Peak oil – platitude or pragmatism point?

From American University via Eurekalert, professor Matthew Nisbet demonstrates that the impact of peak petroleum on public health may be a way to unite conservatives and liberals in an effort to move away from fossil fuels and towards alternative forms of energy.

Peak Oil & Public Health: Political Common Ground?

WASHINGTON, D.C. (August 8, 2011)—Peak petroleum—the point at which the maximum rate of global oil extraction is reached, after which the rate of production begins to decline—is a hot topic in scientific and energy circles.  When will it occur?  What will the impact be?  While geologists and economists debate the specifics, American University School of Communication professor Matthew Nisbet believes peak petroleum and the associated risks to public health may provide an opportunity to bring conservatives and liberals together in the move toward alternative forms of energy.

“Somewhat surprisingly, conservatives are more likely to associate a major spike in oil prices with a strong threat to public health,” said Nisbet—an expert in the field of climate and energy communication.  “This could present a gateway to engagement with conservatives on energy policy.”

In a forthcoming peer-reviewed study at the American Journal of Public Health, Nisbet and his co-authors find that 76% of people in a recent survey believe oil prices are either “very likely” or “somewhat likely” to triple in the next five years.  A dramatic spike in oil prices is a commonly recognized outcome of peak petroleum.

Even more telling is that 69% of respondents believe a sharp rise in oil prices would be either “very harmful” (44%) or “somewhat harmful” (25%) to the health of Americans.  According to the survey, strong conservatives were the most sensitive to these possible risks, with 53% believing that a spike in oil prices would be “very harmful” to human health.  Similarly, in a separate analysis of the data, those who were strongly “dismissive” of climate change (52%) were the most likely of any subgroup to associate a sharp spike in oil prices with a negative impact on public health.

According to Nisbet and his co-authors, this creates a challenge and an opportunity for the environmental and public health communities.  Peak oil and energy prices are often talked about in terms of economic and environmental impact, but rarely as a public health concern.  Nisbet argues that his findings show reason to reframe the debate.

“These findings suggest that a broad cross-section of Americans may be ready to engage in dialogue about ways to manage the health risks that experts associate with peak petroleum,” said Nisbet.  “Peak petroleum may not currently be a part of the public health portfolio, but we need to start the planning process.”

The study was co-authored with Edward Maibach of George Mason University and Anthony Leiserowitz of Yale University and funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 11th Hour, and Surdna Foundation.

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KlimateKufr
August 9, 2011 8:26 am

In a forthcoming peer-reviewed study at the American Journal of Public Health, Nisbet and his co-authors find that 76% of people in a recent survey believe oil prices are either “very likely” or “somewhat likely” to triple in the next five years.

Oh, come now. Can we say “push poll”?

ChE
August 9, 2011 8:28 am

Cap-n-trade will hit coal long before it puts a dent in oil. This article is just plain stupid.

August 9, 2011 8:33 am

Since peak oil is still several hundred years off, I say that it is foolish to waste anytime worrying about what it’s affects will be.
The technology available in 200 years will be so different from what we have today that we can’t even predict what our abilities will be.
The technologies that will solve the problem of peak oil won’t even be invented for another hundred years or more.

August 9, 2011 8:33 am

It is just shocking how ignorant these people are of conservative thinking. Of course higher oil prices will be harmful to actual people. Of course. These people must draw their ideas of what a conservative likely believes by reading the Daily K@s.

David Schofield
August 9, 2011 8:35 am

Where’s the evidence of peak oil? Oil prices will rise but it wont be because of a shortage – it will be because of unnecessary taxes.

DesertYote
August 9, 2011 8:36 am

One can never compromise with socialists on anything. They want the destruction of personal liberty and will do anything, lie cheat steal and murder in order to do it. Any thing they say and do is just a pretext for accomplishing their goals, as are all the agendas they push. They don’t care about the availability of energy, why do you think they always push energy sources that can be proven to be economically unusable, and any source that shows promise is resisted. Poor starving cold people are much easier to manipulate.

Jeff Carlson
August 9, 2011 8:39 am

so “if” peak oil happens it would drive prices up … wow, I could have told you that without funding … but since we won’t be hitting peak oil for decades if not long I wouldn’t worry too much about it today …
the “peak” oil pundits act like we won’t produce any oil once we hit the “peak” … as if on that day all hydrocarbon fueled activities “must” switch to something else …
this is nothing more than a fund raising study aimed at getting their snout into some nice “healthcare” funding dollars …

Christopher Simpson
August 9, 2011 8:39 am

I do worry about oil depletion — although, after having been told for more than forty years that we only have a decade or two of oil left, I’ve got to admit this worry has been somewhat relegated to the back burner. But this study is pretty much pointless. Of course a lack of oil is going to adversely, and catastrophically affect our health — without it ambulances can’t run, medical equipment can’t be made, food prices will soar, and we end up with Victorian-era health care.
I hate public opinion poll “studies.” They show nothing more than what the public “believes” to be true, often carefully guided by the design and wording of the poll itself.

August 9, 2011 8:42 am

Triple in price? Who knows, but not likely. I have changed my views on what peak oil is and means in light of recent events. Make no mistake, peak oil has already happened, 2005. That was the highest flow rate so far. It did not increase up to the price spike of 2008 because it could not. Then we had the economic collapse. High oil prices very likely was the prick that popped the bubble, so says a number of studies, which I agree with. But what this shows is Economics dominates, not flow rate.
Hence as oil prices rises because of lack of flow and increased demand, we have a collapse and demand drops, price drops. We are witnessing a second round of this as oil was well over $100 in the spring, now around $82 because of expected second dip into recession.
This is the new reality. The economuy recovers, demand increases, price of oil rises as it is unable to meet the demand, and we go into another recession. This could go on for decades as we slowly ratchet down. Each rise lower than the previous high as oil flow slows.
China and India are the wild cards, as they consume ever more petroleum, taking up the slack caused by Western recessions, making future oil supply lower with each recovery.
Hence, triple of oil prices may never happen, even as flow rates drop due to depletion, as the economy has a threshold above which recessions are triggered, and the price falls. Demand destruction does not happen directly because of lack of supply, but lack of economic ability to pay for oil even at today’s price, hence demand falls.
The past was a growth phase triggered by ever increasing supply of oil. The future will be the opposite, shrinkage of the economy over decades.

Mcw
August 9, 2011 8:47 am

So I guess we now need to not only freak out about CAGW in 100 years but also peak oil production. Hmmm… Sounds like this is a concession to the fact that there is no CAGW so now we need to stop using oil because we are going to reach peak production. Just when should we focus on the present and not what might be 100 years from now?

renaissauce
August 9, 2011 8:48 am

When will it occur?
Never.
What will the impact be?
Non-existent.
Why?
Because you can make way more money tricking the world than running an honest business.
http://www.viewzone.com/abioticoilx.html

August 9, 2011 8:48 am

“In 1970, the Russians started drilling Kola SG-3, an exploration well which finally reached a staggering world record depth of 40,230 feet. Since then, Russian oil majors including Yukos have quietly drilled more than 310 successful super-deep oil wells, and put them into production. Last Year Russia overtook Saudi Arabia as the world’s biggest single oil producer, and is now set to completely dominate global oil production and sales for the next century.”
http://www.rense.com/general75/zoil.htm

HaroldW
August 9, 2011 8:54 am

So…let’s go along the path of the peak oil argument. Prices rise; the price rise is anticipated. Economy shifts to substitute sources of energy. Persons/companies who anticipate such demand shifts, and are leaders in said substitutes, do well. What about this path requires government intervention? Why is this a political issue?

August 9, 2011 8:55 am

It is the government, not the oil companies it demonizes, that is solely to blame for our high energy prices. It is simple supply and demand: artificially restrict the supply, and prices skyrocket. The government, controlled by anti-American enviros, is the reason for $3 – $4 gas and escalating electricity rates. There is plenty of oil available, if the government would just get out of the way and stop restricting the supply.

August 9, 2011 8:55 am

“Since peak oil is still several hundred years off, ”
Do not confuse geological peak with other peak oil scenarios. Peak oil is not about how much is in the ground, of which there are “several hundred years”. Peak oil is about flow rates (how fast it can be extracted) and ERoEI (the energy needed to extract it). Indeed oil will last hundreds of years more, but not at our current flow rates required to meet demand, let alone future demand due to economic growth. There is also politcal peak oil, where one or a few other countries start to secure more of their own demand needs at the loss of the rest, like the US. So the US could hit peak oil (supply) before China does because China is securing more oil, taking off the table what is available for us. There is also economic peak oil, where because of recessions, countries are unable to pay for petroleum products. It’s not clear cut, quite complex with a number of dimentions at play. Geological peak is not the issue.
ERoEI is also very important. In the 1960’s ERoEI was 100:1. Today the average for all oil fields is about 25:1. Official numbers from the Alberat Tar Sands is 6:1 for the in situ mining operation. Studies published shows that society needs at min 3:1 or 4:1. Under that and oil extraction takes more energy out of society than we get out of the oil, essentually meaning we have literally run out of oil, regardless of what is still in the ground.
Technology? Wishfull thinking. Studies have been done on that too. There is no indication that new technology has increased flow rates, or extracted more from fields. Once tertiary processes are started on a field, the field is in terminal decline.

August 9, 2011 8:57 am

Peak Oil is another subject for the Worrying class to go after, nothing more. The USGS has been predicting that oil will run out for over a hundred years now, and this catastrophe is always, just like CAGW, comfortably enough in the future such that it will be worrisome, but also easily forgotten once the due date has come and armageddon fails to take place.
And if these people would take more than ten seconds to study the economics of the issue, they would realize that oil prices going up would be a good thing, at least in their view. Alternatives to oil in energy and textiles/plastics would become more viable on the margins and start to be used. They’d get all the hemp and ethanol and biodeisel they could want if oil prices went up. Solar would look great for some applications.
But as lefties typically do, they want subsidizing and malinvestment in alternatives, no for people to simply start using them naturally and on the margins as they become more viable as an alternative to oil as the latter’s price goes up. They don’t seem to realize that artificially pushing the price of alternatives down guarantees overuse of both oil and alternatives, and misuse of both in applications where they aren’t truly sustainable.

SteveE
August 9, 2011 8:58 am

Mark Wilson says:
The problem is Mark that we can’t increase production now, the Saudi’s can’t squeeze anymore increase of production out of their current facilities and that is what peak oil is. Not being able to increase the rate of production to meet demand.

Hoser
August 9, 2011 8:58 am

There are many energy solutions out there, only a few are good ones. Hydrocarbons are still abundant. Even if standard petroleum production falls, there is still shale oil (e.g. Bakken) and natural gas. Nuclear energy is another good solution, although we can do better using it.
The price of energy and competition will naturally find the solutions we need. Command economies are never going to find the most beneficial solutions, since the planners are not objective. The free market is the most democratic process around, allowing all consumers to make independent choices based on their own needs and views. Unfortunately, the free market is almost dead, especially regarding energy.

August 9, 2011 9:01 am

“There is plenty of oil available,”
Let’s have a look at the Bakken deposit, as it is an excellent example of what I’m refering to. Google it and look at the geology. Bakken is an in situ deposit of light sweet crude. It is deep in very tight shale. The expectation is the MOST that will ever be extracted is 1% of what’s in the ground. Flow rates, because of the geology, will be very very low, no where near enough flow to compensate for depletion rates at other US deposits. The US has maybe 30-50BB available to extract. Sounds like a lot, except for the fact that the US comsumes 7BB a year. So the deposits that have yet to be tapped would last 5 to 7 years, assuming they can be flowed fast enough. Of course, they never will be flowed fast enough. The faster you attempt to flow a field, the LESS over all oil you get, and the shorter the life of the field.

J. Knight
August 9, 2011 9:02 am

Peak oil…not likely anytime soon. The higher the price of oil goes, the more product that becomes economically feasible to produce. Supply and demand forces keep the price from becoming too high at any particular moment in time. Only government intervention in the market can cause peak oil.
For instance, who thought the oil sands in Alberta would ever produce the amount it produces today? In the US we have the Bakken formation in No. Dakota, the Eagle Ford shale in Texas, the Brown Dense Smackover formation in Arkansas and Louisiana, Niobrara shale in Colorado and other western states, deep-water discoveries in the Gulf, Tuscaloosa Marine shale in Louisiana and Mississippi, huge deposits in Alaska, and need I continue with the huge new shale gas deposits? Higher prices and new techniques have increased the amount of oil that is recoverable, putting off peak oil for decades, if not longer. Were it not for the government, the US would be energy independant. Anytime it wishes.

John Whitman
August 9, 2011 9:04 am

Did not presidential candidate Obama say several times during his campaign that he thought the price of oil should be significantly increased? What is the likelihood Obama intends to try to make the survey outcome become reality;

“””””76% of people in a recent survey believe oil prices are either “very likely” or “somewhat likely” to triple in the next five years.””””
(from forthcoming study ‘American Journal of Public Health’, Nisbet et al)

He has not said anything other than he intends to peak the oil by government action.
Intervention by gov’t is intentionally ‘peaking’ oil. It is not the free market. The free market has strong forces countering any ‘peaking’ if it is not intervened.
John

August 9, 2011 9:05 am

The entire peak oil idea is a myth. There are VAST amounts out there – easily thousands of years of supply.

Dave
August 9, 2011 9:09 am

I’ve never understood Peak Oil theory, to be honest. Either it says something completely obvious and uncontroversial – that finite resources are finite and will become more scarce over time – or it says something worth talking about which I’ve somehow missed.

Les Johnson
August 9, 2011 9:11 am

Richard Wakefield: your
Make no mistake, peak oil has already happened, 2005.
Nope. Global oil production in 2005 was about 85 million bbls/day. This year its 87 to 88 million per day. Oil production has increased, and more importantly, OPEC has about 5 million per day of withheld production now, vs about 3 million in 2005.
We are not at peak oil. Not even close yet.
http://www.eia.gov/cfapps/ipdbproject/iedindex3.cfm?tid=50&pid=53&aid=1&cid=&syid=2005&eyid=2011&freq=M&unit=TBPD

August 9, 2011 9:13 am

“need I continue with the huge new shale gas deposits? ”
http://www.theoildrum.com/node/8212

Brian H
August 9, 2011 9:13 am

It’s the conclusions where he goes most off the rails. The solution to rising hydrocarbon prices is NOT to force whacko renewables down our energy throats, but to maximize the supply side of the hydrocarbon equation. That the Greens are doing everything in their power to slash supply is the “tell”.

Pamela Gray
August 9, 2011 9:14 am

They missed the conservative point. By jacking up oil prices, those on fixed incomes or who live in restrictive fuel use areas will not have the heat or electricity they need to stay healthy, simply because they can’t afford it. Conservatives also believe that the pending oil price spike is sourced from a misguided attempt to wean us off carbon based energy onto the equally expensive “green” energy. The only point we will agree on is to open up carbon based energy exploration and fund technology research in that area, and to drop this silly and unsubstantiated notion that carbon based fuel is bad. It isn’t bad. Period. End of compromise.

peakbear
August 9, 2011 9:15 am

David Schofield says: August 9, 2011 at 8:35 am
“Where’s the evidence of peak oil? Oil prices will rise but it wont be because of a shortage – it will be because of unnecessary taxes.”
For the US here 41 years ago. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Hubbert_US_high.svg
Ignore all the alarmist stuff surrounding the subject any anything to do with cost, it is the simply how much of the natural stuff we pump out of the ground each year and we probably won’t be getting any more of that than currently. Of course there are other energy sources that can be used as well as natural crude oil.

August 9, 2011 9:19 am

“The entire peak oil idea is a myth. There are VAST amounts out there – easily thousands of years of supply.”
You are still missing the point of peak oil. Peak oil is not about what’s in the ground, it’s about flow rates and ERoEI. Re reached peak flow rate (how fast the oil can be recovered) in 2005.
See:
http://www.tsl.uu.se/uhdsg/Publications/GOF_decline_Article.pdf
http://www.jfcom.mil/newslink/storyarchive/2010/JOE_2010_o.pdf
https://www.msu.edu/~ralsto11/PeakOil.pdf
http://www.ukerc.ac.uk/support/tiki-index.php?page=Global+Oil+Depletion
http://www.worldenergyoutlook.org/

Les Johnson
August 9, 2011 9:21 am

Richard Wakefield: your
The expectation is the MOST that will ever be extracted is 1% of what’s in the ground
That is the low end of the estimate. The high end is 50%. The industry expects it to be closer to the low end, at about 5-15% of OOIP (original oil in place).

Curiousgeorge
August 9, 2011 9:23 am

More likely to have Peak Lithium, or peak peaches.

August 9, 2011 9:23 am

“Nope. Global oil production in 2005 was about 85 million bbls/day. This year its 87 to 88 million per day. Oil production has increased, and more importantly, OPEC has about 5 million per day of withheld production now, vs about 3 million in 2005.”
What the Saudi’s claim they have and actually have are two different things. Fact is Ghawar is in tertiary recovery, that’s right against terminal decline. Read the book Twighlight in the Desert on what the Suadi’s are all about.
Also, that recent increase, if you look it up, is not from fields, but from other methods of producing oil, synthetic oil. The basic production from ground sources, some 75mb/day, has been flat since 2005. The Oil Drum has had a number of studies on their site about this.

RobB
August 9, 2011 9:28 am

Peak oil will not be a sudden event characterized by a huge and immediate increase in the price of crude. Rather, it will be indicated by a gradual increase in the price as the resource becomes more scarce and competition for available production increases. As the price increases other forms of energy production will become economically viable and we will adjust accordingly. I think we can remain reasonably calm.

DesertYote
August 9, 2011 9:29 am

Richard Wakefield
August 9, 2011 at 8:55 am
###
Looks like most of your “Peaks” are conditions manufactured by socialist manipulation.

August 9, 2011 9:32 am

Fo those who think there are hundreds or thousands of years of oil remaining, need to see this:
http://www.worldenergyoutlook.org/docs/weo2010/key_graphs.pdf
Particular graph on page 7. Notice the item “oil yet to be discovered”. Yeah, right. That’s all guesswork.
The 2011 report should be interesting, as each year the IEA has dropped available oil.

DesertYote
August 9, 2011 9:35 am

So to the “were doomed because of peak oil” crowd, just how devastating was peak coal? Oh that’s right, peak coal never happened except in the fevered mind of Marxist economists. Jevons, who originally proposed the idea ( and I mistakenly thought was a Marxist because of all the Marxist rewriting of history), thought that a truly free market was the only viable solution.

HelmutU
August 9, 2011 9:40 am

Assuming that Prof. Nisbet is right – I don’t believe this- is there no coal in the US and did he never hear of the Bergius-Process or the Fischer-Tropsch -process. In combination with a high temperature nuclear power reacter there will be enough oil products for hundrets of years.

alan
August 9, 2011 9:43 am

“Peak oil”, the next guilt trip slogan to lay on capitalism and the greedy middle class!

strawbale
August 9, 2011 9:52 am

Lol, like you all know how much oil is left.
You lot have NO idea and yet you such off the cuff remarks. Just to go against the greeny pinko socialist doo gooders.
The AGW alarmists annoy me as much as anyone but the quality of comments here makes me realize its often a case of a flip side of the same coin.
Doesn’t present a good example if us “sceptics” cannot raise the level of debate.

August 9, 2011 9:55 am

Both Goldman Sacks and the International Energy Agency have said that peak oil may already be past us. (No increases in total delivered oil will ever happen again)
Were the “early peakers” right after all?
http://www.energybulletin.net/stories/2010-11-11/iea-acknowledges-peak-oil
http://theenergycollective.com/sklowem/61012/saudi-arabia-has-reached-peak-oil-output-commodities-rise-goldman-sachs

David
August 9, 2011 9:55 am

I thought ‘peak oil’ was to occur about 1992.
That was the prediction in about 1978….
Then there was the millenium bug…. And then of course there was Man-Made Global Warming…

timetochooseagain
August 9, 2011 10:09 am

People shouldn’t get united over nonsense. What happens when resources become less in overall amount available, we find ways to get more use out of them. This is the natural evolution of a free economy, there is nothing to unite to do. An actual problem with oil becoming scarcer in terms of the amount we can get versus what we need (as opposed to simply getting scarcer in terms of the overall amount, whether we need as much or not, would be manifested, presumably, by a long term increase in prices. Well, I have yet to see anyone who has shown a continuous increase in Oil Prices, as opposed to brief increases against a backdrop of decreasing long term prices.

Nuke
August 9, 2011 10:11 am

Here’s the thing, inexpensive, reliable energy is good for public health. Expensive energy means less money for health and the environment. Alternative energy needs to become affordable and reliable. As it currently stands, “investing” more in alternative energy will likely have the opposite effect as Nisbet expects

Les Johnson
August 9, 2011 10:11 am

Richard: your
Also, that recent increase, if you look it up, is not from fields, but from other methods of producing oil, synthetic oil.
Oil is oil. 88 million bbls per day(2011) is greater than 85 million (2005). Peak oil did not occur in 2005. As long as production (and shut in production) is greater than demand, we are not at peak oil, regardless of the source of the oil.
On synthetic oil, chemists at a Texas university has brought the costs of coal to liquid technology down to about $40 per bbl. With several hundred years of coal in the ground in the US, its obvious we are not at peak oil. Peak conventional oil? Probably not, but its moot.

hareynolds
August 9, 2011 10:12 am

We ALWAYS only have a “few decades” of oil remaining because it is uneconomical to find an produce marginal oil BEYOND that horizon. Only when there’s a technological “leap forward” (to borrow Mao’s phrase) that unexpectedly brings cheap oil & gas to market does supply ever exceed a few decades.
One recent example of a technological “leap” is the production of shale oil and gas; a combination of known techiques (accurate horizontal drilling and staged fracturing), first practiced by Mitchell Energy in the Barnett Shale in north Texas, has transfomed the domestic USA energy business.
The USA is now the LARGEST producer of natural gas in the world (“leaping ahead” of Russia two years ago), LNG import facilities are being “turned around” to facilitate the EXPORT of LNG, and the price of natural gas is stuck in a range between $4 and $5 per thousand cubic feet at the wellhead, roughly equivalent to $24 and $30 per barrel oil on a per-therm basis. Major chemical companies are now shelving overseas work and planning expansion of US chemical plants simply because methane, their most important feedstock, will likely be cheap and abundant in the US for the foreseeable future.
Most importantly, the “peak oil” production in USA in the 1970s (famously predicted in an SPE paper by L. King Hubbard, a Shell engineer), is now likely to be blown away within a couple of years by the “oil equivalent” production of shale oil and natural gas.
What is frustrating to me is that “environmentalists” are so completely ignorant of economics and chemistry. Here we sit on spectacularly cheap energy, with the highest ratio of hydrogen-to-carbon of all the fossil fuels, and we insist on subsidizing wind and solar, which domestic shale gas has now rendered uneconomical for at least several lifetimes. As one of my engineering profs used to say, “never let the ‘best’ be the enemy of the good.”

Tom_R
August 9, 2011 10:15 am

>> Richard Wakefield says:
August 9, 2011 at 9:23 am
Also, that recent increase, if you look it up, is not from fields, but from other methods of producing oil, synthetic oil. <<
Synthetic oil is still oil. Coal can be converted into hydrocarbon fuel, and we have plenty of readily-available coal.

Les Johnson
August 9, 2011 10:16 am

Richard: your own source (World Energy Outlook), projects oil production of 96 million bbls per day in 2035.
Peak oil did not occur in 2005.

Kaboom
August 9, 2011 10:17 am

Plenty of options, including Coal-to-liquid, biomass-to-liquid and of course the thing that always works: higher prices that incentivize research, exploration and innovation to feed a market that is willing to reward suppliers.

JohnOfEnfield
August 9, 2011 10:20 am

“The stone age wasn’t ended by lack of stones”.
Peak oil is a lovely seductive concept – but doesn’t help you think about the problem properly.

Slabadang
August 9, 2011 10:23 am

My good!!!
Rep and Democrats must……. bla bla bla. The only thing politicians are able to do is stop or forbid. The future of energyproduction and ditributtion is never goona come from politicians, science and development decides what the future tecnoligies and energy sources will be. The only thing politicians should do is to keep out!! The hole startingpoint of the discussion is a postmodern ideocracy aproof that buerocrats and politicians has to be thrown out and resposible people with skills and integrity take ower.
Energy supply is not about ideology its about rationality function and price.

Bruce Cobb
August 9, 2011 10:26 am

Nisbet: “This could present a gateway to engagement with conservatives on energy policy.”
So, just as with the CAGW bs, it’s about “engagement” then, not about what is true or real.
“These findings suggest that a broad cross-section of Americans may be ready to engage in dialogue about ways to manage the health risks that experts associate with peak petroleum,” said Nisbet.
What about the health risks associated with forcing energy costs up based on myths and fabrications? Climate hysterics never seemed to consider that.
Now they want a “dialogue”?
Is it perhaps, just maybe, because they are LOSING, and they know it, so are, once again trying a different tack?
“Peak oil” is just one more in a long line of red herring arguments, meant to raise fear, not throw light.

Dave Springer
August 9, 2011 10:29 am

“According to Nisbet and his co-authors, this creates a challenge and an opportunity for the environmental and public health communities. Peak oil and energy prices are often talked about in terms of economic and environmental impact, but rarely as a public health concern. Nisbet argues that his findings show reason to reframe the debate.”
Classic example of “run it up the flagpole and see who salutes”. If you can’t people concerned about fossil fuel consumption for environmental reasons try “reframing” it as public health concern. When will these chuckleheads figure out it’s a cost concern to the majority and little else.

Nuke
August 9, 2011 10:31 am

Peak oil is going to happen. The Obama administration is going to help it happen, too, by restricting development of domestic oil supplies,

Lex
August 9, 2011 10:31 am

Peak oil: Myth
http://www.prisonplanet.com/archives/peak_oil/index.htm
Peak oil fear-mongering is used to forces up prices and also to make cars available only for the elite and bring in this eco-tyranny

MikeEE
August 9, 2011 10:32 am

“Somewhat surprisingly, conservatives are more likely to associate a major spike in oil prices with a strong threat to public health,” said Nisbet—an expert in the field of climate and energy communication. “This could present a gateway to engagement with conservatives on energy policy.
Gee, I wonder where he stands?
MikeEE

August 9, 2011 10:34 am

If anyone is interested, the thorium fuel cycle and thorium recators was covered in some detail in a thread in Bishop Hill some time ago.
http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2011/6/13/why-is-beddington-against-thorium.html

Steve from Rockwood
August 9, 2011 10:37 am

There is nothing wrong with the concept of peak oil but it is likely 200 years away. Otherwise why can I buy 1.0 litres of gas for the same price as 0.341 litres of bottled water? Where is the peak water problem? In Canada almost 50% of the price of gas is tax. This commodity is solely responsible for the amazingly high standard of living in western countries and is so cheap right now. Even at $2.00/ltr ($6.00/gal) people will drive gas-guzzling trucks and SUVs.
I am waiting patiently for the tipping point of peak taxes.

August 9, 2011 10:40 am

Matthew Nisbet has his other problems, specifically regarding his ties to the smear of skeptic scientists and an unsupportable assertion that the media has given such skeptics ‘too much balance’. Nature magazine regurgitated his assertion in April, as I detailed in my article, ” ‘Media Too Fair to Climate Skeptics’, say reporters who’ve been unfair to skeptics” http://www.globalwarming.org/2011/06/02/media-too-fair-to-climate-skeptics-say-reporters-whove-been-unfair-to-skeptics/

mondo
August 9, 2011 10:41 am

Discussions on “Peak Oil” always seem to miss some important points.
First, when ‘they’ say that the Peak in oil production has passed, they really mean the production of sweet, easily recoverable crude oil that has low production costs. This is actually a tiny part of the available hydrocarbon which are, make no mistake about it, HUGE.
For a start, the recovery of the sweet, easily recoverable crude might only be 20% or 30% of the total resource in the reservoir. More of the balance can be recovered using secondary and tertiary recovery techniques, which are higher cost, but there is still plenty of oil on those reservoirs. I won’t mention the observation that some oil reservoirs seem to be replenishing as well.
Then there are the massive resources of tar sands, oil shales, brown coals, peat, and other coals which contain just massive quantities of crude. Yes. The costs of extraction are higher, particularly capex, and there are environmental impacts. But the resources are there, even in the US. And on top of all that, there are the natural gas reserves, conventional, coal seam gas, and more recently shale gas.
The major problem faced by these tar sand, oil shale and coal to oil conversion projects is that they are so capex intensive that only the major oil companies have the capacity to develop them off their balance sheets. Financiers are very leery of funding such projects owned by smaller corporate sponsors, remembering the last time that such projects could be financed, the oil price soon enough fell to as low as $10 per barrel, and the projects failed financially.
There is a very simple solution, however, if the US wants to assure energy security at a reasonable oil price. All it has to do is to guarantee a minimum oil price of, say, US$60 per barrel for 20 years production for each project that meets specific criteria. That guarantee would greatly simplify the funding of the alternative projects, and many projects could proceed. The only downside (from certain viewpoints anyhow) is that abundant supply would probably result in reduced oil prices. Which might not appeal to certain interests.

captainfish
August 9, 2011 10:49 am

“oil prices are either “very likely” or “somewhat likely” to triple in the next five years. A dramatic spike in oil prices is a commonly recognized outcome of peak petroleum.”
OH COME ON. Is there not one single other reason why oil prices would rise? How about maybe the outright limitation of supplies by governments. How about the blockade of supplies from other countries?
Nah, manual reductions in supply never raised prices. (See Nintendo, Play Station, Apple, Xbox,…)

Steve from Rockwood
August 9, 2011 10:51 am

Mor Electric Heating (@morelectricheat) says:
August 9, 2011 at 9:55 am
I don’t get the point of your post. You seem to be suggesting that peak oil has already occurred and then provide a link that shows total oil production increasing from 80 mb/day in 2010 to almost 100 mb/day in 2035.

August 9, 2011 10:53 am

And any ClimateAudit ‘lifers’ like myself and Willis E may well remeber this thread on CA back in 2006 when we discused a number of aspects of nucear technology including the thorium fuel cycle and the myth that is fusion power.
http://climateaudit.org/2006/08/03/what-is-the-evidence-against-warmer-mwp/
Do a search for KevinUK and Allan.

Editor
August 9, 2011 11:01 am

In 1980, global proved oil reserves were equal to ~20 years of global consumption at the 1980 rate… In 2010, global proved oil reserves are equal to ~43 years of global consumption at the current rate of consumption… Global Reserves & Consumption
Washington vs. Energy Security
US Oil Production With Policy Missteps
Pres. Obama & “Boot” Salazar also took oil shale leases off the table In 2009. The USGS estimates that the Green River Oil Shales, alone, have 8 to 12 trillion barrels of oil in place… 1.4 trillion of which is likely to be recoverable.
US Undiscovered Technically Recoverable Oil & Gas
If I take 80 billion bbl of the undiscovered resources on the map above and assume that they were developed at the time they were placed off limits and add in 120 billion barrels of oil shale recovered from 2022 to 2100, this is what US oil production would look like…
US Oil Production Without Policy Missteps
Bear in mind that I am using less than the US Gov’t estimate (116 billion bbl) of undiscovered conventional oil resources. Past history tells us that the oil industry routinely finds and produces 4-6 times as much oil as the gov’t thinks we will find and produce.
Am I being overly optimistic in projecting more than 15 million barrels per day (BOPD) of production from oil shales by 2100?
The hydrocarbon characteristics of the the oil shales of the Green River formation in the Piceance Basin
are superior to those of the Athabasca oil sands. The hydrocarbon areal density is about 13 times that of the Athabasca deposits.
Canada is currently producing ~ 1 million barrels of oil per day from Athabasca oil sand deposits. They expect to increase that to 2 million barrels per day over the next decade. The Green River oil shale deposits in the Piceance basin could easily outperform Athabasca within a decade and with a much smaller environmental footprint.
Athabasca oil sands are currently economically competitive with the OPEC basket. Green River formation oil shales are superior, by a wide margin, to Athabasca oil sands. The Green River oil shales would yield 100,000 bbl of 38° API sweet refinery feed per 160,000 tons of ore & overburden. Athabasca oil sands yield 100,000 bbl of 34° sweet refinery feed per 430,000 tons of ore & overburden. The unconventional oil is actually very light and very sweet; the OPEC Basket is actually heavier (32.7° API).
Athabasca is economically competitive now. Green River could be economically competitive now. Peak oil my [censored]!
The only obstacles to Us energy security are environmental terrorists activists… and the US government.

pyromancer76
August 9, 2011 11:03 am

We must stop this squabling: peak oil; no peak oil. Let the market decide with producers presenting the most efficient fuel that can be developed RESPONSIBLY at the present time. That means we are all conservationists and anti-polluters in a reasonable fashion. (The logic is similar to that of the light bulb. Those bulbs that are more efficient and at least equally as SAFE will trounce any competitor given the free flow of information.) Stop the fantasy history and non-sense future projections — sounds like Malthusians. Stay with the practical present and let those with knowledge and experience work out our future. Since the U.S. has abundance in almost every category, if not prevented by the “new-rich statists”, our future prosperity and affluence is assured. We all had better get to work preventing all those “new-rich statists” from preventing us.
I guess that eliminates almost all government elites (politicians and bureaucrats) and government-funded academics as decision-makers. They are attempting to become the robber barons of the late 19th century; many, like Gore (and Obama?), have succeeded so far and have become psychotic (outside — way, way, way outside — of reality) in their quest for emperordom.

Don Shaw
August 9, 2011 11:05 am

Peak oil in the US may occur in the US only if the likes of the current administration prevent production from all the promising sources in Alaska. offshore,etc etc Production will be down in the US this year because the administration has illegaly prevented production from the Gulf. It is selfilling prophesy.
Some are trying to confuse the facts by calling production from the Alberta as synthetic oil.
There is massive reserves there and it is not synthetic oil, but it is synthetic crude since it needs to be processed before shipping to the refineries via pipeline.
The following from Garfield summarizes the situation perfectly:
“A lot of folks can’t understand how we came to have an oil shortage here in our country.
Well, there’s a very simple answer.
A lot of folks can’t understand how we came to have an oil shortage here in our country.
Well, there’s a very simple answer.
Nobody bothered to check the oil.
We just didn’t know we were getting low.
The reason for that is purely geographical.
Our OIL is located in:
ALASKA
California
Coastal Florida
Coastal Louisiana
Coastal Alabama
Coastal Mississippi
Coastal Texas
North Dakota
Wyoming
Colorado
Kansas
Oklahoma
Pennsylvania
And
Texas
And
Our dipsticks are located in DC
Any Questions? NO? Didn’t think so.”

August 9, 2011 11:10 am

This is utterly absurd. Any ‘dramatic spike’ is caused by speculators.
It can be shown factually that the recent wild moves in oil were speculative, not tied to supply and demand. Even the Saudis, who obviously have a vested interest in keeping the price high, have complained about speculation making the market crazy.
As for public health, I have no idea what Nisbet is getting at, and can’t imagine either liberals or conservatives getting excited about this alleged connection. You could get one group or the other excited after a couple years of concentrated propaganda, but the connection is not obvious to anyone now.

Steve from Rockwood
August 9, 2011 11:12 am

Lex says:
August 9, 2011 at 10:31 am
Peak oil: Myth
http://www.prisonplanet.com/archives/peak_oil/index.htm
Lex that link is mostly rubbish. Take, for example, the Eugene Island discovery and the fact that a reservoir dropped from 15,000 to 4,000 and then later rebounded to 13,000 (barrels per day). They discovered a previously unknown reservoir that was connected to the one they had found. As production continued, somehow the second reservoir connected itself to the first.
This is not an example of why peak oil is a scam, but rather an example of the unknowns of oil exploration. They got lucky. If somehow a fault had cut the reservoir in half (reducing instead of expanding it) would this be an example of how peak oil is not a scam?
Peak oil is true in the sense that conventional oil wells are being depleted. This is not rocket science. The development of non-traditional sources is more than covering this depletion. As these new sources are expanded their cost of production will go down, thereby putting downward pressure on oil prices. “Mondo” summarizes non-conventional oil above quite nicely.

R. de Haan
August 9, 2011 11:17 am

It’s a petty peak oil propaganda has been so much more effective than the AGW/Climate Change propaganda.

August 9, 2011 11:19 am

“an exploration well which finally reached a staggering world record depth of 40,230 feet”
Oil can’t exist at those depths, too hot. Oil exists only in a small window of depth. Google: oil window. To get an understanding of Russian and Saudi oil production you should read Twighlight in the Desert.

Editor
August 9, 2011 11:20 am

This entire study is a POLL. It is not about *any* reality at — only about people’s opinions about what might happen in the future. Lots of people believe the price of oil will go very high in the future, and that if the price of oil does go very high, then people’s health may suffer. Since this is a multi-choice poll (very likely, somewhat likely, etc) we have no insight into why people might think this. But it seems to me that people feel that if the public can’t afford to drive their cars or heat there houses, that there would be a negative effect on their health — I’d have to agree with them. Of course this assumes that all energy prices have risen, not just oil.
It all seems way too hypothetical to me — and I doubt that the study will get any political traction — but one never knows with politics. The conservatives I know are unlikely to be ‘scared’ into action by a threat so nebulous.

August 9, 2011 11:25 am

“The USGS estimates that the Green River Oil Shales, alone, have 8 to 12 trillion barrels of oil in place… 1.4 trillion of which is likely to be recoverable”
There is no oil in the Green River Formation, it’s kerogen. The precursor of oil. It has to be cooked into oil, that reduces the ERoEI. No one even knows if it can be processed at a positive ERoEI. It also cannot be well tapped, it has to be mined. That makes the flow rate very very low. One possible solution to cook the kerogen into oil is to nuke the deposit. There is a lot of hype about this field, and that field. But it is just that, hype. Each field’s geology has to be looked at. Blanket statements are worthless without the specifics on the deposit.

August 9, 2011 11:26 am

Richard Wakefield say on August 9, 2011 at 9:32 am
Fo those who think there are hundreds or thousands of years of oil remaining, need to see this:

Richard; valiant efforts, extrapolations based on yesterdays analysis and using technologies currently in practice do not map well into the future.
“Past performance is no guarantee of future results [either way, up or down]” the most common caveat in finance is applicable here as well.
Good luck in your ‘crusade’/ your revival, but a number of us will not be joining you under that tent …
.

August 9, 2011 11:32 am

HaroldW said:
“Persons/companies who anticipate such demand shifts, and are leaders in said substitutes, do well. What about this path requires government intervention? Why is this a political issue?”
It’s all about control. They cannot imagine that a free market economy can make multitudinous correct decisions on its ow,. The Soviet Union failed in large part because they could not price adjust 34,000,000 items a day and manage the 160,000 regulations that accompanied just altering the price of mink pelts.
Ignoring this, they think government knows how to do business. Of course, government is incapable for the simple fact that they are using other people’s money and thus have no reason to watch the bottom line. It’s that simple.
Governments cannot create wealth.

August 9, 2011 11:32 am

“For a start, the recovery of the sweet, easily recoverable crude might only be 20% or 30% of the total resource in the reservoir. More of the balance can be recovered using secondary and tertiary recovery techniques, which are higher cost, but there is still plenty of oil on those reservoirs. I won’t mention the observation that some oil reservoirs seem to be replenishing as well. ”
Most wells produce on average 40% of oil in place, rarely any more, some a lot less. Some fields produce less than 20% of oil in place. It all has to do with the geology and other factors. The great super giant oil fields are all in tertiary recovery now, this includes the North Sea (in terminal decline), Ghawar (near terminal decline) and Cantarell (in severe terminal decline, 2.3mb/day at peak, now less than 450,000b/day).
Abiotic oil has long been debunked, fields do not replenish themselves.

Jeff L
August 9, 2011 11:32 am

Hope this post doesn’t sound too harsh, but there are clearly people posting on here based on emotion, not data & that’s not good science.
For everyone of you peak oil doubters, is there a single one of you who actually looks for & produces oil for a living? How has ever looked at a well decline curve ? a field decline curve? a basin decline curve? From your comments, I highly doubt it.
This is what I do for a living & if you think satisfying world oil demand on a daily basis is an easy task, I invite you to come out & give it a try yourself. You will quickly learn how hard it is find reserves that will flow at a rate that make a difference. You will learn about well decline curves, field decline curves, basin decline curve, country decline curves. You will start doing the math & realize that we will see a world wide peak in production rate because there is no way we can possibly keep up with these declines. It’s not a matter of if, just a question of when.
Let me put this in perspective. The world uses just about 80 million barrels of oil per day (MMBOPD). Using a conservative estimate, average natural decline is no less than 5% per year. That’s 4 MMBOPD that needs to be replaced every year – just to keep production flat, let alone satisfy any increase in demand. The biggest field ever found in America , Prudhoe Bay, produced 2 MMBO at it’s peak. So, just to keep production flat, the world has to bring on the equivalent of 2 Prudhoe Bay’s every year. If you think this is easy, come on out & see how hard it is to find that kind of production.
There is a reason everyone is chasing resource plays now , which are low recovery & have high decline – it’s because most all the higher quality reserves have been found. If there were abundant higher quality reserves, industry would be pursuing them. Richard Wakefield has it right – it’s not about reserves, it’s about rate & we are not developing enough high flow rate reserves to satisfy daily demand. Remember that Peak Oil is peak oil production rate , not peak reserves & the two are two very different animals.
If you choose not to believe it, it really doesn’t matter. What will be , will be. Unlike AGW, there are no punitive measures that people are pushing trying to “prevent” something – ie, there is no impact on you, regardless of what you choose to believe. However, I have to say, to spout off with out any knowledge of the DATA makes you look pretty much as ignorant as the AGWers that do the same thing for their pet cause (harsh, I know) . Good science is about data, not political thoughts & what feels good to you.

crosspatch
August 9, 2011 11:33 am

At some point we do have to plan to minimize our oil for use as fuel. This is because oil will become too important for other things such as plastic and paint. Imagine if we were unable to produce plastics, pigments, synthetic fibers, etc. Oil will at some point become too valuable to simply burn up. At that point old landfills will become plastic mines.

August 9, 2011 11:34 am

hareynolds says August 9, 2011 at 10:12 am
We ALWAYS only have a “few decades” of oil remaining because it is uneconomical to find an produce marginal oil BEYOND that horizon. Only when there’s a technological “leap forward” (to borrow Mao’s phrase) that unexpectedly brings cheap oil & gas to market does supply ever exceed a few decades.

Shhhh … you’re giving away the plot, engaging in revealing a spoiler!
While Richard banks on statistics, graphs and select opinions to win debate I’ll bet on the XOM’s of the world and the ingenuity of the engineers and geologists and their track record of actually delivering product …
.

August 9, 2011 11:36 am

“Synthetic oil is still oil. Coal can be converted into hydrocarbon fuel, and we have plenty of readily-available coal.”
Yes, it is. That is not the issue. Peak oil is about flow rates and ERoEI. Coal to oil is a negative ERoEI, in that it takes more energy to make the oil from coal than you get out of it. PLus, will it be produced are sufficient quantities to supply demand?

Les Johnson
August 9, 2011 11:42 am

David Middleton: you make about the same points I am trying to make. In addition to your points:
1. The US has the worlds largest coal reserves.
2. The US has amongst the largest natural gas reserves in the world.
3. North America has more oil reserves than Saudi.
4. North America has the infrastructure already in place for oil, gas and coal.
5. There are 100s of years of oil, gas and coal in North America.
Peak oil is a tough sell…..except if production is limited by legislation.
One needs to be careful of the large “charities”. Tides Foundation, Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation, the William & Flora Hewlett Foundation, the David & Lucile Packard Foundation, the Pew Charitable Trusts and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund have all poured 100s of million of dollars into Canada alone, to try and stop oil sands development.
I wonder what Rockefeller Sr would think of this…..
http://opinion.financialpost.com/2010/10/14/u-s-foundations-against-the-oil-sands/#more-6315

LamontT
August 9, 2011 11:44 am

Ah good old peak oil. A precautionary principle reason to dangle out in front of people to get them to do unreasonable things in the name of better safe than sorry.
So first logical fallacy I spotted. They state, in effect, that the only reason the price of oil would triple would be peak oil. Hmm, this means that all available sources of oil are being drilled and used productively and their are no cartels manipulating the price. Right? If those are not true statements than it seems that just maybe some other reason might be behind an increase in price besides the so called peak oil.

Les Johnson
August 9, 2011 11:49 am

Richard: your pushing of:
Twighlight in the Desert
Matt Simmons had a consultancy that helped companies plan for peak oil, through energy investment. In other words, he was selling something. Peak oil helped him sell it.
These are some of his failed predictions (and he wanted to nuke the BP well):
“Oil Guru Matt Simmons Says BP Relief Wells WILL FAIL, Undersea Oil Covers 40% Of Gulf, BP Will Go Bankrupt, & Our Choice Is A 24-Year Leak Vs. The Nuclear Option”

August 9, 2011 11:54 am

Re Bakken:
“That is the low end of the estimate. The high end is 50%. The industry expects it to be closer to the low end, at about 5-15% of OOIP (original oil in place).”
Few free flowing wells rarely produce 50% of oil in place, so that cannot be correct for the Bakken shale. The USGS is consistent in their over estimations of recovery, by a large factor, in their reports on all fields. They were grossly over optimistic about Alaska, which is in terminal decline decades ahead of what the USGS claimed. Bakken’s production is about 1.8% of US demand. See: http://www.theoildrum.com/node/5928

Les Johnson
August 9, 2011 11:54 am

Richard Wakefield:your
Oil can’t exist at those depths, too hot.
Nope. The Tiber oil well in the GoM is at 35,000 ft, 39,000 if you count the water depth.

August 9, 2011 11:59 am

“On synthetic oil, chemists at a Texas university has brought the costs of coal to liquid technology down to about $40 per bbl. With several hundred years of coal in the ground in the US, its obvious we are not at peak oil. Peak conventional oil? Probably not, but its moot.”
I am not saying we are running out of oil, yet. I’m saying the flow rates cannot keep up with expected demand growth (mostly from China and India). I’m saying the key factor for ANY energy supply is ERoEI. Everyone here who are questioning peak oil are not addressing these two issues, they keep harping about how much is in the ground. That’s irrelevant. Soon as it takes more energy to extract the oil out of a deposit than we get back from the oil, we have essentually run out of oil, with lots still left in the ground. The planet is dotted with shutdowns because of ERoEI.

Flask
August 9, 2011 12:01 pm

Thank you from one in the fossil energy business for your votes of confidence.
Peak Oil will happen some day, but there are many stones to turn over before they fail to uncover anything.
The medium-term solution for the USA is shale gas, figuring out how to produce gas by multi-stage fracs in horizontal wells has proven to be the answer to many problems the USA faces. It will put a big dent in unemployment, help other industries by lowering energy costs, and rejuvenate the auto and construction industry. Not even the luddite opposition to fracking will have much of an effect, as serious examination of the objections show that they concentrate on unique cases or occasional mistakes similar to blowouts. States where there is new drilling for gas shale should look to established states or provinces like Alberta or Saskatchewan in Canada that have mature oil industries with regulations that safeguard potable water and other aquifers to model regulation of shale gas exploitation.
Many basins are not fully explored for either oil or gas, and as noted by posters above, technology and economics will keep production going a long time yet.

August 9, 2011 12:03 pm

Coal to liquids, how much coal is left in the US:
” It is clear that there is enough coal at current rates of production to meet anticipated needs through 2030, and probably enough for 100 years, the committee said. However, it is not possible to confirm the often-quoted assertion that there is a sufficient supply for the next 250 years. ”
http://www8.nationalacademies.org/onpinews/newsitem.aspx?RecordID=11977
Notice the phrase “current rates of production”. Soon as that increases to meet coal to liquids demand, that means the rate of production increases, which decreases the doubling period, and reduces the time to depletion. Double coal production to make oil, and there is less than 50 years of coal.

Doug Proctor
August 9, 2011 12:08 pm

The perception of reality is more important than the reality: studies like this are about what people think, not what is. So change the perception of what is, and you get your mandate.
Psychologists in society are the politicians’ dream: you don’t have to be correct as you have to be believed. The flaw in your route to power is in your convincing, not in your facts.
So 35% of the respondents disbelieve in the AGW story in January 2010. Some other study recently suggested about 50% in mid-2011 don’t believe in it. Which is why Gore is alarmed, frustrated and angry.
These guys argue that the public is ripe for the costs and traumas of social change connected to fossil fuel restrictions because OIL is running out. Fossil fuel ENERGY is not, as we have natural gas and coal. So Gore et al can take this study as good news to reprogram our society and their wallets.
We use studies of people’s perceptions of danger to justify legislation (such as the Patriot Act) when we should be focused on determining actual danger and then advising people of the difference between perception and reality. In a same it is shameful: perhaps these guys could author another study of the American people’s perception of the threat to their livelihood by Jewish bankers to say we are “ready” to implement financial restrictions on ethnic groups?
Sorry. Been done. Didn’t work out so well.
The study of non-problems and recommendations of how to take advantage of the citizen’s mis-understanding and over-reaction is not just amoral, but immoral.

DrChaos
August 9, 2011 12:12 pm

It’s been discussed here before, but may as well point it out again: the idea that highly oxidised waste organic matter can turn into highly reduced oil with massive chemical potential, merely by heating it and squashing it a bit, is absurd IMO. It can’t be replicated in a lab. The abiotic theory, in which oil is produced in the earth’s mantle from basic constituent elements seems far more plausible. And it has been replicated in lab conditions.
Another thing that puzzles me is the sheer volume of organic matter that would have been required to produce say a years worth of oil – 1 cubic mile is what we are using each year. How many cubic miles of matter are required to produce 1 cubic mile of crude, and is it reasonable to assume that this much organic material was available when the oil fields were originally laid down?

Les Johnson
August 9, 2011 12:12 pm

Jeff L: your
For everyone of you peak oil doubters, is there a single one of you who actually looks for & produces oil for a living?
Yep. That’s me. I used to do curve matching before computers did it for us.
I also look at numbers. The numbers say we have more oil now than in 1980. Even though the decline in gas wells can be 25% per year, we still have more gas now, than in 1980. Same with oil.
Between deep water, oil sands, oil shales, coal and shale gas, there is no imminent danger of peak oil. Except through legislation.

Les Johnson
August 9, 2011 12:19 pm

Richard: your
Coal to oil is a negative ERoEI, in that it takes more energy to make the oil from coal than you get out of it.
Nope. At 30 dollars per bbl, its quite affordable. The ERoEI would not be negative, if its affordable.
Simple economics.
http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Environment/2010/02/22/12980701-ap.html

August 9, 2011 12:20 pm

Peak oil and the Fall of the Soviet Union: Lessons on the 20th Anniversary of the Collapse
http://www.theoildrum.com/node/7878
Excellent summary of the Russian experience. Russia appears to have also hit peak in oil production.

C.M. Carmichael
August 9, 2011 12:20 pm

“peak” oil, “fossil” fuel both are bigger scams than Y2K and AGW put together. People don’t even have the capacity to see the breadth of the deception.

Nuke
August 9, 2011 12:24 pm

If we don’t develop any new source of oil, if we don’t develop any new technology, if we don’t build new pipelines or refineries, peak oil is just around the corner!

August 9, 2011 12:28 pm

Peak oil has never been a problem, and never will be. I spoke on this at Tulane Law School (New Orleans, Louisiana) this past April.
My conclusion is “. . . we see that the data simply does not support the Peak Oil theory. Furthermore, even if oil were someday to be in short supply, there are many policy options to reduce oil consumption and increase oil supply. The most critical point is to not use up our domestic reserves but keep the oil in the ground as security against that day when we will need it most.”
For the full speech with slides, see
http://sowellslawblog.blogspot.com/2011/04/speech-on-peak-oil-and-us-energy-policy.html

Les Johnson
August 9, 2011 12:28 pm

Richard: your
Few free flowing wells rarely produce 50% of oil in place, so that cannot be correct for the Bakken shale.
Take it up with the author. I quoted the full range. You only quoted the low end.
https://www.dmr.nd.gov/ndgs/bakken/newpostings/07272006_BakkenReserveEstimates.pdf
The USGS is consistent in their over estimations of recovery, by a large factor, in their reports on all fields. They were grossly over optimistic about Alaska, which is in terminal decline decades ahead of what the USGS claimed.
Nope. The field was supposed to only produce until 2011. Its been extended to 2034.
http://www.petroleumnews.com/pntruncate/842644601.shtml

Les Johnson
August 9, 2011 12:31 pm

Richard: your
I am not saying we are running out of oil, yet.
Yes you did. “Peak oil happened in 2005”. Remember?

Les Johnson
August 9, 2011 12:33 pm

Richard: your
Coal to liquids, how much coal is left in the US:
About 241 years, according to Wiki and BP. Not 100. Not 50.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coal#World_coal_reserves

Les Johnson
August 9, 2011 12:42 pm

Richard Wakefield: your:
Excellent summary of the Russian experience. Russia appears to have also hit peak in oil production.
Nope. Soviet inefficiency should not be confused with peak oil. From 6.4 million bbls/day in 1994, to over 10 million in 2011. Production is increasing every year with western investment, and not declining. Also note that even your source shows, in Figure 1, that Russian annual production is now higher, after privatization.
http://www.eia.gov/cfapps/ipdbproject/iedindex3.cfm?tid=50&pid=53&aid=1&cid=RS,&syid=1994&eyid=2011&freq=Q&unit=TBPD

Les Johnson
August 9, 2011 12:51 pm

Richard: your
Coal to liquids, how much coal is left in the US:
Using the EIA website, and looking at reserves vs consumption, the US has about 260 years of coal.
http://www.eia.gov/cfapps/ipdbproject/IEDIndex3.cfm?tid=1&pid=1&aid=2

August 9, 2011 1:01 pm

In the last few years there have been 3 or 4 huge finds that have not yet been brought to production. In the US, we have shale oil deposits that put Saudi Arabia’s reserves to shame, but are not being produced because the govt won’t let us. In the Gulf the govt not only won’t let us drill within several hundred miles of shore, but has now stopped exploration altogether. Let’s not forget the total bans off of California and the East coast.
Those who claim that we have hit peak oil because the politicians won’t let us drill for more oil either aren’t paying attention, or are pushing something else.

August 9, 2011 1:06 pm

Let’s not forget all of the technologies the oil companies keep coming up with to get more oil out of fields long thought to be depleted. As prices rise, more oil comes on the market. That’s the way the world works. When oil was $20/barrel, it wasn’t economic to drill for it in deep waters. With oil pushing $100/barrel, it is. Huge new fields that weren’t economical, become economical, and more oil enters the market.

woodNfish
August 9, 2011 1:08 pm

Peak oil is about as true as AGW. More and more oil supplies are discovered every year and every year we hear, “We have enough oil to last another 40 years.” I’ve been hearing that of over 50 years. There is no shortage of oil and no reason to move away from it other than outright stupidity.

August 9, 2011 1:20 pm

Jimmy Cater already used this BS … Chief “big Jimmy” said the world would not have one drop left by the year 2000. Missed it by that much.
Hey eco-nuts, is this all you got?

August 9, 2011 1:29 pm

Peak oil will happen someday, not anyday soon, but it will happen someday. However it is not something to worry about. As oil supplies fail to meet demand, price will gradually increase. Let me emphasis this, prices will gradually increase. The idea that prices are going to triple in 5 years or less is beyond absurd.
That gradual increase in price will cause three things to happen.
1) Consumers will find ways to use less oil. They will do this on their own, there is no need for a govt program, there is no need for various do-gooders to start prodding them.
2) Producers will find new ways to produce more oil. Either by exploiting resources that were uneconomical at lower prices, or by finding new ways to get more oil out of existing fields. Producers will do this on their own because that is how they make money. They don’t need govt programs or various do-gooders to prod them into doing it.
3) New sources of energy will be developed. Once again, the producers can and will do this on their own.
Most of the Peak Oil types are convinced that the market and individuals can’t be trusted to make the proper decisions, so they invent a looming catastrophe, and sell it as an excuse to use the power of govt to force individual consumers and producers to start doing now, those things the activists are convinced are in our best interests. It doesn’t matter what we think is in our best interest, the activists, as usual, are convinced that since they are so much smarter than anyone else, they and they alone know what the proper course of action is. And if they have to use deception and coercion to get the rest of us to go along with them. No biggie, they are after all, doing it in our best interests.

Henry Galt
August 9, 2011 1:39 pm

We don’t need coal to oil. We will create a new form of energy before Alberta(174 billion bbl) and Green River(286 to 1,525 billion bbl) deplete.
The Orinoco Oil Belt got upgraded to over 500 billion barrels of oil in place as median recently. We could probably drag out 50% more than that at $120+ a barrel – especially as government will allow technology to triumph there.
Of course, Rossi devices will enhance production and lower costs 😉

August 9, 2011 2:00 pm

“The abiotic theory, in which oil is produced in the earth’s mantle from basic constituent elements seems far more plausible. And it has been replicated in lab conditions.
Another thing that puzzles me is the sheer volume of organic matter that would have been required to produce say a years worth of oil – 1 cubic mile is what we are using each year. How many cubic miles of matter are required to produce 1 cubic mile of crude, and is it reasonable to assume that this much organic material was available when the oil fields were originally laid down?”
Abiotic oil debunked: http://static.scribd.com/docs/j79lhbgbjbqrb.pdf
Answer to your question, yes, and then some. They took millions of years of organic material being deposited. The big super giant fields can be traced to just a small window of geological time of great biotic development. Cantarell is the exception, the current thinking is it was formed into oil from the energy of the impact, and pooled in structures afterwards.
Most organic deposits laid down have been depleted on their own, some have over cooked (went too deep), some completely cooked away. Example is the Alberta Tar Sands. It used to be a high quality conventional field, but the rise of the Rockies mobilized it to the current location, during which it lost all of the small molecular organic compounds leaving mostly bitumen. Most conventional oil fields can only pool if there is an impenetrable rock cap, otherwise it justs seeps to the surface.

DirkH
August 9, 2011 2:01 pm

strawbale says:
August 9, 2011 at 9:52 am
“Lol, like you all know how much oil is left.
You lot have NO idea and yet you make such off the cuff remarks. Just to go against the greeny pinko socialist doo gooders.
The AGW alarmists annoy me as much as anyone but the quality of comments here makes me realize its often a case of a flip side of the same coin.
Doesn’t present a good example if us “sceptics” cannot raise the level of debate.”
Hope this satisfies you.
German Federal Institute for Geosciences and Raw Materials
Bundesanstalt fuer Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe
http://www.bgr.bund.de/cln_160/nn_331084/DE/Themen/Energie/Produkte/energiekurzstudie__2009.html
(points to this PDF:)
http://www.bgr.bund.de/cln_160/nn_331084/DE/Themen/Energie/Downloads/Energiestudie-Kurzstudie2010,templateId=raw,property=publicationFile.pdf/Energiestudie-Kurzstudie2010.pdf
Resources (Coal, Oil, Gas, Thorium, Uranium) for 1,500 years are known. Within one year, resources amounting to 40,000 EJ were discovered – yearly usage is 457 EJ. Who cares how much of that is oil; turn coal or gas to oil if you need to, or synthesize it using nuclear power. We mostly need it for transportation, and even there, gas plays a bigger role each year.

Kum Dollison
August 9, 2011 2:01 pm

We’ve been on an undulating plateau (real oil – crude + condensate) since 2005. We will begin to drop off of the plateau somewhere around the end of 2012, or early 2013, most likely.
Declining oil Will cause poverty, and poverty IS “unhealthy.”
So, yeah, I guess Peak Oil is a “health” issue.
Oh, and when you’re talking “the price of oil,” you have to talk “Brent Crude.” WTI is now just a little backwater index based on a puddle of bottlenecked crude in a small place called “Cushing, Ok.”
Even Louisiana Light sells for about $15.00/bbl more than WTI.

August 9, 2011 2:03 pm

“The Orinoco Oil Belt got upgraded to over 500 billion barrels of oil in place as median recently. We could probably drag out 50% more than that at $120+ a barrel – especially as government will allow technology to triumph there.”
You are assuming they will sell that oil to the US, as opposed to China. Who will have the economic ability to pay for that oil, which has to be processed like the tar sands.
Good book: Ethical Oil by Ezra Levant.

August 9, 2011 2:06 pm

Re: German Federal Institute for Geosciences and Raw Materials
See also from Germany:
German military study warns of a potentially drastic oil crisis
http://energybulletin.net/stories/2010-09-01/german-military-study-warns-potentially-drastic-oil-crisis

DirkH
August 9, 2011 2:09 pm

Oh, and BTW, the report i linked to contains numbers for reserves and resources. A resource becomes a reserve when it becomes economical to exploit it. Obviously, a price rise automatically turns the next best resource into a reserve.

August 9, 2011 2:10 pm

“More and more oil supplies are discovered every year and every year we hear,… ”
All tiny fields. That “big” discovery off brazil? 30 billion barrels. One year of world consumption. We are currently consuming some 5 barrels for every one we find today. It’s in that list of reports I posted earlier.

August 9, 2011 2:14 pm

Les Johnson says: …… much. And thanks.
I can’t for the life of me figure out why people look for things to be afraid of. People! The doomsayers have been whining about running out of oil my entire life! And all we do is pump more. Here’s a news flash! Malthus and our modern day Malthus, Paul Ehrlich were wrong. Sure, there is a finite amount of resources here on earth. But there is an infinite amount of possible ways we can utilize them…….. and re-utilize. Turns out, technologies change! I know, its weird. We learn how to get more, and use better the resources we have……. strange but true. For those worried about us not developing new technologies fast enough, we will. Right now, most of the innovation seems to be directed at inanity. Our private sector funding seems to go to cool things like IPods and the like, while the public sector seems to be researching fictional bogey men. Even if we continue down these roads, remember necessity is the mother of invention. If it ever gets to a point where we need to change…….. we will. Get a grip, take a deep breath and enjoy the modern conveniences that enrich all of our lives. Quit feeling guilty about it and quit trying to make others feel guilty. Its a fruitless venture.
Peace

August 9, 2011 2:14 pm

Previous commenter:
“… Another thing that puzzles me is the sheer volume of organic matter that would have been required to produce say a years worth of oil – 1 cubic mile is what we are using each year. How many cubic miles of matter are required to produce 1 cubic mile of crude, and is it reasonable to assume that this much organic material was available when the oil fields were originally laid down?
Richard Wakefield says on August 9, 2011 at 2:00 pm:
Answer to your question, yes, and then some. They took millions of years of organic material being deposited. The big super giant fields can be traced to just a small window of geological time of great biotic development.

I KNEW it!
The CO2 levels in the atmosphere _must_ have been absolutely hellish (or: “off the charts” to tone it down a bit)!
(WHERE ELSE would the HUGE quantities of elemental carbon have been sourced? The oceans?)
/only partly sarc
.

August 9, 2011 2:17 pm

“Let’s not forget all of the technologies the oil companies keep coming up with to get more oil out of fields long thought to be depleted. As prices rise, more oil comes on the market. That’s the way the world works. When oil was $20/barrel, it wasn’t economic to drill for it in deep waters. With oil pushing $100/barrel, it is. Huge new fields that weren’t economical, become economical, and more oil enters the market.”
Examples please, specific fields. Cantarell is in terminal decline, Alaska is in terminal decline, North Sea, Texas terminal decline. They have all had these technologies applied and are all depleting, rapidly. Cantarell went from 2.3mb/day to 450,000b/day in just a few years. They applied nitrogen injection to boost production, which it did, but that just means the depletion side of the curve happens faster. The area under a production curve from any field must add up to what is physically extractable. Extract it faster, the depletion side falls off faster. Ghawar injects millions of barrels of sea water around the periphery of the deposit to keep pressure up. Their production wells produce more sea water than oil. Some Russian fields are producing 95% water, only 5% oil. That’s when a field is about to die.

DirkH
August 9, 2011 2:21 pm

I’ve read somewhere that each time oil hits 100USD/barrel (adjusted for inflation, today’s dollar) it triggers a recession.
Seems to fit. (Using the oil price as a leading indicator could have predictive skill and convinces me more than most of the usual economics babble)
This is WTI in EUR (so divide by 1.4); (Brent trades for 20% more)
http://www.comdirect.de/inf/indizes/detail/chart_kd.html?timeSpan=5Y&ID_NOTATION=8328001#timeSpan=SE&e&amp;
This would indicate that industrial nations are limited by oil availability (again, the source of the oil doesn’t matter; might be synthetic or algae oil or Jatropa or whatever). We could avoid booms and busts by running our economies just so fast that the oil price sticks at the 100$ limit 😉

Editor
August 9, 2011 2:23 pm

Richard Wakefield says:
August 9, 2011 at 11:59 am
[…]
I am not saying we are running out of oil, yet. I’m saying the flow rates cannot keep up with expected demand growth (mostly from China and India). I’m saying the key factor for ANY energy supply is ERoEI. Everyone here who are questioning peak oil are not addressing these two issues, they keep harping about how much is in the ground. That’s irrelevant. Soon as it takes more energy to extract the oil out of a deposit than we get back from the oil, we have essentually run out of oil, with lots still left in the ground. The planet is dotted with shutdowns because of ERoEI.

EROEI is even less credible than Peak Oil. I don’t spend energy to fill my tank. I don’t give energy back to the gas & electric companies in exchange for them being nice enough to heat and light my home. My company doesn’t drill for oil & gas to make energy.
I spend money to fill my tank. My company drills wells for oil & gas to make money. My gas & electric bills are paid for with money. My pay check, ExxonMobil & Shell credit card statements and checks to the gas & electric companies aren’t denominated in joules, kilowatts or btu – They are denominated in $.
I don’t give a rat’s [censored] if 1 barrel of algal lipids requires less energy to produce than 1 barrel of crude oil… Because the barrel of algal lipids costs $800 and can’t be produced in sufficient quantities to be waiting for me at the Exxon or Shell station when I need it.
If oil companies (or any businesses) used EROEI to guide their investment decisions, they would go out of business (unless the gov’t was footing the bill).
It would cost more than $6 trillion to replace the nation’s current coal and natural gas power plants with solar power plants… Which would leave you with no capital to expand generation capacity and 6-8 hours of electricity per day.
Conventional energy sources are not scarce; they are cheap and abundant. Govt interference in their production & distribution and currency manipulation make them more expensive and less available to consumers than they otherwise would be.
Levelized Cost of New Generation Resources in the Annual Energy Outlook 2011
Table 1. Estimated Levelized Cost of New Generation Resources, 2016
Almost every solar power project (and most wind power projects) is being funded by US taxpayer-guaranteed loans. These aren’t R&D programs. They are building power-plants that cannot ever be economically viable. Taxpayers are bearing almost all of the risk in these projects and being hamstrung with long-term guaranteed above-market prices for the electricity generated by these “limes” (green lemons).
EROEI aficionados will say, “But once the plant is paid for, the energy will be free! So the long-term cost is cheaper.” But, there is no breakeven point…
Levelized Cost Over Time
The DOE $/MWh numbers are based on a 30-yr plant lifetime. Solar PV has a HUGE up-front cost and the annual fixed operating & maintenance costs are also pretty high.
According to the DOE numbers, solar PV will take more than 100 years to catch up to advanced coal with carbon capture and storage. It never catches up to conventional coal or conventional natural gas with carbon capture and storage.
Wind at least has a shot to catch up with fossil fuels, if the plant lasts more than 30 years.

August 9, 2011 2:25 pm

“In the last few years there have been 3 or 4 huge finds that have not yet been brought to production. ”
Names please so we can see what “huge” means.
Yes it is criminal that the US can’t “drill baby drill”. It will have to change at some point, once the Marxist in the White house is gone. But again, it’s not what’s in the ground, but how fast it can be extracted. The US has between 30 to 50BB off shore. At 7BB per year consumption, do the math. There is not much there. Yes, they will last a long time, and that’s only because they have to allow the fields to liberate their oil slowly to get the most out of them. And that means low flow rates. Not enough to offset depletion in the rest of the country.

Editor
August 9, 2011 2:26 pm

Richard Wakefield says:
August 9, 2011 at 2:03 pm
“The Orinoco Oil Belt got upgraded to over 500 billion barrels of oil in place as median recently. We could probably drag out 50% more than that at $120+ a barrel – especially as government will allow technology to triumph there.”
You are assuming they will sell that oil to the US, as opposed to China. Who will have the economic ability to pay for that oil, which has to be processed like the tar sands.
Good book: Ethical Oil by Ezra Levant.

Oil is a globally traded commodity. It doesn’t matter who they sell it to.

Henry Galt
August 9, 2011 2:28 pm

Richard Wakefield says:
August 9, 2011 at 2:03 pm
Excuse me? I am assuming no such thing. If they sell it to… Switzerland… it will relieve pressure elsewhere. It is a global commodity after all.
Your choice of reading marks you out.

August 9, 2011 2:30 pm

Mark Wilson says on August 9, 2011 at 1:06 pm
Let’s not forget all of the technologies the oil companies keep coming up with to get more oil out of fields long thought to be depleted. As prices rise, more oil comes on the market.

Spot on.
To quote a member of our 3840 kHz Group: “The cure for high prices is – high prices.
(IOW make it profitable enough for alternatives and they will be developed).
Meanwhile, the ‘machine’ known as Richard Wakefield grinds on, irrespective of over-riding and governing economic factors (and human ingenuity) that ‘push’ companies and individuals to come up with solutions in the form of technical advancements in all areas including (but not limited to) oil discovery, drilling and extraction …
.

DirkH
August 9, 2011 2:33 pm

crosspatch says:
August 9, 2011 at 11:33 am
“At some point we do have to plan to minimize our oil for use as fuel. This is because oil will become too important for other things such as plastic and paint. Imagine if we were unable to produce plastics, pigments, synthetic fibers, etc. Oil will at some point become too valuable to simply burn up. At that point old landfills will become plastic mines.”
No. If it becomes scarce enough you can synthesize it. And you can always cultivate some Escherischia Brownii, an algae that concentrates oil droplets nearly identical to Diesel if you absolutely must for your paint production. The algae oil is not very good as an energy source because it’s surrounded by a lot of water so it’s difficult to get without squandering a lot of energy for drying, but if you only need it for your paint, you could probably extract it easily, or use sun flower oil… there are many sources of oil for these purposes.

August 9, 2011 2:34 pm

“Using the EIA website, and looking at reserves vs consumption, the US has about 260 years of coal.”
The EIA often over estimates reserves. But that aside, how may doubling periods of growth are in 260 years? 260 years of CURRENT consumption, which is growing at some 1-2% per year. That’s a 35 year doubling period which means there are 8 doublings in there. That means that amount of coal cannot last that many doubling periods.
Now are we actually going to go through 8 doublings of coal consumption in the next 260 years? Not likely. We can’t even predict what will happen in the next 30 years.
This also does not take into account that the good quality of anthrocite coal is in terminal decline in the US. The remaing coal is of poorer quality, lower in energy, and harder to mine which squeezes ERoEI.

August 9, 2011 2:40 pm

They never give up their fetish. Stupid and ideological.

August 9, 2011 2:40 pm

“Excuse me? I am assuming no such thing. If they sell it to… Switzerland… it will relieve pressure elsewhere. It is a global commodity after all.”
“Oil is a globally traded commodity. It doesn’t matter who they sell it to.”
There is no way Venezuela will decide not to sell it to the US, not keep it for themselves, not sell it to only China?
http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-04-18/china-lends-venezuela-20-billion-secures-oil-supply-update1-.html
It’s only a global commodity IF they decide to sell it globally. Canada does not put the tar sands oil on the open global market, we sell it to the US and our own consumption. More oil producing countries are consuming more of their own oil, that means less on the open market.

Doug
August 9, 2011 2:45 pm

Jeff L says:
August 9, 2011 at 11:32 am
<>
Jeff, that is exactly what I do for a living. Perhaps the difference is that I have been quite successful at it.
I’ve worked 30 years as a geologist, geophysicist, and independent oil producer. I have worked all over the world, and have found oil everywhere I’ve worked. I don’t worry one bit about peak oil.
I own interest in 25 year old wells in which we have drilled horizontal legs through old casing which are now producing more than they did at initial production. I’ve developed methods to recognize source rocks on seismic data and mapped the extent of several source units. When I look at the merging of the horizontal multi stage fracs with the lateral extent of source rocks, the reserves I see coming available in the future are enormous.
Certainly, it will be intensive work to produce, and flow rates are low compared with some conventional wells but the Bakken alone will soon be at 700,000 bod.
There will be many more Bakkens developed.
As far as the “Twilight in the Desert” crowd goes, Deffeyes writes about how he was the first person to examine Ghawar core outside of Saudi Arabia, and that it gave him insight to the imminent watering out. He spent a whole week on the subject. Actually, my wife spent years on that reservoir, and had a nice set of thin sections with her in Saudi Arabia, England and at the Exxon Research lab in Houston long before Deffeyes saw any of it. She does not concur with him, and indeed, water cuts have been dropping recently.

August 9, 2011 2:47 pm

“To quote a member of our 3840 kHz Group: “The cure for high prices is – high prices.””
So you do not think that the recessions of the part are due in no small part because of high energy prices? The economy can absorb any level of oil pricing? There are studies that show there is a good inverse correlation between economic growth and the price of energy. Oil price goes too high, and you hurt the economy, less money for investment and inovation.
This debt crisis is being made much worse because of high energy prices.
BTW, I have been following the peak oil literature for more than 10 years now. I don’t agree with some of it, as I do not think we are heading for a cliff, at least not because of oil depletion. If there is a cliff it’s because of the global debt that can never be paid off.

August 9, 2011 3:00 pm

Richard Wakefield says on August 9, 2011 at 2:47 pm:

This debt crisis is being made much worse because of high energy prices.

Really!?
You think energy prices (take gasoline for instance) are that out-of-line adjusted for inflation?
.

Editor
August 9, 2011 3:00 pm

Richard Wakefield says:
August 9, 2011 at 2:40 pm
“Excuse me? I am assuming no such thing. If they sell it to… Switzerland… it will relieve pressure elsewhere. It is a global commodity after all.”
“Oil is a globally traded commodity. It doesn’t matter who they sell it to.”
There is no way Venezuela will decide not to sell it to the US, not keep it for themselves, not sell it to only China?
http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-04-18/china-lends-venezuela-20-billion-secures-oil-supply-update1-.html
It’s only a global commodity IF they decide to sell it globally. Canada does not put the tar sands oil on the open global market, we sell it to the US and our own consumption. More oil producing countries are consuming more of their own oil, that means less on the open market.

It doesn’t matter who they sell it to.
China doesn’t buy more oil than it needs for consumption and their SPR needs.
If Venezuela sells “X” barrels of oil to China… China won’t be buying “X” barrels of oil from someone else.

Henry Galt
August 9, 2011 3:04 pm

If anyone needs a problem to gnaw over…
too many supertankers being built.
To think, for one minute, that anyone who can afford to build VLCCs has not done their homework….

DirkH
August 9, 2011 3:07 pm

Richard Wakefield says:
August 9, 2011 at 2:47 pm
“There are studies that show there is a good inverse correlation between economic growth and the price of energy.”
“BTW, I have been following the peak oil literature for more than 10 years now. I don’t agree with some of it, as I do not think we are heading for a cliff, at least not because of oil depletion.”
These are statements i fully agree with. (Basically the entire comment but wanted to highlight these two)

August 9, 2011 3:11 pm

Richard Wakefield says on August 9, 2011 at 2:40 pm

It’s only a global commodity IF they …

Oil … is known as a ‘fungible’ commodity … as well as wheat, precious metals, and currencies.
Fungibility is the property of a good or a commodity whose individual units are capable of mutual substitution, like in global trade …
.

Editor
August 9, 2011 3:14 pm

Richard Wakefield says:
August 9, 2011 at 2:47 pm
“To quote a member of our 3840 kHz Group: “The cure for high prices is – high prices.””
So you do not think that the recessions of the part are due in no small part because of high energy prices? The economy can absorb any level of oil pricing? There are studies that show there is a good inverse correlation between economic growth and the price of energy. Oil price goes too high, and you hurt the economy, less money for investment and inovation.
This debt crisis is being made much worse because of high energy prices.
BTW, I have been following the peak oil literature for more than 10 years now. I don’t agree with some of it, as I do not think we are heading for a cliff, at least not because of oil depletion. If there is a cliff it’s because of the global debt that can never be paid off.

Most of the oil price rise was due to quantitative easing. Since January 2009, the price of oil has almost exactly tracked the Adjusted Monetary Base.
The correlation is unmistakable.

C.M. Carmichael
August 9, 2011 3:15 pm

A good portion of the current financial situation can be blamed on the high costs of doing anything and everything, because of ridiculous enviormental ransoms on progress. The great interstate highways and freeways of the US and Canada were designed, and built in around a decade, now a single bridge can take a decade to repair. Actual building costs are dwarfed by the enviormental costs.We are so lucky to have roadways and railways, because we would never be able to build them now.

Henry Galt
August 9, 2011 3:22 pm

Doug says:
August 9, 2011 at 2:45 pm
Nice.
I drink, very occasionally as he is terminally busy running around doing his job, with an oil assayer. He said, late last year, that we only find oil where we look for it. It’s all political.

August 9, 2011 3:26 pm

It is way cheaper to create “peak oil” hysteria and drive prices up to insane heights than to invest into exploration and development of new oil fields. That’s what “Big Oil” has discovered.
However, the break-even point for synthetic fuels made from coal via the Fischer–Tropsch process is near, and it threatens the whole diabolic scheme with abrupt collapse (because the coal market is much more diversified than the oil market with its express and hidden cartels).
Fortunately “carbon footprint” of synthetic fuels (and of coal in general) is much higher than that of geo-hydrocarbons, so the natural track for “Big Oil” to follow is to jump on the cAGW gravy train and help banning coal utilization as much as possible. This is the sure fire way to a prolonged peak oil (price) period and to the huge (extra)profits that come with it.
And of course this is why an ever larger sum of Big Oil money goes into warmist propaganda.
Now you can see the dirty secret behind the unholy marriage of cAGW & peak oil.

August 9, 2011 3:34 pm

China partnering with Cuba to drill off the Florida Keys:
http://news-science-news.blogspot.com/2011/01/marinebiologyinternational-drilling-off.html
But we can’t drill because of the obstructionist enviros.

Richard S Courtney
August 9, 2011 3:46 pm

Friends:
The race is on to find the next scare that will replace AGW before its final demise.
Peak Oil or Ocean Acidification? Which will it be?
They are both nonsense but so was AGW, and so was Y2k before that, and so was Acid Rain before that, and so was …
Richard

Richard S Courtney
August 9, 2011 4:02 pm

Richard Wakefield :
At August 9, 2011 at 11:36 am you assert:
“Coal to oil is a negative ERoEI, in that it takes more energy to make the oil from coal than you get out of it.”
Rubbish!
Anyway, if that were true (it is not) then it would be irrelevant. What counts is economic cost and competitivenes, not ERoEI.
Suppose it took 2 tonnes of coal to produce syncrude (i.e. synthetic crude oil) with energy content equivalent to 1 tonne of coal. Would that mean the syncrude was worthless? Only if it cost more than natural crude oil with the same energy content.
Since 1994 it has been possible to produce syncrude from coal at competitive prices with natural crude by use of the Liquid Solvent Extraction (LSE) process.
Richard

an evil rig pig
August 9, 2011 4:15 pm

A lot of hot air being vented here. As usual.
While I don’t for a moment swallow this ‘unlimited supply form the mantle’ story for a second, it is true that world in situ reserves are stil plentiful. Peak ‘conventional oil’ may be behind us, but unconventional oil is the future.
A reliable estimate is that of all the oil known on the planet,some 30% is conventional ‘sweet’ crude (including that which has been burned) accounts for circa 30%, the remainer is heavy oil and tar sands. Even Wikipedia reproduces this familar plot: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petroleum
consider also that reservoir recovery has historically been low – as low as 10% of reserves in situ, a figure leaving plenty of room for improvement by the employment of Enhanced Oil Recovery; gas or water reinjection, submersible pumps and improved infill drilling and drainage strategies.
We’re by no means close to running out of oil, but we shall have to get used to paying what is worth rather than taking it for granted, especially as we have to be smarter about recovering what remains in situ. Consider a European offshore field abandoned in the 1990s as uneconomic by a medium oil company after recovering a paltry 10% of in situ reserves owing to reservoir qualities indefatigable by the cutting edge technology of the time (and there were easier fields to exploit naturally enough to the bean counters), now about to be re-developed by a smaller operator with lower over heads and today’s cutting edge technology. Technology which will seem as archaic as hand dug wells and collection by leather bucket tomorrow.
We may also be advised to consider getting used to LNG or ‘white’ syntheticsonce the Texas tea becomes too expensive to squander under the bonnet of your Toorak Tractor. Perhaps this is the real gist of the ‘peak oil’ paranoia?
In any case, how much of your (US) potential offshore reservoirs have even been scratched? (answer only some of the GoM, and offshore California). Get over your watermelon parties’ paranoias about muff-diver whales and explore some of your remaining 90-odd% offshore territory, you never know what might turn up (after all it appears that eco-mentalists are happy that seabirds and fish can handle vast offshore wind parks. Watermelon’s bleatings aside, it will all be drilled one way or another, some day. It’s a question of when the cost-benefit-who gives a rat’s jacksie what tree huggers say anyway analysis say it’s worth putting a rig off the east coast and spudding a well).
The real arguments may come when drilling in ultra deep (international) waters with seabed rigs (who earns the tax and royalties then?), and when exploration finally moves to the Arctic and Antarctica (who even owns it?)
Peak oil 2011; just more watermelon’s desperate bleating for attention.
But let’s not be too smug about squandering such a useful commodity eh?.

Doug
August 9, 2011 4:16 pm

Richard Wakefield says:
August 9, 2011 at 2:17 pm
,” Texas terminal decline. They have all had these technologies applied and are all depleting, rapidly.”
Actual data ( I prefer to use data) Shows that from 2005-2010, Texas gas production jumped from 6,047,428,633 mcf to 7,4451,850,066 mcf
Oil Production increased from 348,941,955 bbl to 364,116,746bbl.
If anyplace should be old, mature and in decline, it is Texas. It is not. Production is increasing.

Tony Wakeling
August 9, 2011 4:43 pm

When is US going to accept what has been known in Russia since 1951. Why do think Russia is now world’s 2nd largest exporter of oil & gas. Oil is virtually unlimited. Just get real! http://sci.tech-archive.net/Archive/sci.econ/2004-08/0126.html

DirkH
August 9, 2011 5:01 pm

David Middleton says:
August 9, 2011 at 3:14 pm
“Most of the oil price rise was due to quantitative easing. Since January 2009, the price of oil has almost exactly tracked the Adjusted Monetary Base.
The correlation is unmistakable.”
But when you go back a few years, the correlation of the US monetary base with the Oil price breaks down.
see graph 2 on this page, US monetary base since 2000 – no similarity to the Oil price.
So as long as there’s no good explanation i consider your correlation an indirect link – maybe QE and QE2 spurred the economy and economic activity correlates with the Oil price; i would consider that likely.
http://www.moneyweb.co.za/mw/view/mw/en/www.twitter.com/page292681?oid=510999&sn=2009+Detail&pid=294690

Tony Wakeling
August 9, 2011 5:08 pm

Richard Wakefield says, RichardWakefield says ………… abiotic has been debunked. I guess thats why Russia is now producing so much Go figure

peakbear
August 9, 2011 5:09 pm

Doug says: August 9, 2011 at 4:16 pm
How long do you think it will take to double Texas oil and gas extraction?? It would be a fantastic deficit reducer if the US could get back on the export side of the oil equation. Unfortunately us in the UK have been having dramatic falls in oil and gas extraction over the last decade to make us net importers now.

Steve from Rockwood
August 9, 2011 5:36 pm

Doug says:
August 9, 2011 at 2:45 pm
Doug, you have me interested in what “watering out” means. I’m a mineral guy. A friend of mine runs some old wells in Ontario where (he claims) the average rate of depletion is up to 15% per year. His wells deplete at closer to 4-5%. He claims people just don’t take care of old wells and the banks expect 15% depletion per year and that is what they estimate when providing credit lines.

August 9, 2011 5:47 pm

If there was any validity to oil prices doubling or tripling in the next 5 to 10 years, the crude oil futures market certainly does not reflect this.
So, all the Peak Oil believers, you should take advantage of the futures market. Put your money where it will do you some good. Buy crude oil futures because they are CHEAP at only $91.58 per barrel, out to December, 2019. see
http://www.cmegroup.com/trading/energy/crude-oil/light-sweet-crude.html
The price will be doubling or tripling in five years? Hardly.
Oil consumption escalating at 2 or 3 percent per year? Again, not at all. The growth has been linear, as I show at the link in the earlier comment.
The fact is that technology for developing oil is advancing much more rapidly than oil is being consumed. No peak oil, not now, not ever.

August 9, 2011 5:49 pm

Smokey says:
August 9, 2011 at 3:34 pm
China partnering with Cuba to drill off the Florida Keys:
http://news-science-news.blogspot.com/2011/01/marinebiologyinternational-drilling-off.html
But we can’t drill because of the obstructionist enviros.
=========================================================
They prefer China’s policies towards environmental impacts and health. What I find amazing is the simplistic view of these obstructionists. It is so simplistic I have a hard time believing it is anything other than anti-American sentiments being manifested. What these mental giants fail to understand, is that the oil off of our coasts, with or without us will be drilled. It will be refined and used. We actually do more harm to our environment by not letting us get to the oil as opposed to other nations unmoderated by regulatory agencies such as the EPA. But they have to know that right? They can’t be that simple minded as to believe that if we don’t get it no one else will. Are they that ignorant? For those worried about CO2, what restrictions does China put on CO2 emissions? India? Outside the very few western nations concerned about CO2, no one else cares. They’re going to burn fuel with reckless abandon with no regulatory agencies to watch over them. The net effect? More atmospheric CO2.

Alcheson
August 9, 2011 6:05 pm

Why is it the solutions are always the same…. one world government, ridiculously high taxes and elimination of the middle class and loss of freedoms? They are losing on the AGW hoax now so they are looking for a new way to bring their vision of the new world order to fruition.
Same scam… just trying to put on a new set of clothes.

Alcheson
August 9, 2011 6:13 pm

Steve E. Perhaps you didn’t know, but the US has the largest reserves of fossil fuels on the planet. If the EPA and the current administration would let us start to develop them we would have enough fossil fuels available for a couple hundred years. If we continue to invest in REAL alternative energy sources, like nuclear and especially FUSION, we will have plenty of energy long before fossil fuels run out. Wind power is a joke, extremely expensive, plus it kills an enormous amount of birds and destroys the environment. Electricity prices could easily be cut in half and gas could go for under $2 a gallon if the government would get out of the way. Talk about a great boost to the economy and jobs, this would definitely be the fast track.

wildcatter
August 9, 2011 6:15 pm

wildcatter says:
Jeff L says:
August 9, 2011 at 11:32 am
Hope this post doesn’t sound too harsh, but there are clearly people posting on here based on emotion, not data & that’s not good science.
For everyone of you peak oil doubters, is there a single one of you who actually looks for & produces oil for a living? How has ever looked at a well decline curve ? a field decline curve? a basin decline curve? From your comments, I highly doubt it.
Jeff L : I’m a wildcat explorationist and have been for 20 years. Your comments are simply wrong. US gas reserves today are about 400% greater than they were 10 years ago. The danger for those of us on the frontier is that someother damn wildcatter or worse for us one of the big sisters is doing something more effectively or using better technology than I am. And thats the point that the idiots (they know who they are) dont get. Hydrocarbon reserves ARE UNLIMITED. It’s a perpetual game of technology of extraction and cost. THATS ALL, plain and simple .
except when you have to pay the bill from Halliburton

Doug Badgero
August 9, 2011 6:17 pm

Even if we have passed peak oil, why would we then put the energy markets in the hands of bureaucrats? The market would be the best arbiter of what is next.

Doug
August 9, 2011 6:29 pm

Steve from Rockwood says:
August 9, 2011 at 5:36 pm
Doug says:
August 9, 2011 at 2:45 pm
“Doug, you have me interested in what “watering out” means. I’m a mineral guy. A friend of mine runs some old wells in Ontario where (he claims) the average rate of depletion is up to 15% per year. His wells deplete at closer to 4-5%. He claims people just don’t take care of old wells and the banks expect 15% depletion per year and that is what they estimate when providing credit lines.”
Sorry I can’t help you with specifics. “Watering out” is just a term for when the water % of produced fluids gets so high it costs more to pump and dispose of the water than the oil will pay for. Some wells are economic at 95% water.
As far as decline rates, again, they range from 80% a year to 1% a year. There are so many factors involved that it is meaningless to generalize.

Editor
August 9, 2011 6:53 pm

DirkH says:
August 9, 2011 at 5:01 pm
[…]
But when you go back a few years, the correlation of the US monetary base with the Oil price breaks down.
see graph 2 on this page, US monetary base since 2000 – no similarity to the Oil price.
[…]

Yeah… The correlation does break down before the massive quantitative easing began.
The quantitative easing began in late 2008. It drove up the price of just about every globally traded commodity denominated in $US. It also drove up the stock market.
The Fed flooded the market with almost $2 trillion worth of monetary stimulus and Obama flooded it with more than $1 trillion worth of deficit-financed fiscal stimulus. The return was two decent quarters of growth (Q4 2009 & Q1 2010), inflated commodity prices and an artificially resuscitated stock market.

August 9, 2011 6:58 pm
DanDaly
August 9, 2011 6:59 pm

I do hope that “Peak Oil” is remote. America continues to rely almost exclusively on automotive transportation to move its people and goods to market. At least 20% of America’s GDP is devoted to the vehicles and fuel that get people and products where they need to go. Moreover, I’d wager that the average American spends as much annually on automotive transportation (car payment, gas, maintenance, insurance, taxes) as on rent or mortgage payments. Our vehicles also demand ever more asphalt and concrete on which to drive park and maintain them. And we sacrifice some 36,000 lives a year on America’s roads, not to mention injuries and property damage. Driving to and from work is dangerous activity in which we engage every day so that we can be economic animals. We have little choice; mass transportation doesn’t exist anywhere except Atlanta, New York City and Washington, D.C. Metropolitan and regional bus systems exist to move people who don’t need to be anywhere at any particular time as slowly as possible while annoying drivers who do have to be somewhere. And, sadly, Americans seem unwilling even to consider constructing a mass transportation system that will move its people and products rapidly and efficiently as an alternative to automotive transportation. With ever more Twittering morons driving roads eroding from neglect, I do hope “Peak Oil” is remote.

August 9, 2011 7:01 pm

“Hydrocarbon reserves ARE UNLIMITED”
So how come the super giant fields are all in terminal decline? Are you saying a field is NEVER depleted?

August 9, 2011 7:05 pm

“I guess thats why Russia is now producing so much Go figure”
I guess you did not read the link about Russian oil production, here is it again:
http://www.theoildrum.com/node/7878
Twighlight in the Desert also goes into detail about Russian oil production, which is also now in terminal decline.

August 9, 2011 7:19 pm

“Oil Production increased from 348,941,955 bbl to 364,116,746bbl.”
Texas oil production curve: http://www.mnforsustain.org/images/oil_lisbon_laherrere_us_texas_fig6.jpg
Lower 48 state oil production curve:
http://www.mnforsustain.org/images/oil_lisbon_laherrere_fig2.jpg

SethP
August 9, 2011 7:21 pm

Peak oil? Sounds like a solution to CAGW to me, or can we have simoultanious and contradictary disasters? They’ve lined up so many something is going to kill us all.
I’m with Steve:
Steve from Rockwood says:
August 9, 2011 at 10:37 am
“I am waiting patiently for the tipping point of peak taxes.”

August 9, 2011 7:32 pm

“China doesn’t buy more oil than it needs for consumption and their SPR needs.
If Venezuela sells “X” barrels of oil to China… China won’t be buying “X” barrels of oil from someone else.”
China is buying up FUTURE oil needs right now, bypassing the open market. South America, Africa, Iran. They even want our tar sands as we debate making a pipeline to the west coast (BIG mistake in my opinion). All the future lock up by China means LESS available oil for everyone else in the future, especially when total world supply flow is dropping due to depletion. And not just oil, China locked up a deal with Russian for 25 years of coal. Chine used to have enough coal for their own domestic needs, now they have to import coal for future demand.
Well, enough for me, fellas. I’ve made the case, posted the reports. It’s up to you now to read those reports. Just remember it’s not about what’s in the ground, so claims of this potential deposit or that potential deposit, doesn’t mean anything. What counts is flow rate, and ERoEI. A huge field with a slow flow rate will last a long time, but won’t help stem the over all depletion rate.
I have not posted anything about what we should do about it. I’ll leave that to the Prophets who claim to know the future. Personally, my position is the same as that found at http://www.chrismartenson.com/crashcourse
The next 20 years is not going to be like the last 20 years, there won’t be economic growth. Take the time to go through that course, excellent.

JimF
August 9, 2011 7:37 pm

Blah blah blah. @Richard Wakefield says:
August 9, 2011 at 9:01 am “…The expectation is the MOST that will ever be extracted is 1% of what’s in the ground….” There’s the fly in your ointment. Whose “expectations”? What are their assumptions?
Let’s look at the Bakken – 465 billion barrels estimated in situ. Think of some ways to recover more than 1%. Similarly every giant and supergiant oil field; dead by conventional techniques when they are maybe 10% to 50% (few at this upper level, I “expect”) depleted. Think of some ways to economically recover those multitrillion barrels. You’ll be a zillionaire.

August 9, 2011 7:45 pm

Richard Wakefield says on August 9, 2011 at 7:01 pm
A previous commenter:
“Hydrocarbon reserves ARE UNLIMITED”
Richard ‘La Machina’ Wakefield:
So how come the super giant fields are all in terminal decline? Are you saying a field is NEVER depleted?

Richard, old tool, have you ever worked out how much of the element CARBON exists (in one form or another) in a) our solar system and b) the earth?
What about Hydrogen – ever worked out the percentage (either mass or molar or percentage of atoms) of hydrogen exist for a) and b)?
Now, combine these two elements, under pressure (and temperature) for some 10 tens of millions of years (ostensibly since planet formation) in a situation subterraneously for b) some variable distance below the surface in the direction towards the core …
.

August 9, 2011 7:47 pm

Last one tonight, Texas gas production, including shale gas:
http://static.texastribune.org/media/images/TxTrib-NaturalGas001.png

August 9, 2011 7:47 pm

Richard Wakefield –

debunked.

Better …
.

August 9, 2011 7:53 pm

“Let’s look at the Bakken – 465 billion barrels estimated in situ. Think of some ways to recover more than 1%. Similarly every giant and supergiant oil field; dead by conventional techniques when they are maybe 10% to 50% (few at this upper level, I “expect”) depleted. Think of some ways to economically recover those multitrillion barrels. You’ll be a zillionaire.”
You are not reading my posts, I have already explained that the super giant fields are in tertiary recovery, there is nothing beyond that. This is explained in the post with the depletion reports,. You’d be wise to read them and understand what is already going on. There is nothing left to extract from those fields, even leaving 50% or more behind, because of geology and physics. There simply isn’t any way of getting the rest.

Editor
August 9, 2011 8:16 pm

Richard Wakefield says:
August 9, 2011 at 7:32 pm
[…]
China is buying up FUTURE oil needs right now, bypassing the open market. South America, Africa, Iran. They even want our tar sands…
[…]

China’s national oil companies are buying working and revenue interests in producing oil fields and exploration plays… Just like western oil companies do. The oil production is then sold at the best available price.
China’s oil consumption is fed by oil purchased at the best available price.

JimF
August 9, 2011 8:19 pm

Richard Wakefield says:
August 9, 2011 at 7:53 pm “blah blah”
Bullsh*t. You aren’t going to be a zillionaire.

BadgerBob
August 9, 2011 8:21 pm

Doug B boils it all the way down. Peak oil or no peak oil. The free market eventually finds the best solution to the problem. Even were i convinced that peak oil is real and that we are close to or at that point, i would not favor government intervention. Look at the enormous cost of current regulation, in any of its forms. The government can’t even collect revenue efficiently (look at the cost of the IRS combined with compliance costs of taxpaying entities as a percentage of revenue collected). More the point of this topic, what do the peak oil is here/near crowd propose as a course of action? And please demonstrate how this course of action is superior to (free) market forces. And if it is not too much to ask, cite similar examples of regulation/intervention that achieved a high benefit to cost ratio.

Jeff L
August 9, 2011 8:54 pm

Even though Richard Wakefield has said it more than once , it is clear many people don’t understand – Peak Oil has nothing to do with RESERVES & has everything to do with rate – how much oil each & every day can you pump out of the ground ?? … and the corollary , at what price?? I am surprised about the number of geoscientists who continue to talk reserves here, not rates – and peak oil is only about rates. It personal opinion that daily demand will outstrip daily supply before we reach a peak in our ability to produce – and at the end of the day, that’s all that really matters, because that’s when prices really go up.
I should mention that just because we hit a peak does not mean there will be a catastrophe – a catastrophe is highly unlikely because this is a gradual event. Just as with AGW, even if true, it doesn’t mean there will be a catastrophe. The catastrophic interpretation of both these becomes purely a political issue, used to scare people into a certain way of thinking. It is important to understand that Peak Oil does not equal catastrophe.
A much more likely scenario is that as supply & demand curves get progressively closer (whether at the peak or before), prices will rise & economies will adjust. Other fuels & energy will become more cost competitive & we will use them in greater amounts because it will make economic sense to do so. If prices rise too fast, the demand side of the equation will be hit through a slowing of the economy, which will then drop the price & demand will resume. There will always be a balance between supply demand & price over the longer term, thus there will be no catastrophe – because we do have other sources of energy (& incrementally more expensive hydrocarbon production such Green River shale , gas to liquid, coal to liquids, etc which will also become cost competitive).
So, although everyone is getting all worked up about this, at the end of the day, whether the peak is near or far, there is no reason for a catastrophe – just incrementally more expensive energy, which we will all adjust to.

Jeff L
August 9, 2011 9:00 pm

Anecdote of the day :
Earlier this year China did a huge deal with Chesapeake Energy in the Denver Basin for a Niobrara oil play. When China, who is scouring the world for reserves, decides that a largely unproven oil play with marginal reserves , high declines & small rates (on a world wide basis) is worth investing in, it is saying a lot about what kind of oil production is left to find. If China can’t do better than a Niobrara play in the D-J basin, we will have some very serious problems in keeping our production rates up worldwide.

Catcracking
August 9, 2011 9:33 pm

“Peak oil is about flow rates and ERoEI.”
Wrong, Peak oil is not about ERoEI. Peak oil is simply the amount of oil produced that is sent to the markketplace, It does not matter how much energy is needed in the production. The latter affects the economics, but as long as the free market is making the investment, not the taxpayer or the Chinese, I don’t care.
Keep in mind that producing ethanol from corn can have a ER0EI value near 1 or less than one and as long as it gets a subsidy from the government it will continue. Fortunately fossil fuels don’t require a subsidy but they get essentially the same tax treatment in the US as other business including foreign tax credits. As long as you are consuming the “energy in from the oil” well or using lower cost energy it is still possible to make money. I worked on one of the earlier tar sands extraction plants in Alberta and it was built when oil was about $12/bbl. They do require a lot of Capital but that was cranked into the economics. These are extremely profitable today with today’s oil prices.
Similarly CCS uses so much energy that one needs to burn more coal to produce a fixed amount of energy out than required without CCS. CCS is an energy hog and is a waste of tax payer dollars.I find it amusing that the greenies only talk about ERoEI for fossil fuels.

Christopher Simpson
August 9, 2011 9:42 pm

I don’t know whether we’re really running out of oil or not, and suspect most of the rest of us don’t really know either. But I still say that if one of my students handed in this “study” as a reference in an essay, I’d hand it back and tell them to find some actual evidence — of anything. This frakin’ poll is worth what every other poll about scientific matters is worth: an F.

Bob
August 9, 2011 9:49 pm

” American University School of Communication professor Matthew Nisbet “
Give me a break. School of Communications? These people mainly teach TV set arrangements, make-up for news anchors, and how often to get your hair colored. Did they do their survey in the ubiquitous broadcasting green room? The only comment this study deserves is, “So what?”

Khwarizmi
August 9, 2011 10:15 pm

Richard Wakefiled :Abiotic oil debunked: http://static.scribd.com/docs/j79lhbgbjbqrb.pdf
Once before I asked you to cite the relevant details in your alleged “debunk” that addresses the entropy problem with the fossil fuel hypothesis, as detailed here:
http://www.pnas.org/content/99/17/10976.long
You could not cite the relevant paragraph, which means you didn’t read your own link or you do not understand it. The meta study you cited, like the fossil hypothesis itself, is just a steaming pile of anti-scientific bombast.
For your enlightenment, here is an incomplete compendium of physical evidence that I compiled over the last year in response to the peak oil topic:
http://living-petrol.blogspot.com/
I hope some of the content is of value to you.

JimF
August 9, 2011 10:22 pm

@Jeff L says:
August 9, 2011 at 8:54 pm: “…Peak Oil has nothing to do with RESERVES & has everything to do with rate…” That is categorically wrong. Go look at M. King Hubbert’s original definition of the term – it is in fact the cumulative production – of the reserves (an economic term) – that define peak oil. Windy should find another term to describe his rate-constrained concept.

Beale
August 9, 2011 11:09 pm

“Peak oil” is a red herring; it’s beside the point. The point is: what on earth does Nisbet expect the government to do that would improve the situation (other than get out of the way, which is clearly not what he has in mind)?

Doug
August 9, 2011 11:14 pm

Richard Wakefield says:
August 9, 2011 at 7:47 pm
Last one tonight, Texas gas production, including shale gas:
http://static.texastribune.org/media/images/TxTrib-NaturalGas001.png
Yes, by all means, look at that chart. Hubberts peak is hit, but then something goes wrong—Flat for twenty years, then climbing, headed for an all time high. I have long said that in time, technology and price increase would warp your Hubbert curves beyond recognition. That one is a good example. Many more of those pretty little parabolas will become distorted. Most Hubbert curves are confined conventional production at a fairly constant oil price. Change those constants and the whole theory goes down the drain. If you want a good laugh, google “peak gas”. The predictions rank right up there with the ice-free arctic.

K_Bob
August 9, 2011 11:46 pm

The Lakes of Titan just phoned in to ask how many dinosaurs and ferns should they have had in order to prove they are full of liquid hydrocarbons?

August 9, 2011 11:47 pm

“The entire peak oil idea is a myth. There are VAST amounts out there – easily thousands of years of supply.”
You are still missing the point of peak oil. Peak oil is not about what’s in the ground, it’s about flow rates and ERoEI. Re reached peak flow rate (how fast the oil can be recovered) in 2005.
————————————————————————————————————–
Have you looked at the actual data? We are producing more oil for cheaper (energy wise) today then we did in 2005. Your own references say this. Why are you lying to people? The price of oil has risen since 2005 for several reasons which I will not even bother going into with your limited knowledge of economics, but needless to say the dollar has weakened internationally is the main problem and the short-term change you referenced here is because the speculation market tanked over the last week due to Q2 growth reports and of course the fated downgrading of the US credit rating.
The economy is very complex in other words. Whowouldathought? Economics is always greater then any individual product. But don’t take my word for it, let me explain and you can go do your homework poor believer in peak oil……
Peak oil means nothing anyway. Every substance we mine or extract from the ground reaches a peak at some point. To explain it further: Peak X will occur, but it will not be because we run out of said substance or start to get low. Why we will maximize output is that we will switch to other fuel sources due to cost factors. The cost of extraction rises, and so other similar substances become more competitive, so we switch to these sources or we switch perhaps to some unheard of substance in 20 years. That is the key, anything over 20 years is impossible to predict for any one individual commodity.
In the 1950’s for instance a ton of people took money out of coal stocks because it was thought that the era of coal was over. Railroads were starting to switch to diesel engines and nuclear powered energy was right around the corner. By the 1970’s, the mistake of this assumption was clear. This is why 20 years is really the outermost limit, because economics dominates everything. And the key was that in the 1970’s we moved back to coal because it was cheaper. Nuclear became much more expensive as additional fines and taxes were added at the bequest of environmentalists who labeled it dirty energy (ironic considering in 10 years I know they will be pushing for nuclear energy )…and the cost of oil rose so much (I think we all know the history of the price of oil during the 70’s or at least I hope we do.)
These two factors set us up for coal once again becoming powerful in our lives. As you can see, the dominating factors that effect the amount of a substance mined or extracted is the demand. The demand of a product is a purely economical issue. As such terms such as ERoEI (which is simply put the energy extracted for the energy put in…which is a ratio typically.) and that means nothing. But the facts say that with the ERoEI decreasing (cheaper energy wise to extract the oil) well that means the hypothetical scary peak oil story is years away. As for the reasons for the decreases in energy utilization, I have my hunches, but the opening of Canada’s sands is probably a big part of it. They are just coming online now and this source of cheap oil is just now making its way to the US.
So yes, no new discovies, but we have found a way to extract crude from tar sands, which Canada holds roughly 1.5 Saudi’s at a conservative estimate. And we all know how those conservative estimates work.
Peak oil which is something I will myself tackle as a long-term project at some point is nothing more then a term meant to cause fear and panic and perhaps some loathing everytime you drive your SUV. Its that and nothing else. I have no doubts we will reach a maximum capacity of production (as defined in peak oil.) This will happen for purely economical reasons as we switch to other forms of energy and as a society we will use more energy regardless.
There will be no energy crash due to scarsity of resources unless this is caused by forced rationing or other outside controls such as taxation. Nothing will force the economy down-hill faster then those two factors. Mark my words, politicians who add taxes to energy are crippling the economy.
I will say this because it bears repeating many many times:
Energy consumption and economic growth have always gone up and down together. This is true ever since the High Middle Ages, and if I could find relative data from before then, I am willing to bet you could also derive the same from before then too.
If you make energy more expensive, you simply put insert a mockey wrench into your economy and as such you are making a huge mistake. Lets not let the fear-mongerers such as the believers in peak oil lead us down the road of stagnation.

Les Johnson
August 10, 2011 1:09 am

Richard Wakefield: your
I guess you did not read the link about Russian oil production, here is it again:
I guess you did not read that article, nor my response to you. Look at Figure 1. It shows Russian production in 2009 as GREATER than it was in Soviet times. The author, in his text, also differentiates peak oil as a function of the technological and political system. Peak oil was reached in the Soviet system, but only because they did not have the technology nor the political system to extract more.
But in absolute terms, Russia, using your source, is currently above the peak of the Soviet system.
Do you never tire of being wrong?

Les Johnson
August 10, 2011 2:00 am

Richard Wakefield: your coal life calculations:
At 1-2% increase, the time to doubling is 72 to 36 years, respectively. You quote only 35.
At 2% increase per year, there would be a 4 fold increase before coal ran out, or two doublings, and not the 8 doublings you use.
With a base of 260,000 million tonnes, and using 1000 million per year, increasing at 2% per annum, coal would exhaust in about 92 years. At a 1% increase, coal would last over 130 years.
The problem is that while coal consumption is less than about 1% per annum increasee from 1980 (from 700M to 1000M), its down over the last decade. Consumption is unchanged since 1996.
Any way you look at it, there is over 100 years of coal available in the US, with current extraction technologies and usage patterns.
As oil becomes more expensive, power generation could (should?) switch to gas and nuclear (with a few percent wind/solar), and the coal will be saved as a feedstock for the petroleum industry.
While coal production could increase, its just as likely to decrease, thus last even longer.
There is no likelihood of peak oil, natural gas or coal in the near or medium term future (10-100 years), except through political action.

Ryan
August 10, 2011 3:16 am

Peak oil – been going on about that since I was a kid.
Imagine the absolute oceans of oil there must have been under Saudi Arabia to fuel our vehicles and industry for the last 80years. All of it created by rotting organic life. There must have been so much rotting organic matter under Saudi Arabia – a compost heap the size of a mountain. Still going strong too.
Unless of course the Russians are right and Western scientists have got the basic theory wrong (again). Not sure what any of it has to do with AGW anyway since making cars that run on coal gas is old technology readily implemented. Then there are electric cars that will just require us to burn twice as much coal to make up for the oil we can’t use anymore. Certainly no reason to believe that peak oil = peak CO2.

August 10, 2011 3:29 am

I fully expect that as “peak oil” approaches, with the inevitable price rises or economic harm, deposits that have been placed off limits through the stroke of a pen, not nature, will suddenly open up.

Editor
August 10, 2011 3:43 am

Harsh? No. Ignorant? Yes.
The majority, if not all, of the oil industry professionals who have posted comments here, are skeptical of the Peak Oil concept as it is portrayed in the media, blogosphere and academia.
The volume of oil in the Earth’s crust is finite, but very large relative to volume we have discovered. And the volume that we can extract is very small (~25-50%) relative to the oil in place.
Even in the most mature region in the world, the USA, we have only thoroughly explored about 40% of our geologic potential. US production peaked in 1970 for the ~40% of our petroleum potential we are exploiting.
From 1900-2009, total US crude oil production was 199 billion barrels. Total proved reserves in 2009 were 21 billion barrels. That gives us 220 billion barrels of proved and produced oil.
220 billion barrels of oil has been produced or has been proven to be producible.
The US gov’t, the entity preventing us from exploring and exploiting most of the US oil potential, estimates that there are 116 billion barrels of conventional crude oil left to be discovered under Federal mineral leases in the US, both onshore and offshore.
The US gov’t, estimates that there are 1.8 trillion barrels of unconventional crude oil deposits that are favorable for development. The DOE estimates that the Green River formation, alone, contains 1.4 trillion (with a “t”) of recoverable oil. Even if only 15% of the Green River oil shale reserves were recovered, that’s 210 billion barrels.
At least 326 billion barrels of undiscovered oil are remaining to be exploited in areas that have never been effectively open for exploration and drilling.
220 + 326 = 546
220 billion barrels is 40% of 546 billion barrels.
And that doesn’t account for the fact that the gov’t routinely underestimates the industry’s capabilities.
The MMS increased the estimate of undiscovered oil in the Gulf of Mexico from 9 billion barrels in 1987 to the current 45 billion barrels because we discovered a helluva a lot more than 9 billion barrels in the Gulf over the last 20 years. Almost all of the large US fields discovered since 1988 were discovered in the deepwater of the Gulf of Mexico. In 1988, it was unclear whether or not the deepwater plays would prove to be economic.
The largest field in the Gulf of Mexico, Shell’s Mars Field, was discovered in 1989. Prior to this discovery, no one thought that Miocene-aged or older reservoirs existed in deepwater. Mars has produced 1 billion barrels of oil and 1.25 TCF of natural gas since coming on line in 1996. It is currently producing over 100,000 barrels of oil per day. Dozens of Mars-class fields have been discovered over the last 20 years… Most of those have only barely come on line over the last 5 years.
The most significant play in the Gulf of Mexico, the Lower Tertiary, wasn’t even a figment of anyone’s imagination in 1988. These are massive discoveries. Several fields are expected to come on line at more than 100,000 bbl/day. This play is still in its infancy.
Proved reserves represent the audited volume of hydrocarbons that are “proved” in a well-bore that can be economically recovered at the time of the audit. SEC auditing rules are very strict. Auditing rules in Saudi Arabia, Iran and other OPEC companies are, at best, opaque.
The United States converts its proved reserves to production very quickly and very efficiently. We don’t sit on proved reserves… We can’t afford to because we have to make money and if we don’t produce proved reserves, we stand to lose the leases.
If you gross up our reserve growth to account for production, our proved reserves would have been growing by an average of 2 billion barrels per year over the last 20 years… And that’s all from relatively mature areas.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to forecast that there’s another 200 billion barrels remaining to be discovered in the US and on its OCS and it’s not much of a leap of faith to think that the oil industry will find about 5-6 times that estimate, if it’s allowed to explore. It would actually take willful ignorance to believe that there’s not at least 1 trillion barrels of recoverable oil remaining to be discovered domestically.

Sal Minella
August 10, 2011 5:23 am

Have we reached peak stupidity yet?

Bruce Cobb
August 10, 2011 6:13 am

Peakoilers have an agenda. They only pretend to be concerned about oil prices and what health effects they might have, especially on the poor when they rise. Their “answer”, as always, is government intervention, to force alternative energies on us. Take ethanol. Please.
Peakoilers, we’re on to you, too.

Nuke
August 10, 2011 6:24 am

Roger Sowell says:
August 9, 2011 at 12:28 pm
Peak oil has never been a problem, and never will be. I spoke on this at Tulane Law School (New Orleans, Louisiana) this past April.
My conclusion is “. . . we see that the data simply does not support the Peak Oil theory. Furthermore, even if oil were someday to be in short supply, there are many policy options to reduce oil consumption and increase oil supply. The most critical point is to not use up our domestic reserves but keep the oil in the ground as security against that day when we will need it most.”
For the full speech with slides, see
http://sowellslawblog.blogspot.com/2011/04/speech-on-peak-oil-and-us-energy-policy.html

Roger,
Although I don’t completely agree, there is a lot of sense in what you’re saying, If our leaders were strategically saving our oil reserves for future use, then that would be an incredible combination of common sense and long-term planning. Wouldn’t it be nice to have set aside large oil reserves for when the OPEC nations have used up all of theirs?
But where I disagree is we will be able to economically extract oil in the future that we can’t easy get to now. Technology will advance. Also, as the price of oil goes up, the economic feasibility of harvesting certain oil supplies goes up as well. If the price of oil is cheap, then harvesting oil shale and tar sands is prohibitive. But if oil is more expensive, then companies can afford to go after that oil.

John Marshall
August 10, 2011 6:27 am

Not Peak Oil again.
We have heard this cry from the alarmists foe over 40 years. We still find oil.
Currently the US has 5% of world reserves of oil. BUT. If the US changes their rules on extraction then the US would have 30% of world reserves. That is known reserves!
All oil companies are spending billions on exploration and finding oil in places previously not even considered to hold oil. It is also true that high oil prices brings on line fields that were thought uneconomic to exploit.
The oil price has fallen over the past week due to reduced demand.
Peak oil is a long way off and the price may not necessarally keep rising. It is possible to produce fuels from biodigested waste using algae. Increased technique will reduce cost and help drive natural oil prices down.

Mary Childs
August 10, 2011 6:51 am

Peak oil is based upon the assumption that it is a finite resource, hence its name ‘fossil fuel’. The Russian scientists’ abiotic oil studies refute this notion. What if they are right, and it is continually produced by the earth’s mantle? Why have most western geologists refused to consider this? Peak oil was the ‘in’ thing back in the late 1960’s, and in 1969 the National Geographic stated the Middle East would run out around 2000. Until the USSR went bankrupt the knowledge in their scientific community was little known in the West, but that doesn’t mean they weren’t more advanced .

August 10, 2011 7:46 am

@- David Middleton says:
“Even in the most mature region in the world, the USA, we have only thoroughly explored about 40% of our geologic potential. ”
I guess the get-out word in that sentence is ‘thoroughly’.
The idea that 60% of the US geology is so little explored that it could contain a trillion barrels is …. outlandish.
As others have pointed out recent finds are announced with great projections of size, but rarely exceed 100,000 bbl/day – an insigificant fraction of the US consumption rate.
Peak oil happened around 2005. Oil production has varied by less than 5% since, increases have been in synthetics, alternatives and LNG.
Its not there is no more oil to be extracted, its that the cost of the infrastructure and distribution to increase production is greater than the return for increased production. It is ‘cheaper’ to use alternative soiurces like LNG because it is uneconomic to increase oil production.
Unless oil prices more than triple it is likely that it will remain uneconomic to increase oil production, and at 3x the present price oil becomes uneconomic compared with other alternatives – including wind and solar!

SteveE
August 10, 2011 8:00 am

Alcheson says:
August 9, 2011 at 6:13 pm
Steve E. Perhaps you didn’t know, but the US has the largest reserves of fossil fuels on the planet. If the EPA and the current administration would let us start to develop them we would have enough fossil fuels available for a couple hundred years. If we continue to invest in REAL alternative energy sources, like nuclear and especially FUSION, we will have plenty of energy long before fossil fuels run out. Wind power is a joke, extremely expensive, plus it kills an enormous amount of birds and destroys the environment. Electricity prices could easily be cut in half and gas could go for under $2 a gallon if the government would get out of the way. Talk about a great boost to the economy and jobs, this would definitely be the fast track.
————
I do know the numbers for unconventional resources in the US, however they can’t be proven to produce at the same rates that conventional oil can. That is what I said in my original post.
Nuclear fusion is about 25 years away and will be an amazing help, but it’s 25 years away before the technology is there, then you have to build all the reactors and the infrastructure etc. Doesn’t happen over night you know.
It’s nice to hear that you think there is lots of oil out there that is undeveloped, however it’s all just pie in the sky until you drill a well and hit it. They’ve be saying that there lots off-shore Ireland to decades, but they’ve hardly found any. The same is probably true of the East coast of the US. Ultra deep water GOM has some potential, but with deeper wells comes more cost and so you could find oil but it would be uneconomic to extract it unless the oil price increases to $200/bbls.
Your comment about wind power killing an enormous amount of birds is laughable too, I’ve walked past many wind farms and never seen birds piling up at the base of the tower. They kill a few, but so do lorries on the motorways.

Doug
August 10, 2011 8:34 am

izen says:
August 10, 2011 at 7:46 am
“Unless oil prices more than triple it is likely that it will remain uneconomic to increase oil production,”
Do you have data to back this up? What starting price? The constant dollar price for oil since 1970 has averaged $48. At current prices, we are double that, and production is increasing. The actual data shows that a double is all that was needed. Of course, in any application of new technology, any development of new areas, cost comes down with time. Check out the price needed to support shale gas—it has been cut in half.

Editor
August 10, 2011 8:39 am

izen says:
August 10, 2011 at 7:46 am
@- David Middleton says:
“Even in the most mature region in the world, the USA, we have only thoroughly explored about 40% of our geologic potential. ”
I guess the get-out word in that sentence is ‘thoroughly’.
The idea that 60% of the US geology is so little explored that it could contain a trillion barrels is …. outlandish.
[…]

There are at least 1.8 trillion barrels of undiscovered technically recoverable oil in just the Green River formation… DOE
Oil shale deposits like the Green River formation (technically a marl) are currently economic at sustained oil prices of $54/bbl, possibly as low as $35/bbl… DOE

Les Johnson
August 10, 2011 8:50 am

izen: your
Peak oil happened around 2005. Oil production has varied by less than 5% since, increases have been in synthetics, alternatives and LNG.
Nope. Oil production in 2005 was about 84,000,000 per day. For the last 3Q, its been 87,000,000. As I have said before, OPEC shut in production in 2005 was 3,000,000 per day. In 2010, it was 5,000,000.
It was not peak oil in 2005, if production now, is greater than 2005.
http://www.eia.gov/cfapps/ipdbproject/iedindex3.cfm?tid=50&pid=53&aid=1&cid=ww,&syid=2005&eyid=2011&freq=Q&unit=TBPD

August 10, 2011 8:53 am

David Middleton is right, Izen. Large parts of the U.S., both off shore and in the interior remain unexplored, as this recent discovery of a giant 400 foot high waterfall right in the middle of California demonstrates.

August 10, 2011 8:58 am

Khwarizmi re abiotic oil.
Oil fields can be traced to the origin sedimentary rock by chemical markers in the oil.
Example 1, the Bakken deposit is in situ, it is oil that formed in the originating rock. The rock is too tight to have oil migrate into it. Oil always migrates to more porous rock.
Example 2, the Green River Shale isn’t oil, it’s kerogen. It contains biological lipids which can ONLY come from animal fats.
http://geology.com/usgs/oil-shale/
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S002196730099188X
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0146638086800456
Example 3: The Brazillian Tupi field source rock has been identified (biological) just below the deposit, it didn’t migrate too far http://www.geoexpro.com/exploration/monstersofthedeep/ and http://www.richminerals.ca/m1.html Also google: Guaratiba Formation.
There is no oil formed in Precambian rocks, which if abiotic is true should exist. Any oil found in magmatic type rocks can be shown to have migrated to those locations.
Excellent book on oil: Oil 101. I suggest you read it. He explains how oil is formed, and also refutes abiotic.
Assume for the moment that abiotic is true. It won’t solve our lack of flow, because if it was true, it’s formation rate would be very very slow rate, no where near fast enough to refill deposits.

August 10, 2011 9:03 am

“There are at least 1.8 trillion barrels of undiscovered technically recoverable oil in just the Green River formation… DOE
Oil shale deposits like the Green River formation (technically a marl) are currently economic at sustained oil prices of $54/bbl, possibly as low as $35/bbl… DOE”
It’s not oil, it’s kerogen. Google: green river kerogen

August 10, 2011 9:06 am

“Why have most western geologists refused to consider this [abiotic oil]?”
Because it was debunked long ago. Biological/chemical markers shows all oil fields have a biological source, including all Russian fields.

August 10, 2011 9:13 am

“It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to forecast that there’s another 200 billion barrels remaining to be discovered in the US ”
Assume that is true for a moment, it isn’t because most of that is not “oil” in the convensional sense. You are still making the same mistake everyone here is with regards to how much is in the ground. yes, there is LOTS still in the ground. But how fast can it be extracted? That’s the key. can extraction rates from those locations happen faster than depletion rates from other fields? Studies done say no.

Editor
August 10, 2011 9:15 am

Richard Wakefield says:
August 10, 2011 at 8:58 am
Khwarizmi re abiotic oil.
Oil fields can be traced to the origin sedimentary rock by chemical markers in the oil.
[…]

You are correct about abiotic oil… And even if the oil came from the mantle and picked up those biogeochemical markers as it migrated through organic-rich shales, it would still have to become trapped in reservoir rocks for it to be found in sufficient quantities to produce. An abiotic origin of oil would not alter how we go about finding and producing it.

August 10, 2011 9:18 am

“But in absolute terms, Russia, using your source, is currently above the peak of the Soviet system.”
Yes, that’s why I posted it!!! The issue in that link is the effect of that previous peak of flow rate had on their economy. But what is happening now in Russia? http://www.theoildrum.com/node/3626 also google: russian oil production decline

Editor
August 10, 2011 9:19 am

Richard Wakefield says:
August 10, 2011 at 9:03 am
“There are at least 1.8 trillion barrels of undiscovered technically recoverable oil in just the Green River formation… DOE
Oil shale deposits like the Green River formation (technically a marl) are currently economic at sustained oil prices of $54/bbl, possibly as low as $35/bbl… DOE”
It’s not oil, it’s kerogen. Google: green river kerogen

For refining purposes, it’s oil. It will be booked as oil, just like the Athabasca tar sand oil is. It’s a high-grade refinery feedstock…
“Kerogen can be converted to superior quality jet fuel, #2 diesel, and other high value by-products.”
It is superior to Atahbasca tar sand oil.

August 10, 2011 9:31 am

“Yes, by all means, look at that chart. Hubberts peak is hit, but then something goes wrong—Flat for twenty years, then climbing, headed for an all time high”
Headed to? You’re sure of that? Of all the literature I have read about shale gas shows it will be short lived. Wells deplete to 20% within 6 to 8 years. None of the companies are making a profit from shale gas at these prices. Search The Oil Drum on shale gas, lots of articles showing flow rates are not as is claimed.
examples:
http://www.theoildrum.com/node/7075
http://www.theoildrum.com/node/7253
http://www.theoildrum.com/node/6785
http://www.theoildrum.com/node/7087
Unlikely Texas will reach higher than the 1970’s.

Les Johnson
August 10, 2011 9:32 am

Richard: your
Yes, that’s why I posted it!!! The issue in that link is the effect of that previous peak of flow rate had on their economy.
No, you misread the article. You were saying the Russians had hit peak oil. Let me quote you:
Russia appears to have also hit peak in oil production.
It is obvious, from your source, that they have NOT hit peak oil.
And, I believe that the Soviet political system had more to do with the tanking of the economy…..

Doug
August 10, 2011 9:33 am

Richard Wakefield says:
August 10, 2011 at 8:58 am
“Oil fields can be traced to the origin sedimentary rock by chemical markers in the oil.
Example 1, the Bakken deposit is in situ, it is oil that formed in the originating rock. The rock is too tight to have oil migrate into it. Oil always migrates to more porous rock.”
Well Richard, at least we agree on something, even though you confuse porosity and permiability.. All the shale gas, the Bakken oil, is simply production from fractured organic source rocks. Because of the low permiability, it is difficult to move hydrocarbons in or out. They were formed in situ from deposited organic matter, and are removed by hydraulic fracturing and pumping. Biomarkers alone prove that, but there is simply no way abiotic oil could come out of some magical mantle source and get into those tight shales.
The fact that we can now produce directly from source rock will end this peak oil hysteria.

Les Johnson
August 10, 2011 9:35 am

Richard: your
Studies done say no.
I would LOVE to see those studies. Links?

August 10, 2011 9:39 am

“For refining purposes, it’s oil. It will be booked as oil, just like the Athabasca tar sand oil is. It’s a high-grade refinery feedstock…”
At what flow rate? The Alberta Tar Sands (ATS) current production is 1.5mb/day. Small. The MOST they expect to get in the next 20 years is 3mb/day (the limiting factor is the availability of natural gas). Still small. Of the entire deposit, only 15% is minable.
The issue for the kerogen is where the ERoEI comes into play. The ATS is 6:1, that’s official from the industry. What will the ERoEI be for the Green River? It will have to be mined because it’s shale and kerogen doesn’t flow. Hence the suggestion that nukes be used to cook the kerogen into oil and mobalize it. So what’s the ERoEI for the Green River? So far is negative. Will it come on line fast enough to curb the depletion of other fields? Will there even be capital available to put the Green River into production? The phrase, “don’t count your chickens” comes to mind.

August 10, 2011 9:46 am

““…Peak Oil has nothing to do with RESERVES & has everything to do with rate…” That is categorically wrong. Go look at M. King Hubbert’s original definition of the term – it is in fact the cumulative production – of the reserves (an economic term) – that define peak oil.”
Hubbert’s curves are all about flow rate. The entire premise of the Hubbert Curve is that flow rates will rise then peak, then fall. The area under the curve is the total possible extractable oil. Yes, it is all about flow rates. Don’t believe me? Then have a look at flow rate profiles for the North Sea and Cantarell.
http://ior.senergyltd.com/issue13/talking-point/Fig1.gif
http://gregor.us/oil/cantarell-finally-slips-below-500-kbpd/

Les Johnson
August 10, 2011 9:51 am

It also hard to argue that Russia hit “peak” oil because of production after the fall of the wall. The reduction in Russian production matches almost exactly with the drop in Russian internal consumption. Reduced demand = reduced production. Increased demand = increased production. Classic.
You are not the first to mistake the drop in demand for peak oil. It happens every recession.
You’ve got hold of the right stick, just the wrong end.
http://www.eia.gov/cfapps/ipdbproject/iedindex3.cfm?tid=5&pid=5&aid=2&cid=RS,&syid=1980&eyid=2010&unit=TBPD

Les Johnson
August 10, 2011 10:12 am

Richard: your
Of the entire deposit, only 15% is minable.
15% of 1.7 trillion bbls is a large number, of about 255 billion bbls. That’s 232 years of production at 3 million/day.
The other 85%? Its accessible by in-situ techniques. No peak oil there, for a few centuries.
For the record, its bituminous sands, or oil sands, not ATS. Tar is a different product, from a different process. Please try to keep your chemistry straight.

Les Johnson
August 10, 2011 10:15 am

Richard: you still don’t understand the economics. If the price per bbl to extract oil sands or shale oil is less than the price it sells for, the ERoEI is moot.

harrywr2
August 10, 2011 10:30 am

There are mulitple definitions of ‘peak anything’
My favorites –
1) Maximum extraction and delivery rate to market at current prices.
2) Maximum price and extraction rate before substitution occurs.
At some price either substitution will occur or conservation will occur. When oil was 29 cents a gallon perfectly decent middle class families rode around in cars that got 5 or 6 MPG. My father owned two cars that got 6 MPG. When the price of gas hit $1/gallon my father could no longer afford to drive a car that got 6 MPG. He rides around in a car that gets 20+ MPG now.

August 10, 2011 11:33 am

“The reduction in Russian production matches almost exactly with the drop in Russian internal consumption. Reduced demand = reduced production. Increased demand = increased production. Classic.”
Chicken or the egg? Are you sure the drop in demand was not because of drop in production? That’s the claim of the link I posted.

August 10, 2011 11:35 am

“At some price either substitution will occur or conservation will occur. When oil was 29 cents a gallon perfectly decent middle class families rode around in cars that got 5 or 6 MPG. My father owned two cars that got 6 MPG. When the price of gas hit $1/gallon my father could no longer afford to drive a car that got 6 MPG. He rides around in a car that gets 20+ MPG now.”
And we have reached the limit havn’t we. Hybirds are trying to get more, maybe, maybe not. Only time will tell. I hope we can get more from cars, as the only other option is less driving, which is already happening.

August 10, 2011 11:39 am

“Richard: you still don’t understand the economics. If the price per bbl to extract oil sands or shale oil is less than the price it sells for, the ERoEI is moot.”
So when it takes a barrel of oil to extract a barrel of oil, ERoEI is moot? I understand the economics quite well. That’s why I have shifted because the effect the 2008 price spike in oil had on the economy, throwing us into this recession. Now the debt crisis is taking over control of the economy, and as people loose their jobs, they will have less money to buy energy, which will kill off some demand, and the price of oil drops, which it now has. If you recall, my first post had that in it.

Les Johnson
August 10, 2011 11:42 am

Oil reserves have been steadily increasing, since 1980. Well, really, since the first well was drilled in the 1800s, but lets not quibble.
In the last 30 years, oil reserves has increased in 24 of the 30 years. The total increase in global reserves over this period is over 100%, from 641 billion bbls in 1980, to 1341 billion bbl sin 2009.
All of the years with decreases were following recessions (1981, 1991, 1998 Asian Crisis etc) or crashes in the price of oil (1986, 1998). In other words, reserves fell, when demand did.
This is just oil in the ground. It does not count LNGs or oil from coal.
http://www.eia.gov/cfapps/ipdbproject/iedindex3.cfm?tid=5&pid=57&aid=6&cid=ww,&syid=1980&eyid=2011&unit=BB
There was no peak oil in 2005. There is unlikely to be peak oil in the near or medium future, barring shortages from political action.

August 10, 2011 11:52 am

I can’t help but wonder. Why is it that some people are so desperate to believe that we are about to hit some kind of disaster, unless people start listening to them, and doing what they tell us to do?

August 10, 2011 11:53 am

“15% of 1.7 trillion bbls is a large number, of about 255 billion bbls. That’s 232 years of production at 3 million/day.
The other 85%? Its accessible by in-situ techniques. No peak oil there, for a few centuries.
For the record, its bituminous sands, or oil sands, not ATS. Tar is a different product, from a different process. Please try to keep your chemistry straight.”
ATS = Alberta Tar Sands, i know it’s bitumen. Tar sands was the original name for the deposit, google it. It was renamed to oil sands to make it more palatable to the public. It’s niether, it’s bitumen.
Yes, 230 years of minable. Again, you are missing the point. I NEVER said we will run out of oil, I said we will lack sufficient FLOW RATE. So how log it will last is irrelevant. 3mb/day is Canada’s total oil consumption, so for us yes, it would last that long, but most of the synthetic oil is exported to the US, who consume 21mb/day. So again, it will not be sufficient to offset depletion from other fields.
In situ? Oh, I’ve read up about that. There are a number of schemes being proposed. So far not one has a positive ERoEI. All of the current in situ tries are costing more energy than they produce. One scheme I saw was to burn the bitumen using high pressure O2 injected under the field and letting it burn to mobalize the bitumen to flow up a well. They expect to burn up to 90% of the bitumen in place to get 5% up the well. Another idea thrown out by one company is to build 1000 nuke reactors to inject steam into wells to mobalize the bitumen. The host of the show had to ask the CEO twice about the number of nukes, yes 1000 reactors to pump 3mb/day.
There is one thing that is clear, if we were not in depletion of conventional oil we would not be scurrying trying to extract the difficult stuff, would we.

Les Johnson
August 10, 2011 11:59 am

Richard: your
So when it takes a barrel of oil to extract a barrel of oil, ERoEI is moot? I understand the economics quite well.
If it took a bbl of oil to extract 1 bbl of oil, then it wouldn’t be done. If oil was only used for energy content, it would be silly to take 2 boe of even coal to extract 1 bbl of oil. But if oil is used for things besides energy; or used for energy because its highly portable; or used for energy because new infrastructure has to be built for the other energy source.
Example: how much ERoEI does your cell phone get? I bet its negative…..what is the ERoEI of plastics? Negative? How much infrastructure would have to be built to use coal to power cars? And how portable is coal as a fuel for transport?
So, no, you don’t understand the economics at all.

August 10, 2011 11:59 am

“Oil reserves have been steadily increasing, since 1980. Well, really, since the first well was drilled in the 1800s, but lets not quibble.”
Yes, let’s not: http://www.planetforlife.com/oilcrisis/oilsituation.html

August 10, 2011 12:06 pm

Technology solving peak oil?
Simulating the discovery rate implications of technological innovation in oil and gas exploration
Abstract
Technological innovation has been an important source of continued improvements in the discovery rate of oil and gas. Previous work, however, has suggested that there were diminishing returns to successive improvements in exploration technology. The effects of introduced technological innovation were studied using a simulation modeling framework that relies on geologic data. The modeling framework treats the probability of discovery as being proportional to pool size, the number of pools remaining to be discovered, and conditions predictions of future discoveries on the number of previous discoveries. The framework includes a discovery efficiency parameter which represents the degree of technical advancement possessed by exploration firms. Increments were made in the parameter at varying stages in the exploration history of a hypothetical area of interest, and the resulting cumulative discoveries, average discoveries, and average finding costs were calculated. The pattern of results suggested that while early introductions of technological advancements were capable of improving discovery efficiency, in terms of the amounts discovered per unit of effort, they were not capable of maximizing total discoveries. Similar technological changes introduced later in the discovery history of an area of interest, however, had the reverse effect: they decreased discovery efficiencies but maximized total discoveries.
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/004016259290061W

Les Johnson
August 10, 2011 12:16 pm

Richard: your
In situ? Oh, I’ve read up about that. There are a number of schemes being proposed. So far not one has a positive ERoEI. All of the current in situ tries are costing more energy than they produce.
There are THOUSANDS of wells currently producing oil from in-situ production. Cyclic steam and SAGD are the most popular. SAGD is projected to do 2,000,000 bbls per day by 2020. Cyclic steam slightly less.
Methinks you need to read on this some more. Especially on air injection, not O2 injection. THAI (toe-heel air injection) gives very high ERoEI (20-50).
http://www.iseof.org/~netenergy/node/5183
And it is not TAR. Tar is a different process, from a different source.

August 10, 2011 12:18 pm

May I recommend that before anyone else comments or challenges peak oil should at the minimum read this UK report put out a few years ago. http://www.ukerc.ac.uk/support/tiki-download_file.php?fileId=283 Everything discussed here, all your claims about this or that deposit, are addressed in this report.

Les Johnson
August 10, 2011 12:22 pm

Richard: your
The host of the show had to ask the CEO twice about the number of nukes, yes 1000 reactors to pump 3mb/day.
I would love a reference for this as well. But I won’t hold my breath.

Les Johnson
August 10, 2011 12:31 pm

Richard: your
Yes, let’s not: http://www.planetforlife.com/oilcrisis/oilsituation.html
I give you EIA data. You give us data from a peak oil group. Of course, if you follow their references to BP and the EIA, you will get exactly the same info I have been giving you. Oil reserves have more than doubled since 1980. And even the peak oil group says that there is 40 years of oil, if not another drop of oil is found.
No crisis.

Spector
August 10, 2011 12:52 pm

A Roman, say in the year 300, would probably have scoffed at the very suggestion that the Empire might collapse. He could point to a continuing history of success. The emblem of the Senate and the People of Rome had been taken to the ends of the Earth. And yet the Empire was riddled with the seeds of its own destruction. The Romans were ever more out-sourcing their own protection to their potential enemies.
In the same way, some seem to scoff at the idea that we may ever run out of petroleum. I think we should all accept the fact that petroleum is a non-renewing resource. There is no evidence that the Earth is replacing petroleum at the rate that it is being used, quite the opposite in fact. One should not confuse rate of discovery with rate of renewal. Eventually, if not already, we will reach a point where it becomes progressively harder to find new petroleum deposits. At that time, I would expect to see utilization begin to be quenched by progressively increasing prices as supply does not meet demand. Of course there still remain sources out there untapped for environmental concerns that could be brought on line.
I do not think that Peak Oil means prices are suddenly going to skyrocket. For a while, I expect the gradual trend upward will initially be masked by other market dynamics. It may be hard to point to a date and say “here is where the Peak Oil price impact began.” Eventually, however, these prices will rise to a threshold that will make it economical to convert to another energy source and change the way energy is supplied to mobile vehicles.
Some options for this, like coal, are also non-renewing and will be of temporary utility (500-1500 years is temporary) and will require eventual replacement.
Fusion Power still remains largely hypothetical after over 60 years of research. I have seen fringe reports of potential success, but not the big news breakthrough I would expect of the real thing. This would be an important discovery.
Nuclear fission is a proven option but there remains the question of waste products, some with a half-life of 24,000 years, and the question whether we can accept having a Chernobyl/Fukushima event every ten or twenty years. Perhaps these plants should be located underground so that they can ‘go China’ without contaminating the surface. Reports on ‘Thorium Power’ seem encouraging.
Beyond this, there remain various naturally renewing sources such as wind, bio-solar, electro-solar, and geothermal. These, for the most part, appear to be partial solutions at our current population level.

Editor
August 10, 2011 1:14 pm

Richard Wakefield says:
August 10, 2011 at 9:39 am
“For refining purposes, it’s oil. It will be booked as oil, just like the Athabasca tar sand oil is. It’s a high-grade refinery feedstock…”
At what flow rate? The Alberta Tar Sands (ATS) current production is 1.5mb/day. Small. The MOST they expect to get in the next 20 years is 3mb/day (the limiting factor is the availability of natural gas). Still small. Of the entire deposit, only 15% is minable.
The issue for the kerogen is where the ERoEI comes into play. The ATS is 6:1, that’s official from the industry. What will the ERoEI be for the Green River? It will have to be mined because it’s shale and kerogen doesn’t flow. Hence the suggestion that nukes be used to cook the kerogen into oil and mobalize it. So what’s the ERoEI for the Green River? So far is negative. Will it come on line fast enough to curb the depletion of other fields? Will there even be capital available to put the Green River into production? The phrase, “don’t count your chickens” comes to mind.

Firstly, the concept of EROEI is moronic. It makes no more sense than FeROFeI or BaSO4ROBaSO4I (iron returned on iron invested or barite returned on barite invested). When we develop an oil field, we put a lot more iron (steel), barite and other odds & ends into the ground than we ever recover. The only ROI that matters is the one denominated in $.
As to the potential production rates… We won’t know until the industry is actually allowed to exploit the resource. Shell estimates that they could be producing 500,000 barrels per day from the Picenance Basin with a very small footprint using an in-situ recovery process, summarized by Rand here…

Technical Viability and Commercial Readiness (pp 18-24)
Shell has tested its in-situ process at a very small scale on Shell’s private holdings in the Piceance Basin. The energy yield of the extracted liquid and gas is equal to that predicted by the standardized assay test.13 The heating energy required for this process equals about one-sixth the energy value of the extracted product. These tests have indicated that the process may be technically and economically viable.
This approach requires no subsurface mining and thus may be capable of achieving high resource recovery in the deepest and thickest portions of the U.S. oil shale resource. Most important, the Shell in-situ process can be implemented without the massive disturbance to land that would be caused by the only other method capable of high energy/resource recovery—namely, deep surface mining combined with surface retorting. The footprint of this approach is exceptionally small. When applied to the thickest oil shale deposits of the Piceance Basin, drilling in about 150 acres per year could support sustained production of a half-million barrels of oil per day and 500 billion cubic feet per year of natural gas.
[…]
Once oil shale development reaches the production growth stage, how fast and how large the industry grows will depend on the economic competitiveness of shale derived oil with other liquid fuels and on how the issues raised in Chapter Five are ultimately resolved. If long lead-time activities are started in the prior stage, the first follow-on commercial operations could begin production within four years. Counting from the start of the production growth stage and assuming that 200,000 barrels per day of increased production capacity can be added each year, total production would reach 1 million barrels per day in seven years, 2 million barrels per day in 12 years, and 3 million barrels in 17 years.

Assuming a 12-yr lead time to reach the production growth stage, it will take ~30 years to reach 3 million barrels per day. If production continued to grow at a rate of 1 million BOPD every 5 years… Oil shale production from just the Piceance Basin could reach 15 million BOPD by the end of this century…
Production Chart

JP
August 10, 2011 2:00 pm

Good grief. Experts have warned about “peak oil” for decades. I suppose someday they will get what they wish for. But, in the meantime, oil prices have dropped about 20% in a week – mainly due to weak global demand.
If we go into a double-dip recession, few will be talking about peak oil.

James F. Evans
August 10, 2011 2:22 pm

If it isn’t clear by now, it never will be: Richard Wakefield is a piedpiper of “peak” oil.
That’s what he does (if he isn’t holed up in his Mexican retreat), going to various venues and spreading the “peak” oil gospel. (You will never persuade him of the fallacy of “peak” oil because he is a “professional” peak oil pusher — all you can do is set the record straight and not let others fall into his “doomer” mind-set.)
It’s false.
His numbers are circumspect or one-sided.
Oil is abiotic. Oil has been produced in the laboratory and commercially by chemical processes known as the Fischer-Tropsch process. The hydrocarbon profile (distribution of different hydrocarbon chain lengths) is the same for Fischer -Tropsch laboratory and commercial process (Germany produced oil this way during WWII and South Africa still does today) as it is for Saudi Arabian oil.
Why do the two seperate sources of oil have the same profile?
Because it is a chemical process. One happens in the ground, the other in the laboratory or the industrial factory.
And oil is located deep under ground, deeper than 25,000 feet under the seafloor: Under the Gulf of Mexico, off the coast of Brazil and the West African coast.
True, oil wells run dry, but others are constantly being brought on line.

DirkH
August 10, 2011 2:27 pm

Richard Wakefield says:
August 10, 2011 at 11:59 am
“Yes, let’s not: http://www.planetforlife.com/oilcrisis/oilsituation.html
Looked around there under their renewables section; they link to
http://dieoff.com/
which says
“From Capitalism To Democracy”
Typical NWO socialists if you ask me, the lot of them. Don’t know if all peak oilers are like that but i wouldn’t believe these sites one word.

James F. Evans
August 10, 2011 2:42 pm

If the price goes up, it’s because oil is more expensive to get (farther out to sea and in deeper water and deeper under the sea floor), or possibly, more likely, the dollar has been depreciated by inflation, or speculators have run up the price, or, even, a combination of all three.
But not because of a physical shortage (or a “flow rate”, which, apparently, is Wakefield’s new meme).
Very little of the sea floor has been explored in proportion to the total possible territory that can be explored for oil deposits. And, surprisingly, there are still land areas that haven’t yet been explored for oil.

Steve from Rockwood
August 10, 2011 2:53 pm

Richard Wakefield says:
August 10, 2011 at 9:18 am
“But in absolute terms, Russia, using your source, is currently above the peak of the Soviet system.”
Yes, that’s why I posted it!!! The issue in that link is the effect of that previous peak of flow rate had on their economy. But what is happening now in Russia?
==================================================
The limit on the rate of oil production and the negative effect it had on the Russian economy is not a peak oil problem. Besides, the limit is more a symptom that their economy was in trouble already and was an effect more than a cause.
Russia is not exactly a free market economy. It decides how to invest in oil exploration and development. The Russian peak oil problem was lack of investment, poor economic planning coupled with a lack of financial resources.
Peak oil will not be a problem for some time, because as the price of oil increases, non-conventional supplies (oil, shale etc) become profitable and eventually substitution (and reduction in consumption) takes place.
Peak oil will have occurred when the Ford F-150, the Chevrolet Silverado and the Dodge Ram are no longer in the top 10 vehicles sold in the US and it will be achieved not because of production limits but because of consumption costs. Despite the current grumblings, we are nowhere near this.

Philip Nolan
August 10, 2011 3:01 pm

Shocking …… that this passes for science. It is nothing more than reporting on a poll. What the average American thinks is totally irrelevant, because the average American is either stupid, misinformed or uneducated or all three.
Oil prices willl rise over time, in real dollar terms, but so what? As free market oil prices rise the supply of oil will increase as the more costly methods of oil extraction now become economic. Ultimately – a long, long time from now, the actual, physical limits of oil will be felt through ever rising prices. Then there will be a free market, voluntary move to cheaper alternatives.
As some have already noted, that is very far in the future so it is foolish to assume that mankind will be dependent on the same energy sources as today. Think back a mere hundred years ago – who could have imagined the technology we have today? No one. When John D Rockefeller entered the energy business, the predominant source of energy for domestic lighting was whale oil. Kerosene was an option, but it was too expensive. Rockefeller brings down the cost of kerosene and voila – nobody needs whale oil anymore.
As oil becomes more expensive there will be voluntary moves to other sources, and there is more than enough time so there is no need to panic.

Steve from Rockwood
August 10, 2011 3:04 pm

James F. Evans says:
August 10, 2011 at 2:22 pm
“Oil is abiotic.”
James, your argument is more one-sided. Sure oil can be abiotic. They can make diamonds in a laboratory too. So what? Is coal also abiotic or just oil? If Russians were so smart with their abiotic oil exploration model, why have they not exploited it more? You can’t be the only country in the world that “really” knows how oil is formed and also have a problem with oil production. You would have to be completely awash in oil AND snickering at the same time.

August 10, 2011 4:09 pm

“Peak oil will not be a problem for some time, because as the price of oil increases, non-conventional supplies (oil, shale etc) become profitable and eventually substitution (and reduction in consumption) takes place.”
I said peak oil (extraction potential) is being put off because of economic problems we face. However, it seems clear twice now (2008 and spring of 2011) that oil goes up to some point at which the economy can’t absorb the price and we go into a recession, and the price of oil drops, as it is now. If this is a trend that continues, which I think it will, then the problem with unconventional sources is the price does not go high enough to make them profitable. Hence we lose supply not because of technical reasons, not because of geological reasons, but economic reasons.
That’s the whole point of the USSR problem. Yes, they were not at “peak oil” in the geological sense, but as I have noted there are lots of peak oil scenarios for the cause of distuption in the flow rate. The USSR situation appears to have been technologically and economically imposed. That is, they lost flow rate, which was geological there, but it wasn’t economically there. That’s the point. “peak oil” is not just one cause for flow interuption, but many causes, including political ideology (the current US administration). Geological peak, as i have stated many times, is not the main cause of peak oil, but has been in some cases (North Sea, and Cantarell).
So when you say “peak oil will not be a problem for some time.” you are refering to geological peak oil. Where as peak oil is really any event that disrupts the flow rate. Peak oil is about flow rates, not the cause. In the end, reduced flow rate will be less energy to run society, regardless of the cause of lower flow rate.

August 10, 2011 4:17 pm

“But not because of a physical shortage (or a “flow rate”, which, apparently, is Wakefield’s new meme).”
Not me. Read the literature on peak oil. I has ALWAYS been flow rates. That’s the entire premise of Hubbert. Oil production increases in FLOW RATE until a peak flow rate is attained, then the flow rate drops off. Peak oil has always been about flow rates.
“Very little of the sea floor has been explored in proportion to the total possible territory that can be explored for oil deposits. And, surprisingly, there are still land areas that haven’t yet been explored for oil.”
Factually incorrect. There is very little of the planet that hasn’t been checked. And there is a very good reason for that. Oil is found only in a small group of geological formations. There is no point in looking for oil in the middle of the Pacific or Atlantic. Wrong geology. No point in checking the Canadian Shield, wrong geology. Geologists are smart people, and they have a lot of money at their disposal. Yes, they have checked the entire planet. Read the book Twighlight in the Desert, Simmons explains this clearly.
Do they find oil in formations that should not? Yes, but very rarely does that happen. The norm is that there is no oil when there should be.

August 10, 2011 4:20 pm

“Looked around there under their renewables section; they link to
http://dieoff.com/
which says
“From Capitalism To Democracy””
You are shooting the messenger. The data in that graph is correct, you can find that anywhere, including the IEA yearly reports. They just copied one of those graphs. The facts of the graph are correct.

August 10, 2011 4:42 pm

“And oil is located deep under ground, deeper than 25,000 feet under the seafloor: Under the Gulf of Mexico, off the coast of Brazil and the West African coast.”
Peronsal attacks aside. What do you mean by “Sea Floor”? The “sea floor” is the basaltic basement rock. Sedimentary deposits are on top of that, but only close to shore. Deepest well in the Gulf is about 30,000 feet. The Tupi field off Brazil is some 16,000 feet. West African oil wells are less than 10,000 feet. Every single one of those locations you noted are SEDEMENTARY. The source rocks for Tupi has been identified (you must have missed the link I posted), just under the deposit, but above the basalitic basement rock. 25,000 under the “sea flloor” is in the asthenosphere. Remeber the Atlantic is from a spreading ridge. The sea floor is basalic, derived from sea floor spreading. Oil physically cannot exist at 25,000 feet under the sea floor, too hot. Cooks it completely. Do yourself a favour, read up on the geology of these deposits before you pontificate that I’m wrong.
Abiotic has been dealt with, every oil field on the planet has chemical markers that shows the source rock, all of which are biological zones (one time shallow seas rich in life).

August 10, 2011 4:51 pm

“Firstly, the concept of EROEI is moronic. It makes no more sense than FeROFeI or BaSO4ROBaSO4I (iron returned on iron invested or barite returned on barite invested).”
No, ERoEI about the Laws of Thermodynamics. This is why ethanol was not viable, it’s ERoEI was negative. Iron? Yes, you can add that. If it takes more iron to build the infrastructure to mine the or than you get out of it, what’s the point in mining that deposit? When it takes 1 joule of energy to get one joule of oil, you are at break even, there is no point in extracting it.
$ is a good analogy. If you invest $1 but only get 99c back, what’s the point of it?

August 10, 2011 4:56 pm

“Les Johnson says:
August 10, 2011 at 12:31 pm
Richard: your
Yes, let’s not: http://www.planetforlife.com/oilcrisis/oilsituation.html
I give you EIA data. You give us data from a peak oil group. Of course, if you follow their references to BP and the EIA, you will get exactly the same info I have been giving you. Oil reserves have more than doubled since 1980. And even the peak oil group says that there is 40 years of oil, if not another drop of oil is found.
No crisis.”
The graph is correct on discovery of oil fields, been dropping since the 1970’s. That is FACT. Second, reserves is meaningless. First, you cannot trust the reserves of the Saudis. 20 years of production and their reserves has not changed, in spite of not one new field found. Their OPEC quota is bases on their reserves.
But you are still making the same mistake. Peak oil is NOT about what is in the ground, it’s about flow rate. That has ALWAYS been the case since Hubbert.

August 10, 2011 4:59 pm

“report.
Les Johnson says:
August 10, 2011 at 12:22 pm
Richard: your
The host of the show had to ask the CEO twice about the number of nukes, yes 1000 reactors to pump 3mb/day.
I would love a reference for this as well. But I won’t hold my breath.”
It was on BNN (Canada’s Buiness News Network) last year. It was on line, but long gone. I’m not lying. I watched the show as I do every morning.

August 10, 2011 5:08 pm

“Methinks you need to read on this some more. Especially on air injection, not O2 injection. THAI (toe-heel air injection) gives very high ERoEI (20-50).
http://www.iseof.org/~netenergy/node/5183
And it is not TAR. Tar is a different process, from a different source.”
That link, on the Oil Drum, shows something completely different from what you are saying it does:
“The highest estimate of the EROI of the production process using THAI is 56:1, while the lowest estimate is 3.3:1. ”
“the appropriate EROI estimation for the THAI process is 8.9:1. ”
They also refer to it as the Tar sands.

James F. Evans
August 10, 2011 6:11 pm

Steve from Rockwood:
Russia is the number one oil producer in the world, more than Saudi Arabia, although Saudi has more spare capacity, so, could outproduce Russia if Saudi wanted to.
True, I didn’t offer much other than the fact that oil can be produced in the laboratory via the Fischer-Tropsch process where iron and other metals act as a catalyst.
But that is important, because the so-called “fossil” theory has never been produced in the laboratory and there is no specific chemical process known — it’s just an assumption.
Here is an excellent scientific paper for you to read:
Petroleum Formation by Fischer-Tropsch Synthesis in Plate Tectonics, by Peter Szatmari (1989)
Szatmari wrote:
“Abstract:
A somewhat speculative hyposthesis of petroleum genesis in the upper lithosphere is proposed, based on Fischer-Tropsch synthesis. This hypothesis is distinct from both the organic (biogenic) model and the inorganic model of hydrocarbon degassing from the Earth’s interior.
Fischer-Tropsch synthesis is a well-known industrial process whereby millions of tons of hydrocarbon oil resembling petroleum are produced annually from carbon monoxide or carbon dioxide and hydrogen gasses reacting on a metallic iron or iron-oxide catalyst. Like natural petroleum, this synthetic oil consists of gas, gasoline, diesel oil, and wax fractions, all rich in saturated aliphatic hydrocarbons and enriched in the light 12C isotope.
The hypothesis presented in this paper proposes that petroluem liquids form by Fischer-Tropsch synthesis on magnetite and hematite catalysts when carbon dioxide (derived by massive metamorphic or igneous decarbonization of subducted sedimentary carbonates) reacts with hydrogen generated by the serpentinization (in the absence of air) of shallow-mantle lithosphere and ophiolite thrust sheets. Oblique plate movements may favor hydrocarbon formation by creating deep faults that aid fluid flow and serpentinization. The world’s rich oil provinces, including those of the Middle East, may be tentatively interpreted to have formed by this mechanism.”
Further:
Szatmari wrote:
“[Sir Robert] Robinson (1963), past-president of the Royal Society of London, noted that the distribution of normal paraffins in crude oil is the same as that in hydroformed oil produced by Fischer-Tropsch synthesis.”
http://www.scribd.com/doc/4653669/Petroleum-Formation-by-FischerTropsch-Synthesis-Peter-Szatmari
There is a wealth of scienfific evidence supporting Abiotic Oil Theory

Editor
August 10, 2011 6:25 pm

Richard Wakefield says:
August 10, 2011 at 4:51 pm
[…]
No, ERoEI about the Laws of hermodynamics.
[…]

There is no such thing as a thermodynamic return on investment in business.
ROI is denominated in $, €, £, etc.
EROEI is moronic.

August 10, 2011 8:03 pm

If this were a prize fight, I’d score this a clear win by a knock out for Les Johnson, and Richard Wakefield the clear loser. Mr. Wakefield, ERoEI (energy returned on energy input) is a meaningless measure for purposes of oil discussion. The only thing that matters, as others have said before me, is profit.
There is no Peak OIl, and never has been, despite numerous predictions and alarms. There never will be, either.
What confounded the Peak Oil Alarmists is the finding of huge oil fields. Most of those oil fields are controlled by OPEC, the cartel that was formed to manage them. OPEC has maintained the price at a constant value, after adjusting for inflation, since 1980. The constant price is only possible when there is a glut of the commodity – because a shortage would create a price increase. If one thing can be said for Peak Oil alarmists, it is that they don’t have a good grasp of economics.
Meanwhile, technology advances have made finding and producing oil much, much cheaper and more oil is found even as the glut continues.
Only after the huge fields are depleted will scarcity enter the equation and allow prices to increase. At that point, several things could happen. If the demand for oil continues, then more oil will be produced. If alternatives are more economic, then those alternatives will be exploited. If conservation measures are economic, then they will be employed and demand will decrease.
We currently can predict that the demand for oil will continue, as the less-developed nations expand their economies and consume more oil. However, the Western nations are struggling these days and their demand for oil is declining. Also, ill-advised national policies such as higher and higher CAFE standards for both cars and now trucks are artificially decreasing demand, while throttling economies and causing needless waste of capital.
There are numerous alternatives for petroleum, and here I use that term to mean traditional oil found in the strata of the Earth. These alternatives include, to name only a few, coal-to-liquids, gas-to-liquids, shale oil, and algae-to-oil. Substitution of motive energy also is available, such as using natural gas to power the vehicle, and all-electric vehicles in limited services.
Conservation measures also exist, including the CAFE standards mentioned above, lower speed limits, restrictions on driving such as carpool lanes and carpool times, building and making mass transit more affordable and attractive, eliminating stop signs and replacing them with yield signs, mandating all vehicles have brake-energy recovery systems, and others. Governments could mandate some or all of these, in varying degrees.
One last, but key point about oil in the modern world. I suggest and hope that anyone reading this thread reads the excellent book, The Prize, by Daniel Yergin. He won the Pulitzer Prize for this work. In The Prize, Yergin demonstrates that oil is too important to be left to the control of the marketplace. He is correct in this. Oil is a strategic resource, perhaps better stated it is THE strategic resource. In time of war, only oil can be depended on to propel ships (other than the few nuclear powered ships), to propel aircraft through the skies, to propel tanks and other vehicles and weapons over the land, and even generate electricity in remote areas.
Because oil is so important strategically, many countries have restricted access to their oil – including the United States. Oil is too precious to waste and must be conserved in the ground against those dark days when foreign supplies are cut off, but a country must wage war. There will never be any drilling on the West Coast, nor the East Coast, nor a large part of the Gulf of Mexico, and likely not ever in the ANWR, either, despite loud claims that we should stop importing oil and develop our own fields. Producing that oil is total suicide, and is very myopic. As I said in my speech to Tulane Law School, and wrote in my blog piece on Peak OIl, “Drill, Baby, Drill is Dumb, Baby, Dumb.” http://sowellslawblog.blogspot.com/2011/04/speech-on-peak-oil-and-us-energy-policy.html
Peak Oil is a myth.

James F. Evans
August 10, 2011 8:56 pm

Roger Sowell:
While I agree with your conclusion, “Peak Oil is a myth,” I disagree with your reasoning.
As a resident of California, you know oil companies already have drilled on the West Coast (California) and while there was a moritorium on new platforms. the old platforms have been modernized with multiple wells (a couple have over 5 wells to each platform).
Your “strategic reserves for war” proposition has some validity. But the time from initial exploration to production would be too long if there was a total cut-off in imports. This would not be satifactory to sustain the nation’s military or domestic needs during that time frame.
This is a democratic republic and so if the People want access to those oil deposits you mention, private companies should have an opportunity for exploration & production.
I would argue that having those oil deposits online before any war is stategically the better policy position. Not to mention having more domestic oil supplies puts America in a better stategic position which would discourage foreign countries from playing the “oil card”.
Interestingly enough, those California offshore oil wells have been pumping oil for multiple decades and still pump plenty of oil (given the restrictions placed on exploration & production).
As Admiral Mullins, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has said, the greatest threat to America is economic — It is in America’s stategic national interest to produce those hydrocarbons, so America does not turn into a potemkin village.

James F. Evans
August 10, 2011 9:24 pm

Richard Wakefield said: “The source rocks for Tupi has been identifie…”
HYDROCARBON PRODUCTION FROM FRACTURED BASEMENT FORMATIONS Version 5.1 (1999)
http://www.hendersonpetrophysics.com/fractures2.html
Take the time to review all the oil fields that have their origin from basement rocks.
Sedimentary rock acts as a trapping sturcture as the oil rises from below.
Oil has been found that has a temperature hotter than 400 degrees Fahrenheit in the Gulf of Mexico and off the coast of Brazil, disproving the “oil window” hypothesis.

August 10, 2011 10:17 pm

@James F. Evans,
“Your “strategic reserves for war” proposition has some validity. But the time from initial exploration to production would be too long if there was a total cut-off in imports. This would not be satifactory to sustain the nation’s military or domestic needs during that time frame.”
It is well-known that the nation must have a viable oil industry, with fields identified and some production occurring. This is why the US continues to produce several million barrels of oil per day and does not rely solely on imports. It is also a myth that oil production takes years to bring oil online. Many fields can be producing in a matter of months or even weeks. Finally, the US has done what many other countries have done, established a large strategic oil reserve. The US has a different name, the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, and has now stored many million barrels of oil there. The public is told that this is for use in a supply crisis, but the more important reason is for a buffer in time of war when supplies are cut off. The SPR, coupled with rationing, allows us time to increase domestic production while still prosecuting the war effort.
“This is a democratic republic and so if the People want access to those oil deposits you mention, private companies should have an opportunity for exploration & production.”
It doesn’t work that way, where oil fields are located on Federal or State lands. The appropriate government owns the rights to the oil (and any other minerals). The government decides which, if any, areas to place up for bid for drilling rights, and when. The private companies have the right to bid on and drill on those leaseholds that the government makes available. This is also true for other minerals and resources such as timber.
As to the production off-shore California, that is true for the few platforms and close-to-shore production within the state’s jurisdiction of 3 miles offshore. The federal waters are off-limits, as I wrote. The federal waters begin at the 3 mile limit and extend to the national boundary many miles out to sea. Recently, oil companies have requested a permit from the California Coastal Commission to drill into known oil deposits offshore, and have been denied. See: Plains Exploration and Production company’s bid to drill the Tranquillon Ridge oil field, just north and offshore from Santa Barbara. I attended the Coastal Commission hearing in which the request was denied by a 2-1 vote of the 3-member Commission.
The existing off-shore California production is part of the domestic oil production I mentioned earlier, approximately 5 to 6 million barrels of oil per day.

Spector
August 10, 2011 10:28 pm

RE: Philip Nolan: (August 10, 2011 at 3:01 pm)
As oil becomes more expensive there will be voluntary moves to other sources, and there is more than enough time so there is no need to panic.
Quite right. There is no need to panic. For the most part, it is out of our hands. It is just the way it’s going be.
“Yesterday the President of the largest gold mining and production company, Barrick Gold, noted that after ten years of declining production it is time to recognize that the world has seen the peak in gold production.” (The Oil Drum, November 14, 2009)

Les Johnson
August 10, 2011 11:37 pm

Richard: your
But you are still making the same mistake. Peak oil is NOT about what is in the ground, it’s about flow rate. That has ALWAYS been the case since Hubbert.
And oil RATES are at all time highs. The EIA projects that oil RATES will continue to climb. Along with reserves.
“the appropriate EROI estimation for the THAI process is 8.9:1. ”
So its not negative, then, as you claim. I am glad that yo have finally admitted an error.
They also refer to it as the Tar sands.
They are also wrong. From Wiki:
The word “tar” is often used to describe several distinct substances which are not actually tar. Naturally occurring “tar pits” (e.g., the La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles) actually contain asphalt rather than tar. Oil sand deposits (sometimes called tar sands) contain various mixtures of sand (or rock) with bitumen or heavy crude oil and not tar
So, lets recap your score:
No peak oil in 2005, by rates or by reserves. No peak oil in Russia. No premature death of the Alaska fields, in fact an extension to 2034; your failure to understand the economics of oil production;. oil at near 40,000 ft (Tiber); coal reserves; coal reserve calculations; negative ERoEI on in-situ; using ERoEI at all; references to “tar”; etc, etc, etc.

Spector
August 11, 2011 1:47 am

RE: Main Article
“From American University via Eurekalert, professor Matthew Nisbet demonstrates that the impact of peak petroleum on public health may be a way to unite conservatives and liberals in an effort to move away from fossil fuels and towards alternative forms of energy.
On the face of it, this appears to be utter nonsense. I cannot imagine that the direct effect of petroleum at peak production levels on public health will be any worse than production at those same levels, if they were below what would ultimately prove to be the peak production level.
There might be an endangerment of public health if frustrated demand were to cause social violence like we are seeing in England, but the sharp price increases associated with premature conversion to alternative energy sources would, in my view, only make matters worse. If we had a cheaper source of energy, like hydropower, we would be using it now.
I think we should realize that peak oil production probably will occur as there is no evidence that the Earth is replacing petroleum at the rate it is being used, but conversion to an alternative energy source will naturally occur only after frustrated demand has slowly forced prices up to a point that makes such a change economical.

Richard S Courtney
August 11, 2011 2:35 am

Friends:
Please, can anybody tell me why this ‘peak oil’ nonsense keeps being raised.
My request is sincere because I think it could inform on the causes to be addressed whenever a false scare arises that has potential to escalate (as, did, e.g. Acid Rain. y2k. AGW, etc.).
Peak Oil is a classic. It has been promoted almost continuously for a century. Its enthusiasts always say Peak Oil has recently happened, is happening, or will soon happen. They are unmoved by any evidence that refutes their assertion, and there is one fact that they always ignore; i.e.
Oil reserves have been about 40 years supply for over a century, and they will always be about 40 years supply. This is because oil producers need a planning horizon of ~40 years.. So, if they don’t have ~40 years of reserves they pay people to look for more, but if they do have ~40 years supply then they don’t pay people to look for more. And people have always found more oil when paid to look for it: they still do. Therefore, oil reserves will remain at ~40 yeas supply for the foreseeable future.
Despite this, the myth of Peak Oil continues. So, I want an understanding of how and why people can strongly believe in such nonsense. Armed with that understanding, It would be possible to address other potential daft scares (e.g. Ocean Acidification) before they escalate to do the damage done by e.g. the AGW-scare.
Richard

Khwarizmi
August 11, 2011 9:44 am

Richard Wakefield — at 8:58 am you answered your own imaginary objections instead of the one I referenced. This is what I actually said: “Once before I asked you to cite the relevant details in your alleged “debunk” that addresses the entropy problem with the fossil fuel hypothesis, as detailed here:”
http://www.pnas.org/content/99/17/10976.long

You responded instead with a strawman about “kerogens.” That is an abiotic strawman, btw.
“Kerogen” is just a loose category applied to large hydrocarbons molecules, such as asphalt, tar, or bitumen. And this word “kerogen” is typically used with the intent to confuse, rather than to clarify. Life does not produce kerogen, as you well know. Life, however, eats kerogen:

I am certain that you will never cite the relevant passage that overcomes the thermodynamic problem.

Vince Causey
August 11, 2011 9:49 am

Richard Courtney,
You ask why some people still pursue the myth of Peak Oil. I suppose there is a desire in some to seek apocalyptic futures for mankind. Naturally, to do this requires a confirmation bias – only give credence to evidence that supports that thesis whilst ignoring all others.
Mr Wakefield exhibits these traits, being fixated on ‘terminal declines’ of the giant oil fields, and on one occasion rebuffing an argument by claiming that Saudi estimates ‘cannot be trusted.’ Of interest though, is his economic conjecture that oil price rises cannot lead to more expensive alternatives because these rises cannot in fact occur without causing global recessions. The evidence cited is that the world was tipped into recession when oil prices peaked, came out of recession when prices crashed, and now is teetering on the edge of another.
The real reason for the 2008 recession was the result of over leveraging based on a sea of cheap credit. Oil prices went along for the ride and did not cause the recession, but were another symptom of inflated asset bubbles. The subsequent ‘recovery’ was based more on government throwing astronomical sums of money at the economy, and taking private debt onto their balance sheets. The ‘recovery’ was really an illusion, and now that the debt burden is threatening sovereign defaults and the fed has stopped easing, the recession is likely to start again. Oil will go along for the ride once again.

Spector
August 11, 2011 11:31 am

RE: Richard S Courtney says: (August 11, 2011 at 2:35 am)
“Peak Oil is a classic. It has been promoted almost continuously for a century. Its enthusiasts always say Peak Oil has recently happened, is happening, or will soon happen. They are unmoved by any evidence that refutes their assertion, and there is one fact that they always ignore; i.e.”
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. If we determine that oil production is continually declining, not for lack of trying, then we may have a ‘Peak Oil’ signal. It would be an early warning that a change was coming. We may not know for sure when peak oil production (like peak gold production) is reached until 10 years after it happened.

August 11, 2011 11:45 am

Richard Wakefield says on August 10, 2011 at 4:17 pm

Not me. Read the literature on peak oil.

Q.E.D.* (‘Thus it is proven’) eh?
.
* quod erat demonstrandum – translates as “which was to be demonstrated”.

August 11, 2011 11:53 am

Richard Wakefield says on August 9, 2011 at 7:32 pm

Well, enough for me, fellas. I’ve made the case, posted the reports. It’s up to you now to read those reports.

Absolute hubris.
And yet he returns the following day after having had his clock cleaned; have you absolutely no shame sir?
Or, is the pay that good? Maybe ‘an offer’ was made you cannot refuse …
.

Don Shaw
August 11, 2011 11:58 am

One might want to check what the Major oil Companies say about replacement of oil/gas below.
ExxonMobil reports that it’s proven reserves replaced 133% of production in 2009.
Apparently they were not in peak oil in 2009.
http://www.businesswire.com/portal/site/exxonmobil/index.jsp?ndmViewId=news_view&ndmConfigId=1001106&newsId=20100216006302&newsLang=enx

Editor
August 11, 2011 12:02 pm

Spector says:
August 11, 2011 at 11:31 am
RE: Richard S Courtney says: (August 11, 2011 at 2:35 am)
“Peak Oil is a classic. It has been promoted almost continuously for a century. Its enthusiasts always say Peak Oil has recently happened, is happening, or will soon happen. They are unmoved by any evidence that refutes their assertion, and there is one fact that they always ignore; i.e.”

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. If we determine that oil production is continually declining, not for lack of trying, then we may have a ‘Peak Oil’ signal. It would be an early warning that a change was coming. We may not know for sure when peak oil production (like peak gold production) is reached until 10 years after it happened.

“Forever Oil” is almost as goofy as “Peak Oil.”
The Earth doesn’t have to generate “petroleum at least as fast as we are using it” for Peak Oil to be nonsense… At least nonsense in the context of the next few centuries.
We just have to keep finding it as fast as or faster than we use it.

Richard S Courtney
August 11, 2011 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 technolgy 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

August 11, 2011 1:14 pm

“This is what I actually said: “Once before I asked you to cite the relevant details in your alleged “debunk” that addresses the entropy problem with the fossil fuel hypothesis, as detailed here:”
http://www.pnas.org/content/99/17/10976.long
Which field shows definative, non-biological, abioitc source?

August 11, 2011 1:21 pm

“Oil reserves have been about 40 years supply for over a century, and they will always be about 40 years supply. This is because oil producers need a planning horizon of ~40 years.. So, if they don’t have ~40 years of reserves they pay people to look for more, but if they do have ~40 years supply then they don’t pay people to look for more. And people have always found more oil when paid to look for it: they still do. Therefore, oil reserves will remain at ~40 yeas supply for the foreseeable future.
Despite this, the myth of Peak Oil continues. So, I want an understanding of how and why people can strongly believe in such nonsense”
You think that because you are making the same mistake as all the others. Peak oil is not about what’s in the ground, It’s not about running out like your gas tank does. It’s about how fast it can be extracted. Peak oil is when we have reached peak production, peak flow rate. That is what peak oil has ALWAYS been about, since Hubbert. Fact, the US hit peak flow rate in the 1970s’. Fact: North Sea has reached peak flow rate. Fact: Cantarell has reached peak flow rate. Fact: Alaska has reached peak flow rate. Collectively the world’s flow rate has been flat since 2005. If we never go above that, we reach peak oil in 2005. Please, please understand, peak oil is not about running out of oil. What’s in the ground is irrelevant. How many times must I state this before you all finally get it?

Editor
August 11, 2011 2:41 pm

Richard Wakefield says:
August 11, 2011 at 1:21 pm
[…]
You think that because you are making the same mistake as all the others. Peak oil is not about what’s in the ground, It’s not about running out like your gas tank does. It’s about how fast it can be extracted. Peak oil is when we have reached peak production, peak flow rate. That is what peak oil has ALWAYS been about, since Hubbert. Fact, the US hit peak flow rate in the 1970s’. Fact: North Sea has reached peak flow rate. Fact: Cantarell has reached peak flow rate. Fact: Alaska has reached peak flow rate. Collectively the world’s flow rate has been flat since 2005. If we never go above that, we reach peak oil in 2005. Please, please understand, peak oil is not about running out of oil. What’s in the ground is irrelevant. How many times must I state this before you all finally get it?

Alaska oil production peaked for two reasons:
1. TAPS capacity was reached.
2. The Chukchi & Beaufort OCS areas, ANWR area 1002 and other Federally controlled leasing areas, rife with the potential for Prudhoe Bay-sized discoveries have never been adequately open for exploration.
US lower 48 and OCS production peaked because ~85% of the OCS has never been adequately open for exploration and oil shales like the Green River formation have not been open for exploitation since before technological and economic conditions became favorable for their development.
Had E&P operations commenced in those areas at the time they were placed off limits and exploitation of the Green River formation commenced in 2010, US oil production would have peaked again at close to 10 million BOPD in 2018 and 2024. It would have then declined to ~7.5 million BOPD by 2040 before Green River shale oil development would have carried it to as much as 22 million BOPD by 2040.
US Oil Production without US Gov’t Interference
On the production plot above, I was using conservative estimates for the OCS and Alaska. If I used more optimistic estimates, I can come up with 8.5 million BOPD by 2050 without the Green River oil shale…
No Green River
The US has only hit “peak oil” for the roughly 40% of its oil production potential that industry has been allowed to exploit.
And, I don’t see anything that remotely resembles a global peak in oil production in or after 2005…
World Crude Oil Production 1965-2010

Editor
August 11, 2011 2:43 pm

And, I don’t see anything that remotely resembles a global peak in oil production in or after 2005…
World Crude Oil Production 1965-2010

August 11, 2011 3:56 pm

Richard Wakefield on August 9, 2011 at 2:47 pm:

This debt crisis is being made much worse because of high energy prices.

Still waiting for ‘engagement’ on the subject ‘energy prices’ (e.g. gasoline) Richard; I don’t suppose you’re just dodging that subject too?
Remember to make that that comparison in inflation-adjusted dollars too …
.

Spector
August 11, 2011 4:17 pm

RE: Richard Wakefield: (August 11, 2011 at 1:21 pm)
“Peak oil is when we have reached peak production, peak flow rate.”
This is my understanding except I am assuming that we are talking about the total world production per year. If this is a self-imposed production limitation, then it only signals the end of the beginning not the beginning of the end.
As long as we hold peak production levels there is no problem. The post peak production period would begin when petroleum production starts to decline, year by year, despite our best efforts. The term ‘Ultimate Oil’ might be used to represent the quenching production level that would force prices so high that it would become necessary to start conversion to a new energy source.

August 11, 2011 4:23 pm

“And, I don’t see anything that remotely resembles a global peak in oil production in or after 2005…”
That’s not a plateau after 2005????? Sure looks like it to me.
See also:
http://www.gulfpetrolink.net/v14n1-Husseini.pdf
http://www.aspo9.be/assets/ASPO9_Fri_29_April_Bezdek.pdf
Have a look at Figure 2.19 in this report: http://www.ukerc.ac.uk/support/tiki-download_fil