Home Not Cheap, Not Easy: Getting the Last Oil Out

Not Cheap, Not Easy: Getting the Last Oil Out

user profile picture Chris Martenson Apr 23, 2010
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Last September (2009), a spectacular oil find was trumpeted all over the news.  It was deep and it was audacious, but the technological prowess on display gave some people the ammunition they needed to continue to deny the reality of Peak Oil.  At the time, I received more than a few emails from individuals who used this find as proof that Peak Oil, even if it was real, was still far in the future.  Faith in technology was given a huge boost by this nature of this find.

I countered with my usual mantra of TIME, SCALE, & COST, arguing that there’s a gigantic gap between a brilliant technical demonstration and full-scale production.  I was quite skeptical of this particular find, because it was 35,000 feet under the surface, a full mile deeper than Mount Everest is tall.  I’ve used this specific example in every talk I’ve given since.

To jog your memory, here’s the original news article:

BP Finds Giant Oil Field Deep in Gulf of Mexico

Sept. 2, 2009

HOUSTON — BP announced on Wednesday the discovery of what it characterized as a giant oil field several miles under the Gulf of Mexico, but it may take years to assess how much crude can actually be recovered.


[T]he discovery was another indication that the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico are probably the most promising area in United States-controlled territory to bolster domestic oil production.

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Top Comment

This is a very well-written piece on the Deepwater Horizon loss:
Deepwater Horizon – Triumph and Tragedy
The more you read about the tragedy that is...
Anonymous Author by cmartenson