DrumBeat: April 12, 2007

Transportation News: Does Rapid Decline in Mexican Oil Field Prove Peak Oil Theories?

We’ve covered stories in the past around “Peak Oil” theories and the potential impact on energy, transportation and other supply chain costs if such predictions are accurate (See "Supply Chain Management and the End of Oil," "Is Saudi Arabia Running Out of Oil?" "Giant Oil Find in Gulf of Mexico Offers Promise that There is Lot More Oil Out There").

Now, reports that production from the giant Cantarell oil field in Mexico, the world’s second largest by output, is falling dramatically, almost perfectly in line with what Peak Oil theorist would predict.

Dave Cohen: Decline Rates and Non-OPEC Supply

Every year, baseball starts up in the Spring and there are rosy forecasts for supply growth in the non-OPEC oil supply. 2007 is no exception.

IEA trims 2007 global oil demand forecast

The International Energy Agency revised its 2007 global oil product demand forecast down slightly, citing continued weather-related demand weakness in industrialised countries of the OECD.

Iraq hopes to up oil output by a third

Iraq hopes to raise oil production by nearly 1 million barrels per day (bpd) this year, achieving its long-held target of 3 million bpd by restoring northern exports, its oil minister said on Thursday.

Mistakes to Avoid in the Global Warming Fight

The free market is the best system ever created for providing what we want at the lowest possible cost. The way to get affordable amelioration of climate change is to put the market to work finding solutions. To achieve that, we merely need to make energy prices reflect the potential harm done by greenhouse gases.

George Monbiot on Peak Oil and Transition Towns

Over the past two or three years or so, I’ve become pretty sure that peak oil isn’t as imminent as I first thought. ...It is not going to happen as soon as Kenneth Deffeyes and Colin Campbell and one or two others say, I’m pretty much convinced of that.

LNG faces complex landscape

The latest setback for a proposed liquefied natural gas plant, which would perch well offshore from Oxnard, illustrates both the hurdles that the supercooled gas called LNG faces and the tenacity of those who say we need it.

Alaska: Village short on fuel halts sales to seasonal residents

In a mid-March meeting, the Larsen Bay City Council moved to restrict fuel sales from the city-owned fuel farm, cutting off sales to anyone other than the village’s 90 or so year-round residents.

A letter sent to past customers apologized for the inconvenience and cited low cash reserves at the city, in part due to outstanding bills owed by fuel customers.

The Saudi Paradox

The House of Saud has long experience navigating contradictory allegiances. Since the 1930s, the ruling family has managed a tenuous pair of alliances: one as an ally and major oil supplier to the United States, and the other as a political partner with Wahhabi clerics who dominate social and religious policy in the kingdom.

Russia mulls new oil pipeline project to bypass Belarus, Poland

The industry ministry has proposed building a second leg of an oil pipeline to Europe bypassing Belarus and Poland to reduce Russia's dependence on transit countries, the ministry's press service said Thursday.

Getting tough with the petro-elites

The world's fastest growing source of oil is West Africa. The United States imports more crude from West Africa than from Saudi Arabia and Kuwait combined; Angola has become China's biggest supplier; the European Union imports almost one fifth of its oil from Africa.

$2.5 trillion investment in new coal-fired plants

World coal-fired power generation capacity will rise from 1.3 million MW in 2006, to 1.7 million MW in 2011, and to 2.7 million MW in 2030, according to a new report.

This will require more than 1.7 million MW of new coal-fired construction to account for retirements as well as growth.

China Aims to Clean Up in Solar Power

China is home to some of the most polluted cities on the planet and likely will overtake the U.S. as the biggest emitter of greenhouse gases by the end of the decade. Yet while China's "dirty dragon" image is well-deserved, Beijing officials are also deadly serious about investing in solar power capacity at home and eventually becoming a dominant player in this rapidly-emerging, clean energy technology.

Pentagon Considering Study on Space-Based Solar Power

The Pentagon's National Security Space Office (NSSO) may begin a study in the near future on the possibility of using satellites to collect solar energy for use on Earth, according to Defense Department officials.

Annual U.S. Wind Power Rankings

The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) today released its annual rankings of wind energy development in the United States.

Texas is top state for alternative fuel

Big trucks and alternative fuels seem mutually exclusive.

But Texans' love of big diesel pickups helped make Texas the state with the most alternative-fuel vehicles on the road last year.

John Michael Greer: Cycles of sustainability

Prophecy is risky business, but it’s a risk worth taking on occasion, so I would like to offer the following seemingly unlikely prediction: fifteen years after the definite arrival of a peak in oil production, the price of crude oil in Euros will be no higher than it is today, and may actually be quite a bit lower.

Peru, Trinidad in Talks to Join 'Gas OPEC'

Peru and Trinidad & Tobago are in talks to join Opegasur, the OPEC-style natural gas producers' organization Venezuela is promoting, Venezuela's energy and oil minister Rafael Ramirez said in a ministry statement.

Deal signed for Shaybah pipeline

Warm Relations Between China and the Gulf Arab Countries

Look closely at some of the major development projects in China, and what you see behind them is Middle East oil.

A $500 million port development in Tianjin is funded by Dubai-based DP World. A $5 billion refinery in Guangdong province will be built by Kuwait. A huge crude oil tank farm on Hainan Island is planned by Saudi Arabia.

Canada: NDP Calls for Gas Price Monitoring

NDP transportation critic Peter Julian recently called on the federal government to implement a nation-wide regulatory agency to monitor the price of oil and gas.

"It is unfair for Canadian consumers to be gouged at the pumps and meanwhile, big gas companies continue to reap record profits," says Julian.

Ukraine can become a country of risky transit because of developing political crisis

One of first consequences of the political crisis in Ukraine is intensified struggle for redistribution of energy companies’ assets, Director General of the International Institute for Political Expertise Yevgeny Minchenko announced today, while presenting results of the survey “Ukraine’s Energy Potential” at the REGNUM press center.

Russian Company Finds 3.2 Trillion Cubic Meters of Gas Reserves

Uganda: Car Power Generator to Solve Energy Crisis

An American entrepreneur is pioneering an inverter that uses a vehicle's electrical generation system to store electricity, which can then be utilised for domestic or office use.

India: Line gap checks Dabhol power

Maharashtra which is facing one of the biggest power shortages in recent times, a peak shortage of 5,000 MW, is sitting on a generating capacity of 1,450 MW that is lying idle for most of the day despite having the fuel to fire the power station.

Nigeria's Election Heightens Oil Worries

The balloting that kicks off in Nigeria Saturday could prove to be a historic event: If the election of a new government goes smoothly, the transition will mark the first time one civilian government in Africa's most-populous nation passes power to another.

Gasoline shortage reported in Papua

Gasoline shortages in Timika have resulted in long lines at the city's gas stations since Tuesday.

Pakistan: LCCI demands steps to overcome power shortage

The chairman of the LCCI Standing Committee on Customs, Tariff Valuation and Imports, Irfan Qaisar, has expressed grave concern at the worsening power supply in the country and has urged the government to allow duty-free import of solar cells and batteries to promote solar energy.

In a statement issued here on Wednesday, he said loadshedding affected industrial, commercial and domestic users alike. He said frequent closure of industrial units due to power shortage and loadshedding reduced their production and rendered them uncompetitive in the international market.

South Africa: Hopes Up That New Pipeline May Reduce Inland Petrol Costs

Hopes are up that the building of a R4 billion pipeline to transport fuel directly from Maputo to South Africa may see a drop in the price of petrol in Mpumalanga and Gauteng, in the long term.

Shell Pays Venezuelan Tax Authority US$13.7mn

China Eying Burma as a “Conduit” for Oil and Gas Supplies

China could end up paying the Burmese junta the huge sum of US $9 billion as “rent” for building oil and gas pipelines across the country.

Fiercer Than the Race for Oil or Natural Gas

Japan's Kyodo news agency quoted an industry source as saying, "The global race for uranium supplies has become fiercer than that for oil or natural gas."

Uranium Stocks About To Gap Higher

The nation's 103 operating nuclear power plants already are experiencing dwindling stockpiles of uranium--some of it converted from Russian bombs--while energy-hungry China and India are rushing to build their own nuclear power plants.

Is Africa ready for nuclear energy?

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

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

It's time to face reality of finite oil supply

The Oil Peak and its consequences were among the topics discussed by Norm Erickson in the first of a series of lectures at the University Center Rochester last Thursday. Erickson, an IBM employee for 32 years, has delved deeply into the Oil Peak, energy issues, and global warming. He is convinced that oil production throughout the world is already declining or will begin to do so in a short time.

U.S. gasoline over $3 looms this summer

Looks like deja vu this summer for American motorists, with $3-plus gasoline pump prices looming again as a double whammy of refinery outages and slow imports collide with strong demand.

Analysts say supplies of gasoline -- now at the lower end of a five-year average -- will keep falling while demand grows 1 to 2 percent, by far outpacing last year's 0.5 percent growth.

"People will complain about it but will probably keep driving," said David Pursell, an analyst at Pickering Energy Partners, Inc. in Houston.

Transport seen surging, damaging climate: U.N. draft

Surging use of cars and planes will push up greenhouse gas emissions in coming decades, making the transport sector a black spot in a fight against global warming, according to a draft U.N. report.

Global warming turns up political heat in Australia

Global warming is turning up the political heat in Australia, the only country in the world to have joined the United States in refusing to ratify the Kyoto Protocol on climate change.

With scientists warning that prized coastal homes are threatened by rising sea levels and rich farmlands are drying up, Prime Minister John Howard has undergone an election-year conversion from sceptic to activist.

Europe faces heatwaves as climate change takes hold: IPCC

Sweltering under the summer sun could become a regular feature of European life as global warming leads to frequent heatwaves, climate change experts warned here on Wednesday.

"We might have every other year a summer as hot or hotter as the summer 2003," said Andreas Fischlin of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, and coordinating lead author for the ecosystems chapter of the latest intergovernmental panel on climate change report.

Earth and education need to mesh together

Problems such as peak oil (the point at which yearly oil supply reaches a maximum) and climate change are complex and interconnected, requiring a systems-thinking approach.

Earn an MBA in Managing for Sustainability with the Marlboro College Graduate Center

Innovative graduate programs for busy adults already have a ten-year track record at the Brattleboro, Vermont-based Marlboro College Graduate Center. The new, accredited MBA in Managing for Sustainability builds on that foundation, introducing what may be the ideal curriculum for CSR professionals, socially responsible entrepreneurs and managers, and all those seeking ways to infuse their careers with a sustainability perspective consistent with their values and visions. We are now accepting applications for September 2007 enrollment.

Getting Together

Last week Ithaca Forward and the Green Resource Hub of the Finger Lakes co-hosted a "Sustainable Energy Seminar" at the Human Services Building to focus on local entrepreneurial solutions to the threats of climate change and dwindling fossil fuel reserves. The seminar featured representatives from the Green Resource Hub, Enfield Energy, Ithaca Biodiesel, and Performance Systems Contracting, who presented their organizational missions to local residents and students interested in entering the field of sustainable energy.

U.K.: Soil Association starts nationwide series of meetings on 'peak oil' problem

The Soil Association is holding a nationwide series of public meetings on making the transition from ‘cheap oil’ to ‘peak oil’.

Jay Fever

An interview with Rep. Jay Inslee, clean-energy champion from Washington state

IEA: Angola, Saudi to lead OPEC oil capacity rise

OPEC oil output capacity growth of some 2.6 million barrels per day this year and next is heavily skewed towards new member Angola and leading exporter Saudi Arabia, the International Energy Agency said on Thursday.

Together, the two nations are on course to account for half the net increase that will take OPEC capacity from 33.9 million bpd at the end of 2006 to 34.8 million bpd at the end of 2007 and 36.5 million bpd at the end of 2008, said the IEA.

Warming could spark water scramble

Climate change could diminish North American water supplies and trigger disputes between the United States and Canada over water reserves already stressed by industry and agriculture, U.N. experts said on Wednesday.

Oil Companies May See An Ebb In Profit Gusher

The doubling of oil prices over the past few years has produced enormous windfalls for oil companies. But those record profits are likely to recede in the years ahead -- even if oil prices don't -- as oil-producing nations increasingly demand a bigger share of the wealth.

The Peak Oil Crisis: Alternatives – Decentralized Power

Something few of us are aware of is the massive waste built into the energy systems we have built over the last 100 years. This week, I am going to talk about electricity generation, but the same point can be made about the internal combustion engine which is a monument to inefficiency.

Oil Executive Predicts Future Energy Crisis

“I would submit to you that your lifestyle, your career, will depend upon energy security. Not just now, not just in a few years, but as we look out ahead over the decades: your career, your economic wellbeing, whatever course you may take in life … Energy security will touch you,” began John Hofmeister, president of Shell Oil Company, at his on-campus lecture yesterday.

Nationalize oil industry, save at pump

Canada must nationalize its oil and gas industry to help lower the cost at the pumps by a third, says a Quebec accounting professor.

Leo-Paul Lauzon said yesterday that Quebec could also build a refinery with independent dealers and negotiate directly with oil exporting countries.

Inside, confidential, off the record: Cantarell inevitable

Mexico's Cantarell oil field, the world's second largest producer, is not just beginning to dry up, [it] is falling dramatically, totally in line with what Peak Oil addicts would predict. Just in the last year daily production fell by 20 percent. It is now producing about 1.6 million barrels per day, down from two million a year ago. The estimation by some experts is that by 2010, Cantarel would produce less than half a millon barrels per day.

So it goes, indeed: Kurt Vonnegut will be missed.

For those who missed it: Kurt Vonnegut has passed away. He was 84.

He was a peak oiler.

I'm Jeremiah, and I'm not talking about God being mad at us," novelist Kurt Vonnegut says with a straight face, gazing out the parlor windows of his Manhattan brownstone. "I'm talking about us killing the planet as a life-support system with gasoline. What's going to happen is, very soon, we're going to run out of petroleum, and everything depends on petroleum. And there go the school buses. There go the fire engines. The food trucks will come to a halt. This is the end of the world. We've become far too dependent on hydrocarbons, and it's going to suddenly dry up. You talk about the gluttonous Roaring Twenties. That was nothing. We're crazy, going crazy, about petroleum. It's a drug like crack cocaine. Of course, the lunatic fringe of Christianity is welcoming the end of the world as the rapture. So I'm Jeremiah. It's going to have to stop. I'm sorry.

A tear falls quietly for Mr. Vonnegut, as this primate brain laughs tenderly at its own ocean-deep absurdity, which Kurt captured so well. So it goes.

And you could say that Galápagos was as clear a proposal for localization as I can think of.

All our problems arise from our big brains.

Some of our problems come from small-mindedness:


Makes one think about where the Iron Triangle is headed.

Perhaps NPR will rebroadcast Between Time and Timbuktu (1972), a mishmash of Vonnegut works including Happy Birthday, Wanda June, Cat's Cradle, and even Harrison Bergeron.

Wow! What a great short story!

I feel shocked. It was one of the best writers of our times.
So it goes.

Below is my favorite Vonnegut passage. I find it inspirational when fighting long odds. Perhaps other TODers can relate.

“You thought we were sure to lose?” said Paul huskily.
“Certainly,” said Lasher, looking at him as though Paul had said something idiotic.
“But you’ve been talking all along as though it were almost a sure thing,” said Paul.
“Of course, Doctor, said Lasher patronizingly. “If we hadn’t all talked that way, we wouldn’t have had that one chance in a thousand. But I didn’t let myself lose touch with reality.”
“If we didn’t have a chance, then what on earth was the sense of--?” Paul left the sentence unfinished, and included the ruins of Ilium in a sweep of his hand.”...
“It doesn’t matter if we win or lose, Doctor. The important thing is that we tried. For the record, we tried!”...
“What record?” said Paul...
“Revolutions aren’t my main line of business,” said Lasher, his voice deep and rolling. “I’m a minister, Doctor, remember? First and last, I’m an enemy of the Devil, a man of God!”

(end of Chapter XXXIV) Player Piano – Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. ©1952

Mr Vonnegut just went to experience some other part of his lifetime, because he is unstuck in time.We will miss him: dead now, alive at another time.

So it goes.

I'm touched that the first comments on TOD's "drumbeat" today were about Vonnegut. Some very classy and bright people hang out here.

As a Tralfamadorian Bokononist, philosophically, it is a great shame to have him gone, but if you look at him in earlier years he is really doing quite well.

May we each choose the lies we live by with open eyes.

Vonnegut on The Daily Show


"Risk is jumping off a cliff and building your wings on the way down." ~ Vonnegut

Seems appropo for us here at TOD.

NO one here has taken a leak lately have they. If so please quit taking leaks

Quid Clarius Astris
Ubi Bene ibi patria

“Hawiyah Gas Plant was brought on-stream in December 2001. The facility can process up to 1.6 billion scfd of raw gas (sweet and sour) and produce 1.4 billion scfd of sales gas for the Master Gas System, 170,000b/d of condensate, and 1,000t/d of sulphur.” http://www.hydrocarbons-technology.com/projects/saudi-aramco/

1.6 BCF/day NG processing plant completed in 2001 http://www.jgc.co.jp/en/02bisdmn/01oilgas_production/exp_saudi1.htm

A Hawiyah NGL extension project is due to start production in October 2007 and yield a further 3.5 BCF/day NG and 310 kbpd NGLs. http://www.saudiaramco.com/bvsm/JSP/content/articleDetail.jsp?BV_Session...

A further release in Feb 07 mentions the main contractors: “JGC Corp. of Japan; Snamprogetti of Italy; General Dynamics of the United States; and Saudi contractors Modern Arab Construction, Suedrohrbau, NESMA and FM Qahtani”

“The newly recovered ethane-rich NGL will be sent to other domestic petrochemical complexes by pipeline for further downstream processing.” http://www.jgc.co.jp/en/01newsinfo/2005/release/20050405.html

It looks like Hawiyah is solely a NatGas and NGL producer, with current production of 1.6 BCF/day NG and 170 kbpd condensates, with an upgrade to triple that capacity due by Q4 2007.

This months "Highlights" of the IEA's "Oil Market Report" is out.

World oil output fell by 265 kb/d in March to 85.3 mb/d on OPEC supply cuts and OECD production outages. Non-OPEC growth in 2007 is unchanged at 1.1 mb/d, versus 0.4 mb/d in 2006, extending the sharp recovery evident since mid-2006. OPEC NGLs will grow by 0.25 mb/d this year to 4.9 mb/d. Seasonal factors peg non-OPEC supply below 50.3 mb/d through to 3Q, before growth resumes to 50.9 mb/d in 4Q.


Global oil product demand has been revised down to 84.3 mb/d in 2006 and 85.8 mb/d in 2007.

Ron Patterson

meanwhile, there are roughly 60 million more hungry mouths to feed since mid 2006-

a good 20% of those are going to want there fair share of 6 barrels a year per person

At the bottom of the April 11 DrumBeat, penguinize posted another, larger cut by Aramco in Arab Heavy to Asian refiners.
I should know this, but what reserviors does Arab Heavy come from ?

Not from North Ghawar, the recent focus of discussions (and fears).

Loaned out my copy of Twilight in the Desert, or I would flip through the index.

Aramco does seem to have problems with one of the major reserviors that produce Arab Heavy.

Best Hopes,


Here's the article in question, again...

From Bloomberg:

Saudi Aramco to Cut Oil Supply to Asia a 7th Month (Update1)
By Nesa Subrahmaniyan

April 12 (Bloomberg) -- Saudi Aramco, the world's largest state oil company, will maintain a cut in crude oil supply to Asian refiners for a seventh month in May.

Saudi Aramco will reduce mainly contracted supply of its Arab Heavy crude exports, said three refinery officials who received notices and asked not to be identified because of confidentiality agreements with the Dhahran, Saudi Arabia-based oil producer. The company has lowered shipments below contract levels since November.

The supply cuts are between 9 percent and 10 percent of contracted volumes, the officials said. Saudi Aramco is lowering exports to Asian refiners in April by an average 9 percent, and the cuts this month and in May are more than the 7 percent reduction in March shipments.

Saudi Aramco's export reduction is to comply with 1.7- million-barrel-a-day production cuts agreed last year by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.

To contact the reporter on this story: Nesa Subrahmaniyan in Singapore at nesas@bloomberg.net

Last Updated: April 11, 2007 22:37 EDT


Looks more and more like a Saudi peak to me... I thought the Saudis were having a hard time trying to get rid of their heavy sour crude, AND that they were already under their quota... smoke and mirrors, anyone?

Franc (penguinzee)

The Saudis are raising oil prices by $1 to $4 per barrel, and they are unilaterally cutting deliveries to customers--to below contracted for levels.

We have all been expecting KSA to "put up or shut up" by early this summer-could they be tipping their hand with this cut? If that's the case, then we are going to be in some real deep do-do here shortly...

Franc (penguinzee)

IMO, the excuses for declining Saudi crude oil production stopped making sense some time ago.

One thing I can't follow is this: If they are making significant cuts in deliveries to Asian refinaries, then there should be gasoline/diesel shortages in Asian countries. But I don't see any news reports about that. Secondly, do we know the identity of these Asian refinaries?

And if these Asian refinaries are making up for the shortfall by buying oil in the open market, then the price should be shooting up. We don't see that either. Brent is still below $70/barrel. So what gives?

Asian oils are $70 and higher. Indonesian crude was at $74, I believe.

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

Brent is still below $70/barrel. So what gives?

IMO, a more accurate way to state it is that Brent is currently about 80% higher than the average monthly price in the 20 months prior to 5/05.

From today's IEA report:

"Total OECD inventories fell by 80.5 mb in February on declining product stocks in all regions and a crude draw in the Pacific. Forward cover is declining counter-seasonally and preliminary March data for the US, Japan and Europe indicate an unusual 1Q stock draw of around 1.0 mb/d."

Unseasonal crude draws in the Pacific will certainly be leading to product shortfalls before long if not already, especially since KSA continues to reduce deliveries further below contracts.

In other words, the entire planet saw an overall drawdown of 1 mbpd which means there was a shortfall of 1 mbpd between production and demand. And this was during a quarter that was not known for being a high consumption quarter.

Fun, fun! What happens when consumption picks up further, or at least tries to pick up further?

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

The worldwide drawdown was probably more than one mbpd, since some key countries, like China, India and Russia, are apparently not part of the OECD: http://www.oecd.org/document/58/0,2340,en_2649_201185_1889402_1_1_1_1,00...

I think that the US has drawn down total inventories by over 100 million barrels since the fall of 2006.

No doubt a lot more than 1 mb/d. Countries will be loathe to report significant drawdowns in their SPR's for national security reasons. The worse the situation, the tighter lipped everyone will be. (Some may even speak of expanding their SPR's, although where additional supplies would come from..., perhaps Saturn's moon Triton, I here they have plenty of oil.)

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

I would add another to that, almost as serious:

"The second greatest shortcoming of the human race is the inability to appreciate time constants"

From the WSJ Energy Blog:

Crude-oil futures jumped 3% as gasoline prices surged to an eight-month high and are up more than 50% in the past two months. Unplanned outages at U.S. refineries are mounting, further hindering efforts to produce fuel coming into the peak summer driving season.

You know...I keep hearing about all these refinery outages to explain why there's less gasoline being produced, but where are the specific stories about specific refineries. Are all these "unplanned" outages just maintenance or have there been fires, accidents, etc.?

Let's get some links working on this stuff!!

Here ya go:

Saudi Refinery Shutdown

Oh, wait, that was in Dec 1990... Anyone remember this?



Here's something about a TX refinery fire & shutdown in Feb 2007 causing minor spot shortages in the past few weeks:

Spot fuel shortages linked to refinery fire

This one's kind of interesting, from Houston, TX:

Lightning Sparks Refinery Tank Fire

Operations continued, so no disruption. But just imagine: One day a single lightning bolt might zap a refinery offline and cause a big headache, especially in an era of tight supplies.




IMF predicts economic (and oil production) slowdown in Russia in next two years

IMF analysts also predicted a slowdown in Russian oil production as a result of modest investment.

The IMF has been systematically wrong about the Russian economy for the last 10 years. We'll see about the rate of decline of oil production. But the one-note Johnny drivel about Russia's economic growth being purely a function of oil is old and lame. Russia's GDP growth is demand driven and high gasoline prices have a negative impact on it.

Not to mention the Oil and Gas fields are built on and across permafrost in Siberia that is melting, destroying their entire infrastructure. Roads, pipelines, buildings, industrial facilities, all settling, sinking, crumbling and breaking up as the foundation they are built on turns to mush.

Inventory drawdown + demand destruction elsewhere(Africa perhaps) = breakeven....for now.

Prices are climbing here [Thailand]. We are near record highs for 91 and 95 octane petrol, yet it does not seem be news anymore.

Thanks for the first hand report. Feel free to keep us informed from your neck of the woods!


Safaniya??? Probably. They have/or are putting 42 downhole electric pumps in Safaniya. Sounds like it is watering out to me.

There have been some recent estimates regarding future production in Saudi Arabia. Would Safaniya watering out have any significant impact on these? Or does the assumed overall decline rate cover this contingency?


What does that kid on American Idol have to do with anything? ;)

I have noticed that US gasoline stockpiles has heading lower for quite many weeks and there is a big difference between the price of WTI and Brent. This gives me the feeling that something unusual is happening. Is it possible that the refineries get oil of lower quality?

Pickens gave an interview on CNBC yesterday:

Pickens Tells CNBC Oil Is Heading Higher

It's not his best interview (probably because of the pretty journalist :)).

IEA Warns That Low OPEC Output
Is Likely to Drain Global Oil Stocks

April 12, 2007 5:43 a.m.

The International Energy Agency warned Thursday that output by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries had hit its lowest level in over two years on production outages and self-imposed cuts, a factor likely to drain global oil stocks in the coming months.

In its monthly oil market report, the agency, the energy security watchdog for the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, highlighted unexpected product-led reductions in world oil stocks and what it described as "astonishing" demand growth in China, where it was forced to revise up its growth expectations for this year.

Unexpected production outages in Nigeria and maintenance in Saudi Arabia contributed to OPEC's daily output in March falling to a little over 30 million barrels, the lowest since January, 2005.

The OPEC-10, which omits new member Angola and Iraq, which has no output quota, saw their daily production fall 195,000 barrels to 26.5 million barrels.

OPEC, which meets about 40% of the world's daily oil consumption of 85 million barrels, agreed on paper to cut output from its 10 members with production quotas by more than 6%, or 1.7 million barrels a day, in two tranches starting Nov. 1 last year.

The reductions, which were only partially implemented, were a push by the group to lower stockpiles of oil that climbed sharply last year as demand growth for petroleum products tailed off.

The agency also highlighted a fall of some quarter of a million barrels a day in world oil supplies last month on a combination of OECD production outages -- notably the U.S. and Australia -- and OPEC's cuts.

(continued at) :


China Considering Three More Sites For 2nd Strategic Reserves

April 12, 2007 3:55 a.m.

BEIJING (Dow Jones)--China is considering three additional sites as candidates for its second batch of strategic oil reserves besides the previously reported sites, industry people close to the issue said Thursday.

The additional sites could complicate the final selection process as more provinces vie for government approval to build reserves, which will involve large governmental investment and lucrative opportunities for supplemental facilities.


The second phase of strategic reserves will have a total capacity of 28 million metric tons, nearly tripling the 10 million tons of capacity built in the first phase.

Among the three new candidates, both Yantai and Yingkou ports are located on the coast of Bohai Bay, making transportation to key oil fields in the bay convenient.

"Yantai Port is applying to the central government to build large-scale oil storage tanks and terminals, hopefully to be included in the strategic reserves program, but has not got approval so far," a manager with the Yantai Port Group Corp. said Thursday, who declined to be identified.

The port plans to build tanks capable of holding 600,000 cubic meters of crude and 240,000 cubic meters of oil products, as well as a 300,000-deadweight-ton terminal and a 100,000-DWT terminal for both crude and products.

Yingkou Port has a larger construction plan for tanks and terminals, including 3 million cubic meters of crude tanks and a 300,000-DWT terminal.

The State Environmental Protection Administration in March cleared an assessment report on its terminal construction, according to a statement on the Web site of the administration.

Construction of the terminal will cost CNY1.67 billion ($216 million), the statement said.

However, an official from the Yingkou Port Group said earlier this week they don't yet have the National Development and Reform Commission's final approval for construction.

Besides the coastal sites, the inland province of Hubei is also under consideration as a candidate site for the reserves, due to security concerns about supplies to China's vast inland, said Fuqiang Yang, chief representative to Beijing of the U.S.-based Energy Foundation earlier this month, on the sidelines of an industry conference in Beijing.

Yang advised China's government as a consultant on the strategic reserves program.

So far, the government hasn't stated a deadline for the selection of the new sites.

In the long term, China aims to build reserves equivalent to 90 days of crude oil and oil products imports, putting it on par with most major developed countries except the U.S., which in January announced plans to double its strategic reserves by 2027.

The first phase of China's strategic reserves, which began to be filled last October, will only be equivalent to 30 days of crude imports when added to existing commercial stocks held by the country's big three state-owned oil companies.



The oil price is going to blow up. We've got lies about supply and demand unabating. Reserves are keeping things afloat for now, but when those are empty or low and we've got a realistic peak in production, the price spike is gonna be brutal.


Is your railroad "corporately" aware of PO and are they (e.g.) agressively hedging energy or planning alternative maintenance procedures / signaling operations when AC power along the wayside becomes intermittent?

A railroad does not run if maintainance people can not drive 100's miles/day visiting crossings and other wayside equipment.

I work in the industry and have yet to see planning in place for PO mitigation, but maybe I am just missing it.



Sadly you're right, there is little plannning. In my opinion the RR will be asking the gov't to subsidize the conversion Post peak in the name of national security. Nothing is being done to mitigate and little has been researched and I have peppered some upper level people and they glaze over.

Years from now, when oil production is down X%, the talking heads will still be wondering how to talk KSA into turning the taps back on. Long after peak, there will still be huge pockets of denial.

Leanan, great stuff a always. Several of your articles tie into what I have been thinking lately. I'm at the point where "what are we going to do?" is more forward in my mind than are we at or near PO yet.
"Oil companies may see ebb in profit gusher"
"Peak oil crisis:Alternatives- Decentralized power."
I felt awhile back TOD was being attacked by paid disinformants and intentional "paid for" disruption. I struggled with who or more importantly why. Who we will never know ,I have a hypothesis as to why. Big auto, oil, or any large group finacially threated by the possibility or realization we much change the status qou.
Slowly the smartest players move (Buffet on railroads, Shell oil CEO with his meetings). Trying to hold on to a sinking ship(personal auto) is nothing more than a waste of energy.

This is exactly what oil co.'s don't want to hear but we need either to tax them or thier product and use it for rail. IMHO they should build public/private rail lines with thier profits and change thier bussiness model. Or they can wait for the heavier backlash which I think WT has correctly nailed down with his lime green volvo camoflag vechile.

I know this is not new here on TOD. I just mull the alternatives and keep coming back to change is required and will be forced upon us no matter what. Again I think PO is a dead horse, we need to move forward.

my short list of recommendations...
Start a transit rail gas tax whit automatic increases at .25 per fiscal quarter. ($1.00 a year).Leveling off at $6-8.00 a gallon total cost in current dollars.
Slowly increase an import tax for products produced by countries that pay below our federal minimum wage until the products are properly price realitive to our wage scale, or slowly drop minimum down to 3 rd world values. This wil make the playing field level(er) for our industries. This will happen in one form or another, sooner or later, we need to produce our own clothes shoes etc.. Looking at plastic blow up snow men I think there is room for less crap in our lives.
Invest via tax credits in fuel savings- no more 7,600 lb car credits. Sorry detroit, it already sucks for you, and you should have seen this coming.
CEO - tax, I think we are all aware that thier wages have risen dramatically when compared to rank and file members. We need a stronger middle class. This current grab and run might fuel a harder backlash( lime green volvo's might be a good investment)
Off to ELP. Thank you all and good luck.

In another forum, another poster (an economist) noted that nations with severe balance of payments problems (I think the USA qualifies !) are allowed to add non-discrimintary broad based tariffs on basically all imports if such tax revenues would be used for "structural reforms".

Although building & electrifying rail is not normally considered a "structural reform", I think it applies (~$300 billion of -$762 billion balance of trade was for oil and oil products in 2006). And who is going to sue the US over a 1% to 3% tariff on EVERYTHING imported if it reduces US oil imports ?

All of our trading partners should be pleased to see the US finally doing SOMETHING !

After this is in place, and results begin to appear, higher gas taxes should be easier IMVHO.

Any thoughts ?


Do you have a link to the other forum? I'd be intersted in reading more.

An external change would certainly be easier and more acceptable than internal changes (yes, prices would go up, but that's happening anyway due to the weakness of the dollar).

Keep up the good work (fighting for internal change).

I just sent the following eMail to the WTO in Geneva (at about closing time)

Nondiscriminatory Tariffs to Address Structural Reforms

Dear Ma'am or Sir:

I have been informed that nations with structural trade deficits are allowed to unilaterally impose nondiscriminatory tariffs provided that the taxes raised are used to reform structural problems.

The United States certainly has a structural trade deficit. I would like to confirm the existance of such a WTO rule (I did not find it on your website) and details on it's implementation.

I was looking to this tariff as a funding source for my plan to reduce US Oil Consumption by 10% in ten to twelve years. I have recieved interest from different policy groups about this proposal, but funding is always a concern. Since oil and oil products represent about 40% of our trade deficit, reducing oil consumption significantly would help remedy a structural trade problem.

A link to my proposal:


Best Hopes,

Alan Drake
01 (504) 428-xxxx
xxxx St. Andrew
New Orleans, LA 70130

Best to get the answer directly from the authority :-)

Best Hopes,


Alan, I agree that sincere reforms would be met with some form of acceptance. Reducing oil imports would be welcome IMHO worldwide. The whining of our industries locked into the current status quo I'm not so sure about. But does it really matter at this point? I think things are changing no matter what and they better lead or get bulldozed by those companies that will make the adaptations.

The gas tax - maybe $.10 a gallon a month increasing. Might make it less noticable than a $.25 a fiscal quarter. Slow phase in and the political will to stay the course are needed to change our drive-thru auto culture.
Change is going to happen whether we like it or not.

Alan, I wanted to tell you I took a short trip today down the valley and was looking specifically for small farm towns near rail lines. I was taken back abit by the ammount of track that has been removed. Without cars/trucks these once rail connected small farm towns are stranded.
I think there is alot of rehab work to be done.
wfiw- I think you are dead on with regards to rail. I would like to see Exxon and Chevron invest in rail with all those profits. Makes sense to me.

Figure $100/foot (2002 prices, perhaps $125 today) for simple single track (welded) w/concrete ties over old ROW in good condition. Bridges, road crossing signals, fixing erosion, switches all drive the price UP ! Once installed, minimal maintenance (other than snow removal, drainage, that type of thing) for 40 to 60 years (modern track is better than the old stuff).

A modern track laying machine should be able to do a couple of miles/week (see $$$) on properly prepared ROW.

Best Hopes,


A lot of railroad tracks have been torn up in farm country as well, soon the local grain elevators closed and these rural communities became tumbleweed towns.

At the risk of sounding harsh -

You want to ride a train - you pay for it.
Gas tax increase is good policy but it should not be used to pick winners and losers - i.e. into a cross subsidy for an Urban Rail Boondoggle. Rather the tax should be used to rebate low income tax payers or into the Federal/States general fund.

If you think that people will love urban rail so much - issue a muni-bond. There is a lot of liquidity in the world markets and there should be no trouble selling the Munis if the project is viable.

Then stop the double standard and stop using all tax dollars for highways.

You want to drive a car - you pay for it. Fair enough? Stop subsidizing big oil, car makers, the works, and we'll call it even, ok?

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

Very true. The government has always "picked winners" when it comes to infrastructure. It's too expensive for individuals or corporations to pay for themselves. Highways, trains, even commercial aviation.

Well - for all the responses - the way I see it (& IMHO)

1. Driving Subsidy: My understanding is that highway construction and repair is paid from State Hwy funds that are funded from State and Federal taxes on Gasoline. So the car/truck owners are paying directly for the highways based on the amount of Fossil Fuel (FF) that they purchase and burn.

2. Car ownership and operation is a heavily taxed activity:
(a) property tax in many areas,
(b) Registration and Road system fees,
(c) Many localities partially fund their municipal budgets on speed-traps that squeeze unsuspecting out of town motorists
(d) Tolls on highways that were built decades ago. For e.g. the Garden State Parkway (GSP) in NJ. About 12 years ago one of the excuses the NJ-DOT gave for not removing those tolls was that it would cost too much to remove the toll booths - to which a motorist group responded that motorists would remove the booths for free - But the toll booths stand
(e) Another example: The port authority of NY and NJ - collects a huge amount of revenue from Tolls on the Hudson river crossings. This money is used to cross-subsidize suburban rail, e.g. PATH (a Jersey to Manhattan rail service - they used to have a station under the WTC). The money is also used for other Port Authority projects and operations. Only a small fraction is used for Hudson River Crossing maintenance.
(f) Many other examples.

2. Automakers: how are they subsidized? I believe that GM pays/used to pay a not insignificant portion of National Healthcare expenditures - why don't those Unionized retirees just use Medicare?

3. Big Oil: Yes - One could argue about Royalty rates on Crude extraction from public lands. But leases are awarded based on competitive bidding, which is open to foreign oil companies too. If they are all colluding to low-ball bids then the DOJ/FTC could investigate.

negatives of Urban Rail
1. Unionization: Let us not forget the transit strike during Christmas week in NYC in 2005(?). And these are really well paid people compared to their riders.
2. French Transit workers strike at the drop of a hat, often bringing the country to a standstill and greatly inconveniencing foreign tourists
3. high capital costs - which you guys seem to suggest should be paid for by someone else
4. The local population that uses the mass transit system is then at the mercy of the union

Negatives of Driving
1. Currently uses fossil fuels, a finite and polluting resource

So tax the FF - and we will get and manage with a non-FF vehicle. But don't force us onto Rail using our money.

And while taxing gasoline, don't forget to tax coal and natural gas that are also finite and polluting.

Negatives of Urban Rail
1. Unionization: Let us not forget the transit strike during Christmas week in NYC in 2005(?). And these are really well paid people compared to their riders.
2. French Transit workers strike at the drop of a hat, often bringing the country to a standstill and greatly inconveniencing foreign tourists
3. high capital costs - which you guys seem to suggest should be paid for by someone else
4. The local population that uses the mass transit system is then at the mercy of the union

Negatives of Driving
1. Currently uses fossil fuels, a finite and polluting resource

Perhaps it is a matter of values.

Is Unionization a greater evil than Global Warming ?

H'mmm HARD ONE !

Your list of driving negatives is FAR too short.

45,000 killed and several hundred thousand life altering injuries/year.

Massive loss of farm land (guess what, hard to replace when we need to later to, like, eat)

Massive increases in obesity and diabetes, with resulting health care and suffering costs.

The War in Iraq

Significant declines in social interaction.

You split Unionization "problems" into 3 points (problems for tourists in France are worth a bullet point ?) yet you combine "using fossil fuels" and "pollution" into one point.

Which pollution ? The brown haze over every major city (just look for it as you fly in) ? Or Global Warming ? Or any of the other pollutions from oil production, transportation, refining and use ?

I am unwilling to get into a serious debate with you (your points and arguments are just not worth it), but I will take a moment and point out that your post contains strong elements of self parody.

Best Hopes for Rational Planning for the future,


To clarify:

I believe that we are in agreement that personal transport, accomplished via burning of fossil fuels is polluting and leads to global warming.

We are also in agreement that sale of fossil fuels should be taxed at escalating rates.

The rest is as in the posts above.

My understanding is that highway construction and repair is paid from State Hwy funds that are funded from State and Federal taxes on Gasoline.

Only partly. The gas taxes are not nearly enough to pay the whole bill.

Automakers: how are they subsidized?

All the ways "corporate welfare" usually works. One specific example, from Tarrytown, NY. GM uses those double-decker flatbeds to transport their vans, and wanted some bridges rebuilt to accommodate them. The state complied, at the cost of millions...and GM ended up moving the plant elsewhere a year or so later.


I skimmed through this link from the Federal Highway Administration below. Based on my cursory read it appears that highway construction and maintenance, is paid for by taxes and fees on Autos and supplies (e.g. gasoline, diesel, tires), tolls, etc.

Also part of the money raised as above is apportioned to mass transit subsidies.


City Streets are paid for with local, mainly property taxes. A clear and VERY large subsidy. The gasoline burned on city streets is used to subsidize the highways.

Railroads pay property taxes on their ROW, why not tolls on highways in order to pay property taxes on the highway ROW for schools, streets, etc. on the large ammounts of wasted land ?

You miss the crucial point, there will be a rapid falloff in available oil which which to burn the planet up with.


I am all for Motorists paying for the infrastructure that is created for motoring via taxes, tolls, etc etc. My examples were intended to show that motorists do pay for the infrastructure - (though perhaps that is in dispute here)

Railroads as you say are energy efficient on kilos moved. However, they tend to get unionized and IMO that comes with certain issues...

I do get the point that extractable fossil oil is running out and therefore - support a phased in & hefty FF tax to force conservation and a switch into alternates (renewables). I am personally not convinced that light rail is the way to go or that it should be given policy based preference -- but it is just an opinion.

However, I do wish you luck in getting (additional?) light rail to New Orleans. (I seem to remember some light rail in the French Quarter area).

(I am also a fan of Ray Nagin - but we will leave that discussion for another day :-))

You know 2 years ago I was in your camp. I hated mass transit to the point I considered printing a bumper sticker that said;

"Because of me and 215 other people like me there isn't another stupid tri-met bus on the road." to counter thier sticker that siad "because of me 216 cars are not on the road"

I thought and still do think trimet bus dating isn't going to happen nor is grocery shopping, until there is no other alternative. Look back at oil with a 1,000 year time frame with PO in the middle and see what we might be doing in the next 100-400. Keep in mind the vast undisturbed lands that existed 200 years ago and the increased population that now exists and find a workable solution that will not force, and I mean FORCE us to change our ways of doing things.
Do I want to change my lifestyle NO! Will I have to? I really, sincerely think I don't have much choice, its just a matter of when and how hard. I will make choices now to the best of my abilities to minimize the down side.
I think that there is a certain percentage of the population that isn't willing, able, or cares to do what they should to take care of themselves and not be a burden to others. They cause the responsible people of this world alot of grief, time and money. Ignoring their basic needs allow problems to fester and causes more/bigger problems for everyone down the road. I think an example of this is the subprime problem we have today. They shouldn't have been leant the money from the quick buck artists IMHO. We all get to help clean up this mess via the fed or it causes economic problems.
So....I don't see the car culture continuing - it isn't supportable at current levels with declining oil availability. People are going to need to move stuff and themselves. I looked at small farm towns along rail because how will food move if there is no oil?
We can invest now or will be forced to later and it doesn't really matter whether you (or I ) like it or not.
Look at it from the 1,000 year point of view, tell me the options, I didn't find any, maybe I'm wrong.
Kunstler says our suburban car culture is the biggest waste of resources in the history of man. It took me a full year and then some to interalize just how accurate that statement is. Look at all the cement/asphalt roads and overpasses and think of how useful 6 lane highways and overpasses are with minimal to no car use. How do you even contemplate removing these massive structures with declining oil reserves? That should blow your mind! It can't continue. It's pointless. It time to dust off our tools and clear out the mental fog we live in. We better get busy.

I also look at the massive transfer of wealth out of this country to oil producing countries and realized if we don't change, this won't change either.

A brief review of near term Peak Oil related predictions

Deffeyes picked 2006 as the most likely year for a decline in world crude oil production. Check

Simmons warned of a near term decline in Saudi crude oil production. Check.

Khebab picked 2006 as the most likely year for a decline in Mexican crude oil production. Check.

David Shields warned that the Cantarell decline would be very sharp. Check.

I warned that Saudi Arabia and Russia would join Norway in showing lower crude oil exports. Check.

Jim Kunstler warned that once oil production started declining, we would see a suburban meltdown in the US. Check.

I strongly advised ELP (does anyone now wish that they had bought a large SUV to drive to and from a large suburban mortgage?). Check.

Given all of the foregoing, IMO it is later than most of us think

In any case, regardless of precisely which year we peak or peaked, both Robert and I strongly advise Economize; Localize & Produce.

All good observations to me.

Looks like The Schist Has Hit The Fan. Or, it has just begun to hit the fan. It seems that we've moved into the "interesting times" phase of the "converging catastrophes of the 21st century" as JHK put it...

I wish I had had more time to ELP!

In any event, thanks for all your input over the past few years.



As usual, the South Pacific is the last to get the news. The New Zealand housing bubble is still in full roar. An old local (nondescript inland provinical town) 2.5 bedroom leaky house (a big issue in a country as rainy as Oregon) just sold for NZ$ 729,000 (about US$ 525,000). The owner wanted NZ$ 850,000, but had to discount when the structural damage from the leaky roof was discovered by the buyers. This is in a country where the median income is about NZ$ 40,000. The big draw? The house fronted on a murky brownwater river heavily polluted by diary farm runoff. I keep waiting for the suburban meltdown to happen here, but there is no sign of it yet.

In other news, the town council is thrilled to be hosting a V8 car race (sort of the Australian version of NASCAR) next year.

Don't worry MH its coming to a town called Hamilton pretty soon. Interest rates are going soooooo much higher than folk here can possibly contemplate (the news today about a retail splurge added another 0.5% in the next 2 OCR meetings I reckon), and with petrol price rises to come through in the next few inflation figures Bollard is between a rock and a hard place. The government isn't helping him with their spend up either. When 2 year mortgage rates are 10%plus in NZ it will be interesting to hear what the housing bubble cheerleaders will have to say. Bollard should have acted last year, an earlier interest rate hike might have done a partial job but he was a coward and as a result rates will have to climb higher than anyone here anticipates.

I hope so. I have been renting, saving, and investing waiting for the property madness to end.

Can you believe that people camped out for days to queue up to buy bare lots (no trees, no particular views) and paid over NZ $200,000 for 1/5th acre suburban sections? That would be over NZ $1 million per acre for a muddy overgrazed former dairy paddock. Good grief, this is not exactly a place with San Diego weather or a Big Sur view. They all sold within hours. Sheer parabolic mania.

Thanks for the time you devote to these posts. Your arguments have convinced me that it is indeed past time to prepare. Alot more people read these posts than reply so please continue your good work.

I'm at the point where "what are we going to do?" is more forward in my mind than are we at or near PO yet.

This is how I see it as well. We're dealing with a phase change transition, as discussed by Bakhtiari at


Depending upon our backgrounds and professions, each of us experience PO, GW, and geopolitics differently--and the MSM certainly won't communicate the transition until the phase change is fairly well along.

Since I have no debt, "business as usual" discussions are not as compelling to me as they might be to someone who is vested in the economy. Instead, I'm engaged by strategic assessments of how the economy and society might change as we move through these transitions. If I am to take care of my family and help the community, I feel I have to be aware of the potentially devastating impact even the smallest decisions that I make can have. It's like walking a tight-rope where every movement is reduced to balancing correctly above a terrifying reality. If I look down, I'll fall. Instead, I focus on the goal, which is to maintain my humanity while keeping my family housed and fed. Humor, skills, low-expectations, adaptability, keeping a low-profile, and humility seem essential.

In the WSJ article on whether the majors profits' will begin to decline due to peak, there's some interesting facts about how "oil markets" work, particularly concerning long term contracts:

But the production contracts they are signing today aren't likely to be as lucrative as the ones they signed in the 1990s, when oil prices were low and looked likely to stay that way.

In the past, oil companies typically generated profits by taking on the risk and expense of finding new underground sources of oil or natural gas. In return, they got an ownership stake in new fields and the potential for a windfall if prices soared.

In some nations where contract terms were set years ago, governments have realized they can raise taxes retroactively without fear of chasing the big oil companies away. In December, Algeria imposed an exceptional profits tax and passed a law giving its state-owned oil company a majority stake in all energy exploration contracts.

Etc. The whole article is worth the read. But I bring this up because last year, I tried several times to get an answer to the question of how much oil was traded based on long term contracts, opposed to spot price. I was told by several posters and particularly one, that long term contracts had little role, but they provided no info to back-up their statements and instead fell back on the lame defense that they were in the industry and had access to insider information and experts.

I just bring this up as another reminder for all to remember to be skeptical about all things oily, and that this industry has never been anything like the free-marketeer fantasies you learn in Econ 101. Most importantly, the incessant repeating of such BS fantasies continues to keep this country from taking action to address the energy crisis we face.

I am not sure, but I think they are talking about royalty contracts to the government(s), and not about oil purchase contracts.

That said, I don't know anything about long term purchase contracts, just thought I would point out the apparent difference.

In return, they got an ownership stake in new fields and the potential for a windfall if prices soared.

Yes, well if it's royalty contracts, that means they're pulling out the oil at a certain set price regardless of the spot price. Or as the statement shows above, they were given a certain percentage of the field regardless price.

The point I'll make again is long term contracts are part of the oil business and a lot gets said on this site on how "oil markets" work based on no info except so-called "insider expertise."

Yes, there are definitely long term contracts...but these(in the article) have to do with the royalties...and these contracts can be written in a million different ways - percentage of revenue, fixed levee per barrel, etc.

It still appears that you are confusing the SPOT/FUTURES market prices, with the royalty contracts.

Either way, what is the point? Do you believe that this will have an effect peak oil? Or, even have an effect on the SPOT/FUTURES market?

Yes, well if it's royalty contracts, that means they're pulling out the oil at a certain set price regardless of the spot price. Or as the statement shows above, they were given a certain percentage of the field regardless price.

The deal for the resource itself, and the extraction costs(labor, equipment, transport, etc), all make up their 'fixed' (and increasily variable) costs. YES, regardless of the spot price.

While the spot price may partially track resource extraction costs, it not directly proportional too, and definitely NOT EQUAL to it.

That all being said, if it gets your rocks off to say that long term contracts are part of the oil business (without proper context), then go to the top of your building and yell it out. You are right.

Of course they are talking about royalty contracts. Look Brutus, neither you or I are privileged to be present when oil contracts are written. But we do have two things to go by. first we have the Crude Oil Estimated Contract Prices published each week by the EIA.

If you will notice these prices change from week to week. They track, albeit a few dollars below, the NYMEX, Brent and Tapis very closely. That tells us that these contracts are signed for immediate delivery.

Second, we have our common sense. Freddy Hutter used to claim that contracts were signed, in some cases, twenty years in advance. Freddy never used common sense, but worst of all, there is no possible way Freddy could have had any inside information as to these so-called transactions.

Everything we do know, like the prices posted on "This Week in Petroleum", tells us that contracts are all signed for delivery at the going world price when the contracts were written. Nothing tells us that contracts are signed weeks, months or years in advance. Given the volitity of the oil markets, it would likely be impossible to get both a buyer and seller to agree on a delivery price very far in the future. And if one claims to have knowledge of such transactions, unless they work for the oil producer or the buyer, and are in on the negotiations, we know they are blowing smoke, just like Freddy always did.

Ron Patterson

Not that Ron's point really needs any further support, but maybe Brutus would like to consider that major oil companies openly declare their average sale prices for crude oil in their SEC filings. Surprise, surprise, these prices correlate very closely to spot prices (usually several dollars below).

Example: Exxon Mobil Q3 2006 Form 8K

Scroll down to Supplemental Information - Realization Data

The market wasn't volatile until five years ago, long-term contracts were common at various times in the industry's history, for all sorts of reasons. What's a long term contract, might be a good question. I never said twenty years. I'm saying a contract that ties in the price over a period of time so it cuts the volatility. No one necessarily loses on any long term contract, in fact just the opposite, buyer and seller can agree at mutually beneficial price.

This article proves there's long term contracts in the oil industry, my simple question, I asked at that time was does anyone know what %. I asked assuredly knowing no, because it's not public, instead I got a lot of people assuring me they played very little or no part, with no evidence to back that up.

I brought it up because we need discussion on how oil industry works. This time, I bring a WSJ article on long term contracts and I'm now asked not to believe, thanks, great.

Don’t expect to penetrate the wall of ignorance Brutus has erected around himself. He is a perfect example of the reason I decided to take a break from here. I tried to help the guy out – literally going out of my way to make some contacts and find out some answers to his questions. In return, I was insulted. See him here accusing me of posting disinformation, here of posting garbage, and here of arguing from authority “all the time." And still he feels the need to cast aspersions with his latest post.

I have given him information about how oil is priced and sold, and others have given him similar information. I recall Darwinian telling him the same thing. But he has his own ideas and you just can’t tell some people things they don’t want to hear. In his view of the world, oil companies signed contracts years ago to buy oil for $30 a barrel and are now reaping the rewards of selling the products for a windfall. I told him that even though not too much of the oil actually trades on the spot market, contracts are normally benchmarked against the spot market. I DO KNOW THIS TO BE FACT. Yet for my efforts I was insulted, and aspersions were cast (“lame defense”, “so-called insider expertise”). Yes, that’s it. My expertise is “so-called.”

Imagine that in good faith I try to answer the guy’s questions – because I believe in helping people out – and this is my thanks. It becomes incredibly frustrating to deal with people like this (especially with people who only think your arguments are good if you are telling them what they want to hear).

But, I did not stop by to point out my observation that posters like Brutus suck. I have been invited to another conference call with the API. I have written up my impressions of the first conference call here. The topic of the next call is “energy and the environment”. If you have questions that you would like to have asked, I will ask them. They will be captured in the call, as well as in the transcript that follows. If there isn’t much interest, I will skip the conference call. Please list any questions you have here, and I will write them down for the April 18th call. If I do participate, I will write something up for TOD.

I do expect that I will start participating here again this summer, when we have some news from KSA. By that time, we will have more evidence of whether their declines are voluntary.

Cheers, RR

Just a note, Robert. I suspect that KSA declines are partly voluntary and partly not. We're going to see considerable pressure on them this summer and I expect an upwards spike in production but I do not expect them to cross the 9mbpd line again. In fact, I get the impression that KSA is trying to slide down to about a daily average 6-7 mbpd rate precisely so they still have 2mbpd of "swing" power to play with.

Anyway, that's one person's opinion. We'll look for you here when you return.

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

"Imagine that in good faith I try to answer the guy’s questions – because I believe in helping people out – and this is my thanks."

The Ferengi reflect upon this sad fact in Rule of Acquisition #285:

"No good deed ever goes unpunished."



Brutus is nothing. You should have been here back when JD haunted this board.

He thought people warning about peak oil were part of a fascist movement.

I think he listens to too much Alex Jones.

Hi Robert,

Good to see you.

I look forward to your posts this summer. The news out of KSA will be pivotal, either way it goes. 1) We are forced revise our assumptions, or 2) PANIC.

The best questions only come up during the conversation but my question would be on the probable cap-and-trade system we may soon have. It is going to take many years of capital investment to replace fossil fuel use. What do the participants believe is the likely rate that the cap could be lowered?

brutus, I'd like to personally thank you for the gratuitous insult to all of us in the oil and gas business.The ignorant nonsense that you are spouting makes it much easier to spot you as a nut and a troll. But in the spirit of making things clear to a fool, I'd like to point out that all oil and gas leases have clauses that royalties (the landowner's share) are paid on the market value of the product. The oil markets are fungible, and prices are set by what a willing buyer is prepared to pay a willing seller for specific grades of crude delivered to a specific location, and the owner knows what the differential is between his production and the grade quoted. National governments control over 80% of the world oil production and often change the terms of the contracts through nationalisation.
Natural gas is often set by long term contracts, but have price readustment terms. This is because it costs so much for pipelines to a well and for customers to change over their fuel to alternatives.
And of course the market prices are often influenced by national governments. In the USA markets stopped being free when Governor Ross Sterling of Texas and Governor O.K. Allen of Oklahoma sent troops into the East Texas Field and the Oklahoma City field to shut in overproduction in 1932 and prevent economic waste.
I could elaborate at length, but its pointless. But I'd like to note that calling all people in the oil patch dishonest is exactly the same type of stereotyping as calling the young ladies on the Rutgers basketball team "nappy headed hoes". RR, whom you slurred without having the courage to insult to his face, is a painfully honest guy and very objective. So don't try to start flamewars.

I never said everyone in the oil business was dishonest, i said people need to be skeptical of all oil claims, particularly with those offering no information, but claim inside expertise, which is why I'm glad Mr. Rapier poked his head-up, as Robert, there's more hard information in that article than anything you have offered to say that everything is tied to spot price, which you've done again offering no facts.

As far others' claim, it's all about royalties, well first, however you define royalties, and if you'r claiming by saying that you're offering much clarity how any given contract is structured, you're not. For example, if as many people have claimed everything is tied to the spot price, then Algeria wouldn't have to impose an emergency tax, as they would have automatically reaped the windfall.

The fact is most of these contracts nobody knows cause they're not public, but that doesn't stop people from saying they know how the "oil markets" work. We need more openness in the industry that's my point. Not one person on this board can tell me the industry wouldn't scream like a stuck pig, if you put taxes on them to both cut consumption and build alternatives, all would scream how it would ruin the "markets."

So when ya'll get some facts, and particularly as I asked in my original question, "What % was long term vs spot?" let me know, I'm still interested.

A request.

A few days ago, on one of the Saudi threads, I don't remember which one, there was a post that gave a URL of a PDF file that I had not seen before. It was a long and very informative file only recently posted. It was interesting because it divided the country up into the Jurassic and Cretaceous oil bearing strata, south to north.

I believe Jurassic was the south and Cretaceous was the north, but I am not sure. Anyway it appears that the south, which includes Ghawar is mostly light sweet and the north, which includes Safaniya, is mostly heavy sour.

I could kick myself for not saving the URL. I usually do but it just slipped my mind at the time. I have searched for it this morning, both on TOD and with Google but cannot locate it. I cannot remember the author's name but it was a Scandinavian name I am sure. If anyone can help me with this URL it would be greatly appreciated.

Thanking you in advance.

Ron Patterson

That's it Leanan, thanks a million.

Ron Patterson

Hello Darwinian,

Are you talking about this earlier posting of mine?

First--Thxs to HO for the keypost! Now to address ideal uniform reservoir peripheral waterflood sweep in Ghawar-- can't be done because of induced changes. Please read the 540 page MOTHERLODE here [Warning, huge PDF file]:


I refer you to my most recent postings in SS's last keythread near the top [excerpt below]:

From the Motherlode link:
Moore[55] reported superficial flood front velocities
v = 15 ft=day over an 8 km span
on the Uthmaniyah flood front.

Saudi Aramco (SA), is attempting to resolve observed, massive, unmitigated hydraulic conductivity between injection and production wells separated often by more than 1 km.

The first fundamental finding: the predominate, repeated waterflood pattern is that of line drive, specifcally under long and thin, rectangular pattern boundaries. Second: Ghawar water injection wells are often inadvertently hydraulically fractured with unpropped fractures [basically, shooting themselves in their own feet!].

We conclude that these conditions exacerbate the problematic super-k condition, that of early water breakthrough. Our hypothesis for the structure of super-k, containing essential discrete fracture network components, naturally leads to a supposition that the two conditions stated above, are conducive to the formation of highly
conductive pathways, consisting of hydraulic fractures at injection wells, connecting to natural discrete fracture systems, culminating in a network that may significantly
affect production well performance, because it resides in a long, thin bounded region, the tight waterflood pattern.

I haven't read everything yet, but Aramco mentions horizontal wells watering out instantly, water over-riding oil, loss of drilling mud, and other anomalies due to widespread DFNs.

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

Hello TODers,

Still googling along.....

I found this PDF with some pretty good reservoir slices that shows how DFNs are screwing up uniform waterfront flooding in KSA:


A few more slices in this link:


It sure would be nice to find some recent slices instead of looking at stuff 3,4 or more years old.

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

Bob, no I was thinking of the Hans Jud link posted by Leanan above. But these links of yours are great also. I shall save them all in my Saudi file for reference later.

Again, thanks a million.

ron Patterson

Climate Change(local) redux,

To add more to the comment/s I made in the last couple of Drumbeat regarding the very abonormal temperature changes in my part of the country(and also a very huge area of the South and Southwest)I am adding some addition observations.

To me its surprising, though I don't know why, that the media has said very little about this. The farmer forums are very busy discussing the results and the possible crop failures of last years winter wheat and this years corn already planted and up.

Here: I took a drive over to my cousins farm. He has spent many years planting pecan trees. In fact he grafts a lot onto wild stock and other variations. The man knows pecans and also has numerous fruit trees and always a big garden.

I asked him while standing under some of the pecans trees what he thought. He said it was a total loss. No nuts this year period. His fruit trees likewise and most of his early garden was destroyed as well. I wondered about the wild critters and their food supply via persimmons, paupau and nuts. He was of the opinion that their would be no acorns,hickory nuts,walnuts nor any other nuts.

I have a white oak in my back yard that is over 120 yrs old. The catkins on it are totally dead. I think then the acorns are also shot. Squirrels, turkeys ,possums and coons and likely deer(to a lesser degree) may experience a huge dieoff as a result of insufficient food to forage.

I had a small pecan sapling near my barn. The leaves are falling off. They may or may not come back with new leaves.

On my way back I stopped at a neighbor who I went to school with. He has lived on the same farm for all his life. I asked him if he remembered anything like this in spring. He replied that he hadn't and he asked the oldest man in the county that he knew and that man said the same. Never happened this bad before.

He told me his corn was laying down and the wheat was the same. Its unsure of what to do now. Replant or take a chance or take the crop insurance payout. It could be a bad year shaping up.

The farmer forums show wilted and rotted crops in many areas with full images of same. From down in Texas to up in the Dakotas and other northern areas.

As always little is said on the MSM what with the perils of moviestar lifestyles overshadowing real life. Too many bimbos and idiots with so little time to screw up. I have to choke back vomit as I pass thru the checkout lanes with all the juicy trash displayed conviently, along with the wide-eyed conspiracy takes that are common as well.

When did real life start to take a backseat to make believe nonsense?

I want to repeat. It was NOT the April freezing temps. That is expected since our last frost free date ranges into the first half of April. It was more precisely the very very warm March weather that started all the growth that April then crushed. Warm days reaching up to the 90's in my area. Mostly in the mid 80's for the whole month of March.

IMO this easily shows just how precariously perched we are on the complexities of nature and weather. Just some changes here..a few alterations there and we are delivered a very major blow.

Right now all the equipment is stopped. The ground is too wet and the soil has not heated up. You can't hardly get out in the fields to do any scouting.

As the food supply goes..so go we. I don't think the 3rd world countries are going to be getting very much in the way of imports anymore from the USA. IMO of course.

One other item. Asian carp are rapidly destroying the fishing in my area and much of the USA. They are a very invasive species and eat all the food that the young fish of other species require.

The same cousin who plants pecan tree is also recognized as one of the better fishermen in the area. I asked him about the carp issue and he told me that he fished all of last year and only caught 20 crappie total. Now I have been fishing with him and it was unusual for him to not catch more than 20 in just one trip. He told me fished as hard as he ever did for all of 2006 and 20 crappie was it.

He said that the Asian carp eat the algae that the young hatched crappie require and so they die of hunger. The rivers are full of these carp. They are basically inedible and jump into your boat, fill it with smelly slime. People refuse to clean and eat them because the smell of the slime lingers a long time. They are in most peoples opinion completely ruining commercial and recreational fishing.

Airdale-I could be wrong. I have been wrong before.

What percentage of the corn, wheat, etc crops do you think has been affected by this weather? It sounds like you are talking about most of the growing area (not what I would know, being a Brit). Are they not accustomed to these severe weather variations further north?

"Nearly a week of snow and below-freezing temperatures, after the mild early spring, hit Southwest Michigan's tart cherry crop hard. Monday's preliminary check of orchards showed heavy losses throughout the region.

But it appears that other fruits were not hurt as much as experts originally feared."

From the Kalamazoo, MI Gazette

It shouldn't have as big an impact in northern areas like Michigan. The March warmth only hit 80F one day, and our trees probably just reacted as though it was one of those freak (becoming less so) warm periods we get from time to time. Our last frost isn't until May.

To get current on Ag status in the US here is a fine site, very comprehensive.


Jim Kunstler called it "The Long Emergency."

Thanks for the update, Airdale,
I am getting the same story from those that I know.

I too, am deeply puzzled as to why this recent "freeze"
is not getting more attention in MSM. I read a couple of
stories about the peach crop being destroyed in GA and SC
but nothing since. When the citris crop was frozen earlier
this year in CA it was all over the news.

Good luck replanting your garden.

Follow the money...do you think there's more money involved in oranges or peaches? Read some psychology and you'll learn all you need to, to understand why people make their choices. We are biased against bad news and we will find any way to reaffirm our own biases. It's scientific facts and these are only starting to trickle out as it relates to behavioral finance. The mind is tuned to adapt and survive and will wait for confirmation before adapting. Actually it makes plenty of sense, but for me confirmation is far easier with an open mind for the facts only.

Psychology will provide the insight into economics via the human action. Economics is very simple once you understand people are the motivation for the movement. Understand people's motivations and decision making structures and you'll have a great idea why people do what they do.

Bottom line, we're all selfish wether it be for our family or for outselves, we seek any advantage we can to succeed. Why do you think journalism is so damn combatitive today compared to FDR? His name was Woodward and he created the INCENTIVE to dig as deep as possible. Now every single journalist in school wants to break the big story.


People may not like the asian carp's smell but is it edible at all? If it is, it will get eaten ultimately. Just give us all a bit of time. Hunger does amazing things.

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

I'm sitting here in NH watching it snow again. We got 10" last week. The power kept going off for long periods. The prediction is for 6-10" today. Likely power outages again. And a major nor'easter is forecast for Sunday/Monday, no word yet on rain or snow. Mon is Boston Marathon day, which has never been canceled in over 100 years. We'll see about that, it wouldn't be much of a fun day if they try to hold it anyway.
Anyone know anything about the current state of the thermohaline circulation? (pun intended) I've been looking forward to summer this year, hope it isn't cancelled.

And I must add my condolences to us all over the passing of the wonderful Mr. Vonnegut. Perhaps he has now become part of the chronosymplastic infundibulum. (forgive me if I got that slightly wrong, working from thiry-year-old memory there...)

Greyzone, the Asian grass carp was introduced in about 1970 in Texas reservoirs in order to control the spread of hydrilla, another invasive species. They're fun to catch-bite on a dough ball on a #10 treble hook, fight hard, grow large (up to 50 lbs), and jump when hooked. No limit or size limit since they are an invasive species.
The flesh hasn't got a very good texture, its soft. They have a lot of bones. The traditional redneck recipe is put the carp on a plank, season with Tony Chachere's, bake at 450 degrees for 20 minutes per inch of thickness of the fish. Then, throw away the carp and eat the plank.
All joking aside, they're not bad and a heck of a lot better than no fish at all. They grow very well in polluted water, like gar or catfish, so don't eat them if you know the water is polluted or don't know the source of the fish.

The traditional redneck recipe is put the carp on a plank, season with Tony Chachere's, bake at 450 degrees for 20 minutes per inch of thickness of the fish. Then, throw away the carp and eat the plank.

That was the traditional Hawaiian recipe for tilapia, long considered a "rubbish fish."

Now it's a delicacy. Part of that may be the difference in flavor between farmed fish, and the wild ones, which often have a muddy taste because they have to scrounge for food.

Actually, the "muddy" flavor is in the skin, like a large mouth bass or a catfish. So if you skin the filets they taste fine. A lot of grass carp are sold in Vietnamese markets in the Houston area, and Orientals tend to be very picky about fish. They demand freshness and high quality and are very savvy fish purchasers.

I'm still kinda squicked at the idea of eating tilapia. Though I'm sure I'd get over it if I were hungry enough.

I've caught a lot of tilapia in my day, but we never ate any of it. We used it as bait for crabbing, or fed it to the cats.

Tilapia is excellent table fare. I frequently bowfish for them at our local lake since they usually won't bite on conventional fishing lures and bait. They are mainly vegetarian fish that eat algae the meat is very white and flaky. We fry the fillets up with cornmeal and squeeze some lemon juice on them with a little tarter sauce. Ummm good!

There are many species of tilapia, of course, but I never had trouble getting them to take bait. I usually caught them in brackish water, though I've also caught them in freshwater ponds. We used to use slices of Wonder Bread. Take pinch, mash it into a doughy ball, and stick it on the hook.

I haven't figured out how to post images here yet but here is a url to a photo of the ones we harvest.


There usually 3-5 pounds the only time we can get them to take any lures or bait is when they are spawing. Then you have to place the lure or bait in there spawning beds.

The epicures of New Orleans look down on tilipia. Not enough fish taste, quite bland, almost always farm raised. I NEVER order tilipia, and even having it on the menu is the sign of a second class restaurant.

OTOH, I NEVER turn down triple tail when it is a special of the day :-)) Lemonfish (when VERY fresh), speckled trout, king crab (the one week each year when it is fresh), red fish, and many others are excellent choices.

Best Hopes for Fine Dining,



Good eats to you as well. There's still epicures in the Big Easy? ;) Just Kidding!

I have never eaten store bought or farm raised Tilapia. The ones we harvest are 100% wild grown and fed maybe there is a difference. I rarely if ever eat restaurant or store bought fish. Most of my fish come from Lake Amistad.

Is there a difference between chickens in your yard that run around and grab every bug they can, then take the corn that you feed them vs. caged birds feed a scientific formula + antibiotics ?

Wild fish ALWAYS taste different (and IMO better) than farm raised. The Icelanders are the only ones that have made it close with salmon. Their farm raised salmon are near the mouths of rivers so the salmon must swim all the time (firm and not flabby muscle) and they are fed largely a mixture of wastes from fish processing (thus closer to a natural diet) and density is kept down. Still not as good as wild salmon, but close.

New Orleans food is 80% back, which makes it twice as good as San Francisco and 3x better than anywhere else in the US >:-)

Best Hopes for Good Food,


Yes I built a chicken tractor a couple months back 6 hens and a rooster. It's worked out so well I am planning a second but don't tell the misses and the Property owners assoc. Those stupid restrictions will be the death of us. The restricitons say we may only keep 12 fowl. If/when PO hits I doubt they'll be worried about it.

My raised bed garden is a hit so far as well however I need to add more production areas.

I have 2 10’x10’ chix tractors made of 2” PVC. Turkeys in one and pullets in another. I have the chicks now, 1 week old. I will put them outside sometime in May. Waiting for the weather to warm up. Upstate NY has 4 seasons: almost winter, winter, still winter & road construction.

I am curious, why the rooster? I keep two chicken tractors and never bother with roosters.

Future procreation ~o. I had a difficult time finding them locally and figured if I need more I'll raise my own.

I grew up along the Red River, and my dad and I would go fishing at the locks for Pickerel/Walleye...great fishing but at times during the year, there would be great runs of Carp.

We would play them and release them for the fun, but (to the point finally) there were many Vietnamese and Philipino fishermen there who were astonished that we would throw back these 25 lb+ plus fish.

I got a Master Angler patch for a massive Carp. Fun to fight, but I never ate one.




Shows you that they are edible and there is a market for them. Just look at Kudzu a plant that is all over the south and even as far north as Washington DC, frost kills the tops and Sheep and Goats love the stuff. It is edible to humans. But it grows so fast that I would only grow it myself in a Pot, not in the regular spots in my garden.

We have been mixing our species around the globe for over 2 centuries. Plants and Animals not native to one area driving out species that are native. Its called Globalization didn't you know?

14 cents a pound for a food fish even if it is a bit smelly could feed lots of prisoners like the article above suggests using it for. Fish fertilizer anyone? What about doing the TDP route for the things, just make all the plants out by the water and not near homes or towns.

I am told they are edible.

We have had types of carp with us for some time. This species is apparently quite different.

Believe it or not they are big and jump out of the water when a prop comes near and will actually injure you by hitting you.

I didn't believe this at first but asking around town many said it was true and that they no longer fished because of this type of carp.

We used to have rough fish like buffalo and other species that were bow hunted. Buffalo 'ribs' were considered a delicacy. Likewise white carp. The ribs of white carp are also highly prized here. In fact I has several pounds in my freezer right now.

This is a different beast. This fish has made many here who have fished all their lives give it up in disgust.

I would far rather eat crappie and day that this sucker.

Its also impossible to put out a trotline or go jug fishing.

Just google with the arguements :
asian carp destroys fishing
you will get plenty of alarmed stories from that hit list.

The two largest lakes in Ky are Lake Barkley and Kentucky Lake. I have heard they are causing problems there as well and in the rivers in Illinois.

In my opinion the best freshwater fish I have ever eaten is Blue Cat. I took several lbs of white carp ribs to a community fish fry. Everyone was eating them so I grabbed all the Blue Cat and ignored the white carp ribs.

Spoonbill cat used to also be prized and as a child I saw many huge ones. Some maybe 4 ft long. I never even see a small one now. All mostly gone.

Blue cat, yellow cat, channel cat are what we consume the most of here. Channel are pond raised and not that good when fed. River fish, even though dangerous,is what many prefer.

In the river you can find good holes where the blues hangout. With the right technique and skill you can fill your freezer. All up and down the TVA chain of lakes are many blue cat. Sadly with this species of carp taking over I am not sure any good fish will be able to compete.

Again google it. Not the same as the old carp we are used to IMO.

Further anecdotal evidence of the effects of the warm March: Birds are starving and freezing.

All Things Considered, April 10, 2007 · Julie Zickefoose, an avid birdwatcher, had been looking forward to warm weather this spring. But a late cold snap is altering the migration patterns of the species she tracks.

Hi Airdale,

Thanks for your update.

I'm in New England, so I only know what I'm reading about with respect to crop damage, but my impression is, as you've indicated, that there was widespread damage -- particularly in the Deep South where early mild temperatures had pushed everything along. Yesterday's Chrisitan Science Monitor had a report on the damage to fruit crops and quoted a Purdue U. agronomist who predicted that future climate instability would force growers to diversify and adjust their cultural practices. In the long run, he added, this would lead to higher prices for the consumer, as farmers would not necessarily be able to concentrate on growing the highest yielding varieties.

You certainly aren't alone in wondering why people are seemingly more focused on which Hollywood starlets are in rehab this week than wondering how they will support themselves in a world in which energy and food supplies are strained. This is a consequence of living in a society in which energy is cheap and life's necessities are easily obtained and, thus, taken for granted. My gut tells me that some folks are in for a real shock.

BTW, I think this cold-snap and the subsequent crop damage give us plenty to think about as we contemplate a future economy that runs on plant-derived energy (etoh, biodiesel). How robust an economy can you have when it is fueled by biomass and therefore, dependent upon the vagaries of weather? One of the things that makes farming a difficult enterprise and, say, computer programming a more lucrative one, is that the farmer has a lot less control over the end result. Some years, he knows things will not go his way and then he has to figure out how to make the old Massey run one more year or maybe consider selling off some of his herd to keep the bank from foreclosing on him. How will the American economy function when the difference between paying $5 per gallon of E85 and $10 per gallon is a single two or three day cold snap early in the growing season?

Here is an article from CNN's website concerning
the recent crop freeze. It sounds as though high
oil prices are not the only thing we will be worried
about later this year.

Cold ravages crops; farmers brace for more

Hello Rude Crude and fellow TODers,

Meanwhile the Southwestern drought intensifies as predicted by trees:

Nature knows the signs

Could an oak tree foresee a weather pattern that most scientists couldn't?

Patzert wasn't the only Southern Californian to notice the lack of acorns this fall. Dave White, who worked for several years as a tree-trimmer in Ojai while becoming a science teacher, also noticed a connection between acorn drop in the fall and rain in the winter.

“Two years ago, it was uncanny,” White said, “The trees produced a huge amount of acorns before we had those big rains. I asked my tree-trimming buddies about it, and they noticed the same thing. This year I could hardly find an acorn and so I thought, OK, we're not going to get much rain.”

How could an oak tree predict rainfall? One possibility: a tree could sample the level of moisture in the soil over the course of a year and use that trend to predict rainfall over the course of an upcoming season.

Hydrologists and statisticians for NOAA and other forecasting agencies have been compiling historical measurements of soil moisture, called “constructed soil analogues,” which match soil moisture records at given locations and time periods with rainfall and temperature records. The resulting outlooks are purely statistical and available on the Web. Although not yet approved for public use, LeComte says they are about as reliable as traditional methods for drought forecasts.

“Forecasting skill is fairly modest for all our products,” he said. “But when I'm forecasting, I give the statistical models about equal weight with the ocean models. I think their performance is pretty close, and I think in the future we're going to need to work with more than one kind of forecasting tool.

Patzert is blunter.

“Well, my tree was certainly right this year,” he said. “It was more prophetic than NOAA. Fifteen-hundred civil servants could not compete with a 100-year-old oak tree.”

US Drought Monitor Graphic:


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

Interestingly, almost all of the Pinyon(Pinus monophyla) in the White Pine range in eastern Nevada had no pine nuts in their pinecones. I've seen years where there were no cones, but never abundant cones but any nuts. I haven't check pinyons in other ranges, so I don't know if this phenomenon is widespread.

Last fall(2006) the Nevada Div. of Forestry and the DRI(Desert Research Institute) were investigating a sudden, mass die-off of pinyons over by Eureka, Nevada.

Pinus Monophyla forms cones a year before maturation so native people were able to plan their migrations in advance based on their assessment of the pine nut crops in different ranges. I guess that would allow the trees to "abort" seeds in the second year if thing "looked" challenging to them.

"I had a small pecan sapling near my barn. The leaves are falling off. They may or may not come back with new leaves."

Many broadleaf trees can survive one big setback like this--if it happens again, however... In any case, wishing the best for your pecan tree. :o)

Here in Beaverton, OR, the temperature shot up to 81F on Friday, offering the promise that spring had finally arrived, but in short order the rain and cold returned (by Sat afternoon), and now we might as well be back in December, with temps in the 40s and 50s (occasionally 60s), periodic east winds out of the Columbia River Gorge, followed by the usual southerlies and southwesterlies as the Pacific fronts roll in, and lots of low, scudding, dripping gray.

Indeed, yesterday evening a fairly intense storm center moved up the Oregon coast, and provided a genuine taste of winter, with a gale tearing through the Willamette Valley, periodic heavy rain, and chilly, chilly temps. Yep, could have been December, save for the longer days...



Not to even mention the massive decline in honey bee populations due to Colony Colapse Disorder.

Hi Airdale,

Sorry to hear about the troubles in your area.

These kinds of problems send a shiver down my spine. Growing food when it counts is hard enough, but if Gaia is tossing in curveballs all the time...its going to get really really hard.

It's not gradual changes in temperature and rainfall that will make farming tough, it's crazy changes within a single year. Imagine if corn, wheat or soy yields dropped 50% in 2008 or 2009. Who's to say it won't happen?

As others have said before, energy is still too cheap to passively promote conservation. I will admit to some efficiency improvements to my own house with more ahead, my total energy bills average about $100 per month, this does not begin to cover a weeks worth of groceries.

I'm lucky that I only have to feed myself as opposed to a family of 4, but $100/mo will buy me groceries. I eat a lot of beans, rice, and frozen vegetables. No meat.

Has anyone checked on current world oil prices for 4-06-07?
Quite a few 70's in their.

Apologies for long post, cannot post link:

15:42 12Apr07 RTRS-ANALYSIS-Benchmark battle: what is the real oil price? By Randy Fabi

LONDON, April 12 (Reuters) - How much is a barrel of oil?
That has become much harder to answer, thanks to an unprecedented price gap between the world's two main crude oil benchmarks -- U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) and North Sea Brent.

The U.S. contender, usually more expensive partly due to its higher quality, is weighed down with local pipeline problems in the Midwest and its UK rival has risen more in response to global uncertainties.

Volatility on U.S. crude futures is also drawing more trade to Brent, dealers say. "I see quotes all over the place that oil prices are trading at $62.50," Doug Leggate of Citigroup said of the WTI price. "But oil really isn't at that price. Basically every other light sweet crude is trading closer to $70."

Most media outlets, including Reuters, quote the U.S. crude futures price in their reports with only a passing reference to Brent. But for the past six weeks Brent has leapt ahead, widening on Wednesday to a record premium of $6.37 over WTI.On Thursday, IntercontinentalExchange's (ICE) Brent traded around $68.35 a barrel, while the New York Mercantile Exchange's WTI traded at $63.

"Brent is more indicative of the state of the global markets right now than WTI, plain and simple," said Mike Wittner, global head of energy market research at Calyon.
"WTI is being driven by very local factors and Brent is a waterborne crude that is widely traded and has a lot of other crudes priced off of it."

Brent is used by oil producers in Europe, the Middle East and Africa to price around 20 million barrels per day of crude. WTI is used mainly to price North American crude and some U.S. imports.

NYMEX defended its WTI contract as a key crude benchmark, saying it accurately reflected supply and demand for the world's largest energy consumer. "Some people say WTI is disconnected from the world market, but that is just not true," said Dan Brusstar, NYMEX vice president of research. "Brent is going to be responsive to European and African demand. WTI is more respresentative of U.S. demand."

Although technically only one of the crudes deliverable into the NYMEX's crude futures contract, WTI is synonymous with the NYMEX benchmark. Its settlement point is the modest town of Cushing, Oklahoma, a pipeline hub. Cushing has been drowning in crude supplies due to refinery outages and maintenance in other parts of the United States and rising oil output in western Canada, helping keep WTI lower than Brent.

WTI's volatility has increased hedging risk for investors, prompting some to trade Brent and other alternative grades instead, analysts said.

"The persistence of WTI's unusual weakness to other domestic and international crudes has raised questions about its viability as a regional benchmark," the International Energy Agency said in its monthly oil report. Open interest -- the number of trading positions that have not been closed -- has been rising in Brent, but has flattened out in U.S. crude, although NYMEX remains a bigger exchange.

Many U.S. refiners were using Light Louisiana Sweet (LLS) instead of WTI in calculating the spread with Brent. LLS was valued at around $70.34 on Thursday, more than $7 above WTI.

Long-term investors have shrugged off the widening spread, saying the two contracts will soon return to their traditional relationship. "We tend to invest long term and I think this anomaly irons itself out in a year or two," said Mark Mathias, chief executive of commodity fund manager Dawnay Day Quantum. "We trade in both contracts and I don't see any dramatic difference."

"I think the situation will go away," veteran investor T. Boone Pickens said. The spread does narrow for the longer dated contracts, eventually converging with WTI's three-cent premium over Brent for crude delivered in April 2008.

"Ultimately ... it is unlikely that one bout of volatility will change the status of WTI," the IEA said. "But repetitions of such events could spark a search for alternatives."

Great link Thanks!

Things are getting worser...

At least 8 dead in explosion at Iraq parliament

A suspected suicide bomber blew himself up in the Iraqi parliament cafeteria in a stunning assault in the heart of the heavily fortified, U.S.-protected Green Zone on Thursday, killing at least eight people, the American military said. At least two lawmakers, and at least 10 other people were wounded.

Thursday's attack came hours after a suicide truck bomb exploded on a major bridge in Baghdad, collapsing the steel structure and sending cars tumbling into the Tigris River below, police and witnesses said. At least 10 people were killed in that attack.

Holy crap.

Mission Accomplished.

And here's the bridge:

Not to worry, your leaders are ahead of the game once again.

Gates Announces Longer Tours in Iraq

Washington - Beginning immediately, all active-duty Army soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan will serve 15-month tours - three months longer than the usual standard, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Wednesday.

It was the latest move by the Pentagon to cope with the strains of fighting two wars simultaneously and maintaining a higher troop level in Iraq as part of President Bush's revised strategy for stabilizing Baghdad.

"This policy is a difficult but necessary interim step," Gates told a Pentagon news conference, adding that the goal is to eventually return to 12 months as the standard length of tour in Iraq and Afghanistan.

He said the new policy does not affect the other main components of the U.S. ground force in Iraq: the Marines, whose standard tour is seven months, or the Army National Guard or Army Reserve, which will continue to serve 12-month tours.

Gates acknowledged that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are making life difficult for many in the military.

Just imagine the poor sods who had just 2 weeks to go of a 12-month tour.

All of which is, but of course, simply a matter of following the laws of supply and demand, cause and effect. Call me paranoid if you must, but something tells me the leaders have anticipated this as well.

Breaking the Army

President George W. Bush's ongoing "surge" of some 35,000 troops to add to the 140,000 already deployed in Iraq is highlighting growing concern, particularly among the military brass, that the U.S. army is overstretched and fast becoming "broken".

An increasing number of senior retired officers, some of whom had previously expressed optimism that the active-duty force of some 500,000 soldiers could handle U.S. commitments in the "global war on terror", now say the current situation today reminds them of 1980, when the service's top officer, Gen. Edward Meyer, publicly declared that the country had a "hollow Army".

"The active army is about broken," former Secretary of State Colin Powell, who also served as chairman of the Armed Forces Joint Chiefs of Staff under President George H.W. Bush 15 years ago, told Time magazine this week, while another highly decorated retired general who just returned from Iraq and Afghanistan described the situation in even more dire terms.

"The truth is, the U.S. Army is in serious trouble and any recovery will be years in the making and, as a result, the country is in a position of strategic peril," ret. Gen. Barry McCaffrey, former head of the U.S. Southern Command, told the National Journal, elaborating on a much-cited memo he had written for his colleagues at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

"My bottom line is that the Army is unraveling, and if we don't expend significant national energy to reverse that trend, sometime in the next two years we will break the Army just like we did during Vietnam," he added.

And this Iraqi policeman is fishing for Asian carp?

A question for the field-watchers here.

Recently, I corresponded with a man I greatly respect and admire. He is a journalist known for well researched and cross-referenced stories. I asked why he had not covered peak oil lately (last time was 2005).

He said he had become a lot less convinced of the timeframe as time as gone on, because there are large areas of north-west Saudi Arabia and Siberia with "extremely promising geology" that have hardly been prospected.

Does anybody know what he is referring to? Also I never got a response to my question about the west coast of Africa fields in a previous DrumBeat.

Saudi Arabia has been explored very heavily for 50 years. Aramco has a state-of-the art exploration department, and it seems unlikely that there are any supergiants left in the Mideast. There has been a big gas discovery lately in western Siberia, but the production and costs are going to be very high.
I don't doubt that there is a lot of oil and gas yet to be discovered. But we are very rapidly depleting the cheap stuff.

Apparently you are referring to George Monbiot.
Posted by Leanan in the articles to this thread.

Very prescient of him to discount peak oil just as the evidence for its imminence grows.

You're right, I am. What a strange co-incidence that on the same day I am emailing with him, this story is posted. There was no connection between the two and I didn't read all the stories posted today. Ho hum.

Still an interesting question.

Deffeyes thinks that the world is pretty much tapped out as far as oil exploration goes. He tells a story about being at some kind of petroleum geologists' meeting, and finding that no matter where you pointed on any map, someone in the room had been there, drilled there, seen the cores, knew the oil potential. The most remote valley in Iran - someone had been there.

He says the only area still unexplored is that area of the South China Sea that is under dispute.

I suspect the areas of Saudi that are still unexplored/unproduced are that way for good reason. They are smaller, less desirable in quality, and/or more difficult to extract. There's still plenty of oil there, but there aren't any replacements for Ghawar. Flow rate is everything.

Low resolution siesmic surveys have been done everywhere (even Antartica AFAIK). So no more Ghawars.

Sedimentary areas covered by volcanic flows are "blocked" from siesmic surveys (I am told, wading into the deep end). So there is little knowledge of these areas until a drillbit goes down.

And promising areas on siesmic surveys are often dry when that drill bit goes in.

Offshore Greenland looks promising on siesmic surveys, and it will be drilled soon. Some interest around the Falklands. Very deep water of course. And Shkotmann (spelling) in the Artic Ocean is probably not the last field there. West Africa offshore looks good so far and is in full throttle for development.

The South China Sea and Yellow Sea (between China & Japan) have been underexplored for political reasons). But I would count on VERY little of that production ever making it to the US.

Perhaps KSA has large areas with many small pockets of oil (something like Austin Chalk; high pressure, good quality that deplete in 4 years or low quality that oozes 50 barrels/day for generations).

But a look at the list above is NOT encouraging.

Best Hopes for Rational Planning,


I'm thinking we won't see a clear peak for a while because the infrastructure is getting so trashed and the politics are complicating everything. Hubbert didn't factor that in nor would it have applied to any peak except the Mother of All Peaks.

cfm in snowy white Gray, ME

I was wondering if, assuming a lingering depression or recession, the gov't might start a new WPA to repair the infrastructure. That would be preferable than getting shipped off to fight for oil somewhere.

Perhaps we are seeing the peak clearly without recognizing it. The first sign of not enough oil would be WORLDWIDE drawdown of oil stocks.

Review of "Burned Out" by Andreas Eschbach - a Peak Oil novel/thriller

A couple of weeks ago there was in the dumbeat some news about a german novel called "Burned out" which picks peak oil as a central theme. The author, Andreas Eschbach is a quite succesful novelist. The book "Ausgebrannt" (the german title) is in the bestseller list around place 10 in Germany. So many people are reading this book.

From a "peaker" perspective I was quite fascinated by this book. Eschbach highlights every detail which occurs in every discussion about this topic. The risk of depleting oil fields in Saudi-Arabia (indcluding the Arab D formation and super k-zones!), the economical and financial system based on oil, all the important happenings in the past. He doesn't miss anything. Even more startling is the second part of this book, where the doomers feel confirmed. He describes how the daily life changes (in Germany and in the USA - where things become quite dramatic) and he shows clearly, that nothing can replace cheap oil.

As a long time watcher of peak oil discussions (and one time participant of the ASPO meeting) I am exalted by this book. It is a rather good thriller novel combined with contents which need to be mentioned in every article or book about PO. At the same time I was literally shocked by his visions of a post PO society.

I hope for you english speaking people that this book will be translated into English, it is definitley worth to read!

matthias, berlin

I have just finished the book. It certainly is a good thriller!

The Peak Oil background research is excellent.

However the ending is very "soft" ... there are techno-fixes and the worst crime is the hero getting the petrol from his car stolen!

When the Peak arrives almost 100% of oil disappears overnight, whereas in reality we will be losing CHEAP oil.

The transition to a post Peak society is relatively painless ... which I suspect is somewhat unrealistic.

Nevertheless a fun read!

However the ending is very "soft" ... there are techno-fixes and the worst crime is the hero getting the petrol from his car stolen!

Especially the parts of the story going on in a post PO society in North America sound very violent. However he does not describe it, but just mentions the extreme years which followed later In the end the USA is splitted into different nations.

I agree with your points. It seems to be almost no oil left, just in a few years. This is probably not true. On the other side the story mentions that the oil exporting arabian nations decide to decrease their oil export.

Interesting, I considered the end quite hard. You say it appears soft to you....

I hope you are right when these times will really happen...

Oddly, he may not be far off the mark -

If KSA, falls off a cliff and then Russia follows in the next year or so.

Net Exports just might go to zero - far too quickly.

Ahh...its all fiction isn't it?

Global Climate Change seems to be the hot topic of the year. Here in Arkansas the April Frost killed tender leaves on several trees in my backyard, and seems to have hit the Farm crops a bit heavily. All the while out West they are fussing over Water rights for Track Homes and Ye Olde Swimming Pools drilling in other states to get at Well-Water and talkin gabout possible Dustbowls of the new decade.

So does anyone have a Million Gallon Tank for water buried in thier backyards yet? We can't drink Oil. But we can drink water, Peak clean water might the issue soon, even though we have talked about this in the past it is worth looking at again.

General about KSA, or Saudi; I do believe that ‘oil production’, what is said or not, how the revenues are used or not, is part of a larger picture that can contribute to understanding and prediction as well - much of this is known...(I started to add something to a post by memmel in some thread way back, hope this is not considered OT here or too long...)

“In 2004, Saudi Arabia earned around $4,564 per person, versus $22,589 in 1980. This 80 percent decline in real per capita oil export revenues since 1980 is in large part due to the fact that Saudi Arabia's young population has nearly tripled since 1980, while oil export revenues in real terms have fallen by over 40 percent (despite recent increases). ...wiki

“Saudi Arabia’s per capita income fell from over $20,900 per person in 1980 to about $12,200 per person in 2001”....eia

CIA factbook: purchasing power parity (2004 est.) 12,000 dollars

GDP per capita today: 10,000 dollars (often used in the mainstream, possibly too low)

Total energy consumption, ex: 1980 - 2000 --> + 150% (rough). The details are for the experts.

Total energy consumption per capita, flat since 1995 ...Globalis


Saudi Women: 95%. (Probably a little bit lower.) More than half of U graduates are F. Those who work are employed by the Gvmt. or in uni-sex ‘charity’ factories.

Saudi Men: unknown but very high. More than half of Saudi males are under 20, so a high dependency ratio in any case - 6 to 8 or more? dependents per worker? Estimates vary from just under 10% - official; to more than 33%. It all depends what/how you count...

In 2003, 53% of the Saudi workforce were expats. ...saudi american forum Questionable nos, others can be found; anyway, high.

Which lead to the Saudization program...

Current example from Arab News:

JEDDAH, 1 April 2007 — “The Ministry of Labor has warned employers that it is serious about Saudization and has banned 107 companies from recruiting foreign workers because they have failed to meet Saudization targets. Twelve of the 107 companies had a zero percentage of Saudization and only eight of the companies reached 1 percent." link

I have been told the slums of Riyad or Jeddah are a sight to behold. Water, pollution, sewerage are major problems everywhere.

We see (I say we, as in the west, from far off..) a country run by an domineering elite, handouts to nationals; a kind of apartheid vs. foreign workers, very exploitative laws, rules, practices vis a vis them, not to mention women who are constrained to do domestic work only; and a complete reliance on oil revenues, the oil is sold to maintain those presently in power, in relation to their buyers - the ‘West’. Saudi is a US client state; as such, the Royals are in a dependency relation and must toe the line. Their own survival depends on a certain kind of performance, submissiveness, harmonious relations, sadly or inevitably to... break down when the pain of ‘peak’ kicks in.

An eye to the future - which would seem to imply some kind of ‘reform’ - seems lacking. Eg. diversifying the economy, reforming education, tackling demographics, sewage, etc.

This signals, at the very least, a strong desire to maintain the status quo and present reputation. Often happens when an elite has great power - they act on the assumption that their power, their capacity to regulate or manipulate most dimensions, combined with the fact that the group is usually numerically small, will see them through.

Freedom of action, the clout to impose any decision, leads to collective illusion. Such groups are also very often terribly conservative, because their interaction is personal, face to face, or embedded in a network of personal relations; they rest on a common base which is unwritten - as it cannot be legalised - so tradition, group think, allegiance to chiefs and grand principles are ‘de rigueur’ - changes or innovation are not part of the picture, because the glue that solders the group together provides the only badge of belonging and cannot be given up.

--Noizette is the new version of Noisette (same person.)

Maybe this comment belongs in www.realclimate.org, but I want to add my two cents to the personal anecdotes on TOD about the weather.
I live in the Hudson Valley in New York State, and I have noticed over the last few years that the seasons are moving ahead a little each year. This year, winter weather didn't really start until well into January. My suspicion is that the North Atlantic Ocean is heating up more now, so that that extra heat postpones the arrival of winter. But when winter comes, it gives us a cold spring. Maybe that's because the ocean currents, especially the Gulf Stream are being weakened and pushed southward because of the warming in Greenland. This could create a huge film of cold fresh water on top of the salty ocean water which pushes southward, since this water is very cold, it creates late winter cold weather. what does anybody think of this theory?

I live in Boston, and we are definitly getting later starting winters and colder springs. Fall of 2001 lasted untill the first week in December. This past year was well into January.
This spring (2007), last spring (2006), and either 2003 or 2004 were really cold and really rainy.

As for a layer of fresh cold water on top of the ocean from greenland causing it, I don't buy it. Fresh and salt water mix instantly.

"As for a layer of fresh cold water on top of the ocean from greenland causing it, I don't buy it. Fresh and salt water mix instantly."

Why don't you "buy it"? Whether or not the fresh water from Greenland melt is causing anything...

Fresh water is much less dense than salt water, and large influxes of fresh water absolutely do tend to form a layer on top of saltier water. They do NOT mix "instantly". In the real world, these gradients set themselves up all the time.

If they mixed instantly, there would be no Gulf Stream. That's what the thermohaline circulation is all about.

I'll be the first to say I don't know the dynamics of thermohaline circulation, so perhaps it is possible.

Explain to me though, with the Gulf Stream circulating in a clockwise fashion, wouldn't you expect that cold fresh wtaer to be effecting the UK, rather then the Northeast of North America?


"Explain to me though, with the Gulf Stream circulating in a clockwise fashion, wouldn't you expect that cold fresh wtaer to be effecting the UK, rather then the Northeast of North America?"

One word, and a topical one for you and me about now, my Bostonian friend (I'm in NH). And that word is...

Nor'easter. And I think we're going get spanked here pretty bad on Sunday :-)

Yes, the GS affects the UK and Western Europe very importantly, such that if the GS closes up shop, they're pretty much screwed.

But it effects us too...

But you might want to google up "thermohaline" and "Gulf Stream" and try to see how it all works. It's actually rather subtle, in a way.

Meanwhile, batten down the hatches!

Gulf Stream info


Quid Clarius Astris
Ubi Bene ibi patria

Stuart Staniford wrote a story about Atlantic Circulation Changes. He also covered Greenland, or Why You Might Care About Ice Physics. He also wrote a very informative story titled Living in the Eemian.

Those stories may answer your questions.

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

We are seeing something similar in New Zealand. Cold, wet, stormy weather now continues into mid January (midsummer). Xmas used to be a nice Summer day, now it is the same as early Spring - awful. Yet, after it finally gets warm, relatively mild temperatures now persist into May (late Autumn). The new normal.

A similar seasonal shift, with autumns seeming to last longer, and winter arriving later and dragging its heels more in spring, seems to be happening here in western Oregon, too. Though probably not as pronounced as you describe. However, this past wet season was not quite of that vein, and quite reminiscent of winters from my childhood.

One difference that seems to be gradually happening here is that, more often we seem to be getting our rain in shorter, more-intense events than I remember from the past. We're supposed to be famous for those incessant light to moderate rains that a native Texan would laugh at. That trait might be fading a bit, in favor of more California-style rainbursts. Hmmm... One might dig into short-period rainfall records and try to see if there have been any detectable trends to that effect.



Crickey folks...late night check on currencies and commodities over at Bloomberg shows:

Goldman Sachs 475.72 6.66 (eeekkkk 666!!)

USD vs. EUR = 1.3518 (this is moving fast)

GASOLINE RBOB FUT (cents/gallon) 220.100
GOLD 100 OZ FUTR ($/troy oz.) 682.400
WTI CRUDE FUTURE ($/barrel) 64.040
BRENT CRUDE FUTR ($/barrel) 69.260

Could we see Brent break $70 soon?


It is truly amazing the ends to which the mainstream media
will go to obfuscate.

Cantarell peaked 3 years ago. Initial declines were 8 &
12%. Now it has accelerated to 20%, exactly as predicted.

This field has had everything... gas injection...
horizontal multi branched wells... everything.

And as Colin Campbell predicted... modern practices prolong
high production levels at the expense of the tail of

Regarding Peak Oil... the peaking of the rate of resource
extraction in the petroleum and other resource production
industries is not a "Theory" it is a demonstrable FACT.

The only "Theory" concerns the brain matter of those who
deny this. That "THEORY" concerns whether what lies
between their ears is gray matter ossified, or simply

Anyone who disagrees had better have chapter and verse on
where the oil is coming from EXACTLY... how the oil will
be produced EXACTLY.... and when it will be shipped to
market EXACTLY.


They are reciting cant.... UMMMMM GGGAAAAAWWWWWAAAAA....

I have a feather head dress... beaded moccasins.. and a
skull left over from my days studying with an Objibiway
Shaman that I can loan such people..

Now... let's see.... back bent... tomahawk in left hand..
skull in right....

Rhythmic drum beating....

Feet thumping up and down in time to drum...


There is plenty of oil...

There is plenty of oil....

continued for hours......