06 September 2006

Big Oil Find?

Three oil companies announced today that they had discovered an oil reserve in the "ultra-deep water" in the Gulf of Mexico. This is the most significant oil find in the United States in 20 years. It will take another year to prove that these 3 to 15 billion barrels can be usefully brought up, and at least 5 before they would start hitting the market.

3 to 15 billion barrels. Does that sound like a lot? The United States currently uses more than 7 billion barrels of oil a year. So, no, it's not very much at all, but the share prices of the companies -- Chevron, Devon Energy and Statoil ASA -- all rose on the news.

Two more years of U.S.-controlled oil is not a bad thing, but this is the kind of news that allows people to kid themselves that peak oil isn't a major concern. We'll keep finding new fields, see?


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