DrumBeat: October 1, 2006

[Update by Leanan on 10/01/06 at 11:15 AM EDT]

Financial Sense Online has a new interview with Matthew Simmons, called Update on Peak Oil and Beyond. Downloadable audio available in a variety of formats, including RealMedia, Windows Media Player, and MP3.

[Update by Leanan on 10/01/06 at 9:29 AM EDT]

Saudi to Start Moneefa Oilfield Development in '07

RIYADH, (Reuters) - Saudi Aramco said on Sunday it would start developing the Moneefa oilfield in the first quarter of 2007 to add 900,000 barrels per day of Arab Heavy crude by mid-2011.

Moneefa is also expected to produce 120 million cubic feet per day of gas, the state oil firm said in a statement.

Saudi Arabia, the world's top oil exporter, has fast-tracked oilfield expansion plans to boost output capacity to meet rising world demand and maintain a spare production capacity of at least 1.5 million bpd.

The kingdom plans to boost its crude oil production capacity to 12.5 million bpd by 2009 from 11.3 million bpd. For the Moneefa project, Aramco said a lump-sum turnkey contract for a 41-km (25.5-mile) causeway was expected to be awarded by year-end. The project also includes onshore oil and gas facilities and deeper water offshore drilling facilities.

Slumping margins a blow to Abu Dhabi oil demand

SINGAPORE: Refiners in Asia have requested very little additional Abu Dhabi crude oil for November as demand in the region has faltered as plants cut runs on slumping refining margins, traders and refiners said.

Iran says backs OPEC push for "acceptable" oil price

TEHRAN - Iran will support any OPEC move to bring crude oil prices back to acceptable levels following a recent slide, Iran's OPEC Governor Hossein Kazempour Ardebili said on Sunday.

For once, the worry is that oil may be getting a little too cheap

Oil: Our present and future

A drastic drop in the prices of oil could have a serious impact on Kuwait. As much as we would love to rely on oil as a sole source of income, it is evident that both expanding expenditure along with a retracting income will have its effect on the local economy.

Oil at US$100 a barrel? It could happen

That Falling Feeling

As the myth of endless Chinese demand is exposed and heavy investment boosts supply, prices at the pump could plummet further.

Cheap oil has a cost for coal conversion

The conversion of coal to liquid fuels seems headed for the back burner in light of Chevron Corp.’s announcement that it has found huge oil reserves in the Gulf of Mexico at a distance from the coastline of Louisiana and Texas.

Bangladesh: Deepening power crisis and the public outrage

AMID widespread public protest against a severe power crisis, the government removed State Minister for Power Major General (retd) Anwarul Kabir Talukder MP from his post on Friday.

A Times of London letter to the editor about peak oil:

If “peak oil” has finally arrived, the consequences will soon be with us. There will be no need for more runways and roads as the skies and motorways will be empty. Using a modicum of renewable electricity, transport will have to rely on rail tracks laid on emptying motorways, fed by connecting urban tramways.

Will the organic dream turn sour?

Sales of organic food are booming. Once it was the preserve of specialist shops but now every major supermarket wants a slice of the action. To meet demand superstores are air-freighting organics into the UK and encouraging the type of industrial-scale production it was meant to replace. Is organics still green?

Central Illinois lacks sun for solar power

According to that data compiled by Illinois State Water Survey meteorologist Bob Scott and collaborator Angus Rockett, a professor of Material Sciences and Engineering at the University, solar power is not feasible as a primary source of energy in central Illinois.

"We really don't have enough sunlight," Scott said.

Michigan Solar Tour

Self-guided tour of residential and commercial buildings featuring active and passive solar energy, wind and geothermal applications as well as energy-efficient and sustainable building practices.

Can "Unrealized Technology" Jump-Start Biofuel Revolution?

The October issue of Wired magazine has a run an article written by Vinod Khosla titled “My Big Bet on Biofuels.” It reads like an infomercial script. Khosla is a founder of Sun Microsystems. As of late, he has become passionate about clean energy and the techie mag have given him some rhetorical room. Khosla energy pledge begins like this “The road to energy independence starts in a cornfield in Nebraska.”

Eco-friendly terrorism

My view is that terrorism could actually play a large part in reducing the world's carbon emissions, and that alone should make Osama bin Laden and his ilk the new poster-boys of the ecological (green) movement.

The Shia-Sunni battle for oil

Disputes Over On Shore Oil Resources Prompts Cabindan Request for African Union Intervention

Citing an Angolan grab for disputed oil and mineral resources and the growing threat of an all-out war, the Republic of Cabinda, FLEC-FAC (Front for the Liberation of the Enclave of Cabinda – Armed Forces of Cabinda), and The National Bank of Cabinda have filed an urgent request for intervention by the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights.

Oil weapon: It's time for a long, hard look at Russia

China to raise electricity price for companies with high energy consumption

China is to raise the electricity price for companies with high energy consumption in the coming three years in the hope of restricting their development.

Experts: Technology Could Save or Destroy Civilization This Century

Was December 05 the peak so far?

There was some discussion yesterday about a new peak, so far. Some said since July production was greater than December 05 production that July had to be the new peak. Well, if you wish to count bottled gas, ethanol, non-oil inputs to MTBE, Orimulsion and other hydrocarbons, and even some water, then December was not the peak.

Now what the hell am I talking about when I say water? Well if any of you know what Orimulsion is, then you that Orimulsion is 30 percent water.

So if you wish to count bottled gas, ethanol, all other hydrocarbons from every source and even water, then July production was 256,000 barrels above December. But if you wish to talk about oil, peak oil that is, then we are still 255,000 below our December peak.

Just in case you think I am making this all up, the below is directly from the EIA's International Petroleum Monthly describing what they are counting as All Liquids "Oil Supply".

"Oil Supply" is defined as the production of crude oil (including lease condensate), natural gas plant liquids, and other liquids and refinery process gain (loss). For a definition of these terms see: Here

Clicking on the link brings up a page of definitions. Scrolling down to "Other Liquids" we find the below:

Other Liquids: Ethanol, liquids produced from coal and oil shale, non-oil inputs to methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE), Orimulsion, and other hydrocarbons.

Ron Patterson

I agree.  "All liquids" is interesting, and worth keeping track of, but it's not what we're talking about when we're talking peak oil.  
When exactly did you and Darwinian decide that we are talking about crude+condensate vs. all-liquids when we talk about peak? It seems like this is an awfully convenient time. Talk about goal-post moving.

The numbers were fine until they showed a peak in July.

Because there's a large portion of the rest of the world that thinks the apples are just as important as the oranges.

The number that the EIA,IEA,BP and even Stuart Staniford uses is 85 million barrels. But if you guys want to look at something different, fine. Just start using the number 73.

And I have no doubt that when any future developments or revisions show the crude+condensate numbers to increase and the opposite for all-liquids, some people here will be switching their apples and oranges again ;)

Oil CEO it is quite obvious that you have not been paying attention. Leanan, Westexas and I have been debating this point for months. I have been the most adamant about it, describing in many posts, over several months, why we should not be counting ethanol, biodiesel, bottled gas and other hydrocarbons.

The EIA has just decided in the last couple of months that Orimulsion (bitumen and water) should be added to the mix, so that part is new. Well I have been talking about it for several days, but not several months like I have about the other non-crude products included in "all liquids".

Again, we have been talking about this for months. I simply don't know how you could have missed it. Perhaps you only read a few posts a day. And you are simply wrong on another point also. Because crude oil is crude oil and not alcohol and water, we will continue to regard crude oil as the measure of when crude oil peaks. God, how could we do otherwise.

Ron Patterson

No, I think it is quite obvious I have been paying attention. Because I didn't respond didn't mean I didn't disagree with you. But please, let's keep this civil. Go back and read the comments I made in Nate Hagen's post which Leanan reposted here. Then come back and tell me I don't know what I'm talking about.

If you read even further back into the history of this site you will see time and again that I have initiated this debate. It's really not a matter of me not following it, it's a case of you forgetting where you've learned some things on the topic.

My assumption is that since you choose to use the t11 series tables, that you don't have a problem counting tar sands production. Is this the case?

Oil CEO,

As far back as I remember, Ron has been using crude + condensate.  

As  I said earlier, I define "oil" as the stuff that oil companies buy to refine into petroleum products.  

Absolutely, and I understand that. At the same time I've been using both sets of numbers. I don't care which one you use, it doesn't matter. They both tell you pretty much the same thing.

What is ridiculous is saying that the number for July isn't a new peak for all liquids based on the crude+condensate number for December.

I think we are all on the same page here. Except that Ron still needs to clear up this issue with the tar sands:)

Oil CEO, I have absolutely no problem with the tar sands. Crude oil developed from the tar sands is counted by the EIA as crude plus condensate. Therefore I have no choice but to include crude oil washed from the tar sands in my figures. Hell, I would even count the Orinoco Bitumen if it were refined into oil. And I am sure if they ever do, it will be included in the EIA's Crude + Condensate and justifiably so.

Crude oil is crude oil, including the crude oil from the tar sands and even the Orinoco Bitumen, if they ever decide to do that.

Ron Patterson

Now with all due respect, to me, this is somewhat problematic.  Tar sands are considered by many to be unconventional crude. What makes oil coming from tar sands or oil sands different from that coming from oil shale, for the purpose of our classifications and accounting here?

On the one hand, you choose to include certain things and not others based on what you believe to be crude oil, disregarding  the fact that the EIA considers world crude production to be the 85 million barrels listed in table t14. Which is fine, I can understand the distinction and your reason for it.

But then when justifying the inclusion of Canadian tar sands in the t11 series, you fall back on the fact that it is included in the EIA's definition of Crude+Condensate as justification for you counting it. You're playing this both ways.

I personally have a real hard time including it given the issues regarding EROEI and the fact that it is not the cheap, easy-to-find stuff that we have come to consider conventional crude. It would seem that a real purist on the issue of crude oil accounting and how it is related to "peak-oil" would not in fact count it.

I think there is the notion here that I am trying to take some advantageous angle on the numbers to prove something. Nothing could be farther from the truth. I think all these different datasets and the inclusions and non-inclusions are legitimate. I look at each and every one of them. They can all be important or not depending on your angle.

Yes, July is the peak if you look at all liquids. No, December is the peak if you look and C+C. But this could all change next month and reverse itself - based on what? Not geology. Based on the EIA's revisions. Think about that. Everything you are talking about is based on humans. On accountants. If somebody discovers some barrels Nigeria forgot to count 3 years ago, it will change the peak as we know it.

On the one hand, you choose to include certain things and not others based on what you believe to be crude oil,

No I do not! I choose to use the EIA's figures on what they consider Crude Oil + Lease Condensate. Lease condensate is used because they simply add that to the crude stocks and count it all together. That is the way it has been done for decades and we are making no changes now.


disregarding the fact that the EIA considers world crude production to be the 85 million barrels listed in table t14.

No they do not! The EIA does not consider ethanol, bottled gas and all that other crap to be crude oil. The EIA has two catagories, "Crude Oil Supply" and "Oil Supply".

"Oil Supply" is defined as the production of crude oil (including lease condensate), natural gas plant liquids, and other liquids and refinery process gain (loss).
Other Liquids is defined as Ethanol, liquids produced from coal and oil shale, non-oil inputs to methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE), Orimulsion, and other hydrocarbons.

Crude Oil is defined as only Crude oil and Lease Condensate.

Which is fine, I can understand the distinction and your reason for it.

If you do not understand the distinction between crude oil and ethanol, bottle gas and water then any attempt at explaining it on my part is likely to be futile.

But then when justifying the inclusion of Canadian tar sands in the t11 series, you fall back on the fact that it is included in the EIA's definition of Crude+Condensate as justification for you counting it. You're playing this both ways.

No Oil CEI, I count oil from the tar sands because it is crude oil! What the hell do you mean counting it both ways? I only count it one way. Crude oil is crude oil, evrything else is something else. The tar sands oil is simply oridnary oil that has migrated all the way to the surface instead of being trapped by some type of cap rock. Oil CEO, why do you have a problem with me counting crude oil as crude oil? That is the thing that makes no sense to me. I don't give a tinker's dam if it is considered by some as being "unconventional oil" it is still crude oil.

I personally have a real hard time including it given the issues regarding EROEI and the fact that it is not the cheap, easy-to-find stuff that we have come to consider conventional crude. It would seem that a real purist on the issue of crude oil accounting and how it is related to "peak-oil" would not in fact count it.

EROEI is a moving target. The EROEI of the oil from Jack 2, when and if it is ever extracted, will be perhaps 2 to 1, while the EROEI of oil from Texas in the 60's was probably 40 to 1.  The only time when EROEI will come into play will be when it becomes negative, less than 1 to 1. At any rate EROEI has absolutely nothing to do with the definition of crude oil.

Ron Patterson

Now you are misrepresenting what I'm saying. I never claimed you were counting anything both ways. I said that your method of justifying how you do that was "playing in both ways." This should be apparent from your quotes of mine above.

I said I understood the distinction. So why are you quoting me and then replying as if I said something else?

You are completely missing my points.

The bigger issue is: what are you going to say if and when Crude+Condensate production surpasses its December 2005 level? You may as well lay that out now, so we can avoid this type of confusion should it happen.

The bigger issue is: what are you going to say if and when Crude+Condensate production surpasses its December 2005 level? You may as well lay that out now, so we can avoid this type of confusion should it happen.

I will say: "This month's crude oil supply surpassed the previously high peak month set in December 2005."

My God, what on earth would you expect me to say? I think there is a good possibility that we have reached peak oil. But that may not be the case. At any rate I think we are clearly at the bumpy plateau, and have been there for about one and one half years. But the peak month is not all that important.

I run Excel graphs on all my data, (haven't yet figured out how to paste them into my posts here) but the 12 month moving average of all world crude oil has definitely turned down. Will it turn back up? It is likely to do so since last September, October world production dropped over one million barrels per day due to the hurricanes. But will it turn up even after that? I don't know. If it does then it is likely we have not yet reached the peak. If it does not then we clearly have.

Ron Patterson

Thank you. I think maybe we got off to a bad start today. I didn't mean to offend and I know we've had this discussion before. I think we basically agree but just look at this from slightly different angles. My intention was not to argue but to try to flesh out some definitions. Anyway, always good arguing with you :) Cheers.
And while discussion of most of these "other liquids" makes sense to me, could you please comment specifically on the difference between the product yielded from the production of oil-shale and that from tar-sands.
Oil CEO asks:
...could you please comment specifically on the difference between the product yielded from the production of oil-shale and that from tar-sands?

I would be glad to. Oil from the tar-sands is true crude oil. A little heavy but still crude oil. The product from so-called oil-shale is not oil at all, it is Kerogen. Kerogen is, or rather was, the first stage of all oil deposits. If kerogen is buried below 7,000 feet, at coffee pot temperatures, for a few million years it becomes oil and gas.

I am not familar with the process of turning mined kerogen into hydrocarbons but I understand it requires cooking it at very high temperatures. Shell has a plan to cook it in the ground, for about four years, at temperatures of around 500 degrees if I am not mistaken. I am speaking from memory here. At any rate, kerogen is not crude oil.

Ron Patterson

Thank you again.
Interesting point:

Deffeyes put the 50% of Qt (crude + condensate) mark in 2005.

Khebab put the 50% of Qt (total liquids) mark in 2006 or early 2007.

Should we care?

I believe that Freddie Hutter (not the most doomist here) called peak light sweet back in spring 2004.

Perhaps peak conventional, excluding this and that, happened late 2005.

Bottom line is whatever we can convert into liquid hydrocarbon fuel and that will be a moveable definition. I'm happy to go with the EIA's all liquids and let them keep wriggling as long as they can.

These 'extras' could be tars, turkey waste, donated fat american human bodies. They will delay reality about as much as Jack2, IOW jack all.

You'll know when the end game is really beginning (by virtue of your wisdom in being here), that is your BIG survival advantage, the definitions don't matter.

But the difference between conventional oil and oil/tar sands DOES matter for Peak Oil modeling.

The geology and engineering for extraction are fundamentally  different between oil sands and underground oil.

Oil sands has long-term extraction and engineering dynamics similar to other mining operations, not oil drilling.  In oil sands there is not an issue of "discovery" but of logistics for extraction.

There is no obvious reason a Hubbert curve ought to apply to oil sands, and if we include it in the data, it will result in bad fits and improper conclusions.

Peak Oil is specifically a conventional petroleum issue.

But the difference between conventional oil and oil/tar sands DOES matter for Peak Oil modeling.
The geology and engineering for extraction are fundamentally  different between oil sands and underground oil.

It simply doesn't matter how you extract it, it is still crude oil.

There is no obvious reason a Hubbert curve ought to apply to oil sands, and if we include it in the data, it will result in bad fits and improper conclusions.

There is every reason that the Hubbert curve ought to apply to the oil sands. The Hubbert curve plots the peak of crude oil. The curve does not distinguish how that oil must be extracted, only that it be oil. And oil it is.

At any rate it will not make any difference. There is only just a little over a million barrels a day of crude being extracted from the oil sands, and that is increasing at only about 100,000 barrels per year. Not enough to make any difference, so we can simply ignore it for all the difference it will make.

Ron Patterson

"feedstocks" is what companies use to refine into fuel and energy products.

Oil in the sense of "Peak Oil" ought to be conventional fossil petroleum from wells which come from drilling.

The scientific reason to separate the two is that production of oil and non-conventional-oil-feeds is distinct production dynamics and geology.

Hubbert-like curves apply to conventional oil from oil wells. The principle of Peak Oil is about conventional drilled petroleum.  This, because we have good experience and evidence to make predictions about the future in this category, but we don't in other categories.

Is there a Hubbert curve for oil sands?  Probably not as much; it follows mining dynamics, not oil well dynamics.

Non conventional-oil-feedstocks are Peak Oil mitigation alternatives.

When exactly did you and Darwinian decide that we are talking about crude+condensate vs. all-liquids when we talk about peak?

Well, I made up my mind last June, when we had the big discussion on it.  What convinced me is the argument that the Hubbert model was never meant to deal with ethanol and its ilk.  Just doesn't made sense to include it.  

Talk about goal-post moving.

Folderol.  Deffeyes doesn't count ethanol.  Are you "moving the goalposts" because you do?

I'll post an updated graph down below once I get all these revisions sorted out.
Oil CEO wrote:

When exactly did you and Darwinian decide that we are talking about crude+condensate vs. all-liquids when we talk about peak? It seems like this is an awfully convenient time. Talk about goal-post moving.

Leanan replied:

Well, I made up my mind last June, when we had the big discussion on it.  What convinced me is the argument that the Hubbert model was never meant to deal with ethanol and its ilk.  Just doesn't made sense to include it.

Well, I decided way before that. I started keeping spreadsheet data on Crude + Condensate about four years ago. I have never kept data on All Liquids, except one single column out of hundreds. It simply never occurred to me to count ethanol or bottled gas. And I sure as hell never thought of counting the water in Orimulsion. (Though I would not have a problem if they counted only the bitumen.)

But Leanan is right. It is these Johnny come latelys who count ethanol, water, bottled gas and other hydrocarbons like biodiesel who are moving the goal-post.

Ron Patterson

I'm not sure who you are refering to as Johnny-come-latelys. It seems that the EIA has been keeping spreadsheets for a hell of a lot longer than four years.
But did the december peak also include these other liquids? If so your point is moot. Or you are joking and I am missing something?

I actually don't know where to get the breakdown of figures!

Do post a link to data. I went to EIA website and couldn't find it.


Marco, I thought I explained it quite throughly. There were two sets of data in December as well as in July. I use only the crude + condensate figures for both December and July. Therefore my point is not moot. And to answer your question, No, I am not joking and yes you are missing something.

Here is the link.
Spreadsheets 1.1a, 1.1b, and 1.1c are crude and condensate only. These break it down country by country. The first is OPEC only and the last gives the total for all the world.

All Liquids, including ethanol, bottled gas, coal to liquids, other shit as well as a lot of water if found on spreadsheet 1.4.

Ron Patterson

Thanks darwinian, I understand now.


No, he's comparing apples to apples.  The peak in crude + condensate was in December.  

IIRC, we actually had a thread devoted to this once: whether peak oil should be all liquids or not.  While both are interesting, all liquids is not peak oil.

As Robert points out, all liquids includes some double-dipping.  If you use diesel to make ethanol, both the diesel and the ethanol are counted.  

And IMO, ethanol really shouldn't be included, anyway.  The Hubbert model is based on geology, and ethanol simply does not fit into that.  That's not what Hubbert linearization is supposed to track.

"No, he's comparing apples to apples.  The peak in crude + condensate was in December."

I thought Ron said the peak in all liquids was July this year and thats what the charts he just linked to says.


Marco, December Crude + Condensate compared to July Crude + Condensate is comparing apples to apples, which is what I did. Crude + Condensate is all we are concerned with.

All Liquids, December to July is comparing oranges to oranges. We are dealing with only apples here, not oranges. That is we should be considering only oil, not ethanol, bottled gas or water which is what "All Liquids" is.

Hope this clears it up for you.

Ron Patterson

Ignore last statement Leanan! I just read Darwinians link and have got it! Sorry about my slow learning guys.


Here is the post Leanan referred to on the p;eak being all liquids or straight oil.
I just reread that post and many of the comments. It was just as good the second time around.

There was a spammer at the end of the thread:


Hopefully Super G will see this and delete him.

If you use diesel to make ethanol, both the diesel and the ethanol are counted.

Excuse this uninformed poor single functioning braincell I have left, but does this mean that the natural gas left in the oilsands, for instance, is double-dipped and double counted as well?

natural gas used in the oilsands, not left

Did you notice this?

Saudi Arabia for July 2006 = 9,300

Russia for July 2006 = 9,260

Saudi Arabia up by 40 for July 2006.

Rick DeZeeuw

I find it interesting that the EIA revised December, 05 data nine months after the fact and after six months of declining oil production. Wouldn't the decline have been greater if the original December production figure was used? It would also have the effect of lowering the bar for future monthly numbers.
Except that they do this every month, they constantly revise and re-revise in both directions and sometimes by amounts exceding 250,000.

The numbers that we discuss here today are guarranteed to change, so it doesn't make a lot of sense to view them in any particular way or to draw any tight conclusions. It's better to step back and look at the bigger picture and the longer term.

One can say that this lowers the bar for future numbers. One can also say that the bar has been too high for the last 6 months.

After about a year, I think the EIA eithers stops revising months, or the task becomes pointless. In the long run, if you look at a graph with a time frame of say 10 years and plot out both the original numbers and their ultimately revised form, you can barely see daylight between the two lines.

Looking at moving averages is a good way of getting a clearer picture by shutting out the noise.

Orimulsion has some VERY interesting properties.  This from your link.

The experience obtained since 1990 by end-users of Orimulsion® in their operational handling and distribution systems has confirmed that the theological properties of Orimulsion® are not deteriorated when processed through screw or centrifugal pumps of low velocity.

I wonder if they are using holy water?

I thnink they mean "rheological"
or maybe "the reological"  or maybe they are typing with fingers as big as sheboygan sausages    contentious discussion here
You forgot to mention fuel from cooking oil!

so far, the peaks are the following:

  • Conv. Crude Oil: 73.9283 mbpd (May 2005)
  • NGPL: 8.0283 mbpd (Feb 2005)
  • Other Liquids + ref. gains: 3.333 mbpd (July 2006)
  • Conv. Crude Oil + NGPL: 81.773 mbpd (May 2005)
  • All Liquids: 85.0306 mbpd (July 2006)

NGPL and Other Liquids have made that peak in July.
No comment on the above Saudi announcement about their latest field under development? My understanding is that most of this development is offshore - isn't it odd that the Saudis are going offshore (which is always more expensive) for their next generation of fields when it is always held as an article of faith that they have a ton of oil left in existing 9onshore fields, just waitig to be exploited). Certainly this news confirms stories of 6 months back that the Saudis were in the market for offshore rigs bigtime.......
I think "Moneefa" is an alternate spelling of "Manifa."  

According to David Fleming, Manifa's oil is sour and contaminated with vanadium.

Beneath the seabed off the coast of Saudi Arabia is an oil field called Manifa. It is giant, and its riches are almost untapped. There is, however, a snag. Its oil is heavy with vanadium and hydrogen sulphide, making it virtually unusable. One day the technology may be in place to remove these contaminants, but it will not be for a long time, and when, or if, it becomes possible, it will do no more than slightly reduce the rate at which the world's oil supplies slip away towards depletion.

Do they now have the technology to process it and make it usable?

Hello TODers,

Russiaannounces 'Shoot to Kill' policy in Georgia if provoked, and Saudia Arabia is having problems over electrical and water shortages:
Saudis recently suffered from reduced electricity during peak demand periods in the hot summer months. Last month, the two main industrial regions were forced to run at reduced capacity for two weeks when the state-run electricity firm Saudi Electricity rationed supplies.

Samir Al-Saadi, a local journalist, said water was being sold on the black market for up to five times the official price. "But the queues at these offices can take 10 hours to wait in," he said, adding brawls often broke out.
Bob Shaw in Phx,Az  Are Humans Smarter than Yeast?

Are you kidding Bob?

We even sell water in this country!!! Something that falls out of the sky and bubbles out of the ground!

Have our water supplies reached the point where people would pay good money to buy water? Or is it just some yuppie fashion?

I take those empty bottles and fill them with well water but I prefer an army issue canteen. Why waste the plastic(petrochemical derived)?

Whatever happened to glass, aluminum and other recyclables?

When hiking as a Boy Scout I used to pick up empty bottles along the road as we hiked along. Get a few and stop at the next small store and trade them for a full free bottle.

Hello Airdale,

Thxs for responding.  Just posting what I found from the WWWeb.  I think it is interesting where we read all these newslinks about KSA's proud press releases of rapidly ramping up their FFs vs other links talking about insufficient energy & water inside the kingdom.  IMO, Something appears out-of-whack.

Bob Shaw in Phx,Az  Are Humans Smarter than Yeast?

too me it sounds like the noises of a board about ready to break..
Good find, I hadn't heard about this before.

Apparently billions of barrles of oil reserves doesn't even guarantee enough water:

BBC International Reports (Middle East)
Copyright 2006 BBC Monitoring Service
September 29, 2006

Water crisis

a. Arab News carries a commentary by Dr Rakan Habib from the newspaper Al-Madinah: "No Water in Ramadan?" It says: "It is the beginning of Ramadan and there is a water shortage in Jedda. He adds: "In short, the problem that Jedda suffers from is not a shortage of water but rather a lack of any logical and rational reason for it. We have very strong evidence to support this argument."

b. Ukaz reports the water crisis has reached Rabigh and Media after Jedda and Riyadh.  

c. Al-Madinah cites Water and Electricity Minister Al-Husayn stressing that the water shortage is being exaggerated and that it can be solved by dealing with leakage. He adds only four per cent of houses in Jedda were affected by the shortage.

d. Al-Madinah carries a commentary by Al-Zahrani entitled: "The Jedda Crisis and the Minister's Statements," in which the writer says: "Everybody was surprised by his highness the water and electricity minister's justification about what is going on in Jedda. His response was provocative and disappointing. Instead of apologizing to the public, reassuring them, and giving them hope, he preferred to criticize and blame them and accuse them of fabricating the crisis."  

'Wise words you say."

Ok here is some of my ideas. This winter when it slows down I intend to run off some ethanol and store it (denatured of course). I then will go netshopping for a stove that burns alcohol(like hikers use) and some type of lamps that burn it as well.

I have three old VW beetles in my barn and wish to rebuild one that will run on alcohol. Strip all the none essentials from the body and weld up a hitch for horse drawn implements so I can do my gardening.

Buy a few Red Poll heifers and a young bull and one horse mare and a jackass to start breeding mules, in case the ethanol thing doesn't work out.

The next is some good milk goats and some chicken eggs to hatch out.

This is my plan. I already have the land and buildings and a good deep well that I intend to put a windlass into when the time comes.

I am super insulating part of my pole barn and will use the loghouse for fire woood.

One last item is a hive of honey bees and plant a few more fruit trees.

Good plan?

If I may have your address, I will forward it to some friends of mine.  They are marauding thugs travelling entrepreneurs who would love to forcibly take over your land for their own use drop by for tea some time.

Seriously, do you (and other rural landowners) have security concerns, when tshtf?

Speaking of when TSHTF, here is one of the very best articles I have ever read on the subject.

It was written by an Argentinean who actually lived through the Argentinean economic collapse of 2001. It is scary, really scary. It is far too long and far too good for me to even find excerpts to quote. There are just so damn many. Of course a lot of people here believe there will never be an economic collapse in the good old US of A. But eventually, just like in this essay, people will find their highly skilled training has no market in a severe depression. The middle class will become the desperately poor class. And just like in Argentina, there will likely be a tiny minority of the very rich and a massive majority of the desperately poor, and no in between.

At any rate, enjoy.

Ron Patterson

I agree.  

The complete, original post and resulting forum thread at the source web site are here:

http://tinyurl.com/pmvts ( http://www.frugalsquirrels.com/ )

or, you can read it here in article format:


The follow-up questions and his answers in the forum are fascinating and worth reading, as well.

Oh yes, that poor Argentinean economy:

Retailers expand in Argentina as economy soars

Driven by private consumption and buoyant prices for agricultural exports, Argentina's economy has averaged 9 percent annual growth over the last three years. Private forecasts expect 2006 growth of around 8 percent.
Say your economy collapses to 20% of its original size. A 9% growth figure then gets you actual growth of 1.8%. Not that impressive.
I think that article/blog should be required reading for a glimpse of post peak.
This looks like an interesting chart of consumer confidence in Argentina and other latin countries. Argentina seems to have recovered from the lows after the 2001 crisis to the point where confidence in 2004 was higher than in 2000. Not sure how to square this with that survivalist guy's stories:


who was the data polled from?
you can make a chart like this say anything as long as you control who you gather your data from.
What do you think of simply moving to Niagara Falls?
As a rural landowner in southeast central Illinois I don't have much in the way of security concerns as I live in a very isolated area that is way off the beaten path. My place is so hard to find I had to e-mail a map to my insurance agent, who lived in the area all of her life, a map to find it. If you stumble into my place you are probably lost.

Bruce from Chicago

Damn, I need to have a coffee before I post in the morning. Delete "a map to find it".
Hey Bruce .... What about that item saying not enough insolation for solar in central Ill? Last time I drove through there were corn and soybeans for miles and miles.
Any chance are you referring to the article here?


I believe the analysis above is concentrating on commercial solar costs, not individual installations. There should be more than ample sun in South Central Illinois to provide enough energy for a small homestead. I plan on installing solar and wind panels by next spring. One of my best friends installs power supply units for a large American corporation and he will help me with the installation and provide the sources for batteries, panels, invertors, etc. Meanwhile, I'm busy putting in a Morel mushroom patch and inoculating stumps with Shittake and oyster mushroom spores. The forested parts of property should not be neglected as to a potential source of food. I've already planted 300 ramp bulbs and scattered about 5000 ramp seeds.

When you grow your ramps I could use one for my motorcycle. How about a hint on what they are.
Ramps are wild leeks that grow in shaded forrested areas. Awfully good! They are so tasty they are becoming endangered in some areas. I keep my ramp foraging areas highly secret for this very reason. In the spring there are ramp festivals held in many southeastern states.  
My experience with ramps in Southern Appalachia indicates that they do poorly below 3000 ft. elevation. So best to find a handy mountain deciduous forest and North slope is better.
They do just fine in Illinois River valleys. I think the most important requirement is fertile soil and dense summer shade. In the spring I cut the fresh shoots off leaving the bulbs below to produce later crops. The seeds germinate very slowly, as long as a year and a half, as they require a warm period followed by a cold one. When I collect seeds in the fall I make sure to scatter some seeds in adjacent areas not densely populated by ramps. I have seen some patches grow very large using this method over the years.
Consume More,

This has been a topic that has been discussed on other forums for years.  There are basically two schools of thought:  1) We'll shoot them all.  2)You won't be able to do that and they'll get your stuff.

I, too, live in the boondocks.  Here are the points I usually make in these discussions.  First, the locals will close the roads (both local and state highways).  This is easy in the mountains where I live.  

Second, considering EROEI, it makes little sense to spend the energy to try to get stuff from homes that are widely separated - especially when they may be hard to find and you don't know what they have.  

Third, just about everyone in the boondocks has guns and lots of ammo and will probably be far more motivated to use them then a bunch of city punks.  

Fourth, the locals have a tremendous tactical advantage since they know the area intimately. Further, a lot of us have plans in place as to what to do if this occurs.  

Fifth, I believe (that is, guess) that most urban/suburban people will stay where they are since it is likely the Feds will be handing out some kind of food.  

Lastly, I think it is far more likely that a very high percentage of rural people will be heading for the cities since they do not have the capability to be self-sufficient.  In my area, few have enough water to grow food crops to feed a family; they depend upon propane for cooking and refrigeration and propane, diesel or gasoline to run generators for things like lighting and well pumps.

Todd; a Realist

Todd, I agree.

There's a saying from Latin America? Southern Italy? Someplace rural. It goes:

"bad roads, good neighbors.
Good roads, bad neighbors."

With all roads becoming bad, neighbors should improve dramatically.

It should also apply to urban areas. It wasn't that long ago that dense urban areas had extremely tight neighborhoods. That was before freeways, and before most people had autos.

The problem, as I see it, may not be marauding bandits.  Your problem might be as follows:
There is still some gas available to the government and some people, even in a crisis situation of chaos.
The same difficult times will be rife with unemployment and food shortages and ongoing infrastructure problems.
At the same time the government will be desperate to do something to help the urban areas which are in the most trouble, also most likely related to food shortages.
So in come the buses.  Buses which will move people from areas of no water to water, areas of no food production to food production.
And a big work program. The work will be returning the large farms into manual labor intensive small farms and building the barricks to house these same people. Guess where the buses will be headed?
Just an idea to ponder.

It's easy to speculate about this sort of thing, buses, et.al.  I've certainly considered that sort of response by TPTB.  The problem is that there are too many possible scenarios ranging from secessionist movements and Neuvo Mexico in the southwest to other countries seeing an opportunity to attack the US.

To me, the odds are that TBPTB will ignore rural areas and, if they do anything, will most likely isolate them from incoming goods and services.  Thereby forcing out all but the diehards.  Take my area:  There are about 3,000 people scattered over about 600 square miles of mountains.  It makes no sense to invest a lot of resources to move them out.  Further, once the Feds started to forcebly reclocate people, my guess is that they would face an armed rebellion every place they tried it.

I know this doesn't really answer your question but it's a start.

Todd:  a realist

As I was out putting a portion of the garden to bed this afternoon, this, now, old saw kept running through my thoughts, "Hi, we're from the government and we're here to help you.  Get on the bus."  You know, if ever a goverment wanted to blow public trust out of the water, its response to Katrina was the ultimate stupidity.  And, I doubt that trust will ever be regained.
Sorry to ruin your gardening this evening!  Since problems could unravel slowly, and as Julian Darley says, nonlinearly, I truly think this could be the future.  As one city gets into trouble, a relocation plan is announced and executed.  I totally agree that there are many other unknowns, but... in the most recent emergency that is what they did.  And, I have another comparison:  the refugee resettlement program silently going on continually in this country.  I might not know about it if I did not live in a target community.  Our city teaches over 60 languages in its public schools.  Its demographics have changed over the past 20-30 years because of this program.  The target communities are selected on factors such as low crime, low unemployment, friendly communities, good schools, etc.  Thus examples of communities are:  Fargo ND, Rochester MN, Minneapolis, Lincoln, NE, etc.  Read "The Middle of Everywhere:  Helping Refugees Enter the American Community" by Mary Pipher.  If you are in the mountains in an unpopulated area, however, you should not have to worry about your area.  To steal a phrase "Its all about the population" and we have 300 million people now, which is 1 person per 1.2 acres of productive farmland in the US.

Hey, you're moving the goal posts from millions going to the fields to sneaking a few out at a time. But even with that, a few thousand at a time isn't going to hack it.  Let's take a populated area many hours from me.  There are about 300,000 people.  So, you want to move out 10% or 30,000 people (a rather meaningless number if TS has HTF).  That's 600 bus loads at 50 people per bus.  Hell, double it to 100 people per bus and it's still 300 buses. You think that wouldn't be noticed?  And, gee, you think people wouldn't notice people leaving their jobs or vacant houses or apartments or kids absent from schools (assuming kids go for a ride too)?  Give me a break.  In a community of 300k, this kind of loss would also cause a dump of the local economy.  It won't happen.  And, again, after Katrina, I don't see many people getting onto the bus regardless of what is promised.

It's possible to believe that these hordes could replace the tractor but realistically they would probably eat more than they produce were everything done manually.  At best, they would replace herbicides and picking machines.  Not much of a savings except to wear people out and cast them aside leading to population decline.  But if the intent is to reduce the population, it makes far more sense to simply spray a "disease" to wipe people out.  One jet tanker could infect the entire west coast in a day.

Maybe we should return to peak energy and continue this conversation at a future time.


 I'm a few days late thinking of this. Maybe next time we get to this subject, I'll be more timely. We get to be on George Washington's team...

The Coin Toss
by David Whited
Bill Cosby had a classic bit called "Toss of the Coin." It went into how much the win of a coin toss could've determined who got the advantage during events in history. One excerpt from it went like this:

"General Cornwallis of the British, this is General Washington of the Continental Army."
"General Washington of the Continental Army, this is General Cornwallis of the British."
"If you'd shake hands, gentlemen."
"O.K., British call the toss."
"British called heads, it is tails."
"General Washington, what are you gonna do?"
"General Washington says his troops will dress however they wish, in any color, in buckskins and coonskin caps, and hide behind the rocks and trees and shoot out at random."
"British, you will all wear bright red, all shoot at the same time, and march forward in a straight line."



Security concerns? Yes. We know the city folk will come.

I havwe  security cameras and you can bet mine will be active. I run it with a solar panel , wireless to the house/barn/whatever.

With 6 or 12 volt panels I can use fence charger panels with a cellpack battery to power them. Same with my laptop.

Consider a grain bin on many many farms full of grain.

Worth protecting? You betcha. With firepower? You betcha.

Cattle? Yup.

The food doesn't grow in the cities or burbs. It grows in the rural areas.

If gas get scarce who would you rather see get the petrochemical products? farmers or soldiers or politicos?

I submit that the food growers should be on top of the chain.

In Switzerland during WW II, the military, police and medical got what they needed, and farming got what was left over (not nearly enough).  Calories/person dropped quite a bit.

Intensive farming near cities & towns that people bicycled/walked to fields (in some cases i.e. Zurich took the electric train on weekends). Lots of potatoes, cabbage & turnips. More remote mountain pastures walked meat on hoof to town with butcher & electric train depot, cheese was transported by a variety of means including car & truck to depot.

The military was a priority because Switzerland was surrounded by the Wehrmacht, which had already invaded several neutral nations.

Even rural areas will need medical care.  This is the weak point with isolation survivalists IMHO.

Best Hopes,


There is a booklet called "How to Modify Your Car to run on Alcohol Fuel - With specific instructions for air-cooled Volkswagens" By Roger Lippman printed in 1982. If you watch EBAY you can probably find a copy. A Google search might also find a copy for you. It is 27 pages long and very complete. Got my copy years back for $10.00.
Hope this helps you.
Thanks for the info. I have many boxes of old Mother Earth magazines and somewhere the info on doing that. As well as a very old book on the essentials of making fuel for vehicles.

Way before ethanol was part of the current debates.


Re. horse-drawn implements - you are far better off making or buying a hitchcart/forecart.  These are two wheeled sulkies, usually with a small hand-powerd hydraulic pump, to which one can attach regular three point hitch equipment. Do a google on them.  They allow a greater range of equipment that can be bought far cheaper then horse-drawn implements.

One book that mentions them is The Contrary Farmer by Gene Logsdon, 1993, ISBN 0-930031-67-9.  I think you'd enjoy this book if haven't already read it.

FWIW, they are also useful for ATVs, etc.

Todd: a Realist


I have a really good friend who has almost one of every kind of horse drawn implement made.

Another who has harnesses aplenty.

But I would prefer a VW tractor powered with ethanol. That way I could use a two row corn planter and cultivator. With corn and a bit of hay you can raise and winter over both some cattle and hogs. Enough to cure the hog meat. Thats what we always did back when back was, way back. I mean sustainable for there was absolutley no free money handouts. You made it or died out. That was about 1930s/40s. I can still remember scraping the hair off those scalded hogs.

To this day I can't go very long without some good bacon.


Most people, including me, won't be as lucky to have harnesses and horse-drawn equipment availble locally.  I'd like to get draft ponies (and Dexter cattle) but that's another discussion.  Most people around here use CATS.

To me, the real problem is mineral lubricating oil and filters.  I'll switch to wood gas but we both have this problem.  They are easy to stock up on as we both know but I have to wonder about cooling a VW as well as traction even using water-filled tires.  I frankly don't think a VW clutch will deal with plowing/planting much less engine cooling.

I saw you are/will add animals and that is your best bet.  As far as hitchcarts/forecarts go, I think you will find they take a lot of burden off of animals.


Then it would have to be a smallish tractor such as the old IH 140 I let go at the last auction.

It even had a front loader, all the cultivators, a sickle bar, pull type disks, single plow and a huge underbelly diskblade.

Well maybe the guy will dieoff and I can get it back somehow and convert it.

Yes the VW engine is limited but I could at least harrow with it. Maybe draw a sickle bar mower. Old fashioned hay rake. Drag a hay wagon around.

But to me mules are the way to go. I have worked behind mules (three in harness) all day long and they just keep on going and going and going.

I am wondering if you , or others have ever heard of a chicken tractor. This is where you place a movable wire cage (say 8'x8') and let the chickens live in it, scratch up the soil and put down lots of really good chicken manure PLUS serve as a good garbage disposal. Every so often you throw some seed in and then move the cage a little further down the garden/field/whatever.

The old Mother Earth magazines used to have engines that ran on chicken manure!!

Anyway good luck up there in the hills. Time soon for me to start splitting the winter firewood.


Sure have heard of chicken tractors.  They're also described in the important role they play on Polyface farm in "Omnivore's Dilemma".
Hello TODers,

Hurricane Isaac appears headed right for the Nova Scotia, Canada oil platforms.  It will be a depression by then, but I think the wave heights still could be pretty big. I hope the workers are taking all the required precautions. Link to Accuweather.com forecast eyepath.

Bob Shaw in Phx,Az Are Humans Smarter than Yeast?

Looks like Hibernia could be a casualty around Tuesday.

Hurricane track : http://weatheroffice.ec.gc.ca/hurricane/track_e.html

Hibernia platform location: 46 degrees 45' 1.5722" north, 48 degrees, 46'58.5427" west.  

But is this significant?

G o d ' s   N e x t   A r m y

An hour's drive outside of Washington, evangelicals have established their own (pretend) Ivy League college, dedicated to competing directly with Harvard and Yale. Welcome to Patrick Henry College.

The idea is to take over US politics for good. As God would have wanted. It's not about priests or missionnaries. The college breeds decision makers, the upper echelon. Church AND state.

The documentary God's Next Army (50 min) comes from Britain's Channel 4. It has now been posted on Google video.

The footage paints a portrait of hallucinatory extremists, misguided fanatics and delusional robots. And you just know they will soon be the core of the GOP."If you get the right people there, you can change the way the nation works."

80% of the students are home-schooled kids. No questions, no doubts, and no opinions of their own. These kids are parrots. They are scary to listen to, young faces with old voices.

Sit, watch and shiver.

This land is your land, America, and if you still want it, now is the time to stand up. If you don't, they will take it from you. Soon.

Scary!It's a mirror image of the radical madras
(religious schools).

As far as the argument that the oil market cannot be manipulated before the election for the gain of corpos:

In a claim that could fuel conspiracy theories about the recent oil price decline - in an interview to be broadcast on CBS on Sunday - Mr Woodward described a conversation between Prince Bandar bin Sultan and Mr Bush in which the former Saudi ambassador said he could ease oil prices ahead of the elections.

"They could go down very quickly. That's the Saudi pledge. Certainly over the summer, or as we get closer to the election, they could increase production several million barrels a day," Mr Woodward said.

Ah...but what if they have no spare capacity?

IIRC, Woodward reported this in the spring of 2004.  What have oil prices done since then?
It's far easier to bring the price down if you have first ramped it up.
No one here has certain knowledge of what the Saudis are doing or would be able to do if pressed. All we have is stated intent. Which could have been merely a boast by the Prince? Or not.

Why would Bandar help Bush today?

Thanks to Bush, Saudi Arabia will have a nearby Shiite Islamic state, dominated by Iran, next door.

That, and al_Qaeda type radical fundamentalism has exploded in potency.

Well, would Bandar help Bush today? I don't know. If the Saudis were fully rational they might have tried to stop the US invasion of Iraq back in 2003. If Bush were fully rational he would not have invaded Iraq. Do world leades think through the consequences of their actions? I don't think so. They pay someone to do that for them. And listen to the advice or not.

The Saudis affirmatively opposed the invasion of Iraq, probably for this reason, and did not let the US use the major airbase at Daharan and to deploy troops from Saudi Arabia.

That's why the airbases were in Qatar and troops left from Kuwait.

Remember that there are quite a few Shiites in the oil producing regions of Arabia; Sunnis dominate in the non-oil areas of the religious cities.   Iraq and Saudi Arabia aren't so different in this respect.

Roel just in case you missed my comments yesterady about Ghawar and Groningen

Roel, the comments I make about Ghawar are based on Twilight - I've read the section on Ghawar several times now.  I'd agree that lack of concrete data leads to speculation.  If Ghawar were one huge tank and it were crashing (like for example Statfjord (which is in fact 2 tanks)) then that would be very serious. But its not.  I spent the greater part of my career working on reservoir and field compartmentalisation.

Its difficult to convey a balanced view here.  Production decline at Ghawar - certainly big news.  Falling production in KSA - big news? Not so sure.  My suspicion is that they were close to peak capacity and the fall in demand will have suited them well - allowing them to shut down inefficient production.

On Groningen - the source of my information here is senior production folks at Exxon - who along with Shell, own the field.  Groningen was discovered before WWII, and your right, it has been produced for decades.  But what I've been told is that the Dutch authorities only ever permitted production at fraction of potential rates - because Groningen alone could supply all Dutch demand and more.  By conserving Groningen, this stimulated exploration off shore etc and hundreds of smaller fields have been discovered and developed as a consequence.  How much of Groningen is left - I don't know.

In 2005 The Netherlands produced 62.9 bcm of gas and consumed 39.5 bcm.  This doesn't to my mind tally with your claim that most of Groningen is gone. Reserves are 1.41 tcm! Second only to Norway in Europe.

This is the exact opposite of what has happened in KSA where they produced their super giants - and this made it pointless exploring for / developing other fields.  What is the point when your capacity is 9 mmbpd and you're only producing at 5 mmbpd - going out and finding some more?


Cry Wolf:

On KSA/Ghawar

  • For what it's worth, I see no reliable indications that they have much capacity and/or reserves hidden, and neither does Simmons in Twilight. The vast unexplored desert? Don't think so. Too much offshore drilling.
  • I do see a lot that would suggest the opposite

On Groningen

  • Production expected to halt within 20 years
  • Produced till Jan 1 '05 (Groningen only): 2664 bcm (94,079 bcf)
  • Total left (Groningen+smaller fields): 1572 bcm (55,515 bcf)
  • Production ceilings total
    • '05-'08: 75 bcm (2648 bcf)
    • '09-'15: 70 bcm (2472 bcf)
Source TNO/NITG (Dutch)

Note: the numbers get confusing at times because of the blurring distinction between Groningen and other fields. I hope I got them right, including the conversions.

For Engish information:
The maximum volume that can be expected to be supplied from Dutch accumulations during the next ten years has been calculated taking into account the upper production limit (table 7). The resulting supply is 701 billion m3Geq, consisting of 276 billion m3Geq from [non-Groningen] accumulations supplemented by a maximum of 425 billion m3 Geq from the Groningen accumulation. In this scenario, the Groningen will continue to act as a swing producer, balancing supply and demand.


  • do notice below how the yellow bars, 'undevelopped' and 'undiscovered', distort the real picture.
  • non-Groningen production (lower bars) completely collapses
  • projected Groningen production (upper bars) is higher than ever, which suggests wishful thinking. '06 is all of a sudden 10 bcm (20-25%) more than '05 (?!)

Hi Roel, gald to see you come out fighting - just like the Texans at the Alamo.

Probably best to leave KSA / Ghawar for now - though see reponse to Westexas below.  Only point I'd make is that The Haradah 3 GOSP came on earlier this year - 300,000 bpd capacity - why did they build this?  And where is that production.  Doomer argument is that production crashing everywhere else swallowed up new capacity.  But that is pure speculation.  Doomers may be right - I am simply reserving judgement because KSA production has gone up and down for the last 30 years for political / economic reasons and not geology.

On Groningen - useful chart which I assume you understand confirms exactly what I was saying.

  1. Production in all the lesser fields (discovered because Groningen has been conserved) is now in rapid decline.

  2. Production in Groningen is to be increased to meet the short fall.

  3. An allowance is made for discovered / undeveloped and new discoveries - the magnitude of this may be open to debate.

I just don't get your skeptical position on this.

If the Groningen numbers are wrong then you are suggesting that Shell, ExxonMobil and the Dutch Government are distrorting reserves and productivity data.

Do you really think that with high gas prices, and pending gas shortages that there will no be new gas discoveries made in the course of the next decade?  Not including an allowance for this would be distorting the real picture - but as I said before, magnitude is open to debate.

There are energy security issues facing the EU - I just don't think Dutch gas is one of them - lets try and focus on the real issues - falling gas production in the UK, gas supplies from Russia, possible nationalisation of HC resources in N Africa.

Anyway, thanks for digging up this useful data - which I'll add to my file.


The numbers state that 2664 bcm has been produced from Groningen, while 1572 bcm minus-all smaller-fields-put-together remains in the field.

Let me be gentle and suppose that 1000 bcm of the 1572 bcm left is in Groningen, then 72% of the field is already see ya, I'm outta here (3664-2664).
And that's the gentle interpretation of their own numbers.

It looks very obvious to me.

Adding undiscovered reserves is just plain silly, the only other place where that kind of practice is acceptable is the US housing market.

Whether they can ramp up production by 20-25% from one day to the next remains to be seen.

You've lost me Roel, 1000 bcm in Groningen is 25 years of Dutch consumption - most European countries would sell their right arms to have so much indigenous energy.

And totally discounting the exploration efforts of the future I'm afraid is just daft and playing into the hands of those who may want to raise a reasonable argument against PO.

Over and out.

Well, well, is it that heard to admit you're wrong?
1000 bcm in Groningen is 25 years of Dutch consumption
domestic consumption is around 50 bcm this year, 48.6 in 2004 last confirmed number

production 2004 was 81.5 bcm, hence export was 32.9 bcm

You're getting me really pissed off here now Roel, unless you think the BP stat review is wrong along with everyone else apart from you.

They say Dutch gas consumption in 2005 was 39.5 bcm - and has been flat for 5 years.

You say Gronigen has optimistically 1000 bcm left

So I say 1000 / 39.5 = 25.3164557  years of supply left - and that is only including Gronigen and not everyhting else.  So its going to go on producing for a couple of decades more - which will be a near world record for a gas field.


So thats the link to bp stat review - come back with the explanation of why your number of 48.6 bcm is right and their number of 39.5 bcm is wrong.

Even then, 1000 / 48.6 = 20.57 years - it still makes Groningen a miracle of national resource mangement.

Cry Wolf,

In regard to your plot of Saudi production, Texas had a very similar "twin peaks" pattern.   Based on the HL method, Texas peaked at around 56% of Qt.  Last year, KSA was at about 57% of Qt.  

Your discussion of the big fields/little fields in the North Sea is precisely the point.  Whether it's Texas, the Lower 48, the North Sea, KSA or the world, we find the big fields first.  

I would also point out that--at least according to Matt Simmons--the majors working the North Sea were surprised at how soon the North Sea peaked.  

Also, I don't think that you could come up with two more different regions than the Lower 48 and the North Sea, yet both regions peaked in close proximity to 50% of Qt (crude + condensate).

I realize that the Yibal Field is not an exact analogue to Ghawar; however, it's the same reservoir and it was redeveloped, like Ghawar, with horizontal wells.  Shell, with some of the best engineers in the world, was gearing up their surface production facilities at Yibal to handle a projected flood of new oil when production at Yibal started crashing.  Also, I believe that Ghawar is at about the same stage of depletion, as a percentage of OIP, that Yibal started crashing.

The key problem for KSA is that, at least at one time, Ghawar accounted for more than half of their production--and about 7% of world crude + condensate production.   If a field accounting for half of your production is crashing/declining, where does one go to replace half of one's production?

I assume that the Texas Railroad Commission must have raised the allowable for the East Texas Field in the Sixties, but East Texas production almost doubled from 1962 to 1972.  This was the last hurrah for the field.  It started its terminal decline in 1973 down toward its current production of 1.2 mbpd of water per day with a 1% oil cut.    

I'm sure that the conventional wisdom in 1973 was that the small (0.6%) decline in Texas production was just a "blip" before production resumed its upward trend.

Mathematically Ghawar and KSA in 2005 were where the East Texas Field and Texas were at in 1972.  And, as predicted by the HL method and by this historical analogue, KSA is showing declining production (around 9 mbpd in September, according to Petrologistics), while oil prices traded in a record high (nominal) range, and the Saudis are frantically expanding their drilling efforts.

Again, we saw this same pattern in Texas--higher oil prices + frantic drilling = lower production.

I realize that Texas is not KSA, but they are only swing producers we have had.   Also, the Lower 48 is not the North Sea, but the Lower 48 and the North Sea are, mathematically, peas in a pod, just as Texas and KSA are, mathematically, peas in a pod.

Westexas, as you know I'm an experienced geologist - who only learned about Hubbert some time around June this year.  So I'm both experienced and raw at the same time.

My notion on KSA is that they may have only ever have been producing 50% of their reserves so my view (which might be completley wrong) is that they are about 57% of their way through 50%.

I have an idea about how to test this which I hope Sam may collaborate on - though I haven't even mentioned this to him yet.

In terms KSA peak, I don't think this will make a lot of difference - but it may make a lot of differnce to the decline.

In general terms I see three types of reource management

  1. More or less commercial exploitation - USA, Norway and the UK (but even the UK is non-linear)

  2. Political resource management - whereby only best assets are produced under controlled conditions - KSA, Kuwait, UAE

  3. Political resource mangement - whereby the best assets are conserved and kept till last - The Netherlands is the only example I have of this.

If I'm wrong on this one quite happy to stick up my hands and be shot.  But lets wait a few weeks till I get some numbers to illustrate my point.

all the best



If you haven't seen our article, you will find HL plots of Texas, Lower 48, KSA and the world here:  http://www.energybulletin.net/16459.html

The Texas plot, up until the peak,  is the noisiest of the four.  The other three, including, KSA, show beautiful linear patterns.    Our point was that KSA and the world are now about where Texas and the Lower 48 were at when they peaked.

IMO, the point that can't be overemphasized is how dependent the Saudis and the world are on one oil field--Ghawar.  Remember, the Saudis were recently celebrating over getting the water cut down to "only" about 35%.  

Remember, this is a 35% water cut--after converting over to all horizontal wells.  In other words, they are getting one barrel of water for every two barrels of oil, in a rapidly thinning oil column between an advancing water leg and an expanding gas cap.  

Or let me put it this way, until recently at least, more than half of the Saudi's production was coming from a horizontally redeveloped field yielding one barrel of water for every two barrels of oil, in a rapidly thinning oil column between an advancing water leg and an expanding gas cap.

As I have repeatedly said, and as you know, the Saudis can have either high current production or high remaining recoveries at Ghawar--but not both.

This is a link to my North Sea (crude + condensate) HL plot:  

This is a link to an updated version of Morton's excellent article on Ghawar:  http://home.entouch.net/dmd/ghawar.htm

In this paper, Morton said that there were reports circulating at the Offshore Technology Conference about Ghawar's water cut being up to 55% (one barrel of water for every barrel of oil).  I would also point out Heinberg's report that Ghawar was down to three mbpd.

Westexas, great charts.  The thing that strikes me though is that World in 2005 was at 48.2% of Qt - and I reckon that peak will occur after 50% of Qt - for a variety of reasons already discussed - mainly EOR borrowing from the future.  Combined with high price incentivising exploration / production. I guess that is why I see peak a few years away yet - and not now.

Also that dog leg up in KSA which I think I understand - but which needs a rational explanation published.

Pity you won't be in Boston - though if the meeting is dominated by a post-peak crowd, I will leave with no friends - so what's new?


Deffeyes, using crude + condensate, put the world at 50% of Qt in 2005.  Khebab was using BP total liquids.

Meanwhile, there is second largest producing field in the world, Cantarell, (worst case of up to 40% per year decline rate).  Assuming that Ghawar is declining--reasonable assumption given a 35% to 55% water cut--the world's four largest producing fields are all declining.   Note that Cantarell has a lot of similarities to Ghawar--a rapidly thinning oil column in a carbonate reservoir between a rising water leg and an expanding gas cap.  Pemex reports that they are only shutting wells in for two reasons:  high water cuts and high GOR's.  


Sept. 30, 2006, 7:15PM
Mexican president-elect must ride oil's fortunes
Falling prices, declining output pose challenges


Mexico exports about 2 million barrels of oil a day, almost all of it to the United States. Oil earnings provide almost 40 percent of the country's public funding, anchoring the federal budget and pouring funds into the coffers of cities and states.

 Pemex officials recently warned that Mexico can expect to earn as much as $10 a barrel less for its oil in the coming year than it has recently. That's at least a $7 billion annual drop.

Some 60 percent of Mexico's crude comes from the Cantarell field in the Bay of Campeche.

 And the 37-year-old field is drying up. By some estimates, its output will begin dropping this year by nearly 15 percent annually.

Until recently at least, 10% of the world's crude + condensate production was coming from two fields producing oil with increasing water cuts in rapidly thinning oil columns between rising water legs and expanding gas caps.

Westexas, I got a big post on EU oil production / consumption that will be going up this week.  So either you or I could post your N Sea HL at that time for discussion (do you want me to post it?).

The EU peak (UK, Nor, Den and Italy) was in 2000.  My including Italy fuzzes the N Sea a tiny little bit.

We can work out then % of Qt at peak - it looks like it will be close to 50%.

Thanks for all the other links - which I have read.  You present a convincing range of arguments.

But would you like to comment on my points about political management of national resources?  Not here - but later on.

This just caught my eye in the quotes window:

"First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they fight you. Then you win."
Go ahead and post it.  I'm heading out of town for several weeks shortly.

Matthew Simmons and north sea production.

I would also point out that--at least according to Matt Simmons--the majors working the North Sea were surprised at how soon the North Sea peaked.

Here is a link to a production forecast published by the Norwegian governmental agency - the petroleum directorate - from 1997. Even if the operators had a excess of optimism, as Simmons claim, it seems like the Norwegian government wasn't surprised over a 2001 peak. But that being said, i frequently read in Norwegian papers that production is quite some below predicted levels, so the forecasters tend to be optimistic here.

Thank you for an interestiing link.

The text says that production was to peak at 3,7 mb/d at the turn of the century.

Norways regular oil production peaked back in 2001 at 3,1 Mb/d, the forecast seems (by eyeballing the chart) to have got 2005 about right, though slightly on the high end. So far the historical forecast (which is about 10 years old by now) seem to be right on spot for 2006.

NPD's most recent forecast from January 2006 was at approx. 2,6 Mb/d for 2007...and 2,4 Mb/d for 2010 well.....time will tell.

"If you don't, they will take it from you."

Too late, another "they" have already taken it away from us.  The U.S. has been a full-fledged plutocracy for many years.  With the rise of the MNCs in the 90s we transitioned into a corporatocracy.  The constant game of musical shares from Wall Street to D.C. is pathognomonic.

roel, you are trenchant and must know that the power elites in Washington all hold a secular ideology, regardless of their hypocritical posturing to make voters believe otherwise.  The RNC PEs placate the theocrats to win votes and the whole charade only serves as a distraction.  IMO, the theocrats will never gain real power in a centralized govt.


We can have long discussions about who the real power elites are, and never get anywhere, but regardless of who they are, they will need foot soldiers, people like the Bushes, and the Jesus fanatics in the documentary are ideal for that role. Which gives them a from of power, whether that qualifies as 'rea'l or not.

PS the silly acronyms get sillier al the time

"This land is your land, America, and if you still want it, now is the time to stand up."

Stand up and do what to religious fanatics who are not breaking any laws?  Why target the fanatics when the real problem is govt leaders who use these fanatics as pawns (or as you say "foot soldiers")?

My point was we should target the source of the problem.  You seem to think that trying to pinpoint the source is a road to endless debate about who should be held responsible - if anyone.  So be it.  Given differences in life experiences, gender, age, and socioeconomic background, I doubt that we could see eye to eye on this point.  

I will take your comment about my usage of acronyms as constructive criticism and hope you weren't being needlessly sarcastic.  I apologize for the chairs typo, I have no idea what misfired there - probably trying to do too many things at one time.

I'm very happy to see things like this Uber-religious college, and private schooling and home schooling.

I grew up where the Democrats were in full power. If I had a half hour left to live, I'd most like to spend it skinning a Democrat alive. Public schools equaled hunger, fear, fights of 6 against one where you were the one, and having it beaten into you that because you'd committed the crime of being born white, you might as well get used to a lifetime of this.

Private schools meant enough food to live on, you'd get lunch every day. Every. Day. No more gangs beating you up for being white because there were enough whites to make your own gangs. Later on in adult life, while I didn't get tangled up with the Christians, I'll be the first to admit that decision really hurt me. Getting tangled up with them would have meant a lot more food, working something less than 70 hours a week, a lot of freedom from fear, and probably being able to finish college. Oh what am I saying, certainly being able to finish college. Probably grad school too.

This is the equation for almost every working-class white in the US. The Christians will feed you, the "Liberals" (by which is understood to mean the present Politically Correct system) will beat you.

I forecast another solid win for the Republicans this election, and God knows I'll be doing my part. I just wish, and I think most of working-class white America is with me on this, that we had some REAL Conservatives, the Lindburgh and Ford type, running to vote for instead of the namby pamby wimps we're stuck with now.



I am guessing you got smacked around a bit in middle school by some black or hispanic children.  LOL have you considered they may have beaten you up cause you are a jerk and not because you are white?  I guess it is just easier to hate everyone your whole life.

Anyway Goose-step on to the polls.  

(please note all: I am white and republican, I am just not a racist)


Ah, another sheltered Mainlander.

I got beat up and was often in fear for my life because I wasn't 6'2" and 200 lbs, and it's hard to get a white gang together when whites are less than 5% of the school.

And while I do admire Uncle Wolf greatly as a philosopher and a human being, and am a Nazi, I say Feh and double Feh to the "Third Reich" in Germany in the 30s/40s, thousand year reich?? Bah! Try 10 years! Bunch of foul-ups!! They did save Europe from being eaten by the USSR, and did give the US its space program, but the larger war was lost and will have to be fought again.

The coming hard times are going to be very educational to people like you, it will be learn loyalty to your own tribe or die.

Among very small groups, a "tribe" of individuals of several different races can work and work well, but look around you at reality for a change. There's a whole lot of killing and dying to get done before we get down to Lovelock's "small number of breeding pairs". The reality is populations large enough that race is very very important - whether you can get a job, where you live, how much you can achieve in life, access to college, etc etc all down the line, even how much or little you pay for car insurance (whites seem to get a break at times) or mortgage and first-time house buying programs (whites take is in the ass here especially first time buyer programs) etc race is all in the Empire, and everywhere else in the world.

I can't change being a Nazi, but I can try to express the thoughts of a type of person that exists, no matter how much you may wish they didn't, and try to convey why the politics and social engineering of the present Powers That Be are only creating many many more people like me.

Explain Mainlander....I don't get the reference.

"I can't change being a Nazi"  ????  you have free will.

You are a sick individual.  You need help and love and support of those around you.  I have been to over forty countries and all people are the same everywhere.  There is no "master" race.  

"The coming hard times are going to be very educational to people like you, it will be learn loyalty to your own tribe or die." I'll take my chances treating everyone with dignity and respect.  Your line of thought is sad and sociopathic.  Do you have any friends or real relationships? My three best buddies are paramedics.  One is cuban (1/2 jewish), one is colombian (my bro-in-law), and one is black.  I hope if you are ever injured or sick one of these outstanding individuals can take care of you.


If I may interject, you are not talking about the same "scale" of relationships.

Oilrig medic:
My three best buddies are paramedics. One is cuban (1/2 jewish), one is colombian (my bro-in-law), and one is black.

The reality is populations large enough that race is very very important - whether you can get a job, where you live, how much you can achieve in life, access to college, etc etc

You are both right, and wrong...

To Oilrig medic, though the "globalization" of the world seems to require this it is not realistic to expect "small scale" emotional responses to extend to groups size where they cannot work, a sure recipe for disaster.

To fleam, though "natural" responses favor tribal/race segregation we cannot afford anymore to give them free rein in the "globalized world" of today, another sure recipe for disaster.

It will take for mankind some imagination, good will and surely much luck to get out of this conundrum.

yea this is scary. though i do not see what one can do to stop them unless you want to throw away freedom of religion.
unless you want to throw away freedom of religion

One more reason that the US is screwed, religion is not a "good idea".
German police told to target Scientologists
You could not do that in the US.

Please note that Scientology has the legal right to operate as a religion in Germany, though the government has refused it tax-exempt status. (quoting)

Another quote :
It has prompted US embassy officials to lobby the German government on the sect's behalf.
See, your tax dollars are put to good use...

while i agree that at the crux of the whole thing religion in both organized modern form and ancient 'shamanism' as touted by jason is a bad influence. because they subvert the Grey matter in your head and shut off your critical thinking parts of your brain. both forms tell you things that are quite fake be it god or magic.
one cannot simply get rid of it though, even in states that ban religion have to replace it with worship of the government.
the best we can do is contain it. here in the us that means no favors at all for religion, no tax-exempt status, illegal for them to participate in any form of campaigning(though the individual religious follower can vote if it is found out that said place told them to vote that way the place is shut down(the offending place of worship where the religious leader told the people how to vote) and the votes from the people that go to that place are thrown out), public officials spouting religious messages or tones should be ousted. basically discourage any religious participation in any shape of politics while not eliminating the individual right to vote in a democratic republic.
There is a solution, even presuming this sordid human tendency.

Terminate (by burning or something less offensive, I don't care) anyone who attempts to use religion of any kind as a justification for any legal or social constraint.

The principle worked for Xtians for nigh on a millenium.

I am starting to get a little pissed about this debate on religion. I am a Christian but rarely go to my church. Mine is a different practice and that is because I am Southern Baptist which means NOONE stands in my as to biblical theology. Only me and God...no priests and no preachers. The last preacher who tried to tell me 'how is was , I asked to leave forthwith.

Thats the way it is with Baptists. Now they can be led like sheep and thats the same as our current sheeple society.

Lastly I am really really pissed about the USA bending over backward to never in the least offend a muslim. Be he a violent of other type. All they have to do it pitch a bitch and everyone bows forthwith to Mecca.

I say piss on that bullshit. I am tiring rapidly of their petulance and demands.

Its getting nigh onto time for asskicking and time to realize that basically Mohammed was a warrior and Christ was a pacifist.

Regard all the countries that have been taken over by Islam more or less byh force and who says anything yet we heard constant screaming about apartheid for years.

Something is gone awry here and needs to be set straight.

Either forget the violence or glass the f**king deserts and let God or Allah sort it out. Enough is enough.

Besides they treat wimmen like shit yet NOW or no feminists ever speak up? Wonder why?

<blockquote<Its getting nigh onto time for asskicking and time to realize that basically Mohammed was a warrior and Christ was a pacifist. </blockquote>

Yes, kick their asses to prove we are peaceful. And if that doesn't work, kick their asses again!

Well we could speak of Khobar and the Cole and many many other incidents of violence they have performed with not much payback that I could see. Eventually 9/11 was a bit over the top and so I agreed with the response even though now it appears to have been in vain and badly done at that.

What I speak of is the Danish cartoon, a writer who has to live underground due to a book he wrote, and now the Pope must kiss tons of muslim ass for some odd reason.

Right after 9/11 I sat in the airport in St. Louis for my son to return to his job in DC and watched as a mideasterner knelt on the floor immediately in front of the baggage check lanes , clicked open a briefcase in a suspicious manner, yet not one renta cop even looked him over and the funky national guard guy with a dog walked right on by while at the same time my son with a blue (special) passport and a government employee(Justice Dept) was given the third degree.

I say its time to shut the borders down, get serious about racial profiling and let the granny wimmen alone.

Next guy that performs a terrorist act give him what the Constitution calls for...swift and sure punishment. Death and forget the legal wrangling ad infinitum.

Entering our country illegaly should not be a tap on the wrist and being met with warm blankets and a welcome wagon.

yet not one renta cop even looked him over and the funky national guard guy with a dog walked right on by while at the same time my son with a blue (special) passport and a government employee(Justice Dept) was given the third degree.

The "only in America" zenith of stupidity.
I love that, like when after 9/11 a six years old was barred from entering a school with his nail-clipper.
This is really a mystery to me, I would REALLY like to understand how this works, where does this come from.

I say its time to shut the borders down, get serious about racial profiling and let the granny wimmen alone.

From what you reported above can you guess what the result of such an attempt will be?  

Sorry, that wasn't the "zenith of stupidity", sigh...
I found even better : Miracle Weapon in the War on Terror Discovered!


Me: "Just so I'm clear, if I put that shaving creme in a clear plastic 1-quart zip-loc baggie that would have been fine?"

TSA guy: "Uh, yeah."


Horrifying. Those people want to create a world from which not even the imagination will be able to escape. May they be met with blood and iron.
Blood and iron are the only true laws.

And Airdale if you're really a Christian born and bred, it will be hard to see a way out of the pacifist trap, but consider Identity Christianity; that may enable you to see your way to freedom.

The reason I didn't get tangled up with Christianity (as noted elsewhere, to my own detriment in life) is I'm just too scientific. I read tons of scientific stuff growing up and we had a fair amount of stuff about the Greek myths etc., so at a young age I could imagine Atlas holding up the world and at the same time know the earth is in space etc.

I understand it's pretty hard for a lot of people to imagine a Universe not filled with spirits and angels and a good God and a bad God. I like the Norse religion best, Yggdrasil the tree of life and Odin and all that. So you need a religion, but why one that welcomes one's destroyers?

Brilliant documentary, but scary as shit! I am having visions of Damien, The Omen on this one. I don't mind religion, but don't force your beliefs down my throat! (not you personally).
These times we are in are interesting but changing rapidly, perhaps a little too fast for me!

I need another drink!

There are reasons the powerful and quick martini has made a comeback.
Good one!

The story of post-Lincoln America..... set up the pre-conditions and then wail and gnash our teeth over the inevitable conditions that come from them................

Hey I know martinis are more popular than ever but wow, how to you choke 'em down? They taste like paint thinner!

Manufacturing Terror, Oil, Lily Pad Bases and Torture

Craig Murray former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan adrsses US strategy in the middle East and Central Asia at

Fascinating article, Klee.

For years, I have had a lot of trouble accepting the "it's all about oil" meme, with respect to Afghanistan, Iraq, and Terrrrsm. Simply because the execution is so inept that it's counter-productive. I am still sceptical that, when push comes to shove, having military bases in central Asia will actually ensure flows of hydrocarbons to the USA... (I think that Russia and China will comprehensively out-manoeuvre them)

... but I no longer doubt that this was the general idea.

Greens pollute to fight pollution

THEY are the green jetsetters -- environmental campaigners who are leading the fight to restrict aviation and cut greenhouse gas emissions, but who also clock up hundreds of thousands of miles flying around the world on business and pleasure.

Aviation generates about 5% of the world's greenhouse gas emissions but their warming effect is up to four times greater at high altitudes.

Graham Wynne, chief executive of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, says he was acutely aware of such issues when he made business trips to Indonesia, Washington and Scotland over the past year, clocking up more than five tons of CO2. He also takes occasional holidays to New Zealand.

Like many green groups, the government "offsets" the CO2 emitted by paying a premium on the basic air fare. This is used to fund projects that cut emissions in developing countries.

Offsetting is, however, increasingly seen as flawed. Sir John Harman, chairman of the Environment Agency, whose business trips to Germany and Vienna and holidays in Croatia and Cyprus suggest total CO2 emissions of more than 1,5 tons, said: "We offset, but you have to be very careful. Some schemes are run by snake oil salesmen. There needs to be an audit."

Not only are there snake oil salesmen, and not only would it be better to just not fly, many of the offset programs are based on dubious scientific claims. Canada's boreal forests, for instance, are suspected of having become sources, not sinks, of CO2. Many green groups make a lot of money of the programs, though, and they're not eager to look at science that would endanger all that loot.

Al Gore, too, has flown all over the globe in his climte change campaign. The only essay I've seen that catches the essence of all that hot air:

Catherine Austin Fitts calls Gore "The Source of Hopelessness"

Here's another essay to accompany the one by Catherine Austin Fitts.

 The inconvenient truth about "An Inconvenient Truth": Why Al Gore is part dangerous politician       
Written by Jan Lundberg

I like some of Lundberg's writing, but here he misses the point completely, as do Gore and Tim Flannery, and all environmentalists that I've ever read. That's my main beef with them: not smart enough. And by now too entrenched in cushy jobs and the political spectrum.

Fitts seems to narrow in; though she remains a bit stuck in the Fed and corporate system, mere symptoms, still she grasps a lot more than the rest.

Protecting an ecosystem, whether it's small or the entire planet, is in ultimo a 100% useless exercise unless you tackle the root of the problems that threaten that ecosystem. Greens groups are nothing more than zookeepers.

The root of the problem is the economic system based on perpetual expoenetial growth. As long as that is not recognized, changing a lightbulb or car or refusing to fly or eating local organic, all of these have no value at all when it comes to climate change, zilch, none. They only serve as feel-good mental stimulants.

Growth economies gobble up ever more resources in order to perpetuate their growth, produce ever more waste, and push ever more of the natural world over the brink. Unless the growth halts, the destruction will continue.

Garrett Hardin suggests that not only are these people and organizations useless, they are harmful: the main responsibility of the herdsman is to minimize suffering.

Not prolong it.

A quarter century ago, as a bitter vet at Berkeley on the GI bill, looking for answers, I studied "conservation & resource studies," which was a sort of training program for green activists.

I am very aligned with their aims -- saving the earth -- but after a couple semesters I bailed out. We were inundated with data on how fucked up something was (Brazilian rainforests, acid rain, farm pollution etc.) and the core problem was inevitably corporate greed/corporate irresponsibility. They believe at a bedrock level that evil corporations are responsible for most pollution and other environmental problems. And the answer is usually to get the government to regulate/control corporations.

Since I was familiar with environmental problems behind the iron curtain -- which were far worse than ours, and for which their was no recourse under their tainted system of law -- I concluded that the problem was not corporations, per se, but industrialization itself.  

There isn't much environmental organizations can do about industrialization and the fact that consumers are a pack of sheep; because if you critisize consumers you vanish from the media controlled sphere. Also, the wealthy doners who pay the salaries and keep the doors open are also consumers, who want to be told there are simple answers, and an identifiable bad guy. And since the heads of environ. orgs are very well paid urbanites, they like to believe the same thing.

This is, IMHO, why environmental organizations on the whole are completely absent from peak oil discussions. PO justifies higher energy prices, inflicts changes on consumers in a singularly harsh manner, and destroys the world view of the comfortable. But unless they get out of their rigid mindset, they are in danger of becoming irrelevant.  

But unless they get out of their rigid mindset, they are in danger of becoming irrelevant.

When TSHTF everybody will be irrelevant.
Your analysis is excellent, alas...

The rule with Lundbergs is, Trilby is the one in the corp's laps, Jan is the good guy
Yes, hard to keep the pantheon straight. If we are going to be so Manichaean we better be right.

How about a list of peak oil prophets and demons. Then we would even have to think. We could just know who is right or wrong by whether they are on the good guy list or not!  

"I concluded that the problem was not corporations, per se, but industrialization itself."

You may be interested in a book by Saral Sarkar entitled, "eco-socialism or eco-capitalism?"

From the jacket: "The author starts investigating why the Soviet bureaucratic model of socialism failed, arguing that it ran up against environmental and resource limits to growth quite early.  He then shows that a free market capitalist economy, built on our current model of industrial production and mass consumerism, will eventually encounter a similar fate.  Nor will a modified 'eco-capitalism' provide a solution to the twin problems of environmental destruction and social injustice."

It's a very good read and would be valuable for those suffering the delusion that Ronald Reagan was more than a marginal actor in the demise of the growth oriented Soviet command economy. Sarkar ultimately argues for a very austere form of eco-socialism.  Take his proposal or leave it, he is an insightful thinker.

Unless the growth halts, the destruction will continue.

Exactly my point too.

The root of the problem is the economic system based on perpetual expoenetial growth...

Growth economies gobble up ever more resources in order to perpetuate their growth, produce ever more waste, and push ever more of the natural world over the brink. Unless the growth halts, the destruction will continue.

Garrett Hardin suggests that not only are these people and organizations useless, they are harmful: the main responsibility of the herdsman is to minimize suffering.

Not prolong it.

Fair enough, but I don't think you can put Lundberg in this category. He would agree with the above.


There is no doubt that "economic activity" such as fossil-fueled manufacturing is the greenhouse problem, and that a strong enough downturn in business-as-usual gives the Earth's ecosystem a reprieve from the onslaught of climate-changing gases. Industry is to blame, but who is stopping industry? Only a madman would, but madmen would rather babble on the street in rags. (Maybe they know something we don't know.)

The economy is going to collapse anyway, as it depends on infinite growth even in the face of certain and devastating energy shortage in the near future. The trouble is, as mentioned, the Earth's climate is careening out of control and we cannot delay in saving it if we can. There is also the moral imperative, as the polar bears and walruses should not drown and be driven extinct by our trips to Walmart to buy electronic crap shipped around the Earth.

< Rant>

Here is a typical example of how Greens get it in the neck, from everyone, all the time.

I speak as a (French) Green Party political activist.

Protecting an ecosystem, whether it's small or the entire planet, is in ultimo a 100% useless exercise unless you tackle the root of the problems that threaten that ecosystem.

Right on! Green parties all over the world caught on to that years (decades) ago. We fight for equitable shrinking of the resource base, coupled with social justice, international solidarity, fair trade, etc. A coherent and comprehensive world view. So we're on the same wavelength, Roel!

And yet, in your very next sentence, you say

Greens groups are nothing more than zookeepers.

So, either you are being very loose with your vocabulary (you mean environmentalist groups, not Greens with a big G) or you haven't got the message... yeah we are not getting through!

So, on the one hand, we are sometimes criticised (wrongly) for not getting the Big Picture, and, more often, criticised for not concentrating exclusively on the defense of the biosphere (this criticism generally comes from right wingers who are concerned about the environment, but haven't made the connections that Roel has).

To my mind, the environmentalist organisations should stick to the environment (i.e. avoid explicitly political positions), while Greens deal with the big picture, while keeping environmental considerations well to the fore.
< /Rant>

well, alistair, i do confess to being guilty of thinking Greens and environmentalists are more or less the same

but if you get the big picture, why not do something about it? anything else is a waste of time, unless you think zoos are a good idea

sticking to the environment without addressing what's threatening that environment? what's the use?

equitable shrinking of the resource base, coupled with social justice, international solidarity, fair trade

that's not where the problem is. fair trade in a growth economy is an illusion

"Greens pollute to fight pollution"

I find myself in the strange position of defending people I don't like.  

Whether we like it or not, TPTB live in a different world than we do.  It has different rules, and if you want TPTB to help you, then you have to follow them.  Al Gore and the jet setting greens know what the rules are and follow them.  

Rule#1 If you're not physically in the room, nothing you say has any weight.  It seems to be an alpha male thing.  Emails go unread, reports unopened and powerpoint presentations  un-viewed.  Before getting someones support you have to stand in front of them and prove your manhood.  It's silly, but that's the way it works. So expect to accumulate a lot of frequent flyer miles.

Rule #2 Talking about a simpler lifestyle, that's easy on the planet, is all very nice, but as a member of TPTB you absolutely are not allowed to drive a Honda Civic.  Your vehicle has to be big and expensive, so does your house.  Remember, size is a reflection of your status and competence.

Rule #3 Lavish, wasteful and pointless parties are also a requirement.  Just because your trying to help the unwashed mass, and their smelly little planet, doesn't mean your allowed to act like them.  If you don't have a chauffeur and don't jet somewhere for vacation, your poor, and nobody listens to poor people.

Rule #4 Don't tell TPTB that the party is over!!!   They are  rich an powerful, and regardless of  what happens to the rest of society, it certainly isn't going to affect them (or so they believe).  Pointing out otherwise just makes you a depressing little man who won't be invited to the next party.  So sprinkle your message with optimism and remember that everyone else in the room is a cornucopian.

That was the stiffest jolt of political realism I've seen in a long time. We all know those things even if we don't act like it.
Carbon offsets = Convenient Untruths

This was the real theme of the Asia Times article cited in the header. I'm still not sure how OBL is helping the green movement. However it gave an example of how a carbon offset policy could produce perverse results. So far only George Monbiot and a few others are checking whether carbon offsets measure up to claims. I'm waiting for Branson to come up with something like 'plant a baby tree and fly transatlantic guilt free'. This issue is a sleeper.

Cheap oil? Yikes is an article from Forbes dated 2Oct06. page 98 - 100.
Interesting read,claims "new supply is coming on line from all corners of the world, is more than ample to satisfy growth in demand...."

No mention of world production shortfalls.

then it goes on to say New oil is coming from almost everywhere, a mix of big and small, OPEC and Non-OPEC. really? still no mention of world production shortfalls

and then goes on to say, Apache Energy is using new recovery techniques to revive production in a basin thought to be in terminal decline

Yikes, i could go on for hours.... but i'll stop here.  

another point about Forbes, is that they have more readers than TOD, so most people will conclude that this was just a temporary crunch in oil. like back in the 70's.
Case dismissed!
Go back to bed, no problems here. it was just a bad dream.


I want to make three points. First, no data whatsoeversupports the claim new supply is coming on line from all corners of the world, is more than ample to satisfy growth in demand..... None. Zip. Nada. Doesn't exist.

This is propaganda. People are being lied to. This new "consensus" is a concerted assault on the peak oil view of reality. Apparently, this is deemed necessary by The Powers That Be. It is the last ditch effort of people that sense they are doomed. Be prepared for more of this.

The 2nd point is illustrated in this graph from Khebab that he published in a comment on my Whither Oil Prices?

Whale Bone Volatility -- 19th century
Production (left) -- Prices (right)
Click to Enlarge

The oil market, like whale bone, is not well-behaved. There are good reasons for this, based on slowing global production flows and demand fluctuations. From the Hirsch report:

Oil prices have traditionally been volatile. Causes include political events, weather, labor strikes, infrastructure problems, and fears of terrorism.114 In an era where supply was adequate to meet demand and where there was excess production capacity in OPEC, those effects were relatively short-lived. However, as world oil peaking is approached, excess production capacity by definition will disappear, so that even minor supply disruptions will cause increased price volatility as traders, speculators, and other market participants react to supply/demand events. Simultaneously, oil storage inventories are likely to decrease, further eroding security of supply, aggravating price volatility, and further stimulating speculation.

While it is recognized that high oil prices will have adverse effects, the effects of increased price volatility may not be sufficiently appreciated. Higher oil price volatility can lead to reduction in investment in other parts of the economy, leading in turn to a long-term reduction in supply of various goods, higher prices, and further reduced macroeconomic activity. Increasing volatility has the potential to increase both economic disruption and transaction costs for both consumers and producers, adding to inflation and reducing economic growth rates.

My 3rd point concerns this crude + condensate versus all liquids debate going on here. The peak oil "purist" will say the former is important, the latter is not. However, the all liquids is better from an argumentation point of view. Why? Because if peak oil people talk apples, and the other side is talking oranges, then everybody talks past each other. I prefer to beat people up with their own data. So, I'll use the exaggerated all liquids data, which the EIA indicates is down this year over last in the daily average.

Nobody can talk their way out of that.

Dave Cohen wrote:
My 3rd point concerns this crude + condensate versus all liquids debate going on here. The peak oil "purist" will say the former is important, the latter is not. However, the all liquids is better from an argumentation point of view. Why? Because if peak oil people talk apples, and the other side is talking oranges, then everybody talks past each other. I prefer to beat people up with their own data. So, I'll use the exaggerated all liquids data, which the EIA indicates is down this year over last in the daily average.

Dave, we are obviously not going to settle this here so we will just have to agree to disagree. You can count  bottled gas, ethanol and also the oil it takes to produce ethanol along with the water in Orimulsion and a lot of other questinable hydrocarbons if you wish. Some of us will just count barrels of oil however. In the end I believe it will be crude oil that counts. That is, when we reach the crude oil peak we will have reached the peak of crude oil.

Wait...does that make sense? ;-)

Ron Patterson


I would say that what matters to society is net energy. However, the total liquids number is not net energy due to the double-dipping that takes place. I think as an academic exercise, then crude + condensate is what you want to track if you are trying to time Peak Oil. We also need to track net energy, though, since this is what is important for running society.

Talking about net energy, even the crude+condensates number includes "double dipping", because it includes (AFAIK) the oil used in producing oil.  As the average EROI of oil production is decreasing, this is an important unreported "tax" on the amount actually made available to the rest of society.  (I know this has been said here many times, but not in this context.)  E.g., if the EROI over the last year decreased from 10.4 to 10.2, that's more than 1 mbpd lost to other uses.  Those "Jack 2" type endeavors use up a lot of oil (and coal and gas)!
Oops, math error there.  For those example EROI numbers, the net effect is about 170,000 bpd.
Re: when we reach the crude oil peak we will have reached the peak of crude oil

I totally agree.  

But, OK -- back to arguments. The distinction between all these accounting practices, of course, is not lost on me. There is also the little matter of those natural gas plant liquids that we might want to consider. I won't apologize for EIA accounting. All I'm saying is we are beating them at their own game. You will recall my use of the word exaggerated in my original comment in regard to all liquids. As Robert says above, net energy from liquids is important to track.

Here's a curveball -- my best pitch if you don't count the knuckleball.

Condensate. Depending on temperature and
pressure, a single-component system can behave
as a gas, liquid, solid or a mixture of these.

Pardon me but is gasoline or crude oil a single chemical species? This principle works for single species, but aren't you discussing a complex mixture of hydrocarbons? Your point is though very interesting as the composition of the mixture of condensates would vary by temperature and pressure as well as just the liquid/vapor ratio.
Hi Dave, glad to see you're back - with great pictures, and presume you understand that in the interest of driving TOD onwards and upwards that there's a lot of posters out here trying to beat you on picture posting.

Your chart is great - but here's the real one for retrograde condensate - these HCs are tricky buggers and make up complicated rules of their own.  Don't ask me what it means - I used to know before I started reading TOD - and experienced memory overload - will be needing memory upgraded soon.


The main point I recall is that if your reservoir depletion follows the line shown that when it crosses the dewpoint curve, liquids condense in the reservoir, lowering it relative permeability to gas.  So with retrograde condensate, most gas is re-injected to maintain reservoir pressure - so liquids stripped out at surface, gas re-injected - so the reservoir gets drier and drier with time.

I'm just trying to scare the Corn - folks to death - given up trying to spell that word. So lets just call them Corn Age or Corny?

CW :-)

Well, Euan, you have thrown the knuckleball in that figure above -- you Brits know that American baseball term, right?

I call them

Children of the Corn

A knuckleball (or knuckler for short) is a baseball pitch thrown so as to minimize the spin of the ball in flight. The lack of spin causes alternating vortices over the stitched seams of the baseball and produces an erratic, unpredictable motion. This makes the pitch difficult for batters to hit, but also difficult for pitchers to control. The challenge also extends to the catcher--who must at least attempt to catch the pitch--and the umpire, who must determine whether the pitch was a strike or ball.


Dave, you are hard to beat - that angel there looks like she may have a brown nose.  I wanted to join in the argument with Darwinian and CEO - but I'm still too scared.  But the serious point is I really like arguing - and the definition of what is a liquid and what is not depends upon the pressure you are under at the time. The definition of oil field producing gas, or gas field producing liquids in the UK looks a bit blurred.

You don't catch a knuckleball, you defend against it ―manager and former catcher Joe Torre

What is a Liquid?

Now, we're having what I call a serious discussion...

A friend of mine once dated Joe Ausanio, former knuckleballer for the Yankees.  He still pitches BP for the Yanks when they're going to face Tim Wakefield.  She met him on Match.com.  I thought that was really funny.  Aren't baseball players supposed to have more fabulous babes than they know what to do with?  Maybe babes only chase after power pitchers.  ;-)

And Joe Torre for Manager of the Year.  All those injuries, and the Yanks still finished 97-65.

Management is easier with unlimited cash. Kind of like Reagan before, Bush now.
Steinbrenner is not the richest baseball owner.  He's just willing to spend on his team.  Can't fault him for that.  The Mets owners are wealthier and in the same market; why don't they win like the Yanks?

The Yankees are building a new stadium, and unlike most sports teams, they are not sticking it to the taxpayers.  They are paying for it themselves.

One of the drivers of increased volitility is speculation. So perhaps here I could put in my bit about silver.

I bought a bar of silver in 1975 when I was in the service, for $5/oz, and it stayed at that price until I sold it in 1978, when I was starting college on the GI Bill, (and was selling my plasma for beer money)

The price immediately spiked to $50/oz, and I was kicking myself vigorously. Then it collapsed back to $5 when the Hunt Brothers went bust, and stayed at $5,  more or less until the recent commodities boom. It soared to $14, and now is about $11.50.

There is no reason for this price spike, especially since the primary use for silver -- photography -- has been largely supplanted by digital. I suspect it is an overflow from gold speculating.

But somebody is hoarding; probably both the Chinese govt. and hedge funds. I remember reading a few seasons ago that a rogue Chinese government trader was under house arrest for buying 15,000 tons of copper! ("here's your order sir, where should I set it?") I figure that, since most gold is in the vaults of the central banks, China wants to hoard something, and why not other metals?

Those who try to corner markets always fail. But this boom involves all commodities, including oil.

We here at TOD try to look mostly at oil, but with the spectacular commodities bubble going on, it would be reasonable to assume that much of recent oil price hikes have been associated with it. And it would also make sense for prices of all commodities, including oil, to fall much further than we might expect when the bubble bursts. (or perhaps when a number of bubbles burst, including housing, debt in general, confidence in our present govt to be anything remotely resembling honest and efficient, etc.).

Jim: What is interesting about the oil price "bubble" thesis is that the CORNUCOPIANS (Yergin,Lynch,Forbes,etc.)DON'T BUY IT. Back in 98 Forbes discussed the possibility of long term prices at $5. Currently the most cornucopian forecast you can find is $30. A six-fold increase in minimum price in eight years is argued for by the cornucopians as justified by the ( deteriorating) fundamentals. In fact, you could chart a cornodoomer ratio over time (doomer price prediction divided by corno price prediction) and the ratio is getter smaller and smaller.  
silver has many industrial uses aside from photography  silver is the best conductor of both electricity and heat of any metal   consumption of silver has exceeded supply since at least 2000  silver has a dual role as industrial metal and money     if the us money was still backed by silver  gasoline would be $ 0.25/ gal   same as it was when silver was $ 1 per ounce    and how much is your paper dollar worth   well is certainly isnt money  it is paper   silver and gold are money
Technically, isnt gold the best conductor of electricity?
yes thats why it's used as interconnects from integrated circuits to the pins connecting the chip to the motherboard.
I think the true reason is that it doesn't oxidize.

generally it doesn't but there are exceptions
right,  gold doesnt oxidize   however it does corrode in the presence of hydrogen sulfide which is present in the atmosphere in west texas and southeast new mexico   damn that place stinks    the place where george bush "found religion"  
silver    copper    gold   in order of conductivity
Gold's the best combination of conductivity and noncorrosion. With high-end microwave stuff, "when in doubt, just make it all out of gold".
whatever ,  none the less  silver still has many industrial uses aside from photography    you bought any solder lately ?
This just struck me as part of what disturbs me in a way - 'concerted assault on the peak oil view of reality'

The reality of peak oil (finite resources do not multiply infinitely) is not something open to assault. Timing of peak, effects of peak, interpretation of peak, and so - very open to discussion. That finite resources become exhausted is not open to discussion in this sense.

It may be a benefit of living in a fairly dour and pessimistic land, noted for its mechanical engineering prowess, that essentially no one in Germany, including all the most respectable main stream media, has any doubts about finite resources being finite, and the necessity of planning and adapting to the world as it is - while still attempting to retain as much personal comfort as possible, of course.

I keep thinking that this discussion about peak oil is becoming strangely America-centric again, with its emphasis on two extremes of looming catastrophe or no insoluble problems, neither of which reflect reality as experienced by other people very well.

Even this idea of peak oil being a movement is pretty strange. I do not belong to a peak oil community, I am merely someone with a fairly strange interest in this subject and its various ramifications - as our the other people posting here (in that sense, we can be considered a community, of course). That it seems as if the U.S. has spent the last 25 years dreaming does not mean that other places have not forgotten the all too clear lessons of the past.

Good points.

Here in America, we live in

Never Never Land

It doesn't seem to matter much if Germans are more aware of finiteness, their policies are ultimately as destructive as those in the US.
Well, this then becomes a discussion of the industrial West and its lifestyle in general, doesn't it?

But in Germany, the world leader in recycling, where the last 2 centuries have been marked by sustainable foresting, where regional and sustainable agriculture are considered normal and not some idealistic program, where public transit is widely available and broadly used - should I go on?

And the flaws are equally clear - even as the Rhine becomes less polluted, the Germans/French keeping installing more dams/turbines. Oh wait, was that a flaw or virtue?

Or the growing using of biodiesel to fuel tractors growing local crops for local markets - flaw or virtue?

But Germany is definitely a part of the industrial West - the cars keep growing in size (even as they increase in efficiency, the size means more energy used), frozen food is becoming more common, and in the last few years, air conditioner use is growing.

The difference to me is that in Germany, not only is there awareness, there is planning and implementation of alternatives - the Germans plan to become world leading exporters of wind turbines, for example. Compare this to GM, saying that the world needs more Hummer models.


i'm well aware of the positive side of Germany, the long tradition of health food, herbs, natural healing etc.

but at the same time there's the tradition of what Mussolini refers to as 'corporate fascism', it's no coincidence that it worked so well there, and that segment still has an iron grip on economic decision making

becoming a world leader in exporting turbines, the whole issue of profiting handsomely from saving the planet: sorry, no can do

in a sense it's quite a schizophrenic society

Well, no argument that corporations are as firmly in control in Germany as in the rest of the industrial West (though the German Mittelstand is an interesting brake to centralized corporate control - which is a major reason why they are under such financial pressure these days), but no one is thinking about saving the planet while exporting wind turbines - they are thinking about making money, and replacing jobs lost in other areas.

This is a fairly schizophrenic place, but its psychotic phase is definitely in remission. Whereas in America, it seems as if the process has just started to get underway.

The reality of peak oil (finite resources do not multiply infinitely) is not something open to assault. Timing of peak, effects of peak, interpretation of peak, and so - very open to discussion. That finite resources become exhausted is not open to discussion in this sense.

Never met odograph prose on some TOD thread?
Why am I the only one to fight this moron?

I think TOD contributors should prepare a point by point response to the latest Newsweek cover story (cover story in the international editions) by LEONARDO MAUGERI (who is or was "Group Senior Vice President, Strategies and Development, for the Italian energy company Eni, the sixth-largest publicly listed oil company in the world." - according to a Google search).

That Falling Feeling

...most analysts were surprised by the dip in prices from the Aug. 8 historic high of $79 per barrel to below $60 in recent days. Suddenly the alarmists who foresaw an imminent era of oil scarcity are silent...

In fact, the current oil crisis has nothing to do with a catastrophic shrinking of global oil resources, while the specter of rising Asian demand is largely a myth--China has huge potential to reduce its oil consumption. Supply is tight because two decades of low prices discouraged the exploration and development of new fields in the world's most oil-rich areas...

What has happened recently is a global-market mood swing, in the face of evidence that consumption growth is slowing while production is still rising. U.S. oil inventories--and even reserves--have turned out to be higher than had been previously thought...

In a situation where fleeting news can move markets, almost anything can happen next, from a new spike to a further drop in the oil price. Right now, the spike is the most likely scenario in the medium term--say, one year or two. But a bit farther out, between roughly 2010 and 2012, there is a good chance that supply trends will overtake demand, raising spare production capacity to a range between 7 to 10 percent of demand. That large a cushion would drive down both the price of oil and the market's major vulnerability to minor rumors.

In the same issue is an article that is a little bit better...as far is it goes, by Rana Faroohar. It tells us basically that the era of easy oil is over, but still doesn't connect the dots to Peak Oil:

Big Big Problem
Pity Those Poor Oil CEOs: Despite billions in profits, the majors are full of gloom, warning of steadily rising costs and lower prices.

The bottom line: value creation at oil companies is stagnating. Companies are making more than ever before, but they're also spending unprecedented amounts to generate those profits. The problem is a perfect storm of factors: two decades of underinvestment, rising oil nationalism, the maturing of old reserves and more and more risky exploration projects. All of which has conspired to limit Western majors' access to easy oil, and to send costs spiraling out of control (graphic). "People just look at oil company revenues and think things must be great," says Jeffrey Currie, Goldman Sachs's head of commodity research. "What they don't see are all the tremendous challenges in today's operating environment, and the slew of difficulties going forward."

"There is no doubt that the view from the CEO's office these days is less than buoyant," says Daniel Yergin, the head of Cambridge Energy Research Associates (CERA) and author of The Prize, a Pulitzer-winning history of the oil business. "CEOs are concerned about more-restricted access to new resources, the rise of resource nationalism, the shortage of people and certainly by how rapidly costs are rising. This is a long-term industry, and there are big, unanswered questions about how different the energy supply system will look in 10 to 15 years."

...Whatever happens, the terrain will undoubtedly get more difficult--and more expensive. Most industry insiders expect more companies to face problems like the ones seen by BP. After two decades of underinvestment, people and equipment are being pushed to their limits--a recipe for problems. Safety and infrastructure spending will have to increase, particularly as companies push into rougher terrain and deeper water. Companies like Shell are spending small fortunes to develop new super-strong alloys to be used in such projects. The recent equipment failures on BP's crucial Thunder Horse platform show just how tricky the new frontiers of oil will be.
You are referring to Is the World's Oil Boom Over? by Leonardo Maugeri.

Leonardo -- "Lenny" to his friends like me -- is mentioned in my semi-humorous review of Cornucopians -- A Guide For the Perplexed.

Of course, this is an excellent example of what I referred to as the concerted assault, with the mainstream media taking the ball and running with it. Happy days are here again.

Unfortunately -- or fortunately, depending on how you look at it -- if I (or my fellow contributors) took the time to issue a rebuttal to every one of these ridiculous stories, there would be no time for anything else.

As this bleak [oil running out] scenario gained acceptance, it became easy to assume that the price of oil would defy the laws of gravity and break the barrier of $100 per barrel.

They pull every puppet master string with hardly a pause.
Mixing "laws of gravity" with the "price" noise as if one had anything to do with the other.

Then there is this old favorite one from the future=past theorem:

They [the oil producers] worry demand [for high priced oil] may pop like a bubble, as has often happened in the past.

All laughing aside, I was driving around this weekend with some relatives and noted a new low price at one of the neighborhood gas stations.

"Ha. Where is you Peak Oil theory now?" they crowed, "You said gas will go to $4.00 and instead it is plummeting down to $2.00 and below. Ha."

It is amazing what a powerful strangle hold the "pricing" framework has on everybody's thought process. Our hands are so deep into the coconut that we can't look inside out anymore. The price noise echoes through the hollows of our skulls.

I agree its propaganda! They offered no data to support thier claim. So most readers would conclude oil is being found everywhere, and at all times,like the 70's it was just a minor setback that prices spiked. and that prices will continue to fall and we'll all live happily ever after. I was reading the article and pulling out bits and pieces to post here, but was short for time. As i had things to do at work, note: i am not in an office. i don't even have an office.

The average layperson doesn't read Forbes, unless your researching something or are in a higher socio-economic status read forbes.

Geewiz - can you say if the Apache story applies to the UK Forties Field - that they bought from BP about 5 years ago.  If so, I can cast much relevant light on this - there is a good news story there (for those who do not want oil to run out) but as is often the case this needs to be set in context - if it is Forties, the UK North Sea still declined 13% jan-may 2006.
gosh, i am not sure, i was looking at the article at work while transcribing it here.I left the magazine at work. Perhaps, if you are walking past a newsstand remind yourself to check out that article. or maybe a local library.

I had visions of them extracting every last drop just quicker till it's 100% empty.  

the article is on line at forbes.com but its behind a subsciption wall.


The Increasing Dysfunction of Government

This is a good piece about California electricity, dealing with Los Angeles DWP. It shows the growing gap in much of the American government between the passing of legislation and implementation. We increasingly have at all levels, government that doesn't work, some free marketeers and libertarians might consider that good news, but those of less zealous mindframes should find it of great concern.

Pity Those Poor Oil CEOs

Implausible as it may seem for oil CEOs to plead hard times, the truth is that Big Oil is not much richer in absolute terms than it was before the price spike. For the past six years, returns have been flat--according to Goldman Sachs, the average integrated Western oil company will earn a 19 percent return on capital employed, up only about 2 percent since 2000. In the supremely capital-intensive oil industry, return on capital is a key measure, because it reflects not just how much profit a company made, but the cost of making it.
Biodiesel set to explode

A Houston based energy intelligence and management consulting firm has published its 380-page Biodiesel 2020: A Global Market Survey. The study looks at biodiesel production trends in the EU, the US, Brazil, India and China.

"The global market for biodiesel is poised for explosive growth in the next ten years. Although Europe currently represents 90% of global biodiesel consumption and production, the U.S. is now ramping up production at a faster rate than Europe, and Brazil is expected to surpass U.S. and European biodiesel production by the year 2015," says William Thurmond, the author of the market study and Director of Management Consulting at Emerging Markets Online.

It is possible that Biodiesel could represent as much as 20% of all on-road diesel used in Brazil, Europe, China and India by the year 2020. If governments continue to aggressively pursue targets; enact investor-friendly tax incentives for production and blending; and help to promote research & development in new biodiesel feedstocks such as algae biodiesel, the prospects for biodiesel may become realized faster than anticipated.

And what is there plant(bio) base ??
I noticed that omssion, but since they are talking about worldwide production, there is of course no such thing as "their" plant base. When numbers get larger more and more will be crops, so I guess it's rapeseed, soybean, mustard, palm oil, hemp, jatropha, algae, plus waste oils and animal fat.

Soy and palm oil would likely be the biggest among these, and the most destructive. Europe seems headed towards large-scale imports of "environment-friendly" fuels. There go the forests. It's like the word 'green' dissolves all ability at critical thinking.

It's mostly palm oil. For as long as we can rape the tropics.
Tesla electric car video:


Sorry odo.    

yahoo says the video is no longer available

I got into HTML Formatted mode and forgot to get out again.  Sorry.

I think this should work, it's still a top story at Hugg:


And Hugg's a good energy/environment read as well.

Peak oil is ultimately a liquid transportation fuel problem.  68% of every barrel of oil is used for transportation.  The US alone uses about 21 million barrels a day of oil, with 14.28 million going to transportation needs.  20% of that is used in aviation fuels, and 9.8 million is used just for gasoline.

A good way to start a conservation program would be to hit the gasoline consumption first, as it uses 40% of our oil a day.  If a start up company can produce 157 Telsa cars and sell them for 80,000 each, and these vehicles can get up to about 350 miles on a single overnight charge, what the hell is stopping other car makers from doing so as well?

The EV-1 was produced by GM in the 90s...it did so well that they bought back the leases and destroyed the cars.  Their reasoning?  The American public didn't want an electric car.  The actual reason?  The cars were so efficient and low maintenance that it would put parts manufacturers out of business, not to mention hurt their 'buddies' in the oil industry.  After all, 70% of our daily gasoline/diesel consumption is used just for commuters going to and from work!

But don't be fooled about the gloom and doom associated with Electric cars.  They are very easy to scale up production wise, and can make a serious dent in our US fuel consumption.  The energy grid would only be tapped for most recharging at night, off peak times.  Its actually quite good for electricity demands to be roughly the same at varying times of the day as it puts less stress on the electric grid as a whole.

Unfortunately, people seem to dismiss ideas such as local wind farms and new pebble bed nuclear reactors and solar panels on the roofs as meaningful alternatives.  Instead, people seem to shout with glee that when the oil begins to decline, the lights will go out and the world as we know it will be over.  Unfortunately for them, our electric grid only uses 2% oil to provide power to the consumers.  

It saddens me greatly to hear people on this website practically dance at the prospect of the human population decline to 2 billion people by 2040...almost as if they WANT 4 billion people to simply vanish.  To many, there is no hope.  But the biggest irony of all?  The same people who post the statistics here are probably doing nothing to reduce their own consumption.  You can talk about how being informed will prepare you for the future, but just what preparations are you actually making?  It seems like most people are happy to cry wolf, sell books and when the oil peak happens, shout out "SEE!  WE TOLD YOU!"

Nothing good ever came out of pessimism.  Optimists have always found unique solutions to seemingly insurmountable problems.

It's just a shame we don't have the political willpower to make such meaningful changes happen.

The cars were so efficient and low maintenance that it would put parts manufacturers out of business, not to mention hurt their 'buddies' in the oil industry.

I am a big fan of electric cars. I recently attended an energy think tank in which I was asked what we would be driving 75 years from now. I answered "electric cars." I believe this is the future.

However, the oil industry and the auto industry have historically not gotten along very well. They are definitely not "buddies." Just one example:


I am aware of lots of examples like this where the two industries were fighting each other.

I question anyone who believes that oil companies DONT want car companies to build cars which get 10 MPG.  The two industries are too closely linked for there not to be some kind of collusion between the two.
I am just telling you what I know first hand. I have seen this again and again. For example, on low sulfur gasoline, the oil companies wanted the auto companies to handle the issue with a catalytic converter. The costs would not have been too bad. The auto companies wanted oil companies to install billions of capital and handle it internally. The auto companies won that round. But they are constantly lobbying against each other in this way.
I am aware that the oil industry and the automotive industry have bashed heads over many issues, mostly having to do with strategies for implementing auto emissions reductions, etc.  No, I do not think they are 'buddies' at all.

However, I don't think that is what Hothgor and others were referring to. The simple question at hand is: how would it be in the oil industry's financial interest if  people in the US started buying cars that used much less of the oil industry's main product, gasoline?

Offhand, I can't think of any industry that truly wants consumers to use less of its product. (While power companies like to publish ads urging people to conserve electricity,  they know they would be in a real pickle if everyone actually cut their power consumption in half.)

It's an inherent conflict.

I'm doing what I can to reduce my consumption.  But more because I'm cheap than because I think it will really do any good.
I agree with your optimism in principle but in practice the conversion to electric cars will be a long road. There must be, what, 100 million cars in this country? And Tesla has orders for 157? GM only ever sold 800 of the EV-1s. Scaling things up by a factor of a million is going to be a huge, huge job. That can't happen overnight, or even in a decade - probably not even in two.
Far far more NEVs have been sold, which suggest them as the most likely growth path at this point: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NEV On how sales will change over the next years or decades .. it's an interesting set of feedback loops. At low gas prices not much will happen, but presumably low prices also mean "not peak yet." On the other hand, if we are near peak and prices rise, the rate of electric sales will increase with price. In a sudden and large price change I'd expect a national program to get NEVs out there, and not worries about things as slick as the EV1, let alone the Tesla.
Far far more NEVs have been sold, which suggest them as the most likely growth path at this point:


On how sales will change over the next years or decades .. it's an interesting set of feedback loops.  At low gas prices not much will happen, but presumably low prices also mean "not peak yet."  On the other hand, if we are near peak and prices rise, the rate of electric sales will increase with price.

In a sudden and large price change I'd expect a national program to get NEVs out there, and not worries about things as slick as the EV1, let alone the Tesla.

I only used the Tesla as an example vehicle.  Obviously I dont want the entire country to start driving 'slick' sports vehicles to and from work!  The point I was trying to get across was this:

A startup company can produce 157 of these vehicles for 80,000 each.  If these cars were mass produced in a Ford or GM vehicle plant, the economies of scale would most likely push that cost down into the mid 20's to lower 30s!  Thats a perfect price for mainstream adoption!

Fortunately for us, Toyota isnt nearly as short sighted as GM/Ford are.  Theyre planning on rolling out a pluged in hybrid sometime in 2008.  And they estimate that the average consumer will only have to fill up 5 times a YEAR!!

Now THATS progress.

I was really responding to Haflin's low EV/Tesla numbers.

Many people who count current EVs, don't really count all the current EVs.

For what it's worth:

The small vehicle market in the United States, comprised of golf car-type vehicles,  neighborhood electric vehicles, and utility vehicles, is steadily expanding and has reached over 650,000 new and used unit sales and close to $2.5 billion in end-market sales, according to a new market study by International Competitive Assessments (ICA). The study is entitled Golf Car-Type Vehicles and the Emerging Market for Small, Task-Oriented Vehicles in the United States; Trends 2000-2005, Forecasts to 2008.

"What we are seeing," says Stephen Metzger PhD, Principal of ICA, "is a convergence on [ the opening up of] the small vehicle market from three different manufacturing sectors [directions]: The golf car industry, the recreational and work-utility industry, and neighborhood vehicle (NEVs) manufacturers.  NEVs, we believe, are two-to-three years away from a definitive presence on the automotive scene, but all the signs are there that this will indeed  happen."


"almost as if they WANT 4 billion people to simply vanish."

No, just the opposite. The whole point of making the most accurate predictions possible is to allow the best possible decision making and preserve the most people.

The pessimism comes from the fact that most of the "doomer" and "peak oil" predictions were first made 30 to 40 years ago. They predicted we would be in serious trouble if nothing was done to stop the exponential growth of population and industrial production. Despite these predictions, almost nothing was done.

The "biggest irony" is that even 40 years after Hubbert made his excellent predictions the US main stream media still does not agree that finite resources can actually run out.

Personally I am trying to spread the message as much as possible (I hand out books frequently). And I buy local food, wind power electricity, and telecommute as much as I can.

Hello TODers,

If you are old enough to remember the '70s OPEC crunch: recall that boats and RVs were very few and very small compared to what is plentiful today.  I think it will be interesting postPeak, as prices skyrocket and lines form at the ever fewer gas stations still open, how the crowd will react to those rich wanting to buy 100-200 gallons in one visit.  It is not unusual in the Asphalt Wonderland to see a huge 40 ft RV towing a 25ft boat out to the lakes in AZ. Recall my earlier posting on how 2-wheeled riders can plan ahead.  The wealthy will plan ahead by wanting to fillup up their former toys, then park them at home to later transfer the fuel as needed to their cars.  Somehow, I don't think the crowd will want this to occur.  I wonder at what point the insurance companies will plead for a shift to fuel-rationing to keep their business model intact.

Bob Shaw in Phx,Az  Are Humans Smarter than Yeast?

A good point. Just how much gasoline is used for those traveling houses on wheels with a Cherokee being towed behind?

Wonder at what point road rage might take over.

Apparently these 'nomads' will be some of the very first to go(perish). What else can they do except park in SprawlMart or follow the yellow line endlessly from one overcrowded spot to another?

This has to be one of the most sensely inane activites I have yet to witness.

They must carry about three days supplies and a mostly full holding tank of some very nasty fluids, which they are always looking to dump somewhere in the country.

Is the the new American Dream? God forbid. A life based totally on road fuel and visiting folks who can hardy  wait for them to leave?

I had a 35 ft. gooseneck and just emptying the holding tank convinced me that it was time to get rid of it.. I got maybe 4 mpg and hated the Grand Canyon as well. Spent most of two weeks watching a white line and listening to kids and wifey bitch constantly. Go to see the worlds largest ball of string? Get ur authentic indian junk trinkets right chere. More cheesy trash than I could haul. Getting stuck up on the continental divide just past Estes Park. Thousands of dollars spent that would have purchased some very nice hunting gear. Totally wore my pickup out. Ate mostly trash fast food since NOONE wanted to actually camp and cook out.

I won't even go into the tornados that swept across us in Kansas. That was not fun.

Does the phrase "Wally World" mean anything to you?
I prefer Mal*Wart