Peak Oil—Facts and Fictions

by Rud Istvan

I decided to draft this possible guest post, based on my three ebooks, (all available very affordably on iBooks and Amazon Kindle) because newbie poster MI will not go away on WUWT, and keeps posting OT false peak oil stuff partly directed to his blog, all the while not responding to my several comments to him. I for sure cannot direct any one anywhere, even to my published eBooks. So, here is a simple WUWT ‘peak oil’ fact summary gratis drawn from those. May Dave Middleton forgive my geological layman’s possible detail errors in the big picture portrayed here, for which he certainly has better SME knowledge than I. Plus, I know from previous comments that there are those reading here since years who think no such peak oil thingy exists. Sort of like no GHE, or no ECS. This post is mainly aimed at those who still don’t, in addition to MI.

Peak Oil

It surely must exist somewhen, since almost nobody claims oil is not a fossil fuel.  So somewhen, current rapid extraction must exceed all past slow accumulation, producing some eventual peak in annual production. The two abiotic oil ‘hypotheses’ (Gold 2001 and Ukraine 2011) have both been objectively disproven. The only remaining questions are when the peak in fossil fuel oil production occurs, and how sharp that post peak decline in production will be. These simple questions relate directly to two NOT so simple questions. First, how much more fossil fuel oil remains to be discovered? And second, how much of that can be usefully extracted? There are for the second question two further subquestions: at what price; and all at any price? I do not address those here.

Peak Oil Discovery Models

There are three basic statistical modeling methods to estimate this almost certain future peak in fossil oil DISCOVERIES. The most familiar is Hubbert’s for the US using a logistics (fat tail) symmetric probability curve. He was about right for US conventional oil, and about wrong for everything else. There are also the probit transforms and the by basin hyperbolic creaming curve methods, the latter illustrated below by the North Sea. (All explained in my ebooks, but not here.)

The problems with Hubbert’s originally hypothesized logistics curve method come in various parts.

First, the conventional oil field recovery curve is NOT his logistics curve. It has a long fat tail thanks to secondary and tertiary oil recovery. Technically it is a gamma function curve. A good example is the US North Slope.

Second, his hypothesis applied only to ‘conventional oil’, defined as viscosity API>10, produced from a reservoir with >5% porosity and permeability >10 millidarcies. That ignores all ‘heavy oil’ such as in the Canadian ‘Tar’ Sands or the Venezuelan Orinoco (largest such heavy oil reserve in the world), and also all of the newly fracked ‘tight’ shale oil.

Third, his estimate by definition did not recognize at all the later technology advances of fracked shale (tight) oil. But the potential of fracked shale oil has also been grossly overstated, as pointed out in my ebook ‘Blowing Smoke’ essays Matryoshka Reserves and Reserve Reservations. Following is an image example of why the Monterey shale oil reserve went from an official over 15 trillion barrels per EIA to almost nothing per USGS Monterey Shale ‘fold’ revision:

Gaviota State Park on the rocky coast of the Pacific Ocean in Goleta, Santa Barbara County, California

Nothing was left in the Monterey Shale by plate tectonics to horizontally drill/frack…. a bit of a geological horizontal drill/frack oil recovery problem.

But, when you add all those things together, then figure them through in detail (in my ebooks), you still get roughly the following possible oil production peaks from the (still wrong tail) original Hubbert logistics curve:

So yup, about 2023-2025 will be for sure the peak of all oil production.

This can also be shown another way, summarized from the ebooks. For conventional oil, a 2008 IEA survey of the world’s largest about 800 producing oil fields measured an annual production decline rate of about 5.7%. Those about 800 fields comprised about 85% of that year’s total conventional oil production. So conventional oil production actually measurably peaked about 2005 per the IEA, close to the various post Hubbert projections. There is no way that unconventional oil (given low recovery factors) can make that up for many decades into the future.

But because of the oil field depletion gamma curves, it will not be a ‘sudden’ end to the world, nor even close to it as falsely depicted by this Hubbert’s logistics curve peak oil model or by newish poster MI. Just a slow decline, maybe overtaken by food even given virtual water. Like climate change, the devil is in the details.

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Scissor
August 12, 2021 6:10 pm

Any projection when the Trans-Alaskan Pipeline might be shutdown?

Devils tower
Reply to  Scissor
August 12, 2021 6:26 pm

There is plenty of oil to last for a long time. It will just take a Governor with the balls to kick the feds out…

John
Reply to  Scissor
August 12, 2021 10:24 pm

The pipeline will shutdown when flow falls below the minimum flow limit of about 300kb/d – point at which the pipeline temperature cannot be managed by adding heat vs heat lost to the environment

This depends on new fields been allowed to be developed

The current US government has banned new exploration in the Alaskan Wilderness reserve and all IOCs are exiting offshore acreage

So my guess is somewhere between 2030 and 2040

August 12, 2021 6:15 pm

That is logical there will be a slow decline — and plenty of time to develop nuclear — like China is already doing. Too bad Biden doesn’t know that and didn’t stop our pipeline and drilling projects — and then I wouldn’t have needed to make this video … https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NQOViWPeY7k

Loren C. Wilson
Reply to  John Shewchuk
August 12, 2021 7:06 pm

It isn’t him knowing that fact, he is following the ultra-left playbook. They don’t care how many people will suffer and how much pollution is caused by energy-poor countries and communist countries.

John Tillman
August 12, 2021 6:18 pm

The record of failed peak oil predictions is sorry.

Since no one can know what the price of crude will be in the future, peak production can’t be known with any degree of certainty. Could be 2025, 2035, 2045, 2055 or 2065, just as it wasn’t 1970, 1980, 1990, 2000, 2010 or 2020, as per forecasts from 1956 et seq.

I don’t think that peak oil production occurred in 2019. Supply and demand might not recover this year, or even next, but pre-pandemic crude production is IMO liable to be exceeded soon.

Last edited 2 months ago by John Tillman
Scissor
Reply to  John Tillman
August 12, 2021 6:29 pm

When I was a kid, I seem to recall that Walter Cronkite promised flying cars.

John Tillman
Reply to  Scissor
August 12, 2021 6:31 pm

So did the Jetsons.
comment image

With AI, could still happen while some of us yet remain above ground.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  John Tillman
August 13, 2021 6:46 am

Look at the size of that “portable phone” – and with a big honking antenna, no less! Don’t see a video screen on it either – how quaint! 😀

John Tillman
Reply to  AGW is Not Science
August 13, 2021 8:13 am

She’s practicing for a 1980s retro party.

oeman 50
Reply to  John Tillman
August 13, 2021 9:48 am

You haven’t seen what 6G will bring. Can flying cars be soon after?

philincalifornia
Reply to  Scissor
August 12, 2021 7:53 pm

You don’t have one yet? Sorry to hear that. Anti-gravitons are all the rage here in the Bay Area. Socialism works here too if you have a net worth over $10 Million.

AndyHce
Reply to  philincalifornia
August 12, 2021 8:46 pm

$10 million
That low? Soon to be at least $100 million.

Alan the Brit
Reply to  John Tillman
August 12, 2021 11:20 pm

According to scientists back in the 70s, we’ve run out of all oil & gas by now!!! They were also telling us that there were no more reserves to be discovered as we’d found them all, fact!!! They were also telling us that we’d have to change our lifestyles whilst many had yet to attain said lifestyles!!! The wealthy don’t want ordinary peeps to improve their lifestyles, it stops them telling everyone else what to do & how to live their lives, & worse still such improvements stop us tugging our forelocks in deference to our betters & superiors!!! Science & engineering will always break the chains!!!

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Alan the Brit
August 13, 2021 5:28 am

People have been saying the oil is almost all gone for well over 100 years.
At one time, the person who was thought to be the top petroleum expert in the US said that he would personally drink every drop of oil ever found west of the Mississippi river.
And he was fully expecting he could keep his promise and never drink a drop of oil.

GeoNC
Reply to  John Tillman
August 13, 2021 5:31 am

In 1956 Hubert predicted peak oil in 1970. Missing by about 50 years seems pretty big to me.

GeoNC
Reply to  GeoNC
August 13, 2021 2:27 pm

Wrong! Hubert’ s curve was for the US but we can look at world oil production if you like. In 1970 it was around 45 MMBOPD. Today it is well over 80 MMBOPD and with several MMBOPD of spare capacity in OPEC and Russia. With the spare production capacity around the world you can’t even say production has peaked yet. You have no idea what you’re talking about.

Shanghai Dan
Reply to  GeoNC
August 14, 2021 2:05 pm

How are you quantifying “standard of living”?

Gerard O'Dowd
Reply to  Shanghai Dan
August 18, 2021 9:51 pm

Aren’t 3 of those 4 criteria highly correlated and not independent predictors of SOL especially with the Millennial, Gen X, Z generational shifts in preference not to own stuff, to rent, and live in urban/ metropolitan areas (cool) instead of the suburbs (old) with a lower motivation to purchase car or home. Those stats may be changing post covid at least in NYC area which has had a substantial loss in population over the past few years during the De Blasio tenure. Crime is also driving families with children out of town. They may be shifting some of their attitudes about living preferences, marriage, and family. Vegetarianism, organic, local foods have also been on the ascent for decades. Driven in part by the propaganda about GHG/ GW/ and CCC. Quality of life and standard of living may have different meanings and be measured by different variables to various generations of Americans. Housing starts have been down dramatically since the Great Financial Recession in 2008-2009. The employment in entire housing sector shrank by a big percentage. Now there is a shortage of homes after 12 yrs of depressed construction.

John Tillman
Reply to  John Tillman
August 13, 2021 8:14 am

After he had already been wrong for 30 years. Now he has been wrong for a further 20 years.

John Tillman
Reply to  John Tillman
August 13, 2021 12:55 pm

Maybe on your home planet. On Earth, not so much.

John Tillman
Reply to  John Tillman
August 13, 2021 5:13 pm

Gasoline consumption fell in 2020. So what?

Even if it should stay below peak levels, again so what? We have more efficient gas engines and work from home more.

Those facts most certainly don’t translate into declining quality of life.

Please try to connect with reality.

Mark ingraha
Reply to  John Tillman
August 20, 2021 11:25 pm

They fell since 2010 you clown.

ResourceGuy
Reply to  John Tillman
August 13, 2021 12:05 pm

So Hugo Chavez was the reincarnation of Hubbert making sure it would come mostly true? brilliant

Chuck no longer in Houston
Reply to  John Tillman
August 13, 2021 2:42 pm

C’mon man! It’s your time to shine. this is your topic. Give us the details!

August 12, 2021 7:10 pm

No one knows with any certainty how oil and natural gas deposits form on the planet. We do know they are not directly associated with tectonic plates and structures, but otherwise, any theory offers potential answers. The term ‘Fossil Fuel’ was originally coined to imply that supplies were limited and that high prices were justified. How ‘fossil’-made fuel is found at 40,000 feet below the surface is hard to explain. How preserved dinosaur bodies are found embedded in coal seams is another mystery.
Either way increasing usage is likely to dent availability at some time in the future but we do not know the date.

Jimmy Joe Meeker
Reply to  nicholas tesdorf
August 12, 2021 7:52 pm

Oil has been found so very deep in the earth that for it to be of biological origin from things that lived on the earth’s surface would require a complete re-writing of the present accepted understanding of Earth’s history. We’re talking stuff like growing earth, hollow earth, catastrophism on a huge scale, and other things the mainstream considers kookism to explain it. The other option is a mechanism where at least some oil is not produced by decaying surface biological matter but is there as a natural substance from the formation of the earth, produced by bacteria, etc. Which of course is equally damaging to mainstream narratives. So we are just supposed to ignore the problem very deep oil poses for the present accepted narratives.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Jimmy Joe Meeker
August 12, 2021 8:37 pm

A lot of unsupported assertions!

Scissor
Reply to  Jimmy Joe Meeker
August 12, 2021 8:57 pm

What is “so very deep” exactly and where is it reported?

Reply to  Jimmy Joe Meeker
August 12, 2021 9:54 pm

Clearly you do not grasp deep time on the scale of many tens of millions of years. Antarctica and the Indian subcontinent have moved laterally 4000 km in 60 million years or about 6.7 cm/yr (2.6 inches/yr). Subducting slabs pushed down vertically under tectonics to 400 km into the mantle only need 1/10th that lateral rate. And to 40 km, only 1/100th that rate.

TonyG
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
August 13, 2021 11:23 am

“Clearly you do not grasp deep time on the scale of many tens of millions of years”

That seems to be a very common problem, I’ve noticed.

ATheoK
Reply to  Jimmy Joe Meeker
August 12, 2021 10:30 pm

While as many as 90% of analyzed diamonds were composed of carbon scientists expected in the mantle, some “relatively young” diamonds (up to a few hundred million years old) appear to include carbon from once-living sources; in other words, they are made of carbon returned to Deep Earth from the surface world.”

Their findings have uncovered a barrier to subduction of carbonate beyond depths of around 1,000km, where it reacts with silica in the oceanic crust to form diamonds that are stored in the deep Earth over geological timescales.

1,000 kilometers is 3,280,840 feet or 621 miles deep.

Diamonds also revealed unambiguous evidence that some hydrocarbons form hundreds of miles down, well beyond the realm of living cells: abiotic energy.

Unravelling the mystery of deep abiotic methane and other energy sources helps explain how deep life in the form of microbes and bacteria is nourished, and fuels the proposition that life first originated and evolved far below (rather than migrating down from) the surface world.”

Carbonate rocks subducted down to mantle depths decompose under temperature and form new compounds. Including lighter CH₄ and longer CH compounds that rise through the Earth to be trapped under caprock formations.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Jimmy Joe Meeker
August 13, 2021 6:05 am

Sakhalin Island is adjacent to a very ancient subduction zone.
There are numerous places where tectonic collisions have buried organic sediments as deep as anyone will ever be able to drill.
It fact, that part of the Pacific is a likely place to find deeply buried rocks that were once where organic sediment accumulated long ago.

Nothing needs to be rewritten.

In fact, we known that there are vast stretches of time after life appeared in the fossil record, but before the earliest tectonic reconstructions have even been speculated on.

comment image

Petroleum geology of Sakhalin Island, USSR (Conference) | OSTI.GOV

James F. Evans
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
August 13, 2021 8:56 am

Sakhalin Island has an incredible geological structure, an oil & gas producing structure. This structure resembles a cylinder which continues deep, deep into the surrounding geological formation. Actually, it appears as concentric geologic structures with oil & gas flowing up within these concentric structures.

There is no indication ancient algae would be attracted towards this structure or would have the volcanic type pressure needed to push oil & gas towards the surface within this structure.

On the contrary, this geologic structure is a strong example supporting the abiotic oil hypothesis. It may be similar to the Burgan oil field in Kuwait
which is a very deep, cylinder type sandstone structure with many different oil horizons, reaching down at least 10,000 feet. A concentration oil in a geologic vertical structure where ancient algae would concentrate.

Ancient algae would not concentrate, rather it would spread out under geologic pressure, not concentrate.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  nicholas tesdorf
August 12, 2021 8:36 pm

Finding “fossil-made fuel” at 40,000 feet depth is no harder to explain than finding rounded sand grains or conodonts at that depth.

I’m aware of a woolly rhinoceros having been found in a paraffin pit. Can you tell me just where this ‘coally’ dinosaur was found? Do you have a citation you can share?

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
August 13, 2021 6:11 am

Try looking up Price River in Utah.
Late cretaceous coal bed.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
August 13, 2021 1:41 pm

Thanks for the tip, but I couldn’t find a reference to a dinosaur associated with a coal mine near the Price River.

I did run across a reference to a well-preserved nodosaur in marine tar sands in Alberta, and observations of dinosaur footprints in the surface of coal beds. However, I have yet to find anything about actual “preserved dinosaur bodies …. found embedded in coal seams.”

Last edited 2 months ago by Clyde Spencer
Alberta1234
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
August 14, 2021 12:06 pm

We would find gastroliths and fossilized teeth/bone from dinosaurs in cretaceous aged coal in SE British Columbia. I used to walk the coal seams marking oxidation lines and saw plenty of evidence of dinosaurs existing and dying within the carbon rich beds the later formed coal. I also observed turtle fossils and a plesiosaur partial in the oilsands, was really cool to stumble across. I’ve yet to see a ‘preserved body’ though.

Scissor
Reply to  nicholas tesdorf
August 12, 2021 8:53 pm

A post by David Middleton a couple of years ago explained the difference between measured depth and true vertical depth. He explained that many people confuse these and give one the impression that a well is deeper than it actually is. I suspect that the figure of 40,000 feet “below the surface” that you cite is probably due to this common error.

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2019/04/17/the-worlds-deepest-oil-well-how-bad-science-spreads-on-the-internet/

M Courtney
Reply to  Scissor
August 13, 2021 12:15 am

Deeper – more pressure and heat – smaller molecular chains formed.
Interesting.
You are Lewandowsky. Only a social scientist would be so ill-informed.

Joao Martins
Reply to  Scissor
August 13, 2021 7:26 am

Please, take your Introduction to Petroleum Geology manual, open it over a table and make it rotate 180 degrees: You did? Fine! Now maybe you will start to understand it. The problem was, you were reading it upside down.

Reply to  Scissor
August 13, 2021 8:02 am

You got one half right! It’s not so much the depth as it is the heat that turns oil into gas.

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2019/05/08/how-climate-change-buried-a-desert-20000-feet-beneath-the-gulf-of-mexico-seafloor/

Mark ingraha
Reply to  David Middleton
August 20, 2021 11:26 pm

That’s what I said.

Reply to  Scissor
August 13, 2021 8:05 am

comment image?w=450&zoom=2

ResourceGuy
Reply to  Scissor
August 13, 2021 12:06 pm

Somebody let the shales know they are doing it all wrong.

M Courtney
Reply to  nicholas tesdorf
August 13, 2021 12:04 am

I’ve looked at the chemistry of abiotic oil and come to three conclusions:

1) Abiotic oil probably exists.
2) Abiotic oil probably exists in places that are not economic to extract.
3) If abiotic oil exists it would form in places that we have no guidance in finding (unlike our geological knowledge that guides the finding of conventional oil).

So we a re caught between the theory and the engineering. Me, I am willing to believe in both.

James F. Evans
Reply to  M Courtney
August 13, 2021 12:39 am

Faults, fissures, and cracks, under layers of porous sediment with overbearing cap rock (trap rock that forms the reservoir).

The Middle East is a very active geological region filled with faults, fissures, and cracks (check out an earthquake map).

It also has the most oil in the world.

Richard Page
Reply to  M Courtney
August 13, 2021 2:58 am

We’re right back at the problems with climate change enthusiasts – assumptions make lousy foundations for future policies. We don’t know exactly how, where or why oil forms and we don’t know yet the full extent of our ignorance. Maybe abiotic oil exists, maybe both types of oil exist in different places but we haven’t got to that point in our understanding yet.

Last edited 2 months ago by Richard Page
John Endicott
Reply to  M Courtney
August 13, 2021 3:44 am

4) if abiotic oil exists, the process of it’s formation is likely too slow to be of any use in replacing our use of fossil-made oil.

James F. Evans
Reply to  John Endicott
August 13, 2021 9:05 am

True, we don’t know, in fact Earth’s development may be lineal, so that the conditions that created the world’s oil fields may not be present now.

But what can be said, is that there is more oil in various places than ancient algae would suggest. Almost all oil is found in regions where faults, fissures, and cracks underlie a sedimentary basin with cap rock.

The oil that is being recovered is not derived from ancient algae.

John Tillman
Reply to  James F. Evans
August 13, 2021 12:57 pm

Yes, it is, but not just from algae. Other plankton and marine microbes as well.

James F. Evans
Reply to  John Tillman
August 13, 2021 7:04 pm

It’s getting increasing silly & ridiculous to claim algae is the basis of oil & gas. More people all the time are seeing it for what it is: the emperor has no clothes.

Where are those troughs & basins of dead algae (plankton & microbes…microbes???) today?

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  nicholas tesdorf
August 13, 2021 5:45 am

How preserved dinosaur bodies are found embedded in coal seams is another mystery.”
Not really.
Perhaps you are speaking of the Price River coal mine in Utah?

The Carboniferous period immediately preceded the Permian, and the Permian is generally accepted to be when early reptiles first appeared in the fossil record.

But the Carboniferous is only when MOST of the coal that is currently still buried in the Earth was formed.
10% or more was made before and after that time.
The Price River coal is notably younger than most coal deposits.
In fact, Price river coal is dated to the late Cretaceous period, which was of course a time when dinosaurs ruled the planet.
Coal can form whenever and wherever large amounts of plant material accumulates under anoxic conditions, such as occurs in peat bogs.
We have some large one’s of those peat bogs even now.
Nothing like what existed back in the Carboniferous, but it is possible in a few hundred million years someone will dig up coal with human remains in it. Maybe even a car or two.

John Tillman
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
August 13, 2021 8:27 am

There were already true reptiles in the Carboniferous, ie diapsid amniotes, just as there were synapsids, ancestral to mammals.

Duane
Reply to  nicholas tesdorf
August 13, 2021 9:44 am

Lots of people know how oil and gas are formed in the earth’s crust. Nothing magic about it. Carbon is trapped and compressed at high pressures for long periods of time and transform into oil and gas.

As far the depth of such deposits, it is no mystery to anybody even slightly educated in geology that the process of plate tectonics constantly produces deep diving crust material forced far below the surface where it is eventually turned into magma within the mantle, some of which then rises back to the surface when a pathway is found under sufficient driving pressure. Oil and gas, being naturally less dense than rock, will quickly migrate upwards if there is a pressure relief path via the voids in a rocky reservoir.

Len Werner
August 12, 2021 7:10 pm

I returned to UBC in 1973 for another degree; in very early September of that year I went to a lecture by Dr. King Hubbert presenting his Peak Oil analysis. Shortly after that in a graduate petroleum geology course Dr. Jim Murray presented his fracture porosity analysis predicting that NE BC natural gas production would be short-lived.

Today, almost half a century later, we are still waiting for peak oil, and are building LNG plants on the northern BC coast to export natural gas after supplying all of BC’s and some of Washington State’s needs for that half century.

Both were very intelligent people, both presented their cases in a clear and un-arguable fashion, yet both were wrong in some way–they were (without fault) wrong in not being able to consider things which they could not know at the time.

I predict that anyone making predictions on such things today will be just as intelligent, make just as logical and well thought out predictions as Drs. Hubbert and Murray did–and yet will still be wrong. And that is because, unless the idiocy of ‘Climate Change’ and ‘Covid’ and the politics that promotes them destroy all quest for discovery, there simply are future advances that today they just cannot know.

Rory Forbes
Reply to  Len Werner
August 12, 2021 8:31 pm

In response, I can only quote the great Yogi Berra regarding making predictions …

It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.

John
Reply to  Rory Forbes
August 12, 2021 10:33 pm

I thought Yogi Bear punch line was “Smarter than the Average Bear”

so for humans this is not very hard as most humans are pretty dumb and only care about saturday’s game and having a bear beer (pun intended)

Rory Forbes
Reply to  John
August 12, 2021 10:46 pm

I’m guessing you already know this, but just in case …

Yogi Berra was an outspoken New York Yankee and one of the greatest catchers of all time, who was famous for his many oddly compelling quotes …

1. When you come to a fork in the road, take it.
2. You can observe a lot by just watching.
3. It ain’t over till it’s over.
4. It’s like déjà vu all over again.
5. No one goes there nowadays, it’s too crowded.
6. Baseball is 90% mental and the other half is physical.
7. A nickel ain’t worth a dime anymore.

https://ftw.usatoday.com/2019/03/the-50-greatest-yogi-berra-quotes

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Rory Forbes
August 13, 2021 6:55 am

Yogi Bera also served his country in World War II. He was there on D-Day, when the Allies started the invasion of Europe in France.

Imagine being a captive French citizen waking up one morning and looking out to sea and seeing thousands of ships sitting there, that were not there the day before. They are coming to set you free. Yogi was on one of those ships.

Imagine being a German soldier and waking up to that scene.

Carlo, Monte
Reply to  Tom Abbott
August 13, 2021 8:41 am

There is a story, the details of which I don’t recall, where a Wehrmacht officer has his first encounter with a can of Spam. He was amazed that it was possible to supply an army with food like this from across the Atlantic, and concluded that N@ZI Germany was doomed.

Rory Forbes
Reply to  Carlo, Monte
August 13, 2021 9:52 am

I read of a similar story of Germans capturing a GI shipment including mail from home. They found a chocolate cake, somewhat worse for wear, but pretty fresh and very edible. They were very disheartened.

Rory Forbes
Reply to  Tom Abbott
August 13, 2021 9:48 am

If he had been Japanese, Berra would have been considered a national treasure. I’m always delighted but rarely surprised when I hear stories about Berra … one of my childhood heroes.

Those ships and what they stood for were certainly a shot in the arm for French morale. As for the German reaction, I suspect it was something along the lines of an English reaction … “We’re royally f*cked now, mate.”

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
Reply to  Rory Forbes
August 13, 2021 11:55 am

You forgot:

  •  I really didn’t say everything I said.
Rory Forbes
Reply to  Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
August 13, 2021 12:20 pm

Yeah … I know. I had to make a choice and every one struck a note.

I particularly like #2 … seems so appropriate and something the true believers should do more of.

2. You can observe a lot by just watching.

pHil R
Reply to  Rory Forbes
August 13, 2021 6:26 pm

“Ninety percent of putts that are short don’t go in.”

Rory Forbes
Reply to  pHil R
August 13, 2021 7:17 pm

I’ve found that too … 🙂

Rusty
Reply to  Len Werner
August 13, 2021 2:18 am

Those predicting disaster never seem to appreciate future advances in technology or human adaptation and ingenuity.

Richard Page
Reply to  Rusty
August 13, 2021 3:06 am

On the contrary – those currently preaching disaster are relying on advances in technology or human adaptation and ingenuity to provide the miracle to save everyone. Sometimes blind faith is worse than not anticipating future solutions.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Richard Page
August 13, 2021 7:00 am

Only their ideas about “advances in technology” are to solve nothing, and accomplish this non-solution by not advancing technology, but trying to revive technology left in the dust by subsequent “advances in technology” hundreds of years ago.

After the “battery electric vehicle” farce face plants, next they’ll be waxing eloquent about horses and carriages, while pimping the “new technology” that will “save us” from the mountains of manure.

Bill Rocks
Reply to  Len Werner
August 13, 2021 9:19 am

You are a wise man.

August 12, 2021 7:41 pm

 There are for the second question two further subquestions: at what price; and all at any price? I do not address those here.”

This seems like a rather important idea to skip over. I have seen a great graphic that summarizes oil reserves availablevat various price points. The exact numbers could be debated, but Saudi Arabia could continue to make money even at very low oild prices, but Canada and Venezuela can only produce at much higher prices per barrel.
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Scissor
Reply to  Tim Folkerts
August 12, 2021 9:03 pm

The chart seems like a reasonable conservative estimate. Technology improvements could increase reserves to some extent.

MarkW
Reply to  Tim Folkerts
August 13, 2021 6:30 am

Condensate is removed before the oil is shipped. When you buy a barrel of oil, you aren’t paying for condensate.

John Aqua
August 12, 2021 7:53 pm

I have been a watcher of this website for nearly a decade and find the comments hilarious at times but sad at other times. I have a background in geology and that gives me insight to time horizons that most non geologists fail to recognize or fathom. This recent commenter, MI, appears to be a troll to solicit visits to his website and is, at best, a luddite, carnival barker or just an out and out charlatan. For those who are legitimate scientists, skeptics, rational thinkers, please continue to provide the valuable counter point discussion that our MSM fails to report objectively. If only there were more people who would be open minded about contrary hypotheses regarding the end of the world predictions from our idiot politicians whose mission is to scare rather than provide rational, educational discussions with scientific backing.

philincalifornia
Reply to  John Aqua
August 12, 2021 8:23 pm

Yes, good post. The trolls are found out pretty quickly and go away. The ones with Aspergers stick around longer (almost forever here, as trolls don’t get banned) because no one else talks to them in their sad real lives.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  John Aqua
August 12, 2021 8:40 pm

Speaking of Mr. MI, where is he? This is his chance to be ‘On Topic’ for a change and he is blowing it.

(He is in Moderation which means ONLY on topic comments will be approved) SUNMOD

Last edited 2 months ago by Sunsettommy
MarkW
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
August 13, 2021 6:32 am

MI claims to know more about rocks than every geologist ever trained.

Joao Martins
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
August 13, 2021 7:39 am

Data, please!

Where did Dave fail in his account? Everyone here is interested in having good, reliable data to think about. Please show us your sources. In so doing, you could become useful instead of being a permanent nuisance.

Carlo, Monte
Reply to  Joao Martins
August 13, 2021 8:44 am

This ain’t gonna happen.

MarkW
Reply to  Carlo, Monte
August 13, 2021 9:35 am

If he does, it will be an article he wrote on his blog.

Editor
Reply to  Joao Martins
August 13, 2021 11:05 am

You can easily explain it HERE too, but you not going to because you want something else instead.

Last edited 2 months ago by Sunsettommy
Editor
Reply to  Sunsettommy
August 13, 2021 12:59 pm

Ha ha, you deflected to Lithium, when you earlier were talking about peak oil.

It is clear you don’t have the answers to offer against what David M. wrote about.

Cheers.

Editor
Reply to  Sunsettommy
August 13, 2021 2:11 pm

These are your PRIOR replies before I asked you the question:

“The reserves Dave gave are 150gb which is 3x more than physically possible. It is obviously a troll article.”

“Dave gave no attempt at geology.”

“He didn’t even try. See my blog and my numerous posts on this.”

my reply: “You can easily explain it HERE too, but you not going to because you want something else instead.”

Rud Istvan is the threads author and your attacks on a David who didn’t talk about this at all “150gb which is 3x”, it seems YOU confused him for someone else.

The only comment Dave posted ABOVE yours: “You got one half right! It’s not so much the depth as it is the heat that turns oil into gas.

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2019/05/08/how-climate-change-buried-a-desert-20000-feet-beneath-the-gulf-of-mexico-seafloor/

You never answered his comment.

You seems very confused.

Maybe you should read better?

Last edited 2 months ago by Sunsettommy
Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Sunsettommy
August 14, 2021 2:09 pm

You appear to have an aversion to providing anything but your personal opinions. You are currently playing in Anthony’s sand box. Provide the support for your claims here. You have center stage for making your points. Do so!

Dave Fair
Reply to  Joao Martins
August 13, 2021 11:36 am

As the Vietnamese B-girls told me: Nebba happen, GI.

Joao Martins
Reply to  Joao Martins
August 13, 2021 12:47 pm

I asked for reliable sources of information… not for your tinkering with numbers.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Joao Martins
August 14, 2021 2:12 pm

You aren’t doing anything to recover your reputation, such as it is!

Rory Forbes
Reply to  John Aqua
August 12, 2021 8:41 pm

I second everything you wrote and will only add; I hope the residents and guests keep up the long tradition of on point humour, occasional levity and wise observations covering the broad range of topics and disciplines found at this site. There can’t be many places left today that can be at once inspirational, satisfying, educational and amusing.

Last edited 2 months ago by Rory Forbes
Joao Martins
Reply to  Rory Forbes
August 13, 2021 7:44 am

And I second John’s words and also your description of the “mood” of this site: “inspirational, satisfying, educational and amusing”.

AndyHce
Reply to  John Aqua
August 12, 2021 8:51 pm

The goal seems to be end of oil soon, very soon, for the western world

Clyde Spencer
August 12, 2021 8:50 pm

Third, his estimate by definition did not recognize at all the later technology advances of fracked shale (tight) oil.

You can hardly fault a man for not visualizing an invention before it was invented. He was clearly providing a cautionary tale about the future of the only thing known in the 1950s, trapped conventional oil. Better to have a look at the future through blinders than not even considering whether there might be some interruptions to the path that we were on. He was ahead of his contemporaries, even if he wasn’t completely right. It is rare that a man doesn’t make some mistakes when forging new ground.

StandupPhilosopher
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
August 13, 2021 12:07 am

“We’re all doomed!” is hardly treading new ground, as well as being wrong about it.

MarkW
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
August 13, 2021 6:36 am

If he was as smart as many want to believe, he would have considered the possibility of technological improvement when making his forecasts.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  MarkW
August 13, 2021 1:03 pm

So, you are advocating that he delve into the area of supposition with all the “could, may, and possiblys” that we condemn climatologists for using? He kept his feet firmly grounded in the data that were available at the time, and didn’t speculate that something akin to ‘cold fusion’ might be invented. There is an infinity of future possibilities, most of which don’t happen, which is why everyone has a poor track record in forecasting the future. Who was smart enough to see that VHS would survive the demise of the technically superior Beta format?

Hubbert’s message was that there is a finite amount of petroleum. It may be huge, but still finite. We still don’t know what that amount is, but his approach gave an estimate of when an individual well or oil field might start to decline, given the known technology of the time. Basically, he was giving the oil companies a lower-bound on the amount of available oil. Extending that (as with any good experiment), assuming that nothing changes, this is likely how things will will play out. In fact, his caution about Peak Oil probably should be given some credit for alternatives being sought to just looking for new places to drill vertical holes.

The man was not a seer. He simply applied mathematics and data to try to answer the question of when an oil field might start to decline, and what rate of discovery would be necessary to compensate for an inevitable production decline and increasing demand, with the technology that was known at the time! It was others who played the role of Casandras forecasting doom, based on misapplications of Hubbert’s work.

I’m sure that he was smart enough to realize that technology would advance. However, he was also smart enough not to try to predict just how that technology would look. We have far too many people who consider themselves so smart that they can predict catastrophes and ‘Tipping Points’ that don’t happen.

August 12, 2021 9:29 pm

“Monterey shale oil reserve went from an official over 15 trillion barrels per EIA…”

Trillion??? I think not. A gross error.

Rud Istvan
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
August 13, 2021 6:05 pm

Unfortunately, not.

August 12, 2021 9:33 pm

LOL. “non sequitur” much there buckaroo1??

Rory Forbes
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
August 12, 2021 11:03 pm

Dear gawd … the guy seems to be barely literate while pretending to be some sort of psychic oil patch insider. Imagine; suddenly 90% of some mysteriously unmentioned population is going to die. Should they be told in advance?

H.R.
Reply to  Rory Forbes
August 13, 2021 3:23 am

If 90% percent of people die, demand for oil will plummet, and the timeline for peak oil will go out thousands of years.

mkelly
Reply to  H.R.
August 13, 2021 6:54 am

When we get economic mining of methane hydrates peak oil will never happen. We have thousands of years of MH available.

Rory Forbes
Reply to  H.R.
August 13, 2021 9:34 am

I was trying to be somewhat ironic to a stultifyinly idiotic statement. He can’t be taken seriously.

MarkW
Reply to  Rory Forbes
August 13, 2021 6:34 am

He’s still convinced that oil will keep pumping at current rates, and then one day, shut off completely when the oil runs out.

Rory Forbes
Reply to  MarkW
August 13, 2021 9:36 am

Frankly I’m never sure what he’s saying, exactly. He’s only semi-literate.

Intelligent Dasein
August 12, 2021 9:40 pm

I’m quite happy to see an article like this here.

I for one am just about sick of David Middleton’s kitsch-ridden, endlessly repetitive, chest-thumping dreck. I don’t know why that guy is allowed to write here. He has helped to turn what was once an enjoyable science blog into the internet version of The Price is Right.

PCman999
Reply to  Intelligent Dasein
August 12, 2021 11:10 pm

David Middleton is my favourite! With Willis close second

AlexBerlin
Reply to  Intelligent Dasein
August 13, 2021 12:51 am

Easy way out: Don’t read it. Google will show you billions of other websites to spend your lifetime on. With a much higher percentage of porn, sports, and other pleasures of simple-minded men than this one here. Thanks for nothing, and good-bye!

John Endicott
Reply to  Intelligent Dasein
August 13, 2021 3:49 am

Concern trolls are a hoot.

2hotel9
Reply to  John Endicott
August 13, 2021 4:11 am

Concern troll? I like it! Leftards always pretend to be so concerned for blahblah all the while they are screwing everyone around them.

MarkW
Reply to  Intelligent Dasein
August 13, 2021 6:37 am

It really is amazing how pseudo intellectuals get their panties in a wad whenever people don’t pay enough attention to them.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Intelligent Dasein
August 13, 2021 7:04 am

We love Dave! More, more, more!

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Intelligent Dasein
August 13, 2021 7:12 am

Now imagine for a moment how many who read this blog are just about sick of your fact free posts of doom and gloom, turning every post about anything whatsoever into another typewritten verbal diarrhea stream from you about “peak oil,” which has been the subject of endless blather for half a century from various sources, all of which have been wrong.

PaulID
Reply to  Intelligent Dasein
August 15, 2021 8:19 am

If it was Dave that wrote this that might have been an intelligent thought but is it was Rud Istivan you need to go back to remedial reading comprehension.

August 12, 2021 10:04 pm

I’m thinking I’ll buy a new 2022 Chevy Suburban next year with the biggest engine available (6.3 liter V8). I feel pretty confident I’ll still be driving it in 2032 when I turn 70. Anyone wanna bet?

Alexy Scherbakoff
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
August 12, 2021 10:30 pm

The nasty little covids’s will get you by then.

Last edited 2 months ago by Alexy Scherbakoff
AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Alexy Scherbakoff
August 13, 2021 7:13 am

If not the Chicoms will invent some new ones.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
August 13, 2021 7:23 am

Yes, I think predictions of the demise of the internal combustion engine are a little hasty.

We should keep in mind that government policies can change drastically in a very short time. Like night and day, sometimes.

Alan the Brit
August 12, 2021 11:12 pm

Under the rule of Stalin, Russian scientists were told to examine oil/gas reserves for the purposes of securing Russia’s energy future. They determined that oil was not in fact a fossil fuel, but a mineral-based fuel, & ever since the Russian energy industry has gone from strength to strength with little sign of it diminishing!!! The only proven fossil fuel is coal as plant imprints have been found in coal samples on several occasions!!! To my knowledge, no such evidence has been discovered in oil!!!

Javier
Reply to  Alan the Brit
August 13, 2021 12:43 am

Oil is a fossil fuel. There is absolutely no doubt about it. It contains plenty of biomarkers, molecules of biological origin.

John Tillman
Reply to  Alan the Brit
August 13, 2021 8:30 am

Russian petroleum geologists know as well as their foreign colleagues that oil is a fossil fuel. Here’s how it forms:

https://www.planete-energies.com/en/medias/close/how-oil-and-gas-deposits-are-formed

Tim Crome
August 13, 2021 12:43 am

Don’t forget that there are still huge reserves of coal and that this can be turned into fuels, at a price!

Javier
August 13, 2021 1:07 am

What is not being considered is the law of diminishing returns. The easy most profitable oil was extracted first. It was the days when oilmen just had to poke the ground and oil would come out of it due to its pressure. What is left is the hardest least profitable oil. Now we need to break rocks with high pressure and inject chemicals to get tiny streams of oil that go to nothing in two years. It is surprising that people don’t see such a clear sign that we are running out of affordable oil when we have to resort to such methods.

Price is not a good metric, even if inflaction adjusted. It is the cost to society to obtain, transform and distribute the oil. When oil was cheap and very profitable, the energetic and economical dividend was huge. With that dividend society built complexity. Now that oil is costly and much less profitable the economical dividend is smaller. We can barely maintain complexity and cracks are starting to appear in the weak and more sensitive parts of society. More and more countries are taking a dive in conditions.

Peak Oil took place in 2018. It doesn’t matter how much oil is in the ground, as a great deal of it will never be extracted. Energy descent has started and it will become more clear as time goes by in the most important metrics: oil consumption per capita and primary energy consumption per capita.

Archer
Reply to  Javier
August 13, 2021 1:32 am

The “peak” that began in 2018 is policy-driven, not supply-driven. If it were a supply-driven peak, futures would have risen even during the corona silliness.

Last edited 2 months ago by Archer
Javier
Reply to  Archer
August 13, 2021 3:24 am

The causes for Peak Oil are multiple, as it lays at the interface between Geology, Economy and Policy, all of them playing a role. Geology makes oil progressibly more costly to society, until the economy can’t afford it, and the economy does not demand what it can’t afford. Increasing debt doesn’t reach the low income people that are an ample majority in the world. Policies adapt to the situation.

I have long suspected that one of the factors behind the climate scam was the impending Peak Oil, trying to push an energy transition that is not working.

I do not believe the virus was released on purpose, although I believed it escaped the Wuhan lab, but surely it has a really opportune timing, right after Peak Oil. Now they can blame it on the virus and say it is temporary. It will be a lot of years before people finally realize Peak Oil took place in 2018.

That doesn’t mean oil prices are going through the roof. The economy still needs lots of oil and if oil price goes up, the economy goes into crisis and demands less oil driving prices down and further reducing production. We are now in an inverse dynamic to the one before the Peak.

Once you accept Peak Oil, you will see that all the rest falls into place: The climate scare, the 2030 Agenda, fossil fuel demonization. We are being driven so we don’t revolt, but we will revolt just the same due to plunging standards of living, as the French Yellow Vests showed.

Editor
Reply to  Archer
August 13, 2021 5:33 am

Archer and Javier, you are both correct, sort of. Oil and gas are fundamental to our society, WWII was fought for oil and gas. Politics and economics are so entwined with it as to be inseparable, all true.

But most people interpret, incorrectly IMHO, that peak oil means the supply is nearly gone. This is untrue, the volumes of technically recoverable oil are too large. We will never get there, but the price will eventually get high enough, at some point, where a good alternative will take over. Just as kerosene replaced whale oil and cars replaced horses.

Javier
Reply to  Andy May
August 13, 2021 6:38 am

Andy, you know we disagree on this one (it’s OK). I’ve been studying Peak Oil since 2014, when the price collapse in oil was the death knell for Peak Oil.

It is irrelevant how much oil there is in the Earth’s crust. There could be 10 times more and it would not change the 2018 Peak Oil. Despite massive debt growth our global economy is no longer capable of increasing the rate of oil extraction. It would require two things that are incompatible:

  • Much higher oil prices
  • An economy that grows fast with much higher oil prices

There are long-term trends that lead inescapably to peak oil. There is nothing that can be done about it.
comment image

Adjusting to a lower energy consumption will prove a challenge. I anticipate that things will start to come undone in about 15 years but there will be mostly worsening global economic conditions until then.

Editor
Reply to  Javier
August 13, 2021 7:43 am

I interpret your response as oil will reach a peak when it becomes too expensive relative to alternatives, which I agree with. The only way the phrase “peak oil” has any meaning is if we only consider it economically. The physical technically recoverable oil supply (resource) is, for all practical purposes, infinite, since it would last for hundreds of years.

But, eventually oil and gas will become too expensive and will be replaced. I doubt 2018 is that date. You have not convinced me, but that is OK, the debate is an important one.

Javier
Reply to  Andy May
August 13, 2021 8:27 am

I am not trying to convince anybody. I am just giving my opinion. Time will tell if I am right or not. But the implications are so huge that I rather be wrong on this one.

Oil will not be replaced in the sense that all alternatives are inferior in energy or economic terms or both. So it is not possible to substitute oil while kepping the economy growing enough to sustain current standard of living.

So my response is that Peak Oil is reached when the economy cannot grow enough to afford increasing extraction of increasingly costlier to extract oil. That point is past.

To illustrate the concept of increasingly costlier to extract oil, one can look at the response in oil production to E&P expense.
comment image

Since 2014, and particularly with COVID there has been a debacle in E&P expending. The reduction in production is already baked in. Oil prices will not go up much because the global economy cannot afford >100$ oil any more.
comment image

By the time the dust settles a few years from now the 2018 peak in oil production will be unassailable.

Editor
Reply to  Javier
August 13, 2021 11:21 am

Nice graphs, I well remember the supply crashes of 1987 and 1999, prices fell through the floor and it took years to soak up the excess supply. So your first graph is not convincing. The second is a little different, but also too much supply. It’s a boom and bust business. Currently we have way too much supply, but it is being worked off and I expect a boom to begin soon. Prices will go up then, and $100/bbl is not out of reach, that is not too high for the world at large, we’ve been there before.

Last edited 2 months ago by Andy May
Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Andy May
August 14, 2021 2:24 pm

… since it would last for hundreds of years.

Then, by definition, ‘peak’ will happen in about half that time. A supply of several hundred years is not infinite.

John Tillman
Reply to  Javier
August 13, 2021 8:09 am

Who can look into the seeds of time and say which will grow?

I expect that 2018 production will be exceeded, as was the 2008 peak after recovery from the 2009 depths of the Great Recession.

Longer term, world population growth will grind to a halt, new technologies will emerge and per capita demand for crude may fall, all before there be an actual supply problem.

Last edited 2 months ago by John Tillman
Archer
August 13, 2021 1:27 am

So let me see if I have this straight: If we ignore everything that proves you wrong, then you’re definitely right. Is that right?

Last edited 2 months ago by Archer
August 13, 2021 2:17 am

Yup. Production decline/rising costs/rising prices/organic migration to other energy sources.

USA will go coal. for a while. Maybe S Africa and Australia too. Most other places go nuclear.

Nowhere will go renewable unless they already have massive hydro. N Zealand perhaps, or Norway

drumphish
August 13, 2021 2:27 am

You need kerogen, organic content, heat, and the presence of hydrogen to obtain petroleum.

It occurs naturally. There is a salt dome under the ocean floor that is 16 miles tall and four miles in diameter that is ringed top to bottom with oil deposits. Old kelp becomes oil, time, heat and pressure is what does it.

Texas has in the neighborhood of 176,000 wells that produce an average of 13 barrels per day. There is strength in numbers. About 2.2 million barrels per day from Texas, Not dry wells, but close, still does the job.

In contrast, North Dakota has 15,000 wells and an average of 90 bpd per well.

Leigh Price estimated the Bakken Formation to hold between 500 to 900 billion barrels of oil.

Price’s study of the Bakken is 158 pages in length and has a wealth of information. Leigh determined that the Bakken is an immature formation, lots of natural gas. Mature formations have little natural gas. It was available at one time on the internets, but it is now gone.

Go to the WABAC machine, enter this url: https://undeerc.org/News-Publications/Leigh-Price-Paper/pdf/TextVersion.pdf

There was a natural gas flare in western North Dakota a few years back, it was probably 200 feet tall and a good 100 feet wide, could be seen for miles.

searchanddiscovery.com will take you to all things oil.

One thing about oil, there is a lot of it.

It was believed in the 1930’s that peak oil would happen around 1947-8.

Masterresource dot com will help too.

Bill Rocks
Reply to  drumphish
August 13, 2021 10:08 am

Leigh C. Price was ahead of his time. He was a very decent human being and died too young. He is missed.

John Swallow
August 13, 2021 3:59 am

What were the CO₂ levels when this coal seam was being produced in Wyoming? It appears that however high they were, that the planet did not end like the brainless alarmist want us to believe.
“Thickest Coal Seam Known
The thickest known coal seam in the world Is the Wyoming, near Twin Creek, in the Green river coal basin, Wyoming. It Is eighty feet thick, and upward of 300 feet of solid coal underlie 4000 acres”.
 https://cdnc.ucr.edu/cgi-bin/cdnc?a=d&d=LAH18980218.2.69&e=——-en–20–1–txt-txIN——–1 

Bill Rocks
Reply to  John Swallow
August 13, 2021 9:47 am

The 1898 news article you reference is interesting history. Certainly significant and valuable and located such as to support industry and development in that region, but most likely it refers to a tectonically-thickened coal in the western Wyoming Overthrust belt near Kemmerer, Wyoming. Thickened by folding and/or faulting and not the depositional thickness. Coal deforms like tooth paste in fold belts. The folding and faulting occurred after the coal beds were deposited and buried Those coals are of Cretaceous age and, yes, the climate is believed to have been relatively hot. Hot house climate.

For truly thick coal beds, true vertical thickness as deposited and transformed to coal, consider the Tertiary age coals of the Powder River Basin, Wyoming or the coal in the Gippsland Basin of Austalia. There are probably others but the Twin Creek area is not it in my opinion. I have been wrong a few times, though.

Geoff Sherrington
August 13, 2021 4:02 am

For thirty years I was working as a geochemist with one of the world’s most successful mineral explorers – named ‘hard rock’ then to exclude oil, gas, coal. So I am not qualified to speak to peak oil. I can speak to the ‘peak’ concept for hard rock minerals.
As exploration policy, we did not assume that there was an existing limit to mineral resources apart from human skill in locating them. The whole Earth had not been drilled down to 3,000 meters on 100 meter centers, so there was a lot of unexplored ground remaining. Still is.
Geologists tried to make the odds better by using rules of thumb such as ‘like becomes like’, meaning that if you can characterize the settings of important mineral deposits and look for matches elsewhere, you might succeed better. Example, we found a lot of rutile (TiO2) by looking in beach sands, not in granite country.
The trouble was that no geologist knew then, or knows now in adequate detail, how rocks and minerals are formed. (My boss, John Elliston, who died the other day, was so frustrated that he developed a whole new synthesis based around particles in the colloidal state. It has a lot going for it).
This lack of certainty about rock and mineral genesis removes the possibility of accurate estimates of future resources and reserves. If you say ‘This mineral product is usually found in sandstones of a certain geologic age, so we can estimate how much unexplored sandstone of this age remains on Earth and make assumptions about how much more mineral will be found within it.’ It is for this reason alone, impossible to predict peak mineral for any mineral.
The situation is rather like this wicked global warming problem. To understand both well enough to make accurate predictions, you have to be able to quantify many co-variables including probably even some that are not yet recognised.
We found a number of new mines by use of minerals whose magnetic properties perturbed the natural magnetic field of the Earth. The value of this method drops off with increasing depth to the minerals, as the signal becomes lost in the noise. We found uranium from its gamma ray emissions, but it takes only a few meters of barren cover to hide them for detection from the surface or from airborne detectors.
In the end, you have to drill to see what is deeper. Drilling is expensive. You can use this observation to generalize about what % of the near surface of the Earth remains to be explored under different scenarios, but it is a coarse measure and could well do more harm than good. It is like blaming CO2 for the end of Life as we know it. Geoff S

B Clarke
Reply to  Geoff Sherrington
August 13, 2021 5:27 am

but it takes only a few meters of barren cover to hide them for detection from the surface or from airborne detectors.”

But you can find faults from airborne detectors, but thats not my point , I found a galena vein because a remote forestry track had been cut, not obvious to the guys who cut it.

The visible evidence was stones of galena, too big to lift , in a brown earthy matrix about 2 foot wide at surface ,in the turning circle
bank we ( my geology professor) cut into the vein and he confirmed the hanging and footwall.

The area is the mid Wales ore field mainly worked out ,the new vein was discovered at the southern end of the ore field were the orientation of the faults turn from east to west to north to south, few productive mines were worked in the southern end of the ore field.

The UK geological survey missed this fault ,as did many generations of miners wandering the hills looking for veins to gain a tac note from a landowner.

It just goes to show that new discovery’s can be made in what was once thought of as worked out.

Its second genesis from what my professor tells me ,no drilling or further investigation has been carried out.

2hotel9
August 13, 2021 4:08 am

So plenty of oil and gas to help build nuclear power plants, at which point there will be plenty of cheap electricity for everyone. It certainly is nice to be top of the food chain.

Editor
August 13, 2021 5:24 am

First, how much more fossil fuel oil remains to be discovered? And second, how much of that can be usefully extracted? There are for the second question two further subquestions: at what price; and all at any price? I do not address those here.

You skip over the two most important subquestions Rud! Most of the oceans (70% of Earth) remain unexplored and the technically recoverable unconventional oil resources of the planet are huge!

Given unlimited money and no other options for energy there would be “peak oil” in the distant future, but too far out to matter, and that isn’t the real world. Peak oil is an abstract concept with no real world significance.

In the real world the oil (and gas) supply will last until something cheaper and better emerges. It will emerge when the price of oil and gas rises enough to make some other option economically attractive. Just as kerosene replaced whale oil.

When I worked for Esso Exploration in the 1980s we did assessments of the total amount of technically recoverable oil and gas, both with and without economic constraints. Without any economic constraints, even in those days, the volumes were enormous, we could never use all of it.

It is not a matter of supply, its a matter of price and technology. Your and Hubbert’s idea in the abstract, with a static world and technology, is correct, just as Malthus’ idea was correct, if everything else remains the same. But, it is not applicable to the real world where technology always advances faster than demand.

Rud Istvan
Reply to  Andy May
August 13, 2021 6:15 pm

Andy, it was on purpose, to keep the argument focused on geology not economics. Even said so. So you now owe us the economics discussion I failed to provide. Good Luck.

Editor
Reply to  Rud Istvan
August 14, 2021 12:20 pm

I wish I could. I’ve looked at the problem in some detail over the decades when I was in the business, but figuring out the economic switchover time and price is beyond me. Currently oil, coal, and gas are the linchpins of our economy, so politics, subsidies, taxes and foreign policy kind control everything. If it were only supply and demand, maybe we could get an answer, but we aren’t that lucky. We’ll just have to wait and see. In the meantime, don’t worry about running out of oil, coal and gas. That is more than 100 years away, at the earliest. Prices will go higher though.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Andy May
August 14, 2021 2:34 pm

Currently, the greatest threat to quickly create peak production will be for politicians and their green masters to outlaw the use of fossil fuels. After that, production will drop to zero.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Andy May
August 14, 2021 2:31 pm

There might be huge underwater reserves in an area such as Zealandia, but unlikely along the mid-ocean ridges.

Editor
August 13, 2021 6:05 am

I think that M King Hubbert has been marginally misrepresented in this article. I ‘updated’ Hubbert using conventional and unconventional oil resource data here on WUWT back in April 2019. As I said then, M King Hubbert’s prediction for US oil production was remarkably accurate for 50 years after he made it l, and predictions that are that accurate over 50 years are quite rare.

I put the data for Peak Oil at “maybe a bit after 2040, but it depends on how things actually happen”. I still think that was about right, but perhaps I should now re-do the numbers.

I agree in general with Rud Istvan about the “Just a slow decline” and the shape of the tail, but again it does depend on how things actually happen. There is more than one possible future.

And of course, we are only talking about oil, not about all fossil fuels, and in particular not about gas.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Mike Jonas
August 13, 2021 7:32 am

How do gas supplies compare to oil supplies?

Bill Rocks
Reply to  Tom Abbott
August 13, 2021 10:00 am

Gas resources are very large. Of course, remember the difference between resources and reserves as D. Middleton has detailed multiple times in WUWT.

Methane is a simple chemical and relatively stable even at great depth in crustal rocks. In addition to geologic processes that create methane from organic matter in subsurface rocks, biogenic methane formed by microbes is omnipresent in anoxic environments and is constantly being formed. Think rice paddies, peat bogs, land fills, submarine methane hydrates and the sub-permafrost methane in Siberia, to name a few. In addition, there is active research wherein subsurface carbon-rich strata are innoculated with methanogenic microbes to produce natural gas in real time. The latter in Wyoming.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Bill Rocks
August 13, 2021 4:17 pm

Thanks, Bill.

“In addition, there is active research wherein subsurface carbon-rich strata are innoculated with methanogenic microbes to produce natural gas in real time.”

That’s interesting.

MarkW
August 13, 2021 6:33 am

I love the way you have convinced yourself that proven reserves are all there will ever be.

Editor
Reply to  MarkW
August 13, 2021 11:07 am

What a truly absurd statement you make and oh you didn’t explain WHY you think it is impossible…..

ResourceGuy
Reply to  MarkW
August 13, 2021 12:15 pm

Did you ask Putin and his Chinese investors that?

Stephen Philbrick
Reply to  MarkW
August 13, 2021 3:17 pm

You obviously don’t understand the term.

Please read:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proven_reserves

and learn about 1P, 2P and 3P

Keith Harrison
August 13, 2021 7:33 am

Perhaps peak oil is years out much further than we can imagine today.

As transportation seemingly will shift to less oil based energy to powering by way of electricity and with improved hybrids from Toyota and higher mileage standards for ICE vehicles, oil may be conserved many years beyond current thinking.

Airlines will demand fuel efficient engines and perhaps cargo carriers such as DHL will expand their electric air fleets.

Ships using natural gas converted to ammonia based hydrogen fuels could also have a major effect displacing peak oil timelines.

Coal replaced wood more than 150 years ago as the world’s primary energy source remains a major component of power generation around the world with major improvements to efficiencies and exhaust.

Energy transitions are lengthy given coal’s record. The likelihood that oil will be similar to coal’s history seems very strong. EVs may be an important step in the electricfying transportation but ironically maybe the force to keep moving peak oil timelines out to a long future.

MarkW
Reply to  Keith Harrison
August 13, 2021 9:40 am

The only places where transportation is shifting to electric, are those places where government is forcing the shift.

Before DHL can expand their fleet of electric aircraft, someone has to start building them. So far there are only an handful of experimental craft that are only useful for very short hops with one or two passengers max.

Ted
Reply to  Keith Harrison
August 14, 2021 4:32 am

Even if the transition takes 100 years, that doesn’t mean peak oil might not have occurred a few years ago. By strict definition, peak oil occurs whenever the highest level of production is reached, no matter the reason or the amount of time that oil is still used as a major source of energy.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Keith Harrison
August 14, 2021 2:39 pm

Airlines will demand fuel efficient engines and perhaps cargo carriers such as DHL will expand their electric air fleets.

Because batteries are so heavy, it will take more energy to fly electric planes. Thus, society will experience an increase in energy requirements for doing the same thing.

Jeff Corbin
August 13, 2021 7:43 am

It was 1974 when I read the first peak oil claims in the Washington Post. In reality, global energy, (US denominated) rode OPEC’s gravy train and Nixon had to seek windfall profits tax, a price celling and 55 MPH speed limit to combat OPEC’s punishment of the USA for siding with Israel in the 1973 war. Remember the TV show Dallas… boomtown. Remember the savings and loan debacle in Texas when it all collapsed? Massive collusion and politicization of the Oil market takes off at this point. Nearly 50 years later, there has been massive expansion of global Hydrocarbon fuel exploration and discovery, (Natural gas, Oil, coal etc). Meanwhile, the technological expansion predicted in 1974-1980 that was to take off to accommodate the peak oil claim, never happened! We don’t have the BATTERY (current batteries are crap, The BATTERY is the next generation battery) Without a scalable commercialized BATTERY, solar is useless in decentralized formats), we don’t have viable commercialized all temperature Superconductive products, we don’t have hydrogen fuel cells or cold fusion and so on. We have wind, solar, TEGS but no way to store and distribute the generated electricity in decentralized formats. We do have fuel cells, hydrogen, superconductive tech, and cold fusion still in development; they are not in the commercial market place, ( I can’t go and buy them at Walmart and stick them in my home). What we have is a massive supply of hydrocarbon fuel and we are burning it because there is no viable alternative, ( all the alternatives are politized tax boondoggles…. many home owners will give away their solar cells cause the boondoggle failed in some places.). What is worse, we are told humans are ruining the globe staying warm and feeding themselves. And we have gas prices rising like Obama’s first year in office. The American people should wonder why they are being squeezed psychologically, existentially and financially on bogus claims of climate change and peak oil. Eventually, the reality is oil will reach peak demand and those markets will reel and recede but probably not in the foreseeable future. I think this is because the high tech companies are focused on crap tech like Quantum computers, and communications, and faster and smaller gizmos, because they can design them to be addictive and they predict we will all want that crap in our hands and homes. They think the demand for personal tech will just keep growing, (entertaining your self to death is a kind of death right…the death of the independent fertile mind). Finally, they think everyone is convinced they need a grid. They don’t realize the big, ‘new order’, money is bringing these products, (The Battery, the Generator and distribution units for solar/TEG and microturbine inputs) to the big box stores. The tech companies are still thinking macro for energy and micro for personal tech, when they should be thinking micro for energy and realize the that personal tech (Smartphone Serfdom) is about ready to bore people to death. There are many paradoxes that few of us grasp… I don’t claim to grasp them… just putting it out there. The American people should want to find a way out of the incredibly toxic paradoxical political narrative…. .. stay way from the toxic websites, turn off the broadband and phones and get busy getting married and raising families, starting business because that is what humans do.

MarkW
Reply to  Jeff Corbin
August 13, 2021 9:41 am

Nixon had to seek windfall profits tax, a price celling and 55 MPH speed limit 

That was Jimmy Carter, not Nixon.

Michael S. Kelly
Reply to  MarkW
August 13, 2021 12:10 pm

Actually, Nixon proposed a 50 mph national speed limit for passenger vehicles and 55 mph for trucks and buses, on November 26, 1973. The windfall profits tax, I believe, was finally instituted under Carter.

Michael S. Kelly
Reply to  Jeff Corbin
August 13, 2021 11:52 am

But then Ronald Reagan removed the long-standing price controls on U.S. petroleum, and magically, oil “shortages” vanished and have never reappeared. It was the most dramatic, incontrovertible proof of the principle that price controls cause shortages ever seen.

To be fair, Jimmy Carter was in the process of phasing out price controls. Reagan just ripped off the bandage, and we have had all the oil we need ever since.

ResourceGuy
August 13, 2021 7:44 am

Hubbert was modeling onshore conventional U.S. production. So offshore pre-salt and Russian Arctic and a host of forced-scarcity plays by hostile or incompetent governments are more significant factors. The fixation on limited modeling efforts in the past has been blown out of proportion by greens as pretext for moving on with policy reach and a host of other curiosity seekers. Yes, these are the same greens that won court cases based on a contrived premise of scarcity of uranium fuel (courtroom science tactics) for planned nuclear power plants in California. The conclusion for the educated and the dabblers in resource economics remains the same in that the ultimately recoverable resource base remains unknown along with the periodic large-scale tech changes beyond normal innovation gains. Similar large-scale tech advances on the demand side remain to be seen despite contrived DOE spending levels and consistent wrong-way bets.

Reply to  ResourceGuy
August 13, 2021 8:11 am

If Hubbert had been right about the total recoverable resource, his prediction would have been right. To this day, no one knows what the total recoverable resource is. We just know that it is finite and very large.

Jeff Corbin
Reply to  David Middleton
August 13, 2021 8:53 am

His numbers were decent but the factorial scope of his thinking was fatally flawed and he should have realized he was way out on a limb and not published the report. This is the problem when statisticians start building models in isolation, they miss critical variables, (demand, exploration, the global market geo-politique). They miss the mark because they think their numbers are brute facts, which do not exist. It takes more than one great scientific or statistical mind to make massive economic predictions. And the dude was gullible and for 50 years it his study has been leveraged by the propagandists for consumption by the gullible hoards. He gets a big fail!! There is much about the world that is finite…. this misses the point completely. No one knows what the total recoverable resource is and if they don’t they’re not going to tell you. All it takes if for one dude in china to develop ‘the battery’, all temp superconductivity and everyone will stop talking about oil.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Jeff Corbin
August 14, 2021 2:44 pm

This is the problem when statisticians start building models in isolation …

MKH was a geophysicist. He made important contributions to the understanding of the movement of ground water and the role of scale in models.

Geoff Sherrington
Reply to  ResourceGuy
August 14, 2021 4:10 am

Resource Guy,

Yours is the money quote for this topic:
The conclusion for the educated and the dabblers in resource economics remains the same in that the ultimately recoverable resource base remains unknown along with the periodic large-scale tech changes beyond normal innovation gains.”
………………..
New resources are linked to money spent on exploration. Exploration activity drops when there is an abundance of product. At any time and place, calculations of reserves are affected by many diverse inputs. So are calculations of peaks.
There are some of us who have worked in the industry and some who make stuff up about it.
Geoff S

August 13, 2021 8:19 am

My take on this, from my blog for my students: https://insuspectterrane.com/2016/05/25/the-petroleum-age-has-just-begun/

Jeff Corbin
August 13, 2021 8:29 am

Who is the socialist?
— The one who says peak oil as the reason we need tech solutions to our energy needs due to secondary agenda: save the planet. Or to justify paying colluded prices for oil.
–The one who says the only solution is a Grid Solution.
–The one use uses their corporation for political censorship.
–The one who supports legislation to instate carbon tax and prohibit families and local businesses from using tech for off grid solutions.
–The one who says that whatever; oil, gas, nuke, wind, solar as long at we protect the grid
–The one who says tech solutions, ( increased efficiency) will eventually phase out demand for oil.
—-The family who wants tech solutions to leverage renewables and hydrocarbon electrical generation storage and distribution for their homes and business to improve their bottom line.
–The one who sees humans as the problem and seeks to control them with propaganda and political leveraging.
-The One World Utopian.
— The Libertarian Anarchist or the Marxist Anarchist both waiting to look for jobs until the pandemic
unemployment check stops.
–The one who dreams about a great electric car because it would be superior in performance.
–The one who fights like hell to protect social security, ( if all my FICA dollars since 1972 when into a stock mutual fund I would have a net work of 10 mil…. not a $1,900 a month check. The tax revenue from the economic growth would have been enough to help those who are truly in need)
— We are all socialists to one extent or another…. we have been for 90 years. Can we stop the Ad Hominem attacks and stick to the analysis and science.

Olen
August 13, 2021 9:04 am

Unless there were no microorganisms a billion years ago to rot vegetation on the surface and consume dead animals not eaten it seems not likely conventional energy like oil will form other than naturally.

A lot of theories have been rejected, some for good reason and some not. Tectonic plates that move, the Earth is round, the Earth moves around the Sun in an ellipse, there are witches and throwing salt over your shoulder irritates someone behind you are examples.

The success of WUWT is it is an open forum with some limits where the deep thinking and not so deep can express opinion.

meab
August 13, 2021 9:14 am

Ingrown,

You are lying about uranium reserves being negligible. Estimates have 90 to 230 years of economically recoverable uranium left at current consumption rates using conventional reactors. However, already available technology (Breeder reactors, Plutonium reprocessing) can extend this by a factor of up to 100. At a 10x cost of recovery, there’s 60,000 years of uranium at current consumption rates recoverable from sea water. This isn’t nearly as expensive as it seems – the fuel cost of nuclear is only ~30% of the total cost, so increasing the price of the fuel by 10x would only increase the price of nuclear electricity by ~3x, putting the cost of nuclear in the range of what Germany now pays for unreliable wind and solar.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-long-will-global-uranium-deposits-last/

You could easily have looked this up but you didn’t. You’re either pathologically lazy, have an agenda that isn’t supported by the facts, or you’re suffering from paranoid delusions. I’m guessing all three.

Editor
Reply to  meab
August 13, 2021 11:11 am

LOL,

you made no actual counterpoint to his comment.

Do better Mark!

Editor
Reply to  Sunsettommy
August 13, 2021 1:02 pm

From MEABS article you ignored:

According to the NEA, identified uranium resources total 5.5 million metric tons, and an additional 10.5 million metric tons remain undiscovered—a roughly 230-year supply at today’s consumption rate in total. Further exploration and improvements in extraction technology are likely to at least double this estimate over time.

LOL

Last edited 2 months ago by Sunsettommy
Meab
Reply to  Sunsettommy
August 13, 2021 1:13 pm

Ingrown, Uranium has been extracted from seawater using a filter made of ordinary acrylic yarn. The yarn can be washed and reused. No boiling necessary. Like so many of your posts, your estimate is ignorant and WRONG.

(Please stop the name calling) SUNMOD

Last edited 2 months ago by Sunsettommy
meab
Reply to  Meab
August 13, 2021 3:42 pm

Sunsettommy; It’s almost always more effective to address arguments in a civil tone, granted. However, almost is the key word as there are cases where name calling can be more effective. One case is when the poster lies, invents data, or responds in a non-sequitur way. This is the case with Ingrown. He insults all the readers by making stuff up, posing as an knowledgeable authority, and by posting off-topic, so by insulting him back it lets him know that he isn’t accepted because of his anti-social behavior.

Meab
Reply to  meab
August 13, 2021 1:05 pm

You are either a complete fool, Ingrown, or a very bad liar. You couldn’t possibly go through 60,000 years of uranium in a few months. The world already gets 10% of its electricity from nuclear so if electricity went to 100% nuclear that 60,000 years would go to 6,000 years. If the world replaced ALL energy use with nuclear, uranium would last over 1,000 years.

August 13, 2021 9:35 am

Peak Oil is a complete joke:
1) Hydrocarbons can be manufactured from just about any carbon source (Fischer Tropsch Process)
2) SImply look at where/what depth oil is discovered, then look up the depth at which the deepest fossils are discovered. The deepest fossil ever found was 1.4 miles beneath the surface. The Deepest Oil Field is 7.5 Miles.
3) Depleted oil fields often refill themselves

Bottom like Oil is simply a long-chain hydrocarbon. Oil over $50 barrel makes synthetic oil competitive. SASOL literally makes oil synthetically. As long as you have grass clippings and wood chips in your front yard, we will never run out of hydrocarbons.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  CO2isLife
August 14, 2021 3:03 pm

Peak Oil is a complete joke:

However, Peak Crude Oil is a reality. Hubbert’s work has to be taken in context with reasonable expectations.

Something that you can take to the bank is that synthetic oil can only be cheap if extremely cheap electricity is made available. But then, synthetic fuels will only have niche applications like for aircraft.

James F. Evans
August 13, 2021 10:03 am

Before WW2 Germany came up with an artificial way to produce oil: The Fischer–Tropsch process.

The process creates a suite of hydrocarbons from methane to long-chained hydrocarbons, with methane the most common and long-chained hydrocarbons the fewest. A distribution continuum.

Interestingly, oil from Brazil’s deep water offshore pre-salt fields has the same, or similar suite of hydrocarbons, a distribution continuum.

On a philosophical note: The Fischer-Tropsch process exists, can not be denied, it is fact.

So, if humans can create oil by physical processes, doesn’t make sense that Nature can do that as well, if not better?

Michael S. Kelly
Reply to  James F. Evans
August 13, 2021 12:23 pm

Germany actually used the Bergius Process for production of most of its motor fuels from coal. Friedrich Bergius was awarded a Nobel Prize in chemistry for his work in converting coal to liquid fuels. Fischer-Tropsch produces a different set of hydrocarbons (kerogens). Fischer constantly criticized Bergius’ ideas until he was given a personal demonstration of the process, and then became a supporter. The United States ran a Bergius process plant, secretly, between 1946 and 1948, producing gasoline of higher quality than petroleum-derived gas, at just slightly more cost than petroleum-derived gasoline. I imagine it would be competitive today.

Last edited 2 months ago by Michael S. Kelly
Bruce of Newcastle
Reply to  Michael S. Kelly
August 13, 2021 4:21 pm

Well done for mentioning this Michael!

That is a point completely missed by everyone in this thread, including the author:

Coal is crude oil.

There are already about a dozen coal-to-liquids plants operating, mainly in China. The cost of production is higher than the value of crude oil right now, because coal demand is high and natural crude production has increased due to technical advances. But that won’t always be the case.

As soon as the cost of crude extraction exceeds the overall cost of CTL you will then see more CTL plants constructed in places like China and India.

The amount of coal around is phenomenal, as other commenters have mentioned. For example it’s known that there’s up to 23 trillion tonnes of coal under the North Sea. That represents a lot of oil just waiting to be converted.

Peak oil is so silly. With CTL there’s several millenia-worth of the stuff available. And since ECS is low the extra pCO2 won’t do much harm. Agriculture will love it.

ResourceGuy
August 13, 2021 12:14 pm

Uranium reserves are not a fixed indicator to arm wave. They are dependent on price signals and sustained investment plans and expectations of market growth. The geologists that no longer explore for uranium did not get laid off because that was nothing left to find–it was massive discoveries of new reserves in Australia and Canada plus energy reference price declines in related markets that ended careers. dope

Editor
Reply to  ResourceGuy
August 13, 2021 1:05 pm

Repeating what you ignored earlier:

According to the NEA, identified uranium resources total 5.5 million metric tons, and an additional 10.5 million metric tons remain undiscovered—a roughly 230-year supply at today’s consumption rate in total. Further exploration and improvements in extraction technology are likely to at least double this estimate over time.

You are so far off the mark it is comical since you are ignoring KNOWN reserves and estimates already made.

ResourceGuy
Reply to  ResourceGuy
August 13, 2021 2:05 pm

I guess all of my university degrees on this topic outrank your trolling certificate.

Mark ingraha
Reply to  ResourceGuy
August 20, 2021 11:27 pm

I’m an engineer with a masters from odu, you can see my publications. You are a troll.

ResourceGuy
Reply to  ResourceGuy
August 13, 2021 2:11 pm

Also, I point to those who use the term ‘crustal abundance’ as completely naïve arm wavers. I’ve said so before on this and other sites including financial sites where that term is used to sucker small investors for lithium, REE, copper, etc. Remember that for next time and share with your illiterate troll network.

Chuck no longer in Houston
August 13, 2021 2:39 pm

“… because newbie poster MI will not go away on WUWT…” Too funny, Rud.

Clyde Spencer
August 14, 2021 3:18 pm

Earths population is currently 100 per square mile which gives a “carrying capacity” of 250 billion. In reality a smaller part of the earth is habitable so capacity is less.

Actually, closer to 133 per square mile of land! However, what’s a 33% error among friends?

Your terse analysis requires we accept on faith a lot of what you have left out. Considering the low level of accuracy in your calculation, I’m not willing to accept your claims at face value.

James F. Evans
August 14, 2021 5:39 pm

“Falling residential gas consumption proving shale is useless.”

The above statement is false.

It can be taken as less demand, but natural gas (nor the shale) is not “useless.”

Industrial use could even increase demand.

(And silly & ridiculous AGW concern can wither, thus residential use goes up.)

There are no physical capacity concerns.

thom
August 16, 2021 9:09 am

abiotic oil: compare the pumpjack position in Los Angelos with some fault lines under LA and you get the picture. I mean – not all oil is abotic, but not all oil is biotic either.

spock
August 20, 2021 12:47 am

This book will have you cheering.

The moral case for fossil fuels

Conventional wisdom says fossil fuels are an unsustainable form of energy that is destroying our planet. But Alex Epstein shows that if we look at the big picture, the much-hated fossil fuel industry is dramatically improving our planet by making it a far safer and richer place.

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