Not as good as it sounds

(First an UPDATED note for racing fans. The first five cars have now arrived in Winnipeg having travelled from Austin Texas, largely off the interstate, at an average speed in excess of 40 mph, since they set off. The University of Minnesota was the first to arrive, MIT was second - and Michigan was third. Missouri-Rolla was fourth and Waterloo fifth. All thanks to the power of the sun, direct fuel bill zero. Two days rest before the final dash to Calgary).

One of the difficulties that I believe that the general public have with the concept of peak oil, arises from announcements such as that just issued by the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP). In it the Association predicts significant growth in crude oil production.
Total Canadian production is projected to increase from the current 2.6 million barrels per day to reach 3.9 million barrels per day (b/d) by 2015. The 1.3 million b/d growth in production represents an increase of 50 per cent over the annual average level of production recorded in 2004.

"Canadian oil producers are increasing production to meet rising global demand," says Greg Stringham, Vice President, Markets & Fiscal Policy at CAPP.


The primary source of Canada's growing crude oil supplies is the expected development of Alberta's vast oil sands reserves. Oil sands production, which now exceeds the 1.0 million b/d plateau, is forecast to almost triple by 2015 to almost 2.7 million b/d. With 175 billion barrels reserves, Alberta has the second largest petroleum deposit in the world.
It is the last paragraph that has caught many commentators attention (thanks to Cassandra Oil for the tip). But while the numbers appear large, bear in mind that in a world market of 85 mbd an increase of 1.7 mbd is not a huge amount, and when spread over 10 years amounts to an increase of only 170,000 bd each year. Given that the Norwegian portion of the production from the North Sea is itself falling faster than this (to give but one example) it is not, I'm afraid, going to help all that much. Unfortunately given the way the information is presented, that reality is likely not obvious to the general public. (And it might be worth noting, for the American audience, that the majority of this increase may well end up heading out to China).

The political problems with whose oil goes may be beginning to become more evident.
The Indonesian OPEC governor has just been quoted:
OPEC oil producers do not need to boost their oil output for now because crude prices have fallen below $60, an official for Indonesia, the group's only southeast Asian member, said Wednesday. "OPEC will produce at the current volume for now," Indonesia's OPEC governor Maizar Rahman told Platts in Jakarta. "OPEC will not increase production because we think the oil price is
stable at less than $60/bbl."
At the same time the Indonesian government is dealing with a fuel shortage. The Antara News reports:
The House of Representatives (DPR) has urged the government here on Friday to immediately overcome current fuel oil supply shortages to avoid other serious problems.

. . . . .

Agung also called on the House Commission on energy to tighten control to prevent the general public from increased suffering under the current circumstances.

He said the problem had affected the life of many people and had also increased costs.

In view of the increasing oil prices, Agung suggested that the government adjusted the bench price of oil set in the 2005 budget at at US$45 per barrel.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has also asked the navy, the army as well as the police to make their cars available in case Pertamina needed them for fuel distribution especially in the eastern regions of the country.
It is this sort of thing that is leading to riots around the world, particularly in the poorer countries, and which may lead to changes in where those countries sent their oil. But it will come to be true in other parts of the world as well.

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So... I guess 60 is the new 40.

I think it's hilarious that tar sands are now called "petroleum."

simplicity sir, is the bell tower of a sound mind

tar sands, petro pumice, etc. What difference does it make what noises we attach to things? Stuff is stuff.

What goes unmentioned in the press blurbs about the tar sands of Alberta is the energy-priciing vicious circle inherent in ramping up production. As energy prices increase, the more viable becomes the production of oil from the sands. However, the costs associated with the generation of tar sand oil also rise, because it requires very high energy inputs, mainly in the form of natural gas and electricity. As more and more natural gas is used in the process, the higher gas (and oil) prices must rise, hence the vicious circle. There has been some talk of Alberta creating nuclear-based electrical generating plants near the tar sands, with an eye to replacing natural gas with electrcity.

step back said: "simplicity sir, is the bell tower of a sound mind"

step back, just where do you get this stuff - do you make it up or what? I always look forward to your comments.

Off topic, I think the August contract is expired, so if the management can update the sidebar graphics to show the September contract, that would be great. Thanks!

JimBobRay:  Tar-sands plants only need natural gas to make hydrogen.  They use natural gas because steam-reforming gas is cheaper than gasifying the bitumen they're mining; at some price of natural gas that will no longer be true, and the plants will fill that need from their own production.  They can burn the same syngas for whatever electricity they need.

Where they'll get the water to do all of that is a better question.

Petroleum products are going upmarket, i.e. only the wealthier nations will be able to buy. As price rises the developing world will be able to afford less. So, no shortages, just reallocation of resources.

It's possible that this may be the lowest cost transition to implement (omitting the cost of the resource itself), when compared to new technologies like hybrids, or hydrogen.

I was looking around for oil sands info related to this discussion and found -- I don't know if this has been referenced and discussed before -- the May 05 issue of World Oil Magazine, which contains an excellent article Mitigating a long-term shortfall of world oil production. The mitigation strategies they discuss include enhanced oil recovery (EOR), heavy oil/oil sands, gas to liquids (GTL), coal liquids and others. Following up on EP's observation, we find that "[oil sand] production uses large amounts of natural gas for heating and processing, as well as water (3 to 5 bbl water per bbl of oil) ". That's a lot of water.

Be sure to look at figure 1, "Mitigation crash programs started when world oil peaks, 10 years and 20 years before" and Table 1 "Projections of the peaking of world oil production". Also, Figure 6 indicates that oil price increases have preceeded 4 of the last 6 recessions since 1969.

PG -- If this article hasn't been talked over here, it seems worthy of a post.

JimBobRay asks, "step back, just where do you get this stuff - do you make it up or what? I always look forward to your comments."

Well, yes and no.

I became very intrigued by the "glazed-over eyes" response of many people to whom I tried to mention PO. They just don't want to hear it. Period. End of story. Time to move on and graze elseswhere.

I started exploring the mechanisms behind this disconnect. Why do intelligent human beings (some of them from the top top engineering colleges in our country) simply discount the message and disconnect with the messenger?

I my explorations brought me to strange new countries. Some of what I discovered is very unnerving. (Visit my web site. Check out new top link.)

Peakoilers keep sounding the alarm. Yet hardly any in the herd seem to hear it. What's going on? Why don't they hear? Why do they think you have tin foil wrapped around your brain? Why do they keep repeating the Chicken Little line?

I used to be part of the herd on the other side.
I used to think all this end of the world stuff was for weirdo's.

One day, while I was grazing, minding my own business, the C-SPAN channel happened to be on. This guy I never heard of, Matthew Simmons, got on. He was talkin technical. My antenna went up. I started paying "attention." This guy seemed to know what was talking about. Horizontal drilling, that made sense. Flow rates through porous rock formations, that made sense. End of the world coming? Whoa. Hold on there! That can't be right. I started digging deeper. I found fruit cake sites. But then I found sites like this one where you can't just say these engineers, poets, and whatnots are all nuts.

OK. So I became part of the splinter flock, the PO aware. But so what? I'm just one bleating ram. The main herd is not listening. The main herd is not changing course.

Now this Kunstler ram, he's cussin and ranting. I can see that the main herd is going to look at him like he's definitely from the funny farm.

So what knid of noises do we need to make in order for the herd to hear?

I don't yet know.
Like everyone else, I'm still investigating.

stepback, if you talk about PO the way you write here, there may be another reason their eyes glaze over.

You might want to work on your presentation.

(I have this problem too.)


The "presentation problem" is not yours to have & to hold.
It's a problem that belongs to the whole planet.

Peak Oil
Global Warming
Religious Fanatics who blow themselves up

Take the last one first.
Before 9/11 there were people trying to get the warning out
(For example that lady inside the FBI --don't remember her name)
They failed

No one would listen to them

OK Lady, so you're telling me there are these guys taking flying lessons?
You're telling me something is wrong?
Just cause they don't want to spend money learning how to land?
Lady, you're off your rocker
Get out of here
Don't bother me
I got far more important things to do.

OK Buddy, so you're telling me there was some kook named Hubbert?
You're telling me he had some sort of fuzzy math model?
You're telling me something is wrong?
Just cause Hubbert's equation says so?
Buddy, you're off your rocker
Get out of here
Don't bother me
I got far more important things to do.

Are you starting to see the picture E-P, or am I just another kook trying to tell you something?
They don't want to hear it.
They don't want to know.
Do you just stand back?
Say "I told you so"?
After catastrophe strikes?

Where is the glory in that?

Re: EP's [step back] You might want to work on your presentation.

That might be the understatement of the year. I wouldn't mind seeing some Peak Oil content too. One moment we're talking about tar sands, the next moment we're talking nonsense about step back's bizarre mode of presentation.

-- They don't want to hear it.
-- They don't want to know.

Right. I've got that from your posts here and just about every other post I've read from you. Humans are blind, dense and stupid. Can we move on?

I could do without the parables and morality plays too.

stepback, I'm sure you've met someone who tried to convince people of something they thought was VERY IMPORTANT, but they were so fanatic or tedious about it they either repelled or zombified everyone who came within reach.  You're uncomforably close to becoming that someone.

My niche is trying to find ways to get past this hump; public speaking to non-technical audiences is not my forté.  Complaining about how the public Doesn't Get It is wasted here.

I'd hate to have to pass over everything you say just to maintain some sense of sanity in the discussion, but I'll do what I have to do.

Stepback, keep it coming, please, I like your message and I like your style.

stepback don't stop i look forward to your posts for both content and style