Monday, January 12, 2009

Fuel back in the fuel truck? How about gas flaring?

One of the first things I teach my flying students is that fuel that you leave back in the fuel truck won't do you much good.

Flying requires a completely different level of AWARENESS when compared to other human activities, like driving a car.

It may seem like flying is just driving in the sky. I can assure you it is not.

Last time I checked, they still didn't have any gas stations in the sky.

You can't just buzz around town doing errands and then push the OnStar Button when you run out of fuel in the sky.

Not paying attention to your fuel status is not just stupid, it is unacceptable.

It is not reasonable to go flying if you don't understand that running out of fuel can kill you.

Peak Oil is routinely misunderstood to mean "running out."

Running out is not the concept.

Insufficient production is the issue. The world needs more oil and gas than the amount we can produce everyday.

So, given the fact that Peak Oil is happening right now, today, you have to wonder how we could be so stupid to continue flaring gas?

Russia and Nigeria flare lots of gas. So does the USA. Click here to read the latest.

Flaring means burning off excess gas from a well.

See, when you drill an oil well, it sometimes doesn't turn out to be an oil well. It might be a gas well. There might be mostly gas that comes up. Or brine.

The engineers make some calcs and decide what horizons to produce from and then let er rip.

Sometimes an oil well will produce mostly oil, but it will also produce a lot of what used to be called "casing head gas." Sometimes called "associated gas."

This means that not only does oil come up the well, but a lot of natural gas does too.

But it takes money to build pipelines. A lot of money. So if you are already spending money to pipe the oil to market, you sometimes don't want to spend the money to also pipe the gas to market.

Now, you have to ask yourself. If about 93% of the oil and gas in the world is controlled by governments, and not the oil companies, why is it not a condition of a government granting an oil and gas lease that the lessee must collect and pipe the gas out of the field and off to market in addition to the oil? Long answer....................

So, here we are in January 2009 and my friends in Ukraine are wearing their snowboarding suits indoors tonight because the natural gas from Gazprom in Russia got shut off in another political squabble. 

At least they have some nice new snowboarding suits to wear. A lot of Babushkas are sitting under 5  layers of blankets tonight instead.

Is this necessary? Why is Russia flaring so much gas every day and there is no gas getting to Ukraine, Slovakia or Greece? Politics.

Met any cloud huggers lately? You know, a cloud hugger is somebody who used to be a tree hugger but now they smoked the Al Gore Inconvenient Truth bong and they spend all day thinking about hugging clouds and global warming conspiracy theories. ;-)

Why don't the cloud huggers head over the the scenic Niger delta and spend some of their trust fund money negotiating between the oil companies, the government and all the residents who were promised schools and jobs?

Maybe they could figure out a way to stop flaring all the gas and cranking up the carbon credit machine?

20 years from now when Peak Oil is absolutely crushing human civilization, all that gas we are flaring is going to be about as useful as fuel back in the fuel truck.

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