Thursday, June 2, 2011

"Oil Money Just Makes Life Easier" Understatement of the Year

The New York Times reports that about in the next 12 months, over a dozen companies plan to drill up to 3,000 wells in about 20 new onshore oil fields between Carrizo Springs and Catarina in South Texas. Advocates/ men with billions of dollars say the drilling could "increase the nation’s oil output by 25 percent within a decade." There is only one catch.

The oil from the Eagle Ford and similar fields of tightly packed rock can be extracted only by using hydraulic fracturing, a method that uses a high-pressure mix of water, sand and hazardous chemicals to blast through the rocks to release the oil inside. The technique, also called fracking, has been widely used in the last decade to unlock vast new fields of natural gas, but drillers only recently figured out how to release large quantities of oil, which flows less easily through rock than gas. As evidence mounts that fracking poses risks to water supplies, the federal government and regulators in various states are considering tighter regulations on it.

No problem, it's not like we need fresh, clean water, and Texas has plenty of it anyway. Besides, who cares about the environment when it comes to financial gain?

The oil industry says any environmental concerns are far outweighed by the economic benefits of pumping previously inaccessible oil from fields that could collectively hold two or three times as much oil as Prudhoe Bay, the Alaskan field that was the last great onshore discovery.

Of course the oil industry says the economic benefits outweigh the environmental concerns. UH-DOI. That would be their economic benefits that they speak of.

There is a lot of budding excitement from the people who hope the oil fields will bring prosperity for their families and their town, and those who are ready to exploit the hopeful.

“That’s oil money,” said Bert Bell, a truck company manager, pointing to the new pickup truck he bought for his wife after making $525,000 leasing mineral rights around his family’s mobile home. “Oil money just makes life easier."

EOG Resources began quietly buying the rights to thousands of acres in the Bakken and Eagle Ford field and Chesapeake and a few other independents quickly followed. Now the biggest multinational oil companies, as well as Chinese and Norwegian firms, are investing billions of dollars in the fields.

Just in time, it was getting pricey to fill up my Texas Edition Silverado:


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