DrumBeat: May 26, 2007

Oil industry preps for Gulf storm season

If you think gasoline prices are high now, consider the eye-popping possibilities if another monster storm pummels the Gulf of Mexico this hurricane season, the way Katrina and Rita battered the petroleum-rich waters in 2005.

'I think it's important to say, 'as best we can be,'' said Frank Glaviano, vice president of production for Shell Exploration and Production, an arm of Royal Dutch Shell PLC. (NYSE:RDS A) 'We thought we were prepared, and then we saw a storm like never before in terms of Katrina. ... Rita and Katrina are now part of what can happen -- not a possibility, but a probability.'

Japan Infiltrates the Middle East

Japan has many good reasons to worry about the supply of its economy's lifeblood. It may face serious consequences from the new energy rush and the prospect of reaching peak global oil production, particularly in the face of rising competitors in Asia. For example, China alongside India and Iran form the triangle of Asian ancient civilization. China has a long history of trading with the Middle East that goes back many centuries to the Silk Road era. Many Chinese citizens are now working in oil-producing Arab countries. China's rising political power, stemming from its economic growth, has tempted autocratic rulers of Middle East countries to develop their relationship with Beijing, hoping to balance the West's long-term interference in the region.

Risky business: Big Oil's billion-dollar juggling act

Rarely has one company faced such grave trouble at so many places in such a thin slice of time. The breakdowns form a composite of the challenges an oil giant faces at a time when fields like Prudhoe Bay are running short of oil, the refinery infrastructure in places like Texas City is out of date and overtaxed, and the prospects for success in exploration are dicier than ever.

Survey: Car buyers want size, power and better mileage.

Of all the respondents - not just those currently shopping for a car - just 52 percent said they would be willing to get a smaller vehicle to get better mileage. Forty-one percent said they would be willing to give up performance and only 45 percent said they would take fewer amenities in exchange for better mileage.

Will tourists come?

Despite the recent price jump, a University of Southern Maine economist predicted record-high traffic into Maine at the start of Memorial Day weekend. Northbound traffic on the turnpike was projected to rise by 4 percent over last year. The forecast took into account gas prices, weather and traffic trends.

Blame gas prices on the Prius?

Getting 60 miles to the gallon, Prius drivers buy less gas, which is what the president said he wants. But the rest of us may be paying the long term price for the popularity of alternative fuels. So can we blame the high price of gas on Prius owners? "It's hard for me to be a judge, but put the pieces of the puzzle together, I might be thinking what you're thinking," said Prius salesman David Womack.

'Who Is Gouging Whom?'

Last Wednesday the House of Representatives passed legislation instituting penalties of up to $150 million for companies and up to $2 million and 10 years’ imprisonment for individuals found guilty of gasoline “price gouging.” But the real gouger driving up gasoline prices is not the private sector, it is our government. To “gouge” means to extort, to take by force--something that oil companies and gas stations have no power to do. Unlike a government, which can forcibly take away its citizens’ money and dictate their behavior, an oil company can only make us an offer to buy its products, which we are free to reject.

A Gas Crisis 30 Years in the Making

Embrace the memory of the average $3.21 cents we'll pay for each gallon of regular unleaded gasoline purchased this Memorial Holiday weekend. The chances are we'll pay a lot more next year and the year after that. What the oil companies are doing isn't moral. Nor is it illegal. But it is business.

Contributions from Stoneleigh:

More cite hardship from gas prices

Despite the skyrocketing cost, slightly fewer people than last year said they are reducing their driving, trimming other expenses or curtailing vacation plans due to higher energy costs. Asked to name a fair price for a gallon of gasoline, for the first time most volunteered $2 and up, and not less than $2.

Baird stands by refinery decision

A proposed oil refinery in New Brunswick will go through the "toughest" environmental assessment before being built, Environment Minister John Baird insisted Friday, despite complaints the project is being allowed to skip some procedural steps.

The federal government announced Thursday it would study only the marine component of the $7-billion Irving Oil refinery proposed for Saint John, N.B., and leave the more serious environmental assessment of pollution issues to the provincial government.

That decision infuriated environmentalists, who claimed the governments were taking a shortcut to rush the refinery into production.

Ending India's energy drought

In most Indian cities, being middle class means owning your own power company. As summer temperatures approach 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit), energy demand from electric fans and air conditioners is putting stretched utilities under stress.
Against a peak demand of 104,000 megawatts last month, supply was 90,000 megawatts. That is a shortfall of 14 percent.

Rationing of power, which goes on throughout the year, becomes unbearable during the summer months. People resign themselves to blackouts that sometimes last all day, even longer if overburdened cables burn or aging transformers collapse.

Households and businesses create their own electricity by burning diesel in noisy, inefficient, polluting generators. Those who cannot afford to be power producers buy inverters: chargeable batteries that store power from the utilities for later use.

Russia: Bigger Than Big Oil

Perhaps most astoundingly, late last year Russia quietly passed Saudi Arabia to become the world's biggest oil producer. After Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice recently agreed, face to face, to tone down their increasingly inflammatory rhetoric and concentrate instead on business, Russia's growing oil output and the U.S.'s corresponding decline seem increasingly meaningful, if not ominous.

Nigerian oil unions end strike after government concessions

The government agreed to a 15 percent raise for all employees of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company and union officials ordered workers back to work on Saturday, said Peter Esele, leader of the white collar workers' bloc.

The strike did not affect crude output from Africa's biggest producer, but workers began leaving their jobs at export terminals on Friday, threatening to slow the flow of crude from Nigeria at a time when oil prices are near all-time highs. The work action began Thursday, after the government hastily sold off a refinery.

Esele said the tens of thousands of Nigerian workers in the oil industry would still participate in a separate two-day work stoppage beginning Monday to protest the country's deeply flawed April elections.

Risky business: Big Oil's billion-dollar juggling act

The can-do culture of BP's past pushed it to explore the depths of oceans, deal with unsavory political regimes, pioneer the era of oil-industry consolidation and test the limits of technology. Malone was in Alaska trying to reignite BP's can-do spirit after nearly a decade in which the company scrimped on routine maintenance and ignored safety issues that led to the disaster in Texas and the spill in Alaska.

And now, an inability to tackle daunting technological challenges has forced BP to delay pumping from one of its brightest prospects for the future: BP's massive Thunder Horse platform in the Gulf of Mexico. A nearly 3-year delay in the startup of the world's largest floating oil platform, which covers an area the size of three football fields, is setting back the arrival of enough oil to boost total U.S. production by nearly 5 percent.

Rarely has one company faced such grave trouble at so many places in such a thin slice of time. The breakdowns form a composite of the challenges an oil giant faces at a time when fields like Prudhoe Bay are running short of oil, the refinery infrastructure in places like Texas City is out of date and overtaxed, and the prospects for success in exploration are dicier than ever.

The crisis at BP is symptomatic of challenges oil companies face in trying to slake the world's thirst for oil. The six "super-major" independent oil companies together take in nearly $1.5 trillion each year. Yet the residue from the cutbacks and scrimping during the days of $10-a-barrel oil in the late 1990s has left the industry ill-equipped to handle even the slightest hiccup.

Ottawa has a plan to protect infrastructure from terrorists

The plan, in the works for almost three years, is revealed in briefing notes prepared for Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day after an al-Qaida affiliate in the Arabian Peninsula threatened in February to attack the petroleum interests of countries, such as Canada, that supply oil and gas to the United States.

The national strategy would reach far beyond the oil and gas sector to cover everything from power plants and telecommunications networks to banking systems, hospitals, transport routes, food-distribution networks, manufacturing facilities and the water supply.

"There is a growing consensus in both the public and private sectors that there is a need for both critical infrastructure protection and cyber-security strategies to bring together existing capacities as well as to set new priorities," states a briefing note prepared for Day on Feb. 19 and obtained under the Access to Information Act.

Uganda scraps plan to cut rainforest for palm oil

Uganda's government has scrapped plans to convert thousands of hectares of rainforest on an island in Lake Victoria into a palm oil plantation, the environment minister said on Saturday.

President Yoweri Museveni has faced intense opposition, including violent protests, over proposals to give private firms the right to bulldoze protected forests to create farms.

Motorists driven to Mexican fuel

U.S. motorists are flocking to gas pumps south of the border to save 25% or more on the cost of a fill-up — courtesy of the Mexican government.

Worried about inflation, Mexican officials are keeping a lid on retail prices at the state-owned petroleum company Pemex. Regular-grade gasoline in this border town is selling for about $2.60 a gallon. With prices in California averaging $3.43 a gallon — and topping $4 at some stations — Golden State residents such as Roger Moore are grabbing a deal while they can.

Alberta group wants province to design energy policy

In the heart of free market Alberta, a prominent industry group is calling on the province to design an energy policy to better manage growth.

The Canadian Energy Pipeline Association is concerned about Albertans' recent backlash against too much development and believes the government needs to be more engaged so the province's main industry can achieve its aggressive growth plans.

In terms of oil pipelines alone, companies are planning to invest $20-billion between now and 2014 to transport oil from the oilsands to U.S. markets.

‘Iraqi oil law won’t allow foreign control’

Iraq’s pending new oil law does not mention production-sharing contracts and will guarantee that 80 percent of oil reserves are managed by the Iraqi National Oil Company, the oil minister said in remarks published on Friday.

“There is no mention of production-sharing contracts,” Hussain al-Shahristani told the pan-Arab daily al-Hayat.

The state-owned Iraqi National Oil Company would control all fields other than those that are not now in production and which are a long way from production, he added.

LPG terminal inaugurated

The first integrated liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) terminal at Port Qasim was inaugurated by President Gen Pervez Musharraf on Friday.

This terminal is the largest LPG infrastructure project in Pakistan with an investment worth $50 million and built by SNC Lavalin.

Malaysia, Indonesia take to Europe to defend palm oil

Malaysia and Indonesia said they will meet European lawmakers to debunk accusations oil palm plantations are environmentally destructive -- claims they said are hurting the sector.

Turkmenistan: Multiple Gas Pipelines Still Possible

The agreement reached by the presidents of Russia, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan earlier this month to build a gas pipeline from the Caspian shore to Russia has been hailed by the international media as a Russian victory over the West.

The excitement generated by the trilateral deal, which presidents Vladimir Putin of Russia, Kazakstan's Nursultan Nazarbaev and Gurbanguly Berdymuhammedov of Turkmenistan signed at a May 12 summit in the Caspian port of Turkmenbashi, stems from the belief that this agreement puts paid to a projected alternative route, the Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline, TCGP.

The European Union has been lobbying for the TCGP, which would be laid under the Caspian Sea to Azerbaijan and would not go through Russian territory.

Iranian, Europeans Meet on Nuclear Issue

With the threat of new U.N. sanctions looming, senior European officials met Friday with a ranking envoy from Iran in what officials described as an attempt to defuse the crisis over the Islamic republic's refusal to scrap uranium enrichment.

Pentagon says China expanding military reach

China's ongoing military buildup remains focused on preventing Taiwan's independence but is expanding to include other regional military goals, including securing the flow of oil from overseas, according to an annual Pentagon study issued Friday.

Fuel Economy Somewhat Important to only half of US New Car Buyers

Most Americans want a car with better fuel economy, but only about half say they would be willing to sacrifice size or performance to get it, according to a national survey conducted by Consumer Reports.


Hard to Have Best Hopes,


I stuck that one in Drumbeat after you posted it. I am just sort of working my way through ad hoc and adding stories as I run across them (while I have a few minutes).

Great minds think alike ! :-)

But so do mediocre minds,


Robert, I (and others, I'm sure) really appreciate your generosity in doing the Drumbeat in Leanan's well deserved absence. I know it is time consuming, but it is so useful to find all this info on TOD every day.

Two Responses

Response #1

Dear Alan,

Although U.S. gasoline usage is inelastic at this time, sustained higher prices or a spike due to market tightness will turn this trend around. Perhaps prices in the $4.00/gallon range will do the trick. Time will cure the problem.

best hopes,


Response #2

Dear Alan,

When this American idiot juggernaut jumps off the peak oil cliff, they will take me and my loved ones with them. It is at times like this that I am forcefully reminded that I have a very low opinion of Homo Sapiens generally (present company excepted) and of our prospects as a species.

no hopes,


Best hopes for no hopes, (response #2).
Present company excepted of course.


Despite the ban on pangolins, many restaurants offer their meat. The Chaoxing restaurant in Shenzhen said yesterday that pangolin was available but was only suitable for large dining parties.

"The animal is very big - about 10kg," said a waitress contacted by telephone. "We serve it in hotpot. That is the tastiest way."

Even in the context of "larger issues" looming about this one sucks. It is yet another reason why we, as a family, do as much as we can to simply NOT buy Chinese-made goods. This includes toys, clothing, shoes, foods, etc. It's amazing that a country like China, with as large a military presence throughout their populated provinces can't police this and other issues. Write an article critical of the local party head and you'll likely be before a judge quickly, and often with horrific results.
Our boycott is not absolute, however I would estimate we've reduced our acquisition of Chinese-made goods by well over %90 compared to average American consumers. IMHO our government is nothing to be proud of (to say the absolute least), but that doesn't mean I will support other ham-fisted, oppressive regimes.
Poachers are scum of the earth...
Of course having just read back through my post two things come to mind; Peak Oil and Global Warming, both in different ways, will seal the deal on the loss of species worldwide. Secondly, I have food on my table; who am I to criticize some dirt-poor Asian family man trying to survive and feed his family.

/rant off

I really think you are on the right track. Buying locally makes even more sense the more I hear about the whacko stuff being found in food and products coming out of China. I heard something about antifreeze in toothpaste from China recently....

Here it is:

FDA to check toothpaste imports from China:
Officials inspecting shipments after reports of tainted products


I will definitely not eat anything that has wheat gluten in it after the pet food scare.

Watch this and you will feel a little better about our species.


Diesel provides better performance AND a third better economy. Too bad you Americans haven't figured it out.

If a fairy sprinkled magic fairy dust on the whole US fleet and tomorrow you all woke up driving diesels, The US would save something like 5m barrels of oil per day.

Some of us figured it out years ago...

Some, like the Sierra Club, are dead set against use of diesel in the US because it is much more difficult to reduce emissions. If I recall correctly the latest scheme involves something like injecting urea into the combustion chamber to reduce emissions. That requires a "fillup" of urea solution as well as diesel fuel. Not a bad solution for those of us who need to stop often to urinate.

The buzz is that in the 2008 MY, VW will bring back the diesels that will be 50-state clean and will pass emissions. Still waiting to hear details, but the rumors are that the smaller cars like Jetta & Rabbit won't need the urea thing.

Bring It On... Lets Roll
and it's the right color for evasion :)

The little stratified charge 1.5 and 1.6's routinely made 50-55 mpg w/o turbo. Still have one. Today's 1.2liter. 3cyl. and 3 l. per 100k is better than that. Do you think it'll ever show up in America?

We can do so much better feeding a little lower down on the fractioning tower. Thinking total emissions/mpg per passenger mile. Be interested if you hear more rumors.

I am aware of the 1.3l diesel (Lupo in the U.K., I guess), but we haven't seen them as of yet. I guess they think they won't sell enough of them as long as fuel is cheap, but in reality they needed to solve the emissions problem first, I suppose.

My Jetta has a 1.9l turbodiesel and gets about 50mpg. That's the only diesel engine configuration that VW sells in the U.S. (I suppose I could order parts from overseas and build a frankencar - don't laugh - I know people who have done things like this).

There are people at www.TDIClub.com who work to maximize fuel economy - one guy drove from Salt Lake City to Philadelphia, and got > 70mpg. He got stopped by the police for driving too slow however, so this wouldn't work for everyone. The guy who did this is a retired aeronautical engineer, and gave a talk about coefficients of drag and maximization of fuel economy.

My guess is that you could scale the Jetta back to a 1.6l engine and the car do just fine - just a little slower. For the 1.3l to work, you would probably need a lighter body like the Lupo.

Thanks for yor response. I bumped this topic ahead to today to allow more people to grind it through the hopper.

Hello Jjhman,

I am hoping that a small diesel scooter, trike, or motorcycle becomes available soon here in the US. A 250cc diesel should provide sufficient motive power and if beer is still cheap enough: no widespread problem generating sufficient urine for clean tailpipe emissions.

Of course: No drinking, then riding. Just motor to your local tavern for a 'fillup'. =)

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

The KLR Kawasaki's that are converted to diesel for the USMC are available if you look hard enough. Good fuel mileage, big tank, huge range.

Over 90 mpg at 55 mph and capable of 90 mph if needed, run on diesel, biodiesel or jet fuel.


hi - SailDog
...can they "program" the refineries so to speak ,how much of a certain or particular distillate one wishes from the crude volum?

Diesel is taken from the heating-oil-segment, as petroleum is a complete different distillate - much lighter part.

To clarify - can they make diesel from petrol ?

OT. Maybe....

At a small town in western KY in the graveyard across the street from where
my mother lives, volunteers could be seen placing flags on the graves of veteran
soldiers. While this is going on all across our nation this Memorial Day weekend
let us take a moment to honor those who sacrificed so much so that we can
enjoy the life we have today.

In the coming years we will need to band together as a community and as a
nation to mitigate the coming catastrophe that we so often discuss here. We
can debate what should have or could have been done differently to have
averted the crisses that lies before us but the end result is the same. We are
here and what can we do now to lessen the severity of a reduction in energy

Best hopes that our veteran men and women's sacrifices were not in vain.


Had a little confusion between Veterans Day and Memorial Day.

According to what I found it seems that Memorial day was previously Decoration Day and started in 1865 to place decorations on the graves of Civil War soldiers.

Being reminded by Rude Crude that we should remember all our veterans I will remember on Monday to visit my hometown cemetery where some of my uncles who served in WWII are buried.

As I have mentioned before my father had 6 brothers and during WWII my father and 5 of his brothers were all in the war at the same time. The last brother served for 30 yrs in the Air Force and in all major conflicts since WWII. Retired to Germany and came back last year and died soon thereafter. Now only one of my fathers brothers remains and lives up the road from me. One was captured and imprisoned for 3 years by the Germans,one was being operated on as his battleship was shelling Saipan,one was in Tank Destroyers,another a tank commander. They were all good men but drank far too much as a result of that war. Some did not pass away well but yet they served and never once spoke of it. Not a word. Never.

Of all those men only me and my brother and one other son was born. Of those only I have a son,my brother never married and my son will never marry. From 7 men(and 7 aunts) it narrows down to only one who continues the line that will soon disappear(me) yet for those who did serve(as did I and my brother) I will bow at the graves and thank them for going in harms way for this country.

BTW in that same graveyard there are graves of Confederate soldiers as well. One next to my future gravesite. My gravesite is at the foot of my great great grandfather who came to this country in 1820. On his tombstone is an anchor crossed with anchor chain. He was once a sailor,,same as me.
I think I will be in good company.

God Bless America, even in this time of tribulation and woes

Airdale..Airdale is a navy slang word for those whose 'rates' are in Naval Aviation

rude crude & airdale

I understand that for a YES ...

Robert is far better qualified than me on this, but I think they have some latitude, but the fractions depend on the type of crude and it API.

I am not sure that is a relavant question though. Europe has been moving to diesel cars for years - now sales about 50% diesel, but the fleet is proably miuch less than that. They do not seem to have problems with how much petrol vs diesel is produced.

I don't know where you live, but this is not going to be an issue for the lifetime of any diesel car you buy or own now. PO will take it off the road long before any worries about insufficient diesel being avialable.

I run my diesel Golf (same as a Rabbit, but it is the latest version, which I do not think is available in the US). I run it on biodiesel, available at a discount of about 20c per litre to mineral diesel from a service station just up the road. Biodiesel is made from tallow mainly here. It gets about 50mpg around town and 60mpg in the country. Despite only having a 1.9 litre engine, it has more torque than a 3 litre GM petrol car (called Holden here). It performs well and is the "perfect" town car for a guy with three kids. It was cheap to buy and is cheap to run. PO will take all the SUV's off the road long before me! When we go on holiday I tow a trailer and the extra torque from the diesel engine handles it fine.

Halfway there is better than nowhere.

In my hometown of San Diego, I am seeing many more
Priuses suddenly---at least close to the UCSD campus.

Not coincdentally this has corresponded to an increase of production and drop of price. Today's newspaper ads show "$3000 OFF MSRP" for some new models.

Outside the wealthier La Jolla or university area, few new hybrids, but looking around at
the obviously new cars people are driving in general, I
actually am starting to see more efficient cars in general, and not quite as many gargantuan *new* SUV's. Most US branded cars (versus trucks) are rentals or likely former rentals. Few people buy new from Detroit here.
Plenty of new civics, camry's and small nissan's. I bet when the next corolla is out it will sell very well.

People still drive their older (2-10) year old SUV's and a few macho guys are still buying new big ass trucks.

I'll admit this isn't Texas.

I think a plug-in hybrid would sell remarkably well, no doubt made first in Japan, after Detroit claims it couldn't be done or will have no market.

The persistence of the high fuel prices might be starting to convince people that they're not going back down soon, or that it will be an "every damn summer" phenomenon now.


Altairnano: The Real Deal
By EV World

Official testimony at 24 May 2007 California Air Resources Board meeting in San Diego.

...To date, AVinc, has run 50 ten-minute fast charging cycles at the module level with a 120-minute discharge to simulate travel at 60 mph, So far, the module has shown no degradation whatsoever, which leads AVinc to conclude that pack life appears to be following the extended cycle life they've observed at the cell level.

AeroVironment's findings appear to confirm Altairnano's claims that the battery should be good for tens of thousands of cycles equivalent to 500,000 miles of vehicle travel.

The second big piece of news was Dan Elliott's announcement that an upgraded battery pack is in the works that should give their SUT a range of between 200-250 miles. The current projected range is 130 miles for a vehicle with a top speed of 95 mph. He also stated that as long as CARB doesn't change the current system of ZEV credits, his company will be able to sell vehicles by 2009 without the benefit of any government incentives.

AVinc (the third party testor) also testified to the California ARB that they have been testing the cells since last year -- so this was more than just a demo.

80 Employees

Several business Units

At least 5 personnel in senior management

And they are changing the world?

Company profile from yahoo!finance

Stock quote from yahoo!finance

I'm puzzled by this vehicle. If you go to the Phoenix Motorcars website, it says that the battery pack has a capacity of 35 kWh and that the vehicle can go 100+ miles on a charge. 35 kWh is slightly less than the energy content of a gallon of gasoline. So, why don't we have 100 mpg gasoline cars right now? Is there some greater efficiency in an electric motor translating energy to vehicle motion? Or is it that the new technology of this car includes dramatic efficiencies that no other current car design has?

It relates to thermodynamic efficiency. Even though the Joules or KWH are the same, electrical energy can be converted to "shaft work", basically the energy that propels the car at >90% efficiency compared to the KWH in a gallon of gasoline which is converted to "shaft work" at an efficiency of 10-20% (typically).

Another way: Electrical energy is a far more usable form of energy than thermal-energy. They are equivalent from a First Law of Thermodynamics point of view (i.e. Law of conservation of energy) but NOT from a Second law of thermodynamics point of view.

The above is just thermodynamics. I know nothing about ALTI claims.

Is there some greater efficiency in an electric motor translating energy to vehicle motion?

The simple answer, yes. The more complicated answer...electric motors translate somewhere in the neighborhood of 95% of the energy into useful work whereas internal combustion engines are on the order of 25 - 35%. ICE's lose energy in pumping losses, heat transfer, friction, adiabatic inefficiency, coolant and lubricant movement, etc. If you've got a manual, the next time you're out taking a drive, as you're going down the road take your foot off the gas...that deceleration you feel is what you're compensating for all the time - just to keep the engine going. The little bit of energy left after overcoming the resistance of the engine is what's propelling the vehicle. It's pretty sick to think about once you realize it.


2001 Toyota RAV4 EV
Fuel Type

MPG (city) 117
MPG (highway) 91
MPG (combined) 104

Only about 15% of the energy from the fuel you put in your tank gets used to move your car down the road or run useful accessories, such as air conditioning. The rest of the energy is lost to engine and driveline inefficiencies and idling.


Someplace (wikipedia?) I read that the power delivered to the wheels from a gallon of gasoline is about 9kWH. So a 35kWH battery is roughly equivalent to three gallons of gas. You have to be very careful with these sorts of calculations. The people who make the statements about capacity are probably being truthful and accurate, but it makes a huge difference depending on where the capacity is stored. For example, a 35kWH battery might not supply 35kWH. That is a rating of capacity. It might make good sense only to use it from the 10% to 90% capacity levels resulting in about 28kWH actual energy used.

Someplace (wikipedia?) I read that the power delivered to the wheels from a gallon of gasoline is about 9kWH. So a 35kWH battery is roughly equivalent to three gallons of gas.

The power delivered may be 9kWh, but that's just because of the inefficiency of the heat engine. Hindela is correct in that a 35kWh battery is less than a gallon of gasoline. Most EV's get on the order of 100+ miles per gallon of gas-equivalent. The electric motor is truly that much more efficient.

Thank you for all the responses. I see now why a battery driven car is more efficient than a gasoline car. I guess the ultimate comparison would be to take into account the inefficiencies in generating the electricity used to charge the car's battery. Best would probably be to charge it from solar panels or maybe a fuel cell generator.

I made this post the other day

Lets use Tesla's numbers here

If we use NG as an electricity source we get a well to station (I assume your outlet) efficiency of 52.5% The Tesla has a vehicle efficiency of 2.18Km/MJ so we get an well to wheel efficiency of 1.14km/MJ.

Crude oil has a well to station efficiency of 81.7%, A prius has a vehicle efficiency of .68 giving us a well to wheell efficiency of .556km/MJ.

But the Tesla number comes from using NG as an electricity source. NG makes up only a tiny fraction of our electricity sources (from the chart posted below) and is used mainly for peak generation. If we use the average effeciency for a thermal electric plant, 31% we get a much different number for the Tesla.

The average thermal electric plant has a well to station efficiency of 31% The Tesla has a vehicle efficiency of 2.18Km/MJ so we get an well to wheel efficiency of .67km/MJ.

.67 for the Tesla is only slightly higher than the Prius at .556.

So if I did that correctly (and please correct me if I didn't) it comes down to how you generate the electricity.
So I'll put the question to you, how do you propose to charge all these EVs (and I guess PHEVs as well)?

Is there some greater efficiency in an electric motor translating energy to vehicle motion?


Internal combustion engines are just about the least efficient way of converting energy into motion. Most of the energy is lost due to heat (in combustion) and friction (heat and mechanical wear). This latter point includes the brake pads that wear out repeatedly - you can think of a certain portion of the fuel you burn going directly to wearing down your brake pads. By contrast, an electric vehicle which uses regenerative braking not only does not wear down its brake pads to slow down,* it recovers energy as it slows. In fact, in some cases it can recover a lot of energy: 42% in this case. (warning: large PDF)

The attributes of internal combustion engines are completely mismatched to the requirements - low torque at low speed, the need to continue running and thus require mechanical slippage to start, and a low range of speeds requiring a lot of gearing. By contrast, electric motors have high torque at low speed, need not rotate when the vehicle is stopped, and have a much larger operating range. No slippage is required to start.

There is a reason why electric vehicles directly fed by wire are very efficient. This is not rocket science! :-)

I wish the whole world understood how poor a solution internal combustion engines are from every point of view except one: they easily leverage the huge stored chemical potential of hydrocarbon fuels. Electricity can be transmitted long distances with low losses, but it isn't easily stored. Frankly, I find it more than a little bizarre that people will try to replicate the energy storage qualities of fossil fuels rather than using a technology that pre-dates internal combustion engines: direct electric power to the vehicle. This is easy to do with large mass transit vehicles (rail, trolleybus), but less obviously done with smaller vehicles. Still, it is not, again, rocket science (I'll save you the link!) - the urban use of electric vehicles would be completely practical if a small fraction of the money currently devoted to highways and to dealing with the problems of pollution (and... ahem... foreign military adventures...) were instead devoted to widespread implementation of charging stations. In most urban use there is no need for a range beyond, say, 20 miles. If you want to get even more radical, add appropriately-protected ground level contact charging at major intersections. This is not an easy or cheap thing to do, but it can be done.

*small caveat: electric vehicles do use friction brakes to come to a complete stop, often "blending" the two forms of braking. Typically electric motors can do most of the slowing at higher speeds.

Well said ! :-)

Combine the advantages of an electric motor with the very low rolling resistance of steel on steel, and you have a winner !

Thus my long standing support of electrified rail (electrified trolley buses also have a good niche, as well as bicycles and walking).

Friction braking comes in at 3 to 5 mph (5 to 8 kph) when stopping an electric train. Montreal uses cherry wood shoes coated with peanut oil, thus giving the aroma of popcorn :-)

Best Hopes for non-oil transportation,


in Barron's this week

CERA's Jacobs says that there probably are no giant oil fields remaining to be discovered -- "elephant" discoveries will be few and far between. But as even the Saudis turn to new kinds of multilateral horizontal drilling technologies to maximize recovery rates at their now-mature fields, CERA calculates that new technologies could prolong the life of the oil-based global economy.

"There is still a lot of oil and gas there for the taking -- more than many skeptics might believe," Jacobs argues. "But it's 'found' oil -- it lies in reservoirs that have already been discovered, and it's going to take more and more effort to get to the surface. The companies that do it will be rewarded, however." Investors may hit some pay dirt, too.

CERA seem to be nicely covering all bases...

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

Re: The Chicago Tribune story that states the BP refinery at Texas City is overtaxed

BP won a huge lawsuit against the Galveston County Tax Appraisal District and had their ad valorem taxes reduced in 2004. This is just propoganda by British Petroleum.
These are not good guys. They have the distinction of being the largest source of air polution in the Houston/Galveston area. They killed about 20 contract workers with their sloppy safety, and they have the worst safety record of any oil company in the US refining industry.
I personally have set next to a table full of BP employees at the all you can eat chinese buffet in Texas City and heard their moron employees discussing ignoring the H2S monitors. That shit makes sulfuric acid in the lungs, and they are dumping in the atmosphere? Thank god I live away from the prevailing winds in Galveston.
In Texas we support our schools primarily through local ad valorem taxes. There are no state income taxes or ad valorem taxes. So by suing the appraisal district these wonderful beyond petroleum folks made sure their employees children continue to recieve a substandard education. My only consolation is the manager's children live in League City/Clear Lake and receive the full benefit of the poison these bandits dump in our atmosphere due to the prevailing SE winds.
I'm going to stop because I don't want to further bore the folks here. But, they can change their name, but they don't want to change their behaviour. Don't buy their stock, don't buy their gasoline, cause ihey will screw their employees and neighbors they certainly won't hesitate with their investors and customers!!!

Sorry for the rant, but these guys really piss me off!

I completely agree with your rant, but must point out that the article probably meant "overtaxed" in the sense of "driven beyond equipment limits."

TJ, very possibly, but their equipment problems are through their own neglect, just as their pipeline problems in Alaska appear to be BP's fault. The current overhaul is because they didn't do much maintainence since absorbing Amoco. They have eliminated OCAW jobs, and brought in "contractors" who use illegal aliens for the most dangerous work. Its multinational thugery at its most blatant.
Luckily, they seemed to have abandoned their LNG import scheme for Pelican Island in Galveston bay due to local opposition. I wish they'd sell their refinery too. I'm not opposed to petrochemicals, just irresponsible and abusive operations that are mismanaged from the top. A prayer for a new Litany: From beancounters in foreign companies. Good Lord, deliver us!

Hi Bob,

Can I tease out a few threads from your rant?

They have the distinction of being the largest source of air pollution in the Houston/Galveston area.

Well, it's a big refinery. Houston/Galveston area defined by whose line on a map? Largest polluter in what sense? Absolute volume or mass of emissions (including hot air and warm water)? Mass of pollutants? Defined how? By who? With what political agenda? Emissions (either sort) per employee? Per dollar sales? Per dollar value added? Compared with other refineries? Or something else?

they have the worst safety record of any oil company in the US refining industry.

Again, defined how? Over what period of time? Just the day/week/fortnight/month/quarter/year of the explosion? Last year? This year? Yesterday afternoon? Can you quote chapter and verse on that?

I personally have set next to a table full of BP employees at the all you can eat chinese buffet in Texas City

Is the location relevant? How would this sentence read if you had been in church? At the local Klavern? Hiding under an employee's bed after he came home unexpectedly early? At AA? Did you follow up with a call to the confidential report line that BP set up a couple of years ago? If not, was it because you actually don't care?

...ignoring the H2S monitors. That shit makes sulfuric acid in the lungs

Hydrogen sulfide probably oxidizes in air to yield SO2 and even a trace of SO3 given long enough - dunno, but that's not how it kills you; it blocks mitochondrial cytochrome enzymes, shuts down your tissue respiration cycle, and you go into bronchospasm, a bit like what happens with hydrogen cyanide. H2S is famous for being deadly at a lower ppm in air than HCN. See, I can go to Wikipedia and blind people with science as well!

Worth noting that TC is currently installing equipment to reduce SO2 emissions, by the way. So some of your points are being addressed, even in the face of rampant construction cost inflation.

So by suing the appraisal district these wonderful beyond petroleum folks made sure their employees children continue to recieve a substandard education

Or you could say that BP is subtly encouraging the district to move to a more sustainable tax base that will survive the decline of the oil industry. By that token, anyone who shelters their income from Federal taxes, or lodges an appeal against the IRS, is undermining Our Boys In Iraqistan. Treason! Yet oddly, it's so-called "conservatives" and other gun-lickers who whinge about taxes.

My only consolation is the manager's children live in League City/Clear Lake and receive the full benefit of the poison these bandits dump in our atmosphere

That's unChristian, but I'm sure you'll be forgiven for saying it if you truly repent.

I'm going to stop because I don't want to further bore the folks here.

Not at all old chap - you add so much value to TOD with your knowledge of the independent upstream sector that you're good for a lot more calls on your credit. Vent away.



Both my sources for the safety record and the pollution is the Galveston Daily News, the largest independent paper in this part of the state. Their website is http//www.galvnews.com., I can't remember the dates, but they have an index. There's also a great website called GHASP-the Galveston-Houston area something or another pollution. There is also a toxic release inventory which is published by the Texas Air Quality Board. This was reported on in the Houston Chronicle, as well as the Daily News. Thats the Hearst newspaper about 50 miles up 45 in Houston.
As far as the metropolitan area, it was called the Houston-Galveston area until about 10 years ago when too many Yankees moved in. Now, no telling what you call the area. Its bizarre-its grown to about 80 miles across any way you cut it-Katy to Baytown, Conroe to Galveston, Tomball to Kemah, Alvin to Liberty. Cut 'n Shoot is practicially inner city!(well, almost).
As far as being un-Christian in my wishing the results of their cheap maintainence on the heads of the BP management, guilty as charged. But wasn't it Jesus who said "suffer the little children..." (just kidding again, i just wanted to give the fundementalist reading. I'm an Episcopalian.
As far as the physiological results of breathing H2S, I'm not a chemist or a doctor. But, I do know its bad stuff that makes birds drop out of the sky, more than the morons know that I eavesdropped on at the China Border. Its a great all-you-can eat buffet-roast duck,shrimp, Vietnamese Spring Rolls, Sushi-and its located next door to the new BP employees facility and shares their parking lot. Its at Palmer Highway and 146 in Texas City, and since its a couple of miles from the BP plant only mildly dangerous. Beware of chicken at an all-you-can-eat buffet!

I don't know if this link about BP's exciting efforts in Azerbaijan have been posted on this site. If you are of a shy disposition, do not look at this link

This article first appeared a few weeks ago but a "D Notice" was put on it by the UK Authorities to prevent it being published (i.e. it was censored).

It is the best explanation that I have seen of why Lord Browne resigned in such a hurry.

IMHO, people who approve the expenditure of $90 million on "entertainment" are not the right people to be running a huge oil refinery in Texas

On the other hand, sex drugs and booze will get you a long way with the Texas State Legislature.

My first job in Austin, to work my way through school, was as a night auditor at the hotel closest to the Texas State Capital. I was there when the Legislature was in session.

The "Good Roads" lobby (highways) kept a hospitality suite there with 3 hookers (they rotated) on duty. A blonde, a brunette and a redhead was what they tried to keep on duty.

Best Hopes for Texas Highways ??



Par exemple, Robert Rapier, rédacteur d’un Blog appelé « R-Squared Energy », a étudié la production d’éthanol cellulosique à l’Université A & M du Texas. Selon ses calculs, une usine d’une capacité de 50 millions de gallons d’éthanol cellulosique annuels consommerait 860 585 (huit cent soixante mille cinq cent quatre vingt cinq !) conifères de type Douglas Fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) tous les ans simplement pour pouvoir continuer à opérer ! Alternativement, si le panic raide était l’heureux élu du lobby éthanol, et à supposer que les récoltes de celui-ci fussent toujours fort abondantes, il faudrait y consacrer 13 % de toute la surface des USA pour remplacer la moitié de la consommation américaine actuelle de pétrole par l’éthanol cellulosique. A supposer toutefois qu’une usine de production d’éthanol cellulosique puisse être - de près ou de loin - efficace. C’est à peu près ce que nous avions vu plus haut, en termes de surface des terres, pour l’éthanol de maïs. Il est parfaitement évident que de telles surfaces cultivables et accessibles n’existent pas.

Who speaks French? I know it's from March, but I had never seen it before. Should I be upset? It's all Greek to me. :-)

babelfish translation:

For example, Robert Rapier, writer of Blog called "R-Squared Energy", studied the cellulose production of ethanol at University A & M of Texas. According to its calculations, a factory of a capacity of 50 million annual gallons of cellulose ethanol would consume 860 585 (eight hundred and sixty thousand five hundred and four twenty five!) conifers of the Douglas type Fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) every year simply to be able to continue to operate! Alternatively, if the stiff panic grass were the happy elected official of the lobby ethanol, and to suppose that harvests of this one were always extremely abundant, it would be necessary to devote to it 13 % of all the surface of the USA to replace half of the current American oil consumption by cellulose ethanol. To suppose however that a factory of cellulose production of ethanol can be - of near or by far - effective. It is about what we had seen higher, in terms of surface of the grounds, for corn ethanol. It is perfectly obvious that such cultivable and accessible surfaces do not exist.

That makes sense. Sort of. :-)

What does the headline say? I can't tell whether the context is "This guy is full of it", or "Cellulosic ethanol is a long ways off."





"Liberal" is such a charged word these days, I wonder if American audiences might get the wrong idea from it?

I prefer this translation:

Biocarburants: A Dangerous, and Generously Financed Swindle

- rick

OK, so what the heck does Biocarburants mean? Biofuels?

Not quite. I think a rather more accurate translation is:

Biofuels: A dangerous, generously financed swindle.

"Escroquerie" means swindle.

I just did a quick skim of the entire article, it is quite long. Pretty much the standard critique of ethanol, they get around to the low EROEI toward the bottom.

This is actually an interview by a spokesperson for Lyndon LaRouche, would you believe it?!?!?

By the way, babelfish is amazing, but it doesn't always get it right. For example, panic raide = switch grass, not "panic grass". Also, I would translate the following sentence: "Alternatively, if switchgrass were the preferred choice of the ethanol lobby, and supposing that its harvests were always very good, it would be necessary to devote 13% of the land surface of the USA for its cultivation to replace half of the current American oil consumption with celluosic ethanol." Hope that makes a little more sense.

Lyndon LaRouche, is he dependable or?? As a european reading his writings gets me somewhat confused.

No, considered lunatic fringe. Not easy to classify, in some ways he sounds quite far left, in others far right. IIRC, he did time in prison a few years ago for something related to fundraising.

I'll second the lunatic fringe notion.

Don't dismiss his ideas. They are better than those of the typical mainstream politician. (And I don't mean to damn with faint praise.) He put out a whole series on infrastructure - dams, canals, roads and rails. There was better stuff in there than in the typical Brookings Institute report, even if he is unabashedly in the mega-pro-growth and rising-tide camp. He does write about the "class impact" of a program, something the ruling party does not - who profits and who pays. Environment is not his strong suit.

Imagine, a politician being jailed for fundraising improprieties. I'd bet it was more about his not playing the game the way it's supposed to be played.

cfm in Gray, ME

panic raide = switch grass, not "panic grass"

I thought panic grass sounded cool. Like, "If you are counting on this as your fuel supply, time to panic." :-)

Hey man stop hoarding all the sarcanol and save some for the rest of us! =D

..if the stiff panic grass were the happy elected official of the lobby ethanol..

I'd prefer to elect Brazilian sugar cane as my representative. Why all the focus on biofuels from the USA? Surely the EROI is so much greater in tropical countries that biofuels from temperate locations can't hope to compete? I know it doesn't help the "energy independance" argument to imagine a future where Brazilian ethanol and Indonesian palm oil replace oil from the Middle East, but I'm suprised at the lack of (recent) discussion given that RR has previously commented favorablely on Brazilian ethanol EROI.
Surely all the anti-ethanol comments should be along the lines of "Corn? You must be dreaming. It will never fly, we'll just end up with tankers full of ethanol coming in from Brazil"

If we are to believe in things we cannot see or touch, how do we tell the true belief from the false belief?

l’Université A & M du Texas sounds *SO* much better ! >:-)

My French is not the best by far, but it says 13% of the surface area of the USA would be needed to support current consumption of gasoline with "cellulosique" ethanol. And sums up that it is not possible.

Best Hopes for renaming that college in College Station,


Yeah, that is kind of catchy. Maybe I will change the name in my profile. :0

OK, I am leaving Drumbeat to Stoneleigh now. I have to run some errands.

RR, my son is a sophomre at the Aggie Galveston Campus. Think he could get more girls with the French version?

Actually "il faudrait y consacrer 13 % de toute la surface des USA pour remplacer la moitié de la consommation américaine actuelle de pétrole par l’éthanol cellulosique." says that devoting 13% of the US land mass to cellulosic ethanol would replace half (remplacer la moitié) the current gasoline consumption - but Robert has the English version pegged below.

it says 13% of the surface area of the USA would be needed to support current consumption of gasoline with "cellulosique" ethanol

It's worse than that...

il faudrait y consacrer 13 % de toute la surface des USA pour remplacer la moitié de la consommation américaine actuelle de pétrole par l’éthanol cellulosique

...he's dead, Jim!...

it would be necessary to devote to it 13 % of all the surface of the USA to replace half of the current American oil consumption by cellulose ethanol

I knew it was bad, but that can't be right. Can it? The USA (including Alaska) is a big place. Or would you really need to farm a quarter of the country to fuel it? And how much of the product would be spent moving raw materials around?

Or would you really need to farm a quarter of the country to fuel it?


Well, NO.

According to Robert's original essay, you'd need to farm a quarter of the country just to fuel the gasoline powered vehicles. To fuel the country, you'd probably need a number of USAs. And you'd need them to be made up entirely of arable land. The US is listed at around 19% arable. So you'd probably need a dozen or two real USAs. The notion of running anything remotely like the present economy on biofuel seems utterly ludicrous.

I have now spotted this similar passage in half a dozen languages. Here it is in Swedish:

Men enligt Robert Rapier, en amerikansk kemiingenjör, är det endast möjligt att ersätta 13,4 procent av drivmedelsefterfrågan med etanol från majs, även om 100 procent av skörden används. Om produktionen dessutom ska vara hållbar och vara fri från användning av fossila bränslen går det enligt hans beräkning bara att ersätta 2 procent.

From: http://www.diva-portal.org/diva/getDocument?urn_nbn_se_liu_diva-8116-1__...

I know what they are referring to. This essay:

Cellulosic Ethanol Reality Check

But I have no idea of the context of any of these stories. There was one in German that I could have probably figured out, but it was behind a subscriber wall.

The essay says that devoting 13% of the US land mass to cellulosic ethanol would replace half the current gasoline consumption. US arable land is 19%, so we'd need 1.5 USAs to replace all of just the gasoline consumption. So we'd need 3 USAs to replace all the oil consumption. Then there's the coal consumption. Oh, and there's still food, mustn't forget that...

So why is it that there seem to be people trying to give me the impression that the future economy is going to run successfully on biomass?


For some reason, I find no mention in Oil Drum, using search engine, of new $400 million dairy-ethanol-algae plant in Arizona. Under construction now. These guys are spending their own money, not seeking investors (always dubious). They plan 10,000 gallons of biofuel an acre, and we get the milk too. Diary cow dung used to fire the plant. These guys sound smart, and are doing something.
If the Phoenix plant works, it is game over for fossil boys – and that's even before PHEVs start hitting the road in three to five years. I hope Detroit intially sells PHEV as luxury cars – pay an extra 10k to snub your nose at smelly gas stations and wasted time. Lord knows American consumers pay an extra 10k for less useful accessories. Eventually, economies of scale will bring that PHEV price down.
The more I ponder fossil crude world oil supplies, the more I deeply suspect the Peak Oil crowd is barking up the wrong tree, perhaps even the wrong forest. We will likely see steady reductions in fossil oil demand going forward, if the current price regime can be maintained. The US consumed less crude in 2005 than 2004, and 2006 was likely lower – already, changes have occured, even before biofuels and PHEVs.
The combination of PHEVs and increased use of biofuels (worldwide, no less) will mean radical reductions in fossil oil demand. I doubt anyone seriously thinks all the world's oil fields will decline simultaneously, or that heavy oils and tar sands won't move into the gap. I concede that unstable nations (Iran, Iraq, Venezuela, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Libya, boy is that an ugly list?) are a problem, but that is not geology.
Sheesh, if the Canadians ramp up to 4 mbd as they say they will, and if Chevron's huge Gulf strike comes on line, North America will be pumping more crude in the future than it ever has, 40 years after Hubbert's Peak. Maybe even the Mexicans will spend money on Canteralli, though never count on Mexico to do anything but screw up, and loot the empire.
Mr. Price Mechanism always works wonders in commodities markets, even now with one hand tied behind his back (that hand being unstable nations). Look for a fossil oil glut in 2-3 years, maybe five. How much can OPEC cut? Iran wants to ramp up to 4 mbd too. Even Libya not acting so nutty.
We could see $20 oil again.

For some reason, I find no mention in Oil Drum, using search engine, of new $400 million dairy-ethanol-algae plant in Arizona. Under construction now. These guys are spending their own money, not seeking investors (always dubious). They plan 10,000 gallons of biofuel an acre, and we get the milk too. Diary cow dung used to fire the plant. These guys sound smart, and are doing something.

I am willing to bet you $10,000 it doesn't happen. You game? Did you read and understand the recent articles on algal biodiesel? Do you undertand that current state of the art? Those guys are about as likely to do that in the next few years as I am to vacation on the moon.

See my post below. I am willing to bet $10k we have plenty of fossil crude in 10 years, defined by some mutually agreeable measure or measures.
I hope the algae works, and these guys in Phoenix are putting some serious money into it. Let's hope for the best (why do I get the strange feeling at TOD most posters actually hope they fail?). But, I don't know much about growing algae. I know you hold out little hope for ethanol, but crop yields keep rising, and the new ethanol plants using animal dung are very energy positive. I suspect that PHEVs will obviate the dire need for ethanol, but it is interesting that one can use higher engine compression ratios with pure ethanol to acheive terrific mileage. It has a higher octane rating.
You are on for 10k on adequate global crude in 10 years, however.

I am willing to bet $10k we have plenty of fossil crude in 10 years, defined by some mutually agreeable measure or measures.

I am not willing to take that bet. If you read my writings, it should be clear that I do not believe we are yet at peak. I think it a near certainty within 10 years, but not enough to put 10K on it. Besides that, 10K over 10 years is too long a time frame. These bets have to be held by someone we both trust, and I don't trust anyone to hold onto 10K for my for that long (except family).

These guys are pipe-dreaming about algae. It got them some press. But algae, if it ever works, is a long ways off. When these guys start to look into more deeply, they will see that it is a money pit. However, if algal ethanol ever does work, I think it will take an integrated approach like this.

I know you hold out little hope for ethanol, but crop yields keep rising, and the new ethanol plants using animal dung are very energy positive.

Yet gasoline demand is at an all-time high. What does that tell you?

I am greatly relieved to hear that we do not peak within 10 years (CERA, IEA and EIA all say production will actually increase for next 20 years). I agree the mechanics of a 10-year, 10k bet are clumsy, but I am a man of honor.
Besides, it is the nature of a public bet that is compelling, not the money. The 10k is almost unimportant (besides, if in 10 years you said you needed the money, family-man and all that, I would let it go. I have a family myself).
That being said, I regard it as good news that one of the leading lights of the Peak Oil movement is not sure but that we will have plenty of oil in 10 years.
What about defcon 5 or 3 and all that, or the empty gauge on the website? I don't get it. The hysterical nomenclature that accompanies Peak Oil websites and literature? Yet, RR thinks we may have plenty of oil in 10 years? I get more confused as time goes on.
By the way, hedge funds have wagered billions (perhaps hundreds of billions) that oil prices will go up. Some say speculators are responsible for locking-in higher crude prices now. Have the hedgies put their claws into the Peak Oil movement?
Moving on the to salvation that alage falsely offers, I very sorry that algae won't work, but I am surprised these XL Dairy guys are unloading hundreds of millions and have no clue they will utterly fail. I would be more careful how I toss around a few hundred million dollars.
Gasoline demand? It is up, and I confess I have been wrong, suspecting that this would be the year we start to see flatlining. We are seeing decreasing crude oil demand in the U.S., according to BP, and I expect 2006, to be the second straight year of declining crude demand.
But back to gasoline. We do import 2 million new workers every year, and they are largely adults. That, I suspect is boosting demand. Also, until recently, gasoline was still cheaper than previous peaks. And, overall, energy takes up less of a family's income than previous decades, and of overall GDP (for us bald guys, that is GNP). We can shrug off $3 gas rather easily.
Perhaps now, at $3.50 a gallon, we will see the bite. New cars sales are tilting to ones which get higher MPGs. My anecdotal conversations suggest that $4 is the barrier, just as $1 a gallon was back in the 1970s. At $4, dudes give up their cherished oversize pick-up trucks, or do not buy that Hummer etc. There is a real probem in that we have this vast fleet of 220 million cars and trucks, with laughably poor MPG, and I know of no means to sensibly retrofit the fleet to get better MPG. It will take a decade to wring out the losers from our fleet, and then only if gasoline retails for more than $4 a gallon.
The good news is that from what I hear from corn farmers (you can peruse corn websites) they are actually fearing a glut of corn. Corn is about the same price now as in 1980, and that is before adjusting for inflation. Viewed from another perspective, as a society we used to have one-half or more of our labor force on farms, now it is 1 percent. What if goes back to 2 percent? No big deal. A one percent tax, in a country in which productivity gains boost worker output by several percent a year. Do we have enough land? Interesting question. Corn farmers say we do. They say acreage has gone fallow. I wuld like to see a better crop developed, but sometimes you have to dance with what you brung.

I have a family myself

In your 1972 Airstream trailer?

Ah, *SO* many errors in just one post !

Let me pick one before I leave for GreekFest.

I doubt anyone seriously thinks all the world's oil fields will decline simultaneously...

Lets look at Top 3 fields in 2004.

1) Ghawar - Teetering on the edge of decline, probably over the edge already (unconfirmed).

2) Cantarell - Pemex says -14%/year officially. -14% to -40% per leaked report. Actual seems in -20% to -25%/year.

3) Burgan - Confirmed modest decline of 5%. Likely start of further single digit annual declines.

In addition, all North Sea fields in decline, most of them fairly steep.

I think every one of the Top 10 oil fields in 2004 is now in decline if Ghawar can be confirmed.

I will let others take other points.

BTW, at $20/barrel *ALL* tar sand production would cease, as well as deep water production. Existing facilities would be mothballed.

Best Hopes for Rational Analysis,



and no ethanol either

muy best hopes for happy tzatziki

and bouzouki zydeco

Diagram for Norways decline.
Next year they will be on the same level as in -93.

Save the cars!!!

Save the cars!!!

If monkeys could fly we'd be covered in monkey poop!!!

I love that so many people find it imperative that we somehow keep the dys in dysfunctional paradigm. Forget the devastating environmental effects of the automobile and the effects of even more excess population. Shooot, we got plenty of land up in Alaski. Darn tootin'! Killing off billions is just the price we have to pay so that BenjaminCole and all the other technophiles can drive their butts to the MalWart and buy cheap plastic crap.

We deserve every smelly, brown speck of the poopstorm headed our way. I hope it comes soon enough to save some of the environment for a succesor species.

Hell, the question should be, are we smarter than a box of rocks?

Nope. Rocks win.

Hello Cherenkov,

Your Quote:
"Hell, the question should be, are we smarter than a box of rocks?

Nope. Rocks win.

Heh-Heh! LOL! Now, I would really like to see the world leaders use this as the discussion basis for Peakoil Outreach change. Then we might get somewhere.

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

Box of rocks?

Box of scissors?

Box of paper?

I give you: the essence of social darwinism.

If monkeys could fly we'd be covered in monkey poop!!!

Note to self: Upgrade windshield wipers on Suburban and E500.

Did Hothgor or Dave Matthews have a sibling? OMG <:{O}

Our friend Mr. Cole has been a member for a little over nine weeks. My vote is Hothgor, since Mr. Cole is, like Hothgor, relentless in his assertions that we can maintain the SUV/suburban way of life, even as Americans increasingly have their suburban homes foreclosed and their SUV's repossessed.

I was listening to my favorite cornucopian, Ed Wallace, this morning on the radio (Mr. Wallace has stated that Peak Oil is at least 50 years away). He and a bunch of his auto dealer friends that advertise on his program were talking about all the cool SUV's out there. They will make you a "good deal" on a H2 Hummer: 0% financing for 5 years, plus a $2500 rebate.

When you look at the incredible number and different types of companies that rely on debt financed consumption in the US, it's easy to understand how the majority of Americans would resist the Peak Oil concept--and especially hate the ELP concept (the majority of Americans live off the discretionary income of other Americans).


Damn Hothgor...our arch-nemesis...where's my lamprey graphic?

After a while I just shut him out. You read a few sentences and quit. Good grief.

I agree - the current economic set-up is based on spinning dollars around inside a wash tub, with holes in the bottom.

Subprime housing loan to a subprime owner?
"When police arrived at a foreclosed Eagle Creek home Thursday night, it looked as if the place had been hit by a twister."
Left 3 pigs inside for a week or so. Sound like they ate sheetrock and pillows.
You just can't make this stuff up....

If your daughter is still on the road, Collier State Park is worth a visit. It's SE of Eugene. A bit of a time warp back to the late 1800's early 1900's logging display.(free)

They got to Portland last night. They got a good deal on a short term rental in the Pearl District.

Benjamin - he who lives in glass houses should not cast stones... in other words if you are going to berate TOD for not linking to a news item, perhaps you should provide the links?

The company info is here:
and it was covered by the Green Car Congress folk:
as well as investments blogs:

While the data reported from GCG and Tradingcharts is different, I will take GCG report as they are in general a technically saavy site... However, none of the sources address the algae concerns raised by those who have worked with algae. Operations are planned to being fall of 2008.

So, let us delve deeper:
from http://xldairygroup.com/pressrelease.cfm?ContentKey=610 :

The Phase II Dairy will be constructed during 2007, and final engineering is now underway on the biofuels facility which includes the fractionation mill. The project, said Corderman, will process over 576,000 tons of corn into 54 million gallons of ethanol, five million gallons of biodiesel and 110,000 tons of animal feeds annually.

Still consuming large quantities of corn, though the integrated agriculture here makes more sense than in some other ethanol approaches.

Eventually they want to transition to algae:

XL Dairy Group also is waiting for patent approval on a proprietary, low-cost algae production system, which will then be incorporated into the XL BioRefinery to lower operating costs and expand the production of motor fuels and animal feeds. "Because algae has a higher oil content than corn, and needs much less acreage to produce much higher volumes, which we will do at the site, we expect to expand to 100 million gallons of ethanol and 25-30 million gallons of biodiesel over the next five years," added Corderman.

So, first they have to overcome the well researched algae issues. Then, by 2012 they hope to reach to about 6500 barrels of ethanol/day, and maybe up to 1950 bbl/day of biodiesel. Remember, these are goals they are setting assuming they deal succssfully with algae. Until then they are just another corn consumer. The Tradingcharts link mentions it will take 12 to 18 months to prove the efficiency of the algae use... it is not yet proved.

To present this as a solution is false. It is a proposed solution, one which has technical hurdles they must cross. Until then they are just like any other ethanol producer in, say, Iowa except that they are co-locating a dairy and using the cow waste to enhance their returns. Nice ideas in themselves, but not enough upon which to run a nation.

Just to repeat... in case you didn't catch it earlier... the hope for algae is great (and I for one still hold out some hope that the issues with algae can be overcome), but it is not today a solution. Today's solution is corn ethanol, and it is that in which they are putting their first capital - building a co-located dairy / corn-ethanol plant.

From the wording of their literature it sounds as if the corn consumption doesn't go away, it just gets augmented by algae. I could be wrong here but that is what I gathered from their site.

In Japan--
Thanks for your response, sans childish insults or attempts to establish rank by mentioning how long I have been a member. Sheesh, guys, I have a different point of view than you. So I think the Peak Oil thery does not accurately refelct the globe's crude oil producing future.
I understand XL Dairy is first going with corn-ethanol, and then they hope to get algae working. My initial post, in fact, left open the possibility it won't work. If they cannot get algae to work, it will still be a very positive energy-plus way of making ethanol. (By the way, cars can get even better mileage with ethanol, but need higher compression ratios than currently. This is easily solved technically, but commercially difficult due to districution problems. We would need many all-ethanol "gasoline" station pumps. But it is doable)
As to Richard Rapier's bet of $10,000, I cannot say yet. I merely posted what seemed to be a promising project. I am willing to bet $10k we will have plenty of fossil crude oil in 10 years, as defined by some mutually agreeable measure.
As to $20 a barrel oil, remember when oil prices collapse, they can fall to the marginal cost of production, not the average cost. The marginal cost of production, worldwide avaregae, is under $10 easily. Tar sands are probably under $10. Oil producers in this scenario have the option of shutting down and making no money, or pumping for more than their marginal cost of production. They keep pumping.
For the record, I live a bought-used 1972 Airstream trailer, which was the cheapest (in terms of saving resources) housing I could devise, and built a patio from reclaimed lumber. Even the guys talking about building tent pole housing use more resources than I did. I grow fruits and vegetables, on dirt I dug up from a parking lot (ripped the asphalt out). I walk to work (next door factory). All this one mile from downtown Los Angeles. It is great.
I make no snide assumptions about other posters here, and ask the same of me, not that it really matters I suppose. So I think we will have plenty of fossil crude going forward. There are valid reason to think so. Some major fields are in decline, but demand is sluggish at this price point, and other smaller fields are being developed. Some fields are in decline due to neglect.
However, I cannot responsibly afford more than one $10,000 bet, so this offer extends to RR only. For others, you can put your money where your mouth is on the NYMEX. You will find plenty of people to take your money, and you can buy options which give you the right to buy oil at $95 a barrel, in, say, 2009, for very little money. For every dollar the price exceeds $95, you will make $1000 (minus expenses). Given the certitude with which many of you speak, I expect to see you all on the Riveria, in large yachts, in 2010.

For the record, I live a bought-used 1972 Airstream trailer, which was the cheapest (in terms of saving resources) housing I could devise, and built a patio from reclaimed lumber. Even the guys talking about building tent pole housing use more resources than I did. I grow fruits and vegetables, on dirt I dug up from a parking lot (ripped the asphalt out). I walk to work (next door factory). All this one mile from downtown Los Angeles. It is great.

Hothgor, you really need to work on your cover story.


1) There are all sorts on this board
2) If you review the work done by people who've put some time in and think clearly there is an obvious problem

My take is closer to yours than some, I think if we had five years "in the present economic climate" things would not be such a problem. Conservation, diesel hybrids, PHEV's, more rail, electrified rail, my heavens Russia uses less than 3 million barrels per day. Advances in celluosic ethanol, wood chips to charcoal and biodiesel, biodeisel from waste oil, from waste corn oil, oil from algae, thermodepolymerization. Efforts by people such as Craig Venter who sequenced the human genome to bioengineer organisms to produce fuel. Rapid improvements in solar technology, continuing expansion of wind power, improvements in areas amenable to geothermal power, Going forward there is a lot to be optimistic about. We need five years. I don't know if we have five years of gently increasing prices. I think we are in for some trouble. How much to me is less dependent on science than on how nations react to contracting fossil fuel supplies. If you want to argue that fossil fuel supplies won't, and are not currently contracting, be my guest, but there are people here who on that issue have earned my respect.

The real problem is that it is not just a technical problem, it is most of all a political and social problem. Technical problems we know how to solve. Bring everyone on TOD together at a conference center for a week and I have no doubt that we could come up with a very good plan. The real reason to worry is that our political system is totally dysfunctional, and we don't know how to make it get its act together in time. Absent effective political leadership, we don't really know how to change the attitudes and behaviors of a whole society either.

Well, making predictions is hard, especially about the future. But the IEA, the EIA and CERA all say we will produce more oil in the years ahead, up to 50 percent more annually. Are all three organizations populated by lunatics?
On the other hand, we have heard the end is coming story before, from the Club of Rome circa late 1970s. Instead, oil became cheaper for 20 years.
I think we have a huge problem of geography, not geology. Look who has the oil. Libya, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Venezuela. Not one friend in the bunch. If those were free-market nations, or even just non-lunatic nations, we would have an oil glut right now, and everybody knows it. Ballpark, with sensible development, those countries could cumulatively up their production by 10 mbd. Venezuela may have 4 trillion barrels of heavy oil in the Orinoco trench. No one even knows.
I agree with you there may be some thin skating for next five years. But, already about 2 percent of world gasoline supplies are bio, and that is rising rapidly. PHEVs are a few years away. United States' crude consumption fell in 2005, almost certainly did again in 2006 (check BP website). At $60 a barrel, we probably have hit Peak Demand already – while providing huge incentives to everybody everywhere to come up with liquid energy.
Will oil production fall more rapidly than oil demand? I doubt it. Crude demand fell by 11 percent following 1979, and with modest effort, we could match that decline today easily. What is really delicious, is that many Western governments are mandating and institutionalizing reductions in fossil crude demand. If supplies ease, it won't matter. The demand will still be less, but inelastic on the upside next time around. Then you get the oil price crack. There is a back-up of crude right now at Cushing. Will it spread worldwide? Stay tuned. We can hope for the best.
PS I am not Hothbart or whoever it is, and I think we should mandate or tax our way to high MPG vehicles.

But the IEA, the EIA and CERA all say we will produce more oil in the years ahead, up to 50 percent more annually. Are all three organizations populated by lunatics?

In short, yes, although we prefer the term "reality challenged" nowadays. However they are all getting paid handsomely to produce good news, so maybe they are not that crazy.

There is a back-up of crude right now at Cushing. Will it spread worldwide?

No, because it can't be exported. The situation at Cushing is a local peculiarity, its a landlocked terminal. It is receiving more oil from Canada, local refineries are taking less due to outages, and also speculators are apparently storing oil there. The tanks there are literally full, they just do not want any more oil. It doesn't have any wider significance.

I disagree with your assessment of the timing and severity of PO though I agree with your optimism and pointing out with enthusiasm groups who are trying to make a difference. A possible 800% improvement on EROEI for an ethanol plant is nothing to be sneered at and if such an approach works, after those people are done shoveling cow manure to try and get us out of this mess someone should put some flowers in their hair. You know this may be the most exciting time ever in environmentalism. If PO is real we likely must find sustainable, benign solutions. Yes if we we don't we will all die, there is an initial merit in pointing out such dangers, but eventually, if we do solve this, those who could only snipe from the sidelines might not feel so great around those who had the courage to get their hands dirty and worked to solve things.

I have great respect also for the vegan environmentalist bicycling to work each day and saying we need radical paradigm shift, though how many are ascetic and how many jet setting is sometimes unclear. I also though respect those like the capitalist venturists you noted who take great risk to say this is the stark reality of the situation now let's work with it and improve it.

Alright as regards EIA, IEA, CERA, Exxon, and so on, first there are credible voices on the other end of the fence, T Boone Pickens, unlike some in government, has made his millions or billions investing in oil and states we have passed peak fossil oil production, other well-referenced voices show up here. In a recent post Stuart derived an historical correlation coefficient between crude oil and gasoline prices which was around 0.95. Wow, historically at least gasoline prices track crude almost perfectly. If you look at CERAs or EIAs or other government organizations past predictive record, at least anecdotally from this site, it looks like an almost perfect -1.0 correlation coefficient ;)
Heck it was just a few weeks back that I believe it was EIA saying gas prices would peak around 2.80 then begin a gradual decline. They have been wrong about really big things as well such as when the North Sea would begin declining, what the price of North American natural gas would do, and others. Hubbert was not taken seriously with his production of lower 48 decline.

This issue may be more serious and is far more certain to my simple thinking than global warming. There are some error bars in the actual PO date, but it isn't rocket science. Take a look at some of the work of Stuart Staniford, Ralph Rapier, West Texas and the oil field engineers. Unlike some though, I don't think we need to solve this all in a year, a couple to a few percent improvement every year and we avoid a lot of suffering while the world ends up a better place at the end of it. Some sort of misstep some terrible price spike and yes I think we are looking at a world of hurt. As JFK said though, some years before we went to the moon, "It's okay to dream".

Ask and ye shall receive. But ye may be sorry ye ever asked.

The original Alterinfo link takes me to a blog interview with one "Marsha Merry Baker, rédactrice de l’Executive Intelligence Review", i.e. editor of Executive Intelligence Review.

The interview begins with the question,

Aux Etats-Unis, on assiste actuellement à une campagne frénétique en faveur des biocarburants. Le mouvement politique de Lyndon LaRouche s’y oppose résolument. Pouvez-vous résumer pour nos lecteurs l’essentiel de son argumentation ?

The gist of this is: "In the United states, there is (currently) a frenetic campaign in favor of bio-motor-fuels. The Lyndon Larouche political movement opposes this firmly. Can you tell our readers the basics of their position?"

Well, at "Lyndon Larouche", my eyes glazed over and I automatically stopped reading and just skimmed the rest. Consistent with the principle that a stopped clock gives the correct time twice a day, there were some bits that made sense, at least in isolation. Among them was the excerpt from your essay, which was properly credited but not linked.

A quick Google revealed that Executive Intelligence Review is a Larouche publication.

So now you know.

Men enligt Robert Rapier, en amerikansk kemiingenjör, är det endast möjligt att ersätta 13,4 procent av drivmedelsefterfrågan med etanol från majs, även om 100 procent av skörden används. Om produktionen dessutom ska vara hållbar och vara fri från användning av fossila bränslen går det enligt hans beräkning bara att ersätta 2 procent.

OK, I lived in Sweden troughout my teenage years and should be able to translate the above.

But according to Robert Rapier, an american chemical engineer, it is only possible to replace 13.4% of all transportation demand with corn-based ethanol, even if 100% of the harvest is used. In addition, if the production is to be sustainable and not use fossil fuel inputs, it is only possible to replace 2% according to his calculations.

The top story at MSNBC right now:

Every generation does better? Don't count on it

The American dream has always held that each generation will enjoy a higher standard of living than the previous one, and that is still true, as measured by household income.

But the generational gains are slowing, and the increased participation of women in the work force is the only thing keeping the dream alive, according to an analysis of Census data released Friday.

A generation ago, American men in their thirties had median annual incomes of about $40,000 compared with men of the same age who now make about $35,000 a year, adjusted for inflation. That’s a 12.5 percent drop between 1974 and 2004, according to the report from the Pew Charitable Trusts’ Economic Mobility Project.

To be sure, household incomes rose during the same period, but only because there are more full-time working women, the report said.

"This suggests the up-escalator that has historically ensured that each generation would do better than the last may not be working very well," said the report by Isabel Sawhill, senior fellow at The Brookings Institution, and John Morton, director of the Economic Mobility Project.

Of course, if you really think about it...the idea that each generation will always do better than the previous one is nuts. It's unsustainable. The pyramid scheme laid bare. And is it even desirable? Shouldn't you reach a point sometime where your standard of living is "high enough," and doesn't need to be raised?

the idea that each generation will always do better than the previous one is nuts. It's unsustainable.

Only if you equate doing better with doing more. Better can mean also smaller, healthier, more efficient, smarter. Biking to work means I need much less steel and oil than driving an SUV, and it also will make me need less expensive medical equipment. I work at a cell phone company, which is a technology that has allowed the developing world to skip the very expensive copper network that developed countries used and bring efficient communications everywhere.

I believe there are ways for the future to be better. Some are happening, too many are not.

We would do well to learn from the virtues of the Perl programmer: laziness, impatience and hubris.

"Only if you equate doing better with doing more."

Exactly. We would do well to educate ourselves and our children to this end - higher quality of life doesn't necessarily mean having more.

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

Leanan: As there is credible evidence that USA inflation has been consistently understated for a number of years, that $35000 might actually be closer to $30000.

The American dream has always held that each generation will enjoy a higher standard of living than the previous one, and that is still true, as measured by household income.....

...well, I dont know but I watched the CNN yesterday and a story focusing an elderly mentally disoriented lady who was "kicked out" from the hospital, and sent down to Skid Row - LA.? .. just wearing a white bedsheet ...
And as I follow some US news this is just a tip of a large iceberg ...
Europe has its issues on this also, BUT not even close (at all) as compared to the US poverties ... NOT AT ALL.

Im glad I won't have to ride out the power-down-circus in the US - with all them flip-flopping loose guns - jeezzzzzzzz

god bless america

When the peasants revolt it's traditional to use pitchforks and torches.

Unfortunately, the USA is not preparing to have sufficient quantites of these needed biosolar tools [pitchforks & torches] ahead of time-- I expect dull machetes' and jagged clubs to be procured from the metal of useless SUVs and pickups.

People will name their weapons in the false mythological hope that it will imbue it with extra killing power:

The Almighty Yukon, Rav4Blood, Terror of Tahoe, F*@#-350,
V8-Decimator, Volvo TurboThrust, DetritoClub, Avalanche of Doom, etc, etc.

EDIT: Lucifer's SledgeHUMMER, Satan's Silverado!!!

I think bicycles and wheelbarrows are a better choice.

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

For various reasons, I seem to have accumulated a surplus of pitchforks, so come the torchlit pitchfork parade, I'd be happy to outfit some folks. :-)

Bob...could you invent me a bicycle/wheelbarrow hybrid please?

That could be awesome...or at least have the wheelbarrow be a handy attachment for a mountain bike.

If you patent this, I want perhaps 5% of sales for the idea...deal?

What you want is not a wheelbarrow but a garden cart -- one of those things with a flat base, four sides (with removable back), a pair of bicycle wheels on the sides, and a big handle in front. If you have one of those it should not take too much effort to work out a way to tow it behind a bicycle.

"People will name their weapons in the false mythological hope that it will imbue it with extra killing power:

The Almighty Yukon, Rav4Blood, Terror of Tahoe, F*@#-350,
V8-Decimator, Volvo TurboThrust, DetritoClub, Avalanche of Doom, etc, etc.

EDIT: Lucifer's SledgeHUMMER, Satan's Silverado!!!"

WOw, you're right on with that, it reminds me the movie "The postman", where Kevin Kostner's young friend name's "Ford Lincon Mercury", as for the car brands!!


Hey man get real, most of us are too old to go about smiting and cleaving with a damn wheelbarrow and as far as using a bicycle??? that's just plain stupid unless you have one of the old heavy bedstead types made of steel pipe :>)


I read today in the Sunday times that Zimbabwe is to be given financial resources from the world bank in order to start mass production of Oxen pulled carts and Oxen pulled ploughs.

I assume they have the Oxen still...


not the world bank, the central bank:

Most of the article is about Expatriate Zimbabwians doing online shopping to stop kinsmen from starving.

But further on down , the article enlarges on the parlous state of the grain crops:


''...This was blamed partly on a lack of tractors. As the slide backwards continues, the Central Bank announced last week that it was setting up technical colleges to produce at least half a million ox-drawn carts and ploughs.''

TJ says:

When the peasants revolt it's traditional to use pitchforks and torches.

I was under the delusion that the soldiery used their usual weapons against revolting peasants. :-}

James Gervais
Hope was the last ill to escape Pandora's box.

I was under the delusion that the soldiery used their usual weapons against revolting peasants. :-}

Here on TOD ,with great effect, we use blatent sacasm and ponderous wit as usual weapons against revolting peasants, though our spelling, without the aid of spellcheck, often leaves a bit to be desired.

And also to mention, that the US workforce usually has 2 full weeks of paid holidays. Here in Europe we have between 4 and 6 weeks... apart from the numerous christian day offs, especially in spring and early summer.

Also the average weekly workingtime in Europe is between 35h in France to 38h in Germany to 42 hours in Switzerland.

This American economic miracle is just fading away.

the US workforce usually has 2 full weeks of paid holidays

Usuallly ? Usually ??I don't think sooooo.

I've got 33 years in the US workforce. I've worked in agriculture, manufacturing and military sectors. I've worked in some low tech and mostly in semi-skilled positions.
My WAG is 2 weeks is rare now and earlier it was hit or miss at best.

But, shoot, if you got some numbers with
methodology exposed, throw them out here on the table.

Where IS that 'Theory of Everything' ?
Here it is !

Yes...and in the process is burning us all out and driving us insane. The article in MSNBC about couples both having to work to full time and overtime just to make things meet is a common reality in America these days.

Our kids spend a good part of their lives in daycare facilities that scare the peejeevies out of us and we hope they survive until kindergarten.

Our families are so spread out, that we lose touch except for the occasional email and phone call. Not too long ago, a cousin or aunt could be relied upon to watch the kids for a short time after school.

I hope the one positive thing that comes from a lower energy future is that families once again stay in closer proximity to each other and support the family well-being as a more cohesive unit.

If the spouse with the lower paycheck added up the full cost of their commute, the cost of day care, the cost of restaurant & fast food meals for all familiy members instead of home-cooked meals, and all the other expenses they must incur because they are not at home, in more than a few cases they would be shocked to discover that they are actually paying to go to work. In some cases they may have other reasons for doing so (marriage on the rocks, and soon need to become self supporting?), but I suspect that in most cases people have just never bothered to do the math and figure this out.

About 70% of Iran oil income in non-U.S. dollar

"About 70 percent of our oil export income is now in currencies other than the U.S. dollar," Hojjatollah Ghanimifard, international affairs director of the state-owned National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), told Reuters.

"If the dollar gets weaker, we will increase that percentage," said Ghanimifard, who in March had cited a figure of 60 percent for Iran's oil export income in other currencies.

And the Kuwaitees have now cut their currency loose from the dollar, and the Venezuellans are trying to cut loose too. Who'd have ever thought we might cut out foreign imports of oil by crashing our currency?

According to IEA data KSA produced 8.33mbpd for April, up 60k bpd. This is the first increase posted for a while. Maybe the downward trajectory we have seen for nearly two years is on hold. Maybe they really can "open the spigots" as they choose.

FWIW total production is up 60k bpd as well over March. Chavez has said he will be shutting in 150kbpd of tar production at end May. Does anybody else have any info on this?

Nigerian Oil Workers End Strike


Nigeria's unionized oil workers have suspended their two-day strike against the state-owned oil company.

Peter Esele, president of the union of senior oil workers, says the strike was called off Saturday after the government agreed to pay a 15 percent pay increase.

Union members walked off the job at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Thursday. They were upset over a number of issues, including the government's recent sale of the Port Harcourt and Kaduna oil refineries.

Nigeria's oil exports are already down some 25 percent since last February because of unrest in the oil-producing Niger Delta region.

A wave of attacks and kidnappings against foreign oil interests have been carried out either by criminal gangs, or militants demanding a greater share of the region's oil wealth for impoverished local villages.

... for the convenience of TV, you can only be one of two kinds of human beings, either a liberal or a conservative. -- Kurt Vonnegut


Gasoline to cause severe financial problems
Public pocketbook pain has risen, poll finds

...Large numbers of people were still taking other steps to save money due to energy price increases, yet fewer said so than a year ago. Those reducing their driving went from 66 percent last year to 62 percent now, including large proportions of women and older people.

Those changing vacation plans dropped from 49 percent in 2006 to 42 percent this year, while the number paring other expenses fell from 66 percent last year to 60 percent now.

Robert Gilliam, 40, an insurance claims adjuster from Clarksboro, N.J., said he now uses a sedan instead of a sport utility vehicle to save money for the 2,500 miles a month he drives for work. He said he is not cutting back on family vacation plans.

“That’s our one guilty pleasure,” he said.

Economics professor Peter Orazem of Iowa State University said gasoline costs are about 3 percent of the average household’s budget, so even stark increases in gas prices have a muffled impact on people’s overall expenditures. ...

This guy is driving an average of 109 miles a (working) day, which he used to do in and SUV...and his family vacation plans are his ONE guilty pleasure?

Those reducing their driving went from 66 percent last year to 62 percent now...

...now uses a sedan instead of a sport utility vehicle to save money for the 2,500 miles a month he drives for work

This may count as saving gas, but obviously not as "reducing driving."

Also, when government "reduces budgets", first it projects big increases, and then it "cuts" slivers from the big increases. I wonder how much of this alleged "reducing" works the same way.

I wonder whether helicopter Ben has seen this?

Iran interest rate cut sparks panic selling

Mr Ahmadinejad's decree forced all state-owned and private banks to slash borrowing rates to 12%. Inflation is officially 15% but is generally believed to be much higher. State banks had been offering rates of 14%, while those in the private sector ranged from 17% to 28%.

The decision caused panic in the Tehran stock exchange, with private banks losing much of their share value overnight. Shareholders in one bank, Karafarin, queued on Wednesday to sell their stock when previously there had been 1.2 million applicants to buy its shares.

Bush Authorizes New Covert Action Against Iran
“The CIA has received secret presidential approval to mount a covert "black" operation to destabilize the Iranian government, current and former officials in the intelligence community tell the Blotter on ABCNews.com.”

Does anybody know why solar isn't big in india? Too expensive? If it's hot, solar would work well to power your airco, wouldn't it?

AC is a huge power sucker. Would be very expensive to do it with solar.


Those would work with DC.

also see thermopiles

But something like a giant radiator would be needed to cool the hot side off.

Even the best thermocouple - i.e. Peltier - coolers are woefully inefficient, a single-digit percentage of Carnot. They're used only where compressor or absorption loops are impractical, such as miniature sensors or small portable coolers. For A/C, fuhgeddaboudit.

foiled again!

You could spend $30,000 on solar just to run a 2.5kw AC, then still use the grid when the sun went behind a cloud but the temp lingered on. Lower powered evaporative ACs (I presume these are the US 'swamp coolers') may not work so well in a more humid world. It also looks like some utility companies are figuring how to turn off ACs by remote control during heatwaves.

Solar means a big investment up front, to rake savings in the long term. Diesel generator means a much less start cost, and pay as you go. You will probably end up paying more, but it is more evened up, and you can just not use it if you cannot afford it for some time.

This is a disincentive for solar even in rich countries where people actually have the money to buy it. And it is more of a disincentive the poorer you are.

The coolest most comfortable motel I stayed in while traveling in Mexico was made of adobe, cool in day and warm at night. The N.American style air conditioned ones were not in any way comparable. would someone have some idea how adobe compares in price to standard N.A building practices?

i really dont know about the cost of adobe. presumably it requires a lot of labor. adobe is cool in the daytime and warm at night because of the thermal mass. concrete construction has similar qualities (thermal mass) and is not much more expensive than stick built homes. and why there is not more concrete construction, i dont know.

On the west coast because of the earthquake risk, wood frames that flex are much more survivable in this specific respect.

thanks for the reply. i suppose one has to weigh the earthquake risk against the tornado and/or hurricane risk. i dont plan to do any new construction in the very near future, but i am looking into building a high efficiency multi-unit rental. renters (at least some) are looking at heating and cooling costs. istm that the landlord can pocket the difference.

Bernanke Warned by Real Estate Analysts:
Housing Collapse Is Much Worse Than You Say


The firm reports that having purchased and compiled actual home sale closing data for 55% of the country, it finds existing-home sales down, not 9% as NAR reports, but: 22% in May 2006-April 2007, compared to May 2005-April 2006; and much more than that on a simple year-to-year comparison of the past couple of months. It found that existing-home sales have fallen every bit as much as the new-home sales of the biggest homebuilders D.R. Horton and Lennar, which are down 37% and 27%...

...Separately, a Wall Street firm reported May 18 that the foreclosure "shock cone" is widening: While total foreclosures, at all stages, are up 60-70% over last year so far, foreclosure notices—the front end of the process, when a mortgage is typically 90 days delinquent—are 127% higher so far than in 2006. It said that foreclosed homes being resold by banks or lenders, are hitting the housing market with an average price drop of 30% nationally./blockquote>

http://ml-implode.com/ at 98

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

"And now he was appealing directly to a former Iranian deputy foreign minister, the most prominent representative from Teheran in the room.

"Larijani," he urged, " help us - by talking about adding Palestine to the map, instead of canceling Israel from the map."

In an announcement released on the group's Web site, Obeida said that the renewal of terrorist attacks against Israel 'was only a matter of time' and that Hamas was planning to kidnap more soldiers.

Earlier, a Hamas spokesman said that "Israel has crossed all the lines," and called on all Palestinian factions to " hit the Zionist enemy."

Iran to Israel: Don't attack Lebanon

"If you think that by bombing and assassinating Palestinian leaders you are preparing ground for new attacks on Lebanon in the summer, I am telling you that you are seriously wrong,"

(President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad )

And time yet for a hundred indecisions.

And a hundred visions and revisions.

T. S. Eliot

Stapled to a telephone pole around the block.

Ahh .. New Orleans

Best Hopes that this is still true for Peak Oil,


blame the high price of gas on Prius owners

Once again the damn enviromentalists are to blame for high gas prices.

Yes, if only we all consumed more, we would have more refinery capacity. Boy, gas would be cheap if everyone drove a suburban. Given our current capacity, however, if there was a concerted effort to bring our consumption down to the current capacity then the capacity problem would be solved.

The alternative is to continue under the apparent assumption that growth can be infinite.

But really, folks , there is no problem is the amount of highway traffic going through this tourist town I live in is any indication. High prices, what high prices? And for those who will not sacrifice size or performance there is no problem either.

Oh, the days when I had a VW Karmann Ghia whose top speed was 84 mph. I was pleased as punch since my earlier car was a '63 VW bug which had a top speed on a good day with wind at its back going downhill of about 65 mph. The amount of power the American public thinks it needs is just mind boggling, at least for this old timer.

I have been reading through the threads at MSNBC:


kind of sad really. Tons of people going on an on about gouging. Some folks blaming liberals or environmentalists for the "lack of new refineries". They "need" the gas, you see - can't live without it from the way they go on about it.

There are a handful of voices of sanity over there, but nobody is listening. The record profits of oil companies makes them a very tempting target.....

I suppose the people who are doing things that are constructive aren't wasting time on the internet complaining. No way of telling how many folks fit in this category.

Oh, jeez. This was too funny:

we need to pay a reasonable price for gas just say 2.00 a gallon. THE AMERICAN PEOPLE MUST DEMAND THIS. History repeats itself, its a known fact. When the French had enough in 1781 the government was overthrown. Washington should wake up but they are to interested in fullfilling their self needs, no one in Washington wants to really help the backbone of this country the average person. All government does is help the fat pork barrel B.S. . funded by the american public which is a bunch of Sheeple not people. Wake up idiots

We should also demand a reasonable price for beer as long as we are at it. Maybe 25 cents per bottle?

Funny, yes. But scary and frustrating as well.

People like this want to stay "intentionally ignorant" and are easily stirred to anger and fear and mindless action.

1789 actually.

And they ended up with higher taxes, Napoleon, and four million dead.

Not exactly a good precedent.

On the bright side, it was a cleanup of many nobles, fiefdoms and religious entities with their requisite taxes, tolls, tithes and different measures for every village. Of course, everybody disliked the wars but that wasn't really a difference with the previous centuries.

The Napoleonic wars were far more intense with far more looting, rape and general pillage as Napoleon expected his troops to live off the country. (This did not work in Spain or Russia, but worked eleswhere.)

The Generals of 50 years before had to feed his troops and did not dare let their troops straggle to loot and get food - they would have all deserted (a lot did anyway - sometimes in company strength as they fought their war to the frontier).

Ever feel like you are stuck in a B movie...

We CAN have gasoline at $2.00 per gallon. What month would you like your gallon?

Very funny!

You know, I think it might be worth making that point in such discussions, as it might get through to a small fraction of those foaming at the mouth. Maybe. If you added "The alternative is rationing" at the start...

That has to be the absolutely silliest excuse I have ever heard for a lack of refinery capacity.

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

Cycling to work along the riverside parks, I still see plenty of people parked and idling for no obvious reason on beautiful comfortable days. Granted some of them might have some non-obvious good reason for idling, but I sure see lots of them. $3.499/US gallon doesn't seem to be impacting that.

Also, as I read all the articles about big diesel genset setups in places like India, I really wonder. In Las Vegas, the grid power is on very nearly all the time (so far...), so a backup generator makes some sort of sense. If the grid is out half of every day, isn't that really an off-grid situation, not a "backup" situation? Shouldn't a facility be constructed as off-grid from the start, rather than relying on emergency backup 50% of the time?

>>Shouldn't a facility be constructed as off-grid from the start, rather than relying on emergency backup 50% of the time?<<

An astute observation. I think that there is a mental block on the part of facility planners and when a new facility (industrial, residential, office) is planned & built your extension never occurs to the designers.

However, if electricity is indeed out 50% of the time it may be cheaper and more efficient to go off-grid -- and merge that with facility design that reduces the need for very high cooling loads.

I'm afraid to ask why the Holy Spirit, while inspiring the word of the bible, completely forgot to mention them.

New museum says dinosaurs were on Noah's Ark

Like many modern museums, the newest U.S. tourist attraction includes some awesome exhibits -- roaring dinosaurs and a life-sized ship.

But only at the Creation Museum in Kentucky do the dinosaurs sail on the ship -- Noah's Ark, to be precise.

The Christian creators of the sprawling museum, unveiled on Saturday, hope to draw as many as half a million people each year to their state-of-the-art project, which depicts the Bible's first book, Genesis, as literal truth.

While the $27 million museum near Cincinnati has drawn snickers from media and condemnation from U.S. scientists, those who believe God created the heavens and the Earth in six days about 6,000 years ago say their views are finally being represented.

"What we've done here is to give people an opportunity to hear information that is not readily available ... to challenge them that really you can believe the Bible's history," said Ken Ham, president of the group Answers in Genesis that founded the museum.

Here exhibits show the Grand Canyon took just days to form during Noah's flood, dinosaurs coexisted with humans and had a place on Noah's Ark, and Cain married his sister to people the earth, among other Biblical wonders.

Hello HeIsSoFly,

Thxs for the info. I expect the Creation Museum's 'Armageddon NightClub' to be a most popular future gathering place. The moshpit's dancefloor results will immediately be featured as fresh 'Easter Island' menu selections. =(

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

Hello TODers,

I apologize for my postings today--kinda grumpy, I guess.

Maybe some background context is in order: Over three years ago I briefly informed my very religious neighbor on PO + GW; I gently asked him to study related books and websites, then please spread the Peakoil Outreach to his fellow churchgoers. He refused, and subsequent polite requests by me have gone nowhere.

Now, on a weekly basis, he invites a crowd of people over for a Bible Study Session--> nothing wrong with that, IMO, whatever tickles your fancy.

What makes me grumpy is that none of them walk or bicycle to his house in awareness and support of Peakoil Outreach; instead, SUVs and other vehicles are driven very short distances with the A/C units blasting cool and comforting streams of denial and delusion.


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

Hi Totoneila,

Isn't that just kinda how Phoenix works? I seem to recall your "nobody walks in Phoenix" comments from long ago.


"Prophet" is not a very rewarding career path, especially when your message is "Bad News For Modern Man".

Hey Bob,

Yeah, that's almost funny, ain't it? Then again, so are your neighbors. Once you know you'll be saved, it doesn't matter much how much damage you do on your way there, does it? Try to argue with that.

Still, I think that moshpit and dancefloor roadkill will carry distinctly religious flavors.

Summarizing, we have one major flavor that promises you 77 virgins, while the other will "allow" you to, for the rest of time, sit next to a guy who died 2000 years before you even got in. That's a hard choice to make, Bob, I tells ya.

And that's even before I asked if they will remain virgins even after I'm done with them, like everyday is a brand new day. An important and puzzling issue that keeps me awake at night. I'm hopeful. And positive.

But now I have to break my head over why there's no dino's in the Bible?! How did these smart-asses clear that one? Is there pterodactyls in the Kuram? Mine's rusty.

The grand canyon from a flood where the earth was covered in water. Ah undercurrents...
How much and what would T. Rex eat on a small boat? Hmmm.....

They were cute cuddly l'il T. Rex puppies.

It's probably why Noah decided to leave them behind :^)

** Reads original post ** ...

Hmm, I wonder how you convince a T Rex to walk the plank?

But you don't understand! The grand canyon is the drain through which the water from the flood flushed away, to the center of the earth where it became OUR oil!
< / bible thumping >
Beats turning water to ethanol, I'd say, though it's less suitable for weddings.

the t.rex exterminated some spiecies form the time before the flood, among them homo erectus and the neanderthals .. ;)

Those churches in the US freak me out .. chill

Cain married his sister to people the earth

So creationists are descended from a brother and sister. That explains alot.

This one is on the brink of going awfully wrong. It's not a domestic situation, it's Putin vs Bush vs Iran vs China vs.......

Ukrainian President Sends Troops to Kiev

KIEV, Ukraine -- The president ordered thousands of troops to Ukraine's capital Saturday, officials said, as he and his longtime foe, the nation's prime minister, jockeyed for control of security forces amid an escalating power struggle.

Tensions have grown since President Viktor Yushchenko ordered parliament disbanded in April, claiming Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych and his supporters were trying to usurp presidential power. This week, the president moved to fire the nation's chief prosecutor and take control of Interior Ministry troops, adding to the acrimony.

The ministry's 32,000 troops answer to the interior minister, a Yanukovych loyalist. But Ivan Plyushch, the head of the national security council, said the president had ordered the troops to Kiev to forestall violence, though some feared it would have the opposite effect

Well, odds are that the Likud Centre for Middle East warfare is using their proxies for more then destabilizing Iran.
Putin already cut the head off the mafia they were sponsoring.

One of these days they are going to get their Dick caught. :-)

Yep, IF the massive FF-pipelines transiting the Ukraine are shutdown or blownup [I hope not!]--Europe will be in a world of hurt very fast.

"Nice fuel supply you've got here. It'd be a shame if anything happened to it if yous knows what I mean."

David Hughes' -- ASPO Boston --very exhaustive presentation of the Big Energy Picture:


Thanks to DMDelaney

My apologies if this has already been posted, but check out the excellent flash video from Australian ABC at http://www.abc.net.au/science/crude/

90 minutes in length, very nice, and the added interviews and stuff are also excellent. Should highlight this in tomorrow's Drumbeats perhaps.

Dave, I just opened my copy of new Scientist magazine and there is a HUGE article on the worlds mineral resources. Is it your article?