[FoRK] Concrete results

mdw at martinwills.com mdw at martinwills.com
Sun Jun 16 09:34:32 PDT 2013

> On Sat, Jun 15, 2013 at 03:08:33PM -0700, Joseph S. Barrera III wrote:
>> We could do so much better than simply bolting on a (literally)
>> ancient recipe.
> Yes, see geopolymers.
>> Why aren't the concrete manufacturers trying to innovate based on
>> modern experiments instead of looking back at the ancients?
> Because energy is still too cheap. Fracking methane will be
> largely over by 2020, so expect renewed interest in low-energy
> geopolymers then.
>> I guess not every industry yet is information-driven. Oil is, of
>> course, but evidently concrete is not.
> Oil is not really information-driven, the peak 2006 has hit them
> cold. Peak total fossil and total nuclear fissible is 2020, almost
> nobody is aware of that yet.

The oil statement is incorrect.  Since hitting a bottom in mid-2005, total
annual energy production in the U.S. has grown 10%... from 62.6 trillion
cubic feet equivalent (tcfe) to more than 69 tcfe. Oil production in the
lower 48 states is up 60% and dry gas production is up 35% over the past 8
years. These increases are on a scale that hasn't been seen in more than
50 years.

The U.S. Geological Survey estimated in 1994 that the recoverable amount
of oil and gas in the North Dakota's Bakken Shale formation TOTALED 151
million barrels. TODAY, 15 years later, producers in the Bakken are
extracting 255 million barrels EACH YEAR -- about 100 million more barrels
annually than were supposed to be in the entire basin.

Today the Bakken has at least 24,000,000,000 barrels of recoverable oil
discovered so far.

Peak Oil's main flaw was that it assumed recovery methods would forever be
limited to extracting 10% of the oil contained in a conventional
reservoir. But as technology improves, most knowledgeable industry experts
predict that ultimate recovery rates will exceed 40%. So even if there are
never any additional oil reserves discovered, we might still only be
halfway toward Peak Oil. (This is also assuming WE NEVER GO BACK and
recover the previously unavailable oil in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and
California reservoirs).

Finally, the U.S. has a massive glut of natural gas. This excess supply is
the result of the over investment in exploration and production from the
previous decade. Even though drilling for natural gas has all but stopped
in the U.S., supply hasn't fallen. In February 2012 the U.S. produced 2.37
tcf (trillion cubic feet) of gas. One year later, February 2013, the U.S.
produced 2.32 tcf. Today U.S. gas prices are less than $4.00 per mcf.  The
rest of the industrialized world is paying around $10.00 per mcf.

> Net energy cliff only started in earnest about 2012. Chances are,

The net energy cliff in the US is currently a myth and the revised cliff
has been pushed back to 2040, ASSUMING we never go back to the previously
known oil reservoirs and recover the remaining 30% we can now recover
using todays technology.

> 2020 could be the sentinel event to the Fun of 2050.
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