Tuesday, June 03, 2008

The next place to be...

Look at the advantages:
And now, just in time to mess with all these economic and demographic trends, it appears there is a fair bit of oil under those semi-arid plains.
His new wealth springs from the Bakken formation, a sprawling deposit of high-quality crude beneath the durum wheat fields of North Dakota, Montana and southern Saskatchewan and Manitoba. The Bakken may give the U.S. -- the world's biggest importer of oil -- a new domestic energy source at a time when demand from China and India is ratcheting up the global competition for supplies and propelling average U.S. gasoline prices to almost $4 a gallon.

And unlike the tar from Canada's oil sands, Bakken crude needs little refining. Swirl some of it in a Mason jar and it leaves a thin, honey-colored film along the sides. It's light - -almost like gasoline -- and sweet, meaning it's low in sulfur.

Best of all, the Bakken could be huge. The U.S. Geological Survey's Leigh Price, a Denver geochemist who died of a heart attack in 2000, estimated that the Bakken might hold a whopping 413 billion barrels. If so, it would dwarf Saudi Arabia's Ghawar, the world's biggest field, which has produced about 55 billion barrels. [More]
Even if this estimate is optimistic, it looks to me like a far better bet than ANWAR. Now reduced to a flag-pin political litmus test, drilling in the Arctic strikes me as enormously more problematic than turning North Dakota into the next Texas.

While energy development will not re-establish hundreds of small towns and rural social structures, developing resources in places like ND seems to meet every criteria used to measure a solution to our spiraling energy costs.

Would it change the culture of ND? I would think so, but I'm not too sure that hasn't already been irreversible shifted from its old trajectory by population mobility and fertility changes, farm policy, ag technology, and warmer climate (for whatever reason).

Perhaps ND is on it's way to being renamed "New Dakota".

1 comment:

Ol James said...

hmm... Be it the Frozen Tundra(Alaska), Wheat Fields (North and South Dakota), Ski Lodges ( Colorado), offshore or on, sink a well. I believe we should be independent, or as close to it as possible from "Fur-N Oil".
Technology in the gathering of Oil and Gas has evolved at least a hundred fold from 20 years ago. Drilling Rigs and Drillers are more sensitive of the environment and wildlife.. Just as technology has improved Farming so has it the Oil and Gas Industry. Like the Coal Industry they are leaving less of a footprint than before. Some good and long reading is in the BLM's archives and testimony given before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and their subCommittees.
If drilling an oil well in my backyard would help US, then by all means, sink a well.