JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).



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Breaking: Major shale oil find in South Australia (geopolitical shift coming?)

This is Big. At its very least, they’re talking of 3.5 billion barrels of oil, which is a Very Nice Discovery, thank you. At its largest, they are saying 233 billion barrels — Saudi Arabia, here we come.

Near Coober Pedy, Linc Energy has confirmed the Arckaringa Basin has lots of shale oil, so much that it could possibly shift us back to being an oil exporter. (We were self sufficient until 2000, but our oil production has been declining since then.)

Any discovery that comes with discussions about “national energy security” is one worth paying attention to. The news stories are just hitting the net now. Linc Energy has rights over more than 65,000 square kilometres of land in the Arckaringa Basin.

Note that there are virtually no farms and very few people living in the area. The blue splotch around Coober Pedy on the map below is not a lake.

Smack in the middle of South Australia

Adelaide Now was one of the first.

SOUTH Australia is sitting on oil potentially worth more than $20 trillion, independent reports claim – enough to turn Australia into a self-sufficient fuel producer.

[...]

China finds the odd 200 years worth of fuel

Who isn’t finding shale gas these days? To whom shall we sell all those super-costly solar units, that we will supposedly be “world leaders” in? China reveals 25tn cu metres of shale gas Financial Times

China announced the results of its most extensive official appraisal of shale gas reserves on Thursday, having found potentially recoverable resources of 25.1tn cubic metres – less than previous estimates.

Although the figure is lower than an earlier estimate of 31tn cubic metres, China is still believed to have some of the largest reserves of shale gas in the world and has been working to develop shale gas as a cornerstone of its energy policy. The new estimate is enough gas to meet the country’s current consumption for nearly 200 years if fully extracted.

As Richard North points out, this changes everything:

[...]

British energy landscape shifted a month ago, old media waking up now…

In the UK, gargantuan (as in wow!#$) amounts of cheap energy were discovered a month ago, yet it seemingly hasn’t changed the political landscape. (Or, then again,  maybe it did? I gather no one in the UK government seems to be admitting it, but from afar, it looks like a lot of clunker UK policies have not-coincidentally got the boot in the last month.) Overtly, it’s been the gift no one wanted to open… but possibly a few in power are well aware of what’s under wraps and it is influencing policies?

Back in August 2011, the experts at the The British Geological Survey team thought the country only had 150bn cubic meters of shale gas. Then on Sept 22 a group called Cuadrilla announced that they’d found the odd 5,660 bn cubic metres under Lancashire.

Right about then, a sea-change ought to have come over ministers and corporate leaders in the UK. Here was a get out of jail free card, with lots of cash-cow potential, not to mention 50+ years of gas for the whole nation. It ought to have been time for large parties, champers, and the dumping of the competing energy sources. Instead a month later, [...]