Fossil Fuels Forever

Friday, March 08, 2013

Vince Beiser, senior editor at Pacific Standard, discusses his article "The Deluge," which looks at the massive amounts of oil and gas being discovered around the world.


Vince Beiser

Comments [16]

Sheldon from Brooklyn

Hmm..John, "The Dominican" - says "NO ONE CARES ABOUT HAITI" - shocking!!!

That being said - If Haiti has oil, it will be a curse. If there is anything we are certain of, is that the plankton that has ruled Haiti the last 50 years couldn't run an ice cream stand at a summer fair, if their life depended on it.

Mar. 08 2013 11:50 AM

It appears that this should have been another "Science Friday" segment. I'm a little disappointed, notwithstanding Mike's valiant effort.

Mar. 08 2013 11:30 AM
Steve from manhattan

I'm agree with Vince Beiser -- the horizontal drilling component of Fracking blows my mind too. But the technologies that will REALLY blow my mind are those that will allow humans to exist and thrive without drinking water (since we will have poisoned all our underground aquifers), survive without breathing air (since we will have poisoned all our air with carbon monoxide, methane releases, etc), and remain robust without eating food (without usable air or water, what crops will we grow? What will Monsanto invent this time?). I can't wait to see how they do this -- and I'm sure it will blow the minds of my kids too...

Mar. 08 2013 11:26 AM
h l

What? He didn't know about the oil found in Haiti? He's going to feel like an idiot when he finishes and googles it later. I even know about it and i don't follow oil news at all. WNYC, you should do a better job in selecting your guests that will be "informing" us.

Mar. 08 2013 11:25 AM
Simeon Berman, MD from West Orange, NJ

Great show as always

Just checked the "WorldOil" web site

"Haiti may have more oil than Venezuela"

Mar. 08 2013 11:25 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

Haiti could have larger oil reserves than Venezuela

"Amidst the utter devastation left in the wake of the earthquake that rocked Haiti on January 12th, new findings indicate the existence of 3 million barrels of oil in a shallow formation offshore the island.

The Greater Antilles, which includes Cuba, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and their offshore waters, probably hold at least 142 million barrels of oil and 159 billion cubic feet of gas, according to a 2000 report by the US Geological Survey. Undiscovered amounts may be as high as 941 million barrels of oil and 1.2 trillion cubic feet of gas, according to the report.

Among nations in the northern Caribbean, Cuba and Jamaica have awarded offshore leases for oil and gas development. Trinidad & Tobago, South American islands off the coast of Venezuela, account for most Caribbean oil production, according to the US Energy Department.

According to French scientist Daniel Mathurin, “The Central Plateau, including the region of Thomond, the plain of the cul-de-sac and the bay of Port-au-Prince are filled with oil”. He added that “Haiti's oil reserves are larger than those of Venezuela . An Olympic pool compared to a glass of water that is the comparison to show the importance of oil Haitian compared to those of Venezuela.”

Mar. 08 2013 11:23 AM

maybe we could get our noses out of the mid east!

Mar. 08 2013 11:23 AM
john from office


The caller answered his own question, paranoid and stupid.

Mar. 08 2013 11:22 AM

The extraction of fossil fuels must ultimately be tied to incentives that facilitate the elevation in technology readiness levels of alternative energy sources. The free market won't cut it any more that it could in most other significant R&D efforts.

Mar. 08 2013 11:22 AM
Taher from Croton on Hudson

The notion of peak oil was based on fact. The fact was that there would be end to easily accessible “sweet crude” oil. This was not a religion, but a set of facts that not account for new technologies for extraction; to extract oil from tar and sand for example.

Mar. 08 2013 11:21 AM
Chris L

Petroleum is a finite resource. We may be able to tap more reserves, but the fact remains that it takes ~1000 years for orgainic material under the right geological conditions to form crude oil. We've only been pumping oil for 150 years. Do the math.

Mar. 08 2013 11:20 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

Bottom line: the electric car is the ONLY hope for saving the planet, if there is any hope at all.

Mar. 08 2013 11:19 AM

Funny, recently I remembered hearing who I thought was an oil shill sayin that "in the short term fossil fuel, longer term my young son will innovate past fossil fuel."

Turns out that was our next energy secretary!

Mar. 08 2013 11:18 AM

Most of these oil and gas "findings" aren't really finidngs. It was often too expensive to extract those resources at the time with the available technologies.

Mar. 08 2013 11:10 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

Regardless of the physical amount of fossil fuel reserves still being uncovered, the price of oil remains higher than ever, well over $100 a barrel, a number that was feared when reached little more than a decade or so ago.
However, the rise in oil prices combined with the annual fall of alternatives such as wind and solar, means that a crossover point will be reached eventually. I believe before the end of this decade. The fossil fuel industries know and fear this, and doing whatever they can -despite paying lip service - to retard alternatives for as long as they can.
The real single answer is the electric car. The electric car is feared by both the fossilized fuel and the major automobile manufacturers.
The reason is simple: Electric cars need only 1/3rd as much energy to run as do internal combustion engine cars. IN addition, there is very little to break down, only five (5) moving parts. The only thing keeping them down is the battery problem, and that will be overcome soon enough.

So, the electric car threatens the profitability of both the major car companies as well as the fossil fuel purveyors. That is why most breakthroughs in EVs will be coming from outside the established industry. From small companies such as Tesla, Renault and others who have no vested interest in the past. However, it is still a long row to hoe. The general public is still in the pocket of the major industries.

But just as IBM and others tried to deny and retard the PC, until they finally decided to give in (or in the case of IBM give up manufacturing PCs), so some of the auto majors will be forced to get serious about EVs eventually, like it or not. I figure another decade should do it.

Mar. 08 2013 10:47 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

Not sure about petroleum but the availitbity of large reserves of natural gas in countries like Russia, Qatar, Trinidad, and Indonesia, will help counter the growing demand for energy in places like India and China, the next 30 years.

Once a post-Chavez Venezuala gets its act together and deposits here in North America are expoloited - together with the ability to liquify and transport natural gas being made easier - there will be even more supply.

Mar. 08 2013 10:10 AM

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