Drumbeat: September 25, 2010

Analysis: Gas capex cuts coming for U.S. companies

Drilling for shale gas in areas like the Haynesville Shale in Louisiana where the gas is "dry" or has a low liquids content has fallen out of vogue as natural gas prices hover around $4 per million British thermal units.

"Our Haynesville program in 2010 is over," James Dearlove, chief executive of Penn Virginia Corp (PVA.N), told an investor conference in New York last week. "Drilling dry gas in a $4.50 environment maybe isn't the best thing to do with your money."

Fossils With a Bright Future

FOR ALL THE HOOPLA SURROUNDING alternative energy, fossil fuels still show vibrant signs of life.

Global producers see crude oil, coal and natural gas—often from unconventional sources—quenching the world's thirst for energy well into this century. Although climate change is a major concern, many executives and policy makers say the availability and affordability of energy will be the key focus in coming decades.

"Much of the extra demand is expected to be met by fossil fuels," said Shosuke Mori, chairman of Kansai Electric Power, one of Japan's largest utilities, at the World Energy Congress in Montreal earlier this month.

Alabama pilots to continue monitoring oil spill's impact

William Johnston has flown to the Gulf Coast 66 times since April 20, and he said it doesn't look like the flights will be tailing off anytime soon. Johnston, who is based in Mobile but commutes between Mobile and Montgomery regularly, is the chief pilot with the Alabama Department of Environmental Management.

He has been making the flights to the Gulf Coast since an accident destroyed the Deepwater Horizon offshore oil rig April 20, killing 11 crewmembers and causing what has become the worst oil spill in U.S. history. Johnston is part of the ongoing monitoring of the environmental effects of the oil spill -- an impact he said is likely to be studied for the next two decades. A lot of high-tech equipment has been used in monitoring the crisis, but Johnston said few pieces of equipment have played a bigger role than aircraft such as planes and helicopters.

Gulf oil spill followed a familiar pattern, panelists say

The Deepwater Horizon accident and its aftermath repeated a pattern from the past, panelists said at a symposium Thursday — a complacent period of relative industry safety, a disaster, then a flurry of government actions and demands for reform.

The same thing happened in past incidents including major oil spills four decades ago and the 1989 Exxon Valdez accident in Alaska, according to the panel at a University of Houston Oil Spill Symposium.

Large Scale Study of BP Oil Spill Health Effects Planned

Plans are being made to study the health impacts of the BP oil spill. According to the Associated Press, the Department of Health and Human Services has commissioned the nonprofit Institute of Medicine to gather a committee of experts to conduct the study in the five Gulf Coast states affected by the oil spill. The study will be funded with a $10 million contribution from BP.

Researchers hope to enroll 27,000 people who participated in oil spill cleanup.

Producers see rich potential in Seal Lake

Petrobank awaits approval for new tech

With its joint partner Shell, Petrobank filed a request with the ERCB in March 2009 to proceed with a two-well demonstration project to test its toe-to-heel air injection technology, which it currently uses at both its Whitesands project near Conklin and Kerrobert project in Saskatchewan. The firm is still waiting for a response.

"We have gone through the hoops, and have Alberta Environment approval for our Dawson THAI project," he said. "There are no outstanding issues, so we are frustrated. This is shifting dollars from Alberta to Saskatchewan, where we now have approval for a 10-well expansion of our project."

Wyo. fracking rules take effect with few problems

Energy companies seem eager to comply with new state rules requiring them to disclose the chemicals they use in a controversial drilling technique known as fracking, the head of Wyoming's oil and gas regulatory agency said.

Bulgaria plans caps on new green energy assets

Bulgaria plans to put limits on new renewable energy assets to avoid a spike in sensitive energy prices and a collapse of its aging power grid, Economy and Energy Minister Traicho Traikov said on Friday.

Traikov said the Balkan country can add up to 2,000 megawatts of new solar, wind and hydro power plants by 2020 without jeopardizing the security of power supply and keeping the energy prices at affordable levels.

The cost of wind: power when we don’t need it

Some critics wonder if the province is moving too fast.

A.J. Goulding of consulting firm London Economics says wind and other renewables have a place in the electricity grid, but the current approach to attracting generation does not sort the good projects from the marginal ones.

“People aren’t asking: How much wind would be appropriate for the system and then going out and procuring that,” he said. “Instead, we’re taking everything that shows up at the door.”

Ontario is currently paying small, on-shore wind producers that have access to transmission lines 13.5 cents a kilowatt hour. Offshore producers get 19 cents.

Third-Biggest US Wind-Power Company To Cut Investment -Chairman

-The third-biggest U.S. wind-power developer will continue to cut investment with no clear national energy policy in place and amid a continued slump in electricity prices.

EDP Renovaveis SA (EDPR.LB), through its U.S. subsidiary Horizon Wind Energy, will reduce spending by more than half to less than $300 million in 2011 from around $700 million this year, with further cuts possible in following years, Chairman Antonio Mexia said in an interview Friday.

Mexia said three factors are driving the company's pullback: the lack of a clear U.S. energy policy; recession-driven demand declines; and slumping prices for wholesale electricity.

Water-gel-based 'artificial leaves' that produce electricity

North Carolina State University researchers have shown that water-gel-based "artificial leaves" can act like solar cells to produce electricity.

They also have the potential to be less expensive and more environmentally friendly than the current silicon-based solar cells.

The researchers used plant chlorophyll in one of the experiments - coupled with electrodes coated by carbon materials, such as carbon nanotubes or graphite.

Mexico's Pemex Holds Crude Output Near 2.6 Mln B/D Goal

Mexico's state-owned oil company Petroleos Mexicanos, or Pemex, said Friday its crude output averaged 2.585 million barrels a day in January through August of this year, near its goal of meeting or beating the 2.6 million barrels a day it averaged over the course of last year.Mexico's state-owned oil company Petroleos Mexicanos, or Pemex, said Friday its crude output averaged 2.585 million barrels a day in January through August of this year, near its goal of meeting or beating the 2.6 million barrels a day it averaged over the course of last year.

In year-on-year terms, Pemex production for the first eight months of 2010 was just 1% lower than in the same period last year.

Oil exports for the first eight months of 2010 averaged 1.312 million barrels a day, 7% higher year on year. Exports through August brought in $22.38 billion, a 45% increase over the same period in 2009.

TransCanada Plans Early 2011 Start of Keystone Pipeline Cushing Extension

TransCanada Corp., Canada’s biggest pipeline operator, expects the Cushing Extension of the Keystone system to be in service in the first quarter next year, a company executive said.

“We are about 80 percent complete on the pipeline and about 75 percent complete on facilities,” Ken Murchie, a director of pipeline development, said today at the Platts Pipeline Development and Expansion conference in Houston. “We are looking at having construction completed this year.”

The Cushing Extension, the second phase of the $12 billion Keystone pipeline project, extends a 36-inch pipeline from Steele City, Nebraska, to Cushing, Oklahoma, and will increase capacity to 591,000 barrels a day, he said.

Oil Rises the Most in Two Weeks as Dollar Tumbles Against Euro

Oil climbed 1.7 percent after the greenback slipped against the common currency on a report showing that German business confidence unexpectedly increased to a three-year high in September. Futures extended gains after a U.S. report showed orders for capital equipment rebounded in August.

Petrobras capitalization 'biggest in history': Lula

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva launched Friday what he called the biggest capitalization in history: raising more than 66 billion dollars through the sale of new shares in Petrobras to tap potentially vast offshore oil fields.

Lula described the sale of the paper in the state-run oil company as "the most auspicious moment in world capitalism," before ringing the trading bell in Sao Paulo's Bovespa stock exchange to signal the start of the operation.

The government said 66.89 billion dollars worth of Petrobras shares had already been subscribed -- most of it, 45 billion dollars, to the state itself, as its stake in Petrobras swelled from 40 percent to 48 percent.

Israel's Tamar gas to flow by late 2012

Noble Energy Inc., Houston, has sanctioned the $3 billion development of Tamar gas field in the Levant basin in the eastern Mediterranean off Israel and expects gas delivery to begin around the end of 2012.

Tamar, with an estimated 8.4 tcf of recoverable gas in 5,500 ft of water, is to be developed with five subsea wells capable of flowing 200-250 MMcfd/well of gas.

Iran’s President Expresses Hope for More Nuclear Talks

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad also offered a conciliatory gesture on his country’s nuclear program, expressing hope that negotiations could resume as early as next month over a deal that would involve a swap of enriched uranium. The talks could restart a diplomatic process that collapsed last year and led to a fourth round of sanctions against Iran in June.

US rig count declines

US drilling activity fell this week, down 11 rotary rigs to 1,650 still working but well ahead of the 1,017 units running in the comparable week a year ago, Baker Hughes Inc. reported.

Land operations suffered the largest loss, down by 7 to 1,619 rotary rigs drilling. But that was only a slightly bigger loss than offshore drilling where the number of working rigs dropped by 6 to 15, all in the Gulf of Mexico. Inland waters activity put 2 more rigs to work for a total of 16.

Of the US rigs still working, 967 were drilling for natural gas, 15 fewer than the previous week. The number drilling for oil increased by 3 to 673. There were 10 rotary rigs unclassified. Horizontal drilling was unchanged at 912 rotary rigs. Directional drilling declined by 9 to 213 units.

Analysis: Penn. Hydraulic Fracturing Program Well-Managed

A targeted review of the Pennsylvania program regulating the hydraulic fracturing of oil and gas wells has been completed by a multi-stakeholder group, which has concluded that the program is, over all, well-managed, professional and meeting its program objectives.

The State Review of Oil and Natural Gas Environmental Regulations (STRONGER), a non-profit organization that conducts voluntary state reviews of oil and natural gas environmental regulations, appointed the three-person team that conducted the study. The review team, appointed in July 2010, consisted of three members and four observers representing environmental groups, state regulators, the oil and gas industry and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Twenty-three additional people attended the review.

Iran may consider ending enrichment if given nuclear fuel: president

UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 24 (Xinhua) -- Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said here on Friday that Iran may consider ending uranium enrichment if Western countries provide it with nuclear fuel for a medical research reactor.

"To support our sick people, we had to produce 20-percent-grade fuel ourselves," Ahmadinejad told reporters at a press conference in New York.

"Whenever we are sure that 20-percent-grade fuel is given to us, we can examine whether to cease producing 20-percent-grade fuel," he added.

Scenarios: How mega-crises may unfold

Below is a scenario devised by Chung Min Lee, a South Korean scholar and senior fellow at London's International Institute for Strategic Studies, and edited excerpts from the U.S. National Intelligence Council's (NIC) "Global Scenarios to 2025."


A political crisis snowballs into a catastrophic crisis in the vicinity of the Strait of Hormuz or Strait of Malacca with a dirty nuclear bomb attack; passage of oil tankers is frozen with immediate repercussions for global commerce and navigation.

Highly oil dependent economies such as Japan, South Korea and other Asian economies would have to rely on their limited strategic petroleum reserves. Financial markets worldwide would tumble, which could trigger another global financial crisis.

When Are We Going to Get This Transmission Thing Right?

According to information on the American Wind Energy Association website installations of wind turbines in the second quarter of 2010 are down by nearly 70% and projected to be 25% to 45% less at year’s end. One would think with the impending sunset of the section 1203 treasury grants at the end of this year there would be significant efforts to get projects in the ground. So what gives?

While there are a number of reasons fro this downturn including reduced power demand and expiration of short term incentives, two issues — money and transmission siting authority — are central to the long term prospects for renewable energy.

U.S. buyers continue trend toward smaller engines

The trend toward four-cylinder engines is growing so fast that some midsize models, where people have a choice between the two, have seen a 50 percentage point increase in the past six years. Overall, the number of four-cylinder engines sold since 2005 has jumped dramatically, from 28 percent of all cars in 2005 to 43 percent so far this year, according to Ward’s AutoInfoBank.

Qatar launched food security alliance of arid nations

Food and water have developed into top national security issues as the volatile swings in food prices over the past three years has exposed risks in the supply chain for nations unable to feed themselves from domestic sources.

SA Water won’t reveal desal standby costs

The refusal comes as the cost of the Victorian desalination plant was revealed to be an average of $570 million a year for the next 30 years, amounting to a staggering $15.8 billion even if the state does not buy any water.

Pelosi somewhat receptive to oil sands development

Although Pelosi and Markey have been critics of the oil and gas industry in the past, Pelosi told the Canadians she was open minded about future oil sands development and interested in hearing “both sides of the story.”

Oil sands’ report implies it is not a high carbon fuel; but read on

So it is not that oil sands’ crude is a lower carbon emitting source - it is just that, because US oil refiners combine the oil sands’ crude with traditional crude, the end product is not as carbon intensive as some might think.

Air board action is fallback for green energy

California already has a rule that utilities obtain 20 percent of their energy from renewables by this year's end, though that goal won't be reached. Pushing the number to 33 percent by 2020 will be a fresh and achievable challenge for the state's nascent alternative energy sector.

Ohio offers $8M boost to ethanol, biodiesel plants

The money is actually coming from the state’s $96 million energy project allocation as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

General Mills boycotts palm oil that destroys rain forests

Already, U.S.-based companies Unilever, Nestle, Kraft and Burger King have made similar shifts,

Survey: Local governments slowly adopting sustainability initiatives

When asked what specific planning actions related to sustainability and energy conservation they had taken, only 29 percent had adopted a resolution outlining specific policy goals. Additionally, a minority of respondents had assigned dedicated staff to sustainability efforts (27 percent); established specific sustainability benchmarks (19 percent); established or appointed a task force to address sustainability issues (28 percent); or provided a budget specifically for their sustainability efforts (16 percent). Only 14 percent had established greenhouse gas limits for the local government, less than 10 percent for the community-at-large, and only about 3 percent for local businesses.

Leanan is on vacation, so I am pinch hitting for a few days, with help from others, particularly Debbie Cook.

So be sure to post stories we have missed. This is not our regular calling.

Edit: Also, Tom Whipple of ASPO-USA has sent a list of URLs of articles he is putting in his list for Peak Oil Daily. So some articles are selected from off of that list. The quoted paragraphs are different, I would expect.

In year-on-year terms, Pemex production for the first eight months of 2010 was just 1% lower than in the same period last year.

Oil exports for the first eight months of 2010 averaged 1.312 million barrels a day, 7% higher year on year. Exports through August brought in $22.38 billion, a 45% increase over the same period in 2009.

So much for "net importer by 2012" predictions bantied about a few years ago...Cantarell drop being made up for in other fields...

I was just looking at EIA data. There is a big difference between gross exports and net exports, because Mexico sends a lot of oil to the US to be refined--better refineries to make low sulfur diesel.

It looks to me like the article is talking about gross exports being up--including the oil sent to refineries. Net exports seem to be down, assuming nearly all exports are to the US. See



Yes, that is the exact same data published by Pemex Petroleum Statistics. And that publication clearly states "Volume of crude oil exports." This would obviously include crude oil exported then refined and shipped back to Mexico as gasoline and diesel.

That being said, one year's production may clearly be an anomaly. I think it likely that, like several other nations who have made heroic efforts to increase production this year, production will begin to fall at its usual clip next year.

And Nate, I believe the prediction was 2015, not 2012. And as Jon points out below, the recession has changed everything. The recession hit hard in Mexico just as it has most everywhere else. The average Mexican has less money and therefore consumes less oil.

Ron P.

I used the shock model to project Mexico output back in early 2006. I didn't have a discovery model back then so I truncated the discovery data and cut it off at a certain date. I really need to go back and extropolate the input discovery curve with the dispersive model with what I guess will be rather meager new additions, but unfortunately the epiphany only came later. In any case, ASPO has a model of their own and we agree to some extent.

The bottom line is that our estimates showed that Mexico crude production would be down about 70% from peak and the numbers coming in say that crude production is down only about 75%.

Again, there does exist an analytical science behind these projections, based on all available historical knowledge, and we can obviously do a really good job if more people cared about applying the models.

Sam Foucher has his own from 2006 and it looks miscalibrated to my eye:

BTW, here is the ASPO prediction:

Note the discovery data which dribbles off at some low level. I think most of the delta differences in predictive power is how well we can model potential new discoveries. The dispersive discovery model handles new discoveries and reserve growth.

Yes, we have read articles that Mexico have increased their refined product imports this year. Here is an EIA snippet regarding last year:

Despite its status as one of the world’s largest crude oil exporters, Mexico is a net importer of refined petroleum products. In 2009, Mexico imported 519,000 bbl/d of refined petroleum products, while exporting 244,000 bbl/d. Gasoline represented about 60 percent of product imports. A resumption of brisk economic growth is one cause for the increase in refined product imports, along with fixed domestic product prices that are below international market levels.

I think 2012 may still be a good guess on Mexico reaching net import status on crude oil and crude oil products. Their refineries cannot handle the heavier oil and they are producing more heavy oil so we shall see a greater disparity b/w gross exports and real exports.

And again, what is so magical about this net importer transition point? Being above this point a bit is really no different than being below this point a bit. I guess it establishes some sort of psychological milestone. As westexas said, I think the USA hit that transition long ago, back in 1949 according to http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/aer/pdf/pages/sec5_5.pdf. Yet that point coincided with huge post-war growth.

When it happens to everyone, yes we indeed have a problem, but you can see this without having to invoke all these
net-import arguments. Just look at global peak and balance the allocation out to the have's and have-not's according to which oil companies are global and which are state-sponsored. That involves solving a matrix which apportions the rates of flow between the suppliers and the consumers of oil.

WebHT, the net-import/export lines are "magical" to the countries that depend on their oil for their economy to continue functioning. They would feel the pain long before "it happens to everyone."

The comparison to the USA 60 years ago is a red-herring - there is no comparison between the majority of oil exporters today - in today's global economy - and the USA coming out of WWII on top of the pile, early in the growth phase of the industrial revolution.

Yes indeed things are different now and you just have to look at global oil production to look at this. Back then we were far away from global peak, now we are in the middle of it. Everyone will experience it. Mexico is just going through the USA's equivalent transition at a bad time.

I will have to write a post describing my net import matrix model as it provides a more fundamental understanding to what will play out.

Thanks for looking beyond the headlines Gail.

So much for "the Cantarell drop being made up for in other fields..."

So much for "the Cantarell drop being made up for in other fields..."


Nate - KMZ jumped over 300%? Probably just my fading memory but that's not what my rapidly aging gray matter remembers.

So try as they might, the drop in Cantarell is not being made up for in other fields ???

Regarding the 2012 date, guilty as charged. My estimate was that Mexico would be approaching zero net oil exports by the end of 2012.

At ASPO last year, if memory serves David Shields--who really broke the story a few years ago on the impending crash in production from Cantarell--thought that 2015 was a more likely date than 2012, but he said that the size of the small "tail" of net exports at the end of the net export decline would make little difference.

Incidentally, David also documented the huge difference between what Pemex executives said in private versus what they said in public. David also predicted last year that Pemex would start importing crude oil, because they no longer produce enough of the right type of crude oil for their refineries, and Pemex recently acknowledged that they were going to have to start importing crude oil--which makes one wonder what their combined product and crude imports are right now.

Regarding your statement:

So much for "net importer by 2012" predictions bantied about a few years ago...Cantarell drop being made up for in other fields...

Here is what the EIA shows for Mexico from 2004 to 2009 (P = Production (total liquids); C = Consumption; NE = Net Exports; ROC = Rate of Change):


P: 3.85 mbpd
C: 2.00
NE: 1.85


P: 3.00 mbpd (Down 22.1%, ROC of -5%/year)
C: 2.08 (Up 4%, ROC of +0.8%/year)
NE: 0.92 (Down 50%, ROC of -14.0%/year)

Here is the EIA net export chart:

In simple percentage terms, a 22% decline in production combined with a modest increase in consumption, resulted in a 50% decline in the annual volume of net oil exports. I'm puzzled as to why you characterized a 50% decline in the volume of net exports in only five years as "Cantarell drop being made up for in other fields."

For the sake of argument, let's use 2012 to 2015 as the probable range for Mexico approaching zero net oil exports. Their post-2004 CNE (Cumulative Net Exports) are 2.44 Gb through 2009. If they hit zero at the end of 2012, I estimate that their total post-2004 CNE at the end of 2009 were about 81% depleted (post-2004 CNE of 3.0 GB). If they hit zero at the end of 2015, I estimate that their total post-2004 CNE at the end of 2009 were 71% depleted (post-2004 CNE of 3.44 Gb).

BTW, under the high case CNE estimate, at the end of 2007, Mexico had shipped 50% of post-2004 CNE. Under the low case CNE estimate, at the end of 2007 Mexico had shipped 57% of post-2004 CNE. This is characteristic #3 of net export declines--and the most overlooked--to wit, net export declines are front end loaded, with the bulk of post-peak CNE being shipped early in the decline phase.

I've compared a typical production decline to a commercial airliner doing a gradual descent for landing, while a net export decline (especially for high C to P ratio countries like Mexico) is more akin to an airliner doing a terrifying near vertical dive into the ground. IMO, the difference between Mexico's post-2004 CNE being 71% depleted and being 81% depleted is analogous to an airliner descending at an angle of 71 degrees versus 81 degrees (90 degrees being straight down).

I've compared typical production decline to a commercial airliner doing a gradual descent for landing, while a net export decline (especially for high C to P ratio countries like Mexico) is more akin to an airliner doing a terrifying near vertical dive into the ground. IMO, the difference between Mexico's post-2004 CNE being 71% depleted and being 81% depleted is analogous to an airliner descending at an angle of 71 degrees versus 81 degrees (90 degrees being straight down).

Of course that happens because there is no such thing as proportional decline when you hit the transition. The transition is just a point in time and a sloped line going through it will show rapid changes as it nears the intersection, as opposed to an exponentially damped (i.e. proportional decline) profile when the country starts depleting from their baseline.

These are subtle mathematical artifacts that I think we are talking about.

To pick up on your airliner analogy, a landing jet descends through the clouds fast, but lands much more gradually. The Net Import transition is the altitude of cloud bank. The lack of oil is the landing strip. The former is fast and the latter is slower.

Is that what we are talking about?

Methinks you are overanalyzing my simple analogy.

Note that the only real difference between what I stipulated for the ELM and the actual data to date Mexico is the rate of change in consumption (+2.50%/year for "Export Land" versus +0.8%/year for Mexico). C/P for Export Land at peak was 50%, versus 52% for Mexico. Decline rates through year five are identical (5%/year).

At the end of year five of the export decline, Export Land's net exports were down by 57%, versus 50% for Mexico. Given an ongoing production decline in an exporting country, unless consumption falls at the same rate as, or at a rate faster than, the production decline rate, the net export decline rate will exceed the production decline rate, and the net export decline rate will tend to accelerate with time--Characteristics #1 and #2 of net export declines.

K-M-Z had always been "held back" for the Cantarell decline. From memory, the nitrogen injection was partially diverted from Cantarell to K-M-Z and K-M-Z is low quality reservoir complex with low quality oil. Depletion should hit shortly.

Many of the on-shore fields are old and had potential for enhanced recovery. They have been enhanced to offset Cantarell.

Minimal Mexican oil exports by 2015 ?


Cantarell is 508.15 kb/d average Jan-July, down 130.55 kb/d from the 2009 average of 638.7 kb/d, and 23.94% of the 2004 peak. By contrast, Forties peaked in 1980 and only hit 23.84%
of peak in 1993, which should show just how reckless Pemex has been. Mexico imports something like 200 kb/d from Venezuela, too. EIA says total imports are 519 kb/d for 2009, US exported 322 kb/d, so 197 kb/d from other sources? Assuming there isn't a net export balance at work here.

That EIA page also speculates that Mexico may hit net importer status by 2015, as long as we're jerking knees. It's also where Nate got his graph.

Plenty of calls were made for Mexico to hit net importer status by 2012. Also for the government to collapse owing to loss of 40% of revenue generation from sales of crude - which had been brought down from an earlier 60% level. Calderón has dealt with this by upping the VAT. His opposition wants to repeal the tax increase and crack the skulls of tax dodgers. As WHT says this isn't exactly a singular event.

But but...

But, but...

Yes, that is comic sans.

Yes indeed, that is the point after all. The black area is the stuff that Mexico has to make up if they want to get back to where they were.

Foucher did the classic Hubbert Logistic analysis that projected this:

(I think this is more than just crude but the difference is slight and the trends are the same as only crude)

There wasn't much of a decline from 2005 to 2010 from this picture and shows that Hubbert Linearization is much too optimistic a technique.

There wasn't much of a decline from 2005 to 2010 from this picture and shows that Hubbert Linearization is much too optimistic a technique.

Of course not the data points for actual is missing between 2005 and 2010. Look below!

I am referring to how good a predictive tool it is. As you can see, the projection was made in 2005. That's what I find interesting -- that it couldn't fill in the numbers very well. Yes, I see Ron's numbers below.

There wasn't much of a decline from 2005 to 2010 from this picture and shows that Hubbert Linearization is much too optimistic a technique.

Mexican C+C production 2004 thru the first eight months of 2010 in thousands of barrels per day.

2004  3,383
2005  3,334
2006  3,256
2007  3,076
2008  2,792
2009  2,601
2010  2,585

The actual decline from 2005 thru 2010 was 749 thousand barrels per day or 22.5 percent. So I guess the chart is a bit optimistic.

Ron P.

Pemex oilproduction statistic for August:

Total crude: 2,559 Mb/d

All Pemex petroleum statistics:

Pemex Publication schedule:
Statistic for September: October 22
Statistic for October: November 25
Statistic for November: December 24

More Pemex statistic for August:

Volume of crude oil exports: 1,351MB/d

Volume of imports of refined products: 0,5812MB/d

Volume of exports of refined products:0,230MB/d

So much for "net importer by 2012" predictions bantied about a few years ago

Who predicted that? (I hope it wasn't me!)

Pemex has done well to hold back their production declines to 1%. And they are lucky (?!) that the economic downturn has reduced domestic consumption to the point where they can increase exports. However, a quick look at the graph below gives you the impression that any return to growth will rapidly send net exports to zero. When that happens depends on the rate of production decline but also on all of the above-ground factors that affect consumption.

The economic downturn has given Mexico a net exports breather. But it will only last a couple of years. By the end of the decade their net exports are likely to be at zero and then America will have to find a different provider -- much further away and probably less friendly -- to fill Mexico's role as #2 provider of oil to the US. (Or #3 depending on the statistics).


Jeff Rubin appears to have predicted it three years ago (slide #15):

But 2012 isn't over yet... several factors could interfere with Mexican export capabilities during the interim.
Jeff's prediction appears unlikely at this point, but we are just entering the 2011- 2015 time-frame that so many have warned about.

Jon, This is all correct as it stands but thinking about it, the transition between net exporter and net importer is a rather artificial distinction. By that I mean that nothing actually changes during the transition. It is simply an artifact of the accounting procedure.

The other point is that the percent rapidity at which we reach this artificial milestone is always going to be greater than the overall decline rate. Decline rates are typically somewhat proportional to how much is remaining due to a physical model (which is what the shock model calculates), but this is not a consideration when looking at decline rate relative to the net import/export transition. The way it is calculated makes it look like it blasts write through that dividing point.

Like I said, there is absolutely nothing wrong with this calculation, but it gives the impression that something really special is occurring. Yet its not like everyone suddenly does things differently at the transition, as all decisions are made on a continuum both before and after this point.

So this may be the reason that Nate is taking a somewhat dismissive attitude. I can't really say for sure because he was taking his usually coy and heuristic attitude about these things.

Like I said, there is absolutely nothing wrong with this calculation, but it gives the impression that something really special is occurring.

Web, something really special is occurring. For it to be special does not mean it has to happen in one day, one month ore even one year. Something very special is happening and it is taking several years to happen. What is happening is that nations, not only Mexico, but others as well, are moving from net export status to net import status.

It has already happened with Indonesia, Great Britain and several other countries. This puts a greater demand on the nations that still are net exporters. Not that this is news to anyone but you make it seem that we expect to see something dramatic happen when Mexico becomes a net oil importer. I know of no one who expects any such thing. We all have been watching this process long enough to know it is a very slow process.

Ron P.

Not that this is news to anyone but you make it seem that we expect to see something dramatic happen when Mexico becomes a net oil importer. I know of no one who expects any such thing.

When I put my man-on-the-street hat on and naively read the posts on net imports, that is the impression I sometimes get, i.e. something dramatic will happen when a country crosses this line. So I agree with you that it is just a very slow process, gradual in its impact.

Occasionally we should make people aware of this behavior, and that was the point I was trying to make.

I agree that the impact is gradual--at first, but that's because of a high underlying depletion rate. As noted up the thread, under either the high case or low case for post-peak Cumulative Net Exports from Mexico, in only three years their post-peak CNE were at least 50% depleted, while the volume of net exports had only fallen by 26% in three years, relative to the 2004 peak.

It may be gradual but the Mexican budget which is heavily funded by oil export revenue is already feeling the pinch. This is going to lead to a lot more instability in that country as we are already beginning to see.

So much for "net importer by 2012" predictions bantied about a few years ago...Cantarell drop being made up for in other fields...

Not really. Mexico is suffering from the "Red Queen" syndrome. They have to run faster and faster to stay in the same place.

Hopefully, they will eventually catch on and realize that they need to get out of that particular rat race, and get into one where they have a chance of getting ahead. This means they will have to spend less on oil exploration and more on education, because producing oil is becoming a money-losing proposition, whereas with a lot of smart, well educated Mexicans who are willing to work cheap, they could make mincemeat out of the U.S.

Oops! Did I just suggest a strategy that may not be in the best interests of the US?

just goes to show you how complex our world is and how difficult it is to predict the future. It is humbling.

Not really. Complexity is often a canard. When perceived complexity gradually accumulates, it transitions into a set of states no different than a randomly disordered system. You can then use entropy arguments and predict fairly accurately what will happen.

It is only humbling when you realize how much a mathematical analysis technique such as statistical mechanics can precisely duplicate the behaviors of everyday phenomenon.

Read Murray Gell-Mann's "The Quark and the Jaguar" if you want to get the perspective of the guy who cofounded the Sante Fe Institute, which is devoted to studying complexity. Complexity is a weird discipline in that they play up the difficulty of the science to attract funding, realize some things are actually not too mathematically complex, but sweep that under the rug so as to underplay that aspect. Gell-Mann implicitly admits to this in the book, but of course can't make too big a deal about it, and thus leaves it up to the reader to figure that one out. That is basically what this TOD post is about: http://www.theoildrum.com/node/5949

And the point of this is that we can predict Mexico's decline fairly well. Nate was just agitating.

That was quite the post, much of it over my head although I have Mandelbrot's most recent book and have studied some chaos theory. The teaching company has a nice series of lectures on this. Will try to pick up the Gell-Man book and see if I can get through it. Had some fun with this issue of Mexico becoming an oil importer with FOX news's Glenn Beck about a year ago. Met him at a reception and we discussed his interview of Boone Pickens on peak oil. I used Mexico as an example of this and sent him away with a copy of the Cantarell depletion curve. As Robert Hirsch recently pointed out though, few people predicted the lengthy 'undulating plateau' so there is still uncertainty out there in this complex world notwithstanding our great math tools.

Mandlebrot is defineitely a good guy to read along with Didier Sornette. Sornette in particular is not afraid to pull out some math to analyze chaotic systems and suggest that it is nothing more than disorder.

Beck has gone back to a simplistic drill,baby,drill mentality after showing a brief period of enlightenment.

I suppose I was one of the people that explained how a plateau can appear. This post I wrote in 2005 presents a contrived situation where the plateau can extend for 20 years based on modifying the extraction rate.
You can do it but it becomes progressively difficult to maintain because of the constrained supply you are drawing from. I guess this is an example of uncertainty yet it sets some constraints. For example, the area under the curve has to remain constant, so it gives you several "alternative histories" to imagine.

Beck has gone back to a simplistic drill,baby,drill mentality after showing a brief period of enlightenment.

I suspect Beck is a lot smarter and more knowledgeable than we give him credit for. He discovered that his tea part clown act is worth big bucks, and doesn't want to tarnish the brand name.

EOS has it right IMO. If you read his interview with Pickens and after my conversation with him I left feeling he believes this stuff but wants to continue earning the big bucks with his outlandish actions. He is a showman. I told him that he and FOX news ought to be covering this important stuff in more detail.

I told him that he and FOX news ought to be covering this important stuff in more detail.

I think Fox gains viewers by giving the impression of seriousness. When all the other news stations are playing all Natalie Holloway all the time (or whatever the distraction of the week is), they at least appear to be talking about serious issues (usually how to make anyone to the left of Ghengis Khan look bad).

yes, that was an interesting graph and a good representation of one of the possibilities. I saw a paper on various peaking options a while back too which also included an undulating plateau. One of my energy engineering books from 35 years ago, Energy Conversion and Utilization by Jerrold Krenz, showed several different depletion curves ranging from a binomial distribution curve to a sharp exponential peak followed by a drop straight down....all the while the area under the curve remained constant. This gave us an idea of the some of the possibilities/extremes on how resource depletion could potentially play out. The point he drove home though was with exponential growth in consumption even material errors in the estimate of reserves (say by a factor of 2) are not very consequencial. They could represent only one doubling period in determining the date of peak. At that time he called the peak oil curve a" symmetrical production curve of an exhaustible resource."

It's amazing what you can find in some of the old texts. I have a Chilton's paperback called "More Miles-Per-Gallon Guide" from 1974 that has all sorts of perceptive comments on conservation.
I also have a book by Peter Flawn from 1970 called "Environmental Geology" that has this excerpt:

About 3 billion barrels of crude petroleum and 2.5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, helium, and carbon dioxide are produced from U.S. wells each year. The domestic annual ground water withdrawal is on the order of 6 million acre feet. All of these withdrawals can be expected to increase, except perhaps crude oil. Although the U.S. retains the capacity to increase production of crude oil from known deposits, and analysis of the reserve situation suggests that this country is close to the inflection point on the total resource curve and that production of domestic crude oil will decline if present conservation practices are continued (Hubbert, 1962, 1966, 1967). New discoveries in Alaska and offshore, together with improved secondary recovery practices, make it difficult to predict with exactitude just when the decline will begin. However, the decline in production of domestic crude oil will force development of alternative sources of liquid fuel, namely tar sands, shale oil, and coil, and thus increase large-scale open-pit mining.

More where that came from.

Something happened in the ensuing years where this info got lost or ignored.

One of the best was "Energy and Power," a Scientific American book published in 1971. The chapter "The Energy Resources of the Earth" was written by M. King. Hubbert. Even back then he had oil reserves pegged at a high of around 2100 GB with a peak in production forecasted around the year 2000. This is also one of Richard Heinberg's favorite references. My copy is pretty dog eared now but it contains some great stuff. Of course, I am starting to get a bit dog eared too.

I don't have it handy right now but I own a coffee-table sized book from that era that had a similar title and content. I was also surprised by its content.

see above

Chemistry professor ignores aspirations of developing countries like China and India. Sees preemptive action by governments to reduce oil demand ahead of supply decline. Obviously he is not an American.

The report concludes that electricity is likely to be the main supply vector for delivering energy to customers which will "create demand for multiple sources of clean power as well as the infrastructure to deliver it."

All in all, it is better to close the stable door before the horse bolts, rather than after. We will need to make the kind of changes outlined eventually, so let's begin making them now, while we still have enough conventional energy in hand to establish new paths. Probably we are involved in a game of "tag" between reducing demand and falling supply. Whichever comes first will win-out.


it should be noted that there is no such thing really as "global peak oil" since different fields, under the control of various regimes will peak at different times, thus shifting the emphasis of economic and political control across the globe. Those without oil will become weak and those with plenty of it will become strong - or targets for other nations who want to grab their oil.

Let me get this straight. If some producers decline and others rise the total remains constant or does not peak on a global basis. And this guy is a professor with a doctorate.

I noticed that the guy writes fiction as well.

His point about "different fields, under the control of various regimes will peak at different times," is absolutely true, and that is why I came up with the Dispersive Discovery model. The problem is that when you run this model, you do see the global peak despite all the hand-waving counter-arguments.

I would recommend that Professor Rhodes put aside the fiction for a moment and work the analysis.

Electric BMW Scooter? - MINI Scooter E Concept

Is BMW preparing to storm the electric-powered, two-wheeled vehicle market? Its quest to produce a CO2-free vehicle is no big secret. That quest is closer to becoming a reality as BMW’s British subsidiary, MINI, prepares to unveil three versions of its electric scooter, the MINI Scooter E Concept, at the upcoming 2010 Paris Motor Show.
The MINI Scooter E Concept is powered by an electric motor integrated into the rear wheel. The motor is powered by a lithium-ion battery installed under the scooter’s seat that can be recharged at any conventional power socket using an on-board charging cable. The connecting cable is also neatly integrated into the rear of the MINI Scooter and its plug fits into any conventional three-pronged socket.
Will the MINI Scooter E Concept make it into production? Think about it. It has a parent company, BMW, who’s eager to plunge into the zero-emissions market. It combines a vintage step-through design and smooth, rounded lines in a technologically advanced package – electric motor, lithium-ion batteries, and smartphone integration. Quiet, compact, urban efficient and eco-friendly, the only way it wouldn’t sell is if MINI sets its MSRP too high. Otherwise, we’d be surprised if you don’t see them on a roadway in your neighborhood in the near future.

The MINI Scooter E Concept is powered by an electric motor integrated into the rear wheel. The motor is powered by a lithium-ion battery installed under the scooter’s seat that can be recharged at any conventional power socket using an on-board charging cable. The connecting cable is also neatly integrated into the rear of the MINI Scooter and its plug fits into any conventional three-pronged socket.
Will the MINI Scooter E Concept make it into production?

Interesting, and there are good ideas.
The cynic in me wonders if this will be included in 'model averages' that some companies are being asked to meet.
If so, there is good motivation to release ebven a small number, as it nicely games the system.

If BMW could count this towards "model averages", then they could also count their existing motorcycle production (90 to 100 K / year). So I don't think that would be a motivation for BMW.

Mrs. Pelosi wants to be elected in November and perhaps this is why she has to talk tough on the oil sands. It is appalling to use us for her purpose. The shares of oil sand companies dropped (SU, NXY, CVE, IMO)and people lost money due to her.
Our Canadian government officials piss in their pants and are frightened that the US is not taking our oil. The Canadian way is to never rock the boat but the Premier of Alberta should have told her that there is no problem if the US declines to take our oil. Canada is the largest exporter to the US and Mrs. Pelosi must find a substitute. Perhaps Chavez of Venezuela or the Saudis?

Our Canadian government officials piss in their pants and are frightened that the US is not taking our oil.

Not really. There are always other options, and the politicians are encouraging them. The Chinese are quietly buying up oil sands properties behind the scenes, looking to take advantage of any US missteps, and everyone is aware of that except possibly the Americans. Other countries are also buying up oil sands interests on the assumption that the global oil supply situation may possibly get difficult in the future.

The bitumen pipeline to Kitimat, on the West Coast, is going through the approval process, and unbeknownst to most people, crude oil shipments out of Vancouver have reached historically unprecedented levels. In fact, most people in Vancouver don't know that they ship crude oil out of Vancouver. Yes, they do, and they have have done so for most of the last century, but not at current volumes. However, due to shallow channels and low bridges, Vancouver can't handle Ultra Large Crude Carriers (ULCCs), which Kitimat could easily do.

We are living on the verge of interesting times, as in the old Chinese curse, "May you live in interesting times."

She also listens to people who honestly believe that corn ethanol and fairy dust can replace crude oil if only the government "invests" in them.

I was watching sat TV yesterday night and on the Chinese TV channel they had this rather important news, or it seemed so to them. It's had no echo in the British or European press.

U.S. House panel passes China currency bill
* [HOT] Tightens Pressures on Yuan Rise
* Wen: Don´t blame yuan for deficit

A U.S. congressional panel Friday approved a bill to set punishing duties on imports from China to offset so called "undervalued currency," a move that might escalate trade disputes between the two countries.
Analysts say that the bill may never become law, however, as it faces an uncertain future in the Senate.

Wen: "There is no base for a drastic re-evaluation of the yuan and a 20 to 30 percent rise would cause the bankruptcy of numerous enterprises and severe unemployment. Many migrant workers would have to return to the countryside. China would suffer major social upheaval," Wen said at an evening banquet on Wednesday.

Wen also explained that the high jobless rate in the United States is not the fault of China's trade surplus.
China's exports are largely comprised of labor-intensive and low value-added manufacturing items. He said the US has not produced such products for a long time, so the fact that China is producing them now should have no impact on US unemployment.
"If the US doesn't import them from China, it will import them from somewhere else," he said.

Protectionism. It didn't work too well for the World during the Great Depression.

If you go from free trade to trade tarrifs in a short time, clearly the transient will cause damage everywhere. This is then cited by Freidmanites as proof that it is logically bad, which is false. Ultimately, barriers to protect regions will appear.

personally i would say tariffs are as needed to protect a country as a standing army. without them a company being funding by another government can devastate another country in ways that are worse then any army can do. just look at what happened to mexico after nafta was passed and u.s. agricultural company's could flood the mexican market with corn and other products well below the cost of native growers.

The situation was different in the 30's. You didn't have multi-national companies and globalism built on the premises of the Friedmanites.

The simple fact that world leaders work so hard to avoid repeating the last depression will likely be the fuel for a new but different crash.

Another feeble-headed nuke drops dead

For years "expert" reactor backers have touted the "Pebble Bed" design as an "inherently safe" alternative to traditional domed light water models. Now its South African developers say they're done pouring money into it.

...Public Enterprises Minister Barbara Hogan has told the National Assembly that "sobering realities" included the lack of working demonstration model, the lack of customers, the lack of a major investment partner and the impending demand for $4.2 billion in new investment capital. As deadlines consistently slipped, Westinghouse withdrew from the project in May.

...The death of the Pebble Bed has considerable significance. For nearly two decades reactor backers have counted it in the imaginary fleet of new generation reactors coming to save us. Its alleged bright future would make it just one of the many new nuclear technologies that would render solar and wind energy unnecessary.

When I was an undergraduate I used to go to the library and read the Popular Science or Popular Mechanics magazines from the 1920s and 1930s. This post reminds me of those magazines. Virtually none, like 99.999%, of the amazing new technologies in those magazines were around in the 1960s.

It' amazing what you can do if your experimental surface is 1 square millimeter and funding is no problem. Would be interesting to see if they can scale up six orders of magnitude in the next ten years - and reduce cost by an equal magnitude.

Or the early 2000s.

I gave up on PopSci and Pop Mechanics a long time ago...flying cars, undersea cities, skyscraper automated greenhouse farms...

Like New Scientist, the majority of the technology articles are basically op-ed pieces from the proponents of said ideas or products. They are often nothing more than PR for something that, objectively, won't get off the ground, let alone be a game changer.

Like New Scientist, the majority of the technology articles are basically op-ed pieces from the proponents of said ideas or products.

I think a lot comes from the PR requirement to show how tour research has potential relevance. Leaving out the one in a million chance taht it will be practical this sort of stories get written.

Just for grins, let's consider charging a 15kWh EV ultracapacitor in one millisecond. It would contain 15*1000*3600, or 54 million, joules. So to charge it in a millisecond, you would need 54GW, or the output of 54 1GWe power plants.

I'd bet there will be uses for a one-millisecond ultracapacitor, especially if it can also discharge that fast (crushing soda cans?), but because of the huge currents involved I doubt it will scale up anytime soon in a manner relevant in terms of the use of oil or energy. Ultracapacitors that can be charged in a few seconds are readily available, but even at a few seconds (much less a millisecond), there are usually practical limitations...

Edit - BTW it doesn't deliver "more from less", as you promised, it just delivers the same amount faster. That may be useful or not, it depends...

The U.S. military and the militaries of other countries find this type of technology very intriguing.

Researchers in the US have built an ultracapacitor from nanometer-scale fins of graphene, and this design gives them a device that can charge/discharge in under 200 microseconds.

The first target for this, looks to be AC smoothing capacitors in Power supplies.
Present tech tends to be quite bulky on those.
So, it's more a shrink and new packaging enabler than a significant energy step.

What's your point?

A perfect capacitor has zero resistance, so that speed to charge is controlled by any intrinsic resistance. It is about characterizing this fact more than anything else.

The point is only that it seems unlikely to have any application significantly affecting large-scale energy questions anytime soon. So it might be very interesting on an electronics site, but not so much here - especially when one considers that very few of these things ever reach any sort of commercial production. For example, after tremendous hype quite some time ago, I'm still waiting to see EEStor do anything for real, and I'm still waiting to see their 2220-size samples, which should be trivial to produce if that technology is at all real, and might be quite useful in high-voltage power supplies.

Introducing Stringbike: the bike with no chain (w/ Video)

(PhysOrg.com) -- Hungarian bicycle designers have unveiled their new Stringbike in Padova, Italy. The design replaces the traditional chain with a symmetrical rope and pulley system, which they say is more efficient, makes for a more comfortable ride, and provides improved maneuverability around winding streets.

This looks like an ingeneous device. I wonder if its as energy efficient as a regular sprocket and chain bike. Belts tend to have larger transmission losses than chains, but this device isn't really a belt.

One problem that the new design does remove is soiling clothes with the grease or oil on the chain, since the pulley system is dry.

Most of my job clothes have grease stains on the right pant leg. I don't see it as any different than displaying a tattoo or any other fashion statement someone makes.

I wonder about the wearing surface where that small diameter bearing rides. It would seem there was potential for that area to have a serious wear problem in even slightly dirty environments. The contact pressure must be high in that region meaning that any grit would have a good opportunity to damage the surface resulting in a high friction suface after a while.

And I want to see in the video that bike encountering a 10% grade and watch the rider getting out of his seat and starting to crank. Slipping a few cogs is one thing but getting whiplash is quite another.

Roads with over 0.5% grades exist !?!

I find such claims about as credible as those claims about frozen water falling from the sky !

Best Hopes for bicycling on ice free, flat roads :-)


You have probably seen my bike. I wanted it to look sharp one time and armor-all'ed the tires. I was very careful not to get any on the contact patch. It didn't matter and I ate it on the next turn. I will never do that again. WAG if the contact patch is below about .2 µ(static) I am thinking you are putting yourself at risk. Could some of the pocket protected answer what the kinetic coefficient estimates might be? What is the interaction? Is it like a chemical bond between the rubber and pavement. When I studied this in school, all I remember is using one or the other and recognizing the difference. When doing my research, I discovered the chemical bond statement for the kinetic coefficient.


I don't think I was referring to the tire slipping, but the pulley drive cable slipping.
I think the wheels are the same design as a regular bike, i.e. circular.

It doesn't look like there's any place for it TO slip.. but it sure might stretch.

The rear capstan (pulley?) seems to have the cables fixed into it for either side, one pulling out while the other recoils back onto its wheel.

The Videos were silent, I noticed. Since this device all hangs on two 'ratcheted pulleywheels', I do have to wonder how robust and how silent those interfaces are.

Well, in any case the clear winner in all this is a high performance road bike. Get a carbon frame and a good set of components for under $2000.

Actually, the winner may be a "Zimbabwe Special", a very durable, easy to repair, 55 lb single speed bicycle.


A selection of industrial bikes (design and parts of Zimbabwe bike, assembled locally)
Made in USA


Best Hopes for durable, repairable bicycles,


I personally wouldn't ride anything over 20 pounds.

Good that you live today. Not too many decades ago, even racing bikes approached 20 lbs.


PS: I think that they Tour de France minimum is a 15 lbs bicycle.

It's only a winner where there are good roads (which has never, in my recollection, included, say, potholed New York City.) Especially if you put those skinny 21mm or less high-performance road bike tires on it. And if you don't, there may not be much point in paying for the high performance.

Best Hopes for bicycling on ice free, flat roads :-)

I can recall bicycling many miles on roads where the only thing below my tires was ice, with fifty feet of water under that. Its not a bad medium, you just gotta learn how to handle it.

Incidentally, visiting my son at the Berkeley campus, the steepness of some of the roads can be pretty intimidating. Obviously when they were planned no one had any conception that 10% should be a limit.

I can recall bicycling many miles on roads where the only thing below my tires was ice, with fifty feet of water under that.

Huh? What kind of road has fifty feet of water under it? If it's an ice highway over a lake, well, at least it's fairly level.

Come to northern Michigan where we have >10% road grades AND frozen water falling from the sky. We can avoid the frozen water by biking in the summer but the last half mile to my house is up a 10% grade. I am with WebHubble on the need for a light bike especially with low wheel rotational inertia for those hills.

Introducing Stringbike: the bike with no chain (w/ Video)

Another advantage of the system is that the ropes can be attached in different positions on the two sides of the bicycle, which means it can compensate if one of the rider’s legs is weaker than the other.

Looks a nifty mechanical design, but the comment about weaker legs suggests a focus on a tiny market ;)

Of course, they predictably omit ANY mention of efficiency, and with the small radii, and cam action, there seem to be many more loss/wear zones than an oiled chain.

Dirt/grit/sand/salt will kill the rope in seconds, but I guess they could have an indoor market ?

Someone will measure this, or perhaps a Tour-De-France win would nail the market for them ?

Yet another one, this time with nothing but words and one come-on type sketch.


Neat if they can do it. Just happens that I have been working for years on a thing that in fact actually does do all those things, and is totally automatic to boot.

I worked a few years ago on one that looked the same. Turned out to be too complex, heavy, expensive. My new one is great- light, cheap and simple, but I don't have time to explain it to ya'all right now. maybe later (heh, heh).

But fun. Bike research,-amusing, harmless, don't cost much. Way less than golf--or solar stirlings.

PS. Lots of little ups and downs on the roads here, can't ever seem to get to the right gear with my derailleur before the hill changes, can't even spell it, much less shift it right.

PPS, My swimming pool heater-solar water heater + bubble wrap is super. Cost maybe $300 total, heats water "too hot" (wife). Little problem- not designed for anything like the pressure and temp I am running it, but wotthehell, a little excitement every now and then takes my mind off TEOTWAWKI

Sorry then back to bike drive systems, shaft drive has been around for a while. As for rope drive, why would that not be kevlar belt drive?

Shia LaBeouf gets down to business for 'Wall Street' sequel

The research he did for his role in Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps transformed Shia LaBeouf into a convincing proprietary trader. But having his eyes opened to economic realities has left the actor with a grim sense of the future.

"We're living through the twilight of American economic dominance," says LaBeouf, 24. "We're at 10% unemployment, things are not looking good. If there was an optimist in me walking in, he is dead."

…"We'll be the first generation that has less to look forward to than the generation that preceded us," he says. "Game over. Our biggest export is consumption, and now we no longer have money to consume. Contagion is coming. People think we can't have soup kitchens here again? It's going to get rough."

"I've just talked to too many people," he says. "You sit and listen to people like (New York University economics professor) Nouriel Roubini talk about the economy and you just want to scream."


I expect that many people in their 20s, 30s will arrive at this conclusion, no matter what their profession. They're not idiots.

Shia seems to have come to this realizaton even though he's a successful actor.

I loved the original Wall Street, must have watched it ten times. I'll skip this one though, it's just too depressing these days.

on my way back from running errands for my mother who is recovering from knee surgery. they had on npr various economists and even the guy who made the reganomics that became so popular in the right here in america. they said if the republican perposal's are fully implemented, which it looks like they might. the federal government here will cease to exist by fiscal year 2020. no money to pay for roads, national parks and icons like the statue of liberty. no money even for even helping small company's as the government organization responsible for that will not have any funding. police and the like also would no longer have funding. the only thing that will would be the dod.

Look at what the BIS forecasts for public debt in many developed nations. Some sort of default is inevitable.

if the republican perposal's are fully implemented, which it looks like they might. the federal government here will cease to exist by fiscal year 2020.

Those guys are so focused on aiding and abetting the super wealthy, they can't take their eyes off the ball long enough to see we are going down for the count. If we keep moving in the direction of a tiny percentage of the population owning an ever higher majority of its assets, the US will become a 3rd world country.

Link doesn't work, at least in Canada.

I see little indication that the U.S. military or State Department or White House is overtly overly concerned about the possibility of imminent DPRK-ROK war.

However, if such a war comes, it would likely be far messier than the first Gulf War in 1991, Iraq, or Afghanistan.

If NK played to win using all-out conventional weaponry capabilities, after a fierce conflict with many ROK military and citizens and U.S. military dead and injured, the DPRK would be laid to waste...solely using conventional weaponry.

If the DPRK popped WMD, then the land and the people there would be obliterated...as vengeance on them and as an enduring lesson to the ROW.

A far better turn of affairs would be a peaceful re-unification, with a treaty stipulation that no foreign forces be stationed in Korea, or at least none stationed North of 38N.

Make War...No More.

2010 Southwest Energy Innovation Forum

Scottsdale, AZ Oct 18,2010. The Southwest Energy Innovation Forum is an all day event where industry, policy and research leaders poised to transform our energy economy can learn from one another and network with investors.

The Technology Showcase will immediately follow the forum. This outdoor reception will feature the groundbreaking work of ARPA-E award winners, finalists, and other scientists from the Southwest.

Нужное дело, хорошие статьи, но спамеры лютуют, любят вас

From Yahoo's Babelfish:

The necessary matter, good articles, but [spamery] [lyutuyut], they love you


I was surprised Iran would openly acknowledge The Worm had landed.

Iran's nuclear agency trying to stop computer worm

TEHRAN, Iran – Iranian media reports say the country's nuclear agency is trying to combat a complex computer worm that has affected industrial sites in Iran and is capable of taking over power plants.

The semi-official ISNA news agency says Iranian nuclear experts met this week to discuss how to remove the malicious computer code, dubbed Stuxnet, which can take over systems that control the inner workings of industrial plants.

Experts in Germany discovered the worm in July. It has since shown up in attacks in Iran, Indonesia, India and the U.S.

Friday's report said the malware had spread throughout Iran, but did not elaborate. Foreign media reports have speculated the worm was aimed at disrupting Iran's first nuclear power plant, which is to go online in October.

The revolution will not be blogged, either

...technology virtually always fails to keep up with the unintended consequences it generates....

Don't get me wrong - I love the internet, and I've been its beneficiary in many ways.

But our computers aren't doing for us what they are purported to do, and it is worth being clear about this.

I'm not suggesting we turn them all off all the time - but perhaps more of us could spend less time on the computer, or share them more. Perhaps your household only needs one, or none - perhaps you could use the library computer a few times a week...

Computers aren't half bad, either. Imagine TOD as a series of chain letters sent out to 1000 participants. How long would it take to complete one drumbeat? Or my taxes? Progress? I'll leave that to others for now. Computers won't stop our headlong rush to a resource poor, desiccated world. But that's probably asking too much.

The older amongst us, of course, used to spend no time on the computer. That's when I purportedly read too much. I am not going to give up my computer, or beer. However, I drink a lot less beer than I used to. But does the computer hurt your liver?

No, computers are not half bad.

I like Sharon's discussion of computer use as "hypocrisy" for "Luddites" stuck with one foot in this industrial world, and one foot in their de-industrialing world.

May I ask, what is your point? Every piece of electronics you use is a doorstop and hazardous waste by the time you buy it and take it home. Your computer will be your TV and your TV will be everywhere. Your GPS will make phone calls and drive the car. Whatever. It all evolves too fast in that world to worry about the IT world. That is why we hang out here instead of the IT sites. I have built IT online hosts before, and it seems that there is relatively low interest in that world anymore among English speakers. There used to be a high level of interest. Those were the days (80's), LOL.

Hi All,

This was on our public radio this morning, thought it may be of interest for the drumbeat,

Farouk al-Kasim: oil and Norway. Covers developing oil reserves in a sustainable fashion.




A direct question about peak oil in there, answered diplomatically, but in no uncertain terms.

Thanks for all the hard work from the team, still visiting everyday after 5 years!



Looks like it's going to be an interesting decade. (Sorry for the long post)

From the Director of National Intelligence/National Intelligence Council (PDF Warning - 2.24M) Global Governance 2025: At a Critical Jucture

The United States’ National Intelligence Council (NIC) and the European Union’s Institute for Security Studies (EUISS) have joined forces to produce this assessment of the long-term prospects for global governance frameworks

(pg iv.) …We assess that the multiple and diverse governance frameworks, however flexible, probably are not going to be sufficient to keep pace with the looming number of transnational and global challenges absent extensive institutional reforms and innovations. The capacities of the current institutional patchwork will be stretched by the type of problems facing the global order over the next few decades.

Another cluster of problems—the management of energy, food, and water resources—appears particularly unlikely to be effectively tackled without major governance innovations. Individual international agencies respond to discrete cases, particularly humanitarian emergencies in individual countries. However, no overall framework exists to manage the interrelated problems of food, water and energy. The stakes are high in view of the impact that growing scarcities could have on undermining the open international system. Resource competition in which major powers seek to secure reliable supplies could lead to a breakdown in cooperation in other areas.

Moreover, scarcities are likely to hit poor states the hardest, leading in the worst case to internal or interstate conflict and spillover to regional destabilization.

Some participant quotes

“What worries me is that you see a more chaotic world and less capable US. There are centrifugal forces pulling apart the nations of the world… Resource constraints will have huge implications for global society… The trainwreck is right ahead of us...” US Think Tank Participant

“Climate change is an issue of international security—a threat multiplier…The core challenge is that it not only threatens us environmentally but also that it will exacerbate conflicts over resources, water shortages, and diminishing food stocks.” Administrator, European Parliament

“Some think we have the perfect storm of climate change, resource scarcity, and economic growth that carries with it changing lifestyles and greater resource consumption…” Senior Research Fellow, EU Institute for Security Studies

“As for the future, it will not be a linear progression but zig-zags and ups and downs, probably marked by discontinuities and surprises.” Participant from the Gulf Region

“The real question is whether scarcity problems lend themselves to global governance. My view is that they do not. The competition for scarce resources will continue. China will not give up its quest for resources and India should not.” Indian Think Tank Speaker

“Thinking backwards from 2025 or even 2040, one of the things that will happen with radical climate change and demographic changes in Europe and Russia will be global migrations again.” South African Participant

Interlocking Resource Issues(pg 32)

Four decades of oil shocks have proved to be extremely disruptive regardless of whether countries have been oil consumers or oil producers. Examples of the various forms of disruptions include several that undermine prospects for a smooth transition to less carbon intensive fuels: volatility in prices has led to stop-and-go investments in unconventional sources and renewable and increased reliance on coal as a secure domestic source regardless of environmental consequences.

Current institutions (OPEC, OECD, IEA) were created to address the immediate interests of constituent countries and not the longer term interests of the global community of energy producers and consumers.

Concerns regarding the security of energy supply, but also demand, may result in policy choices that undermine both the environment and investment. Reliance on domestic reserves of fossil fuels or longterm access to foreign fields makes investment in renewables less attractive and compounds the growth of greenhouse gas emissions. Price uncertainty depresses investment in exploration and transit infrastructures, possibly paving the way to supply shortages over the next decade.

Translation: When the shit hits the fan, there will be no one capable of picking up the pieces. Did they mention that it will pretty much suck to live on this planet? With bureaucratic and jargonistic language like this, it is no wonder that nothing is or will be done. Global governance? Yeh, right.

I notice the Chinese are not letting price uncertainty impede their progress in putting in transportation infrastructure like high speed rail and intra city rail. Downside is that they are investing in massive national highway infrastructure as well.

The definitely got it right on the U.S. being less capable. Read: incapable and totally dysfunctional. Time to find a new world leader.

Analysis: Gas capex cuts coming for U.S. companies
Drilling for shale gas in areas like the Haynesville Shale in Louisiana where the gas is "dry" or has a low liquids content has fallen out of vogue as natural gas prices hover around $4 per million British thermal units.
"Our Haynesville program in 2010 is over," James Dearlove, chief executive of Penn Virginia Corp (PVA.N), told an investor conference in New York last week. "Drilling dry gas in a $4.50 environment maybe isn't the best thing to do with your money."

They are not alone, but this underlines a large and hidden elasticity in the supply chains. Available supplies, are highly price dependent, and many can easily be paused as the price falls, giving the impression of falling supply.

So those claiming a drop to $20 oil then a snap back to $500, are missing this elasticity.
If such fast, wild variations do occur, it will not be due to technical issues, but more to do with politics, and markets closing off resources from open trading, and sheer speculative trading.
There are many vested interests in 'Talking up the price'.

Colapse on tv right now - planet green channel, helpful in getting the word out i think.

Yeah, and no. Planet Green is kind of obscure. And I hope Ruppert doesn't talk about 9/11.

lol, mention 911 and your looney tunes. Unfortunately, your right that it would hurt credibility. I don't think that comes up in this film, but if people who watch do a a little digging, probably gonna bump into that. Still I think its net positive to open minded people not informed on this topic.

Personally, I've found Ruppert and people like him to be a serious problem and unqualified to speak about more scientific issues. He does the Peak Oil "movement" great harm, people end up associating it with fringe beliefs.

This is Ruppert's Collapse. The Diamond "Collapse" comes on 10AM on the National Geographic Channel. I recorded it thinking it was Diamond's Collapse. Now I can have both of them.

Ron P.

This is a strange question, maybe impossible to answer!

But what exactly does a "bifurcation" looks like? I mean, when a system undergoes collapse---even if it is very slow and almost imperceptible, theorists who study collapse use this term "bifurcation" for the term to describe the system's collapse. The system will "bifurcate". Well, what will we, the little people on the ground see in a true "bifurcation"????

For instance? Is is government? Currency? Land area under one regime? What, exactly?

Any ideas?

@jg_: We were having a discussion in a thread that got too old, so I'll continue here, if that's ok.

?? but price is PROVEN to be a lousy consumption control, so this is pure wishful thinking. HOW much tax were you planning ?

Price is proven to be a perfect consumption control. To internalise the external costs, I'd guess a carbon tax that's equivalent of about three cents per kWh for coal would be about right.

All that happens with a Tax alone, is the price hikes are passed on (yes, just like fuel prices, examples abound), and that penalizes EVERYONE, whilst giving those actually emitting NO REASON to change.

A commercial/industrial carbon emitter can lower his costs by emitting less carbon. Then he can lower his price to customers and capture a larger market share. Or he can simply make more profits than competitors, which will force them to emulate him or risk being the victim of a hostile take-over.

Indeed, you have just handed them a gold plated excuse to do nothing. They can claim they are 'doing something' as they are paying a tax.

Very strange thinking. They can save billions by lowering their taxes by lowering their emissions. That's not an "excuse to do nothing".

(actually., their customer are paying the tax...)

Of course they are, but they'll choose products with lower emissions as they are cheaper.

Hand the money back, and guess what, those carbon emissions are unchanged, and worse, now there are NO PLANS to change!

No. By taxing carbon and handing back the money, consumption will be shifted toward lower carbon goods and services. This is elementary economy.

The industries showing real changes in consumption and emissions, are those where BUILDING SOMETHING NEW gets done.

When consumption shifts to lower-carbon goods, services and inputs, new stuff (both goods and production facilities) is built and old stuff is decommissioned. This is done in an optimal fashion according to the new economics.

How ? Nothing NEW is actually built!!.

Just because new builds aren't explicity subsidised, it doesn't mean they won't get built when the economics change. What's the difference between a wind FIT of 3 cents and a carbon tax of 3 cents (when applied to coal)? In both cases, wind will get an equal advantage in relation to coal, but the electricity prices in the latter case will be higher overall, and total consumption will thus be curbed. In the former case, electricity prices will be lower overall, and total consumption will increase.

Look at it like this: Coal actually costs 3 cents extra, but externally for the rest of society, so it is implicitly subsidised by that amount. The subsidy makes coal a more prominent producer of electricity, and the electricity consumption is higher than it should be. However, wind has almost non-existent external costs, so its market price is the right price. The solution to correct the implicit market subsidies of coal is to tax it by an equivalent amount. The production will shift accordingly and find a new optimum. To the extent coal production still remains, it should remain, as alternatives would be worse.

Also, Windfall profits go to all the wrong places, as those NOT paying the carbon impost, simply price-match those who are.

This is exactly the right place for windfall profits to be in. Wherever there is windfall profits, actors flock to increase production and try to capture market shares. And that's exactly what we need!

It is churn. Price is proven a lousy means to destroy demand, and taxes alone, are a lazy politicians dream.

On the contrary, it is optimal. And a politician who try to get ignorant Americans to agree to smart taxes that optimize the economy isn't particularly lazy. On the contrary, he's got a lot of work to do.