6 votes

Norway is vowing to help Europe turn away from Russian gas, but that's set off a political battle with the left-wing opposition that rejects expanded gas exploration

12 comments

  1. [12]
    skybrian
    Link
    It seems this is an argument about the longer term and what happens after the war is over: However:

    It seems this is an argument about the longer term and what happens after the war is over:

    By the time those new supplies are available — in 15 to 20 years, according to Haltbrekken — many countries would have moved to renewables and away from fossil fuels. “Looking for more gas would be a strategic and environmental mistake.”

    However:

    “For the longer term, we see that even with the increased pace of the energy transition in Europe, the fact that they will try to do without Russian gas and oil creates a gap that will remain for a long time,” Vik told POLITICO. “So, it means that it is important for us to find new fields and develop them, especially for gas, to secure a somewhat less bumpy ride in Europe’s energy transition than it would appear to be now.”

    4 votes
    1. [11]
      Loire
      Link Parent
      I'm not going to get too in-depth about the "Everyone will have transitioned to renewables" argument as I maybe should but I will say this: In 2015 I was told that oil is dead. That this was the...

      By the time those new supplies are available — in 15 to 20 years, according to Haltbrekken — many countries would have moved to renewables and away from fossil fuels. “Looking for more gas would be a strategic and environmental mistake.”

      I'm not going to get too in-depth about the "Everyone will have transitioned to renewables" argument as I maybe should but I will say this:

      In 2015 I was told that oil is dead. That this was the "last crash" and the transition to renewables had begun. I was told oil prices would never again break $100 a barrel was told this by everyone from "experts" to average joes. This as demand continued to grow year over year and I continued drilling more and more wells.

      When COVID hit I was told I was, again, told this was the nail in oil's coffin and that it was proof that society could continue with significantly less petroleum.

      And then in 2021, even before the Russian/Ukrianian crisis, oil production was booming again because global demand had rapidly outstripped production/supply. Oil is now well above $100 a barrel.

      Take this anecdotal experience as you will but I take any predictions of a post-oil world with a heavy dose of salt. Perhaps the best course of action is to continue developing new petroleum reservoirs instead of banking on a prediction that has been wrong time and time again. Especially if countries don't want to be replying on the Russia's and Saudi Arabia's of the world. Because here's the fun fact about oil: Once you don't need it you can leave it in the ground and plug the wells.

      8 votes
      1. [8]
        Eric_the_Cerise
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        I'm not explicitly disagreeing with you, but I look at it more through the addict/pusher analogy. The pushers (fossil fuel industry) just keep putting more oil on the table in front of us, saying...

        I'm not explicitly disagreeing with you, but I look at it more through the addict/pusher analogy. The pushers (fossil fuel industry) just keep putting more oil on the table in front of us, saying "go ahead and quit, but you know, if you really need it, there it is", and the easier (that is, cheaper/abundant) it is, the harder it is for "on-the-fence" governments to make a case for the switch.

        And the oil companies know this, and the argument, time and time again, to develop new supplies for the mid- to long-term, is just those oil companies' sneakily making sure they will always be able to put more oil on the table in front of us addicts.

        Bluntly, if we actually need those new supplies in 15-20 years, I mean, we're fucked as a species.

        ETA: Oil should cost $100+/bl, or better $300-400, both to help force the transition, and to more accurately reflect the real costs of continuing to use it.

        4 votes
        1. Eidolon
          Link Parent
          The Guardian's recent investigation into 'carbon bombs' is truly frightening: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/ng-interactive/2022/may/11/fossil-fuel-carbon-bombs-climate-breakdown-oil-gas...

          The Guardian's recent investigation into 'carbon bombs' is truly frightening:
          https://www.theguardian.com/environment/ng-interactive/2022/may/11/fossil-fuel-carbon-bombs-climate-breakdown-oil-gas

          George Monbiot also published a recent op-ed about our misplaced faith that divestment would naturally happen when renewables became more cost-effective and efficient: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/may/13/optimism-climate-predictions-techno-polluters

          5 votes
        2. [5]
          Loire
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          That's exactly what it is. Oil is heroin (although it actually serves some form of benefit so the analogy isn't one to one). You know what we've found about addiction? Cutting addicts off cold...

          I'm not explicitly disagreeing with you, but I look at it more through the addict/pusher analogy

          That's exactly what it is. Oil is heroin (although it actually serves some form of benefit so the analogy isn't one to one).

          You know what we've found about addiction? Cutting addicts off cold turkey doesn't work. Shaming addicts doesn't work. The best solution we have found for addiction has been to offer addicts "clean", safe, ethically produced and monitored product.

          Russia is street heroin. Most of the Middle East is street heroin. It's bad for us in the geopolitical sense. Oil from Scotland, Norway, Canada, arguably the United States is the safer alternative.

          4 votes
          1. [4]
            Eric_the_Cerise
            Link Parent
            Nah. 100% disagree. Norway oil screws up the environment every bit as much as Russian oil. The analogy doesn't hold up perfectly, but the solution is not "better" heroin, but a safer alternative...

            Nah. 100% disagree. Norway oil screws up the environment every bit as much as Russian oil.

            The analogy doesn't hold up perfectly, but the solution is not "better" heroin, but a safer alternative drug, like, eg, solar.

            2 votes
            1. [3]
              Loire
              Link Parent
              Good luck with that approach. It hasn't exactly been working convincing the world to switch the last 30 years, hopefully it starts kicking in here soon.

              Good luck with that approach. It hasn't exactly been working convincing the world to switch the last 30 years, hopefully it starts kicking in here soon.

              3 votes
              1. [2]
                Eric_the_Cerise
                Link Parent
                I didn't say it was going to work; I am ashamed of my species, and we will get what we deserve. But you're actually advocating using somebody else's oil as a solution ... I mean, seriously?

                I didn't say it was going to work; I am ashamed of my species, and we will get what we deserve.

                But you're actually advocating using somebody else's oil as a solution ... I mean, seriously?

                2 votes
                1. Loire
                  Link Parent
                  ? I'm advocating the use of the most geopolitically "safe" petroleum as possible as long as we still require oil and gas. Presumedly you are either Canadian, American or European, so my suggested...

                  ?

                  I'm advocating the use of the most geopolitically "safe" petroleum as possible as long as we still require oil and gas.

                  Presumedly you are either Canadian, American or European, so my suggested options were "your" oil.

                  2 votes
        3. skybrian
          Link Parent
          Dubious analogies aside, I'm generally in favor of higher prices for things we should be giving up. But I'll point out that timing and predicability matter. People make long-term decisions based...

          Dubious analogies aside, I'm generally in favor of higher prices for things we should be giving up. But I'll point out that timing and predicability matter. People make long-term decisions based on what they expect prices to do, and to the extent they predict wrongly, those will be bad decisions. Boom/bust cycles are bad.

          In the short term, a sudden, unexpected increase mostly means more suffering and economic recession, so cheering for it seems a bit much.

          Government can make future prices more predicable. For example, promised tariffs on Russian oil and gas ensure that suppliers won't have to worry about being undercut by them after the war.

          Maybe a compromise would be that Norway should develop some of the oil fields but only sell the oil when it's above a certain price, as a sort of reserve.

          2 votes
      2. [2]
        skybrian
        Link Parent
        Do you know if Norway gets oil and natural gas from the same wells?

        Do you know if Norway gets oil and natural gas from the same wells?

        2 votes
        1. Loire
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          They can, yes, but not typically. It's a bit of a complicated question. There is both gas and oil (and water) in almost every reservoir but generally speaking natural gas wells are developed where...

          They can, yes, but not typically. It's a bit of a complicated question. There is both gas and oil (and water) in almost every reservoir but generally speaking natural gas wells are developed where gas is the dominant fluid, and thus oil is not significant, and vice versa.

          The equipment to produce and store gas is different from that for oil.

          3 votes