DrumBeat: March 18, 2008

Swiss reject US, Jewish criticism of Iranian gas deal

BERN, Switzerland: Swiss Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey on Tuesday brushed aside U.S. and Jewish criticism of a multibillion-dollar (-euro) gas deal she helped clinch with Iran, saying the Alpine republic does not need permission from the United States to advance its strategic interests.

The brusque remarks by Calmy-Rey, who has ruffled feathers in Washington and Jerusalem with her outspoken positions on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, threaten to escalate tensions over a 25-year natural gas contract announced Monday between Swiss energy trading company EGL and the state-owned National Iranian Gas Export Company.

Persian Gulf Tanker Rates Post Biggest Increase in Six Weeks

(Bloomberg) -- The cost of shipping Middle East crude to Asia rose the most in more than six weeks amid tanker bookings by Chevron Corp. and ENI SpA.

Nigerian oil union postpones strike plans

LAGOS (Reuters) - A Nigerian oil workers' union said on Tuesday it was in talks with the government over a labour dispute at the local arm of ExxonMobil and any strike action had been put back until next week.

LUKOIL to supply no oil to Germany in April

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia's LUKOIL will supply no crude to Germany in April for a third month in a row as it steps up pressure on the importer of Russian oil to the country to get better prices, trading sources said on Tuesday.

"There will be most likely nothing for April, and going forward, talks will be held on a monthly basis," one source told Reuters.

Tapping US heatoil reserve would lower prices-EIA

WASHINGTON, March 18 (Reuters) - Releasing supplies from the U.S. Northeast Heating Oil Reserve would have a short-term impact on lowering record retail heating oil prices, the head of the federal Energy Information Administration said on Tuesday.

Shell may upgrade crude outside Alberta

CALGARY -- Royal Dutch Shell PLC is considering several upgrading options for its crude from Alberta's oilsands, including sending it to Ontario, the U.S. Gulf Coast or California.

The strategy could upset the Alberta government, which wants more oilsands upgrading to be done in the province, but Rob Routs, in charge of the European oil major's refining business, said one of the reasons Shell took out Shell Canada Ltd.'s minority shareholders for $8.7-billion last year was to optimize its infrastructure in North America.

Russia's Stroytransgaz to build 2nd gas refinery in Syria by 2010

MOSCOW (RIA Novosti) - Stroytransgaz, one of Russia's largest engineering and construction companies, said on Tuesday it plans to build a second gas refinery in north-central Syria by 2010.

NZ can grow all its own biofuels, says study

Purpose-grown forests to produce biofuels could meet all New Zealand's transport fuel requirements within 40 years, according to a study by the Crown research institute Scion.

Portugal leads rush into green energy

Portugal, one of the European Union's least conspicuous countries, is in the vanguard of the continent's rush to harness renewable energy. Despite its frail economy, it is one of eight EU countries whose push into clean technology has enabled a double-digit share of electricity consumption from green sources.

Doomsday scenario for oil

A gloomy forecast about the future of the oil industry — looking forward to a possible Doomsday within a very few years — was given to the Sub-Saharan oil, gas and petrochemical conference in Cape Town on Tuesday.

Chris Skrebowski, a researcher for the Energy Institute in Britain, told delegates that the oil supply will peak in 2011 or 2012 at around 93 million barrels a day, that oil supply in international trade will peak earlier than the oil production peak, and he forecast: "There will be supply shortfalls in winter before peak."

Delta Air Lines to offer voluntary severances

ATLANTA - Delta Air Lines says it will offer voluntary severance payouts to roughly 30,000 employees — more than half its workforce — and cut domestic capacity by an extra 5 percent this year as part of an overhaul of its business plan to deal with soaring fuel prices.

Extra OPEC Oil Production Isn't Needed, Qatar Says

(Bloomberg) -- OPEC has no need to pump additional oil supplies to soften near-record prices, which are propped up by the weak U.S. dollar, Qatar's energy minister said.

``We are confident there is no shortage of supply,'' Abdullah bin Hamad al-Attiyah said in a phone interview from Qatar today. ``One of the reasons that the oil price is going up is because of dollar weakness. Every time the dollar goes down, oil goes up.''

'We defeated Exxon,' Venezuelan oil minister says

CARACAS (Reuters) - A ruling in a British court to lift a $12 billion freeze on Venezuelan assets earlier awarded to U.S. oil major Exxon Mobil was a "100 pct victory" for the South American nation, its oil minister said Tuesday.

"We have defeated Exxon," minister Rafael Ramirez said on state television after Tuesday's decision.

China Selling Oil Equipment to Africa

China depends on Africa for roughly one-third of its imported oil. And, many Chinese companies also see Africa as a lucrative market to sell oil drilling equipment. Several Chinese firms are attending this year's oil industry convention, underway in South Africa.

Cheney says high oil price reflects market reality

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Crude oil prices in excess of $100 a barrel reflect the reality in the market place, U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney said on Monday.

Cheney, on a trip to the Middle East that started in Iraq, said he did not see a lot of excess production capacity worldwide.

Saudis grumble over economy despite record oil price

RIYADH, March 18 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia is showing signs of nervousness about popular discontent over inflation, as Saudis suffer sharp price rises despite an unprecedented cash windfall from high oil prices, observers say.

Saudis saw price rises hit 7 percent in January, the highest since at least 1981, while the riyal has declined in the past year along with the U.S. dollar to which it is tightly pegged.

Michael C. Lynch: Peak oil, uncommon ground

Steve Andrews was kind enough to approach me about writing on the subject of where the peak oil community agrees with, shall we say, its critics. However, the peak oil community is itself divided in its views and cannot be addressed as a unified whole. So, this piece will include what I consider the areas of disagreement between the two communities of peak oil advocates, and the subsequent areas of agreement between resource optimists and peak oil advocates of both kinds.

Venezuela Aims To Increase 2008 Oil Output From Old Fields

Venezuela's Oil Ministry plans to focus this year on pumping more crude from the country's western region, an area known for its mature oil wells.

The ministry will open more wells and use more drill equipment in these areas so that "in 2008, production can reach an average of 937,000 barrels a day," up from 907,000 in 2007, according to the ministry's plans outlined in its 2007 year-end report, obtained by Dow Jones Newswires.

Coal Reemerges As Important Raw Material In Chemical Manufacturing Industry, Experts Argue

With oil prices hovering around $100 per barrel, coal is reemerging as a key raw material in the manufacture of the basic chemical materials used to make plastics, fertilizers, and hundreds of other products, according to an article scheduled for the March 17 issue of Chemical & Engineering News.

UAE: ‘developers to blame’

Dewa’s electricity demand is growing at 15-20 per cent, while water demand is increasing at 12 per cent every year. Amid Dubai’s massive growth fuelled by its ambitious projects, the question of whether the emirate can sustain the growing power consumption has been raised by some property developers, saying Dubai’s $300 billion real estate boom may be slowed as the emirate’s state-owned power and water utility struggles to keep up with demand from residential and tourism projects.

China's energy crunch a chance for power play

Chinese authorities are also aggressively pursuing alternative energy sources such as wind and solar power, and attempting to supply the growing global alternative energy market. More than 20 plants have been built to produce polysilicon - a vital ingredient for solar panels. But polysilicon is extremely hazardous and a recent news report on China's refusal to install costly protective technology caused a selloff in publicly traded solar power companies such as SunTech Power, China Sunergy and Markham, Ont.-based Canadian Solar.

Mr. Brebner holds out little hope for alternative energy as a short-term solution. "The magnitude requirements for energy within China are so vast I think it's not really going to make a difference over the next five to 10 years" he says.

Chad and crude prices

One of the more interesting side notes in crude’s run-up to its current exorbitant levels is the extent to which the market has been influenced by incidents in countries that, in previous years, wouldn’t have possibly affected the global oil futures price.

One of those countries is Chad, which suffered an attempted coup last month and where a rebel leader Sunday threatened to attack the country’s oil fields, which are operated by a consortium led by Exxon Mobil.

Oil Price Making Some Africans Richer, Others Poorer

High oil prices are creating the best of times and worst of times for Africa. That is according to several experts speaking this week at an oil industry conference in South Africa. For the handful of countries that export oil, times are good. But times are tough for everyone else.

Indians pays for fuel-price imbroglio

MUMBAI - The Indian government's decision to raise the retail prices of petrol and diesel marginally by 2 rupees (5.5 US cents) and 1 rupee a liter in February, did little to untangle India's oil price imbroglio. The country's consumers have to pay prices that, even subsidized, are among the highest in Asia for the fuel yet oil companies nurse record losses that are put at US$88 million daily.

All About: Food and fossil fuels

(CNN) -- Eating ethically is no easy task these days. One problem is deciding which ethic is more important. Keeping third-world farmers in fair trade jobs by purchasing their produce? Or assuaging your concerns over the environmental impact of getting that produce to your kitchen by shopping locally instead?

Drought eases, water wars persist

"The Southeast has not yet come to grips with the fact that it has a water problem, that it needs to plan for its water usage, that it can't take for granted that all the water it needs will always be there," says Robin Craig, a law professor and water expert at Florida State University's College of Law.

Bitter battles over water could thwart the Southeast's evolution as one of 10 "mega-regions" across the USA, says Harry West, a professor at Georgia Tech's Center for Quality Growth and Regional Development.

"We've got to get around the parochial way of thinking about things and understand that these issues don't stop at the state line," he says.

Blind date with disaster

We are constantly warned by scientists that our planet is in big trouble, so why can't we change direction? David Suzuki, one of the world's leading ecologists, on how humans have lost the vital skill of foresight.

Stealth release of major federal study of Gulf Coast climate change transportation impacts

On March 12 the U.S. government released a major assessment report on the likely impacts of global climate disruption on a wide range of transportation systems and infrastructure in the U.S. Gulf Coast region. The report was released in a way that was clearly intended to minimize public attention to it, and our media sources say the Department of Transportation is blocking journalists from talking with the lead author at the agency about the findings in the report. Why? Read on....

Backyard answer to energy crisis

With crude oil now more than $US110 a barrel and the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries announcing this month that it will not succumb to demands for raised production quotas, dark predictions of an imminent descent into a global energy crisis appear to be coming true.

But the permaculture co-founder David Holmgren, who has been warning of such events for decades, believes the energy crisis heralds the beginning of a low-energy future - a future that may involve a return to 1950s suburbia.

Goldman Sachs Follows Money Morning Prediction That Oil Prices Could Approach $200 a Barrel

Just days after Money Morning Investment Director Keith Fitz-Gerald reiterated his prediction that oil prices would reach $187 a barrel within 36 months, Wall Street giant Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) issued a report predicting crude oil prices would reach $175 in the next few years.

Inflation Is Baked Into the Cake

Instead, we look to longer-term trends. In that regard, two are apparent. The first has to do with the concept of “peak” commodities. While it has been Marion King Hubbert’s theory of Peak Oil that has received the most attention, credible arguments can also be made for peak metal (the dearth of major new discoveries), and even peak food. While these arguments have merit, they were beyond the scope of our survey, other than noting them as potentially rising in significance over time.

Prometheus, With The Cuffs On

Markets around the Gulf are panicking because their dinars, riyals and dirhams are pegged to the flailing dollar. When the Fed meets to decide how much value to extract from the dollar, central banks in this region will administer a similar inflationary poison to their own currencies.

So, what does this mean? Real term rates will surely dip further into the negative, inflation will continue to soar, nationals and expats will carry on complaining their bread has become more expensive, governments will dig further into their pockets to doll out extravagant welfare initiatives. In short, it will be business as usual.

Seoul to Scale Up State Oil Company

A state-run oil firm has set out to increase in size as part of efforts to help secure crucial energy sources in a more stable manner.

According to the Ministry of Knowledge Economy Tuesday, President Lee Myung-bak told government officials the previous day that the Korea National Oil Corporation (KNOC) should be at least ``five times bigger’’ than its current size.

South American Natural Gas Crisis a Tragedy of Politics

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina -- Few things better illustrate the tragedy of Latin American populist and nationalist politics than the crisis related to natural gas in South America. A region endowed with vast reserves and governments that describe themselves as close partners is mired in crippling power shortages and cross-border disputes over cutbacks in the supply of natural gas. People cannot count on consistent service.

The problem began in 2002 when Argentine politicians decided to control the price of natural gas, large amounts of which had been discovered in the country during the previous two decades. In the context of an economic rebound, demand boomed. Natural gas became a crucial part of Argentina's energy mix -- the automobile industry here largely converted to it as a fuel source.

But because the controlled prices provided little incentive to foreign companies at a time when the government was leading an aggressive campaign against private capital, investment dried up. When supply was unable to meet demand, shortages followed. Argentina was forced to reduce contracted exports to Chile from 20 million cubic meters a day in 2003 to one-tenth of that today.

Indonesia ups April oil imports by 4.2 pct

SINGAPORE, March 18 (Reuters) - Indonesia's state oil company PT Pertamina will import a higher-than-expected 12.17 million barrels of oil products in April, due to a refinery glitch and higher utility demand, industry sources said on Tuesday.

...State electricity firm PT Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN) has switched to using diesel-fired generators since February due to a shortage of domestic coal following recent disruptions to shipments that had triggered power blackouts in Java and Bali.

India Bans Exports of Edible Oils to Boost Supplies

(Bloomberg) -- India, the world's second-biggest buyer of vegetable oils, banned exports of all edible oils to boost local supplies amid concern a smaller winter oilseed crop may worsen a shortage.

NASA Chief: Global Warming Treated Like a Religion

The theory of human-caused global warming is being treated as religious dogma, NASA's administrator said.

In an interview with SciGuy blogger Eric Berger, NASA Administrator Michael Griffin who last May questioned whether addressing the alleged global warming problem required all that much urgency, warned that dissent from the global warming theory is almost treated as heresy.

This is not science fiction

Ice scientists around the world watched with a mixture of alarm and astonishment as the great Arctic Sea ice sheet shrank over the northern summer to its lowest level in memory.

The rapid melt exceeded almost every scenario the scientists had modelled. But as they crunched the numbers they found that since 1979 the summer sea ice has been dwindling by 10 per cent or 72,000 square kilometres each decade.

Complex natural forces have contributed to the record melt but the impact of global warming on the fragile polar ice sheet is inescapable.

Exxon loses decision in court battle with Venezuela

LONDON: A freeze on $12 billion in Venezuelan assets awarded to Exxon Mobil should be lifted, a British court ruled Tuesday.

Exxon convinced a court in January to freeze the assets of the Venezuelan state oil company so cash would be available if it won arbitration over an oil field which was lost in President Hugo Chávez's nationalization drive.

But after hearing Petróleos de Venezuela's arguments, the judge ruled against Exxon.

Kunstler: A Real Freak Out

Things are getting very weird very fast -- and will probably get even weirder, faster, as the train wreck of bad debt meets the Saint Paddy's Day Parade of bacchanalian excess at the grade-crossing of destiny. The train is carrying America's financial system, but the engine driving it is peak oil, because declining energy resources necessarily means declining capital wealth -- and declining value of all the institutions, instruments, and markers that denote that wealth or hope to profit by trading in it. The fiasco leads straight to the necessary reinvention of American life on other terms and by other means.

Global oil production likely to peak in 2011 - analyst

The point at which the world’s oil output would peak and production would enter a terminal decline might become a global reality as soon as 2011, an expert predicted on Tuesday.

Peak oil, which referred to the point when no further production expansion would be possible, had become a contentious issue of debate in recent years with analysts predicting various dates and scenarios at when peak oil would be a reality.

Speaking at the Oil Africa conference in Cape Town Energy Institute researcher Chris Skrebowski said that while a debate on the issue continued to rage globally, the reality was that the world would soon begin to run out of oil reserves.

Shell counts rising cost of squeezing oil from sand in Canada

Shell’s Canadian oil sands business is suffering a profitability squeeze because of the soaring cost of energy needed to extract bitumen from sand.

The oil company’s annual report, published yesterday, reveals that operating expenses at the Athabasca Oil Sands Project in Alberta have soared by almost 50 per cent in the two years since 2005, while output at the bitumen mining project has either remained static or declined.

The U.S. Is Poised to Hit a New Oil Gusher

Oil drillers have their eye on a vast oil field in and around North Dakota, which promises a steady flow of domestic crude for years.

Kuwaiti politics in crisis after cabinet resignation

Sectarian tensions and a row over public sector pay have prompted a political crisis in Kuwait, Opec's fourth-largest oil producing country.

The Middle Eastern state saw its cabinet step down en masse yesterday, raising the likelihood of snap elections following the dissolution of parliament by head of state Sheikh Sabar.

Mexico Braces for an Oil War

Angelic children stare at rolling waves as a deep voice booms out the wonders of petroleum. "Mexico has a great treasure, a treasure hidden below the bottom of the sea," the narrator says soothingly above joyous music. "But the world now confronts a new reality." Suddenly, the watcher is bombarded with graphics explaining deep sea drilling in terms fifth graders might understand; the oil is at a depth 30 times greater than Mexico's highest building; the pressure is like 60 trucks weighing on a can of soda. As the music reaches a dramatic finale, the narrator hits the punch line as if in a preview for a blockbuster movie: "Reaching our oil is one of the biggest challenges of our time," he says. "And Mexico has to take the necessary actions to achieve it."

Gazprom may be asked to share export revenue

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia's gas export monopoly Gazprom may be asked to share some of its export revenues with independent gas producers for using their gas for export needs, a newspaper reported on Tuesday.

US oil spill ship pilot charged

The pilot of a ship that spilt 58,000 gallons of oil into San Francisco Bay after crashing into the Bay Bridge has been charged with criminal negligence.

John Cota, who was also charged with breaking environmental laws, faces 18 months in jail and up to $100,000 in fines if convicted.

Climate Change Could Turn Ireland's Green To Brown

WASHINGTON - The wearin' of the brown?

Forty shades of beige? - Climate change could turn Ireland's legendary emerald landscape a dusty tan, with profound effects on its society and culture, a new study released in time for St. Patrick's Day reported.

Monbiot: Carbon capture is turning out to be just another great green scam

Cleaner technology is possible, but Labour plans to introduce it so slowly that any benefits will be lost in higher coal output.

Re: Barnett Shale Play & Bakken Shale Play

After vast capital expenditures, the Barnett Shale Play has helped to basically stabilize total Texas natural gas production at about 60% of our 1972 peak production rate.

The Bakken is clearly a commercial play, but the key question is whether the producing intervals are commercially productive across a wide area, or only in discrete traps, and different recovery factor assumptions produce wildly different URR estimates.

In any case, IMO October, 2007 was the beginning of the real Energy Boom/Crisis. Whether it is perceived as boom or crisis is largely dependent on whether you are a net energy producer or net energy consumer.

I would be very cautious about assuming that the oil industry's ability to make money in resource plays and in finding overlooked oil fields will translate into good news for net energy consumers.


I've been in Continental Resources since the IPO.

I believe their development costs in the Bakken are about $30/barrel. That is for the productive well.

It seems like no matter who I talk to-- you either have a cash lifting cost of $20 with a development cost of $20, or a cash lifting cost of $10 with a development cost of $30, but North American crude oil at its best is a $40/barrel cost product today.

And looking at Rexx Energy, their sum total lifting development and G&A cost is $50/barrel. They are an 80% Illinois Basin company.


the nd industrial commission has a presentation on the middle bakken. the usgs has a study out as well:
and encore aquisition's 3-4-08 analyist presentation

apparently there is a lot of wild speculation about the urr for the middle bakken. the kipplinger article quotes 100Gb.
wow! another ghawar right here in the missouri river badlands. dream on...............encore uses reserves of 300 kb/section, extrapolation implies an area of 333,333 - 640 acre sections.

encore uses an ip of 440bopd. the ip is the subject of wild speculation also.

Some peakoil.com threads:

Finally, the Bakken makes the national media (NY Times)
Peak oil: Do you want it to occur? (go in about 8 pages)

Flow rates will never reach very high, but it is good LSC. Will be a good long-term resource - perhaps for the military/government.

well, at least the nyt reports their wildly speculative 200 gb figure as oil in place. kipplenger's wildly speculative 100 gb is implied as recoverable.
they must be a shill for cera, note they are saying that the usgs final report, when it is published, will be "conservative". i have read that before in ceraspeak.

Wiki has an article about the Bakken:


I had read that Bakken was 400 billion barrels of oil in place. One might expect to recover 10-20% of that. Of course the play is in its early stages and as time goes on a clearer picture might develop.

The Barnett Shale in the Ft. Worth area is the largest remaining natural gas field in Texas. Devon is the largest acreage holder in the play and gave a resource estimate of 13 tcf in its portion. Devon expected peak production from its holdings there in 2009 at about 1 bcf/day. The United States used about 22 tcf per year. The horizontal wells cost millions of dollars a piece. The United States used about 22% of the world's natural gas per year. Check the Devon website for investor presentation (pdf) about their work there.

What a nice windfall for DFW. Too bad they can't fuel planes on NG and still have to buy Jet A.

The way the oil companies seem to be approching this is that the oil is distributed over a wide area. This seems to be based on research that shows that the formation is continuous. The research can be found here:
Apparently this work will be published officially next month.


At some point, it would be good to find enough information on the Barnett Shale Play to put together a post on the topic, either as a guest post or as a post by one of the TOD staff.

We get little pieces here and there. There was some earlier discussion on one of my posts.

Do we have folks with inside knowledge of the situation. Besides Jeffrey Brown, I know that "mdsolar" has posted on the topic, and now I see Fractional_Flow. What other folks know something about the topic?

Imagine the Bartlett, Arkoma, and Fayetteville Shale to the Reelfoot Rift/Mississippi Embayment as an
Arc surrounding and caused by the uplift of the Ouachita Mountain
Range, the only East West Range in the US.

The Barnett and Fayetteville being on either side of the shallow

In Arkansas, the farther East you go, the deeper the play is. To know where the current plays are, follow the County Judge.

He must be told which roads will be used/destroyed to get the wells up and running.

Right now White and Van Buren are the big plays. A man (from an article on road taxes being taken out of royalty payments) said that the 2 lane road in front of his house has interstate 40 type traffic on it.

"I don't know what they're building up there, but it must be huge (Searcy,
White County, Chaesapeake Energy)."

"Ouachita Mountain
Range, the only East West Range in the US"

the granite range of wyoming is east-west also.


I've only been following the news on this (Bakken oil). I'm not a geologist and so far as I can tell, the hold up with the USGS publishing the work that Leigh Price did is that they haven't felt qualified to assess it. What I know is that the estimate for oil in place is around 400 billion barrels of light sweet crude spread over a wide area. Development has been going on in Montana, North Dakota and Canada. The cost figure I've seen is that it is economic to extract at $60/barrel. The oil comes from shale, but is trapped in a layer of sandstone that is thin and broad. Horizontal drilling is used to access this layer which is sandwiched between two layers of shale. It sounds like now people are beginning to feel comfortable saying that 100 billion barrels could be extracted. That is about 13 years of US oil consumption. The formation also produces natural gas and one well produced "2,247 barrels of oil and 1.7 million cubic feet" of gas in a day recently. http://www.scandoil.com/moxie-bm2/by_province/americans_onshore/usa/whit...
So that is about 11% of the energy in gas. Wells have been flaring the gas but I think they all plan to capture it as soon as they can. If the gas fraction is typical then this comes to 75 trillion cubic feet of gas, about 3 years of US consumption. As I say, I'm not a geologist but I'd guess that the light stuff comes up first so that the gas fraction might decline with time.

EDIT: mixed up cubic feet and meters originally.


You may want to review the history of the Austin Chalk Play as a pretty good analogue to the Bakken Shale Play. I suggest you quiz the engineers up the thread about what they think about 100 Gb in URR for the Bakken.

In any case, can you provide some documentation for the following?

The oil comes from shale, but is trapped in a layer of sandstone that is thin and broad. Horizontal drilling is used to access this layer which is sandwiched between two layers of shale.

December 3, 2007
Billions of barrels of oil found in Eastern Montana

Gazette State Bureau
HELENA - The low point came when the things got so tight that Billings petroleum geologist Richard Findley flirted with the idea of taking a second job as a restaurant cook.

He was working out of his basement, looking for oil in an Eastern Montana field almost nobody else wanted. Then, in 1996, he and his partner accidentally stumbled across a porous layer of dolomite 9,000 feet below ground at a site just a little west and north of Sidney.

That serendipity turned out to be the largest on-shore oil discovery in the continental United States in better than 20 years. Today, the oil field Findley found - and the technology he helped develop to extract the oil - has made millionaires out of ordinary Montanans, has swollen state coffers and ushered in a new philosophy of oil prospecting worldwide...

The Williston Basin is a geologic formation beneath a good chunk of Eastern Montana, most of North Dakota, parts of South Dakota and the Canadian provinces of Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Within the basin is something called the Bakken Formation. The Bakken (rhymes with "talking") is a sandwich of two slabs of black shale surrounding a layer of limestone, siltstone, sandstone and dolomite, another kind of sedimentary rock...


Thanks, but I'm looking for the documentation that the 100 Gb in URR are projected to come from a thin blanket sandstone.

Figure 1-10 here http://www.searchanddiscovery.net/documents/2006/06035flannery/index.htm describes the middle member.


From the linked article, regarding the middle siltstone interval:

Structural or combination structural/stratigraphic traps will be necessary for the middle Bakken to be prospective elsewhere.

One way of reading the link though is that the middle member is a trap itself. The USGS has been on again off again about saying anything about this. If they do next month, perhaps we'll have some reviewed work to look at.


Thanks. Assuming there is 100 billion barrels available (a big assumption), It will be interesting to see how much of it can be produced annually. We are currently using about 8 billion barrels a year. If it were possible to produce 4% of the 100 billion in a year, that would be half of our current use. At this point, it is probably too soon to even speculate.

We are talking about 2,247 barrels of oil a day from the one well. To get 4 billion barrels a year, we would need the equivalent of 4,877 wells producing at the rate of this one to get 10,958,904 barrels a day = 4 billion barrels a year.

This article appears to talk a bit about the Middle Bakken formation exploitation going on in Canada.

The prize, the scientists and analysts say, is something between 100 and 500 billion barrels of oil. If they were correct, then the Canadian share of the wealth � spread across the shallow northeastern fringe of distribution of oil generated in North Dakota � would be in the range of five to ten billion barrels or more of original oil in place.

(emphasis mine)

Seems like they can't quite narrow it down well up here, either. But at least it makes specific reference to OOIP.

Its Saskatchewan Middle Bakken wells are shallow � 1,600 metres - relative to those in Montana, which are typically twice as deep. The Mission wells typically have 100 to 1,400 metres of lateral direction. The proprietary Halliburton completion process entails equally-spaced multiple fractures � typically ten at 120-metre separations � utilizing 10 to 12 tonnes of sand.

It should not come as much of a surprise to most of us here that it's not exactly a gusher...

The initial production rate is typically 165 barrels of oil per day, with 710 cubic feet of sales gas per barrel, and 130 barrels of hydrocarbon liquids per million cubic feet, for a net 1.25 barrels of oil equivalent of value per barrel of oil produced.

Still, I'd like to have one of those on hand in, say, 10 years.

The article mentions a related oil shale play in neighbouring Manitoba, albeit very briefly.

I think that what people are doing is taking the Bakken Shale original oil in place (OOIP) estimates--hundreds of billions of barrels of oil--and then looking at discrete sandstone/shale producing fields and then extrapolating the discrete fields across the whole play.

The large estimates come from analysing the shale. The novel idea is that the oil has not migrated except to the middle member. This is based on interpolation of cores that North Dakota has accumulated. There is a summary of this here: https://www.dmr.nd.gov/ndgs/bakken/newpostings/07272006_BakkenReserveEst...
and other links here: https://www.dmr.nd.gov/ndgs/bakken/bakken.asp

In connection with Gail's suggestion, maybe the best thing to do would be to interview Julie LeFever of the North Dakota Geological Survey after compiling a list of skeptical questions. This could give a better idea about the uncertainties in the high estimates perhaps.


"Assuming there is 100 billion barrels available (a big assumption)"

assume the moon is made of white cheese and we will never run out, assume the earth is filled with a core of light sweet abiotic idiotic crude, assume anything you like.

Hi Westexas,

I'm just wondering if the capital expenditures on the Barnett were as vast as the natural gas reserves in South America, or as vast as the oil field in North Dakota?

In other words (are there any other words?), how vast is vast? Is vast vaster when we're talking of capital, gas or oil? Is it even possible to speak of units of vastness?

On a related subject, do train buffs buff trains? Can a buff ever be an advocate?

Something tells me you were having a little fun this morning, Jeffrey, buffing your post with a little journalese.

I'm wondering about this oil field in North Dakota. The article from today's drumbeat above says the field could contain up to 100 billion barrels. True, or is it just another fantasy from the abiotic oil crowd?

"this oil field in North Dakota"

it is not a single field, although that is probably what is implied by the likes of kipplinger. as wt points out, the middle bakken will likely produce on structural and stratigraphic traps. currently, most of the drilling is on the nesson "anticline" and the nesson extention(whatever that is).

"the field could contain up to 100 billion barrels"

again, kipplinger clearly implies that the recoverable oil is 100 gb, a ghawar field in the missouri river badlands, in other words.

give these cornucopians credit, if nothing else they are persistant.

One Ghawar, or 8 Prudhoe Bays (largest oil field in North America) or 17 East Texas Fields (largest oil field in the Lower 48).

The 100 Gb story is beginning to remind me of some of the guys pushing Pacific Ethanol stock not too long ago.

Let's nominate David Paterson for next week's Wings of Justice award, for becoming the nation's first openly serving, peak-oil-aware governor!

Buzzflash.com names a Wings of Justice award winner each week "to honor individuals who speak out and take action on behalf of the great American tradition of courage, Constitutional Rights, secular inclusion, truthfulness and common sense." The award winners are widely distributed; our local community radio station names the award winner and the justification each week.

As Glenn has posted, New York state's new governor, David Paterson, clearly understands peak oil and is willing to speak publicly about it.

Now that he is governor of New York, is David Paterson the only openly serving, peak oil aware governor in the US? I called around to people nationally active in peak oil education, and they weren’t aware that any other US governor had made comparable statements about peak oil. With their help, I identified the five states where much activity and discussion around peak oil made it likely that the governor had weighed in. Spokespeople for Wyoming governor Dave Freudenthal and Connecticut governor Jodi Rell said that those governors had not publicly addressed peak oil. The offices of Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty and Montana governor Brian Schweitzer did not return my morning calls by the end of the day.

What about New Mexico governor Bill Richardson, whose recent campaign platform was the most ambitious of any presidential candidate’s in reducing use of fossil fuel? Tom Udall, co-chair of the US Congress’s Peak Oil Caucus, represents a New Mexico district, so Richardson must talk to him about peak oil, no? Well, apparently not. The only indirect comment I’ve seen from Richardson on peak oil is the note on his presidential campaign web site, when Tom Udall opened a New Hampshire campaign office, that Udall was co-chair of the peak oil caucus. Richardson’s New Mexico governor’s office did not return my morning phone call by the end of the day.

So it looks like there are probably other governors who discuss peak oil in the closet—I mean, in their cabinets, of course—but David Paterson is the first openly serving, peak oil aware governor in the country.

Let's nominate Paterson for next week's Wings of Justice Award, so that people outside our little community can learn how remarkable he is in this respect.

Paterson's stance on peak oil is the subject of my weekly radio commentary, the Peak Oil Check-In. Download it here.

The timing might not be right for this. Since news of his affair and questions about whether he used public funding to conduct it are all over the news today.

...not to mention the fact that the "great American tradition of courage, Constitutional Rights, secular inclusion, truthfulness and common sense" is just plain silly. Why not nominate him to be president of calendars while we're at it?

And besides that, I would like to see what it might take to have Patterson actually 'voice the words', now that he's 'IN the Big Chair'.

Campaign speeches are great, but can we, in the low-pressure luxury that we enjoy out here come up with some of the kind of language that would be palatable/possible for our like-minded, sitting officials to utter, without getting shuffled off to the Carter Sweater-Drawer? .. or perhaps to 'say the words', and have a follow-up prepared for when they DO try to relegate you to the UFO room? Make that part of your Red Badge of Courage, that you 'know' that this will be the response, and that 'Carter was right when he did it, but our fear, irrational-exuberance, and Prudhoe Bay brought out the stupid in us, and now we're another 30 years behind schedule'. Use the inevitable attack against the attackers, and make that punch overshoot.

Alright, business call coming in.. no time to bell the cat.


maybe we could find the right Saucy Democratic Rep to get videotaped having lap-dance from Oily Cassandra?

But compared to the 3-way 'Friday Night Specials' of former NJ gov, his wife, and aide also being reported, affairs seem pretty mainstream. Wasn't there a post about this recently??

I'm not taking sides, but there is an issue everyone should note: give me control of the spotlight and I rule the world. The is massive corruption at the top of our society and vulnerabilities up and down the line. War crimes and profiteering to the tune of trillions one the one hand, with NO consequences -- yet hanky panky brings down governors and others who have one way or another inconvenienced the powers-that-be.

There needs to be some perspective on these things lest we become playthings. Well, we are playthings in hands the elite. We need to wise up.

You're absolutely right.
What we need to do now is what others have encouraged on this site: Impose a stiff escalating tax on FF, gasoline in particular.
Obviously our rulers haven't been properly compensated and need the extra cash to keep them from "acting out".

You obviously have a mighty news aggregator, Leanan, but I sure haven't see that much about his affair. Even when I searched for news about it, the affair story led but did not dominate the articles I found. I think the timing is good--there's a lot of attention been focused on the governorship of New York in the last week.

Bench, it's easy to poke fun at a lot of things that actually get people's attention and change behavior. I'd nominate Paterson to be "king of calendars" if I thought it would get more favorable attention to the need for a public dialog. What's your idea for encouraging governors to talk candidly about peak oil?

Jokuhl, your suggestion to sit back and wait to see what Paterson does as governor could avoid the "false positive" of nominating someone who doesn't follow through on his talk. Except that his talk is precisely the point, I think. Lots of governors discuss energy policy; ptoemmes (below) lists another one. Other than Paterson, no governor appears willing to open a conversation about energy policy in the face of peak oil.

It's a shame that in 2008 it may be worth an award to be in a position of power and honestly discuss peak oil, but that's where (in my humble opinion) we are right now.


Talking about "false positives", our (Vermont) congressman, Peter Welch, is rumored to be a member of the Peak Oil Caucus - but from his public statements one cannot tell. Another victim of the "UFO room" threat?

See also: http://vtpeakoil.net/community/document.php?id=236

Hi Carl;
I didn't really mean just to 'wait' for him to mention it. We should actively be encouraging him to mention it.. the rest of the thought was that our leaders might appreciate some suggestions for clever ways to frame the issue, pick an emphasis that isn't automatic, political poison.

When I worked with the NYC-DEP on part of the WaterTunnels, the engineer I worked with said in her Interview 'We go to the faucet and just expect water will come out..' as a way of illustrating that even THEY had little power to tell what the condition of a 500foot deep water tunnel was like.. all they know is that 'the water kept coming today.. woo hoo!' It was a good way to plant the seed of potential disruption in the water supplies.. She went on to say what the effects of a water failure would be to Manhattan, which ultimately meant large-scale evacuation, since both Firefighting and Electrical Power depend on this water supply, in addition to the more mundane needs, like drinking and washing.

What would be something you (any of you) could say as Governor to publically address this issue? Write the speech, what would you contextualize it with? What are you asking people to DO, or what are you announcing that 'Albany' is going to DO about this?


She went on to say what the effects of a water failure would be to Manhattan, which ultimately meant large-scale evacuation, since both Firefighting and Electrical Power depend on this water supply,

One has to marvel at how fragile this whole civilization thing is. Water pumping is needed to keep the subways from flooding - and that comes via electricity.

Governor to publically address this issue?

If one was to do that, what %age of the people would be leaving NY City - or the state? Best to sell the believe that all is fine...calm animals are easily controlled animals. Not to mention it helps you keep your job as 'leader'.

Hi Bob,
Nice illustration of our society's complexity and energy dependence, with the water tunnel example.

Paterson has already addressed peak oil so specifically that Glenn speculated that he may have a registered user name here at TOD. I think the speech he gave in May 2006 is an excellent way to address peak oil in a campaign.

A basic rule of getting the sort of political change you like is to publicly praise politicians who do something you agree with. From there, you can ask for more or for more specifics. I've nominated Paterson for the Wings of Justice award, and I hope others will also nominate Paterson, to increase his chances of winning. If he receives the award, NY peak oil activists will have a great opening for starting the sort of conversation you outline, with whatever agenda they think is most important. (The New York City group has some ideas here).

That said, I agree with Vermont Peaknik that it is difficult to tell sometimes that our representative Peter Welch is a member of the Peak Oil Caucus. I'm glad Peaknik asked him what was up with his silly statements about needing to keep gas prices down by stopping filling of the strategic petroleum reserve. Because Welch is on record as co-sponsoring the House peak oil resolution, Peaknik has a better place to start the conversation.


Charlie Crist of Florida "seems" to be energy concious (as opposed totally unconcious as many guvs are). I am not sure he is Peak Oil aware but is firmly against any (more) coal fired power plants and is a proponet/supporter of alternate energy electrical generation.

Alas...many of the residents where the wind blows do not seem to be.


I'll take one in my backyard.


I'm not sure if bloomberg links are shareable, but here goes:

Exxon $12 Billion Venezuela Asset Freeze Overturned (Update3)

A London court today said that an injunction freezing assets belonging to Petroleos de Venezuela SA, known as PDVSA, should be thrown out. Judge Paul Walker disclosed the ruling without giving his reasoning.

[edit] Oh. Nevermind, lead story today.

There's lots of commentary about the current financial mess in the press these days. Here's one I found particularly interesting:

Home Sweet Investment

In 1997, inflation-adjusted house prices were close to their average levels over the previous half-century. Only four years later, the price of the average home nationwide exceeded anything ever seen before in the United States. Prices continued to rise for another five years, peaking in 2006 at nearly twice the average price in 1997 (as can be seen on the graph on the bottom right, which is based on data collected by the Yale economist Robert Shiller). If house prices are heading back to the levels seen in 1997, then we are facing catastrophe.

If the cost of gasoline continues to be high in historical standards, the collapse of the Shruburban lifestyle based on houses situated far out of town in formally rural areas will be the result, as the cost of commuting will become prohibitive. The values of all those McMansions will likely fall considerably as a result. Looks like Kunstler and the others are going to be proved right and painfully so.

Of course, all the talk about the financial mess has glossed over the fact that oil prices were at record highs (although there was a dip yesterday). The financial MSM isn't going to mention Peak Oil as long as doing so would sink their ship. Looks like A Long Emergency indeed...

E. Swanson

I noted the comment (by Westexas?) several weeks ago about how the current housing/financial mess should return us to the historical accepted mortgage practices; ie… back in the 1970s… you were kept strictly to 3x the primary earner’s (proven) income; 90% max. (whereas recently in UK it has been up to 6x; and/or 125%)

WT suggested that house prices need to fall back to these historic norms. This seems to make sense to me… though I did wonder about the possibility that prices would remain stagnant whilst incomes would “rise” to meet them??

Then WT suggested yesterday that with ELM… we should prepare for our incomes to halve… so where would that leave house prices?

My observations in the UK… is that there are strange mind games going on here. There has always been “real estate agents talking the market up”… but reading the MSM here… it is as if continual house price rises have become mandatory/desirable… that in some way they make people “richer”.

I notice many newspapers are even scared to use the phrase “house prices fell last month”…. instead resorting to the phrase “house price increases declined last month” which, whilst on a year-on-year basis may be factually true, neatly sidesteps the painful news…

though I did wonder about the possibility that prices would remain stagnant whilst incomes would “rise” to meet them?

Real inflation-adjusted incomes in the US have been stagnant for about 25 years. So I suppose you should rephrase that to "whilst inflation would erode the value of the homes", or something like that.

"Income" does not include: Food stamps; subsidized housing; medicaid; the earned income tax credit - which gives people money even though they pay no income taxes; and a host of other benefits. If these items were added, then the "income" of the lower 25% is up significantly.

Almost as much as their labor force participation. Lots more people working these days that didn't used to work. A two income family in 2008 has a lot less real income than a two income family in 1968. Sometimes so much less that they need those food stamps.

ie… back in the 1970s… you were kept strictly to 3x the primary earner’s (proven) income; 90% max. (whereas recently in UK it has been up to 6x; and/or 125%)

Even a return to the 1990s would be reasonable - 4.5x single income or 3.5x joint income for 2 people; 95% (or 100% with 1 year's additional Mortgage Indemnity guarantee premium

I first encountered the option of 125% mortgage when trying to sell in 1995, 4 years after the start of the price tumble, and with still large negative equity. Buy to let mortgages were introduced around this time to allow people to move - typical rental income would (barely) cover mortgage repayments. It was a few years later that buy to let had the potential to earn more in rental than the mortgage, which pushed up prices still further, as a whole new generation of landlords was created.


If the cost of gasoline continues to be high in historical standards, the collapse of the Shruburban lifestyle based on houses situated far out of town in formally rural areas will be the result, as the cost of commuting will become prohibitive.

the suburbs are already crashing because of the housing bubble. oil prices are a small part of that. people never wanted to live in some of these places but they were pushed out into the suburbs because of high prices.

if people do want to live there they can get a car with a better MPG, car pool or simply take the bus.

people never wanted to live in some of these places but they were pushed out into the suburbs because of high prices.

Not true at all in many cities. The homes are cheaper downtown than out in the exburbs. The only cities that have really high prices downtown are the ones bordered by water or mountains or other cities. Anyway, folks moved away from downtown to get away and then folks moved away from the suburbs to get away.

Interesting related story from SF Bay area: Is Suburbia Turning Into Slumburbia?

We're not talking about mean inner city streets getting meaner, we're talking about the pristine, newly built developments of four-bedroom, three-bath dream homes produced in the last housing boom becoming ghettos for the poor and the disenfranchised.

Slumburbia? After decades of middle class flight from the cities in search of safe neighborhoods and good schools — a flight that continues today even from gentrified cities like San Francisco — it's hard to conjure the image of a truly derelict suburbia. Will all those manicured lawns sprout weeds and broken bottles like a Baltimore back alley? Will drug dealers take over the local cul-de-sac? Will squatters set up camp in the neighbor's McMansion?

All this seems unfathomable, but it's the prediction du jour for some urban planners who make it their business to track the larger sociological implications of our land use.

also check this BBC video story: Tent cities spring up in LA

I saw this graph of "Non-Borrowed Reserves of Depository Institutions" over at Feral Scholar.


The right-most end of the graph looks like one of those dropouts on a daily graph of the Dow when the computers lose the data for a brief time. This one is probably an actual crash, though.

If you look at the actual data, the fall began back in November:

2007-01-01 41.960
2007-02-01 42.424
2007-03-01 42.267
2007-04-01 42.635
2007-05-01 43.093
2007-06-01 43.419
2007-07-01 41.653
2007-08-01 43.948
2007-09-01 40.973
2007-10-01 42.252
2007-11-01 42.281
2007-12-01 27.154
2008-01-01 -3.879
2008-02-01 -17.592

And, the data on the graph was for 1 February 2008.
Wanna bet it's worse now?

E. Swanson

I think the graph is related to this link that we have seen various times before.

I think the official line is not to worry, the banks are now just borrowing their reserves from the new loan facility, so this effect is expected. The amount relative to the entire banking system is tiny.

The JPM/Bear transfer was the biggest Bank Heist in US history.

And the Fed has just become the largest landlord in the US.

What we're doing ow is deciding where the Fed draws the line on TBTF.

Anyone outside that line will disappear.

"The Fed and taxpayer will bail some of 'em out. Some will be bought up, wiping out their shareholders. But others will fold up shop and just go away, leaving their account holders, especially the fools who carried more than the FDIC limits, in a world of pain.

The FDIC will pay out some of the first to fail, but then the FDIC itself will need to be bailed out by the taxpayer. And by the time the FDIC gets around to paying (if they pay), the dollar itself will be even more worthless.

And the first to fail? The banks who have the most wildly-overvalued toxic mortgage garbage still on their balance sheets."


Not All money is invested in FDIC insured accounts. A lot of money is invested in brokerage accounts not covered by FDIC insured. Most brokage accounts are insured with SIPC which isn't the same as FDIC insurance.

FYI: Definantly worth a read if you have a brokerage account:


BTW: Do you think if you invest in US treasuries that your money is safe if your bank goes under? Think again! Banks purchase securities (including Treasuries) in the banks name, not yours! If the bank goes under, you're just another creditor! Liquidators aren't going to care that you invested conservatively (that takes time an effort). They are going to look at your account value and give you the same percentage as a investor that bought junk sub-prime bonds.

[One way to avoid this is to put your cash in a FDIC savings account and purchase treasuries in your own naming using "Treasurydirect.gov". Also see http://www4.fdic.gov/EDIE/ (extend your FDIC insurance above $100K limit).]

So far the Fed has used half of its 800 Billion Cash reserves for all the bailouts. In another four to six months, the rest of their reserves will be gone. Then the Fed either prints money, or asks Congress to bailout with taxpayer money. Would the Fed or Congress further debase the USD if the price of Oil is near $150 bbl? I can't say whether the price of oil will go to $150 bbl, but I can't rule it out either. We are in uncharted waters, and the seas are getting rougher by the day.

FWIW, Today's Fed move is pushing on strings. Credit is still drying up and the price of energy is bound to continue to rise with rate cut. Higher energy costs and inflation further tightens the credit supply.

What does that actually mean? Non-Borrowed Reserves of Depository Institutions. Presumably that means the miniscule percent required against deposits - or maybe not so miniscule now that it can go negative. Is this the chart that in the Good Old Days would show 20% of deposits?

cfm in Gray, ME

Yes, What does that actually mean? Tell me too...

(It looks like they have turned "Borrowed" since 2008-01-01 at -3.879 for some reason)

Angola Plans to Boost Oil Production

March 18 (Bloomberg) -- Angola, sub-Saharan Africa's second- biggest crude producer, plans to increase average output to 2 million barrels a day by the end of this year from 1.9 million, exceeding its OPEC target.

The country will maintain that level of production until about 2013,...

This is not the good news that at first glance it appears to be. Over the last three years Angola has, on average, increased their production by 25,000 barrels per day every month or about 300,000 barrels per day per year. In December of 2007 their production was 1,986,000 barrels per day. This year, and for the next six years, they expect to average 2,000,000 barrels per day. That is only 14,000 barrels per day over their December 07 production, and they expect to hold that figure for the next six years.

Since the peak of C+C in May of 2005, the two brightest stars in world oil production have been, by far, Angola and Russia, producing a gain of 816,000 bp/d and 500,000 bp/d respectively for a combined gain of 1,316,000 barrels per day. Now Russian production this year is expected to be down about 1.5% and Angolan production is expected to be flat. So our two brightest stars have petered out.

2008 will probably be the year we come off the almost four year plateau that we have been riding. (The plateau began in June of 2004.)

Ron Patterson

I see the mega projects database has three projects totaling 250,000 million barrels a day in maximum production scheduled for 2008. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oil_Megaprojects/2008

There was also 430,000 million barrels that began production in 2007, much of which is still supposed to be ramping up. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oil_Megaprojects/2007

"I see the mega projects database has three projects totaling 250,000 million barrels a day in maximum production scheduled for 2008.

"There was also 430,000 million barrels that began production in 2007, much of which is still supposed to be ramping up."

Hmm, this seems quite high -- maybe you meant to leave off the "million"...?

Oops! You are right. I obviously wasn't thinking when I wrote it.

Thanks, Ron

This is an admission by Angola that it has reached its peak plateau.

Here's a Reuters update

Syanga Abilio, a board member and VP of Sonangol, said

We are doing our best to maintain our plateau of 2 million barrels, probably until 2014. Our production profile does indicate normal decline (after 2014) which we will be fulfilling with our exploration programme.

Colin Campbell had originally forecast Angola to peak in about 2020 at about 1.8 mbd. However, if you take his deepwater oil production scenario A and add it to Angola's regular oil profile then Angola peaks about now.

Based on Abilio's statement of a 2 mbd peak plateau and Campbell's estimate of ultimate recoverable reserves of 20 Gb for Angola, the future production of Angola might look like the chart below. The steep rise since 2000 was due to new production from deepwater oil projects.

Angola forecast crude oil production (plateau followed by exponential decline) - click to enlarge

Concerning the link above: NASA Chief: Global Warming Treated Like a Religion

We should not lose sight of the fact that the NASA Chief is a political appointee, appointed by the Bush Administration. The Chief Administrator, Dr. Michael Griffin, has appeared to take the high road while allowing other political appointed underlings to do the dirty work. From a 2006 release:

NASA Chief Backs Agency Openness
In October, for example, George Deutsch, a presidential appointee in NASA headquarters, told a Web designer working for the agency to add the word "theory" after every mention of the Big Bang, according to an e-mail message from Mr. Deutsch that another NASA employee forwarded to The Times.

Be very open and say anything you please, just as long as you call it a theory.

Ron Patterson

"a political appointee, appointed by the Bush Administration."

.. and I thought they were big on Religion.. oh, just not religions that have facts and evidence, right.


Well global warming is certainly treated as an apostate religion by most of the wingnut community. Them godless scientists are just complete fraudsters, who have signed a pact with the commies.

I agree with most of what Griffin had to say. There are certainly people who do not understand the science who then take the basic facts and spin them into various scenarios for disaster. That the public doesn't get their information straight from the scientists is part of the problem. The science of climate is the study of statistics which is not a subject that the average person is going to understand. The many nuances in the science are not made clear to the public by the MSM, so the public's lack of understanding can lead to further confusion. That's why the denialist can spread their disinformation so easily and thus claim that there is a "debate" about the "theory" of AGW.

E. Swanson

I just have to wonder if Griffin and Hansen have ever had a tense moment at the NASA 'Winter Holiday' party, glaring at each other over the top of the molten ice-sculpture in the punch bowl?

I wonder if we make nice to Cuba sooner than later.

Havana, Cuba - Imagine oil rigs drilling in deep waters just 45 miles off the coast of South Florida. Refineries process the oil in Cuba and sell it across the Caribbean and beyond. Canadian and Mexican companies supply billions of dollars in equipment and services.


A couple more nuggets:

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., aims to head off those possibilities and keep drilling far from Florida shores. In a long-shot move, he seeks to scrap a 31-year-old accord that splits the 90 miles of water between the United States and Cuba and to redraw the boundaries.

The big losers likely would be U.S. oil equipment and service companies, such as Halliburton, which would need to get in early. They would be shut out of mega-contracts to build refineries, pipelines, ports and other basics. And their competitors, including Canadian and Mexican companies familiar with the Gulf of Mexico area, would be supplying food and other services to the oil industry, Piñon said.


This story, or some scare-mongering version of it, seems to pop up about once a year in the Florida press. It is, as far as I can see, meaningless newspaper filler. There have been no significant new finds in the Cuban deep water blocks since Repsol announced its findings in 2004.

This whole article turns on a single sentance - "But since then, oil prices have reached new inflation-adjusted highs and the economics of oil have changed."

Note that there is no oil executive announcing a new initiative, no exploration company announcing a new effort. Only the speculation that Chavez might not continue to sell Cuba cheap oil.

This is not to say that platforms won't go in, that oil won't be produced. But this article is not about some future energy source. It is only petty political misinformation, rife with misdirections like the comparison to ANWAR and the observation that it could provide oil (for Cuba) for years!


Ultimately, the conferees backed a plan, hashed out by British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, that would exempt EU heavy industries from emissions controls, so that they can compete on a level playing field in the global marketplace. Brown supported Merkel's proposal in exchange for her support of his climate scheme, which entails the manipulation of the tax code to give European businesses an incentive to reduce emissions.

Of course, it is not clear what, if any, good can come from a climate plan that exempts the heaviest emitters.

Could you lay off the all caps? It's hard to read.

Sorry, that's how I get it, I'll rewrite them next time.

From up top: "Cheney says high oil price reflects market reality"

There we have it, from the horse's mouth: not much spare capacity...

gwb, what makes you say that we are hearing it from the 'horse's mouth' vs the opposite end?

So Cheney visited the Persian Gulf and was advised by OPEC that 'we have little spare capacity'? How does that square with OPEC's claims to vast reserves and abilities as swing producers? Maybe what they really said to Cheney is 'we have little spare capacity as long as the dollar is unstable.' Or, could OPEC have said 'we are paying a fair price in oil for the amount of Military Protection we are receiving'? Or, perhaps they said 'dollars? what dollars? we don't need no stinking dollars!?'

To get the full impact picture the Mexican Bandit in 'Treasure of the Sierra Madre'...and substitute 'badges' for dollars. When listening to comments by politicians always remember this rule of thumb: politicians = liars = expedience speak.

OK then, let's try the opposite end --


That is an insult to horses.

There you have it. Now, it is time to short oil.

Regarding the Cheney story above:

"Cheney said (...) a lot of countries that used to produce oil primarily for export were now consuming a larger part of what they produce as their economies develop like some of the Gulf states."

Here's what I want to know: did anybody actually ever see Westexas in person? Or has Dick been gracing these boards all along?

I am in a secure undisclosed location.

Ha - somehow I can't picture that old nasty man advising anybody to ELP

it IS remarkable how many reports in the Drumbeats are saying things similar to Westexas' ELM - when you hear Deadeye Dick spouting it, you know it's starting to be no longer ignorable.

“Extra OPEC Oil Production Isn't Needed”, Qatar Says … ...of course not

The loop is now closed
I have been waiting for this one from Qatar, b’cus all other OPEC-oil ministers have been hammering this mantra in a “cyclic” manner the last few years.

Don’t they know – that we know, by now?

Euphoria reigns again on Wall Street despite bad CPI data, bad housing data and a looming rate cut by the Fed that gives new meaning to the term reckless endangerment.

There's so much gasoline that crack spreads waxed into negative territory briefly as RBOB futures fell back. The Dow was up 230 points at last reckoning with higher that expected earnings or fewer losses at Lehman and Goldman respectively.

In July of 2001 85 cents would buy you one Euro. Today the Euro is poised to pierce the $1.60 mark if Ben does the 'full Monty' this afternoon. Peak oil in disquise is still able to roam freely to do it's work and few are the wiser.

In so many ways (even as I watch my pension melt away before my very eyes) I hope that these jokers will hold up the illusion just a little bit longer so a few more ELP's are in place, so the last bit of debt can be retired, til our daughter finds a job. Yet the longer it goes on the ruder the awakening.

Meantime there's a bottle of miracle restore in the tank and Paris's limo beckons. The card isn't quite maxed out yet and there's a whole world of malls and cinemas out there. Please let's live the dream a few more hours before that morning alarm sounds for good.

LOL-"Paris's limo beckons".

Oh yeah Paris and Nicky, right? LOL How is peak oil supposed to compete with THAT?

After tracking each other for months PO takes lead!

Well really about the price so far but..Here's hoping!

The Dow is up almost 300 points at noon, Boo-Yah!

CNN's money page is positively giddy today. The complete opposite of yesterday.

Banks see a brighter day
Lehman weathers storm
Goldman's cool $1.5B
Look! The sky isn't falling!
Traders breathe a sigh of relief

And America lived happily ever after!

This bear market really is a roller coaster. It's 1 step forward 2 steps back.
Even if the FED pulls rates down, people are still tied in for certain terms, reset rates I doubt can be renegotiated and with banks holding their money to their chests I don't think they will put on a huge show with a new suite of low rate morgages to blow another bubble - they are just too scared right now.

As soon as people stop defaulting, then they will think about passing on rate cuts!

My pennies worth. Feel free to disagree.


Fantasy Finance. People in their homes will either make it or not. The market does not seem to care so much as long as there is a way to clean up the mess as it unfolds. No you're right this asset bubble created wealth that wasn't there, but w/o a lesson taken to heart, lenders will go right back to it at the earliest op. (i.e. Minimum initial payment loans) That's what scares me about today. Like where does Lehman show all their earnings from, no writedowns in there?

I think what gave the market confidence today was the consensus that there was finally a somewhat co-ordinated effort to triage the situation. Bear Stearns out, debt assigned to taxpayers, JP morgan keeps the books, another 1/4% discount rate narrowing.

Until the bad paper is unwound there is so much leverage out there investment banks ,as you say, are afraid of suffering the BS fate. So yeah rates may be low but getting an actual loan'd be tougher. The difference, a hint of a method is demonstrated to bail out some of the larger institutions if they get a run on their assets. (inside the 'circle of trust' somebody said above)

In addition to courage from that 30 billion dollar elixer from the central bank investors celebrated the fact the 'shorts' mounted a serious attack on Lehman Bros. yesterday and didn't succeed. Lehman led the way today. With their new Fed approved flak jackets on they're bullet proof for now.

While the market was giddy the taxpayer was getting squeezed from all sides. I think oil price, the fading dollar and a relentless commodities onslaught (all made worse by the recent FED cures) will result ultimately in more outcry in the form of terrible job and consumption numbers. Definately not a win for the good guys.

Well what did you expect?

... we just gave Wall Street a blank check. Of course they are grateful.

Stock traders seem to be disconnected from reality. The fundamentals that are causing the US economic crisis have not changed because the Fed lowered interest rates again. In fact, the fundamentals just got worse. The Fed has decided that a flacid dollar is less of a danger than crashing banks...maybe true, but imo the banks are going to fail anyway. The bad derivitave debt is not going away. I suppose that the Fed is living moment to moment...not very sound monetary policy...but a 'one more day in the sun' attitude.

We recently saw a 440 point Dow rally evaporate within two days. Have all the stock traders forgot that event already?

Anecdotal info: Filled the truck this am for the first time since mid January. It was half empty...or, half full. Filled with mid grade and price in Ormond Beach Fl was #3.46 9/10. Premium $3.56.9 low test $3.36.9. A trucker friend of mine said he recently paid over $4 for diesel in NH.

"Stock traders seem to be disconnected from reality."

For sure the stock market is disconnected from reality. Today's trading convinced me, once and for all, that the "market" is insane, and a measure of nothing besides the wishful thinking and credulity of people who don't know what's going on.

Re: petroleum product prices in NH...

Yes, diesel is soaring around here in central NH. But I just filled up today on regular gasoline for $3.09.9. Heating oil is 3.58. I have an oil-fired furnace to augment my wood stove on the coldest nights, and for when we want to go away. Got filled up a couple of days ago - our total consumption for this winter was 62 gallons.

What a crazy day today (again):
DOW: +361
Oil: +3.74
Fed interest rate cut: -0.75

Now which of those three resources will we run out of first?

Last time, the markets were flush for a day or two, sputtered, then nosedived.

Reminds me of a stroke. The next 72 hours are critical for the patient.

These 'rallys' remind me of the New Years celebrations that take place in all large cities. Party down dude...followed by a hangover. Even money says that today's gain is gone, plus some, by close of trading 3-25-08...barring another Fed intervention, of course.

Don't they save the nasty statistics releases for ~ Friday 16.58 time-ish??

The Mike Lynch disconnect. From the above link: Michael C. Lynch: Peak oil, uncommon ground

given that we’ve produced only 10-15% of conventional oil resources and unconventional resources are larger than that, there seems no reason to consider petroleum to be a scarce resource.

Get that, 10-15 percent of conventional oil! Considering that we have, so far, produced approximately 1.1 trillion barrels of oil, using Lynch's estimate, we have from 6.5 to 10 trillion barrels of conventional oil left. And unconventional resources are even larger than that! Hell, we will not reach peak oil for several hundred years yet.

Question: Does this man have any grasp of reality?

Ron Patterson

Ron - clearly NOT!

I love the way he starts off by dividing the "peak oil crowd" into two warring factions. Ridiculous. I've been watching all of this for years now and I don't observe any such thing. Anyone who knows anything about this situation would agree that flow rate is a crucial factor.

Other favorites: Price has NO relationship to supply? Really?? "New tecnoloogy will save the day". WHAT new technology?? Details, please. Something not invented yet, I'll bet. I could go on. Why bother...

Something not invented yet

Miniature oil. It'll be like the electronics revolution, they'll make it teeny tiny so you can fit so much more of it in the same space.

1 barrel => U <= (actual size)


Exxon-Mobil, Chevron, etc. do not favour windfall profits taxes. Nor do they want governments to appreciate the real value of the remaining accessible hydro-carbon resources. They most certainly don't want to expose their lumbering uselessness with respect to the implementation of a real energy plan based on building insulation, steel rail transport, and minimal meat consumption.

So, the dinosaurs hire defenders. Lynch may be a true believer, but I suspect that by now he is little more than a cynical tool of richer men.

OK one more... the point that "bell curves are not scientific". Wow...

OK Mike, you're an MIT professor. So you should know this. A graph is generated by plotting data points. Then you connect the data points with a line. The shape of the line is not predetermined. If it looks like a "bell", it's called a "bell shape". There are many examples of plots of data that generate curves of this shape. Of course it IS "scientific".

Mike, you can't just make s**t up, ya know?? Not very SCIENTIFIC!

IMO Lynch is just a hustler, who, instead of working at Bear Stearns, works this gig. I would be very surprised if he believes any of the crap he spews. The bottom line is making money and the guys appears to be making money, which is his occupation-I think he has a very firm grasp of reality. Lynch,Yergin,Cramer, etc. etc. this is what makes these guys money. IMO a record % of the USA GDP is currently revolving around the grift, which is basically a zero sum game.

Right, he makes himself the contrarian to guarantee himself bucks. The oil companies already know they're having problems increasing production, and they can see that prices are rising. They are willing to pay someone to express an opposite view just to see if he can come up with anything they haven't thought of. It's impossible that Lynch believes what he's saying; it's just part of his business plan.

I was listening to wing-nut radio yesterday while I was driving (a long trip across Texas). I was on the road all day, so I had a full day of it. A couple of observations:

1) With one exception (Laura Ingrahm), wing-nut talk show hosts are males. White males, I should add.

2) They all talk about the same subject, all day long. I guess Clear Channel gives them marching orders in the morning. Yesterday's marching orders were to talk about Jeremiah Wright (Obama's controversial pastor). It's almost like they all read from the same script - they all say the same thing, with only one exception (the one token liberal, mentioned below).

3) Callers are screened. That can be a good thing to prevent people coming on and cursing, but it seems like callers are required to talk about the same subject too. No changing the topic. Amazing that 20 people will call during a 2-hour show, and every one of them wants to talk about Jeremiah Wright - not interested in anything else. And then the next 2-hour host comes on, same thing. All day long, nobody (neither host nor caller) wants to talk about anything that deviates from the script.

4) An exception to points 2 & 3 above - early morning and late at night, it's all infomercials. Usually Dr. Quack talking for 2 hours to tell you how "Super-Exilir 69" (or whatever) can eliminate gray hair, restore your libido, promote regularity, make you young again." People call in to discuss with the "doctor" their various health problems - amazingly, Super-Elixir 69 can solve that problem, no matter what it is. Everything from arthritis to homosexuality can be cured by this one miracle drug.

4) Outside of the infomercials, half the advertisements are "Get out of debt - call 1-800-SUCKER and we'll tell you how - be debt-free in only 5 years!"

5) This is really low class - the conservative radio talk show hosts themselves do commercials. Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, etc, each assure us that they personally have been using "Super-Elixir 69" (or whatever) for years. Interestingly, the one token "liberal," Alan Colmes (who is on at night), is the only one who doesn't do his own commercials. I guess his presence is to make sure that Fox News radio remains "fair and balanced."

6) Yesterday, during the endless mind-numbing blather about Jeremiah Wright, they did have one token guest come on to talk about the economy. He was only on for five minutes. His cure for the financial meltdown was (get ready for this): Another tax cut.

In fact, he said that the real cause of the financial meltdown is that Wall Street and consumers are panicked because congress hasn't voted to make the Bush tax cuts permanent. If they would just do that, the problem would be solved.

7) At least in the state of Texas, it seems like Clear Channel owns every radio station (unless it broadcasts in Spanish). Just try and find a liberal talk radio station.

I was listening to wing-nut radio yesterday while I was driving (a long trip across Texas).

Your deprogramming team will meet you at the border.

Please remember, your mirror neurons have been damaged by this abuse and may not be repairable.

Remember when Clear Channel meant AM stations you could get a thousand miles away at night?


Two words: satellite radio.

It costs, and may not have long to live given the financial situation...so at this point, I probably wouldn't bother. Still, it's made a few of those car trips a lot more bearable.


My observations and conclusions mirror yours 100%! I listen to an hour each morning to hear what the latest propaganda is.

What is really funny is how in 2004-2006 all the commercials here were for Countrywide and Ditech. In many cases, the hosts get a cut of the advertising revenue. I suspect the two morning wingnut hosts here are in financial trouble themselves. They both bought homes at the height of the bubble, probably figuring the good times would roll for ever. Now the advertising revenue has crashed and both their incomes and home prices have gone in the tank too.

The thing is the commercials on Air America were for same things from 2004-2006. And on late night conspiracy radio as well. The goal is/was to get every personality archetype ("liberal", "conservative" "conspiracy theorist") invested in homes or cars or what have you. to me it's hilarious when George Noory says "he's fighting for truth!" and then there would be an ad for Countrywide, an ad for a baby's daddy test, an ad for bail bondsman, and then an ad for DiTech.

George Noory says "he's fighting for truth!

Didn't we have a Drummer on his show a year or two ago? I remember going to the C2C website at the time to download a clip, and was wondering how seriously anyone would take a peak oil show in the middle of alien encounters and reality-shifts.

"His cure for the financial meltdown was (get ready for this): Another tax cut."

- Obama said the same thing today, except that in his case it's a tax cut for the middle class.

Nobody tells it like it is.

"Nobody tells it like it is."

We're all going to die.

That's part of the reason why nobody tells it like it is. The world like it actually is, unfolds in complete disregard to our fantasy expectations of it.

Here's another truth that shouldn't be told:
America is not ready for a black President.

What the founding Fathers feared most of all was a return to tyranny.
In Obama we finally may elect a leader capable of realizing that fear.
Black leaders and celebrities enjoy a certain "immunity from prosecution" as can be testified by the O.J.trial, Marion Berry and my own dear Kwame Kilpatrick.
With the powerful backers that have annointed Osama, should at some point he need to be removed, it would be impossible to do it in our society where playing the race card trumps all.

Here's another truth that shouldn't be told:
America is not ready for GWB.

What the founding Fathers feared most of all was a return to tyranny.
In GWB we finally may elect a leader capable of realizing that fear.
Second generation presidents enjoy a certain "immunity from prosecution" as can be testified by John Quincy Adams.
With the powerful backers that have annointed GWB, should at some point he need to be removed, it would be impossible to do it in our society where playing the war card trumps all.

On the contrary, GWB has never had the backing of the popular press as does Osama, I mean Obama.

Insanity. The "popular" media (aka the corporate owned media) was kissing GWB's ass after and despite his 9/11 My Pet Goat reading session. There was never any real analysis of his inadequate background, his lack of accomplishments, his failure at everything he did.

What you are saying is that GWB never had the enthusiastic backing of the people in a non-crisis situation, but suddenly Obama has the backing of the popular media despite all the scrutiny is will and can get. Massive double standards.


The train is carrying America's financial system, but the engine driving it is peak oil, because declining energy resources necessarily means declining capital wealth -- and declining value of all the institutions, instruments, and markers that denote that wealth or hope to profit by trading in it.

why is it that every problem to the peakers is peak oil? what's happening has very little to do with peak oil. it has everything to do with home prices that weren't affordable and aren't going up anymore.

why is it that every problem to the peakers is peak oil?

Because it is?

what's happening has very little to do with peak oil.

Says john15. *yawn*

it has everything to do with home prices that weren't affordable and aren't going up anymore.

Oh really? Got proof? Or just more ASCII text claims?

it has everything to do with home prices that weren't affordable and aren't going up anymore.

do you really need proof of homes being unaffordable and now plunging or are you pulling my chain?

But are they less unaffordable because people are spending more of their money on energy bills, food, gasoline? - all things tied to the price of oil - which just about anything sold in a shop.


But are they less unaffordable because people are spending more of their money on energy bills, food, gasoline? - all things tied to the price of oil - which just about anything sold in a shop.


"Things" becoming more expensive becuase of world-wide currency debasement.

That argument holds no water because globally prices are rising in all countries of all currencies.

That argument holds no water because globally prices are rising in all countries of all currencies.

because it's a world-wide debasing.

But are they less unaffordable because people are spending more of their money on energy bills, food, gasoline?

these homes were not affordable. this is not a situation where we have people who could afford their homes but gas prices hit them hard.

But Bush43 - er, I mean, John15 - the homes WERE affordable last year even when they were at higher prices! At least if you buy the twisted math of Reaganomics, where borrowing is ignored. Try to follow me on this:

1. People bought houses they couldn't afford because they believed the value of the houses would always rise.

2. Then, to offset the cost of the mortgages, they got home equity loans to meet their ordinary expenses - including gasoline! This is a cumulative cancer, and extremely dangerous. I'm sure you'd never do anything so foolish.

3. The home equity loans CREATED money supply - just like Reagan's deficits and Bush's emergency war spending. Paying back loans DESTROYS money supply. So the trick is for no one to ever pay back their loans.

4. The Keynesian multiplier - every dollar created by loans is spent several times per year. But every dollar of loans repaid subtracts several dollars from the economy per year. In one recent year, Americans borrowed nearly $1,000,000,000,000 just in home equity loans. Multiply that and you can see how we've been hiding a bad economy for years.

5. If you borrow vast amounts of money from abroad, eventually you will tighten up the supply. When the oil got more expensive, it ballooned the imbalance of payments - a relatively small amount compared to the GNP as you point out, but enough to stick the dollar into a Catch-22. Either the dollar had to lose value, or interest rates had to be hiked to keep foreigners willing to invest in the US. Or a little of both at the same time, which is what happened. So the dollar price of oil and all imports must keep going up at the very moment when Americans have run out of cheap credit, and the supply of foreign loans runs low when our banking system needs massive bailouts to cover the bad debt from the tricks we used to get people into houses they can't afford.

6. The largest single component of the American economy is consumer spending. It isn't just that people can't afford to commute; they're thinking twice about driving to the mall, to McDonalds, to all the brain-dead wonders of consumerism that require people to NOT think. Which would be fine if so many of our jobs weren't now dependent on our fellow citizens driving around spending money like idiots.

Oil appears in this train wreck several times, but underlying it all is the mentality and lifestyle that oil created in America - a way of life that Dick Cheney said was worth going to war for, at an extra cost to us of $200 billion a year. Truly, oil made this disaster inevitable.

5 1/2: I forgot to mention that the Fed's official reason for raising interest rates last year was to fight inflation - which was definitely blamed on rising oil costs. The hike in rates heralded the beginning of the recession.

"Try to follow me on this"

I've been on the housing bubble story since early 2005. I know what has been going on.

2. Then, to offset the cost of the mortgages, they got home equity loans

One of my favorite quotes:

"People have the ability to borrow against their homes. If
times get tougher, they could borrow a sufficient amount to
pay their mortgages."
Alan Nevin, chief
economist for the California Building Industry Association,

S390, And That's All She Wrote !

S390 Perfect.

And That's All She Wrote !

do you really need proof of homes being unaffordable and now plunging

Now here ya go, changing what was said.

what's happening has very little to do with peak oil.

or are you pulling my chain?

Nope. Just want you to PROVE your position. Which USED to be "what's happening has very little to do with peak oil."

Come on, step up, prove your position.

Which USED to be "what's happening has very little to do with peak oil."

I didn't know I changed my position. homes were unaffordable and prices are plunging. if you pick up any paper you can figure that out.

So you have no proof to back up your claim:

what's happening has very little to do with peak oil.

just pick up a paper.

People are losing their homes before their car and credit cards for the first time ever.

people are walking away simply because their home has lost so much value.

speculators owning 3 homes are simply walking away.

You are not PROVING that what you are citing is *NOT* due to peak oil.

You are just claiming such while handwaving.

Everything we do or buy has an energy cost. As that cost rises, so does the cost of everything. Inevitable. I'd agree that PO did not directly cause the real estate meltdown, but there are few problems that can't be solved by throwing lots of cheap energy at them. So as things fall apart it may be true that PO isn't a direct cause, but dimishing energy resources will guarantee that we won't be able to fix a lot of these problems, we will simply be forced to redefine BAU. Just how much is the big question. With insufficient and dimishing energy availability it ain't gonna be easy or pretty.
Maybe Peak Oil didn't break it, but it will be impossible to fix because of Peak Oil. This will apply to lots of things as we plunge into the future.

I'm largely in agreement. I don't see PO as being the precipitating trigger for the current financial
meltdown. The sloppy loan standards cum ridiculously inflated housing prices were bound to inevitably lead to a nasty meltdown, like we are seeing. PO (which I don't think is quiet here yet) is just one more stress added to the system. Where I see PO biting is a couple/few years down the road, just as we start to come out of the financial engineering generated recession, then super expensive oil will come along and clobber the recovery.

But is it mainly peak oil? Or should we be talking about the more generic issue, that a significant number of important commodity inputs are getting to be shared more widely -especially with rapidly growing economies such as Chindia. The real way to explain peak oil might be not to talk about total world supply/demand, but talk about what percentage of world commodities, can the US afford to consume. Clearly this percentage is in rapid decline. So even if a commodity like oil plateaus rather than peaks, the fraction of that supply a bankrupt former rich nation can command is going to be considerably less than we are now using.

Or should we be talking about the more generic issue, that a significant number of important commodity inputs are getting to be shared more widely

Plenty of 'generic items' could be used as a proxy.

Open, honest accounting/reporting. A week does not go by without at least someone stating 'we don't really know what is going on in KSA WRT oil.'

John the whole of modern society has ridden on the back of cheap available energy.
no one disputes this, even the non-peakists infinite oil nuts.

What is in dispute now is in which order things will collapse once the availability of cheap energy is removed. Root causes of things are often so deeply buried that it sometimes takes decades to work out what happened.

Isn't it strange that to this day no one really knows for certain why 2 world wars and the great depression really happened? There are many reasons put forward but none conclusive in their own.

It is likely 20 years down the line the the world has still not come to a solution of our energy problem thay 'they' will be debating in 2030 "What went wrong?" - and peak oil will be one of the many answers.


John the whole of modern society has ridden on the back of cheap available energy.
no one disputes this, even the non-peakists infinite oil nuts.

oil hasn't been cheap throughout modern society. remember the 1970s?


Your point? That society hasn't ridden on the back of cheap energy because it was 'expensive' during a brief period?

Get back to basics here. If a human was to commit to the work done energy equivelant of oil then anything under about $1000 a barrel is cheap. Tic toc tic tog as the cogs in your head work that one out!!!!!


Your point? That society hasn't ridden on the back of cheap energy because it was 'expensive' during a brief period?

it depends on what your definition of a brief period is. oil was high for the 1970s and still took probably until the late 80's to come down from what we would call high prices. it's all relative.

Are you old enough to remember the panic that very brief burst of high oil prices caused? Back then the US still produced most of its own oil, so the trade effects were nothing as severe. We were looking at the possibility of simultaneous double-digit inflation and double-digit unemployment. Many growing 3rd world economies were ruined because they couldn't pay their debts and their oil bills at the same time - something rarely discussed in the US. The shame of it was that we learned or remembered nothing when low costs (temporarily) returned.

Keep hammering out the truth S390.

Also the Reagan comment below.

When you have a hammer, everything is a nail.

From Finster at iTulip.com

I’ve posted previously on the question of whether highly publicized increases in crude oil prices have anything to do with peak oil. It’s been shown beyond any reasonable doubt that little if any of soaring oil prices are related to peak oil; instead that they are due simply to stultifying inflation. Yet the peak oil faithful - conspicuous by their absence before these price increases occurred - appear to have been unshaken in their devotion to this particular popular delusion.

Just to erase any iota of lingering doubt, let’s take a look at the hard numbers and compare the price of oil and the price of the Dow Jones AIG Spot Commodity index. We’ll employ the entire spectrum of the available data, from all the way back to the inception of the index to all the way up through last week’s close.

Here we go:

January 2, 1991

WTIC: $24.90

DJAIG: 100.000

July 27, 2007

WTIC: $77.02

DJAIG: 313.281

(Reference: http://www.djindexes.com/mdsidx/inde...nt=showAigHome)

Let us do the math. The price of oil was up by $77.02/$24.90 or exactly 3.093173 times. The average commodity was up by 313.281/100.000 or exactly 3.132810 times.

The price of oil has fallen short of that of the average commodity per the Dow Jones Spot index all the way from its very inception to the last close.

Utterly none of the price increase in oil for the past sixteen-plus years has been unique to oil - nothing else is affecting oil prices - unless it has actually been a depressant.

Absolutely all of the price increase in oil has been shared by physical commodities in general. And then some. Hence trying to pin it on any phenomenon unique to oil is plainly barking up the wrong tree.

Excellent Tread at iTulip.
Topic: Peak Oil - Has It Been Pushing Up Prices?

Hmm production demand ?? Econ 101 anyone anyone ?

Finster has the same blindness to peak oil as most other economists.

He doesn't understand how the rise in oil prices causes price inflation in other commodities, or how the rise in oil prices creates a perception of inflation that increases demand for hedges like precious metals.

He has done zero homework on oil supply and demand. He doesn't understand that energy is the basis of economic growth.

These guys will probably never figure out what is happening to them.

"He doesn't understand that energy is the basis of economic growth."

energy or oil? energy isn't the problem, oil is. we don't need growth in oil for economic growth.

we don't need growth in oil for economic growth.

I recommend that you read the Ayers and Warr paper or grab a copy of the latest Hirsch report at this link:

I suggest that the authors of both reports would find it easy to disagree with your statement above. It's such a fundamental relationship that I'm a little astonished to see someone having written it.


The real JD, John Denver, got killed in plane crash. I hear he ran out of gas.

Actually, Finster is wrong.

Go to stockcharts.com and run a free chart of $GOLD:$WTIC, or look at the chart here: http://www.321energy.com/editorials/mckenziebrown/mckenziebrown031108.html

Since the start of the oil production plateau, the ratio of gold:oil ratio has been trending down. In other words, oil prices are increasing faster than gold prices. So all commodities are not going up at the same rate.

And this chart is greatly weakened by the year between August 2006 and August 2007, a period when oil prices were flat overall, largely due to the Goldman Sachs reweighting of the GSCI.

As we get further into peak oil, the effects of the 2006 price fix on the trend line will continue to diminish.

The increasing price of oil will cause an increase in the price of all commodities as oil becomes the limiting factor in production, but they probably won't all increase at exactly the same rate, at least not for a while yet.

Finster is manipulating data by carefully choosing dates. He is deliberately including a long period of rising oil production, rather than examining the period since oil production plateaued.

Moe, I don't have a link but read a few weeks ago that some newish ETFs (exchange traded funds) contain a basket of commodities causing a 'spill over' effect in commodities. Since the originators of the ETFs buy a basket of commodities for each different ETF, as billions pour into the funds, all commodities are rising in price. This was not so noticeable when trading in commodities was a small activity when compared to the bond and stock markets.

I am not saying that the new ETFs are the cause of the rise in commodity prices, I am saying that the flight of money into comoditty ETFs, and consequent spill-over into all commodities of huge quantities of dollars, might be effecting all commodity prices. If this is happening we could expect to see rises in most or all commodity prices and distortions that we have not seen before.

All commodities are rising in price because we've had a shortage of grains due to biofuels mandates and maybe droughts (I don't follow the fundamentals of grains very closely), we had a mining crisis in South Africa due to power shortages (kicking up the price of platinum and paladium, its alternative), and we've had the Fed lowering interest rates with a consequent decline in the dollar and increased flight to gold.

So yes, you're right River, commodities have moved in sync for a short time.

But that's not what's been happening over the longer term, and it may not continue in the future. But it's hard to say, because I don't know how difficult it will be to increase production of grains and other commodities from this point.

What I know for sure is that the oil problem is not going away, and oil prices are going up.

Be careful with Dow Jones Indexes: They are not equally weighted among the components. For example the Dow Jones Industrial Stocks each have a different weighting. It is NOT an average of 30 stocks since some are given more importance than others.

I suspect you will find that oil is probably in the area of 40% of the index. Gold which is highly correlated with oil is also probably a large share. Cotton and other agricultural commodities are probably a small share of the index as the index is probably designed to reflect the importance of the commodity in the economy.

It might be all Finster is essentailly doing in the math is comparing oil with oil.

I suspect you will find that oil is probably in the area of 40% of the index.

boy are you off. It is only 37%.:->

Off course, heating and gasoline are another 14%.


Well, Jim Kunstler might meditate on the saying that "to the carpenter, all the world is a nail". However, he and we both know that his writings are polemics, so a bit of suspension of disbelief is sometimes useful.

But you might want to consider how oil alters the situation as compared to the 1970s, when the USA last tried this financial experiment. Back then, those who wished to inflate our way to prosperity pointed out loudly that the debts repudiated in the process were primarily owed by Americans to Americans; according to them it was somehow OK for Americans to steal from Americans, or, at least, it could be done with impunity. In addition, oil was almost all domestic, so price controls were imposed with a degree of impunity.

During subsequent decades, the hippie entitlement culture took over, saying that everyone could have it all in exchange for nothing, that production was taken care of once and for all, with nothing left to do but "fairly" distribute perpetually and automagically produced spoils. Meanwhile, little new easy oil was being found. So today, the USA imports most of its oil from those gosh-darned enabling furriners and it's up to its eyeballs in debt to those gosh-darned enabling furriners.

That entanglement removes some of the impunity. This time around, whenever Uncle Ben fires up the helicopters at the alphabet-soup "facility" of the hour, the giant red and green numbers lining the highways will whirl skyward, ever skyward. Price controls will prove futile, as furrin' suppliers lie outside our control, and (at the margin, which is all that matters) can sell the stuff elsewhere in a heartbeat. Oh, and since we no longer trouble ourselves with the "dirty" business of production, we don't export must-have goods and services in anything like proportion to our oil imports, so we've got little leverage there. Every attempt to inflate our way out will simply make us more like, say, Argentina, which once had one of the very highest living standards on the planet.

So I'm inclined to give Kunstler a partial pass. Even when one disagrees, his polemics can have a certain endearing quality that perhaps is clearer in audio, which, unlike written blogs, carries tone-of-voice. And while we'd be in deep trouble even with cheap oil - just because we think we can have it all without producing - expensive oil is helping mightily to bring matters to a head.

Paul: If the USA had a hippie culture, it is long gone, replaced by the grifter culture. Kunstler points this out clearly and feels that it will be an obstacle to transitioning to a post peak economy, and I agree with him.

Kunstler is certainly right about about the 'grifter culture'. One need look no farther than Sqeek Blab to see it at work. Watching that crew today (with sound off) they look like nothing so much as a bunch of HS cheerleaders warming up...and, on the occasions that a guest appears with a foundation in reality, he/she is quickly drowned out by other blabbers or discredited with pronouncements that 'we have to find winning stocks for the players and do it each day...we are not interested in the long term ramifications of Fed policy moves'...or, words to that effect.

How long ago did we see a 440 plus DJ rally only to see it evaporate within a two day span?

A few sobering thoughts and numbers from ilargi at AutomaticEarth...

'Asian, Mid East and European investors stood aside at last week's auction of 10-year US Treasury notes. "It was a disaster," said Ray Attrill from 4castweb. "We may be close to the point where the uglier consequences of benign neglect towards the currency are revealed." The share of foreign buyers ("indirect bidders") plummeted to 5.8pc, from an average 25pc over the last eight weeks.'

What we are seeing is foreign investors saying no to direct investment in US Treasuries. The title of the piece at AE is 'Foreign investors veto Fed rescue'.

'Petrodollar funds, working through UK off-shore accounts, are clearly dumping dollars amid rumours that Gulf states - overheating wildly - are about to break their dollar pegs. But mostly likely, the twin crash in the dollar and US agency debt reflects a broad exodus by global wealth managers, afraid that America is spinning out of control.'

So the spinners (grifters) continue to spin at Sqeek Blab while the US economy spirals nearer to a melt down. Kunstler is definitely right about the danger of grifters getting in the way...

Yeah. As the market was crashing, Erin Burnett was asking questions like, "If you had to BUY today who would you buy, you can't say nobody, give me a name." WTF?

"During subsequent decades, the hippie entitlement culture took over,"

You really don't have a clue what you're talking about, do you.

You mean the hippie entitlement culture that Dick Cheney praised when he said the American Way of Life is non-negotiable? Or that Reagan created as he redistributed wealth to his wealthy supporters in the name of supply-side economics?

Give him a break. He probably has Hippie parents, and figures it HAS to be their fault. Surely his neocon non-education wouldn't steer him wrong on that point.

Along with the hippy idea of borrow and spend vs the slightly more responsible tax and spend

I think it's hippies vs dippies. Dippies are the borrow and spend neocon and bornagain theocon types, who tax high earning hippie cities and send the money out to dippie rural areas.
God knows what the hippies would do if they ever got control of the House, the Senate, the Supreme Court, the Fed, and the Presidency.
Start a war with the Klingons or the Nazgul?

tax and spend is wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy more responsible than borrow and waste.

If you watched the movie Animal House('62), The Delta House would have been the hippies a few years later.

Problem is, Hippies DIDN'T cause this sh|t, it was the other faternity the Omegas that got into politics and Finance. The one with Neidermeier and "Can I have another" Chip(kevin Bacon).

Those are the ones to off shore our MFG base etc.

The Omegas are the ones running GS, JPM, et al, NOT the Hippies.

Interesting quote from William Gibson, in his 2000 interview-movie 'No Maps For These Territories' (He was talking about the influence of technology on society, and attempts to escape it)

"I think what I'm most aware of is the extent to which people are unaware of the extent to which they've been penetrated and co-opted by their technology. I mean, I take it for granted that I've been, but I think a lot of people today have this sort of Rousseau-esque idea that it's possible for humans to return to the natural state.
But in fact I think that it's not, and if it were, they really wouldn't like it.
I mean, I'm immune to a number of really terrible diseases, because I was inoculated against them as a child - that's technology
I'm a male human in my 50's and I still have most of my teeth - that's technology.
I'm myopic, to the point of near blindness, and yet I can see - that's technology.

it's too close to us to be very aware of it,

If we could be stripped of it - which we can't be, because it's actually altered our physical being, we'd be pretty unhappy;

and we'd start _dying_ big time!"

I enjoy reading Gibson (haven't read his latest and won't until it's in paperback or in the clearance bin), but he is pretty much a one trick pony. As "groundbreaking" as his early cyberpunk novels were, his later one's, while still well written, are much more crowd followers than leaders. Still, he's quite the wordsmith an novelist, but passages like this one are ample demonstration that he should stick to fiction and steer clear of philosophy.

Russia sets fertiliser export tariffs

Russia will set export tariffs on certain mineral fertilisers and raise existing duties on others in a move that could raise at least $300 million to buy fertilisers for local farmers, the government said on Tuesday.

Nitrogen fertiliser exports will be subject to a tariff of 8.5 percent of the customs value and potassium fertilisers will have a 5 percent tariff, the government said in a statement on its Web site, www.government.ru.

Neither type of fertiliser is currently subject to duty.


Hello Hifisoftware,

Thxs for this info. These restrictive tariffs may be the cause of further increases in sulphur prices too [it takes sulphuric acid to chem-activate the raw rock for quick plant and animal uptake]:

NewsFlash: Iranian sulphur sold at record $666/t

This new price high comes amid continued tight supply and strong demand in the global sulphur market.
Sulphur is a key Element vital to many industrial and agro-processes.

IMO, if someone wanted to start a huge, but subtle, protectionist trade-war by restricting sulphur and I-NPK exports: this strategy would be a good one-two punch because it hammers virtually every aspect of an importer's societal infrastructure, starting with the ability to grow food.

In short: you can substitute labor for FFs [very poorly,of course], but there are No Substitutes for NPK.

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

Just a reminder that melted sulphur looks just like freshly spilled blood:


Ah, the irony of Mother Nature!

EDIT: for those of a superstitious or religious pursuasion, how about that price?!? 666--> the Devil's Liebig Minimum. Can you smell the fumes of Hell?

Hi Bob, are you telling us that we might be sending in the Marines to a phosphate factory in the Sahara Desert or elsewhere? Like 'those darn furriners have our phosphate under their sand'?

Mining phosphate in the Sahara must be one of the least desireable jobs I can think of. Hydration, hydration, hydration...or croak. If the water truck doesn't show up it's all over.

BTW, when I see import or export tariffs put in place I think war will not be far behind.

BTW BTW, I also think that a more effective trade war is being waged by China against the US. While the US economy tanks the Chinese shrug their shoulders and say 'all we did was make the crap that you guys wanted, we didn't do anything' with attendent innocent looks on faces.

Hello River,

Your Questions: "Hi Bob, are you telling us that we might be sending in the Marines to a phosphate factory in the Sahara Desert or elsewhere? Like 'those darn furriners have our phosphate under their sand'?"

Thxs for responding--yep, you have to wonder about the cascading blowbacks that resource protectionism can cause. I have no idea about the timing, however. IMO, in the postPeak long run [assuming we can avert the ICBM gift-exchange and/or Bioweapons]: NPK/Food Wars will dwarf the duration time of the battles for FFs. Recall the earlier Guano Wars. Sitting in the dark with a full belly is pure luxury compared to starvation.

Unfortunately, I think the sand dunes have a much greater capacity to soak up more blood than 7 billion can ever bleed out. :(

I would prefer the planet goes whole hog into O-NPK recycling ASAP vs bloody battles for FFs, I-NPK and other minerals, like sulphur.

It still boggles my mind that they are getting ready to dredge the seafloor for phosphate--how stupid can we be?

Also, see my posting downthread.

As the resident expert on NPK I was wondering if you could comment on the following:

Instead of using an active and soluble inorganic form of Phosphorous, why not use the underlying phosphorous rock directly. Does not need Sulfur and is not as easily dissolved. Therefore an application could be useful for years or decades and at the same time runoff will not pollute water bodies. - At the expense of slower plant growth!?

It may even have other trace elements (beneficial or harmful!!)

Hello ChemE,

Thxs for responding. Disclaimer: I only had one high school class on Chemistry years ago, and unfortunately, I don't even own any land to practice gardening on...I would probably kill the plants from overwatering and overfertilizing in record time! :(

Other TODers with greater expertise please chime in. My understanding is that the original orebeds are ancient evaporite deposits with high salt contents, and salt buildup in your topsoil is bad.

So, just grinding up the original ore, then applying it straight to the topsoil, may be good or bad depending upon the Elemental mixture of various mining ores-- that is why many people have soil testing, then get appropriate or custom NPK-ratio blends for their soil.

This [68 page PDF Warning] link has lots of facts and cool photos to show the huge piles of salt tailings and giant equipment:


Sorry, I wish I knew a lot more. Your ChemE skills would leave me in the dust in no time.

why not use the underlying phosphorous rock directly.

Certain 'green sands' have nasty heavy metals.

(but if Kerr-Mcgee can dump the after products of fission processing on farm land, why worry eh?)

Don't know much 'bout heavy metals but rock phosphates have low/slow uptake by plants.
Don't get the same bang for yer buck like superphosphate gives.

Green sands may mean glauconite, which is a potash source. It is a nonsalt potash source. Most potash is sourced from dried up salt deposits or sea salt evaporation plants.

Thanks for the replies. I found the following link

Table 1 says that 0% of phosphorous in phosphate rock is water soluble, compared to 80-100% from processed fertilizer sources.

Zero is never quite 0.0000 but water solubility and availability of that phosphorous to the plant is probably quite low.

I should have explained better.
Rock phosphates are used by organic growers because of the low/slow uptake.
Plants grown this way take only what is needed.
That type of sustainability has no place in modern technological agriculture.

Interesting, & what one would have intuitively expected.

An added advantage, to the ones you mention, would be significantly lower runoff of soluble phosphorous and consequent water pollution.

Maybe there is a Potash rock too ;-)

Granite can have potash. Now all you have to do is run a glacier back and forth across your granite mountain a few times, and you too will have fertile soil.
Flannery said that you can tell how agriculturaly productive a country is by looking at how extensive their ice age was, or how recently the volcanos were erupting. Both are great at restoring minerals to the soil.
Australia had about fifty square miles of glaciers in the last ice age, and not to damned many volcanos. Which is why an area the size of China has a population of twenty million and is a major fertiliser importer to boot.

The feldspar minerals are a source of slow-release potash. KAlSi3O8 present in igneous and metamorphic rocks, is the source.

Spaceman is exactly right, and to add to his comments, healthy organic soils will have huge numbers of microorganisms, fungi, worms, etc. It is the combined, complex interaction of all this biota that break down minerals in the soil into forms that plants can utilize. This gets to the heart of one of the central critical arguments of the organic movement against industrial-scale dirt farming: artificial chemical fertilizers kill off the natural biota and turn the soil into sterile dirt, thus requiring even larger applications of fertilizers, becoming a vicious cycle. Not to mention fertilizer runoff and water polution, soil erosion, salinization in arid regions, depletion of water resources due to increased need for irrigation due to less capacity of the soil to hold moisture, less healthy plants that are more vulnerable to pests and disease and thus need more pesticide applications (further killing the soil), etc., etc.

It is the combined, complex interaction of all this biota that break down minerals in the soil into forms that plants can utilize.

I'll repeat what I've said before:

Plants, to get the mineral bound material, strike a deal with fungi. Fungi is fed sugars from the plants, the fungi forms not only a web that helps get water to the plant but also breaks down the elements from the rocks.

Now, if one provides easy to get elements, the plants can use the sugars to create more complex sugars (called cell walls). Woe be to the plant that then has the water and excessive elements cut off.


Yep, mychorrhizae are key.
Getting them to thrive and increase on their own has been the trick.
Thats why I've been concentrating on pyrolyzing plant and tree waste into char and adding it to my soil.
The Amazonian Dark Earths have remained fertile for centuries with no additional inputs.
Johannes Lehmann at Cornell has discovered the nutrient affinity of biochar is due largely to the hordes of microorganisms that colonize its porous structure.
However AFAIK they have not been able to duplicate the long lasting fertility of the Terra Preta de Indio.

I would highly recommend reading

Waiting for Dr. Ingham




This is the Soils & Compost link.

Good links, thanks.

Happy Motoring!

F3DM: The Second, Smaller, Plug-in Hybrid by China's BYD

Tesla Motors Starts "Regular Production" of Electric Roadster

more Happy Motoring.

FHI said it plans to have its electric cars down to around ¥2 million (US$17,500) apiece by 2012 or 2013. Mori said that by the mid-2010s, mass production will significantly decrease the cost of batteries, enabling electric cars to come down to below ¥1.5 million (US$13,100).



Do not operate any motor vehicle when under the influence of mind-altering economic ideologies. Objects in your Mirage are less solid than they appear.

"Do not operate any motor vehicle when under the influence of mind-altering economic ideologies."

that's pretty good, who's your writer? the only time doomers find economics is when it's used to try to debunk a solution. then suddenly they're an econ 101 textbook.

“Fascism is capitalism in decay.” - Vladimir Lenin

"Capitalism is the "promise" of a beautiful tomorrow coming our way just around the bend"

--GE Beautiful Tomorrow carousel ride, Worlds Fair 1965

"Capitalism is the "promise" of a beautiful tomorrow coming our way just around the bend" . . .

. . . and passing by at 100+ mph, tossing a load of litter out the window on the way by at everyone left behind on the side of the road

and tossing a load of litter out the window on the way by

Err ... that's called "externalizing your negative assets" :-)

You guys are funny and what I said is true. you only use economics to make a doomer scenario- that won't scale, that'll cost too much who is going to have the money.


Don't get me wrong.
We humans do have to "value" each other.
And we have to "value" the alternative actions and uses of resources we have available to us.

The problem is that the current system (and I don't have suggestions for a better one) is irrational and perverted. We claim to have specialists known as "accountants" and yet they don't account for everything. They don't account for externalities. They don't account for the damage we do to others as we plunder the Earth and foul the air and seas. And yet we insist all this is prudent and rational behavior in compliance with GAAP.

Something is wrong some place.
We can't keep turning a blind eye to it forever.

Some more details on the carousel:

The "Carousel of Progress" started as an attraction at the New York World's Fair in 1964-1965 and was sponsored by General Electric. It was a smash hit and was moved to Disneyland once the Fair closed. It opened in July of 1967 in Tomorrowland. ... The show was completely revamped in 1993. The new official name of the attraction was Walt Disney's Carousel of Progress and a video was shown in the holding queue that talked about the historical nature of the attraction. There's a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow was reinstated as the theme song at this time.

IIRC, Disneyland ultimately tore down the Carousel and replaced it with something else in its Tomorrow Land area. I suppose the dream of a better tomorrow no longer seemed real.

Young folk here may have no idea what I'm talking about. The ride showed constant forward progress as manual drudgery was taken over by energy slaves (a.k.a. GE home appliances).

IIRC, Disneyland ultimately tore down the Carousel and replaced it with something else in its Tomorrow Land area. I suppose the dream of a better tomorrow no longer seemed real.

I was at magic kingdom last summer, its still there.

So I was listening to wack-job radio yet again (Where Bill Deagle was claiming that US Oil fields is flaring Natural Gas. Anyone know of a single field still doing such in the US of A?) and the discussion of using plants to 'turn rocks into plastic' and came across this:
Leading to this:
and that gets ya here:

A lower energy cement

Eric, I see flaring at the southern end of the Kern River field - it boggles my mind - the flare is within a mile or two of a good-sized town - now, why on earth wouldn't you just pipe it into people's homes? I must be missing something, but it's crazy to see that gas lighting up the surrounding fields at night, withing a stone's throw of farm houses....

Damn. I hate it when whack-job radio is right on something.....makes me question if the other bits I do not accept as true might be. :-(

haha! they are also right I think in saying the end is nigh - just they say it for the wrong reasons....

Just realized the other places I see some pretty big flaring - right above Hwy 101 between Ventura and Santa Barbara (BIG one there - lights things up for a long way at night - and WHY can't that gas be used in SB/Ventura stoves and water heaters?) - another few north of SB before 101 heads inland to Santa Ynez - these all are associated with offshore rigs out towards the Channel Islands I think - and I know nothing of why they need to flare vs pump it to homes

The article above noted that gas from the Bakken oil field in North Dakota is being flared since there is no gas gathering infrastructure.

"Eric, I see flaring at the southern end of the Kern River field - it boggles my mind - the flare is within a mile or two of a good-sized town - now, why on earth wouldn't you just pipe it into people's homes?:

might not be economical enough yet or they don't believe it will be.

Some times your oil refineries have gas. It's not methane, it's off gas from a reformer or something and they can't run it through a natural gas pipeline because it's out of spec. Burning it is all they can do and they hate to do it because if they could burn it for power in their own cogeneration plant they could sell the electricity.
Refineries are always burping, producing too much or two little of this product or that, and the guys that run them get paid the big bucks to not do that so much.

Relevant stuff does get spoken about in the Halls of Congress, as to action...

From a post on the ASPO Web site:

An address to the House by Congressman Roscoe Bartlett on 14 March 2008.

He references the 1957 Admiral Hyman Rickover speech on energy which was posted on TOD by Gail:


Say, I thought I'd post this as a "general interest" item for anyone who might own shares in USO, the oil ETF.

I owned some last year, before getting out of it to more effectively manage my risk at lower cost through options. However, it's now tax time and we've just gotten the SK-1 form from them. We had income of about $1500 from it... and on that we owe tax of $2500. WTF??? a 166% tax rate?

Apparently the way USO structures it, they stick all the 'realized option income' with the 'owners' (those who buy shares) and have the IRS collect it from them... even though such funds were never disbursed or received. Thus the SK-1 shows a personal "gain" of just under $8000 for me, even though this never existed, it's a fiction. Frankly, seems bogus as hell to me. This is over and above the problems mentioned last year about USO getting hammered by contango. This is about the managers of USO using the IRS to stick its customers with income tax on gains they never realized, or could have realized.

I'd say dump it, if you've got it, and play oil another way.

My 2 cents worth.... though it's costing me a lot more than that....


I see the average price of heating oil in Maine has now reached a record $3.78 per gallon, up another 4.5 per cent in the previous week.

Source: http://www.seacoastonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080317/NEWS/8...

Retail prices in Canada now vary between $1.00 and $1.20 per litre, or upwards of $4.50 per gallon.

The belt noose tightening continues...


Hello Leanan,

Thxs for the toplink: "All About: Food and fossil fuels"

The average developed world diet uses 1,600 liters of fossil fuels each year, according to the U.S. based Organic Consumers Association (OCA). Only 256 of those liters come from transporting the food, says OCA.

By contrast, a whopping 496 liters goes into the chemical fertilizers used during the food growing stage, representing well over one third of the food chain's entire fossil fuel consumption.
This helps to clearly illustrate our I-NPK addiction; the essential postPeak need to move to massive O-NPK recycling as much as possible.

The big transport stumbling block is that O-NPK manures are generally 20:1 times bulkier/heavier than I-NPK for the given ERoEI photosynthesis punch, but the biomass has big positives for the soil.

I just wish I had Stuart Staniford's skillset to figure out how geographically applicable my SpiderWebRiding Network would help as a silver bb to the O-NPK transport problem.

Example: What pedaling railbike distance is O-NPK ERoEI worthwhile to transport one ton of evaporated urban-human urine powder or crushed human bones for farmland replenishment? Is it when I-NPK reaches the inflation-adjusted 1914 price of $10,500/ton? A lower price, due to our Overshoot #s, or much higher? How does that compare to earlier Chilean guano, which was worthwhile to gather by hand, then ship around the globe?

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

Hi again Bob, I found this interesting site about guano industry and harvesting in Peru an Chile. You probably have read it but if not it's an interesting read. Notice down page at link the photo of 'sunken guano boat'...This is the type of coasting schooner that was common to the US East Coast untill about 1930-1940. These schooners carried about every cargo imaginable without use of FFs.


'The Mosaic law commanded: "Designate a place outside the camp where you can go to relieve yourself. As part of your equipment have something to dig with, and when you relieve yourself, dig a hole and cover up your excrement. For the LORD your God moves about in your camp to protect you and to deliver your enemies to you. Your camp must be holy, so that he will not see among you anything indecent and turn away from you.' IOWs don't cause the lord to step in s**t!

Sharpshooters to even get the Andean Condors! Yikes! Thxs for the fascinating link!

I have a feeling that all Sewage sludge in the United States is being used as Fertilizer (except organically grown food - when following the letter of the standard).

Sewage sludge typically also includes treated industrial waste, all forms of household waste (pharmaceuticals, cleaners, creams, human waste, .....). The imported food from "those ugly third world" countries may be better since they typically do not have much infrastructure to gather and transport sewage sludge - if they have sewers at all.

Why is sewage sludge so bad? If sewage isn't used as fertilizer its released into the environment (typically the ocean) where it can (among other things) cause huge algeal growth and lots of other bad effects. Eventually it is absorbed back into the ecosystem and eventually ends back up on land, where it becomes the topsoil for more crops to be grown.

Agriculture, ignoring chemical fertilizers, is the process by which raw nutrients are absorbed into plants, then through the sunlight powered process of photosynthesis, those nutrients are chemically bonded together to make lipids (fats), proteins, and carbohydrates. Animal digestion is literally the opposite process, and extracts the energy from those chemical bonds.

So really those nutrients are chemical carries for the energy that powers our bodies. Once we extract the energy, we expel (crap) those nutrients. But they are still the same nutrients. Once properly treated they should certainly go back into that energy cycle, excepting of course if they are chemically contaminated with something that can't be removed in a practical manner.

Hello Freeyourmind,

Thxs for your comments. Time will tell, but I think it will be mentally easier for people to give up their vehicles for bicycles, than to get them to give up their freshwater-flush toilets for safe and proper humanure recycling. But I sure hope I am wrong.

If organically grown food was all that was eaten, then sewage sludge would not be bad. However, sewage sludge contains residues of many pharmaceuticals (and/or their metabolities), industrial chemicals (processed into products used in the household), heavy metals & other such contaminants, hormones, potentially other chemical and biological toxins.

What to do with it? That is a tough one. (My opinion of course is that we are better off without many synthetic products) - It is also difficult and perhaps impossible to police what goes down the sewer. Perhaps, we should compost the sludge, burn the off gases and landfill the remainder!

Organic farming - I understand - gets its NPK from composted manure (sourced I hope from organically raised farm animals). Use of sludge is specifically forbidden.


Page 7 has some comments on soil management. (I have no relationship to, or investment in, Dean Foods - owners of the Brand)

First, we're going to have to re-engineer our waste water treatment systems so that no industrial wastes flow through them - probably a separate system (or maybe on-site treatment at each plant) will be required. Most of the larger plants probably already have this, but something may still be required for the smaller facilities.

Second, we will need to provide a simple and easy way for people to dispose of toxic materials instead of pouring it down the drain. While many municipalities are getting pretty good when it comes to the recycling of plastics, glass, metal and paper, this is still an area where much work needs to be done. Simply telling people not to dump it down the drain without giving them a convenient alternative won't work.

Third, we will need to have stringent laws regulating and de-toxifying household chemicals, requiring that the by reformulated so they are not toxic; the only way to assure that bad stuff isn't poured down the drain is to assure that bad stuff isn't for sale in the first place.

Once all this is done, then municipal sewage sludge (after having been run through an anaerobic digester to extract the methane) would be fit to apply to farm land. I wouldn't apply it directly to land that is going to be used to grow crops for human consumption the same year. Fallow ground in rotation, or maybe pasture or hay fields, would be the places to apply it. A year or two in the ground should be enough to eliminate any lingering human pathogens, if it had previously been run through an anaerobic digester.

Why is sewage sludge so bad?

Simple. The sludge is more than just 'shit'. It is also paint, solvents, run-off from roads, motor oil, (and on and on)

Hello everyone. In case you're wondering, I'm new, and I'm an Undergraduate finishing up my Aerospace Engineering degree at WPI in Worcester, Mass.

Reading these news stories on the economy lately, most economists seem to suggest that oil prices are going up because the dollar is loosing value. That seems to be a terrible explination, in my opinion. Isn't it the other way around?

Oil is going up because worldwide demand is rising faster than supply. As oil prices go up, and the US wants to consume about the same amount of oil, our government has to "print" more money and so the world market gets flooded with US $$$. Suddenly theres so much of our money flowing around that it's not worth as much, spurring more inflation.

What are your opinions? Am I about right? Why would they say what they have been saying? Do they really beleive the dollar is going down for no reason?

Hi, freeyourmind, and welcome to The Oil Drum.

Oil is going up for all the reasons you list. If you were to try to break out how much each factor contributes you'd find that greater demand than available supply is the most significant factor.

If you want an idea of why they are saying what they are saying, read my comment on discourses here:

I think you'll find that explanation will shed a lot of light on the workings of the human being.


Hello freeyourmind...Here are a few thoughts and a link to the gentleman that writes Market Ticker blog...There is a huge disconnect between what the Fed, Treasury and US fiscal policy are doing and the welfare of the average American.


'once an effective zero interest rate is reached nothing further that The Fed does matters as there is no more ability to earn via the carry!'

'You need only look at JAPAN to see what ZIRP gets you. Zombified banks who are reduced to "loaning" money out that immediately leaves the country seeking a positive return somewhere else! That's all they have left, and 20 years later, they have failed to restart their financial and industrial engines of growth.' (zirp) = zero interest rate percent.

'Up and down the line, from "investment banks" to house flippers to mortgage executives to "hot money" that bought all those supposed-AAA bonds, The Fed and Congress' only concen is insuring that their flow of campaign contributions is maintained - its perfectly ok with them if Granny is literally reduced to eating catfood as her savings rate falls to a literal zero and her price-adjusted return is NEGATIVE ten percent a year!

Just remember folks - eventually, you will be Granny, and Japan's version of this little Hell has lasted 20 years and isn't over.'

I'm an Undergraduate finishing up my Aerospace Engineering degree


Welcome to the TOD community.

Once you actually do "finish" your degree, you will be free of those grade-grunting professors who hover threateningly over you, promising to give you a bad grade (and end your life) if you don't adopt "correct-think" the way they want you to.

One of the think-my-way-or-die teachers you had in school was your Economics 101 teacher.

Much of what he/she fed you was pure BS (Bears & Stearns).

Money is not a physical thing.
By contrast, number of barrels extracted per day is a physical quantity.
When you start mixing pure numerology (money) with physical measures (e.g., volumes, mass, BTU's etc.), you get nonsense. GIGO.

Think back to those times before mankind appeared. There was no "money".

We made it up.
Out of thin air.

Money is a "promise".
When the promise no longer looks like it is going to be kept, it loses "value".

The current financial crisis arises out of fear that promises (i.e, liquidity in the housing sector) will not be kept. The Fed Reserve tries to ease the fears by making more promises. (i.e. "Trust us. We've got this under control. We are adjusting the numbers knob.")

I misread and remove what I said since it's irrelevant.

Economics = Vodoo

If economics is voodoo, then we're all zombies, blindly following the rules of the voodoo life style.

More to the point, economics has many of the attributes of a cult religion (i.e., belief in an invisible and benevolent deity known affectionately as "The Hand"). If you start attacking a person's religion they get very defensive. (You're better off making jokes about their mother.) So be careful.

After you finish your degree and get out there into the "real world", you will encounter many worshipers of the Eco 101 religion, including most probably the people who keep you alive (you boss). So play nice.

Reality is something we generally need to keep secreted away inside our minds. But feel free to explore it here at TOD :-)

Boy that Obama has a lot of nerve-he gave a speech today saying that the election should be about what is best for the country, not just childish distractions. Who the hell does this guy think he is? I think he might be giving the sheeple a little too much credit-I still think the Alzheimers patient is the likely winner.

Yeah. As one of these college educated white boys, I am a bigtime fanboy. He seems to think pretty similarly to myself (although he talks a lot better). But will JoeSixpack buy in????

St John has been showing more an more signs of Alzheimers. Lieberman had to interrupt his Iraq speech to tell him that no Iran supports Shia who are the natural enemies of Sunni AlQaeda! It looks like he is already about as far gone as Reagan in year six.

St John has been showing more an more signs of Alzheimers

If I cared enough to provide a link - similar claims were made over at tbrnews.org in the past. This photo is not flattering.

Since I have not been able to convince anyone around me to take action for the post PO readiness, I am trying to reach out here: is here anyone interested in the possibility of forming a partnership of some sort to share the cost and effort in setting up a post PO ready camp somewhere - preferably overseas?

Sorry you haven't found any partners where you are.

You might consider that there are parts of North America that are fertile, not overpopulated/ OR has a cultural makeup that you would find an affinity for (it's not all stripmalls, it's really not).. etc.

Do you have a set of ideas for what seems promising to you, either for the kind of land/terrain, the kind of people, or other factors that might meet a community's basic needs?

I'm only banking on a maybe 5% chance of a full breakdown in my lifetime, anyway, though I've always had a 'Survivor' program running just as part of my 'mode'.. but I do think it's useful to work to learn what our actual Needs are, so we know what to put on this list.

Try to do an 'Energy Fast' sometime. Set your own limitations, and take notes. I've tried to do this as a picnic/dinner party on Midsummer's Night (June 20?).. if you dare, just go down to the box and toss the Master Breaker for a day.. good time to clean out the freezer! It's funny how many stupid things most of us (even if we actually 'know better') aren't prepared for. Matches? Candles? Where are some fresh Batteries? How many times am I supposed to pump this stove? I thought YOU refilled it! ...

Best of Luck,

For more info on the 400 billion barrels of "oil in place" in the Bakken formation (North America) go to www.ndoil.org and select "news" and got to "Tidbits", then Bakken Geology.

Quoted from article in NDoil News:

* Only 1% of this oil is recoverable with current technology.
* Typical well with three horizontal legs cost $6 million in 2006 (maybe $10 million today).
* Many problems with transportation to producing areas and pipeline capacity for recovered oil to get to refineries.
* Most wells are 10000 feet deep or more and have legs that extend 9000 feet.

This area is not easy to work with very cold temps for three months of the year and high winds much of the year. Water issues may be a problem in some areas of Bakken. Nearly all wells will require complex fracturing to get productive flows.

If oil drops below $50 or $60 per barrel this area will not be produced IMO. Another reason why Yergin is wrong on future oil price.

The world has lost one of the great scientific romantics, passed away from us at 90 years old:


For many of us, Arthur C. Clarke was one of the ways we came to be interested in science, space, physics, chemistry and energy.

Clarke was born in an age when everything seemed possible, and he never gave up on it. His love of the joy of science, of doing and writing about what "could not be done" but in fact was done was infectious.

In his last years, he held out three wishes, says the article: That the horrible war in his beloved Sri Lanka would end, that we would discover extraterrestial life, and that mankind would embrace new clean forms of energy.

If you had told him that new forms of energy "could not be done"....well, the wry smile you would have gotten from him would have been as priceless as one of his great books!

One can only hope for an existance in the great beyond...the coaching section of Sagan, Clarke and Bucky Fuller, the great scientific romantic optimists rooting us on would be something if we could hear it, wouldn't it? :-)


It's like burning the Mona Lisa to heat the Louvre.
-- Bucky Fuller

IIRC, we can thank Clarke for the idea of the geostationary telecom satellite -- something so very useful that I hope that we can somehow manage to preserve enough industrial capacity to continue to have them.

Arthur C. Clarke dies

In observing his "90th orbit of the Sun" in December, Clarke expressed three birthday wishes: for ET to call, for man to kick his oil habit and for peace in Sri Lanka.

RIP Arthur. Hope it's full of stars!

Sri Lanka plans to launch a deep space probe named HAL II. It will be aimed at a far off planet in the Genesis star system. Rumor has it that the probe carries a casket. Rumor has it that a Monolith was spotted on that remote planet. God speed you on your space odessy Arthur. We'll miss you.

My introduction to Mr Clarke was reading "A Fall of Moondust" as a lad.



Delete post, accidental duplicate

Great interview with Shankar Sharma, Vice Chairman & Joint MD of First Global, India
About the current state of the economy


..what do you want to hear? You want to hear the truth or do you want to hear politically correct, comfortably sounding nonsense.. You know I can give you both answers

Shankar, please give us your honest opinion:

The entire U.S. financial system is bust. That is a matter of fact, that is not a matter of opinion.

The problem in finance is that you basically support a large amount of liability on a very small amount of equity. When the equity goes, the liabilities get pulled. When that situation happens, then you have a run on banks, then you have a run on investment banks, who are largely funded out of short-term things like commercial paper, etc.. Those liabilities can disappear over night. So even though you might have liquidity, at least your money in the bank, that money in the bank is actually borrowed capital.

My view is that you are going to see a situation, where you will probably see a bank or two really go under, if not more. So if that were to happen, and I think I would attach a 80 to 90% probability of that happening, because I do not think the petro dollars, the sovereign [players?] of having made the mistake of actually going in and having bought these stocks at 50% higher are again going to rush back in a hurry. They will be a lot more careful this time around. So the liquidity centres that has been assumed to be there because of petro dollars may not be as amendable this time around.

So what happens then? What happens then is that you have bankruptcies in the financial sector. That affects credit to the market place. That affects credit to the consumers. And it has a whole cascading effect. I don't think the Fed's planned movements are enough to stem that particular rot. Once that happens you have complete contagion spreading to other parts of the world.