Ignore Depletion At Your Peril

News today to add to the "Business Consequences of Ignoring Depletion" file. AP reports that

Power merchant Calpine Corp. said Tuesday that it has replaced its longtime chief executive as well as its chief financial officer in an abrupt shake up that sent the company's stock price below $1 as investors fretted about a possible bankruptcy.
This led to a rapid series of further unpleasantness. TheStreet.com adds:

Calpine learned that it's getting taken out of the S&P 500 just hours after Peter Cartwright, the company's founder and chief executive, and Robert D. Kelly, its chief financial officer, were taken off the payroll.

The company's removal from the index likely means its battered stock will face even more selling pressure as money managers whose holdings mimic the S&P 500 move to unload the shares.
Reuters adds:

Credit investors on Tuesday braced for a possible imminent bankruptcy of Calpine Corp. by sending the cost to insure the ailing power producer's debt in the next month up fourfold after news of a management shake-up.

The cost of insuring Calpine's debt with credit-default swap contracts that mature on Dec. 20 leaped to 50 percent the amount insured as an upfront payment on Tuesday, from 12 percent before the company announced the departure of its chief executive and chief financial officer, according to a trader.

The end is nigh, one fears... The cause of the trouble? Calpine's website:
Calpine is committed to producing the clean, efficient, cost-competitive electricity that our customers need. Today, we generate enough electricity to meet the needs of more than 22 million households. By the end of 2005, we expect to produce more than 28,000 megawatts of electricity — enough to supply approximately 28 million homes and make Calpine one of the largest power producers in the industry.

Calpine operates electric-generating facilities that are fueled by natural gas, a clean-burning fossil fuel. Calpine's state-of-the-art, combined-cycle natural gas-fired energy centers are environmentally friendly sources of electricity. Modern natural gas-fueled facilities produce 90 percent less emissions and are 40 percent more fuel-efficient than older technology, fossil-fueled electric generating facilities.
(emphasis added) and so, AP again:

Cartwright, 75, and Kelly, 47, presided over an aggressive expansion that transformed once-tiny Calpine into one of the nation's largest wholesalers of electricity. The company operates 92 plants in states and Canada with a total capacity of 26,500 megawatts - enough to provide power to about 20 million homes.

But the buildup saddled Calpine with heavy debt that has become even more burdensome as the company's losses have piled up during the past two years amid weak customer demand and rising expenses for natural gas - the fuel that it relied upon to generate a more environmental-friendly form of electricity.

Calpine's escalating problems have raised worries that the company will seek refuge in bankruptcy court, despite Cartwright's resolve to avoid that desperate measure.

With Calpine's founder out of the way, "the probability of a bankruptcy is somewhat higher than before," said Maxcor Financial analyst Daniele Seitz.

One can't help wondering. Was Calpine a client of CERA? The latter were saying in 2000:
Nevertheless, CERA expects supply to begin to show year-over-year increases in the United States toward the end of 2000, and in Canada supply growth is at last expected to be evident this spring.

CERA does believe that there is the gas supply potential to meet the challenges of increased demand from power generation at a price that would not discourage that market development. It is very important to avoid short-term government intervention in the market that would discourage investment in supply.

The consequences of gambling on that theory are now very clear...

Here's HO's recent backgrounder on natural gas supply issues.

Calpine also operates several geothermal power plants in California's Lake, Sonoma, and Napa Counties.  So they are doing some good work with renewable, non-fossil-fuel electrical power generation.  That's probably a small part of their business relative to the natural gas plants, however.
The big "D" is total energy depletion.  On an energy equivalent basis, we use--from nuclear + fossil fuel sources--the equivalent of about a billion barrels of oil every five days.   On a BTU basis, to replace what we used in September, October and November, we need three East Texas oil fields.
From Energy Bulletin:


If winter is bitter, brace for a natural-gas crunch
Mark Clayton, The Christian Science Monitor


From Maine to Florida, from Virginia to Missouri, as much as half the United States confronts the possibility that harshly cold weather will lead to restrictions of natural-gas supplies. In some places - areas heavily dependent on natural gas to produce electricity - the prospect of "rolling blackouts," or controlled power outages, is much higher than in previous winters.

Any natural-gas cutoffs would primarily affect electric-power plants and factories fueled by gas, not homes, and be most likely in the Northeast.

If cold deepens for prolonged periods, the likelihood of interrupted natural-gas supplies rises to 30 percent in the Northeast and to 10 percent as far south as Florida and as far west as Missouri, according to a recent report by the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America (INGAA), a trade association representing gas pipeline companies. In a "worst-case" scenario, chances of interrupted gas rise to 40 percent for the Northeast and 25 percent across the eastern seaboard.
(29 November 2005)

The Geology Department of Stanford University hosted an Oil Depletion lecture last night.

The overall sentiment of the presenting professors was that the public is "panic" driven and the concern over depletion is somewhat overblown.

Prof. Graham started the lecture with a quick paced survey on how oil is formed, discovered and extracted; focusing on the idea that there are still many areas of the planet (Antartica) that have never been explored and which could hold vast reserves.

Two more professors, Nur and Gorelick played good cop/ bad cop regarding Hubbert's predictions for world wide oil shortage.

Prof. Amos Nur warned that he believes the world is on the brink of war due to perhaps-overblown "panic" over oil. He pointed out that there is still an unsettled debate between demand-oriented economists on one side and resource-availability oriented geologists on the other as to whether the world is truly running out of oil. The big problem, as Nur presented it, is the fact that China and India want to move up a graphed line he presented as representing "standard of living" with the USA at the top in terms of per capita income and per capita oil consumption (26 barrels per year per person). If China and India move straight up, global oil production will have to triple (up 200%). That was a shocking number. [While not promising it, the geology dept. indicated they may later post Nur's slides on their web site in the future.]

Prof. Steven Gorelick attacked the Hubbert model on a number of fronts. His weakest attack (IMHO) was arguing that just because Hubbert was right for US lower 48 does not mean Hubbert will be correct in predicting global production and consumption. His strongest attack (again IMHO) was arguing that the world is getting more efficient at using oil and will continue to improve efficiency at a sufficiently rapid pace such that oil depletion will become a don't care by the time (he says it's always 40 years into the future) the oil starts to run out. As to Nur's "standard of living" graph, Goelick argued that China and India will not move straight up that line but will instead find a more efficient line to climb up so that they can reach same standard of living without consuming as much oil per capita.

Most surprising was how many members of the public came to the lecture. It was standing room only in a big lecture auditorium. I'd say there were easily 500 people there if not more. I guess Silicon Valley folk are already well atuned to the Peak Oil problem.

P.P.S. Found Professor Nur's standard of living slide:


The 1999 Clinton plan for war according to Nur:

My gosh - I'm never quite ready to see such Ivory tower idiocy coming out of a place like Stanford, although I guess I should expect it. They cleary have no idea at all what has been happening on the ground in terms of real production/depletion/decline of FIP and the absence of significant new finds. Talk about theoretical Arctic fields that wouldn't produce for 15 years at best saving us somehow - leaves me scratching my head.
I do not think they are that clueless. They plan to have additional lectures, one on global warming and CO2 emissions, and one on alternative energy.

I am merely giving my impressions of their talk, I am not speaking on their behalf. I think the basic message was, Yes there is a problem, but we should not "panic" and start a war where we (China versus USA) start killing each other over the oil. There are are a lot of other carbon sources out there.

I guess I reacted to the notion that there could be 40 years to work this out. The efficiency argument makes no sense. The issue is demand, which continues to rise despite efficiency improvements. To deal with the problem we need to see reduction in demand, and if efficiency accomplishes this then all is well. But so far this hasn't been the case.

We also need to remember we're not talking about running out, but reaching peak production with subsequent decline. I think it's good to present all sides of any debate, but I am concerned that the signals are pointing increasingly to an imminent problem, and people need to be aware of this.

I appreciate your time and effort in documenting the discussion. I agree that having this discussion in public is a big step toward increasing awareness and having people doing their own investigations into the matter. I certainly agree with the concern that we don't go to war over oil - we need to pull together if we are to achieve any real answers.

They plan to have additional lectures, one on global warming and CO2 emissions, and one on alternative energy.

For TOD readers in the Bay Area, the next Stanford lecture is scheduled for Feb. 21, 2006 and entitled Carbon, Climate & Consequences

the first lecture was given at the Arrillaga Alumni Center and was open to the public

Do you have a link with time/location for the upcoming lectures? I don't see them on their lecture events page.
No sorry, they posted it as a slide during the Q&A session
The story is posted at energy bulletin. But I think I should mention that the speculation that neither Amos nor Steven were really speaking their minds is probably a valid one. At least Amos was holding back some of his true opinions. For examples check out this globalpublicmedia interview: http://www.globalpublicmedia.com/interviews/417 (transcript and audio). Or maybe he has been swayed back from his original positions. Who knows. I loved it anyway.
Congratulations on getting your report published by Energy Bulletin.

It's tough to accurately report on 2 hours of fast paced lecturing as well as on reactions by the audience. It would be most interesting if there were some psychology majors in the audience and if they could interview fellow students on how the argumentative styles of Nur and Gorelick swayed them one way or the other.

Certainly, Gorelick was the more youthfully charasmatic and energetic of the two professors. But then again, Mother Nature is not moved by debate style.

I noticed that someone was filming the whole thing from the back of the room. Do you know if that film is going to be aired at a later date?

Good job.


I didn't know there was another group on the Peninsula discussing peak
I live close to Palo alto and would like to hear more about your gatherings.
  My wife and I are currently attending monthly Post Carbon group
meetings held in the Green Party office in South San Francisco.   We
attended the Stanford Oil Depletion lecture and were unimpressed other
than with the number of attendees.  There are a few other local
residents that would probably be interested in what your group is

You and anyone else interested in PO are invited to the Post Carbon
Outpost meetings in South San Francisco.  I hope you will consider
attending so that the two groups can exchange ideas on living in the
Bay Area and preparing for the expected PO problems.  The next meeting
is December 16, at 212 Miller Ave. SSF 7-9PM.  The SSF group is new and
its meetings are very informal also.

Tom Dickerman ( "Dickerman" <dickermn@earthlink.net> ) is the person
responsible for setting up the Post Carbon meeting in SSF.  

Hope to hear from you.

- Arlen

Re:  "Prof. Steven Gorelick attacked the Hubbert model on a number of fronts. His weakest attack (IMHO) was arguing that just because Hubbert was right for US lower 48 does not mean Hubbert will be correct in predicting global production and consumption."

The Hubbert/Deffeyes method was dead on right in predicting the North Sea Peak, at 52% of Qt.  The North Sea P/Q intercept also accurately predicted the very steep decline rate.  In contrast, the Lower 48 peaked at 48% of Qt, with a much less steep decline rate.  

I got the feeling that Gorelick was playing bad cop rather than actually believing it. His studies focus on environment and hydrology.

I got the feeling that the Stanford professors were merely throwing out to the audience some of the points and counterpoints that are out there, rather than revealing their true inner beliefs. The point was to educate the crowd on the controversies rather than to advocate a particular belief.

Thanks for covering this.

I'd add two other points that Nur made that I feel deserve emphasis to the public: To believe that oil production will eventually peak, Hubbert's method needs not be an accurate prediction.  All that is required is an acceptance of the finite nature of the oil endowment, so attacks on Hubbert's method (as opposed to attacks on the biotic origin of oil) aren't truly attacks on the Peak Oil concept nor the economic and social consequences thereof.  Moreover, with exponential growth in production on the upside of the curve (as we had seen prior to the '70's and in some periods since then), massive variations in URR result in only very modest changes in the year of the peak.

Gorelick's strongest point was indeed that India and China may not need such large per capita quantities of oil to raise their standards of living, but this point was buried deep in a staggering number of graphs and statistics that I feel are intended to deceive.  One example: he claimed the US could cut its current import of oil from the middle east by 50% by replacing 14% of its light vehicle fleet with hybrid cars.  He presented the 14% figure as though it were small; poking around on the web I find that's around 28 million vehicles; in the last year on the order of 0.2 million hybrids were sold, a difference of two orders of magnitude.  Another example: he pointed out that in the early seventies, global production departed from Hubbert's prediction, but failed to explain that this was a result of political and not geological impositions.  Many of his other graphs were purely historical, with no concession to the change in circumstances geology is proven on a field-by-field basis to impose.  He even went as far as to claim that the US voluntarily decreased its production in 1970; that the lower-48 peak was economically and not geologically imposed.  I must keep an open mind; just because I've never seen that hypothesis expressed before doesn't mean it couldn't be true.  I would welcome any hard evidence either way that the lower-48 peak was geologically mandated, or that it was undertaken voluntary based on the economics of the rapidly globalizing nature of the oil market at the time.

Overall, I also got the sense that Gorelick didn't really believe everything he was stating.  He's a smart man and acknowledged the finite nature of oil, so he can't possibly believe his own claim that only demand has ever and will ever govern the price of oil, nor that Malthus has been conclusively proven wrong (if Malthus's forecast is conclusively proven, it can only be proven right; otherwise we always have the future in which to produce that conclusive proof).  Nur's emphasis, on the other hand, on Hubbert's ideas around the social implications of oil peak and the disconnect between financial and energy-resource economies, led me to believe he does believe what he's saying and feels that the way he's said it his best attempt at publicizing humanity's best options for enduring the coming changes.

If the 1970 peak was voluntary, Gorelick has to explain why all the oil majors scoffed at and belittled Hubbert's prediction at the time, and themselves were projecting ongoing production increases.

We do have some degree of political "self-embargo" going, according to Simmons' term, where we have put some areas off limits in California, Florida, Alaska, etc, but I've never seen data to pursuade me that those areas have enough oil to change the basic equation.

If Gorelick doesn't really believe what he's saying, then he's doing a major injustice misleading people into apathy when we have a real problem to deal with.  

If Gorelick doesn't really believe what he's saying, then he's doing a major injustice misleading people into apathy when we have a real problem to deal with.

Good to see that other TOD readers were in attendance.
Each presentation was densely packed with information. It will not be possible to post everything here.

One of the "real problems" we need to deal with are all the various counter-arguments being thrown at the Peak Oil wall in hopes that a few stick to the wall.

I think Gorelick was doing that by using all sorts of attacks: 1)Hubbert was wrong, 2)Hubbert was lucky with a hand drawn guess, 3)Malthus was wrong, 4)Market prices do not support PO contention, ... etc. etc.

One argument that I found appealing was the analogy to copper and the early expectations by telephone companies that the world would run out of copper. But, as Gorelick pointed out, fiber optic technology emerged as an unexpected dark horse; and now we have wireless communications which makes copper even more obsolete.

One can only hope that some new, dark horse technology will emerge from the back of the pack to make oil obsolete in a same kind of way. Gorelick was arguing that improved "efficiencies" in how we achieve end results can be such a surprise horse that comes from behind and overtakes oil depletion.

The price of copper has doubled over the last few years, even as uses in communications have dropped.  I believe the principles of peak oil, so well explained her, also apply to many minerals, metals, and other natural resources.

Therefore we should hope the next dark horse does not have to be extracted from the Earth - or it too will run out in time.

There are substitutes for copper in many electrical uses; aluminum is used a lot in electrical transmission.

If we get to the point where we can make inexpensive wires out of Buckytubes, there'll be a lot of scrap aluminum on the market.  The measured conductivity of Buckytubes is up to 10x as good as copper, and their tensile strength is far greater than any metal.

The atmosphere is a major reservoir of carbon, and I don't see us needing enough wires to seriously deplete it.

Five years ago it was Nur who first introduced me to the concept of peak oil. He was quite pessimistic at the time, and naturally was viewed on campus as a Chicken Little. (Truth be told, I shared that opinion for a while until something he said made me start digging for more information. I quickly changed my mind!)
Slightly offtopic: I was there too in fact. I'm from the Palo Alto area so if you're around here and want to meet with a few other folks we'd love to have you join us for our rather informal peak oil gatherings--no end of suburbia showings here.

Anyway, I wrote a more scathing review that should be published on the energy bulletin soon. In fact one of hte administrators of the energybulletin was there with me.

... a more scathing review that should be published on the energy bulletin soon

I sense your anger and look forward to your scathe. But consider this: Those gray-haired professors up on stage have invested their entire lives into the studies of earth science (I'm a gray hair too --if you want to call what's left, hair). If the oil era is truly over, then that big Geology Dept. they are building up at Stanford is also partly over. They have a vested interest in reading the tea leaves to say oil is not over; and to say that geologists will come in to save the day for us.

In fact, many segments of our society have vested interests in saying that the oil age is not over. I think that is why you see so many opponents to the concept of Peak Oil.

Truth is that neither of the extermist camps (Savinar versus Yergin say) actually knows how much extractable reserve remains down underground/ undersea. So no one knows what is really going on. They interpret the tea leaves to their subjective likings.

Is this denial or just dissembling?

BP's Browne Sees Energy Prices Stabilizing and Even Falling Long Term
"World energy demand will continue to grow, but new oil and natural gas discoveries ramping up across the globe will likely lead to stabilized prices and perhaps even a dip in the long term, the CEO of BP plc said Tuesday.

John Browne spoke to the Brookings Institute in Washington, DC, to tout BP Alternative Energy, a low-carbon power business that was launched on Monday. However, the BP chief touched on a lot of energy subjects at the luncheon. The energy industry needs to plan for the future, he said, but added there remained plenty of new opportunities for exploration and production, pointing to recently discovered oil and gas deposits in the Caspian Sea, Angola, Russia and "here in the U.S. from the deepwater of the Gulf of Mexico," he added.

Today's high oil prices "are unlikely to be sustainable and should drop to average $40/bbl in the medium term," and longer term, prices could return to a range of $20-25/bbl, he said. (...)"

Signs of a New Little Ice Age

(The Gulf Stream delivers something like 27,000 times the amount of energy to the U.K. that all of the UK's power plants put out.  During the last Little Ice Age, there are documented reports of glaciers on the continent moving out of the Alps at the rate of a "musket shot per day," destroying villages along the way.  As the article notes, temperatures were low enough that the River Thames froze (the U.K. is on the same latitude as Siberia).  Today, this would have profound effects on energy demand, food supplies and ultimately, on population in Europe.  The Pentagon has been so concerned about this that they have been war-gaming various scenarios.  The winter is not off to a promising start since natural gas prices in the UK have already spiked once to the equivalent of $160 to $180 per barrel of oil--because European utilities on the continent refused to deliver gas to the U.K., despite the U.K. offering prices four times higher than continental prices, in other words, no energy available at any price.)

From the Drudge Report:


Failing ocean current raises fears of mini ice age

     *     18:00 30 November 2005
     *     NewScientist.com news service
     *     Fred Pearce

The ocean current that gives western Europe its relatively balmy climate is stuttering, raising fears that it might fail entirely and plunge the continent into a mini ice age.
The dramatic finding comes from a study of ocean circulation in the North Atlantic, which found a 30% reduction in the warm currents that carry water north from the Gulf Stream.

The slow-down, which has long been predicted as a possible consequence of global warming, will give renewed urgency to intergovernmental talks in Montreal, Canada, this week on a successor to the Kyoto Protocol.

Harry Bryden at the Southampton Oceanography Centre in the UK, whose group carried out the analysis, says he is not yet sure if the change is temporary or signals a long-term trend. "We don't want to say the circulation will shut down," he told New Scientist. "But we are nervous about our findings. They have come as quite a surprise."

No one-off

The North Atlantic is dominated by the Gulf Stream - currents that bring warm water north from the tropics. At around 40° north - the latitude of Portugal and New York - the current divides. Some water heads southwards in a surface current known as the subtropical gyre, while the rest continues north, leading to warming winds that raise European temperatures by 5°C to 10°C.

But when Bryden's team measured north-south heat flow last year, using a set of instruments strung across the Atlantic from the Canary Islands to the Bahamas, they found that the division of the waters appeared to have changed since previous surveys in 1957, 1981 and 1992. From the amount of water in the subtropical gyre and the flow southwards at depth, they calculate that the quantity of warm water flowing north had fallen by around 30%.

When Bryden added previously unanalysed data - collected in the same region by the US government's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration - he found a similar pattern. This suggests that his 2004 measurements are not a one-off, and that most of the slow-down happened between 1992 and 1998.

The changes are too big to be explained by chance, co-author Stuart Cunningham told New Scientist from a research ship off the Canary Islands, where he is collecting more data. "We think the findings are robust."

Hot and cold

But Richard Wood, chief oceanographer at the UK Met Office's Hadley Centre for climate research in Exeter, says the Southampton team's findings leave a lot unexplained. The changes are so big they should have cut oceanic heating of Europe by about one-fifth - enough to cool the British Isles by 1°C and Scandinavia by 2°C. "We haven't seen it yet," he points out.

Though unseasonably cold weather last month briefly blanketed parts of the UK in snow, average European temperatures have been rising, Wood says. Measurements of surface temperatures in the North Atlantic indicate a strong warming trend during the 1990s, which seems now to have halted.

Bryden speculates that the warming may have been part of a global temperature increase brought about by man-made greenhouse warming, and that this is now being counteracted by a decrease in the northward flow of warm water.

After warming Europe, this flow comes to a halt in the waters off Greenland, sinks to the ocean floor and returns south. The water arriving from the south is already more saline and so more dense than Arctic seas, and is made more so as ice forms.

Predicted shutdown

But Bryden's study has revealed that while one area of sinking water, on the Canadian side of Greenland, still seems to be functioning as normal, a second area on the European side has partially shut down and is sending only half as much deep water south as before. The two southward flows can be distinguished because they travel at different depths.

Nobody is clear on what has gone wrong. Suggestions for blame include the melting of sea ice or increased flow from Siberian rivers into the Arctic. Both would load fresh water into the surface ocean, making it less dense and so preventing it from sinking, which in turn would slow the flow of tropical water from the south. And either could be triggered by man-made climate change. Some climate models predict that global warming could lead to such a shutdown later this century.

The last shutdown, which prompted a temperature drop of 5°C to 10°C in western Europe, was probably at the end of the last ice age, 12,000 years ago. There may also have been a slowing of Atlantic circulation during the Little Ice Age, which lasted sporadically from 1300 to about 1850 and created temperatures low enough to freeze the River Thames in London.
Journal reference: Nature (vol 655, p 438).

Related Articles

     *     Post Kyoto talks start in tough climate
     *     http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn7385
     *     17 May 2005
     *     Climate change: Awaking the sleeping giants
     *     http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=mg18524864.400
     *     12 February 2005
     *     Climatologists pursue greenhouse gas danger levels
     *     http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn6959
     *     01 February 2005


     *     Southampton Oceanography Centre
     *     http://www.noc.soton.ac.uk/
     *     NOAA
     *     http://www.noaa.gov/
     *     United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
     *     http://unfccc.int/2860.php
     *     Met Office
     *     http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/

On a year over year basis has the temperature of the English Channel or Irish Sea dropped? Measurements taken in the tropics only inferred a drop in the North Atlantic.
China's demand for transport fuels expected to grow in 2006, while depletion restrains production.

"Domestic output is expected to climb 3.3 percent to 181 million tonnes this year as China seeks to curb its growing dependence on imports. But next year that will rise only slightly more to 184 million tonnes, the report said.

Declining production at key mature fields and complicated conditions in some new fields could make it harder to crank up output so fast, and imports will likely account for around 44 percent of the country's oil needs in 2006."


Back to Calpine....

Mr. Cartwright built an impressive company (for awhile) using technical advances in power generation technology (combined cycle gas turbine plants), favorable commodity market conditions (low gas prices), and government environmental and economic initiatives (deregulation).

People make money only during changes in conditions - they play the differentials and the unstatic.  Same with Calpine.  It was obvious to us "big picture" guys that this was a short-term phase in the energy business (10 years is the basic investment cycle).

As a nuclear guy, my first impulse is schadenfreude - delight in the misery of others.  My competitor has bitten the dust.... crushed, crashed. and burning....I hear the lamentations of their women and their bondholders....

Calpine has made a lot of megawatt-hours with less pollution than coal, for which they deserve praise.  On the other hand, they've wasted a LOT of natural gas when an alternative (nuclear) existed.  Wish most of that gas had stayed in the ground.

Due to the "dark spread" (cost of gas vs. cost of coal), they're pretty much out of business.  If and when LNG comes onshore, their investments might once again be useful.

Mr. Cartwright's mistake was not quiting when he was ahead - plants paid for - and riding the long tail.  With amortized CCGTs, many of his fleet could cover their operating costs and overhead even with reduced operating hours even with expensive gas.

No, Calpine continued an aggressive expansion plan until it was too late.

Watch for the hedge funds to cherry pick his plants in bankruptcy courts.  Many will be disassembled and shipped to China or Russia - much of the cost is in equipment rather than concrete.

I noticed that Texas Pacific did a nuclear flip in Texas and got a 500% return!

How the worm turns.

> Many will be disassembled and shipped to China or Russia - much of the cost is in equipment rather than concrete.

I do not think so. The gas and steam turbines, generators and all the small motors etc are built for 60 Hz and China and Russia have 50 Hz grids.
You could change gearboxes, generators and motors but it will still be suboptimal and you throw away 1/3 of the capital value of the heavy machinery.

Saudi Arabia is probably the most likely coyntry to have use for them.

It might also make sense to move some of them to major US refineries to make them grid independent if you have a hurricane or other disaster.


Good point.  I have seen older gas turbines in the US uninstalled and shipped to China but other countries may well be better customers.

Didn't know that China and Russia had 50 Hz grids.

Learn something new every day!

As to refineries and hurricanes, one of our hardware suppliers is backed up three years with refinery repair work in the US.

We have plenty of warheads and plenty of Australian and Canadian uranium ore to keep our nukes running till we have to shut them down to age. But where are we going to get more uranium if we want to build more nuke plants?
I'd start looking at gas cooled fast reactors if I was going to build power plants.