DrumBeat: April 5, 2007

Mexico Tries To Save Big, Fading Oil Field

In March 1971, a Mexican fisherman named Rudesindo Cantarell took a few geologists from state-run oil company Petroleos Mexicanos to this spot, where he had seen oil slicks. Mr. Cantarell didn't know it, but he had stumbled across one of the largest offshore oil fields ever found.

A few decades and 12 billion barrels of oil later, the field that bears Mr. Cantarell's name is dying, and Pemex, as the state-owned company is known, is struggling to stave off the field's demise. From January 2006 though February 2007, Cantarell lost a staggering one-fifth of its production, with daily output falling to 1.6 million barrels from two million.

The oil industry was stunned. Cantarell, which currently produces one of every 50 barrels of oil on the world market, is fading so fast analysts believe Mexico may become an oil importer in eight years. That would batter Mexico's economy, which depends on oil exports to fund 40% of its government spending.

Total, Qatar warn oil contractors on high costs

French oil major Total and Qatar's energy minister on Thursday both warned service contractors they risked damaging the energy industry unless they moderated their fees.

Total Chief Executive Christophe de Margerie told an industry conference the level of price increases for hiring drilling rigs and building gas production facilities was unjustified, even allowing for tightness in the supply of the contractors' inputs.

Electrifying Change

The second obstacle is simply the condition of the electrical grid itself. The range of equipment nearing or beyond its projected service life is staggering: 70% of America's roughly 160,000 miles of high voltage transmission lines are 25 years or older-- as are 70% of the more than 63,000 transformers; further, 60% of the nearly 200,000 circuit breakers are at least 30 years old. Electro-mechanical analog switches are still the norm system-wide, which comes as a bit of a surprise considering the same kind of switch was discontinued from use in television sets more than twenty years ago. Keeping such increasingly obsolete equipment operating, not to mention finding spare parts, has become such a major problem for the industry that investor-owned utilities.

And Iraq's big oil contracts go to ...

Despite claims by some critics that the Bush administration invaded Iraq to take control of its oil, the first oil contracts from Iraq's new government are likely to go not to U.S. companies, but rather to companies from China, India, Vietnam, and Indonesia.

How Biofuels Could Starve the Poor

Thanks to high oil prices and hefty subsidies, corn-based ethanol is now all the rage in the United States. But it takes so much supply to keep ethanol production going that the price of corn -- and those of other food staples -- is shooting up around the world. To stop this trend, and prevent even more people from going hungry, Washington must conserve more and diversify ethanol's production inputs.

The problem with ethanol

One might reference Kenneth Deffeyes’s book (copyright 2005), “Beyond Oil,” where on page 6 he states that, “A measure of the importance of oil and gas: 80 percent of an Iowa corn farmer’s costs is, directly and indirectly, the cost of fuel.” In addition, Deffeyes of Princeton University, states on page 8, “Concerns over ethanol and hydrogen as NET LOSERS: technologies that consume more energy than they produce,” will be of great concern in just a few years.”

Is Big Oil Curbing Ethanol Growth?

There is a very interesting story in the front page of Monday’s Wall Street Journal about how Big Oil is proving to be an obstacle to the growth of Ethanol.

Department of Defense Begins Testing of O2Diesel's New Alternative Fuel Blend

O2Diesel Corporation (AMEX:OTD - News) announced today that it has begun field testing a new renewable fuel being developed for the U.S. Department of Defense. A demonstration fleet at Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas, Nevada, is now using the new fuel, O2Biodiesel, composed of 28% renewable sources -- ethanol, biodiesel, and the company's patented and proprietary biomass-derived stabilizing additive.

Pakistan's electricity theft, system losses estimated at Rs80b

Pakistan is losing Rs80 billion annually on account of electricity theft and system losses in the power sector. A day long workshop here yesterday called upon the government to reduce power losses to greatly overcome the growing power crisis in the country.

Energy's Sweet and Sour World

If you'd visited the Great Hall of the People in Beijing last week, you might have gained greater appreciation for China's increasing thirst for energy. There, an inauguration ceremony was held formalizing Chinese government approval of a pair of joint venture contracts that will vastly expand that nation's energy infrastructure.

Sri Lanka: Kerawalapitiya power plant will help avert power crisis

The open cycle operation of the 300 MW Combined Cycle Power Plant at Kerawalapitiya will start from July 2008 avoiding possible power shortages in the country, said Power and Energy Minister W.D.J.Seneviratne after signing Shareholders Agreement for the project at Taj Samudra Hotel, Colombo.

Minister Seneviratne revealed that the US$ 306 million will have the lowest energy cost per unit out of all the thermal power plants in the country as it will operate on heavy fuel saving at least Rs ten billion annually.

Ghana: Break Ghacem's Monopoly, Contractors Appeal to Govt

Some local contractors have decried the hike in the price of cement in the country, and appealed to the government to facilitate the formation of a third cement factory to break Ghacem's monopoly.

The president of the Association of Building and Civil Engineering Contractors of Ghana (ABCECG), Mr. Samuel Obeng accused Ghacem of "hiding their frequent breakdowns and shortage of clinker to blame the energy crisis".

Tidal Power: Can the East River Generate Electricity?

Approximately 14 percent of all electrical power in New York State comes from hydropower. Many environmentalists believe that figure should be higher. They see hydropower as a way of reducing our reliance on the fossil fuels that contribute to global warming. In our ongoing series on how the New York region is preparing for climate change, WNYC’s Beth Fertig looks at one small company that’s now experimenting with a new form of hydro-electric power right in the East River.

Iran’s Pre-Emptive Strike

No, I don't mean its arrest of fifteen British low-rank military people who were taking a boat ride in long-disputed waters dividing Iraq and Iran. That was just a bit of old- fashioned tail-twisting of the British lion, which has been close to toothless ever since 1945. I mean this:

Iran is planning to stop using the U.S. dollar to price oil, with less than half of its oil income now paid in the U.S. currency, Iran's central bank governor said.

Opec idea to loom over gas producers meeting

Big gas powers meet in Qatar on Monday when they are expected to tackle issues ranging from soaring production costs to whether they could ever set up a price-fixing cartel.

Flying wind farms

Power generation: If people object to wind farms cluttering up the countryside, one answer might be to put them in the air.

India launches ethanol-blended petrol

"The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas has begun implementing 5 percent ethanol-blended petrol program in selective zones countrywide," a ministry spokesman said.

Zimbabwe: Efficient Use of Electricity Crucial

THE significant increase in power tariffs this week will help ensure all electricity users, particularly households, use electricity efficiently.

The Zimbabwe Electricity Regulatory Commission approved a 350 percent electricity tariff increase, which will see domestic consumers paying a monthly charge of at least $24 100 with effect from this month.

Uganda: Diesel Shortage Bites Hard

Industries start to feel the pinch of the fuel shortages as parts of Kampala will experience nightly power cuts and profiteers are charging up to 2,250 for a litre of petrol. Bugolobi, Industrial Area, Nakawa, Naguru and Kololo will experience power cuts every night due to the current diesel shortage, the electricity company Umeme has announced.

Iran factor fails to put a lid on energy

The Iranian threat to global energy supplies eased yesterday, but that did little to cool the energy sector -- evidence that the investment story runs deeper than short-term geopolitical risk.

A collection of other factors, ranging from U.S. driving habits to shifting currency markets to Nigerian politics to seasonal idiosyncrasies, are conspiring to support higher prices for energy commodities.

Some Colorado Springs Gas Stations Short on Fuel

The problem, she says is coming from out of state. A major gas supplier to Colorado Springs’ vendors out of Texas is recovering from a fire. The resulting shortage in output leaves local stations high and dry.

United States concerned with smuggling in Mexican trucks

When a group claiming to be part of al-Qaida in Saudi Arabia called in February for jihadists to strike Mexican oil installations in a bid to cripple the U.S. economy, Mexico announced that its navy had gone on alert and had stepped up surveillance of offshore oil platforms and port facilities.

A month later, however, a McClatchy reporter was able to approach Mexican oil installations virtually unchallenged, raising questions about how secure Mexico's ports are from terrorist attacks.

Oil Causes and Heals All Wounds

Let's face it: Most of what goes on in the world of fossil fuel seems to bring out the worst in national governments and even non-political actors. Consider the siphoning of refined fuel from burst pipelines in Nigeria, persistent sabotage in Iraq's civil war, and China's obsession with snapping up every last available drop of crude no matter what unsavory alliances that requires.

Stay on Track

Americans made 10.1 billion trips on public transportation last year, the highest that ridership has risen in nearly half a century. That’s good for congestion on the roads as well as the pollution that goes with it. But any mass-transit renaissance will come to a grinding halt unless a commensurate investment is made in upkeep and expansion.

Richard Heinberg: The Future of Agriculture - Why Peak Oil & Pollution Mandate a New Farming Paradigm

Nuclear power revisited in state

A small but growing movement to promote nuclear power construction, dormant for three decades, is working to overturn the state's ban on new reactors as worries about climate change have softened voters' opposition to new plants.

Tom Whipple - The Peak Oil Crisis: The GAO Report

Suppose the GAO staff really had studied and debated the evidence and concluded, as others have, that world oil production has already plateaued if not peaked. Suppose, they went on to say it is unlikely that world oil production will ever again increase significantly and that when you throw in all geopolitical factors – wars, insurgencies, expropriations, bad governments – the amount of oil available for importing countries is likely to drop sharply very soon.

If they were in a candid mood, the GAO could have added “and by the way, kiss any expectations of robust economic growth you might have goodbye.” It simply is not going to happen for a long, long while.

OPEC: High oil prices caused by geopolitical, not supply concerns

High oil prices are being caused by geopolitical tensions and not by a lack of supply, OPEC ministers said on Thursday.

Crude Oil: Spring Break - April Gasoline Demand Should Rise

Once again "Spring Break" is upon us, an annual rite for thousands of college students, families and others who partake in a southward migration to the warm weather, sunny days and ocean breezes that have always been the major lure for those wanting to escape the memory of winter. While some people opt for ocean cruises, others spend their time visiting theme parks or just lying on the beach. Regardless of the type of activity, getting there usually involves a car. With this mass migration occurring mostly during April, it would be logical to expect April gasoline demand to show a seasonal rise over March levels.

Explosion strikes oil pipeline in Iraq

A bomb struck an oil pipeline Thursday, cutting off supplies and causing a huge fire in southern Iraq near the border with Kuwait, an official said.

The pipeline carries oil from surrounding fields to storage tanks in Basra for export to the Gulf region, according to the official with the South Oil Co. But he said the tanks were full and export supplies had not yet been affected.

Shell to raise Nigerian oil production

A year after being forced to shut down more than half of its oil output in Nigeria because of militant violence, Royal Dutch Shell said it expected to resume full production within the next "five to six months," after agreeing with local communities that it could safely return to the Niger Delta.

Saipem awarded onshore, offshore contracts worth 1 bln

The Saudi Arabian onshore contract, expected to be completed in the second half of 2008, was awarded by Saudi Aramco to a 50-50 joint venture between Saipem and Canada's SNC-Lavallin for water injection pump station facilities, aimed at increasing production at the Khurais oil field.

Despite belief in peak oil, Pickens still believes in oil and gas

"Yes, I believe in peak oil," he told moderator Hoxie Smith, director of the college's Petroleum Professional Development Center. "(Longtime peak oil predictor) Matt Simmons and I talked today and we're on the same team. If, as (oil analyst and author) Daniel Yergin believes, there's so much more oil left, why doesn't oil production move up instead of staying flat? Global demand is 85 million barrels, or 31 billion barrels a year. The world hasn't replaced the oil it's been producing since 1985. So if there's so much oil left, I don't understand why production hasn't gone up. All the big fields are declining and all the current drilling does no more than hold off the decline. So the next step is decline. We can't hold on to 85 million barrel a day production."

Australia 'can't defend' Antarctic oil

AUSTRALIA claims almost half of Antarctica but has negligible capacity to fend off an interloper intent on seizing territory or pirating resources.

A paper released today by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) said Antarctica was effectively demilitarised, peaceful and with a ban on mineral resource exploration until 2048.

But attitudes could change quickly, especially as the world runs short of oil.

The Energy Enigma

There are two uncomfortable facts that Europeans have to face up to when dealing with the question of energy. The first is that since 1999 the price of oil has tripled; the second is that Europe doesn't have a clear energy policy, this despite recent attempts to formulate one. Aside from the special provisions for coal and nuclear power in the treaties, the E.U. as a whole has hardly addressed issues of energy sources and security of supply. And yet the E.U. already imports half of its energy. By 2030 that figure is set to rise to 70 percent.

Mars in global warming debate

CLIMATE change sceptics have seized on news that Mars is heating up to back their claim that humans are not causing Earthly global warming.

Faced with a lack of energy options, Thailand looks to coal

The world's dirtiest fuel may be the country's best hope to ensure future energy security.

George Will: Save the panic for an actual oil crisis

Today, as the price of a gallon of regular ($2.70 nationally on Monday) "soars" almost to where it was (measured in constant dollars) in 1982, the "news" is: "Drivers Offer a Collective Ho-Hum as Gasoline Prices Soar" (The New York Times, last Friday). People are not changing their behavior because the real, inflation-adjusted cost of that behavior has not changed significantly, and neither has the cost of the commodity in question, relative to disposable income.

Oil and gas supply squeeze looms

A looming tightness in oil and natural gas supplies across North America promises to mitigate the threat of impending carbon emission taxes on oilpatch profits, a CIBC World Markets analyst said Tuesday.

Arizona economists say Iraq exit alone unlikely to impact oil prices

Republicans -- including Arizona Sen. John McCain and Phoenix Congressman John Shadegg -- warn that a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq will destabilize the country and could spill over to other oil-rich Middle Eastern markets.

But economists say a U.S. exit from Iraq is unlikely to push gasoline and crude oil prices higher in the long-term unless the Iraqi turmoil escalates or hits Saudi Arabia or other major Middle Eastern oil producers.

Giuliani: New Gulf Oil Drilling Needs Discussion

Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani on Wednesday said everything has to be considered if the United States wants to break its reliance on foreign oil, including more drilling off Florida's coast.

Enbridge eyes Gulf route

Enbridge Inc. is accelerating plans to satisfy a growing thirst for Canadian crude among refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast and would rather buy existing assets in the United States than build a $4-billion direct pipeline link between Alberta and Texas.

Mideast Risks High in Oil Market Despite UK-Iran Resolution

Iran's plan to release 15 U.K. sailors and marines led to a selloff in oil prices Wednesday but it hardly lessens traders' worries about instability in the Middle East.

If anything, the 13-day standoff between Iran and the U.K., which led to a sharp spike in oil prices and a drag on other markets, has renewed the focus on political risk related to the Middle East and other oil-producing regions.

UN panel poised for bleak report on climate

Top scientists on Thursday were putting the finishing touches to a landmark report set to declare that climate change is already discernible and could wreak devastation to human settlement and wildlife this century.

Damage to Earth's weather systems from greenhouse-house gases will change rainfall patterns, punch up the power of storms, boost the risk of drought, flooding and water stress and accelerate the existing meltdown of glaciers and erosion of ice sheets, the report will say.

UK policy body wants health warnings on flights

Advertisements for flights, or holidays that include flying, should carry a tobacco-style health warning to remind people of the global warming crisis, a leading British think-tank said on Thursday.


"This is the time of year when we're supposed to be building supplies, but it seems like the refiners just can't get ahead of what has been very, very strong demand," he said.

Today's report shows that the national supply of gas is at the low end of its average range for this time of year, meaning the United States will have less gas in the tank before the peak summer driving season in the coming months.

Analysts said that puts the country on the edge, making any disruption in supply — such as a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico refining regions or an expansion of the crisis in the Middle East — that much more dangerous.

"Everyone asks me, will we see $4 a gallon? And the answer is, there is a strong possibility that we may see $4 a gallon," said Flynn.

It's so peak!

Analysts said that puts the country on the edge, making any disruption in supply — such as a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico refining regions or an expansion of the crisis in the Middle East — that much more dangerous.

Like a crash in Cantarell? Simmons was right. Event without a major Gulf hurricane this summer is gonna be tough for the US.

/god help us if there is a war in the mideast.

well Hezbollah is stockpiling more rockets so I wouldn't be surprised to see some new conflicts emerge in the Mideast but that will only be a problem if one of the big oil producers gets involved

... tough for the US.

/god help us if there is a war in the mideast.

Yes, the intervention of a deity is obviously necessary to save you from paying too much for oil. People being blown to smithereens can look after themselves.

Perhaps you didn't mean to be quite so self-centred and obnoxious, in which case I apologize for this comment, but: How do you think Iraqis feel about the gnashing of teeth about a few thousand US soldiers dying in a war the U.S. started, while they live in a country more dysfunctional than it was before the U.S. arrived, where at least 200 times as many people have been killed?

You know, the Nazi kill ratio was less than 200 in most of the countries they occupied in World War 2.

Speaking of Cantarell....the WSJ has a story on it.

Mexico Tries to Save A Big, Fading Oil Field

AKAL C OIL PLATFORM, Gulf of Mexico -- In March 1971, a Mexican fisherman named Rudesindo Cantarell took a few geologists from state-run oil company Petróleos Mexicanos to this spot, where he had seen oil slicks. Mr. Cantarell didn't know it, but he had stumbled across one of the largest offshore oil fields ever found.

A few decades and 12 billion barrels of oil later, the field that bears Mr. Cantarell's name is dying, and Pemex, as the state-owned company is known, is struggling to stave off the field's demise.

Subscription required, alas, but maybe it will be available for free in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette later today.

Interesting bit of trivia that Cantarell is named after a guy - an otherwise very ordinary, very anonymous guy. I wonder if he even made a penny off of it for his luck?

How would you like to be immortalized by having a mega-oilfield named after you?

Cantarell was the name of a fisherman who discovered the field - his nets kept getting coated with oil, he kept complaining to Pemex about it, and Pemex finally investigated and found the field.

See my post yesterday for a couple of additional graphics:


This might be the best article in WSJ's Cantarell series yet. The author extends the discussion of Cantarell to the status of the worlds super giant fields, quoting Simmons at one point:

The demise of Cantarell highlights a global issue: Nearly a quarter of the world's daily oil output of 85 million barrels is pumped from the biggest 20 fields, according to estimates from Wood Mackenzie, a Scotland-based oil consulting firm. And many of those fields, discovered decades ago, could soon follow in Cantarell's footsteps.

It's widely believed that the world's biggest oil fields have already been found. In the decades leading up to the 1970s, the world discovered eight big fields that produced between 500,000 to one million barrels a day, according to Matthew Simmons, a veteran oil industry banker. During the 1970s and 1980s, only two were found. Since then, only one -- the Kashagan field in Kazakhstan -- has the potential to easily top the 500,000 barrel-a-day mark.

Two decades ago, about a dozen fields produced more than a million barrels a day. Now there are only four, one of which is Cantarell. The future of two others, discovered more than 50 years ago, remains in question. Some analysts speculate Saudi Arabia's Ghawar, the biggest field by far, could begin a gradual decline within a decade or so. Another, Kuwait's Burgan, is showing signs of maturity. In November of 2005, Kuwait Oil Co. lowered its estimate of the field's sustainable production level to 1.7 million barrels a day from 1.9 million a day.

Replacing big gushers is difficult. Industrialized countries, which tapped out their big fields years earlier, haven't been able to maintain output despite finding large numbers of smaller fields and investing heavily in technology. Alaska production, hurt by declines at the giant Prudhoe Bay field, dropped from 2 million barrels a day in 1988 to a current rate of about 900,000 a day.

"The world faces a situation where we have production from smaller and smaller fields trying to keep up with declines from the big fields like Cantarell," says Mike Rodgers, a partner at industry consulting firm PFC Energy in Houston. "You're on a treadmill trying to keep up, and you get to a point where you can't make any more forward progress."

There are also some online-only quotes from a few oil experts. For example:

Matthew Simmons, oil industry banker and author of "Twilight in the Desert," which questions whether the Saudis have as much oil as they claim:

"Given that peak oil might be the biggest issue we face this century, it's very unfortunate that we don't have the data from the fields."

"The age-old mistake in the oil industry is being in denial when a field goes down. Usually you can't tell until after the fact. The irony of Cantarell is [that it is] the only super-giant field that we're going to watch from a front-row seat as it declines, because of the visibility of the month-by-month production data."

David Victor, director of Stanford University's Program on Energy and Sustainable Development:

"We're going to continue develop new technologies that will make most out of the big fields, and we'll move to smaller fields. Together, that will create much more supply."

"The people who worry about peak oil are worrying about the wrong problem. There isn't, in some fundamental sense, some problem under the ground about not enough oil. But there is a big problem above ground with some of the key firms that control much of the resource. Most of the fields are under control of the national oil companies, like Pemex. And those firms vary enormously in their compentence."

"The shift from Cantarell as the elephant of Mexico to perhaps a dozen projects, most of which are complex, means Pemex will have to develop capabilities it doesn't have. You can't contract that out. You as the company, as controller of the resource, still need to make decisions about how you can develop that resource."

There is a I guess a mistake by the writer because it says "Some analysts speculate Saudi Arabia's Ghawar, the biggest field by far, could begin a gradual decline within a decade or so."

Then the chart starting in 2007 shows a 10% decline for Ghawar to 2010. That Woods Mackenzie (a big outfit) is predicting a decline at all is the important thing to me.

The WSJ would seem to be well aware of Peak Oil even though they don't come right out and say so.

Yes, the understatement in that article was killing me. They gotta tip toe around so the cornucopians can still ignore peak energy (finite resources), while the realists can extract the implicit truth...

The online version of the same chart has different rounded figures: Ghawar -11%, Burgan +1.6.

Yeah, I see it. Right on the top left corner of the front page, too. Hard to miss :-).

Buried back in there they have a table of projections for '07-'10 for the big oilfields in the world. They are projecting Ghawar at -10%. Cantarell at -30%. Burgan at +1.5% (if you believe that). Rest of world at +10%.

In the table they don't total it all up, but it was easy enough for me to do it. Their total for 2007 is 87.3 million barrels. For 2010, they are projecting 94.8 million barrels. Don't complain to me about it - all I did was add up their numbers :-).

Notice in the chart above that the decline is following the "worst-case" scenario. It is wishful thinking to believe that 50% of the oil can be recovered, from this field anyway.

Ron Patterson

It's really a fascinating article for the WSJ, because the whole thing is talking about peak, without really concisely putting all the pieces together, be too much of shock for the financial community.

For example they lay out all the issues and use Canterall as specific example but when they get to Burgan they say, "Another, Kuwait's Burgan, is showing signs of maturity. In November of 2005, Kuwait Oil Co. lowered its estimate of the field's sustainable production level to 1.7 million barrels a day from 1.9 million a day."

Hah, it's mature!

Heh. That's why I spent the time adding up projected production for 2010 from the table. I wanted to see if they were projecting a worldwide decline or not.

They project an extra 7.4 million barrels/day from the rest of the world by 2010...

In the article they mention that "the oil industry was stunned" by the decline in Cantarell and Mexico. Do you know who wasn't shocked? All of us PO-ers who knew that Mexico was peaking right on schedule. The oil industry was similarly shocked by the North Sea peaking, but the peakists knew it was happening right as predicted.

Yeah. That's what really gets me. How many times does that have to happen before they get a clue?

Never underestimate the talking primate's ability to believe sans evidence! :) Hoping for a better tomorrow usually means ignoring the realistic predictions of today.

The same major oil company guys are now telling us Peak Oil is decades away, worst case.

I'm checking out Portland, Oregon today.

See ya later.

Hi WT/J,

I'd be interested in your report, if you'd like to share.

What struck me from the article was:

From January 2006 through February 2007, Cantarell lost a staggering one-fifth of its production.


Cantarell, which currently produces one of every 50 barrels of oil on the world market, is fading so fast analysts believe Mexico may become an oil importer in eight years.

Following the "worst case" from the chart above, which appears to also be the most likely case, production goes from 1.6 in Jan '07, to .8 in Jan '08.


Did I see that right?

Obviously the oil industry should start hiring poor fishermen to cast their nets in all the obscure parts of the ocean. Yeah, that's the ticket. Maybe they'll discover more oil that way;^>

PeakOil.nl has put up the chart from this story.

Thanks for posting the Rigzone [partial?] reprint of that article up top, Leanan. I had no idea how Cantarell was named. Interesting story, well told.

The problem will solve itself.
But not in a nice way.

What were those comments around here about an energy sink?:
"In the 20 years from 1987 to 2006, Exxon Mobil invested more ($279 billion) than it earned ($266 billion)."

Thanks, George Will, for telling us that there's no crisis..
My grandfather pumped oil with an engine-house,
my father pumped oil with a 20 lb. electric motor,
can't I just pump it online?

Online magazine Slate has excerpts from the new book, Untapped: The Scramble for Africa's Oil, by John Ghazvinian


But probably the most attractive of all the attributes of Africa's oil boom, for Western governments and oil companies alike, is that virtually all the big discoveries of recent years have been made offshore, in deepwater reserves that are often many miles from populated land. This means that even if a civil war or violent insurrection breaks out onshore (always a concern in Africa), the oil companies can continue to pump out oil with little likelihood of sabotage, banditry, or nationalist fervor getting in the way. Given the hundreds of thousands of barrels of Nigerian crude that are lost every year as a result of fighting, community protests, and organized crime, this is something the industry gets rather excited about.

George Will is a supercilious asshole.

Ever notice his "use" of quotation marks? Like holding another's "point-of-view" at a distance, like a turd.

by the way: he "recommends" "inflating" our tyres.

I read this comment this morning and I am still laughing! =D HAHAHA

Tom Whipple isn't the first peak oil commentator who's voiced the worry that warners about peak oil may be held responsible for setting off a depression based on panic alone. (Nate Hagens a couple of days ago speculated about CERA maybe "thinking three steps ahead".) I find this a kind of strange note. How influential does your voice have to be before you become obliged to start self-censoring?

Tom Whipple's writing is on target as it relates to most folks in our world wanting everything to be "alright." But "alright " will one day be not so good. I suspect that the "Iron Triangle" will prevail until things get real messy and then a high profile scapegoat will get to wear the "red ribbon" and be duley "sacrificed" for the masses. Not that anything will be better, but with someone being held "accountable" the sheeple will feel better about the next loss of freedom that comes along. John

How influential does your voice have to be before you become obliged to start self-censoring?

You don't have to be influential at all to incur people's wrath when things go bad. If you say something is going to happen people automatically think you want it to happen. That's the way our brains are wired - for politics, not science. So do be careful what you say, how you say it, and who it say it to.

that's whay I stay off the television. I've refused offers from BBC, CBC, Glen Beck, etc. . .

I am telling you this to brag. But not to brag that I'm so famous and "look at me the bbc called" but to brag that I'm actually a lot street-smarter than others who insist on putting their faces on the tv.

of course most of the names are over 60 so maybe they don't care if the lumpenproles get to them . . . that or maybe they have a death wish.

going on the oil crash film was probably a lapse in judgemne. I doubt many will actually view it outside the already convinced though so I think I'm safe for now.

The truth is a lethal companion

So what do we do?

"And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly."

A true revolution of values will lay hand on the world order and say of war, "This way of settling differences is not just." This business of burning human beings with napalm, of filling our nation's homes with orphans and widows, of injecting poisonous drugs of hate into the veins of peoples normally humane, of sending men home from dark and bloody battlefields physically handicapped and psychologically deranged, cannot be reconciled with wisdom, justice, and love. A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.
We are now faced with the fact, my friends, that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history, there is such a thing as being too late. Procrastination is still the thief of time. Life often leaves us standing bare, naked, and dejected with a lost opportunity. The tide in the affairs of men does not remain at flood-it ebbs. We may cry out desperately for time to pause in her passage, but time is adamant to every plea and rushes on. Over the bleached bones and jumbled residues of numerous civilizations are written the pathetic words, "Too late." There is an invisible book of life that faithfully records our vigilance or our neglect. Omar Khayyam is right: "The moving finger writes, and having writ moves on."

MLK, April 4, 1967, New York City

Amen brother...or sister...whichever you are. I am not being sarcastic. Those are powerful words...seem forgotten over the last 30 years.

"cannot be reconciled with wisdom, justice, and love."

This guy lives in a dreamworld. All those values are long gone.

The disappearing fish in the ocean,the polluted atmosphere, the depleted aquifers, the dead soil,the roadkill,the hubris of television,the stupidity of our supposed leaders. The inanity of sanctioned state gambling,the millions to buy an election,the warehousing of our oldsters,the lies of the MSM,..its all neverending.

I remember once the hippies dreamed and sang of The Age of Aquarius and had hopes. We are the ones who proved how misguided they were. They disappeared into the dust of the past somehow and the dream of greatness and good ideals left with them. Of back to the land, of sustainablity, of love and flowers. All gone..

Airdale-Class of '57..I saw it all and its gone. It won't be coming back. Reality rides into town with his sidekick, 'death on a stick'.

P.S. I got my dogs , my guns, a garden spot and canned goods in the barn. If we have done all this in ignorance and if it has to come ..then let it come. Ignorance should have no offspring. Let Darwin sort it out.

gota call you on this one. this guy doesn't live in a dream world. he was shot dead in memphis when you were about 28 years old. I hope dogs, guns, and a garden will keep you safer than speaking truth to power. I personally weep for the children.
p.s. got your carrots in yet? I put in about 400' 8 days ago.( unbelievably warm here, about three weeks early) plan to put in the same in in another 10 days. I should have lettuce ready for market in 20 days and spinach in 30 radish 16 and the flea beetles are just chowing down on the tat soi (but that's why I grow it, trap crop) garlic, good crop, 500 sq' at 4" centers translates to about 4 bucks a sq'. any way if you want to make a change in this world ( not you airdale, I know you're kickin ass) support local agriculture, it's one of our clearest marked path to a future

Onions not in yet. Ground is cold and wet. We had a chance a few weeks back but we are now down into freezing nights and many must cover their early stuff or lose it.

I just picked up 30# of seed potatoes. God I do love new potatoes and onions.

Your way ahead of me man. I envy you but I had to make a month long stay in N. Carolina.

Down there I found three 'farmers' markets but sadly they were just ripoffs. They were even selling 'wine' but with no alcohol in it. Basically taking produce off trucks that were of questionable orgin and the cargo of questionable sanity and selling them as though they were 'fresh ofen the farm'.

The place was overrun with cheap trash from China and touted as real stuff. A big ripoff and lots of very bad produce which I didn't trust in the least.

The place was overrun with mostly Asians,MidEasterners and Hispanics who I have no doubt are looking for the best bargains they can find and not questioning the quality or orgin.

The best real farmers market for sure is across the highway from Asheville. Real honest to God farmers sell there but the truckers still sell whatever. Its easy though to find the good stuff and still reasonable. $12 for a quart of real Sourwood honey labeled by a local beekeeper.


"I remember once the hippies dreamed and sang of The Age of Aquarius and had hopes. We are the ones who proved how misguided they were. They disappeared into the dust of the past somehow and the dream of greatness and good ideals left with them. Of back to the land, of sustainablity, of love and flowers. All gone.."

How do you feel about your role in that?

My role, Cid Yama asks.

Well for starters I was living in LA when C. Manson did his thing and Squeaky and the rest were still living on the Spawn Ranch..The movement was in full swing there. I was residing in Venice, if that rings a bell for you, attending programming school for 6 months.

A year after that I was then living in Woodstock, NY...right when Dylan and the rest were just up the road. I lived in a converted barn and worked in Design and Development in Kingston for near a year.

Hippie women were breast feeding babies right on the town curbs. Everyone hitchhiked and spent lots of time in the local coffeehouse.

So I was truly synched in to it all.

My part: I was thinking then that we would all become better people and solve all our differences. You trusted everyone and wouldn't hesitate to pick up a hitchhiker. We all wore the cloths, grew the beards and expressed confidence in a bright and shiny future. Communes were on the rise. It was magnificent , the spirit and all. The closeness.

I never lost my memories of that time yet I was a tad older than the children then. I was 25 and they were several years younger but we were close enough to relate completely.

I worked for a large IT corporation and they were 'dropping out'. That was the difference.

I continued on in my career and endeavors. They ended up in drugs. I remember the convention in Chicago where they were beaten senseless for daring to protest. The shooting by the National Guard.

We all lost something at that time. The vets in 'nam knew the name of that song but were spit on as they returned , in many body bags and with their heads ducked down and their eyes on the ground.

The government and something else killed it all off.

Now we are Back To The Future Part IV. We might never ever grab hold of what they felt in the blood. We don't have nothing like what they had.

My part was miniscule. I kept gardening but from then on I longed for a return to the farms and lands of my youth. I always after that had a piece of land and in 1985 while enroute to Chicago (in a VW beetle)to attend another long programming school stopped in my home town in Ky and made plans to attend an auction on the way back and then bid in my current farm.

I retired and came back to the farm and never looked back except to remember those hippies in their long hair, bellbottom jeans and all their dreams. I am currently living part of their dreams. I was not a hippie but I looked and talked like one. I was conventional but I longed for what they longed for and always have.

I was proud of my country and its youth back then. They knew something of life that today is just a fading photograph for most.

I always stopped to give a hippie/flower child a ride. Now I might stop for a vet but thats all. The rest are far too dangerous. Does that say it all?

Airdale-blowing in the wind


The spitting on Nam vets seems to be an urban myth from all I've read including some journo's who documented to story's history. So, I ask, did you actually see someone(s) spit on Nam Vets ?

I got high a # the last year of the draft when I was eligible but I was strongly against the Nam war. But I still to this day think war vets shouldn't be 'beat up'.

Where IS that 'Theory of Everything' ?

"Where IS that 'Theory of Everything' ?"

Theory of Everything

Ah, that would be by Ken Wilbur. A great book.

I think his concept of Holons and their stability and breakdowns are very apt for now.

All quadrants, All Levels


My interest in more directly related to the actual physics theory and dialog associated with it's development.

Recently on TOD, PrisonerX posted a link to
site which has links to Tom Bearden's site. Bearden's site has the wrong turns documented.

Bearden's assessment is that a wrong turn was made with Maxwell's reformulation of his original quaternion; 20 equations with 20 variables. I am in total agreement with this assessment.

I am also in agreement with Bearden, that young, bright math/physics students who take on the reformulation of Maxwell's quaternion equations would most likely get a Nobel for their successful efforts.

Black B. Gorilla, did you catch that ? :)

I appeared incognito on British television last year, in regards to a documentary about the effects of the Iraq war on the US financial and oil markets.

I was worried that I might appear to be advocating the downfall of the US, although my message was that current financial, military, and oil policies of the US would be its downfall.

Reports were that this program was not taken too seriously, so probably no economic hit man or other type of hit man will show up at my door some dark night.

I attended a presentation of the East River, New York City tidal power developers at Hydrovision 2006 in Portland OR.

IMHO, it will work, but the economics are still questionable. Salt water is a difficult environment to operate in for decades and their equipment life and maintenance expectations may not be meet.

They can get a premium price for their power (generated next to Manhatten) but this also means premium prices for everything else.

I am very glad to see this project going forward, but the jury is still out on the economics of the tehcnology IMHO.

Best Hopes,


In San Francisco they are looking at putting a hydro-power station under the Golden Gate Bridge. The water is quite deep their and the current is quite fast when the tides are flowing in or out. They feel they can put this deep enough for ships to pass overhead. They are hoping for 38MW eventually (probably peak not average power).


Another article for those of you who seem to think the sub prime BS won't spread and it's gonna be all roses, check this little bit of inside info out. Granted it's only one guy, but what do we all know? There is no such thing as unique in these circumstances.


"Another individual I know (though not a tax client) refinanced to an ARM to lower her monthly payments. Her payments jumped in December by about 20%, which she can't handle. I recently learned that this person opted not to have her real estate taxes paid monthly via escrow. The reason: She couldn't afford the monthly payment when she refinanced.

"WHAT are these people thinking?? They never come for advice before they get themselves in a hole!

"I am afraid that what I have been seeing is just the tip of the iceberg."

On that topic, someone posted a link to this video on thehousingbubbleblog.com yesterday... it's the price of housing over the past 117 years, adjusted for inflation, shown as a roller coaster simulation. You'll have to imagine how the roller coaster ride ends.

I saw it yesterday - I was expecting a plunge into the abyss, so from that standpoint I guess I was disappointed...

Wow, that view from the top at the end is stunning! The ride down should be terrifying.

Tom A-B

I caught it from another blog I frequent. I remember watching it going up the last hill and trying to use the curl on the top to figure out how close I was getting. I noticed it was getting bigger, but it took awhile. When looking at the graph of homes prices, it reminds me of the graph of human population viewed through historical lenses (hockey stick graph), but only at the end.

Along those lines


Last week's resignation of Kathleen Brown, whose board term wasn't due to expire until 2009, escaped the notice of much of the industry, which is in turmoil over a rising tide of delinquent loans. Countrywide announced Brown's resignation late Friday evening, but offered no explanation for her departure.

I guess the story of rats fleeing a sinking ship wasn't the explanation they wanted to give.

Another person left as well. Looking through their website you'll find some disturbing trends in REO's countrywide! HAHAHA

Mortgage rates are near their 50 year lows. Bank rate says 5.75% for a 30 yr fixed rate loan. Home loans have never been more affordable, since the gov't capped interest rates back in the late 40's. If you can't afford your payment at today's rates, then you had no business buying that $500,000 house.

Maybe some people in Cali and Boston should have rented.

Re. Explosion strikes oil pipeline in Iraq

The US invasion of Iraq is preceded by a long history, and was certainly the outcome of not just one motive or situational aspect, but of many.

That said, the overriding and/or implicit motive is a move in the Great Game, the control of ME fossil fuel and other resources, including their transport.

The US miscalculated and overreached, because it conceived the project through an overlay of bureaucracy, and in political and economic terms.

Banning import taxes, setting up a new ‘democratic Gvmt’, encouraging investment (Mac Dos and so on), liberating women, building clinics, setting up new traffic laws, and much more, would transform Iraq into a little Amerika; the initial winning of hearts and minds would provide a sort of forward gush (sic). (Some might argue that none of this was sincere in the higher reaches of power..)

They (USuk) never conceived of that project as controlling, holding, and managing a territory, that is a large piece of land, with an overlay, not of laws etc. but of human activity - agriculture, schooling, etc. on it. Or encouraging others to manage it along their lines.

They are thus condemned to blast away at anyone who objects, and control a small territory (ex. Green Zone) and can only flatten, with bombs, other little bits of territory (ex. Fallujah) as a demonstration of superior power and will. This is all counter-productive and will go on and on, deaths piling up. The ultimate option is to kill everyone about and import labor. That will be incredibly difficult, bleed the US even more, etc. etc.

Complex infrastructure of the kind that ‘produces’ ‘oil’ for export cannot be run, managed, protected, maintained with coercion: imposed ‘laws’ or agreements, contracts; soldiers, guns and bombs. (Or only so in some very particular situations, very volatile and temporary, ex. Nigeria.)

Superiority in killing power, of the capacity to impose puppet Gvmts. will not furnish the desired outcome.

see for one ex: Iraq pipeline watch


As we have discussed before on this site, perhaps the only motivation of the US in Iraq is to make sure the Iraqi oil flows through a pipeline to KSA in order to cover KSA's production shortages and to have a police presence in the ME in case the oil situation gets out of hand.

Everything else is just filler and fluff.

Is France's Energy-Guzzling TGV Prototype the Right Answer?

As Tuesday's record-breaking TGV run in France illustrates, trains are traveling faster than ever before. But at what point will ever-increasing speeds make high-speed rail unsafe and environmentally unfriendly?

People on slashdot were ragging on them for having a 25000 Hp locomotive on the thing, and the press articles suggest that there was more than one such engine involved in setting this new record.

It looks like a diesel locomotive is in the 4000-6000 Hp range - apparently gross Hp. It isn't obvious to me how you compare that to an electric locomotive though, and for that matter, I cannot tell how much power the TGV locomotive really draws when the thing is up to speed.

Electric locos (well built but nonTGV) can put out twice their rated hp for up to an hour without damage, repeatedly. This gives them a great advantage in the mountains.

I have heard others say that "twice" is an overstatement, but +75% & +80% are quite doable except in extreme heat.

Best Hopes,


That really depends totally on the service factor on the motors you buy.

First of all, the usual way the power rating is reported is as a total among the two power cars in a trainset. I have not read the details of this record-setting train but it is most likely they are talking about total power.

As for how much they do use, I did some calculations which you can find at

It seems that overall they do use a large fraction (I calculated about 3/4) of the rated power. One has to consider that that power must be divided by the number of passengers carried, which can be more than 500 passengers for some trainsets.

As for the Spiegel article: the whole thing is biased in a blatantly puerile "German trains are better, this French record means nothing" way. Sour grapes in the extreme. Right at the top is the caption "Frivolously advanced train technology", and just before devoting a good portion of the article to (domestic manufacturer) Siemens there is this quote:

But more than anything else, the lightning-fast race down the tracks merely illustrated just how frivolously advanced train technology can be put to use. No railway company in the world is seriously considering putting trains that travel at such high speeds into regular passenger service.

Talk about a straw man argument! No one is suggesting train service at over 500 km/h. The ironic thing is that the article then goes on to talk about how great the Siemens 350 km/h train is, because it will set "a world record for scheduled passenger service". Moreover, the Siemens train was tried at "403.7 kilometers per hour about six months ago".

Conclusion: testing a French train at faster than in-service speed is "frivolous", testing a German train at faster than in-service speed is sensible. Further, the German train is better because it will run faster in service than current French trains.

See what I mean about puerile?

Even if one takes the Siemens engineer's allegations to be 100% correct, I fail to see how a high-speed test which has at least some scientific and engineering benefit can be reasonably characterized as "frivolous". As for waste: this is nothing compared to the Formula 1 circuit or NASCAR.

High speed rail service certainly is a mixed blessing relative to "conventional" rail at speeds of, let's say, up to 200 km/h. Certainly high speed trains are less energy efficient than slower trains, but since they are still literally at least QUADRUPLE as efficient as air travel, they are arguably an important service. Every passenger that goes by high speed rail uses 1/4 the energy that would be used if they went by air. The savings in energy from operating the train more slowly would likely be overwhelmed by a shift from rail to air.

(Feel free to check my calculations at http://strickland.ca/efficiency.html - very roughly high speed rail gets at least 400 passenger-mpg gasoline equivalent, versus at best 70 passenger-mpg for aircraft.)

For the record, I am neither French nor German and have no connection with any company making any trains anywhere.

I did some searches for details on the trainset. The source is


V150 trainset in figures
Project team (Alstom) : 60 people
Number of working hours : around 100 000 hours
Power : 19,6 MW (more than 25 000HP)
Weight : 234 tons
Length: 100 m
Number of test runs : 40 runs, at speeds of more than 450 km/h
Hours of tests : 200 h
Kilometres covered during the tests : 3200 km
Number of measurement points : 350

So, yes, that's 19.6 MW total among two power cars. Essentially you have a hot-rod TGV - twice as many driven wheels, more powerful power cars, only 3 trailer cars, line voltage increased, ... It does, after all, take a hell of a lot more power to propel a train 574.8 km/h than 320 km/h!

You can also see plenty of video versions of the test run online. See, e.g.


Or the live, uncut French version, which has some interesting shots of the catenary and the wheels:

(I know this is getting totally sidetracked, but I wish to point out that the physics works differently for airplanes. They can be more efficient at slightly slower-than-normal cruise speeds, but slowing down too much results in a huge increase in drag as the wing's angle of attack must increase. It's the Lift to Drag ratio that matters - maximum efficiency is achieved at maximum lift/drag. Trains do not have to hold themselves up in the air, so slower always means consuming less.)

There wasn't a single number in the article indicating the energy use of that train, nor were there any figures indicating energy use of other slower high-speed trains.

I was interested in this question, so did some work to produce


In particular the interesting data point on this question is the TGV Atlantique service from St. Pierre des Corps to Bordeaux with 4 intermediate stops, maximum speed 220 km/h: 13.2 kWh/train-km. Compare with most efficient 300 km/h service I found: TGV Duplex Paris-Lyon, 3 intermediate stops: 18.00 kWh/train-km. The Duplex can carry more - 545 versus 485 for the Atlantique - but clearly the slower speed consumes significantly less per person.

I would like to point out, btw, that 18 kWh = 64.8 MJ, which is the energy equivalence of 2L of gasoline. In other words, 200 L/100 km, about 20 times the consumption of your average car. To be as efficient, then, your average car would need to carry 545/20 = 27 people.

So, the next time you hear people bitching about the energy inefficiency of high speed rail, ask when the last time was they saw a car carrying 27 people doing 300 km/h down the highway...

(I can't resist one other fun calculation: at 10 cents per kWh, it costs $1.80 per km to run a train capable of carrying 545 people at speeds up to 300 km/h. $1.80/km.)

Wow, thanks! That's incredibly cheap.

You're welcome.

As for the cost: I was being pessimistic. :-) Electricity is cheaper than $0.10/kWh in many jurisdictions, especially for bulk consumers. If one takes a much more optimistic estimate of the cost of electricity in France* of 3 Euro cents per kWh and one looks at the more efficient 13.2 kWh/train-km figure, it's actually 40 cents per train-km. €0.40/km (US$0.54/km) for a train that can carry 485 people.

* I have yet to find a definitive source stating what SNCF pays for electricity, but I came across this claim for the cost for nuclear-generated electricity in France:

JZG, do these trains do regeneration during braking?

James Gervais

It depends on the trainset, apparently. The new TGV trains have regenerative braking but the old ones don't, so the efficiency figures I quoted above are, I think, with trains that do not do regenerative braking. This will make some difference, but relatively little I would think as compared to the HUGE difference regenerative braking can make for urban transit service (rail or trolleybus).


BY THE END of 2007, SNCF will have a fleet of 19 TGV POS (Paris - Ost Frankreich Süd Deutschland) trainsets based at the new Technicentre Est Européen at Pantin, operating over the first section of the high speed line between Paris and Strasbourg as far as Baudrecourt.


The three-system power cars are equipped to operate at 25 kV 50 Hz in France and Luxembourg, at 15 kV 16 2/3 Hz in Germany and Switzerland and at 1·5 kV DC on conventional routes in western and southern France.


The power cars are equipped for both rheostatic and regenerative braking, making POS the second member of the TGV family (after KTX for South Korea) to be able to return current to the overhead wire where conditions allow.

Railway Gazette International is a pretty reliable source.

Regenerative braking was supposed to reduce the electrical consumption for the Canal Streetcar Line in New Orleans by 30% (minimal % at 3 AM with 2 streetcars in service; approaching 40% at rush hour). This 30% figure includes lighting and air conditioning load.

I was waiting for operational #s (Canal opened 3 AM, April 18, 2004) when Katrina hit. The initial word was that the savings appeared to be a couple of % lower than expected but seasonal adjustements had not been made.

Best Hopes,


Something that occured to me the other day, not sure where it ought to go so I guess a Drum Beat is as good as anywhere as they seem to be a little more general in focus.

I'm fairly sure most people here are clued on on the Avian Influenza (H5N1) problem that has been brewing for a few years now. If not the short version is that H5N1 is endemic in Asian birds, particularaly wild fowl and domesticated chickens, and for some time it has shown the ability to infect humans. Despite good evidence for some short (2-3 people) human-human transmission chains it has yet to make that final leap to an efficently transmissible human pathogen and thus to a Pandemic.

As I currently understand things this is due in no small part by ongoing efforts in Indonesia, Vietnam and surrounds by local goverments and the WHO to keep H5N1 under control using two strategies. The first is mass culls of infected or possibly infected birds. The second is the deployment of so called TamiFlu blankets to areas where human outbreaks occur in order to stop the virus in its tracks before it can adapt to a human host.

What bothers me is, assuming that people here are correct, within a few years the places where these activites are most needed are going to be the places least capable of performing them. How is the goverment going to enforce mass culls of valuable food stock when people are already starving from lack of food? How is WHO going to continue to deploy Tamiflu blankets when the production, shipping and distribution of the drug has been hurt by the spreading effects of peak oil?

It sounds like a nightmare scenario but could it be that without the input of energy to keep the H5N1 genie in the bottle that it will finally break out?

If an exremely virulent human-to-human transmissable strain of the virus were to appear there, would you be able to tell if it was a natural mutagen or a human manufactured one. The current form may only have been a test to determine how it might track across the planet. Interesting that it has not yet reached the US.

"A brilliant and captivating book, meticulously researched, beautifully and engagingly written with wit and grace, and argued with relentless logic. In addition to providing practical take-home tips for protecting oneself from the flu, the author elegantly demonstrates that the evolution of the devastating influenza virus, as well as that of numerous other zoonotic pathogens, stems directly from the proliferation of confinement agricultural systems. Every person concerned about human and animal health and welfare, self-preservation, and justice should read this book."—Bernard Rollin, PhD, Colorado State University Distinguished Professor"


If you look at the history of disease you'll find that death rates from all infectious disease dropped due to improvements in: sanitation (sewerage and clean water) housing and general nutrition.

H5N1 is the disease of the minute that the MSM likes to parade. The above factors will be far more important than any one disease to the future of our health in a declining or collapsing economy.

"You can never solve a problem on the level on which it was created."
Albert Einstein

What's happening to the spot market today? I was expecting a $3-5 reduction in the fear premium. Maybe the market knew about the release on Tuesday and adjusted then.

Gasoline futures touch a seven-month high

"Just as the market was trying to digest exactly what this love-fest meant for the energy complex, the Department of Energy blindsided us with a wildly bullish 5-million-barrel drop in gasoline supply," said Phil Flynn, a senior analyst at Alaron Trading.

"For gas consumers, the DOE report can best be described as disturbing at the very least," he said in an e-mailed note to clients. "Gasoline supplies are tightening at a disturbing rate and that could mean only bad news for the consumer as we get ready to start a new summer-driving season."

Gasoline supply is way down, but crude inventories are still at the high end of normal.

Hmmmm...perhaps we have lots of crude that we can't rapidly refine??? Maybe we are buying oodles of heavy crude. Looks good in the inventory reports, but in reality, no good if we can't convert quickly to usable product.

Lots of good that will do us when demand increases this spring/summer.

The low gasoline inventories are implying robust future demand for crude oil, providing some price support.

How do you equate low stocks directly to more consumption.

I live near a vehicle inspection station. I took my motorcycle last june for inspection. Waiting for an inspector I talked with the mgr of the station for the city. He told me an interesting story. I commented on the short lines of vehicles. At the end of the month its usually very long. He said that not only that, the number of COMMERCIAL vehicles was down. The city requires all commercial license vehicles to come from Feb. to June each year. This year he said there weren't anywhere near as many, and the number of passenger vehicles was off too. I started to watch the lines at the station. They are down, way down, and at the end of the month they are obviously way down. No long lines of people waiting till the last day before getting inspected so you can renew tags. Still going on. Its not normal from years past.

conclusion. Less cars being renewed, less commercial vehicles being renewed. Does this equate to more or less gas to be consumed by vehicles. Are other cities experiencing the same. I think lots of vehicles are parked now, and I wonder about insurance coverage, where does it stand. Is coverage dropping for vehicles overall as people and business cut back on number of vehicles used (not necessarily sold, destroyed).

Can we trust any number from the corps, and the govt in this area now.

Quid Clarius Astris
Ubi Bene ibi patria


What % of world oil exports does the US import?

Could be an interesting trend to try and follow, I would expect the % to rise as prices go up (as the US can afford more expensive oil than other importers).

Using the Oil Poster I've got on the wall (July 2006 version) I calculate total exports to be around 34.1 million barrels per day (sum of 8.9, 6.7, 2.7, 2.6, 2.4, 2.3, 2.2, 1.8, 1.7, 1.5, and 1.3) and This Week In Petroleum shows imports are around 10 million barrels per day.

That puts the US import demand at about 30% of global oil import demand, it's interesting to contrast that against our overall oil consumption, at about 25% of global production (helps to be the third largest producer...).

WestTexas' Export Land model shows how the future will play out, and the US percentage of global import demand would be a good indicator of how bad things will get in the US. If we were to reduce import demands and actually start to lower that percentage that would represent progress away from oil dependence. If that number increases over time then it simply shows we have yet to wake up, and it will make the wakening that much more painful.

I would be interested in a more accurate estimate if anyone has the data.



Using data from BP Statistical Review 2006, world net oil (incl. NGLs) exports in 2005 were 43,73 Mb/d.

US net oil imports based upon data from the same source was 13,83 Mb/d in 2005.

Thus BP data suggests that US imported 31 – 32 % of the world net exports. 50% of this was from OPEC members.

Just my bit……


Thanks, I knew the Oil Poster only had the larger exporters so it wasn't a complete list. Thanks for the clarified numbers (right in range with my little estimate, a lucky calculation).

I am amazed at how fast the word 'problem' has disappeared from common parlance, having been replaced by 'issue' about five years ago. I am also disgusted with the use of 'mature' instead of depleted in reference to oil production. Instead of having issues over field maturity, I prefer problems over depletion. I seem to recall the tax rules giving a 'depletion allowance' rather than a maturity allowance.

So let's stay the curse, and drill wells over there so we don't have to drill them here, and make sure we flush every drop of the cheap stuff out before we go on to the hard, pardon me, 'challenging' deposits and locations. And a hats off to yoeman Cantarell for having given Mexico at least a glimpse of prosperity for a generation. It may turn out to have been their only one.

I'm all for delaying any potential drilling in any of the "off-limits" areas that are under US control. I'd rather we not tap into any more local oil until we've more fully exhausted foreign oil, so that way when the resource wars become more fierce, we will have that oil near instead of far. (All of a sudden Sesame Street pops into mind, with that little character running up to the screen yelling "NEAR!" scurrying away and yelling "FAR!")

Hopefully by the time we actually start drilling in those forbidden areas, we'll have figured out that it's better to use oil as a raw material in making products than it is to burn it to go from Pointless Location A to Pointless Location B.

That's why I've always been suspicious of the claim that we should open ANWR to oil exploration as a way of promoting American energy independence. I would hardly call 'drain America first' a good strategy for reaching energy independence.

... or maybe after everyone is done shooting up the M. East, Africa and S. Asia, the "party" will move stateside.

Yes, a few years back the US Govt stopped using the word Hunger and replaced it with Food Insecurity. Guess they are expecting a lot of that in the future and would rather be talking about the issue of food insecurity in America rather than the problem of Hunger in America.(By the way, Starvation is now called extreme food insecurity. People who are starving to death are now mearly experiencing extreme food insecurity.)

An article on the grid. Maybe I'll send him Figure#4 from Richard Duncan...

Electrifying Change

The second obstacle is simply the condition of the electrical grid itself. The range of equipment nearing or beyond its projected service life is staggering:

70% of America's roughly 160,000 miles of high voltage transmission lines are 25 years or older--

as are 70% of the more than 63,000 transformers;

further, 60% of the nearly 200,000 circuit breakers are at least 30 years old.

14 Electro-mechanical analog switches are still the norm system-wide, which comes as a bit of a surprise considering the same kind of switch was discontinued from use in television sets more than twenty years ago.15 Keeping such increasingly obsolete equipment operating, not to mention finding spare parts, has become such a major problem for the industry that investor-owned utilities


Mod that Safehaven.com article UP!

cfm in Gray, ME

I put it up top.

I have long felt that infrastructure is a much bigger issue than most people - even most peak oilers - realize. It's extremely expensive to build. It was built when oil was cheap and we were OPEC. It would be much harder to build now, for Tainterian reasons: less resources, more complexity, and the fact that we are now so dependent on it.

We aren't adequately upgrading or maintaining it, and it's only going to get harder when energy is more expensive.

A perhaps related article is the one about Ghacem, the Ghana cement company. The price of cement has gotten very high, and there are shortages; Ghacem blames the energy crisis in the country. But people don't believe them, accusing them of running up prices and using the energy crisis as an excuse.

Perhaps they are, but cement is a very energy-intensive material. The price has spiked all over the world, at least partly due to higher energy costs.

This is why I fear we may be chasing the "receding horizon" with solar, wind, nuclear, etc. They still require energy-intensive materials like steel, aluminum, silicon, concrete, copper, etc. They will become more expensive, as energy does.

"I put it up top."

Thank you

It seems to me the oil industry has "let the infrastructure go" because they are aware they won't be needing it in a few years.(i.e. Why go to the expense of replacing a refinery if there will be nothing to refine in a few years? Why build more oil rigs if it's already apparent you aren't finding enough to make the expense of exploration worthwhile?)

Ive had that same feeling, but more along the lines of the refiners. It's funny they talk today of refiners not being built in thirty odd years, well gee the maximum production happened 'round the same damn time! It's like people are totally incapable of connecting two events, or even relating them. Evryone should be required to master some correlation math before leaving school.

Hi Cid,

There's a post somewhere on TOD (which I don't have time to find) re: "replacing a refinery". To the effect that many/(most?) refineries, de facto, were replaced, in the sense of an "inside remodeling" type of construction, in order to side-step (or "deal with") regulations involving new construction, so that the capacity actually did increase equivalent to X number of new refineries. As I recall. Heading out probably knows.

From the Mars article above...

CLIMATE change sceptics have seized on news that Mars is heating up to back their claim that humans are not causing Earthly global warming.

So What if we're not causing global warming. Changes look to be coming down the pipe that will make our world a difficult place to live. And it's not as if we're doing anything significant to mitigate GW anyway. This argument serves only to bolster those who want to say "I told you so."

It still doesn't solve the problem. In fact I don't see how the argument that global warming is due to the sun will inspire anyone to help make Earth more healthy.

Tom A-B

Changes look to be coming down the pipe that will make our world a difficult place to live.

Sure, whatever the cause is...
Climate change is predicted to reduce U.S. crop yields by 25%-80%

You obviously didn't read the article. It said Mars is warming due to decreased albedo because of increased wind and dust storms. Has nothing to do with the sun. Has NO RELATIONSHIP WHATSOEVER with what is going on on Earth.

what article do you refer too. This is interesting. Dust storms on mars and wind storms are the cause. Really. I would love to here how thats working out.

Atmosphere on mars. Atmosphere on Mars compared to earth is almost non existent. Therefore wind to blow around "dust" etc would have to have quite a bit more force than say the breezes on earth, by the magnitude of say, hurricane force or so to be equal. Do you follow what I am saying. Low atmosphere and the amount of force to move objects with that atmosphere would take hurricane force winds. Those same winds and dust are also claimed to account for the "glass tubes" on mars. former NASA employee Van Flanders used this argument against how the "wind" with the atmosphere of Mars could account for "dune building" and other reasons.

Does that same article account for why more energy is coming out of the planets also than can be accounted for from the input of the sun. I heard a figure of about 18 percent difference. They have a reason for that two, and oh hea, the Hexagon storm on the planet Nasa has known about for the last 15 years.

Quid Clarius Astris
Ubi Bene ibi patria

"what article do you refer too. This is interesting. Dust storms on mars and wind storms are the cause. Really."

The one above on this post. Do people just go directly into the comments on Drumbeat and not read the articles?

Here, let me save you the trouble of scrolling up.


"Does that same article account for why more energy is coming out of the planets also than can be accounted for from the input of the sun. I heard a figure of about 18 percent difference. They have a reason for that two, and oh hea, the Hexagon storm on the planet Nasa has known about for the last 15 years."

Do you just believe things without checking the sources?
I suppose you also believe in alien abductions and Bigfoot. Use the brain you were born with.

Actually the Hexagon storm on Saturn is a huge Science news story at the moment. A simple searching use "Saturn Hexagon Storm" will yield multiple results from multiple MSM and various science/space related news sites. Essentially this storm was seen over a decade ago in this hexagonal formation and upon our return visit using new probes we see this storm still going strong. Its confounding scientists. The flip side of wierdness is that on the opposite pole from this hexagonal storm is a Giant "hurricane" style storm allowing scientists to see deep into Saturns atmosphere as the Eye wall is providing a neat cross section of the deeper levels this gas giants layers.

As for the statement about more energy being released from certain planets than solar inputs can account for, I have heard of that phenomena as well. Several current theories include energy sources from radioactives, tectonic activity, residual energy flows from distant stars, electromagnetic build up and release(i.e. so called super lightning storms evidence of which is present in Saturns rings as there are traces of energy flows cross through ring layers), residual solar storms/flares from past solar events potentially hundreds of years ago or what are sometimes called solar winds).

There is quite a bit about space we don't know about yet, so your quick dismissal is just as if not perhaps more than irresponsible than his PrisonerX overly brief citation of such events.

Yes, I've heard that from a few folks. I have wanted to say "So, you've got your degree in bubbatronics from Bubba Tech, and now that makes you a planetary scientist!?", but have kept my mouth shut in the interest of workplace harmony.

Now, I think I have an answer:
They say "it proves that humans didn't cause GW", and I say "it proves that a carbon dioxide atmosphere is a bitchin' good way to make dust storms".

The problem will solve itself.
But not in a nice way.

So the claim is the Carbon Dioxide is the cause of the warming. Mars has a certain amount of CO2, if CO2 is the reason for the rise and you equate it to CO2, are you saying CO2 is increasing and that accounts for the rise (like on earth). If so, what is the cause of the rise in CO2 on Mars. What is causing the extra CO2, or is it magically increasing. Or is this CO2 able to absorb more heat. Atmosphere on Mars is .07 of earth at sea level.

link to this article, I would like to see how they make the connection and can account for the increase.

Quid Clarius Astris
Ubi Bene ibi patria

Tom Whipple's article above on the GAO report made the lightbulb go off in my head. It's clear that the government is not clueless (as many of you have stated repeatedly). I guess I already knew that. But it reinforced my belief that the government is not incompetent. Instead they actually have a strategy for how to present this crisis to the world in a very careful way. And from my perspective they seem to know there's no good solution. If there were, why wouldn't they take the approach of presenting the true problem to foster ingenuity aimed at resolving these challenges?

Thus, the real dilemma of coping peak oil, for a while at least, is really quite simple. If the government should lay out the full ramifications of peaking in hopes of rallying the people to make preparations, the most immediate consequence is likely to be serious economic setback triggered by an unambiguous announcement itself.

The alternative is to remain silent. Leave the future a bit murky with room for hope. Don’t panic anybody into selling assets or husbanding their money with talk of an unaffordable future. Talk about reducing dependence of foreign oil instead. This carries the implication that the foreign oil will always be there in an emergency and that reducing dependence will be a matter of patriotic choice not necessity.

As no responsible government wants to see economic troubles start any sooner than absolutely necessary, there will probably never be a strong, clear, unambiguous, widely disseminated report on the timing of peak oil. The National Petroleum Council is poised to pronounce on the issue in the next few months. It would not be surprising if they come up with a formulation similar to the GAO’s. If governments have their way, we will stumble into peak oil over a period of years during which gasoline prices cycle inexorably upwards and various compensating actions are take.

So there you have it. The GAO did their job by warning the Congress that peak oil might just be a very serious problem very soon, and the DOW is still going up. Sometimes government agencies are not that dumb after all!


Tom A-B

I have a lot of respect for Tom Whipple. Others say similar things, and you might write them off as conspiracy mongers, but Tom Whipple...he's a retired CIA analyst. You have to think he knows what he's talking about, at least when it comes to the government.

I have complete respect for Tom Whipple as well. I'm pleased also that there is a newspaper in the US that allows him to write about peak oil. I'm fascinated by his latest report in no small part because of his credibility.

Tom A-B

The CIA is there in Northern VA and there are a lot a analysis types in that area (Falls Church).

Ah, interesting, I was wondering why that small paper is "allowed" to have such realistic articles!

I don't see how an end to the expectation of growth can ever be gradual, i.e. not panicky. The entire financial system IS that expectation. People seem to be thinking in terms of the Great Depression, which had no reason behind it. This will have an absolute reason behind it.

It seems to me that an early depression, when there was still some easy oil left for the Roosevelts of tomorrow to use in converting the world - by top-down fiat - to non-fossil-fuel, is preferable. The no-panic school will just come off like Neville Chamberlain: the earlier you panic the more motivation you get on your side, and the less clout depletion has yet got.

The above headline "Iran’s Pre-Emptive Strike " and talk of the "tired propaganda" about Iran in yesterday's drumbeat reminded me of this piece about Iran:


Al Jazeera

...Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has openly called for Israel to be wiped off the map.

Ahmadinejad addressed students at a conference.

"The establishment of the Zionist regime was a move by the world oppressor against the Islamic world," the president told a conference in Tehran on Wednesday, entitled The World without Zionism.

"The skirmishes in the occupied land are part of a war of destiny. The outcome of hundreds of years of war will be defined in Palestinian land," he said.

"As the Imam said, Israel must be wiped off the map," said Ahmadinejad, referring to Iran's revolutionary leader Ayat Allah Khomeini...

...Ahmadinejad instead spoke of a "historic war". "It dates backs hundreds of years. Sometimes Islam has advanced. Sometimes nobody was winning. Unfortunately over the past 300 years, the world of Islam has been in retreat," he lamented...

(listen up arabs!!...) "Anyone who signs a treaty which recognises the entity of Israel means he has signed the surrender of the Muslim world," Ahmadinejad said.

"Any leaders in the Islamic umma who recognise Israel face the wrath of their own people."

Quit kidding yourselves. Quit apologizing and making excuses. Just recognize and accept reality.

Israel, on the other hand, has so far refused to recognize the existence of a Palestinian state in theory and in practice, effectively keeping the Palestinian area under martial law. Of course, they refuse to annex it, because that would mean they would have to give Palestinians civil rights - unthinkable!
When was the last time a foreign nation conducted military operations on Israeli soil? When was the last time the Israeli army conducted operations on foreign soil? Who is the agressor here?

Flying Wind Farms:
I think this is a great idea, and wish that somebody (government or private) would fund this research at a much higher level. Advantages over current wind power include:

  • Higher wind availability and so greater effective capacity to the electrical grid.
  • Easier to site.
  • Less impact on birds.

Another side benefit, if we had enough of these we could consolidate all of those cellular antennas onto the platform or cable and take down most of our existing cell phone towers.

Getting a cell phone systems that realy can crash.

I prefer lots of towers and backup power that lasts for more then 6h. Telia in Sweden has started experimenting with replacing the backup batteries with hydrogen fuel cells and regular preassure bottels with hydrogen gas for abour 48h use to be used instead of installing more high maintainance diesel generators. They hope to have it mass deployable in about two years. You realy want to have the phones working for at least a full 24h after a disaster like a hurricane or so, it makes an immense difference for peoples ability to sort out the mess.

These umbrella cells reminds me of the 450 MHz CDMA system being installed for the rural market in Sweden. They often use the old high TV masts wich has good backup power etc. Having high flying cells is good for coverage but bad for capacity.

Of course in the big picture these are drag-anchors, slowing the rotation of the earth and lengthening the day. =)

Actually not. The earth does not rotate within the atmosphere, but the atmosphere is a part of the earth, which rotates in empty space.
You are right though, that it takes kinetic energy away from the weather system, an reinjects it as waste heat where it is consumed, probably adding to the heat island effect of cities.

You know, that picture just made me think:
that's what we need to do with all those stinky old pig farms too!

  • Up in the stratosphere, the bad smell just blows away
  • With all the exercise the pigs get, they'll have really lean meat
  • etc ...

The problem will solve itself.
But not in a nice way.

April's IPM has been released. World C+C at 73.184 mbpd. Mexico more stable at 3.143 mbpd.

A new Round-Up has been posted at TOD:Canada.

Ok so here’s my review of today’s biofuel grab bag.

RE: How Biofuels Could Starve the Poor.

Although well written -as is typical of most CFR essays- this piece doesn’t stray too far from the usual scare tactics employed against the biofuel sector - corn ethanol relies on subsides, it raises the price of corn to *gasp* sustainable levels, meat producers are going to have a hard time despite years of meat gluts, et cetera.

To be fair, however, economic professors Runge and Senauer make the right call on conservation, fuel efficiency standards and corn ethanol EROI, not to mention they are perhaps the first mainstream biofuel pundits to acknowledge (something that TODers already know) that the Mexican tortilla crisis was brought about by outright price manipulation i.e. gouging & hording.

Now in light of the fact that these authors are economists, we know that there will be no mention of Peak Oil; the liquid transportation fuel crisis it portends or how developing nations are supposed to feed their citizens in a post-peak world when the largest share of a nation’s wealth is ALREADY allocated to fossil fuels purchases.

At 10 calories of fossil fuel inputs for every calorie of food produced, it never ceases to amaze me how the so-called ‘experts’ can blather on and on about the starving masses when the cost of corn doubles and yet completely fail to recognize the devastation that will be wrought on these same peoples should the price of oil double (which it has since 2003) or double again from today’s $64/bbl, which is likely to happen this summer.

Nevertheless, we are left with perhaps the true thrust of this piece (which could probably be extrapolated to the CFR agenda as a whole) when we examine what’s buried in the fourth page:

“Thinking of ethanol as a green alternative to fossil fuels reinforces the chimera of energy independence and of decoupling the interests of the United States from an increasingly troubled Middle East.”

RE: The Problem With Ethanol

Not going to waste my time with someone who references Patzek’s work or doesn’t understand that sugar cane has been cultivated for centuries.

RE: Is Big Oil Curbing Ethanol Growth

An interesting article -from the WSJ no less.

There may indeed be a hidden agenda here, however, there could also be practical reasons for the Major’s foot-dragging on this issue and I’ll give you a simple example to outline what I mean.

Let’s suppose every gas station in the country decided to offer E85 tomorrow. Would there be enough E85 available to supply these stations?

No, there wouldn't. Some stations would have enough E85; others would be short on supply; while others would run out if they received any E85 at all.

What would consumer reaction be and upon whom would their anger and frustration fall?

RE: 02Diesel

Here is a company that I pointed out to TODers some time ago.

02Diesel http://02diesel.com have developed a proprietary method for extending diesel fuel stockpiles with ethanol. It’s a novel concept and although DME may be a better replacement, in post-peak world, every little bit helps.

Have a great weekend!

Iraq and Oil

On the question of Iraq and oil raised by the CNN article. Strategic control of the Gulf, practiced since WWII by the US, has never meant the actual need of physical control of the oil supply by the US government or American corporations. It simply meant to have such overwhelmingly military/political domination of the area, a secure supply of oil could be delivered to meet global demand.

The beginning of the war in 1991 had nothing to with direct American control of oil, it was meant to both keep Saddam from controlling Kuwait oil supplies and establish US bases in the Gulf which were severely depleted with the overthrow of the Shah ten years before.

Now, when Cheney and company planned the Iraq invasion, did they think the majors would have a big role in getting the Iraq oil supply up, undoubtedly. Has everything gone to shit from the planning boards till now - obvious. Does the corporate global branch of the US government really care if China or Vietnam gets the crude out to increase global supply, not really, not as long as the US is still considered the indispensable player insuring a secure supply from the Gulf -- of course this has now all been opened to question.

Finally, we've seen big changes in the industry in 50 years; the loss of control of global reserves by the majors, the growth of national players, and the ever closer march to peak. So, while in the past, I think you could say strategic control of oil didn't equate with actual physical control, that's changing very quickly.

Time to pop open a bottle and celebrate while you still can afford it:

The Implode-O-Meter just reached 50


Long READ...I pulled most sensational, but to understand context, please read whole article. Interesting to say the least.

E. Howard scribbled the initials "LBJ," standing for Kennedy's ambitious vice president, Lyndon Johnson. Under "LBJ," connected by a line, he wrote the name Cord Meyer. Meyer was a CIA agent whose wife had an affair with JFK; later she was murdered, a case that's never been solved. Next his father connected to Meyer's name the name Bill Harvey, another CIA agent; also connected to Meyer's name was the name David Morales, yet another CIA man and a well-known, particularly vicious black-op specialist. And then his father connected to Morales' name, with a line, the framed words "French Gunman Grassy Knoll."

After reading what his father had written, St. John was stunned too. His father had not only implicated LBJ, he'd also, with a few swift marks of a pen, put the lie to almost everything he'd sworn to, under oath, about his knowledge of the assassination. Saint had a million more questions. But his father was exhausted and needed to sleep, and then Saint had to leave town without finishing their talk, though a few weeks later he did receive in the mail a tape recording from his dad. E. Howard's voice on the cassette is weak and grasping, and he sometimes wanders down unrelated pathways. But he essentially remakes the same points he made in his handwritten narrative.

At 24 I have long believed the Mafia was most culpable as the carrying this out. It wasn't until I got a bit older that I started connecting the CIA and the mafia. Now I know the CIA uses the mafia regularly, a symbiotic relationship for sure. We all know the gov't is no longer of the people, so who among you will acknowledge this as at minumum, plausible. Hunt was right though, EVERYONE wanted JFK dead. Didn't he also want to abolish the FED and return the power to coin money to the Trez? Hmm...

Some of us think Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone.

When TOD focuses on issues related to fossil fuels and oil depletion, it is a great site, second to none. When TOD discussions venture into other scientific areas, such as global warming, the discussions are usually still good. When TOD wanders into politics, and especially conspiracy theories related to politics...sigh. I'd better not say any more.

Ok, Dont.

Tate: A few comments. 1. I just watched a very well done pseudo documentary you would enjoy-DEATH OF A PRESIDENT. 2. Re the JFK hit, it is like 9/11. It doesn't matter what evidence is presented, until the authority of the MSM puts the seal of approval on it, it doesn't exist for probably 75% of the American population. As another poster noted, this is a good thing, as it makes it unlikely that there will be a general realization of the problem of global oil depletion until many years post-peak (gives you more time to work on your lifeboat). Don't disturb the sheeple-sometimes they bite.

How bout comets are dirty snowballs Comet Temple 1. July 4th. large extravaganza. Watch the dirty snowball blow up one and all live on TV.

It wasn't a dirty snowball. Who is it that said they were again Nasaguy

Quid Clarius Astris
Ubi Bene ibi patria

"Some of us think Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone."

According to the Select Committee on Assassinations that was formed just after JFK's death, there could have been a second shooter (acoustic evidence suggested there was, and physical evidence did not preclude it). The full report is, of course, rather long but is probably worth reading for anyone who wants to research a particular aspect of it.

Someone knows... but I doubt we ever will.

"You can never solve a problem on the level on which it was created."
Albert Einstein

"Someone knows... but I doubt we ever will."



Take a minute and read this one. At the bottom of each page is a continue link.


Not the best place to "ride out" post peak, uh?

Idaho shooters target National Guard

With just two agents to patrol 4 million acres of desert near Boise, gun enthusiasts regularly defy the ban by shooting squirrels, protected birds and even grazing cattle, park officials say.


the federal
Bureau of Land Management is considering expanding the gun-restricted area by 41,000 acres to try to limit shootings at Idaho Army National Guard troops who report slugs bouncing off their tanks on a regular basis.

"There's a segment of the shooting community that will shoot at anything that moves," said John Sullivan, the area's manager.

...the "shooting community." Now, there's a euphmism if ever I heard one.

My grandfather, an NRA lifer, quit his local gun club when "the crazies" took over and towed junked cars to the range so that they could come out on the weekends and blast them with their AR-15s.

It's too bad that there wasn't an amendment #2B -- the need to prove mental competency as a prereq to owning a firearm.

...the "shooting community."

Look on the bright side — their population is self-limiting. :)

The problem will solve itself.
But not in a nice way.

Just give the tanks permission to shoot back.

That'll solve the problem pretty quickly. :-)

The EIA have published the monthly international oil production statistics for January at http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/ipsr/supply.html

They now give the statistics for quite a few more countries, like Azerbaijan, Kazahkstan, Denmark, Vietnam, etc.

Interesting to see how many of the countries listed by the EIA are now clearly post-peak. We are not too far off 50% of the listed countries.

World production, according to the EIA, was down by nearly 200,000 bpd in January compared to December. The reduction in OPEC production was relatively small - just over 250,000 bpd (excluding Angola) - if the EIA is to be believed. There was, apparently, no reduction in Saudi production compared with December.

Don't know if this got posted yet...Matt Simmons will be on FSN Saturday

Hello TODers,

Wild & Crazy Speculation Ahead!

This is obviously not my area of expertise: is it possible to do 2D, 3D, 4D stratigraphic seismic data collection by 2000 lb JDAM bombs? Artillery shells?

Obviously, the damage to humans and buildings is quite horrific, but the explosive impact must setoff quite a bit of tectonic reverberation that could be collected by sensing equipment in appropriate, even distant places. Knowing the precise GPS coordinates and time of explosion gives a referential point to correlate the collected subterranean data.

Using this military method is it possible to map out undiscovered Iraqi oilfields? Stratigraphic correlation with existing data from the Iraqi Oil Ministry would then allow detailed mapping of the entirety of Iraq.

Any seismic experts out there to tell me there is no merit to this crazy idea?

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


If the Russians were correct, the war in Iran begins in 1 1/2 hrs(7:30PM CDT).

I find it hard to believe that a president who's last dregs of support ostensibly come from christians would choose a relatively important christian holiday to attack on (baring a 9/11-sized reason).

Next weekend would be believible. Didn't the last housing crash start in the second week of April? A war would be a good distraction from the housing price crash, and pundits could even blame the crash on people being hesitant to move because of the war, and simply ignore the credit bubble which allowed people to "buy" unaffordable houses.

The reasoning is that the Stock market is closed tomorrow for Good Friday so the market would have 3 days to digest the news and it could be over by the time markets open Monday.

As remarked by NASAguy further up the quality of TOD goes into the toilet every time loons like yourself see fit to post stupid conspiracy teories.

Go jump in front of a train.

references? can you provide a reference to your WAR WARNING rant? I can't find a thing. please support!

a 3 day strike?
NATIONAL TRUCKER’S “TRUCK OUT” BOYCOTT: To protest President Bush and our elected official’s plans, both state and federal, to allow tens of thousands of Mexican truckers onto America’s highways in the next 45 days.

Hod does that square with the result of the British fuel strikes of 2001
How about the claims of the British strike leading to riots at stores due to lack of food?

In the 'are the money interestes are getting restless?' department

Why do I get the feeling there's a brick wall ahead and 2nd derivative of motion is a positive integer?

For the 2000 strike, I would offer these texts

Just 9 Days. TO near collapse. If you haven't read the account, read this one.

One of the best.

Remember, Remember the 5th of September, 2000
(Note: This article discusses how rising fuel prices sparked the protest of 2000 British citizens, and brought the entire nation to a halt by stopping the flow of petroleum products for nine days…)


And these

On the left side click on FUTURE>/B>

Fuel protests escalate throughout Europe http://www.wsws.org/articles/2000/sep2000/oil-s12_prn.shtml

Broxellois Find their Feet. BBC News online http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/923423.stm

Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada (PSEPC): Incident Analysis: IA05-001. Impact of September 2000 Fuel Price Protests on UK Critical Infrastructure January 25, 2005

Cost of Dispute Could Top £1bn, Say Firms. Guardian Unlimited on Line, 15 September 2000, http://www.guardian.co.uk/petrol/story/0,7369,369147,00.html
How Protesters Fuelled a Very 21st-Century Crisis. Guardian Unlimited on Line.17 September 2000.16 July 2003

NHS on Red Alert. BBC News Online: Health.13 September 2000.16 July 2003 http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/921414.stm

Blair Moves to End Growing UKFuel Crisis. CNN on Line: 2000, 12 September 2000, http://edition.cnn.com/2000/WORLD/europe/09/12/london.fuel.02

Rationing Keeps NHS Afloat. Guardian Unlimited on Line.15 September 2000 .16 July 2003 http://www.guardian.co.uk/petrol/story/0,7369,368702,00.html

Source: Britain’s Essential Services. BBC News Online: UK.15 September 2000. 4 July 2003 http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/925662.stm

Fuel Crisis Post Mortem Begins. BBC News Online. 16 September 2000 http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/925616.stm

Europe Fuel Crisis Escalates. BBC News Online. 15 September 2000 http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/925783.stm

Fuel Crisis Bring Chaos to NHS. BBC News Online: Health. 13 September 2000.16 July 2003 http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/923621.stm



Steve Kretzmann, executive director of Oil Change International, an industry watchdog group, criticized the draft oil law for allowing long-term oil contracts to be awarded to foreign oil firms, a practice he said was unique in the Middle East.

"Giving out a few crumbs to the Chinese and Indians is one thing," said Kretzmann, who noted the draft law was seen by both the Bush administration and the International Monetary Fund before it was given to Iraq's parliament. "But the real prize are the contracts that award long-term rights. I think the [Western oil companies] are biding their time."


In case no one is aware,here in the upper midsouth we are experiencing some extreme cold. Last night was below freezing and several more days of possible mid 20's mixed in.

This after reaching almost to the daytime 90s of late and a very, very warm March preceded by a very, very cold Feburary.

Now that much of the planted corn is up and wheat is vulernable along come freezing weather. The results are uncertain as yet but still it is extreme changes since the first of 2007. Last year was bad enough with record setting rain and crop destruction right at harvest time.

Three days ago we had severe thunderstorms. Power outages and trees down everywhere.

Planting now is suspended due to very wet soil. We are now having what we call a 'Dogwood Winter'. Dogwoods in full bloom and freezing temperatures at night. I think all the fruit trees were safe and got thru blossom fall for the most part.


Weird weather and agriculture is a ticking bomb. People think that just energy bills will go up along with anything that competes with corn. Add groceries to that list. More and more food will have to come from controlled environment farming like hydroponics and aquaculture so we'll end up like a Moon base.

What disturbs me is that I just put a submersible pump in a hole in the dried up bed of an earth dam in order to pump muddy water on pumpkins and zucchinis. Now here in southern Australia frosts are coming 50 days early. If this is climate change it could arrive too fast for us to adapt.

Well that sure puts the frost on the pumpkins. I'm sorry but I have no self restraint, though I do have sympathy for your problems. Here where I am living in south western Canada, other than thinking I am living in southern Oregon and being able to put in my vegetable garden about a month early this year, we are doing okay. I wouldn't want to be settled in the prairies though, it has always been just this side of drought there.

Oops forgot the carrot fly which we never had to any degree until a few years ago. It is almost impossible to grow carrots that aren't infested with their maggots and the codling moth hasn't been nice the past couple of years either without good frosts to cut them both back.

Best wishes to you

From the Cato Institute:

Each of those fears about oil supplies is exaggerated, and none should be a focus of U.S. foreign or military policy. "Peak oil" predictions about the impending decline in global rates of oil production are based on scant evidence and dubious models of how the oil market responds to scarcity. In fact, even though oil supplies will increasingly come from unstable regions, investment to reduce the costs of finding and extracting oil is a better response to that political instability than trying to fix the political problems of faraway countries.

Energy Alarmism -- The Myths That Make Americans Worry about Oil


When I read 'scant evidence' I saw that chart of the Cantarell crash in my mind. (It looked like evidence of scantness to me!)

This is quite a read.

The report contains an interesting section entitled, "The Perils of Peak Oil".

At the Oil Drum, peak oil is commandeered on regular basis for service in the agendas of social critics of various flavours, environmentalists, policy wonks and people hawking alt energy or just wishing for the end.

But those Cato guys are specifically worried about peak oil being used to bolster the case for war (euphemistically labelled efforts to democratize unstable regions.)

BTW, they cite Maugeri as essentially saying that EROI in the oil biz is rising. Sheesh.

Ah, the Cato Institute comes to the rescue again.
(Their full PDF paper is here.)

The Cato Institutionalized Class believes in the following creed (page 3, top of right col. in PDF paper):

[G]eology merely creates the playing field for oil exploration and extraction. The amount of oil that can actually be “produced” at any given time [P(t,$)], that is, extracted from the ground, transported to refineries, refined, and then transported in various forms to end users, depends on how much money oil companies have invested in a given field.

In other words, the oil will flow; the problem will go down the toilet if we simply throw some money ($$) at it.

I have my check book open. What "price signal" shall I enter into the box? Once Mother Nature sees the price signal, she will open her flood gates and make the oil pour forth. Cato promises us this.

The overall point is that the oil market has its idiosyncrasies and arcane details, but it generally functions like other markets: Rising prices increase supply, stimulate investment, and reduce demand. Price fluctuations match up the amount of supply on the market at any given time with the amount of demand, such that there are no “gaps” between supply and demand on a day-to-day basis.

From Cato's Perils of PO Pauline section:

The pessimistic claims about peaking oil supplies should be treated with skepticism.

For decades, analysts have argued that oil supplies were dwindling and that the peak rate of production would soon been reached.

In fact, the most eminent advocate of that argument today once predicted that the global production peak would occur in 1989, but since then global crude oil production has grown by 23 percent, and oil supply (crude oil and other petroleum liquids) has grown by more than 28 percent. (24) More telling, the world’s ultimately recoverable resources (URR) have been growing over time, largely because many fields contain substantially more oil than was originally believed. (25)

One reason URR are growing despite the world’s continuing consumption of oil is that improved technology has allowed a far greater fraction of reserves to be extracted from oil fields. In 1980 only 22 percent of the oil in the average field was recoverable, but with better extraction technology average recovery is now up to 35 percent, effectively increasing URR by more than 50 percent.

... In short, no one knows how much oil is ultimately recoverable from the earth, but there is no compelling evidence that reserves are running out or that production is near the peak. (27)

Suffering sassafras! Who is this "most eminent advocate of that argument today"? Why silly him. He deserves to suffer the outrageous arrows of social skepticism ...cism ... cism. There is no compelling evidence ... no compelling evidence (keep repeating to yourself).

There is no compelling evidence ... no compelling evidence (keep repeating to yourself).