Originally posted by unityemissions
DOes anyone have a reliable source that can verify how much oil is beneath the Deep Horizon wellhead? I don't know much abou oil drilling. One poster
on another site commented that 400 billion barrels are thought to be in the gulf coast. Is this correct?! If so, could all of this potentially leak
out if efforts to cap this sucker fail?! If not, what perentage is in this general area which could be spilled? I'm just trying to get an estimate
for how huge of a scale this disaster is, and can become. Thanks.
This article should clear everything up for you:
BP has reopened the debate on when the "peak oil" supply will be reached by announcing a big new discovery in the Gulf of Mexico which some
believe could be as large as the Forties, the biggest field ever found in the North Sea.
The strike comes days after Iran unveiled an even larger find of 8.8bn barrels of crude oil, and the moves have encouraged sceptics of theories which
say that peak production has been reached, or soon will be, to hail a new golden age of exploration and supply.
BP, already the largest producer of hydrocarbons in the US, said its "giant" Tiber discovery in 4,100ft (1,250m) of water was particularly exciting
because it promised to open up a whole new area.
Shares in BP were up 4% to 539p in afternoon trading, making it the biggest riser in the FTSE 100 despite the company saying much more drilling
appraisal work was needed before Tiber's commerciality could be guaranteed.
"Tiber represents BP's second material discovery in the emerging lower tertiary play in the Gulf of Mexico, following our earlier Kaskida
discovery," said Andy Inglis, chief executive of exploration and production. "These material discoveries, together with our industry-leading acreage
position, support the continuing growth of our deepwater Gulf of Mexico business into the second half of the next decade."
Analysts agreed that the find appeared to be very significant. "Any time an oil major uses the word 'giant' you have to sit up and take note.
Kaskida confirmed the western limits of the lower tertiary play and this extends the limits even further," said Matt Snyder, a Gulf of Mexico
specialist at oil consultancy Wood Mackenzie.
Fadel Gheit, an equity analyst who follows the oil sector for the Oppenheimer brokerage in New York, said the discovery was a "big feather in BP's
cap and reaffirms their leading position in the deep water Gulf of Mexico".
BP itself believes that Tiber is bigger than the prospect on the nearby Kaskida field found in 2006, which has around 3bn barrels of oil reserves in
place, while industry experts said Tiber might be as large as Forties, which has 4bn barrels.
Excitement around Tiber comes amid a welter of new finds both in established oil producing areas such as Iran and in new areas such as Uganda and
western Greenland. There has recently been an oil rush in the deep waters off Brazil and talk of large onshore volumes of new gas in Holland, although
the UK's North Sea fields have seen a slump in drilling levels.
"Its an amazing turnaround from the gloom of the last 10 years. All these finds will take a long time to bring on stream, but it shows the industry
is capable of finding more oil than it uses and shows we have not come to any peak," said Peter Odell, professor emeritus of international energy
studies at Erasmus University in Rotterdam.
However, exponents of peak oil theories said the BP find would not fundamentally change the longer-term supply-and-demand picture. "The International
Energy Agency said in its 2008 report that the world needed to find six new Saudi Arabias to meet the growing demand for oil in the future," said
Jeremy Leggett, chairman of the renewable power company Solarcentury, and a key peak energy specialist.
"This [BP] find is welcome but its not going to take concerns away at a time when existing fields are depleting faster than expected and the new
discoveries have a very long lead time."
Leggett pointed out that it would take many years for BP to bring any Tiber fields onstream, pointing out that the huge Kashagan find in the Caspian
Sea, in which BP has sold its stake, was meant to produce its first oil in 2005 but is now targeting 2013 as a start-up date.
The oil company will be helped at Tiber by the light nature and high quality of the oil in a development that will cost billions of pounds.
The two discoveries, which are about 40 miles apart, make it much easier for BP, which owns 62% of the discovery alongside Petrobras of Brazil and
ConocoPhillips of America, to justify building a platform and pipeline to shore. The companies will need to tackle very deep water – the well is one
of the deepest ever drilled.
The oil has been found in lower tertiary soils which were created more than 30m years ago. Their commercial prospects will depend on what portion of
the reserves at Tiber can be recovered: in the case of Forties it has risen to well over 70%, but can be as low as 30% in other parts of the
My heart is truly sinking....this is shaping up to be one of the biggest ecological disasters in history
I pray for our Planet.