Sunday, May 22, 2005

Surge in Oil and Gas Drilling in Kansas

The oil industry is coming back on the Great plains -- an unthinkable scenario just a few years ago. This article demonstrates the value of forward thinking. It tells of one man who bought up steel for oil rigs back when steel and oil were much cheeper. Now he's reaping the rewards with a drilling company in great demand.

Kansas sees biggest surge in oil and gas drilling in more than a decade (Kansas City Star Article) Article Excerpt: "At the height of the last oil boom in the late 1970s and early 1980s, Kenny and Darrell Roach essentially went straight from high school to the oil fields - when more than 250 rigs were operating across the state. Then the industry busted and the family of about a half-dozen oil drillers watched as many of their comrades called it quits. Wells were abandoned. Unused rigs were sold for scrap. By 1999, prices had fallen to a low of $8 a barrel. At one point, only nine rigs were drilling for oil in the state.
Today, with prices staying higher, old rigs are being dragged out of junkyards, and schools are starting classes to help train workers. New drilling companies, including one started by the Roaches' brother Robin, are forming.
This is oil country, and the industry is coming back to life, Kenny Roach said.
'Everyone's busy,' he said from the well site near Lewis, about 100 miles west of Wichita. 'We have our own backlog of a few months.'
The Kansas Corporation Commission, which regulates oil and gas production, already has issued nearly 1,100 oil and gas drilling permits this year, said Dave Williams, production supervisor for the KCC." AP Wire 5-22-05

Friday, May 20, 2005

The Energy Paradox

I was born in 1972, when energy conservation and alternative energy was "in" because of energy shortages. Energy was on the minds of many. There were lines at gas stations from time to time. Wind and solar energy were being rapidly developed. But something happened to change all that. Oil companies found and pumped more oil to meet the demand. In fact, they overproduced and energy prices plummeted. With energy so cheap, why bother with alternatives? Solar, wind, biofuels, and other alternatives were largely forgotten. Only a few diehards remained interested when it alternatives didn't appear to be immediately profitable. It appeared that cheap energy would last forever.

Well, the party is over when it comes to fossil fuels. They are not likely to be so cheap again. But market forces will eventually come up with alternatives that will bring down prices for other sources of energy and we'll forget about conservation again. The cycle will continue. My hope is that more of us will get excited about new more elegant and efficient sources of energy and conservation, delving into them out of the sheer joy and beauty of an efficient system that works with nature. Many of these technologies will be profitable as well, even when energy prices are low. Lets catch the excitement of the inventor, the explorer looking to the horizon of new and beautiful ways to enhance our lives through technologies that work elegantly, with the least moving parts and greatest simplicity, harnessing the imense renewable energies of the sun and our planet. Join us on the journey.