DrumBeat: June 22, 2007

Complicated Symmetry Between Oil and Politics

The major issue here is "that you go from 79 million barrels a day in 2002 to 84.5 million in 2004. You're leaping by two to three million barrels a day" each year. That's like a whole new Saudi Arabia every couple of years. It can't be done indefinitely," former senior Aramco executive Al-Huseini commented.

Scarcity of Goods Sows Frustration Among Argentines

At the height of rush hour, Luis Ibáñez parked his taxi in the middle of the busiest intersection of this city, got out of the car and stood cross-armed in the street as traffic jammed around him.

Dozens of other cabdrivers joined him Friday, protesting a national shortage of compressed natural gas -- the primary fuel for the vast majority of taxis here. As winter approached in the Southern Hemisphere, the Argentine government cut natural gas supplies to service stations and industrial users last week. It was a temporary measure to ensure that there would be sufficient fuel available to heat Argentine homes over the weekend.

Carstens Says Pemex Can Meet Needs Without Tax Cut

Mexican Finance Minister Agustin Carstens said Petroleos Mexicanos, the country's state-owned oil monopoly, can meet its capital needs without lower taxes through greater funding from the federal budget.

Energy sector looking increasingly bullish

Saudi Arabia, which has boasted of its ability to ship up to 12 million barrels a day now admits it will be hard pressed to maintain its current 9 million daily barrels. Although the Saudis are loath to admit it, expert geologists are concerned about the viability of the Ghawar field, the largest producing site in the world. Concerns have also been raised about two other of the Saudis' five gigantic oil production fields that make up the bulk of their overall production.

The Globalist Quiz

As more and more nations develop a strong appetite for oil, the depletion of the world’s reserves is becoming an ever more important issue. As nations around the world vie to secure their energy supplies for the future, we wonder: What percentage of global oil reserves is located in the United States?

The Ripple Effect Of Refinery Fires

"When these facilities have one of these catastrophic events, it can have a disproportionate effect on the gasoline market," said Carolyn W. Merritt, chairman of the Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board. Lynn Westfall, chief economist and vice president for strategic planning for Tesoro, an independent refiner, said that because "we're operating on such a razor-thin margin, we're always one refinery incident away from a spike in prices."

The Future of Hybrid Vehicles

From hydraulic to air to plugging in, you may be surprised by the upcoming array of technologies.

US House Ways and Means Panel Passes $15.3B Energy Tax Package

The U.S. House Ways and Means Committee passed a $15.3 billion tax package Wednesday that would extend long-term renewable energy tax credits and provide incentives for energy efficiency.

The measure passed on a 24 to 16 vote.

Chairman Charles Rangel's, D-N.Y., markup bill pays for the package primarily by cutting more than $15 billion in tax breaks to oil companies.

Global warming: Just what overcrowded, polluted India didn't need... the $3,000 car

India's economy is booming but its roads are a throwback to pre-industrial times. That is about to change when a flood of cheap vehicles come on the market

BP sells Russian gas field stake to Gazprom

Oil giant sells its 63 percent stake in a Siberian gas field to Russian state-controlled firm, signs deal to consider strategic alliance in long-term energy projects with Gazprom.

Sudan: The oil factor

The country's original and most reliable oilfields, which produce valuable low-sulphur crude marketed as Nile Blend, are maturing. Their output dropped from a peak of 300,000-odd b/d in early 2005 to 254,000 b/d in the first quarter of this year. Prospects for pushing production back up using better oil-recovery techniques are poor, and this dip will be only partly offset by output from new fields that have begun to be exploited in Sudan's south (see map).

China: World's first coal-to-oil mass converter due to start operation this year

Towering above the sweeping grasslands of Erdos, in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, two 60-meter-high cylindrical structures stand out against the skyline.

The structures -- reactors for liquefying coal -- are part of a project to mass produce desperately needed fuel oils from China's rich coal resources.

UK May Have to Do Without Nuclear Power

The British government will not subsidise new nuclear power plants, so if the private sector does not provide the huge investments needed, the country will have to do without, the minister responsible for energy said on Thursday.

Al Gore: 'US has to join the world effort on climate' - UK interview with the former vice president

Australia: Ethanol target a big problem

Oil companies have set a target of 1,105 megalitres of biofuels in response to climate change and concerns oil is running out.

The major biofuel in Australia is ethanol, which is made from sugar cane and grain.

But a government research paper released today says Australia may be forced to import wheat if the target is met and drought is still raging.

ADM eyes Brazilian ethanol, report says

Archer Daniels Midland, the nation's largest producer of ethanol fuel from corn, is setting its sights on a move into Brazil's sugar cane-based ethanol business, according to a published report.

Residents Flee as Nigerian Army Begins Operation on Militants

Nigerian police deployed scores of troops to the murky swamps of the oil-rich Niger Delta Thursday in a bid to secure the release of more than two dozen soldiers and civilians abducted from an Italian-owned oil flow station.

Dirty Canadian Sands Will Make You Filthy Rich

Another day, another 13.5 million barrels. The problem, however, is that our foreign oil imports from areas like the Middle East are about to start drying up. But the U.S. is already preparing for this by looking to the rich bitumen in Canada.

Refiners hit brakes on growth - As project cost soar, companies are rethinking their plans to add capacity

Recently, Placid Refining Co. was ready to launch a major expansion of its oil refinery in Port Allen, La., when it received some unwelcome news.

In the year since it hatched the idea and ran the numbers, the cost of the project jumped by nearly 50 percent, said Gary Fuller, vice president and general manager at Placid.

Congress's Energy Follies

If the American people are suspicious of bold pledges from Washington about energy independence and reform, they have good reason to be. Since the first energy crisis almost 35 years ago, our nation has had a very expensive education in such matters. Whether it was President Nixon's Project Independence that called for the elimination of foreign oil imports, or President Carter's mandate that 20% of all domestic energy be supplied by solar technologies -- both of which were set to be achieved by 2000 -- projects have come and gone to no avail.

Proposed toll hikes frustrate motorists

Drivers might be happy the gas tax isn't going up, but proposed higher tolls have motorists and truck drivers shaking their heads.

In a budget deal hashed out Wednesday night, lawmakers nixed a proposed 5 cents-per-gallon fuel tax and put forward an assortment of highway toll and vehicle fee increases, including raising the toll on I-95 near the Maryland line to $4.

Why Investors Should Be Interested in Shale Oil

If you look at the EROI (Energy Return on Investment), shale oil comes out between 0.7 and 13.3. Compared to other energy sources, this isn’t as bad as it looks. Early in crude oil's production history (1940's), the EROI was 100 at the time of discovery – it was easy to find, and easy to get out of the ground. In the 1970's, it dropped to around 23, still more than good enough – nobody considered not drilling for oil.

Depending on how you calculate it, ethanol ranges from 0.8 to 1.7 – at the low end, it's an energy sink, taking more energy to produce than you get from the final product, and at the high end, it barely makes sense if you don’t factor in all of the non-mathematical factors like renewability and environmental impact. Shale oil clocks in right between ethanol and crude on EROI, although it comes with a spectacular range.

Nigeria: NUPENG, PENGASSAN threaten Bluestar oil

The Kaduna Refining and Petro-Chemicals Company (KRPC) branch of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) and the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) say they will not allow Bluestar Oil Consortium to take over the refinery.

“We will never allow Bluestar Oil Consortium access to the refinery and it would be in their own interest to keep off,” the two unions said on yestarday at a joint press conference in Kaduna.

South Africa: Residents drive 40km for petrol

The village of Greyton and surrounding areas may be without petrol for a while longer, as the owner of the only garage in the town is not fixing it and plans to sell.

Angry residents of the sleepy hamlet and tourist destination say they have to drive 40km for petrol, as their station has been without it for months.

Putin to participate in Balkan summit

After several years of hesitation, South-Eastern European countries had to admit that their economic projects would stall without Russian and Kazakh oil supplies and financial support.

According to experts, if it is not settled at present, the Balkans may face a heavy energy crisis in five years.

U.S. Concerned by Armenia's Energy Ties With Iran

The United States has expressed concern about Armenia’s deepening economic relations with neighboring Iran, with a senior American diplomat warning that they might run counter to international sanctions imposed on Tehran over its controversial nuclear program.

Pakistan: 12 hour load shedding bludgeons Chitralis

An unannounced, unscheduled minimum 12 hour load shedding in 24 hours, has put the inhabitants of Chitral town in a spin, who are crying hoarse knowing not what to do about it.

After enduring a long and dreary electric breakdown of two months at a stretch in winters, Chitralis were expecting some respite in good weather but this hope has been shattered by WAPDA, the recently declared most corrupt organisation in Pakistan.

Problems of Uranium Mining in Russia

According to Russia’s Energetic Strategy through 2020 (herein referred to as Energetic Strategy) approved by the Russian government, Russia aims to increase atomic energy production from 16% to 23% with an increase in electricity generation at APP from 130 to 230-300 billion KW/h a year.

In June 2006, Vladimir V.Putin, President of the Russian Federation, suggested an even higher value at 25%.

Iraq War Going Once. Twice. Sold! To the Democrats!

The implications of Peak Oil are widely misunderstood. The world will never run out oil, whether vegetable or mineral. The Petroleum Age will not end on a fixed date, when the last drop of crude falls from some spigot in the desert sands, any more than the Stone Age ended for lack of stones. What is running out is cheap oil, easily extracted, easily refined oil. At some point prices will simply rise to, and stay at, a level where running all the transport and industry we do with it at the present becomes economically unviable.

That is the spectre that haunts the corridors of power in Washington DC. So many American cities, and not least suburbs, were, if not founded, then at least shaped during the Petroleum Age. It can be difficult for say, an urban European from Paris, Berlin, or London, never having been there, to fully fathom just how shaped, by nature and design, the American landscape is for the automobile.

False in one thing, false in everything

What is the "one thing" an energy review needs to review? It is the imminent (or perhaps passed) peak in global crude oil production, on which the entire world depends for its mobility and its chemicals.

'Lights out' as Taiwan fights global warming

Around 650,000 people in Taiwan are expected to turn off their lights for up to an hour Friday night to boost public awareness of global warming, an organiser of the event said.

Some public buildings, including the world's tallest Taipei 101, would also join the "Lights Out Day" campaign, said the Society of Wilderness, one of the organisers.

'Lights out' as London does its bit for climate change

Some of London's key landmarks and top hotels are to go dark for an hour on Thursday evening as the capital does its bit for the fight against global warming and turns off its lights.

Paris sizzles, Mediterranean wilts from global warmin

Paris will sizzle and much of the Mediterranean will wilt according to a new study which raises alarm bells about the heat the region will take from global warming.

Today's hottest days could become some of the summer's coolest days by the end of the 21st century if the current rate of carbon dioxide emissions continues, the authors warn.

ATI Petroleum conducts its NYSE/Euronext market listing and settles in France

"Despite the long-term promise of fusion, solar, wind and other alternative energy solutions, the reality is that the world runs on energy from coal, petroleum and nuclear power. The days of peak oil production have passed and supplies will only grow scarcer as demand increases. Oil and gas must be saved for necessary activities like being the feedstock for fertilizer instead of being used for electricity generation."

Analyst: Oil Majors' Reserves Slipping

The world's major oil companies replaced reserves at levels below 100% for the third straight year in 2006, while costs to find and produce the key asset continued to rise, a new analysis shows.

Reserve replacements last year, excluding acquisitions and divestitures, were 91%, slightly below the 92% replaced in 2005, according to a report released Thursday by investment bank Bear Stearns & Co.

At the same time, the companies' search and development costs rose to $13.63 per barrel of oil equivalent, up 28% from 2005, the report said.

Reserve replacements represent the ratio of reserves found over production for a given period. Analysts typically say a company's reserves replacement should average more than 100% over a three- to five-year period to indicate growth.

Senate approves new auto fuel standards

The Senate approved a proposal on Thursday that would for the first time in 30 years force sharp increases in auto fuel standards and impose other measures to make vehicles more efficient and cut dependence on imported oil.

In a surprise voice vote, senators approved a compromise amendment that would require an improvement in the average efficiency of the new U.S. vehicle fleet from 25 miles per gallon now to 35 mpg by 2020, about a 4 percent annual increase.

Nigerian strike intensifies after talks fail

Nigerian unions threatened to disrupt power and water supplies on Friday after talks collapsed on the third day of a general strike to protest against a rise in fuel prices.

The strike in Africa's top oil producer has stopped most sectors of the economy, including ports, airlines, public transport, government offices and large companies, but vital oil exports have so far been spared.

Pemex Says May Oil Output Falls 6.6% From Year Ago

Petroleos Mexicanos, the state-owned oil monopoly, said crude production fell 6.6 percent in May from a year earlier and dropped to its lowest this year as the company struggles with declining output from its Cantarell field.

Opec rejects EU demand to increase oil production

Opec has rejected European Union calls to pump more crude so consuming nations can replenish stockpiles and ease the impact of supply disruptions from the Middle East and Africa.

“There is plenty of oil in the market, the stocks are very high, they are above the five-year average,” Abdalla el-Badri, the Opec secretary general said at a meeting with EU officials at Opec headquarters in Vienna yesterday. “If we add more oil, it will not go to the refineries, it will go to the stocks.”

ExxonMobil Chairman Highlights Commitment to Meeting Growing Energy Demand and Addressing Climate Risks

Speaking today at Chatham House, London, Rex W. Tillerson, Chairman and Chief Executive of Exxon Mobil Corporation, discussed two critical energy challenges which the world currently faces: meeting the economic needs of growing populations, especially in developing countries, and addressing the risks of climate change.

ExxonMobil CEO: OPEC Membership Not Affecting Angola Plans

Angola's decision to join the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries hasn't affected Exxon Mobil Corp.'s (XOM) plans to develop reserves in the African country, the energy major's chief executive said Thursday.

"Angola joining OPEC has not influenced our forward planning," ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson.

Angola's decision to become a member of the oil-producing group as of January, potentially further restricting energy companies' access to reserves. However, it's unclear how and when Angola will become subject to a production quota.

Bush Says US Could Build 30 New Nuclear Plants

President Bush Thursday said US utilities could build up to 30 new nuclear power plants and start construction by 2010 in order to keep up with growing electricity demand without spurring more global warming.

30 new newkewlar plants ?

Color me a NIMBY.

Put the first one on the White House lawn. Seems only fair since Reagan ripped out the solar panels.

For the annual Easter Egg roll: Glow-in-the-dark Easter eggs!

#2 can go in Crawford TX

Leadership by example

Put the first one on the White House lawn.

Oh, I can't agree with that. Washington DC is due to be underwater with global warming. The 'location of the plant is underwater' doesn't seem to be a failure mode for the large , hard to move, fission reactors.

But otherwise, sure.

I already have one in my backyard, but I'd go for another.

NIMBY is so yesterday.

It's now BANANA

Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything.

seems like some carbon dioxide might be generated by the processes needed to mine, refine, concentrate and finally dispose of that uranium fuel. What, exactly, is the tradeoff?

Oh you know, minor things, like the lights not going out. That sort of thing.

Oh the horror of not having Christmas tree lights!

Oh the horror of change, where one has an energy budget.

That's ok. The model is to have a large reactor - I'm sure the area around them will be just fine when they suffer failure.

We must keep the lights on in mall parking lots at 3 in the morning at all costs!

In terms of a risk to the public a nuclear reactor is many orders of magnitude safer than a lack of power to keep civilisation up and running.

Keep in mind, any degree of 'dieoff' is worse than virtually any other event - for everyone. Next to that, fatuous comments about Christmas tree lights look ill advised.

In terms of a risk to the public a nuclear reactor is many orders of magnitude safer than a lack of power to keep civilisation up and running.

How safe is a civilian power reactor in Iran?

Since they are all government, and consequently militarily controlled, you are asking an unanswerable rhetoric laced question.

It's big, very energy positive, I think you will find the answer here: http://www.dpmc.gov.au/umpner/docs/commissioned/ISA_report.pdf

It is also very carbon beneficial. Of course there is a dependency on oil&gas based fuels, but that wasn't covered in the report.

This can be dismissed as sensationalist bullshit; Consider their source:

In the paper "Nuclear Power : the energy balance" by J.W. Storm and P. Smith (2005) download here, the authors calculate that with high quality ores, the CO2 produced by the full nuclear life cycle is about one half to one third of an equivalent sized gas-fired power station.

Storm/Smith have been repeatedly demonstrated to be habitual liars with sloppy research guided to a desired outcome.

Then perhaps you would care to do your own detailed scientific analysis on how much C02 is involved in your standard 'run of the mill' nuclear reactor. Numerous contributors at TOD have discussed how much, or little, C02 is produced when constructing a power plant. I believe the general consensus was that 1/3rd of the total pollution was just from the concrete slab itself.

Perhaps you would like to enlighten us on this subject? Until then...

You're suggesting that the concrete used in a nuclear power plant is even close to the CO2 emissions profile of coal or even natural gas?

Of course its not. Of all the 'concentrated' energy production options, Nuclear probably produces the least amount of C02 and has the greatest amount of site flexibility compared to any other source we could use. I was simply pointing out the flaw in your logic to dismiss someones else's analysis as 'flawed' because they are 'cranks' when you have no data to support your own opinion other than what other 'flawed' and 'crank' scientist have produced.

The construction of a nuclear power plant and the mining/refining/transportation of the ore produces FAR less pollution than a similarly sized coal, oil or natural gas powered plant. The only concern with nuclear power is how to dispose of the waste. The next generation plants will render that debate mute.

The only concern with nuclear power is how to dispose of the waste. The next generation plants will render that debate mute.

The next generation won't produce Depleted Uranium?

I don't think any of the plants produce depleted Uranium. That is a byproduct of enrichment. Uranium powered plants usually produce Plutonium. If they are fuelled with weapons grade Uranium and Thorium they only produce more weapons grade Uranium...and a bunch of other nasty stuff of no value that has to be guarded for 10,000 years or so. But who's counting?

Not any of the CANDU ones, no.

Neither will molten salt reactors.

Wrong, the newer CANDU reactors use low enrichment (about 1% from memory) uranium which does, of course, also produce depleted uranium as a byproduct.


CANDU reactors are entirely capable of running on natural uranium, we're being a bit pedantic here. I suppose if you mean the spent fuel will be depleted of its fissile material thats true also, but the statement is simply that heavy water cycles dont require any enrichment. Lets not get in silly arguments over definitions...

You're trying to insult me and agree with me at the same time?

Storm/Smith used all kinds of bad data for analyzing the nuclear energy lifecycle to paint it as energy negative and a vast source of CO2, which is obviously not the case just by looking at the simple illustration of France.

Yes, the CO2 emissions from the Zimmer Nuclear Power Plant were among the worst in the world/ MWh !

WHOOPS #1, #3, #4, #5 were terrible as well.

Ft. St. Vrain none too good.

River Bend #2, etc. etc.

Best Hopes that Nuke does Better the Second Time Around,


ft st vrain ! lol the good people of colorado paid and paid and are probably still paying for that one.

Divide by zero error. You're being disingenuous.

Yes and no. Ft. St. Vrain did produce a little electricity for a few years.

Zimmer is producing electricity today, but some of the worst in the nation/world.

All of the nuke parts were sold for scrap, but the low pressure steam turbine and 4 pole generator were "adapted" for very inefficient coal fired electrical production.

Whoops #2 has evolved into a decent nuke; but to be fair, the carbon and other investments in #1, #3, #4 and #5 have to be included. NOT a winner.

Likewise the massive concrete slab and built but never installed pressure vessel for River Bend #2 should be added to the carbon quota for River Bend #1.

The totality of nuclear power to date includes not tens of billions in wasted investment, but perhaps as much as hundred billion in waste.

If only those resources had gone into something useful, like microhydro or windpower.

Best Hopes for doing better the second time,


I thought that was spelt NOOCULAR

probably, i have always had trouble with spellin' and rocket surgury.

Is Venezuela oil production up or is it down?

Venezuela cuts oil production by 195000 bpd

El Universal, Venezuela - Jun 20, 2007
Venezuela has curtailed crude oil output by 195000 bpd in accordance with a reduction agreed under the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), ...

Venezuelan oil output up

El Universal, Venezuela - Jun 19, 2007
Venezuelan oil production soared 12500 bpd in May to an average of 2.39 million bpd, after the four strategic partnerships operating in the Orinoco oil belt ...

Or could the question better be framed “Can we believe anything that comes from Venezuela’s official news releases?" Note that both of these news bulletins come from the exact same source.

Ron Patterson

questionable accuracy of "news" sources seems to be a global problem.

I get the impression that "they" tell us what they want "us" to hear. Thank the lord for the oil drum.

It could be spin. It could also be just plain old bureaucratic efficiency. It could be 'them' VS 'us'.

History shows alot of 'them VS us' conspiracy.

The only way to have 'conspiracy theories' to go away is fully open and transparent information and transactions. Yet, such a path is rarely mentioned by the people who deride "conspiracy theories".

Eric, of all the explanations for the contradiction in Venezuela oil production reports, a conspiracy theory would be the very last thing I would suspect. If that were the case then the co-conspirators could not even get their story straight.

Look for more simple explanations Eric. The world does not revolve around vast conspiracies.

Perhaps the simple explanation is that Venezuelan oil production was up 12,500 barrels in May and down 195,000 barrels in June.

And there is absolutely no way to make conspiracy theories go away. Conspiracy theory nuts will keep creating conspiracy theories no matter what.

Ron Patterson

The world does not revolve around vast conspiracies.

The problem would seem to be picking WHICH vast conspiracy? Jesuits, New World Order, Corporations, Zionists, Masons, Congress, on and on.

Perhaps the simple explanation is that Venezuelan oil production was up 12,500 barrels in May and down 195,000 barrels in June.

Could be. But one of the basic tenets about TOD is that 'official numbers are not to be taken as truth'

And there is absolutely no way to make conspiracy theories go away.

Bull. If there is full openness, how can one hide a conspiracy?

Unless its the aliens who are playing with the sun. I'm guessing Aliens don't feel the needs to follow our rules.
(this one I have to put a link up for. You all can look up your own info on the other vast conspiracies)

Bull. If there is full openness, how can one hide a conspiracy?

And if everyone were honest and kind we would not need a police department. Full openness just does not jive with human nature. All governments have secrets just as all individuals have personal secrets. And we all suspect each other of something or another. Full openness is impossible therefore there will always be conspiracy theories.

There are conspiracies in governments, especially during wartime. But that is another story. Conspiracy theory nuts see conspiracies behind every tree. There never was a Zionist conspiracy, nor a Jesuit conspiracy, nor a New World Order conspiracy, nor a Masonic or Congressional or a conspiracy of Corporations to take over the world, or whatever you imagine the conspirators are up to.

Your alien conspiracy theory was hilarious. Best laugh I had in weeks. Thanks a million for that.

Ron Patterson

Full openness is impossible therefore there will always be conspiracy theories.

Which is not the same as the original premise of 'want to be rid of theories about conspiracies? Then get full openness in transactions and information.'

There never was a Zionist conspiracy, nor a Jesuit conspiracy, nor a New World Order conspiracy, nor a Masonic or Congressional or a conspiracy of Corporations to take over the world, or whatever you imagine the conspirators are up to.

Ahhh, so there are no conspiracies by say, corporations to do something? Do confirm that and others please let him confirm before you reply to this thread.

Your alien conspiracy theory was hilarious.

Hey, its not mine. Just one of the 'better' ones. Glad you liked, and I keep not using it when the GW/no its the sun 's fault debates go on.

Perhaps the next time the Sun is blamed and not humans, someone will whip the aliens out.

There never was a Zionist conspiracy, nor a Jesuit conspiracy, nor a New World Order conspiracy, nor a Masonic or Congressional or a conspiracy of Corporations to take over the world, or whatever you imagine the conspirators are up to.

As Ron is unwilling to reaffirm that 'a conspiracy of Corporations' exist to 'whatever you imagine the conspirators are up to', I will now point out how Ron is wrong-headed.

Enron conspired to manipulate energy prices.
ADM and the lysine price fixing.

Just as 2 examples per legal actions.

How about the Music CD price fixing settlement? As a 3rd example. Or the Wisconsin Microsoft settlement over Microsoft products? No 'conspiracy' there eh?

So either the legal actions were wrong, or your statement about how there is not a 'a conspiracy of Corporations' that are 'up to something'.

I look forward to you clarifying what went on at Enron and ADM - just as 2 examples. I leave it to other posters to feel free to show other examples of Corporations conspiring. Feel free to show other examples of conspiracy that the historic record backs up.

Like how a bunch of British subjects conspired against the King and ended up overthrowing the King's leadership in the latter part of the 1700's - ya know, just as an example of a conspiracy of men to do something.

Don't forget tobacco, or big auto or the entire idea that a miltary-industrial-congressional complex exists, or Westexas' Iron Triangles--a set of relationships prominantly discussed in most college-level PoliSci texts. For the matter, my current business plan is a conspiracy; it just happens to be legal, as is a marriage. The Senate just conspired to pass an energy bill.

The list of potential examples is potentially infinite.

Why we are intrigued by conspiracies:

  • They occur.
  • They appeal to our sense of wonder and our fascination with things mythical.
  • Because we live in a world where a single person -- a guy wearing an explosive belt or a guy flying over in an F-16 -- can end our lives, seemingly without cause and without warning. This compels us to seek knowledge of impending threats.
  • Because we all experience a sense of isolation and an inability to resist our Brave New World.
  • Because our technolgies have provided us with a lot more information, disinformation and misinformation.
  • Because conspiracies tend to make damned good stories.

  • You missed one:

    because the human mind is good at detecting patterns, even when they aren't there.

    But the real reason for conspiracy theories is that some people feel that their lives are out of control, and the theory gives them some comfort because it blames others. In other words, conspiracy theorists have a mental disorder.

    Besides being crazy, conspiracy theories are dangerous. My son knows a fellow student at Texas A&M who has been placed on the Dept. of Homeland Security Terrorist Watch List because of his involvement with the 9/11 conspiracy crazies. He can now look forward to body cavity searches every time he wants to board an airplane, being screened out of Government jobs, major corporation jobs, buying a firearm, visas from many governments and who knows what else. Its a real screw up -how can you refute charges that are never made? How can you get your name off secret data bases? And thats why I think we need to edit out the weird comments on TOD and bar some trolls. This whole Drumbeat has been tainted by the trolls grabbing position at the top of today's Drumbeat.

    In other words, conspiracy theorists have a mental disorder.

    So when a DA charges someone under RICO laws (many of these discuss a conspiracy between entities) does that make the DA Crazy until the case is over? Were the FBI agents who thought ADM was fixing the lysine market 'mentally disordered'?

    How about the people who felt the 'Spanish attack on the Maine' was incorrect? Felt the incident in the Gulf of Tonkin was 'doctored up'? Felt the claims of Iraq seeking Yellowcake was bunk about a week after it was presented to the public?

    To paint with a broad brush of 'any statement that is not following the standard line' means the person has a mental disorder means exactly what to you when oil firms and govenrments have said there is no oil problem 'till at least 2030? Or, as others have stated, the MSM calls Peak Oil "a conspiracy theory"?

    Guess if you never think there is a conspiracy , and it turns out there was one - you were not 'mentally delusional' you were just wrong eh?

    You're kidding, right? How could someone, or a group, that theorizes about 9/11 complicity in the highest places of the U.S. government be a terrorist threat? These people analyze information, look for connections and irregularities, demand certain things be explained because of x or y couldn't be true (according to them), etc. They write and discuss, usually over the 'net. Why should someone who engages in this be subject to punative measures by U.S. authorities? Sounds to me it is more like a case of punishment for having "unapproved" political opinions! WTF is going on - creeping fascism? I find this more than a little disturbing, like someone throws away the U.S. Constitution and nobody seems to notice or care!

    el'befuddleoso (bush) and dudley doo right have the same conspiracy theory..........the evildoers are out to get us .............and come to think of it i suppose el'befuddleoso does have a mental disorder. i think mental health profesionals call it the duh syndrome.

    How does one go about learning if they are on the DoHS Terrorist Watch List?

    Via filing a FOIA request. That way, you know after doing that you are on a list!

    Take an airplane, or apply for a passport. i had a friend in high school who applied for membership in the Abraham Lincoln Brigade and the FBI came and visted his mother to explain it was a communist front.

    Mysticism , conspiracy theories, religious fanatism are common during collapsing societies (Rome, Russia, English Empire, etc), and are to be expected as we spiral into the abyss. It would be the exception if this was currently not the case.
    It is a coping mechanism as reality becomes overwhelmingly difficult to deal with.

    Eric, thanks for that link, it's hilarious!!! For anyone who clicks on that one, simple exlanation - what is being interperereted as a "giant antenna" in the photos is an "occulting disc" aboard the spacecraft in front of the camera. It's probably about a foot in diameter, if that. See, in order to photograph the area near the sun it's necessary to block out the sun's light or it overexposes the camera.

    "Conspiracy Theory" is a meaningless label invented after the Kennedy assassination. It is just a way to keep people from learning the truth. Works like a charm, doesn't it??

    simple exlanation - what is being interperereted as a "giant antenna" in the photos is an "occulting disc" aboard the spacecraft in front of the camera.

    I thought he was commenting on the white spots, streaks, and black spots in some of the pictures, not the sun-blocking disc. *shrug*

    "Conspiracy Theory" is a meaningless label invented after the Kennedy assassination. It is just a way to keep people from learning the truth. Works like a charm, doesn't it??

    Conspiracy theory, theory about a conspiracy - what is interesting is to see claims of the past where the 'loony conspiracy theory' is attached turn out to be later backed up and then considered factual.

    Eric - how about reading your own link???

    "Engineering on the scale of solar systems! This massive antenna is focusing, phase changing, gathering, directing, plasma/solar energy with some very advanced engineering intent. The small circle at the center is the diameter of the Sun which is greater than 850,000 miles/1.4 million km. Now just how close this array is, is unknown to me. SOHO is at the L1 point, or the Langren point where the gravity of the Sun and the Earth/Moon system balance which is nearly one million miles sunward from the earth."

    "This massive antenna" is a hockey puck...

    What garbage. Somebody needs to google "SOHO".

    I do like the "close-ups" of the "spacecraft". Clearly the aliens build their interstellar spaceships out of Legos!

    Go on then .... Google SOHO.

    Soho is Londons Red Light and Dirty Mac District.

    Have fun...

    Sunspot: According to the MSM, TOD itself is one big conspiracy theory and everyone posting and lurking here is by definition a "conspiracy nut".

    They'll come around eventually. Then, of course, we'll be blamed for it all...

    My favorite "conspiracy theory" is the generally-held concept that the high price of fossil fuels is because "the oil companies are screwing us". Therefore, the oil companies are CONSPIRING to artificially raise prices. Hence, a theory about a conspiracy, hey viola: Conspiracy theory! Try presenting it this way and see the confused looks!

    One element usually present in conspiracy theories is the element of hate. The believer in the conspiracy theory hates the "conspirator."

    As examples, most of the Americans who believe that Dick Cheney or somebody like that was responsible for 9/11 are people who hate Cheney. In the Middle East, they are more likely to hate Jews, so the most popular 9/11 conspiracy theory in the Middle East has it that the Zionists did it. Some people who hate Bush believe he is conspiring to cancel the next elections. Some Clinton-haters a few years back believed Bill and Hilary conspired to kill Ron Brown, Vince Foster, etc. And of course, there are the conspirators responsible for high oil prices (the oil companies, the Arabs, the Democrats who won't let us drill in Alaska, the Republicans who get kickbacks from big oil, the car manufacturers who won't killed the electric car, etc.).

    When you listen to a consipiracy theory, you can generally learn more about the person talking than you do about the subject they are discussing.

    The believer in the conspiracy theory hates the "conspirator."

    Where does that put people who felt FDR let the Japanese attack Pearl Harbor ? Or the people who felt the Gulf of Tonkin was a setup? Or the people who didn't think the Maine was attacked by the Spanish? How about if you think some local government is using the power to condemn and take land just so it could be handed off to a company when you opt to not sell to a corporation?

    How about when a DA has a theory about a conspiracy of men to commit a crime? Is that 'bunk'?

    Notice I tried to be careful to say hate is "usually" present. There are exceptions. As far as FDR and Pearl Harbor, yes, I think hatred of FDR and/or the Democratic party was an element in this idea.

    Most of the other examples you cite do not fall into the category of a conspiracy theory in the way I was using the term. Men do conspire to do things, like commit a crime. I was using the term "conspiracy theory" as described by Wikipedia:

    A conspiracy theory attempts to attribute the ultimate cause of an event or chain of events (usually political, social, or historical events), or the concealment of such causes from public knowledge, to a secret, and often deceptive plot by a covert alliance of powerful or influential people or organizations. Many conspiracy theories claim that major events in history have been dominated by conspirators who manipulate political happenings from behind the scenes.

    As far as FDR and Pearl Harbor, yes, I think hatred of FDR and/or the Democratic party was an element in this idea.

    And the memos and documentation released in the past few years have no bearing?


    From where I sit, it looks like FDR *DID* help the attack along. But I've not seen the documents, I was not in the rooms where these things were discussed, so I really can't KNOW....now can I?

    It's not hate. "Conspiracy theory" has become simply a method of dismissing out of hand something you don't care to believe in.

    Once effectively labeled, the wall of proof or "preponderance of evidence" becomes increasingly high.

    It's not hate. "Conspiracy theory" has become simply a method of dismissing out of hand something you don't care to believe in.

    Something about the 'hate' motive didn't sit 100% with me. Thank you for this better framing.

    Some people who hate Bush believe he is conspiring to cancel the next elections

    Actually I believe this is possible and I do hate Bush.
    But I hate the track America has taken since we first peaked with our internal production. This includes administrations on both sides they are all culpable. As I've said a few times the big lie in America of happy motoring and big houses has already been told and executed. Bush or his successor happens to be the person that will inherit the mess.

    Now down to the so called conspiracy theory. First and foremost we know that we will at the minimum have a massive influx of refugee's from Mexico and a high potential for further issues internally in our poorest regions as oil gets expensive. I consider this a minimum level of stress on the US.

    This alone will be enough to activate some sort of military control at least at our borders. The only assumption is that our current government is peak oil aware and almost certainly in possession of far more detailed information about KSA and other producers and they take the information seriously.

    Now as far as canceling elections the forgone conclusion in my mind is that we will be increasingly under some sort of military control over the next few years as the situation deteriorates regardless of who is in power. Still no conspiracy.

    The question and assertion is that because this sort of end of democracy as we know it makes for a rare opportunity to take control of a powerful nation is Bush going to jump the gun so to speak and assert martial law earlier and cancel the elections. If he does not it will probably happen shortly after the new president is elected and if this is a Democratic president it means a whole different group of wealthy people get access to unprecedented control of the US.

    You can call it a conspiracy theory if you wish I consider it a rare opportunity for a group of the wealthiest Americans to gain power beyond reason. Thus is the temptation too great for Bush or more specifically his handlers to pass up ?

    Bush the man is simply a complete idiot but his handlers show no signs of stupidity. I don't agree with their decisions but that does not make them stupid.

    Memmel: Re US/Mexico border, the governor of the Bank of Canada has recently spoke publicly about the need for free flow of labour between Mexico, the USA and Canada. IMHO, any talk of keeping the Mexicans out of the USA is misdirection.

    IMHO, any talk of keeping the Mexicans out of the USA is misdirection.

    I think there are some who believe it should be that way without the whole 'unified Canada/Mexico' angle. One of the GOP anti-Mexican candidates was in the publication StormFront talking about immigration - if what I remember the summary was correctly.

    (Many of the anti-unified Canada/Mexico people have stated that they are anti-unified Canada/Mexico and say the reason they don't like the Mexican Immigrants is that is seen by them as a start to the unified Canada/Mexico thing. But some just have a dislike for Mexicans.)

    Hi Sunspot.

    "Conspiracy Theory" is a designer mantra that puts the brakes on critical thought.

    The federal gov't certainly believes in it; it's banned in the Federal Criminal Code and carries stiff penalties.

    Wasn't 911 a conspiracy by definition? Or am I missing something?

    It's the most effective slogan I can recall. I can't figure out why people are so bamboozled by it.

    Weather: People like to use it so they will not have to think about the subject (whatever it is). A "conspiracy theory" which is promoted by the MSM is by definition not a "conspiracy theory". Thus 9/11, WMDs, etc. are not "conspiracy theories" as the benign authority figure has spoken.

    "Conspiracy Theory" is a designer mantra that puts the brakes on critical thought.

    *clap* *clap*

    Wasn't 911 a conspiracy by definition?

    Yes. The events were. What is now being talked about (and hopefully not here again - no need for a 4 page drumbeat again) is WHICH version of the theory about the conspiracy is closest to the actual events.

    Nor is science based education for all, as well as the teaching of logical, analytical, mathematical skills. Not to mention ‘open access’ (to science journals, etc.) - the monopoly on Science info has to be broken. Powerful ppl love deluded conspiracy theories, they help them manipulate the electorate, sell papers, stigmatize, dismiss, control, etc. etc.

    The upshot is that ppl can no longer tell what is a ‘wacky’ conspiracy theory (the Illuminati control the world), what are interesting, plausible, alternatives to what is the conventional mantra or supposed wisdom or presentation, what is a question of interpretation, attitude, open to argument, or, more importantly, amenable to action! Orwell, sure.

    Peak oil is not just technical topic, it will test societies capacities to handle 'reality'.

    Peak oil is not just technical topic

    Ahhh, but its just part of the control grid/conspiracy (by the rothchilds/corporations/satanists) to (get more money/keep control/re-wild the US/help the aliens who torture missing childern in the underground cities). Hell, I can't even keep straight who's doing what to whom for whatever reason.

    Ahhh, but its just part of the control grid/conspiracy (by the rothchilds/corporations/satanists)... (aliens who torture missing childern in the underground cities)....

    Satanists no less! And aliens torturing missing children in their underground cities.

    Eric, at first I thought your ideas were just wrong. Then I thought they were hilarious. But now I have nothing but pity for you. You poor man, you should seek help.

    Ron Patterson

    Satanists no less!

    Well that is what William Deagle was saying on his RBN 2006-12-13-Wed3 mp3. It gets better - Satan is intergalactic and lives on Planet X which is swinging back towards earth.


    Eric, at first I thought your ideas were just wrong.

    Well 1st off you'd have to have what my ideas are.

    My posts about WHAT some of the theories about what conspiracy is doing to whom are not MY beliefs.

    Then I thought they were hilarious.

    *ding* That was the goal WRT listing some of the more 'out there' claims I've heard. Unless there is a galactic Satan on Planet X and the aliens are working the Sun's magnetic field in which case won't I look foolish for not believing!

    But now I have nothing but pity for you. You poor man, you should seek help.

    Only if you come along so you can understand the difference between what one believes VS what one posts.

    There are real conspiracies, no doubt. But how does one find the needle of a real conspiracy in the hay stack of imagined conspiracies?
    A vast majority of proposed conspiracy theories are not real.

    There are real conspiracies, no doubt.

    Thanks for pointing that out, as there are a few who have said if you have theories about conspiracies, you are nuts.

    But how does one find the needle of a real conspiracy in the hay stack of imagined conspiracies?

    Alas, damned if I know.

    Some claims are historically interesting (Ford and ethyl Alcohol, Ford and hemp, Ford and his Nickel Iron battery WRT the electric car) I've posted links to those in the past - because others might find the claims and background interesting or might have know what batteries where 'so magical' that buildings burned. Or the claim that Iraq was 'set aside' to be the last place tapped for oil. (A web page about a guy who's name I forgot, but was called Mister 5%)

    Like I also said, the 'Aliens and the Sun' was linked to for the laugh value.

    I'm sure there exists some web site where trying to figure out if a particular conspiracy theory is valid or not. I know there are plenty of places for 9/11 events or Masonic Jews who are in the Jesuit order that control Orbital Mind Control lasers to *fade off into the random theory of the week Sees the great collection of Al foil hats, all stylish* *comes back* So perhaps just issuing a pointer to those discussions with a hardy "there ya go - visit there" would be in order. But does that get done when the weekly "Iranian Mulahas think ....." gets brought up? Because such is a theory (do you know what they, as a group, think?) and there is a bunch of 'em so therefore they are a conspiracy? What things stop being a theory about a conspiracy (The MSM and the iron triangle) and start being a reality?

    I was particularly fond of the GONU weather control conspiracies that cropped up here a few weeks back!!!

    Some of 'em are a real hoot. The short lived 'spot the alien ship at WTC1' (that one lasted 2-3 days on the 'net)

    the 'micronukes', the '4.5 miles down in the earth mantle are the alien cities connected by maglev trains', 'the intergalactic satan/planetX', 'overunity/alien power supplies', various germs/biological elements, and yea various weather claims.

    Yet I keep listening to 'wack job radio' (as I call William Deagle show) not because of the micronukes and that, but when he's pimp'n his MLM organic pills - I listen to his reasons for his pimp'n. So I'm willing to use garlic, drink fresh veggie juice, ponder the increase of Magnesium in the diet, use a colloidal silver mixture in a 'well, it looks like I'm gonna die, might as well try this' moment, added natto to the diet (others find the slime level gross - its not that bad), the use of IR light to accelerate healing/lower pain.

    I'm not convinced on the heavy metal loads being removed via the magical pills or yeast in the gut, or the 'in pain - ground yourself - it effects the cytokine levels.' pitch I heard this week.

    But Ole Dr. Deagle thinks 'peak oil' is a fraud - and he claims to know it because he's seen the magical alien tech. I don't know if the tech exists that would make 'peak oil' a fraud....but I guess the people who survive will find out eh?

    Exactly, Noizette:
    I call it "poisoning the well," where it becomes impossible for intelligent questioning of mainstream memes. Inquiries about the facts behind the Tonkin Gulf incident or the accuracy of a 6.5mm Mannlicher Carcano are automatically conflated with the Bigfoot/UFO/Illuminati blather.
    Recanting of the original transparent lies - like Tonkin Gulf - seems to do nothing to restore the smeared reputations of the questioners.

    I call it "poisoning the well," where it becomes impossible for intelligent questioning of mainstream memes

    And one can see such today, right here in this drumbeat. (Thanks Ron for showing such)

    Various theories about various conspiracies were presented. Some very possible, some WAY out there.

    Because of the WAY out there claims, a dismissal of the entire thought of conspiracies is given. And yet a historic record of what will be called 'known conspiracy' exists that shows the dismissal out of hand is wrong.

    Peak Oil challenges mainstream memes. So guess where that puts PO?

    Leanan and Eric Blair,

    Read my comment above, Eric. I think you are a troll out to discredit TOD by hijacking the thread. And because of its position at the head of the comments, your comments discredit anything serious being discussed by others here. I hope that this is edited out and you are barred.

    Read my comment above, Eric.

    Already responded, thanks.

    discredit TOD

    Don't like it when I question absolute statements? Because there have some absolute statements made about people who have or repeat theories about conspiracies. All I've done is put out (for the giggles) a link to A wacky claim and questioned the absolute statements made by others.

    People who are NOT receptive to the message of oil depletion will find whatever reason they wish to discredit the message. Somehow this will change if there was one topic not explored will change that?

    I hope that this is edited out and you are barred.

    Sounds like a conspiracy to me.

    Ahhh, but only if others agree. If they all agree via e-mail in their agreement then its a secret conspiracy.

    Calling it 'suppression of the truth' and you can get the truth-seeker crowd all a-twitter.

    Get in a film crew and perhaps it can be a InfoWars DVD production.


    And once the well is poisoned, even the deathbed confession of a plausible conspirator will be dismissed as the rantings of a lunatic:


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

    of course the funny thing is the verb "soared" for a tremendous 0.5% increase of production. To me it means that production is flat in Venezuela, down from previous year, flat since the first quarter.

    The 195,000 cut is the sum of the two OPEC target cuts for Nov and Feb. 138,000 and 57,000. According to the numbers reported by the IEA this is basically accurate for April.

    The 12,500 seems to be a small bump from April to May. Both statements can be simultaneously accurate.

    Dec production was 2.55 mbpd April 2.35. 200,000 barrels. Venezuela appears to be under their October 2006 quota of 3.223 by a significant amount, unless their is some issue with classification of orimulsion.

    If anything, El Universal would try to understate Venezuela's actual production figures as a way of undermining Chavez. They hate him.

    The Bloomberg article doesnt tell, but mexican oil exports fell 11,4% from Jan-May 06 to Jan-May 07.

    From 1.934 k barrels/day to 1.714 k.(Average for Jan-May)

    Internal consumption increased by 3,4%

    Export-land model at work.

    Venezuelan Oil Production Down ... Venezuelan Oil Production Up

    At least Chavez is giving everbody some choice when it comes to the news. That is more than can be said for the western MSM.

    ""Analyst: Oil Majors' Reserves Slipping""

    I am in need of some instruction. I thought we used 5 times as much as we descovered, ie 20% reserve replacement. But the article above cites figures of 91%. What am I missing here?.


    I suspect that what you are missing is that the article is talking about business, not geology.

    It's only talking about the oil majors - the large international oil companies. The concern about reserves is concern about the companies' stock prices. Whether they get those reserves by drilling in Angola or drilling on Wall St. - buying up smaller companies' reserves - doesn't matter to an investor, but it does matter to a geologist.

    I think the difference is one of context. They are discussing the reserves of MAJOR PUBLIC COMPANIES, not global reserves, which are, for the majority, NATIONAL OIL COMPANIES or similar.

    So, the major publicly traded oil companies, are replacing reserves at a 91% level (and slipping).

    The rest of the world is NOT replacing at that rate.

    I guess my next question is then what % of global C+C is produced from MAJOR PUBLIC COMPANIES and what % from NATIONAL OIL COMPANIES, ie what is the split? I heard recent figure that say 80% of all global oil is controlled my national oil companies - reasonable?

    So then 20% of say 82MBD = 16.4MBD from Majors
    = 65.6MBD from nationals

    Majors gave 5.986BBL/yr and FOUND 91% ie 5.447BBL
    nationals gave 23.9BB/yr and found ??

    So if world AVERAGE usage is 20% descovery then total of (again) 5.986BBL/yr were found (not to be confused with above same firgure)

    Therefore nationals descovered total 5.986-5.447BBL = 0.539BBL/yr.

    This is telling me that even though national oil companies account for 80% of all world oil production, the major public companies still descovered 5.447/0.539 = 10 times more oil!!

    if there are flaws in my figures, please correct.


    Just re-read what Leanan said. I'm pretty sure "drilling on Wall Street" refers to a company buying another company. I'll spell it out for you.

    Company A
    Reserves at start of year 10 BMU
    "Production" during the year 1 BMU

    Company B
    Reserves at start of year 1 BMU
    "Production" during the year 0.1 BMU

    (BMU = Bazillion Mythical Units, of course)

    So, Company B's reserves are now 0.9 BMU. Company A buys company B. Company A has now replaced 90% of its "production". Isn't that amazing? They produced 1 BMU, started the year with 10 BMU reserves, and end the year with 9.9 BMU reserves. (10 - 1 + 0.9). Sure, their reserves slipped a little, but not much.

    Meanwhile, the earth has seen 1.1 BMU extracted. The earth does not follow the financial press.

    1) The major oil companies are not ALL non-national oil companies.
    2) What you are missing is that majority of the reserve growth of the majors (the 5.4 bbbl) is not coming from new discoveries but from drilling in Wall Street - that is by buying the smaller guys you omitted at the first step. As though moving the cache from the left pocket to the right.

    To understand what was discovered as a physical resource and cross-reference it with the 20% figure you need much more data.

    Perhaps another way to ask the question is to ask exactly how that 20% replacement rate is computed, and how accurately is it known? Does it use a specific set of published figures that can be inspected and verified, or is it more of a gut feel or extrapolation based on a small known set of published results?

    It seems like a very important question, because the 90-100% replacement rate figure is often quoted to indicate there is no cause for concern, and I'm reluctant to quote the 20% figure in rebuttal without knowing how it is computed.

    I wonder how much of that reserve replacement is newly found oil and how much is just "reserve growth"?

    If you read their financials, they also count "oil equivalent" which is natural gas at the rate of 6mcf = 1bbl.
    Also, I'm not sure how they are accounting for their investments in bitumen (tar sands) and kerogen (oil shale).

    Union Pacific, Icahn Win as Soaring Oil Lifts Rails

    June 21 (Bloomberg) -- As the cost of crude soars, rail is gaining a competitive edge after losing ground to trucks for half a century. Even as automotive plant closings and reduced U.S. housing construction have contributed to a 4.4 percent drop in train shipments this year, investors including Warren Buffett and Carl Icahn are flocking to railroad shares, betting that higher oil prices and surging Asian imports along with congested highways will boost long-term demand.

    ``Earnings and stocks could quadruple within five years, which makes the stocks a bargain today,'' said Snehal Amin, a partner in London-based TCI Fund Management LLP.

    Rail shipping volumes grew to a record in 2006, boosting shares and earnings at the four biggest operators, Union Pacific Corp., Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp., CSX Corp. and Norfolk Southern Corp. The Standard & Poor's 500 Rail Index has tripled since March 2003.

    As the price of oil climbed 37 percent in five months from Jan. 18, shares of Omaha, Nebraska-based Union Pacific, the biggest U.S. railroad company, gained 24 percent. Shares of Jacksonville, Florida-based CSX, the third-largest, rose 26 percent.

    ``Railroads typically are about three times more fuel- efficient than trucks,'' said Jason Seidl, a New York-based analyst at Credit Suisse. Higher fuel prices ``will drive up the differential.''


    This rail investment might become a cause for concern. The $$$ are not directed at building "people" movers to replace cars or trucks, they are directed at freight. What are the trains moving? What is their most profitable and largest volume cargo?


    Care to guess what will these railroad interests will be promoting soon?


    Any ideas about how long it will take to attain clean coal?


    Read all about it in Jeff Goodell's "Big Coal: The Dirty Secret Behind America's Energy Future" or Google him. He's done lots of interviews.

    Coal is a massive but specifically regional rail shipment. IMO, your connection that railroad = coal is unwarranted.

    Most rail lines carry no or minimal quantities of coal, others are 99+% coal and relatively few are mixed use (say 5% to 80% coal is mixed use).

    New Orleans has six of the 7 Class I North American RRs (missing Canadian Pacific) and what is reportedly the world's busiest RR bridge. I have seen a wide variety of cargoes (five rail tank cars of vinegar, no doubt for local hot sauce makers) BUT I HAVE NEVER SEEN A COAL CAR in New Orleans.

    Likewise, the UP line from LA to El Paso that is now being double tracked is unlikely to see much coal AFIAK. The BN-SF recently double tracked line from LA to Chicago may see some coal shipments east of Nebraska (likely minimal shipment of clean WY/MO coal to mix with dirty Eastern coal) but nothing west of Nebraska.

    Intermodal rail shipments are climbing rapidly (close to 20%/year from memory).

    North-South rail lines from WY/MO to Texas see little but coal and a bit of wheat & corn. The jointly owned BNSF-UP line into the Powder River Basin is triple tracked throughout and they are adding a fourth track in spots while searching out where they can run longer trains.

    Best Hopes for Mixed freight rail,



    53% of our electricity today is generated by coal fired plants. We're moving over a billion tons of coal per year by rail. Those power plants are everywhere, which means coal ships everywhere... well maybe not to New Orleans :).

    Don't get me wrong, I am 1000% in your corner for rail transportation. But after the ethanol fiasco becomes apparent, we're going to hear happy talk about clean coal. So... while you and I might agree that railroads offer the most efficient transport options, we probably ought to recognize they are also hauling massive amounts of the very stuff that will submerge your lovely city. And they will lobby to protect that business.

    Goodell maintains it has become difficult to develop sound climate change legislation since Ohio, Illinois and Pennsylvania are key electoral states. They have significant rail and coal businesses.

    Hello Alan,

    Thxs for the info. I sure hope they keep that bridge well-maintained and guarded. IMO, it sounds like a crucial national security assest. Perhaps, we should be building some more RR bridges to reduce the potential for a national RR calamity.

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

    Railroads move more coal than any other commodity. In 2002, coal shipments account for 21 percent of total freight revenue and 44 percent of total freight tonnage transported by Class I railroads.
    Source: Association of American Railroads Freight Commodity Statistics


    mo = missouri but i know you meant montana , mt

    I hear Carl's going to open a new rail company with small engine locomotives, called, "I Think Icahn"

    Hello Donal,

    Forgive me, but I couldn't positively tell from your post: Is this sarcasm, or is he really looking into my mini-train idea as expressed in my earlier posts? Do you have any links? My guess is sarcasm.

    As mentioned before: I back Alan Drake 100%, but if postPeak we cannot afford huge networks of standard size RR & TOD--> narrow gauge mini-trains quickly bolted to sidewalks and/or abandoned freeways can be the 'ribs' to augment the standard RR & TOD 'spine'.

    Approx. 100 people can be pulled by a 50hp mini-loco. This is much more efficient than a 300hp bus transporting 40 people. Also recall my idea of bicyclists free-riding alongside an express cargo train going 15-20 mph.

    The train in this image looks pretty cool, but I don't have any idea how many HP the loco needs to haul a full load of 30 people:


    EDIT: picture of miniloco:


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

    Sarcasm! I thought it was a lowly pun.

    Hello Donal,

    Thxs for responding and providing clarification. I was looking at the [circa 1950s?] mini-train photos and wondering if this beautiful setup still exists, or if it was long ago melted down, and is now a couple of HUMMERs motoring around town. Wasteful shame, if true.

    These mini setups would be perfect for my blazing, incredibly spread out Asphalt Wonderland. Add topcovers for shade and rain-protection, then string the catenary above that. The sidewalks in Phx already have streetlights alongside: easy to rig up for the overhead catenary. The small size/weight of these trains would take a long time to cause significant concrete damage. Also, by running on the sidewalk: the track would generally be above our seasonal monsoon flooding. If the pedestrians and bicyclists generally walk/ride in an asphalt safety buffer-- it will take a long time for them to wear out this strip.

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

    Distant Shores
    After reading the post this morning from WisdomfromPakistan responding to a post Darwinian made, I reflected on the TOD community and its place in a larger ecology of ideas and interests.

    It seems reasonable to presume that TOD's audience is far larger than the number of posters and includes influencers and decision-makers within OPEC nations.

    It's also clear, given the rich diversity of news and perspectives to be found at TOD, that there are no distant shores - we all impact and are impacted by decisions, investments and events (man-made and otherwise) throughout this small planet we call home.

    A distinctive element of the TOD community is the shared commitment to ground one's perspective in reality with the deep understanding that our understanding of reality is always tentative.

    A recurring theme of the community is the sharp polarization of those who predict an imminent collapse ("buy guns") and those who suggest a remarkable hopefulness as we unhook from an unhealthy addiction to fossil fuels.

    If this age of transition is to truly reflect the best of humanity I believe that it does require that we continually seek to rise above the artficial distinctions and differences which too readily divide us.

    All cultures at all times have indviduals who are intolerant and seek to judge, conquer and debase others. All cultures have produced individuals who are open and receptive to "the alien other".

    Our instincts towards others are generally driven by attraction, curiosity and openness or fear, hatred and isolation. With discernment, openness and fearlessness we can appropriately distinguish between individuals and social, cultural, religious and political groups and movements (both our own and that of others) that are real threats and those that represent real opportunities to bridge across apparent differences.

    Let's be slow to set up imagined walls between ourselves and "others". The more that we can cultivate a shared understanding that there are no distant shores, the more likely we generate new possibilities amidst the real challenges that we face.

    It's also clear, given the rich diversity of news and perspectives to be found at TOD, that there are no distant shores - we all impact and are impacted by decisions, investments and events (man-made and otherwise) throughout this small planet we call home.

    That is true because of the way the internet is stitched together. It allows input from anyone and anywhere. And such is a good thing.

    In the United States, the tax man must be feed, to feed the taxman, one must have a flow of cash. For that flow to keep going, more energy is needed.

    All the more reason to be self-sustaining. If you grow your own food, make your own power, draw your own water, and your house/land is paid off, what do you need taxable income for? Nothing except for paying your real-estate taxes. Heck, if you get your expenses low enough, you will need so little money that your income has you falling below the "poverty" line, and thus are exempt from the taxes, getting it all back! Your assets doesn't matter, your income does. :)

    Alas in many places the real-estate taxes are owed in full regardless of income. And they are based on the value of the property *if* it had been used in the most profitable way. In other words, property taxes are a thinly-veiled mechanism for pushing the "undesirables" off their land. You think you own your land but you don't really.

    Sometimes the taxes were based, in part, on the numbers of closets you had. Hence the home I own has no closets.


    May I suggest that you start with yourself. I really take offense at your statement:

    A recurring theme of the community is the sharp polarization of those who predict an imminent collapse ("buy guns") and those who suggest a remarkable hopefulness as we unhook from an unhealthy addiction to fossil fuels.

    emphasis added.

    I would anticipate others to take similar offense were your quote to read (after modification):

    A recurring theme of the community is the sharp polarization of those who predict an imminent collapse and those who suggest a remarkable hopefulness ("fools") as we unhook from an unhealthy addiction to fossil fuels. emphasis added.


    Todd - the "buy guns" was a quote from a previous poster. I thought it succintly captured the older form "red in tooth and nail".

    Regardless - I'll willing wear the cap of the fool for unintentionally causing offense.

    I am pleased to see that we have such diversity and welcome friends from over seas in sharing their points of view.

    The other day I asked my wife to watch a short video clip and she muttered something about more gloom and doom. What is the opposite? I asked her if she would prefer to be clueless and living in denial? Later after sleeping on the couch...

    If I choose to buy guns and prepare for a bleak future, it is not because those who read the Oil Drum frighten me. It is the ignorant masses that are (blissfully) unaware that scare the hell out of me realizing that one day they will wake up to a world that has changed.

    Before passing judgment, take a long hard look at the true nature of man, at history written in blood and violence and imagine we will solve the future problems of mass population adjustment in a peaceful way. If you can do that with total honesty they you truly are an optimist


    It is the masses that are (blissfully) unaware that scare the hell out of me realizing that one day they will wake up to a world that has changed.

    I did a little fix on that so I could go:

    *clap* *clap*

    I thought you were going to sing 'I'd like to buy thr world a coke

    Where do you live.

    This kind of stuff is usually spouted by liberal middle classes who live in detached houses with big gates.

    Try telling the Sunni father to 'just get along' with the Shia's trying to murder his family and vice versa

    I live in a 'mixed' community in England and I can't aford to move. I've stopped my daughters from going to the park because they continually get abused by grown Pakistani men like the guy who replied to Darwinian. They get called whores, bitches and much worse. They're 9 & 7.

    Police conducted a raid on an al-qaeda cell last month just down the road. I see no wisdom from pakistan just hatred for all things western

    Don't tell me to just learn to get along unless you can guarantee the safety of my children.

    Certainly not a site for the thin-skinned!

    I spent my first years in the South Bronx during a particulalry tumultous period - '60 & '70's. And I am not one to underestimate the existence of cruelty, hatred or ignorance.

    I have no doubt that Pakistan produces its fair share of thugs. So does NYC. And I imagine the UK produces plenty of homegrown guys that you'd rather keep far away from your kids.

    It doesn't seem like it would be productive to assert that among the 185 million Pakistanis that their may be many who are kind, generous, and open to people from other cultures different than their own.

    The only guarantee that life offers all of us is uncertainty. And amidst that uncertainty we each make our own way.

    Just remember, all the "common sense" slanders we say about blacks and Arabs, we used to say about the heathen Chinee, the Popish Irish, the nasty Italians, and the internable Japs.

    And a few centuries before that, the Moors sipping coffee in Valencia probably said it about those crazy Christians burning witches and Jews over the mountains.

    I hope to live to see the day that civilized people cross the street in fear when they see one of those damned gun-crazy American refugees - even if it's me.

    Let's be slow to set up imagined walls between ourselves and "others". The more that we can cultivate a shared understanding that there are no distant shores, the more likely we generate new possibilities amidst the real challenges that we face

    I certainly agree with the spirit of this.

    Let's bear in mind that all posters here are human. So even at best, it's a lopsided representation of stakeholders in the earth. Most other species are already living in apocalyptic times, and what's 'good' for maximizing human populations isn't usually good for them or for the earth in general.

    Thanks for your reasonable overview of TOD posters.

    People working together will always surpass an equal number of individuals. But you're too gentle when speaking of "unhook(ing) from an unhealthy addiction." It will be an epic cataclysm.

    Many of us are still "remarkably hopeful" that an improved society will emerge from the disasters ahead. Individual survival seems ultimately unimportant.

    Individual survival seems ultimately unimportant.

    The survival of the species is tied however to a bunch of individuals surviving.

    RE POST from earlier thread (unanswered):

    On the subject of finding new north seas I thought you could give me a quick lesson in geology. If the techtonic plates have been creating the plates either side of the mid atlantic ridge, I am right in saying that this geology is too new for oil?

    Also is oil found mostly in geology where plates have been subducted?


    Geology 101.

    For Oil to be created you must have three geological components:

    1 Source Rock (Organic rich clay or shale, buried in anoxic environments).

    2. Reservoir rock which is porous and permeable. Eg Sands or Carbonates (chalk etc)

    3. Seal rock . Eg Clay or Salt.

    1) is cooked at depth and under pressure. The generated liquid oil finds its way into 2 and is trapped up against 3.

    With luck , lateral migration or escape is stopped by the oil trapping in a Syncline , dome or a fault bounded structure, or similar traps in a deltaic environment.

    For all this to occur you need a depositional basin where the right types of source, reservoir and cap can be found.

    All the worlds oil prone basins are of this sedimentary nature.

    So, to go find oil, you must first identify these sedimentary basins.

    Oil is sometimes trapped in sediments on the margins of a subduction zone.(eg Indonesia) But these are still Sedimentary basins, created in the same manner , with the same components.

    Constructive margins (eg Atlantic Ridge) are not oil prone. Neither are 'sheild areas'eg Canada Shield, Baltic Sheild, African Cratons, Siberian Sheilds etc. of old hard rocks. Though oil can be found in intra-cratonic basins where sediments have been accumulating between these hard shield areas. Oceanic abyssal plains are devoid of oil.

    Basically, the worlds basins are identified, though some have yet to be explored (Greenland, Arctic, Southern oceans, Antarctic .

    The chances of finding a North Sea sized basin or another Arab Basin are not good. Some say impossible. Thats why we are in the mess we are in.

    Hope this helps.

    Mudlogger, you strike me as someone who knows what they are talking about. The Shell executive who stated there are billions of barrels of oil, some in the deep water US continental shelf and other undisclosed locations, such that the world will never run out, was he wishful thinking or are they there?

    If I thought it was never going to run out I would not come here :-0

    Thanks for the compliment, but sometimes I loose the plot and twist off.... This stuff is overwhelming. A tradgedy unfolding. It is hard not to be a student of Peak Oil and not go insane. There is no techno-fix (I once thought there may be). There is no free lunch. The laws of Physics will prevail and Gaia never studied Economics...

    Westexas keeps banging on about the North Sea Decline and the Export Land Model.

    With very good reason: The North Sea Data is transparent and highly accurate. And it is a fully functioning example of Hubbert and linearisation.

    Yes, it is running out

    No, it is very safe, increasingly safe to assume there will be no more 'North Seas'. Even less chance that there are more Saudi Arabia - Middle East regional basins.

    We need a miracle. With each passing day, the situation becomes bleaker.

    The North Sea is a text book example. Each year, the RBS states that production has yet again fallen, each year they fail to recognise why. Each year 'experts' puzzle why Buzzard fails to make up the difference.

    As if Buzzard were any kind of size worth a damn...

    Simmons made the quote of the year: The biggest oil fields we will find now are conservation.

    I am not rich, but I am not a poor man either, but I intentionally drive the smallest car I could find that could at a pinch get 3 adults and a dog in.

    It routinely pulls 48 mpg (petrol). The next one will be smaller and diesel. I will be looking for 70mpg.

    Not because I think I will be on the road when others are not, but because we should do what we have to do in any modest way we can.

    I have not flown for over two years and would no longer dream of a foreign holiday. I may feel compelled to do some business trips, but the need would now have to be extremely compelling.

    It really is a fook-up and the West is run by a delusional freak-show.

    Enough. Time to walk the dog.

    Your right it is overwhelming... It is hard to fathom why the Shell exec would make such a statement knowing that it is very easily refuted (as you say geology and physics) unless he has the concrete evidence.

    It is not a statement that should be let go..he should be taken to task, he should be asked to prove he can back up the statement... It is Shell not the KSA, rather than trust me its there.. he should prove it...we cannot make the KSA do it but we should be able to make Shell do it.

    It is completely and utterly irresponsible for someone in his position to state that the world will never run out of hydrocarbons...I dont know who is the bigger idiot, him for saying it or me for wanting to believe it...

    The Shell guy went on to use the "Stone Age" analogy, i.e., the Stone Age didn't end because we ran out of stones. The implication being that we will transition to different forms of energy that will allow us to maintain our suburban lifestyles.

    This is basically the Peter Huber argument. Huber argues that our energy production and consumption will basically continue to increase forever.

    I met Peter Huber some years ago when he gave a speech at the University of Minnesota that up by our chapter of the Federalist Society (I've since repudiated all that vile organization stands for). He struck me as a very intellectually shallow individual who could not answer a question without repeating the dogmatic conservative/libertarian responses. - market good - regulation bad -ugh! Very unyielding in his beliefs and had no ability to see shades of grey. The liberal law students raked him over.

    In its early days in the 1980s, Omni Magazine ran a story on what would happen if humans could tap endless streams of new energy and continue growth rates at current levels. It was calculated that in a few tens of millenia, the total waste heat of human activity concentrated on the earth's surface would actually melt it. Even if humans colonized the stars, in a surprisingly few hundreds of thousands of years, their energy use would become greater than any possible supply. Just a warning about basing one's survival on geometric progressions.

    I'm going to start saying that the Car Age didn't end because we ran out of cars.

    They just so happen to be smoldering and rusted ruins on the sides of the road :P

    Hi WT,

    "...the Stone Age didn't end because we ran out of stones."

    It's those combustible stones again.

    The dog has been walked. Again, the sun set in the west. Again, the clouds obscured it. Again, I was able to contemplate one of the most beautiful and understated sunset silhouettes in Scotland. The breast-like mounds of the Inch Gabbro intrusions, the brooding menace of Bennachie, The Mons Graupius of Agricola and Calgacus and the destruction of the Caledonian tribes of old: Sparse Evidence of once a mighty Andean-like subductive thrust mountain chain....



    Shell and BP are in fact borderline schizophrenic.

    A couple of years ago, the chief geologist of BP went on record and publicly stated there was a significant problem in sourcing new plays. He stopped (slightly) short of the unmentionable P -word. They dont let him out anymore.

    The public representatives of any major western oil companies are usually not geologists. Mostly they are 'suits'. The guy quoted in defence of the attack on the Independant's front page critique of the BP Statistical review is an Economist.

    If your selling stock to the market, you need the eternal optimism of Winney the Pooh.

    The last thing you need is Eeyau (chk sp) the pessimistic donkey. - He might let the truth slip out.

    Remember : Shiny happy smiley facey peepul.

    Peak Oil is anathema. It doesnt fit with the business model.

    That dosnt mean they are evil. Or corrupt. They are trapped in the perpetual growth paradigm.

    They have no choice. There is a steady pay check in it.

    'Do you believe in Atlantis?'

    'Lady, if there is a steady pay check, I will believe whatever you want'.

    - Ghostbusters 1.

    Aah Ghostbusters: 1st film, after 1st clear paycheck, 1st date, with my 1st (and so far, only) wife... though not much longer if I keep visiting ths site....

    And the beat goes on.

    The truly weird part about Huber's argument is that he will--if pressed--admit that some sources of energy, like conventional oil, will eventually peak and decline, but he asserts that our aggregate consumption of energy will continue to increase.

    This is analogous to saying that individual oil wells will peak and decline, but the field--the sum of the production from individual oil wells--will never peak and decline.

    And the members of the Finite Earth Society are considered the cultists?

    BTW, anyone heard anything from Michael Lynch lately?

    Respectfully, I believe you are erroneously paraphrasing his statements. I believe what he is saying is that we will find alternative sources of energy: IE fusion, increased fission, tidal, wind, solar, etc that will more than make up for the loss of concentrated solar energy in the form of hydrocarbons. Just remember, oil is primarily a transportation fuel, not a product fuel.

    ...saying that individual oil wells will peak and decline, but the field...will never peak and decline

    Yes and no. For example, if we figure out how to fuse the deuterium in the oceans, then something else (heat dissipation? genetic exhaustion of our species?) will bite us long before we run out, as, IIRC, it's on the order of 3.5 billion trillion BOE. In a practical sense that's infinite, i.e. although it's finite, there is no conceivable way its finiteness could have any consequence in any time frame we need to think seriously about. To be pedantic, call it quasi-infinite.

    Note: nothing in physics forbids fusion, though at the present laughably parsimonious funding rate, fusion research functions as a sinecure unlikely ever to produce results. The pace is so dilatory that fusion researchers are retired or turned into administrators long before they really get to learn from the consequences of their own efforts. Indeed, by the time it is switched on, if it is ever switched on, ITER will be a curious historical antique, run by a different generation from the one that designed it. But that's a political problem.

    ...and what about the thermodynamically necessary waste heat from 3.5 billion trillion BOE?

    Considering it would take several thousand...thousand years to burn that much even with 25 billion humans, I don't think it would be much of a problem...

    One point on this: you assume that in 100 or 200 years we will use a similar amount of energy as today. If energy became cheap/essentially limitless again - as it did with the use of coal and oil as major energy sources - what makes you think we won't go ahead and pursue technologies for transport and comfort living that don't expend energy that is orders of magnitude greater than today... I doubt anyone 150 years ago would have forseen how much energy we would use today or believe the rate at which we have depleted those resources.

    Presumably part of the reason PO discussion is that we are trying to learn from the past and apply the lessons learnt to decisions affecting the future.

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


    There may well be billions of barrels out there. One key element is that the formation must have sufficient porosity, being the non-rock portion of the formation. The pore space is filled with a mixture of fluids, typically brine, gas or oil. The percentage of fluid which is Hydrocarbon is the Hydrocarbon Saturation. Typically the max porosity in GOM is around 30%. Typical max HSat may be around 75-80%. In many cases it is lower. Having the porosity and Hydrocarbon is 2/3rds of the way there. The other critical element is the permiability, or the ability of the formation to allow the fluids to pass. This is a function of interconnectedness of the pore spaces, the pore size and the fluid viscocity at down hole temperature. All of these factors combine.

    Consider the vast area of GOM deep water such as the hype given Jack 2 last August. Billions of barrels over hundreds of Square miles, the real factor is if the reservoir is highly segmented with lots of small pockets or made up of larger contiguous zones. If the first cast then there may be very limited oil drained by a single well, compared to the second case. In Deep Water, the question is not if there is oil there, which there may well be, but can it be exploited economically, or how many wells will be required to drain the field, and based on how much cost is per well, and what is recovered, what is the ROI.

    Hope this helps clarify,


    Do a little arithmetic. We use 21 million barrels of oil a day in the US, about 7.6 billion barrels a year. A hundred billion barrels is about a 12 year supply for the US at this rate.
    The offshore Eocene Trend (Jack 2) could hold between 3 and 14 billion barrels of oil-enough to support the Shell executives statement-but its not enough to give the US energy security. So his statement isn't BS, but it gives us only a little more breathing room, if its economic.
    But wells in 7,000 feet of water, drilled 28,000 ft below the sea bottom cost about $100,000,000 per well. And the technology to produce the oil hasn't been invented yet. Its fantasticially expensive-the wells might not make a profit at even $100/bbl. Chevron, the owner with Devon of the lease block hasn't decided to produce the wells yet, and may not because of the costs.

    We are now looking for oil in depths as high as commercial jets fly.

    Let me add my two cents worth. It's not about the billions of barrels that may (or may not) be out there, it is about production rate. As I often say:"If you need firehose rates and the remaining resources can only be produced at the caoacity of a swizzle stick, you've got a problem."

    Yes, there probably are billions of barrels of oil yet to be discovered. But that is also part hype because what is "needed" is not billions of barrels but trillions of barrels of oil that looks and acts a whole lot like conventional oil reserves.

    A few billion here and a few billion there are not going to make up the 31 billion barrels of oil (equivalent) the world goes through each year (27 billion of which is 'real' oil and oil condensates).

    The enormity and magnitude of the problem just seems to escape John Q Public.

    Let's take the US as an example of the problem that is faced.

    In November 1970, when US oil production peaked, the US had consumed (in round numbers, since 1860, and not including whale oil and the like) 114 billion barrels of oil. Of that total, 95 billion barrels had been produced by the lower 48 states, the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) and Alaska combined were about 0.5 billion barrels, and 8 billion barrels were NGL's (natural gas liquids). The remainder (~16 billion barrels) had been imported.

    As of the first quarter in 2007, the US consumption has topped more than 382 billion barrels (we are now consuming about 21 million barrels per day compared to 1970 when the number was more like 14.5 million barrels. Or viewed another way, the US imports nearly the amount that the US used on a daily basis in 1970). That is more than 3 times the amount of all oil consumed from 1860 through 1970. Of that 382 billion barrels, 166 billion barrels were produced from the lower 48 states, 16 billion were produced from Alaska, 11.6 million barrels from the GOM, 61.5 million barrels as NGLs, and the remainder of about 126.5 billion barrels have been imported.

    And the use continues to grow relentlessly

    Where in the US or the world, do we find massive new quanties of oil to "feed the machine?"

    Yes, there may be billions of barrels of oil out in the GOM in extremely deepwater (or in shallow water with very deep drilling). But the Jack 2 well pump test that was so ballyhooed by some people last summer (not here) was the equivalent of 25 seconds of US daily consumption.

    Yes, there may potentially be billions of barrels of kerogen (think immature oil) as a resource, not a reserve, in the oil shale deposits in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming. But how much energy (and money) will someone have to "throw down a hole" to get production into the millions of barrels per day range and are we, collectively, willing to expend it?

    By the way, the EIA produced some very nice curves using some data from the USGS and assumed growth rates and decline rates a few years ago to "prove" that the peak was somewhere out beyond 2040. The area under the curve is constrained by total amount of oil to be produced according to the USGS estimates ( http://www.eia.doe.gov/neic/speeches/Caruso061305.pdf ).

    But look at those curves in slides 9, 11, 12, and 18. See beyond "their peak." Those are "COLLAPSE" curves. It is the US Government presicting the collapse of the oil-based society as production falls rapidly. Shell believes in thos numbers. So do a number of others.

    On slide 12, nobody seems to get that to go from 57 billion barrels per year (or 153 million barrels per day or 16 times the current Saudi Arabian maximum output) in 2044 to 33 billion barrels per year in 2050 (down to 90 million barrels per day, or the loss of 6.5 Saudi Arabias in the span of just 6 years). Contemplate the possibility of 9.5 billion people on the planet suddenly losing this much resource essentially "instantaneously."

    Slide 18 is even more alarming in it's decline and it shows that even having another 1.1 trillion barrels gives only 10 years extra.

    Starship Trooper,

    I would agree. Do look at the charts and the decline rates in the charts. They are truly amazing.

    The EIA makes the point that there is no reason to expect the production curve to be symmetric. The curves they show come to very sharp peaks, then decline rapidly. I would think the decline rates they show are at least 6% per year, perhaps more. At 6% a year, you lose 46% of your production in 10 years.

    The amounts shown are of course gross amounts. If they were net of the energy required to produce them, the downturn would come sooner, and the down-slope we see would be even steeper.

    Marco, the oil in the North Sea was created in the same way as all oil. A very long period of global warming created lots of phyto plankton (algae). The plankton dies and sinks to the bottom of a shallow sea. Millions of years pass as sediment buries the dead algae deeper and deeper in the geological column. It stays buried at "coffee pot" temperatures for a few millions of years until it becomes oil.

    Such a sediment deposit was laid down in the North Sea many millions of years ago, though it was likely in the tropics then. The plate eventually split and part of it wound up on the east side of the Atlantic and part on the west side of the Atlantic. So the theory is, if oil is found here, on the eastern side, then it should also be there, on the western side since both were once part of a huge dead algae deposit.

    The subduction of plates has nothing to do with it. If oil is in the subducted plates it will be lost forever. Oil is found only in sedimentary rock. It has never been found in basement basalt, feldspar or granite no matter what Thomas Gold told you.

    Ron Patterson

    Yes, Thomas Gold, interesting case. Highly respected astronomer, but lost his mind there somewhere re: oil. But something I've noticed is that people can be completely right about some things and completely wrong about other subjects. It's why I still drop in on Alex Jones and "What Really Happened" sometimes...

    Try the Siljan Ring Complex of Sweden.

    Meteor Crater in a Pre-Cambrian Sheild Granite = Shattered Granite = Abiotic oil seeps into shattered granite from the earths 'rich and creamy nougat centre' (apologies to Kunstler :-))

    $40 million and 6.8 kilometers later, not a Swedish meatball in sight...

    From the FTW, But written by a respected Geologist we all know and Love...


    A common disease of age, and almost impossible to prevent or cure, is the logical fallacy:

    1. I am an (or worse the) expert in a particular subject.
    2. I am therefore an expert in all remotely related fields


    The North Sea is interesting in that it formed in a Failed Rift Valley. Sediments and organic matter flowed into the rift. But the Rift then ceased to carry on parting and thus failed to become a fully constructive margin like the mid-Atlantic Ocean rift.

    The rift finally got fully under way to the west of Eire and Scotland. Isolating The Americas from the rest of the world....

    Bush is the one who isolated America from the rest of the world.

    Yes, true.

    But is he smarter than the Algal blooms that created the oil in the first place?

    I would hazard a guess that he is not. Though some may conclude he and Cheney have the lizard brain cortex of earlier species. But still fully functional, even in this modern world.

    Did I ever tell (bore you repetatively)that I had a chance to strangle Cheney in a Halliburton pissour? With my own 'regulation' Halliburton Necktie?...

    probably did...thats old age for you...

    BTW: I can see why Cheney is angry at the world: He is blessed with the smallest dick I ever saw in a corporate pissour. Surprised he didnt splash his own fly.

    To be frank, I am surprised he stands up to pee.

    And I am no John Holmes...

    No wonder he obsesses on phallic nukes.

    Well. Thats me for the re-education camps


    60% of House Democrats voted against funding of the Iraq war:


    It was Bush's war, the hype about Sadaam having WMD's, supporting Al Qaeda ... all fabrications proven to be false. In a twisted sort of way they will try to blame it on the Dem's who put forth a motion to end the war.

    I wonder if OPEC has started cheating on their quotas now that the price of oil is high. I expect the worldwide trend towards compressed natural gas cars will continue as it is cheaper than gasoline or ethanol. I expect more nuclear power plants will be built and that people will switch from home heating oil to electric heat. I presume if the price of gasoline goes much higher some people will find treatment programs to discuss ways to get healed of the gasoline addiction. As European auto fleet gas miles per gallon were much better than the U.S. averages, eventually the U.S. might learn conservation also, especially if they like to have more money in their accounts.

    As it is easier to pump gas from a gas station than from the ground (some condensates-liquids were similar in structure to gasoline), and gasoline has a very high BTU per density value, the stuff will be vaulable for years to come.

    It is not Bush's war. Bush does not have the intestinal fortitude, the intelligence, nor the freedom to act unilaterally to start a war. On the other hand Chaney had and has all of that lacking in Bush and Cheney was entrusted to run the country by the power elite. The power elite had the hubris to assume Cheney would continue to do their bidding, as he had done for so many years. The power elite had the hubris to believe that the US was so powerfull that we could afford to have a buffon for president. Cheney had been a good little soldier of the power elite for so long that he had earned their trust. The power elite took their eye off Cheney and now they are sorry they did, and are beginning to hammer those around Cheney in reprisal. The power elite did not count on 'cheneyisim.' Cheney has become the most powerfull VP in our history and one of the most powerfull men in any administration in our history. Cheney said at the end of Gulf War 1 that to invade and destabilize Iraq would be a catostrophic error. Yet as VP he siezed on the opportunity to invade Iraq. Why the change? Cheney saw, and still sees, that an invasion of a string of mid east states would increase his wealth and power enormously. He seized the opportunity. Cheney successfully pulled off a coup without firing a shot. What we see happening to Cheneys co- conspirators is the vengence of the power elite. Bolton, Libby, Wolfowitz, Gonzales, Rumsfeld and many more are under attack. Cheney himself is not safe from reprisal and he well knows it. Long before becoming VP Cheney was fighting hard for more power for the executive branch. Like any smart man he looks ahead, plotting and schemeing. When the power elite asked Cheney to reccommend someone to prop up Bush as VP, Cheney quickly suggested that he was the man for the job. How could anyone that follows events on the ground fail to see a chain of events as obvious as outlined above? It isnt rocket science and it is a conspiracy. Conspiracies do happen and on a daily basis. End of sermon.

    Mr. Cheney?

    Oh, how about:
    The Office of Vice President Dick Cheney told an agency within the National Archives that for purposes of securing classified information, the Vice President's office is not an 'entity within the executive branch' according to a letter released Thursday by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

    Though without any desire to excuse any of his various abuses, the Office of the Vice President actually stands on fairly firm Constitutional ground - from Wikipedia -

    'The Vice President of the United States is the President of the Senate ex officio, and thus is the highest-ranking official of the Senate; during his absence, the President pro tempore is the highest-ranking official in the Senate and may preside over its sessions.'

    The Constitution is full of such quirks.

    Again, simply a factual reference - Cheney himself should be impeached, which is about all that can be done within that same Constitutional framework due to his failure to uphold the Constitution - though as a supporter of torture, he deserves to be in front of a war crimes tribunal, at the minimum, along with a number of other Americans.

    But don't worry - the idea that Bush or Blair will face any legal repercussions for their actions in Iraq is as laughable as Kissinger facing any repercussions for his in Chile.

    Hate to break it to ya, but the "war" is, and always has been, supported by the Democrats just as much as the Republicans. The Democrats were fully complicit in the election "irregularities" and coverup.

    Wars are mostly about natural resources. These are Energy Wars now. It's all about the Oil. The Middle East has been "all about the oil" for 100 years.

    Strangely, the post mentioned neither party, nor did it mention war.

    It did however, explicitly reference the torture still being committed by Americans.

    And the involvement of numerous Americans in this torture - all of whom should be subject to trial, if only to show one difference between a functioning legal system, and the institutional criminality the U.S. has developed in its network of secret and not so secret facilities for lawless detention and torture.

    But as time goes by, that scratching record of the litany of complaints about laws against torture just becomes boring.


    Unless of course, you're the one being tortured or the torturer receiving thrills from another's pain.

    To quote from another source - 'The point of torture is torture.'

    At a time in the past the words democrats and republicans had some meaning because of their differences. At a time in the past...Yeah, I remember now. I had a '57 Chevy and girls served me malts at the Kokomo diner while on roller skates. Gas was about 22 cents a gallon. All of us WASPs that remember those days experienced the best of times for the good ol US of A.

    Actually there was very little difference between Republicans and Democrats at the time. Eisenhower versus Adlai Stevenson produced two of America's dullest presidential elections because they only disagreed about degrees. Eisenhower and the GOP in Congress supported a 91% top income tax rate to help pay off America's debts, while Democrats wanted it cut to 50% claiming that faster growth would compensate for revenue losses. Until 1964 neither party was willing to take any serious position on Jim Crow.

    And most of all, I recall remarks by Eisenhower:

    "Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes you can do these things. Among them are H. L. Hunt (you possibly know his background), a few other Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or business man from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid."

    Maybe the reason the differences between the parties grew large in the '70s, and then grew small again as everything congealed on the neo-Victorian right, is that those not-so-stupid Texas oil millionaires broke America's political culture to remake it to their agenda.

    Yes, seems that they are in the process of 'remaking it to their agenda.' Question is, will it be to the agenda of anyone else? Yours, for instance, or perhaps, mine?
    Not so long prior to Eisenhower making the remarks that you attribute to him he was busy dismanteling the Third Reich which Hitler had constructed because he had 'a different agenda' and Hitler managed to get rid of the Weimar Republic to install it. The Third Reich, that worked out well, didnt it? I suppose that you are in favor of all the 'new and improved' items that you see ads for on tv? Now we have a new and improved foreign policy, trouble is, we will not know if our 'new agenda' worked out untill we see the results in the rear view mirror. As for as I can make out the only agenda of Texas oil millionaires is to become billionaires. They are not idealogues as are the neo cons that conspired for so long and were laughed at by the Bush Sr and Clinton administrations. No, the neo cons had a real agenda but as they admitted 'they were not in the reality base community, they made history and while the rest of us were trying to discern what they had done they would move on, making more history.' I see little difference in this group of idealogues than the one that were in charge of the Third Reich, do you?
    Maybe Eisenhower and Stevenson were boring or maybe they were doing a lot behind the scenes. Eisinhower was impressed by the autobahns that Hitler had built so he was behind the Interstate Highway system. Good or bad, name another project in the second half of the last century that has had a greater impact and longer lasting effect on America. The highways of America define our country and are responsible for our dependence on foreign oil. Eisenhower boring, I think not. He was old school, a gentleman, a man that worked quietly behind the scenes but got things done. BTW, what happened to that trip to Mars that shrub claimed that we were going to make? Does shrub still think being a 'wartime president' is such a great idea, I have not heard him comment on it recently? What has shrub accomplished? I must be missing something because I cannot compare a big mouth buffoon to Eisenhower.

    the mars mission funding was removed a few days ago, only slashdot picked up the article covering it.

    Well, we spent more money, and created much longer lasting problems with our nuclear weapon/energy programs - but in terms of 'change,' it is true that the interstate highway system created more social change in the short term.

    But I do think if nuclear weapons are used in a war involving America, it will put the interstate highway system under a cloud - mushroomed shape, of course.


    he still has a very small dick.

    Maybe that is why he 'had other things to do'

    Those USMC Communal shower facilities can make or break a man's reputation.

    Carry on mudlogger: 'keep talking your way onto my list...'

    My father described "short arm" inspection while in Occupation duty in China (the Imperial Japanese Army would NOT surrender to the Chinese, knowing full well that they would never see home again, so the Marines got the job).

    Chinese girls were readily available, and disease prone, hence the inspection.


    How do you explain this?


    Unfortunately (for him), hernia.

    More reports about the global obesity epidemic; this time from UAE:

    Obesity reaches epidemic proportions in the Gulf region, according to Dubai based expert

    "Obesity is a serious, chronic disease that affects people of all ages and genders, and has reached epidemic proportions around the world, including in the UAE where estimates of the number of Emiratis who are overweight are as high as 60 per cent of the national population."

    "The World Health Organisation considers obesity to be a global epidemic and a major public health problem, with an estimated 1.6 billion adults (aged 15+) being overweight and with at least 400 million obese adults worldwide. These numbers are expected to increase dramatically (40%) in the next 10 years."

    Farmers need to stop growing food and start growing more crops for fuel like corn for ethanol. This is now a crisis and it is getting worse!

    Hey, why don't we just use liposuction and mine the fat out of these tubbies and convert it to fuel? What a business plan! I'll tell you what Keithster, I'll let you on the ground floor of this little enterprise for a real good price!

    I thought about that already, but someone said that it might be 'wrong' or something. Morals...feh!

    Soylent biodiesel!

    I dont normally like to repeat myself [posted in 21st column], but I don't think this should be missed for UK readers:

    Some astounding figures here - if one is to believe any figures reported:


    78% of income is running to stand still..

    The bit I find astounding is that interest rates have barely risen, and fuel hasn't even started climbing yet.

    any thoughts?

    Yeah, buy some kerosene and lanterns.

    Interest rates may not be historically high, but mortgage ratios to earnings are very high. So relatively small movements in interest rates are hitting home owners hard.

    The UK housing market is a much bigger bubble than the US was, and we are still in denial. The house price crash has already started in the UK, basically everywhere except Northern Ireland, London and the South-East. Unfortunately all the MSM live in the last two areas, so they haven't noticed yet.

    The housing crash will be suitably deflationary, and will allow interest rates to come down in the fullness of time. But the next couple of years isn't going to be much fun for anyone in the UK.

    Whatever else you think of Tony Blair, his timing is impeccable, Gordon Brown is going to reap the whirlwind on this one.

    As to nuclear, the government sold off most of their shares in British Energy a couple of weeks ago. I imagine RWE, Eon and especially EDF will be quietly buying them up between them with the intention of breaking the company up for the sites. Monopoly laws would prevent them taking over the whole company, and anyway nobody with half a brain would want more than a couple of AGR's. But the BE (and just possibly the Magnox) sites are the only places in the UK where there would not be major opposition to new nuclear.

    Personally, the way PV prices are changing long term, I think we will be importing Spanish and North African electicity at rates that will be undermine nuclear economics within a few years.

    Personally, the way PV prices are changing long term, I think we will be importing Spanish and North African electicity at rates that will be undermine nuclear economics within a few years.

    Now take the funny sentence you just wrote and compare it with this graph:


    From Wikipedia:

    Photovoltaic power capacity is measured as maximum power output under standardized test conditions in Wp (watts peak).[16] Solar photovoltaic arrays have capacity factors of around 19%, which is lower than many other industrial sources of electricity.[17][18][19] Therefore the 2005 installed base peak output would have provided an average output of something like 703 MW (19% × 3,700). This represented 0.04 percent of global demand at the time.[20]

    At 80% availability a 1000MW nuclear reactor produces 900MW continuously. All PV installations in the world are producing less electricity than a single 1000MW nuclear reactor.

    Believing PV will become anything more than a political boondoggle anytime soon is a wishful thinking of the first order.

    Believing PV will become anything more than a political boondoggle anytime soon is a wishful thinking of the first order.

    VS how fission reactors are somehow a 'free market' thing, separate 100% from the state?

    How does this address the problem I was discussing?

    First I never claimed the thing you said and I don't think any objective analysis could claim that. My take on it is: how come that if an enterprise envolves public support it is by definition a bad thing? Are urban planning, railroads, highways, wind mills etc. bad things if they are not a 100% free market enterprises??

    Actually it always comes down to public policy helping and directing the so called "free market". The real question has always been which of the alternative public policies is the best, and which one is giving the most for a tax dollar. If we indeed intend to do something about real about climate change we will need something orders of magnitudes better than that. With 16% of the electricity produced nuclear has 400 times bigger contribution on a world scale than solar now. Yet the current public funding for nuclear (whereever there is one) measures in only several times the funding for solar. Is this the right policy? Maybe it would be so if the funding was for R&D only. But heavily subsidising expensive solar panels so that we get 0.04% (1/2,500th) of the electricity produced is a pure waste of resources.

    In the US the government subsidises nuclear insurance costs. In the UK the government subsidises nuclear decommissioning costs. In France they subsidise everything to do with nuclear that moves.

    Nuclear has never been competitive with other energy sources on a true cost-benefit analysis.

    The ever increasing scale of nuclear safety standards, and the depletion of uranium, mean that nuclear is only going to get more expensive.

    Spanish PV is already competitive with mainstream power at peak loads. Ie in the middle of the day in summer when a/c loads are maximum and spot electricity prices are highest.

    And PV is following it's own Moore's law, with continuous drops in price per unit generated, and no obvious reason why those price drops should not continue.

    Taken together this means that PV is going to be a highly disruptive technology, as it will eat into the most lucrative part of the electricity market, destroying the economic models of baseload suppliers.

    No there isn't much PV installed at the moment. There weren't many computers installed in 1975 either.

    Such are the joys of capitalist economics.

    Now the interesting thing is that first Spanish (or Californian) companies will install lots of PV, to make lots of money out of peak lopping in the summer, gouging the profits of the baseload suppliers in their local areas.

    But then they will have lots of spare, and to all intents and purposes 'free' power in the winter, when the Spaniards / Californians, don't need so much a/c.

    At exactly the same time that the British / New Yorkers need lots of power in the middle of their miserable winters.

    So PV power will be exported northwards in both cases, gouging out the peak profits of baseload suppliers in England / NY.

    The base load suppliers make most of their profits in short duration peak periods. If somebody steals this market their economics are messed up big time.

    Disruptive will be something of an understatement.

    In the US, we have made explicit the fact that over a certain amount, the government will cover the tab for a nuclear accident (note that the government hasn't had to step in to do this yet). I don't think there is much difference from when the government steps in and bails out an industry from natural disasters (or their own greed- S&L bail-out?) There is an implicit understanding that the government is always going to do this sort of thing, though it usually ends up benefiting wealthy people invested in the establishment more than the Joe Schmoes getting kicked in the teeth.

    With a certain narrow focus of time and geography, nuclear power is marginally competitive with other energy sources. A "truer" cost benefit analysis would include factors like greenhouse gases. Fossil fuel plants add hundreds of times more heat to the atmosphere than nuclear plants. The cost of climate changing is going to be high, pervasive, and long lasting, hundreds of trillions of dollars?

    Everything is going to get more expensive as oil depletes, not just nuclear. And despite what distributed power advocates say, there are important efficiency, safety, and infrastructure savings to having large centralized power plants.

    Nobody is denying that PV has an important role to play for daytime peak loads in sunny areas like the SouthWest USA. You are the first I have heard advocate baseline PV since the advocates of geosynchronous power satellites. Some of your statements seem to assume a very large scale electrical grid to move electrical energy long distances.

    Fossil fuel plants add hundreds of times more heat to the atmosphere than nuclear plants. The cost of climate changing is going to be high, pervasive, and long lasting, hundreds of trillions of dollars?

    Playing devils advocate here, we cant actually know which is cheaper unless we can predict the cost and the discount rate.

    It could be hundreds of trillions of dollars but still be benificial to just use more coal plants if the discount rate is high enough.

    Gonna be tough building nuc plants in a crashed economy...

    Bear Stearns "could" spread...


    Here we go again - why are the US Nose-digging all over the planet ?
    Why does the US believe he whole planet is there for their sake only - I can never stop wondering ...

    U.S. Concerned by Armenia's Energy Ties With Iran

    The United States has expressed concern about Armenia’s deepening economic relations with neighboring Iran, with a senior American diplomat warning that they might run counter to international sanctions imposed on Tehran over its controversial nuclear program.

    Has it struck the oilcentric,narrowminded and egoistic US administration that these countries are neighbours and need to talk and trade - as they have since beginning of time - long before Colombus ... never mind!

    I believe Iran is going nuke - due to energy - and ONLY that.

    Tehran know if they nuke Jerusaleem - they will have a serious issue with fellow muslims , because 1 in 4 in Israel are muslims and Jerusalem are 2 most important city for muslims ....
    Furthermore they also know they will have 10 nukes back om Tehran - if so happens ...

    Didnt you get the memo?

    Roma capa mundi.

    Get with the program

    I'm with you Paal. Iran is trying to avoid the situation that Mexico (and others) are currently experiencing. If Iran builds nukes for power they can continue to export large quantities of oil and gas that would otherwise go to internal consumption. The Mullahs might be fundamentalists but they are not crazy and even if they achive a nuclear weapon at some date uncertain it is highly unlikely that they would use it as a first strike weapon. What all countries around the globe have learned from watching the US invasion of Iraq is: If you want to avoid a US invasion you better get a nuke because the US does not invade nuclear armed countries...at least not so far.

    Perhaps the US is intent on gaining access to any oil they can and Armenia/Iran cooperation is seen as an impediment with that.

    What is wrong with the US wanting to get the oil? Why does the oil in any geologic formation belong to the temporary residents of the surface location more than to anyone else? The bloody Arabs in the Middle East had absolutely nothing more to creating the oil than I did. The accidents of fate which allow them to live on the surface above a reservoir at a time that coincides in history when such a resource is seen as useful does not convey any greater ownership to any one individual any more than to any other. Why do we believe it belongs to "us" now any more than it did to our ancestors or to our future generations.The Ijaw in the Nigeria delta seem to have a problem that they live above the reservoir and the govt there wants to take it. The middle east has people sitting on top of oil and the West (US) wants to take it. What has always been the historical solution to these dilemmas? The strong take what they can. Why do we expect things to be different? It is the nature of man to be greedy.


    EJ, I believe that we (the US) are doing our level best to 'take the oil of Iraq.' Of course we could step up the pressure and commit total and quick genocide in Iraq to aquire the rights to the oil there. Have you considered what the blowback of such an action would be both in the US and in the rest of the world? Perhaps you should think this one over?

    Yes, I have considered this and don't take lightly. Years ago I was Missile Officer on a Boomer and have had plenty of time to think about such consequences. I don't necessarily advocate that as the course of action.

    I guess I was trying to make a point, "Our oil", "Their Oil"... what conveys ownership of a global one time endowment to any of us for a couple of generations? Timing? Luck of Geography? This stuff developed over millions of years, infact mostly well before the most primative proto human appeared. Now we find it under the ground and different power factions starts claiming exclusive rights to it. Then we go to war or threaten genocide so that a relatively small group can profit from it's exploitation and we develop a global society totally hooked on the stuff burning a one time endowment over a few measly generations while dramatically overpopulating the planet with more consumer addicted people as we stare into the abyss realizing we are going to run out and wondering what is next. In retrospect, this is not the most responsible course of action Humanity could have taken. We will have to see how it all plays out....


    EJ, Interesting that you were on a boomer. I was on a P2-V and then a P3-A anti sub crew in the navy. We spent a lot of time looking for you guys and dropped many sonabouy patterns trying to solve 'the problem.' I dont want to say a lot more about it except that I am glad that neither of us are doing that anymore and that we lived through it.
    I think that we have to respect the claim of those that are sitting on the resource. For instance, suppose we decided that we wanted President Putin's (nominally Russia's) oil. It would get very ugly and of course no one would be a winner in such a confrontation. The US does not confront strong nations such as Russia head on but instead tries to contain them and undermine them economically. You probably know better than anyone on this board why the CCCP collapsed...it certainly had nothing to do with the buffoon, Regan, but had a great deal to do with oil prices, right? Humans have advanced in technical fields but the minds of humans are still in the caves. Look at US vs the indiginous population of the Americas. Look at Stalin vs the Ukranians. Examples abound. Humans have had a short but spectacular run as a species and are now headed back to Oldavi unless some miracle occurs and I am very skeptical that a miracle will save us. I have had a good life and wish all generations could experience the same but in my heart and mind I see the end in sight. Good luck my friend.

    What is wrong with the US wanting to get the oil?

    Because our 5% of the world's population uses 25% of the stuff. We waste it like there's no tomorrow, and this IMO, is criminal when speaking in terms of non-renewable resource.

    Why does the oil in any geologic formation belong to the temporary residents of the surface location more than to anyone else?

    By this logic you would have to agree that Germany was perfectly justified in seeking domination over Africa, Europe and Russia to ensure that they had enough oil. You would also have to agree that the US embargo on Japan justified them attacking us at Pearl Harbor. I mean, what right did we have to hold back the oil that just happened to be underneath our soil?

    In fact, what then is the problem with Cuba (or Venezuela or Mexico) placing oil rigs in ANWR? We're not doing anything with it anyways, right?

    The accidents of fate which allow them to live on the surface above a reservoir at a time that coincides in history when such a resource is seen as useful does not convey any greater ownership to any one individual any more than to any other.

    You could also say, "The accidents of fate which allow them to live on land the surface above a reservoir at a time that coincides in history when such land a resource is seen as useful does not convey any greater ownership to any one individual any more than to any other.

    Why do we believe it belongs to "us" now any more than it did to our ancestors or to our future generations.

    We have absolutely no regard for future generations. If they have to get there heat from burning plastic bags found in garbage dumps, so be it. As long as we can our SUV's, McMansions, and "3,000 mile ceasar salads", why worry one whit about "future genrations".

    What has always been the historical solution to these dilemmas? The strong take what they can. Why do we expect things to be different? It is the nature of man to be greedy.

    So is it your point that the weak should STFU and give us our oil?

    When I was younger, I did expect that things could be different. I was starry-eyed and believed in simple things like "that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,".

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

    EJ, I see some of your other comments and wonder if you were being snarky? If so ignore my comments, sometimes my irony detector is at the shop being repaired.

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

    The strong take what they can. Why do we expect things to be different? It is the nature of man to be greedy.

    Let's try with "greed is the root of all evil". And evil is what is destroying societies in the long term, right? On the other hand if our civilisation fails, according to some people this would be ultimately a GOOD THING. For the planet I guess... so maybe you are right - greed is the right way to go!

    Forgot to put the disclaimer that you might be being sarcastic... you definately sound so. On the other hand I was being slightly sarcastic too :)


    Your logic would seen to apply to water or land ownership.

    Have of ever heard "Thou shalt not steal"?

    Seeing the above comments, snarky, yes, sarcatic, yes and perhaps frustrated and confused. Thou shalt not steal? Alas, what is ownership? If there were no ownership then it would be impossible to steal anything. I have heard that you can't own beer, you merely rent it. Did you ever think that we are all only temporary tenets here during this life, just squatters really? Perhaps we should challenge the fundamental rights of ownership of land and sky and water.
    One problem is that we are a part of a society obsessed with ownership and consumerism. We have blindly accepted values based upon historical traditions perfected by the modern marketing. Have you ever had a life changing experience where you ask yourself what is really important? My house flooded once, but all I cared about was that my family was safe. We are surrounded by vast collections of stuff which are the objects of our misplaced values. We don't own things, the things own us. Perhaps we should challenge the status quo


    Following your "logic" they have a right to everything under US territory too. Let's see you propose to share Yankee wealth with the rest of the world. LOL.

    If Gazprom wins a lease in an offshore auction in the US Gulf of Mexico or makes a deal with a farmer in Oklahoma, yes they have a right to the natural resources in the lease !

    Stat Oil (State Oil, 5/8s owned by the Norwegian Crown) has 25% of the famous (infamous) Jack II oil well in the Gulf of Mexico.

    OTOH, a signed deal with Russia is barely worth the paper it is printed on.

    Russia cheats and is run by the mafia, or Putin just acts like Mafia.

    Only a fool would compare the treatment of BP & Shell in Russia with the US treatment of Stat Oil.


    There was just a report on CNBC about peaking, but I only caught the last second of it. Did anyone else see it?

    Yes I caught it. It was the same old stuff. One guy saying we need to prepare because peak oil will be here within ten years and the other saying "Nonsense, people have been predicting the end of oil since it was first discovered and used for making medicines in the late 1800s."

    But the entire segment was cut short. They had to break away to cover a far more important subject, the Blackstone IPO.

    Ron Patterson

    That's too funny...

    The irony of it all.

    You gotta hand it to the Blackstone guys, though. Sell at the top. I wouldn't be surprised if Schwarzman takes the 8 billion he pockets from this deal and turns it into much more than that over the next decade or two.

    Rayond Learsy was the plenty of oil weasel. He appears more befuddled on the tube than his columns that always dispute peak oil for the same type of innane logic. He trotted out the old chestnut that since people had predicted oil would run out in Pennslyvania in 1859 that correlated to us running out today. I just love that logic. Of course his counterpart failed to mention that they pretty much have run out of oil in Pennslyvania

    IRAQ: Hundreds flee homes as Turkish forces battle Kurdish fighters
    SULAIMANIYAH, 21 June 2007 (IRIN) - Hundreds of Iraqi Kurds have been forced to flee their homes after up to 30,000 Turkish soldiers massed on the Iraqi-Turkish border and launched attacks against Kurdish fighters, Iraqi border police say.

    The Turkish army is not to be trifiled with. Ask an Armenian if you can find one. The Kurds and their PKK Kurdish Workers Party fighters have been continually blowing the pipe line from Iraq to Turkey, killing Turkish troops and police, and conducting raids into Turkey on a daily basis. Recently the leader of Kurdistan, Masoud Barzani, threatened that if Turkey made reprisals on 'Kurdistan' that the Kurds would destroy a town in Turkey. Ergodan, the Turkish leader is coming up for election in July and is under heavy political pressure to do something about the upstart Kurds and their PKK Kurdish Workers Party. So he is doing something. Just another day in the mid east.

    Just another day in the mid east.

    Most days don't have NATO members playing 'wack a mole' in what could be considered US controlled space.

    *mumbles about how one might be living in interesting times*

    Sorry Eric, from looking at the situation in Iraq it was hard for me to determine that 'we control the space.' If someone on Mars looked down upon Iraq I suspect it would be difficult for them to determine 'who controls Iraq.' Ergodan begged Condi, shrub, Malaki, et al, for years to keep the PPK out of Southern Turkey. Facing an election he felt he had to do it himself or lose the election. Would you have made a different choice if you were in his shoes?

    Reality is not optional...

    you only think you control the space.

    Turks are not stupid.

    They are doing this because:

    a) Europe has told them to fook off with respect to joining the European Union.


    b) The USA got bogged down in an unwinnable war in Iraq.


    c) There is absolutely nothing the USA can do about it: really. Short of nuking a regional ally, what are you going to do?


    d) Short of mobilising a conscript US Army you are pretty well stuffed: Rome no longer has the man power, the boots on the ground are no longer easily found:

    Your Blackwater Praetorians fight for gold.

    Your true Roman Legions are bleeding to death in the sand.

    'Senatus et Populesque Roma' is increasingly devoid of honour.

    Your Patrician scions avoid military service.

    Your Plebians worship NASCAR and other Infotainments.

    Did I miss anything ?

    Turkey will go for a slice of the regional pie.

    Because She can.

    *clap* *clap*

    'The regional pie' will probably include Kirkuk that oil rich town that Turkey really, really , really doesnt want the Kurds to have.

    Found this on GNN, pointing to a Mother Earth News archive:

    July/August 1979

    David Arthurs developed a hybrid-electric vehicle from an Opel GT. Using an onboard efficient electric generator, this vehicle can also run on battery power for short distances.


    In essence, David has utilized a small gas lawn-mower engine to drive a generator, which-in turn-supplies the vehicle's drive motor with electricity. To do so, he first removed the Opel's original power-plant and installed a 400-amp DC motor/ generator (actually a jet engine's starting motor) in its place. (Since there's no need for a clutch in Dave's setup, the stock unit was pulled out and the main shaft of the drive motor was fastened directly to the input shaft of the car's transmission.) Then, to provide a consistent source of power for this motor (and to supply an energy storage bank), the engineer installed four 12-volt, heavy-duty automobile batteries-in series-which are "fed" by a 100-amp generator that's run off a 5-horsepower lawn-mower engine.


    David Arthurs' electric Opel sounds almost too good to believe . . . and best of all, its circuitry can probably be adapted to just about any vehicle on the road today! It is true that small, lightweight cars are more easily "hybridized", but this same system will also work in a heavier auto . . . it could even be upscaled to suit one of the large American models.

    In short, Dave has succeeded in doing-for a lot less money-what countless government-funded researchers have failed to accomplish: building a passenger car that uses a minimum of energy. Now all he has to do is burn "homegrown" alcohol fuel in his generator engine . . . and Mr. Arthurs will have the most economical set of wheels in town!


    Yes, it does sound too easy to believe, but isn't this more or less how Diesel/Electric locomotives work?

    Yes, and it's also how "series" hybrid cars of today work. This is not, as they say, rocket science - diesel-electric locomotives have been in use for decades.

    The simplistic explanation for the lag in development of hybrid cars is that

    • It's a whole lot easier to build and maintain a mechanical transmission that handles 100 hp than it is to build one that handles thousands of hp.
    • The use of diesel engines, which have very restricted operating ranges relative to gasoline engines, favours a series hybrid (it allows the diesel to always operate at maximum efficiency)
    • The huge torque available from electric motors at zero speed is very important for locomotives

    So why aren't diesel trucks diesel-electric? Because the industry conned drivers into believing shifting 18-speed transmissions was Very Manly. :-)

    I'd tend to suspect that the diesel electric loco actually loses a bit of efficiency ingoing through a generator and motor, each of which has a substantial loss to heat. the mechanical tranny is nearly 100% efficient BUT the advantage of driving a whole bunch of wheels in different locations at different torques or whatever you want to do without a pile of shafts and angle drives and so on makes the diesel electric a winner. The highway truck wouldn't gain anything from the conversion unless you went to a storage and regeneration which still wouldn't help much in Kansas on the freeway.

    Out of curiosity, does anyone know anything about the Ford Escape Hybrids? 34 MPG seems fantastic compared to some of the gas guzzlers on the market!

    Good thing...34mpg...Bad thing...made by Ford.

    Without more information this sounds fishy. 4 batteries and a 5 hp motor? I have the feeling that over some extended period of time he can't develop more than an average of 5 hp. The batteries will give him bursts of energy but he probably can't climb a very steep hill or drive over 20 mph for very long. Or have a very fat friend.

    I'd have to agree that it probably doesn't quite add up. A common figure I see tossed about is that you need about 15 - 20 horsepower for sustained highway speeds (in a normal car). The batteries probably hold more than you're thinking but not much more. I'd also be a little more optimistic and say he might be able to sustain 30mph. It should as well be noted that a lawnmower engine is NOT going to be very efficient. Probably carbureted and air cooled.

    The Bear hugs its oil treasure yet closer still...


    BP sells Siberia stake to Gazprom

    BP is seeking joint ventures with Russian firm Gazprom
    British oil firm BP has sold its stake in a Siberian gas field development to Russian state-controlled firm Gazprom.
    BP's Russian joint venture TNK-BP has agreed to sell Gazprom its majority interests in the giant Kovykta field for between $700m-$900m (£350m-£450m).

    Analysts said this is a fraction of what TNK-BP's stake is worth, and that it is the latest example of the Kremlin forcing out Western energy firms.
    Kovykta is said to have enough gas to supply all of Asia for five years.

    More selective reporting from the western media. The west sets up barriers against Russian companies investing in local energy enterprises (e.g. Centrica) and then bitches when Russia applies a tit for tat policy. Sore losers. Russia is playing by your rules!

    Russia is playing by your rules !

    HARDLY !

    Russia is NOT being forced to sell off assets it already bought at a few % of their value.

    And there are very real monopoly considerations in allowing Gazprom (a state company) complete control and ownership from the well to the meter of the end user without any alternative.

    BP & Shell are hardly in a monopoly position inside Russia.


    I invest heavily abroad, but I will never invest in Russia because I do not trust that I will be treated fairly and honestly.

    Foreign corporations don't get to buy Russian natural resource assets. They buy licenses to develop them. So your claim about a few percent is misinformed since you are assuming that the resources are owned by said corporations.

    The licenses that they were forced to surrender were redeemed at a few % of their value, and less than what they invested with any sort of risk premium and time value of money.


    Kind of makes you wonder about all kinds of financial and commodity hedges, derivatives, etc. From the Housing Bubble Blog:

    An Open-Ended Black Hole
    Some housing bubble news from Wall Street and Washington. The Orange County Register. “In another fallout from Orange County’s subprime mortgage industry collapse, Brookstreet Securities Corp., an Irvine broker dealer, shut its doors and laid off 100 local employees because it could not meet margin calls on complex securities backed by faltering mortgages, company spokeswoman Julie Mains said.”

    “The securities, known as collateralized mortgage obligations, lost value as Wall Street confidence in mortgage-backed securities collapsed. Mains said the value of Brookstreet’s securities plunged to 18 cents on the dollar, forcing the company to dip into its capital to meet margin calls, which is when investors must increase deposits to meet minimum account requirements.”

    “‘It wasn’t a problem with securities,’ she said. ‘It was a problem with the margins.’”

    “Stuart Meissner, a New York attorney and former securities regulator, said he received calls from people whose Brookstreet accounts went from $250,000 to negative value. ‘They were supposedly guaranteed 10 percent returns,’ Meissner said.”

    The LA Times. “One Brookstreet broker, who declined to be identified, attributed Brookstreet’s troubles to a bond division at the firm that had set up a special website for wealthy investors. The broker said the site allowed investors to purchase collateralized mortgage obligations with as little as 10% down and the other 90% borrowed, rather than the 50% down that is typically required on such margin accounts.”

    “A combination of rising longer-term interest rates and defaults on sub-prime mortgages caused the mortgage bonds to lose value, losses that were greatly magnified because of the heavy borrowing that funded the purchases, the broker said.”

    “In some cases this would more than wipe out an investor’s entire position overnight, putting the burden on Brookstreet to make up any amounts owed to the National Financial unit of Fidelity Investments, which held the accounts.”

    “In the end, National Financial began selling the assets of investors as their accounts declined, leaving them, like Brookstreet itself, with huge losses, the broker said.”

    “‘Disaster, the firm may be forced to close,’ Stanley Brooks said in his e-mail to brokers Wednesday. ‘Today, the pricing system used by National Financial has reduced values in all collateralized mortgage obligations. Many of those accounts were on margin and have suffered horrendous markdowns.’”

    Jim Kunstler warned us.

    More news along this line of thought....

    Bank of America Report Sees Worse Mortgage Defaults


    Losses in the U.S. mortgage market may be the ``tip of the iceberg'' as borrowers fail to keep up with rising payments on billions worth of adjustable-rate loans in coming months, Bank of America Corp. analysts said.

    Homeowners with about $515 billion on adjustable-rate home loans will pay more this year, and another $680 billion worth of mortgages will reset next year, analysts led by Robert Lacoursiere wrote in a research note today. More than 70 percent of the total was granted to subprime borrowers, people with the riskiest credit records, they said.

    Surging defaults on subprime loans have pushed at least 60 mortgage companies to close or sell operations and forced Bear Stearns Cos. to offer a $3.2 billion bailout for one of two money-losing hedge funds. New foreclosures set a record in the first quarter, with subprime borrowers leading the way, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported.

    ``The large volume of subprime ARMs scheduled to reset at higher rates in '07 and '08 will pressure already stretched borrowers,'' forcing more loans into foreclosure, the Bank of America analysts wrote from New York. A collapse of the Bear Stearns funds ``could be the tipping point of a broader fallout from subprime mortgage credit deterioration,'' they said.

    As Sony & Cher used to say, "..and the beat goes on....".

    From that same article...

    Bank of America Chief Executive Officer Kenneth Lewis said in an interview earlier this week that job growth will likely mitigate the effect of rising mortgage payments and defaults on home prices and housing starts. U.S. job growth accelerated last month as payrolls increased 157,000 and the jobless rate stayed at 4.5 percent. Economic growth has been crimped by the housing sector every quarter since late 2005.

    ``The drag stops in the next few months,'' Lewis said in a June 19 interview in New York, when asked about his outlook for the housing market. ``It's just about to be over. We're seeing the worst of it.''

    See no problemo...

    Further article on Bloomberg

    "Rate Rise Pushes Housing, Economy to `Blood Bath'"


    'they say our love wont pay the rent,

    before it's earned, our money's all been spent.

    banishing echoes...

    Unlike in the 1929 crash when there was a run on the banks and loss of faith in the banking system, today you may just substitute the name of your big-ass Wall Street hedge fund...people are starting to lose the faith.


    The stock selloff accelerated Friday afternoon, driving the Dow industrials down nearly 150 points, as the biggest public offering in five years failed to offset worries about creeping inflation and rising interest rates.

    One trader also said rumors of more hedge fund trouble, as well as stock transfers from some major indexes, were keeping investors on the sidelines.


    In addition, rumors about more hedge fund problems were hurting the market, according to Todd Clark, director of stock trading at Nollenberger Capital Partners in San Francisco. The rumors came after Bear Stearns struggled to rescue two troubled hedge funds this week.

    "People think there might be another hedge fund that might be in trouble," said Clark.

    In other news...(in case you haven't heard)

    Crude Oil Rises as Nigerian General Strike Moves Into Third Day


    These two events have no correlation whatsoever...so please do not be concerned!!

    If anything, I would correlate the IPO of Blackstone with the stock sell off, rather than Nigeria. Some are trying to claim that the successful Blackstone sale should, "put a floor under the market," but I don't see it that way at all. You sell at the top. Schwarzman is smart enough to know this, even if a lot of other saps aren't.

    Sell paper assets, go in to cash and gold. This is the greatest credit bubble ever in history. It will burst/pop, the only question is when?

    Tomorrow or after two years, who knows?

    As for the timing of the U.S. collapse, what do you think of this reasoning?

    Up until about 5 or 6 years ago, the IMF was among the most hated and feared organizations on earth. They were the only ones who had the power to, "bail out" entire countries, with loans sometimes totaling as much as 100 billion dollars. Today, 100 billion dollars barely buys you something out of a vending machine. China has over a trillion in dollar reserves which they loan out to back development projects. Ditto the ME. Russia will soon join this club. The IMF with their paltry little 200 billion or so has become pretty irrelevant, and many countries are actively thumbing their noses at them. In short, China, the Gulf, and others have become the new IMF. Now, one of the things that really pissed people in the third world off about the IMF was that they always did everything bass ackwards. When a country would fall on hard times, the IMF would demand that they raise taxes and cut spending to bring their budget into line. This would inevitably turn a recession into a depression. Instead of running surpluses in good times and deficits in bad times, as they should have, countries were forced to do the opposite, with tragic results. Well, to tie this in with the U.S. situation, China and the Gulf are the new IMF, the U.S. is running massive deficits during the good times, China and the oil exporters give the U.S. what amounts to an 800 billion dollar bailout package every single year, dwarfing any bailout the IMF ever dreamed of, but what will happen when the U.S. hits a recession? Will China continue to act just like the IMF? Will they become nervous about America's credit worthiness? Will they demand, at what would be the worst possible time to demand it, much higher interest rates in order to continue lending, which would amount to the same as a massive tax increase + spending cuts? Will the U.S. suffer the same fate at the hands of the, "new IMF" that so many other countries suffered at the hands of the, "old IMF"? As you said of the credit bubble, "It will burst/pop, the only question is when?" I would imagine that what would have been an ordinary recession in the past might well turn into the "bursting/popping" that you refer to pretty quickly with the help of nervous lenders.


    Interesting thoughts. I don't remember hearing the China and the Gulf called the new IMF, but I can see how that could be, with all their extra funds from all their exports. The bubble has to pop - we can't keep increasing the amount we borrow in good times, with no way of paying it back.

    It seems to me that credit collapse has to go hand in had with peak oil - unless it actually comes first, and peak oil goes into hiding for a few years, because of decreased demand.

    If other countries start doubting the credit of the US, it seems like trade is going to fall of substantially. We will be in a heap of trouble, because there are so many things we don't make ourselves. I wonder how many parts of windmills are made overseas? Parts of the grid? Computer components?
    Not to mention all the oil we are used to importing. No fun!


    I guess the very fact that the ME, Russia, and China are building up their stabilization funds/dollar reserves during the good times should be evidence enough that they will buy fewer U.S. bonds during any global slowdown. After all, this is the very nature of a stabilization fund. If their economies slow -- probably due to a downturn in consumption activity in the U.S. -- they will no doubt use the money that they are currently plowing into U.S. bonds on domestic spending projects designed to get their economies moving again. This is the definition of sound economic policy and they should be commended for it. You run surpluses during the good times and deficits during the bad times. Smooths out the bumps. The fact that their current surpluses are mostly stored in U.S. bonds though, and the opposite side of the coin, the fact that their future deficits (or reduced surpluses) will come from domestic spending programs at the expense of U.S. debt instruments, with the accompanying yield increases, should serve to greatly exaggerate the bumps here in the U.S..

    imo, later rather than sooner. we still have bernanke poised with bales of cash and chinooks all warmed up. imo this will resolve itself with hyperinflation followed by deflation.

    I just saw a beautiful example of our addiction to technology and just how difficult the "withdrawal" will be:

    From my local news, somewhere USA - Mother and daughter recieving threatening cell-phone calls in creepy voices. "We'll kill you, rape you, etc. etc." Tried numerous new cell phones (pan pile of thirty different-looking cell phones), no luck. Police involved, no luck. Oh, the FEAR: (cut to shot of mother parting curtains and nervously looking out window). Brief description of hacking programs available to do this sort of thing.

    Now, I'm not totally unsympathetic, this is a worrying thing and could be something serious. But have the mother/daughter even considered just ditching the freakin' cell phones? I guess that would be a fate worse than death today. (I don't have a cell phone - life goes on...)

    Peak sex toys?

    Most vibrators, dildos and “love dolls,” for instance — especially the soft, pliable “jelly” type — use some form of plastic. In an effort to make the materials softer and more lifelike, PVC plastics suppliers incorporate one or more members of a family of compounds called phthalates (FAY-lates). To hear some environmentalists tell it, using a vibrator that includes phthalates is akin to bathing in DDT. Alarmed, some sex toy retailers, most prominently San Francisco-based Good Vibrations, are banning toys that include phthalates. But to hear the chemical industry tell it, phthalates are about as benign as mountain spring water. So what is a sex toy consumer to do?

    Use a condom.

    STP's: sexually transmitted phthalates.

    chortle chortle.

    Ride a bike.

    Now THAT'S hitting below the belt!

    Phthalates are pronounced THAL-ates, and I've formulated with them for decades. Remember when they were banned from babies' teethers some years back? Obviously the kids are the most vulnerable population. Now we're moving up the food chain, reducing exposure in the next most vulnerable population - people who have significant exposure via their highly permeable mucus membranes. The threat isn't newly discovered, it's just the next step in risk mitigation.

    Please understand, the threat from endocrine/estrogen mimics is real, and it could be what's behind the pronounced, steady, worldwide decline in male fertility. But get it on scale, please: PVC has saved countless lives by preventing fires that would have happened if other thermoplastics were used instead. That "new car smell" contains plenty of PVC plasticizers, including phthalates, and it represents a significant exposure if you drive a lot in hot weather. But would you rather be riding inside a blowtorch, just waiting for a spark?

    Never fear ladies! I have an organic alternative I could, um, let you use...

    ROTFLMAO -:)

    One must assume that the Ladies (or Gentlmen) involved know nothing of pre-dark age society.

    A phallus of polished ivory, warmed in an oil bath, heated by a lamp of olive oil would, normally suffice.

    The lower orders can take pleasure in a wooden or glazed clay phallus.

    Of course, were you of an Imperial stripe, a snake with a wired mouth would be be a suitable alternative.

    Small, live, fish were also considered. And used. As were Eels.

    Ultimately of course, access to the Praetorian Guard was considered appropriate. Failing that, any Gladiator would do.

    Dorme Bien.

    That article on Saudi that states "Saudi Arabia, which has boasted of its ability to ship up to 12 million barrels a day now admits it will be hard pressed to maintain its current 9 million daily barrels." does not give its source.

    Is anyone here aware of any official Saudi statement to this affect???

    Why Investors Should Be Interested in Shale Oil

    Is this guy mixing EROI and EROEI? Maybe its me thats confused but he seems to be mixing the two. I could buy an EroEI on Oil Shale at .7 never a 13.3. But his tables use King Hubberts data along with another source so I maybe in the wrong.
    I sometimes see these terms intermixed but they mean 2 different things to me.


    The whole article is misrepresentation. Shell announced this week that they were closing down their shale oil project because of the immense cost of energy to freeze a dam of ice to prevent water pollution and the cost of heating the kerogen in situ to turn it into oil. this was in an article posted on Drumbeat, I think from the Rigzone site.

    Its possibly even felonious. People accept what they read on Yahoo Finance as authoritative, and it seemed to me to be touting the majors-Exxon, Chevron and Shell were all mentioned-on the basis of uneconomic and unproven technology. Its this kind of reporting that sets us up, like all the glowing reports on the financial wizards at Enron.

    If I recall correctly, Shell announced they were shutting down ONE of the three different methods they were researching to extract the Oil Shale. Still...

    The news reports are little confusing, but Shell apparently had three research leases, and three different companies were awarded research leases, but I think that Shell is only pursuing one method.

    A good summary at Econbrowser: http://www.econbrowser.com/archives/2007/06/oil_shale_hits.html

    I have a question about the Export Land model referred to on this board.

    What is the total oil consumption of the top ten exporters? What percentage of world consumption does this amount to?

    It seems pretty obvious that consumption in places like Russia, SA, UAE will continue increasing exponentially, but are we to the point yet where this will make a major impact on world consumption? Or is their consumption still so minuscule that even if it doubles every five years it will still take several decades before it is noticeable on a global scale?



    This website has tons of data (click on source), although with an odd data gap: http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/cabs/topworldtables1_2.html

    The top five net exporters accounted for about 50% of net worldwide exports in 2006 (in 2006, their consumption accounted for 25% of production).

    Top Five, from 2005 to 2006:

    Production: -1.3%
    Consumption: +5.5%
    Net Export: -3.3%

    We are working on some quantitative models, but if we assume a 5% rate of decline in production and a 5% rate of increase in consumption for the top five, their net exports would drop by more than 20% per year over a period of several years, although the initial decline would be "lower," about 10% from 2006 to 2007.

    One of the oddities of the Export Land Model is that the net export decline rate tends to increase with time. So, once things start going downhill--which IMO is happening right now--things are going to get worse at an accelerating rate. For example, the long term decline rate in Lower 48 crude oil production has been about 2% per year, but my simple Export Land Model shows an initial net export decline rate of about 16% per year for 4.5 years, and then about 37% per year for 4.5 years (to zero net exports in 9 years). Note that UK net exports declined at about 60% per year, from peak exports to net importer status in about six years.

    Other than that, have a good weekend.

    Yes, thank you. I ran across some information you had posted on yesterday's thread which also helped. You stated that consumption amounts to about 25% of production in some of these exporters, which is quite significant. Is this about right?

    In round numbers, the top five produced about 30 mbpd (total liquids) and consumed about 7.5 mbpd in 2006.

    If you want to do some simple Net Export Land math, just use the Rule of 72 (or 70 to make it even more simple).

    At a 5% decline rate, production by the top five would be down by about 50% in 14 years (70 divided by 5), to 15 mbpd.

    At a 5% rate of increase in consumption, overall consumption would double in 14 years, to 15 mbpd.

    So, using the 5%/5% rule, net exports by the top five would be at zero in 14 years.

    Over the first seven years, I estimate that the net export decline rate would be about 10% per year (down by about half in seven years). However, the annual decline from the halfway mark to about zero would be vastly larger, 60% plus per year. This is also what my Export Land Model shows.

    The problem is that the 5% production decline rate number may be conservative, especially with the Russian question. We will see what the HL models show, but I can tell you that the result will be scary as hell.

    Scary stuff. Russia's stabilization fund, the trillion plus in dollar reserves the Gulf countries have built up in the ME, and China's trillion plus dollar reserves should go a long way toward ensuring that regardless of what happens in the West, the producing countries should keep right on growing, and increasing their domestic consumption of oil as well.

    At a 5% rate of growth in consumption by the top five (less than what we saw from 2005 to 2006), even if we assume flat production forever (which is not what we are currently seeing), their net exports would be down by about one-third in 14 years.

    What is the current decline rate for top exporters?
    I think Norway, Mexico & Saudi Arabia are declining at 6% each, Russia & Iran are flat, Kuwait & Venezuela are declining at around 3%.

    Am I right?

    Probably the best way to describe the net export decline is in terms of annual average declines, with a stipulation that in most cases the monthly data are showing sharper declines: http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/cabs/topworldtables1_2.html

    At the above link, click on "source" for year over year comparisons.

    Saudi Arabia, Russia, Norway and Iran all showed year over year declines in net exports (collectively declining at 4.2% per year) from 2005 to 2006. UAE was up slightly.

    Rather witty future-take on a post 2008 crash world from Bloomberg (and possibily right on the money):


    OK people - and TOD editors -lets create a virtual marketplace and start a running bet
    Call it a friendly bet - maybe in drums of Brent Crude delivered to your front lawn (Texas Intermediate seems passe)

    ... this is TOD as TOD evolves into fantasy league and rotisserie baseball - this would be posted on the banner headline of the site

    talk about press coverage - this would capture it - pretty soon the WSJ would be quoting TOD just as they quote
    U Michigan consumer confidence

    the (real serious) objective here is to allow the TODers - by "virtual" wagering - to voice their opinions and create a measurable marketplace of opinion - to estimate the trends and directions and prices of energy commodities - and those other commodites affected by changes in energy prices and availability

    ... kind of like "consumer confidence" for energy

    the parameters of the marketplace trades would be the obvious ones like oil, ethanol, uranium - where do we think they are going vs the existing futures markets

    but maybe also the less obvious ones like dollar premium on a 3rd generation Prius, or the price of premium farmland in Kentucky or Oklahoma. Or the cost of tacos in Mexico.

    I dont want to go crazy, I just want to be representative, and give a new reflection on changing public opinion as people become more aware.

    right now, all we have is Robert Rapier has a $1000 bet on something, and Matt Simmons has a $10,000 bet that says oil will be $200/barrel in 2010 (in 2005 dollars)

    ... we need THE TOD MARKET... what do you think?

    this would be a box score on the banner headline

    The Never-Ending Light Bulb

    Ceravision has just announced that they have developed a lightbulb that is 50% efficient (more than twice the efficiency of CFLs) and will last...um...forever?

    More than 50% of the energy is emitted as light, which is 2x more than ordinary metal halide lamps, and four times more than ordinary fluorescents.

    The device is so long lived because there is no connection between the electricity source and the bulb itself. As long as the microwave emitter keeps emitting, and the glass tube never breaks, the device will last forever.


    Does anyone else think that Steven Schwarzman became an icon today?

    He was the poster child of the, "private equity boom," amassing a fortune of over 8 billion dollars before selling out at the top.

    Every bull market seems to culminate with a moment and a figure like this. What comes next? Does it end with a 'b' word that isn't, "boom"? What brand of champaign are they drinking at Schwarzman's place right now? Is Rod Stewart going to sing?

    He certainly picked the right time for the Blackstone IPO!

    Hope you will stick around on TheOilDrum. You make some good observations!

    Peak oil has a lot of economic implications. But on average, the TOD crowd is heavier weighted toward folks in other professions - oil company people, computer professionals, acedemics of various types. My impression is that we are a little light on those tuned in to the economic aspects. We could use some additional help in this area!

    You might be interested in my article "Our World Is Finite: Is This a Problem?". It talks about my view of the economic consequences of resource constraints of all types, including peak oil.

    My impression is that we are a little light on those tuned in to the economic aspects.

    Yes, the site is a bit 'light' WRT economics beyond the broad 'if one thing becomes expensive, the invisible hand of the market will cause adjustment' kind of broad, sweeping generalizations.

    I'd love to see more on money theory but when I started looking around here:

    And knew I knew not alot about Kensian VS Austrian VS whatever money theories - I decided to not delve here as alot of it struck me as 'Do the angels dancing on the pin head wear green or purple skirts?' and *wink* I do have other things to do - like argue what is a crackpot conspiracy theory VS what is just a difference of opinion over how one sees the world. *wink*

    And here's a currency idea that is destroyable, has a tangible 'value', can be 'local', and can be expanded. As such it addresses many of the shortcomings of many of the money systems.
    Alas, I have no idea what short comings it has beyond forgery or the willow-the-wisp nature of a Kw.

    Hello TODers,

    Putin speech:

    'Soviet era less bleak than US history'

    The history of the Soviet Union had fewer black pages in its history than certain other countries, not least the United States, President Vladimir Putin has said in a speech.

    "Regarding the problematic pages in our history, yes, we do have them, as does any state,'' Putin said at a social sciences conference, citing Stalin's purges during the 1930s.

    "But other countries have also known their bleak and terrible moments,'' he said in comments published on the official Kremlin website.

    "In any event, we never used nuclear weapons against civilians, and we never dumped chemicals on thousands of kilometres of land or dropped more bombs on a tiny country than were dropped during the entire Second World War, as was the case in Vietnam,'' he said.
    He forgot to mention that the US pop., 5% of world total, uses 25% of the world's oil. For the sake of justice alone: we really should be practising radical conservation till we are only using 5% of the world's oil. Better we do it ourselves than have it forced upon us.

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

    I recall reading The Gulag Archipelago (Russian: Архипелаг ГУЛАГ) ... by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn -- during the time of Stalin and later rulers, not after the time of Gorbachov.


    Up to 40 million convicts perished in Soviet forced labor camps called Gulags. Some were forced to sleep outside in Siberian camps without tents in the winter. They had brief trials lasting about ten minutes and were transported in cattle cars with gunners and searchlights placed on the railroad car roofs to labor camps across the U.S.S.R.

    Russian 3rd quarter 2007 oil production cuts outlined:


    Hello Rainsong.

    Thxs for responding. Yep, I read that sad tome years ago too. I expect the Halliburton work camps to easily triple the 40 million that died in the Soviet Gulags. I wonder what descriptive word we will come up with similar to gulag if these work camps don't have wheelbarrows--HeavilyBurdened?


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

    You all think that this 40 million figure is some established fact and not cold war propaganda. For starters the figure spread about the USSR is 30 million (now this number has grown to 40 million after anti-Russian bile inflation). It includes the over 10 million that died during the civil war from combat and famines due to disruption of agriculture. The remaining 20 million originates from various dubious estimates such as that 20% of glulag inmates died *every* year. In fact this mortality was the peak one reached around 1942 when WWII created starvation was affecting the whole country. The other fable spread is that 14 million died from forced collectivization famines (in Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Russia). But there is never any serious accounting just accusations.

    The declassified KGB archives show that 3 million people were sent to the gulags and 99% of them did not die there. The scale of the civil war agricultural disruption and famines was much larger than the forced collectivization period. A much more realistic figure is 4 million, not 14 million. There was actually a form of civil war associated with the forced collectivization. Farmers burned their crops and killed their livestock rather than having them seized by the state.

    Obviously it would have been better for the world and for people in former Russian empire if the communist revolution never happened. But the sanctimonious west shares some of the blame. Lenin was backed by Germany to get Russia to stop fighting on the eastern front, and this policy was a spectacular success. Interests in the US were also involved since they wanted to impose regime change against the Czar and thousands of activists came from the US to help the revolution.

    Since the theme is millions of deaths due to state policy, don't forget that 30 million people died in India due to famines created by the "free market" (i.e. forced export of food) regime set up by the British. Also don't forget that millions of aborginals died in America. You can pretend it was all just due to disease but that ignores the fact that aborginals were deprived of their food supply (e.g. buffalo) and herded onto reservation ghettoes. In the squalor and starvation of these camps the European diseases were much more effective in causing deaths. Of course there is also the malicious spreading of smallpox.

    Soviet census demographics do support the 40 million figure, even accounting for WW II deaths. The male/female ratio and age distribution.

    Just 3 million, NONSENSE !

    99% did not die ?? BEYOND CRAZY ! 2% would die at home in any case. Read the Gulag Archipelago and I think 20% annual deaths is a low estimate.

    Best Hopes for Reality,


    But the sanctimonious west shares some of the blame

    I thought we were to blame for supporting the Whites against the Reds in the Civil War with troops et al ?


    Hello TODers,

    I have never been to Hawaii, so I don't know how serious this really is to the islanders, but I thought Hawaii was the rainiest spot on earth. Check out the latest drought map [releases June 21]:


    It appears Hawaii needs a hurricane to replenish their stocks and soil moisture.

    State of Emergency For Hawaii Island

    "Now we have 10-12 guys hauling water continuously" says Charles Huston, one of the water hauling operators.

    But even that's not enough to handle the demand by this drought.

    "They're desperately in need of water" adds Huston.

    The county has also put up over a dozen emergency water spigots so people won't be left high and dry.

    But for the Waimea area, reservoirs and ditches damaged from last October's quake means there is only an 18 day supply of water for residents. And as water levels drops, frustration and anger could rise.

    "Its an extreme hardship, this drought, and we can expect tempers are going to flare" says Hawaii Island Mayor, Harry Kim.

    He said it is unfair to blame agriculture for the shortage of water.

    “It’s development,” he said.

    Farmland in ag use has decreased by large amounts, principally because Maui Pine is planting less, but also, Watanabe said, because several larger vegetable farmers have given up.

    “We use less and less every year,” said Rasmussen. “That’s been going on for a long time.”

    The Maui Fire Department is making its own pitch for conservation by asking residents to be more vigilant in protecting their homes by clearing flammable vegetation at least 10 feet from structures.

    With the Fourth of July holiday coming, the Fire Prevention Bureau adds that “all residents are encouraged to be extra cautious in using fireworks.”

    Yamashige agrees that “we don’t want to be using water fighting fires."
    Don't you just love Overshoot in Paradise? =(

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

    I thought they drank coconut milk.

    Hello TODers,

    Seven pictures of CA drought taken back in May. It has only gotten worse since then, of course. Normally, this landscape is a verdant green for miles around:


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

    Lake Mead is down 100 feet over the last 7 years and it's half empty (or full I guess if you're optimistic). Lake Mead supplies 90% of the water for Sin City. If the drought continues, it could be empty in 10 years.

    Water is ridiculously cheap here. The most expensive bill I've ever had is about $7 a month.

    I'm taking what you said about the pipelines for gas to Vegas to heart. I just bought two 5 gallon "jerry cans" and am storing them in my garage. 10 gallons is enough to GTFOOT in the Prius should the fuel supply be disrupted. Being a desert rat, I have long noted the vulnerability of pipelines and transmission lines that cross lonely parts of the Southwest, but I hadn't considered the possibility of a major earthquake in S. CA. disrupting fuel or power.

    Hello TODers,

    Just imagine the logistical nightmare of getting the minimum clean drinking water to these millions of people. I am sure that the Great Leaders are not worried about supplying extra for flush toilets or laundry. I wonder how many will die?

    China drought causes water shortages for millions

    In Liaoning in the northeast, a leading corn-producing area, Xinhua said that close to 90 reservoirs had dried up and 25,000 wells could no longer supply adequate water supplies.

    State media reported last week that Liaoning was suffering its worst drought in 30 years as a result of high temperatures and little rain and that some 1.4 million hectares of crops had been damaged.

    Drought had also sapped water supplies for 870,000 people and around 1.5 million livestock in Inner Mongolia, Xinhua said. Cattle had died for lack of grass to eat in the most severely affected parts of that region, it said.
    How sad would that be if the Chinese start migrating to North Korea for the better conditions? Yikes!

    EDIT: If this keeps getting worse: the Beijing Summer Olympics in 2008 will be a huge disaster with nobody coming to watch or even participate in the sports.

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

    Inner Mongolia is the site of a thirsty new coal-to-liquids plant according to one of the links up top. The linked article says

    To avoid a possible overheating in the coal-based chemical industries, however, China raised the threshold for projects converting coal to liquid fuel last year, for fear that excessive development of the fossil fuel will pollute the environment and strain water supply.

    I've asked before. What possible difference does it make whether we burn up all the oil today or save a few drops for tomorrow as well?

    Saving a gallon here or there is as pointless as voting. It won't make a difference so why bother.

    One can believe in Peak Oil and still buy a 40' Cat powered motorhome whose MPG I will never bother to calculate. In fact, I moved up the purchase so I could run some barrels though it while I still could because of Matt Simmons and this site.

    Other than the expected ad hominem attacks, can anyone tell me what's wrong with that?

    My wife drives a Prius. I have an older Toyota 4Runner cause I like to go places in the desert that require high clearance and I need something that could tow the 18 foot ski boat we bought last year.

    The boat uses about 6 gallons per outing. Lake Mead is 35 or 40 miles from house so the truck usually uses about 8 or 10 gallons. My wife works from home so her gasoline usage is minimal. I ride my bike to work frequently but it's getting hot enough now (110 today!) that I'm starting to take the Prius instead. The bus/bike combo is also an option, but it's more of a hassle than simply riding the bike or driving.

    My driving habits and vehicle choices have more to do with my belief in minimizing my funding of both sides of the "war on terror" than concern for PO or GW. I drive whatever vehicle I'm in gently; easy acceleration, maximum coasting, obey the speed limit (I do 60 on the 65 MPH freeways here just to piss people off.) to maximize fuel economy.

    I'm amazed at the number of people who accelerate madly just so they brake at the next light. That fact that our national leaders could not bring themselves to ask everyone to make the minimal sacrifice of driving slower after 9/11, still amazes me to this day.

    Do I think my actions can help avert PO disaster? I doubt it. Do I feel guilty for adding CO2 by tooling around in the ever shrinking Lake Mead? Hell no.

    Politically, I've supported conservation and fuel taxes my entire adult like. I've always been a "tax and spend" liberal who believed that gub'ment regulation was needed to force the market to treat our resources with more respect. Since fuel is still dirt cheap for me (even at $3 bucks/gallon) I'm not going to feel guilty for burning it up. I'm surrounded by hundreds of thousands of people who never even give it a second thought. Enjoy it while it lasts. I say buy that "mobile mansion" and enjoy it while you can. Smoke 'em if you got 'em :)

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

    There is no right or wrong. Some people would like to see humans survive with some modecum of 'society' left intact. Eeking out our supplies is bridging time to the next energy source.

    Other people think that the planet is better off without us humans and be damned with the consequences of our actions now. If we destroy ourselves it was our own stupid fault. In the grand cosmic scheme of things it makes no difference.

    Someone once told me an amusing belief of theirs. They said: "the best things the friends of the earth could do is throw themselves off a cliff. If everyone did this the world would be a much better place".

    Me, I havn't got a clue what to do.

    Well, I shoplift at WalMart because they are a multi-billion corporation and won't notice the loss and they are going to go bankrupt anyway post-Peak Oil.

    And I enjoy the five finger discount :-) I get a rush from it and the extra money can always find better uses.

    What's wrong with that ?

    Alan :-P

    Sounds like a plan.

    Wouldn't work for me though, because I never set foot in a WalMart. My last contribution to the Waltons was in about 1994 when I bought a refrigerator at Sam's.

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

    Boy, we're just finding out all kinds of personal insight into some of the regulars on The Oil Drum. First Ron with his medical and sexual details and now Alan being a klepto.

    Please note the :-P after the signature.

    I was giving a comparable to guzzlling as much gasoline as possible because it doesn't really harm anyone.

    Many individual actions *DO* add up (just as votes add up) even if each individual one has no macro effect !


    Hello TODers,

    U.S. lawmaker urges condoms for border control
    Bob Shaw in Phx,Az Are Humans Smarter than Yeast?

    Hello TODers,

    According to this report, divide and conquer will soon be spreading North. Interesting essay on past Mexican decline coming to New England and other parts further North.

    Can you forsee ATLANTICA?

    The Age of Atlantica: As Goes Mexico, so Goes the US and Canada

    The End of Sovereignty and Democracy Tolls for Upstate New York, Northern New England, Quebec and the Maritime Provinces, and, Soon, for Boston and NYC Too.

    Workers and farmers in the United States and Canada have been largely kept in the dark about the tragedy unleashed on their counterparts in Mexico with the 1994 entrance of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). But the same all-out screwing is about to happen to them.
    Bob Shaw in Phx,Az Are Humans Smarter than Yeast?