In the UK, just a few hundred people show up to stand in the cold and yell for the ‘National Climate March’

This happened last Saturday December 1st, but I just now became aware of it. From their website the photo looks like a lot of people, but the video that follows shows it to be a rather modest affair.

no-fracking-outside-parliament_0.jpg

I think they might be a bit unclear on the concept:

Thank you to everyone who turned out on one of the coldest days this year. With our 7.2m fracking rig, we took a clear message to Parliament – “No Fracking in the UK”, a message backed up by other actions around the country, and one that was picked up by the BBC (see here and here) amongst others. Not only that but there could hardly have been a more critical moment to stage a conspicuous show of opposition to the the government’s unfolding plans for an expansion of fracking and a new dash for gas.

And what did they do to warm up afterwards? Chances are they went to a nice fossil fuel (gas) heated pub or their home.

From the video, it looks like there might be 200-300 people at this “national” event standing out in the cold.

I wonder what sort of yelling we’d hear if they couldn’t retreat to a nice warm place afterwards, and they were forced to stay out in the cold for a few days to experience firsthand what they preach?

h/t to Fay Kelly-Tuncay via facebook

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133 thoughts on “In the UK, just a few hundred people show up to stand in the cold and yell for the ‘National Climate March’

  1. I fully agree that Brits are wimps and should experience some real cold. They don’t even know what winter tyres are.

    But WHY do these people WANT more cold? Are they foreigners, planted by OPEC nations?

  2. John McDonnell is an ultra-left Labour MP with dubious histories in the 1980s Greater London Council and now Parliament, including support for terrorist groups. Not surprising he’d join the bandwagon. He’s also a firm believer in homeopathy, so perhaps he doesn’t think the small number of protesters matters (joke).

    Seeing a few hundred people in the freezing cold complaining about global warming and fracking would be funny, if their preferred policies weren’t going to cause deaths by hyperthermia in large numbers of elderly and poor people unable to pay the higher bills required for useless wind farms.

    Time for another letter to my MP. Any UK residents please sign the petition to repeal the 2008 Climate Change Act – link available at Bishop Hill.

  3. John McDonnell M.P. is a card-carrying member of the British,” Looney Left”. who has never forgiven the UK Conservative Party for it’s part in the downfall of the USSR. He is chiefly known for his vitriolic dislike of Margaret Thatcher, which has on occasion led him beyond the bounds of principled criticism.

  4. Someone should have taken their names. They’re obviously suckers who are willing to pay more for their energy.

    If NatalieBennett (video) wants to lecture people about climate she should go back to Australia(where she comes from) where she will get a better reception, especially in Canberra.

  5. I live a handful of miles from the Preece Hall rig on the Fylde coast. That’s the rig that is at the centre of the “oh noes, we’re all gonna die from man made earthquakes” controversy.

    Never felt a thing.

    And neither did any of the activists trying to get the place closed down.

  6. They seem to hate humanity, especially their fellow Brits. I guess they really do want people to go back to the Dark Ages energy-wise, with all the resulting real pollution, lowered living standards, and shorter lifespans, particularly for poor people. Hard to say why.

  7. Without the new fuel supplies that hydraulic fracturing will bring to the UK, their economy will vaporize. These people have no idea what they are actualy asking for. Sounds like a scene from Atlas Shrugged.

  8. It shows that the dyed-in-the-wool-nut-fringe is really not that numerous. Nothing like the coldest fall in the last 20 years to cool the outrage of the back-to-the-caves folks.

  9. These professional agitators are agitating themselves to the general indifference… the real danger comes from inside, politicians and bureaucrats serving green interests and their agitprop Thomson Reuters types.

  10. Paul H why solar in a greenfields type environment? I’d much rather put up with a Gas/Oil
    Rig drilling the gone than acres of panels an the whooshing of the blasted Turbines..
    That poor man…

  11. For those in the know, these stories are good for a quick laugh. “Fracking” is OLD technology that has been used for 50 years. The whole “fracking” scare came about because a reporter glommed on to cool-sounding industry jargon, i.e. “fracking”. The “new technology” was doing a frack job in multiple zones in a horizontal bore. THAT is what unlocked the shale boom. “Fracking” wasn’t invented in 2004. LOL

  12. PaulH says (December 8, 2012 at 1:44 pm)
    The Green Party leader claimed fracking means radioactivity?
    —-
    She also thinks natural gas is transported on lorries. :-)

  13. PaulH at 1:44 pm
    “The Green Party leader claimed fracking means radioactivity? Really? I guess it doesn’t really matter what they say as long as they say it loud enough.”

    When fracking wells are drilled, a lot of stuff comes up. One substance might be Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material (NORM). Not sure how bad this is though. Might just be one banana equivalent dose. But shouting “Radioactive” is all that’s needed to excite the mostly un-informed troglodytes and the modern day ‘Kmer Rouge’ supporters.

  14. That’s a “fracking rig”? That’s not what a rig looks like in Texas; that looks like a couple of light weight pieces of galvanized steel that couldn’t even support the drilling mud tanks at a prospect much less withstand the mechanical stresses and pressures a real rig must withstand.

  15. Just the usual Rent-A-Mob and a few nutter speakers.

    Fracking is the solution to the UK’s energy problems; nutters/greenies/lefties are the problem.

  16. Think of them like children. I could not tell a child to get off the grid. Cold kills. Now wait til the spring and look out for the excess UK winter deaths total.

    I lived in the UK for many years and understood what gas central heating meant. Before I had it unstalled it was expensive with electric heaters. No heat in bathroom mid winter.

    Pitty them for they do not know. :-(

  17. JamesD says:

    December 8, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    For those in the know, these stories are good for a quick laugh. “Fracking” is OLD technology that has been used for 50 years. The whole “fracking” scare came about because a reporter glommed on to cool-sounding industry jargon, i.e. “fracking”. The “new technology” was doing a frack job in multiple zones in a horizontal bore. THAT is what unlocked the shale boom. “Fracking” wasn’t invented in 2004. LOL
    ……………………
    The idea of Co2 pumped into oil wells is nearly 40 years old. Oil companies are in on the scam.

  18. Life is tough. It is even tougher if you are stupid…………….John Wayne

    The demonstrators will eventually get bitten by their stupidity.

  19. I wonder, how many of these valiant and committed ‘green’ protesters run 4×4′s, own 48″ plasma TVs, provide computers/Ipads for all their kids and run the central heating 24/7 from Sept thru’ to May?
    Most of them, I’d be willing to bet.

    Civilization in a northern climate and it ain’t a commitment to green policies, civilization = cheap energy without one you don’t get the other.

  20. Thank you to everyone who turned out on one of the coldest days this year – the irony is lost on us because we’re simple minded folk. With our 7.2m fracking rig, we took a clear message to Parliament – “We have no clue”, a message backed up by other actions around the country, and one that was picked up by the BBC (who else it’s a slow news day and climate is always good copy for the Guardian television) (see here and here) amongst others. Not only that but there could hardly have been a more critical moment to stage a conspicuous show of opposition to the the government’s unfolding plans for an expansion of fracking and a new dash for gas especially now it’s freezing cold and it’s no longer fashionable to attend CND marches.

  21. Let’s see, there is a tax to drive into London. Who would pay to play? Very few…most here probably were paid to show up..live close by and.free London pale at the Shakespeare pub.

  22. OT to the UK getting fracked-up: h/t the Global Warming Policy Foundation:
    It’s Humongous: UK Shale Gas Deposit 50% Bigger Than Thought
    Date: 08/12/12
    “Tim Webb, The Times

    “The shale gas deposit around Blackpool is 50 per cent bigger than previously estimated, The Times has learnt. The news will put more pressure on ministers who are due to lift the ban on extraction as early as next week, to support what could prove to be a gas bonanza for Britain.

    “Cuadrilla Resources, the exploration company backed by Lord Browne of Madingley, the former boss of BP, hit the headlines after it set off dozens of small earth tremors around Blackpool, resulting in fracking being suspended. … full story

    Also from the GWPF: Nigel Lawson: New Energy Revolution Is Shaking Up Old World Order
    Date: 08/12/12
    “Nigel Lawson, Daily Mail

    “Thirty years ago, I was Secretary of State for Energy in Margaret Thatcher’s government, and one way and another I have been a close observer of the energy scene ever since. In all that time, I have never known a technological revolution as momentous as the breakthrough that has now made it economic to extract gas from shale.

    “Until now, the West has been heavily dependent for its supplies of oil and gas on an unstable Middle East and an unreliable Russia. Crucially, all that has changed because gas and oil-bearing shale is scattered throughout the world — including in Britain.

    “This has shaken up the old world order — and the global balance of power is being permanently transformed before our eyes .The dramatic news emerged a few weeks ago that the U.S. will overtake Saudi Arabia as the world’s largest oil producer in 2017.

    “America is already the world’s largest natural gas producer, and it is estimated that, by 2035, almost 90 per cent of Middle East oil and gas exports will go to Asia, with the U.S. importing virtually none.

    “For decades, the West in general, and the U.S. in particular, has had to shape, and sometimes arguably to misshape, its foreign policy in the light of its dependence on Middle East oil and gas. No longer: that era is now over.

    “For decades, too, Europe has been fearful of the threat that Russia might cut off the gas supplies on which it has relied so heavily.

    “No longer: that era will very soon be over, too.full story

    The discomfit couldn’t happen to a nicer group of people.

  23. @DirkH .. i’ve lived in canada .. -28 deg .. yep cold ..but a dry one then try a north sea blow in -2 rain not snow cutting thru ya .. so even if you have layers on the cold still gets thru ..
    it’s always damp here reason why houses are not made of wood ..damp and cold come over try it ..
    befor ya speak ..

    and as to fracking we had it stopped near blackpool .. but yank money has made it start again .. lobbest= bribes .. but they wont see till to late

  24. A somewhat slightly related protest on the other side of the world, in 40C+ heat: pindanpost.com/2012/12/09/hot-is-better-than-cold/ part of an effort to protect the most significant dinosaur trackways ever found.

  25. Ok, I’m going to give you Blokes from the UK a Christmas present. Something that has made many a cold winter night on the mountain top much more tolerable. ANTI-FREEZE

    The quickest way to make your own anti-freeze … hide her nightie.

  26. >>I fully agree that Brits are wimps and should experience some real cold.
    >>They don’t even know what winter tyres are.

    Winter tyres do not work well in the UK. Over the last 30 years there has been precious little snow, and even then only for short periods. Winter tyres when temps are above 7 degrees are acrually dangerous, as they have less grip, and UK winter temps were often above 7 degrees.

    It is only in the last 3 years that the UK has had ‘severe’ winters with temperatures below zero for extended periods. But it was so unusual that it was not forecast (by those who know exactly what is going to happen to the weather in 100 years time), and nobody was prepared. Heathrow, for instance, had only 1/4 the snow clearing equipment of Schiphol. EasyJet had only stored 3 days worth of de-ice fluid, so convinced they were by the BBC promise of temperatures being 6 degrees higher in the near future. Needless to say, the airline ground to a halt for four days in 2010. Silly ‘cool dude’ pirrocks that they are at that airline.

    .

    And on another topic, another thing these idiots at the demonstration do not realise, it this not simply about heating. A barrel of oil contains 100,000 man-hours of energy/work. It this this ‘slave labour’ of ‘oil slaves’ that makes our lives so rich. Ancient Rome ran a very successful and rich empire on real slaves (and a few horses), to do all the donkey work. Instead, we have harnessed our pseudo-slaves, in coal, oil and gas and the many machines they run, to create an equivalent empire.

    Without this energy, everything grinds to a halt, and I do mean everything. It these ‘oil slaves’ that allow such vast populations to exist around the world. Without this energy, and the goods, water and food that it supplies to us, some 5 billion or so people will die. And no amount of wind turbines or bio fuels will save them.

    .

  27. DirkH says, December 8, 2012 at 12:58 pm
    Are they foreigners, planted by OPEC nations?

    Well kind of, take a look here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natalie_Bennett

    Just another bat shit crazy ex-Guardian eco-luddite imported from down under for us to ignore. Agenda 21 indoctrination must have been first rate down there a few years back. Yawn.

  28. Dennis says: December 8, 2012 at 10:51 pm
    Surprised this was mentioned here, considering it was primarily a protest against fracking. Not something I’d be in a rush to disagree with them on, despite their normal focus on ‘climate change’.

    http://openchannel.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/11/29/15547283-livestock-falling-ill-in-fracking-regions#.UMPQShoFs8w.email

    __________________________________

    Stupid study. Nobody even took fracking muds and exposed them to cattle in controlled conditions, nor investigated how much fracking mud was released into the environment. How can they then say that fracking muds are the cause? Pure speculation.

    It is in a farmer’s interest to say that the drill-rig killed his cattle (rather than his badly maintained and stagnant ponds), because they get compensation. And note the concerns of airborne contaminants, rather than ingested contaminants. Sorry, but if that was a problem, rig workers would be falling down dead left, right and center. But they are not.

    While it is good that someone monitors the fracking fluids, to ensure no unesessary contamination of the environment occurs, this ‘study’ does not do that. Simply speculating about dead animals, when farm animals die all the time, brings environmentalists into disrepute. It makes them look like Luddites, rather than concerned scientists.

    If there are specific compounds in fracking fluids that are a hazard, lets identify and eliminate them (there are plenty of alternatives), rather than making unsubstantiated generic claims designed to close down this valuable (or vital) industry.

    .

  29. Made such a big impact in the UK that I never heard about it until you posted about it.

    Nor had I heard of the green party woman.

  30. It would be very interesting to get an article from a group such as this one who consistently protest against such sources of energy as fracking, nuclear and coal power.

    Most interesting of all would be to hear where exactly our power is going to come from in future if you exclude those three options. Britain is a highly developed country with some 60 million people and rising sharply. Renewable sources do not begin to cover our needs
    Tonyb

  31. There are over 20,000 wells fracked in the Barnett Shale in Texas, without any significant problems. Yet another inconvenient truth.

  32. DirkH says:
    >Are they foreigners, planted by OPEC nations?

    Probably not. But they might well be Brits paid by OPEC nations. A lot of the funding for the green groups comes from OPEC to eliminate competition by production in other countries.

  33. flea rider says:
    December 8, 2012 at 5:52 pm
    “@DirkH .. i’ve lived in canada .. -28 deg .. yep cold ..but a dry one then try a north sea blow in -2 rain not snow cutting thru ya .. so even if you have layers on the cold still gets thru ..
    it’s always damp here reason why houses are not made of wood ..damp and cold come over try it ..
    befor ya speak ..”

    Thank you, thank you… I’ve lived in Hamburg through the winters after the Double Dip La Ninja, 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 and if you want to see a windy city that is not called Chicago visit Hamburg.

    And the Hamburgers were utterly unprepared for the ice and snow that befell them that winter – because like the Brits they have very mild winters in general.

    So yes I do know the -2 c North Sea blow, thank you very much, and it don’t impress me much. Wimp.

    “and as to fracking we had it stopped near blackpool .. but yank money has made it start again .. lobbest= bribes .. but they wont see till to late”

    I wish you a nice survival in the winter running on wind turbine power while you protest against global warming. Thanks for making my point.

  34. Silver Ralph says:
    December 9, 2012 at 12:16 am
    “Winter tyres do not work well in the UK. Over the last 30 years there has been precious little snow, and even then only for short periods. Winter tyres when temps are above 7 degrees are acrually dangerous, as they have less grip, and UK winter temps were often above 7 degrees. ”

    Good argument.

  35. flea rider says:
    December 8, 2012 at 5:52 pm

    DirkH is German. It gets damned cold, snowy and damp there too!

    DaveE.

  36. Silver Ralph says:
    December 9, 2012 at 12:16 am
    “And on another topic, another thing these idiots at the demonstration do not realise, it this not simply about heating. A barrel of oil contains 100,000 man-hours of energy/work. ”

    While I agree with the argument, 100,000 is a little high. One barrel of oil produces about 1,700 kWh equivalent.

    http://www.physics.uci.edu/~silverma/units.html

    (That person uses the term “CO2 pollution” ; he/she/it is at an American institute of higher learning and obviously has learned the current dogma well. Kudos for that.)

    The Oil Drum has an insightful comment estimating the work a human can perform in a year at 187 kWh: (the second answer to the question on that page)

    http://www.theoildrum.com/node/4315

    So one barrel of oil is equivalent to roughly 9 person-years of bodily work output. The Oil Drum emphasizes that that work would have to include extensive resting periods to achieve maximum sustainable output so I guess the work hours would be comparable to a nine to 5 job; let’s say 1600 hours a year.

    Which results in:

    One barrel of oil is equivalent to 14,400 person-hours of bodily work.

  37. One thing that is clear is that the new enhanced frac(tur)ing techniques are nearly doubling recoverable reserves in almost all fossil fuel fields that it has been tried on – oil and gas.

    Its here to stay and “peak oil” is now pushed off several decades. Prices will probably moderate as it is used more and more and as experience in individual pools is gained on how to use most efficiently.

    It has already impacted the natural gas industry in a big way. Prices are down and flat. Noone is planning new LNG facilities. Drilling is way down in areas which are far from the main markets in favor of new natural gas sources which are closer to market.

    The protestors will delay and stop it in several places around the world and these jurisidictions will not benefit from the new technique like other places will. Temporary bans are already in place in some jurisdictions. These places will become more inefficient in the world economy and will go the way of Greece and Spain. C’est la Vie.

  38. So just what exactly are they protesting for? Government policy to bring in dry and warmer summers and slightly warmer winters?

  39. Its beginning to dawn on me. They’re protesting for colder miserably waterlogged summers and icy winters, hopefully closing the growing season, pushing bills up and pushing food prices up. I always get things in reverse

  40. “And what did they do to warm up afterwards? Chances are they went to a nice fossil fuel (gas) heated pub or their home.”

    Such is the hypocrisy of the modern CAGW climate “science” movement/religion.

  41. DirkH says:

    “I fully agree that Brits are wimps and should experience some real cold. They don’t even know what winter tyres are”

    I hope that comment is in jest!
    SOME of us know what winter tyres are, and I have a full set of Vredestein Snowtrac’s fitted on my car as of last week – I’ve been using them for 8 years. I also have a set of normal wheels & tyres for the rest of the year. I’ve been using various Mud/Snow and more recently dedicated winter tyres since the 70′s, and contrary to Silver Ralph’s comment, I do not find them dangerous in warmer temperatures – just that they don’t last as long as normal tyres.

    I agree that we don’t know what real cold is, although I have distant memories of snow drifts still piled 4ft high in April, during the winter of ’62-63. I also used to motorcycle a lot when I was younger, and thought nothing of once setting off in falling snow to travel 20 miles to my “local” pub, before drinking and driving became socially unacceptable. And I made it there and back without falling off…

    However I despair at the total inability of the current generation to cope with even a light dusting of snow. Hardly anyone makes preparations, and will always blame someone else when they get stuck. Modern cars with wide, low profile tyres and little ground clearance are totally unsuited for snow, anyway.

  42. Bill Illis says: December 9, 2012 at 4:33 am
    One thing that is clear is that the new enhanced frac(tur)ing techniques are nearly doubling recoverable reserves in almost all fossil fuel fields that it has been tried on – oil and gas.
    Its here to stay and “peak oil” is now pushed off several decades.
    ________________________________

    You are equating apples and oranges here.

    Peak Oil is a reality. It states that maxumum oil recovery (per anum) from the world oil reserves will continue to reduce, once Peak Oil is reached (which is either now or in the next decade). Oil production is reducing in all oil reserves, that is the reality.

    What you are talking about is Peak Gas, which is entirely different prospect. A new gas reserve has been discovered, which pushes Peak Gas into the far future.

    But regards Peak Oil, do you really think there will be another massive oil discovery on the scale of shale gas, that will push Peak Oil into the fsr future? Unlikely.

    .

  43. Jimbo says: December 8, 2012 at 3:51 pm

    quote
    I lived in the UK for many years and understood what gas central heating meant. Before I had it unstalled it was expensive with electric heaters. No heat in bathroom mid winter.
    unquote

    Electric? You ‘ad the electric? You was looky! Not only did we not have heat int’ bathroom, we didn’t have a bathroom. Heating was coal on a little iron range or a paraffin heater. When we moved here we had one really hard winter when frost formed inside the windows. The children thought this was great, and no doubt they’ll bore their children with tales about how tough things were.
    I like the equation of energy with civilisation. It’s so obvious that one wonders how the refugees from CND who make up GreenPeace and FOE and the rest haven’t noticed.

    JF
    Oh, yes, radioactivity. For a long time the most radioactive place in the UK outside a nuclear facility was a khazi in Cornwall. But that was nice and natural, not like the nasty dangerous stuff you get from fracking.

  44. Silver Ralph:

    re your post at December 9, 2012 at 8:09 am.

    ‘Peak oil’ is a nonsensical proposition which has been repeatedly refuted on WUWT.
    Learn some economics and you will understand that ‘peak oil’ is an irrelevance to everything including this thread.

    Richard

  45. richardscourtney says: December 9, 2012 at 9:15 am
    Silver Ralph:
    ‘Peak oil’ is a nonsensical proposition which has been repeatedly refuted on WUWT.
    Learn some economics and you will understand that ‘peak oil’ is an irrelevance .

    ________________________________________

    Rich – Peak Oil in the UK is an undeniable reality. It does not matter how much money you throw at the problem, you ain’t going to get UK production back to the 1980s levels.

    Peak Oil for the world? It more debatable when that will happen, but oil is a finite resourse, so it WILL happen sometime. That, is simple logic. And it is an undeniable fact that all recent oil finds are small in comparison to the huge 1970s finds, making sustained or increasing world oil production very debateable.

    But whatever the case, please don’t confuse Peak Oil with Peak Gas. New shale gas finds will be very helpful to our economies, of course, but they are not much good for vehicular, shipping and aviation purposes – not at least without a great deal of conversion to liquid form.

    .

  46. Silver Ralph says: December 9, 2012 at 8:09 am

    “Peak Oil is a reality. It states that maxumum oil recovery (per anum) from the world oil reserves will continue to reduce, once Peak Oil is reached (which is either now or in the next decade)”

    That’s the problem with misanthropists like you, it’s always ‘Doom tomorrow’. I’m getting really tired of this now. Will you please just tell us when the damn asteroid is gonna hit; when the world is gonna end – so that, at the very least, I can plan for the End of the World Party.

    In the meantime, I continue to believe that we have in the world three times the amount of oil ever used still in the ground. And by the time we really start to run out I think mankind (they’re the ones you truly hate) will have come up with some new ways to extract energy.

    As a simple thought experiment, just think that you might have been around in 1912 exhorting the Wright brothers against flying – as it would be the death of humanity. And here we are, a hundred years later having advanced so far in aviation that man has been to the moon and back. And freedom reigns across the globe (OK, not everywhere, but in a lot more places than before).

    You really have a serious problem with your vision – and I don’t mean you need glasses.

  47. richardscourtney says:
    December 9, 2012 at 9:15 am

    ‘peak oil’ is an irrelevance to everything including this thread.

    “Peak oil” and “easy oil/cheap oil” are related and if it was not for the easy oil running out large scale fracking would not have been considered.
    So one could conclude that peak oil is at the heart of fracking.

  48. To Silver Ralph:
    Global oil reserves rose by 31 billion barrels to 1,653 billion barrels in 2011
    Iraq added 28 billion bbls and Russia, Brazil, and Saudi Arabia all increased reserves by 1 billion bbls. Proved reserves remain concentrated in OPEC which controls 72% of the world’s oil reserves, the highest proportion since 1998. Overall, the long-term trend is the world continues to add more reserves than it uses while the global R/P ratio stands at 54.2 at the end of 2011.

    http://www.bp.com/sectiongenericarticle800.do?categoryId=9037157&contentId=7068604

    High prices result in soaring oil reserves: John Kemp
    By the end of 2011, the world’s proved oil reserves stood at 1.65 trillion barrels, enough to last another 54 years at present rates of consumption.
    Proved reserves have risen 20 percent, from 1.36 trillion barrels (45.7 years worth of production) in 2005, even though 180 billion barrels have been produced in last six years.

    http://in.reuters.com/article/2012/06/29/column-kemp-oil-reserves-idINL6E8HT43B20120629

    And that’s just oil.

    Peak Oil is right answer to wrong question

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2009/08/04/columns-us-column-peakoil-idUSTRE57335G20090804

    You argue from a point of ‘stasis’.
    You fall into the same trap as those who were concerned about the Great Horse-Manure Crisis of 1894.

  49. Sorry, my previous post was directed at ‘Silver Ralph’

    It would be nice to have an edit function some time after posting…..

  50. Friends:

    The nonsense of ‘peak oil’ was raised in this thread. So, at December 9, 2012 at 9:15 am I attempted to avoid the diversion of this thread by the nonsense and I wrote

    ‘Peak oil’ is a nonsensical proposition which has been repeatedly refuted on WUWT.
    Learn some economics and you will understand that ‘peak oil’ is an irrelevance to everything including this thread.

    My attempt to halt diversion of this thread failed, so I now copy below one refutation of the nonsense which I have published on WUWT. It was on the thread at

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/08/09/peak-oil-platitude-or-pragmatism-point/

    Fracking is one of the “alternatives” explained in the post I copy below.

    Richard
    ******************************
    Richard S Courtney says:
    August 11, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    Spector:

    At August 11, 2011 at 11:31 am you say to me:

    I think ‘Forever Oil’ is an urban myth, unless someone can demonstrate a plausible reason to believe that the Earth is generating petroleum at least as fast as we are using it.

    It seems that you really don’t get it. So, I will explain the matter for you.

    For all practical purposes every resource used by humans can be considered to be infinite.

    We did not exhaust the supplies of flint, antler bone, bronze, iron or anything else.
    And we will not run out of oil, either.

    When something is cheap nobody bothers to look for an additional source of it or an alternative to it.

    When something starts to become scarce its value increases, so people look for additional sources of it and alternatives to it.

    Found alternatives often prove to have advantages (which is why we are not still in the bronze age although iron is more difficult and expensive to obtain than bronze).

    Developments of technology assist both the finding of new sources and the finding of alternatives.

    In the case of oil, new technologies provide a variety of new sources; e.g. improved amounts of oil that can be obtained from existing wells, creation of wells in previously impossible places such as deep ocean, etc. And new technologies provide a variety of alternatives; e.g. by conversion of tars, gases, and coals to synthetic oil (syncrude).

    Syncrude from coal could be made at competitive cost to crude oil now. But the infrastructure for crude oil supply exists and there is no shortage of crude oil. In the unlikely event that Peak Oil were reached then the infrastructure for syncrude from coal would be built.

    There is sufficient coal to provide syncrude to meet demand for at least 300 years. Nobody can know what energy supply sources will be needed 300 years in the future, but they are not likely to rely on crude oil.

    Peak Oil? It is a silly idea. We have real problems in this world so I see no reason to worry about imaginary ones.

    Richard

  51. dave ward says:
    December 9, 2012 at 6:40 am
    “DirkH says:
    “I fully agree that Brits are wimps and should experience some real cold. They don’t even know what winter tyres are”
    I hope that comment is in jest!”

    Yes it was. I knew I don’t have to add a smiley when talking to Brits. But in earnest, an ex colleague from Yorkshire who settled in Germany told me he learned about winter tyres first in Germany.

  52. What do we want? We are not entirely certain, when do we want it? As soon as possible as long as it doesnt inconvenience us in any way.

    A confused bunch these CAGW believers, they hate the energy they all rely on and yet would never live without the comforts fossil fuels bring to their lives. Yes, they would demonize air travellers while using air travel, use a car while calling for everyone else to be priced out of car ownership, turn up the gas central heating even as they call for fracking to be banned. They hand themselves a form of moral immunity from their own demands, it must be quite a strange place inside their minds. Every aspect of their daily lives from the second they were conceived let alone born has been cushioned and protected and helped by fossil fuels, there is simply nothing that has touched their lives more than fossil fuels. Fossil fuels has kept them warm and fed and healthy and safe from the first cell division and will continue to do so until they buy the farm.

    In fact fossil fuels should be worshipped for the incredible wonders they have provided for humanity over an incredibly short time frame, a bare two centuries ago most people lived the same hard short terrible lives that their ancestors endured for the previous hundred generations. And then fossil fuels and the industrial revolution arrived and we built the modern world overnight almost, hospitals and schools and houses and clean water and fresh food and warmth and light and cleanliness and when we get sick we go to wonderful places of healing and its all due to the wonder of fossil fuels. These protesters dont know what its like to eat rotten food or go hungry as a matter of course or risk illness with every bite of unrefrigerated and often putrid food or a time when the only safe liquid to drink without the real risk of dying a terrible death was beer and ale, a time not so long ago when most people were always cold and always hungry and always afraid of getting sick.

    All this luxury taken so much for granted from a warm clean bed and warm clothes and shoes washed every week to the bath or shower that not so long most people simply never enjoyed at all. We live the life of the Gods themselves today when you compare the lives our recent ancestors lived, our every basic want is fulfilled almost, the poorest among us enjoy far more than the poor of undeveloped countries and its all due to fossil fuels and the use of these wonderful gifts. Wake up in the morning and clean your teeth with clean safe water using implements that would not exist without fossil fuels and their derivatives, eat a good breakfast from the fridge that would not exist without fossil fuels and even the food you eat would not be there without fossil fuels and its derivatives. Take away everything that you use every day that has fossil fuels at its root and you would end up with what our ancestors had, nothing.

    I apologise to the moderators for going beyond the bounds of decency and due deference but I would like to give those utter fools the mother of all slaps to wake them up to the reality of fossil fuels.

  53. Theses guys a priceless, it was -8 C at night in some parts of the UK last week. Where do they imagine their energy is coming from, do they really want to prop up Tehran and Moscow? Sorry I asked, of course they do. Thugs and zealots have always been supported by the left. Its just how things are done in a one party state.

  54. Stephanie Clague:

    Thankyou very much indeed for your excellent post at December 9, 2012 at 11:42 am.

    I have often said that fossil fuels have done more for human kind than anything else since the invention of agriculture. You eloquently express the reality of that.

    And many people in other countries now need the benefits which you relate. As I often say to people, “You don’t know what poverty is until you have experienced the smell of it”.

    Richard

  55. Other_Andy says: December 9, 2012 at 10:53 am
    To Silver Ralph:
    Global oil reserves rose by 31 billion barrels to 1,653 billion barrels in 2011 — Iraq added 28 billion bbls.
    __________________________________

    You totally miss the point on two levels with these increasingly hysterical posts.

    Firstly, Peak Oil has nothing to do with reserves – its about production rates, not reserves. And production is getting harder and harder by the year.

    And if Richard Courtney likes to tout economics as a cure-all, well there is also the economics of pricing yourself out of the market to consider. Oil prices cannot and will not rise to unimaginable levels, to stimulate more exploration and stem the onset of Peak Oil Production, because economies will simply contract, and oil production will continue to decline because of that reduced activity. Economics can trigger its own Peak Oil decline, no matter what the reserves are.

    Secondly, if Andy believes anything that someone in the Middle East tells him, he is even more misguided than his post suggests. If you have ever lived in the Mid East, you will soon realise that every deal, every transaction, and every utterance during every day is based upon a distortion of the truth. Fabrication and falsification is a way of life out there. If you truly believe that Iraq has suddenly discovered 28 bn barrels of reserves, I expect you will be showing us pictures of the fairies at the bottom of your garden next.

    .

  56. You fall into the same trap as those who were concerned about the Great Horse-Manure Crisis of 1894.
    ________________________________

    Not at all. Man has faced many crises in the past, some of which were solved and the civilisation continued, some of which were not solved and the entire civilisation collapsed and millions died. Look around the world at the number of civilisations that have crashed and burned. We do not have a god-given right to have a prosperous technological civilisation, and all of this great morass of humanity could be history tomorrow, especially if the Greens get their way.

    So yes, the UK had a wood crisis, and then discovered iron for shipbuilding. We also had a manure crisis, and discovered external and then internal combustion vehicles instead. We also had a transport crisis, until we invented railways …. etc: etc: and etc: In fact, most of the modern solutions to historic problems in the world today came from Britain. But note the difference between British history and your irrational hysteria about any mention of Peak Oil. The British Victorians recognised they had a problem (in fact, many problems), and instituted reforms and new technologies to overcome those problems.

    Burying your head in the sand and claiming that oil production rates (Peak Oil, or Expensive Oil) are not a problem is not a solution. And claiming that economics will solve the problem is not a cure either. When I refuel my car I spend €100 instead of €10. That is an early manifestation of Peak Oil – because easy oil is getting more scarce and much more expensive to extract. This is the great problem that approaching Peak Oil gives us, for expensive energy can stagnate the entire world economy. This is why we always need to look for cheaper and more secure energy sources (who wants to be at the mercy of Russia and Saudi Arabia?)

    In great contrast to Richard Courney’s ostrich-like approach to Peak Oil, the Victorians would already be looking at alternative solutions. Isambard Kingdom Brunel, for instance, would already have a thorium reactor bubbling away in a workshop somewhere in the Black Country. But do we see the West investing in viable solutions, as Brunel would have done? No. And this is when Peak Oil or Peak energy (ever more expensive energy) becomes a real problem.

    Ok, shale gas is a partial fix to Peak Oil (expensive oil), but it is not going to make the problem go away. The fix is going to be technological, because mankind cannot go on relying on burning Cretaceous plants forever. Thorium is one possible solution, fusion is another, but we are not going to solve a looming energy crisis (expensive energy) by denying that the problem exists. We need to invest in modern alternatives, and that is simply not happening at present.

    .

    .

  57. Silver Ralph:

    My post (at December 9, 2012 at 11:05 am) explained why your assertions of peak oil are nonsense. It included these statements:

    Fracking is one of the “alternatives” explained in the post I copy below.

    and

    In the case of oil, new technologies provide a variety of new sources; e.g. improved amounts of oil that can be obtained from existing wells, creation of wells in previously impossible places such as deep ocean, etc. And new technologies provide a variety of alternatives; e.g. by conversion of tars, gases, and coals to synthetic oil (syncrude).
    Syncrude from coal could be made at competitive cost to crude oil now. But the infrastructure for crude oil supply exists and there is no shortage of crude oil. In the unlikely event that Peak Oil were reached then the infrastructure for syncrude from coal would be built.

    At December 9, 2012 at 12:20 pm you have replied

    And if Richard Courtney likes to tout economics as a cure-all, well there is also the economics of pricing yourself out of the market to consider. Oil prices cannot and will not rise to unimaginable levels, to stimulate more exploration and stem the onset of Peak Oil Production, because economies will simply contract, and oil production will continue to decline because of that reduced activity. Economics can trigger its own Peak Oil decline, no matter what the reserves are.

    Your reply indicates that either you did not read my rebuttal of your ‘peak oil’ assertions or you have severe problems with reading comprehension.

    ‘Peak oil’ is not a problem, and never will be a problem, because it cannot be a problem.
    Read my post which you claim to be answering and you will understand why this is so.

    Richard

  58. Silver Ralph:

    At December 9, 2012 at 12:56 pm you write

    In great contrast to Richard Courney’s ostrich-like approach to Peak Oil, the Victorians would already be looking at alternative solutions.

    I was part of the team which perfected the Liquid Solvent Extraction (LSE) process which can produce syncrude from coal at competitive cost to crude oil. The existence of the LSE process sets a limit on the long-term cost of crude.

    Which “alternative solutions” have you worked to develop?
    And when are you going to stop your “ostrich-like approach” and admit ‘Peak Oil’ is bollocks?

    Richard

  59. Richard Courtney
    At Dec 9th, 2012 at 1:48pm
    “I was part of the team which perfected the Liquid Solvent Extraction (LSE) process which can produce syncrude from coal at competitive cost to crude oil. The existence of the LSE process sets a limit on the long-term cost of crude.”

    Silver Ralph,
    The above comment from Richard has given you a very large verbal slap.
    Richard works in the industry and knows what he’s talking about. He’s right: you’re talking bollocks.

    Now, back to the main topic of the thread:
    I’ve never seen such a bunch of mis-informed and fact-free plonkers as that anti-fracking crowd. It was almost painful to watch their lack of knowledge about science, economics, politics, etc
    I noticed that some of their demo took place in front of the US Embassy. I use to sit in the park outside the embassy and eat my lunch when I worked near there many years ago. However, I only went there in the summer when it was warm. On a cold day like the day of their demo I was happy to be inside eating my lunch in my fossil-fuel heated cafe :)

  60. I don’t understand why these people don’t see some counter-demonstration by regular people. I don’t mean an organized march with signs and stuff, I mean some regular old heckling and maybe showing them the business end of a tomato or two. Why don’t these people have a crowd of regular citizens around them telling them how tired we are of having our energy costs artificially increased? Tell them we are tired of being fleeced so that their pals can wallow in our money. I think it’s about time the regular folks started standing up to these people.

  61. Fracking is not only being used for natural gas, it is being used on all the oil pools now. In fact, the new enhanced fracking technique was originated on the Bakken shale oil pool in Montana. Bakken has turned into gold mine and this was until 10 years ago thought to be just a curiousity.

    This new enhanced technology (it was used decades ago but it is now used more intensively) has extended the productive life of many ageing oil pools already, has opened many previously thought inaccessible shale oil pools and has many extensions that have just started to be exploited so far.

    Peak Oil can no longer be defined or estimated because we don’t know how far this new thought process/technique will take production. The Saudi’s are now using this technology on their existing oil pools with the drill bits direction/orientation being controlled remotely from a Lab hundreds of miles away.

    Peak Oil is at least in 2040 now.

    (Note some people are almost obsessed with the thought about Peak Oil even though it depends entirely on technology to extract the oil. When was the last time technology reached a Peak in any area?)

  62. @Silver Ralph;12:16 am excellent point hydrocarbons versus slavery.
    A sarcastic man would say these protesters are slavering for slavery.
    @ Stephanie Clague 11:42. Best summation of this wave of social hysteria I have read in ages. Thank you.

  63. Stephanie Clague at 11:42 am is possibly post worthy on its own.
    Course it could degenerate fast, but it speaks to me, wonderful precision of passion and language.
    I keep telling the under 40s that this is the best of all possible times , in human history, to live.
    We have never had it so good and easy.
    Cheap reliable electricity changed everything. Reliable transport next best thing.
    These are the things the worlds poor are being, I think deliberately, denied. And this hypocritical ludditism is being used to do it.
    We could save a lot of time and money by giving these people what they insist others should have.
    Living without refrigeration and easy hygiene should help their cognitive processes kick into gear.

  64. @Silver Ralph
    “If you have ever lived in the Mid East…”

    I have…,have you?

    “Firstly, Peak Oil has nothing to do with reserves – its about production rates, not reserves…”

    No it isn’t..
    richardscourtney explained it perfectly, read it!
    It’s about economics. We will never run out of oil.

    “When I refuel my car I spend €100 instead of €10. That is an early manifestation of Peak Oil – because easy oil is getting more scarce and much more expensive to extract.”

    Only partly.
    Check out the tax component of the price. Some 60 per cent of the pump price in Britain is down to tax and duties. And oil is controlled by a cartel (OPEC) keeping the price artificially high.

    We haven’t even used a fraction of the Earth’s carbohydrates (Oil, Coal and Gas).
    And check out the reserves of gas hydrates.
    The worldwide amounts of carbon bound in gas hydrates is conservatively estimated to total twice the amount of carbon to be found in all known fossil fuels on Earth.

    http://marine.usgs.gov/fact-sheets/gas-hydrates/title.html

    We won’t be running out of fossil fuels anytime soon.

  65. richardscourtney says:
    December 9, 2012 at 12:06 pm
    Stephanie Clague:
    Thankyou very much indeed for your excellent post at December 9, 2012 at 11:42 am.
    ——————————————————————-
    john robertson says:
    December 9, 2012 at 8:15 pm
    Stephanie Clague at 11:42 am is possibly post worthy on its own.

    Dear friends,

    Thank you both for the kind words of support, I am pleased that you find some truth in my humble words. I speak from the heart and usually end up making errors that look quite funny when I find them, being dyslexic I can read and check my posts four or more times and still not spot the obvious errors. I fully realise that we dont wash our shoes once a week as I described in my post!

    Yours

    Stephanie Clague.

  66. richardscourtney says: December 9, 2012 at 1:48 pm
    And when are you going to stop your “ostrich-like approach” and admit ‘Peak Oil’ is bollocks?
    _____________________________________

    So you are going to set up Moon Base Alpha and Mars Base Charlie based on burning Cretacious plants, are you? Massive colliers hauling coal to the Moon?? Geezzzz.

    Admit it, Richard, you are a dinosaur who will shackle the potential of human civilisation for the next few centuries.

    .

  67. richardscourtney says: December 9, 2012 at 1:08 pm
    ‘Peak oil’ is not a problem, and never will be a problem, because it cannot be a problem.
    _________________________________________

    ‘it cannot be a problem’ ???

    What planet are you on Richard? I am paying €100 ($130) for a tank of gas in my car. Now that is a real problem – NOW. This is Peak Oil in action Rich, easy oil has gone, expensive oil is here to stay, and the difficulties and expense of extraction are only ever going to make oil more and more expensive. That is the what the looming summit of Peak Oil gives us, Rich – ever more expensive energy.

    Besides, what on earth are we doing burning the feedstock for the petrochemical industry?? We will need those oil based raw materials for the next few thousand years, to create what the world needs – and you are happy that we are simply burning it??

    Geez Rich, do you ever look further forward than your own ‘old fella’?!

    .

  68. AndyW says: December 9, 2012 at 3:42 pm
    Richard Courtney At Dec 9th, 2012 at 1:48pm
    “I was part of the team which perfected the Liquid Solvent Extraction (LSE) process which can produce syncrude from coal at competitive cost to crude oil.

    Silver Ralph,
    The above comment from Richard has given you a very large verbal slap.
    Richard works in the industry and knows what he’s talking about. He’s right: you’re talking bollocks.
    ______________________________________________

    No he has not.

    Richard Courtney is a desk jockey who thinks that the highly fractured coal seams of the UK are an advantage to extraction !!! Geezzzz. He also thinks that the decision to close Selby (the great modern white hope of the UK coal industry) was political (because he is an uber-socialist and Scargill supporter). In reality, Selby (which sucked in hundreds of millions in grants) was closed because the fractured seams were impossible to work, at anything like the cost of world coal.

    Unlike Richard, I was working down those mines, and I saw first hand how difficult and expensive those mines were to work – all the men and machinery working in a deep seam only 2.5 feet high. Can you imagine the difficulties, and the heat – with the mine roof crashing to the floor just a meter behind you? And then comming across yet another fault-line and having to reset all the machinery to the new level. Modern health and safety would have closed those mines down the very next day.

    .

    So what we have here in the UK is a good example of Peak Coal. We have worked the coal in the UK for hundreds of years and all the easy coal has gone, thus the costs and dangers of extraction have gone through the roof. Now there might be ’300 years of coal’ in the ground, as they like to proclaim, but that coal ain’t going to be extracted at world prices, I can assure you. UK coal and UK coal-to-liquids will always be three times the world price, and will require vast subsidies to keep the industry alive (especially if the Greens want to extract and bury the CO2 as well !!)

    Face facts, Rich, we have reached economic Peak Coal in the UK (ie, production has peaked due difficulty of extraction). That, is a definition of Peak Coal. Face a further fact, Richard, we have also reached economic Peak Oil in the UK (ie, production has peaked due difficulty of extraction). That, is a definition of Peak Oil. Britain has reached Peak in many raw materials and energy sources, and reliance on foreign tyrants in Russia and Saudi Arabia is not always a sensible option – which is why we need Thorium and Fusion energy. End of story.

    And Rich, before you make a reply, please confirm that you have at last been north of Watford to see the real problems of the UK coal industry.

    .

  69. Silver Ralph says:
    December 9, 2012 at 12:16 am
    >>I fully agree that Brits are wimps and should experience some real cold.
    >>They don’t even know what winter tyres are.

    Winter tyres do not work well in the UK. Over the last 30 years there has been precious little snow, and even then only for short periods. Winter tyres when temps are above 7 degrees are acrually dangerous, as they have less grip, and UK winter temps were often above 7 degrees.

    Off topic I know but your inference that winter tyres are actually dangerous when the temp is above 7 degrees, is to put it politely BS. There are many independent reviews of Winter tyres that have concluded that because of the softer rubber and block pattern they don’t last as long as summer rated tyres but it is perfectly acceptable to run them all the year round. See here for but ONE example http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/tyre-guides/36694/winter-tyre-test-2011

    I wish people would do some research before making such alarmist comments!

  70. @Silver Ralph

    ” I am paying €100 ($130) for a tank of gas in my car. Now that is a real problem – NOW. This is Peak Oil in action Rich, easy oil has gone, expensive oil is here to stay, and the difficulties and expense of extraction are only ever going to make oil more and more expensive.”

    In Saudi Arabia the cost of producing 1 barrel of oil (158.9873) is less than US$2.00 or $ 0.013 US cents a liter. Converted in pounds sterling this is approximately 0.0078 pence per liter.
    They are selling it for $ 85.98 a barrel or 54 British pounds sterling (34 pence a liter).
    The oil company adds another 21 pence for refining, transporting and distributing it.
    The government adds another 83 pence a liter.
    You are paying approximately 138.5p per liter.

    The problem is OPEC and a greedy government, not ‘peak oil’.

  71. Silver Ralph says:
    December 9, 2012 at 11:26 pm
    richardscourtney says: December 9, 2012 at 1:08 pm
    ‘Peak oil’ is not a problem, and never will be a problem, because it cannot be a problem.
    _________________________________________
    ‘it cannot be a problem’ ???
    “What planet are you on Richard? I am paying €100 ($130) for a tank of gas in my car. Now that is a real problem – NOW”

    Dear Ralph,

    The point Richard was making about peak oil has little influence on the price of petrol you pay at the pumps. The amount of duty charged exceeds the cost of production from the well head through the refinery and into the pump you use. If the oil and gas companies were using the same production and refining techniques they were using 50yrs ago you would be correct in asserting the notion of peak oil. However, oil and gas technology has moved on in leaps an bounds in a few short decades and areas not thought cost effective to exploit are now accessible.

    It is in the interests of the producer nations to keep the price of oil high enough to ensure decent revenue but not so high as to provoke an economic crash, for instance Venezuela needs the price of oil to remain above $75pb to sustain its social programmes. The price you pay at the pumps is not a reflection of scarcity or dwindling reserves but includes costs like refining and profits through the supply chain not to mention taxes which pay for the services we need. One other related factor is the use of pricing to dampen demand and encourage user end efficiencies like the purchase of a vehicle that uses less fuel.

    The oil Companies are experts at finding and mapping reserves and calculating when the price per barrel would justify profitable extraction, and those reserves are vast and increasing all the time as new technologies allow for tar sand extraction and re exploitation of old fields and incredibly a new drill system that allows one rig and one pipeline to get to each isolated pocket of reserves that tapped alone and in isolation would not be profitable. All in all the future is bright and there is good cause to believe that the shores around Africa alone will start to provide as much new reserves as we have extracted to date. The future is brighter than some would believe, there are those who have a political motive for peddling scares about running out of fossil fuels, they have very loud voices and do not care about the facts.

  72. Silver Ralph,

    “So what we have here in the UK is a good example of Peak Coal.”

    I do not think we are anywhere near “peak coal” in the UK, whatever inference you may draw from Selby. Thatcher closed the coal mines because it was cheaper to import open cast coal from eastern europe.

    Where I live in Derbyshire, there is a planning application to open cast for coal along the A61 corridor. The coal is there.

  73. Silver Ralph:

    At December 9, 2012 at 11:50 pm you ask (I think) me

    And Rich, before you make a reply, please confirm that you have at last been north of Watford to see the real problems of the UK coal industry.

    I was the Vice President (VP) of the British Association of Colliery Management (BACM) during the period when British Coal (aka the National Coal Board) was being demolished. The managers of that industry repeatedly re-elected me to that office despite my being the Senior Material Scientist based at the Coal Research Establishment (hence, my work on LSE) so I was not employed at a colliery.

    However, I attended several collieries as part of my work as Senior Material Scientist so I could understand problems which I was called-upon to solve. This required my understanding of the technical problems affecting individual collieries. Also, collieries invited me to visit them in my capacity as VP of BACM, and such visits almost always included underground visits. Most collieries were “north of Watford” and I am now looking at an engraved, silver, whisky flask given to me by a Scottish colliery when I visited it.

    The managers of the industry had ample opportunity to assess me and they repeatedly elected me as their VP to address “the real problems of the UK coal industry”.

    Incidentally, the Selby coal field was closed upon completion of the project and not for any other reason. There is still coal there but its extraction would cause subsidence problems for e.g. the city of York.

    But so what? The UK deep mines have gone, and none of that has any relevance to this thread or to your nonsense about the non-existent possibility of ‘peak oil’.

    This thread is about fracking and not me.

    Richard

  74. richardscourtney says:
    December 9, 2012 at 1:48 pm
    I was part of the team which perfected the Liquid Solvent Extraction (LSE) process which can produce syncrude from coal at competitive cost to crude oil. The existence of the LSE process sets a limit on the long-term cost of crude
    ////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
    Imteresting. Presently, the cost of crude bears little resemblance to the costs of extraction/production and transport. A profit was being made when crude was half the price.
    A while back I read an article that suggested that long term crude ought not to exceed about $100 per barrel since the viable cost of syncrude was between $80 to $100 per barrel. There are vast reserves of coal (and algae) so syncrude has a lengthy future. No doubt it is political forces and big business which are delaying syncrude being widely used, but I have little doubt that its day will come.

    There is a relationship between all terms being discussed and it is the weight that one puts on the various terms that leads to debate. With any finite resourse, there must by definition be a peak. But that said, it does not inevitably follow that the resource will ever be exhausted. As technology moves on, the resource may be replaced in whole or part such that it is never exhausted.

    The shale gas ‘revolution’ has obviously put back peak oil since shale gas will be used for some things which oil is presently used for. Obviously it cannot replace oil in total, but it can replace some uses of oil and plentiful (and cheap) supply of shale gas therefore extents peak oil. So whilst peak gas and peak oil are different, there is a relationship between the two.

    Some argue that we should be looking at new technologies. Necessity is the mother of all invention. This is with good cause and I have no doubt that when the need arises, new technologies will quickly be found and will quickly come on stream. But that time has not yet come. Fossil fuels are still plentiful, they are a wonderful package and will meet our needs for at least a couple of generations to come. I have little doubt that energy supply in the year 2050 will look quite different to that of today. It will not be solar or windmills, whether it will be thorium, and/or hydrogen cells, who knows.

    I endorse the views expressed to the effect that fossil fuels are a miracle discovery which have benefited and advanced humanityimmensely. High energy costs are arguably the greatest evil/threat facing mankind.

  75. fretslider says:
    December 9, 2012 at 5:19 am

    Why are the Australians sending us all their lunatics?

    Revenge for Juliar?

    DaveE

  76. richard verney:

    For clarity, I write to say that I agree all you say in your post at December 10, 2012 at 5:46 am.

    Richard

  77. As for ‘fracking’, does anyone have a link to a good rebuttal of the purported hazards of fracking that the enviro-alarmists and fear-mongers are constantly touting? If there was such a rebuttal here on WUWT, I missed it.

    /Mr Lynn

  78. Vince Causey says: December 10, 2012 at 4:20 am
    Silver Ralph,

    “So what we have here in the UK is a good example of Peak Coal.”

    I do not think we are anywhere near “peak coal” in the UK, whatever inference you may draw from Selby. Thatcher closed the coal mines because it was cheaper to import open cast coal from eastern europe.
    __________________________________

    Thatcher did not close Selby, it was the coal industry’s great white hope for the future, and remained open for nearly another 20 years. It was finally closed due to it being too expensive and riddled with geological faults.

    But this is the whole point about Peak Anything. When a raw material is no longer economic to extract, and production falls as a consequence, you have reached the Production Peak in this case, Peak Coal for the UK. Hint : Peak anything does not refer to reserves in the ground, but to production rates.

    According to The Independent, UK Peak Coal was reached as far back as 1913, and UK coal output has been falling ever since. This is Peak Coal in action.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/uks-coal-output-falls-to-preindustrial-levels-769769.html

    Why did the UK reach Peak Coal? Nothing to do with Mrs Thatcher, matey, it is because UK coal is deep mine coal with very thin and highly faulted seams. (Hint: UK Peak Coal was reached over 60 years before Thatcher became prime minister.) How on earth could the UK compete with Western Australia, where the coal seams are 6m deep and close enough to the surface to strip mine??

    Now you could argue that coal is a national resourse, and we should extract it at any price. And Scargill could have argued that. But if we subsidise coal, who else will want a subsidy? And if we tax industry to pay for that huge coal subsidy, industry will simply reloate to the Far East (as it has done for similar wage-related reasons). In a world economy, you cannot ignore world prices, and one of the most basic cost for industry is energy.

    This, therefore, is a clear illustration and warning for the world. Peak Oil and Peak Coal are a reality – we have already reached those peaks in the UK. Only hindcasting will tell us when the world reached Peak Oil, but my estimation is that it is not too far off.

    As Verney just pointed out, shale gas may well delay Peak Oil because it will take some load off oil supplies, but that is simply a delaying tactic.

    .

  79. richardscourtney says: December 10, 2012 at 5:20 am
    I was the Vice President (VP) of the British Association of Colliery Management (BACM).

    Incidentally, the Selby coal field was closed upon completion of the project and not for any other reason. There is still coal there but its extraction would cause subsidence problems for e.g. the city of York.
    ——————————————————————–

    What a stupid thing for a Vice President of the British Association of Colliery Management to say. As you should well know, unmined pillars are left under every city in the UK, to prevent subsidence. Thus the reserves under York would never have been in the original calculations for Selby coal reserves.

    Selby closed because the reserves were more fractured than expected, as even Wiki explains. And Selby also probably closed because mining management were completely out of touch with what was happening on the ground – as we have seen amply demonstrated in this thread.

    When I went through mining school, they said ‘this is how it is done’. When I went underground, they did completely the opposite, because they had neither the time nor resources to do the job properly. But management were completely unaware of the short-cuts that were being taken. If Scargil wanted to make a name for himself, instead of playing politics, this is what he should have addressed.

    So coming back on thread – any coal to liquid fuel extraction would only be at the $80 – $100 level if we used world coal prices. If we used realistic UK prices instead – at production volumes to satisfy UK oil demand – the prices of this synthetic fuel would be horrendous (because the UK is already well past Peak Coal). And as a result the UK economy would crash once more, as a result.

    This is why shale gas is so importsnt to the UK. But if politicians are reading, please note that this is only a temporary stop-gap. The UK is already well past UK Peak Oil, and so we need Thorium and Fusion energy as soon as possible – other wise we will be back in the grip of Russian and Arabian tyrants.

    P.S. Who do you think is sponsoring terrorism around the world? For every $100 spent on Arabian oil, $10 comes back to the West in the form of fundamentalist education and terrorism.

    .

  80. The environmentalists support fracking beneath heavily populated cities and massive recovery/circulation of deep ‘radioactive contaminated’ water for green geothermal energy, see:

    http://www.publicsectorexecutive.com/Energy-Efficiency-and-Sustainability/Page-13/manchester-geothermal-heat-network-announced

    – barely 40 miles from the rural site of the shale fracking tests greens intend doing some fracking of their own. The concepts of irony and hypocrisy are lost on true believers.
    The green’s idological problem with fracking for gas is that it makes heat and light cheaper than it would otherwise be and encourages industrial society, the real enemy.

  81. @Silver Ralph,

    Global peak oil will happen only when there is a viable alternative liquid fuel that is less expensive to produce than the most expensive oil that is technically possible to extract at the time.

    There is little to no reason to believe that this will happen any time in the forseable future.

  82. With only a few hundred turning up to protest maybe they need a new slogan, how about “Vote Green and there will be No Fracking UK”

  83. Other_Andy says: December 10, 2012 at 2:04 am

    In Saudi Arabia the cost of producing 1 barrel of oil (158.9873) is less than US$2.00 or $ 0.013 US cents a liter. Converted in pounds sterling this is approximately 0.0078 pence per liter.
    ____________________________________

    You really don’t get it, do you.

    Firstly, you give us Saudi production costs, not total costs.. Total Saudi costs, including research and development, are more like $6 a barrel.

    Secondly, the amount of tax and profit that Saudi is creaming off is irellevant to the Peak Oil argument. Saudi Arabia can only charge these astronomic prices for its oil because all the new fields coming onstream have much higher production costs – up to $100 a barrel according to Reuters.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2009/07/28/oil-cost-factbox-idUSLS12407420090728

    So the world price of oil (and thus the price of petrol in my car) is being driven by ever increasing production costs, and Saudi Arabia is simply smiling broadly and following suit. Why are we contemplating such difficult and expensive oil fields? Because we are approaching Peak Oil, and these difficult fields and locations are all the oil companies can find. And Saudi could not fill the gap in supplies even if it wanted to, because its own cheap oil fields are drying up and cannot deliver any more flow than they already are. Oh, yes, they can invoke ever more complex technology to get more oil out, but that is simply adding to the price once more.

    Thus the price of oil will rise and rise as we approach Peak Oil – ie: peak world oil production rates. And they will continue to rise until one of two things happen.
    a. people cannot afford oil and economise by significant amounts.
    b. a new energy source comes along that will undercut oil, and save the day. Shale gas may be a partial answer to the Peak Oil problem, but only Thorium or Fusion will finally end it.

    But if we don’t find an alternative, and we do hit Peak Oil (peak production rates), be prepared for prices to go through the roof. This is what would have happened to UK energy supplies when the UK hit Peak Oil and Peak Coal – but the UK put off the eventual crisis by subsidising coal prices, and finally by importing cheaper oil and coal supplies. The UK can do this, but the World cannot – not unless we can start importing coal and oil from the Martians….. !

    .

  84. Just so people know. The first patent for Fracking was applied for just after the CIVIL WAR in the USA. It is OLD technology.

    A “Fracking” History

    For more than 100 years, nitroglycerin detonations increased a well’s production from petroleum bearing formations. Modern hydraulic fracturing technology can trace its roots to April 25, 1865, when Civil War veteran Col. Edward A. L. Roberts received the first of his many patents for an “exploding torpedo.” …

    Again as usual ‘much ado about nothing’ with the MSM propaganda mills leading the way.

  85. Richard Verney said;

    “Fossil fuels are still plentiful, they are a wonderful package and will meet our needs for at least a couple of generations to come.’

    Putting petrol in my portable generator provides immediate and measurable power which can be readily topped up by addng more fuel. My solar panels are a law unto thremselves and become increasingly useless as the light levels fall as the seasons change and of course are completely dead at night.

    It is not at present an appropriate technology for the UK let alone appropriate to use as a main source of power.

    Personally I favour wave/tidal power to which additional power can be grabbed through using integrated wind towers. However, despite the Salter Duck proving the viabilty of this technology by 1976 we are really no nearer developing the huge power station lapping at oiur coast. So like it or not we need to use fossil fuel in all its forms for at least 1 or 2 generations more

    tonyb

  86. Silver Ralph:

    Your post at December 10, 2012 at 7:49 am demonstrates that you will insist on continuing to distract this thread with your ‘peak oil’ nonsense and demonstrations of your ignorance of energy issues in general.

    Peak UK coal happened long ago but world coal production, coal reserved and coal utilisation continue unabated. Coal – like oil – is fungible and is traded worldwide.

    This thread is about the UK needing to adopt fracking as a method to continue its indigenous energy supply for reasons of energy security and balance of payments. (On the basis of your contributions to this thread, I suspect you cannot understand those issues any more than the other issues on which you have proclaimed your ignorance).

    Richard

  87. Silver Ralph,

    “But if we don’t find an alternative, and we do hit Peak Oil (peak production rates),”

    This will never ever happen. There is more than enough oil in the ground for production rates to continue to increase no mater what the cost until a less expensive alternative is found.

    The vast majority of oil consuption is through use as liquid vehicle fuel. Peak oil won’t happen until an alternative liquid vehicle fuel is found that is less expensive to produce than the next barrel of oil. But if such a alternative exists peak oil is a meaningless non crisis.

    Given the current crop of potential alternatives, oil will likely have to hit $300 – $400 dollars (US) per barrel to even get close.

    Your own example of UK coal stands as proof of my point. It peaked not because there wasn’t any more coal available in the UK but because more economical alternatives were available.

  88. vukcevic says: December 10, 2012 at 9:56 am
    Silver Ralph note for you here:
    ________________________________

    Sorry Vuk, but I am not sure I need to appologise for that one.

    You are presumably a scientist, who has to present the results of his work in order to get further funding (or to gain further support for the arguments you are making). Yet I have not clearly understood one of your graphs.

    If I were in government, and you a science advisor, I would dismiss you immediately, because you cannot present your work clearly to the layman. Your work may be the most revolutionary and important in the entire world, perhaps it is, but I would be none the wiser.

    So, just as a word of advice – dont entangle two plots on a graph that have different axes, and then entangle another couple of plots on the same graph that also have different axes. You are simply asking for trouble. That I was muddled is of no consequence for you, but had I been a potential benifactor and funder of your work, you could have lost a nice fat contract.

    .

  89. richardscourtney says: December 10, 2012 at 9:40 am

    a. You will insist on continuing to distract this thread with your ‘peak oil’ nonsense.

    b. Peak UK coal happened long ago.

    c. This thread is about the UK needing to adopt fracking as a method to continue its indigenous energy supply for reasons of energy security and balance of payments.
    _________________________________________________

    a. Peak Oil was mentioned in the introduction to this thread.

    b. Ah, so you acknowledge that Peak Raw Material can happen. So why did you write that “Peak oil is not a problem, and never will be a problem, because it cannot be a problem.” Do you now acknowledge that this was a very silly thing to say, given that the UK has already gone through Peak Coal? Peak Raw Material can, and does happen.

    c. Precisely. In other words the UK cannot rely on Russian and Algerian gas, Saudi oil, or Australian coal (coliers would be such an easy target for an aggressor). In other words we have to primarily rely on UK resources, and since UK coal and coal-liquids would be exhorbitantly expensive, we cannot rely on them and still remain economically viable.

    Thus the options we have for energy supplies are: UK oil (which is well past UK Peak Oil); the new shale gas reserves; and Thorium/Fusion power.

    Thus, at long last, it seems that you agree with everything I have said. Thanks Rich.

    .

  90. @ Silver Ralph

    Thanks for your thoughtful reply.

    You keep on quoting the price of petrol at the pump as proof of ‘peak oil’.
    What you pay at the pump has very little to do with either production cost or with the scarcity of the resource.
    But hey, what do I know, you are the expert.

  91. MattS says: December 10, 2012 at 10:18 am
    Silver Ralph,
    This will never ever happen. There is more than enough oil in the ground for production rates to continue to increase no mater what the cost until a less expensive alternative is found.

    The vast majority of oil consuption is through use as liquid vehicle fuel. Peak oil won’t happen until an alternative liquid vehicle fuel is found that is less expensive to produce than the next barrel of oil. But if such a alternative exists peak oil is a meaningless non crisis.

    Your own example of UK coal stands as proof of my point. It peaked not because there wasn’t any more coal available in the UK but because more economical alternatives were available.
    ___________________________________

    Grrrr. When will you get it into your unresponsive brain that Peak Oil or Peak Coal has NOTHING TO DO WITH OIL In THE GROUND (RESERVES). Oil in the ground is completely worthless – it has to come out before it is useful. And all those lovely new finds are small and difficult and expensive to extract. Why do you think the Deep Water Horizon accident happened? Do you think they were drilling in 3000m of water just for the fun of it?

    I like to remind Greenies this, when they crow that wind power is completely free. I retort that oil and coal are completely free too – they are just there waiting to be dug up, completely free. They say that’s rubbish, as it costs £millions to dig it up. Precisely – and it costs £ billions to ‘dig up’ wind energy into a form that can be useful to us.

    .

    Thus…
    Peak Oil is about peak production rates, not reserves. And production rates will peak when:

    b. When wells get more and more sluggish as they age.
    c. When new wells get smaller and smaller, or more and more difficult to drain.
    d. When oil gets so darn expensive that people cut back or find alternatives.

    Thus economics can and will trigger a Peak Oil event. The problem is, will there be an alternative to oil, when we start reaching Peak Oil price levels. Because if there is not, then people will simply cut back on oil, economic activity will reduce, and the world economy will stagnate.

    The presence of shale gas gives us a partial hope that Peak Oil might become Plateau Oil, as shale gas takes up some of the slack. But I have to say that in Europe, oil is not used much for heating or electrical production, so it will not cut much off the oil demand here. And shale gas is not going to be much good for vehicular applications, without a lot of expensive processing.

    .

  92. Silver Ralph:

    My post addressed to you at December 10, 2012 at 9:40 am said in total

    Your post at December 10, 2012 at 7:49 am demonstrates that you will insist on continuing to distract this thread with your ‘peak oil’ nonsense and demonstrations of your ignorance of energy issues in general.

    Peak UK coal happened long ago but world coal production, coal reserved and coal utilisation continue unabated. Coal – like oil – is fungible and is traded worldwide.

    This thread is about the UK needing to adopt fracking as a method to continue its indigenous energy supply for reasons of energy security and balance of payments. (On the basis of your contributions to this thread, I suspect you cannot understand those issues any more than the other issues on which you have proclaimed your ignorance).

    Your reply at December 10, 2012 at 10:43 am confirms everything I said.

    So, I only bother to reply to your latest demonstration of your inexpertise because I object to your (deliberate?) misrepresentation of what I wrote.

    You write

    b. Ah, so you acknowledge that Peak Raw Material can happen. So why did you write that “Peak oil is not a problem, and never will be a problem, because it cannot be a problem.” Do you now acknowledge that this was a very silly thing to say, given that the UK has already gone through Peak Coal? Peak Raw Material can, and does happen.

    I did NOT “acknowledge that Peak Raw Material can happen”. I REFUTED IT!

    I said

    Peak UK coal happened long ago but world coal production, coal reserved and coal utilisation continue unabated. Coal – like oil – is fungible and is traded worldwide.

    Indeed, this is an example of what I wrote in my post (at December 9, 2012 at 11:05 am) which you have refused to read where I said

    When something is cheap nobody bothers to look for an additional source of it or an alternative to it.

    When something starts to become scarce its value increases, so people look for additional sources of it and alternatives to it.

    I am becoming annoyed by your disruptions of this thread from its important subject which is fracking.

    Richard

  93. Silver Ralph says:
    December 10, 2012 at 10:30 am
    You are presumably a scientist, who has to present the results of his work in order to get further funding (or to gain further support for the arguments you are making). Yet I have not clearly understood one of your graphs.
    That I was muddled is of no consequence for you, but had I been a potential benifactor and funder of your work, you could have lost a nice fat contract.

    Silver
    You can’t help yourself can you; you are presuming too much too often.

    I am not a scientist.
    I have never applied for any grant from anyone.
    I have never worked for any government.
    I have never worked for anyone on contract.
    I plot graphs which are not financed by anyone
    I mess around with data as a hobby, to pass the time and keep the brain ticking.

  94. . Silver Ralph,

    “When oil gets so darn expensive that people cut back or find alternatives.”

    My point exactly.

    However, where you are going wrong is that oil drives so much of our econnomy that the price where people start cutting back significantly is likely to be MUCH higher than you think.

    Additionally technology doen’t sit still just because certain oil reserves can be economically tapped even at $100 per barrel today doesn’t mean that the same will hold in 10, 20 or 30 years. Ten years from now oil fields that are uneconomical at $100 per barrel today could be econnomical at $50 per barrel.

    As for the BP gulf spill with Deep Water Horizon, there have been worse accidents with land based wells. The long term environmental impacts from Deep Water Horizon have been close to zero. Measured impacts have been so low and so short lived that they can’t figure out what happened to more than half the oil that was estimated to have been released.

  95. Other_Andy says:
    December 8, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    PaulH at 1:44 pm
    “The Green Party leader claimed fracking means radioactivity? Really? I guess it doesn’t really matter what they say as long as they say it loud enough.”

    When fracking wells are drilled, a lot of stuff comes up. One substance might be Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material…
    ____________________________________
    Oh, Good grief. Granodiorite, yeah a rock, gives off Radon gas which is radioactive . It is among the most abundant intrusive igneous rocks.

    …Worldwide, an average of about two radon atoms are emitted from every square centimeter of soil everywhere on the Earth every second of every day1. It is for that reason that virtually every house on the planet always has had radon, and will always have radon occurring in the home. Humans have been breathing radon gas since the dawn of Man.

    there are no scientific studies that have ever actually shown that radon gas, as typically seen in houses, increases the risk of cancer. To be clear: There are NO valid studies that have conclusively demonstrated that typical residential exposures to radon increase the risk of cancer at all. In fact, all of the valid studies performed thus far show one of two things: 1) No risk and/or 2) a decreasing risk of cancer. This view is reflected in a position statement issued by the Health Physics Society, the premier Health Physics organization in the US. According to the position statement issued by the Health Physics Society1a, for doses below 100 mSv (10 rem)

    “…risks of health effects are either too small to be observed or are non-existent.”

    In a few isolated cases, decorative stone and other building materials have also been identified as being the single largest significant contributors to indoor radon concentrations. The building construction material called “granite” is usually a similar material called granodiorite. The granodiorite has been shown in some cases to be the sole source of radon in a structure….

    http://www.forensic-applications.com/radon/radon.html

  96. Silver Ralph says:
    December 9, 2012 at 12:16 am
    “Winter tyres do not work well in the UK. Over the last 30 years there has been precious little snow, and even then only for short periods.
    ___________________________
    That is why I invested in chains when I moved to NC and I am glad I did. The boss expected me to show up at work even if there was a nasty ice storm. Chains made that possible even if I had to drive at about 25 mph. (30 is max with chains) Chains also do not rot if not used like tires do.

  97. MattS says:
    December 10, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    . Silver Ralph,

    “When oil gets so darn expensive that people cut back or find alternatives.”

    My point exactly.

    However, where you are going wrong is that oil drives so much of our econnomy that the price where people start cutting back significantly is likely to be MUCH higher than you think….
    ________________________________

    I remember $0.14 a gallon for gas it is now ~ $4.00 my usage is determined by my work and not by my whim. People might not go on long vacations as much and might stay closer to home on weekends but that is not much of a cut back. A ~ 23% unemployment rate has had a heck of a lot more impact than the price does.

  98. Gail Combs says:
    December 10, 2012 at 5:05 pm
    ___________________________
    That is why I invested in chains when I moved to NC and I am glad I did. The boss expected me to show up at work even if there was a nasty ice storm. . .

    You must live in the mountains. In Chapel Hill, some decades ago to be sure, they were so unaccustomed to snow that they tried to wash it off the streets with fire hoses. But as it was well below freezing. . .

    A couple of us, who had just come from New England, thought this was hilarious.

    /Mr Lynn

  99. Mr Lynn says:
    December 10, 2012 at 7:21 am
    As for ‘fracking’, does anyone have a link to a good rebuttal of the purported hazards of fracking that the enviro-alarmists and fear-mongers are constantly touting? If there was such a rebuttal here on WUWT, I missed it.

    Here:
    ============

    Extensive defense of fracking by Casey Research:

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/guest-post-dont-frack-me

    Brian H says:
    May 26, 2012 at 8:02 am

    Zero-water, zero-chemical frac process:

    http://www.gasfrac.com/

    Greatly reduces costs, improves yields, eliminates environmental objections.

    Anthony Scalzi says:
    July 31, 2012 at 6:27 pm

    BTW, Fracking processes have been developed that don’t use water for the fracking fluid. They use propane and butane instead. So objections to fracking based on the difficulty of disposing used fracking fluids are now moot-there’s no toxic wastewater to dispose of. The propane is simply recovered as part of the gas production of the well.

    http://insideclimatenews.org/news/20120415/waterless-fracking-method-propane-gasfrac-bypass-new-york-ban-hydraulic-fracturing-tioga-county

    Waterless Fracking Method Could Sidestep NY Gas Drilling Ban

    A plan to extract shale gas and oil from 135,000 acres in Tioga County, N.Y., could break through the state’s hydraulic fracturing moratorium, because the wells would be fracked not with water but with liquefied petroleum gas, or LPG, a mixture of mostly propane.

    Roger Knights says:
    June 10, 2011 at 11:33 am

    Criticism of anti-fracking measures:

    http://seekingalpha.com/article/274316-anti-hydraulic-fracturing-movement-not-based-on-rational-thought

    Quis custoddiet ipos custodes says:
    June 3, 2011 at 6:53 am

    Interesting summary on “Fracking Risks and Benefits” June 3, 2011-

    http://dddusmma.wordpress.com/2011/06/03/fracking-risks-and-benefits/

    “Shale gas was first used in the U.S. to light homes at Fredonia, New York in 1821.

    The use of shale gas is not new.

    Hydraulic fracturing was first used in Texas to stimulate oil-wells in the late 1940s………….” …. “Gas migration is not due to fracking, but rather to the cement seal around the drill pipe.”

    Dave Wendt says:
    January 21, 2012 at 10:55 am

    Very OT except as it relates to continuing ridiculousness, or perhaps moderating ridiculousness, the folks at New Scientist seem to have executed a serious worm turn away from Green Dogma with this piece

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn21341-fracking-risk-is-exaggerated.html

    Fracking risk is exaggerated

    “Frack away, there’s no reason not to. Two of the main objections to “fracking” for shale gas have been blown out of proportion, according to British geologists.

    Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, involves pumping water, sand and chemicals into methane-rich shale deposits around 2 kilometres underground to liberate natural gas. It has been accused of contaminating drinking water with methane and chemicals, and causing minor earthquakes.

    “We think the risk is pretty low,” said Mike Stephenson, head of energy science at the British Geological Survey at a press briefing in London on Tuesday.”

    The conclusion has been obvious for quite a while, but it seems significant that the usually reliably green crowd at NS is embracing it at this point.

    Bradley J. Fikes says:
    February 17, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    On another energy topic, this is worth considering:

    New study shows no evidence of groundwater contamination from hydraulic fracturing

    VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Hydraulic fracturing of shale formations to extract natural gas has no direct connection to reports of groundwater contamination, based on evidence reviewed in a study released Thursday by the Energy Institute at The University of Texas at Austin.

    The study, released at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Vancouver, British Columbia, found that many problems ascribed to hydraulic fracturing are related to processes common to all oil and gas drilling operations, such as casing failures or poor cement jobs.
    University researchers also concluded that many reports of contamination can be traced to above-ground spills or other mishandling of wastewater produced from shale gas drilling, rather than from hydraulic fracturing per se, said Charles “Chip” Groat, an Energy Institute associate director who led the project.
    “These problems are not unique to hydraulic fracturing,” he said.

    GeologyJim says:
    January 11, 2012 at 10:04 am

    Three points: First, most fracking fluid is recovered during completion of the well. It is recycled for other fracking operations (hey, all that stuff costs money). So fracking operations are nowhere near as consumptive of water as alleged

    Second, 99% of the frack fluid is water and sand. The rest consists of surfactants, wetting agents, and other benign stuff that helps produce a slurry that can deliver the sand to the fractures (that’s the whole point). If the VOCs used/produced in frack fluids were really so “toxic”, one would expect very anomalous respiratory illness/death among all oilfield workers.

    Third, fluid injection does not “lubricate” fault zones. Fluids can reduce the lithostatic load (weight of rocks, if you like) that keeps a fault zone from slipping under ambient earth-stress conditions, thereby allowing slippage. But it ain’t a lube-job

    Ray says:
    June 2, 2011 at 11:46 am

    Gasland director hides full facts… there actually was methane in the aquafier way before they started fracking.

    According to Josh Fox, the truth is irrelevant when you have a green agenda.

    http://www.noteviljustwrong.com/General/gasland-director-hides-full-facts.html

    Ralph says:
    July 29, 2011 at 3:14 am

    News from ‘Noteviljustwrong’.

    Their video about gas in tap water NOT being caused by fracking was removed from Youtube, due to legal action. But Josh Fox, the director of the video ‘Gasland’, has lost that legal action, and the video has been restored.

  100. MattS says:
    December 10, 2012 at 8:27 am
    @Silver Ralph,

    Global peak oil will happen only when there is a viable alternative liquid fuel that is less expensive to produce than the most expensive oil that is technically possible to extract at the time.

    There is little to no reason to believe that this will happen any time in the forseable future.

    But, as RSC has noted, synthetic petroleum can be created from coal. (Ideally, the power needed to do so very economically could come from some sort of LENR gadget.) There was some company about 15(?) years ago that developed a slick new way to do so using ammonia. It was a cover story on Time.

  101. Roger Knights,

    “But, as RSC has noted, synthetic petroleum can be created from coal. (Ideally, the power needed to do so very economically could come from some sort of LENR gadget.) There was some company about 15(?) years ago that developed a slick new way to do so using ammonia. It was a cover story on Time.”

    The company that was proposing ammonia based fuel was part of the automotive X-Prize competition. Unfortunately the got disqualified before the demonstration rounds due to not having an adequate business plan. Having a plan to actually bring your option to market was part of the competition rules.

    There is also a company in England which has a similar process for making gasoline.

    Given CO2 + H2O + energy you can make any hydrocarbon fuel you can imagine.

    Unfortunately none of these alternatives is anywhere near being cost competitive with conventional oil at current prices.

  102. Gail Combs,

    As even a 50% cut back in current US Oil consumption pretty much means just about abandoning a modern economy and going back to an agrarian economy that would have no chance of feeding our current population. Oil demand will be far less price elastic than the Peak Oil advocates think.

    They have no idea how painful it would actually be for people to cut back as far as would be needed for oil production to peak before an economical alternative is available. I wish we could send some of them back in time so they could experience just how hard life was before oil.

  103. MattS says: December 10, 2012 at 8:09 pm
    As even a 50% cut back in current US Oil consumption pretty much means just about abandoning a modern economy and going back to an agrarian economy that would have no chance of feeding our current population. Oil demand will be far less price elastic than the Peak Oil advocates think.
    ___________________________________

    I am not sure you have the dynamics of Peak Oil straight here.

    If people are able to cut back on oil consuption, Peak Oil will be reached earlier (as people cut back on demand) and it will become more like a Peak Plateau, as price and demand jostle with each other. Check out the UKs Peak Coal in the early 20th century. Because other alternatives to coal became available, which dampened demand, coal production simply drifted down over 90 years to almost nothing. It was a gentle Peak.

    However, if demand is inflexible, and no alternatives arise, the price will go through the roof – but this will generate ever more desperate attempts to find the most uneconomic of reserves. You may then end up with a catastrophic position.
    a. If an alternative suddently turns up the price and production od oil will collapse overnight.
    b. If the world economy collapsed under the weight of the absurd energy price, again demand and price will collapse.

    So you have two possibilities, a gentle Peak or a precipitous and catastrophic Peak.

    And as to Richard’s latest postulation, that is simply absurd. He wants us to believe that the UK can suffer Peak Coal and Peak Oil, but the World can never suffer the same fate. A bizarre position if ever there was one.

    .

    Also, regards Radon and is effects – I did once read a paper saying that low levels of Radon are actually good for you and they increase health and longivity. The unproven suggestion was that low levels of Radon keep your body’s repair mechanisms on their toes – a bit like receiving an inoculation for a disease.

    .

  104. MattS:

    At December 10, 2012 at 8:01 pm you say

    Given CO2 + H2O + energy you can make any hydrocarbon fuel you can imagine.

    Unfortunately none of these alternatives is anywhere near being cost competitive with conventional oil at current prices.

    Sorry, but your economic point is plain wrong. The Liquid Solvent Extraction (LSE) process has been capable of producing synthetic crude oil (i.e. syncrude) from coal at competitive cost (n.b. cost and not price) with crude oil since 1994.

    We proved the technical and economic abilities of the LSE process with a demonstration plant at Point Of Ayr in North Wales.

    Syncrude has been made from coal whenever the supply of crude has been constrained. The Germans did it during WW2 (which is why we bombed the Ruhr valley) and apartheid South Africa used Sasol which was a development of that German process.

    However, prior to LSE it was always more costly to mine, transport and convert coal to syncrude than to drill and transport crude. LSE has reversed those relative costs.

    The surprising economics of LSE derive from two facts.
    1.
    LSE consumes sulphur-rich bottoms which have disposal cost for oil refineries.
    2.
    LSE can be ‘tuned’ to provide hydrocarbons which reduce need for blending.

    An oil refinery separates the components of crude oil by distilling the crude. The separated components are products which must match market demand; e.g. producing the required amount of benzene must not result in producing too much or too little petroleum. This match of products to market demand is obtained by blending (i.e. mixing) different crude oils for distillation: crudes from different places contain different proportions of hydrocarbons.

    Blending is expensive. It requires a variety of crudes to be transported and stored then mixed in controlled ratios.

    This need for blending is why Brent Crude is so valuable. Saudi crude is the cheapest crude, and blending Saudi and Brent crudes in a ratio of about 2:1 provides a blend that nearly matches market demand for its distillates.

    The LSE process can be ‘tuned’ such that it outputs a syncrude which can provide distillates which match market demand and, thus, removes the need for expensive blending. This is achieved as follows.
    (a)
    An LSE plant dissolves coal in a solvent in an ebulating bed at controlled temperature and pressure.
    (b)
    The resulting solution is converted to hydrocarbons by exposure to hydrogen gas (produced by coal using a water-gas shift) in the presence of catalysts and at variable temperature and pressure. Adjusting the temperature and pressure determines the resulting proportions of hydrocarbons.
    (c)
    Changing the temperature and pressure causes the hydrocarbons to come out of solution and the solvent is separated then reused in the process.
    (d)
    The remaining solids (mostly ash minerals) are removed by filtration as a cake.

    Conversion efficiency is greater than 98%.

    The UK’s Coal Research Establishment (CRE) invented, developed and demonstrated the LSE process. CRE was owned by British Coal which was owned by UK government. Ownership of the LSE Process remained with the government when British Coal was closed in 1995.

    The LSE Process is owned by UK Government. Patents on the process were taken out but details of the process are a UK State Secret. Adoption of the LSE Process would collapse the value of Brent Crude, and the sale of Brent Crude is important income for the UK.

    However, the existence of the LSE Process constrains the true price of crude oil. If that price were to rise sufficiently then it would pay the UK to adopt the LSE Process or to license it to other countries for production of syncrude. Hence, the existence of the LSE process has a strategic value as a result of its constraint on the true oil price.

    And the UK may adopt the LSE Process when Brent Crude is exhausted.

    However, frack-gas may remove need to adopt the LSE Process for use although its strategic constraint on oil price will remain.

    Richard

  105. @richardscourtney,

    “The Liquid Solvent Extraction (LSE) process has been capable of producing synthetic crude oil (i.e. syncrude) from coal at competitive cost (n.b. cost and not price) with crude oil since 1994.”

    ” If that price were to rise sufficiently then it would pay the UK to adopt the LSE Process or to license it to other countries for production of syncrude.”

    If the first statement was genuinely true then the conditions for the second statement would already be met.

    “However, frack-gas may remove need to adopt the LSE Process for use although its strategic constraint on oil price will remain.”

    Frack-gas won’t affect oil price as much as you think in the long term. The primary use of oil is as vehicle fuel. Frack-gas can’t replace oil as a vehicle fuel for the existing fleet of vehicles. CNG and LNG are interesting alternatives but won’t see large scale use in the near term because they require fairly expensive conversions to existing vehicles.

  106. Silver Ralph:

    STOP MISREPRESENTING WHAT I SAY!

    Your latest travesty is at December 11, 2012 at 3:26 am where you write

    And as to Richard’s latest postulation, that is simply absurd. He wants us to believe that the UK can suffer Peak Coal and Peak Oil, but the World can never suffer the same fate. A bizarre position if ever there was one.

    In the abstract everything has a ‘peak’: we will reach Peak World when the Sun expands to consume the Earth.

    But, as I have clearly explained (at December 9, 2012 at 11:05 am), for all practical purposes all natural resources can be considered to be infinite (including the Earth).

    Peak Oil is nonsense. Live with it.

    Richard

  107. Silver Ralph,

    A gentile peak is a meaningless non-event. The price at which you get an economic collapse is higher than what you think it is putting the event further into the future than you think.

    There are already alternatives out there that while uneconomic at current prices will become economic long before economic collapse happens as a result of oil prices.

    Technological advancements in oil extraction technology will bring down the cost of currently uneconomical oil fields. This pushes a catastrophic peak out even further.

    The US has untapped oil fields which would be economical at current prices which remain untapped only because the government has put them off limits. These fields are potentially large enough for the US to become a net exporter of oil again.

    Yes, technically global peak oil will eventually happen. The odds that it will be anything other than a meaningless non-event that no one will notice are close to NIL.

  108. MattS:

    At December 11, 2012 at 5:08 am you quote from my post at December 11, 2012 at 4:22 am and write

    @richardscourtney,

    “The Liquid Solvent Extraction (LSE) process has been capable of producing synthetic crude oil (i.e. syncrude) from coal at competitive cost (n.b. cost and not price) with crude oil since 1994.”

    ” If that price were to rise sufficiently then it would pay the UK to adopt the LSE Process or to license it to other countries for production of syncrude.”

    If the first statement was genuinely true then the conditions for the second statement would already be met.

    No! You are wrong for the reasons I explained.
    Adoption of LSE would collapse the value of Brent crude.

    LSE product has similar value to refinery supply, and UK coal production is small. Brent crude has higher value than refinery supply and is a large indigenous resource.

    Adoption of LSE would be a large, net loss to the UK because the benefits of LSE could not outweigh the benefits to the UK of the high value of Brent crude.

    You continue by again quoting me and saying

    “However, frack-gas may remove need to adopt the LSE Process for use although its strategic constraint on oil price will remain.”

    Frack-gas won’t affect oil price as much as you think in the long term. The primary use of oil is as vehicle fuel. Frack-gas can’t replace oil as a vehicle fuel for the existing fleet of vehicles. CNG and LNG are interesting alternatives but won’t see large scale use in the near term because they require fairly expensive conversions to existing vehicles.

    Oil supply is not the issue here. Indigenous energy supply is.

    There is no reason for the UK to adopt LSE if we have sufficient energy supply for positive balance of payments and energy security with existing infrastructure. We have infrastructure for oil provision and gas distribution. There would probably be be no net benefit in adopting LSE even after Brent crude exhausts (but time will tell).

    And it would then still probably be disadvantageous to license LSE for use. Oil producers could lower oil price by increasing supply to force any licensee out of business. Potential licensees know that so would not buy the license. It is the threat of LSE production which constrains long-term oil prices and not its adoption.

    Richard

  109. MattS:

    I write to provide an afterthought which I think may assist you to understand what I am saying about the strategic – as distinct from the practical – value of LSE.

    The Coal Research Establishment (CRE) was shut when the scheduled closure of British Coal was completed in 1995. I know of no other closing industry which kept its research facility until its last day; research is usually the first thing to be shut because research is aimed towards a future which a closing industry does not have.

    But CRE was retained as long as possible. This was because its main outputs were strategic resources of value to the nation as a whole, but its nature relied on its interaction with the coal industry. Other research facilities now attempt to provide those strategic benefits.

    Richard

  110. @richardscourtney

    “Oil producers could lower oil price by increasing supply to force any licensee out of business. Potential licensees know that so would not buy the license. It is the threat of LSE production which constrains long-term oil prices and not its adoption.”

    Except if Silver Ralphs fantasies about catastrophic peak oil are correct (unlikely in the extreme) then the oil producers wouldn’t be able to increase supply.

    And even if he isnt right, If the LSE process is cost competitive with oil production costs, this shouldn’t be possible. The oil producers wouldn’t be able to sell oil at a net loss for very long.

    For most of the current top oil producing countries, their entire economies are dependent on the oil income.

  111. MattS:

    Thankyou for your reply to me at December 11, 2012 at 10:45 am it says

    @richardscourtney

    “Oil producers could lower oil price by increasing supply to force any licensee out of business. Potential licensees know that so would not buy the license. It is the threat of LSE production which constrains long-term oil prices and not its adoption.”

    Except if Silver Ralphs fantasies about catastrophic peak oil are correct (unlikely in the extreme) then the oil producers wouldn’t be able to increase supply.

    And even if he isnt right, If the LSE process is cost competitive with oil production costs, this shouldn’t be possible. The oil producers wouldn’t be able to sell oil at a net loss for very long.

    For most of the current top oil producing countries, their entire economies are dependent on the oil income.

    Yes, of course you are right.

    We are discussing future possibilities, and prediction is difficult especially of the future.

    Your point emphasises the importance of each country taking strategic actions to protect energy security. In this thread we are discussing the UK situation and how objections to fracking inhibit UK energy security.

    Earlier in the discussion you mentioned a similar issue relevant to the US. At December 11, 2012 at 5:21 am you wrote

    The US has untapped oil fields which would be economical at current prices which remain untapped only because the government has put them off limits. These fields are potentially large enough for the US to become a net exporter of oil again.

    I recognise that US oil production could be considered off-topic because this thread is about the UK situation. Also, I am a British Subject – not a US Citizen – so any comment I make about it could be thought impertinent. However, your point provides a much clearer demonstration of the strategic decisions which politicians need to make about energy policy. So, I offer some observations.

    One view of a US Energy Security Issue
    The US economy needs more revenue, more GDP, and improved balance of payments.
    Increased oil production would provide all three.
    And production of the oil would insulate the US from non-US oil production variations.
    Also, keeping the oil in the ground risks future technology reducing the usefulness of oil and so risks losing the value and economic progress from exploiting that oil now.

    Another view of that US Energy Security Issue
    The US needs to insulate its economy from oil price hikes such as those which happened in the 1970s. Such price hikes would damage US revenue, GDP, and balance of payments.
    Keeping the oil in the ground is a method of storage of the oil so the store could be exploited if such price hikes happened.
    And the existence of the store is a deterrent to such price hikes.
    Also, keeping the oil in the ground is an insurance against loss of US energy supply because the oil could be exploited if needed.

    These alternative policy arguments are simplistic, but they illustrate how politicians need to have policies which protect energy security, and the choice of such strategic policies is the stuff of pure politics. Importantly, please note that the political decisions are not merely about whether the oil is needed or is economic.

    Similarly, the issues concerning fracking in the UK are not merely about whether the gas is needed or is economic.

    I hope these musings are helpful to your thoughts and I would welcome other opinions on these matters.

    Richard

  112. @richardscourtney,

    I am a US Citizen. On your options for US enegry strategy I happen to think that the first view is better than the second.

    I also know that the second strategy has nothing to do with why the US government has put so much US oil off limits. The only reason this has been done is to placate environmentalist groups that believe that oil is the root of all evil.

    It can take decades to get a new oil fields into production. For the oil fields I am refering to to be useful for your second posited strategy the wells would have to be drilled now and capped so that they could be brought into production on short notice. This is not what the US is doing. The government is not allowing the wells to be drilled in the first place.

    I will posit a third strategy. A fake out. Get the UK and the US together and sink enough money into LSE and the currently off limits oil fields to make it look like they are being brought into production. This will force OPEC to increase supply there by reducing prices to near the break even point. Thus tricking OPEC in to subsidizing the US and UK economies at the cost of their own..

  113. MattS:

    Thankyou for your post addressed to me at December 11, 2012 at 12:18 pm.

    As I said, my admittedly simplistic options about possible exploitation of US oil reserves were intended as illustration of some of the variety of issues which affect strategic energy policies, and they were not intended to deflect the thread. Indeed, I would not commend either of those stark options.

    And I did enjoy your “third strategy”. Good one! :-)

    In my opinion, your important point is your saying

    I also know that the second strategy has nothing to do with why the US government has put so much US oil off limits. The only reason this has been done is to placate environmentalist groups that believe that oil is the root of all evil.

    As the photograph at the top of this thread shows, we have similar problems in the UK. Fracking, and consents for opencast coal extraction are opposed by the same idiots who demand windfarms.

    Richard

  114. Richard,

    I has been a fun conversation. Just one last point. Unless you have first hand knowledge don’t bet that the UK gov is keeping LSE out of play for reasons any more intelligent than the ones keeping significant untapped oil fields out of play in the US.

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