With car fuel on its way to $3 a litre and aviation fuel headed the same way, does any airline have a future? Fuel price hedging will protect for a while but eventually full price will have to be paid. Are we all doomed?
GAWD this is like the seventies all over again. AND like always there is more to the story. Price is being pushed up by FEAR not a lack of supply.
The big winner of this is Government Taxes. Parity pricing is a tax. The oil producers do not get the benefit of increased prices, our Government does.Oil production is taxed through every process from resource tax thru pipeline input taxes, taxes into the refinery as well as retail taxes. Did I mention the BIGGY for the states , the GST??? Work out how much that rakes in for every cent a litre increase.
Australia is going to run out of oil! Yep true enough but the biggest question is when? I know for a fact we have more than you are all led to believe. North west shelf has 200 years of reserves at current usage. But , that's all gas I hear you all thinking. My dear people GAS CONDENSATE is diesel.From diesel comes AVTUR then petrol. Nearly all the onshore fields are condensate fields. If you want proof fly around and see how many donkeys are pumping oil out of the ground.
I am not condoning using fuel like there is no tomorrow. But , like the greenhouse effect, no one actual knows what is going to happen. I may be wrong here. But, after spending more than a couple of years being scared wittless on FIFO ops in suspect Queenairs, I think I maybe closer to the truth than some of these "experts"
The sky is falling, The sky is falling....give me a break
I'm a bit confused about the greenhouse effect. Is it really caused by pollution? When the Ice Age ended, this was a classic effect of global warming. I wonder if there was a hole in the ozone layer then? Or could the greenhouse effect be a natural phenomena?
The greenhouse effect is a natural phenomenon that is being accelerated by our fossil fuel burning.
Man's input comes from various greenhouse gases - methane, NOx, N20, and most importantly CO2 or Carbon Dioxide (created in the combustion process - the same chemical reaction as respiration).
The atmosphere already has carbon dioxide in it (0.03% by volume) and it is not a poison, or harmful in any other way. But adding so much to it, as we are, is likely to have an impact on insolation (because the CO2 lets shortwave solar radiation in, but reflects outgoing longwave radiation back to the earth). As we all know, insolation plays a major part in our weather systems and temperature!!
The fear is that with humans adding so much CO2 so quickly, the climate will change faster than the ecology can keep up - so species die, food chains collapse, and - here's the important bit - no-one knows the exact consequences, but they are not likely to be good!!
The climate has changed in the past, but it has been at a much slower rate - and while not all species survived, it happened slowly enough for the whole ecology (food chains etc.) to adapt, and keep running.
So to get back on topic, there is plenty of oil around, and new drilling techniques will increase the available reserves - there will be more demand with the economic expansion of Asia, but this won't be a problem in the next few years.
However, as we start to realise the ecological impacts of what we're doing, this may well have a HUGE impact on aviation - as well as shipping and cars and trucks and power stations and farming (cows fart, you know)... aviation won't be singled out, but will be a part of the rationalisation.
Someone much smarter than me once said (along the lines of) "The ecology can get along fine by itself without our economy... but we can't have our economy without that ecology!"
Apparently the Oceans absorb alot of CO2 through there plankton that floats around in it.. not an excuse to cut down a whole Brazillian rainforest, but a thought..
AVGAS I see on it's way out. With Diamond's and Thialert's (sp?) new disel/AVTUR hybrid twin turbocharged out of a A-Class Merc engine as being the start, SMC from France also make a 300 HP turbo diesel piston as well with a view of replacing those connies in C182s and C206 etc. They're all water cooled too so hopefully less chance of thermal shock.
As for the AVTUR supply, as a earlier poster said, Aussie has a few reserves of gas condensate. I'm not entirely sure where, probably because I'm a kiwi and I haven't brushed up on my Aussie geography. Failing that, diesel fuel can be grown. Linseed and rape seed plants produce a large amount of oil which can be turned into biofuel. The Moller skycar for example has rotary engines that can run on used fish and chip frying oil.
Green house gases I hear you call, well with biodiesel, that doesn't really contribute to the problem. Why? Well when you grow these plants, they take the CO2 out of the present atmosphere, and act as carbon "sinks". The problem with fossil fuels is that there are in the ground, the carbon there is not already in the atmosphere, where with growing plants, it just takes the carbon already present in the atmosphere.
But in the big big picture of things, I can see us switching to a hydrogen fuel based society, once we iron out supply and containment problems. Hydrogen only acts as a fuel transfer medium, you can't mine it, you have to produce it using a power source. The other problem is the density of the stuff. You have to keep it really cold and under high pressure to turn it into liquid. So hydrogen fuel turbine aircraft might be a while away yet, as the tanks would have to be pretty huge.
There is also the chance that we may goto Methane, which can be mined off the ocean floor in deposits or produced biologically.
Turbines are hardy things, they can burn just about any fuel. I've even heard of turbines being fueled by coal dust for power generation on the ground. (The first officer's duties now include stoking the boiler and shovling coal.. )
By this time, air travel might not be as what you know it presently. Long haul travel might take the route of ex-atmospheric travel, i.e orbital etc.
Oil is on it's way out, however it will be a gradual process. It won't happen overnight, but it will happen.
One of the more interesting things I found out back in the days of school was that CO2 imissions take close to between 50 to 100 years to reach the Ozone Layer. Any destruction now can in fact be traced back to such time as the Industrial Revolution. This being said all the 'Greener' methods now will improve thing latter on down the track hopefully for our kids. Hence the claim the Hole in the ozone will infact close back up again.
Ozbusdriver, have to agree, just like the 70's and true, alot of it is fear of a shortage in oil rather than a trend of lack of the black gold.
I have a theory as to why the oil price is so high ($46 a US barrel now, me thinks)
I reckon Saudi's are peeved because good old George has gone over to their turf to steal oil. I think the only people left who still believe this war is about WMD are Johnny (truth overboard) Howard and that dead $hit, Lord Downer of Bagdad.
All Iraq needs is 5 years of stability so a much larger percentage of reserves can be tapped. (we're coming to kick ya ass 'n steal ya gas!)
But I bet the Saudi's are thinking - until that day comes, you are gonna pay through the nose.
NO WE DON'T. WhY??? Because I read a book about a bible code which says we're all FUC%ED in a little while. you should read it, it's very interesting
but if you think you'll be rich in a few years due to shares, your Subway shop, whatever, forget it, we're all screwed.
you see it foretells all the bad shiite that has happened... (foretells????) anyway it is all there and it says we are screwed with nukes and all kinds of similar shiite coming our way soon, within a year that is, I shiite you not.
Read the book, it's called the Bible Code and explains how it is all predicted by some sort of code which requires computers to decipher.
you think i'm talking rot and maybe I am but what if I'm not??? read the book and decide.
As for this 'Bible code', I haven't read it, but which bible is it based on? If it isn't the original Hebrew version, don't trust it. So much is lost in the translation, I wouldn't trust any 'hidden evidence' someone has found...
As for the end of the world, according to Nostrodamus that was supposed to be 1981. I'm still waiting
Compared to the future prospects in the cold war, when we all expected to wiped out in a M.A.D. nuclear armaggedon, I think things are looking ok. As a child of the 80s, the thought of WW3 scared the cr@p out of me back then.
Fuel at $3 a litre? This was predicted by a visiting Iranian oil exec. I'm sure he'd love us to be paying that much. Allowing for inflation, how much was petrol during the 70s oil crisis?
Air Transport 3.15 Recognising that air transport causes considerable environmental damage and is also less fuel efficient by a large factor particularly to transport by rail or by sea, the Australian Greens consider it important that the environmental costs of air transport are taken into account openly and incorporated into the cost of air travel. 3.16 The Australian Greens believe there are many unexplored possibilities for decreasing the dependence on air travel. One of these is the expansion of teleconferencing. In general, the Australian Greens will support measures such as tax incentives which will encourage people to travel less by air. 3.17 The Australian Greens recognise that bad planning in a number of cases has caused housing areas near airports to have an unacceptable noise level and support moves to remedy such mistakes, for example through modifying flying patterns and airport operations and compensating residents in the most affected areas.
Not sure if the "first" bible was in Hebrew...I see where you are coming from, but am pretty sure it was Aramaic (sp?)
I was once told by someone who should know that the polluter actually issuing the largest amount of lead into the atmosphere was....the US (and others) General Aviation aircraft. Apparently everyone else use unleaded fuel...but not aircraft. Not sure if that is still the case, but it was back in 2001.
He advocated the use of ethanol in all internal combustion engines. He even used to (probably still does) fly around the world in his Pitts doing aerobatics with the aircraft only fuelled with ethanol.
Ethanol can be made out of just about anything that biodegrades, is cheap and effective, and can be made by just about anyone. Most of the furore about the stuff eating away cars fuel lines was media (read oil company) scare mongering.
You are a bomb disposal expert and you have a large device to defuse.
Fortunately, head office has a full set of instructions to defuse the bomb.
Two small problems are evident.
Problem one. The bomb must be defused EXACTLY as written or else it will go off.
Problem two, the defusion instructions were originally written in ancient aramaic then translated to greek, Latin, old english and modern english....
What do you do.... what do you do....?
(Not sure what this has to do with aviation but there you go.)
And no, the gospels were not written till at least 60 years after the events in question, there are no originals left in existence, and no mention of them appears anywhere till the mid second century AD. No complete "Bible" was in existence till about 600 years after Christ and there were no mass produced ones till after Gutenberg.
(and yet my sister still tries to" save" me based on what is written therein.... thats not your problem, that is mine...)
3.15 Recognising that air transport causes considerable environmental damage and is also less fuel efficient by a large factor particularly to transport by rail or by sea, the Australian Greens consider it important that the environmental costs of air transport are taken into account openly and incorporated into the cost of air travel.
I Guess that means that w**ker Bob Brown takes the ferry to Melb. and then train to CB rather than fly.......