Monday Open Thread

It's a Monday, and cold, so be our guest.
Everything was coated with ice this morning.  Yech.

CNN had three energy-related stories this morning.  One was about how high fuel prices are increasing the prices of Christmas trees and poinsettias.  The other was a warning that gas prices are likely to rise soon.  Though they are dropping now, oil prices are on the rise, and eventually, that will be reflected in gas prices.  They think oil prices may spike this week, because of the storm heading toward the northeast.  

The third story wasn't directly energy-related.  It was about the federal government promising "mortgage assitance" to homeowners affected by the hurricanes.  Zero percent interest, for as long as it takes to get back on their feet.  It reminded me of the peak oil episode of Wall St. Week Reports.  One of the guests on that show thought that suburban real estate would tank, while urban real estate would boom.  He thought the government would be forced into offering a mortgage assistance program to suburbanites, because so many of them would owe more than their houses were worth.

Hello all. I am wondering what is the thought on a company called Black Light Power. They claim to have found a new primary energy source by chemically reducing the size of a hydrogen atom and releasing latent energy generating up to 1000 times the heat of coal at 10% of the current price. This story made it into the November 6th issue of The company's website is simply and it is loaded with technical papers and great animations describing their process. The research is going on at MIT and they claim to be just months away from releasing their findings.

Could this really be the technonogy optimists have been toting this whole time?

No.  They are spamming all over the Internet, trying to get investors.  Meanwhile, their patents are being revoked, because they "do not conform to known laws of physics and chemistry."  

I put this somewhere between perpetual motion and cold fusion.  Maybe there's something there, maybe there isn't.  If it does exist, it's probably not what they think it is, and even if it is, it doesn't mean it will ever have any practical value.

IF it is a fraud, then they do a great disservice to people who are doing legitimate research in the energy business.

A few quacks can give a bad name to a whole barrel full of legitimate energy inventors. It is incredibly difficult to get funding when you claim to have come up with a new way of generating energy because people are prejudiced into believing that ALL such claims are perpetual motion hoaxters.

I wouldn't worry.  If there really is something to it, there won't be any need to beg for money from strangers on the Internet.  Corporations, universities, and governments will be  happy to fund the research.  

I do think this hydrino thing has resurfaced again due to high energy costs, though, and I fully expect "free energy" scams to proliferate like bunnies as energy costs rise.  Instead of getting spam telling us we've inherited a Nigerian dictator's fortune, we'll be getting spam telling us we can get in on the ground floor of a company that will make OPEC obsolete.  :-P

Corporations, universities, and governments will be  happy to fund the research.

A wishful fantasy.
What do you mean?  We've already spent billions of dollars researching alternate energy.  Everything from ethanol to wind power to solar to nuclear fusion to, yes, diesel from algae.  The feds were even considering funding cold fusion research (though I think they eventually decided there was no there there).  

Don't tell me you're one of those who believe there's a huge conspiracy keeping free energy from the masses for the enrichment of big oil/the auto industry/a secret government cabal?

There is no cabal.
There is however,
a limit to how
"happy" they are
to spend money
on R&D:
I think the government, especially, will be spending more on R&D.  It's what societies facing diminishing returns do (as long as they can afford it).  The right wing is already talking about it.  Government funding of an Apollo program for energy.  A PR effort that would make energy researchers as glamorous as astronauts were in the '60s.  That's the "free market" solution.  
I think the government will be spending more on R&D.

The "government", if there is such a singular creature is a political animal. It does as those at the top dogmatically dictate:

Read here on Bush & benzene fracturing:


Bush is a lame duck.  He's history.  

If his science policies outlast him, however, I will be forced to conclude that we are further along Tainter's curve than I thought.

A society feeling the pinch of diminishing returns begins to engage in "scanning behavior."  People feel dissatisfied, and begin looking around for alternatives.  Foreign customs may become the vogue, new religions may arise, ideological strife intensifies, governments invest more on R&D.  

But once a society reaches the point where investments in further complexity no bring any return, scanning behavior ceases.  The government instead enforces strict behavioral controls, in hopes of increasing efficiency. And they can no longer afford R&D.  

Also, a lot of research is pork barrel. Remember that big field of photovoltaic panels that Reagan was so proud of? It was just a bailout of the electronics/silicon companies that were going through a crunch. There was no R+D component at all. Later it was disassembled.
Reagan, the guy who took the solar panels off the White House roof, is not a good example.  Many of our efforts to develop nuclear fission and other energy sources have been quite sincere, if so far rather fruitless.

I'm from the Big Island, in Hawaii.  Energy is mostly from oil there - all imported, and expensive.  Tourism is the biggest industry, so there's a lot of concern about the environment.  An oil spill at Waikiki would be devastating.  

So there has been a lot of interest in alternative energy.  Especially on the Big Island, which is the only island with active volcanos.  They were going to build geothermal plants there, and install an undersea cable to Honolulu, where most of the population lives.  

They did actually build a geothermal plant, and are still using it today.  It does work.  However, it proved to be much more expensive to build and maintain than they had hoped, and also more polluting.  They are not building any more, and are not planning to export electricity to other islands.  

There's also an ocean thermal plant, off the Kona shore.  It, too, works.  They also have side industries - lobster farms and such - that make use of the cold, nutrient rich water brought up from the ocean depths.  But it's still not really profitable, when you consider all the money the government has sunk into it.  It might be different once we're well past peak, but clearly, it's not going to provide the kind of energy oil does.  

Darn.  I was planning on using that to power my stargate so I could get at that Titan methane.
Be careful. Nobody has tried to market abiotic methane before, so we don't have a good handle on what price it would sell for. And you'd need either a really big stargate, or really small tanks.
This is an old story. To put any credence to it you have to believe that 100 years of quantum mechanics and the hundreds of thousands of experiments that have confirmed it are completely wrong. Dr Mills (who has medical qualifications but no formal physics qualifications ) has been peddling his hydrino theory for decades and it has come to nothing so far.

He also has a number of very unorthodox medical theories.

They seem to have had a media blitz recently and some publications have bitten.

There is a sceptical look at hydrinos here.
I put it well below abiotic oil and cold fusion on the scale of feasibility.

After a very quick perusal of one paper on the site, I would not be optimistic about this concept. If this hydrino has an energy lower than the usual ground state of hydrogen, then why aren't we hip deep in hydrinoes?  Also, the paper I looked seemed to imply a method for getting around the uncertainty principle.  I believe such statements are invariably an indication of hokum.
I first heard about BlackLightPower on AltEng, which seems to be grasping at straws.  They show up on the hoax websites, too.

And here:,baard,11218,1.html

I am glad you brought this topic up! By an amazing coincidence, I too am in search of investors for a sure-fire energy breakthrough! After careful study of the market, my company has decided to skip over the residential hot-water heater, commercial electricity generation and transport sectors and concentrate on weaponizing our technology. Imagine what will happen to share prices on the day we detonate the very first Vacuum Energy Weapon, aka Zero Point Bomb!

Please remit cash and money orders (no personal checks) to Zero Point Incorporated, POB 666, New Babylon, CT.

I believe Major. Sheppard desperately needs one in the Pegasus Galaxy. Please hurry....

If you could make biodiesel from snake oil, we wouldn't need to be here :-).
Reading my daily fare of Weather topics, I got to the 10AM discussion of Hurricane Elipson, which is still churning away in the mid Atlantic.  Forecaster Aliva, who is one of the regular set of Hurricane Forecasters at the NHC site, said something very funny to me.

 "I am not going ot predict what the storm will do"

 He was going to leave it up to models and use them instead.  To me it was rather funny, Just from reading them all the time I see that they are as confused about why these storms are there as most of us are, except they know something is up, just not what exactly.  They see the writting on the walls, but are still trying to see through all the rain still falling what the heck was written there.

 The storms that left rain here left snow up north I hear.  Fun Fun, But it sure got cooler down here too.  Most everyone heats with some form of Gas here in northern Alabama.  I saw my neighbors chimneies just puffing out smoke,  while I sit here and bundle up in the nippy air, wondering if I have another Blanket somewhere.

 Got to go out and pay last months Utilities bill, Sewerage, water, NG, Electric, Trash pick-up and tax all rooled into one neat bill, for $81.00  Yay me!.  Next months bill is going to be far higher.


Last night I was flipping through channels and happened upon an A&E show called MovieReal which was all about the making of 'Syriana.' I only caught the last 20 minutes, but it was excellent.

It was all about the politics behind the movie, with interviews with Robert Baer, Anonymous(the CIA agent whose name I forget), and Sonia Shah, the author of "Crude." These were mixed in with George Clooney and Matt Damon.

I was wondering if anybody else saw it and knows if the first 40 minutes was any good?

Haven't seen the movie, but congratulations on your re-election. And thanks for the heating oil!
Hi peak folks!

This is a request. A few threads back we talked about the Iranian Oil Burse, which aroused some debate. This coming March the 20th the Iranian Oil Burse will open (in case action is not taken by the Bush Adm), later in the year the Moscow Oil Exchange will also come on line. The information on this events is scarce, but it seems that both won't negotiate in dollars. What are the consequences?
Can you Oil Drummers get a bit more of info and post it to our discussion? Thanks.

The word is "bourse" and Google has many articles under: Iran Oil Bourse.  Someone here posted that rather than using only dollars, the bourse is open to any currency you want, but this article says they are probably going to use Euros:

Most articles that that claim that the Iran Bourse is an issues of epic proportions are written by William Clark, who  seems to be almost single handedly convincing some Oil Drum readers that this is the reason for the Iraq war and future conflict with Iran.  

The article below, which I found by searching for "Iran Oil Bourse" as Donal suggested, sounds more balanced. Aljazeersa is hardly a mouthpiece of the US empire.

"It is unlikely, in the short term at least, that large numbers of energy traders will decamp and set up shop in Iran; a country which happens to be categorised as a member of the "axis of evil"  by the president of the world's largest oil-importing country; the United States.

But over time, Iran could take some business away from the two incumbent energy exchanges, the International Petroleum Exchange and the New York Mercantile Exchange who both invoice sales solely in dollar....

....From an economic perspective, invoicing oil in euros would be logical for Iran as trade with the euro zone countries accounts for 45% of its total trade. More than a third of Iran's oil exports are destined for Europe, while oil exports to the United States are non existent."

The net gain to Iran is transaction fees on currency exchange. If this all works out for Iran, it could be a good idea that helps them to align the currency of their imports with the currency of their exports. This would come, to some degree, at the expense of the US. However to claim that this would be a cause for war is silly at best. Compared to the size of the US currency position or daily trade figures the Iran Bourse would be near insignificant.  

Re:  Apparent Slowing of Gulf Stream & Ocean Front Real Estate

One estimate I've seen is that the Gulf Stream delivers something like 27,000 times as much energy to the UK as all of their power plants turn out.  

It would appear that a large part of this energy is in the process of being withdrawn from the UK and Europe (and the NE U.S.) and redirected toward the U.S. coast in the form of Cat 4/5 hurricanes.   In turn, these Cat 4/5 hurricanes will continue to hammer our oil and gas infrastructure on and adjoining the Gulf of Mexico.

For both of these reasons--cold & hurricanes--I don't think that I would be buying ocean front real estate anywhere from Bangor, Maine to Brownsville, Texas, or for that matter real estate with 200 miles or so of the coast.

Our local public radio
station had an interview
with Stuart Saniford
today, and that inspired me
to look up this site.
As a person without a
science background, I
have been reading about
peak oil, particularly
Thom Hartmann. One of
the callers on this morning's
show asked how we can
"get to" the American
people, psychologically
, about this issue. I
think that it should be
considered "patriotic"
to drive 5 miles an hour
more slowly. Someone
 can probably show how
much oil would be saved,
and how much $$ drivers would
I have relatives in the United States who live in Boston. Whenever I visit them, it seems that the speed limit is either 55 or 65mph depending on the highway. Everybody actually drives between 70 and 85mph, with some people going 90mph. Very few people obey the highway speed limit.
If the police would simply enforce the speed limit as it is posted, the state could reap much revenue it is now forgoing in the form of fines, and Americans wouldn't be so dependant on Venezuelan oil.
"Everybody actually drives between 70 and 85mph, with some people going 90mph."

In NH and VT, those drivers are known as Massholes.:-)

I dislike speed limits.  My favorite place to drive was Montana and Wyoming, where the speed limits were stratospheric, but the roads were straight and wide.  It wasn't that I wanted to go all that fast, I just hate gang-driving.  In the Eastern US, either everyone tags along behind some driver that is exceeding the limit in hopes he'll get the ticket instead of them, or they take turns pulling ahead of each other and slowing down.  I think the NJ turnpike pays old people to drive Coupe de Villes slowly in the left lane.

Out west, I'd be driving say, 80, and I'd pass someone doing say, 70, and that was that.  No games, no tag-along.  Some guy passes me doing 90; same thing.  See ya later, I'm already going as fast as I want.  Of course, there's way too much traffic for that to work on narrow, winding highways like the Merritt or the Garden State.

But that was when I thought gas was plentiful.  

Now that would be an interesting way to enforce conservation.  If they did actually start handing out more tickets, people would slow down.  

While 55 mph is still the sweet spot for cars, for minivans and SUVs, 40 mph is where fuel efficiency starts to drop off.  That high, boxy shape isn't very aerodynamic.  How about a 40 mph speed limit for SUVs, 55 mph for cars?  >:->

Back in the 1970s, they did just that.  I even recall troopers driving 55 in the right lane and bullhorning anyone that thought about passing.  That was about the last time I saw a trooper obeying the speed limit.  Now they just fly by.

I suspect that increasing gas prices will slow people down as it did this summer.

BTW, I followed a link on Odograph's site to a site that lists over eighty models of autos that get over 40 MPG, only five of which are sold here:

In a related vein, almost every EV I see on the web is either:
1- a prototype,
2- to be produced real soon,
3- a 25 MPH moped, three-wheeler, NEV, or
4- over $35,000 to purchase.

THE "FIRST" LOOK (can you believe it?)

ANWR, peak oil and chemicals
(For more on these and other Capitol Hill stories, see today's Environment & Energy Daily.)

Budget conference to determine fate of Arctic drilling
House lawmakers return to Washington this week facing the daunting task of merging very different House and Senate spending cut bills -- a process that will decide whether struggling efforts to allow new Alaskan oil drilling through budget reconciliation will succeed.

House hearing to examine 'peak oil' theory
The concept of "peak oil" gets its first official congressional forum this week when the House Energy and Air Quality Subcommittee convenes Wednesday to conduct an informational hearing on the subject. Peak oil posits that declining worldwide oil production, and the higher costs of emerging sources of oil, cannot keep pace with rising global demand.

Collins floats regulatory bill for chemical sector
Senate Homeland and Government Affairs Committee Chairwoman Susan Collins (R-Maine) late last week took the wraps off a long-anticipated draft bill that would implement a series of federal security regulations for chemical facilities, which some analysts have long identified as vulnerable to a terrorist attack. The far-reaching legislation would place unprecedented security requirements on the chemical sector, but it has already been criticized by environmental groups who say the bill falls short in at least one key area.

Colder in Northern Europe...

Do you remember that wacky book by Art Bell called "The Coming Global Super Storm"?  How about that implausibly plotted movie "The Day After Tomorrow"?

Could it really be true that the Gulf Stream's flow to Northern Europe has slowed down by 30% in the last 12 years.  Check out this article:,3605,1654803,00.html?gusrc=rss

If Northern Europe's winters were 5 deg C colder, would this not affect the demand calculations for Peak Oil?

We talked about it here. My gut feel is it will turn out that Europe won't get much colder. It certainly hasn't so far - just the contrary.. My guess is the conveyor is slowing down because it's main driver is moving heat from the tropics to the poles. Since the poles are heating up faster than the tropics with global warming, the driver for the conveyor is dropping, and thus less heat is being transfererred. This will reduce the amount of temperature growth in Europe, but won't make it any colder. But it will be bad for SSTs off the US, and thus the hurricanes. Just my conjecture.
Right now I think the "switch" is in a moving but not totally moved to a stop position.  

 In your house it is the speed of light that moves the lights to the "on" position, but out there in the ocean it is a bit slower.  So we could see a warming trend for a while, only to have the switch make it to the "off" position.  Then bang, next season things change.

 To say the least, few of us really know what is going on, we just know that the weather is doing something we have not seen before.  Be that just a normal part of the cycles or something we did is still up in the air, we just don't have the data to know for sure, and might never.

I was reading about the 30% slowdown at real climate and they're still looking with question marks at that study.  Temp's are setting records in europe and model results are contradicted by this much of a slowdown without temp efects.

Perhaps we should just look at existing data and say.... we don't know yet....  more study is needed.

So I asked myself, how much energy do we use to support the American lifestyle? I was inspired by Matthew Simmons, who said "a dime buys enough electricity to lift a pickup truck 500 feet in the air."

Factoid: Your daily share of all US energy could lift you (180 lb.) 285 miles in the air. Beyond the air, really -- the  the  international space station orbits at just 217 miles.

Details: Total US energy flow per person is about 900 megajoules daily. ( After discarding a 62% heat loss, you are left with 342 megajoules for lifting.

The primary sources of American energy are: Oil 36%, Natural Gas 25%, Coal 24%, Nuclear 9%, Hydro 3%, Other (biomass, wind, solar) 4%.

To a posting on another topic I said in developed countries our continuous average personal energy use was around 2 kilowatts. If 900 MJ/day is correct that means our continuous average energy use is more like 10kw or 13hp.  Remembering that a watt is a joule per second and there are nearly 90,000 seconds in a day it works out a tad more than 10,000. It shows that in each day we spend a lot of time connected to pipes, cables and fuel tanks.
The 900 megajoules is primary energy going into the powerplants, gasoline tanks, furnaces, etc. The 342 megajoules of useful energy (which I used in computing the "lift" energy) is the productive energy at the wheel, the electric outlets, etc.

So you could say our continuous average personal energy use is around 4 kilowatts or 5.4 hp.

The December ASPO newsletter is up.  Some interesting comments on the IEA report.  Also a comment on our pal JD's rant against Colin Campbell.
The wholesale price of electricity has been going up tremendously in recent weeks. On 11/16, I was astonished by the 1 day increase in natural gas and electricty prices, and posted this image:

And now here we are, merely 19 days later, and electricity is up to:

Do you know why Electricity is going up? is it related to Natural gas?
Since many powerplants now use NG, it would make sense that increased NG prices would be passed along to electricity users.
Yikes.  I guess that explains my recent electricity bills...

I think the high natural gas prices are a big part of the reason for the increase.  But we also have a coal issue.  There was a landslide out west that shut down the rail lines that bring coal east.  Happened in spring, and isn't expected to be fully repaired until next month or so.  So coal is also in short supply.  

The drought out west may also be an issue.  It's affecting power plants.  Not only the hydroelectric ones, either.  All power plants use water for cooling and such.  Some have had their inlet pipes left high and dry by the drought.  The low water levels are also causing problems for the barges that might otherwise have delivered coal in place of the railroad.

Also, could it be that there's some panic about Calpine? The New York Stock Exchange announced it was delisting the stock this morning.

I wonder how much sooner a compact flourescent lightbulb pays for itself now?  I'd graph it, but I'm a hopeless amateur at statistics :-)  It'd be cool to see a projection graph that shows the savings increase of energy efficient equipment based on a given future energy price.
Almost all the bulbs in use in my house for general lighting are the low watt usage kind.  I have noticed over the last 4 years of their use that I have saved a lot of money on my bills.   I have though recently been pushing the edges of as little energy use for heating and cooling, I would not have been able to do this with others living with me.  About the only positive thing I can say about getting a divorce.
Hello Leanan,

You seem quite knowledgeable about the North American natural gas picture. I was hoping you could bring me up to speed about the current situation and the future for NG production given the imminent prospect of a NG peak in NA. In your opinion will LNG be able to make up the difference between supply and demand as decline sets in?  Or will NA in general and the US in particular be faced with bone-jarring shortages going forward regardless of foreign imports?


We are past peak for natural gas in North America.  Even Exxon admits it.

LNG won't be able to make up the difference.  Right now, we get something like 1% of our natural gas via LNG.  So if we triple our imports, we'll get...3%.  To do that, we will have to build a lot more LNG terminals (and someone will have to build a lot more ships).  

LNG terminals take a lot of money and time to build, and are facing NIMBYist opposition everywhere except the Gulf Coast.  

The current plan seems to be to hope Canada builds a lot more LNG terminals, and to claim the natural gas they import via NAFTA rules.  There's also talk of building a new pipeline to the arctic, but like new LNG terminals, that will take time.  

For these reasons, I think natural gas is likely to be a bigger problem than oil, at least immediately.  It's much harder to ship, so it will be harder to "export our shortage," which is what we've been doing with oil.

Thanks Leanan, WOW! I didn't realise that NA was already past peak for NG.  I mean I knew the US was, but thought that the NAFTA peak was still a few years off.  So what do you think will happen now - realistically?  And what does this mean for tar sands and CTL production?

Warm Regards.

There's been talk of building nuclear power plants to run the tar sands operations.  I don't know if the political climate will allow it, though.  

I suspect what will happen is what's been happening since 2000.  Demand destruction is occuring, but mostly in industry.  Commercial users of natural gas - aluminum manufacturers, chemical companies, fertilizer plants, cement makers, etc. - have shut their doors or moved overseas.

Many commercial users of natural gas and the electricity generated from it have agreed to shut down if there's a shortage.  They get a lower rate for doing this.  So if we start running low in later winter, I expect a lot of people to be sent home, so everything can be turned off in their workplaces.  (This happens in the summer fairly regularly, but not, so far as I know, in the winter.)

Worst comes to worst, there will be California-style rolling blackouts.  

This is a post that appeared on a previous thread yesterday, however on this same thread there were some postings by Pomona96 about ethanol from lignocelluloses that IMO are recommended reading.

So lets talk about ethanol:  The US gasoline consumption is 9.5 million barrels / day,  9.5 * 365 * 42 = about 145 billion gallons annually.  The US annual corn crop harvest is 10 billion bushels.  10 * 2.5 = 20 billion gallons of ethanol. Ethanol yield is about 2.5 gallons per bushel.  25 / 145 = about 17% If we used the entire annual corn crop to produce ethanol,  10% could be used for gasohol while the other 7% would be consumed by increased demand before the new ethanol plants came on line.

In addition to corn I have been looking at some numbers on soybeans and potatoes.

The US harvests about 2.5 billion bushels of soybeans annually, and about 23 million tons of potatoes. Potatoes yield about 25-30 gallons of ethanol/ton or  688 million gallons of ethanol about .5% of our gas consumption.

There has been much talk about bio-diesel from soybeans. The only numbers I can find are that soybeans yield about 9.5 to 10 pounds of oil/bushel. How much bio-diesel will 10 pounds of soybean oil yield??  2 Gallons??  that would make 5 billion gallons of bio-diesel.  Our annual distillate consumption is 4.5*365*42=69 billion gallons.  Soybean bio-diesel would only supply 7% of our distillate needs.   5/69=.0725.

So all the corn, beans, and potatoes are used for liquid fuels. The cows, hogs, and chickens are skinny and starving, egg production has collapsed and we are on bread and water.  I hope this can put in perspective our alternate liquid fuels problem.  Furthermore we are not sure if it requires more than a gallon or less than a gallon of oil to produce a gallon of alternative liquid fuel.

For those who are not aware:  US gas consumption 9.5 million barrels/day,  diesel 4.5 million barrels/day, oil 20.5 million barrels/day . Of course the gas and diesel are refined from the oil.  The balance is used for plastics and etc. World wide oil currently about 83.5 million barrels/day.

A similar calculation for New Zealand showed that 100% of arable land, planted in oil crops like canola, would produce enough bio-diesel to fill 6% of the country's diesel fuel demand. No bread would be available--we'd need to drink the diesel.

The numbers are sobering. And that's not even considering the capital, and the lead time, we'd need to build the production plants.

Ferment or pyrolise the oil crop residue to at least double your fuel production. As for that 6% number, sounds like just the land presently growing crops as distinct from pasture/forest land.
Its always been a no brainer to me that we could not just convert the food crops we produce to fuel crops.  We can in small bits use them to augment our needs but not totally replace them.  

Prehaps we can convert the solar energy that hits a hay feild into the energy we will get from using a horse that eats that hay, and see if we are getting a good deal or not.

 Animals for work do take a lot more effort than just going to start the tractor every morning,  but in the days ahead, we might in the end save ourselves a bit of energy if a few more of us use them than are today.

 Though nothing will be equal to the energy we use today world wide, it might be a start, not a soft landing , just a start.

After the Cantarell anouncement the other day, someone said that there were still 2 of the 4 super giants left, Ghawar and Daqing.

However, the only articles I can find about Daqing (like this one from China's People Daily) seem to indicate that Daqing is past peak.

Is Ghawar truly the only super giant left that has (supposedly) not reached peak?

Can anyone tell me where I can find a list of the top 20 oilfileds in the world?


Field, Country    Size estimate
  1. Ghawar, Saudi Arabia    75-83 billion barrels
  2. Burgan, Kuwait    66-72 billion barrels
2a. Cantarell, Mexico
(often listed as a large complex
of multiple smaller fields)    35 billion barrels
  1. Bolivar Coastal, Venezuela    30-32 billion barrels
  2. Safaniya-Khafji, Saudi Arabia/Neutral Zone    30 billion barrels
  3. Rumaila, Iraq    20 billion barrels
  4. Tengiz, Kazakstan    15-26 billion barrels
  5. Ahwaz, Iran    17 billion barrels
  6. Kirkuk, Iraq    16 billion barrels
  7. Marun, Iran    16 billion barrels
  8. Gachsaran, Iran    15 billion barrels
  9. Aghajari, Iran    14 billion barrels
  10. Samotlor, West Siberia, Russia    14-16 billion barrels
13.Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, USA    13 billion barrels
13a. Kashagan, Kazakhstan    13 billion barrels
  1. Abqaiq, Saudi Arabia    12 billion barrels
  2. Romashkino, Volga-Ural, Russia    12-14 billion barrels
  3. Chicontepec, Mexico    12 billion barrels
  4. Berri, Saudi Arabia    12 billion barrels
  5. Zakum, Abu Dhabi, UAE    12 billion barrels
  6. Manifa, Saudi Arabia    11 billion barrels
  7. Faroozan-Marjan, Saudi Arabia/Iran    10 billion barrels
  8. Marlim, Campos, Brazil    10-14 billion barrels

Thanks!!! You're a legend.

Aw shucks, I'm justa stupid english professer who once wanted to be a geologist.
Do you have the dates of discovery for each?
Good article on local food:,9171,1126709,00.html

Monday, Nov. 07, 2005
What's Cooking On Campus
Locally grown food is the latest student cause. Can this movement save family farmers?

They shut down the Pepsi machines in the University of Portland cafeteria the other day. The plastic bottles of Hunt's Ketchup disappeared. Sugar was replaced with honey from a neighborhood beekeeper. And everything else on the lunch menu, from soup (lentil) to nuts (hazel), was locally grown, baked, milked and mixed. The shrimp was harvested in nearby Netarts Bay, not in Thailand; the herbs were gathered in adjacent Clackamas County, not in California; the chicken was pastured on fields outside Eugene, not imported from the Midwest's vast factory farms. "It's awesome," said Alex Samuels, 19, a freshman from Puyallup, Wash., swigging a drink made from Oregon berries. "We're helping smaller farmers instead of big corporations."

It may seem to lack the ideological passion of antiapartheid or antiwar protests, but the new activist slogan on campuses is "Eat local." Students are rediscovering the political adage that you are what you eat. And colleges are voting with their palates--and their multimillion-dollar food budgets--against an ever more global agricultural industry in which produce travels, on average, 1,500 miles from farm to plate. Posters around the University of Portland campus proclaimed that BUYING LOCAL FOOD IS ONE WAY YOU CAN HELP STOP GLOBAL WARMING ... AIR AND WATER POLLUTION. A racier consciousness-raising stunt was staged at Brown University, where activists published Ripe, a 2005 calendar featuring naked students posing
with strategically positioned Rhode Island fruits and vegetables (for August, cantaloupes rest on the buttocks of the women's soccer team).

Will politically correct gastronomy save the family farm? That may be wishful thinking. At the University of Portland, the all-local lunch was merely symbolic--Pepsi was back for dinner. What's meatier is that the university, which serves 22,000 meals weekly, has hiked spending on local and regional products to 40% of its food dollars--up from less than 2% five years ago. "Even the burgers are from Oregon steers," boasts dining manager Kirk Mustain.

Some 200 universities have jumped onto the eat-local haywagon--half of them since 2001, according to the Community Food Security Coalition, an advocacy group based in Venice, Calif. For many of these academic foodies, buying local is only part of an educational mission. Scholars like Oberlin environmental-studies professor David Orr advocate "ecological literacy," tying agriculture to the study of fiction, history, science, economics and politics. In a form of dirty-fingernail "experiential learning," some 45 universities and colleges, from Maine's Bowdoin to Minnesota's St. Olaf, have started campus farms. And courses like Sustainable Food Systems at the University of California at Santa Cruz deconstruct relationships between producers and consumers, with such readings as The Maturing of Capitalist Agriculture: Farmer as Proletarian.

The eco-food movement may appeal to antimultinational globophobes: packaged, refrigerated goods transported from afar use tons of fossil fuels that pollute and release ozone-depleting gases. Locally grown produce typically needs fewer pesticides than big farms use--and fewer synthetic additives for a long shelf life. But as students seek to upend the food-supply chain, they get a gritty lesson in practical economics. Cafeterias are often serviced by billion-dollar behemoths such as Sodexho Inc. and Aramark Corp., which make money partly by purchasing cheap foreign produce and centralizing distribution. Even when colleges operate their own dining halls, the staff is used to making a single phone call to order thousands of meals from distributors like the $30 billion Sysco Corp. Roast beef arrives cooked and sliced, powdered soup requires only added water, broccoli comes in precut florets. When the University of Montana decided to eat local two years ago, four graduate students spent months finding 34 nearby suppliers and organizing logistics. "We couldn't have 10 different farmers driving pickup trucks to drop off tomatoes," said dining director Mark LoParco. They nudged growers into co-ops for delivery and processing. Now the romaine comes washed and chopped--and the farmer gets a higher price. In January the university's new contract with Sysco will stipulate that the company supply bacon from Daily's Inc., a Missoula processor.

If caterers are starting to pay heed, it may be none too soon. University of California students on 10 campuses launched a statewide campaign last month to pressure U.C. regents to spend at least 10% of their $20 million annual food budget on local and organic products. Sodexho, which was ousted from the University of California at Santa Cruz after a student campaign, recently began to draw its supplies from local sources near eight Midwestern campuses. Aramark works with the University of Rochester and Vassar to buy from nearby farmers. And California-based Bon Appétit, which operates dining halls at 67 colleges, has hiked spending on local food to 20% of its budget.

In some cases, cooking from scratch with local ingredients is more expensive. Williams College will pay $85,000 more this year to double local products to 14% of its $2.7 million food budget. But at the University of Montana, even though the price of local beef and safflower oil was higher, the dining bill actually shrank slightly because of reduced spoilage. Liability can also be an issue, as University of Vermont students discovered when Sodexho forced a nearby orchard to buy $4 million worth of insurance. But activists persist. "Students go through purchasing reports to see where we are buying pears," says Robert Volpi, Williams' dining director.

Pure idealism? Not necessarily. Local food is usually tastier. When Alice Waters, the celebrity chef, helped her daughter's Yale cafeteria switch to a seasonal, regional menu (even the chips are made from organic potatoes grown in Connecticut), students from other dining halls began forging IDs to crash the feast. When Brown introduced Rhode Island Macouns and Winesaps--replacing the Red Delicious and Granny Smiths grown for long-distance trucking--apple consumption doubled. To be sure, some colleges find it easier and cheaper to install fast-food counters. And some students would just as soon dine on Kraft cheese and Cocoa Puffs ("This stuff is weird," grumbled University of Portland physics major David Baldwin, 18, sniffing at the salmon-fennel latkes). Even a few Yalies grouse that the all-local dining hall doesn't serve tomatoes in winter. "My generation knows how to put food in a microwave and eat in front of a computer screen," says Louella Hill, 24, a food activist at Brown. But she adds, "When someone bites into an heirloom plum, I see a profound awakening."
That awakening is enhanced by growing contact between students and farmers. At the University of Portland's local-foods lunch, fish broker Amy Dickson set up a display with shells, nets and a sign reading SIGNATURE SALMON: 100% LINE-CAUGHT IN OREGON WATERS. "My slogan is 'Roe vs. Wave: Salmon is a choice,'" she joked. Aaron Silverman of Greener Pastures Poultry gave out brochures describing how his chickens "wobble around as they please." And wheat farmer Karl Kupers touted the environmental benefits of no-till planting. "Students come up and shake your hand and call you a hero," said Kupers, whose co-op sells to seven area colleges. Spokane senior Emily Magnuson, 21, echoed the sentiment. "It's a homey feeling to know who's growing your food," she said as the scent of fresh-baked bread made from Kupers' wheat wafted out of the kitchen.

While some might dismiss this 'local food' movement as idealistic and largely symbolic, I think that it is quite significant on many levels.  First, it brings attention to the problems of globalization and the centralization of our food supply system; and second, it is a very refreshing example of local intitiative asserting itself in a very positive manner. I think the latter is by far the most important, because we have been brainwashed for too long that we should take it as a given that big is better and that large economic entities can, a priori, do things more efficiently. It is a very uplifting example of people taking it upon themselves to make things work the way they want it to, totally outside the influence of multnational  agribusiness.  I wish them success and hope that the idea spreads.

While local food might cost more in terms of direct money out of your wallet, when you factor in all the 'externialities' (that economists' favorite word for the collection of messy things they can't conveniently analyze), it might not really be so expensive.

The list owner of the Yahoo gruop ROE2 (Running on Empty 2) has a very nice food co-op for local growers in the Oklahoma City area.  I don't have his website on this computer, but anyone interested can go read the Yahoo group. I know Robert was working on making his in town yard produce as much of his food supply as possible, having passed the 40% mark several years ago, I don't know where he is now, but it likely nearing 60% to 70% if not higher.

Not only Local Farmers but if you have a yard then you yourself can grow some things, Work is a key, you have to work and plan.  But some things can be grown with very little imput from you. I have Oregano that started from one plant that now is several and in several near by Pots out in my back yard, it takes the mild freezes and long hot summers very well.

For the mathematically enabled , linear programming is nothing new .  For others, linear programming can be viewed as a high speed puzzle solver .  
Those wishing to provide their own food Should check out a free program at "Nutrisurveys".  Linear programming is embedded in the software .  Also included is a nutritional database .  More information is available on the site .  
In order to achieve nutritional balance, what is planted and what is eaten in combination at mealtime requires considerable thought .  
For those who are unimpressed , consult a mathematician before rejection .    
If you're interested in eating locally...Google the name of your community and CSA.  (That stands for "Community Supported Agriculture.")  

I did, and found there's a college-supported CSA farm in walking distance.  In exchange for 12 hours labor and $400, you get enough fruits and vegetables each week to feed two vegetarians or four non-vegetarians.  You get herbs and flowers, too.  The farm produces for six months, so it's about $15 a week - not bad.  You are allowed to share memberships, if you can't eat all the veggies yourself.  The farm's surplus is sold at the local farmer's market and given to local food pantries and soup kitchens.

Robert's Food CoOp
An interesting model with no store front.  Just farmers selling to customers with the coop acting as a middle man.
Hmm Hydrinos are quite an amusing concept. If there was an energy state below the ground state we'd see it in the spectrograms of light emanating from some object somewhere in the visible universe. So far, no such luck. Maybe hydrinos are only confined to hot water heaters?
It could be possible to decrease the ground state of a hydrogen atom by pumping the vacuum energy down (using the Casimir effect maybe?), but like refrigeration a lot of energy would be necessary, certainly more than could be extracted.

On a completely different tack, here's some info on wood gasification (for cars or stationary power).

  1. Many of the WWII gasifiers were updraught gasifiers which produce a lot of tar and hence gummed up the engines
  2. A downdraught gasifier has minimal tar. Surges of tar can be soaked up by a charcoal filter
  3. Modern industrial filters can remove carbon dust quite effectively. Swedish and Danish research shows that engines powered by gasifiers with good filters last as long as diesel powered engines. I can supply links if any one is interested. Gasification seems quite practical in many respects, just more inconvenient than we are used to (of course, peak wood is a bit of an issue...)
Yes, by all means, I would appreciate your listing some gasifier links.

I had become interested in biomass gasification about 10 years ago and briefly looked into it. I even tried to make a very crude gasifier to play around with just to see if I could get it to work. (It didn't work very well.)

It is (at least superficially) a relatively simple technology and has more than a few strong points going for it. However, trying to run a car on it is a whole other thing, though it'd be fun to try to get a lawnmower engine to work on biogas.

As I recall, the gas produced from a biomass gasifier is mostly carbon monoxide, with small amounts of  hydrogen and methane, plus a goodly amount of assorted volatilized gums and goos. Correct?

I'm curious as to whether anyone has had any success in  producing hydrogen by subjecting biomass gasifier gas to one of these old 'water gas' reactions. Or is that what is actually happening (at least in part) in the gasifier in the first place?  I am a bit rusty on this technology, but am starting to renew my interest.

Why the heck are we cutting thousands of square miles of lawns each year and wasting all that gas?

Cities in low water areas have started telling folks to have native yards instead of "green grass water drinking" yards.  

 Seems to me that just taking that out of the picture we could save some gas and a lot of time.

 I hate mowing my yard,  especailly when the city tells me I have too.  I mow my yard as few times as possible,  I'll have to do a lot more landscaping to elimate it though.

 The average lawn mower only uses a quart of gas for about 6,000 to 8,000 square feet of lawn, but times that by 10 to 25 times a year and you get a lot of gasoline, and that is just my smaller yard.

Not all lawn mowers use gas...!

Why not just get a manual one and get some exercise into the bargain...?

We could always talk about peek fresh water........
I got so frustated with the difficulty of starting my gas mower I bought an electric. I found dealing with the long cord to be less of a hassle once I learned the tricks of the trade.
They're also a bit quieter, and you can easily stop and start them.  People tend to let the gas mowers run because they're such a nuisance to start.

I liked my push mower, but I couldn't find anyone to sharpen the blades.  I guess I'll have to learn to do it myself.

It occurs to me that a major casualty of energy depletion is going to be leisure time.  We'll all be busy walking, cycling and doing stuff by hand.

Peak Oil

Catalyst program. Last week on ABC Oz they had a segment on PO.

If anyone is interested to read the transcript or watch the video here is the link. GPM have also put a copy of the transcript on their website.

It also got a mention in the APSO Dec Newsletter.


Saw this article by Dale Allen Pfeiffer discussing the effect of various depletion rates, similar to some discussions here:

There is an editorial comment at the end of that:
"it would seem quite probable that we have already passed the global Net-Energy peak of oil production. As the quality of the World's remaining oil fields continues to diminish, more and more oil is burnt up in the processes of extraction, refining and transportation. The oil peak we commonly refer to is actually the gross oil peak."

I suppose that a declining EROEI is what they had in mind.  But when oil "production" numbers are reported, are they really "gross" rather than "net"?  Which energy expenditures are already deducted from the number, and which are not?

E.g., the barrels of oil "produced" from the "tar sands" are "gross", in more ways than one, but including the fact that the amount of natural gas used up in the process is not deducted.  How about other energy inputs in conventional oil "production"?  And in refining?  Isn't the oil used for heating within the refinery already deducted from the refinery output?  So if "heavier" oil is used, and needs to be "cracked" into smaller molecules, there is less net output from the refinery.  That does not affect the reported barrels of crude "produced" and fed to the refineries, though.

If the numbers are indeed "gross", can net numbers be found, or computed, to see if indeed "we have already passed the global Net-Energy peak of oil production"?  Simpleminded first approximation: if the overall EROEI is now about 10, and it used to be 100, then it's about a 10% deduction, which is quite significant, equivalent to about 8 mbpd.

Found this full-page Peabody Energy ad in today's Washington Post:

Also found a full-page ad for an EdenPure advanced quartz infrared portable hetarer that will cut your heating bill up to 50%. "electricity is used to generate infrared light which, in turn, generates a very safe heat." :-)

I am fascinated by the NIMBY issues surrounding giant wind turbines.   I find them beautiful, both ascetically and conceptually. but I must admit I have never lived in close proximity to field of them.  

Has there been much objection to erection cell phone towers all over the landscape?  Granted they are not as tall, but I personally find them to be ugly.  I don't remember public meetings being held to ask if cell phone towers could be erected in the communities I have lived in the past ten years.  

Agreed.  We put up with smokestacks, water towers, electrical substations, sewage treatment plants, powerlines, billboards, cloverleafs, traffic signals, etc. so what is the big deal about a wind turbine?
They're ok I guess, but they really should be covered with advertising.  All that wasted white space!  After all, advertising is our nation's highest form of art (sorry copperweaver).
Using persIstence of vision, like this device:
windMills could have LEDs embedded in the rotor.  At night, and wind willing, each windmill becomes a gigantic ProgrammablE sign.  Of course, the subliminAl/subconsCious messaging algoritHms/subroutines would cost extra...
Wind turbines move constantly and our brains are wired to notice things that move. It takes a lot longer to learn to ignore a windmill then a smokestack, etc.
I see your point.  When I am in a bar or restaurant with a televison, I have a hard time not staring at it and I don't watch tv...

Just think of a wind turbine as monumental minimalist kinetic sculptures that happen to generate electricity

Yes, the location of cell towers has been a huge NIMBY issue.  Everyone wants better cell phone service, but no one wants a tower in their line of sight.  

They located one across the street from my office, beside a county office building, and tried to disguise it as a flagpole.  It didn't work.  They took the flag down because it looked so ridiculous.