Economides: $100/bbl oil and $20/McF NG before the year is out...

From MyWestTexas:
Having seen his prediction that crude oil prices would reach $65 a barrel become reality, Dr. Michael Economides is making equally bold predictions about natural gas.  Natural gas prices, he said Wednesday while visiting Midland to address the Permian Basin section, Society of Petroleum Engineers, will reach $20 per thousand cubic feet (Mcf) around Christmas.
Having forecast $65 oil, he said, he's now predicting $100 oil "but I'm not impressed with that. Natural gas is the real story."

Economides, professor at the Cullen College of Engineering at the University of Houston and managing partner in a petroleum engineering and strategy consulting firm, lists several reasons for his expectations of high energy prices.

What caught my eye from the link...

Another major producing country, Russia, has regressed to what Economides called the Brezhnev era with the state takeover of Yukos, once Russia's largest oil company, and the jailing of its founder, Mikhail Khodorkovsky. That, he said, puts over 50 percent of Russia's oil production capability in government hands and "that's a serious deficiency."

He chided the Bush administration for not forcefully opposing the Russian government's actions, saying the administration should be blasting Russian President Vladmir Putin.

"The Bush administration was not stern with Putin, who is a bigger threat than Saddam Hussein was," Economides stated.

WTF? Invade Russia? These freakin' Texans shouldn't be allowed to play 'Risk'... keep'em play football for Godsake... maybe they'll get hurt.

economides comments about russia put him firmly in the neocon camp.

the israeli russians who putin banished for looting and failing to pay taxes on the loot are supported by no lesser light than richard perle, who called for russia's banishment from the G-8 when his israeli russian buddy khodorkovsky was busted by putin.

khodorkovsky had his appeal rejected by a moscow court last week, and was sentenced to 8 years in the pokey.

richard perle's newspaper, the telegraph, had this sympathetic treatment of khodorkovsky's confinement, but had to note at the end of the article that

His campaign manager said the opposition would still try to make it a "people's election", urging voters to write Khodorkovsky's name on their ballot papers. Yet he seems not to command significant voter loyalty. Many ordinary Russians resent the "oligarch" billionaires for gaining control of former state assets after the fall of the Soviet Union.

From custody, Khodorkovsky tried to reach out to the public, admitting that the oligarchs had made mistakes. Even so, a recent opinion poll found that most Russians were indifferent to his sufferings. Only one per cent said he wanted to "strengthen the economy", "help people" or "make Russia prosper".

economides support of this lashup of clowns might make him a fairly reliable indicator of PNAC's intentions.
The PNAC / Feith / Pearle / Kristol / Wolfowitz thing isn't working out so well, is it:

Bomb hits oil ministry in Baghdad
A suicide bomber kills at least six people and injures 13 outside the oil ministry in the Iraqi capital, police say.

there's a theory floating around that this is exactly what the israeli american faction of PNAC wants. the more chaos in iraq, the safer israel feels ---as long as the iraqis are fighting amongst themselves, they are no threat to israel.

the only thing israel needs is peace in the kurdish area, where 10 billion barrels of oil in kirkuk are being babysat by the mossad as israel supports the kurdish faction that is willing to send that oil to israel.

there's a lot of talk around about rebuilding the kirkuk/haifa pipeline, but the problem with that is that a lot of the pipe runs through syria, which explains a lot of the neocon agitation to get syria.

Efforts to Repair Iraq's Oil Facilities Founder
September 26, 2005
The deficiencies have deprived Iraq of hundreds of millions of dollars in potential revenue needed for national rebuilding efforts and kept millions of barrels of oil off the world market at a time of growing demand.,0,4211827.story?coll=la-story-footer& amp;track=morenews

I'm quite uncomfortable with posts that appear to suggest a racial conspiracy theory. It's one thing to criticize the actions of a specific government (eg Israel), or a specific individual (eg Richard Perle), but your discussion borders on anti-semitism Wadosy. It's relevance to Peak Oil also appears pretty tangential. I would encourage you to stay focused on peak oil issues and to avoid phrases like "Israeli Russian" and "Israeli American" and causal theories that suggest that anyone with any connection, racial or financial, to Israel must be acting as a single conspiracy. In the past, conspiracy theories about Jews have been used to justify large-scale genocide, and are thus understandably too sensitive to too many people.
Wadosy's comments are anti-semitic and speculative. What is an "Israeli russian" except a way not to say Jew. And to start a point with "there's a theory floating around" is not in keeping with the quality of analysis usually found on this site. Stick with the facts.
Obviously the fact that Saudi Arabia has a nationalized oil industry is not an issue for this russophobic clown.  Shouldn't the USA be invading Saudi Arabia to "privatize" its oil industry?  How about Mexico?

The lunatics have taken over the asylum.  If there are so many alternatives to oil on the horizon, why the war mongering insanity?  Really, who cares who owns Russian, Saudi or Mexican oil?

Fear about gas prices is palpable, though not what you might think.

My gas company just sent me an offer to lock in a fixed monthly cost of gas. I have to sign up for a year and I have to pay a fixed amount regardless of where gas prices go.

Why would they do that? Ans: They want to use me to hedge against the price of gas falling sharply. You can smell the fear.

$10 by Christmas.

Fred, you don't say what price they want you to lock in at. Also, do you project sharply declining prices due to dropping demand or massive increases in supply? If the former, why would demand crash in the middle of winter? In the latter, where will it come from?
Natural Gas prices have peaked at 10 before, but NEVER in the summer.
Monthly chart - NG futures (that chart is behind the times it doesn't show the september bar but serves the purpose)

That chart is what we call a 'breakout'. In the early days following a breakout, there is always risk that price fails to hold, and the resulting reversal creates significant selling pressure on the market or commodity.

The thing is... that break out happened last month and its holding up rather well so far.

Looking at shorter time frame charts, I do not, at this time, see such an event happening.  Even if price does reverse significantly and soon, the first thing most energy traders will be expecting to see is for support to hold above 10$.

Long before 10 becomes even a remote possibility this fall/winter, first there are a number of key levels where traders will expect support to hold before price will even have a chance of retreating to 10$, as I noted in another comment thread here this evening.

I find it interesting though only coincidental that NG hit $10 for the first time in Dec 2000 about the same time the Supreme Court appointed Bush.
I am observing behavior that indicates the gas company seriously wants to hedge against falling gas prices. I don't need to know the details of their analysis to see that is what they are doing.

My own assessment of gas supply is irrelevant to all this. I'm an observer of a dog barking in the night.

Fred, perhaps they are hedging against $20 for you, expecting that they will be the ones who have to deal with irate customers? Just a thought. What was the price they offered?
There is an alternative explanation, which is actually 180 degrees from your assessment.  Most public service nat gas utilities are heavily regulated at the retail level, meaning, in order to raise rates they have to go before a public service commission to approve the rate hike.  If they think wholesale gas is going to continue to stay at the high price now, or even go higher, they're going to want to lock you in at that high price now, to hedge against all those customers who don't lock in.  Why?  Because the PSC may decide to implement price celings as a polically palatable solution, and the nat gas utility is going to take a major hit on these customers who are paying artifically lower prices because a rate hike just wasn't going to go over well.  So why not try to scare more "reliable" customers into locking in at a higher rate to offset that possibility?  At least this way they don't lose as much.
Why would they do that? First, you need to determine whether your gas company is a mere middleman or is a gas producer.

My gas company, for example, is simply a transport co - they don't make a mark up on the gas itself, technically speaking. Regulatory restrictions get in the way of that. If a fixed price loophole allowed them to make a few cents they might not otherwise be able to make, I can see such companies doing this.

Even if they are able to generate profits on gas markup, you can't know off hand what their motivation is... but generally its to smooth out the bumps in revenue. Clearly they only sell at a certain price if they've bought it already cheaper, or if they believe that price will head lower in the future. Certainly there's some reason to believe that today's 12$ gas will not be 12$ in April 2006 (bu might be again by July 2006).

However, we should remember that many - probably most - companies are bad at hedging, especially in volatile (up and down) markets.

PS: I've not looked into this, but I bet there are also loopholes in regulatory processes that allow a NG or energy supplier to offer fixed rate energy at higher prices per btu than what the regulated price would normally allow for.

While its different in all jurisdictions, commonly an energy supplier will have to apply for rate increases and the pace of approvals of same isn't likely to keep up with markets moving as fast as they are. If a fixed-price loophole exists in a jurisdictions regulatory environment, you can bet they are going to take advantage of that.

"My gas company just sent me an offer to lock in a fixed monthly cost of gas. I have to sign up for a year and I have to pay a fixed amount regardless of where gas prices go"

This sounds like what my gas company calls "balanced billing" which if you read the fine print has two ways they eliminate the risk.  First they can adjust the amount depending "if your usage changes" and secondly "At the end of the billing year, any difference between total payments and actual energy costs will be added to or subtracted from your last bill of the budget year."

That said it's entirely possible they bought strips of futures and decided to sell them to you at a nice profit.  A consumer facing offer like that takes months of planning and execution.  So the offer would have been planned in say Apr, the billing systems and mailings set up in Mar.. July, the mailings sent in August - in which case they would have bought the strips in July or August and right now they are thinking ... humm I wonder if we can make it really hard for people to take us up on this offer.


Finance ministers and central bank governors of the world's leading industrial countries have warned of economic disruption from high oil prices and and vulnerabilities in financial markets.

The mood at the International Monetary Fund and World Bank annual meetings was downbeat, with senior politicians and officials airing their fears that global economic expansion may have peaked and that more challenging times lie ahead.

Jean-Claude Trichet, president of the European Central Bank, said that high oil prices were having a "very significant impact" on growth and inflation.

The communiqué of the international monetary and financial committee - the ministerial board that oversees the IMF - said: "Global growth is expected to continue, although downside risks to the outlook have increased, especially high and volatile oil prices, recently exacerbated by the effects of Hurricane Katrina, increasing protectionist sentiment and the possibility of tighter financial market conditions."

A senior US Treasury official said: "We freely acknowledged the things that we worry about - do interest rates appropriately reflect the risks?"

Indeed... but apparently the FOMC believes the risks are "well contained"... er, "contained".

"The next six months will be a challenging time, dealing with the high oil price, and global imbalances loom. The global economy has peaked and liquidity conditions are set to tighten. When things turn around you can have significant fallout."

You can say that again.

Meanwhile, back in the middle east, Iran is talking tough (as you might expect, given the state of the oil market right now), which puts China in a hard spot (and India too) while the west talks tough on nukes.

Wadosy, I happen to agree that AEI and its papers have had far too much influence on US foreign policy. It is also an unfortunate fact that a number of Russia's oligarchs happen to be Jews. However, the way you phrase a number of your comments come way to close to racist anti-Semitism for comfort. You seem to blame Jews for: America's foreign policy (when the top officials happen to be Bush, Cheney, Libby, and Rumsfeld) the looting of Russian assets (which was organized by Yeltsin) and even for a conspiracy regarding Kurdish oil. This sort of bigoted talk should be excluded from a forum such as ours. There is no excuse for it.
1) Yes, a lot of Russian oligarchs are/were "Jewish", but:

a) Jews happen to be incredibly successful in virtually every area in life: 40% of America's billionaires are Jewish; average Jewish IQ in the US is far higher than that of the general population; over 20% of all Nobel Prizes ever awarded were to Jews; a far higher percentage of Jews than gentiles in the US possess graduate degrees; over 45% of large gifts made to charity are made by Jews. None of this is due to any form of conspiracy.

b) Many of the "Jewish" oligarchs are not "fully" Jewish and were not raised to be Jewish; very few oligarchs have any connection with Jewish life. Khodorkovsy is an excellent example of this.

c) There is no connection between the great majority of Oligarchs and Israel in any way shape or form.

2) The great majority of British newspapers (which tend to be quite virulently anti-Israel), as a matter of principle, were against the jailing of Khodorsovsky and the stripping of his company's assets by the Putin regime. Conrad Black, who is not Jewish, was an avid supporter of Israel, but so are the new non-Jewish owners of the Telegraph.

3) A very large percentage of Clinton's cabinet were Jewish. Virtually no Jews advise Bush.

4) Almost all American Jews have been immensely loyal to America. Much of America's strength and prosperity is due to the contribution of Jews. Of that 45% of large gifts given to charity in the US by Jews, virtually none is made over to either Jewish or Israeli charities. On the other hand, America has betrayed her Jewish citizens on more than one occasion. Roosevelt who is meant to have been so pro-Jewish was in reality a vicious Jew-hater who didn't give two hoots about the Holocaust. Indeed before World War II, the US possessed a far higher percentage of anti-Semites than even Germany (even today 25% of Americans are anti-Semites, a higher percentage than most European countries); America went to war in spite of and not because of the Jews. Another example: the anti-Semite Truman who recognised Israel and then immediately imposed an arms embargo on her.

5) It was Iraq and not Iran that was the real danger to the Israeli state.

6) America does what is in her own interest. If it was in her interests to abandon Israel, something she did between 1948 and 1967, she would do so in an instant.

My prediction: the current anti-Semitism which is currently raging throughout the American left will mean the almost complete abandonment of support for the Dems by American Jews.

The Oil Drum does itself no favors by permitting the kind of vicious anti-Semitism articulated by the posters wadosy and mw.

I was concerned about some of these comments as well.

Replying to your comment that "The Oil Drum does itself no favors by permitting ..." I understand the issue. There are good cases to be made for banning hate speech, and also good cases made for freedom of discourse. Of course, it's often a judgement call about what's acceptable.

This community is not moderated per se. It allows an instant response to issues, and keeps the process from becoming even more burdensome for the site's altruistic godparents. People post, and show their true colors. Others react to off-color posts, or strategically ignore them, and it becomes self-policing. You are part of that process. My own opinion: I'd rather see a bad point of view expressed and effectively rebutted. I find that preferable to censoring offensive opinions, just as the ACLU generally does as well. You may differ on that.

On behalf of the community, sorry for the offense that was caused.

and that pretty much captures the point.  Thanks for that Rick.

If we start deleting comments folks, it sets a tone.  I agree that wadosy's tone is counterproductive, especially in his last few posts below.  However, you do have the right to ignore him if you want can move on to the next comment, the next post, or whatever.  I understand that, intellectually, that's not the easiest thing to do.  However, I would much rather see people, if they can, tear down his arguments openly and discursively instead of the easy solution of "let's hit the delete button."

Keep it productive, please.

that seems to be the problem, doesnt it, prof...

the people who object to my posts cant refute them, so they gotta tar me with the good ol' "antisemitic" brush...

if you can prove me wrong, folks, everbody will benefit. i dont like this state of affairs any better than anyone else does, but when a problem this big surfaces, i think it behooves everybody to get as close to the root of that problem as possible.

the fact that there are millions of jews who think exactly like i do, who are willing to face the most horrible probablilities when confronted with uncomfortable truths, should give us all a clue that this is not a "jew" thing. it is an unfortunate conjunction of the goals of three main radical (PNAC) factions: deathwish christians who need to have arabs expelled from jerusalem so the deathwish christian end times can commence in which deathwish christians will be raptured, likud jews ---both israeli and israeli american--- who are primarily concerned about the welfare of israel, some of whom are also religious fanatics who are living in about the about the same fantasyland as the deathwish christians, and the corporate fascists, who see an opportunity to impose themselves on the world through control of energy.

there is overlap in some of these three main factions.

no one benefits by stifling information, unless you think you can keep an airtight lid on that information. the internet is the problem, and it must be shut down to prevent information like that i have been posting from getting out.

but even if you shut the internet down, there is still peak oil, there is still global warming, there is still sea level rise, and worst of all, there are still people in the world who will turn whatever happens to their benefit ---to the woe of the common people who are too lowly to be told the truth.

for instance, wadosy...your usage of the word "deathwish."  Need I really say more?  Surely, you can make your points without being as might at least get people to engage you instead of reading right past what you say because it has "wadosy" attached to it.
i think "deathwish" is a much more information-laden term than "fundamentalist". if i want to communicate, i need to use the best tools i have.
that is, of course, not the only objectionable word in that post either.  just citing an example.
the people who object to my posts cant refute them,
Maybe one can't refute your posts, but I also can't refute Intelligent Design. It was designed (by humans) to be irrefutable. However, anything which is irrefutable is also for all practical purposes useless.

Useless. Intelligent Design isn't science and is useless in a science class (with the possibly exception to a philosophy of science class, where students could discuss in just which ways it isn't science). Similarly unprovable conspiracy theories are useless for discussion (except to masturbate one's conspiracy sense. But please, can we keep the masturbation private?). There might be individual facts which are part of your theory which are relevant to the discussion. How about you just bring up those parts?

"However, you do have the right to ignore him if you want can move on to the next comment, the next post, or whatever."

Wouldn't it be nice if the blog software had an "ignore" feature?  It's the only thing that makes, for example, the Yahoo message boards usable.

"However, I would much rather see people, if they can, tear down his arguments openly and discursively instead of the easy solution of "let's hit the delete button.""

I agree, though it does take us off topic and may require a lot of bandwidth.

"There can be no ongoing discourse without some degree of moderation..."  - this is useful:

There are other excellent resources if you poke around.  The good news: problems like this are a sign of success.  Next up; hand crafted spam!

I'm not sure mw deserves to be lumped in with wadosy. One does not need to be anti-semitic to acknowledge that the execution of PNAC's plan is falling a little short of the script.
Thank you-- you've caught my contribution to this exactly right. I don't agree with wadosy's comments or approach, but I do agree that those behind PNAC are very much behind current political and military strategy and in both cases I fully disagree with their approach.

A lifelong conservative, I find folks like those driving PNAC give conservatism a very bad name indeed.

Joshua, nowhere in my comments do I promote anti-semitism. Please do not lump me in with others whose views I do not share.
I think there is a big story here: Cornucopian turns Peaker! Economides has made some pretty strong statements about the future of ultra deep water drilling leading to a solution for all our woes. Here's what he said in April 2003:

"In our book "The Color Of Oil" we predicted that the World will not run out of oil for the next three centuries, at least. For natural gas, which will become the fuel of choice for the world economy within as little as 15 years, the scenario is even more optimistic. Natural gas, even without taking into account the enormous volume of gas hydrates, will last for several centuries."

This seems to me to be, shall we say, mildly inconsistent with $100 crude and $20 natural gas. Sounds like he's had a change of heart recently.

Full article at:

This is not inconsistent.  Expecting high prices during to a supply squeeze is not the same as expecting the supply squeeze to be permanent.
I agree with your comment as a general point, but there is a distinct change of tone here. Daniel Yergin got suddenly pessimistic, and Economides seems to have done the same.

Normally, when analysts believe that a problem is temporary, they flag that very clearly, especially when talking of prices. The article does not say this is temporary dislocation--Economides implies the problem may persist for 20 years in natural gas. There is not a single mention of prices falling back, or a brighter long-term future, or supply meeting or exceeding demand.

If he still believes there is plenty of supply out there, he didn't say anything about it in this interview.

Increasing reliance on NG has been the backbone of his position for years. He believes that there is a huge amount of  NG to be had overseas, and the transition from oil to NG as fuel of choice will make oil depletion a non-issue. He calls LNG the solution in this article, as he has done many times before.

And the fact that a reporter for a small-town paper didn't present the boring conclusion that prices will fall back does not mean that he doesn't believe that. Note the way "The Bush administration was not stern with Putin" gets inflated to 'not forcefully opposing' and 'should be blasting' Putin. Calling Putin a bigger threat than Saddam is not saying much when ME didn't think Saddam was a threat.

Economides has always predicted higher oil/NG prices but not for the same reasons as peakoilers. He believes we are in a business cycle, pretty much the same way Michael Lynch thinks, and that we will eventually come back to "normal" prices as soon as the right amount of investment will be injected. The fact that he uses the reserve and production ratio to justify his arguments demonstrate that he has a poor understanding of the geological constraints we are facing.

In my post above, "5" should, of course, read:

"It was Iran and not Iraq that was the real danger to the Israeli state."

how do you explain richard perle's paper "a clean break", written in 1996 for bibi netanyahu, then the newly elected prime minister of israel, in which perle explains that iraq was the keystone, the jumping off point from which the whole middle east could be pacified?
Israel can shape its strategic environment, in cooperation with Turkey and Jordan, by weakening, containing, and even rolling back Syria. This effort can focus on removing Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq -- an important Israeli strategic objective in its own right -- as a means of foiling Syria's regional ambitions.

"a clean break: a new strategy for securing the realm" must wonder why a purported american citizen, richard perle, is writing a paper in which the realm to be secured is israel....
"there's a lot of talk around about rebuilding the kirkuk/haifa pipeline, but the problem with that is that a lot of the pipe runs through syria, which explains a lot of the neocon agitation to get syria."

There was some talk about the pipeline (which was mainly was to do with American oil interests) at the time of the invasion, but that was all. The notion that American Jews are secretly plotting to "get Syria" simply in order to build a pipeline is an idea that would been worthy of Hitler in one of his more anti-Semitic moments.

I respectfully suggest that we should all tread carefully when talking about Big Important Things in areas where we have no expertise.

Economists are often justifiably lambasted for being completely ignorant of geological limitations and other real world factors.  Similarly, I often see geologists saying things about economics that make me want to go screaming into the night.  When we're talking about international relations everyone here is in the very deep and very cold end of the pool, blindfolded; economics, political power, geology, and probably a dozen other major factors all come into play.

Of course, I have my own theories about all this.  I won't go into details here, except to say that I think the neocons could screw up a one car funeral and grossly overcharge the taxpayer for the work via a no-bid Halliburton contract, all while trying to tie the funeral, terrorism, Iraq, and the Easter Bunny together in the public mind.

There are no two sides to the peak oil issue.  Pollyanna, flat earth economists are totally wrong.  I doubt geologists are trying to practice economics.  But I know that some economists think that they know everything there is to know about reality, otherwise they wouldn't be making inane claims about market forces seamlessly replacing declining energy sources.  They also love to trot out their favorite whipping boy Malthus to browbeat anyone who questions their delusions.  It is particularly galling that these overpaid do-nothings aren't even involved in the process of developing alternative energy infrastructure.  Their vapid bleating actually hinders the development of this infrastructure by preventing the allocation of government and private seed money and creating the climate to maintain the status quo.
"When we're talking about international relations everyone here is in the very deep and very cold end of the pool, blindfolded; economics, political power, geology, and probably a dozen other major factors all come into play."

That's a great point, Lou. The truth is, for most of us our opinions about Big Issues don't matter one bit. We have no influence on what happens.

That's obvious, but maybe the implication is not. It means that we have no incentive to be right. If we're wrong about these matters, we aren't harmed at all. Unlike down to earth questions like going to school vs getting a job, where our opinions really affect our lives, ideas about Iran and Iraq, or Russia and Israel, have no such impact.

The result is that economically, the main incentives for those opinions are social. We tend to hold opinions that are comfortable, or that help us get along with our friends, family, and community. That's what matters. Those are the aspects in which our big-picture political opinions affect our lives.

Whether our opinions on such matters are right or wrong is pretty much irrelevant. As a result, there is little reason to expect the average person to have an opinion about international politics and finance that makes much sense. It's not that he's stupid or evil, it's that he's rational.

A rational person doesn't devote enormous time and effort to trying to develop correct opinions on a matter, when it will do nothing to improve his life. Instead, he will logically and rationally develop opinions which add comfort and value, and as described above, those will be the opinions which add to his social and emotional well-being, improve his relationships with friends and family, and help him fit into his community.

... which could help explain why so many of our wives, husbands, family, girlfriends, significant others, etc. fundamentally don't understand our obsession with these issues.
ARGH! I sentence you to read Bad News by former CBS News senior foreign correspondent Tom Fenton. That will explain exactly why we do need to care about foreign news.
furthermore, i am willing to admit that global warming, climate change, sea level rise potential of 80 meters, peak oil and bunions are all antisemitic plots designed to show why israel might be persuaded to join in on the 9/11 caper.

i humbly and abjectly apologize for any facts that may intrude on the above reality.

"we are an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality."

i wonder how all this dovetails with the decades-long association between leo strauss, albert wohlstetter, perle, wolfowitz, chalabi and the usual likud suspects who have now attained prominence in the bunnypants administration, the founding of PNAC by these same likud loons, and PNAC's stated goal of world hegemony through control of energy resources?

i wonder what function strauss' concept of the noble lie, in which common people are deemed too lame to share the truth with the elite, plays in the continual lying and deliberate disinformation campaigns displayed by the bunnypants administration?

This is the Peak Oil discussion zone, let's keep on topic here. I liked the discussion about utility companies off-loading risk to their customers more than the conversation started by wadosky. That belongs on some other site.
Hi again, I have been following this site for about a month and have enjoyed the discussion immensely.  Recently, posts seem to be getting more opinionated and in a bad way.  The best comment that sums up my current feelings is LouGrinzo on the complexity of international relations.  YES YES YES.  I am not an expert either and I have studied international relations books and anlysis but would be very reluctant to make any sweeping statements like some I have been reading.

Let me give an example of the multi-disciplinary complexity of a simpler issue -- Immigration Policy in Canada.  I had taken a graduate level epidemiological methods course as part of my Ph.D. (I am in business though but we use many quantitative techniques including epidemiological) and I was fascinated with why our immigration policy allows as many to immigrate as we do in Canada (both in numbers and demographics such as age and health of those brought in).

The reason is not some political agenda or conspiracy, it is far more boring than that.  It is because of the aging population and our governments policy is to achieve sufficient immigration of relatively young people capable of working and hence, pay into the Canada Pension Fund and taxes to support the growing numbers of those that retire.  The policy also draws from other disciplines such as economics and sociology.  The result is a policy that on the surface seems to discriminate (which it does) but why it does so is largely a consequence of utility and pragmatism, not prejudice.  Thus, opposition leaders that criticise the policy cite facts that may correlate but are not necessarily causal.

In complex situations, it is easy to correlate some facts but there may be no causal connection.  There are good discussions of very complex matters and Wadozy, you may wish to read Noam Chomsky and his work "Fateful Triangle" on the U.S., Israeli and Palestinian conflict.  However, Chomsky is Jewish, yet he is quite critical of the U.S. and Israel.  However, he is also critical of many nations policies and a common denominator in his writings is self-interest and the power to achieve objectives of self-interest that lead to human suffering.

Economists are well aware of self-interested behaviour and I am yet to see an economics text that applies this to ANY particualr nation, race or creed.  Thus, discussion in this forum that attaches behaviour to an identifiable group as if they behave any differently then the rest is not helpful and seems out of place in a forum about peak oil.

I think that contributers such as Sunshine (and some others) provide example of a constructive tone that we could try more to emulate -- respect of other contributors and of others in general.

Professor Goose was right, Wadosy showed his colors. Apparently Wadosy is more interested in peddling hate than solving the peak oil problem. If Wadosy is surprised at the criticism he has received, he should remember that some of us have read it all before... for example in Hitler's final 1945 press release, when he stated that "Jewish international finance" had betrayed and defeated Germany. I am trying to find a difference between Wadosy's rhetoric and the Nazi rhetoric, and not doing too well at it.

Furthermore, for someone who seems to enjoy saying hurtful things, Wadosy would appear to be thin-skinned and easily provoked. Anyone who dishes it out, should be prepared to take it.

so, seeing as how you cant refute my posts, you are reduced to trotting out the "antisemite" card.

i am not in the least surprised.

Wow. Take a few days off from posting and when I look again, we've got conspiracy theories and Israel mentioned in the same posts. That's very .... disappointing.

Just to be really clear, how Putin's crackdown on Yukos affects Russia's current and future oil production is a topic of interest. Where former Yukos executives are now living is not.

Furthermore, Economides' remarks on Natural Gas prices are very telling since there will be no enhanced LNG import capability for at least 3 years out (and likely much longer) and the US is facing shortages this winter. But folks like Julian Darley have discussed this at length both online and in his book. I'm glad to see US NG supply being discussed here since that short-term situation is far more dire than this winter's oil supply -- unless there is another "oil shock" coming up due to geopolitics.
Why the Yuko's oil affair has to somehow be dragged into the "Jew" "no Jew" realm is beyond me. Putin made a very smart and decisive decision in reigning in Yuko's the way he did.

He saw that his country's one last real commodity was being stolen from him. Putin is NOT STUPID!! Imagine a Chinese company comming in and buying up an American company and sucking the oil out like there's no tomorrow. What do you think would be our reaction as a country??? Well seeing as that we know the answer(Conoco), why are we surprised by what Putin did to Yuko's? He was acting in his country's best interest.... That's all the further you need to dig. This whole thread about anti-semitism is just hogwash and is unproductive. The "Big Lie" is not provable, as it's "THE BIG LIE"!!!!! Quit looking for boogie men that don't exist. There are plenty of non-jews who are evil. It just seems that the evil jew is the only one who gets press. Last time I checked Bush and most of his cabinet are not jewish. In fact they are mostly Born again christians. Why aren't we talking about the born again Christian conspiracy to rule the world???

Robert NW Ohio.

so, just to summarize my position: peak oil is the trigger that caused corporate fascists, deathwish christians and likud israeli americans to coalesce in PNAC, whose stated goal is to transform the american military into a force that can be used to control energy, thereby preventing china from developing into a military rival of the usa.

the fact that PNAC lamented in september of 2000 that the transformation of the american military might be slow to arrive "absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event like a new pearl harbor" has proved to be unhelpful to the PNAC cause.

perle, one of the guiding lights of PNAC, wrote a paper for netanyahu in 1996, saying that the removal of saddam hussein was the key to pacifying the middle east.

PNAC is formed in 1997. dick cheney is a signatory to it's statement of principles.

in 1999, cheney speaks of peak oil at the london institute of petroleum.

in september of 2000, PNAC publishes its "rebuilding america's defenses" paper, which calls for hegemony through control of energy resources and just happens to mention the need for a new pearl harbor to get the ball rolling.

may of 2001, cheney calls for 1300 to 1900 new power plants, mostly nuke, no doubt. what is cheney gonna do with all those nuke plants? probably make hydrogen with them.

june 2001, cheney's national energy policy development group calls for stepped up development of nuke plants and hydrogen.

september 2001, the catastrophic and catalyzing event arrives in the form of four hijacked airliners.

september 2002, PNAC's "rebuilding america's defenses" is adoped, in some cases, word for word, as the bunnypants administration's national security strategy.

since the aghanistan invasion, which was mounted without the bunnypants administration providing anyone with any proof at all of anyone's guilt, the operation of the "war on terror" has been remarkably faithful in following PNAC's plan. the most important accomplishment, so far, of the aghan campaign was to reestablish afghanistan as the world's top opium producer, the proceeds of which go to financing continuing terrorist activity, which justifies continuing the "war on terror"

the fact that the war seems to be losing steam puts us all in greater danger of another "terrorist" attack in america, staged to rally support for the PNAC program.

and peak oil is the cause, the opportunity and the curse

are you mike ruppert? you sure sound a lot like mike ruppert
that really made me laugh out loud (really)
wadosy, it would probably benefit you if you join the yahoo group EnergyRoundTable - a lot of this is discussed.

I'm rather hoping the discussin returns to peak oil, although I do recognize there is a huge political dimension to all things energy related.

Meanwhile... little change in output - 100% oil shut in, 78% gas.

In response to Fred's posting regarding his gas company's offer of locking in...

The natural gas market, unlike the oil market, is regional, as opposed to international. Here in Lithuania, the national gas utility currently pays its Russian suppliers about 100 USD per 1,000 cubic meters. Contrast that with the American prices at Henry Hub or NYC Gate, let's say, 12 USD per 1,000 cubic feet. That converts to roughly 400 USD per 1,000 cubic meters. Pretty big difference, eh? Okay, I'll admit, as you go further west in Europe, the price rises, to about 150 USD per 1,000 cubic meters -- still much lower than in the U.S.

My point is, North American utilities are already looking at high prices for natural gas, and that can only get worse in the absence of significant demand destruction. In the long run, I suppose the Russians could ship their natural gas to the U.S., and leave us freezing, but that will take some years to accomplish.

In the meantime, Fred, maybe that $10 offer ain't such a bad deal...


I think your math is wrong. 1,000 cubic meters is a lot more than 1,000 cubic feet. The equivalent Lithuanian price per 1,000 cubic feet therefore has to be less than 100 USD ...


Sorry, I misread your post. I'll take your NG prices over the current Nymex Henry Hub ones any day ...


interesting to see how energy stocks traded today. The XLE, a composite that represents a balanced set of oil gas, and oil services, was up nearly 2%.OIH, an oil services stock index, was stronger... indicating that as of today investors like a story about svcs firms doing repair work.. Valero was up less than 1%, I believe one of their refineries is down, canceling out the effect of the increased refining margins, so they rose less than average energy stocks... whereas suncor,a tar sands oil producer was up 3%. Which makes sense... they are a high cost producer, but all increases in crude prices after their breakeven go to the bottom line. So they are turbocharged to the crude price, both on nthe upside and downside. I'm going through all this because we all found the recent futures trading action so confusing and it was nice to have the equity market tell me something I could understand for a change!!
As I've commented here elsewhere, I don't find anything about the last few days of energy futures trading (nor of the related equities over the past few days) all that surprising.

Do not discount the effect of the herd... tell enough folks that "all is fine" and you'll see some momentum gain steam and they sell.

This tendency to take profits is further exacerbated by the very large run up on commodity and equity prices. If you look at the SEC or SEDAR (TSX) filings you'll see some big movment of stocks being sold as managers take profit in the sector. There is real fear out there that a recession plus a very strong rally over the past few years = a significant potential top in energy.

It would seem that very few equity managers have bought into peak oil, at least as a near term or medium term risk they need to think about.

When the herd gets moving, only fools stand in the way. You have to nip in when they pause and are ready to be spooked into charging the other direction.

And that, my friends, is exactly what happened today.

PS regarding the % moves of stocks... the real net range today was even higher for many names... quite a few of them gapped down at the open, and rallied strongly. Stocks like VLO, ECA, CHK and many  others opened down, significantly down, from Friday's close - in some cases below last week's lows, and then rallied into a strong close, in many cases clearing Friday's highs.

This creates what technical analysts term a "piercing line" reversal pattern - somewhat less common and therefore something to pay attention to.

Could the sector resume a downward move in the next few days? Yes; is the sector less likely to after today's performance? Yes.

Once equity managers TRULY understand peak oil, it is by definition the end of the equity market as we know it. For by definition, Peak Oil suggests Peak Energy. And Peak Energy suggests the end of economic growth. Some individual stocks will prosper, and there will be ebbs and flows as long as the market is still open. But the all time high (which has already been seen) of stocks will have long been passed by the time the average mutual fund manager truly understands this paradigm shift. True wealth is land, the energy, food and water that come from that land, and a community structure that gives economies of scale to neighbors with productive land. The stock market is a virtual wealth gameboy for a world with infinite (or assumed infinte) energy supplies.  

Of course everything Ive just said is nullified if we find fusion or concentrated LNG 6 millimeters under the lunar surface, but you get the point.

are we forecasting a dip in energy futures in the coming days?
"are we forecasting a dip in the next few days?"

We, being the people who can visualize the problem in the tapestry fo Peak Oil clues, are forecasting a significant increase in oil prices over time.  Even if Peak Oil was last Thursday, it would imply NOTHING about the energy prices in the next few days, or even months - this stuff trades for all sorts of reasons, and near month contracts are especially volatile. Since oil is price at the marginal barrel, even though we have far less ultimate oil to be recovered, if there is a near term gludt we could be at $30. I am a huge oil bull over next 5 years but believe we will trade below $40 again, possibly more than once.

Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, which made landfall Aug. 29 and Sept. 24 respectively, have inflicted the most widespread damage on energy infrastructure the Gulf Coast has ever seen; 100 percent of crude production and 80 percent of natural gas production is offline in the Gulf of Mexico. Considering that it took 10 months for the oil and gas industry to recover from the less-damaging Hurricane Ivan, there is little reason to expect a quick recovery now -- or to expect crude prices to fall below $60 per barrel in the near future...

On a positive note, most oil refineries and onshore assets survived Rita with only light damage. Although 4 million barrels per day of refinery capacity is currently offline in Texas and Louisiana, only one refinery in Port Arthur reported damage that could keep the facility offline for up to a month. The rest expect to be up and running at full capacity in a matter of days. That, combined with a clear message from the Bush administration to provide crude oil loans from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, should keep the country with sufficient fuel as the gulf makes its slow, laborious and expensive recovery.

Stratfor, September 26, 2005 17 33  GMT

For some reason they say nothing about natural gas.

Apparently the writer knows little about energy.

a clear message from the Bush administration to provide crude oil loans from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, should keep the country with sufficient fuel as the gulf makes its slow, laborious and expensive recovery.

Meanwhile... the next potential storm system - 120 hours out from now projected to enter the Gulf of Mexico - forcast winds at 120 hours were 70 knots but its early days...

On that 70W system, nhc says:


The others (Katrina & Rita) have been coming in from further north and east, but who the hell knows this year....

Does anyone have a full assement of how many refineries are down and how long it will take for them to be up and running close to 100%.  I just heard Chris Matthews interview the mayor of Port Arthur on MSNBC just now, I believe his name is Oscar Ortiz, he just mentioned that the refineries in that area are flooded between 3 to 5 feet, and that it will take 5 to 8 weeks to get them back online, according to what the people running the refineries told him.  He told Chris that what the President said on a speech earlier about it taking only 2 to 3 weeks for the refineries to get up and running again, was different from what he knew.  
I'm also curious what the damage to the offshore oil rigs was.  I didn't hear a peep from the mainstream media about that.  The number of badly damaged rigs could be high since they took the brunt of Rita's force when she was still a Catagory 4.  Of course, even IF we lost a large number of rigs,  the spin-masters would find a way to turn it into a positive for the economy.  
These anecdotal pieces from people on the ground are invaluable!

Also the DOE Energy Reliability office puts together daily situation report which gives a lot of information in one place - you can see whether areas are getting power, etc:

As the lead federal agency responsible for energy assurance, DOE's Office of Electricity, Delivery and Energy Reliability (OE) worked with FEMA, State and local governments, and the energy sector to prepare for and respond to Hurricanes. Situation Reports from DOE's emergency response are below.

mw, actually I didn't find the recent weakness in futures all that surprising... I just wasn't sure if it was only profit taking or something else. for the record I picked up some Suncor Friday... adding to my energy related holdings on the dip, using the information we developed here about likely damage even though Houston was spared, and also betting the trendline wouldn't break.

I totally agree with your analysis of the intraday moves. Having said that, some of the investing people I still know (I am a former Wall Street analyst and fund manager) believe in peak oil and are happy to build positions in energy related equities but wouldn't dare take the same bet in futures. They know well, as you do, that futures traders can't afford to be wrong for very long.

that's fascinating stuff, sunlight...
what would you attribute today's futures climb to?  i.e. crude oil closed $+1.00.  and are there more energy futures retracements in the coming days.
That's certainly true... its much easier to be wrong for awhile holding the equities ;-)

In equities, myself I am heavily weighted to NG at the moment; aside from coincidental exposure to oil sands via my core and trading positions in ECA, I have only minimal direct exposure in oil sands.  At some point over the late winter (or sooner if we see a big correction) I plan on shifting the weighting around but I must say I rather like NG.

Having said that it wouldn't surprise me if a topping pattern in the short or intermediate (days or weeks) term causes me to take profits on some or all of my energy portfolio. In the meantime, I keep buying dips and selling rallies with trading positions. One of these days the strategy is going to stop working but until then...

ps sunlight - I should have read your original message re XLE a little more carefully and I'd have caught via the tone your experience. The mix of people here on TOD of different backgrounds, having many different levels of knowledge and areas of expertise, is just terrific.

Price action over the past few days does suggest caution.
XLE, Daily
OIX, Intraday

At this point, as a sector, price has rallied back to where sellers last jumped in -it'll take a little more gain before price has a chance at finding and holding a new and higher level of support.

I'm going to assume that NG will at least attempt a move up tomorrow or the day after; if so, price will trigger against what is so far a simple (albeit volatile) retracement - a big bull flag in a strong up trend.

Indeed the biggest risk to price here is probably how long the trend has been going on for, but once in a while a stock or sector or commodity just keeps on piling higher to the amazement of all. I'm not complacement however... unlike in the spring these days I live with my finger near the exit buttom more than not.

the gifs don't work.

do you think crude prices will retrace to pre-Rita, post-Katrina levels at around $62-64, given that there is a really big refinery bottleneck, and another release of SPR to create a 2nd oil glut?

OK, I'm new to these topics, I don't even know what "likud" means, and I don't know what history if any "Wadosy" has on this board. But the reaction to him on this board was not an answer, merely a scream.

How can a peak oil board reject discussion of Middle Eastern politics?

How can Middle Eastern politics be discussed without mentioning Israel?

Sunlight wrote: "You seem to blame Jews ... even for a conspiracy regarding Kurdish oil." First, Wadosy talked about Israel; he never mentioned Jews. Does Israeli foreign policy represent all Jews any more than U.S. foreign policy represents all Americans? I doubt it.

Second, a couple of hours after I read this thread, I read pp. 174 to 183 of Bad News by Tom Fenton, CBS News Senior Foreign Correspondent (retired in 2004). Fenton starts with this statement: "The trouble is that what the Kurds really want is to secede from Iraq altogether, taking the oil-rich town of Kirkuk with them." And ends with this: "... the Kurds will be the ones to suffer if the allies blink or lose interest again .... This time, everyone will jump on the Kurds--for allying with Israel, for..."

I agree with Prof. Goose: "I would much rather see people, if they can, tear down his arguments openly and discursively." If the Kurds wanting to secede from Iraq won't have a significant impact on Iraq's future ability to export oil, or if their desires have nothing to do with their "allying with Israel," then end the discussion by explaining why.

Maybe there's a context in which Wadosy's writing was "vicious anti-Semitism" and "hate speech," but approaching it with no background knowledge, I just can't see it that way. What I see is that he said some things that sounded maybe relevant, maybe questionable, and was shouted down by misdirection (Israel=Jew, national policy=conspiracy) and insult, and was never actually answered except about Putin (thanks, Dave and rdenner).

Personally, I'd like to hear more about the deathwish Christian fundamentalists. Are they real? (I was surprised to learn that James Watt was misquoted on "don't know how many generations," and probably never said "When the last tree falls...") If they're real, are they involved in oil policy? SJMStrategy said that economics doesn't differentiate on creed. But if creed is unimportant and economics explains everything, why did so many economically challenged Midwesterners vote for neocons?


And, are you ready for a mindf*ck?  I guarantee that 90% of people on this board actually STOPPED to read your comments, as opposed to to wasody.  Wanna know why?

A large percentage of users on this board are professionals, as far as I can tell.  Despite your less polemic tone that wasody's, you actually used proper grammar (capitilization, wasody?)  The professional class of modern Western Europeans subconsciouslly discredits information that's not presented to its standards.  Not saying that's right nor wrong, it would just be wise for people who have a strong point to say, to say it from within your opposition's frame.  

Don't forget that postmodern philosophy is also tied up into the global mess.

PS:  The "deathwish Christians", as far as I can tell, are very real, in the form of the televangelists such as Pat Robertson.  Their position of influence, however, is debatable, especially with recent comments from Robertson (the de facto leader of the movement).  I personally believe it's a strong current on the American subconscious, something that's inherently midwestern/central American, and very difficult for people on the coasts to understand.  Secularism barely exists in the middle half of the country.

To all the posters who were "offended" by wadosy, I can only say that I think they doth protest too much.  
MW, you were sharp for getting in NG early. And you might be right about an intermediate top forming. I was having trouble articulating the thing I was struggling with, and that is the issue we all love to hate. Just how much of the hurricane issue is priced in already?

If the consensus on this board is that actual peak production is a few years away (and the people with oil industry/ geology experience know better than I about that) then the other possibility becomes: are we getting stretched enough so that each storm/ above ground crisis effectively can be expected to crimp us enough so that for practical purposes the peak is already here? Or effectively here most months of the year until the peak actually arrives? And how should markets reflect that?

I mean, all weekend I was wondering whether the SU buy was smart or dumb. Clearly some technical traders don't know what we do on this board. On the other hand, I assume traders for the oil companies, the smart buy side firms, and the investment banks with competent oil analysts, certainly know as much or more than we. Maybe this weekend, I thought, we were actually equalized with the best informed desks, because even the oil companies hadn't been able to send out their helicopters to inspect platforms or send their people out to check refineries. In other words, we had the issues framed by knowing which faciliites were at risk, and after that, no one knew anything. But as the week unfolds, the oil companies will start to get information and they will have it before we do. The price charts will likely start reflecting that information too.

Chris, FYI, Likud is the largest of Israel's "conservative" political parties. I can understand why perhaps you thought I was one of the "screamers." On the other hand if you do not know enough about Jewish history to know what Likud is, you may not understand just how many of Wadosy's word choices, allusions, and inferences were needlessly inflammatory.

To keep the thread going I am replying to Chris.  Creed tends to apply to religious beliefs so I am unsure about the connection you make with respect to mid-westerners voting for neo-cons; are they all of the same creed and are all neocons also? (I would be open to hearing your take on it) Also, I am unclear how you interpret me as somehow saying economics explains everything.  I believe economics has some useful points - self interested behaviour is according to economists a general human trait that is not specific to any race or creed.  In short, painting people of a particular nationality, race or religion with a broad brushstroke as if "their" behaviour is different from others "i.e., we are not like them" is unfair and not productive (this has not only been done of jews, I have seen the same inappropriate broad brush strokes painted of Americans such as "stupid" - nor do I want to spend time challenging such statements.  The only reason I am challeging now is because I am alarmed at how this type of personalized debate is increasing of late.

Sure, politics has a place in the peak oil debate but it can be done in a way that is respectful of contributors to this site and others in general.

I thought I would add this for a little bit of political fun.  Let us suppose that U.S. foreign policy is not self-interested and is based more on a christian based creed (which incorrectly assumes all Americans are Christian) and is also anti-islamic (and perhaps any other creed not like "them").  Note: foreign policy of most nations has a large component that is pragmatic and driven by national interests so I am not intentionally singling out the U.S.  So, let us see how this hypotheses stands up to the facts.

Key U.S. allies include Israel, Suadi Arabia, Britain, Pakistan, Indonesia, Italy, South Korea, Japan, Egypt, Turkey...

How are we doing?  Let us suppose it is based on democracy and human rights.  Are these allies all democratic?  How do these countries fair on human rights and does it correlate with how they are treated as allies?  Cuba is an official enemy but it is no less a dictatorship then Pakistan.  How do we explain this?  What about race?  Are they all "white".  I suspect my hypotheses are not faring too well.

In short, foreign policy rarely has anything to do with being of a particular nationality or race or religion or if you are from Pluto.  All powerful nations seem to play the international game similarly as the U.S.

A great prior post on this site said that if Chavez opened up the oil assets with more "liberal" policies favorable to the U.S., Bush would not care if he was "cloned from Marx and educated under Che".  This perhaps sums it up best.

I'll answer several people here without sorting out who said what.

My point with midwesterners voting for neocons is not that the midwesterners are neocons, but that they are voting for people who (to put it mildly) don't have their best interests at heart, and the reason for this is apparently that the neocons have managed to make the midwesterners care more about issues like gay marriage than about economics.

The point of this example was to talk about non-economical choice-making--based on one's own creed; it says nothing about reactions to people of other creeds.

Back to Wadosy: It's true, I do not know the trigger words. So he may have been really offensive to someone who knew the prior discussion, and I completely missed it. But in that case, if the argument has gotten so...ritualized...that outsiders don't even know when insults are being delivered, then perhaps it's better not to respond, or to respond as though you're as naive as I am? That would not leave him unanswered, because from the audience's point of view he never managed to deliver most of the things he meant to anyway.

On the deathwish Christian Americans and the hawk faction in Israel: If both of these exist, and are influential, and have managed to find common ground, then that would seem to be perhaps a significant factor in Middle Eastern politics and M.E.-U.S. interactions. Conservative Christians certainly are influential in the U.S. today, and some of them are probably deathwish.

New topic: Any comments on Russia taking over its FSU states, especially the oil-rich ones? There's at least some tie-in to the Middle East, in that Russia uses "anti-terrorism" to justify oppression and alleged genocide of the people.