DrumBeat: June 7, 2007

Chris Skrebowski on spare global petroleum capacity (podcast)

Chris Skrebowski, editor of the UK Petroleum Review, talks with GPM's Julian Darley about the latest spare capacity estimates for the Middle East and the world.

Oil hits $67 after Turkish raid

Oil prices rose to $67 a barrel Thursday after a raid by Turkish troops into northern Iraq revived worries over exports from the Middle East, which pumps a quarter of the world's oil.

Data showing U.S. refiners were struggling to boost summer fuel production and Cyclone Gonu's disruption of Omani oil and gas exports lent additional support to the market.

Al-Qaeda spark for an Iran-US fire

After revelations of a US administration policy to hold Iran responsible for any al-Qaeda attack on the United States that could be portrayed as planned on Iranian soil, former national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski warned last week that Washington might use such an incident as a pretext to bomb Iran.

The Death of Conventional Oil

Remember the good old days when oil was $50 a barrel? I know that was only a few months ago--but just wait a few years from now when you're wishing the price for a barrel of sweet crude was below $100. The reality is that peak oil is a lot closer than you think.

Australia: Pressure grows on petrol companies

Petrol companies have been warned by Prime Minister John Howard he will give the competition watchdog whatever powers it needs to investigate price gouging at the bowser.

Gas prices hinder retail rebound

Sales were mixed overall as the chain stores struggled with tougher comparisons from a year ago and consumers found themselves shelling out a lot more at the gas pump.

On Broadway, trucks shake while residents steam

Rising costs for petroleum-based repaving materials have delayed many state road projects, including work on Broadway, Gailey said. The project was pushed back to 2010, Gailey reported at a recent South Porland City Council meeting.

Noble and BP Make Discovery at Isabela Prospect

Noble Energy has made a discovery on Mississippi Canyon Block 562 (Isabela Prospect) in the Gulf of Mexico, located approximately 150 miles southeast of New Orleans in 6,500 feet of water.

House GOP Plans Amendments to Counter Rahall Energy Bill

U.S. House Republicans are preparing a flurry of amendments to counter provisions in an energy bill critics say would stunt domestic oil and gas production, aides close to the matter said.

The raft of amendments principally seek to foil Natural Resources Committee Chairman Nick Rahall's, D-W.Va., provisions to repeal 2005 Energy Policy Act laws designed to accelerate oil and gas production. The bill is scheduled for markup Wednesday in the Natural Resources Committee.

Bluster on the Hill

Today's gas prices stem from high demand and low supply, not price gouging. If Congress really wanted to lower gasoline prices, it would act to reverse our current supply-demand equation.

Another Inconvenient Truth

The point I am making is that even if we were to discover a world-class oil field today, the supply from that will probably not reach the market for another decade and we will need to find many oil fields to feed the rapidly rising global demand. To complicate matters further, over the coming years, it is expected that more and more existing oil fields will enter a decline. So, rather than adding to the global supply in any meaningful manner, additional supplies from new fields may only just about compensate for the decline in the older fields. This is a sobering thought often overlooked by many oil-analysts and economists.

Food prices skyrocket

"What we've done with the usage of biofuels, based on corn, is link our food prices to energy prices," said Michael Swanson, an agricultural economist for Wells Fargo, one of the nation's largest commercial agricultural lenders. "Agriculture is one of the most intense users of energy. And now you can either sell corn for feeding animals or for fueling vehicles."

Russia's nuclear power company finds business is good - in Iran and elsewhere

The Russian nuclear power company, Atomstroyexport, has been roundly criticized for helping Iran build its nuclear program. But that project, along with the company's mouthful of a name, is not hurting its business prospects.

Fertilizing oceans to save the planet

What if you could save the planet from global warming -- and reap vast financial rewards -- by dumping iron filings off the side of a ship? That's the tantalizing promise offered by a handful of companies that are trying to turn the cultivation of ocean-based algae into billion-dollar businesses.

Profiting From Climate Change: Ignore Gore the Bore, Build A ‘Floatel’

Who’s to say that rising sea levels are a bad thing? The coast line isn’t really gone. It just moves further inland, raising somebody else’s property values.

G8 agrees "substantial" emissions cuts

German Chancellor and Group of Eight host Angela Merkel said Thursday that G-8 leaders agreed on a plan calling for "substantial cuts" to greenhouse gas emissions.

The leaders failed to overcome U.S. resistance to committing to specific numerical targets to curb global warming, but did refer to the European Union goal of cutting emissions by 50 percent by 2050.

Climate Change Battle Could Spell New Disasters

On energy supply, a focus on small-scale distribution is the answer to fighting climate change and poverty both at once, say non-governmental and UN organisations.

Brazil: Biofuel Gold Rush Continues

President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva's call for Brazil to become a “green Saudi Arabia” over the next few years has investors giddy and environmental and workers organizations panicked.

OPEC Official Looks West for Investment

In an unusual admission, OPEC's new secretary-general said oil-producing countries may have to attract more foreign investment to meet world oil needs. But his call is at odds with the rising barriers faced by Western oil companies hoping to tap the cartel's vast reserves.

Columbus is Dead #3: The Imminent Threat

The Neocons know that with the end of the age of cheap oil there comes an end to this age of general affluence with its common conveniences. The trucks and trains which ship everything to our stores’ shelves will stop rolling so frequently. Things about our society that many of us take for granted will seize-up, as food and other basic stuffs are no longer readily available to most people.

Neocons are counting on this to be the case. There’ll be a general deployment of their private corporate armies to put down any potential movements by people towards practical local autonomy.

The Way It Is: The Era of Energy Trades War for Comfort

The noise is sharp, ominous and growing louder. It is not the deep roll of thunder; it is almost like the snapping of dry sticks. That sound is, in fact, the sound of thin ice cracking, and when it comes to our nation’s energy policy, we’ve been skating on thin ice for along time.

Russian Oil Pipeline Shutoff to Lithuania: Wider Ramifications

Moscow’s closure of the oil pipeline to Lithuania in July 2006 “looked, sounded, and felt” (see EDM, August 3, 18, 2006) like political and economic retaliation against the privatization of Lithuania’s Mazeikiai refinery by Poland’s PKN Orlen, which had prevented a Russian takeover The Russian government cited the need for “emergency repairs” on the Russian stretch of that line, a northbound spur from the westbound Druzhba pipeline. However, Russia failed to carry out any repairs ever since and ignored Lithuania’s and the European Union’s requests for information.

Peace is greatest crop of them all

In the grounds of a 10-acre community garden that is virtually unknown to the rail commuters and residents who pass it every day, an ecological revolution has begun to bloom.

Post-Petroleum Gardening

I came across a great book that's had me thinking a lot about why we garden. In my case, I don't garden because I have to. I do it because it's rather magical -- and much cheaper than therapy. But considering the impending peak oil phenomenon, gardening simply for the sake of gardening really is something of a luxury. Someday -- maybe someday soon -- growing a lot of our own food may well be a necessity.

Nigerian president calls for addressing power shortage situation

Nigeria's President Umaru Yar'Adua said his administration will take measures to handle power shortage problem across the country.

In a meeting with key stakeholders in the power sector, he said the country is bedeviled by crippling energy crisis, with power outages more regular than supplies.

Energy crisis threatens manufacturing growth

The government Wednesday expressed concern over the lingering energy shortage and termed it as a potential threat to the country’s economic growth, especially of large-scale manufacturing (LSM), which followed 8.8 percent growth this year against the set target of 13 percent.

Jahangir Khan Tareen, the Federal Minister for Industries, Production and Special Initiatives while talking to reporters blamed the energy shortage (gas and electricity) as the sole reason for decline in large-scale manufacturing.

'Green power' could help solve many problems

Outsourcing, global warming and terrorism are very different problems, but "green power" could wean the West and the developing world off cheap oil and its accompanying problems, New York Times Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Thomas L. Friedman said Wednesday.

Cambodia's Oil Prospects Uncertain - PM

Prime Minister Hun Sen said Cambodia's petroleum prospects are uncertain, going back on earlier comments that his country could begin tapping its oil reserves by 2010.

"Oil under the sea is still a dream. It is better to think of how to keep the current economy growing," he said in a speech broadcast on national radio.

Shell Confident Nigerian Production Will Return by Year-end

Royal Dutch Shell has high hopes for Nigerian oil production following a seemingly democratic presidential election two months ago, said a company official.

The Peak Oil Crisis: Twin problems

Someday soon, the poor countries of the world will be importing so little oil that increasing demand will leave only the rich bidding against the richer, prices will move up again and still fewer will be sharing in the last years of the oil age.

This situation could change for the worse, even before the end of the year, as knowledgeable observers are starting to issue stronger warnings. This week at an energy summit, Guy Caruso, the head of the EIA, called on OPEC to increase production immediately; otherwise the world faces higher prices and shortages due to increasing demand. The normally optimistic Caruso noted that with potential outages from Nigeria, Venezuela and Iraq, there are few reasons to think global oil prices will fall anytime soon. "Most of the price risk is on the upside."

Your World-Saving, Bill-Cutting Home Starts Here

27,022 kilowatt-hours. That's how much energy the average U.S. home uses in a year. Scroll around above to see where it all goes, then click through for tips and projects (also listed below). This diagram, based on data from the Department of Energy, can help homeowners spot the best ways to boost efficiency. The numbers may surprise you. Refrigerators and air conditioners tend to be the villains in an electric bill, but they don’t dominate total energy usage. Why? The big picture includes not just electricity, but also fuel for heating, which is the typical home’s true energy hog.

On the other hand, the spread of widescreen TVs, iPod chargers and other electronics is boosting electricity usage. That carries a hidden cost: Power plants consume about 3.3 kilowatt-hours’ worth of fuel for every 1 kwh that reaches a home outlet. The rest of the energy is lost along the way. That plasma TV that eats 166 kwh per year? It accounts for nearly 550 kwh of energy generation at the plant.

Coal Futures: Will this energy standby truly last for centuries—or just decades?

With the price of gasoline so volatile of late, it is not hard to accept the argument that the world may be entering the period of "peak oil," a time in which the extraction of oil from the ground becomes limited by geological constraints on the amount globally available. Resource analysts differ in their assessments. Some believe the peak in oil production from conventional sources (which is to say, easily exploited ones) has already arrived. Others project that this key turning point may not come for another decade or more.

But one thing is for sure: The notion of peak oil has been on lots of people's minds. Books and Web sites are full of the topic. Now a new study from a European organization called the Energy Watch Group proposes another daunting prospect: that the world might soon have to grapple with a peak in the production of coal, too.

Oil Is Not Well

Who are the major producers of oil in the world? The unsettling answer is Saudi Arabia and Russia. They produce about 9 million barrels of oil a day. And who are the world's major producers of natural gas. Again the answer is unsettling, Iran and Russia. There are students of geopolitics with a special knowledge of energy resources who worry about this. One, the economist Philip K. Verleger, Jr., believes that with regard to Russia and its energy reserves, we are in the second round of the Cold War.

Japan Gas Row; Co-Development an Option

The relatively small size of gas reserves under the East China Sea disputed by China and Japan, and the failure to make progress in the row so far, show just how much both sides feel they need to get their hands on the gas even if the political cost is high.

How much gas and other hydrocarbons lie under the disputed waters, and surrounding areas, is an open question.

China Recovers Natural Gas Hydrate from South China Sea

China has successfuly recovered samples of natural gas hydrate, otherwise known as "flammable ice," from the South China Sea, the Ministry of Land and Resources said.

Centuries of oil left in Alberta

Alberta's massive oilsands make the province second only to Saudi Arabia in reserves, the Alberta Energy and Utilities Board said yesterday.

With reserves of 173-billion barrels of bitumen and 1.6-billion barrels of crude, the province will keep pumping out oil for the next 378 years at current production levels, the AEUB said.

‘Nigeria Loses $2.5bn to Gas Flaring’

An environmental expert, Prof. Oladele Osinbajo has declared that the nation loses an average of $1.73billion and $2.43billion annually from flaring of associated gas.

Osinbajo, the Director of Basel Convention Regional for Africa for Training & Technology Transfer in Hazardous Waste Management of the University of Ibadan , quoting the World Bank, stated that the nation holds the world record for gas flaring.

Shell spends N381bn to tackle gas flaring

Shell says it has spent a total of $3-billion (N381-billion) in tackling the problem of gas flaring in the Niger Delta as the 2008 deadline given by the Federal Government draws near.

London cops check fuel tankers for bombs

Gasoline tankers and chemical trucks entering London are being stopped at roadblocks to check for bombs, police revealed Wednesday, but officers said the operation is not in response to any indication of a specific plot.

Bush calls for calm in missile dispute with Russia

President George W. Bush on Thursday urged Russia not to "hyperventilate" over US plans for a missile defence shield as leaders of the world's wealthy nations struggled to reach a deal on combating climate change.

Climate change wreaks havoc on Asian water resources

Asia is expected to face a serious shortage of fresh water due to climate change, with more than one billion people forecast to be hit by the crisis, a US State Department report warned Wednesday.

Melting glaciers in the Himalayas -- which contain the largest store of water outside the polar ice caps, and feed seven great Asian rivers -- may lead to increased flooding in the short term and reduced water supply in the long term, the report said.

A note on the tar sands story:

I just find it remarkable that half-truths never die. In fact, they have more lives than cats.

"Alberta has more reserves than Iran and Lybia [sic] combined," spokesman Bob Curran said. "So when we're asked how sustainable is oil in Alberta, the message is the supply is going to be there."

"We'll get back to you about flow rates."

I agree.

With reserves of 173-billion barrels of bitumen and 1.6-billion barrels of crude, the province will keep pumping out oil for the next 378 years at current production levels, the AEUB said.

At current rates of consumption, from nuclear + fossil fuel sources, the world consumes the energy equivalent of 173 Gb of oil--14 Prudhoe Bay Fields--about every 2.4 years.

Based on Deffeyes' HL plot, which accurately predicted the decline in world crude oil production relative to 5/05 (EIA crude + condensate), the world will consume 10% of remaining conventional crude oil reserves during George Bush's second term.

By the way, I wonder what will happen to domestic Canadian oil consumption in the years ahead, especially as their natural gas production depletes? Perhaps that might have a slightly negative impact on their net oil exports?

Which is why any investment in the tar sands must be matched to an investment in a uranium mining company. Now that things are heating up again between the US and Russia, what are the prospects that Russia continues to sell us their nuclear warheads for conversion into fuel rods?

My pessimism about how we are going to solve all of these problems is nearly matched by my optimism about my investments.

What if Russia can’t keep the pipeline full?



By Vladimir Socor

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

While seemingly unassailable legally, Moscow’s stance seems to bear out the recent forecast of Moscow-based, Russia-friendly energy and finance specialist Eric Kraus: “Russia would have no need to shower the West with nuclear missiles to create Armageddon. A simple announcement that the Transneft export pipeline would be shut down for ‘emergency repairs,’ but would be working again, soon, sometime, hopefully, [such an announcement] would send oil prices spiraling above $200 [per barrel], creating financial chaos. Yes, this is politique fiction, but it is meant to underscore the simple fact that the West shall be forced to seek an accommodation with Russia” (Truth and Beauty and Russian Finance, nikitskyfund.com, Johnson’s Russia List # 125, June 3).

BTW, Brent is currently within 2% of its post-5/05 monthly high of $74.

When goods and services flow across borders, armies don't. When goods and services don't flow across borders, armies soon will. Glastnost had a lot more to do with the North Sea and Prudhoe Bay coming online and with the jump in Saudi production than with any aging B-movie star's saber rattling.

olepossum, you mean you don't think Reagan was the prince of peace promised in the Bible?

If anyone should be credited with causing the Russian downfall by overproduction, it should be the Saud family. My personal theory, it was MTV. Once the Russians could get half-naked girls wearing nice shoes, Communism was finished. Russian women want nice shoes too!

Why shouldn’t Russia feel beleagured?


Russia’s belligerence is hardly surprising
Anatole Kaletsky 7/7/7

Know your enemy – a phrase coined by Sun Tzu, the Chinese military strategist, 2,000 years ago – is even more critical in diplomacy than it is in warfare. As the leaders of the world’s most powerful nations gathered in Germany last night for the annual G8 summit, the identity of the enemy was pretty clear.
He was not, as might have been expected, George W. Bush. Nobody can be bothered to talk to the White House any longer about Iraq and Iran, while on climate change Washington has successfully created a diversion and thwarted the German and British desire to make this the summit’s central issue. Best of all, an alternative villain has suddenly upstaged the hapless President Bush. Enter Vladimir Putin, the new global enemy No 1.

If the Zionist-Neocons didn't like Iran demanding payment in Euro's they really are going to hate what this one could develop into. :-)


President Vladimir Putin said in his state of the nation address last year that Russia, as a leading oil exporting nation, should set up domestic markets to trade crude oil and derivatives in the national currency, the ruble.

It doesn't seem that anyone is concerned about Iran supposedly demanding payment for oil in Euros, except a dimishing set of die hard conspiracy theorists. The claim that Iran and Russian bourses are going to crash the dollar has been a perennial here for the last two years. No amount of debunking can kill it.

Well, we have to wait and see how the cookie crumbles, but it needs to be put in context.

It isn't so much that anyone has any real interest in crashing the dollar.

It's more like with oil denominated in dollars the dollar becomes the reserve currency of the world which allows the US to run deficits and in effect have others pay for them. At some point people get fed up and even a giant can die the death of a thousand cuts.

I have no doubt that the ability of the US to run deficits and have others fund (not pay for) them is coming to an end, probably fairly soon. I do think the dollar is headed down and could possibly face some threat regarding its reserve currency status, although it is hard to see what would replace it.

The point is that it makes almost no difference what currency oil prices are denominated in. Firstly, oil can only be priced in one currency. All other citations are just a translation, or else there are arbitrage opportunities.

However, the price is just a price. Oil can be quoted at $70/barrel and paid for in Euros, Yuan, or pretzels if the two parties agree. I haven't seen any one produce evidence that EU countries pay Russia, Saudi or Iran in dollars.

However, even if they did, it still does make any difference. The value of the dollar is propped up by foriegn countries holding US assets, such as treasury notes. If countries reduce these holdings, which is quite possible, then the dollar will be threatened. If they maintain the holdings, it won't.

Price in this case is really just a measuring unit. Saying that quoting prices in Euros would hurt the US economy is like saying that converting highway measurements from miles to kilometers would threaten the auto industry.

Iran does not want to touch dollars because the US places restrictions on their ability to move capital.

I argued at great length almost two years ago that Iran would never successfully launch and oil bourse. I argued a year ago that Russia would not be able to launch a bourse that serves as anything beyond a local clearing house. So far this seems accurate. The bourses and dollar pricing of oil are non-issues and conspiracy fodder.

So, yes, the dollar could weaken, crash and/or cease to be the world's reserve currency. However, the threat comes from waning demand for US denominated assets, not from how oil is priced or traded.

I don't think the Iranian oil bourse is fully operational, and the Russians have said that is the direction they will move.

Conspiracy theorists, yada yada, I worked in high levels of corporations and sat in on tons of board meetings and had access to lots of data and over hearing conversations of CEO's of fortune 500 company's, you trying to tell me that people don't work in secret and do things to others to try and gain an advantage thru all kinds of means is one of the most ignorant statements people. make.

Learn what the real world is like skippy, and get back to me.

Quid Clarius Astris
Ubi Bene ibi patria

you trying to tell me that people don't work in secret?

No, you're making that up.

We have to agree to disagree then.

Since oil is the primary commodity, if it is denominated in pretzels then people are forced to hoard or acquire pretzels. Doesn't matter whether baked, microwaved or digital. The digital version just allows for a bigger Ponzi scheme.

As long as the currency that is printed does not return to the country of origin it can be printed with impunity. If it does return then there is a cost associated with it. IMO this cost depends on a large degree on the interest rates (ie the higher the rates go the less of a free ride the US has and this is the underlying reason the market is so sensitive to rates).

The consumer is a convenient excuse, the big boys will make a profit either way because they hold the tiller and know in what direction the next steering inputs are going. This isn't a normal productive situation anymore, the US shuffles a lot of paper but produces little, it's a game of what Alice in Wonderland can sell to the uneducated sheeple.

People can see it and are bailing while the US is otherwise engaged because they know they don't have the "juice", the real question will one day be if the Fed has the balls to make the music stop leaving the Chinese standing. Or will the Chinese bail before it happens?

Jack: The US dollar is down 54% against the Cdn dollar since 2002. It hasn't crashed yet, but the trend isn't good.

Ah, but Canada was stupid enough to sign the portion of NAFTA that forces them to maintain current levels of fossil fuel exports to the US. (Mexico refused to sign that part of the agreement) So Canada cannot curtail exports to the US without violating the treaty, even if their own people have to freeze. And we all know how these treaties are set in stone, unless of course it's something we signed, that's different...

Could the Canadians fulfill their treaty obligations by sending the US unprocessed tar sands? Just dig it up and ship it out, leaving the "refining" to the US?

Sure, the treaty was only about letting companies sell their product at market rates. This isn't a bad thing for Canada or the US, unless you really believe Ricardo was dead wrong and trade doesnt work, in spite of centuries of results in favor of trade.

'centuries of results in favor of trade.'

Sure - centuries ago, when there was few developed countries and vast empires to exploit, trade helped the exploiters who made the rules. Free trade is a daft concept in todays world [except for a few capitalist elite].

Trade and free trade are chalk vs cheese

But given all the arguing over the US imposing duty on Canadian softwood export, Canada would be entitled to say the US had behaved in bad faith and they were therefore tearing up the NAFTA treaty.

Once oil becomes scarce is the US really going to risk its continued supply by complaining if Canada reduces exports? OK, they could be that stupid, but somehow I think the US will just have to accept and make do with what they are given.

Its a rule of the post peak world, he who has the oil exports has the control.

Its a rule of the post peak world, he who has the oil exports has the control.

Hm, like Iraq? Not that I'm suggesting the US would invade Canada. I mean Hitler never invaded Austria, did he?

It was only a few years ago that these kinds of discussions would have seemed totally looney-tunes.

Its still loony toons. Canada is filled with a bunch of white christians, Iraq was billed as filled with a bunch of brown people that worshipped a different god and blew up our pretty buildings. The average american knows several Canadians, but no Iraqis.

We might have the US invade Sudan or Angola or possibly Venezuela in some really bizzare world where politics lined up just right. For Canada you would have to have the rhetoric going on longer than US politics has the endurance for aggression.

"...and blew up our pretty buildings."

Only they didn't, but the spin machine got to work and soon most americans believed it anyway. That should worry the canadians.

Hrm, perhaps a book idea is cooking in my head...
The Connection: Al Queda, Canada, and Global Jihad

How Canadas Liberal government is conspiring with terrorists to destroy America and kill Jesus
I'm not quite sure if people would find it less plausible than the crap Ann Coulter and the like spews.

I'd go for invading Venezuela.:)
Leave fighting the Arabs to Europe, China, and Japan. They are the ones dependent on Arab oil and are getting it on the American taxpayers' tab.

There is a TOD story on the Canadian energy situation here.

The elephant in the room here is the fact tht, despite all the current immigration reform blather, the actual plan is to eliminate the borders and make Mexico/US/Canada one big country. The point of this is to make it easier for the US to have access to (plunder) their natural resources.

In the new North American Union, we will each have our role to play.

Mexico will supply inexpensive labor.

Canada will supply natural resources.

The United States will supply consumers.

Yup. That'll work.

Well ,

somebody has to feed this nation of Yanqui tit-babies.

Rugged Individualism? - My Arse.

Good luck Jose, Good luck Ed.

You have your work cut out, looking after the entightlement parasites between your borders.

Jose (if you are listening - not likely considering the demographics of the above survey) , Take it back .

One baby at a time...

This will hurt (no apology) - Its quite clear that your loyal and true legions have been sent abroad while your NeoCon Slave Masters have filled the USA with Praetorian Mercanary troops.

Oh..and stripped your State Owned National Guardsmen of vehicles and weaponary (what a coincidence....)

Your best hope to avoid a NeoCon / Globalist /Corporatist putsch is your Army. It swore an oath to the constituion.

And to the American People.

PS: For those patriotic Americans who think your special forces are pretty damn good:

Spoke to my old man today at length
Was in UK Special Forces in the early fifties
Became an unarmed combat instructor just before I was born
Was silent for years, but he can now see the end.
Spent a lot of time in SE Asia, and the middle east.

Americans: (post '45 I hasten to add, pre '45 he regards you as Gods)

Rates American Special forces as 'Childish'

'Wouldnt take a crap in a green beret'

'US Marines should be renamed US Morons'

'Worst soldiers in the world at keeping silent - even the Italians were quieter'

'They dont even know how to shit in a bag'

'More interested in getting fags* and coke** than ammo'

'Always whingeing'

'you could smell the toothpaste from a klick away'

*Cigaretes , ** Coca Cola - Wouldnt want your mothers to think that you were homo druggies.

Who knows?

An old mans rambling?

Or a pretty accurate assessment of US Gov forces personnel?

Anyway, We are a people divided by a common langauge.


How is the Iraqi 'surge' going by the way?


Wonder what he thinks of Delta and Seals?

A fairly accurate assesment but I do respect the Seals. They make 'Airborne' look like sissies at a weenie roast. Ditto the Rangers and Recon.

Special Forces..had a role other than combat. Were supposed to be there to train the civilians into a fighting force or so
"Warrior Soul" by Pfarrar states.A good book BTW.

I rate it thusly:
Marine Recon put rest of Marines somewhere below
Regular Navy (swabbies)
Army (grunts) Airborne a bit higher
National Guard and Reservists
Air Force(known as Air Farce or Pigeons)
Coast Guard(the pits)

Special Forces(Green Berets? hate to guess..they get the glory due to John Wayne)

The Coast Guard covered themselves in Honor and Glory during Katrina. Above and Beyond performance ! Professionalism to the outer limits of the envelope.

The US Army failed in their Duty, dishonored themselves with their cover-ups and failures to do their simple duty, and did more damage to their Country than al Queda could have.

The rest were slightly better than useless.

Oh, and the British Columbian Search and Rescue were the first ones into Plaquemines Parish (as hard hit as Orleans) after DRIVING cross-country from Vancouver BC.

It is not how well you drill on the parade ground.

Best Hopes for the Coast Guard never having to buy a beer in New Orleans,


I was invited to a party put on by some Hollywood types shortly after Katrina (not sure why). Talked with two Coast Guard swimmers at the party. They still had cuts on their arms and faces with stitches. One had a limp. They told of their competition between crews as to how many loads of people they could get out. One had 128 loads, the other 138, #2 in the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard waived safety regs and flew 16 on, 8 off for 8 straight days. Base Commanders simply dispatched rescue helos to New Orleans from all over the country without checking with DC HQ.

Other services stayed with the max 8 hours/day until near the end.

My reference was but to the military aspects of combat.

They are not tasked with such as you describe above except maybe for the National Guard.

Clearly there were many who failed miserably but the rest of the service should not have their feet held to the fire since they must be commanded and given orders.

The Coast Guard excels at rescue. Around here they mostly do buoy tending. They don't do much when we had floods like in 93. Its local fire and rescue and volunteers who do that. I remember many church groups sandbagging the Ohio back some years ago when it got real bad and some National Guard as well.

Currently the role of National Guard has changed due to be federally activated and now seeing life combat. My buddy's son has had many deployments with his Patriot Missile battery in many areas of the ME. He is there now for 18 more months.

As 911 was a pivotal event so I payed very close attention to Katrina since it was also so pivotal. There should be much outrage as the stupidity of many in control during that time.


The military is a reflection of the population in general. Everywhere.

A few very competent professionals and then a little of everything. Problem with a volunteer military you tend to get the leftovers.

It's no wonder that the truly competent drift towards the Blackwater's of this world. A true elite and less paperwork.

Your SAS/SBS are good, but I still put my money on a SEAL team. The other 99%? C'est la Vie.

If you add it all up, the asphalt on all the nation's highways and parking lots represents an impressive amount of "reserves" as well. Great EROEI, that.


Best idea I have seen all day. A twofer: demand destruction -and- supply.

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

I guess the problem is this Dina O'Meara has no knowledge of what she's writing about. She is just quoting some company press release, and is either to lazy, to stuid, to dishonest or all three to get a second opinion.

I googled her and found this page. It seems her qualifications are that she's a writer.

Any time you see the words "at current production rates" you know what follows is going to be uninformed mendacious speculation.

Yup - it's an automatic red flag that indicates major BS approaching!

Also, if they mention Jesus before Return On Investment, tell you how honest they are, tell you how conservative they are, put your hand over your money and take a hike!

There is an interesting tidbit in an article in the Financial Times.

Drought has also badly affected wheat production in Ukraine, which on Monday moved to introduce a ban on grain exports.

Grain is only a funglible commodity in times of surplus.

No grain exports from what used to be known as the breadbasket of Europe. OK.

I don't know how productive Ukraine has been off late, Chernobyl apparently put a bit of a dent in that, but yeah, that should raise prices.

40% of the world's natural black earth, chernozem, is in Ukraine, up to 20 feet deep, up to 15% humus, rich in phosporus and phosphoric acids, no fertilizer needed, ideal for cultivation. Kind of a terra preta delivered by the planet. If it's too dry to grow crops in that soil, that's serious.

Drought report sends wheat prices surging

European and US wheat prices surged yesterday after Romania said prolonged drought would reduce this year's wheat harvest to a four-year low.

Romania expects its wheat harvest to fall by 46 per cent to 2.9m tonnes while its barley production crop is forecast to decline 30 per cent to 235,000 tonnes.

Triumvirate of collapse - Economy, Ecosystem, Energy

A very rough first cut at estimating how much oil was 'lost' in terms of shipping traffic. And 'lost' in quotations is a better term, as this oil unlikely to be arriving over the next weeks.

Some interesting background can be extracted from http://www.ship-technology.com/projects/front/ , http://www.gasandoil.com/goc/features/fex44747.htm (some steaming times), and an older article from 1966 at http://www.saudiaramcoworld.com/issue/196605/terminal.htm . 15 knots seems to be a good figure for VLCC speeds, and 1-2 days for loading seems reasonable.

A few basic assumptions to keep the problem in reasonable limits -
a. 5 tankers per day, each way, carrying 1-2 million barrels loaded, let us say 7.5 million barrels a day (too low, in my opinion, but everything here is weighted to the low end - and all information excludes Oman and its exports). And this number is truly related to VLCCs - some articles talk about 100 tankers a day, though obviously size and type vary widely,
b. Port loading facilities have a finite capacity to load the tankers. This is highly, highly variable, depending on tanker size and port facilities. This is the area currently requiring hard data, as it is the most important variable, actually.
c. VLCCs are fragile (imagine the linked tanker, riding empty, being hit with even 50 mile an hour winds in terms of keeping it on course in a narrow passage) and valuable - and in the case of loaded ones, a massive liability if they suffer a preventable accident, which sailing into a cyclone is likely to be considered by an insurance company, and in a courtroom.
d. Traffic from the Gulf for VLCCs will be out for an absolute minimum of 72 hours, based in part on the assumptions in c., and in part by the track of the storm itself. Personally, 120 hours seems much more realistic, but 72 hours, considering the storm's path, would seem beyond reasonable dispute for VLCCs.
e. A number of fully loaded tankers are waiting in the Gulf to deliver their cargoes - I assume that VLCC traffic in the Straights of Hormuz has some limitations (pilots, safety rules, speed while making the turn loaded with millions of barrel of crude), but in this case, let's assume that 3 days of stacked up traffic also takes 3 days to clear
f. A number of completely empty tankers are waiting to enter the Gulf - same as e.
g. At this point, the loading cycles at various Gulf ports (except those in the vicinty of Oman, UAE, and Iran in terms of the Straights of Hormuz) are pretty much finished - that is, the loading facilities in a number of ports are essentially idle, or will be idled before the empty tankers arrive.
h. The entire Gulf oil transport infrastructure is essentially operating without any slack.

Rough conclusions -
a. No oil from the Persian Gulf on VLCCs since June 5 (personally, June 4 seems more realistic) with the first VLCC leaving on June 8 - this is an interruption involving more than 20 million barrels destined for Europe and Asia. However, to the extent that the tankers can steam more quickly, it is possible that this aspect of the disruption can be smoothed out gently by good scheduling.
b. The empty tankers represent more than 20 million barrels waiting to be filled - and these tankers represent a minimum of 3x more capacity than can be normally filled at one time. And to the extent that the port facilities don't have much excess loading capacity, this will cause a certain backlog, which will require fairly intricate scheduling.
c. The amount of idle time at the ports waiting for empty tankers to arrive is the true 'lost' production - and there is no effective way to promptly make that up, as the loading pumps and ships have a finite capacity.

My feeling is that the world will find the missing amount of 10s of millions of barrels easy to lose in the 'noise' - but the refineries won't. However, the effects will be very irregular - for example, I am quite certain that a number of VLCC owners are now entertaining very lucrative offers to direct their cargoes to one port or another..

So in very broad, very round numbers (and rounding up from my very conservative numbers above) - it is likely that the world will actually have a temporary shortfall from Gonu, when Oman is factored in, roughly representing one day's worth of oil consumption - that is, less than .3% of 2007's oil production.

Or to look at it another way - the completely unanticipated disruption of the delivery of 10-20% of the world's oil production for a minimum of 3 days - at a time when demand is high, and the oil transport system is seemingly running at its limits.

That flood of oil seems to be ever receding into the future.

What I think some people might be missing is the system is starting to oscillate - a lot of people are now going to be scrambling, as the reality remains, millions of barrels of oil will not be arriving as planned.

Welcome to June, 2007. The 'missing' tankers, however, belong to July 2007.

Many of us make idle chatter about the Straights of Hormuz being cut, generally due to the actions of various politicians - now we can see how it plays out, without the politicians having had anything to do with it all.

Reality is what makes the subject of peak oil so interesting to me as a subject - and the reality is, for a period of time, no VLCCs were steaming in or out of the Persian Gulf.

But the story in a month could be more interesting - for example, 'unplanned maintenance at refinery X has led to reduced production and higher fuel prices' - and considering how hard some refineries have been running, I'm certain that some unscheduled maintenance time will be met with a certain gratitude. And the reason why will be left out of the discussion.

Five days? The storm moved out yesterday and you still have them off-line until tomorrow.

Has it occurred to anyone that these ships weigh 400,000 tons empty and were designed to operate in the ocean? Has anyone even bothered to look up VLCC statistics? They can EASILY outrun a hurricane. Excuse me, cyclone.

Really, you guys seem so smart rehashing old PO topics. I must say I fell for it for a while. Now I'm just as happy as a pig in slop that I bought my new motorhome with a big Cat deisel. The family loves it and I can easily afford to operate it.

Leanan, your work on the drumbeat is impeccable. Other than that, it is my opinion that the GONU coverage has seriously diminished the credibility of this site's message. It's clear most of you knew neither what you were talking about nor had the patience to just wait and see with regards to weather and shipping. Therefore, I must apply the same suspect skepticism on all other topics as well.

You all should redesign the site so that the comments get buried farther down. A new visitor is always less than a 1000 words away from some crackpot comment regarding the end of the world.

Good luck.

We are all amateurs here - but consider that the Straights of Hormuz has a 2 shipping channels, a mile wide, separated by a 2 mile buffer - think about that for a moment, in terms of ships when loaded weigh a half million tons - with the remants of an unprecedented storm slowly dissipating, where it is reasonable to assume that standard currents/tides are still outside of the normal range.

In a way, this is a question of the insurance companies - what level of risk will they accept for a cargo of maybe 120 million dollars, with a liability in terms of shipwreck in the billions. A cost which can be avoided by simply leaving the tanker in place until the risk goes down - as you noted, the storm is pretty much over.

These are business decisions - I doubt very much that a major corporation is pushing its VLCCs to the edge of a historical storm just to make sure that people can fill their gas tanks. Especially when a higher profit margin is possible, by taking no chances.

As said - we are all amateurs. You are welcome to make your own decisions, and as you mention about the Cat diesel motoring, you are as happy as a pig about them.

That was a very nice response and considerably more tolerant than mine.

Perhaps my expectations for this site were too high. I completely agree with the PO principle, and understand the massive dislocations that are forthcoming. In fact, I'm profiting from the high prices. My point here is that someone will profit in some way and life will go on.

You can't stare at the gas guage everyday for years, can you? Besides, no one is listening, or more importantly, researching for themselves. I doubt they ever will. And the reason I doubt they ever will is because even the most informative site on the planet, this one, allows anyone to dilute the message.

That's why I'm frustrated today. I wish GONU had never happened. It's been a huge setback for the PO discussion.

Anyway, thank you for being civil and please accept my apology for my poorly constructed response and bad manners. I'll run my comments through my board of directors before hitting the post button for now on.

No problem - this is an open forum.

You may want to read the latest at http://sleeplessinmuscat.blogspot.com/ - he is not that far away from the oil terminal, either.

One thing about experiencing a hurricane in Germany was how unprepared people were for what happened. I think this problem is much, much worse in Oman. For example, some of the pictures show just how unusual this was look for the ones with the boulders, or where the entire roadbed, down 20' or more, is just gone - it will be very, very challenging to just move around for days, simply in the sense of finding out how you can move from one place to another. The amount of rain they received was not huge by North American standards, but still very intense - especially for a place which doesn't experience such rain over generations.

I wish GONU had never happened. It's been a huge setback for the PO discussion.

I may add that I also felt somewhat queasy when this Gonu thing rolled around. There was such a sudden buzz. So many people seemingly pumped up, since no cyclone ever had made it to the gulf of Oman! Yikes!

Gonu was almost not covered in the German media, I only read a short notice in the Berlin 'Tagesspiegel' about some thousands runnig for shelter in Oman and Iran - far behind the latest gossip about Miss Hilton in jail and Monsieur Ribery playing for Bayern Muenchen next season. So, just the kind of message we hear many times a year from Florida. People nailing up their windows.

I agree with you. Too much noise about a tropical storm, diluting the PO topic.

I don't think we know yet what the fallout from this storm will be. A relevant topic for TOD, I think.

It's just human nature to react like that. It only detracts from all other analysis that is carried out on this site if 1)you have a short memory and 2)you cant make the link between this event and PO. There is a fundamental reason why GONU was salient to the PO debate. It may not be as obvious to you but i'll spell it out anyway. In the PO scenario sapre capacity is diminished and events like this precipitate shocks in the market that 'prove the PO now' theory. Or Not! Secondly is is not the job of any non-editorial poster to decide what gets posted and what doesn't.


Here's why Gonu was covered and why it was important...delayed effect...

N.Y. Oil Rises Above $67 as Shut Refineries Curb Fuel Supply


Cyclone Gonu

Brent oil rose earlier this week because cyclone Gonu threatened oil production and shipping in the Middle East. Gonu, the worst storm to hit the Arabian Peninsula in more than 60 years, is dissipating over water near Iran with winds falling to 64 kilometers per hour (40 miles per hour), the U.S. Navy Joint Typhoon Warning Center said in an advisory on its Web site.

One Omani port opened and others are waiting for instructions after Gonu moved toward the Iranian coast. Oil and liquefied natural gas exports were suspended for a third day today. The port of Mina al-Fahal, which exports most of Oman's crude oil, is waiting for instructions to start operations.

``Prices have popped because Oman's ports are still down,'' said Phil Flynn, vice president of risk management at Alaron Trading Corp. in Chicago. ``We thought the ports would be up and running lickety split.''

``Prices have popped because Oman's ports are still down,'' said Phil Flynn, vice president of risk management at Alaron Trading Corp. in Chicago. ``We thought the ports would be up and running lickety split.''

Our pal Phil again. Why would they think that?

That's what they (we) were told to think?

But why believe it? This was an event that people in the region, including the politicians and local experts, had no experience with.

Given our recent experience with hurricanes, I'm kind of surprised there wasn't more concern.

I think the answer is quite simple.

In the Gulf of Mexico, a Cat 2 weakening into a Cat 1 storm is a non-issue. At worst some facilities are shut down for a few hours/couple of days and there is minimal market impact.

Without giving it a great deal of thought, once the storm had weakened as it approached shore, people were quick to think "no problem".

Only we, here, who have no lives, are free to ask the question "is the same thing going to be true in the Gulf of Oman, where this has never happened before"?

This is also why I don't trade futures, or anything short-term. Those people think funny.

Because Phil told them the ports would be up, lickety split, ignoring professionals who forecast 15-20 days down time. But hey, go ahead and ignore Chuck Watson. That goes for radlahari and jteehan too. You guys are not professionals. The storm has not even fully cleared the area, yet you are declaring a non-event while a professional like Chuck is predicting 14 days (now) of downtime for the oil port.

Sorry, but whine all you want and I'll still take Chuck's forecasts over your whining about posts.

P.S. You might learn to be a bit more discerning in your reading. Not every post here is by someone who is an "oil guru" or "weather guru" or whatever. But comments from those people who have established credibility get the respect they deserve, like Stuart, Professor G,, Alan, etc.

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

Agree. The overall experience of reading the storm coverage here has been stupendous, informative, ahead of the curve.

TOD has no apologies to make.

PO is a huge topic, and GONU is tremendously relevant.

One has to be aware, too, that this is just another internet forum. In the scheme of things, it doesn't matter.

But isn't interesting that exactly during a political tussle about climate change between Merkel (with solid EU support) and essentially everyone else, represented by Bush, that a fairly unique weather event is simply ignored.

Gonu simply appears to be something somewhat new - sort of like the winter hurricane that hit Seattle - anybody remember that? Fairly unique event, fairly powerful, fairly recent?

Enough talk about the weather - anybody know where Paris is?

anybody know where Paris is?

In the north of France?

No, East Texas :-P


seems she may be heading home after a very tough five days in prison....apparently she cried a lot, poor thing.

this...site...allows anyone to dilute the message.

Really, who the frig are you to pontificate about what the "message" of this site should be and who or what "dilutes" it?

Smells like a totalitarian mindset to me.

I have a different take. TOD is sort of like a party with your friends. Sometimes the conversations are serious, sometimes ridiculous, and sometimes people have a little too much to drink and start bickering and sniping at each other.

Peak Oil is (roughly speaking) a slow boring event -- so no one is going to behave "credibly" all the time while waiting. I'll bet there's some astronomy forum out there with the same dynamics. I believe that it would be dull any other way.

That's exactly what I am confusly feeling, thank you to express it better than I ever could!

It's clear most of you knew neither what you were talking about nor had the patience to just wait and see with regards to weather and shipping.

It seems awfully early to write off the disruption caused by Gonu. It seems that you are equally impatient to declare "See, all is well".

I don't understand why people's speculation bothers you so much? I scour the media daily and the Gonu story has hardly even been a blip. If the news had been "US warships to interdict Gulf shipping for 5 days" what would have happened to the oil markets? Even a clueless person like myself can see that there will be some effect when the oil the supply side is already so tight.

I'm happy that you bought a "mobile mansion" and you can easily afford to operate it. Let us know next summer how that has worked out for you.

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

At a family get together on the eve of Katrina my 5th wheel-owning sister-in-law couldn't believe that I was watching coverage of the event. When I tried to explain to her that N.O. may not be there much longer I got the blank stare.
Really, the full horror of Kat wasn't known for weeks afterward.

crackpots are the price of free speech. And free information. You can't get the kind of info available here anywhere else-- unless you pay for expensive proprietary databases.

Weeding out the chaff is the price you pay

RE: GONU coverage on TOD

Yes, it was extensive, but think of it as a drill in prep for the next big event in the GOM. We all know it is just a matter of time before that happens. Some of us learned some things and became acquainted with some cool online resources that will come in useful someday.

I also think some of the runup in crude prices today are related to Gonu even though it is not mentioned as a factor. Instead, they are blaming the refiner capacity decrease from Wednesday's Weekly Petro report and some unsubstantiated claims of Turkey invading Kurdistan.

Call me conspiracy-minded, but I believe there is a grain of truth in this. Robert, what do you think?

Call me conspiracy-minded, but I believe there is a grain of truth in this. Robert, what do you think?

I think most of the time, they don't know why the market is behaving as it is. But, they are professionals, so they are supposed to be in the know. If the market is up today, must be because refinery utilization was down. If the market had been down, it would be because gasoline inventories swelled.

On the topic of Gonu:

Why I Sat Out the Feeding Frenzy

For me, I see it as I see the Saudi discussions. It is high risk, high reward. If you are right, woo-hoo, people will listen to you. If you are wrong - well, that's why it is also high risk. It pays to be cautious with data interpretation. Saudi has the potential to play out just as Gonu did. And while I didn't name names, some of you know what I am talking about.

As I wrote, it is too early to say that the effects on oil supplies will be negligible. But some of the comments here were way over the top, and I saw some very sensible posters get shouted down because they disagreed with some of the scenarios being presented.

I understand your position of playing Gonu conservative...you are in the field and have a reputation in that field.

That is the role the rest of us can play...the risk-takers...and that's what makes TOD interesting..the range of perspectives.

In my mind, the time to be very conservative in analysis and plans of action are over.

It's time to take risks and go out on a limb.

BTW...see my link up top about the Gonu Effect of crude price increases today. Someone finally admitted to it on Bloomberg.

What is actually interesting about Gonu is:

1. It came early
2. It came in the western Indian Ocean
3. It ramped up very fast.
4. It tracked towards one of the most important shipping lanes on the planet.

Now of course, 'One Swallow a does not make a summer'.

But this relatively rare phenomena may pressage things to come. Who knows?

But it may be a prodrome.

Thing is, with world supplies so tight in general, any number of natural or political / above ground effects can tip us into chaos very quickly.

Thats why the interest. TOD Readers are sensitised to these things more than most.

Don't get me wrong. It was definitely a story worth covering. It was a real scoop for TOD, and I commented on that early on. It was being covered here, and I noted that the MSM had nothing - zip - on it. And it was potentially a big deal.

But for some, that "potential" got way out of hand. So what I hope is that some will consider their reactions, and try to use a more reasoned approach the next time around. I know that we all have world views, but we also need to consider the possibility that it might be wrong, and be willing to look at the evidence that both sides are presenting. This site means a lot to me. I don't want to see people demeaning it because of the over the top comments of a few. To those over the top posters, please, for the sake of the rest of us, chill out a little.

To those over the top posters, please, for the sake of the rest of us, chill out a little.

we're adults. We can make our own evaluations of the comments.

We can make our own evaluations of the comments.

It's not you I am worried about.

That reminds me of a quotation and an experience:

13:12 For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.

13:15 For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed...

I was once part of another forum, a public speaking forum, about fifteen years ago, called The Speakout Project. The ideal of the group was to take the stories of gay, lesbian and sympathetic straight people into the public domain. We spoke at Rotaries, Kiwanis clubs, schools. It was dizzying at first. We were in new territory, making a difference...

Ever so subtly, a certain self-regarding, up-tightness cast its spell on the group. It became less about what message people got from us, more about being overly concerned about how we came across, what "they" thought about "us."

When group members started publicly censuring other speakers for what they said in the public forum, the project began to die. I particularly was singled out for my "unconventional" humor -- expressed in a newsletter, not even during a public speaking event!

I wondered: Does anyone really care that much? Those who already know don't need explanations. And "if you need it explained to you, you'll never know." That realization caused me to drop out, without rancor, but with the understanding that we are always just a ripple in time.

I now prefer to play observer, whatever the issue, commenting infrequently when it suits me.

I can say, about peak oil and the public: the Monster Truck People, the NASCAR dads, the soccer moms -- they don't care.

I work P/T in fire-EMS, and I drop questions sometimes: "Do you know why gasoline prices are so high?" "Did you hear about the Cat 5 hurricane headed for the Persian Gulf?"


I might get a couple of words. But by and large, no one cares. And they're not about to log-on to TOD.

They just don't care.

'they don't care'

A fact which other people are starting to notice - after living off its reputation (enhanced by Hollywood's previous dominance of what much the world watched), Americans seems utterly unable to grasp how far they have fallen in the eyes of non-Americans. New Orleans was a real eye opener,- since Hollywood wasn't able to write the script.

Many people are growing concerned about how the climate is changing - if only expressed by the weather that they experience themselves. As most people do not live a life involving moving from an air conditioned house to an air conditioned car to working at an air conditioned job to shopping at an air conditioned. It is easy not to care when you aren't all that involved in the world around you. And when you are told incessantly to fear that world, except for the narrow slice approved of by a shockingly limited circle of acquaintances - there was a study of social isolation that was stunning, published about a year ago - and the omni-present marketing that surrounds most Americans.

In a way, climate change feeds into that stupor - the world is growing scarier, so let's hunker down and tenaciously defend how we live now, without concern.

The sad thing is, the rest of the world is starting to care a lot less about the world Americans live in - except those people are the ones currently supporting much of those uncaring Americans consider normal - or worse, what Americans are simply entitled to, just for living.

What is worse is that it is impossible to have a serious conversation as the main concern is political correctness and not offending anyone.

When one can have much better conversations with friends and acquaintances from Japan and Europe then with local friends, then there obviously is a problem.

Freedom of speech? Yea, right, at what cost?

"America's Cup" is about to begin in Spain where New Zealand will challenge Switzerland. America has been irrelevant in sailing for over a decade. One of my co-workers asked me, "Have the Americans just given up?" Yes, exactly, in more ways than one.

'When one can have much better conversations with friends and acquaintances from Japan and Europe then with local friends, then there obviously is a problem.'

Obviously, you are just a brainwashed anti-American. You also probably feel torture is illegal AND immoral. You may also have some truly out of touch ideas about citizenship in a democracy.

Yes, this is meant bitterly, just to keep everything clear.

Not really, when I came to the US I was very much pro American but the more time I spend here the more I wonder simply based on what I personally see. IMO that isn't even close to brainwashing, I typically put very little credibility in what anyone says, but I do watch what they do.

If the notion that existing law needs to be enforced in a democracy is out of touch, then I guess I am.

I should also mention that I have a significant number of friends here and on a individual level they are fine people, but something went wrong with the system. Damn if I know what it is.

A storm in a tea cup

This time.

I yield the the road to you, Robert of Rapier.

(personally I kept very quiet on this: not being an atmospheric boffin, and no expert on Indian Ocean Weather Systems). I was only concrened by the Oman highlands and how they may dissipate or amplify the cyclone on its approach to Hormuz.

Fortunately, I have no experience of such weather systems.

Other than that, I am a know-nothing.

I was struck by the remarkable speed at which it developed, its early energy ramp.

We will see if this is a new paradigm.

In his blog post RR wrote:

I agree that a cyclone threatening that part of the world is an incredible story. The mainstream media was very slow to respond to the story. The potential for devastating consequences was there. The potential for some consequences to oil and gas supplies was fairly high.

I hope that those who are expressing dismay that TOD gave so much attention to the Gonu cyclone appreciate this, and should similar circumstances arise again, I also hope Prof Goose will not think twice about taking the same path.

The Gonu threads were not editorials, but effectively open threads. The editors had no power to dictate what predictions or views would be articulated, and it's up to the reader to make his or her own judgement as to the merit of individual comments. I for one would like to express my thanks to various posters for their ability to mine data sources I knew nothing about. I learned a great deal from that, and I know from comments left on weather boards that others were highly impressed with the depth of data that TOD provided.

Other sites had links to pictures, news reports, or Oman blogs, but nowhere had the spread of data sources and analysis that this site did. This is clearly a reflection of the particularly diverse skill-base that inhabits TOD, one of the great strengths of this site and something that should be cherished.

As for some posters going over the top...well, wait until the next Cat 3 enters the Gulf of Mexico.

FTX, thank you...seriously...and thanks to all of you for your kind words.

As I said over in the latest Gonu thread:

The approach taken in the way I set up our threads was very measured and very empirical in nature. I reported and I linked. Pretty simple really. How else would one have covered a hurricane?

What people did with it after that is an artifact of our format--but that format also allowed for the collection of a LOT of information that no one else had in one place. Seems worth it to me.

They call it Web 2.0. It's interactive, and it works. We accumulated resources like no one else, and I would do it again in a heartbeat.

And finally, in my opinion, this is no cult--this is a set of individuals with different perspectives trying to figure out what the heck is actually going on.

Professor G,

If its not a cult, why am I burning incense below the pictures of you, Heading Out and Stuart? Are you saying I'm wasting my limited supplies of copal?

Send back those massive donations!

I do love me some copal... :)

Your check for $0.00 will be in the mail. Soon. Really. I promise.

Jteehan wrote:

Five days? The storm moved out yesterday and you still have them off-line until tomorrow.

Wrong! Although it has been downgraded to a tropical storm, it is still present just above Oman. It has caused 21 deaths and disrupted oil shipments from Oman and held up other tankers heading into the straights.

Has it occurred to anyone that these ships weigh 400,000 tons empty and were designed to operate in the ocean? Has anyone even bothered to look up VLCC statistics? They can EASILY outrun a hurricane. Excuse me, cyclone.

Just how big a dumbass are you anyway? Tankers coming out of the Persian Gulf were headed into the storm. You cannot outrun something that is directly in your path. Many tankers were delayed because of the storm.

Other than that, it is my opinion that the GONU coverage has seriously diminished the credibility of this site's message. It's clear most of you knew neither what you were talking about nor had the patience to just wait and see with regards to weather and shipping. Therefore, I must apply the same suspect skepticism on all other topics as well.

The coverage of Gonu has done great credit to TOD. The coverage was excellent and perhaps the best on the net. One more point, oil is currently up over one dollar today. CNBC says it is due in part to Gonu and the destruction and delays it has caused.

Perhaps you should email them, as well as the traders who think there has been some disruption, and chastise them because they are no-nothings just like the folks at TOD. Let them know that you are the expert and they should consult you before they report or trade on such silly rumors. Tell them how fast those tankers can run.

Ron Patterson

As far as I can tell, the Oil Drum was the best source of information available on the entire internet regarding the cyclone. No one forces you to believe every post made here, and most people not into doomer porn seem to be able to read past it to find the valuable posts made here.

The fallout from Gonu is not yet clear, and why would anyone criticize Oil Drum readers for conjecture?

While I don't follow some of the doomers to their breathless predictions of a total apocalypse, I appreciate hearing all the views from people who are Peak Oil aware. It counterbalances my real life where no one has a clue about how the world works.

Dude. Diesel.

Some thoughts on navigation blockages.

I think that until Gonu passed the "Horn of Oman" navigation was still possible by hugging the shore of Iran, Pakistan and India in a choppy and windy passage. A longer route that added hours to transit times. Note the late hour that the Omani oil terminal shut down loading it's last tanker.

Passage at this hour June 7 15Z should be possible. Pass by the weak side of Gonu (Omani side I guess) and worst gusts are likely 40 mph or less and seas are choppy but passable (waves from Cat 5 and Cat 3 are long gone). A ship that cannot transit seas like that is unseaworthy. And these winds are NOT in the Straits of Hormuz, but beyond in a much wider channel.

It is normal for tankers to occasionally wait their place in queue at loading terminals. The first empty tankers to enter will certainly not have to wait.

I would have guessed loading to take 6 or so hours, not days, at modern high volume terminals such as Kharg Island, Ras Tanura, Kuwait, UAE. Just a guess.

KSA can start using their PG to Red Sea pipeline at capacity and fill SuezMax tankers on the Red Sea, reducing shipping time to the EU (and effectively increasing tanker tonnage).

I think the markets are underestimating the blip but not by much.


How long does it take to fill a tanker with 5 to 10 million gallons of fuel. Hours or days. Can't be as easy as sticking in a line and just pushing a button. I would think that it would be an involved process to keep the ship level as tanks are filled, with valves closing and opening to keep things on an even keel. Lots of safety procedures etc.

That time also would need to be figured in.

Does anyone know how long it takes to fill a huge tanker.

Quid Clarius Astris
Ubi Bene ibi patria

According to this site it takes a DAY to fill ONE MILLION GALLONS of fuel.


As to why I thought about the effects of filling on a tanker. The latest report still says the seas are choppy etc. A tanker empty that is probably supposed to be "still" will have trouble being filled when the sea is pushing back and forth on the hull sloshing the fuel around.

Could mean delays in the filling process as they have to go slower. Which means the lines last longer until the sea chop goes down.

From what I gather these ports are more like lakes than open sea ports. Rocking even a little bit creates an effect that would not be welcome I imagine.

Quid Clarius Astris
Ubi Bene ibi patria

Here is a bit of relatively recent (2002) information regarding Kuwait:


Kuwait Gulf Oil Company

Crude oil from Al Khafji field inside the sea is pumped to the coastline through a pipeline 25 miles length with 26 inches diameter, as well as Al Ratawi crude oil from Al Khafji and Al Hoot fields, pumped inside the sea to the coastline via a pipeline of 25 miles length and 24 inch diameter. Al Bahrain oil is assembled in 18 tanks with a capacity of 6,870,000 barrels. Also, Al Ratawi oil is assembled in 6 reservoirs with a maximum capacity of 1,716,00 barrels.

Crude oil (Bahrain and Al Ratawi) is pumped via pumps from the storage reservoirs to four piers located around 5 miles away inside the sea. The maximum oil shipping rate at each of the first and second piers reached 25 thousand barrels per hour. Each of them can fill tankers up to 100 thousand tons.

The maximum oil shipping rate from the third and fourth pier is 40,000 barrels per hour and 65,000 barrels per hour respectively. They can fill tankers with load limit of 200 thousand tons and 250 thousand tons respectively.

This is in addition to pipelines transferring crude oil to the piers, where there are other pipelines transferring tankers fuel.

This tanker seems to have followed your advice - though since it was already out of the Gulf when Gonu appeared, it didn't have much choice - http://www.sailwx.info/shiptrack/shipposition.phtml?call=C6QE3

However, from the reading I linked to above, a VLCC will take between one and two days to load. And those VLCCs seem to be fairly fragile, all things considered - the Hyundai shipyard was talking about how this tanker was more expensive due to the strengthening they had done - but that over the long term, it should pay off -

'The hull form of the vessel has been specifically remoulded to meet Frontline’s requirements and differs from conventional VLCCs in having a ‘blunt’ fore part and a breadth of 58m to reduce hull deflection. As a result, Front Century benefits from a reduction in hull deformation of around 10%. This has been achieved by strengthening the primary members, double structure and buttress – in particular, the connection between the hold and forepeak bulkhead has been reinforced with cross ties in the wing tanks.
Local strength requirements mean that the bottom longitudinal stiffener of the cargo well has to be 18mm thick compared with conventional VLCCs which tend to be 12mm. This approach virtually eliminates the possibility of welding defects and subsequent paint damage since there is no welding seam. Although the material costs to the yard and the owner are much greater, the overall quality of the ship’s structure is enhanced.'


Amazing - the internal tanks are seemingly less than 1/2 inch steel - for a ship class that carries over a half million tons.

I think VLCCs are specialized, much the same way the LNG ships are - and notice, we haven't discussed them at all. Considering the effects of an accident with one of them, they were the other class of ship most likely to play it safe.

We are talking about an interruption, and disrupted schedules (some ships will take longer than scheduled due to sailing around the storm) not a shutdown - something most people seem to miss - but I think the interruption in terms of 'lost' production will still involve 10s of millions of barrel - much more than the shutdown of Prudhoe last summer.

The old article from Aramco gives a nice feel for this too.

I really wish people could do some reading, or that someone with access to such information could provide some insight - there will be ripples from Gonu starting in the next 4 to 6 weeks, I believe - but who will be paying attention to watch something that happens in a span that stretches weeks?

It will give us a chance to see how much slack the system has. People find a drawdown of a million barrels of crude in a week in the U.S. a big deal - well, several million barrels (remember, each VLCC is 1-2 million barrels) are most certainly not going to arrive on schedule - but that will be in July, not tomorrow.

"My feeling is that the world will find the missing amount of 10s of millions of barrels easy to lose in the 'noise' - but the refineries won't. However, the effects will be very irregular - for example, I am quite certain that a number of VLCC owners are now entertaining very lucrative offers to direct their cargoes to one port or another.."

I have a question. Who buys and owns what when? Do the oil tanker companies buy the oil from the producers and then resell it to the refiners? Or do the refiners buy the oil from the producers and contract with the shipping companies to deliver it to them?
I would think that the refiners buy the oil from the producers and hire the shippers to deliver it, but if that was true then the shipping companies could not redirect their tankers to deliver the oil to a different refiner?
Anyone out there with some specific knowledge that can offer some input in this area?

Noticed this at Kunstler's site:

The way I see it is that the refineries are going to be busy keeping up with the gasoline supply until then. But at some point they'll need to switch to making heating oil. So that will drive the price of gasoline.


While I imagine this is a yearly event and would be factored in is there anything more to it this year?

I'm afraid I don't know much about heating oil. It seems like it would not be a huge amount, since most homes are heated with natural gas.

My view is that ethanol is a part of what drives the upward price swing in summer, and the decline in winter. I discuss this in Question 4 of Corn-Based Ethanol: Is this a solution (now up, next door), and further in the comments to that story.

I don't know much about this aspect of things either, except that the heating oil switchover used to be a much, much bigger deal. A few decades ago a much higher percentage of homes were heated by oil. Also, a greater percentage of the US population was in the northeast, and the winters were colder. Heating oil supplies were a big worry in the late 70s. I'm not sure they loom quite so large in the overall picture now.

Just a note to let everyone know that BP's Statistical Review of World Energy is due to be released next week, on Tuesday, June 12.

The presentation for press etc is at the Auditorium, St James's Square, London from 2.30-4.00pm BST, so I'm not sure when exactly the report will be posted on BP's site. If you click on my handle above there's a calendar of oil-related releases for June, and you'll find a link to BP's publications page there.

If you have any events/releases you want listing please add a comment to this one.

Couple of humorous bits...

ExxonMobil to buy US Military for $100 Million-trillion

Oil giant ExxonMobil has agreed to purchase the United States Military for $100 Million-trillion in a combined cash and stock purchase.

..."We're both basically in the same business, so the merger is an obvious move." said an Exxon spokesman.

And this short piece asks a man on the street about the upside of peak oil:

The Way It Is

It would reduce pollution. People would have to walk more. We’d save a lot of money not buying gas. And it would probably stop future wars for oil. And there would be less oil spots on the road. But how would you get a big screen TV to your house? On your back like the Egyptians, I guess.

Much cheaper to throw a couple million to each politician, control it anyway and pass the retirement costs on to the taxpayers. :-)

Sacre Bleu!!

"Quebec to collect nation's 1st carbon tax"


"The tax will amount to 0.8 cents on every litre of gas sold in Quebec, and 0.9 cents on each litre of diesel fuel.

About 50 companies will be affected by the tax.

Oil companies will be hardest hit. They will pay about $69 million a year for gasoline, $36 million for diesel fuel, and $43 million for heating oil.

Natural gas distributors will pay about $39 million, while electricity distributor Hydro-Québec will pay $4.5 million for its thermal energy plant in Tracy, Que."

I really don't get how a carbon tax makes any difference. It's just a tax grab...it won't stop consumption, they are not going to stop making the fuel.

Just added 191.5 million to the provincial coffers thou.

I am sure people disagree, but I think this isn't the way to approach cutting carbon or conservation. Maybe if it was a larger tax, so it cut consumption, but that would affect the economy and we can't have that. :-P

Actually it will have an impact, perhaps larger than it's size. Taxes are seen as forever (and likely to rise) while today's energy prices may just be a blip.

Some homeowners are going to make the investment and install ground source heat pumps to replace oil heat.

And extra 3.5 cents/gallon may push people to a more efficient car.

Industry will adjust the switch between NG & oil because of the difference in taxes, or just bite the bullet and become more energy efficient.

HydroQuebec might develop some smaller dam to reduce use of that thermal plant. Or install some wind turbines.

And I bet Quebec DOES raise the tax in later years.

Best Hopes for small, but growing, carbon taxes,


Well, I hope you are right. My point was there could have been better ways to address carbon, instead of a tax. Like legislating better fuel efficiency, etc.

Here's hoping people get the price signal (however small).

If they are paying a similar tax for heating oil as for gasoline and deisel, that brings up the question someone asked further up the threat about refineries having to switch over to heating oil at some stage. I assume canada produces more heating oil per person due to a colder climate, but they have access to NG like the US. Could heating oil pose a problem in the US afterall, by pushing up gasoline prices when refineries switch over? How much is required by the US?

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

With reserves of 173-billion barrels of bitumen and 1.6-billion barrels of crude, the province will keep pumping out oil for the next 378 years at current production levels, the AEUB said.

I did the math ant that puts current production levels at 1.25 million barrels per day. So obviously they are speaking only of the current production level of the tar sands and not the whole of Canada. Canada's current total crude production is about 2.6 million barrels per day.

This means that about 1.35 mb/d is coming from Canada's crude reserves, which they put at 1.6 billion barrels. 1.35 million barrels per day comes to about 493 million barrels per year. At that rate Canada has only 3.25 years of regurlar crude production left. Those figures just don't seem right. There must be a bug in there somewhere, otherwise Canada has only a few years to ramp up oil sands production or their production will be cut in half.

Of course there are several other things that need to be pointed out here. Cornucopians will jump on this and point out that Canada has enough oil to last us for 378 years. That would be true if the world only used 1.25 million barrels per day. We use a bit more than that. Also this stuff must be mined and some of these sands are deep, very deep. It will be extremely difficult to mine all 173 billion barrels. I have no idea what percentage of this 173 billion barrels can be recovedred but we can be sure there will always be some of it left.

Then there is the little matter of the natural gas used to heat the water that washes the oil from the sand. As I understand it, only enough is left to last a few years. Then they will have to burn the product to heat the water to get more product. But they will always need some natural gas to get hydrogen to hydrongenate the oil after it is cracked. Of course they might get hydrogen from water, by burning more product to generate electricity.

The point is, just reading that report gives a very incorrect view of the Canadian Tar Sands to the average citizen. They read it and conclude: "Not to worry, soon we can just get all the oil we need from Canada." Yeah right!

Ron Patterson

Well, there is plenty of fresh water. Melt Greenland and pipe the water in. No need for NG, just use tactical nukes.

Actually, you might only be a little bit off. With the vast quantity of fresh water locked up in that ice, it is entirely foreseeable that someone would build a nuclear reactor up in the ice fields to use the heat to melt pools of water that are then loaded onto tankers (like oil) and shipped to areas that are very short of fresh water.
That might actually be a lot cheaper in the long run than trying to desalt sea water?
Let see, I pay $1 per liter of bottled water. If they charge only 1/4 that wholesale --- Hum 1 million barrel tanker would hold about 160 million liters of fresh water times 25 cents per liter would make about 40 million dollars per tanker load of water. Sounds like a pretty good business to me? That is only slightly less than the 60 million you'd get for a tanker of oil today.
And with Nature making more free ice up there every year you have an unlimited supply too!
Any venture capitalists out there?

I dont see that as too likely when oil is sold by the barrel and water by the acre/foot. Slightly differing orders of magnitude.


Yes, 3.25 years is extreme, but conventonal oil in Canada goes down fast. And NAFTA has another nice surprise just around the corner. It stipulates that exports from Canada to the US can only go down by small amounts, if at all. So tar sands production needs to be ramped up just to compensate for decreasing conventional oil production.

Under NAFTA it is the proportion of exports to domestic use we have to maintain within a narrow band.

Ron--there is a lot more than 173 billion barrels in place--more like 2 trillion. In the North Peace Oilsands area they get 5% to 10% to cold flow, and expect to ultimately recover 50% or more with steam injection. Some of the heavier bits--asphaltines--can be gassified to supply the fuel for the steaming. In the mining areas up to 85% of the oil in place is recovered. Overall, it is very likely that as much a 800 billion to 1 trillion barrels will ultimately be recovered in a $100 per barrel world. Flow rates and costs are another matter. It will not be cheap oil. But it will be oil! And mankind will recover it!


And all of that without an ounce of Carbon Sequestering, nor any desire to simply build up our light rail capacity and electrify the remaining needed cars.

Yes, we are truly fuked.

N.Y. Oil Rises, Pulled Higher by Gasoline, as Fuel Output Drops


Why wasn't this a factor in prices yesterday when the report was released? Perhaps we are seeing some belated Gonu effects here, although the reporters are not admitting it, but looking for other reasons?

Here is the weekly natural gas storage summary.

Working gas in storage was 2,163 Bcf as of Friday, June 1, 2007, according to EIA estimates. This represents a net increase of 110 Bcf from the previous week. Stocks were 146 Bcf less than last year at this time and 366 Bcf above the 5-year average of 1,797 Bcf.

That is good. At least one fuel source is building as planned. :-)

146BCF low is about a week off, or two.

They should be able to catch up unless it gets REALLY HOT, and a MANY MANY Air conditioners go on earlier than planned.

Based on last years's news, some areas could still have problems even if it looks good now. Do they break down NG storage into different regions?

Building, but on the low side. I would also assume that an increase in demand from population growth and other is not a factor in the numbers. Growth and a lower build to think about. The "5" year average, is above normal, but the yearly build is low, seems like double speak to me.

The price for natural gas on Bloomberg went above 8 bucks and has stayed for the last several days. It touched then went down a couple of weeks ago. Then it built back up above 8. Good supply and rising prices, does that fit into a plentiful supply case?

Not just oil comes from the Gulf of Mexico. If a storm disrupts the gulf NG futures could go sky high. As I recall many rigs are still down and will not be repaired. Another major storm that hurts rigs will not be a good thing for consumers.

Quid Clarius Astris
Ubi Bene ibi patria

Something you don't see every day:

Ecuador Launches Campaign to Keep Oil Underground

Leftist President Rafael Correa hopes developed countries and environmental groups will pay the poor South American nation about US$350 million annually to leave the oil in the ground and reduce carbon dioxide emissions to slow global warming.

Triumvirate of collapse - Economy, Ecosystem, Energy

If he is successful in getting someone to pay him to keep all his oil(?) underground, I would like to talk to the same people that pay him to see if they would be interested in paying me to keep all the oil in the giant oil field under my 75 hectare farm underground also to help protect the environment. I'll keep all my oil underground for a measily $100,000 per year. A real bargin!
Any of the other farm owners here on TOD that want to get paid to keep all the oil under their farms underground too? (BG)

Sure, but I need a little more then 100K. Got to figure the baksheesh in up front.

If the neolibs win in 08 we may have a good shot.

Bond slump worsens as yields race above 5 pct

Looks like global finance is getting its own version of a hurricane. Wonder what's happening with the carry trade?

Interesting bit about mortgage finance:

Traders said selling from mortgage investors hedging against the rapid uptick in rates lent additional momentum to the market's hefty decline.

"We are being overwhelmed by mortgage-related selling," said Thomas di Galoma, head of Treasury trading at Jefferies & Co. in New York.

Triumvirate of collapse - Economy, Ecosystem, Energy

The carry trade, interesting isn't it. When the yen came close to 1.13 to the dollar it was all the rage. Then somehow all was considered "well" and backroom deals perhaps struck and the yen climbed, and climbed fast, above 1.20 and things were rosy. Now the rumor of a drop is here. Things aren't well and its dropping.

Its the guess which shell hids the pea. the math is faster than the eye, manipulation is easy with a touch of slight of the hand. Don't blink or you will miss the trick.

Quid Clarius Astris
Ubi Bene ibi patria

Declining crude oil production (and especially declining crude oil exports) + Increasing money supply = ?

As Marc Faber put it, the US 30 year Treasury bond, held to maturity, is "The world's worst investment."

I guess that one could apply that to the ownership of any long term debt instrument, denominated in US dollars.

Think of the total US debt, divided by remaining world oil exports per year--Debt/BEO. BEO = Barrels of Exported Oil per year.

The debt is increasing. BEO is falling (some exporters are showing double digit declines in exports, e.g., Mexico).

I tried to warn anyone who would listen.

As I see it, there are basically two ways this can be dealt with:

  • Crush wealth in a stock market crash.
  • Allow inflation to take off.

  • Keep trying WT. If as Baktiari expects, oil production collapses to ~55MMBD by 2020, when would you see serious loss of oil exports beginning?

    when would you see serious loss of oil exports beginning?

    IMO, it's happening right now.

    I've got a short article on "Russian Car Sales & Net Oil Exports" somewhere in the TOD queue. As I have said several times, I expect Russian oil production to decline this year--no later than next year. When that happens, I expect Russia to join Mexico and Saudi Arabia in showing double digit declines in oil exports (18% for Mexico so far, relative to January, 2006).

    Someone is paying attention. If you do a Google Search for Net Oil Exports, four of the top 10 links are my articles, including the Graphoilogy version of the Russian Car Sales article.

    Ongoing disclaimer: the Net Export work I did was based on prior work by Simmons, Deffeyes and Khebab.

    And that shines an eerie light on Russia's policies, doesn't it? They sign contracts left right and center for pipelines and LNG and oil, but how many people in Europe and Asia, those that sign on for increased dependency on Russian energy, really know how much they have in reserves? What happens when in 5 or 10 years there is a message "Sorry, but no, sorry" or "Prices just went up 500%"?

    Or, as Bloomberg put it a few days ago:

    Gazprom May Thwart Putin Drive for Russian Energy Dominance

    Last year, Gazprom, of which the government owns just over 50 percent, pumped 556 billion cubic meters (19.6 trillion cubic feet) of gas, slightly less than it produced 10 years before.

    Mikhail Korchemkin, who heads Malvern, Pennsylvania-based consulting firm East European Gas Analysis, blames Gazprom's marriage with the Kremlin for its underperformance. ``It's mismanaged but knows where it's going,'' Korchemkin says. ``It's a cash cow for the state. Does anybody care about the midterm strategy? I don't think anybody thinks they'll be there so long.''

    In Gazprom's tinted-glass tower in southern Moscow, the company's managers are wrestling with a raft of issues. Wood Mackenzie Consultants Ltd., an Edinburgh-based firm, says Gazprom's annual production will grow no more than 1 percent a year until the end of the decade. Gazprom's three major fields -- Medvezhye, Urengoi and Yamburg -- are all in decline, and its newest big development, the Zapolyarnoye field, peaked in 2005, producing 100 billion cubic meters of gas that year.

    ``It's not an immediate crisis, but within three to four years, it could be,'' says Jonathan Stern, director of gas research at Britain's Oxford Institute for Energy Studies. ``Gazprom has a number of options, but it's not an easy choice. The future is much more uncertain than the past.''

    The International Energy Agency, the advisory body for wealthy energy-consuming nations, admonished Gazprom last year for not investing enough in new fields. ``Gazprom's annual investments have been on the order of $7 billion since 2003,'' the IEA wrote in a report in the summer of 2006. ``But much has been directed at foreign acquisitions and new export infrastructure.'' The IEA estimated that Russia could face shortfalls of 50 billion cubic meters of gas by 2010 if its three big fields decline by 20 billion cubic meters annually and deliveries from Central Asia don't rise.

    You gotta love it..."The future is much more uncertain thatn the past." Brilliant, I say.

    I have listened, and i am warned. Thanks WT.

    I was looking for something that might be related. Of course, the situation on mortgages has been so precarious for a while, it is not clear it would need much of a push to start toppling.

    I found a Wall Street Journal article with today's date titled

    The Sure Bet Turns Bad
    Funds Howl As Bear Stearns Buys Mortgages

    According to the article:

    A band of hedge-fund managers accuse Wall Street's Bear Stearns Cos. of attempting to manipulate the market for securities backed by subprime loans by purchasing shaky mortgages. Bear retorts that it has the right to repurchase mortgages and that sometimes it can help a struggling borrower. Meanwhile, an industry association that oversees derivatives trading has been drawn into the middle of the matter.

    Apparently, the manipulation Bear Stearns is doing involves credit default swaps (CDSs). The impact is to make mortgage results look better than they really are. There is a ton of money in the CDS market. I am wondering if traders' sudden awareness of this manipulation could explain part of what you are seeing?

    Totally unrelated. Mortgage pass-through securities, which are the simplest and most abundant form of mortgage backed bonds, are valued on assumptions about prepayments by homeowners. As interest rates go up, mortgages are less likely to be prepaid, and therefore get longer in duration. To match the duration lengthening, a bond portfolio will have to sell something, and treasury bond selling is often a choice. No big implications here.

    The Bear Stearns story is about some specific sub-prime based debt that they are buying, which some hedge funds happen to be short. There is much grumbling and gnashing of teeth among those who are short, but not a broader significance here either. Bear wouldn't be buying them if they didn't think they were cheap.


    Acording to this excellent (and crazy) article, posted by Stoneleigh in the Round-Up, Bear Stearns doesn't just buy the mortgages, they sell them too, to pension funds. Pity those who expect to get pensions.

    Banks Sell 'Toxic Waste' CDOs to Calpers, Texas Teachers Fund

    Bear Stearns Cos., the fifth-largest U.S. securities firm, is hawking the riskiest portions of collateralized debt obligations to public pension funds.

    At a sales presentation of the bank's CDOs to 50 public pension fund managers in a Las Vegas hotel ballroom, Jean Fleischhacker, Bear Stearns senior managing director, tells fund managers they can get a 20 percent annual return from the bottom level of a CDO.

    ``It has a very high cash yield to it,'' Fleischhacker says at the March convention. ``I think a lot of people are confused about what this product is and how it works.''

    Worldwide sales of CDOs -- which are packages of securities backed by bonds, mortgages and other loans -- have soared since 2003, reaching $503 billion last year, a fivefold increase in three years. Bankers call the bottom sections of a CDO, the ones most vulnerable to losses from bad debt, the equity tranches.

    They also refer to them as toxic waste because as more borrowers default on loans, these investments would be the first to take losses. The investments could be wiped out.

    Pity those who expect to get pensions.

    These would be boomers right? So if you were born after the boomers, this should be a reason to celebrate, right? No such joy as schadenfreude.

    I'm from Europe, but the situation is the same over here. Nothing but greedy boomers lining up to mooch of the taxes off the younger generations. To hell with the worthless trash I say.

    i dont suppose any "greedy boomers" pay any taxes to support the school for the little darlings of the "younger generations" do they ?

    Yeah well you old farts got to only pay 2% SS taxes whil I'm stuck paying 8% plus Medicare and Medicaid taxes. You had it easy on taxes, much more on us and it will be a tax revolt and you guys will get the shaft. Oh, by the way, thnx for leaving us 8 trillion in debt. How 'bout when you die all your assets go to pay it offf instead of more taxes for me? It's only fair.

    the debt is closer to $9 trillion, part of which was a result of gwb's child tax credit ( reproductive welfare)

    where did you come up with the 2% ss taxes ? social security and medicare together are currently 7.15% (mathced by the employer) or 14.3% for self employed.

    Social security was 2% up until 1950, and has been increasing since then.

    yes, so someone who retired in 1950 would be about 122 years old today. that would be a "greedy boomer" from the baby boom following what ? the spanish american war ?

    They also turned the schools into prisons with armed guards and metal detectors and useless boomer teachers avoiding any accountability by teaching nothing... the schools in the US are a joke and any generation below boomer age has been woefully mistreated

    When no-one around you understands
    start your own revolution
    and cut out the middle man

    Huh? What worthless trash??

    You shouldn't be playing on the internet during working hours, you need to produce more so we can have our cost of living increase.

    I want to do a follow up to the book The Greatest Generation - except about the Boomers... called the Selfish Generation... at the heart of every affliction in the world today are the actions of the Selfish Generation

    When no-one around you understands
    start your own revolution
    and cut out the middle man

    I love this article! The portfolio manager quoted was so entirely clueless--another Orange County scandal, here we come!

    Its probably bigger than the Orange County scandal. The Texas Teacher's pension is a traditional looting ground for the Bushites. When W. was the governor, his buddies sold the Teachers a bunch of doubtful real estate. They're really quite touching in their reguard for Fiduciary Duty.

    Don't forget this one from the Houston Chronicle. At least one new spin on why prices are high, the new plan to reduce gasoline usage by 20%......That's a laugh.

    Gas Refiners Profits Being Driven to Record Levels

    Can be hard to explain
    Yet the big gains can be hard to explain to the public at a time when gasoline costs so much. The national average price Wednesday was $3.14 a gallon, according to AAA.

    With refining profits up sharply, some have argued that the industry should expand its refineries or build new ones.

    But industry officials respond that there is less incentive to spend on such projects now that President Bush is pushing a plan to cut gasoline usage 20 percent by 2017, mostly by blending more ethanol into gasoline.

    "You have to say, 'Why would I invest in additional gasoline refining capacity until I understand a little bit more what's happening in the market?' " said Chevron Vice Chairman Peter Robertson in a recent interview.

    A new refinery hasn't been built since 1976, but existing refineries have been slowly expanding their production.

    With better profits in recent years, refiners had planned to add more than 1.5 million barrels a day of new refining capacity, Drevna said. But some refiners have since pulled back because of the cloudy demand picture and rising costs of materials and labor. Now, plans call for less than 1 million barrels-a-day of additions, he said. "And even that's being looked at."

    President George W. Bush on Thursday urged Russia not to "hyperventilate" over US plans for a missile defence shield ...

    Indeed, why should Russia be the least concerned? The reasons given for the missiles make total sense. Iran and N Korea have long since had designs on Poland and Czechoslovakia -- everyone knows this.

    Now Russia has lots of gas and lots of oil and lots of nukes. But they are a friend so it is inconceivable that the nukes could be aimed at them.

    Why is Putin so paranoid? No one have ever attacked Russia for her resources.

    The CNN coverage of this story last night was interesting. They called the summit a failure, since Bush had hoped to show that yes, he could play nicely with others on the international stage, especially Russia. But things went so poorly that he had to call a press conference to announce that, no, we aren't planning to declare war on Russia. o_O

    davebygolly, your comment reminded me of this article that I read last year.

    The Emerging Russian Giant Plays its Cards Strategically

    The ‘Cheney strategy’ has been a US foreign policy based on securing direct global energy control, control by the Big Four US or US-tied private oil giants-- ChevronTexaco or ExxonMobil, BP or Royal Dutch Shell. Above all, it has aimed at control of all the world’s major oil regions, along with the major natural gas fields. That control has moved in tandem with a growing bid by the United States for total military primacy over the one potential threat to its global ambitions—Russia. Cheney is perhaps the ideal person to weave the US military and energy policies together into a coherent strategy of dominance. During the early 1990’s under father Bush, Cheney was also Secretary of Defense.

    Get the Middle East oil resources out of independent national hands and into US-controlled hands. The military occupation of Iraq was the first major step in this US strategy. Control of Russian energy reserves, however, was Washington’s ultimate ‘prize.’

    Putin will one day be seen as a Hero of Russia.

    Even with all his faults, he is a nationalist and singlehandedly defeated the globalists that tried to steal Russia's natural resources.

    I was talking to one of my friends about the hurricane and she said this:

    "I'm kinda waiting for the blow re: hurricane. It's kinda like playing SimCity2000, I've noticed-- in the game, you raise taxes from 0% to 7%, and all your people boo and hiss, then you drop it from 7% to 6%, and they cheer. I'm sure people are rejoicing that it went from $3.23 to $2.99, and now it'll probably go to $4 like they were saying it would. And then they'll drop it to $3.75, and people will cheer again...*sigh*"

    Ha ha...pretty much sums it up

    Reminds me a lot of a scene from the book 1984. In the scene in question, the news reports that the chocolate ration increased to 25 grams a week, when in fact it was 30 grams the previous week. Yay for doublespeak.

    Alas poor Derrick, I knew him well.

    BP in deep water again over health & safety:

    LONDON (Dow Jones)--A spokesman for the U.K.’s safety regulator said Thursday it has ordered BP PLC (BP) to conduct a comprehensive audit on a key North Sea oil platform to comply with safety regulations, possibly through independent expertise.

    In December, the Health and Safety Executive, or HSE, served BP six notices to address safety breaches following an inspection on its Schiehallion offshore facility. The new notice, dated March 30, suggests the regulator has found the issues serious enough to warrant a complete check. “I could not think of another (offshore oil) installation with six notices arising from one inspection,” the spokesman said.

    The disclosure is a reminder that the U.K. oil major - slammed in the U.S. for heavy corrosion at Alaska’s Prudhoe Bay oil pipeline and for a deadly 2005 explosion in Texas - also faces issues in its home country just as new Chief Executive Tony Hayward assumes the reins at the company.
    After discussing the breaches with BP, the “inspectors have taken stock” and asked the company “to bite the bullet,” the HSE spokesman said. “They want the company to look at installation as a whole,” rather than isolated issues, he said.

    The notice for improvement said that BP can comply “by undertaking and documenting an independent audit of the Schiehallion Asset to assess, demonstrate or... identify measures as appropriate, to ensure compliance with (health and safety regulations) of the offshore installations.”
    The HSE spokesman said the audit was compulsory but the company has the choice between an independent or an internal review.

    The notice added the audit should have “particular emphasis on the control of major accident hazards.” The notice gives BP until Sept. 30 to comply. A BP spokeswoman said “we are actively engaged” and progressing in working to “close out the notice.” “We are working closely with the HSE,” she added.

    Crude oil production at the 120,000 barrel-a-day Schiehallion vessel, located in the Shetland Islands, was interrupted mid-2005 for nearly a month after a fire.

    Several of the breaches that the HSE asked BP to rectify were problems raised by the fire that had yet to be fully addressed a year and a half later. The HSE ordered BP to address the most urgent of these issues between the end of January and March.

    The regulator’s Web site shows the company complied with the regulator’s orders. But the spokesman said the demand for a comprehensive review was issued to avoid having to send further notices on isolated issues

    Triumvirate of collapse - Economy, Ecosystem, Energy

    On one hand its good to see my prediction on road degradation coming true. Also understand that by differing maintained to long it gets very expensive to repair a road they in effect have to rebuild it if its not maintained. So their is a real break point after which I suspect a lot of rural roads will be allowed to revert to gravel and the asphalt ripped up and recycled for remaining roads.

    In my opinion the exurbs will die in a large part because the government will abandon repairing the roads. This is going to leave at first a lot of the mini-farm McMansion estates built in the country in a pretty tough position as the counties pull maintenance on the roads. Thence the exurbs. Finally suburbia.
    Having to bear the cost of gasoline and also take over road maintenance will kill most of burbia.

    I disagree.
    Living in a S. California exurb myself I think we are in good shape. Now this isn't truee of all exurbs such as ones built where no one ever lived (desert, AZ and NEV) but think of this:

    I live in a former farming area and there are still lots of farms around and LOTS of empty land. And water. And horses. And livestock. See where I'm going here? IF you live in the city you are trapped in the PO world. you will be dependent on the Gov. making distribution systems work. Everything you use comes from somewhere else. Also unemployed youths have a great propensity towards rioting and crime. I would think that cities over time will not be a place most people will want to be. This is not the 1930's where the public at large was a more ethical and moral group and bad times were endured by all without large trouble. This is a populace that has grown fat and lazy and when their supermarket is out of food they will not be happy. Gov. will be in big trouble.

    But out in the exurbs most people have moved out here to get away from all that. We still have land and water and animals to grow our own food and adapt more quickly to what is coming. THings like community gardens can spring up very quickly out here and thrive. Try a large community garden in a city. How many police will you need to guard it??

    Things won't be easy or pleasant at times but in the long run it will be worth it.

    Ah, you say, but you will all be thrown out of your Mc Mansions and have to move to the city. No. Families can double up, not as hard to do in a big house, and eventually people will just stop paying the mortgage. Try throwing thousands out of their house when the economy has crashed. Won't happen. The sherrifs live out here too. You'll need the army. And why go to the city? Where would we all live? In the park? the cities are crowded now, they won't be able to handle millions of more people when TSHTF.

    Eventually, most people will live out here and farm anyway, might as well be the first.

    Try throwing thousands out of their house when the economy has crashed. Won't happen.

    Bet you a Mcmansion that it will happen. The government will prop up the banks to cover their debt writeoffs. They won't do squat to help the people.

    If people lost their houses and farms during the depression, when their banker probably lived down the street, you can be damn sure that the bank 2000 miles away will kick you out of your house in a heartbeat. Your town will kick you out even faster for nonpayment of taxes, because they can actually sell the house for enough to get their taxes back.

    Maybe at first, I agree. But once the public realizes that oil is running out and the economy won't grow out of this crises then all bets are off. There are a lot of guns in the country. No US govt that lets people get kinked out of homes en masse will last long. Remember 1776? That was just over a stamp act, not your house.

    It happened in the 20's in the US.

    (tens? hundreds?) of thousands of families were thrown off their farms. A huge migrant worker population was born virtually overnight.

    Remember Waco? Those people were extremely well-armed, and embarrassed the ATF, but had no answer against a light armored vehicle and teargas.

    Hi Korg,

    re: "No US govt that lets people get kinked out of homes en masse will last long."

    Interesting. Some variables might be:
    1) How long the "getting kicked out" lasts and at what rate it proceeds. My guess is, if slow and long enough, a different reaction than if more quickly.
    2) How can people react? (What are the possibilities open to them?) And whatever reaction they have, will it be organized?
    3) re: guns. Are the majority of people willing to take up arms - for any cause - on a large scale? And against whom would these be directed?
    4) Changing the government via normal (election) processes might be one scenario, however, these processes can be disrupted and compromised.

    re: "But once the public realizes that oil is running out and the economy won't grow..."

    I'm becoming more inclined to the view that few people, if any, are likely to realize the connection between "oil running out" and "economy won't grow". Few people see it now.

    Also, some dispute it, in some ways (in the sense that, perhaps, they see it as not necessarily the result, more the likely result, which is more of a side issue, and actually might be part of a "best case" scenario).

    In fact, I'm now leaning more towards thinking even people in a position to make moves WRT money and the economy don't see it, won't see it or can't see it, for whatever reasons.
    (Just my few cents.)

    I'm just trying to alert people to the fact that the way things have been isn't going to be the way they will be.
    Just look at 1776. 10 yrs before that date the British had defeated the French in North America and the Americans we proud as hell to be British. No one would have predicted that in 10 yrs revolution would happen. NO ONE. BUt that's what happened.

    I would see the same with PO. This is a society where info gets around fast. And once the internet vibe understand PO then it won't be long until most people (young) GET IT. Once you get it, as we here do it Fundamentally alters your outlook. Nothing is the same. Old establishment values mean less each day. You realize that your very livelihood is at stake (and your life?). i would say that the Gov. will get less and less respect. UNLESS, they go to the nazi model and just use brute force to enforce their edicts. I don't believe that Americans would put up with that for long. This is a BIG country and there aren't enough troops for that. Which is why monetary control is more effective, i.e. don't pay your mortagage, lose your house. But what happens when millions of Americans can't pay? To quote Kunstler, people will make other arrangements.

    So you see why the MSM will NOT give Peak Oil and credence? It would bring down the house of cards.

    But, in the end, 5 yrs from now it will be self evident IMHO.

    A revolution requires unity among the people.

    I've noticed that the right-wing media is doing a great job of coaching the middle class to blame certain victims for whatever befalls them, and to separate them as being lower class. They portray working class people as merely envious - wanting the benefits of being hard-working, thrifty, middle-class Americans, but not wanting to do the work.

    The media will make the case that greedy people foolishly over-extended themselves into bad mortgages, and deserve what happens to them (which is largely true). But the media will ignore when the better-connected of the predatory lenders get bailouts, instead of the jail time they deserve.

    Hello TODers,

    Humor, or a very serious medical and environmental topic?

    the best wiping method: the neck of a goose.

    In 1973 Johnny Carson accidentally led viewers to believe that there was a toilet paper shortage. Consumers then fueled the shortage by hoarding large amounts of toilet paper after watching the broadcast. The shortage lasted for more than 3 weeks.
    This truly is a product that most Americans take for granted.

    I believe postPeak that toilet paper will be basically unavailable to most because of its incredible embedded energy. Imagine starting with a large log and by hand labor only: having to reduce it to sawdust. That is only the first step in the TP process.

    I wish I was a professional inventor. I have a huge Shamel Ash tree in my backyard that annually yields several hundred pounds of Autumn falling leaves. It would be much easier to hand or foot pedal grind the dried leaves, then process a paste into fairly resonable TP. Much safer than trying to wipe with the neighbor's vicious cat too. =D

    In a true desert survival situation: how did the Ozzie aboriginals accomplish this task best: temporarily using a passing baby koala or kangaroo? Desert Bedouins: the legs of their domestic camels? Kalahari Bushmen: rub bareback astride their cattle? Did these people have the wisdom not to pollute their water supplies by washing themselves inside a small waterhole?

    In Arizona's summer heat: even the rocks get much too hot to be applied to this sensitive area; our desert scrubtrees have very small leaves; and 'jumping cholla' would be a lethal mistake [please see photo below]:


    Using the sleek skin of a live and writhing desert snake would be a viable solution as long as it wasn't poisonous.

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

    Short term: phone books, catalogs, magazines.

    Medium term: All other books, US $20 bills.

    Long term: corn cobs.

    What's wrong with water or even soap for the luxury class. Hardly a problem and more hygienic. Much in modern life can simply vanish without any "real" detriment to living a normal healthy life or should I say actually improve it.

    On-the-other-hand, and in keeping with the original post, we can all get-along just fine with tree bark, razor grass or just not bother ;)

    Triumvirate+1 of collapse - Economy, Ecosystem, Energy + Bad Smells

    Hello Burgundy,

    Thxs for responding. Good points in your first paragraph.

    Does anyone know if any large cities have published formal plans of when they will shift their citizens to Humanure Recycling? I couldn't find any info in my Asphalt Wonderland's official drought plans.

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

    Bob, humans are designed to crap squatting in a field. It works way better biomechanically, reducing the paper requirement. I always thought the water closet a waste of waste.

    I spoke with an old-timer who was OUTRAGED at the water closet:

    "We shouldn't mix feces with water! It's the worst think you can do healthwise! We should be COMPOSTING it!"

    Imagine if all your farm animals had to crap into watery bowls.

    Roman Gladiators were furnished a stick upon which a rag was wrapped into a ball form. Use and put into a bowl of water, and the next guy to use.

    I have read/heard that at least one Gladiator took their life by suicide. They shoved the ball and stick down their throat.

    I am also old enough to remember out houses and a sears catalog, I was old enough to remember I was very POed if someone has used the womans bra and panty section ;)

    Quid Clarius Astris
    Ubi Bene ibi patria

    sounds like a spin on the history

    i know from my visit to Hadrian's wall that they had these communal shit-pits and they had buckets of water in which there were sticks with sponges on the end for wiping their asses... i always understood it to be their own stick (though a communal bucket of water...

    these things have impact on teenage boys on school trips

    When no-one around you understands
    start your own revolution
    and cut out the middle man

    Spin on history, don't know, It was a documentary on NOVA I believe. They did not say each had their own, it was a communal.

    The story of the suicide's was from a 'diary" I recall that recounted the suicide of a favorite gladiator that just couldn't take what he was forced to do anymore. The method was supposed to be a message according to the writer about what the Romans were about and what they "desired" and how they used the gladiators to fulfill those desires.

    Even if they were not correct or my memory is faulty, it doesn't matter in the end of what the message is.

    A bucket of water isn't going to clean a sponge or a rag on the end of a stick. especially with repeated uses and the water is not changed.

    Quid Clarius Astris
    Ubi Bene ibi patria

    Hello Greenman,

    Thxs for responding. I agree with your TP decline progression. Obviously, phone book paper is much softer than National Geographic quality paper.

    For an accurate and detailed assessment of corn cobs and other items:

    Wiping B.C. (Before Charmin)

    VERDICT: Corncobs are a viable option, if there are dried corncobs lying around or prepared for this purpose. The problem is they don't grow on trees if you're caught outdoors; but our pioneer ancestors had the right idea keeping a supply of them in the outhouse.
    The specific descriptions, techniques, and comments are available for those seeking such detail. I won't post them here, but imagine the future # of webhits this site will get as we start to go into TP decline.

    How soon till this becomes a commonplace reality for middle class Americans? Five years at most? Will a thick phone book be barter for a Thanksgiving turkey?

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

    I'm not sure if I'm more disturbed that there is a "poopreport.com", or that you had a handy link to it...

    Thanks for keeping us informed, Bob.

    Hello Greenman,

    This is not directed against you, but is a general comment.

    I have done lots of newsgoogle on many countries over the years, and it is shocking how many have health problems from sewage that could be easily managed. I fear it is as Jay Hanson suggests: they have obsolete belief systems or a cultural bias against dealing with this problem in an open and forthwright community manner. If mitigation is to be successful: we need to get over the fact that many are 'disturbed' over any discussion of poop and Humanure Recycling.

    I posted not too long ago: a newslink that said total water-handling infrastructure is 4-5 times more capital intensive than even FF infrastructure. Our present system cannot be maintained postPeak. We need to be swiftly moving to alternative plans to optimize the situation. Hopefully, the US will avert the pollution of Zimbabwe, Mexico, India, China, etc.

    Just as Tiger Woods & the PGA need to plow golf courses, the Owners & CEOs of bottled water companies need to be pushing for Humanure Recycling and clean streams and rivers. But it is very difficult [impossible?] to get people to resist short term thinking. Time will tell.

    The postPeak ideal would be where most could safely drink from a creek or river.

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

    Our sewage infrastructure was built not because it was the best environmental solution, but because it is the only solution for crowded areas. If we lose municipal sewage treatment, we will immediately be back to throwing chamberpots into the street and cholera epidemics.

    Even septic systems are not possible for the overwhelming majority of the urban population of this country. Your postpeak ideal sounds great, but the reality will be that there would not be a clean creek or river in the entire country.

    Hello Enviro Attny,

    Thxs for responding.

    We WILL LOSE conventional municipal sewage treatment if we continue our present course. Google numerous countries for examples.

    Plan A: no mitigation, chamberpots emptied into streets.

    Plan B: mitigation by community Humanure Recycling.

    I suggest you sue for Plan B to help prevent Plan A. Your offsprings' lifestyles may depend upon your success.


    I am working all week on a set at a major Golf tournament. I have thought about your plan as I stand on a tower or an elevated set and watch all the people/power/money that is wandering around the place.

    At one time it was farm land, and some of the silo's are still left on the course.

    I stand there and think. One day and it might not be that far off, five years maybe, and those people will not be there, or not in the quantity and their attitudes and SUV's littering the parking lots.

    Of course I will miss the eye candy. Its friggin amazing the number of high maintenance woman will suffer the heat and sun to watch men hit a ball with a stick for big money.

    I used to have a seven handicap and as low as five when I worked at it. I quit ten years ago, hundred dollars or more for a few hours. Yet I do miss it.

    Quid Clarius Astris
    Ubi Bene ibi patria

    Running human waste through an anaerobic digester could produce considerable quantities of methane. This is low-tech application in use around the world. In addition to the valuable energy supply, doing this also helps reduce the emission of a potent GHG, it reduces the bulk of the remaining waste, and it the anaerobic digester process may render the remaining waste more benign for the human and natural environment. A few sewage systems are already doing this, all of them should.

    Hiya Bob!
    Sorry to disagree with you here but Greenspan says we'll need all those cobs and stover for cellulosic ethanol. After a few swigs from that, wiping with your fingers won't seem bad at all.

    You can´t be serious about the toilet paper shortage, isn´t PO enough? You are really a doomer sire.

    Hello Swede,

    Thxs for responding. I hope you now see how PO & TP are directly related. If not: please whittle by hand-knife a cord of wood into a large pile of 1/4 inch shavings, then get back to me.

    For most people: gasoline and toilet paper are only used once. Then it takes 200 million years for the next fillup and approx 30 years for the next roll of virgin wood-based TP. My guess is if you get started now: 30 years is how long it will take you to carve that cord of wood. =D

    EDIT: Never forget that one non-existent barrel of oil = 25,000 hours of physical labor to offset.

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

    You got a point there. But i believe that we in sweden with our vast forest recources could produce enough with toilet paper. But of course without oil everything is challenged.

    Are we really freaking doomed??? Or are we TODERS doomers??
    I don´t know, personally i have done the ELP, and now i am waiting to se how it unfolds. BTW i can manage without toilet paper if TSHTF.

    I predict the growing of hemp for paper fiber will start very early into the Long Emergency, and toilet paper will stay an available commodity.

    I wonder if something along those lines would make an interesting cottage industry.

    People with food or other goods to trade would probably be very happy to trade for even crude TP, even if they are well-supplied with corncobs.

    There are artists who hand-make paper. The Japanese had (have) a tradition of paper making.

    Suitable fiber source (e.g. hemp), solar masher (or whatever it takes), rollers to press out the fiber into rolls. Hmmm...

    Hemp would be a little risky to use for a pilot project, but you could probably debug the system with cotton.

    Paper can also be made from salvaged rags, other sorts of used paper, etc.

    Veddy Intarestink...

    A quick google later:


    Environmental Education for Kids : Make Your Own Paper

    1. Make some pulp (take scrap paper, shred, put in hot water in a blender, blend, add starch (optional))

    2. Pour pulp into a flat pan. Slide a piece of (aluminium) screen into pan, agitate until covered in pulp.

    3. Remove pulp-covered screen. Drain. Press. Let dry. Peel paper off screen.

    Making that into something that would make a continuous strip would be trickier...

    Curse you, Bob Shaw!

    Now you've got me reading all this rubbish.


    # The pulp is mixed with water again to produce paper stock, a mixture that is 99.5% water and 0.5% fiber. The paper stock is sprayed between moving mesh screens, which allow much of the water to drain. This produces an 18-ft (5.5-m) wide sheet of matted fiber at a rate of up to 6,500 ft (1981 m) per minute.
    # The mat is then transferred to a huge heated cylinder called a Yankee Dryer that presses and dries the paper to a final moisture content of about 5%.
    # Next, the paper is creped, a process that makes it very soft and gives it a slightly wrinkled look. During creping, the paper is scraped off the Yankee Dryer with a metal blade. This makes the sheets somewhat flexible but lowers their strength and thickness so that they virtually disintegrate when wet. The paper, which is produced at speeds over a mile a minute, is then wound on jumbo reels that can weigh as much as five tons.
    # The paper is then loaded onto converting machines that unwind, slit, and rewind it onto long thin cardboard tubing, making a paper log. The paper logs are then cut into rolls and wrapped packages.

    Now I just have to scale that down to shed size and power it with 24VDC. No problemo.

    Hello Greenman,

    That is why I hope some experts look at turning Autumn leaves into TP--should be very easy to grind--even easier than processing hemp plants. We need to figure out how to make local essentials with the absolute minimum of energy inputs.

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

    Bob, you forgot gerbils!

    TV commercial of the future for those who are old enough to remember the Charmin commercials: "Mr. Whipple, please don't squeeze the gerbil!"

    Much safer than trying to wipe with the neighbor's vicious cat too.

    yes, but cats are self-cleaning...


    TP economization 101

    "How to wipe with 1 square of toilet paper."

    1) Take 1 square of toilet paper and fold in half.
    2) Fold in half again to make a square.
    3) Tear off the "folded corner" to make a hole in the center of the toilet paper when unfolded.
    4) Stick your finger all the way through this hole.
    5) Wipe
    6) Fold toilet paper back over your finger and pull, cleaning your finger.

    Or use moss and leaves like hunters do (watch out for twigs and spiders)

    It is possible to make paper by hand, by wife does it for a craft hobby.

    If worse comes to worse, there will be lots of old newspapers, phone books, etc. out there for quite a while; these can all be recycled into new paper. Clothes will eventually go to rags (although not that many clothes are 100% cotton, that will be a problem); cotton rags also can be recycled into new paper. Whether such will be inexpensive enough to use to wipe one's behind and throw away is a different question. There are plenty of other uses for which paper is needed.

    Very long term, and very worse case, the cycle is cotton & flax ---> clothes & bedding ---> rags + used paper ---> new paper. Paper in pre-industrial times was almost all 100% rag (except Egyptian papyrus). It is only in the industrial age that paper started to get made by grinding up trees.

    Centuries of oil available in canada ..but what about natural gas?

    Alberta Gas Production Declining Following 2001 Peak, Agency Says
    Breaking News from NGI's Daily Gas Price Index posted Jun 7, 1:36 PM
    After more than half a century as the Canadian supply mainstay, Alberta natural gas production has peaked and will decline no matter how much drilling producers do, the province's industry watchdog agency says

    From intelligence press. Anyone has sunbscription for full article?

    A lot of recent gas discovery has been in BC in the Fort St John area and also further north. Thus, while technically the production from Alberta may be dropping, the overall regional production into the grid may not be. There's a bit of a Four Corners up there which divvies things up. That's not to say that Alberta hasn't peaked, but there is still a lot of gas to be had and the rate of exploitation varies with the market. Part of the problem is that the remains are scattered and tie in is expensive relative to reserve volume and life. Yes, the salad days are behind us.

    I'd expect that the whole shebang up to Prudhoe bay has oil and gas in typical quantities but a gas well in the middle of nowhere isn't much help until you have a pipe to it. Putting a pipe to it isn't much good if you don't have a market for the gas. Which came first, the pipeline or the well?

    Drilling? What drilling?

    Drilling jobs scene bleak

    3,500 FEWER RIG HANDS; High dollar and trusts' crash could mean long layoffs

    Thousands of rig hands in Western Canada are waiting for callbacks from their drilling-company employers, but industry observers say the high Canadian dollar and a crash in the royalty trust and junior part of the oilpatch mean they could be idle for a long time.

    While the drilling industry, which for years worked to build up its labour pool, is reluctant to talk in terms of outright layoffs because of the seasonal nature of its work, it's expected there will be almost 3,500 fewer roughneck positions this summer relative to last year, as the number of active rigs drops to 376, from 512 in 2006.

    The current quarter looks even bleaker.

    "Ordinarily by now, we're seeing utilization rates bounce up towards 50%, and this week we were at 30%, on the heels of a morbidly low utilization since April," said Andrew Bradford, industry analyst at Canaccord Adams. "The rig hands, they are the ones who will be structurally unemployed for quite a while, I think."

    According to the brokerage, there were 255 drilling rigs active in Western Canada in the week ended yesterday, up from 146 last week. At this time last year, there were 502 active rigs. A drilling rig typically employs about 25 people, suggesting 6,000 rig hands who were employed last year are not on the job.

    Many rigs are expected to remain on the sidelines into the fourth quarter and possibly beyond, after oil and gas companies reduced drilling activity by nearly 30% this year relative to last year to tame runaway costs and as commodity prices fell due to high inventories.

    I was talking to a friend of mine in the service business in Midland, Texas. There is definitely a slow down in drilling going on--especially deeper wells.

    I think it's part of a worldwide pattern.

    Costs have gone up so much on everything from Lower 48 conventional drilling, to non-conventional drilling, to the tar sands, to GTL projects that a lot of projects are being postponed or cancelled. That's why I like shallow oil projects.

    In any case, slow downs in conventional and non-conventional energy projects doesn't bode well for future supplies.

    In other words, energy is STILL just too cheap.

    Then, of course, there is that whole "Receeding Horizons" thing.

    I wonder how much of the foregone drilling is natural gas vs. oil. Wouldn't foregone natural gas drilling show up as a supply shortfall sooner that oil (greater decline rates)?

    Apropos oil sands and natural gas, could someone explain to me what is so essential about using natural gas here? While natgas is convenient in how you can turn a flame on and off at the flick of the switch, we're talking about a process where so many steps require human intervention that surely it can't be that much more expensive to use oil-powered flame sources.

    Natural gas is needed to provide hydrogen in the upgrading phase of production. Dave Cohen covers the entire process in a TOD post named
    Oh, Canada! -- Natural Gas and the Future of Tar Sands Production

    Natural gas-fired facilities generate steam [for SAGD] and provide process heat for bitumen recovery, extraction and upgrading. Further, natural gas also provides a source of hydrogen used in hydroprocessing and hydrocracking as part of the upgrading process.... Although there is considerable variation between individual projects, an industry rule of thumb is that it takes 1000 cubic feet of natural gas to produce one barrel of bitumen. The demand for mining recovery is a more modest 250 cubic feet per barrel. Current natural gas demand for upgrader hydrogen amounts to approximately 400 standard cubic feet per barrel. Future hydrogen additions for upgrading into higher quality SCO [synthetic crude oil], may reach another 250 cubic feet per barrel. In addition to this, if no coke burning is taking place, yet another 80 standard cubic feet of barrel for upgrader fuel is to be added. Therefore, a future barrel of in situ produced high quality SCO may require more than 1700 standard cubic feet of natural gas....

    A piece on why refiners in US wont build etc:


    'twas ever thus
    Small nation uses new found oil wealth to build military

    From Leanan's link above:

    OPEC Official Looks West for Investment

    OPEC's new secretary general, Abdalla el-Badri, might be pushing the blame game too far.

    Mr. Badri said OPEC would need investment of between $230 billion and $500 billion by 2020 to achieve a target of nine million barrels per day of additional production. OPEC currently produces a little more than 30 million barrels a day, the equivalent of 40% of global output.

    ...He acknowledged some of that must come from foreign sources, like Western oil majors, and not just from state-run national oil producers.

    This is more evidence that OPEC will have great difficulty increasing production. When OPEC cannot increase production, OPEC will blame the Western oil majors for not investing enough in OPEC countries.

    El-Badri's statement is very confusing. Western oil majors need to invest more in say the OPEC country of Venezuela?!! How about Indonesia. The Indonesian government takes up to 85% of any oil discovered. Is Saudi Arabia about to allow investment by Western oil majors? I don't think so.

    The Motley FoolHas OPEC Lost Its Moorings? also read el-Badri's comments. David Lee Smith, a writer for The Motley Fool had this to say

    Perhaps Mr. Badri can explain to us how the private companies might invest and presumably operate in a group of countries that, with few exceptions, prohibit such activities. For now, however, I'm treating this latest surprise from the cartel as yet another indication that mankind's ability to keep up with global energy demand in the coming years is anything but guaranteed.

    OPEC is struggling to maintain current production and has very little surplus capacity.

    In your Import/Export land model should you not also include the percent increase or decrease in production of the importer? Of course, for the U.S. this would make the situation appear even worse.

    June 7th here on the Great Plains of the US. The wind is whipping across the flatlands, drying the soil of last weekend's rain. In my garden the potatoes, early tomatoes, thyme, phlox, daisies, basil, roses, and lavender are in full bloom. An apis mellifera paradise.

    I have seen a grand total of zero honeybees this year. I've been watching for them.

    Mysterious oil-stain pattern on my driveway. Coulda sworn it said, "So long, thanks for your thyme."


    Here in Central Texas I noticed some bees earlier in the spring, but lately noticed an absence of them, on the privet bushes that were very buzzy in prior springs.

    I think it's the popularity of the new systemic insecticides like Imidacloprid and Fipronil.

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

    Nature strikes back

    Coal ship runs aground in unusual weather at Newcastle, Australia.

    Spare the good buddies here at TOD some work:

    Three ships in trouble in 'wild' seas

    "Coals to Newcastle", as the Brits say. . .


    Hello TODers,

    Evidently, New TOD member, BostonGeologist, called it pretty good with his analysis and photo of the Omani LNG plant several days ago. Reuters now says:

    The main liquefied natural gas terminal at Sur, which was badly hit, was not operating either, a shipper said. Sur terminal handles 10 million tonnes per year of such gas.
    Much more other details in this report.

    EDIT: Kudos to Chuck Watson and AlanfromBigEasy for their postings on this LNG plant too. As soon as I saw Boston's photo with the plant at sea-level and the steep mountains rising in the background--I knew this had the potential to get real ugly in a hurricane.

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