the moment, all Kyoto seems to be, is an advanced auction of stolen goods. Nothing has been proved beyond doubt, all that is out there is speculation on something that is so far beyond our comprehension and (possibly) even beyond realistic computer modelling.

Because surely, if we understood the weather and the climate, we would be able to predict it with a modicum of accuracy?

10/06/2005 11:31:00 am  
Blogger Tane said...

"...if we understood the weather and the climate, we would be able to predict it with a modicum of accuracy?"

We can, and have done since at least 1944. The decision to launch the D-Day invasion was made on the advice of a meteorologist....... He was right too (which was fortunate for the assault troops).

I've seen the articles here on Sir Humphreys, but I'm afraid I'm not convinced. I can understand your scepticism, but you need to understand my viewpoint too.

Like I said, I think our way of living is poked. Make the most of it for now, but get ready for a lot less complexity in your life.

10/06/2005 12:40:00 pm  
Blogger waymad said...

Now if the Americans who are being taught "how to operate at -50 temps" by the Rooshians, can bring to bear the same fine sense of fair treatment of IP as do, say, the Chinese, what are the odds of those Alberta tar sands ramping up production sometime soon? Pretty good, I'd say (read the Economist article of June28, 2003 for the story). And, assorted Peak Oil doomers, read one Friend of the Earth - Amory Lovins (OilEndGane.com) - for the technological way forward. Warning for tiny minds: the study was part funded by the Pentagon! A working example of a super-light vehicle to make your eyes water: the Ariel Atom. Who said that we can't have it (speed, power, frugality) all?

10/06/2005 12:43:00 pm  
Blogger Chefen said...

Tane,
The D-Day meteorologist was forecasting how far ahead and what conditions? He definitely could not forecast a definite change in average temperature. I can forecast pretty well on that scale as well without even looking at weather maps. The next two months will be cold with good chance of snow, invasions are best left until June. I can also tell you what the general conditions will be this time next year, yet the forecast for two weeks from now is almost guarateed to be wrong. Or for that matter, when is the next "little ice age" due? There are long term cycles (eg decadal, centennial and longer) that are extremely poorly known that have an enormous bearing on the climate without scientists outright making up results.

10/06/2005 06:28:00 pm  
Blogger Tane said...

Just to confirm for you Chefen, my comment was tongue-in-cheek, and in answer to tincanman's question "...if we understood the weather and the climate, we would be able to predict it with a modicum of accuracy?" I thought he might appreciate the historical angle on meterology.

You're right, climate change is a bitch to predict accurately, but scientific consensus is pretty much one way. It's happening, and it's going to be bad.

And even if the scientists were still disagreeing, I would have thought that a basic business principle like risk management would demand we take some action. If the potential impact is severe, we should do something to mitigate or eliminate it, even if the probablity is low. If the business world does it for things like factory fires or server breakdowns, might we not do the same for our entire planet.....?

10/07/2005 08:49:00 am  
Blogger Tane said...

Just to confirm for you Chefen, my comment was tongue-in-cheek, and in answer to tincanman's question "...if we understood the weather and the climate, we would be able to predict it with a modicum of accuracy?" I thought he might appreciate the historical angle on meterology.

You're right, climate change is a bitch to predict accurately, but scientific consensus is pretty much one way. It's happening, and it's going to be bad.

And even if the scientists were still disagreeing, I would have thought that a basic business principle like risk management would demand we take some action. If the potential impact is severe, we should do something to mitigate or eliminate it, even if the probablity is low. If the business world does it for things like factory fires or server breakdowns, might we not do the same for our entire planet.....?

10/07/2005 08:49:00 am  
Blogger Tane said...

Just to confirm for you Chefen, my comment was tongue-in-cheek, and in answer to tincanman's question "...if we understood the weather and the climate, we would be able to predict it with a modicum of accuracy?" I thought he might appreciate the historical angle on meterology.

You're right, climate change is a bitch to predict accurately, but scientific consensus is pretty much one way. It's happening, and it's going to be bad.

And even if the scientists were still disagreeing, I would have thought that a basic business principle like risk management would demand we take some action. If the potential impact is severe, we should do something to mitigate or eliminate it, even if the probablity is low. If the business world does it for things like factory fires or server breakdowns, might we not do the same for our entire planet.....?

10/07/2005 08:49:00 am  
Blogger Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Tane, with respect, I suggest to you so called 'scientific opinion' is rapidly swinging the other way. I think a scientist would describe the rate of the swing as 'exponetial.' You've been had, old chap. You've fallen for the trap of following the 'weight of opinion' instead of real evidence. The last lot to make this mistake was fifty million Germans.

10/07/2005 09:44:00 am  
Blogger waymad said...

Chefen: risk management in business runs like this: you agree to insure, for a regular, certain amount of premium or preventative action, against well-understood as to effect, but unknown as to cost and timing, events.

The issue with Kyoto and climate change insurance, using these terms, is twofold.

Firstly, there is no demonstrable connection between the preventative action, and the risk outcome. All those trillions of Kyoto dollars will only influence temperatures by small fractions of 1 degree Celsius, if at all.

Secondly, third-party actors (think, India, China, another Krakatoa eruption) maintain such a significant influence over the risk outcomes, that your own action as one little country in trying to 'do something about it' is simply swamped.

In business terms, there is a zero correlation between premium cost, and the decreased likelihood of the insured-against event. So a real business would walk away from that set-up. And so should we.

The Australians, Indians, Japanese, Chinese and Americans (and, recent news, UK) have explicitly accepted this view, and have decided to do soemthing technological about it.

Our best bet, frankly, is to climb off the high horse of principle and into bed with the pragmatists over the ditch.

10/07/2005 10:01:00 am  
Blogger waymad said...

Oops! That's for Tane, not Chefen....OK, so I'm not a morning person ;-)

10/07/2005 10:04:00 am  

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