Future of anthracite coal

PostBy: Richard S. On: Sun Dec 18, 2005 2:17 am

madrmc wrote:In the Middle East alone, for example, reserves have doubled in the past 25 years despite significant production and few new discoveries. As one professor put it, "It would take a pretty big pile of dead dinosaurs and plants to account for the estimated 660 billion barrels of oil in the region."


I would attribute that to technology, it's also within Saudi Arabia's best interest to bolster claims of reserves which may be another factor. Additionally as I have been reading a little more on this and the bulk of Saudi's oil production come s from 5 fields, all found between 1940 and 1960. There has been no major new fields found since then. More than half of it comes from 1 field alone. They are extended the life of the fields by injecting water into them and using differen drilling techniques. This has also lead to increase in the cost of production because they now recover water with the oil which leads to a secondary recovery. This reflects what Mr. Hubbert whom I linked to above has stated, at some point it requires more energy to extract the oil than what you get out of it.

Even if we assume that this theory is true then obviuosly it is not being regenerated very fast. Evidence of that would be the decline of production in the US, Russia and other places. Keep in mind the US is pumping less oil now than it did in 1970.

At what point did this become a oil discussion? :)
Richard S.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite

PostBy: madrmc On: Sun Dec 18, 2005 6:23 pm

The decline in Russia production is a result of their government and the resulting lack of capitalism. The Russian oil companies don't benefit from an increase in the price of oil, higher prices (beyond $29/barrel I think) go to the government, not the oil companies. :twisted: In a capitalistic environment Russian proven Russian oil reserves would be much higher. Oil exploration and production is not given a fair shot under this set of scenarios. Capitalism should solve this problem. Many other governments and or situations result in underutilized exploration and production. Iraq being another example. Before too long the motive for profits will win out.

Think we might be a little off topic? :lol:
madrmc
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Alaska
Stove/Furnace Model: Channing III

PostBy: Yanche On: Sun Dec 25, 2005 3:59 am

There is a very interesting book on energy “The Bottomless Well”, by Peter W. Huber and Mark P. Wells. Published early in 2005, it is very timely. It has the bi-line, “The twilight of fuel, the virtue of waste, and why we will never run out of energy”. ISBN 0-465-03116-1. For the US coal is the only fuel that can meet the growing energy demand. Nuclear power is the only other long-term possibility. One day nuclear will be viewed as safer alternative for many reasons. Read the book with an open mind and you will never think about ‘the energy problem’ in quite the same way. Much of what we have done in national energy policies is clearly wrong. Thousands of years from now there will still be endless energy. As long as the sun shines, the earth rotates and there is intelligent life on earth to figure out how to extract it. Get the book at your library it’s provocative! The science in the book is correct, objective and the facts are well researched.

Yanche
Yanche
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Alternate Heating Systems S-130
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Pea


PostBy: Richard S. On: Sun Dec 25, 2005 8:44 am

I agree with most of that Yanche for the long term, my opinion is that would could see a short term energy crisis in the future if someone doesn't get off their ass and start thinking about it. Nuclear energy as it stands now is probably not going to happen, there's simply too much toxic waste it produces which can last forever.... I know it's not forever but it's close enough.

The future lies in a clean energy source like Nuclear fission, hydrolics, the sun.... any amount of things. It just has to be harnessed economically on a massive scale. If you think about it the earth is just a big ball of molten rock with a crust. There's enough energy inside it to power our energy needs forever. The reason none of these alternative energy sources have not been used is because oil and gas are cheap and the infrastucture is there to use them, at least for the present so there is no incentive. That's going to change shortly.
Richard S.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite

PostBy: Richard-deactivated On: Sun Dec 25, 2005 2:48 pm

You know, I can remember back in the late 1970's, I believe. There were some articles in Popular Science about alternate energy sources. Several articles talked about wave energy, from ocean tides. If I'm not mistaken New England dabbled in it. Wind and Solar were big issues also. Wind is doing pretty well from what I have seen, I don't think that solar is the answer, especially in the North East. Not enough sunny days. Anyway, most of the talk seemed to fizzle out when the oil prices dropped. I have a feeling the same thing is going to happen again. Do you think that may be why we are in Iraq right now?? :| Time will tell.
Richard-deactivated
 

PostBy: Ray On: Sun Dec 25, 2005 11:05 pm

We went to the Middle East for oil and help set up a democracy to sell oil to the western world. President carter told us to get out of that part of world 30 yrs ago. I believe oil prices will drop again.
Ray
 

PostBy: Oil Region On: Mon Dec 26, 2005 10:07 am

Back to the Anthracite topic... Is there still active mining for Anthracite going on, or are we using previously mined coal now? I understand that anthracite veins travel in the ground at verticle angles and that it is harder to mine unless it is near the surface and can be surface mined.

It seems aparent that there is plenty of anthracite under the ground, but are we really getting to it? Depending on the answer to the first question above, it may be that if we have to mine harder/deeper for anthracite in the future that may affect the price as much as anything.
Oil Region
 
Stove/Furnace Model: Harman DVC-500

PostBy: madrmc On: Mon Dec 26, 2005 1:22 pm

Also in terms of getting coal out of the ground doesn't the mining industry suffer from a potential labor shortage. As the existing work force retires, there is little in the way of younger employees to replace them. At the beginning of this forum I quoted production figures back decades, and according to the figures from the National Mining Association we are not producing what we used to. If anthracite is primarily used for home heating then demand should grow (probably 7 out of 10 commenting in this forum are using hard coal for the first time, and since word travels fast the geographic area of demand is growing), as prices of commodities it can be substituted for (oil and natural gas) increase. If we don't see production get to all time highs (assuming the prices of substitutes stay high) then my assumption is something is wrong. Do we lack miners? Is it too hard to get out of the ground (I've heard that its in the ground like a snake)? Are regulations causing mining to slow? Did production take a hit when residential demand fell somewhat as the savings from using hard coal vs. oil narrowed in the late 90's?

If the coal is in the ground and it is, and the price savings from converting from oil or natural gas is the highest ever (I think it probably is) then there's no reason why production shouldn't soon be at all time highs. If not it doesn't seem inconceivalbe to think of coal rationing in the future (it's seem plentiful to meet current demand in western PA, as long as you don't buy it in the dead of winter). I think you can basically get a list of the mining companies from the Norfolk Southern website. As forum we should develop a list of questions and call each one of these minining companies to find out just what is going on.
madrmc
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Alaska
Stove/Furnace Model: Channing III

PostBy: Richard S. On: Mon Dec 26, 2005 9:18 pm

Oil Region wrote:Back to the Anthracite topic... Is there still active mining for Anthracite going on, .


Yes, to what extent I don't know. I now all the coal processed where I purchase it is mined.
Richard S.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite

PostBy: Gary in Pennsylvania On: Mon Nov 06, 2006 1:41 pm

WOW!

What a FANTASTIC thread!!! Though I cannot contribute to the dialog, I sure enjoyed reading it.
Gary in Pennsylvania
 

PostBy: Gary in Pennsylvania On: Mon Nov 06, 2006 2:49 pm

madrmc wrote:Also in terms of getting coal out of the ground doesn't the mining industry suffer from a potential labor shortage.


Train the prisoners! There are overcrowded prisons all over the country. Let's put 'em to work!
Gary in Pennsylvania