Apropos of nothing I browsed a few (English language) news items related to heavy industry and the primary sector in Thailand. The nature of the subject means the reports tend to be from trade media or PR. The latest developments in oil fields tend to get coverage only when the story is catastrophic in tone.
What I got from this wasn’t a greater knowledge of what’s going on so much as a strong impression of how trade media gets away with language that would be torn apart if it appeared in the mainstream.
Heavy equipment manufacturer Caterpillar is to build a huge new plant in Rayong to produce articulated trucks and loaders used in underground mining. The plant should open in late 2012 and employ 800 people.
This aroused my interest for three reasons:
Apparently, one of the wells in the Songkhla oil field in the Gulf of Thailand has, er, “found” a new reservoir of oil. And it’s estimated to contain 20 million barrels’ worth. Well I think the report says that. In a mere 110-word report, they cram in so much industry terminology, and assume so much prior knowledge, that I’m only confident of the meaning of a single sentence.
What are “side tracks” and what does it mean “to sidetrack”? Does “oil in place estimate” mean something more subtle than how much oil there is in that … place? What are “porosity” and “net pay” in this context? Meanwhile, seeing “Oligocene and Eocene” together makes me rather fearful.
Anyway, the report offers no insight into whether or not a 20-million barrel find is significant for the Gulf of Thailand’s oilfields. A comparison: Deepwater Horizon leaked 5 million barrels. This (undated) summary suggests that the former estimate for the Songkhla oil field was a total 38m barrels. If this 20m comes on top of that, it’s a big boost.
This was interesting because of the posited reasons for an increase in demand: