Domestic oil sources drying up?

08/19/2010


An interesting article recently made the point that crude oil production from Alaskan fields is declining, and the big pipeline that brings product south is reaching the point where it is turning into a maintenance problem. Long story short, these days the pipeline is delivering less oil, which increases problems with corrosion and damage from the environment. You can walk faster than the flow velocity.

The fields in Alaska that have been the biggest producers are declining and there isn’t much enthusiasm for expanding drilling, especially offshore. Of course there’s no interest in expanding offshore drilling anywhere around here these days, especially the gulf. This will be a problem in the long run. The Alaska pipeline needs some work, but if drilling continues to be restricted, there is little incentive to fix it.

Unless these situations change and reverse the downward production spiral, the only alternative is increasing imports or cutting consumption. As discussed here last March, consumption in North America is below its peak in 2007, and refiners are cutting capacity. I don’t have the most recent statistics, but domestic production has probably dropped even more, which means oil imports are creeping up again.

If you were to ask most Americans if they would be willing to change their behavior, in this case make a personal effort to reduce oil consumption, you probably wouldn’t get many who would take up the challenge. Of course nobody wants to see oil spills here, which is why imports will go up. Importing oil allows us to export most of the risk and mess. Seeing TV coverage of a spill or other damage somewhere in South America or Africa doesn’t carry the same impact as tarballs washing up in Louisiana.

Maybe that’s a cynical attitude, but consider this: Frito-Lay brought out a new type of bag for its Sun Chips products. The bag is compostable and biodegrades. It’s made from vegetable products. Those are good things, right? Sales of Sun Chips have declined since the bag’s introduction. The complaint? The bag makes too much noise. So much for changing behavior.



No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
Safer human-robot collaboration; 2017 Maintenance Survey; Digital Training; Converting your lighting system
IIoT grows up; Six ways to lower IIoT costs; Six mobile safety strategies; 2017 Salary Survey
2016 Top Plant; 2016 Best Practices on manufacturing progress, efficiency, safety
Future of oil and gas projects; Reservoir models; The importance of SCADA to oil and gas
Big Data and bigger solutions; Tablet technologies; SCADA developments
SCADA at the junction, Managing risk through maintenance, Moving at the speed of data
What controller fits your application; Permanent magnet motors; Chemical manufacturer tames alarm management; Taking steps in a new direction
Commissioning electrical systems; Designing emergency and standby generator systems; Paralleling switchgear generator systems
Package boilers; Natural gas infrared heating; Thermal treasure; Standby generation; Natural gas supports green efforts

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
This digital report will explore several aspects of how IIoT will transform manufacturing in the coming years.
Motion control advances and solutions can help with machine control, automated control on assembly lines, integration of robotics and automation, and machine safety.
This article collection contains several articles on preventing compressed air leaks and centrifugal air compressor basics and best practices for the "fifth utility" in manufacturing plants.
Maintenance Manager; California Oils Corp.
Associate, Electrical Engineering; Wood Harbinger
Control Systems Engineer; Robert Bosch Corp.
click me