Unconventional Oil, NGL, and the Mitigation Wedge



As I write this it is the spring of 2011 and if someone mentions “Black Swan” then most people would think of the recent film of the same name. Natalie Portman was awarded an Oscar for her role as the dancing black swan in that film. Those whose attention is more focused on the functioning of our society might think of Nassim Nicholas and his theory of “Black Swan Events.” This refers to unexpected events of large magnitude that are significant from an historical perspective. When I hear the expression “Black Swan” I am reminded of November 22, 2005 when Bruce Robinson and his wife Sue took me and my wife Ann-Cathrine to the Swan River in Perth, Australia, to show us real black swans. Having seen them, I can understand why the first British sailors who found them early in the nineteenth century thought they had arrived in the lair of the Devil himself where everything is black (Fig. 10.1). Their discovery of black swans is just the sort of unexpected event that Nassim Nicholas describes in his theory. After visiting the Swan River I experienced my own personal “Black Swan Event” later that evening.


Mercury Foam Steam Hydrocarbon Sandstone 


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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Earth SciencesUppsala UniversityUppsalaSweden

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