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Peak Ghawar: A Peak Oiler’s Nightmare

Peak Ghawar: A Peak Oiler’s Nightmare thumbnail

Alternate title:

No… “The biggest Saudi oil field is [NOT] fading faster than anyone guessed”… Part Trois: Why Peak Oil Is Irrelevant and the Perpetually Refilling Abiotic Oil Field Is Abject Nonsense

Guest reservoir geology by David Middleton

Saudi Aramco’s recent bond prospectus has generated a lot of media buzz, particularly regarding the production from Ghawar, the largest oil field in the world. Reaction has ranged from “The biggest Saudi oil field is fading faster than anyone guessed,” (not even wrong) to more subdued reactions from Ellen Wald and Robert Rapier, that the prospectus doesn’t really tell us much Ghawar’s decline rate. One thing that the bond prospectus did do, is to paint a picture of the most profitable company in the world and one that is serious when it says it will produce the last barrel of oil ever produced on Earth.

How big is Ghawar? Has it peaked? Is it “fading faster than anyone guessed”? The answer to the first question is: FRACKING YUGE. The answer to the second question was not easily answerable before Saudi Aramco began the process of becoming a publicly traded company. The answer to the third question is: Of course not.

As Saudi Aramco proceeds towards a 2021 IPO, it has had to embrace transparency. This involved an audit of the proved reserves in their largest fields, comprising about 80% of the company’s value. The audit was conducted by the highly respected DeGolyer and MacNaughton firm (D&M). The audit actually determined that the proved reserves are slightly larger than Aramco’s internal estimate.

This is from D&M’s certification letter (Appendix-C in the bond prospectus):

Reserves estimated herein are expressed as net reserves. Gross reserves are defined as the total estimated petroleum remaining to be produced from these properties after December 31, 2017, but before December 31, 2077 (license limit). Net reserves are defined as that portion of the gross reserves attributable to the interests held by Saudi Arabian Oil Company after deducting interests held by others. Saudi Arabian Oil Company has represented that it holds 100 percent of the interests evaluated herein; therefore, net reserves are equivalent to gross reserves for the purposes of this report.

Saudi Arabian Oil Company has represented that it holds interests in certain properties onshore and offshore the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Proved reserves have been estimated for 77 reservoirs in 29 fields in this report.

[…]

Definition of Reserves
Estimates of proved reserves presented in this report have been prepared in accordance with the PRMS approved in March 2007 by the Society of Petroleum Engineers, the World Petroleum Council, the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, and the Society of Petroleum Evaluation Engineers. Only proved reserves have been evaluated for this report. The petroleum reserves are defined as follows:

Reserves are those quantities of petroleum anticipated to be commercially recoverable by application of development projects to known accumulations from a given date forward under defined conditions. Reserves must further satisfy four criteria: they must be discovered, recoverable, commercial, and remaining (as of the evaluation date) based on the development project(s) applied. Reserves are further categorized in accordance with the level of certainty associated with the estimates and may be sub-classified based on project maturity and/or characterized by development and production status.

Proved Reserves – Proved Reserves are those quantities of petroleum which, by analysis of geoscience and engineering data, can be estimated with reasonable certainty to be commercially recoverable, from a given date forward, from known reservoirs and under defined economic conditions, operating methods, and government regulations. If deterministic methods are used, the term reasonable certainty is intended to express a high degree of confidence that the quantities will be recovered. If probabilistic methods are used, there should be at least a 90-percent probability that the quantities actually recovered will equal or exceed the estimate.

[…]

Aramco bond prospectus, pages C-1 and C-3

A couple of important clues to Ghawar’s current production rate:

  • Gross reserves are defined as the total estimated petroleum remaining to be produced from these properties after December 31, 2017, but before December 31, 2077.
  • Proved Reserves are those quantities of petroleum which, by analysis of geoscience and engineering data, can be estimated with reasonable certainty to be commercially recoverable, from a given date forward… If probabilistic methods are used, there should be at least a 90-percent probability that the quantities actually recovered will equal or exceed the estimate.

D&M’s proved reserve number for Ghawar was 48,254 million barrels of liquids (crude oil, condensate and natural gas liquids). That’s just a shade under 50 billion barrels to be produced from 2018-2077.

Ghawar: “The King of Giant Fields”

Discovered in 1948 and located some 200 km east of Riyadh, Ghawar has produced about five million barrels of oil per day in the past three decades. Last year, output from Ghawar accounted for 62.5% of Saudi Arabia’s crude production (about 8 MMbopd) and 6.25% of the world’s total oil production (about 80 MMbopd).

Sorkhabi 2010, “Ghawar: The King of Giant Fields”

Ghawar is “big”…

Figure 1. Ghawar relative to the State of Louisiana (Afifi, 2005)

Dr. Abdulkader Afifi described the geologic setting in his 2004 AAPG Distinguished Lecture…

Aramco initially discovered oil in Ghawar in 1948, based on surface mapping and shallow structure drilling. Ghawar is a large north-trending anticlinal structure, some 250 kilometers long and 30 kilometers wide. It is a drape fold over a basement horst, which grew initially during the Carboniferous Hercynian deformation and was reactivated episodically, particularly during the Late Cretaceous. In detail, the deep structure consists of several en echelon horst blocks that probably formed in response to right-lateral transpression. The bounding faults have throws exceeding 3000 feet at the Silurian level but terminate within the Triassic section. The episodic structural growth influenced sedimentation of the Permo-Carboniferous sandstone reservoirs, which onlap the structure and the Jurassic and Permian carbonate reservoirs, which accumulated in shoals above structural culminations.

The main oil reservoir is the Upper Jurassic Arab-D limestone, which improves upward from mudstone to skeletal-oolitic grainstone, reflecting successive upward-shoaling cycles. The excellent reservoir quality is due to the preservation of the primary porosity, the enhancement of permeability, and the presence of fractures in the deeper and tighter parts. The oil was sourced exclusively from Jurassic organic-rich mudstones and is effectively sealed beneath massive anhydrite. The general absence of faults at the Arab-D level maintained seal integrity. Current production is almost 5 million barrels per day under peripheral water injection. The southernmost part of the field remains under development, with a final increment of 300,000 barrels per day on stream in 2006.

Afifi, 2005

The structural/stratigraphic setting couldn’t have been better if it was designed for the purpose of becoming a super-giant oil field. The presence of a positive paleo-structure, episodic reactivation of uplift and buried fault system provided for a high-energy depostional environment, critical to the formation and preservation of carbonate porosity and provided pathways from the underlying prolific Silurian source rocks. The Jurassic Arab-D formation is covered by a thick sequence of anhydrite, forming a very effective seal.

Figure 2a. Ghawar Jurassic stratigraphy. Sorkhabi (2010)
Figure 2b. Ghawar Paleozoic stratigraphy. Sorkhabi (2010)
Figure 2c. Ghawar E-W Cross Section. Afifi (2005)

The Arab-D carbonate is an incredible reservoir, particularly the skeletal-oolitic grainstone.

Figure 3a. Ghawar Arab-D litho-facies. Afifi (2005)
Figure 3b. Ghawar Arab-D litho-facies. Afifi (2005)

Ghawar is subdivided into five segments: Ain Dar, Shedgum, Uthmaniyah, Hawiyah and Haradh.

Figure 4a. Arab-D structure map originally published in Levorsen 1954. Greg Kroft, Inc.

The 1954 structure map holds up pretty well today.

Figure 4b. 3d representation of Ghawar structure. Afifi (2005).

In 1980, Aramco published all of the data anyone would ever need to calculate the original oil in place (OOIP) for Ghawar:

Figure 5. Arab-D reservoir properties. Sorkhabi (2010)

I planimetered the areas of the five segments and then calculated to OOIP using this equation:

Figure 6. Basic volumetric equation. AAPG

This is what I came up with:

Figure 7. Ghawar OOIP.

About 183 billion barrels of oil. I also estimated approximate recoverable volumes:

OOIP   182,773,625,918 bbl
Primary Water Drive 40%      73,109,450,367 bbl
Secondary Waterflood EOR 50%      91,386,812,959 bbl
Tertiary CO2 injection EOR 60%   109,664,175,551 bbl

In order to estimate Ghawar’s current production rate, I needed three numbers:

  1. Original oil in place.
  2. Current proved reserves.
  3. Cumulative production

We have estimates of OOIP and proved reserves, but the cumulative production is a bit “fuzzy”.

Beydoun in his book (The Middle East, 1988) reports that Ghawar had produced 19 Bbo by 1979. According to an article on Ghawar in the AAPG Explorer (January 2005), the cumulative production from the field was 55 Bbo. The International Energy Agency in its 2008 World Energy Outlook states that the oil production from Ghawar reached 66 Bbo in 2007 and that the remaining reserves are 74 Bbo.

Data on Ghawar reported in the past issues of Oil & Gas Journal indicate that when Ghawar came on stream in 1951 it produced 126,000 bopd but production steadily rose with a major boost soon after the 1973 oil shock so that the field’s 1975 output was 4.2 MMbopd; this reached a maximum production of 5.7 MMbopd in 1981. From 1982-1990, the Saudis lowered their oil production for market considerations (most notably the oil crash of 1985) and thus Ghawar’s production was 2.5 to 3 MMbopd during that decade. A senior geologist with Saudi Aramco, A. M. Afifi, in his 2004 AAPG Distinguished Lecture, reported production values of 4.6-5.2 MMbopd for Ghawar from 1993 through 2003. These data indicate that 50-65% of Saudi Aramco’s oil production has traditionally come from Ghawar. Apparently, one half of Ghawar’s production (2.0 to 2.7 MMbopd) comes from the Ain Dar and Shedgum areas, while Uthmaniyah provides 1 MMbopd, and another million barrels or so comes from Hawiyah and Haradh combined.

Sorkhabi (2010)

For my estimate, I used the AAPG number of 55 billion bbl as the cumulative production through 2004. I then used the production data cited in Afifi (2005) as a starting point for a decline curve.

Figure 8. Saudi Arabia and Ghawar oil production. Crude = Crude oil and natural gas condensate, NGL = Natural Gas Liquids other than wellhead condensate, MSC = Maximum Sustained Capacity, Rpt. Ghawar = Published reports of Ghawar’s production rate, DCA = Decline Curve Analysis

The Aramco bond prospectus noted that Ghawar’s MSC (maximum sustained capacity) was 3.8 million barrels per day (bbl/d) in 2018. Based on Aramco’s definition of MSC, it’s difficult to determine if that is a current value or an average value over the Saudi planning period (which appears to be 50 years). A 2% decline rate, typical of giant oil fields (Höök et al, 2009), fits a current MCS of 3.8 million bbl/d. A 1% decline rate fits a long-term average MCS of 3.8 million bbl/d. Based on the cumulative production and proved reserves, a 2% decline rate seems likely.

A 2% decline rate would lead to Ghawar producing just over 100% of its proved reserves (1p) from 2018-2077 (50.7 billion bbl). Recall that proved reserves (1p) is a >90% probability volume. Proved + probable reserves (2p) is the most likely volume (>50%). 2p is always a little (or a lot) bigger than 1p. As far as I know, Aramco has not published a 2p volume.

A 2% decline rate would lead to a recovery of approximately 65% of the OOIP from 1951-2077.

People have often asked, “How could Saudi Arabia ever replace Ghawar, the largest oil field in the world?” They already have replaced it… and Ghawar is not “fading faster than anyone guessed.” It’s declining as gracefully as befits the world’s super-giant oil field.  Aramco plans on being able to produce 12 million bbl/d as for more than 50 years and they have the capacity to do so.

Figure 9. With a relatively minor contribution from probable reserves and proved reserve replacement, Aramco can produce 12 million bbl/d until at least 2060. Abdulbaqi & Saleri (2004).

The Peak Oiler’s Nightmare

Almost all petroleum reservoirs exhibit exponential decline curves. They don’t fall off of a Seneca Cliff into the Olduvai Gorge. In aggregate, regional and global oil production has and/or will follow the same pattern, because it is just the sum of the individual reservoirs. Hubbert’s logistic function is an approximation of this basic principle of reservoir depletion.

Reality…

Reality… I can do this for any field in the Gulf of Mexico because I have easy access to the production data. I could also do it for just about any oil reservoir on Earth; I just don’t have those data literally at my fingertips. EI 330 is just the biggest field on the shelf (<500′ water depth), almost 500 million bbl of oil and 1.9 TCF of gas from September 1972 through January 2019. The field averaged 820 8,200 bbl/d in 2018. A rate vs time plot would look very similar; however rate vs cumulative production is what matters. EI 330 has also been cited as an example of abiotic oil… ROTFLMFAO!!!

Peak Oiler Fantasy…

Fantasy.

About the author

David Middleton has 38 years of experience as a geophysicist and geologist in the oil & gas industry, including a six-year exile into management. The vast majority of his career has been spent working the Gulf of Mexico. He has been a member of the Society of Exploration Geophysicists since 1981 and the American Association of Petroleum Geologists since 2004.

A note on comments: Abiotic oil aficionados are more than welcome to waste their time posting gibberish, but they won’t waste any of mine. Peak Oiler’s are also welcome to babble about Seneca Cliffs and Olduvai Gorges… And that might just merit wasting some of my time.

 

wattsupwiththat.com



27 Comments on "Peak Ghawar: A Peak Oiler’s Nightmare"

  1. Coffeeguyzz on Wed, 10th Apr 2019 9:30 pm 

    Well … there you have it again.

    Any suggestions about re-naming this fine site?

    Titles like ‘Hydrocarbons in the 21st Century’?
    ‘Realistic Outlooks for Oil/Gas Production’?

    The doomsters could have their own space if they choose to continue … well, whatever the heck they do on this site.

    For the rest of us who choose to be focused on reality, facts, probabilities versus fantasies, perhaps a refocusing on the effects of the past decade’s developments might engender a forum of effective information sharing beneficial to all.

    Just a thought …

  2. Pee Wee Herman on Wed, 10th Apr 2019 10:01 pm 

    “For the rest of us who choose to be focused on reality, facts, probabilities versus fantasies, perhaps a refocusing on the effects of the past decade’s developments might engender a forum of effective information sharing beneficial to all.”

    I say let’s burn oil like it’s going out of style.

  3. Go Speed Racer on Thu, 11th Apr 2019 2:38 am 

    Pump out all that oil, so I can
    go get hamburgers in my 1978
    Ford LTD Royal Brougham, with the
    power moon roof, power seats,
    power antenna, air conditioning
    optional 2nd fuel tank, 8-Track,
    and the factory CB Radio.
    Put that back into factory production.
    Make America Great Again!
    and send back all the rag heads
    to Krapistan where they came from.
    No more burka bitches votin’ democrat
    to throw our elections.

  4. Sunspot on Thu, 11th Apr 2019 2:46 am 

    I guess you morons have forgotten that burning all this oil is ruining the biosphere for most if not all life on Earth. Oh that’s right, you don’t “believe” in all that, do you?

    sad

  5. Shortend on Thu, 11th Apr 2019 3:17 am 

    So we can all relax because the oil glass is half full? Or is it half empty?
    Most here posting are grumpy old fatassed white men that seen there best days behind them, like Ghawar.
    Both are not going down without a fight. Whatever dirty tricks to stay upright will be taken, and I mean whatever it takes.
    Sunspot, you are correct. The angry old fatassed grumpy bitter white dudes don’t give a shit about the biosphere or anything else but the God Almighty Dollar and an easy peezy
    American Way of Life!

  6. JuanP sock on Thu, 11th Apr 2019 3:28 am 

    This is a JuanP posting

    Sunspot on Thu, 11th Apr 2019 2:46 am

  7. Davy on Thu, 11th Apr 2019 4:30 am 

    The original peaker story was proved wrong but it was legit at the time. This article on Ghawar did not need to tell me that. Tech and economics came to the rescue but at a cost. The economy is stranded in stagnation. Tech is suffering diminishing returns. What optimism is there in that? Denialist say all is well but I say bullshit. You won an important battle but you will lose the war. Renewables are really all we have longer term and it can’t power what we have. Fake greens think it will but they are uneducated. Uneducated in the wisdom of reality. They can’t face the reality of no solutions so they make things up. They are honest about the science when it is optimistic and when it is not they make things up. Renewables could power something less with wise people who make rational sober decisions but that is not who we are.

    This oil news if true is helpful because it buys us time to transform the energy system away from fossil fuels. Peak oil is alive and well but the real story is not geologic it is systematic. It is about economics and geopolitical competitions that oil is mixed up in. It is about nations in overshoot. It is about damage done to the climate, planetary system, and the web of life. It is no longer an immediate doom thing. I see the same these days with the economy. The economy and the oil complex can be ruined from within by bad human behavior at a flip of a switch. We are a bad people. We can continue to increase consumption and increase population for an even bigger event down the road. It seems, if this article and others are true we now have some breathing room to change the way we inhabit this planet. I am not optimistic about this. Even greens are fake for the most part. The cornucopian oranges and browns are feeling like winners as the world around us dissolves into a goo of lost beauty and unsustainability.

    I am optimistic the worst is less likely to happen. I am still pessimistic longer term. I am excited about renewables. I have invested in 3600 watts of solar panels. I have a permaculture farm and I am practicing Real Green. I still feel if SHTF I am screwed eventually. I have a doomstead and I have done the basics and I am now in the advanced stages of longer term dooming strategies. If mad max does not visit I can live off what I have for longer than most. Even if mad max comes I have good defenses. Still greater society and the local community has been corrupted by modern life. If the SHTF is sudden then so much will be lost and quickly. It is degree and duration of disruptions that kill. How does this relate to Peak Ghawar? It’s called delocalization and it is Ghawar and 1000 other global support structures that keep so many people living and cooperating. It is the reality of cascading failures that come with complicated machines and complex systems. If we think a robust Ghawar ensures our happiness then we are a failed people.

    I am going to continue dooming. I started doing this long ago and I like the lifestyle. It is no longer about survival it is a passion. It is the meaning one gets from honestly looking at the absurdity of it all and facing the reality of being naked. It is about facing our denial of death that overshoot and unsustainability present through the honest science. I see a beautiful world being destroyed, a climate going weird, and a people freaking out. I am going local. I am doing acts of kindness to the planet here under my feet. I will teach people what I have learned if any care. Most people don’t care. Most people are trying to make sense of things and lost in the narrative of affluence and a future or pissed off and pointing fingers because they are not kings.

    This will not end well but lucky for us in the here and now maybe things like a half full Ghawar will continue to give us a near term future. When I see the young I pity them. I used to pity myself for not being born pre fossil fuels even though my life would likely have been so much tougher and shorter but they had meaning then and we don’t now. That is what knowledge from science gave us. A healthy planet gave meaning in earlier times. A planet that offered immediate consequences kept humans honest and focused. Maybe they were primitive in knowledge but they were tough and able to accept adversity. People are fat, lazy and delusional today. Today we have science that has taken us into a black hole and a destroyed planet of jellyfish oceans and superfund sites. Long live Ghawar, LOL. That is what Ghawar represents.

  8. Carol Bassie on Thu, 11th Apr 2019 7:00 am 

    Dear Davy, thank you for your beautiful thoughtful impassioned post. I am so grateful to read thoughts I could have spoken.

  9. Sum on Thu, 11th Apr 2019 7:22 am 

    Dearest Davy,

    Ms. Bassie and I are both passionate in our adulation for your beautiful posts. Carol and I are both in agreement DEATH TO JUAN PEE.

  10. Dredd on Thu, 11th Apr 2019 8:08 am 

    On prick oil:

    Everybody knows that oil comes from the Bottomless Pit:

    Bottomless pit” is one word in the Greek of the New Testament and is literally the “abyss,” which means “bottomless, unbounded, the pit, or the immeasurable depth.” Roman mythology featured a similar place called Orcus, a very deep gulf or chasm in the lowest parts of the earth used as the common receptacle of the dead and, especially, as the abode of demons.

    Those who see it as finite (like the Earth) will have to admit that Peak Oil is very real … it is simply a matter of time.

    So, Bottomless Piters, oil is not bullshit, it is the demon’s shit according to Pablo (“Juan Pablo Pérez Alfonso, a founder of OPEC, complained in 1975: “I call petroleum the devil’s excrement”).

  11. JuanP sock on Thu, 11th Apr 2019 8:31 am 

    JuanP posted this

    Sum on Thu, 11th Apr 2019 7:22 am

  12. Eric Thompson on Thu, 11th Apr 2019 9:52 am 

    What happened to Cantrell? What happened to the north slope? The author writes like no oil field has ever ran out. The reason the downturn of modern fields goes quick is they use a bunch of technologies that are super straws to get the oil faster.

  13. joe on Thu, 11th Apr 2019 10:07 am 

    The article shows allot of curves on graphs and talks about layers and stuff and says the contract will be in place untill 2077 and makes everything seem good. Yet and all facts show that oil growth is being sustained by cash drinking (aka expensive) tight oil (cheap money is compensating the consumer), sounds allot like conventional has had its day. Even if Ghawar never runs out…..

  14. Davy Sock Puppet on Thu, 11th Apr 2019 11:45 am 

    Carol Bassie on Thu, 11th Apr 2019 7:00 am

    Sum on Thu, 11th Apr 2019 7:22 am

  15. Robert Inget on Thu, 11th Apr 2019 12:26 pm 

    I’m already 84 and can’t wait 250,000 years for
    exhausting fields to refill. Good luck to those who can.
    Eat your oatmeal.

  16. Robert Inget on Thu, 11th Apr 2019 12:30 pm 

    As usual, I agree w/Joe.

    The biggest problem, ‘cash’ runs out before oil.

  17. Sissyfuss on Thu, 11th Apr 2019 12:35 pm 

    Well, Monbiot was right. We do have enough to fry us all. And with leaders like Trump we are well on our way.

  18. Sissyfuss on Thu, 11th Apr 2019 12:37 pm 

    If you want to see the results of a meandering Jet Stream look at the present national temperature map for the US. Very strange.

  19. Robert Inget on Thu, 11th Apr 2019 12:45 pm 

    BP Pulls Out ofChinese Shale or the ballad of
    “All shale ain’t created equal”

    BP is set to become the latest international major to quit drilling for shale gas in China because of poor exploration drilling results so far, Reuters reported on Thursday, citing three sources with knowledge of the plans.

    Back in 2016, BP and China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) signed a production sharing contract (PSC) for shale gas exploration, development, and production in the Neijiang-Dazu block in the Sichuan Basin in southwestern China. Later in 2016, BP signed a second PSC deal with CNPC for shale gas exploration at Rong Chang Bei in the Sichuan Basin.

    However, poor results from shale gas drilling are now making BP withdraw from the projects, according to Reuters sources.

    BP joins other international oil and gas majors such as Shell, Eni, Exxon, and ConocoPhillips that have stopped drilling for shale gas in China, leaving the country’s shale gas sector predominantly in the hands of the large Chinese state-held energy companies. (30)

    This is GAS, not oil, usually ‘no gas, no oil’ is a consistent shale mantra.

    This is a huge story.
    China needs gas and renewables to replace coal.
    China will need to import LNG.
    US has NG to burn
    China will need to find good geothermal.
    China will need to encourage localized solar/bio-gas mixtures rather than centralized power production.

  20. Robert Inget on Thu, 11th Apr 2019 12:48 pm 

    Link to National temp maps;
    https://www.bing.com/images/search?q=National+Temperature+Map+Today&FORM=IDINTS

  21. Robert Inget on Thu, 11th Apr 2019 2:07 pm 

    OFF TOPIC… Good News, we can smoke, eat meat again!

    New Kind of Cancer ‘Vaccine’ Teaches The Immune System to Destroy Tumours
    MIKE MCRAE 11 APR 2019

    Researchers have invented a new type of cancer immunotherapy by injecting tumours with a series of stimulants. The experimental therapy attracts the body’s own immune system’s attention, so it can come and destroy the cancerous masses.

    The radical new approach has already shown promise in patients with an advanced form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma that resists conventional treatments, and is currently being tested on a variety of stubborn cancers.

    The result can be described as turning the tumours into “cancer vaccine factories”, because attracting the body’s immune cells to the cancer site is a method known as in situ vaccination.

    Researchers at Mount Sinai in New York developed the immunisation technique in their efforts to understand why the promise of recruiting cell-killing T-cells in attacking cancers is such a hit and miss affair.

    On paper, employing white blood cells to assassinate rogue tissue such as cancer makes perfect sense. Simply ‘prime’ them with the chemical equivalent of a mug-shot, and off they go in search of their target.

    In practice, getting a T-cell to recognise cancer isn’t a simple affair.

    For one thing, tumours use a crafty set of disguises called checkpoint blockades. These are signatures on the cell’s membrane that tells the immune system it’s just a regular old cell just minding its own business so please move on thank you very much.

    Checkpoint blockade immunotherapy inhibits these signatures to let the T-cells do their job. But again, not all cancers make this easy. An incurable type of blood cancer called an indolent non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (iNHL) is one example.

    By most accounts it should be a great candidate for T-cell therapy. Unfortunately T-cells have a hard time recognising this particular blood cancer.

    To get to the bottom of the issue, the Mount Sinai researchers looked at how immune cells can be primed to recognise iNHL easily in the lab, while demanding a more involved process known as cross-presentation inside the body.

    The difference suggested T-cells just needed a helping hand. Cross-presentation requires an intermediate primer called a dendritic cell to present specific cell markers to toxic T-cells. Luckily it can be summoned with the right kinds of stimulants.

    One stimulant is needed to call the dendritic cells to the tumour. A second stimulant puts the cells into action, encouraging them to present chemical signals called antigens on their surface – like Wanted! posters that tell other parts of the immune system what to look for.

    Injected into a tumour with some localised radiotherapy to stir things up, these two stimulants can potentially turn a cancerous growth into a recruiting agency for its own killers.

    The therapy was put to the test in a clinical trial made up of 11 patients in advanced stages of iNHL, where it induced both anti-tumour T-cell responses and varying degrees of remission far from the ‘vaccination’ site.

    Not only is this good news for lymphoma patients, the success should in theory be applicable to other cancers.

    “The in situ vaccine approach has broad implications for multiple types of cancer,” says Joshua Brody, Director of the Lymphoma Immunotherapy Program at Mount Sinai.

    “This method could also increase the success of other immunotherapies such as checkpoint blockade.”

    Additionally, mice became responsive to checkpoint blockade therapy when it was combined with the vaccine, although this part is yet to be tested in humans. In fact, the combination doubled cancer remission in mice from 40 percent to around 80 percent.

    This impressive combo potential is currently being clinically evaluated in patients with lymphoma, breast, and head and neck cancer. Meanwhile, tests involving the vaccine on its own are being conducted on individuals with liver and ovarian cancer.

    There’s a long way to go before we can add this tool to the arsenal of treatments already in place for dealing with cancer.

    But with all signs looking good, we can look forward to a new treatment for a slow growing but deadly disease currently considered to be incurable.

    Time will tell if it ultimately helps extend lifetimes by a considerable degree. If it’s one thing we know about cancer, it rarely makes our job killing it so easy.

    This research was published in Nature Medicine.

  22. union-of-muzzie-lovers-of-america-AKA-fmr-paultard on Thu, 11th Apr 2019 3:20 pm 

    we have new supertard popping up all the time
    now we have supertard dave middleton

  23. union-of-muzzie-lovers-of-america-AKA-fmr-paultard on Thu, 11th Apr 2019 3:26 pm 

    i wonder what master race thedrich say when putin plays the orthodox like his own personal pony. excuse me i’m a constantienan catholic and after all these centuries the russian orthordox still haven’t figured putin using them yet? would edrich protest when the alliance of putin/orthodox discriminate against atheists in russia? nah…
    better pray to the holy mother for help befor its too late.

  24. Darrell Cloud on Fri, 12th Apr 2019 7:02 am 

    A single Pakistani nuke could end this paradigm. Nobody knows what is going to happen. Hedge your bets.

  25. Muku on Fri, 12th Apr 2019 9:09 am 

    Fake but accurate. Peak oil never dies.

  26. union-of-muzzie-lovers-of-america-AKA-fmr-paultard on Sat, 13th Apr 2019 11:37 am 

    i’m glad i have so many supertards in america and i’m working hard to have them not “cambridge fiving” me. i do everything for them including paying the jizya for keltecs adn keltecs accessories for self defense and relaxation.

    now i discovered supertard dave middleton. i’ll be following his writings, his knowledge will be mine becuase i’m like the borg.

    i also promote sis to supertard. hate to do it because nowdays people want something for nothing but my hands a tied. he has direct line to uppertards who run this site. sis will be receiving keltecs and keltec acceosires soon when i raise enough jizya money

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