‘The Drum’ goes still

July 14, 2013

theoildrumSad news now a couple of weeks old — one of the way-best data/info sites on the InterWebs will soon go ‘archive‘ only and a neat, educated voice in the ether will go quiet.

The Oil Drum will be history supposedly on Aug. 31.

Invaluable would be a word I’d use to describe the site, and entertaining, too, in an off-the-wall, intellectual kind of way.
(Illustration found here).

Pretty-close to the beginning of this blog (April 2007), I’ve always relied on The Oil Drum — and always in my mind/Bookmarks, as just ‘the Drum‘ — for information, and with exposing some kernel of knowledge, not only in the occasional original post I’d have time to read in depth (on stuff like future Iraqi oil production, or on hydrofracking in North Dakota), but always checked the Drum‘s near-semi-daily ‘Drumbeat,’ a round-up of energy-related news stories, like climate change.

An example of these original posts: A good source of reality from the Drum came in June about the return ability of oil sands to really, really expand energy potential. A lot of science and data came with the result that this black-sticky shit really, really sucks, and in the long run, literally a ruptured pipe dream:

Our recent work (Brandt et al. 2013) utilized detailed energy production and consumption data reported by oil sands producers from 1970 to 2010 to examine trends in historical energy returns from oil sands extraction.
The system diagram and flows considered are shown in Figures 1 and 2.
Data are available on a monthly basis for most flows, with limited interpolation required in mining datasets, and some back-extrapolation required for in-situ energy intensities (see Brandt et al. (2013) for methodological details).
The resulting energy inputs and outputs from mining and in situ production are shown in Figures 3 and 4.
Mine mouth (e.g., extraction only, excluding refining) net energy returns (NER) for the entire industry were found to be 5.23 GJ/GJ in 2010.
In situ NERs were approximately 3.5 to 4 GJ/GJ in 2010 while mining NERs were approximately 5.5 to 6 GJ/GJ.

WTF!
If I read such technical prose, there’s just no grappling with the knowledge contained therein — I have absolutely no idea what that paragraph was talking about or what the numbers and letters together really mean. However, I feel it necessary to read (and then re-read) it after I discover what makes this sentence explosive further down in the text: Therefore, oil sands projects exhibit demonstrably lower energy returns than conventional oil operations.

Now, what that says is not only does tar sands greatly-pollute and aid in the destruction of the planet, but its whole energy/power game is worse than regular-old time, Texas-style oil drilling.
The above-mentioned the Drum post supplies a shitload of nuts-n-bolts foundation for what’s making the world act in such a suicidal manner. And the comments section is always educational in many different ways, and though there’s a shitload of technical stuff that for me is over-my-head and out the window, there’s always a ‘normal‘ sentence in the discussion which alights the bulb of understanding for a dumb-ass twit like me.

The Drum live will be greatly missed.
Read the original announcement here — which stated an end date of July 21 — and the latest post on the matter from last Friday — allowing the demise to be postponed until Aug. 31.

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