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Saturday, January 19, 2019

Happy Birthday Big Oil

Posted by Admin on Thursday, August 27th, 2009

Today to the day a hundred fifty years ago Colonel Edwin Laurentine Drake (Edwin Draka) finished drilling the first commercial oil well. Actually oil was found the next day only, when Drake’s driller, Billy Smith, looked into the hole in preparation for another day’s work and was surprised to see crude oil rising up .

Although Drake found the oil, the wealth wouldn’t follow for him due to some bad moves in establishing a business and he ended up empoverished. However, some have made some better profits over the past fifteen decades with pumping and trading and so we have managed to liberate a good portion of the confined carbon, sulfurs and nitrogen into our environment in the form of gases from fuels for transportation (70%), as industrial products such as lubricants and plastics (24%), as wastes and spills and burning oil wells (sorry, nobody evaluated this bit statistically) , and we have sealed the roads with tar and our skins with petroleum jelly (5%).

By the way, the first city to have its streets paved with tar was Baghdad in the 8th century AD…(no I won’t comment something distasteful here).

The consumption of oil has increased quite a bit since the first anniversary: Drake’s well produced 25 barrels (4 m3) a day – approximately the per capita per year consumption of today’s America (means: just 365 Americans could have lived then the same way they live today). Nowadays the oil output has reached roughly 71 Mio barrels per day (it was peaking at 74,8 million barrels/day in July 2008). That is 25915000000 barrels per year, or 4120485000000 litres per year. That makes for everyone on this planet (babys included) 608 litres or 3.82 barrels of crude oil per year! Hurrey!

In 2006 the Indians have been estimated to have a 0.8 barrels per capita per year consumption. But with a growth rate of the passenger vehicles segment of over 12 % between april 2007 and march 2008 (and this rate for sure will increase with increasing buying power of the middle class), the consumption in India (and of course in many other emerging markets like China, Brazil, Russia, Eastern Europe, African Countries and other fast developing countries in Asia like Cambodia and Vietnam…) will definitely call for much larger production quantities.

BUT: Ever heard about Peak Oil?

All the easy oil and gas in the world has pretty much been found. Now comes the harder work in finding and producing oil from more challenging environments and work areas.
— William J. Cummings, Exxon-Mobil company spokesman, December 2005

Well never believe anything: neither believe there won’t be oil in short, nor believe the press reports about new huge discoveries. As they say in Texas: “money talks – bullshit walks”. Even mixing petrol with bio ethanol and diesel with bio diesel won’t make a good solution to the problem (well, yes maybe it will for the birthday child, but certainly not for the rest of the party) as it just speeds up the destruction of our environment.

Hold on – I wanted to stay positive in this article – so here we go: Let’s use water for the purpose! It won’t go waste – just put it in the tank, convert it into hydrogen on board and have it collected at the tail pipe in it’s original form. Unbelievable? In the mid 1930s Charles Garret has shown this principle to work with a simple electrolytic carburettor. Then there was Daniel Dingel who claims to have it working (but still waits for a customer to buy it at the desired price) and then not to forgett the legendary Stanley Meyer, who accidentially died from a bad stomach in a restaurant’s parking lot.

The Japanese venture Genepax recently came out with a similar solution for a water powered car.

It may be up to the consumers now to express their wish to buy this simple and ecofriendly technology. No more delays please, no more complex and expensive fuel cells with decentralised hydrogen production for further energy domination, no more excuses and no more deception. We just want to drive a clean vehicle and don’t even bother whether it is driven by airpressure as announced by TATA for late 2008 (hey, what happened..?) or by water or by the shit of female cows… Just not the male stuff anymore please!

Maybe a 150 Years is a good age to retire…