DrumBeat: November 4, 2006

[Update by Leanan on 11/04/06 at 10:11 AM EDT]

Peak Oil Passnotes: BP and Shell Show Failures of Corporate Model

If it were possible to have never ending economic growth something very difficult would have to happen. Basically we would need a never ending supply of resources and a never ending supply of capacity in which to expand.

These kind of economic neo-classical laws simply do not work and two of the companies who are finding out first are the oil companies Shell and BP.

I posted this article earlier this week, but I wanted to point out the graphic that goes with it. If money talks, it's saying that "oil wars" is the way we're going to respond to peak oil.

Bangladesh: An ordinary citizen

Electricity changes lifestyle. It becomes the right of the consumers that use it. Power outage affects the ordinary consumer the most. Frequent power cuts during the last five years devastated the common man's life. It was a strange phenomenon; instead of improving, the situation deteriorated as the term of the last government was gradually coming to end.

Exxon sees plenty of oil supplies to meet demand

The world is not running out of oil and even with advances in alternative energy, fossil fuels will remain the dominant energy source well into the future, Stephen Pryor, president of Exxon Mobil Refining and Supply Co., said at a conference here Friday.

Draining Canada First

About 25% of the crude oil and 80% of the natural gas imported into the U. S. come Canada. For how long? Not very.

UK 'failed to save gas reserves'

Soaring gas prices in Britain are a symptom of the country's failure to spend its historic North Sea windfall wisely, experts have told Panorama.

Long-term this could mean higher prices for consumers, loss of jobs and even a threat to national energy security, senior industry figures have said.

Some experts believe the industry failed to plan for the current steep fall-off in domestic supplies.

New Zealand: Huge riches buried deep in the south

New Zealand could be transformed into an oil rich nation on the strength of Southland and Otago's recoverable lignite deposits.

A new report says the deposits could also provide most of the country's transport fuel and petrochemical requirements for more than 300 years.

IMF says high oil prices good for Latin America and Caribbean

Venezuelan Opposition Accuses Oil Company President of Illegal Campaigning

Students take algae-to-biofuel project to MIT

Sense of environmental responsibility at vehicle customization event

The most striking example of this was the world debut of the EcoJet concept car (shown above), a one-off collaboration between General Motors and noted speed nut and talk show host Jay Leno. The car, built around a Corvette Z06 aluminum frame, is powered by a 650-hp turbine engine (similar to a helicopter engine) that will rocket the 2,100-pound car off line with 585 pound-feet of torque. The “eco” part of the name comes from the fact that the car will run on biodiesel, a clean-burning fuel derived from renewable resources.

Tidal energy companies staking claims

ANCHORAGE, Alaska - In the quest for oil-free power, a handful of small companies are staking claims on the boundless energy of the rising and ebbing sea.

The technology that would draw energy from ocean tides to keep light bulbs and laptops aglow is largely untested, but several newly minted companies are reserving tracts of water from Alaska's Cook Inlet to Manhattan's East River in the belief that such sites could become profitable sources of electricity.

The world's dwindling oil supply and you

The most valuable thing citizens can do to prevent the potentially catastrophic results of reaching the limits of oil production is vote in the Nov. 13 municipal election, says a former Hamilton school teacher who is spreading the word on Peak Oil.

Energy War: a documentary that aired on Dutch TV. It's in Dutch, but the interviews are in English (with Dutch subtitles).

I think this may be part of Thomas Friedman's Addicted To Oil series that aired on the Discovery Channel here in the U.S.

[editor's note, by Prof. Goose] Jeff Vail brings us this piece on problems in calculating EROEI and the EROEI of PV solar.

There are only five rail projects in the whole country, and two are in Oregon

Note the difficulty in getting 50% Federal funding - Alan


All Aboard!
Local, state and federal officials break ground on Washington County's (Oregon) $117.3 million commuter rail system

Tigard Times
Oct 26, 2006

By Barbara Sherman

Jaime Valdez / The Times
SOUVENIRS - Tualatin Mayor Lou Ogden (left) and Washington County Commissioner Andy Duyck hold spikes that were removefrom Portland & Western Railroad tracks and handed out to guests at Wednesday's groundbreaking ceremony.


They were there to mark the special occasion, which was 10 years in the making: breaking ground for construction of the 14.7-mile, $117.3 million commuter rail system that is expected to start running in September 2008 between Beaverton and Wilsonville. [Beaverton is hub on Portland OR light rail].

The train will have two stops in Tigard and one in Tualatin.

"What an auspicious day," said Tigard Mayor Craig Dirksen, who kicked off the event.

He introduced Hansen, who said that getting the project to this point took determination and "a bit of stubbornness."

Hansen in turn introduced Brian as "the grandfather of the commuter rail project."

"We've finally arrived at the beginning," said Brian, calling the project a collaborative effort on the part of many agencies and people.

"The smartest thing we ever did was to partner with TriMet," he said. "We'll see you at the end of September 2008."

Wyden joked that in the autumn of even-numbered years, "your elected officials like to bring you good news."

He added that the commuter rail system will bring a higher quality of life to the area and link "suburb to suburb."

"It's high time for this project," Wyden added. "You can't have big-league quality of life with small-league transportation. We have taken your dreams and aspirations and (backed them up in Congress)."

Smith noted that the project has support "from local mayors to the President of the United States."

He pointed out that in the current federal transportation budget, "there are only five rail projects in the whole country, and two are in Oregon -- I-205 light rail and Washington County commuter rail. Our fathers and mothers laid these tracks in an earlier generation, and our children's generation will use it."

Wu said that the project is helping to "build the kind of community citizens want to live in," and Hooley told the crowd that there is a lot of interest from other cities in expanding the system in the future.

"I look forward to two years from now when we get to actually get on the train and ride it 15 miles," she added.

Welcome back Bushue was there to sign a full-funding agreement that provides the federal government's 50 percent match for the project, or about $58.7 million.

"This puts Oregon once more on the leading edge of transportation," Bushue said. "This is one of the few suburb-to-suburb projects around the country.

"Let's sign the contract to get (the funds) out of Washington."

Smith, Wyden and Bushue completed the ceremonial signing of the FTA agreement before Bruce Carswell, president and general manager of Portland & Western, reminded the crowd of the time when the Oregon Electric Railroad was "the epitome of modern transportation" before it stopped service in 1933.

From that point on, the railroad tracks have been used primarily to move freight -- until now, when they will once again be used to ferry people among the four cities and connect them to MAX lines and bus service.

"We're pleased to welcome passenger rail back to this section of Oregon," Carswell said.

With that, all the officials at the podium donned striped railroad caps,
unveiled a large sign marking the project and just like students graduating from high school, tossed them into the air.

Rail work ahead
From Oct. 24 to Nov. 22, a 300-foot-long machine called a P811, towing a dozen track and tie cars that are each about 60 feet long, will slowly move from along the P&W tracks from Wilsonville to Beaverton, chewing up and spitting out the old rails and replacing them with new rails and concrete ties.

The rebuilt rail line will allow the passenger trains to travel up to 60 miles per hour, and freight trails will go even faster.

When commuter rail service starts TriMet projects that by 2020 the self-propelled cars [diesel] built by Colorado Railcar will carry between 3,000 and 4,000 passengers each day during several morning and evening rush hour trips.

Sometimes, it's hard to realise how well the UK (or at least Scotland, at any rate) is doing for rail projects. While it seems to be slow progress, there are a number that are either recently completed, on the go or about to get the go ahead:

Off the top of my head:
Glasgow Airport Rail Link (GARL): http://www.spt.co.uk/garl/

Edinburgh Airport Rail Link (EARL): http://www.earlproject.com/

Stirling-Alloa-Kincardine (SAK): http://www.sakrailway.co.uk

Waverley route reopening: http://www.waverleyrailwayproject.co.uk/

Larkhall reopening: http://www.spt.co.uk/news/story318.html

Edinburgh trams: http://tt.tiedinburgh.co.uk/

Airdrie-Bathgate reopening: http://www.airdriebathgateraillink.co.uk/

It is true, though, that re-opening (other than the Channel Tunnel Rail Link) in England is more sporadic.

The English are different from the Scots. :-))

They are doing very little except the high speed link from London to the Chunnel.   Long time plans in Leeds and another city (forgot) were canceled just as construction was about to start.  Talk of some expansion in London, little else.


Robert recently noted that, based on his analysis of inventory and import data, oil prices are probably going back up.  After looking at the data, I agree with Robert.  BTW, I have been predicting a renewed bidding war for declining net oil exports in the fourth quarter for some time.

I have been using late December, 2005 as my "Index" month for both total world crude + condensate (C+C) production and for total US petroleum imports (12,867 mbpd on a four week running average).

So far this year, 67% of the weekly numbers (four week running average) are below the 12/05 index number.  Last year through the same time period, only 7% of the weekly numbers were below the 12/04 index number.

My Export Land model, which was largely based on prior work by Matt Simmons, predicted that net oil exports would fall faster than overall production falls, because of rapidly rising consumption in the exporting countries and because of the basic math that an exporting country tends to export what is left over after domestic consumption is met.  This positive feedback loop is compounded in many areas because of subsidies for gasoline prices.  

BTW, the "down" total US import cycles (below the 12/05 Index import number) are as follows:

1/06 to 5/19

7/07 to 7/28

9/29 to 10/27

(10/27 is the last data point)

I fully realize that there are refinery maintenance issues, but on the other hand (C+C) production and exports worldwide are clearly falling.  Robert is arguing they are falling because of reduced demand, but overall consumption (at least in the richer countries) seems to still be rising (albeit more slowly).  I argue that production and exports are permanently falling because of depletion.  

To argue that we are not past the conventional C+C peak, one has to assert that the world is not going to show the same declines that the Lower 48 and the North Sea showed at the same percentage of Qt (based on the HL model), even as the "early returns" show declining world C+C production.

I guess my question is, if two vastly different regions such as the Lower 48 and the North Sea, show the same production decline, upon arrival at 50% of Qt, why would we expect to see the world to show a different pattern upon arriving at 50% of (C+C) Qt?  Especially since the "early returns" show production declines.

Its interesting that when you factor in the last 3 years, the recovery amount extends another 800 or so billion barrels out. Hmmmmm...
Two comments:

  • The recent growth (2003-2005) is mainly due to growth in the NGPL and other liquid categories, not in the Crude Oil + condensate category.
  • The line pointing toward an URR at 3Tb is using only 3 points :).
If you include the last 3 years with the red line, you get very close to 3 Tb.  Using just the last 3 years, you get it around 3.25 Tb.
Hothgor - I think the Lahere 2006 is ridiculous optimistic (in the first place it is only based on 3 points, which  I believe Westexas points out), because I believe it is based principally on spare capacity getting switched on - and that doesn't actually add to your reserves atall (though have to bow to Khebab's more detailed knowledge on this matter) - but what this means is that the pre 2003 data are not seeing the full picture either.  I think reality will lie somewhere inbetween, best guess 2300 - 2500 Gb - giving a peak year around 2012 - assuming peak occurs at 50% of URR - which I very much doubt will happen.

I also liked your Ill Doomer post yesterday - may work this into The Carniverous Petrolhead.

I am not a Doomer - all Doomers are far too optimistic for my liking.

Absolutely correct.  Annual supply would have to drop to 76-mbd from today's 86-mbd to bring it back to the former trend line.  Jean Laherrere has discovered that we are in a new paradigm.  Over the last two years, he and Campbell have discovered that our scrutiny of their results means that the integrity of "their data sets" has become more important than their previous "bias" on Peak Oil.  Others that want to be ambassadors of PO are more self serving and sell their souls by offering tainted and old data to make their points ... affectionately known as book whores.

I agree.  The way production has turned out over the last couple of years, it helps to paint a much more accurate picture of our total oil reserves, a point I hope westexas will acknowledge in the future.  His current predictions are based on old data that ignores these last 3 years of production.  To truly be accurate, you have to look at the whole picture.

Cry Wolf.  I will say that I have to agree with you on your peak time, but with a little modification.  Due to some of the giant fields not coming online these last 2 years, and the fact they are being pushed back another year or so, I think the peak is going to be somewhere around 2014 in regards to C+C, or just 2 years after what your saying.  At this point, thats hardly a reason to debate over.

However, what should be debated over is when we start including unconventionals into the bigger picture.  I think we need to discuss peak oil in terms of TOTAL liquids produced, and not based on classical conventional approaches.  After all, its only a matter of time before the unconventional oil becomes a very conventional source.

Oh, and I'm glad you liked my Ill Doomer post :P

Hothgor - my weighted mean preference is actually 2012±3 - and you are right - not worth arguing over.
'Book Whores'? Last time you posted here you were going on about 'Nazi Popes'. I wonder whats behind door number three.

Hopefully the asylum where you live, will cut your internet access.

Khebab, I'd always assumed that part of this "dog leg up" was related to spare capacity being brought on.  Bringing on spare capacity of course does not add to your URR - but hidden in all of this are some of the limitations of HL.
Earlier today here:


I said I was to consult Khebab on application of the parabolic fractal law to KSA production.  So his swift response was - already done,  see here:


I feel as though I've been arguing till I'm blue in the face here:


to be cautious about writing KSA off too early.  KSA and UK production histories may have much in common, in terms of non-linear, political-economic control over production histories.

I there anyone out there who doesn't agree that the HL for the UK and modelled HL for KSA have a lot in common?

Matt - assume a silly name and come and talk to us!

Data always beats theories. 'Look at data three times and then come to a conclusion,' versus 'coming to a conclusion and searching for some data

Matt Simmons

Cry Wolf, if your going to use that quote, you have to be fair and use these:

"It was all lack of data that people are more worried about."  Matt Simmons
"We basically live in a world of uncertainty."  Matt Simmons

"The lack of transparency keeps us all in a fog."  Matt Simmons

"Relying on media reports and outdated reports is a very dangerous thing to do."  Matt Simmons
(all quotes from Matt Simmons speech at ASPO-USA conference, Boston MA, October 26 2006)
In other words, what good does it do to look at the data three times if the data is garbage and not to be trusted?  As the computer folks like to say,
GIGO, Garbage In, Garbage Out.  Everyone is now realizing that there simply ARE NO RELIABLE NUMBERS TO BUILD A CASE ON.  It's all guesswork.

Roger Conner  known to you as ThatsItImout

Roger - some good points, I  just lifted the quote off PG's post the day before - so I'll pass this mild slap on the wrist on to him. However...


I don't necessarily agree with this - the UK DTI and Norway NPD publish superb data bases - but then go on to distort the presentation of the data.  And I think Khebab did a great job of applying methodology to imperfect KSA data - sure there are uncertainties and limitations and folks just need to be aware of that.

I don't like data being ignored, cherry picked and missrepresented.

Cry Wolf,

To quote you,
"I don't like data being ignored, cherry picked and missrepresented."

True.  And likewise with words.  This is one area that I often find myself in sympathy for Matthew Simmons (as much as it is possible to have "sympathy" for a billionaire investment banker! :-), and even, heaven forbid, Daniel Yergin, in that if they make a 30 minute speech, all parties will pick out the three or four most useful sentences to their cause, and run with it as an endorsement of their whole position.  We all know that in human communication, there are four parts:
"What I said, what I intended for you to hear, what you thought I said, and what you wanted to hear."

Roger Conner  known to you as ThatsItImout

I there anyone out there who doesn't agree that the HL for the UK and modeled HL for KSA have a lot in common?


I think that you will agree that the prior swing producer, Texas, is a better model for the current (or more accurately IMO, last) swing producer, KSA.    In the link above, Khebab did HL plots of Texas, Lower 48, KSA and the world.  

I think that you will agree that the more discrete the producing region or sub-basin, the noisier the data set gets.  For example, the Texas HL plot is clearly noisier than the Lower 48 plot.   Along the same theme, the UK HL (sub-basin) plot is clearly noisier than is the total North Sea HL plot:  http://static.flickr.com/67/158784886_5c7a813465_o.png

My reasoning for showing Texas separately from the Lower 48 plot was that Texas controlled the world price of oil from about 1935 to 1970, when it was replaced by KSA.  

Note that Texas peaked later than the Lower 48, relative to Qt (I assume because of its status as a swing producer).  However, Texas has had a steeper post-peak decline rate than has the Lower 48 overall.   So, it appears that when a region peaks later than 50%, the post-peak decline rate is steeper than those regions which peak at 50%.  I think that we are seeing a similar situation in the North Sea, regarding the UK versus total North Sea.

The UK is clearly a noisy data set for several reasons I suppose.  Among others is the Piper Alpha accident.  In any case, in the absence of compelling reason, I am puzzled as to why one should use a sub-basin area like the UK, instead of the entire region, the North Sea.

The Oil & Gas Journal published a fairly bizarre article earlier this year that purported to show that the Hubbert method did not work by applying the method to certain basins within the Lower 48.  Note that the author was attempting to show that Hubbert was wrong by focusing on discrete areas, while the overall Lower 48 continued to decline--as predicted by Hubbert (and the HL model).

We need to keep in mind that the primary purpose of the HL method is to estimate the area under the curve, or Qt.   For a number of reasons, the peak may not be right at 50%  in some areas (swing producers, accidents, political problems, etc.), but the method appears to be pretty accurate regarding cumulative production, which seems to be demonstrated by the ongoing rapid decline in North Sea oil production.  

Khebab has demonstrated the accuracy of the HL method by accurately predicting the post-1970 Lower 48 cumulative production and the post-1984 Russian cumulative production (using only Lower 48 production data through 1970 and Russian data through 1984).

A key question is:   what is the best model for the world and KSA?  I respectfully submit that the best models are the Lower 48 and Texas.  As predicted by the HL method and by these historical analogues, we are seeing C+C production declines worldwide and in KSA.  

Finally, I continue to be somewhat puzzled by the number of oil and gas people who are expecting rising oil production when we know that three of the four super giants are declining or crashing.  The only question is Ghawar, where we have various reports that production is down and that the water cut may be up to 50%.  In any case, as a percentage of OOIP, Ghawar is now at about where Yibal started crashing--just as Shell was gearing up the surface production facilities to handle an expected flood of new oil.  

The absolutely best case for Ghawar is that the field is producing one barrel of water for every two barrels of oil--in a field that has already been redeveloped with horizontal wells.  IMO, all four of the current super giant one mbpd and larger fields are all declining or crashing.

Sorry, the Lower 48/Texas article was down the thread:   http://www.energybulletin.net/16459.html
         How can the water cut not be over 50% when water injection was 4 million barrels per day in 1981 with oil output of 5 million, compared to probably less than that now and water injection of 9.5 million barrels per day?  
Down under,

I agree with you that the Ghawar water cut is probably over 50% and I think that the field is crashing.  

Depending on what the Saudis were actually producing of late, their total production will be down by between 600,000 bpd and 1,000,000 bpd at the end of this year versus last year, while oil prices have been in a record high (nominal) range.  However, the conventional wisdom is that the decrease in production is "voluntary."  IMO, it's voluntary in the same sense that Texas has cut its production by 75% since 1972, because we couldn't find buyers for all of our oil.

I am not really puzzled when cornucopians who don't understand oil reservoirs extrapolate virtually infinite reserves, but I am puzzled when oil and gas insiders are not concerned when the top two super giant oil fields, which at least at one time accounted for 10% of world C+C production, are almost certainly both declining or crashing.

Perhaps the oil/gas insiders are concerned about it, but do not wish to show it publicly.
As I previously pointed out, when one uses a more appropriate vertical scale for the HL plot, the "anomaly" on Laherrere's total liquids plot disappears.  I also pointed out that, in my opinion, the plot is a misrepresentation of the data.  A truncated vertical scale does not begin to capture the earlier data points.

In our work, I think that Khebab used a consistent 20 on the vertical scale.  You can find our work by searching authors for Jeffrey Brown on the EB.  

Note that the actual post-1970 Lower 48 cumulative production was 99% of what the HL model predicted it would be, using only data through 1970 to predict post-1970 cumulative production.  The Lower 48 model (to date) therefore suggests that Deffeyes' estimate of 1,000 Gb of remaining conventional worldwide C+C recoverable reserves is on the order of 99% accurate.  And as previously noted, as predicted worldwide C+C production is declining.

Translation: When you manipulate the scale of a HL to anything that I don't personally use, its absolutely 100% wrong!

"Repeat broken record token response"

As I noted above, Laherrere is implying that the earlier data points fall within the vertical P/Q range.  They do not.  I don't know how much more clearly I can state this fact.

As best that I can tell, Khebab does not show data points that do not fall within the limits of the graph.

IMO, Laherrere needs to either correct the plot to only show the data points that fall within the graph, or change the vertical scale so that he can accurately portray the earlier data.  In my opinion, his HL plot is a misrepresentation of the data.

Khebab's total liquids plot can be seen in the following article:  http://www.energybulletin.net/16459.html

A Request for Help With our Friend Hothgor

Hothgor seems to have planted himself on TOD as a resident Cornucopian.  I have no problem with that, but I do have a problem with people making (either through commission or omission, I will assume the latter) material misrepresentations of the data.  (I have an ongoing discussion with Robert about US import data, but we don't disagree as to what the data points are.)

A case in point was Hothgor's erroneous proclamation that US natural gas production peaked 30 years later than oil production--as part of his thesis that natural gas (via LNG) would save us.  The US natural gas assertion was simply not true.  Net natural gas delivered to industrial and residential consumers in the US peaked in 1973, three years after oil production peaked.  In addition, a recent EB article on LNG completely contadicts his LNG point.  

In any case, I really do have a day job, and while I have been catching up on TOD postings, I can't be everywhere.  My request is that people closely monitor Hothgor's (and my) continued postings for accuracy.

I should add that Hothgor acknowledged his mistake regarding natural gas.
If I recall, I asked you to prove how the 'shadow gas' was in fact reused gas when the US, and NA in general has still been producing increasing quantities of NG for the past 30 years.  I pointed out that your 2 + 2 = 3 statements obviously smelled of something...
Go to the following website:  http://tonto.eia.doe.gov/dnav/ng/ng_prod_sum_dcu_NUS_a.htm

The natural gas that is transported off producing leases, which is the only thing that counts, is shown at the bottom.  Click on annual at the top.  You will find the history at the lower right hand corner.

US natural gas production which was transported off producing leases peaked in 1973, three years after oil production peaked.

A good deal of the reported "gross" production is continuously recyled gas cap gas that is counted several times, especially at Prudhoe Bay.  It has no meaning.  As the oil leg at Prudhoe Bay, between the expanding gas cap and the rising water leg, has thinned, I'm sure that the gas production rate has increased--leading to increased reported "gross" production rates.  This is the same situation that we see at Ghawar and Cantarell, where the remaining oil column is between a rapidly rising water leg and an expanding gas cap.

From the EIA:

1973:  U.S. natural gas production reached a record-high of 21.7 trillion cubic feet before starting a long period of decline.
Well then, that makes more sense.  You couldn't have posted something like this in the past?  I would like to point out one thing though.  NA and Europe/Russia have historically been the primary users of NG, which Japan being the new 'mega consumer' if you will.  For the rest of the world, the vast quantities of NG has had no use thus far, and potentially remains a very large volume to be exploited over all.

Yet you have consistently stated that NG will peak very shortly.  Why is this?

Also, how does Jack-2 factor into this.  I suspect its mostly NG to begin with simply form its depth.  Could we surpass our old peak simply with this find from a NG stand point?

Yet you have consistently stated that NG will peak very shortly.  Why is this?

I think that I said that a recent EB article warned of a possible near term world gas peak.  The article also went on to say that expectations of LNG supplies for the US are considerably overestimated.

The ultra deep stuff has a lot of possiblities, but there are huge technical hurdles.  

The nonconventional gas plays are going to be money makers for decades to come, but they are expensive and have relativly low average production rates.  IMO, they will serve to slow the rate of decline of total US natural gas production, in much the same way that I expect nonconventional oil production to slow, but not reverse the decline of total oil production.

"If we build it, will they come"


Of course, as I have consistently stated, its really retarded that Americans feel they need to heat/cool their entire homes.  Why use any NG when a space heater accomplishes the same thing at a fraction of the cost :P
Looooove my space heater! I set it to blow in my direction, much cheaper to run than that big wall heater - that think just looks scary.

Cheaper still might be, if you're sitting at your computer desk for a while etc., why not use something like a Widder 'lectric vest? Motorcyclists use them, keep ya warm and you can use even less heater, maybe none at all.

This is probably not a very good place to ask this question, but here goes anyway.

Where can I find good "net natural gas" statistics?

I have looked at EIA website, but nothing sticks out at me.

I live in Michigan, USA and fear natural gas interruptions in the future years.

Thanks in advance,

Thanks for the link.



Once more, I get to the chance to push an absolutely great free small book, in the form of the NPC (National Petroleum Council "Balanced Options" report.

Go to http://www.npc.org

Go down the page, and under reports, to the "Natural Gas" tab.  You wil see a report, the first one listed, title "Balancing Natural Gas Policy -Fueling the Demands of a Growing Economy (2003)  Scroll down the page to the report
"Volume I, Summary of Findings and Recommendations, presents the NPC's findings and recommendations supported by an overview of the data and analyses developed in the study."  Download the PDF.  If you are on dial up, it will take a while (I started it downloading one night and went to bed) but it is free and one of best longer term views of natural gas in North America, fascinating, and with some of the biggest names in the gas industry involved.

By the way, if your interested in the future of LNG, go to report V,
"Volume V, Transmission and Distribution Task Group Report and LNG Subgroup Report, contains an analysis of potential new infrastructure and the maintenance of existing infrastructure developed by three subgroups: Transmission, Distribution, and Storage. Also included in this volume is the report of the LNG Subgroup."  Absolutely free, and fascinating.

The long and short of it:  It is going to be a close call all the way, but warm winter weather could do what it did last winter again and give us a short term surplus of natural gas.  Prices then collapse, and investors walk away from pipelines, LNG facilities and new drilling.  At some point, we will have a "super-winter" and be caught completely unprepared.  It could be deadly.

Roger Conner  known to you as ThatsItImout

Thanks for the link Roger.  I have broadband, so I now have lots of good reading.


westexas -

Re: Quality of oil and gas production and inventory data.

I found your recent debate with Mr. Rapier over whether we are or are not at peak oil yet to be very interesting, though I haven't yet formed my own opinion on the question one way or the other.

As much of the material presented at TOD involves various sorts of plots of oil and gas production and inventory data, and projections developed thereof, I'd like to get a better idea of the origin of such data, how it is collected, and what sort of confidence level one can have in the data.

It appears that much of the data comes from various governmenal and international energy agencies. It would appear that they in turn have to obtain the data from either national oil companies or the large multinational public companies.

 A question I have is: how do they get this data?  In other words, is it strictly a self-reporting sort of system where the companies agree to supply the agencies with production and inventory figures, which are then simply taken from one piece of paper and put onto another?

My second question, flowing from the first, is what sort of verification process (if any) is in place to check on the completeness and accuracy of the figures presented?  It the whole thing strictly on the honor system, or is there some sort of auditing process?  For the publically-traded companies, does this overlap into various SEC filings, for which there can be serious criminal penalties for filing false information?  Is there any penalty for supplying fasle information to say the IEA?

One of the reasons I ask these questions is that very often it seems that conclusions are drawn based on small differences between very large numbers. That makes me start to wonder about what confidence level is justified for the various data.

We have already seen how  dodgy oil reserve estimates can be (sometimes more a form of fiction writing than fact), so I am also beginning to wonder how reliable is the production and inventory data.

Any insight you or anyone else out there can offer will be most appreciated.

We have already seen how  dodgy oil reserve estimates can be (sometimes more a form of fiction writing than fact), so I am also beginning to wonder how reliable is the production and inventory data.

As they say, lies, damn lies and statistics.

IMO, the least reliable data are the OPEC reserve estimates.

Probably the most reliable data are the EIA, refinery, inventory and import data.  I believe that the industry is required by law to send the data to the EIA.

In between is a big gray area, which is one of the things that Matt Simmons often complains about.

IMO, the EIA production world production data are reasonably accurate--or hopefully the errors are consistent, or tend to average out with time. I think that Khebab noted that the EIA revisions tend to show lower production with time.  

I do think that the HL method gives us the most objective estimate of Ultimate Recoverable Reserves for a given region--provided that the region is sufficiently mature to show a steady linear progression.  I will say this.  Historically, when the conventional wisdom has differed with the HL method, the HL method has tended to be more accurate, e.g., the Lower 48 and the North Sea.  We are now in a situation where once again the industry conventional wisdom is saying that we have not peaked, while the HL method is saying that we have (at least regarding conventional C+C).

why did you pick the last three yrs ?     if you had chosen the about three yrs previous to that you could have  extrapolated infinite reserves
I didn't pick the last 3 years.  I pointed out that when you INCLUDE the last 3 years, the ultimate recovery amount extends out to about 3100 Gb.  Westexas is using data that DOESNT include the last 3 years, and ergo his statements along the line of 'the world is now at where texas was in 1970' are incorrect.  We clearly are no where near the midpoint, and since the vast majority of regions peak at around 48-52%, we still have a number of years left of production before a crash.

If I had only used the last 3 years, obviously there would be a virtually unlimited supply.  I guess westexas failed to realize that as well :P

your words are one thing and your graph is another
Honestly bro.  If you tried to extrapolate the URR from just the last 3 points, you would effectively get a line that goes to infinity.  The last dash that goes to 3100 Gb is just the previous red line including the last 3 years of production.
i dont believe it   how did you arrive at that fit    was it based on regression or did you just pull it out of the bowells ?

I believe that your data and extensions on oil supply & exports are reasonable. However, consider the following:

Over the past three years there has been an explosion in the sales of small, "so called fuel efficient" cars. Of the 15 million annual car/truck sales assume 7 million were fuel efficient. Over three years that amounts to 21 million vehicles.

The US fleet is 210 million, of which I'd say about 80 million are heavily travelle. I would also assert that small car buying is biased towards those who put on more miles.

For arguments sake if large car ==> small car, fuel efficiency is from 15 mpg to 30 mpg we are saving 50% of 21 million which is 50% of (21/80) or approximately ~10 million cars (I am too lazy to go back to figure out small car or large car) worth of fuel. This is ~12%.

1/2 it - you get 6%. Add 3% for ethanol from corn and you get a 9% gasoline demand reduction.

You say that Oil prodn peaked in Dec 05. Exports falling faster. Perhaps this 9% makes up the difference, since the economy is still moving here
(though not in Bangladesh or poorer parts of AFrica as you point out)

Just throwing numbers, I am not dogmatic about this theory.

If true, we will have to see if altered consumption patterns will keep pace with supply declines ?

My numbers are very rough back of the envelope calculations. Maybe someone with more time and data can refine or develop them.

More likely the situation is reduced consumption in third world countries due to rising costs.  Another issue, for which there is data, is that European consumption is declining as Europeans move from small gasoline powered cars to diesel power.  American oil consumption continues to rise as our industry implodes.  
Europeans are also switching modes to non-oil transportation.  Bicycles and electric trams.  Since the infrastructure is in place, just add 12 minutes to the daily commute :-)

An almost seamless transition in many cases.

Best Hopes,


If true, we will have to see if altered consumption patterns will keep pace with supply declines?

The problem is that I believe that US gasoline consumption is still up year over year, albeit it at a lower rate.  Also, consumption is growing rapidly in countries like China and India--and very rapidly in many exporting countries such as Saudi Arabia, Russia and Venezuela, where the situation is often compounded because of gasoline price subsidies (talk about pouring gasoline on a fire, so to speak).

Also, Hothgor keeps accusing me of hauling out Jevon's Paradox, although I don't think that I have done it for a long time, but Jevon's Paradox is a problem with the "Efficiency will save us" assertion.  

IMO, the better model is to rearrange your life so that your long term energy use is vastly reduced.  The simplest way to do it is to live in smaller housing, closer to where you work, or along a mass transit line.  In other words, live like the Europeans, who use about half as much energy per capita as Americans do.  

When is your next trip to Italy?

Want to take me along? :P

Ad Hominem???
It's been my experience that the people who put on more miles are more likely to have bigger vehicles "because they're more comfortable."
I predict gasoline prices will rise after Tuesday's mid-term elections.

Drudge:  Article about the Neocons turning on Bush

I saw that earlier this week.  If it weren't so tragic, it would be hilarious.  They're blaming everyone but themselves.  

The Mess-opotamia seems to be dissuading them from declaring war on Iran, at least.

Yes...add to this that the military journals are calling for Rumsfeld to resign...I believe BushCo's base is turning on them.

I also think the Saddam trial results on Sunday will be a nonfactor on Tuesday's elections and may even hurt the Republicans because people sense the entire trial is a laughable circus.  The fact of the timing is obviously for the elections and people are sensitive to this kind of BS from BushCo right now.

It will be another example of Rove trying the same tricks as in 2004, but this time, it is backfiring on them.  People have grown tired of all this crap and are ready for a change.  The Democrats may not be the magic elixir, but they are the only alternative and people are now willing to try them in control for awhile.

My opinion...

As I noted yesterday, Rod Dreher, a conservative editorial writer for the Dallas Morning News (who used to work for the National Review), just announced that he is voting Democratic next week.  He said that we desperatly need some kind of accountability.
A link to an article about military journals calling for Rumsfeld's head:  http://www.alaskareport.com/z44748.htm
This is a pretty remarkable article.  An excerpt:

Having spoken with Perle, I wonder: What do the rest of the pro-war neoconservatives think? If the much caricatured "Prince of Darkness" is now plagued with doubt, how do his comrades-in-arms feel? I am particularly interested in finding out because I interviewed many neocons before the invasion and, like many people, found much to admire in their vision of spreading democracy in the Middle East.

I expect to encounter disappointment. What I find instead is despair, and fury at the incompetence of the Bush administration the neoconservatives once saw as their brightest hope.

To David Frum, the former White House speechwriter who co-wrote Bush's 2002 State of the Union address that accused Iraq of being part of an "axis of evil," it now looks as if defeat may be inescapable, because "the insurgency has proven it can kill anyone who cooperates, and the United States and its friends have failed to prove that it can protect them." This situation, he says, must ultimately be blamed on "failure at the center"--starting with President Bush.

What's scary about this article is it is saying that BushCo is failing at their agenda...they didn't go far enough for them...who the hell would make them happy?  

I shudder at the thought.

Who would make them happy?
Vlad the Impaler.
No, that's Cheney.
They don't want to be happy. Their only pleasure is making you unhappy.
This situation, he says, must ultimately be blamed on "failure at the center"--starting with President Bush.

Yeah, sure.  And the neo-cons' telling everyone it would be a cakewalk had nothing to do with it...

I spoke with a regular "Joe Citizen USA" this week who was duped into thinking that the criminal Iraq Invasion was actually noble and good.  While wishing we had never "gone in" he also stated that the only way to win would be "to use the same tactics the Lord told the Isrealites to use in the promised land in the Old Testament -- kill every man, woman, and child of them."

This tells me that at least some people are still living with the need to posit some enemy Evildoers to blame for our own population/consumption overshoot.

Killing Scapegoats works to keep us from examining ourselves, but it can drive us to the most brutal atrocities when we find that we need to keep killing off more and more human "scapegoats" as time goes by.

Resource War is the ultimate homicidal binge, ending in suicide as we destroy our own habitat as well.

The liberation of Iraq was noble and good. I'm glad you have started speaking to the regular Joe Citizen USAs. It sure beats putting them in internment camps.
Yes, like liberating California from those lazy indians.
I've got two nephews in the US military. One has done tours in Afghanistan and Iraq, and my guess is that he's been inside Iran as well -- that I don't know for sure.  

The other is younger, in the USMC and has done a tour in Iraq.  He's home now but likely to get sent back any time.

There is no liberation in these countries.  In terms of governance, the students are guys like Saddam.  The teachers are guys like Bush41 and Cheney.  The thing is that Americans do better at pretending nobility when dirty proxies do the dirty work.

Occupation sort of messes up the pretense.  I am not happy about what the occupation is doing to anyone over there -- even those who are not killed or officially wounded.

Now we kill, rape, torture, falsely imprison, and generally terrorize the people using our own military.  

Oops....I thought we were for God, Democracy, and Freedom.  Turns out we just want the oil after all, no matter what we have to do to get it.

And it looks like maybe the Chinese will get big oil contracts in Iraq after all.

(Maybe the USA is accidentally China's proxy now.)

"When you're the fighter
You're the politicians tool.

When you're the fighter
You're everybody's fool."

I find it ironic that, IMO, at least one bit of evidence that perhaps humanity has made a mote of progress with respect to our disposition to kill each other is that now leaders, at least in the first world, will go to elaborate lengths to create a ruse that warfare is justified on abstract justice principles.  Unlike in the time of say, the Roman Empire and to some extent in the Middle Ages.  At that time the only justification one needed for war is that you thought 1) the enemy had something you wanted, and 2) you could take it (ie, win).  
Perle , the weasel, is playing beggar thy neighbor. it's typical duck and cover. "it wasn't my fault"...sheesh what a turd.
I think Perle, Baker, Wolfowitz...the "old" school from Pappy Bush's days and before are looking to scapegoat BushCo in order divert from their own failures and then regroup in the future.
I got the same impression, pretty disgusting IMHO.
It gets worse,  The Neo-Cupa article,  the George Wills thing in Newsweek, and this one between Haig and Zbrenski


Al Haig and Zbigniew Brzezinski point fingers at the neo-cons !!


AL HAIG, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: Well, first, I think that this is a conflict that's essentially political. It's not just purely military. It's political and religious and ideological. And it was driven by the so-called neocons that hijacked my party, the Republican Party, before this administration...

BLITZER: So what do you think of this argument?

Because you hear it all the time, Dr. Brzezinski, that there were these group of of neoconservatives in there, like Paul Wolfowitz, who has the deputy secretary of defense; Richard Perle, who wasn't even in the government but he was an outside adviser, who were effectively shaping U.S. strategy.

Do you buy that?

BRZEZINSKI: I buy a great deal of that. I think Al Haig is absolutely right.

We had, at the top a president, who was essentially uninformed about foreign policy, and then top policy-makers like Rumsfeld and, of course, Cheney who are, kind of, traditional, quote, end quote, "realists," hard nosed types.

But the guys who provided the strategy and made the argument that we have to go into Iraq, that we have to link the war on terror with an attack on Iraq, were the guys that Al Haig is talking about.

They provided strategy. They provided the argument that we would be greeted as liberators, that this would be a cake walk. And they have devastated American national interests as a consequence.

This is rare,  out in the open fighting between the equivalent(if the government was the mafia)  of the Gambino's and the Genevieves.

I would call it a true internecine warfare within our polictial parties.   We ain't seen this for a long time....   This should get REAL interesting in the Next few months.  Between Nov elections and January confirmation should be an Exciting time.

Here's some of George Wills piece.

Togetherness In Baghdad

A surreal facet of the Iraq fiasco is the lag between when a fact becomes obvious and when the fiasco's architects acknowledge it.

...Beware of people who misquote themselves while purporting to display candor.


The government is worse than the mafia.  The government mafia is able to use the local police, the feds and the armed forces as their hitmen, security guards and enforcers.
if the government was the mafia

In any case might makes right, even if the government's might/right need to be a little more convoluted than the mafia's.
The structural problem of democracy is that it is a self-defeating concept: The Logic of Political Survival

Excerpt :
Because leaders’ political survival depends on their followers’ support, we might expect that leaders who are more successful in bringing peace and prosperity to their nations will remain in power longer, yet the opposite appears to be true.
Democratic governments appear to offer their citizens more peace and prosperity than autocracies do, but autocratic leaders stay in office roughly twice as long as leaders in democratic nations. One of the conclusions of The Logic of Political Survival is that in many cases good policies are detrimental to political survival, whereas bad policies often enhance political survival.

A bit of analysis from billmon(who I'm tired of linking to, but just keeps writing insightful stuff):
it's reasonable to believe that the generals have reached a point that in many countries would be followed in short order by a military coup.
After reading that, I found a more sweeping article by Niall Ferguson.


In short, using a lot of comparisons to Gibbon's Decline and Fall, he argues that the West dominated the East in 1900, but has lost ground ever since.

Non-Transportation Uses of Oil

Help Needed

There has been an emphasis on personal use of oil for private auto use.  Replace them with EVs, problem solved !!

Not quite.  Consider US uses 25% of world's oil today.  Suppose world production declines 10%, exports decline 22% (SWAG), dollar collapses, US now uses 12% of world's oil, which is 90% of peak.  And each year world oil production drops.

I have made a contribution by pointing out electrified inter-city freight railroads are a viable non-oil alternative to heavy trucks between cities.

But no one is paying attention to non-transportation uses; 1/3rd of US oil use !

Oil CEO had some data earlier on the breakdown of oil used for non-transportation uses.  Could he re-post that ?

And I need help researching data, other nations.  Any volunteers ?  Hothgar ?

Best Hopes,


Breakdown of oil use by barrel: 19.6 gallons for gasoline 10 gallons for diesel/heating oil 4 gallons for jet fuel 1.7 gallons for heavy fuel oil 1.7 gallons for LPG 7 gallons for other applications. Notice some of those numbers. If you remove most Diesel and Gasoline ICEs, and couple that with a reduction in flying, you remove 33.6 gallons of the average barrel, or roughly *80%*. That means our effective 'required' use of oil is about 17 million bpd. Assuming a 5% decline rate, how long would it take for us to reach that amount? Can tar sands and oil shale not produce enough oil to cover that? PS: I know this is a gross oversimplification, but even taking out just gasoline usage, its enough to hedge our bets for 10 years alone, never mind the increased use of mass transportation and electrified rail :P
Hothgor, I like your post in that it provides a possible solution.  The catch is that the infrastructure is simply not there yet.  And I doubt that it will be there anytime soon.  So... doomsday!
I agree.  Maybe if I scream loud enough, someone who can do something will notice and help the process get started :P

In the meantime.  I plan on chronicling my attempts of upgrading my new house to an energy efficient workplace/living place.  Maybe I'll start a blog and you can put in your 2 cents.  If I cant change the world via logic, perhaps I can change it via example :P

BTW, I managed to get a 30 year fixed rate on my house, which is quite remarkable seeing how I'm a relatively recent college graduate :P


May I ask which from which field you graduated?

I double majored into Management and Performance Improvement Technologies 'PIT' :P
Can I ask you the same question? Your promotion of the Iran attack issue has had triple the vigor and a quarter of the facts as Hothgor's posts. Do you have a background in international relations?
Sure...I graduated with a Master's in Entomology with emphasis in Aquatic Ecology years ago and now work as a Data Analyst/Project Manager for large retail company.  I have worked for two federal agencies (US EPA and USDA) and have friends in various branches of the military.  I taught a class in Ecological Measurment for Biology students in Kaunas, Lithuania for a year.

Basically, I've spent most of my working life collecting large amounts of data, detecting patterns/problems, or teaching the techniques to do this.  I am pretty good at pattern recognition which is why I am doing what I'm doing.

My posts on Iran/military movements have mostly come from articles I have scanned on the internet mixed with my own opinions.  

I'm am not trying to compete in the analysis of energy data, but spend my limited time finding articles others might be missing and connecting dots.  The "dots" I find are published articles/data.  The "connections" I make are my own and widely open to interpretation.

Wall of text FTL!!

Breakdown of oil use by barrel:

19.6 gallons for gasoline
10 gallons for diesel/heating oil
4 gallons for jet fuel
1.7 gallons for heavy fuel oil
1.7 gallons for LPG
7 gallons for other applications.

Notice some of those numbers.  If you remove most Diesel and Gasoline ICEs, and couple that with a reduction in flying, you remove 33.6 gallons of the average barrel, or roughly 80%.  That means our effective 'required' use of oil is about 17 million bpd.  And last time I checked, 20% usage is far lower then 1/3rd...

Assuming a 5% decline rate, how long would it take for us to reach that amount?  Can tar sands and oil shale not produce enough oil to cover that?

PS: I know this is a gross oversimplification, but even taking out just gasoline usage, its enough to hedge our bets for 10 years alone, never mind the increased use of mass transportation and electrified rail :P

You lump diesel and heating oil together.  Two VERY different end uses (with very different substitution strategies) for comparable chemical products.  And where is refinery gain in your calcs ?

Oil CEO had some actual consumption data which is more useful that I would like reposted.

Replacing oil & NG furnaces with 1)ground loop heat pumps (also called geothermal) driven by additional WTs & pumped storage added to the grid and 2) Central Heat & Power stations (perhaps burning biomass primarily) are a proven combination of technologies.

1/3rd, not 1/5th of US oil use is used for non-transportation uses.  TOO big to ignore in mitigation.

Your efforts would be more positive in looking at that 1/3rd IMHO.

I offered collaboration if you are interested.

Best Hopes for reality based planning,


"You lump diesel and heating oil together.  Two VERY different end uses (with very different substitution strategies) for comparable chemical products."

What?  You don't think an 18 wheeler will run on solar hot water or passive solar heat?  Psssh!  ;)

Do you really expect biomass to provide sufficient BTU's.  Off the tope of my head, I would suggest problems begin within a couple of years.  After all the world is using four centuries of accumulated condensed biomass every year, and if the USA is using 25% of that, I doubt that biomass will last very long for it.
Besides, what about the global warming impacts of burning boimass?
Biomass burning has zero net carbon impact.  CO2 > wood > CO2.

Limited biomass use (ask Magnus Redin) is used in Sweden for CHP.  I think our use to resource ratio is better for district heating than Sweden.   Wood + garbage + agricultural processing waste (baggasse, rice hulls, sawdust, etc.) can heat 5% of US homes easily IMHO (SWAG).

Best Hopes,


I have this, but I'm not sure I know what you are referring to. If you can point to a specific chart on my flickr account I'll get right on it. I'll update it even. There's other stuff, too.
Re non-transportation uses: Has anybody here used the Brill electric assisted reel lawnmowers?  In my neighborhood, I need a little lawn for fire protection, and have a little too much slope and uneven ground for completely human powered mowing.  
its enough to hedge our bets for 10 years alone

A strategy that takes 20+ years to fully implement and "hedges our bets" for 10 years is simply not enough !

Best Hopes,


No, but its a least a start that can be embraced by society at whole, and not a bunch of nut job last man standing survivalist.
I thought a barrel was 42 gallons.  Your total comes to 44.
Dutch? Are you sure he isn't Talosian?
That's Ken Deffeyes.  He's interviewed in English, with Dutch subtitles.  
I don't think this Dutch documentary is worth watching. I mean, what's the return on investment when you get two minutes of Deffeyes and 25 minutes of Tom Friedman??
Very odd...might be good stuff for someone looking to do a solar project


The flexible and economical MAXX-R Pipe Insulation System is a revolution in underground pipe insulation for wood burning outdoor boilers and furnaces. Until now dealers, contractors and homeowners have had to choose between cheap, poorly designed "home-made" insulation and expensive, hard-to-handle, metric sized, prefabricated pipe-in-pipe systems. MAXX-R, a system that gives you the performance you need, the price you can afford... And it's easy to install!
Uh Oh...New Zealand better watch out.
The whole world is going to want to inspect them for the WMD that they're hiding.
Don't worry, we've got Helen Clark's grimace to scare undesireables away.

I saw that report on lignitic coal yesterday - NZ does indeed have a ton of brown coal down here in the south island. However the reprot was justifiably slapped down in the press for ignoring the fact that producing such stuff and burning it would not sit well with NZ's green credentials, and be rather bad form re: global warming.

What may have not been picked up is the mounting interest in oil and gas exploration in offshore areas of new Zealand, particularly the Southern Basin area. There is oil and gas down there (it was found 20 years ago), but it was never developed at the time. Exxon are at the moment at loggerheads with some other small companies/the government about releasing seismic data about what was found. There is renewed interest from the oil companies and exploration seems to be picking up - worth watching out for as a new potential gas/oil resource.

NZ as a whole gets something like 60% of its energy from renewables - so fortunately that coal can probably stay buried for a while yet. Last week the go ahead for the biggest windfarm yet built was announced - apparently enough poducing enough juice for 40,000 households. Doesnt sound much in a global context but when you consider there are only 4 million here (say 2 million households?), it adds up - say 2% of housholds covered by one scheme?

As an Australian it galls me to say it, but I think that if they are smart about it, the Kiwis may do quite a nice job f carving out a comfy little niche for themselves in a post-PO world. The tendency that they have for not always following what the big kids do could end up serving them quite well tucked away in the South Pacific. I think if they do ok, they'll be able to add a new dimension to the old Australia-NZ rivalry: Karma.

Only problem I see with this is that they are talking about mining lignite, but this is something you won't see about Australia's primary industries minister:

Yesterday, Energy Minister David Parker was lukewarm about the report, saying the financial and environmental impacts of greenhouse gases were not considered.

In Australia, with our already sizeable mining industry, 1) it would be seen as a drop in the ocean and treated as such, 2) if the minister made a comment along these lines, the coal industry would be asking a lot of questions about where their support from the government went. It's just another example of how Australia under the Howard government seems to be determined to follow the USA to the depths of hell.

Yes you are absolutely right (jeez, me a Pom agreeing with an Aussie - never mind let battle commence proper in less than 3 weeks time, and I will be there to see it, can't wait). I'm a recent import down here and it strikes me the kiwis dont realise what a good wicket they are on post peak etc (partly becuase most dont know/want to know about peak).

Indeed one of their pre-occupations is the fact they are so isolated from the world - and the fact that they are so small and seemingly inconsequential. Well those factors are going to stand NZ in good stead for the future. Where I live (Nelson, top of the South island) we have a modest population in Tasman as a whole (90,000 in the whole area, which is maybe as big as a couple of decent sized UK counties combined). There's a good solid agricultural base, a ton of forestry, a well regulated inshore/offshore fishery and access to a lot of hydro-electric supply. Some of the kiwis have a bit of a chip on their shoulder and think the rest of the world look down on the place, but I reckon they'll soon realise that the place is gold dust - indeed the main problem I forsee they will have is how to deal with floods of folk wanting to come here (particularly Aussies trying to cope with their water running out).

I thought that a lot of Australians were immigrant New Zealanders? Won't they just go home?
Yep I gather there are at least 500,000 Kiwis in Aussi (in fact the figure may be closer to a million), as Aussie has traditionally been seen as the place for young kiwis to migrate to. I reckon that may change in years to come - so the govt will have to deal with an influx of returning kiwis let alone anyone else.......
I'd swap Helen Clark's grimace for John Howard's eyebrows any day!

I seriously considered emigrating to NZ from Sydney after the 2004 election.  I've been to Nelson.  Nice 'city' (if you can call a town of 50,000 a city and the Kiwis do) but its over the hill to Takaka and the Golden Bay that I'd move to.  That, or the Coromandel on the North Island.

Of course, pleasant as NZ is in summer, its unbearably cold in winter, so I've emigrated to the enlightened enclave of Byron Shire on the NSW north coast.  I do worry about what might happen in Oz if TSHTF.  I reckon the sparsely populated (but very rich agriculturally) South Island would be a good place to be.

In the article on the EROEI of solar the simplified example came up with a return ratio of 1.0 ie the $16,000 system saved $16,000 over its life span. That could be improved if the standard hourly electricity price was adjusted. Instead of 10c per kwh for incoming current the virtual carbon taxed price could be 12 or 13 cents. Thus the householder can argue the grid price is too cheap. Conversely when the daytime grid is nearly overloaded (like a heatwave) the credit for outgoing current should be worth a lot more, by how much is hard to say.

This is the dilemma; when both fossil fuels and uranium have run out we might have  to transition to full solar with low 'true' EROEI. Perhaps now we should be setting aside a chunk of current resources to make that possible.

 "Conversely when the daytime grid is nearly overloaded (like a heatwave) the credit for outgoing current should be worth a lot more, by how much is hard to say."

  We have that in California...
 time of use metering, which records when you use or produce energy. Electricity during peak hours, 1000-1800, gets credited at 3x the rate of off-peak hours.

 Except we don't get paid for any XS electrcity; it becomes corporate welfare.

NB: they were working without the original code, just hacking

Researchers break code Diebold voting machines

UConn faculty members contracted by the state to evaluate the security of new voting machines to be used in some Connecticut municipalities on Nov. 7 have issued a report identifying vulnerabilities in the system which, if exploited maliciously, could affect the outcome of the election in those precincts.

The report makes several recommendations to help ensure the security of the vote. These have already been implemented by the Secretary of the State's office in time for the election. Precincts in 25 Connecticut cities and towns will use the new voting machine technology in the upcoming election.

The report states that, "based on our findings, an [AccuVote Optical Scan] can be compromised with off-the-shelf equipment in a matter of minutes, even if the machine has its removable memory card sealed in place.

The basic attack can be applied to effect a variety of results, including entirely neutralizing one candidate so that their votes are not counted, swapping the votes of two candidates, or biasing the results by shifting some votes from one candidate to another.

Such vote tabulation corruptions can lay dormant until the Election Day, thus avoiding detection through pre-election tests."

CNN has been all over the e-voting story, like white on rice.  They had an interview yesterday with one of the computer scientists who worked on this study.

He didn't think even a paper trail would help.  He said that would basically mean that if the two counts differed - the computer and the paper - we would trust the paper.  So why spend all this money on computer voting?  We already have something that will mark paper.  It's called a pencil.

Explosion at Kuwaiti oil refinery sparks fire

KUWAIT CITY, Kuwait -- An explosion rocked Kuwait's smallest oil refinery on Saturday, sparking a fire that temporarily closed the plant, the Kuwait National Petroleum Company said. No injuries were reported.

Investigators were looking into the cause of the blast at the Shuaiba installation south of Kuwait city, but terrorism was not suspected, said Mohammad al-Ajami, a company spokesman.

Gas station sees sales drop after speech

TULSA, Okla. - Some gas station owners in Oklahoma are dropping the Venezuelan state-owned Citgo brand, saying sales have dropped significantly since the Venezuelan president criticized President Bush in a speech last month.

The president of Tulsa-based Arkansas Valley, a wholesale distributor which delivers Citgo gas to about 30 stations in Oklahoma and Missouri, said sales fell 10 percent to 15 percent after Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez's United Nations speech in which he referred to Bush as "the devil."

oh, but he is , of course. this site provides proof:
If you add up the name 'George Bush' in Hebrew letters it comes out: * G = 3 (gimel) * e = 5 (heh) * o = 70 (ayin) * r = 200 (resh) * g = 3 (gimel) * e = 5 (heh) * B = 2 (beth) * u = 70 (ayin) * s = 300 (shin) * h = 8 (cheth) * total = 666 (Antichrist)
we always provide proof here on TOD.
oops, forgot the visual proof
Remember the brouhaha when Bush made the "hook 'em, horns" sign?  

Some thought it was a Satanic gesture, while in parts of Europe, it's obscene.  

Ummm...I really didn't need religious numerology to tell me this...
EEEKKK...mine is the 66th post...
And today is 11/04... 1 + 1 + 4 = 6
well those of us who are in the united states but want to leave better leave soon..
Forget no-fly lists. If Uncle Sam gets its way, beginning on Jan. 14,
2007, we'll all be on no-fly lists, unless the government gives us
permission to leave-or re-enter-the United States.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (HSA) has proposed that all
airlines, cruise lines-even fishing boats-be required to obtain
clearance for each passenger they propose taking into or out of the
United States.

Breaking news to odd to the list - powercuts throughout Europe as temperatures  fall:


German power demand surge (cold weather?!) cuts off parts of Paris, Cologne, Belgium, Italy, Germany, France and even Spain. Estimate: 20-40 million people?

"We weren't very far from a European blackout," a senior director with French power company RTE said.

Pierre Bornard told the French news agency AFP that two German high-voltage transmission lines failed, causing problems across western Europe.

This triggered a "house of cards" style system breakdown, he said.

Oh crickey...need to go see those places I've always wanted to before Jan. 14th?

Let's see if I can hit Australia, Ireland, and Spain before then....

Whoa...stumbled upon this during my late-night news cruise...

Power cuts strike western Europe


Power companies said the outage started in Germany with a surge in demand prompted by cold weather, and then spread to other parts of Europe.

Some five million people in France lost power, mainly in the east of the country and including parts of Paris.

"We weren't very far from a European blackout," a senior director with French power company RTE said.

It wasn't even that cold. Might have seemed that way after long mild spell breaking records for Sept & Oct right across Europe.  It was a short cold snap too. Already it's back to above normal. Two or three cool days and Europe can't cope? Trouble in the supply chain.
Looks like 2 transmission lines failed, which caused a cascade effect.  It doesn't look like this was a supply issue, more likely an infrastructure failure, similar to the one that led to the blackout in the US back in the early 90s.  Problems like these can be fixed :P
Well, seeing how Germany is not really a 24/7 kind of place, my information searching has been fruitless, but it is worth noting that Northern Germany was hammered in the last several days by very severe weather - on a scale not seen in decades, and which by some measures in terms of flooding, beat the previous records.

And the abrupt change from warm to cold could have caught some systems off-guard, at least subtly.

I have noticed that the abrupt change from late summer to early winter has led to all kinds of minor surprises - since there wasn't really any need to pull out winter clothing, for example, when the morning was 0 C instead of 10 C a couple of days ago. Though generally trivial, the fact is that a basic sort of complacency sets in, as the normal transition period where you get used to a new season is no longer part of your experience.

Such a disconnect can lead to unexpected chains of events - such as wearing a sweatshirt at night when the forecast is for freezing temperatures and ice rain - which no one would normally do.

A lot of our systems are designed for fairly narrow climate ranges - unfortunately, those ranges are now expanding. Alaska is a fine example, in terms of oil production.

In relative terms I would argue that it has turned very cold. October in England has been almost as warm (20C for many days in October, 15C at night) as the average August (25 yearly daytime average of 21C). It turned cold Wednesday 1st November as predicted by the Met Office with night time temperatures of below freezing. That is quite a shock to most people going from summer (mid August) to coldish winter (mid February) in under two days. It also looks to stay that way for at least a week or more with one warm day in the period. This coming week looks to be as cold as the past few days. Can't comment on mainland Europe though, but UK didn't have any power cuts, although know idea how close it was.
Looks like Europe is finding out what we found out in 2003.  Like Scotty said, "The more complicated the plumbing, the easier it is to stop up the drain."
Honestly, I don't think so - though without concrete data, it would not surprise me if the failure was directly related to storm damage, and not neglected infrastructure maintenance.

As a side note, the BBC article had the outage at about 2 hours, and the number of customers in the millions - about the scale of the recent windstorms in the Northeast, very approximately.

Neglect has nothing to do with it.  Scotty was actually talking about a brand-spanking new ship when he said that.

While the U.S. power infrastructure is certainly neglected, occasional "cascading failures" are pretty much inevitable in a very large network.  It's the price you pay for the benefits of such a network.

As a side note, the BBC article had the outage at about 2 hours, and the number of customers in the millions - about the scale of the recent windstorms in the Northeast, very approximately.

Yes, those windstorms were brutal.  While most people got their power back fairly soon, some were without power for days.

And I suspect most people don't realize how much effort - and oil - went into cleaning up the mess and restoring their power.  The state DOT sent 50,000 heavy vehicles.  Utility crews came from all over the country.  

Maybe not so well known in other parts of the world, last winter, there were many pylons buckling under the heavy weight of wet snow. Some rural parts had really problems a couple of days.

In the end it became public, that the largest energy supplier RWE knew about their problems with old steel in the pylons. However they obviously postponed the maintenance an reconstruction of new pylons. They felt more compelled to make profits than doing the work they actually have to do.


When I first heard about the Olduvai theory, I thought it was nonsense. Now, 6 years later I think differently. There are really signs, that maintenance of the electricty grid is neglected in major industrial countries.

This is what Duncan describes in his theory.

A few more facts, so to speak, from spiegel.de -

The outage in one region seems to have lasted 5 minutes to a half hour, starting at 10:10pm in places like Cologne or Essen, which are large cities. According to a spokesman, the cause seems to have been a voltage drop, more or less - 'Es war zu wenig Kraftwerksleistung im Netz' - not enough power being fed into the system.

It seems as if the French had more problems than the Germans, which is somehow not a real surprise to me, though the problem was definitely German in origin.

As a commenter below noted, the German system is not as modern as many people assume. What the commenter didn't quite note is the massive investment now being forced on the energy companies, in part as a trade-off to allow them to reap profits, but simply more in line with the long term, and not merely the short term - it is not possible for the German government to ensure monopoly pricing on the part of a few large energy companies without the companies at least delivering reliable electricity. Further, other major company blocks (VW/Mercedes/BMW, for example), have a vested interest in reliable power, and a roughly equally strong position in political contests - which means that the energy companies can't simply promise future improvements without delivering them.

Been reading anonymously for quite a while and have noticed that not enough info on mexican fields is provided so...

Update on mexican crude production and exports for september:

Total production 3,257,579 ; down 114,042 from jan; -3.38%
Total exports 1,678,440 ; down 373,214 from jan; -18.19%
Exports to US 1,329,656 ; down 250,504 from jan; -15.85%

Source www.sener.gob.mx

Commentary: PEMEX has been able to extend a gentle downward slope on the production plateau/decline of its fields and is pumping more light and superlight from the southwest offshore Campeche fields to offset Cantarell's decline that is steepening its curve. Due to a generally good overall economic year for the country, demand for fuels has increased so that exports have been sacrificed at an accelerating pace. The US and Spain have been favored and other clients in Asia have been dropped totally.

Cantarell's decline trend seems solid now and no new development or exploration wells are being drilled in that field as of recent months. % change jan-sept has been 12.17%; a decline of 233,682bd average, going from 1,920,114 to 1,686,432

Thanks for the update!

 The US and Spain have been favored and other clients in Asia have been dropped totally.

Echoing Westexas' theme. Total exports down much more than total production. US the favored client, other poor schmucks get nada.

Another way of looking at it though is that it is not so much that the US is a favoured client, but that it is in Mexico's interest to underpin the employment of so many of its nationals who have gone north.  Not only does Mexico get paid for the oil, but the remittences keep flowing.
Hello TODers,

Yahoo newsarticle on Oaxaca, Mexico:

Leftists pour into Oaxaca for march By IOAN GRILLO, Associated Press Writer
Sun Nov 5, 12:21 AM ET

Rickety buses and cars carrying leftists from across Mexico rolled into Oaxaca's university Saturday to join protesters preparing for a massive march to confront police.

Demonstrators plan to march Sunday from the university to police encampments in the center of the city as part of their five-month protest to oust the state's governor.

At least nine people have died since August in the unrest, which has rattled outgoing President Vicente Fox's administration. The planned march has sparked fears of more violence in the colonial city that was once one of the country's main tourist attractions.

Masked federal police clutching automatic rifles took rooftop positions above the city's main plaza, where other officers reinforced blockades. A commander briefed a group of police late Saturday.

"There is going be a mega march tomorrow. Be prepared. Keep your bullet proof vests on at all times," he said, alongside armored vehicles with water cannons, a bulldozer and a burned-out bus.

Protest leader Flavio Sosa, who is wanted by state police on conspiracy and riot charges, said the marchers will not look for a fight Sunday, but he fears police may provoke one.

"Our enemies carry out murders, persecution and arbitrary arrests," Sosa told The Associated Press. "We have the right to defend ourselves."

Fasten your seatbelt, folks--I fear this could get real ugly.  The Federales shooting down people in the street does nothing to solve the root problem of decreasing energy/capita and rising social polarization.

Mexico needs to get realistically honest with itself, and fast, if it wishes to effectively plan for it's postPeak future.

Here is another link on more roadblocks in Mexico and at the US border.

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

Interesting. The EIA figures are 3,334,000 per month average for 2005, and average of 3,313,000 per month so far this year for 2006 (till August), which appears barely changed. If Cantarell is indeed falling off as steeply as this then they must be ramping up production from other fields at quite a rate - it seems enough to almost balance Cantarell's decline almost exactly? Seems almost suspicious to me......
pleiotropik's figures, including those for Cantarell decline, are comparing January 2006 figures with September 2006. Total September production is down by 114,042 bpd compared with January, so Cantarell's decline has only been partly (about 50%) compensated for.

If you compare production in the first nine months of 2006 with the same period last year, total production is down by 36,000 bpd, but I don't know what Cantarell's decline would be for this period.

Cantarell's percentage of total production is diminishing at a nice clip. Some commentators in the national mx press are still saying it represents 60% of total when now it is only 51.77%.

Most of the slack has been taken by a dozen minor fields (minor compared to cantarell), foremost among them field "Ku"which has increased 100,000bd since jan 2005. and the category "other" which has also increased by 150,000bd in that period.

Ku is expected to peak late 2007 (this, sorry, you will have to trust me, i lost the link to the technical article that describes the physical characteristics of this particualr field) at around 450,000bd. (have no way to gauge if this estimate is optimistic or pessimistic) and there is no more information on the category "other" except that it is located in southwest offshore (to the left slightly down from Cant. One thing is for certain: This crude from the Ku fields is not being exported, it is sweet and light and is being reserved for mexican refineries that have overall no capacity for refining heavysour types which if destined to come back to México, go to Deer park Tx.
I'll post some graphs as soon as i figure how to do it.

Hello TODers,

Good article on Zimbabwean Human Rights Abuses:
"When Zimbabweans engage in peaceful protest, the government responds with brutal repression," said Georgette Gagnon, deputy Africa director at Human Rights Watch. "The authorities use torture, arbitrary arrest and detention to deter activists from engaging in their right to freely assemble and express their views."  

Political, social and economic conditions in Zimbabwe have deteriorated considerably in recent years. Civil society organizations have increasingly expressed concerns at the worsening conditions by engaging in peaceful protests and demonstrations. The government's response has been heavy-handed and brutal. Police have violently disrupted peaceful protests by beating demonstrators with batons and in some cases rifle butts.  

Any predictions on when American protestors will be treated the same?  Recall that Bull Connor and Mayor Daley was not that long ago for us older TODers.

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