Monday Open Thread...

Because it's thread-a-licious...
Another Dmitry Orlov article on life after the Soviet economic collapse.

"There is an element to American culture that never ceases to amuse me. Even when grappling with the idea of economic disintegration, Americans attempt to cast it in terms of technological or economic progress: eco-villages, sustainable development, energy efficiency and so on. Under the circumstances, such compulsive techno-optimism seems maladaptive. I love the new advances in organic farming, which I find fascinating and very useful, but why do people seem incapable of doing the simplest things without making them into projects, preferably ones that involve some element of new technology? Thousands of years of happy composting using heaps and pits are behind us: now we need bins - and plastic, oil-based ones at that!"

"Contrary to the impositions of the whiz-bang-blinded and the gadget-addled among us, living off the land is not about projects, or systems, or organizations, but about shovels and buckets and hoes, and it is not even so much about skills or techniques, as it is about habits. Yes, you too can pick up the healthy habits of growing and gathering your own food, storing it, cooking it, eating it, excreting it, and, yes, even composting the end result. The temporary bounty of fossil fuels has allowed a lot of the former peasants to live like nobles for a time - residing in mansions, moving about in carriages, and having people serve them. Once these sources of energy are depleted, many of these former peasants will be forced to revert back. They will once more have to live in huts, travel on foot, wield their ancestral scythes and sickles to provide their sustenance, and do their own chores."

Financial Sense interviewed Kunstler over the weekend. He's the author of The Long Emergency: Surviving the End of the Oil Age, Climate Change, and Other Converging Catastrophes of the Twenty-First Century

Link goes to transcription, but there's a link on page goes to audio.

Directional drilling.

I've read the info here on directional drilling and also on Wikipedia. I roughnecked in West Texas for a year in the mid 70's, so I have a little knowledge of driiling.

But I don't get how directional drilling works. It sounds like from the readings that you drill straight down a bit, then slant off. If this is so, then how do you get the pipe in/out at the bend?

Or do you not drill straight down, then angle - just angle from the start?

The angle that you take off at is quite small so that you can get the pipe around the bend, and it builds (or bends around at an increasing angle) only relatively slowly.  Early bend radii were very large, and even today a 20 ft radius is fairly tight (and I'll get to how they do that fairly soon).  Some of the techniques for drilling curved holes are used to put pipe under river crossings. But it has been very difficult for companies to drill relatively shallow deviated holes where they start drilling at a steep angle from the start.  I once was marginally involved as a company spent a lot of money trying with very limited success to get a shallow horizontal hole, with the drilling rig tilted over to begin with. Most frequently they drill down vertically for some distance and then kick off at an angle.  Some of the techniques with bent subs and the like need some space to explain (and even perhaps a sketch or two), so they'll be along.
Looking forward to the further explanations. Thx!
From today's Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability report:

As of October 3, there are 21 natural gas processing plants, with capacities equal to or greater than 100 million cubic feet per day, in Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi that are not active. Ten of these plants with a total capacity of 5.4 billion cubic feet per day are not active owing to external factors, including lack of electric power or gas supplies. Eleven of the plants are inactive because of damage to the facilities themselves. These plants have capacity of 7.7 billion cubic feet per day.

Meanwhile, the latest MMS report shows a slight improvement in shut in energy; today 92.80% oil / 74.95% gas;  Friday's numbers were 97.85% oil / 79.41% NG for comparison.

And now attention turns to the next potential storm. Early days... but some tracks taking it into the GOM near the... danger zone.

Latest Tropical Weather Outlook:

The potential storm link is to a file that is already gone. Try going to this link: and then select the early[0-9].png file that is posted.
Or go to the index page:

The images "disappear" from time to time, while they are being updated, or perhaps its because of the phase of the moon...

Graph of natural gas and oil shut-in percentage, by day:

Thanks, Lou. Time to panic?

Check out this guest editorial in the NY Times today Gas Lite. The author David Bodanis seems to blame America's natural gas shortfall on historical decisions dating back the Fuel Use Act of 1978 and says the NG industry collapsed in the 1980's. I'm not buying it but I'd be interested on your take on this.
Lou, thanks for the graph, very sobering, but for the ignorant among us, how much oil and natural gas is normally shut in during the course of the year and how much has been shut in during previous storms, etc? And is there a way to compare some of this to the North Sea (in other words, has the North Sea had similar events,etc.)?
The EIA maintains a daily (well, almost daily) update, in graph form, of shut-ins compared to Ivan last year:

Following Ivan, which had been a significant storm causing a lot of underwater damage, production by now was 2/3's restored (oil) and even more NG was restored by then.

Except for periods following an event (Ivan took quite a while to get back to normal) there is very little shut-in.

Some thoughts on total (worldwide) nuclear + fossil fuel use, which you might find useful.  Virtually  all of the oil & gas professionals that I give these numbers to are shocked at their magnitude.

Based on a Simmons & Company chart, I estimate that the world uses--from nuclear + fossil fuel sources--the BTU equivalent of one Gb of oil every five days (200 million barrels equivalent per day)

To put this in perspective, if we found an entire new Saudi Arabia (SA)--which won't happen--it would increase our daily nuclear + fossil fuel energy extraction rate by less than 5%.

We burn through the BTU equivalent of the East Texas Field every 30 days or so.  In less than a year, we burn through the equivalent of the cumulative oil production to date of the Ghawar Field.  In 500 days, we burn through the equivalent of the cumulative oil production to date from all of SA.  

Those are staggering numbers. Thanks for summing them up. So how quickly can we make the equivilant energy up in wind and solar. Next year? Great, thanks for the reassurance. I feel so much better.
More solar energy intersects the earth daily than all the oil used in history to date. The problem is that this energy is so diffuse and hard to harness. Further, the energy and raw materials availability off planet are huge also. Our problem has been that of gaining access to such. It's neither cheap nor easy, but it's literally "raining soup" out there beyond the atmosphere. Our problem is that we've remained too savage, primitive and short-sighted to do anything about it. And now, as the noose tightens about our collective necks, we may never manage to do anything about it.

Someone pointed out a while back that all the known oil in the world constitutes 34 cubic miles of petroleum. But consider that the gassier moons of Jupiter or Saturn are thousands of miles in diameter and consist of primarily liquid or even solid (frozen) methane.

If we were an organized, disciplined, and forward looking species, we could have solved our energy problems but instead we are what we are and may well join the dinosaurs in nature's catalog of failed experiments. If we do, it's no one's fault but our own.

I like the way you publish price charts on the side bar. This is one of the most convenient places to come and see at a glance what is happening in the energy markets. I find myself checking them a few times a day to see what's happening. These prices are the best predictors available IMO for what retail prices will be in the next few weeks and months.

The message that comes loud and clear from these charts is that, despite the concern here with oil and gasoline, those commodities are not a problem. The market stubbornly refuses to care. Oil is about where it was pre-Katrina, and gasoline is pretty stable at about 15 cents up from where it was. Rather than a sign of stupidity of the markets, I take it as a sign that there is no major shortage of these commodities in the near future.

Natural gas is another matter. Katrina made the price jump from $10 to $12; Rita sent it up to $13; and last week it jumped again to $14. Those are high prices and the markets expect them to stay high all the way into spring.

This is where most of the media attention will probably be for the next few months. Peak Oil will not be the story, natural gas shortages will be what everyone is talking about. That's my guess, anyway.

Fortunately this is a commodity where it's pretty easy to conserve. It's not a matter of being warm vs freezing to death. People can easily turn down the thermostat a few degrees. Wear a sweater indoors or throw another blanket on the bed.

Re: "natural gas shortages will be what everyone is talking about. That's my guess, anyway...."

I'll second that on NG. What about when home heating oil gears up? What about the GOMEX oil shut-ins? Not worried?
This weekly chart of Natural Gasreinforces the situation NG is in... late September is usually when prices are at lows, not highs, except for the impact from hurricanes of late, that would probably be true this and last year as well.

Prior to Oct 04, price had been in chop; sinec then, price has escaped the prior range (under 10$) and has been in an uptrend since the summer 05.

If you move to a high enough time frame - monthly or quarterly  - we can properly say that rice has been in an uptrend since late summer 04.

When trends get parabolic, as it is now, often price will fail horribly and head much lower... and ultimately NG can and probably will do that, but it may fail from much higher prices (I can't even guess... but would not be surprised at anything ranging between 14 and 19$ /mmcf), and "failure" may mean price 'crashes'... to 14 again.

That won't seem like a crash to many, except for those still holding the bag at 15 or 16 or 19... for the rest of us, it will seem damn expensive, and then there's next year's storm season...

We lowered the thermostat and wore sweaters last winter and still paid up to $220/month, almost twice as high as the winter before.  Last winter, NG cost $7.84/MCF + $2.40/MCF delivery charge.  In our local paper, the headline this last Saturday was "Natural Gas Prices Go Up Today."  The new price will be $12.92/MCF + 2.40/MCF delivery charge, just about a 50% increase from last year.  But I wonder if that price will hold up.  

We bought a St Croix pellet stove a few weeks ago.  We took a demo model and saved a few hundred dollars.  My stepson spent this last weekend putting down a slate base, while I cut a hole and installed the thimble and exhaust pipe.  It looks great in the living room.  If we can save $300/month, we will pay for it in seven or eight months, probably two winters.  More importantly, I won't worry about coming home to find that my wife is a popsicle from turning down the gas.

I must admit that last winter I was married and my wife Would NOT let it get to cold in here.  

This winter I am not married (if the lawyers and courts get those papers signed and stamped). The ex-wife lives in a much colder state, and can deal with it as she sees fit. (I wish her well).  The cats will have to curl up together, the dog will thank me for having cats to curl next to.  And I won't turn the heater on until I have to save the pipes from freezing.  As to what I will wear,  Shorts and a t-shirt like I do every winter, even with snow on the ground.

Charles,  Wild Violets,  the flowers are good sweet salad additions, and make a nice candied flower for the kids.


the NG problem is rolled up in the PO problem. Its part of the package, and it would seem to be the first part to manifest strongly as a problem, for good reason.
There is very little about the NG situation that is "fortunate", except maybe that an NG crisis this winter will get most minds primed for action on Peak Oil.

We are heading into an energy crisis and high energy costs in one segment will drive consumers towards alternative segments.  A large increase in heating oil and natural gas prices relative to electricity will promote a shift toward the increased use of electricity.  Unfortunately, a significant fraction of generation capacity is NG-based.

There are going to be many unusual stresses to the electrical grid this winter.  Increased, unseasonal demand and a tight NG market will both increase the odds of brownouts and outages. Even if people obtain adequate heating oil, they will find that they need electricity to burn that oil.

sounds like coal will be the energy of last resort, if you have something safe to burn it in.
When researching stoves, we were told that they only sell anthracite "nut coal" to existing customers.  Anyone else gets the soft, messy stuff.
Yes, compared to wood, soft, high ash coal is nasty. Lots of particulates go out the stack and much more ash settles under the grate.
For cleanliness and convenience, I have been considering conversion of wood and coal to producer gas, but pipes full of carbon monoxide make me nervous.  We do have nifty CO monitors now, while people 100 years ago, when producer gas was common, did not.
I posted a note back in the thread about the UK being a counter-example to Hubbert linearisation but no one bit. I will try again.
It is to do with the success rate of exploratory drilling. Opponents to peak oil theory, especially those with a  background in economics, often say that higher prices will prompt increased drilling with the assumption that this will automatically yield substantial discoveries. Proponents  of peak oil point out that the success rate of exploration is dropping but often with only a hand waving indication of how much.

In the article in World Oil:-
there is a graph, Fig 1, which shows the modest increase in the number of exploration and appraisal wells that have been dug in the UK continetal shelf and in Fig 3 shows the strong decline in the success rate of of this drilling, dropping from 43% or so for much of the 1980's to 20% in 2004.

I would be interested to know if anybody has comparable figures for other parts of the world.

If you plot oil production versus: oil prices, rig counts and the number of producing wells in Texas from 1972 to 1982, you could conclude that oil production is inversely proportional to oil prices, i.e., as oil prices, rig counts and the number of producing wells increase, oil production falls.

Of course, the problem was that the smaller fields that Texas oil companies were finding in 1972 to 1982 could not make up for the declines in the large, old fields, such as the East Texas Field.  

Re: "counter-example to Hubbert linearisation but no one bit...."

I thought lots of people bit (including me). One conclusion seemed to be that the UK North Sea was not a "mature" oil province at the time the Hubbert linearization went "non linear" but now is, as your cited article appears to indicate. So it is expected that exploratory drilling gives diminishing returns.

I wish I could find the kind of data for other regions you are asking for but an (admittedly superficial) search turns up little information. I think it takes the kind of effort put in by the authors of the article to get that kind of information. 87

Venezuela is pulling their money out of the U.S.; this follows a similar move by Saudi Arabia a few weeks ago.  

I wonder what they know, that most Americans don't know--at least not yet.  

_this follows a similar move by Saudi Arabia a few weeks ago. _

Do you have a link?

Venezuela pulling its cash out of the US is going to be small potatoes compared to Saudi Arabia... I'm surprised I can find nothing readily on this.

I'll see if I can find the original story about SA.  The gist of the story was that SA was moving about $500 billion out of western countries and back to SA.  
Hmnn... This article says that Chavez did not withdraw those funds, and hasn't the authority to do so:

en anglais:

BCV has not approved movement of reserves
October 02, 2005
Being an independent organization, the international directorate of reserve affairs is an exclusive power of the Central bank of Venezuela (BCV), a power recently ratified in reforms of the charter of the BCV. After explaining this, the director of the institute, Domingo Zavala Mace, indicated that the director has not approved the retirement of Venezuelan reserves currently in treasury bonds of the United States.

Mucking about with foreign reserves is serious business; if Venezuela or Saudi Arabia or any significant country suddenly went on a withdrawal binge, it would be front page news in the financial press, and we'd see evidence of this in currency charts (there certainly has been no weakening of the USD of late, although I do expect it).

Just goes to show... one has to check up on what anyone says in public or on the Internet, even presidents of countries.. especially presidents of countries!

Clearly Chavez is interested in stirring up as much muck as he can right now.

Anyone care to comment on the Iranian Oil Bourse (Burse?), slated to be introduced in March, 2006?
In November 2000, Iraq started accepting Euros for oil. They are the only member of OPEC (not counting Iran yet, as while it's on its way, it hasn't happened yet) to have done so. Iraq got invaded on trumped up WMD claims. Right now, the US is trying to trump up a nuclear issue with Iran's non-weaponry nuclear plans. As "they" say, it should be an interesting year.
I'd like to invite people here to think about molecular manufacturing as a possible wild-card factor in energy supply and sustainability.

Today's tech is mostly human-scale. When we develop the ability to build machines at molecular scale, they will have several key advantages over today's machines. Far higher power density and functional density (means they use less material). Higher operating efficiency (less friction). Stronger materials (again, you need less).

For manufacturing systems, you get several advantages: Rapid prototyping, meaning it's a lot easier to develop new products. General-purpose manufacturing, meaning you can build a wide range of products with one manufaturing system.

Perhaps most importantly, fast and inexpensive construction--including construction of the manufacturing systems. A manufacturing system should be able to build products of its own weight and complexity in a few hours from cheap feedstock. (If this sounds impossible, remember that bacteria can do it.) That implies you could scale production from kilograms to megatons in a week, if you had enough feedstock prepared.

Now, if these capabilities are used to produce solar collectors and a few other energy-related technologies, our energy problems would be solved almost overnight. Think again about the ability to double manufacturing capacity in hours instead of years. Develop a solar concentrator, built a million overnight, at a cost of pennies per square meter.

Of course, if molecular manufacturing is used to produce vast quantities of unwise products, or fuels a breakneck arms race, we could face worse problems than peak oil.

I expect this to be developed within the next 10-15 years, maybe sooner. Others expect it to take a few decades. A few loud skeptics who haven't studied it claim that it's impossible. Unless the loud ignorant people are right, we should probably add it to peak oil scenario-making.

See for more information. (Disclaimer: I'm co-founder and director of research of that site).


You're asking us to believe in a huge amount of progress in a very short period of time.

Right now, nanotechnology mostly consists of a few substrates with interesting properties, a few demos where IBM writes the corporate logo using atoms as pixels, and the occasional pair of gears.

That's a loooooong way from building nano-scale robotics.  We're going to do great things on nano-scales, but we aren't going to be building solar cells using nanobots within fifteen years.

Nanotechnology is a science fiction technology that it more fiction than science still.  Someday, maybe, but not soon enough to bring the Diamond Age about in our lifespan.  It's a lot like Artificial Intelligence -- it's likely to be 10-15 years away for the next century or so.

When I first Studied AI computer programs, and the basics for some of the Nano-Scale machines WAS 10 to 15 years ago. They are just now making it out into the main stream, Bucky-Balls and all that Carbon-fiber stuff are about the same time frame.

"Rome was not built in a day" you say!  Well Long before we get to the next big thing, we will have hit several big nasty pot holes in the road.  China Is going to get as Much of Canadas Oil and NG as it can over the next several years, Saudi Arabia will peak and go into terminal decline. We will certainly have several nasty hurricanes in the GOM.  And our DEBT ridden heavily science (fiction) answers will fail us.  

Do not Count the chickens Till after you have awaken in the morning to see if the fox has not stolen a few in the dead of night.

        Large Silver Maple seeds, wings off, roasted, make a nice snack in the middle spring.  can be eaten raw.

Check out a company called Nanosys. They are using self aligning molecules which are applied like ink to a flexible substrate. It promises to cut PV costs by 90%.
"You're asking us to believe in a huge amount of progress in a very short period of time."

I'm only asking you to consider the possibility. After all, Peak Oil is asking us to believe in a huge amount of change in a very short period of time.

Molecular manufacturing vs. other nanoscale technologies is like digital vs. analog electronics. Molecular manufacturing can't do much with just a few "transistors" (un-integrated nanomachines). But when it gets to the point of "integrated circuits" (nanoscale manufacturing systems) then it becomes general-purpose, and useful for a whole lot of new applications.

And it could easily develop quite a lot faster than PC's have. A PC can't build a better PC, but a nanofactory can build a better nanofactory.

It will happen. The only question is when and how fast. Many nanoscale people say it'll be a few decades out, and happen slowly, and other technology will blunt the impact. These people are speaking from a combination of politics and ignorance. The few of us who have studied it in depth say it is coming a lot sooner and faster than that, and the impact will overshadow everything else.

Sound familiar?

Earlier today I wrote a list of questions that we should be asking about proposed solutions. If these questions could be answered for the various energy-replacement technologies (including energy-transforming technologies like GTL and CTL and (ugh) hydrogen), then we would be well on our way to understanding what level of oil decline we could cope with without going into a crash.

What does it cost, in terms of money, oil/gas, non-agricultural land, and agricultural land, to set up?

Once it's running, what does it require, in terms of labor, oil/gas, other forms of energy, and other costs, to produce a certain amount of energy in usable form?

Can it produce transportation fuels?

How far up does it scale: How much energy is available from this source?

How far down does it scale: Can it be installed a bit at a time, or does it require large infrastructure investment?

How much development (time) will it take to become ready for large-scale investment?

How long does it take to install capacity? (Perhaps permitting time and funding delay should be included in this.)

What does it do to atmospheric CO2?

Does it have any other significant environmental benefits or problems?

Does it require "pre-crash" resources to build and maintain?

Is it a political favorite, or could it be made one? Conversely, will it be politically opposed? (Recognizing that politics includes many different interest groups.)

(I posted an earlier version of this at the end of a thread that's about to scroll off the front page.
I hope it's not rude to repost an improved version here.)


This is a link to a story about falling oil production in the North Sea, especially UK production.

The UK and NCS P/Q Versus Q plots that Stuart provided show estimated combined remaining (North Sea) recoverable reserves of about 15 Gb.  

The North Sea is currently producing 4.8 mmbpd.  This is a reserve to production ratio of less than 9 years.  This suggests a very rapid decline rate ahead.  This is critical since the North Sea produces light, sweet crude.

I love to suggest projects for other people to do, so here is a suggestion.  

How about if someone does puts together P/Q versus Q plots of the top 10 oil exporters?  FYI--the UK is not even an oil exporter anymore.  This would provide a Hubbert estimate for remaining reserves in the principal oil exporting countries.  

A key point:  a country can only export what is left over after domestic consumption.  For example, consider a country producing two mmbpd, consuming one mmbpd and exporting one mmbpd.  A 25% drop in production would result in a 50% drop in exports.  

The plots that Stuart provided for Saudi Arabia, Iran and Norway show combined remaining recoverable reserves for these three oil exporting countries of only about 150 Gb.  When these countries see the handwriting on the wall, do they continue producing at a maximum rate, or do they start cutting back?  For the sake of argument, let's assume that 50 Gb will never be exported, so the Hubbert estimate for the remaining export capacity for these three countries, based on the above assumption, is only about 100 Gb.  

Anybody around here know where Cantarell is located? It's not just idle curiosity that prompts me to ask this question. There's a more immediate reason.
Eyeballing the map I believe the storm is about due north of the field. Its probably shut down or fully/partially evacuated, but would appear that particular field will be missed by stronger winds later in the week.

Here's a link on Rigzone for more info:

More detailed view:

Apparently UFO's there too LOL:

Emily earlier in the year caused a large evac of Bay of Campeche oil workers:

Thanks mw.
I'm on my way down to Bangkok to participate in a "Fight for oil - how Thailand will survive" conference today, where several topics will be covered. I will try and take notes and respond to TOD what views are from this side.
Thanks. If you send your comments to the editors directly, we can put them in the main body of a post.

Do you have any more information on the Bangkok conference? Maybe a link or list of organizers? I'm in Thailand now and would be interested to learn more about it. Thailand has as much exposure to oil prices as any country in the world and does need to think this out. Thanks

Sorry Jack, I posted as I was heading out the door. I have submitted the summery to TOD.
I posted the following note earlier today on Sunday's open thread, in response to a message someone wrote inquiring what exactly the world can hope for in the future, in light of present circumstances.  But the original post is languishing at the very end of that thread, near the end of its useful life.  (Do you notice, incidentally, an interesting parallel between the life of blog threads and the life of oil wells?)  Consequently, I am posting it again, because I feel impelled to bear witness to it.  I am aware that doing so might bring me the opprobrium of being labeled a "blog troll," but I am willing to embrace that label, if need be, in view of the importance of the message:

"The only hope for humanity at this point is a supernatural one.  I speak of the "Blessed Hope" of the Gospels, the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ to rule the world, and usher in an age of universal peace, bliss, and prosperity.

To those of you who think I am joking, I am not.  I am deadly serious.

To those of you who think this comment is off-topic, I respectfully and emphatically disagree.  Everyone who reads and writes into this site is, on some level, doing so with a view to searching for a basis for some kind of hopeful future.  In response to this issue just having been explicitly raised, I am offering in deadly earnest what I believe is the true basis of hope.

On a purely natural level, humanity is doomed.  There is too much evil and corruption afoot in the world for any of the idealistic visions for the future that are of a purely natural sort to be viable.  I refer here to things such as forming a society based on sustainable living, or one based on the equitable distribution of scarce resources, or one approaching a hunter-gatherer ideal of living in perfect harmony with nature.  Human nature being as corrupt as it is, these are all vain chimeras.  Does a critical look at history tell us any different?

Only an influx of grace into the world, brought upon by Christ's return in glory, offers the basis for a geniune hope.  But this hope is a sure and solid one!  Christ's supernatural intervention WILL transform and save the world, turning it into something beyond the wildest hopes of all the purely naturalistic visions that one runs into among peak-oil types.

Maranatha!  Come Lord Jesus!"

[The following is new material added to the present post:]  I think a debate on this point is badly needed among the Peak Oil community.  Specifically, those who are willing to place their faith in humanity alone being able to make something of the current predicament - something that I think is widespread on this site among those who DO have hope - need to think seriously about whether whatever ideal they envision REALLY IS possible in the absence of Divine Grace.

Richard Heinberg, if you ever contribute to this site, I would be very interested to learn of your response.

Please understand that I respect your belief in Christianity; however, there are many items to consider on a more global scale:

Mankind's development throughout history has been a collection of discoveries & advances that are not attributed to a single religion. Furthermore, many periods of advancement have been followed by periods of decline.

I get very concerned by the so called 'comfort' that Christians obtain in their assumption that the second coming will solve all earthly problems. In fact the whole belief in the second coming can lead many people, as well as their leaders, into a false sense of security with regard to depletion of natural resources. Look at the entire planet, Earth, at the present time (the population explosion, the ubiquitous and relentless consumption) and think not of tomorrow and what we can have for ourselves, but think instead of many generations in the future and what they will inherit.

It seems apparent to me that we all share some common responsibility in the stewardship of planet earth, yet when the mind is lead to believe that the `end of the earth' or `second coming' is near, somehow that responsibility is greatly diminished or even dismissed. The whole notion of `multiply and replenish the earth (until the 2nd coming)' when taken to the current extremes is an example.

Our collective human minds, when presented with the facts, can overcome incredible obstacles. With regard to Peak Oil, I think that many here would admit that it is the lack of complete facts that is inhibiting the broad public awareness that is the first step necessary to prevent an energy collapse (e.g. unreliable or non-existent oil production data from the Saudi's). Mankind is more vulnerable when dealing with lies and deception. I have to agree with Matt Simmons - transparency world wide is needed, and it's needed immediately. It's the first step to truth and understanding; from there I'm afraid Jesus, God, the Almighty (however you wish to refer to a Creator), as has been the case throughout all history, will leave it up to us to `figure it out'.

In defense of another Christian point of View.
When Christ Comes again (There will be made a New heaven and New earth) All this nashing of teeth, won't be around for us to argue over.  What that all means NO ONE KNOWS, but it WON'T look like Disney Land with all the free rides you can have.

As a Christian that believes Peak Oil is just around the corner, my only job would be to be a witness to my faith, and help everyone get a good meal out of the places that they live.

I can't put my total faith in man getting us out of the crisis that man always puts us into.  

And as a Blogger, I would warn you to be light handed with the posts that stray off topic( esp into faith based ideals) , people won't even read the good smart things you have to say.

           Dandilions, Not just a spring eye sore, but most of the plant can be used, for something. Roots (coffee like drink), Young leaves a salad green, Flowers make a nice spring time wine.

This TOD site is not the appropriate forum for prostelytizing your religion. For those who are willing to curl up and die-off with a prayer on their lips and a devote belief that they are going into a better "after life", I say God bless you but please don't try to take me down with you. I am respectful of your religous beliefs and your right to believe in them. I expect you to be equally respectful of my belief that religion is a human-devised way of dealing with the "edge of the ledge", the over the cliff event that each of us mortal human beings must eventually face. Although I know that I soon will go over the edge to "meet my maker", I still want my children to survive and thrive. I don't want to go into that long night believing that the end of humanity is near. I don't want to believe we are the last few "On the Beach" (referring to a 1940's movie about post-nuclear life for last survivors in Australia as they cope with idea that it's all over).
I could not agree with you more, Step Back.  As becomes apparent with each passing month, the Peak Oil tent is getting bigger all the time, and there is now quite a wide spectrum of opinions.

What is great about TOD is that the hosts and contributors tend toward a well-reasoned and scientific approach to the issues.  While everyone should have a right to post, there are sites already dedicated to those waiting for the rapture or die-off. It may only be my opinion, but it is preferable to not have to sift through those types of posts to get to the constructive debate that TOD has excelled at.

I'm an agnostic. There is anything wrong with being spiritual. I've studied quite a few religions over the years, although I don't subscribe to any of them. Having belief in something greater than yourself is important for a lot of people.

I don't subscribe to any doomsday scenarios. The only people who have a worse track record than the peak oil crowd are the people who predict TEOTWAWKI (The End Of The World As We Know It). Some people take this dead ender prophecy to the extreme of acting as if, "The end is coming so it doesn't matter how much we pollute the world and it doesn't matter how many wars we get in to maintain our power."

I also find it sad that we have all sorts of interesting technology, but we lack the maturity to wield it. We can create cars, planes, boats, and trains that allow us to make the world a smaller place. Yet we use these devices wastefully and with an agenda of putting more power in the hands of fewer people. Then there are the all the devices we create to kill on a massive scale. If a collapse is near, frankly, I'm worried about idiots with weapons more than I am starvation.

How many scientists and geniuses were stiffled over the past 2000 years because their theories contradicted those who were in power? Quite a few. And it's not just religious authorities who have held us back. We have a government in the USA (as just one example) that doesn't seem able to really address the needs of society. We have great public transport technology, but we create incentives for people to waste precious gas in behemoth SUV's. We've had the capability to get higher MPG in our vehicles for quite a while. We've also had the ability to limit industrial pollution. Yet we keep on letting a few powerful people control the agenda.

 I refer here to things such as forming a society based on sustainable living, or one based on the equitable distribution of scarce resources, or one approaching a hunter-gatherer ideal of living in perfect harmony with nature.  Human nature being as corrupt as it is, these are all vain chimeras.  Does a critical look at history tell us any different?

Yes.  Read Jared Diamond's Collapse.  Some societies have mastered sustainability.  

However, doing so requires something that many Christians stand against: population control.  Birth control, abortion, even infanticide and suicide.  Whatever it takes to keep the population from outgrowing resources.

On a purely natural level, humanity is doomed.  There is too much evil and corruption afoot in the world for any of the idealistic visions for the future that are of a purely natural sort to be viable.

That's ridiculous.

Your intent may be genuine and heartfelt, but if you've given up, that's your perogative. Those whose only answer to tough problems is to lie down and wait for the rapture are not, respectfully, thinking with their heads but with their hearts.

There's too much good left in the world to simply give up.

Thanks for your comments, everyone.
Chris Vernon writes at
that OPEC has published figures in its monthly Oil Market Report
which can be used to show that the world production of light sweet crude oil peaked around 2000.

I would feel a lot more comfortable with this statement if there was good data to back it up.
I no longer put any serious belief in EIA, IEA, or BP data, but what else is there ?
So is there a spreadsheet somewhere with historical production data for crude oil,
with the quantities broken down by API crude type ( light, intermediate and heavy ) and sulfur content ( sweet and sour )
so that we can chart the data and see six peaks at various stages of completion
with light sweet crude leading the way.

This would be a powerful visual display of Peak Oil happening,
if it turns out the way I think it should.

I looked into it here. But I couldn't find any production data broken down by grade.
This morning's New York Times carried an op-ed piece by Gov. Brian Schweitzer of Montana. It's old news to Oil Drum readers that the governor wants to make Montana a national center for making coal into oil. But the publication of the article shows that his ideas are gaining currency. Taken as presented, this is the answer to our problems!

But DailyKos had an intelligent response to the story that raises a number of important questions to Governor Schweitzer's Panglossian view of the Fischer-Tropsch process.

Meanwhile, the Times had an accompanying op-ed piece about natural gas. This article claims natural gas supply is down because E&P was suppressed in 1978 when Congress buckled to the coal industry. Interesting idea. But the lead-in to the piece is more interesting:

IN the early 1600's, the Flemish alchemist Jan Baptista van Helmont planted a willow sapling and measured its weight as it grew. After five years the tree weighed 169 pounds.

Where had the solid bulk of wood come from? Not from the soil, which had lost only two ounces in all that time. Rather, Helmont's measurements led to the discovery that a tree's new wood comes from tiny bits of carbon that float in the air, in the form of carbon dioxide.

That simple insight tells us a great deal about the problems that bedevil American energy policy. Coal and oil ultimately derive from ancient vegetation that soaked up carbon in the planet's primeval atmosphere. Breathe in car exhaust or the air near a coal plant today and you are inhaling the earth's ancient geologic atmosphere, in the form of carbon that accumulated over millenniums. But the carbon dioxide we release as we burn fuel builds up in the air, leading to global warming.

The Daily Kos report cited was very stupid. He had a graph of mineral resources like oil, gas, coal, uranium, and it must have dated from before they noticed that Canada had more uranium than any other country, which means, from before about 1970, and he got his ideas about synfuels from a 1948 report, which he qouted and excerpted. That's not stupid, it's bizarre.
Did he graduate from high school in 1948 and refuse to learn anything ever after? The world changes, you know. Computers aren't the only place we made technological advances.
Well, Kunstler is on a roll today and I'm catching the feeling. Concerning the tar sands, he says:
Another catch is that even in the short term, the petroleum that is recovered is not going exclusively to the United States or even Canada. The Chinese have been very busily inking contracts for substantial gobs of it. Is George Bush going to send the 82nd airborne into Alberta to secure access to the tar sands?
No, it will never get that far. We will merely make them an offer that they cannot refuse. We will make a similar offer to Venezuela, where Hugo has been dining with those troublesome and insinuating Chinese. But sadly, for our dying empire, our generous offers of "protection" to these endangered and strategic regions will be too little too late ;)
My first post.
Great information here, and a lot to learn as I work my way through this site.

FYI, I subscribe to the point & figure charts in all my financial decisions.
For NYMEX Crude Oil, on the P&F chart, it has a vertical price objective of $87.00-it currently sits at $66.50
For Natural Gas Continuous, on the P&F chart, it has a vertical price objective of $22.60-it currently sits at $14.10

What is a Point & Figure chart?


I'll let wikipedia explain it. Though there are subtle differences in my usage.
Follow the link:
Honda and Nissan market share jumps in Sept.

"What people wanted six months ago and what they want today has changed rather dramatically," said Ken Bernhardt, a marketing professor at Georgia State University's Robinson College of Business.

"Japanese cars, in particular, benefit from the perception of being highly fuel-efficient, which is what consumers want right now."

Japanese automakers' image has been helped by investment in technologies like gasoline-electric vehicles and Honda's redesigned Civic compact car, which gets 40 miles to the gallon, or 6 liters per 100 kilometers, on the highway, double the average mileage of most sport utility vehicles.

Honda's shares set a record high on Tuesday, ending up 1.5 percent at ¥6,610, or $57.90. Nissan's hit a 12-month high and were up 1.6 percent at ¥1,330.

Japanese and South Korean companies sold 507,597 cars and light trucks in September, up 10 percent from a year earlier. That included a 10 percent gain for Toyota Motor, Asia's largest automaker, and 9.1 percent for Hyundai Motor, South Korea's biggest assembler.

Industrywide, however, sales fell an estimated 7.6 percent, to 1.33 million vehicles, Autodata said. Sales declined 18 percent for light trucks, including sport utility vehicles, pickups and minivans, while rising 6.3 percent for cars. Final U.S. data were unavailable as Volkswagen had not yet reported.

Sales by General Motors, the world's largest automaker, fell 24 percent last month, and Ford Motor, the No. 2 U.S. carmaker, sold 19 percent fewer vehicles. However, DaimlerChrysler of Germany lifted its sales of Chrysler and Mercedes-Benz vehicles by 3.7 percent.

Toyota, the fourth-largest carmaker in the United States, said it sold 178,417 Toyota, Scion and Lexus vehicles last month, up from 161,793 a year earlier.

Toyota's market share rose 2.1 percentage points to 13.4 percent in September.

The average U.S. retail price for unleaded gasoline surged to a record $3.06 a gallon on Sept. 5, with a current average of $2.94, according to the AAA motoring association's fuel-price Web site.

Toyota sold 13,021 gas-electric hybrids last month, including 8,193 of the Prius and 4,828 SUVs. The company sold a record 106,978 hybrids in the United States this year, more than the 2004 total for all automakers of 84,181.

Nissan sold 93,540 Nissan and Infiniti vehicles, Jed Connelly, senior vice president of its U.S. unit, said in an interview. Higher fuel prices seemed to spur demand for the Sentra, midsize Altima sedans and Murano sport utility vehicles, Nissan's most fuel-efficient models in their respective categories, Connelly said.

Nissan's market share was 7 percent last month, up from 5.6 percent.

TOKYO Demand for smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles lifted U.S. market share at Nissan Motor and Honda Motor in September, driving their share prices higher Tuesday.

The automakers' combined market share rose to 38.2 percent last month, the second-highest level on record, compared with 32 percent a year earlier, Autodata said this week. The gains included a 16 percent jump for Nissan, Japan's second-largest automaker, and 12 percent for Honda, the third-largest.

"What people wanted six months ago and what they want today has changed rather dramatically," said Ken Bernhardt, a marketing professor at Georgia State University's Robinson College of Business.

"Japanese cars, in particular, benefit from the perception of being highly fuel-efficient, which is what consumers want right now."

Full text at link.

I have no idea what happened in my last comment.  Er, full text scrambled in the comment, I guess.  Sorry.
ASPO has moved their peak date again to 2010,last change was in August.
"Revision of the Depletion Model
A detailed revision of the deepwater evaluation has been made on the basis of new information covering the world's fields, which have been modeled individually. The new evaluation suggests an Ultimate recovery of about 52 Gb with a peak of 12 Mb/d in 2011, up from 3.5 Mb/d in 2005. This has an impact on the overall model, as illustrated in the Table on Page 2, shifting the peak of All Liquids from 2007 to 2010. Anyone familiar with this forecasting will know of the many uncertainties and difficulties, but it seems best to advance step by step reporting progress as it occurs, remembering always that it is subject to change."

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - The chief executive of the nation's largest car dealer has come down in favor a tax increase on gasoline, calling it long overdue.

Gradually hiking gasoline taxes will create the demand for greater fuel efficiency, Mike Jackson, CEO of AutoNation, commented in Automotive News.

"The truth of the matter is: If you want people to smoke less, you tax cigarettes. If you want them to drink less, you tax alcohol. Guess what you should do if you want them to consume less gasoline? That's right: Tax gasoline," Jackson said in the commentary.

With gas prices rising above $3 a gallon, consumers have been more conscientious about their gas use. But, Jackson said, prices need to reach $6 a gallon to have the same effect on consumer behavior that they did when they reached their peaks in the 1970s and 1980s.

In the report, he proposes a gradual increase of 10 cents a gallon a year on the federal tax on gas, which has been unchanged at 18 cents a gallon for more than a decade.

The goal of the proposal is not to raise taxes but to change the consumer mindset, he argues. Critics argue that raising the price of gas would put a disproportionate burden on the poor, but Jackson proposes an annual energy tax credit for those whose incomes are below a certain level.

"Since we all agree that America's addiction to oil is an issue of national security, we need an energy policy that encourages conservation," he said.


I'm assuming the 'open thread' means you can post kind of whatever you want?

Good catch, thanks for posting - exactly what the open thread is for.
In the introductory paragraph Claude Mandil, the IEA's executive director, wasted no time in examining the subject.

He said, "soaring oil prices have again spotlighted the old question. Are we running out of oil? The doomsayers are again conveying grim messages through the front pages of major newspapers. `Peak oil' is now part of the general public's vocabulary, along with the notion that oil production may have peaked already, heralding a period of inevitable decline."

Yet Mandil dismissed the idea that this situation is worrisome by stating, "the IEA has long maintained that none of this is a cause for concern."

However not too far later on in the report, the IEA admits that most countries outside of OPEC "have passed their peaks in conventional oil production, or will do so shortly."
What "peak oil" supporters might find even more strange, is the use of the Hubbert Curve within the report, which is the mountain-shaped curve, showing increasing then declining production. It was created by the former Shell geologist M.K. Hubbert, to illustrate the theory of "peak oil."

In a special section entitled just "Peak Oil" the IEA actually present the theory to its clients. They sum up by saying that

"The striking success of Hubbert in predicting the peak of U.S. production suggests that such conditions were more or less met in the U.S. during that time period."

They then appear to question the current relevance of Hubbert in today's oil market. Because they move on to say that "the controversies surrounding peak oil in the literature revolve around four main points. Does the Hubbert model apply to oil production worldwide? If the Hubbert model does apply, when will the peak in worldwide oil production be? What happens after the peak? How fast will the decrease of production be? What role does technology play in such models?"

The basic counter thrust of the IEA's argument is that new technologies and increased investment can overcome any production inflection. But the level of investment that requires is truly astronomical. Repeating a figure they first used in the IEA World Energy Outlook report they estimate that the total necessary investment cost "for worldwide upstream operations and transport [of oil]" by 2030 will amount to "$5 trillion."

That works out at roughly $564.5 million dollars a day, between now and 1 January 2030. Not surprisingly, they conclude that "neither private enterprises nor national companies necessarily have the incentive to assume the risk of tackling new types of resources such as oil sands or oil shales. Such players might choose, for example, to focus instead on maximising returns from their investments in deepwater in a high oil-price environment."

The IEA goes on to say that "It should be noted, too, that there does not tend to be great interest in new types of resources among service and supply-sector players...they need to have ready customers for their new products and cannot easily justify developing products for a market that does not yet exist. Furthermore, private industry cannot be relied upon to invest in research on technologies that are too far from being economical."

Indeed the report does throw up a great deal of questions: Questions of funding, or reserves and questions on the role of governments. But in doing so, has the IEA unwittingly opened a Pandora's box of debate by answering its critics so directly?

i was watching cnbc's squawkbox this morning, the spokeperson mention that we may see gasoline hit $4 by the end of the year. then said that the US has only 23 days of gasoline in storage, an all time low. I can't seem to find any data to support that claim. Does anyone know where that data might be?
later squawkers said we are seeing demand destruction and gaS will not hit $4 because the economy will shut down before we hit $4
i found the reference the squawkers were using this morning.

It looks like the MSM is finally starting to realize that Rita actually damaged some rigs.

Some quotes:

Of the gulf's 4,000 platforms, the storms destroyed 109 offshore drilling platforms, including a major platform, and severely damaged 31, 4 of them major ones, Ms. Norton said. About 91 percent of oil production and 72 percent of natural gas production was out of service, and workers have yet to return to 42 percent of the gulf's manned platforms and 13 percent of rigs, according to the Minerals Management Service.

The recovery has been slower after Rita than after Katrina, and after Hurricane Ivan last year, because there was greater damage to ports, natural gas processing plants and other operations that support gulf production, Ms. Norton said. . . .

There were signs Tuesday that another oil producer, Royal Dutch Shell, experienced worse-than-expected damage in the Gulf of Mexico. The giant offshore Mars oil platform, which is run by Shell, may not be operational until the second half of 2006, the pipeline company Enbridge told investors during a presentation.

More cuts in reported production are likely as oil companies report third-quarter earnings, analysts and investors say. "The damage from Hurricane Rita has been significantly underreported," said Fadel Gheit, an analyst at Oppenheimer & Company. Oil companies have been trying to play down the storm's impact, because they do not want prices to rise any higher than their already unpopular levels, Mr. Gheit said.

Hmmm. You don't say. Somehow, we at TOD knew this all along. This information is from a story entitled BP Details Its Damages From Hurricanes. There are two more stories with bad news for oil consumers: Diesel and Jet Fuel Prices Continue Surge, and Iran Hints of Reductions of Oil Sales Over Nuclear Dispute (this is a few days old). Then there's this: Yukos Loses an Appeal of Tax Case, meaning they'll be open to asset seizure. And bad news for a company totally dependent on cheap oil for its products to have a market: Delphi, the nation's largest supplier of auto parts, is prepared to file for bankruptcy as early as this week. Amazing slew of news. It's almost as if everything we've been saying is being ratified by subsequent events.
now on a bright side, we can all join jim kramer on the and make some money! i say, start buying the energy stocks. COP, XOM etc.
I find this poem to be both disturbing (in the first parts) and vaguely reassuring (in the last part).  Read slowly to catch the mood.

RIVETED by Robyn Sarah

It is possible that things will not get better
than they are now, or have been known to be.
It is possible that we are past the middle now
It is possible that we have crossed the great water
without knowing it, and stand now on the other side.
Yes, I think that we have crossed it.  Now
we are being given tickets, and they are not
tickets to the show we had been thinking of
but to a different show, clearly inferior.

Check again, it is our own name on the envelope.
The tickets are to that other show.

It is possible that we will walk out of the darkened hall
without waiting for the last act: people do.
Some people do.  But it is probable
that we will stay seated in our narrow seats
all through the tedious dénouement
to the unsurprising end - riveted, as it were,
spellbound by our own imperfect lives
because they are our lives,
and because they are ours.

from page 179 in Great Poems for Hard Times
by Garrison Keillor, ©2005 by Garrison Keillor
Viking / Penguin Group USA
375 Hudson Street New York, NY 10014