Peak Oil Update - August 2008: Production Forecasts and EIA Oil Production Numbers

An update on the latest production numbers from the EIA along with graphs/charts of different oil production forecasts. 

World oil production (EIA Monthly) and various
forecasts (2001-2027)
World oil production (EIA Monthly) for crude oil + NGL. The median forecast is calculated from 14 models that are predicting a peak before 2020 (Bakhtiari, Smith, Staniford, Loglets, Shock model, GBM, ASPO-[70,58,45], Robelius Low/High, HSM). 95% of the predictions  sees a production peak between 2008 and 2010 at 77.5 - 85.0 mbpd (The 95% forecast variability area in yellow is computed using a bootstrap technique). Click to Enlarge. 

  • mbpd= Million of barrels per day
  • Gb= Billion of barrels (109)
  • Tb= Trillion of barrels (1012)
  • NGPL= Natural Gas Plant Liquids
  • CO= Crude Oil + lease condensate
  • NGL= Natural Gas Liquids (lease condensate + NGPL)
  • URR= Ultimate Recoverable Resource

EIA Last Update (May)

Data sources for the production numbers:

  • Production data from BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2006 (Crude oil + NGL).
  • EIA data (monthly and annual productions up to May 2008) for crude oil and lease condensate (noted CO) on which I added the NGPL production (noted CO+NGL).

The all liquid peak is now May 2008 at  86.05 mbpd, the year to date average production value in 2008 (5 months) is up from 2007 for all the categories. The peak date  for Crude Oil + Cond. is also May 2008 at 74.48 mbpd (see Table I below).

World production (EIA data)
Fig 1.- World production (EIA data). Blue lines and pentagrams are indicating monthly maximum. Monthly data for CO from the EIA. Annual data for NGPL and Other Liquids from 1980 to 2001 have been upsampled to get monthly estimates. Click to Enlarge.

Category AUG 2008 AUG 2007 AUG 2006 12 MA1 2008 (5 Months) 2007 (5 Months) 2006 (5 Months) Share Peak Date Peak Value
All Liquids 86.05 84.11 84.18 85.03 85.49 84.07 84.30 100.00% 2008-05 86.05
Crude Oil + NGL 82.62 80.73 80.87 81.54 82.22 80.96 81.24 96.02% 2008-05 82.62
Other Liquids 3.42 3.37 3.30 3.49 3.27 3.12 3.06 3.98% 2007-06 3.81
NGPL 8.14 7.96 7.78 7.99 8.05 7.97 7.77 9.46% 2008-05 8.14
Crude Oil + Condensate 74.48 72.77 73.09 73.54 74.17 72.98 73.47 86.56% 2008-05 74.48
Canadian Tar Sands 1.10 1.09 1.02 1.19 1.16 1.15 1.06 1.28% 2007-08 1.35
Table I - Production estimate (in millions of barrels per day (mbpd)) up to May 2008 taken from the EIA website (International Petroleum Monthly). 1Average on the last 12 months. Canadian tar sands production numbers are from the NEB and includes updagraded and non-upgraded bitumen. 

Business as Usual

  • EIA's International Energy Outlook 2006, reference case (Table E4, World Oil Production by Region and Country, Reference Case).
  • IEA total liquid demand forecast for 2006 and 2007 (Table1.xls).
  • IEA World Energy Outlook 2006 : forecasts for All liquids, CO+NGL and Crude Oil (Table 3.2, p. 94).
  • IEA World Energy Outlook 2005 : forecast for All liquids (Table 3.5).
  • IEA World Energy Outlook 2004 : forecast for All liquids (Table 2.4).
  • A simple demographic model based on the observation that the oil produced per capita has been roughly constant for the last 26 years around 4.4496 barrels/capita/year (Crude Oil + NGL). The world population forecast employed is the UN 2004 Revision Population Database (medium variant).
  • CERA forecasts for conventional oil (Crude Oil + Condensate?) and all liquids, believed to be productive capacities (i.e. actual production + spare capacity). The numbers have been derived from Figure 1 in Dave's response to CERA.

Production forecasts assuming no visible peak
Fig 4.- Production forecasts assuming no visible peak. Click to Enlarge.

PeakOilers: Bottom-Up Analysis

  • Chris Skrebowski's megaprojects database (see discussion here).
  • The ASPO forecast from April newsletter (#76): I took the production numbers for 2000, 2005, 2010, 2015 and 2050 and then interpolated the data (spline) for the missing years. I added the previous forecast issued one year and two years ago (newsletter #58 and #46 respectively).
  • Rembrandt H. E. M. Koppelaar (Oil Supply Analysis 2006 - 2007): "Between 2006 and 2010 nearly 25 mbpd of new production is expected to come on-stream leading to a production (all liquids) level of 93-94 mbpd (91 mbpd for CO+NGL) in 2010 with the incorporation of a decline rate of 4% over present day production".
  • Koppelaar Oil Production Outlook 2005-2040 - Foundation Peak Oil Netherlands (November 2005 Edition).
  • The WOCAP model from Samsam Bakhtiari (2003). The forecast is for crude oil plus NGL.
  • Forecast by Michael Smith (was at the Energy Institute, now works for EnergyFiles) for CO+NGL, the data have been taken from this chart in this presentation (The Future for Global Oil Supply (1641Kb), November 2006.).
  • PhD thesis of Frederik Robelius (2007):  Giant Oil Fields - The Highway to Oil: Giant Oil Fields and their Importance for Future Oil Production. The forecasts (low and high) are derived from this chart.
  • Forecast by TOD's contributor Ace, details can be found in this post.

Forecasts by PeakOilers based on bottom-up
Fig 5.- Forecasts by PeakOilers based on bottom-up methodologies. Click to Enlarge.

PeakOilers: Curve Fitting

The following results are based on a linear or non-linear fit of a parametric curve (most often a Logistic curve) directly on the observed production profile:

Forecasts by PeakOilers using curve fitting
Fig 6.- Forecasts by PeakOilers using curve fitting methodologies. Click to Enlarge.

Forecast Date 2006 2007 2008 2010 2015 Diff2 Peak Date Peak Value
All Liquids
Observed (All Liquids) 84.54 84.44 85.49 NA NA 2008-05 86.05
IEA (WEO) 2004 83.74 85.41 87.08 90.40 98.69 -2.34 2030 121.30
IEA (WEO) 2005 85.85 87.64 89.35 92.50 99.11 -4.61 2030 115.40
Koppelaar 2005 85.78 86.61 87.60 89.21 87.98 -2.86 2011 89.58
Lahèrrere 2005 84.47 85.23 85.87 86.96 87.77 -1.12 2014 87.84
EIA (IEO) 2006 84.50 86.37 88.23 91.60 98.30 -3.48 2030 118.00
IEA (WEO) 2006 85.10 86.62 88.17 91.30 99.30 -3.42 2030 116.30
CERA1 2006 89.52 91.62 93.75 97.24 104.54 -9.01 2035 130.00
Lahèrrere 2006 84.82 85.96 87.02 88.93 92.27 -2.27 2018 92.99
Smith 2006 87.77 90.88 94.38 98.94 98.56 -9.63 2012-05 99.83
Crude Oil + NGL
Observed (EIA) 81.28 81.01 82.22 NA NA 2008-05 82.62
GBM 2003 76.27 76.33 76.20 75.30 67.79 5.16 2007-05 76.34
Bakhtiari 2003 80.89 80.89 80.24 77.64 69.51 1.12 2006 80.89
ASPO-46 2004 80.95 80.80 80.59 80.00 73.77 0.78 2005 81.00
ASPO-58 2005 82.03 83.10 84.05 85.00 79.18 -2.69 2010 85.00
Staniford (High) 2005 77.92 78.31 78.63 79.01 78.51 2.74 2011-10 79.08
Staniford (Med) 2005 75.94 75.97 75.91 75.52 73.00 5.45 2007-05 75.98
Staniford (Low) 2005 70.13 69.71 69.20 67.92 63.40 12.17 2002-07 70.88
IEA (WEO) 2006 81.38 82.67 83.96 86.50 92.50 -2.60 2030 104.90
Koppelaar 2006 82.31 83.68 85.60 91.00 NA -4.23 2010 91.00
Skrebowski 2006 81.45 82.62 84.20 87.35 NA -2.84 2010 87.95
Smith 2006 82.81 85.45 88.27 91.95 88.60 -6.90 2011-02 92.31
Loglets 2006 82.14 83.02 83.74 84.65 83.26 -2.38 2012-01 84.80
ASPO-76 2006 79.00 81.35 85.06 90.00 85.00 -3.70 2010 90.00
Robelius Low 2006 82.19 82.50 82.35 81.84 72.26 -0.98 2007 82.50
Robelius High 2006 84.19 86.67 89.27 93.40 92.40 -7.90 2012 94.54
Shock Model 2006 80.43 80.01 79.51 78.27 73.74 1.86 2003 81.17
EWG 2007 81.00 80.45 79.78 78.06 69.21 1.58 2005 81.41
Crude Oil + Lease Condensate
Observed (EIA) 73.48 73.05 74.17 NA NA 2008-05 74.48
ASPO-46 2004 72.56 72.25 71.89 71.00 63.55 1.49 2005 72.80
Deffeyes 2004 69.92 69.83 69.64 69.01 65.98 3.73 2005-12 69.94
ASPO-58 2005 73.80 74.65 75.39 76.00 69.50 -2.02 2010 76.00
IEA (WEO) 2006 71.78 72.77 73.76 75.70 80.30 -0.38 2030 89.10
CERA1 2006 76.89 78.60 80.35 82.29 83.83 -6.97 2038 97.58
ASPO-76 2006 72.10 73.66 75.74 78.00 72.00 -2.36 2010 78.00
HSM 2007 73.56 73.53 73.40 72.82 69.53 -0.02 2006 73.56
Ace 2007 73.48 73.03 72.18 66.96 58.47 1.20 2006-01 73.55
Table II. Summary of all the forecasts (figures are in mbpd) as well as the last EIA estimates.1Productive capacities. 2Difference between the observed average year to date production for 2008 and the predicted value (in mbpd), the value in bold indicates the best forecast (i.e. the oldest with the lowest error).

Previous Update:

December 2007

OilWatch last issue:

Oilwatch - August 2008

This is one of the most well put together reports I've seen yet. I really like the way you lay out the graphs and the data. I haven't gone through it with a fine toothed comb yet, but I wanted to commend your efforts.

Chris Martenson has done a great job of illustrating the value of various oil sources various oil sources. I highly recommend you watch his entire presentation.

Totally invalid apples and oranges comparisons again. Things that are different can not be compared, added, subtracted, multiplied or divided. If they are the result is silly nonsense.

Grain return on grain invested is a similar commodity related invalid concept. Also metal return on metal invested. Energy, grain and metal are groups of commodities which exist only in the abstract.

Corn can not be compared to soybeans. They are different. Each has a different price, use and characteristics. Iron can not be compared to gold for the same reasons. And wind can not be compared to oil or ethanol for the same reasons. They have different prices, unique characteristics and unique utilities.

Try buying grain, metal or energy. It can not be done. Only specific individual forms of energy, grain or metal can be traded in the real world. Energy in the abstract may be valid in a mathematical/physics sense but in exists only in its forms in the real world.

These forms are different. Energy out/energy in as invalid and useless as grain out/grain in or metal out/metal in.

Just because something can be measured and quantified does not mean that it can be compared validly. Logic rules numbers. When logic says the numbers are invalid, it makes no difference if they add up; they are wrong.

Why wasn't fossil fuel electricity included in these invalid comparisons?

Was it because it would make ethanol and hydrogen look good?

Things that are different can not be compared, added, subtracted, multiplied or divided.

Logically, comparison is always possible. But your point that some comparisons give more insight than others is well taken.

Also, I see some value in some of the comparisons you say make no sense.

Methanol, Biodiesel, Tar sands, oil shale, corn ethanol all produce similar products. Lump together in right proportions (Biodiesel and ethanol) and you got three groups (Biodiesel and ethanol), (Tar sands), (Oil shale) that produce similar products although the byproducts are very different.
A short while ago oil was used to produce electricity so oil where used instead of sun and wind.

This is a misguided critique of Chris Martenson's comparisons. The point CM was making was about how much energy a society has left over to spare on discretionary uses. It really doesnt matter so much whether that energy be apple-energy or pear-energy if there's almost none anyway. And CM rightly points out that the solar and wind that are nicely up top cannot be poured into your tank anyway. (Not sure he mentions the scaling up problem but then it's a crash course.)

>> and wind ... cannot be poured into your tank anyway<<

While solar and wind can not be poured into a gas tank, solar can be used to offset electricity demand through solar collectors for home heating and hot water. The resulting savings in electricity can be used to power an electric vehicle (EV). All this without increasing the need for more utility generators.

A typical sedan will go approximately 3 to 4 miles on a kilowatt hour of electricity. If 90% of us commute less than 30 miles, then we are talking about 10 KWhr which should be easy enough to save through home solar installations.

A while back, I roughly calculated that if the output from a PV array were fed directly into an EV, The payback at 15% efficiency was about 8 years. This is without any government subsidy. The trick is to be able to directly refuel your EV from solar.

After Gustav gets through with the Gulf infrastructure, and gasoline prices climb, EVs operating at 2 to 3 cents a mile will be looking good. The good news is that a number of conversion shops are starting to spring up and a number of new and old car companies have EV and Plug in Hybrid EVs (PHEV) on the way.

Conversion shops are started where someone asks their mechanic if they would convert a car or truck to all electric. Amp Mobile Conversions ( was started this way. In other cases a person picks up a copy of "Convert It" by Micheal Brown and Sheri Prange and does it themselves. When successful, the person is sometimes asked to do one for a neighbor.

Companies such as IBM and Cisco are putting in electrical outlets in their parking lots for free for employees who drive EVs. If you drive an EV, ask your employer if you can plug in or if they would install an electrical outlet for you.

Nanosolar is now concentrating on 2-10MW systems, which are low cost.
The installation of one of these systems, which many factories and offices have enough roof space for, would allow their workers cars to be recharged at considerably less cost than home systems - both because maintenance and operation are cheaper at this scale, and because the charging could take place during the day when the car is at work.

In hot areas it has even been found that people are prepared to pay enough for shaded parking that it can pay for a solar covering to the car park!

Nissan, Renault, Mitsubishi and lately Toyota have announced plans for mass production of EV's.
The first ones are due in 2009.

Luxury Electric claim that their car can be charged in 10minutes for a 140mile run from a normal power outlet,although how the heck they put that much power through a normal outlet is not clear.
Luxury Electric to drive a long-range electric car across the U.S.A. » Transport 2.0

You can't logically ignore the capital costs of solar and wind. Both are around $3/watt and work only 20% of time so you need $15/watt. You lose atleast 20% energy during the most efficient storage (batteries) so the cost is $18.75/watt. Then add the maintenance cost which would be atleast 12.5% of the capital cost, so the total cost is %21/watt. Then add the cost of the battery which would be atleast 12.5% of the cost above. This takes the total cost to about $24/watt.

This system work for 30 years before total replacement and produce:

30 years x 365 days/year x 86400 second/day = 947 MJ energy

Each one dollar in gdp consumes 10 MJ energy (divide world/country/province gdp by world/country/province energy consumption) so each watt capacity above contributes $94.7 over a period of 30 years.

This is a ROI of less than 400% in 30 years or a linear 13.16%/year or an exponential 5%/year. Thats ROI in overall GDP of country. Given that each barrel of oil contributes about $600 in gdp and maximum per barrel oil price in history is $150 which is 25% of its contribution in gdp we can assume that the owner of solar cells or wind mill will only get at maximum 3.25% linear ROI per year.

I got one reply wiped as the site went down, but briefly, there is plenty of power available at least in the States to run EV's or hybrid's without extending the grid or solar, according to a recent study 84% of cars could be hybrid before the grid would need improving.

On the specifics of solar as suggested, thin film from First Solar costed around $1.29 watt in 2007 - figures are not available for Nanosolar.

PV maintenance costs are also low - and the configuration suggested is optimised for this.

The power also would not need transmitting or stepping down, as it is produced exactly where it is needed, saving cost, and although intermittency means it is only available 20% of the time, that is exactly when it is wanted.
The batteries are also paid for in the price of the car, or by a battery hire system which works out a lot cheaper than petrol.

Your calculations also take no account of the far greater efficiency of running an electric car rather than an ICC car, so you need a fraction of the power - only around 1kwh for 3-4 miles.

Finally, you appear to take no account of the inefficiencies of power generation with fossil fuels, which is 40% if you are lucky, and so counteracts around half of your losses for the 20% efficiency of solar due to intermittency.

While solar and wind can not be poured into a gas tank, solar can be used to offset electricity demand through solar collectors for home heating and hot water. The resulting savings in electricity can be used to power an electric vehicle (EV). All this without increasing the need for more utility generators.

But all that lot falls very short of an answer to that opening phrase. There's a huge investment in things with gasoline/diesel etc tanks, not just millions of cars but also other rather pricey vehicles and machines. And then there's the supply infrastructure to be added. All that lot amounts to a daunting investment even for a thriving economy let alone one which is in substantial recession. Most of those empty tanks are not going to find electric replacements, my bet. And hence as I stated, C Martenson's point is valid.

I would not see at smooth transition to an all-electric fleer of vehicles in a use pattern similar to todays' either.
But the good news is that this is because we have made a mess of the financial environment, and fatally delayed transiting from fossil fuels.

This means that most will probably be using electric bikes and scooters rather than being able to afford a car, but delivery vehicles, emergency vehicles and taxis should be perfectly capable of being run.

This is a much brighter future than one where that is not the case, and has the additional advantage that the power requirements of this use are even lower than for EV cars, so the grid will need less power and we have more time to build alternative generating capacity.

Is it just me, or are things seeming a little more urgent lately?

In hot areas it has even been found that people are prepared to pay enough for shaded parking that it can pay for a solar covering to the car park!

A great example of how limited our predictions for the future can be. Perhaps it has been mentioned before on TOD but I, like many others I'm betting, had typically thought of EVs being recharged at home because the recharging cycle could be scheduled for off peak generation. Recharging during working hours has its problems in stressing the electric grid and peak generation capacity.

Solar generated electric has a long way to go with regards to cost per watt. (I think that is the measure:) Home solar is still a niche market and more of a good faith effort to move solar forward than to save money. By taking advantage of the commercial scale of solar installation and integrating it into the company's workplace as either a cost free benefit (perhaps the IRS would be willing to not tax the value of that benefit:) or a low cost benefit that helps to subsidize the installation costs is a win win situation. Not to mention a huge shot in the arm for the solar industry.

Let's take it one step further and consider the problem of compressed natural gas replacing a significant portion of gasoline usage. That problem being distribution of refueling facilities. Let's put in natural gas fueling facilities on company parking lots. Again, you have the advantage of scale (if the number of work vehicles is large enough). It will be a balancing act between the number of pumps vs the number of vehicles and how many need to fuel up each day. Still, think of the huge number of gas stations throughout the country that don't have the customer volume to add natural gas. Medium to large companies can help considerably in achieving the critical mass of fueling stations for natural gas to take off.

The thought of using canopies as a dual system to reduce heat buildup in cars and as a platform for solar panels solves the not insignificant problem of protecting the users of a charging station from being electrocuted during a rain storm. You also solve the square footage limitation on company building rooftops to install solar panels on.

I don't want to imply this is a done deal. I'm saying there are a significant number of ways to think a bit outside the box and some will be home runs. Leaving many of us to slap our heads and say "why didn't I think of that!"

Hmm, parking garages?

In London they have been trialling a system with public points for recharging, and there have been no reports of fried drivers that I have heard of!
Correct design appears to be able to deal with that one.

As for the cost of solar power, if you are recharging cars at work you have the not-inconsiderable advantage of having the power right where you want if, right when you want it.

In Berlin the system they are putting in there will be able to accept current back from the cars, so that sophisticated charging/discharging systems can use some of the vast storage capacity that would be available to balance out very short term fluctuations in the grid.

A lot of he synergies seem to be very hopeful.

Why wasn't fossil fuel electricity included in these invalid comparisons?

Was it because it would make ethanol and hydrogen look good?

Fossil fueled anything isn't sustainable, and that most definitely includes ethanol ... and ethanol produced using ethanol as an energy input is totally impractical ... and on Earth hydrogen is not a fuel but a battery, so it will never look good as a fuel.

Do you even understand where the word Fossil comes from?

Hint, it doesn't come from any step in Ethanol production.

Not advocating nothing here, just making sure idiocies don't spread out too much.

Hint, it doesn't come from any step in Ethanol production.

Err ... Mr 'Troll' .... just to make sure idiocies don't spread out too much ... I think you will find that the agricultural equipment, road transport, agrichemicals, fertilizer, natural gas etc used in the manufacture of ethanol from corn are ALL fossil fueled and manufactured and mined using fossil fuels, and ethanol from oil refineries definitely comes from fossil fuel!

Do you understand how crops are grown, ethanol is made or liquid fuels containing 'net energy' are obtained ... from your comments, I think not?

Oh ... and if you think that 'net exports' of crude + concentrate (the stuff that fuels most of the world's transport and the stuff that 'Peak oil' is about, not 'all liquids') haven't peaked you are TOTALLY wrong.

think you will find that the agricultural equipment, road transport, agrichemicals, fertilizer, natural gas etc used in the manufacture of ethanol from corn are ALL fossil fueled and manufactured and mined using fossil fuels, and ethanol from oil refineries definitely comes from fossil fuel!"

That's not completely true. A fair bit of mining machinery(draglines, pumps, crushers, conveyors, slurry pipelines...) used in mineral fertilizer production, rail roads(not so much in the US), grain elevators etc. commonly use electrical power. Much of grid power is derived from fission and hydro; that which is derived from coal can quite easily be replaced with fission without any technological breakthroughs or inventions(ask France or Sweden).

I think you will find that the mining machinery, pumps, crushers, conveyors, slurry pipes, hydro dams, nuclear reactors, rail roads, grain elevators and even windmills all use FF somewhere in their manufacture, or the workers do in their vehicles, even if the electricity comes from nuclear (which, in most countries, it doesn't).

At present fossil fuel is ubiquitous and I think you will find, if you ask the French, that during construction and decommissioning of nuclear power stations a lot of fossil fuel is used.

I think you'll find that nearly all energy sources use nearly all other energy sources somewhere in their production. The amounts involved in the case of nuclear and hydro are trivial; see for instance vattenfall's EPD data for their nuclear plants.

Hydro is indeed quite low. But not nuclear. Denholm has investigated the literature and found various flaws in lifecycle analysis. These were corrected and nuclear was found to require between 0.1 and 0.3 kWh thermal for every kWh electrical output. That is definately not trivial. But doable.

Eh, life is not sustainable for inevitably you die.
Sustainability is a red herring.
You use what you got.
When it runs out you find something else.

If you want to build intricate, delicate societies predicated on sustainable supply of anything, you got heap big problems in your basic model.

You are all looking for the perfect world where nothing challenges your comfort and desires.

"You are all looking for the perfect world where nothing challenges your comfort and desires".

Not me. A simpler world would suffice... Do we really need ALL those gadgets, the ability to fly anywhere anytime, fast food, huge investment portfolio... ?

Nah. Good friends, loving family, food on the plate. That'll do.

Regards, Matt B

All the EROEI hysteria is non-sensical, so your comment isn't even a red herring. With a red herring, people notice there is a problem. Not so here on TOD, where Olduvai and "Relocalization" is the dogmatic truth, and EROEI, Jevon's Paradox, Demand Destruction "attrition" (or whatever), and other things like that are mantras that are part of the ritual of gathering in here and spewing pessimistic excel scenarios while uttering frantically the expressions "oh, OMFSM, we are so fukd'up! We're so gonna die!"

Appeals to emotion, excluded middles, dead wrong economical analyses, etc., etc.

And a vote system to easily herd the sheep to automatically "censor" questioning comments without actual censoring.

Spewing pessimistic excel scenarios? lol.

And yet you feel the need to attack what's going on here on this forum? Hey, at least we can type and (presumably) find the United States on a globe. It gets much worse...

Curiously, I think most of the posters here are far too optimistic...

I see a massive systematic extermination being carried out on a global scale against the entire species. Everyone's bodies are infected with a hundred different industrial chemicals, swarming with genetically modified bacteria, and being bombarded by ungodly amounts of electromagnetic radiation. But of course it's all just a random set of coincidences and unintended consequences. There's no malice in this! Like I said, I think most of the posters here are far too optimistic...

There's a word for you: paranoia times infinity.

I know you are, but what am I? (a schoolyard taunt or a Shakespearean Zen koan?)

Dear Luisdias,

If you would like to express an opinion that's listened to, try not to start it with insults. Not only is it impolite, it tends to put off the folks who would normally be interested in what you have to say. That’s because when you start with insults, folks will tend to write you off as a person who just yells but doesn't have anything concrete to contribute. I find quite a wide range of opinions expressed here and calling them names just won't fly with folks who are using mathematical models as the basis of their work. If you can point out a flaw, then do so.

And just to restate it here in simple terms, there are three basic issues that this Blog seems to concentrate on (Mind you, I'm just a reader):

1) When will world oil production peak?
2) How steep will the roll of be? (The minimum forecast is 2 % to 4% per year)
3) What will we do when it happens? Or stated another way,
Will natural market forces handle the situation or do we need to act together?

That’s it. And as a result they are called Pessimists, Malthusians, Crisaholics, Doomtards and quite a variety of other names I won’t bother to repeat. And for some reason, these three questions create enormous emotional reactions folks like you who (I’m guessing) feel that the market will always handle any situation. And that’s despite the fact that there are many historical examples where it did not: The Great Chicago Fire, The 1917 Flue Pandemic, Wall Street Crash & the Great Depression, WW1, Pearl Harbor & WW2, Korea. The Cold war, AIDS, False SEC filing & Enron’s collapse, 9/11, Katrina and other natural disasters, etc.

As far as EROEI, historical data shows that in until the last few decades, oil companies only had to spend 100:1 to 30:1 of the oil they got out of the ground to produce more, all processing and infrastructure included. Unfortunately, industry wide, EROEI is now heading for 4:1 or 25% of the total (Heavy sour crude, Oil shale, tar sands, outer continental shelf oil, etc.) and production costs have skyrocketed from $1 to $15/bbl to as much as $90/bbl or more & oil's price has risen over $100/bbl 20 years before the optomistic organizations said it would (EIA, IEA, CERA, etc.) That’s an enormous change and, according to folks like you (I'm guessing again), peak oil is still decades away.

How will this affect our industrial society, which is used to only spending 1% to 3% on production and $15 to $30/bbl? You can rail that its nothing to worry about, but if you were a business manager and your production cost increased by a factor of 7 while output fell by 22%, your boss would absolutely expect you to run the numbers to see what both the short and long term effects were.

That’s all the folks here are doing. If you can prove them wrong, they would be thrilled. So try an analytical approach rather than personal attacks, and you will find many willing listeners.

NOTE: CERA and IEA, EIA and other optimistic organizations have stated that the minimum roll off in world oil production will be around 2%. For each 1% roll off, the U.S. energy lost is equivalent to building 16 1GW nuclear power plants each year (7.6 Gbbl x 1% = 76 million bbls/year. 1 GW NPP = 4.5 MMbbl/year). This would consume all of the NPP’s that Senator McCain has proposed to build over 20 yeas in just three, and require 3x as much money annually as Senator Obama has proposed, hence the condern.

I was attacking the blog and making a claim that this is hysterical nonsense. It's nothing personal whatsoever. My problem with this is that there is allegedly millions of readers of this site, and it gets me off by knowing that crazy doomster rationales are being promoted to scare people to death. It's been a while since I've seen this site behaving level-handed and "rationally". Economists are called shills and blow-jobbers, but then the editors feel the need to fill the gap in the economic analysis, resulting not in extensive and comprehensive studies (professionals), but with school yard junk science theories about demand destruction (which wouldn't pass on the very first year) and the likes.

I am no economist, but it is easy even for me to attest that the authors know nothing more of economics than lay people do. And yet, they don't refrain from calling the collapse of the economy! Are you kidding me?

If you can point out a flaw, then do so.

I wouldn't have the time to do anything more. And so you know, I've been probably a much, much longer reader and poster than you are (I don't really care, so I won't check it) and I do know the "issues" quite well. I fully disagree with your "minimum forecast of 2% to 4% per year", it goes against all the main peak oil theory, which predicts an almost bell-shaped production curve of petroleum, but it is one of those maintained mantras in this blog, without any backup whatsoever of evidence. And anytime they predict stuff, things happen exactly the contrary. So why do people still take seriously this kind of rethorics?

And as a result they are called Pessimists, Malthusians, Crisaholics, Doomtards and quite a variety of other names I won’t bother to repeat.

Those guys are people who object that there are pretty available solutions right now to the issues at hand, and that by a mix of government leadership and market entrepreneurship, things are doable. By a doomtard, I take people that only look at the bad things of the universe, while ignoring the good news, and still think they are the best positioned to make a good analysis. I love how TOD makes its monthly oil report with the worst message graph they can find in the report. If it is the production which is telling the bad news, go ahead and put it in the first page. If it is the oil stock, then be it so. This is subliminal, and is permanent. Doomsters are people that tell you that in no way oil will top 2005 production, and when you present 2008 numbers, they tell you, "but that was the market, not geology, and that was so low, there's no way we're gonna make it". It's stupid.

...feel that the market will always handle any situation.

It won't of course, that's the excluded middle fallacy of I was referring. Because I'm attacking an hysterical position, people take me as if I am with another hysterical contrarian position. I'm arguing against hysterisms.

How will this affect our industrial society, which is used to only spending 1% to 3% on production and $15 to $30/bbl? You can rail that its nothing to worry about, but if you were a business manager and your production cost increased by a factor of 7 while output fell by 22%, your boss would absolutely expect you to run the numbers to see what both the short and long term effects were.

You are wrong. In general, there will be some moderate problems, but not much to worry about, and I'll prove it with maths. It will be devastating for all the business managers of Exxon, Chevron et al, but that's life. There's nothing in life which is permanent, and it won't mean the end of the world by a lightyear.

The math analysis is simple. In EROEI, and equating efficiency to mpg (I'm simplifying the issue to better understanding), we had E=100 when we had mpg = 25. If we want to keep society running with E=4, all other things being equal, we would need mpg = 37. And you are telling me that not only this is unfeasible, that it will destroy the economy. This is crackpot science, doomtard thinking. You can get out of it, if you start thinking by yourself.


I don't care about those. As far as I am concerned, they are as horribly hysterical, as Simmons is. A clear example on how extremes touch themselves.

Hmmm ... I've tried thinking for myself, but I can't answer these questions perhaps you can explain (or anybody else, please), especially bearing in mind that all other things will NOT be equal, ie. the number of barrels being produced for net export is already declining?

EROEI is not instead of peak oil, it is AS WELL AS peak oil, each declining barrel will contain less energy ... a double whammy.

How are you going to make all the world's hundreds of millions of cars that currently do 25 mpg do 37 mpg or much more, increasing year on year?

... and why chose E=4? ... when will/did E=4, and when it did/does =4 how much affordable oil will there be to import - your math only answers a part of the question?

.... how many mpg do you need when E=1?

... when will E=1?

... how many mpg will you need when net exports =0 ?

... how many mpg will you need when net exports=0 and E=1, and when will that happen?

It is wrong to pull rank; just because you have been at TOD longer than someone else does not make your argument stronger. Also, if hysterical people on this forum upset you so much, you could just leave...

>> I am no economist, but it is easy even for me to attest that the authors know nothing more of economics than lay people do. And yet, they don't refrain from calling the collapse of the economy! Are you kidding me?

Weren't economists saying $100/barrel oil would kill the economy? How does the global economy look to you lately? If oil/energy became more expensive than it is now, what would happen?

Even if we estimate $5 billion per gigawatt the 16 GW per year would only cost $80 billion per year to build - or half the cost of the Iraq war. In other words, we could afford to build massive numbers of nukes.

Suppose we lose 6% of available oil per year. That would work out to $480 billion worth of nukes built per year. We could still afford that as well. The US economy is north of $13 trillion per year. So a half trillion is affordable.

Our bigger problem would be the equipment and training needed to scale up such a rapid rate of nuclear power plant construction. But we have other ways to meet a 6% decline in oil production such as build wind farms, build up lots of PV, build small hybrid cars, move closer to work, insulate houses, etc.

Money is not the problem. Manufacturing capacity is the problem. But that's a solvable problem. We can buy time to solve that problem by adopting other measures to use energy more efficiently and to get energy from other sources to soften the blow of declining oil production.

FuturePundit, you are correct in citing the problem of re-tooling our workforce. Since I joined this forum, I have furthered my fledgling career, and learned quite a bit about the power industry from the inside out. Pertaining to the current (well, future) situation my thoughts are as follows:

We DO have a liquids problem comming down the pipe. I live in a small apartment. My apartment uses roughly 1 MWhr per month during the peak summer months. The car I drive uses roughly 3 MWhr per month, reguardless of the season. If liquids run out, or become too scarce to rely on, transportation will switch to electricity. (All of you reading who are ready to jump on me about hybrids and just increasing effeciency, calm down; I'm talking LONG term, like 20 years here). So lets be nice, and assume I purchase a new vehicle, and due to various circumstances it is 3 TIMES more effecient (getting somewhere around 70mpg) than my current car. The grid still has to double. This is a problem, good thing there are electrical engineers!

Doubling the grid presents manifold challenges. The current swing seems to be toward DER and microgrids, though the IEEE has only finalized 2 of the 6 standards they are drafting on those... I would suggest TOD readers brush up on great technologies like micro-turbines, the logistics of DER, absorption chillers, and perhaps supercapacitors.

The problem still comes down to the logistics for generation. Even if one assumes NIMBY issues go away and people allow construction of transmission lines (which we desperately need, see New York Blackout, 2003), we still need to generate power to transmit.

In California they have been planning a certain wind project for 10 years. It is supposed to be the largest wind farm in the United States, with 300 MW of installed capacity. Anybody in the wind game knows that translates to about 100 MW of continuous capacity. Cool. Except, it has already taken 10 years and final plans have not even been issued. It also will cost over 1 Billion dollars. Let me summarize; 100 MW of generation capacity, for 1 Billion dollars, with 10 years of design, and quite likely another 10 years of construction. The United States has a generation capacity around 1 TW.

Quite honestly I don't think peak oil will result in the destruction of the United States economy. I think it will result in the creation of another Gates, Rockerfeller, or Carnagie.

Giddaye Luis,

I'm one of the few Joes-in-the-street that stumbled across all this around a year ago (curse that film, "A Crude Awakening"!!). Quite simply, the notion that fossil fuels are a finite resource had never occurred to me until then. And as I've discovered, very few in my immediate circle of family, friends and colleagues had thought about it either.

So I've been asking basic questions here - I'm a little lazy on the reading front - all the while crossing my fingers and grumbling that the Big Boys (and Girls) have plenty of time to sort things out. The replies were for the most part polite - dare I say, patient! - but always helpful.

The thing that clinched it for me was the exponential growth thing (thanks Rethin and Sea Dragon), the possible doubling of energy consumption over so many years, which I'm sure you're aware of. That China, India and the like must at some point stop growing!

However, my personal frustration remains... "Sustainable Growth" seems like such an oxymoron; when will MSM realise this? Will I ever be able to talk about it with the immediate circle?

Regards, Matt B
Concerned Dad of three great kids - 9, 11 and 13 - who are shown none of this sort of stuff in school. Indeed, the wife teaches years 9 to 11 math/science; again, what's available to eventually replace the 85mbpd current consumption in the future is NEVER discussed. BAU forever, hey?

Good night, Matt.

I am a father as well, and I am as you are, concerned about the future. There are millions of problems and issues at hand right now that are creeping in, as you probably know. Global Warming can be a serious issue, famine, poverty, globalization can create a fascist tendency, etc., etc. And of course, peak oil is an issue.

What I can't stand is this fake scientology of theories all piled which in turn create ideologies that are no where near the reality of things. The exponential growth paradox is one of such myths, for these people first state that growth is what mankind automatically does (and our economy, etc.), and stagnation is against our nature. Then, they hype the numbers and tell you that not only stagnation is inevitable, but that it is creepily near us. Add those two and boom! We have total collapse of civilization. QED.

Well, not so fast. Neither of those two premises are that easy to prove, and they are, in my view, terribly wrong.

There is also a simplistic notion that all the goodies of mankind are due to energy, that somehow, e=$, and because we are due to a correction on e, then we will collapse because we can't do with less of $. It's bollocks.

It goes on and on.

Hey again Luis,

I'm actually all in favour of people making do with less (apart from a fairly decent home cinema, I myself am very much the minimalist). Indeed, I quite fancy the thought of solar-powered golf carts and putt-putting around. And for most of the past year, I'd have more or less sided with you.

However, now that I have my head around the notion that crude oil is finite and realising that the vast majority of Joes and Janes like me haven't a clue; that global consumption is growing; that crude is getting harder and harder to find/extract/refine; that there's no alternative on the horizon that delivers anywhere near the energy return; and that, most importantly, MSM isn't discussing these issues, I must conclude that at some point, pressing on with current practices must come under serious question.

As such, change of some sort must be inevitable. Certainly I agree with you that total collapse seems quite extreme. Rather a slow fade (to a better, friendlier, more balanced world? Hey, I can remain a little optimistic!) seems far more realistic - Mad Max will remain a movie.

Whether the fade has started, is still a decade or two down the track, beats me. But certainly there's not the energy for BAU indefinately.

What still worries me today is that MSM, with seemingly plenty of indicators, very rarely discusses PO, growth and other such matters. And as a result, little is being done to prepare for a future without abundant and affordable energy. Like GW, shouldn't Joe Public at least be made aware that a serious problem "may" be just around the corner?

Regards, Matt

All energy production requires some input energy. Once you obtain EROEI for each energy source, then they can all be compared. It's an "apples to apples" comparison.

If there are some externalities, costs not incorporated into the calculation, then point that out.

How can we get this presentation onto the Senior High School curriculum?


I am skeptical of the high EROEIs claimed for wind and solar. If their EROEIs were really that high I would expect them to cost a lot less. Wind has substantial needs for steel and concrete to make foundations and towers. Plus, wind requires a lot more long distance electric power lines to take the power from where the wind is to where the people are.

Solar looks set to go way down in EROEI due to advances by companies such as First Solar and perhaps Nanosolar. But PV still costs too much for such a favorable EROEI today - at least for most PV makers.

I agree. I seem to recall a graph from a scandinavian institute that stated that the best return on investment was insulation. Solar and wind were way down the line.

Wind's EROEI is high for one simple reason: energy is not expended to bring the air through the turbine blades. That missing energy input really adds up over a 25- to 30-year period.

The same is true for solar electricity and solar hot water. The sunshine gets to the panel under its own power, as it were.

Another attractive aspect of a commercial wind turbine is the amount of energy it yields per land area dedicated to power production. Though flowing air is a very diffuse energy source, a wind turbine's power production zone (the swept area) is gigantic relative to its surface land requirements (turbine base, transformer, access roads). This explains why wind energy is the only renewable energy resource that can scale up to utility systems.


Great source of information here, page bookmarked. :-) Thanks.

On a sidenote: my projections seem to fare well for the time being. Slightly optimiscit but not by much. For 2008 I projected:

C&C: 74.67 mbpd
C&C + NGPL: 83.25 mbpd
All Liquids: 86.59 mbpd

I think I'll be pretty close by the end of the year, as recent numbers show some increase over the first 5 months of 2008.

For the record, my predictions for 2015 are:

C&C: 60.0 mbpd
C&C + NGPL: 68.6 mbpd
All Liquids: 72.7 mbpd

I'm not going to post my graphs again. :-) Thank you one more time.

When are you going to post your price forecast?
I think your forecast for this year is an average price of $120/barrel.
Am I right?

Yes, I had USD 120 for 2008 and USD 180 for 2009. The model is under review at the moment, I have a few problems with my elasticity assumptions. (Price elasticity of demand being a variable, not a constant.)

As soon as I get some decent results I'll post them.

I went to look at your graphs on the "Wikipedia Megaproject Update (August 2008)" by Khebab. The Graphs are now broken links.

Could you fix that?

Cheers, Dom

Unfotunately, those links I cannot fix now. What I can and will do is an upgrade and a post with all the important graphs and equations, along with my price projections.

In a few days I think.

Thanks. I think we are all looking forward to it. I hope Leanan gives you permission to do a guest post.

I'd like to see some math whiz present a NET ENERGY comparison between the peak's two slopes. The net energy on the downside might be MUCH lower. But how much lower?

One could take this to mean that instead of "half the oil is still left", only a third of the oil is still left, practically speaking.

You mean the upslope versus the downslope?

I mean that as we go over the peak, it'll take more and more energy to extract the remaining oil, so that in a practical sense, we don't really have that second trillion barrels.

This might be quantified, even if only speculatively. Propose some average return on energy and apply a little basic calculus (which I myself no longer remember. )

Oh, so you are referring to EROEI, which is actually a response to BillJames comment above.

That is fairly standard math, no calculus needed

So the last term becomes a factor that you can lop off the right-side of the curve with. That is if E stays relatively constant and if renewables don't figure heavily into the mix. Therefore if E=2.0, then you only get 1/2 of the production you would expect from looking at the left-side of the curve, which may have had an E of 10 perhaps.

Calculus would likely come into play if you wanted to ramp E down slowly as we get farther into the future. This is not too hard to do, but we would need a good model for how E varies over time.

Thanks, WebHubbleTelescope.

From those numbers, it looks to me as though we can't count having much gasoline and deisel left for our motor vehicles. We'll use a whole lot of it just extracting the remaining oil. The second trillion barrels won't feel at all like the first.

The shape of the curve depends on the price.

In order for demand to to fall the oil must be more expensive as a % of income than today - real world data? ... this is what we see, prices up >1000% in just 9 years!

In order to meet the CERA projection of demand growth of ~22% to ~104 mbpd by 2015, the cost of a barrel of oil as a % of income will have to be much less than today - hence people like CERA say the price is going to fall, in order to meet that volume the real price MUST fall.

Since Income = net earnings + new debt , and since both earnings and new debt are declining in real terms CERA is proposing massive oil price deflation - good news, party on, we are saved, a US $ is going to buy much more house and much more energy in the future. Real world data? ... massively opposite of what CERA thinks.

Who do you want to believe, CERA or your lieing eyes?

Don't forget - and this is a scary thought - ALL the predictions should be low, compared to the actual. The price of oil has sky-rocketed recently, so there's been huge incentives for oil producers to produce at the maximum possible rate for the last year. This increase in production (solely from market forces, not geology) pushes the production curve higher for the length of the favourable market conditions. And, just how much extra oil did this massive incentive to over-produce get us? 1% perhaps... Scary...

I agree.
If doubling the price of crude oil produces such a feeble supply response, there there must indeed be a serious problem somewhere.

What further price increase would be required to generate the optimistic future production scenarios?

It is possible that what is happening is that the time delay to get new product on line is longer than the response time expected. We read repeatedly about the lack of pipe, the lack of drill rigs, the lack of experienced engineers, etc. Also it is probably true that the oil companies were fearful of investing, expecting a market correction (recession?) as the banking/real estate bubble has imploded.

We are now seeing new peaks being reached while the North Sea and Cantarell are collapsing. That certainly means that the increase in drilling that we have been watching is starting to pay off.

I suspect that in the next few months we will see if cornucopian market worshippers will be right one more time. I doubt it for the long run but it may happen...A lot of people are betting on it or oil prices would be $500 today. Wouldn't they?

This increase in production (solely from market forces, not geology) pushes the production curve higher for the length of the favourable market conditions. And, just how much extra oil did this massive incentive to over-produce get us? 1% perhaps... Scary...

Your entire line of reasoning is invalid. Market forces pushing production curves higher? Oh my, what a surprise! I thought it should be the geology forcing companies to produce more!

And about that 1% "scary" increase... it happened in a time frame where according to most of TOD's predictions we should see a 1% "The shit is hitting the fan" drop. Well, but according to you, the fact that market forces did the opposite isn't a red herring to these crackpot predictions, but a red herring to the market forces themselves!

Oh boy, is this place going down in flames.

Then leave. Its that simple.

Naa, I like bashing stupid ideas too much.

Your "bashing" reads more like comedy to me. And bashing is an ad hominum tactic that is ineffective and thus a waste of everyone's time. Eventually, your "tactic" will get you banned from commenting. Is that what you desire?


I have read through your posts today and I am unsure if I understand your position. Minus the hyperbole, you seem to be saying that Peak Oil either is not going to happen, or that it will be a "non-event" easily mitigated by existing technology. Could you clarify your position for me?

I am not interested in what you disbelieve, but what you believe.


Great thought. Let's see what production increases will be like in one or two years if these prices stay in the range they are in now. If this price doesn't do it nothing will.

Excellent summary, Khebab!

Total liquids supply remains on a peak plateau. Price is expected to show continued volatility over the next year before resuming its long term uptrend in late 2009.

Supply, Demand and Price to 2012 - click to enlarge

The largest part of total liquids is crude and condensate which also remains on a peak plateau. As it is almost September, the red line in the chart below now represents September, rather than August.

Crude and Condensate to 2012 - click to enlarge

Crude and condensate production is forecast to come off its peak production plateau at the end of 2008. For comparison, the green line represents the decline if Colin Campbell's remaining reserves figures are used. Colin Campbell has revised his world total liquids forecast to peak in 2008 at 85.3 mbd, including processing gains but excluding biofuels, which agrees with the chart below.

Crude and Condensate to 2100 - click to enlarge

Awareness of peak oil continues to grow and energy security will soon become a more important issue than climate change.

UK minister says energy comes before climate: report, August 28, 2008

The battle against climate change must not take precedence over the need to guarantee energy security, British industry minister John Hutton was quoted on Thursday as saying in an apparent policy change.
"But we've also go to be absolutely clear that our energy policy has got to be figured first and foremost with a view to supplying Britain with affordable and secure energy it needs for the future."

Ace, thanks for the updated graphs.

One nitpick: on your Crude and Condensate to 2012 graph that the projected demand curve continues to increase over time with increasing distance from the supply curve doesn't seem supportable.

My sense is that the demand curve will follow the supply curve down with perhaps a just a bit of distance between the two. We're already seeing a worldwide economic slowdown (in part due to oil and notwithstanding the recent U.S. data).

Have you given thought to changing the projected demand in that way?

(Of course this is notional demand since in reality they must equal each other.)

The discussion in the following thread should answer your question.

"How can supply and demand diverge?"

It did, thanks.


thanks for the weblink. But I think the future demand development, whose steady growth was taken for a long time, needs much more research. I might for example imagine that the potential oil price of 250 USD per barrel will be traded with a considerable decrease in consumption. Just like what is happening now with US transportation. Until now economists used fairly constant rates of price elasticity and only distinguished between short and long term values. But things are probably more complex and include sort of "tipping points" at certain price levels - just like in climate science.
Imagine for example that at a certain oil price level flying becomes more expensive than going by train (this is probably happening now), so - depending on the connection etc - people increasingly shift from plains to trains. Altogether there is not a distinct tipping point but rather a "shifting area", as each sort of activities, industries etc is more or less sensitive to price shifts.
It would be interesting to model this behaviour - with the recent shifts there should be probably plenty of data to calibrate the model.

Oh, now peak oil is in 2008? You guys keep changing goalposts as fast as NASCAR pilots race! I wonder what you will say in 2009, or 2010...

Well, at least you post these nice images here on TOD for everyone to see and archive. Next year, or even 2010, I'll enjoy making an animated .gif out of those nice charts.

And net energy returns decline in advance of geologic peak--

And net exports decline in advance of geologic peak--

And oil "nationalism" and hoarding arrives in advance of geologic peak--

And supply outstrips demand in advance of geologic peak (peak lite)--

And prices rise meteorically in advance of geologic peak--

And net world population increases 250,000 per day--

All this coupled with the hideous, many-headed-Hydra of credit "crunches," and mortgage "messes," and economic deflation, and climate change, conspires to make your petty obsession with the exact date of geologic peak a quaint academic exercise.

"It isn't this peak that has real great significance, it is the vision of the long decline that comes into sight on the other side." Colin Campbell

One day, in the midst of poverty, and war, and depression, and climatic catastrophe, someone will say, "Oh, by the way--oil finally peaked," and we will just shrug.

You forgot the last "And" points.

And people started car-pooling

And companies started to use electric vans

And cars eventually stopped using oil

And at last someone will wake up one day and think, "wait, wasn't there a funny site that claimed that the end of oil was gonna be the end of civilization? Jeez, what a joke!"

Weird, I don't seem to recall posting or commenting on any of that stuff here. TOD is essentially the only place one can have objective scientific discussions of oil depletion on the net. It's your problem if you lack the skill to filter it.

That's a hell of a filter you got there, Web. It's filtering 80% of TOD nowadays. Could I borrow it?

Not hard, you pick out stories you want to read, and then follow up any discussions that start. You keep on discussing it until the comments close. I recently had one discussion here on TOD that went on for quite awhile, and when the comments were forced to close, the discussion spilled over to my own blog. The upshot of that particular discussion was that we collectively came up with a modelling breakthrough, and (if you care) it will probably be posted on TOD by Khebab within the next few days.

You know Luis, you are a real pain in the ass!

By comparison with your ranting and raving TOD is a paragon of reason and common sense.

Luisdias - can you spell out the basis for your belief that these social behavioral (carpooling), technological (electric vans, non-oil-based cars) and economic (implicitly) changes will come about? You may well be right, I'm just trying (here and generally) to understand the basis for people's optimism about these things in the face of what seem to be pretty overwhelming negative trends. You're not just discounting the future, you seem to have some basis for believing that change will happen.

The problem with Luis is not that he is putting forward heretic viewpoints or challenging the tod orthodoxies but that he is doing such an abysmal job of doing so. Evidence and sound reasoning are almost totally absent. He does us all a service here by reminding us rational realists that there are billions of others who will never be able to see the writing on the wall until it comes crashing down on them -- bringing about the very thing they were so resolute in denying. got a better model or prediction? You got all the data and revisions to come. Lets see it then. We'll be here waiting.

Ye - someone talks trash but cannot back it up with anything other then ridicule.

My suggestion - ignore. Its a waste of electrons.

And that is what luisdias has earned for himself through his petty behavior--everlasting ignore. Good job luis.

If someone tells you that according to the Mayan calendar, the world is going to end in 2012, you say "that's fucking ridiculous". If someone answers you asking, "okay, then whats your pick", you politely say "I don't know". It won't stop being ridiculous, though.

You keep right on posting, Luis, I find your discussion points refreshing and non-threatening. You could lose the obsenities and some of your rhetoric is over the top. I agree that EROEI is a limited tool (the defintion for EI is nebulous to me) though I strongly disagree that it is not a useful tool keeping in mind it is not the grand unification theory.

The elephant in the China shop on this thread though, which, to my mind, you could barely refrain yourself from braying nyah, nyah, nyah is that the date for PO is pushed back. This is the single most important piece of information in this excellent analysis. You had courage to mention it here on the Oil Drum and I think you got like a negative 20 at least - not that you were very diplomatic. But this is the Oil Drum and the fact that the PO date has moved back you would think would be the center of open, unbiased discussion. Incidently and I honestly suspect by coincidence per some glitch I am finding all ratings of comments on this whole analysis disabled?!

For myself, I will say I put the consequences of PO somewhere between a hemmerhoid and an appendicitis. The hemmerhoid is self-explanatory, the appendicitis is a condition which is treatable but which will kill you if ignored. I tend at this point towards the appendicitis end and really at this point we have already gone far beyond the simple pain in the ass model.

Despite your well pointed ripostes, you have been following this issue for sometime, have there recently been protests and riots in numerous countries and continents over oil scarcity? While it is hard to define effects clearly, has corn-to-ethanol production decreased global food supplies and if so has PO directly or indirectly already caused an increase in global hunger? Are there already declining exports? Again, while maybe needing Dumbledore's Pensieve, has scarcity of oil played a large, possibly direct part in recent wars costing the lives of thousands or millions?

I find this last point particularly troublesome as regards the recent attack on Ossetia by Georgia with its US/Israeli weaponry. Was this conflict influenced by/primarily caused by scarce oil supplies? I don't know. But then again there was no real danger of WW III. Its not like we had American military advisors in Georgia at the time, its not like Russia has ever been double crossed by Western nations and found itself fighting for its survivial on the streets of Moscow. Meanwhile we hear nothing here in the States about oil, Eurasian pipelines or destroyed cities but something about liptstick, change and some baby named Casey. So I value TOD and its open discussion of a very serious topic.

Keep posting.

Yeah, I agree. TOD is a great resource and discussion forum, but my observation is that it is not tolerant of people with a different point view. Unfortunately, some people (eg Dave Cohen a few months ago) are undiplomatic to the point of being rude in the way they argue their point. Luis hasn't come anywhere near that line. Luis, keep posting. However, I don't think the big news this year has been oil SUPPLY. The big news has been DEMAND destruction in the US, and the big question is whether this will occur in the developing countries in 2009.

Conventional oil sources have peaked. The rest will follow like a set of dominos.
It's kind of like you were living in the mid 1800's and monitoring the passenger pigeon population. You noted it declining toward zero and then someone took over and started including the count of Carolina parakeets in the population. Passenger pigeons went first and then the Carolina parakeets followed.

And the idiots kept their heads in the sand because they were clueless and couldn't understand their own gullibility.

Again I think the the evidence that the peak has moved back has made this thread a bit sensitive.

I would ask Luis to comment though, as he wishes to avoid the propagation of idiocies, that there are possibly millions of readers obtaining bad information, and as he is concerned that imprecision makes for useless apples and oranges comparisons with EROEI, what he means when he stated upstream

we had E=100 when we had mpg = 25. If we want to keep society running with E=4, all other things being equal, we would need mpg = 37.

These terms are neither further defined nor even commented on in that previous write-up. Solving it algebraically, well it looks like nonsense. Perhaps I am missing something obvious? However there seems to be no basis in common knowledge to allow for modification of these terms, especially as undefined as they are. At first glance it does look like some simple typo or rank, reckless nonsense. Perhaps some friction coefficient or somesuch.


Don't rack your brain over it. First point, it is basically a statement of conservation wrapped in "numbers". Second, Luis would like nothing better than for you to waste your time figuring out the algebra.

I can only guess he is referring to the EROEI chart which he roundly criticized as not valid and then used this concept he doesn't believe in as the basis for a more general and sweeping prognostication as to what will prevent societal disruption. Don't know.

I really do enjoy hearing well-reasoned counterpoint to the more depressing potentialities of PO, just hoping to try and draw Luis out a bit, guess not.

See Pitt below. Luis's math was off.

Solving it algebraically, well it looks like nonsense. Perhaps I am missing something obvious?

I think so; what you quoted seemed fairly straightforward.

Suppose there are 100 units of energy. When getting those 100 units used up one of them (E=100), there were 99 left. 99 units x 25 miles/unit = 2475 miles. By contrast, if getting those 100 units uses up 25 of them (E=4), there will be only 75 left, so getting the same number of miles will require 2475 miles / 75 units = 33 miles/unit.

In other words, the difference to society between EROEI 99 and EROEI 3 is not necessarily as large as the difference between those two numbers would suggest. (FWIW, plugging in an EROEI of 2:1 - 67 units of usable energy per 100 - gives the 37mpg from the original quote.)

You are a better man than I.
I almost got pulled into the trap of trying to figure his math out. If he would have said 2:1 right off the bat, you could work it out in your head, but with the 4:1, you have to wonder what he was trying to say ...

Supply is not a single data point, it's the entire curve; how much the oil the world's oil producers would like to sell at each given price from zero to infinity $/bbl. The same is true for demand. Single points on these curve are referred to as quantity supplied and quantity demanded for the given price and this appears to be what you are plotting.

If the quantity demanded is higher than the quantity supplied you get shortages, but this is never a permanent state unless there is rationing. The reason is that suppliers are always eager to make a profit and when they notice that inventories are running low and shortages start to form they increase the price to reduce the quantity demanded and increase their profits; they'd be stupid not to.

Now, that may well be relatively painless(substitution or reduced waste...) or it might be painful(having to car pool, having to set the thermostat lower in winter, losing your job...) but the quantity demanded and quantity supplied will stay in unison. All but the most abundant of resources are actually scarce; they only seem abundant because markets are so good at making sure shortages don't develop by adjusting the price. What the forecast should show is quantity demanded tracking the quantity supplied and the price adjusting to keep them in sync, unless your model includes some kind of rationing mechanism.

Great work as usual!

Question about EIA IEO data.

1) Why is the EIA IEO 2006 used in the graph? Currently the data is from IEO 2006, but the links point to latest IEO page, which is currently IEO 2008. I think the 2008 numbers that came out in July 2008 differ from the 2006 numbers in meaningful manner, although they are still clearly BAU numbers. The differences are (EIA def of total liquids, reference case):

- 2006: 84.5 -> 84.2
- 2010: 91.6 -> 89.2
- 2015: 98.3 -> 95.7
- 2020: 104.1 -> 101.3

Additionally some minor link checking:

2) The link for the second graph titled 'World Production' is not working. It's referring now to an image that does not exist at that location. I'm assuming it's supposed to point to this larger version of the same image.

3) ASPO's newsletters in English are available for #58 (October 2005) and #46 (October 2004)

4) Bakhtiari's pages seem to be gone now from SFU. The WOCAP model paper Peak Oil : The End of the Modeling Phase is at Scribd, where it can be viewed and downloaded (requires registering for the latter).

5) Data for "Michael Smith (Energy Institute)" is probably Michael R. Smith (Energyfiles Ltd). The current link for the presentation is not working. His latest model can be found in the July 2008 presentation Volumes & Peak: A passing phase or quite the reverse on slides 29 and 32 respectively.

Again, many thanks for this update. This compilation is invaluable and all the work that has gone into compiling it is much appreciated.

I do commend the effort to quantify the EROEI ratio. I’ve tried to do the same with a single oil well drilling model and eventually became lost in the amortization process.

But I would like to offer an insight which you may be able to use. With respect to hydrocarbon drilling/production efforts EROEI has never been nor ever will be a direct determining factor. Indirectly, of course, it will always be there in the background. A current example: the unconventional natural gas play. It is not driven by an attractive EROEI. It is driven solely by NG prices. I’ll just make up a number: EROEI is 3.0. Not very impressive and nothing to brag about. But as long as NG prices stay high enough to deliver 25%+ return on investments 100’s of thousands of these wells will be drilled. Conversely, if the gains were 50 to one and NG prices fell to $2/mcf none of these wells would ever be drilled. Of course, there isn’t a complete disconnect between ERORI, drilling/completion costs and NG prices. But even if one were to master the complexity of developing a reasonable EROEI for such resource development the question would be to what end. That value wouldn’t be very applicable, IMO, to predicting future trends.

We may well see short periods when the EROEI of any product is less then one but the product will be generated because the dollar gain is there. I’ve completed a number of wells that would never recover their total investment. At the decision point of making a completion the only factor is the cost of the completion and not the monies spent to get to that point. Those monies are considered “sunk costs” and don’t play a part in this final phase. I suspect that if one were to use total energy expended to drill and complete, a number of these projects were net energy losers. But the decision to complete such a well was still the correct choice. A distasteful example would be a starving man eating his hand in order to survive. It does gain him some time but truly not a sustainable solution.

Again, this isn’t an argument against EROEI. It does have the potential to show the long term folly of unsustainable efforts. But, at the same time, I don’t see it becoming a factor in the decision making process at least in the case of resource development. After 33 years as a petroleum geologist and reviewing hundreds of drilling projects no one has ever expressed the slightest interest in any factor other than $ in and $ out. In fact, the amount of bbls and mcf’s is seldom a focus. It’s net present value and ROI. While we may rightfully ridicule such efforts they will, none the less, proceed on this basis.


This sort of echoes my own thoughts, that ability to make a profit will drive investment in energy procurement. The only caveat would be that relevent EROEI will be an invisible hand behind the costs. By relevent I mean those energy inputs that attract a cost - manual labour, energy that has to be paid for, equipment etc. Not 'free' energy such as solar or wind. In some ways chasing endless trails of energy input is not neccesary - just look at the $ ROI!

There was a very good post on here some time ago showing how energy procurement will consume an increasingly greater share of gdp (best way to think about it without getting into all that messing about with inflation) with less and less left over for discretionary items. The end result is that more and more people, capital and time is spent procuring energy. Presumably this will procede hand-in-hand with a reduction in overall energy usage.



Your point is well taken that EROEI is not considered in these decisions, nor are they likely to be, as worship of the almighty dollar is unlikely to change any time soon. However, this is much to our collective detriment, of course. Simply put, at your hypothetical 50:1 society would have 49 units leftover to cook/heat/dry/process/generate with, but the dollars (in your example) would lead us not to do it. Whereas in the 3:1 example, which the dollars say to do, society will only have 2 units for c/h/d/p/g. Ultimately, dollars are meaningless, and EROEI means all. That we collectively don't get this is a disaster.

All true clifman. What tends to make the situation even more unbalanced is the nature of the decline curve of the unconventional NG plays that are beginning to dominate domestic drilling. As I mentioned, it's the NPV (net present value) that drives these plays. NPV calculations take into account the time factor in a well’s productive life. The very high initial flow rates with the following steep decline rates generate a great NPV. I spend $1 today to earn $1.30 NPV. Works every time. But most of the players in these trends are public companies. While the market loves to see the good profits they demand to see growth in the reserve volume base. As a public company drills these wells their base grows rapidly but it will also drop rapidly due to the decline rate. This will not be tolerated by Wall Street. Thus these companies will be forced to drill even more such wells to make up for the decline. And that's not a problem because the NPV says it’s profitable. But I can also promise you that if NG prices drop for a bit and the NPV says you're now making just $1 (and maybe even a little less) for each $1 you spend, the drilling will still go on at an accelerated clip. So now, you’re not making much profit and EROEI is crappy but the wells must continue to be drilled.

This isn't a hypothetical. Back in the late 70's a Texas oil company (UPRC) effectively committed corporate suicide by drilling over 600 PROFITABLE oil wells. Same profile: high initial rate with steep decline. The stock shot straight up but then they ran out of locations to drill. Reserve base nosed dived and the stock went into the toilet. And every CEO and president of every public oil company out there knows this very story quit well. I've worked on projects where the company knew for certain they would loose money but went ahead so they could meet Wall Street's least for those next few quarters.

Rockman I've been trying to make this point over in the Hurricane thread.

The reason its over there is if we do see signficant damage in the gulf then we probably have seen peak NG production in the US.

The only reason recovered from Katrina is that it hit fairly early on in the development cycle of unconventional plays.

If I'm right we will effectively never recover from Hurricane damage in the gulf going forward.


The example you give is not really a criticism of using profitability rather than EROEI, more a case of bad business planning. But I agree it does sound like madness. It would be a bit like TESCO building a supermarket during the Glastonbury festival. Or a bank creating as much credit as it could, to a host of people that were never likely to pay the money back, just for a temporary boost to profits.


Thanks for double checking my links. The web is not a very stable environment over the course of one year, I should probably archive the references on TOD server.

1) I wanted to track how forecasts are performing over time, If I always use the updated version there is obviously less challenge in predicting future supply on a shorter timeline. The IEA link always point to the last version of the IEO report, I didn't find a specific link for the 2006 version.

2) corrected.

3) the ASPO links are a mess, they moved many times in the past.

4) Since the passing of Bakhtiari, I think his website is no longer online. I may have a copy somewhere.

5) You're right, I changed the link.

Thanks. It makes sense to use one forecast and not update.

Still, it would be an interesting exercise to see where the peaking estimates have been converging in the past 10 years or so. ASPO/Campbell estimates have moved slightly more into future, but not by much. I'm not sure if EIA/IEA even have public peak dates in their models, as both seem to be almost demand weighted models and not real production models.

However, based on what I've seen, bottom-up and logistic modelers have been converging more and more on 2010-2015 while optimistic projections for production have been scaled down, even if the peak hasn't officially moved backwards.

I think there's a weak signal in there somewhere :)

BTW, the link I gave to IEO 2006 is the correct one for that year (for now at least).

Also, the ASPO newsletters are better fetched from site to which I linked. It seems to have been a bit more stable.

Bakhtiari's WOCAP page from FSU is still at

There's still some Bakhtiari here.

Interesting. The site wasn't working yesterday for Bakhtiari's pages. Good thing it's working again!

Could someone help clarify something for me. I thought depletion rates were such that we need to find huge new fields to replace production being lost. Does the continuing rise in production mean these fields are being discovered somewhere? I am confused by the confluence of expanding liquids production and what I thought was severe depletion... any help would be great - Thanks - GB

What you are looking for is found in the 2010 and 2015 projections listed above.

The flood cometh - at sustained record high prices for oil, oil production increases. All hail the free market, blessed be its name.

But there is more than one type of surge - and possibly, just possibly, a surge which has nothing to do with the free market could significantly cut those production numbers for months, at worst possibly even in the 1-2 mpd range.

Still making 2008 the year to beat in the rear view mirror, and undoubtedly offering even more free market incentive to pump all out.

Somehow, none of this seems very rational behavior when dealing with the imminent decline of production of a finite resource. A system losing coherence in a desperate attempt to maintain it.

That is the basic problem of using what I would call "static" models. A plain Logistic model does not respond well to perturbations. That's why the Oil Shock model exits. This model is able to adjust for perturbations by increasing the extraction rate at points in time. The important consideration in the Oil Shock model is that any increases in extraction rate get met with a steeper downside, obeying the conservation of reserves/resources principle.

BTW, Khebab has done a lot with modifying the basic shock model to get it some of the Logistic flavor and incorporating reserve growth, coining it the Hybrid Shock model (HSM).

Has anyone incorporated elasticity into the HSM? Seems like it could produce some interesting results.

I don't think elasticity helps. We are basically on the verge of explaining the entire oil production cycle w/o invoking elasticity. I know that bothers many economists, but who needs them anyways. So if we want to maintain a plateau, we just compensate by increasing the extraction rate. At some point the extraction rate will get absurdly high, and that's when the drop starts. google 'the overshoot point' for more info.

I think economic concerns have to be addressed in order to model the production cycle. Even if we can predict peak w/o using elasticity, for instance by having a large enough lag time between additional extraction from newer sources and a high enough price such that existing increase in extraction will stay, something like refinery capacity would still likely cut the top off of any peak IMO. Granted, knowledge isn't perfect, but I doubt groups are very interested in constructing a refinery if they feel it would only run at so-and-so capacity for a few years w/ little or no financial return.

If profit margins are high enough to amortize construction costs in a matter of months rather than years we would likely see a smaller cut off the top/plateau, but if refinery construction costs require years of amortization we may see a significant plateau regardless of whether or not extraction rates from existing sites are increased. I tend towards years in terms of refinery amortization since upgrades to existing refineries tend to take years (via AQMD) to amortize capital costs, and recent example such as the Kuwait-China refinery require ~8 years to amortize capital costs assuming the ~$10/bbl average refinery margin seen in 2007.

On the down slope, I suppose changes in URR could be induced by consistently high prices, but changes in demand are more likely IMO and could stem from a high enough consistent price, a large enough drop in competitor's costs, and/or a change in policy that monetizes the externalized costs of oil use in different applications. In short, while it would be nice to be able to describe oil production w/o elasticity I doubt we'll be able to do it for the entire production cycle. Short run, and I think it's possible, but over the long run I think things change too much for it to be accurate w/o including economic impacts.

Those are all 2nd-order effects, and I have dismissed them as not having any impact. Do the math yourself and you will see.

How are they being quantified in the HSM model?

The 1st-order effect that dominates economics is greed. Everything else is a secondary effect. Therefore, if you assume that people will use up whatever they find and at an accelerating pace, then the model comes out very naturally. Have you analyzed the Dispersive Discovery model and the Oil Shock model? It is pretty groundbreaking stuff IMO, but the way these things go, new ideas take a lot of traction from people knowledgeable in the math to gain any momentum. Khebab is the guy that added some good ideas to the Oil Shock model to come up with the HSM.

Take a look at this post I did from yesterday, we are working it pretty hard:

If everything is dominated by greed then refining capacity will provide a loose upper bound, a bumpy plateau as it's called, because excess refining would probably not be cost effective and delaying price run ups would only decrease profitability during that interval as well as make a transition more volatile. The companies building the refineries may loose money which certainly isn't good for greed, and extra capacity would only serve to delay a price increase, which is lost money compared to capacity staying put and demand growing past it, which also isn't good for greed. The greater the change between demand and supply, the higher prices will spike and more likely consumers are to transition away from oil, which certainly isn't good for greed, at least intelligent greed so to speak.

Using loglets seems neat. I wonder if there is a link between the number of loglets used to find something fairly close to a best fit of the data and number of terms in the Taylor series of the the best fit that's as close. ;) I like the idea of using convolutions and you could probably toss another one in to account for land export (or lack thereof) in certain regions. Looking at all liquids shouldn't be too bad either, even if biofuels and unconventionals don't tend towards exponential production curves. I still think that trying to model consumption decades out is risky due to socio-economic trends. I suppose it'd be better to say that while modeling production may not be so bad the point of economic abandonment for different uses can change drastically in the mean time so trying to model oil production w/o looking at the economic aspects probably isn't going to be accurate over oil's entire production cycle. Of course that doesn't mean that trying to incorporate economic aspects would result in something that's better since modeling behavior tends to not be simple.

I wonder if there is a link between the number of loglets used to find something fairly close to a best fit of the data and number of terms in the Taylor series of the the best fit that's as close.

I use a probability and statistics approach and the number of elements doesn't factor in. I assume that the number is large enough that a continuum sets in.

you could probably toss another one in to account for land export (or lack thereof) in certain regions

That doesn't factor in as a pure flow consideration.

Thanks for the ideas in any case.

I use a probability and statistics approach and the number of elements doesn't factor in. I assume that the number is large enough that a continuum sets in.

One loglet doesn't come close to depicting oil production, and according to the other post several terms are needed. Similarly, I imagine one term isn't enough for a polynomial approximation of a function with similar fit. I wonder what the relationship between the number of terms is? Math is math after all... :^D

That doesn't factor in as a pure flow consideration.

It does allow for a stab at estimating output onto the world market given the local elasticities, export land is calling btw! Granted, we can ignore price/elasticity, but in doing some we would have a model with relatively poor predictive value. Wells and/or projects weren't scrapped/shuttered in the 80s due to the physical characteristics of well flow, or for that matter the flow of n many wells. If there isn't sufficient demand, regardless of how much oil can technically flow, it simply may not since there is no financial incentive to produce.

Ultimately flow is driven by price, which is related to elasticity and other unpleasant economic concepts. ;)

Somehow, none of this seems very rational behavior when dealing with the imminent decline of production of a finite resource. A system losing coherence in a desperate attempt to maintain it.

I take it that means why rush to sell a product now when you know it will be priced higher in the near future?

Great graphs. Thanks for the work. Very thorough.

The most striking thing about them is the wild divergence in the white area on the right, thus the indeterminacy of the future.

That can always be seen as legitimate - duh! nobody knows the future! nobody can figure things out that far! - etc.

Of course, as most here know, it is not that complicated.

The shoddy predictions and all the hype spell one thing; the predictions (and it is interesting that we are called on to see them as ‘predictions’ as if we were facing a fortune teller in a black tent) represent particular interests, Gvmt. and corporate, maybe by now that is the same thing, and have nothing whatsoever to do with Science. Better, ‘science’, that is what is known today, and what prudent extrapolations can be made from it.

Ambiguity and quarrels are fostered deliberately and the real figures, facts from those in the know, are not made public. Very much like the old USSR with the 7 year plan triumphantly predicting billions of tons of wheat, etc.

It is now important to look what is happening under those production curves:

The Russian crude peak explains what's going on in Georgia.

Article explaining the above graph is here:
Bumpy Crude Oil Plateau in the Rear View Mirror

"Mr Woolsey said the rapid move towards electric cars and other sources of power in the US and Europe means Russia's ability to use the oil weapon will soon be a diminishing asset. "Within a decade it will be very hard for Russia to push us around," he told The Daily Telegraph. "

Alrigh so I assume then the idea is to convert all todays transports (excluding I assume boats and airplanes) that currently runs on oil in to an electricity based transportation system?

First of all that will take a while and involve the use of new technology, Hybrid vihecels as well as first and foremoste new technology related to batteries for cars as well as represent quite a significant cost as old technology and viehcels has to be replaced by new.

As some 50% of all oil today consumed is used for transportation that would then give some releife is the idea by reducing future oil demand? Sound good for sure but how will this happen?

Today some 50% of the world electricity is produced by burning coal. Add more elecricity demand and that coal ratio either has to increase (I would assume as coal gives some 3 times more emissions than oil that some environmentalists would feel that's something they'll have to fight against?) or has to be replaced by something else. Possibly nuclear? Look at the below analysis of the oil, coal and uranium situation and realise ALL of these recourses are about to peak withing next decades. Already now chinas coal production ,china uses coal to 75% for all its electricity production, has peaked and the implications of this are much higher prices for coal. With even more demand for coal and that price cetainly will go bearseark.

Background paper prepared by the
Energy Watch Group
December 2006
EWG-Series No 1/2006

"This assessment results in the conclusion that in the short term, until about 2015, the long lead times of new and the decommissioning of aging reactors perform the barrier for fast extension, and after about 2020 severe uranium supply shortages become likely which, again will limit the extension of nuclear energy."

COAL: RESOURCES AND FUTURE PRODUCTIONBackground paper prepared by the
Energy Watch Group
March 2007
EWG-Series No 1/2007

"Global coal reserve data are of poor quality, but seem to be biased towards the high side. Production profile projections suggest the global peak of coal production to occur around 2025 at 30 percent above current production in the best case. "

C R U D E O I L - T H E S U P P L Y O U T L O O K
Report to the Energy Watch Group
October 2007
EWG-Series No 3/2007

"The major result from this analysis is that world oil production has peaked in 2006. Production will start to decline at a rate of several percent per year. By 2020, and even more by 2030, global oil supply will be dramatically lower. This will create a supply gap which can hardly be closed by growing contributions from other fossil, nuclear or alternative energy sources in this time frame."

And using Natural gas at least according to these charts seems like a real challenge:

Natural Gas forecast Europe and North America (US+Canada):

Certaily replacing an oil based transportation system with coal generated electical transportation systems seems like trying to put out fire with gasoline to me.

What will really happen is the partial replacement of a liquid fuels based transportation system with an electrical transportation system. That electrical system will get some electric power from coal. But gradually wind, solar, and nuclear will replace the coal.

In order to replace all USs oil with nuclear the US needs to build some 750 new reaktors. That will take time, it will cost a staggering amount of money and as uranium as well is a finite resource it's then just a matter of time before the costs will exeed the benefits. As coal already today is used for the production of some 50% of the worlds electricity we need to consider the fact tah even without any additianal usage of elecricity that coal is heading towards peak already by 2025 according to EWG. Not only then will it be impossiblöe to add furter to the electricity production by the use of coal we need to fast get other resourses as the ever diminishing awilability of coal starts to have its effects.

Longer term then, that is beyond some twenty years from now, we're thus left basically only Wind and solar as our options and as the costs of oil, coal and uranium increases eventually to apoint where the costs will exceed the benefit.

Question then is how realistic it is that we one day will be able to rely on wind and solar as the main source of our ever increasing ww electricity needs?

A Growing Global Power Crisis Looks to be Greater Economic and Political Danger Than Oil
Posted: September 2, 2008

How many stories have you seen about high oil and gasoline prices? Now how many have you seen about global electricity shortages?

Lost in all the attention oil is receiving, reports from around the world indicate that 100 or more countries may be suffering, many acutely, from shortages of electricity. Given who is in trouble, both the economic and the political danger of this growing global power crisis are starting to look greater than oil’s. China and India, two of the biggest engines of economic growth, look to be in serious trouble. Pakistan and Afghanistan, hotbeds of terrorism, are routinely plunged into darkness. South Africa’s mining industry is vexed. Even some countries that can afford high oil prices don’t have sufficient electricity to run refineries.

While not facing shortages, many developed countries on whose consumers the world economy depends are increasingly facing what is called “fuel poverty,” a combination of rising electricity and home heating oil costs. The problem is already acute in Great Britain and is starting to take hold in the United States. It may be only a few years before the U.S. faces both fuel poverty and electricity shortages, veteran Wall Street utility analyst Dan Scotto recently warned in an exclusive series on

Given that forecasters such as the International Energy Agency expect that the world is going to need to roughly double its electrical generating capacity by 2030, the fact that parts of the world are today critically short of power suggests that it may already be too late to fix the world’s power crisis. At best, its advocates say, energy efficiency is capable of reducing that global demand for additional power by about 50%. Even if developed at record pace, renewable power facilities could probably contribute only a small percentage of what’s needed by 2030, its backers freely admit. Thus thousands of traditional power plants must be built, a process that could take several decades, especially if nuclear power is in the mix.

But even if enough plants could be built in time, there likely wouldn’t be enough fuel to run them. While most new plants likely would run on coal, a worldwide shortage of coal already is causing China to idle some 50 of its existing coal-fired power plants. With its hydropower from the Himalayas drying up, India, even with its push for more wind and solar power, faces a rapidly-rising need for coal that will only make the global shortage of coal that much worse.

If nothing at all is done to improve implementation of nuclear technology, and vast improvements which we largely have not got any detailed idea of how to do were to happen to renewables, then the situation might bear some resemblance to that which you suggest.

You mention replacing oil, the vast majority of that is used for transport, and if most of that is done with electricity and batteries you only need a fraction of the energy needed for oil.

To use some more realistic figures, the US has about 1TW of installed electrical capacity, and around 460GW per hour is the average use.

The really difficult thing with present renewables is to provide base load, and you would have large additional costs from both building additional transmission lines and providing back-up and storage.

The latest reactors are often up to 1.6GW in capacity, and currently around 100GW is produced from around 100 reactors.
Replacing those reactors with twin Areva reactors would provide around 300GW of power, effectively the whole of the base load, and not use substantially more sites.

More expensive energy also means that conservation can play a much bigger role than you have indicated.
For instance a vast amount of energy is used for space heating.
Air source heat pumps can increase the efficiency of this by 2.5-4 times, so you can stay just as warm or cool whilst using far less.

To cover briefly some of the other points you raise, fuel supply is only a problem if no measures are taken at all to improve them.
For a start the cost of uranium is a fraction of the overall costs, so it would not be problem to pay a lot more and use less rich ores, including sea water extraction.
Secondly re-processing as is done in France would provide a lot more power.
Russia has successfully run a breeder reactor for many years, and new reactor designs are available which multiple fuel efficiency many times.
Thorium use is also being developed in India, which would give you four times the resources of uranium.

Reactor costs in the States are high due to there being built on a one-off basis and having their specifications changed mid-build by a plethora of regulatory authorities.

To sum up, the issues you raise are real if nothing at all is done to overcome them.

With half way decent administration then nuclear energy can do what it is good at, base load provision, and most of the problems with renewables are much reduced as they can be used what they are good at, for instance by the use of soalr power for peak use in hot climates where air conditioning causes use to peak.

USA gets some 20% of it's electricity from in total 104 nuclear plants all of whitch was built BEFORE 1979.

20% of US electricity is generated using "production machines" that all at LEAST by now are 29 years old and built and constructed using now well over three decades old technology

Veteran electric utility financial analyst Dan Scotto says it's probable all of these existing 104 plants gradually needs to be replaced with new technology and new powerplants already within nect coming 10 years.

Add to this need to replace the existing infrastructure the fact that some people say we'll be saved from oil by going electric for all comunications and thus even the need for additional electricity and one get somewhat huble recognising what costs and efforts not mentioning the time this then implys.

"As of March 31, 2008, the NRC has received 9 combined license application (COL) applications and is currently reviewing them."

I agree that things have been left pretty late, and so the changeover will not be easy.

The needs to run transport electrically are surprisingly modest though - the study referenced here indicates that 84% of cars could be hybrid without needing to expand the grid:
PNNL: Newsroom - Mileage from megawatts: Study finds enough electric capacity to �fill up� plug-in vehicles across much of the nation

Personally though I think that there will be major disruptions, and that most will be using more like electric scooters rather than cars for financial reasons for some years.

You are also correct that the time scale for a build is difficult - although it should be borne in mind that France built it's present fleet of 59 reactors in around 17 years.

Toshiba is also building a production line for reactors, which when it is running at capacity should be abloe to produce 1-2 reactors a year by standardisation and factory production:
Next Big Future: Westinghouse AP1000 Nuclear power plant module factories in the USA and around the world

It is informative that China has one of these production lines already, and plans perhaps 9 more of them by 2020!

Nuclear energy is also not the only thing that can be used - major contributions can also be expected from wind and solar.

I don't know if a successful transition will occur, but the technology seems to be available, if the will can be summoned and finance obtained.

I would argue that part of the problem - besides lack of general awareness of the overall energy situation from citicens and politicians neglecting the fact we'll find ourselves facing the issue within a couple of years regarding oil depleation, further down the road depleation of coal as well as uranium depleation is - in fact deregulation of the electricity markets.

Deregulation of the elecricity markets has been a world wide trend over the last decades and the result so far certainly has not been positive. In fact we have seen elecrticity prices escalating and increasing very rapidly. Now we can expect 100% electricity price hikes next coming years.

You reference to France is in this regard quite interesting as then the decision to go nuclear (France today produces electricity by some 80% derived from nuclear) entierly was a political decision not made by private investors and all funding of the building of these new power plants was made available by public means.

So if we need political consensus as well as a chrisis awareness then you might argue we still have a long way to. Whereas replacing these 104 existing reactors as well as building the new additional capacity in really should be something already decided upon in order to provide a safer journey forward for all citicens, no blackouts, sufficient needs for idustry as well as ensuring only modest price hikes.

Add to that the risk for private investors investing in nuclear is quite daunting. NIMBY certainly prevails and massive protest from people living nearby a supposed new plant, environmentalists etc makes an investment to finance and build a new nuclear reactor anyting but certain.

I would entirely agree about the deregulation of electricity markets, especially of the grid.

Perhaps it is worth pointing out that the situation for coal is radically different in the US than almost anywhere else, as reserves there are so much greater.

Many of the regulatory hurdles in the States are also much higher.
To give an example, if there was a small release of gas from a nuclear power station, which could not be proven to have physically harmed anyone, one can imagine damage claims bankrupting the company if no exemptions for the industry were made.
In most countries the legal environment is very different, and so you have peculiarly high costs in the US.

With an appropriate legal framework most of the financing issues which previously made nuclear energy difficult to finance privately should be much reduced, as the essential issue was cheap fossil fuels, which anyone who is peak oil aware will feel is not going to be the case in the future.

France has some of the cheapest electricity rates in Europe, and it's supplies are far more secure than it's neighbours.

As other energy costs rise, then the opposition to nuclear is likely to be much reduced.

Today the US needs some 50 Mpound of uranium annualy. However as to date it only produces some 4 M pounds and thus needs to import som 46mpounds per annum. Some 90% of these 46m pounds impored today comes from Russia. A lage chunk of this Russian uranium comes from the "megawhatts to megatons " agreement where Russia "convers " and sells uranium used in nuclöear warheads. Thiat agreement for sure will expire by 2013 and possible even earlier as the Russians ahve not been satisfied with the price T'n'C.

Now getting the US uranium production up to steem will take time. permits need to be ok, rigouruse enviromental aspects need s to be considered and there are shortages of skilled personell both relevant for the companies themselves but in addition to that at authoreties having people eduvated and skiled enough in order to be in a position to approve for a mine or mill etc.

Australia has lots of uranium but they have made agreements with China as well as Russia recently to sell most of their uranium to these two countries. Africa today more or less is a stockhouse for chinese commodeties including uranium. France has already reached peak uranium etc.

I heard there is only one comapny in the world making the seel kettle nedcecarry for containing the burner fopr a plant and that is a huige bottleneck as they only are in a position to procue som 3-4 kettled per year. So the list goes on.

I'm very veary the notion of "elelctricity will save us from oil" may very well be a false concept all together.

As noted previously, there are umpteen ways of stretching available fuel supplies.
A very modest program of exploration has also uncovered very large new deposits - the reverse of the situation in oil, where massive exploration budgets turn up very little.

Perhaps this is a little bit of a shopping list of difficulties? maybe doing some googling would show the limits of many of these objections, many of which are the product of the thought of those who are ideologically opposed to nuclear power anyway, and use any stick to beat the dog.

To deal specifically with the issue of reactor vessels, this only applies to large castings, and low demand due to cheap fossil fuels made one producer all that was needed.
A number of other producers are now moving towards building them, as well as Japanese Steel looking to double capacity.

Plenty of designs of rectors are available which do not use these ultra-large castings anyway, and reactors have been built without them.
In short, this is a temporary supply issue, and not something in any way relevant to the longer term substitution of electricity, as you seem to imply.

Since you agree that energy is an issue, it would be pretty weird to discard one of the few alternatives to fossil fuel burn which has been proven for many years at the largest scale.

"Since you agree that energy is an issue, it would be pretty weird to discard one of the few alternatives to fossil fuel burn which has been proven for many years at the largest scale."

In simply challenging the facts behind statements like we have a solution in going electrical.

"Now if you take into account that nuclear energy produces 16% of world electricity, and less than 5% primary energy supply, it seems impossible to me for nuclear energy with current technology to ever satisfy a big part of the world's energy demand.

This study may have flaws, but so far it is more convincing to me than the position of the nuclear industry, which regards Uranium as mineable without limits. If you believe some, we could mine it form the earth's crust, from sea water, ... or use breeders. And if all fails we have thorium. That is not serious. Being able to do it, even to technologically demonstrate it is not the same as doing it. We can extract gold from sea water too. While all those possibilities may be workable in the future, they could just as well not be viable. You cannot bet your energy future, the biggest investment society has to make, on such assertions. You may as well choose fusion.

There is a real posibility that Uranium supplies will not be sufficient for an expansion nuclear energy capacity and I am concerned that the reserve reporting practices could be too optimistic. Breeders, Thorium and such, whether workable or not are another matter not discussed here. I'll be glad if the members of the TOD community that evangelize nuclear fission step up to the challenge and criticize or outright debunk this study. That way, between all the highly educated people in the community we may even reach a conclusion on the Uranium resource question."

Uranium sure is finite. Going from finite resource (oil) replacing it with another (coal, uranium) at great almost imageable costs might in the end just show to be capital destruction. I'm even challenging if it's doabli within the timeframes necessary. As I do beleive "a problem vell stated is a problem half solved" I do feels this is constructive discussion trying to highlight the issues and concerns relevant to identifying best possible energy solution.

I will discontinue this debate, as it does not appear to be progressing.

If you check out the CANDU reactor it is already perfectly possible to burn thorium.
Other remarks I have made such as obtaining uranium from seawater are also based on actual experiments, although of course we don't do it at a commercial scale, as present sources are far too cheap to make it worthwhile.

From your later comments it appears that your real, fundamental objection is that you don't like nuclear power being non-renewable, nor consider that even if fuel supplies are far more limited than seems likely, that being tided over for 100 years or so until renewables are better developed is worthwhile.
It is also a misrepresentation to state that anyone thinks that nuclear fuels are 'minable without limits', as the statements are in fact that resources are extremely large, and obtainable at reasonable cost, not infinite.

Most countries do not want to discard the nuclear option, including, importantly, China, which plans to be able to build 20 per year by around 2020, aside from their pebble bed reactors.

As for your statement about betting the future, no-one on the nuclear side of the debate rejects also producing renewables as far as I know, to whatever extent it is practical.
Those who would rule out nuclear though are 'betting the future' that this currently tiny resource can be developed in ways that are in any detail unclear, such as the storage and transmission requirements, without the aid of the massively proven technology which already supplies most of the electricity for at least one state.
The technical barriers to running everything on renewables are far higher, and far less understood, than the comparatively modest and incremental advances needed by nuclear technology and mining.

For information from a nuclear perspective, then this is a good resource, and would perhaps disperse misconceptions such as that an inability to build enough reactor vessels is more than a temporary hitch:
World Nuclear Association

I mean no personal disrespect, but since it appears that some of the objections your raise are extensively and conclusively addressed in the literature, then it is perhaps best to point you to the relevant literature.
You are of course at liberty to give different weight to different statements and papers, but when what is clearly short term issues are confounded with the longer term, more substantial issues, then it is perhaps premature to seek to draw conclusions, and closer look at the fundamental arguments and data might be helpful before re-assessing.

"The needs to run transport electrically are surprisingly modest though - the study referenced here indicates that 84% of cars could be hybrid without needing to expand the grid:
PNNL: Newsroom - Mileage from megawatts: Study finds enough electric capacity to �fill up� plug-in vehicles across much of the nation"

That certainly is a statement that is challenged by veteran Wall Street utility analyst Dan Scotto. He's certainly painting a picrure we're we risk facing some very sever elecricity shortages situation from now on:

Electric Utility Analyst Scotto On The ‘Other’ Energy Crisis:
Metro NY At Greatest Risk Of A Massive Blackout

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

I'd agree that the electricity grid and supplies to it need upgrading, but it is worth pointing out that many of the assumptions of increased power use extrapolated into the future are based on BAU, and peak oil will mean far from BAU.
There is unlikely to be enough money to create the demand extrapolated, which reduces demand on the grid.

For the same reason there is unlikely to be anything like the fleet of 84% of current cars powered as hybrids or EV's anytime in the foreseeable future.

Nuclear aside, wind power is ramping up very rapidly in the States, and that can be built much more rapidly than nuclear.
That alternative would though demand considerable investment in the grid, much more so than for nuclear power, as the generating locations are remote.

So again I would agree, the challenges are large, and all alternatives need to be used to provide enough power.
As an aside, in Europe the options are much more limited.

"So again I would agree, the challenges are large, and all alternatives need to be used to provide enough power.
As an aside, in Europe the options are much more limited."

I agree. Europeans it seems has no insight in these issues and that part of the reason of my effort trying to understand this situation. Frequently electricity is brought forward in the debate almost as a miracle cure IF oil depleation is brought forward as an issue. Fact of the matter is that Europe is very, very volnureable indeed in terms of securing it's future energy need. The northsea is in steep decline, Norway the worlds third largest oil exporter will have to cease export oil by 2030. Europes energy solution it seems now spells Russia. With its vast reserves of oil, gas, uranium as well as coal and closness to Europe that's where Europeans have to turn to in order to get it's energy needs fullfilled next coming decades. Not a very promesing prospect given the most recent development in the baltic states, Chech republic, Ucrain and now Georgia.

France uses nuclear to produce some 80% of it's electricity but in terms of own uranium it has peaked. Besides Sweden and Russia there is no uranium in Europa. Sweden and Norway has the very fortunate situation having electricity generated some 50% from renuable, pure, clean and cheap water energy. All other countries are more or less depending on coal for most it's electricety and partially nuclear. Denmark is today often brought forward as a good energy example with its wind programs but one then have to realise Denmark is not a very industrilised (not very dependent at all on heavy proces industy but rather trade and agricultur) country and their dependens on dirty coal is extensive.

China today uses coal to some 70% in order to generate electricity and now the chinese coalproduction has peaked and thus cheap coal exports from that country will be a memory hiking up energy prices all over the world from now on.

The us that uses coal to some 50% in order to generate electricity has a much more favourable situation in regards of coal bhut ramping up coal usage in order to generate electricety will have severe environmental implications and fore sure is US coal is a finite resource and will start to depleat at one point of time. More dire is the oil oil outlook for us as Mexico today us third largest importer of oil will become a net oil importer by late 2010. YOY Mexico and Venezuela exports have been reduced some 20%. That has to be replaced from somhere , I just wonder from where.

Access to Russian uranium for America probaly will be severly limited only within years (e.g. as the megawatts to megatons agreement expires etc) and question is will the US in time be able to ramp up its uranium production if/when needed?

Then with the lesser availability of oil will there be enough oil left in order to manufacture e.g. plastic parts to windmills in the future, cabels, in order to mine metals etc etc? To me the scaring part of PO is the notion that we in fact stand the risk of getting poorer and thus have much more limited availability of resources in order to develope , manufacure and maintan technology needed for our energy needs.

Capital destruction within such a context e.g. by implementing what in reallity after only some years show to be the wrong energy solution could show to be quite devestating to our future standard of living.

Of course, how you evaluate different estimates is your judgement.
Here are some of the resources I base my own judgement that supplies of fuel are adequate to at minimum provide substantial amounts of power are more fully developed:
Nuclear Power Education - Energy Lifecycle of Nuclear Power
Al Fin Energy: Uranium from Seawater--Peak Uranium Most Unlikely for next 5,000 Years!
Uranium supply sufficient for next century: Study
Exploration drives uranium resources up 17%

Of course, the possibility of both burning uranium more efficiently and the use of thorium in things like molten salt reactors are a different subject, here is just one link on burning thorium in a Westinghouse reactor:
Nuclear Energy Institute Update Shows Plants Pave Clean Road for Nuke Power - Florida Electrical Outage - Popular Mechanics

Hope this gives you something to chew on!

"Of course, how you evaluate different estimates is your judgement."

I thank you for allowing me that privilege. In the mean time here is the EWG assesement relevanto to uranium and nuclear:

Background paper prepared by the
Energy Watch Group
December 2006
EWG-Series No 1/2006

"This assessment results in the conclusion that in the short term, until about 2015, the long lead times of new and the decommissioning of aging reactors perform the barrier for fast extension, and after about 2020 severe uranium supply shortages become likely which, again will limit the extension of nuclear energy."

This analysis is fundamentally no different to the Strom and Smith arguments, and I gave a discussion on that in my links, which followed the debate allowing them to cite rebuttals.
Since to take one example the estimated energy for extraction of low grade ores at was several times the energy actually used by the entire state, in the examples of the Forsmark plant, it is difficult to evaluate this as anything other than a polemic, and certainly does not appear to merit the description of a proper assessment.

As for the speed of build, your remarks and that of the EWG refer presumably solely to the US and some countries in Europe and Australasia, as for many parts of the world a fast build is indeed being commenced.

For the longer term , there are some moderate obstacles, so for instance re-processing would be preferable, which seems a good idea anyway, and obstructionism to the development of more advanced reactors especially in the States and parts of Europe has certainly not helped - for instance the US regulatory authority charges $200 per hour for each of it's staff to read up on any technology that they are not familiar with prior to authorisation, so that even the largest companies cannot fund new designs unless they get a government grant, which effectively freezes reactor design.
For most of the world though, if the US chooses to be sidelined, the effects on their own program will be limited.

It appears that some would prefer to reject alternatives which are known to work, where the price and availability is fine, and most feel that more resources are available readily with modest development, and put all their eggs in one basket that totally untested on the scale required renewables will be so good and cheap that they are not needed - and this on the basis that an organisation that has always been ideologically opposed to nuclear power has put out a report based on figures which have little apparent connection with reality.

Opposition to nuclear power together with the low price of fossil fuels which do not pay for their externalities has already resulted in the release of umpteen billions of tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere with possibly grave consequences for the climate, and the proven deaths of huge numbers of people from coal pollution, and delayed the further development of more fuel efficient reactors which is the ostensible ground for objection.

It would seem a shame if a thin set of allegations regarding future fuel availability and the impossibility of improving performance were to result in our burning every bit of fossil fuel we can find at ever greater cost, whilst the challenge of trying to power everything with renewables is undertaken - and that is a much more difficult task and more doubtful of success than building, running and fuelling nuclear reactors.

So am I correct in interpret it as you see it perfecly acheiveble that we will be able to replace most of our fossile use in therms of generating electricity within next coming 10-20 years with nuclear?

You made a reference to Forsmark a swedish nuclear plant. Interessingly enough the Danes that themselves rely heavely on coal in order to produce elecricity managed to put such immence preassure on the Swedish goverment against the Swedish nuclear plant Barsebeck that a political decision in the Swedish parliament actually decided to close down that entire plant not long ago. Previously unheard of in terms of capital destruction and just goes to show what we can expect in terms of politics. Had absolutely nothing to do with actually assesing the technology as such how secure it was, incidents or whatever. Danish public opinion simply had made up their mind against that particular nuclear plant years back.

The end result of it all is that Swedes now despite producing electricity in the most cost efficient and encvironmental friendly way (46% out of water plants and some 47% out of nuclear) now has to import Danish coal produced dirty electricity and in that deregulated market they have then the pay a price on the margin based on that importet immencly expensive dirty energy sprice for ALL electricity used in that country. In short Swedes pay coal based prices also for significanly cheaper to produce water elelctricity. And at the same time they get the fallouts on forrest and land from the coal based Danish plants.

So despite a unique advantage given the fact the country has vast awailability of water, very well functioning already paid for infrastructure and efficient, safe production of elelctricity Swedes still have to pay a price as if all their electricity was produced out of coal. The Swedish electricity market was "deregulated" 95. Since then consumtion has not increased due to efficient usage of electricity in the country (e.e most villas today has geothermal installations and thus has acheived a reduction of electricity by in most cases in excess of 50%) but neverthe less swedes has seen their electricity cost increase 400% since then and most likely as things are heding as we speak a very possible additional hike from these already high levels of some 100% due to ever increasing fossil fuel prices. Just goes to show how purley administrative and political decision can do to a market.

All of this very well describes that in terms of taking the right political decisions related to electricity and energy anything can be expected. Never underestimate public opinion, neighbouring ignorance and utter stupidity. I hear what you say regarding nuclear but bottom line I guess is what every local politition bases his/her career on - Not on my back yard.

I myself certainly see the need for nuclear and apprichiates it's advantages. Now if it's correct what you say - there are absolutely no technological neither resource constrains what so ever going nuclear 100% from here on, well that is ever so encouraging. As we're all rational and logical people I then assume telling e.g. the Danes this now impies the swedes now could reverse the decision to close Barsebeck in order to get it back in to production again? Really that should be a piece of cake? I also understand now there really are no bottleneck anywhere to consider going forward. So mantra now need not to be dril, drill drill but rather build,build,build?

Hi, there is no chance whatsoever that nuclear can replace fossil fuels in the next 10 years, and 20 years would be pushing it.
OTOH, we don't need to. Fossil fuels aren't going to suddenly disappear, the challenge is much more to replace oil, and in a slightly longer timescale, natural gas.

It is also not the case that I think that we should generate all or most of our power with nuclear - where it really shines is for baseload.
In many regions of the world wind and solar have enormous potential, with wind resources being particularly good in much of the US.
At low latitudes where there is not very great seasonal variability solar also looks like being extremely competitive by 2015 - it is just very tough to use it for baseload, and in it is also being put into regions where it can't really contribute anything effective to the grid, for instance in Germany, where in winter you only get a tiny fraction of the rated capacity so when you most need it you have to use something else and are wasting vast amounts of capital - it effectively just builds in fossil fuel use.

Energy is going to cost a lot more than in the fossil fuel era anyway, and the opportunities for conservation are immense.
Proper design should mean space heating is almost not needed - see the German Passivhaus design, and Greenroof technology.

Railfreight is also a far more effective way to shift goods, and electric trucks can move if from the railhead.

All of this would cost a fraction of current energy use, as would pedestrian and cycle friendly city design.

Altering the energy system in the time available is immensely challenging - without the difficulties seem insuperable.
We don't even know how to do it without, in the sense of a costed plan based on technology which we know many of the wrinkles of.

Scientific American tried it recently, with their Grand Solar Plan, but detailed examination showed that it relied on vast supplies of natural gas to overcome intermittency, and those supplies probably do not even exist, GW implications aside.

To supply all the power we need, an author on this site recently estimated that it would take 90 1GW nuclear power stations built per year.

Maximum build in the past was 29 in a year, and China alone should be capable of building 20 a year by 2020.

If you throw in the fact that solar, wind, and geothermal when it is more developed should contribute substantially, then the needed build is very do-able, especially if it is done on a factory system.

If something better comes along, then I will drop nuclear like a shot - for instance I am a great fan of high altitude wind power - but until we have different technology which is running at a large scale economically then I think we should get on and build what we can.

This is what started the discussion. Pls note Mr Woolseys time reference - "within a decade":

"Mr Woolsey said the rapid move towards electric cars and other sources of power in the US and Europe means Russia's ability to use the oil weapon will soon be a diminishing asset. "Within a decade it will be very hard for Russia to push us around," he told The Daily Telegraph. "

Seems to me you're very bullish on all aspects related to nuclear technology, progress and political consensus. My point however goes along these lines: yes it's true France managed a quite agressive nuclear expansion. Important to note however is this direction was decided upon pre (and here comes a three letter word) three miles island. The political implications in the western democraties of that event was such that we still decades after it happen find ourselves not building a new nuclear poweplants i Sweden but in fact closing them down and political decisions are taken that in reallity favour more coal based very dirty indeed electricity rather than clean nuclear. The Finns are in the process of finalising a new nulear plant but of course not without frequent attacts from enviromentalist. Recenly Greenpece arranged a huge event at that very building site in its's effort to try to close this project down all together. I would imagine Greenpeace prefers emissions generated from German, Polish and Danish coal plants rather than clean air?

I do agree the Chines represents an etierly different aspect and I most certainly beleive they alone could be capable of building 20 a year by 2020. But they are at least not to my mind a democracy at the "mercy" of public opition as is the political establichment in all OECD countries.

Iran represents yet another chapter where should we a developing country needs and want to go nuclear but is not allowed to by the world political establishment. This as goung nuclear for electriticy with it brings forward issues related to possible build up of nuclear weapons.

Then we have the aspect of the recourse it self and possible peaking of uranium. You argue this is not a concern but then again we need to consider political aspect as to where this resource is awailable. Possible geopoilitical Peak of uranium is something worth while to consider. Add to that Cigar lake (yet another name with some bad associations with it) and realise that mining for uranium in fact can be an enviromental risky business.

A not very unlikely scenario for Europe as most European countries but one (Sweden) lacks uranium would be that EU in Brussels simply dictated that Sweden starts uranium production. Then is just a matter of justifying such a decision to public opinion.If not European nuclear will depend more or less entierly on Russian uranium.

As an investor in uranium (Energy Fuels) I can see how thise events unfold. ERF today has two mines open for production. No ore is however mined as EfR today lacks acess to a mill in order to produce yellow cake. Thus mining is idle. A decicion has now been taken to submitt an application to authorities beginning of next year in order to build a new mill. At best then EfR will be able to produce yellow cake late 2011, if no additional delay. If so this will be the first mill built in decades in the us. In situ mining of uranium project by companies present in e.g. Colorado encounters heavy resistance indeed from lokals that fear their ground water may be spoiled. Nevertheless all of these projects takes time and even more time and involves immence additional cost caused by delays and protest additional evaluations etc. As an investor this has so far most certainly not been a good investment. Other investors may argue like I now do - uranium and nuclear is not the place to invest if you want tranparency and logic to prevail. If that would then be the opiniton of a brader investor community well then that has to have at least som influence of the likelyhood of developing more uranium production in the future?

Bottom line what is technically acheieveble, possible an logic may not be what in the end dictates the outcome in terms of nuclear where it seems matters like public opinion and politic has more of a say.

You have accurately described the political position at the moment.
However, like most political movements it is a result of the conjunction of a number of different forces, which do not necessarily have the same objectives but the end result is a political force.

The forces against nuclear power are threefold:

Firstly, fossil fuels have been cheap, so that nuclear cost more than coal at the time scale in which investments are made. This was the over-riding reason for the decline of nuclear build.
It was over-riden only for political reasons - in America, Britain and France in the early days as they had a second reason to build power stations, to provide weapons-grade material.
In fact, again by a confluence of interests, the best designs for civil nuclear power production such as molten salt reactors were killed in the 60's, as they were of no interest to the military, and the builders of nuclear stations did not want to make them as they make a lot of their money by processing uranium into fuel rods, which would not be needed for molten salt reactors.
Energy companies have no interest in providing power as cheaply as possible, they want it to be as expensive as possible, hence the current support for renewables such as the ultra-expensive off shore wind, and absence of interest in the potentially far cheaper high altitude wind.
Later in France it was also over-riden as France had few fossil fuel resources.

The second of the forces was the political power of the fossil fuel industry, with the coal industry succeeding in having it's own environmental and clean-up costs externalised, whilst the nuclear industry was forced to pay for many of theirs.

The third force was of course the 'green' movement, which had concerns, some of which were valid, some greatly exaggerated.
Obviously any sane person would have had concerns with an industry which produced Chernobyl, and the association of the civil nuclear industry with nuclear weapons accounted for much of the rest.

All of these forces against the nuclear industry seem likely to be greatly weakened shortly, in my judgement to the point where they cease to have practical political impact.

Whatever the short-term fluctuations, with peak oil and soon peak gas energy prices are going up. Although capital costs may increase, at least until mass-production gets under way, the relative costs of nuclear will drop.
The exceptions to this are in the US and Australia, where very large coal reserves mean that, as long as externalities and environmental damage are not counted, coal will be cheaper.
Pressures to switch to nuclear are therefore less in those regions.

Again with the exceptions above, in most regions of the world, especially Europe and Japan, fossil fuel production is so small that lobbying power is reduced or eliminated.

Lastly, the green movement is powerful when times are good and options plentiful.
Financial ponzi schemes and dear oil will shatter that, and the emphasis will change to jobs and getting the cheapest possible energy.
It is somewhat exaggerated, but not by much, to say that as a political force opposition will last until the first power cut, and then evaporate.
To use as an example the country with which I am most familiar, the UK, public opinion on nuclear power is about equally divided.
The first power cuts may come as early as this winter, and prices are rising vastly in an environment of rapidly rising unemployment and what will shortly become clear is a depression.
As soon as it becomes clear that the so-called renewables options are entirely unrealistic, and at vast cost will produce little power, having been mis-sold by their proponents and energy companies keen as ever to sell as little power as dearly as possible, then aside from those for whom opposition to nuclear power is religious nuclear power will be clearly the only practical option.
Here is the basis for my remarks that nuclear power for northern, crowded countries like Britain is the sole realistic alternative for the bulk of power generation:
Sustainable Energy - Without the Hot Air (

As can clearly be seen, even ignoring cost renewables just can't scale.
None of these remarks should be taken as necessarily applying to other areas - the US for instance has massive resources of relattively cheapf on-shore wind energy - another reason it is likely to be a laggard rather than a leader in the switch to nuclear.

To briefly address the real, substantial concerns on nuclear power, we have already looked at fuel supplies, and the 'problem' of nuclear waste is because it is being treated as waste, not fuel.
We know how to use it as fuel, and a switch to nuclear power with teh right legislative structure in place would provide the impetus to do so.

The great concerrn is, of course, safety.
Peak oil and climate change due to CO2 emissions could each kill billions, and the coal industry already has a massive death toll.
The risks, even if we were still building ~Chernobyl-type reactors without containment vessles, which no-one now does, are literally orders of magnitude smaller, so exaggerated concerns seem grossly misplaced, as they in no way coincide with any realistic risk assessment.

To sum up, all the forces which have hindered the growth of nuclear power will be either greatly mitigated or entirely obviated bvery shortly, although for the US these changes are much less pronounced than elsewhere.

To clarify my position on fuel supplies, I do not view it as not of concern, just that the steps needed to deal with it are clear.

I also do not agree with Mr Woolsey - we are going to be in even deeper do-do in ten years time than now!
Twenty years time may be a different matter.

Well just settle to note that you assume changes in public opinion.

Regarding the time aspect. First of all history has thought us it takes enourmus amounts of time to implement change and certainly that applies when it's about to changing mindsets as well as technology. Replacing Coal in the economy by oil despite oils superior caracteristics vs coal took some 100 years. Implementing new technlogogy never is as straight forward as some people might assume. Part of what dictates the time necessary to change is the level of investment made in old infrastruction and technology.

Secondly yes I do beleive time is chritical. Just look at todays largest oil exporting nations Saudi Arabia, UAE, Iran, Norway and Russia. Jeff Brown calculated bu use of the ELM model these countries that tyoday exports some 50% of all oil in the world today will reach 0 exports by 2030. That is within just some 20 years from no the oil importing countries will see oil available to import reduced by 50% just from these 5 exporters. Just goes to show hos fast these processes happen once they start to kick in. Add to that mexico and Venezuela that now YOY are down some 20% on their oil exports and seems to get even worce from here on.

Add to that the fact that coal today is used for some 50% of the worlds electricity production is about to peak possibly as early as 10-15 years from now. EWG as well as a study, The Future of Coal, by B. Kavalov and S. D. Peteves of the Institute for Energy (IFE), prepared for European Commission Joint Research Centre, reaches these similar conclusions.

In a transition from oil to elelctricity wee need to understand that all fossil fuels not oly oil but in addition to that also coal ultimately needs to be replaced. If the us will need some 750 new nuclear plants to replace all oil used in that country when then ultimately the need to increase that number by an additional number of nucleaer plants also to be able to replace the expected quite steep reduction of coal awailability as times goes buy.The US has already passed its peak of production for high-quality coal and has seen production of bituminous coal decline since 1990. Already China has shifted from being a minor coal exporter to being a net coal importer. That has this summer given as a direct result that the price for coal as well as electricity has increased significantely. The notion that we'll see cheaper coal in the future simply most likely is a very false one.

If we agree building 30 plants per year is a challenge then building 30 new nuclear plant every year for more than 20 years seems like a very daunting task so say the least?

Perhaps it is easiest to look at specific countries, as your comments about, for instance, peak coal would not apply to the US, which certainly has reserves which will make a large impact on their energy requirements for longer than the time you suggest, and conversely somewhere like France probably only needs to replace it's existing reactors with new, larger ones and take some conservation measures.

Most of the rest of your argument demonstrates that if you take an extreme case and make gloomy assumptions, then youa re likely to get a poor forecast.

Modern nuclear reactors are often of around 1.6GW, and future reactors may be even bigger, so your projection of the need for 750 reactors would give an output of perhaps 1.125 GW, when the total present installed electricity capacity of the States is around 1TW and the average use around 460GW per hour!

More expensive electricity due to not having cheap fossil fuels also means that people will go more carefully on how they use it, and in any case the peak oil and its resulting financial fallout will moderate growth.

Around 40% of power is used for space heating, and moderate investment in insulation, and the installation of air source heat pumps would greatly reduce that - in a tighter economy in the States much of the huge areas currently devoted to retail, for instance, would likely be scrapped.

We will also certainly not generate all power with nuclear energy - if you simply project wind-power construction then it is clearly going to have a major input.

By 2015 solar PV power is on track to be grid competitive, and will make a huge contribution, especially to peak cooling needs in hot areas.

Even if we accept your figure of the need for 750 reactors, and accept that they would be needed in the 25 years that your figures imply for the build of 30 a year, that is not huge compared to the top year for build in the States of 12 in a year, or the Chinese program to have the capability to build 20 a year by 20209, plus unspecified quantities of pebble bed reactors.

My own estimates, using nuclear power for what it is really good at, base load generation, and just using the present sites to put in modern, 1,6GW reactors would put the market at around 200 reactors initially, with some of the later ones being breeder reactors to deal with fuel issues.

This would mean a build of perhaps 10 a year, with the start date in around 2020 - less than the top year for build in the States.
This would of course imply that the additional generating and conservation measures I have indicated would be actioned.

An interresting article related to public opinion.

"Four years ago, campaigners in the US raised concerns over plans to build 150 coal-fired power stations nationwide. Today, nearly half those plans have been defeated in the courts or abandoned, while half of the remaining proposals are being actively opposed. Just 14 of the 150 plants are being developed, and environmental lawyers are all still pursuing them.

"The enormity of what they were proposing to do provided a platform to have that whole debate about pollution, including global-warming pollution, " says Bruce Nilles , director of the national coal campaign for the Sierra Club, America's biggest grassroots environment group.

Firmer action

In a few years, the backlash against coal power in America has become the country's biggest-ever environmental campaign, transforming the nation's awareness of climate change and inspiring political leaders to take firmer action after years of doubt and delay. Plants have been defeated in at least 30 of the 50 states, uniting those with already strong environmental records, such as California, with more conservative areas, such as the southern and central states. "

Also recently in the news were the plans of countries as diverse as South Africa and Poland to push ahead with nuclear power as rapidly as possible.
You did not choose to make a substantive response to my reply on why the forces arrayed against nuclear power were likely to be weakened in future, and now are not making a substantive response to the reasons why any build would be likely to need to be much more modest than you stated.
Around 10 reactors a year for the States is also the figure given here:
U.S. must increase nuclear power-Energy Minister | Markets | Reuters

Need, should, have to well that isen't like: have decided to, starting dates etc. In the meantime it's all wishfull thinking.

"Müller told the AFP. Müller added that the incident just shows that: "When it comes to nuclear power plants, things always continue to happen that nobody had foreseen.",1518,564826,00.html

I understood that we were talking about what the public wanted - which by definition is 'wish' and 'plan' - I caqn just as easily point you to actual construction projects.

I am a fan of renewables too -but do you want to compare the build ( output per hour, not installed capacity, which for renewables is a far, far lower figure ) of renewables versus nuclear?


And here is another one:

"URANIUM! The next Energy crisis may cripple the Western Nations and it has all ready started!"

Somebody said that the real danger with nuclear is the type of society we get with it. We get centralised energy production, big corporation, big business,heavely surveillance e.g. plants, tansports mining, storage etc, and stand to risk really to develope in to almost a facist police like state.

In a country like Sweden the electricity market is said to be "deregulated" and "internationalised". But 15 years after having made that decision still there is no cabel functioning able to transfer electricity from Norway to Sweden nor is it possible to transfer electricity today between northen Norway and souther Norway. As a Swedish citicen I'm not allowed eiter to buy Norwegian elelctricity. The deregulation is a joke and only protect an oligopol of some three producers. Despite the world most efficent, cleanest most enviromentalfrienly infrastructure and already since years back already paid for electricity production system of some 50% almost from water Swedes still this summer has seen there prices hiked in absudum. Southern Norway this summer has had more than three times less expensive electricity than what not is the case in Sweden. And even if it would be physically possible to buy that Norwegian elelctricity, if the connection worked it still would not be possible to buy it as we're not allowed.

Now giving these three producers more "power" by building even more nuclear and cementing these inkompetent profit monglers (you woulden't beleive the profits they make and the salaries they pay themselves) would be the worst possible scenario.

What is needed is an etierly different mindset. A mindset where orinary people are allowed to produce their power and also sell it with profit. This will allow the markets sto start to work and if people owning their own homes where allowed to get a "zero energy bill" if they produced more electricity than they produced or if they produced a certain amount (by the way in Germany the state subsidises electricity production so thatvyou get 3 times more for what you produce than what you pay when you consume. The world is spending $300 billion every year to subsidize fossil fuels so why not spend that money on wind, sun and water?

In fact its' actions like these allowing the citicens themselves to solve their situation that in the end will show to be rethe only real option. It would promote new technology development and engourge real peaople to really make a difference and at the same time possibly even earning a dime or two. In Sweden we have some 45% nuclear I assume that would be equivilent to your base production. Then we have the 45% water based production.The rest some 7% could easely be created within a very limited amount of time if the public where to be allowed to participate. Thus we do have a unique situation in terms of beein abe to generate a very sustainable domestic electricity production environment.

What is a bigger challenge for the world as a whole is the fact that it not only then would need to build the same level of nuclear base production but in addition needs to convert also some 50% of all electricity production from coal. I'm not sure my suggestions as described above for sweden really would be possible if we aim at only water, wind and solar. But let's hope so.

it is apparent that your 'questions' on nuclear power actually have an agenda, and are entirely insincere.
Stop wasting my time.

Dave- I can understand your frustration about such a lengthy tennis match with Angantyr. But I don't think there's any clear insincerity - just a clear starting position of hostility to nuclear, against your advocacy of it. I think you have cast at the very least much doubt on all or most of the technical objections to nuclear.

Just with this last post Angantyr has finally got round to playing his(/her) trump card (the political/social implications), to which there's no obvious easy answer, at which your impressive patience has at last collapsed with a reply that focuses on the messenger rather than the message.

It would have been so much better if A had put his last post (above) where his first post was. But let's nevertheless take these points seriously.

Nuclear, much more so than just about any other energy source, apparently involves high concentrations of power (physical and political) and need for an authoritarian security structure to defend it from terrorists (or at least attempt to defend it). How safe is a nuke station from 9-11-type attack? How easily can we isolate peaceful nuclear from military/terrorist nuclear? Even a scientist with physics A-level such as myself finds much mystery in nuclear power in a way that does not apply to other means. Again this lack of comprehension compounds the undermining of democracy and reinforces authoritarian social structures.

Great that one can construct a plastic fabric that soaks up uranium from the sea, but what fraction of a percent of us will ever have the slightest clue how to make such a fabric, on which so much depends here?

More crucially, nuke energy not only tends to reinforce such a society, but it heavily depends on it. It heavily depends on the sustaining of the high-tech, high-capital, globalised, hyper-specialised society which is itself under imminent threat of collapse from the implosion of our money systems, the more general economic "demand destruction" collapse, and the "cashflow" shortfall of liquid fuels leading to market paralysis.

I wish I saw nuclear as the clear wise way forward that you have suggested, but instead I see these uncertainties, even if we put aside the distinction between what "technically could" be done and what is politically possible in a world populated by the gullible and ruled by incompetent trouble-causers.

Dave and A--

Thank you both for the discussion. It actually developed, a rarity in threads...and by and large, it was respectful, again a rarity. Both sides made good points and observations, while agreeing on some factual fundamentals.

This kind of point-counter-point is really needed: Agreement on some basics facts--and the argument-counter argument.

Either of you may feel that all of this effort was for naught--sparing in a closet. It was not, at least for me.

Thank you both.

There were some interesting points which came out.

I also have no objection at all to interacting with those who hold opposing views, but I do feel that a basic frankness in setting out one's own position makes real dialogue possible.
On this occasion I feel that what was presented as a series of questions on nuclear power, was in fact a cover for a position which had already been taken in opposition to it.
In my view the correct way of arguing this would be to simply argue one's own position, together with any conclusions reached.

Without that basic level of frankness then the debate becomes meaningless.

The last shot fired went from looking at the position in a very rich country, Sweden, which has extensive hydroelectric resources, a low population and just hopes that it may be possible to do with renewables only without a nuclear input, but is seriously considering that it will in fact have to build more power stations, to come absurd non-sequiter of nuclear power not being needed anywhere as it could all be done with renewables.

Renewables are just fine, but their worst enemy are those who exaggerate what they can do at the moment, and minimise the likely costs.

In fact, the whole program seeks to undermine our doing what we know how to do to provide power and reduce CO2 emissions, in favour of some alleged alternatives which are very immature and vary greatly from area to area in how useful they can be, and that is before costs are looked at properly.

Actually they are just theorising, and willing to risk all our futures on that, when we have real alternatives which can provide the electricity for whole countries available now.

This ignores the huge damage already caused by the source which is in reality used to provide electricity in the absence of nuclear, as shown in Germany, where coal is the real answer, and renewables the window dressing. In the real world, such opposition has led to countless deaths from coal emissions, and vast amounts of CO2 emitted, with unknown implications for the climate and a possible death toll amounting to billions.

In the minds of some, this does not in any way weigh against their quasi religious convictions, nor is it worthwhile to argue against them ,as their attitudes are a matter of faith, not reason.

If reason were it's foundation, then evidence for GW would have impacted their assessment, as would shortages of other energy sources.
There is no evidence that this has happened to some of the anti-nuclear folk, most of the reasonable ones have already folded their tents and left.

Nuclear power is not a perfect alternative, but it is a possible one.
Many of the claims for renewables running everything are flatly impossible, certainly within our time constraints and physical constraints, and the 'argument' is in fact being resolved in country after country with their being simply marginalised.

The latest example of this is Brazil, which plans to build one nuclear reactor a year for the foreseeable future.

America is addicted to foreign oil.
It’s the addiction that threatens our enironment, our economy and our national security. It touches every part of our daily lives and ties our hands as a nation and a people.

The addiction has worsened for decades and now it’s reached a point of crisis.

In 1970, we imported 24% of our oil.
Today it’s nearly 70% and growing.
As imports grow and world prices rise, the amount of money we send to foreign nations every year is soaring. At current oil prices, we will send $700 billion dollars out of the country this year alone — that’s four times the annual cost of the Iraq war.

Projected over the next 10 years the cost will be $10 trillion — it will be the greatest transfer of wealth in the history of mankind.
America uses too much oil. Every day 85 million barrels of oil are produced around the world. And 21 million of those are used here in the United States.

That’s 25% of the world’s oil demand. Used by just 4% of the world’s population.

Can’t we just produce more oil?

World oil production peaked in 2005. Despite growing demand and an unprecedented increase in prices, oil production has fallen over the last three years. Oil is getting more expensive to produce, harder to find and there just isn’t enough of it to keep up with demand.

The simple truth is that cheap and easy oil is gone.

"America is addicted to foreign oil.
It’s the addiction "

No, it isn't.

The addiction rhetoric misunderestimates the magnitude of the problem.

Addiction is nothing compared to oil dependency.

I am a student in Montreal starting to study geology. I am trying to understand how 'peak oil' works. I thought I had figured it out until I read this article about projections that sometimes don't reduce production. Then one from 'Ben W. Ebenhack' about how the peak oil curves are wrong really confuses me. He says so at I am just learning and this is my first post so I hope it is not stupid. I am grateful for your thoughtful help.

Merci beaucoup,

I don't disagree with what Ben W. Ebenhack is saying (, nobody knows exactly what would be the exact shape of global oil production. There is no reason to think that it will be a symmetric peak.

They are almost never symetrical peaks.

However every oil field and country does peak eventually - this is not a theory it's a fact.

Thx Khebab! You are THE genius! Please, could you tell me which statistical package (programme) you used to make such pretty figures?


Sasa K.

Como se va Marie,

Just hang around here for a while. Lots of different thoughts on the subject here. It might be a little confusing at first but be patient. The great advantage of this site over reading different reports is that you can directly question (and challenge)those statements. Interactive participation will get you caught up quickly. And there are no stupid questions.....just stupid geologists (been one for 33 years). But we are trainable.

Oil prices have gone up since April 2008 and now have come back down as shown by the Brent oil price graph below.


OPEC recently announced production cuts of about 0.5 mbd down from July 2008 production levels. These cuts combined with the inability of non OPEC to increase production in 4Q08 to meet demand should cause oil prices to increase again.

The chart below shows why the price is likely to increase in 4Q08.

The vertical bars represent Non OPEC total liquids supply based on data from IEA and OPEC. For the first three quarters of 2008, IEA/OPEC show Non OPEC total liquids supply between 49.5 and 50.0 mbd. However, IEA/OPEC show a big jump of about 1.4 mbd to 4Q08 to meet demand. It seems that the 4Q08 demand was estimated first, then Non OPEC supply was adjusted upwards to meet that demand.

The world demand is shown by the red data points and IEA/OPEC forecast a big increase in 4Q2008.

How does IEA explain their 1.64 mbd increase in Non OPEC supply from 3Q08 to 4Q08? The IEA is forecasting supply increases from USA, 0.09 mbd; Mexico, 0.05 mbd; Canada, 0.20 mbd; UK, 0.16 mbd; Norway, 0.11 mbd; Australia, 0.06 mbd; Russia, 0.18 mbd; Azerbaijan/Kazakhstan, 0.54 mbd; Brazil, 0.10 mbd; processing gains, 0.04 mbd; and other biofuels, 0.06 mbd.

I don't believe the IEA. Do you?

The IEA is overoptimistic in the ability of Non OPEC to increase their production to the extent that the IEA is forecasting a reduction in the call on OPEC crude from 31.8 mbd in 3Q08 down to 31.4 mbd in 4Q08.

OPEC data source: page 41
IEA data source: page 50

An attempt at forecasting the price is shown in the updated chart below. My forecast supply demand gap for 4Q08 is 1.2 mbd.

click to enlarge

Hi all peakoilers.
I have not beeing reading the oildrum much lately, because i have other more important things to do. Mainly preparing for the crisis coming from PO and the credit collapse.

Good Luck to you all.


I'm new to these calculations. Why is the EIA forecast so drastically different?