DrumBeat: March 12, 2007

Deceitful Solutions To America's Energy Dependence

Of all the US presidential hopefuls and not-so-hopefuls, only Representative Dennis Kucinich -- a less than not-so-hopeful candidate -- has clearly stated time and again what this Iraqi adventure is all about. A single word: Oil. He says it and repeats it with no "strings attached." Kucinich is his own man; a man of principles, religious and otherwise; a man of peace; a man of strong beliefs in the betterment of our human construct. What he repetitively fails to address is the American gluttonous addiction to petroleum products, and he remains silent on the much heralded clean and renewable energies that are nothing but a charade whose only purpose is to throw the wool over the eyes of the American people as mega-corporations, agribusiness, and investors through land speculation are swallowing immense profits, while there is literally no chance that ethanol can ever substitute gasoline to power motor vehicles. Kucinich could do a great service to his fellow citizens if he spoke frankly about the tremendous energy challenges that the country faces.

Four years on, Syrian gas deal still haunts Lebanon

"The crazy thing is that the Homs-Beddawi pipeline was done two years ago, but we are still not able to get gas from Syria or Egypt," says energy engineer Pierre el-Khoury, who is currently working with the United Nations Development Program's (UNDP) branch at the Energy Ministry. "Who is going to be our supplier?

"Why were we signing a purchasing agreement with Syria when they don't have enough gas to meet their own requirements, and are in the middle of negotiating a purchasing contract with Egypt?" he adds. "I don't know, maybe they wanted leverage."

Nippon Oil, CNPC set mutual supply

The nation's No. 1 oil wholesaler, Nippon Oil Corp., has agreed with China National Petroleum Corp., China's biggest oil company, to begin mutual supply of products, starting in April.

The one-year agreement, signed Friday between Nippon Oil and China Oil, a trading house of CNPC, calls for the two oil companies to supply each other with products for which they have excess production capacities.

Nigeria's Energy Crisis . . . Any End in Sight?

Since the coming of the present administration, Nigerians have not witnessed the worst level of power generation and supply as they are presently going through.

The effect is that big and small-scale industries are closing down. Government appears incapable of dealing with the problem even as the terminal date nears.

Howard University Professor finding way to conserve energy, oil with fuel cells

In a small, dank laboratory in the basement of Howard University's engineering building, a control block emits a beep. A small cell under layers of protective covering supplies a watt of energy to a tiny lamp on a control block. This energy originates from a power source that could change the future of energy use in the U.S.

Halliburton's Lesar to Open Middle East Headquarters

Halliburton Co., the world's second-largest oilfield-services provider, will move Chief Executive Officer David Lesar to a new corporate headquarters in Dubai to help the company expand in the Middle East and Asia.

Nanocharging Solar

Arthur Nozik believes quantum-dot solar power could boost output in cheap photovoltaics.

GE CEO: U.S. needs national energy, climate policy

The United States needs to develop a national climate change policy, but also recognize that coal and other fossil fuels will remain an important energy source for decades, the chairman and chief executive of General Electric Co. said on Saturday.

Setting a blanket national policy would make it easier for companies to adapt than allowing a patchwork of state laws, Jeff Immelt said at a conference on the future of energy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, outside Boston.

"If we get 50 different energy policies in the United States, you never achieve enough scale to be good at anything," Immelt said.

Exxon Mobile CEO: Oil Volumes Will Keep Growing

Global Warming--Common Misconceptions Could be Leading Earth Down a Dangerous Path

Astrophysicists Dr. Hugh Ross and Dr. Jeff Zweerink are available for comment about the science behind global warming and urge caution moving forward. There are many common misconceptions circulating about this phenomenon that are inaccurate. If we move too quickly in an attempt to remedy the situation, as with the Kyoto protocol for example, we risk upsetting the delicate balance of Earth's atmosphere even further and could easily do more harm than good.

Highway speed limit plan irks Germans

An EU official called on Germany to give up the famous freedom of its highways and impose speed limits on the autobahn to fight global warming — a demand that drew angry responses on Sunday in a country that cherishes what it calls "free driving for free citizens."

3 European captives released in Nigeria

Hostage takers released three European captives Monday in Nigeria's restive oil region, officials said.

Petroleum industry 'facing shortage of skilled workers'

A senior Saudi Aramco official warned yesterday that the petroleum industry is facing a tremendous skills shortage which, if goes unchecked will undermine its ability to meet world demands.

OPEC to hold fire over cuts to oil output

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, satisfied with the current price of crude oil, is on Thursday expected to maintain its oil output quota, analysts said.

Oil that fries your burger can run your car

In the search for sustainable and non-polluting alternatives to fossil fuels, a small band of ecologically minded people are turning to vegetable oil and recycled restaurant grease to run their cars, trucks and even home-heating systems.

Solar technology gets White House boost

President Bush's program to help solar energy compete with conventional electricity sources will help fund Konarka Technologies' development of flexible plastic solar cell strips — material that could be embedded into the casings of laptop computers and even woven into power-producing clothing to energize digital media players or other electronics.

The new Seven Sisters: oil and gas giants dwarf western rivals

When an angry Enrico Mattei coined the phrase “the seven sisters” to describe the Anglo-Saxon companies that controlled the Middle East’s oil after the second world war, the founder of Italy’s modern energy industry could not have imagined the profound shift in power that would occur barely half a century later.

As oil prices have trebled over the past four years, a new group of oil and gas companies has risen to prominence. They have consolidated their power as aggressive resource holders and seekers and pushed the world’s biggest listed energy groups, which emerged out of the original seven sisters – ExxonMobil and Chevron of the US and Europe’s BP and Royal Dutch Shell – on to the sidelines and into an existential crisis.

I told you so: Daylight Savings Time doesn't save energy

Bahrain: Oil demand 'to rise'

The demand for oil will increase by 55 per cent in the second quarter of the century, Oil and Gas Affairs Minister Dr Abdulhussain Mirza said yesterday.

A reason why oil explorations must be expanded, oil resources handled more seriously and producer-consumer co-operation promoted, the minister said as he opened the 15th Middle East Oil Show.

Bahrain oil minister warns over Gulf tension

Bahrain's oil minister Sunday warned over political tension in the region, and called for continued global support from the world community to help ensure continued stability.

BP plan brings warnings about biofuel technology

Biofuel research is worth doing and may be one of many essential tools to limit damage from future climate change, but there are big environmental and social risks if it's pushed too hard and too fast.

Children of the Corn

Because we know that burning oil, coal and gas is causing monstrous problems, but because he’s still paid by oilmen, Bush just visited Brazil to sign an agreement with President Lula to increase ethanol production. Produced from sugar cane and corn, ethanol is refined to “replace” fossil fuels. Obama and Bush say its cleaner than coal, and doesn’t require any meddling in the Middle East, like oil does. But neither will tell you that producing ethanol creates more emissions than oil, and costs a fortune.

Ethanol not the oil substitute

Brazil's example is encouraging, but it does not mean that nations like Taiwan can rely solely on alternative fuels like ethanol when seeking to greatly reduce reliance on oil. Ethanol is certainly a valuable part of the mix, but when you consider that Brazil still consumes far more petroleum than it does ethanol, while in the US ethanol currently only comprises about 4.2 percent of gasoline supply it is obvious that ethanol is not the panacea to the world's future fuel needs.

Strapped for Energy, Chile Looks at Nuclear Option

Burgeoning demand for electricity and steeper prices for natural gas imports are prompting Chile to consider nuclear power to address an energy shortfall that seems certain to intensify.

China likely to miss energy-saving target

China will probably miss its 2004-2020 energy-saving target because local governments have set higher-than-expected energy consumption limits in order to boost their own economies, a report by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences said.

As Borat would say: $59 oil is really slowing down globalization-NOT http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=ajK_waG4MiRY&refer=w...

The funniest thing is the "solution" is for China's currency to strengthen faster than the current 4-5% per annum since 2005.

This is of interest for me so I'm moving this set of postings from the last drumbeat to start a recent thread:

Leannan's link above: I told you so: Daylight Savings Time doesn't save energy

geewiz on March 12, 2007 - 1:37am | Permalink | Subthread ^

Daylight savings time being used earlier, does it help or hurt?


Uhhh, not really!

Substrate on March 12, 2007 - 6:57am | Permalink | Subthread ^

Just as a personal observation, I've found that I've started having to use my headlights again in the morning, and other people are using theirs as well. Though basically inconsequential at the personal level, running headlights does take energy and adds up when taken across the fleet. Also, with the "extra" daylight available after work I've found myself inclined to go hiking, and according to a local news piece, golfing activity picks up when DST rolls around. I'm guessing other people have similar inclinations to get out and do things with the extra daylight. Get enough inclinations together and you've got increased activity, increased activity leading to increased driving, consumption. I'm wondering if that's going to be significant. It should be interesting to see what the weekly gasoline inventory report looks like when it comes out for this coming week.

I got this in late last night. Just wanted to post it again.
Having been at this topic for 9 years, I am certain that short of collapse there will be no significant movement toward plan B. The cluelessness of the MSM is so overwhelming as to leave one breathless. I took a break today and watched the coverage of the fires in California on Fox news. One of their reporters, a Trace Ghallager, made the idiot of the day award for me when he said, " Well the fire fighters caught a break today, as with daylight savings there will be an extra hour of daylight to fight the fire." Maybe we could get president Bush to declare an emergency Daylight savings for Orange County so the sun would not go down until the fire is out. Mind boggling!
The verbal exchange between Robert and Jeffrey is interesting but meaningless. The Saudi peak will happen when it does, the world peak will happen when it does, and NO ONE will prepare for it, other than a few lunatics like us, on this site and others similar to it.

Treeman, you had better hope that you don't have any forest fires on Nov 4th, when there'll be one less hour of daylight!

the extended dst is congress's effort to make it look like they are doing something about our dependence on foreign oil. i suppose it will make a small difference. as far as i know, however congress is still endorsing the $$,$$$ tax credits on $$$,$$$ suv's.

Halliburton to move HQ to Dubai

Halliburton, a US oil services company, said Sunday it will open a corporate headquarters in Dubai, extending operations in the Middle East and Asia.

The company is currently being investigated by the Securities and Exchange Commission [SEC] and the US justice department over allegations of improper business affairs in Iraq, Kuwait and Nigeria.

"Halliburton chairman, president and chief executive officer Dave Lesar will move to Dubai to lead the company's efforts in growing Halliburton's business in the Eastern hemisphere, an important market for the global oil and gas industry," the company said in a press release.

I haven't seen this in the main stream financial news headlines yet today, but Al Jazeera is reporting it.

There are implications for Americans here that go way beyond this one particular corporate move. Think down the road a bit.

While the average American may think Oregon will be place to be when the going gets tough, other "Americans" think, um, maybe Dubai.

I am intrigued by the link that someone posted yesterday in a reaction to the news about the Halliburton move posted on the Drumbeat.


says that Dubai airport is one of the biggest cargo handlers in the world. What on earth comes in there? You're not talking about big population centers, after all. Is it all military cargo?

Sorry for the repost. I didn't get a chance to look at Drumbeat yesterday.

Did anyone comment on the rather incredible irony of a soon to be Middle East company running America's "detention centers" through KBR?

Yeah, you have to love the fact that Middle East companies were barred from buying US ports, but they do get to run prisons.

They say they intent to spin KBR off.

An AP reporter interviewed on NPR this AM speculated that from a taxation standpoint, Dubai would be a much more "friendly" location than Houston.

Question: Would anyone care to (1) speculate as to how much this will really affect Halliburton's tax liability and, (2) if this does present a much more favorable situation as regards taxation (and perhaps other regulation), what is to prevent the oil majors from relocating to Dubai?

Reason I ask is that Dubai is currently adding the equivalent of a mid-to-large American city's worth of office space each year and it is very hard for me to believe that all of this building is being done on speculation. Wouldn't it make more sense to think that perhaps "decisions" have already been made for mass-relocation of energy-related/energy-intensive businesses to Dubai and that the "icing on the cake" so to speak, will be a much more favorable tax and regulatory environment?

Isn't this, logically, the oil major's best solution to the specter of windfall profits taxation by the US Congress?

I think you hit the nail on the head. They avoid potential windfall profit taxes and they also avoid public scrutiny of their operations. Think about how much scandal Halliburton has been involved in.

Are all their corporate records going to magically disappear from US shores and reappear in Dubai, deep in an unreachable warehouse that also stores lost arks?
Hmmm ...

They just might. What many folks don't realize is that Halliburton has many huge business dealings with the axis of evil. Dubai is a perfect location to facilitate those business activities. Halliburton also deals in portions of the arms business, so what better place to be....

All sorts of irritations dissappear:

Windfall taxes
Congressional Investigations and oversight.
Meddling Journalists and authors.

All sorts of irritations evaporate when you throw your lot in with a feudal City State. All sorts of new opportunities arise.

Welcome to the 5GW world of Corporate Wars: Once you are free of Congressional oversight, you can buy a private , mercenary army and then do what you want.

Corporations are now living, breathing, intelligent entities. They supercede the National Governments of old.

Like any living creature, they exist to grow and breed.

They look after themselves.

Funny though: They spent the last decades waving old glory.

And now they are leaving...

Funny that... Who would have thought they would have put personal survival above the common wealth of the nation that nurtured them?

What did you really you expect from a VP who 'had other things to do' when grunts went to Vietnam?

'So long suckers and thanks for the cash'.

Seems to me that William Gibson's view of the immediate future was right on. See Neuromancer, Mona Lisa Overdrive, etc..

Halliburton's Dubai Move Makes Democrats Suspicious

"For one of the largest contractors with the United States government to move its headquarters overseas? [It] just doesn't look good, doesn't sound good, doesn't smell good," said Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.

The move may raise serious national security questions too, as happened last year with the canceled port security contract with another U.A.E.-based company, Dubai Ports World. Congressional outrage scuttled that deal; Halliburton will now have some explaining to do to avoid similar scrutiny.

"Obviously a company that has its headquarters overseas should be given a little more scrutiny than an American company," Schumer said. "No question about it."

Halliburton is already being investigated by different government agencies for various allegations of improper business dealings, and it is in the cross hairs of Democrats in Congress for alleged overbilling.

At a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing last month, chairman Henry Waxman, D-Calif., noted that a government audit had indicated that Halliburton was responsible for "$2.7 billion in suspect billings."

He: They could build a corporate retreat (a "team building" centre) on a ranch in Paraguay. Supposedly they know somebody who owns land there.

The Saudi beat goes on...

More Saudi Cuts in April
South Korean refiners get 9% cut in Saudi term crudes for April

Singapore (Platts)--12Mar2007
South Korean refiners have received a higher cut of 9% in their April
liftings for term crudes from Saudi Arabia, sources close to the refiners
told Platts Monday.

Last month, Saudi Aramco slashed its term allocation for March crude
supplies into South Korea by 7-8%.

For the second consecutive month, cuts were focused largely on Arab

The reduction will probably support spot sales of heavier Persian Gulf
sour crudes, a trader said: "South Korean refiners should be able to manage the cuts without too much of a fuss though," another market player said.

From Reuters:

OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia has notified Asian refiners it will cut April crude supplies by about 10 percent below its term contracts, industry sources told Reuters on Monday, after its March supplies to Asia were 7-8 percent below contracted volumes.

This is all about to come to a head. The Saudis are going to be called upon to bump up production pretty soon. If they don't, then I will conclude that at least for the time being, they can't. That may mean that their production has peaked, either due to geological constraints, or because they failed to anticipate demand and didn't construct their projects in the pipeline soon enough.

This is subscriber information from OPIS, so I will only post a small amount of the report:

Over the past five weeks, there has been a fundamental shift in the oil Market -- a shift that has resulted in increasingly higher prices. The shift has to do with basic fundamentals; not speculation, not hedge funds, not futures trading. Oil supplies in the U.S. have dwindled sharply in the past five weeks, more than some people may realize.

According to the EIA, in the U.S., total company-held oil inventories have shed 87.4 million barrels since OPEC's 0ct. 20 meeting. By the end of the first quarter of 2007, stocks will be 100 million barrels below end-September 2006 levels, the EIA forecasts. Meanwhile, demand has been higher than normal, so the "supply cushion" has been depleted.

Over the past five weeks total product inventories have dropped nearly 60 million barrels, an average of more than 10 million barrels per week. Gasoline supplies, which comprise the largest part of the U.S. petroleum stock base, have shrunk as well. Inventory dipped almost 4 million barrels this week leaving supplies 8 million barrels under year-ago levels and less than 3 million barrels over the five-year average for this time of year.

What we are seeing is a combination of falling inventories and rising prices. Demand will really kick up in April and May, when refineries are coming out of their turnarounds. If the current trend continues, Saudi will be called upon to deliver.

Because of a superhuman effort, I have no comment.

But what happened to your Texas HL post? I saw it for about 30 seconds.


Don't get too excited. Corrupted file. My analysis of the Texas HL is in no way impacted by whether or not Saudi peaked. In fact, if Saudi has peaked, you will come away from that essay with a very different perspective about the ability of the HL to predict the future.

Here is a tidbit until I get the essay back up. The first time the HL would have suggested that Texas peaked was in 1956, at 56% Qt. It gets worse from there.

Several people have read my essay already and commented that my argument is sound. So, give me a couple of hours to get my clean copy from home.

I was just about to comment on that. PG put it up, and somehow the last part was corrupted. Looks like a bunch of Russian characters. It had been put up so TOD staff could read it, and it was fine then. I didn't make any edits. So, somehow the information was corrupted. He e-mailed to let me know, and I have to fix it.

But alas, I have a clean copy at home, so in about 2 hours when I get home I will repost and put it back up. I don't intend to change one word. I can tell you that the truth of the Texas HL will surprise even you. It has to.


I did a quick read through.

Some points for you to ponder:

I don't think that I ever claimed that the Texas HL plot, prior to the peak, was not noisy. I did claim that we can, in retrospect, tell at what stage of depletion that Texas peaked.

I also claimed that Saudi Arabia has a much more stable HL plot than Texas. The recent change in inflection is what we also saw right before the Texas peak. (Even Euan has conceded this point.)

As I noted the other day, my Saudi prediction last year was really easy, since we have no examples, insofar as I know, of large producing regions (60 Gb or more) showing sustained higher production past the 55% to 60% of Qt mark.

In any case, IMO, as I have suggested several times this debate is about as relevant as whether the Titanic would sink in two hours or four hours. Unfortunately, for the passengers, it looks like it's closer to two hours.

Got a lifeboat picked out?

Khebab's HL plots:


Saudi Arabia


Following are the Lower 48 and World HL plots:

Lower 48:

World (C+C+ NGL):

All four plots have the same vertical scale. Note how stable the Saudi, Lower 48 and World HL plots are.

As I noted the other day, my Saudi prediction last year was really easy, since we have no examples, insofar as I know, of large producing regions (60 Gb or more) showing sustained higher production past the 55% to 60% of Qt mark.

A key point of the essay is that your claim above is not true. Not even close. Furthermore, I really think you should have known that. But I don't want to make this just a personal disagreement between the two of us. This is about the validity of a tool that is used to predict peak. Give the essay a read and I think you will end up with a different perspective of the HL. If you don't, I won't be the only one who is surprised.

But I don't want to give too much away. I will have it fixed up in a bit.

This is about the validity of a tool that is used to predict peak.

I guess that is why no one using the HL method predicted the World and Saudi crude oil production declines.

Robert, in all honestly you are beginning to remind me of the Texas State Geologist, who in 2005 (33 years after Texas peaked) was critical of Hubbert's methods, and who claimed that higher Texas production was right around the corner--perhaps even back to our peak producing level.

I guess that is why no one using the HL method predicted the World and Saudi crude oil production declines.

I will save further comments for the story.

Robert, in all honestly you are beginning to remind me of the Texas State Geologist, who in 2005 (33 years after Texas peaked) was critical of Hubbert's methods, and who claimed that higher Texas production was right around the corner--perhaps even back to our peak producing level.

Based on my findings this weekend when validating Texas, I am going to have to ask for a reference on that.

But I thought the Saudi's would NEVER lie about their ability to raise production Robert, and what about the magic hand of the free market? ;) haha

I never said anything like that. Sheesh, some people. OK, I challenge you to find where I have said anything remotely like that. In fact, I have said expressly that we can't afford to trust them on this issue.

A number of people have asked me what would convince me that the current situation with Saudi is involuntary. I have said that if inventories come down and prices stay high, I expect them to bump up production. If they don't, then I would say they can't. Right now we find ourselves in a situation where inventories are falling and price is pretty high. But that still doesn't change the fact that their move last year was consistent with what the market was calling for. Again, I have said that doesn't prove that's why they did it, but their story does check out.

OMG...if RR calls a peak in KSA then their REALLY IS A PROBLEM. He has been the most reluctant of the bunch to call a near-term peak in the respected TOD crowd.

I'm not joking hear Robert, I respect your comments, but if you are starting to think it's true then we have almost 100% consensus in our contributors (minus Euan perhaps).

I am not saying it's true. I am just pointing out that conditions are aligning for us to find out pretty quickly whether it's true. I wasn't sure that demand would pick up enough this year, but now I believe it will. I think we will know something for sure by summer.

I will say this, and I can guarantee you that some well-respected members who have read my essay in the queue agree: The HL does not possess the capability of accurately calling a Saudi peak. I will have the essay up to prove this shortly.

RR: The HL wasn't the only info used to predict the KSA peak (by WT or anyone else). There was the HL, the declining production in the face of historically high prices, the "inside source" of Heinberg's, contradictory statements from KSA bigwigs, etc.etc. It wasn't just one thing, it was a combination of supporting evidence.

RR: The HL wasn't the only info used to predict the KSA peak (by WT or anyone else)....it was a combination of supporting evidence.

Right, it is what is called a preponderance of evidence! There were several hundred papers filed by the Society of Petroleum Engineers, which Simmons reported on in “Twilight in the Desert.” Then there was the statement by the Aramco Senior Vice President saying that their “existing fields” sustained a 5 to 12 percent decline rate. Then there was that inside info that indicated that Ghawar was having trouble even producing 3 million barrels per day. Then there were those “voluntary cuts” (snicker, snicker). Then came the OPEC mandated cuts where Saudi cut at least twice their mandate.

Now we have the coming personnel shortage to explain future cuts that will probably be coming in March or April.

Then of course we do have the HL predictions. I am unsure which confirms which. Does the HL prediction confirm what the preponderance of evidence supports, or does the preponderance of evidence confirm what the HL plot predicts?

Ron Patterson

Another article on the speech by Saudi Aramco Sr. Vice President of Exploration & Producing Abd Allah Al-Saif:

One way to reach out, he suggested, is to clearly articulate the contributions the industry makes to the wellbeing of the world's people. 'We need to make it clear to this generation that pursuing a career in energy means devoting yourself and your talents to solving some of the most difficult and urgent problems facing humanity today,' he said, 'ranging from economic prosperity, poverty-alleviation and social development to environmental protection and preservation.'

When it comes to the R&D driver of the industry, Mr. Al-Saif noted that even as total oil demand continues to rise, many of the world's most prolific oil and gas fields have been in production for decades, requiring more attention and new technology to keep them on production. And, he added, remaining fields yet to be discovered are generally expected to be less prolific and located in more difficult environments. These twin challenges mean forward-looking R&D is an essential component of the industry's continued ability to provide. 'Without those research investments, the technology pipeline will eventually run dry, and our ability to grow supplies will be seriously impacted,' he said, noting that R&D spending on petroleum is not enough to keep pace with future demand.

Technically (you have no idea how much I love getting to use this...) "preponderance of the evidence" means more likely than not...sometimes, an analogy of "one inch past the 50 yard line" is used. Much lower threshold than "clear and convincing" or beyond a reasonable doubt."


The level of proof required to prevail in most civil cases.


A standard of proof that must be met by a plaintiff if he or she is to win a civil action.

Basically it means "What the evidence supports." Which is exactly how I used it and exactly what I meant.

Your point is?

Ron Patterson

Is that your law school showing or are you just happy to be consulting for some graduates thereof?

Perhaps if Robert can explain to the Saudis that I was mistaken last year in predicting an imminent decline in Saudi production, they can turn rapidly increasing water production into oil.

One reminder:

Hubbert, using some mathematical methods (estimating the area under a production rate versus time graph, which is what HL does), stated, in 1956 that the Lower 48--inclusive of Texas--would peak in 1966 if URR was 150 Gb and in 1971 if URR was 200 Gb. A one third increase in URR only delayed the estimated peak by five years.

The post-1970 cumulative Lower 48 production (inclusive of Texas) through 2004, using only the production data through 1970 to generate the model, was 99% of what the HL model predicted it would be.

This is the method that can't be used to predict the Saudi decline, even as production is declining as predicted?

The HL wasn't the only info used to predict the KSA peak

Read the essay I just posted and tell me why it has any business attempting to call a Saudi peak.

the declining production in the face of historically high prices

I have addressed that to death. People also seem to forget that for the bulk of them time they were making their cuts, the price was falling. What does that say about demand?

I agree that 20/20 will be the only way to see this thing clear enough to get everyone's agreement.
My quetion- Is there any other predictive tool used by anyone else? I find it implausable that oil co.'s don't at least try to model some of this because the capital required for exploration, drilling, and refining.
I just seems to me that oil co.'s can't collectively all be in lala land on this, but I could be very wrong. The recient comment by oil co. CEO's about the end of cheap oil seems to me to be a mild warning dressed for public consumption. That they would even do so surprised me! I suspect what they know is alot more than they say, they to have plenty to fear by imposed taxs and regulations.
I would think that hubbert type information would be extreemly valuable if I were the one who had to make decisions on what my company was going to do.

I would think that hubbert type information would be extreemly valuable if I were the one who had to make decisions on what my company was going to do.

I guarantee you that oil companies don't do anything like HL. I have spoken to many people inside oil companies, and the consensus belief is that there really is plenty of oil for a long time to come. They may be 100% wrong, but I can say that they honestly believe that.

Wasn't it Simmons that said the North Sea would peak while the executives of production companies there had no clue (even one year before)? Was Simmons doing HL?

I know you weren't calling the Peak for KSA, but the fact that you have said, "we will know soon" is a big change in your perspective IMO.

Calling 'peak' really doesnt matter.

How many Angels can dance on the head of a pin?

I suppose that the man/ woman who calls peak will ultimately get a brief entry in Wikipedia , just before the web collapses.

Does it really matter? If peak was in 2006, 2007, 2008 or 2012, or 2015 or 2025?

We needed 3 decades to prep for this event.

All that is left on this site is:

PEAK OIL: We are not quite sure when, but within a generation. And it WILL be nasty.

GLOBAL WARMING: Maybe Anthropogenic, Maybe Cosmic / Geophysical. We are not sure. Maybe a bit of both.

In the first case It may be too late. (tell 2 billion Chinese and Indians to stop wanting what we got)

In the second, tough: that's Geology for you (them's the breaks...)

But it WILL be nasty.

Common denominator in both?

Population: our success as a species may kill us.

Hi Mudlogger,

re: "...doesn't really matter."

Not even one little bit? To do anything at all w. the info.?

How about calling "peak now" or "past peak w. certainty" -?

re: "Population: our success as a species may kill us."

Well, it's also to do w. the success of the many machine species. (wan half-smile goes here.)

MSNBC thinks there's no reason for concern:

Gas price spike may be short-lived, analysts say

With pump prices up 20 cents in the last two weeks and daylight saving time three weeks early, it feels like spring is coming a little early this year. But if the typically seasonal pattern of pump prices holds, consumers in most parts of the country can expect some relief by Memorial Day.

Though the summer driving season — and the resulting pick up in demand — is months away, gas prices have moved higher as refiners take their plants offline for annual maintenance and upgrades. As production levels dip, worries about short-term supplies send futures prices higher, according to Tom Kloza, who tracks gasoline prices at the Oil Price Information Service.

“This is trader lead,” he said. “There were a lot of refinery problems, and that’s been the catalyst this year for an earlier-that-normal late first quarter surge.”

Do these cuts come on top of those announced by KSA last fall?

One fact that sticks in my craw about the debate on the voluntary/involuntary nature of the Saudi decline is the price band issue.

I don't have a time line in front of me, nor do I know when/if the Saudis officially renounced or readjusted their target crude oil price band, but I'm thinking that they began cutting at about the peak price and have continued to cut even though the price reached a low and rebounded back to what appears to be solid support at ~$60/bbl. If they were actually paying attention to their old price band, they would have begun raising production again when the price drop quit and support was evident at much higher than their original price band. We can argue the inventory issue into the ground, but I feel it is largely a moot point or even a red herring in terms of trying to stabilize the price of crude. Like Stuart said, they must be in pursuit of something by adjusting their production. It seems obvious to me that this something is their announced price band. If we are to believe them on the reason for cutting production issue, why shouldn't we believe them on the price band issue?

Anyone have a link to an official change of price band announcement from the Saudis?

A new excuse for declining production?

From the top:

A senior Saudi Aramco official warned yesterday that the petroleum industry is facing a tremendous skills shortage which, if goes unchecked will undermine its ability to meet world demands.

I did a quick guesstimate for year over year declines (average of 2006 versus 2005) for the top 10 net oil exporters in 2005. I assumed that we saw the same rate of increase in consumption from 2005 to 2006 that we saw from 2004 to 2005. And I assumed that Crude + Condensate = 90% of Total Liquids (which was true for the top 10 in 2005).

In any case, production was down by 1.7% from 2005 to 2006, but I estimate that net oil (C+C) exports were down by 7%.

On a month to month basis, the decline would be sharper. For example, I estimate that Saudi exports, from 12/05 to 12/06, were down by about 13% (again based on assumptions about consumption).

I expect the decline in exports to accelerate, especially as Russian production starts declining. My guess is that these ten countries (Saudi Arabia, Russia, Norway, Iran, UAE, etc.) will show a 50% decline in net exports within 5 to 10 years.

Note that UK net oil exports went to zero in about five years (about a 40% annual decline rate).

It may be used as an excuse but ain't it a fact? Along with rusting rigs and pipelines it is a point M. Simmons raises all the time.

It's a fact, but it's not really relevant.

Empirically, the function of oil companies in post-peak regions (regarding conventional production) is to slow the rate of decline. We slow the rate of decline by increasing the rate of extraction of finite fossil fuel resources.

Personnel and equipment/infrastructure limits will be much more critical to bringing on nonconventional production, but here too, we are talking about accelerating our rate of extraction of finite resources.

It may be used as an excuse but ain't it a fact? Along with rusting rigs and pipelines it is a point M. Simmons raises all the time.

Of course it's a fact. Rigs and workers are down because demand has been down for the last decade or so. It is just plain silly to say, as the Saudi official implied, that there are fewer skilled workers because they believe existing supplies of oil are about to be exhausted. I ask you, how many young people entering a university engineering program will not go into oilfield geology or petro engineering because they fear oil supplies are drying up?

And how many rig manufacturers would stop making rigs while demand was still high? Demand jumped when supplies started to dry up. And it takes years for the rig builders to catch up. Likewise it takes years for the demand for engineers to supply the necessary engineers. But the engineers and rigs are there if you are willing to bit the going price. Saudi is doing that for the rigs but apparently not for the engineers.

Very few people today, and even far less five years ago, have any inkling concerning peak oil. For a Saudi official to use that excuse is just unbleievable.

Ron Patterson

Thanks for your input gentlemen. The Saudi's will take any excuse, I'm afraid. And the world will also buy them all. That's worse.

..and all of this leads me to the conclusion that oil co.'s do not have analytical tools to tell them when they need to get busy with the known lead time involved to bring additional capacity online. That or they are ignoring what they should be watching.

People and Organizations tend to look at their ability to respond to changing conditions in isolation. "More infrastructure? We'll build it when we need it". The problem comes when everybody else is facing the same problems at the same time. It's best to have batteries on hand well before the hurricane forms.

Fine I agree but we are not talking homeowner batteries. I find it almost incredulous to think they do not have a department that looks at world reserves, oil rig count, depletion etc., etc, and that gets compiled into into a document that these guys use to make decisions about how much to invest in exploration, refining capacity and drilling to bring x ammount of oil on line given that these countries (A,B, C) will be declining. They can and should look at all factors involved and make an well documented and well educated estimate of what they need to do 'today' to be in a good situation 'tommorow'.

I have come to the belief that either oil co.'s are incredibly stupid or they know the score and are keeping thier mouths shut because of some external factors. I find it hard to go with incredibly stupid at this point.

any large oil co is a bureaucracy. in addition, they seriously believe that they must plan for price collapse because this has happened several times before, during which some of their buddies were sacked. These guys are routinely surprised when regions begin declining... simply does not go as they planned. On to the next region...

Ok I'll buy that.

From the same link: http://www.gulf-daily-news.com/Story.asp?Article=172525&Sn=BUSI&IssueID=...

Mr Gould said many young people believe that supplies of oil were nearly exhausted and were reluctant to enter an industry that would end before they reached retirement age.

"We have to convince them that we are a long, long way from exhausting our oil supplies and that they will have a long life in the industry," he said.

Yes, we can see that excuse coming down the pike. First there were no buyers, then there were those mandated cuts, (far in excess of the actual mandate), now there is the tremendous skills shortage which, if goes unchecked will undermine its ability to meet world demands.

I have estimated that Saudi production is dropping by about 50 to 60 thousand barrels per day, per month, excluding new fields, which are almost an non entity at this point. We need to keep more excuses coming down the line.

Aramco is cutting salaries for its new hires. They are hiring mostly engineers from South America for its new petrochemical plant at Ras Tanura because the sleries they are offering cannot attract engineers from the US or Europe.

Skilled workers are just like any other commodity. If you are willing to pay the going price you can get all the skilled workers you like.

But look for further cuts from Saudi Arabia due to a shortage of skilled workders.

Yeah Right!

Ron Patterson

Saudi are probably hiding behind the skills gap in this case, but , nevertheless , the skills gap truly exists:

The Last two decades of almost nill recruitment and downsizing, has created a serious gap in engineers and geologists.

Nobody came into the business because nobody was hiring, and 5-10 years down the road you could get down sized.

Think of it as a career conveyor belt: All the graduates that should have joined from 86 - 99 never came in and the skills gap shows up in the middle ranks of oil and oil service companies.

During these times, the smart kids could see that oil was a sunset industry, unsafe for a career, unlikely to last a lifetime of work and it had a very bad press.

IT, Accounting, Law, thats where a lot of the smart kids went

It is a problem and not one that will be easily solved this year or next.

As an industry we routinely eat our own children and let our equipment rust or be cannibalised.

As one US Oil Company Chairman once said:

'The Oil Industry is the last refuge of the incompetent'.

It is not that I don't believe what you said, but does it comes from a reliable source?

Damn those pesky "above ground" factors!!! They'll be the death of us.

(Word out to CERA on that comment)

Wait a minute...the cut is in Arab Heavy...but didn't they say they couldn't sell it?

Something to the effect...'we cannot find buyers for our crude, so we are cutting supply' (obviously a paraphrase...from thier rhetoric last year)

Yeah right.

It's all about population!

Even I remember them saying that....

The way it's presented, of course, is that there are a few unfortunate and isolated incidents. But as horror stories about the Gulf coast keep accumulating, and Walter Reed is being played out against the backdrop of countless desperate veterans (remind anyone of Vietnam?), it's legitimate to ask if there is a pattern emerging, how much the government cares about its weakest citizens, and how much more of this lies in our future.

'We Called It Hurricane FEMA'

Shortly after noon, FEMA agents began rapping on the trailer doors, their knocks resounding inside the tinny white homes. Everyone in the park, the agents announced without warning, would have to pack and leave within 48 hours.

Where do we go now?


What about school?

To the residents of the Yorkshire Mobile Home Park, all of them families displaced by Hurricane Katrina, the Federal Emergency Management Agency crews offered answers that were uncertain and sometimes contradictory. As residents spilled out of their homes to meet their similarly bewildered neighbors, the adults wondered where they would be sent next, and how far they might wind up from their jobs. Some began sobbing. Then the children, seeing their parents' tears, began crying, too. A woman fainted, and an ambulance came.

"It was like shock and awe," recalled Ron Harrell, 40, a tenant. "We called it Hurricane FEMA."

I frequently lambast the gummit, here, and then always feel a slight pang of regret for doing so. There are a lot of good people on the gummit payroll and were it not for them, things would be a lot worse than they are.

That said, I wonder how long it will take the average Joe or Jane to understand that "the system" exists not to protect them, but to feed off of them -- "worker bees" to keep the machinery running, bodies for the armed services, taxes to support the military-industrial complex and to buy the cooperation of the excess labor that the system has no use for, the wholesale stripping of resources from local communities in service of the "greater good," etc.

What we are in effect being told is that in this age of "globalization" -- which is really just turbo-charged resource depletion -- we can no longer expect to have any control over our lives. Everything is up for grabs -- your jobs, your schools, your communities -- anything and everything is just a commodity to be sold to the highest bidder and stripped of it's worth.

The solution to this is going to be tough to swallow but it is the only way forward. That is, to tell the globalists -- the gummit, the multi-nationals, the Pentagon -- to get the #@*% out of our lives. We need to begin building institutions over which we have some control and distancing ourselves from those institutions which resist our control. We will pay a price for this -- a lower "standard of living," less "security" -- but to do otherwise is to lie down and wait to become road-kill.

The way it's presented, of course, is that there are a few unfortunate and isolated incidents.... it's legitimate to ask if there is a pattern emerging, how much the government cares about its weakest citizens, and how much more of this lies in our future.

Tainter, complexity, diminishing returns, resource exhaustion. The events don't seem isolated to me but they seem to reinforce each other. For the states and nation as a whole, asphalt is too expensive, education is too expensive, health care is too expensive.

Vail's post about Nigeria - that's how it must have looked to the Romans in the core - updated for technology. How long before some gang with chainsaws starts to blackmail the power companies with threats to saw down the grid or to blow up pipelines? If power lines are already being cut down merely for the copper, won't threats be even more profitable?

cfm in Gray, ME

US generals ‘will quit’ if Bush orders Iran attack


Recently, there has been some discussion about how some people interested in peak oil also seem to have interests in other areas, particularly the current real estate situation in the U.S. (and to a lesser extent, in other areas such as Great Britain).

Certainly Kunstler sees the subjects as inseparable, but there is an element which many of those who find the two subjects unrelated may be missing.

Germany has been fostering an alternative energy industry for several decades now, first in reaction to the oil shocks of the 1970s, and as part of a political trend exemplified by the Green Party - a majority of German voters wanted a cleaner environment for themselves and their children, and were willing to follow binding changes - mandatory recycling, or increasingly stringent standards concerning building insulation, for example, or market based incentives to create a viable wind and photovoltaic market. (There was also a strong pacifist element, which is too complicated to discuss here, but an aspect of it was to reduce conflict by fostering self-sufficiency.)

These investments have been essentially been financed from savings, and they do show a profit, even if the traditional energy companies complain bitterly about their 'burden' (there is a fixed rate which electricity generated from wind or solar which an electric company must pay, who then in term turns around and charges this in turn to all the company's other customers - the 'subsidy' for renewable energy does not really come from the energy company's pocket, as they so desperately try to argue in public, but from the pockets of all the consumers who do not generate their own power - an idea that the energy companies really, really don't want to spread).

Once started, such an investment cycle tends to bring the expected long term benefits, if left to grow. See Saudi Arabia and the 1980s to see what I mean - and this is one reason for my belief that peak oil is here - the alternatives are no longer being drowned in a flood of oil. (Though as an alternative explanation, maybe such a fine progressive nation as Saudi Arabia feels that global warming is such a huge problem for humanity, that instead of the royal family putting personal profit first, they have decided to save billions of infidels, as that would be worthy charity in the eyes of Allah.)

And this is the crux - where will the debt and fraud ridden American economy find the capital to change how it exists? Especially as the debt and fraud seems anchored in the American Dream of suburbia. Here, Kunstler is absolutely correct - while the last decades have seen America live from never-ending suburban growth, nothing realistic has been done to deal with a longer term future, when oil becomes expensive.

In other words, when the current American housing house of cards collapse (look at Florida in the 1920s for a fine feel of what I mean, and notice the interesting timing between its collapse and Wall Street's collapse), who will be paying for the necessary infrastructure to remain a civilized society? A massive prison building industry doesn't count as civilized, by the way.

This is the sort of question that ties real estate and peak oil together, at least in the U.S. In other societies, such long range idiocy has not been so single-mindedly pursued, which is why people who are focused on America also think the world is doomed.

While the fracturing of America seems to be fairly certain in my eyes (though by no means inevitable), it is harder to generalize this across a complex world. This is also true in terms of economic collapse - while America's production of mortgages may fall from its world leading dynamic heights, the German investment in PV, wind, solar heating, home insulation, high efficiency wood stoves, district heating using biomass, high efficiency furnaces and ground coupled heat pumps, and an electric rail system will still exist and be functioning in the next five years.

As a matter of fact, America would be a fine customer for such high quality and valuable German products, except that Germans are likely to prefer something tangible in exchange, which these days, the Chinese are in a better position to offer - at least the Chinese still make shirts, which means they don't need to pay with the shirt off their backs.

When looking at America, it is easy to see doom spreading as far as the eye can see. After making that conclusion in 1982, I have been wrong for 25 years. Except the reasons for my conclusions - a lack of awareness of even what needs to be done in American society, and generally no concrete actions to what extent awareness exists - haven't changed. (Though the reactions against such changes seems to have grown - what was once called prudent Yankee frugality now seems to be considered something only acceptable to 'extremists.') The only thing that has changed is that 25 years have gone by, and America is essentially flat broke. The nightmare future of then is today's now - big cars with wretched gas mileage driving over former farmland to go to houses that are larger than ever before, full of energy consuming appliances with no purpose but self-indulgence - a TV in every room seems to have beat the chicken in every pot hands down, and the sizzle is what consumers are interested in, not the steak.

The real estate boom does share one other concrete aspect of peak oil - the belief in never ending growth meeting reality, even if most people refuse to believe that reality actually matters in human affairs. Strangely, Germans seem to think silicon and insulation add more to a house's long term value than granite countertops and stainless steel appliances.

Expat: You said it.

Expat, you're right to an extent, but not overall. When the US economy tanks for real, it will drag Germany with it. Also, the money supply growth in the EU rivals that of the US these days, and has reached double digits.

And since all Germany's efforts still don't add up to more than a few percent of energy consumption, it's unclear how it would pay for expanding alternative energy forms once the money supply dies down.

Like many EU countries, Germany has enormous packages of entitlements for its citizens, and it needs strong growth if it wants to honor those. And that growth is not going to be there.

But which part? The solar industry, which is essentially domestic? The home insulation industry, also domestic? Or the wind turbine manufacturers? Or the people maintaining the biomass fired district heating plants? Or the local farmers?

You are right if you mean that the highly paid Mercedes workers in this region will be unemployed, and the economy will suffer horribly for that fact alone.

I think the future decade will not be kind and gentle, but there is a major difference between a society which has already made investments for the future compared to one that seems to be unable to even grasp the idea of future, unless it is just like the present.

And remember, the living memory of 'suffering' in Germany is something that the U.S. hasn't experienced since 1865 - and only a part of the U.S. then, at that.

Most of the land in Germany is very fertile, and Germans have always been excellent farmers. That is why Germans were encouraged to come to Romania, Russia, East Prussia and Bohemia. They will find a way to keep producing food.

" Banks ought to be concerned about such loans and are likely to see more missed payments and foreclosures as consumers with weak credit histories begin to face higher monthly mortgage payments, Federal Reserve Governor Susan Bies said last week.

``What we're seeing in this narrow segment is the beginning of the wave,'' Bies said. ``This is not the end, this is the beginning.'' "


I never noticed Bies comments referenced here in Drumbeat. The story came out last week toward the end, the above is all I could find today. Part of story on Bloomberg on how the bust is to deepen.

When looking at America, it is easy to see doom spreading as far as the eye can see. After making that conclusion in 1982, I have been wrong for 25 years.

Wow, I can't believe you haven't changed your mind even after being wrong for 25 years! That shows a certain element of mental strength and fortitude.

Let me give some examples of being 'wrong' -
1. A president still remembered for his sweater noted that if America couldn't learn how to live differently, in a generation, American soldiers would be fighting in the Middle East to secure oil supplies.
2. The fuel efficiency of American vehicles has essentially stalled since the mid-1980s
3. What certainly seems like unchecked suburban growth to my lying eyes has ensured that farmland, watersheds, and forests have been replaced by housing - and this housing is of exceedingly poor quality
4. The debt level of the American economy is beyond all previous measures, including the time around the Great Depression
5. The amount of free time, job security, and pension security in America are all below the measured statistics from the 'horrible' 70s and 80s.

One of the things which struck me in 1982 in Germany is how short our lifetimes really are - the shrapnel and bullet holes in many of the stone buildings from the bombing of cities decades ago, and then the street fighting as they were conquered will be there until the stones are no longer useful for building - and the cause of those pits, gouges, will be long forgotten before the stones are worthless. There is a little fountain in a pretty town near where I live, which uses sandstone blocks cut by the Romans - no one knows what those pitted stones were part of, but they make an interestingly jumbled background for the water to flow over.

This is also part of what I meant about the future - Americans really think everything is measured in short years. A lot of things are actually measured in short decades, such as the amount of time required to transition from one energy source to another - or to learn to live without something considered indispensable today.

5. The amount of free time, job security, and pension security in America are all below the measured statistics from the 'horrible' 70s and 80s.

A good observation from distant shores. Thank you.

When one is mooing along with the slip-and-sliding-away herd, it's hard to notice the quick sand shifting under your hooved feet.

BTW, did you see this post in the NYT about herd mentality? Ha ha. The joke is on us.

Y'know, Expat, you are kind of the "anti" Roger Conner: I read every damn word you write. Reality is lacking here in the Empire. Nice one.

"I think anyone with half a brain understands that we all have to change our habits in order to limit the greenhouse gases." is a quote from a BMW owning German in the article linked above. He likes driving fast, but if the laws change, he won't argue about prying the steering wheel from his cold dead hands, or whatever the latest American slogan is for defending brain dead behavior.

This is part of what is so often missed in these debates - many people do things that they know aren't really good, but generally, people in societies other than America seem to recognize a sense of balance, and respect for the law. I have read that 97% of the Autobahn already has speed limits (a number that has been increasing steadily), and that last 3% is as much symbolic as anything else.

I have read that 97% of the Autobahn already has speed limits (a number that has been increasing steadily)

You have read that in the ADAC-Journal?

99% of all german streets are limited, and this figure is often used by motorists and their lobbyists.

Autobahnen are only a small part of all streets, and on one third of them speed is permanently limited, on half of them there is a recommended speed of 130 km/h, and changing speed limits (depending on wheather and congestion) on the rest.

If 99% of the Autobahnen were indeed limited there would be no reason for all those discussions about the last 1% ..

No, the 97% comes from my possibly flawed memory, maybe in a BNN article (a truly awful newspaper), but since the ADAC is Germany's political equivalent to America's NRA (National Rifle Association) in terms of power, if not in terms of what they advocate, I think your sourcing is just fine.

But around this region, most of the Autobahn does have a speed limit, though the percent is more like 50% or 66%. And there are long stretches between here and the Netherlands, and here and Munich, with a speed limit of 120 or 130.

I have always believed that one of the last stretches of Autobahn with a speed limit will be parts of the A5/A6/A8 between Frankfurt and Stuttgart - this way, a couple of car manufacturers can show off their products to customers who can afford whatever they manufacture - whether the customer is Russian, Arabian, or South American, they are likely to be rich as long their oil keeps flowing.

parts of the A5/A6/A8 between Frankfurt and Stuttgart - this way, a couple of car manufacturers can show off their products

Yeah - if memory serves that was the Autobahn where infamous "Turbo-Rolf" bumped that young mother off the lane in 2003.

To complete my observations about Germanys highways and the percentage of limited speed:

This page from Essen University says there are some 600,000 km total streets in Germany. According to this Wikipedia-Page the length of german highways totals 12.044 kilometres. So thats a fraction of roughly 2 percent.

Claiming that "99% of german streets have a speed limit", as motorist groups often do, is blatantly misleading. A speed limit on our highways, which is overdue, has been impeded in favor of the south german car manufacturers who mostly build muscle-cars.

By the way, here is a website giving a view on the german Autobahn through the eyes of an american - and as you did he mentions ..

.. a lobbying effort that has the same influence and deep pockets as the American gun lobby ..

when it comes to speed regulation.


Ulrich Nehls

Yes, exactly - past the Karlsruhe/Durlach exit, where the Autobahn is straight and 3 lanes - a perfect place to accelerate to top speed, after all that frustrating traffic and those speed limits, if only the idiots get out of your way. In the case of 'Turbo Ralf,' it was a mother and her young son - it is quite possible he never even saw them hitting the tree, since when you have such a fine piece of automotive engineering, your eyes keep looking forward for the next idiot who needs to get out of your way.


You're making generalizations all over the place about
Americans. You make it sound like we're all George Bush clones. Many people I speak to are not naive, and many have made adjustments to their habits. I can understand your gripe with the US. It sounds to me like you're pleased with your decision to live in Germany.

I could make generalizations about the US too, like "We're resourceful", "Our ingenuity will save us", or "We've got the brains and the determination to do anything".

Those statements are all true and false for the US, just as they are for Germany. I've been to Europe and many elements of culture are different and many are the same as the US. It's interesting to hear about what's happening in Germany from your perspective. But you deliver the news on Germany in the same way FOX delivers news on the US Government.

The US is not prepared for the future. Germany is better prepared for it. We'll see how much it matters when we commoners have to fend for ourselves.

Tom A-B

Always a problem with what I write, those generalizations. But in terms of insulation or PV, I am just describing what my German neighbors have been doing for several years now, along with the legal framework. And after visiting the U.S. last summer, I saw zero evidence of any infrastructure investment at this level. And have read here that in many areas, the home owner association forbids such things as PV (not California, though) or clotheslines

I did see a fairly large amount of road construction in the U.S., and a number of new housing developments - with cheaply built structures, and laughable insulation.

And this idea of commoners - speaking again only of my own personal experience, Germans don't think that some small group of people will be able to cut themselves off from the people around them - of course the rich will remain rich, but in terms of something like clean water or sanitation, that is considered critical for everyone - speaking broadly, plagues don't check net worth before spreading, even though having enough food to eat is a real plus, as is heated living space. Which is why having local agriculture and well managed forests, living in homes with good insulation, and a well developed health care system (only three doctors and two dentists in my town of ca 5000 - and no, they don't really rely that much on high tech - and yes, our dentist could power her equipment from the PV installed on roofs in the last 2 years within 100 meters of her office) are good things, generalizing again.

Admittedly, I describe pretty much the region where I live - my familarity with Berlin or Cologne is essentially zero, for example, and everything I know about East Germany comes from talking to people who grew up there before moving here.

But Germans know what it is to starve, huddled in burned out cities with essentially no functioning infrastructure, which is one reason they work to avoid such conditions in the future. That isn't Fox News, that is the result of their having first hand experience of reality.

We can certainly discuss whether German planning will be adequate, but sometimes, it amazes me that people think that because my view is of America fracturing, this means that I think Europe will somehow flourish or continue as it does today. No - I just think that the Europeans will work really, really hard to avoid repeating living like they did in 1946. Most American nightmares of a post-peak world look pretty appealing in comparison to Berlin or Cologne, 1946.

Thanks for the temperance. I have a great appreciation for your perspective. It is true that the US has no memory like the hardship endured by Germans in WWII. On the one hand I see a future in the US of neighborhoods and communities working to overcome the challenges ahead. On the other hand I see our government getting in the way of this via brainwashing and restrictive policies (or incompetence).

I struggle with the thought of relocating to another country. There could be advantages, but there is something comforting about the familiarties of home. If things swing away from globalism and back towards "localism" I see the prospects of success being much higher in a familiar environment (from the perspective of influence, trust, sharing, etc). Being in a foreign land in tumultuous times doesn't seem quite as safe to me.

Tom A-B

Brother, do I ever have a different perspective than you...maybe it's where I live, but I'm not seeing the US as a place to hang your hat for very much longer. Sure, a few people are aware, in some regions, but it seems for the most part that people are generally clueless about the "converging catastrophes," as Kunstler puts it, and more important than that, don't want to know about them. Looking around at other nations, imperfectly viewed it's true, one can't help but think that the US is going to eventually pay for it's lack of foresight.

And here's a recent myopic german quote from bmw's chief of design, Chris Bangle: "At the most fundamental level, sustainability is just a new problem to solve. I've lived under this before, whether it was the need to strengthen bumpers in the 70s, or improve aerodynamics in the '80s, or deal with pedestrian safety regulations today."

Coal, Mules & Sweat

Some old photos of streetcar construction in Toronto. Still feasible post-Peak Oil (with some changes in construction).

Keele and Dundas, August 22, 1912


Queen and Victoria, July 26, 1911


Dundas west to Royce, August 2, 1912



Please note that this was in the era of Peak Streetcar (~1887-1916) when 500 US cities, towns and villages built everything from subways to short streetcar lines.

Best Hopes,



Great photos.

Do you have any information/photos on the tunnel construction?

ie length of tunnels, methods used etc?

The 1897 subway that I took to the ASPO Boston conference every day was drilled with the "drill & blast" method which is still used for short tunnels (better, and safer, technique today) and tunnels unsuitable for TBMs. D&B drills several holes, stuffs the holes with explosives, blasts, clears the debris and drills new holes.

TBMs (Tunnel Boring Machines) are an evolving modern technology. Electric drive cutters rotate and "shave/grind" off a cm or so with every rotation, making a circular cross-section tunnel. Costs (inflation adjusted) are dropping by -3%/year as the technology matures.

Most modern subways will be drilled with TBMs and not drill & blast; even post-Peak Oil.

Hope this helps,


Sure does Alan

Most appreciated.

Keep up the great work

Alan, keep it up. Hope and direction are needed.
Question - How fast did they travel- any idea. Could you hop on and off or did it slow at certain areas?

I live 2.5 blocks from a streetcar line open since 1834 and they still run cars built in 1923/24 (I have taken an unathorized ride on our 1897 workcar). So a bit after the period shown, but not much.

Top speed is ~30 mph (could be higher with different gearing), stops are every 2 blocks (should be 3 in the modern era). Average speed "end to end" is about 14 mph. Slower in mixed traffic in the CGD, faster on seperate ROW.

Given the compact city that New Orleans is (due to the streetcar) it is faster (and MUCH more fun :-) for me to take the streetcar downtown or to the French Quarter than drive and search for parking.

The St. Charles Streetcar Line covered 80% of operating costs from fares & ads. The best bus line in town was in the low 40%.

Hopes that helps,


This was posted a while ago, but is coming back up more and more on another board I frequent. I've been pushing peak oil over there and I find more and more stuff to support it in the financial markets. This is reasoning for the underlying 2:1 increase in trading of long dated future contracts >3yrs starting in 2004 as monitored by CFTC.


So there you have it, folks. J.P. Morgan was chosen to head up the “new” infantile Iraqi Central Bank. They quickly moved to “collateralize” Iraqi assets [what else does Iraq have that the world needs besides OIL?] to rebuild [or redistribute the rubble, perhaps?] the country.

Funny, isn’t it; that this “COLLATERALIZATION” just happened to coincide with an “explosion” in trading volume of “LONG DATED” [greater than 3 years maturity] crude oil futures contracts.

We all know J.P. Morgan’s penchant for parades and to DERIVATIZE, don’t we?

If one stops to consider the impact of trading “commodities + other” to J.P. Morgan’s revenue Q3/03 vs. Q3/06 – you will notice that revenue has gone from 50 million to 625 million [a twelve fold increase] in three years. This data is available at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s Quarterly Derivative Fact Sheet [Q3/03 vs. Q3/06] in .pdf form.

If Iraqi Oil has really has been pledged to “underpin” the explosive growth of trade in long dated crude oil futures – the crude reality is that the costs of “quitting Iraq” need to be reassessed yet again.

Perhaps the crude reality is that the growth in long dated crude oil futures trade has more to do with a strategy to deal with PEAK OIL?



MOSCOW - The state-run Russian company building
Iran's first nuclear power plant said Monday that the reactor's launch will be postponed because of Iranian payment delays.

"It will be impossible to launch the reactor in September, and there can be no talk about supplying fuel this month," Atomstroiexport said in a statement that followed the collapse of bilateral talks last week on the funding dispute.


The energy saving arguments for DST are even less true now than they were in 1986 when we last fiddle with the clocks. Why are we wasting time with daylight saving when a one mile per gallon increase in average US fuel economy would result in 4% less gas consumption (and 1.6% lower oil consumption over all)?


Because, as Michael Downing points out, the real purpose of DST time is not to conserve energy, but to increase consumption. We shop more if it's light out after work.

In the Soviet Union they instituted DST year-round. So is this move in the US another sign of an empire in decline?

Then there is also the view that the gummit is hoarding time. :-)

My wife firmly disagrees with this. In the 60's most stores were not open late at night nor were they open on sundays and were closed early on saturday. I would think that thet economies of along time ago, 60's and earlier, were not as consumer driven as today. This "additional savings time" I would agree with 100% but why it was started I'm dubious that it was retail/consumption driven.


I agree. In the same vein, most US holidays and "holiday seasons" were not originally commerce motivated, but most are now completely driven by money.

Sad isn't it? My favorite holiday is now Thanksgiving. If they start making giant plastic inflatable turkeys for center pieces I hope the end is near.

If you have an accident on Germany's autobahns at over 130kph, its automatically your fault. This their version of a speed limit, the other 3% are construction zones. More like 97% of the autobahns don't have a compulsary speed limit. Wouldn't exactly call the French balanced, they are anarchists at heart. Germans don't exactly have the best history either, 60 years hasn't changed that much, note their reaction to the East Germans ie "Build the Wall Higher!!!". Holland is the only truly sustainable country in Europe that I've seen personally.

As I sit in the Orient where the cites are totally unsustainable, and they want to grow the population by 30%, my home in the states doesn't look half bad. Atleast in the suburbs, you can grow corn and tomatoes if you have a house with a decent sized yard. Now if I can just get that train ride to work.

Those who beat their swords into plowshares will plow for those who didn't.

A government that is big enough to give you everything you want is also big enough to take it away.
-Barry M. Goldwater-

It may be better to be a live jackal than a dead lion, but it is better still to be a live lion. And usually easier. - Heinlein

To Ride, Shoot Straight and Speak the Truth - Col Cooper

I read somewhere long ago that it took 37 times the area of the Netherlands to feed their people. This may be quite an exaggeration but if a country doesn't even have enough acreage to feed its population then in no way is it a sustainable society.

Pimentel put it at about 20 times ten years ago. That was land required for food and energy, if I remember well, the overall "footprint".

Regardless, Holland is undoubtedly one of the least "sustainable" places on earth, though you'd have to define sustainable.

The Sunday Times article referenced yesterday, from which Leanan O_o quoted, basically gives it but a few decades. There are 16.5 million people sharing a chunk of land of 200 by 150 miles, much of which will be flooded soon. But don't worry, they're still building highways.

"Holland is the only truly sustainable country in Europe that I've seen personally."

Three words: rising sea level

Whoops! There goes Holland!

I am surprised that so far no one has commented on this important news:

OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia has notified Asian refiners it will cut April crude supplies by about 10 percent below its term contracts, industry sources told Reuters on Monday, after its March supplies to Asia were 7-8 percent below contracted volumes.

Read the rest of the article at:

That was a very odd paragraph in the context of the story. They were buzzing along about the market being in balance, demand falling in the 2nd quarter, keeping output stable, and then that. It was like it didn't belong in the story. No lead up to it, and no explanation was given. Strange. And the story said oil prices are falling this morning because OPEC decided not to further cut production.

Dante posted this article at PO.com. He didn't have a link, though:

March 12, 2007

DJ ASIA CRUDE: May Oman Steady; Saudi Apr Term Cuts May Support

SINGAPORE, Mar 12, 2007 (Dow Jones Commodities News via Comtex) --Key medium sour Oman for May held steady at a small premium Monday, with Saudi Arabia's bigger term supply cuts to Asia yet to show an impact on the market.

Saudi Arabia told its buyers in Asia that term supply cuts for April will be bigger than for March, which could drive up demand in the spot market.

Yet any extra boost from Saudi Arabia's latest term supply allocations may be limited, as refiners in Asia are set to enter seasonal maintenance in the second quarter, traders said.

"Some impact might be mitigated," said a trader at a refiner.

Saudi Arabia will supply 9%-10% less crude oil than full contracted volumes to Asia in April, versus 7%-8% cuts for March, said refinery officials who received notices over the weekend.

Most cuts fell on heavier grades, with Arab Heavy receiving cuts of around 20%, according to the officials.

Until 8/8/06 the market would not accept any bearish news re: oil, apparently hoping rising stocks would stop rising. Right now the market will not accept any bullish news re: oil, apparently hoping falling stocks would stop falling. IMO the pendulum will shortly change course, even with the bearish housing news; we, china, and the exporters are still increasing oil usage, eventually bidding will return.
IMO falling production/rising prices will be recession proof; during the seventies the price of oil never declined yoy... only increased supplies from the north slope, north sea and russia moved the price back down. This time around we may have to wait a bit longer...

Look upthread, and you'll find a discussion of that very article.

Zimbabwe tortures opposition leaders

Top opposition leaders were assaulted and tortured by police who broke up a prayer meeting planned to protest government policies, colleagues of the activists said Monday.

One protester was shot dead by police in Sunday's unrest in the outskirts of the capital and scores of others were arrested. Journalists trying to cover the events also were arrested.

In a statement, organizers of the prayer meeting, an alliance of opposition, civic, church leaders and student and anti-government groups, said lawyers who visited the detainees Monday reported the main opposition party leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, fainted three times after being beaten by police.

The alliance, called the Save Zimbabwe Campaign, said another opposition leader, Lovemore Madhuku, was taken to the main Harare hospital early Monday after collapsing from police assaults.

At least four other opposition and civic leaders were beaten and tortured in custody, the campaign said.

Leanan -- Thank you! The lead link to Swans Commentary, while its preliminary focus is on remarks by candidate Dennis Kucinich, the whole covers reality and is satisfyingly comprehensive. It is madness to divert prime food-growing areas, especially in the corn belt, to the expensive and soil-wasting production of biofuels. An even worse practise, in the long run, is that of destroying rain forest in favor of oil palm plantations. Those forests will take centuries or millenia to recover.

When temperatures, food prices, and fuel prices skyrocket, and water becomes scarce, just whose "non-negotiable American lifestyle" will remain non-negotiated?


Yes, I found that article interesting...and depressing. Even Kucinich, considered so loony left he's unelectable, is not ready to tell the American public the truth.

Of course, the forests may be doomed, anyway:

To the end of the earth

Doomer porn, from the Sunday Times.

That's gonna make growing biofuels difficult...

Hello Leanan. Thanks again for the NYT book review link; I had not seen it. The author appears both unqualified and overwrought. Good tabloid/Sunday supplement material, sure. Given the information from the websites I have followed, including this one, and from the pile of expert books that I have accumulated, I have become greatly ooncerned, but still optimistic -- somewhere between Richard Heinberg and Alan Drake, in that respect.


so a well researched book, though one that does not meet your viewpoint is warrant to be slandered as 'doomer porn'?
grow up, if you have a objection to it type it out like a adult and just don't label it with a insulting term.

TrueKaiser, Leanan was joking. She knows full well the seriousness of the article. The term "doomer porn" has been used on this list by true cornucopians to justify not even reading articles that contradicted anything they wished to believe.

Leanan was just being sarcastic.

Ron Patterson

sarcasm doesn't translate well into the digital world.
but still i do have my doubts about leanan.

Kuwait's plan

Platts: Kuwait determined to expand capacity to 4 million b/d: official
Kuwait determined to expand capacity to 4 million b/d: official

Dubai (Platts)--12Mar2007

OPEC producer Kuwait is determined to proceed with an $8 billion project
to raise the crude oil production capacity of its northern fields to 900,000
b/d with the help of foreign oil companies as part of a plan to raise overall
capacity to 4 million b/d by 2010, a senior Kuwaiti oil official said Monday.


"Those reservoirs hold as much as 10 billion barrels of oil and we
anticipate that $8 billion of investment will be needed to reach the 900,000
b/d figure and maintain that plateau as long as possible while preserving the
integrity of the reservoir and maximizing its recoverable reserves."


At a crude production rate of 4 million b/d, KPC anticipates water
production of 10 million b/d.
"The management of so much water, with its associated corrosion, will be
a challenge. This is why the participation of international oil companies in
our future investments is critical. We remain committed to work with our
parliament to move this project forward," Sheikh Nawaf said.


I don't know much about how water cuts evolve with time, but starting with a water cut in the 60% range intuitively doesn't seem to leave much hope for maintaining that level of production for very long...

At a crude production rate of 4 million b/d, KPC anticipates water production of 10 million b/d.

Woah! That's a 71.4% water cut. This is the same oilfield technique we are seeing in Saudi. If they can just pump more and more water into the reservoirs the faster the oil will come out. This may be true...for awhile. But it does not put one drop more oil in the ground and when the fields do start to decline, they do not decline slowely, they collapse.

Ron Patterson

Water cut is the % water in the oil stream(output).Water pumped into the formation can go to all sorts of places!I've seen this term misused several times on this site.

Water cut is the % water in the oil stream(output).Water pumped into the formation can go to all sorts of places!I've seen this term misused several times on this site.

Right but no one is misuseing it here. (Though Kyle's figue of a 60% water cut is 11 % too low.) I am correct in my statement that this means a 71.4% water cut! The article says absolutely nothing about water pumped into the reservoir. It speaks only of water production.

At a crude production rate of 4 million b/d, KPC anticipates water production of 10 million b/d.

Okay, let's do the math. 4 million barrels of oil produced plus 10 million barrels of water produced is 14 million barrels of liquids produced. 10 million barrels is 71.4 percent of 14 million barrels produced.

Ron Patterson

The key statement is
We remain committed to work with our
parliament to move this project forward,"

Parliament is opposed to producing more than2% of their reserves/year, and asked the minister to confirm that reserves are far less than official... a year ago, officials said they would 'get back to parliament' right away... if this goes through, the fix is in.

re: opec production quotas...."the secondary factor for them would be the inventory situation"

Propane cars explode, part of city being evacuated
Monday, March 12, 2007 11:59 AM EDT

ONEIDA (AP) -- A fiery explosion of a freight train carrying liquid propane forced an evacuation Monday from this small central New York city and shut down a section of the state Thruway.

The 7 a.m. blast sent a huge fireball into the dawn sky. Thick, black smoke continued to pour out hours later as about half a dozen propane tanker cars burned, said Oneida Police Chief David Meeker. Fire crews were trying to keep the flames from spreading to other tankers on the derailed 80-car train, about half of which carried propane.

"There is danger of further explosions," said Oneida Fire Department Lt. Kevin Salerno.

There were no immediate reports of injuries or fatalities.

A 23-mile stretch of the Thruway, which passes within a mile of the explosion, was closed in both directions as a precaution, said Patrick Noonan, a spokesman for the Thruway Authority.


Newsweek's cover story is about new advances in human evolution research.

Among other things, it says that the "man the hunter" theory has been totally discredited. It was "man the hunted."

The realization that early humans were the hunted and not hunters has upended traditional ideas about what it takes for a species to thrive. For decades the reigning view had been that hunting prowess and the ability to vanquish competitors was the key to our ancestors' evolutionary success (an idea fostered, critics now say, by the male domination of anthropology during most of the 20th century). But prey species do not owe their survival to anything of the sort, argues Sussman. Instead, they rely on their wits and, especially, social skills to survive. Being hunted brought evolutionary pressure on our ancestors to cooperate and live in cohesive groups. That, more than aggression and warfare, is our evolutionary legacy.

Maybe there's hope for us yet...

One more time. Plato's cave.

Thanks Leanan, I intend to pick up a copy today. But there is little in the above quote to challenge anything that archeologists, paleontologists or even anthropologists have been saying for years. They have always known that we were hunted for prey. Skull bones of hominoid children have been found with teeth marks in them.

And yes, cooperation within gregarious groups, such as chimps and Homo sapiens, was absolutely necessary and has never been questioned, to my knowledge anyway, by anyone inside the academic world that deals with the subject. Warring occurred with other groups outside the tribe.

Evolution dictates that all species defend their resource base or die. That was one of the primary reasons that gregarious species evolved in the first place, to defend their territory with the strength of numbers. Another obvious reason, as this article no doubt points out, was to defend against predators, with the strength of numbers.

Ron Patterson

I just thought it might be a data point of interest to those who think putting steak on the table is the recipe to post-peak success with the babes. You know, like AMPOD. ;-)

Ha! The Chimp Who Can Deliver The Meat. Meat Savinar.

Seriously, there's some things that don't quite fit though. Meat eaters hunt (because prey run away), and since we can digest meat, we must have hunted, not only been hunted.
Also, many meat eaters and hunters live in groups, it's not like only prey species do. All of which makes the picture less clear than the article suggests.

Meat eaters hunt (because prey run away), and since we can digest meat, we must have hunted, not only been hunted.

Not necessarily. We could have gotten our start as scavengers.

However, chimps also hunt, even though they don't get much of their diet that way, so it goes way back. How important it was is another story.

We could have gotten our start as scavengers.

Or cannibals.

Is there a species eroi for that lifestyle?

In a more serious vein, I think physiology studies of extreme distance runners (over 25 miles/day for months) may shed some new light on this. Some have shown no more muscle or tissue damage via CPK levels than normal exercise after 25 days of extreme running, and stabliizng afterwards. Imo points us more toward a jackal existence.

How about fishing...IIRC, there is a fair bit of evidence that we fished early, and swam too, leading to our general hairless body.

I would suggest that hunting on land is harder than fishing especially with the tools available then.

..2cents worth

It's all about population!

I'll see your 2 coppers and raise you one...

Just saw an article which showcased one reseacher's inquiry with lice and clothing. Since general body lice are different sp. from head lice, pinpointing their divergence would help shed light on when man became hairless. Their guess is 72000 yrs.

Ron, don't waste your money on Newsweek. Do you think there'll be anything in that article you don't already know? One can rest assured that by the time information ends up as "ground-breaking" science in a Newsweek article, it is already old hat. I dropped my subscription to Newsweek 2 years ago. I just couldn't take the bogus "medical breakthrough" articles anymore. They were either completely false, or so incredibly oversimplified and naive to be effectively misleading.

Sounds like you're not exactly agreeing with the article anyway as your post indicates protection from rival tribes as a driving force rather than protection from predatory animals.
I'm not sure I buy the thesis that humans as prey was a large driving force in our evolution. In most species, intraspecies competition is fiercer than interspecies competition. In other words, a human 20000 years ago was more likely to be killed by a rival human than by a lion or pack of wolves.

In other words, a human 20000 years ago was more likely to be killed by a rival human than by a lion or pack of wolves.

Phineus, I think you are correct here. Think about chimps, how do most of them die? Few are ever taken by predators but many are killed by other chimps. When a chimp group becomes too overpopulated for their territory to support, they usually do not take territory from other groups, because they can only defend so much territory anyway. What they do is single out half a dozen or more members of their own group, expel them and then gradually kill them off, one by one when they are found foreging in the forest.

Chimps are our closest relatives, and it shows.

Ron Patterson

"They have always known that we were hunted for prey."

A fascinating contemporary work is David Quammen's "Monster of God", 2003. Deals with theoretical aspects of this question, and recounts several chapters on groups of present day modern man living as prey for other animals.

Cosmic Log, MSNBC's science blog, has an ethanol post. It's called "Where Ethanol Is King."

Robert Anex, associate director of the Office of Biorenewable Programs at Iowa State University in Ames, envisions a time when portable cellulose processors work right alongside the corn combines, manufacturing "bio-oil" that can be trucked out to the refineries. He's also a proponent of double-crop sequences - for example, planting a relative of wheat known as triticale in the winter, then harvesting that and planting short-season corn in the spring. Both crops could provide food as well as the raw material for ethanol.

"Now there's an economic incentive to plant a cover crop," Anex explained.

If Iowans do it wrong, the land will pay the price: Anex estimated that soil erosion could create a situation in which the state loses a pound of topsoil for every gallon of ethanol gained. But if the state does it right, we could see the rise of an energy emirate that capitalizes on a wide variety of biofuel technologies - ranging from biomass syngas to new synergies with livestock operations (which can produce the methane to power ethanol distilleries).

The richest city in the world

Welcome to Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates and the richest city in the world. The emirate's 420,000 citizens, who sit on one-tenth of the planet's oil and have almost $1 trillion invested abroad, are worth about $17 million apiece. (A million foreign workers don't share in the wealth.) Yet most people couldn't find Abu Dhabi on a map. Khaldoon's job is to change that. Tall, handsome, and politically savvy, he wants to make his hometown mentioned in the same breath as Singapore, Tokyo - and yes, Dubai.

Re: "Oil that fries your burger can run your car."

State makes big fuss over local couple's vegetable oil car fuel here:


This guy is pretty bearish about oil price in the near term:


There is some merit in his comments, particularly as the US housing market/subprime collapse seems to be going from bad to worse - how much this spills over to the broader economy is now the key. The oil price has been week these past few sessions (despite what should have been some bullish US figures last wednesday). The market factoring in US demand fall?

I saw this and immediately thought of totonelia, and his insistence on wheelbarrows to move mountains.


Building Stonehenge - This Man can Move Anything

Also good for those who ever wondered about Stonehenge construction.

India's coal demand to quadruple by 2031

India's demand for coal may exceed two billion tonnes a year by 2031-32, up from about 460 million tonnes a year now according to the country's minister for coal, Dasari Rao.

To ensure energy security, India "has taken steps in acquiring coal properties abroad," Rao said in a paper distributed at an industry event on Monday.

He did not attend the conference in Mumbai and the paper gave no further details on where the country was looking to invest in coal mining.

Rao said that the Indian government's Committee on Integrated Energy Policy recently noted that coal must maintain its current share in India's overall energy mix for the next 25 years if the country is to sustain economic growth at over 9 percent a year.

This will require the government to plan coal production and ensure there is adequate infrastructure for imports, which will need to rise to around 50 million tonnes a year within the next five years to bridge the gap between demand and supply, Rao said.

The boost in coal usage will also lead to rising carbon dioxide emissions, with the Indian subcontinent likely to be one of the regions worst hit by global warming.

New Delhi says it must use more energy to lift its population from poverty and that per-capita emissions are a fraction of those in rich states.

The boost in coal usage will also lead to rising carbon dioxide emissions, with the Indian subcontinent likely to be one of the regions worst hit by global warming.

New Delhi says it must use more energy to lift its population from poverty and that per-capita emissions are a fraction of those in rich states.

After reading "To the End of the Earth", posted above by Leanan, reading this doesn't give me warm fuzzies. No one is responsible. It's always someone else's problem.

Tom A-B

Mackenzie Gas Project to cost $16.2B ...and now not until 2014(maybe).

My question is - quadruple the cost, and 3 more years longer to build - will there be any permafrost to build on in 2014 :P

Heck, maybe they are just making the case for the first nuclear plant aimed at 2016 completion. Ha!

It's all about population!

New Zealand looks to 20% of electricity production from wind:


As the article points out existing/building plants will generate 3-4% and planned (though not approved capacity) can take that to 20%.

Interesting development at University of Central Missouri (Warrensburg, MO...my wife is a professor there):

The Provost at the university, Y.T. Shah, resigned today after only starting the position in August 2006 to go to work at ARAMCO. This was a very sudden, unexpected announcement at the university with many people left scratching their heads because he had begun a huge process of remolding the university since he began.

He has been a consultant in the petroleum industry for many years. He has written a book called "Cavitation Reaction Engineering"


Now, why does ARAMCO need someone that is an expert in bubble formation? What are cavitation engineers used for in the petroleum industry? Perhaps pumping CO2 or nitrogen gas into oil fields?

And why did they want him so quickly? They must of made a persuasive offer to get him to give up a posh job like being a Provost at a university.

I found some interesting things when I Googled the good doctor. It seems his knowledge might be in designing separation systems based on a cavitation reactor. Could it be applied to existing production fields or are they buying people that could make tar sands more efficient?

Enos said Syncrude Canada, LTD, Suncor Energy Inc. and Albian Sands, a Shell project, are interested in the technology. They have opened opportunities for us to address problem areas within their operations, he said. Enos spent last week in Canada testing the technologies, which also include another KEMSOL exclusive technology - a cavitation reactor.

The cavitation device reduces the volume of waste in the Canadian waste ponds, which are made up of the sludge that results from the oil and sand separation process. The waste ponds are more like lakes, Enos said. There are more than 600 million barrels of sludge in the ponds and lakes. KEMSOL technology breaks down the clay emulsion that makes up the sludge. Imagine a glass jar full of sludge and mud, Enos said. Run it through the cavitation device, and the clay will be on the bottom, the clear water will stay in the middle and the oil is left on the top.

In the end, the cavitation device eliminates the ponds, allows more oil to be recovered and recycles the clay for land fill and road construction use. Enos presented the information to the Alberta Energy Research Institute, which he said is the equivalent to the funding arm of the U.S. Department of Energy. One of the managers said, 'If the numbers and data collected this week backs up what we are observing, you'll have everyone in our office doing cartwheels,' Enos said.

It is hard to see how cavitation would achieve that, one of the problems with using cavitation with an oil sand is that it creates the emulsion, rather than disrupting it. Must do a little more investigating.


Thanks Guys...I was hoping someone would pick this up and give me more details of why ARAMCO would want this guy with this specialty. So would a cavitation specialist also be handy for exracting heavier crudes in KSA and not just tar sands?


From Swan’s Deceitful Solutions:

“one has to ask whether the ratio between energy consumed to produce ethanol and energy created from its production is negative or positive… The jury remains out on the first question.”

- Is a fallacious statement.

“Other experts, often sponsored by industry interests like the Ethanol Promotion and Information Council, have contradicted their findings.”

- Is a straw man argument. There are no other researchers other than Patzek & Pimentel who claim corn ethanol to be net energy negative irrespective of where the funding comes from. Patzek & Pimentel (including the 05’ paper) have been thoroughly debunked by 90% of the scientific community.

“Mexicans have seen their food staple, the tortilla, almost double in price in recent years”

- Is a fallacious statement based on the premise that corn ethanol made from yellow corn has forced the price of white corn for tortillas to double in price. Such an assertion is an impossibility for the amount of white corn used in tortillas is but pennies in the total price and could therefore not possibly double the price of a tortilla. The cost of tortillas in Mexico has everything to do with NAFTA’s effects http://tinyurl.com/2j3vxy and middle men price gouging confirmed by Mexican MSM and posted here by me on prior occasion. See: “Who’s Afraid of the High Price of Corn” IATP http://tinyurl.com/ypa2cm

“Since ethanol is such a bonanza, farmers have reverted to mono-cropping”

- Another straw man argument. Mono-cropping in North America has been around for decades and is the direct result of factory meat production for animal feed of which corn and soy are the largest protagonists.

“Who profits? Corporations like Cargill, ADM, Louis Dreyfuss S.A.S.”

- Another straw man argument. No question large corporations profit, however, it is the average corn farmer, rural community, local economy, farmer co-operative and independent ethanol producers who profit as well. 50% of US corn ethanol plants are owned by farmers.

From Cornell Daily Sun's "Children of the Corn":

“Converting corn and sugar to ethanol is wildly energy-intensive. Professor Emeritus David Pimental Ph.D. ’51, entomology, has shown that “more fossil energy is still required to produce a liter of ethanol than the energy output in ethanol.” He and others have found that using ethanol requires about 70 percent more energy, usually fossil fuels, than it produces”

- Is a combined straw man argument and fallacious statement. Corn or sugar ethanol is not wildly energy intensive and who the ‘others’ are that the author refers to is beyond me, for ‘they’ do not exist.

“Producing ethanol results in a net loss of energy, but this isn’t even its worst feature”

- Is a fallacious statement.

“Because ethanol and most of its biofuel cousins require turning food into fuel, Bush and Obama are trying to make burning food a policy to meet our energy demands.”

- Another straw man argument. President Bush and the DOE are specifically targeting bio-chemical and thermo-chemical production. This is official policy.

“Monoculture plantations are mechanized, and ethanol farms will sell almost all of their crops to gas-guzzlers.”

- Ethanol farm?

“But biofuels, like carbon trading and offsetting, have huge costs and don’t reduce emissions”

- Is a fallacious statement.

“Over 1 in 6 people on our planet is malnourished, and millions die every year from malnutrition-related diseases and food insecurity. Burning corn to drive our cars, instead of using it to feed people isn’t a very responsible strategy”

- Is a straw man argument. People go hungry in this world as a direct result of protectionist and subsidized trade policy coupled with unfair and disparate financial distribution. Less than 1/3 of one percent of US corn exports are destined for the world’s poorest countries. Google Oxfam or WTO and corn dumping for but a sampling of the devastation wrought.

“Ethanol production has been damned worldwide for appropriating soils and natural resources from poor people to fuel America’s massive consumption.”

- Is a fallacious statement.

“At November’s Kyoto Conference in Nairobi, indigenous groups from around the world condemned biofuel and ethanol production for its role in turning their food-growing land into our gas stations.”

- Is another fallacious statement. Enemy number 1 of the Kenyan and other African governments is protectionist trade policies http://tinyurl.com/3yvdzm while Tree Hugger reports that progressive movements in Kenya are actively pursuing ethanol production as a way to mitigate the “runaway petroleum crisis” http://tinyurl.com/35whn8

“Ethanol is a very bad idea pushed by liars who hope you’re ignorant to ethanol’s cost and indifferent to the people it starves.”

- Is a grossly fallacious statement. The only liar here, is the author of this article.

Great wrap up Syntec.

If ethanol required 70% more energy to produce, then its cost of production would far exceed its market price. Of course such empirical facts will not stop the selective outrage crowd from voicing rhetoric against projects that would challenge their anti-science eco-religious orthodoxies.

Fact is that the future belongs to thermo-chemical etoh (and also nano-lithium transportation). But then that would mean independence from imported oil and a wholesale collapse of post-colonial theory that says all evil is root caused by Americans driving SUVs.

Fact is that the future belongs to thermo-chemical etoh (and also nano-lithium transportation)

A statement without supporting evidence or even explanation.

Best Hopes for electrification via trolley wire & 3rd Rail,


I will let Syntec answer the first question.

For nano-lithium, check the technology section at www.a123systems.com

You can get 150 mile range with a 35 KWh nLiFePO4 pack. And double that range with a 70 KWh pack. This is BEV and not PHEV. Internal Combustion is going the way of the buggy.

You are such an industry mouthpiece.

Needless to say, once the anti-progress side is unable to argue, they will happily start the ad-hominem.

That's it! This ethanol thing has gone too far!

Corn prices making Coke gulp

Coca-Cola may investigate alternatives to high fructose corn syrup, its main sweetener in the U.S. market, because of high corn prices, a company executive said Monday.

"The price increases that we're seeing for corn and high fructose corn syrup are unlike we've seen in many a year. We're clearly feeling the pinch and it's been tough," said Scott Young, a food service division executive at the company.
Corn prices have recently soared as more of the crop is diverted to use in ethanol, the gasoline additive that has become more popular in the wake of higher fuel prices and increasing interest in cleaner-burning fuels.

I've believed that the US corn syrup users, CocaCola among the largest, would be early in crying out, not the Mexicans (whose tortilla prices are more weakly linked to US yellow corn prices.)

But is that a bad thing, really? I for one do not see that these side effects have to be always seen as bad as in this case the diet of Americans are so negatively influenced by corn syrup.

Hey who are you calling fat? (says DelusionaL who is standing on a scale considering a diet). :(

An interesting news story from central China:


Started on March 9th, thousands of farmers in YongZhou, Hunan Province protested the price-raise of bus ticket. Boxun reporter Zhang Zilin said the price was raised to 14 from 6 RMB.

Unfortunately the article does not indicate why bus tickets had been raised, but there had been earlier reports that the Chinese government wanted to wean the citizens off of subsidized fuel costs.