The Book

Well, for those of you who visit, this particular post is an occasionally updated catalog of some significant posts from the archives of The Oil Drum. To make it easier to move around I am putting it together in the same way as a book, in other words, with Chapters and Sub-Chapters. I suspect that, after a while, some of the Chapters will become large enough be placed in separate posts of their own – but we are going to have to see how that goes.

For now I will be deleting, at intervals, comments that don’t relate to the general intent of the site from this particular post. But if you have suggestions or comments on how it is going please post them. Obviously I will be visiting here a fair bit. That includes the organization, and how we are doing it.

I will be leaving most of the comments under the posts, since that is one of the benefits of the archive, though I will exercise the right to delete those that are a bit off topic.

This is not meant to be a wiki, or anything of that nature. But we have posts that are, in themselves of value, and by putting them together in a way that perhaps shows the inter-relation, and capturing input from some who, though wise in what we write about, don’t post very often, hopefully this will be of value also.

The site will also change as I realize (or get told) what is not working, or how better to put it together, or as I realize where all the posts have been. For now, please excuse the mess. (After a little bit the URL’s will disappear, but for now it helps me keep track – by the way – would leaving the dates on the posts help? – see 2.2.1) And if you wonder, I am starting with the first six months of our posts, from way back when . . . .)

Chapter 1. An Introduction (to be written later)

Chapter 2. Oil, and General Comments on Energy
2.1 The Units of Energy
2.1.1 Sources of energy by type
2.1.2 Annual data

2.2 Demand and its Destruction
2.2.1 Oil price riots in Bolivia (7/27/2005)
2.2.2 Energy problems in Nicaragua
2.2.3 Energy supply problems in Thailand
2.2.4 What is Jevons Paradox?
2.2.5 Peak Oil Popularity
2.2.6 Per capita energy vs GDP
2.2.7 Seasonal demands
2.2.8 The crisis back in 1977
2.2.9 Depletion heads to 8%
2.2.10 A little production history

Chapter 3. Where Oil comes from, where we find it how we get it out and other technology issues
3.1 How oil gets there

3.2 Getting the oil out
3.2.1 Oil and water pressure
3.2.2 Tech talk – the drill
3.2.3 Tech talk – drilling mud
3.2.4 Tech talk – the drilling rig
3.2.5 Tech talk – casing the well
3.2.6 Horizontal wells, longest well drill time and CO2 sequestration
3.2.7 horizontal well production
3.2.8 Maximum reservoir contact wells
3.2.9 Hydrofracing rock initial
3.2.10 Tech talk – reservoir pressures
3.2.11 More thoughts on technology by J
3.2.12 Stripper wells
3.2.13 Rigs and production per well
3.2.14 Well completions, porosity acidizing and perforating (08/20.2005)
3.2.15 Permeability and flow to a well - sandstone (08/27/05)
3.2.16 Flow from carbonate rocks (09/03/2005)
3.2.17 Spacing between wells (09/10/2005)
(I have currently been locked out of access to this story - which I wrote)
3.2.18 Directional drilling - Part 1 (09/17/2005)
3.2.19 Directional drilling - Part 2 (09/25/2005)
3.2.20 Types of offshore rigs (10/02/2005)
3.2.21 Coalbed methane (10/15/2005)
3.2.22 Workover rigs (10/22/2005)
3.2.23 Hydrofracing a well (11/05/2005)
3.2.24 Well logging or tracking the geology over a reservoir (11/20/2005)
3.2.25 Finding the field - seismic surveying (12/03/2005)
3.2.26 Finding the field - gravimetric surveys (12/10/2005)

3.3 Oilfield Depletion and production issues
3.3.1 The story of Yibal
3.3.2 Flow restrictions on well production
3.3.3 Math on production increases

3.4 Other Technology issues
3.4.1 Background
3.4.2 The beer and sponge analogy
3.4.3 Time needed for innovation

Chapter 4 Who has the Oil and who wants it

4.0 Introduction
4.0.1.Top oil producers in the world

4.1 Saudi Arabia
4.1.1 Types of crude
4.1.2 Counting Manifa and its problems
4.1.3 Current Saudi production
4.1.4 Initial Saudi plans for expansion
4.1.5 Math on production increases
4.1.6 Harradh smart well
4.1.7 Questions on Saudi production rates
4.1.8 New well discovery
4.1.9 early projections on increase
4.1.10 Abqaiq a picture of depletion
4.1.11 Saudi Fields and production plans
4.1.12 Finding two new fields yet concern
4.1.13 The Saudi Empty Quarter
4.1.14 Colombian production and Saudi investment
4.1.15 Developments take time and refineries
4.1.16 Updated Saudi production plans
4.1.17 Updated Saudi plans part 2
4.1.18 new OPEC R&D Center
4.1.19 Twilight in the Desert review

4.2 Russia
4.2.1 Moscow blackout
4.2.2 first look at Russian production
4.2.3 Sakhalin Island delayed
4.2.4 Russian production is seasonal

4.3 United States
4.3.1 More info on US supplies
4.3.2 Pre-katrina numbers
4.3.3 First worries
4.3.4 Pre-Katrina Hurricane damage 2004
4.3.5 A pre-season estimate of hurricane damage
4.3.6 The first storm arrives
4.3.7 Thoughts pre-Dennis arrival
4.3.8 The threat of Dennis
4.3.9 Oil demand pre-Dennis
4.3.10 Thunder Horse damaged by Dennis
4.3.11 Katrina damage
4.3.12 Katrina market impact
4.3.13 Monday Katrina assessments

4.4 China
4.4.1 Buying into Canada
4.4.2 Iraq, China and investment in Canada
4.4.3 The Cnooc/Unocal debate
4.4.4 The CNOOC vote
4.4.5 Chinese drillers in Colorado
4.4.6 Chinese SPR delayed
4.4.7 Chinese demand and concerns
4.4.8 Chinese demand update
4.4.9 China’s new refineries
4.4.10 Chinese drilling performance
4.4.11 Chinese weather problems
4.4.12 Weather problems alleviate

4.5 Iran
4.5.1 Depletion rates
4.5.2 Iranian field production data

4.6 Mexico

4.7 Japan

4.8 Colombia
4.8.1 Colombian production and Saudi investment

4.8 India
4.8.1 Indian consumption levels
4.8.2 Indian oil price subsidies

4.9 Iraq
4.9.1 Iraq, China and investment in Canada
4.9.2 Production and pipelines – 1

4.10 Libya
4.10.1 The hope or the hype?

4.11 The North Sea, Norway and the United Kingdom
4.11.1 Gas prices
4.11.2 Intimations of a problem
4.11.3 The DTI report and some concerns
4.11.4 The British carbon bank concept
4.11.5 North Sea Depletion numbers
4.11.6 First concerns for winter gas supply
4.11.7 Problems with the earlier energy crisis

4.12 Venezuela
4.12.1 Production data

Chapter 5. Moving the Oil

5.1 Pipelines

5.2 Tankers
5.2.1 Tanker rates and the Chinese SPR

Chapter 6. Enhanced Oil Recovery and Unconventional Oil
6.1 Water flooding

6.2 Natural Gas and Nitrogen Injection

6.3 Carbon Dioxide injection (including sequestration)
6.3.1 Carbon Dioxide EOR 1
6.3.2 Carbon Dioxide EOR 2
6.3.3 Depletion and EOR by J

6.4 Microbial EOR
6.4.1 Microbial enhanced oil recovery

6.5 Tar and Heavy Oil Sands
6.5.1 Increase in oil sand production
6.5.2 Oil sand costs

6.6 Oil Shale

Chapter 7 Alternate and Renewable Liquid Fuels
7.1 Ethanol

7.2 Alternate biofuels
7.2.1 Using palm oil
7.2.2 Optimism from Brazil

7.3 Hydrogen
7.3.1 Icelandic plan

Chapter 8. Natural Gas – who has it, how much, and how to distribute it
8.1 United States
8.2 Russia
8.3 Qatar
8.4 Iran
8.5 Turkmenistan
8.6 Kazakhstan
8.7 Pipelines

Chapter 9. Natural Gas – alternate sources, NGL and LNG
9.1.1 Coalbed methane (10/15/2005)

Chapter 10. Coal
10.1.1 Death of the British Coal Industry
10.1.2 Room and Pillar mining(Jan 15,2006)
10.1.3 Longwall Mining of coal (01/22/2006)
10.1.4 Surface Mining of coal (01/29/2006)
10.1.5 Cleaning coal (02/27/2005)

Chapter 11 Nuclear Energy

Chapter 12 Solar Power

Chapter 13 Wind, Hydro and Geothermal
13.1.1 Wind and the Environment
13.1.2 Wind over Washington
13.1.3 Opposing wind energy

Chapter 14 Other Alternative Energy
14.1.1 Vertical farming
14.1.2 National Geographic on Alternate Energy

Chapter 15. What You can do to help yourself/the Nation to save energy
15.1.1 Yankee first post
15.1.2 Oil and the Food Chain
15.1.3 Balogh’s light bulb and other ideas
15.1.4 A helpful list
15.1.5 How Cuba coped
15.1.6 Using paper or plastic bags

Appendix 1. Projections on production

Appendix 2. Government and Other Reports . Movies, Speeches and Books

A.2.1 The Hirsch Report
A.2.1.1 Hirsch Report 1
A.2.1.2 Hirsch report 2 (also Demand Destruction)
A.2.1.3 Hirsch Report 3
A.2.1.4 The Hirsch report revisited

A.2.2 CERA etc
A.2.2.1 CERA and condensate
A.2.2.2 The CERA Report
A.2.2.3 Dr Yergin’s predictions then and now
A.2.2.4 CERA vs ODAC

A.2.3 Others
A.2.3.1 Ford Foundation Report (old)
A.2.3.2 Presidential Energy Address
A.2.3.3 Energy and the Presidential Press Conference
A.2.3.4 The Oil Storm (Fox)
A.2.3.5 Twilight in the Desert review
A.2.3.6 The Deal review
A.2.3.7 The Energy Bill
A.2.12 Oil Jihad and Destiny – a review
The CNN production supply pictures

Appendix 3. Manpower and Supply Issues

A.3.1 Manpower issues
A. 3.1.1 Petroleum engineering shortage
A.3.1.2 Future predictions on government response
A.3.1.3 A diminishing resource
A.3.1.4 Some student salaries
A.3.1.5 Department closure in Australia
A.3.1.6 Technical departments in colleges

Appendix 4. Global Warming Issues
A.4.1 Gulf Stream
A.4.1.1 First notice


I think creating a virtual book to summarize the extensive valuable knowledge from TOD is a great idea!

Here is a link to a thesis done on Peak Oil which has chapter headings which might be of interest to you.

The title and chapter headings are below just in case the link doesn't work.

JUNE 2006



Oil: Cheap Energy on Demand - Oil is Not Just a Commodity - Heavy Users - Projected
Demand Growth for Liquid Petroleum - Price Elasticity of Oil Demand - Energy and
Economic Growth - The Dependence of Productivity Growth on Expanding Energy Supplies -
Economic Implications of a Reduced Oil Supply Rate

The Geologic Production of Petroleum - Where the Oil Is and Where It Goes -
Diminishing Marginal Returns of Production - Hubbert’s Peak: World Oil Production
Peaking and Decline - Counting Oil Inventory: What’s in the World Warehouse? - Oil
Resources versus Accessible Reserves - Three Camps: The Peak Oilers, Official
Agencies, Technology Optimists - Liars’ Poker: Got Oil? - Geopolitical Realities of
the Distribution of Remaining World Oil - Is There a Rate Limit to Production? - The
Growing Gap: So Much Depletion, So Few New Megafields - Production and Delivery

The Fossil Fuel Options - Oil Sands - Oil Shale - Natural Gas - Methane Hydrates -
Coal-to-Liquid (CTL) - The So-Called Renewable Fuel Options - Biomass (Corn
Ethanol, Cellulosic Ethanol, Biodiesel) - Hydrogen - Energy Return on Energy
Invested (EROEI) - Technology to the Rescue? - Enhanced Oil Exploration and
Recovery - Diminishing Returns to Technological Innovation - Conservation and
Efficiencies - A Question of Risk Management


Identifying the “States of Nature” - Probability of Occurrence - The Players: Oil
Haves, Heavy Users and Have-Nots - The Stakes: A Matrix of Plausible Outcomes -
Chaotic/Collapse Outcomes - Semi-Chaotic to Quasi-Managed Outcomes - Highly
Managed Transition Outcomes - Preferred Outcomes - Asymmetric Risks - The Goal
- The Rules

The Free Market Tactic (Business as Usual - No Action Alternative) - Tactic M-1: Let
Market Pricing Equilibrate Demand with Supply - Downside Risks of Market (Non-
)Action - Government Strategic Actions (Public and International Policy Tactics) -
Tactic G-1: Governments Secure the Oil - Tactic G-2: Market Interventions - Tactic G-
3: Government Spending on R&D and Infrastructure - Tactic G-4: Energy Policy -
Downside Risks of Government Actions - Private Sector Strategic Actions (Individual
and Business Tactics) - Tactic P-1: Protect against Short-Term Price and Supply Shock
- Tactic P-2: Shift Priorities Towards Long-Term Sustainability - Downside Risks of
Private Sector Actions - Collective Strategic Actions – Tactics for Societal Groups -
Tactic S-1 Change Values and Reinforce Behaviors through Group Norms - Tactic S-
2: Leverage Pooled Resources - Downside Risks of Collective Actions

Four Possible Approaches to Transition to the Reduced Petroleum Economy - 1) “The
American Way of Life is Not Negotiable”: Hanging on to Lifestyle - 2) To the Victors
Go the Spoils: Privatization of the World’s Energy - 3) What Color Is Your Parachute?
Full-Scale Preparation Effort - 4) Small is Beautiful: Power Down to Sustainable
Communities - Speculated Playouts under the Four Approaches - Selecting the
Preferred Strategy - Uncertainty Risk - A Question of Societal Values -
Environmental Welfare: Green Concerns versus the Economy

Barriers to Investment in Increased Oil Production and Alternative Energy - Return on
Investment - Cost of Entry - Uncertainties and Financial Risk - Short Investment
Horizon - Behavioral Hurdles - Acknowledging the Elephant: Aligning Perception
with Reality - Recalibrating Expectations in the Persistence of Belief - Gaming the
System - Culture of Immediate Gratification - The Value of System Shock in Change


The World’s Giant Oil Fields (Matthew Simmons, 2002)
Oil and Gas Megaprojects 2006 Update (Chris Skrebowski, Petroleum Review –
April, 2006)

cool, nice link - I'll have to add that to my 'to read later' list

i think that table 9 and the conclusion on page 87 are what we should aim for with this book - if we can convince people that PO is even a remote potability in 15 years time, then the conclusion is still the same as any other : 'we need to start preparing now' (sais me who's preparation consists of my parents house with a solar hot water system...)

re: the book.
who is the target audience? the average person who might be becoming interested in the topic, or more scientifically minded individuals like the person who wrote the linked document?

or both?

a quick introduction.

i think it would be good if the first chapter was a brief-ish explanation that we could point people who are not familiar with the concept of peak oil to. While a scientific discourse like what is presented in the above document is needed, there needs to be somewhere where someone with only 1/2 an hour on their hands can sit down and read the basics of the problem (and at 130 pages, i think this may take a while to read)...
personally, i found the introduction at to be a good length, outlining the basics while reading around TOD provided detail in production, the current state of the oil fields, politics over gas pipes, etc.
the relatively regular 'current state of oil predictions' i found to be quite useful, and helped me to see that even the optimists are sill predicting a supply situation on which we will need to act within my working lifetime (the next 20 years) (personal comments added because i think this sort of thing would be useful for writing a segment which would be helpfull to other people)

IMHO the following are probably a good summery of the current state of the oil industry from whats been posted to TOD recently

How to Address Contrarian Arguments - part I and II
Peak Oil Update - December 2006: Production Forecasts and EIA Oil Production Numbers

there may be better posts around, but those are the ones i can find/remember (i've been visiting TOD for less than 6 months)


i think a chapter on who the various groups/people are and where they stand on peak oil would be useful
<-safe (for now) (in trouble) doomed->
cera iea eia aspo deffeyes


are we thinking of presenting a range of opinions and our analysis of them, as there have been articles ie: predictions from everyone from cera(its all peachy) through to some of the more extreme (PO is two years ago, we're doomed), or should we talk in more general terms with scenarios of 'pollyana' through to 'head for the hills'?

possibly i think there is room for both approaches, so that people can a) get an overview of the possible outcomes (even the theoretically good ones can turn out bad, but just in 30 years when the end of oil hits harder)
b) get an idea of which scenario various groups are predicting

that way the predictions and the outcomes of those predictions are some what decoupled


will the book promote 1 specific line of thought - i.e. deffeyes predicted PO at the end of last year, and we haven't seen anything to suggest he is wrong, so thats what we think will happen - or will it be more of a most probable approach (the meggaprojects is probably a good idea for short term project predictions, but ultimately there's an exponential wedge where the uncertainties lie in any prediction.)


if we post large-ish sets of links, chunks of text, etc. will these build up under the main body of work, or would it be better to have a separate 'discussion on the book' page where the comments can go?

lol, i need to stop procrastinating and go back to work...

the early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

Excellent idea. A real book might also be appropriate. Kevin Kelly over at CoolTools has review of self-publishing at LuLu and Blurb:

and it seems pretty cheap to me. Hey maybe TOD could make some money! :)

Layout help offered

Hi, I`d like to offer my knowledge and expertise on LaTeX for the layout of the book. I`ve done similar projects during my study and a have TeX-System running atop of my Windows machine. The next 4 months I have enough spare time at hand (1-2h per day).


This result in a well structured (toc, index, glossary, captions) book in PDF with the best typography and hyperlinks that`s available for free.

A much better choice would of course be InDesign or Framemaker (both costly). StarOffice/Openoffice would also be a good choice (free).

If you want a really portable solution SGML would be good
(, but I do not have the time to dig into that.

Best regards,

J. Dähn, Solothurn, Switzerland

TeX rocks. I use it all of the time in my writing. Highly recommended.

If you are interested just contact me at joerg.daehn (at) . I could process plain ASCI and JPEG/TIFF/PDF/PS directly. Tables are a little more work but I have templates from other scripts and books.

"The Book" will definitely make the material more accessible. However, it would be even more accessible if there were a section of Frequently Asked Questions (with expert answers) for each topic. Similarly for Peak Oil in general.

Some have raised questions about the quality of the comments, lately. Leanan has pointed out that even aside from quality, the comments can be quite repetitious.

As with any interesting issue, there are entrenched points of view. Progress may come when a lot of the uncontroversial material is nailed down and we have concise, balanced descriptions of where the controversy lies.

Master that material and you are in good shape to contribute to the ongoing debate.

Someone has already suggested this, and I heartily agree, but am too ADHD when it comes to arranging something like that (plus a slow internet connection) to really do it justice...

[new] SamuM on Friday November 24, 2006 at 4:45 AM EST Comments top
Great post.

We have a small group locally in Finland, who are facing the exact same issues as everybody else talking about PO:

How to deal with the counter arguments (and for us: also how to learn from them).

For our own use, we've gathered an initial 'Frequent Counter Arguments' or FCA:

Here is a quick draft / summary. It can and should be extended.

Also, all counter arguments should be analysed based on proven information and disproved, IF possible. If it can't be disproved, it may have some validity (even if only partial). We try to take an analytical approach.

If somebody knows already of a similar list in one place with proper counter arguments, using graphs for illustration and calculations from proven data, we'd sure be glad to read it.

We've seen many pages dealing with one or more of the below, sometimes using data or even helpful illustrations, but not a single place, that does it all: - all counter arguments in logical order - disproof against each counter argument (if possible) - ... using proven data and calculations - with illustrations to show the magnitude and help people understand - all in clear, concise English. Easy for anybody to understand - no shouting, no blaming, no doom scenarios (these can't be proven)
We think it would be immensely useful. At least in the climate/culture we face here locally.

Frequent Counter Arguments against Peak Oil and it's significance

0. How come it's not all over the front page - it can't be true
- i.e. 'crackpot conspiracy' argument

1. Oil is a renewable resource, hence it will not run out (ever)
- i.e. 'abiotic oil' argument

2. Estimates about the timing of Peak are wrong, because:

2.1. There's more oil than pessimists (or even optimists like IEA or CERA) claim. Hence, PO is at least 50+ years away - with plenty of time to find alternative sources for all uses of oil.
- i.e. 'cornucopia' argument

2.2. Oil peaking or reserves/resources estimates are inaccurate and cannot be trusted, because there is such a huge range of variance in the reserve & peaking estimates between various sources. Hence, PO is probably just an inaccurate event some time in the future, which is likely to be very far into the future.
- i.e. 'estimation is inaccurate' argument

2.3. People in the PO community are untrustworthy and they're estimates cannot be trusted. Either because they've been wrong before on the date of peaking or because they have a hidden agenda.
- i.e. 'ad hominem' argument

2.4. Technology of prospecting, drilling, recovery and refinement is advancing so rapidly, that we will find more, get more out of what we find and even improve recovery of the wells already in decline. Hence, all of this combined will just push the peak so much further into the future that we have again enough time to switch to alternatives.
- i.e. 'oil technology will fix it' argument

3. Free market mechanism of supply and demand will prevent oil from becoming a critical scarce resource. When the demand is too high for the supply to meet, prices will rise so high that alternatives become profitable to be produced or even invented. Hence, any long enough supply side slump will cause alternative energy source supply and new invention to substitute the amount of oil market is demanding.
- i.e. 'market will fix it (overnight)' argument

4. Alternative energy sources are will replace oil (continuation from 3)
- i.e. 'easy replacement' argument

4.1. Hydrogen cells will be in every car
- i.e. 'hydrogen revolution' argument

4.2. We can grow bio-diesel to substitute for oil
- i.e. 'we'll just grow the alternatives' argument

4.3. We can process ethanol (out of farm produce or food) as a substitute
- i.e. 'we'll just process the alternative fuels' argument

4.4. We'll make oil from coal
- i.e. 'Fischer-Tropsch' argument

4.5. We'll make oil from (natural) gas or use gas as a substitute
- i.e. 'we'll use gas - plenty of it' argument

4.6. Electricity will replace oil - it's cleaner too (no electricity source specified)
- i.e. 'we'll switch to batteries and electric motors' argument

4.7. Solar energy is the future
- i.e. 'more light arrives on earth every day than we can use' argument

4.8. Wind energy is the future
- i.e. 'if we could harness all the winds...' argument

4.9. Biomass (burning) is the futuree
- i.e. 'wood pellets, felt, etc.' argument

4.10. Unconventional oil of Venezuela and Canada will meet our needs
- i.e. 'tar sands and oil shale' argument

4.11. We'll build more nuclear energy power plants (fission)
- i.e. 'we'll build hundreds of new fission power plants' argument

4.12. We'll just use hydrogen nuclear energy (fusion)
- i.e. 'isn't the ITER almost ready and it provides endless amounts of clean energy' argument

4.13. Geothermal energy is plentiful
- i.e. 'we'll at least heat our houses using geo-energy' argument

4.14. Tidal wave energy is the future
- i.e. 'we could just tap into all those wave' argument

4.1x. New source of energy X will solve it - somebody will invent something
- i.e. 'energy out of nothing' argument

5. We will conserve as much energy as the oil production depletes. We can do this easily, while national and global economy still keeps growing healthily and climate becomes greener (less CO2 and methane to air). We can do this without big, systemic and significant change to our culture or economy.
- i.e. 'business almost as usual' argument

6. Oil not used directly to energy production (e.g. fertilizers, pesticides, plastics, medicine, etc.) will be replaced by synthetic/biological sources, or completely new materials from materials science.
- i.e. 'technology will solve the raw material problem' argument

PS Just to make sure people understand we are not trying to re-invent the wheel. There's plenty of books, ASPO slides, presentations, videos, web sites and articles about this, but it's spread all over and when put together it is generally way too much for any single individual to dive into. If we want more people to understand this, we need clear, understandable and approachable list of counter arguments with data against them. This really needs a Wiki page, if it doesn't exist already.
[ Reply to This ]

Good idea - have you considered a wiki however? Open the floodgates, annotate the thing with original posts, whatever.

Peak Oil and associated needs a good wiki.

that's one reason we moved to drupal, and it's in the plans. If someone has any experience with drupal, wiki, and/or related workings...drop us a note. (I know we've asked before, but we're actually closer to implementation now.)

I agree that this sounds like a perfect job for a wiki. For one, it makes it very easy to share the burden among several contributors. For two, it is easy to update. Having maintained documentation as HTML and PDFs, usually via Latex, and integrated into a wiki, there is no contest. The wiki wins.

For Newbies who are not ADDH, I still like the fate of humanity power point:

There is a lot of info that needs to be ingested to understand why in the first place oil is so important to the perpetuation of our way of life.

Maybe we can do something similar for the Globe instead of just Canada?

I'm sure you've got this covered, but I thought the weekly posts in 2005? (and associated graphics) on how oil is produced were really useful for gaining a basic knowledge of the industry, and the implications of peak oil. Look fwd to the final 'book'.

The most difficult and time-consuming job will be to sort out the comments. They contain a lot of opinionated stuff which is of no long-term interest (except for historians and sociologists). A minimum solution would be to extract the often very valuable links in these comments and some technical calculations and graphs.

The book must also be flexible in structure and easy to update.

Actually the opinions are important if you can group them and rationalize them. By covering opinions on peak oil it divorces the problem peak oil from peoples view of the problem. Right now if someone is peak oil aware they tend to focus on the opinion side not the event itself.

Mitigation strategies would also have their own opinion section sense they have to have a social component.

It can show you can believe in peak oil and not be a doomer :)

A point that should be made about peak oil is its similar to global warming what you believe will not change the facts in the long run.
Both will happen or not regardless of peoples opinions.

Done correctly discussing opinions would can be very helpful and useful.
Since overall they are tied to speculation about the effects and responses to peak oil not the event itself.

First to TOD, great concept, and greatly applauded! I have over 1000 energy related sites in my favorite box, and hundreds of technical papers I have downloaded in PDF form on everything from AC motors for electric cars to Battery alternatives and Consortiums, to wind rotor theory, and Zero point theories leading to Fusion in a Mason jar!! Needless to say, the Hubbert Peak material alone and Hirsch report stuff I have would make a small book, and natural gas could fill a library shelf....I am waiting for my hard drive to crash through the bottom of my machine from the sheer volume....and I am now getting to the point I can't find all of my own "reference" material when I want it.

memmel's point is well taken. I would love to see some way to have a strictly alternaties tab or page or something, one that would not argue over dieoff and immigration and such stuff as issues, but instead, link real world work so far, and links to development in conservation, solar, wind, electric and hybrid drive, methane recapture, and really great but little known work such as RR and others work on biobutanol and other methods of biomass use (many now have been so swayed by the media they thing alcohol (ethanol) is the ONLY biomass option, so if you say you think biomass is an option, your considered for ethanol. REAL research work and sources should be seen by the public, and TOD can help on this.....great starting idea.

Roger Conner known to you as ThatsItImout

and I am now getting to the point I can't find all of my own "reference" material when I want it.

Hi Roger, have you thought of using Google Desktop or something similar? Personally, I use Furl ( to bookmark pages, annotate them and to have a remote copy.

> The book must also be flexible in structure and easy to update.

But also easy to "roll back" to see what we were saying yesterday, least week, a month ago, a year ago... that's the nive thing about wiki, don't know anything about drupal.

Version control is a very noisy bee in my personal bonnet

This is a premature comment sicne I have not read more then the summary but the idea is very good.

Would there be intrest for a chapter about Sweden with a description of the handling of the 70:s oil crisis, energy investments, present day planning for peak oil and the local mismash of political needs and wants and the future potentials within an advanced technological society with a large industry and lots of natural resources? It ought to be comparable with large parts of USA.

How will the rules be for translating the book?

Would there be any way of earning money from doing so? I cant live on doing charity work.

I see issues other than just "peak oil" being very important - peak natural gas in North America, climate change, and fresh water shortages, among other things. I also see the impact of declining oil and natural gas production on the debt-based monetary supply as very important.

There is probably a place for several different types of books. A wiki could be set up broadly to include more topics.

Let me be another to raise a glass in praise of a Wiki. I have used one at work, with some success. Of course IT set it up, but I would have given it a shot myself if they didn't have all the computers screwed down so tight security-wise. That said ..... IMNSHO there are some potential drawbacks to a Wiki that would need to be assessed and mitigated. A kind but firm editorial hand would go a long way.
(1) imposition of logical structure needed
(2) elimination of criticism of individuals (while allowing a critical analysis of their arguments)
(3) elimination of discussion of individuals motives
(4) a reasonable presentation of multiple sides of a disagreement (uncertainty), at least to the extent supported by the data

Live by the PowerPoint Keynote, die by the PowerPoint Keynote. I hope not. Anyway, as important as "The Book" I think is "The Deck." What I would like to see is a set of pithy charts that can be used to brief those unfamiliar with peak oil. Think "Another, closely related, inconvenient truth." Only this time, there shouldn't be much argument about the causality, just the timing.

Hi Heading Out,

Thanks for pointing this out to me; I'd missed it.

Yes, I think leaving the dates in is a good idea. Just in general, because it's a reference to actual TOD dates. It helps archive something in a different way, and in case anyone wants to check for deletes or anything.

I'm happy you're doing this and glad you're open to suggestions. It looks quite thorough.

As I've mentioned the last couple of days (not to be tedious, I hope), I'd really like to see more discussion on policy. You kept talking about speed limits, for example. Also, on the general category of creative ways to conduct education, outreach (and policy). (Things "we" or some subset of "we", the TOD community, might actually do.)

One thing I've noticed is - there are a certain number of TOD "regulars" or sometime regulars, who seem to hold the opinion that
1) the "problem" of transition, survival, power-down or whatever we want to call it
2) is ultimately a political or behavioral problem
3) And that human behavior is *defined* by Hanson's theories or anyone else's ideas, as much a contribution as these might make, and
4) Therefore, there is no point in attempting to address political ideas or policy or anything along these lines.

It bothers me, because I have a need for positive action, just as I believe you were trying to get at (at least, I think that's what bothered you.) Okay, so if some people have the above views, fine.

Others, however, have quite a bit of knowledge and opinion regarding what makes for successful policy and what does not. What will work, what can work. If people here do not have this view or knowledge, perhaps we can recruit those who do.

More simply, I'm not concerned about the correctness of the above views per se, my concern is that the above views may serve to block discussion on the part of those who may not share those views, or, on the part of those who have yet to form an opinion.

There is also the room for new ideas. For example, what if:

every industry-connnected person on this forum jointly composed one letter from "Oil Industry Insiders Without Borders" with a list of policy recommendations, personal examples and exhortations to the industry (Let us set an example by immediately renouncing all subsidies. Or, let us set an example, but putting every nickel of subsidy into solar installation...or whatever.)

...Would this not perhaps be something new and something that works?

Likewise, my personal opinion is that a certain amount of the outlook of "ev psych" type of thinking is informed by studies done on male behavior, as opposed to female behavior. Just as an example.

Likewise, just to continue to make my case...there are also examples of entirely novel ways of dealing with what appear to be intractable problems, in terms of social behavior and politics. Example (

Therefore, to say 1) the solution is ultimately human behavior and therefore 2) there is no possible constructive and urgent action we can take - doesn't meet my need for rationality.

For example, just to use another somewhat personal example. One of my very first posts on TOD was a reply to AMPOD/Matt regarding the idea of laundered money and his contention that the entire economy is controlled by certain people in such a way as to render the situation to be without solution. He cited Catherine Austin Fitts as an example. I dutifully printed out (so much for conservation) the reference he gave, so I could read it carefully. The next day or so (two, I believe), I replied under his comment, to the effect that actually, Fitts had a positive proposal and continued to work for what she sees as a positive solution. AMPOD presented her work as evidence for the opposite case to the one she ultimately makes, despite her very frightening experiences.

I'm trying to say that I'd like to take as much care and depth with discussion on mitigation paths and ways of approaching the implications of "peak oil", as many obviously do with the care regarding coming up with valid and helpful ways to assess the amount of oil in the ground and where the current situation is headed, regarding the flows upon which society as a whole depends.

At the time, I felt somewhat insecure in general, and also, unsure about how to proceed. I had the impression that AMPOD/Matt had not seen my reply, and that it had also gone by without notice in general.
So, I didn't know much what to do, (and, to tell you the truth, I was tired, too.)

There have been some quite informed comments on implications, from economics to politics. I'd like to also see these and build on these.
Also, it occurs to me that an analogous example might be taken from the work of some of the founders of

For example, you have some ideas it seems...and yet...what are your outlets for these ideas? (55 mph speed limit).

Can we create more venues?

Because we all do other things as day jobs, the amount of time that we can devote to evolution of the site and the steps to help resolve the problem are rather limited. Thus this seemed to be a logical step in bringing the information in the site to a common place where it can be accessed, since otherwise it can be a bit of a pain trying to find previous posts on an issue. (And to be honest I have no clue on how to put a Wicki together).

When we started there was a sort of unwritten division of the areas of interest. Those that now form TOD-New York, for eg, are more interested in the practical, local societal interests; Prof G is much more into the political stuff - I (as you may start to becoming aware) am much more into the technical issues. This ties from the site into what we actually could do to move discussion further into the public presence. Stuart, for example, has on a number of occasions been good enough to be our spokesperson in public debate. Thus there is are activities and opportunities that do pop up to spread the message, and to take action.

In my own particular case I do work, during the day, on some projects that may have some impact, but for a number of reasons, try to keep those, and my day job separate from what I post here.

And I do lecture on the subject - one such tomorrow.