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 Post subject: Re: 'Peak Oil' far, far away
PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2018 1:28 pm 
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https://www.rte.ie/news/business/2018/0 ... il-prices/
Quote:
Oil slumps as OPEC, Russia look to raise output amid US surge
Brent and WTI have fallen by 6.4% and 9.1% respectively from peaks touched earlier in May.

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 Post subject: Re: 'Peak Oil' far, far away
PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2018 1:23 am 
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yoganmahew wrote:
https://www.rte.ie/news/business/2018/0528/966515-global-oil-prices/
Quote:
Oil slumps as OPEC, Russia look to raise output amid US surge
Brent and WTI have fallen by 6.4% and 9.1% respectively from peaks touched earlier in May.

It's true that prices have fallen a couple of dollars but the spread between WTI and Brent tells an interesting story too. Right now it has hit over $10, the highest in over three years. US crude exports have doubled in a year, to well over 2 mbpd. Serious bottlenecks have arisen in the ability to get oil from wells to market. Permian Basin output in west Texas has tripled to over 3 mbpd in barely five years and is hitting the limits of the pipeline infrastructure to transport it. So the producers in the Williston and Bakken formations in Montana and the Dakotas are seeing a better price for their oil. Normally they would trade at a discount of a couple of dollars per barrel compared to the WTI benchmark price, owing to extra transport costs. But last week oil for rail transport south to the Gulf Coast for export was trading at a premium to WTI of 30c or so. It means the producers in the Upper Midwest are still sitting pretty even though oil has come off recent highs.

https://www.platts.com/latest-news/oil/ ... t-10450015

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 Post subject: Re: 'Peak Oil' far, far away
PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 3:21 am 
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Each year BP produces its Statistical Review of World Energy. The 2018 review, just released, shows large jumps last year in renewable solar energy (+35%) and wind (+17%), but still an inexorable increase in oil and gas consumption. Global petroleum production increased to almost 93 million barrels per day, and consumption (which includes biofuels and natural gas liquids) increased to over 98 mbpd. Natural gas consumption increased to 0.355 trillion cubic feet per day. The US has leapfrogged Saudi Arabia and Russia to become the world's biggest oil producer (13 mbpd) and remains its biggest consumer (19 mbpd).

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 Post subject: Re: 'Peak Oil' far, far away
PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 10:33 am 
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ps200306 wrote:
Each year BP produces its Statistical Review of World Energy. The 2018 review, just released, shows large jumps last year in renewable solar energy (+35%) and wind (+17%), but still an inexorable increase in oil and gas consumption. Global petroleum production increased to almost 93 million barrels per day, and consumption (which includes biofuels and natural gas liquids) increased to over 98 mbpd. Natural gas consumption increased to 0.355 trillion cubic feet per day. The US has leapfrogged Saudi Arabia and Russia to become the world's biggest oil producer (13 mbpd) and remains its biggest consumer (19 mbpd).


With Climate change how can we justify this? It looks like renewables are filling a small gap in the energy supply not replacing Fossil fuels. Is there going to be a point where we reach Peak oil with this scenario, there is no sign yet of us transitioning away from oil. Maybe electric cars are the technology that'll do it.

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 Post subject: Re: 'Peak Oil' far, far away
PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 5:18 pm 
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Maybe nuclear fusion is the answer.

Quote:
MIT and newly formed company launch novel approach to fusion power
Goal is for research to produce a working pilot plant within 15 years.



Quote:
Progress toward the long-sought dream of fusion power — potentially an inexhaustible and zero-carbon source of energy — could be about to take a dramatic leap forward.

Development of this carbon-free, combustion-free source of energy is now on a faster track toward realization, thanks to a collaboration between MIT and a new private company, Commonwealth Fusion Systems. CFS will join with MIT to carry out rapid, staged research leading to a new generation of fusion experiments and power plants based on advances in high-temperature superconductors — work made possible by decades of federal government funding for basic research.

CFS is announcing today that it has attracted an investment of $50 million in support of this effort from the Italian energy company Eni. In addition, CFS continues to seek the support of additional investors. CFS will fund fusion research at MIT as part of this collaboration, with an ultimate goal of rapidly commercializing fusion energy and establishing a new industry.

“This is an important historical moment: Advances in superconducting magnets have put fusion energy potentially within reach, offering the prospect of a safe, carbon-free energy future,” says MIT President L. Rafael Reif. “As humanity confronts the rising risks of climate disruption, I am thrilled that MIT is joining with industrial allies, both longstanding and new, to run full-speed toward this transformative vision for our shared future on Earth.”

“Everyone agrees on the eventual impact and the commercial potential of fusion power, but then the question is: How do you get there?” adds Commonwealth Fusion Systems CEO Robert Mumgaard SM ’15, PhD ’15. “We get there by leveraging the science that’s already developed, collaborating with the right partners, and tackling the problems step by step.”

MIT Vice President for Research Maria Zuber, who has written an op-ed on the importance of this news that appears in today’s Boston Globe, notes that MIT’s collaboration with CFS required concerted effort among people and offices at MIT that support innovation: “We are grateful for the MIT team that worked tirelessly to form this collaboration. Associate Provost Karen Gleason’s leadership was instrumental — as was the creativity, diligence, and care of the Office of the General Counsel, the Office of Sponsored Programs, the Technology Licensing Office, and the MIT Energy Initiative. A great job by all.”

Superconducting magnets are key

Fusion, the process that powers the sun and stars, involves light elements, such as hydrogen, smashing together to form heavier elements, such as helium — releasing prodigious amounts of energy in the process. This process produces net energy only at extreme temperatures of hundreds of millions of degrees Celsius, too hot for any solid material to withstand. To get around that, fusion researchers use magnetic fields to hold in place the hot plasma — a kind of gaseous soup of subatomic particles — keeping it from coming into contact with any part of the donut-shaped chamber.

The new effort aims to build a compact device capable of generating 100 million watts, or 100 megawatts (MW), of fusion power. This device will, if all goes according to plan, demonstrate key technical milestones needed to ultimately achieve a full-scale prototype of a fusion power plant that could set the world on a path to low-carbon energy. If widely disseminated, such fusion power plants could meet a substantial fraction of the world’s growing energy needs while drastically curbing the greenhouse gas emissions that are causing global climate change.

“Today is a very important day for us,” says Eni CEO Claudio Descalzi. “Thanks to this agreement, Eni takes a significant step forward toward the development of alternative energy sources with an ever-lower environmental impact. Fusion is the true energy source of the future, as it is completely sustainable, does not release emissions or long-term waste, and is potentially inexhaustible. It is a goal that we are increasingly determined to reach quickly.”

CFS will support more than $30 million of MIT research over the next three years through investments by Eni and others. This work will aim to develop the world’s most powerful large-bore superconducting electromagnets — the key component that will enable construction of a much more compact version of a fusion device called a tokamak. The magnets, based on a superconducting material that has only recently become available commercially, will produce a magnetic field four times as strong as that employed in any existing fusion experiment, enabling a more than tenfold increase in the power produced by a tokamak of a given size.

Conceived at PSFC

The project was conceived by researchers from MIT’s Plasma Science and Fusion Center, led by PSFC Director Dennis Whyte, Deputy Director Martin Greenwald, and a team that grew to include representatives from across MIT, involving disciplines from engineering to physics to architecture to economics. The core PSFC team included Mumgaard, Dan Brunner PhD ’13, and Brandon Sorbom PhD ’17 — all now leading CFS — as well as Zach Hartwig PhD ’14, now an assistant professor of nuclear science and engineering at MIT.

Once the superconducting electromagnets are developed by researchers at MIT and CFS — expected to occur within three years — MIT and CFS will design and build a compact and powerful fusion experiment, called SPARC, using those magnets. The experiment will be used for what is expected to be a final round of research enabling design of the world’s first commercial power-producing fusion plants.

SPARC is designed to produce about 100 MW of heat. While it will not turn that heat into electricity, it will produce, in pulses of about 10 seconds, as much power as is used by a small city. That output would be more than twice the power used to heat the plasma, achieving the ultimate technical milestone: positive net energy from fusion.

This demonstration would establish that a new power plant of about twice SPARC’s diameter, capable of producing commercially viable net power output, could go ahead toward final design and construction. Such a plant would become the world’s first true fusion power plant, with a capacity of 200 MW of electricity, comparable to that of most modern commercial electric power plants. At that point, its implementation could proceed rapidly and with little risk, and such power plants could be demonstrated within 15 years, say Whyte, Greenwald, and Hartwig.

Complementary to ITER

The project is expected to complement the research planned for a large international collaboration called ITER, currently under construction as the world’s largest fusion experiment at a site in southern France. If successful, ITER is expected to begin producing fusion energy around 2035.

“Fusion is way too important for only one track,” says Greenwald, who is a senior research scientist at PSFC.

By using magnets made from the newly available superconducting material — a steel tape coated with a compound called yttrium-barium-copper oxide (YBCO) — SPARC is designed to produce a fusion power output about a fifth that of ITER, but in a device that is only about 1/65 the volume, Hartwig says. The ultimate benefit of the YBCO tape, he adds, is that it drastically reduces the cost, timeline, and organizational complexity required to build net fusion energy devices, enabling new players and new approaches to fusion energy at university and private company scale.

The way these high-field magnets slash the size of plants needed to achieve a given level of power has repercussions that reverberate through every aspect of the design. Components that would otherwise be so large that they would have to be manufactured on-site could instead be factory-built and trucked in; ancillary systems for cooling and other functions would all be scaled back proportionately; and the total cost and time for design and construction would be drastically reduced.

“What you’re looking for is power production technologies that are going to play nicely within the mix that’s going to be integrated on the grid in 10 to 20 years,” Hartwig says. “The grid right now is moving away from these two- or three-gigawatt monolithic coal or fission power plants. The range of a large fraction of power production facilities in the U.S. is now is in the 100 to 500 megawatt range. Your technology has to be amenable with what sells to compete robustly in a brutal marketplace.”

Because the magnets are the key technology for the new fusion reactor, and because their development carries the greatest uncertainties, Whyte explains, work on the magnets will be the initial three-year phase of the project — building upon the strong foundation of federally funded research conducted at MIT and elsewhere. Once the magnet technology is proven, the next step of designing the SPARC tokamak is based on a relatively straightforward evolution from existing tokamak experiments, he says.

“By putting the magnet development up front,” says Whyte, the Hitachi America Professor of Engineering and head of MIT’s Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering, “we think that this gives you a really solid answer in three years, and gives you a great amount of confidence moving forward that you’re giving yourself the best possible chance of answering the key question, which is: Can you make net energy from a magnetically confined plasma?”

The research project aims to leverage the scientific knowledge and expertise built up over decades of government-funded research — including MIT’s work, from 1971 to 2016, with its Alcator C-Mod experiment, as well as its predecessors — in combination with the intensity of a well-funded startup company. Whyte, Greenwald, and Hartwig say that this approach could greatly shorten the time to bring fusion technology to the marketplace — while there’s still time for fusion to make a real difference in climate change.

MITEI participation

Commonwealth Fusion Systems is a private company and will join the MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI) as part of a new university-industry partnership built to carry out this plan. The collaboration between MITEI and CFS is expected to bolster MIT research and teaching on the science of fusion, while at the same time building a strong industrial partner that ultimately could be positioned to bring fusion power to real-world use.

“MITEI has created a new membership specifically for energy startups, and CFS is the first company to become a member through this new program,” says MITEI Director Robert Armstrong, the Chevron Professor of Chemical Engineering at MIT. “In addition to providing access to the significant resources and capabilities of the Institute, the membership is designed to expose startups to incumbent energy companies and their vast knowledge of the energy system. It was through their engagement with MITEI that Eni, one of MITEI’s founding members, became aware of SPARC’s tremendous potential for revolutionizing the energy system.”

Energy startups often require significant research funding to further their technology to the point where new clean energy solutions can be brought to market. Traditional forms of early-stage funding are often incompatible with the long lead times and capital intensity that are well-known to energy investors.

“Because of the nature of the conditions required to produce fusion reactions, you have to start at scale,” Greenwald says. “That’s why this kind of academic-industry collaboration was essential to enable the technology to move forward quickly. This is not like three engineers building a new app in a garage.”

Most of the initial round of funding from CFS will support collaborative research and development at MIT to demonstrate the new superconducting magnets. The team is confident that the magnets can be successfully developed to meet the needs of the task. Still, Greenwald adds, “that doesn’t mean it’s a trivial task,” and it will require substantial work by a large team of researchers. But, he points out, others have built magnets using this material, for other purposes, which had twice the magnetic field strength that will be required for this reactor. Though these high-field magnets were small, they do validate the basic feasibility of the concept.

In addition to its support of CFS, Eni has also announced an agreement with MITEI to fund fusion research projects run out of PSFC’s Laboratory for Innovation in Fusion Technologies. The expected investment in these research projects amounts to about $2 million in the coming years.

“Conservative physics”

SPARC is an evolution of a tokamak design that has been studied and refined for decades. This included work at MIT that began in the 1970s, led by professors Bruno Coppi and Ron Parker, who developed the kind of high-magnetic-field fusion experiments that have been operated at MIT ever since, setting numerous fusion records.

“Our strategy is to use conservative physics, based on decades of work at MIT and elsewhere,” Greenwald says. “If SPARC does achieve its expected performance, my sense is that’s sort of a Kitty Hawk moment for fusion, by robustly demonstrating net power, in a device that scales to a real power plant.”


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 Post subject: Re: 'Peak Oil' far, far away
PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 6:01 pm 
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tulip wrote:
ps200306 wrote:
Each year BP produces its Statistical Review of World Energy. The 2018 review, just released, shows large jumps last year in renewable solar energy (+35%) and wind (+17%), but still an inexorable increase in oil and gas consumption. Global petroleum production increased to almost 93 million barrels per day, and consumption (which includes biofuels and natural gas liquids) increased to over 98 mbpd. Natural gas consumption increased to 0.355 trillion cubic feet per day. The US has leapfrogged Saudi Arabia and Russia to become the world's biggest oil producer (13 mbpd) and remains its biggest consumer (19 mbpd).


With Climate change how can we justify this? It looks like renewables are filling a small gap in the energy supply not replacing Fossil fuels. Is there going to be a point where we reach Peak oil with this scenario, there is no sign yet of us transitioning away from oil. Maybe electric cars are the technology that'll do it.

There has always been the risk that fuel supplies would fail to keep up with consumption, it has happened at least twice since the early 1970's and both times it resulted in a huge spike in oil prices, thus rationing by cost which prevented any real shortages from ever occurring and allowing the oil companies to bring on the next level of costlier supply.

The next time I expect that EV's will be pushed forwards as alternative transport while ICE vehicles rapidly become too expensive to run for many people. As for electricity generation, don't be surprised if coal is resurrected to provide the extra power all these EV's will need.

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 Post subject: Re: 'Peak Oil' far, far away
PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 2:30 am 
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tulip wrote:
ps200306 wrote:
Each year BP produces its Statistical Review of World Energy. The 2018 review, just released, shows large jumps last year in renewable solar energy (+35%) and wind (+17%), but still an inexorable increase in oil and gas consumption. Global petroleum production increased to almost 93 million barrels per day, and consumption (which includes biofuels and natural gas liquids) increased to over 98 mbpd. Natural gas consumption increased to 0.355 trillion cubic feet per day. The US has leapfrogged Saudi Arabia and Russia to become the world's biggest oil producer (13 mbpd) and remains its biggest consumer (19 mbpd).

With Climate change how can we justify this? It looks like renewables are filling a small gap in the energy supply not replacing Fossil fuels. Is there going to be a point where we reach Peak oil with this scenario, there is no sign yet of us transitioning away from oil. Maybe electric cars are the technology that'll do it.


We don't have to justify it. There are people selling oil and people buying oil -- there is no guiding hand determining what they can and can't do, and no supranational body that can dictate terms. As it happens, the west is reducing its CO2 output somewhat because oil consumption is not increasing significantly, and coal-fired electricity generation continues to be replaced by natural gas. Look to the developing world where all the consumption growth is generated, from all sources. They are also the biggest new users of renewables (although China just recently announced the termination of subsidies for domestic solar panel makers, for reasons that are not yet clear). But insatiable energy demand growth will see CO2 output increasing in spite of big increases in solar and wind. I think it is premature to say where we will end up. If renewables keep growing at the current rate they will eclipse fossil fuels in the medium term. But they are at such a relatively low level that it is impossible to predict that the exponential trajectory will continue, rather than the S-curve that we see in the more mature European market. We also do not have a very good grasp on the depletion curve for fossil fuels.

dolanbaker wrote:
There has always been the risk that fuel supplies would fail to keep up with consumption, it has happened at least twice since the early 1970's and both times it resulted in a huge spike in oil prices, thus rationing by cost which prevented any real shortages from ever occurring and allowing the oil companies to bring on the next level of costlier supply.

The next time I expect that EV's will be pushed forwards as alternative transport while ICE vehicles rapidly become too expensive to run for many people. As for electricity generation, don't be surprised if coal is resurrected to provide the extra power all these EV's will need.


I don't think the price run-ups have been related to physical limits so far. The early crises were manifestly the result of the two Arab oil embargos. Admittedly they coincided with the peak of American oil production which created extra tensions. But they were also related to the nationalisation of several middle eastern oil companies, and were as much geopolitical as anything else. Price swings in oil markets are inevitable even without physical limits, as production lags new investment by such a long period. This has actually been considerably smoothed out by tight oil production which can be brought online much faster than the giant offshore projects, and also benefits much more rapidly from technological improvements. Permitting of tight oil "fracking" has been more liberal in the US, but there are large quantities elsewhere in the world so I don't think we can rely on physical limits to curb CO2 production from liquid fuels for transport anytime in the very near future. Maybe 20-30 years from now. It's amazing how quickly people are talking about the next supply crunch when the recent run-up in prices is almost 100% the result of a Saudi-Russian pact on artificial supply restrictions. It's a moderately good thing, though, as under-investment would certainly lead to an actual short term bottleneck otherwise.

el diablo wrote:
Maybe nuclear fusion is the answer.

Quote:
MIT and newly formed company launch novel approach to fusion power
Goal is for research to produce a working pilot plant within 15 years.



I'm a big fan of fusion research and keep a close eye on it as it will be the game-changer of the century when it comes to fruition. However, we have to be realistic. The important vital statistics of any workable fusion reactor were understood decades ago, and they are a combination referred to as the fusion triple product, nTτ, -- the combination of ion density, temperature, and confinement time. (Temperature should really be called ion energy, as not all approaches involve a thermalised plasma). Basically you have to squish enough material together, at high enough energy, for a long enough time, to make nuclear fusion likely and you have to minimise the considerable energy losses from multiple factors in order to achieve Q > 1, where Q is the ratio of input energy to output energy, and Q = 1 represents breakeven.

Fusion is easy -- it's been done by amateurs and even school children. Breakeven fusion is very, very hard. Enormous strides have been made but a good analogy is the commercial space race between, say, Virgin Galactic, Blue Origins and SpaceX. They have all done brilliant stuff and each has their own merits, but if you consider the goal of regular commercial interplanetary travel, nobody is close. Even if there are orders of magnitude difference in the altitudes achieved by different efforts, they are all still orders of magnitude away from being able to travel to the planets. Fusion research is like that. It would be a mistake to say it's as far away as ever, as that would ignore the huge leaps that have been made. But the remaining engineering challenges are formidable.

The next round of advances will come from testing high-temperature superconducting magnets. Those have real potential to increase ion density, or beta (the ratio between plasma pressure and magnetic pressure). This may also be the key to creating reactors smaller and more practical than the ITER behemoth. Right now there are several companies pursuing this -- the MIT Sparc initiative mentioned by el diablo, Tokamak Energy in the UK, and a number of smaller enterprises. The good news is that these are making progress through private funding, as public funding is massively concentrated on ITER which simply is not progressing fast enough, though it is still important and may contribute vital technologies.

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 Post subject: Re: 'Peak Oil' far, far away
PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 4:35 am 
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Thumbs up ps200306 for an informative post and thread. :)


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 Post subject: Re: 'Peak Oil' far, far away
PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2018 2:50 pm 
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cross posted with Venezula thread
Venezuela’s Oil Meltdown Defies Belief

Quote:
The utter collapse of the country’s oil production is obviously a big factor in PDVSA’s inability to ship enough oil. Output is down below 1.5 million barrels per day and falling fast.

But the tanker traffic at a handful of its ports has created unexpected bottlenecks, which have slowed loadings. Clogged ports are the direct result of the seizure of operations on several Caribbean islands by ConocoPhillips last month. The American oil major sought to enforce an arbitration award, laying claim to a series of storage facilities on the islands of Bonaire, Curacao and Aruba.

Those assets were crucial to PDVSA’s operations – in fact, they had become even more important as PDVSA’s facilities in Venezuela deteriorated. They had the ability to service very large crude carriers (VLCCs), and were important for storing and blending PDVSA’s oil, and preparing it for export.


https://oilprice.com/Energy/Crude-Oil/V ... elief.html

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 Post subject: Re: 'Peak Oil' far, far away
PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2018 11:24 am 
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The EU requires members to hold a Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Ours has been held in the UK heretofore.

Quote:
Ireland stores almost 200,000 tonnes of oil in the UK but for national security reasons this will now be removed ahead of Britain leaving the EU.

"We pay for storage there so that will have serious implications for UK refineries who have stored our oil for almost two decades," a senior Government source said. (Sunday Indo)

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 Post subject: Re: 'Peak Oil' far, far away
PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2018 3:33 pm 
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Do we have enough refinery capacity to store 200K tonnes?

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 Post subject: Re: 'Peak Oil' far, far away
PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2018 4:40 pm 
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The Whiddy Island oil terminal in Bantry Bay alone has about six times that amount of storage, though I'm not sure how much is available for rent. (It's used for shipping crude to refineries on the US east coast). The 200kt mentioned in that article is only a quarter of our strategic oil reserve, assuming we maintain the EU-mandated 90 day supply. The rest of it is already stored at the Whiddy terminal, at the Whitegate refinery in Cork Harbour, at Tarbert in Kerry, Ringsend in Dublin, and Kilroot in Antrim.

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 Post subject: Re: 'Peak Oil' far, far away
PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2018 5:12 pm 
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tulip wrote:
Do we have enough refinery capacity to store 200K tonnes?

as PS said with some additons
i think our requirement is for storing refined product
total of about 2million m3
mainly held in ireland - NORA tanks on whitty, whitegate, tarbert etc
some in UK/EU and some in short term contracts - i,e. oil tankers destined for Ireland etc

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 Post subject: Re: 'Peak Oil' far, far away
PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2018 5:50 pm 
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werpen wrote:
i think our requirement is for storing refined product

Yep, it's about 5% crude, 95% refined. Of the 95%, a little under 20% is petrol, and over 80% distillates. About two thirds of it is held in Ireland and one third abroad.

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 Post subject: Re: 'Peak Oil' far, far away
PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2018 1:07 pm 
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ps200306 wrote:
werpen wrote:
i think our requirement is for storing refined product

Yep, it's about 5% crude, 95% refined. Of the 95%, a little under 20% is petrol, and over 80% distillates. About two thirds of it is held in Ireland and one third abroad.



Distillates being? Fractions higher than petrol?


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