Wednesday, September 28, 2005

BIG RIGS IN BIG TROUBLE

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By Elaine Meinel Supkis

Right smack in the middle of Hurricane Rita, the mass media and the Bush machine and everyone connected with all the conspiracies and horrors that have overwhelmed America this last five years went into high gear, lying. Unlike Katrina that caught them with their panties around their ankles, this time they had all their levees and defenses up and ready to go. "No damage, no casualties!" they all crowed in a loud chorus even as Rita's bulldozer was flattening huge swaths of buildings and facilities and killing people.

I said during the hurricane, they are lying. And those bastards did lie and why does anyone go to them for information?

I got censored by NOAA over some of my hurricane postings, you know. Big Brother is a big bother! They don't want you to know squat diddly, especially how drought/hurricanes interact and why they are twin indicators of global warming!

So...here is the news, we already know that Houston was spared terrible annihilation by the quirk of the hurricane going to the east but all the talk on TV and radio about how it spared the oil fields was pure lies. I saw myself how they showed Houston's far fewer wells untouched and shouted, "See, no damage!" but there are ten times more wells and rigs where the eye of the hurricane actually passed and guess what?

From the Financial Times
Hurricane Rita has caused more damage to oil rigs than any other storm in history and will force companies to delay drilling for oil in the US and as far away as the Middle East, initial damage assessments show.

Oil prices eased on Wednesday over concerns that demand for crude would be hit by the continued shutdown of refineries. US crude fell 27 cents to $64.80 a barrel by 06:444 GMT after losing 75 cents on Tuesday.

ODS-Petrodata, which provides market intelligence to the offshore oil and natural gas industry, said it expected a shortage of rigs in the US Gulf this year.

“Based on what we have right now, it appears that drilling contractors and rig owners took a big hit from Rita,” said Tom Marsh of ODS-Petrodata. “The path Katrina took was through the mature areas of the US Gulf where there are mainly oil [production] platforms. Rita came to the west where there is a lot of [exploratory] rig activity.”

Ken Sill of Credit Suisse First Boston said: “Early reports indicate numerous rigs are missing, destroyed or have suffered serious damage and several companies have yet to report. Rita may set an all-time record.”

The US Coast Guard said nine semisubmersible rigs had broken free from their moorings and were adrift."
This is from the European news! It wasn't headlines in America. Robin, one of our readers, emailed this story to me. Thanks a great deal! I really appreciate it.
Earlier in the day, Ali Naimi, Saudi Arabia's oil minister, said the market had not taken up the 2m barrels a day of spare capacity the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries offered last week. Speaking in Johannesburg, he blamed high oil prices on a lack of industry infrastructure, including rigs and refineries, rather than oil reserves. Rigs, which are movable and are used for exploration and development, were in short supply before hurricanes Katrina and Rita blew through the US Gulf in late August and September.

High oil prices and the desperate search for new oil supplies needed to meet rampant demand from the US and China have made rigs difficult to find and expensive to hire. Rigs cost $90m-$550m to construct, depending on how sophisticated the structure and how deep the water in which it will drill. A rig ordered today is unlikely to be ready before 2008 or 2009, analysts said.
Of course, with oit prices soaring, everyone is treasure hunting. Of course, this is merely one more very strong indicator of being at the Hubbert Oil Peak. A peak is when everyone is pumping oil like mad, the existing wells go down much faster than in cheap oil times because everyone ones to make as much money as fast as possible and so, instead of hanging steady and conserving and being careful, a free for all ensues as everyone tries to get or use as much as possible as fast as possible.

This is why car mileage is so terrible now. Fifteen years ago, the cheapest cars were also very efficient. 50mpg! Now the cheapest cars are all gas guzzlers, even the small ones don't get the milage small cars got fifteen years ago. Expensive cars get the same milage my cheap-o Geo Metros got but whoopee doo. They cost an extra $12,000! So lower income people have to buy the gas guzzlers so they get hit coming and going.

Around 50 rigs now have disappeared or are so damaged they are useless. The backlog for rigs is enormous so few will be restored for years. Indeed, some had their blow out pipes destroyed so they are leaking oil or gas. The pollution from all this is ferocious. Sea life won't recover for at least three generations.

Unlike tankers that sink, oil wells leaking can do this for years and years unless capped and capping them is done only be a small cadre of very hard working, brave professionals. It is a dangerous trade just like building sky scrapers is very dangerous or tunnelling and coal mining. Ergo, it won't be finished for several years. And this is only if there are no more huge hurricanes which flies in the face of predictions of many more such in the next ten years, minimum.

Bush and his cadre have asked us to conserve fuel but has put forwards exactly nothing to deal with this. How will we conserve? Evidently, it is by being priced out of the market and a whole bunch of Americans will soon find themselves locked out of the energy market due to lack of income.

This is a fancy way of saying they will freeze or burn or starve to death in the coming years.

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