DrumBeat: November 13, 2007

Will Chavez pull the trigger? - Venezuelans may give their president the power to restrict oil production - and cause a global recession.

On Dec. 2, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez can tip the world into a recession.

On that day, if Venezuelan citizens pass the dozens of constitutional amendments on the ballot, Chavez will essentially be granted dictatorial powers -- an elected strongman reminiscent of Spain's Franco, Italy's Mussolini and Orwell's Big Brother. The day could easily deteriorate into one of violence, martial law and suspension of oil production, the latter calculated to inflict maximum damage on the U.S. economy.

Also: Venezuela wants to keep oil near $100/barrel

US calls on OPEC to increase oil production

US Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman on Tuesday upped the pressure on OPEC to help cool record oil prices as leaders from member countries of the exporters' cartel prepare to meet at a rare summit.

Asked on the sidelines of an energy conference here if he wanted the 12-member Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries to increase output, he replied: "Yes, sure."

"I do believe there is a lack of willingness to supply the market ... It is contributing to the price environment," he told reporters.

Green Energy Advocate Amory Lovins: Guru or Fakir?

The facts plainly show that Lovins has been consistently wrong about the ability of renewables to take large amounts of market-share from fossil fuels. He’s been proven wrong about the long-term ability of efficiency to reduce overall energy consumption. And yet, despite being so wrong for so long, he keeps getting awards and prizes by the forklift-load. And the fact that the Lovins love-fest continues unabated causes no small bit of antipathy among some long-time energy watchers. One of them is Vaclav Smil, the polymath and distinguished professor of geography at the University of Manitoba who has written numerous books on energy. “Inexplicably,” Smil wrote recently, Lovins “retains his guru aura no matter how wrong he is.”

Gas prices hit working class

Lower-income Americans spend eight times more of their disposable income on gasoline than wealthier residents do.

The disparity is dramatic. In Wilcox, Ala., people spend 12.72 percent of their income to fuel one vehicle, according to a new study from the Oil Price Information Service (OPIS). In Hunterdon County, N.J., people spend 1.52 percent.

The study illustrates the impact rising oil prices are having on people's budgets. Many economists have downplayed the effect gasoline prices will have on consumer spending. But with prices now pushing above $3 and studies like this, some say the economy may take a hit.

Soaring Oil Prices Could Hit a Speed Bump

The big oil-price surge of 2007 may not be over yet, but signs are emerging of a significant cooling that could put the $100-a-barrel benchmark out of reach for the near term.

OPEC Secretary General: "Plenty Of Oil" In Global Markets

OPEC Secretary General Abdalla Salem el-Badri said Tuesday that global oil markets are well supplied, reaffirming his view that speculative investors have been behind the rally in oil prices.

"There is plenty of oil in the market," el-Badri told reporters in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, ahead of a summit at the weekend of heads of state from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.

"OPEC is not happy with high oil prices and we're also not happy with low oil prices," he said, though he didn't elaborate on what those price levels were.

Pakistan, UAE sign oil refinery deal

Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates on Tuesday signed a five-billion-dollar agreement to build an oil refinery near the port city of Karachi, the prime minister's office announced.

Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz said the memorandum of understanding signalled Pakistan's biggest-ever foreign investment.

'Open' Saudi Arabia falls short of billing

"There is a misunderstanding about the oil industry as a whole," Mr. Al-Muhanna said. "There is a misunderstanding about Saudi Arabia, of Muslim Arabs."

Still, reporters, who were promised unprecedented access, are complaining the effort is falling short of the billing.

Oil giant chief: World liquid energy resources far bigger than expected

"In general, we have grossly underestimated mankind's ability to find new reserves of petroleum, as well as our capacity to raise recovery rates and tap fields once thought inaccessible to produce," he said.

"I'm confident that this growth trend can continue," he added.

In addition to conventional oil, the president said he believed that non-conventional resources of liquid energy such as condensates, natural gas liquids, bitumen, coal-to-liquids and biofuels will contribute to the global supply.

Venezuela Proposes OPEC Change Oil Pricing Method - Chavez

Venezuela will make a series of proposals during the upcoming meeting of OPEC heads of state this month, including a new way to gauge the price of oil and a formula to shield poor countries from escalating oil prices, Venezuela's president said Tuesday.

"We've proposed that we change the method to measure oil prices," President Hugo Chavez said during a televised press conference. "The WTI (West Texas Intermediate oil price) doesn't reflect the reality of the market, because WTI is a very small proportion of overall oil production."

China's October Crude Imports Lowest Since February

China's crude oil imports slowed further in October to reach just 12.61 million tonnes, their lowest level since February due to record high international crude prices nearing the $100-per-barrel benchmark as well as sluggish demand from domestic refineries, according to data released today by China Customs.

Domestic refineries are lacking incentives to refine as exports to the international market, which pays better prices for oil products, are now controlled by the government and artificially low domestic retail prices make it hard to generate profits domestically despite robust demand for diesel, according to analysts.

Concerns over Mexican oil spill

Waves in excess of eight meters high in the Gulf of Mexico have tilted a platform, causing 422 oil barrels to pour into the sea daily.

Platform Usumacinta is still tilted and the escape of oil continues after 22 days.

Two area liquefied natural gas plants in pipeline

Just months after environmental concerns killed a proposal to locate a liquefied natural gas terminal off the coast of Malibu, a proposal for an even larger plant off Oxnard and one off the coast of Los Angeles are under review.

Constraints at Australian port prompt third week of gains

China became a net importer of coal for the first time this year, worsening a shortage of the fuel in Asia. Consumption, spurred by global economic growth, has outpaced exports from Australia, Indonesia and South Africa.

"The port bottlenecks in Australia are a big factor; we don't seem to quite get the supply side sorted out," said Clyde Henderson, a coal analyst at Barlow Jonker, a unit of Wood Mackenzie Consultants. "The other big factor is the ongoing turnaround in China's net thermal coal exports."

Several factors collide to drive up consumers' pain at gas pump

Representatives from ConocoPhillips and ExxonMobil attribute last week's 9-cent increase in gas prices to the fact that oil is sitting at nearly $95 a barrel.

"I don't believe we are looking at (fuel) shortages," said Clint Young, spokesman for ConocoPhillips' Billings refinery. "Montana generally produces enough product that we don't have a supply issue here."

The means don’t justify the end over oil

American consumers cringe as they notice oil approaching $100 a barrel, and the resulting prices for gasoline and heating oil rise daily. Our leaders respond by asking OPEC to produce more oil.

Washington apparently didn’t note the recent statements of Saudi oil executive Sadad Al-Husseini: “There has been a paradigm shift in the energy world whereby oil producers are no longer inclined to rapidly exhaust their resource for the sake of accelerating the misuse of a precious and finite commodity. This sentiment prevails inside and outside of OPEC countries, but has yet to be appreciated among the major energy-consuming countries of the world.”

In addition, al-Husseini said, “The major oil-producing nations are inflating their oil reserves by as much as 300 billion barrels. Global oil and gas capacity is constrained by mature reservoirs and is facing a 15-year production plateau.”

Ecuador Oil Minister: Set to Become OPEC Member Nov 17

Ecuador is set to re-join the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries Nov. 17, the country's oil minister Galo Chiriboga told a news conference Tuesday.

"On Saturday the re-entry of Ecuador into OPEC will be formalized," Chiriboga said.

Ecuador was suspended from OPEC in 1992 when the country couldn't afford to pay its dues and over disagreement on production quotas.

Lorry drivers' fuel protest 'would be pointless'

IT would be "pointless and possibly illegal" for lorry drivers to start blockade protests against fuel prices, a hauliers' group said today.

But some forms of demonstration could possibly take place, added the Road Haulage Association (RHA).

Angry Scottish truckers were set to meet in Edinburgh today to discuss what action to take over soaring fuel prices. Other regional meetings are also set to take place across the UK.

Alaska House Passes Oil Tax Bill

The House passed an oil tax bill on Sunday night, backing Gov. Sarah Palin's efforts to rewrite a one-year old law she has called a failure and tainted by a federal corruption probe tied to the current law.

The final vote on the bill boosting the tax rate on oil companies from 22.5 percent to 25 percent was 27-13.

Will America wise up to the Smart?

More than 95,000 people have signed up as smart "insiders," which means they will be kept informed by e-mail on company news and developments.

And there has been no shortage of interest from car dealerships. Of 1,400 applicants, the company has whittled down the list to an initial network of 70 dealers who will start delivering cars in January 2008.

Let Oil Prices Rise

As crude passes $100 per barrel, IT professionals have the opportunity to provide efficiencies that will keep their businesses healthy and growing.

A New Era Of High Oil Prices Attracts Investment In Biofuels

The rise in oil prices is the most important factor boosting the competitiveness of alternative fuels, including biofuels. The unprecedented 6-year rise in oil prices has prolonged opportunities for efficiency gains, stimulated energy conservation, and generated increased supply from traditional and alternative energy sources. While these adjustments may eventually lower oil prices, most forecasts do not show real prices falling below $50 per barrel.

Oil states must open door to investment, says ExxonMobil chief

The head of ExxonMobil said yesterday that the global energy industry would fail to produce enough oil to meet increased demand unless oil-rich states opened the door to more investment. He also accused the United States Government of failing to do its share in bringing more resources on stream.

In a bleak assessment of the state of the market, Rex Tillerson, the ExxonMobil chairman, said that it would take two years for a supply response to begin to mitigate the present tightness in the oil market, which has led prices to nearly $100 per barrel.

Saudi to supply full volumes in December

Saudi Arabia will supply full term volumes of crude to its Asian customers for December, unchanged from November, trading sources said yesterday, a move that had been expected as oil prices hover near $100 a barrel.

"December is similar to November," a source close to the discussions said.

The allocations for November were the first time in a year that Saudi Aramco supplied full volumes to its lifters.

Have Global Stock Markets Peaked on “Peak Oil?”

The stunning rise in the price of crude oil, up 56% this year and up 365% in a decade, to within a whisker of the magical $100 /barrel level, has some traders wondering whether “Peak Oil” is finally here. If correct, is the spectacular bull-run for global stock markets, which is now 4.5-years old, building a major “rounding top” pattern? Until recently, high and rising oil prices didn’t disturb the bullish psychology among global stock market operators. Instead, the spin surrounding rising oil prices described a positive story, an unprecedented boom in the world economy.

But historically, Global “Oil Shocks” have tipped the global economy into recession. For example, the Arab oil embargo of 1973-74 and the Iranian Revolution of 1978-79 triggered unprecedented increases in oil prices and were associated with worldwide recessions. Depending on how the adjustment is calculated, $38 a barrel for crude oil in the 1970’s would be worth around $96 to $103 /barrel today. Most US recessions in the post-World War II era were preceded by sudden spikes in oil prices.

IEA cuts world oil demand view

The International Energy Agency on Tuesday cut its estimate of world oil demand for this year and next, saying there are signs that oil prices close to $100 a barrel are depressing demand.

On At Doc NZ: Crude Impact

Crude Impact is a powerful and timely story that deftly explores the interconnection between human domination of the planet and the discovery and use of oil.

In 1956, geologist M. King Hubbert, predicted that US oil production, the largest in the world then, would peak in the early 70s and then continuously and irreversibly diminish. He was vilified and largely ignored — until it came true.

Modern day disciples of Hubbert presage how quickly global peak oil will become a reality and its many serious implications for our world.

Assessing Saudi power

The Saudi kingdom is the world's largest producer, exporter and holder of oil reserves, and finds itself in the unique position of having about 90 percent of the world's spare capacity, which makes its influence in today's international economic system difficult to overstate. Saudi Aramco has a sustained production capacity of between 10.9 to 11.1 million barrels per day (mb/d). In contrast, Russia, holder of the world's second largest sustained production capacity, has a potential of between 9.4 to 9.6 mb/d. Within OPEC, Saudi Arabia's dominance is complete. The kingdom pumps two and a half times more oil than OPEC's second largest producer, Iran, which has had great difficulty keeping its sustained production capacity at 3.9 mb/d. Saudi Arabia's strength becomes even clearer when taking into consideration the fact that the kingdom exports four times more oil than Iran. Translated into cash, Saudi Arabia's revenue from petroleum exports averaged about $185 billion in 2006, while Iran collected an estimated $51 billion, a bit less than Abu Dhabi, and even Kuwait.

Saudi Aramco is at the disposal of Petrobras

The charges d'affaires at the Saudi embassy in Brazil, Omar Ali Saleh Al-Oyaidi, stated yesterday (12) that the Saudi government's Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Aramco) is at the disposal of Brazilian oil company Petrobras to help in the development of new oil and gas reserves recently discovered in Santos basin. The statement was made during the Bilateral Trade and Investment Seminar Between Brazil and Saudi Arabia, promoted by the Federation of Chambers of Foreign Trade (FCC), in Rio de Janeiro.

Huge US Reserves of Oil Shale Hold Promise, But at High Cost (podcast)

As the price of oil soars on world markets and demand for energy grows, energy companies are looking at so-called unconventional sources such as Canada's oil sands and the vast deposits of oil shale in the Rocky Mountain states. Geologists say half of the world's known oil shale lies deep underground in western Colorado, eastern Utah and southern Wyoming, amounting to more than one trillion barrels of potential oil. But this is rock, not liquid, and the very expensive trick is to convert it to useable liquid fuel. VOA's Greg Flakus has more in this report from the Piceance basin in northwestern Colorado.

South Africa: Can You Celebrate Christmas Without Lights?

The city's public lighting manager, Charles Kadalie, on Sunday said he had heard rumours that Eskom could request the city to switch off its Christmas lights.

"But we are not paying much attention to that."

He said the festive season did not have a significant impact on energy resources and calling on people to celebrate Christmas without lights was not the answer.

Saipan: Three-pronged solution mulled for energy crisis

Privatization, Alternative Energy, and Conservation.

That is the three-pronged strategy that the Fitial administration will be implementing as part of local efforts to counter the debilitating effects that the skyrocketing cost of fuel is having on the island's economy.

Orthodox leader calls for "less sinful" use of energy resources

"The energy crisis of our age is not primarily an ecological or economical matter, it is a spiritual crisis concerning the way we perceive our planet’s resources," said the spiritual leader of the world's Orthodox Christians.

"The proper development and distribution of the energy resources of our placet is clearly one of the most critical and urgent problem facing our world," he said.

Zero House From the Future is Totally Green, Off-Grid

The house holds its water in a 2700-gallon roof cistern, and the sheer weight of all that liquid pushes water through the plumbing. When you flush the toilets, it all ends up in a compost container in the basement, which digests all that stuff organically, relieving you of attaching your abode to any sewage pipes. Goodbye, civilization.

Million Dollar Dream Car Runs on Water

As a BMW aficionado myself I would have investigated further to see what was going on, but as I approached I was even more surprised to see that the cars were unlike any other Seven Series I had ever seen before. They were a sparkling pale blue in color, and written across the side panels were large painted letters that audaciously proclaimed that the cars run on clean hydrogen fuel.

High Price Means a Hard Sell for Hybrid Trucks

But while image-conscious drivers, especially in the United States, have embraced hybrid cars, truck operators find the new technology too expensive compared with the potential fuel savings -- and hybrid diesel-electric trucks are struggling to catch on.

Saudi Aramco says world nowhere near peak oil

Saudi Aramco said concerns of oil supplies peaking were overdone and the world still had nearly a century's worth of oil reserves.

'I do not believe the world has to worry about peak oil for a very long time,' the text of Aramco's president and chief executive Abdallah Jumah's speech to the World Energy Congress in Rome said.

'We still have almost a century's worth of oil,' he said, adding that the world had over three trillion barrels of recoverable conventional and non-conventional liquid fuel resources assuming an 'extra-conservative' scenario.

The Platts Survey: OPEC Pumps 31.11 mb/d in October, up 350,000 b/d

The 12 members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) pumped an average 31.11 million barrels per day (b/d) of crude oil in October, or a 350,000 b/d increase from September, largely on higher volumes from Saudi Arabia and Iraq, a Platts (http://www.platts.com/) survey showed November 13.

Petrobras CEO: May Have More Major Reserves In Area Near Tupi

Brazil's state-run oil firm Petroleo Brasileiro SA (PBR), or Petrobras, may have major hydrocarbon reserves in an area spanning 800 kilometers near the key Tupi oilfield, Chief Executive Sergio Gabrielli said Tuesday.

Speaking in a press conference at the industry's World Energy Congress here, Gabrielli said Petrobras is now targeting a daily production of 4.5 million barrels of oil equivalent, or BOE, by 2015, compared with 2.3 million BOE per day at present.

Nigeria: Rising Oil Price Portends Danger

As crude oil price hovers close to $100 per barrel, the minister of petroleum resources, H. Odein Ajumogobia, has said that the rise in price of crude oil in the international market portends a great danger to the nation's economy.

Nigeria: Militants Strike in A'Ibom, Seize Naval Boats

A group of militants yesterday invaded Ibeno community, which hosts Mobil Nigeria Unlimited oil facilities, wounded four people and killed a woman.

This Day checks revealed that the militants stormed the oil rich community through the Atlantic Ocean with 11 speed boats early in the morning.

ExxonMobil moves families from Nigeria oil complex

U.S. energy company ExxonMobil evacuated the families of staff at its main Nigerian oil export terminal on Tuesday after an armed attack a day earlier, a spokeswoman said.

Brazil weighs up oil law rejig

Brazil may reform its oil sector legislation as a result of the announcement by state-controlled Petrobras that the subsalt Tupi discovery has reserves of between 5 billion and 8 billion barrels of oil equivalent, according to local media reports.

Average European gas price will be $300 in 2008 - Gazprom official

Gazprom forecasts that the average European natural gas price will be $300 per 1,000 cubic meters in 2008, a company executive said on Monday.

"The average European price forecast for 2008 is $300," said Alexander Medvedev, deputy chairman of the Russian gas giant's management committee.

Russia must change its tax regime to boost oil industry

Russia is not making the most of its oil assets due to the structure of its tax regime, said Lord Robertson, deputy chairman of the TNK-BP joint oil venture.

TNK-BP and Russia's state-controlled oil companies are being hit by rising costs and higher taxes, he warned.

Once-in-a-century storm caused environmental havoc

Russian Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov flew to the Black Sea coast on Tuesday to oversee efforts to clean up an oil slick that coated beaches with a thick black sludge and left birds poisoned and blinded.

Officials said 2,000 tonnes of heavy fuel oil had now escaped from a tanker which broke up in a once-in-a-century storm on Sunday that also swamped other ships and drowned at least three seamen.

Airbus announces Saudi prince buying private superjumbo 'flying palace' jet

In the annals of excess, it could be a new high: A more than US$300 million dollar, super-sized luxury airplane, bought and outfitted solely for the private comfort of a billionaire from oil-rich Saudi Arabia.

Once done, the Airbus A380, the world's biggest passenger plane, will be a "flying palace" for Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, the manufacturer announced Monday.

Russian fuel shortage hits retailers, drivers

Russia's transportation fuels market is facing its biggest crisis in almost 20 years as severe shortages force some retailers to close their filling stations.

As global oil prices beat records, Russian firms are rushing to export both crude oil and refined products. That, combined with outages at refineries in central Russia, has caused a spike in wholesale gasoline and diesel prices.

Oil prices fall further

Oil prices dropped Tuesday after a key OPEC member left open the possibility the oil cartel will increase output to curb rising prices, and following the strengthening of the dollar overnight.

Saudi Arabian Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said production will be discussed when the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries meets next month in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates.

Fears about oil supplies groundless: Saudi

The oil minister of OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia said on Tuesday that fears about a shortage of crude supplies were groundless and there was no reason for them to push prices to current record levels.

The fears are "groundless," Ali al-Nuaimi told reporters in Riyadh ahead of an OPEC summit opening in the Saudi capital on Saturday.

"The prices today have really no relation with the fundamentals," he said.

Opec confident global oil addiction will grow

Saudi Arabia's oil minister, Ali Al-Naimi, told the world that its dependence on crude will increase and that the race to develop alternative energies will not dim demand for fossil fuel.

Speaking ahead of tomorrow's official start to the Opec oil producers' summit, Mr Al-Naimi mounted a strong "defence" of oil, criticising experts who say crude is in decline or that green energy is a viable alternative.

PetroChina makes new oil find in northwest Qaidam basin

PetroChina Co. has made a new oil discovery in the Qaidam basin in northwestern China, suggesting potentially big oil reserves in the region, the official Xinhua News Agency reported Tuesday.

Pessimistic fuel report too bright

The report's principal author, IEA principal economist Fatih Birol, calls it "the most pessimistic overview of the world we have ever portrayed."

To the 625-page report, and to Birol's summation of it, there is one major flaw. This is that its pessimistic forecast is, almost certainly, far too optimistic.

UK oil production falls for 8 months in a row

The combined average daily oil and gas production from the British sector in the North Sea has continued its decline, falling to just below 2 million barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d) in August, down 10 per cent from the previous month and 8 per cent less than a year ago.

According to the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), oil production was 4 per cent less than in July, dropping below 1.2 m bpd, marking the eigth successive fall since December last year's average of more than 1.5 m bpd despite near record invest in 2006.

Saudi project costs $10 billion

Canadian oilsands producers can take cold comfort in knowing they aren't the only ones facing soaring costs for building new mega-projects.

Saudi Arabia, too, has faced cost pressures in building the massive Petro-Rabigh petrochemical complex on the country's west coast.

Ali Abuali, the project's program director, said the $10-billion US facility would have cost $1 billion in 2000, were it not for global shortages of labour and materials like metallurgical steel.

"In my 29 years as a project manager, I've never seen anything like it," he told reporters touring the sprawling site about 180 kilometres north of Jeddah.

A global warning for UN chief from the ice floes at the foot of the world

Scientists welcomed Ban Ki Moon to Antarctica with a glass of Johnny Walker Black Label served “on the rocks” with 40,000-year-old polar ice. But the researchers delivered an alarming message to the UN Secretary-General about a potential environmental catastrophe that could raise sea levels by six metres if an ice sheet covering a fifth of the continent crumbles.

The polar experts, studying the effects of global warming on the icy continent that is devoted to science, fear a repeat of the 2002 collapse of the Larsen B ice shelf. The 12,000-year-old shelf was 220 metres (720ft) thick and almost the size of Yorkshire.

Just heard on Bloomberg that Turkish jets attacked a PKK site in Northern Iraq. Turkish government official indicates that an attack will happen soon. The delay has been due to intelligence gathering to ascertain PKK locations.

To quote Pogo, Friday the 13th comes on a Tuesday this month.

Coincidentally, in Spain Tuesday 13th is traditionally associated with bad luck.

The IEA’s Oil Market Report said there was a 1.4 mb/d increase in oil supply for October.

World oil supply saw a monthly gain of 1.4 mb/d in October, as non-OPEC outages receded and OPEC volumes increased. Recovery in China and Azerbaijan plus rising Russian output boosted non-OPEC supplies.

That’s a big jump in one month but they did not give the total world liquids production. In other words where did that figure take us? Was September production revised downward? In previous reports, the previous month is usually revised but this time they did not give us the figure so we will simply have to wait.

But this line was interesting: rising Russian output boosted non-OPEC supplies. Rising Russian output? Not according to the Moscow Times.

Russian Oil Exports down 17% in October

Industry and Energy Ministry data showed that Russian gas-oil exports fell by 17.4 percent from September to 81,900 tons per day, while shipments of fuel oil were down by 11.9 percent to 105,050 tons per day.

Well, to be fair, it says exports were down 17% not production. But that is one hell of a drop in exports, from the world's second largest exporter, in only one month. But one of Leanan’s links above talks about a Russian domestic fuel shortage. How can that be? Exports are down and domestic supplies are down. Yet according to the IEA production is up?

What is going on here?

Ron Patterson

There are a few good news in this report:
- Iraq is up: 1.99 (Aug) to 2.18 mbpd (Sept) which is the biggest increase in the OPEC-12.
- OPEC-10 is up a mere 0.05 mbpd
- OPEC-12 is up 0.25 mbpd
- China demand is cooling down a little bit (5.7% growth in 2007 compared to 6.9% in 2007).

Thanks Khebab, that OPEC 10 report is very interesting. I suspected as much but thought surely they would do a little better than that. Next month will be much worse because of the maintenance work in the UAE. But data from the other nine will be critical. If they don't do better in November, a lot better, the crap will hit the fan.

I would like to be a fly on the wall at the OPEC meeting this weekend. It may go something like this: "Hey, the world is expecting us to bail them out of this damn mess. But we are producing every barrel we possibly can. What the hell are we going to do? What can we possibly say that will not make us look like we have been lying all these years?"

Ron Patterson

From the Platts article:
Country October September August July Nov. 1 Target
Algeria 1.38 1.36 1.36 1.35 1.357
Indonesia 0.83 0.83 0.83 0.83 0.865
Iran 3.9 3.88 3.88 3.9 3.817
Kuwait 2.45 2.42 2.42 2.42 2.531
Libya 1.71 1.7 1.69 1.68 1.712
Nigeria 2.19 2.18 2.15 2.15 2.163
Qatar 0.82 0.81 0.81 0.81 0.828
Saudi Arabia 8.8 8.7 8.66 8.61 8.943
UAE 2.6 2.59 2.59 2.56 2.567
Venezuela 2.4 2.4 2.4 2.4 2.47
OPEC-10 27.08 26.87 26.79 26.71 27.253
Angola* 1.75 1.72 1.68 1.67 NA
Iraq 2.28 2.17 1.99 2.12 NA
Total 31.11 30.76 30.46 30.5 NA

It looks like Iraq is saving the day again for OPEC in October also (+0.11 mbpd)!

Well the data from Platts, MEES, the IEA, the EIA and all the others often varies wildly. OPEC's own "Monthly Oil Market Report" will be out Thursday. That will give the figures closest to what OPEC is actually producing.

Ron Patterson

Do the numbers represent all production, just exports, or exports not including deals?

I suspect they are production numbers (crude oil + condensate).

Add some more data to your November production forecast:

UAE to lose more than 800,000 barrels of oil per day during peak of November oilfield maintenance

On the other hand the UAE is supposed to have increased production following the maintenance.

Are you saying you believe this?
Seems like a bunch of lies?

That’s a big jump in one month but they did not give the total world liquids production. In other words where did that figure take us? Was September production revised downward?

Ron, I don't get the full subscriber report, but perhaps someone here does. It would be interesting to see exactly what they are suggesting that October's number was, because their September production number in last month's report was 85.1 mbpd. If they added another 1.4 mbpd to that, then October would be over 86 million bpd, shattering the previous peak (which I believe is 85.5 mpbd in July 2006).

Does anyone here get the full report, which should show the total (and we don't have to guess whether the gain is on the back of a downward September revision)?

Thanks, RR

Does anyone here get the full report,

Apparently Khebab does as the details he gives above were not in the Highlights.

Ron Patterson

No I don't but I think Rembrandt does :)

The figures in the last report are themselves strange. From August to September, they show Chinese production increasing 170 tbpd - China's own figures show a decline of 30 tbpd (China has not yet released October figures).


I think that the Moscow Times story referred to product exports. In any case, between strong domestic demand, constantly changing export duties and basically flat crude oil production since October, 2006, the export situation in Russia is pretty uncertain from month to month.


I realize we are talking about estimates, but there are estimates and there are estimates. The end of October was only two weeks ago. This has to be a preliminary estimate. Also, note the drawdowns in inventories (note that they refer to the October inventory report as "preliminary.")

From the IEA report:

OECD industry stocks fell by 29.5 mb in September, with Japanese crude stocks falling to their lowest level in at least 20 years. Total OECD forward inventory cover fell to 52.8 days, remaining close to the five-year average. Preliminary data for October suggest a further 21 mb draw in crude and product stocks in the US, Japan and EU-16.

Yes I understand that Jeff. That is why I like the EIA data. Though they are always over two months late with their data, that gives them time to get it closer to the truth. And, as countries come in with revised data, they revise their data. The IEA never revises after the second month. The IEA preliminary data is just a wild-ass guess. I am sure they eventually get, and publish somewhere, the correct data, but just not in thir monthly Oil Market Report.

Ron Patterson

The IEA's terminology was interesting. I think that we would all agree that inventory data, especially in OECD countries, are more reliable than production data worldwide, especially in the short term.

But the IEA referred to the October inventory data (showing declining inventories) as preliminary while they made a declarative statement about October liquids production (which showed an increase).

Note that when oil inventories were rising, WT discounted the significance of this saying the OECD bloc was not significant enough to give us a true representation of the supply/demand ratio (or prove the Saudis were right), yet when they are falling, they accurately represent the state of global oil supply/demand ratios (which he then touts has proving HIM right).

That is because the OECD block represent most of the wealthiest countries, so if anybody is going to be getting oil, they are.

That is because the OECD block represent most of the wealthiest countries, so if anybody is going to be getting oil, they are.

Unless, say, China is filling its new strategic petroleum reserves and OECD countries have high levels of stocks. In that case, OECD countries might well be content to draw down stocks in anticipation of lower prices later, allowing those who are less sensitive to market conditions - such as semi-command economies - to buy the more expensive oil.

And, given that RR's told us he personally knows OECD refiners who are drawing down stocks instead of buying expensive oil and that China's been filling its SPRs all year, that's likely to be the situation we're in.

SA continues to put on the brave face -- all your data seems to argue otherwise. From Drumbeat today`http://www.thebusiness.co.uk/news-and-analysis/351506/opec-confident-global-oil-addiction-will-grow.thtml
Opec confident global oil addiction will grow

He said the price had been driven higher by "pessimists" and "agitators" who scare the market with talk of tight demand or oil supplies having peaked. "Any pessimism results in fluctuations of markets. The role of speculators has been a big factor," the minister said.

Who are the "pessimists?" Is the OilDrum the cause of the increase in oil prices? Hardly seems likely.

Yes, he means us!

Oil price set by market, not OPEC: Saudi minister

Ali Al-Naimi said the market is well supplied with oil, but "pessimists" like peak oil theorists and hedge funds are pushing it up to unwarranted levels.

Quiet! You're talking the price of oil up.

What amazing power you folks have!

Yep, I laugh when they accuse little us of driving the price up when it would be 'sooo easy' for them to prove us wrong by ramping global C + C production to 100 million barrels per day plus allow fully independent oilfield auditing to shut us up. C'mon, IOCs & NOCs: drive supply up so the price goes down soon to $10/bbl again--I dare ya!

They could also change their TV commercials to show how easy it is find and produce oil by filming lots of Joe Sixpacks regularly finding some bubblin' crude in their backyards.

But 'noooo', the TV ads feature filmshots of super-expensive, miles offshore drill-rigs, and how many Eiffel Tower equivalents they go down to find increasingly smaller fields. Any viewer with a braincell in their head, upon seeing this commercial--> Has Got to be CONCERNED. Thus, I think the oil producers are doing an excellent job of scaring the crap out of informed consumers and investors/speculators--far more than our dry text and statistical tables. /rant off

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

Hi Bob,

re: "Any viewer with a braincell in their head, upon seeing this commercial--> Has Got to be CONCERNED"

Brief comment from the non-TV person here:

Actually, no. First off, TV is processed differently than are other ways of absorbing info, such as reading. (My personal hypothesis. I think this might be in Jerry Mander's book, though.)

Second, how long is anything- (I mean anything)- retained? By this I mean, how long - in the context of TV-watching, where the viewer receives rapid changes in content. Information has to be retained in order to be reflected upon, let alone questioned.

Here you are calling on people to take the "information" presented - the fantastic technological achievements and the beautiful photography - and put it into another context. One which allows the question to be formulated. (more on this in a moment).

Third, what *is it* that is retained? My hypothesis is that it is primarily emotional content. The emotional message here is:
1) We have fantastic technologies that reflect brainpower and invention far beyond your understanding.
2) Aka, we are wizards (more or less).
3) We (the wizards) have it all under control.
4) Don't worry 'bout a thing.
5) In addition, and this is a bit more difficult to describe, but...the massive amounts of machinery, the distances traveled, the feats of derring-do - the energy required for all this is taken for granted. It is assumed to be a natural part of the natural, human background of action. (Or, part of the human/wizard repertoire. Nothing that might be in any way contingent on anything else...certainly nothing that is *itself* contingent upon the availability of "cheap fossil fuels".)

Fourth, back to context. The context that would allow for - let alone logically lead to - the conclusion to be CONCERNED is simply not the context of the viewer.

It is Bob's context. Not that of the average viewer.

So, I reach the opposite conclusion.

My opinion is that the "oil producers" are not at all conveying concern, let alone fear.

If they do manage to get a little across, as in the extremely (IMVHO) disingenuous Chevron ads, it is only as a lead-in to even more of the above. (See points #1-4).

There is no "informed consumer". The longer the consumer watches TV (probably no matter what the content, again IMVHO) - the more precious seconds and years go by that are lost to any kind of learning (or even socializing, for that matter.)

The best thing the consumer could do is hide the TV in the closet for, say, three weeks. And see what happens.

If you're concerned about socializing, hide the TV in the closet AND ban access to TOD. Both are addictive :)

when do we get hung from lamp posts for defeatism?

When do the Saudis and MSM get hung more like! ... oil production has actually peaked ... how dare he say otherwise and the MSM just quote him without giving the actual facts?



See downfall:


The Chain Dogs and Golden Pheasants always get to hang the Civvies...

Thats the way it works :-(

We're emboldening the speculators.

"He said the price had been driven higher by "pessimists" and "agitators" who scare the market with talk of tight demand or oil supplies having peaked."

Folks, I am afraid I have a confession to make. I hate to say this, but I did it; I'm the guy that has been SO agitated and pessimistic that I accidentally drove up the price of oil. Now, I didn't mean to do it. Really! It's just my attitude. My mom always told me, she said "SubKommander Dred, you better improve your attitude or you'll drive up the price of oil! Just you wait until your father gets home!"

Is it just me, or does Ali Al-Naimi sound a bit like some redneck Sheriff from Mississippi during the civil rights days, blaming all his problems on 'outside agitators' coming down south and stirring up all the colored folk?

SubKommander Dred

Ali Al-Naimi said the market is well supplied with oil, but "pessimists" like peak oil theorists and hedge funds are pushing it up to unwarranted levels.

He also said high cost producers like Canada's oilsands are contributing to the high price of oil.

But Mr. Al-Naimi, what about the old economic adage: "We may have run out of $30 oil but we have plenty of $70 oil" which is exactly what is happening in Canada! In addition, $80+ oil has open new possibilities for Saudi Arabia:

Saudi billionaire buys first A380 'Flying Palace'

Ali Al-Naimi said the market is well supplied with oil, but "pessimists" like peak oil theorists and hedge funds are pushing it up to unwarranted levels.

Perhaps Mr. Ali Al-Naimi was refering to agitator and peak-oilist George Bush, who quite recently said

"I believe oil prices are going up because the demand for oil outstrips the supply for oil. Oil is going up because developing countries still use a lot of oil. Oil is going up because we use too much oil. And the capacity to replace reserves is dwindling. That's why the price of oil is going up."

Yes the market is well supplied. You heard it from the top.

The old adage, when one door closes, another one opens. In this case, complete with royal jesters.

Besides, oil prices are now falling like a stone (almost $4.0!) so obviously OPEC/Saudi Arabia has still a lot of influence on the market direction.

I think the team that does US employment numbers has been assigned to help the Oil industry cook the books.

The housing industry is still adding employee's according to the US government.

It's perfectly true that we have run short of $30 oil, but we have plenty of $70 oil! But the pertinent question is what flow rate does this $70 oil come out of the ground at? It's quite a bit slower than 85 million barrels each day and will be forever. This kind of basic point is somehow missed by all the detractors of peak oil who throw around the big quasi oil reserve figures. But Hubbert's math puts a pretty accurate guage on this and all the factors. We could magically triple the amount of $100+ oil that's in the ground, and it probably would not move the peak date enough to change energy policy one bit.

Hi net,

re: "But the pertinent question is what flow rate does this $70 oil come out of the ground at? It's quite a bit slower than 85 million barrels each day and will be forever. This kind of basic point is somehow missed by all the detractors of peak oil who throw around the big quasi oil reserve figures."

Very well said.

Maybe the difference is covered by a rise in exports in refined products?

Russia has for long time increased its tax burden for crude oil exports in order to stimulate exports of higher value added products instead. Maybe October was a day for another tax hike? It should be somewhere in the news - 17% drop without a major disruption event is way too much for a single month.

Global Peak Oil Production: 86.13 M/bpd
Source: http://europe.theoildrum.com/node/3087

September Global Oil Production: 85.1 M/bpd
Source: http://europe.theoildrum.com/node/3087

October Global Oil Production: 85.1 + 1.4 = 86.5 M/bpd
Source: http://www.theoildrum.com/comment/reply/3235/262987

If this is true, we have a new peak in global oil production. Let the fun begin!

I think month to month quality of data is severely compromised especially if the month has just passed.

IMO the thing to watch short term are crude stocks. To get a hold on the PO picture we would have to watch yearly averages, at least for a 5 year period. This event simply does not develop with a month to month speed.

You may be right, but they're going to be hard pressed to revise the numbers down half a million barrels per day for the old peak to stand. And with the planned 600,000 bpd maintenance being over in a couple of weeks, December might be even higher than October!

Edit: Further correlation between these production figures: stock draw downs. If demand really is 88 million bpd, and we really did produce 86.6 million bpd, we should see a global drawdown of around 40 million barrels, most of that in OECD stocks right?


The higher output in the fourth quarter will result in a smaller-than-expected global drawdown in oil inventories in the period, EIA said. Fourth-quarter stocks are now expected to drop at a rate of 1.57 million barrels a day, down from 1.82 million barrels a day in the October forecast. In the fourth-quarter 2006, global stocks declined at a rate of 960,000 barrels a day.

Uh oh...

I think there will be significant revisions and you are basing your optimism on announcement that does not even provide us with the total number and where did the increase came from - which is strange to say the least.

My reasoning - OECD stocks are falling - this is the only firm and verifiable trend I have observed in recent months, October included. Since OECD demand has not unexpectedly jumped (the prices were record high after all!) where have all those extra barrels gone? Something is fishy in here.

Some one is full of it! If Kebab's #'s are correct for OPEC Nov production, it was up 350,000. So who produced the other 1.05 million. Not the North Sea, Not Mexico, Not US, Not Chavez. So who? The IEA hasn't even corrected Oct #'s yet. I believe RR posted his latest blog 2 days too early. As someone said it will an interesting week ahead.

I confess--I have been hoarding in anticipation of higher prices. I put the oil in a bunch of old single hull tankers and park it just outside the 12 mile limit. Once you offer $200 per barrel, it will be found. I am a greedy oil company. After Windfall profits taxes are imposed, neither I nor my oil will be found. Sincerely, Lou Raymond

But again, demand is 'supposedly' 88 million bpd, while supply is 'supposedly' 85 million bpd. OECD stocks make up 70% of global oil stocks, and they are being drawn down at around 1.5 million bpd. So when you add in the increase of 1.4 million bpd from October, and see that stocks are dropping around 1.5 million bpd in the OECD, things seem to add up. Of course, fiddling with one number must mean we are fiddling with another, so either demand is around 86.5 million bpd, or production is around 86.5 million bpd.

demand is 'supposedly' 88 million bpd

Q4 demand was forecast to come in at 87.64Mb/d last month. The estimate has gone down by 0.5Mb/d, and so should be around 87.14Mb/d for Q4. That doesn't say what it is for October, of course, but 87 is probably a better estimate than 88.

When compared to the calculated production rate of 86.5Mb/d, that suggests the drawdown in stocks should be 15-20Mb, or 10-15Mb less than what we see. It's worth noting, though, that China has been filling its strategic petroleum reserve all year, so it's entirely possible that some of the "extra" barrels would have gone there.

If this is true, we have a new peak in global oil production. Let the fun begin!

Wrong! We may or may not have a new peak month for Global Liquids Production. But Oil peaked in May of 2005 at 74,298,000 barrels per day. October 2007 oil production will come nowhere close to that figure.

However twenty years from now, no one will ask what month we peaked. They will ask what year we peaked. That peak year will be 2005. If they say "but what if you throw in natural gas liquids, ethanol, biodiesel and refinery process gain"? Then that year will probably be 2006. But it sure as hell will not be 2007.

Ron Patterson

If production really is up 1.4 million bpd, then C+C will most likely have eclipsed the previous high as well. Unless you actually believe that Ethanol production increased by 1.5 million bpd in the US, seeing how no new LNG plants came online in October.

Lets not be silly, shall we?

And what about Mr. Deffeyes. Hes been lauded around here for his 'timing' in correctly predicting the peak. He even goes so far as to say hell 'take it' for being off about 5 months. But when the peak is eclipsed 2 years later, suddenly it doesn't matter right? Oh what a twisted line of thought you have :P

Well no, August 2007 production was 1,786,000 below May of 2005. I will wager October production does not come within half a million barrels of the May 2005 high.

Ron Patterson

The Skeptics Guide to the Universe Presents our Top 20 Logical Fallacies

11. The Moving Goalpost A method of denial arbitrarily moving the criteria for "proof" or acceptance out of range of whatever evidence currently exists.

The Moving Goalpost

You'll have to explain what you intended that to apply to, as PartyGuy did not appear to be committing that fallacy. If a month in Q4 does indeed become the new record for oil production, then Deffeyes will not have been the victim of Moving Goalposts; he'll simply have been wrong.

But Oil peaked in May of 2005 at 74,298,000 barrels per day. October 2007 oil production will come nowhere close to that figure.

Actually, it will be. Very close. The last numbers available from the EIA say C+C in August was 72,512. The EIA doesn't have any later numbers than that, but the IEA said that supply increased by 415,000 bpd in September, and now 1.4 million bpd in October. If those numbers are in the ballpark of what the EIA eventually reports, you will see C+C right at that record mark. And then there are indications that production is up somewhat in November, and then when the UAE field comes back up, will probably be sharply up in December. So I think the May 2005 record will likely soon fall.

I don't think so Robert, I can see no indications that production is up in November. Not just because of the UAE but also storms in the North Sea and floods in Mexico.

But so far the average for 2005, C+C is 73,807,000 barrels per day. It is a lead pipe cinch that that will not be surpassed in 2007 as the average for the first eight months is 704,000 barrels per day below that figure. But I will bet you $100 that the average for 2008 does not surpass the average for 2005. I am talking about crude oil of course and not crude oil plus bottled gas and ethanol.

One more point. No one got excited when C+C production dropped three quarters of a million barrels per day in August, and All Liquids dropped almost a million. But October production of liquids jumps, according to early reports from the IEA, and suddenly everyone thinks this is the beginning of a new era in world oil production. Well, I just flat don't believe it and I think the next few months will prove me right.

Ron Patterson

I can see no indications that production is up in November.

Didn't Oil Movements, which people seem to put a lot of stock in around here, say that shipments were up modestly from October? 50,000 bpd or so? However, you may be right about November being off a bit as a whole, because of the North Sea and Mexico. But I think December is going to be well up there, and probably break the previous record.

But I will bet you $100 that the average for 2008 does not surpass the average for 2005.

Ron, while I firmly believe you are wrong about that, no bets for me in 2008. When I go to bed thinking about oil prices, dream about oil prices, check on oil prices during the night, and wake up thinking about oil prices, it isn't healthy.

suddenly everyone thinks this is the beginning of a new era in world oil production.

Who thinks this? I don't. I merely think that we haven't yet peaked, but we are within spitting distance. My argument is: Despite the fact that we haven't peaked, with the supply demand imbalance, for all practical purposes we have. We need to start planning for a very difficult period ahead.

Further emphasizing the rise in Global Oil Production, and the fall in global demand due to high prices is this article:


The IEA, an energy policy adviser to 26 predominantly Western industrialized nations, lowered its fourth-quarter oil demand forecasts by 500,000 barrels a day, and cut its demand forecasts for 2008 by 300,000 barrels a day. Year-over-year demand growth will now average 1.2 percent in 2007 and 2.3 percent in 2008, the IEA said.

Note the continuing decrease in future oil demand growth. Perhaps we will never 'demand' 116 million bpd in 2030 after all...

At the same time, global oil supplies grew by 1.4 million barrels a day in October due to increases in OPEC supplies and production in China, Azerbaijan and Russia, the IEA said. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries boosted output by 410,000 barrels a day in October, the IEA said.

And another source states that oil increased by 1.4 million bpd in October, with OPEC alone increasing production by 410,000 bpd in October, while China, Russia and Azerbaijan all increased production. Interesting times we now live in, eh?

Robert, I appreciate and respect your position. However I think you are wrong, but Leanan is correct when she has said, several times, it simply doesn't matter.

My posetion has been, and you can check the archives, that we are at peak right now. That is, we are on the peak plateau right now and it simply does not matter what month was the peak.

I don't believe anyone follows the production of each and every nation as I do. I see several nations in decline and a few nations still increasing production. Russia is on her peak plateau and so is China. These are two really biggies. Angola and Azerbaijan are still increasing production by leaps and bounds. Kazakhstan will surge in production beginning in late 2010, just before Angola peaks. Brazil will put on a lot of new production in about two or three years. Canada will gradually increase production but not enough to amount to very much.

That's it!

Declining nations will continue to decline at in excess of 5% per year. Increasing nations will increase but not nearly as much as declining nations decline.

We are at Peak Oil today monthly fluctations in production notwithstanding!

Average C+C production in 2005 will be the peak regardless of what month surpasses production of what month.

Ron Patterson

Leanan is correct when she has said, several times, it simply doesn't matter.

The economic effects of the rising cost and the human VS human reaction to the perception of an every tightning supply strike me as why the 'peak date doesn't matter'.

As the supply is not keeping up with demand - the economic effects of relying on a cheap energy source will continue to happen.

I agree with you and Leanan...hitting the Peak Oil date exactly is not really important. What I think is important is the date of "Peak Oil Awareness". I think 2007 is a notable year in that regard. I have seen more and more MSMs picking it up and reporting it better than in previous years. I have also seen much on the topics of how to survive or plan for a world with less cheap oil around. Changes in dogma can happen quickly or slowly. I think Stuart's slow squeeze is the reality of the day...and with that comes slow changes in behavior, but I think we are seeing some.

People realize expensive gasoline is not going away. They will have to deal with it. On any given week, they can see gasoline prices spike up $0.30 or more. It may come back down temporarily, but overall it keeps going up.

The finish line keeps being retroactively pushed into the future. Revisions of history like this is what makes people lose credibility.

I think the "slow squeeze" may be a lot slower than many of us ever imagined.

There have been gasoline and diesel shortages in the midwest for half a year. Now it's fall, farmers have been desperately seeking diesel for the harvest, and they're rationing heating oil (because there's not enough diesel to deliver it).

But it doesn't make the news, except locally. There's no real urgency to fix the problem.

The price signal isn't enough. Actual shortages aren't enough. What is it going to take?

Maybe shortages that affect New York and LA. But at this point, I wouldn't bet on it.

Re: slow squeeze

I know you've posted a number of articles on this, and they generally don't get commented on. Do you have a folder of grouped articles, such as reports of shortages in midwest that you note here?

I don't, but over at PeakOil.com, there are a bunch of stickied topics in the Current Energy News forum. They are repositories for news stories on certain production and supply problems. Refinery and pipeline problems, Global fuel shortage reports, European fuel shortage reports, etc. Articles about the midwest problems are in the North American Fuel Shortage Reports thread.

Ruthven, Iowa received 87 octane on Monday but their diesel pump remains dry. My local station got replenished on Monday as well.

Ruthven, Iowa - no diesel

I'll clarify for those in urban areas: this pump being empty does not mean that crops are going unharvested. Farmers keep diesel in drums of up to several hundred gallons mounted on a stand tall enough to allow gravity feed to the biggest farm implements. These storage tanks are filled by the "bulk truck" from the cooperative. It is very common to find a smaller drum of perhaps a hundred gallons mounted beneath the diesel drum which holds gasoline for cars, pickups, lawn mowers, and so forth. The pump in the picture is for diesel pickups and sometimes the saddle tank with a pump they carry for filling equipment in the field.

The stations having problems at the moment are the independents. The loss of such a gas station in a town of less than a thousand is a serious blow. Ours houses the only video rental source in town, the only groceries available after 5:00 PM, and the ATM for the local bank. The Ruthven station is a twin to ours in terms of multiple uses for the community.

I will report a sort of bright spot, however. Today I shipped an item I sold on Ebay and in conversation with the person behind the counter the subject of gas prices came up.

It seems there is some sort of natural gas work being done in the region, which I would guess to be pipeline infrastructure upgrading, and this woman had been talking to one of the people doing the work. She'd got the idea that gas was going to go clear up to $3.39 a gallon(!) and maybe never go back down.

I filled her in a little bit on what I know based on my readings here and the fear was obvious - she is seeing the changes in fuel surcharges from carriers and an overall decrease in shipping. She was a bit older than me and when I said "another Great Depression" she got quite interested in making sure my stuff was packed and ready to go before the driver arrived. Her parents lived it and she internalized that one right away.

Russia is on her peak plateau

Again, depends on who you ask.

The IEA gives Russia a Sept06 to Sept07 growth of 3.5%, with as-yet-unknown further increases in October. The last 6 months alone have seen a 2.4% growth rate, which is anything but a plateau.

so is China

According to both the IEA and the EIA, China's oil production has increased in each of the last 5 years, by an average rate of 2.4% per year, with increases of 3.3% and 2.0% in the last two years. Again, that is anything but a plateau.

Declining nations will continue to decline at in excess of 5% per year.

In excess of 5%? Let's check that figure with the EIA's data, using average decline rates over the last 5 years:
- USA? 1.3%
- Argentina? 1.7%
- Columbia? 3.1%
- Venezuela? 3.4%
- Norway? 4.0%
- UK? 8.8%
- Congo? 1.5%
- Egypt? 2.3%
- Gabon? 2.6%
- Australia? 6.4%
- Indonesia? 5.1%

And that's it for countries with a 5-year declining trend and nontrivial oil production. Of 11 countries, only 3 have decline rates in excess of 5%, and the weighted average is a 3.07% decline rate.

So it's misleading at best to suggest that declining nations are doing so at rates in excess of 5%, and the evidence does not support a claim that they will suddenly start doing so.

I don't believe anyone follows the production of each and every nation as I do.

The evidence suggests that you're right, and that the EIA and especially the IEA indeed follow the production of some major nations in a rather different manner than you do.

Pitt, when I post something about production data, you can take it to the bank. Below are the gainers and losers over the last 12 months, from August 2006 to August 2007. The formatting will look like crap because I copied and pasted it directly from an Excel Spreadsheet.

But just look at the last three lines, Gainers and Losers. The losers are down, on average, 5.8% over the last 12 months. If you average it from May 2005, you get very close to the same results. The losers are down over 5% on average, when the precentage drop is annualized.

And that is taking the sum of all data, not just averaging each country where the very small producers would have a much larger effect.

.........August 1 Yr Ago..Last..Change % Chg.
Angola........ 1,460 1,730 270 18.49%
Azerbaian...... 710 882 172 24.23%
Canada......... 2,543 2,709 166 6.53%
Sudan......... 380 486 106 27.89%
China...........3,670 3,746 76 2.07%
Other.. ........2,662 2,726 64 2.40%
Russia......... 9,330 9,390 60 0.64%
Brazil......... 1,703 1,758 55 3.23%
Egypt.......... 630 679 49 7.78%
India.......... 650 693 43 6.62%
Eq Guinea...... 365 406 41 11.23%
UK...... 1,202 1,228 26 2.16%
Algeria ........1,805 1,824 19 1.05%
Gabon........ 237 245 8 3.38%
Kazakhstan.... 1,327 1,327 0.00%
Libya......... 1,700 1,700 0.00%
Syria.......... 400 397 -3 -0.75%
Colombia....... 534 527 -7 -1.31%
Malaysia....... 599 587 -12 -2.00%
Argentina...... 700 684 -16 -2.29%
Yemen.......... 370 351 -19 -5.14%
Qatar.......... 885 865 -20 -2.26%
Denmark ........348 323 -25 -7.18%
Oman........... 727 702 -25 -3.44%
Australia...... 470 443 -27 -5.74%
Ecuador ........544 509 -35 -6.43%
Vietnam ........342 304 -38 -11.11%
UAE..... 2,702 2,659 -43 -1.59%
Venezuela...... 2,490 2,444 -46 -1.85%
Kuwait ........2,550 2,500 -50 -1.96%
Nigeria ........2,430 2,380 -50 -2.06%
Indonesia...... 1,015 952 -63 -6.21%
Iran........... 4,035 3,900 -135 -3.35%
USA............ 5,155 4,976 -179 -3.47%
Norway..........2,430 2,135 -295 -12.14%
Iraq.......... 2,230 1,903 -327 -14.66%
Mexico ........3,252 2,843 -409 -12.58%
Saudi.......... 9,300 8,600 -700 -7.53%

All............ 73,882 72,513 -1,369 -1.85%
Lousers ........43,508 40,984 -2,524 -5.80%
Gainers........ 27,347 28,502 1,155 4.22%

Ron Patterson

when I post something about production data, you can take it to the bank.

You might want to start explaining your claims about Russia and China, then - those were just plain wrong.

And you'll excuse me if I'm not impressed by a list that consists of (a) highly volatile month-to-month rates of change, that (b) don't agree with other sources, and (c) have been superceded by newer data anyway.

IEA's data for September production shows a 7% year-on-year increase for Iraq, for example, and a 1.5% increase for the USA. Even the declines are lower - 4.6% for Indonesia, 3.3% for Mexico, and 6% for Saudi Arabia, which we've already been told doesn't represent "true" decline due to its production increases over October.

It's folly to try basing conclusions on a list calculated like that one - the month-vs-month rates of change are far too volatile to get any kind of sensible trend information and also fails to take into account OPEC's behaviour, which is exactly why I used (a) an average, of (b) annual data, for (c) countries with a clear declining trend.

As it is, you're trying to find patterns in noise. It's not very convincing.

Remarkable that Russia's own figures show a growth of just 1.5% from September 2007 to September 2006.
Are you a fool or a liar?

1.5% growth is still growth. Not a Plateau.

We may or may not have a new peak month for Global Liquids Production.

And that's all that matters.

Components of "all liquids" compete directly with conventional oil - in, for example, industrial feedstock markets - so very few people care whether some arbitrary subset of "available liquid fuel" is down. Might as well just say that "onshore conventional" peaked ages ago and make a fuss about that.

that year will probably be 2006. But it sure as hell will not be 2007.

You're saying that with more certainty than the data allows.

According to the IEA - and adding 1.4mb/d to their Sept total of 85.09 for Oct - production over the first 10 months of 2007 has been higher than the 2006 average (by 38kb/d), and production of 85.21mb/d in Nov and Dec would see 2007 total production be more than 2006 production. If Oct production was indeed 86.5mb/d as their report seems to indicate, 2007 is more likely than not to exceed 2006.

By the EIA numbers, those first 10 months (adding .415 to Aug for Sept and then 1.4 to Sept for Oct) are below the 2006 average (by 127kb/d), but exceeding 2006's production would require only 85.23mb/d in Nov and Dec, both of which are 0.5mb below the calculated rate for Oct.

So I'm not sure there's quite as strong a case for 2007 production coming below 2006's as you suggest.

...- so very few people care whether some arbitrary subset of "available liquid fuel" is down. Might as well just say that "onshore conventional" peaked ages ago and make a fuss about that.

It certainly makes a difference as far as price goes and show me someone who doesn't care if he pays $150/gal for gasoline or $3.50/gal.

It certainly makes a difference as far as price goes


This has been covered before, and non-oil liquids are just as important now as they were then. The largest component - NGLs - competes directly with crude oil in a variety of markets, including gasoline blending components ("natural gasoline") and ethylene feedstocks (e.g., plastics).

So there's evidence that non-oil liquids can directly substitute for oil in many of its uses. Where is your evidence that it makes a difference?

You are saying I need evidence that offshore and deepwater oil production is more expensive than onshore conventional????
Well, I don't have any ready evidence that the sky is blue either.

You are saying I need evidence that offshore and deepwater oil production is more expensive than onshore conventional?

No, I'm saying you need evidence that a rising fraction of non-crude liquids in the "oil supply" total means higher prices.

If all you're saying is that some production methods cost more than conventional onshore production, that's true - oil sands are an obvious example. But since conventional onshore peaked years or even decades ago, I don't see how that's relevant to today.

2/3 of oil production is used for transport. That is why we don't see lower natural gas prices much influencing the price of oil.

The two are separate markets.

Plus, the non-oil portion of "all liquids" has a lower energy density than oil.

If Pitt's argument were true, oil prices couldn't be close to $100 right now.

Global Peak Oil Production: 86.13 M/bpd

Not that I'm a party pooper, but that figure is not "oil" production. It is total liquid fuel production, which icludes ethanol, natural gas liquids, and tar sands (if I recall correctly). Even if the updated figures are correct, that doesn't automatically mean oil production has exceeded it peak of 74.3 mbd in May of 2005.

The July 2006 peak in the IEA Monthly Oil Market report was a single month one-off event, being around 1 mb/d higher than the other months before and after:

May 2006 84.79 mb/d
June 2006 84.98 mb/d
July 2006 86.13 mb/d
August 2006 85.52 mb/d
September 2006 85.14 mb/d

Industry and Energy Ministry data showed that Russian gas-oil exports fell by 17.4 percent from September to 81,900 tons per day, while shipments of fuel oil were down by 11.9 percent to 105,050 tons per day.

Those are products, not oil.

Think about it for a moment - those two amount to 186,950 tons of oil per day, which - at 7.3 barrels per ton - is 1.36Mb/d, or less than 14% of Russia's total oil production.

The part of the article you snipped out - "Russian gas-oil and fuel-oil exports fell in October" - should have made this clear to you.

By the way, your link's html is broken: link


The big sticking points for Republicans have been support for renewable energy and ending billions of dollars in subsidies for oil companies.

So? Let the free market work and let the oil companies pass the costs onto the consumers directly VS indirectly via tax/borrowing.

Domenici wants to migrate two of his favored energy provisions - the ethanol mandate and $50 billion in nuclear power loan guarantees - into the more viable farm bill.

Yea, prop up that Fission! Show how 'viable' it is! And safe too! Gunmen storm high-security nuclear facility

Stock prices for solar companies have taken a fall since last week. Looks like the Demopubs have knuckled under the Repuglican's short term attack. The business of business is business and the same is true for politicians who are beholden to business. Don't you just love those proposals for reducing CO2 emissions? Once again, the public is going to get a screw job, assuming the Cap-and-Trade proposals become law. If the public thinks gasoline is expensive now, just wait until the allocations kick in and the gas lines start to form. Oh wait, that won't be until after 2012. That would be way too late to help if Peak Oil is already here.

E. Swanson

While the Republicans may very well be as Evil as the Democrats, your statement appears biased:

The Democrats pass/(want to pass) a bill that takes away investment incentives for Solar and Wind. And you blame it on the Republicans for pressuring the Democrats to do so??????

To extend Napoleon: The party with the greatest propaganda resources will rule the world.

If I am biased (which is not unlikely, in spite of my own view of my motives), it's the result of having participated in several political campaigns. I don't see a great deal of difference between the basic assumptions of either party, such as, that economic growth is the desired result of their respective programs and that markets are the desired approach to solve all problems. In the present Congress, the Democrats are in the majority, but the margin is slight and there is no guarantee that any veto from Gee Dubya can be overridden. Given the ongoing surge in oil and gasoline prices, I think the Democratic Party wants to present an Energy Bill which can be passed by the time the Primary season kicks into full throttle. That way, all the Democratic candidates can claim to support this new bill against their Republican opponents who are the heirs of Gee Dubyah's lack of action on the energy and environmental issues that the Energy Bill claims to solve.

Not that the Energy Bill will actually do much, especially in the near future. I looked thru one version a while back and recall that it appeared to be just more of the same. I really don't like the proposed CAFE standards, especially the part which sets mileage standards for light trucks based on the length of the vehicle, which was an idea supported by the Administration. This just gives an incentive for building longer trucks or trucks with crew cabs, instead of using Maximum Gross Weight or other standard based on the use of the vehicle in business.

E. Swanson

Issue to act on: ENERGY BILL

To get an energy bill passed this week, the House and Senate leaders are reported to have removed the tax credit extensions and provisions for solar and wind, and removed a nationwide mandate for 15% renewable energy, the so called renewable electricity standard.

On this site focused on energy, how could one justify spending any time here without allowing 20 minutes of that time to call 5 people (Pelosi, Reid and your Senators and representative) on .... energy?

Think your voice doesn't matter? You're right it doesn't. It's when there are thousands calling Congress that it matters. That's why you should call.

So I called Offices of Pelosi and Reid, + 2 senators and one representative this morning. Total time used = 18 minutes (0.06% of time spent reading TOD so far). They simply let you go on for as long as you want, register your opinion, and that's it. No debates. Persist to speak to someone.

Simply explain that eliminating renewable energy provisions (tax credits) and a 15% renewable electricity standard would be disastrous policy decision and you strongly oppose (or not) making those changes. I said AGW and peak oil production are driving this, resource depletion, while near trillion dollars annually leaving the country to pay for oil.

Certainly don't miss an opportunity to say something about a new renewable fuel standard passed by the Senate and now in the energy bill, that would raise the standard to 36 billion gallons of ethanol by 2022. Personally, I think this is as stupid a proposal as suing OPEC for antitrust violations, nonetheless both remain in the bill.

Hell say whatever you want. But say something to the people who otherwise will assume no one out there cares enough to call in. The fix may be in, I was told, but this will come back to haunt Congress next November.

Pelosi's offices: 202-225-4965
Reid's office's: 202-224-3542
Congressional switchboard: 202-224-3121
or find contact info by http://yahoo.capwiz.com/y/dbq/officials/

As Eric noted, see http://www.energybulletin.net/37082.html, and
recent articles pertaining to energy bill:

Called Reid & Pelosi just now ...

Excellent. That's 3 of us from TOD.

I called too, just left a voice msg. Need to find a name of a staffer who deals with energy issues. Maybe calling their local offices instead of the DC office?

District Address
450 Golden Gate Avenue, 14th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94102-3460
Phone: 415-556-4862
Fax: 415-861-1670

Re: Gunmen storm high-security nuclear facility

Occurring 5 days ago, has yet to gain any media attention. Google "Pelindaba" "nuclear" under news to see how this is evolving. Essentially nothing. Original story is here:

No arrests had been made.
"A case of armed robbery and attempted murder are being investigated," he said.

Here's what goes on at the facility. This site includes the Safari-1 research reactor, a hot cell complex, a waste disposal site, and conversion and fuel fabrication facilities. The Safari-1 "infrastructure" includes
* a large inventory of highly enriched uranium
* an MTR fuel manufacturing plant
* extensive hot cell facilities
* a pipe storage facility for interim storage of spent fuel
* two disposal sites for low and medium-level radioactive waste

Want directions or a map? See above. Or a picture:

A case of armed robbery? In the Control room of a nuclear facility?

*edit* Actually a second attempted break-in the same night at another area of the facility is being reported. And then there's Nuclear Smuggling Case Emerges as picked up on a blog by Idaho Samizdat.

Ahh proliferation, we discount you at our peril. But let's focus on the History Channel show tonight.

There is a show about Peak Oil on The History Channel tonight (11/13) at 11:00 PM Eastern time if anyone wants to check it out. The show is called "Mega Disasters" and this episode is called "Oil Apocalypse".

As you can tell by the names, this show plays everything up as dramatically as possible. I've seen it a few times. Usually they do things they can make up scary computer graphics for, such a large meteorite striking earth, the caldera at Yellowstone erupting, or a huge east coast tsunami swamping New York. Oil running out doesn't seem like it would have the same dramatic effect, which may be why they are running it at 11 PM instead of in prime time.

It will be rerun a few hours later at 3 AM tomorrow morning. They also have an episode called glacier meltdown airing next Tuesday (11/20) at 11 PM if anyone is interested in that one.

Jim, thanks a million for posting this alert. Though I often watch the History Channel at night I probably would have missed this without your alert.

Oil Apocalypse TVPG
Experts predict what might happen when the world's oil supply runs out, ranging from warfare over necessities to the development of new technology.
Channel:269 Air Time:10:00 PM - 11:00 PM

The listing above is for the Direct TV channel, Central time.

Ron Patterson

Here is the blurb on the show from their website;

The oil that our world runs on won't last forever. The gap between supply and demand is ever increasing. Will alternative energy save us or is it already too late? What would happen to the world as we know it when our oil dependent industries come to a grinding halt? A worldwide depression is a certainty but a power struggle for the basic necessities of life would be complete chaos.

So -- peak oil is already history?

No. The History Channel often airs rather speculative shows. The prophecies of Nostradamus, the Rapture, giant tsunamis, nuclear winter, etc. I'm a little worried this will take a sensationalist tack.

I was going to post a notice closer to when it airs. And we might have a dedicated thread for it tonight. But since it's been raised...here's the full press release. The list of experts sounds promising:

Energy experts appearing on camera in Oil Apocalypse include authors Richard Heinberg, Matthew Simmons, David Goodstein, Kenneth Deffeyes, Michael Economides and Christine Woodside; Oppenheimer energy analyst Fadel Gheit, PFC Energy chairman J. Robinson West, RAND Corp.'s James Bartis and U.S. Congressman Roscoe Bartlett.

This particular series is called "Megadisasters". They talk about stuff like the earth getting hit with an asteroid, a Yellowstone volcanic eruption, a massive tsunami from a landslide in the Canary Islands, and the like. The events they discuss all have a theoretical possibility of some sort or another, and are generally some sort of natural disaster of one sort or another (i.e. no space aliens that I have seen so far).

It remains to be seen how they present this. On the one hand, for the economies of the world peak oil could be viewed as a megadisaster, so it might be a good fit to have it air as a part of this series. On the other hand, many of the other things that they cover tend to be events with very low probability.

I'm a little worried this will take a sensationalist tack.

For this show, I'm pretty certain it will take on a sensationalist tack.

I was going to post a notice closer to when it airs.

I apologize for bringing it up prematurely then. I should have known you'd be on top of it. I had just seen some commercials for it yesterday so I thought I'd mention it.

Nah, it's okay. If it's going to be that sensationalist, maybe it's better we don't do a thread about it.

If it's going to be that sensationalist, maybe it's better we don't do a thread about it.

Why don't we just watch it then decide? We could do a thread about it tomorrow and get everyone's opinion on it. It may not be sensationalism at all. It could be a great show. Then again.....

Ron Patterson

Yeah, that's probably what we'll do. There are folks at PO.com already planning to put it on YouTube, so maybe by tomorrow, everyone can watch it, not just Americans with cable.

Without Brent Musberger it is so dated already.

I may have to stop saying unkind things about MSM coverage of Peak Oil/Peak Exports. I have had two requests for interviews from the MSM in the past week. However, interviews are one thing--publishing is what counts.

However, the Saudis are still telling us not to worry, party on dude! (Odd contrast between the Saudi comments up top and the Arab News story down the thread).

Net Oil Exports and the "Iron Triangle"
Posted by Khebab on July 13, 2007 - 8:00am
Topic: Supply/Production
Tags: Export Land Model, oil exports
This is a post by Jeffrey J. Brown, an independent petroleum geologist in the Dallas, Texas area.

If one resides in the oil industry leg of the Iron Triangle, and if one has concluded that Peak Oil is upon us, or extremely close, does one say, "We cannot increase our production," and thereby encourage massive conservation and alternative energy efforts, or does one say "We choose not to increase production and/or we are temporarily unable to increase production for the following reasons (fill in the blank)?"

the article in the Toronto Star is significant. Gwyn is a respected writer for them and he does everything but use the phrase "peak oil". I think we are in the "naval bombardment" phase of the MSM taking on peak oil. Soon the landing craft will be approaching the beach and the real tussle will begin. Unless the economy nukes the beach we are gouing to get a real engagement on peak oil soon.

I wish we could afford the life we are living.

Down the river in sleepy Brockville, Ontario, pop. 22,000, the editorial in the local Recorder & Times yesterday was titled "Sobering numbers on world's future energy demands". They don't do online archives, but here are a couple of snippets.

Global demand for oil is now about 85 million barrels a day. The IEA is predicting that will rise to 116 million barrels a day by 2030.

Some people say exploration is the solution, seeking new sources of oil and natural gas. Others see conservation as the key. Then there are those who view alternative sources of energy as the world's salvation. It will probably take a combination of all three to prevent an energy crisis or an economic collapse. Meeting the challenge will require all of humankind's remarkable capacity for innovation and adaptation.

A letter-to-the-editor in reply might reinforce some points for this community. Suggestions on one or two keys points are welcome.

interviews are one thing--publishing is what counts.

you are quite correct, one has to wonder how much of what they asked ended up on the cutting room floor post filming.
As far as we know they might ask him about everything and then latter pick and choose the ones he answered the most optimisticly about.

Btw have you factored in you iron triangle stuff like fear about being drawn and quartered in the public arena by the government and the people for not taking better care of the resource? it's a basic tactic of those who do not blame themselves.

They are both print outlets, but the dynamics are the same.

Regarding the blame game, I have been warning everyone in the Oil Patch that the two biggest threats facing the US oil & gas industry are ExxonMobil and CERA. People and politicians are going to be in an ugly mood when the promised trillions and trillions of barrels of oil do not show up as production.

I may have to stop saying unkind things about MSM coverage of Peak Oil/Peak Exports. I have had two requests for interviews from the MSM in the past week. However, interviews are one thing--publishing is what counts.

I am not surprised that you are getting requests for interviews. As I said yesterday, I suspect Jeff Rubin of CIBC got his export cannibalization argument from you. A lot of the stuff I see discussed here often gets repeated on CNBC a short time later.

About publishing - it is incredibly annoying to spend an hour or more on the phone, only to later find out 1). They decided not to publish the article; 2). They used your material, but quoted you anonymously; 3). You talked to them for an hour, and they used one line. 4). They used most of the material that you gave them to create the story, but then don't credit you. All of the above have happened to me, and it has made me much more hesitant about talking to reporters.

I did an interview with the New York Times on Sunday evening for a year-end story on what transpired in biofuels in 2007. Will it be published? Who knows? The last one wasn’t. If they pull what the Washington Post pulled with me, they will write "some sources say....", and then they quoted me verbatim.

Robert, those who are “somebody” get named because they are somebody. Those who are “nobody” get quoted as “some sources”. After all they don’t want to name someone whom no one has ever heard of or someone without an impressive title. Can you imagine them saying “Robert Rapier who works at a refinery says…” ;-)

Ron Patterson

Ron, one of the funniest examples for me was Fortune. I got an e-mail from a reporter at Fortune. He wanted an interview. So, we set it up and he called me. We spent a solid hour and a half on the phone. A month later, he wants to talk again. We spent another hour on the phone. Finally, 4 months later the article appeared. For 2.5 hours, I got one throw-away line. I felt like it was put in there as an after thought, as if to say "Well, I have consumed a lot of this guy's time, I will at least briefly mention his name."

The Rolling Stone experience was much better. I spent a lot of time talking with Jeff Goodell (who also wrote Big Coal), on multiple occasions, but he quoted me at length. Of course I was identified as "oil-industry engineer Robert Rapier", and the article was anti-ethanol. So you can guess what the critics said: "Of course that ****er is against ethanol. He works for the ****ing oil industry." But Jeff stepped up and defended me in a follow-up. That was the best experience. Most are nothing like that. That's why I finally just quit responding to inquiries. It's mostly a waste of time. Perhaps 5% of the energy I have put into interviews has been worthwhile.

My standard disclaimer: I built on prior work by Matt Simmons.

Robert, I think that you are going to lose your $100 oil bet. CNBC just quoted a guy saying that we may hit $100 oil some day, but there was "no way" we would see it in 2007.

And oil prices continue to fall. How interesting.

you REALLY have a hard on for him don't you PartyGuy? - spend a lot of time following post after post

so based on preliminary numbers that are usually revised downward later - you have singlehandedly proved that Peak Oil is false and will never happen - congrats, go buy the Hummer and go into massive credit card debt

oil prices will go up and down pre-peak, during peak and post peak - for all sorts of reasons - market driven, supply driven, demand driven, "above-ground issues" driven

and in the long run (only a few years) it won't matter - because oil production has/is/will peak - and then we begin to have a serious world-wide liquid fuels problem that threatens (at the very least) our economic system

Westexas recommends ELP - what is YOUR recommendation? go short on oil and buy into Danny Yergin's view?

Nope. But Global oil production does have a new peak, why don't you pour over the 'facts' presented here over the past 2.5 years and reflect on how badly things somehow went wrong. Peak Oil is real, but its really not right now. Looks like we cried wolf 'again', and it will be that much harder to warn people the next time.

If TOD spent half as much time and effort on showing people how to localize, become more efficient and how we can prepare now to deal with peak oil as we did touting it as a past event 'which it is now not', amazing things could be done.

I wonder if Mr. Deffeyes will proudly pronounce 'I was only 2 years off, but I'll take it, I'll take it...'.

But Global oil production does have a new peak,

Maybe. We won't know that for sure until all the revisions, etc. are finalized. That will be a few months. But it looks reasonably likely.

Now, if it does turn out to be a new peak, a lot of people will have been very wrong, despite a great deal of confidence that they were right. I say that not to rub it in, but instead to warn why I have been saying that we need to be cautious in calling peak. This is the danger that lurks when we confidently say peak happened in 2005 or 2006. How much does credibility sink each time someone says "We peaked in 2005...err...2006. Yeah, we really peaked in 2006. Er, make that 2007."

This is exactly why I am cautious. I think we can sound warnings effectively without suggesting that oil production has peaked. We can argue that peak is, according to many sources, close. We can argue that supply is expected to lag demand, and this will cause extreme pressure on prices. But let us please be cautious with peak proclamations.

I won't call this a new peak yet. Maybe it is. Then again, it might be revised down. But I ask those who so confidently believed that we peaked in 2005 or 2006 to consider the implications if we now set a new record in 2007, and potentially another in 2008.

Sound advice, Robert. I hope the others that frequent TOD will be a tad more cautious in the future!

The country's banking system is falling apart, its war on Islam is turning into a ready-to-assemble World War III kit, CO2 is hitting 400 ppm, veterans returning from Iraq are beginning to report the same diseases as the large percentage of everyone who returned from the last war, and Americans are using up their last supply of dope, their credit cards, to keep their SUVs running. Gee, we certainly are guilty of unleashing unnecessary panic.

Any past generations of Americans would have taken to the streets long ago.

Americans are using up the last of their dope? That's not good.

But I ask those who so confidently believed that we peaked in 2005 or 2006 to consider the implications if we now set a new record in 2007, and potentially another in 2008.

I honestly don't think it matters. We won't know until five years or more past peak. By then, declaring "peak oil" won't matter, because everyone will know it. OTOH, if the "peak now" folks are right, and they called it, they'll get some glory. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

From my side of the scanner, I'd say going out on a limb and saying "peak now" is less of a risk than betting $1,000 that oil won't hit $100 this year. And I'm not talking financially.

From my side of the scanner, I'd say going out on a limb and saying "peak now" is less of a risk than betting $1,000 that oil won't hit $100 this year. And I'm not talking financially.

If you are an anonymous poster, sure, no risk at all. If your name is Deffeyes or Simmons, it's a huge credibility risk to say "We have peaked", so you better have your ducks in a row. What do you say if we break the peak? How do you explain why you were wrong, when you so confidently said you were right? How many people will listen to you the next time around?

That's a much greater risk than a $1,000 bet, that as Nate said, was a "no-brainer." And as I have been saying, I think oil well overextended itself, and is likely to continue pulling back. Regardless, that's a bet on an unprecedented price move. That's quite a big difference from going on CNBC and telling the world that we have peaked.

A far as "glory", I don't view this as some game in which those who call peak correctly and earliest should be angling for glory. Do you think that's what my objections are about? This is serious business, with serious implications. Calling peak incorrectly on multiple occasions will derail the urgency to act. I see it already from people who say "Yeah, we have heard that peak argument for 30 years."

Disagree. Heck, would anyone interview Deffeyes or Simmons if they didn't say we're at peak? I think they're doing good things for the cause, even if they turn out to be wrong.

My high school English teacher once told me never to be afraid to go out on a limb - that people will be more interested in what you say if you take a stand, even if you're wrong. She was 100% right.

Look at Amory Lovins (article above). He's always wrong, but they love him, shower him with awards, and interview him all the time.

Heck, would anyone interview Deffeyes or Simmons if they didn't say we're at peak?

Do you think Simmons wasn't being interviewed prior to him calling peak?

My high school English teacher once told me never to be afraid to go out on a limb - that people will be more interested in what you say if you take a stand, even if you're wrong. She was 100% right.

Hence, $1,000 bet on oil prices. I have spent a lot of time out on limbs, and they haven't yet broken. Some have in fact proved quite solid.

Do you think Simmons wasn't being interviewed prior to him calling peak?

Not like he is now.

Hence, $1,000 bet on oil prices.

That is exactly my point. If the idea is to convince people you are right, that was a dumb bet to make. IMO, you've already lost, by that measure. Even if you escape, the takeaway won't be "the Saudi cuts were voluntary" or "we're not at peak oil yet." It will be "Robert was wrong," because no one thinks you'd have made the bet if you had any inkling oil would rise within a buck and change of $100. Betting $1,000 sucks all the attention away from details like the weak dollar.

But if the idea was to get attention and provide entertainment...it was brilliant.

That is exactly my point. If the idea is to convince people you are right, that was a dumb bet to make.

You contradict yourself, since you just said "people will be more interested in what you say if you take a stand, even if you're wrong." Yet now you are saying "you took a stand, and you haven't even yet been proven wrong, but it was close enough to discredit the stand you took." Would your high school teacher be happier if I lost the bet outright, and therefore moved fully into the "wrong" category? Would my stand then matter more? Why don't you just say, "Their stand matters because I think they are right. Yours was dumb because I think you are wrong." I think we both know that's what it boils down to.

We will just have to disagree on consequences. Personally, I think it will be much more difficult to get people to take this seriously if oil production rises and Simmons, Deffeyes, and lots of others have to defend themselves against their very public, wrong predictions. Simmons WAS on TV all the time prior to him saying we have peaked, because he wrote a very fine book on Saudi Arabia. And he was very effective at publicizing the dangers of what we face. If he turns out to have been wrong about peak, well, you don't think it will be a big deal and that his critics won't use it to discredit his message. I do.

It will be "Robert was wrong," because no one thinks you'd have made the bet if you had any inkling oil would rise within a buck and change of $100.

We will get into that when the bet concludes. In fact, I wouldn't have made it if I knew that oil would be above $98 in 2007. But based on fundamentals, it should have never gotten there this year - and I think you will see that as it corrects. We saw a bit of a Dutch tulip frenzy. Not that higher prices weren't warranted. But they overran what the fundamentals supported, and if oil corrects down in the short-term as I believe it will, that will be the take away. Why do you think the likes of T. Boone Pickens in August was predicting that oil would reach $80 by his birthday next year instead of $100 in 3 months? Do you think the fundamentals so drastically changed in 3 months?

You contradict yourself, since you just said "people will be more interested in what you say if you take a stand, even if you're wrong." Yet now you are saying "you took a stand, and you haven't even yet been proven wrong, but it was close enough to discredit the stand you took."

I don't see how that's a contradiction.

Would your high school teacher be happier if I lost the bet outright, and therefore moved fully into the "wrong" category? Would my stand then matter more?

That depends on what your goal was. If it was to get people to understand a complex issue, you'd have been better off not making the bet at all. If it was to get attention, it doesn't matter whether you win or lose.

I am not taking a position on whether you are right or wrong in your assessment of Saudi. I'm on the fence, I've always been on the fence, and so far, I've seen nothing to move me off the fence, either way. (There's a reason why I'm an engineer, not a writer. And why my English teacher felt the need to tell me to take a stand, any stand, even if I didn't believe in it. ;-)

However, I do think it's silly of you to chide people for going out on a limb with regard to peak now or peak later, when you've done the same thing, far more flamboyantly, with your bet.

Market behavior IS a "fundamental."

Someone sounds very angry at you, Robert...

And remember Leanan, KSA's decline was clearly voluntary as their production has held steady all year, and is now actually increasing in line with their quotas.

Nobody ever suggested that KSA would never add any more production. The point was at the time the decline in their current production meant that they couldn't maintain output at that level. Since then they have had new projects come on-line, but they haven't significantly ramped up supply despite new record prices. New production is again expected in the new year, but the underlying decline continues.

Apparently you missed the two dozen or so FRONT LINE stories at TOD where the 8% decline rate was debated and discussed. It clearly is not 8%, and they clearly aren't in decline, seeing how their production matches their quotas exactly. The only way for them to mask their decline is for them to be able to divine their exact future production and set their quota to that rate. Since we know time travel isn't possible, the only logical reason for their production decline was that they were meeting their quota.

The point was at the time the decline in their current production meant that they couldn't maintain output at that level.

That is not true. The theme of many stories was absolutely that Saudi Arabia was in decline. For example:

Ace wrote: "Saudi Arabia is highly unlikely to produce over 8.5 million barrels/day of crude oil and lease condensate, on an annualised basis.
Saudi Arabia is in decline now."

- EIA and IEA data shows that Saudi Arabia is virtually guaranteed to exceed that limit this year.

Stuart wrote: "I feel this data is clear enough that I'm willing to go out on a limb and conclude the following:
* Saudi Arabian oil production is now in decline.
* The decline rate during the first year is very high (8%), akin to decline rates in other places developed with modern horizontal drilling techniques such as the North Sea.
* Declines are rather unlikely to be arrested, and may well accelerate. "

- EIA and IEA data shows that not only did declines not accelerate, they stopped completely and have given way to increases.

Stuart wrote: "The Future of Saudi Production
The very near term future is generally agreed to be continued declines....How quickly Saudi Arabia will move to exploit the remaining smaller fields is anyone's guess, but the green line on the chart above is intended to suggest that the present decline rates should moderate at some point."

- EIA and IEA data shows that Saudi production had already stopped declining by the time Stuart wrote that continued declines were "generally agreed".

And that's just a smattering - there was heavy agreement with the thesis that Saudi Arabia was going to continue declining. I don't mean to single Ace and Stuart out, either - many frequent posters here expressed that belief strongly.

They were wrong.

Instead of pretending that those failed predictions didn't happen, it would be much more valuable - and much more credible - to attempt to learn from the mistakes that led to them, and - perhaps more importantly - that led to the near cult-like acceptance and hailing of them.

I believe that if a knowlegable individual, such as Simmons, does a good faith study of the data and concludes to his best estimate that we are possibly at peak, he has a duty to state such publicly. It would be wrong to keep quiet. The same goes for your good faith assessment, RR, and Stuarts.

However, we all know that our data set is incomplete, and predicting the peak is not actually possible. As we've noted ad nauseum, even Statoil with the best data missed Norway's peak, far less complicated a story than the world overall.

What concerns me is what people do when they are wrong, as they almost always are. Yergin, Lynch, Campbell, etc tend to avoid clear analysis and discussion of why they were wrong, choosing instead to gloss over their errors and forge ahead with the next pronouncement.

To maintain credibility with me in the face of erroneous predictions, they should present the error clearly, discuss what the flaws were in the predictions, and present a new model accounting for those errors.

I don't need someone to be perfect to be credible with me, I just need to know they are trying to be honest and are open to learning from their mistakes.

Dear Oh Dear. RR, you are concerned about being premature in calling Peak Oil now? The only thing that matters now is that the world launches into an extremely urgent, massive scale effort to mitigate the effects of the future declines in world oil production, regardless of whether that decline is happening now or wont for 20 years. The Hirsch report (summary here http://www.acus.org/docs/051007-Hirsch_World_Oil_Production.pdf) says it all:

The era of plentiful, low-cost petroleum is approaching an end. The good news is that commercially viable mitigation options are ready for implementation. The bad news is that unless mitigation is orchestrated on a timely basis, the economic damage to the world economy will be dire and long-lasting. Oil is the lifeblood of modern civilization. It fuels most transportation worldwide and is a feedstock for pharmaceuticals, agriculture, plastics and a myriad of other products used in everyday life. The earth has been generous in yielding copious quantities of oil to fuel world economic growth for over a century, but that period of plenty is changing.
In the following, we describe the nature of the problem, options for mitigation, and required timing. The exact date of peaking is not known; some think it will be soon, others think a decade or more. However, the date is almost irrelevant as mitigation will take much longer than a decade to become effective, because of the enormous scale of world oil consumption.

If Peak oil is now, or even within 5 years it's already too late to mitigate it!!
This report came out over 2 years ago, highlighting a massive risk to the oil importing countries of the world, and what steps have we taken? Waiting until Peak Oil is official is waiting until it's far far far too late. To me, your pointless worries about calling it correctly suggest that you don't realize the magnitude of the disaster that unmitigated Peak Oil will be.

This gets me thinking: Maybe obsessing over WHEN Peak Oil was/will be (which is what everyone seems to be doing on here) is just a defense mechanism against thinking about how bad it's going to be, because deep down most of us suspect that it is far too late?

This report came out over 2 years ago, highlighting a massive risk to the oil importing countries of the world, and what steps have we taken? Waiting until Peak Oil is official is waiting until it's far far far too late. To me, your pointless worries about calling it correctly suggest that you don't realize the magnitude of the disaster that unmitigated Peak Oil will be.

Given that you are brand new here, I will explain my position briefly since you have it all wrong. I have been calling for Peak Oil mitigation since the early 90's. I am well aware of the situation we face. But we have to convince a skeptical public. I think we can do that without generating a history of failed predictions of a peak. The history of incorrect peak predictions gives skeptics plenty of reason to doubt that this time will be any different. And in my opinion, if we still have 3 or 5 more years to go until peak, and we incorrectly call it again now, we will lose those years to inaction. And while we legitimately need many more years than 5, every year would help if we would get very serious about mitigation.

In short, it really has nothing to do with whether peak is in May 2005 or October 2007 or February 2009. That is not my point at all. My belief is that failed predictions cost precious credibility.

That's all for me for a while. I have to be back at work in 6 hours, and I need to sleep before then.

Failed predictions affect credibility when thinking linearly in pieces. Peak oil is a nonlinear systemic problem, and for planning and preparation purposes, timing the peak is nearly irrelevant. No-one will be able to time the peak to widespread satisfaction until several years past peak, when it is waaaay too late.

So even if one "predicts" the peak to be now or two years ago, and it's really 2009 or 2011, how is that impacting the actions we need to be taking now but aren't? There are a whole range of things we could or might be doing, appropriate whether the peak was two years ago or four years from now ... but the public isn't skeptical, instead they are largely oblivious, "peak oil" is only just now entering awareness, and there has been scant significant public action on energy depletion.

My belief is that maybe looking for the "right" predictions in the effort to improve credibility is the wrong tactic. Having already jumped out of the airplane, we are trying to predict when we'll hit the ground down to the second. I think that the right tactic is to focus less on the prediction of when and more on the certainty of eventually hitting the ground.

My belief is that maybe looking for the "right" predictions in the effort to improve credibility is the wrong tactic.

But that's not my issue. I am not looking for a right prediction. I am looking to avoid having critics be able to pounce again and again on wrong ones. It's like saying, "Prepare for a tornado", versus "A tornado hit that town." "Oh, it didn't? My bad." Are you going to listen to me the next time I try to tell you something?

Leanan started me thinking with her glory comment. Maybe that is the problem. People seek gloring by wanting to correctly predict peak, and it is causing them to abandon caution and good scientific skepticism. That, in my opinion, will have serious consequences regarding the ability to convince people we need to act - should their predictions turn out to have been in error.

Party Guy does remind me of someone else.

Does his name have a "W" in the middle?

I figured NPR would be exempt from the Triangle (despite the ADM money).

But I caught two Oil reports in the span of 12 hours last night and this morning.

All Things Considered had one last evening.
Morning Edition on the way to work.

The only speaker on each was our friend Daniel Yergin.
The word "Supply" was never mentioned.

I was yelling in my car.

National Petroleum Radio; National Pentagon Radio,..other ones out there?

Sadly, The Corporation for Public Broadcasting became infested many years ago :(

NPR's budget for the last 7 years is controlled by?
In an around about way the White House. Who is NPR's head guy? Who put him there?

I heard the same broadcast. Sad. NPR has been changing the last few years.

On Iraq and other matters what talking heads (experts) do they use?

American Enterprise Institute for example.
So what do you expect. The Message is controlled.

I've noticed this too. It seems that NPR also is filled with a lot more fluff stories than it used to be. I think it was the new president who wrecked it, Kevin Klose (joined in 1998) or maybe the vice president Ken Stern, who fired Bob Edwards. Both of those guys used to work in the Voice of America radio stations, which, as far as I know, is a specialist in propaganda, isn't it? I don't listen any more, the only news program I can stand is the News Hour with Jim Lehrer.

Gentlemen! You can't fight in here, this is the war room!

There is a process going on now in which the messages from both sides of the PO argument are getting louder (shriller?) and more insistent. I think the public is definitely picking up on the fact that there is a real debate going on, whether or not any given person is persuaded either way. This is a good thing. Then the price of gasoline, as it continues to rise, is the most important 'reality check' for the average consumer. IMO price of gasoline remains the single most important fact in bringing the attention of the US public to the PO issue. The developing 'controversy' in the MSM is paving the way for this attention.

Some of these hype type shows can show the uninitiated the list of considerations. New Energy and Fuel reviewed that History Channel A Global Warming program yesterday. http://newenergyandfuel.com/ Its a pity show producers hype something that actually might have done people some good. But at least a few more folks will be in the discussion

Another PO article in the (Saudi Government-owned) Arab News:

Once the realization sinks in that the future is one of steadily diminishing oil supplies and steadily rising oil prices, they argue, there will be a vicious scramble for control of the remaining reserves, accompanied by wars that deplete those reserves even faster. The markets will panic, a deep and permanent global depression will impoverish everyone, and there will not be the will or the resources to build a new economy that is far less dependent on oil.

The most pessimistic of these Cassandras, like American writer James Howard Kunstler, predict nothing less than the wholesale collapse of industrial civilization. You do not have to be a Cassandra, driving past the preposterously far-flung suburbs that have sprung up around North American cities in the past few decades, to see them as the neoslums of the post-peak-oil future, but their demise does not necessarily imply the collapse of an entire civilization.


Interesting. I first saw that article on a Trinidad and Tobago news site last week. It's since been picked up all over the place.

Is Kunstler really a "Cassandra?" Was he cursed by Apollo? I doubt it. I don't think he has divine prescience -- he is just brave enough to add up the numbers, and together with his considerable rhetorical gifts and remarkable persistence, present us with a truth that most of us refuse to see.

There may be a sort of Greek tragedy here, but it is more Oedipus than Agamemnon, in my opinion

Now that you started with Greek tragedy, I must say PO is definitely Persians, by Aeschylus. From Wiki:

Xerxes, the tragic hero of the play, does not appear until the end. He has returned in defeat and in shame, and does not realise his own hubris was the cause of his defeat. The end of the play is filled with lamentations by Xerxes and the chorus.

And it may yet be the Persians who are instrumental in the future happenings when things hit the fan.

Saudi Arabia starts to sound like Baghdad Bob.


Hmmmm ... could be an Arab thing maybe?


A day in the life of the UK 2007...

Petrol prices push up UK Inflation:


£1000 Per Year extra on food:


UK House prices fall:


BA Fuel Charges up:


Lorry driver protests ?


Somebody might begin to see a pattern here soon…

Peak Oil meets Climate Change. From the Telegraph article above:

Many basic foods are more influenced by the cost of oil than the actual ingredients. Wheat, for instance, makes up only about 7p of the cost of a loaf [120p]. This is completely outweighed by its baking, packaging and distribution costs, all of which are determined by the price of fuel.

Mr Saunders said: "There is only one way prices are going - and that's up. Higher food prices are here to stay for some time."

The surging costs have prompted Gordon Brown to launch a wide-ranging investigation into the security of the nation's food supply, asking the Cabinet Office's strategy unit to examine how weather patterns are affecting global crops

Well, If they take as long looking into food as they did energy security, then best get the beans and tuna in.

True! When I was in the UK I took a long hard look at what would happen to the UK, given the likely outcomes of financial collapse, Climate Change and Peak Oil/Energy. I then sold everything and left as a result.

Britain (with a very high population density) couldn't feed itself during the last war, even with a substantially lower population. I also doubt that the advances of the Green Revolution will help as everything begins to unravel. Britain is therefore totally dependant upon imports for its survival.

As exporting countries retain more of their produce for themselves, what will Britain do and at what cost?

I see the Russians are looking to increase their prices for gas to Europe by 10% or so in 2008. Looks like the first shocks are getting ready to be delivered by the unfolding financial/climate/energy calamity.

Maybe they ask Argentina for food? :-)

Bird flu makes the home islands ...


Are you suggesting this is the first incident? Because, if you are, you need to get a better news feed. Bernard Matthews was in the news with avian flu months ago, Feb 2007, actually. Not to mention a dead swan found in Scotland in 2006 that was shown to be carrying the virus (H5N1).

So, making the home islands is a bit of a red herring, as a matter of fact. Britain has been exposed to the virus for nearly two years. It will be interesting to see the shuck and jive that accounts for this particular outbreak.

One dead swam? Beneath the radar. 6,500 slaughtered turkeys right before Thanksgiving? I know, U.S. holiday, but it'll catch the reader's eye here. I don't know that they've ever polled to find out how many adults don't know that Britain doesn't have Thanksgiving, but I'll bet its a substantial number :-)

We eat our turkeys at Christmas. Most are already processed and frozen, but in the run up to Christmas Day, 5million fresh birds get zapped to order.

These birds were free range (high end of the market).

But if there is an anti turkey scare, then there will be significant losses for the industry.

Most British have no idea what Thanksgiving is.


This is to be expected xeroid. Sorry if I wasn't clear, but I was getting on my countrymen about their lack of clue for foreign cultures. Despite speaking a curious form of English, Englishmen do not follow American holidays. This would be news to many over here ...

"Despite speaking a curious form of English, Englishmen..."

I guess the English need more American English teachers to help fix their curious linguistic problem :)

Oh, we here in the Midwest can very much help with English lessons - there is a reason every news person in this country sounds like they're from What Cheer.

English and American, it turns out, are two VERY different languages. You'll have to read H.L. Mencken on this, and you'll be fascinated.

I thought the differences were just a few words like rubber/eraser, dick/willy, stuff like that you hear about in jokes. It's not - it's very deep differences that go back to Shakespeare.

So let's hear no more about correcting this or that, two languages can use the same words the same way several languages can use the same alphabet.

All kidding aside, if you get a linguist in a corner and press them, they will admit that Ebonics is a new language with English as its primary source of vocabulary.

That is way too political for this country, but its technically true ...

Isn't it where the Indians bailed you out and then you killed them.

And then gave thanks to God?

Yes, that's the one.

Celebrating the beginning of a winning formula.

LOL - God the dead pan delivery was brilliant!

Isn't it where the Indians bailed you out and then you killed them.

Here now. I think we let them live one more year for being nice to us.

And then gave thanks to God?

Now where did they learn that after a slaughter? heh.

They are living the real American dream.

No job and a monthly check from the casino.

Current epidemic problems, and a range of other disasters, can be found on the Emergency and Disaster Information Service map.

Currently, there is an epidemic of Norwalk virus on a cruise ship in Hawaii, one case of non-contagious meningitis in Texas, and two meningitis outbreaks in the UK according to the map.

Censorship is the weapon of last resort for political cowards and scientific frauds (and for childish and biased 'editors' who abuse their position by refusing to publish that which does not agree with their own political beliefs...).

Is politics destroying Climate Science Research and credibility?????

No consensus on IPCC's level of ignorance

... Politics, at least for a few of the Lead Authors, was very much part and parcel of the process.

At an IPCC Lead Authors' meeting in New Zealand, I well remember a conversation over lunch with three Europeans, unknown to me but who served as authors on other chapters. I sat at their table because it was convenient.

After introducing myself, I sat in silence as their discussion continued, which boiled down to this: "We must write this report so strongly that it will convince the US to sign the Kyoto Protocol."


"With the publication of the article in Science, I gained significant credibility in the community of scientists working on climate change.

They thought I was one of them, someone who would pervert science in the service of social and political causes.

One of them let his guard down. A major person working in the area of climate change and global warming sent me an astonishing email that said: 'We have to get rid of the Medieval Warm Period.' "


I like the way they presented the Hockey stick where the little ice age and the MWP are not made visible:

Whereas these events are clearly visible on the original chart:

src: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:1000_Year_Temperature_Comparison.png

While i agree they absolutely falsified the graphs there for temp readings. The article does have a small grain of truth in it. We must be very careful in the amount of weight we put into computer model predictions over actual on the ground readings over time. For example the recent on the ground data of how the ice sheets actually do melt.

That multi-coloured chart according to the Wiki article on the hockey-stick controversy is not the original chart, but lots of different analysis overlayed.

Reconstructions of Northern Hemisphere temperatures for the last 1,000 years according to various older articles (bluish lines), newer articles (reddish lines), and instrumental record (black line).

As with many things, this issue is a lot more nuanced, complex and unresolved that the popular meme holds to be 'truth'. My view - simply knocking the hockey-stick is a bit like buying into the kind of conventional wisdom this site is all about trying to dispel. Some of it's detractors now admit that the essential result might possibly be correct, even though they still disagree with the methodology.

Ho hum...

Jaymax (cornucomer-doomopian)

Whereas these events are clearly visible on the original chart:

That is the sort of lie I do not expect from a TOD contributor. The first chart is a global average, but second chart includes a lot of regional data, and you damn well should know this.

I am quite happy with the idea that there should be critical analysis of the IPCC, but invariably such "sceptics" trot out the same falsehoods that have been debunked many times.

It always makes me wonder, if TOD editors are such fools on GW, how can I trust their analysis of PO?

Perhaps it is time for TOD to state their official position on AGW, or drop the subject completely.

Bob, there isn't an official TOD position, but I think the majority are firmly in the AGW camp. I have stated my opinion before that I think AGW may be worse in the short term than PO, because we will start to use a lot more coal as oil depletes.

I don't see anything wrong with debating the issue, though. I have seen HO called some pretty nasty names for questioning certain GW arguments. I think that's unfortunate, because we should be able to debate this without resorting to that.

Hi Robert,

But why debate it here anyways?

The problem with debating non-peak-oil details on the site is that:

* we're mostly not global warming experts or accolytes

* hundreds or thousands of smart climate scientists have been working for the last few decades on this exact problem. I've met some of them, they are largely smarter than me and work harder than I do, and until I have some good reason to doubt them, they are correct. (I'm an engineer, you can tell).

I do get Nature and Science and I do read them and I have yet to see anyone, not one!, come even close to peer-reviewed denial of anything important about GW.

* HO is not a climate scientist, he raises hoary old points which often have already been refuted, and his posts often result in flame wars.

Now I'm not a geologist, but I don't go to knitting sites and start talking about how abiotic oil is the misunderstood theory of the century.

I have to speak plainly here, the main reason is it's just so damn annoying to read "climate bomb" posts when I'm just trying to figure out what to do to help reduce the impacts of peak oil, and how much time we have left. It makes me not want to come back.


Re: The first chart is a global average, but second chart includes a lot of regional data, and you damn well should know this.

Don't get upset, that's exactly my point, I guess I didn't express myself correctly. I think the top 2 charts are misleading.

P.S.: I'm not a AGW skeptic, quite the contrary!

It's only censorship if a government does it. Feel free to start your own blog where you can rant and rave all you want.

Here, certain standards of civility will be maintained.

IF the original post was "uncivil" I apologize. But I suspect that is more an excuse than the reason you pulled the first post.

And please spare me the silly nonsense "it's only censorship if the government does it." Tell that to the public that until recently heared virtually nothing but Yergin sound bites when reading or hearing of peak oil.

Or tell that to the MSM, that fails to eport the truth about the drop-in-the-bucket "Jack II" finds (etc) that the oil companies use to pump their stock price and which leave the public with the impression that there is "plenty of oil."

Tell that to the public that hears what the MSM and Climate Change fanatics want them to believe - and rarely hears anything from credible scientists who question the current hypotheses.

Or tell that to the children of religious whackos when as they grow up and ask why their education about the origins of the universe and of life was censored and polluted.

And as for "start your own blog" - Why? Are the drumbeats open discussions, or only open to those who share the same beliefs? Will you next censor by deleting those who "rant and rave" about Yergin/CERA, or about the evil BUSH and Vader Cheney? Or do those rants support your POV and therefore get a pass?

I find your point of view very interesting SOP. It seems the usual climate change skeptic is also leans toward being a cornucopian where you buck the trend entirely.

Am I wrong in believing that a vast majority of Peak Oilers also believe in the science supporting AGW?

I know I've posted it before but the short(45 min) doc from CBC called the denial machine really is a must see.


I found this show so impactful. Besides the coverage of the climate change debate, I found it to be a great synopsis of how I believe our NA Governments are operating at the moment.

Recipient of AA, Alberta Advantage

I will certainly watch the "denial Machine" later, thank you for the link.

I think you are right that the majority of PO-Aware also believe we are seeing global climate change (although I think there is a large number that see it as a politically polluted issue clouded with enormous uncertainty which distracts the public and politicians from dealing with Peak Oil) .

I do not doubt the climate is changing or that human activity contributes to the change - the climate is always in a state of flux and all life forms contribute to changes in weather patterns and climate in general (some having large effects, some having negligible effects).

The problems I have are: 1)we do not understand climate well enough to make usefull computer-generated pRojECtionz, 2) Politics, Egos and emotions polute the entire process, 3) the MSM publishes the most alarming clap-trap from the "climate-doomers" as some sort of fact, but rarely notes the disscenting POVs.
4) the "scientists" and/or MSM love anecdotal "evidence" for climate change and/or are more than happy to attribute anything viewed as currently out of the ordinary as if it is in fact caused by climate change.

We've got a much more immediate and more dangerous phenomena to worry about right now - PO - but the squeeky wheels of the climate change crowd are distracting the world from this issue, and worse yet, may be placing political roadblocks in the way of progrees on PO.

We've got a much more immediate and more dangerous phenomena to worry about right now - PO - but the squeeky wheels of the climate change crowd are distracting the world from this issue, and worse yet, may be placing political roadblocks in the way of progrees on PO.

That's exactly what I used to think - until the Arctic turned to the kind of mush this summer that was not scheduled for a couple of decades yet... Now I'm just holding my breath...

All these phenomena seem to be racing each other to the finish line.

I now expect the Southern Solstice[ed] of 2012 to be the precise moment that the west antarctic collapses, bird flu morphs into something human-virulent, china sells the USA to Putin, and Fox News reports that oil has peaked.

Jaymax (cornucomer-doomopian)

usefull computer-generated pRojECtionz,

What is a pRojECtionz ?

sendoilplease -

I tend to agree with your point of view regarding the degree to which the issue of global warming should be treated at TOD.

I am neither a global warming true-believer nor denier, but rather what might be described as a global warming 'agnostic'. Maybe it's going to be as bad as the true-believers say, and maybe it's not.

One thing I feel pretty sure about is that the level of certainty associated with global warming is proably about an order of magnitude less than the level of certainty regarding the impending global energy crunch. As I see it, here are the main propositions of the global warming belief system in descending order of certainty:

1) The earth has entered a period of rapid global warming that will result in chaotic and highly disruptive changes in weather patterns.

2) The combustion of fossil fuels is a main, if not the main, cause of this phenomenon.

3) We have the ability to slow down or reverse this phenomenon.

It's the last one that I have major doubts about.

As I see it, Peak Oil and the economic disruptions and global resource wars that will likely follow on the heels of Peak Oil should be of far more immediate concern.

That is why this TOD reader would prefer to see less rather than more global warming posting and discussion at TOD, as I feel it tends to dilute main trust of TOD. Just one man's opinion.

3) We have the ability to slow down or reverse this phenomenon.

No we don't. read up on the effect of feedback loops, a major one came very close to tripping past the point of no return this summer. the melting of the arctic ice cap which helps keep the greenland ice sheet intact.

Kaiser, I agree. I am as concerned as anyone about global warming and I agree, it is largely man made. That being said, I have absolutely no faith that we can or will do anything about it. There is just no way we could cut emissions enough to make much of a difference.

So I just don't post anything on the subject. Also, the consequences of peak oil, will much sooner, have a far more dramatic effect on the human population. Ten, or perhaps twenty, years from now the world will still be getting warmer but no one will be talking about it. Everyone will be in a panic because their food supply is drying up, their jobs are going away and they are going to get very cold and hungry this winter. Global warming will not even cross their minds.

Ron Patterson

Everyone will be in a panic because their food supply is drying up, their jobs are going away and they are going to get very cold and hungry this winter. Global warming will not even cross their minds.

Peak oil and global warming are 2 simultaneous processes. Their impact will often be difficult to distinguish. In Australia, for example, wheat crops have halved last winter due to prolonged drought worsened by global warming. Some coal fired power plants may run out of cooling water due to higher evaporation and changes in rainfall patterns. Add future fuel shortages to that and global warming problems could get worse. The combination of both is the real challenge.

I have always thought that to a huge extent Climate Change is a code word for "Peak Oil".

TPTB can not admit about PO directly, hence they have to find justification for all the rise in energy prices and efforts in the alternative energy field with something more acceptable to the general public. After all it won't be an easy sell to make average Joe accept a new nuke in his backyard, even a wind turbine turns out to be a problem.

What is the biggest point of interest are the areas where the two issues are at odds - as in the case of coal, tar sands or oil shale. IMO these will be quietly developed and kept away of public sight, while the public will be "greenwashed" with huge on impression but low on contribution "clean" energy projects.

[Edit: this does not mean that I don't believe in climate change. Au contraire, I think it is here and I think it will be violent in the very long term. It just means that TPTB have for long time already determined it is a futile effort to try stopping it and have effectively selected the path of adaptation over that of prevention. Maybe this is just the cynic in me but to a great part I agree with them.]

I have always thought that to a huge extent Climate Change is a code word for "Peak Oil".

Both can be 'code words' for a 'change in the economic model' - with less cheap energy the economic system we are used to changes and not for the positive of most people.

After all it won't be an easy sell to make average Joe accept a new nuke in his backyard, even a wind turbine turns out to be a problem.

Yea lets see some headlines:
Gunmen storm Wind turbine.
Wind turbine bombed over suspicion of its used creating winds of mass destruction program.
Wind Turbine melts down due to faulty maintence.

If one is not in the radius of the tower or a larger radius of a blade throw - exactly what 'problem' is a wind turbine?

Death by excruciatingly painful eyesores - worse than radiation burning. No known antidote.

Iowa got five manufacturers of wind turbine equipment over the last few years and even so I believe there is now a three year lead time to getting a large scale (2.0+ mW) turbine.

I am personally delighted to see platoons of them going up around here and I look forward to being able to turn my head ninety degrees left and see them lining the horizon. That is slated to start next spring. NIMBY suits by numbnuts beach home owners are good for my region ...

Best hopes for stringent immigration laws here in the Saudi Arabia of corn and wind after the inevitable breakup of the United States.

The Minnesotans, indeed, may need lebensraum (before you lived there they taunted Iowans with jokes chastising the very flower of Iowa womanhood, the university cheerleaders). But in this version of post industrial America +900 years (see bottom link on the page) it seems the Kansans may be who you really should worry about.

I just stumbled upon that link looking for a specific map. Sometimes you gotta wonder if google isn't reading your mind.

The artificial turf installation to stop the University of Iowa cheerleaders from grazing? Alas, our women are for the most part corn fed with all that implies :-(

Yes... You do know it!

Alas, so are the cheerleaders up north corn fed. Processed, but nonetheless.

Do you also know the joke about what's worse than (insert number) of dead (insert Iowans or Minnesotans depending upon where you live) at the bottom of the Mississippi River?

I'm reading this as "John Macklin is not educatable." - did I translate your post correctly?

I like others am finding my sarcasm doesn't always (if ever) translate to the post.

I am a big supporter of wind power. I'm mocking the Cap Cod / Long Island dealbreakers who killed wind farms for ocean scenery.

BTW, it's also true I am no longer educateable and my brain is already leaking out my ears.

Rush Limbaugh says the same thing when he is caught - It was humor you people don't get the joke.

"If one is not in the radius of the tower or a larger radius of a blade throw - exactly what 'problem' is a wind turbine?"

- noise

- dead birds, esp. raptors

- as mentioned above, eyesore (least important problem, IMO)

- noise

VS the noise of the wind in the trees?

Do you advocate the removal of trees because the wind hits them and makes noise?


Source/Activity Indicative noise level aB (A)
Threshold of hearing 0
Rural night-time background 20-40
Quiet bedroom 35
Wind farm at 350m 35-45
Car at 40mph at 100m 55

- dead birds, esp. raptors


Hey I gotta id'er. Lets hunt cats! (to save the birds)

Wait? People dislike cat hunting.

- as mentioned above, eyesore (least important problem, IMO)

And if that is the 'nature' of your objection, there is little I can do to show you otherwise. No data will get past your closed mind.

I can however point to studies of dead birds and readings taken with DB meters - thus leading to an education on the issue.

Eric, you sure have a lot of links right at hand when you post.

The cat hunting using a 12lb cannon was one of the more unique articles I have read. It even took my mind totally off PO as I laughed for about 10 minutes.

Feral cats are a grossly underestimated problem affecting wild life.

IMHO a lot of the animal rights issues will go away once TSHTF as hungry people re-learn the ethics of eating like their ancestors did.

Eric, you sure have a lot of links right at hand when you post.

I spend a lot of time reading - most of my links are me going back and finding what I've already read something about. Rarely are my links the result of 'this should be a supportable statement - let me go find a link'

And having other data to back you up beats handwaving 99.9999% of the time.

The bird threat is way over-rated. The Altamont Pass situation is basically unique, as a convergence of poor siting and the tower designs of the day. Overall, wind turbines are estimated to cause 0.01 - 0.02% of bird deaths due to collisions with structures. Power lines, comminications towers, tall buildings, etc are all much bigger killers.


Actually wind turbines do pose substantial risks to the public. Nothing is risk-free.

On the other hand how many members of the public have been hurt by nukes in the West? Hmmm... why does the number zero come to mind?

But go ahead, I see you are in your scaremongering mood today I don't want to spoil your party.

I don't want to spoil your party.

To do that, you have to show how the failure mode of a fission plant is 'safe'.

And, well, you can't do that without lying.

First: which failure modes? Nuclear power plants and equipment fail all the times, 99.9999% of the failures are not resulting in anything spectacular.

Second: How do you want me to show you? Do you want me to go and start making idiotic experiments like they did in Chernobyl? You are asking for impossible things - one can always imagine a disaster happening with anything. Can you prove your car can not blow up and kill you?

Our only valid criteria should be comparing the track records of the different alternatives and in the case of nuclear it is perfectly good, at least in US and most of the world. Compare it to the track record of the mining (coal) or oil industry, even the wind industry is not without risks. If you prove the industry performance as a whole is worse, either absolutely or relatively to the benefits (energy) it brings, then you may have a point.

Otherwise you are just handwaving and doing nothing to support your side, at least in front of the unconvinced part of the public.

Otherwise you are just handwaving and doing nothing to support your side, at least in front of the unconvinced part of the public.

Self reflection is a good starting point, now why don't you stop projecting your flaws on others.

99.9999% of the failures are not resulting in anything spectacular.

So that means for every 1000000 'failures' only 1 is 'spectacular'.

In the US - 3 mile island had a president on TV talking about the event. That strikes ME as 'a spectacular'
(1. Of or pertaining to a shows; of the nature of a show. ``Spectacular sports.'' --G. Hickes.
2. Adapted to excite wonder and admiration by a display of pomp or of scenic effects; as, a spectacular celebration of some event; a spectacular play.
3. Pertaining to spectacles, or glasses for the eyes.)

How about the Millstone plant? pleaded guilty to 23 Federal felonies and agreed to pay $10 million in fines That sure does sound spectacular.

That's 2. So for your 99.9999% not-handwaving to be right you'd have to have 1999998 non-issue accidents. Once you come up with them, I'll go dig up stuff on the gun-play at a reactor, the earthquake in Japan, and perhaps I can get a list of failure modes in Russia - just for the laughs. Perhaps by then, another reactor will have been bombed - that sure sounds like a failure mode to me!

Oh hell - one more just cuz.
Dec. 12th, 1996: Radioactive leak at the Maine Yankee; Aug. 18th, 1996: Officials shutdown the Maine Yankee after discovering that 15 feet of wire was missing from a circuit used to automatically activate a pump in the emergency core-cooling system
(Yea! Wire thieves! Hope that copper was worth it eh? Or, because no one would steal wire - perhaps it was never there?)

Our only valid criteria should be comparing the track records of the different alternatives and in the case of nuclear it is perfectly good,

I can understand WHY you'd like that. But hey, if you are gonna handwave with the 99.9999% claim, I'm gonna stick to published data. When you can be honest and not handwave, then you will be granted the adult option of being able to define the debate.

Via: http://www.animatedsoftware.com/environm/no_nukes/nukelist1.htm

Haddam Neck Pt. 1982 CRAC-2 est.“Worst Case” Casualties: 102,000 Property Damage: $74.1 Billion
Indian Point Station: Unit 2 1982 CRAC-2 est.
“Worst Case” Casualties: 200,000 Property Damage: $274 Billion

I could have kept listing the dead and millions in losses - but when insurance companies won't insure w/o the feds willing to extend loans and insurance coverage - it strikes me that the risks are obvious to all but the un-educatable. And given I've pointed out on more than one occasion the failure modes I'm beginning to think you are not able to be educated.

How about the Millstone plant? pleaded guilty to 23 Federal felonies and agreed to pay $10 million in fines That sure does sound spectacular.

It also sounds like nobody was hurt.

If that's your "evidence" that nuclear power is dangerous, you're not going to convince anyone. Heck, I can do better than that with literally two seconds of thought - look up some of the health complaints blamed on emissions from Hanford.

In general, though, you're largely barking up the wrong tree. Nuclear power in the West has been safer than coal power, when mining and pollution casualties are considered, and it's questionable whether people would be so upset about it if it didn't share name-words with nuclear weapons.

When you take a probabilistic view of things, properly run and secured nuclear power plants aren't such a big deal. Doesn't mean we should use 'em, but does mean that "eek, nuclear!" is a losing argument.

Oh, you want people hurt?

Lets see:
the 2 workers who were radiation over-exposed at tmi in '89.
The people shot in that raid in SA
or Phil - who used to be at Aldephia who can't have kids when his badge turned black. Seems a rod 'hopped' out of a storage cooling tank and he kicked it back in with his foot
(and on and on)

Mining/processing should be included?
Ok, you have the silkwood/Kerr-Mcgee plant
As another poster pointed out - the Navajo nation deaths.
(and on and on)

Nuclear power in the West has been safer than coal power, when mining and pollution casualties are considered

'cept the failure mode of a fission plant is far worse.

The total failure of mode of a coal plant means hurt people in the plant, a pile of rubble, and whatever can fly from the building and hit someone.

The total failure mode of a fission plant not only makes a pile of rubble, hurt people in the plant, then wound thousands more downwind and render the surrounding area unable to be used for humans for some time.

and it's questionable whether people would be so upset about it if it didn't share name-words with nuclear weapons.

Amazing how made up claims keep getting made. One can think long term, or one can try for a short term patch. With a track record of failure and not doing what is needing to be done in fission power, good long-term thinkers have every right to bring up problems with fission.

Now, if the weapons are the reason for the fear - why are any civilian power plants being built when they might then provide cover for a weapons program? (Answer - see the peaceful atom arguments of the 1950's. Perhaps one day humans will re-argue the whole peaceful atom program.)

When you take a probabilistic view of things, properly run and secured nuclear power plants aren't such a big deal.

And yet, the evidence shows that corrupt, lazy, hungover, well - flawed human beings have failed in running fission under the rules and regulations set up.

When the boys can't be responsible with the toys, when does one take 'em away?

Doesn't mean we should use 'em, but does mean that "eek, nuclear!" is a losing argument.

And I'm not saying 'eek nuclear' - I am pointing out how the failure modes are a problem. In a world where nations and people make threats to attack fission plants, where the people who've run the energy extraction via fission have demonstrated an inability to execute agreed to safety protocols, there is no 'eek', it is rational to call into question the ability of humans to be able to control fission in a biosphere safe way.

I noticed how you've not touched on the Calculation of Reactor Accident Consequences (CRAC and CRAC-2 data) Too radioactive. Why is that? Too radioactive for you to handle?

Derskin has agreed that the big failure modes are a concern and will not discuss it. LevinK has been caught making up stuff in this very thread.

Tower work has inherent dangers. You're up high, you're working with heavy, pointy metal items, things are being winched or hand hauled up and down.

I used to do a bit of tower climbing here and there in the context of running a wireless ISP. During that time one of the tower crews I used for heavy construction had a man who had to climb down 140' with a shattered right arm. A "gate" got snagged while being winched up the tower and it sprung lose and got him. A crew of three died on the KDUH tower in western Nebraska climbing on a 1,900' monster with improperly tensioned guy wires. A little later a guy working at 1,200' was using a positioning system but not a fall arrest and he slipped.

Almost all tower accidents come back to stuff like this:

The pelican hook on the victim’s front lanyard was found to be defective during post-incident investigation. The tip of the hook was off-set approximately 2 ¼” from the latching device.

If you're gonna go way the heck above the ground and do tower work you need a full body harness. You attach a shock lanyard with a pelican hook to the ring in the middle of your back. Your positioning system will be one or two non shock rated lanyards with smaller, more maneuverable hooks, depending on the work environment. The rules say hard hat required but that is bunk for tower work - a biking helmet firmly strapped on is generally a much better choice - a falling hard hat is as dangerous as a falling wrench at terminal velocity.

The 1,200' fall guy must have had his faulty pelican hook in a place where he could end up with it pinned between his body and the tower, or perhaps a piece of equipment they were moving. The pelican got pushed up and over the attachment point, the man turned, and instead of that comforting tug on the harness from a correctly attached lanyard he got ... nothing.

This is a proper heavy duty harness. The lanyard across the front is a positioning piece and I'm not wearing a shock lanyard in the photo. I'm 485' AGL but it was only a three foot fall from where the photo was taken - its a skyscraper roof in downtown Omaha.


I find fault with your conclusion that wind turbines pose a substantial danger to "the public". Those accidents listed are all construction or service related. The only public hazard from turbines are ice coming off in the winter time and there are all sorts of warning signs around them regarding this danger.

In the database there are one or two incidents exactly with members of the public. One of them was with a woman that was paradropping and flew through the wind blades.

There are many recorded incidents with wind blades torn away from their rotors by strong winds and flying sometimes over a kilometer. With wind still presenting less than 1% of the electricity and rapidly expanding throughout the country it is only a question of time when people get killed by those.

Of course the risks are low and largely theoretical, but the same tactics is used by nuclear opponents - they portray a largely hypothetical incident and then highly exaggerate the potential results. For example the Chernobyl plant did not have a containment building, and it is a valid argument that western designs would contain the radioactive materials within the plant in a hypothetical meltdown. Yet nuclear opponents are still describing hundreds of square miles abandoned and thousands of dead people - even though even in Chernobyl - the worst-case accident possible - only 40 to 70 people died in the incident.

In the database there are one or two incidents exactly with members of the public. One of them was with a woman that was paradropping and flew through the wind blades.

Sounds like a Darwin Award candidate...

I'm not quite familiar with paradroping but I think if the wind takes you near ground there is little you can do to change your course.

"even though even in Chernobyl - the worst-case accident possible - only 40 to 70 people died in the incident"

Misleading and smells like PR bullshit. I'm sure the nuclear industry (and the WHO, which co-ordinates its position with the IAEA) would like us to believe a few thousand deaths are all that is likely from contamination (PDF warning):

However, much higher estimates have been collated by researchers commissioned by European parliamentary groups, Greenpeace International and medical foundations throughout Europe (PDF warning):

Of course the nuke industry will deny its validity, but at least one of the scientists working on the IAEA report says it does not reflect reality, and that the IAEA are "very clearly trying to minimize the consequences."

Earlier the IAEA also organised the International Chernobyl Project which found that there were no health disorders that could be attributed directly to radiation exposure from Chernobyl. The BBC investigated this and found among other things that data was supressed... why should we believe industry supported findings that are fraudulent and trying to downplay risks as much as possible?

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

I'm sorry but whenever I see Greenpeace as a source I tend to dismiss the whole argument. People that attack tankers and tie themselves to rail lines to stop shipments shouldn't exactly be considered a rational, unbiased source are they?

The facts about Chernobyl are well summarized by Wikipedia. The fact of the matter is that only 57 deaths are attributed directly to the explosion. The rest is all speculation about how much additional cancer deaths would occur as a result from it, and nothing has been conclusively proven so far - not at least by independent sources. What has been observed with certainty is some increase of the rate of thyroid cancer, but this is generally treatable.

I'm sorry but whenever I see industry as a source of its own information I tend to remain very skeptical. Anyone who believes an industry is doing anything other than serving its own interests by selling itself in the best light possible is being gullible at best. And in the case of Chernobyl, fraudulent activity is not what I chose to believe. Also, Greenpeace is not the source of the studies in the paper I linked.

I assume the "facts" you refer to in Wiki are the industry facts, which I linked to in my original post. There are independent studies, and not surprisingly they suggest the 4000 number the IAEA touted is far too low (the IAEA later revised that to 9000 deaths). This kind of info is also linked in the Wiki article, e.g.

Thyroid cancer is not the only concern, either.

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

Right. It's still zero if you've decided to say that Employees are not members of the public (several deaths, but we've shown them before.. if you really can't find them, maybe I'll check in later with the same links again), or that Indians in western Uranium Mining towns still are counted as Zero-Fifths of a Human Being.


If one makes up things (99.9999%), one looses the credibility to define the terms of the debate.

But we should be thankful - at least he's willing to debate VS the ones who take the pot shot and then leaves. So I do appreciate that.

There was explicit division between employees and members of the public from the very beginning. This is an accepted standard in treating these subjects - you guess why.

If you include employees to the public then wind power becomes quite dangerous energy source too - tens of construction and maintenance workers have died or were injured working on those high towers. Like I said nothing is risk-free and just by labeling something "green" you won't make it so.

What problem? I dunno. Ask Ted Kennedy. He seems to have a problem. Ask the tourist boards or whoever. They seem to have a problem too. Just try to build a wind farm anywhere. Then you'll have a problem too. Everybody wants to embalm the world exactly as it was when they were seventeen years old...

Again, education can be provided on things like "noise" or "bird kills" or 'danger to the public' - I can not provide a proper education on what is or is not "ugly".

I'd much rather have the people who complain sign paperwork that they will instead pay for my electrical use VS me putting up a wind machine and then I pay for my own electrical generation. Yet, the people who whine about "ugly" are not willing to put their wallet where their flapping yap is.

I believe the consequences of climate change are discounted due to the predominately urban nature of us. The problems of energy are readily apparent, from flicking a switch for lights or heat to endless congestion of the roadways. And we know blackouts, have been through or heard of fuel shortages. But the dicey predicament of raising something to eat is lost to most. Few know the problems, or watch their income drop, from a dry summer, a bunch of grasshoppers or insect, mold, nematode outbreak.

That may also be the reason gardeners, especially organic, seem more concerned. These problems have affected them a little deeper, though the 24 hour, never yet empty, grocery store has always been down the road.

And by no means am I not extremely concerned about peak oil and energy. There's nothing today like oil for putting a dynamo in the middle of nowhere. As Matt Simmons says, "Oil is cheap."

The DrumBeats are NOT open discussions. The guidelines still apply. Posts should be on topic.

And some topics are discouraged here. Spam, perpetual motion crap, conspiracy theories, trolling, etc. If you want to call it censorship, fine. I consider it quality control.

I'm also much more likely to delete stuff in the mornings, because posts at the top of the thread can derail the discussion. Even humor. I'm not against humor, but if you post something silly at the top of the thread, I will likely delete it, simply to spare people from scrolling through two dozen silly replies.

I don't prohibit sarconol, but I encourage you to wait until afternoon or evening to indulge. ;-)

The quality of discourse here is relatively good and we are all grateful for the policing required to keep it that way.

Well, almost all of us are :-)

Thanks. I know some of your posts have been among the deleted; I'm glad you understand.

I don't know how many times someone has complained about "censorship," then gotten even more upset when someone suggests another site that might be more conducive to the kind of discussion they want. They say they like the intelligence/quality of discussion here. Well, gee, why is that? It's not just random chance. It's important to us, and we work hard to protect it.

Leanan I appreciate all the hard work that you and the staff at TOD do to keep this site and the posts at a much higher level compared to the myriad sites on the web.

When I first began posting an occasional comment, after lurking for a long time, I asked you if commenting about GW was ok and you responded that 'yes, cc helped put us on the map, after the many hurricanes that hit Fl and the Katrina/Rita debacle of the Gulf Coast.' (paraphrasing from memory what you said).

I felt at the time that the events accompanying gw might overcome the world before po became a serious problem. Now, I feel that the call is a 'pick em'. In any case, po and cc are linked if, like me, one believes that humans are adding to the cc problem by burning ff. Now we have an additional problem of a possible world economic disaster in the making. The world economy is also linked to po. How can anyone not see that all these problems are really just one problem, imo...overpopulation. As one of the regular posters on TOD comments 'this problem will solve itself, but not in a nice way.'

Please keep up the good work and good luck to all at TOD including those that post...even if we dont always agree. It is easy to disagree in a civil manner although I have sometimes been guilty of being a butt head. Who isnt, at times? When people feel passionantly about their ideas, their zeal might show. Rant over... :)

I can recall one that I've posted which you promptly whacked and rightly so. If there are others I've not noticed :-)

.... perpetual motion crap ....

Crap? ... You exagerate, surely? :-)


So afternoons are the secret to getting away with it? Thanks!

Touche' .

Actually Leanan, I think you do a great job the vast majority of the time. I have had posts yanked in the past and afterwards was glad you did it.

I know Drumbeats are not literally "open forums" but I felt the earlier post was on-topic (climate change). But it might have been somewhat inflammatory, and having been posted early, might have derailed discussion. I'm just glad it was not yanked because of the content.

Censorship is the weapon of last resort for political cowards and scientific frauds (and for childish and biased 'editors' who abuse their position by refusing to publish that which does not agree with their own political beliefs...).

Re: No consensus on IPCC's level of ignorance
- John Christy

OK J. C., for the record, why DID you ignore my 2003 report which showed that your MSU TLT satellite data analysis over the Antarctic was flawed? It was especially insulting that the comments I offered on the U.S. Climate Science SAP 1-1 review were ignored by you.

I know, you would rather spout your Baptist rhetoric about saving the starving masses in Africa, as you have done in Congressional testimony, but that's no excuse to ignore science. BTW, your work analyzing temperature data in California has been shown to be flawed and a new report analyzing the MSU/ AMSU data using a different analytical technique confirms that the Antarctic is warming. Another minor question, J. C., why is the Arctic sea-ice melting away so rapidly?

E. Swanson

Good for you Blackdog, if what you wrote is true concerning the flawed data in JC's work (science is self-correcting, we have to beware constantly of flaws in data or logic).

One minor question, how much have sea levels risen so far with the current artic ice melt?

Physic 101: sea ice does not influence sea levels, land ice (Glacier) does.

"Similarly, people also think that when ocean water freezes to form sea ice and then melts, the water is merely going through a change of state, so it won’t affect sea level. However, in a visit to NSIDC in May, Dr. Peter Noerdlinger, a professor at St. Mary’s University in Nova Scotia, Canada, suggested otherwise."


When the greenland ice sheet slides into the ocean I won't worry about the extra inch of sea level rise years later when it completely melts.

Clever and amusing physics - who woulda thunk it - but it's too trivial in magnitude to be of concern.

So far, we've apparently lost a few million km2 of Arctic sea ice around the edges. It might have been as much as two meters thick in places, a few decades ago. If that area were confined to one of Dr. Noerdlinger's larger beakers, and even if it were 100% ice-covered, we'd get, say, a 5cm rise, using his 2.6% number. But the melt displaces the whole ocean, so we really get around half a millimeter.

By the time we would ever get to the good doctor's 4 centimeter rise, we'd be coping with tens of meters from land ice and thermal expansion. After all, land ice ranges up to thousands of meters thick, and its melt will displace around 90% rather than just 2.6%. So if one needs to worry, one might worry about that.

Or maybe not: if serious physical shortages of liquid fuel develop, speculative future sea-level rise will drop so far off the radar screen that it will be invisible except perhaps to the largest telescopes.

data point: Few seem to mention that it's not just the artic summer sea ice that is rapidly decreasing, but global sea ice (sea ice amount split roughly in half between N and S hemispheres, although change dominated by NH sea ice).

From what I've seen of the data, the NH sea-ice has shown the most loss at the end of the melt season. The climate patterns in the NH and SH polar regions are much different, because of the different arrangement of the land masses. Around Antarctica, almost all the sea-ice melts every summer, since it's location is further from the South Pole that is the case for the North Pole in the Arctic Ocean. And, there appears to be little change in the seasonal sea-ice cycle in the SH, perhaps even a slight increase at maximum extent. On top of the local geographical differences between the polar regions, the NH data shows more warming than that from the SH, perhaps due to the larger fraction of surface covered by water in the SH as compared with the NH.

E. Swanson

Or as Archimedes said when hitting on that fact "Eureka"

National Geopgraphic channel had an hour show on the (violent?) Earth last night. It had nothing to do with global warming, but, basicly showed that for the last 7 million years that the ocean currents have controlled the world's climate. Showed that 7 million years ago, Panama did not exist and the Pacific and Atlantic had currents that flowed between them at that point and up through the Artic. Result, Artic Icecap was zero - non-existant. Then Panama was formed, cutting the current off, and a million years later, the Artic ice cap had been formed. Then went on to show how the continental plates are shifting and how the entire globes' climate will change because of it - in a few millions of years.

Read both articles, thanks for the links.

Now, I have two ways to reply to the Mockton opinion post.

1. Try to find peer-reviewed scientific articles (with other paper support) from the highest ranking journals that corroborate what the authors have to say. I tried. Can't find.

2. Fight fire with fire. The articles are insinuation after you remove the stuff that has not peer-reviewed scientific backing:

Christopher Monckton is a
right-wing-free-market-private-property-rules-all think tank
associated buff, who's pseudoscience has been debunked elsewhere over a year ago. He's also been caught of forgery, and admits to lying for profit. What a beacon of truth. I'll sure to check out his other sane and scientific writings, like his view on AIDS. NOT.

Now, we could play this all day long.

But at least I won't. Why? Because it is NOT SCIENCE.

Anybody who gives me those multiple peer-reviewed papers that show what Monckton and his ilk blabber are correct and I'm happy to be wrong. And science wins. It always wins when truth comes out, whatever the "side" of debate.

Also, I believe there are much more knowledgeable forums for climate discussion than TOD. If one really wants to _understand_ the _scientific_ issue around it, this may not be the _best_ place to try and do it. TOD is a good place to spout one's opinion spam (which this is a good example, I fully admit).

As for the John Christy opinion on BBC, good stuff, imho. Let's not forget however that it is a _proof_ of nothing. However, very wise words nevertheless (again imho).

The heads of state summit in Saudi Arabia is only the third such gathering in the history of the cartel. Protocol would normally dictate that any changes in production quotas would be announced at Opec’s next formal policy meeting to be held on December 5.

Sorry if this has been covered as of late, if it has please point me to the discussion. Sounds like these rare keggers are reserved for special thingy-a-bobs?

Just trying to have a routine day thinking about the hopes and dreams of panarchy, when in another coffee fan-spray moment:

Mortgage Loan Losses Pose Risk of Systemic Shock, Peters Says


There's a greater than 50 percent probability that the financial system ``will come to a grinding halt'' because of losses from mortgages, Gregory Peters, head of credit strategy at Morgan Stanley, said.

By the way, does anyone know what to do when this display says "financial system halted?"

What is it with the grinding!

From the link above to the History Channel's promo for Peak Oil:

what would happen to the world as we know it when our oil dependent industries come to a grinding halt?

(Queue professor Frink)

Halting, with the grinding! Glavin!

That Morgan Stanley thing is extraordinary. "Grinding halt"?

Now I'm starting to wonder if no one will notice peak oil, due to the financial crisis.

I have a hard time believing the American people will receive the PO story.

A Financial Crisis is but one of MANY above ground factors that will be blamed for Gasoline Lines and rationing.

I can't believe we will be sitting in a gas line hearing Bush and the MSM saying, "there just isn't enough to go around, we have to accept what we can get."

My thought as well. The paradigm of having abundant energy easily available is so ingrained in almost everyone that I can't see it changing over-night. Kuhn argued in Structure of Scientific Revolutions that paradigm shifts do not come from the oldguard "changing their minds" as much as their dying and not being replaced.

FWIW, this morning the LA Times printed this article about the skills needed to survive in Zimbabwe.

But Nicholas has undergone a transformation, thanks to the bizarre economic conditions. In late August he quit his job as a truck driver, giving up a wage that was being gobbled up by inflation, and discovered he had an unplumbed talent for trading.

In August, his wage was $3.20. Now he makes about $70 a week selling drinks. Selling rolls is a sideline that earns him $5 a day. For comparison, teachers earned as little as $4.80 a month until the government raised their wages last month to a minimum of $28.

The people who struggle most are workers who don't want to give up the security of even a meager salary for the uncertainties of profiteering

Wrong. They are beating on the drums of PO to shift the blame for what is headed this way from their friends on Wall St. to the Muslim "evil doers".

If you ask me, the fact that Bush mentioned PO proves that the financial debacle is very close. They have known about PO forever. Why roll it out now?

Sometimes it isn't what they say. It's the timing of what they say as it relates to the bigger picture.

Rich countries will try to get their energy by simply outbidding each other and printing money like mad.

The resulting inflation will be what will kick the bucket, not the relatively high energy prices per se. Without an oil shock we in the west won't likely see lines in front of the gas stations - it is simply way too unacceptable politically, much more than high but still quite affordable prices.

Without an oil shock we in the west won't likely see lines in front of the gas stations - it is simply way too unacceptable politically, much more than high but still quite affordable prices.

Printing money will not produce more oil. Therefore, oil prices will go up AND there will be shortages at gas stations.

The ultimate irony here is that the U.S. consumer now needs readily available capital more easily than ever, but they're going to have the most difficult time getting it.'

Translation from mortgage grifter to English:

We, uhh, set up this scam, and now its unwinding. People are going to find out and they are going to be PISSED. Someone is gonna take the fall and we'd prefer to, uhh, have it hit the Bush administration, or maybe brown people from Mexico or the Middle East. Yeah, thats it, the Bush administration is a friend of ours (mafia style) and the mud people, well, they've tracked across our borders with drugs and stuff, and ... Oh god my house in the Hamptons! Where will I dock my boat!?!?!! *sob*

The only ironic thing in there is that this creature is sniveling about "capital" for the common man at this late date, when its apparent to all that he really means getting into the home equity nest egg before retirement.

Having worked in a homeless shelter in college I know this is going to lead to some interesting interactions later on, when the former mortgage grifters start horning in on the genuine crazies' territory with stories of their grandiose past. One will scarcely be able to tell those who were bankers from those who are bonkers.

No question that anyone that works on commission soon becomes a "mortgage grifter" as you call them.

Everyone says that there is no group behind it.

Thing is that you don't need a group, when they know that they are dealing with a bunch of hounds all they have to do is to release a rabbit or two (low interest rates, lax regulatory enforcement) and everyday more hounds will be giving chase.

Then the rabbit dies and it all comes to a stand still.

I've had jobs where I collected commission. I treated my customers well, didn't waste their money, and ten years on some are still calling for help with this or that.

The mortgage industry failed ethically. It started with slightly fluffed appraisals and ended with stuff like this.

I agree that the mortgage scam is a symptom of the times and that some innocent, well meaning people just trying to make a living got sucked into doing things they're going to regret. The big picture is the "something for nothing" attitude that is purely a sign of a society that has rotted from the inside out. We hold those who posture, manipulate, and steal in high esteem, while the "real work" is exported just as fast as we can figure out how to move it. That is going to make a huge kab00m! any day now and we richly deserve what is coming for having bought into it.

The big picture is the "something for nothing" attitude that is purely a sign of a society that has rotted from the inside out

Now think of the mechanisms that were used to instill that culture over time.

The mortgage industry failed ethically. It started with slightly fluffed appraisals and ended with stuff like this.

Anyone notice a slight correlation between de-regulation and privatization of everything and the massive rise of fraud as an everyday way of doing business????

Corruption is viscous. It wastes time, and money, and gums up the works so much that any talent in a particular business flows away from where it happens in a search for a cleaner operating environment.

There is something I know how to do which can be quite profitable, but the vendor's sales force is so slimy I'm as likely to get robbed as compensated for the work, so I just stopped doing it and got interested in professional services for their products instead. I cold stop people from upgrading their systems by helping them tune up and with the exception of these last couple of months I've been laughing all the way to the bank. The vendor did spend a year calling periodically to find out what happened to our $360k/year run rate, not understanding why we'd lost interest in representing their product.

I must say the very best thing about having moved back to a rural area in this particular aspect of the culture. The sales weasels I mentioned above wouldn't last a quarter out here with the behavior they display - they'd get themselves shunned in pretty short order.

Or to put it another way,

If you've been packing on the pounds during the debt-crazy good times, you were eating money you should have saved for the future. Now the future is here, the money is gone, and we're coming to your house with a portable liposuction rig to extract many pounds of flesh.

Is our economy so fragile that a small percentage of homeowners defaulting will bring us back to 1933?
what is happening is what is normal for business cycles. Banks profit from making loans and sometimes get too optimistic about borrowers ability to pay it back. Then they turn pessimistic when the defaults happen. This happens on a 7 year average cycle. About every 3rd cycle there is a lack of government regulation of a particular market sector and the dammage is more than normal. In the 1980s it was the Savings and Loan sector and this time it's Hedge Funds and mortgage bundles. Will it result in a major recession? Of course it will. Will it result in total economic collapse? Absolutely not. There are simply too many people still paying on time and enough real wealth in the form of capital goods still around which the Fed can monetize without causing inflation. We also have all those hated social programs like food stamps and health care for children to provide a reliable base of consumer spending.

You are either ill informed, Naive, or worse.

This is NOT a "Normal" business cycle thing.

How about what's going on with MBIA, Ambac and the rest?
As one small example.

Next Phase of the Crisis: The Great Ratings Debacle

or the fact that "traders" are starting to figure out Peak Oil.

Have Global Stock Markets Peaked on "Peak Oil?"

From the safehaven.com piece:

"The stunning rise in the price of crude oil, up 56% this year and up 365% in a decade, to within a whisker of the magical $100 /barrel level, has some traders wondering whether "Peak Oil" is finally here. If correct, is the spectacular bull-run for global stock markets, which is now 4.5-years old, building a major "rounding top" pattern? Until recently, high and rising oil prices didn't disturb the bullish psychology among global stock market operators. Instead, the spin surrounding rising oil prices described a positive story, an unprecedented boom in the world economy.

But historically, Global "Oil Shocks" have tipped the global economy into recession."

This recalls Andrew McKillop's prognostications that higher oil prices would initially lead to a global boom. IIRC he also posits that 'too high' a price will lead to economic distress or collapse. I believe $100/bbl was the nice round figure he threw out as being a breaking point.

So far, his prognostications seem to be accurate.

This time is different in that when the cat's away the mice play and the GOP it skilled at killing cats. It is a key part of their agenda to oppose government regulation of business inspite of the overwhelming historical evidence of the economic harm from lack of regulation. Like many previous recessions white collar crime is a big factor.

Hi Thomas,

Having just finished Thomas Homer-Dixon's The Up Side of Down I will take a whack at responding.

1) We have increased stress at a number of critical points in our civilizations (electric grid capacity, water reservoirs, fish stocks, amphibian counts, many species, reefs, just-in-time everything).

2) We have reactive minds (as a society; I think most people here seem quite feed-forward). Look at the history of fire regulations in theaters for a lesson in reactive thinking.

3) We have reduced capacity, redundancy and resiliency at most points in our systems despite our attempts to add complexity, for example food capacity, water capacity, transportation capacity, soil capacity, hospital respirator capacity, burn units, number of public hospitals.

Note also that while risk-reduction strategies have been applied with increasing fervor (hedging, black box trading, risk spreading and repackaging, swaps) systemic ("DC offset") changes (housing bubble popping) have the ability to take down loosely related societal systems.

The housing bubble in particular had notable effects on HEW (Home Equity Withdrawal) which went directly into the economy. This has probably stopped in Q3, it's hundreds of billions per year that was just being mainlined into the economy. This is one of perhaps 20 items of this size taking place right now.

4) We have a society based on permanent, infinite growth and we have not designed or anticipated the shift from this mode to a resource constrained mode.

If none of this is compelling, check out some blogs (Roubini, CalculatedRisk, BigPicture) to see just the financial coupling taking place. And those sites try but rarely capture the upcoming potentially systemic effects of peak oil, pandemics, global weirding.

Lastly as Americans, we have deregulated, destroyed and underfunded, insulted, and neutered Federal responsibility for many of these items since 1980, and we have a lot of catching up to do.

I really wish all this stuff wasn't happening at once, it'd make it less likely for the system to break.


"Global weirding", great!

Well, this can only be proven in the future, by actual events. Economy is not a science and as such, cannot attempt at providing a probable answer, just a guess.

Here's my guess though.

USA if going to suffer. Badly. US is so badly in triple debt and the last remaining big export is US dollars, which is not going down so well in the rest of the world.

When the US foreign debt collapses, it will also collapse the domestic debt.

When that happens, US will suffer a big depression.

Now, I didn't say when. Fed may still be able to inflate itself out of this and be able to destroy some money, just as it has helped to create it.

Regardless, the next bubble will be even bigger one and the fall even worse.

Will it bring about a total economic collapse?

I don't _think_ so, but it may be really bad for the US.

The rest of the world just might be able to limp along without US. Just.

Note, I'm not an economist nor play one online. However, historically my guess is statistically about as accurate as that of an average economist. Take that for what you will :)

You have to understand the context of "grinding halt".

My guess is that it is meant in the sense that no one that has a brain bigger then a mosquito will put one cent into US financial markets other then to speculate in the shortest of terms because of extraordinarily high systemic level of fraud at all levels. No new money is like a vampire with no new blood, it starves.

The stock market is a thermometer, the ignorant fail to understand that a body with multiple advanced forms of cancer can have normal temperature for short periods of time.

The system keeps limping along for a while but it's the banksters and regulators on Wall St and in DC choking their own chicken, slow and painful death, no new money, no new jobs.

If they would clean house, face the music and put harsh controls in place, it would be very painful but it would solve the confidence issue overnight. All it would take is draconian enforcement of all existing laws.

But it will never happen because all the politicians are bought and paid for, so we all go to Zimbabwe in slow motion.

Just wait, the UK is in the same bus, just sitting on the back row so they don't see the crash yet.

Why Pakistan is a strategic issue:

It’s along walk home…


The Pakistan Fuel Connection
When it comes to America's relationship with Pakistan, remember one thing: it's all about the fuel.
The Bush Administration's muted reaction to the new dictatorial rule of Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf can be traced to the American military's logistics problems in Afghanistan. Without the cooperation of Musharraf's government, the 24,000 U.S. troops who are stationed in Afghanistan would likely run out of fuel within a matter of days.
The U.S. military is now burning about 575,000 gallons of fuel per day in Afghanistan. And about 80 percent of that fuel is coming from refineries in Pakistan. Without the support of Musharraf and the Pakistani military, U.S. forces in Afghanistan would have only one fuel supply, and it would be coming via a precarious logistics line that extends more than 1,000 miles from northern Afghanistan all the way to refineries in Baku, Azerbaijan and Turkmenbashi, Turkmenistan.

Especially in Winter… (we have tried it)


The massacre of Elphinstone's army was a victory of Afghan forces, led by Akbar Khan, the son of Dost Mohammad Khan, over a combined British and Indian force, led by William Elphinstone, in January 1842. After the British and Indian troops captured Kabul in 1839, an Afghan uprising forced the occupying garrison out of the city. The British army, consisting of 4,500 troops and 12,000 civilians (dependents and camp-followers), left Kabul on January 6, 1842. They attempted to reach the British garrison at Jalalabad, 90 miles away, but were immediately harassed by Afghan forces. The last remnants were eventually annihilated near Gandamak on January 13. ONLY ONE SURVIVOR, the assistant surgeon William Brydon, managed to reach Jalalabad.

There may have been some hidden costs related to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as reported by the Congressional Joint Economic Committee:

War costs estimated to have reached 1.6 trillion dollars

This article on electric cars includes a creative idea. Rather than recharging a car's battery, replace the battery at electric filling stations. The advantage is that replacement can be done quickly, while recharging takes hours. The "filling stations" would, I suppose, recharge the batteries off-line somewhere and keep a full inventory of them for customers.


I suggested that a long time ago, in the early days of this site. It didn't go over well. Too heavy, too dangerous, can't be done that fast, etc.

An excellent idea.

Just design the vehicle around slot in batteries.

Would probably take about the same time as to fill up a large tank of petrol.

Batteries could be charged off-peak

Heavy lifting would be done by one operator with a machine.

Its brilliant.

Aren't those battery packs pretty big? I can visualize how big
a charging station would have to be if it had say, a thousand battery packs to keep charged. One lift machine would not be enough, even the smallest convenience stores routinely gas up three or four cars at a time constantly. Maybe four lifts zipping around changing 500 pound battery packs and trying to dodge cars entering and exiting the facility? I think we are talking about a huge infrastructure change.

Whether we like it or not, we are in for a huge infrastructure change one way or another.

I dont envisage this working for 6000 lbs SUVs.

More like small, lightweight compacts.

And anytime we get this far - I point out the RUF design
Then the taxi2000/jpods show up
Then Alan says 'no gajit-baun'

Somewhere along the ways we hear of earthmarines and wheelbarrows.

What's wrong with the idea i have posited here before?

Inductive charging loops beneath traffic light queues. your car rolls to a stop, you might have to lower a coil to the road (pretty easy to design) with an RFID tag to identify your car and switch the road loop on. Your car get charged and your account gets billed. Drive off and your charging loop folds back to the underside of the car.

Some electric cars already use charging paddles based on loop induction. This would be an extension of that.

you could roll these things out quickly and easily as power cables are aleady around and roads are always getting dug up.

I have an electric car (converted) with around 35 miles range. Such inductive loop charging in roads and car parking spaces could increase my range and lessen the wear on my batteries. Indeed. Enough charging infrastructure and my car might never need to be plugged in. It would be more like a tram.

Maybe it isn't practical but I would like to know why. I can see it isn't as good a solution as electric light railway but the infrastructure costs, gradual rollout and flexibility might make it a silver bb.

Carbon, Coventry UK

The losses in non-contact charging would be enormous.

Hi Joseph

I'm not sure if I agree with this point.
The GM EV1 seems to have used this method for charging. This page talks of lists of places where inductive charging is available.

EDIT: oops forgot the link: http://ev1-club.power.net/chglist.htm

I would have thought that a well designed inductive charging loop set would be more than 90% efficient like most transformers.
I was expecting that the coils (or at least the insulation) would make contact as the car coil was lowered down. No air gap.

I think the biggest problem would actually be alignment.

Carbon - Coventry UK

What is wrong? The large amount of power needing transfer.

Some of this you can do on your next drive about.
Figure out (guess/use other ppls numbers) the wattage between stops. Then the time between stops. Figure out the stop time.

Somehow you'd have to transfer that amount of power into the car, via induction, during the stop times to keep the transport powered up.

You'd also have to cool the pavement coil and your car coil.

And once you've done that, now calculate the power not at 100%.

(A workable plan that keeps what you are used to as a car is http://www.ruf.dk and I only see that happening is if humans get a 150-200 deg F superconductor - as a high temp superconductor gives a reason to make a 2nd power grid, and that grid will take the form of the ruf track.)

Hi Eric

I quite like your rail car link.

My in-car charger is very small and cooled only with a 120mm muffin fan and yet it has several toroidal transformers in it which carry the charging current in much the same way as the stop sign charger would. Scaled up in current maybe 20-50 times, I don't think cooling, at least on the car end, would be too much trouble.

I do agree with you that the stop times might not be long enough to fully recharge the vehicle.

For town driving and my car it would need around 10kW to replenish continuous driving. However supposing (total guess here) that you only get 10% of time at charge points, your inductive loop would need around 100 kW and that might be hard to handle, it's certainly not very hard to handle. Your road loop would be dissipating less than 10 kW in losses while a car is on top of it charing full whack.

I think in reality my funny old car could only handle a maximum of around 30 kW of charging so continuous driving not possible but it would mean my average net power output would be 7kw (10 - (30*10%) ) neglecting Peukert's exponent and charging losses. This would raise my range by around 30% and that's if I didn't have a loop in the parking bay at work or at the service station while I'm getting a coffee.

Then there;s trickle charging from solar cells on the car roof which might net me a couple of free miles a day in the summer.

Carbon - Coventry UK

To do the math I'd have to break out my motors book and start grinding thru the math - distance, size, charge rate and whatever else I could think of.

The limiting factor would strike me as the copper interconnects for the power loops. Oh and getting power to the loops. (how many loops do you need per stop light? How far do cars get stopped at a light)

Another idea I have been thinking about which I am not so sure on:
Flow batteries (e.g. Vanadium) have been mentioned before as part of a national electrical grid storage system. I can't remember where at the moment.

Flow batteries have tanks of electrolyte, one at a higher state of energy than another. The eletrolyte flows from the high state tank through battery, past its electrodes to the low state tank. When current is drawn the electrolye is changed to a lower energy state. Charging is this process in reverse.


When it comes to elecric vehicles, if a suitable flow battery with safe electrolyte could be found then recharging the car could be as simple as filling up one tank and emptying another into your charging cell at home / work. It's much easier than changing out batteries.

It is so simple in concept that it must be impractical or someone would have done it at home by now as an experiment.

Come to think of it, maybe I should!

Carbon - Coventry UK

sounds great, but is it practical? please note that standardization would reduce depreciation and that is the main product detroit is selling.

and now they're putting $200M into it. More $ than deals. Any other ideas you've had recently Leanan?

Many people have made the battery suggestion, you are not the only one.

And yea, lead dirigible filled with Xenon gas is how such suggestions go over. And, well, such designs will cost a whole lot more than the gas/diesel now enjoyed.

Oh, I dunno. Somebody might figure out a way to do it, as with propane bottles for camper vans. But the bottles offered for exchange tend to be rusting hulks, even if they've been spray painted to hide their condition.

So who in their right mind would want to spend $10k on the battery in their new car, only to see it replaced by a worthless piece of junk at some shady filling station? What, then, is the business model and the quality-control process? That might be the real question.

Well, they're already talking about "batteries not included" for electric cars. Mainly to bring the price down to reasonable levels, but if it's the car manufacturer that owns the battery, not the driver, shady filling stations wouldn't enter into it. No more than shady gas stations do now, anyway.

Idea was in George Monbiot's book "Heat" (publ. 2006) and I think he took it from someone else rather earlier.

This is a culturally acceptable solution - We, The People move from point A to point B one at a time in a mass of metal.

That culture is as dead as the one on Easter Island that built those giant stone heads. One can see the first signs of what is to come in the Carhenge monument near Alliance, Nebraska. How long will it be before we see constructs like this being messily and explosively assembled with new SUVs in disorderly urban areas?


The Cadillac Ranch on Rt66 goes all the way back to 1974 and we are still driving.


It's been suggested many times. The idea is that there are difficulties charging batteries fast, so instead of charging them in real time, we just swap them out. This implies the station has a supply of charged batteries. Since they don't charge quickly, then the station needs to have enough of these charged battery packs (they will not be small or light) to cover the demand on any given day. So they need a fairly large charging/storage area.

Now, the battery pack will need to come out of the car, and it will need to be standardized in size, shape, voltage, and connection. If it is part of the outside skin, then there will be issues with shape and color at the least. It cannot come out of the interior, because people are car-pigs and there will be stuff all over it. That pretty much leaves the bottom. And as I said, they will be big and heavy, and now they will be wet and muddy and covered with snow and salt and grime. So I would assume there will need to be some automated device that changes the batteries.

All of this is technically possible, but do not minimize the engineering and expense that would have to go into it to make it work - all so that we can run our cars on coal.

If we must make such an investment in infrastructure, why not build electric light rail instead, with much higher levels of efficiency?

Who pays for the battery pool that must exist? Who is responsible when a battery pack goes flat? In a snow storm? And the vehicle occupants freeze to death?

Fuel is fungible and quality control is easy. Battery packs have personality and carry liability in their storage, charging, and (mis)use.

I think this is a nonstarter even if the ICE vehicle builders weren't standing by ready to kick it to death if it got moving.

Furthermore, consider the standardization problem. Car designs tend to evolve and the same would be true with electric cars. Battery technology can be expected to evolve over time and be incorporated in newer cars. The whole idea of specifying a fixed size and shape, voltage and interface would limit the future development.

I think it would be far better to specify the charge interface and spread the charging stations widely so that people might charge their cars wherever they are parked, day or night. Parking meters could double as charging stations. Those people who drove to work and left their cars parked for most of the day could have a fully charged battery for the trip home and back. That way, PV arrays could provide the source of electricity, which would not be possible for night time charging without some intermediate storage system. States with lots of sunshine, such as California, would be natural markets for such an approach.

The problem with most renewable energy systems is the need for some sort of storage. FF's are already stored and this fact is not taken into account in the prices that the consumer sees when comparison shopping for alternatives. That's the main reason that renewables need subsidies to compete with FF's. Of course, our politicians haven't got a clue yet. It is hoped that they will learn before TSHTF, although the latest from Washington leaves me thinking they still haven't got the message.

E. Swanson

Gosh, think of the technological hurdles of charging a battery and swapping it with another battery. Much easier to pump that gasoline that was drilled from the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico, pumped into holding tanks on shore through underwater pipelines and into refineries that process the oil into its respective products, and then into another pipe to a truck terminal where it can be simultaneously met with an ethanol tanker and properly mixed based upon what state it is going to be trucked to, and what season we are in, and delivered to the gas stations as their tanks are emptied - neither too full nor too empty.

How will we ever come up with a way to charge batteries and swap them in the cars????

The system you describe is complex and sounds irrational as described - but it already exists.

Inexpensive 1800lb, 4passenger, 40hp turbo diesel. It's a practical car with an unlimited range that requires no investment in infrastructure (nor ethanol). So it's slow - deal with it. Start building them tomorrow.

Now build electric light rail instead of automated battery swapping stations. You can walk, bike, drive an EV if you can afford one, or take a horse and buggy if needed, to get to the rail station.

The available electricity supply, as well as the T&D infrastructure, will be limiting factors for the foreseeable future, and most of what is brought on line will be coal fired.

Life without cars IS possible. With all the issues we face, why is it that maintaining the car culture seems to be the one people are most concerned about?

Inexpensive 1800lb, 4 passenger, 40hp turbo diesel

Sounds like a Mercedes 240D from the late 70's

Triff ..

except the mercedes didn't have a turbo, and didn't weigh as little as 800 kg. I would guess 1200-1500 kg. The engine size is probably not 2.4 liters either, but more like 0.5-0.8 for a modern 40 hp turbo diesel.

Well, the 40hp part might be close!


Most voters, when they travel, even if it's not far, take stuff with them. Especially if they have kids - then they take lots and lots of stuff. And when they go out to shop, they may not take stuff out, but they sure do bring it back.

Commuting with little but the coat on one's back is only a fraction of VMT, and the only part that might be practical on foot, bike, and/or light rail. I really wonder, then, how this idea of walking or biking to the station, and herding the kids and dragging the stuff through the various transfers, is going to go over with most voters. Oh, and never mind the "safety" issues that keep kids from walking to school (or anywhere) even now.

Are the voters going to approve making the easy 20-minute 15-mile trip to Grandma's house into a "dangerous" and nightmarish two-hour ordeal? Are they going to approve making the grocery shopping into a horrendously time-consuming one-bag-at-a-time ordeal involving repeated trips or stopovers on the light rail?

Of course, in the old days so hankered for around here, there was no problem. Ordinary people simply didn't go anywhere. In fact, they did things like building churches - now closed - three or four miles outside town because the logistics of a trip into town simply consumed too much time. Even nowadays, dairy and livestock farmers often don't go much of anywhere. When I was teaching, I was astounded to meet college students who had never before in their lives travelled more than 25 miles from home, and who had only seen ten-story buildings in pictures or on TV. And that was WITH some access to cars.

So maybe the concern about car culture is that the alternatives proposed so far are all impractical vote-losers that at most fill specialized niches and in any case seem hopelessly backward. That is certainly reflected in the election campaigns, where the candidates are all promising alternative fuels as a way to bring gasoline prices down. That's a joke of course, but Joe and Jane Sixpack don't know it yet. Still, Joe and Jane will spend $10/gallon on fuel to get to Grandma's before they put themselves through the alternative ordeal. After all, their European counterparts are doing so already; those wonderful high-speed trains are toys for expense-account trips, not something Joe and Jane can afford for routine family trips. So what should we expect politicians to offer if they want to be elected?

Your link shows that most VMT are passenger travel, but it does not indicate what is being transported. It's pretty obvious that most of it is commuting - how big a vehicle do you need for that?

I'm wondering what you think the country was like before we all had multiple automobiles per family? How do you suppose people got their stuff to the railway station for trips?

How does an 1800lb, 40hp vehicle turn an "easy 20-minute 15-mile trip to Grandma's house into a "dangerous" and nightmarish two-hour ordeal?" You think it can't average 45mph? You ever hear of a VW Beetle?

It's all a matter of assumptions - apparently you believe everything will be same as it is now, just with different cars. The reason people traveled less, especially in rural areas, was that they had less access to energy, and they were busy producing food.

Nobody knows for sure what is being transported, that's probably too much to ask of self-reporting on surveys. But Exhibit 4 shows that commuting to work is only about 35 or 40 percent of VMT. Most of the shopping trips will involve carrying stuff, that's the point of a shopping trip. Many of the social and recreational trips will also involve carrying stuff. Trips to the performing-arts center or theater might not, but trips like that surely account for little of the total.

"How do you suppose people got their stuff to the railway station for trips?" In the old days it was a ruddy logistical nightmare involving horse-drawn vehicles. Or it involved consigning steamer trunks to the Railway Express Agency ahead of time. Not that it mattered very much, since most people couldn't spare the time and money to go much of anywhere anyhow. Life was just too harsh and laborious for such luxuries.

"It's all a matter of assumptions - apparently you believe everything will be same as it is now, just with different cars." Well, the "1800lb, 40hp vehicle" is, of course, precisely a "different kind of car", one probably not meeting current safety standards. So now I'm even more confused over whether you expect to go on having cars or not. I was really commenting on the impracticality of the bicycle-and-light-rail mode suggested in your post.

With a car, even an unsafe micro-car like a classic VW Beetle, it would clearly be far easier to take the kids to grandma's than on any conceivable light-rail and bicycle or horse-and-buggy arrangement. But, of course, if we can have the car after all, than the light rail - and its heavy operating expense - is redundant and can be set aside.

When I lived on a different section of the St. Charles Streetcar Line, I would astonish tourists and take my laundry on-board (I did not like the laundrymat within walking distance).

Two wheel folding carts can carry quite a bit. The larger ones can carry the ingredients for a Thanksgiving dinner for four IMO.

Of course, in the TOD I live in I have several grocery stores to chose from within walking distance. I prefer Zara's (2.5 blocks away) but Williams (4 blocks away), Magazine (3 blocks away), Robert's (closed after K, 6 blocks away) and WalMart (7 blocks away) are all alternatives for me. Walgreen's is 4.5 blocks away and is open 24 hours for emergency needs.

Best Hopes for TOD,


BTW, if you want to confirm via Walkscore, etc., I live on the 1300 block of St. Andrew, New Orleans 70130.

Even easier to lay down two parallel steel rails on wooden, recycled plastic or concrete ties, put up an electrical wire overhead (or a third insulated rail on the ground) and run a vehicle with steel wheels, an electrical motor and an electrical pickup over the rails.

Refueling is done directly from the electrical grid (when braking, power is feed back into the grid).

Best Hopes,


that'll never work, best to stay with ox carts like the Romans

Oh, just stop it! I was all excited about this last week and you promptly declared "gadget-bahn" on me with a link to some interesting looking Japanese built thingy.

So which is it? Electric power for rail being used for all sorts of vehicles, or not?


gadget bahn in English = I own no stock in the company = they don't sign my checks = not conductive to wanted social objectives

Take your pick


Some gadgetbahns do work. Disney is quite happy with monorails (Las Vegas far less so). I think that they have a narrow niche market in mass transportation on the USA.

The Japanese dual mode van I linked to would physically work fairly well (as do the self propelled bamboo platforms that run on Cambodian rails, comparables in Liberia & little used rail lines in the Philippines).

However, IMHO, as long as they are capable of answering the phone at the Federal Railroad Administration, the US will not allow those vans, carrying public passengers, on US railroads.

I chose not to make plans that require turning an intractable bureaucracy on it's head. There are MANY other battles to fight.#

I hope this better explains my position.

Best Hopes for Reality Based Planning,


# FRA does have an exemption for "temporal separation" for Light Rail operating on freight rail tracks. Light rail vehicles do well in head to head collisions with each other, but not with locomotives. After decades of lobbying, the FRA allowed light rail vehicles to operate on tracks where *NO* "FRA" locomotives are. After the last LRV has cleared, with a 60 to 90 minute period of nothing, then freight trains can use the same track.

Rail is simply held to a far higher safety standard than rubber tires (except school buses).

I wish there were more information available on the calculus behind this. You wish to avoid the FRA and that is wise in the current environment, but don't you think a sledgehammer peak oil blow might make things possible the day after it that are unthinkable now?

We are going to have to make use of what we have in place already - we can reset to 1940, or we can reset to 1490 in terms of lifestyle, and petty bureaucrats can only stand in the way in a steady state system.


Is it cheaper to have people invest in 'personal battery based transport' or cheaper for them to live near rail and use rail transport becomes the question.

There are lots of different situations, different people.. both solutions will have their place. I have little doubt that you'll be able to find both options out there.

Why do these arguments still seem to look to 'all or nothing' conclusions?

This concept has come and gone years ago.

It only penciled out well for mass-transit.

Some bus system tried it with huge slideout drawer centered between the front and back wheels.

Battery life, charge/discharge cycle life gradually declined and left bus stranded a few times and the whole thing fizzled.

Sorry no links. It was so long ago.

Another one was some kind of zinc/air cell. Zinc pellets dispensed in through a gas pump like set-up. Zinc oxide pumped out at the same time.

I think Ed Bagley was involved. Fizzled

I was looking for several years for a project to get involved (financial and Industrial design) with in storage as I believe it is critical.

Came very close several times. Not one of them is alive today.

As if we don't have enough catalysts for disaster, enter the "we can fix it" scientists:

World body warns over ocean 'fertilisation' to fix climate change

Environmental groups on Monday called on the Philippine government to stop an Australian company's plan to dump hundreds of tonnes of urea fertiliser into the Sulu Sea, site of the UNESCO World Heritage Tubbataha Reef Marine Park, as an experiment


Surely they are taking the piss...

Energy can be neither created nor destroyed without the involvement of nuclear reactions, and even then the mass/energy balance is conserved. There are clever ways to increase efficiency of certain processes but anything that appears to be getting something for nothing should be immediately dismissed as nonsense.

This one, it is nonsense - derivative energy - put a lot of electricity into it and get a little flame out. Why do you bring it up here? My eleven year old would have the sense to debunk this one ...

Sacredcowtipper -

Being that verbal illiteracy is becoming more widespread in the US, then should we be at all surprised that technical illiteracy is also on the same trajectory, but perhaps even more so?

Nowhere is this displayed more than with regard to the subject of hydrogen as a fuel. I am totally befuddled by how difficult it is to get the very simple point across that hydrogen on planet Earth is NOT an energy source, but rather merely an energy FORM, i.e., a means of energy storage. I have repeated this point ad nauseum on multiple forums, but the notion that there is a vastly abundant supply of hydrogen out there just waiting to be tapped still persists.

I don't know whether it is wishful thinking, willful denial, or just plain dumb-ass, but many people keep coming up with statements that we just have to tap into this hydrogen energy source and then everything will be OK.

As someone once said about something else: this isn't even wrong; it's beyond wrong.

"Nothing is as durable as a bad idea."
H.L. Mencken

Because the mind-numbing common-ness of H makes it look good as an option. Basic electrochemistry shows how the idea won't work out well, but the *IDEA* that a man, a cup of water, and a Mr. Fusion can provide you indepenance from the man is a powerful mime.

A few years ago I became very excited over aneutronic fusion. There were hopeful articles on proton/Boron fusion producing DC current directly and the lack of neutron emissions meant it wouldn't be particularly hard to shield.

Alas, here I sit, pecking away on a laptop powered with a mix of coal and wind generated electricity. The Wikipedia article seems to be well written, detailed, and it utterly debunks the idea that we'll master aneutronic processes when we can't even do plain ol' fusion yet.

I agree with your statement regarding the overall intellectual slide of the country. Generation X seems to be the last bastion of critical thinking and our childrens' time is wasted on another bit of Bush foolishness known as NCLB.

Awesome! Now we don't need to worry about rising sea levels, 'cause we can just burn it all!

I saw this yesterday and seriously laughed out loud....

Destroy the oceans good call! Algal bloom the oceean and kill all the dissolved oxyen content yay!

Decisions like this are why the Japanese laugh at American business. Americans are so short sighted, while the Japanese look years and even tens of years ahead. Toyota with the Prius is a prime example. When the Prius was first developed oil prices were far lower than now. But looking ahead it was not hard to foresee higher oil prices and the need for more economiical cars. Of course American car companies fumbled the ball completely and are now paying the price.

The same thing was true of ethanol. Those companies that toughed it out 20 years ago are now the ones making the bucks with the most efficient plants that are largely paid for. This company that cancelled its biodiesel plant is obviously a short term thinker in the great American tradition. As diesel prices go up and the price of biodiesel follows, they will have nothing to sell. Those who think longer term will have their plant up and running and will be able to capitalize on the higher prices. This has happened many times with ethanol. If you can't think longer term and see a way though the tough times, you should be a salary person because you will certainly fail in business.

You don't get it, do you?

Biodiesel supposedly will be profitable when the price of diesel goes up. But the price of soybeans (or palm oil, or whatever) seems to rise along with the price of fossil fuel--keeping profitability just out of reach.

Toyota has the capital to make long-term bets. The other auto companies do as well, but nobody expects much from GM, Ford, etc. However, biofuel refineries are much smaller endeavors. When you run out of money (or the investors run out of patience), that's it.

Wall St. Journal to Make Web Site Free

ADELAIDE, Australia, Nov. 13 (AP) — Rupert Murdoch, the chairman of the News Corporation, said today that he intended to make access to The Wall Street Journal’s Web site free, trading subscription fees for anticipated ad revenue.

You know, I was just wondering if they were doing that. The NYT did, a little while ago. I noticed the past couple of days that WSJ articles were free. Sometimes they do give freebies, but all the ones I was interested in were free, which was odd. So I wondered if they were following in the NYT's footsteps. Apparently so. Yay.

Venezuela Proposes OPEC Change Oil Pricing Method

"We've proposed that we change the method to measure oil prices," President Hugo Chavez said during a televised press conference. "The WTI (West Texas Intermediate oil price) doesn't reflect the reality of the market, because WTI is a very small proportion of overall oil production."

Members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries are set to meet this month in Saudi Arabia to discuss a number of issues, among them a proposal to replace the U.S. dollar with a basket of currencies to price crude production.


This quote by Al-Husseini

“There has been a paradigm shift in the energy world whereby oil producers are no longer inclined to rapidly exhaust their resource for the sake of accelerating the misuse of a precious and finite commodity.”

reminds me of a sign a co-worker used to have on his desk. Something along the lines of, "Lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part."

Same idea regardless of what kind of lipstick they try to put on it.

This compromise is certainly an outrage/outage!

Just called the offices for Reid and Pelosi.
Will talk to Obama, Durbin & Biggert tomorrow a.m.

history shows again and again how nature points out the folly of men

Anybody have a link to recent posts that I believe were composed by Leanan (but not sure) that dealt with basics to share with family and friends? or maybe powerpoint or slide shows from ASPO conference?

I want to share basics with family and friends who have no knowledge or exposure to peak oil and the future. Thanks.

I think that was Gail the Actuary who did those. You can click on her name on the sidebar, and there should be a link to all her articles.

Thank you.

The article Leanan posted about how much the US working class are paying for gas/diesel is interesting.

I bet there are plenty paying 20% of their income on fuel, easily.

$50 fills up our blue truck, if we had to do that weekly that'd be just about what we pay for food around here. Normally that's not done, although I've been driving it more and that uses up more gas :-(

Now I have my 250 Rebel all bought and licensed and insured, so I can buzz around on that. 60-70 MPG is not bad! $120 a year to insure it. (I had quotes of $99 but that did not include uninsured/underinsured motorist, that extra $20 a year provides a lot of peace of mind.)

I got around by bicycle/bus for the longest time, and was only using gas at all in my mid-20s. Then, it was moped or small motorcycle. I eventually graduated to larger bikes, 500, 550, 600 and one 800 cc, not in that order. but gas still didn't cost me much.

I was never concerned about it until I got a car. Then, there were times when I told a friend I couldn't come visit because of the cost of gas. Mostly, though, when I had a car I also had decent money coming in so I was not in the working-class car-support squeeze.

Now I'm busted back down to poor so no more car, back to a cheap bike. And a mountain bike for backup.

Most of us have this situation handled, but if we see a lot more anger on the roads, the working-class gas squeeze may be why.
Slow-crash doomer, Ran Prieur realist.

Well, AP can't decide if this is the end of the oil bubble, or a brief pause on the way to $100.

That article also contains their 52% accurate predictions for the inventory report (which is due Thursday, due to the holiday):

The report is expected to show that U.S. crude oil inventories fell by 300,000 barrels last week, according to the average estimate of analysts polled by Dow Jones. Gasoline inventories, on average, likely fell 100,000 barrels, while distillate stocks were expected to fall 300,000 barrels. Refinery use likely rose 0.7 percentage point to 86.9 percent of capacity.

Place yer bets now. Can you beat the 52% correct experts? ;-)

Lincoln says up, down, up, up.

From the Reuters article:

Saudi Aramco said concerns of oil supplies peaking were overdone and the world still had nearly a century's worth of oil reserves.

'I do not believe the world has to worry about peak oil for a very long time,' the text of Aramco's president and chief executive Abdallah Jumah's speech to the World Energy Congress in Rome said.

'We still have almost a century's worth of oil,' he said, adding that the world had over three trillion barrels of recoverable conventional and non-conventional liquid fuel resources assuming an 'extra-conservative' scenario.

To paraphrase Dr. Albert Bartlett (even assuming that the nonconventional liquid fuel could be produced at rates to support the demand growth):

"What time is it? Two minutes before 12 o'clock."

And at 2.2% per year growth 100 years of oil lasts 52.8 years.

I guess they don't teach first year calculus in the KSA.

Saudi Arabia to reduce diesel exports next year

Diesel exports are small but the trend of decreasing exports is interesting...

Saudi Aramco will cut gas oil (diesel) exports to 880,000 tonnes next year from 2.2 million tonnes in 2007, and will not renew any of its annual term deals, as domestic demand grows swiftly, industry sources said yesterday.

Aramco, which owns around 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) of refining capacity in the country, imported 250,000 tonnes of diesel from August to October, as plant maintenance coincided with peak summer demand.

The supply cut followed on the 2007 term contract which saw diesel shipments being reduced to two million tonnes from four million tonnes in 2006.