Friday, October 12, 2007

How global warming will save us from peak oil

From's inimitable How the World Works blog:

The best reason yet not to be worried about global warming: A more pleasant climate in the Arctic will make it easier for oil and gas companies to extract resources in the formerly harsh north.

That is the most delightful nugget to be mined from a front-page article in Tuesday's New York Times by Jad Mouawad, "A Quest for Energy in the Globe's Remote Places." Here is a reporter for whom the glass is always half full, of fossil fuel.

Indeed, the world's fast-rising use of fossil fuels, by contributing to global warming, could eventually make the Arctic more accessible for oil and gas production.

That's the kind of insight that will have you whistling a happy tune all day long. But it's not the only factoid of interest in Mouawad's account of the mighty engineering obstacles that must be overcome as oil companies search for fossil fuels in remote areas.

"There are no easy barrels left," said J. Robinson West, chairman of PFC Energy, an industry consulting firm in Washington. "The only barrels are going to be the tough barrels."

Some context: In March, Mouawad sent a frisson of outrage through what, for better or worse, we can call the "peak oil community" when, in an article detailing how new technological advances would enable oil companies to extract more oil from fields previously deemed exhausted, he unloaded the following broadside....MORE