DrumBeat: November 10, 2006

[Update by Leanan on 11/10/06 at 4:31 PM EDT]

Dollars and the Democrats

A Democratic-controlled Congress could mean both oil and gasoline prices will ease in the near future.

Dems versus oil, part 2

Democrats, now freshly in control of Congress, are likely to want to get more oil money into government coffers.

The question is, how?

Boulder votes for carbon tax

Voters in a Colorado university town nestled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains have passed the country’s first municipal carbon tax to fight global warming. Boulder, Colo., will charge residents and businesses the carbon tax based on how much electricity they use. Most electricity in Boulder is generated at plants that use coal, which produces more of the main greenhouse gas carbon dioxide, than natural gas or oil.

IEA sees tighter oil market ahead

Surging demand and lower OPEC production may start to deflate world fuel stockpiles that have been filling at the fastest rate in 15 years, the International Energy Agency said on Friday.

... "Demand growth in the fourth quarter is expected to be exceptionally strong," said Lawrence Eagles, head of the IEA's Oil Industry and Markets division.

"And that is not even allowing for a cold winter. If we see a cold winter it will be even stronger."

Mexico's energy crisis has arrived: Our NAFTA partner is running out of oil, and that's trouble for Canada

Mexican president-elect Felipe Calderón was in Canada last week to meet his NAFTA counterpart, talking trade and co-operation. Behind the smiles and warm words, however, there are serious questions brewing about just how Mexico will deal with a burgeoning energy crisis. Simply put, Mexico is running out of oil, and that could put extraordinary pressure on Canada and upset the global energy scene.

A Quick Look at Foreign Oil

The concentrated distribution of the world’s most important natural resource in so many unstable and dangerous localities is truly one of modernity’s cruelest realities. Many of the most prevalent oil producing countries are hostile towards the West, despite their reliance on the U.S.’s oil demand for survival; Iran, Venezuela, Nigeria, Iraq, and Columbia to name a few.

Kenya's Maasai plead for help against global warming

NAIROBI (AFP) - Members of Kenya's Maasai tribe have appealed for "urgent action" to fight climate change, saying global warming for which they are not responsible is destroying their traditional way of life.

On the sidelines of crucial UN climate change meeting in the Kenyan capital, they said their time-honored, cattle-based society is unjustly threatened by greenhouse gas emissions from developed countries far from their homes.

Albania near energy crisis

Albania is expected to suffer long hours of blackout from January 2007, which will be caused by the impossibility to import electric power, a source from state owned monopoly KESH said yesterday.

Energy Tribune Speaks with Guy Caruso

Since 2002, Guy Caruso has been head of the Energy Information Administration, the arm of the Department of Energy that tracks energy data. Caruso has over 30 years of experience in the energy sector and has held a number of positions within the Department of Energy. Before taking over the top job at the EIA, he was executive director of the strategic energy initiative project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. He also has worked at the International Energy Agency and the United States Energy Association. Caruso spoke to ET’s managing editor, Robert Bryce, on September 27 in Ann Arbor, Michigan, during a meeting of the U.S. Association of Energy Economics.

Norway Oil Unions Mull Strike in Sympathy with UK Divers

Norwegian workers engaged in sub-sea oil and gas activities, excluding divers, are currently awaiting approval to strike at an unnamed field in the Norwegian North Sea, in sympathy action with U.K. divers who are on strike over wages, Norway union representatives have said.

Ecuador: Energy Crisis Looming

Oil Majors at Crossroads in Venezuela's Tar Oil Patch

Six hundred former employees from the likes of Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSB.LN) and Repsol YPF SA (REP) were chanting pro-government slogans on Tuesday, offering a preview of what the corporate atmosphere at four multi-billion-dollar Venezuelan tar oil projects will look like in a year's time.

Six western oil majors must forfeit operational control or face the wrath of an administration steeped in oil nationalism at the peak of a domestic electoral cycle.

Nine Kidnapped Oil Workers Escape in Southern Nigeria: 50 taken hostage from oil platform

Alternative Energy Will Become Cost Competitive by 2007: Analyst

Alaska Votes No on North Slope Tax

Alaska voters shot down a proposal to tax oil companies $1 billion a year until they build a pipeline to take the largest reserve of natural gas in the United States from the North Slope to Midwestern markets, election results showed on Wednesday.

Saudi Accelerated Oil Plan May Offset Supply Crises

Saudi Arabia has accelerated its near-term production expansion plans and may add up to an additional 1.5 million barrels a day in crude output in 2010-2011 to mitigate potential supply disruptions and meet growing global demand according to a new report published by a Riyadh-based government consultancy.

Nawaf Obaid, managing director of the Saudi National Security Assessment Project, said in a presentation given to U.S. federal energy, policy and security agencies that the kingdom plans to increase output capacity to as high as 13.5 million b/d by 2012.

Green Fuel to harness unused coal

A new type of coal-based fuel, which will soon be commercialized with federal backing, could harness America's vast low-rank coal reserves and make the country energy self-sufficient for the next 300 years or significantly supplant oil consumption, the chief of Fairbanks, Alaska-based Silverado Green Fuels.
Just thought I'd re-post a thing I buried at the end of an old thread, in response to Phil Relig (the quotes are from him). He asserts that resource wars are coming and will be merciless. (Phil, if you respond here, could we agree to leave out religion?)

Resource wars?

But self-interest does often lead to violent conflict of incredible lethality.  I can point to WWII and WWI as leading examples

Let's examine these examples. I maintain that they are not illustrations of "self-interest" wars : they were losing propositions for all parties involved.

WWI was triggered by bungling, WWII by ideology.

The various parties to WWI did indeed have conflicting imperial interests. However, nobody launched the war as an instrument of policy. The interlocking nature of alliances, and the strategic constraints of the parties, made rapid escalation inevitable. But it could very well have been prevented, had there been a diplomat/statesman of the stature of, say, Metternich. And all parties would have been much happier and wealthier.

WWII : though it can be described as a "resource grab" on the part of Germany, in reality it was an irrational, ideologically-driven war which can in no way have been said to benefit the German people. It can be argued that Hitler could have won; if he had not attacked the USSR, etc. But the very fact that he did, against all logic, is proof that it was fundamentally an ideological war and not a self-interested one : it required a mystical belief in the superiority of Germans and the inevitability of their victory, to justify it in self-interested terms.

What makes you think that humanity will NOT eventually revert to the kind of mass ferocity associated with WWI and WWII in the wake of Peak Oil?

I will concede that Africa, in particular, will continue to have resource wars; they are certainly not new there.
But today we have rational actors at the head of the major military powers (ok, GWB excepted, but they are not going to let him touch the buttons any more). The salutary corrective reaction of US electors confirms my "faith" in the relative stability of this situation. Russia or China might conduct resource wars, but only if they were damn sure of winning. No way would either one take a gamble or make a blunder like the Iraq invasion. There may be plausible scenarii (takeovers of Central Asian republics?) but they will not be cataclysmic.

Europe will not launch resource wars, because democracy will hold, and will demand moral foreign policies.

Lose-lose resource wars are possible in theory, but require recklessness and lack of information on the part of the perpetrators. Concerning the major military powers, I therefore count them unlikely, because information (and even diplomacy) are much better than they used to be.

Unequal treaties are going to be a growth industry, on the other hand.

I have to wonder if you aren't underestimating the irrationality of US residents when deprived of their "non-negotiable" lifestyle.  A few years of increased gas prices and poor results in our first oil grab have resulted in the Republicans losing power.  Two more years of bad results and people will hand the presidency to a Democrat.  Four more years of loss of our lifestyle and the American public may be ready to put a warmonger in place to take oil back from those foreigners who have made our lives miserable.  Does anyone doubt that Reagan would have invaded the middle east if things hadn't improved?  Haven't we already started that invasion now?

The leaders have more information, but that doesn't mean the electorate that votes in leaders is really better informed.  Besides <sarcasm> we are the world's only superpower, doesn't that mean we have a right to be rewarded for our efforts to maintain order?  Doesn't that mean that we are entitled to our outsize share of the world's energy resources? </sarcasm>

If you look at the big picture of the engagement of the USA with the rest of the world, there are alternating periods of interventionism and of isolationism. I think it's a pretty safe bet that we're heading towards a period of the second sort. Once bitten, twice shy.

And again (and again and again), I'm waiting to hear of a plausible scenario for a successful resource grab.

(And for anyone who defends the idea that the Iraq intervention constitutes a successful resource grab, I'd be interested in examining that proposition in detail.)

But a lot depends on the quality of the next presidency. Muddle and bungle, or a "moon-shot" effort to redefine America's energy economy?

alistair, you make many naive assumptions in your initial post - that our leaders are "rational" and would remain so if they were under the same pressures as those crazy Africans for example.  Or that there is "no way" the chinese or russians would "take a gamble"...

You cannot imagine a "plausible scenario for a resource grab" because your thinking is limited by your First Worlder bias and because of your limited life experiences.

Look at our history since we learned to record it. Can you find a plausible example where we faced situations similar to Peak Oil and there was Not a "resource grab?"

The world has not even begun to feel the pinch of declining Energy and declining Matter.  

"Civilized" applies only to those who can afford it.  Humans are animals.  All of our cute little "morals" and "ethics" are Negotiable. And even the Culturally Superior Westerners will sink to the same levels of depravity as those crazy africaners.


OK, I'm still waiting for anyone to come up with a plausible resource-grab scenario.

WRT central Asia, I think it's quite likely that China and/or Russia will end up with complete control over the oil producing republics (if they aren't already), but I don't expect war will be required. Much less trouble to pay off a local satrap. No gambling required.

Other than that, who are the candidate perpetrators and victims? I want to see lists. Anyone crazy enough to try another middle-eastern country? (The problem there is the people are so dumb, they don't know when they are beaten.) Or Venezuela? Please?

I know what people are capable of. I saw what happened in Yugoslavia. Atrocities perpetrated by people no different from your neighbours, or mine. Atrocities committed by nation states for economic reasons are another matter.

I suppose it is a moot point as to whether the Russian invasion and devastation of Chechyna is politically motivated, i.e. to defend the integrity of the Russian Federation, or a resource war in the sense that Chechnya is critically located in regard to the access to central Asian oil and gas.
Bearing in mind that Yeltsin had just smashed the USSR, and that there was a real danger of the Russian federation exploding, I don't see why you'd need to look for complicated explanations. He thought that by coming down hard on the Chechens, he'd put the fear of God in the other potential breakaways. It actually worked, except for the Chechens.

After the fact, you can graft on whatever other motives you want. Religion, resources. And they end up coming true.

plausible    how bout  country x has wmds   their president is a dictator    country x is a threat to our homeland security     country x has known ties and is working with osama bin whoever  and the legacy of not invading country x is a mushroom cloud over our major cities   plausible    but not necessarily successful
OK, I'm still waiting for anyone to come up with a plausible resource-grab scenario.

You are asking the wrong question and that's why you are reaching to the wrong answer. The right question would be: is there a plausible resource-grab scenario for the powers that be.

I can assure you - there sure is! If PO starts to byte really hard, the only way the rich guys can prevent a revolution is to go military. Aren't we seeing that already happening??? These wars will not be for the resources only, they will be to counter the pressure from inside. Of course from a long-term point of view this will also be a doomed cause. But if you put yourself in their shoes, maybe at some point they will decide that they do not haveanu other choice.

I have to agree.  What kind of energy related problems will we face?  A colasped economy?  During WW1and WW2 jobs were in more basic industries, I look around in amazement at what  provides jobs and wonder how long will it last.  I can't see people willingly giving in to a reduced energy lifestyle.  Mega-merchants sell all this electronic stuff like ihome to an accepting public.  Unless the message is "tough get used to it and worse" we will elect some nut-case who will pull the trigger or some small bunch of countries will get into it and the bigger ones will be pull onto sides.  I think it will be a rough ride - not impossible but very, very tough.

The election of the Dem's sent a message(will it be heard?)  Everyone seems to think that this will solve our problems, I don't.  While I hope it lets the world know that we are not beholden to our leaderships path, I fear that politics is still about getting elected and that is the biggest part of the problem IMHO (ie the money and influence required - not the election process).  There is a saying that democracies die when the public realizes that they can vote themselves benefits from the treasury.
The dem's had better get ready to get to work - changing people's expectation on energy and the sacrifices that are needed come first. Most people who think we need to reduce our energy use think that "someone else" is using too much not them.  Good luck!  

I have to wonder if you aren't underestimating the irrationality of US residents when deprived of their "non-negotiable" lifestyle.

The US Dollar exists as it is today because US Dollars is how you get oil in the global market.  

What would be the citizens reaction to a collapse of the dollar and an unwillingness of other nations to take the US Dollar as a means of trade?

I doubt a shrugging of shoulders and saying 'oh, that silly invisible hand'.

Japan attacked the US in WWII because of cutoffs of oil and steel and other raw materials.  They could not keep their war machine in china and  manchuria operating without these resources.

Britain was within days of losing its food and fuel supply due to U-boat activity in the atlantic.

We would not be in Iraq if the ME area had no oil and gas.

And in WWI Germany and the central powers were trying to change the balance of power; which most emphatically included resources locked up by French and British and Russian colonialit mercantilism.

Alistair, perhaps you should read more about the actual history of these two conflicts.

"Alistair, perhaps you should read more about the actual history" period.  Start with "The Naked Ape"...
Yeah, I read that when I was 12. Do you have a point?
Thanks for the patronizing comments. What makes you think I haven't done the reading?

There is no doubt whatever that there is a resource-access component in WWI, which I acknowledged in my original post. There are any number of alternative systems for reading that war. Orthodox power politics, Marxian class analysis (the ruling classes of the two sides colluded to emasculate the workers), etc, etc... None of these analyses is the exclusive truth.

But if you are alleging that the central powers <b>deliberately</b> launched WWI to shift the balance of power and grab resources, you are certainly going out on a limb.

And if that was their intention, it was hardly an unqualified success.

In any case, nobody has come up with anything even remotely resembling a modern resource-grab scenario. Which demonstrates my principal point.

But today we have rational actors at the head of the major military powers

There is no such thing as a 'rational actor'.  The foundations of that assumption in neo-classical economics have all but crumbled. We can be rational and we can be emotional, depending on the conditions, but are definitely not rational all the time, especially at the top of social hierarchy.

A few quotes for now:

"In one way or another, all our experiences are chemically conditioned, and if we imagine that some of them are purely spiritual, purely intellectual or purely aesthetic, it is merely because we have never troubled to investigate the internal chemical environment at the moment of their occurrence." - Aldous Huxley


"The brain finishes the work half a second before the information it processes reaches our consciousness"
 -Michael Gazzaniga

Im writing a post on this soon, but first I have to go shovel snow.

"Nature's Mind" is a fantastic book.

Gazzaniga's research on people with severed corpus callosums (sp?) is mind-blowing.

We are not who we think we are.

In the general case, a mature democracy does not have to rely on the rationality of a single person, because checks and balances limit the danger of rash irrational actions.

This is what I was getting at with the notion of "rational actor". Increasingly it's a matter of collective decision-making, and at very least, of accountability. Bush was an exception in that his administration has perverted the US democratic system. (I say "was" : I believe he is now a lame duck, he could no longer launch a war against Iran for example.) I anticipate that the US system is sufficiently resilient to correct this perversion and strengthen itself against future hijacking. I may be wrong.

That's not to say that collective decision-making is trouble-free, but at least it's not subject to the vagaries of cocaine, alcohol or whatever Huxley was smoking.

No Bush could still launch a war against Iran.

Since WWII the US has never declared war against another country: not North Korea, not North Vietnam, not Cuba, not Panama, not Iraq, not Nicaragua, not Libya, not Lebanon.  Yet US forces have fought in all those countries (bar Nicaragua, and then there was the CIA).

The War Powers Act grants the President great leave to act in defence of the USA by military action, down to (effective) preemptive war.

If Bush wants to go to war with Iran, the only Constitutional measure which could stop him would be impeachment (and then the Vice President, Dick Cheney, would be President).

Can you see the Senate passing an impeachment bill with 2/3rds majority, with America at war with Iran?

Can you see the Senate passing an impeachment bill with 2/3rds majority, with America at war with Iran?

2 slightly different views:

If there was goi9ng to be an impeachment, would their suddenly be a war with Iran?

If you belive the hardcore gold bugs position that 'bankers casued assination of the various US presidents', there are all powerful powers behind the elected leaders who would kill others, or whatever theories exist.....would it be simplier for others just to assinate the leadership?    One claim of the oil being replaced in the marine helicopter is bouncing about on the internet.

Either situation woudl suck.

Perhaps the worry about the rection to the above is why the 'impeachment is not on the table' statements have been made.

Mob rule is a type of collective decision making and mob rule can be very violent and very "aware" of the fact that resources held by a smaller mob could be beneficial to the larger mob that a member is a part of.

Mob rule was rightfully feared by America's founders, and hence they designed a Republic, one with checks and balances between functions of government.  A Republic by the way which was supposed to limit which people could vote and which couldn't.  The whole idea was to preserve a "wiser" ruling elite.  Admittedly I think their concept of land ownership indicating wisdom was a faulty one, but the premise of every person being allowed to vote has been a question bothering me for some time and the notion that everyone should be able to vote I sometimes wonder is perhaps the reason our political system is in the mess that its in and I sometimes wonder will be the downfall of this country.

Perhaps the crux for me is because fundamentally the notion of a wide body of "elite" and wise voters sounds like it has merit, but then the problem of determining who is wise is that nasty snafu one gets hung up on.

But I would never assume that Democratic governments are anywhere near rational, and I've said this before, that pure logic is not something I think humans would enjoy being ruled by.  Pure logic probably would've had us killing off a lot of people already, as pure logic would dictate that its wasteful to spend resources on those members who are unable to support themselves.  We place emotional value to things like welfare, and tending to the old and infirmed.  The emotional value to me is a very important piece of our humanity and without it I think we would be even more brutal than we are with it, even when we see examples of emotion's darker side such as hate, jealousy and envy.

that pure logic is not something I think humans would enjoy being ruled by

Should read:

that pure logic is not something I think humans would not enjoy being ruled by

that pure logic is not something I think humans would not enjoy being ruled by

VS the whims of the enforcers that now exist?

A system of logic where the rules are known sure sounds a lot better than a kleptocracy.   Or a system based on favors.  Or what ever it is that exists now.

I believe he is now a lame duck, he could no longer launch a war against Iran for example.

I think the Israeli's are more likely to take the offensive step at this point: "Israel official: Strike on Iran possible." Then the US fleets in the Persian Gulf play the part of defender against Iranian counterattacks. When the Iranians inevitably hit one of our ships, we are in a position to legitimately counter-attack.

This looks to me like just as much an attempt at stalemating the Iranians as a real attempt to give us an excuse to strike. As in "We warned you that you should give up your nuclear program. Don't be surprised if the Israeli's aren't willing to wait for the UN. And don't expect to attack Ras Tanura or Persian Gulf shipping in response without setting off a much bigger conflagration." Come to think of it, the US would be pretty well positioned to seize Khuzistan in this process. We could claim that it was done in the interests of international energy security.

This is for Westexas and Darwinian. Check out BP 2006(2005). See the Imports/Exports Tab. What do you see regarding Russia. Compare to BP 2005(2004). Look at it close. Compare it to the numbers you have. Where are the differences(?). Miss anything?
It would probably speed things up if you would just state what the data show.
Post hoc ergo proctor hoc

(Just because "B" follows "A" does not mean that "B" is related to or caused by "A."  On the other hand, sometimes "B" is related to or caused by "A.")

Some Predictions Versus Results
Most likely peak for world C+C production was late 2005.
Data So far:  
Declining world C+C production (EIA), despite oil prices trading in a range 50% to 100% higher than the previous (nominal) high.

Westexas (Brown, based on Khebab's data):
In a January, 2006 post on TOD, I predicted that KSA and Russia would join Norway in showing lower production---and thus lower exports--this year, based on the simple observation that the top three net oil exporters were more depleted than the world is overall.  
Data So Far:
KSA is definitely down.  Five of the past eight months of Russian C+C data (EIA)have been below the 12/05 number, and recent news reports indicate that production--and exports--are falling.  Norway continues to decline.

A note regarding US Import Data (Total Petroleum, Four Week Running Average).  
I think that these data points are sensitive indicators of where oil markets are headed.  68% of the weekly numbers this year have been below the 12/30 data point.  The most recent year over year number is about 1.9 mbpd below the comparable time period for 2005, and about 500,000 bpd below the comparable time period for 2004, when consumption was lower.

Let me summarize.  US total petroleum imports are trending down, while all of the avaiable data indicate that production--and thus exports--from the top exporters are trending down.  IMO, if US consumers wish to continue consuming petroleum products at their current rate, they are going to have to outbid other consumers.  So far, we have probaby been bidding against regions like Africa.  I predict that the next round of bidding--against regions like Europe and China--will be much tougher.

Here you go again.

Perhaps today you would like to explain to the casual user just what 'total petroleum' is.  Give us some concrete answers so we can have a concrete debate, not an ideological one.

Otherwise, the same results from yesterday stand: Exports have not declined in any statistical meaningful way, and our Imports likewise have not been strained.

Total Petroelum Imports = crude oil + petroleum products

Based on the most recent EIA numbers, the world has produced about 100 million barrels less C+C than if we had just maintained the 12/05 production level.  Note that this has narrowed somewnat because of the revised 12/05 number.  However, as Khebab has noted, the EIA tends to downwardly revise all of the initial production estimates.  In any case, the shortfall continues to grow.

This shortfall is against record high (nominal) oil prices.  In other words, higher prices & lower production, while consumption in most exporting countries, such as KSA and Russia, is growing quite rapidly.  I haven't looked at the most recent numbers, but as of the May numbers, the aggregate production by the top 10 exporters was falling faster than overall world C+C production is falling.

In regard to our imports, note that we are not the world.  Someone has to be conserving.  To date, I think that we have been bidding agasint the "easy" competition.  Future rounds of bidding, against Europe and China, will not be so easy.  In any case, our total petroleum imports have been below the 12/30/05 number since the beginning of the fourth quarter, and we have been draining our inventories to meet the shortfall.  As I said, if we wish to continue to consume our present level of petroleum products, we are going to have to bid the price up.

Total Petroelum Imports = crude oil + petroleum products

Based on the most recent EIA numbers, the world has produced about 100 million barrels less C+C than if we had just maintained the 12/05 production level.  Note that this has narrowed somewnat because of the revised 12/05 number.  However, as Khebab has noted, the EIA tends to downwardly revise all of the initial production estimates.  In any case, the shortfall continues to grow.

This shortfall is against record high (nominal) oil prices.  In other words, higher prices & lower production, while consumption in most exporting countries, such as KSA and Russia, is growing quite rapidly.  I haven't looked at the most recent numbers, but as of the May numbers, the aggregate production by the top 10 exporters was falling faster than overall world C+C production is falling.

In regard to our imports, note that we are not the world.  Someone has to be conserving.  To date, I think that we have been bidding agasint the "easy" competition.  Future rounds of bidding, against Europe and China, will not be so easy.  In any case, our total petroleum imports have been below the 12/30/05 number since the beginning of the fourth quarter, and we have been draining our inventories to meet the shortfall.  As I said, if we wish to continue to consume our present level of petroleum products, we are going to have to bid the price up.

sorry for the double post
NP.  Don't be a stranger to my post further down :)
BTW, in regard to the Pemex story, Mexico just crossed the 50% of Qt mark, based on Khebab's HL plot (which he did some time ago).

Regions now producing less oil (at least C+C) than their production in the vicinity of 50% of Qt:
Lower 48
Total US
North Sea
Saudi Arabia

Any questions?

Well, I have one.  

Just why is anyone still expecting rising oil production when all four of the current super giants are now either declining or crashing?

Well I could answer this, but I don't find a compelling need on a Friday afternoon. How's that? Let's all just settle down. I've got the answers. Oily always does.
"Just why is anyone still expecting rising oil production when all four of the current super giants are now either declining or crashing?"

There seems to be wide disagreement as to whether these onshore declines will be balanced by a surge in offshore. As we all know, Colin Campbell and Skrebowski are both saying 2010, because of this surge of offshore.

I'm in no position to judge this, and I wonder if anyone is. We place our bets and see what happens over the next half dozen years. And hopefully we prepare; individually, if not collectively.


Why do they expect rising production? Because denial blinds them to simple physics. The people who insist against all obvious reality that we are somehow going to keep upping production are the same people who believed (or still believe) that Iraq had WMD, that global warming is a just another blip in the natural cycles of the earth, who believe that burning all of our coal would be a good thing, who believe that we can both feed the world and continue our happy motoring with ethanol, who believe if we all clap our hands, Tinkerbell won't die.


You asked, "Just why is anyone still expecting rising oil production when all four of the current super giants are now either declining or crashing?"

That's easy:  1982

We have been down this road before.  By mis guessing this the last time, many young people missed out on YEARS of investment opportunity, career choices and wealth building because they were waiting for the "the crash", the great "catastrophe", the "end of the fossil age", etc, etc., etc.

This time, it may very well be the real thing.  The real thing HAS to happen at some point, we all know that.  But an error in timing in this area is the same as being wrong in theory and concept.  You can be right, but if you are right too soon, it assures failure just as surely if you  were wrong.

What if Saudi offshore delivers big?  Think about it, what a great place for offshore drilling!  Sheltered, warm, no ice, no hurricanes...and since it has been sitting right next to the cheapest, finest, sweetest onshore oil...who has even bothered to really look for it offshore Saudi...

What if some of the second "laid aside" oil fields in Saudi Arabia really can deliver big time?  Khurais comes to mind as one.  Matt Simmons lists 7 "Previously Produced Oil Fields" in "Twilight in the Desert".   He then dismisses them all.  However, if one has a copy of "Twilight" handy, it is interesting to note (read through pages 211 to about 220) you will see that each and every one of these "promising oilfields" showed their peak of production at 1981 or 1982!  Yes, the very same time as the price of oil fell through the floor...isn't that astounding?  What coincidence, and how rare is it for all these varied fields to peak at exactly the same year!!!  I wonder if HL  (Hubbert Linearization) would have guessed that for 7 or so completely different fields and oil field complexes (??)

What if world offshore can deliver big?  Who knows...it won't be cheap or easy, but NO ONE could have predicted the drilling depths that are now being reached.  

What if the Mexican "catastrophe" is a result not of geology, but of gross mismanagement and corruption?  This could mean there is still a lot of oil and gas there waiting...and desperation is the mother of better management...:-)

Likewise Russia?  Who knows what is really out there, how much has been wasted and leaked away in corruption and idiotically bad engineering?  Who can know?  How do you do a real workable HL on corruption, power grabs, political collapses, gangsterism, and complete criminal incompetence?  

The U.S. OCS  (Outer Continental Shelf)...it's anybodies guess what is there...it has been decades since real quality exploration and surveying has been done, since no one could make a buck on it....and remember that even the older maps may be very misleading....if you were an oil company, and knew where oil was out there, would you be going around giving the information away?

I will leave aside that no one has yet proven Ghawar is crashing....and few talk about the effect of massive natural gas development in Qatar, Trinidad and Tobago, and the re-entry of Libyan gas and oil....it just gets too complicated....but here's the deal....for a young person, say 18 to 21,  a 20 to 30 year mis-guess in the date of "peak" or the "great crash" or WSHTF or whatever you want to call it means a mispent life.  In geological time, in the time span of the life of a nation, in the timespan of the industrial age, 20 to 30 years ain't shiit, but in the planning of investments, family, and career, it's forever.  Ask those who got it wrong in 1982 in guessing in favor of a catastrophe that didn't happen, or didn't happen when predicted,  is not just as damaging as the catastrophe itself?

Roger Conner  known to you as ThatsItImout

Thanks Roger - I was 28 in 1982 and saw what a flop that was in terms of PO.

BTW - think you forgot two other areas:

  1. The coast of FL - who know how much oil is out there.
  2. Africa - that continent has not been fully explored - if they ever stop the violence, they could be major producer.
From Wikipedia:  
When one event continually follows after another, most people think that a connection between the two events makes the second event follow from the first (post hoc ergo propter hoc - after this, therefore, because of this.). Hume challenged this belief in the first book of his Treatise on Human Nature and later in his Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding. He noted that although we do perceive the one event following the other, we do not perceive any necessary connection between the two. And according to his skeptical epistemology, we can trust only the knowledge that we acquire from our perceptions. Hume asserted that our idea of causation consists of little more than expectation for certain events to result after other events that precede them.
Nope. I'm not gonna do that. You need to look at the data yourself. I'm gonna play nice but I'm gonna do it on my own terms. I'm going to give you and Darwinian every chance. It could take days. Chances are I'll only post first on Drumbeats. Here's a hint. You sent me an email about a drop in Russian exports. Look at the numbers in that dispatch. Calculate them out. Match them to the BP numbers. There is an obvious discrepancy. I can't be the only one that has noticed this. Want more hints? Look at Bolivia. I'll do this for 75 countries. I told Darwinian this. Don't fall into the same trap.
Oil CEO,

We measure from the peak.  The key numbers to look at are 2006 numbers relative to 2005, and relative to 12/05 specfically.  Texas production in 1973 was up by over 6% from the 1971 level, but down very slightly from 1972.  

The macro picture is that what once was a very important oil province, the North Sea, is in a rapid terminal decline and it is a near certainty that the four current super giant oil fields are all either declining or crashing.

I really appreciate this, Jeff. Short and simple. I have to sleep first. I didn't mean to be such an ass. But I told you this was gonna be the way it was gonna work. I'm not making this shit up. Look at the numbers.
Nope. I'm not gonna do that. You need to look at the data yourself.

Oil CEO, I do not play guessing games. Post a URL then explain exactly what you are talking about. Otherwise I will just ignore your post, which is what I usually do.

Ron Patterson

Yes OilCEO. PO is a serious matter, and timing is key. My son is 4 and my daughter is 1 year old, and I'm worried. You understand?. Disclose your source, please.
Soon. My Data's easy. Have Faith. It's real and it is simple.
I would never play with this, Paulus.  I would never lie to a four year old. I am only doing this for him. I just need to sleep. Give me a few hours. I'm serious.
I've worked a good part of Sunday finishing something on Russian oil exports. I will probably post it Monday morning.

And for Ron - Let's keep playing guessing games. I've got one. Who bought CERA in 2004?

Yeah, a URL would definitely help.

Ron Patterson

Nope. No URL's for you guys. If you don't know BP's Statistical Review by now, you probably ain't gonna look it up. I'll have to show you myself Monday morning.
For a look at some of the Demcratic plans, I've put up two brief posts at TOD NYC on what they have said before the election.

House Democrats

Senate Democrats

I invite your comments. I think the one issue we need to educate them on is the limitations of biofuels.

A new guy from California...

House energy chief's loss opens door for energy policy shift

Pombo's loss of California's 11th District is symbolic of an expected shift in energy policy. The staunch oil drilling proponent will be replaced by Democratic wind energy expert Jerry McNerney. McNerney heads a start-up wind turbine manufacturing company and has pledged to make clean energy his signature issue on Capitol Hill. He has worked as an energy consultant for San Francisco-based utility holding company PG&E Corp. (PCG) and the Electric Power Supply Association, a nonprofit research center  http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/story.aspx?siteid=mktw&guid=%7BD9CFA89F-6287-43EC-8CE9-62F ...

that link doesnt work - but its certainly encouraging news - someone who understands alt energy AND is entrepreneur in that area in Congress can have alot of leverage...
Wharf Rat, there is an easier way of doing this. Just put brackets around the title of the URL, then a space, then the URL, then close the brackets. Example:

[energy policy shift URL]

Live example:

House energy chief's loss opens door for energy policy shift

Ain't that just spiffy?

Ron Patterson

Thanks. I knew there was a way. Filed it.
I looked at the plan.  I agree, the biofuels stuff is terrible.

What's Sorely Lacking:

  • Nuclear Power  
  • Syn Fuels / Syn Gas
  • Raising Oil and Gas Taxes
  • Apollo/Manhattan/Whatever Program to Expand Electrified Passenger and Freight Rail
  • LNG Terminals
The democrats are just as bad if not worse than the republicans on energy.  The repubs want us to keep motoring in our SUVs, but the dems offer nothing as an alternatie.  At least the repubs aren't as averse to nuclear as the democrats are.  Neither has any plans to fund rail infrastructure.  Both seem to have lept onto the popular biofuels bandwagon without ever looking into whether it is at all plausible, our energy policy is being driven by opinion polls instead of science.  No one is offering demand-side solutions.

We've changed from neo-cons to neo-liberals, from thugs to cornucopians. Feel better now?

cfm in Gray, ME

I see this line about rail all over the place.  I keep stumbling on what I perceive as a reality check, one I'd like to share.

That's the cost of these mass transit systems in the REAL flyover areas.

Let me pick some with which I'm somewhat familiar.  Let's start with, hmmm, I know.  Lincoln County, Colorado.  75 miles (approximately) east of Colorado Springs, and 80 (more or less) from Denver.  The "big city" of Limon has a population of a bit over 2,000, and the other four population nodes add another 1,000 or so.  Half of the approximately 6,000 people who live in the county are scattered across the rest of the ~2600 square miles of the county.

Read that again.  2600 square miles.  3,000 people.  Where are you going to put a mass transit node that's usable for them?  (Excluding the need they have for vehicles to support their ranch and farm activity, of course.)

Mass transit works where you have mass.  Heck, I've seen arguments on this site that indicate support in towns as small as 10,000 people.  Which is only 5 times what Limon, Colorado has.

I can pick other places with near-identical problems.  Most of the great plains and mountains fall into this category.  Heck, there are places in states considered densely populated that have areas that won't support mass transit.

Now, I'm not saying we can't go to these.  But I think it's an absolute necessity to remember that these proposals will not work for significant areas of the US.  And since the US is the big spender on this issue, those areas matter.

Of course you can't build "mass" transit everywhere.  The stark reality of peak oil is that rural areas will revert to rural living.  We had this 50-year interlude of people living out in the "boonies" but commuting to, or at least often visiting, largish towns an hour's drive away.  This will no longer be possible for most of these people.  They'll have to either move to towns or accept a truly rural lifestyle.  The latter would mean less frequent trips into town, and employment in agriculture (or silviculture, etc, and supporting roles).  Moreover, as Bob Shaw keeps reminding us, the number of people working in agriculture will have to increase, since we'll be forced to use agricultural methods that are based more on labor and less on fossil fuels.  All this is not bad in the long run, but will make some people unhappy in the short run.
Very insightfull. Yes, more people in a truly rural living. Which has, btw, profound implications for urban living conditions, as the surrounding area of a city is its' base.
In the Peak Streetcar Year of 1930, 550 cities and towns had streetcar lines.  Towns below 25,000 generally had their early lines shut down by then, and lahhard cities above 25,000 generally had them added.

OTOH, electric interurban rail lines often had stops in smaller towns/villages.

History seems to show that horse & buggy beats out multi-stop streetcar Lines (3 mile line on Big Spring Texas, pop 17,xxx could not make it, data from memory) in towns below 25,000; but they are still worth a stop for inter-city feeder rail.

In the future, bicycles & GEMs http://www.gemcar.com may substitute for horse & buggy.

Best Hopes,


Looks like a souped up golf cart. It might just be able to keep up at the intersection of the Santa Monica and San Diego Freeeways.


Short answer is you don't.

Forget about mass transit for these areas for a minute since you think it won't work ( I agree it won't work).
But nothing will how do you keep roads paved post peak to support such a small population ?

You don't.

Now you can support population clusters along any major rail line that passes through the area similar to what happens with our freeways today but other than that this type of population pattern will cease.

We probably will still farm or run livestock on the land but this would require very large ranches that can entice a spur line out to get product.

Transport in this region would actually probably consist of "REAL" SUV's  horses and snowmobiles. Along with probably access or ownership of a helicopter.

This means massive consolidation of land ownership in the real rural areas.

One reason I'm not running out to go live in these areas since I suspect they will become quite inaccessible post peak and ruled by a large land owner with the virtual force of law. I'm sure once these types of mega farms/ranches start growing the owners will get increasing rights.

This is exactly what happened as the Roman Empire decayed and it formed the foundation for medieval serfdom.

A straw man.

Because mass transit may be difficult to serve a population of 2,000, it should not be a major policy solution to post-Peak Oil !

What about we build


for Miami ?  The dark brown lines are for "after 2016". Funded by half cent sales tax.  Perhaps build ALL of the lines by 2016 ?

90% (2000 housing patterns) within 3 miles of a station, half within 2 miles.  Add some streetcar feeder lines to their plans.  A healthly person with a bicycle would have little need for a car in Miami (except when moving furniture, and they have rentals for that).

This will leave less comprtition for the residual fuel supplies.

Best Hopes,


Again, Allan, Miami would seem like a poor choice for any
development as it will be underwater within a few years, if you believe in GW.
While I understand your attachment to rail, it suffers from several inadequacies for simple transportation:

  1. inflexible [when blocked nothing moves, and if repairs are needed, there is no service]
  2. inflexible [new service requires new tracks with all the concomitant problems]
  3. inflexible [a small change or route is impossible].

There is an ongoing discussion in Toronto regarding its streetcars, and the above are the usual arguments against.  Electric busses with large batteries [possibly in a separate
trailer], and some catenaries,  can  solve all these problems.  Yes rail is romantic, but the ral unions are one of the last strong ones, so I suggest busses.
Buses generate no TOD, with it's associated savings (indirect oil savings from Urban Rail via TOD and associated changes in urban form are larger than direct oil savings over time).

Urban rail can scale up with relative ease (just saw a quote from Minneapolis, +7% more capital for more cars = +1/3rd more capacity).

Urban rail costs SIGNIFICANTLY less to operate per passenger mile.  And it operates off of electricity (rubber tires require much more electricity (x5 to x8 roughly) due to the delta in rolling resistance).

We have a century + operating experience with Urban Rail and none, zero, for the type of hyrbid buses you suggest.

Toronto is being foolish to the extreme if they are not giving up two traffic lanes (1 each way) on St. Clair for private ROW for the streetcar, allowing the streetcar to operate faster and cheaper.  I thought wiser heads had prevailed there and the St. Clair improvement was going in.

Buses have unions too.

Single track operation for a section (on private ROW) is often used with rail when the other track is blocked.  A large enough system allows parrallel alternatives.  A bus bridge is occasionally used, and this works well in extreme cases.

Toronto has a number of examples where minor route changes have been made over the decades by adding or abandoning short sections of track.

Sea level rise is unlikely to swamp all of Miami in the next century, even without adding a seawall (which will be MUCH cheaper than abandoning it).  So no need to burn gasoline is massively quantities for fear that invetsing in a better alternative might be drowned in a couple of decades.

Electric trolley buses can be a useful supplement to Urban Rail, but NOT a substitute !

Best Hopes,


Ottawa went "whole hog" for Bus Rapid Transit.  They are seeing the increased costs of buses (especially bus only) and are running into capacity limits on downtown streets, so now the "bus only" success story of North America is building Light Rail with both East-West & North-South plans AFAIK.

Buses simply cannot doi all that Urban Rail can.

Best Hopes,


Absolutely right, Alan.  Trains of buses going through downtown Ottawa during rush hour.  The bus transitway has cost many times the original estimate.  Buses have worn out much more quickly than anticipated.  Off the transitway, on busy streets broken down buses blocking traffic are a regular occurrence.

We are having a fight here about the appropriate design for the rail system, but what is interesting is that the biggest objection to the current north-south proposal comes from people who want investment now and not later in an east-west line.

Buses can be used to feed trains.  
Buses are a big mistake for main line service.  We made that mistake in Ottawa twenty odd years ago.  And we're still paying for it.

There is nothing romantic about rail.  It is efficient and effective.  In contrast, owning a car is supposed to get you laid between excursions on near vacant roads in beautiful rural settings.  Hello.

No, Alan, your misrepresention of my position is a straw man.  I did not say rail wasn't the answer.  I said rail couldn't be the ONLY answer - that attempts to do so fail against reality.

I'm objecting to the proposals that boil down to nothing-but-mass-transit.  Which is probably not more than 20% of the current population - but is equally probably 70% of the nation's land-mass.

Oh, and I'd like to point out the flaw in your Miami proposal as well.  "A healthly [sic] person with a bicycle" is nice.  Now what about those who aren't healthy but need to get, oh, to the doctor, or food, and so forth?

I am highly suspicious of any proposal that is simple.  It almost always turns out to be wrong for a significant number of people, and surprisingly tends to be not as good as alleged for the people it's specifically meant to benefit.

Your position was not clear.

My proposals are likely not 100% of the solution, but they can be a very major part of it.  I also mentioned 1900-1930 transit solutions in smaller towns down to 25,000.

Months ago I playfully mentioned that the "Boomer" stereotype vehicle post-Peak Oil would be an electrically assisted adult sized tricycle (with a canopy and basket behind) that would be made fun of by the younger folk.

Mobility for those rural areas without mass transit could decline dramatically.  Going to town on Friday (or every other Friday or first Friday every month (except winter)) may become again the "standard".  Spending twenty years within a 20 mile radius may again become "not unusual".

Elderly, infirm either move into the county "old folks" home or with relatives and friends, as they once did.

Miami wants to build that system NOW, but because of limited federal funding it will take 25 years.  I see nothing but positives in building all 103 miles by 2015 and then use experience as a guide for "what next".  Streetcar feeders would be my choice.

It is a viable, if not 100%, solution.

Best Hopes,


nod - ok, I'll accept it was confusion.  On to addressing the rest.

Alan, I ran across and use the "three feasibility tests" in any project - the bigger it is, the more important all three become.  I begin to think your plan - even for just Miami - fails two of them.

Test one: technological.  Can we build it?  (Yep.)

Test two: financial.  Can we pay to build it?  (Maybe.  You already point out that it's going to take 25 years just because the Federal government won't help.  I don't know the numbers so I'll ask:  How much would the Federal government have to pony up to put this not only in Miami but every major metropolitan site in the US?  And where does that money come from?)

Test three: political.  Are the people affected by this willing to make the sacrifices to build it?  (I would suggest "no", not at this time.  You blithely suggest moving the elderly into communal and family homes without weighing the resistance you'll face.  That federal number, above - are the voters really going to be willing to give up whatever has to be sacrificed to pay for the system -- and quite possibly field the extra dollars?  I'll give a specific example of why I doubt it: watch the pleasure when a sports team tries to build a new stadium with STATEWIDE public funding assistance.  The people in the city will be mixed, but the significant majority of people outside that city - where there is no return on the taxes paid - are against it in large proportion.)

This is not to say it's a bad idea.  Quite frankly I like parts of it, even though I'll never benefit while I live and work - 40 miles from Chattanooga.  Yes, I agree that the peak is near (personally, I think it's past).  But unless and until you can convince folk to bite the bullet for the second and third tests, your plan will not proceed.

Qucik response, I am about to go out the door to bus for meeting where "New Urbanist" Andre Duany is proposing to build 5 story parking garages in the French Quarter !  (At least he was in first presentation).

Peak Oil will not be a stick, but a hammer !  People will do MANY things they do not want to do, as they did in the Great Depression & Dust Bowl.  I am pointing out what I think will be the likely results post-peak Oil, not that I want the sheriff to move granny out at gunpoint !

I am looking for solutions to create, for many people, "less bad" solutions than if we just let events unfold.

Take 100% of Highway Trust Fund and we could build my $125 billion in new Urban Rail projects in a decade or so.  (Do we need new highways ?  I think we can get by without).  MANY other potential funding sources, with differing degrees of political viability.  As a % of US Federal budget, "not a major item".

Salt Lake City, that noted hotbed of liberal activism, just passed new taxes to speed up already approved and funded transit projects (30 year plan originally, now less with increased local funding).

As one of the rotating quotes in the upper right corner of TOD says, we are either in panic mode or complacent.  I want some viable ideas "out there" when panic hits !

Best Hopes,


I'm glad to read these responses.  I've been responding the way I have because, well, with about a year of lurking I'd apparently missed the "I want to have least bad choices available" (paraphrase) message - it always looked like you were saying, instead, "Now, darnit, you idiots."

I'm still not in agreement that yours is the best option.  The biggest problem I have, to be honest, is it feels like you're hand-waving some things (like money) that I suspect are going to be a significantly greater obstacle.  On the other hand, we're in comments on a blog, not a planning meeting.

And enjoy the meeting - grin.

Good luck,


The argument about trains versus buses seems to be a bit specious. Basically, it depends on the density of ridership. The appropriate transit mode for a given route should be matched to the density of use. Trains can move more people per vehicle than buses. On heavily travelled routes they are way to go.

OTOH trains cost more to put in and are harder to re-route For less travelled routes buses are the way to go.

It should be recognized that transit doesn't work for everyone. Devising a system in which large numbers of people use a low energy solution with exceptions for those who can't use transit is complex. Devising a system that is also cost-effective is even more complex.

If fuel becomes expensive enough, the systems can be made to pay for themselves by collecting fares.

Yes, complex.  But transit can also be used for development.  Ideal example is the "Pearl" in Portland.  Abandoned warehouses with ~100 residents last census.

Portland built a streetcar through it and MASSIVE high end development ensued along the route.  Close to $1 billion (data from memory).  Many without cars.  A bus route would not have had the same effect.

Given the delta on new dense development between bus & rail; one can justify a LOT of rail IF local zoning will allow TOD to spring up around it.

Best Hopes,


Many Urban Rail projects are wanted and needed by the residents today (dozens), with $2.10/gallon gasoline.  Raise the price to $3.90/gallon and support grows.  Make it $6.72/gallon and Urban Rail becomes VERY popular.

Where will the money come from for 1% of the federal budget (massive Urban Rail funding at 90%) ?

Raise taxes on X, Y and gasoline.  Divert existing gas taxes from pork barrel highways, cut subsidies for A, B and oil companies.  The Iraq "peace dividend".  Borrow more from China, cut military spending, give Wyoming a smaller share of oil royalities from oil produced from federal land.

With political will all of the above are possible IF WE GET SERIOUS ABOUT PEAK OIL !


I'd just like to add 2 more cents in which is that Government should help with expanding the freight rail infrastructure too helping with right-of-ways, etc.  After all, what's going to replace trucking?  Lots and lots of food gets delivered to cities all through long-distance trucking these days after all.

I was poking at the Senate site, and it seems that they had been sending out emails on a monthly basis, but that stopped in July.  No idea why...

We now have a group of newcomers to the Congress who might not know much about this issue at all.  I suppose the thing to do is get some letter writing going.

Does anyone know who Roscoe Barlett's science advisor is?  I vaguely recall that he was the one who handed out the oil poster to all of the members of Congress, and I was wondering if he would be handing this thing to the new members.  I suppose I could start by writing to Bartlett's office and asking.

One thing that struck me when I talked with him last was that he said that some Congressmen didn't even have science advsisors.  Perhaps this is the first hurdle - each Representative and Senator needs to have someone on their staff who can give them good advice.

John Darnell

That's the guy.  Thanks.
  Well here we go. What was it about the Clinton/Gore years that leads anyone to believe things will be different now that the Dems are in charge? Do the Oil Co's not contribute to Democrats? Do the media still get much of their ad revenues from The oil/ gas/auto industries? Even though they are further along in development, do electric cars get mentioned, at all, in the democratic plan? Where does solar power find itself? Oh no, the answer lies in the fields of Iowa for obvious reasons.
Trita Parsi has written an interesting article about US-Iranian relations for Asia Times:

Much indicates that the only way out of this dead end is to do what Bush and Rumsfeld have refused to do all along: link Iranian cooperation in Iraq to Washington's willingness to find a compromise on the nuclear issue, where enrichment will be seen as a continuous rather than a binary variable. The White House refused such linkages in the past, since it sought complete victories. Now, creating linkages is necessary to avoid complete defeats in both Iraq and in Iran.

James Baker's ISG has already paved the way for dealing with Iran over Iraq, though Bush is yet to sign off on the idea of linkage. Last month, Baker met with Javad Zarif at the Iranian ambassador's residence in New York. The meeting lasted three hours and was deemed very helpful by both sides. Baker was told that Iran would consider helping the US in Iraq if "Washington first changed its attitude towards Iran", a euphemism for the Bush administration's unwillingness to deal with Iran in a strategic manner.

While the political earthquakes in Washington have raised hope that a shift in both Iraq and Iran may be forthcoming, Bush is still the final decision-maker. Neither a Democratic Congress nor a pragmatist in charge of the Pentagon is likely to change the course on Iraq and Iran unless the president recognizes the reality on the ground - without Iran, the US cannot win in Iraq, and without linking Iraq to the nuclear issue, Tehran's services are not available.

An example of how to spin the news, this time in a way we are not entirely used to:

It turns out President Ahmadinejad and our Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen (who is a he) had a phone conversation yesterday, and this is how IRNA reported it:

Iran, Finland condemn Zionists' crimes in occupied lands

There is nothing factually incorrect in the piece (aside from Mr Vanhanen's gender), and yet in a way it gives the impression that the two countries are close allies and on the same page WRT Israel/Palestine. OTOH, every time a foreign leader agrees with a "more worthy" leader such as Bush or Blair, the MSM are full of similar articles that disregard all the differences and emphasize the few things people agree on. And the headlines are usually the most misleading bits.

My point? Not sure I had one.  

If the warmongers in Gaza really want to prevent the "mass killings of palestines" all they have to do is stop firing rockets into Israel and stop hiding among civilians.  

But it is easier to appease the group that has the oil you need than it is to be honest to your disposable ethics and morals.

The Palestinians have oil?  You must be referring to the small amount of cooking oil the Israeli guards allow through the prison gates around the Gaza internment camp.

Warmongers?  In New Hampshire the licence plates say live free or die.  Palestinians would just like to live free on their land, drinking their water.  Instead a fifty year campaign of ethnic cleansing has them on a starvation diet in a modern day Warsaw Ghetto.  Victims of random execution and collective punishment.

I and any self respecting person would do just what they are doing, resisting land and water theft and oppression by invaders from foreign lands.

The "Palestinians"?  Resisting land theft?  You mean, like the ex-Ottoman landlords who sold to Jews and expected to get the land back for nothing after the Arab armies wiped the nascent Israel off the map in 1948 (except the Jews had the gall to win)?  You mean, like the 750,000 Arabs (mostly Egyptians, Syrians and such) who left Israel before the war... and expected to get not only what they left behind, but what the 900,000 Jews expelled to Israel from Egypt, Iraq, Syria, etc. were forced to leave behind?

They got nothing, of course.  They were stuffed into permanent "refugee" camps by their brethren, to be used as political pawns forever after.  Meanwhile, their Saudi, Kuwaiti, etc. co-religionists live in extreme opulence from oil money but expect the West to support the "refugees" instead of re-settling them where they will be anything other than tools to be used against the Jewish state.  You might notice that there are no permanent Jewish refugee camps; Israel treats people, including the Arabs, better than Arab nations treat their own.

Before about 1970, "Palestinian" was a term used to refer to Jews in Israel.  I'll bet you didn't know that.  I'll also bet you never knew that what you've been spouting is a revisionist history created by anti-Semites, or that Saudi Arabia has demanded to be compensated for any revenue losses they sustain from measures to deal with global warming.

I'll bet that these revelations won't change your tune anytime soon.

Stop cluttering the board with Zionist propaganda. Toilforoil is right. And one day the US is going to wake up to the fact that support for Israel is a political liability, and Israel will be cut loose. At that point, all the pro-Zionist cr*p you people in the US swallow will dry up overnight, and the conventional tune you are so bravely singing right now will start to sound very lonely indeed.
I love the smell of irony in the morning.
cr*p you people in the US swallow

You people?
Which trollish part of Reichland do you live in? Mr. Franz.
The Quisling part?

Thanks for keeping Peak Oil in the spot light.
I'm glad the old school neo-cons from the CFR like Zbignew B. and friends seem to be back in charge of U.S foreign policy.  Zbignew was always my favorite strategist and he called for dialog with Iran back in 2004.
"Zbignew was always my favorite strategist and he called for dialog with Iran back in 2004. "

I agree dialog with Iran would be wonderful - if Iran did  not have fanatic islamic radicals running their country (pity their citizens).  

As it is, dialog will just buy them time to work on their nuclear weapons program.

There is no way - absolutely none - that the US/Israel/KSA trio will permit Iran to own nuclear weapons or the technological means to manufacture them. The recent N. Korean test is a sharp lesson. If, for whatever reason, the US ever wavers from this policy then it is certain that Israel will pre-emptively take matters into its own hands.

The Bush administration is grudgingly realizing that there is no "victory" possible in Iraq, at least not in the sense of turning this multi-tribal, artificial non-nation into a western style democratic ally. Such PNAC foolishness is well on its way to the dustbin already.

On the other hands, disengagement from Iraq must not create an even larger problem in the region by allowing a relative strengthening of Iran.


Make oil almost worthless by ultimately collapsing its value down to petrochemical feedstock and - perhaps - as jet fuel. This will mean a radical shift away from oil's use as automotive fuel (near 80% of use right now).

Corollary: Peak Oil must not be allowed to occur, not in a meaningful geo-strategic way.

Awaiting comments...

(Awaiting Commments...?) There's a bunch of us that agree with you. We tend to keep our mouths shut. Oh... you'll get comments. Ask us when you want a sane approach... There are a lot of us who agree with you. Some smart ones, even. Ask for Jack Greene. The rest of us are keeping our heads down. Jack's cool, though. He comes highly recommended.
I am very bad at keeping my mouth shut ;)
CONtrarian even....I like this train of thought.  However, I know that execution is the key and we can clearly see how well we are at that.
Execution is a matter of finally telling The People that oil prices are already unacceptably high when you include defense spending and lives lost - that includes 9/11, by the way.

Islamic fundamentalist terrorism is not about "they hate us". It's about "they want our money" - as in $300/bbl oil, as OBL keeps reminding everyone.

Once the President, whoever he/she may be, makes this perfectly clear in a speech, then execution is a matter of technocratic initiatives - policy and technologically.

I agree with part of what you have to say.  We are about to witness a fundamental shift in US MidEast policy.  Arguably, that statement is synonymous with saying we are about to see a fundamental shift in US energy policy.

The Neocons have lost their control of US foreign policy, and it is being handed over to the old-school Republicans from Bush 41's administration.  What remains to be seen is how dramatic that shift will be.  For the past few years the MidEast has been slipping out of US control, and while I don't expect the new policy to accept that, the Administration may accept that it is time to implement contingencies on energy.

Everyone agrees that a transition to sustainable, scaleable energy sources will someday be necessary.  The political realities in the MidEast & Russia are dictating that the transition will be needed sooner rather than later - if for political reasons instead of geological ones.  The US doesn't want to be dependant on  newly assertive exporters Iran and Russia, but that is where things are headed unless the US changes course.  We saw a hint of it in the last SOTU address ("addicted to oil"), and a new urgency will accompany the US disengagement in Iraq and Iran.

If the energy consumers can reduce their oil demand (through conservation and transition) and keep it below the depleting supply, then prices can be controlled - even post peak.

What I disagree with you about is whether or not a nuclear Iran is "intolerable".  Bush said we would not tolerate a nuclear Korea.  But thay have the bomb, and I'm left wondering about his semantics.  I realize your arguement is that if th US disengages (which is exactly what is happening wrt Iran) then Israel will act.  However, I don't believe they have the capabaility.  Iran is too far away, its facilities too well entrenched, its supporters to well placed to allow it, and their limited military capabilities prohibit effective unilateral action.  

Very well put indeed.

As to Iran/Israel...we should not forget the Saudi (plus other Arab) connection. Iran is not exactly loved by the other countries in the region. After all, Iranians are Aryans, not Arabs.

Since the time of Darius during the Persian Empire, Iran has wanted to control the ME region as a hegemon. Let's not forget the Shah and his enormous expansion of military capabilities in the 70's. His desire for a powerful Iran got him in trouble with the US and eventually deposed. The mistake the US made at the time was in thinking it could control the radical theocrats.

I would not be surprised (if it came to that) if KSA helped out Israel in a strike against Iran - not overtly of course...

Make oil almost worthless by ultimately collapsing its value down to petrochemical feedstock and - perhaps - as jet fuel. This will mean a radical shift away from oil's use as automotive fuel (near 80% of use right now).
This should be the policy goal of every:
  • Ecologist.
  • Energy-security analyst.
  • National security analyst.
  • Middle-east political analyst.

FYI, I'm working on an essay about doing exactly that.  AND replacing all coal and gas used for electric generation, too.  I will submit it to Prof. Goose as soon as I'm done (it needs graphics, and I'm really slow with OpenOffice's drawing program).
I would be very interested in seeing such a study; pls. do produce it.

In other words destroy the village in order to save it.

So the first order of business is to disengage in Iraq.
Not leave but basically hunker down and let the civil war run its course. Periodically making strikes to play with the power balance. In a sense this is how colonial powers worked they had a small but powerful force and deployed it carefully and infrequently.

Let Iran do its thing.

When war finally flares up the price of oil will sky rocket but its because Iran/KSA are no longer shipping oil. Not because of depletion. This means most of the money is made by countries willing to let the majors in and let them have the lion share of the profits.

The only monkey wrench and its a big one is Russia.
But this means Russia economy grows like crazy and the Russian/Chinese relationship will become increasingly strained as Russia jockey's shipping to Europe vs China.

Dunno to complex the NeoCons are not that good.

Perhaps I was not clear enough.

Absolutely do not destroy the village. Get out, let it be and tell the villagers you will not want or need their oil - not even at $10/bbl - as fuel.

That will require steep current taxation of hydrocarbons, vehicles and road use; but it will also permit massive investment (and good jobs) in alternative fuel sources and delivery systems and a resurgence of industrial America not seen since, well, the dawn of the Oil Era. The US economy will once again be based on tangible technological innovation and production - as opposed to creating, hypothecating and trading financial assets.

It is really very, very simple: If the US wants to maintain its status as a global leader - nay, even its independence - it cannot be hostage to oil, Peak or not.

Ridiculous!  There are so many problems with this post.  
First, changing the world's fleet to something else would require 20? years.  Second, building an infrstructure to support any other fuel would require 20? years.  Third, the economy of several friendly countries would collapse.  And these are the very easy ones.
What is so ridiculous about changing the fleet over in 20 or so years?  IF we get started now and complete the transition in 20 years we might just stay ahead of the depletion curve.  Doesn't sound ridiculous, sounds rather pragmatic.

And as far as infrastructure goes, most of it already exists.  Its the electrical grid.  No need to install hydrogen pumps or ethanol pipelines.  Step 1 of transition is plug-in hybrids.  Leverage the existing infrastructure and start the transition from petroleum transportation to source-agnostic transportation.

Once that process is put in place, finding the raw energy is another problem, but an independant one.  Maybe its wind in one region, solar in another, some nuclear to fill in the dark still places.  Energy agnosticism coupled with conservation can keep us ahead of the curve - at least it is our best shot.  And if we can do it in 20 years I'll be thrilled

Twenty years is perfectly fine - I would even be ecstatic if only 70% of the fleet/infrastructure is changed in that period. The question is how fast can you do the first 20-25% - the rest will be pure momentum.

Now, which "friendly" countries' are you referring to that would collapse? Are you referring to oil exporters that are not smart enough to realize the Hydrocarbon Era is necessarily coming to an end?

Am I reading correctly that you are suggesting cutting out oil purchases from Saudi Arabia, Russia, Iran, the Gulf States and Venezuela?

I could go with it. It couldn't happen to a bunch of nicer guys and it beats filled body bags coming home.

We already have an infrastructure to support the cleanest alternative of all:  electricity.  And it's less than half used during the off-peak hours, which are more than sufficient to move the extra energy we'd need.  Plug-in hybrid vehicles (easily made from series or series-parallel hybrids) can do everything today's vehicles can do, while cutting liquid-fuel demand up to 80%.

Smart people can see this plainly.  I submit to you that the oil interests behind the 107th, 108th and 109th Congresses knew this quite well, which is why one of the first actions of the 107th was to kill the Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles (PNGV) which would have produced high-economy vehicles which could have been turned into plug-ins with little difficulty.  (The 109th produced an "energy bill" which had a few million bucks for PHEV's tacked on as a sop to a few squeaky wheels.)

Once the shift got started, it would be obvious that there was an alternative to their product.  Angry consumers would demand it if prices rose.  XOM and the rest did what they could to prevent or delay that shift.  They've succeeded quite well, and their profits in just the last year have paid back every penny they invested.  But they succeeded too well, and CalCars and Tesla Motors and others are getting press as even AutoNation backs the replacement of oil with electrons.

...and GM can see it, too.

 GM likely to launch new plug-in hybrid

What's good for GM is good for America? Could this be true once again?

What's good for GM is good for America? Could this be true once again?

This was NEVER true !

The sins of GM throughout history are many.  Interstate Highway system changed from Eisenhower's vision of tollroads between Major cities to slice and dice our cities into a GM friendly suburbia by Eisenhower's Sec. of Defense & former GM CEO.

Their conspiracy to destroy streetcar lines (tried and fined $1,000).

Their early anti-Union and labor abusing practives.

Their resistance to safety and pollution regulations.  Including unethical lobbying.

Dirty tricks against Ralph Nadar.

I have waited for GM to go bankrupt ever since some high school friends bought Chevy Vegas,

Best Hopes for GM disappearing,


The article on "greenfuel" is interesting.It seems to be a renaming of lignite and a coal to gas and coal to liquids so as to mislead and misinform the electorate. The only thing thats green about the process is the folding money the promoters expect to pocket. George Orwell wrote a series of essays about the warping of language to misinform, and its totalitarian uses. His novel "1984" is a representation of that type of society, although it projects Fascism and Stalinism's evils into a science fiction format. This type of imprecision in expression leads to a change in how a problem is viewed.
  TOD is not exempt to this type of propoganda. The thread yesterday was hijacked by an antiabortionist alledged Christian who defined women who get an abortion as "mothers" and seemed to think that Christians all accept the prophecy of various biblical books. Beyond the logical contradictions of this point of view (a woman who gets an abortion isn't a mother, a collection of cells is not a viable human being but a potential human) the hijacking very possibly put off newcomers who are interested in the energy depletion problem and peak oil. Its a kind of troll tactic. My suggestion is that when this type of post is made we inform the poster that it is not on topic and then don't respond.
  Further, we need to be precise in our language and labeling. I love the debates on TOD and the great info from people who are familiar with topics on which I lack information. I find it stimulating.
The only thing thats green about the process is the folding money the promoters expect to pocket.

Excellent! A bit long for a bumper sticker, fine for a billboard.

Dailykos gives people the ability to trollrate comments. They get enough low ratings and the comment disappears from the larger thread. Perhaps TOD should institute a similar type system?
Sounds good to me.  If enough people would vote me off as a troll, I could get back to work.

In any case, IMO, Hothgor is a result of the increased attention that TOD gets.  I think that he represents, either on a paid basis or on a freelance basis, the interests of some group that perceives The Oil Drum as a threat.  I think that his purpose is to make the TOD experience as unpleasant as possible, and you have to give him credit, he is remarkably effective at it.  I know that I have begun to wonder why I should continue to bother.

Just ignore him.  That's the only way to deal with a troll.  If you keep feeding him, he'll keep hanging around.

Do you want to tell your grandkids you used the last of the oil to argue with Internet trolls?  

Stay out of this.
Dear Leanan,

I'm certain that it is not your idea the grid, and thus the internet, will last till the final drop of oil.

What do you think? Will the grid collapse first, or oil-based society? Or simultaniously?

Simultaneously, I would guess.  Though the "collapse" may be a slow contraction more than a sudden crash.

Look at what happens after a big ice storm, wind storm, etc.  People who live in cities get the power back pretty quickly.  Those out in the boonies, especially low-income areas, may be without power for weeks.  I could see a future where eventually, they just don't bother to repair the downed lines in certain areas.  Especially if the people who live there aren't paying their bills anyway.

I could see a future where eventually, they just don't bother to repair the downed lines in certain areas.  Especially if the people who live there aren't paying their bills anyway.

And that's when the Rational become irrational and said areas begin to resemble Iraq or Somalia.  

I meant " collapse" as being possibly a gradual process, or "contraction" as you say. But there is a possibility that the grid crashes, right?

And for your assesment WRT the " boonies", I'm afraid it is likely. The world has never been a pretty place, is not, and will never be. I wish the idea of everlasting peace would have been more realistic, but it's simply not.

We should avoid apocalyptic words like collapse unless we mean that society will cease to function on a massive scale.

When we mean something a bit less drastic we shouldn't talk about collapse. The discussions seem a bit muddy (perhaps because different contributors have different visions), but it seems likely that peak oil will lead to a number of consequences that are far less drastic that what I would consider to be a collapse.

It seems likely that we can have approximately 35% of North American current oil supplies available from the tar sands and oil shale. In addition, significant amounts of bio-fuels and other energy sources (nuclear, solar, winds, etc.) are available. I would peg these resources at around 15-20% of total energy use over the next 20 years. Finally, it should be possible to achieve energy efficiencies of around 30% over the next 20 years without losing very much effectiveness. Smaller vehicles, hybrids, a switch to diesel, mass transit, better insulation are all possible ways to become more efficient.

The remaining 20% of required efficiencies to get back to current usage levels will require cutting back usage and effectiveness. It will hurt. Some sectors of the economy will be devastated. (It might not be a good idea to purchase an RV dealership or a house in an outer suburb.) OTOH it can probably be done with cities that continue to function, crops that continue to be harvested, and hospitals that continue to accept patients.   -- Not a catastrophe.

The kicker is the increasing energy demand. If we continue to increase energy demand by 2% per year for the next 20 years aggregate demand will be up by over 48% and instead of being 20% short we will be 78% short. A shortfall of this magnitude might be much more likely too cause a collapse.  

We should avoid apocalyptic words like collapse unless we mean that society will cease to function on a massive scale.

In Joseph Tainter's 'Collapse of Complex Societies' he does not use the word this way. He defines collapse as a reversion to a simpler state.

I admit that, for the most part, people will interpret the concept of 'collapse' as applied to civilization as an apocalyptic process, it need not be perceived that way. In some ways, the US has been in the early stages of a collapse for the last 20 odd years with median income flat and IMO beginning to drop, per-capita energy availability dropping, deteriorating infrastructure, etc. etc. and may continue at an accelerated pace as energy costs skyrocket. Society (the US) will likely continue to function but on an increasingly makeshift and 'funky' level where more and more of us have to work much harder just to put together the next meal.

Personally, I believe that the daily thread should stop. More and more, I just skip it.  I look at Leanne's articles and then pretty much stop.

Maybe if it was more random...3 or 4 per week...different times of day.


I think if we didn't have DrumBeats, all this stuff would spill into the regular threads.  Before the DrumBeats started, people just waited for a new thread to be posted, then jumped on it, posting whatever they wanted, whether or not it was related to the topic.
That's true...it's all coming back to me now.  The "good old days" were not always so good.  :-)
I disagree, most keyboards is equipped with a PgUp and PgDn - if the thread is kept below say 5-600 posts, it easy to skip the crap. But regulary i find off-topic discussions interesting, particulary the geopolitical and scientifical ones.

But it might be a good idea to add the functionality of giving users troll-points.

And i would like to express gratitude to Leanan for giving us the best of stories and headlines. Thank you! It's invalueble in my efforts to informed on the most important subject ever.

WT, please don't quit, I think you well-informed and reasoned comments are a large part of the reason that TOD is recieving more attention. I'm sure the repetiveness gets a little boring, but unfortunately people seem to have to recieve repetitive messages in order to think and act. Perhaps its the media oversaturation we all live with?
  I repeat your ELP plan often, and even sometimes attribute it, because it makes the most sense as a strategy and also is neither liberal nor neocon conservative, but conservative in the sense that my grandparents were conservative. . Economis thats the old fashioned virtue of frugality-Localise-support your neighbors and friends economicially so we can build up a real economy and neighborhood-Produce-find a real product to make for your friends and neighbors-this personally builds self-esteem and s a heck of a lot more secure than the latest fad. Thanks for your contributions. They really help keep this forum on track!
I think Westexas is the hardest worker here. He is my favorite. I happen to aggree with him on 9 out of 10 points.

I also agree with myself on all ten of those same points.

Hothgar is vey good. I'm going to take a nap. You guys fight it out while I'm sleeping.


P.S. Can one of you have your staff make me 'TUNA AND SALMON' Sandwiches for when I awake. I Like those Norwegian crackers. Mmmmmmm.

I'll keep posting off and on, but frankly, I think the numbers are in.  We are at the start of a long term decline in world oil production.  A lot of the stuff I post is pretty repetitive.
I want a cease fire.
You should continue to bother, because Hothgar only exists with his handlers, and his handlers will only stick by him while he wages a fair fight. And you have my guarranttee that that shall happen, old chap. So stick around. Ultimately the two of you shall become great friends. Trust me.
I have to admit, as someone who would rather read than post, I'm finding it all very tiresome. TOD is turning into a pissing contest.

Just scroll down to your favorite writers, ignore the rest.

Silicon Investor lets moderators ban people,and there is also an ignore button. Made my life a lot more pleasant.

 Thank you for your good work and your patience.


westexas: "...I know that I have begun to wonder why I should continue to bother. "

So the Iron Triangle also sends poison barbs zinging your way.  It'd be ashamed if you'd let a low-grade professional goon sitting in his cubical in the Psy-Ops Dept get you down.  And maybe a bigger loss the to world than you'd ever know...

Hang in there pal.  You have admirers ...  <:).  I've learned much from your posts.

I want to concur.

Why give so much attention to the gadflies? They don't deserve it.

Some of us continue to read WT as a constant reminder of not just the amplitude of the problem but its simplicity.

Leanan -- that Ecuador: Energy Crisis Looming link is subscriber only. I'm interested in the story. Is there a free version?

Arggh.  I hate it when they do that.  The article is visible when go in through Google News, but not via a direct link.  And of course, there's no inkling that it's one of those "Google-only" links until you give it someone else and they can't get in.

Try this.

I just get a single paragraph. All other links lead to the subscriber page. Too bad.

Do we have a cease fire?
Do we have a cease fire?!
We are all on the same page here, people. There is no reason for fighting. We need to find common ground.
Let's all have lunch at the White House.
I certainly hope so too. I would just like to see everyones comments treated respectfully and their questions answed in a non-demeaning manner. Lets remember what we all have in common, a concern for our world and the desire to sek solutions to a problem that we (mostly) all perceive. And its too complex to not respect each others points of view.
  I know that occasionally I have been an asshole on this site. I resolve personally to do better, although I reserve the right to a little humor at other's expense. Hey, as I said, I have a streak of asshole in my personality..
 "Hey, as I said, I have a streak of asshole in my personality."

  And that's why survialists stash toilet paper for trading.

Wharf Rat, thanks. I was worried it just sounded like I was sitting around blogging in skid-marked drawers.
Lets remember what we all have in common, a concern for our world and the desire to sek solutions to a problem that we (mostly) all perceive

Speak for yourself!! I have no concern for the world, only for myself and my loved ones. This is why westexas is my favorite because he offers ideas that I can use to help MYSELF(ELP,50%less income - 100% increase in fuel-food costs). Call me the devil or a true doomer but I WANT to see all the wasters(merakins) have to do without. I'm here cause PO seems to be to me the best chance for doom and this is the best place I've found to watch it unfold and to learn how to prove it to myself(data analysis).

Russia to fill Chinese fuel tanks

Russia's state-run oil giant Rosneft is to build hundreds of petrol stations in China as part of a plan to double its business in Asia.

The scheme is part of a joint venture between Rosneft and China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC).

Rosneft plans to build a joint refinery in China with CNPC.

Also as part of the deal, CNPC will extract crude oil from Russia's Eastern oil fields, and Rosneft will increase its crude exports to China.

I've spoken on several occasions about looking at the bigger picture in regards to hydrocarbon production worldwide over the last several months.  Sometimes my insights are dismissed out of hands, and other times some people agree with me.  Over the last couple of weeks, Westexas and I have been having a series of running debates on several key issues of Peak OIL.

Notably, I stated that gas production is not following the standard oil production decline rate.  Westexas has countered this argument by stating that gross net gas is what matters, and that our consumption is actually down.  Interestingly enough, most data seems to indicate that gross natural gas utilization is down only about 2.5% since its effective peak in 2001.  To explain these discrepancies, I started to do a little more digging.

First, I want to address the exploratory issues that Westexas has brought up on several occasions.  For those of you who don't know, Westexas has pointed out that our total oil production began declining in 1971, and despite a heroic effort by oil producing companies, began its slow and steady decline that we are experiencing today.  But some research into the matter paints a slightly different albeit more complete picture:

As you can see, exploration did increase dramatically following the peak of production in 1971.  But there are some interesting aspects to this graph.  Notably, the dramatic decline in total exploratory wells in 1985.  How can we explain this drop?  Did our technology advance so much that in 1985, every oil company in the US began to use the same exploration methods with much higher success rates?

Not if you look at the deep maroon line.  On it, it shows that there was no dramatic increase in the overall success rate.  In fact, a jump didn't occur until the last 90s.  So what else could have caused the decline?  Was it the cost of drilling each well?  Was the investment in each well so low that exploration plummeted?

Theres an interesting relationship it seems.  When exploration skyrocketed, exploration costs increased at a fairly large clip.  Was this due to some mystical force?  Was the oil simply more difficult to extract?  Or did the price of exploration increase because of the extremely high demand pressures put on resources such as steel, concrete, heavy earth moving equipment.  I feel compelled to point out to all of you that we are experiencing the same inflationary pressures today.

Be that as it may, the cost per well had remained fairly constant for about 2 decades, as noted on the graph.  But if our exploration decreased dramatically, our total FF production must have declined right?

Not so, apparently.  Our total utilization of FF's has remained constant for several decades.  The shortfall was made up by coal and steady NG production.  But just what does that red line represent really?

Interestingly enough, it represents only DRY gas wells, or wells that are drilled looking for natural gas only.  But one thing should be fairly obvious when looking at this graph, NG has not declined at any rate similar to oil, despite the fact that NG wells decline at 5-6x the rate that a typical oil well declines.

Now this helps to paint a more accurate picture of whats going on.  You can see that oil production more or less falls at a steady rate each year at 1971, and after our secondary peak from Alaska in 1986.  NGL likewise was following oil remarkably well durring this same time period, but then something amazing happened after 1986...total gas production plateaued, or even increased in successive years?    So why is this?

Oopsie!  It looks like total gross NG production actually began INCREASING after our our peak of oil production.  But just where is this new gas coming from?

It's wet gas.

That is to say its gas that comes out of oil fields as they are being depleted.  Thats right, as our oil production has depleted, gas production has increased at a dramatic rate.  

Westexas states that our gross gas production has declined every year.  But this seems to only be true for dry gas production and not for our total gas production.  But this does not seem to be the case as our gross NGL have been increasing at a steady rate in conjunction with total gross gas production.

This 'wet' gas is being converted into NGL for our own domestic use!

Now obviously, this trend can not continue forever, but I should point out at this trend CAN be extrapolated for total world wide FF production.  As our conventional oil 'C+C' falls in the coming years, we should be experiencing a glut of NG.  So maybe, just maybe, the 30 year gap isn't so crazy after all ;)

Comments?  Questions?  Attacking Troll Swarms?

These people will be the closest you ever come to humans that understand you, so cherish them. I'll see you on the flip side with my analysis of Russia. I'll be totally pissed If I hear you were fighting. I know Westexas and Leanan love you. Try to keep that in mind...
US NGPLs production peaked in 2000, the last year for which you provide data.

How convenient for your analysis.

Dave, thats the whole point!

I stated that NG peaked in 2000, or 30 years AFTER peak oil, and that the same trend will hold true for the rest of the world.  Westexas stated it peaked back in 1973-4, 2 years after the peak in oil, and that the world wide NG peak will be fairly soon.

The entire point of this analysis was the prove that NG did peak 30 years after, not 2 :)

Hey Hothgor, go argue with the EIA. Dry gas production peaked in 1973.

End of story!

Ron Patterson

Did you even read what I typed?  I'm talking about TOTAL NG produced, not just gas from dry wells.  And very clearly, total NG produced did not peak until 2000/2001.  Try again :)
Look Hothgor, total production included repressuring gas. That is gas that is counted, then pumped back into the wells to keep the pressure up. Then it is counted again every time it is withdrawn.

Just look at marketed gas. That is gas delivered to customers. That will tell you exactly when natural gas peaked. And that was 1973.


Ron Patterson

Dry natural gas delivered to residential and industrial consumers peaked in 1973.  There was a secondary peak in 2001, lower than the 1973 peak.  

The key point is that US oil and natural gas production is in a long term decline trend.  Are there minor uptrends along the long term decline trend?  Yes.

I'm sorry westexas, but I hardly consider a 3 decade upwards trend as a 'minor' incident.
And I guess the cat is out of the bag then isn't it WT.  Dry gas peaked, but all gas did not.  How convinent for you and your analysis.  What did we discuss the last week?  Its the big picture, not a tiny part, that matters :)
Again,gross gas production counts "recyled" gas in gas caps in oil fields.   The cas is counted several times as the gas is recyled through the gas caps.  Rising gas production in gas cap expansion drive oil reservoirs is related to depletion.  The gas production goes up as the gas/oil contact falls, as a reault of a thinning oil column, which is frequently between an oil/water contact and the gas/oil contact.  This is exactly what is happening at Prudhoe Bay (also at Ghawar and Cantarell).

Also, in many cases, NGL's are stripped out of the produced gas, with the dry gas being reinjected back into the gas cap.  This actually an effective way of stripping liquids out of the residual oil left behind as the gas/oil contact advances.  

This same thing is going to play out worldwide, with a lot of gas being required for pressure maintenance in gas cap expansion drive oil reservoirs.  

In any case, the US numbers that you are pointing out are nothing more than the effects of the ongoing depletion of large US oil and gas fields.

Q for westexas: I hope this really ignorant question is appropriate (ignore if it's not):

Why reinject gas into the gas cap?  Why not recover the gas and inject air into the cap instead?

Sorry, I'm no Westexas, but I think I know.  The oxygen in the air is a problem, either through slow oxidation or maybe even potential combustion, gumming up the works or burning up the oil.   NG is okay since it is a fuel, not an oxidizer, and it is readily available at the wellhead.  A relatively inert gas might work as well, like nitrogen, or, even better, CO2 (sequesteration).
air (oxygen) injection into a petroleum reservoir is generally NOT a good idea   combustion is the reason  some want to call it spontaneous combustion but there is nothing spontaneous about it  anytime the partial pressure of oxygen exceeds about 1 atm   you have combustion    how do you suppose a diesel engine works  do we call that spontaneous combustion   i dont think so    but back to the question   in many cases such as offshore or remote locations north slope for example there is no gas pipeline and therefore no market for the gas   so what to do with it   reinject it into the reservoir to help maintain pressure   in some cases nitrogen has been injected into an oil reservoir as an enhanced recovery method   nitrogen can obtain miscibility with oil but at a much higher pressure  than co2 and nitrogen is always available   where ?   in the air of course silly   but it has to be separated out   cryogenically   and that takes about 1 mcf of natural gas to produce 1 mcf of nitrogen     now in some cases air is deliberately injected into and oil reservoir as an enhanced recovery technique  ie fireflooding ( but again it is not really "fire"  but combustion)  the combustion generates heat and gases which in theory displace to oil and results,hopefully, in increased recovery
Exactly, it would be disasterous to inject air into an oil well to keep the pressure up. Nitrogen however is a different matter. That is what Mexico did. So it all comes down to which is cheaper, nitrogen or natural gas. I have no idea what it costs to seperate the oxygen from the atmosphere and harvest the nitrogen. I know nothing about gas seperation technology.

Ron Patterson

Thanks, Elwood. The reason that gas is injected into the gas cap is to keep the oil from expanding into the sands in the cap. Oil always surrounds the little particles of rock in the reservoir stone, and if it expands in the gas cap about 70% of the oil can't be economicially produced. Pressure maintainence is a very complicated petroleum engineering subject and guys spend their whole working lives implementing and studying the production.
   Hopefully that completes the answer to your question.
The reason that gas is injected into the gas cap is to keep the oil from expanding into the sands in the cap.

Damn, first time I ever heard that one. Of course I am not an oilman so there is a lot about oil production that I do not know. I had no idea that capstones could be made of sandstone. I thought that was what reservoirs were made of. That and limestone.

I guess I learn something every day. But I am puzzled. Originally the gas was not seperated from the oil. That only happens when the pressure drops. What kept the original oil from the sandstone reservoir from escaping into the sandstone above the reservoir? The sandstone capstone if you will.

Ron Patterson

Damn, first time I ever heard that one. Of course I am not an oilman so there is a lot about oil production that I do not know. I had no idea that capstones could be made of sandstone. I thought that was what reservoirs were made of. That and limestone.

What I think he meant was don't let the oil move into that part of the sandstone that is occupied by the gas. The cap rock is above the gas cap and seals the hydrocarbons in place. The gas cap is that part of the hydrocarbons above the oil.

Hey, gas injection is to increase the pressure in the reservoir. The pressure falls as you extract gas and oil from the reservoir and production falls off. You inject gas to get the pressure back up and production back up.

That is what it is for pure and simple. Oil is pushed out by pressure. Otherwise you must put in down hole pumps. Pressure is much better and much more productive.

Ron Patterson

Uh: I didn't say anything about pressure or gas injection. I was simply explaining the geometry of the production zone.
Now I see that elwood has done a fine job of explaining it. I keep forgetting everyone is not familiar with the oil field.

Heading Out, wrote quite a large number of posts on FF technology over a year ago, covering everything about your questions and much much more. Its all still available under HO's archives. I would advise every one that has not spent their life in the oil field to go back and read them.

darwinian,  i hope i can offer some clairification without additional confusion   oil reservoirs are either what we call "black oil"  or  volitile    black oil is not necessarily black in color(it can be green for example)   but a "black oil" in theory consists of a liquid phase made up of heavier components,c7+,  and disolved methane   when the oil is produced to the surface and separated   the oil goes to the stock tank and the gas is sold or flared or reinjected into the reservoir.  A reservoir without a gas "cap" is also called undersaturated   if there is more gas than the oil can disolve at its pressure and temperature it is called saturated and  a gas "cap" or gas leg will be present   we refer to this as a primary gas "cap"     in an undersaturated reservoir as the pressure depletes   a saturation point is reached and gas evolves from the oil and forms a separate gas phase  if the pressure depletes further  additional gas will evolve and form a continuous phase in the pore space and eventually become mobile   at this point the producing gas/oil ratio will begin to increase   if the reservoir is steeply dipping and with sufficient permeability   the gas will migrate to the top of the reservoir and form a "secondary" gas "cap"    if  the oil zone's pressure is depleted at a higher rate than the gas "cap"  the gas "cap" ( i know you are getting tired of my incessant quotes around "cap" but the reason will soon become obvious) will naturally expand and displace oil   however if the gas "cap" depletes faster than the oil reservoir    bad news  the oil will expand into the gas "cap" as an immobile phase and be lost  the term gas "cap" is not the same as capstone (usually shale or salt) aka caprock  watch for elwoods exciting discussion next week ***  volitile oil****    
Sometimes I type ahead of my thought. A reservoir is sealed at the top by an inpenetrable layer of rock, generally shale. The reservoirs are devided in a solution gas drive into a ags containing segment with an oil containing segment underneath the gas which also has gas in solution in the oil.
  As the pressure is released by production the gas in the oil sand expands driving the oil into the well and also into the gas above the oil. This invasion of the gas cap is wasteful and thats why there is pressure maintainence.
  A water drive reservoir has a layer of water under the oil and gas. The water also expands, but water flows more easily through rock than oil, so the water can reach the well bore and invade the well. And, once that happens the well can leave large pockets of unproduced oil behind. A new well must be drilled or the bottom of the perforations squeezed with cement to shut off the water invasion.
  At any rate thats what production engineers figure out and try to regulate. Its one of the big reasons that State regulatory commissions like the Texas Railroad Commission aor the Louisiana Conservation Commission assign allowables to wells and fields.
  Hope thats a little more clear. Its not ny area of expertise, but I've been in the oil patch over 30 years and hope I've explained it better.
O plus C plus H = water and carbon dioxide.    We'd like to keep the O away...

In cantrell, they are using Nitrogen gas.   One of the 'buy silver' websites 3 years ago (was it 3?!?!) mentioned that 40% of the WORLD production of Nitrogen gas was being pumped into that one field.  (now it could have been 40% of the gas production in Mexico.)

40% of the world production in one place.   40% of the worlds production (investing energy to make that pure N2) to extract oil.  

Hence the 'going off the cliff' posts of westexas and others have a point.

Just stoppped by (most efforts this week on New Orleans planning and trying to influence more streetcar lines).

Hothgar, if your totals include gas that is produced with oil and then reinjected to maintain pressure (again & again, Prudhoe Bay is an ideal example, no NG has ever been exported off lease from there) then your point is completely invalid.

As this has been pointed out to you before, then it would be deliberate deception.  If your totals do not include lease gas reinjected or used for oil production on lease, then my suspicions are unwarranted in this case.

If you would like to make a positive contribution to post-Peak Oil (which, IMHO, your current efforts are not doing), my offer for collaboration on non-transportation uses of oil still stands.

Best Hopes for your intentions,


Actually, only a portion of this natural gas is re-injected into oil fields to shore up pressure.  Gas is extracted and commercialized in the form of NGL and it's used throughout NA.  You can spin it all you want, but those numbers only include the gas that was delivered, not pumped :)
The Texas RRC only shows gas that is transported off a producing lease as "gas production."   This number is very similar to what the EIA refers to as net dry gas.

The data can be found here:  http://www.rrc.state.tx.us/divisions/og/statistics/production/ogisgpwc.html

Texas NG production peaked in 1972, the same time as oil, and while we saw a bump from the Barnett Shale, we are still 40% below our 1972 peak.

Gas is extracted and commercialized in the form of NGL
NGL (natural gas liquids) is not the same as LNG (liquified natural gas).
Some NGLs (eg. pentanes) are liquids at normal pressures and temperatures. So it doesn't make sense to include these in natural gas production statistics.

Actually, only a portion of this natural gas is re-injected into oil fields to shore up pressure
You are clearly implying here that some is re-injected, and when you say 'this' you are presumably refering to your 'total gas'. Then you say
You can spin it all you want, but those numbers only include the gas that was delivered, not pumped :)
which clearly implies that none of the 'total gas' you are talking about is re-injected. So which is it?

Do you have a credible link to back up your claims about re-injection, or at least one of them, since they appear to contradict each other.

um   we dont generally speak of gas as being "pumped"   gas is "compressed"   you talk a good game to those not familiar with actual oil and gas operations    but come on now  you really dont have any experience in oil and gas now do you ?    
I should also note that at some point in the future, the amount of oil energy we get out of a field will be far less then the NG energy we put into the field.  At that point, these fields become complete NG producers.
Hothgor: About a year ago, long before you appeared on the seen, I think it was HO Heading Out, wrote quite a large number of posts on FF technology, covering everything from coal mining to open hole wireline logging. Perhaps you could take a few days off and call up the archives and read these posts.

I did not notice a citation of a source for your data. If I missed it, my bad.  If not, what is the source of your data?

Somehow I don't thonk we'll get an answer to this one.
where did you get that gas wells decline at 5-6 times the rate of oil wells ?
elwood, I think he got that as a purposeful misunderstanding of the Red Queen thread yesterday. I question where a person who is as ignorant of the oil patch gets such sophisticated graphs and figures which he then misrepresents and refuses to attribute. Thats why I think he's a paid troll meaning to disrupt this site.
oilmanbob,    paid by lee raymond ?


I have a question on that one....why would Hothgar be considered "disruptive" when on TOD the editors have republished essays and stats from the likes of Daniel Yergin and CERA and other "cornucopians", and then been able to answer them in full measure without that being a disruption?

I have full faith in the ability of Westexas and the others who are obviously well experienced in the oil patch (as I am not, so I am already learning a thing or two about gas and oil production methods I didn't know!) to defend themselves and they seem to be doing o.k.

By the way, as a bigger question, if U.S. nat gas production has done so well, why then have we been so relient on Canada for imports, and spent such great effort in offshore nat gas production?  (It was Matt Simmons who pointed out that without offshore increases in production, we would already be up a creek because U.S. onshore production has fallen like a brick!)

Roger Conner  known to you as ThatsItImout

China's population planning may lessen degree of overshoot?


China would be willing to provide "population management training and contraceptive supplies" to developing countries, the report said.



On the lighter side, perhaps opting for an orchiectomy as a matter of reducing population growth will have the side benefit of making for fewer tax scofflaws.


Dancing and singing eunuchs are knocking on doors in the Indian city of Patna in a bid to embarrass shopkeepers into paying their taxes.

"Some paid in cash, while others quickly wrote cheques. The shock therapy, which we plan to use sparingly, was a grand success,"

According to one article, eunuchs are known for "extreme stubbornness".  They are also thought to have occult powers.


http://today.reuters.co.uk/news/articlenews.aspx?type=oddlyEnoughNews&storyID=2006-11-10T093059Z _01_DEL30254_RTRIDST_0_OUKOE-UK-INDIA-ODD-EUNUCHS.XML&WTmodLoc=HP-C13-Oddly-2

An article in yesterday's Wall Street Journal tells of Big Oil's coming advertising campaign.

The Oil Industry Calls on an Image Expert
(for subscribers)

The American Petroleum Institute, the oil-and-gas industry's Washington-based trade group, says its new campaign is a broader effort to "educate" consumers and policy makers about how the energy industry works.

Here is the punchline of the article, the real reason for the "education" campaign:

"... there is just a driving, overwhelming desire" by Americans "for the industry to start diversifying" beyond fossil fuels.

These feelings will be exploited in order to promote the legislative agenda, which is less taxation and more drilling. "We will spend what's necessary to achieve the objective," said Red Cavaney, president of the API.

The article gushes about the agency's past successes in manipulating the government's food pyramid, quashing legislation against plastic cups and diapers, and increasing sales with "Got Milk?". For me, it really crystallized the idea of "manufacturing consent", indoctrinating the general public in order to achieve a result in Congress.

I for one think an education program is a good idea. The American Petroleum Institute is a big oil funded lobbying group though, and does not represent independents at all. One of the better purposes I see on TOD is its educational aspect. I know I try to give an honest, informative answer to anyone asking a question, and so do many other people here.
Eric Blair where are you?


Good article on iron fertilizer.


Touches on the Iron cycle in the ocean.


And a nice article with good sat photos....


The ocean fertilizing is way controversial as to side effects.  The possibilities of organic matter sinking only to be belched up as methane exist. However if the carbon sinks and is converted to methane a large percent at the pressure and temp should stay there. Also if you quit fertilizing the effect goes away rapidly.  I still say proper management of fisheries is the route to go, but this line of thought with the iron deserves research.  An added benefit is the phytoplankton bloom and resulting krill fish population explosion.  I am still looking for another article (I have not read on this subject in several months) a guy proposed a "drip" style fertilizing of the gulf stream in GOMEX to benefit New England and Arctic sea waters with more fish.  Check out the links.


Oh yeah.....

Plant trees they reduce CO2 gauranteed no side effects.

The dynamics of phytoplankton blooms are poorly understood. Iron is not the only nutrient which limits populations. Diatoms, which make up almost half of the primary productivity chain, require silicon to make their cellular walls.

Recently, so-called Dead Zones have been occuring closer to shore, and for longer durations, possibly due to global warming. These occur following algae blooms and subsequent dieoffs as the sinking corpses are digested by bacteria, using up oxygen.

IMO, this idea is not much better than "sequestering" CO2 underground, only to have it leak out over 100 years.

Personally, I've become much more enamored with Terra Preta for possible CO2 remediation.


I think the deadzones are more of a phosphate problem and they occur close to shore because the phosphates are there duu to agricultural runnoff.  

OTOH the iron concept is for deep sea and could easily be done in minute difuse amounts. Just put a small spreader on all US flagged vessels.  Have GPS satellites turn on and off the spreaders based on location and have the spreaders filled whenever in port.  The Iron is cheap, compared to the possible benefits.

Terra preta looks interesting, I'll read more and discuss after I can comment. Matt

The Dead Zones that form at river deltas (Mississippi, for instance) do result from ag runoff. The one off the Oregon coast does not.
As I recall there were experiments done 5-10 years ago where large amount of iron was seeded by aircraft over an area of the South pacific (not far from NZ) by scientists - the subsequent blooms took up large amounts of carbon - however I dont recall hearing follow up to this work; there were problems identified at the time with what seemed an excellent means of carbon fixation on a large scale.
Eric Blair where are you?

I'm here.   Just been busy.

I'll comment on the iron/ocean stuff after I've digested the no prion in fish link.   Fish would be 'better' for prions due to a lack of nerve tissue anyway...

Thanks for that pointer....most of the stuff I had read a few years ago were that prions were transerable to fish also.

I still say proper management of fisheries is the route to go

Again, given mans histroy of 'wildlife management', I don't know why you feel its gonna work.

Plant trees they reduce CO2 gauranteed no side effects.

Unless you somehow lock that CO2 back up, it will just go back into the air.   Buildings MAY have a 100+ year lifespan, wood-do-dads like bowls, furnature, baskets, how long before that C ends up back as CO2.

Terra Preta has been dated as 1700-2260 old.   It looks like the method of making biochar and buring it would put that carbon out of the air for 100's of years and provide a benefit for plants.  (and therefore for people)

(and again, thanks for the prion-fish info ... more info for me to research.)


the key to cutting the prion life cycle is not making a loop in the food chain.  1 in 100,000 animals naturally mutates a prion.  when it is slaughtered and the bayporducts are ground up and mixed with feed this goes to 100 animals (conservative) they develop prion disorders and when they are slaughtered the feed again infects more animals.  You can see the exponential potential.  Now if you grind an animal up and feed it to catfish, and I am not saying that is the best oprtion for the byproduct (see kalpas link below, as well as organic ertilizer) there is no loop in the chain.

I think terra preta is interesting, I need to read more....

A field of grass or a tree?  I like the tree, but you are right it is a vessel not a permanant sink.  We are all a flash in the pan geologically anyway.

Wildlife management is extremely succesful on land in the south where I am from there are tons of deer and other wild game.  It is the responsibilty of every hunter and citizen as well as the enforcement to play by the rules and conserve.


Another conversion of waste to fuel example

A Swift & Co. beef-processing plant in Grand Island, Neb., will be fueled in part by converting meatpacking waste into methane gas, company officials said Thursday.

The world's second-largest processor of fresh beef and pork said a subsidiary of New Hampshire-based Environmental Power Corp. will build two 1.2 million-gallon anaerobic digesters that will consume animal waste and meat-processing waste to produce the equivalent of about 1.8 million gallons of heating oil.

Microgy Inc. will own and operate the biofuels plant and sell the gas to Swift under a 15-year gas-purchase agreement.

Big Jump in Foreclosures

With Detroit leading the way, not surprisingly.

Detroit led all U.S. metro areas in the percentage of homes entering foreclosure during the third quarter, at more than four times the national average, according to a report released Friday.

The report, by RealtyTrac, an online marketplace for foreclosure properties, also said that the foreclosure rate has spiked, up 17 percent from the previous quarter and 43 percent from a year earlier.

James Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac, attributed the increase to the broad slowdown in home sales and price growth and to the higher monthly payments on adjustable-rate mortgages that are resetting.


The evildoers have just sworn to take the white house and jerusalem.  My kids will fight in this war.


IDF just put preemptive strikes closer on the agenda....

Al Qaeda and the Iranian leaders share a common enemy and a similar vision of the Apocalypse.

The primary difference is the Iranian Leader dresses like a Westerner.  So the culturally naive and insulated Westerners think he is rational.

"SEE," their limbic system tells their cortex, "He looks and sounds just like you so he must be rational (taste, feel and smell do not transmit via television sound bites).

Of course, when a "rag head" says Israel and the US are co-satans it is clear he is a lunatic.

But if he wears a suit... the gullible bigots of the superior and civilized West think he is just kidding.

Thats not my take...I have been calling him crazy forever.  People say I am taking his "wipe israel off the map" out of context.  I am scared for the situation.


I don't think the Iranian president is any more crazy than Pat Robertson.  They take their religions very seriously.

The people who say you are taking what he says out of context are the ones who do not understand the context of the radical islamic culture.  They are the same people who see the Iranian President in a suit and that apparently is all they need to be reassured.

As long as the threat is not on their door step they can continue to blame jews or neighboring Arab countries for the actions of the Radical Islamic Army.  

"First they came for the jews, but i wasn't a jew so I said "Jews are not sustainable..."  

Next they came for the Saudis, but I was not a sunni muslim or an arab so I said, "Let them SMUGGLE ATGMs INTO SAUDI..."

Don't worry, it will probably be years before they actually reach the white house (Europe will pay first for once again choosing  appeasement and cowardice).

Pat Robertson does not control a signifigant portion of the world oil or a large military possibly developing nukes.  

Many people are crazy, just not many people with the ability to impact the lives of every human on earth.

Thank heavens or he would have bombed Venezuela some yrs ago.
Oilrig medic -


I would have to say that most of the people who DO have the ability to impact lives of every human on earth could be described as 'crazy', or at least seriously impaired,  by many objective criteria. Bush and Blair, for starters; then perhaps that funny-looking North Korean guy.

Going back a bit further, neither Hitler, Stalin, nor Mao were too tightly wrapped.

Power attracts a psychotic personality. The more power at stake, the more psychotic the tendency. The psychotic personality tends to look at the 'Big Picture', the 'Grand Vision', and then inextricably intertwines his own ego to that vision, so that for him, the two are one and the same. Hitler was Germany; Germany was Hitler.

It has always amazed me how much leverage a single twisted person in power has to do an extraordinary amount of damage and to cause an extraordinary amount of suffering and total waste.

I think this all gets back to our prehistoric instincts to blindly follow the leader of the tribe.

I'll give you the power corrupting  thing but hitler and mao are orders of magnitude worse than bush and blair.  Irans leader on the other hand.....he scares me.


The Iranian President has little more power in Iran than the Queen of England in her country.  Power resides in the office of the supreme religious leader.

As for wiping Israel off the map, this in my view is the only hope for sustainable peace in the region.  The state of Israel is Hitler's legacy. Zionism was rejected by a majority of Jews until the Shoah.  Even after the Shoah, Jews from Einstein to Rabbi Goldstein opposed and oppose the idea of a Jewish state understanding its corrosive effect on the soul of the Jewish people.  

The decision of Zionists to seek a state in the Middle East preceded Hitler, but interestingly, the founder of modern Zionism at one time proposed Uganda as the candidate for a location for a Jewish state.  Others convinced him that Jews could not be mobilized to support a state that was not linked to the Jewish kingdom of antiquity.

What is needed is a new state, non-religious, pluralistic and democratic. No second-class citizens. Minority rights, including rights for minorities within the Jewish, Muslim and Christian communities need to be enshrined.  Stolen property should be returned or subject to compensation.  Equal access to water for all citizens needs to be ensured.  

"As for wiping Israel off the map, this in my view is the only hope for sustainable peace in the region."

I think the arab community would disagree - as well as many of the moderate muslims.  They fear Iran's ambitions for the region as much as Israel does. Comparisons of today's Iran to Nazi germany are not unwarrented.

What is needed is a new state, non-religious, pluralistic and democratic. No second-class citizens. Minority rights, including rights for minorities within the Jewish, Muslim [,Hindu, Aetheist] and Christian communities need to be enshrined.  Stolen property [stolen by the Nazi's, stolen by the mullahs of Iran, stolen by Halliburton] should be returned or subject to compensation.  Equal access to water for all citizens needs to be ensured.

Yes. Yes.
What a glorious idea.
And let us make a list of all the large scale countiries in which this Utopian egaleterian idea can be enshrined:

  1. Saudia Arabia --I Have a dream. I see little black children and white children walking hand in hand around Mecca in freedom together with their little Indian/Hindu friends and Christian friends and even Aetheists, and yes, the good and fair Muslims of that wonderful and oppulent land allowing all of them to live freely and fairly in a a new Saudian state, non-religious, pluralistic and democratic for all.
  2. Syria --Many jews used to hang around in this welcoming state before (if you get my swinging way of using coded words). Let us bring back the days of glory.
  3. North Korea --This country is teaming with synagouges, churches, places of worship for all who cherish freedom and a morsel of bread.
  4. Iran --Women are especially welcome in this hereland of the free and the brave. Free sewing classes. Bring your Burka in for repair.
  5. Yemen --Right up there on the Amnesty International list of free and fair countries (here)
  6. ???

Surely in our span around the globe looking for Olympian lands in which to enshrine this vision of fairness and freedom for all we must have missed some little tiny country with a population that scales right up there next to the 6.5 BILLION free people of this world. Was it the Royal Dutchy of Fenwick? No. The Falkan Islands? No. Ah, yes, what a coincidence mein franzd; zeh Palestinian area where the few survivors from Das Feurer's final solution managed to escape to. Let us focus our fair and Feuhrer microscope on this one spot and make an exzample of it. Long live democracy. Long live fair and balanced views of the world.

P.S. Why is your saluting Nazi hand making my ass so sore? No wonder the sleeves on your shirt are brown. Can't you take your anti-semetic rantings somewhere else other than TOD? I thought we were here to try to make the world a better place for ALL.

P.P.S. How many orphaned Palestinean children have YOU adopted Mr. Righteous one? Since when did the Palestinean problem become exclusively the problem of Israel? The Lebanese kicked them out. Remember? The Jordanians kicked them out. Remember? They landed on the back porch of Israel's house. And now they are exclusively Israel's problem? Maybe we should let a few million of them immigrate to --??? Where did you say you live again? Is that you land? Or was it stolen from the Native Indians and now must be returned?

US Foreign AId to:

Saudia Arabia - $0
Syria - $0
People's Republic of Korea - $0
Islamic Republic of Iran (with a large Jewish population and one seat in their legisltaure) = $0
Yemen - $0

Isreal - about $100 billion from 1966 to date.  If Camp David promises to Egypt are included, over half of US foreign aid in that period went to support one small nation with a high standard of living.  

Isreal is a US client state that is unlikely to exist without US aid & support, and as such we have much more say, and morally responsibility for their behavior, such as dropping cluster bombs on Lebanon, and all of their other atroctities.

Israel could not have housing all those unpersecuted Russian Jews without an extra $10 billion from the US.  Israel could have absorbed 1 million Palestineans back into their former homes instead of 1 million Russian Jews as one example.  I would rather have financed that population movement than moving Russians south.

Israel has prime and almost exclusive responsibility for the Palestineans.  They just happened to live on the land for 1,900 years that a bunch of Westerners coveted.


Isreal is a US client state that is unlikely to exist without US aid & support, and as such we [USA] have much more say, and morally responsibility for their behavior

From my perch, you appear to have gone to a completely new topic --way off course from my comment.

All the same, let's keep going with your new direction and its underlying thesis, namely:
If country A is not sustainable without support from country B, then country A is a puppet (or "client") of country B and country B is responsible for the behavior of country A.


Let's see how that equation works when applied in a fair and balanced way to the goose as well as to the gander.

Let country A equal America. Yup. Because country A is not sustainable without getting something really really important from country B.

And what is that really really important stuff?

And who is country B?
Why it is Suadia Arabia, the OPEC member that austensibly keeps crude prices low so that the USA can be sustained.

So therefore (... ergo and all that), by your own equation; the USA is a "puppet" (client) of Saudia Arabia. Therefore the USA does the bidding of KSA because without KSA aid, the USA would not survive. And part of the bidding that the USA does to please its KSA masters is to support Israel. This allows Israel to survive so that the royal family of KSA can continue to point their oil-drenched fingers toward Israel as a scape goat so as to divert attention away from all the wonderful things Muslims are doing to Muslims (and to Hindus and to Jews and to Christians) around the world, like let's say, how the Janhjuin Arabs (Muslims) are "cleansing" Chad (in Africa) of Muslim Blacks just like they did in Darfur so that Chadian oil can be "liberated" back to their rightful "owners". But never mind that because our Saudi Masters have commanded us to stare only at Israel and to blame them (the dirty Jew kike Israeli's) exclusively for the Palestineans, you know, the ones that the Jordanians and Lebanese kicked out from Arab soil. All the Arab countries have "cleansed" their hands of the Palestinean problem and now that dirty piece of laundry belongs to Israel and Israel alone. How refreshing. How "cleansing" all this is when it comes out in the wash.

BTW, my original point was that, given the state of the world where there are hardly any  places where Jews can "live", let alone live freely, democratically and be allowed to practice their religion and culture (and that includes Ethiopia, Russia and other places where Jews had to flee from recently long after Nazi Germany, the desire to mantain a "Jewish" state in Israel is understandable. It is not the ideal. But if you want to be an idealist, there are many other tents around the world where you could be sticking your inquisitively "democratic" nose into, like KSA, North Korea, Iran, Iraq, Chad, Darfur, Syria, Lebanon, ... nuff said.

Wrong analysis, so far.

First it is trade (fair or not) that involves $ as well as seciurity.  ISael is just straight aid/gifts.

The US gets oil from canada, Mexico, from our friend Chavez, Nigeria, Algeria, UAE, and so on as wellas KSA.

If teh US supplied only $10 billion of $100 billion in aid to Isael our influence and repsonsibility would be FAR less than it is.

But we pay for Israeli pilots to bomb civilian infrastructure and civilians with "war crimes" weapons like cluster bombs (leaked DoD memo when we gave clusters to Israel and made them promise to only use them in "unpopulated desert areas"; which Israel promptly broke their promise).

We have a moral responsibility for Israeli actions and the means to stop them (no more US $ or technology).


Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is not crazy. Neither is Pat Robertson. Both have completely consistent belief systems based on their assumptions. Now, you can point out that their assumptions are invalid but that tends to be a much harder beast to nail down sometimes. Both of these people act and speak consistently within the worldview that they possess. What most agnostic westerners fail to realize is that there actually are other worldviews than the one into which they were born and live most of their lives. In one of those worldviews, radical Islam, dying for Allah is a great glory. This makes no sense to us and we call it "irrational" because it is in the worldview that most of us possess. But it is completely rational to someone who holds the radical Islamic worldview. Thus, they mean exactly what they say. Failing to understand this clash of worldviews is the root of many cultural problems and causes both sides to misunderstand one another, sometimes to the point of fatal mistakes.
I think you see the picture clearly greyzone.

Especially the cultural bias and blindness of Westerners who assume all people think "rationally like me" and that no one could think like the radicals of islam.  

That's the reason I compared Ahmadinejad to Robertson -  Robertson being a Western Cultural reference they could relate to and begin to understand the level of fanaticism at work.

BTW, I don't think either are literally crazy.

I also think oilrig medic has good reason to be scared.

Concise, short and full of insight.
Just listening to channel 4 news in the background when I thought I'd heard Maggie Thatcher speaking from the grave. I look around and see that it is Helen Clark the NZ prime Minister. They are talking about food miles. NZ is getting beaten up by UK environmentalists about the carbon cost of transporting Kiwi fruit to the UK. An environmentalist spokeswoman was saying that shipping the fruit in massive container ships to the UK was only slightly worse than flying the fruit to the UK. Obviously she doesn't know about the Oildrum and its discussions on the subject. Nothing like ignorance to make an ill-informed point.
There has been a lot in the press about this here in the NZ - justafiably perhaps as NZ food producers are very concerned about getting negative publicity re:food miles etc.
In their defence NZ producers have come out with a range of statistics maintaining that the food they produce is still less energy intensive than the European produced equivalent (even allowing for the cost of transportation). I do not know how rigorous their analysis has been, and there is of course vested interests at play (European agriculturalists keen to bash upstart kiwi products, the latter keen to protect an important export market. Kiwi farmers are practically subsidy free from what I can understand, but they must still have substantial oil inputs re: machinery etc.
So, Boulder, the SUV capital of America -- and therefore the world -- will impose a carbon tax on residents for electricity use but will not, conveniently enough, put a tax on estimated tailpipe emissions depending on vehicle type. That wouldn't have been too popular. Maybe the measure would have failed.

As a former long-term resident of Boulder, I now admire their hypocrisy from afar instead of close up.

One thing at a time... the fact they are implementing any tax should be applauded, not booed.
People compromise, reality does not.

Well, I will see your Boulder and raise you one San Antonio--where, in the last two months, we have declined to endorse the Kyoto Protocol (the mayor claimed we were "doing most of it anyway"-ho ho ho) and relaxed certain aspects of our already weak tree ordinance. SUV Capitol of the World?  Come here and then tell me that.

I'm as critical of cosmetic efforts as anyone, and I think your last comment is completely correct, but compared to the "active" denial I see  in Texas...I'll take Boulder.

that comment should be added to the list that appear in the upper right part of the site.
Russia reaches agreement with the US over accession to the WTO.

Russia and the United States reached agreement Friday on Moscow's entry into the World Trade Organization and said they hoped to sign a formal deal at next week's summit meeting in Vietnam after finalizing remaining details....

Since oil and gas - Russia's key exports - are rarely subject to protective tariffs, analysts have said the question of Russia's accession is largely symbolic.

Drat - incomplete link. Try this instead.
The IEA is out with this months Oil Market Report They have world oil supply (All Liquids) up 100 kb/d to 85.3 mb/d. However last month they had the oil supply down 185 kb/d to 85.4 mb/d. So the oil supply rose in October to 100 kb/d below where they had it last month.

Actually this means they revised last months figures down by 200 kb/d. They just neglected to point this out. Most revisions these days are down, not up.

Ron Patterson

Thanks for that.

The third graph down, which is a quarter on quarter analysis of total production seems to suggest that Q3 of this year was a new record. Do you think this will be revised down again? At any rate if not it certainly implies the peak in total production (including all the odds and sods they seem to add up) was not in the final quarter of last year or am I mis-reading this?

Just as an addition to that, I see no-one has commented on those Saudi cliams to add 1.5m extra barrels by 2011. Just a couple of comments.

1.Its not too long ago I recall the Saudi's claiming to be able to ramp up to 15mb/d by the mid part of the next decade (or earlier). These numbers seem to be progressively falling

  1. As usual with the Saudis no mention or account is made about what depletion may or may not do to their existing fields - although recently they did admit that depletion did indeed apply to their fields. Just a quick back of the fag packet calculation - if they produce an average of 9.25m b/d this year and say half their production is now subject to depletion (a not unreasonable estimate) of say 5%. By 2010 they would have to replace 900,000 b/d just to stand still.

  2. That would soon eat into the supposid new 1.5m b/d coming on stream by 2010/11 would it not?
if they produce an average of 9.25m b/d this year and say half their production is now subject to depletion (a not unreasonable estimate) of say 5%. By 2010 they would have to replace 900,000 b/d just to stand still.

Andy, you are being far to kind to the Saudis. No, it is not half their production that is declining, it is all their existing fields. And it is not 5%, it is 5 to 12 percent. Or say 8% per year. Anyway the estimate is that they must replace 800,000 barrels of production per year due to depletion. And that is not my estimates but what the Saudis have admitted themselves. And we get this news via the EIA

The pertinent paragraph:

One challenge for the Saudis in achieving this objective is that their existing fields sustain 5 percent-12 percent annual "decline rates," (according to Aramco Senior Vice President Abdullah Saif, as reported in Petroleum Intelligence Weekly and the International Oil Daily) meaning that the country needs around 500,000-1 million bbl/d in new capacity each year just to compensate.

Ron Patterson

Thanks Ron, well I was just trying to be ultra conservative on the part of the Saudis you understand LOL. I had indeed seen that comment  before, I confess, but it always helps to just run a few figures through yourself! You can still come to a very painful conclusion.

I think though that it would be unwise to conclude that ALL their fields ie the total 9.25m production is subject to depletion wouldnt it? There will be some fields that are not falling at this time surely?

As I recall 60% of the Saudi production is from one field,and it is declining. Most of their production is in the same shape and thats why they are investing in a huge drilling program.
  5% to 12% sounds conservative as a depletion rate on their production, but they purposely make the figures opaque because of their internal political situation. The Saud family is only about 5,000 people and are total monarchs. Its a powder keg, and who knows what will happen when the money runs out.
Yes, there is one large field that is not yet declining, Shaybah. Shaybah produces about 500,000 barrels per day and they hope to increase that to 800,000 in two or three years. All other major fields are declining. Of course there may be some tiny fields that have only recently been tapped that have not yet peaked. But the total output from these fields is negligible. Ninety to ninety-five percent of Saudi production is in decline.

Ron Patterson

     What you are saying here I believe must be correct because these types of figures were forecast by an oil industry insider in one of Colin Campbell's newsletters. Note how he forecast in October 2004 that Saudi production would be 9 million in mid 2006. The link is the Nemesis Report at the end of newsletter 46.
A diaryist over at Daily Kos summarizes a talk (http://www.dailykos.com/story/2006/11/10/91641/677) given last night by Kevin Phillips (author of American Theocracy, and originator of Nixon's "Southern Strategy").

Among the topics he discussed, which of course were mainly political, the diarist paraphrases Phillips as saying: "Peak Oil will be a real problem in the next two years. Where is the debate? There isn't any. The experts have discussions, but the major political parties don't, and neither Democrats nor Republicans have laid the groundwork for dealing with the issue seriously."

Phillips is pretty plugged into the political landscape, so I guess it's good news that he "gets it" re: Peak Oil.  Unfortuately, few else do in DC.

Yeah, his book is an interesting mix of peak oil, the social security/medicare mess, and the rise of the religious fundamentalists in politics.
This is perfect - an Apocalypse Now President in Iran and in the United States...

"The next big event was 9/11, and the way Bush coded it for the super religious as a biblical, good v. evil struggle. He says a Newsweek poll showed 45% of Americans believe in the End Times and the Apocalypse and if you look at Bush's constituency, the number is 65%. These people explain what is going on in the Middle East very differently than everyone else."

Thanks uncle toby.

Will the democrats really make any changes

"Democratic victory in the midterm elections on Tuesday has changed the legislative landscape, obliterating the chances that anything close to the drilling bill passed by the House of Representatives will be enacted for years to come."

Democratic victory leaves U.S. oil drilling industry scrambling


I doubt the democrates will make any difference at all.
Call me crazy, but I have this idea (hope) that since GWB is a "super lame duck" (in his last two years plus lost the election and credibility with the Republican faithful), he has little to lose and may want to cement his legacy by preparing the US populace for PO.  Mind you I don't expect it, but I'm prepared to be surprised by a Nixon-opening-to-China gambit.

BTW, why is Cheney completely off the scene since the election?  I mean, is his hunting trip lasting this long?

I had an idea before the Iraq war that maybe Bush was just bluffing about going to war. He only aimed to scare the pants off Saddam Hussein and get him to give up the WMDs if they existed without bloodshed. Of course, he had no masterful plan like that and I doubt he has a master plan to save the world from oil depletion. Perhaps loveoregon and I had a psychological rebellion against conspiracy theorists so we  imagined conspiracies to do good.
Didn't you hear...Cheney and Rove built a big bonfire in South Dakota on one of Cheney's hunting ranches to toast a few secret documents.

Much, much more effective in evidence erradication than shredding.