Drumbeat: July 21, 2012

Pemex Forecasts Production Recovery to Snap Slump

Petroleos Mexicanos, the world’s fourth-largest oil producer, said it expects to turn around declining output in the first half to post its first annual increase in eight years.

Pemex, as the state-owned company is known, is set to meet its annual target of averaging more than last year’s 2.55 million barrels a day and have “significantly larger numbers” by the end of 2012, Chief Executive Officer Juan Jose Suarez Coppel said today in an interview at Bloomberg’s New York headquarters. The first-half average was 2.54 million barrels.

Oil Drops for First Time in Eight Days on European Debt

Oil fell for the first time in eight days on concern that European governments aren’t doing enough to contain the worsening debt crisis, raising speculation that demand will slip.

Prices dropped from a two-month high as Spain’s cost of borrowing rose to a record after euro-area finance ministers gave final approval to a bank bailout for the country. The dollar strengthened to the most in two years against the euro and U.S. equities slid for the first time in four days.

Gasoline Cargoes to U.S. May Increase as BNP Sees Higher Demand

Gasoline shipments across the Atlantic Ocean from Europe may increase after inventories of the auto fuel on the U.S. East Coast reached this year’s low.

Reliance Profit Declines on Refining Margin, Lower Gas Output

Reliance Industries Ltd., operator of the world’s biggest oil refining complex, reported profit slumped for the third straight quarter on declining natural gas output in India and reduced earnings from fuel sales.

Iraq inaugurates prized southern oil field

BAGHDAD – Iraq has inaugurated a prized oil field in its oil-rich south, the latest major step in developing the country's untapped energy resources.

Development of the 4.945 billion barrel Halfaya field is being led by China's National Petroleum Corporation, which along with partners Petronas from Malaysia and Total SA of France won rights to the location in Maysan province in late 2009.

British company discovers large natural gas reservoir off Egyptian coast

A British company operating off the coast of Egypt discovered a large natural gas reservoir, the Egyptian Ministry of Energy announced on Saturday.

The discovery by British Gas near Ras El-Bar reportedly contains 3.4 billion cubic meters of gas, according to Israel Radio.

Explosion, fire shuts down Turkey-Iraq oil pipeline; PKK blamed

DIYARBAKIR, Turkey -- An explosion and fire has shut down twin pipelines that carry oil from Iraq to the Mediterranean, an official said Saturday. No one was hurt in the blast.

...Officials blamed the attack on the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), a Kurdish separatist group that has claimed responsibility for past attacks on the 600-mile pipeline.

Over half of Iran parliament backs Hormuz blockade bill

PanARMENIAN.Net - Just over half of Iran's parliament has backed a draft law to block the Strait of Hormuz, a lawmaker said on Friday, threatening to close the Gulf to oil tankers in retaliation against European sanctions on Iranian crude, Reuters said.

The assembly has little say in defense and foreign policy, where Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has the last word, but the law would lend political support to any decision to close the strait - a threat that Iran's foreign minister recently played down.

Japanese government sources: Iran oil loaded on Tokyo-insured tankers

Japan has reportedly loaded its first self-insured shipment of Iranian crude oil on two Japanese tankers following the implementation of a US-engineered European Union (EU) oil embargo against Tehran, PressTV reported.

The Japanese government inked deals with two domestic shipping companies earlier this week to provide insurance cover for the country's two super tankers, which are to transfer a total of three million barrels of Iranian crude by the end of July, Japanese Industry and government sources told Reuters on Friday.

Pertamina Must First Get Its House in Order

State oil and gas company Pertamina is an important state asset. As the main player in a critical sector, it has been central to the development and growth of the industry in the past half-century.

Now Pertamina wants to spread its wings and grow into a major energy player in the country and the region. By this move, it intends to compete with the private sector in extracting coal and building power plants. But given its history and track record, we must ask if this is in the nation’s overall interest.

Second Japan nuclear unit resumes power generation

TOKYO (Reuters) - Kansai Electric Power Co said its 1,180-megawatt No. 4 reactor at its Ohi nuclear plant resumed supplying electricity to the grid on Saturday, Japan's second nuclear unit to regain power since last year's Fukushima crisis led to the shutdown of all units.

The move came three days after the unit was restarted, and the reactor is set to begin full-capacity power generation around July 25-28.

UAE nuclear plant gets construction green light

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – The United Arab Emirates geared up Wednesday to begin construction of its first nuclear energy plant after the oil-rich country's nuclear regulator gave its blessing for work to begin.

The green light by the UAE's Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation will make the seven-state federation the first country in more than two and a half decades to begin building its first nuclear power plant.

100 million miles in the Chevy Volt — Is it time to consider a more electrified car?

No, that’s not a typo. In the next couple of days, owners of the Chevrolet Volt will have driven a cumulative 100 million miles. That is more than 200 round trips to the moon.

Why is this significant? When the Chevrolet Volt was first conceived in 2006, and finally put into traffic in 2010 after four years of development and testing, one of the key questions was whether this radically new automotive propulsion architecture would be reliable. How frequent would repairs be in the first 150,000 miles? How about in the first 400,000 miles?

Test Drive a Volt, Please! -- How GM's Pitch Backfired

The news wasn’t good. Michael at Onstar couldn’t find me any recharging sites near my destination. Or near my home for that matter. There were a couple Nissan Leaf dealerships with recharging capability, but they wouldn’t help out a guy with a GM car. All that Onstar could offer me were some plug-in spots in back corners of San Francisco airport. Call me lazy, but my commitment to the environment doesn’t run deep enough to loiter around an airport at 9 p.m.

E.P.A. to Consider Relaxing an Air Pollution Rule

The Environmental Protection Agency announced on Friday afternoon that it would review its new standards for mercury, soot and other emissions for a handful of proposed new coal-burning power plants.

The review will delay the implementation of the regulation for the new plants for at least three months while experts determine whether the emissions limits may safely be relaxed.

Andes water scarcity: Impact of population growth

"Despite all the uncertainty of the future impact of climate change, the impact of population growth is much bigger," said Wouter Buytaert of Imperial College London, an environmental engineer and lead author of the study. This could mean harsher times ahead for millions including the 7.6 and 2.2 million inhabitants of the fast growing cities of Lima and Quito.

The heat is on

I wonder why there hasn't been more philanthropical focus on prizes. Prizes have proven effective in generating innovation, perhaps most notably in kickstarting private space flight and research into autonomous vehicles. As many billions as there are floating around among men with a clear interest in using their wealth for good, why haven't a few established a handful of billion-dollar prizes for major zero-emission innovations, or smaller, but still massively lucrative prizes for stepwise innovations?

Perhaps prizes for new energy sources couldn't be expected to do much good; after all, there's already lots of money to be made from such innovations. But for technologies that would safely turn greenhouse gases in the air into something inert? There's little market for that at the moment, and a prize could make a great deal of difference.

Is Science the Answer to Global Warming?

The problem with the Manhattan Project approach is that we're already doing it. The original Manhattan Project cost about $2 billion over five years, which amounted to roughly 0.2% of GDP over the same period. That's equivalent to $30 billion per year today. It's true that we don't spend that much on federal research alone, but public and private investment combined is probably close to that figure already.

As for prizes, I've never been able to get as excited about them as the geekosphere in general. Autonomous cars are getting close to reality because the technology has finally reached a critical level. I doubt that the various prize programs really had that much to do with it. And space flight? The prizes worked great — but only after the federal government had spent 50 years and hundreds of billions of dollars developing all the basic technology.

Searching for Clues to Calamity

So far 2012 is on pace to be the hottest year on record. But does this mean that we’ve reached a threshold — a tipping point that signals a climate disaster?

The Flames of Ocean Acidity

The age of fossil fuels has changed the oceans dramatically. What many might not know is that the oceans absorb about one-third of all human-caused carbon dioxide emissions. And while this has saved us from even more rapid climate change, few people realize the true effect this has had on our seas. The recent heat waves, droughts, floods and super derechos are only a fraction of the extreme weather we could expect to see if the oceans weren’t around to help us out.

But this grand favor the ocean has done to slow climate change has come at a cost to ocean health. The absorption of carbon dioxide from fossil fuels has substantially altered the ocean’s basic chemistry. In the hundred plus years since the Industrial Revolution, ocean waters have become, on average, 30 percent more acidic.

Five times as much oil and coal and gas as climate scientists think is safe to burn

It is certain that we'll never be able to approach Maugeri's numbers in terms of what we can actually extract from unconventional resources. But just the attempt of doing so may be more than sufficient to ensure our destruction as a civilization and perhaps also as a species.

Study determines theoretical energy benefits and potential of algae fuels

It's theoretically possible to produce about 500 times as much energy from algae fuels as is needed to grow the fuels, according to a new study by researchers at The University of Texas at Austin.

However, limited by existing technology, the researchers found in a separate study that their algae growing facility is getting out about one-five hundredth as much energy as it currently puts in to grow the fuels. ...

... By combining the two processes [rb: sewage treatment and algae farming], the system produced 1 1/2 times more energy than was needed to grow algae....


Lots of wiggle room left!

I posted a link to the paper in Drumbeat a couple of days ago:


It just confirms the reasons that the DOE shut down the Aquatic Species Program. It is just too far out there, and I think that's what this paper demonstrates. After all, "in theory" we could develop colonies on the moon or on mars. In theory we could cure most diseases. But theory isn't the same as reality, as this paper shows.

Growing the fuel accounts for only a fraction of the input energy. Embodied energy in the equipment, energy for nutrients, energy for refining, energy for disposal and transportation energy add even more to the input energy.

Is Science the Answer to Global Warming?

Medical science may be.

A psychologist recently published a paper that diagnosed substantial numbers of the Wall Street folk to be suffering from mass mania.

Those whose business is to destroy the Earth's ecosystem, and most of the human species along with it, should be diagnosed as sociopaths or psychopaths.

Then let the medical treatment begin.

Sociopathy goes way beyond Wall Street and extends to all those who drive gas guzzlers knowing full well their impact on the environment and oil supplies. Wall Streeters just happen to very good at what they do with respect to extracting vast sums of wealth from the economy. Most people would plunder and extract with the same fervor if they had the expertise and connections to do so.

It's easy to project sociopathy onto other people - I'm beginning to think we are all becoming sociopaths to a degree.
It just depends on which issue someone is going to be non-negotiable about, and where the absolutes are.

I've had a lot of discussions with people about vegetarianism, as one example. I am always amazed at the amount of pushback I get to that idea. Whether it be from a scientific, financial, historial, environmental or any other point of view from which arguments come, none are apparently so vehement as the meat-eater vs the plant-eater, none more entrenched points of view.

I was at a dinner recently, where the hostess served ribs of some kind. I ate an enormous plate of beans, rice, greens, fruit and salad, and was busting at the seams afterwards. The hostess was really concerned that I had "eaten enough". The prevailing idea seemed to be that without the meat, one couldn't have eaten a proper meal.

Now, one could hardly call my hostess a sociopath, in that societal context. She was really concerned about my personal wellbeing. But from the point of view of an external observer, whose only concern might be the planetary destruction caused by farming animals, it is incomprehensible behavior.

Cognitive dissonance.

I recently came across a new word (to me); habitualistic -
when a habit has become so ingrained into daily life that a person or group or society as a whole is not aware that it is a habit and as such may not have much in common with changing realities.

The daily reliance on fossil fuels comes to mind!



It is a strange thing to recoil at the mass murders going on, like the one in Colorado, but not blink an eye when millions could be mass murdered:

But what all these climate numbers make painfully, usefully clear is that the planet does indeed have an enemy – one far more committed to action than governments or individuals. Given this hard math, we need to view the fossil-fuel industry in a new light. It has become a rogue industry, reckless like no other force on Earth. It is Public Enemy Number One to the survival of our planetary civilization. "Lots of companies do rotten things in the course of their business – pay terrible wages, make people work in sweatshops – and we pressure them to change those practices," says veteran anti-corporate leader Naomi Klein, who is at work on a book about the climate crisis. "But these numbers make clear that with the fossil-fuel industry, wrecking the planet is their business model. It's what they do."

(... Mass Murder & Suicide Pact ...). So, as you say, if folks can't handle the controversy of vegan / not vegan one could reasonably wonder if we could handle the question "would you rather help millions die or instead give up fossil fuels?" because of mass infusions of cognitive dissonance over the years.

I have an assumption about humans that seems to have been fairly functional so far: In our heads, we have a pre-programmed feeling that provocations are worse if the offender is higher in the hierarchy than the victim. It's worse to kick down than up.

The life on a vegan/vegetarian diet, at least in Western culture, means continuous unprovoked confrontations with mockery, derisions and other verbal violence from meat-eaters. Surprisingly many meat-eaters show themselves to be utterly rabiate in their policy. The nicest person can suddenly joke "you could go out and eat from the grass", and so it goes on. An observation: meat-eaters seem to feel they aim these kicks upwards - as if the norm-breaking minority would be some sort of authority.

What makes, for example, meat-eaters act against minorities as if the latter had the upper hand, when it's the exact opposite? I think down-kickers feel an intellectual, moral or developmental inferiority. The meat-eater appears to feel that the vegan or vegetarian have some sort of moral superiority, that these people have managed to make a personal choice the meat-eater isn't capable of. It is as if the meat-eater hirself assumes moral inferiority and thus gains the right to mock and psychologically terrorize the authority.

This could also be part of a conscious strategy on part of the ones who have to gain from the status quo, as shown by the existence of the term "politically correct".

I guess they a bit ticked off at being called "meat eaters" when they are not

insults will not get anywhere

most people are Omnivores , I 'll leave at that.

dont insult me for what I am , a hunter/gatherer

I eat what I want when I want --- and rejoice in the fact that my Vegi freinds and Vegans are free to do the same .

Now if you want to go off on some specifics like corn fed beef and High Fructose Corn Syrup and the MIC - then actually I'm on your side....


Ps: yes I'm a nutter (!) , to claim Sanity in an Insane world is a sign of madness.

Really? The thread touching on how we are locked-in to burning all the known recoverable carbon because it is already part of the economic equation... instantly degenerates into a popular-subject discussion about vegetarianism? More importantly, has anyone considered how much rice it takes to pedal a good, fat-tired mountain-bike, say, a Flying Pigeon, twenty-five city blocks to work and back?


I raise the issue merely to point out that, no matter what the facts, people will not change their ways voluntarily. Only external circumstances will do it for them.

As I believe Darwinian posted recently, humanity and its livestock occupy 90% or more of the mass of land animals. Massive remediation is necessary to reduce emissions, and restore forested areas, but if one asks people to cut their meat consumption, they will absolutely not contemplate doing it.
Who, then, is the sociopath ?

EDIT: if you'd prefer to relate this to energy, how about the lightbulb backlash fiasco ? Apparently people will not change a simple lightbulb either. If they won't do that, how on earth do you think they are going to make the big decisions ? And how can anyone expect Wall Street traders to do what we refuse to do ?

Dinosauric people must grow old and die before new generations affect change. Concentrate on educating the young and hope for change on generational time scales.

That's what they said last generation and the one before it.

Do you mean the generation that had Brown v Board of Ed and Civil Rights act, or the one that where Women successfully asserted their right to participate in the Vote?

There is change.. sometimes slow, sometime really slow.. and sometimes it's even quick.

Apparently people will not change a simple lightbulb either. If they won't do that, how on earth do you think they are going to make the big decisions ?

Bravo! I say to such people, "Lead, follow, or get out of the way!"

In fact, it is quite rational (and also efficient) to eat beef and lamb that has been raised on free range grasslands (especially those using natural water sources - and this applies to an awful lot of livestock in Australia) ... the world is covered in numerous grasses that humans cannot eat or digest - cows and sheep convert those resources into human-compatible protein very effectively, and then we prey on them and eat them. Works well.

I am very happy being around vegetarians and vegans (live and let live I say - like being around Christians and similar types) but I can get a little antsy if they start claiming holier than thou positions. Eating grass-fed meat is perfectly okay, and it would be better if you didn't claim victim status - it's not warranted.

Spot on!

I like meat. Yummy. I eat it very infrequently and only from high-welfare grass fed stock. Including chickens. Used to be the norm growing up to have the Sunday roast. Then use the left overs for a stew. Then veg and the odd fish until Sunday again. Now everyone expects meat not only every day but for every meal. No wonder we are all getting less healthy.

And as for cognitive dissonance, I remember vividly an interview that the BBC gave to a bunch of animal rights activists when the debate was raging some years ago here in the UK about banning fox hunting. The activists, who were pushing for the ban, were asked why they did not also protest outside factory chicken farms - the sort where 50,000 chickens are squashed into a gargantuan barn with no day light etc. and where studies had shown that individual chickens moved only about 3 feet away in total from where they were dropped (literally, from a moving conveyor) from the time of being a chick to the time of slaughter.

The interviewer asked whether this should not also be their target. The response was 'well people have to eat, but yeah it would be better if the chickens could be better looked after'.

Rich Toffs being cruel to Foxy - BAD.
Plebs in KFC wanting cheap chicken - ACCEPTABLE.

That was some years ago and now we are set to get the first Mega Dairy Farm too. You can bet there won't be any anarchic types campaigning outside it though. They have moved on to trying to get greyhound racing banned.

Re: Pemex Article (uptop)

Following are links to two 2004 articles by Glenn Morton, focusing on the Cantarell and Ghawar Fields (especially North Ghawar). The Cantarell article has some subsequent updates.



Leading up to 2005, a number of people were warning about an impending global crude oil production peak, especially in light of production problems in the Cantarell and North Ghawar Fields, e.g., Morton, Deffeyes, Simmons, etc. Meanwhile, Yergin was predicting a steady 3%/year rate of increase in total liquids "capacity."

So, who has been more accurate?

Of course, if there is anything we have learned in the past few years, it is that data quality is not what we would like for it to be, e.g., the large discrepancy between BP and the EIA regarding 2010 Saudi total petroleum liquids production, and the enormous gap between the RRC and the EIA regarding Texas crude oil production (over 300,000 bpd for 2011 annual and about 500,000 bpd for January, 2012). If we have this much of a discrepancy between actual production reports and EIA estimates (based on sampling), what does it tell us about global data quality?

With that caveat, here are the most recent annual production and net export numbers for Saudi Arabia:

EIA Saudi Crude Oil (C+C, mbpd):

2002: 7.6
2003: 8.8
2004: 9.1
2005: 9.6
2006: 9.2
2007: 8.7
2008: 9.3
2009: 8.3
2010: 8.9
2011: 9.5

BP Saudi Total Petroleum Liquids (Production & Net Exports, mbpd):

2002: 8.9 & 7.2
2003: 10.1 & 8.3
2004: 10.6 & 8.7
2005: 11.0 & 9.1
2006: 10.8 & 8.7
2007: 10.4 & 8.3
2008: 10.8 & 8.4
2009: 9.8 & 7.3
2010: 10.0 & 7.2
2011: 11.2 & 8.3

EIA Annual Global Crude Oil production (C+C, mpbd)

2002: 67
2003: 69


2005: 74

2006: 73

2007: 73

2008: 74

2009: 72

2010: 74

2011: 74

Annual global (Brent) crude oil prices doubled from $25 in 2002 to $55 in 2005. Global crude oil production increased at about 3%/year from 2002 to 2005, which would have put 2011 production at about 90 mbpd.

Annual global crude oil prices doubled again, from $55 in 2005 to $111 in 2011. In response we have been on a (so far) seven year undulating plateau, starting in 2005, versus the 90 mbpd level that we would have been at in 2011, given the 2002 to 2005 rate of increase (and Yergin, circa 2005, was predicting a continued 3%/year rate of increase).

After oil production in the US went down for the first time ever---was that not in 1971 or 1972?---I read (I was only a kid, so I don't remember it) that for about 8 years, people in the US oil industry kept saying "Oh, this is a minor BLIP! And soon, very soon, production will climb again! This time permanently!"

Of course, that did not happen. It wasn't a minor blip. The right started to realize what had happened and they fastened onto Ronald Reagan to get them out of the mess they thought the US was in. Of course, we do know what happened after that. Globalism, debt up the whazoo, several stock market crashes later..ghastly real estate bubbles that blew up across the globe....not to mention the wars in Iraq and so forth.

But what happens after 8 or 10 or 15 years of facing this "undulating plateau" or even sinking world production? Will people "get it"? Will the same factions form the same conclusions? This time there is nowhere else for them to go and get more oil. This time, they are basically stuck in their apartments and offices or on the highway in a car, headed for nowhere.

What will their response be, once they understand?

Of course, the emerging conventional wisdom is that we will be able to maintain an indefinite rate of increase in our consumption of a finite fossil fuel resource base.

And we are seeing incremental increases in production from the unconventional plays, e.g., tar sands in Canada and the Shale Oil plays in the US. Here is a reasonably balanced article that asks “Will tight oil change the world?”


This is the key question, to-wit, will improved technology and higher oil prices allow us to profitably exploit unconventional resources in sufficient quantities to make a material difference in global oil supplies, especially in light of generally declining conventional production, and will it be enough to offset increasing consumption in oil exporting countries plus increasing consumption in developing countries?

So far, the answer to that question has been no.

At the current (2005 to 2011) rate of increase in the Chindia region's combined net oil imports, as a percentage of global net exports of oil, in 18 years the Chindia region alone would consume 100% of global net exports of oil.

And based on current extrapolations, I estimate that about half of the total cumulative post-2005 volume of net exported oil that will be available to importers other than China & India has already been consumed.

Been on TOD since around 2005. Don't post much now. Agree with everything you said. I have been through all the stages of oil depletion grief and am now in acceptance and working to solve problems in my own way.

I am also a bit more optomistic about the human species and some people in the business community than 5 years ago.

IMHO many senior business leaders "get the problem with declining oil supply" and are positioning their companies to use less. The transition away from oil dependence will take decades, but some will move faster than others. The quick movers will likely have an advantage in controlling the limited resources that will be available.

The paradox is you can't move away from FF faster than the limitation/price of FF allows. To do so means your business is at a disadvantage in the market place and you lose your business, literally. It is a tricky fine line that must be found, unique for each industry and each company in an industry. Some will dissapear along the way anyway.

I also see many businesses very worried about sustainability so there is a twin pronged focus on moving away from fossil fuels and finding sustainable business and agricultural strategies. Since these are truely new fields it takes awhile to find successful ones. Rapid drops in price of FF does not help these endeavors but the really comitted groups stay focused on the problem and carry on. The clueless say "I told you so" regarding the unsuitability of non FF approaches and cling to the past. Those individuals are doomed and if they run a business that business is doomed in the near future. Remember both groups are in all organizations.

For perspective, how many decades did it take for the US to move from horses to internal combustion engines for transportation and agriculture? And this was when there was an obvious energy advantage to using fossil fuels as power source. Me thinks a lifetime for many, they never changed and the "old ways" died with them.

So the FF companies will never admit there is a problem. To do so instantly dooms their core business. As for the others focus not on what they say, but what they are doing since no one ever wants to give away a core strategy to to a competitor and risk losing market share.

The curse is that We Live In Interesting Times. Things will be very difficult in the future but those open to change will find a way forward and may even be happy under adversity. Those that can't change, multiple times in their life, will suffer greatly.

NC – “So the FF companies will never admit there is a problem”. A slight correction if you’ll allow: No PUBLIC FF company will ever admit there is a problem. Although I think the president of Total has publicly voiced some concerns. Ask any privately owned company like mine and you’ll get an earful of “problems”. Of course, two issues there. First, the MSM prefers to go with name recognition so will go with Chesapeake before Hanke Oil. Second, Mr. Hanke doesn’t care if the public understands the problem because that knowledge doesn’t benefit his efforts so why bother. I only do it on TOD because it’s one of the few places where I’m one of the smartest geologists in the room (if not the smartest. LOL)

OTOH when someone is peeing down your leg and telling you it’s just raining do you need someone to tell you it’s BS? LOL. If J6P can’t see it then he probably would have trouble understanding the real facts anyway. It always amazes me when folks lay some of the blame on our current situation on Big Oil propaganda. In general it seems no one believes anything Big Oil says even when, on rare occasion, it’s true. Similar when folks blame politicians. It often comes across as an effort to diminish the public’s responsibility in this matter. I’ve never met anyone who said they bought a gas guzzler because of an ad from ExxonMobil. And I’ve never seen politician who was obviously ignorant about energy that wasn’t elected by the majority of the voters

agree and thanks for comments as I read your post often.

An apology to you and all the oil insiders at TOD who work tirelessly to get the message out to the rest of us. I painted with too large a brush stating "FF companies". I clearly meant the traded international conglomerates and most particularly the finance and marketing arms of those companies. As I stated earlier there are good, concerned people working in those companies but they don't control the message.

As you state the small(er) players clearly know there is an issue. I also want to state that while I know we need to move away from FF I also know we desperately need to maintain minimum operating supply while we try and move away from these same energy sources. Society needs to leverage existing FF energy in order to develop alternative energy systems. We can't go cold turkey on FF in a decade and expect society as we know it survive anymore than we could have gone cold turkey on wood and water 150 years ago when FF ramped up.

Having said all that. There is a big difference between knowing there is a problem, accurately stating what it is, and actively working to maximize the use of FF while developing alternatives (you, West Texas, Climate scientists, others in this camp)---- To shamelessly distorting the problem, promoting more consumption of said FF, hiding or minimizing inconvienient data, all while promosing supply will get better next quarter (yergin, Exxon, many growth at all costs proponents). This difference is not just in the search for truth but fundamentally in the desire to manipulate others for personal gain.

One camp works to solve the problem while the other camp works to maximize profits at the expense of society. If a person doesn't know which camp they are in I suggest they stop whatever they are doing and contemplate the future and how their daily work will impact the world 7 generations from now. My post was not that FF companies and people in that industry are evil ( well some are!). My point was that what we do with our resource(s) now that we know the problem is really all that matters. Some are just wasting them while others are being good stewards.

NC – No apology necessary. Perhaps I should have been more blunt. Yes the pubcos will spin the story to benefit their stock values. But the private oils don’t care either if the public understands the reality of the situation. In fact, it would suit us better for the public to be panicked into thinking the situation is much worse than it actually is. If so folks wouldn’t concern themselves as much with frac’ng safety, etc. Heck, if they thought $10/gallon gasoline was around the corner the great majority would turn a blind eye IMHO to killing very dolphin in the GOM if they felt it would help. Consider frac’ng resistance in the northern states. Do you think if NG prices rise to $15/mcf from the current $2.60/mcf there would be as much concern? I don’t.

I know it bothers some folks when I say it but being “good stewards” of the land is not the primary concern of pubcos or privcos. Profit is…just like every other industry. Of course, some companies will do their best to minimize collateral damage. I’ve bragged about how operators in Texas conduct themselves responsibly. But that’s because we have good regs strictly enforced. If not for that I doubt there would be much to brag about.

I know it bothers some folks when I say it but being “good stewards” of the land is not the primary concern of pubcos or privcos. Profit is…just like every other industry.

Precisely - lots of industries (especially oil) have accumulated enormous wealth for a century or more, by not having to pay for externalities (these are picked up by the public or government, or more often than not, by Mother Nature). Nothing new here.

When they do start paying for them (through a carbon tax, or whatever mechanism is used), then (a) their return on the invested capital will come back to reasonable and proper levels, and/or (b) the products they produce at the cost of the environment will reflect the true cost of making them - and then the punters will howl!

Don't get me wrong, I'm a great fan of your work. And of TOD.
On the other hand, I see an increasingly desperate attempt to discredit what appears to be some significant petroleum liquids supply increases.
As you say, Yergin was predicting a 3% increase in total liquids "capacity". And, "a number of people were warning about an impending global crude oil production peak".
Then, you ask, "who has been more accurate?".
You don't consider that, maybe, both are accurate. Perhaps there has been a global crude oil production peak and an increase in total liquids capacity.
In fact, I note a deafening SILENCE when it comes to global crude oil production and petroleum liquids production and capacity, on TOD over the last 6-9 months.
TOD was (WAS) a great site to follow developments in crude oil and total petroleum liquids production. But no more. It seems there is "lockdown" on such statistics and information. In fact, the "Early Warning" blog is proving a lot more useful.

I've probably posted the following "Gap Charts" more than a dozen times. There was no material change in the overall trends in the 2011 data (including revisions to prior years). The 2005 to 2011 rate of increase in annual total liquids production was 0.5%/year (same as 2005 to 2010). Also for 2005 to 2011: Total petroleum liquids (BP) increased at 0.4%/year. Global Net Exports of oil (GNE) were down by about 2 mbpd, and Available Net Exports (ANE, or GNE less Chindia's net imports) were down by about 5 mbpd.

Five annual "Gap" charts follow, showing the gaps between where we would have been at the 2002 to 2005 rates of increase, versus the actual data in 2010 (common vertical scale, not yet updated with 2011 data):

EIA Total Liquids (including biofuels):

BP Total Petroleum Liquids:

EIA Crude + Condensate:

Global Net Oil Exports (GNE, BP & Minor EIA data, Total Petroleum Liquids):

Available Net Exports (GNE less Chindia’s net imports):

Excluding natural gas liquids (which is a by product of natural gas production, from both gas fields and oil fields) and excluding biofuels, which has a minimal net energy impact, we have seen no material increase in global annual crude oil production since 2005. To the extent that we have seen an increase in annual total liquids production, the rate of increase is one-sixth of what Yergin predicted it would be in 2005.

And then, as I have occasionally noted, there is the net export situation.

I would particularly note the divergence between the first chart, Total Liquids, and the last chart, Available Net Exports (ANE). 

The following chart shows the 2002 to 2011 decline in the ratio of Global Net Exports of oil (GNE) to Chindia's Net Imports (CNI), versus the increase in total global public debt:


At a 1.0 GNE/CNI ratio, the Chindia region alone would be consuming 100% of global net exports of oil, which we all agree will not happen, but on the other hand the rate of decline in the ratio accelerated from 2008 to 2011, versus 2005 to 2008.

Hinson – Perhaps it’s just a difference in focus. That which you don’t appear to see on TOD is overly abundant to my eyes. I too admire the info westexas puts out. OTOH it’s of relatively little importance to me. I also care little about the biofuel/total liquids numbers. Again, not they aren’t important but not my area of focus. Just human nature I suppose: we never see enough of our prime interest and too much of the other filler. Or so it seems.

Perhaps there has been a global crude oil production peak and an increase in total liquids capacity.

That's pretty much what I've been reading here over the last year or so. Total liquids being increased via NGPL and biofuels. Crude oil being propped up by the increase in tar sands. Conventional crude flat or in slight decline.

My point was that many of the Crazy Peak Oilers, circa 2002 to 2005, were predicting an inflection point, while the Cornucopians, e.g. Yergin (circa 2004 to 2005), were predicting a 3%/year increase, with a return to $38 per barrel oil, as a continued rapid increase in global oil supplies drove prices down.

Incidentally, production plateaus, especially in oil exporting countries, can be very misleading. The combined IUKE + VAM case history*, showed a five year production plateau from 1995 1999 inclusive (with production between 6.9 and 7.0 mbpd), with 1999 production the same as 1995 production (6.9 mbpd, total petroleum liquids, BP). But from 1996 to 1999 inclusive, about half of their combined post-1995 CNE (Cumulative Net Exports) were shipped. No decline in production from 1995 to 1999, but the total supply of post-1995 CNE were about 50% depleted by the end of 1999.

Three key rates of change for the IUKE + VAM case history, 1995 to 1999:

Total Petroleum Liquids Production: 0%/year (no change from 1995 to 1999)
Net Exports: -1.6%/year
Post-1995 CNE Depletion Rate: -19.0%/year

*Indonesia, UK, Egypt, Vietnam, Argentina, Malaysia
(All members of AFPEC, Association of Former Petroleum Exporting Countries)
Link to more IUKE + VAM info:

So given that Crazy Peak Oilers shot their wad prematurely and Cornucopians vision of endless 3% growth and $38 oil has evaporated into a Viagra enduced blue haze, what then lies ahead?

Will global production (liquids, crude, conventional) finally peak in the near term? In a decade or two?

Will substitution and production changes continue to extend the plateau? Enable a rise to a new peak/plateau?

Will consumption continue to move away from the US and Europe to the rest of the world?

Is a plateau in oil production choking down the global economy? Or is a lack of economic demand capping oil production?

While TOD has been instrumental in my understanding of the questions, I don't believe any of us have nailed the answers. I'm forced to adopt a wait-and-see attitude.

The oil importing OECD countries, to borrow a well used phrase, are between a rock and a hard place. We are borrowing more money, trying to keep our economies going, waiting for what almost everyone believes will be an inevitable large increase in global crude oil supplies, which will drive oil prices down.

Meanwhile, the data show that the developing countries, led by China, have been consuming an increasing share of a declining volume of Global Net Exports of oil (GNE). These trends are reflected on the following chart (CNI = Chindia's Net Imports):


I estimate that there are about 157 (net) oil importing countries in the world. If we extrapolate the 2005 to 2011 rate of decline on the GNE/CNI ratio, I estimate that close to half of the total post-2005 cumulative supply of GNE that will be available to about 155 (net) oil importing countries has already been consumed.

Incidentally, note that from 2002 to 2011, the absolute value of the rate of change in total Global Pubic Debt (+8.5%/year) was about the same as the absolute value of the rate of change in the GNE/CNI ratio (-8.1%/year).

Just my 2¢ worth, but as noted above, the rate of decline in the GNE/CNI ratio has recently accelerated.


I think we will see, are seeing, an inflection point.

  • We know that as oil gets expensive, the global economy falters and crashes. Upshot of a crash is a fall in oil price.
  • We know that the cheap easy oil continues to deplete and decline as a percentage of the total.
  • We know that the expensive oil tends to decline quickly, or require a steady injection of cash. Thus if the price falls, there is a high livelihood that production will fall, and that companies will go to the wall.
  • We know that the lag time on new field startups is getting longer.

Put that together and what we get is a system that's getting more unstable, harder to control/predict, and under more strain.

It can be argued that large parts of the world haven't recovered from the financial fraud crash of 5 years ago. We know that it's just a matter of time till the next one (nothing material has improved). We know we can't throw money at the bankers to halt the crash next time.

Result, we can see the crash coming, and that its going to hit production AND production capacity. Oil companies will go to the wall, production will drop, and nobody is going to want to invest the small amounts of capital that will be available after the crash in companies in the area where many died during the crash.

Production and productive capacity will fall - it will be an inflection point; a shark fin.

As a percentage of All Liquids C+C has decreased every year since 1980, using EIA data; I'm sure previous years reflected something similar. It has gone from 93.08% in 1981 to 85.08% in 2011. Average YOY change over that span of time is 0.26% per year; 2009 was tied for third highest year at 0.59%; tied with 1981, the first year in the series. Highest ever was 1993 at 0.63%. So, there doesn't seem to be anything noteworthy about the ratio of non crude/condensate appearing on the scene at this time. It did go negative for a couple of years in the 80s, and my graph does seem to suggest a very long term trend up; but only a gentle one. It certainly doesn't suggest that a flood of kerosene and ethane has made an appearance.

Written by hinson:
TOD was (WAS) a great site to follow developments in crude oil and total petroleum liquids production. But no more. It seems there is "lockdown" on such statistics and information.

Rembrant's organized Oil Watch Monthly has been replaced by posts scattered through out the Drumbeats. Here are the two most recent graphs of EIA World Crude Oil + Condensate production that I have posted:

April 15, 2012 http://www.theoildrum.com/node/9106#comment-887691
July 6, 2012 http://www.theoildrum.com/node/9319#comment-904500

Thanks BT, appreciated. The peak was 2005. No, 2008. Jan 2011? No, wait, Jan 2012 :)

It's not a "lockdown." Rembrandt has been busy and hasn't been able to keep up the oilwatch monthlies. He might return to them when he has time.

But I think there's also some loss of interest. Oil production numbers just aren't as compelling, when lower demand is driving production rather than limited supply.

Belch of laughing gas could heat up our planet

Rapid climate change leads to more than a doubling of simulated N2O emissions.

Europe warmed by 5 °C about 14,500 years ago, towards the end of the last ice age, and ice cores show that this triggered a pulse of nitrous oxide. This sped up the warming process, as the gas has 310 times the warming potential of carbon dioxide.

Abstract: The effect of abrupt climatic warming on biogeochemical cycling and N2O emissions in a terrestrial ecosystem

Japan to probe Tepco radiation cover-up claim

The Japanese government says it will investigate a report that workers at the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant were urged to disguise their exposure to radiation.

Between November and March this year, a group of Build-Up employees were working at Fukushima, trying to restore facilities.

In December, a Build-Up executive told them to cover their dosimeters with lead casings when working in areas with high radiation.

Otherwise, he warned, they would quickly reach the legal limit of 50 millisieverts' exposure in a year, and they would have to stop working.

"Unless we hide it with lead, exposure will max out and we cannot work," the executive was heard saying in the recording, as quoted by the paper.

Aargh! Pounding head on desk. That some folks might do something like this is understandable, if idiotic. The fact that TEPCO knew about this practice and that the subcontractor is still doing work for them is incredible and speaks to a culture of corruption. The fact that this conversation was recorded in December and is only now being reported is also suggestive.

"{radiation} exposure will {reach the legal limit} and we cannot work"

Just another example of how regulations destroy jobs. Regulations support organized crime: The Yakuza will gladly fill these positions. The Yakuza are job creators. Prosecuting the Yakuza will slow Japan's recovery. Austerity measures, like eliminating wasteful spending on things like police, and perhaps fire crews, teachers, and medical care, will improve Japan's position in the future.

First Arrest Made Linking Yakuza with Fukushima Nuclear Clean-Up Crews

Of course the greatest sad joke is that they are protecting the dosimeters from the radiation,(allegedly, I guess) right on top of the body of a worker that is NOT being given comparable shielding.. so the accrued damage to workers just continues, after the embarrassing data collector has been swept under the rug.

The real joke is that these people will somehow be omitted from the casualties list by nuclear supporters, years down the line when they come back to claim Fukushima was "no big deal".

"Prove that all those cancers came from radiation!"... and all the data is falsified at the time when it was collected.

Kind of like Chernobyl where only a handful of people "died" because of the accident. The thousands of others whose organs liquified weeks later were merely natural causes - I mean, weeks had passed right? No possible connection there. Or the cancer - the area was just prone to it to begin with!

Ten Impacts Climate Change Is Making Worse Right Now

Here are 10 impacts we’re seeing right now that climate change is very likely worsening, in some cases playing a major role

also Sea Level Rise: It Could Be Worse Than We Think

and Erratic Weather Is No Bowl Of Cherries: Michigan Copes With Stunted Crop

Warning over oil production drop

An expert in the economics of Britain's oil and gas industry has warned of sharp falls in production over the next five years

Where was that economist 12 years ago? Extending the decade-long decline of British oil production a few years into the future doesn't require any Delphic feats of augury.

From the Energy Export databrowser:

Then line up the last 40 years of UK GDP:

In recession in 79/80,(oil comes to the rescue thereafter)
In recession in 90/91, (Piper alpha temporary low in production)
In and out and in recession since 2008 (oil production goes into the red again)

Something of a correlation? Or co-incidence? We should be told..........

Indeed there are special features in the UK economy, and I grant you that back in the 80s the N Sea (not just Britain's sector) along with Alaska made a difference to USA and EU , but latest big dip in UK GDP 2008 very much was part of a bigger world economic / financial event. The latter has still to play itself out.
Granted Britain is not well-placed. We pay more for oil, and coal and NG, and all of these have shrunk or are shrinking toward trivial domestic production. We pay world prices for food as well, the majority of which is imported. Pity we can't all be bankers, eh?

That chart really shows that Thatcher didn't cause an economic recovery, oil did.

Note to Leanan (and anyone else interested, of course).

In follow up to our discussion about dietary factors & risks for heart disease, I promised to post my exam results :-

BP : 106/62

Total Cholesterol : 254 (should be below 200)
LDL (Bad): 130 (should be 100 or below with family risk factors)
HDL (Good): 99 (should be above 60)
Triglycerides: 126 (should be below 150)

Cholesterol Ratio (Total/HDL) : 2.57 (should be 4 or less)

All other tests, including weight, in the normal range.

The "Bad" cholesterol is a little high, but the "Good" cholesterol is also high, so the balance is good. Triglycerides are in a normal range. Overall, it doesn't seem too troubling, and should be manageable with a slight change in diet. I have been advised that part of the problem may be genetic, and age related (that would mean medication - don't want to go there).

I'll probably trim some dairy - bye bye, blue cheese dressing ;)

I think, in comparison to my siblings, it's a pretty good picture, but I have been recommended for a retest in 3 months.

What is your body weight, height and body fat percentage?

Weight : 132 lbs
Height : 5' 4"
BMI: 22.7

Not to criticize, but it should be pointed out that BMI is mathematically flawed.

BMI is intended to be easy to compute: weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared.

Trouble is, people are not 2-dimensional. The denominator should be height to the power 2.6, as some people (Wikipedia) realize, but apparently plenty of medical folks are not that good at math.

The result of the easy-to-compute but wrong exponent is that BMI makes shorter-than-average people appear thinner than they really are, while taller-than-average people appear fatter than they really are. I've seen a medical "research" paper that reports that children have amazingly low BMI's -- not really a medical finding, just a mathematical consequence of the fact that children are short.

Not to mention that people with a lot of muscle from healthy exercise may score badly.


The result of the easy-to-compute but wrong exponent is that BMI makes shorter-than-average people appear thinner than they really are, while taller-than-average people appear fatter than they really are.

I confess I don't understand this ... the taller you are (above average) then the denominator should increase more rapidly (height squared), and therefore taller people should score a lower BMI. I might be missing something.

From Wikipedia:

The exponent of 2 in the denominator of the formula for BMI is arbitrary. It is meant to reduce variability in the BMI associated only with a difference in size, rather than with differences in weight relative to one's ideal weight. If taller people were simply scaled-up versions of shorter people, the appropriate exponent would be 3, as weight would increase with the cube of height. However, on average, taller people have a slimmer build relative to their height than do shorter people, and the exponent which matches the variation best is between 2 and 3. An analysis based on data gathered in the USA suggested an exponent of 2.6 would yield the best fit for children aged 2 to 19 years old. The exponent 2 is used instead by convention and for simplicity.

The key metric, given your slightly high LDL levels, is your Triglycerides to HDL ratio, which at 1.27 is excellent. Ideally, it should be below 2.0, so you are in very good shape. The Triglycerides to HDL ratio is an indirect indicator of LDL particle size (small LDL particles are dangerous, larger LDL particles are not). The higher the ratio, the more likely it is that your LDL particle size is predominantly small and dangerous.

Until recently, the LDL particle size test has been prohibitively expensive, but I believe that the new Berkeley test is at least reasonable.

In any case, I believe that those people in the highest Triglycerides to HDL ratio group are about 16 times more likely to have a heart attack than those in the lowest group (where you are). (I'm right at 2.0, based on last test, with slightly elevated LDL's.)

Thanks ;)
I'll add that to the list of items to track.

High Ratio of Triglycerides to HDL-Cholesterol Predicts Extensive Coronary Disease

We found that an TG/HDL-c ratio >4 is the most powerful independent predictor of CAD development (coronary artery disease). Thus, this ratio shows promise as an attractive surrogate index of the atherogenicity of the plasma lipid profile. However, little data exist on the association between TG/HDL-c ratio and the extent or severity of lesions in coronary disease. . .

Nearly all routinely assessed lipid variables were associated with the extent of coronary disease, but only the ratio of triglycerides to HDL-cholesterol or to HDL-c were robustly associated with disease extent. Elevation in the ratio of TG to HDL-c was the single most powerful predictor of extensive coronary heart disease among all the lipid variables examined.

Of course, I suspect that the statin industry is not terribly interested in discussing LDL particle size. IMO, they would rather focus on giving everyone in the country statins, regardless of LDL particle size.

Great study !

I was made aware that the doctor I went to has been known to offer her own "in house" cholesterol medication. I'll be watching for that in the instruction sheet I get in the mail...

Also, knowing the side effects of statins, I'd really rather avoid them.

Note that the Chinese have been using natural occurring statins as dietary supplements for several thousand years.

Great article on "Wonder drugs" that can kill:


You might find this entertaining.

Fast Food: Do You Want Fries With That? Lipitor?

The statin's beneficial effects are most-likely independent of their lipid-lowering ability, and most-likely due to an anti-inflammatory effect. There has been some interesting research into this over recent years which is helping to further elucidate the exact mechanism of this. If you're taking a statin then you will have a reduced risk of a cardiac event (which as I said before is likely independently of the cholesterol-lowering effect).

As far as medications go statins are well-tolerated and the more serious of the side-effects are rare. If I was at risk of cardiac events (or much older! :P) I wouldn't have too much reservation about taking one (I say this as someone who has a medical degree). The apolipoproteins are another interesting area of research - apoprotein B length is another risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

Dave P
I agree. Most heart attacks occur in persons with lower risk scores such as those quoted on this thread, because they are much the largest part of the 'at-risk' population. Don't smoke. (Persons with pre-hypertension, familial risk, or diabetes or beginnings of T2DM should take especial note, and lifestyle, particularly weight control for these folk can be a saver for stroke and CHD and later AKD and HF.)

This is risk benefit study for statins for the lower end of the at-risk group:

This is a summary of statin safety in clinical practice, 2007 The Lancet, which makes Dave P's case:

Personally I am in the long term high risk group having had MI starting 22 years ago and I found that drastic lifestyle change (I am well inside all the 7 AHA markers for 'ideal cardiovascular health') was not sufficient by 2003. Since then I take a statin.

Statin-induced muscle effects can be a serious nuisance however for a significant number of people. I have a relatively large fruit and veg intake but take a quercetin supplement, which seems likely completely harmless - I did my own risk/benefit analysis - and, for luck CoE Q10, to make up for my own statin-depressed production of the latter. Interestingly we see the paradoxical toxic effect of statin on skeletal muscle beginning to get an explanation. In the same paper, administering quercetin got rid of the muscle toxicity in rats that were on statins.


To provide a counter point:

My dietary calories work out approximately to these percentages:
60% fat
30% protein
10% carbohydrates

The fat is largely saturated from (grass fed) meat, coconut oil and olive oil (mostly mono-unsaturated). Part of the reason for high fat is as part of my treatment regimen for Parkinson's. Keeping up the blood ketone levels has been shown to be good therapy for Parkinson's, Alzheimers and intractable epileptic seizures.

The carbs include very little sugar and processed carbs and much less grain than I used to eat. Lots of garden vegetables, especially khol crops.

my vitals
total cholesterol 189
even though I do not believe in the lipid hypothesis (obviously) it is useful to watch the total cholesterol level. Mine is possibly a bit low since as one ages (I'm 64) one should have a relatively higher cholesterol level to protect against cardiac problems and other health problems (See Anthony Colpo's The Great Cholesterol Con)
HDL 47
LDL 136
triglycerides 45
glucose 68
ht 6'
wt 170
bmi 22/23

And I have the opposite problem with the vegans in my social group. They take it for granted (like frequent posters on this list) that eating meat 'is bad for you' and give me strange looks when I describe my diet.

This is not intended to be preachy in any way. I think humans can thrive on many different kinds of diets. I find that a quasi-paleo diet works well for me.

I have been a reader of TOD for the last three years and have never been tempted to comment till now. At the age of thirty I was told I would never live to see forty because of my cholesterol and triglycerides. I am now 51. Cholesterol routinely runs between 300 to 400 and triglycerides routinely run from 1500 to 2000. The highest I ever hit was 4800. I also have been advised that genetics play a big part and lately the doc says it has got to be metabolic. After spending the past 20 years playing with a variety of medications with little or no effect I now am off all medications and am working the diet angle for a while to see if any difference can be made.

Here's to a long life.

"The New, Old World of U.S. Oil Policy" by the Council of Foreign Relations

"Now, new projections have energy analysts heralding a future of cheap, abundant oil, with the possibility of energy independence for North America."

High hopes are being placed on the Bakken formation, a source of so-called "tight oil" that has increased USA production, but at bottom of the barrel returns. A typical Bakken well is hydraulically fractured to generate a flow of crude oil for extraction. This flow has all the characteristics of a diffusive regime, whereby an initial high rate is followed by diminishing returns. Data is slowly becoming available from the recent producing wells in NoDak, and it doesn't take much effort to plot the returns to demonstrate the diffusional flow:

This kind of analysis is critical to evaluate what the Council of Foreign Relations assertion of "energy independence for North America" is based on.

Very interesting, WHT.

I've read (prolly here on TOD) that the horizontal frakking process uses something like 100 times as much water as the traditional vertical drilling operation. This begs the question: in view of the current drought, what happens to so-called "tight oil" when the water supply dries up?

(edited for prose)

EM – Perhaps 100X or more but that’s a bit deceptive. Drilling well doesn’t take much water since it’s constantly being recycled as you drill. And often it goes right back into the environment. OTOH frac’ng a single well can use a million gallons or more and typically it’s lost forever due to the nasty contaminants. But the water supply will never “dry up”…it just becomes more expensive. In the Eagle Ford huge volumes of water are being used. Landowners are making very big bucks by selling their water to the oil patch instead of for ag use. As long as the economics justify the cost the water will be there for frac’ng. But there has been some tech development that allows almost all the produced frac fluid to be recycled but it isn’t in wide spread use yet. Advances are also being made in using different carrier fluids then water such as propane but also not common yet.

Variations in water law from state to state are fascinating. In some of the western states, where water rights derive from prior appropriation (first in time, first in right), the right is to use the water for a specific purpose (eg, crop irrigation). A farm may have been irrigating crops for 100 years, but their rights to the water for an industrial use (eg, frac'ing) would be new and junior to all other rights. In much of the West where the surface water is grossly over-appropriated, acquiring water for a new use may require buying rights from many holders. Over the last few years Shell has been buying lots of water rights in NW Colorado in order to ensure that they will have water available if they decide to commercialize their oil shale operations (their in situ method doesn't use as much water, but is not water-free either).

Quite true. State variations are extensive. And seemingly instate variations. So what is CO-are Shell's right now junior? In MT, I know of one rancher who had to "exchange" ie get a new one over a many yr process-his water right for irrigating hay and pasture to irrigating a golf course he was building. To me, it seems water rights are an attorney's dream.

Cameras are now "black boxes" on bicycles. Cameras fastened to helmets provide video logging of bicycle trips. And become an emerging deterrent to abuse from motorists, as well as a tool of recourse in the event of a hit and run.

It's a great idea.

I am a little annoyed by that particular article, because it soft pedals abuse of bikers by claiming that bikers tend to break traffic laws and have a "confrontational attitude". Other than that, it's pretty decent. To be honest, I've had a pretty good experience - I've only been honked at a couple times in a year of biking, and only truly harrassed once, by a taxi driver. But I do follow the laws for the most part, too. The "most part" is that the laws here stipulate that I'm supposed to ride "as close to the right as practical" except when turning... But I often just take up the lane I need to be in and try to keep up with traffic. Traffic here is not very fast, so that's not really a problem. I also have taken to bicycling on sidewalks when going uphill (legal here except in areas with lots of shops).

It strikes me that if there was real infrastructure for bicycles - separated roadways that are illegal to block and enforced, etc. - then there wouldn't be much of an issue. But what we have in the US are roads and streets optimized for car traffic. Even the sidewalks are horrible. There are half measures that may be good enough - we could widen the sidewalks a lot and devote half of it to bike traffic, which have seen in Japan, or we could have decently wide, unobstructed bike lanes... But we don't have either. And then drivers have a fit when they have to go around bicyclists every once in a while.

I'm playing the world's smallest violin for drivers who complain about bikes.

Edward Ter Ghazarian
Last image - bottom of the page

He used to travel with an entourage and play.

Saw an ad for this last night on TV.

Nice setup even if it is overpriced at $1697, and the recharging ability of the 90W panel is overblown.

You could assemble one yourself:

Solar panel - $219.

Inverter/Charger/Transfer - $478.

AGM battery - $160.

Charge controller - $15.

Total about $872, I think I would double up on the panel.

So the listed price is right on assuming 50% margin. Sale price double the cost to build.

Not really, the margin is already built into the off the shelf parts which any manufacturer would be getting wholesale.

There's a lot of stuff being sold and over-hyped such as this crappy system from my favorite cheap-junk-from-China site.

My concern is that ignorant consumers will buy this stuff and conclude that solar doesn't work and the equipment won't last.

I saw the same thing happen during the solar water heating boom of the mid 1970's. Cheap, crappy systems sold all over Tucson for high dollar and most of them trashed within a few years and lots of people cursing solar. People want a quick, easy and painless cure that doesn't involve any thinking or hard work.

I know others who spent the time to research what they were installing or having installed and guess what? Their system is still working today, more than 35 years later.

My concern is that ignorant consumers will buy this stuff and conclude that solar doesn't work and the equipment won't last.

I see it all the time! BTW even this cheap package works fine if you understand what it can and can not actually do.

But here is the worst part excerpted from their ad:

It's environmentally friendly and packs 1800 watts to power everything from your PC and TV to lights and electric appliances. In fact, it's so advanced, it can power up to 4 appliances at a time! Features integrated transfer switch and AC charger that's ideal for emergency or back-up use, 4 120V AC outlets, 40W mono crystalline solar panel for efficient charging, 60 amp-hour sealed lead acid deep cycle battery, 1800W inverter, 5-amp AC charger with charge controller and internal 8 amp solar charge controller.

Emphasis mine!

A cheap 40 Watt PV panel charging a 60 amp-hour sealed lead acid battery through 8 amp solar charge controller should work just fine! However extracting that power from the battery through an 1800 watt DC to AC inverter with four appliances plugged into it (notice they didn't say what appliances) will probably drain that battery dead quicker than you can say "PHOTOVOLTAICS"!

So much for false advertisement and lying by not properly setting expectations and having a mathematically and scientifically illiterate population. It really isn't that hard...


There are three things to consider in order to choose a Solar panel or create a Solar system.

You need to know how much energy your battery can store and then select a Solar panel that can replenish your ‘stock’ of energy in the battery in line with your pattern of use.

1: How much energy can your battery store?

Battery capacity is measured in Amp Hours (eg 17AH). You need to convert this to Watt Hours by multiplying the AH figure by the battery voltage (eg 12V).

For a 17AH, 12V battery the Watt Hours figure is 17 x 12 = 204WH

This means the battery could supply 204W for 1 hour, or 102W for 2 hours i.e. the more energy you take, the faster the battery discharges.
2: How much energy will your appliance(s) use over a period of time?

The power consumption of appliances is given in Watts (eg 21" fluorescent light, 13W). To calculate the energy you will use over time, just multiply the power consumption by the hours of use.

The 13W light fitting, on for 2 hours, will take 13 x 2 = 26WH from the battery.

Repeat this for all the appliances you wish to use, then add the results to establish total consumption.

3: How much energy can a Solar panel generate over a period of time?

The power generation rating of a Solar panel is also given in Watts (eg STP010, 10W). To calculate the energy it can supply to the battery, multiply Watts by the hours exposed to sunshine, then multiply the result by 0.85 (this factor allows for natural system losses).

For the Solar 10W panel in 4 hours* of sunshine, 10 x 4 x 0.85 = 34WH. This is the amount of energy the Solar panel can supply to the battery.

If it were up to me I would like to see those who place ads like the one linked to by Ghung prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and imprisoned for a very long time!

Edit: That isn't quite true, what I'd really like, is to see them drawn and quartered!

One needs to do the math. 60AMP hours @ 12volts, is 720 watt hours, or 24minutes @1800watts. So it is usable for a bit more than covering transients. Lets estimate charge time. 720/40 is 18hours, so a couple of days or more to charge it up -and thats if you
manually reorient the panels to keep facing the sun. All for maybe $.10 worth of power.

Attempting to draw 1800W from a 12V, 60 Ah sealed lead-acid battery would immediately cause the voltage to drop below the low voltage cutoff point of the inverter causing the inverter to shut off. Even an additional 40 W from the PV panel would not help significantly. The battery and inverter are mismatched. It is fraud, plain and simple.

Could it handle an 1800watt startup transient of a few seconds? If I were to have a baby like this, the answer to that might interest me.
Mainly, I think it is just seriously overpriced. The specs wouldn't fool the tech savy, who could do the math, but the average J6P could be seriously disappointed.

I'm not an EE, but that's a 2.5 Coulomb draw off of sealed PbA so BlueTwilight is likely correct. My electric bike has a (factory) mismatched controller and battery pack that will take a 3 Coulomb draw off of the pack if I goose it from a dead stop and it comes super-close to the LVC (low voltage cutoff) with a completely charged pack - it will hit the LVC when I put a few miles on it. Surely you can do way better than that system, but you'd have to buy it piece by piece.

Surely you can do way better than that system, but you'd have to buy it piece by piece.

I've built a few small solar generators in the past and am in the process of building another for a friend of mine. Here are some of the components I'm looking at.

Suntech Solar Panel 150 Watts 34.50 Vmp 188 X 2 = 376 + 26.32 = $403.00
Model STP150S-24/Ad+
Power (W) 150 Watts
Open Circuit Voltage (V) 43.30 Voc
Short Circuit Current (A) 4.72 Isc
Maximum Power Voltage (V) 34.50 Vmp
Maximum Power Current (A) 4.35 Imp
Quality Grade
Cell Type Mono-Crystalline
Frame Type: Silver
Junction Box: Yes
Length 62.20" ( 1,579.88 ) mm
Width 31.80" ( 807.72 ) mm
Depth 1.40" ( 35.56 ) mm
Weight 76.00 lb ( 34.47 ) Kg
Certifications None

Morningstar Solar Charge Controller SL-10-24V = $100.00

SunLight SL-10-24V

Product Specifications

Rated Solar, Load or Diversion Current: 10 A
System Voltage: 12V or 24V
Microcontroller digital accuracy
Fully automatic operation
Ten field adjustable lighting control options
Special on/off/on lighting functions
Manual test capability
LVD override protection
Detects day and night using the PV array
Suitable for all 12/24 Vdc lamps
Sealed/Flooded battery select
Temperature compensation
Parallel with a SunSaver for 40 amps solar
Includes SunSaver battery charging circuit

Pure Sine Model APS60024V
24 Volt DC to 110 Volt AC power inverter,
600 watts continuous,1000 watts peak


Two 225 Amp/ hr 12 volt deep cycle batteries connected in series for 24 Volts.
yet to price


Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with this distributor, they just happen to be in my neighborhood.
Also this system will NOT power all the appliances in your house all at once >;-)


FM, Looks like a well balanced system.

I just looked again at the charge controller I listed above, and the seller raised the price from $15 to $65. I've bought a couple of these off e-bay, and they work great. Just don't pay over $25 including ship.

Thats even worse than this 45W Kit from HF.

Seen several of these pop up around our hunting camps area.

The worst part is the on-off switch. Switch has to be on to charge, then the instructions go on to say "never leave unit on unattended".

For one guy,I changed out the controller for one like above, Now he is a happy camper.

I picked up the Harbor Freight setup years ago.. never bothered with the Charge Controller, save to use the case for other projects, but the panels are still hard at work. The little 12volt CFLs that came with it were that much gravy.. (when 4.50/watt was still an OK price for PV)

I've kinda liked this book for taking a beginner thru the ropes.


As some note, it may be heavy on extraneous tables of no use to beginners. But it helps evaluate these ads in a hurry. btw, that Subaru looks cherry.

In "Gasland" the documentary they postulate that each well requires well over 3 thousand truck trips throughout the construction, fracking and production of a well. That doesn't sound like a net energy paradigm to me.

DAL - Actually more like 120 loads and not 3,000. Assume 200 bbl/tanker and 1 million gallons of water. Regardless the shale plays have a net energy gain. Perhaps not very profitable or sustainable. But long before the EROEI gets close to 1 the economics wll kill the plays. As has been pointed out the oil patch doesn't care about EROEI...just ROR and stock value.

That’s the real shame about “Gasland”. It has been very well debunked on a number of levels including using foolish stats. There are many aspects of the shale plays and frac’ng that could easily be attacked but the movie wanted to be as inflammatory as possible. Did a great job of getting Moore’s name back in the headlines but ultimately did more harm than good to his stated cause IMHO. Just so you know its inaccuracies have been used by a number of oil companies to improve their PR pitch.

Gah. Why can't either side make their case through accurate data.

Notice the casual denouncement, the total lack of references, and the arbitrary reference to Michel Moore... who was not involved.


Go ahead, bring up this page, hold "Cntl" and hit "f" at the same time, and then type moore into the little text search window that has appeared at the bottom of your Windows screen. Nothing. But... Moore's name is mentioned in the same breath as Gasland on every FoxNews-esque site out there.

Here are the American Petroleum Institute's claims about Gasland. API is an industry misinformation and propaganda engine much quoted on TheOilDrum and the mainstream media by professionals:

Energy in Depth is a creation of the API made specifically for the job of attacking Gasland:

Here is Gasland's Josh Fox in response to this attack by API:

"I am issuing the following point-by-point rebuttal of their claims, not because I feel obligated to address what are clearly falsehoods and smear tactics, but to show the depth of the industry’s assault on the truth and to point out their obfuscations, misleading spin on information, and attempts to shut down questions about their practices."

Be careful what unsupported, casual, and knowledgeable sounding stuff you read here. Someone following on with "Yeah, that's well said!" may just be part of a tag-team effort.


Thanks, KD.

And Meanwhile, the Rilesome MICHAEL MOORE can be credited once more for asking the appropriate questions following Columbine, and now Aurora.

"Of all the gun murders in the 23 richest countries combined, just ONE of those
countries is responsible for 80% of them. Who kills people? We do."



Rockman, note that the claim is for "construction, fracking and production" of a well. Using your figure of 120 loads for fracking fluid we still have to allow for getting the rig to the drilling site, supplying it with drill string, casing, mud, etc until completion and then removing the drilling equipment and supplies that do not have to stay with the producing well. Not my area of expertise so I have no idea how many truck loads the construction aspect would take.

And, if the well's output is not routed through pipelines to collection points it wouldn't there also be periodic tanker visits to collect the well's output? Still, doubt all that would add up to 3,000 truck trips. Maybe we'd get closer to that number if we counted getting a truck to the site as one trip and returning it from the site as another. And, from an EROEI point of view, guess we should consider the trips by cars and pickups to the drill site to get the crew and the post-drilling maintainers to and from the site and allow management to make site visits - assuming management does such things.

OL – Valid point. Perhaps I read too fast…thought they meant 3,000 loads of water. For future reference it takes about 20 -25 loads to move a big rig. Of course in the shale plays the rigs are often moving just a mile or two. Add another 20 loads of materials while drilling. To haul production equipment will take that many or a few less. Lots of loads hauling produced oil if it isn’t pipelined. If a well makes 300,000 bo it will take 1,500 loads over the life of the well. But that would be true of every such oil well produced in the US so I’m not sure what the point would be to bring that into the conversation about frac’ng.

If it helped put Michael Moore's name back in the headlines, it did so indirectly. Gasland was written and directed by Josh Fox.

From Above

"Mexico is seeking to reverse seven years of crude output declines, including the lowest daily average since 1990 last year, after output from its Cantarell field, the world’s third- largest deposit when it was discovered in 1976, slid more than 75 percent since 2006. Pemex missed its goal of increasing output for the past two years."

I always under the impression that Cantarell was Number 2? or perhaps 2nd highest flow rate at peak? Was Bergan (sp?) the 2nd Largest deposit? Anyway assuming the GeoGods cooperate, Can Pemex raise capital to try to pull this off? Do they fund exploration and drilling from current revenue steam or does some Bank of Mexico assume the Deep Water risk?

Ghawar Field, Saudi Arabia
Burgan Field, Kuwait
Cantarell Field, Mexico

Samotlor (which, incidentally, definitely had the 2nd highest peak flow rate) is my guess, though it could be Burgan. Can't find verifiable OOIP numbers to confirm though. I would have guessed that both were larger than Cantarell.

I sent Subie off to be crushed.

It was a really sad Thursday when I sent Subie off to be crushed. She was a 1984 Subaru hatchback with 182,000 miles. I loved the car with it's real high/low 4x4 drive. With chains it did as well as my big, full-sized 4x4 if the snow wasn't too deep. And, she got around 30mpg. But there comes a point when it's not worth putting more money into a car that has no value and is 28 years old. If they still made them, I'd buy another one.

Goodbye, Friend.


At 182? I'm crushed. Used to buy them at that, up to 200, take another 50-80K.

They did alot, amazing what they could haul, and like you say, the only snow problems were high centering. Good bit of snow might pass over the hood and windshield before that occurred. First Subaru was the 71? FF1 sedan, front wheel drive, used. The one Lew Alcindor (sp) used to advertise by shoving basketballs in the trunk. It still hauled hay trailers late into the 80's even w/o the hood or windshield.

My Subie has 280,000 miles, and I fear the end is near.

I drove to Richmond this weekend (about 1000 miles round trip) to trade my wife's 2000 Outback for an '09 Forester. The Outback had ~170k on it; no major repairs required. Someone's gonna get a great car for under (perhaps) $4K; great driver, very tight, and I was getting close to 30 mpg highway running at 65+. Even the bears liked it. Still available to interested party. The Forester got about 27 mpg on return trip. Too many gadgets..

My 1981 Subaru Brat is still going strong at 245,000 miles. Can pull our two horse trailer with two horses up a 15% grade. Tires, brakes, and about 5 outer CV joint boots are about all of the parts that have been replaced. Love that Subaru.

Not being carried elsewhere yet so treat with caution but this from PressTV Iran.

Blast hits Saudi intelligence building, killing deputy spy chief

A blast has hit the builing of Saudi intelligence service in Riyadh, killing deputy of the newly-appointed intelligence chief Prince Bandar bin Sultan, according to reports.

The explosion took place on Sunday when Bin Sultan’s deputy was entering the building, Yemen's al-Fajr Press quoted eyewitnesses as saying.

Google is currently censoring the story from its news feed (shows up in web search but not news searches - not the first time I've seen them do that to a Press TV report).

The commenters in that article are thinking that Prince Bandar bin Sultan was killed even though the article states that one of his deputies was killed. They also hate the Saudi Royal family and think Israel is the bomber.

The Middle East is primed for war. Saudi Arabia, Israel and USA against the Shiites.

Given the source, what is the likelihood it is reliable and not just propaganda?


"Saudi Arabia, Israel and USA against the Shiites."
Does not seem fair. $$ selling video games to play in the rear seats of the Yukon. Anyone seen possible scenario maps?

The 12-year old 24 million gallon gift to southern Albuquerque that keeps on giving, courtesy of the DoD:


Perhaps NM should contract to the TX environmental regulators to take care of business such as this...but perhaps even the Texans bow to the MIC.

Oh well, we messed in our own cage, but is is a good thing that ABQ gets most of its water from the San Juan Chama diversion project now...piped from that awesome overflowing watershed way North West of here into the Rio Not So Grande North of the city.

Hopefully no one follows our example and fouls our new water supply.

The AF needs another two years to finalize their plan to clean up the spill...perhaps they could use this plume as a 23.5 million gallon post-peak fuel reserve...

New Orleans the fastest growing city in the U.S.


Is there a long-term (50-year or longer) plan to maintain and strengthen the levies to withstand any projected subsidence of the coast, sea-level rise, and potentially more intense hurricanes?

This book looks interesting...'Full Body Burden', about the Rocky Flats site:


I think TEPCO and the Japanese government has a lot to learn from some of our institutions...not in a good way...

Switching gears to natural/background radiation sources...Gamma ray detection astronomical satellites detect bursts of gamma rays and positrons emitted by certain thunderstorms:


T-storms as natural particle accelerators...with surprising energies...

Biggest surprise about T-storms since the discovery of sprites , blue jets, and ELVES...


I is a wonder with all the many decades of interest in the near-space radiation environment, by various organizations, that this hasn't been discovered before...

This has been known about for many, many years however it proves to be very hard to study given the altitude and having an obliging T-storm in the right place, at the right time to study.


To my knowledge, sprites, blue jets, and ELVES have been known for a few decades, but the gamma and positron emissions are being portrayed as new findings, at least in the public media.

One of the science mags I subscribe to stated that purpose-built terrestrial gamma event (civilian) sats will be orbited in the next few years...the terrestrial gamma events have been recorded so far mainly from sats looking outward for cosmological gamma sources.

I might not be surprised in non-civilian organizations knew about these phenomena to a certain degree.

Looks like some YouTube vids from ~ 1 year ago...


Tesla would find this interesting.

Nice link, I see my area featured in it, thanks. As far as I recall the sprites etc have long been speculated as being products of accelerated particles. I think it is a case of when the theories came about and when observation caught up. It goes to show that there are plenty of things we do not know about.


What can you do with an old car-oriented shopping mall in the post-peak-oil era?

Oakridge owners hoping to expand mall into small city

When Vancouver’s first car-based mall considered an upgrade five years ago, the Canada Line hadn’t been built, the recession hadn’t made Canada look so much more attractive to American retailers, and the city was only starting its high-gear densification push.

Now Oakridge’s owners are looking to do much more.

They want to transform the 56-year-old mall into its own small city. Doing so means not just more housing, retail and office space, but also parks, bikeways, walking paths, a library, its own district energy system, and a re-orienting itself to the sudden influx of customers coming by transit with the [Vancouver SkyTrain] Canada Line.

“Our traffic that is non-car related went from 9 per cent [before the Canada Line opened in 2009] to 24 to 25 per cent and climbing,” said Gordon Wylie, senior director of development at mall owner Ivanhoe Cambridge.

Beijing Floods

The heaviest rainfall to hit China's capital Beijing in 60 years has left 37 people dead and stranded thousands at the main airport.

The deluge struck on Saturday afternoon and continued into the night, flooding major roads, state media said.

Roof collapses, lightning strikes and electrocution from downed power lines were among the causes of the deaths.

A lot of 100 year events are happening in rapid succession all around the globe. I think we will have to redefine what a 100 year event is.

Unfortunately, I fear that the definition won't change but the recurrence of these events will be dismissed as they are 'only 100 year events, we've had them so we wont see them for another 100 years.'. 100 years of solitude?


With todays worldwide communications, it is wise to keep in mind there are 100,000 points in the world. And 100 different things that can happen at any point.

That means any given month there can be 8000 hundred year events in the news.

(Please excuse my exaggeration to make a point.)

Yes and No. We do get more news events nowadays but 100 year events by definition exist only for systems where the last 100 year(or comparable) data is available also I would accept your argument if all weather events were independent subsystems with a random behaviour. They are not, Earth's weather is a globally linked single chaotic system, and it follows from maths that fat tail events in multiple places are probably correlated.