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Energy Return on Energy Invested (EROI) is an interesting metric that helps us understand "when is it energetically worth it to increase reserves?" Increasing reserves is not free. Producing a marketable product from a given type of reserve requires different investments and risks, depending on what the geology and geography are, and depending on the policy and regulations. The Bush administration and Donald Rumsfeld released the tight shale "fracking" industry from Clean Air and Clean Water Act regulations. The EROI is much lower, but without having to worry about environmental regulation, and a high price because of YES the peak and decline of conventional oil production - the fracking boom can play out. Deep sea has certain risks. New Zealand has banned the seismic exploration in marine habitat. Bold Move. Will retraction of social licence for harming whales and dolphins start to increase risks of increasing off shore reserves? The current political climate in USA favours reckless environmental practice, but courts will still hold oil companies to account to some degree. So - is it worth it? Might it be a better strategy to not put more money into increasing reserves and let the price rise up? The oil companies hold all the cards, why not play them and see how high the price can go?
What if USA actually had good rail, tram, light rail systems? We are not slaves to our cars, and the young folks are showing the way.
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Feb 11, 2019