DrumBeat: January 21, 2007

Deffeyes: Update, End of 2006

Happy New Year! It's time for an oil update. The groups that report 2006 oil production numbers explain that their estimates are subject to later revision. However, we need to know the implications right now. With that warning, away we go.

From April 2005 onward, crude oil prices have been above $50 per barrel. For several months during 2006, oil prices rose above $70. At those price levels, virtually all producers pumped every possible barrel. With that kind of cash flow, any well operator who suspected one morning that his Blakenship #7 well did not produce its usual share last night will have Halliburton out there in the afternoon trying to fix it.

Nobel laureates say sustainability needs more than science

"Science is not the problem," said Donald Glaser, a UC Berkeley physics professor who won the Nobel Prize in 1960. "We can certainly build fuel-efficient cars. (But) year after year, Congress has refused to improve the mileage requirements for automobiles. We have to get together as a democracy and get our government to make changes."

Behold the Rise of Energy-Based Fascism (Part II)

What lies in our future may well be a blend of conflicts between rising and declining energy superpowers and a state-protected nuclear renaissance.

Global warming: the final verdict

The impact will be catastrophic, forcing hundreds of millions of people to flee their devastated homelands, particularly in tropical, low-lying areas, while creating waves of immigrants whose movements will strain the economies of even the most affluent countries.

New Orleans of Future May Stay Half Its Old Size

The empty streets, deserted avenues and abandoned houses prompt a gnawing question, nearly 17 months after Hurricane Katrina: Is this what New Orleans has come to — a city half its old size?

Green concerns prompt Prince Charles to skip ski holiday

Europe's first climate sink inaugurated in Monaco

Prince Albert of Monaco inaugurated Europe's first so-called "climate sink," in a bid to help fight global warming.

The concept of carbon sinks is based on the natural ability of trees, other plants and the soil to soak up carbon dioxide and temporarily store the carbon in wood, roots, leaves and the soil, thus purifying the atmosphere by absorbing part of the carbon dioxide generated by human activity.

JV with Russia may be the answer to India's energy crisis

Collaboration with Russia in exploration of oil and gas might be the answer to India's energy crisis instead importing fossil fuel from there, a CII report said.

Sacrifices necessary with new energy plan

President Bush must have the courage to ask the public to make some sacrifices as part of a "bold" energy plan he has promised to present in his State of the Union address this week, a Carter-era adviser said Saturday.

Draft Law Keeps Central Control Over Oil in Iraq

After months of tense bargaining, a cabinet-level committee has produced a draft law governing Iraq’s vast oil fields that would distribute all revenues through the federal government and grant Baghdad wide powers in exploration, development and awarding major international contracts.

Shell issues first Technology Report

Royal Dutch Shell plc today issues its first Technology Report, an overview of 27 advanced technologies - some delivering benefits today and others that will shape the future of the energy industry.

NATO Urges Saudi Arabia to Join Cooperation Pact

NATO appealed to Saudi Arabia on Sunday to consider entering a cooperation agreement with the Western alliance, citing shared interest in stopping weapons proliferation in an apparent reference to Iran.

Vast Pipelines in Amazon Face Challenges Over Protecting Rights and Rivers

Rather than steamrolling the opponents and skeptics, however, as often happens in Brazil, the company chose to woo them. The two million residents of Amazonas State have been promised economic benefits that have contributed to the project’s $1.15 billion price, and scientists and environmentalists were consulted about how to minimize damage to the jungle that blankets the state, which is larger than Britain, France, Germany and Italy combined.

Filipino Workers Held Hostage in Nigeria

Kidnappers grabbed six Filipino workers off a merchant ship Saturday in the latest hostage-taking in Nigeria's restive southern oil-producing region, officials said.

India: Work begins on Tata car project despite villager protests

India's Tata Motors said it broke ground for a new car plant under tight security after months of bitter protests against the project by farmers in communist-ruled West Bengal state.

...Activists and landowners have protested against the project, saying the government acquired prime fertile land for the 220-million-dollar plant to build small cars for Tata, a leading Indian car and truck maker.

Beyond the green corporation: Moving away from platitudes to strategies that help world and bottom line

'Gas Opec' premature

Two of top European gas suppliers, Russia and Algeria, sought to calm fears among their consumers yesterday that they plan to set up an Opec-like group for the gas industry.

MENA region to invest $57b in power generation by 2013

British energy expert Neil Walker has said that the power and water infrastructure projects in the GCC countries have witnessed a boom, as these countries have demonstrated sufficient level of stability that developers are now willing to risk capital. MENA region will invest $57 billion over the next six years to install new generation capacity.

UK utility poised to take giant step in green power generation

The UK utility Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) will develop a plan to build a 90sq.km wind farm on the Shetland Islands. The 200-turbine wind farm will generate about 600MW of power – enough to meet the needs of one fourth of Scottish homes.

Big Game? An Enron Survivor Hunts for Riches

In November, the relatively obscure Houston company that owns most of that refinery, the InterOil Corporation, made the kind of announcement investors crave: explorations near the refinery had uncorked a vast pool of natural gas potentially larger than the United States’ total residential consumption of the fossil fuel in 2005. The size of the discovery was so large, Phil E. Mulacek, InterOil’s chairman and chief executive, informed an analyst, that simply controlling its output “was sort of like trying to stop the Mississippi.”

A Substitute for Oil?

Bloodshed in the Middle East dominates the evening news, fuel costs continue to creep upwards, and whispers circulate about a doomsday from global warming. As America looks for solutions, the proponents of alternative energies are finally being taken seriously. Yet despite myriad ideas, only a few alternatives have made their way to consumers, usually with the help of controversial government subsidies. Foremost among these alternatives is ethanol, a fuel made from corn or other crops, which burns cleaner at a higher octane. Yet the mere mention of ethanol causes environmentalists to cringe. As it stands, the energy input is hardly worth the payoff, with some opponents actually claiming negative gains. Furthermore, even converting all of the corn in America to ethanol using existing technology would hardly make a dent in the national thirst for fuel. However, in an age of genetic modification, biotechnology in the fields could potentially engineer the ideal fuel crops.

A note on the "Bumpy Plateau".

I think we were all assuming the Bumpy Plateau we are now on would be flat, i.e. that it would have a slope of zero, but that doesn`t have to be the case. In fact, it looks like it has a negative slope (ie downwards). Take a look at this graph, (ignore the faint yellow trace for the moment), just look at the red lines:

This sequence of lower highs and lower lows indicates that for the moment we are in a "snake" or "band" of values, and it gives us something new to look out for, not just the next monthly number from the EIA.

But what about the yellow trace? I`m glad you asked. The yellow trace is a best fit 3rd order polynomial to the data. Ever since the EIA revised the figures and put May 2005 above Dec 2005, it looked like Deffeyes was mistaken, even though these two numbers are very close. But if you look at the top of the smoothed curve - its Dec 2005. As Leanan says: Deffeyes ain`t wrong yet!

Oh yes, I nearly forgot, what is the next thing to look out for?
The thing to look for is the next mini low, followed by the next mini high. This will give an indication of breaking out above or below this pattern. Any guesses?

Best Regards

TB, thanks for the great post. I also chart using Excel and have gazed at the above chart many times. However I also look at groups of countries like OPEC, non-OPEC, and each individual country.

The upsurge in production was due to two factors, OPEC opening up their chokes in 2003 after having cut back in 2001 and 2002. They produced flat out until they choked back down this past November. And it is also due to Russia and the Caspian nations recovering from the collapse of the Soviet Union. Angola and Brazil added to that upsurge also.

OPEC has peaked but the Caspian, Angola and Brazil have not. Russia will likely peak in 2007 or 2008 at the latest. (Angola is now part of OPEC but that is another story.)

I think the plateau will continue through 2007 and part of the way through 2008. We will, I believe, be down slightly in 2007 but not near as drastic as your yellow line indicates. My guess is that we will end 2007 with production around 72.5 mb/d. But that is just a guess of course as none of us have crystal balls. But I will put my guess up against anyone's.

Any takers. It will be around February 1st, 2008 before we can settle the bet but I will gladly put my guess up against anyone on this list, provided they give a figure as precise as I do, to .1 million barrels per day. Now don't get me wrong, I expect to be off by as much as .5 mb/d in either direction but not more than that, not much more anyway.

One caveat, my guess is dependent upon OPEC holding its current quotas. If they are lifted by the middle of the year, then 73 mb/d would be my guess. All figures are C+C of course.

Ron Patterson

One more very important point. The data is not precise enough to say whether May, December or some other month was the exact peak. All we can really say is that we are on the plateau right now, or at least a plateau! The exact month is not really all that important since we will probably really never know when that exact month really was.

Ron Patterson

Thanks for the kind words.

The data is not precise enough to say whether May, December or some other month was the exact peak.

Agreed. The raw data is not precise, however, the smoothed data will show an exact peak. I for one, find it entertaining to see if it matches various predictions.


Lower 48/World Comparison: http://static.flickr.com/45/145186317_215cd1247f_o.png

This graph, from our Lower 48/Texas article was basically in support of Deffeyes' prediction that 2006 was the most likely year for a crude + condensate decline, within the context of a predicted peak in the 2004 to 2008 time frame. Note that Khebab used BP's crude + condensate + NGL's, which is pretty closely matching the crude + condensate graph. (Khebab did the technical work, I am primarily responsible for the conclusions.)

The Lower 48 and the North Sea peaked and declined after crossing the 50% of Qt mark. In other words, based on Deffeyes' plot, the world in 2006, was at the same stage of depletion at which the Lower 48 and the North Sea started declining (all three are crude + condensate plots).

Assuming that Ghawar is declining 100% of the oil fields in the world which are, or were, producing one mbpd or more are now in decline or crashing. This is happening just we hit record levels of crude oil production. In the past, when super giant fields declined, there were always other super giant fields showing stable or rising production. So, the only question right now is whether 93% or 100% of current and former super giants are in decline. This is supposed to lead to higher crude oil production? (According the Oil & Gas Journal, Kashagan, which is not even producing yet, is the only new one mbpd and larger field on the horizon, and at best, it won't cross the one mbpd line until the 2020 time frame.)

What is particularly odd about the Super Giant debate is that the key characteristic of a peak is when all or almost all of a region's giant fields start declining.

After reflecting on yesterday's Chapter 150 of the "Yes we have peaked; no we haven't debate," I can only conclude that Peak Oil Denial and Cognitive Dissonance are almost insurmountable obstacles, even on a Peak Oil website, of all places.

Denial and Cognitive Dissonance are almost insurmountable obstacles

Yes, except I would leave out the "almost". That is why some of us have ceased commenting on some subjects. Closed minds cannot be changed.

"Closed minds cannot be changed."

From a Salada tea bag quote.

Some Minds Are Like Cement,
All Mixed Up and Permanently Set

I fear you are right.

But young minds are moldable.

The future belongs to the young.

If only Bushie Baby could stand up like John F. Kennedy tomorrow night and proclaim in a deep Bostonian accent:

"Before this decade is out, we will land renewable energy, and the need for it, onto the mindscape of every red blooded American. Yeahh-ess. I am declaring a new Apollo Project to put man on a sustainable energy trajectory. Ask not what Big Oil can do for you, Ask what you can do for Planet Gaia."

Re: Pemex predicts production drop

I am posting the entire text of this article. Again, David Shields is predicting that the Pemex decline will be much worse than what Pemex is admitting to. (Shields is predicting an 800,000 bpd drop from 2007 to 2008). Mexico may cease to be a net oil exporter as soon as 2010. Recall that the UK went from exporting one mbpd in 1999 to being a net importer in 2005.

BTW, Mexico, like the North Sea in 1999, just crossed the 50% of Qt mark (Khebab's HL plot for Mexico). But this is just another "coincidence." Continue with your plans to buy the SUV.

What is fascinating is all of the similarities between Pemex & Cantarell and Saudi Aramco & Ghawar. In both cases: Large carbonate fields--which account, or accounted for more than half of their production--where the remaining oil is between rapidly thinning oil columns between rising water legs and expanding gas caps.

Other than their production rate, the key difference between Pemex and Aramco is that Pemex has grudgingly admitted to the Cantarell decline. Note the references to Pemex cutting deliveries to refineries. Let's see where have we heard that before? I remember. Saudi Aramco unilaterally cutting deliveries to Asian refiners (below what the refiners wanted to buy).

Recall rumors of 50% plus water cuts at Ghawar and Heinberg's report, from an industry source, that Ghawar is crashing? Published reports put Saudi production in 2/07 at 8.5 mbpd, down 1.1 mbpd from their 2005 peak.

But of course, the Saudi decline is "voluntary." Dream on while you still can. Reality will be knocking on your door in the very near future, in my opinion.

Pemex predicts production drop
El Universal
Viernes 19 de enero de 2007

The progressive decline in Mexico´s capacity to produce oil is rapidly becoming more worrisome than the slump in global crude prices.

According to estimates by the state oil company, Pemex, petroleum exports will decline dramatically during the Calderón administration.

Pemex is anticipating a 13 percent drop in its crude exports over the next six years as Mexico´s proven reserves continue shrinking.

Analysts contacted by EL UNIVERSAL agree that Pemex´s inability to increase production is due to waning reserves - particularly the Cantarell field in Campeche Bay which is the source of roughly 60 percent of the nation´s proven reserves - and incapacity to access potential deep-water wells.

The first symptoms of a genuine oil crisis are becoming more and more evident.

Documents acquired by EL UNIVERSAL indicate Pemex will be forced to cut back on exports to the United States. The reduction could reach 150,000 barrels per day in the next four years. In the final two years of the Calderón administration, the reduction could reach 500,000 barrels per day.

Currently, around 1.5 million barrels of oil go to the United States daily.

The potential for long-term damage lies in the fact that such a reduction could allow other suppliers - among them, Brazil, Venezuela and Canada - to permanently steal some of Mexico´s market share.

Furthermore, Pemex has already canceled shipments of crude to the Deer Park (Texas) refinery it owns along with Shell for the next 12 months. That means prices of imported gasoline and diesel may rise.

According to Raúl Muñoz Leos, a former Pemex director, the primary problem lies in the rapid decline of Cantarell reserves and the failure to develop other fields.

Muñoz said production levels rose steadily from 2002 to 2004, encouraging company directors to predict a continuation of this trend.

"We established a production goal of 4 million barrels a day by 2006, but by mid-2005 production levels began to decline," he said.

Although Pemex´s exploration budget was boosted to US$4 billion last year, the investment has yet to bear fruit.

"Since this sizeable investment has brought little in return, it might be time for us to learn from the experience of other international producers and redouble our exploration efforts," he said. "It is impossible to ignore the fact that our reserves are rapidly shrinking."

The latest official projection shows Pemex will be able to produce only 3.3 million barrels per day over the next 10 years.

George Baker, an oil industry consultant, told EL UNIVERSAL the situation is further complicated by the fact that the price for Mexico´s basket of crude - which is heavy and therefore less attractive - is so low.

"It is very dangerous to lose market share," Baker said. "Especially if your share is taken by someone who can supply lighter crude."

PMI Comercio Internacional, Pemex´s export management company, has already begun to notify some clients in the United States that it will have to cancel some contracts because production levels are declining.

Rosendo Zambrano, the director of PMI, explained that the contracts affected at present are short-term, renewable contracts that will be sacrificed due to the 150,000 barrel-a-day cutback planned for 2007-2010.

However, Pemex is also notifying clients with long-term contracts that production levels may force adjustments in contracts beginning in 2010.

"We are facing a very complicated situation that could result in the loss of more and more clients," said a Pemex official who asked to remain anonymous.

Down Under...really would like your 2 cents again on the state of Ghawar...you seem to know more about it than most here.

Nice work.

I noticed that yearly world production data for '79 through '84 will also produce a downwards but temporary trend (BP stats). Whether or not this is the real thing is yet to be determined. As for the the US, Mexico's future production is obviously extremely important. Now excuse me for being stupid, but in a previous discussion there was talk about the rapid decline of Cantarell and whether or not a couple of new Pemex projects coming online would be enough to counter this decline. Was there any consensus on this issue? Even with flat or declining demand in the US, we are still stuck with the prospect of increasing imports and Mexican petro imports are going to be hard to replace.


I haven't read anything that indicates Mexico will be able to make up for the massive decline of Cantarell. Partial mitigation may be possible with some new fields, but it won't be enough.

Thanks for the graph. I hadnt thought about this before but does oil PRODUCTION follow technical analysis rules? Im not certain but its possible.
It is also possible that its a random walk and what we are seeing is our propensity to see and predict patterns. One of my favorite books of the last year is Fooled by Randomness. In other words, what would be fundamental reasons that oil production (rather than prices) follow behavioral rules of market analysis?

If it does follow technical rules, is this the 'pause that refreshes', or are we approaching Black Monday?

Jeez I didn't think technical analysis had any rules. What I always observed was that no matter what the market did a tech could always explain it away via some aspect , one he failed to mention before.

I thought also that technical analysis was merely trying to predict herd behaviour.

IMO the rules ALWAYS explain it 'after the move'.

Sorta like judging wine. Has a nice nose,a leather backtaste, whatever. You like the wine, you drink the wine, end of story. The rest is just dog squeeze.

I just to run with Wordens Reports. Thats how I became jaded on the whole subject. If they were so smart why were they touting and selling their analysis. Smart money would shutup and walk with the profits not try to thin it out.

My brother lost a half a million in day trading in a very short time. Died badly and poorly. He listened to much to the market.


without datamining or curve-fitting, is there any 'algorithm' that would take a sample of historical oil production numbers and predict with some accuracy what subsequent production numbers would be? Some sort of moving average or what? And, would this 'function' then work out of sample? My instinct is that its totally random.

But again, its cool to think about - that future oil production could be predicted not through Hubbert Linearization, or new fields minus old fields, or bottoms up analysis, but just by looking at a chart of oil production to date and drawing trendlines. HL is in effect 'technical analysis' as opposed to CERA and the like which use 'fundamental analysis'. But market technical analysis IS based on her mentality - oil production is made by people, but not by the 'herd' - prices represent the herd.



I hadnt thought about this before but does oil PRODUCTION follow technical analysis rules? Im not certain but its possible.

Nate, what TB was doing was not technical analysis of oil production, it was,if anything, much closer to fundamental analysis. But basically it was just showing the general trend of world oil production. Trends in oil production Nate, are very powerful and only reverse course if the trend is driven by politics rather than geology. When geology causes a nation, or group of nations, to go into decline, you can bet your bottom doller that that trend will not whipsaw you.

For instance one of my charts is of fifteen nations. That is all nations except OPEC nations and Russia, China, Brazil, Angola nd "Other". These fifteen nations peaked in 1997 and have declined every year since. And that decline rate is accelerating. In 2004 those 15 nations declined, combined, 622 mb/d and in 2005 they declined 680 mb/d. In 2006 they will be down about the same but we only have 10 months of data so far.

But the answer is glaringly simple, NO, oil production does not follow technical analysis rules.

Stocks, somewhat follow technical analysis rules but not entirely. Fundamentals determin the long term track of any stock, technical analysis only affects the short term swings.

Technical analysis affects the short term swings in the oil market also, but they affect only the price, not the production. The production of oil is affected only by geology and politics. Geology determins the long term direction but politics can sometimes control the short term swings in production.

Ron Patteson

Excellent points. The trend for crude is definitely flat to down. Also, the total liquids trend set in motion by higher priced crude is still rising, although slowly. Until the trend for total liquids plateaus and falls however, we aren't at peak.

Some here will remember Samsam Bakhtiari making fun of the IEA prediction of 19-mbd for non-conventional oil in their 1998 WEO. He was known as "Ali" back then and has deleted that article from his archives! Today, the conservative Colin Campbell is predicting All Liquids will incl a 29-mbd component for non-conv in 2010; and 32-mbd in 2020.

When i make the announcement in 2010 at TOD that we have just hit a 95-mbd monthly Supply record for the first time, can u see ron et al replying to my post saying "hey the real peak was in April 2005!"

i can hardly contain my anticipation...

freddy, if we do ever hit 95 mbpd - are you at all concerned that some % (perhaps a large one) of the additional 10+mpbd is from lower net energy sources, meaning that the 'oil' available to non-energy society could be, even at 95 mbpd, equal to or lower than today at 85mbpd?

My problem with graphs like this is the unanswerable question: is production being limited by geological and technical limitations that conceivably are predictive, as was the case with HL in the US and North Sea, for example - or is production being voluntarily limited because of reduced demand? It seems clear that the Saudis, a few other OPEC countries, and maybe the Russians are capable of self-limitation. Clearly demand has been reduced by the huge increase in price in the past few years. Furthermore there is increasing competition from alternative energy/fuel sources like ethanol. So are we looking at a graph of C+C supply, or of demand? It is obviously both, but which is the limiting factor?

or is production being voluntarily limited because of reduced demand?

Reduced demand, yeah that's the ticket. The Saudis are holding back because they cannot find buyers, the Russians cannot find buyers for their oil either so they are cutting back, so is Mexico, Norway and the UK. Even Iran and Iraq are having trouble finding buyers for their oil so everyone is cutting back.

But there is a very high demand for bridges in Arizona, wanna buy one?

Ron Patterson

We've already gone over this, Ron. When KSA announced their production cuts, inventories around the world were swelling to well above the upper range of the 5 year average. They publicly stated they had no buyers for some of their oil, despite offering an additional 5$ discount over OPEC crude. If that oil was in such need, why did no one ring them up and ask to buy some?

Only a moron would think that no one in the entire world called KSA's 'bluff' and that its all one vast global conspiracy to hide their peak.

Hothgor, we have been on this plateau for 21 months, as of October, two years as of now. And at any rate, if Saudi had kept production at that higher level, we would still be on that plateau, only slightly higher.

And where on earth did you get this stuff about them offering a $5 discount over the going price of OPEC crude? Please supply a URL for this. This is the very first time I have heard of this $5 discount. Why has Robert not posted this before?

As I said, a URL please!

Ron Patterson


To easy. Granted this is an article from late 2005, but I want it to be noted that prices back then were even higher then they are right now, by about 13$.

OPEC crude oil usually sells for around 5$ less then WTI or Brent crude does. KSA, having lots of very heavy 'high sulfur content' oil, discounts their oil even more. Some highlights:

SAUDI ARABIA is struggling to sell its crude oil despite record fuel prices and calls on the Kingdom to bring further supplies to the market.

Saudi Aramco, the state oil company, has been forced to offer ever-greater discounts to tempt refiners to buy its product, which is shunned for its high sulphur content.

How very interesting, especially when one puts this into context for the events of the time. Katrina and Rita had just hit and roughly 1/8th of US production was offline. Prices had shot up, then came back down to low to mid 60$ a barrel. And yet...

The official selling price for Saudi oil for October delivery is currently set at a discount of more than $13 per barrel to US light crude which was yesterday selling for just under $65 per barrel.

Weak demand for Arab Light, the main Saudi crude blend, has forced the Kingdom to increase the discount from $10.45 in August to $13.40 in October.

Oh the irony of it all. Even then, KSA couldn't sell all of their oil!! At this time, their discount was an additional 8$ under the OPEC average! Clearly something must be amiss, right?

Leo Drollas, of the Centre for Global Energy Studies, reckons that Saudi Arabia may not have cut its price far enough. Despite $60 oil, there is a lot of crude sloshing about in the market? he said.

My my my, this just keeps getting better and better. Not only was Saudi oil already deeply discounted, but apparently it wasn't enough to entice more buyers to buy it!!

And just think, the huge inventory surge that RR has talked about so often was just getting started right around this time. It's amazing what 20/20 hindsight can do in regards to connecting events of the past with those of the present.

Care to go at it again, Ron?

Edit: And just to head off the inevitable 'not a credible article' comments, this article was one that was originally posted here:


Yes, I will definitely go at it again Hothgor. From the URL you posted:

Saudi Aramco, the state oil company, has been forced to offer ever-greater discounts to tempt refiners to buy its product, which is shunned for its high sulphur content.

The discount for heavy sour crude has, for the last two years, been in the neighborhood of $15 a barrel Hothgor, not $5 a barrel. If the Saudis offered their sour at only a $5 discount they were $10 too high.

For example, the Maya crude oil discount dropped from around $17 per barrel at the end of March to $11 per barrel in May. What's important to keep in mind is that even with the decline in the sour crude discounts, our earnings in April were the highest ever for the company and May's earnings were the second highest ever. This shows that we don't have to have record refined product margins and record sour crude discounts at the same time to have record earnings. As the turnaround season ended and residual fuel oil prices fell, the Maya crude oil discounts have again widened and are currently about $14 per barrel.

Although the Saudi product is light, it is still sour. Sour crude means it is high in sulfur content and must be discounted in line with the world price for high sulfur crude. If Saudi had done that they could have sold all their sour crude at the going world price.

Bottom line, Saudi did not discount their sour crude even down to the going world price of sour crude. Had they done that they would have found no shortage of buyers.

There were plenty of buyers for Saudi cour crude at the going world price. The real reason they did not sell any was that they did not have any more sour crude to sell.

Care to try another tactic Hothgor?

Ron Patterson

Your right, its not 5$ a barrel, it was 8$ a barrel UNDER the OPEC Basket Crude price. Furthermore, the article clearly showed a $3 cut that month alone to entice buyers to buy their oil. Are you honestly trying to suggest to me that because I told you before it was 5$, and it was in fact 8$ under the basket and 3$ additional at the end that I was wrong?

Your missing the entire point: KSA, even with a 13$ discount over WTI, was having trouble back in 2005 in finding buyers for their oil, just as RR has stated on numerous occasions. That means that while WTI was at 65$, Saudi Oil was selling for below 52$. I don't care HOW sour the crude is, any refinery in the first world could maintain their refinery margins with that discount.

Stop engaging in a straw man defense and 'act like a man': admit I was right and you were wrong and the debate can go forward. Otherwise, its a waste of my time to post additional articles that I have while you continue to banter about how I'm wrong even in light of the fact that my article very clearly affirms my statement ~_~

I'm eagerly anticipating your apology, Ron!

Hothgor get real! Saudi sour is not WTI! Sour crude was selling at between an $17 and $11 discount to WTI. If Saudi was discounting their sour b $8 to WTI they were still over $5 too high.

Bottom line, Saudi never discounted their sour crude to the world price for sour crude, they only offered it at a premium to the world price of sour crude.

Try again Hothgor, you failed miserably on this try.

Saudi never discouted their sour crude to the world price of sour crude, they did not even offer it at a parity to the world price of world sour crude, only at a premium. The only reason they would only try to sell it at a premium to world sour crude is they knew there would be no takers! They had no damn oil to sell so they offered it at a premium to the world price.

Understand Hothgor, there is a tremendous difference in the grades of world oil. Sour crude is not WTI and therefore must be discounted to WTI. And that discount must equal the world price of sour crude. Saudi was not willing to do that, and the reason was very likely because they had no more sour crude to sell.

Ron Patterson

RP 2PM: "And where on earth did you get this stuff about them offering a $5 discount over the going price of OPEC crude? Please supply a URL for this. This is the very first time I have heard of this $5 discount."

See Hothgor, two hours ago he admits never knowing about these types of discount. And now he's a fricken expert.

Don't bother with him. I exposed three of his lies yesterday. It took ten minutes to find. I have 50 or 60 more that showed up. On all kinds of topics; and i think everyone can see the pattern here...

His lack of judgement illustrates the difference between intelligence and wisdom.


You are the liar Freddy. I did not predict any peak in 2003 as you said I did. I said that I expected the stock market to crash when the world realizes that the world is at peak and I still do.

Why don't you get a life.

Ron Patterson

Ron Patterson, 7pm: "You are the liar Freddy. I did not predict any peak in 2003 as you said I did. I said that I expected the stock market to crash when the world realizes that the world is at peak and I still do."

Ron Patterson, June 11 2003: Anyway, I agree with you that we are due for a stock market crash, perhaps as early as this month. But I would not be so bold as to predict it that soon. I would guess it would happen before next summer however, likely sooner than that.

Ron Patterson, Aug 23 2003: I firmly believe however that peak extraction can come no later than 2005 and think it likely that 2004 will be the date. All that depends on the stability of extraction in Iraq, Venezuela, Nigeria and the biggest source of all, Saudi Arabia.

Freddy, you are really a dumb ass you know that. I clearly stated that the stock market guess was a guess. But that last one really takes the cake. At any rate, the stock market is not my forte, oil production is.

I stated that my belief was that peak extraction would come no later than 2005 and I hit the nail on the head! Peak extraction came in May 2005.

Oh, thanks for pointing out to the list that I guessed that the peak would come no later than 2005. I am not one to say I told you so, but I did didn't I. (That is what my aunt Fanny used to say.) ;-)

Ron Patterson

Ron, never argue with fools - people might mistake you for one and it only encourages them.

I would also like to encourage you to some extent ignore some of the participants that are "debunking" your arguments. But of course, if one spot a honest argument, it should be addressed.

IMO most people here seek the truth and do valuable scrutiny (RR) to the arguments being made. Don't waste your time on sophists.

Thanks for your great contributions.

One of the main issues that SA has is that there is no available refining capacity for their heavy stuff, which makes up the bulk of their spare capacity. With the massive refinery projects they have started this will be changing, which is one reason why I'm more optimistic than many around here regarding their future production levels.

Austex, Saudi crude is not all that heavy, it is just is very sulfurous. Sulfur is apparently very hard to remove from crude and must be discounted quite a bit.

Perhaps Robert, who is a refinery man, could better inform us on this point. Or perhaps some other oilman. But the URL Hothgor posted seemed to emphasize the sulfur content rather than the weight of the oil as the reason it must be discounted so heavily.

By the way, Valero specalizes in heavy sour crude and is prepared to handle it where other refineries are not, but at a heavy discount of course.

Ron Patterson

The only thing that proves is the House of Saud has a lot of bad shitty oil. Where's the $5 discount for the good stuff? Oh wait....

It's overly obvious that for good crude, there was not, and is not, any reason why Saud oil would sell for $13 less a barrel than WTO or Brent, other than the occasional camel dung odor or men dressed in tents.

If there were such a reason, world prices would drop, not just KSA prices.

Read your own quote:

"The official selling price for Saudi oil for October delivery is currently set at a discount of more than $13 per barrel to US light crude which was yesterday selling for just under $65 per barrel.
Weak demand for Arab Light, the main Saudi crude blend, has forced the Kingdom to increase the discount from $10.45 in August to $13.40 in October."

What that mean, if they're lucky, is the poor stuff they offered was SOOOOOO bad that it hurt clients' confidence in their good stuff, Arab light. If they wanted to sell any devil along with the divine, clients only accepted at a higher discount.

They would have taken A.L. anytime at the regular price, but the Saudi's insisted including their mud in the deals. So the client says: OK. but only if the mud comes at mud prices.

Es todo.

hothgor = RR ?

Hothgor posted well over an hour ago:

They publicly stated they had no buyers for some of their oil, despite offering an additional 5$ discount over OPEC crude. If that oil was in such need, why did no one ring them up and ask to buy some?

And I posted about one hour and twenty minutes ago:

As I said, a URL please!

But no URL has been forthcoming. Did you just make this shit up Hothgor? Is your name really Freddy Hutter? Or, you are not Freddy you just make up lies like Freddy? Where did you get this shit about Saudi offering a $5 discount on their oil verses the OPEC basket price but still found no buyers?

Actually there is no such thing as an OPEC basket price, there is a Middle East basket price which is closely pegged to the Oman/Dubai price which is traded on the TOCOM. And of course, whether the oil is very light sweet or very heavy sour, the price must be either increased or decreased form the Dubai/Oman price as traded on the TOCOM. But, to my knowledge, there was no Saudi discount offered, Hothgor just made that up.

But I will apologize and admit I am wrong, if Hothgor will just post the URL where it is reliably stated that Saudi offered their oil at a $5 discount to the Middle East basket price. Otherwise you should do the manly thing Hothgor and admit that you just lied.

Ron Patterson

You jumped the gun, Ron ol' boy! Scroll on up ~_~

I expect a complete and sincere apology from you to be forthcoming.


In a polite discussion one does not apologize for being wrong.
One might issue a Mea Culpa where you admit your mistake.

One should apologize is he has been rude or issued a personal attack (for example calling the other party a "moron") but this is independent of being "right" or "wrong."

Not that I expect you to know much about polite discussion.

Rethin, I was not wrong, I was absolutely correct. Hothgor mistakenly thought that because Saudi was discounting their sour crude by $5 to $8 dollara a barrel that they were discounting it below the market price. Actually that was still about $5 above the market price for sour crude.

I do not expect an apology from Hothgor but he should admit he was wrong. But I expect it will be a cold day in hell before that happens.

Ron Patterson

I'm sorry Darwinian, I didn't mean to imply you were wrong.

I was just trying to educate our young friend on one of the courser points in etiquette.

Are you honestly suggesting that when KSA was selling their crude oil for 52$ a barrel, the rest of the world was selling their heavy crude for 47$ a barrel?

Do you even realize how what you are saying makes absolutely no sense what so ever? Any rational businessman would realize that a 20$ discount on crude oil is MORE then enough to compensate for the increase cost of removing the sulfur from the good stuff. Yet mysteriously, and defying all logic in the entire world, no one has yet to jump in on this multi billion dollar industry to do just that.

Honestly Ron, you've said some pretty wacko things before, but this takes the cake. You were wrong, others pointed it out, yet you keep throwing up straw men defenses. Even WT wont touch this one with a 10 foot pole :laughs:

Any rational businessman would realize that a 20$ discount on crude oil is MORE then enough to compensate for the increase cost of removing the sulfur from the good stuff. Yet mysteriously, and defying all logic in the entire world, no one has yet to jump in on this multi billion dollar industry to do just that.

You mean, by building a new oil refinery?

And yes, somebody is jumping on this multi-billion dollar industry to do that---KSA---but it takes multibillions and many years to build a refinery and nobody wants one close.

The reality is that sweet and sour oils are not fully fungible and substitutable. It's quite possible that the capacity of sour capable refineries have been maxed out.

We may not have hit peak sour oil but I really bet we've hit peak light sweet oil.

Just to get back to the original point here:

  • Darwinian: "Reduced demand, yeah that's the ticket. The Saudis are holding back because they cannot find buyers"
  • http://www.relocalize.net/node/984: "SAUDI ARABIA is struggling to sell its crude oil despite record fuel prices and calls on the Kingdom to bring further supplies to the market."

Darwinian is ironically correct: KSA was holding back [supply] due to a lack of buyers, and claiming otherwise is simply wishful thinking. Unless you have evidence -- not merely the strength of your belief but actual evidence -- that the rest of the world lacks?

(A surplus of sour oil may or may not improve our situation, of course, but that is what evidence suggests we have.)

I'm bummed I couldn't participate in this trhead yesterday.

Anyway tennisball, it's not clear to me why you used a 3rd order polynomial. I get sense that people think it has forcasting value.

I don't think so. IIRC, polynomial curve fits cannot be extrapolated beyond the data used to generate the fit.

I'm not arguing that PO is not occurring now, but I don't think this curve fit is generating information we can hang our hat on. Wouldn't a logistic or gaussian curve be more infromative?

One of my New Year’s Resolutions for 2007 was to talk “to talk to at least 1 person a month about Peak Oil and/or the importance of living sustainably”. Last night I chalked up my first success. My neighbor, who is a government employee, and his wife invited my family over for dinner last night as a send-off for my move to Scotland at the end of the week. After we ate, he asked what I have been doing in my spare time, and there was my opening.

One of the questions that we have debated extensively here at TOD – which is really what yesterday’s debates were about for me – is how do you talk to people about PO? How do you convince them we are facing a very serious issue without coming off sounding like a kook? So, here’s how I approached it, and how I generally approach it. (Although it’s usually easier when gas prices are breaking records). I explained to him that my major interest is in energy issues, and that I am concerned that we are not doing enough to address our future energy needs.

OK, his interest is piqued. Energy affects us all. I explain that at some point the world, just as the U.S. did in the early 70’s, will see world oil production peak and that there is literally nothing waiting in the wings to make up the shortfall. Well, this is news to him. What about ethanol? What about the car that runs on water? After shooting those down (but I do give ethanol a fair shake), I explain to him both sides of the issue: There are those who think that there will be plenty of oil until technology invents something better. And there are those who think PO is on top of us right now, and that we are doomed. And I explain why the sides think what they do. And at this point, I have him hooked.

What I try to do is explain why we face a very grave threat. What I don’t do is bring up falling imports, or Hubbert Linearizations, or anything like that. Why? First, most people won’t have enough interest to really follow the HL. Second, what will he think of my argument if he starts hearing news reports this summer that oil imports are hitting new records? This happened last summer. After oil imports fell in the spring, they went on to set new records in the summer. So, if he hears that, the rest of my argument becomes suspect. And it is around issues like this that I base my caution with the data.

Now, for those of you yesterday who think my position is that we shouldn’t do anything until all the facts are in, I am telling this story so that you will understand that this isn’t correct. I am trying to tell the story of Peak Oil and our need to prepare without opening myself up to some easy falsifications or doubt-sowing. That doesn’t mean that I don’t talk about PO, or that I present a less compelling case. To the contrary, I present a case that is very difficult to counter, and that won’t be later second-guessed. I also presented the case without sensationalizing in the least. And I left last night believing that 1). He understands the seriousness of the issue in a way he never did before; and 2). He will probably talk to someone else about PO.

Yes, it’s one person. Yes, it would be better for the President to have a frank talk like this in his State of the Union. But I do what I can do, and I do it in the way that I think is most effective and least penetrable to counter arguments. Maybe some people are more receptive to a message of doom and sensationalism. What I am saying? This is the land of the Weekly World News and Jerry Springer. Probably most people are more receptive to that message. I am just not comfortable delivering a sensationalized message, because I don’t believe the half-life will be very long.

Finally, for those who choose to misunderstand/misrepresent my position into something that it isn’t, I really think I have explained myself clearly enough on the issues that you bear the responsibility for the misrepresentations. After this, I plan to be offline for the rest of the day, and probably until Wednesday. I have an essay in the queue that should be published then, and I will make time to answer questions and comments.


" is how do you talk to people about PO?"

I have recently come up with what I call "The Clue" for people about PO.

It is this, Look at ALL the technology leaps in the last 100 years, Computers, Men on the Moon, IBM spelling out "THINK" by moving individual atoms and all the rest.

Now the fact that we STILL, after over 100 years, for nearly all our transportation use an internal combustion engine using the same fuel as in OTTO's engine back in 1900. Doesn't that give you a CLUE that there isn't a substitute? Doesn't give you a CLUE that it is the most Energy Dense energy source to use? Hundreds of Millions of Cars and Trucks and Buses, and they STILL use Petro for power?

The SAME fuel (essentially) as OTTO had back in 1900.

Doesn't that give even Joe Sixpack a CLUE that Nothing better exists to power our "Modern" society? If there was something else Easy, Cheap, and Readily available that it would have been employed sometime over the last 100 years?

Well, a Clue for the Clueless.


You can lead a man to Knowledge,
But you Can't make him Think

John Carr

... a Clue for the Clueless.
You can lead a man to Knowledge,
But you Can't make him Think

Samsara & RR.

Great discussion. Thanks for the insights.

Phrases like "clueless" and "can't make 'em think" certainly frame the world in a certain way. But is it a realistic framing? Is it really the way the world works?

Let me first declare that I am an ignoramous.

I am ignorant about way many more things than those which I may have a clue about.

So if you are an expert in some obscure topic, let's the world's greatest lacrosse players as an example, and you drop in out of the clear blue sky on me and start dropping all sorts of "clues" on me about the wonders of that subject, none of it will get through to me. I am not pre-programmed to receive any of that messaging.

You may think you are dropping the most obvious of clues on me (in lacrosse language) ... but to me it's just gobbledygook ... and you are just a pushy, obsessive lacrosse freak.

I hope that message is getting through.

Robert, what was the background of your listener? A techie guy? An economist? A historian? I think the background makes all the difference as to chances of getting a message through.

If there was something else Easy, Cheap, and Readily available that it would have been employed sometime over the last 100 years ?

A hundred and ten years ago, a new technology was just emerging that had Higher energy density, was and is cheaper and as widely available as gasoline. It provided more passenger miles than gasoline till the 1920s (perhaps 1930s)

This alternative technology ?

Electricity supplied through a wire or 3rd rail to an electric motor. Which 98%-99% of the time drives a steel wheel on a rail (and usually regenerates power while braking, recycling energy).

This alternative takes people and freight accross the width of Siberia and many people to work every day. In some cities it is the dominant means of transportation, in others it is oil.


Best Hopes,


electricity (unlike oil) is not energy source, just carrier, it should be produced somewhere ...

Yes and no. "Electricity" usually includes the generation, which can be from a large # of sources, from renewables hydro, wind, biogas & wood, solar , geothermal and nuclear (according to the President of the USA, nuke is renewable) as well as all of the fossil fuels; coal, natural gas and oil. Falling water, wind and geothermal steam may be "energy" but the only practical way to use that energy in quantity is as electricity.

What is burned in transportation is not oil, but refined products that have gone through a more complex and energy & capital intensive process than electrical generation.

Wire transported electricity is an alternative to refined oil products for transportation.

Best Hopes,


Robert, welcome to the club. I have spoken to over 100 people about Peak oil in my travels. I am in the relocation business(I drive, pack and deliver your household goods). I have a captive audience with my help. I heard all the excuses from technology will save the day to "they have cars that run on water". And what I do in every case is to respect their opinions and offer suggestions to show the them how peak oil will effect them dispite their current beliefs. You'd be surprised at the number of people who believe we could run all our cars on vegetable oil.. They all believe we can convert our cars to run on biofuels and just pull up to the local McD's and fillup!! So keep up the good work and have fun.. Life is an adventure and we are at the beginning of the rest of our lives..

Dear RR and other TOD experts,

Is it possible to write up this non-technical presentation, or ones like it?

There is a lack of non-sensational documents explaining peak oil in a way that is understandable to a general audience. Your technical background gives it credibility.

Such a document would be valuable to post at TOD and elsewhere.

It would probably be suitable for publishing in mainstream publications -- a way to break out of the peak oil ghetto.


... And they lived happily ever after.

That's the way many childrens' fairy tales end. A mirage is painted of unending youth, health and happiness for Prince Charming and Sleeping Beauty as they ride off into the sunset in their white SUV.

Mature adults know that real life doesn't play out that way.

Life is filled with the euphoria of youth, growth and the feeling of unending possibilities. Sadly, this is followed by the disappointment of a middle age plateua and then a continous decline in abilities. A bell shaped curve that is seen over and over in Nature, everywhere we look.

Nothing goes on forever.

One area where we adults remain dazed in the fairy tale headlights of "Happily Ever After" is in the domain of industrial progress and energy use.

Truth is ... even when it comes to science, energy and progress, there are limits. Sadly, evidence is mounting that we have entered the middle age years of our fluid fuel possibilities. We are talking crude oil and natural gas.

Some folk talk about doomerism and delusion rather than facing up to the facts of life. You have a choice. You can continue to believe in fairy tales or you can educate yourself.

Have you ever heard of Hubbert's Bell shaped curve?
Go here to learn more.

Hello R-squared,

I am a big fan of Outreach to the masses. All TODers should carry some pre-printed business-cards, or pre-printed small pieces of paper with a short list of favorite websites on one side, and Peakoil books on the flip-side.

Start off each side with a Catchy Quote on top such as: "Deal with Reality, or Reality will deal with You!" or "Peakoil--Is riding a bicycle and chopping wood our future?".

My list of websites: EnergyBulletin.net, TheOilDrum.com, LifeAfterTheOilCrash.net, Simmonsco-intl.com, and of course Dieoff.com.

My list of books: Catton, Tainter, Heinberg, Simmons, Kunstler--we know the titles.

Hand them out to whomever: your restaurant waiter, people waiting in movie or grocery lines, retail cashiers, parents of Halloween trick- or-treaters. Try and get in the habit whereby, if you reach in your wallet for money, to include a card to handoff too.

They will generally say, "What is this for?". Just quickly say, "The websites are free, no sales pitch involved. But our world will be remarkably different because of Peakoil, but don't take my word for it, read the writings of world-class petroleum experts, scientists, billionaires, and political leaders. But the most important thing is: if you come to believe these writers, then tell others, especially your family and friends". If you have more time to explain things, then great. If pressed for time--let the card do the talking for you as people will discover the info on their own.

Covertly leave a few on the tables in doctor' offices, vehicle repair & tire shops, bicycle and motorcycle stores, etc. It just takes a second to do, but my favorite trick is to tape a card on the front display of gas pump so that the next detritovore can't miss it, but can easily read it while pumping their car, and will hopefully pocket it to check out on their home computer later.

Cheap and easy way to spread the word. Git 'er done!

Also, when in a pub: don't forget to shout out Peakoil when your mug reaches half-empty, but be ready to hand out cards and answer questions. Works for me!

Bob Shaw in Phx,Az Are Humans Smarter than Yeast?

Who was the lucky mug who came up with the Post-it?

Bob.. again, this has an elegant simplicity, and I'm going to open a new file and start jotting notes as to what it would say.. Card or no card, the practise would be a good way to work on and refine the essentials, the elevator speech.

I might put in some links, but I think one really poignant question (even one regarding yeast, tho' I'm occasionally guilty of being too obscure, my wife tells me).. or a great, simple image/cartoon.. followed inside the fold by a summary of the problem as you (I) see it.

Never hurts to step aside and clarify your thoughts!

Bob Fiske

"EnergyBulletin.net, TheOilDrum.com, LifeAfterTheOilCrash.net, Simmonsco-intl.com, and of course Dieoff.com.

Bob, Try this one.

Print clearly "WWW.THEOILDRUM.COM" on the borders of your $1,5,10,20 etc dollar bills.

Maybe some message like

PEAK OIL something something.

Printing on the borders of the bills is like putting the message in a bottle.

You never know who will see it.

I would love Yergin or someone like that to get one of my $20 dollar bills and look at it.

Imagine someone like Cheney looking at a bill and reading WWW.DIEOFF.COM (one of my "Border" sites)?


Won't the notes just be taken out of circulation the next time they go to the bank? Ie right after you use one in a store.

Not necessarily. For currency, the definition of deface is abit vague.
There is a site called Where's George where many people mark and then
track bills via the website. See:


and also:


Maybe it isn't an intellectually honest way to go about it, but I start the dialogue with something along the lines of what is being labelled the "geopolitics of oil" issue. This really seems to get peoples' blood boiling and agreeing with me that maybe we shouldn't rely on the Middle East, Russia, and Venezuela for our energy future.

With that as the lead-in, I then get into the North American peak gas issue, and that leads to the so-called green technologies as one's hope of achieving any sense of energy security. The discussion usually ends there with the excuse that those technologies are too expensive, and that is generally when the conversation ends. Even those I know who could afford to become self-sufficient give me the money excuse. I'm coming to the conclusion now that it is probably going to take something much worse than Katrina to get people moving on the oil/gas issue.

re: Global Warming Final Verdict -

If the final IPCC report is along the lines of this draft report, this is very significant. Just a week ago there were stories that they were going to be watering down their concerns, which has been the pattern in the past. Quite the about-face! I wonder how many "fence-sitters" were blown off their fences by the winter hurricane that just blasted through Europe??

The NY Times said yesterday that there will be a real shift. We'll see if actually happens.

Ther have been rumours floating around for a while now that the report's original very strong language is being toned down, an apparently ongoing process. Next time, make sure that Karl Rove doesn't get to see it before publication. It becomes just another political tool.

Perhaps the best way to summarize the eventual text is this quote from today's Guardian article Global warming: the final verdict

"This is a very conservative document - that's what makes it so scary"

A favourite party game for me is to ask,'If the average temperature is 20 degrees celsius, if we warm up by one percent what will the new average temperature be? I have yet to receive the answer that derives from absolute zero which is minus 271 + 20 = 291 X .01 = 2.91 + 20, or 23 C. All we have to do is alter the atmospheric thermal balance by one percent to get a pretty wacky climate compared to what we are used to. By my admittedly simplistic calculation .0025, the amount of CO2 we have added, times 291 gives about 7/10s of a degree, which seems to fit. I know the question is far more complex, but for non believers it is a good place to start.

What is amazing is that our climate may have been stabler than the math would predict. I saw a documentary on CBC recently called Global Dimming, which dealt with the possibility, or probability, that particulate detritus from combustion has increased cloud seeding and reflectivity thus mitigating a portion of the effects of CO2 and other GHGs. Recent improvements in the reduction of particulate emisssions has had the effect of removing some of this masking effect. Cleaner may be hotter; also, the particulates would drop out rapidly - more so than the CO2 -if we actually went non carbon.

Aircraft manage to put crap right above cloud level, so their portion is perhaps the most effective. Flying may be cool afterall. Considering that about 2/3 of the wood harvested is for fuel, some areas are down to burning dung, and that a significant proportion of the brown cloud over Mexico city is airborn fecal particulates.... Wow. what a fascinating century this will be!

maybe the reason your partying friends dont get the right answer is because it is a poorly posed question. have you tried ? " if the absolute temperature increases by one % from 20 degrees celcius what is the temperature ? "

* side note the temperature in degrees celcius is the temperature expressed as a percentage of the range between freezing and boiling of water ( a very practical scale)

No, I think it is just because we didn't pay attention to Kelvin in school and a Kelvinator is a 'fridge'. We'll be studying that aspect more assiduously in future by the looks of it.

Also, the correct spelling is Celsius and the scale is referred to as a centigrade scale. US is the only place still on Fahrenheit, which never made any sense whatsoever to me or most anyone else. From the point of view of the cosmos, absolute zero is the real zero.

If I'm 'tricking' people into thinking cosmically, I'm not ashamed of it. Temperature is always above absolute zero whether we think of it that way or not, and room temperature is about 290 K.

Now now PS,

I think it was Seinfeld who beat you to that one fair and square when he said room temperature is a silly concept, because whatever temperature the room is in when you enter it, that's room temperature.

To which I could add: unless you turn the heat up and/or down, after which you could end up with two additional and different room temperatures.

The best case for Celsius is obvious from your post: it easier to say zero degrees than tho-hundred-and-seventy-three degrees. Saves a lot of ink too.

And it's kind of clear to people when, on average, above zero means rain falls, and below zero, it'll be snow.

Friends of mine who are wine afficionados observe that red wine tastes best slightly chilled. They always thought it was odd that the recommendation was that it be served at room temperature. Until they went to Europe, and realized how cold rooms are in Europe. :)

Exactly. My point was how little change in the Brownian motion around us is required to induce panic. As a percentage, global warming is minuscule. We live on a knife edge, probably balanced by the sorts of interactions that Lovelock pointed out. Unless We do something, Something will do with us. Balance happens.

Fahrenheit scale gradiations make more sense for people's ability to feel temperatures, Celsius being too coarse, often leading to annoying decimals.

huh ?

you are probably a real hit at these parties ! party on dudes !

Only because I can see you appreciate accuracy, you should say between melting and boiling. Freezing occurs in a range of temperatures often well below zero. For instance, a typical water temperature for "freezing rain" is -4C.

does cold water or hot water freeze faster ? if you do a search for this, you will find much discussion and i suppose an experiment can be designed in which hot water will freeze faster ( maybe because it contains less dissolved air) my own experiment using styrofoam cups set outside indicated that cold water freezes faster q.e.d.

The answer to both global warming and Peak Oil is less consumption. At some point there will be real limits to growth or no growth at all (unless alt energy sources can have as high or higher net EROI to society as fossil fuels).

The political juggernauts will find global warming a much more reasonable rationale for recommending( requiring?) curfews, odd/even driving days, rationing coupons, etc for fossil fuels than telling the straight truth about depletion (that would be too real and scary)

I expect they will beat around the bush and institute policies that ostensibly mitigate worse climate change but are deep down energy conservation motivated.

To point that GW is real is a lot more politically tenable than saying we have used up half our oil and growth is over. Global warming is something the whole world can work together on (hypothetically). Peak Oil, is more choosing sides geopolitically. I expect global warming will morph from politically annoying to a politically expedient in the years ahead.

Re: Behold the Rise of Energy-Based Fascism (Part II)

So lets kick Russia one more time :)
Not sure if the rate hikes (to prices still below or at market levels) is in the same "Energy-Based Fascism" league as "securing" oil supply in the Middle East (legality of nationalization notwithstanding).

"InfinitePostings" wrote this on the 16th:

"I also believe that it is a fact that the cost of the war would have been enough to replace a large fraction of the US vehicle fleet with high efficiency vehicles, thus saving hundreds of billions of dollars in oil imports."

Note: this is super rough and just meant to provoke thoughts...

Assume $300billion spent in Iraq, and $14,000 for an Echo

Iraq war would buy: 21,429,000 Echos

Assume upgrade from 25mpg vehicle to 40mpg and assume 15,000miles/year

15,000miles/year * 1gal/25miles = 600 gallons

15,000miles/year * 1gal/40miles = 375 gallons

Difference of 225 gallons per vehicle per year.

Or 4,821,525,000 gallons saved per year.

Or (4,821,525,000gal per year/42gal per BBl)/365day = 314,515 BBl per day (~16% of Iraqs total output and 1.5% of US consumption)

At $45/bbl = $5,165,919,642/year (58 year ROI, exceeds life of vehicle)
At $75/bbl = $8,609,866,071/year (34 year ROI, exceeds life of vehicle)

Not entirely sure what to make of that, really.

I have heard estimates that the total final cost of the Iraq war will be as high as 3 trillion dollars.

What were the total costs of the Vietnam War? We're still paying for that war in the form of Veterans' benefits plus extra intrest on the amount of extra debt incurred to pay for the war. For that matter, we're still paying for the Second World War.

Clearly, there is no way to know the cost of a war in advance. Even after the fact, it is tough to compute because the value of the dollar keeps diminishing, and so you have to be careful to convert everything to "constant" dollars of a particular base year.

In terms of the costs of wars, I think Iraq will turn out to be substantially less costly than was Vietnam--but only time will tell.

i dunno sailorman, the dollar cost of the iraq quagmire has already surpassed the dollar cost of the vietnam quagmire . but you shouldnt worry about the costs of veterans benifits, that is part of the vast liberal social conspiracy and not included in budgetary estimates of military spending. and btw the risk of a soilder being killed or disabled in iraq is greater than the same risk in vietnam , or so i have read . and imo if the befuddled one had actually served in vietnam, i doubt he would have been so trigger happy in iraq. yee haw bush and cheney ride your horses and shoot your guns.

To the best of my knowledge, in constant dollars the to date cost of the Vietnam War to the U.S. has been at least treble the to date cost of the Iraq War. Remember that back in '67 the dollar was still worth about a quarter, whereas now it is worth about a nickel. Recall also that more tonnage of bombs was dropped on Vietnam and its neighbors than all the bombs dropped on both sides during World War II. Bombs do not come cheap.

By the end of the Vietnam War, the dollar had dropped to roughly half the purchasing power it had at the beginning of the war: The Vietnam War caused the "flation" part of stagflation, and the inflation spilled over into the late seventies and early eighties.

It would be quite logical to put the erosion of the savings of Americans from war-based inflation as a cost of war.

And there is no way you can escape counting the huge cost of Veterans' Benefits as a cost of a war.

Actually, in 2005, we used 3,343,131,000 barrels of finished motor gasoline, so your calculated savings would actually be 3.7% of our 2005 gasoline usage. If we had replaced 15 mpg SUVs instead of 25 mpg cars, the savings would have been almost 10% of our 2005 usage.

I am sure that Bush in his State of the Union Address next week will propose that we pull out of Iraq, slash the military, and buy hybrids for all americans. At that same moment, pigs will fly out of my butt, hell will freeze over, and the grinches heart will grow three sizes.

what would the instant savings be if we went back to 55 mph, at least in urban areas?

Plus encouraging or forcing every gasoline retailer to have a working air compressor so that drivers can in fact get their tire pressure up to optimum?

I just spent half an hour in lousy weather, Tulsa, OK, trying to find a working compressor. Ended up idling the car for 10 minutes to use the emergency pump.

what would the instant savings be if we went back to 55 mph, at least in urban areas?

Not much. The FHWA estimates the 55mph law gave us maybe a 1% savings.

Really? How could that be, considering the known improvement that slowing down offers, plus the overwhelming number of highway miles being driven today? It seems like the 70's savings were at least double that much (!!)

RK Kauffman - http://www.decaturdaily.com/decaturdaily/opinion/editorials/050502a.shtml
"Most Americans who remember the 55 mph limit that came out of the 1973 Arab oil embargo probably do not want to go back to it, despite estimates that it saved 2.2 percent of the total usage of gasoline and diesel fuel in 1983.

But if government-enforced personal sacrifice is off the table, enlightened voluntary personal sacrifice should not be. Every driver can reduce personal energy consumption — and high prices are motivating more drivers to do so. (The popularity of hybrids and other fuel-saving vehicles shows it.)

A sensible way to save fuel is to slow down. Forget 55, if you must. The Natural Resources Defense Council, an advocacy group, says that cutting speeds to 65 mph from 75 would reduce highway gasoline consumption by about 15 percent. And 65 is already the speed limit in much of the nation.

Another benefit, NRDC notes, is that lower speeds would save lives. "
Mr. Kaufmann, a geography professor with the Center for Energy and Environmental Studies at Boston University

How could that be, considering the known improvement that slowing down offers, plus the overwhelming number of highway miles being driven today?

Probably the difference between the speed people actually drive and the posted speed limit.

The report in question is here.

"A sensible way to save fuel is to slow down. Forget 55, if you must. The Natural Resources Defense Council, an advocacy group, says that cutting speeds to 65 mph from 75 would reduce highway gasoline consumption by about 15 percent. And 65 is already the speed limit in much of the nation."

Oh good grief! That's if anyone was able to run the 65 or 75 or whatever dream speed...how much more fuel is wasted in traffic jams at 12 to 25 miles per hour, hauling a full air conditioned cockpit with enough electronic goodies to stock a theatre!

If anything ends the auto age, it will not be lack of energy, it is going to be the insane gridlock that makes the auto essentially useless in more and more of the country....where I work, more and more people have bought homes or rented apartments close to where they work, not because of the fuel issue (they are paying more in housing costs than the fuel could possibly cost them, even if it were twice the price) but simply because the gridlock and slow commute speeds were becoming unbearable....

You want to do away with the American's love affair with the auto and thee commute, just promote the success of the auto....it will soon strangle itself to death (like those yeast we keep hearing about!)

Roger Conner known to you as ThatsItImout

driving 35 mph on the shoulder in the metro with the windows down is a great fuel saver (and the rumble strips keep the driver "alert") people do tend to stare however

the mpg meter on my car shows about 20% increase in fuel economy going from 65 down to 55 . part of the problem is that the car is equiped with an engine capable of going 110 mph . two ways to increase mileage that the car mfgrs arent doing much about 1) the shape of the car - make every car look like a boxfish 2) design an efficient computer controlled "manual" transmission with maybe 15 speeds (freightliner has them) so why not passenger cars. torque converter "automatic" transmissions are a big fuel waster, especially in big trucks.

Hello Pedrito,

Free, working airpumps at gas-stations--That is excellent idea! It oughta be a law. You wouldn't believe the numbers of vehicles I see driving around my Asphalt Wonderland with dangerously under-inflated tires! Our gas-stations charge 75 cents or a buck to use a puny, slow, inconvenient, inaccurate compressor that is way off in a corner, instead of being right by the pumps like in the olden days--I think it is just a business trick to sell more gas, tires, and tow-truck towing time.

Bob Shaw in Phx,Az Are Humans Smarter than Yeast?


why the surprise and indignation?

you live in a country that makes money out of air


Until hell freezes over and free air returns use a hand pump. You should own a bicycle and they absolutely require a hand pump at home to keep tires topped off. Any good bicycle floor pump does car tires with little fuss. I quit giving non-maintained gas station compressors my quarters years ago.

are they driving around the streets of phoenix with under inflated tires for the "low rider" effect ?

sailorman, people laugh at me for hoarding nickels ( and honestly i dont have a rational reason for doing so ). but i tell them that probably within our lifetime those nickels will be worth more that the $ (of course the nickel wont buy much either)

Hoarding nickels (and pennies too) is perfectly rational, and that is using the term "rational" in its strict economic sense. If you expect nickels to increase in value faster than the rate of interest, then hoarding them is logical. At some point lots of people are going to figure this out, and in the space of a few months both pennies and nickels will go out of circulation. This will probably happen shortly after the Treasury announces that more pennies and nickels will be manufactured, and that there is (according to the Treasury) therefore no reason to hoard them.

Old pickle jars make good containers for coins.

Note that silver coins went out of circulation rapidly in 1965 when the non-silver (debased) coins were put into circulation. Silver coins have held their value, and I expect zinc pennies and copper/nickel nickels to do the same. Copper pennies, of course, have been out of circulation for a long time.

Actually it is a bit more compex than that. Nickels, like gold for example, have no yield. The only gain that can be derived from holding nickels is the expected appreciation of the metal content (above the nominal value of the coin).

One has to expact that the metal content of the nickel will appreciate at a rate great enough to compensate for the opportunity cost of the five cents, say a savings account.

Now, if a person feels sure that nickel generally will appreciate or that the eventual ability to salvage nickel from a nickel will have a net present value of greater than five cents, it would be rational to actively seek nickles out to store, rather than just storing the ones they get in the course of life.

jack, well salvaging nickel and copper would be more successful than trying to salvage anything from a paper dollar. people have pointed out that when paper german marks became worthless, the smaller metal coins were still worth something. but i hold no illusions about hoarding nickels (except the satisfaction of subverting the governments debasement of our currency) $ 2 dollars worth of nickels will probably buy about $ 40 worth of future goods which is probably worth about $ 2 today .

*there probably is a nickel "bubble" at present ($ 15/ lb last time i checked). it is hard to see how this will appreciate a whole bunch in the short term.
current prices nickel $ 17.07 / lb
copper $ 2.56/ lb
zinc $ 1.66/ lb

Not out of circulation at all, they seem to be about 40% or 50% of the pennies in circulation right now. But out of production since the 1980s. The modern penny is a piece of zinc, thinly plated with copper. The modern ones literally melt away if damp, left in the sand at the beach, etc.

I think the old-time wooden nickel had a longer practical life than the modern penny has.

Half that, $130 to $160 billion (rough estimate) could buy

Albuquerque – Light Rail and Commuter Rail plans
Atlanta - Beltway Light Rail, Northern suburbs Light Rail extension, downtown streetcar
Austin - Two Light Rail Lines plus Commuter rail and downtown streetcars
Baltimore - East-West Light Rail Line, 4 mile extension to current subway
Birmingham AL – Streetcar lines Boston - All rail plans promised as environmental offset to "Big Dig" Buffalo - Planned extensions to current light rail subway
Charlotte - All plans currently scheduled
Chicago – Expansions to Metra, South Shore Line
Cincinnati –Light Rail plans voted down
Columbus OH – Light Rail and streetcar lines
Corpus Christi TX – Streetcar line
Dallas - All plans through 2015 and all 2015-2030 options (roughly 145 mile system)
Dayton OH – Streetcar plans
Denver - 117 miles of Light Rail and Commuter Rail (already locally funded)
El Paso – Downtown to Border Light Rail
Ft. Lauderdale – Light Rail and streetcar plans under active development
Honolulu – Line currently under development
Houston - All plans voted for, 65 new miles light rail 8 miles commuter
Indianapolis – Light Rail Line plans
Kansas City – Light Rail Line proposed
Las Vegas – Light Rail plans
Little Rock – Short extensions of existing streetcar line, Light Rail line
Los Angeles - Red Line "Subway to the Sea", Vermont Avenue subway, XX miles of Light Rail, electric trolley bus plan, electrify commuter rail
Louisville KY – Light Rail line plans
Madison WS – Streetcar and Commuter Rail plans
Memphis – At least two Light Lines in comprehensive plan
Miami - 103 miles of elevated Rapid Rail (subway type) + Miami Beach streetcar (already locally funded) 90% of the population would be within 3 miles of a station, half within 2 miles of a station
Minneapolis-St. Paul - Central Light Rail connector between the cities, Northstar commuter rail
Missoula MN – Commuter Rail
Nashville – Commuter Rail in process
New Orleans – Desire Streetcar Line, Riverfront Streetcar Line extensions
New York City - 2nd Avenue Subway, 3rd Tunnel under Hudson, Penn to Grand Central connection, Staten Island Light Rail, New Jersey Light Rail extension, commuter rail improvements
Norfolk – Light Rail Plans in progress
Ogden UT – Streetcar plans
Orange County CA – Center Line Light Rail plan voted down
Orlando – Light Rail plan voted down
Philadelphia – City Branch, Roosevelt Blvd. extension of Broad Street subway
Phoenix - 90 miles of Light Rail already approved Pittsburgh - Two Light Rail Lines north from current, under construction line Portland - Green Line (both routes, one funded, other "studied" for future), Streetcar both sides river
Raleigh-Durham NC – Streetcar plans
Sacramento – Additional Light Rail expansion
San Antonio – Light Rail plans voted down
St. Louis - All plans evaluated, perhaps 100 mile system
Salem OR – Streetcar plans Salt Lake City - 90 miles of Light Rail, streetcar and Commuter Rail (vote soon to accelerate)
San Diego - Light Rail spur to North, another to West
San Francisco - New TransBay tunnel, trolley line, BART extension, eBART, Marin-Sonoma commuter rail, CalTrain extension to downtown TransBay Terminal
San Jose - BART extension, several Light Rail extensions
Seattle – Proposed north extension
Spokane – Light Rail line planned
Tampa – 1992 and later plans
Toledo OH – Streetcar plans
Tuscon AZ – Streetcar plans
Washington DC – Tyson’s Corner-Dulles extension, Purple Line, 40 miles of streetcar lines in DC, Columbia Pike Light Rail Winston-Salem NC – Streetcar plans

You'll have to excuse me if this question has been asked over the past two months but I've been gone from this site on business.

What is the general concensus about oil production in the year 2030?? I am interesting in this year in particular because there are many predictions being made about althernative energy source yet none are looking at the overall picture of peak oil.

general concensus about oil production in the year 2030?
-- It will be not high enough

Reno, whom do you believe is able to give the "general consensus" for world oil production in 2030? Yergin? Simmons? Deffeyes? Bjorn Borg? The subscribers to TOD?

We all have different opinions and there is no more a general consensus on this blog than there was two months ago when you left.

So all we can do is give you our personal opinion, and any honest person would admit that his/her opinion is nothing more than a wild ass guess. But my wild ass guess would be that in 2030 world oil production will be somewhere between 25 and 40 mb/d. But as I said that is just a wild ass guess because it depends, to a very large extent, on the political situation between now and 2030. Resource wars will likely break out and that could put everyone's predictions in the dust bin. I really do not believe anyone can even speculate as to what the future holds between now and 2030. War and social collapse will likely render anyone's prediction invalid.

Ron Patterson

Reno, our TrendLines Scenarios tracks the 13 recognized Outlooks for Peak Oil Depletion. A TOD poster requested that i show an AVG and this was incorporated into the mid December version update.

In 2030, the Outlooks range from the lows of BP (57-mbd) and OPEC (58-mbd) to the highs of CERA (123-mbd) and ExxomMobil (115-mbd) with an AVG of the 13 of 87-mbd. The indicated Peak is 95-mbd in 2020.

By coincidence, the 2030 rate will equal the supply rate for 2007!

Yesterday there was an exchange about NG storage between Freddie and a U Wisc Fan. Well I have been keeping a spreadsheet on NG storage for sometime now, 1994 to the present. With 13 year weekly averages for each week of the year.
My data shows that with average draws now thru April 1 the balance would be more than 1800 Billion cu ft. If we then add a 6 Billion cu ft per day draw that would leave a balance of 1350 Billion cu ft on April 1.The average for this date shows 1245 Billion cu ft. After April 1 the storage report average shows a build rather than a draw.
If we then use average builds minus 6 Billion cu ft per day thru June 1 The balance is 1394 Billion cu ft. While the average for June 1 is 1594 Billion cu ft.
If we then have a net draw during part of the peak cooling season we could very well be looking at a net deficit by the beginning of the next heating season. 6 Billion cu ft per day is 2.19 trillion cu ft or about 10% of annual consumption. 5% depletion and 5% increase in demand due to more customers more electricity and more ethanol distillation.

You cant assume either 5% depletion or 5% increases in demand. Anyone can manipulate any model to show just about anything, including us supposedly running out of NG this year. Lets keep the frothing speculation down and watch for the real numbers.

I am not assuming anything. I am simply trying to put in perspective how 6 billion cu ft per day of additional consumption or decreased production would affect storage numbers. No doubt any deficit in NG availability would show up first in the storage numbers. Only about 15% of annual consumption are placed in storage. Did you by any chance notice the flat spot on the storage curve at the peak of the cooling season last summer? 2006 showed the first NG draw at the peak of the cooling season.

dipchip i have a question, have gas storage facilities kept pace with consumption ? or are we operating on a just in time inventory ?

No I have not found any historical data on gas storage facilities,however they are mostly located in the northeast. NY,Penn, W Va and Mich. About 35 years ago I was involved in a gas storage Casing Inspection Project in that area. Flux Leakage and Eddy Current were used to inspect the in place well casing with cased hole wireline tools.


Greetings from snowy Madison. Thank you for rescuing this thread from last night before it boarded the bus to Archiveland. I took a different and more conservative approach to the extrapolation that you performed. I took last year's storage data, which reflected the warm weather that prevailed in the months of January, April and May, and subtracted 40 bcf from each week's injection volumes. The result: storage volumes remain above average only through mid-June and then crosses over into below-average territory. My forecast is for sharply higher NG prices this summer.

Here was my response to Freddy and Leanan (minus a few typos):

To Freddy: If the market is about 5-7 bcf/day tighter now than a year before (which you did not dispute), storage inventories should fall to a floor somewhere between 1550 and 1600 bcf by the end of the heating season, assuming no substantial divergence in temperature from the year-earlier period. So we are in rough agreement there. No alarms will go off if withdrawals bottom out within that range. But carry the same tightness another 10 weeks and by mid-June, storage will be back at 2005 levels, close to the 5-year historic average. That's what I meant by burning through the temporary surplus.

To Leanan: Current NG prices are low because the market can't really "see" the tightness. At this time of the year, residential NG use is the principal influence on the market, and it has been substantially lower than normal. I expect NG prices to stay where they are for a while. After the heating season ends, the market will start to "see" the combination of higher industrial demand and output declines. If we continue to have last year's weather, prices should start climbing this summer, with or without hurricanes menacing the Gulf of Mexico energy complex. It should be noted that a price of $7.00/MMBtu is not enough to motivate heroic levels of drilling, according to David Hughes of the Geological Survey of Canada. This year's drilling activity will not prevent North American output from coming in short of 2006's results, notwithstanding Freddy's tales of a secondary peak.

The slide in the Saudi stock market has been bandied about here as evidence of being past peak.

A few days ago, The Economist posted an article on Saudi stocks:


The word "oil" does not even occur in the article.

Apologies, if this has already been referenced here.


The word "oil" does not even occur in the article.

Maybe they're saving it for their next "$5 oil" article. ;-)

The word "oil" does not even occur in the article.

According to the Saudis, they have only consumed about 20% of their proven + probable + possible reserves. So, as oil prices were climbing up to the (so far) highest nominal level in history (and just as the Saudis announced "voluntary" production cutbacks), Saudi insiders started unloading Saudi stocks like crazy?

Venezuela, with proven long life bitumen deposits, in contrast had--until recently when Chavez started talking about nationalization--a booming stock market.

As Leanan noted, oil prices have traded in a range about 1,000% to 1,400% higher than the Economist Magazine's predicted long term index price.


From the 8/16/06 Energy Bulletin:

Economist Magazine reports Saudi oil production can continue unabated
Wikinews, the free news source you can write

In its August 10 edition, The Economist magazine asserts that Saudi Arabia can continue producing oil at its current production levels for 70 years, without having to look for another drop. Further, the magazine claims that the nation could find "plenty more if they look", calling for privitisation of national oil companies to help increase oil production.

The language is provocative - the world has plenty of oil, and only requires sufficient investment and exploration to find it. This is a line that The Economist has held for some time, certainly since before its now infamous March 1999 issue proclaiming that we were "drowning in oil" and featuring a prediction of US$5 per barrel. That issue was followed by an embarrassing retraction in December of that year, as oil started its steady climb. It now sits above US$70 per barrel.

However, petroleum geologists and energy investment specialists maintain a different view of oil reserves. They say that there is a limit to what is in the ground, and further to that, a limit to how much of it we can retrieve even with advancing technology. Just how much is down there can't be said with any certainty, for a variety of reasons. A big one is the suspicious reserves figures given by producers in the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia. Since OPEC starting using a quota system based on reserves, the estimated reserves for member nations has magically risen, and even continued rising in the face of increased extraction from those reserves.

Amongst those who deal with the physical realities of oil fields, forecasts of a peak in production vary between 30 years, as the USA's Energy Information Administration suggest, and now, as suggested by the Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas and other more pessimistic forecasters. A peak in production would then be followed by decline. Certainly, in the petroleum world, there is no serious suggestion of sustaining the current level of oil production for 70 years.
(14 Aug 2006)

According to the Saudis, they have only consumed about 20% of their proven + probable + possible reserves. So, as oil prices were climbing up to the (so far) highest nominal level in history (and just as the Saudis announced "voluntary" production cutbacks), Saudi insiders started unloading Saudi stocks like crazy?

The mention of voluntary cutbacks due to lack of buyers may have reminded the 'insiders' of 1998 when SA was forced to make volutary cuts in an unsucessful attempt to support prices which fell $10 barrel during what they claimed was a nonexistant glut.

With regard to the fall in the market leading the the decline in actual prices, its hardly the first time the stock market led economic indicators.

How about some perspective. The Saudi market was up over 100% in the previous year and nearly 700% in the previous three years. Have you never seen a stock market bubble pop before? Remember NASDAQ? Remember October 1987's 22% drop in one day?

You and the Economist Magazine are of course correct: Infinite growth against a finite resource base--no problem. Dream on while you still can.

Hey Westexas! How's that Venezuelan stock market doing?

Firstly on Saturday morning January 20 I surfed through CNN main network where they were just finishing up an item on somethign of internal US human interest. Then they announced: "Now for a survey of world news" so I stayed. They covered just three items. The first was storm damage in Europe, fair enough a very serious event, then it was some human interest item which I unfortunatly forgot immediately. Both of these took less than a minute. THEN they spent about a minute to 90 seconds on the plight of a cat that had stowed away on an airplane and ended up god knows where on the other side of the ocean and how it would get home. This is from the network that claims to be "the most trusted voice" in America. God help America (and her cats).
Secondly that is a very interesting discussion of the plateau and peak and I appreciate the post on telling the neighbour. I am saving that as a refresher for my discussions. However, concerning the peak, if there is to be an attack on Iran it must happen this year and before the middle of the summer (likely around the new moon periods in the middle of May to July at the latest)to allow the White House time to spin the negative consequences before the election process in 2008. If Iran is not attacked this year she probably wont be. However an attack will mean the real peak of oil production all liquids any type alternatives everything will follow within a few hours, days or weeks. Even if Iran can't block the Gulf and sink a lot of ships she will have nothing to lose in using IRMs to damage or destroy the production and shipping facilities of all US allies on the Gulf. The resulting damage to the world economy will define the peak for good. God help America and her cats.

Hello TODers,

I was fascinated by that earlier link that mentioned offhand rising donkey prices in Iraq:

"The fuel and kerosene crisis drew a lot of people to this business," Ouda said.

So many, in fact, that prices for donkeys and horses have soared since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003. Hardan Karrar, another kerosene vendor, said he has been amazed by the flood of new vendors trying to break into the trade.

Karrar's horse, which could be sold for $100 to $250 before 2003, today would bring $8,000 on the open market, he said.

"The height and age of the horse determine the price," Karrar said.

At those prices: I sure hope our troops take maximum care not to shoot working livestock. In fact, if the unstated US policy goal is to grind down Iraq to a sustainable biosolar habitat for maximum oil extraction to US & UK detritovores: then we should be importing draft animals into Iraq, offering veterinary care, and a breeding program too to help its citizenry.

Obviously, a work animal is a biosolar asset: it would be interesting to see if animal prices are rising worldwide, but it would be very difficult to collect this data. But it might shed some light as a Peakoil indicator of FF demand destruction in impoverished Third World countries. Recall my earlier postings of using oxen carts as ambulances and bicycles being the leading inflation indicator in Zimbabwe. I wonder what the price of a good bicycle, or a sturdy wheelbarrow is now in Baghdad?

Bob Shaw in Phx,Az Are Humans Smarter than Yeast?

Outside Chicago, it is hard for me to imagine who would not be rooting for the New Orleans Saints today. Those people need some serious cheering up.

Well, that was ugly. Looks like Da Bears are doing the Super Bowl Shuffle again. (They actually played that song during the game. It's been over 20 years since I've heard it.)

GO BEARS!!!!!!!!!!!

New Orleans was not rebuilt in a year.

Snow delayed the return of the Saints from Chicago. When they arrived after 2 AM back at team HQ to pick up their cars and go home, several hundred fans were cheering in the cold rain after waiting 4 hours in the wet & cold.

The players were visibly moved by the show of support and said that they were lucky to have the best fans in the NFL/world.

Best Hopes for Next Year,


New Orleans, where the men know how to cook and the women know football :-)

Is the truth about Middle East reserves getting out?

I just received a 24 page booklet from someone trying to get me to invest in micro-cap stocks. On the first page is a picture of a camel with a cow’s head on it, which they call a cowmel. The headline reads Lies! Lies! Lies! The world’s largest oil deposits are found in Central Canada, not Saudi Arabia!

And about half the booklet is dedicated to trying to sell me stock in a small Canadian oil sands company called Source Petroleum, Ltd, which they say will go from $2 a share to $37 a share very soon.

But right in the middle of the booklet is another picture of the “cowmel” with the caption “The Desert Cowmel is about as real as the 200 billion barrels of oil that Saudis claim they can find when needed! It’s all cowmel dung.” And here is the rest of the article:

Mid-East oil reserves?Don’t count on the Arabs to heat your home! For the last 20 years, Middle East oil supplies have done something magical. Despite record rates of pumping the oil out, the :=”official” oil reserves (that left in the ground) remain virtually unchanged!

Do our Arab “friends” have a never ending oil supply?

They’d like us t think that they do. In 1983, OPEC nations decided that their official oil reserves should be increased so they added billions of billions of barrels to the official reserves thinking they’d find more oil and make the new numbers good. Too bad it didn’t work.

For their part, the Saudis added 275 billion barrels…but since then, not one new major oil field has been discovered.

Saudis are literally squeezing their oilfields dry!

News now being published about the precarious state of Saudi oil fields is beginning to surface. The most disturbing is that Saudis are pumping seawater into their oil wells to artificially create underground pressure to push the oil out.

Like squeezing a toothpaste tube, when the oil runs out, no amount of squeezing will make more.

The oil we need is right here!

Now more than ever, America needs dependable oil supplies. Source Petroleum could soon become a leading producer for our energy needs.

So there is their line. It is theirs, not mine, so make of it what you will.

Ron Patterson

Thanks for the tip, Ron!

I want to top up my Retirement Savings Plan, but it's hard to know what is the best investment. Well, now I know. All that oil in "Central Canada" is sure to give me nearly a 20 to 1 return on my money -- and "very soon". Can't beat that!

Hello TODers,

IF energy-fascism is just another possible scenario of our future, I wonder how many times in the years ahead that sad events like this will reoccur:

MEXICO CITY (AP) -- A man who tried to commit suicide by throwing himself onto the tracks of the Mexico City subway was later beaten to death by police, prosecutors said Saturday.

Two policemen who took custody of the man after he was removed from the tracks on Thursday were charged with homicide for allegedly beating him to death in a patrol car, the Mexico City attorney general's office said in a statement.

Truck driver Albano Ramirez Santos, reportedly despondent over the theft of his truck, tried to kill himself by jumping onto the subway tracks. Trains were halted but Ramirez Santos told a subway conductor to leave him where he was because he wanted to die. Station employees removed him from the tracks.

Police were summoned and officers Jose de Jesus Sanchez Lemus and Carmelo Campechano Granados took the truck driver to a police station. But Ramirez Santos was unconscious when they arrived and a forensic report said he died of blows to the chest and head unrelated to the suicide attempt.

Prosecutors offered no motive for the alleged homicide.
Perhaps as a motive: energy is reaching the point whereby the trains WILL RUN ON TIME!--full credit to Mussolini

Bob Shaw in Phx,Az Are Humans Smarter than Yeast?

I've got news for you: this type of thuggish police behavior is already quite common in the US, particularly in many urban areas.

It seems to me that, consistent with post-9/11 paranoia and the resultant growing security mentality in the US, the police have become increasingly more assertive, more militaristic (it seems to be derigueur for any cop under the age of 35 to have a Marine-style buzz cut), and more gratuitously violent. Any town the size of Mayberry and larger now feels a need to have a SWAT team, many of which are being used more and more for routine police work, such as arresting an 80-year-old man with unpaid traffic tickets. (Hey, it's fun getting all dressed up as ninjas, knocking down doors, and scaring the crap out of these wimpy civilians.) More and more the police look for any excuse to use deadly force.

As just one example of the latter, there was an ugly incident here in Wilmington, Delaware last year in which an unarmed motorcycle gang member, who according to several eyewitnesses offered no resistance whatsover, was Tasered at least twice and thus rendered totally helpless before two of the arresting officers unloaded something like six shots into his chest. The results of an internal police investigation are pending, but I would bet good money it will conclude that the actions of the cops were justified under the circumstances, etc, etc.

We will be seeing more and more of this sort of thing as civil liberties in the US are relentlessly eroded. A serious and protracted energy shortage is the perfect pretext for completing the job of turning the US into a fascist, authoritarian police state. There will still be elections, but they won't matter for much (as if they mattered for much now).

Personal liberty cannot survive in an urbanized world fraught with chronic resourse shortages and social instability. So enjoy it while it lasts.

Hello Joule,

Thxs for responding. In case you missed it, TODer AMPOD--Savinar's LATOC Breaking News section has a good article on how our Govt may require us to register if we want to post in the future:
Emphasis added, note that this could apply to you too if you go on a high traffic message board or forum where your postings are likely to be seen by more than 500 people:

Section 220 of S. 1, the lobbying reform bill currently before the Senate, would require grassroots causes, even bloggers, who communicate to 500 or more members of the public on policy matters, to register and report quarterly to Congress the same as the big K Street lobbyists. Section 220 would amend existing lobbying reporting law by creating the most expansive intrusion on First Amendment rights ever. For the first time in history, critics of Congress will need to register and report with Congress itself.

"The bill would require reporting of ‘paid efforts to stimulate grassroots lobbying,’ but defines ‘paid’ merely as communications to 500 or more members of the public, with no other qualifiers.

“On January 9, the Senate passed Amendment 7 to S. 1, to create criminal penalties, including up to one year in jail, if someone ‘knowingly and willingly fails to file or report.’

“That amendment was introduced by Senator David Vitter (R-LA). Senator Vitter, however, is now a co-sponsor of Amendment 20 by Senator Robert Bennett (R-UT) to remove Section 220 from the bill. Unless Amendment 20 succeeds, the Senate will have criminalized the exercise of First Amendment rights.

So yes--enjoy our liberties why they last. As posted before: Nate Hagens and I, because we are so tall, get first dibs on bunk choices in the KBR & Haliburton workcamps.

Bob Shaw in Phx,Az Are Humans Smarter than Yeast?

Yeah, it should come as no surprise as to why Congress hates the Internet. It affords the masses with a powerful voice and a means of 'bothering' the powers that be. It's clear that they think it must be hobbled, if not stopped, at all cost. So, we will see such restrictions passed by Congress, and probably even more onerous ones in the near future.

But it won't work. These efforts will do nothing but increase the already considerable contempt people have for our so-called government. Actually, I hope it precipitates some sort of crisis, perhaps resulting in mass strikes as a means of protest. Things are long overdue for a good shaking up in the good ol' US of A.

It's another sign that the powers that be are getting panicky and more and more inclined to resort to desparate measure to preserve the status quo.

The center will not hold.

I hate to be the bearer of bad tidings but TPTB don't give a crap about the Internet or anything else because they have, well, The Power.

It's far more useful to think of the US as an oligarchy or quasi-fascist state and let it go at that. The vast majority of people may hate the war in Iraq but I don't see people picketing or demanding the recall of Congress people or Senators. Hell, they just voted for them.

And, there aren't going t be any strikes because people cannot afford the loss of pay. And, I think many of them would be affraid they'd be placed on some sort of "list" and ruin their lives.

It's the late 50's all over agin...only worse.

Todd; a Realist

This leads me to something I've been thinking about...


Ron, Airdale and I are all in our late 60's. Yet, we have very similar views of where things are going. We are, perhaps, the most consistent voices of concern on TOD. I believe there are specific reasons why this is so but it's late and a full answer will have to wait for another day.


Nope. The difference between what one poster has to say and another is how much they are being paid to be positive, how much faith they put in technology, how much faith they have in humans conduct towards others, how they view corporate and government behavior and how much reading of others ideas they do.

Age allows for a larger data set to compare against, if one has taken the time to get a larger data set.

We are, perhaps, the most consistent voices of concern on TOD.

One of the names you listed things Hydrinos will solve things...that and foraging for food in the wild as a solution. Why be concerned if in 2007 the Hydrino people are going to have a battery the size of a briefcase that could power an electric car 1000 miles and nature has all of your needs...if you forage? (The 2007 battery was promised about the time the patent was granted and the press interviews were being done. Nothing has been said about actually HAVIHNG a battery in 2007 in, oh say 2006 or thus far in 2007)

Are you smoking something or can't you read?

What do you ACTUALLY disagree with?


I see you can't be bothered to respond.

I could go the same route as you and be insulting to you.

Instead I'll point out how AGE, in and of itself, has nothing to do with the matter of expressing concern about the energy situation.

The Don sailorman persona here claims an 'advanced' age, yet you did not include him in your list.

And I believe we can all agree that both Mr. Richard Cheney and George W Bush both 'lived' through the Vietnam era. Yet neither of them would offer the same message as any of the 3 you listed.

You are quite welcome that I was able to provide you with the time to reflect on how your position was a flawed one.

I've been thinking ...

Ron, Airdale and I are all in our late 60's. ... we have very similar views of where things are going. ... I believe there are specific reasons why this is so ...

Yup you were all programmed in a specific post WWII way.

2007-1940= 67 years old. right?

You were 6 years old and starting first grade just as WWII was ending. Right?

The teachers pumped your minds full of "America" and "freedom" and "God Bless her, stand beside her" right?

They scared you witless about the evil Commies taking over.

They taught you to duck and cover when the sirens sounded and The Strangelove Bomb was on its way. Right?

All those ideas are cemented into your head.

Repeat after me: The only good Jap is a ________.
Come on. We know it's in there. Very hard to erase the original programming notes, isn't it?

I was 8 when it was ending(WWII). My father was in Japan for the occupation. He brought back lots of cultural objects. He never mentioned the Japanese other than that. My uncle was a prisioner of the Germans for almost 3 yrs. He never spoke of it. My other 6 uncles who fought in WWII never did either.

The teachers were too busy teaching us the 3 Rs to do those other things.

I remember Stalin and the massive purges.

We feared the possibilities of atomic war but just went on growing up and being children. I never was part of a drill.

The Japanese were almost unconquerable in their attitudes but I learned this from reading history many years later. I read all I could get my hands on.

I tested at a 125 iQ in high school. In the USN I tested GCI+ARI at 132.
In IBM it was even higher on the various tests that we had to take far later in our jobs.

I credit reading for improving mental agility.

I credit TOD and JHK for making me aware of the worst nightmare scenario in my life, far far exceeding any possible scenario I was taught or envisioned in the previous years of my life.

I am ashamed of our youth but I suppose we the older generation are to blame. I blame Dr. Spock and many others for jerking our children out of our control. I would have raised mine different but I could not fight what they saw on the tube or was told by the teachers , who were BTW not too concerned about the 3 Rs. In fact at the 5th grade mine didn't know how to add,subtract or any other math. They were too concerned with the NEW MATH and other social studies.I had to teach them with flash cards and by rote. The teachers thought ANSWERS were not that important.

Today my children follow the yellow brick road. They think I am just dad and not to be listened to but there to help wire their house, fix the garbage disposal,fix the plumbing, install a washer/dryer or help them with their income tax forms,lend them money, and cosign their notes because they have zero credit rating.

Are they moldable? Yes,,by strangers.

Who is showing signs of programming here?

airdale--I was a partiot. I still have a longing for it. I see little evidence of it here. I had ancestors who fought in the Revolutionary War. A captain and a colonel. My peoples blood is spilled on this country so yes I did join the military and go in harms way. I am proud of my service to my country in fighting the cold war.

Very hard to erase the original programming notes,

Alas, we *ALL* have some nasty little bits of programming. Some of that programming is having a temprature controlled building and enough food to be able to have leftovers to throw out. (Both of which are nice bits of programming BTW) So its not just some 'age' thing.

Nor is 'it' just '3 people are worried'. Every poster here is worried enough to express thoes worries for others to agree with, point out why its not a worry, et la.

Well my man you were wrong on every point as regards me and my 'programming'.

Perhaps you need a to flash your READ ONLY MEMORY.

3Rs....not 3 people.

Reading wRiting aRithmetic

My 'programming' was by the old timers since all the young men(husbands) had gone to war. The oldtimers had a code. A code of conduct you could call it. They were men of their word. They concerned themselves with their reputations. They told you they would do something then they did it.

How quaint todays youth must find that notion. Remember Monica Lewinsky? She wrote the book on lying. And BTW how are jen and jack,or brad and jen or jen and whatshisname? Such a worry ,Lawds whats a feller to do?????? And I hope Angelina finally figured out what her baby's name was and that photo? Did you see that? My my my.

I lead my life as I see fit. The tv has been unplugged for the last 3 years. I can't help but glance at the tabloids in the supermarket and try to keep from puking on the counter as I check out. You young people have such taste.

Whats the word now? WOW...just WOW!!!


Well my man you were wrong on every point as regards me and my 'programming'.

Rather self-important - thinking I was talking about you.

In fact, blind to your own existance if you think 'you have no programming'.

Now that the City of Portland's Peak Oil Task Force has just released their report for public comments, have any TOD'rs had a chance to review it and draw any conclusions?

This is the first task force and report of its kind in the USA. What implications does it hold?

I sent it to the aldermanic candidates and am pondering sending it to the mayoral candidates as well. From my perspective as a non-techie; they did a good job identifying the vulnerabilities and possible mitigations that are specific to Portland and the bio-region they sit in. What we don't know is will the city actually commit to implementing those actions that can be done now. There is more work needed, but I give them credit for acknowledging the issue and the potential impact. Every city should be doing this.

Hello Plunsfo,

Kudos to Portland! I just did a quick scan of the report--lots of excellent ideas. I have posted before that the first areas that maximize biosolar living will enjoy far-reaching, long-lasting benefits over those that practice delay and denial like my Asphalt Wonderland.

Suggestions and concerns:

1. Will the politicians follow this report or is "infinite growth" still the dominant paradigm? You need tracking metrics to see if you are headed in the correct direction, or if the pols give dominance to the profit oriented businesses and land developers. If City leaders are on-board, but State leaders are not--what then? If a pol is reaching the desired metric Peakoil goals, then automatic re-election.

2. You need to periodically poll the citizenry besides offering education to make sure that EVERYBODY is becoming fully Peakoil aware. If you are falling behind in the metrics, then induce temporary blackouts or other shortages to hold the public's awareness levels. The public holding the pols feet to the fire will facilitate more rapid change. What are the plans for limiting voluntary births to minimize Overshoot? What are the plans for protecting other lifeforms in their respective habitats?

3. You need best [this report], good, less good, and worst case scenario planning. For example: if Portland, and Cascadia in general, becomes widely seen as the best place in the Nation to relocate to in an effort for a family to shield themselves from PO + GW-- What immigration laws are ready to keep millions from moving there? Will the State or FEDs back you up, or do you have to form a Cascadian Earthmarine militia to keep from going into extreme Overshoot? Is it desireable to have the rich relocate to Portland forcing out the longtime residents, the elderly, and the poor? Should the in-migrating rich be forced to give additional cash to these people so that they can relocate outside Oregon without violence to keep total state headcount the same or ideally decreasing?

Unfortunately, I have never been in the Northwest, so I am not very aware of the total geography and lifestyle. But I hope this response will stimulate more ideas for the Portland Peakoil Task Force. Good Luck and best wishes!

Bob Shaw in Phx,Az Are Humans Smarter than Yeast?

Thanks Bob,

Good thoughts, all of them. It is apparent that the more that people realize about the problem and mitigation factors, the bigger the list of issues becomes.

One of the key problems i recognize, even among those that are working extremely hard to get their arms around the problem and develop new solutions, is that there are too many assumptions of "business as usual". For example, if one geographic area is blessed with abundant agriculture or abundant energy or water, the folks assume this will remain a constant factor.

In a true emergency, resources are generally commandeered by the authorities and distributed as the authorities see fit, regardless of who "owns" the resources or presumes to "own or be entitled" to them. Few people, even those that are in authority, generally understand this when developing future visions and plans.

I sincerely wish the city of Portland much luck in getting the city officials to act, and to other cities to follow their lead. Every city will have its own issues to identify and deal with.

I think Deffeyes mada an error in saying that Saudi was down 70,000 barrels per day. According to the EIA, the link he provided, Saudi is down 322,000 barrels per day, 2005 average verses 2006 average. And if you just use the last 10 months of 2006, which is all we have, verses the first 10 months of 2005, the difference is even greater, 326,000 barrels per day.

Ron Patterson

The thing that is really striking to me is the duration of the Saudi decline so far. Through the first quarter of 2007, they will have been below their 2005 peak for 18 straight months. According to published reports, their 2/07 crude oil production will be 8.5 mbpd, down 1.1 mbpd from their 2005 peak.

Thru most of 2005, the ASPO Newsletter was predicting a Conv Oil Peak in 2006. Meanwhile, i was active in the forums announcing that using Colin Campbell's own URR estimates, the Conventional Oil Peak has passed "unceremoniously" in April 2004. ASPO publicly acknowledge my analyis and corrected the forecast in its August 2005 Newsletter with a declaration that Peak passed in 2004.

Few analysts realize that Conv Oil Peak determination included a component for "undiscovered oil". In 1998 this was estimated at 150-Gb. Over the next seven years, it ranged from 123 to 163-Gb. Each time it or past consuption estimates are revised, it moves the Peak Date (for Conv Oil).

At TrendLines, we have tracked and posted these date revisions and appreciate that it is fluid due to the underlying methodology. Our last Date revision was posted in August 2006. It remains April 2006. Our definition of Peak is the half-way point of consumption. For All Liquids, it is October 2012. This differs from the month of Supply Peak for each of the two tallies.

The current estimate for undiscovered Conv Oil fields is 145-Gb. While this leaves latitude for the half-way point to change up to 24 months, it is largely an academia type exercise and the highest production month will not likely be affected now that C+C has lost its lustre and importance in the marketplace and analyst tracking.

The true enlightenment with this issue is not that EIA & Deffeyes has moved their Peak to a month after mine. As i said in 2005, it is the respect one has to attribute to Hubbert's theory that Peak Rate would coincide with the half-way crossover.

Much of the optimism in All Liquids Outlooks and punditry it the hope that All Liquids Peak Rate will similarly coincide with its Oct/2012 crossover (based on 2500-Gb URR). It is the basis for even more optimistic Peak Dates based on our new URR AVG of 3010-Gb and the high estimates of over 5-Tb.

But all this is speculation. There are no peer reviewed abstracts that predict that a coincidental Hubbert Peak will occur with All Liquids, especially considering the challenges and costs of non-Conv oils. In light of this, Campbell sees the All Liquids Peak on 2010, much before the crossover date.

China update. 420,000 new cars per month in 2006. Projected to be up to 525,000 per month in 2007.

Published: 20/01/2007 12:00 AM (UAE)

Will 2007 be China's year of gasoline imports?

New car sales rose 31 per cent in the first 11 months of the year (2006), when an average of 420,000 new cars hit the road each month, about the same as Japan's sales but with more first-time owners. Another 20-25 per cent rise is expected this year.

Kazakhstan expects no increase in oil production in 2007. Kazakhstan is the largest produce in the Caspian area, other than Iran of course, and have increased their production considerably in the last few years.

"The oil production in 2007 will remain at the level of 2006, there will not be any special growth. We will produce around 65 million tonnes of oil," - he said (64.8 million tonnes of oil were produced in 2006 - Kazakhstan Today). According to Mr. Izmuhambetov, it is due to the fact that "the main part of the onshore production volume is produced at the oil fields, where the production level is falling."

Ron Patterson

The Insurance Climate Change: Coastal homeowners in the East are losing their policies or watching premiums skyrocket. Carriers say that global warming is to blame.

Why the sudden rash of cancellations? An increase in "extreme weather events" that many scientists—and now insurers—believe are linked to climate change. It's not just Category 4 hurricanes that have insurers worried. Around the country, companies have been racking up record property losses from freakish weather, such as the ice storms last week that paralyzed much of the Great Plains and froze California's citrus crops. In recent years, wildfires in the Northwest, drought and hail in the Midwest, windstorms, lightning strikes on power grids, soil subsidence and other calamities of nature have led to cumulative property losses that exceed those caused by hurricanes. "There's a shift going on to more frequent, extreme weather events," says Evan Mills, an environmental scientist at the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. "It's as much an issue in the heartland as on the coast."

But a hurricane is still the worst-case scenario:

Even before Hurricane Katrina—an event that has yet to be conclusively linked to climate change—catastrophe modelers had begun to look at the probability of a Category 3 or higher storm hitting the Eastern Seaboard. What they found was terrifying: because of increasing temperatures in the Atlantic, along with changes in air and sea currents, a major storm in the densely populated and highly priced Northeast would dwarf the $45 billion in insured losses wrought by Katrina. One study found that a repeat of the "Long Island Express," the Category 3 storm that plowed through New England in 1938, killing 600 people, would cause $200 billion in damage today. (For the record, the Aschettinos want it known that their house survived the Long Island Express.) The damage from a Category 5 storm directly hitting a major city, could, researchers say, "exceed the total capacity" of the U.S. insurance industry. Before he retired earlier this year, National Hurricane Center director Max Mayfield issued a final warning: "We're setting ourselves up for a major disaster."

You could even take an ultra-conservative view and say, weather catastrophes weren't, when there was no one living there. Now there are SO many people, and we're trying our best to get to that magic 10 billion and beyond, that places that had few humans living there, and historically, few with modern type permanant type structures, are now jam packed with humans, each one with a lifetime mortgage on their own little piece of 1X3's and stucco.