DrumBeat: March 27, 2007

Pemex revises reserve figures

The nation has proven reserves of 15.51 billion barrels of oil equivalent, enough to meet demand into 2016, state-run petroleum giant Pemex said Monday.

The proven reserves are 955 million barrels less than reported in 2005.

Iraq assigns $60m to set up oil refineries

The Iraqi Oil Ministry signed contracts with state-owned and private Iraqi firms to build two oil refineries at the cost of $60 million in northern Iraq, Iraq Directory reported.

The project will be established to ease the load on other refineries and meet increasing demands on fuel among Iraqis in all provinces as the country is currently facing a major shortage in fuel, especially in transportation and heating.

Will Al Gore get us to Solartopia?

What's not being said is that the solution to the problem---the necessary transition to Solartopia, a world based on renewable energy---is also the key to the future of our economic well-being, and would be whether global warming was a problem or not.

In short: even without the dire disaster of climate change, a transitioning to green power is the only hope our global economy has for future prosperity.

Africa: Is Africa Ready for Nuclear Energy?

SOUTHERN AFRICA is facing energy shortages as climatic changes intermittently turn off the switch on hydroelectric power generation and oil prices remain exorbitantly high.

As regional energy powerhouse South Africa ponders uranium enrichment, there is need to explore whether other uranium-producing African countries that are still in the dark on alternative sources of energy, can take a bite of the "yellow cake" (energy rich uranium oxide) and generate nuclear energy.

Sunrise In Coal Fields: Coal’s Role In A Peak Oil World - an interactive slide show by Matt Simmons.

Exxon Sees Technology, Local Needs as MidEast Key

Exxon Mobil Corp. is betting that soaring domestic energy demand among the booming economies of the Middle East will spur regional leaders toward offering improved access to their energy resources, with technology the key that may unlock the door.

International oil companies searching for hydrocarbons are struggling to secure exploration rights in much of the Middle East, home to some 60% of global oil and gas reserves, as oil-rich nations emboldened by high crude prices tighten up on contract terms and access rights.

War, Energy, Banks & USDollar

The tight relationship between the crude oil price and the USDollar valuation is historically well known, firmly in place for over three decades. While the United States owns control of the world reserve currency, a delicate PetroDollar linkage factor remains in force. Since large oil purchases are conducted in US$-based transactions, entire banking systems are designed accordingly so as to handle those transactions. Some Persian Gulf nations like the United Arab Emirates and Qatar have diversified more of their reserve assets away from the USDollar and its related (in)securities. Instability in the region is very likely to deliver some additional instability to the USDollar itself. What the current hellbent political leaders seem to ignore is the potential for continued and amplified economic and financial retribution and vengeance on the most vulnerable facade to the United States monolith, its faulty financial flank.

Cuba Shows Off Oil Works to Foreigners

Cuban oil officials took foreign geologists and petroleum experts on a tour of the island's oil and natural gas works on Saturday in hopes of sparking more international interest in investment.

Attendees at an earth sciences conference were taken by state oil company Cuba Petroleos to several extraction facilities in a deposit-rich strip along the northern part of the island, including the US$200 million (euro150 million) Cuban-Canadian ENERGAS natural gas plant in an area called Boca de Jaruco.

"The geology we find here is very similar to that of eastern Mexico, of the southern United States," said Rafael Tenreyro, a drilling specialist with the state oil company, known as Cupet.

Australia's Woodside, BHP, Santos Halt Output; Cyclone Nears

Woodside Petroleum Ltd., BHP Billiton Ltd. and Santos Ltd. said Monday they have halted production as Cyclone Kara builds off the coast of Western Australia.

South Korea wants in on Saudi refineries

South Korea is pressing Saudi Arabia for a role in $12 billion worth of refinery projects in the kingdom.

Trade Arabia business news reports Saudi Arabia has already signed deals with France's Total and U.S.-based ConocoPhillips.

EU Energy Chief Warns Russia, Others Against Gas Cartel

E.U. Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs on Monday warned natural gas producers such as Russia and Algeria that if they considered forming a cartel, he would strongly push the development of nuclear power to meet the E.U.'s energy needs.

Aramco, Sinopec, Exxon to join Chinese venture

Saudi state oil giant Aramco, US major ExxonMobil and China’s Sinopec will hold on Friday a formal signing ceremony for a multi-billion dollar joint-venture in China’s Fujian province.

The three announced they had finalised the deal to triple the capacity of the Fujian oil refinery in February, pending government approval in both Saudi Arabia and China. When it was agreed in 2005, the project had a price tag of $3.5bn.

Another Hearing to Examine Interior's Royalty Program

The House Natural Resources Committee turns this week to problems with the Interior Department's management of royalties from energy production on federal and Indian lands.

The committee is scheduled to hold a hearing Wednesday entitled "Royalties at Risk." The department's oversight of billions of dollars in oil and gas royalties has been called into question by press reports, lawsuits and the department's inspector general.

Give Me Incentives, Or Give Me Death

It was there, while attending a breakout session about energy rebates and incentives, that Mark Jewell, founder and president of RealWinWin, an energy efficiency consulting group, offered this query: Should the tail of incentives wag the dog of energy efficiency?

You would think not. But this is truly the scenario in which we currently find ourselves.

Two Foreign Hostages Released in Nigeria

An Indian and a Lebanese man kidnapped in Nigeria's oil rich south last week have been released, a diplomatic source said on Sunday.

China car firms gear up for booming sales

Shanghai's urban planning museum has a useful exhibit - a series of photographs taken from the same spot, now, and 20 years ago.

The transformation is startling.

Where once there were muddy lanes, now concrete highways soar.

In two short decades, roads that were crammed with bicycles have given way to highways choked with cars.

China's landscape is being remodelled by the car.

Petrobras May Confirm Campos Basin Oil Discovery, Globo Says

Petroleo Brasileiro SA, Brazil's state-controlled oil company, is close to confirming the discovery of a ``gigantic'' field of light-grade crude under the Campos Basin, the Globo daily newspaper reported, without saying where it got the information.

...The field, if economically recoverable reserves are confirmed, would be one of the largest of its type in the world, Globo said. Petrobras, as the company is known, on July 12 said it found a new exploration frontier under a salt layer that sits beneath existing Campos Basin heavy oil fields.

Fixing Iraq

Between revenue from oil exports and foreign aid, over $100 billion has been pledged to Iraq’s “relief and reconstruction” in the last four years. Yet there is precious little to show for it. About half of this amount is Iraq’s own money. The United States has allocated a total of $38.28 billion in aid as of the end of 2006, but only $12 billion has been spent on civilian reconstruction with most it going to the Iraqi army and police. Other donors have pledged just over $15 billion, but most of this has not been delivered because of the chaos and violence in the country.

Amid security risks, China may lead way for Iraqi oil

China has sat out the Iraq war, but it could be the first to take advantage when the Iraqi government finishes a law opening up its oil fields to international companies.

China, Norway, U.N. sign climate change agreement

China, Norway and the U.N. Development Program signed an agreement on Monday to develop programs to combat the effects of climate change in China's rural areas, including the melting of glaciers in Tibet.

George Monbiot: If we want to save the planet, we need a five-year freeze on biofuels

Oil produced from plants sets up competition for food between cars and people. People - and the environment - will lose.

Edwards Unveils an Energy Plan with Substance

Forget flash, Edwards seems to be about substance. He just unveiled a bold energy plan that addresses some of the great challenges of our time.

Nuclear energy 'not the solution to global warming'

Environment ministers from Austria, Iceland, Ireland and Norway said Monday that nuclear power was not the solution to global warming.

In a joint statement following a meeting in Dublin, the four ministers from the non-nuclear countries said the "inherent risks and problems associated with the nuclear energy option remain and it can not therefore claim to be a clean alternative to fossil fuel use."

Cairn Energy drills 41-million-pound loss

British oil firm Cairn Energy said on Tuesday that it dived into the red in 2006 with a net loss of 41 million pounds (82 million dollars) after downgrading energy reserves estimates at its Sangu field in Bangladesh.

New, unknown climate zones seen by 2100: study

Global warming could re-make the world's climate zones by 2100, with some polar and mountain climates disappearing altogether and formerly unknown ones emerging in the tropics, scientists said on Monday.

Norway's Lutheran Church calls for climate change efforts

Eleven bishops from Norway's Lutheran Church on Monday called on the country's authorities to step up efforts to fight climate change, which they say is particularly harmful to the southern hemisphere.

Stockpickr: Trade Like Goldman Sachs

True, it's going to be hard for Exxon, with a $423 billion market cap, to double in size anytime soon. But it's hard to find a safer bet. Exxon trades at just five times cash flows, has more than $20 billion net cash in the bank and, if any of the peak oil theorists such as T. Boone Pickens are right about the price of oil, it will continue to have steady profits.

Public transportation lacks adequate funding

In the fight against global warming, using public transportation is by far the number one way to reduce carbon emissions. In Vermont, 46 percent of those emissions come from the transportation sector and most is caused by driving to and from work. What is not well-known is that if only four commuters ride the bus, instead of drive cars, then emissions are reduced.

Future biofuel farmers of America

Substituting food or feed crops with energy crops has dubious benefit. Fortunately, there's huge potential in two other feedstocks that don't replace crops. New processes allow virtually any cellulosic plant material, including waste and slash, to be made into ethanol. And then there's, of all things, pond scum. We think of algae as a plague in our lakes, but it's now seen as one of the most promising biomass materials for biodiesel production.

That whacky Inhofe; what fun

The Wall Street Journal reported that, in response to Inhofe's outburst last week, blogger Lou Grinzo has created "The Inhofe Scale" to measure statements "that exhibit a noticeable and willing detachment from reality."

The scale uses Inhofe as the prime measure at 100, with 30 to 50 applying to those who refuse to see the gradual effect of such phenomena as peak oil, and 100 to 200 applying to what Grinzo calls "Apocalypticons," the extremist range of doomsayers, many of them misanthropes, who see the abrupt end of the world as we know it.

Comments, corrections, clarifications, and c*ckups

As a voter it's hard not to be cynical about the weekend’s election. It was largely irrelevant to our futures. "Rearranging the deckchairs" is a phrase that springs to mind. For without doubt the defining issue of our times is energy; and that was hardly mentioned. The mainstream media in Australia, even Crikey, haven't cottoned on to Peak Oil which likely is happening right now. Two-thirds of the world's oil producers are in decline including Mexico, the North Sea and Australia. Saudi production dropped by nearly one million barrels per day last year, but that didn't make the news.

The IEA just released its March 13 Oil Market Report(pdf) free to the public.

They show Saudi Arabia at 8.32 m/bpd(crude oil) for February and have left both December and January at 8.42 m/bpd(table 3, pg 45).

The decline continues...

Saudi Arabia is merely doing its part to help slow climate change, and they should be commended for it.

Any other intepretation of their current level of oil production is merely a malicious aspersion, lacking any factual knowledge of Saudi intentions.

Just doing my bit to help accentuate the positive.

expat writes: "Saudi Arabia is merely doing its part to help slow climate change"

In the last Monbiot article on biofuels: "Biodiesel from palm oil causes TEN TIMES as much climate change as ordinary diesel."

Nice try, but they must stop immediately and provide us with not-so-bad oil until we find a sustainable solution, if there is one.

I think maybe something got by you in expat's comment.

Sarcasm has a difficult time working through text.

In IEA's latest report the world production (Table 3) for Feb 2007 is 85.5 Mb/d. Table 2 forecasts world demand at 87.7 Mb/d for the fourth quarter of 2007 (Oct-Dec). This is a difference of 2.2 Mb/d.

Given that non OPEC is unlikely to increase their production significantly, OPEC will have to increase production by 2.2 Mb/d. Guess which country? Saudi Arabia will be expected to increase their production by 2.2 Mb/d. I seriously doubt that Saudi Arabia can do this.

I think that Claude Mandil of the IEA has concerns as well.

From this link below,

Claude Mandil told Reuters "The current price is much too high and Opec should raise production, but consuming countries also have to cut consumption." Consuming countries have to cut consumption!

Will consuming countries listen to Claude? Probably not. Is that why the IEA has placed this ad on the second page of their latest Oil Market Report:

The International Energy Agency is Seeking
an Energy Emergency Analyst

A Three- to Five-Year, Fixed-Term Appointment

The Emergency Planning and Preparations Division of the IEA is looking for an Energy Emergency Analyst to work under the supervision of the Division head. The Division is responsible for developing strategies and policy and ultimately co-ordinating an emergency response among IEA Member countries in the event of a serious supply disruption, such as were experienced in September 2005 following the hurricanes Katrina and Rita in the Gulf of Mexico

Major responsibilities include:

▪ Participation in the design and improvement of emergency response systems and strategies;
▪ Help to co-ordinate their implementation during actual oil supply disruptions;
▪ Analyse oil/energy and geopolitical situations affecting energy supply security;
▪ Develop and maintain contacts on emergency policies with government officials and oil
companies in major consuming non-member countries, aiming to co-ordinate those policies
with the IEA;
▪ Represent the IEA at international workshops, training sessions and conferences;
▪ Act as Desk Officer for several IEA Member countries, maintaining contacts with officials of
those countries, undertaking reviews of their emergency response policies and programmes.

IEA has an Emergency Planning and Preparations Division which is ultimately co-ordinating an emergency response among IEA member countries in the event of a serious supply disruption. Supply disruption could mean Saudi Arabia's supply is about to fall, more Gulf of Mexico hurricanes, increased middle east military conflict, Cantarell decline faster or Russia declines faster.

It's a good thing that the IEA has this division because it can develop an emergency response to stabilise the oil markets. I wonder what the IEA would recommend if supply suddenly fell by say 4 Mb/d? Claude already gave the answer - "consuming countries also have to cut consumption". This might require a crude oil rationing scheme.

Hello Westexas,

Sounds like the perfect job description for you to internationalize ELP and your Export Land Model! Heinberg and/or Colin Campbell could do the Energy Depletion Protocols too.

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

Definition of OPEC Sustainable Production Capacity from IEA & EIA

On page 15 of IEA March 2007 Oil Market Report is this table which shows OPEC’s spare capacity.

Footnote 3 from the table above states that
”Capacity levels can be reached within 30 days and sustained for 90 days.”

On page 28, Table 3a, of the EIA Short Term Energy Outlook March 2007,

There is a similar note for OPEC Surplus Capacity:

” “Capacity” refers to maximum sustainable production capacity, defined as the maximum amount of production that:
1) could be brought online within a period of 30 days; and
2) sustained for at least 90 days.”

This simplistic condition on OPEC maximum production capacity levels is disturbing and raises several questions.

How is the “30 days” calculated?

How is the “90 days” calculated?

What happens to production levels after the end of the “90 days”? Is the spare capacity gone?

Do the “30 days” and “90 days” apply to all OPEC countries? If yes, why is it the same for each OPEC country? Is it also the same for onshore and offshore production?

What is the origin of the “30 days” and “90 days”? I could not find a supporting definition on www.opec.org. Did the EIA and IEA just make up the “30 days” and “90 days”?

If the “90 days” is the maximum period for the maximum sustainable production capacity, then it’s not a long time period!

Can someone please help to clarify the true meaning of OPEC Sustainable Production Capacity?

(It is also interesting to compare Feb 2007 OPEC-12 spare capacities: IEA states 4.02 Mb/d; EIA, 2.54 - 3.04 Mb/d. That's a big difference!)

The IEA regularly revises supply figures downwards after a couple of months. Then they say in the blurb at the front of the OMR that production "increased" by x kbd, but when you do the math the increase is negative. Must be all that wine they drink at lunch time in Paris.

The latest month really is just an estimate, estimated on the high side in the hope that when it is corrected downwards a couple of months later that no one will notice.

They also include heavy oil from Orinoco and Alberta as well as biofuels in that 85.5mbpd. I strip out Orinoco (600kbd), Alberta (1mbpd) and the biofuels (340kbpd). That's nearly 2mbpd! 1940kbpd to be exact.

So total production for Feb 07 is not 85.5mbpd, it's 83.6mbpd which is for all intents and purposes the same as it has been since Q3 2004. Hidden within that of course are the situations in Saudi that Stuart and Euan have described so well, Mexico etc etc.

I have a question for anybody who still in the thread. I have heard over the months that sometimes oil producing countries buy crude from other countries to fulfill contracts if they cannot do so themselves. For instance I have heard that Venezuela has done this and Saudi did it in respect of some bunker fuels. Does this stuff get counted twice?

Could there be a whole trade going on below the surface whereby oil is counted twice in the production numbers? If Saudi was intent on maintaining their swing status they could do so by being buyers and sellers.

Hi Saildog,

Thanks for your IEA explanation.

I'm looking for succint critiques of both IEA and EIA, if anyone can point me in the right direction? (Or, perhaps you might write more and post?)

re: your question. If no one answers, I'd suggest posing on a new thread. It's always good to get clarification.

Here is an excellent article concerning the logistical problems of biomass ethanol in today's news:

The future is not now for biomass ethanol industry

Interesting article about Iraq's new Oil law from Juan Cole, University of Michigan Prof at:


Sunni Arab politicians meeting in Amman, Jordan are critical of the draft Iraqi petroleum law that has been presented to parliament by the Iraqi cabinet. The Monday Morning (Beirut) article contains these quotes:

' Faleh al-Khayat, a former head of planning at the Oil Ministry, warned that “major foreign oil firms are greedy and will covet Iraq’s oil wealth” if the bill is adopted. “If Iraq’s giant oilfields are developed, they would yield 80 percent of Iraq’s proven reserves estimated at 115 billion barrels”, he argued.

MP Saleh Mutlak of Iraq’s National Dialogue Front echoed him: “We have no need of foreign companies. We’re experienced enough to reap the fruit of our wealth”. Mutlak also said he feared the bill may not live up to government hopes that it will unify Iraq. “We don’t want a new law that will further divide us. We need a law that will unite the Iraqi people”. . . Motlak said Parliament in Baghdad should not ratify the bill “until we reach the appropriate climate for investments in Iraq”.

MP Ali Mashhadani agreed. “Our oil wealth is black gold that must be kept underground until security conditions are appropriate to take advantage of it. It has been entrusted to our safekeeping by the people we represent”. According to Mashhadani “Iraq has sold 125 billion dollars’ worth of oil since the start of the US-led occupation.” The Iraqi people have not benefited from this revenue and “are eating garbage”, Mashhadani said, suggesting that income from oil sales be given to the people in the form of state-subsidized “monthly ration cards” . . .

The original article that Juan Cole quotes come from:


Bloomberg/Brazilian Oil Hype Alert

Petrobras announces it has found reservoirs saturated with light oil (around 30 degrees API) through well 4-ESS-172-ES. The reservoirs, located under a thick layer of salt, have shown to have excellent productivity in a formation test carried out in a lined well at a water depth of 1,011 meters and at a final depth of 4,862 meters. This test indicated potential production may top-out at 10,000 barrels per day, while preliminary geological studies reveal an in place potential of some 570,000,000 barrels.

If true, this would be the 508th giant oil field ever discovered. That's assuming a definition of "giant" as 500 million barrels or more.

Let's put this in perspective, if it is true.

This field would represent 1/508th of 65% of the world's petroleum reserves or about 0.12% of the world's total reserves.

This field, if produced near capacity, would probably yield 1/60th of daily global oil production, or about 0.118% of the total daily oil production of the globe.

It would take almost 100 of these fields to offset the loss of KSA or Russia.

So... even if this field is real, let's keep it in perspective. Giant field finds are extremely rare nowadays. There is no chance whatsoever that we would find 100 such fields every year for year after year after year into the ever running future.

In comparison, the average field nowadays is about 34 million barrels total. It would take over 150 average fields to make up one of these giants. It would take over 15000 average fields to replace a KSA or a Russia.

Is this good news? Yeah, if it is even true. But does it change the fact that we need to mitigate right now? Not one bit.

Ghawar Is Dying
The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function. - Dr. Albert Bartlett

I always like to put it in terms of global daily consumption...I think it has more impact.

I get 6.8 days of global consumption(using 84mmbpd).

So to break even in 2007, we need to find 53.7 more of these fields.

~54 more field of this size to break even in 2007.

OR One field of this size (570mmboe) EVERY 6.7 days. or if you like EVERY WEEK.

Even the media can understand this...can't they? Not so much. Oh well.

Potential production 10,000 barrels a day doesn't sound like much, if the reserves are what they claim to be. Last week's Ph. D. thesis talked about fields of this size having production capability of at least 100,000 BPD.

That's one well.

I read a comment somewhere that the Campos subsalt might be something that is greater than 10 GB in total reserves.

The Santos subsalt was the site of a new light oil discovery this past autumn that was estimated to be between 1.5 and 10 GB URR.

China doubled its oil consumption in 10 years. They were currently using an estimated 7-7.5 GB's per year. It will be difficult for them to find enough oil to double again.

Will look for some switching to NG in NG rich areas. The infrastructure for major conversion is not currently in place.

Correction: That is 7-7.5 mbod usage.

Can anyone tell me if active oil pipelines are visible on satellite thermal IR images?

Above ground pipelines are easily visible without IR imaging. I doubt seriously however that buried pipelines are visible with IR imaging. They are buried under several feet of earth. The difference in the temperature of the earth above the pipeline would be miniscule if it there were any difference at all. Oil is stored in tanks before loaded onto tankers, then they are aboard the tankers, sometimes weeks. And even oil produced locally is usually stored in tanks for some time before piped to its final destination. What I am saying is that the oil is near ambient temperature before it even enters the pipeline.

Ron Patterson

Thanks, Ron. I was interested in the case of oil being piped more or less directly from wells, and I had read that oil coming out of the ground was fairly hot, which might have made it possible to distinguish an active from an inactive pipeline from the imagery. As they say in the earl bidness, "Oh well."

GG, many of the oil well pipelines in Saudi Arabia are above ground. I suppose one could detect whether or not they were in or out of use with IR technology. The offshore pipelines are just laying on the seafloor. They are easily visible from a helicopter in the shallow seas near the shore.

I once lived aboard a huge barge in Abu Ali, near Safaniya, and would fly out to the near shore platforms almost every day. I was amazed at how plainly you could see the pipelines reaching out to the platforms. I doubt however that you could use IF through the sea to see if they were active or inactive.

But you are correct about the temperature of the oil coming out of the wells. I used to put my hand on them and feel the heat. They were “coffee pot” hot. And you could easily hear the oil rushing through the pipeline.

Since I left in 1985 bachelor quarters in Jubail have been built and Aramcons no longer must live on a barge. But their families still must live in Ras Tanura. They fly back, or drive back as I did, to Ras Tanura on weekends. But I enjoyed living on the barge. I loved to watch the fish in the crystal clear waters. There were huge colorful cuttlefish everywhere. And it was a blast to see cormorants chase the little fish underwater.

Ron Patterson

Many, many moons ago I worked on a SCADA project for a tank farm & related cross country pipelines in the ME.

I'm sure that we had to minimise downtime because the crude was HOT in the pipeline so that it could flow.

An extended period of downtime would let it cool & semi-solidify ... thus blocking the pipeline for ever.

This would have required replacing hundreds of miles of pipeline in the desert.

The associated tanks in the tank farm also had the same problem.

I'm 100% sure I'm not imagining this because it was such a critical aspect of the project, thus requiring VERY reliable computer systems & software.

These hot pipelines could have been quite visible in the IR, especially at night.

Thanks. The hunt is on.

Eagerly awaiting your findings. Aboveground pipelines should be easy to spot in the IR, as everyone has already said.

Underwater, or below ground, not so visible. Water is totally opaque to infrared. The ground, if it's been warmed by long term exposure, may actually be enough warmer than surrounding ground to have an IR signature.

The pipeline I'm looking for should be aboveground.

MetaMeme, I only worked in the oil business for five years, in Saudi Arabia, but in that time I never heard of crude oil solidifying. I am simply at a loss to explain how that could happen to light oil, or even moderately heavy oil, in the heat of the desert.

Tank farms in Saudi Arabia often stored oil form many months with no problems.

I can imagine that if the oil was heavy enough, near paraffin or grease to start with, and if the weather was cold, it might happen. The oil in Alaska travels over 800 miles via above ground pipeline. The pipeline, on rare occasions, has been shut down. But in the entire history of the pipeline they have never had to replace it because the oil in the pipeline solidified.

Ron Patterson

I can't speak to the temperature of oil in the pipelines.

I can say that when a pipeline is full of oil, it has a greater thermal mass than when empty, and therefore will behave differently during thermal crossover (the period when air temperatures cross over land temperatures and cause problems in IR observation). Basically, a pipeline with higher thermal mass due to being full will lose heat more slowly after crossover. However, to use this to determine if a pipeline is full or not will require quite advanced imagery analysis--you'll have to compare images from the same time after crossover on different dates with comparable weather conditions, and if the pipeline is normally full, you may have to go well into the past to find a point of reference with the pipeline empty in order to confirm that the pipeline is presently full. Probably only within the capabilities of a few militaries or a person with a lot of money and time on their hands working closely with one of the commercial imagery outfits...

"Layperson question of the day"

What is the performance advantage (if any) of using premium gas over the regular grade?

Current gas prices (MN)
Regular $2.40 87 octane
Midgrade $2.48 89 octane
Premium $2.56 92 octane

This currently seems like a close spread between regular and premium, what about emission levels for the different grades, what is added to boost octane?

Lay person's answer to gas octane question:

Modern engines than self-tune (ignition timing) to make use of the higher octane gasoline's resistance to knocking for better efficiency.

The increase in efficiency can sometimes offset the price increase. It depends on the engine and price difference. More aggressive or highway driving will probably make better use of the higher efficiency of Premium gas.

Higher concentrations of aromatic carbons (containing benzene rings) and branched (-iso) carbons as opposed to straight paraffines will give a higher octance number. Additives like MTBE can also be used.

Now the experts can step in make their corrections to the above ;-)

[In Sweden Regular is 95 and Premium 99. US grades are sooo below regular :-) ]

I have been taken to task by an engineer for thinking that higher octane meant better mileage. I haven't researched this, but I believe regular (87 octane) gasoline actually contains more energy than higher octane and that the higher octanes are primarily good for higher compression engines. So I would presume a higher compression (10.5/1) engine would benefit from higher octane because the knock sensor would not have to adjust the timing off of optimal.

My Honda Insight (10.5/1 compression) with some experimentation seems to get best mileage with mid grade (89-90 octane). Probably doesn't offset the price differential, but you gotta know that Honda Insight owners are fanatical on getting absolutely the best mileage possible:)

I think it's true that lower octane has slightly more heat, but that fact is mostly irrelevant.

What matters really is the design of the engine, specifically the compression ratio. In a spark-ignition (gasoline) engine the timing of the detonation relative to the mechanical properties of the cycle which compress the fuel/air mixture, are critical in determining the efficiency of turning heat into useful mechanical work. You want more energy in the crankshaft and less in the radiatior.

This is where any mileage/efficiency gains come.

Higher compression means potentially more efficient power production, but higher compression, with gasoline gives a higher chance for unintended predetonation (knock), which of course greatly reduces efficiency and causes damage.
(Consider that Diesel engines have very high compression ratios, which, along with the higher energy content of Diesel fuel, results in substantially better efficiency per volume of fuel).

Turbochargers in their own ways also require higher octane gasoline to preclude predetonation even though their engine's compression ratios are a bit lower.

Hence, only if your engine is designed for higher compression and asks for higher octane fuel --- this is an immutable property of the cylinder/piston geometry --- will higher octane gasoline give better performance.

As mentioned in modern autos using lower octane will result in comptuer changes resulting in lower efficiency to preserve engine health. If computers didn't do this, then lower octane fuel would damage a designed-for-high octane engine.

Somewhat ironically the high-compression engines are generally put into more expensive high-performance vehicles, with the extra power production designed for performance rather than efficiency. This is probably due to human issues. Buyers who want efficiency generally will not use the more expensive gasoline anyway. Since 'high octane == high performance' in average people's minds (thanks in large part to oil company propaganda) it is a hard sell to market an economical car which requires premium fuel.

Efficiency buyers who want to take advantage of compression need to get a Diesel-powered car.

Using higher octane fuel in a standard-octane engine (assuming it is working perfectly) does nothing but waste money.

The upshot is to seek an authoritative source for info on your specific car. Honda mechanics who have the official service manual say my car should use at least 89 or better octane, thus bearing out my own observations. I also tend to trust Honda's engineering expertise more than any US auto companies I've had experience with.

Its possible that in Sweden you are still using RON (Research Octane Number). In the US we use a combination of RON and MON (Motor Octane Number). The MON numbers are lower. We used to use the RON numbers before the switch to unleaded gas in the early '70s. At that time the oil companies came up with the idea to confuse the public by lowering the number at the pump to trick people into buying the more expensive blend.

US octane is measured, oddly enough, as (RON + MON)/2, since there are issues with both straight RON or MON measurements. In Sweden, the octane is measured in RON only. The numbers are not directly comparable.

Pertinent corrections on RON, MON and PON. You’re right; it’s RON i Sweden. That’s what you get when you stick out your Swedish pale neck ;-)

I found this:

RON 95 => PON 91±2
RON 98 => PON 94±2

“It’s not that I’m stupid; I just have bad luck when I am thinking”

In California (LA), regular: $3:15; premium: $3:35. On average. It's higher in many areas.

What is the performance advantage (if any) of using premium gas over the regular grade?

Not much. Here is an article in the Washington Post from summer 2005:

Prices Fuel a Rebellion: Drivers Tired of Paying More for Premium Gasoline Switch to Regular

Automotive experts say using regular gas in most vehicles does no damage and makes no discernible difference in performance. Cars made in the past 15 years have such highly refined computer controls that the engine will adjust to the grade of octane in the gasoline, even in cars sold as requiring premium gasoline. Some drivers -- in some cars under some driving conditions -- may notice a drop in horsepower, but for most people behind the wheel, it wouldn't be enough to notice, the experts say.

"It's not going to hurt anything," said Peter Gregori, service manager for EuroMotorcars, a Mercedes-Benz dealer in Bethesda. In fact, Gregori has been using regular gas in one of his own Mercedes cars for two years, and "it's perfect," he said -- even though Mercedes-Benz says owners should use only premium.

"I get better mileage with the regular than I do with the high-test, in this particular model that I have," Gregori said. Among cars that come in for service, Gregori said, he can't tell which have been sipping premium.

Thanks all,

Gas went up 23 cents since I posted this morning!

Don't know that much about performance advantages, but according to this 1995 Dept of Energy report premium gas generates more carbon emissions than regular (and low lead generates more than leaded).

So you may get slightly better performance but apparently at the expense of pumping more carbon into the air.

U.S. launches show of force in Persian Gulf

The U.S. Navy on Tuesday began its largest demonstration of force in the Persian Gulf since the 2003 invasion of Iraq, led by a pair of aircraft carriers and backed by warplanes flying simulated attack maneuvers off the coast of Iran.

The maneuvers bring together two strike groups of U.S. warships and more than 100 U.S. warplanes to conduct simulated air warfare in the crowded Gulf shipping lanes.

I was wondering when you'd get that one posted. Of course, it is stated that this is not an act of aggression or anything.

of course its not an act of aggression! americans are the good guys! we dont mean no harm! (intentional double negative)

but if some other country tried pullin that crap a few miles off our coastline they'd get blown outta air and sea!

Don't forget that Iran has a bucketload of Brits held hostage. I'll bet they get pretty nervous watching these "Games". They remember those helos in 1980. I'll bet Bush is hoping they get all twitchy and overreact.....then we can say " hey, they started it".

Its almost as if Bush and KSA need a war reight now to cover up the catastrophe occuring in Ghawar right now. If they can just keep us looking the other way for another year they might be able to bring more production online....

Yep, its provocative, and I believe, based on the mood at home (US and UK), they NEED to provoke them.

And they will probably succeed.

"It is worth mentioning that the Bush administration has decided to undermine the current Iranian government, and that the reports of mass desertions/defections (sorry, same word in Hebrew) of senior officers could be part of the psychological war waged against the ayatollah regime.

In addition, a German news agency reported, quoting Novosty (Russian news agency), that the US is poised to attack targets located in Iran in two weeks' time. This information is based on Russian military experts' analysis, who claim that Washington has already decided to launch the attack on Friday, April 6th, and that within ten hours different types of missiles (including cruising ones) will pound 20 nuclear facilities in Iran.

Also to be attacked are the central command of the Iranian army, Revolutionary Guards, and Iranian Navy bases, in order to prevent Iran from blocking the Straights of Hurmuz."



.. I wonder if those sailors are really British, or are possibly fall guys in this classic move,

"As darkness settled over Europe on the evening of August 31, 1939, and a million and a half German troops began moving forward toward their final positions on the Polish border for the jump-off at dawn, all that remained for Hitler to do was to perpretrate some propaganda trickery to prepare the German people for the shock of aggressive war.

"The people were in need of the treatment which Hitler, abetted by Goebbels and Himmler, had become so expert in applying. I had been about in the streets of Berlin, talking with the ordinary people, and that morning noted in my diary: "Everybody against the war. People talking openly. How can a country go into a major war with a population so dead against it?" Despite all my experience in the Third Reich I asked such a naive question! Hitler knew the answer very well. Had he not the week before on his Bavarian mountaintop promised the generals that he would "give a propagandist reason for starting the war" and admonished them not to "mind whether it was plausible or not"? "The victor," he had told them, "will not be asked afterward whether he told the truth or not. In starting a waging a war it is not right that matters, but victory.

-W'm Shirer, Rise and Fall of the 3rd Reich (p593)

..and on 9/1/39, with German SS dressed up as Polish Soldiers, and concentration camp prisoners as the 'Casualties', Hitler feigned the "Attack on a German Radio Station at Gleiwitz", amongst others, which precipitated the action he had 'Taken every diplomatic tack to avoid'.. (Operation 'Canned Goods')


This information is based on Russian military experts' analysis, who claim that Washington has already decided to launch the attack on Friday, April 6th, and that within ten hours different types of missiles (including cruising ones) will pound 20 nuclear facilities in Iran.

Also to be attacked are the central command of the Iranian army, Revolutionary Guards, and Iranian Navy bases, in order to prevent Iran from blocking the Straights of Hurmuz.

That'll be one Good Friday then, for Christ's sake!

And then...on Easter...we will drop Easter eggs over all of Iran to the delight of Iranians everywhere...and they will welcome us with open arms.

Ah, those nice little yellow Easter eggs that have so delighted the children in other war-torn nations? At least for the few seconds until they make that curious little "click" and then...

I just heard Chicken Little is going to drop the eggs!

Tit for Tat...Iran has had two such "maneuvers" in the last year. Including launching supersonic missles at targets in the 'tiny' gulf area. Now that is provocative.

Two big boys in the pond and they both want to fight.

But they both want the other one to start it.

Iran is not a big boy, and it doesn't want to fight.

Iran knows what's coming, though, it doesn't get its information from CNN and the New York Times.

The perception of Iran as some kind of wild crazy half-savage nation is US/EU media made. It is highly cultured and very well read. It knows therefore, that it's been a target for at least the past century, and understands the reasons why it will be so again. It's just a matter of time.

And Iran won't have a chance, it has no defenses to speak of, compared with the high-tech trillions soon to be thrown at it. Iran knows what's going on in Iraq, how that country has re-entered the Stone Age.

But it has pride too, it ain't volunteering to lick any boots or asses.

Still, judging from reactions here and in wider media circles, the demonizing of Persia works according to plan.

I know how to read between the lines in the MSM and take it all with a large grain of salt.

"big boy" wasn't literal, but they are acting like it. 'My guns are as big as yours...crap' (ie. maneuvers)

I am not trying to demonize Iran...as I said...the US and UK are trying to provoke a fight.

But given the levels of testosterone and bravado in the region, it looks like Iran just might take the bait.
And, if they don't, good for the them.

But in the long run, I don't hold much hope for their current administration either from internal strife(externally manipulated) or blatant external force. But then again, I think the same about the current US administration. :)

Hello TODers,

This whole minithread is very worrisome--it suggests the trend is towards leading us into the '3 Days of the Condor' scenario:


Please read the fresh link:

"There‘s a lot of room for making mischief, if that‘s what you want to do," Schofield said.

I do not know the details of this whole mess, and I am not a military expert, but I think it is safe to assume that the Brits probably had full radio contact with area commanders long before they were about to be captured by the Iranians. A single very low flyby or Harrier jethover should have been enough to dissuade the Iranians from getting any closer, IMO.

The Brits/US could have easily sent helos/jets/more gunboats to prevent this capture, or worse case: just continue the stalemate/standoff in the waterway until it was peacefully resolved. If I was one of these fifteen soldiers, I would not be happy about being given over so easily to the other side.

If this was a planned pretext to start a war, or to further jack up the brinkmanship level, either by the Iranians or Coalition Forces, these guys could be POWs for a very long time.

An smart area commander normally does not let exposed ground forces, or little gunboats in a disputed territory [Shatt al-Arab Waterway] outrun the protective air-defense umbrella. A covey of hovering helo gunships with a backup AC-130 Spectre 'death from above' attack aircraft would have quickly convinced the Iranians to turn these guys loose before the Iranians could ever get them back to undisputed Iranian territory. No harm, no foul--everyone goes home unhurt.

IMO, something doesn't pass the smell test, or some area commander should be brought up on charges of dereliction of duty for lack of common sense. My two cents.

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

IMO, something doesn't pass the smell test, or some area commander should be brought up on charges of dereliction of duty for lack of common sense. My two cents.

Can we all say, "Tonkin Incident?"

Remember that freighter that left North Korea that we were tracking because we suspected in might be carrying a nuclear weapon, but didn't stop and inspect it or sink it as we weren't sure. We were supposedly going to have the country of destination search the vessel. Where do you suppose that freighter went to? Did anyone ever hear anything more about that?


Are you referring to the missles that Yemen bought from Kim Jong Il?

An contemporary news article to jog your memory:


Obviously the US will win a technology war hands down within a few hours. But they may get "sunburn".

Sunburn is a Russian originated hypersonic missile (Mach 2.9). It flies that fast at 20 feet. They say there is no effective way to stop them and even without a warhead the violence of the impact is sufficient to take out a major ship. The Iranians aren't stupid like Bush. They have known this was going to happen for a long time and they are prepared. They know they can only last a few hours, so their strategy has been to make sure that they can impose a very heavy cost on anybody who attacks them.

There are two carrier groups in the Gulf. It is unimaginable that one of the US carriers could be lost, but they might just succeed.

And for what? When is Congress going to do its job and stop the neocons? I hope and pray that it is not true. If the US attacks Iran they will have once again miscalculated and this time the consequences are going to be far worse. A nuclear war could ensue.

See the article on the link. I think it is way too extreme, but it only takes one to get through......


The only possible response to this is NO.

People have to stop watching tv, flying on airplanes, driving cars. Stay home, play with your kids, work in the shop, visit with friends -- a total, voluntary strike on consumption is necessary.

If that happened, the government might respond. As things are, the Republicrats can easily lead their sheep right off the cliff.

NeverLNG Couldn't agree more!

U.S. Navy Cmdr. Kevin Aandahl,

“What it should be seen as by Iran or anyone else is that it’s for regional stability and security. These ships are just another demonstration of that. If there’s a destabilizing effect, it’s Iran’s behavior."

Now, any American that can look at the past four years an take that statement without a mixture of laughter and complete horror is....well...beyond clueless.

Some people would call that insanity...

Watch out, there's an entire news channel devoted entirely to Americans who will believe every word of that quote...

People have to stop watching tv, flying on airplanes, driving cars. Stay home, play with your kids, work in the shop, visit with friends -- a total, voluntary strike on consumption is necessary.

On the contrary, I think the best response is to consume as much fuel as possible. The sooner this overpopulated petro-civilization collapses the better. The longer it drags on the more people will ultimately have to suffer and die an early death. We add another 200,000 unfortunate humans to the planet every frigging day.

I've been wrestling with this issue as well. In one discussion I was part of a few months ago, two of the participants were violently opposed to micro-credit for much the same reasons: anything we do that makes it possible for more people to survive and reproduce now is going to make the coming difficulties worse. I have a hard time with this argument, because it means I have to euthanize my conscience, which I can't seem to do. I do agree that if we are going to crash, the sooner the better as far as the remaining resource base and the rest of the biosphere are concerned.

I'm pessimistic about humanity's ability to voluntarily constrain our overall consumption. I think the mechanisms that control it have a large genetic component and are thus to a great extent beyond the reach of our will. That may sound fatalistic, but from what I understand of human behaviour and what I've seen of our historical tendencies, I'm convinced that it's simply realistic.

Isn't it interesting that the people who profess to fear that the "every man for himself" mentality will be the downfall of Western Civilization, are the first to recommend that we "let the poor drown in suffering to hasten a collapse"? Self-fulfilling prophecies...

If you see the world through eyes full of suspicion and fear, it is difficult to create or sustain a civilization, regardless of macro-economic or geologic factors...

Global peak: 2007 - 2010
Global decline rate, Post peak: 2%
Economic response: Severe global recession, ~5 years, then slow recovery

You could always work for population control...more education for third world women, birth control, etc.

It won't work. To stop our current population growth (which would leave us stranded in a 25% overshoot position anyway) would require about 75 million additional deaths per year. Birth control, womens' education, benign demographic transition, none of it works strongly enough or quickly enough to remedy the situation in the time before it becomes truly critical.

Yeah, I knew that. Seems like most of the books I read on these and related subjects seem obliged to offer "solutions," even though it's pretty clear (to me, anyway) that these are problems outside our abilities to "solve." Still, the kumbaya crowd wants to do something satisfying and "meaningful" so my suggestion was in that spirit. BTW, congrats on getting your message out.

... . I think the mechanisms that control it have a large genetic component and are thus to a great extent beyond the reach of our will. ...


That is the same conclusion that Jay Hanson came to after studing this for the last 10-20 years.

He was the one who(for those who don't know) created the www.dieoff.com site and the Yahoo EnergyResources list.

He stopped because he basically came to the conclusion you stated.

I am Very Optimistic about individuals and individual communities, and Very Pessimistic about 6+ billion people.

Population is the problem. And it is rooted in our genes.


Mother Nature Bats Last


Hanson, Reg Morrison and John Gray all share this point of view. It's taken me some work to get past the seductive fatalism of it, but I think I've succeeded with a shift of focus onto resilience theory.

Essentially my position now is that they are completely correct in their assessment of the ineluctable nature of our looming fate; all the bad things will happen for all the reasons they propose, but there will be an "afterwards". One useful and redemptive task is to make sure we (or more precisely, "they") can rebuild something saner and more sustainable in the aftermath.


"It has been often said that, if the human species fails to make a go of it here on Earth, some other species will take over the running. In the sense of developing intelligence this is not correct. We have, or soon will have, exhausted the necessary physical prerequisites so far as this planet is concerned. With coal gone, oil gone, high-grade metallic ore gone, no species however competent can make the long climb from primitive conditions to high-level technology. This is a one-shot affair. If we fail, this planetary system fails so far as intelligence is concerned. The same will be true of other planetary systems. On each of them there will be one chance, and one chance only."

- Fred Hoyle

Ghawar Is Dying
The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function. - Dr. Albert Bartlett

A frivolous tangent - the novel Footfall
features an invasion of earth by a "2nd generation" species from another planet. They were 'coached' in their rise to civilized life by artifacts left behind by a mysterious progenitor race that had self-destructed long before they had gained conciousness. Very fun novel...

Perhaps we should begin engineering artifacts to leave behind just in case - or would we just need to make sure we leave the landfills around :-)

Global peak: 2007 - 2010
Global decline rate, Post peak: 2%
Economic response: Severe global recession, ~5 years, then slow recovery

If you like "alternative history" and "crypto-archaeology" then you should read Graham Hancock's "Fingerprints of the Gods." He makes an argument that what you suggest--creating monuments and artifacts that would outlast civilizational collapse and inform later generations--is exactly what DID happen on Earth about 10,000 years ago.

Personally, I'll go with Robert Anton Wilson on that theory (as with most theories): "maybe." Either way, it's probably irrelevant to addressing our current problems. I'm quite pessimistic about our civilization's chances, and quite optimistic in general: we (as a civilization) most likely don't have the capacity to take the hard steps that might be able to "save" us, no matter how obvious they are and how clearly they're shoved in our face. But that doesn't mean that we can't have a quality existence--perhaps even a significantly HIGHER quality existence--in a post-carbon, post-hierarchy, post-consumer world. There...that's my little ray of sunshine for the week, now I'll go back to doom and gloom :)

Personally, I'll go with Robert Anton Wilson on that theory (as with most theories): "maybe."

Most certainly NOT!
Beside "monuments and artifacts" any advanced civilization would have left HUGE piles of garbage, we don't see any comparable to the amount we actually generate.

I'm using the term "rebuild" in a quite limited sense - perhaps to something like the middle sections of "A Canticle for Liebowitz" by Walter Miller Jr.

I agree with Hoyle that advanced planetary scale technological civilizations get only one shot, and we've had ours. That doesn't preclude some level of non-technological civilization persisting for a long time. We will at least have the grim comfort of knowing that our species will never again be able to threaten the entire planetary ecosphere - as long as we can keep from taking it with us this time around.

he is correct. but only for the next 250 million years of the about 2-3 billion left in earth;s lifespan before the sun turns it into a burning cinder.

That's how I felt 6 months ago. I've gotten even more doomerisitic since then. Now it's down to "it's time to figure out how I want to spend whatever time we've got left and pick out where I want to spend it." That of course comes after deciding if you actually want to survive the nuclear war. If you don't want to survive then move to the center of a big city on the NA continent.

Strangely, despite feeling this way about our future I'm generally in a pretty good mood, always quick to crack a joke or laugh, etc.

Dear Leanan,

Thanks for all the work you do. I really appriciate it. You sift through a lot of debris to find the golden nuggets, thanks. I love the idea of someone being more of a news-junkie than I am. I find this oddly stimulating and ingtriging and attractive, but I'll stop now before break into a sweat. Love and kisses.

Thanks to a deft infiltration by a gnat-sized spy-bot, the truth behind Leanan's superhuman ability in finding the best articles has been revealed:



OK...as good as the last one...but let me ask you...do you just have a HUGE collection of Legos or what?


Yeah, I have around 40k pieces, maybe a tad more, and I'm drowning in Lego. Still, among Lego fanatics, this is pretty small. There are those who have over a million pieces...



Maybe you could melt them down in a pinch...

Are you kidding?

Barter... They're a great distraction for ever-curious children & a good tool for learning basic building techniques, which will likely be in demand post-peak. Such toys will wear out over the years, of course, and become a thing of history, or probably just forgotten. But, until then, they might have some value.

And if barter doesn't work, you can always build Gatling guns with the stuff.

Of course, Lego is of minor consideration for my Post-Peak life.

I'm working on a much more realistic Post-Peak career: Making toilet paper from local vegetation. I plan to be King, you know. However, my specialty poison-oak-based TP might not be so popular... ;o)



I'm working on a much more realistic Post-Peak career: Making toilet paper from local vegetation. I plan to be King, you know. However, my specialty poison-oak-based TP might not be so popular... ;o)

You mean maybe TP like this?

LOL! That is sooo funny!

I better get that printing press in order...



Ha...excellent...keep the humor coming...we all need it right now.

I await your next creation.

Perhaps, a Lego version of the collapse of Ghawar?

I love Lego. It was far and away my favorite toy as a kid, and my parents still give me at least one box of Lego each Christmas.

I display some Lego models around my apartment. You'd be amazed what a conversation starter Lego rack-and-pinion steering is, at least when most of your friends are engineers. ;-)

There is an alternative to this that would save jet fuel

This will make me giggle all morning....thnx!

The link above; "Pemex revises reserve figures" is an interesting one. This is not the first time that Mexico has revised, downward, their proven reserves. This one is a 5.8% downward revision. The earlier ones from several years ago were much larger. However if we can call upward revisions "Reserve Growth", then downward revisions, such as this one must be regarded as 'Reserve Shrinkage." Shell, a couple of years ago, announced a 20% Reserve Shrinkage.

Reserve growth occurs when previous estimates of reserves were too low, or when technology or price allows more oil to be recovered than previously estimated. Reserve shrinkage occurs when previous reserve estimates were too high, or when previously counted upon “new technology” does not increase reserves by the previously estimated amount.

I firmly believe that "Reserve Shrinkage" will be far more common in the future than it has been in the past. Every Middle East nation will undergo a tremendous reserve shrinkage. Some, like Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, will undergo up to a 70% reserve shrinkage.

For the EIA to trot out "Reserve Growth" as a near certainty for almost every nation in the world is totally absurd. They never even consider the possibility of reserve shrinkage. Shell and Mexico have proven that reserve shrinkage can, and in fact does, occur. And the Middle East nations will prove this point…..in spades.

Ron Patterson

Ron, do you know if there are there any stats out there that show, on average, how accurate initial reserve estimates are?

Ckaupp, no I don't know of any such stats and I doubt if they exist. Reserve growth was a thing mostly induced by the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission). They tend to frown on public ally traded companies that overestimated their reserves. It would be securities fraud if they sold stock on reserves that did not exist. Oil companies found it far more reasonable to underestimate reserves originally, then later they could upgrade them, giving the appearance that their reserves were growing, year by year.

National companies had no incentive to underestimate reserves. The trend with them was to overestimate reserves as Pemex did. However that being said, the phenomenon of reserve growth is largely a thing of the past. That is most discoveries were made almost half a century ago. Any reserve growth has already been figured in as the old fields depleted and were upgraded to more accurate figures as the data came in. In other words, most reserve growth that was ever going to happen has already happened. It is absolutely foolish to believe that fields discovered in the fifties, sixties and seventies will suddenly undergo reserve growth at this late date.

Ron Patterson

That makes perfect sense. I'll never forget the first time (in 2000) I saw the charts of the "reserve growth" for OPEC in the 80's. It was my first real gut-level understanding of what a gargantuan problem we are facing.

Thnx Ron!


According to BP Statistical Review 2006 Mexico reserves was at 13,67 Gb, World Oil and Oil & Gas Journal both listed Mexico’s reserves at 12,35 Gb at end 2005.

According to EIA Petroleum International Monthly of March 2007 Mexico was listed as having produced 1,12 Gb (C +C) during 2006.

The above suggest that Mexico saw some reserves growth during 2006 with Pemex most recent figure of 15,51 Gb in reserves at end 2006.

……..or could the other sources have been underreporting reserves? ;-)


Reserve growth is great. Every year BP says "reserves grew during the year under review blah blah blah". Their next sentence the R/P ratio increased to 40.3 years or something.

It's all garbage, easily spoonfed to a gullable press corps. The Financial Review here in it's editorial, after the last BP SR, said that people were getting all bothered about Peak Oil, so thank goodness that cool heads (BP I suppose) had prevailed. What a bunch of plonkers.

Then you look a little deeper. Reserves grew in this or that place but production dropped! It's like looking at a parked car and trying to guess how full the gas tank is so that you can work out how far it will go.

I don't believe we'll be hearing about 'reserve shrinkage' in the Middle East. It'll be more like an "Opps, It's Gone! Guess we were wrong."

Yesterday I heard something so thoroughly bizarre on the radio that I was simply stunned. There was a commentator on the the NPR program "Marketplace" who had this to say:


JAMIE COURT: It's simple physics. When it gets hot, gasoline expands. So you get less energy per gallon.

Unfortunately, our gas pumps don't account for that. So, in warm weather, drivers get less energy out of their gasoline and have to fill up more often.

On average, that costs Americans about $1.7 billion every year in overcharges, according to the Kansas City Star.

It works like this: When gas-station owners buy their gas from oil companies, they get the gallon they pay for. They do that by measuring the temperature of the gas and making sure they're getting the extra volume that matches that higher temperature.

There are so many things wrong with this whole line of reasoning that it is hard to know where to start. But I suppose for those who are scientifically illiterate and in petro-denial, his commentary probably sounded pretty good.

Hawaii actually requires adjustment for temperature. I think they're the only state in the union that does.

But I think I heard once that Canada has pumps that automatically adjust for temperature.

Given Hawaii's climate, I find that completely insane.

The climate is the reason for it. They don't actually adjust to the ambient temperature. They just declare that a gallon of gas is bigger in Hawaii than it is elsewhere. So when you buy a gallon of gas in Honolulu, you are getting more gas (by volume) than you are if you buy a gallon on the mainland.

If gas was a uniform price everywhere, one could make some sense from this. But it is more expensive in Hawaii anyway. It's just bookkeeping, in case you want to compare auto mileage or something.

what is difference? the gasoline gets heated on its way to the combustion chamber anyways! pop the hood on your car after you been drivin for awhile and feel the fuel lines or fuel rail... ill bet they are pretty warm...

also, the fuel cools down the fuel injectors by passing over the coil windings, hence warming the fuel even further.

what a load of crap

The difference is you get less gas for the dollar if you buy when it's hotter.

That's why some consumer sites recommend that you buy gas early in the morning, when it's cool.

Yes, but the gas is stored in underground tanks at virtually every station in the country, and will thus have the temperature of whatever the surrounding earth would be. Given that these tanks need to be 15-20 feet underground or so, the actual seasonal fluctuations in the temperature of the gas aren't going to amount to much.

In terms of seasonal fluctuations, I would guess that the changes in the formulation in the summer to reduce the vapor pressure would have a far greater effect than worrying about the temperature of the gasoline.

True. This is relevant to the practice of "topping off" the tank, though.

If you do so, once the gas expands to ambient temp it'll overflow the tank.

Robert Rapier mentioned this on his blog a few days ago. He noted that since most gas stations store their gas underground, the temperature probably isn't going to vary much between seasons.

Except that they get filled every week or so and the heat transfer out of an underground tank would be slow. The gas would tend to be the same temp as whatever the truck delivered.

Good point. It seems that there's not a simple answer. I found this power point presentation at the National Conference on Weights and Measures website. It doesn't provide a clear answer to the question of whether we're getting less gas per dollar during the summer due to the temperature difference, but it does show the many factors involved.


I can't open power point,(mac thing)
but tj does have a good point. I don't know, but it doesn't seem that the storage tanks tankers upload fuel from are underground, the fuel could be quite warm. call me a flip flopper

You can open Powerpoint presentations if you want to. You can open Excel spreadsheets and Word documents too. And for free.

Try OpenOffice office suite. They have a Mac version too.

And did I say that it's free?

Ghawar Is Dying
The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function. - Dr. Albert Bartlett

The Mac-ified OpenOffice is NeoOffice:

Here are some other documents from the same site:


ok I'll bite
what's wrong with this line of reasoning

I covered some of it upthread, but I guess I have several objections.

First of all, gasoline is stored in underground tanks at virtually every station out there, and these tanks are buried about 15-20 feet. At these depths, the ground temperature tends to be pretty constant year round, so the gasoline temperatures won't change very much on a seasonal basis.

Once the gas is in your car, the temperature of the gas will change to match the ambient temperature of the air, but at the point where you are pumping it, and the point at which it is being metered, the temperature is fairly steady.

One thing that does change on a seasonal basis is the forumulation. Robert had a good story that explained it:


Perhaps the thing that bugged me the most was given the challenges that we face, this guy gets all worked up about minutae that in the broader scheme of things is totally irrelevant.

yes, the underground storage renders the argument useless
as to your second point, couldn't agree more

Rapier works for an industry that lobbies against temperature sensing smart pumps in the United States, but lobbied FOR regulatory changes requiring these devices in Canada in the 1990's. I don't believe they got the regulation they wanted, but in any case the market did its job and about 95% of retail outlets now have these devices installed.

Why? Because they were losing money in Canada because of cold fuel; i.e. selling more energy per volumetric unit because of shrinkage due to cold temperatures.

Rapier's line on ground temperatures is a crock.

The Kansas City Star did a number of stories on the 'hot fuel' issue.

Click here to read part one, part two and The Star's two follow-up stories:

Why? Because they were losing money in Canada because of cold fuel; i.e. selling more energy per volumetric unit because of shrinkage due to cold temperatures.

Interesting. And here I thought Canada was just more consumer-friendly than the U.S. I should have known.

They do make some interesting points in there, but this still all seems like a distraction from peak oil.

Were they supposed to be discussing peak oil?

I assumed they were discussing gas prices, not peak oil.

Yes, in that piece on the radio they were discussing gas prices. To the average American, all they care about is what they pay for the stuff, and they don't really know much about why the price is set where it is.

Let's say for the sake of argument that gas hits 4$/gallon in August, and people are all in a tizzy about how fuel costs too much. Some folks may start to think about how much they use, but others will look for the usual boogeymen of OPEC and Exxon when looking for someone to blame. To me, this question of hot vs cold fuel just gives consumers one more to add to the list, and if it gains some traction in the local news, I imagine that all kinds of people will expend all sorts of energy bugging the politicians to "fix" this problem - as if it will somehow bring back 2$/gallon gas.

There are so many other reasons to not care about this stupid non-problem, but here is a small set:

  1. $1.7 billion, even if that number represents reality, is less than 1% of the cost of the 150 billion or so gallons of gas used annually. Yawn.
  2. The beneficiaries of this horrendous crime are the individual station owners, who are the lowest on the fuel food chain with the smallest margins. Call it a tip for being there for you 24 hours a day.
  3. March madness isn't over yet. Or American Idol. And Britney might still be in rehab.

This is one of those situations where the law firm expects to get a sizable percentage of a $1 billion settlement. A billion bucks works out to only $4 or $5 per driver in the US but $100s of millions for the lawyers.

''Perhaps the thing that bugged me the most was given the challenges that we face, this guy gets all worked up about minutae that in the broader scheme of things is totally irrelevant.''

That about sums it up: I think he is missing the big picture here. If society is so worried about temp compensated gas issues, then it must be close to the cliff edge already.

Whether you get 18 mpg or 18.5 mpg is not the problem. Not getting 40 - 70 mpg is one of the most immediate problems.

Amongst many.

Assume gasoline comes from wholesalers, where it is stored in large above ground tanks, and it is delivered from tanker trucks that drive around all day fully exposed to the ambient air temps. Then it gets pumped into the ground where it commingles with gas that has been cooling down from contact with the underground storage tank at the station. Depending on the relative quantities of gas that are mixed, their temps, the mixing action and the contact with the cooler tank walls, then it seems to me there could be a delay of a day or more before the gas in the the below ground tank is all at below ground ambient temp.

However, I would guess that for a typical driver in a moderate climate area who buys 10 to 15 gallons at one time, the difference may likely balance out over the year.

FWIW, fuel I bought for military aircraft and ships was always specified by weight. Our aircraft and ship operating manuals all used pounds (or tons) as their inputs for fuel planning. By doing it this way, we did not have to compensate for volumetric variances in fuel due to varying temps and the resulting changes in combustion energy per unit volume. Such considerations are certainly more important when dealing with tens of thousands of pounds of jet fuel or hundreds of tons of ship's bunker fuel.

Someone on another board is challenging my assertion that oil and other fossil fuels are important to the world's food production.

He asserts that most of the world uses subsistence farming or hunter-gathering, so expensive oil won't have much of an effect on most of the world's people.

Anyone have any figures on this? I find it hard to believe that most people on the planet are subsistence farmers.

Even 50 years ago this was not true, even though it was more true than today. In the past 50 years, third-world (developing) countries have completely embraced 'green-revolution' high-tech agriculture. Even though in countries like China and India they use human labor to a greater extent than mechanized, they still are vastly dependent on chemical fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides.

Try this link for some excellent data mining on the subject:



I think you mean 'embraced by' rather than 'have completely embraced', don't you? As in:

'Terrorism, Agriculture and U.S India Cooperation (08/10/05)'

in: http://www.zmag.org/bios/homepage.cfm?authorID=90v

I couldn't access the link, but making some educated guesses as to its content....
I don't doubt the manipulation of a population in favor of multi-national corporations (Monsanto, Cargill, etc) to create markets for their products and to gain absolute monopoly control of these markets. However, neither do I doubt the power-that-be in countries like India and China made conscious choices to 'modernize' their agricultures.

In gross calorie terms, there has been success. That is, the number of calories in the average person's diet in third-world countries has risen steadily over the past 50 years. This of course begs the questions of peak energy, peak topsoil, destruction of cultures based on traditional farming methods not to mention the trading of quality for quantity, and so on and on.

A few years back a workmate of mine from Shanghai went back to visit after 12 years in the US. His summary was something that has stuck in my mind. Basically the gist was, the people are better fed, but you can't breathe the air. I think we are at the top of many peaks and actually past some of them already. The downslope will be rough.


Thank you for your question, it reminded me about Vandana Shiva an East Indian physicist, ecologist and sort of a Mother Theresa of peasant farmers. Anyway It made me wonder if there was anything on the net about her as I figured, if anyone, she would give you some intelligent insight into how the other 90% live. The following link might not answer your question exactly but may help and makes very interesting reading. (including an Indian view of Peak Oil).


Vandana Shiva


Thanks for the Matt Simmons Coal picture book. Coal, hmmmm...well if that isn't the the nigger in the wood pile I don't know what is. (I guess if one is going to use the politically incorrect, it may as well be in aid of a good cause. In this case shedding light on another 'inconvenient truth' and that is how the world will spin with coal replacing oil/nat gas). Do more on this if you have the time, again thanks.

here's a Vandana Shiva podcast from a soil association conference
third one down

Hi earldaily,

Thanks for the Shiva podcast it was great to hear her again, I first heard her on a CBC radio program 'Ideas' your post also made me try to hook up the podcast programing again finally with some result. (I'm still waiting for an operating system that whimpers when you swear at it, I don't care if it's not it's fault). So thanks a bunch.

Just following up on the question of developing nations and green-revolution, I used this link to create this graph comparing China's population growth and growth in fertilizer use. The steeper curve is the growth in fertilizer use giving a quick picture of how fast green-revolution methods have taken hold in China.

Thanks all,

I'll do some reading ...

Another question: Is it true that a barrel of petroleum is equal to 25,000 man-hours of work?

If this is anywhere near true, then I calculated that if oil went away, we'd need about 257 billion human laborers to replace it.

This would be difficult ...

Have seen several of these calculations done. It usually comes down to how much sustained work energy a human can produce. We're not all Lance Armstrong :)
A quarter hp on a sustained basis is a lot of work. Probably too high for an 8 hr. shift. By this calculation a 5.8 Mbtu barrel of oil gets you 9134 man hrs. So yeah even that higher figure is probably in the realistic range.



As noted humans today consume a lot of fossil fuel energy in their diet. More work more food. Some calculations done on wildland firefighters came out with 6000 calories a day food energy at times. That kind of output would require a bunch of FF inputs particularly if he/she is eating grain fed beef.

The general rule of thumb is one year of labor is equal to 1 million btu's. Kind of scary, 8 gallons of gasoline or there about.

Sounds as good as any. Yeah and scary. That one yields about 12,000 human/hrs per barrel. If I got the math right.
Was toying with the notion of how much more food folks would consume not riding around in their cars. (biking, gardening, chopping wood)I don't believe the numbers will work if we all want to eat high on the (corn fed) hog.

Or maybe we'll just be thinner. :-)


At 65, well give or take a few days, I ride a bicycle 20 kilometers in under 1 hour over hilly ground reasonably comfortably, no massive puffing or sweating. My old VW van does the same in about a quarter of that time or about a ratio of 4 to 1.

My van uses about a gallon of gasoline but it's pretty old

I use about 3oo to 400 calories or about 3 tablespoons of olive oil, but I'm pretty old too. (Also I would rather have that high on the hog ham sandwich, but no bio-corn please just pass the mustard.)

Black B,

Enjoyed that.
I'm 54. I switched from cycling to running but I'll probably go back eventually. I'm up to 7.5 miles in an hour. Consuming a boatload of veggies and a helping of oatmeal and wheat. A bit of ham just for the taste, you bet.

My mid-sized car gets almost as good of mileage as I do ,I'm sure, especially when considering I have hauled as much as 900 lbs. over mountain passes in it. That run was an incredible 55mpg. We are quite a ways from town.

We are adding another greenhouse so we won't have to haul so often for food but the Prius has been invaluable.
Right now we are using the cows for their fertilizer. My rancher friend likes the fact that I have to 'take a lot of crap off of him'.

In addition to the absolute numbers given, here are some relative numbers from the Brazil surgarcane ethanol industry (courtesy of Coelho, a Brazilian researcher):

Jobs/unit of energy produced
Fossil oil = 1 (serves as a baseline)
Hydro = 3
Coal = 4
Ethanol = 152

So yeah, let's switch over to sugarcane molasses ethanol mix. I hope everybody's prepared to work for it :)


That's a scarier graph than I would have expected. Looks like the Chinese mice are chewing with gusto on the same bit of cheese in the same trap as us developed mice are -- I wonder who gets the last chunk of cheese.

Just looked at the figures for India and it now looks like déjeuner pour trois. Pepto Abysmal anyone?

From Newsweek: How long will the poles stay frozen?

Scambos says some lessons can already be learned from the aftermath of the 2002 Larsen B Ice Shelf collapse in Antarctica. Glaciers that surrounded the shelf are now "dumping five or six times as much ice into the ocean" as they did when the shelf was stable, says Scambos. The thick ice, it turned out, had been holding that flow back.


From their analyses, Gagnon and Gough were able to construct two primary findings. First, they found “an asymmetry in temporal trends of landfast ice thickness; statistically significant thickening of the ice cover over time was detected on the western side of Hudson Bay, while a slight thinning lacking statistical significance was observed on the eastern side.” Second, they indicate that “this asymmetry is related to the variability of air temperature, snow depth, and the dates of ice freeze-up and break-up. Increasing maximum ice thickness at a number of stations is correlated to earlier freeze-up due to negative temperature trends in autumn. Nevertheless, changes in maximum ice thickness were reciprocal to the variability in the amount of snow covering the ground.”

Gagnon and Gough make it a point to note that their results “are in contrast to the projections from general circulation models (GCMs), and to the reduction in sea-ice extent and thickness observed in other regions of the Arctic.” Such contradictions are becoming more commonplace as new or lengthening data sets from the Arctic become available. Gagnon and Gough suggest that these types of contradictions “must be addressed in regional climate change impact assessments,” and we add that they must be addressed in any debate over climate change and its impacts.

Quid Clarius Astris
Ubi Bene ibi patria

World Climate Report is a junk-science site, run by a climate-change denier who cherry-picks research to point out superficial contradictions. Try realclimate.org instead.

Caveat emptor

My sources tell me that the link you gave is run by the same guy that did the Hockey stick graph, and is used by him to promote his own cause against critics. Non biased, I dare say it is. As far as the other. The results and the paper are there. Cherry pick. Why is that, because it doesn't fit the climate models. Its real, as is the ice thickening on the Antarctica land mass by feet, yards in thickness from the extra snow and ice.

That other planets are warming too.

Take a look at this.


Climate on another planet. Spectacular, and really thanks NASA for putting this out.

read the article and there is a motion jpeg farther down.

Straight lines in mother nature.

Oh, this is going to get interesting. note two things that I hope to find out as this gets around.

One, did Nasa ever release the photo showing this from 15 years ago.

Two, well I will wait on two, The statement

"We have never seen this before",

lets say some of us beg to differ. In fact you were shown it over and over and over, but you didn't notice it and it wasn't pointed out to you. But it was there.

Never seen before, I wonder what could cause it. buehler, buehler.

Quid Clarius Astris
Ubi Bene ibi patria

It's hilarious, if it weren't so obvious.

Once the climate sceptics had to go all the way to the moons of Pluto to make their case, the nasty smell of white flags became unbearable.

This is not cherry picking. The "paper" is outright fraud that flies in the face of observations by different satellite platforms. It also contradicts the experience of people who live in the region. I guess those starving polar bears must be on some sort of hunger strike.

Fraud he exclaims, I have evidence of people that say the observations of trained observers is wrong compared to untrained observers. I don't care if it violates scientific principles of evidence.

Where is your link to the satellite map you say disproves them. Tell me how does a satellite measure Ice thickness.

Ask the starving polar bears, humm this sounds like pleading to me.

Are you familiar with these principles delusional.

Part of Carl Sagans baloney detection kit.

Common fallacies of logic and rhetoric

* Ad hominem - attacking the arguer and not the argument.

* Argument from "authority".

* Argument from adverse consequences (putting pressure on the decision maker by pointing out dire consequences of an "unfavourable" decision).

* Appeal to ignorance (absence of evidence is not evidence of absence).

* Special pleading (typically referring to god's will).

* Begging the question (assuming an answer in the way the question is phrased).

* Observational selection (counting the hits and forgetting the misses).

* Statistics of small numbers (such as drawing conclusions from inadequate sample sizes).

* Misunderstanding the nature of statistics (President Eisenhower expressing astonishment and alarm on discovering that fully half of all Americans have below average intelligence!)

* Inconsistency (e.g. military expenditures based on worst case scenarios but scientific projections on environmental dangers thriftily ignored because they are not "proved").

* Non sequitur - "it does not follow" - the logic falls down.

* Post hoc, ergo propter hoc - "it happened after so it was caused by" - confusion of cause and effect.

* Meaningless question ("what happens when an irresistible force meets an immovable object?).

* Excluded middle - considering only the two extremes in a range of possibilities (making the "other side" look worse than it really is).

* Short-term v. long-term - a subset of excluded middle ("why pursue fundamental science when we have so huge a budget deficit?").

* Slippery slope - a subset of excluded middle - unwarranted extrapolation of the effects (give an inch and they will take a mile).

* Confusion of correlation and causation.

* Straw man - caricaturing (or stereotyping) a position to make it easier to attack..

* Suppressed evidence or half-truths.

* Weasel words - for example, use of euphemisms for war such as "police action" to get around limitations on Presidential powers. "An important art of politicians is to find new names for institutions which

seen an awful lot of this lately here.

Quid Clarius Astris
Ubi Bene ibi patria

Changing the subject appears to be your shtick.

NO, it was pointing out that you had no valid subject matter in your replies, only statements that fit one of the above warnings of false logic.

Quid Clarius Astris
Ubi Bene ibi patria

Garbage. The satellite data at seaice.dk and Cryosphere Today do not show any cooling trend in Hudson's bay in the last 20 years. In fact the trend in Hudson Bay is for ice to melt earlier and freeze later exapanding the ice free period. This is direct observation and has nothing to do with models.

Gagnon and Gough have collaborated on a number of papers dealing with observed and modeled climate change in the Hudson Bay region since 1998 or so.

If you read the text of their various research papers for that region you will quickly realize that they do not dispute climate warming. They are concerned however with improving the predictive quality of the various general models in order to make them useful for predictions on the regional level.

For example, from "Trends in the dates of ice freeze-up and breakup over Hudson Bay, Canada," published in December 2005:

"Our results indicate statistically significant trends toward earlier breakup in James Bay, along the southern shore of Hudson Bay, and in the western half of Hudson Bay, and toward later freeze-up in the northern and northeastern regions of Hudson Bay. These trends in the annual ice cycle of Hudson Bay coincide with both the regional temperature record and the projections from general circulation models. If this trend toward a longer ice-free season continues, Hudson Bay will soon face important environmental challenges."

In "Climate Change Scenarios for the Hudson Bay Region: An Intermodel Comparison," published in April, 2005 they conclude:

"The response of the sea-ice cover and permafrost layer to global warming varies considerably among models and thus large differences are observed in the projected regional increase in temperature and precipitation. In view of the important feedbacks that a retreat of the sea-ice cover and the distribution of permafrost are likely to play in the doubled and tripled CO2 climates of Hudson Bay, a good representation of these two parameters is necessary to provide realistic climate change scenarios. The use of higher resolution regional climate model is recommended to develop scenarios of climate change for the Hudson Bay region."

And in "Interannual Variability of Hudson Bay Ice Thickness," published in July, 2004 they say: "Seasonal sea ice in Hudson Bay plays a key role in determining the regional climatology. In this paper, the relationship between ice thickness with local surface air temperature and snow depth is explored at nine locations in the Hudson Bay region."

They go on to add that the correlation between ice thickness and air thickness was weaker than expected in the Hudson Bay basin, while correlation with snow depth was higher than expected. They go on to note that existing general models do not adjust well for the snow depth variable and such adjustments are needed to make the models more effective for the Hudson Bay region.

They conclude: "The results of this study have important implications regarding the use of landfast ice thickness data to detect an early climate change signal over Hudson Bay." In other words, ice thickness may not be a good indicator of climate change in that region since snow depth has more effect on thickness there than air temps and many models show increasing snowfall in the region resulting from climate warming.

In the body of the paper you cite they explain their claim that "changes in maximum ice thickness were reciprocal to the variability in the amount of snow covering the ground." They note that more variation from year to year in snow thickness, the less change in maximum ice thickness. Less variation in snow thickness, the more the maximum ice thickness increased. This is in contrast to the general circulation models because those models predict ice thickness based only on a direct and inverse correlation to air temps: the higher the average air temperature, the thinner the ice.

While the general circulation models seem to predict ice thickness reasonably well for other regions in the Artic using only the air temperature variable, those models are not as accurate for the Hudson Bay region. That is the authors' major concern - improving the models.

There is no challenge to the basic premise of climate warming to be found in any of their papers. None. Citing an abstract of a single paper from researchers who actually support the view you are trying to disparage is only effective if your readers don't bother to read the full text of the paper and/or look at other research from the same scientists.

Oh, and by the way, there are two kinds of radar that can be used to measure ice thickness. The first is ground penetrating radar. Ice is basically transparent to it. It is normally used from a ground-based vehicle or aircraft. The other is high resolution surface mapping radar operating from satellites. The radar beam reflect back from the surface of the ice to the satellite, providing the distance from the satellite to the ice. The accuracy used to be in centimeters, though I think it is in millimeters now. Given that all the ice around Hudson Bay melts each year, the same radar measures the distance to the water or land once the ice is gone and voila! - you have that year's ice thickness.

Note that they also "complain" at the end this research is the type that needs to be studied and discussed because it doesn't fit the by manclimate models. they are correct, it is not. THey call for its inclusion it seems to me. THey show perhaps "frustration". This is about moisture content, ice thickness has grown in ice locations. This is not about the melt and ice surface is growing. Ice that remains is getting "thicker"

Moisture, H20, is almost ignored in CO2 models, until recently, and why is that...

They were measuring ice thickness, not the melt. Sea ice is melting in great quantities. However land based areas of the Antarctic and other areas have recorded huge amounts of new snow and ice cover. Lots and lots yards and yards in some cases. Sea levels rise? Well if it is snowing and covering land based areas, is that moisture content subtracted in these dire predictions. I doubt it. IF it is can you direct me to it.

I heard a proponent wail on a radio show, ALL THE GLACIERS are MELLLLLLTTTINNNG. LOL, thats so false it hysterical. Question,.. if I asked you how many glaciers are growing or melting, or staying the same in the US what would your answer be. How about worldwide.

There was an article/story on the BBC the other day about an island that had "HORRORS" been covered swallowed up by the sea. Global warming was the implication.

However what the author left out was this island had "gone under" long ago, and global warming had nothing to do with it. Yet the drumbeat goes on,

The seas are warming, the seas are warming at depths they should not warm from any above ground source. 9000 feet this has been documented and before that it was submarine records from from WWII until now that showed this looked like it was happening. THen a research sub dived and confirmed around 1999/2000. Now this new vessel that went to 9000 feet confirms.

Earth is 80 percent water or so. 20 percent of the volcano's on earth are below sea level and most are not known. Do you know Woods Hole, google and read about what happened to them on their first trip to Gakkel Ridge a few years ago.

That ice cores and Nile river data show that Solar cycles correlate to Climate Change.

That the sun is headed into one of the most active solar cycles ever known is expected.

Standard physics models say the sun doesn't effect the earths core, or other. However Quantum Physics says different. Can a photon be in two places at once.



CO2 is not that good of a heat retainer. Water vapor is much better. Check out a chart of water vapor compared to CO2 in the air. Explain how CO2 in its quantity can put all the extra water vapor into the air. Which is acting up the other.

I see people that combine the effect of Peak oil and the automobile and CO2 from factories etc. Not good, but that doens't make it the bad guy in this. Cars Peak Oil, one hand it would seem helps wash the other in making a claim.

I don't think it fits, and wishing/wanting it to make your case doesn't help. or work if its not correct.

The old Frenchman that started this has had a change of heart. THere are several that used to promote but after looking at other evidence and the holes it creates, and the things that have to be manipulated to make CO2 work, they left too.

Its a political rally call. Its as much a part of disinfo for a purpose in my book as Cera.

Why??.. not for this board. The rabbit hole is real, no, then think about what is being discussed right now.

Saudi Arabia may crash and crash soon. No rabbit holes.

LOL. There is more than one elephant rushing toward you. I thought PO might be a few years. Nope it appears, and you may be a witness to a combo of climate change hell, and PO., and perhaps Other.

Quid Clarius Astris
Ubi Bene ibi patria

In the very first sentence of the article you reference Gagnon and Gough state "ice cover in the Hudson Bay region (HBR) goes through a complete cryogenic cycle each year." A complete cryogenic cycle is from ice-free to frozen to ice-free (or vice versa). Thus, the change in ice thickness they report is a change in the thickness of the annual ice. In the end, however all that annual ice melts and a new cycle begins.

Further, they specifically refer to increased thickness of "landfast" ice on the western side of the HBF. Landfast ice is seasonal ice that is temporarily attached to land. It breaks up in warmer weather and melts. Thus, there is no "ice that remains" (from your reply above).

Also, in other research they have already noted that the Spring/Summer breakup of the annual ice in the western half of the HBR is occurring earlier while the Fall freeze up is occurring later in the eastern HBR. The combination of the two leads them to believe the entire HBR will eventually have a much longer ice-free season, perhaps culmination in a year around, or nearly year around ice free environment. In one research paper they even list the advantages and disadvantages to what they see as a likely greatly extended ice free scenario.

Nothing they have published supports your claim that changes in the annual ice in the HBR contradict the overall premise of climate warming.

Robert Farrago reviews the new Tesla over at The Truth About Cars...(whoops, he wasn't allowed to actually drive the thing)

(apologies if this has been posted previously)

One thing that stuck out was that the Tesla won't freewheel. Last year I test rode an electric bike like that, and it was really frustrating to not be able to coast downhill.

Really, that is odd. Is there a drive train between the motor(s) and the wheels? If it was direct drive, and they had intelligent regenerative braking, it should coast, and roll with power/brakes off.

I would hazard that the drives are in the wheels, like a Wilderness or BionX drive.

Sure it can, but 'freewheeling' will result with the accelerator pedal down a bit.

OK, I don't know about the Tesla, but this is so with my electric scooter (Ego2 www.egovehicles.com).

It all depends on the operation of the motor controller, and the Tesla guys seem very sharp.

When I release the accelerator on my scooter and I'm going above 10 mph, I feel a strong deceleration which is due to the regenerative braking. Probably the same in the Tesla.

If you turn the accelerator handle to a small angle while going downhill and maintain speed or increase a bit, then I feel no drag from the motor, so I presume the controller activates no generation nor any battery use.

All that you lose is the additional friction of the rotor still turning inside the electric motors, that is just additional angular momentum (which will be captured with efficient regeneration).

In sum, I think there's really no wasted energy and it's a matter of programming the brake and accelerator pedals to command the motor controller in the most ergonomic way.

Consider though that regeneration has a maximum current input and so slow, regenerating braking, will retain more energy than slamming on the brakes which will inevtiably require the friction brakes, losing the kinetic energy.

If the vehicle feels unable to 'freewheel' it could be an intentional choice in order to train the driver to operate in a way which enhances the regeneration and extends range.

Also, it could be a bit of a safety feature, in that sudden release of the accelerator on an electric car will result in braking. Some high-end cars (I think M-Benz) sense sudden accelerator releases and pre-charge the brakes.


This link was posted towards the end of the thread following Stuart's outstanding Water in the Gas Tank article.

At the very least, it is a useful reference for following development projects in Saudi.

One thing I found incongruous was the "expedited timtetable" development of the Khursaniyah, Shaybah and Khurais projects. Given that OPEC is currently officially in "cut mode", and Saudi claims to be holding >1 mm bpd off the market, why rush to accelerate projects and thereby increase costs? They claim to have sustainable capacity of 11.30 million bpd at present (Page 6: 11 mm bpd plus 0.3 mm bpd for Haradh III).

I also loved the typo about the Nuayyim project on page 8 -100,000 million bpd of Arab Super Light by February 2009 at a cost of only $350 million....! If only....

Another of the many inconsistencies that challenge RR's notion that KSA was simply responding to demand and high inventories in their production cuts.

That's a good article about the Saudi plans. It ties into questions about the increase in drilling rigs.

My reading is that they are expediting well drilling so as to be ready to replace production in case Iran or some other 2nd-tier oil exporter stops exporting. Whether this is tied into planned American military adventures is an open question. But looking at the time frames involved, with the Iran nuclear situation likely to come to a head within a couple of years, that would explain the accelerated drilling timetable.

Interesting I thought the 8.X figure given was exports this claims only 6.9 mbd for exports. How can we confirm KSA production I thought all we really had was tanker tracking numbers for exports ?

I see no easy way to confirm production for any of the NOC's.

Tonight our very own Magnus Redin will be debating nuclear power on Swedish national television with one anti-nuclear politician, one anti-nuclear NGO person and one pro-nuclear politician. I believe he was chosen due to being the most productive poster in the nuclear power section of the state TV forum. He is also a member of the NGO Environmental Friends for Nuclear Power.

I'll be watching, good luck Magnus!

They didn't invite you, Starvid?!

Admit it, that 'good luck Magnus' was said through gritted teeth. ;-)

Haha, no!

And it was a good thing I wasn't there as my head would probably have exploded as the antis constantly lied, lied, lied! Nor did they seem to have any kind of contact with reality. They where like a poisonous brew made out partly of CERA and partly Greenpeace. One guy was wildly swinging some lamp in his hand and said that if we all used this one all reactors in the world could be shut down, maybe forgetting what would happen if those 2 billion people who currently have no lamps also would like some... and if they also want refrigerators... and...

Real wacko neolib, technofrenzy antinukes. Almost like they were religious or high.

Magnus on the other hand was very relaxed and laidback and probably came across as the most sane person of the four guests.

Saudi Stock market lost 6% yesterday.

Stuart might want to lay low for a few months :)

That was my thought. Since TOD is the preeminent peak oil website that isn't behind a firewall, I wonder how many Saudis read this site to stay attuned to our knowledge of their true state. Just a weird thought....

> TOD is the preeminent peak oil website that isn't behind a firewall, I wonder how many Saudis read this site to stay attuned to our knowledge of their true state.

The decline of the Saudi stock market is much more likely to be causes by increasing US-Iranian tensions.

Spoil sport. It's more fun to think that Stuart did it.

Has anyone plotted Saudi oil production against the Saudi stock market?

Stock Market:

You can look at the three year stock market on this website. It looks like stock prices were tracking the increase in oil prices up until early 2006, when oil prices continued increasing, but Saudi production really started declining.

Note that the Venezuelan stock market (long life nonconventional reserves) was--until recently I assume--booming as oil prices trended higher.

it should be fairly easy to track the correlation, but you have to keep in mind that it's not a US exchange, it's much smaller. more opaque, and there's really big players that can exert their influence: This Bloomberg piece is two months old: (a quick look at the numbers says it went up a lot in the past two months)

Saudi prince plans big investment in country's sagging stock market

DUBAI: Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, the largest individual shareholder in Citigroup, will invest 5 billion riyals into shares to help "bring back confidence" to the flagging Saudi Arabian stock market.

The prince, a nephew of King Abdullah, will invest the in four companies listed on the Saudi Arabian Tadawul All Share index. They are Samba Financial Group, Saudi Research & Marketing Group, Savola Al-Azizia United and Saudi Industrial Investments, Alwaleed said during a news conference Sunday in Riyadh.

The Saudi stock market "has reached reasonable levels," Alwaleed said. The Saudi prince said he would invest another 5 billion riyals, or $1.4 billion, in real estate projects in the kingdom.

The Tadawul, the second-worst-performing gauge after Venezuela among global indexes tracked by Bloomberg, dropped on Jan. 24 below 7,000 points for the first time since Oct. 21, 2004. The measure has lost two-thirds of its value since reaching a record in February 2006.

The stock market peak was in February, 2006, over the 20,000 mark.

This was also the last month that the Saudis produced 9.5 mbpd. Shortly after this, they started announcing their "voluntary" production cutbacks.

Rumor has it that the royals were heavily withdrawing from the market. Can't confirm, can anyone?


That's what I mean by the opaqueness of the Tadawul (like that name, for some reason, sounds cuddly). No, there's no saying who takes out what. There's probably also severe restrictions on who can invest.

And that makes Alwaleed's public announcement of injecting billions a bit suspect. My first question when the article came out: how much have they lost themselves, the house of Saud? We'll never know.

There's no doubt that Jeffrey's observations are correct, but they're not verifiable.

Note that Alwaleed is by far the richest Saudi on record, hovering around the no. 10 position on the Forbes list. But how much does that mean? Far as I know, they threw out inherited royal wealth eons ago.

So it's all just like their oil reserves and production...they won't come clean either way. Must be nice to be an insider in one of these schemes. But then, maybe not. Not sure I'd want to be hated as much as they are going to be hated--not worth it no matter how big the pile of riches.

Does sound cuddly, like the name of your pet cat.

Stuart Put on a Pot

Retribution for every physics prof I had

Consider the flood front velocity of 4.6 ft/day you see above as the horizontal traverse in a slightly dipping (I see about 3 degrees) strata of 204' in vertical thickness.

Is it not true that the flux length (across the structure) would be about 204/tan 3 or about 4000' and the vertical migration on a 4.6' horizontal traverse would be 4.6 * tan 3= .2 ft/day.

So area filled by a 4.6'/day horizontal traverse would be .2 ft of vertical growth across 4000' transverse length or 800 ft 2.

Now, if this strip had .20 porosity and the water saturation changed from .15 to .65 (.5) would not the displacement of a mile of such a strip not equal 75,000 BOPD. There are 5.615 ft3 in a barrel.

And if the dry oil area of North Ain Dar is making .35 * 500,000 BOPD or 175,000 BOPD what does that tell us??

And if the flood front is rising .2 feet per day do you like or dislike your previous conclusion about where we are in Ain Dar??

Hello F_F & attn: Prof. Goose,

I consider you the most informative and most important new TODer. Your very first post, IMO, immediately elevated you to TopTODer status, and the immediate attention accorded you by SS, Euan, WT, Darwinian, Memmel, and others reflects the respect we have for your postings.

But us TODers with very little FF-technical experience sure wish you would go into greater detail on your postings to help eliminate confusion and mis-understanding.

I would be glad to send some money to Prof. Goose to help defray long distance telephone bills so that you could fully detail your research to the TopTOders at your convenience. If enough other TODers sent in some additional funds: we could pay for a technical stenographer/typist, or fly SS, HO, Dave Cohen, et al, to meet with you personally and/or videoconference, even possibly help prepare a presentation for upcoming ASPO conferences. It would be dynamite!

It pisses me off that the IEA, EIA, DOE, and USGS are not already utilizing and posted similar analyses on their websites that everyone else could have been reading a long time ago. They must have Reservoir Engineers too-- WTF have they been doing all these years?!??

Prof. Goose: can we get this done somehow so TOD can really leverage F_F's expertise?

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

Maybe there is a good reason for doing it via the current method.

Hello Ckaupp,

Like the topdogs did not want us peons to truly figure out we are completely screwed until 'the fix' was firmly in place first? They can now easily say that Pres. Carter tried to warn us with his Sweater Speech of Aug 18,1977--> not their fault that we didn't heed his advice. Expect Bush/Cheney to say, "I listened to Carter: I built my Eco-Tech Bunker, I stocked up on 2 years of food, I have a small family,--I toed the line-- don't complain to me now. What has your generational family done for the past thirty years?"

This is not directed at you personally Ckaupp--just a general comment.

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

You completely missed my point. Maybe FF needs to do it this way. I am not talking about the government.

Edit at 1:36pm...I see FF just posted a response which is pretty much what I'm getting at.

"Like the topdogs did not want us peons to truly figure out we are completely screwed until 'the fix' was firmly in place first?"

More likely so they could finish grabing what they could and get away before we caught on.


Thanks for your kind comments.

I own an oil company and am doing fine.

It is hard to explain things you have been thinking about night and day for 25 years to those who don't know the language- I hope you understand.

I feel priviliged that what I know the most about (waterflooding oil reservoirs) .. and I know so very little about so many things believe me.. is becoming one of the hottest topics in the world... it is just the moment and not the man I can assure you.

So let us take a measured approach and move from topic to topic as we traverse this road in hopes that Aramco will respond and provide additional info.... It is very enjoyable to mine the available data for all possible information and to share it with those who are brilliant (Stuart's acceleration is incredible) but have simply not been exposed to the nuances of Petroleum Reservoir Engineering.

Bill Gates said his greatest joy in life was working on complex problems with smart people... it is my privilige and honor to share with you the little I know that I may help cast some light on the potential dilemma we (and our children) face.

Best Regards

Hello F_F,

Thxs for your reply. Please encourage any other Reservoir Engineering/geology experts you know to please join TOD. Any ideas on why the USGS and other orgs are lagging behind on KSA analysis?

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

Welcome FF and thanks for the great contributions to date.

I stand in awe at the quality of the stuff on this site. I am also priviledged to read the material you guys provide.

This is one CA (CPA in the US)/ "mature" Masters student (Sustainability Sciences) who is learning a whole lot right from this site.


Re IEA EIA DOE AND USGS, has a request been made about WTF they have been doing? As well why not ask their people to comment on what has been done on TOD, which is more indirect but could be revealing.

My wife had been waiting for her passport for several months and was held up in red tape because of a minor detail. Not even an appeal to our local member of parliament did anything. I suggested she e-mail the passport department every day with her request for a resolution of that detail and note that this was her first, second, third etc request. She received a phone call from the department in 6 days and a passport is on it's way.

I would think that if a persistent appeal for information was made, no one in a bureaucracy would want to carry the responsibility of withholding that information. Who knows but maybe the human beings working there will prove smarter than yeast and be more than willing to chat.

I am sorry I forgot the formation volume factor of 1.34.

Every mile would be 50,000 Barrels of STOCK TANK oil per day.


We need to share with others the geometric contraction of this advance... how the flux area diminshes over time as we move crestal and how this exascerbates the terminal decline.

We also need to explain how Aramco's contention in the paper that the acceleration of withdrawals from the dry area has not caused an increase in this parameter is BS... it violates the conservation of mass man!!!!!

I know you have the capacity to understand it, explain it, and approach it from the perspective of someone who has never seen it before. I don't.

I was going to ask about that. Given the domed shape of the anticline, it seems that if you keep injecting water at the same rate, the vertical rise of the water flood will accelerate. The dry oil area, viewed from above, will shrink rapidly. It's like you're filling up a plastic milk jug in the sink - the water rises slowly at first, but as the water level gets up to where the bottle necks down to the cap, suddenly the rise is very quick, and then the water shoots out the top all over the place before you can shut off the tap.

I guess this also means that the dry oil area will shrink more quickly when viewed from above, and as fewer producing wells are left in the dry oil area, you either have to drill more wells in that area, or increase the flow rate per well by jacking the pressure up.

Looking ahead, does the nature of the reservoir at Ain Dar lend itself to tertiary recovery? My guess is that since the permeability is very high to begin with, implying large pore throats and lower tortuosity, the viscosity of the oil isn't the limiting factor for the oil remaining behind, and thus CO2 or nitrogen injection may not bring So down that much.


You are on top of the geometric decrease in area with time. Note that Stuarts original analysis looked at the vertical rise in water from 1990 to 2004 and we are dealing with a much smaller area now.

In terms of tertiary the answer is not optimistic. The residual oil sat of 21% is a low concentration target. This is the ideal waterflood reservoir... low connate (initial) water saturation and low residual (terminal) oil saturation.

It is like someone was said... there are 9 million tons of gold in the Pacific Ocean.

Hello FF,

And a million thanks for steering us in the right direction.

Re. Your last post, I am not a trained reservoir engineer, but had a couple of decades working closely with them doing business developments (field and area developments).

However, I must admit I was lost by;

Every mile would be 50,000 Barrels of STOCK TANK oil per day.

in your last post. To me that seems close to nothing.

...or am I missing something important here?



Thank you.

I had originally calculated a flux area of .2 ft by 4000 ft per day times .20 porosity times .5 mobile oil saturation and not corrected for the shrinkage of the crude oil from 1.34 barrels in the reservoir to 1.0 barrels in the stock tank.

This is the formation volume factor Bo... it is a term that relates the amount of reservoir oil with dissolved gas needed to deliver 1 barrel of oil in the stock tank... for Ghawar it is 1.34. So 75,000 barrels of water displacement in the reservoir results in 50,000 barrels of oil in the tanks at atmospheric pressure.

Hello again FF,

And thanks a lot for your reply.

Let me try to rephrase my question;

What would be your best guess or estimate of present total daily water/fluid displacement within ‘Ain Dar?

Again THX!



What I am telling you is this...

Draw yourself a picture... it is difficult to draw a 3 degree dipping structure because that is almost horizontal (and will be on any 8-1/2 X 11 sheet of paper)..

But the movement of this flood front towards the crest of the structure is 4.6 feet/day. If it is moving at this rate inward, it is also moving up. The ratio is the related to the tangent of the dip angle... it is about a 20 to 1 ratio... 20 foot in equals one foot up.

Now if you have a 204' pay zone... there is 4000' across... it is very sensitive to the dip angle 2,3 or 4 degrees as you will understand. Now it is 4,000' across and it is moving up 0.2 feet per day. That is a rectangular strip of which we can calculate an area. Now we have to apply a porosity and a saturation change. Now we string a mile of those strips together and we get 50,000 BOPD per day.

Now the rest is about where there cross sections are on Ain Dar--- where did the water start at 1/1/04. I think it is -5900' ss or so.. look at Greg Croft the crest is -5,750 +- 100' or so.... so is the crest experiencing water breakthrough now akin stuart... and is this the source of SA production problem... note that Shedgum shares the structural crest of Ain Dar.... 2 MMBOPD no dry oil area left... everything is making water. Perhaps.

How soon before watered out and the oil stops moving?

I was finely able to wrap my head around this one.
thank for all your effort


Wonderful set of information you have been posting the last few days. I have been struggling to keep up with the math posted. At the risk of sounding very stupid on this forum I will try and paint a picture of what I understand is happening in Gharwar. Helps me consolodate information and maybe it will help others.

I think 3-dimensionally and it seemed obvious to me after yours and Stuarts posts that what has happenning in Gharwar is that the water was "crowding" the oil into the top of the reservoir. The shape is a very gentle curved, elogated dome, think of just the top surface (with a bit of down curving sides) of a very large diameter pipe lying on the ground. The side go down a distance say 10-20 times the thickness of the wall. With this model only the thickness of the pipe wall contains oil.

The thickness of this wall (oil) region is very thin from outside to inside, but very thick when viewed in tangential section where a horizontal straight line would enter from the outside pass just above the inner surface and pass out the opposite side. By using water injection oil in the pipewall below this horizontal line can be "crowded" upwards from both sides where it is removed at the top.

By using horizontal wells placed at very strategic locations along the long axis of the pipe shaped field oil a constant flow of oil output can be maintained as long as the pressure is maintained and the water is below the level of the horizontal well. The Saudis can maintain essentially constant BPD from the field by capturing almost all the oil dispaced upwards by the water.

There will be mixing of oil and water near the contact point but if the rock is porous enough (and the water is injected at the bottom) most of this mixing will initially be well below the horizontal wells. Very little water/oil mixing will occur at the horizontal wells because they are reltively far away from the water front, hundreds of vertical feet and also "around the bend" of the curved wall.

All is fine until the water layer gets up into the flat, top part, of the imaginary pipe wall. At that point the water can race across the wide flat part of the pipe wall (top of the reservoir) and mix with the oil column which may be miles wide but only a few hundred feet thick. Again the Saudie's can work around this a bit by finding the high spots (after all it is not a smooth surface like our pipe wall) above the general top of the reservoir and lay in a bunch of horizontals to maintain extraction rates.

In this manner the oil is continually pushed (for decades) from the lowest part of the reservoir to the top with very little water mixed in at the well location. A very constant, high rate of extraction can be maintained that is all out of proportion to the amount of oil remaining compared to most reservoirs. This is due to the combination of horizontal wells, porosity and the unique shape of the reservoir.

The problem comes when the water finally gets to those last series of top level horizontal wells. By the time you get significant water mixed with the oil, the water % is going to increase very quickly. In my simplistic model and understanding there isn't really much oil left. It's all water below the mixed zone and that mix zone is now restricted to the very top of the reservoir.

If my overly simplistic model is even close to accurate you can't pump water in for another 30 years and get significant oil out like in Texas. All you are going to get is water, because the oil was washed out of the lower rock strata years ago.

All comments, clarifications and even hoots of derision (at my lack of understanding) are welcomed because Id like to be completely wrong so I can sleep at night.

No your physical description is just about right.

The high rate of extraction up until the last possible moment is quite a reality of this type of geometry (I believe West Texas has shared some such experience).

We need someone with advanced imaged analysis capabilities to tell us everything there is to extract from the Ain Dar cross sections in that SPE paper.


Thanks for response. But now I'm even more worried.

Please keep posting as I enjoy the new viewpoint on reserves vs extraction methods.

But, if there is no dry oil left(I believe that was where Stuart said we were at), then it's gone. We've hit the last dregs. Total collapse imminent. Someone tell me we've just been discussing some hypothetical senario 10 yrs down the road, and I just misunderstood and thought you were talking about now. I'm not ready. Come on, the video games are just starting to get interesting and desktops are finally getting powerful enough to do some really neat things. Just another 5 years please. Don't say it's now. This totally sucks!

Hey, look - a (small) airplane that doesn't use fuel!

Boeing Fuel Cell and battery-powered plane

Global peak: 2007 - 2010
Global decline rate, Post peak: 2%
Economic response: Severe global recession, ~5 years, then slow recovery

Interesting, a fuel cell that doesn't use fuel. Kinda self contradictory. This is an aircraft which has a 20kw hydrogen fuel cell with a battery boost for take off.

Well, okay, I guess I overstated things :-)

I had never heard of manned flight driven by LiOn batteries and fuel cells before - I had assumed that flight was too power intensive for anything other than fossil fuel power density...

The article states clearly that this is not practical for commercial aviation, but it is interesting...

Global peak: 2007 - 2010
Global decline rate, Post peak: 2%
Economic response: Severe global recession, ~5 years, then slow recovery

There have already been production sailplanes using electric launch... http://www.alisport.com/eu/eng/silent_b.htm

Have you heard about this:


This is a pure solar powered plane, the man behind this is a Swiss citizen, Bertrand Piccard.

Here we go... spot crude approaching $67/bbl

Russian intelligence sees U.S. military buildup on Iran border
RIA Novosti | March 27 2007

Russian military intelligence services are reporting a flurry of activity by U.S. Armed Forces near Iran's borders, a high-ranking security source said Tuesday.

"The latest military intelligence data point to heightened U.S. military preparations for both an air and ground operation against Iran," the official said, adding that the Pentagon has probably not yet made a final decision as to when an attack will be launched.

He said the Pentagon is looking for a way to deliver a strike against Iran "that would enable the Americans to bring the country to its knees at minimal cost."

He also said the U.S. Naval presence in the Persian Gulf has for the first time in the past four years reached the level that existed shortly before the invasion of Iraq in March 2003.

Ya...talk about your price spikes:


NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stock futures fell sharply following a spike in crude oil futures after the market close on Tuesday.

U.S. crude for May delivery (CLc1: Quote, Profile, Research) soared to $68.09 a barrel, up $5.18, before paring back to around $65.61.

S&P 500 futures (SPc1: Quote, Profile, Research) were down 6.10 points, below fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract.

Dow Jones industrial average futures (DJc1: Quote, Profile, Research) were down 49 points and Nasdaq 100 (NDc1: Quote, Profile, Research) futures were down 9.25 points in electronic trade after the closing bell.

I was wondering what caused that super spike a few minutes ago.

Check the wholesale gasoline ... $210 ...

Reminds me of Katrina.

As I (and several others) have suggested, what if Bush/Cheney believe the Richard Duncan model, to-wit, that we are in a period of transition from a net increase of about 1.4 million people per week to a net dieoff of 2.1 million people per week worldwide?

And I thought Matt Savinar was unduly worried about nukes . . .

Which side are they on? :-(

The theory is that the Neocons view themselves as Super Patriots, who are determined to seize and maintain access/control/ownership of oil reserves in the Middle East in the post-Peak Oil age.

What's more than a little scary are the number of SUV/Pickup driving red blooded Americans who think it's a good idea.

My view for some time has been that Iran is to World War Three as Poland was to World War Two.

That pretty much jives with with the overall impression I have. What's interesting is they seem to be operating to Brzezenski's "The Grand Chessboard," and now even BZ says they've gone too far, they've botched it, and need to pull out.

One person I approached about peak oil and the Iraq war defended it with, "Why shouldn't we have the oil? After all, we're Americans and they don't deserve to have it all over there." Then he jumped in his monster truck that didn't have a lick of dirt on it and drove away.

I'm very worried about Iran. I just don't see Russia and China standing idly by while we expropriate the middle east reserves for ourselves.

Maybe they haven't botched it. Maybe they have exactly the situtation they wanted. This allows them to stay until it's no longer profitable. A stable Iraq would want them to leave.

Zbig said they botched it. I'm on the other side with you. Create chaos, devastate the economy and make sure everyone is fighting each other instead of using resources, and voila, the oil is ours!

What scares me is that a great many of those of us who live in the USA actually believe most of what we are fed by the MSM. The ability to think does not in fact exist. The problem is centered in the fact that the majority of those who live in the good old USA have wants( a nice house, a new SUV, a flat screen TV etc. ) As long as you want something you can be manipulated. And boy are we being manipulated. What a pathetic state of affairs!

I thought Matt Savinar was unduly worried about nukes . .

If somebody doesn't see this is heading towards nuclear war, they aren't paying attention. Either to history* or current events.** (no disrespect intended, see below)

*The last global oil war (WW II) - which was fought on the upslope of the curve - ended with a regional nuclear holocaust. The current global oil war will be fought on the downslope of the curve, a time where there are 20,000 nuclear weapons in existence and the U.S. just commissioned an entire new generation of hydrogen weapons.

I maintain that however violent we were on the upslope, we will be much more violent on the downslope. So if 2 nuclear bombs came out at the end of Global Oil War II I suspect a whole lot more will come out at the end of Global Oil War III. If 20 come out in a series of what are initially tactical nuclear wars then it's just a matter of time before they all come out. . . .

Keep in mind that our subconscous decision making alogrithims evolved at a time where something like nuclear war was unthinkable. All we had were spears and stones back in those days. So we've got risk management software on our shoulders that was built to manage the risk of launching an all out spear and stone volley at the other tribe now managing the risk of launching an all out nuclear ICBM volley at the other tribe. Talk about a recipe for disaster. And this at a time where the expected standard of living is about to plunge.

How can we NOT have a nuclear war under these conditions?

**I think if you look at current events they show an arc towards increasing catastrophism. Progressively more and more violence, chaos, etc. over the last 3-5 years. Perhaps I am just selectively picking the news (confirmation bias) but I honestly think you'd be hard pressed to *persuasively* argue that things are moving AWAY from global nuclear war instead of TOWARDS global nuclear war.

If 2 years from now things have calmed down I might change my tune. But I said that 2 years ago and things have only gotten much worse since then.

I completely understand why people's brains delete, deny, or rationalize this out of their conscious awareness. The implications are overwhelming even for us true doomers. I mean you can sort of come up with a plan to ride out a Depresssion - even a severe one - if you move to the right city, have a necessary occupation such as energy or food production, are flexible & creative in what you're willing to do for work, work well with others, etc. But all out nuclear war? What is the average urban tenderfoot to do?

What is the average urban tenderfoot to do?

  1. Bend over;
  2. put your head between your knees;
  3. kiss your sweet a** goodbye.

The problem will solve itself.

But not in a nice way.

Well, if the average urban tenderfoot has any smarts they will get the hell out after looking at the blast and fallout maps. Although where I live has some drawbacks, it's one of the safest places for blasts and fallouts in the US (sorry I can't tell you where).

If they are really smart, they will read my survival homestead post on another forum from almost 2 years ago. There are a ton of good replies besides my stuff.


Todd; a Realist

Edit URL


Great link, much appreciated.

The average urban tenderfoot still thinks "it's too early to see how this will play out" and that the right mix of political and technical solutions may show up. Venture capitalists, patent applicatons, a energy plan, etc. What a effin joke at a time like this.

FWIW, I'm visiting a place that is not going to be hit by the blasts or the fallout but I'm not the average tenderfoot.

The average tenderfoot ignores articles like this from Richard Heinberg today, at his/her own peril I might add:


At the very least, we are likely to see an expansion of the chronic violence in Iraq spreading outward throughout the Middle East and perhaps Central Asia as well, with an arc of chaos extending from Pakistan to Saudi Arabia. The worst case is painful to contemplate. If the US and/or Israel follow through on their implied threats to deal militarily with Iran, this may constitute the most dangerous and fateful international gamble in decades.

Things haven't even gotten "bad" yet and you've got level headed people like Richard making statments like that.

You're assuming that there are no targets within hundreds of miles that would be targetted by an opponent - and yes, there are some very high value targets that are not publicly known - in part, to make targetting them more difficult. And such targets are more likely to receive dirty ground bursts, not a relatively clean air burst - notice that Hiroshima and Nagasaki remain functioning cities, for example, while parts of the New Mexico desert still cannot be walked across.

Thanks Chimp. I was already feeling creepy about all of this and now you go and get all logical on us.

You "alpha men" cause so many problems...Put your spears down, quit beating on your chests and try a little negotiation.

Gee, I wish they'd stick to just killing each other and leave the rest of us alone. Bush versus Chavez, Rove versus Ahamenahahahahahajhad, maybe Cheney versus Putin, all alone on Easter Island. Yeah, that works!

It's the women's fault for selecting loud-talking, chest-thumping alpha males with all the colorful beads, instead of introspective, sensitive tool-making apes. 8^)

Lessons about women I from the Bible:

#1. Ladies always go for the sweet talking bad boy (Eve and the snake)

#2. If you're a good looking young guy working for the governor and his wife propositions you, you better give her what she wants or she's going to complain and your ass is going to end up in jail (Joseph)

We do like those beads and bare chests. Gee, what am I saying. I don't want any part of these apes and their dances...

What would happen if women universally decided to reject ALL men who behave in such a manner? Would it make a difference? Would the alpha males feel so deprived of female companionship that they would change, or would they just drag the females along by the hair while beating on their bare chests with their free hand?

Truth be told, I'm married to an alpha male, and sometimes I'm sure he's an alien from another planet and that I haven't got a clue as to who he really is.

What would happen if women universally decided to reject ALL men who behave in such a manner?

LOL, this isn't something you "decide" about, even much less universally : Sexual selection for cultural displays

I can dream, can't I? There have been times I really wish I had actually "decided" instead of letting genetics drag me along. Hindsight is always 20/20 as they say. :-)

I suppose that Iran is the litmus test for whether Matt is right about were we are headed.

Given what we now know about our esteemed president, what are the chances that he will do nothing regarding Iran, after having built up the military forces in the Persian Gulf--especially with the spreading weakness in the US economy?

How can Bush/Cheney force people to take dollars, if the US does not control the Persian Gulf?

It's been pretty hard not to be totally depressed the last few days when you see the bigger picture.

I'm really hoping Zbig or Daddy Bush or whoever pull something out of their asses quick and put a stop to Junior and Darth plunging us into darkness. Maybe it's time for them to pull the pedophile/gay hooker scandal out of the closet as that might be the only thing that would give Congress the courage to impeach Bush co.*

The fact that I'm hoping Zbig or Daddy Bush are gonnna save our asses . . . wow I never thought I say that.

*If you don't know about the pedophile/gay hooker scandal . . . well that is a whole nother post in and of itself.

Geez, you're really depressing the rest of us too.

Hoping Zbig or GHWB will save us is truly an act of desperation.

And per WesTexas, based on past behavior, it's hard to believe that Chimpy (NOT the chimp who can drive) and Darth built up the forces in the gulf for the fun of it. The best guess would be that he plans to use them.

Will someone please confiscate his cowboy hat??? And his beads....

I'm actually not going to talk (type) about it anymore. It's just too damn depressing even for the Chimp formerly known as the AMPOD.

I'm going to bed now, when I get up http://www.hencam.com will be back up. That always improves my mood.

I wonder if those hens know what's coming? They look muy buutiful in their bios, but they were sleeping when I checked in. Fun site--thanks Chimp.

Sleep tight Chimp, sweet dreams and goodnight.

The P/GHS - yeah, I clued up on that a few years back. Gannon/Guckert, the Franklin Community Credit Union, Boys Town, Nebraska - it's all a little too sick to even think about. The rot runs very deep and rises extremely high. How did you folks let a gang like this get hold of the levers of power anyway? Now that they have them, what makes you think they'll let go?

It sure won't be Poppy Bush riding in from stage left to rescue the nation from the rain tracks.


And just think, we're only talking about the things we're aware of.

It's even worse than that.

Rumor has it that shiekhs in certain countries (that shall remain nameless) special order children from western europe and the U.S. They have them shipped to their compounds, have their way with them, then kill them when they're done with them.

There were a couple Middle Eastern guys prowling my neighborhood when I was a kid. It seemed very out of place although it was hard to say why. My mom was always suspicous warned me to watch out . . . Years later when I learned about these child kidnapping rings . . . well suffice it to say I was extremely disturbed.

Belgium had rumours where the Belgian political upperclass and even judges and royalty were accused of exactly the same. They called it "Pink Ballets" back then. Never has any shred of serious evidence emerged. I'd say keeping the option open that this is a persistent urban legend is the very least amount of scepsis one needs to address this with.

The blatent racist nonsense perpetuated by this assertion really shouldnt go unnoted. Arabs are guilty of perpetuating the white slavery has undertones of the same kind of demogogery used against any ethnic group that people wanted to alienate or destroy.


Sorry if it came across that way. I should have added a bit:

Let's say 1 in 1,000 adult males are pedophiles. Well the )(caucasion) creep down the street from you working as an IT slave will just go on some chat room and try to get friendly with "BaseballFan1996" then end up getting busted on that Dateline television show.

The oil shiekh living in the Middle East who shares the same proclivities can just order up what he wants. Even if the authorities here in the States were to catch him, the geopolitical impliclations would be so immense you can bet your bottom dollar some strings would get pulled.

Actually, I happen to think this is done regularly almost as a matter of policy. The police are taught NOT to investigate overseas kidnapping rings, instead just to focus on the IT creep archetype mentioned above.

All races, in my mind, are equally f--ked up.

As I understand it, the Plaza Accord, which made the US$ the PetroDollar and the world reserve currency, was mostly between the US and the Saudi's. Between them, they pretty much forced the world to go along if they wanted to buy oil.

So, what if Saudi Arabia is as depleted as it appears it might be? What if they are really crashing? The US is a mess and the subprime mess/housing mess is just starting to blow up. Consumerism is 2/3 of our economy. Without the PetroDollar to anchor the world to the US$ we would be in deep trouble.

The Iranians have been threatening to set up an oil bourse that trades oil in other currencies, and from what I understand they are doing it to a certain extent. If the Saudis are crashing, what happens if they lose control of the PetroDollar situation and countries like Iran and Venezuela start significantly trading oil in other currencies? Then what if all those foreigners that buy our bonds with all of the US$ we send them for their trinkets decide to bail out of the US$/bonds in droves because they no longer need them for oil? Interest rates would skyrocket and our crash would be even worse. China recently announced that they were going to diversify a out of a huge pile of dollars.

We conducted financial war against the Soviet Union using oil. What if the Saudis crashing is the beginning of tit for tat?


Robert Newmans History of oil. its about 45 minutes, and he is English and your ear might not catch it all, but it has some very interesting points and history. ANd stop and replay help. Some may find it a way to show others a humorous introduction to Peak Oil concept.

Quid Clarius Astris
Ubi Bene ibi patria

My hearing has degraded right along with everything else, but I'll give it a try.

And yet, the U.S. is just one part of the world, and while regional nuclear war has become possible in several areas, this entire viewpoint remains so American-centric.

For example, I don't think that the Chinese are going to nuke the Indians if North Korea wipes out Toyko. And I really don't think that the U.S. and Russia will then go war because Japan has been nuked.

As a matter of fact, in most civilized countries, the true pictures of what happened to millions will be a very direct brake on any government attempting to wage nuclear war for a perceived benefit.

But in America, apart from the Internet, merely pictures of what war in Iraq looks like are not available in public - 'too disturbing.' America lives fairly far from reality, and though nuclear war is now part of how nations interact, neither a Cold War scenario (everybody piles on in a use it or lose it scenario) nor a calculating one based on perceived gain fits very well.

One reason European nations were opposed to the invasion of Iraq was utterly pragmatic and based on experience - conquering foreigh cultures to seize advantage and profit doesn't often work, and certainly hasn't since WWII.

Destruction is not victory - this is a uniquely American perspective, likely tracing back to the Civil War, a logical conclusion derived from how industrial warfare led to complete victory for the American government.

Most other societies, except those run by theocrats, tend to look at destruction as a loss, not a gain.

The last mass war we experienced was Irag/Iran - that different nations will be engaging in such again is a given. That such regionally large-scale fighting will directly lead to nuclear destruction among uninvolved parties is low. South Africa will not rush a few devices into assembly merely because an old Soviet nuclear device is detonated in a Saudi oil facility. And India will not destroy Pakistan as a direct result either.

Will death by nuclear war go from a footnote to no more exceptional than death by tsunami or volcanic eruption? Very likely. But as with all long term projections involving humans, since a 100% death rate is ensured by being born, it is only how the cards are shuffled, not how the game ends, that is open to discussion.

However, I will agree that the likelihood of the U.S. getting involved in a nuclear exchange is quite high - after all, it tends to be the U.S. which publicly proclaims that mass destruction weapons in the right hands are a force for good in the world. And everyone knows that in nuclear war, first strike is the only way to even conceive of winning.

I am far more scared by Pakistan, actually. There you have all the ingredients for disaster: Nukes; a completely dissatisfied population; a military dictator relying on a military which in part secretly has sympathies for fundamentalists (The Taliban are an invention of the Pakistani secret service ISI) and who has barely escaped two assasination attempts; regions where the central state has no authority whatsoever and where fundamentalists such as Al Qaida reign; feud between Shi'ites and Sunni's resulting in a decade old terror campaign by both sides..

Frankly I trust stalinists or the US far more with nukes than this seething mix of trouble.

No question - Pakistan and North Korea share top billing with the U.S. for societies most likely to use nuclear weapons in the next 5 years.

But if Pakistan destroys 10 Indian cities, I don't think that China will in turn attack America, or Russia will launch a full out nuclear attack against France.

I do think tens to hundreds of millions will die as a result, though, especially after India decides to make partition permanent, using non-depleted uranium.

But what will happen if part of Pakistans military will turn against the other part? Interstate warfare could very well not be the nightmare scenario, but utter total chaos might be.

In spite of the downplaying in the MSM Bushco is mired in multiple scandals, all of them worse than Watergate. Republicans are beginning to talk impeachment.
Again, in spite of the MSM making all issues into inside baseball technical spats, Bush is in deep doodoo. Time for a foreign diversion.

OldHippie: Probably unrelated, but the Uruguay Times (not Paraguay where he bought the ranch) quoted GWB as saying he will retire to Uruguay. I realize this is rather unbelieveable.

Here's the probable reason for the brief spike:

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The U.S. military denied reports Tuesday that Iran fired a missile at a U.S. ship in the Persian Gulf.

The rumors of an attack had sent oil prices soaring, but Lt. Cmdr. Charlie Brown of the U.S. Navy 5th fleet told an Associated Press reporter that all ships in the Gulf had been checked and the rumors were untrue.


Hello Jussi,

Thxs for the link! I am not an oil futures trader, but for those that are: what kind of potential windfall profits could be made from pre-awareness of false rumors? How much money can be made by deft trading on these short-lived superspikes? Inquiring minds want to know! Thxs for any reply from you or other TODers.

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

Hello Bob,

I'm no trader, I was actually wondering why anybody would start such a rumour (knowing it could conceivably lead to a war), and why anybody would take it seriously without any confirmation. But your question is interesting. Bloomberg has this:

Prices surged just before 5 p.m. New York time, with five trades completed between $68 and $68.09 a barrel, the highest intraday price since Sept. 6.

``Right now the buyer of those barrels may not be very happy,'' said Andy Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates LLC, a consulting company based in Houston.

Now that did occur to me as well...

``The reaction shows that we're nervous and not prepared for a military confrontation with Iran,'' Tim Evans, an energy analyst at Citigroup Global Markets Inc. in New York, said yesterday. ``We haven't priced in the risk of a war after all.''

These financial types can really come up with incredibly original thoughts, don't you think? :)


That is exactly what went through my mind! "Mmmm. . . somebody made some quick cash . . . "

"Lt. Cmdr. Charlie Brown"

Captains Linus, Pig Pen, and Schroeder concurred...

So, crude jumps 5 bucks on a rumour that Iran fired a missle at a US Warship.

Anyone want to hazzard a guess to what crude/gasoline will jump to if something actually happens?

I'm starting to get paranoid. Time to tighten up and pay attention.

Who made that 100 buck a barrel bet?

Yea...just a sneak preview...I see that it has now settled down to $64.10...shew...what a relief that it has come back down so far....wait a minute!!!

EU Energy Chief Warns Russia, Others Against Gas Cartel

E.U. Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs on Monday warned natural gas producers such as Russia and Algeria that if they considered forming a cartel, he would strongly push the development of nuclear power to meet the E.U.'s energy needs.

Europe doesn't have much bargaining power lately in the global energy game. Looks like all their gas imports come from Russia. Here's some good stats on the situation:


I only have one thing to say:

I M P E A C H.

If they could do it to Clinton for a sexual peccadillo, they certainly can do it for someone wanting to start WWIII (not to mention lying to Congress, conspiracy to wage aggressive war and acting inviolation of the Nuremburg Principles and the U.N. Charter, commiting an act of treason by outing a CIA agent and related covert apparatus tracking nuclear proliferation involving Iran and neighbors, etc., etc.)

I have only one prayer this evening: Please, God, wake up America so it can realize it is held hostage by an Administration that is virtually a criminal conspiracy that has seized power and is attacking the nation from within on many fronts: bankrupting the treasury, weakening the Military, enabling America's enemies while alienating its friends, destroying all respect for America and its reputation, undermining the rule of law, subverting democracy and shredding the Constitution.

Go back to sleep Consumer®. There is a sale at the mall tomorrow that is more important than the irrelevant information you mentioned. Let us handle this for you, we have your best interest in mind, we know best. Sleep dear Consumer®, do not bother your beautiful mind.

'Why should we hear about body bags and deaths? It's not relevant. So why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that?' -- Saint Barbara

I read through Simmons whole show and I do find it amazing that he considers carbon emissions to be only a theoretical problem.

In his slide show he writes about coal development "damned if you do, damned if you don't"... presumably economic collapse if you don't... and I thought he might mean climate disaster if you do.

It is very likely that we and others will be strongly tempted to develop coal... but shouldn't he and we have an opinion about whether this is a terrible idea or not?

Finally where is any mention on his part of wind, ocean wave, or solar energy. Isn't wind growing fast?

"I'm just predicting" isn't really good enough when you are Matt Simmons and people will listen. Does he really think global warming is just some unknowable possibility, and not a virtual certainty which we SHOULD affirmatively attempt to mitigate?

Or does he conceive of energy markets as unstoppable forces that we can attempt to predict but that will be beholden to no political decision to save the planet.

As far as I can tell increasing coal production is a decision to sign our own death warrants, and ask for an early execution date.

i am receiving oil/gas royalties on a monthly basis, but one thing i have noticed is that oil/nat gas sales are on the 6th day of the month. Could someone explain why?

Hello TODers,

Tsunami hits Gaza:


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

That's quite a find Bob! It's the perfect metaphor for our times, "swimming in our own sewage." What a great final post for this diary.


For those who might be interested in moving to a sustainable lifestyle you will surely be most interested in securing a site that has good soil. I submit the following website as a good place to learn about soil as well as help in locating it.


From this portal you can travel on to NRCS where you can locate geophysically ,different regions of the US and the soil classifications there. Both sites are easy to use and contain a tremendous amount of useful information to those not knowledgeable about soils.

If you wish to grow food(as opposed to say stealing it) then you must have an understanding of various soils and which are good or bad or inbetween.

As for myself I live on a type known as 'loess' and within that a classification of Loring Silt Loam. A very very good soil IMO but somewhat acidic and that being the only drawback and means lime must be used to amend its ph.

Now on another topic. A question I usually pose to ones who I communciate about PO and when they do understand the possibilities I ask the following question to understand how committed they are.

The question posed thusly.

You are at your permament location. Say the front porch of your farm house. The energy crises has occurred and with its full hard crashing impact. The cities are full of the dead and dying. The farmers are circling the wagons to protect the foodstores they have and own and their own assets they need in order to survive. They are armed of course.

From the vantage of your porch you see a smallish ragtag mob/group approaching up the road/lane leading to your house. One appears to be in front and maybe armed. In fact all could be armed but hiding the weapons. They are not waving a flag but are just steadily coming ahead.

Now the question is what do you do? What must you do? At what point must you take action? If you prefer your survival and life over that of others who might take it and you observe the group approaching just what actions do you take?

Considering all the while that if they reach rifle range they might shoot you dead. If you hide they might just surround and flush you out. They are drawing closer. It now appears that only one has a firearm.

What do you do?

The answer IMO shows your level of committment to others, those who may be with you , and to yourself.

Most answers I receive are "shoot them dead". This is from farmers or those who have land and live on it. They are not cornucopians necessarily but they are hopefuly optomistic somewhat about the future but understand more than their city kinfolk how serious it can be or can get. Their crops depend very much on petrochemical products and they use very large quatities of it. They know they are sitting on the top of the food control chain. Animals on the hoof and grain in the fields and bins.

Some say we are a cooperative race. Some say we are savages.
Some are not sure what we are or will become.

I read the book "The Road". My answer is close to what some of the scenarios are in the book. The book helped me make up my mind on this subject.

Airdale-remembering that one of the prime freedoms we enjoy is the rights of property ownership. You are not required to give away your property to anyone. In fact you can use whatever force is necessary to defend it. That said I believe we will become a nation of squatters. You can have the unimproved land to squat on if the owners are dead but you have no right to what I have improved on my own and belongs to me.

P.S. I also recently viewed the movie "Shooter". Oil was spoken of repeatiadly but never connnected to much that I could see. Very good action movie though.

Hi airdale,

I was just going over "new adds" to this thread. Don't know if you (or anyone) is still reading...here's what strikes me as an (unfortunately) logical question, though:

We can discuss where "ultimate force" lies and what it depends on. From one point of view (the one I'll assume here, for purposes of discussion) - the state, the fed, the gov, or however you wish to say it - is the ultimate holder of force (used as power). Firepower, you might say. Thus, it seems to me, the fed, the gov, the hands who control this "ultimate force" can simply declare martial law and take over (on their terms) the land. Property rights are only useful if the state (w. it's power) backs them up. In fact, the state itself backs up the ideas you posit above - that one is justified in using force to defend one's property (land).

But then the state can simply decide to own all the useful property. Eminent domain and all that. Or, better yet, have a vote to put this into effect.