View Poll Results: Should oil companies be allowed to develope organic fuel solutions?

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  • Yes, it's just another business

    9 34.62%
  • No way, they can't be trusted with our future

    2 7.69%
  • Yes,but be forced by legislation to produce solutions in a timely fashion

    5 19.23%
  • yes, but Govts should stimulate competition to speed the prcess up

    10 38.46%
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Thread: Should oil companies be allowed to develope organic fuels?

  1. #1
    Senior Member RVF500's Avatar
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    Should oil companies be allowed to develope organic fuels?

    As we all know the price of oil is sky rocketing. The majority of oil comes from less than stable parts of the world. Namely the middle East, Nigeria not to mention Venezuela for example. The production is threatened from many directions and oil producing countries use this gambit constantly to drive prices ever upwards.

    Added to the above OPECs main aim is short term profit for themselves. So they are quite happy to use all and any excuse to hold the rest of the world to ransom.

    Given the destructive qualities of burning oil, organic replacements are being sought. We need to get away from oil for 2 reasons that come immediately to mind. Firstly the destructive capacity it has on our environment. Secondly the nature of the states that hold the rest of the world hostage to oil.

    I constantly see advertisements about how geniuses have produced organic solutions. Now at this stage I'm not too bothered about the effectiveness of these solutions. Just that there are solutions. What does bother me is that these 'geniuses' and their research is virtualy monopolised by the oil companies. The reason that this bothers me is that the very companies that are making huge profits out of us are holding the keys to release us from oil dependancy. I see a huge personal reason why these companies might not want to deliver a solution too quickly. If you have huge stockpiles of product then why rush in a replacement for that product?

    My question: Should govts rule that oil companies cannot have controlling interests in organic solutions as it presents a conflict of interest? Should organic solutions be placed inthe hands of other organisations and assisted by global political structures to more rapidly develope these as a replacement for oil as a fuel?
    Last edited by RVF500; 21-04-2006 at 12:07 PM.
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    Treasure Hunter extraordinaire herulach's Avatar
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    For a start, oil is organic, i think maybe you mean renewable.

    Oil companies have money, far more than the majority of governments, they basically have no R&d to d (oil extraction is pretty much done) if they want to spend it on renewables, why the hell not, they'll be massive profits for whoever is first to market with a fuel cell for example (although for the record, im not convinced by fuel cells, they just move the pollution all to one place, since electrolysis needs huge amounts of electricity, were better off just running on batteries rather than some crazy electric->hydrogen->electric combo). Just look at the prius, which is frankly not that impressive, but still sells by the bucket load..

    You can't regulate things like that though, no one stops drug companies researching vaccines, despite the fact that they may make more money from treating an illness rather than vaccinating for it. Add to that the fact that a lot of renewable power is out of the hands of the oil companies anyway (they're really only focussing on fuel cells, which as ive said, im very sceptical about). The first wave power systems are in the hands of small companies, and the only actual solution to any energy crisis (nuclear) is regulated all the way to hell and back to make it too expensive to be worht bothering with.

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    its in the interests of oil companies to fund alternate fuel methods....Eventually fuel will run out and until then oil prices will sky rocket, putting it out the reach of your average person. As a result less fuel will be sold and profits will drop.

    By investing in alternate methods, they potentially open up a new market into which they can spread.

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    mutantbass head Lee H's Avatar
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    Why not?

    Surely all the millions and billions they've made from fossil fuels means they can invest and research the next generation of fuels quicker than if just a standard company did as they have over 60 years experience in the industry.

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    Senior Member RECOiL™'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RVF500
    As we all know the price of oil is sky rocketing. The majority of oil comes from less than stable parts of the world. Namely the middle East, Nigeria not to mention Venezuela for example.
    Where did you do your geography and economics class, button moon ?

    The oil comes from middle east indeed, but the places usa is invading have the largest quanitites. Iraq, Iran, Kuwait.

    Gentlemen, read up some conspiracy theories.. within 2 decades things are going to get very very very bad for everyone on globe. due to the dependancy on oil.

    Nuclear power ftw, uses less raw materials and produces sufficient power. If done properly isnt as harmful as green peace numpts would have you beleive.

    Solar and Wind are the only types of infinate resources, ironically the ones we dont seem interested in *globally* or invest in. It has been proven that a house that had solar panels on roof and various parts advantagous for sunlight could easily support a 4 person family.

    And solar panels dont have to be those light looking star trek type panels either. When will ppl realise that unless we start turning the boat around soon, we're all destined for extinction. NO JOKE

    basically, we're all fuct'd :s
    Last edited by RECOiL™; 21-04-2006 at 12:43 PM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member RVF500's Avatar
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    I did my geography by putting my feet on the ground in those parts of the world. When you are old enough to go out without parental guidance you should try it.

    it's a question...and the question is should the people with a vested interest in a given product that has such a large impact globally be entrusted with it's replacement?
    I know the economics. I for sure would like to be in charge of replacing my own expensive product.

    And yes. We are screwed. Unless people in power do something about it now.
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    To answer your question, if it wasn't the oil companies funding research into alternative fuels then it would be someone else and when they became the dependent source of fuel they will then become the fatcats we all love to hate. It might as well be the oil companies doing it the end result will be the same.

    I for one am glad that they are spending my hard earned cash on alternative fuels. Atleast I know that not all my money goes into filling someones bank account with 000's...

    I can also rest easy knowing that they are working towards a dependable source of fuel for the future generations.
    Last edited by moose82; 21-04-2006 at 03:28 PM.

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    Senior Member Rack's Avatar
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    Recoil, Venezuela is going to be one of the largest oil producing countries in the world soon, and the US is doing their best to overthrow Venezuela's government (who are controlling all oil production there and using the money for *gasp* social benifit), don't worry about that.

    It's just that the US are screwing about in Europes backyard, and that the Middle east is so contentious, that we are getting all the press about it.

    On topic, I wouldn't want to rely on Oil companies to come up with a solution to our energy problems. Who will regulate them??
    They would probably go with nuclear and get contracts with Nestle to sell the waste as baby formula for african countries, and sell any excess uranium to Afganistan drug lords.

    @ Moose, is any of that on topic? why not save us all some time scrolling and just delete everything but the bold bit.
    Last edited by Rack; 21-04-2006 at 02:19 PM.

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    Done. Sorry didn't realise I'd rambled for quite so long... have pitty on me I'm dying of boredom at work!!!

    You can't blame the US for wanting to secure what little remains of the oil. they are the largest consumer of the stuff. It is only delaying the inevitable though and sooner or later they will have to scrap their gas guzzlers. By that time we will be less dependent on oil and in a much stronger position than the US.

    To the question "Who will regulate them?" The International Energy Agency acts as a policy advisor for 26 countries already.

    Ultimately though it will be a branch of that countries government that will regulate it's energy program.

    Also a note on Nuclear power. Current UK reactors are all reaching the end of their operational lives. It is going to take a long time and a lot of money to decommission the current facilities. Unless governments allow the companies to build new facilities soon nuclear energy will not play a large part in our future energy production.
    Last edited by moose82; 21-04-2006 at 03:53 PM.

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    www.5lab.co.uk
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    to be honest, its in oil companies best interests to develop these fuels - in under 50 years there will be ~no oil left - that means no business for shell, bp and the other giants. most companies which face certain extermination unless they move to another line of work would probably be chasing the alternitives as well
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    awm
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    There are alot of alternatives out there, but almost all of them require oil to make them. For example ethanol is rewnable, but the gas used to power the tractors to farm the corn and the gas used to transport it is not. We also rely on oil to make plastics and many other products.

    Of course this doesn't mean we shouldn't work on solutions, we just need to find alternatives to every use for oil, not just a select few we like to think about.

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    Time for Walkies... Atomic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rec0il
    It has been proven that a house that had solar panels on roof and various parts advantagous for sunlight could easily support a 4 person family.
    My parents have solar water heating and they pay very little in heating/hot water costs.

    The payback period on the panels looks to be about 17yrs so not too bad as they will be paid off in their life time easily.

    Offshore wind power is the way forward, as it gives the best elec return for the price and dont impact on house prices either.

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    Treasure Hunter extraordinaire herulach's Avatar
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    Tbh, the only sustainable solution is nuclear. Yes, its costs a lot to decomission a reactor, of course it does, but the ones going out of service now are very old designs, modern ones could last ~100 years at least. If you factor in the cost of getting any other power generation mechanism (other than coal/oil/gas) up to the kind of potential nuclear has it looks positively cheap. (IIRC to get wave power up to 20% of the uks demands youd need to farm almost all the coast)

    Basically, nuclear power owns hard, waste is a non issue, if the romans can build structures still standing now, we can build things that'll still be around in a thousand years. People just need to get rid of the not in my back yard mentality

    Awm also has a good point about plastics, however, i dont have an exact figure, but i would guess the majority of oil production is accounted for by fuel, so its not as an urgent a problem.

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    Yes true, I'm in favour of new nuclear facilities myself. yes their byproducts are pretty dangerous but then so is C02 if not dealt with.

    IMO the only way to get current CO2 emissions below target levels in the timescales available is to build new nuclear facilities.

    I just hope someone hurries up and manages to get an operational fusion reactor going able to produce energy.

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    awm
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    The problem with nuclear, besides the highly dangerous waste, is that uranium (and plutonium) is also fairly limited in quantity and is not portable. The Earth does not have enough of the correct isotope to last forever (or anywhere close), so at most we could get more time. There has been talk (an occasional funcitoning plants) of breeder reactors which take waste uranium and "breed" it to the correct istope by pelting it with neutrons, unfourtuneatly it needs liquid sodium cooling since water absorbs too many neutrons. The problem with this is that sodium is extremely reactive. To my knowlege all breeder reactors have been shut down for this reason.

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    Treasure Hunter extraordinaire herulach's Avatar
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    The point being theres enough nuclear fuel kicking around to last for a good couple of hundred years, by which point, fusion reactors will be stone age technology, where as at the moment were setting ourselves up for a crisis in maybe 20 years time, and since the building time for most plants would be at least 5 years, more if you include design etc, we need to get our skates on

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