DrumBeat: June 2, 2007

Shell Halts Exports of 150,000 bpd Due to Nigerian Unrest

Anglo-Dutch oil giant Royal Dutch Shell PLC has suspended the export of 150,000 barrels per day of crude oil because of community unrest in southern Nigeria, a company spokesman said.

"We had to halt production from the Bomu manifold until we are able to resolve our problems with the community," Precious Okolobo told AFP.

Is Water The Next Oil?

Those who see water as a future core commodity – therefore as profitable a prospect as oil – pose the question to create the right market conditions for water trade. Those who see the potential for conflict arising from scarcity compare diminishing freshwater to oil’s depleting reserves. Those who see an environmental threat from mismanagement of water see parallels with the abuse and waste of oil.

Indian energy firms lay out big plans

India's state and private firms have chalked out big-ticket investment plans - both in the upstream and downstream segments - to meet the country's growing demand for energy.

Its main competitor, China, has been aggressively scouting for energy sources worldwide, as well as beating Indian firms in their own back yard - Myanmar and now, reportedly, Bangladesh.

India's energy companies have their work cut out for them.

Oil companies endorse Global Warming to support new drilling opportunities

Warmer temperatures would make it easier to drill and ship oil from the Arctic, the report said. It did not attempt to quantify the costs of drilling and shipping Arctic oil and gas, or estimate how high energy prices would have to be to justify drilling in the region.

Corn for Biofuel Puts Food Reserves at Risk

The Netherlands-based magazine Oil World warned that the increase in the use of corn in the US to produce ethanol will cause a reduction in US and world food reserves.

Soils offer new hope as carbon sink

The huge potential of agricultural soils to reduce greenhouse gases and increase production at the same time has been reinforced by new research findings at NSW Department of Primary Industries' (DPI) Wollongbar Agricultural Institute.

Trials of agrichar - a product hailed as a saviour of Australia's carbon-depleted soils and the environment - have doubled and, in one case, tripled crop growth when applied at the rate of 10 tonnes per hectare.

Bush’s Greenhouse Gas Plan Throws Europe Off Guard

For six years, Europeans have pleaded with President Bush to seize the initiative in the campaign against global warming. Now that he has, many here are even more frustrated.

Mexico Pemex Sees $2B-$2.2B Annual Investment in Exploration

The chief executive of Mexican state oil monopoly Petroleos Mexicanos, or Pemex, said Thursday that the company expects to invest between $2 billion and $2.2 billion a year in exploration in its efforts to increase reserves.

Hero or villain? A carbon critic relies on coal

But at least as important is the direction in which Josefsson has taken Vattenfall since he became chief executive in 2000. Revenue at the state-owned company has more than quadrupled, to 145 billion kronor, or $20.9 billion, from 32 billion kronor, mainly through huge investment in coal-fired power plants and lignite mines in Germany.

From a business point of view, these acquisitions have made clear sense. With rising oil prices and the closure of several nuclear power plants, coal has become more important for the German energy supply. Coal is also, as Josefsson points out, a cheap source of energy, which means that it is highly profitable.

The Price of Oil in the Amazon

For almost three decades, Occidental Petroleum has pumped oil out of the ground from hundreds of wells in the Peruvian Amazon. The company sold the drilling rights in 1999 but eight years later, the indigenous Achuar people from the area are suing Occidental in the United States for harming their health and poisoning their water and land.

Indonesia: Govt slammed for choosing coal

Greenpeace has berated the government for replacing petroleum with coal to meet the nation's energy needs, highlighting that carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants are one of the main contributors to human-induced global climate change.

Kenya: Oil prices to remain high, says Shell

Oil prices are expected to remain high despite the recent call by the government call, urging local oil dealers to reduce pump prices.

Shell Company Managing Director Patrick Obath yesterday said that oil companies were making marginal prices from the sale of the product due to heavy taxation, making further price reduction non viable.

India: State to buy power from naphtha-run plants

A programme has been chalked out by the Government to purchase power to the extent of 1,962 million units this year from private plants run on naphtha, the costliest fuel.

South Africa: Consumers face cash squeeze as prices rise - Good time to pay off debt as fast as possible

Consumers will be feeling a drastic cash squeeze by the end of the year from rising inflation and interest rates, economists warned this week.

Nigeria: FHA Lugbe Residents Protest 5-Month Power Outage

OVER 200 residents of Phase II of the Federal Housing Authority (FHA), Lugbe, Abuja yesterday besieged the Lugbe office of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) for the company's failure to provide them with electricity for the past five months.

...According to the protesters, PHCN staff had consistently been collecting bills from them amounting to almost N4million (N750,000/month) even without light for this period.

Petrobras Plans Output Start at Maromba Field in 2012

Weinhardt didn't have an exact reserves estimate for the Maromba field. When declaring it commercially viable together with seven other fields in the Campos Basin in December, Petrobras said it estimated the eight new fields combined have "recoverable volumes" of about 1.37 billion barrels of oil equivalent, or BOE.

Gump Rules

My, my, my. High gasoline prices sure do have a way of bringing out the stupid in people.

I nearly lost track of it all this past week.

First, we had a Democratic-sponsored bill in the U.S. Congress that would allow the government to sue OPEC for price manipulation.

Fuel prices impact Gassing up, cutting back

Rising gas prices have caused some consumers to cut back on their discretionary spending. Cafe patrons are not going for that extra scone with their lattes and shoe lovers are skipping that desired--but not needed extra pair of sandals.

Slam the brakes on gas tax hike

New Jersey has the lowest gasoline prices in the nation and the third lowest state gasoline tax. It's about the only tax in New Jersey that isn't the highest, or among the highest, in the country. Gov. Corzine this week hinted that may change. Our hint to the governor: Don't even think about it.

Residents struggle to live with mounting energy bills

Karen Parashis has grandchildren graduating in Illinois this month, but she won't be there to see it.

Between high fuel prices and increases in her electric bill, along with vehicle and home insurance, the 66-year-old simply can't afford to make the trip.

40% efficient solar cells to be used for solar electricity

Scientists from Spectrolab, Inc., a subsidiary of Boeing, have recently published their research on the fabrication of solar cells that surpass the 40% efficiency milestone—the highest efficiency achieved for any photovoltaic device. Their results appear in a recent edition of Applied Physics Letters.

Toyota’s gas-electric hybrid gets sales boost from $3 gasoline - Orders for Prius nearly tripled in May

Nearly 15 percent of Toyota’s sales were hybrids, which has the company convinced that their appeal has moved beyond buyers wishing to make a statement about global warming.

But some buyers in May didn’t seem to be affected by fuel prices, with pickup truck sales rising 3.5 percent.

Carter's Oil Crisis

Of all the errors Jimmy Carter committed, none has earned him more well-justified scorn than his handling of the 1970s energy crisis. True enough, he didn't cause it. But he did make it much, much worse.

Big Business interests hope that Global Warming will make oil exploration in Antarctica more accessible

Dr Ali Samsam Bakhtiari had told a conference of Antarctic experts in Hobart, Australia that was held mid-July 2006 that the polar continent would need greater protection to save it from exploitation by increasingly desperate oil-hungry nations.

Experts: Energy deregulation holds major pitfalls

California's first foray into deregulation in 1996 sparked a massive statewide electricity crisis in 2000 and 2001 and the bankruptcy of the Bay Area's major utility, Pacific Gas & Electric. PG&E has since emerged from bankruptcy, and deregulation was suspended in 2001.

Gas prices lead city to shorten workweek

Mayor Bobby Bright hopes adapting the workweek for some employees will save money and improve productivity. If the 90-day experiment works, city maintenance crews will work four 10-hour days each week. The move will keep the equivalent of 98 city vehicles off the road two days each week.

Indiana Governor says no to nixing state gas tax

Daniels said lifting the gasoline tax wouldn't be a responsible thing to do.

“We worked very hard to get this state black and a couple of months of doing this would put us back in the red,” Gov. Daniels said.

Hydro storage can boost value of wind energy

Most people think about St Mary's canal as a water project for irrigators and municipalities. But there are other potential benefits.

The St. Mary's project could expand wind power production and help control rates in Montana. We ought to take advantage of that opportunity.

The greening of auto racing

For the first time in history, a renewable fuel will power all vehicles past the checkered flag at the race. It is a tribute to many in the racing industry and in farmlands across this great country.

Impact of ethanol starting to hit home

Pimentel acknowledges he's in the minority among academics arguing that ethanol won't help cure the nation's energy ills: "It takes (43 percent) more energy to produce a gallon of ethanol than you get out of it." He claims conventional gasoline is more energy-efficient.

Roberts said Pimentel's research is too pessimistic, and shouldn't include certain input costs. He said ethanol actually nets a small energy gain, not a net loss. More meaningful, he said, is that ethanol releases fewer greenhouse gases than gasoline.

GAO: U.S. gives oil firms good deals

When it comes to taking oil and natural gas from government land and waters, the oil companies are getting a good deal, says a congressional report.

The Government Accountability Office said Friday that the U.S. government gets less for letting private companies take oil and gas from its land and coastal waters than a half dozen states and many foreign countries.

Iran sees higher oil price, warns on supply

Khatibi also suggested that most Opec members were operating close to capacity. Iran is Opec’s No. 2 producer. “Therefore in the situation of an increase in the demand, there is no other way but to use the reserves,” he said.

“In the most optimistic situation, in the future supply and demand will seriously get close to each other and we will not have any additional supply,” he said. “In the pessimistic situation, oil demand in winter will reach an amount which supply can not meet ... “

UK oil production continues decline

The year-on-year decline in oil and gas production in the UK sector of the North Sea is continuing its decline, dropping by a further combined 10 per cent in March, according to the latest monthly report by the Royal Bank of Scotland.

Russia and asset seizures

As the historian Daniel Yergin has noted, oil nationalisations are usually creeping seizures. In 1974, Saudi Arabia took 60 per cent of Aramco – by 1976 it insisted on 100 per cent. In 1971, Venezuela committed to maintain foreign concessions until 1983. A year later it moved towards full control.

Russia tries to burn BP

“Everybody talks about what Hugo Chavez is doing in Venezuela but nobody makes the comparision with Putin. It is basically the same thing,” said Fadel Gheit, an analyst at Oppenheimer in New York.

Cuba, Vietnam sign energy agreement

Vietnam becomes Cuba's latest partner in oil exploration and drilling in the Gulf of Mexico under one of several agreements signed Friday during a visit by Vietnamese Communist Party chief Nong Duc Manh.

4 oil workers kidnapped in Nigeria

A group of gunmen wearing security force uniforms invaded a compound in restive southern Nigeria and kidnapped four foreign oil workers without firing a shot, police said Saturday.

The abduction occurred overnight at the U.S.-based oil-services firm Schlumberger Ltd. in Port Harcourt and the kidnapped included one Dutch, one British and one Pakistani citizen, Rivers State Police Commissioner Felix Ogbaudu said.

Alleged oil swindler turns up on MTV show

Not long after entrusting millions to a Kentucky oilman, the investors started asking questions: Where was the oil? Where was their money? And where was the oilman?

They think they got at least some answers when they turned on an episode of “My Super Sweet 16,” an MTV reality show about spoiled rich kids and their outrageously opulent birthday parties.

Higher energy use fails to raise greenhouse gas level

Greenhouse gas emissions in the UK have stabilised, official figures reveal.

Despite increases in economic activity and energy consumption, emissions for the UK's population stayed at 733.5 million tonnes in 2005, the same as in 2004, the Office for National Statistics confirmed.

Airline sector puts global warming high on meeting agenda

The world's airline industry opens its annual meeting in the Canadian city of Vancouver Sunday with the link between increased air traffic and global warming front and center on its radar screen.

Vancouver city hall concerns shift dramatically

The focus of new urbanists is changing, just as concern for global warming and peak oil is suddenly engulfing public opinion in all circles.

New urbanist planners, like Toderian, are leading the way, reminding us that livability may be an important pursuit, but that livability means little if the planet no longer exists as a habitable environment for humans and all other creatures.

Iowa mayors to meet this month on going "green"

Mayors across Iowa will gather in June to discuss ways to combat global warming.

The Energy Futures Conference will be held June 15-16 in Des Moines and will focus on expanding renewable energy and reducing dangerous emissions.

Even the driving test has climate worries

Now, the driver's test is going "green," moving beyond rules of the road to address the energy crisis and gas-pump sticker shock. A bill to make fuel-efficient driving techniques part of the Oregon driver's test cleared the Legislature on Friday, and Gov. Ted Kulongoski said through a spokesman that he will sign it into law.

Meanwhile, back in the "real world," I was listening to the local cornucopian on his car show radio broadcast in the Dallas area, and he was talking about car sales being up over a year ago, gasoline prices down slightly, and how Boone Pickens is just trying to drive the price oil up talking nonsense about Peak Oil.

As I have said before, isn't it ironic that those of us who believe that a finite world has finite limits are considered to be the "cultists," while those who, in effect, believe that we can have an infinite growth rate against a finite resource base are considered "mainstream."

In order to continue to clarify one point about my ELP recomendations, I am not advocating cutting consumption for the general good. The only thing that is going to reduce energy consumption is people's physical inabilty to pay for it. I am advocating reducing your overall consumption--especially your energy consumption--now, because, IMO, energy, and food, will become increasingly expensive in the months and years ahead.

But how do you communicate that Westexas?
In my lab everyone looks at me as a goofball even though they have not won one argument with me on the topic. The more I try the more retarded these people act. FRankly I am starting to get really upset.


Come here to get upset and have arguments, go there and make the future look like more fun and excitement than jumping into a barrel of cats and monkeys.

If the above makes any sense to you let me know, if it doesn't, let me know.

Your compadre in disaster,


fireangel, you might tell them that oil is going to keep getting more expensive, rather than focusing on running out. The tar and bitumen (Canadian Tar sands and Oil shale) cost a heck of a lot more than light sweet crude to mine and process. Not even the most extreme Cornucopian can argue with that one.
Another good angle is ask them how long we are going to keep sending 60% of our energy dollars to people that hate us? In other word, out-conservative them. Its a national security thing.

to people that hate us?

Hi Bob,

I know I shouldn't let myself be drawn in to this, but oh well, just call me irresponsible, but I find that part of your statement rather offensive.

First, most people are trying their damnedest not to hate the American people, but the effing elite run thing you have been sold as a democratic government has been dropping bombs on people's heads without stint or reservation and that is a problem. People just don't like having friends and relatives blown to little bits, fact.

Canada has been drawn into this blowing people to bits business lately and I can see how your feeling of being hated arises. Next time I leave my country I will not be taking anything that indicates I am a proud Canadian, no little flags or buttons, no patriotic B.S. I will wave a flag when there is something worth waving it about. Actually maybe I will put a flag on the car, but upside down to indicate distress.

You can go back to before the industrial revolution or the very beginning of it when Jefferson had to send marines to the Pirate Coast to rescue US sailors who had been taken as slaves. And that is not an isolated event either. These cultures clash because they have fundamentally differing belief systems. That doesn't make either culture "right" or "wrong" but they do not get along and have never gotten along very well.

I am the first to admit that the US is in the wrong this time but that doesn't mean that the US or the west was always in the wrong in each prior event. Anyone who believes that is a damned fool.

They may not hate us but they do a really good impression of it.

P.S. Remember that the vast majority of those people of color sold into slavery in the new world were first captured and sold by these same Islamic pirates from Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Tripoli.

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

"Remember that the vast majority of those people of color sold into slavery in the new world were first captured and sold by these same Islamic pirates from Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Tripoli."

And who was it that eagerly bought and paid for them?

Remember that the vast majority of those people of color sold into slavery in the new world were first captured and sold by these same Islamic pirates from Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Tripoli.

That doesn't sound right - and Wikipedia disagrees with you too...


Can you link to something that supports your assertion? I'm not denying that some type of slavery has existed within the Muslim world - in fact some forms of slavery still exist there (and elsewhere). But most of the North American, Caribbean and Latin American slave populations came from the Bight of Benin.

The industrial-scale transport of human chattels across the ocean, to work on plantations producing cash crops for export, was invented by people who called themselves Christians. And it was abolished by their coreligionists.

The industrial scale transportation of slaves predates Christianity. The ancient Romans captured people to work their grainfields in North Africa, and quarries throughout their empire. The Egyptians enslaved people from Africa and used them on their building projects. The Letters of St. Peter were used to justify slavery, but the institution was very well established before Christianity or Islam.
But historical accuracy aside, I was trying to point out that you can sometimes establish a rapport with people by appealing to their mindset, or prejudices. I know, its shitty, but it works. And remember about 1/6th of the worlds exported oil originates in the KSA, and about 1/2 from OPEC. 15 out of 19 hijackers that flew into the World Trade Center came from the KSA. The main funding for the Sunni militias causing 80% of the casulties on American troops comes from the KSA. They are not our friends, and as Arianna Huffington succinctly noted, every dollar you spend putting gas in your tank puts money in the hands of terrorists. So if you care anything about the USA, conserve! If you want to end this pointless and evil war, conserve! If you want to keep money and jobs in the US, buy renewables and conserve!


Wikipedia disagrees with Wikipedia:

And they still do it (even in that liberal do-no-wrong fascist state called Iran):

10 centuries purely for Muslim countries then 4 more centuries for the rest of the world:

MIT documents the extent of slave trade by western nations in conjunction with Arab slavers.

Of course you are free to believe whatever you choose to believe. Facts rarely change minds around here.

In evaluating the African slave trade, there was another "Middle Passage" often neglected by most scholars—the Arab slave trade. It is often forgotten that the Arab slave trade in East Africa and the slave trade from North Africa into Inner West Africa was protracted and ruthless. Sometimes the Arabs from the north who were Moslem enslaved Africans in the south who were also Moslems, thereby violating one of the most basic customs of their faith—that no Moslem should enslave another Moslem. There is a small library of books on this subject that most scholars have chosen not to read, thereby making the Arab slave trade the best kept secret in history—although it is not a secret at all. Of the many books and documents that I have read on the subject, Slavery in the Arab World by Murray Gordon, 1987, and The African Slave Trade From the 15th to the 19th Century, in The General History of Africa: Studies and Documents 2, UNESCO,1979. I find the most informative the UNESCO book, especially the chapter, "The Slave Trade in the Indian Ocean."

I am not saying that Muslims were the sole source of slavery but those of you who keep holding up the Islamic nations as some sort of utopian do-gooders need to study your history. The history does not and has never supported that notion. The Islamic states have a history as contorted and ugly as any of the west. And given sufficient time and resources, they will assert their own version of Iraq and its horrors somewhere.

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

A link with detailed description of Slave trading by Sultan's from Afganistan.


An excerpt

"Alauddin Khalji�s Market Control has become famous in medieval Indian history. He fixed the price of every commodity, including slaves. The sale price of slaves was like this. The standard price of a working girl was fixed at from 5 to 12 tankahs, and that of a good looking girl suitable for concubinage from 20 to 30 and even 40 tankahs. The price of a man slave (ghulam) usually did not exceed 100 to 200 tankahs. The prices of handsome boys were fixed from 20 to 30 tankahs; the ill-favoured could be obtained for 7 to 8. The price of a child slave (ghulam bachchgan naukari) was fixed at 70 to 80 tankahs. The slaves were classified according to their looks and working capacity. In the case of bulk purchases by traders who had ready money and who had the means to carry their flock for sale to other cities,19 prices were fixed accordingly."

Another excerpt

"Low Price of Indian Slaves

Ziyauddin Barani reckons regulations regarding sale of �horses, slaves and quadrupeds� under one category. T.P. Hughes quoting the Hidayah says that slaves, male and female, are treated merely as articles of merchandise, and �very similar rules apply both to the sale of animals and bondsmen.�29 A milch buffalo cost 10-12 tankahs., a working girl was cheaper. The price of a good quality horse was 90-120 tankahs, that of a ghulam was 100 on an average. A handsome boy could be had for 20 to 30 tankahs.30 .."

Wooooah there GZ!

I was rebutting your original point about the New World slave trade. As oilmanbob points out, industrial-scale slavery wasn't invented in 18th-Century Benin, nor was it invented in 6th-Century Hejaz - the Prophet's family owned slaves before he became the Prophet. Placing the blame for Dixie on Islam is a breathtaking example of historical revisionism (chutzpah). Nevertheless, I'll concede that the Berber Muslim-syncretist slave traders of the Maghreb were probably quite capable of spotting a profitable market and selling to the white middleman when he was offering a competitive price for their dark-skinned merchandise.

In any case, when the poor wretches got to their final destination, I suspect they found that their new owners went to Church on Sunday rather than Mosque on Friday. Though in that shadowy alternative timeline, maybe we would have been spared the unbearable torture of Whitney Houston's choral vibrato. Win some, lose some.

A word of advice: get a grip on that childish compulsion to Wikibomb any poster who points out that Islam isn't the only source of all the evil that there has ever been or ever will be in the world. Get some historical perspective; Islam (a certain recently-invented aspect of) is merely a convenient label for the Imperium's enemy du jour. Remember who sponsored the Talibs back in the 1980s. And remember who the Talib were fighting against, and what they could have done to the United States in the course of a few hours. And lighten up, for Clapton's sake.

Gotta go and do some of that oil-field stuff now. Isn't that what we were originally discussing? And not a slave in sight. Lots of crop-top blondies on the other side of that chainlink fence down at the airport, though.

Aleikum as'Salam,


Um yeah right, your choice of an example to demonstrate the moral superiority of the West, and of the USA in particular, is spot on, eh Greyzone. It's all black and white.

I mean it's not as if Jefferson owned any slaves himself or anything.

You know nor care nothing about the history of slaving. Nothing. This is just an occasion for you to throw some racist venom around.

Ah, I said something bad about oldhippie's "good guys" - the Iranians. Too bad, so sad.

You are the one who is grossly ignorant of history if you believe that ANY major culture was free of the taint of slavery. But go on believing in stuff and nonsense, old hippie. Facts have never stopped you from spouting nonsense before.

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

Sure the Iranians are my special friends and my good guys 'cause I've said a few times here it would be exceptionally dumb for the current US administration to start a war of choice in Iran. That follows. Very logical. You are astute.

You think the clash of cultures is so bloody important, you think that loaded phrase describes anything real, you got such a bee in your bonnet over the Ayrabs, tell you what: There are plenty of wars in progress right now where you could go and kill Arabs to your heart's content. Pick one. Go. Kill.

So now we get from my pointing out Islamic involvement in slave trade to you implying that I am a racist who wants to kill "Ayrabs" (YOUR phrase, not mine). Project much, jackass?

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

CrystalRadio, you misunderstood me. I apparently wasn't clear enough. The arguements are for hopefully changing the minds of people who deny cheap oil, at least enough change to begin to analise the situation.

I certainly agree with you about the current regime, I'm a committed peacenik. I was at eight demonstrations before the invasion of Iraq by the United States, and many more since. I voted against them twice, and think that GWB is the worst president since Franklin Pierce (1856-1860), who was the president who allowed militas to form and battle it out in Kansas, the biggest cause of the American Civil War.

In the US we've allowed the mainstream media to divide us into camps, Liberal/Conservative, Peak Cultist/Cornucopian Evangelical Christian/secular humanist. And its been incredibly divise and is blocking the truth in many areas, because most people don't fit 100% in any camp. But they use certain code words and topics to identify each other.

So what I tried to say is couch your arguements in such a manner as to appeal to others in the group you want to communicate with. Its an old revolutionary communist trick. So if your friend is concerned about national security, talk about how our national security is threatened by the huge level of oil imports; conservation is our patriotic duty. If your friend is a committed christian, talk about the concept of stewardship, a duty to pass on the world in as good a condition as you received it by cutting carbon emmissions. None of this is a lie, its just good salesmanship. Agree with them first, then educate them to agree with you because of what they already believe.
Its not possible to win an arguement, but it is possible to change someones point of view by coming to a concensus.

Hi Bob,

Thanks for coming back and explaining your position so nicely with no offense taken on that touchy subject.

I agree you have to talk to others within their frames of reference. As an instance, I really have had a lot of trouble following a lot of the tech talk on oil as that was right out of my range of experiences and even the day to day, off to the job lunch bucket in hand, stuff is nothing I am familiar with other than through movies.

Let us know how the fishing is there. I am feeling the call of the sea these days myself.

Last year when gas hit 3 bucks I noticed a distinct drop in the level of traffic for a while. Lately the traffic has been the worst I've encountered in five years of my NH/Mass commute.

But hey, record Dow, so everything must be just hunky-dory, right? Right???

The deeper we dig the hole, the longer the drop will be when we fall in...

CrystalRadio said,
"I know I shouldn't let myself be drawn in to this, but oh well, just call me irresponsible, but I find that part of your statement rather offensive."

The United States however, can at least enjoy this one aspect of it's very real jeopardy: Since we (whether the bulk of our people know it or not) a nation now facing a threat to it's very existance, as a nation we are starting not to give a fvck who may find our statements or our actions "offensive" (the truth often is).

Your point is well taken Crystal, we may have brought it on ourselves. We may deserve it. Some have even argued that we could have sold survivors of Auschwitz down the river for oil, and wallowed in the black filth.

Too late for all that. All the Saudi boot lickin' for oil now won't help us. You play the ball where it lies.

The Wahhabi Islamists whose pockets we are shoving hundreds upon hundreds of billions of dollars of oil money too because we refuse to use our own brains and technology would be all the happier to see any American laid out with their guts open to the sun at the first possble opportunity.

The Americans don't want to hear it. They would rather sit around and dream of the great "meltdowns" and "dieoffs" and "catastrophes" based on that glorious day when the oil runs out. Fantasy upon fantasy is built based upon idiotic speculation, while the real threat is watching for the gap, the place we are not looking, the tear in the fence.

If we are ignorant enough to let our guard down, the talons will rip American flesh asunder for sport, the final "victory" of their righteousness. Do you want a preview? Look at the raped and murdered schoolgirls of Beslan.
Oh, yes, we had forgotten them, while we soared to off to new heights of infantile fantacy about "running out of oil" (I thought "peak" wasn't about "running out?"), we had forgotten the real brutality in the world, hadn't we?

And Putin, the fvckin big talker but non doer, like Bush, did nothing to the real slaughterers. The whole gang of useless shitt. They run when the real threat hits. Where is their sacred honor on either side, to protect their own nations?

"to people who hate us?", you ask? You damm right they hate us, they hate humans in general terms, but us more than most.

Make no mistake, let them bastardds get a hold of the U.S., and "Peak Oil" will hold no fear by comparison. And when we buy their oil, waste it away, and make no effort to change, because it's too much work, or because the neo-primitivist propagandists undercut our will to do so, or the anarchist greens threaten every project we propose, we are giving them the sword to finish us off with. How long do you think you Primitive Green tree fairies will survive when they come for you?
You talk "sheepie"? It will more like butchering lambs. And if you wonder how they will treat your daughters, look back at Beslan. If you think your left wing leadership will protect you any better than the cowards we have now, look at Putin.

And should the great Canadian dream of watching the U.S get sliced, diced and dried in the sun ever come true, let's see how long they can hold their own against the murdering sons of the Order of the Raping Killers of Beslan.



Hi Out,

Where do you get this juvenile nonsense from? I'd genuinely like to know. Do you actually believe it? If so, you're sadly deluded; if not, you're depraved and corrupt. Which?









We said, "We will never forget."

We already have, in less than a decade. Before the children of the dead even grew up. Before the Russian children who saw rape and slaughter could even finish school. Before the estates of the dead passengers in London and Spain are even settled.

We said, "We will never forget". We have forgotten where they even came from. We have forgotten what they told us they would do. We have forgotten that they have told us that "the enemy afar" must be killed. By the way, they named "the enemy afar." That's us, the Americans, and their friends the Jews.
We did not put the words in their mouths, they told us, from the days of "Moslum Brotherhood."

"We will never forget", we said. Now, the ones who have not forgotten will have to protect the ones who have completely forgotten. They do not care who has remembered or forgotten. They have told us. They will gut us for sport, while we pay them to do it.

Roger Conner Jr.
Remember, we are only one cubic mile from freedom

Thanks oilmanbob. Sorry did not reply earlier after asking a qt. I think it is probably a more viable apporach.

Other 'real worldness' -
Will milk become America's new oil?

We cannot have ethanol and milk too, at low prices (duh! Bush).
Adding to price presures beyond cow food...
Seems milk prices are rising and global demand is growing. Austrailia is having a drought and New Zealand is maxed out. So they and Asia are looking to the US for milk.

They quote one shopper who has these choices
3)A new pair of shorts for summer
1 and 2 win over 3 for her. Add this "feedback loop" (times millions of americans and millions of products) into the economy along with the subprime mess, lower housing ATM withdrawls, rising electric, nat gas rates.

But wait BC says cow waste will save us....

I wish I could wear rose colored glasses sometimes too.

Re; NZ and milk production

Yes we are pretty maxed out down here in NZ and the diary farmers are having a ball - Fonterra (the milk export monopoly) just announced extra average payouts to farmers of $120,000NZ, and diary farms are sprouting up where ever they can (placing major burdens on aquifers in places like the Canterbury plains).

But just like the US the products are costing us more - prices just up between 6-14% (and thats here in NZ):


Extra costs coming through in running the machinery and of course feedstock via the biofuel fed inflation.

So even the producer countries are getting whacked by food inflation. The Central Bank here will continue to raise interest rates (base rate stands at a whopping 7.75%) but I really dont see how these can have much effect when its energy and food inflation that are the principle drivers of general inflation here (at least until they go so high that a genuine recession is induced).

"...I really dont see how these can have much effect when its energy and food inflation that are the principle drivers of general inflation here..."

I agree. I know in the US they can/do/will play monetary games to keep things floating. I'm not sure the outcome(s) other than how WT has laid it out.

I am not advocating cutting consumption for the general good.

If you include in that statement that things purchased for a personal good that would result an overall reduction of fossil fuel use are considered a general good, I agree. For example alternative energy products, energy efficiency items, gardening equipment wheelbarrows shovels etc. (in my case a recent purchase of 24 ft* 100ft roll of. greenhouse poly, solid FF there and that is one thing that if it already hasn't done a big jump where you are it likely soon will, 33% jump here as I walked out of the door). I think any use of FF in these directions would be beneficial personally as well as generally.

I have been building a garden because I enjoy gardens and they give me someplace to go that doesn't involve getting in a car. If one has space and time I suggest a garden as a way of reducing consumption. A hive of bees should also be considered for a garden, very nice to listen to the buzzing of the little blighters of an evening, the buzzing goes well with the curses of any neighbours who fear the little critters.

Don't listen to the talk show hosts, its bad for your blood pressure, Jeffry!
If His Idiocy is right about oil being an addiction, then recovery from the addiction may be like recovery from Alcoholism and Drug Addiction. One of the stages identified in coming to acceptance is anger, and identifing us as cultists is a way of cutting us out to persecute, and identifying us as "pointy-headed intellectuals" as Spiro T. Agnew described us. Don't worry, it will get worse.
As far as cutting consumption, we can afford the technology for things like solar, gardening tools, a fishing pole or an electric bike now. In a peak oil depression, many of us will just plain be too broke.

While we're on the subject of talk radio, it's hard to beat good ol' Rush:

We are not addicted to gasoline. Oil is the fuel of the freedom and the engine of democracy. Oil is the basis on which our economy is going to grow. We know it's going to continue to grow. We want it to grow. We want the economy to keep growing. We want it to be such that people become more and more productive, more and more prosperous. Nobody ever talks about wanting the economy to slow down and go into recession. We're always wanting the economy to grow, and with more people being born and the influx of people. It's just the natural state of human affairs.

He's not addicted to Oxycontin, either. Everybody keeps 3,000 pills around the house of hillbilly heroin.

We know it's going to continue to grow. We want it to grow.

One could make a pretty good case that it makes sense to arrange things so that one benefits financially from the mistakes of those who refuse to recognize that we can't have an infinite rate of increase in consumption of a finite energy supply.

If they won't listen to repeated warnings, you might as well profit from their mistakes:

Step One: Regarding ELP, "E" and "L" to the max.

Step Two: Invest and/or work in activities related to essential goods and services, especially food and energy.

Step Three (for the more risk oriented): Look into shorting stocks of companies heavily dependent on discretionary spending and cheap energy.

Having done all of this, you might at least be in a position to help out some people in years ahead. Perhaps put them to work on your farm?

Old joke from Eighties Oil Patch Crash: Geologist applies for work at convenience store in Houston. Manager replies that they have no openings for Geologists, but they do have a couple of openings for Petroleum Engineers.

those who refuse to recognize that we can't have an infinite rate of increase in consumption of a finite energy supply.

This is one of the most trite strawmen that everyone loves to repeat.

I guess you typed this out on your Blackberry as you drove to work in your car powered by a perpetual motion device.

Actually, I have suggested that we make a transparency of the Saudi crude oil production profile and then invert it. It would then show a production low in 2005, with increasing production since then. So, viewed correctly, we can expect to see an infinite increase in Saudi oil production.

But I gotta go. I promised to fix dinner. We have this magic pantry. No matter how much food we take out of it, it spontaneously regenerates and it is full every morning.

Who exactly said you can have an infinite increase in energy consumption from a finite energy supply? It sure wasn't me.

Hello Dezakin,

I assume you are being sarcastic.

If not: please tell me how I can refill an now empty waterglass without going back to the kitchen faucet. Next, tell me how to refill an empty gastank when petrol gas-stations are extinct. It took approx. 200 million years to create the first fillup.

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

I assume you are being sarcastic.

Of course not. Many paint the antidoomers as innumerate when its simply that we view the limits as much further in the future before being a cause of concern. The solar flux is on the order of 10^17 watts and we're only using 10^13. We can grow a hundredfold before tapping the radiative capacity of the earth or the solar budget.

If not: please tell me how I can refill an now empty waterglass without going back to the kitchen faucet. Next, tell me how to refill an empty gastank when petrol gas-stations are extinct. It took approx. 200 million years to create the first fillup.

Build giant thorium reactors for doing thermochemical hydrogen production, crack CO2 out of limestone with other reactors, run over cobalt catalists for diesel fuel.

Pricy sure, not impossible.

Similarly, build solar concentrators for thermochemical hydrogen production. Or just turn most of it into electricity and adjust infrastructure accordingly.

westexas: One could make a pretty good case that it makes sense to arrange things so that one benefits financially from the mistakes of those who refuse to recognize that we can't have an infinite rate of increase in consumption of a finite energy supply.

Dezakin: This is one of the most trite strawmen that everyone loves to repeat.

I rest my case.


What if Peter Huber, Michael Lynch, Daniel Yergin, et al, are a lot smarter--and much more ruthless--than we think? What if they are deliberately implementing the following strategy?

Encourage debt financed consumption.

Go long on energy companies and other providers of essential goods and services.

Go short on companies dependent on cheap energy and discretionary spending.

Sit back and enjoy the profits.

I don't understand the joke. Could you please explain me?

Swiss and humor, always a strange match :-P

Let me try.

Convenience stores pay very little and hire people no one else will hire to work the counter, selling cigarettes, gasoline, small medicines (aspirin etc.), packaged food and other sundries at hours when larger stores are closed.

When skilled people loss their jobs and become desperate for ANY job, they will chose such work (or work at McDonalds).

So many very skilled oil people were laid off during the 1980s that many low pay jobs were filled with high skill people. So many that there were no more jobs available, even the lowest paid jobs. So the convenience store can chose who they want to hire to sell cigarettes and gasoline.

So they have hired all of the geologists that they want, much are willing to hire a couple more petroleum engineers.

I hopes this helps :-)


You left out that petroleum engineers can pump gas ;-)

I thought it was because geologists by thier nature were inclined toward slower movement.

Yeah it helps a lot thx .. ; It is a very black humor for deseperate formerly-well-paid people !!

Maybe we are not the best people for humor, but regarding tennis.... where are the americans in Rolland-Garros, against our national Roger ?

Oh don't worry about our guys... when tennis recovers from its annual insanity about wanting to play on sand, we'll be back :-)

I had to pick an ecologically-sustainable surface for all the world's tennis courts, I'd pick clay. Clay requires rolling, sweeping and watering but requires less fossil fuel to build than either cementitious or bituminous concrete courts. Clay drains fast, doesn't poison the soil and is easy on the feet and legs.

Grass is "greener" than clay, of course, but is horribly expensive to maintain.

Racquets would be wood, of course. :-)

y'know, if cancer cells could talk, they'd sound a lot like Rush.

Mega ditto's Rush! Mega good luck trying to enlarge forever the economy too.

There is the smell of napalm in his second sentence.

Oil is the fuel of the freedom and the engine of democracy. Oil is the basis on which our economy is going to grow. We know it's going to continue to grow. We want it to grow. We want the economy to keep growing. We want it to be such that people become more and more productive, more and more prosperous. Nobody ever talks about wanting the economy to slow down and go into recession. We're always wanting the economy to grow, and with more people being born and the influx of people. It's just the natural state of human affairs.

Rush is right about all that. Doesn't that suck?

cfm in Gray, ME

We definitely should move to PHEVs and biof-fuels. It is remarkably stupid that we have not established twin $5 billion prizes to the first to commercialize algae farms, and another for zero-gasoline medium-range cars, such as PHEVs. The cost of two such prizes would be 1/10th that of one year of the Iraqi war, let alone the horrible human sacrifices being made.

But shortages ahead? Mild mannered Mr Price Mechanism becomes Superman when it comes to commodities markets. World oil consumption rose just 0.9 percent last year, according to EIA. That is down from 3.1 in 2004, and 1.8 percent in 2005. Yet the world economy did nicely. This year, if that trend continues, should be flat for fossil fuel consumption. I suspect we already have reached Peak Demand for fossil crude at more than $60 a barrel. Going forward, either the price goes down, or demand decreases, permanently. This is great news.

Going forward, Europe and India mave mandated increasing reliance on bio-fuels, going to 20 percent mix for deisel by 2020. The USA is blabbering and doing nothing, nevertheless, new ethanol plants are multiplying like wildfire, and the new plants are slated to return five units of energy for every one used. Check out E3's website. They are really smart guys.

More news: Some guys in Boston are having jatropha planted in Mexico, and will open bio-deisel plant in Mass. Jatropha yields vary widely (I nearly planted 80 acres of this plant in Thailand, but chickened out, as I think oil look very squishy, price-wise).

Somewhere between 1000 litres and 10,000 litres per acre are the expected yields of oil. Now you see why didn't plant it. How do you plan with such wide yield ranges?

But take the half-way point. That is roughly 5000 litres, or 1250 gallons per acre, which is more than double corn yields, with less inputs (usually just water and annual fertilzer). Jatropha is a small tree, so you do not have to grwo the whole tree again every year, as with corn.

China and India are placing huge bets on this plant. It is really a hardy weed. Moreover, it has never been selectively bred for yield.

Corn yields are up 40 percent in last 20 years, per acre. Can jatropha get as far? Probably more, as corn was already long a selectively bred crop 20 years ago. But you never know.

More and more, I think the Fossil Flatheads have it right. Fossil oil consumption from here flatlines, if the price remains propped up by OPEC, and their quislings in the hedge fund world, and whatever mouthpieces they have hired to preach doom. The average marginal cost of fossil crude is still well below $10 a barrel, and the average cost probably still below $20. There is room for a huge plunge in the price.

If the price holds, then happily this will lead to a boom in biofuels, and ultimately PHEVs, the latter which promise to radically reduce fossil consumption. It should be our national energy policy to aggressively puruse these clean alternatives.

Convincing the public will require convincing the public that better energy policies are a pathway to a better future, not one of gloomy sacrifice.

I remain a rabid optimist.

I remain a rabid optimist

I shall remain out of biting range if we should ever meet.

and the new plants are slated to return five units of energy for every one used

The #s are suspect and do NOT include the fertilizer, the pesticides, the fuel used to plant and harvest the corn. Or the fuel to get the workers to their plant.

Corn ethanol will have an overall EROEI of 1.3 to 1 till PROVEN other wise.

But take the half-way point. That is roughly 5000 litres...

I doubt the low end of their range, 1/5th of your chosen #.

Snake oil salesmen abound, and I am sure that your medicine shelf/closet/garage is FULL of cures for all that ails man or beast !

The average marginal cost of fossil crude is still well below $10 a barrel, and the average cost probably still below $20. There is room for a huge plunge in the price

W R O N G !!

And irrelevant as well. Unless we can cut world demand back to 42 million barrels/day, the median price of production is meaningless. Pricing is done on the margin, not the average.

BTW: I figure the average MARGINAL lifting cost (nothing for periodic workovers to keep production up, or adequate pipeline maintenance (see BP Alaska)) is above $20/barrel.

$10 billion would be better spent on high priority Urban Rail and electrifying our frieght railroads.


World oil consumption rose just 0.9 percent last year, according to EIA

BAD NEWS indeed :-((

World oil production (liquid stuff that comes out of a well) hit a high in May 2005 and has never reached that level since.

Flat demand and falling supply make for a VERY bad time; and we are STILL increasing demand :-(((

Falling demand ? Especially in the US ? Only in the next recession/depression !

Best Hopes for Reality,


See you at $90/barrel and then beyond


Check out the E3 website. They use cow dung and corn stalks to fire the plant, no natural gas....they include all inputs in the 5 to 1 calculation....it is a wonderful step forward...inside the plant, they claim 40-to-1 energy in-energy out....expect further betterments in an infant industry...

I like mass transit too, hope we have much more going forward....

jatropha? I still hold out high hopes, despite not planting it myself....if a mature crop like corn can obtain 40 percent higher yields in the last 20 years, then what will happen with jatropha, which has never been selectively bred? Depending on who you talk to, u get 1000 to 10,000 litres per acre...even towards low end, with selective breeding going forward, I see a future there...absorbs CO2 as well...not a bad idea....smart guys are looking at this...

the USA consumed less oil in 2006 than 2005, check out the EIA webiste, the world nearly flat...I would like bigger drops too, but it is going the right direction...the price signal works....

stay optimistic, my friend (my rabidity does not extend to my feral side, at least not yet). I believe in the inventiveness and creativity of my fellow man. We can easily move to radically decreased levels of fossil fuel consumption, worldwide, through PHEVs, biofuels, and I totally agree, much, much more mass transit....

The price signal is our friend, if what you believe is true, and oil prices march up....unfortunately, I expect a price dump, and we should think about heavy gasoline taxes going forward...time will tell which view of future oil supplies is the right one....

keep thinking about a better future, and how to get there....


For crying out loud, people have taken apart the E3 crap in front your very eyes multiple times yet you continue to throw it around as if it is real.

You are a real piece of work, sir. A genuine propaganda machine. There is no point in even replying to you any more when multiple answers that have debunked your bogus numbers go ignored by you.

Let me give you some advice, Ben baby! Go INVEST in E3! Go invest YOUR entire life savings! If it is as good as you say, why aren't you fully invested in it? If you're not, then you're a raving lunatic hypocrite.

While I disagree often with Dezakin, he is heavily into the nuclear side and "walks the walk". But you? You're a con man.

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

As far as i know, E3 is not a public company, nor do I have the sort of resources which would allow me a seat at the table, as a private investor. If E3 were to go public, and the IPO price didn't get wacky, I would consider it.....I know of no one who has debunked E3...even RR has written in his website it was the best of the ethanol plants...

But, fellas, as for investing, you guys are missing the boat, by a country mile, if you really, really believe you are right, dead certain and no questions asked (by the way, RR says he is not sure we will hit PO for another 10 years).

You can play options on the NYMEX. You will find many people there ready and willing to take your money, and you can buy call options, or the right to sell for a set price in the future.

Options above $90 are dirt cheap. For little money, I think now about $420, you can buy an option to sell 1000 barrels of crude at $95 in December. Other months and prices vary. In the above example, if oil hits, say $100 a barrel, you would make $5,000, minus expenses. That is a 10-fold increase in your investment, roughly speaking.

Obvously, you need only to be right twice in such a scheme in order to obtain a 100-fold increase in your investment (10x10), before taxes, but since the government is going to collapse soon, that won't matter. Just convert your winnings into gold or guns and ammo ASAP. Or buy a farm with its own water, and a lot of guns too.

Since you are so completely and without doubt certain right, why are you even writing in this "forum"? You should be mortgaging your home, pulling your children out of college, selling you cars for something cheaper, selling your own booty if you have to, and pouring the thousands you have raised into buying call options on the NYMEX.

Then when the rest of scrounge for leftover vegetables outside grocery stores, to cook with the neighbor's dog we just killed, you will have millions of dollars in gold or land, and lots of guns, and you can toss a few peanuts out of the car in my direction. I will be dumpster-diving by then. Maybe you will remember who gave you this sure-fire advice, and help me out.

Sorry, already invested in a selection of oil companies (E &P), North American natural gas, hydroelectric producers in several countries, and railroads in the US & Canada (moving those to Canada).

Best Hopes for Investment success,


Are you aware that T. Boone Pickens has made multiple billions in the last few years betting on peak oil? Are you aware that Richard Rainwater has also made substantial investments based upon peak oil?

I think I will take two proven performers in the market over your nonsense any day of the week.

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

Feeding the troll GZ. If not a troll then one who has zero ability to read previous posts. Part of our younger generations? All mouth ,,big hat, no cowhsit on boots.

Airdale-now another one will be on my backtrail


I meant Benjamin Cole, of course. Not you GZ.

Having just finished the excellent and well-reasoned The Upside of Down, it's extremely difficult to read the usual cornucopian crap that infests this site. Luckily, Homer-Dixon includes some suggested reasons why we continue to deny the obvious...you don't want to know the analogy he uses, it's not flattering.

40 to 1. Thank you Jesus! We are saved!

>Check out the E3 website. They use cow dung and corn stalks to fire the plant, no natural gas....they include all inputs in the 5 to 1 calculation....it is a wonderful step forward...inside the plant, they claim 40-to-1 energy in-energy out....expect further betterments in an infant industry...

They Sure do use Natural gas, and Diesel too! Natural gas is converted to fertializer to replace nitrogen and essential minerals that where transported to the furnance. Extra diesel fuel burned to harvest and transport the dung and stalks to the furnance.

>I expect a price dump, and we should think about heavy gasoline taxes going forward...

Great, more money for gov't subsidies and other Gov't pork spending that drives up inflation. That a great way to increase consumption as consumers spend every dollar they make in order to avoid losing money to inflation. Plus gas taxes do zitch for oil consumption overseas (eg China, India, etc). What ever we don't buy, someone else will because demand for oil exceeds supply.

Hi tech,

Some qs (really add up to one q):

re" "Great, more money for gov't subsidies and other Gov't pork spending that drives up inflation. That a great way to increase consumption as consumers spend every dollar they make in order to avoid losing money to inflation. Plus gas taxes do zitch for oil consumption overseas (eg China, India, etc). What ever we don't buy, someone else will because demand for oil exceeds supply."

From this I get (please correct me if I'm mistaken):

1) Higher gasoline taxes would not be a good idea because the tax would only be spent by the gov, thus not making any net gain in conservation - (money/energy just spent elsewhere).

2) Higher gasoline tax would only hurt consumers who are/would be already suffering from inflation, job loss and other problems.

3) If the US cuts back on consumption, it will be offset by increases on the part of other countries.

Do I have it?

Ok, so my question is:

1) Do you have any ideas for a national and/or international energy policy?

2) If so, could you please describe?

3) What if the tax collected was directed only toward things like: wind and solar, moving water energy usage to renewable sources, putting in bike paths, etc. (Any or all of these)...would this make any difference in your assessment?

(and just to say, I'm totally sincere. No sarconal, etc.) Thanks.

"national energy policy?"

You didn't ask me, but I'll butt in anyway. Here's my plan:
1) Have the U.S. post office place an order for thousands of Phoenix battery powered trucks (120 mile range, quick re-charge).
2) Have the IEA or some other policy wonks drive a few of these trucks to the next OPEC meeting in Vienna and park them right out front.
3) Go inside and have a frank conversation with OPEC about the long run.

...I nearly planted 80 acres of this plant in Thailand, but chickened out...

Somewhere between 1000 litres and 10,000 litres per acre are the expected yields of oil.

As someone who actually grows Jatropha in Thailand (local name is Sabu dum) I heartily congratulate you on your decision to back out. And it has nothing at all to do with the price of oil.

Some quick math using real yields gives me about 900 liters per acre. (Actual yield in a 1 meter rainfall per year tropical climate is about 2200 liters per hectare.)

There isn't much variability at all. Anyone who told you 10,000 liters per acre was flat out trying to steal your money.

I remain a rabid optimist.

Actually, gullible seems more appropriate than optimistic.

Growth never pays for itself. - Barlett

Forty years later those opposed to the Vietnam War are still fringe elements. Being right has no value in a dying empire.

A stopped clock is right twice a day. Being opposed to Vietnam did not make the rest of your fantasy nonsense correct then and it doesn't make you correct now.

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

Seems I got you a bit POed. Ordinarily that would have no value but we'll make an exception for this one. Pulling out factually incorrect stories about untermenschen to no purpose other than being a mean-spirited creep makes you special.

Is that more used dope smoke coming out your ignorant ears, old hippie? I (a) did not defend Christian culture involved in slavery, (b) did not deny it in any way, shape or form, (c) made no references to race whatsoever, and (d) simply pointed out that Islam is as dirty as any culture when it comes to slavery.

You don't like this and then call that racism? Your brain is fried worse than I thought.

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

WT, you say The only thing that is going to reduce energy consumption is people's physical inabilty to pay for it.

Ok, that's going to happen. So that will take care of the problem? But if so, then what is the problem?

The problem really is something else. The problem is that our society is structured so that it is not easy or feasible to take your advice. Individual solutions to the problem are not in any way going solve anything more than individual problems. The elite and the surviving sections of the middle class will go on as usual while those that can conserve and survive on less will do so and those and can't will increasingly suffer. I know that this is America and we are individualists and anything that starts with a 'c' is no good, but collective action is needed, and that means politics, and the goal has to be a reality-based gov't with some slight interest in the common good.

It's not the ELP isn't good advice and good policy -- it is. But it needs to be more than just individually implemented.

And that's the real tough nut to crack -- the political and social problem. Put all of the readers of TOD at a conference center for a week, and I have no doubt that we could come up with a good plan that works from a technological and economic perspective. But we are powerless to effect the changes that have to happen in the political and social realm - we're clueless as to how to even try.

The best I am hoping for is that events unfold slowly enough that society can somehow muddle through in spite of our dysfunctional political system and social institutions.

The time for politics is over. The time for a grassroots movement is likely over as well.

Then enter the time of the individual and his close knit group.

This in terms of the pioneers who settled this part of the country. The ones who fought the wilderness,subdued the land and fought for the freedoms we have. The Boones and Kentons and others. Individuals and those around them who hacked a life out of the wilderness,bearing their children as they went.

Those peoples descendants are rare yet somewhere deep in this nation are traces of it that still exist, if the welfare systems hasn't robbed them of all their strengths.

Able with a muzzleloading rifle to persevere. The indians wars not withstanding. Many lived with the indians and only fought when necessary. Most fought against the British.

I suggest googling about the battle of Kings Mountain, when a band of backwoodsmen fought the British and Tories on that mountain down in the hillls of North and South Carolina.

The first governor of Kentucky(Shelby) fought and led men in that battle. Ferguson was determined to dress the oak trees with hanged rebels. Instead the trees were dressed with tories and Ferguson was filled with lead as his horse drug him in a circle on Kings Mountain. The men faded back across the mountains and into the woodlands where their families and homestead lay. They faded out of history but played a major role in that history.

"Iran sees higher oil price, warns on supply" from the deputy director for international affairs of the National Iranian Oil Company.

Is this the first OPEC country to publicly admit that the oil supply may be peaking?

“In the most optimistic situation, in the future supply and demand will seriously get close to each other and we will not have any additional supply,” he said. “In the pessimistic situation, oil demand in winter will reach an amount which supply can not meet ... “

Isna also reported him as saying non-Opec production was disappointing but that Opec members did not have major additional reserves available to boost output, so consumers may have to have to use their own reserves.

Emphasis mine, from the linked article.

The emphasized section is about as blunt as could be put, and so far is the clearest, simple quote on the subject I've seen in a published source quoting an official.

Recently, I think the Kuwaitis said that their reserves were around 48 Billion barrels, this is much lower than they had previously claimed.

This probably means they are close to peak and can't produce their fair share of OPEC production any more (based on their previous, much greater, claims for reserves.)

So, if all the OPEC members are essentially at full production at current prices why would they need to be in a cartel any more?


This is an Iranian official admitting what most of us here at TOD already knew, that OPEC has peaked and all those "voluntary cuts" are just a phony explination as to why their production is going down.

You can expect no mention of it Monday on CNBC or Bloomberg. And there will be all around denials if it is brought up. But this is the first winds of the story that will eventually rock the world people. The story must come out sooner or later but it will likely come out peacemeal style with storys like this showing up more frequently as time goes on.

By September or October the world will know. If there are any investors, or market gamblers out there, sell your stock and buy oil futures. It is a lead pipe cinch that the market will crash and oil futures will go up.

The emphasized section is about as blunt as could be put, and so far is the clearest, simple quote on the subject I've seen in a published source quoting an official.

Well, there have been other blunt statements, one in particular that no one seemed to pay attention to was by an ARAMCO Senior Vice President, made about two years ago:

One challenge for the Saudis in achieving this objective is that their existing fields sustain 5 percent-12 percent annual "decline rates," (according to Aramco Senior Vice President Abdullah Saif, as reported in Petroleum Intelligence Weekly and the International Oil Daily) meaning that the country needs around 500,000-1 million bbl/d in new capacity each year just to compensate.
EIA Saudi Analysis

You must understand that old convictions die hard and even an Aramco Vice President admitting that they are in decline will not make many people believe it. You remember when it was leaked that Kuwait had less than half the proven reserves they claimed, a reporter on CNBC declared the report "ridiculous". However it has now been confirmed and no one in the media even mentions it anymore.

Hey, continuing life as we know it depends on OPEC having vast, vast reserves that they can draw upon when the rest of the world production starts to drop. So if you see reports telling you otherwise, pay no attention. The good life will go on and on with no serious problems. After all, it always has so why should we expect things to change? The life you are living is normal and normal will go on forever and ever.

Is that not correct????

Ron Patterson

Thanks for the additional link from the ARAMCO VP... but there is a problem with elaborate, involved explanations of technical subjects: most people won't listen or don't understand what is being said.

That is why I liked the quoted sentence from the Iranian official - it was really to the point. However, it is still written in proper English and was a reference to a quote.

Perhaps it will have to come down to the bumper sticker level to finally get out to the public... e.g., when ARAMCO prints a bumper sticker that says "WE AIN'T GOT IT" and gives it out at all gas stations, then people will believe it (except for those who suspect that those behind the JFK assassination are trying to overthrow the US by withholding oil....)

This is a voice of OPEC, confirming that:

1. Most members of OPEC are FLAT OUT - near max production, only rounding error numbers left for most (ie. 50KBPD) Only KSA claims more (and well, we suspect otherwise) capacity.

2. OECD reserve drawdown (~1MMBPD) is caused by OPECs failure to grow production.

3. This price point they say is good, is really a point to reallocate demand from poor countries (Africa) to the West/China/etc. to allow them to continue BAU for a while. Definitely defending the $60 point without effort or intervention.

4. Ace's bottom up analysis predicting a serious OIL SHOCK this fall - is probably right and confirmed by this comment.

The gasoline supply watch and price worries for this summer might only be a warm up for a very ugly perfect storm on the horizon (T minus 4 months?).

My guess is that OPEC is leaking the bad news out slowly without making a formal announcement. A preponderance of statements by deputy ministers and vice presidents of national oil companies will slowly bring awareness to the markets. A formal announcement would be a very bad thing for the markets, and probably the global economy as a whole. Growing awareness over the summer before TS really hits TF could allow some adjustments to prevent total collapse. Keeping the Masses in the Dark keeps them going to work, spending their money, and keeps the whole ball rolling for a little longer. Although good for those doing the manipulating, this is a very bad think for the masses who will hit the brick wall doing 60.

OPEC still seems to have headroom to ramp production if they really wanted. Just considering the rig counts, the US is still out-drilling the rest of the world combined, 1700 US rigs to 1200 ROW rigs. http://www.worldoil.com/INFOCENTER/STATISTICS_DETAIL.asp?Statfile=_int-r...

"OPEC still seems to have headroom to ramp production if they really wanted."



Also there is a big difference between drilling and finding anything, and most rigs are being used to try to MAINTAIN PRODUCTION in existing fields. Increasing rig counts are a sign of DECLINING PRODUCTION.

It totally amazes me how people can discount the facts no matter who is telling it to them if they don't like the message. But, go ahead and stay in denial. When all those in Denial hit the brick wall at top speed, there will be more left for the rest of us.

Kevin, a higher rig count doesn't guarantee higher production! Please read "UK oil production continues to decline" in today's Drumbeat:

The bank said that decline, which started in 2000, was continuing despite near-record investment in 2006. It suggested that [despite] increased drilling activity, the underlying long-term fall in production was "unlikely to be reversed."

This reminds me of WT's reminder that after 1970, despite higher prices and more drilling, Texas production declined continuously.

Errol in Miami

Kevin, Its more than drilling its finding large deposits and that isn't happening. Here is a link to TOD Canada on Nat gas. Read carefully as this seems to be the problem elsewhere too.
Actually, this is "the" most chilling post if you realize what declining gas means for N. America.

Scary stuff...


the neo-con press is still bashing carter 26 yrs after he left office. i wonder if this has anything to do with the recent exchange between jimmy cata and handlers of elbefuddleoso ?

Hello Elwoodelmore,

IMO, the newslink is just to help create the desired political conditioning for the postPeak era.

Let me explain: I am in favor of market pricing, but a brief, preplanned period of price controls, or rationing, sure does send a penetrating Peakoil Outreach message to the uniformed masses. As happened to me years ago: when you wait for hours in line to only partly fill your vehicle, then to have your gastank siphoned empty that night by a thief-- then the message is solidly driven home to everybody at once how essential radical conservation is required of everyone. Reaching for the bicycle will be a normal mindset reaction after the rationing period ends and prices skyrocket.

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

Carter is one a of a very few Presidents who had , and still has, a lot of international respect and affection. He has integrity and grace which have been sorely lacking in so many others. History will be far kinder to him than his immediate predcessors and followers. And those sweaters will become more fashionable; he was just ahead of the [downward sloping] curve. Bravo Jimmy.

No good deed goes unpunished.

The thing that bugged me about his recent criticism of the Bush administration was that he subsequently backpedaled. He has to know that what he says will be repeated and analyzed... don't say it if you are not willing to stand by it. I agreed with what he initially said, but then the media jumped all over his retreat. I think in these high political positions image is important and Jimmy never understood that.

Hello Petrosaurus,

I think this is a good time to repost Carter's famous Sweater Speech for any newbies or for those wanting to review the past energy warnings:


I sure wish the Democrats would re-televise this speech, then have their candidates go to full-on Peakoil Outreach. Oh well, that is just a delusional wishing on my part.

If we go to a politically achievable period of temporary rationing to promote Peakoil Outreach: I would like it to be done on a country-by-country basis with ever decreasing amounts, with the MSM talking it up bigtime beforehand so the unwashed masses would realize what is going to happen:

British level for two weeks: 10 gals/vehicle/week
Bangladeshi level for two weeks: 2 gals/vehicle/week
Zimbabwe level for two weeks: 1 cup/vehicle/week

I just picked these values out of thin air for illustration. I did not take the time to research actual per capita amounts. But I think with the MSM talking this up: the avg. US yahoo would quickly realize that we waste incredible amounts of fuel compared to other countries.

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

In 1976 I graduated from high school and went off to college.

I was optimistic about our country because we had elected a smart, well educated, informed, relatively principled leader to be our president.

I found Carter's handling of the energy crisis to be intelligent and even prophetic as he spelled out issues we would face over the next 30 years or so. Carter provided a careful, thoughtful, constructive way forward which would be a vital element in a strategy to ensure a soft landing.

Neocons were dealing with Iran illegally during the end of Carter's term and the election. We found out later that they were pushing for the Iranians to keep the hostages until after the election was over.

When Reagan was elected as President, I began to lose faith in the US political system. There has been little to encourage me since then.

I like the joke about Bill Clinton: he was the best Republican President the USA ever had.

I began to understand then that the American people were being shaped into the monstrosity we have become.

Read the work of Nancy Snow on propaganda, or read up on Edward Bernays, the father of public relations (google the name for wiki article and more) or of course read Noam Chomsky for analysis of how consent is carefully manufactured and sold to the American people.

The Empire is losing control and is desperate. Chalmers Johnson's books on the end of American democracy and the end of the American Empire are also very good.

The same folks who sell cigarettes and toothpaste now sell us a narrowing range of political choices and will soon marginalize domestic dissent by force as well as by opinion management through the media.

Ah, well. We tend our gardens sometimes and hope and work for the best in spite of all of this.

When Reagan was elected President, I was living overseas. It helped to soften the blow. Yes, this country has become increasinbly f***d up ever since. Bush, of course, is the low point.

In my naivete, during the 70s, I imagined a world in the 21st century where small would be beautiful, the automobile would be demoted to a small part of our transportation mix, and renewable, low polluting energy as our dominant source. Not!! The world has deteriorated beyond my wildest nightmares.

Yes, Rush is extreme with his mantra on growth. But all the politicians still talk up growth as the be all and end all of our raison d'etre. No one, with any political clout, can imagine a future without continued growth. Even Gore seems to believe we can have it all.

We must start with an approach of voluntary simplicity and go from there. Those tending the garden do not need oxycontin. A lot of good all those millions did Rush. The man will die a miserable death in a gutter somewhere.

I'm definitely with you guys and E.F. Schumaker ...

Small is beautiful ... too bad we can't see that.

US yahoo would quickly realize that we waste incredible amounts of fuel compared to other countries.

Seems to me the typical US yahoo, rather than realizing we waste incredible amounts of resources would conclude that God is on his (US's) side. And that's the way it should be.

As far as US is concerned, the federal government is toast. Useless. Destructive. Counterproductive. We'd be better off were the feds shut down beyond a maintenance role. Even Iraq - fund it or not it will end at about the same time in about the same way.

What will they do that's useful? Sue OPEC? Build a dozen Coal-to-liquid refineries?

This is all in Tainter. We're over the hump.

cfm in Gray, was-USA

I feel sorry for Carter, he really was a quite decent fellow who had the rotten luck of being President during one of the worst decades of US history. If Reagan had beaten Ford in the primaries and gone on to be elected in 1976, he might have been a one-term president and considered to be just as much a failure as Carter is considered now. It was an impossible job then, Carter did about as well as anyone could have.

I continue to believe that Carter's mistakes were solely in (a) trying to force the timing of the Iranian hostage rescue to better serve his own election chances and (b) in micromanaging the hostage rescue, which is often cited as one reason it failed.

If the hostages are rescued, even if a few months earlier, Carter does not lose to Reagan. A US Navy officer as president who rescued the hostages? No way. But after that blew up, he was seen as incompetent (even if that was not deserved).

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

Carter's mistake was that he didn't prosecute either Kissinger or Reagan for their open treason in the manipulation of the hostage crisis.
Either Greyzone wasn't alive then or his memory hole is in top operating condition.

Look, I was not only alive but involved in things about which I cannot discuss even to this day. As for using the hostage crisis, do you mean like the Democrats have used everything they can find from 9/11 forward against Bush? Bush is a jackass and so are the Dems but that is NOT treason. Read your constitution, if you are even able.

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

There is much about Carter that is heads above anyone else in modern times as POTUS.

But, it is my understanding, that while in office he was required to make the decision on which of two kinds of nuke tech would be used in this country.

His choice was to buy into the fear mongering in my view. As a result we have the baggage of spent nuclear fuel to deal with.

As a result, I feel his presidential efforts in aggregate were minimized.

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

I found a good web posting from a California entomologist refuting the disappearing bee nonsense that pops up on this site.


And don't worry...The Straight Dope also says it will be 40 or 60 years before we hit peak oil. And after that, the U.S. has thousands of years worth of uranium reserves.

Continue your happy motoring...

Ummm.... Leanan, not sure what you are objecting to in that P.O. article on T.S.D... if you read it carefully he is summarizing what the broad consensus is, that oil production will decline, and that some think it has already started.

IMO T.S.D. article is not an unreasonable first cut at the problem, even if many people here may want to add lots of detail.

I don't have any links but I think there is a lot of reputable evidence that indicates a statistically valid negative shift has occurred in the honeybee population.
My own personal experience indicates the bee population in my area is reduced this year over previous years also. I don't expect you to simply take my word for it,,but I do encourage you to continue to gather facts.


I have seen no bees in my mother's garden (she live in a suburban area near parks and ponds), nor have I seen any bees in my garden this year. NONE! The blossoms from my tomatoes, peppers and mellons are mostly falling to the ground, not pollinated. Looks like I might have a very small crop this year. Rainfall is not a problem as this area (St Louis, USA) is ahead of last year by a few inches.

Bees do not have some "magic secret" in pollinating plants. There is no reason that you can not go out and hand pollinate your vegetables.
Take a small soft artists brush and wiggle it in one flower and then the next and the next. You will be transfering pollen from plant to plant that way. Many people with green houses do this all the time to control how many flowers get pollinated to control how many fruits develop on each plant.

Worst case, get an artist's paintbrush and use it to hand pollinate your tomatoes and other garden vegs. Unless your garden is huge you can do this. It will also help illustrate how much we do depend upon the little critters!

Put yellow and black striped shirts on the millions of unemployed that are falling through the crack in the gov statistics and hand them a Q-tip.

You can also attract to your yard one of the other many pollinating bees that don't happen to make honey and therefore aren't usually cultivated. You can do this by giving them a home. Most other bees are non-hive and as a result non-aggressive, so safe to have around. Do the google for "mason bee house" Easy to build yourself out of a block of wood and a drill if you are in a hurry and don't want something that looks like a bird house...


If you really wish to help the bee situation then don't mow when they are feeding on clover in your yard. Wait til later when they retun to the hive. Its bad to mow damp grass anyway due to it clogging the deck.


Wow. Since everybody else is feeding the troll, I guess I will too.

I don't see the part of the article that "refutes" anything. I do see the last paragraph, which states "No one is certain what is going on" and that the author believes that this is a "problem with a potentially severe economic impact should it persist."

So his answers are no better than anyone else's.

Toronto Transit Promo Film

Produced for the APTA meeting there (this week ?)

A bit over 10 minutes long, it has some interesting shots of streetcar maintenance for those that like that. Most interesting is at the 8 minute mark where they discuss the 7 new light rail lines they will be adding.

Toronto is today a streetcar + subway city with little of the "in between" light rail. They could not afford more than one short subway extension, so they are building out a massive light rail system.

No mention was made of them taking traffic lanes that streetcars shared and converting them into streetcar only lanes to speed up the streetcars on congested streets. A move that I applaud and have been watching closely.

Best Hopes for TTC,


As interesting as Toronto's light rail proposal is there is one thing to remember. It is a proposal (or maybe "dream" is a better word). It has no funding (unless I've been asleep at the switch and have missed something), and nothing tangible will be done on it until there is.

I want it to happen, as I want many other such projects to happen through Canada and the US. But the Toronto one is a little bit premature.

Such capital projects need federal assistance, and look who's in charge at that level right now.

It is very difficult to get funding without a concrete plan.

My hat is off to TTC for coming up with an expensive but affordable plan that would "make a difference".

My remote POV is that these plans, if built out, would significantly increase the number of Torontians (SP ?) that can live without a car since most places in town would be easily accessible via transit. It also seems that bus use could decline as transit ridership climbed, thereby making TTC far less dependent upon oil.

Also a good way for Canada to work towards it's Kyoto obligations (which they are going to miss badly, but ...)

Best Hopes for TTC,


AlanfromBigEasy, it's Torontonians.

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

There was an article in the Economist a few weeks ago about the world's most livable cities. Vancouver was #1, and Toronto, Montreal and Calgary were also in the top 10. Australian cities all did very well, too. No US city was higher ranked than about 25 or so (and very few made the top 50 at all). Canadian & Australian cities really have their act together in so many ways compared to the trash heaps in which we Americans are content to live.

Iraq vets against the war hit the streets in Manhattan with mock Iraq patrol situations.


Looking at low-hanging energy conservation fruit for the U.S., one of the measures we might consider implementing nationally is raising the driving age to 18. This would kill a lot of birds with the same stone. 1. It would bring U.S. standards in line with western Europe and take some of our worst drivers off the roads. 2. It would mean that families could own fewer cars. 3. Less people driving would mean less gas consumed. 4. By encouraging teens to seek alternate transportation, they might develop less energy-intensive habits that would carry into adulthood. 5. Teens can't vote and don't have a lobby. Teen driving would be relatively easy to legislate out of existence.

Raising the driving age to 18 would not quite be in line with all of Europe. In the UK, you can get a provisional driving licence (in other words, allowed to drive under supervision) from age 16, and you are allowed to sit your driving test from age 17.

While it would, in the short term, solve the problem, I think it is storing up trouble for later, as it is yet another "enforced immaturity". At the moment, a 16 year old in the UK can: get married (with parental consent), but can't vote; can join the Armed Forces, but not go to war; can smoke, but not drink; can drive a car, but not on their own. Can leave school, but (not usually) get a credit card.

However, there are proposals from politicians (and also unilateral moves from Asda (the UK arm of Wal*Mart) ) to raise some the ages - smoking raised from 16 to 18; drinking raised from 18 to 21 (and Asda in some areas want it to be effectively 25!); school leaving raised from 16 to 18. These seem to be superficially "Good Things", except they have all been proposed by the very people who, back when they were 16, probably made use of them.

If young adults are not allowed to do anything, and have to be "kept" by their parents, this will not only build up resentment, but will also end up costing the parents more (the phrase "Life begins at 40" was probably because, at the time, the average family had grown up and left by the time the parents were 40. These days, though, the average age of people leaving the family home is already in the mid 30s, meaning that the parents will be in their 50s.)

This, perhaps, is part of the feeling that things are no longer getting better with each generation.

Although I have no problem with your proposal...

We might get more traction if we limited the size of the cars an inexperienced driver can operate. An example for new drivers might be: 4 cylinders, less than 2500 pounds or something. This type of restriction would move us all in a safer direction, and move the car fleet as well.

Just as a point of reference, all 2007 models of the Honda Civic have a curb weight in excess of 2500 pounds. Many households in our state, particularly in the rural areas, have only one vehicle and it's bigger than that; how do those teens get experience? Again in rural areas, such a restriction would be frequently ignored, as in "Johnny, put this equipment and lunch in the pickup and take it over to the section where Dad is working today."

Part of my job is working with state legislators to determine what kinds of numbers can be put in laws without disadvantaging significant chunks of the state's population. Many concepts which work well in the urban and suburban areas are completely impractical for the 25% of the population that lives and works in rural areas.

Interesting point. When I was a kid, my recollection was that in rural areas, kids could get a drivers license at 16, but the rest of us needed to wait until 18. That isn't to say you couldn't drive - you could get the learners permit, which allowed you to drive as long as someone else (perhaps a parent - don't remember) was with you.

I just had the conversation the other day about the drinking age and the age at which you can vote. In the 60's, the drinking age got dropped - the thinking was that if you were old enough to go to a place called Vietnam and die for your country, you ought to be old enough to have a beer.

I got my learner's permit at age 14 in Mississippi in 1964. I think one reason for that was that 14 year-olds often took tractors out on public roads for short distances ( I sure did : )


Errol in Miami

The US, with a different infrastructure than Europe, shouldn't raise the driving age to 18 as a first step. A prior need would be to create conditions under which teenagers don't need a car to get to their first job. (this was my experience in 1975 and outside major cities it is probably still true most everywhere else in the country)

But how would Barbie, like you know, get to see , like you know, Ken?

Like , you know, whatever.

I would propose a global ban for driving cars under age of 60. That should give us plenty of time. (I am 61 myself)

This article from Science Daily has spawned a couple of other articles that have been posted here, but the original has some stuff that the others didn't:

Earth's natural wealth: an audit

"I get excited every time I see a street cleaner," says Hazel Prichard. It's what they collect in their sacks that gets her juices flowing, because the grime and litter they sweep up off the streets is laced with traces of platinum, one of the world's rarest and most expensive metals. The catalytic converters that keep exhaust pollutants from cars, trucks and buses down to an acceptable level all use platinum, and over the years it is slowly but steadily lost through these vehicles' exhaust pipes. Prichard, a geologist at the University of Cardiff in the UK, reckons that tonnes of the stuff is being sprayed out onto the world's streets and highways every year, and she is hunting for places where it is concentrated enough to be worth recovering. One of her prime targets is the waste containers in road-sweeping machines.

This could prove lucrative, but Prichard is motivated by something far more significant than the chance of a quick buck. Platinum is a vital component not only of catalytic converters but also of fuel cells - and supplies are running out. It has been estimated that if all the 500 million vehicles in use today were re-equipped with fuel cells, operating losses would mean that all the world's sources of platinum would be exhausted within 15 years. Unlike with oil or diamonds, there is no synthetic alternative: platinum is a chemical element, and once we have used it all there is no way on earth of getting any more. What price then pollution-free cities?

(Hazel Prichard is not a kook.)

There's also this tidbit:

The Chinese government is supplementing its natural deposits of rare metals by investing in mineral mines in Africa and buying up high-tech scrap to extract metals that are key to its developing industries. The US now imports over 90 per cent of its so-called "rare earth" metals from China, according to the US Geological Survey. If China decided to cut off the supply, that would create a big risk of conflict, says Reller.

I'd also like to point out this post by Geonic, for those who might have missed it. He says he has 40 years of experience in mineral exploration, and while he doesn't think rare metals are actually all that rare, he does think that peak oil will make it much harder to extract them.

The reality [is] that PO will seriously inhibit large scale mining of all 'bulk' commodities and virtually all specialty metals. At least some part of the exploration/development/mining cycle is critically dependent on 'cheap' oil. Even in large coal open pits, where draglines and face shovels are electric, trucks and mobile plants use diesel - and a lot ot it. So 'geologically' things aren't too bad for most (or all?) non-fuel commodities, this will be irrelevant thanks to PO.

geonic Look at this for an example of anthromorphic geochemical concentration ' Exploitation of gold in sewage sludge etc' Journ of Geochemical Exploration vol65 no2 pg 141-153 (1999): the streetsweeper dust concentration PGE sounds quite feadible.

there was a homeless guy in denver a few years back who got arrested for collecting the gold that washed off the capitol dome every time it rained. part of the metalurgical homeless outlaw element.

I also posted your comment at PeakOil.com, and got this reply:

I've got 30 years of mining experience, and this guy is right on. When you look at any kind of resource extraction, the first thing you take into consideration is the overburden. You could have a one foot vein of solid gold, but if it is under 300 feet of solid granite it is absolutely worthless.

I know of incredible deposits of all kinds of minerals; they lie deep in the ground, and that is where they are going to stay. As oil gets more costly, deep will get closer and closer to the surface.

On a lighter note for the weekend;

15 Reasons Mister Rogers Was the Best Neighbor Ever


P.S. Lately when the ethanol issue comes up I have been very successful with this thought;

You plant a seed in the ground, a plant grows, you consume some of the harvest.

Next season you plant another seed in the same place, a smaller plant grows…

Next season the plant is a scrawny thing with poor or no yield.

And so on and so forth.

It’s very easy to counter and argument posed.
I know this sounds simplistic but most people can understand this concept instinctively.
I have had people come up to me much later and say they have had that thought stuck in their head ever since and it seems relevant to so many things for them.

re the agrichar article above...for the gardeners among us...that translates to 0.2 lbs charcoal/sq.ft of soil. we have sucessfully "built" an "oildrum" charcoal maker and made charcoal from cuttings (coppice and terra pretta combined!)

we are planting beans this weekend as a test plot using charcoal additions vs. no charcoal, and will report later on our results.

Move Over Exxon
The word on the street in the Hague is that a merger of Shell and BP is back on the cards.


However another option being discussed is the demerger of Shell's and BP's marketing arms, to separate them from the risky, dirty, exploration and production elements, to realise
'lost share holder value'.

With BP's TKN Russian woes following on from Shell's similar Sakhalin disenfranchisement and bad press from environmental, reserve and safety issues tarring the upstream element both options may appear timely.



Marriage made in Hell.

The cultural differences between Shell an BP, at all levels are enormous.

Ultimately, I would say:

Total - ENI - Repsol

Shell- Exxon


....Unless Gazprom gets in there first :-(

Back to the Future ?

A self propelled electric rail boxcar from Tulsa OK.


One could imagine a container instead of the boxcar for some models. Or a refrigerated unit, or a flatcar full of lumber, steel or bricks. Or ...

Note the rail coupler in front. These could be run in long mixed trains as well as solo.

Best Hopes for the Future,


Have you heard of/seen the VW Cargo Trams in Dresden?



It is, I think, more than a little ironic that its purpose is to transport parts for building cars.

Just a general comment we have to expect refining capacity to continue to increase over this year and next. Meanwhile we see no indication of any increase in crude production esp light sweet. So the big question is I think we will still be short refining capacity for the heavy sour crudes into next year and even the next. This means we probably will still have a technical glut of heavy sour crudes while the light sweet becomes increasingly more expensive.

So looking forward to next summer.
1.) Economic slowdown will finally become obvious in different countries leading to some drop in demand.
2.) Light sweet crude prices will increase and the crack spread will widen.
3.) Heavy sour crudes will increase but slowly this has more of a impact on KSA and other heavy sour producers since they won't be making the money the wish. So I expect KSA to continue to withhold heavy sour from the market. Note I do believe that have some heavy sour production shut in now.
4.) Gasoline prices will go through the roof with a mix of finished product shortages and the first indications of real problems with oil supplies for certain grades.

2009 will then be the year that enough heavy source refining is online and the crack spread will begin to close as we simply don't have enough light sweet at any price ?

I'm not sure how this plays out since you have two competing forces one is continued demand for light sweet and the second is enough complex refiners that they can play the crack spread and not pay high prices for light sweet.
So the question is really how the premium for light sweet plays out eventually I'd think most refiners will give up on light sweet ?

So 2008 should be a repeat run of 2007 but worse with real product shortages and stronger pressure on oil prices.
I don't see use getting into what I call pure oil shortages until 2009 simply because of lack or refining capacity for heavy sour. But we should see the benchmark light sweet prices increase significantly and a big crack spread between light sweet and heavy sour spurring continued strong investment in heavy sour refining capacity.

So the big race is between complex refineries and heavy sour production once we have enough complex refineries then we are in a the end stage peak oil condition where we finally cannot produce enough heavy sour to meet demand. The big question is when this occurs 2008 or 2009 ?
This of course leads back too understanding how much complex refining capacity is coming online next year.

Its interesting to note that the complex refiners face a prisoners dilemma the moment they have excess capacity the crack spread that give the profits needed to create this capacity narrows. This means that to me the race is on to get complex refineries completed and the fixed costs met as fast as possible since the last people converting will be the losers. So the big loser is a simple refiner that does not invest early in complex facilities and by the time they try the crack spread would have narrowed but light sweet is simply unavailable ? Its hard to figure out since the end of the light sweet/simple refining industry will be the issue through 2009 I think. Its not clear how it will play out except that arbitrage for heavy sour oils not indexed to light sweet prices will probably happen.

In any case the consumer will simply see gasoline prices continue to rise no matter how this plays out. Its more a issue that KSA could conceivably not produce at capacity for almost two years before they have to admit to peaking.
For us I think its critical to assess heavy sour refining capacity vs supply light sweet/simple is probably already into peak supply conditions.

Next for the US tight supplies will increase shipping costs which will increase the premium for importing gasoline which ..
So I think that in 2008 the US will see real shortages as countries simply refuse to export gasoline because of internal needs and the fact that the US will have to let the petro/dollar "unpeg" shooting dollar denominated oil prices through the roof and devaluing the dollar. This will force all the Asian countries to remove their defacto and real currency pegs. The world will react by moving either to the euro or a basket of currencies as the dollar nose dives.

So if you read this far I think we can expect a collapse of the dollar in 2008 if correct this is big as the death of the petrodollar forces the death of the dollar itself.

The trigger is unmet gasoline import demand in the US in 2008 this is sufficient to sink our whacked financial markets. The only choice the US has is to drastically increase interest rates killing the economy or to allow the dollar to devalue killing the US economy.

Enjoy reading your comments.

It seems the current price of US gasoline more accurately reflects the price of almost any crude benchmark (other than WTI) owing to a sort of worldwide determination of gasoline price lead by US demand. You point out that the availaibility of light sweet and the amount of worldwide capacity for refining heavy sour are driving crack spread and light sweet prices higher. There comes a day when light sweet becomes like Beluga caviar and all that will be sold is the synthetic soy based and cod roe equivalent of 'real oil'.

I really believe that this shift to heavy sour refining capacity and the near disappearance of light sweet crude will be done in the next few years as far as most exports are concerned. Light sweet will become so scarce and held so close that the crack spread for heavy sour today will simply become the norm due to export land restrictions and worldwide gasoline demand intensity. Those refiners who didn't convert in time will be those in export or contract countries who have a 'locked in' supply of the good stuff or the others who will simply be locked out.

With US consumers dependant on and bidding directly for gasoline from worldwide suppliers like the UK the price structure will increasingly be established by how much demand shortfall there is from the US refiners and how willing export refiners are to supply petrol away from closer customers. One thing currently working in 'our' favor is the preponderance of diesel powered vehcles in Europe but with the current trends toward private (gasoline) vehicle ownership in Russia, China, and elsewhere the demand writing is on the wall.

The telling comment from an Iranian official on the drumbeat today was ominous in regards the near term. It indicates to me that the crude oil market is inextorably headed into that supply tight 'danger zone' and that ,regardless of quality, supplies will only be forthcoming as the price ratchets up.

Presently the crack spread is a fortunate arrangement for US refineries (someone on the API conference call called it the 'salad days') and a poor one for the consumer. But as you posited it can certainly get worse. Relief comes when demand in the US slackens and that's only likley when the price escalates. I doubt the economic slowdown in the US will come soon enough to abate a big crude price increase worldwide or a further US lead gasoline price runup. I'll leave the dollar collapse scenario out for now but intuitively it seems right that US gasoline demand is as good 'trigger' candidate as any. Either way 'we' may as well get used to further high price or supply problems or both from here on out.

Yep not sure about the currency collapse but if you consider the petrodollar as sort of a peg for the US dollar the decoupling of the petroleum market from the dollar should be going like gangbusters by 2008-2009. So the US is facing a collapsing or at the minimum a very weak currency at the same time that the dollar price for gasoline imports will be rising for two reasons one is the dollar dropping relative to other currencies causing movement of the petro industry to other stable currencies or a basket. Next I simply think gasoline export potential is limited by the needs at home regardless of price so we are only going to import so much gasoline at some point. The recycling of petro dollars is I think a critical factor in keeping the US dollar afloat and once this stops it will play a big role in collapsing the dollar.

It just the US seems to rapidly be approaching the point that it will be screwed or at least the average US consumer.
If we make it through 2008 without major economic problems and rampant inflation of import prices I will be very surprised.

I think that a few of the top people are actually gaming for a collapse and absorption of Mexico and a whacked form of ELP with Mexican and newly poor Americans forming a new "slave labor" pool similar to what china or India has.
If you think about it globalization really means that every country will eventually have this pool of super cheap labor that stops wage increases. Peak oil acts as a forcing function on this "natural" condition although countries can opt to not move to this form. I cannot see American democracy surviving this transition when it happens. 2008 seems to be shaping up as the first trigger year with the probability of the conversion of America/Mexico and probably eventually Canada to some sort of Indian/Chinese like wealth distribution increasing every year.

The reasoning is simple. If the dollar drops by say 50% against the rest of the worlds currencies the wealthy who have not converted out of the dollar get a haircut but practically every American thats not in the top of the upper middle class is simply devastated. Two things happen the cost of imports skyrockets and the cost of fixed assets such as homes and buildings and land plummets as we simply no longer have any buyers for single family homes at any price.
The wealthy esp ones that have prudently moved out of dollar holdings can come in and basically buy America for pennies on the dollar. You probably will see some rules barring foreign investors to "protect America" during this pillaging. I think the Mexican deal will happen a bit later but soon after the collapse of the American middle class.

So even as the dollar is collapsing its local buying power for those that have them will probably actually increase like ten fold for fixed assets that cannot leave the country. And I'm sure the rich will be able to borrow as much as they wish to buy up property as we deal with massive defaults from most of the former middle class.

Note that the economic scenario technically does not require peak oil but the combination makes it almost invertible with the earliest trigger date 2008.

Considering that this is the last year of Bush and democracy will probably be suspended I feel the neo cons might not be able to pass up the opportunity unless they feel they will win the White House in 2008. Its possible to stave off this collapse for a short time say a year at most but its equally easy to ensure it happens since the underlying conditions will be in place starting in 2008.

Although I know this sounds crazy in a sense I don't really see any problems with the fact that if our current economic house of cards makes it into 2008 it cannot be collapsed at will from this point forward. Peak oil will eventually force it even without a nefarious conspiracy. But I cannot see that the powerful are not aligning to take advantage of this. For a few at least its the chance to make more money and control more resources/fixed goods like land then has ever been possible since the last depression since we will see I think we will see the biggest consolidation of wealth in the world ever.

Another solid analysis.

The Great Americam Fire Sale. Lot's of accumulation around here. And there'll sure be a great gaggle of bargain hunters.

Yeah it seems like trying to predict when a faultline is gonna slip. Predicting the moment not so easy but giving it a range may be a lock. Especially if you know the pressure is going supercritical within a certain timeframe.

If the import dependency was just one item. Just trade deficits, just national debt, just import gasoline demand,
or just the inflation/devaluation/foreclosure crisis but all of it together makes it a leadpipe cinch.

They've been playing Jimmy Carter where he virtualy jumps at the camera saying "the energy crisis is real". This energy vulnerability leaving us open to the loss of our Republic to some cartel or other.... maybe something he foresaw.

Right basically what we have is a number of crisis points opening up starting this fall several people have predicted a new peak oil induced price increase this fall which is unprecedented and marks the first of a series of crisis points.

One thing is if you do have the cash and want to risk it you might be able to pick up your dream retreat cheap in 2008-2009. My only suggestion would be to diversify out of US dollar denominated assets. In any case if you haven't ELP it might be worthwhile to hold off for a year if you don't have the finances or situation in place to ELP this year.

Worst case is if you have say 50k in assets you should be able to purchase a few acres with a mobile home or small framed house in 2008 fairly easily in a number of places.

I think its prudent to do two things now.

1.) Build as fast as you can enough cash to purchase at least a few acres and mobile home before 2008. Invest in Euros our pounds or something. Euros are probably the safest currency early on since the EU is best positioned at least initially to absorb higher gasoline prices. Not sure about gold but the key is probably to limit your exposure to the dollar.

2.) Be ready to make a move as soon as its obvious things are unwinding this means narrowing in on the area you want etc.

If you already have ELP'd then you probably should work on alternative electricity solar wind hydro etc if you don't have it already and get serious about gardening.

I don't think its time to freak out but its time to be very very prudent and have a real plan of action.

If your seriously deep in debt you may want to consider your options. If I'm right their will be so many bankruptcies soon that trying to hang on might simply not be worth it.
The point is getting out of debt and getting something you actually own is important and I don't think we have a lot of time left the outside range seems to be 2011-2012 at the latest. So if your in deep and your resolve your situation soon then you might be in good shape by 2011. Thats 4 years so if you started at zero now and lived frugally and say made 50k a year and saved 20k you would have 80k by then.
If you make less than 50k then you probably should focus on getting skilled in a profession that will be in demand.
This would be in agriculture/machinist oil industry.
I'd be careful of government jobs like fireman or school teacher they may not be lucrative.

Working towards a foreman position on a large corn or soybean farm is probably as safe as owning the farm itself.
You don't have to be rich and in fact in some ways your better off if you have good skill with agriculture and are mobile for example.

If your worried about peak oil and you work for Old Navy in the mall and are in debt up to your eyeballs you need to rethink what your doing.

I think if your concerned regardless of your situation if you start now you might make it into a decent position.
But its starting to get too late if you have zero plans.

Nice conversation you two, I find it interesting. These ideas are straight forward and make alot of sense.

I just wonder what the politicians will do they are the wild card. I sincerly wonder/worry about Bush, the man is PO aware I'm convinced but he seems disconnected.

I like your preperation lists but, and I hate the realization, having a sidearm and ammo might be mission critical. I do not see this going down easily. Just look at Katrina, this area has the highest rates of handgun purchases today. Desperate people do desperate things. I wouldn't want to be standing between your solar house complete with food/fuel and deperate peopel armed with a broomstick. If you have mentioned PO to people I doubt they are likely to forget (unfortunatley) WTSHTF, and who knows who they will tell. Or the Meth heads might get even more desperate. One of them killed an old lady in a robbery last year in town, and it wasn't necessary for the completion of the robery.

IF, IF PO/dieoff becomes mainstream I expect a free-for-all. It won't matter at all to anyone at that point. You need the capacity to defend yourself and should be a portion of your PO preperations IMHO.(and hope you never need to use it)

Unfortunately, here in the US we are all surrounded by fifty million Bubbas with guns. If any of these worse case scenarios come to pass, their guns and ammo will outnumber yours. Not to mention the US military, which won't simply go away. Worst case, there is no safe place, there is no survivability plan.

Best prepare for something short of worst case, and hope the worst case doesn't happen.

I'm a chemist if push comes to shove I can readily take care of the bubba's and their guns. The key is you have have to make yourself the least desirable place to attack. Thats best done without guns. Guns are probably the poorest defensive weapon available. If this is what people think is a good defensive strategy then I'm not worried.

One more thing I don't buy into the anarchist concepts of society collapse. We may have a lot of poor starving people and I'm sure some of the larger cities may have zones and even the whole city that becomes a anarchist nightmare but if your into ELP downtown LA is not a prudent place to be.

The US has plenty of military fire power to ensure military control of our country. Same I suspect with Europe. So any attempt by Bubba to run rampant with guns is likely to be put down quickly with collateral damage and I suspect that owning a gun will become cause for immediate execution.

In short outside of areas not worth controlling i.e LA I can't see America falling into anarchy. I can see it easily becoming a police state with ghettos that have effectively no law enforcement. Consider countries like Colombia they have far better armed opponents and although its a tough place its not an anarchist wet dream.

Heck even in Iraq you don't have the mayhem that people envision for the US. Heck Baghdad's per capita death rate is probably on par with the tougher areas of LA.

So Compton is at 43/96,000
Lets say is 50/100,000 per year.


Baghdad seems to be running about 100-185 per hundred thousand.
So its about 2-4 times as bad as Compton.

Now considering that you have the presence of American troops without the authority to take care of the situation.

This means the current situation is unstable and if you allowed someone to take control you would have the rate drop. I'd say in Baghdad the lack of a clear controlling power probably results in close to the highest small scale
warfare death rate you can have. And note you don't have near this number in outlying smaller towns.

I'm not saying its pretty I'm just trying to give some perspective on the maximum amount of violence possible with light arms. And again note it really drops off outside of the largest cities. Given a police/military force with shoot to kill orders I simply don't see its possible for any sort
of widespread anarchy.

NOt that you can't try to do what you claim Memmel, but tell us, can chemist control the wind, the rain, basically the atmosphere. What happens when you plan your attack and mother nature throws you a curve ball, and sends back to you what you threw at others.

Claiming superiority of weaponry is not going to win one single battle.

You need a delivery system for your "weapon" and its as prone to failure as any other.

Your kind of weapon system, generally, is not target specific and can kill targets not intended. Your kind of weapon system is generally banned by normal humans when trying to "battle" it out. Your suggestion that you have no qualms about using such a system imo is not a very good thing, at all.

Memmel says,

The US has plenty of military fire power to ensure military control of our country. Same I suspect with Europe. So any attempt by Bubba to run rampant with guns is likely to be put down quickly with collateral damage and I suspect that owning a gun will become cause for immediate execution.

?Are you serious, lets see, can I think of an example that proves you wrong, let me think, let me think, hmmm hmmm hmmm. Hey what about IRAQ. We have complete control over there with all our firepower don't we Memmel.

You also have to feed and provide those soldiers or police with money and housing and much more. You also seem to suggest that its a given that a US soldier will turn on its own populace no matter the politics of the "ruler".

lots of assumptions you make memmel, that you provide as fact. I generally see you do better than this line of discussion.

Quid Clarius Astris
Ubi Bene ibi patria

>Invest in Euros our pounds or something. Euros are probably the safest currency early on since the EU is best positioned at least initially to absorb higher gasoline prices. Not sure about gold but the key is probably to limit your exposure to the dollar.

IMHO, this is a bad idea. If the Dollar plummets, Europe and Britain will probably act to prevent capital from fleeing. The EU economy sells lots of stuff to the US, and would endure much higher unemployment without exports to the US. Lets also not forget about hedge funds and overseas junk bonds that could kick off a financial crisis that results in oversea bank closures. You may find it very difficult to repartriate your money during a financial crisis, when you need it the most! Remember that when the US entered the Great Depression during the 1930's so did Europe and much of the industrialized world. There probably isn't a safe haven!

In addition, when you repatriated your money back to the US you will pay capital gains. I believe some nations like England also charge overseas investors taxes on capital gains (so you would be double taxed!). My advice is to keep your money in the country you live in. While the costs for buying overseas good would double if the dollar falls 50% to overseas currency, the same is probably not true for domestic goods and services. For you to lose half of your buying power, we would need to experience a rise in 100% of domestic inflation (ie salaries and the price of domestic goods would have to double). Its likely that in a dollar crisis, US domestic goods and services would fall as unemployment rises and demand for goods and services fall.

>The point is getting out of debt and getting something you actually own is important and I don't think we have a lot of time left the outside range seems to be 2011-2012 at the latest. So if your in deep and your resolve your situation soon then you might be in good shape by 2011.

I don't believe there is that much time left:

1. The US is very likely headed for a recession this summer or by the fall. A recession reduces employment opportunities and wage growth.

2. Local, State and Fed taxes will need to rise soon. Medicare and SS entitlement payments are now rising faster than revenues. Outlays will rise and revenues will decline as more and more boomers will drop out of the workforce and start collecting SS and Medicare entitlements (a recession will also accelerate this as more boomers decide to retire at 62 then wait until 65 if they can't find a job). Because of the Housing boom, Local and State gov't expendures rose because of increased infrastructure costs (to support all those new homes and families moving in) and gov't employee salaries and benefits rose as the revenues from property taxes rose. If foreclosures rises, property taxes will fail and rising unemployment will cause higher outlays for unemployment benefits. This will lead to higher taxes.

>If your seriously deep in debt you may want to consider your options. If I'm right their will be so many bankruptcies soon that trying to hang on might simply not be worth it.

The bankruptcy law changes in (2004 or 2005) makes it very difficult to get out of debt. If you file for bankruptcy you will still owe most of the money and you'll probably be paying lots of legal fees too boot.

If your in debt, pay down the debt with the highest interest rates first. Try Negoating with Creditors to reduce interest rates. If they refuse look into moving your debt to another creditor with lower rates. Cut out all unecesary spending (no vacation travel, Eat at home, bag lunch, Cut out Preminum Cable TV, Use Window Fans instead of AC, Turn off lights, Computers, Applicances when not in use). You can also reduce or end your 401K contributions to paydown debt.

>If you make less than 50k then you probably should focus on getting skilled in a profession that will be in demand.

Even if you make $500K a year you should probably focus on getting a skill in a profession that will remain demand during a serious recession or depression.

Hi tech,

I just wrote some qs to you on another post.

I appreciate your points here, and also like to see the discussion continue. I hope memmel and other will respond, at some point.

I was wondering about the foreign currency idea.
re: "You may find it very difficult to repartriate your money during a financial crisis, when you need it the most! Remember that when the US entered the Great Depression during the 1930's so did Europe and much of the industrialized world."

1) Yes, well...are the "rules" of repatriation different for people with different categories of investment? (Probably, is my guess.)

2) I was wondering how it could be that any region would not share (perhaps different versions of) the same economic downturn. It seems unavoidable, is what you're saying?

3) My other qs were about your ideas, given the short time frame -- for international action? national, state energy policy? (And so forth.)

I have been thinking along similar lines, but think there are a few things to add to the mix that would seem to indicate a lengthening of the proposed time-line.

Note the gradual increase of private equity funds taking companies private recently. It is likely that we are looking at the boys on top exchanging dollars and stocks that will soon be worthless for hard assets that can be protected, by the military if need be. It has the added benefit of supporting the market by decreasing the available share pool while they quietly withdraw their remaining assets from other still public companies. The whole thing will leave big pension funds and mutual funds which are middle income and lower-upper income people holding the bag.

This has hardly begun and needs much more time to complete. Note also that there are still some big boys (Buffet, et al)pouring large dollars into public companies still, another indicator that we have more time than suspected since they will need time to complete future privatizations after they are positioned fully.

The MSM continue to moan about the 'Sub prime' mortgage problem when I don't believe that this explains the situation fully. This whole thing could be laid at Greenspans feet. He very well may have recognized the whole peak thing coming and decided, or was given instructions, to stimulate the economy to put us on a better footing for the next stage in the game.

Bankers being the greedy idiots they are have the nasty habit of encouraging borrowers to stretch to the absolute limit of their capacity on loans, thereby increasing the bankers profits. Real estate agents are cut from the same bolt of cloth so we end up with everyone going for all they are worth, on ARMs no less and other exotic loans, increasing even more the extent to which new home owners can impress their friends. Hard to say if Greenie foresaw this little detail or not.

Greenies cheap money did its job and he exited stage left, not wanting to have to deal with what we now have coming down the pike. I think he knew it's going to get ugly soon. Bernanke enters the stage and begins raising rates to apply the brakes to a slightly over-heated economy. We are now well recovered from the dotcom bust and ready to take on the world for the last of the oil, but some balance has to be achieved.

What triggers the first of the housing decline and the subsequent sub prime defaults is the oil price shocks, July/August 2005, although the media continue to conveniently ignore this.

All the touts that keep claiming it will be limited to the sup prime arena are probably going to be proven idiots this summer. Their are millions of loans held by people that would have qualified for standard loans but were talked into ARMs and the like during Greenies economy push in order to be able to get into a bigger McMansions. Hold this thought...

After watching the last few weeks unfold and washing the huge amount of MSM spew through the BS filter multiple times, I look forward to a probably much more sane and relaxed June. I hold out little hope for July and August however, sigh.

I hold it as gospel that almost every word any player says publicly at this point is a deliberate attempt to mislead.

That being taken as a given matter of strategy, I see little need for any further overall increase in refinery capacity expansion. I believe the last few weeks was at least partially caused by an emergency rush priority need to upgrade to handle heavier crude. The Saudis have been attempting for some time to push their heavy crudes on everyone, I think we have just seen the beginning of the real decline of Saudi light crude. They certainly aren't going to advertise it, but the possible signs are there.

We had a horrendous amount of refinery capacity off-line due to, ahem, problems during a mini-crunch period and were not able to build crude stocks at any where near what they should have built. That alone should speak volumes. Then to follow that with a week of a 2 million bbl draw-down. Yes, that alone does not a trend make, but it does not bode well for the next few weeks either.

It seems to be taking refineries longer to recover from problems than it used to, or is it just my aging memory playing tricks on me? If true, this would seem to be in line with the premise that refineries are prepping for heavier crudes. Barring hiccups we should start to see capacity come back on line, now with more of that capacity able to handle the heavier crudes. It just doesn't add up however, that the Saudis will be able to completely replace the decline in light crudes past August or so. The cliff appears to be here, witness Bush's public statements a little over a month ago and restatements only a few weeks later pushing up the timetable by 2 years into 2008. He looked downright stressed at this point. The chit would seem to be ready for insertion in the fan.

We may have the somewhat dubious distinction of having lived through the peak already with the first months of declining production showing up in the numbers very soon. Man, the numbers will be fudged for as long as possible, who will come clean first, lol?

Come the July/August time-frame demand will HAVE to be curbed somehow. It's so soon in the future there is only one way of course, price. Any bets on what that price will be? I haven't a clue. The Chinese tried to defend $75 crude last year and were successful for a while but it did eventually win through to $78. I would think $80 is in the cards easily this summer.

The sub prime loans are the most sensitive of course and were the first to start popping last time around. Bernanke himself has publicly stated that he doesn't think the housing slump is over. The next round of crude price rises will expose the border-line prime ARM holders that would have been in conventional loans in more reasonable houses had it not been for unscrupulous developers, banks and real estate companies pushing buyers to the limits.

The whole thing is pretty amazing since it does indeed seem obvious that this marginalization of the other-wise comfortable would have happened during this process. A side benefit of preparing us for the struggle, eh?

But you see this, preaching to the choir I guess, just the details that I really don't think there is any need for more refining capacity at this point at all. And that there is still a lot of maneuvering to be done to get assets out of the market to safe havens.

I've had some trouble deciding what the best safe havens will be. Gold isn't acting like it will be it. There just hasn't been enough price movement, yet anyway. It has not been seriously accumulated. Offshore havens? Where in the world would you feel safe parking money, in whatever form, that isn't going to be seriously at risk in the near future?

I actually think that the U.S. may be the safest place, whatever form the problems may take. Private ownership of hard assets is where it's at, be it refineries, shoe factories, distilleries, mines, railroads, etc.

The move has only just begun and is going to take more time to complete, so there must be some plan in place for oh, I'm thinking 4 to 5 years.

Wow, don't think I've read a novel this good in quite some time. Truth could indeed be stranger than fiction.

Or I've just become certifiable, rofl. Wow, is that my membership card in the mail?

> If the dollar drops by say 50% against the rest of the worlds currencies the wealthy who have not converted out of the dollar get a haircut but practically every American thats not in the top of the upper middle class is simply devastated.

If that happens it will kill globalism and the global economy. Globalization is dependant on the Petro-Dollar for growth. If the US dollar fell by 50%, imports to the US would fall by 50%. Overseas factories would idle raising unemployment. US exports would also go up as the US would be selling its exports at a huge "Half-Off Everything" Sale.

>The wealthy esp ones that have prudently moved out of dollar holdings can come in and basically buy America for pennies on the dollar. You probably will see some rules barring foreign investors to "protect America" during this pillaging.

More likely Overseas nations would need to prevent a flood of capital from leaving. If the Dollar crashed, The US Fed would raise interest rates to prevent further declines which would attract overseas capital. Business and consumers would buy assets (perhaps even homes) if the price was right. I recall a story in the FT that the ECB has a plan to freeze overseas capital in the event of a US currency crisis. If the US dollar collapsed EU exports to the US would fall, this would increase unemployement and the EU would need to hold on to its capital to retool its economy from one that is no longer dependant on US exports.

>I think the Mexican deal will happen a bit later but soon after the collapse of the American middle class.

I think the US is more concerned with a Mexican Collapse when it's oil production collapses (probably in 2009). IIRC, the Mexican gov't recieves 40% of its capital from Oil exports. I suspect the US-Mexican Wall and the detention camps in Texas is in preparation of a Mexican collapse. If Mexico collapses there would likely be a hord of Mexicans looking to relocate into the US.

>Note that the economic scenario technically does not require peak oil but the combination makes it almost invertible with the earliest trigger date 2008.

Well It looks like the US is already headed for a Recession this summer or by the fall. The April jobs report stated only a meger 88K jobs were created, but if you remove the seasonal/birth death models, ther was a loss over 200K jobs. The April Household servey stated about 500K jobs lost.

Home sales are way off, and home prices nationally are falling. This is reducing jobs (less construction, financial, real estate, consumer household goods), and home owners are no longer able to extract equity cash from their homes (because home prices are no longer rising). The US bond market has been inverted for over a year now and usually within 18 months, the US economy falls into recession. Revolving Credit (aka Credit Cards) is on the rise as more people are meeting ends using debt (higher energy costs, fewer working hours per week).

If the US does slide into a recession soon it buys politicians and OPEC time. Demand for Oil and gas will fall and OPEC can tout, that "demand really was falling, we were right all along not to increase oil supplies!". Politicians will stop debating energy prices, ethanol and CO2 emissions as the average voter want to hear their representatives talk about how they will get back to the good times. The best thing that can happen (in terms of energy supplies is a recession).

memmel, it makes sense to predict the building of more refinery capacity that can handle heavy crudes with a greater proportion of gasoline output. However, isn't it true that running a coker to crack heavy into lighter products requires the input of natural gas as a hydrogen source? Wouldn't this bring in the natural gas supply as another problematic variable. In other words, we have a projected nat. gas problem now, with even more demand from refineries cracking heavy crude, the nat. gas problem would accelerate. Am I barking up the wrong tree here?

JFK Pipeline plot designed to cause psychological economic damage to America

A 'plot' to attack pipelines, (possibly trucks and fuel depots) supplying JFK was apparently disrupted today. Targeting oil and fuel a sobering prospect for our complex infrastructure. One more reason ELP makes sense.

I thought I would take a look at current crude futures, after reading http://www.theoildrum.com/story/2006/3/23/31547/4509

What it means, I'm not entirely sure!

RE: "UK oil production still falling". I queried a few days ago whether the coming on-stream of the Buzzard field had managed to halt the 9-10% annual decline rate - it had been expected it would do so, though for only one year. It looks like it hasn't.

In the linked story is the quote "(the Royal Bank of Scotland) report suggested that crude oil prices could be expected to moderate to the mid-50 dollars per barrel rate as the global market is moving toward excess capacity." Pardon? Although the story also points out that in January the same people expected oil to continue falling from its winter low of $50 to $45 and stay there, so like some other cornucopian oil prediction bodies, they don't have a great track record.

Buzzard is a piss-ant little field.

RBS routinely gets it wrong. - They must specialise in getting UKCS production estimates wrong as a matter of honour. For the last five years, they have ascribed 'shortfalls' in production to weather , workovers, tax, weather, maintenance, weather...

Apparently they reckon Scotland is good for another 38 billion barrels...

Operative word? - Clueless.

Nice suits though. Got a lot of MBA's in the RBS.

The CNN special is running right now - earlier in the week I was unsure as to whether this was the same program that they ran last year.

It started out the same - same hypothetical scenario, so I left it on in the background while I was reading something else. But then I noticed that it was somehow different - almost like a re-edit of the original program.

So far the major difference that I have noticed is that they are far more critical of ethanol than they were the last time around. Even cellulosic ethanol isn't painted as a panacea.

Last year's program just gushed about ethanol, and wanted to know why we couldn't do it here.

I have the whole thing on DVR - once it is done recording, I may have to go back and review to see what else they might have changed.

Yep I had it in the background too and noticed Frank Sesno talking to the GM guy about how the automakers were toast if gas went to $6. Been updated. Gonna have to pay attention when it runs again in an hour and a half.

A few things I noticed that were different. Most of the differences were after the 30 minute mark.

They interviewed the woman who talked about how ethanol from corn was oversold. She even implied that ethanol from any form of biomass isn't sufficient - at least that's how I interpreted what she was saying, but they just put that out there and didn't go anywhere with it.

They mentioned how increased demand for corn was increasing food prices.

The segment involving Branson was new as well. Branson is also pushing ethanol, but he is concerned with the aviation industry (due to Virgin Air), and I don't know of any plans for a plug-in jet :-).

They spliced in comments from Simmons in a few more places, and started to talk about an overall decline in oil production. The thing that is interesting is that they didn't really pursue it - almost like they wanted to toss out the idea just so that people get comfortable with the concept, but they weren't ready to take the next step.

They talked about plug-in hybrids and showed the Volt. Lutz came across like a complete moron - he said he could make all the flex-fuel cars, and that the oil companies need to step up and make more ethanol, and put in more ethanol pumps.

If gas goes to 6$/gallon, some automakers (Toyota?) will be lightly toasted, and others like GM will be burnt to a crisp.

I would still like it if they dispensed with that hypothetical scenario. I guess they figure that this draws people in, but in my mind it is time wasted that they could talk about other things. Maybe they didn't have enough new film in the can that they could get rid of it completely.

In the end what struck me as odd is the number of points that were just tossed out there that they just left hanging and that where they weren't quite willing to take the next logical steps. I suppose there could be some amount of denial on the part of Sesno - that he isn't ready to take that step himself, or that he thinks the audience isn't ready to hear those ideas.

Somewhere I think I have the old program lying around. Maybe tomorrow I will dig it out..

Just watched it myself.

Definitely the new segment on corn ethanol efficiency is negative. Still have the IOGEN and Brazil stuff, so jumps around.

Branson seems to fencesitting between PO and GW, and a little frightened...and looks like crap. Late nites worrying???

I agree, this 'special' just seems to be another MSM plant the seed type of thing, but they aren't ready to address the real problem...yet.

So, I finish watching, then flip end up on a Futurama episode - where bender gets cut up by the can opener - anyways in the first few minutes the Professor says there is NO MORE PETROLEUM as the RESERVES WERE EXHAUSTED IN 2038. Not a bad estimate, and an uncanny coincidence after watching the CNN special.

Yeah, Branson did look kind of rough. He went on and on about how poor the leadership is that we have - OK, no argument there. But they never explored what it is that this leadership ought to be doing.

They did mention Iogen, but said that cellulosic was still in research and years off.

We may be witnessing Sesno's journey into the hellhole of Peak Oil. I know when I first heard about it, my immediate reaction was that with conservation and biofuels we ought to be able to take care of things. It isn't until you run the numbers that it becomes clearer what might work and what is a waste of time.

Yeah no plug-in jet. LOL
Looking for that Boeing biodiesel.

Yes the woman with the counter argument on ethanol was new. She also talked about CAFE and an easy 20% reduction in fuel use. Presumably conservation.

Like you said so much left hanging. No leadership, expensive technofixes, vague biofuels verdict.

It would be more honest if Frank just came out and said we have painted ourselves into an energy corner. Even if we have great leaders and we do everything right most of us are drastically changing our lifestyle in the next few years. There are no solutions there is only ELP. Downsize, contract, and prioritize your needs now.

Be so refreshing. Tough to get a sponsor.

Interesting. That was the thing that bugged me the most about the original version: it hailed ethanol as our savior.

It really highlights how the thinking about ethanol has changed.

Can someone make a torrent of the new version? It doesn't seem to re-airing any time soon.

Welcome back Leanan - hope you had a great holiday!