DrumBeat: August 6, 2008

In rural Alaska, fuel costs now matter of survival

BARROW, Alaska - A gallon of unleaded gasoline: $10. Heating fuel: $9.10 a gallon. Electricity: $1.17 per kilowatt hour — 11 times the national average.

Some heavily taxed European nation or a time in the future when global fossil fuels have grown dangerously sparse?

Try right now in the most remote villages of America's 49th state.

Soaring oil prices that swelled Alaska's treasury have come back to slam the state, particularly its 170 rural villages.

Gov. Sarah Palin has proposed checks of $1,200 for each resident to help relieve some of the burden using a surplus from the oil-rich state treasury. Lawmakers are debating that proposal right now.

But in far-flung villages, the people expect things to get much worse. The seasonal barge shipments of fuel have yet to arrive, meaning villages are still paying last year's prices, already a minimum of 60 cents higher than the U.S. average.

Surviving the Apocalypse, On Two Wheels

Why did Igor Kenk keep over 2,800 bikes in storage?

That was the question posed by last Saturday’s front-page National Post article. Buried within the article was a possible answer: preparation for the apocalypse. “Det.-Const. Dennis says ‘Mr. Kenk told him ‘the apocalypse is coming.’ In the future when we have run out of oil, we will all need bikes to get around, the logic goes, and Mr. Kenk will have a few in storage to offer us.”

The alleged bike thief has captured the attention of the Canadian press since July 16th, when police claimed to have observed him directing a thief to steal a bike for him. As the investigation spiraled out, more and more bikes were discovered in rented warehouses across Toronto.

...Clearly, the charismatic Slovenian immigrant makes for a good story. There are questions about his sanity, and the National Post reports that the lead investigator wants him “to get looked at.” However, the constable who arrested him says that “he’s all there.”

What if Igor Kenk isn’t mad?

BP Learns Not To Mess With Russia (audio)

Oil company BP appears to be getting run out of Russia. The CEO of BP Russia is now running the company from an undisclosed location in Eastern Europe. He's afraid of being harassed inside the country. This isn't the first time that a foreign company has been muscled out.

Alex Chadwick speaks with Hermitage fund director Bill Browder. He found his visa cancelled and his office ransacked after he looked a little too closely at the records of some big Russian companies.

Chevron to Begin $2.8 Billion Brazil Field in March

(Bloomberg) -- Chevron Corp., the second-largest U.S. oil company, plans to start pumping crude from a $2.8 billion offshore project in Brazil early next year to help stem declines in production.

Exxon says restoring output to pre-storm levels

HOUSTON (Reuters) - Exxon Mobil said on Wednesday it was restoring its offshore production after inspections of Gulf of Mexico production facilities found no damage from Tropical Storm Edouard.

All workers have been returned to the offshore, Exxon said in a statement.

Attacked Nigerian oil pipelines repaired - minister

ABUJA (Reuters) - Oil companies have repaired two major Nigerian pipelines damaged in militant attacks last week, allowing some production to resume in the restive Niger Delta, the oil minister told Reuters on Wednesday.

"All of the pipelines have been repaired. It has beefed up production slightly," Odein Ajumogobia said in an interview.

North Dakota's real-life Jed Clampett

Stanley, North Dakota, might seem an unlikely boomtown located in the northwest part of the state about 50 miles from the Canadian border. But the town is teeming with activity -- all thanks to rich oil deposits sitting deep below the surface.

As oil falls, Valero should rise

The bottom line is that the profit margin for Valero and for all oil refiners has widened significantly, yet Valero's stock price doesn't reflect that. Since July 2007, Valero's stock has cratered from $77 to $32 a share.

Kuwait chides Iran over threat to shut Hormuz

KUWAIT CITY (Thomson Financial) - Kuwait's foreign minister said on Wednesday that an Iranian threat to close the Strait of Hormuz, the crucial Gulf oil supply route, amounted to a 'punishment' of its Arab neighbours.

'By making such remarks, the Iranian officials are hinting at punishing the Gulf Cooperation Council countries,' Sheikh Mohammed Sabah al-Salem al-Sabah was quoted as saying by leading Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Qabas.

What life will be like in 2050 for a middle-class Irish family

Here is my question: what will life be like for an educated, middle-class family in the mid-21st century in Ireland? What trends can be reasonably relied upon to hold their magnitudes and directions this far forward into the future?

Well, first, they won't have an oil problem the way we have one. By 2040, there is general agreement we won't have enough oil to power the world's needs. Something else will have taken its place, most likely a combination of nuclear power and cleaner, greener energy sources.

Two Types of Speculation: One Harmful, One Not

The kind of speculation we should worry about is "bandwagon behavior." This is speculation that is disconnected from fundamentals. For example, suppose that people become convinced that offshore drilling will have a large impact on future prices. Even though this isn't true, suppose people become convinced that it is true through some sort of misleading information campaign, perhaps abetted by a media more interested in hyping controversy than in informing people of the facts.

This is the opposite of an expected supply disruption. It's an expected increase in future supply (based upon false information), so the expected future price would be lower. That would cause speculators to release stored oil - it's not as valuable in the future as it was before - driving the price down today, and this validates the markets anticipation that price would fall.

Mexico's Calderon closer to energy reform deal

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - President Felipe Calderon is closing in on an energy reform that could give a shot in the arm to Mexico's struggling oil industry, but it is not clear if oil majors will be lured into crucial deep-water projects.

Nepal: Poor suffering most from oil crisis

KATHMANDU - As the government has failed to get its priorities right regarding the petroleum sector, low-end consumers - for whose sake the country suffered oil losses of over Rs 18 billion over the last four years - have been left to suffer the most from the deepening oil crisis.

According to Nepal Oil Corporation’s (NOC’s) sales records and distribution priority, it distributed a mere 36 percent of the required amount of kerosene - the cooking and lighting fuel of the poor - during the last two years.

Russia Transneft oil shipping fee seen up 10-12 pct

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia's decision to raise an oil shipping fee component will increase costs of oil deliveries by pipelines by 10-12 percent and further spur Russia's runaway inflation, analysts said on Wednesday.

China's Aluminum Smelters Cut Output, Exceed Target

(Bloomberg) -- China's aluminum smelters, the largest in the world, cut production by more than 10 percent and will limit output until the end of the year because of power shortages and weak export demand, an industry official said.

Cathay Pacific Posts First Loss in Five Years on Fuel

(Bloomberg) -- Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd., Asia's third-biggest carrier by market value, unexpectedly posted the first loss in five years after fuel costs almost doubled and it set aside funds to cover a U.S. price-fixing fine.

Ryanair may 'buy up to 400 aircraft' - report

Europe's largest low-cost carrier last month said first-quarter net profit slumped 85 per cent as its fuel costs soared, and warned it may post a full-year loss of up to €60 million if oil prices remain high.

“But the price will fall below $100 again because demand is declining,” Mr O'Leary told Sueddeutsche . “There is no oil shortage.”

Nissan shows test models of electric car, hybrid

YOKOSUKA, Japan - Nissan showed on Wednesday a spiffy electric car packed with a battery developed by the Japanese automaker to deliver more power than the type common in today’s hybrids.

The electric vehicle, set for sale in 2010, carried a 300 kilogram (660 pounds) lithium-ion battery and still zipped around a Nissan Motor Co. test course, accelerating more quickly than comparable gas-engine cars.

McCain, Obama promote nuclear energy plans

WASHINGTON — John McCain's visit to a Michigan nuclear plant Tuesday revives a debate over the promise and safety of nuclear energy.

Oblivion becomes the oblivious

AS THE price of oil skyrockets there is evidence that the US is blindly bumbling into superpower oblivion; that the American century is passing before our eyes. An empire built on oil is losing supremacy and, indeed, internal coherence.

The US will remain, but the superpower period is passing, just as did the USSR. There is no wall to fall as there was with the Soviet Empire but the sole superpower can be no more.

No other great power in history became as dependent on one single substance for projection and protection as America on oil - America's precious bodily fluid.

The Fiasco of Suburbia, Its Implications, and Its Destiny

For centuries, a countryside chateau was the dream and ambition of wealthy families throughout Europe. And then, about 600 years after peasants hauled the first granite stones to the site of the Chateau d'Agneaux, an American version of this dream began to take shape across the fifty United States. Millions of Americans aspired to flee the grime of the cities for the splendor of the countryside…or at least, for the relative cleanliness of the suburbs.

But as James Howard Kunstler recently explained to the attendees of the Agora Investment Symposium in Vancouver, the American suburb is dying. It is a flawed concept that will not survive the onset of rising energy prices.

Rural America outgrows label: "There is no rural policy for the kind of rural we are"

According to the report, the four rural Americas are:

Amenity-rich. They're places like Aspen, Colo., or the Appalachian region around Asheville, N.C., where mountains, lakes, coastlines or forests draw vacationers, retirees and second-home owners. Challenges: Affordable housing for long-time residents and workers and controlling sprawl to protect the environment.

Declining resource-dependent. They once thrived on agriculture, timber, mining and manufacturing — industries that have declined because of globalization and depleted resources. The middle class is disappearing and the population is aging and shrinking. The Great Plains is a prime example.

Chronically poor. These are regions such as the Mississippi Delta where residents and the land have seen decades of dwindling resources.

In transition. Traditional resource-based economies are in decline, but these areas have natural beauty that offers potential for growth in service economies and niche industries. These areas include parts of New England and the Pacific Northwest.

Alaska: Purchase refinery to ease energy costs

I suggest the state purchase the Flint Hills Refinery and sell the refined products at cost, plus a small margin, while using a portion of our state’s royalty oil. Recently, the refinery owners indicated that a sale of the facility might occur and requested the state lower the cost of crude and let them off the hook regarding pending retroactive transportation costs. All told, it would appear that the administration is in an excellent position to bargain for a reasonable price. So, let’s do it before it hits 50 below this winter. As I see it, none of the other options can provide significant relief within a shorter time frame.

Federal Regulator Worked With Cheney's Secret Energy Task Force

Few people are aware that Joseph Kelliher, the chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the agency that controls the country's natural gas industry, hydroelectric projects, electric utilities, and oil pipelines, and has played a critical role in the deregulation of those industries, was one of a handful of insiders who, as a member of Vice President Dick Cheney's energy task force in early 2001, solicited executives at corporations like Enron to help write President Bush's National Energy Policy.

Australia gas crisis eases after plant restart

VARANUS ISLAND, Australia: A natural gas plant shut down by an explosion that wiped out nearly a third of the gas supply to Australia's west coast two months ago resumed partial operations Wednesday, the plant operator said.

Thomas Homer-Dixon and Stewart Elgie: We must green the market

Modern capitalist markets are among the most amazing institutions humankind has ever created. They are mighty engines of innovation and wealth. They allow societies to quickly adapt to a world full of disruptions and surprises. And by linking billions of producers and consumers every day, they generate price signals that help people around the world decide what to make and what to buy.

But when it comes to conserving Earth's natural environment, our markets are badly broken. For our planet's future - and for our future prosperity - we must fix them.

The alternative energy bubble

What do you get when you mix Al Gore, global warming, whacky environmentalists, skyrocketing oil prices, lots of venture funding, and irrational exuberance? An alternative energy bubble.

Home Energy Prices Are Expected to Soar

In a season of roller-coaster energy costs, the drop in oil and natural gas prices in recent days was greeted as good news. But they remain so high that experts are predicting that heating bills this winter will far exceed those of last year.

Even after a precipitous decline from its peak in early July, the price of natural gas is still 11 percent above where it was last winter.

Heating oil is 36 percent higher, with the government projecting that the costs of both fuels will stay high. Electricity prices are also up moderately.

Higher heating costs will hit particularly hard in the Northeast, where many people use heating oil.

Given how unpredictable energy markets have become, most fuel dealers are not offering their customers price protection plans, or locked rates, as they typically do at this time of the year, said Dan Gilligan, president of the Petroleum Marketers Association of America, the biggest trade group for fuel retailers.

Arctic Map shows dispute hotspots

British scientists say they have drawn up the first detailed map to show areas in the Arctic that could become embroiled in future border disputes.

A team from Durham University compiled the outline of potential hotspots by basing the design on historical and ongoing arguments over ownership.

Norway completes seismic scan in pristine Arctic

OSLO (Reuters) - Norwegian energy authorities have completed a seismic survey of Arctic waters near the scenic Lofoten islands, which environmental groups say should be permanently out of bounds to oil and gas drilling.

The Wind from Wall Street's Sails

We must set aside all of the election-year rhetoric and demand better from our politicians, energy producers and even ourselves. We all have to take some responsibility if we hope to find solutions. Simply blaming one group of people is not going to work. The challenges of Peak Oil – if not Peak Everything – remain. Banning speculation means just losing a critical piece of the early warning system.

On the downside of oil's peak

Why are fuel prices rising? To a large extent the price is set by supply and demand. The following discussion is about supply. I became interested in the sustainability of crude oil supply about 30 years ago, when I began discussing this subject in geology classes I was teaching at Virginia Tech. At that time, analysis of oil production was a well-established field of study.

Fuel costs pinch roadside rescue man

High gas prices are forcing potential do-gooders of all kinds to stay home.

Meals on Wheels and other services that depend on volunteer drivers have had to scale back. In a June survey of US groups that serve the elderly, more than 70 percent said fuel costs had made it harder to recruit and retain volunteers.

Seniors on fixed incomes face hardships as economy worsens, survey finds

A recent report by AARP suggests that older Americans may be making some risky choices in the interest of saving money in tough times. The national telephone survey found that 59 percent of people 65 and older have found it more difficult in recent months to pay for essentials including food, gas and medicine. Nearly half said they have postponed paying their utility bills, and 10 percent said they have cut back on medications.

In the Sacramento region, older people also are suffering the effects of the state budget impasse. Some agencies that get funding from the state are shutting down or cutting back programs that serve the elderly.

Blast halts Azeri oil pipeline through Turkey

ANKARA/BAKU (Reuters) - An explosion on the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline on Tuesday night in eastern Turkey has halted the oil flow along the one million barrels per day pipeline, a senior Turkish Energy Ministry official said.

"The fire is under control, but we need 24 hours from now to extinguish it. After the fire is put out, we can look at the damage and say when it will be possible to reopen the line," the source said speaking on condition of anonymity.

Russian gas price for Belarus to top $200 per 1,000 cu m in 2009

MINSK (RIA Novosti) - The price of natural gas sold by Russia to Belarus will exceed $200 per 1,000 cubic meters in 2009, Russia's ambassador in Minsk said on Wednesday.

Alexander Surikov said the price scheme for Belarus was based on that used for neighboring Poland.

Petrobras to Spend $6.8 Billion on Its Refineries, Valor Says

(Bloomberg) -- Petroleo Brasileiro SA, Brazil's state-controlled oil company, plans to invest $6.8 billion until 2015 on expanding and modernizing its refineries, Valor Economico reported, citing the company.

Petrobras will increase its refining capacity in Brazil by 989,600 barrels a day through the expansion of its 10 biggest units, Valor said.

Russian Oil Companies Miss Deadline in Price Probe

(Bloomberg) -- Russia's biggest oil companies missed a deadline for supplying regulators with information as part of an antitrust probe of wholesale fuel prices, the Federal Anti- Monopoly Service said.

The agency requested information from OAO Gazprom Neft, OAO Lukoil, TNK-BP, OAO Rosneft and OAO Surgutneftegaz and only Surgut complied on time, the watchdog said in a statement today. The regulator opened cases against the oil producers in July, saying they set ``monopolistically high prices'' on domestic diesel and jet fuel.

U.S. warns of 'punitive' action on Iran

BANGKOK, Thailand (CNN) -- Iran may face "punitive" measures because of its insufficient response to an incentives package offered in return for a cutback in its nuclear program, a senior White House official said Wednesday.

Petrobras to Start Production at Pre-Salt Well, Estado Says

(Bloomberg) -- Petroleo Brasileiro SA, Brazil's state-controlled oil company, plans to start production from an oil well in the so-called pre-salt area on Aug. 12, Estado de S. Paulo newspaper reported, citing unidentified people involved in the project.

Oil Companies May `Panic' on Tanker-Rate Outlook

(Bloomberg) -- Oil-tanker rental rates may rise after last week's 46 percent slump spurred owners to slow their vessels, reducing supply and increasing costs for oil producers and refineries who hire the vessels.

Owners are telling captains to sail more slowly, according to three shipbrokers. The last time that happened, in the final months of 2007, rental rates posted the fastest two-month gain in at least 16 years, increasing costs for oil producers seeking to ship supplies to refineries.

It's belt-tightening time as firms that deliver confront fuel costs

When Sacramento's Buckhorn Grill purchased a Bajaj, a three-wheeled Indian-made vehicle, patrons thought it looked cute.

As gas prices climbed, the Bajaj just started to look smart: 90 mpg while being cute, to boot.

Higher gas prices mean smaller profit margins for businesses, especially the small businesses that depend on gas to do what they do: deliver.

BP Puts $90 Million in Ethanol Venture

BP, the British oil giant, is ponying up $90 million to invest in Verenium, a U.S. producer of cellulosic ethanol, in a move that highlights the growing interest in next-generation ethanol, which is generated from nonfood feedstocks such as plant waste.

Showdown looms for 'climate camp'

Protesters are aiming to shut down Kingsnorth power station on the Medway estuary in Kent this weekend.

They oppose the decision of its owner, the energy company E.ON, to replace the ageing site with a brand-new coal-fired power station - the first such to be built in Britain for 30 years.

Achtung bitte.
The Greenshirts have arrived.


Some activists and marketers see the site as a clever marketing gimmick to teach children to preserve their planet. Others see excessive indoctrination tactics lifted from the pages of the George Orwell novel, 1984, in which children are set against their parents, or worse, the Hitler Youth, who were encouraged to betray their loved ones for the greater glory of the state.
Last Tuesday, a satirical article on the British Web site Anorak referred to these cadets as "Greenshirts" and compared them to the young Blackshirts of yore. "NPower, the electricity people, want you, the Britisher Jungvolk, to inform on your mums and your dads if they disobey the rules on climate change."


Achtung! Herr MUDLOGGER Report immediately to the
re-education center for re-indoctrination.

Danke Herr Mudlogger....Haben Sie einen schönen Tag

I don't know, I think anybody with a moustache truly is evil.

Hey, as long as there's a Nazi card somewhere in the deck, you cant expect it not to be played. The problem today is that half the deck is stacked with Nazi cards. The chance of one being played is pretty good. But I guess its ok as long as it incrementally creeps in until one day you browse over to your favorite website and it isnt there no more...

This is already happening. The web is potentially just months away from being shut down. Shut down for seekers of alternative media, ie something other than corporate fascist propaganda.

The problem today is that half the deck is stacked with Nazi cards.

{gets tounge and cheek notice out}

But, but look at all the good!

The tables on how long someone can last in freezing waters, various medical procedures (that ethicists have debated), the freeway!, and the economic model of government supporting large corporations.

Of course the deck has lottsa Nazi cards.

(and now I get to post again about the Libertarian National Socialist Green Party http://www.nazi.org/ )

Get things in perspective.

The reports I have seen say the camp has about 400 protesters. An anti-war march I attended in London in 2003 had 1-2,000,000
protesters. This bunch will be overwhelmingly outnumbered by police, who are systematically raiding their camp, and will not let them anywhere near any real energy infrastructure.

The poor misguided fools are being set up as a new media bette-noir so that nasty polluting (and I don't mean just CO2) coal power can be expanded as fast as possible in the face of imminent natural gas shortages in the UK.

One hallmark of the "consumer society" is that children are enlisted in a conflict with their parents. How else would you get them to buy all that junk?

Profit occurs to a third party when a wedge can be driven between natural allies. "Defense" corporations supply both "sides."

I don't believe this is particularly sinister, but it is clear that the marketing meme has infected everything and in my opinion, our culture is toast.

How is this not particularly sinister?

Why I think it sinister and worth a mention. (aside from the usual po-faced green stuff): State – Creep from all angles :


Al Gore's film An Inconvenient Truth has been called unfit for schools because it is politically biased and contains serious scientific inaccuracies and 'sentimental mush'.
Schools will have to issue a warning before they show pupils Al Gore's controversial film about global warming, a judge indicated yesterday.

The move follows a High Court action by a father who accused the Government of 'brainwashing' children with propaganda by showing it in the classroom.

Stewart Dimmock said the former U.S. Vice-President's documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, is unfit for schools because it is politically biased and contains serious scientific inaccuracies and 'sentimental mush'.


No, I won't have children telling me what to eat
Our offspring are becoming the footsoldiers of the re-education crusade
Mick Hume

Once upon a time, not so long ago, parents were supposed to educate children in the ways of the world. But the Government appears to have turned that arrangement on its head. Now it is deemed the job of children to teach parents right from wrong.
Our children are apparently being educated as self-righteous foot soldiers in a crusade to re-educate us in the official doctrine of “Healthy Living, Whether You Like It Or Not”. The innate tendency towards sanctimoniousness and zealotry among youngsters who see things in fairytale black-and-white terms (“five veg a day good, one fag a day bad”) makes them natural narks.
Amid all the talk of liberties and fears of an “Orwellian” state, these trends rarely get a mention. Yet there is a long history of authoritarian regimes using children to do their dirty work. The official “child heroes” of George Orwell's 1984 were members of jolly groups such as The Spies,

>>It was almost normal for people over thirty to be frightened of their own children. And with good reason, for hardly a week passed in which the Times did not carry a paragraph describing how some eavesdropping little sneak — ‘child hero’ was the phrase generally used — had overheard some compromising remark and denounced its parents to the Thought Police.<<

- George Orwell, 1984

The innate tendency towards sanctimoniousness and zealotry among youngsters who see things in fairytale black-and-white terms (“five veg a day good, one fag a day bad”) makes them natural narks.

Thanks for putting that in black-and-white terms for me, i totally get it now!

I only mean the "green kids" thing is not particularly sinister. They seem to be playing games aimed at decreasing energy consumption, and there isn't (so far) any consequence for turning in uncooperative adults.

Turning mum and dad in? That comes next....

No, my point is that here in the UK school children are been propagandised in institutions that should teach knowledge and critical thought.

Propagandised learning is increasingly the case.

Things have changed and not always for the best. Now kids get Gores video with drowning Polar bears (awwww!)

Where once we were required to understand dry and saturated adiabatic lapse rates

No, my point is that here in the UK school children are been propagandised in institutions that should teach knowledge and critical thought.


Public schools are the marketing department for society the way it currently is. Ivan Illich in Deschooling Society.


Ivan Illich is dead, and things have gotten a lot worse since then.

Why are kids so fat? Ask who runs the lunchrooms now, and what happened to the drinking fountains.


A little paranoia is helpful...it seems as though you have gone a ways past "a little".

And as to:

Propagandised learning is increasingly the case.

Are you suggesting that propagandized education is new, or exclusively a fault of the Left and the Enviros? It seem to me that public education always includes indoctrination. That is why states require it. For that matter, private and parochial education likewise include indoctrination.

It has been my observation that publicly funded education, in the US at least, is more about teaching obedience than about educating children.

No, I am not. The Right, and esp the Religious right are just as guilty of propaganda in the public school system.

In short, schools should be kept away from both sides.

But then I suppose kids would make up there own minds...

Both right and left worked out years ago that an ignorant and fearful populace is easier to control than a confident and educated populace.

Hence the dumbing down.

That's kind of a stupid attitude.

Lets apply the same standard to past debates.

Should we present both sides of the slavery debate to children and let them decide for them selves?

No, of course not. Schools are there to teach children. And we generally try to refrain from teaching stupid crap, like slavery or flat earth or what not.

Or anything else YOU decide is "stupid crap" right?

Slavery was not debated when I was in school, but it was debated whether or not slavery was the only or principle cause for the Civil War. We all went in with the idea that it was, I even chose this side because I KNEW I was on the winning side. After much research and debate I found that I was wrong. That was in 7th grade for me.

My son was in 11th grade last year. He NEVER heard there was any other reason for the civil war. I wouldn't care if he came to that conclusion himself, but I am disgraced that our country no longer teaches the kids to think for themselves. They are taught the answers to a test they will take at the end of the week, semester, year, or whatever and that is IT. Don't think just write down the answer we told you on Tuesday when you take the test on Friday and you will pass.

PS After all that research, reading, seeing the war from the south's side etc. I still wasn't lead to believe slavery was right. Should North Carolina have been allowed to secede from the union? I guess not, because as the US has shown ever since, might makes right.

"We report. You decide."

It seem to me that public education always includes indoctrination. That is why states require it. For that matter, private and parochial education likewise include indoctrination.

Good point, it is very interesting to watch the reaction of these teenagers in response to an explanation about evolution, in their science class given by Richard Dawkins. If this is not an example of the product of intense brainwashing then I do not know what is.


watch the temps for this upcoming sept. with all the airlines cutting back on routes this month expect temps to rise as the particulate pollution those flights created go away.

Actually, doesn't matter much about that, at least in the Arctic, because it's gonna keep melting anyway. A few months ago there was a poster here claiming we were all saved because the ice was no longer melting. This was a foolish claim, of course. At the time, the NSIDC had warned about a possible bigger melt than even last year because of a steep decline in the spring.

A couple weeks ago they reduced their alarm due to the melt rate easing off due to cooler weather than last year and a lack of the wind patterns that pushed so much ice out into the Atlantic. I took a look at the pics on their site. Conveniently enough, they had started posting daily pics. I've been saving them and tracking the, putting them into a Power Point archive so I can animate the series. What I noticed in the trend chart was that if you took the trend and allowed for it keeping steady, you would still end up at the same level of melt as last year. What had happened last year was a very big acceleration of the melt followed by a still fast leveling off then with a real flattening, essentially an upswing at about the third week of August. You end up with a trough that reflects unusual weather, but a steady tend line gets you to the same place.

To repeat, when you draw a line for the trend earlier in the spring, you end up at almost the same level of melt as last year. BUT, when you draw a line for the trend from mid-June to the beginning of August, you end up below last year's line. Worse, when you draw a line for the most recent dropping trend of the last week, it goes well below last year.

Northern Hemisphere sea ice, daily trends in extent

Northern Hemisphere sea ice, daily concentration

You can go here
to compare images from different times.

NOTE: These images are daily, not static, so will change day to day.

I said those months ago the melt would be very near to last year's, not more than 1 m sq miles higher, (Significant, but not amazing like last year, and well below the long-term baseline.) and very possibly the same or less than last year. This was based on the huge loss of multi-year ice last summer and the concentrations observed during the current season. They have been very, very low. Go look at current concentrations, then use the compare images function to look at the differences in blue and white in the images. The core ice that survived in 05 and 07 was almost all white (thickly packed and thick multi-year ice), but the current images show very, very little white and an awful lot of blue (thinly packed and thin ice). When the NSIDC said things would be very unlikely to meet last year's levels, I had my doubts due to all the blue.

We shall see. Current trends would indicate a new record. If it's a short-term trend followed by cooler conditions, then they will be right and we won't hit a new record. But I think this first week of August drops the likelihood of the record standing from last year. Call it 50/50 right now.


i was not talking about the artic, i was talking about in the continental us.
thinking something similar to the rise that happened durring the grounding after 9-11 but not as high but lasting much longer.

Concerning Nigeria: Danger signals ahead for economy as oil production, prices fall

Oil output has fallen to half of capacity at around 1.5 million barrels daily, including about 450,000 bpd which is consumed at home, leaving exports at a meager one million barrels daily.

If this is correct then it means Nigerian exports have fallen about a million barrels per day since December with about half that drop in July. But that is only half of the bad news. The director of Mobil of Nigeria says:

"One of the challenges we have with matured fields is that they are declining. Specifically, it takes 10 to 15 years for one to be doing the normal things so they must have to decline. These productions must be replaced through drilling activities and establishing the fields. So, we must have to be drilling," he said.

But because of a lack of government funding and rebel action they are not drilling nearly as much as they should. So production is falling for two reasons, rebel action and declining fields.

Ron Patterson

Speaking of export declines. . .

The May, 2008 data show that combined oil exports from Venezuela & Mexico to the US fell from 3.136 mbpd in May, 2007 to 2.389 mbpd in May, 2008. This is a volumetric decline of 62,000 bpd per month, which would have them collectively approaching zero shipments to the US in less than four years. In May, 2007, they accounted for about one-fourth of US net oil imports.

BTW, I thought it was interesting that some Gulf Coast refineries had to curtail refinery runs, because of a lack of feedstock--because of a brief interruption in crude oil imports, due to the storm. More evidence that the Gulf Coast is bouncing along their seasonal MOL.

I read the hand of the White House/VP in the Coast Guard decision to let "economic priority" tankers through the oil spill in New Orleans and downstream early.


And our Great Northern Hope, Canada, is joining the net export decline parade--with their 5/08 oil exports to the US down by more than 6% versus 5/07.

Russia continues to show decline.

Is the number reported on the right of their chart month to month or year over year? It looks to be down a tad over 1% in Crude Oil and Liquids.

I note below we keep getting increases in import. Yet I keep seeing all this decline. Is Saudi Arabia holding the whole shebang up with Khursaniyah?

No, the numbers are for that day only. They change quite a bit day to day. They are all liquids in tons. Their production was up the last two weeks in July then dropped rather dramatically in their first August report. Russia raised export taxes on August first and the spurt the last of July was probably them emptying their tanks before their taxes increased.

Haven't noticed that we have been increasing in imports. This week it was up slightly but for the last several months imports have been falling. Net imports are down an average of 700,000 barrels per day below their average last year.

Click on "Petroleum Overview" either the PDF or the Excel file. Then check out "Net Imports".

Ron Patterson

Simmons mentioned a net decline rate of 10% from existing fields for Nigeria in one of his older presentations. The new deep-water fields are depleted at roughly the same speed of 10%/a. E.g. Agbami which AFAIK was the largest undeveloped oil field in sub-Saharan Africa came on-stream just last week. Agbami contains 1 bn recoverable barrels and peak production is forecast to be 250kbpd or 90mln bbl per year.

It should be questioned if Nigeria´s official oil reserves estimate (36 bn bbl) is vastly overstated.

Am I missing something here - this article speaks of production of 1.5mbd for Nigeria, yet the EIA have just come out with a figure for 2mbd fo May???? Some disconnect surely?

The Following Post is Rated NC-17: May contain “Doomer Porn”.

David Hansen: “I’m not going to say it’s hopeless but I’m convinced that we have no more than 10 years to act and act decisively.”

Last night PBS Nova aired a program that would have given Rod Serling nightmares. The program titled “Dimming the Sun” put the subject of climate change in a whole new perspective. From the insights of several scientists working independently in places as diverse as Australia, Israel and the U.S. they discovered that air pollution is actually dimming the sun and slowing the climate change that is occurring due to CO-2 emissions.

Air pollution apparently reflects sunlight back into space. The reason the temperature hasn’t increased faster in the last century is because the particles in space, that cover the cities particularly in the northern hemisphere where the majority of human development lies, are dimming the sunlight. So the small rise in temperature in the last century (+.8 Celsius) is being held down by the anthropogenic particles in the atmosphere. The implication is that if pollution is dramatically reduced due to Peak Oil or through efforts to reduce pollution, there will be a dramatic increase in solar radiation on Earth. The result will be rapid increases in global temperature, rainfall patterns will alter in tragic ways for human societies and the glaciers that make life hospitable on earth will disappear. You get the picture.

The filmmaker, David Sington believes global warming will soon be painfully obvious to everyone—and ignoring it will no longer be an option.

David Sington: “Like most films that we at DOX Productions make for NOVA, "Dimming the Sun" is a co-production between a U.K. broadcaster and WGBH, Boston. As a result they produce it for two audiences one British one American. In general, Americans seem rather more skeptical about the idea that human activity is changing the climate than we British are…which led us to adopt a subtly different approach…got me thinking about the whole question of why so many people still reject an idea that must be one of the most intensively studied and widely accepted in modern science, and why Americans seem more resistant to it than Europeans are.”

In fact, only three factors determine the planet's energy balance: the sun's output, the Earth's reflectivity, or albedo, and the thermal properties of the atmosphere, which are affected by the level of certain trace gases like carbon dioxide and water vapor. Reduced to its essentials, the greenhouse effect is a problem in 19th-century classical physics, and the basic theory was worked out with pencil and paper in the 1890s. To say that increasing CO2 levels leads to more heat trapped in the atmosphere is really no more scientifically controversial than saying you'll feel warmer if you put on a sweater.

The difficulty arises when you try to work out what this extra heat energy will do. Will it lead to increased rainfall, or more cloud, or higher winds? It will raise temperatures, but by how much? This is where the complex computer models and the (legitimate) scientific arguments come in—

Why are Americans exceptional in their denial of something that should be obvious? I’m not a believer in conspiracy theories. I can’t believe that EXXON executives, employing massive propaganda efforts that would have made Edward Bernays proud, are any more knowledgeable than the rest of us. They have families too. Game Over means the end of their game also. They may be the last to die but that’s small consolation for extinction. Instead we must all be trapped in the same delusion.

Hi Joe,

The phenomenon of Global Dimming has been discussed here before. Pretty frightening indeed.

BTW, you're already spending your 30 minutes befor the DB is well up and running?

Thanks Mom!

result will be rapid increases in global temperature, rainfall patterns will alter in tragic ways for human societies and the glaciers that make life hospitable on earth will disappear. You get the picture.

Could you possibly elaborate on that? I assume we're talking about melting of the glaciers and changing of rain patterns, but what specifically do they say. I've always heard that while there will be significant downsides to global warming, there are possible upsides to sections of the earth that we haven't considered habitable before. Do they address this in the program?

Here is the companion web-site to the program:


Some of the issues that have been raised by the models are:
* Major rainfall pattern changes - for example dramatically drying out the mid-western united states, southern europe and the amazon.
* Glacier and snowmelt loss disrupting water suppy, for instance to pakistan, china and india, as well as to southern california.
* Tropical storm tracks may move further towards the poles

At the more extreme end greenhouse events may be associated with some of the mass extinctions of the past, including the permian-triassic, which killed over seventy percent of species on earth at the time.

If you want to scare the crap out of yourself, then read six degrees, where he breaks down the scientific literature and model run effects into the one to six degrees average temperature increase predicted by the IPCC.

I second the recommendation of Six Degrees.
I see no hope of stopping the rise of co2 before 450 is reached, in which some major consequences are unavoidable.

Incremental change to our economy will fail to address this problem, and yet that is what is widely accepted as reasonable.

If you look at CO2 equivalent (CO2 + methane, etc.), which is the real measure, we have even further to go.

The following is from the BBC's website - it looks like they aired Global Dimming in Feb. 2005.


"But perhaps the most alarming aspect of global dimming is that it may have led scientists to underestimate the true power of the greenhouse effect. They know how much extra energy is being trapped in the Earth's atmosphere by the extra carbon dioxide (CO2) we have placed there. What has been surprising is that this extra energy has so far resulted in a temperature rise of just 0.6°C.

This has led many scientists to conclude that the present-day climate is less sensitive to the effects of carbon dioxide than it was, say, during the ice age, when a similar rise in CO2 led to a temperature rise of 6°C. But it now appears the warming from greenhouse gases has been offset by a strong cooling effect from dimming - in effect two of our pollutants have been cancelling each other out. This means that the climate may in fact be more sensitive to the greenhouse effect than thought."

For those of us who watch TV about the buildup to the Olympics, does China have a problem? WOW, looks like worse than LA ever was.

Obviously we do not know all the effects of global warming but methane kelate is serious badness if released from the tundra or sea floor due to warming.

Ordered "Six Degrees" ... thanks for link.

Don't believe the models. According to the English summers were supposed to get hotter and dryer. instead they have been getting wetter. What else are they wrong about?

And colder.

Where once they promised me that although low lying areas would flood and millions drown, My home would now be a pretty mediterranean style fishing village and we could grow white grapes and olives on the slopes of Bennachie.

Bloody liars...

Actually, many model experiments suggest that the THC could shutdown from increased GHG's, but they don't show this as being likely to happen this century. However, we may be in the midst of a partial shutdown, due to the freshening of the Nrodic and Labrador Seas after all that sea-ice blasted thru the Fram Strait last winter. I'm awaiting the oceanographer's reports on the situation.

Watch it for yourself.

E. Swanson

Also gardening supplements recommended growing Mediterranean plants in our gardens as our native flowers would wither in the heat and lack of water. The Mediterranean plants have all drowned.

The plural of "anecdote" is not "fact"

Are you a liar or an idiot? Models? There are many of them. Each will show a different pattern for the British Isles. In fact, the same model on different runs will show hundreds of different possible outcomes for the British Isles.

So, do you not understand this, that is, you are stupid, or are you intentionally claiming model outcomes = predictions and that there is only one possible outcome for the British Isles?

I swear to god, people like you should be in jail. Quit yelling, "There's no fire! Sit back down!"


Awww Lighten up.

You really dont do gallows humour do you?

Relax: the planet will burn / freeze regardless of how many yards of sack cloth and pounds of ash you get hold of.

Predicitions are really tough - especially about the future.

Like all the other people who cannot deal with this reality, you pretend it doesn't exist. Like them all, you pretend we aren't pushing the climate faster than it was pushing itself.

Belittling only works when you're right. You aren't.


Really. so climate models can have hundreds of permutations. pity the people basing predictions on them don't make that clear. Also if the models were wrong on English summers what else are they wrong about? They should come with a health warning.

Are you really this dense, or just that well paid to act like it?

How can a model be "wrong?" They present scenarios, not predictions. They are nothing more than "What if's" in a pragmatic sense. It is when they are found to repeat the past and offer reliable simulations of the future that we can then use them as a tool. That doesn't change their innate function.

So, I repeat, are you just too stupid to understand this, or are you too well paid to stop pretending you don't?

In the media thay are presented as predictions, not scenario's. If they are just scenario's you might as well use a crystal ball. So far they do not seem to be reliable simulations of the future.

"America" -- once the Native Americans were removed -- has beckoned as magical place for Europeans for the last 5 centuries and for Asians in the last century or so.

"Old World" people who stayed home were either well-enough off, or they were resigned to their fate -- in either case, they were more realistic than their compatriots who chose to emigrate to Gold Mountain.

And truly, until the original bounty neared exhaustion, America was a magical place where pluck and daring would allow an impoverished immigrant to become rich by exploiting the Commons -- the forests, the fish, the minerals, the petroleum....

Primary schools in America taught children (taught me, and I wasn't the only one!) that the world was made for Americans. It is no wonder that Americans are in denial as the world collapses around us.

once the Native Americans were removed

I know they were rounded up on reservations in the US, but their hunter/gatherer societies had very small populations. I expect there are more Native Americans now than before Europeans came to the what is now the United States.

According to census figures there is somewhere around 2 million native americans living in the U.S. Note that this does not require a 100% native heritage, only that you identify yourself that way to census takers.

The estimates for total numbers of native living in what is now the U.S. are all over the place, but 2 million would be at the low end of the more recent estimates. 5 million would probably be a good middle ground.

Check out the chart on page 13

Actually, there is a raging debate (a profound understatement) over the pre-Colombian population of the Americas. Some have put it as high as 100,000,000. Others have said that these high estimates are bunk.

My point was not how many Native Americans there were, but that to the extent that they stood in the way of European expansion and exploitation, they were removed.

This led to an Eden of sorts -- a well-stocked continent that was ripe for picking. All sorts of evidence exists that the Native Americans managed the place very well, and the Europeans have decimated it in a few hundred years.

In any case, most of us decendants of the original European stock are like the Trustafarians -- maybe we work hard (I think I do), but we really had no part in the accumulation of the capital which makes up our trust. Collectively, the trusts have been mismanaged, and there will be grief all around. But Americans are uniquely in denial, because they are uniquely endowed with a sense of entitlement.;

Some interesting info here outlining the global dimming hypothesis.

It's not very good -- or convincing. Feel free to try again.

I will see you in the town square.

They are preparing the stakes for us now...

I dooo so hope they wont use green wood.

I watched that on youtube. Doomer porn indeed.

It makes you wonder what might happen if China were to take air pollution on seriously. I am one who believes that peak oil is a much bigger and more proximate threat to human population than climate change, but the implications of this are enourmous if true.

Also, fewer airplanes, plus substituting biodiesel for regular diesel will also increase this effect.

Actually, the scariest thing I have seen is the people who suggest keeping this going to prevent (delay?) global warming. They want to take airplanes up and deliberately seed the upper atmosphere with sulfur dioxide, to dim the sun. This is problematic from an acid rain standpoint. Well, at least we live in interesting times...

On topic:



We've so molested the planet that there is now no way to undo anything without creating a bigger mess. Which is then used as an excuse for BAU. That applies to many other areas.

It is obvious we need to move on this issue as a whole world and in meaningful ways if we are to make any kind of progress. I know that seems very unlikely with today's state of US and world politics and also seeing the answer to a possible shortage in fossil fuels is to find more at any cost - not find other means at a less cost.

However, we will be ok. We will solve the problem and do it as a united humanity. We will have help to get us going in the right direction but we will be doing it ourselves. I know its kinds out there but there is a World Teacher Maitreya that is about to emerge openly to show us reality in very simple, clear, wise, and undeniable ways.

For more info of how we will get through this:


Two questions: What are you smoking, and where can I get some?

break out the koolaid.

To hear some, his name is Obama.

Oh no. The Mayatreya outreach program is spreading to blogs. So sad they believe that their surrogate for the 'nice man from heaven' is sure to arrive just in time to save humanity from . . . peak oil? I thought your fantasy avatar was going to save humanity from a worldwide stock market crash! But that was soooo 90s, wasn't it?

Is that huckster still around? Haven't heard about him in years.


Why are Americans exceptional in their denial of something that should be obvious? I’m not a believer in conspiracy theories.

This statement makes no sense. Enron didn't gouge Californians? That never happened? Tonkin Gulf really was an attack by the North Vietnamese? Watergate never happened? Are you ignorant of basic history?

I can’t believe that EXXON executives, employing massive propaganda efforts that would have made Edward Bernays proud, are any more knowledgeable than the rest of us.

The "conspiracy" by Enron and the White House to sow doubt about AGW is well-documented and undeniable. Unless you don't read the news.

Google is your friend. Visit it often.


cc-- I believe you are right, but that you have addressed a different question. The question is, "why are Americans exceptional in their denial?"

The answer, I believe, is that Americans (native americans and african slaves aside) have lived on The Big Rock Candy Mountain for the last 200 years. As a result, we have a sense of entitlement that is different from the European experience -- the European masses got over that a couple of thousand years ago.

Now things are crashing, and of course, the first stage of grief is denial

"why are Americans exceptional in their denial?"

One possibility is a selection bias built in by the sort of people who chose to leave established cultures and seek out a life in the "new world". Those who sought adventure and a "better life" would have a higher-than-average optimistic outlook - and they would pass this on to future generations of Americans. Think about the miners headed out to California for the gold rush, despite incredible hardship, back-breaking work and the likelyhood of never striking rich (and ending up working hard for some lovely mine owner like Hearst - these folks left their settled lives behind and struck out for adventure and the promise of riches.

We in the US are the descendents of people who were adventure junkies with an overly optimistic view of the world

Alternately...an acquaintance of mine used to say this country was founded by "religious fanatics, criminals, and crazies. Takes a long time for that $%#! to get out of the gene pool." ;-)

Australia wasn't much different, was it?

Who says we WANT these traits out of the gene pool? :)

An inability to accurately discern and weigh risks, strong individualism, and indestructible beliefs makes for a quite a combination. I've known CEOs like that as well as penniless single mothers. Guess it all depends on which sort of risks you take, and what you choose to believe!

I suspect these are all a bit of romanticization. While there have been a fair number of immigrants to this continent who were spurred by religious intolerance in their "old country," the reality is that most immigrants have been seeking to escape poverty. The image of Americans as pioneers and of the "wild west" is a national preoccupation at times, but the actual number of us who were pioneers is insubstantial compared to the number of us who stayed "back east."

But who am I to stand in the way of a people's delusions about themselves. It is certainly clear that we are about the most violent people on the planet, and if we want to claim that's because of our history... well, maybe it is.

Well, we're probably the most violent ceteris parabis - if Iraq and Somalia had standards of living as high as ours, I doubt their murder rate would be as high as ours. We might be the most violent country where there is not an active civil war underway.

The problem with gamblers is that, as anyone who has stayed in Las Vegas knows, one day you will hit zero and the game must stop. It doesn't matter if the next throw of the dice might have made you a millionaire, because that throw will not come.

Australia, it seems, has just rolled snake eyes.

The problem with gamblers is that, as anyone who has stayed in Las Vegas knows, one day you will hit zero and the game must stop.

Unless they have a very generous loan shark -- such as the Asian central banks?

Australia, it seems, has just rolled snake eyes.

But we can't have! We've got so much stuff we can dig up and sell!

People give US citizens a lot of stick for being stupid and insular. I used to think Australians were somehow different, that we'd reposnd better in a crisis. My doubts about that theory have been building since Cyclone Larry (and we got to witness the willingly unprepeared masses complaining that the emergency food and water deliveries were two hours late), but the recent fiasco (wrt public response) with rising food and fuel prices has convimnced me that we're on the same 'deliberately obtuse' boat.

Australia doesn't really have the 'pioneer' culture that the USA has. Sure, we have Burke and Wills (our Lewis and Clark), but instead of supporting the unlikely hero, we root for the underdog (we've made a common criminal, Ned Kelly, some sort of national hero) who may be up to no good. We don't support local inventors, but are happy to buy the resulting product from overseas. We don't build anything anymore, but are happy to dig up the Iron or and Aluminium and ship it off overseas. We revere sports stars, but cut science budgets.

Due to Australias naturally poor soils, we've done a much better job of impoverishing our best farmland though. Way to go us.

We're not letting nature take its course, so they aren't leaving the gene pool, they are spreading. This is why Diamond and I contend humans are likely less intelligent now than before. We used to need our wits and used them constantly. Now, we can slag along... so we do.


Of course people want to deny all they know is ending, but that's not the why. That just makes it easier to fool them. They are preconditioned and more susceptible than others are. But, if the government was telling the truth and prosecuting those lying about conditions for crimes vs. humanity, people would be listening.

It all comes down to what they are told because they cannot figure it out on their own - and don't want to. Only independent thinkers can ignore the huge mass of propaganda coming out of the denialist efforts of BO and the WH.


Why are Americans exceptional in their denial of something that should be obvious? I’m not a believer in conspiracy theories...

I don't think it's Americans in general (so much). The media here are mouthpieces for corporate interests, and have had what little independence they might have ever had more thoroughly whipped out of them than in Britain or EU. Exxon and other corporate interests have a limited planning horizon, and even then its only in relation to competitors, not world conditions. Human survival just doesn't have anything to do with the bottom line within their planning horizon. Another element, also, may be that the effects of global warming may be thought by some at the top to relatively advantage the US compared to others, e.g. Britain and some other countries will be under water before the US, that kind of thing.

There are all kinds of other denial that suits other interests, which I won't get into.

As for not believing in conspiracy theories, you can't be serious: you think 9-11 was a string of accidents?

The media here are mouthpieces for corporate interests, and have had what little independence they might have ever had more thoroughly whipped out of them than in Britain or EU.
Pardon me while I snicker.
You clearly are not a connoisseur of British or EU media.

You're pardoned. Yet there was a BBC documentary some years back called "Power of Nightmares" that could never have been produced here, and some other stuff I don't recall. I see stuff online in the Guardian and the Independent that don't make it here. But maybe you're right -- I don't really know for sure.

You should have seen the BBC/Global drama "Burn Up" broadcast last month. People who have proof of Peak Oil (copy of secret Saudi data) get bumped off in that one if they try to reveal it!

Calgary stars in dark tale of oil

It starts with a bloody ambush deep in the Saudi Arabian desert.

A tent city, set up amid miles of sand dunes, is attacked by gun-wielding assassins. Geologists are gunned down in a flurry of sudden violence.

So begins the filmed-in-Calgary TV miniseries Burn Up, a globe-trotting political thriller set in the world of Big Oil

I haven't seen the series but I like it already! ;)

Geologists are gunned down in a flurry of sudden violence.

Westexas better watch out!

The idea that our owners thought the US could get away with global warming has intrigued me for years. A year or more before Enron collapsed, PBS did a (as it turned out clueless) documentary about Enron, in which we discover that it had a climate prediction department. They presumably wanted to know if the summer would be very hot so they could foment a panic in the deregulated electricity market. This got me wondering if the corporations invited to Dick Cheney's energy task force had access to a report predicting that America could come out ahead from Peak Oil and global warming as long as they didn't break ranks and Cheney's Iraq plan was carried through to its bloody conclusion. It would be typical for the disaster capitalists to view the resulting devastation of the 3rd world as a new investment opportunity.

It would be hilarious if this great disaster we're living through was due to policy based on a faulty Enron forecast.

The problem is that logic and epistomology are not taught in the public education system. Instead of critical thinking skills, Americans are taught to defer to Authority and 'experts'.

The public education system has been designed to produce good laborers.

The experiment in the 1960's of expanded post-secondary funding for education, produced a questioning population, demanding a voice in policy determination.

Recognizing their mistake, TPTB switched post-secondary education emphasis to 'technical' schools that taught only job skills and nothing else. A 'Liberal' education became anathema to those who control the purse strings and funding for a University education was not increased to match the rise in tuition.

Why are Americans exceptional in their denial of something that should be obvious? I’m not a believer in conspiracy theories....

If not all conspiracy, how about ideology (a fantasy based interpretation of the world).

Joseph Romm, as usual, has the scoop.
(search the site if you desire yet more punishing truth)

The only slightly less tenable explanation is that Republicans are astoundingly stupid. I wouldn't entirely rule that out.


I'm reading Harrison Brown's The Challenge of Man's Future. Written in the early 50s, it discusses all the resource issues that concern us here on TOD. Someone here mentioned it months ago. I'd love to see a younger more energetic mind write a review in light of what's transpired in the meantime.

A TOD regular.... me :) ....presents on Peak Oil and is videoed, audience of 300 people, not bad for Peak Oil in Albany, NY. My talk begins at 28:30, the first 28 minutes is introduction stuff.


Can I make this into a YouTube? The website is St. Rose College. I am computer illiterate and don't know about this stuff.

My thanks to Paul Swartz of the Capital Region Energy Forum (CREF) for the invitation to speak to 3 audiences in Albany.

Cliff Wirth

What time you say you talk begins?

The first 28 minutes is introductions and an introductory talk. My presentation begins at 28 minutes 30 seconds and there is a good question and answer section starting at 117:30.

The presentation was covered in the local newspapers and TV stations.

Sorry, I misunderstood.

I believe you tube has some time/size limitations (I believe it is 10 minutes) that mean you'd have to break the file into smaller sections, and you need someone with software to do that.

Personally I like the internet archive for file sharing: http://www.archive.org/ - It may not have the crowd that YouTube does, but reading comments at YouTube tends to leave me in a state of dismay about the human species so I'm not sure your presentation is likely to matter much to the masses there (I can't see the thing, don't have the right plug in and I try not to add lots of new software unless absolutely necessary).

Yes, there's a 10-minute limit at YouTube.

The comments are about the worst you find on the net (the inevitable result of total anonymity and no consequences). But it's worth it, IMO, because of the sheer size of the audience there.

I've pretty much give up on Archive.org. I've found it nearly impossible to upload things. They just don't have adequate bandwidth, I suspect. You pay for what you get.


Thanks, this is very helpful :) :) :)


I've never had problems with archive.org, but don't do this sort of thing often, so my experience is limited. Last thing I did was upload a 1 gig file there (but using FTP not the web interface).

Try Google Video

Consider putting the data up at archive.org

Pairs Hilton's energy plan video "Totally Hot" shows the danger of comparing different things. The result is silly nonsense.
McCain deserves ridicule and so does anyone else that tries to compare, add, subtract, multiply or divide things that are different.


I don't seem to remember much of what she said :)

Actually, it is perfectly OK to multiply or divide "things that are different", resulting in quantities such as person-years or miles-per-hour. It's the adding and subtracting that's the problem.

I think that the inability to handle RATIOS is a major deficiency in the average person, which leads to falling for all kinds of fallacious arguments and demagoguery. Some examples of ratios: oil in ANWR ("billions") relative to US usage rate, rates of anything in general ("the power station will power 30,000 homes for a year"), and, of course, EROEI.

Actually, I thought that Paris' video was much more coherent and nuanced than anything that McCain has said about energy. The beauty is that Paris is now debating energy with John McCain and is winning. Anyway, McCain's whole "Obama is just a celebrity" stick has now backfired and the supposed ultimate bimbo seems more articulate than he is. At least she does a good job of reading a teleprompter or remembering her lines which is more that I can say for him.

I will listen again, but turn off my monitor this time and maybe get more of what she said :)

I also found it simultaneously fascinating, hilarious, frightening, and hot that Ms. Hilton was able to present a coherent energy plan more effectively than the captain of the "Straight Talk Express".

See you at the debates indeed!

Sharon is a great teacher.

How to explain peak oil to everybody (even Paris Hilton)
Sharon Astyk


The thing that is funny is that the first time I watched the video, I killed the viewer about the time she was going on about getting a tan as it was rather boring. I didn't even know that she said anything of substance until they ran the same clip on the morning news.

I wonder who wrote this stuff for her. She has a reputation that would suggest that she is incapable of such deep thought (not that this was all that deep). Perhaps she isn't quite as dumb as we thought.

Maybe she has more experience managing her personal finances than John McCain, who has gone from the military to Congress to the husband of a successful heiress.

McCain's campaign machine has made a tactical error by drawing Paris' ire.

This is because Paris is probably one of the most media-savvy women on the planet at present, rivaled only by the likes of Oprah, Madonna, and Angelina Jolie.

The best action for McCain's campaign is to simply drop this and move on because Paris would easily best him in a protracted MSM media battle.

I can't believe I'm reading this. How surreal.

Surely, this marks a new low for American politics.

I guess you weren't watching when Gary Hart was destroyed in 1988 because of a blond.

I notice Ms. Hilton is looking for a Vice Presidential running mate. Where do I get in line for the VeeP tryout? Do I get a copy of the Video to show to my knuckle dragging neighbors?

E. Swanson

You may not have noticed, but there is no "low" in American politics - at least as defined by some minimum after which things improve. Rather, each day is a new level on an infinite decline. Which is interesting really, because while nothing can increase without bound, apparently things can decrease forever.

Gotta agree with that one...stupidity is, apparently, limitless.

Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former.
Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)

The two most common elements in the Universe are hydrogen and stupidity, and not necessarily in that order.

But do you mean low on McCane's part or Paris?

Actually, this low is less low than it already was when McCain released his stupid attack in the first place. Envy is not a strategy. Ms. Hilton has raised the level and quality of discussion considerably and reflects the idea that as long as we are going to drill anyway we might as well get some kind of quid pro quo out of it. This is along the lines of what Robert Rapier proposed so I think she is in good company.

McCain is now Paris' bitch, which is perfectly appropriate.

'Ms. Hilton has raised the level and quality....'
The mind boggles. Both on how sorry the discourse is and how little it takes to improve it.

It is just surreal at this point--politics and entertainment have completely merged. Just another day in Idiot America...

Talking about McCain tactical errors, He went to the bike rally in Sturgis. While speaking before a crowd of bikers he offered his wife up for the Miss Buffalo Chip beauty pageant and said she would win.

Apparently he was unaware that the women who take part in this get naked and obscene on stage and usually the raunchiest one wins.

The Bikers got a real good laugh out of it.

This guy just seems to be stumbling around without a clue.

Ericy: I think there might be some subtle discrimination here (not by you, just in general). John McCain "looks intelligent" i.e. an old craggy white guy. Paris Hilton looks stupid-a blonde bimbo. I am not confident at all that John McCain is more qualified to lead the USA than Paris Hilton-his main accomplishments are being held POW, marrying rich and being a politico (mostly because of the first two).

As someone who lived in the bowls of medialand (ie Los Angeles) I can assure you she is a natural disciple of Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli

So the energy policy that I have been advocating has now been taken up by only one of the three candidates running, and it's...Paris Hilton. Unfortunately, I don't think she's 35.

Paris is winning against both McCain and Obama. (Of course, it's not really Paris. Someone else came up with the idea and wrote the script.)

Both the supposedly liberal CNN and the supposedly conservative Fox News said Paris' energy ideas were better than McCain's and Obama's.

She sounds like an RR reader.

Re. "U.S. Warns of 'Punitive' Action on Iran " above

From the BBC today: "US Urges 'Punitive' Steps on Iran "

BBC diplomatic correspondent Jonathan Marcus says the Iranians have clearly made a judgement that despite all the talk of potential air strikes against its nuclear facilities, the US presidential campaign, Israel's political uncertainty and high oil prices mean that a crisis is not imminent...


If the correspondent's guess is accurate, it suggests to me a dangerous complacency on the part of the Iranians.

Let's hope he is right. It would be insane to attack Iran. However that is no guarantee it won't happen. The pressure is building and the situation is like oil prices: volatile. And airstrikes not being "imminent" is not really reassuring.

Personally I think Iran is toast.

Iraq's economy is in shambles, domestic oil consumption declines, the USA gets the oil. Could the same thing happen in Iran? Does anyone see a pattern here?

Could this happen elsewhere too?

As is the case with Iraq, USA will get a lot more than the oil. The blowback will dismay the perpetrators of this evil.

Yes, there is a pattern.

This is a race to the bottom.

You mean sumpin like a blockage of the Strait of Hormuz, which would mean above ground Peak Oil in order to befuddle the masses so they don't know about the real Peak Oil and the fact that the president didn't warn us. He could then declare marshal law and declare himself emperor. Then we wouldn't have to worry about this Obama and McCain vote thing.

Perhaps. And of course, "no one could have foreseen...."

I seriously doubt US will get Iran's oil even if they attack it.
Iran has oil deals with China and China will not sit still while the US steals it's oil.
Unless they come to some sort of agreement.

Summary of Weekly Petroleum Data for the Week Ending August 1, 2008

U.S. crude oil refinery inputs averaged 15.0 million barrels per day during the week ending August 1, down 123 thousand barrels per day from the previous week's average. Refineries operated at 87.0 percent of their operable capacity last week. Gasoline production rose last week, averaging nearly 9.1 million barrels per day. Distillate fuel production decreased last week, averaging 4.6 million barrels per day.

U.S. crude oil imports averaged 10.2 million barrels per day last week, up 188 thousand barrels per day from the previous week. Over the last four weeks, crude oil imports have averaged about 10.2 million barrels per day, 288 thousand barrels per day above the same four-week period last year. Total motor gasoline imports including both finished gasoline and gasoline blending components) last week averaged 864 thousand barrels per day. Distillate fuel imports averaged 292 thousand barrels per day last week.

U.S. commercial crude oil inventories (excluding those in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve) increased by 1.7 million barrels from the previous week. At 296.9 million barrels, U.S. crude oil inventories are in the lower half of the average range for this time of year. Total motor gasoline inventories decreased by 4.4 million barrels last week, and are in the middle of the average range. Both finished gasoline inventories and gasoline blending components inventories decreased last week. Distillate fuel inventories increased by 2.8 million barrels, and are near the upper boundary of the average range for this time of year. Propane/propylene inventories increased by 1.4 million barrels last week but remain below the lower limit of the average range. Total commercial petroleum inventories increased by 2.6 million barrels last week, and are in the lower half of the average range for this time of year.

And this is what they were expecting:

Reuter’s poll showed average forecasts for a 300,000 barrel increase in crude stocks, a 1.2 million barrel drawdown in gasoline supplies and a 2.1 million barrel rise in distillate inventories.

Sorry, I'm feeling lazy, I figure someone here would have a quick explanation on what I saw on Marketwatch.com

10:46 a.m. API reports fall of 2.6 million barrels in crude supply
10:40 a.m. U.S. crude supply up 1.7 million barrels last week

What is the difference?

They are two different surveys, and often show different results.

no surprises here, this paves the way for $110/barrel next week

Gasoline number's not so good.

But my feeling is that the inventory report won't have much effect, either way. And wouldn't no matter what it said.

Oil is tanking, demand is falling. Replay of the last "oil crisis" back in the early 1980s? Maybe. Stay tuned. See you at $60 a barrel.
BTW, roads are heavily subsidized in the US. We have create a socialist paradise for ICE parasites.
Raise gas taxes by $3 a gallon!

Tanker hire rates have suddenly (err) tanked (that is dropped - likely indicating supply is about to drop) according to story linked above. We have tankers slowing down and pipelines exploding. This price drop isn't permanent.

This will amplify the effect of declining Proximity Petroleum Producers (PPP per WesTexas). The USA replaces declining Canadian imports (-6% y-o-y ?), Mexican imports (-19% y-o-y ?) and Venezuelan imports (?) with conservation and more Iraqi and Saudi imports. Now that oil is on a slow boat ! 10 knots is NOT fast.


Millard don't expect the world to be flooded with cheap oil a la the 1980s. If we do see a return to $60 oil, it will be because demand has collaped. So be careful what you ask for...

Well, oil tanking again today. The rate for oil tankers is falling, because there is falling demand for tankers, because people are using less, and the land-based storage places are about full...what happens when commodity funds start liquidating?
See you at $60..and remember when $47 was considered high..ancient history, three years ago?

Talking of ancient history, you don't half talk some rubbish for a long dead US president. Land based storage is full? Provide a source for that nonsense please.

Millard, I can categorically proove that you are wrong about land based storages being full. MY CARS PETROL TANK IS NEAR EMPTY! (doesn't that count?)
P.S. I think the Chinese are scrounging to fill their cars at the moment(long queues at service stations) so any momentary dip in price/demand in the West will be soon soaked up elsewhere.

What is the time-lag between lower prices and a resulting lower rate of imports? This weekly report describes last week, and the imports arriving last week were bought some weeks before that - near the record high prices.

One must remember that the data for production and supply are 4 week averages. Mathematically, that means the date to use should be 2 weeks earlier than the 1 August date for the end of this latest reporting period.

E. Swanson

The EIA reported that:

U.S. commercial crude oil inventories (excluding those in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve) increased by 1.7 million barrels from the previous week....

Propane/propylene inventories increased by 1.4 million barrels last week but remain below the lower limit of the average range....

Distillate fuel inventories increased by 2.8 million barrels...

Total motor gasoline inventories decreased by 4.4 million barrels last week...

So, most of the build in stocks last week was in propane and distillate. That big drop in gasoline looks worrysome, if people continue BAU thru August and into the Fall. There are reports that some folks are switching from home heating oil to propane in the Northeast before the Winter arrives and the increase in product supplied might be a result. Given that propane storage is about 5% below last year at this time, a colder Winter than that of recent years may get interesting. And, Hurricane Season is just beginning as well.

I just ordered my Winter propane supply and the price is already on the upswing.

E. Swanson

That switch would be dumb. Propane has been as high as oil for at least two years. NG is cheaper, but if you can get that, you're not using propane anyway

Even though propane is now here substantially cheaper than oil, per gallon, it is more expensive per BTU. (And more expensive, per BTU, than electricity.)

I checked propane this morning and at 2.80 for summer fill( the old "bargain" price), it is much higher than electric, around .065 depending on usage. Nowhere near your ~.14 ave in VT link.

Our utility issued a press release stating this years electric and gas demand increase was due to long cold spring. I think alot of propane users in their non natural gas distribution area switched to cheap plug-in space heaters.

I find it of great interest that Us oil imports grew by 288k the last 4 weeks compared to the same period in 2007, this is despite the supposed US oil demand destruction taking place at today’s prices.


Actually imports are down by 1.12 MMb's compared to last year.

10375 ...10791
10378 .....9806
10165 ...10005
9998 .....10193
40916 ..40795 total

1.12*7= 7.84 million Brl's
7.84/28 = down 260 thousand per day
EIA data

Is there good reason to credit EIA numbers any more than those from the Fed or various government agencies? There's a lot of energy going into interpreting numbers, but if they are made up or even deliberately jiggered, then what? What's the degree of confidence in their solidity?

cfm in Gray, ME

Price Elasticity of Demand
4 Week Averages 08 vs. 07 plus % YTD 08 vs. 07

Finished Motor Gasoline . . 9,410 . 9,627. -2.3%. -1.6%
Kerosene-Type Jet Fuel . . . 1,548. . 1,667 . -7.1%. . -4.0%
Distillate Fuel Oil . . . . . . . . 4,139. . 3,998. +3.5%. . -2.2%
Residual Fuel Oil. . . . . . . . . . 608 . . . 659. . -7.7% . -16.3%
Propane/Propylene . . . . . . .1,052 . . . 969 . +8.6%. . -4.3%
Other Oils . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3,374. . 3,748 -10.0% . . -7.4%

Total Products Supplied . 20,130 . 20,668 . -2.6% -3.6%


PS: Does anyone know a typeface that preserves a string of spaces when posted ? So I do not have to do the tedious " . . " ?

All you should have to do is wrap the text inside an html <pre> block (preformatted) but for some reason this seems to be not permitted on TOD. The alternatives are to use an HTML table or to create an image with your pre-formatted text.

Use <pre> and </pre> around the text you want to format. It monospaces it, so it will look exactly as it looks while you're typing it in the comment box.

You also have to use the Full HMTL option, or it won't work. That means you'll have to use <p> and/or <br> tags to space your text. (The text that's outside the "pre" tags, that is.)

NY Yankees   0 	0  0  0  0  1  1  4  0  6	

Texas	     2 	1  0  1  0  1  3  0  x 	8

Leanan, I think that's a privileged formatting option. You can use it but we can't. The tags are stripped out. Can't see why that should be but it does seem to be the case.

Even if you check "Full HTML"?

Maybe I'm dumb but where do I get to "check Full HTML"? I'm sure you see it but I don't seem to see that option but I could just be blind :)

I will investigate. Seems a bit odd that people can post tables but not preformatted text. Preformatted text is much easier, and often all you need.

From our handy-dandy posting guide underneath the text box.. Beginning carrots removed so it actually shows up....
"Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
Allowed HTML tags: a> b> em> strong> code> ul> ol> li> i> img> blockquote> sub> sup> strike> u> table> tr> td> th> br>
Lines and paragraphs break automatically."

I have asked SuperG to activate the "pre" tags for everyone. Dunno if or when he'll get around to it, but I asked.

I don't see a "full HTML" option.

Or use a table ...

Price Elasticity of Demand

4 Week Averages Volume 08 Volume 07 % 08 % 07
Finished Motor gasoline 9,410 9,627 -2.3% -1.6%
Kerosene-Type Jet Fuel 1,548 1,667 -7.1% -4.0%
Distillate Fuel Oil 4,139 3,998 +3.5% -2.2%
Residual Fuel Oil 608 659 -7.7% -16.3%
Propane/Propylene 1,052 969 +8.6% -4.3%
Other Oils 3,374 3,748 -10.0% -7.4%
Total Products Supplied 20,130 20,668 -2.6% -3.6%

Can't you use a monospaced font, like courier, in html. That should work.

I notice you didn't try it. We can't use font either. Which is a pity cos my TOD posts would look so much better blinking in bright purple Wingdings at 96pt.

Well, it would make all our doomer posts much less depressing.

Total motor gasoline inventories decreased by 4.4 million barrels last week


And this is what they were expecting:

a 1.2 million barrel drawdown in gasoline supplies

So this is what "demand destruction" looks like.

What I find particularly irritating is the gleeful attitude expressed by the MSM in their pronouncements that "decreasing demand" is "finally" bringing the price of oil down.
In the next breath these fools speculate that gasoline will return to the $3 level.
Even if gas goes that low, doesn't that imply a return to higher consumption?

"Even if gas goes that low, doesn't that imply a return to higher consumption?"

Quiet! Shhh! You're talking like an economist!

I'm terribly sorry!

Hello, TOD'ers. I've visited this site every day for 3 years or so, and been very enriched by the commentary and analysis here, including in the comments section of each post. But I've been a freeloader and haven't offered much to the community myself. But after listening to Bloomberg and reading the Economist and then throwing my arms up at the absurd thinking of most pundits quoted in these sources, I've started my own blog:


It will have a financial bent, and focus on oil price commentary in the news, but it won't be an "investment" blog -- no stock or trading tips or anything of that sort. Down the road I hope to aggregate commentary from popular pundits (e.g., Yergin-CERA/Economist/Bloomberg) into a database and then critique them, forming a resource that people can point their friends to when one of these pundits' theories comes up in common conversation. The Oil Drum posts have done this on occaision, but I will try to take that idea and run with it more. Anyway, just FYI if anyone is interested. Comments and criticism welcome.

Thanks, and I hope traffic comes to you! :)

There is an analysis of Pickens plan out. I agree with parts of it. Gai Luft claims the plan would increase our dependence on imported natural gas, and thus on the Iran. I disagree with this. I don't think exports of LNG will ever be great enough to make a material difference in the quantity of natural gas we have. Excerpts:

A boon for Pickens, not for America

T. Boone Pickens' proposals to wean the country off foreign oil could provide more benefit to Iran than to the U.S.

Pickens' assertion that increased use of wind power would displace natural gas is based on wishful thinking. Our energy system is not a Lego game -- one piece can't replace another at whim. Even if 78 other billionaires were willing to follow Pickens' footsteps and build a 4,000-megawatt wind farm -- that's the number needed to displace the current electricity production from natural gas -- there's no way to guarantee that natural gas would be the only energy source that would be displaced by all those turbines. Why not coal, or solar?

Furthermore, implementation of the Pickens plan might actually tie more natural gas to the power sector. Wind is an intermittent source of power -- the wind doesn't blow 24 hours a day, seven days a week -- and until and unless our electricity grid has sufficient power storage capacity, utilities counting on wind need to have backup power plants that can be powered up to fill in the gaps when the wind does not blow. This back-up power is today generally provided with natural gas.

Geez, talk about trying to baffle with bullshit, or to hide the forest with the trees, this person is beyond the pale.

Energy is energy is energy.

If you have an economically competitive, renewable and environmentally friendly source of energy, does it make sense not to develop it? That is what is being advocated here. Does all this nonsensical babble about how it enters the energy mix, or that Pickens might make a buck, really matter?

It matters when Wall Street is so obsessed with the quick kill that new technologies are held to a higher standard than old profit centers like coal.

Which I find sickening given that these Wall Street morons completely discounted the risks of their own Ponzi schemes, which were completely divorced from the production of actual goods.

The myth of Wall Street idiocy rather than lack of integrity will never die. These morons are swimming in loot, which is the American Dream.


Article in Reuters about coal and how it stacks up against its competitors...


Seems like coal is off the starting line with a rather large lead:

In the United States utilities are building 28 coal-fired plants and another 66 are in early planning, as gas price hikes motivate new interest.

In Europe, Germany is building 16 new plants to come on line by 2012, despite a European Union emissions trading scheme which penalises greenhouse gases. In Italy, Enel is converting to coal from oil-fuelled power plants and Britain has endorsed new coal.

In developing nations, growth is rampant. Poor grid access coupled with frequent blackouts, rapid economic growth and plentiful fuel are driving a frenzy to build new power plants which take just 21 months to build in China.

Over the past three years, China has added each year new coal plants equivalent to Britain's entire electricity-generating capacity. India has approved eight "ultra mega" plants which will add nearly half again to its present generating capacity.

Elsewhere in Asia, Indonesia is cranking up its coal-fired power generation by 40 percent and Vietnam plans to quadruple electricity generation by 2020, almost all from coal according to a source at a European utility investing in Asian power.

In Africa, South Africa is suffering crippling power shortages and racing to build new coal-fired plants, using abundant indigenous supplies. Mozambique, Botswana and Nigeria all plan new coal plants.

Even in the oil-rich Middle East, the United Arab Emirates ordered the Gulf's first coal plant last month.

The biggest brake on these plans is not climate protests but a shortage of steam turbines, with a three-year backlog in the U.S. and Europe following exceptional demand and a 12-18 month lag between order and delivery in China, say utilities.

The biggest brake on these plans is not climate protests but a shortage of steam turbines,

There will almost certainly be a Liebig's minimum that hasn't been considered for most attempts at rapid change.

As another example it looks like the current limiting factor for rapidly ramping up current production of EVs is an adequate supply of batteries.

We won't be able to ramp up the UK Government requested number of windmills because of a current lack of basic windmill manufacturing plant investment.

Change at a rate >3% or so for anything for an extended period of time usually ends in frustration - expect a sharp slowing in growth at some stage from ChIndia - IMO double digit growth rates for several more years is unlikely.

Well, in that case, I'd say we just reached the two-minute warning, the other team has the ball and we're down 49-0.

Any suggestions?

We need liquid fuels, not electric power. We will have lots of that after the factories and malls are closed, soon enough.

More generally, as Amory Lovins and others have pointed out, we need energy services. What we need in winter is a place that's warm enough so that not only do we not freeze but can work in relative comfort. Using super insulation and solar heat, much less fossil fuel would be consumed in a properly designed structure. We need transportation, both for ourselves and for the things we consume in our daily lives. That transportation service doesn't need to be a 4,500# 4x4 vehicle with an A/C powered by an ICE that runs on gasoline, propane or natural gas, which produces about 15 mpg. Many other options are available to meet out transport needs, including small battery powered golf cart type machines, electric scooters and bicycles or even improved shoes such that one can walk a few miles in relative comfort.

I think we will find that a mix of many different energy sources will be used and that electricity will become a large part of the solution.

E. Swanson

Point well taken. However, this concept should be taken further in the sense that we don't so much need transportation as we need goods and services that often require transportation. Transportation, even, is not and end to a means to acquire those goods, services , and contacts. We need to organize ourselves, our cities, our towns, and our distribution networks to minimize transportation and to make it more efficient by delivering more goods and services per miles traveled.

Now for those who just like to travel for travel itself, that is a different story.

Does all this nonsensical babble about how it enters the energy mix, or that Pickens might make a buck, really matter?

Yes, the mix does matter. Intermittent electricity (e.g. wind and solar) does not work well in the market that now exists since it has to be consumed at the time it is produced because there is no good way to store it. In order to preserve the power on demand nature of the grid, wind and solar have to be redundantly backed up by sources that can be dispatched, like natural gas and hydro. The two lowest cost sources, coal and nuclear, cannot be throttled, so they perform a role called base load, where they produce at the same rate all the time. Wind has to fit into the mix with the dispatchable sources. For every 10 MW of wind nameplate, you get 3 MW of actual production which has to be backed by the same amount of gas or hydro. The sources are not interchangeable.

For every 10 MW of wind nameplate, you get 3 MW of actual production which has to be backed by the same amount of gas or hydro

Not quite right. Texas has the lowest capacity credit for wind (AFAIK), and they give 0.875 MW credit for 10 MW nameplate.

If Texas went to a summer & winter calcs. wind would get a much higher winter #.

Pumped storage provides both capacity credits and energy storage. 1 MW of pumped storage for every 10 MW of wind would make the world a better place.

Best Hopes,


"In order to preserve the power on demand nature of the grid, wind and solar have to be redundantly backed up by sources that can be dispatched, like natural gas and hydro."

Hydro and wind work very well together. There is a lot of wind power being developed in Quebec's Gaspe pensinsula that will supplement hydro power elsewhere.

A Hydro-Quebec engineer explained that when the wind is blowing, they reduce the flow through the hydro dams thus retaining more water in the reservoir. The same principle could, I assume, also be applied to tidal power.

I agree. So, in any market, you configure your baseload up to something like the lowest demand at any time of the year, say 60% of 1,000 MW maximum demand for the market. Then you configure your intermittent/dispatchable component which might include hydro and wind or gas and solar. So you would need 400 MW of gas or hydro plus perhaps 1,200 MW of wind nameplate if you want to try to displace all of the dispatchable part on average. Then you cost the intermittent/dispatchable part as the cost of the gas or hydro facility, the cost of the wind facility and the cost of the gas used (if you use gas for backup) when the wind is not blowing.

Of course I realize that you rarely have a self contained market like this on this small a scale. The point of this is that costing wind requires that you cost the entire intermittent/dispatchable part of the mix and not just the wind part.

Another issue is spinning reserve. The grid needs to be able to absorb the sudden loss of it's biggest generating unit in seconds/fractions of a second.

Not an issue with wind. Small units that tend to spin down.

*BIG* deal with nukes. Add one 1.7 GW to a regional grid and a massive increase in spinning reserve is required (second 1.7 GW has much less impact unless they share a common risk of going off-line, like a common site).

1,700 MW of spare capacity have to be kept on-line at all times. A 400 MW coal fired plant generating 250 MW has 150 MW of spinning reserve, etc. Quite a lot of FF are burned to provide spinning reserve for nukes.


Why not using the electricity for electric cars directly instead of using displaced natural gas for a non existent fleet of NG powered cars? electric cars are much more efficient and clean than NG cars. Pickens has a business interest in pushing the NG car but it's not necessarily the best choice.

I think peak oil is not the death of transportation but rather the death of the combustion engine and the NG powered car is another variant of fuel based combustion engine.

The time and money required to retool and establish the battery capacity is so significant that I believe that a bridge technology is required. Using NG to displace oil in the short-term helps to "buy" time by splitting demands across more fuels than just oil. If oil companies could reduce flow rates by the amount of oil replaced with NG, then the precious resource is preserved that much more for the future. This give companies extra time to continue refining electric transportation, whether mass-transit or personal.

I think peak oil is not the death of transportation but rather the death of the private vehicle, and the electric car is another variant of the concept of moving a ton of privately-owned "stuff" to move one person.

Why does that preposterous myth keep getting stated? Right now it costs about 19 cents a mile in fuel costs to move your vehicle. Urban transit costs way more. If you can afford to buy a car, fuel costs are meaningless unless you log a lot of miles, which is only necessary if you live in outer suburbia or exurbia.

Can you substantiate your numbers?

vtpeaknik writes:

I think peak oil is not the death of transportation but rather the death of the private vehicle, and the electric car is another variant of the concept of moving a ton of privately-owned "stuff" to move one person.

Respectfully I disagree. In my opinion peak oil production implies the warning of changes coming, not that the changes are here yet.

Even as a doomer my life at the peak is fairly good, and promises to be good for a while longer. I've had much worse times in life when peak oil wasn't a blip on anyone's screen. Change is coming yes, but not right now. It was a long way up this peak and it appears to be a long way down. I think this confuses people. We talk peak oil, the dire consequences and all most other people see is a pretty good life for right now. I'm in that boat too. Life looks pretty good now. I know change is coming but change is alway coming.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that "right now" peak oil won't affect some people and the many it does affect will get used to the pressures and adapt. Life is good at the peak. The longer we stay here the better the view of the valley.

So why am I a doomer? Because I think population will slowly grow until bad times really do arrive.

Khebab ~ As I understand it, Pickens is advocating NG as a bridge -- something that can be put in place now, with existing/proven technology -- until we come up with something better, i.e. electric cars with better batteries.

Pickens plans calls for replacing the industrial fleets with NG...not the general use motoring fleet. Electric does not suit for heavy use (trucks, construction equipment)transportation whereas NG does, as Pickens explains anway

I think natural gas as a fuel for plug in hybrids is a good idea. Also bio gas from digestion of dedicated crops is far more sensible than the ethanol mess.
Fuel cells can run on natural gas for stationary CHP applications and you don't have to convert to electricity, hydrogen and lose lots of energy.
If coal /shale can be gasified in situ leaving the nastiest parts in the ground we might be able to use this as an additional fuel.

This made me smile when I saw it.

Guns and bicycles enjoy output boom

I agree Gail. If I recall correctly the last LNG import numbers I saw represented about 1.5%. I believe we had about a 50% drop in imports this year due to overseas competition. Not my area of experise but I think much of the LNG transport system is left over from past NG price spikes. The LNG fleet might be expanded but with the increasing internal need for feedstock by many export nations I'm not sure how much capital would be risked on expanding the fleet. Add that to the resistance the Gulf Coast states have thrown up against new import terminals, a significant expansion on LNG imports anytime soon seems unlikely. I know a lot of African LNG is going to the EU. With EU mandated requirements for lower green house gas emmisions I suspect that demand there will grow even greater.

I've been looking for some "drill down", no pun intended, on Pickens idea about switching to NG for our industrial transportation fleets. This article speaks to the reserves. But from a transportation perspective, I have read that NG does not provide as much range and of course the filling station infrastructure is not completely there...although there is some semblance of one:


Here's some drill down: 10 Things You Should Know About Natural Gas Vehicles

There are about 550 natural gas refueling stations open to the public -- compared to 200,000 gasoline filling stations in the U.S. A massive natural gas vehicle fueling infrastructure would have to be built and installed.

Honda sells a home refueling station for $500 to $1,500 installation fee plus $34 and $79 a month leasing fee (depending on state rebates). It can also be purchased for $3,500, less state rebates. The home station takes about eight hours to fill the tank.

Natural gas passenger vehicles have short range -- similar to electric vehicles. The Honda Civic GX has a 150-180 mile range.

The pressurized tanks take up significant space in a small vehicle. In the Honda GX, trunk size is 7 cubic feet compared to 12.9 cubic feet in the standard Honda.

The GX sticker price is $25,600 compared to the base Honda at $15,000.

Commercial fast-fill stations can refuel vehicles in a similar amount of time as gasoline pumps (with some efficiency penalty). Fleet and commercial CNG refueling stations generally have a good safety record, although there was an explosion recently at a city-run station in the San Diego area:


If you live in a well-served area, the lack of stations isn't critical. Don't you usually fill up at the same station routinely anyway? With a home filler it's more convenient than gasoline.

How often does an in-town driver exceed 150 miles per day?

How often is trunk space an issue for a typical commiter?

The base Honda might be 15K, but the GX options are higher. I looked at one yesterday that was I think 18.6K sans the CNG adder. Most of the delta is covered by rebates though, Maybe 5K-7K delta including Phill and all.

CNG has got to be safer than gas as a fuel. How many gas tanker crashes are there per year?

For a second car, it seems superb to me. Fuel savings of thousands per year will quickly repay the cost difference even assuming the spread stays the same or decreases. Here CNG is $.92 per gallon equivalent.

I do wish they had a CNG hybrid.

If you live in a well-served area, the lack of stations isn't critical.

The market is tilting away from light duty vehicles because consumers are concerned about range. The AGA says the market is making "a significant shift towards larger, medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, such as transit buses, school buses and trash trucks."

The leading advocacy org, Natural Gas Vehicles for America, says "Until an area develops an adequate natural gas fueling station infrastructure (as has already developed in Southern California), NGVs are most practical for fleets."

About 1,000 Honda GXs are produced annually, or 0.16% of all Honda Civics produced annually. The Honda GX is the only production light-duty natural gas vehicle is available in the U.S., although there are many conversion kits available for other makes and models.

Kunstler needs to hire a proofreader. People will be less likely to take him seriously with all of those spelling and grammatical mistakes. It undermines the message. Sorry, just a pet peeve.

I noticed in the DB linked article yesterday, they got Heinberg's first name wrong.

The New Yorker has a great article on John McCain and energy...


I'll steer away from the political commentary about McCain's recent lapse into rank demagoguery, but this quote struck me as eminently practical:

If the hard truth is that the federal government can’t do much to lower gas prices, the really hard truth is that it shouldn’t try to. With just five per cent of the world’s population, America accounts for twenty-five per cent of its oil use. This disproportionate consumption is one of the main reasons that the United States—until this year, when China overtook it—was the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases. (Every barrel of oil burned adds roughly a thousand pounds of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.) No matter how many warnings about the consequences were issued—by NASA, by the United Nations, by Al Gore, by the Pope—Americans seemed unfazed. Even as the Arctic ice cap visibly melted away, they bought bigger and bigger cars and drove them more and more miles.

The impact of rising fuel prices, by contrast, has been swift and appreciable. According to the latest figures from the Federal Highway Administration, during the first five months of this year Americans drove thirty billion fewer miles than they did during the same period last year. This marks the first time in a generation that vehicle miles in this country have edged downward. All told, undriven trips since the start of 2008 amount to some thirty billion pounds of unreleased CO2. Clearly, the only way to change America’s consumption habits is by making those habits more expensive.

The only other person I've heard arguing something similar is Matt Simmons, who claims the government should devise a way to put some sort of a floor under oil and gas prices. Again, it seems eminently sensible.

Has the thought occurred to anyone else that it would behoove Saudia Arabia's interests to interject as much volatility into oil markets as possible? "We can flood the world with oil anytime we want" is like an axe, raised and ready to drop at a moment's notice. The message should be clear: If you invest in high-cost energy alternatives, you put your neck on our chopping block.

I've commented before of the daily reminder on the gas station price marquee-one that reminds both you and your wallet of peak oil.

If only we had such a method for climate change.

The gambit you describe has been used by SA for decades and they are trying to do it again. We will have to see how this plays out to see if it will work yet again. In any event, many of us have argued for years that we should put a floor under oil and gas prices to encourage alternatives. Arguably, it would also help domestic exploration but that is only a real benefit if one is simply displacing foreign oil or if one isn't all that concerned about greenhouse gases.

Right now, both candidates are appealing to the lowest common denominator. The argument is about how we get prices down, not about how we ensure a long term future given peak oil and climate change.

Obama is promising to take money from the oil companies and give it to everyone. This does nothing to encourage conservation, efficiency, alternatives, or additional oil. It is not an energy policy; it is a get elected policy.

Maybe I'll vote for Paris as she has announced she is running.


That's not a bad idea.

At least she gives off some heat!

She's too young to hold the office. Which brings up the interesting possibility of what the political tangle-up would look like if she won on a write-in campaign.

GWB stays in office till she reaches age 35. Cheney goes 1/20/09 if VP old enough.


I'll vote for her - and I'm not even American :)

At least she gives off some heat!

Yeah, but it's waste heat.

Or is that waist heat?

PKK assumes responsibility for explosion of BTC

Ankara-APA. PKK terrorist organization has assumed responsibility for explosion of Turkish part of Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) oil pipeline, APA reports quoting Turkey’s Cihan agency.

Explosion occurred in Turkish part of Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) oil pipeline. The blast happened in the underground pipe near Refahiye settlement of Erzincan province. The blast occurred in 52km of Erzincan-Sivas highway. The blast was followed by a strong fire. The flames were about 50m high.
Engin Ciminli, Head of BOTAS Erzincan bureau noted that the causes of the blast, which occurred in 52km of Erzincan-Sivas highway, were not known yet.

This is hilarious.

The PKK is incestuously intertwined with the Kurdish political parties and the Kurdish anti-Iran guerrillas backed by the US. The BTC pipeline, as we all know, was part of a US plot to keep Russia poor and submissive by keeping it out of European oil markets. Turkey and Iran have taken to shelling Kurdistan to get at those guerrillas.

If the PKK did it, and it can keep doing it, Turkey will have the support of its gas-consuming citizens for just about any sort of retaliation. Perhaps it should make overtures to Russia and Iran to get the US to pay attention.

Optimism: Why all the cheering for oil at under $120 a barrel? The price is falling not because some new supply has been found, but because the economies of the world are expected to crash and thus destroy some of the demand oil-based energy.

Jim Fitch of Some Assembly Required

World oil production has zoomed back up to record levels recently according to OPEC. Even if you choose to discount some of the claims there probably has been a surge in crude for export just recently. Likely this is not sustainable and is already tailing off. Thus tanker hire rates crashing prompting the tankers to slow down. Interesting post by memmel yesterday on the subject.

I absolutely agree with memmels post. But he missed something: RUSSIA
Russia as the biggest crude oil exporter is not interested in this game. So, don't count on Russia to deliver cheap oil for 80$! They will reduce oil shipment, when prices fall under 110$.


Yes, I saw that discussion a day or so ago as to what OPEC is saying--OPEC production up 2 MMBOPD and non-OPEC up 1 MMBOPD, for a total worldwide increase of 3 MMBOPD. Personally, I see OPEC as the "blackest of black boxes" and I think they have their own best interst, not ours, at heart.

There is of course nothing unusual, or for that part inherently wrong, with that, but it does bring up a related phenomenon that I find surprising. Some pundits and bloggers wouldn't trust a Wall Street banker any farther than they could throw him. And they're always pointing out how our own government manipulates the CPI, unemployment or other statistics. But when it comes to OPEC, those same pundits' and bloggers' skepticism goes on holiday. They see OPEC as some white knight whose goodness and generosity and nobleness of heart is going to save us from any and all energy pain. "Only trust them. They will save us," is in essence what they are saying. Anything OPEC says is uncritically accepted as if it were received knowledge, straight from the big man in the sky.

memmel makes a stab (and thanks a million for the link to that highly informative and insightful series of posts, I had unfortunately missed it) at explaining this apparent schytzophrenia, that there are political actors within the U.S. that have a shared interest in helping promote the OPEC party line.

Anyway, it's all fascinating. Let's hope memmel is wrong, but given the moral quagmire the leadership class in the U.S. has descended into, and the rather well-informed arguments that memmel makes, I don't see a whole lot of reason for optimism.

Hi, everyone.

We had our first San Francisco Peak Oil Town Hall Meeting yesterday and it went really well.

We actually did it twice, once at noon (PST) and a second time at 7pm (PST).

We structured the meetings to have 30 minutes (or so) of presentation followed by open discussion for another 30 minutes.

The video recording of it is here:

Today we conduct the meetings on growing food in an urban environment at noon (PST) and 7pm (PST).

Although some of the information is San Francisco specific, most is applicable to other cities. We are getting people from all over North America so come join us if you can make the times.


Fresh EIA Washington data with significant downward revisions is going to give TOD much to talk about, in the days ahead.


Interesting. Where's Darwinian?

2008 total liquids continues to be easily a record breaking year - revisions or not.

Yeah, but C+C is what counts. Hubbert's peak is for crude oil, not "all liquids."

Yes, I know but the C+C peak was broken in February unless that's been revised. I don't usually dig into this report but I think you have to add lots of things together to get the C+C figure unlike the total liquids figure. Will plunge in...

Got it. record broken in March and May, May 2008 is new record C+C at 74,481
May 2005 was 74,266. More fill in later as a I get the time (unless someone else does!)

The revisions for previous months were down but the data for this month is up quite a bit. World C+C production for April was revised down by 179,000 barrels per day. However world production was up for May to a new world record. Production for May was 74,481 kb/d, up 580 kb/d from April. OPEC production was up 375 kb/d to 33,688 kb/d. Non-OPEC production was up 205 kb/d to 40,793 kb/d.

Big gainers were, in thousand barrels per day:
Canada, up 44
China, up 60
Norway, up 136
Iraq, up 150
Saudi, up 300 (to 9,400 kb/d)

Big losers were:
Nigeria, down 70
Argentina, down 124

These figures look very strange. May is usually a huge down month for Norway as they usually start maintenance in May. Yet this May they went the opposite direction.

Ron Patterson

Thanks, Darwinian!

I think there's going to be a key post about this.

The record will probably be broken again when the EIA publishes June figures and again with July figures. That's unless there are really major differences from OPEC preliminary data.

As I've said repeatedly these figures are going to be used to "disprove" PO by certain parties even though in the years ahead it might be shown that these figures are wrong - it's my feeling they are very wrong but that's worth frak all I'm afraid.

By the way the previous new peak in February 2008 has been revised down and no longer surpasses May 2005. March 2008 was the first month to surpass it based on revised figures to date.

2008 average ytd C+C is also at record levels 74,169. 2005 (previous record 2005) was 73,758
2007 average C+C was 73,050. So we are up on average about 1.1 mbpd C+C over last year according to the EIA.

Here is a paraphrase of an analysis I got from Gregor, via email:

We had a peak in May 2005 of 74.3, and another 74.+ print later that year in December. And then a third 74+ print in December of 2007.

But 2008 brought higher prints, closer to 74.6. That's been taken away....

With today's report...

JAN 2008 gets taken down from 74.283 to 73.991

FEB gets taken down from 74.593 to 74.176

MAR gets taken down from 74.353 to 74.286

APR gets taken down from 74.080 to 73.901

So these numbers knock down what we thought were new peaks, back to matching, or, below previous peaks.

The one NEW peak is MAY 2008, at 74.481 --but that was just reported today, and something is slightly amiss that they are revising this years' monthlies down so soon. Besides, even May's new number is pretty close, to that original May 2005 number (which itself has now been slightly revised down)

If this pattern continues (EIA initially using roughly figures corresponding to those in the OPEC monthly world production report, which runs two months ahead, then revises down later) then it's currently looking like the last official US government figures on world oil production before the US election (the July figures released in October) will be at record levels. OPEC can go back to sleep now.

Even though the new monthly peak is close enough to the old that it could be revised down, we are 411kbpd above 2005 average (and that goes up June and July on very preliminary data). It is therefore virtually impossible the ytd figures will be revised down enough to drop below 2005 by then. So we go into the US election with 2008 the reported record C+C year barring World War 3.

IMO all these numbers from 2005 to 2008 are the same-they are close enough that I wouldn't want to wager much money on which month is the biggest.

Which just reinforces the idea that we have been on a plateau for the past three years - the plateau that precedes the decline.

Don't panic.

It isn't the 'peak oil' prediction that is wrong but the IEA prediction that we would keep using another ~1.6% crude oil each year .... so far they have been wrong for nearly 4 years in a row.

To make a mistake once is human .... to make it time after time is incompetent!

How long before the OECD Governments sponsoring the IEA demand their money back?

Actually, as this plateau goes on, month after month, this is now getting very serious ... I was hoping, for a number of reasons, that the cornucopians were correct.

It looks like, at best, that there will be inadequate spare crude oil production capacity to pull us out of the coming economic slowdown - e.g.: inadequate growth = inadequate pension!

I just went back and looked at the data. Non-OPEC is up 205 kb/d in May but that is after non-OPEC for April was revised down by 229 kb/d. So before the April revisions non-OPEC production was actually down 24 kb/d.

Non-OPEC figures are not reported separately by the EIA. I get the figures by subtracting OPEC from World.

The world figures show production up 580 kb/d after revisions of the April data. However without those revisions world production was up 401 kb/d.

It gets rather confusing and you must pay a lot of attention to the revisions to keep everything straight.

Ron Patterson

Is it possible that a percentage of wells are being ruined by overproduction all over the world to take advantage of the extraordinary high prices?


New World Record ?

If you subtracts tar sands from C + C, will it likely be a new world record for for conventional oil production ? Or is May 2005 still the record for conventional oil production ?

I noted that Denmark is getting closer to being a former oil exporter.



Hey, it is very important to note that this new record is still 112 kb/d below the old February record before February was revised downward. So actually the record high has come down by 112 thousand barrels per day.

February 2008 has been revised down by 417 thousand barrels per day. It was revised from 74,593 kb/d to 74,176 kb/d. That is the new record high is 112 kb/d below the old record high.

Expect such revisions to continue in the future.

Ron Patterson

Expect such revisions to continue in the future.

My 2¢ worth. I think that the best way to use the monthly data is to calculate the cumulative shortfall between what we would have produced at the 5/05 rate and what we actually produced. This measures the cumulative failure of producers over time to match the 5/05 rate. The last time I ran the numbers, the cumulative shortfall was around 700 mb. It also puts these minor monthly changes in better perspective. Edit: Note that the average to date for 2008 is 74.2 mbpd, versus 74.3 for 5/05, so the cumulative shortfall between what we would have produced at the 5/05 rate and what we actually produced has increased in 2008 by about 15 mb.

In order to compare apples to apples (e.g., comparing the Lower 48 peak to the world peak), I think that the average annual production is best. This also gives us more time for the EIA to make their revisions, which tend to result in lower production numbers.

I think that the average annual production is best. This also gives us more time for the EIA to make their revisions, which tend to result in lower production numbers.

But that won't happen in time before the US election for the year to date figures. Not unless the EIA revise every month this year down by about 500k within the next two months. Magically some time next year it may well be discovered that the US has officially be in recession for over a year and that peak year was still 2005. But that's not what the figures suggest now nor will they say at election time.

Wow, you really think peak oil will be an issue at election time?

I don't think it will. Energy prices might be, but not peak oil.

And even energy prices might fade from the public consciousness, if the economy goes down the tubes.

No I don't think it will and these figures make it virtually absolutely certain it won't - even if someone tries to make it so.

What would happen if a bunch of top musicians (many are PO aware) tried to do a "Peak Aid" concert (Sharleen Spiteri ambushed a BBC political programme with a question about Peak Oil recently) - that would force it onto the agenda but they'd look silly (to those who don't understand Hubbert curves) with records being reported broken right left and centre.

Actually, I don't think they'd look silly. The average American doesn't do charts and graphs. They wouldn't understand these numbers. Peak oil will be understood as high prices or gas shortages, if at all. Government statistics won't matter. Few understand them, and even fewer believe them. (Nobody believes the government numbers on inflation, unemployment, etc. They believe what they see: prices in the grocery store, and how many resumes they have to send out to get a job.)

The thing is...even if peak oil were as accepted as, say, global warming, I don't think it would make a difference. Voters would only care if it affected them economically. And politicians would do exactly what they are doing now. The GOP would be calling for more drilling, the Dems would be calling for renewable energy funding, etc. Which is pretty much what's happening now.

I know you don't think they'd look silly. How would Fox News portray them?

Exactly the way they're portraying them now. As evil libruls who hate America.

I seriously doubt they're going to pull out EIA numbers as proof of anything. That didn't even work for Ross Perot.

Hmm, how about Paris Hilton vs Fox News? Now there's an unexpected dilemma :)

I miss Ross. He at least tried to communicate real information. Crazy maybe, but less dangerously inane than most pols.

As for Dems, who besides Gore is really pushing alternatives? I thought they were still stuck on speculators and tapping the SPR?

I don't get Fox News (by choice) on my cable TV. But this morning, Fox was one of the choices on the airplane so I accidently watched some.

They were using the "The National Enquirer" as the source for one of their news stories!!

I'll be sure to check the channel selections more carefully next time I get on an airplane. "The Onion" is more realistic than Fox News.

It probably already exists somewhere, but if not, an effective graph might be oil production, crude + C+C, the buffer of the oversupply (I'm zoning on the proper term for that) and price going back, say, ten years. If that doesn't make it clear to someone, they're never going to understand it.

Couple that with an updated version of the ASPO graph showing discovery vs. production with an overlay of Megaprojects data and - viola! - it should be a done deal.


Below a diagram based upon data from EIA International Petroleum Monthly for August 2008.

The diagram shows C + C (green columns), NGL’s (light blue columns) and other liquid energy (red columns) taken as the difference between total (all liquids; table t14) and ((C + C ) table 11d + NGL’s; table t13)) in Mb/d plotted towards the secondary y-axis.

(C + C) was reported 215 kb/d higher for May 2008 than May 2005. Being aware that these numbers for some countries still are estimates, future revisions might change that in both directions.

In the diagram are the average monthly oil price, USD /bbl, for Brent plotted against the primary y-axis.

What remains to be seen is if the steep growth in oil prices brought an additional 800 kb/d (C +C) to the market for the first 5 months of 2008 relative to the same period of 2007.

What remains to be seen is if the steep growth in oil prices brought an additional 800 kb/d (C +C) to the market for the first 5 months of 2008 relative to the same period of 2007.

Starting to look (on reported figures I find highly questionable just to make it clear) as if we're coming off the plateau on the upside isn't it?... But a year ago, a fall of 800k/day would have been more likely predicted to result in a steep growth in oil prices. Strange that...

For the first 5 months of 2008 oil prices were about 70 % higher (at an average of approx. US$105/bbl) than the same period of 2007 (at an average of approx. US$62/bbl).

This could motivate some producers to squeeze their wells a little harder.
Question is; will this extra squeeze come with a price later on?

Canada May 2005 2,360
Canada May 2008 2,590

So Canada added 230kbpd and the record was broken by 215kbpd. If all of the Canadian increase came from tar sands then May 2005 would still be the record without it. Anyone know roughly how much tar sands production has increased over the last 3 years?

The latest numbers from CAPP (Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers) are here. An interesting detail is that conventional production is declining less rapidly than forecast because of high oil prices.

Month-by-month comparisons can jump around a lot. For example, here are Suncor's production numbers for May 2008:

Suncor Energy Inc. reported today that production at its oil sands facility during May averaged approximately 164,000 barrels per day (bpd). Production for the month was reduced do to a planned maintenance shutdown of one of two oil sands upgraders that began May 16 with an expected duration of approximately 30 days. Year-to-date oil sands production at the end of May averaged approximately 225,000 bpd. Suncor is targeting average oil sands production of 275,000 to 285,000 bpd in 2008.

Ok, so it looks like, discounting oil sands from C+C, the May 2005 peak still holds (average tar sand increase 335kbpd since 2005). However 2008 (ytd extrapolated) is the new peak year even discounting oil sands - just. What a strange game this is.

"According to the Alberta Energy and Utilities Board (AEUB), production averaged 1.26 million barrels per day (bpd) of bitumen
in 2006. Of this total, marketable production included approximately 660 thousand bpd sold as synthetic crude oil (SCO) and distillates, and approximately 466 thousand bpd sold as bitumen.
Marketable oil sands production currently represents 42 per cent of Canada's total crude output. According to the AEUB, SCO and non-upgraded bitumen accounted for 62% of total Alberta crude oil and equivalent production."

See "Alberta's Oil Sands 2006", at http://www.energy.gov.ab.ca/OilSands/954.asp

The same report for 2003 gave an average production level of 964,000 bpd, giving a three-year increase from 2003-2006 of (1,260,000 - 964,000 =) 296,000 bpd. Well in the range of the "total liquids" increases. (I am of course assuming that the trend in production increase has continued, or even accelerated, for 2005-08.

BUT... is the bitumen (i.e. "sold as bitumen") actually counted in total "liquids"?

Also, what happens when bitumen is sent to an American refinery to be upgraded?

In 2006, Schweitzer floated the idea of creating seven new refineries along Montana’s Hi-line to process the increased flow of Canadian crude coming out of the tar sands. Numbers set forth in an economic development presentation say seven new refineries could process 500,000 barrels a day in Montana, providing 275 jobs at each facility. Already, oil production in the state is breaking records—it’s more than doubled since 2000—but Schweitzer’s proposal would significantly increase Montana’s output.

Power Surge


As always I think you do a great job with the statistics.

For Norway EIA uses the identical data that NPD (Norwegian Petroleum Directorate) publishes.

This year some of the maintenance on NCS (Norwegian Continental Shelf) was carried out in April, this explains the difference between April and May of 2008.

Preliminary data for June 2008 from NPD suggests that C + C from NCS was down approx. 350 kb/d relative to May 2008.

A few other observations on the new data:

The big downward revision that affects a lot of different years applies to the "other" category. This is the summation of all of the countries that are not shown separately. Revisions go all the way back to 2002. The revisions for 2008 averaged -178,000 barrels a day; the revisions for 2007 averaged -122,000 barrels a day. It looks like the estimate for May 2008 mostly reflects the effect of the revisions to the previous years.

Nigeria had adjustments in production for 2008. These amounted to -230,000 in February and smaller adjustments for other months. Now the data shows a fairly smooth downward trend from December 2,430,000 to May 2,060,000.

United States's crude and condensate estimate for 2007 was reduced by an average of -38,000 barrels a day. This doesn't sound like much, but it makes the difference between the US finally turning the corner on year-after-year decreases in production in 2007, and having yet another down year in 2007. Now 2007 continues the downward trend extending back to 1970. The first months for 2008 are in line with the first months of 2007. If production does not drop off in the latter half of 2008 (the way it did the latter half of 2007), the US may finally have an up year for production in 2008.

One of the reasons for the upturn in production is the production in Iraq. Iraq's production was 2,453,000 in May. This compares to 2,303,000 in April and 2,103,000 a year ago.

According to the new data, Saudi Arabia production's increased from 9,100,000 in April to 9,400,000 in May, consistent with the announced 300,000 increase in production. When the increase in production was announced, I think some of us thought that the increase would be from a base of 9,200,000 in March. Production actually took an (as far as I know) unannounced decrease of 100,000 BPD in April, and increased from the lower base.

Using today's data and calculating US net imports by subtracting production from consumption:

You can also, of course, use the EIA's direct measure of net imports to get a similar graph.

The method I've used here is what the EIA uses when they report net exports/imports in their country profiles. (For that purpose, they use annual data)

So, in your opinion how does the 2.5 million bpd drop in 3 years break down?

Not much efficiency, yet. (at least with respect to cars)

Here's a rough approximation of effective mpg of the auto fleet using vehicle miles traveled and gasoline consumption. The hang-over from all those new SUV's in past months/years remains (as of May) and will remain for a while.

Off the top my head I'd say it's conservation with "food for fuel" substitution coming in a distant 2nd. Not very elegant so far.

Back in the cheap stuff. My uncle is telling me he is buying a new suburban. He is relatively high up the income ladder, above the upper middle mcmansion types no doubt, but not what I would call wealthy. Lower upper class I suppose. I told him he can hang on and drive for a while yet so go for it.


Dell says its operations are now carbon-neutral


I watched on C-SPAn this morning the Republican protest to get Nancy Pelosi to call congress back in and vote on an energy bill. Repbulicans are calling their bill "all of the above". Even Newt Gingrich was there. Couldn't find anything on web about it .. but plenty of other news articles. Here's one


Steve King is one of two dozen Republican U.S. House members staying in Washington during the August recess to demand a vote on offshore drilling.

King spoke Monday on a darkened House floor, next to a giant photo of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, with the words “I am trying to save the planet” underneath.

King said Pelosi has decided that “saving the planet is worth more than saving the Homo sapiens.”

The Republican protest is continuing without lights, microphones, or C-SPAN cameras. Those are all under the control of the Speaker, and Pelosi says “an offshore drilling vote would “mislead the American people as to thinking it’s going to reduce the price at the pump.”

King, of course, disagrees. “We’re asking for a vote on the floor of Congress, a recorded vote, so the people of America can determine what their member of Congress stands for: more or less energy, higher or lower prices.”

Oh by the way, saving the planet is paramount; without it, there won't be a lot of hope for homo sapiens. And homo sapiens is not the whole story, anyway. We being anthropocentric conclude that none of the other species, including plant life, are of much importance.

More oil just means more carbon. What happened to all the discussion about the need to cut greenhouse gases. Drilling here and drilling now doesn't help the present and doesn't help the future if we care about carbon emissions. Leave the carbon in the ground or under the ocean.

Who will be the first to stand up for higher prices? And by the way, even McCain supposedly supports cap and trade of carbon dioxide. Well, if we truly capped carbon dioxide emissions, rest assured that prices of fossil fuels would rise.

All of the current "debate" is cheap political theater, with none of the candidates coming off as honorable. McCain started flip flopping last month. Obama is trying to catch up in the flip flop department this month.

Americans can't handle the truth that higher prices are necessary and need to continue to rise until we make a radical shift in the amount of carbon we emit.

For all those who bitch and moan about higher prices. Stay the hell home. Oh, and pump up those tires, one of the few ideas this election season that would actually have a short term impact.

Paris for President.

We have a little popularity contest misnamed as an election. The rules are pander pander pander to short term interests. He who violates the rules -or can be propagandized as having violated this rule, is voted off the show. Don't expect PAU (Politics As Usual) to change any time soon.

Hello TODers,

Kudos to Airdale who had posted yesterday how corn in his area was a disaster. It appears this is spreading to other farm areas:

June Heat Wipes Out This Year's Corn Crop in South Carolina

"Corn is going to be disastrous this year," said Charles Davis, Calhoun County Clemson Extension agent and crop specialist for Orangeburg and Calhoun counties. "We have the worst corn crop this year that I can remember."

The problem was a series of near 100 degree temperatures in the first week of June during a critical part of the crop's growth period.
Another example of temperature rise causing blowback:

Caribou calf mortality caused by global warming

...Plants growing earlier

But this routine, which has worked for millennia, is faltering because caribou are unable to keep pace with certain changes that have occurred as a result of global warming. When the animals arrive at their calving grounds now, pregnant females find that the plants on which they depend already have reached peak productivity and have begun to decline in nutritional value.

According to Post, the plants, which initiate growth in response to temperature, not day length, are peaking dramatically earlier in response to rising temperatures. "Spring temperatures at our study site in West Greenland have risen by more than 4 degrees Celsius over the past few years," said Post. "As a result, the timing of plant growth has advanced, but calving has not."

Fewer caribou calves are being born and more of them are dying in West Greenland as a result of a warming climate.

Trophic mismatch

The phenomenon, called trophic mismatch, is a predicted consequence of climate change, in which the availability of food shifts in response to warming, whereas the timing of demand for those resources does not keep pace....
Don't forget the ongoing dieoff problems with the bats and bees either, as these essential critters have a tremendous effect upon their habitats.

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

Just a reminder that the worst trophic mismatch disasters occur when humans are suddenly without sufficient energy to heat or cool their houses. Recall how many elderly and sick people died in sudden heatwaves [Europe in 2003, for example] or those exposed to lethal cold [high altitude major earthquake in winter in Iran].

Regarding corn, that's completely opposite of what the CME Group posted on today's recap:

Corn Market Recap for 8/6/2008

December Corn finished down 17 1/4 at 527 3/4, 21 3/4 off the high and 5 1/2 up from the low. September Corn closed down 17 1/4 at 508. This was 5 1/4 up from the low and 21 3/4 off the high.

Corn opened higher to start the day session, but what followed was a resumption of the downtrend. Heavy selling emerged in the early going and that took corn prices sharply lower by mid morning. Today's lows in December were just above the lows of late March. The March lows marked a sharp retracement from new all-time highs that had been established a few days earlier and they preceded an April-May rally that was based in large part on concern over a very cold spring. Floor traders indicate that today's selling stemmed from liquidation and continued forecasts of improved corn yields in the US with some analysts now calling for yields above the USDA's trend line number at 154.9 bushels per acre. The semi-official Chinese estimate this morning of an increase of 2.74% in that nation's crop over last year was not considered a surprise but traders said that it added to the negative sentiment. One trader noted that the most significant influence after the open may have been the continued strength of the dollar. It moved to the highest levels since June 16th in the September Dollar Index contract today. This comes at a time when lower futures prices have brought a modest surge in export demand for corn, and traders are thought to be concerned that a rally in the dollar will cut that surge short. Basis levels at the Gulf were steady this morning with a firm tone due to that increased demand, as well as lower rates on ocean freight.

Just saw a promo on the CBS Evening News:

"Could falling home prices and soaring gas prices mean the end of suburbia? Tomorrow night on CBS evening news."

I might not have the words exactly correct as I am writing from memory, but I am sure I got "The End of Suburbia" exactly right. I won't miss it.

Ron Patterson

I saw that little teaser but this afternoon towards the end of Rush Limbaughs program he made the comment that oil was organic and the earth was making more all the time and no need to worry.Did anyone else hear this statement or was I having a peak senior moment.

No, I am sure you heard right...was most likely Limbaugh having a peak idiot moment.

No, Rush is right about this one.
The Earth is making oil in the slow geologic process it always used.
He is right also about not to worry as worry robs us of the valuable time we need to prepare for Peak Oils' inevitability.

We are talking about two entirely different things Vaporlock. Rush Limbaugh does not work for or advertise for CBS. What you saw was something entirely different.

Hello TODers,

POT has excellent tutorials, charts, graphs, and discussion on the global I-NPK outlook. I advise you add them to your favorites' list:


My favorite 'quick & dirty' Peak Everything 'summation' graph:


I think this adequately expresses the overall problem with depleting natgas and crude flowrates because sulfur, like FFs, is an essential lifeblood to I-NPK and industrial processes. Recall my prior posting series on sulfur.

If this sulfur price collapses bigtime: it might be a leading indicator of how bad a depression we are going to experience. Alternatively, if it plateaus, or even worse, keeps going up, it might strongly indicate how hard we are working at BAU.

I am finding it increasingly hard to find good sulfur newslinks; it seems the critical info is moving more and more behind paywalls and/or BigBuck$$ market forecasting reports. Such is life for a key strategic Element like sulfur.

If you haven't yet read Jon Freise's excellent keypost w/TODer comments: "An Update on the Energy Return on Canadian Natural Gas"--Please go and study this info.

I wonder when Bill Doyle, POT's topdog, will decide to do his best Richard Rainwater imitation? IMO, that would be a clear sign of WTSHTF. Picture him suddenly cashing out bigtime to build a giant, super Eco-Tech farm/bunker for his family and relatives.

BTW, has anybody snapped photos of Dan Yergin loading up a wheelbarrow in the Home Depot gardening department yet? Probably too soon for Dan to get real.

Have you hugged your bag of NPK today?

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

Hi Bob,

I always enjoy your posts. They're always an eye-opener, and leave me thinking.

I don't have any pics of Danny Boy, but here are some photos of the sulfur-related action in Vancouver, BC:

Sulfur loading while pleasure craft trundle past, looking north from Stanley Park, 04 Aug 2008:

A distant view of a big sulfur pile (upper left), and some key facilities along the waterway, looking south from Pump Mountain some 4,500 feet above the port action, taken 03 Aug 2008:

On any given day, many big ships steadily move through the port. The photo opportunities are endless. :o) I'll end this little post with a shot of some Stanley Park cyclists rolling past a mass of freight containers, with Mt. Baker looming ominously in the background ;o)


Wolf in YVR BC

Hello Graywulffe,

Thxs for the pics. I have seen similar photo shots when googling sulfur images.

Kudlow just had a guy on the tube touting a silver bullet for our energy woes...CTL R&D company.

Here is Company website...anyone hear of them?


Sure, ticker symbol RTK. It goes up, it goes down. A small cap company using clean coal tech. to extract jet fuel. Sounds like a future trend at first, yet the company produces so few gallons of the stuff it fails to meet the criteria for a good investment.

My former boss at ConocoPhillips - Dr. Harold Wright - is their Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer.

They have big plans, but I don't think they have the funds to see them through. I checked about a year ago, and they had a market cap that might have been a couple hundred million, and they intended to build a CTL plant that was going to cost 10 times their market cap.