[FoRK] "The experiments ..."
andrew at ceruleansystems.com
Sun Sep 26 23:22:52 PDT 2004
On Sep 20, 2004, at 12:16 PM, Dave Long wrote:
> Good luck with it, then. Around here,
> there are plenty of alluvial oil seeps
> (it's difficult to go to the beach and
> not wind up with tar heels) but to get
> to any drilling one must go many miles
> south, where the rigs stretch out both
> out to sea and inland in a long linear
> pattern, presumably overlying a decent
> trap structure.
Mineral rights are hard to come by in such a gold rich region anyway.
I believe most of the operating oil wells in Nevada were discovered
accidentally while prospecting for gold i.e. drill a bore looking for
gold and getting a bunch of oil instead. I know that with the current
gold exploration models it happens more often than it used to, though
rarely in commercially interesting quantities. Several gold bores in
the region of my property have pulled substantial oil -- one can google
a few public geological reports that discuss it -- though none under
consideration for commercial exploitation that I'm aware of. The DoE
site says there are 71 wells producing 500-600M barrels of oil per year
in Nevada; not a lot but more than many people expect.
The subsurface geology is chaotic and unpredictable, and what oil they
do find doesn't fit well into standard exploration models anyway.
Consequently, most companies go after lower hanging fruit elsewhere.
Related, the extremely chaotic subsurface characteristics of the region
are also why the water systems and aquifers have never been fully
mapped. There are hundreds of poorly understood high-quality
micro-aquifers that can be tapped in many places that do not
substantially interact with the main water systems. There is actually
a lot of interest in this, since Nevada has very limited water
resources from its main water systems. As an example, my ranch
property there sits on an isolated micro-aquifer that yields an
estimated 5k foot-acres per year, which the State doesn't even list as
a water resource. There has been some study of mapping and developing
all this small, isolated, and mostly unused aquifers but they are
difficult to exploit effectively unless you are right on top of them.
j. andrew rogers
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