DrumBeat: November 7, 2006

[Update by Leanan on 11/07/06 at 1:07 PM EDT]

US Energy Dependency: An Old Dream or Existing Project?

Last month, the US Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) in New York put forward proposals based on a study it conducted to address the energy situation in the US and to make recommendations. The study, called the National Security Consequences of US Oil Dependency, was supervised by former Secretary of Defense and Energy, James R. Schlesinger, CIA chief and former Undersecretary of the Department of Energy, John M. Deutch, and former scientific expert, David Victor.

...The new 'revolutionary' proposal put forth by the CFR lies in setting aside the market factors and freedom of supply and demand, because markets, according to the report, do not automatically provide optimal solutions.

Hedge Funds Choose Uranium

Uranium is the energy investment of choice for a growing number of hedge funds, who say a sixfold gain since 2001 is just the beginning of a rally that will last years.

"We're in an historic uranium shortage," said James Passin, who manages $580 million at New York-based Firebird Management LLC and began buying shares of uranium producers five years ago. "We're in a global nuclear revival."

Ambassador Threatens Minsk With Gas Price Increase

MINSK -- The government may raise gas prices for Belarus fourfold unless Moscow gets some control of gas pipelines, Russia's ambassador in Minsk said Friday.

Such an increase could virtually destroy the Belarussian economy.

55,000 barrels per day of oil cut in new Nigeria unrest

LAGOS (AFP) - Output of 55,000 barrels per day (bpd) of oil was cut in Nigeria when armed protesters forced the closure of a flowstation belonging to Italy's Agip company in the Niger Delta, an Agip official told AFP.
The good news is the oil workers kidnapped last week were released.

India says 16 percent of power to come from wind by 2030

NEW DELHI (AFP) - As much as 16 percent of India's electricity needs could be supplied by wind power within the next 25 years, the country's president has told a gathering of renewable energy experts.

India produces 6,053 megawatts of wind power, a tiny chunk of the estimated 130,000 megawatts of electricity it needs, but its installed wind power grew by 47 percent in the last fiscal year, the Indian Wind Energy Association says.

Dispute Over NW Passage Revived

TORONTO -- A long-standing legal wrangle between the United States and Canada could complicate future shipping through the Arctic as global warming melts the ice in the Northwest Passage.

China's coal addiction causing environmental disaster

BEIJING - China has seen a massive increase in greenhouse gas emissions over the past decade despite ratifying the Kyoto Protocol -- and the situation will only worsen as coal remains its main energy source.

In Ancient Fossils, Seeds of a New Debate on Warming

It's hard to explain, Tom, why we did so little to stop global warming

Looking back, 40 years on, we were intoxicated with an idea of individual freedom that was little more than greedy egotism

IEA backs nuclear power in climate change battle

The International Energy Agency urged governments on Tuesday to build more nuclear plants to slow climate change and increase energy security, throwing its weight behind the push for nuclear power.

Greenpeace urges climate change reversal, singles out Brazil

NAIROBI (AFP) - Environmental watchdog Greenpeace called on the world's top polluters to act immediately to halt devastation from climate change, singling out Brazil as a leading offender.

..."Brazil needs to take responsibility as one of the world's biggest CO2 (carbon dioxide) emitters," it said. "The government must combat deforestation, promote clean, renewable energy, and energy efficiency."

Africa's poorest at greatest risk from climate change

NAIROBI - The impoverished inhabitants of Africa's poorest nations are most at risk from the effects of climate change on the continent most threatened by global warming, a study has said.

But the most vulnerable are the residents of the east and central African countries of Burundi, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Eritrea, together with Niger and Chad, according to the report by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI).

The Ugandan bargain: oil for peace

A huge oil strike in Uganda has persuaded the government to attempt to bring peace to the north of the country, where the infamous Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) has terrorised the local population for 20 years.

Russia and China plan energy deals

Indonesia eyes biofuel

INDONESIA plans to produce more than 15,000 tonnes of biofuels from jatropha by the end of 2007, an industry ministry official said.

The plan calls for 52 micro-sized plants, and is part of the country's drive to cut a hefty oil subsidy bill inflated by high global prices by encouraging alternative sources of energy.

India's quest for Russian energy

NEW DELHI - India's quest for energy resources has seen the country knocking on Russia's door to propose forming an exploration venture with the country's natural-gas behemoth Gazprom, as well as seeking a stake in the Sakhalin III oil-and-gas project.

GM Launches Energy-Saving Plan In Argentina

Argentina has implemented a plan aimed at reducing its energy use, Felipe Rovera, the chairman of GM Argentina, told Dow Jones Newswires Tuesday.

...His comments come amid mounting fears about an imminent energy crisis in Argentina, despite the government's repeated denial of such a condition.

El Paso posts profit, but warns on gas output: Problems in the Gulf of Mexico hurt production.

More Slimy Stuff and Politics Too: Can BioMass Still Save Us All?

Enlightened survivalism

It would seem that some people think that debating and having a say in trying to solve some of the problems of this world, and I am thinking particularly of Peak Oil and Global Climate Change, have nothing to do with ‘survivalists’ or ‘survivalism’. Some say that they ‘have not got the time for survivalists’ while others are ‘not very enthusiastic about survivalism’. So let me give a ‘survivalist’ view.

Naimi: Very low prices not sustainable

Low oil prices discourage producers’ investment in new capacity and, if they sink too far, promote oil market volatility, Saudi Arabian Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said yesterday.

“The reality is very low oil prices are not sustainable. In fact they invariably lead to volatility and subsequently higher prices...” Naimi said in a speech in Islamabad, a copy of which was made available to Reuters in Dubai.

Just in time for the election: Gasoline prices fall to new low for 2006

Average cost-per-gallon hits $2.20 nationwide, 17.6 cents lower than 2005

WASHINGTON - The price of gasoline has fallen to its lowest level in more than 10 months.

The federal Energy Information Administration said Monday that U.S. motorists paid $2.20 a gallon on average for regular grade last week, a decrease of 1.8 cents from the previous week.

Pump prices are now 17.6 cents lower than a year ago and have plummeted by more than 80 cents a gallon since the start of August. The last time prices were below $2.20, on average, was the week ending Dec. 26, 2005.

OPEC President: No price floor to defend

SEOUL, South Korea - The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries doesn't have a specific price floor or band that it wants to defend, the group's president said Tuesday.

"OPEC doesn't have a rigid floor," Edmund Daukoru, who is also Nigeria's petroleum minister, said at an oil industry conference in Seoul.

Setting a target price band "is not really applicable to the fluid, free market," he said.

Era of cheap energy over

The era of cheap energy in the UK is over, the energy minister said last night.

Malcolm Wicks said the UK was unlikely to see a return to low gas prices because of diminishing reserves of North Sea gas, forcing the country to import supplies from the continent and further afield.

Haven't seen it, but this link found at metafilter.com could be at least a bit interesting to watch -
http://plentymag.com/tv/2006/11/the_history_of_oil.php After all, a lot of American readers of this site grew up with these sorts of messages surrounding them in the background of their lives - you silly kids, putting a tiger in your tank, because its greeeaaat (oops, did I get the tigers missed up?)

And there is also a pretty interesting nybooks.com review/article at http://www.nybooks.com/articles/19596 which covers a lot of points of interest to peak oil types, without in any sense having anything to do with peak oil.

As part of my work I have been doing presentations at Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh on peak oil, just the basic introduction.  This has been a part of a quest to get funding for some official peak oil research proposals.  At these presentations I have been alongside an economist who presents a paper ""Oil Production in the Lower 48 States:
Economic, Geological, and Institutional Determinants"" by
Robert K. Kau@ann and Cutler J. Cleveland.  In that paper they try to prove that "accuracy of Hubbert's bell shaped curve is fortuitous."  Has anyone a link to a rebuttal/discussion or otherwise of this paper?  I am finding it hard to follow.



Max Oakes

I am now checking that out. In fact, they seem to be talking about the failure of the Hotelling model as I have recently written about.

Send me some e-mail so I can tell you how you might respond to the paper in the future -- after I have read it.

In this paper, we establish an empirical model for oil production in the lower 48 states that represents its economic, physical, and institutional determinants. We estimate a vector error correction model for oil production in the lower 48 states that specifies real oil prices, average production costs, and prorationing by the Texas Railroad Commission. These modifications enable us to generate a model that accounts for most of the variation in oil production in the lower 48 states between 1938 and 1991. The result that oil production in the lower 48 states shares stochastic trends with real oil prices, average production costs, and prorationing indicates that accuracy of Hubbert's bell shaped curve is fortuitous. The importance of these factors also indicates why the basic Hotelling model cannot replicate the production path for oil in the lower 48 states. This inability is critical. The negative economic effects associated with high prices and energy shortages imply that the importance of inconsistencies with the basic Hotelling model identified by this analysis may be sufficient to warrant a greater degree of government intervention in the transition from oil than is currently envisioned by most policy makers.
I can only agree with the conclusion although I may not agree with how they got to it. We shall see.

-- Dave

Also, look at this guest post at TOD:UK by Roberto. Extrapolating UK's oil production history to the World case

You might do a Google search "Central Limit Theorem Hubbert" and look through some papers that talk about Hubbert modeling failures or constraints on this kind of modeling. From Roberto --

Click to Enlarge
The "double peak" in the UK disappears
after the big North Sea fields smooth
out and there is a more normal distribution
Stuart and Khebab have pointed out at the possibility of the central limit theorem applying to oil production to give a normal distribution. But what I am saying is that the central limit theorem does not apply at all well directly, because there are a few fields that are much larger that the rest and have been discovered very early. If you leave out these aberrations first, the central limit theorem will work much better, and will give you something close to a normal distribution.
You will see a similar view from Laherrère -- do the Google search.

Generally, people concerned about peak oil production are vulnerable to various critiques of Hubbert modeling unless they have taken the time to study the model in some depth. Having stared at quite a few production curves, it becomes obvious that reality is more complex than a bell curve. Hope this helps.

I looked at this paper and I'm not sure it's that impressive.

Basically they showed they could predict or reproduce U.S. oil production levels from the 1930s through 1990s, using just 3 factors: the price of oil; the cost of oil production; and the allowed limits on oil production enforced by the Texas Railroad Commission, a de facto cartel operating up through the early 1970s. The resulting model predicts oil production far more accurately than does the Hubbert bell curve.

This is nice work as far as it goes, but at some level it is just statistics, as they don't go deeper to discuss what this means in terms of oil production in other areas and times. And further, this new paper is not necessarily inconsistent with Hubble's basic insight about geology eventually limiting production levels.

Consider for example the Texas RRC limit, which was steadily raised until it finally hit 100% in the early 70s. Yes, you can say this explains why oil production was rising during this time. Statistically the correlation is there - the allowable production levels were increasing, and sure enough, production was increasing too. But from the larger perspective, if we ask why the Commision was raising production limits, that was due to growing demand and supply factors. The Commision did not operate in a vacuum, it made its decisions based on economic and geologic forces. Well, that's implicitly how the Hubbert curve works too (at least how I interpret it) - the upswing is due to economic factors, investment and development and growth; and the peak and downturn is due to geologic limitations. So the operation of the Commission can be seen as part of what makes the Hubbert curve work.

Another similar effect is their use of cost of oil production as a component of the model. Obviously as we get towards the down side of the Hubbert curve, oil production is much more difficult and costly. So yes, if you include oil costs in your model, you again can explain why oil production declines after a while. This is not inconsistent with the Hubbert curve, but rather it is another way of looking at the same effect.

The point is then that just because you can get a good prediction from these three factors, that's not necessarily inconsistent with the basic soundness of the Hubbert curve as a somewhat crude model. Everyone knows that the Hubbert curve is not perfect, but the fact remains that it does pretty well considering what a simple model it is.

Absolutely disgusted that it is now Friday and I'm the first to respond. What can I say? I try to tear away for days at a time. I don't totally agree. But almost. Just didn't want you to think nobody was reading...Whaddya want me to tell you? That you're right? I mean...it kinda looks like that...
Although I'm not quite sure what is meant by the paper not being impressive, I hope that you don't mind me raising a few points as to why it forms a useful contribution.

The methodology used, the vector error correction model, is a statistical technique that attempts to identify equilibrium relationships and how deviations caused by stochastic fluctuations are transmitted across the system to return it to equilibrium. The identification of the 3 cointegrating relationships is driven, therefore, by statistics but their interpretation is economic (as well as, implicitly, geological through production costs).

You are absolutely right that the paper is not inconsistent with Hubbert; it only seeks to add to his (statistical) insight and to point out that it is, indeed, fortuitous. Fundamentally the difference between the papers is driven by different levels of aggregation where, if you smooth the curve enough, the logistic function could be said to be observed. However, when you consider the economic value of each deviation from the Hubbert curve as demonstrated in the final figure, the justification for this disaggregation can clearly be seen.

This paper clearly refutes those who suggest that changes in technology and price had no effect on oil production in the lower 48 and that the reliance on the Hubbert curve works if you want to take a crude view at oil depletion, but that we really ought to utilise a more full armoury in understanding the future of hydrocarbons.


Max - this sounds great - I assume you have me up there as Director of Research.

Cry Wolf BSc PhD

Re:  Max

Go to the Energy Bulletin and search under authors for Jeffrey Brown.   There are several artitles there on the HL technique, based on Khebab's technical work.  I would recommed the Hubbet's Lower 48 Prediction Revisted.

Thanks for these leads and all the work in these replies.
The Hubbert Linearization (HL) Method; The UK Model & Recent Discussions

The HL Method
When we integrate the area under a production rate versus time graph, we get Ultimate Recoverable Reserves, URR, or Qt.  So far, the HL method appears to be the most objective way, IMO, of estimating Qt.

As described by Deffeyes, building on work done by Hubbert, the HL method involves plotting annual production (P) divided by cumulative production to date (Q) to get the Qt  for a region.  

The key point to keep in mind is that the method is better at estimating the reserves, and not as good at estimating precise production rates.  Regions tend to peak at about 50% of Qt.  Regions that peak later than 50% of Qt tend to have steeper post-peak decline rates, e.g.. Texas, which had a steeper decline rate than the overall Lower 48.

There are probably at least four definitions of  "oil."  

Crude + Condensate (Known as C+C)
Crude + Condensate + NGL's
Crude + Condensate + NGL's + Everything Else
(Refinery gains, ethanol, etc., known at "Total Liquids")

In in his most recent book, Deffeyes, apparently using C+C, put Qt at 2,000 Gb and the 50% of Qt mark in late 2005.   As has been noted, world C+C production (EIA) has been down since 12/05.  

Khebab, in this article:  http://www.energybulletin.net/16459.html, put the C+C + NGL's Qt at 2,235 Gb, with the exact 50% of Qt mark probably in very early 2007.

The 50% of Qt mark for Total Liquids will probably be a little bit later than the C +C + NGL's 50% mark.

I would prefer to deal with crude or C+C, since I define "oil" as the primary feedstock that oil companies buy to refine into petroleum products and since the HL method does not really work on gas reservoirs, and a  large percentage  of NGL's (and even condensate ) comes from gas reservoirs.  

The UK Model
There are two primary reasons to do HL plots:  (1)  to estimate the URR for a region and (2) to develop models for the world and key regions like KSA.  

The production history of the UK as a model for other regions seems to be a recurring theme, and I have often wondered why.  First, it is a sub-basin, a part of the overall North Sea province.  Second, it has a very noisy production profile, principally because of the Piper Alpha accident.  

I really don't see a case for using the UK as a  model for anything.  First and foremost this is because of the P/Q intercept, or K, of about 16%, which implies a very steep decline rate, which is exactly what we have seen.  Khebab and Deffeyes show a K of 5% for the world.  Khebab shows a K of 6.7% for KSA.   Second, the UK is a relatively small sub-basin with a noisy production history.

I submit that Texas, the prior swing producer, with a K of 7.7%, makes a much better model for KSA, and the Lower 48, with a K of 6.3%, makes a much better model for the world.   Mathematically, KSA in 2005 was where Texas was at when it peaked, and KSA is showing lower production.  Mathematically, the world (C+C) in late 2005 was where the Lower 48 was at when it peaked, the world is showing lower C+C production.  

Recent Discussions
There have been a lot of very confusing posts done recently by Hothgor.  His basic theme has been that HL estimates by Deffeyes and Khebab, et al, are too conservative, and the worst case is that the peak is several years away.  

Hothgor showed some fragmentary HL plots with guesstimated cumulative production number in order to bolster his case.   I suggested that he simply use the same BP data base that Khebab used (C +C + NGL's).  Hothgor initially objected with the somewhat novel response that if he used the same data at Khebab, he would get the "same results." I believe that he posted another fragmentary HL plot using the BP data base that more or less matched Khebab's estimate.

In any case, this all started with Laherrere's HL plot, which shows three Qt estimates.  The largest estimate is apparently based on heavily weighting a very small inflection on the last three data points.  As I have repeatedly pointed out, we saw much larger inflections in the Texas, Lower 48 and KSA HL plots, right before they started showing lower production.  In fact, these small deviations from the overall HL trend are probably indicators of peaking production.  

IMO, we are going to see three liquids peaks:  C+C; C+C + NGL's and Total Liquids.  I think that we are between the first and second peaks.   IMO, this is bolstered by the near certain decline or crash of the four current super giant oil fields.

As Deffeyes and Simmons warned/predicted and as the Lower 48/Texas models suggested, the world and KSA are showing lower (C+C) production.  

IMO, unconventional sources of liquids will serve to slow, but not reverse the long term decline in total liquids production.

Finally, I have been frankly astonished the degree of credibility that some, such as Robert and Cry Wolf, have given these posts by Hothgor, who used a series of poorly researched fragmentary HL plots, largely based on guesstimated cumulative production numbers, to bolster his case, which was largely based on extrapolating three data points.  The phrase "Grasping at straws" comes to mind.

I can only compare the response given to Hothgor to the level of criticism that I received, especially from Robert, regarding my central three points:  (1)  world C+C production has peaked (2)  KSA has peaked and (3)  world oil exports are falling faster than world C+C production.

Thanks for this summary, and for explaining some figure names which are present in most discussions.

Ulrich Nehls

Weatexas, thanks for a great post. I agree, world C+C has peaked, Saudi has peaked and it is just plain common sense that exports will fall faster than production. People will take care of their own ass before they worry about their neighbors.

Ron Patterson


Mark us down for being in the tiny "Deffeyes" camp.  You can begin to imagine the crap that Hubbert got regarding his peak oil speech in 1956--14 years before the Lower 48 production peak.  

As I said before, if we were having this argument regarding the Lower 48 peak, it would be in 1971, the first year of the decline.  Texas was then in the process of showing something like a 7% increase in production over 1970 production.  So I'm sure that everyone in the anti-peak oil crowd was then saying that the C+C downturn had no meaning, and that production would soon resume a growth pattern.

Jeffrey Brown

"Mark us down for being in the tiny "Deffeyes" camp."

Make that Three.

The best answer will come in the next year or so.
Or in "1972-74" in your analogy WT.


Make that four
How about five...
I'm there.
add me in as number 4.
i find your work much better then many here.
   I'm with you also. From Dec 05 to June 06 prices went bananas and supplies of Crude and NGL's dropped. No significant change in all liquids production in 18 months. Energy riots throughout much of the third world. What will it take to convince some people?
A copy of my answer to Hotgor posted here:


I believe you did a good job crunching the numbers. You have replicated all the HL results that have been published. I don't see major problems in your calculations.

I don't have much time to give a detail answer. Here is my problem:

1. you are putting too much confidence in the estimated URR derived from the HL technique. The error interval is fairly significant. You can find an error analysis performed by Stuart here and myself here.  If you do a boostrapping analysis on the HL fit for CC+NGL, you get the following URR estimate distribution:

you can see that the 90% confidence interval is 1500-3500Gb! Consequently, fluctuations in the URR estimates of several 100's of Gb are not surprising. Conclusion: the HL technique is a very imprecise estimator

2. You said: I will state yet again that I believe it is time for the PO community to seriously use the total liquids HL in their own discussions. As gr1nn3r said  yesterday, I quote: "we have some corn ethanol here so we can just assume that there is 800 more Gb in SA.". By mixing sources, your URR estimate will get higher but it will be impossible to form any conclusions on the oil depletion. Why not including the barrels of oil equivalent of the electricity used by eclectric vehicles? For sure, you will probably never observe any Peak Oil.

3. The logistic modeling is not appropriate for all the fuel sources. For instance if you use the HL on the Canadian Tar sands production assuming prior knowledge of the URR at 179 Gb, it gives me an unrealistic production profile peaking in 2050 at more than 9.7 mbpd! (The most optimistic forecast is giving 4.0 mbpd in 2020)

I would never argue statistics with the master, Khebab.  I speak the truth here.  I quit doing HL work when I realized that Khebab is on a far higher plane, math wise, that I am.  

But a couple of points.  

I think that you agree that we are at, or within the margin of error, of the 50% of Qt mark for C+C and C+C+NGL's and probably for total liquids too.  Given this, it is interesting that world C+C production is trending down and total liquids production is basicaly flat.  (BTW, do you have a current C+C+NGL number versus 2005?)

Also, the two largest discrete producing regions in the world, to date, have been the Lower 48 and Russia.  The post-1970 cumulative Lower 48 production and the post-1984 cumulative Russian production were basically exactly what your HL model predicted they would be, using only Lower 48 data through 1970 and only Russian data through 1984 to generate the predicted cumulative production.

So, given all of the foregoing, the question is,what is the most likely scenario?  

IMO, the most likely scenario is that we are past peak C+C production and just before peak C+C+NGL production--especially given the near certain decline of the four current super giants.


Your arguments become more convincing with each passing day.

You guys had it rough when oil production was rising.  But you still didn't hesitate to make the call on the coming peak.

What I never would have imagined is that once oil production started to fall, you would come under even heavier fire.

Keep up the good work.


Hey, I didn't stockpile all this tuna for nothing.
It is in cans, or what's the deal?(OK, confession, I just pissed myself laughing). I wish Odo was here.

And the Gold is where? In the cupboard? The dumbwaiter?

Aw, man, you are the best thing that ever happened to this site.

Mercury. Don't eat it lots of it all at once.

SAT - just a week to go.  I'm not at home right now so can't post any plots.  I'd just warn against drawing too much from the fact that oil production is falling right now.

I'm 75% convinced that is due to demand falling - and with OPEC cutting production we once again have growing spare capacity - hence softening prices.

If you look at the demand curve for the last 25 years (some people call this the production curve)you see that while the overall trend is up, and well-correlated with world population growth, that the line wiggles around - sharp rises followed by periods of settling back to trend.

I am 100% convinced that a sure fire sign of being past peak will be falling production (a  production led as opposed to a demand led fall) correlating with escalating prices.

It is always possible that demand is falling ahead of the production curve at present, and the two lines cross on the way down.  But I don't think so.  The consensus view in London yesterday is 2010 - 2012 - apart from a couple of Corn folks who belive that the Earth is flat - trouble is one of them is a highly respected Prof of Economics whose views still carry more weight than mine.

I am 100% convinced that a sure fire sign of being past peak will be falling production (a  production led as opposed to a demand led fall) correlating with escalating prices.


The previous (nominal) peak in oil prices was pretty close to Yergin's predicted long term index price of $38 per barrel.  As you know, Yergin's point was that rising production would force prices down.  

IMO, the opposite has happened, with falling oil production forcing oil prices up to ration remaining supplies via price, resulting in oil prices trading in record high (nominal) range this year--50% to 100% higher than Yergin's long term index price and 50% to 100% higher than the previous (nominal) peak.

I think that we are starting a new round of bidding for declining oil supplies, especially for declining exports.

I think that you agree that we are at, or within the margin of error, of the 50% of Qt mark for C+C and C+C+NGL's and probably for total liquids too.

I believe that we are entering a production plateau or a least a slower growth period  for C+C and probably C+C+NGL (the NGPL production is losing steam and has peaked so far in 2005/02).
Given this, it is interesting that world C+C production is trending down and total liquids production is basically flat.  (BTW, do you have a current C+C+NGL number versus 2005?)

You can check on my last PO Update. I'm currently working on the next one for mid-November.

From last month EIA numbers:


2005: 73.49 mbpd     
2006 (7 months): 73.38 mbpd
Monthly Peak Prod.:
2005-12    at 74.05 mbpd


2005: 81.23 mbpd     
2006 (7 months): 81.15 mbpd
Monthly Peak Prod.:
2005-05    at 81.77 mbpd

Note the EAI is almost always revising down its early estimates for C+C.

Given this level of imprecision on determining URR, what is the resulting confidence interval for the date of peak production?
Very wide! That's a problem that has plagued the PO community since the beginning, they never give confidence intervals! (see the ASPO's forecasts for instance). Giving the poor quality of the data an the inherent error of the curve fitting approach, you have at least a +/-5 years 90% confidence interval on the peak date estimate. Stuart is saying May 2007 +- 4.5 years for C+NGL.
...you have at least a +/-5 years 90% confidence interval on the peak date estimate.

And this is the crux of EVERYTHING.  Even with the error variance of the analysis, if we have not hit the plateau, we are VERY stinking close to it.  So close, that if we don't make some changes soon, it will be very difficult to recover from with any sense of civility.

crux. word of the day. who started this?
french word for cross right?

we used it as a kid rock climbing for the hardest part of a climb.

of words to randomly use it is better than machiavellian.

google matt savinar machiavellian

Actually, cross is "croix" in french, a homonymn to "crois" meaning I beleive.  Crux could be latin.
Crux is indeed Latin.  In astronomy crux is the southern cross.  The crux of the matter is a common expression in Canada referring to the decisive point at issue.  My English grandfather would use the word more in the sense of a puzzle or a conundrum.
Ya...I saw that it was used further down the thread and did a double take...I just threw it out when I posted...hadn't read the other bits using it.
With rising demand, even a plateau is a major problem.  Furthermore, with decreasing EROEI, the "plateau" is actually a gradual decline, see comments further down.
...with decreasing EROEI, the plateau is actually a gradual decline...

This is not understood and/or given enough attention.  Outside of TOD, few people get it AT ALL.

Given the numbers I see here on  options to 'cheap oil', might this be a steeper-than-gradual decline?  

It's a positive feedback loop-type situation.  It takes more energy to get more energy, and more energy to get the more energy to get more energy, and so on.

Maybe we could do a thread on this sometime?  

Thread on what? Inside TOD few people get it.Including those that supposedly GET IT. We need a negative feedback-loop type situation. Cuz the other one isn't working.

OK! I'm walking off, boss. Shakin' the branch,boss. Shakin' it, Skakin' it... The OC is gone, runnin for my life, runnin from my wife, git up git git down 9-1-1 is a joke in yo town...

Theoretically, if the production follows a logistic curve, you can find the peak by plotting P'/P against Qt (P' is the rate of change in production).  This should give a straight line which intercepts the P'/P axis at the peak.  The data probably deviates too far from the logistic model for this to be accurate, but it will give a rough value.
Due to the fact that we have data up until this point, and every point further represents an increasing chance of being at peak a "+/- (# of years)" confidence interval doesn't seem appropriate.  That chance looks something (just throwing numbers out there) like (10% 2006),(20% 2007), (30% 2008), (50% 2009)...(98% 2015).  It's skewed toward the future.
A copy of my statement that Khebab is responding too:

I wanted to present my own findings for the night, using data that I hope fits in with both Deffeyes AND Khebabs previous HL work.

I will start with Deffeyes:

First, I downloaded the world C+C figures from the EIA at http://www.eia.doe.gov/pub/international/iealf/table22.xls  This gave me figures for total C+C from the world from the years 1980 to 2004.  In order to include the data from 2005, I had to download http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/ipsr/t41c.xls and I copied the 2005 figure into the previous table for total world.

Next, I had to devise an estimate of total C+C production that would also satisfy the demand of Deffeyes for C+C production from 1985-2005 to max out at 2250 Gb.  This figure ended up being 460 Gb for cumulative C+C from 1850-1984.

Plugging in all of this data yielded:

Notice how nicely my HL fits in with Deffeyes own data.  The Qt is approximately 2251 Gb

Now I included the above 2 graphs to help demonstrate how future AND past production trends can influence Qt on a HL.    My 2006 figure was based on a C+C output of 73,500,000 bpd C+C, which was slightly lower then last years 73,554,000 bpd C+C.  As you can see, I am doing my best to be as transparent about my thought process as I can be.

I would like to note that from my 2002 graph to my 2006 graph, Qt increased by 229 Gb 'which is like adding another KSA' or a 4 year average of 57.25 Gb per year.  If current production trends are continued as Rembrant has maintained, this trend is likely to continue until 2010 for an Qt of approximately 2544 Gb, or 293 Gb more then Deffeyes predicted.  This figure does NOT include extraction increases on the downslope past 2012, and the likelihood of that NOT happening is remote at best.

Now on to Khebab's C+C + NGL.  I went directly to his source data at BP  This excel file allowed me to view C+C + NGL data for the entire world.

Now in order to devise an estimate of C+C + NGL that was in agreement with Khebabs 2235 Gb, I had to include cumulative production prior to 1965 of 157 Gb.

Plugging in all of this data yielded:

This is in good, although not perfect, agreement with Khebabs own HL charts found here.  Khebab, if my cumulative figure is incorrect, or my years that YOU used are wrong, PLEASE let me know so that I can fix this!  I did my best to count your 'dots', and I'm very tired :)

Now, I prefer to keep my charts consistent with what I have done in the past, so I continued to use Laherrere's 1985-2006 range.  My graphs noting this are as follows:

In order to get my 2006 data, I had to guesstimate the C+C + NGL production for this year based on the average difference between BPs C+C + NGL figures and the EIAs C+C for the last couple of years.  I came up with 80,000,000 bpd as opposed to last years 81,088,000 bpd.

Notice how different my HL are when using 1985-2005 as opposed to Khebabs 1983-2005: the change is a fairly significant 71 Gb.  Furthermore, as I noted above, total increase from 2002 to 2006 is a whopping 200 Gb, or again another KSA country.  Thats an annual increase of 50 Gb a year.  As I noted above, extrapolating for Rembrants own 2012 trend expectation, we come up with an additional 300 Gb.  This brings the total production rate up to 2646 Gb.

Now, an astute observer would note that this is a CLOSE figure to what I came up with using only C+C.  The explanation?  The most likely culprit is a statistical fluke, as my data is in close agreement with the 'litmus test' I was required to meet.  Another possibility is that I underestimated this years C+C + NGL production rate.  Yet another possibility is an imminent peak of world NG, so perhaps westexas is correct in regards to that after all :P  Time will tell of course.

In conclusion, I hope that these charts will help to silence my critics in regards to my total liquids HL, as I have clearly demonstrated that I was able to successfully produce a HL based not only on Deffeye's C+C data, but Khebab's C+C + NGL data.

I also want to point out that in both cases, the final Qt GREW after including the last 4 years data, data that westexas has in the past dismissed as nothing more then an anomaly.  This is a useful insight to combine with current HL models, and helps to accurately predict real world discoveries and ultimate extraction advances.

Seeing how I worked my way up from C+C to C+C + NGL, I think it is then only fair to also include my Total Liquids HL, which included C+C + NGL + Unconventional sources.

Obviously, the PO community cant champion the cause of only one HL chart 'C+C vs C+C + NGL', so I will state yet again that I believe it is time for the PO community to seriously use the total liquids HL in their own discussions.  I realize that its now nearly 3 in the morning where I live, so I will save this response and use it again in tomorrows drumbeat where we can hopefully pick up the debate where we left off 'after the horde of angry troll-preachers showed up'.

Good Night!!

I agree. Total liquids is what the world sees. Predicting this is more difficult but should be tried.

Does your offer of sharing the .xls still stand?
I would very much like to see it.


A couple comments,

  1. the slight lift above the trend line may be an extraordinary response by the oil industry to lift production above what ordinarilly nature would have given us (Hubberts Curve). This has occured because we are at peak, and I think someone has pointed out this happened around the US peak.

  2. The arguement about the exact URR being 100-200 billion barrels higher or lower only makes a few years difference to the peak anyway, so I don't really understand what your point is.

Given point (2) that we are close to peak either way doesn't it seem likely that point (1) could be correct and that we may be suspicious that the last few data points are in fact an abberation?
Thats interesting to point out, but whats even more interesting is that in order for the total liquids URR to meet up with predictions from other credible HLers, production for the past 4 years would have to average 76 million bpd.  For reference, this years production will be at least 84 million bpd, if not more :)

What total liquids urr predictions and from what credible HLers are you refering to?

I was told HL is not applicable to total liquids.

What am I missing here?

Nevermind, I found where you made that claim yesterday.

And what do you know. Khebab shot down that claim.

You are still comparing All Liquids and Crude Oil + NGL and Crude Oil + condensate like they are interchangeable.

Come on man, get with the program


I was refering mainly to Laherrere, and seeing how he works with the supposed 'big papa' Campbell, it is of an at least reputable source.  Also, as was pointed out in todays drumbeat, Khebab stated that my numbers were fairly accurate once he took a closer look at them and realized the source of the data.  Thats hardly a shot down :P

And as I stated before today, we need to count ALL Liquids, as this is what matters.  Not C+C only or C+C + NGL.  But keep spinning it.

Laherrere uses all liquids.
The "credible HLers" use C+C or C+C+NGL


whats even more interesting is that in order for the total liquids URR to meet up with predictions from other credible HLers, production for the past 4 years would have to average 76 million bpd.  For reference, this years production will be at least 84 million bpd, if not more

is not only not interesting. But its comparing apples and oranges. Its just noise. You were already told it was a bad comparison yet you continue to make it.

I didn't say your numbers were inaccurate. I said you are comparing two different things. But way to change the subject.

oh yeah, and your reply was yet another non-sequitor.
BTW, you've had my numbers and xml files for several hours at this point, and I have yet to see any triumphant flag waving from your side.

Am I to then assume that you cant refute the data sets I used?

I am in no position to "refute" much of anything. True I did want to see how you did what you did. But that was for two reasons.
  1. I want to see how its done.
  2. Its only fair to give your conclusions a run through. Would you rather I dismiss them outright?

But if you want to, I can continue to repeat what others have told you (but you refuse to listen to).

  1. You can't do HL on all liquids.
  2. You can't directly compare c+c, c+c+ngl, and all liquids.

But I have little doubt you will continue to do both. Seeing as it gets you data to fit your conclusions. Methodology be damned.
By your own logic then, we never should have left the realms of using only crude oil for our HLs.  And why is it that we have done so?  As the worlds use of hydrocarbons has evolved over time, so too have our HLs.  I only continued this trend by providing the next logical step to show a HL for total liquids.
Its NOT MY logic.

It has been explained to you why you can't do HL on all liquids. Don't be coy.

You are nothing but a dirty rotten troll. You have nothing positive to contribute. Go away.

You can not magically wish away all liquids.  They are used, processed, burned, refined, or combined with many other things.  In a sense, all liquids encompasses the totality of our current energy paradigm.

The more you keep denying their usefulness, the more moronic you become.

I don't think anyone is necessarily denying that "all liquids encompasses the totality of our current energy paradigm." (By the way, aren't you forgetting coal and nuclear?)

It is my understanding that you cannot apply HL to a renewable resource such as biodiesel or ethanol. Why? Because it is RENEWABLE. Renewable resources aren't mined, they're grown. Oil is mined. A renewable resource will not PEAK unless the sun dissapears or there are no more nutrients in the soil or the water table drops.

HL can only apply to that which peaks.

As several people have pointed out here on the TOD, ethanol requires massive FF inputs for sustainable outputs in all countries outside of Brazil.  The two are very closely linked to one another.  As such, you have to look at both fuels to get a more complete figure.

FWIW, my stance on all HL is that they are a very poor predictive technique outside of a few select fields.

And if you do a HL on Ethanol you are double counting the oil for exactly that reason.

But Hothgor knows this.

He's just trolling.

There is a very simple reason why you can't do a HL on a renewable resource. HL finds the URR of a resource. Renewables have NO URR! There is no limit to the amount of ethanol that can be made! The sun will always provide a minimal amount of energy input and you will be able to make ethanol, just not enough to necessarily do anything useful.

Just in case you got distracted there, I'll say it again. HL cannot be used on a renewable resource or any resource that has a renewable component because a URR for that resource does not exist.

Ethanol doesn't exist.  It is a myth perpetuated by cornucopians.  Don't believe what they say...


And thats the last I will say on the subject :)

Ethanol doesn't exist? Are you still living in prohibition?
You can pound a screw in with a hammer, but it doesn't work for crap.
Finally, I have been frankly astonished the degree of credibility that some, such as Robert and Cry Wolf, have given these posts by Hothgor, who used a series of poorly researched fragmentary HL plots, largely based on guesstimated cumulative production numbers, to bolster his case, which was largely based on extrapolating three data points.  The phrase "Grasping at straws" comes to mind.

What I am doing is encouraging his latest efforts, as opposed to his earlier stuff. He is putting much more time and effort into his latest entries, and that is to be commended. Whether his argument ultimately has merit is another matter. But debate should be encouraged, not discouraged by calling people names. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't attempt to blow his argument out of the water.

I think you seriously misunderstand my position. I am not suggesting that Hothgor be afforded any more credibility than anyone else. I am suggesting that he is attempting to make an actual contribution to the debate. You should relish this opportunity to defeat his arguments. When I write a controversial essay, I am looking for the dissenting opinion. This is where my argument becomes stronger, or this is where I am forced to modify or abandon it. Addressing the dissenting opinions is where people learn. The debate is where people learn. I love to see people lock horns, and I love to lock horns myself. It is how I learn.

I think we have now calculated that 4.1452353 Angels will fit on the head of a pin.

The figures you are calculating on are only accurate to 1% or less.

Hubbert had accurate figures for the US. We do not for the world - we have a set of lies and gesstimates.

Please remember this (sigh - I keep repeating this - no one listens).

Maybe it is typical that, as a region's production plateaus, there is a frenzied effort to drill more holes to maintain/increase production, exactly as occurred in texas in the early seventies and as we have seen over the past couple of years is SA.  This increased effort might then boost produciton a bit above the curve because a little production has been borrowed from the future.
Most under-rated Poster on TOD. JKISSING. Amazingly accurate. Totally nonchalant. Never gets sucked into anything. Unphased. Everything I wish I could be, but never attained. If you had been my father, we coulda made a good team. My Dad's one of the smartest guys around. If he was Dick Cheney, maybe we could save this planet. But he's not. So I have to try it on my own. First Pick? Yeah, I'll take JKISSING.
I'm quite easily sucked in when offered a ray of hope from one of tptb such as yourself.  You are too kind... glossing over my shame of recent price predictions...  
Now, will 06 TL be higher or lower than 05?  Your answer could make me a rich man...
"October 30 - USA - Matt Simmons, long time oil industry insider and author of 'Twilight in the desert', observes at the ASPO conference that while several public bodies see oil supply at a plateau (or a 'bumpy' plateau) until some point in the band 2010 - 2015, there are so few oil rigs now left available in the world, and the existing rigs are so old and high maintainance, that not only is it physically impossible to keep supply growing, but also that "sustaining the base" production for the next 5 to10 years is "not impossible but extremely long odds". "

As West Texas has previously noted, there is a large sucking sound as SA absorbs all available rigs for (esp) offshore drilling.

And, in spite of SA rig count up 2.5x, production has declined all year.
Re: The key point to keep in mind is that the method is better at estimating the reserves, and not as good at estimating precise production rates

Yeah, no kidding. In fact, the model has little to say about extraction rates other than those predicted by the bell curve after peak production has apparently been reached -- for a field?, a basin?? a country???, a world????

Hothgor & westtexas: Perhaps you may want to consider this in your disagreements.

There is a fundamental problem with including total liquids in an HL plot. EROEI: years ago EROEI, C+C may have been in some cases as high as 100:1 or some large ratio. At today's production rate of 85 MMBrl's/day; 100:1, 50:1, 25:1 reduce available liquid fuels to 84.15, 83.3, 81.6 MMBrl's/day respectively. Today's EROEI for total liquids is no doubt some where in the range of 10:1 to 20:1 and provides 76.5 to 80.75 MMBrl's/day of available liquid fuels. This ratio keeps deteriorating with time as more LF's are produced by non-conventional means, and as a larger percentage of C+C production is produced from more energy intensive methods. As an example corn ethanol requires 3 Brl's to produce 4 Brl's. Nearly all non-conventional LF's have an EROEI of less than 5:1.

So if you would use a decreasing EROEI and used only available LF's for your HL plots you would see a steeper gradient and Qt would be measurably smaller and peak would occur sooner. That is why I think the problem is already upon us. When the lower 48 and US production peaked world EROEI was much higher and energy consumed in production was significantly less. We just did a step drop in EROEI for C+C+NG when we changed to 15-ppm low sulfur diesel.

Right on!  I'd love to see some curves of actual delivered liquid fuels over time, based on some reasonable estimates of EROEI.  Something like Nate's conceptual curves, but with real data.  Of course the EROEI numbers will be rough, but far better than ignoring the EROEI issue altogether.  Ethanol and orimulsion - bring them on!  Just be sure to measure them right...
The EROEI data I would like to see is as obscure as chicken teeth.
Yeah, that's exactly what I was talking about above - the deteriorating ratio.  We count as energy produced that which immediatly goes back into producing more energy.

It skews the numbers.

Dipchip just said it better with actual Oily numbers.

I know it is basically impossible to quantify, but I could argue that a very important factor is excess capacity peak and its relation to price.

If capacity is raising or stable, but demand (given a stable price) is growing faster, then price rises, and some people effectively leave the oil economy. For them, it is as if there was no more oil.

That has happened already, excess capacity has peaked, ¿hasn't it?

Don't worry--the election won't last forever...  ;-)
The Current Paradigm and why it is wrong

Actually there are two paradigms and minority opinion. First there is the current paradigm of Daniel Yergin and CERA. This is the paradigm that most of the world buys into. According to this paradigm there will be no peak in oil production for several decades and even there will be an "undulating plateau" lasting for several more decades.

Then there is the "other" current paradigm, if there can be such a thing, which most members of ASPO buy into. That paradigm contends that there will be a peak in oil production somewhere between 2010 and 2015.  Chris Skrebowski puts the peak in 2010/2011.

Then of course there is the minority opinion which says we likely peaked in December 2005 and we are currently in that undulating plateau which will last, not decades but only a couple of years. And regardless of whether the date of December 2005 holds or not, the minority opinion states that we are currently in the undulating plateau located exactly at the very peak of world oil production. In other words, we in the minority are not hedging our bets, we are at peak!

First I examine the CERA paradigm, which is basically the opinion of perhaps 95 percent of the world or greater. This is important because the second paradigm is based upon at least some of the data from the first. Here are the basic premises of that paradigm.

The world has 1,292 billion barrels of proven reserves,  these reserves will grow by another 730 billion barrels and there still remains another 939 billion barrels yet to be discovered. This means we have, or will have, 2,961 billion barrels of oil to use before we must convert totally to renewables, (sarcasm) which of course everyone expects us to do. And since we are currently consuming about 27 billion barrels of crude oil annually, that would be 109 years supply, or somewhat less if we keep increasing consumption of course. But the message from these figures is, there is no need to worry, it will be at least 40 years before we need to even start making plans for declining oil production. These figures are provided by the EIA.

Of the above reserves of almost 1.3 trillion barrels approximately 70% is estimated to be in OPEC countries. OPEC is said to have, currently, 901.7 billion barrels of proven reserves and of that, approximately 743 billion barrels is located in the Middle East.

Just a few thoughts on those numbers. OPEC currently produces 42% of the world's crude oil but is said to have 70% of the world's reserves. Those numbers just don't make any sense. How can 58% of the world's oil come from only 30% of the world's oil reserves? Looking at another way, Saudi Arabia and Russia have both produced about the same amount of oil this year, approximately 12.5% of the world's total each. Yet Saudi Arabia is said to have 264 billion barrels of reserves while Russia has only 60 billion barrels of reserves.

Now I know many will say that the amount of oil a country extracts each year has nothing to do with its total reserves. That sounds very reasonable but upon closer examination we find that such an assertion is in fact very unreasonable, provided of course that the country is producing every barrel possible. It is just common sense that the more oil you have to pump, the more oil you can pump.  And I might add that the Hubbert Linerization method is based upon the quantity of oil pumped over total quantity of oil pumped and predicts the total reserves left. Therefore if production in not directly related to reserves, after a field has been thoroughly explored and drilled, then the entire Hubbert Linerization method is invalid. In fact if Russia produces approximately the same amount of oil as Saudi Arabia does this year, from only 22.7% of the reserves Saudi has, then the entire Hubbert method must be discarded as rubbish. Yet according to the EIA, in August of 2005 "Aramco estimates that the average total depletion for Saudi oil fields is 28 percent, with the giant Ghawar field having produced 48 percent of its proved reserves."

I am not saying that Russian reserves must be the same as Saudi Reserves, but if they produce approximately the same amount of oil, and do this over a period of several decades, then they must have approximately the same amount of reserves from which to pump. And I am not even saying that they would be very close. But it would be absurd to say that one could have almost four and one half times the reserves of the other. The amount of oil you can pump from a reservoir, over the long halu, is directly proportional to the amount of oil in the reservoir. That is only common sense, and it is also the basis of the Hubbert Linerization. And I must add that Russia's reserves are pegged at 60 billion barrels while the Hubbert Linerization puts those of Saudi Arabia at approximately 75 billion. About right I would think.

But what has all this to do with the current ASPO, Chris Skrebowski paradigm of a peak around 2010 or 2011, four or five years down the road? To be fair to Skrebowski, he is hedging his bets and says the peak could be as early as this winter. But the point I wish to emphasize is that Skrebowski and others buy into the early part of CERA's "field by field analysis" of new projects. That is, they believe that enough new projects will be coming on line in the next four years to delay the peak at least until then.

Examining CERA's field by field list found here we find some eye opening revelations.  First let me add that this appears to be an "all liquids" list because it contains Saudi Arabia's Hawiyah field, a gas field, from which Saudi Arabia hopes to add 300,000 barrels per day of NGLs by 2008, but no crude. But even including the NGLs, if all these projects come on in time it will add 8.390 million barrels per day of new production over four years. This comes to an increase in world production of just under 2.5 percent per year. Of course this is not all the new oil CERA expects to come on line, only the major projects. But it is interesting to note that all the major projects combined, will only add about 2.5 percent per year to the world's oil supply. With the world's existing fields declining between 5 and 8 percent per year, all major projects combined, if they all come to fruition, will still only replace less than half the decline. To get to the annual increase that CERA expects, after the decline rate is factored in, all the tiny projects combined must equal almost twice the new oil from all major projects.  That is unlikely to say the least.

For this report I wanted to go over each of the major projects listed by CERA one by one, but finding this work long and tedious, and the fact that I could not get data on every major project listed, I decided to give a short summery with only a few examples instead.

Looking at all the Middle East new projects, it was interesting to note that they all, save one, are from very old and depleted fields. The one exception, Shaybah, discovered in 1968 was the twenty-eighth field discovered in Saudi Arabia, and the last field of any great size. (Simmons, page 37) But because of its very remote location it was not brought on line in 1999. Aramco, hopes to increase production of Shaybah from 500 mb/d to800 mb/d by 2008.

All the other Middle East major projects, that I could get information on, were all new wells in very old fields that have been producing for many decades. A few examples:

Khursaniyah: This field peaked in 1979 at 208,000 barrels per day. By 1982 this field had declined to 107,000 bp/d. Yet Aramco says a new workover of this old field will increase production to 500,000 bp/d.

Haradh: Part of Ghawar but located in the very south that has only very heavy, very sour oil. Haradh III is supposed to add another 300,000 bp/d to the 600,000 bp/d that this section of Ghawar was already producing before Haradh III was brought on line. It should be noted that this project is already on line yet Saudi Production continues in spite of this new addition.

Khurais: This is a most interesting field. Aramco hopes to increase this field to 1,200,000 barrels per day by 2009.

It is expected to be completed by June 2009.
The mission of the program is to design, construct and bring into production safe and reliable facilities to produce 1.2 million barrels per day of stabilized Arabian Light (AL) crude and 4.5 million bpd of treated seawater for reservoir injection.

Yet CERA believes only Khurais Phase 1 will be completed by 2009 and that will only produce 150,000 barrels per day. They apparently don't believe the Saudis. And you must also note this article published by Aljazeera. It is titled: "Are Saudis telling fairy tales about oil?" Apparently Aljazerra thinks the Saudis are lying also. ;-) The Aljazerra article also notes that, according to an IEA report, Saudi Arabia needs 800,000 bp/d of newly discovered oil each year just to offset declining fields and maintain its current production. However I think there is little to no new oil to be discovered in Saudi Arabia. Any increase in Saudi production must come from new wells in very old fields. And according to all reports, that is exactly what Saudi Arabia is trying to do.

But more must be said about Khurais. Khurais was brought on line in 1959 and reached peak production of 144,000 barrels per day in 1981 then began to decline rapidly. In 1983 Saudi begin injecting gas into the reservoir in an attempt to increase production. Nothing worked however as production continued to decline. Then early in this century Saudi decided to spend 3 to 4 billion dollars to increase production to 800,000 bp/d. Some Saudi optimist later decided that 1,200,000 was a much more desirable figure and penciled that in. I agree with Aljazerra, this is a fairy tale. It is a fairy tale that only the most credulous can believe.

Burgan: CERA is counting on Burgan to increase production by 200,000 bp/d. Kuwait has admitted that Burgan, which has been producing for almost 60 years, has peaked at 1.7 mb/d and now is in decline. The idea that a new wells can increase production by 200,000 barrels per day is pure fiction.


Of all the "new oil" coming on the market in the next few years, only a small percentage of it is actually new oil. Most of these "new projects" are nothing more than attempts to suck the old reservoirs dry much faster. Such attempts will likely be met with very little success, but to the degree they are successful, such tactics will only make the eventual decline more catastrophic.

As stated above, the amount of oil one can pump from a reservoir is directly proportional to the amount of oil in the reservoir. It is truly astonishing that only a very few "peak oilers" have figured out this very simple and obvious fact. And astonishing as it may seem, even a few peak oilers would argue with this obvious fact. At any rate, if Saudi Arabia truly had 264 billion barrels of reserves, there would be no reason to re-work very old depleted fields. They could just move to a new spot, sink a well and the oil would come gushing out. The same is true for Kuwait or any other Middle Eastern OPEC nation. Reported Middle East reserves are pure fiction. OPEC reserves outside the Middle East are also inflated but not to the extent as are Middle Eastern OPEC reserves.

And lastly, the current paradigm of Chris Skrebowski and others, I believe, is simply wrong. It is wrong because it is based, to a large extent, on the very inflated claims of "new projects" scheduled in the Middle East. In fact, Skrebowski completely buys into the very absurd claim that the Khurais field in Saudi Arabia will be producing 1,200,000 barrels per day by 2009.  And this is the primary reason the Skrebowski paradigm is wrong.

While it is true that most of the "new projects" listed by Mr. Skrebowski, are located outside the Middle East, nevertheless it is likely that many of them are overestimates. His growth in supply is right in line with that of CERA, though he points out that approximately 10 to 20% of all projects slips by a year. I think this is a gross underestimate. He points out, in this 2005 paper, that BPs Thunder Horse has already slipped from 2005 to the first half of 2006. Of course we now know that it has slipped to 2008. Mr. Skrebowski accepts the same overall depletion, 5%, as does CERA.

The thing that both Skrebowski and CERA overlook is that many of these projects will not come in with nearly the volume of barrels per day as predicted. In fact every very few of the projected projects in the Middle East will even approach their predicted daily volume and to the extent that they do, this will simply vastly increase the rate of decline a little further down the line.

And finally there is the obvious fact that the gains predicted for 2006 has failed to materialize. Production so far this year is below the average for the calendar year of 2005. And this is true in spite of the fact that hurricanes lowered 2005 production by an average of over 300,000 barrels per day.

Ron Patterson

Interesting point about Russia, except that the Soviet transition can certainly provide several explanations - for example, the Soviets were actually major oil exporters before 1989, it is just that the exports went in large part to inefficient Eastern European economies and other allies; that the Soviet oil industry was so outdated that a major jump in production may be more an indication of how technology improves than a measure of reserves; and that Russian priorities are different than Soviet ones - that is, where the Soviets were more concerned about power, the 'new' Russian producers are more concerned about money.

Further, it is difficult to pick apart 'Soviet' and 'Russian' numbers - a lot of 'Soviet' oil is not technically 'Russian' oil anymore, which may have some impact on reserve numbers. (Though as Cheney just might be dimly grasping, the fact that the Soviets aren't around isn't exactly the same as saying the Russians have packed their bags and left behind all that black gold for Wall Street to party with.)

Quite honestly, I am not sure how reliable any Soviet/Russian numbers are at a fine grain - both the Soviets and the Russians share a fundamental paranoia and need for secrecy which is hard to understand and gauge, including the fact that Russian pride seems to have to do as much with hiding perceived inferiority as anything else. And corruption plays a role too - and if anyone really knows how much oil is shipped in reality between Russia and China, they are likely in a very, very small circle of people - the number of people who think they know is likely several orders of magnitude greater.

Let's just say, the stories I know of people who used to work in Russia in the mid-1990s are fascinating - don't bet that all the trains carrying oil are ending up where the manifest says they are going, for example. And yes, it is hard to imagine that someone could actually 'misplace' a train for a week, having it carry cargo between two different places than listed, but hey, $100 bills and vodka seem to have powers unimagined in the West, at least in the mid-1990s. With a former KGB agent in charge, things could be a bit different these days.

Expat, I am not saying that the Russian numbers are accurate, however I would guess that they are far more accurate than the numbers coming out of Saudi Arabia. In fact everything coming out of Saudi Arabia these days must be taking with a grain of salt.

Hey, when Saudi Arabia's closest neighbor starts to doubt what Saudi says about their oil production and reserves, it is time for us to start doubting also.

Ron Patterson

Well, this is no defense of the Saudi information, it is just that any argument using Soviet/Russian figures requires a lot of caution.

Thanks for your posts!

I noticed a quote from Matt Simmons in the Saudi Arabia article you quoted, saying that the production numbers didn't seem to square with export numbers.

The International Energy Agency (IEA), in its November report, puts sustainable Saudi production at 9.5 million bpd.

Currently Riyadh is producing 9.6 million bpd to satisfy the increase in demand and the IEA notes that it may be able to "surge" produce another 1 million bpd for a few days in case of some kind of short term catastrophe. But currently Saudi can realistically produce 9.5 million bpd.

Or can it?

"All these numbers are hard to square," says energy banker and Saudi expert Matthew Simmons of Simmons & Co, Houston. "Even the verification of reported current production leaves a question or two.

"The data produced by the IEA on crude imports to their member countries by country of origin show no sign of any surge production ... imported into the IEA countries over last three years other than the 2nd quarter of 2003.

"Saudi Aramco's annual report of 2002 reported crude production of just under 7 million bpd. If the output is up 2.6 million bpd, it is hard to see none showing up in the IEA member countries."

It seems like it would be worthwhile looking at imports to IEA member countries over time, perhaps together with production in these same countries.

Where does one can get IEA data of this type? What is it's cost? Has someone put this kind of information together already?

Re: As stated above, the amount of oil one can pump from a reservoir is directly proportional to the amount of oil in the reservoir. It is truly astonishing that only a very few "peak oilers" have figured out this very simple and obvious fact

Perhaps we haven't figured it out, Ron, because incremental production is not purely a function of reserves other than the trivial observation that the oil must be there & be recoverable (geology, technology, economics) before you can produce it. In fact, the Cornucopian argument, in a nutshell, is just as you state in the part I quoted above. They believe f(Reserves(Field)) = IP (incremental production from the Field), where f is the magic function that no one can define and as Reserves(Field) grows, so does IP.

How many times have I covered this on The Oil Drum? You can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink.

How many times have I covered this on The Oil Drum? You can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink.

Dave, thie kind of sarcasm does not become you.

The entire Hubbert method is based on the assumption that the size of the reservoir does affect production over the long term. And let me say again, this is just plain common sense. The hubbert linerization looks at oil produced annually, over total oil produced, and then predicts the ultimate size of the reservoir. They are directly related if Hubbert is to be believed. However Dave, if you believe the Hubbert Linerization is all bullshit, just say so. There is no need to beat around the bush about that.

And you miss my point entirely. If Saudi Arabia truly had 264 billion barrels of reserves, then there would be no need to re-work swiftly declining fields, fields that have been in production for over half a century, to increase production. Saudi reserves, as stated by the Saudis, is a myth, it is pure fiction. And the same can be said for most other OPEC nations, especially Iran, Iraq, Kuwait and the UAE.

Ron Patterson

Ron, the fact that reserves do 'affect production over the long term' and that reserves and production are related, does not mean that, as you wrote, 'the amount of oil one can pump from a reservoir is directly proportional to the amount of oil in the reservoir'. The word 'proportional' means that there is a linear relationship between 'oil in the reservoir' and 'production', and this is clearly not true.
Coilin, I am not a mathematician but I really do not think that the word "proportional" necessarily means "linear". "Directly proportional" simply means that they both must move in the same direction. As the size of the reservoir goes up, the amount of oil that can be extracted, over the long haul, must also go up.

If one made the statement that global warming is directly proportional to the amount of C02 in the atmosphere, he or she is not claiming that the relationship is linear. They are only claiming that as the amount of C02 increases so does the average temperature of the atmosphere.

If two nations are pumping just over 9 million barrels per day, and both nations are pumping flat out, then only commons sense would tell you that one does not have four and one half times the reserves as the other.

Coilin, I stand by every word I wrote in my original post today. If directly proportional means it must be linear, then I have learned something new today. But so far I have my doubts. I think you are mistaken.

Ron Patterson


I enjoyed your post, however it looks like Coilin is right in this regard.


If a is (directly) proportional to b, then a/b is a constant. The relationship is written a proportional b, which implies

for some constant c known as the constant of proportionality.

Oh well, back to the drawing board? I think it would be interesting to look at reserves vs. production rates and see if there is a correlation.

Ehhh Grim1nn3r, the word in question was "liniar".

Now I have heard the term "directly proportional" all my life. "The rotational speed of the windmill is directly proportional to the speed of the wind" Okay, is that statement true? If so is that relationship necessarily liniar?

Say the windmill, pumping water we hope, is turning at 60 revolutions per minute in a 15 mph wind, and the wind speed doubles to 30 miles per hour. And we then measure the rotational speed of the windmill and find it turning at only 115 rotations per minute. Non linear? Absolutely! Directly proportional? Yes I would say. Because as one increases so does the other.

But I could be wrong and if I am, I, as well as the majority of English Speaking peoples have been using the term incorrectly.

But let us not nitpick. The larger the reservoir the greater the amount of oil that can be pumped from it.

Ron Patterson

But let us not nitpick. The larger the reservoir the greater the amount of oil that can be pumped from it.

If that is what you mean when you refer to the relationship between reserves and production, then why do you say

Only a very few "peak oilers" have figured out this very simple and obvious fact

Personally, I would have thought that most/all peakoilers realised that the more oil there is the more you tend to be able to produce. Why are you suggesting that most of us don't understand this?

Coilin, you are right and I goofed. What I meant and what I should have said was: Only a very few people, those called "Peak Oilers", have figured this out.

That was the impression I meant to leave. Hope this clears it up.

Ron Patterson

Yes, fine.
Coilin, you are right and I goofed. What I meant and what I should have said was: Only a very few people, those called "Peak Oilers", have figured this out. That was the impression I meant to leave. Hope this clears it up.

Oh dear! It's a great pity when arguments develop based on a simple misunderstanding. I admit I misinterpreted your comment as well. In fact it seems we are all in agreement.

However, perhaps it is more accurate to say that the maxiumum production rate is a function of the remaining reserves. If you like, this is the geological limit. The Hubbert model is a logistic model derived from a growth rate and a decline rate. The actual production rate is a product of the geological limit and an economic "growth" rate. Peak production occurs where the two lines cross.

This may be familiar to many here, but it seems worth repeating as there is often confusion about the underlying logistic mechanisms in Hubbert's model.

Sir, you missed the word directly in your criticism!  
Linear is one type of proportionality; there is also geometric, logarithmic, and inverse, off the top of my
head.  The word proprortional simply implies a relationship, possibly expressible as a definable function, but not necessarily so.  An example of a non-definable function would be the amount of rain produced from an air mass is proportional to the amount of water in the air mass, but is also determined by air temperature, typography of the
land  over which the air mass the moves, and other variables both known and unknown.
Re: As the size of the reservoir goes up, the amount of oil that can be extracted, over the long haul, must also go up

I'll remember to nominate you for a Nobel Prize or, if that is unsuitable, a MacArthur Genius award.

Ron, I have a degree in mathematics, and I can tell you that the word 'proportional', used as you have used it, does mean that there is a linear relationship.

If a is proportional (or directly proportional) to b, then there exists a constant c such that a=cb See http://mathworld.wolfram.com/Proportional.html or

Proportional implies linear, although linear does not necessarily imply proportional.

Coilin, you win, directly proportional does mean linear.

I have been using the term wrong for years. To just about every other non-mathematician, and me it means the two things move in the same direction. As one increases or decreases so does the other.

That is how most us common folk use the term. And I strongly suspect weuns ain't gonna change. ;-)

(Weuns is an old southern colloquialism meaning "we" or "us".)

Ron Patterson

the two things move in the same direction. As one increases or decreases so does the other.

IIRC (from a rather faded memory), the terminology you are looking for is "monotonic function", indicating that the slope of the function is all positive or all negative. More simply, you might want to say that the slope of the transfer function is greater than zero ... but then again; non-mathematicians don't talk to each other that way ... so just say, "stuff that goes up in unison or down in unison --directly tied to each other".

You have a math degree?
Yes, I have a maths degree.

Have a look at

If (like Ron said in his original post) you say that y is proportional (or directly proportional) to x, this means
y = cx, where c is a constant.

This is a linear relationship.

If you say that y is inversely proportional to x, this means that
y= c/x, c being a constant.

If you say that y is exponentially proportional to x, this means that
y= c exp(x), etc.

If y is proportional to x (or x proportional to y), then y = cx, so y/x = c, which means that x is a constant proportion of y, and y is also obviously a constant proportion of x. That is why they are called 'proportional'.

Linear, by the way, is not a kind of proportionality, as you suggested above. If y = cx+d, where c and d are constants, this is a linear relationship, but y is not proportional to x since y/x does not give a constant.

Where to start? The linearization predicts the URR as a function of the cumulative production -- not the other way around as you implied (stated) in your original post above. If you are talking about what economists call stock effects as I spoke of here, then say so. Otherwise, when you say this --
I am not saying that Russian reserves must be the same as Saudi Reserves, but if they produce approximately the same amount of oil, and do this over a period of several decades, then they must have approximately the same amount of reserves from which to pump. And I am not even saying that they would be very close. But it would be absurd to say that one could have almost four and one half times the reserves of the other. The amount of oil you can pump from a reservoir, over the long haul, is directly proportional to the amount of oil in the reservoir. That is only common sense, and it is also the basis of the Hubbert Linerization.
the key phrase is over the long haul. This is a trivial observation that over decades, you can not extract oil at a certain rate if it is not there. On this thread, that has been taken to be a profound statement. It is not. In the cases we are concerned about, reserves numbers tell us almost nothing. For example, the estimated URR may be huge but the extraction rates may be slow -- see my story on CO2 EOR for stranded oil. When you say
As stated above, the amount of oil one can pump from a reservoir is directly proportional to the amount of oil in the reservoir. It is truly astonishing that only a very few "peak oilers" have figured out this very simple and obvious fact. And astonishing as it may seem, even a few peak oilers would argue with this obvious fact. At any rate, if Saudi Arabia truly had 264 billion barrels of reserves, there would be no reason to re-work very old depleted fields. They could just move to a new spot, sink a well and the oil would come gushing out
While you barking up the right tree here, your statement is a caricature of reality. Move to a new spot ... gushing out? You've got to be kidding me. Only someone totally unfamiliar with oil E&P would make such a statement. This is embarrassing to me. And when you say, the amount of oil one can pump from a reservoir is directly proportional to the amount of oil in the reservoir, I can show you many counterexamples eg. many deepwater basins like the Campos in offshore Brazil.

So, don't tell me I've used unbecoming sarcasm when you have mischaracterized complex realities. Jesus wept.

Dear Embarrassed, please give me a little damn leeway here. When I say "move to a new spot, sink a well and oil would come gushing out" you knew well what I was talking about. If they had that much oil, there would un-drilled reservoirs covering half the entire Eastern Province. All they would have to do is drill one of them and oil would come gushing out. But the un-drilled reservoirs are simply not there. Therefore they must rely on pumping more oil from old reservoirs that have been producing oil for half a century and many are in steep decline.

I do not think there are any mischaracterized complex realities in my post. I think it is totally absurd to assume that Saudi Arabia truly has 264 billion barrels of reserves. It is just as absurd to assume that there is over 740 billion barrels of reserves in the Middle East.  And it absurd to believe that Saudi Arabia, or any other Middle East nation can dramatically increase their production as CERA, the IEA and the EIA predicts.

That was the point I was trying to drive home Mr. Embarrassed. And if you have a problem with that then so state your problem.

Ron Patterson

This will be my last post on this subject.

No, I don't know what you mean by move to a new spot, sink a well and oil would come gushing out. Ya' know, if I disagree with you, there is a definite possibility that you are wrong. Not that I an infallible like the Pope, but if my considerable analysis of these problems disagrees with your, to my mind, simplistic interpretations of the timing of Peak Oil -- then maybe you ought to take another look. The fact that you may be misleading others who visit this website and adding fuel to the fire of those like CERA who oppose us is another important concern I have.

-- Dave

How many times have I covered this on The Oil Drum? You can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink.

Dave, thie kind of sarcasm does not become you.


What you should have said was;

No, It's  "You can lead a man to knowledge, but you can't make him think"

That's my spin on the old cliche.
But it's apt in this arguement.


Re: You can lead a man to knowledge, but you can't make him think

So, John --

Am I to gather from your flippant remarks that you think that the analyses I've done on The Oil Drum are worthless?

Perhaps you and Ron should create a new blog called "Idiots Are Us". That's just a suggestion, you can call it what you want. Apparently, TOD is not the place for you.

Dave: I know how you feel. I don't know when Ron and John came on board, but it would seem it was after HO did all his fine posts on FF technology. Perhaps you could direct them to some of these old posts. They may not understand that oil in place is not proportional to URR, and that URR is dependent on technology and reservoir management. Also they may not understand formation permeability, porosity, down hole differential pressure, over burden pressure, formation temperature gradients, etc. It's absolutely mandatory that folks that post technical information as absolutes understand all aspects of their comments.  

You can lead a man to knowledge, but you can't make him think

I would suspect this applies more appropriately to them than you.  


No, Not at all...  I read every one of your posts.  I think you have done some great stuff.  

The Man/knowledge wasn't really directed at you.  I love the quote as a spin on the horse/water one.   It applies to many many people that you and I And Ron, et al have tried to reach about Peak Oil.  

When we look at a graph of the history of Oil,  1850+/- to 20xx,   The period we are focusing on "Date of the Peak" lies with a period of about 10 years.  Over a 100-200 year graph of the age of oil,  that point EXACT position is really an academic question.  

As the original Hirsch reports states,  if you don't start 10-20 years before the peak, your're toast.  

We are Toast.

In my heart and mind,  I believe we are at peak now.  But if it is in 2010-2015 the difference is "Fly Shit on a Cannonball"  It don't make no never mind...

So, No your work(and Posts)and others are still the reason I visit this site every day.

Much respect to you sir.

John Carr


I think TOD should consider a dedicated guest thread to honour your research/work.

Like you I also believe the "Peak" are closer than most "peaksters" do, and I have arrived to this from closely monitoring the development of hard "production" data for several years.

Rune in Norway

Production so far this year is below the average for the calendar year of 2005. And this is true in spite of the fact that hurricanes lowered 2005 production by an average of over 300,000 barrels per day.


I agree with much of what you wrote, but not this. The 300,000 barrels was not knocked offline until September, and it stayed offline well into 2006. Furthermore, it was January 2006 that the situation in Nigeria seriously destabilized, taking down a good bit of production. Finally, a lot of refinery maintenance was postponed in the fall of 2005 due to the hurricane and the desperate need for gasoline.

In the spring of 2006, refinery utilization dropped to a very low level as refineries had to be taken down for maintenance. I maintain that this is the reason imports fell off in the spring. If your refinery is down, you aren't buying crude. Note that imports picked back up and even set new records after the refinery utilization went back up.

Robert, the amount of oil knocked off line was over almost one and one half million barrels per day for two months and much of it lasted through December and true, some of it lasted into 2006. In September US production dropped to 4.2 mb/d, down from almost 5.5 in 2004. The 300,000 barrels per day was an average of the oil knocked off over the entire year.

I got the data from the EIA's own site. They stopped posting Katrina and Rita data earlier this year after most of it came back on line. However I estimate that if the oil knocked off line in 2006 was averaged out it would amount to less than 100,000 barrels per day. I can dig up the data if you insist but I assure you it averaged over 300,000 barrels per day over the entire year.

And I was referring to world production not imports. The nations of the world do not cut crude production just because US refinery utilization is down a few percentage points.

Ron Patterson

You want me to read this now or later? How do you want me to play it? Is this a draft or the real thing? It seems substanstial. I'm not going to attack it. It might be booby-trapped. You wanna call a truce?
I buy into all of this... peak looks pretty close, SA decline, russia maybe peaking, project delays and cost overruns everywhere, etc.  However, Freddy will happily point out that eia reports all time high production numbers for july and aug, so there is a good chance 3q06 will be highest ever, maybe even after revisions.  What of this? Part of the plateau? The actual peak q?
HIgh production in 3q does in fact explain the oil price crash, and the market's lack of response to opec cuts.

Any peakers want to discuss 3q06? Westtexas? CEO?
How about predictions for 4q06? 1q07? BEfore and after factoring in opec cuts?

Anybody want to pick the peak year? How about 05 vs. 06?

Can't. September's not in yet. I just run EIA. I'm the only one that tries to extract monthly all liqs totals off of EIA C+C, so I'm probably your best bet. I don't get involved with IEA. No prejudice. I just don't use it. Somebody wants to start throwing me complete data sets off of their reports every month, I'll do it. Makes no difference to me. except it's more work for me. But I'll do it, no problem. I'm getting too old for this shit. Computers can do it. And I could write the program in my sleep. That's what's pissing me off. That nobody else sees this. Not even Simmons.
But I want your predictions, not a sum of published data.  Look, you show my yours and... No, wait, I'll show you mine first.  
3q06 will be the highest all liquids q on record, 4q down (opec is protecting us and our oil investments). 05 will have higher production than 06 or 07 (opec continues working for me and other oilers thru 1q07).  My ball fogs up after 07.
Disclaimer: these predictions come from one who said oil would not drop below 68, certainly not below 60.
However, Freddy will happily point out that eia reports all time high production numbers for july and aug, so there is a good chance 3q06 will be highest ever, maybe even after revisions.

Problem is that Freddy is always giving you "All liquids" numbers when we are discussing C+C+NGPL. By definition All Liquids numbers will always lower than C+C+NGPL so I will always lose against his arguments :).

From last month EIA numbers:


2005: 73.49 mbpd    
2006 (7 months average): 73.38 mbpd
Monthly Peak Prod.:
2005-12    at 74.05 mbpd


2005: 81.23 mbpd    
2006 (7 months): 81.15 mbpd
Monthly Peak Prod.:
2005-05    at 81.77 mbpd

Khebab and Westexas. I have a high degree of respect for you and your work. And you know this from a long relationship with me.I deal with you guys on several different levels. All positive.

I've never voiced these thoughts to you privately, but it has been my position for a long time.

#1) You guys don't bullshit. You believe what you are saying and to the best of your knowledge, you are presenting facts as you see them.

#2) You have always afforded me and anybody else the utmost of respect when it came time to present cases and to argue.

#3) There is nothing more important that points 1 and 2

I disagree on several issues. We will talk about this in coming days.

I'm not sure if I am making any sense here. But we are going to get into fights and I want you to know that I am prepared to lose.

But I also want you to know that the level of debate and your civility is as far as I have seen - unmatched. This is your greatest strength. I can only overwhelm you with superior numbers. And this I intend to do.

The only thing I want, no matter who wins or loses in whoever's eyes - is that we learn.

I don't know any other way to do this. Forgive me.

Looking forward to your numbers!

If ppl argue numbers rather than personalities and motives I think we will all be more than fine.

Very, Very Important Point About Khebab's HL Work on Lower 48 & Russia

I briefly referenced this up the thread, but Khebab (my idea--Khebab did the heavy lifting) predicted the post-50% of Qt cumulative production for both the Lower 48 and Russia, using only production data through the 50% mark.  

These two regions account for more than one-third of all oil produced to date worldwide, and like the world, they showed rock solid HL trends up to the 50% of Qt mark.

The post-50% of Qt cumulative production in both cases, through 2005, was basically exactly what Khebab predicted it would be.

My point is that the world is at or very, very close to where the Lower 48 and Russia were in 1970 and 1984, respectively, i.e., the 50% of Qt mark.  The HL model, using only the same amount of production data that we have for the world, was esseentially 100% correct, through 2005, in predicting post-50% cumulative production.

So, why should we expect world conventionl oil production to behave differently from the Lower 48 and Russia, especially with the near certainty that the four current super giants are all in decline or crashing?

Sorry if this a silly question, but I can't find numbers for 3q06 in the EIA website, could someone point me to the right pdf or xls file?

Many thanks

3q06 will not be out until sep is out. aug was recently posted.
Hello Darwinian,

IMO--POST OF THE DAY--OUTSTANDING!!!!  Don't forget each new superstraw well has a progressively lower ERoEI and a ever-decreasing time of production before it becomes pointless.

A devastingly effective rebuttal to Yergin & Lynch.

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

Great post.

I found this little snippet last night on Bloomberg:


OPEC Expects Oil-Refining Shortage to Last, Prices to Gain

 OPEC members including Saudi Arabia have deflected criticism of higher oil prices, denying any shortage of oil in global markets. Instead, Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi and other officials have blamed years of neglect by refining customers and their inability to process the group's oil, which typically has a higher sulfur content and requires expensive technology to remove the pollutant.

The world needs more plants that remove sulfur to clean an additional 20 million barrels a day of crude by 2015, Daukoru said. Oil demand is far from robust, he said.

Has KSA always pumped lower quality oil, or is this a recent development? Surely refineries should already be geared to processing KSA crude because the KSA has always been such a huge producer.

On the other hand, perhaps the KSA has only recently started pumping lower quality crude in an attempt to keep up with demand.

This is a devestating rebuttal for any argument against peak.  One can pry deeply into numbers but stepping back to a bigger view, such as this one by Darwinian, puts things in a clear light.

This basic argument should be used, when and where possible, to confront the cornucopians, if our goal is to ease the PO crunch.  

Anyone out there who can substantively dismiss this case?  How?  

I know there's an HL debate raging here, this is another view of the same reality, and pretty damn clear and convincing IMHO.

stepping back to a bigger view, such as this one by Darwinian, puts things in a clear light.

Not so fast.
And this word of caution comes to you from the step-backer-in-chief.

When someone peppers his argument with phrases like "common sense" and "reserves" (proved reserves?) I start to get very suspicious.

There is no such thing as common sense. There is only common irrationality.

The bottom line is that none of us know exactly how much economically recoverable crude lies underground. It is after all, "underground"; invisible. That is why you never know for sure until after you have drilled and brought it up. And moreover, the definition of "economically recoverable" is very fuzzy.

Of course one can always step back to a Moon's-eye view of planet Earth and calculate the exposed land mass over the eons and the amount of sunlight that fell on it and the likely conversion rate of plant life over those eons and that should give you some upper maximum number on how much energy could be stored in the fossil fuels (or alternatively compute the anount of oxygen in our atmosphere because that gives you a combustion limit). But that number does not tell you about the econimic behavior of humankind. What set of above ground factors will convince human kind to stop drilling and start living sustainably?


Excellent work - the point needs to be made again and again the SA is lying.

If you use more realistic depletions numbers (not 5%), and compound that with westexas' net export model,  it seems that the 'Peak' will be obvious a lot sooner than many think.

It's all about population!

     It might be timely for everyone to go back and read Colin Campbell's newsletter no 46 from October 2004. Go to the very last article no 435 The Nemisis Report where an oil industry insider predicted that SA would be 9 million by Mid 2006 falling to 8.7 by year end 2006.
     He goes on to say that SA has only ever used 19 fields and 8 are stars. the rest are dogs that can only ever produce around 10% to 20% and that is why SA is now past 50%
For all the talk about how bad Iraq is - check out this article:


"It is much worse in Miami than it is in Baghdad," Gittoes said in Sydney today.

"There is a sense of people with guns, drug dealers lairing at you ... and being there, I knew I was in a war zone."

"Even left-wing Americans ... don't want to recognise the mess they've got in their own backyard," he said.

"To me, this was just another war zone and it was in America," he said.

Wow - it is a good thing he didn't go to Flint or Detroit MI?

And you know, those arms markets with the RPGs and mortars, with the products being fired off every night - America has them too, I'm sure.
The BBC covers the rest of the IEA report: World risks 'dirty' energy future

The IEA, not surprisingly, shows more disconnect. Apparently, they're on a new nuclear push path. The first graph has oil demand up by some 30% in 2030. Well, demand all you want, but...

The second graph shows that even the 'alternative' scenario sees primary energy demand up by over 30% in the timeframe. That's a lot of nuclear and coal.

In both cases one thing is obvious: what is projected as demand will not be available. It would be good if the IEA would make some graphs reflecting that reality.  

What if we can't produce it? It's amazing that the possibility is completely ignored. And it makes the IEA increasingly irrelevant. Wonder what insurance companies, who rely on long term assessment, think of all this.

IEA: World risks 'dirty' energy future

The International Energy Agency's (IEA) World Energy Outlook (WEO) 2006 also echoed the findings of a recent UK report that said the benefits of cutting emissions outweighed the costs of climate change.

"WEO 2006 reveals that the energy future we are facing today, based on projections of current trends, is dirty, insecure and expensive," said Claude Mandil, executive director of the IEA.

"But it also shows how new government policies can create an alternative energy future which is clean, clever and competitive," he added.

The document considered two scenarios:

  • Business as usual - Referred to in the report as the "reference scenario", this projects how the globe's energy mix would look in 2030 if current trends were followed
  • Alternative policy scenario - projects how the energy mix would appear in 2030 if the package of policies and measures being considered by governments were adopted.


what are we looking at here? It's not really peak oil. No? I often have a hard time looking at certain graphs and not chuckling. It is 2006, almost 2007, isn't it?

I almost never post projective charts. I learned early. Yet I get tagged with being a ProJeXiOnist, or some such stuff, by "Sendy."

My only real projection chart is my "Pink Bubbles" which was named by SAT after he witnessed my girlfriend fart in the jacuzzi.

Yet here we see projections. So what's up?

Where's "Sendy?" Why Sendy have no problemo with Westexas' Predictiones? Just curious.

I'm seeing lines past 2030. Somebody owes Freddy Hutter an apology. If that doesn't happren, I'm forecasting war.


I think the choice is to either make Claude Mandil face a firing squad, or award him a Nobel prize (take your pick which one).

He really is quoted as saying:
"new government policies can create an alternative energy future which is clean, clever and competitive"

Clean clever Claude.

And I really wonder what Swiss RE headquarters thinks. Or, if that doesn't pan out cause they're inhaling pink bubbles 24/7, there's a fair number of racetrack bookies who got their finger on the assessment pulse.

Which is the crux of it all. There may be differences of opinion, but in the end there's just one question: what are the chances of that oil being there in 2030?

If Mandil keeps telling you to put your money on the horse with the broken leg to win the race, they'll give you and him great odds. But it's not where their bets will be.

I've heard this name mant times, I have no idea who he is. I exist in a different world. I'm sorry, I just don't do 2030. As SAT and othjers will attest, I am a big movie fan. I like the future(good or bad) - but always portrayed by top-notch cinematographers(or at least the ones with cute 19-year-old assistants). I like THX1138, I like 2042, I like even Bay's The Island, Mad Max, etc...The Road will be Hollywood as soon as Cormac McCarthy becomes a whore.

The Crux of it all is that we don't sell out. We exchange NG for crude when the time comes, but not sooner. Horses make glue from what I hear. They don't taste as good as chicken. I love animals. I watched two cats fuck last night. I'm not sure if they were having fun, but I wasn't. I was too obsessed with  what this girl thought of me. Why is beyond me.

the Crux? we need to eat and Graham Crackers and water get seriously boring after two days. the Crux is that no matter what you convince yourself of, your dead. And it's going to happen a lot sooner than you would like. And I don't get that either. But it has never been disproven.

No matter how sick people are, no matter how much pain they are in, .....they always, always(except in very rare cases) want to live. They grasp and don't want to die.

This may very well end up one of the most significant philosophical finds of the 21st Century.


No Faith.

Oil CEO,

I appreciate every word you write.  I want you to know that.  Even the stuff that doesn't make sense to other people makes sense to me.  I've learned a lot from you.  Especially about rythym.  Thank you.  [You bet.]

As for your most recent charts, they are top-of-the-line.  No one else can touch them.  When they offer you a position as a TOD contributor, turn them down.  We need you down here in, "Leanan's Mosh Pit."


I will never make fun of your bubbles again.  You have my word on that.


Offer me a position? Surely, you jest. Stoneleigh just told me to fuck off. Is that a position?

I love you man. The only thing I respond to is "Free-Pass Get Out of Guantanamo Cards"

I want you to make fun of my bubbles. I named them after your first poke.

I'll always be it the pit. Clash City Rockers.

You are SO sweet.

Fanclub address or something??

The first graph within the gray quote box can't be right, even for the past (let alone the future): perhaps the vertical axis is grossly mislabeled?  As it is, it shows "hydro and other renewables" at over 11 BTOE since 1970, as compared with 13-15 for oil!  Same for nuclear, same for biomass?!  WTF?
Something to keep in mind, if you think health care might be unaffordable in the post-carbon age...

Circumcision cuts STD risk, major study shows

Circumcised males are less likely than their uncircumcised peers to acquire a sexually transmitted infection, the findings of a 25-year study suggest.

According to the report in the November issue of Pediatrics, circumcision may reduce the risk of acquiring and spreading such infections by up to 50 percent, which suggests "substantial benefits" for routine neonatal circumcision.

This was first noticed in Africa, where it was noticed the Muslims were much less likely to get AIDS than others.  They thought at first it was because they had fewer sexual partners, but that wasn't it.  It's their tradition of circumcision.

Or more realistically will condoms be unavailable in a post-carbon age?
I'm sure condoms will always be available.  The Latex kind that prevent HIV infection...well, they may not always be as affordable as they are now.
The don't call them sheepskins for nothing. :-)
Abstinence will always be available, I afforded that for 19 years.
I somehow doubt that circumcision will be a popular elective procedure among adults, especially on the downslope of peak anesthetic.   ;- (
As long as you can still make ammonium nitrate, you can make nitrous oxide, and renewable analgesics like good old willow bark can moderate the postoperative pain.  My gut says that the risk and severity of postoperative complications (e.g. infection, hemmorhage) would outweigh the benefits.

But maybe circumcision might retake its place as a rite of passage like it did in any number of cultures, and the procedure's stated benefits (and perhaps the need for pain reduction) would be of secondary importance.

This is not a new issue within medicine.  There's been a hot debate in the world of pediatrics for a couple decades over whether to circumsize infant boys or not.  

Pros: 1)Although very rare, circumcision virtually eliminates penile cancer, 2) circumsized males have (and transmit to others) fewer STD's as the foreskin acts as a resevoir for bacteria and viruses 3) circumcision dramatically decreases rates of bladder infection and balanitis (infection of the head of the penis and foreskin).  

Cons: 1) a few boys per million get their penis mutilated by inexperienced surgeons.  2) lack of foreskin may decrease the sexual experience.

Circimcision was done for millenia to infants without any anesthesia at all.  In my opinion, in a post-peak world, the benefits of circumcision will outweigh the risks.  Post-peak the treatments for STD's/ infections and penile cancer will probably be harder to come by than local anesthetics (systemic anesthetics aren't needed) and the small blades and clamps needed for the procedure.  Just make sure you get an experience physician who does at least dozens of these a year.

Phineas Gage, MD

Cons: 1) a few boys per million get their penis mutilated by inexperienced surgeons.  2) lack of foreskin may decrease the sexual experience.

Ohhhh  Kayyyyy; do you have any articles on getting transplants?

Transplants: No

Skin Grafts: Yes

There is an article that was published in the British Journal of Urology in 1998 "Surgical methods of restoring the prepuce: a critical review."
That is pretty much the only article published by an MD on the subject.


When reading articles trumpeting benefits offered by circumcision, it is very helpful to keep in mind that most of these benefits are also provided by Femal Genital Mutilation. People seem very willing to promote circumcision but I have yet to meet anyone advocating female genital mutilation for medical benefits. Why might this be? It is perhaps possible that the genitals of women are seen as having greater intrinsic value than the male genitalia? Gender equality anyone?

As far as I am concerned, circumcision could cure HIV and I would still have nothing but utter contempt for anyone advocting subjecting non-consenting individuals to circumcision.

As it stands, circumcision offers very little protection against HIV. This is dangerous because it is promoted as protection, and people are less likely to use protection if they feel that they are already protected.

When reading articles trumpeting benefits offered by circumcision, it is very helpful to keep in mind that most of these benefits are also provided by Femal Genital Mutilation.

No, they are not.  

People seem very willing to promote circumcision but I have yet to meet anyone advocating female genital mutilation for medical benefits. Why might this be?

Oh, I dunno...maybe because there aren't any?

As it stands, circumcision offers very little protection against HIV.

Not true.  Circumcision appears to offer about as much protection as any HIV vaccine we're likely to develop.  Are you also against vaccines, because they might promote promiscuity?  

Honestly, I have yet to get my hands on a copy of the new study. However, judging from the articles published in the past regarding HIV protection offered by circumcision, I have very little hope for this one.

You might wish to read "Misuse of the AIDS epidemic to promote male circumcision." in the British Medical Journal

The pet theory of the circumcision advocates was dashed when Robert S. Van Howe, M.D., F.A.A.P, an expert in statistical analysis, carried out a statistical meta-analysis of all existing studies.5  The meta-analysis found that circumcised men have a somewhat greater chance of contracting HIV infection,4 even though, as noted above, those studies seem to have been designed to produce a particular outcome.

To to reply to your query:

Are you also against vaccines, because they might promote promiscuity?

Although this is a strawman, I will respond. I am not against vaccines because they do not mutilate the bodies of the people that they are protecting. Also, they generally work quite well. I am really not clear on how a vaccine could promote promiscuity, or why I should have a problem with said promiscuity.

I am concerned that people will percieve circumcision to be  a protection as valuable as a vaccine(as you have done) and be less likely to use a condom.

You might wish to read "Misuse of the AIDS epidemic to promote male circumcision." in the British Medical Journal

That study is very outdated.  A lot more research has been done since then.  

I am really not clear on how a vaccine could promote promiscuity, or why I should have a problem with said promiscuity.

It has been an issue here in the U.S., with the new vaccine against cervical cancer.  Some fear it will encourage young girls to be more promiscuous than they would otherwise be.  

I am concerned that people will percieve circumcision to be  a protection as valuable as a vaccine(as you have done) and be less likely to use a condom.

But what about a future where there are no Latex condoms, or they are too expensive for ordinary people to use?  If circumsion can actually reduce the risk of contracting as STD by 50%, isn't it worth considering?


If we can't produce condoms (although I don't believe that latex does grow on trees) we surely won't be producing antivirals at the rate we are now.  A huge percentage of aids patients will rapidly die in a harsher post peak world without them.  I am not conceding the harsh world just that HIV plus less food healthcare heat etc does not present a long life.


That is the reality in much of Africa right now.  They can't afford refrigeration for medications, let alone the medications themselves.
If men, who are fully informed of the risks and drawbacks, elect to have their penis mutilated because of a supposed slight prophylactic effect, that is their prerogative. I am mostly concerned that circumcision will be forced on non-consenting minors.

In a future without the resources for condoms, do you believe that there will be the resources for sterile operations? For proper analgesic? That doctors will have the time to properly perform the operation? I doubt it.
As an aside, on poster suggested that we will have the ability  to manufacture Nitrous Oxide. If he is suggesting that this can be an anasthetic for circumcision, he is mistaken. That is like putting a bandaid on a gunshot wound. The effect probably wouldn't be detectable. Nothing short of general anesthesia is really effective for circumcision.

That study is very outdated.  A lot more research has been done since then.
First, it is not a study, it is a review of previous studies. Also, it is only 6 years old.

Some fear it will encourage young girls to be more promiscuous than they would otherwise be.  
You will have to talk to your Evangelical Priest about that, I am all for promiscuity, but not babies or diseases.

If circumsion can actually reduce the risk of contracting as STD by 50%, isn't it worth considering?
I would love to see a source for this. According to the BMA: "There is significant disagreement about whether circumcision is overall a beneficial, neutral or harmful procedure. At present, the medical literature on the health, including sexual health, implications of circumcision is contradictory, and often subject to claims of bias in research."

As I said before, even if circumcision cured HIV, I would still oppose mass circumcision.

I now have a copy of the study to which I think the article is referring. It estimates that universal circumcision would result in a 48.2% reduction of STI in the cohort.

BTW the study is "Circumcision Status and Risk of Sexually Transmitted Infection in Young Adult Males: An Analysis of a Longitudinal Birth Cohort" in Pediatrics, this month.

You should note that a percentage reduction of STI in the cohort does not directly translate to reduction in risk of infection percentage to the individual. Also, you should note that this study did not address HIV, syphilis, or genital ulcerative disease because none of the cohort reported contracting these diseases. Nevertheless, this is a significant reduction.

It should be noted that most of the data was gathered for this study by self report. That is, the subjects were not examined. This is notoriously inaccurate; studies that have compared the number of men who self-report as circumcised with the number of men who were in fact circumcised found differences of about 50%. Fergusson et. al. felt that self-reporting introduced error, but no bias.

My apologies to fellow drummers, this thread has become wildly off-topic.

That was awesome. We just had a thread dissappear.
And nobody ever has to apologize, because it happened to fast, and there were not enough witnesses. It can all be attributed to a bug. Not fair, guys.
Maybe it was deleted by Diebold workers.
HAL,  did you get my vote?  Hal...?
Speaking of which...Voting problems crop up early on Election Day

Several precincts have been forced to use paper ballots instead.

Touch-screen voting machines...Tainterian complexity run amok.

No kidding, I normally do pretty well with things like that and did ok last election, but I swear, I must have printed out 3 paper records trying to get to the end of the program and the kindly little old Vietnamese guy helping out printed out another one again before we got the machine to record the vote and release me from the If...Then.... loop.

It's so maddening, you try to point out the Tainterian futility of a lot of new gee-whiz things and people just think you're crazy. No, I didn't spout off about Tainter and so on at the polling place, just in general .... you point out how much more work the latest "labor saving" device is, and it's like you're in 1500s Italy and you just said Christ probably had B.O.

Fed's Yellen: Income gap poses risk

U.S. income inequality has risen to such a level that "there are signs that (it) is intensifying resistance to globalization, impairing social cohesion, and could, ultimately, undermine American democracy," San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank President Janet Yellen said Monday.

In language rare for a central bank official, Yellen suggested that high priority be given to improving education, tax credits and other aspects of the social safety net, despite the cost in dollars and possible impact on economic efficiency, according to the text of her lecture at the University of California, Irvine.

"Inequality has risen to the point that it seems to me worthwhile for the U.S. to seriously consider taking the risk of making our economy more rewarding for more of the people," Yellen said.

Originally in all the beginning studies of economics in college, I whole heartedly bought into globalization.  I understoof Ricardo's comparitive advantage and could see the benefits to countries in aggregate, albeit slowly.  However I'm starting to think more about the larger system, namely the entire planet and the interconnected countries that form the trading opportunities, especially in labor.

Workers here are subjected to near limitless amounts of labor to compete for US jobs.  The US is too wealthy, on paper, than anyone else.  The poorest countries have pools of labor that are far deeper than ours which results in lower wages due to the excess supply.  Companies as a whole are relocating their costs for labor outside the country to maximize their own self interests.  At what point though do all the micro decisions aggregate out and create a drain on the ability of the average consumer to pay for basic goods and services?  When do too many businesses cut too many people, and therefore shoot themselves in the foot because there is no one that is able to buy?  At what point does the marginal gain for the business, create a negative marginal return on the ability for the consumer to buy products in general?

Which then takes me to college education.  College graduates in the US are a little over 25%. (http://www.issuespa.net/scorecards/362/418)  After thinking about it a little more, a light bulb went off.  How many people on the whole are of the ability to complete college?  High school seniors as a whole report upwards of 75% of them plan to attend college.  It will be some time before the 25% begins to tick up year after year, but at what cost?  

We've got to first agree that the population as a whole only has so many endowed with an ability to complete higher education.  Once you've reached some type of equilibrium point in terms of marginal costs, every student added creates an unnecessary cost that doesn't necessarily have the same marginal benefit as the first proportion of students.  As I said there is an increasing demand in college education, but the benefits of attending college may have began to decrease since the increasing total of available grads is climbing each year.  College is the only logical alternative to being stuck in poverty in this country.  What other options are available?

My point to all my ranting is that perhaps there are no such things as a free lunch and comparitive advantage (globalization) seems to ignore any types of costs in the real world.  Its far too easy on paper to see that France shouldn't produce anything more than expensive wine and export to the world, but at what cost to the local economy?  And at what POINT do those increasing marginal costs outweight the increasing marginal benefits of reducing one industry over another?  I feel like this country as a whole is about to start answering some of those questions next year.  

We'll know a lot more after the next few weeks as the political fallout has settle a bit.  If the Dems succeed, they're talking about raising Federal Min Wage to $7+ and this would effectively add to the labor pool depending on which argument you believe (aliens or citizens lose out).  The unemployment numbers are bogus as it is, and it will only get worse as the picture becomes clearer.

Tainter brings up the "diminishing returns" of our educational system too. Check it out if you have not read it.

cfm in Gray, ME

I agree that we need a local economy that does not unfairly exploit local workers.  But if they raise the minimum wage but don't enforce it, that will not help.  May even hurt, as the employers will hire more illegals (they don't complain) - or outsource furtehr.  If the existing employment laws were enforced, we wouldn't have an illegal immigration problem.
Wow -

"Inequality has risen to the point that it seems to me worthwhile for the U.S. to seriously consider taking the risk of making our economy more rewarding for more of the people," Yellen said.

Taking the risk of reducing PROFITS to make the economy more rewarding for more of the people? What is happening in America? Now is the time to stay the course, not cut and run just because inequality is growing - 'let them eat the dust of my Hummer' works just as well in Texas as in Iraq.

Man, I hope those voting machines are working as well as Diebold's former president promised, otherwise, things could start looking like those nightmare days when America had Eisenhower as its president.


Taking the risk of reducing PROFITS to make the economy more rewarding for more of the people? What is happening in America?

I know!  The apocalypse is truly upon us.  

The Council on Foreign Relations declaring that markets don't work doesn't do anything to calm me down.

When the Fed and the CFR both start kicking at the foundations, you'd almost think they know what we already fear: the building is about to collapse.

Now they're looking for an "I told you so" amid the ruins.

"I told you there was too much inequality!"
"I told you markets don't work!"

Never mind markets have never worked, and there's always been too much inequality; it doesn't matter as long as the walls still stand. When they come down, there's nothing left to hide behind.

US Energy Dependency: An Old Dream or Existing Project?

The new 'revolutionary' proposal put forth by the CFR lies in setting aside the market factors and freedom of supply and demand, because markets, according to the report, do not automatically provide optimal solutions.

Has anyone ever argued that free markets don't work due to externalized costs that accrue?  I mean is there an economists that anyone knows of that has investigated a presmise such as the one above?
Tate, there's more, I can't think of names right now

Pigou is one at least

Arthur Pigou, a British economist best known for his work in welfare economics, argued that the existence of externalities justified government intervention through legislation or regulation. Pigou supported taxes to discourage activities that created harmful effects and subsidies for those creating benefits to further encourage those activities. These are now known as Pigovian taxes and subsidies.

Look for the Coase Theorem also. Most economists would put it something like this: "because externalities cannot be revealed through human action they are irrelevant to the study of economics. ..."

Which points out very nicely why economics is irrelevant. The illusion is that externalities have no monetary consequences, an idea solely based on no immediacy. You only have to pay once the bill is presented. The junkie's denial.

In the end it's much more along the lines of Garrett Hardin's Theory of the Commons, if you ask me.

No problem! NY Times Columnist David Brooks says that the problem is the system is working "too well." (!!!)

Probably behind a paywall


this is surprising since the fed is the root of whats wrong with the united states.
Heh-heh-heh time until drop-out 5 years if I do things right, I think the guy who wrote the book Radical Simplicity had it right ...... you can't kill the machine, you can't fight the machine directly, but you can sure starve the thing.
Betting on cellulose.....

Can Big Oil turn into Big Biofuel?

Major oil companies have been conspicuously absent from biofuels production so far, but they are set to play a bigger role with the advent of new technology that better fits oil industry skills.

[... ] oil executives say technology is a key problem, because the current first generation of biofuels technology gives a competitive edge to agribusinesses rather than oil companies.

The simple manufacturing processes employed today mean that the key to profitability in biofuels production is feedstock costs. Access to cheap seeds and grain provides an edge, not expertise in operating complex facilities, the oil companies' specialty.

But the oil companies are developing new technologies that will allow them to create a biofuels business model that looks a lot more like the one they are used to.

[...] a more wholehearted move by oil companies into the sector hinges on the use of technology that shifts the economic power away from the feedstock onto infrastructure.

Second-generation processes involve producing gases from cellulose-rich material including straw and waste lumber, which is then converted into liquid fuel. The feedstock costs much less than vegetable oils, and less land is needed to produce a given quantity of fuel.

The capital costs are higher, but this is no deterrent to a cash-rich sector used to investing billions in single projects.

"We believe oil majors will play a significant direct investment role only in second-generation technologies," investment bank Morgan Stanley said in a research note.

Another reason why I think it's going to be hard to maintain our infrastructure in the post-carbon age...

Man allegedly chops down pole for copper

HONOLULU - A 47-year-old man accused of chopping down a utility pole to steal its copper wiring was charged with misdemeanor criminal trespass. He also faces several felony charges.

Alden Kaupiko was scheduled to appear in court Monday. His bail was set at $1,000. He also faces charges of second-degree property damage, criminal tampering and fourth-degree theft.

Kaupiko was arrested Friday at Koko Head District Park, where a utility pole had been chopped down, disrupting telephone service in the area.

Police said he was allegedly attempting steal copper wiring from a transformer. Forty pounds of wiring was recovered.

There have been several copper thefts on Oahu in past few months, costing taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars.

In September, thieves made off with more than 2 1/2 miles of copper wire they dug up along the H-1 Freeway in West Oahu. The wire connected 16 lights along the freeway from Makakilo to Kunia, which was already dark after being hit by thieves this summer.

There were reports on our local news in the middle of England of people stealing copper gas pipes while the gas was still flowing. Sounds risky but they must think it is worth it.
There have been people eletrocuted here in the U.S., trying to steal copper wire that was carrying electricity.  

Shades of those Nigerian villagers who drill into oil pipes to steal oil, even though they know a spark could cause an explosion.

And that speaks volumes about the coming price action of copper...I remember the gold and silver rush days of the early 80's when regular people lined up outside specialized shops to sell their unused silverware and gold jewellery.

High prices beget supply, which begets lower prices.

Wow those are not slummy areas either, those are areas with a fairly affluent, for Hawaii, population and fairly modern looking, no wild chickens wandering the streets, for instance.

Hawaii is very similar to New Orleans though, the main industry being music (and drugs lol) and being dependent on tourism for a "first world" lifestyle. Take away tourism in either place, and you get the old-style farm for a living and pick a guitar when work's done lifestyle - and the people who really know how to farm have pretty much died off in bothe places. Both are vulnerable, N.O. to hurricanes which it's had one of, Hawaii to a dieoff of tourism or epidemic disease (if a disease affected hawaii like bird flu, I'd expect the Mainland to turn its back on the place, frankly).

In both cases, $20K a year is considered a really good living.

Why is phone cable being stolen from the places it's been stolen in the aricle? It can only be because in the "moke" areas, there's too much of a community, and as soon as the guy even looked at the cable with a covetious eye, the whole 'hood would know it. And dammit, we need that cable, I gotta call my aunty on Maui. But in the more "modern" "afflluent" areas, there's much less community, and in fact there's probably no one in that park at night.

Very sad what's happening to Mike Ruppert and FTW.  Check it out if you haven't.  (try to ignore the little voice that shouts "conspiracy theory, conspiracy theory!")
Can you summarize, for those of us who aren't subscribers?
It's all here, for free:
To summarize, FTW is over, and Ruppert has an ugly list of health problems.  Symptoms that have been developing over the last year, not just since he got to Venezuela.  He's "only" around 55 years old.  Like me.  Makes me suspicious, of course.  A little DU in the salt shaker?
What is DU?  FWIW it sounds like he is having kidney failure caused by something in his endocrine system, are you suggesting he has been poisoned?  Good poisons cause symptoms and deaths similar to normal ones.  Heart attacks etc.  If his laundry list of symptoms is the result of a poison it is a silly choice of toxins as I am sure he is getting a full chem panel on every fluid and tissue he has.  Poisoning is not a good way to silence someone it.  Maybe he is just old.  55 is getting up there for a type "A" burn the candle at both ends stress job.  how many hours a week do you think he works?

Some times it is what it is and nothing more.

As an experienced physician, I have to agree with Oilrig medic.  Mike's troubles suggest several longstanding medical issues being discovered at one time, probably because he hasn't had a complete physical in several years.  Long term neglect of his personal physical health would not be out of character.

What impressed me, is that even in extremis, Mike is still a brilliant writer and astute observer.  His comments about expats always being aliens ring true for me.  While I have a genetic kinship with "New Zealand Europeans", they have the most alien culture I have ever encountered.  Even if I live here another fifty years, I will always be a Californian by culture.

Fortunately, I have a support group of fellow expats from Asia and Africa.  Very strange that a "white" Californian has more in common with people from India, Korea, China, Taiwan, and South Africa than with "white" New Zealanders, but that is how it works.  Cosmopolitian people have a shared worldview quite different from that of isolated islanders who have grown up coddled by a nanny state.

Without trying to be offensive, I'm going to object to this. I'm an expat as well, and the 'cosmopolitanism' you refer to is just another very limited world-view, in this case one that belongs to affluent Asians (for example) educated in schools modeled on US or UK models and working in mid- or high-level jobs in 'international' firms. In many cases these people are quite disconnected from their 'native' cultures and 'cosmospolitanism' means being able to talk in a US accent and understand 'Yeah, right. Whatever' and the accompanying roll of the eyes. That's why you can relate to them. They aren't 'cosmopolitan', they're carbon-copy Yanks - and, unfortunately, often nothing more.

And coddled by the nanny state? Through the 90s the New Zealanders got kicked in the teeth by one of the most radical neoliberal experiments in the modern world (see, e.g. Gray's 'False Dawn'.) Perhaps they are right to yearn for what went before that, when their lives were easier.

Franz, I see it rather differently.  For the past three generations all of the best and the brightest New Zealanders went overseas and didn't come back.  I am not sure that is long enough to have created a genetic population shift, but it certainly has affected the culture.  What passes for a bookstore here is a small  corner of a Whitcouls stationery store.  People simply don't read.  There is an Eloi-like aspect to their existence.  Rugby, a bottle of Tui, and Shortland Street on the tele are enough for most.  Generation Y is habitually barefoot (not due to poverty, but as a decadent fashion statement) and relies on the free public health care to treat their many resulting foot injuries.  I imagine their hardy 19th century ancestors who according to legend could fix anything with No. 8 wire would be horrified by these slackers.

The cosmopolitans where I am came in not as corporate slaves but to be professionals and entrepreneurs (there aren't any big businesses in Waikato except the Fonterra dairy co-op).  None of these people have ever lived in the US or worked for a US firm, and they don't have American accents, the Chinese and Koreans often have limited English vocabulary - but what they say is smart and thoughtful.  They are in no way clones of modern middle Americians, but perhaps more similar to middle Americans of 100 years ago, visionary, energetic, innovative, and highly productive.  They also wear shoes outdoors, so I am not always pulling glass out of their feet.  I appreciate that.

I would not be at all surprised if a century from now almost all the neofeudal lords of post oil age New Zealand are of Asian ancestry.

How did this thread make it to New Zealand?  I dunno...
Anyway, nobody will read this at this late hour, but don't any of you remember who Mike Ruppert is??  He wrote a book accusing the Vice President of the United States of being the "mastermind" of 911.  I'm not stating that his health problems are the result of being poisened in some fashion, obviously I would have no way of knowing this.  But to dismiss it as a possibility...come on!!
I just think it's all very sad.  FTW are good people and we need them and more like them.
DU = Depleted Uranium.  It's the reason over half of the 500,000 troops from Gulf War 1 are now on full medical disability, except for the over 10,000 who have died since returning home.
There are certain oils that look OK, taste OK ..... are not OK. Tests don't catch those. I think I read in Berton Rouche' about that. Berton Rouche' is great, he was a doctor and wrote real-life medical who-dunnits from the 1930s up into the 1960s.
I have no evidence that you are George Bush, but I don't have any evidence that you're not. Wow, this is fun. We can assume anything !
I grew up barefoot and never had to see a doctor for a foot injury, ever.

Not that I didn't get minor stuff, the odd cut of step on something, like a sea urchin..... makes for prickly walking until the spines dissolve, sort of a calcium suppliment lol.

But modern people see a doctor at the drop of a hat.......

yeah, right...

All nations have myths about themselves.

I would venture that ordinary working stiffs anywhere in the west are pretty interested in beer - Tui, DB, or Budweiser. Same for tele. Most folk don't read much - USA or NZ.

It is the nature of immigrants in the West to be either from a money background (and educated) and/or from an entrepreneurial background. So immigrant people you mix with are likely an unrepresentative 'set'. The other 'set' of immigrant, laborers doing 'stoop labor' work - Mexican in USA, Pacifica in NZ, are pretty much like your average Jill or Joe anywhere in the west. Sport, beer, tele, family squabbles.

So your generalisations on the 'quality'(worldliness, 'get up and go') of immigrants reflect your own background and chosen 'set'.

The point that those closer to pioneer days were very capable with simple materials is generally true - they had to be. My father (married late) was close to that scene. Capable in a crude way (he and his brother hand-felled and burned many acres of primaeval forest, pit sawed planks, split shingles and fence battens, horses were the norm, drove a team blah blah).

But big deal. When folk are poor - and this may be the effect of recession and slow depression from high oil prices - there is suggestive evidence that they become capable and resourceful with the technology of today. The ability of Russians and folk in South East Asia to effect vehicle repairs 'on the fly' is legendary.

But they are working in many cases with older technology engines, more amenable to 'street repair'.

Question is, where will expats re-emigrate to in future? To an energy rich country? That would be x -middle east. Black sun below, gold sun above. The smart ones won't choose energy impoverished countries - New Zealand has almost no oil, limited and declining natural gas, no uranium deposits, and exports all its best coal to Japan, leaving the stinky stuff behind.

And it doesn't even have its required 9 month reserves of oil in store.

And the national grid is in desperate need of upgrade, public transport is a joke, there is minimal rail electrification, the major city is a geographic bottleneck, the capital is on an earthquake fault...

But it does have all the crime, congestion, conflict and ugliness of many other urbanised countries. New Zealands myth is that it is clean and green. No, it is not much different from most other western countries. Except that its supply lines to oil, and distance to overseas markets - is very long. Not much of a choice.

And time will tell if the smartest people emigrated...

What NZ does have:

  • tradition of social order.  Yes there are Maori/Polynesian problems, but there is also government, law and order

  • pragmatic national culture

  • lots of water power

  • lots of trees

  • lots of wind

Its biggest problem is its isolation.  Its a long way from anywhere else.

Just to compare it to Australia.  In Australia, I think you could fairly say there are more Australians, more dependent on a fragile environment than there have ever been.  Australia has been through thousands of years long droughts before, and it might be entering another one.

At which point, Australia has a very serious problem.  It is a Dubai without Saudi Arabian money next door.

They do have very rich mines, but mining economies don't support a lot of people (ask Northern Ontario about that!).

New Zealand on the other hand has a self repairing biosystem, virtual self sufficiency in food production, lots of rain, lots of trees.

Don't count Oz out yet - it is raining here.
And as long as the world trade system holds up, a decline in Australian agriculture shouldn't matter.

(Australians can import food, and agriculture is the biggest user of water in most countries).


I'm going to weigh in. I really don't think you should make these kind of statements in you're living in Hamilton (Nitrogen capital of the world).  Its not a homogenous country and some parts havn't been pasturised yet....

Hay kiwis, y ,hay kiwis amigo!

Went to a wedding in the 'tron in the weekend. The bride and groom vowed not only to save themselves but to save the jews also. The jews in israel. By preaching the gospel in Hamilton. Hmmmmm.

I live in another city.

There was a Poul Anderson series, 'Maurai and Kith' about a world after a nuclear war.

The superpowers have been obliterated, and what replaces them is a civilisation (amongst others) based on the Polynesian islanders.


as with every 'civilisation building' that Anderson did, there is some quite interesting and detailed thinking about how such a maritime civilisation would work, and work as it spreads out into outer space.

Zealand is the only country to come though Nuclear War o.k. in John Wyndham's "The Chrysalids".

Presumably, because most countries don't even know it exits.

Except of course France, which found them something of a nuisance to its nuclear ambitions ;-).

Thinking 'L'Affaire Rainbow Warrior'.

Little known fact.

Percentage of the country who were military casualties in WWII.

Allied Side Only

#1 Russia (25m dead, military and civilian)
#2 New Zealand

As they say in New York, who knew?

I have to add New Zealanders are amongst the nicest group of people I have ever met, from any country, taken in total.  Australian openess and egalitarianism, but less brash and loud, on average.
MicroHydro, I am grateful for the civility of your reply. I wrote fast and later thought I might have triggered off something unpleasant.

But as another minor point of disagreement, I don't think the 'neofeudal lords' will have any Asian ancestry at all, unless it be Polynesian (Maori). Feudal requires fighting. About the only good thing you can say about feudalism is that the people that profited from it actually had to take physical risks. When they said, 'I rule by the grace of God, and because I'm stronger than you,' the latter part was at least true. Compare with nowadays. Could you and your mates whup Bush and Co. in a brawl with maces? I'm sure you could.

Most people that 'make it' in Asia do so by being willing to swallow immense amounts of sh*t. They don't do it by standing up for their rights with their fists. They say 'mo bahn faaht' (in Cantonese) whenever the boss screams at them to work even harder for sweet FA. They are time-servers and rule-followers and never think outside of the box, even if there is actually a buck in it. I always think to myself that Hong Kong (where I live) got the sh*t: those that weren't willing to take a gamble on the Revolution in the PRC and could only think in terms of what they already knew. Immigrants to Australia (my home country), Canada, and NZ are much the same. They don't care for any sort of principle, only for the opportunity to make money, and to keep their head down while doing it. When that is no longer available, they flee. They fled Hong Kong in fear of the Chinese takeoever in '97... then all came back in droves when they found out they couldn't make as much dosh in Vancouver, and that HK was exactly the same as before.

Our neofeudal lords will be those who understand that force trumps money in a world where money no longer works. Look to the Mongrel Mob, not the local Chinese take-away owner. If there is a true collapse, that is the future.

(I do not say that this is certainly the way things must be.)


Well the Tainui aren't going away, that is true, and a new king was just crowned in the Waikato.  But it is also true that 150 years ago whoever had "money" (guns, trade goods) could hire Maori mercenaries to make war on other Maoris.  I can easily see that happening again.  If I were young with children I would be plotting to build a Pa and recruit the local Iwi to defend it, setting my descendants up as petty lords. <joking>
Since I am not young and have no descendants, just muddling through the next couple of decades in some fashion is good enough.

Yeah, the points he makes regarding relocation were some of his best ever imho. The analogy of the British ex-pat (could use an American also) trying to navigate Venezuela traffic circle was great.

Borat's People Seek Stronger Ties With Israel

Massimov said he had come "with a clear message from the president that Kazakhstan was a moderate Muslim country that can offer a positive model to the Middle East."

Olmert agreed, saying that the former Soviet republic was a good example of a moderate Islamic nation.

"Kazakhstan can show a beautiful face of Islam," Olmert said. "Contemporary, ever-developing Kazakhstan is a perfect example of both economic development and interethnic accord that should be followed by more Muslim states."


Only if you want to ignore the fact that it is another plutocratic dictatorship!
Historically speaking, Who has Rights to What Patches of Sand ???

"For any normal nation, that tie would be an ever-resounding theme. For us it's hackneyed and benighted.

I once witnessed Romanian and Hungarian journalists facing off passionately on which of their respective ancestors initially appeared on which stretch of Transylvania. The assumption was that the earlier migrant deserves the title deed.

Arabs spuriously stake precisely these claims, though even a dabbler in history knows they are latecomers...

The ironic tragedy of course is that this is our homeland. Since Golda Meir there hasn't been an Israeli leader with the intestinal fortitude to remind the world that "Palestine isn't any nation, but a Roman name specifically invented to humiliate defeated Jews." There's just as much substance to that degrading appellation as there is to the moniker the Romans coined for Jerusalem: Aelia Capitolina.

Golda was the last one to stress that "the Arabs only learned the name from the British in 1918 and couldn't even pronounce it correctly at that, distorting it into Falastin."

Every itinerant foreign Arab laborer drawn to this country by the Zionist endeavor up to 1946 was entitled to indigenous Palestinian refugee status by 1948, even if he resided here for less than two years!...


Of course, the "white" people in the USA took it from others, and the "white" people in South Africa took it from the Zulu who took it from the Bushmen, etc etc.  It's time we learn to live and let live.  And then there will be the Great Climate-Change Migrations.
"It's time we learn to live and let live. "

I agree - but I think there are other peoples in the world with different plans.  

Unfortunately, if there are multiple countries with grand designs on the world and that makes it harder to isolate a "villian" to blame for the Peak Oil Collapse-in-Progress (and most people apparently need a villian).  

So it is easier to remain ignorant of the rest of the world and blame AmeriKa or Bush.  

People prefer simple answers whether or not they are based on reality.

"My awareness of the essential nature of Judaism resists the idea of a Jewish state with borders, an army, and a measure of temporal power, no matter how modest. I am afraid of the inner damage Judaism will sustain -- especially from the development of a narrow nationalism within our own ranks, against which we have already had to fight strongly, even without a Jewish state."

Albert Einstein

"And how is the Israeli press covering Autumn Clouds? In Maariv on Thursday, you needed a magnifying glass to find an offhand reference to the killing of 10 Palestinians in one day; it was the same for Yedioth Ahronoth. The two newspapers with the country's largest circulation demonstrate a disgusting level of dehumanization. The statement by Yedioth Ahronoth's military commentator, Alex Fishman, that one of the operation's goals is drilling the troops for the "big operation," does not stir any protest. That the IDF is embarking on a "training operation" in a dense population center, sowing death and destruction - does this not show a frightening contempt for human life?

The daily killing in Gaza receives scant mention. Futile operations aimed at restoring the IDF's lost honor do not arouse any debate about their aim, morality or chances of succeeding. No one wonders about the extent of Qassam damage versus the extent of the killing and destruction - including the bombing of the power station - in Gaza, where a million and a half people are encaged, impoverished and hungry.

These futile operations will not stop the Qassams, which are aimed at giving us and the rest of the world a painful reminder of the imprisoned and boycotted Gaza residents' distress, which no one would notice if it were not for the Qassams. The way to fight the Qassams is to stop the boycott, sit down at the negotiating table and reach an accord. Otherwise, we will continue to slide and become immune to their loss of life, and soon to our loss of life as well. Listen to Major General Stern"

SHOOT THE COWS: Econuts, idiots and headbangers

The head of the no-frills airline Ryanair has launched a vitriolic attack on the Stern report on climate change, claiming that shooting the world's cow population would do more to combat global warming than banning low-cost air travel.

Michael O'Leary, chief executive of the Dublin-based carrier, said that aviation was responsible for just 2 per cent of European Union carbon emissions. If "eco nuts" were really serious about tackling climate change they should support nuclear power and a clampdown on livestock farming which was responsible for more greenhouse gases than the airline industry, he said.

Referring to last week's report from the former World Bank chief economist Sir Nicholas Stern on the economics of climate change, which warned that rising carbon emissions could wipe out 20 per cent of the world's wealth if not tackled, Mr O'Leary said: "A lot of lies and misinformation has been put about by eco nuts on the back of a report by an idiot economist."

Soooo...  we shoot the cows and eat the planes??
If "aviation was responsible for just 2 per cent of European Union carbon emissions" then they'll only be asked to pay 2% of the carbon taxes.  What's the problem?  :-)
According to Michael O'Leary (of Ryanair),

"Coal-fired and oil-fired power stations are the biggest contributor of carbon but I have yet to hear any fearless eco warriors advocating nuclear power as they drive around in their SUVs to their next protest meeting."

Is this guy for real???

Is this all you can say as a response?
Sorry, I just don't think there is a need to elaborate.
I think you do. What about the enviromentalists flying around to attend conferences to "fight" Global Warming? Ain't that ironic? Maybe O'Leary was overgenaralizing and was a bit too harsh on you guys, but he expresses what for me, and for many others is starting to become obvious - that the majority of the so called enviromentalists do not intend to work for realistic solutions to the problems we face. What they want to do is largely gain easy dividents, by holding on to their idealistic but largely useless in the real world positions. Yes, it may be 'cool' to be 'green', but does it really help the environment?

Examples? Many of them I cna count: opposing nuclear in the end promotes coal. Promoting biodiesel destroys the jungle in the third world. Spending huge amounts of money on marginal technologies like wind disenfranchise people. Should I continue?


I would agree with you if all that Environmentalists did was to fly jets and drive SUV's and then went around calling them 'Green' trips. But you pick on this too-easy target which lots of people are annoyed by and will nod and get fired up.., since environmental groups are constantly challenging the culture(s) to find healthy, workable solutions to myriad pressing problems.  The fact that they have to use planes or cars to get somewhere is certainly ironic, even to them, but you have to do the work.  You have to get there..  it is ironic, but I don't believe it's hypocritical.  A surgeon has to cut into you to heal you.  The dirty fuels we've got might be the only route to get closer to a cleaner system that we need.

There are countless devoted people in the env. movement who have reduced their energy useage, their purchase and use of toxics, patterns of excess which add to the harm we are doing from the way we've been living, who have been designing systems, technologies and alternatives for the rest of us.    If you want to snigger about their reliance on Liquid fuels, they are only like all of us in that.

Clearly, the environmental movement is opposing both coal AND nuclear (for the most part)..  if your take on realpolitik is that this guarantees that coal will have the heyday, then it's just that, your take.  Those who are creating coal power now will not be easily stopped or slowed in their growth, unless the general public finally has enough of it.. but who will be leading the opposition?  The Green movement.

Call it what you will, neither coal nor nuclear is good enough, safe, clean or sustainable enough to be allowed to be our 'ring in the nose'.  Neither will be able to be mined or processed at the necessary rates once oil production starts to slide, since both require increasing amounts of energy to retrieve, just as the energy sources are getting less available.

"If you disagree with someone, walk a mile in their shoes.  That way, you are a mile away from them. And you have their shoes."

I can't square the circle on electric power production (for the next 50 years) without coal, and in particular Carbon Sequestration.

It's not credible that the nuclear industry will do more than double its current size (so replace current production, plus again)-- maybe 30% of UK and US electric power production (from 20% now), but to French levels? I doubt it.

That will require the US to build 160 nuclear reactors: to replace 84 currently in use and 84 new ones (the newer plants will be bigger, but demand will be commensurately higher).  That will cost something like $800bn.  Plus the costs of long term waste disposal.

The UK it would cost something like £80-100bn.  A programme of reactor building which wouldn't be finished before 2030.

Gas?  Well for a lot of reasons I don't think the gas generated electricity sector is going to expand.  Or rather, it will expand, and then contract.

Renewables and conservation?  Easy to see how renewables might be 30% of electric power production (20% wind, 10% everything else).  Hard to see how to get more than that (I don't think Biomass is actually a win-win on CO2 emissions, when a bathtub is overfilling, then adding more water still adds to the overspill).  If we could build masses more pumped storage, or have breakthroughs in storage technology (fuel cells) then yes renewables like wind could be 50%.

So we have a (brave) new world that is 30% nuclear, 30% renewables.  That still leaves a yawning 40%.  Remembering that electricity demand grows by 1-2% pa, long run, in a mature economy.  So a lot of your efficiency savings get eaten up by that.

(and wind power requires thermal backup-- mostly from gas)

That gap is going to have to be filled with technologies with sequestration.

By 2050, I would hope that solar + energy storage has solved the problem.  But there are some big technology jumps to be made.

RE: Squaring the circle..

Right.. It doesn't square with me, either.  I think the message is that it doesn't square, period.  There will simply be less and less available power as oil slips, and we'll try to deal with it, we'll have to.. but the 'grasslands' are about to go into a dry period.

Whether the Nuke opponents or proponents have the field at the end of the day (decade, whatever..) I agree that it seems unlikely that we could even create the volume of generation, plus the mining and refining of the material to fuel it.

So where's it going to come from?  Maybe it's not coming.

Maybe, of course, we'll tinker a way out of this corner.  I'm a gadget/advocate, in general terms, and tho' I see the (sometimes severe) downsides of our complex systems, I am not in the Tainter camp, necessarily, and believe that WE are complex, paradoxical and full of subtle and dangerous incongruities, so why wouldn't our inventions and solutions reflect that?

'The optimist says the cup is half full, the pessimist that it is half empty.  The engineer will say that your cup is twice as big as it needs to be.'  

Right now, our cup still runneth over.. so what to do with that spare sloppage?  I just got a birthday check, and I'm looking at getting a 90v DC treadmill motor to play with wind turbines..

Those who are creating coal power now will not be easily stopped or slowed in their growth, unless the general public finally has enough of it.. but who will be leading the opposition?  The Green movement.

You have to do much better than that. The thing is that it is a piece of cake to oppose nuclear as it is very easy to scare people with things that they don't really understand like radiation. The irony is that for the biota radiation is much more irrelevant phenomenon (actually stimulating biodiversity up to a certain level) than for example climate change or industrial agriculture.

Call it what you will, neither coal nor nuclear is good enough, safe, clean or sustainable enough to be allowed to be our 'ring in the nose'. Neither will be able to be mined or processed at the necessary rates once oil production starts to slide, since both require increasing amounts of energy to retrieve

I really would not count on that. Somewhere I read that there are 40,000 bboe of readily minable FF in the ground, while we as a humanity have used only some 2,300 bboe up to this point. Mining and burning them is just a question of scalability - a thing that capitalism has shown to be pretty efficient at.

Neither will be able to be mined or processed at the necessary rates once oil production starts to slide, since both require increasing amounts of energy to retrieve

'I really would not count on that.'

  1. My point is that it's exactly that view, that we can get access to and can adequately scale up the resource retrieval that should not be 'counted on'.  This promised 40,000 BBOE of 'readily minable' FF material assumes you can build enough tools and power them and access those increasingly remote locations to retrieve it.  

  2. It is not Capitalism that has provided this efficient scalability, but the access to a range of power-sources that the economic system is sitting upon.   'Continued growth' is an axiom of economists, built in a rarified environment that has displaced itself from the realities of the natural world.

"The irony is that for the biota radiation is much more irrelevant phenomenon (actually stimulating biodiversity up to a certain level)"

 - and the devil is of course, in the details.  One of the problems is that, functioning correctly, a Nuclear Power Plant and its patient waste-storage area with their high concentrations of radioactive materials will usually expose the local population and the workers to no more or little more radiation than they recieve from the ambient, natural levels on the surface of the earth.  There is a problem when the containment is breached.. we're 50-60 years into this experiment.  What could possibly go wrong?  This 'a little radiation is good for you' argument doesn't ring any warning bells for you?

'Winstons.. they're refreshing!'
'Drink Coke.  An alert driver is a safe driver'

"The irony is that for the biota radiation is much more irrelevant phenomenon (actually stimulating biodiversity up to a certain level)"

This is a scientific fact. I don't agree with you translating it into:

This 'a little radiation is good for you' argument

This is a pure call on authority, where the authority is the fear based on a couple of nuclear incidents and largely on Chernobyl. But even if you take the latter as the worst incident possible with NPP, you must admit that the environment did not suffer any long-lasting adverse effects. Yes, it was a tragedy - 40 people died and maybe thousands developed cancer because of it (though this is debatable). But just compare it to other human activities - hundreds die annualy in coal mines and millions suffer various sicknesses annualy because of pollution. Millions die in car accidents, plane crashes resource wars, etc. Every technology comes with its risk - and no, there are no risk-free technologies, it's only a question what we are trading the risks for. When the percieved benefits outweight the percieved risks we usually are inclined to take them. In the case of nuclear my argument would be that the risks are constantly being overstated, while manipulative arguments are used to downgrade the benefits. For example "we can use renewables instead of nuclear" is simply not true at the current state of technology - you can not use reneawbles to provide continuous baseload power.

The reason I pointed to the 'A little radiation' perspective is that we are not talking about a little.  We are talking about high concentrations far beyond the ability of natural organisms to tolerate, and we then rely on human precautions, and human politics, economics, our luck and skill to keep that concentrated 'variation' on the naturally expected ambient radiation to remain extremely secure for a period longer than the generation that gets the benefit from this power to take any responsibility for it.  

How do I know, how do you know what long-lasting effect the environment has endured and will bill us for some time in the unforseeable future?  We have dredged up and super-concentrated materials from underground so that they may become bio-available,  microscopically powdered and/or gasified particles which were, for millions of years, bound up in geological formations, so that they are now mixing with the water supply, languishing in great quantities in the topsoil, floating in the air of our active living strata on this planet.  We did not form as early animals in the environment we are painting ourselves into, and the risks of poisoning ourselves with materials capable of causing genetic damage may create some biodiversity on our offspring that we wouldn't wish on our worst enemies.

From pure How do I know, how do you know what long-lasting effect the environment has endured and will bill us for some time in the unforseeable future?

How do you know that sitting in front of your computer is not causing you develop a brain cancer that will kill you in a couple of years? Come on man, this is becoming ridiculous. By your logic we should abandon living altogether.

Personally I don't know anything. I just think there is enough evidence to classify your fears as baseless. The concentrations we are talking are miniscule and we know that radiation weakens with time. You can speculate as much as you want for "something that might possibly happen in future", but do you really think we should apply this logic for everything we do?

Sorry forgot to comment on this one:

We are talking about high concentrations far beyond the ability of natural organisms to tolerate

First, I did not know we are talking about this. The facts are that first we don't really know a lot about the ability of natural organisms to tolerate radiation. Basically we are guessing, which causes the allowabale dosages set by the authorities to be quite conservative (which is on purpose and I agree with it).

The second fact is that even in Chernobyl, only a limited number of people in the vicinity of the plant were exposed to dosages which are more or less correctly accepted as causing adverse consequences. As for the environment - it looks that the animal and plant life is handling it pretty well. Basically there is enough evidence that with time the area will recover and will even become inhabitable.

The biggest costs from Chernobyl were actually the economic, not the enviromental costs. Relocating tens of thousands of people, abandonning huge capital investments, decontaminating large areas - all this carried out huge costs, and it may be argued that was one of the factors that contributed to the collapse of ex-USSR.

Wind is hardly marginal!

I don't disagree with some of the other things you say, but you need to update yourself on wind power.

Those 1000MW wind farms are not being built by the Green Party and are being financed by very hard headed banks.

The same economic case for nuclear power, which justifies the subsidies to create the Third Generation reactors, can be made for wind power.

The difference being that wind is now, whereas 3rd Gen reactors are 2012-20.  Even the Finns won't be fully running before 2010.  And even once the 3rd Gen is built, we still have to solve the nuclear waste problem.

10% of world electricity consumption from wind is more than practical and will happen.  20% is feasible. Beyond that we don't know.

For a technology that is less than 25 years old (in its modern form) that is impressive.  Coal fired electricity is over 100 years old.  Civilian nuclear is 50 years old.

Solar isn't there yet, but it is essentially a materials technology, like semiconductors.  When you apply learning curves to materials technologies, you get effects like the revolution in microelectronics of the last 50 years.  It's a quality problem: you can either reduce cost or increase efficiency of power conversion, or both.  Right now solar cell prices are dropping by c. 7% pa.

It's very early days for seeing what we can do with solar power.

And some say sequestration is never.
The technology parts are used all over the world: Norway (Sleipner), Canada (Webyburn) for enhanced oil recovery.

Putting them all together in a working coal fired powerplant hasn't yet been done in scale, but again the pieces of the solution exist.

You have to agree that the fact a technology is (almost) there does not mean it will be implemented. FWIW we also have technologies to remove the CO2 from the air but most of them are hardly an option.

I am mostly concerned about the current CPP and the ones that will be built in the foreseeble-non-CS future. They are not or will not be built near underground cavities and they will definately not be of the IGCC type. Once built they will be working and it will cost double to be retrofitted (if possible at all). So what are you hoping for?

(OK, one possible solution: CS could be enforced if the government imposes some ridiculous carbon tax - maybe something from the sort of $100+/ton CO2. But I am assuming this will never happen as it will effectively bring the economy to a halt)

(OK, one possible solution: CS could be enforced if the government imposes some ridiculous carbon tax - maybe something from the sort of $100+/ton CO2. But I am assuming this will never happen as it will effectively bring the economy to a halt)

A trebling of the world oil price didn't bring the economy to a halt (equivalent to about a $30/tonne CO2 tax, I think).  So this would not, either, if implemented over time.

Remember that the money doesn't go away.  What happens is it gets reallocated, to lower carbon producing industries and activities.  If one is talking a tax (rather than a tradeable permit system) then if it is used to reduce employer-levied payroll taxes, you could actually get an increase in GDP.  It would also drive considerable efficiencies in the use of energy.

Actually $200/tonne Carbon ($56/tonne CO2) is more the level one is looking at to bring coal power with CCS into line in costs.

The costs will be up to 4 cents/kwhr on power, so again less than the UK swing in pool price over the last 4 years.  There will be significant learning curve efficiencies.

Another way of looking at it is that energy is 4% of world GDP.  Double the price (to reflect a carbon disposal cost) and it's still only 8% of world GDP.

Whether it will be done, or not, is a question of politics rather than of the practicality of it.

I am mostly concerned about the current CPP and the ones that will be built in the foreseeble-non-CS future. They are not or will not be built near underground cavities and they will definately not be of the IGCC type. Once built they will be working and it will cost double to be retrofitted (if possible at all). So what are you hoping for?

1. I'm not sure why you think the CO2 has to buried near the power plant.  CO2 is piped hundreds of miles now and indeed in the BP Peterhead plant it goes more than 100km out to sea.

IGCC is coming-- indeed American Electric Power has regulatory plans filed for 3.  And there are other plants operational in the world.

I would argue in the foreseeable future we will stop building power plants that don't offer easy opportunities for Carbon Capture.

Significant CCS will be here only somewhat after as 3rd Generation nuclear power plants.  For their 3G at Flamanville, the French are talking 2016 for full power production.  With a push, CCS could be here sooner.

I was reading the history of nuclear power, the nuclear wave wouldn't have happened had not the Atomic Energy Commission commissioned a series of pilot plants, and then heavily subsidised the first significant one (Shippingport, near Pittsburgh).

Wind is hardly marginal!

Well how to call an energy source that does not scale well beyond 5-10% of electricity generation? I realise 10% is still a significant number but this makes it marginal for me.

Both solar and wind will require energy storage and/or backup generation which are currently externalized costs, but with time will kick in harder. For example Denmark and Germany already have issues with larger wind penetration, because with time the backup reserve that allows it (that largely comes from France and Scandinavian countries) is basically "depleted".

And finally (since an image is worth thousand words), here is why nuclear will outcompete the other energy sources:

Source: http://www.uic.com.au/nip08.htm

That report is by a uranium industry body.

One thing that immediately caught my eye is they appear to misquote the MIT nuclear study (2003) which gives a figure of 6.7 cents/ kwhr for nuclear power (based on my reading of the special issue of Scientific American 'beyond Carbon', the article on nuclear power which is written by the authors of the MIT study).

In 2003 the MITpublished the outcome of a 2-year study of nuclear energy prospects in the USA. Adjusting its assumptions to those more in line with industry expectations ($1500/kW & 4 year construction, 90% capacity factor, interest rate 12%, and adding fees & taxes) the generation cost comes out at 4.2 c/kWh, the same as coal without any carbon cost.

This sort of blows their credibility with me, that they can't quote properly from a (pro nuclear) document.

I haven't checked the other numbers, but note there is no waste disposal cost in the nuclear cost, AFAIK.

My own view is one is safer assuming 8 cents/kwhr for nuclear, and if one does better, then kismet.  8 cents says we don't have the disasters of the last iteration of nuclear power, but also that we are not way away cleverer than we were in the 1980s.

I still can't see a nuclear reactor sector in the Anglo Saxon world which involves a new build of more than 3 times the current (1 times to replace the existing generation, then 2 times more).  In the case of the US that would involve 240 new reactors, (3 X 84 operating), so say 60 new stations (some on existing sites).  It would also involve a truly massive scaling of the capacity of the industry.

That would be 40% of electricity requirements (assuming reactor size grows at the same rate as power demand).  But is one huge amount of nuclear power, and there certainly is no political consensus to achieve that now.

1. he's famously foul-mouthed

This is the airline that charged a handicapped passenger extra for the wheelchair to bring him to the plane from the departure gate.

This is the airline that gave away 'free trips for life' to a customer in 1988, and in 2000 tried to take it away from her.

  1. there are ecologists advocating nuclear power (see James Lovelock).  More to the point, many have pointed out that the money spent on nuclear power, spent on energy conservation, will yield a higher return.

  2. by and large, people concerned about the environment don't drive SUVs.  SUVs are driven by people who don't care, and mothers who think it makes them 'safer' when they are pootling around Chelsea and Brentford.  I except people who live in rural areas who drive Land Rovers and Toyota Land Cruisers, which actually have a point where the roads are bad and the weather inclement.

  3. other airlines want to join the European Emissions Trading Scheme - better a market based solution, than a taxation based one.
Thanks, those were pretty much the points I would have made had I thought it was necessary to draw a picture... So he's never heard of Lovelock et al., he thinks environmentalists drive SUV's and have no problem with coal etc.

"Why do these evil eco-warriors pick on me and my airline? Don't these hypocrites have any other targets??? This is so unfair!"

I think probably many of our readers don't know Ryanair/Michael O'Leary's reputation.

It specialises in cheap flights from tertiary airports (it does stretch the truth, their 'Stockholm' airport is actually Malmo, which is ?100km? away?)  But whereas Southwestern Airlines (in the states), Westjet (Canada), Jetblue (US) and in particular Southwestern, make a point of hiring customer service staff who are customer friendly, and of being customer friendly,

Ryanair takes a delight in being rude, hostile and running their staff into the ground.

Do they really claim Malmö is near Stockholm? I checked the exact distance, it's 619 km! The super-fast train takes about four hours. Copenhagen is a lot closer though.

I was recently invited to a reunion in London, and though I hardly ever fly, I did check the options. It turned out I could've got a return ticket, with Ryanair, from Tampere (about 2 hours by coach from Helsinki) to Stansted for about 50 €. While I personally chose not to take up the offer, I admit it's understandable how many people would, and do. OTOH, I've never really heard anybody say anything nice about the airline. How do Ryanair actually stay in business?

I must have the Malmo thing wrong-- or rather, they fly to Copenhagen via Malmo (other side of the bridge).  I think that is about a 60 minute drive (and you, or your bus ticket, has to pay the toll).

Ryanair does what it says on the tin.  They have incredibly cheap flights-- small towns compete with subsidies to get Ryanair to fly to them.

So people love them. They were (in terms of margin on sales) the world's most profitable airline.

however what I object to is a deliberately nasty corporate culture, which the CEO aids and abets.  Easyjet, their competitor, tries much harder to be friendly and helpful.

I also believe that culture will in time come back and bite you: either in safety or some other way.  If you treat your employees like dirt, and they treat the customers like dirt, eventually there will be a slip-up.

Meet 'National Islamism'

"...It is the blend of two radical world views: Islamism and Arab nationalism.

Call it National Islamism.

The last time there was such a synthesis it brought together right-wing nationalism and left-wing populist socialism. The doctrine called itself, appropriately enough, National Socialism.

It is best known by the German version of those two words, Nazism for short..."


Why does Israeli law forbid Israeli Arabs from marrying Arabs from the West Bank, Gaza or elsewhere?
I don't know and what does it matter?

If you want to villify the jews or Israel, be my guest.  I'm not their defender - I just am amazed at how the politically correct refuse to look beyond Israel for causes to the problems in the middle east.

That seems to be the major thrust of all geopolitical considerations here - Amerika/Bush and Israel are the cause of all problems.  The rest of the people of the middle east are nice, civilized innocents just trying to protect themselves.

This is childishly naive, dangerous and bigoted.

Why ignore the fact that there are other countries in the region with Grand Designs ?  The threat by the Radical Leaderz of Iran is very real.  

You can blame the 1970's USA for Radical Islam, or the Jews, or anyone else other than the Radicals - but that is irrelevent.  The Radicals Exist and have their own agenda.  Denial or blame-to-explain away their agenda is not an option.

The threat is real and it is now. Just ask the 12th Imam.


That seems to be the major thrust of all geopolitical considerations here - Amerika/Bush and Israel are the cause of all problems.  The rest of the people of the middle east are nice, civilized innocents just trying to protect themselves.

Nah. That's not it at all.  

On CNN last night, they ran a story about how Bush had finally admitted the Iraq War was about oil...after explicitly denying it for so long. Their various talking-head experts said that if it weren't for the oil, we'd just let the peoples of the Middle East kill each other.  Like we do in Africa.  

I'd amend that to "the oil and the nukes."  

Yes, it's nice that Bush is fessing up.

But your response reinforces my point.  Most people here have a myopic view of the middle east - they refuse to look at the region as a whole and instead focus on blaming their favorite scapegoats.

I ask repeatedly if anyone here is aware of the other countries in the region and what their goals are... and I get more posts ripping Bush.

The region's a mess.  I don't blame Bush or the U.S. (alone) for that.  As I said the other day, the U.K. bears a lot of the blame.  

But that's ancient history.  There's nothing I can do about it now...except push to wean the world off oil, which is what we're all trying to do anyway.  The Middle East, I fear, is going to hell in a handbasket, no matter what we do.

Even back in the days of the Cold War, when many worried that U.S. or Russia would start a nuclear WWIII...I didn't.  I always thought if the nukes started flying, it would be either Israel or Pakistan who pulled the trigger.  I haven't changed my mind about that.

I always thought if the nukes started flying, it would be either Israel or Pakistan who pulled the trigger.  I haven't changed my mind about that.

I think that is possible but that it's more likely the first nukes to be used (dirty or otherwise) will not be easily tracable to any country...

The second use might come from either of the above.

As for "who is to blame" - Peak Oil is to Blame.

Don't forget India - they might pull their trigger first if they think Pakistan is about to.
They certainly might.  Heck, we might, too, if we thought North Korea or Russia or China had launched them against us.

However, I think it's the "underdog" who is more likely to pull the trigger first.  The nation that can't win with a conventional, economic, or demographic war.  The dominant dog is not the one that bites you.

So, you agree we're the underdog? We obviously can't win a conventional, economic or demographic war with iraq, much less iran (I posit the meaning of conventional war has changed forever).  So, does this mean you're ready to push the button?  I had no idea.

Sounds like you've seen the cloud's silver lining, that a radioactive iraq/iran would help combat global warming. This might not be a major administration objective, but the effect on oil prices would be quite useful to admin backers, who can be expected to do their part in 08. The GOB (good old boys) will just have to draft Jeb.

So, you agree we're the underdog?

Not yet.  Though that could change.  

We obviously can't win a conventional, economic or demographic war with iraq, much less iran (I posit the meaning of conventional war has changed forever).

We can leave Iraq.  It's not an existential threat.  That's why they're going to win.  We have somewhere else to go.  They don't.

So, does this mean you're ready to push the button?

I don't think we'd attack first.  If we are attacked, though, all bets are off.

How many countries has Iran invaded in the last 200 years?

I don't villify Jews my friend.  I do regret the influence of Zionism and fear for Jews when again Christian civilisation seeks a scapegoat.  Recently, I have been contemplating the possible ways Christian civilisation will respond to the twin towers of climate change and peak free energy.  It is completely conceivable that growth will become popularly identified with disaster, instead of hope as it is today, and the interest mechanism identified with growth.  What becomes of the historical vehicle for usury?

It does matter that Israeli law stands in the way of love, forbidding Israeli-Arabs, second-class citizens, the right to bring home a bride or groom from across the ghetto wall.  It says a lot about the perversion of the human spirit, which has emerged as the end result of the Zionist experiment.

In addition to posting disinformation about the historic presence of people today called Palestinians in the land occupied by the state of Israel and surrounding internment camps, you make a great fuss about extreme sentiments among some Muslims.  Is this because you feel a need to distract people from the rantings of the most recent ethnic cleanser in the Israeli government, Deputy Prime-Minister Leiberman?

From what I gather, being a Palestinian in modern-day Israel is far worse than being an African-American in the Jim Crow South of the US in the early part of the 20th Century.  It appears that Israel is trying to make life for Palestinians next to impossible so that they have little choice but to leave. If this isn't a policy of ethnic cleansing, I don't know what is.

Furthermore, Israel appears to becoming less and less inhibited about killing Arab civilians, both inside Israel and in Lebanon. This is beginning to border on genocide. I predict it will only get worse.

There was a time (long ago) when I greatly admired Israel and Israelis. But those days are over.

In fact, I am now deeply resentful of Israel and its backers because  i) they have enormous clout in influencing US foreign policy for their, but not the US's, benefit,  ii) as a people with such a long history of oppression and persecution, they appear to have no qualms about oppressing and persecuting people under their thumb, and iii) for such a tiny country, with next to zero natural resources, they command an inordinate amount of the world's attention.

By any standard of objectivity, if Israeli fell off the earth tomorrow, it would have about as much real impact upon the US as if say Belize fell off the earth tomorrow. Yet, Israel has managed to become the 51st state of the US, and no politician in Washington dares get on the wrong side of the very powerful and well-financed pro-Israeli lobby.  This I resent that greatly.

By any standard of objectivity, if Israeli fell off the earth tomorrow, it would have about as much real impact upon the US as if say Belize fell off the earth tomorrow.

I think it would actually. Some the most advanced high tech stuff in the world is coming out of Israel right now - they run circles around us.

yeah espionage can make 'em look like geniuses! From Klaus Fuchs onward, plagiarize my dear!
As Ben-Gurion said: "If I were an Arab I would never negotiate with Israel. It is simple - we have come and stolen their land." What else does one have to know?
When all the other options are exhausted, the two sides will sit down and negotiate.

I find it interesting that it was the head of the Israeli Secret Police (Shin Bet) who sat down and negotiated with the Palestinians.  Secret Policemen have a way of knowing what the real score is, on the other side.

Right now, both sides think they have other options.  The Israelis think they can beat anyone (and they can, in a conventional war sense) and the Palestinians think they can hold out forever.

There will be a lot of blood spilt before both sides realise this.

I think there will only be negotiation if there is a stalemate.  And without peak oil, there would be.

With peak oil...I think the Arabs will win, by virtue of their sheer numbers.  So they will have little reason to want to negotiate.  

toil, I don't care if the jews are your personal scapegoat or why.

"you make a great fuss about extreme sentiments among some Muslims."

What "extreme sentiments among 'some' muslims" do I make a great fuss about?  

Does your politically correct and bigoted mind allow you to even entertain their names or their extremist sentiments?  Or can you only fixate on your strawman evil dynamic duo - the USA and Israel?

Here we go once again.   He who questions the barbaric imprisonment and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian Muslims and Christians is a Jew-hater.  And if I am a Jew I must be like Noam Chomsky or Gideon Levy, who authored the article in Haaretz which I cited above, a self-hating Jew.  Were Einstein alive today, he would be a self-hating Jew for his wise insight into the folly of the zionist adventure.

The figurehead President of Iran says that Israel must be wiped off the map and the zionist rushes to tell us that they want to kill the Jews.  There are 25,000 Jews in Iran and instead of being killed they enjoy a guaranteed seat in Parliament, but this the zionist does not want us to know.  

No, the zionist must stir mistrust and fear.  Why?  Let's ask Rabbi Goldstein: http://www.inminds.co.uk/rabbi-goldstein-judasim-and-zionism.html

"He [rabbi Goldstein] also explained that the zionist propaganda has caused mistrust amongst Muslims and Jews - Muslims think every Jew is a zionist and hence wants to oppress Muslims, and Jews think Muslims want to kill them -

"This mistrust is the greatest weapon the zionist organization has, when that weapon is destroyed it destroys a lot more then destroying their chemical or atomic weapons because you are destroying their whole reason for being there - zionism only thrives on anti-Semitism, they say that we are here to save the Jews. If no Jews need saving, if the Jews are fine where they are - don't need the zionism, don't need the zionist country [Israel].. "

Ah yes, the Rabbi Goldstein, he must be another self-hating Jew.

Maybe you really are unaware of the "extreme sentiments" of "some' muslims."

That could explain your simplistic view of the middle east.  

Or maybe your simplistic hatred clouds your judgment making it impossible to even consider the ambitions of other nations in the region.

The question is Not "why I blame the jews," the question was what other countries in the region have grand designs for the Post Peak Oil Middle East.  

I don't care who you blame or why, I don't care why you pick one side or another.  

Let's see.  Israelis have a fantasy about Iran's future actions -- these people are a major trheat and must be stopped.  The ADF butchers, on an almost daily bais, several Palestinians and in an orgy of bloodshed in July/Agust '06 murders over 1000 Lebanese -- oh, no problem, it was only self defence.  Please!
Israelis have a fantasy about Iran's future actions

You are either woefully ignorant or you are capable of self-delusion on a scale similar to the Yerginites.

Carry on.

There are so many confusions in this thread concerning Hubbert linearizations, reserves versus extraction (production) rates, etc. that I don't even know where to begin sorting them out.

I also see some faith-based assertions about the peak being now. This is always disturbing to me since The Oil Drum's orientation is supposed to be reality-based, using modeling and data to support conclusions. For example, because Saudi Arabia is a "black box", people can interpret what's going on there anyway they wish.

'Nuff said.

I agree with the problem of "Faith-based" assertions - using "pRoJectEd" production.

I like the Reality-Based assertions on the current Data showing Peak in Dec 05 and declining production since.  Coupled with the Reality of the admission by OPEC this summer several times of not being able increase production... coupled with the Reality that the Giant Oil Fields are all entering decline inspite of extraordinary measures to extend their lives...

Some day the markets and the Herd might agree.

Right on Sendoilplease, you hit the nail on the head. We are facing reality right now but faith says the peak is several decades in the future.

If people would only examine the data, examine the problems Saudi Arabia is having even maintaining current production, examine their attempts to drill new wells in very old declining fields, examine their new massive water injection programs, and just examine the facts all over the world and one will come to the realization that we are at peak right now with the likely peak month December 2005. However faith puts it far into the future. Hope springs eternal as they say.

Ron Patterson

There are enough "coulda, woulda, shouldas" in the projections to keep us guessing forever (I bet Yergin et. al. have a ready made list of excuses based on these test-tube world projections to explain their error).  

But we also have what is, and we have a lot of data that helps explain why (thanks to you, West Texas and several others).

Thanks for your "paradigm" post yesterday Darwinian, and for your efforts here in general.


The EIA's Short Term Emergu Outlook is just out. Little change in OPEC production. It is up 30,000 barrels, September to October. But last month it was down 280,000 barrels, August to September.

The numbers given, and totals fore each country, are crude only, not including condensate. But in the last line they add all liquids, including codensate.

Ron Patterson

So nice to know US production will finally increase in 2007.
Never saw this coming.....

Poll Workers Struggle With Vote Machines

Programming errors and inexperience dealing with electronic voting machines frustrated poll workers in hundreds of precincts Tuesday, delaying voters in several states and leaving some with little choice but to use paper ballots instead.

In Virginia, state election officials called in the FBI after several voters complained about getting phone messages that sent them to the wrong precincts.

Many of the voting machine problems surfaced as the polls were opening.

In Cleveland, voters rolled their eyes as election workers fumbled with new touchscreen machines that they couldn't get to start properly.

"We got five machines - one of them's got to work," said Willette Scullank, a trouble shooter from the Cuyahoga County, Ohio, elections board.

In Indiana's Marion County, electronic optical-scan machines that read paper ballots initially weren't working right in more than 100 precincts. Poll workers had trouble using a computer port to connect those machines to new touchscreen models, which handicapped voters use, County Clerk Doris Anne Sadler said

Don't know what the big fuss is about these problems. All we need to do is outsource our voting processes to India. There are plenty of poor folks who would count paper ballots for virtually nothing. Probably be a lot cheaper than expensive voting machines, even counting the shipping.
Probably more accurate, too.
Ambassador Threatens Minsk With Gas Price


This surprises me because I always thought Belarus and Russian were buddies.

Have you guys seen this?  Any truth to it? US oil shale
Full of fluff, short on facts.
Well...it's 8:30pm here in the Midwest and already the Democrats are picking up a lot of wins.

This makes me somewhat happy and I would definitely like to see a Democratic House and Senate to put BushCo in check, but what excites me more is the chance to have a more diverse set of views in our governement to possibly tackle many of the issues we have cussed and discussed here on TOD.

We have dreamed up many amazing ideas in hypothetical scenarios.  We may soon have the chance to apply these ideas.

Have you seen any democrats offer a "set of views in our governement to possibly tackle many of the issues we have cussed and discussed here on TOD."
Ya...there are some that are concerned about Global Warming, energy conservation, new transportation ideas, oil production issues, alternative energy issues.

There are also Republicans and Democrats that support Peak Oil awareness as well as ideas above.  What we are seeing is a return to the Center of politics.  This can only help things as we bump across the Plateau.

It gives me hope tonight.

Hello TODers & ATTN: Westexas,

PEMEX, who has already admitted to Cantarell's decline, now confesses to coming up $$$two billion short on infrastructure funds versus what they desire.

I have no idea if this is a management ploy to time-delay and hoard their resources, OR just normal Pemex mismanagement, OR the first foray to help make it easier for Pemex to be removed from Mexican Govt. control and sold-off to IOCs.  Regardless of the actual scenario, it can only point to Mexican Peakoil in a dire combo of both a geologic and logistical decline path.

Here is the relevant Houston Chronicle link:

Pemex spending below chief's goal
Amount for '07 is $2 billion short of what leader says is needed  By THOMAS BLACK Bloomberg News

Petróleos Mexicanos, Mexico's state-owned oil monopoly, plans to invest $16 billion in 2007, $2 billion less than what Chief Executive Luis Ramirez Corzo has said is needed.

Production and exploration spending will account for $12.3 billion of the total investment, Corporate Finance Director Esteban Levin said on a call with analysts Monday.

Ramirez Corzo said on Aug. 31 that Pemex needs to increase its 2007 investment to $18 billion to counter a drop in output at Cantarell, the company's largest oil field. Production from Cantarell, which accounts for about 60 percent of Pemex's crude output, fell 9 percent in the first seven months of the year.

Pemex expects to hold production steady at 3.2 million to 3.25 million barrels a day next year by tapping into fields outside Cantarell, such as Jujo-Tecominoacan.

IMO, this is an excellent example of diminishing returns making it increasingly harder to optimize extraction.

The path ahead for Calderon will be extremely difficult as this article discloses.  But this link from the US State Dept details further SuperNafta progress:
North America Sees Security, Economic Gains in Energy Integration

Washington - Further integration of energy markets is the best way to advance energy security interests of the United States and its North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) partners, Canada and Mexico, a U.S. Energy Department official says.

"We have to recognize that we are linked through our energy security polices," Energy Department Deputy Assistant Secretary David Pumphrey said.

He spoke at a November 3 conference on energy cooperation in the Western Hemisphere organized by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington-based policy research organization.

Researchers and private experts attending the event supported the view that energy integration of and interdependence among the three countries have advanced further than any similar regional effort in the world and bring many benefits to all involved.

Canada and Mexico are major providers of petroleum and natural gas to the United States and the Canadian and U.S. electrical grids are highly integrated.

Pumphrey said private companies from the region, which enter in multibillion public-private partnerships with local governments in Canada and the United States, drive the integration.

In recent years, governments of the three nations have been trying to figure out within the North American Energy Working Group (NAEWG) what to do to make the region's energy markets work even more efficiently "somewhat irrespective of the borders that exist," he said.

"We are trying to allow investors to be able to access energy sources throughout this integrated marketplace," Pumphrey said.

NAEWG, established in 2001, is credited with helping to harmonize minimum efficiency requirements for home appliances in the three countries and boosting electricity trade and power market integration. It is part of the trilateral Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) whose energy work plan also covers oil sands, natural gas, nuclear power, coal and new energy technologies.

Pumphrey said similar opportunities for cooperation and integration exist throughout the entire Western Hemisphere. A report he cited concluded that aggregate gross domestic product of Latin America and the Caribbean can grow by 1 percent by 2018 just by increasing substantially the level of integration of the electricity sectors in the region.

To advance collaboration and integration in this and other energy sectors, countries must rely on market-based principles, Pumphrey said.

"We need the market to help countries make right energy choices and attract investment," he said.
Bob Shaw in Phx,Az  Are Humans Smarter than Yeast?

Bob, thanks for continuing to post these Mexico updates. My take on that Pemex article is the company is reminding the politicians how much they skim off Pemex's revenues and how that is related to spending on infrastructure and resulting (perhaps) oil production, which as we all know, is becoming somewhat precarious. BTW, I've been reading Catton's Overshoot and know understand the terms you sometimes use--detritovores, etc.
Hello TODers,

Yep, even I find it hard to believe, but Zimbabwe is about to make alot more poor people homeless:
HARARE -- Zimbabwe's government is planning fresh home demolitions, a little over a year after a similar campaign to destroy shantytowns and city backyard cottages left at least 700000 people without shelter or means of livelihood.

The government in May last year, and weeks after controversially winning a key general election, ordered the police and army to demolish thousands of backyard cottages, shantytowns and informal business kiosks, in a campaign President Robert Mugabe said was necessary to smash crime and to restore the beauty of Zimbabwe's cities.

In addition to those left homeless, another 2,4-million people were indirectly affected by the military-style demolitions to bring the total number of victims to about 3-million, or a quarter of Zimbabwe's 12-million people.

"New illegal structures have come up since Operation Murambatsvina (the official code name for last year's clean-up campaign). We will target these structures that have sprouted up and others that somehow survived the first Murambatsvina," said the official.

Chombo confirmed the government was planning new home demolitions but said that these would be on a much smaller scale than Murambatsvina.

He said: "It is not Murambatsvina. But the spirit of Murambatsvina should not die. To ensure that we don't reverse the gains of Murambatsvina we will do regular follow-ups. We cannot just watch while chaos prevails and people build wherever they want."

The government, bowing to international pressure after the home demolitions, announced in August last year that it was launching a programme to build houses for people whose homes it had destroyed. But only a handful of houses have been built because the government did not have resources.

From this link:

Thieves again cause blackouts in Zimbabwe: Report

Harare - Parts of southern Zimbabwe have been plunged into darkness after thieves stole cables from at least 17 power transmission towers, causing them to collapse, it was reported Tuesday.

Part of the power line collapsed onto a railway, and electrical conductors were irreparably crushed under a train, according to the report.

'The towers were vandalised by suspected thieves and this made them insecure, resulting in them collapsing in a storm on Saturday night, a spokesman for power utility ZESA told the Herald.

'It will cost us between 250 million and 300 million dollars (1 million - 1.2 million US) to reconstruct the towers and restore power to the affected areas,' said the spokesman, James Maridadi.

As Zimbabwe sinks deeper into economic recession, thieves are finding a ready market for steel cables, copper components and even transmission oil pilfered from the country's ageing electricity transmission grid.

As a result, suburbs in cities and large districts of the country suffer blackouts, and the government has scarce foreign currency to replace stolen equipment.

Last week western parts of the country experienced blackouts after two towers collapsed south of Harare following similar thefts.
Duncan's Olduvai Gorge Theory is being validated further each day.

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

Interesting, thanks.
I am just about to leave town for a few days, but I wrote up a few thoughts on the defeat of California's Prop 87:

Prop 87 Post Mortem

Robert, you are to be congratulated for your efforts which probably contributed to, if not actually accomplished, the defeat of this bad bill.  I believe Khosla would have succeeded if not for your expertise and willingness to engage at length.  Good work!
I honestly was not working to kill the bill. I was working to defend against Khosla's hate-mongering and hypocrisy.
I still think that Bob Brinker had the best description for Prop 87:  "The dark side of the Environmental Movement."