DrumBeat: December 12, 2006

[Update by Leanan on 12/12/06 at 1:11 PM EDT]

EIA still sees world oil demand up 1.5M barrels/day in 2007

NEW YORK - The Energy Information Administration said Tuesday that it still expects world oil demand to grow by 1.5 million barrels a day in 2007. The EIA, the official energy statistics arm of the U.S. government, said it expects U.S. petroleum consumption to rise by 300,000 barrels a day in 2007 after a flat 2006. The agency is expecting surplus world crude oil production capacity to increase only slighty. "However, OPEC's production cuts mean that, for the first time in months, surplus production capacity is no longer restricted to just Saudi Arabia," it said.

Qatari minister: Angola to become OPEC member this week

ABUJA - Angola, sub-Saharan Africa's second-biggest oil producer, could be approved as the 12th member of OPEC at a meeting of the oil exporters' group on Thursday, Qatari Energy Minister Abdullah bin Hamad al-Attiyah said.

Need a parking place? Good luck

In the past four decades, the number of registered vehicles has risen nearly 170% and the ranks of licensed drivers have doubled, Federal Highway Administration figures show.

The infrastructure is struggling to accommodate the crush. Many cities are experiencing downtown rebirths with new condos, hotels and office buildings, but the amount of parking on streets remains largely a fixed asset.

New-car miles-per-gallon estimates will drop next year - but only because they are changing the way they are calculated. Mitsubishi worries that the new formula will hurt the Lancer, the first car that will be rated under the new system.

Cost of gas falls for first time in five weeks

US lawmakers exit with a last nod to oil drilling

As one of its final acts, the 109th Congress Friday approved opening to oil and gas development 8.3 million previously protected acres off the Gulf Coast - a last bid to influence energy and environmental policy before the Democrats assume control.

Long Beach LNG Proposal Caught in Political Squeeze

While its sponsors continue to talk confidently, the proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) receiving terminal in the Long Beach, CA, harbor Monday was suspended in a political vise about to be squeezed between the city political leaders and the separate Port of Long Beach. Port officials are dragging their feet on completing a final environmental impact statement and report (EIS/EIR) jointly with FERC. That final report now is not expected to be released until the first quarter next year, if ever.

Can't Handle the Truth? - Updated

While the NSTA rejected the Truth DVDs on the grounds that accepting them would violate its 2001 policy against endorsements, David points out that the policy "didn't stop them from shipping out 20,000 copies of a whopping 10-part video funded by ConocoPhillips in 2003." The series, which credits NSTA Executive Director Gerald Wheeler as an executive producer, cites only one scientist in its "largely dismissive global warming section," according to David. The scientist is Dr. Robert Balling, "a well known global warming skeptic" who has acknowledged taking at least $400,000 from the fossil fuel industry.

Arctic Ice Melting Faster Than Expected

New studies project that the Arctic Ocean could be mostly open water in summer by 2040 — several decades earlier than previously expected — partly as a result of global warming caused by emissions of greenhouse gases.

Risks of exploiting low-quality sources of oil

Soaring oil prices and demands for energy security are boosting the attractiveness of low-quality sources of petroleum, such as tar sands and coal, at the risk of causing significant environmental damage and increasing emissions of greenhouse gases, according to a new study.

The Cost of an Overheated Planet

The iconic culprit in global warming is the coal-fired power plant. It burns the dirtiest, most carbon-laden of fuels, and its smokestacks belch millions of tons of carbon dioxide, the main global warming gas.

So it is something of a surprise that James E. Rogers, chief executive of Duke Energy, a coal-burning utility in the Midwest and the Southeast, has emerged as an unexpected advocate of federal regulation that would for the first time impose a cost for emitting carbon dioxide. But he has his reasons.

Opec’s daily output to rise by 2m barrels

RIYADH: The decades old policy of thinning the ranks of Opec has gone sour. Three countries, Angola, Sudan and Ecuador are knocking at the oil cartel’s doors in Vienna with membership applications and the fourth one, Cuba, may not be far off too. These new members will add two million barrels to the Opec’s daily output.

Things have indeed turned a full cycle. Gone are the days, when some were itching to get out of the Opec on one pretext or the other and the world’s largest consumer, the United States may not be, too, happy with the proposition.

Elephants and Quagmires: Peak Oil and the Bush Denial

While the Bush administration, the media and nearly all the Democrats still refuse to explain the war in Iraq in terms of oil, the ever-pragmatic members of the Iraq Study Group share no such reticence.

Elephants Not in the Room

That the "shy mullahs" of Iran are seeking a nuclear bomb is axiomatic for Palast. After all, "Iran has zero need of 'peaceful’ nuclear-generated electricity. It has the second-largest untapped reserve of natural gas on the planet, a clean, safe, cheap source of power. There’s only one reason for a 'nuclear’ program." This glaring contradiction comes from the same Palast who devotes a sizeable chunk of his currently promoted book, Armed Madhouse, to Peak Oil. Apparently, Iranians are not affected by Peak Oil. But maybe the Shah of Iran was when the US assisted Iran in starting up its nuclear power program.

Trouble in the Russian oil patch

Royal Dutch Shell PLC is poised to yield control of its troubled $20-billion (U.S.) Sakhalin-2 project to state-owned OAO Gazprom, as the Kremlin continues to tighten its grip on Russian oil and gas assets in the world's emerging energy superpower.

Eni Lifts Force Majeure on 60,000-bpd Nigeria Oil

Russian oil: a slippery substance: Moscow's thin coating of petrodollar wealth may wash off all too easily.

Halliburton Workers Attacked in Algeria

Assailants hurled a bomb and shot at two vehicles carrying employees of an affiliate of U.S. company Halliburton near Algiers Sunday, killing one driver and injuring nine people.

...The attack threatened to stain the oil-rich North African nation's international security image just as it is enjoying an oil boom and increased foreign investment after a bloody insurgency that wracked Algeria in the 1990s.

In Praise of Sweet Darkness

In recent years I have written articles with titles like “Dark Clouds Over America” and “Torture Memories.” Our nation’s war-making and other threatening behavior have disturbed me. My study of Peak Oil and Climate Change has convinced me that we are in for a dark time as we run low on fossil fuels and over-heat this special planet. At first, I found this depressing. I have come to see that the loss of cheap energy can also be a great opportunity, depending on how we respond.

The Basis of Sustainable Community Energy Policy

Renewable energy policy and sustainable community issues place an enormous strain on society and its institutions. For good or ill, the fossil energy economy created a sense of independence. But times are changing. There is an increasing awareness that energy supply is somehow connected to nearly all aspects of modern life: diplomacy; international conflict; health care issues; environmental quality; international development; food supplies; and sustainable living conditions in general.

Survey: E&P Spending to Cool Off in 2007

After two years of massive increases, the pace of oil and gas capital spending growth will slow down in 2007, as U.S. companies temper their North American budgets in the wake of weakening natural gas prices, according to a survey released Monday by Lehman Brothers.

Exxon, Chevron far from topping out: Merrill Big Oil is poised to get even bigger.

Even with cheaper oil, energy hot in '07

...many analysts are looking for crude-oil futures next year to average more than $60 a barrel, but to hover below the 2006 average (through November) of almost $67 a barrel. Oil peaked above $78 in July.

Oil habit hard to break, experts say

Energy experts agreed Thursday the U.S. won't wean itself off imported oil any time soon even in the face of growing national-security threats in the Middle East and concern about global warming.

Nation's energy grid could power almost 185 million electric cars

Why a hydrogen economy doesn't make sense

Cutting The Carbon-Energy Cord: Unplug From (Or Sell To) The Central Grid

Sustainable nuclear energy moves a step closer

Wilfred van Rooijen's research, conducted at the Reactor Institute Delft, focused on the nuclear fuel cycle and safety features of a Gas-cooled Fast Reactor (GFR), one of the so-called 'fourth generation' nuclear reactor designs. These designs have a sustainable character: they are economical in their use of nuclear fuel and are capable of rendering a great deal of their own nuclear waste harmless. The ability to actually build such reactors is however still in the very distant future.
December 7, 2006 -- America's corporate chiefs are unloading their own stocks at one of the boldest paces in 20 years.

In cases of the very rich, such as Microsoft's Bill Gates and Google's top brass, the executives are selling a whopping $63 for each $1 of stock they bought, says a report by Bloomberg.

In November alone, leaders of public companies dumped $8.4 billion worth of stock they owned as insiders, most of it awarded as compensation, bonuses or other management incentives.
http://www.nypost.com/seven/12072006/business/top_level_insiders_selling_their_stock_business_paul_t harp.htm

OK you're the resident conspiracy guy on this site (not meant to be derogatory) Actually, I enjoy your posts and for a while thought you might be Jay Hansen, himself.

Any thoughts on the near simultaneous admission of Isreali nukes by Gates & Olmert?



Israel has used rumored secret nuclear weapons stockpiles as a covert deterrent for quite some time but maybe things are finally heating up enough in the ME to make it an overt nuclear deterrent.  Who knows??


But the Arabs & the World have known of Israeli nuclear capability all along.

Why would the two adherents of "strategic ambiguity" -- US & Israel -- be fessing up now?

Check out this article:


Iranian Professor: US and Israel have Been Trying To Divide Iran For Years
Professor of geopolitics points the finger at US Neoconservatives and Israeli Zionists, Highlights past co-operation to make Iran a nuclear nation


Steve Watson
Monday, December 11, 2006

An Iranian political science professor has said today that Iran and the US signed an agreement in 1978 which allowed Tehran to seek nuclear technology in order to meet its future energy demands but no one now talks about the agreement. He has also asserted that Zionists in Israel in co-operation with neoconservatives in the US have intentionally been trying to divide Iran for decades.

As reported by the IRNA news agency, Professor of Political Geography and Geopolitics at Tehran's Tarbiat Moadarres University, Pirouz Mojtahedzadeh, said it was the US that encouraged Iran to develop nuclear energy.

Mojtahedzadeh asserted during a speech at an international conference of world geologists that in 1978 the US had proposed the former regime of the defunct Shah launch a nuclear program in order to prevent a future energy crisis some 50 years down the line.

Mojtahedzadeh also suggested that the repeated attempts to paint Iran's nuclear program up as a military program directly contradict the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) repeated confirmations that Iran has not violated any laws or regulations of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

Earlier this month he also gave an interview in which he asserted that Zionists and their neo-conservative colleagues in the US have for years been trying to divide Iran.


I read the article.

Sorry AC, it doesn't address why "....would the two adherents of "strategic ambiguity" -- US & Israel -- be fessing up now?"

Your arguments are usually stronger. Maybe we both need to ponder it a bit more.

I wasn't putting that out there to answer your question.  I posted it because it was an interesting article.  I should have said off topic but everything I post is off topic.  ;-)

Maybe Israel is nervous Iran will turn something up at the conference:

They may just be putting the word out not to fuck with them "officially"...


"They may just be putting the word out not to fuck with them "officially"..."

You're misunderstanding "strategic ambiguity." Everyone has known -- for a long time -- they're nuclear capable; why would they/US fess up now?

Of course, we don't know, but I'd hoped you had an intriguing/ plausible theory.

Quote from Olmert article:

"Israel doesn't threaten any country with anything -- never did," Olmert told SAT 1. "The most that we tried to get for ourselves is to be able to live without terror. But we never threatened any nation with annihilation.

OTOH, the one woman play "Golda" has an interesting scene where Golda Mier orders that nukes be placed on planes, and the planes placed on alert with pilots on-board (targets Cairo & Damascus, bombs enscribed Never Again) before even one tank enters Israeli soil.  Israel was facing a tactical defeat on lands it had recently conquered, but far from a strategic defeat that would endanger national survival.

Not conclusive, but it was clear that the Israeli playwright knew her well (she spent lots of time at the underground Dimona nuclear research station in the Negev, one balcony was named after her supposedly).

Given the Iranian history during the war with Iraq (a variety of poison gases were used on Iranians, but they never retaliated in kind) and the Israeli history noted above (assuming it is true), an objective neutral observer would see Isreali nukes as the greater threat.

Add to this the rumored "Samson Option" to destroy all civilization in the Middle East if Jersuleum were to fall.

Best Hopes for Rationality,


Be careful Alan Israel doesn't like criticism;

Jimmy Carter's Kampf
by Jack Engelhard
Dec 08, '06 / 17 Kislev 5767

That was Borat, not Jimmy Carter, who urged a crowd of lounge lizards in Tucson to join him in singing, "Throw the Jew Down the Well."

Carter has the same message, but (without the spoof) his narrative comes in a book that's just being released and is titled Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid.

Apparently the written word is not enough, so Carter has taken his grudge against Israel on tour. There he is with his brotherhood on National Public Radio, NPR, where Israel-bashing is always welcome; and here he is on C-Span; and he keeps on going and won't stop until he's got us all signing up for Holocaust Part 2.


Allowing the palestinians to have the land that was taken away from them following the 67 war is not holocaust 2. And, while ISrael was attacked, it was not by the palestinians but other arab states.

Those british who fought british troops in our revolutionary war are our heroes.  Palestinians that fight against US tanks and planes for the return of their land are terrorists.  Israelis that bomb homes, with US planes and bombs, known to be occupied by families are the new heroes.  Israelis who leave behind bomblets that will subsequently blow off childrens hands or feet are apparently civilized and certainly enjoy our full support.

It is not true that the palestinians are undergoing a holocaust.  It is true that Israelis treat palestinians exactly as minority white south africa once treated the majority blacks. It is also true that Mandela was at one time called a terrorist and was jailed in solitary confinement for life.

Leanan...I don't see any articles posted yet, but would like to throw this topic out to the peanut gallery.

How do you all feel about listing all the possible "signals" we could use to indirectly identify a Peak in production of crude?

I think we all have our own "pets" on this topic, but it would nice to list them out and monitor them as time progresses.

For example, WT has the Export Model, RR has supplies provided to refineries (oversimplication and not sure you are looking at one thing??), someone chooses to look at low-quality crude products like asphalt, miles driven per country per unit of time, escalation of war footings in key countries, etc.

I think it would be interesting to see all these together in one post.

The DrumBeat came up underneath another article this morning, so I didn't see it.  It's been so irregular lately, I figured it it was just late, and didn't scroll down to look for it.

There was a long-running thread over at PO.com that did pretty much what you are suggesting.  It was called "The Canary In the Coal Mine," or something like that.  A lot of people thought the airline industry was the canary to watch.

I was just looking at GasBuddy's three year graph of local gas prices (graph widget below).  Based on my amateur chart reading, it looks like it could take a long time to reach a $3-4 range.  We certainly get spikes that are scary, but they aren't the whole story.

Maybe we have time, and won't see those signals for a while.


How do you all feel about listing all the possible "signals" we could use to indirectly identify a Peak in production of crude?

We already have actual production figures for that, why would an indirect signal be better??

The problem with looking for indirect signals is confirmation bias, which makes such observations pretty much worthless.

Presumably he is looking for leading indicators.  Such things are often the goal of "information quests" by planners, investors, etc.

I agree though that highly subjective things like "escalation of war footings in key countries, etc." are fraught with danger.  Many things might lead "key" countries to a war footing, and separating oil as a driver is impossible.  At best, one can say that it was "one of" the contributing factors.

In terms of reasonable, potential, leading, indicators ... I'd say go for the quantitative stuff (as Hubbert's curve does with past production).  Price is another such signal ... but you know, if current price was a perfect signal for future price or scarcity, markets would implode in a millisecond.

Production does not help quantify demand destruction.

At the high price points we have today demand destruction may have a big effect on the amount of oil available.

And at the end of the day demand destruction is at the heart of the peak oil argument.

Since we are in a sense late looking for these indicators we need to find historical data sets of price vs. volume etc.

Stuff from the 50's to current would be really nice.

These numbers would have to also be tied into economic factors etc.

Industrial oil usage might be well documented and a good indicator of demand destruction.

I of course favor what I call the junk products asphalt, bunker fuel etc.  First because supplies of these are reduced if more oil is being upgraded to refine higher value products so they have a negative refinery gain.

Next the market for these is price sensitive although we need to watch for prices being passed on like in the case of bunker fuel for example.

For demand destruction in say the bunker fuel market we would need to find goods that are so cheap that shipping costs make it uneconomic to move globally. I'm not what if anything is at that price level maybe low grade coal ?

Didn't that new Danish mega-container ship just reduce shipping to the lowest ever cost?

http://www.amblondon.um.dk/en/menu/TheEmbassy/News/WorldsLargestContainerShipBringsChristmasGoodiesT oUK.htm

The report I heard on TV was that it used less energy to bring products from China to Europe, than to move them the next 100KM by roads in Europe.

(on "high" prices and demand destruction, we should try to disentangle inflation and look at what ... the cost of oil per hour of labor, or what?)

She is short enough (by 30 m), shallow enough (by 2.8 m) to use the proposed new Panama Canal locks but she is too wide (56 m vs. 55 m wide locks) to use the new locks.

Ships like to be "underdimensioned" to locks by roughly a half meter on the sides, and some cm on thh draft.

One interested point on fuel conservation, exhaust is mixed with fresh air and reinjected into engines, supposedly improving fuel economy by a remarkable 12% !

I assume soot is what is being reburned.

Designed for max 25.5 knots, she is NOT slow, but I suspect that she will cruise slower than that most of the time.  Primary engine is 80 MW, this would be marginal for a nuke powered ship.  Few nuke reactors are even close to that size, but perhaps they could be efficiently made that size.

Post-Peak Oil, she should still be operating.

Best Hopes,


One interested point on fuel conservation, exhaust is mixed with fresh air and reinjected into engines, supposedly improving fuel economy by a remarkable 12% !

I assume soot is what is being reburned.

My guess would be that it preheats the mixture going into the engines so that it burns more quickly. They could never recycle -all- the exhaust, and there probably isn't a practical way to separate the sooty part from the clear part. But if the whole mess burns hotter, it might make less soot.

Airlines as mentioned can make some sense but a lot of air travel is discrentioary and I also think the Airline industry in general is not that efficient ( to many airlines ).

Asphalt is the one I like the most.

Its something that although important may be allowed to have shortages.  And their is no replacment like NG/Fuel Oil.

I found this link.


And this from a previous post.


Note the price is still quite high !

Which may or may not be important.

Sorry to post again but this article on Asphalt strait from the industry says what I've been saying.


So I think Asphalt is the Canary in the Coal mine for peak oil. Or is that the first peak oil road kill ?

I just found this also. It seems asphalt is still very high
here are 2005 numbers.


Some recent talk of shortages.


And more

This one in Hawaii is very very intresting.
It claims the new low sulfur requirements as the reason for not producing asphalt


Thanks memmel...I was trying to remember who had been looking at asphalt.
Production does not help quantify demand destruction.

Oh, ok. Peak Oil to me just means peak production, that is the  encyclopedia definition. Demand destruction may or may not be a consequence of PO, but it is not the same thing.

Just to be clear, what is the exact definition of demand destruction anyway? I didn't find an adequate definition. Is it just a more sensational way of saying demand reduction?

Hi, Totoneilla.

Here is the link you've asked to repost.

Totalizing crude imports in the USA for 12 months backwards from sept 2006, Mexico has been the second exporter in volumes of crude for the US (16%), behind Canada (17%) and before KSA (13%). With Venezuela (11%) the top four exporters account for 58% of total imports in the US.

If Cantarell is going to crash as fast as this article hints, then who is going to redirect its production ?

From the above (12/12/06) article that Neuroil posted:

The nation's major oil field, Cantarell, is declining rapidly because of age. Production is down nearly 15% through the first 10 months of the year -- more than twice the rate of decline predicted by Pemex officials last year. The company's worst-case projections show production plummeting to about 520,000 barrels a day by the end of 2008 -- a nearly 70% freefall from October's average output of 1.65 million barrels a day.

As I have repeatedly pointed out, IMO all four of the current super giants--Ghawar; Cantarell; Burgan and Daqing--are in decline or crashing.  

Unlike the operators of the other three fields, Saudi Aramco has not admitted to a decline at Ghawar, but their total 12/06 production is about 7% below their 12/05 production, and they seem to be coming up with a constantly changing set of reasons to explain their declining production.  The absolutely best case for Ghawar is that it is producing one-third water--after being redeveloped with horizontal wells.  This is not a stable situation.  Once the water hits the horizontal wells, you are looking at a production crash.  IMO, that is what is happening today at Ghawar.

Deffeyes estimated that the world had consumed half of its conventional crude + condensate (C+C) reserves as of 12/05.   Therefore, the most likely decline year was 2006, and that is what we are seeing.  Depending on how fast production is falling in the fourth quarter, world C+C production will probably be down by 0.5% to 1.0% (year over year average).  12/05 to 12/06 production will probably be down by close to 2%.   Based on Deffeyes' estimate, the world, at the end of 2006, was about 53% depleted, and we consumed about 2.7% of all remaining conventional C+C reserves in 2006.  Note that the initial Lower 48 decline, the first two years after it peaked, averaged less than 1% per year.

Based on Khebab's plots, I picked 2006 as the most likely year for the beginning of a production decline in Saudi Arabia.   The year over year average decline will probably be about 4%, with the 12/05 to 12/06 decline being about 7%.    I estimate that Saudi Arabia is now about 60% depleted, and I estimate that in 2006 they consumed about 4% of their remaining conventional C+C reserves.

 Excluding the prior swing producer, Texas, insofar as I know no large producing region with a Qt of 60 Gb or more has shown sustained production increases after the 50% of Qt mark.   Saudi Arabia is declining at the same point at which Texas started declining--after crossing the 57%/58% mark.  

Those who are predicating higher world oil production and higher Saudi oil production are predicting that we which we have never before seen in any comparable large producing region, and the early production data are precisely supporting the HL models. Furthermore the data are showing, as I predicted, lower exports.  Saudi Arabia alone is probably exporting 13% less oil in 12/06 than in 12/05.


keep hammering away at these points.  Memories are awfully short most of the time.  Even here at TOD.

I see from the posts below that Saudi Arabia and Iran are proposing production cuts because of over supply on the market.

Clearly if we "pro-actively" say we will cut production (even though the drop is due to geology) than everyone stays confused and CERA et al can claim the drop in volume is politically/economically motivated.  Some people will never admit to problems and will always try to cover them up or explain them away.

Clearly if Mexico has admitted their output is, and will be, declining than the world is going to need to make up that short fall.  It makes no logical sense for OPEC to be considering cuts in this environment unless they are also declining and want to hide the fact.  

Oil Prices

If we look at monthly spot prices, the lowest price in the past few years was $11 per barrel in 12/98.  

Oil prices crossed the $59 mark in 7/05, 440% higher than 12/98.   This was about a 25% per year average long term rate of increase.

Since 7/05, oil prices have traded in a range that is 440% to 570% higher than the $11 level we saw in 12/98.  The monthly high this year was $74 in July.

I think that the $59 to $74 range was high enough to kill off some demand.  In any case, since world production is declining--someone has to be conserving.

But, as production and exports continue to decline, market forces have to kill off more demand, to equalize suppy and consumption.


Great post!!

Based on EIA crude oil and lease condensate production data at http://www.eia.doe.gov/ipm/supply.html

Saudi Arabia peak production was on a peak plateau of 9.6 million barrels/day from April 2005 to September 2005.  It has been declining ever since down to 9.0 million barrels/day in September 2006.

Given Ghawar's decline rate, the high number of oil rigs, new projects in Saudi and talk about "voluntary" production cuts, Saudi total oil production will continue on a slow irreversible decline of at least 1% per year till Dec 2010.

Yu will look less biased if you compare the 10 months ending in oct and not the full year on account of opec cuts. Meanwhile, how can u use dec 06 anyway? we wont have data fro this month for a while.
Meanwhile, immigration continues to be a hot issue:

Immigration agents investigating ID thefts raid meat processing plants in 6 states

The investigation indicated that large numbers of illegal immigrants may have used the Social Security numbers of U.S. citizens or residents to get jobs with Swift & Co. Immigration officials said they and the Federal Trade Commission had identified hundreds of potential victims.
Hello Neuroil,

Thxs for being the early bird and reposting this info.  Here is the another link:
Trouble for PEMEX May Spell Problems for the U.S.

But if there's one thing a developing economy needs, its energy-especially for transportation. So it's no surprise that since 2000, Mexico's gasoline demand has been growing at a steady average rate of about 5% per year.

Gasoline demand is expected to continue to grow over the next ten years as well. Mexican gasoline demand is forecasted to grow an average annual rate of 3.8% a year from 712,000 barrels per day (bbls/d) to 992,000 bbls/d by 2015.

But there's one big problem.  All this may spell bad news for the U.S.

PEMEX currently produces about 3.2 million barrels of crude per day (MMbbls/d), exporting about 1.7 million barrels daily and is our third-largest oil supplier, with more than 80% of exports going to the U.S.

But with Cantrell in irreversible decline and the growing Mexican economy demanding more and more oil and refined gasoline each year, we will not be able to depend as heavily on Mexican crude as we have in the past.

Just more info for TODer Westexas to use to buttress his ELM model. I think taxing the Mexican poor for soda pop to try and make up for Cantarell's decline is laughable, yet tragic: Taxing human-usable calories & water to try and keep oil calories as readily available and as cheap as possible for those Mexicans that can afford vehicles.  What's next--tax refried beans, tortillas, and bottled water to further subsidize Mex. gasoline prices?  Most Mexicans don't trust using the available tapwater.

What will be interesting is the looming bidding war between the US & Mexico for the ever-declining Mexican exports.  Since a barrel of oil = 25,000 man-hours of physical labor, and 90% of that energy is wasted here in America to prolong infinite growth: if I was Calderon and/or Bush, every barrel exported to the US should include 12 Mexican laborers/yr to relocalize permaculture and build bicycle paths and mass-transit.  This would be using the detritus energy more efficiently in a long term fashion towards sustainability, since Americans seem reluctant to paradigm shift.

If Americans see the true human labor costs of Mex. imports, then it will be much easier for us to refuse the importation, then get truly serious about stopping infinite growth & waste, and jumpstarting Detritus Powerdown and Biosolar Powerup.  Time will tell, but I suspect the US will instead resort to draconian military measures against Mexico at crunchtime to keep the oil coming North.  Even this strategy will not offset geologic decline.

"Poor, poor Mexico!--so far from God, yet so close to the USA"-- Porfirio Diaz

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


It looks like year over year exports from Mexico are down 12% (10/05 to 10/06).  

Sounds a lot like the estimated decline in Saudi exports--13% from 12/05 to 12/06.

Some similarities:

(1)  IMO, the largest fields in both countries--large prolific active water drive carbonate reservoirs with gas caps--are in decline or crashing;

(2)  Both countries are past their respective 50% of Qt marks.

(3)  Both countries have rapidly growing domestic consumption (very, very rapid in the case of Saudi Arabia);

(4)  Single digit production declines + rising domestic consumption = double digit declines in exports.

I do not know about anywhere else but her in Estonia things about PO get really quiet when no price fluctuations. We have only one thread (in www.hinnavaatlus.ee [Pricewatch Estonia]) in nerd society. I have now accepted that masses won´t get involved until we have problem at hand. I also do not belive that it will be massive chaos and mayhelm. Suicide rate will soot up for sure. One of the best articles I have read about PO was that it is mostly psycological. It depends on peoples attitude and reacton. If we stay calm and analytic about it it will not be insurmountable problem. I also want TSTHTF anytime soon, so we can start restucturing our living enviroment.

Best wishes from other side of ocean

estonia    for real ?  is your country  mining oil shale ?  what is going on there ?
"One of the best articles I have read about PO was that it is mostly psycological. "

Peak oil is a physical reality.  The "Reaction" by the Herd of Clueless Saps is what depends on attitudes and psychology.  

"If we stay calm and analytic about it it will not be insurmountable problem."

In crisis people will not "stay calm and analytic" - they will be their normal irrationl selves looking for scapegoats to blame for their predicament.  And they will be desperately seeking solutions to prop up their decaying former civilization instead of finding ways to adjust and to cope with the world we now live in.

"I also want TSTHTF anytime soon, so we can start restucturing our living enviroment. "

If you meant you really do want TSTHTF because it will act as a mechanism to spur action, I think you will be GREATLY disappointed in the "Restructuring" efforts that result.  

If you meant you do Not want TSTHTF anytime soon, so we have time to "restructure our living environment"... well, sorry, but TimezUp.  We're about 30 years too late.

I have ofter thought about this and the obvious explanation is that the price of oil is the only current symptom of peak oil (or more specifically energy) that we currently feel.

We are not at the stage yet where all even plates are allowed to fill up at the garage on a thursday and odd plates on a friday. Or plastic shopping bags are outlawed etc..

So all we have to go on is price.


Hello Zajats,

Welcome to TOD!  How is your country adjusting to rising fuel and natgas prices?  Also, please give us your sense of what your countrymen think of the Polonium poisoning, if you can.  Thank you.

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

Hi Zajats;

  Thanks for the thoughts.

  Too bad about the 'Psychological' line.. Heaven forbid they start seeing market prices or preempive wars.. or even our love of our families as also being psychological.  Why, it would devalue our whole reality to suspect that human feelings had any effect on our thinking about our world.  Ahh, fear of nature!

  As far as the many who will not be taking action until the 11th hour (if even then)..  I just remembered my formula for Christmas gifts today..

Part One,  Do something for them that they want, or 'would' want, and are unlikely to get for themselves.--(Variation)  Try to help them reach their dreams, improve their lives, or access new places in life that they would appreciate with this gift.  As an example, I helped a friend get his driver's license by pitching in for the classes and test.  (He's still a good NY'er and bikes, walks or buses to work)

Part Two,  Give them something you really want for yourself, and then borrow it a lot. in other words, like all Altruism, there is a hearty and joyful dollop of selfishness right in the middle.  Keeps friends in touch!

So anyway, the conclusion is to find ways to think about how your plans, preparations and thinking towards this little 'Hobby Problem' of yours can fit into Mom's or your favorite bud's Stockings, as well!  It might be some form of work you can offer to help make their home better able to handle less energy inputs, it might be an 'Emergency Preparation' list you work hard on and give all your loved ones. >> My shorthand for this is called the "Hey! Bag", a quick-grab kit you might have at your office or near your kitchen which is packed with any range of essentials that you have ~carefully~ thought through and put together, from Flashlights, Fire Safety and First Aid stuff, to Credit Card #s and your latest backup CD and All-Weather-gear..  The point is, there are a lot of really handy items that are spread around your home.. (Sharp Knife, Sharp Pencil, Sharp Cheddar, a few Nails or Paperclips, STRING!) which, all together could get you out of a tough spot a little or a lot easier.. but they aren't together, and there's no bag for them, darn!  [This came up after 9/11, thinking about getting out of OfficeBuildings.. at least in lesser emergencies than this.. but it would also help in your car, boat, etc]

Of course, as regards Peak Oil, you can think about this in a very wide range of ways, but there might be someone in your life who would benefit and appreciate almost as much as you the focus and thoughtfulness of such a gift.  My mom keeps asking me for more info about Solar Hot Water and other Solar options, since she knows that is one of my brain's passtimes..  So there I go!  I can get a few quotes and some articles together for her, so she (and I!) have some freshly consolidated info about what options are available, for how much, to get both our houses off some of the #2 Oil we burn every day..  and of course, such research can be printed out for a whole bunch of people on your list, so the EROEI of your efforts is multiplied n-fold!

Merry Christmas, (etc..)!

Bob Fiske

I haven't logged on till now even though I've been reading for quite some time. I've been in the camp for many, many years -- over 30. Until there is some acceptance it's been fighting the wind. I am ethnically Estonian but living in NA -- advanced Economic degree but haven't used it for my living.  My wife is a college professor  but not ethnically Estonian though she has spent far more time in that country than I have -- and  she actually has learned the language ( 14 cases etc.). The cultural differences from NA are vast. A 'joke' is that if two Estonians get together they form three political parties. That being true doesn't change that the country runs on consensus, as do most Scandinavian countries, far more than elsewhere. They'll bitch, complain and argue but eventually a consensus will form that becomes the norm --- and rational ends winning. I read this posting and even without the reference to the country I would have understood. My wife has just revised an introductory tourism  textbook  that is used in both Canada and Estonia and has included this minor innocuous paragraph:

"The tourism industry faces an enormous crisis - as does the world - in the next four to ten years. It is estimated that the worlds oil fields will have reached peak production during that time (if they have not already done so as in the case of the U.S.A. and the U.K.). As production drops, the cost of the remaining oil (and therefore gasoline and jet fuel) becomes greater since the cost of extraction is higher. Some estimates put a barrel of oil in the $150 range within ten years in North America. Gasoline will range around $4 to $5 per litre. At the same time, heating oil and electricity costs will rise dramatically. Correspondingly, food prices will rise to extraordinary levels; remember that every calorie of food produced in North America requires ten calories of energy (largely fossil fuels). The mass market addressed by most of the tourism industry will see discretionary spending dramatically reduced.

The ramifications for tourism are enormous. People will be reluctant, or unable, to pay the much higher cost of airfares, to rent cars with their corresponding fuel costs, to rent hotel rooms at much higher rates to cover increased heat, air conditioning and lighting costs. Travel may become an extraordinary luxury even in developed nations such as Canada, the United States, and the U.K."

her Canadian colleagues were stunned and most  thought she was off the wall  -- the Estonian colleagues read it and read the included links and  thought it worth consideration  for the future. Differenent strokes... and possibly different outcomes.

Tonu: The price of crude has gone from $11 in 1998 to $60 currently. During this price rise of 445%,the increase in the consumer price of the items you mention (airfare, groceries,hotel rooms, rental cars, etc. has been negligible- certainly nowhere near 445%. The argument continually gets trotted out that as oil prices increase the price of everything related will go up almost dollar for dollar-where is the evidence? (there isn't any).  
The price of oil was severely depressed in 1998 with $11/bbl oil.  Actual price rise in real dollars from 1979 to 1981 was about 300% and caused economic havoc for the travel industry.  If oil goes from $60 to $150 in the next two to three years expect the same economic havoc as in 1981, when by the middle of 1982 nearly 15% of the workforce in the US was out of work, including me.  
After short term oil price escalations first comes higher inflation (which real inflation is more like 6 to 8% not US gov. figure of 3%), then comes economic downturn with idustries crashing and never fully recovering.  Just like in 1982: been there & done that.
Just because we haven't seen any evidence as yet doesn't equate to us not seeing some in the future. And there is nothing that should equate to a dollar to dollar comparison -- lots of externals that will skew the comparison in both the short and long term.
I don't believe I know an Estonian. I do know Latvians and Lithuanians. They would understand what you are talking about. So do I. Keep posting. Thank you.
Isn't Balticman from Lithuania or living there?
The WSJ has a special biofuels report.  It's for subscribers only, alas, but I know some here have subscriptions.  It's here:

Alternative-Energy Push Fuels Trouble

Investors poured a record $49 billion into alternative energies such as solar power, ethanol and biodiesel last year, a 60% increase from a year earlier. One source of biodiesel is palm oil, which, when squeezed from red fruit that grows on oil palms primarily on plantations in Malaysia and Indonesia, can be processed into fuel and mixed with conventional diesel to form a hybrid energy source that can be pumped directly into gas tanks.
Yes, I posted on that article last week here.

There is a free source for the article cited in my post.

The link you cited is essentially an abstract about the main article.

The Seattle Times ran a story this past Sunday on biodiesel. Local upstart Imperium Biofuels is currently building the nation's largest refinery -- on the WA coast -- for said product. There are not enough seed crops grown locally to supply veggie oil for the plant, so they are setting up deals with palm growers in SE Asia (so much for "energy independence"). With input costs (veggie oil, delivered) currently at 80%, and demand likely to drive soybean and palm oil higher, how can this be a viable endeavor?
Not to mention that most palm plantations in SE Asia (Malaysia and Indonesia) involve cutting down and burning pristine rain forest in Borneo, releasing vast quantities of CO2 into the atmosphere, covering most of SE Asia in smog for months at a a time, depriving thousands of animals (including native humans) of their habitat, and threatening the very existence of the Orang Utang as a species.

Still, you gotta do what you gotta do to fill up your tank with sustainable and environmentally friendly fuel.....

In the Netherlands we have our main electricity suplier burning alot of palmoil. They import it from Indonesia.
And they sell the power as "green power", you know CO2 neutral, cause it is made with veggy oil.

Now comes the nice part; the palm plantations in Indonesia are build on patches of burned-down rain forrests and even better; dried-up peatbogs.
Those activities now place Indonesia at a respectable third place in the world biggest producers of CO2, right behind the US and China!!!!

And I thought I was doing good switching to "green energy"

Roger From The Netherlands

Beware of press releases of companys building alternative fuel production plants.  A good percentage of them are nothing but stock scams. Many others are nothing more than "Uncle Festus" and his sons Larry, Darryl and Darryl building a moonshine still and thinking it will make them rich.  As a SWAG I bet no more than 20 - 30 percent of these plants will ever be built let alone become a profitable ongoing business.
I guarantee you that the big one in Grays Harbor county WA is being built--no "Uncle Festus" there. The president of Imperium is a former airline pilot who got biodiesel religion while flying long runs to Alaska, and the CEO is a former tech guy turned venture capitalist. It is backed by lots of big money, including Paul Allen. They've been making the stuff on a smaller scale in south Seattle for awhile now.

I do question the economics, given the dependence on a finite amount of raw oil available at a low enough price.

A New Means of Clothes Drying (for the US)

I came accross this from a link to their washing machines yesterday.

Apparently adjustable "air drying" at temperatures from room to 158F.  I have some questions about operation, how it works in high humidity areas (New Orleans) and so forth.  But it may be an "in between" solution between clothes lines and convential clothes dryers.


Best Hopes,


What I did was add an 'airtight room' next to the forced air heating unit.   The air 1st enters that room at the bottom, and leaves at the top to the rest of the home.

You can 'smell' when the clothes are dried.   Not as fancy as the drying cabinet, but works well.

(You can use the Al finned Cu pipe salvaged from a hydronic heat unit as a heat source for a drying unit also.   Such is my design for drying veggies)

An interesting looking device, but I can't help wondering if it isn't evidence that the wealthy will be fine while the poor will get hit harder and harder. Can you imagine these things replacing the dryer at a laundrymat? in an apartment building?
The wisdom of this approach will also be a reminder to less-affluent folks that there are workarounds to the Dryer/Clothesline options..  You could take 2-6 storm windows, or even a plastic sheet (for a year or so) and make a 'Greenhouse Dryer' closet on the south side of your home.. (clearly not as obvious a solution for apt/dwellers)

Every time I look at Solar Heaters up on a roof or out in the yard, I keep thinking, 'shouldn't that collector be INSIDE the home's envelope, so any exfiltration stays in the home?.. As with this Dryer, I keep thinking the Peak of your roof (oh no! PEAK ROOF!)  should be ALL Glass panels, and the 'Loft Space' all dedicated to Water Heating, Gardening, Laundry Drying, etc..  The design would also have to incorporate some kind of Insulation that rolls over the glass (probably outside, maybe both OUT and IN) for Night and Overcast times, to retain the captured heat)  Hardly an Engineering Nightmare, but a little beyond the expectations of a currently 'Typical' home.

Bob Fiske

The design would also have to incorporate some kind of Insulation that rolls over the glass (probably outside, maybe both OUT and IN) for Night and Overcast times, to retain the captured heat)

ZomeWorks used to have a product or system called 'Beadwall' that consisted of 2 panes of glass with (as I recall) ~3" between them and a vacuum/blower device that would fill the space at night with styrofoam beads. I don't see it on their site now, but they have other neat stuff such as the solar tracking collectors that use a simple evaporation system (like the little bird dipping its head in the water glass) to keep the collector tracking (no moving parts).

Um, why not just build an earthship?

"Comfortable inside, with no fossil fuels - in any Climate.

One of the most recently built Packaged Earthships reports a maximum low temperature of 64 degrees (for a brief time) early in the morning before sunrise after two cloudy days and a minus seventeen degree winter night. This is with no back up heating system what-so-ever. Newer models will expect 68 degrees to be the maximum low in similar conditions. This design has been built in hot wet climates and cold wet climates and has the potential of being slightly "tuned" to deal with a variety of extremes while not changing the basic building."

Really, you need to start thinking outside the traditional box (especially the traditional suburban box).

I could just see the reaction from my municipality if I told them I was going to build a house out of tires and dirt.

Lets just say that among the obscenities would be the word NO.

There will be massive resistance against building structures that don't conform.  I personally would love to either have an earthship or a hobbit hole to live in.

It isn't technically difficult to build an Earthship or similar such dwelling. There are downsides. Such a dwelling relies on a combination of design features for maintaining interior temperature including super-insulation, earth berming and either low square footage of windows or moveable insulating shades.

Taos NM is probably an ideal climate for this type of structure. A cold and cloudy climate would require lower glass square footage, i. e. a darker house, which I don't find very attractive.

A very wet climate (Western OR for example) makes it more difficult to do problem-free earth berming, but it can be done.

I think the biggest trade-off that one runs into is the simple fact that the balance of heat gain/loss with respect to windows is negative for most areas unless one spends the potentially large $$ for conveniently moveable insulating shades. Even then, most insulating shades will only raise the typical R 1.5 double-pane window to around R 3.

What about shutters ?  Either batten or louvre ?

Also double hex cell blinds add over R-1 to a window when dropped.  Relatively cheap and easily available.

I have plans for an extremely energy efficient home in New Orleans, but almost no overlap with "Earthship" concepts.

Earthship seems VERY NA for New Orleans.

Best Hopes,


Hi Alan,
R-1 is pretty piddly when dealing with a temperature difference of maybe 60F or so.

It's basically a trade-off. If you like lots of window light, you gotta pay the price somehow. Personally, I'm willing to burn a few more logs to have the window light. Fortunately, Western OR winters are extremely forgiving and it isn't hard to maintain 60-65F interior in the winter.

In NO I would expect the emphasis of the shading would be to keep out the heat. I would think that thermal mass concepts would work well in a tropical climate like Southern LA plus attention to catching the breezes when its cool out at night.

I should have looked this up.  Double hex cell blinds have R values of 4.6 to 5.0 according to various claims.


Take a good double pane window (argon fill ?), pull batten shutters close in front (can these be insulated & still look good ?) and pull double cell blinds down.

Very low thermal mass, with high insulation values, is the best strategy in New Orleans, especially if one does not live there 24/7.

High ceilings (12' to 16') are an old, and effective strategy for living w/o air conditioning during shoulder months.

High humidity prevents nightly "cool-off".  80F low at dawn is common on hotter days (after being 86F at midnight, etc.) amd these are humid temps.

Climate is not one of our "Great Positives" like our food, music, architecture, urban form or wasy that we live together :-)

Best Hopes,


 I have been chewing over making traditional 'Shutters' out of 1.5" to 2" Rigid Insul, prettied up appropriately, and set up to seal tight.  Between that and Quilted Curtains inside, you could come up to a 9 or 10..  would take some thinking and tinkering to get an inside control (direct or electric) to open and close.. but wouldn't that pay for itself !..  even to have some automated circuit to open and close them on a timer or with the daylight wouldn't be that difficult..  litter-boxes are more involved nowadays~

It might feel a little Claustrophobic for people used to looking outside at night..

Um, why not just build an earthship?

I am going to visit a friend this weekend who lives in an earthship off the grid in Colorado. I am planning on writing a short essay on it when I return.

My own inclination would be sort of 'Half Earthship'..  Half Underground, half terrace/Greenhouse on a south facing hillside in the White Mts in Maine.  A lot of advantages to the earth-reg'd temps and the solar gain.. also the kind of spaces I like.. both 'caves' and 'perches' (Been climbing my roof a bunch, pulling down chimneys and putting up frames for various solar collectors.. love it up there, sunlight, air & views!

As far as 'Outside the box'.. I hope I'm not being TOO glib by suggesting that you might look further outside the box to find your metaphors, since that one seems a little boxy these days...  and I only say that to segue into the fact that our smartest solutions will HAVE to take advantage of what we've already got, which is a LOT of BOXES, and a lot of builders who know how to make and work with boxes..  I'm just noticing that these millions of asphalt roofs on our boxes could be part of a retrofit design that grabbed all the possible sunlight that is currently shunted off this Petrol-byproduct shingling, and use it in numerous ways to benefit the home.  I should imagine the Kitchen might even be up there, with a SmartMirror setup heating your Coffee and Oatmeal water a great many days of the year, as well as lighting your kitchen table and warming the dishwater.

I know you did say outside the 'Traditional' suburban box.. but I feel I was already doing that.  I would also say, however, that we have had an Urban and a Village aspect to our socities for Thousands of years, and I doubt that will go away.  This set of ideas uses your top floor, wherever that is.. as a food center, energy source, naturally lit family space.. etc..

I've been meaning to mention lately, that I think one of the 'technologies' or at least material supplies that will be a crucial hinge upon which our future could hang is Glass, which can give us countless benefits against difficult climates (and food storage issues).. making it possible to get by in a way that keeps us from the 'Stone Age' predictions that are often aired..

{Please Place  all 'Glass Houses' comments below, thanks}

I saw the MIT "Fab Tree Hab" in the Boston Globe a few months ago; it also appeared in Technology Review.

In the future, home owners may grow their houses instead of building them

I've been considering some type of drying cabinet. It does cut down on wear and tear (idea! knit sweaters from dryer lint!), but I wonder about the energetics.
The drying cabinet uses a 1,500 W heating element, using just 2.8 kWh for a standard load. In comparison, traditional tumble dryers commonly use a 4,000 W heating element.
So, for 2.8kWh, I can run the dryer for 42 minutes or the drying cabinet for almost 2 hours to get the clothes dry. I don't know how much energy is used to tumble the clothes, though.

With the DC, all that heat (and water vapor) end up in the house. If you live in a cold clime with NG heat, this is a good thing in winter--within limits. Too much moisture and it will condense and give up its heat in an unfortunate spot, such as windows. In summer, it's a wash (sorry). Then, of course, it should be hung outside anyway.

Well I shall stick with using a clothes line outside in summer and a a clothes "horse" in winter, but that's England for you. Ok in winter it takes about a day to dry stuff but surely you have enough clothes not to have to wear your favourite shirt for a day? Although I suppose if this cabinet means that you don't have to iron the clothes its would be worth it.
Here in the U.K. many of us use 'Washing lines' to dry our clothes. This uses the principal of natural evaporation and requires 0W of power.

For those of us that cannot wait 4 hours outdoors in the summer for our cloths to dry, or 2 days indoors on a rack,
we carry 3 or more pairs of underpants in what is called a chest of drawers.



My washer and dryer are in my garage.  I throw the large, heavy stuff on a rack in the garage to (mostly) dry overnight.  Then all the clothes go into the dryer the next day.  Cuts the bill in half while still giving me the dryer "fluff" feature.

The above-mentioned "new means" will be "too much effort" for the rich, while the poor can just use the time-tested method involving a rack or clothes line.

Other than drying more slowly at a lower temperature, how is this different than a clothes dryer?  Ooops... my clothes dryer does have a low-heat mode.  How is the device different than a clothes dryer at all?

An article from Energy and Capital that has a familiar ring:

Are Humans Smarter than Yeast?

Now, let's step back from these trees and take a look at the forest. What message do they have in common? It is a dawning realization that, simply put, what we've been doing so far is leading us to ruin, and that we must take a different course. When people with a deep vested interest in the way things are, like Matthew Simmons and the president of Shell, suddenly get religion about energy depletion, we know that a very significant change is happening.

Most prognostications about energy, food supplies, global warming and other related issues use a 50-year window, and within that window they see Big Trouble. Why? Because in 50 years we'll have 9 billion people on the planet, 50% more than we have today. And that is the bottom line. That is the fundamental driving force behind all of these interrelated problems. It's nothing more, and nothing less, than a classic case of ecological overshoot.

Force of China's impact grows in USA

From 2002 to 2005, Chinese consumption accounted for 54% of the global growth in steel demand, according to the International Monetary Fund.
Hadn't seen this posted yet. No link, it was just sent to me via e-mail:

Iran Urges OPEC for Further Oil Production Cut

Source: Xinhua News Agency - CEIS

TEHRAN, Dec. 12 (Xinhua) -- Iranian Oil Minister Kazem Vaziri Hamaneh said on Tuesday that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) still needs to cut the current oil output to boost the global crude price, the Shana news agency reported.

Hamaneh was quoted as saying that "Iran also considers oil price lower than 60 U.S. dollars per barrel inappropriate, just like most of OPEC member countries."

"Given the considerable oil oversupply, we will try to have a output cut," he said, two days before an OPEC meeting in Nigeria.

Several days ago, OPEC President and Nigerian Oil Minister Edmund Daukoru said that the estimated oversupply on the current oil market was about 1 million barrels per day and the organization's ministers would review the situation and make appropriate decisions.

OPEC countries last month made a decision to cut the current crude oil output by 1.2 million bpd to 26.3 million bpd in order to boost the oil price.

Iran, the second largest producer in OPEC, also decided to reduce its output by 176,000 barrels per day after the OPEC decision.

(c) 2006 Xinhua News Agency - CEIS.

So, lower production ahead.

A future news bulletin?

Saudi Arabia Announces Further Production Cuts
Source: Xinhua News Agency - CEIS

Saudi Arabia, Jan. 1, 2011 (Xinhua) -- Sources within Saudi Arabia today denied that Saudi Arabia's 25% fall in production since 2005 was involuntary, and they reiterated their desire to maintain oil prices within the current price band of $220 to $280 per barrel, while announcing that they were voluntarily cutting production by another 5% in 2011.  

Separately, a source with the Texas Railroad Commission also announced that they were voluntarily cutting production by another 2%, continuing their 39 year track record of voluntary production cuts.  

Saudi and Texas sources both reiterated their long stated positions that they could and would increase their production, when market conditions dictated.

Daniel Yergin stated today that the recent price spike to $300 per barrel was temporary, and he asserted that oil prices should soon return to the $38 range.

On a related note, Investment banker Matt Simmons today collected on a bet made in 2005, with a New York Times columnist regarding oil prices in 2010.

(c) 2006 Xinhua News Agency - CEIS.

I can always rely on you to cheer me up!! :-)


You know that you have humor skills too?
That's very clever and funny!!

In 2011, I wonder what proportion of world oil reserves will be nationalised?

Will ExxonMobil, BP, Shell and the other majors become large oil services companies like Schlumberger and Halliburton?

Saudi Arabia will probably announce an increase in reserves in 2011 as the Ghawar tar mats are now economically viable to mine like the Alberta tar sands.

Are you sure?

Oil Prices Up Ahead of OPEC Meeting

OPEC's acting Secretary-General Mohammed Barkindo said it was premature to consider another production cut.

"We have to be mindful about the impact that prices have on consumers," he told Dow Jones Newswires on Monday.

It seems that either mixed signals are coming out of OPEC or the media is misinterpreting what information is coming out.

Those were direct quotes from 2 OPEC members - including the current president - that they feel the market is oversupplied.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that a cut is up in the air due to the differing opinions of the oil ministers:

Crude Oil Futures Sink Ahead of Inventory Report

OPEC ministers seem divided on whether a cut is needed and whether it will be price driven. While Saudi Arabia, OPEC's biggest oil exporter, has indicated it is looking at high stockpiles, rather than prices, United Arab Emirates Oil Minister Mohammed al-Hamli on Tuesday said there would be no further cut "unless absolutely necessary" and that current oil prices are reasonable.

How does OPEC take these decisions? Is it a straight vote?

On the subject of inventories, Robert, would you care to make a prediction on the direction of inventory changes for crude, gasoline, and distillates? The analysts are predicting a draw of crude and builds of gasoline and distillates.

Ha...I was just about to ask Robert the same question.

Robert, you want to take a stab again this week?

I'm betting...draw, draw, draw!!!

Then...and this is just a "wild hair" guess...prices will go all over the place, but somehow settle back down close to $60.
I believe that Iran has crossed the 50% of Qt mark, and I believe that their oil production is now down from 2005

As more and more countries start terminal declines, an interesting question is whether or not they will cut back production even beyond the underlying decline rate, in order to maximize their cash flow and prolong the lives of their fields.

In regard to the comment about the one mbpd net increase in the following article, Saudi Arabia's production from 12/05 to 12/06 is down by about 700,000 bpd, while their consumption, assuming the same rate of increase as 2004 to 2005, will be up by about 300,000 bpd.  So, Saudi Arabia's current production decline and increase in consumption, would all by itself, wipe out the effect of a net one mbpd increase in non-OPEC production.  Of course, I expect the Saudis to continue dropping--and to keep showing an increase in consumption.

Opec plans squeeze on oil stockpiles
By Carola Hoyos, Chief Energy Correspondent
Published: December 10 2006 22:05 | Last updated: December 10 2006 22:05

But why would Opec forgo revenue even though prices are again comfortably above $60 a barrel, its unofficial floor?

The answer lies in the nearly 2m b/d of new oil production from outside Opec that the cartel believes will come on stream next year.

Several prominent analysts disagree with Opec's forecasts. Edward Morse, chief energy economist at Lehman Brothers, the investment bank, forecasts that countries outside Opec, which are battling steep rates of field decline, will add no more than 1m barrels of net new production in 2007. In fact he argues that, rather than cut supply, Opec will have to plug a hole.

 "The question that remains is whether Opec will have the desire or ability to fill the gap that probably will exist next year between growth in demand and non-Opec supply," he wrote in a recent report.

I think these "mixed" signals coming out of OPEC are signs that there is much infighting going on amongst OPEC members, which in itself is a frightening notion.

What happens if OPEC just kinda breaks apart into a bunch of nationalistic entities not working together?

What happens if OPEC just kinda breaks apart into a bunch of nationalistic entities not working together?

Isn't that how it has always been? OPEC has only acted in unision at a few periods. In recent years, they have been near useless.

A car's brakes only act in unision (sic) at a few periods. While cruising down the freeway, they are near useless.
I agree with you that OPEC only uses its brakes when it needs to slow down and the fact they haven't used them at other times doesn't mean that they don't work.

OPEC has over certain periods been able to exercise some control over their production, and even production of non-members. However, the infighting, nationalism and lack of cooperation noted int he original post are not brand new and not, to my mind, a particularly frightening notion.

If I had brakes like OPEC's, I wouldn't be too comfortable crusing down the highway.

In recent years they have been happy with the price of oil.  Some at tod thought they were defunct because oil would never decline.  THose of us who like higher prices are happy they are still in the business of reducing oil supplies.
Speaking of OPEC, Cuba becoming a member? Huh? They were most recently running up huge debts importing oil from Venezuela. Perhaps they'll join just to annoy the US, or perhaps so they can then announce their own "voluntary production cut".
They're drilling into reservoirs off Florida that we can't touch due to environmental considerations.  Hence the pressure to loosen up the offshore drilling laws.  
The initial drilling in these lease zones has not met with any success. US companies aren't even interested in the area on the US side of the border. The bill to loosen offshore restrictions is targeted at the big gas deposits up toward the Florida panhandle.
Do you have a link?  The last I heard was this article from the BBC.  They seemed to think the results had been good, but of course, it's all a big secret so no one really knows what they found.
Here's a copy of an old Miami Herald article. Repsol-YPF has been working in this area since 1999 and hasn't gotten anything they think is commercially viable. I couldn't find it  with a quick search, but I recall seeing a news article recently in which the analyst guesse that Repsol is close to giving up. This Herald article reports that "Some Spanish oil industry executives have been quoted as saying the odds of Repsol-YPF finding such deposits [commercially viable] are only one in 25."


There are other articles like this if you care to look.

More recent articles seem to think they've found something.  
So, you're saying that the company that's on the ground there (or should I say water), doesn't know what's going on? Check out those "more recent" articles, on what are they basing their expectations on? I do know that most that I see are more concerned with the fact that the chinese will have platforms 50 miles from Key West than they are in the actual possibilities for finding oil.
From the BBC link I posted (dated 11 September 2006):

India's ONGC announced its investment in two blocks on Sunday, saying it presented the opportunity of "great finds".

In May this year it agreed a 30% stake in a separate six-block venture with Spanish firm Repsol YPF. A further 30% share was taken by Norway's Norsk Hydro.

Jorge Pinon, an energy consultant working for the Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies at the University of Miami, said the involvement of Norsk Hydro - a leading offshore oil producer - was significant.

"It gives an indication that the geology of the area must be extremely positive and has a high possibility of producing oil in commercial quantities," he told the BBC News website.

First, one wonders about there fact checking since Repsol YPF has been there since 1999.

Second, the "experts" logic leaves a little to be desired. That a company (even a "leading" one) is "involved" in an area  does not mean that it will be productive. That's akin to saying that Leanan is really smart and she hangs out at TOD so TOD must be a really important website. It all might be true, but there is no causality.

But, just to reemphasize, this comes from the article you referred to - "A US Geological Survey report published last year estimates that 4.6 billion barrels of oil and 9.8 trillion cubic feet of natural gas could lie within that zone, in the North Cuba Basin."

I would think that as far as oil plays go, this is pretty small.

No one's saying this is Ghawar II.  

New discoveries were made in the area in  2004...probably after the article you linked to was published.  Is that so astonishing?

These are the same 16 lease plots. That it took 7 years for them to even lease the 12 they've leased says something about the prospects.

Nothing has happened in the last two years that would indicate that this is going to be a source of commercially viable oil.  Unless you are reading articles different than those I'm reading, there has been no new "discovery," just a USGS update.

What has changed is that the price of oil has tripled and that makes some more expensive plays more viable.

But probably more importantly is that the media has grabbed onto this because of the China angle, the Cuba boycott and the increased awareness of oil issues. One wonders if this is another "Jack" type media frenzy.

According to Forbes, the discovery was made in 2004:

It is there that Cuba plans to drill for oil, after the discovery of highly promising oil and gas reserves in the North Cuba Basin in 2004.

I'm sure high prices have something to do with the sudden interest.  But I don't see how this can be a Jack-2 frenzy.  There is no frenzy.  Unlike Jack-2, no one is saying this discovery is going to save us from peak oil.  And it was reported in the BBC, which has pretty much ignored Jack-2, CERA, and all that.

Really, the only reason it's getting any ink at all now is because of the talk of Cuba joining OPEC.  

I wish that the Forbes article was a little clearer. It talks about a discovery, but then refers only to the USGS study.

I think its in the news only because of the China connection, certainly that is the slant of the Forbes article. I haven't read the Cuba OPEC ties, but they are, on the face of things, absurd. OPEC is unlikely to admit a nation that might, someday, be able to produce a small amount of oil.

This makes me suspect that the chinese interest is probably more political than oil oriented.

OPEC is unlikely to admit a nation that might, someday, be able to produce a small amount of oil.

Why?  I would think they'd accept anyone who was willing to pay.  The membership fee is a million dollars a year or something like that.  

And Chavez is pushing for Cuba to join.  

I wonder if I could get Chavez to pay my membership fees? Or do you have to at least be a nation-state?

And didn't they just go through the motions of pushing Indonesia out because they were no longer an exporter?

No, it was Indonesia that was talking about dropping out.  Because they didn't want to pay the membership fee.  
Hello Davidsmi,

Your quote: "This makes me suspect that the chinese interest is probably more political than oil oriented."

Wild speculation:  the offshore platforms would be ideal launching sites for short-range Chinese ICBMs, anti-ship missiles, or biologic weapons.

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

Perhaps as platforms for some missiles?  Are USAns that paranoid?
There's a producer link here.
what ?  you are going to tell me that the usgs dont know what they are doing ?
going from memory here, but doesn't the USGS project about 4.5 billion barrels in the whole Florida Straits region (not just the Cuban zone)? That's not a whole lot and if its difficult to get to....
the usgs "estimate" is a wag (wild assed guess) i will need to sharpen the point of my sarcasim blade
the main thing i got from the st petersburg times' article is how out of touch our brilliant leaders in the senate are  
Could this be a new tactic in the 'War on the Great Satan'?  Both KSA and Iran seem to be fighting an unviewed war against the USA/Israel [the 9/ bombers were mostl Saudi Arabian], and everybody knows what Iran thinks of the US.  So the tactic is that under the guise of a glut of oil on the market, to get OPEC countries to cut back their oil output so much that a sudden trough in supply ricochets the price causing an enormous shock to the Western world's economies.  hmm.
This ties in with my delusional? idea that when Sadam said just before GWi that 'This is going to be mother of all wars', he was expressing neither bravado nor a wish but a hidden reality.
Time will tell.
That the "shy mullahs" of Iran are seeking a nuclear bomb is axiomatic for Palast. After all, "Iran has zero need of 'peaceful' nuclear-generated electricity. It has the second-largest untapped reserve of natural gas on the planet, a clean, safe, cheap source of power. There's only one reason for a 'nuclear' program."

The tried option is 'you can have a fission power plan if you agree to these treaties'

What are the other options:

No one can have nuclear fission for civilan power?
Iran should use its oil for its own energy needs and stop shipping it outside its borders?

So what is the option that would be 'acceptible' to Greg and others who have worries about a 12th emu existing?  (Why anyone is worried about emu's I do not understand....)

"... worries about a 12th emu existing?  Why anyone is worried about emu's I do not understand....) "

That is perfect.

Of course you "do not understand" why anyone is worried. Here you demonstrate quite clearly that your are blissfully ignorant and you are a bigot.  

At least you have come out of the closet - that's the first step to understanding.

Most people who do understand are not worried about whether or not the 12th phantasm exists - what worries them is that the Iranian Mullah's believe it and are acting on their beliefs.

you are a bigot.  

Oh Really?

A bigot is a prejudiced person who is intolerant of any opinions differing from their own.

When you get around to being able to express an opinion with more than handwaving, then I won't use sarcasm.   IF I was good, I'd take a bunch of emu pictures and work up irony and exaggeration.   But I'm not that good.

I'm happy to entertain other opinions, ESP when they are well thought out or can show other data I knew nothing about.   Prions - mammals 'only' is an interesting set of data.  (Thus I'm looking for prion - maggot - mammal testing or prion - maggot - fish testing data )  Or data that is not one sided "The energy crunch is very solvable - we have the technology" "Ok great.  Now how do you make it work?"  "That a poilcy problem"  (Gee, if the policy problem can't be solved, other than salve for your soul, why bother saying the issue is addressable?  Why claim people who are looking at the policy problem and have influence in hte policy are wrong?)

You dismiss their beliefs with the sarcasm of the bigot because you are completely ignorant of their beliefs.  

You want to entertain yourself by arguing with someone instead of dispelling your ignorance.

Question your beliefs yourself (like a grown up) and dispell your ignorance.  Start by reading the warning by Bernard Lewis - it is a good primer.

Then go look for your cute pictures of emus, and go find someone to entertain yourself with arguing about ESP and prions and whatever else you babbled about in your last paragraph.

You dismiss their beliefs with the sarcasm of the bigot because you are completely ignorant of their beliefs.  

Nope.  I dismiss YOUR claims of 'what others believe'.

Just because you and what you think are the most important things in your universe does not mean anyone else has to pay much heed to what you have to  say.

Perhaps you can get Hollywood to listen to what you say as a remake of 12 monkeys....the 12 emu's

You didn't read the article did you eric ;)

I think you are one of the last here to avoid it.  

You didn't read the article did you eric

Yes I did.  Lots of claims to show how doom was gonna happen on Aug 22nd.   No actual references to the doom, just claims that these refeeences exist.   yawn then   Look!  Its December.  All that build up and no pay off on Aug 22,  more yawn

Whole lotta people in power using claims of religion as a tool of modivation/to keep a power structure.  

Some people are more eaisly frighented by vague claims.  Others are willing to make religious claimes to get their adjenda pushed.


I think

You have your reality.   And you can feel whatever you want in your realty.   Doesn't mean anyone else has to find your feeling important, does it?

you are one of the last here to avoid it.  

It?  What is it?

What it are you refering to?    (Ohhhh, it threatens me!  It's gonna get me!  Defend me from it!)

You're just making a fool of yourself now eric.
one of the last here to avoid it

And you can't even now be bothered to say what 'it' is.

You are so afraid now to even avoid the mere mention of "it"?  

Why would anyone subject themselves to reading more than a few paragraphs of Bernard Lewis? Would it take more to understand that he's a fool, a bigot. a POS?
"The tried option is 'you can have a fission power plan if you agree to these treaties'"

I think it would be a little more honest to explain what those "treaties" are.

So the tried option has been "You can have fission power (that we will supply you) if you agree to these treaties that prevent you from ever obtaining the technology on your own and require you to be dependent on western nations for that technology and for your fuel."

Your summary is where the goalposts are moved to.   There are old goal posts that they seem to have met.

I was always under the impression 'sigm the treaty and you get aid if you want it, in making your on fission plants for elecrical power'.  But I don't track fissiion power treaties as it really isn't anything I can do about it.  So I'm relying on what others have said.   (Not exactly informed am I?  Odds are most of the people who comment havn't read the actual laws so I'm in good company with the other chest thump'n fools eh?)  I'd love to see a link that points to a discussion of the actual treaty elements...something I could spend a few hours on....but that isn't gonna happen here.

Some nations have not signed and have working civilian reactors...and they don't get threatened with attacks either.    Other nations were in violation and they get help via selling ifty items to them to help out their fission program.

The situation seems to be powered by vaccum enegry - it sucks.

Then to add to the universe of fission-based vaccum energy:
The real message, the one found by reading between the lines, not the MSM headlines, is much more frightening.  This message states quite clearly that individuals with known ties to Chechen insurgents (beneficiaries of intense support from radical Islamic terrorists from around the world[22]) have succeeded in processing enough nuclear material to produce an exotic substance with one real use - as part of the trigger for a basic nuclear warhead.  If these same insurgents have also acquired a nuclear warhead, especially a small nuclear device that could be easily transported, then we have entered into a new nightmare world where terrorists do have a functioning nuclear warhead.

There's still my question about Camp Falcon "What if the rocket and mortar attack on the ammo dump was attempted to hide the theft of mini-nukes from it by Iraqis on that base [and about 100 of them were killed in the conflagration]?"
Hmmn.  There are some assumptions running away here.
Why would there be mini-nukes stored at FOB Falcon? I suppose it's possible, random stupidity is always possible, but I doubt it.
What makes you think rocket/mortar attack set off the ammo dump? That's the press release. Again, total incompetence is possible, but if anyone involved knows how to run an ammo dump, and the environment includes a semi-continuous hail of mortar rounds, it ain't hard to operate your dump to recognize that reality.
Something big happened at Falcon. Try 1) It was an inside job by our Iraqi 'allies'. So we made sure all 'allies' present got dead. 2) Our position was overrun. The insurgents are operating in much bigger units these days. Just maybe. 3) Due to total incompetence we screwed up and blew our own ammo dump. Then blamed it on the usual suspects.
Probably I've missed something. Still your hypothesis seems farfetched.
I agree this seems fantastical.  But in its defence, the Iraqi guerrilla army seems to be much more sophisticated than when they started in 2003, making as you suggest a raid a possibility.  And the mini-nukes were there for use in Iran, possibly by special forces units.  Considering that BC seems to have delayed the expected attack.  
It's all conjectural, of course, but if WWiii [the fifth? crusade] started in January 1991, and none of us civilians has yet realized it, our understanding of the meaning of events would be distorted.  Remember that Sadam promised us all 'the mother of all wars' [yeah, ha! ha!] and Osama is on the warpath, and there have been several seemingly random attacks on the West, and BCRG have all said that we're in WWWiii {Gingrich keeps harping on it], maybe...
All parts of your conjecture have at least plausibility except the one about nukes for Iranian delivery stored in Baghdad. For basic security and just 'cause it's the easiest way, keep 'em shipboard on cruise missiles.

I always expect the military to be dumb and we've seen abundant examples these past 3 years. Some conceivably possible scenarios are still hard to swallow. I'm sceptical.

1.Iran is legally entitled to develop Nuclear power for peaceful purposes
  1. Iran has not enriched Uranium.
  2. Iran is years away from Enrichment.
  3. The Shah realised Oil and Gas would not last forever, and the youthful, burgeoning population of Iran would need something else to keep the lights on while they export the main Iranian cash crop of oil.
  4. The US would probably have sanctioned Iran's desire for Nuclear power had the Shah remained in power.
  5. The Revolution changed all that.
  6. The US then backed Saddam in the bloody and vicious Iran-Iraq war. Characterised by human wave attacks, gas shells, barbed wire and casualty levels more akin to the Great War.
  7. It is fair to assume that Iran has a bit of a beef with the US.
  8. The threatened Iranian oil bourse is probably the real reason that The US Gov is really scared, and the nuke thing is just a cover. (Look what happened to the last guy who decided oil for euros was a better bet...)

Is there any bad situation that the current incumbents of the Whitehouse and Downing Street cannot make worse?

AND TO SENDOILPLEASE: Again: What's with the 12th Ipod guy?

Iran does not have a monopoly on deluded religious nutters. The USA currently holds a fair few mad, deluded bastards praying for the rapture.

Stop kicking Iran. There are some awfully nice Iranians trying to get by and the USA has not done them any favours by demonising an entire nation just because it wont play ball with your desire to 'bring peace and democracy to the middle east' (= snatch the oil).

At some point, the USA is going to have to learn that if you want a useful commodity like oil, then you are going to have to pay for it with something more than fake IOU's and waving guns in peoples faces.

Aye ,and their's the rub. Real money.

I recall reading something to the effect that Iran could be a net oil importer within 10 years.  Note that the UK went from a significant exporter to a net importer in six years.
As I recall, the late Shah wanted several nuclear plants and some fuel cycle ability in order to preserve his oil & gas for exports and other domestic uses.  The US Adminstration (which included Cheney & Rumsfield at that time) reviewed the concept and approved it.  The US would help Iran develop a civilian nuclear power industry.

Now, with over a generation of additional depletion, Iran wants exactly the same things for exactly the same stated reasons, and they are 12th Iman worshipers seeking to throw the world into chaos !

Best Hopes for Iran & US sanity,


GliderGuider remarked the other day about maven tendencies and the propensity of TOD contributors towards INTP personality types, which got me thinking about a few polls I would like to see done here.  Perhaps if there's enough interest in them, the TOD higher beings will set up a poll thread?

Polls I would like to see:

Personality type: (16)

Gender split:

Income level:


Daily (round trip) automobile commute distance:
0 miles (i.e.: walk, bicycle, work from home...)
0-11 miles
12-20 miles
21-40 miles
41-60 miles

Own house:

Acreage owned:
0 acres (Rent)
0-2 acres
3-7 acres
8-15 acres
16-30 acres
31-75 acres
75+ acres

INFP; M; salary = zero; income $13k; commute = zero; own house = no; acreage owned = zero; age = 48; happiness = yes :)
How many people actually know their personality type? I bet it is very few. I took the myers-briggs test and I can't even remember the results. That was at most, two years ago. What is the point of a poll when the people being polled don't know the answer?
The link for the personality test ?



Here's a link to the personality types:


Personality Types Today

The theory of Personality Types, as it stand today, contends that:

An individual is either primarily Extraverted or Introverted

An individual is either primarily Sensing or iNtuitive

An individual is either primarily Thinking or Feeling

An individual is either primarily Judging or Perceiving

The possible combinations of the basic preferences form 16 different Personality Types. This does not mean that all (or even most) individuals will fall strictly into one category or another. If we learn by applying this tool that we are primarily Extraverted, that does not mean that we don't also perform Introverted activities. We all function in all of these realms on a daily basis. As we grow and learn, most of us develop the ability to function well in realms which are not native to our basic personalities. In the trials and tribulations of life, we develop some areas of ourselves more throughly than other areas. With this in mind, it becomes clear that we cannot box individuals into prescribed formulas for behavior. However, we can identify our natural preferences, and learn about our natural strengths and weaknesses within that context.

The theory of Personality Types contends that each of us has a natural preference which falls into one category or the other in each of these four areas, and that our native Personality Type indicates how we are likely to deal with different situations that life presents, and in which environments we are most comfortable.

Learning about our Personality Type helps us to understand why certain areas in life come easily to us, and others are more of a struggle. Learning about other people's Personality Types help us to understand the most effective way to communicate with them, and how they function best.

This page has more detail on each type:


there're a bunch of tests, but I went here:


happy hunting!

Combined income with wife:  100,000+
Daily Commute:  40 miles round trip (mostly city traffic)
Y - own house
Acreage owned: 0-2 acres

dog & 2 young kids

INFP (HEALER, BABY!), M, 33-50k, city, 12-20 miles (but varies each day since I use it for business), N, Rent
Funny you ask, I just had to take the MB test

M, genXer, married with 2 kids
I live "in town" with population 15000
Daily commute 1.5 miles round trip on foot
Yes own my house
House sits on small city lot

Ah...you dog...I am sooo sick of my commute and would love to save the gasoline...I'm hoping to stick out the move to town until the kids are at least in middle school.  

It's a race between them growing up and PO hitting....

Living in a small town in the midwest (obesity capitol of the world), people think I'm nuts.  I've had people pull over more than once and ask me if my car is in the shop and do I need a ride.
0-11 miles (Bus)
Own House
0-2 acres
long-time lurker: INFJ; F; income 50,001-100,000; city; automobile commute=0 (train or bike four miles to work); rent; no acreage
0-11 miles
Own House
0-2 acres

and while maxing out on morage and credits, buying a BMW M3 or 325 turbo.

You got to take it while it lasts!!!!

The EIA's Short Term Energy Outlook is just out. Table 3a gives the data for OPEC for October and November. The production figures for October has been revised downward by 210,000 barrels from the report of last month. (From 29,670,000 to 29,460,000 barrels per day.)

They had Saudi prodution at 9,200,000 barrels per day for both September and October. This month they have Saudi production at 8,800,000 for both October and November. These figures are for crude oil only and does not include lease condensate.

For all liquids, last month they had 34,124,000 bp/d for September and 34,149,000 bp/d for October. This month they revised September figures down to 33,964,000 bp/d for October and put November production at 33,484,000 bp/d.

As you can see, OPEC production, and especially Saudi production began dropping swiftly before the November cuts went into effect.

Ron Patterson

Small Correction

Those last figures should have read "This month they revised October figures down to 33,964,000 bp/d and put November production at 33,484,000 bp/d for all liquids.

Sorry for any confusion.

Ron Patterson

And I even forgot to give the crude only figures for November. It was 28,965,000 bp/d. That is a 495,000 barrel a day drop from October.

Ron Patterson

Hello Darwinian,

Thxs for the update.  It would be fascinating to see if a sense of alarm has started in these reporting agencies.  Perhaps an employee from one of these outfits will comment on TOD soon.  I, especially, would like to hear from the JODI statistician that is charged with calling KSA and/or Aramco daily asking for data transparency.  Heh-Heh-->Talk about getting paid well for beating your head against the wall!

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

Anybody notice that the Saudi ambassador to Washington suddenly quit yesterday?

Prince Turki al-Faisal, Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the United States, flew out of Washington yesterday after informing Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and his staff that he would be leaving the post after only 15 months on the job, according to U.S. officials and foreign envoys. There has been no formal announcement from the kingdom.

The abrupt departure is particularly striking because his predecessor, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, spent 22 years on the job. The Saudi ambassador is one of the most influential diplomatic positions in Washington and is arguably the most important overseas post for the oil-rich desert kingdom.

Turki, a long-serving former intelligence chief, told his staff yesterday afternoon that he wanted to spend more time with his family, according to Arab diplomats. Colleagues said they were shocked at the decision.

On October 29, in an opinion piece published in the Washington Post , Nawaf Obaid, a Saudi security expert and adviser to Prince Turki, said the Saudi government was preparing to revise its Iraq policy in the face of a possible US withdrawal from the country. Options included, Mr Obaid said, providing Sunni insurgent leaders with arms and finance, establishing new Sunni brigades to combat Iranian militias and strangling Iranian funding by engineering a cut in oil prices, which would hit Tehran far harder than Riyadh.

On November 30, Bush met with al-Maliki in Jordan.

On December 1, Cheney visited Saudi Arabia - a visit that many called a "summons" from Crown Prince Abdullah.

On December 4, Bush met with with leading Shiite politician Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, head of the United Iraqi Alliance.

Yesterday, 38 Wahhabi clerics signed a call for Sunni Muslims around the world to unite against Shia in Iraq.

And today the Saudi ambassador is gone.

Some more tidbits:

Turki was OBL's case officer. He resigned as head of the Saudi external intelligence agency on September 4, 2001. By an interesting coincidence, the same day Prince Turki's "resignation" was announced, Robert Mueller was sworn in as FBI Director, and Pakistani ISI Chief Gen. Ahmed arrived in the US for consultations with the CIA, Pentagon and DIA during the following week. The week of Sept. 11.

Anybody else wonder what's waiting behind Door Number Three?

Tick... tick... tick...


Well it could be that the good sheik is avoiding something very bad, like the destruction of Washington (I'll check Urban Survival to see whether the device-of-doom has been deployed)

or it may be as Reuters is reporting, that his brother the Foreign Minister is in poor health and our ambassador sheik is getting promoted.

  Do have any recollection of the Afghani 'Northern Alliance' leader who was killed by a fake Video News Team right about that time?  I think it was Aug or early Sept, and felt a deep forboding at the news, tho' the NYC attacks had not happened yet.. had they?


I just came here to see if anyone had noticed the story.

There are lots of reasons for such an abrupt and permanent change - most of them not good.

a) maybe he got caught spying (he was an intelligence chief)
b) maybe he got caught with a woman, man, goat (unlikely)
c) maybe he got caught with ties to Osama
d) maybe his brother Saud isn't long for the world
e) maybe KSA is positioning for a play into Iraq
f) maybe......something else.

In general, anything interesting happening in that part of the world is a bad thing. Boring is good.

Man, is that true. I grew up there, during a relatively peaceful and time.  Nothing seemed to happen, pretty boring.  Pretty interesting ever since.
Found it..  Ahmed Shah Massoud;



On the morning of September 9, 2001, guerrilla leader Ahmad Shah Massoud sat down with two reporters at his base in Khvajeh Baha od Din, in northern Afghanistan, to give one more interview about the unending civil war in his country.

The two men were apparently from North Africa--Algeria, Morocco, or Tunisia, no one seems to know for sure--and said they worked for an Arab news agency. They had been at Khvajeh Baha od Din for more than a week, keeping to themselves, eating the rice and mutton provided for them, waiting for Massoud. They had a TV camera, but no one thought to inspect it, and they came recommended by people within Massoud's own government.

Just before noon, with Massoud seated before them, they started the interview. Seconds later everyone in the room was either wounded or dead.

The attackers had packed the camera with explosives and blown themselves up. Nothing remained of one but his legs; the other was killed as he fled.

Looks like, if we play it right, we can let the Wahabbists and 12th Immam Shiites fight it out.
More from the NYT

The Saudi ambassador to the United States, Prince Turki al-Faisal, who told his staff on Monday that he was resigning his post, recently fired Nawaf Obaid, a consultant who wrote an opinion piece in The Washington Post two weeks ago contending that "one of the first consequences" of an American pullout of Iraq would "be massive Saudi intervention to stop Iranian-backed Shiite militias from butchering Iraqi Sunnis."

Mr. Obaid also suggested that Saudi Arabia could cut world oil prices in half by raising its production, a move that he said "would be devastating to Iran, which is facing economic difficulties even without today's high oil prices." The Saudi government disavowed Mr. Obaid's column, and Prince Turki canceled his contract.

But Arab diplomats said Tuesday that Mr. Obaid's column reflected the view of the Saudi government, which has made clear its opposition to an American pullout from Iraq.

and also

In Riyadh, there was a sense of disarray over Prince Turki's resignation that was difficult to hide. A former adviser to the royal family said that Prince Turki had submitted his resignation several months ago but that it was refused. Rumors had circulated ever since that Prince Turki intended to resign, as talk of a possible government shake-up grew.

Prince Saud al-Faisal, Saudi Arabia's foreign minister and Prince Turki's brother, has been in poor health for some time. He is described as eager to resign, with his wife's health failing, too, just as the United States has been prodding Saudi Arabia to take a more active role in Iraq and with Iran.

The former adviser said Prince Turki's resignation came amid a growing rivalry between the ambassador and Prince Bandar, who is now Saudi Arabia's national security adviser. Prince Bandar, well known in Washington for his access to the White House, has vied to become the next foreign minister.

"This is a very high-level problem; this is about Turki, the king and Bandar," said the former adviser to the royal family. "Let's say the men don't have a lot of professional admiration for each other."

I don't know what it all means, but none of it sounds very good...

More to the story:

Report: Saudis may back Sunnis


The Saudi ambassador to the United States Prince Turki al-Faisal told his staff on Monday that he had resigned. His resignation emerged just days after Turki he fired a consultant who wrote an opinion piece in The Washington Post suggesting that the Saudis would back Iraq's Muslim Sunnis in the event of a wider sectarian conflict.

The article by a Saudi government security adviser, Nawaf Obaid, said the oil-rich desert kingdom would intervene with funding and weaponry to prevent Shi'ite militias from attacking Iraq's Sunnis. It also suggested Saudi Arabia could bring down world oil prices to squeeze Iran's Shiite rulers.

My project (Sokath) has been accepted by SourceForge.

Click here for project home

If you want to participate, please send an e-mail to ajurjens [at] gmail [dot] com

I just checked it out.

Doesn't seem to be anything there yet.

Can you give us an idea of what you are going for? Couldn't this just been done in Matlab?

You right. There isn't anything there yet, because I've just started the project. I'm on the moment busy with a requirements analyse (which shouldn't take long)

MATLAB is not really suitable. MATLAB is a high-level language like C, C++ and Java. The program isn't meant for the people who coming to this site very often. It is meant for the people who've actually never heard of PO and I want them to actually interact with the problem so that they may learn what the scope of the problem is and what kind of impact it will have on their lives. My program will also let the data "live". (compared to the static data and graphs you find in the reports)

If you want to know what the program will do, you have to check the description of the program on the site.

EIA released its Annual Energy Outlook today.  Its 2030 target of 117-mbd is down 0.5-mbd from last month's Intl Energy Outlook and reflects a 1.3% per annum increase.  I won't be graphing this update as we use EIA's High Price Scenario.  It's target for 2030 is 102-mbd.
IEA's Oil Monthly Report released today confirms Oct supply at 85.45-mbd & a prelim for Nov of 85.4-mbd.  This seals Year 2006 production at a minimum of 85.3-mbd compared to 2005's upward revised 84.5-mbd.

Alas, maybe 2006 will be the peak, eh!

Not inconsistent with a December 2005 peak.

The drop first year post-Peak was quite low in Texas, less than 1% bfrom memory.


Of course, you are talking about all liquids...
We'll just have to wait and see if EIA is able to confirm this preliminary number... I still question whether we will find that 06 total production exceeds 05, in spite of high ethanol produciton in q3.

I'm sure you will agree that traditional c+c production is down this year?  Will you also agree that it will never recover, and we are officially depending on 'renewables'?

TrendLines tracks "all liquids".  It's the only one MSM cares about.  And it's the only one that matters in the economy.  Tracking conv oil is an academic exercise only.  Renewables are dick all for the next two generations.  We put high stock into non-conv oil.  Huge new production to support the 2020-2030 forecasts.

Having said that, we have had a longstanding debate with ASPO and its supporting forums on the ASPO conv Peak.  Campbell tracks both conv & "all liquids".  It was our study of his work that illuminated the fact that the ASPO forecast of a conv peak had indeed passed "unceremoniously".

That date is elusive as updates in the database continue to change past consumption figures (in the magnitude of about 30-Gb.

Using ASPO numbers, the conventional oil peak by the half-way measure of consumption (not production) was April 2005.