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Synthetic Fuel - Coal to fuel and oil shale

Discussion in 'Whatever - General Discussion' started by EQuin, Apr 29, 2008.

  1. EQuin

    EQuin Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2001
    Location:
    North Texas
    Alot of us are rightly concerned about the price of oil and its inflationary consequences to our economy, our nation's well-being and those of our Western allies:

    http://www.race-dezert.com/forum/showthread.php?t=42608

    After reading Glenn Beck's opinion piece on the poor direction our country has been heading towards with respect to energy policy, it got me thinking alot about the excellent points he made. Here's his piece, titled "U.S. is a Suicidal Superpower":

    http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/04/24/beck.oil.prices/

    Curious, I did a search on synthetic fuel and came across this:

    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0JZS/is_24_22/ai_n24996859/pg_1

    According to this and many other similar articles, technology to convert coal (of which we have an over-abundance) into liquid fuel has been around for about 80 years. And new technology makes that conversion much more efficient to the point where it would be profitable if oil reaches $39-$44 per barrel (as of now, it's around $115-$119). This new technology also converts it so that it burns cleaner than diesel with less particulates, and no engine modifications are needed for internal combustion engines to run it.

    Although a different resource and different technology, in a somewhat similar vein is the new in-situ technology Shell and Oxy have developed for oil shale, another overly-abundant resource our country has. Here are some interesting articles about its promise:

    http://www.accesstoenergy.com/view/atearchive/s76a3668.htm
    http://www.dailyreckoning.com/rpt/OilShale.html

    SO WHY ARE WE NOT TAKING MORE ADVANTAGE OF THESE RESOURCES AND TECHNOLOGIES AND WEANING OURSELVES OFF OF FOREIGN OIL? Why do we continue to transfer our nation's wealth to foreign countries that hate us? What the heck is going on? I can understand that the oil shale in-situ technology is still somewhat experimental. So perhaps it's a bit premature to get our hopes up too high for that alternative. But the coal-to-liquid synthetic fuel sounds much more promising, unless I'm missing something? Only thing I can think of is the greenhouse gas concerns with the coal-to-synth fuel, but what would be so different than what we have now with regular crude and gasoline consumption? Anyone else in the industry or with knowledge on this care to expound?
     
  2. DOG ON

    DOG ON RDC's illegal immigrant

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2006
    Location:
    Mexico
    Always follow the money.............The status quo benefits a few very , very powerful and influential minority.....
     
  3. Offspring

    Offspring Well-Known Member

    OILSANDS QUEST INC (BQI)

    http://www.oilsandsquest.com/

    They're on it. Still a speculative stock but hard to pass up especially during these times.
     
  4. Offspring

    Offspring Well-Known Member

    You're right, however I know what you are alluding to (the evil GWB :rolleyes: ), but it is the environmental movement and the ideals of the radical left that are preventing this from happening. BTW they have LARGE amounts of money behind them.
     
  5. DOG ON

    DOG ON RDC's illegal immigrant

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2006
    Location:
    Mexico
    Kinder-Morgan bought many stategical pipelines in Canada last year....

    Richard Kinder is Midas king as far as oil/gas investments are concerned.....I made a nice amount of money with KMI until it became private again last year.....Try to get KMP, as far as Rich Kinder is CEO I will be putting part of my crazy money in his hands.
     
  6. DOG ON

    DOG ON RDC's illegal immigrant

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2006
    Location:
    Mexico

    No, the effects are not what I am alluding to.....I am referring to the cause.
    Anyway, I have money on Kinder Morgan (KMP). I know if this technology gets going they will be positioned on top of the biggests Canadian reserves.
     
  7. pjc

    pjc Chairman

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2001
    Location:
    Nevada Territory
    Thanks for that tip.. As a regular American investor, I am glad to be one of the so-called minority that can partake in the profits of domestic and in this case, Canadian corporations.
     
  8. dmcmah0n

    dmcmah0n Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2007
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    I have seen mutiple DailyWealth emails about Oil Sands Quest (BQI). Over Easter, I asked my uncle, who works for ExxonMobil, about the oilsands. He didn't say too much about it other than that there was alot of oil in the sands.

    Right now, it is a very speculative investment. However, there is a large opportunity for large gains in the upcoming years.

    IMHO, BQI is a bit over-hyped.
     
  9. dmcmah0n

    dmcmah0n Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2007
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    The process you are referring to is coal liquefaction/gasification. There was a great Diesel Power article about this process and how Montana governor Brian Schweitzer is implementing this technology in his state.
     
  10. TreyP

    TreyP "F" you Bill

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2005
    Location:
    Poway, Ca
    The people you are refering to I think are the large invester companies that are buying oil and manipulating the price. They are doing the same thing that Enron and others did with the electricity markets years ago. The 2007 energy bill closed this loophole for them, but the Justice Department has yet to impliment guidelines for enforcement.

    It will be years before they trace them.
     
  11. Chase 2

    Chase 2 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2005
    Location:
    Simi Valley, CA
    Coal gasification has been around for over 100 years. Coal was the major source of gas for used for lighting before electricity was available. In the early 1980's I worked for the USGS on a "Known Coal Resource Report" in the states of Montana and North Dakota, which was basically an inventory of the federally owned lignite coal deposits there. Believe me, there is a lot of coal in Montana and North Dakota. Strip mining of coal & oil/tar sands is a pretty environmentally unfriendly way to get energy.
     
  12. dan200

    dan200 #BSF200

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2007
    Location:
    Tempe, AZ USSA

    The new method for extracting it is NOT strip mining. They drill, heat up the shale below the earths surface and then pump the oil out.
     
  13. EQuin

    EQuin Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2001
    Location:
    North Texas
    I understand the new, in-situ technology does not rely on strip mining SHALE OIL in Colorado and Wyoming, but I admit I don't know what's all involved with extracting the huge COAL deposits in Montana and North Dakota. Maybe that's what he's referring to? If so, I can understand the farming and ranching industry (which I understand is very big in Montana) would oppose strip mining fertile land, but I thought I read somewhere that the Montana governor was proposing to re-sod the top 8" layer of farmland. I think that issue might be what he's talking about.

    If so, it's not so much the environmental lobby, but instead is one of the most powerful lobbies in our country - the agriculture lobby - which would have to be convinced and appeased to go forward on it. Right now, with the high price of food, the agriculture lobby (with the exception of the ranching, beef, feedlot and chicken producers) is sitting real pretty with today's economy (very low dollar, high food prices and increasing global demand for food) and are one of the few exporters reaping the benefits from it if I understand the global scenario correctly. But perhaps I'm wrong about that. Think about it. One of the main reasons for the ethanol mandate is to lessen our use of foreign oil (at the unintended consequence of skyrocketing food prices). If coal liquefaction takes hold (and the new shale oil technology as well), with as many reserves as we have there would be no need for ethanol. Hmm, some of this is all beginning to make sense now....
     
  14. dan200

    dan200 #BSF200

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2007
    Location:
    Tempe, AZ USSA
    I don't understand how we got here in the first place.:confused: To me it sorta seems like this..

    When I am short on cash I bring my lunch to work instead of going out to lunch. I realize that it is a stretch as far as analogies go but... If we can make our own fuel here instead of buying it from countries that hate us wouldn't it be good for everyone? According to the links in the first post on this thread this is possible and would make the US one of the most oil abundant countries in the world.

    Personally I think that electric cars would be the way to go but what do I know? In Japan the Prius came with an option that the car could be driven for like two miles without any fuel use at all. A guy in California asked on a prius forum if they can make a car go two miles without any fuel why couldn't it go ten, twenty, fifty etc. The end result was it could, if you had enough batteries. A group was formed and now for like $12,000 you can upgrade a prius to go 100 miles without fuel. My numbers may not be exact but I saw this on Discovery Channel not too long ago.

    I know the the Prius is a gutless ugly little thing but cant we improve the concept. Imagine how much cash you we all would have to "stimulate the economy" if going to the gas station was a thing of the past. Am I just dreaming?
     
  15. sparkypyro

    sparkypyro Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2005
    Location:
    West Torrance, California
    Rent the movie "WHO KILLED THE ELECTRIC CAR?" . Pretty good flick.
     
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  16. Chase 2

    Chase 2 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2005
    Location:
    Simi Valley, CA
    Petroleum hydrocarbons from coal are available in a couple of different forms. Coal Bed gas (methane) can be obtained from extraction while still in place. However the get heavier hydrocarbons out of coal you are going to have to mine it and process it. In most cases oil/tar sands & shales pretty much have to be mined as all they have are the heavier components.

    Across North Dakota and Montana the mineral rights for every other section of land (one mile by one mile in a checker board pattern) were given to the railroads as an incentive to put the railroad through. The mineral rights the railroads didn’t get are owned by the feds. I’ve worked at/on strip mines. If you own the mineral rights you have rights to access the minerals even if someone is farming/ranching it. Typically the upper 6” of soil is stripped off and “stockpiled” so as the site is “reclaimed” it can be replaced. Most of the areas with the lignite deposits are in eastern Montana and western North Dakota. While there is some ranching, most of the ag is “dry land” strip farming of wheat. Where alternating strips of land are allowed to remain fallow for a year and then the following year it is planted.
     

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