Friday, June 10, 2005

because oil and water don't mix, right?

I heard the other day (yes, on NPR, imagine that) that big oil wants to start drilling in the Rockies to get oil out of the coal shale layer. This has the "potential" for a lot of oil. A lot. But the problem is how to get it out. They never tried before because it was too expensive and the price of gas couldn’t cover it. But now, with "new technologies" and the higher price of gas, they think they’d like to give it a shot. They plan to drill a bunch of really deep holes and drop super hot heaters down to melt the oil out.

Hmmmm. Sound sketchy? I think so. They also plan to dig other holes downgradient of the heated holes and put super cold freezing machines down to freeze the groundwater so they’ll have an "impenetrable" wall of ice, so that the oil won’t contaminate the groundwater.

Heating shale and freezing water just seems to me a very unstable situation. I wonder if they’ve done stability tests for what happens after they’ve extracted the oil and after the groundwater melts again.

Oh I’m sorry, I forgot. It doesn’t matter what happens after they get the oil, right? Because then we’ll have oil! And that will solve all of our problems. I think I’m going to go out and buy a new
International CXT.

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