DrumBeat: December 8, 2006

[Update by Leanan on 12/08/06 at 11:07 AM EDT]

Earth is too crowded for Utopia

The global population is higher than the Earth can sustain, argues the Director of the British Antarctic Survey in the first of a series of environmental opinion pieces on the BBC News website entitled The Green Room. Solving environmental problems such as climate change is going to be impossible without tackling the issue, he says.

The U.S. Government Intends to Win the War in Iraq

For the U.S. to cut and run in the age of Peak Oil would mean the death knell for the U.S. economy, and the sad truth is that Peak Oil will ultimately bring down the U.S. economy even with U.S. control of Iraqi oil and strategic petroleum distribution. But if China, Russia, India, or other nations are able to siphon ultimate control of Iraqi and Persian Gulf oil for themselves as the international competition for remaining petroleum escalates, the U.S. will not only be a very sore loser, but a very, very dangerous one.

Gasoline prices likely to go higher

A drop in prices from earlier this year appears to be propping up demand for gasoline. In the four weeks ended Dec. 1, average gasoline demand was up 1.6% from a year ago. Gas demand is up 1% in 2006 from 2005.

That's "pretty incredible demand considering half the roads (in the USA) are icy," [analyst Phil] Flynn says.

Report Says Oil Royalties Go Unpaid

An eight-month investigation by the Interior Department’s chief watchdog has found pervasive problems in the government’s program for ensuring that companies pay the royalties they owe on billions of dollars of oil and gas pumped on federal land and in coastal waters.

Congress urged to close oil royalty loophole

House Democratic lawmakers on Thursday urged the Republican-controlled Congress to punish oil companies that won't renegotiate faulty drilling leases issued by the government almost a decade ago that have allowed companies to avoid paying billions in oil and gas royalties.

MMS Issues $32 Million Royalty Bill to BP

Rising sea level big concern along S.C.

The rising ocean is "going to shave off a ton of landscape along the coast," which could drown marshes that act as buffers for storm surge, raising the likelihood of major flooding when the next hurricane hits, said Jim Morris, marine studies professor at the University of South Carolina and director of its Belle W. Baruch Institute for Marine and Coastal Sciences.

Rising Interest in Nuclear Power Brings New Life to Uranium Mining

Review of ISA's nuclear energy balance report

Australia's review of the nuclear industry has been published in draft form for feedback. The report takes its energy balance and GHG emissions data from a report it commissioned from ISA at University of Sydney. This article looks at the ISA report.

U.S. economic forecast for 2007: cooling off but no recession

Still, oil prices are unlikely to do anything but rise in the long term as demand increases and easily pumped oilfields are drained, a phenomenon known as "Peak Oil."

"Expected growth rates in emerging economies such as China, India, Brazil would indicate that oil prices should continue to rise," [JP Morgan Chase's chief investment officer Peter] Wall said. "These countries and many other emerging economies are still well below their projected peak energy consumption levels -- based on the consumption levels of developed economies -- so growth in energy demand is expected to outpace growth in supply. That doesn't mean we won't see intermittent declines in oil prices."

Memories of 1929 - Part III - "Confidence!"

A soft housing market, soft manufacturing, a falling dollar, rising inflation, recession on the way, negative savings rate, increasing debts, an aging baby boom population, peak oil and, the granddaddy of them all, global warming? Clearly, none of this matters or the Dow wouldn't be at a record high.

Security firms flock to rich, risky Mideast

MANAMA: From the makers of bullet-proof glass to counter-terrorism experts, stall-holders at a security fair in Bahrain say booming economies and growing instability have made the Middle East their biggest earner.

Ecological Violations Halt Sakhalin-2 Work

Work was stopped at Royal Dutch Shell's US$20-billion oil and gas project off Russia's Pacific coast after ecological authorities on Thursday said they had revoked 12 licenses for the project.

U.K.: North Sea Tax Exemption to Boost Oil, Gas Exploration

The UK government has exempted abandoned North Sea gas fields which have undergone redevelopment and became productive again from the petroleum revenue tax.

Weekly Offshore Rig Review: Jackups Locked In

As 2006 draws to a close, we are going to be looking forward at the prospects for the major segments of the offshore rig fleet in the coming years. We will start by examining the current level of future contracted time for the competitive jackup fleet and then comparing those numbers across the leading offshore drilling contractors' fleets.

Exxon Spends Millions to Cast Doubt on Warming

The world's largest energy company is still spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to fund European organisations that seek to cast doubt on the scientific consensus on global warming and undermine support for legislation to curb emission of greenhouse gases.

U.K.: Dependence on foreign oil to rise 'eightfold' by 2030

UK Teenagers' Gadgets are Big Energy Wasters - Survey

LONDON - Teenagers in Britain who leave computer games and other gadgets on standby mode are wasting over 100 million pounds worth of energy a year, enough to power London's underground train system for 12 months, according to a survey commissioned by British Gas.

South Africa to develop biofuel

The country's Cabinet has approved a draft industrial strategy for biofuel, which will focus on using excess crop production and expanding the use of underutilized arable land, the government spokesman Themba Maseko said on Thursday.

Pakistan: With edible oil sources going in fuel tanks, what would people consume?

“The competition between supermarket and corner filling stations is increasing in the world particularly in western countries, and farms can not feed people and their vehicles at a time which ultimately make more to go hungry,” Professor Ishaq Head of Economics Department at local university said.

Canada's oil sands industry: Made in China?

This raises the convoluted possibility that, in order to satisfy China's energy needs, China plans to build oil sands extraction rigs and ship them to Canada, where they will produce oil which in turn will be sent back to China, where it will no doubt power the further expansion of China's industrial infrastructure.

Russia's East Siberia: from Gulag to oil frontier

VANKOR FIELD, Russia - Half a century ago, Josef Stalin banished his foes to labor camps in East Siberia. Now volunteers are lining up to drill the frozen wastelands for their vast reserves of oil.

Nigerian militants claim oil attack, threaten more

ABUJA (Reuters) - A Nigerian militant group, the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), has claimed responsibility for a raid on an oil export terminal on Thursday in which four expatriate workers were kidnapped.

MEND, which staged a series of attacks on the oil industry in February that shut down a fifth of Nigeria's production capacity, threatened to launch more attacks within days.

Oil analysts say deregulation will increase players

As China deregulates oil products and crude oil wholesaling in line with its WTO commitments, analysts foresee an accelerated opening-up of the local oil market.

John Michael Greer: Solstice 2100: Q&A

I think it was in ’59 that Bonney had all the solar engines moved to army bases and government factories, and not long after that the little bit of power we got from the dams down in Tennessee got requisitioned too. All the coal was going to the military by then, too, turned into fuel for tanks and planes, and during the Mexican war everything that could be made into fuel was requisitioned and used up. I haven’t seen coal for sale here in twenty years — not that any decent person would use it, mind you. Earth Mother deserves better from us than that.

The 12 Step Programme for Breaking Oil Dependency - a useful tool for powerdown groups

Al Gore on DVD: The Truth Will Set You Free

Can we grow our way out of an energy crisis?

OZARK - Missouri's Mark Twain popularized the phrase, "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damn lies and statistics."

That is exactly what a prominent researcher says about the nation's current rush to embrace corn ethanol as an alternative fuel. And, he's not alone.

I caught these two news releases this morning from news.google.com. Don't be confused by the different numbers, as I was at first. The top figures are in barrels per day and the bottom figures are the total for the entire month. At any rate, loading of Brent crude has been cut by almost half.

The Shell-operated Brent crude oil stream was scheduled to load 139,000 barrels per day in January, down nearly half from the previous month's 268,000 bpd.

January Brent crude at London's ICE Futures exchange rose 93 cents to US$63.50 a barrel following a report that the loading program for January was 4.3 million barrels compared to 8.3 million barrels in December.

Ron Patterson

Anybody know why? Maintainence?  Decline?
Traders attributed the decline to poor production and demand for January cargoes.

Poor production and demand? I suppose some traders are saying it poor production and others are saying it is poor demand. But that doesn't make any sense. If demand were down, prices would be falling instead of rising. So I will put my money on poor production.

Ron Patterson

It's not poor demand: dated Brent (physical Brent market) is trading at premium to futures - this means demand is outstripping supply
In round numbers, as of 9/06, the North Sea crude + condensate production (C+C) was about 4 mbpd, versus the 1999 peak of about 6 mbpd.  

Based on my HL plot, the remaining recoverable North Sea C+C reserves are about 18 Gb.

Based on Deffeyes' HL plot, the remaining recoverable World (conventional) C+C reserves are about 1,000 Gb (as of 1/1/06).  

So, based on the HL plots, the North Sea represents 1.8% of remaining world (conventional) URR, while it currently represents about 5.5% of world C+C production.  Notice a disconnect here?  This is why North Sea production is dropping rapidly.  

In round numbers, the four current super giants and the North Sea account, or accounted for about 15 mpbd of production, or about 20% of current world C+C production.  The only question is Ghawar. The other three super giants and the North Sea are in decline or crashing.  IMO, Ghawar is in decline or crashing, given the best case that the production stream is one-third water.

IMO, it is therefore a virtual certainty that 20% of world production is in a long term, and probably rapid, terminal decline.  This doesn't mean that these are the only declining fields/provinces.  It means that these four super giants and the North Sea are critically important to world oil supplies--and they are dying.

The only question is Ghawar.

Sorry WT, but I cannot agree with you here. If the Senior Vice President of ARAMCO says Ghawar is in decline then by God Ghawar is in decline. Nay, Ghawar is crashing.

Ghawar peaked in 1981 at 5,694,000 barrels per day. (Source: Oil & Gas Journal) Two years later Saudi began to dramatically cut back on production because of the Iran-Iraq war and the ensuing tanker wars. Then in 1991 Saudi began to ramp production back up again, but by 1994 could only get Ghawar production back up to 5,000,000 barrels per day. (Source SPE #57322) Now we have reports that Ghawar is producing much less.

The evidence is absolutely overwhelming that Ghawar is crashing. Why do we continue to question that obvious fact?

Ron Patterson

"Why do we continue to question that obvious fact?"

Because some people have Massive Delusions that depend on questioning this obvious fact?

Don't worry Darwinian, be happy.  

There is plenty of time for technologies to be developed, and for changes infrastructure for alternatives to oil, and there are plenty more dollars to be printed and gullible internationals to borrow us more money...

We are in T1.  

I think we just need someone to announce it on Culture Narcissist Networks to make it official.  

The evidence is absolutely overwhelming that Ghawar is crashing. Why do we continue to question that obvious fact?

Ron, I agree with you, but the problem is that the operators of the other three super giants have acknowledged that they are in decline or crashing, and the North Sea decline--precisely as the HL model predicts--is self-evident.

Until the Saudis specifically acknowledge, what is in IMO the decline/crash of Ghawar, I still have to slightly hedge my remarks, because I can't prove that Ghawar is in decline or crashing.  (The Saudis could argue that infill wells in existing fields could offset the declines from existing wellbores.)

But I am still literally astonished that Oil Patch types are predicting rising production given the evidence that production from the Big Four and the North Sea is nose-diving.

But I am still literally astonished that Oil Patch types are predicting rising production given the evidence that production from the Big Four and the North Sea is nose-diving.


I check in a few times just to see what you're saying due to the respect you've garnered around here.  I've got one answer for you though and it's from your mouth actually.  

You've always talked about how the East Texas Oil patch was being drilled like crazy following the RR Commisions decision to remove the quotas.  Everyone drilled like crazy and the information verifying Hubbert was established.  Less oil was produced.  Aggregate world peak is no different, so the views of those in the oil patch should also be similar.  I would expect the same/similar reaction as the one over 30 years ago.  Ive been taking a lot of sociology and psych courses for electives.  I've learned that human action is truly at the center of economics, but it took psych and sociology to connect the dots.

You've always talked about how the East Texas Oil patch was being drilled like crazy following the RR Commission decision to remove the quotas.

A little bit of a clarification.   The East Texas Field was fully developed in 1972--actually way over drilled--but it did show a final (lower secondary) peak at the same time that overall Texas production peaked.  East Texas is to Texas as Ghawar is to Saudi Arabia.

The Texas RRC went to a 100% allowable (with a couple of exceptions, one of them being the East Texas Field) in 1972, which allowed Texas operators to produce at 100% of the maximum efficient recovery rate.  

From 1970 to 1980, oil prices went up by about 1,000%.  Overall Texas drilling surged, increasing the number of producing wells by 14% from 1972 to 1982, while production dropped by about 30% over the same time period.

Do any of the geologists on TOD have any information on the production profile of carbonate resevoirs similar to Ghawar?

My understanding is that the porosity and permiability of Ghawar is relatively unique; but there must be other fieds with similar geologic structures which may have a documented production history that might be used to confirm inferences with regard to Ghawar.

Yibal is similar, in that it is a carbonate reservoir that was redeveloped with horizontal wells, and the field crashed just as Shell was expanding their surface facilities to handle an expected flood of oil.  Instead, they got a flood of water.  This was a primary contributor to Shell's reserves restatement.

I think that Ghawer is at about the same stage of depletion, as a percentage of Original Oil In Place, at which Yibal started crashing.

Sorry WT, but I cannot agree with you here. If the Senior Vice President of ARAMCO says Ghawar is in decline then by God Ghawar is in decline. Nay, Ghawar is crashing.

Ron, such hyperbole does a disservice to your namesake. Is this how Darwin made his case? Did he quote-mine his way to convincing the scientific establishment? No, he built a meticulous case. He was very careful with the evidence he presented, and he wasn't dogmatic.

As has been pointed out already, for those who click on the link, they will find that this is not what he said. That is your version of what he said, and as I argued before, your interpretation is incorrect. Here, let's look at actual statements:

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

Existing fields. Those decline even in countries whose overall production is increasing, since new fields tend to be brought online. Furthermore, it suggests that they have successfully been bringing on 500,000 to 1 million new bpd year after year (plus some, since production has increased in recent years). Finally, note the other comments:

In June 2005, Saudi Aramco's senior vice president of gas operations, Khalid al-Falih, stated that Saudi Arabia would raise production capacity to more than 12 million bbl/d by 2009, and then possibly to 15 million bbl/d "if the market situation justifies it." Falih added that by 2006, Saudi Arabia would have 90 drilling rigs in the Kingdom, more than double the number of rigs operating in 2004.

So, Ghawar is crashing, yet they are going to increase production? Do you think if Ghawar was crashing, they would actually be talking about increasing production. Now, I know many here don't trust them, but even the notion of increasing production if Ghawar is crashing is a bit much even for them. Don't you think?

Ghawar peaked in 1981 at 5,694,000 barrels per day. (Source: Oil & Gas Journal)

Of course Saudi closed the doors on scrutiny of their oil operations in 1982. So, seriously, we don't have good information on what's gone on since then. Plus, given your above misquote, I would prefer to see the original information in context. We do know that they have increased production in recent years.

Now we have reports that Ghawar is producing much less.

A interesting thing about that. I can't take credit for being the first to notice this, but if Ghawar is down some 2 million bpd as reported, that means they were able to open up the taps on 2 million bpd of additional production. I think you underestimate what they are capable of, given what they have already demonstrated.

The evidence is absolutely overwhelming that Ghawar is crashing. Why do we continue to question that obvious fact?

Because we want people to take us seriously? I mean, if the goal is to convince TOD readers that the end of the world is upon us, that's one thing. Many are here because they already believe this, so you really won't be called upon for much evidence. But that's not my goal. My goal is to convince policy makers that the time is short and we need to quickly implement measures to conserve what oil we still have. The latter requires credibility, which is earned by carefully making a sound case (as your namesake did).

I would ask you, Ron, to consider your future influence if the Saudis do increase production. Think about credibility here. You want people to listen to you, but they won't if the Saudis increase production and you keep saying they can't. You know that their oil operations are not transparent, so it would be wise to avoid dogmatic statements.

As has been pointed out already, for those who click on the link, they will find that this is not what he said. That is your version of what he said, and as I argued before, your interpretation is incorrect.

NO Robert, that is exactly what he said! He said existing fields. Ghawar is an existing field. I am astounded that you think it can be interperted in any other way. They need 500,000 to 1,000,000 million barrels per day of new production just to keep even. They recently brought on 300,000 barrels per day of new production in Haradh but that did not stem the decline. Just prior to that, 600,000 barrels per day of new production was brought on line from Shaybah and that bearley kept them even in 2005.

Of course Saudi closed the doors on scrutiny of their oil operations in 1982. So, seriously, we don't have good information on what's gone on since then. Plus, given your above misquote, I would prefer to see the original information in context. We do know that they have increased production in recent years.

But they have never since reached the peak point of 1980 or even the production they reached in 1981, the year Ghawar peaked. After resting Ghawar for over a decade they were not able to get it back to its 1981 peak. And again Robert, there was no misquote on my part.  And as for the original source of the data, Simmons says it comes from The Oil & Gas Journal, various issues 1950--1882. Now you I take Simmons' word for it.

A interesting thing about that. I can't take credit for being the first to notice this, but if Ghawar is down some 2 million bpd as reported, that means they were able to open up the taps on 2 million bpd of additional production. I think you underestimate what they are capable of, given what they have already demonstrated.

I think it entirely possible that Ghawar is down below 4 million barrels per day. And I think it possible that Saudi is also inflating their current production. In fact I also have inside sources that tell me that this is exactly the case. But because that source is still employed in Saudi Arabia, I am not at liberty to comment further on that.

I would ask you, Ron, to consider your future influence if the Saudis do increase production. Think about credibility here. You want people to listen to you, but they won't if the Saudis increase production and you keep saying they can't. You know that their oil operations are not transparent, so it would be wise to avoid dogmatic statements.

Robert, I am saying the same thing that Deffeyes is saying. I am saying the same thing that Simmons is saying. I am saying that we are currently at the peak. I am saying that it is highly likely that December of 2005 was likely the peak month but at any case we are at the peak of world oil production right now.

We have several other people on this list saying the very same thing. But if it is your wish Robert, that everyone on this list preach the same line, that we all pull our punches, then just say so. If this list has an official line, a line of which none of us are allowed to step over, then just say so.

I fully realize that I am putting my reputation on the line. Simmons says he is staking his career on what he wrote in Twilight and on the statements he has made since. Well, I do not have a career to lose but I think I know about as much about Saudi Arabian oil production as anyone on this list, having spent 5 years there myself and have a very close relative there now and has been there since 1991. (He is not an oilfield engineer but many of his Thursday night partying buddies are. And I know what they are telling him.) Yes, I fully realize I am staking my reputation on what I am saying about Saudi Arabia. That is just how strongly I feel about it.

I believe, with every fiber of my being, that Saudi Arabian reserves are grossely over estimated. I believe the same thing about all Middle Eastern reserves. Therein lies the greatest danger of all. Wall Street believes those estimates, the Government believes those estimates, Yergin and CERA believes those estimates and many peak oilers on this list seem to believe those estimates. It is faith in those numbers that is inhibiting governments and markets from taking any action concerning the coming oil crisis. And you wish, Robert, that I should soft-peddle this problem? I say I will not! And if you insist that I take my concerns elsewhere because you and the other editors believe that I am shouting fire in a crowded theater then so be it. Just say so and I will be gone.

Ron Patterson

"It is faith in those numbers that is inhibiting governments and markets from taking any action concerning the coming oil crisis."

I know it is not the first time you've given this signal, but I'm always encouraged to see you holding out hope for the future.

NO Robert, that is exactly what he said! He said existing fields. Ghawar is an existing field. I am astounded that you think it can be interperted in any other way.

Ron, it is simple why it must be interpreted differently. If he meant it the way you think he did, we would have been seeing their production fall for quite some time now. When he says "existing fields", nobody else is interpreting that to mean "Ghawar has peaked." They did acknowledge that it was close to half depleted. They said in the same article that they estimate they have extracted 48% of recoverable reserves. But the bottom line is that he did not say "Ghawar has peaked", and he certainly didn't say that it is crashing. Those are your words and your interpretation. To spin it any other way is hyperbole.

They recently brought on 300,000 barrels per day of new production in Haradh but that did not stem the decline. Just prior to that, 600,000 barrels per day of new production was brought on line from Shaybah and that bearley kept them even in 2005.

Isn't Shaybah an existing field? Do you think every existing field is in decline? How can you bring on new production in an existing field if existing fields are crashing? That's my whole point.

After resting Ghawar for over a decade they were not able to get it back to its 1981 peak.

How do you know? You don't. You make assertions, and call that evidence.

Robert, I am saying the same thing that Deffeyes is saying.

Believe me, I know. Deffeyes of "we are going to be back in the stone age" hyperbole. Those sorts of comments set us up for ridicule. Even if you have a case, people aren't going to take you seriously with that kind of sensationalism.

It is not only what you have to say, but how you say it and what evidence you have to back you up.

I am saying the same thing that Simmons is saying.

Simmons has said that Saudi has peaked? He has said that Ghawar has peaked? Source please. Otherwise, you are not saying the same thing. He has built a pretty good case with data. But to my knowledge, his case is still that Saudi is close to peaking.

But if it is your wish Robert, that everyone on this list preach the same line, that we all pull our punches, then just say so.

My wish is that when you punch, there is substance behind that punch. Putting your own spin on quotes and calling it fact is not the way to put substance behind your punches.

It is faith in those numbers that is inhibiting governments and markets from taking any action concerning the coming oil crisis. And you wish, Robert, that I should soft-peddle this problem?

Your approach, though, will get you nowhere. You can hard-peddle all you want, but you aren't making the case that Simmons did. You certainly aren't making the kind of case that Darwin did. You aren't making the kind of case that Barry Marshall and Robin Warren made. Study those case histories, and learn from them if you want your hard-peddling to get you to your destination.

And if you insist that I take my concerns elsewhere because you and the other editors believe that I am shouting fire in a crowded theater then so be it. Just say so and I will be gone.

Could I run you off that easily? You are saying very extraordinary things. This is OK, but extra claims require extraordinary evidence. So far, your "evidence" is very ordinary. Nobody is trying to run you off. I am trying to get you to make sure your claims are well-supported.

Ask yourself: What's my objective? Then, How can I best achieve that objective? I personally disagree that the Deffeyes approach is the way to achieve it.

OK, guys. I've followed your arguments for some time. Please desist.

The quote can be interpreted either way. Robert, you say "this suggests" that they're bringing on the amount necessary for decline. Suggests, maybe. But it's ambiguous.

As such Saudi announcements tend to be.

You're both reading tea leaves, it seems to me.

No disrespect intended!

Robert, you say "this suggests" that they're bringing on the amount necessary for decline.

Well, then change suggest to "this means". After all, their production is not falling by a million barrels per year, which it would be if their existing fields were crashing at that rate.

My objection is that Ron is making claims like "that is exactly what he said" and "Ghawar is crashing." It was not exactly what he said, so this is hyperbole. That is just one example. I am just asking him to be careful with his claims, as hyperbole can get us stereotyped as crackpots. If we are stereotyped, we lose our ability to influence.

While I can't evaluate this dispute (keep it civil!), the lesson I take away from it is this:

Isn't it TRAGIC that we can't know more with more certainty what the state of OUR MOST IMPORTANT ENERGY "SOURCE" IS? Not that the Saudi's in particular are "our" most important supplier, but that, overall, our information is so flawed.

Simmons has said that Saudi has peaked? He has said that Ghawar has peaked? Source please. Otherwise, you are not saying the same thing. He has built a pretty good case with data. But to my knowledge, his case is still that Saudi is close to peaking.

My God man, have you read "Twilight in the Desert"? That was the main theme behind the whole book. All my figures came from that book. The 1981 figures and the 1994 figures came from that book. I quoted his sources. Simmons wrote the book in 1984 but every page in the book points to the imminent decline in Saudi oil production. And if you follow his speeches and postings since then you know he thinks that December 05 was probably the peak.

My approach is simply mine. I do not claim that Darwin would have presented his case in the same way.  But if he was alive today and was looking at the evidence of Saudi and Middle East oil reserves, I really believe he would make a very similar case as I.

Robert, I believe the evidence is as plain as the nose on your face. I simply do not understand how anyone, who has examined the evidence, can believe those God-awful reserves Saudi Arabia is claiming.

Also I must point out that what one ARAMCO Vice President says about decline rates, and what another believes Saudi future production might be are two different things. They are not contradictory. Even if the first Vice President truly believed that they had 264 billion barrels of reserves, just waiting to be discovered, then they could easily ramp up to 15 billion barrels per day. Current declining fields and other untapped reserves, real or imaginary, are two different things and are not necessarily contradictory.

I am still at a loss as to how anyone can possibly disregard a senior Vice President when he says all existing fields are in decline. And worst of all, not to believe him simply because he, or someone else, thinks there are vast other fields to be found. And after all, it was the EIA who stated that 500,000 to 1,000,000 million barrels per day of new production must be found each year just to stay even. I know a lot of people at the EIA are idiots but when was the last time you saw them err on that side of the fence?

Ron Patterson

My God man, have you read "Twilight in the Desert"? That was the main theme behind the whole book.

Of course I have. He is saying Saudi will peak soon. You are saying that Saudi has peaked. I am unaware that Simmons has now come out and acknowledged that Saudi has peaked. Unless you can show that he has, then no, you are not saying the same thing he is. If you think you are, show me some quotes.

I am still at a loss as to how anyone can possibly disregard a senior Vice President when he says all existing fields are in decline.

Ron, I will ask you again, since you chose not to answer. If all existing fields are in decline, how can they raise production in a existing field like Shaybah?

Okay, I am saying that Saudi has peaked. And if you have a problem with that, so be it. And I will continue to say that Saudi has peaked until Saudi produces more than 9,9000,000 barrels per day for one year. And I would bet my last dollar that that will never happen.

And you are really reaching about Shaybah. Shaybah is a new field. Though discovered in 1968, it was not put into production until 1999. But if you wish to nitpick, and obviously you do, then I will acknowledge that it is not likely that Shaybah is declining, though it might be. But the data furnished in "Twilight in the Desert" and Simmons' souces given in the book, Ghawar is clearly in decline. 5,694,000 barrels per day in 1981, which Simmons clearly labels as peak output and year and 5,000,000 in 1994 is decline by any stretch of the imigination.

Though almost 700,000 barrels per day decline in 13 years may not seem much to you, let me remind you that Saudi had cut production due to the tanker wars for over 10 years of that period. If they had continued to produce flat out, the decline would likely have been much greater during that period of time. That data is on pages 89 and 120 of the book in case you wish to check it out.

Ron Patterson

But if you wish to nitpick, and obviously you do, then I will acknowledge that it is not likely that Shaybah is declining, though it might be.

Ron, it isn't nitpicking when you make it such an emphatic point as you did:

I am still at a loss as to how anyone can possibly disregard a senior Vice President when he says all existing fields are in decline.

This is the problem with sensationalistic claims. People take them seriously, when in fact the claim wasn't even correct as you now acknowledge. So, as I said, the Senior VP obviously didn't mean all existing fields. This is my point about Ghawar.

Well hell Robert, do you think there is a chance he was not talking about Ghawar, or Safaniya, or Abqaiq, or Berri, all of which has been in production for well over half a century and from which over 80 percent of Saudi prouction comes?

Yes you are nitpicking Robert. You should take this occasion to get real!

Ron Patterson

imo, the strongest evidence that sa wants to increase production capacity is their 3x increase in the number of rigs drilling for oil.

THe strongest evidence that sa has peaked is that production declined throughout the year even as the number of rigs has increased.

This combination of events does remind one of what happened in texas when the rrc allowed full production... as wt often reminds us.  Everything is quite consistent with texan history... sa announces confidently their program to increase production, more rigs begin to drill, production declines.

Maybe sa has not peaked, nevertheless the evidence to date indicates they may well have done so.  TOday they are cutting production to shore up prices... given this, how long should we give them to demonstrate that they can, indeed, increase production past 10M/d? Two years? 10?

Looking at this another way, at what price would you say the absence of sa production above 10M/d strongly suggests sa cannot produce at such a level? $80/b? $100/b? $200/b?

BTW, based on Deffeyes' HL plot, at our current rate of production, we are burning through our remaining conventional C+C reserves at the rate of 1% about every 4.5 months.   So, through the first nine months of 2006, we burned through about 2% of all remaining conventional C+C reserves.
Electric car makes 2957 kilometres in 14 days

carrying two persons from Luzern/Switzerland to Barcelona/Spain and back. The car is a prototype, constructed by several swiss companies, including universities in Luzern und Zuerich.

It's heart is a swiss made "Zebra"-battery, developed in Germany, South Africa and England, now in production in southern Switzerland.
It has a life cycle of 200,000 - 400,000 kilometres. The ingredients are ceramics, nickel and natrium. It can be
recharged 1000 - 2000 times. The 3,000km trip to Spain trip cost 17 recharge cycles total .. Purchase includes disposal; all ingredients are recyclable.

The vehicle

  • can be recharged at every 220V outlet
  • costs 1 Euro electricity for 100 km
  • gets 100 km with the energy equivalent of 0.8 litres of fuel
  • has a range of 210 km at 50km/h speed or 110km at 80 km/h
  • has a movable steering wheel; drivers can change during the ride

Louis Palmer is a swiss adventurer who initiated this project. He is committed to fight global warming and wants to inform about GW on a global tour with an enhanced version of his electric vehicle that is to be equipped with a trailer carrying extra batteries which are recharged by solar modules during the daily trip.

Louis web site is currently not translated into English, so I thought I might summarize some of the content here.
Louis and his co-driver Heinz especially pointed out the joy of gliding through the landscape without noise or exhausts, listening to singing birds ..
Even if you can't read German you might enjoy a look at the fotos (see first link above).

And its a good thing that nearly half of our petrol consumption is in the form of a transportation fuel.  With advances like these, I'm not too worried.
With advances like these, I'm not too worried.

Sure, it just need to be "beefed up" a little bit :

I wonder where one squeezes in a toothbrush.  Do you think they carried their own food and water?

Cost?  Lifecycle? Required road conditions?  When the bridges are out, can it ford the stream? Ample room to wear a parka in winter?  

Do you think they carried their own food and water?

Sure they did. The vehicle has a sort of trunk, described as "two suitcases" or a space of two suitcases size.

Road conditions - I don't know. Some pictures show the vehicle on french and spanish highways. One can easily see that it is not made for off road driving.

Ulrich Nehls

I'd like to supplement that the car effortlessly crossed the alp pass of St. Gotthard, which is 2100m high, and that it gets 250 mpg (miles per gallon), if you want to say it in american terms.
OTOH, if you were just trying to get someplace, it would be a hugely expensive way to go. An outbound 1500km trip - a distance we in the USA might well drive because it's only 1/3 of the way across the country, and airlines have become so thoroughly awful, and hassles over luggage, for example Christmas gifts, so Kafkaesque - would consume seven days instead of two, and run up six costly hotel bills instead of just one. The return trip would of course do likewise.

Now where are those large ultrafast-charge batteries when you need them? Oh, I was forgetting, they only "almost" exist. Maybe next year. Or the year after.

How about taking the train? Oh, I forgot... it doesn't exist in the US to most places. In Europe, however, it does. So what I would do instead of driving across Europe is to go on a beautiful train ride. That's way more relaxing and if you have been on much of  European highways... they are not that interesting because of the noise measures like walls and artificial hills. You don't get to see a thing of the landscape for sometimes hundreds of miles.
They are here. Fast charge in 15 minutes. A number of hobbyists are already running electric bicycles off of these cells. Next up, the big three automakers invest $15 million to develop these cells into automobile batteries.
Well, exactly - or, rather, not exactly. These are not (yet) large batteries. So maybe in a year, or five, plus time for regulatory approvals.

BTW as with any low-impedance lithium batteries, I would strongly advise any 'hobbyist' mucking about with these to be very careful about how you connect them up, especially in large numbers, and be very sure to take proper physical and circuit safety precautions, lest you burn down your garage, or worse. This is so even if they are as safe as the data sheet claims, due both to the large pulse current that's available, and to the conceivable possibility that they may become less safe if they are not used 'properly', e.g. charged at the correct temperature, never falling too low or reversing during discharge if they are in series, and so forth. On the Nuts and Volts fuzzy scale (sorry I find no direct link, but each project rates a number of "fuzzies"), they should earn at least a five on the scale of (IIRC) one to four.

I suspect some people will still be 'strongly advising the 'hobbyist'' from driving these vehicles even after the technology has 10 years of proven safety.
Nobody is advising hobbyists not to drive electric cars.  the caution involves hobbyists tinkering with high capacity batteries using new and unfamiliar technologies.  It's a worthwhile warning, IMO.
And excellent find, Laurence!
I guess this car is not meant for trips across the USA. But it could serve well in cities.
The greatest part of the conservation issue is separating the essential uses of Transp. from the non-essential ones.  Cross-country trekking, and even our habit of visiting friends and family a couple states away often constitutes non-essential travel.

I would expect to see some expansion of local rental offerings, hopefully of such electrics as these, and a reinvigorated bus and even train system.  The current mindsets may not seem amenable to this, but I'd guess this both can and will change as it is forced to.  My mother in Law, in SilverSprings MD has an 'hourly' car rental place at the METRO station, which she uses for her shopping needs.  She doesn't own a car otherwise.

I just learned that you can take a 'Chinatown' bus from NYC to Boston for $15..  You can also get into a van, out at the end of the Subways in Jamaica, Long Island.. and for a dollar get into the less-walkable reaches of Queens.  There are a lot of ways to get around that will be getting explored by ambitious people.


I had a recent Kafkaesque travel experience myself.

Yes, last year I had to go from Ohio to a conference in NYC.  It's a 9 to 10 hour drive.  I chose to fly, thinking it would be faster.  It took me 10.5 hours to get there and 12 hours to get back with the check-in time, delays, etc.  

To all the people who believe in "progress" and "technology", I offer travel as a counter example via this analogy:

If I had tried to go from Ohio to NYC 200 years ago, I would have had to travel by foot or on horseback.  It would have taken weeks and I would have had a significant chance of serious injury or death along the way.

If I had travelled from Ohio to NYC 100 years ago by train it would have taken roughly a day- an improvement of at least 90%.  My chances of death or injury would also be dramatically less.

If I had travelled from Ohio to NYC 40 years ago by car it would have taken me about 10 hours. This is about a 50% improvement over the train.  My chances of death or serious injury would actually have been substantially worse than travel by train.

If I had travelled from Ohio to NYC 40 years ago by plane, it would have taken a few hours.  I would have had a comfortable flight and a nice meal.  My odds of death or serious injury would be very minimal, but not nearly as good as my risk on a train.

If I travel from Ohio to NYC today by car, I cannot get there any faster than in 1966.  Odds are it will actually take longer given traffic congestion.  My risk of death or dying is a little better than it had been 40 years ago, but it is still many times higher than it had been by the 100+ year old train technology.

If I travel from Ohio to NYC today by plane, it will definitely take me substantially longer than it would have in '66 and the flight will not be nearly as pleasant- more affordable yes but from door-to-door it will take much longer (due to check-in, delays) and be much less comfortable than the '66 flight. My odds of death or injury are very low, but are still greater than by train.



if you were to go to NYC from Ohio BY TRAIN today (I'm well-versed in the travails of "Animal-trak"), you could look forward to:


Frequent stops (delays)

Rude service (unless you can afford your own room + dining car)

Plastic food in "cafe" car

Iced-up plumbing (in winter)

Toilets (glorified outhouses) that clog, freeze and/or overflow

And smell

And further delays.

You'll have to get off in some other town because the train has been shut down

Then they shuttle you by bus to your "final destination."

And so it goes.

Yes, my brother once bought a ticket from Cleveland to NYC by train.  An 18 hour trip by train didn't seem to bad for the price.  Then he looked closer at the dates.  It was actually 18 + 24 hours!
An average of 130 miles/day or about 2 hours of driving per day.
Hello Radlafari, Thanks for the nice post with the pics.  Seeing this vehicle makes me think that maybe small electric commuter cars are now possible (maybe).  It still has a lot of hurdles to overcome (no airbags, power steering, brakes, AC and $$$s) but it is real and does run.  Based on the figures it was run 215 km per day, its maximum range, for 14 days.  Do you know more about the battery?  Can it be totally discharged without damage?  SLAs cannot be.  What do the batteries cost and what is their power density?  When you say the car has a movable steering wheel, does that mean that it can be swung from left to right, allowing for both left and right hand drive in one design?  The 3 wheel configuration allows it to be classified as a motorcycle, I think.  Thanks.
Do you know more about the battery?  Can it be totally discharged without damage?

In case you can read German, see here (PDF, 4 pages, english literature on the last page)

What do the batteries cost and what is their power density?

I provided the link about that in my first post: http://www.solartaxi.com/zebra.htm

When you say the car has a movable steering wheel, does that mean that it can be swung from left to right, allowing for both left and right hand drive in one design?

Yes. The company is looking for test drivers, BTW, on their global tour. See http://www.solartaxi.com/join.htm (all still only in German - unfortunately ..)

Ulrich Nehls, Erlangen/Germany

What do the batteries cost

I'm sorry to forget. The price is given as 12,000 Swiss Franks, which currently is roughly $10,000

Even if you can't read German you might enjoy a look at the fotos (see first link above).

One might also use Babel Fish to translate...it's rough, but you get the point... http://babelfish.altavista.com/

The ingredients are ceramics, nickel and natrium
natrium is sodium if anybody is confused.
Oops - I forgot to look that up .. thought it got just the same name as in German, thanks.

Ulrich Nehls

That's a good spread of headlines, and shows where we are in December '06.

I don't have an "economic prediction" for many of the same reasons I don't have a post-peak oil prediction .... but the economic issue is a little more short term and easy to watch.

Personally, I watch employment, and would look for trouble if/when it falters.  As Econbrowser shows though, even that seemingly simple measure is questioned:


I watch the change in jobs also, month by month.

Maybe you (or anybody else) can answer a question that I have had for a long time.

Where does the drop of jobs show up in the stats for the hurricanes from last year?  Thousands and thousands lost their jobs, but nothing shows up.

http://data.bls.gov/PDQ/servlet/SurveyOutputServlet?series_id=CES0000000001&data_tool=%22EaG%22& amp;output_view=net_1mth

Thanks in advance,

In September and October 2005 that table (very good thanks) does show the lowest numbers in a long, long, time.

I'm watching for a dip below zero to really reinforce the housing "pop" ... be nice if we can avoid that.

The employment numbers are all based on a statistical sampling.  Basically they call companies and ask for numbers.  If your office was wiped out because of a Hurricane, you obviously wouldn't be answering your phone - so you don't get counted, and they move on to the next company.
statistical sampling and the "birth /death model" which typically accounts for most of the gains (it seems always gains) in employement
Not only are those statistics questionable, but employment is notoriously a trailing indicator. And yet the media swallow and regurgitate everything.
Everybody would love reliable leading indicators ... but what are you going to choose?  The "recession predictors" I've seen have both fuzzy results and poor past performance.
Employment statistics can be gathered in a more robust manner than they currently are, odograph. They don't even really count "new" jobs, instead extrapolating under the assumption that jobs must always be created somewhere. This even goes on in recessionary times. These assumed new jobs are then subtracted from the (poor) statistical sampling to get an assumed job increase/decrease total. This method probably worked under periods of steady growth but the economy has been borderline since 9/11 and even major economists discuss this. I suspect that many of their models are breaking down, leading to increasing disconnects with reality. What needs to be done is devise new models but that does not seem to be happening, at least in the halls of government which is where people look for such "reliable" sources of information.
Whoever processes weekly withholding payments at the IRS obviously knows ... I guess that data isn't used because it's firewalled?
I remember on of my economist professors talk about how numbers don't add up and I can't remember specifically which two he was talking about. I remember something like if you compared the IRS numbers for an inflow of funds for taxpayers and try to balance it with the national numbers, they never added up and statistically speaking it WAS significant.  Nothing is done to rectify it and it's kind of an open secret.  Wish I would have paid a bit more attention in those early classes.
Try this data from the IRS. Their Statistics of Income organization may have the information you seek.
How about this?  The bond market (right now) is pricing the insurance on MBS backed securities from 2006 mortgages at 100 basis pts higher than 2005 MBS's.  The bond market knows whats coming and the pop happened yesterday.  I think short term within the next 50 days will produce the catalyzing day that wakes everyone up.  The $VIX fear index is now supported on a technical trading basis and is starting to end higher and FAST.  Check it out.


The fear guage is poppin back up and the blood is entering the market.  Keep in mind futures expire a week from today and the last two weeks of the year will need to be protected ie. "hedged."  I've gained a new level of undestanding in terms of risk management and in this environment it's going to be disinflationary before it becomes flat out inflation.  I think the FED knows the only real export we have is "high powered" money.  Foreigners are still buying our debt (witnessed by the demand at this weeks T Bill auction) and if we do not support our dollar in the short term, it falls below 80 and BLOWS OUT!  I've got to think program trades are set up at stops of 80 to protect the downside.  Who knows, but one wonders.  In order to maintain the influx of cash, we need to at least appear to be fighting [fill in the blank today].

Rates stay firm and push this economy into full on recession which is badly needed to reallocate assets out of equities. Wish I could buy more gold, although I've asked everyone who wants to get me a gift to buy me hard, real silver.  I've got more expectations for that shiny metal.

How's this for a leading indicator?

Top executives sold $63.18 worth of stock in their companies for every $1 they bought in November -- the widest margin since 1987. Analysts said the numbers suggested that corporate chieftains -- including Microsoft's Bill Gates and Google's Eric Schmidt -- didn't share the investor confidence that has pushed markets to new heights. "They're pretty savvy market guys," said Wayne Wilbanks, chief investment officer of Wilbanks, Smith & Thomas Asset Management. "They see things are slowing down and they're like, 'Man, I'm taking some money off the table.'"

Remember what happened to the markets in 1987?

"Top executives sold $63.18 worth of stock in their companies for every $1 they bought in November -- the widest margin since 1987."

WOW!  This is incredible.  Surreal.  And the Saps have no idea what is about to hit them...  

Like I've said several times...I work in a LARGE retail company and we are preparing for "bare-bones" existence in 2007.

Take that however you wish, but it seems like our executives know something others don't.

mid size manufacturer here,,hunkering down for '07 also,
reducing inventory, labor hours, delaying capitol expenditures etc.
I truly am convinced that all stops were pulled to make Xmas 06 look as good as possible, but the cracks are getting bigger and I don't think they can be patched for very much longer before they become apparent to average Joe/Jane.
I truly am convinced that all stops were pulled to make Xmas 06 look as good as possible.

The demand by the clueless Saps is still there, so capitalism is simply milking them while it can.  

I hope people here have been taking west texas's advice about preparations.

IMO insider stock sales no longer represent pessimism, just the main form of exec. compensation these days.  The stock that is sold was obtained from options which are replaced each year.  It's all part of the enormous inflatiuon in exec. comp. and is probably the main reason for the growing inequality between rich and middle class.   It is the great untold story of our economy.   Again, IMO.

That's not to say the economy may become weaker next year, just that insider sales are not a good indicator.

Why would executives be net sellers - and by such a wide margin - if they thought that stock was going to increase in value? Seeing insiders cashing out is not a good sign. A stock mania is essentially a pyramid scheme where the value is long gone before the thing finally collapses.
"Why would executives be net sellers - and by such a wide margin - if they thought that stock was going to increase in value?"

They compete in consumption with their peers.  Bigger yacht, newer Ferrari.

Let's look at the jobs data a little closer:

U.S. November Payrolls Increase More Than Forecast


The increase of 132,000, which reflected hiring at retailers, restaurants and healthcare firms, followed a gain of 79,000 the prior month that was less than initially estimated, the Labor Department reported today. The jobless rate rose to 4.5 percent from a five-year low of 4.4 percent.


Builders Eliminate Jobs

Builders eliminated 29,000 jobs, the most in more than three years, after cutting 24,000 jobs in the prior month. Cooling home sales are prompting homebuilders to reduce projects and hire fewer workers. Cutbacks at U.S. automakers are also restraining growth in payrolls.


Manufacturing Downturn

Manufacturing, which accounts for about 12 percent of the economy, contracted for the first time in more than three years last month as inventories grew and orders slowed, the Institute for Supply Management reported on Dec. 1.

Ford Motor Co., the second-largest U.S. automaker, said last week it will cut an additional 15,000 vehicles from its North American production plan for this quarter after reporting an unexpected decline in November U.S. sales. The Dearborn, Michigan-based company has been cutting jobs and closing plants as it tries to work down swollen inventories.

So, what we have is a swelling of the Service industries, but huge losses in housing and manufacturing.  Is this a healthy way to run our economy?

Econbrowser has another post on "compensation" that provides a partial answer to this:


I'd say it is not all roses.

Wow, this is the day to talk about this.  Much more here:


Please understand that "we" are not running a national economy.

Jobs move across borders pretty easily these days. Manufacturing jobs paid well when the US was the leading manufacturing locale. Current manufacturing jobs pay well in the locales in which they currently are created. But they wouldn't provide a "middle class" american income. The truth is that most manufacturing jobs are not high skill jobs and pretty much anyone with an ability to follow instructions can do them. So those who own the companies (and that's even more important than owning the factories and equipment) will hire whoever will work for the least. That's not Americans.

Housing is a little different because it is locale specific, but the construction laborers are only one small portion of the entire construction industry. If I'm shipping lumber, or tar paper or other construction supplies, there are plenty of markets to sell into.

These national statistics really are not much more than talking points for politicians. Regional variations within the U.S. can be greater than between the U.S. and other nations. Even areas within regions can differ. For example, one of the hardest hit metro areas in the housing free fall has been Tampa-St. Pete Fl., but here in the Orlando area, some 70 miles across I-4, we continue to see solid, though not spectacular, growth.

Jobs move across borders pretty easily these days.

We seem to get that here, that exported jobs hide energy and pollution effects as well.

Nonetheless, the process has backing:


In a poll of economists:

"87.5 percent agree that 'the U.S. should eliminate remaining tariffs and other barriers to trade.'"


"90.1 percent disagree with the position that 'the U.S. should restrict employers from outsourcing work to foreign countries.'"

You are right on here. The backers of the economic system that  we currently have understand that it works best if unfettered by governmental restrictions. (Of course, that doesn't prevent parts of that system from using governmental apparatti (sp?) to garner advantages for themselves over competitors. Indeed, if you follow their thinking to its logical conclusion, they are absolutely correct in desiring a single global polity.

The problem comes in that the values of these people and this system are such that the environment is screwed, our spiritual life is screwed and the whole set up is screwed when the fallacy of infinite growth is exposed by resource limitations.

Have we agreed in the past that the only way growth can be infinite is if you redefine it?

Buddhist growth ;-)

I was, of course, speaking of growth as it is defined by the global economic system itself.

Of course, if you change the definitions, you change the game.

Now, if only we could define ourselves into a new way of being in the world.

(Side note - I consider myself a buddhist and as such understand that "growth" is just another source of "duhkka").

I am only sympathetic to Buddhism, and only visited one Temple.

I bring it up because I think we live in a too materialistic society, but notice other critics of materialism buying into those measures of growth.  The only reason someone should use GDP as a measure of human progress is if they believe it is a measure of human progress.  I don't.

So sure, material growth will run its course as a function of resources an population.  That is a given.

The open question is what kind of growth people a century hence will experience, and how they will define it.

I think I'd open up your question even further. It's not just what kind of growth, but what kind of what they will experience. We have a very positive image of the word growth because of the cultural mileu we live in, but it may be that a century hence "growth" will be considered a negative.

This is often demonstrated by the obeservation that 6 of the 7 deadly sins are now considered positive virtues. Because of our currency bias (and I don't mean money) we forget that it works in the opposite direction as well. If I suggest you are an "alchemist" today it is considered an insult. 600 years ago an "alchemist" was one of the smartest people you were going to find.

So it may just be that a century from now "growth" will be a dirty word, dirty concept.

The importers of cocaine and heroin would also like to be unfettered from government's influence.  
And there economic model would be.... ?
okay, I'm doing great on the grammar today. Let me try again.

And their economic model would be.... ?

Just say NO to Alzheimers.
Drug smugglers economic model would be a mix of supply and demand combined with the practices of medeveal guilds.  Something like OPEC.
Odo: Pretty funny, as 100% of US economists are based in the USA and deliver absolutely nothing in terms of value added. You could pay some guy 5 grand a year in New Delhi and get pronouncements at least as "profound" as what these guys spew.
I've always wondered how many economists will lose their jobs if the government follows their suggestions but don't get the predicted result? My guess is zero.  Ther seems to be a big disconnect between those with advanced degrees and al most everyone else.  It is as if the well educated live on a different planet.
it is simply what happens when the fed decides it is time to slow the economy by increasing interest rates... the interest rate sensitive industries, houses and, to a lesser extent cars, and their subordinate industries, dutifully fall on their swords to slow the economy.  Just part of the cycle... it was these same industries that were most rewarded when the fed wanted to counter the earler effects of the dot.com bust.
Request for help:

I'm writing something about peak oil, and I'm trying to figure out when the actual U.S. peak was.  I keep reading that it happened in 1971, but when I run the EIA data myself, I get November, 1970 as the peak at 10 million bpd, (monthly) or 1970 at 9.6 million bpd (annual).  Am I missing/misunderstanding something?  Also, when someone talks about "the peak" are they talking about the peak month, or peak year?

I understand, of course, that it matters little in the big scheme of things, but I'm trying to get my facts exactly right (hope to publish this eventually).

Much appreciated,

Lakis Polycarpou

Check out this posted by Khebab a couple of days ago:


My mistake. I did not read it carefully enough.

You are asking for the US Peak...I sent you to a link on the World Peak.

Sorry about that,

No problem,

I glanced at it though, and wondered if my confusion about the U.S. peak had to do with the same issue - the question of what defines oil, "all liquids" etc.  Or maybe it's just people using different data sources?  Or maybe I'm making some more fundamental mistake.

Wikipedia says the peak was in 1971 . . .

The US peaked in 1970.
The answer is probably blurry, with oil reaching the peak in late 1970 and extending into 71.
US Crude + Condensate production in thousands of barrels per day:

70... 9,637
71... 9,463
72... 9,444
73... 9,208
74... 8,774
75... 8,375
76... 8,123

Then Prudhoe Bay began to produce and US production rose for a few years before it began its steady drop in 1986:

77... 8,245
78... 8,707
79... 8,552
80... 8,597
81... 8,572
82... 8,649
83... 8,688
84... 8,879
85... 8,971
86... 8,680

And through the first nine months of 2006... 5,105

Ron Patterson

In this article posted up top...

The U.S. Government Intends to Win the War in Iraq

...these words, unfortunately, are probably accurate:

The Democrats and the Republicans in the U.S. government are more alike than they are different. They act as rivals over issues of strategy, but not goals. And make no mistake about it, the still unspoken goal of the U.S. government relates to petroleum, not to democracy or well-being of the Iraqi people.
The bipartisan ISG report still calls for full privatisation of the Iraqi oil fields. In the face of defeat the plan is still to have U.S. oil companies owning and operating the only thing that matters to Baker or Bush.
They've lost already. See William Lind. It's all over bar a very large number of Iraqi deaths and tens of thousands of extra US wheelchair cases (and a few thousand in-theatre deaths).

It's finished. They can't win, ever. This is the end of US military power, and it goes out with a whimper. Unless the stupid plan to attack Iran is still on, in which case it goes out with a bang.

It is a great pity that few in the US ever learned that (a) force is massively over-rated anyway and (b) the US is not a militarily competent nation.

Much suffering could have been averted if these simple facts were recognized. Ah! Perhaps if cinema had continued to develop in Germany rather than in Hollywood... how different it might all have been...

I'm not sure I read the same lesson from the situation. I don't see this saying much at all about US military prowess. It does say quite abit about US internal politics.

If you are going to invade a country and topple its government, you have two choices that lead to "success." The first is to crush the regime and then get out, leaving the nation and people to figure out for themselves what to do. It is a brutal and nasty approach, but quite good in making sure that nation is not a threat for at least a number of years. The second choice is to invade and occupy. To occupy effectively you must be brutal and nasty, using large numbers of troops to essentially beat the population into submission. This does not mean there will be no opposition of insurgency, but if you are strong enough and brutal enough, these can be marginalized. But, for occupation to work you must, absolutely must control the political structures of the country (there are different models for this). There can be no doubt in the minds of the populus that you "own" their country.

Much of our problem in Iraq has been that we tried to steer some middle road between the two options. We did this primarily because our leaders don't think of us an empire that conquers others, but they want all the advantages of being an empire. So, they create all these "reasons" that we invaded Iraq when there really was (and can be) only one reason - we want to control Iraq (as nation and territory).

Please excuse all the typos, grammar errors and skipped words. I hit Post when I meant to his Preview.
Much of our problem in Iraq has been that we tried to steer some middle road between the two options (crush/leave or invade/occupy).
As Afghanistan showed, neither of these options are viable when toppling countries engineered by colonialists.  The Soviets tried invade/occupy, and the U.S. tried crush/leave.  Both resulted in chaos, uncontrollable blowback, and inevitable defeat, as the U.S. is now experiencing in Iraq.
The other aspect of Afghanistan that made/makes it different is that even in the "best" of the recent past the central government had minimal control over the country. It is not and has not been a single "nation." Attempting to control the country using the governmental apparatus in Kabul would be akin to attempting to control Mexico from the Houston mayors office.

That said, I'm not sure I agree that the US effort to crush and leave has been a complete failure. The failure seems to have come in the efforts to "rebuild" something that wasn't there in the first place.

David: It has been a great success if you are making any money off the heroin trade.
Indeed, and a great success if what you wanted to do was destroy the ability to govern the country (and correspondingly its ability to threaten other countries).

I'm not saying I support these goals. Only suggesting that it is our leaders specific values and goals that don't align well with what they were attempting to do. This caused the problems we are having in both places.

False. The US did not use either option. Instead, as the previous poster stated, the US tried to steer some middle ground between those options.

The "crush/leave" strategy has worked historically. If you don't doubt that, go ask a few Carthaginians. Oh wait, you can't. The Romans killed them all, tore down every structure, and salted the ground on which their city stood. The remnants of Rome are still with us 2000 years later. Carthage is not. I assure you that a true "crush" strategy will work but the US cannot execute such a strategy out of moral concerns.

Note: I am not personally arguing for the US to use such a strategy precisely because it violates our collective view of human rights. Rather, I am saying that such a strategy can work if some nation were so ruthless as to execute it. It's abhorrent but it would work. Personally, I still adhere to the advice of the US founding fathers - keep our noses out of other people's business - but alas, that advice went by the wayside a century ago.

I would like you to point out just one example from modern times of a 'Carthaginian solution'. There hasn't been one, and not from want of trying. From this we might conclude, correctly, that it was simply easier to do in ancient times. It was actually a practical option then: it is not a practical option now. So, contrary to what you say, some supposed US moral restraint has nothing at all to do with it. In fact, they have often tried the Carthaginian solution (bombing North Korea to rubble, massive bombing of Cambodia and South Vietnam), but it has never actually worked. That's the point: it doesn't work any more. Not morals, practicality.

One could of course use nukes, but again, only a fantasist thinks this is actually a practical option. Taking the gloves off on nukes against non-nuke opponents ensures your own destruction by such weapons sooner or later as a desperate world realizes you must be destroyed at whatever cost.

The US is not holding back in Iraq. It's doing it's best with the world's most expensive (and overrated) military machinery, and it is being comprehensively defeated as we speak. If you don't get out soon, you may face some kind of undeniable disaster from which you will never regain credibility. Even the dumbest redneck will by crying into his beer and saying 'Jesus, we actually lost!'

Actually, Carthage recovered to become one of the most prosperous parts of the Roman empire for several centuries. Keeping their language, religion, culture and the essentials of self-government.
But then, the Romans never attempted to destroy any of those things.
'Roman Carthage

There is a widespread notion that the Carthaginian farmland was salted to ensure that no crops could be grown there, but the veracity of this is disputed. At the time, the salt was very expensive, and it would have been difficult purely as a matter of logistics to accomplish this. Besides, the site was too well chosen to waste.

When Carthage fell, its nearby rival Utica, a Roman ally, was made capital of the region and replaced Carthage as the leading center of Punic trade and leadership. It had the advantageous position of being situated on the Lake of Tunis and the outlet of the Majardah River, Tunisia's only river that flowed all year long. However, grain cultivation in the Tunisian mountains caused large amounts of silt to erode into the river. This silt was accumulated in the harbor until it was made useless, and Rome was forced to rebuild Carthage.

A new city of Carthage was built on the same land, and by the 1st century it had grown to the second largest city in the western half of the Roman empire, with a peak population of 500,000. It was the center of the Roman province of Africa, which was a major "breadbasket" of the empire. Carthage briefly became the capital of an usurper, Domitius Alexander, in 308-311.'

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carthage#Roman_Carthage

I may add, Hiroshima and Nagasaki remain in business too. (Though a full out nuclear exchange involving thousands of warheads will show that quantity does have its own quality.)

Americans are far too entranced with destruction as a measure of military prowess, which is what started this thread.

The power to destroy isn't really worth very much, but it is one of the major things the U.S. invested in for the last two generations, along with suburbia (which also involved massive destruction of farmland/forests/watersheds).


In reply to your (B) I would disagree to the extent that I believe we can be an incredibly competant military power - IF the will of the public is behind the force.

These borderline police actions are an entirely different matter however.


Iraq is not a borderline police action, it is part of the world wide strategy America has been following for several generations to ensure the steady supply of oil to the Western industrial democracies.

And its failure is a glaring highlight of what America is and is not capable of in a world where the American Dream is seeming to be more and more part of the problem.

Vietnam was a true war of choice, and the reasons America lost where not directly connected to military weaknesses - nobody observing that war felt that America would be a fairly weak military opponent, with glaring weaknesses across the board.

But watching Iraq, I am very certain that the same people who seemed to have enabled Hezbollah to beat the Israelis for a second time in a decade are taking notes while ramping up their 'peaceful' use of nuclear energy to ensure that the last (and essentially unplayable) military card America truly possesses will be take off the table. (Though sad as it sounds, I wouldn't put it past Bush's incompetence to nuke a few Iranian targets, and not wonder if the Iranians will then only be able to detonate one or two devices in an American city or two to show their strength - as long as the American city isn't Houston, which would trouble his mother's beautiful mind, he seems to be the type that could live with such evil doing.)

Americans have absolutely no concept of how the rest of the world is reacting to America's behavior since 2001. This is Realpolitik, and quite honestly, that has never been a game where America has shown much skill. Just look at the fairly second rate players like Chavez, who seem to be able to outplay the world's greatest superpower in front of a global audience.

Most of the world thought that referring to a certain sulphur smell Bush left behind at the U.N. podium was just clever - apart from some Americans, nobody in the rest of the world does anything but laugh when Bush is insulted. That is, those who aren't calling for his death as an infidel crusader, or those who want to see justice done, and another war criminal put behind bars. After all, Pinochet just managed to slip out of the hands of justice in Europe for his actions, but this doesn't cause people to start screaming that the EU is 'anti-Chilean.'

it seems to me that too many americans viewed the invasion of iraq in video game mode   we were going to win the war on remote control   just aim the thing and shoot a bomb   perfect accuracy every time we are now treated to a dose of reality
Yes Franz it is over. Very over. And still the ISG lays claim to (hypothetically) privatised oilfields under US control. The Baker report is fantasy almost as much as is current policy.

Some oil is still coming from Iraq. Just who is the vendor? Is it the Maliki "government"? What sort of arrangements are being made?
Ongoing security for the 1.6 to 2 mbpd supposedly being shipped has to be questionable. I would almost imagine unique arrangements for each tranche of oil leaving the country.

So do you really think Jimmy Carter, Al Gore or even Bill Clinton would have started the war in Iraq?  Give me a break.  The Democratic foreign policy may not be altruistic, but is is less stupid.  Having to pay for oil in euros would force this country into a more responsible fiscal policy, which is not such a bad thing.  A dollar bought about 1.20 Euros when Clinton was president.  
Clinton wanted to start the war with Iraq in 1998 but domestic issues had him in such a bind that he couldn't move forward. You can find the public Senate statements from people such as Kennedy, Kerry, and many others who supported military action to take out Hussein. All of the intelligence about Iraq having WMDs was developed under Clinton and discussed by the Clinton administration which also urged action. But the Republican Congress wouldn't go along because they thought they could get Clinton's head.

So fast forward to pre-Iraq invasion and look at statements from Hillary Clinton, Kerry, Kennedy, etc., about WMDs and Iraq. They wanted this invasion too. Why? If Bush lied to the nation then they did too because they saw the same intelligence info. What really happened was that George Tenet was the CIA director for both Clinton and Bush. The point of failure was Tenet and his agency, otherwise why would so many Democrats have made statements about Saddam's WMDs and needing to remove him?

And I am not making these up. Let's look at a few of the actual references so you can see the pattern.

"One way or the other, we are determined to deny Iraq the capacity to develop weapons of mass destruction and the missiles to deliver them. That is our bottom line."  President Clinton, Feb. 4, 1998

"If Saddam rejects peace and we have to use force, our purpose is clear. We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program." President Clinton, Feb. 17, 1998.

"[W]e urge you, after consulting with Congress, and consistent with the U.S. Constitution and laws, to take necessary actions (including, if appropriate, air and missile strikes on suspect Iraqi sites) to respond effectively to the threat posed by Iraq's refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs." Letter to President Clinton, signed by Sens. Carl Levin, Tom Daschle, John Kerry, and others Oct. 9, 1998

"In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weap ons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including al Qaeda members ... It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons." Sen. Hillary Clinton (D, NY), Oct 10, 2002.

Note: I do not reference the Kerry speeches because he "redesigned" his website and conveniently deleted all speeches before 2005. But trust me, he also said similar things. Here's an example (of which the original source Kerry has removed from the web):

"I will be voting to give the President of the United States the authority to use force-- if necessary-- to disarm Saddam Hussein because I b elieve that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a real and grave threat to our security." Sen. John F. Kerry (D, MA), Oct. 9, 2002.

"[W]ithout question, we need to disarm Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal, murderous dictator, leading an oppressive regime ... He presents a particularly grievous threat because he is so consistently prone to miscalculation ... And now he is miscalculating America's response to his contin ued deceit and his consistent grasp for weapons of mass destruction ... So the threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real ..."   Sen. John F. Kerry (D, MA), Jan. 23. 2003.

People who exclusively blame BCR fail to understand that the intelligence failure around Iraq was systemic, and that it permeated both political parties. And that is why many people do not expect significantly different behavior from the Democrats. Kerry, while campaigning for president on his stop at the Grand Canyon was asked what he would have done differently with Iraq. He hemmed and hawed but basically said he would have done exactly the same things Bush had done to that point.

So yes, would some Democrats have started that war in Iraq? Almost certainly. Carter might not have done so because even when I disagree with old Jimmy I think he tries to stand on his principles. But the rest of the Democratic machine? Yeah, I think they would have attacked Iraq too. And this is one of those things that makes me very pessimistic about our future. I do not see any sign of serious leadership in the US, in Russia, in China, or really in any other leading nation that intends to do anything substantial about peak oil or any of the other resource constraint issues that are arising.

Tough talk is cheap, but GWB was the one who actually did attack Iraq.  The coterie of neocons promoting the war were all Republicans.  A real war would have helped Clinton get around Monica, and as commander in chief, he could have started it and asked Congress after the commitment was irrevocable.  Ted Kennedy voted for the authorization, but said semi-privately that he thought there would be a last-minute deal to avoid war.  Kerry, ironically, voted no on the first gulf war, but was swept up in the post 9-11 hysteria.  Gore was against the war from the beginning.  
Greyzone: Blaming Bill Clinton for this Iraq mess makes about as much sense as blaming GWB for Monica's hummers.  
Don't twist my words. I didn't blame Clinton for this. I said that he was going down the same path and contemplated taking the same actions. I pointed out how Democrats have supported those same actions because they read the same intelligence reports. Everyone acts like the Democrats are some godly gift to humanity when they are just the other side of the same corporate global coin.

We don't know what the Democrats would have done had they been elected and then 9/11 occurred. Would they have done the same thing? Something better? Something worse? It's all speculation. But you cannot ignore the historical truth that they were supporting these actions themselves, indeed even calling for these same actions BEFORE the Republicans did. GWB didn't call for attacking Iraq until after 9/11. The Democrats wanted to attack him before that with even less provocation. Remember that.

The problem is that people are acting surprised now that after the elections the Democrats are already talking like the flip side of the GWB White House and they've not even been sworn in yet. People are surprised because the Democrats ran on hot air this election, implying (but never really making) promises about troops and the war and now they are steadily backing away from those implied promises right into the flip side of the Iraq war. Consequently nothing major will change and the 2006 election is simply a new set of demagogues replacing the older set. This is true about Iraq and it's going to be true about energy policy and numerous other issues as well.

Grey Zone:So you are saying that if the Iraq adventure had turned out to be wildly popular (like it was when GWB landed on the aircraft carrier) and "successful", you would be writing posts saying all the "credit" should go to Bill Clinton? This mess is BushCo's-period.They broke it-they own it.  
No, I am saying that I would still be pointing out that both sides advocated this action because both sides started from the same assumptions, which were generated from the same intelligence data. Have a clue-by-four: I didn't vote for Bush. I've got no vested interest in the Bush administration but I do tire of the endless nonsense that somehow the Democrats are automatically going to rectify all the world's ills that were created solely by all the world's Republicans. Both of those attitudes are nonsense. And the reverse attitude is more demagogic nonsense as well. The Democrats know who their paymasters are, and they are not the citizens of this country. Like the Republicans, the Democrats are just instruments of the large military-industrial corporate complex that is striving to maintain (and grow) itself over time. The function of a politician in this environment is to gather and maintain power. Really solving problems strips politicians of power. Politicians know this and thus try to extend a problem as long as possible to milk as much power from it as possible.
"The function of a politician in this environment is to gather and maintain power. Really solving problems strips politicians of power."

Well, in this country, I think politicians need to at least "act" like they are really solving problems or the masses might get out of hand.  This was BushCo's folly.  They forgot to even act like they wanted to solve problems.  They just said, "We have the power so do not bother us with your problems."  People will elect politicians that give a warm, fuzzy lie to hug and hold.

The function of a politician in this environment is to gather and maintain power. Really solving problems strips politicians of power. Politicians know this and thus try to extend a problem as long as possible to milk as much power from it as possible.

well said! I think there is alot of truth in that statement! They are self serving and I encourage anyone to vote for the politician whose ideals match yours. and not the straight party ticket!  

I can hardly believe that you are buying into this "intelligence failure" tale. Of course intelligence failed, but there are certain reasons while it failed, and there were certain forces that needed the intelligence to produce the "correct" information.

It is well known that plans for a second Iraq invasion date back from Bush I-st. Regular air strikes were conducted all through that period. Was the intelligence "failing" ever since 1991? Only 1 year after we had actually invaded the country and almost reached Baghdad?

Levin: Are you saying that the Yerginizer will be playing the George Tenet role of scapegoat for the Prez of 2016?
Yergin is a contractor, hired to do his job. Thus he is much more expendable than Tenet for instance. 2016 or whenever is too far away and I'm sure he is making the adequate preparations to twist his former predictions when the time for that comes. Hell everybody does that and he's already becoming an expert on the subject.
The data does not fit your extrapolations.

The Iranians have signed a mostly fixed price contract with the Chinese to supply natural gas to them for 25 years. You can get the exact price from them through google, etc.


The contract for 25 years for NG is in dollars. Not Euros, Not Yuan, Not the Iranian currency. The NG price is also pretty low (~50% of current Henry Hub price).



The link you provide points to a deal and cites the value in US dollars.  I see no reference to terms of payment and frankly I doubt that Iran is as foolish as you imply.  

And then there is always the re-negotiation route:

India agrees to renegotiate gas price with Iran  

www.chinaview.cn 2006-11-17 20:23:21  

    NEW DELHI, Nov. 17 (Xinhua) -- India agreed Friday to renegotiate the price of liquefied natural gas with Iran who wants a higher price in the deal to supply 5 million tons of gas to India.
    Indian Petroleum Minister Murli Deora was quoted by Indo-Asian News Service as saying that Indian and Iran will be renegotiating the gas price.
    India required more gas supplies in a bid to meet the requirement of the power and fertilizer sectors, Deora said.
    India agrees to renegotiate with Iran as the gas price in global market remained high, he said.
    The two countries reached a deal of supplying 5 million tons of gas from 2009 in 2005.
    "We have had useful negotiations. We see the need for the negotiations with a specific formula for finalizing the issue," said Motakki.

Yes of course the Democrats and Republicans are completely the same. This War is now 15 years old. The LATimes has a good piece on the ISG report and oil.

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.

Page 1, Chapter 1 of the Iraq Study Group report lays out Iraq's importance to its region, the U.S. and the world with this reminder: "It has the world's second-largest known oil reserves." The group then proceeds to give very specific and radical recommendations as to what the United States should do to secure those reserves. If the proposals are followed, Iraq's national oil industry will be commercialized and opened to foreign firms.

Of course, this is particularly interesting understanding that the majors are being shut-off across the globe in the most of the remaining reserves. Since the price is all about supply and demand as the oil companies are so fond of saying, we should at least ring the military costs up at the gas pump.

Re. "John Michael Greer: Solstice 2100: Q&A "

I love this series he is doing.  But I think he is being optimistic in terms of the timing - especially in terms of the military commandeering energy supplies.

In the Army Corp of Engineers' study they say "We must act now to develop the technology and infrastructure necessary to transition to other energy sources."

Sudden and severe oil-shocks due to wars in the Oil Patches (see Iraqi Oil  Production...) will make the transition to "Other Energy Sources" chaotic  if not impossible.  Rationing what is not commandeered might make a HUGE dent in Stuart's "Miles Driven" graphs in the very near future.

The experience of the US in WWII may be a best case scenario starting much, much sooner than we complacent Saps think.

I was hoping someone would comment on this.

There is certainly no reason to compare fictional scenario to fictional scenario, but there a couple of striking lacks in to my eyes -

  1. What happened to all the nukes, both the traditional exploding ones and the generating type? Any future with that sort of collapse will not involve the waving of a magic wand to get rid of such events/problems.
  2. His 'military' is a bugaboo - it explains much, without actually being all that realistic. The 'military' is generally not an autonomous part of any society, even in a civil war - and even the most brutal military machines have their limits. Soldiers are at least as likely to remain loyal to kin or locality as they are to any commanding officer - that too is a lesson of civil wars. Not to mention basic 'corruption' - the soldiers are likely to be as involved in any black market as civilians.
  3. Where is the rest of the world (especially since no nuclear war seems to have happened)? This viewing things in isolation just seems wrong.

This doesn't mean his writing is somehow wrong - how could it be be? - just that much seems constructed around certain premises, which may themselves not be all that correct.

The discussion is always worthwhile, though.

I think nuclear powerplants will extremely valuble post peak oil, when oil runs short electricity will be liquid gold.
Maybe, maybe not - you assume they will be in operating condition for generating electricity - a reasonable assumption, of course.

Quite honestly, I think most of these collapse scenarios don't even come close to how horrific the breakdown of industrial civilization is likely to be in detail.

To give the tiniest of examples - in the world of 2100 AD, where knowledge has slipped to such a point that a plastic slide rule is an almost magical totem (though they have been around for about 3 centuries at this point, generally made out of wood), who cleaned up all the batteries?

Seriously - assuming that Sweden is like Germany, batteries are collected and recycled, and the materials used in batteries are pretty strictly regulated, because batteries, in any of their current forms, are little toxic bombs of metal combinations which are not healthy, especially in terms of fetal development.

But in the U.S., no one seems to have collected the again literally millions of tons of batteries simply left in dumps, in abandoned houses, constructions sites, old buildings - wherever.

After roughly a century, the water would be very measurably full of these leached metals. One of the more incredible things I have ever seen in my younger life was an auto junkyard in Manassas, Virginia, which seemed to sit above a reservior called Lake Jackson - and others in that area definitely sat above the water which then ran into the Chesapeake Bay. (Memories from 30 plus years ago - names could be wrong - but not the basic geography or the rotting cars.)  

As a side note - the fact that it is rumored that Florida is half underwater in the scenario makes the absence of any information about nuclear plants even more suspicious - in such a chaotic 50 years, it is very unlikely that the massive industrial effort required to merely delay having a power plant under water was performed.

They dont collect heavy metals in USA? There must at least some states where it is done?

And I find it slow that it would take about a hundred years to clean up all old known sloppy industrial sites and toxic waste dumps in Sweden. What is prioritized are those hindering urban development, those threathening fresh water sources and where the soil is acutely poisonous if someone would be stupid enough to eat it. (Arsenic and heavy metal dip anti rot treatment for wood were popular in early 1900:s. )

When in the U.S. this summer, I saw absolutely no indication that consumer products such as batteries, electronic toys, old cell phones, etc. were in any way handled differently than normal trash. I am certain there are voluntary recycling programs in place, and that in certain areas, the laws are stricter. One reason for this may be that generally, Americans do not burn trash for energy - it just gets dumped in unbelievably huge landfills - trash is shipped hundreds of miles on barges, then loaded on trucks which then drive a good distance (an hour or two) to the landfill. Virginia is involved in this business in a major way at this point, involving a number of cities on the East Coast.

I am also fairly certain that industrial use is at least legally controlled, so that a company can't legally dump tons of heavy metals where they wish. But in terms of how well that is controlled, I wouldn't expect much, though there is a market incentive to recycle metals like lead - I used to pick up car batteries people would leave in mall parking lots (the car owner replaced the battery, and simply left the old one there - and this is still happening) and after collecting a couple which wouldn't hold a charge at all, sell them to a scrap dealer I knew for a few dollars (I owned an old VW bus then, which had space for two batteries - it was simple to switch between the two, thus always keeping one battery as a reserve, or simply keeping one battery available for lighting, fan, music, etc.)

No, the U.S. does not have anything even approximating the EU standards on handling the byproducts of the electronic age, much less efficient recycling/separation of waste streams.

Generally, such regulation is seen by citizens as burdensome, and by industries as profit reducing - no one seems to be much bothered by it, and thus nothing much is done about it. (The amount of packaging for products sold in the U.S. is also unbelievable - and most of that packaging is also shipped - incredible waste which is considered economic growth, since more=growth.) Besides, people who are concerned about such things tend to be lumped into the 'hysterical' category, since there are so many more important things to worry about - like which star is doing whatever with whomever.

America is heading for so many problems, it is difficult for Europeans to imagine, since Europeans have experience in not hopelessly ruining where they live. This isn't the same as saying they can't do it, it just means they know it can happen, and try to avoid it - or repair the damage afterwards, before it becomes impossible to fix at any cost. And this has been true for centuries at this point.

There is a reason why many intelligent and well informed Americans think the whole world will fall apart - they look around, and think the rest of the world lives and acts as they do.

Basically, they tell us that we really shouldn't throw things like cell phones in the trash...but they don't give us any real options, so everyone does it anyway.

I've never even heard you're not supposed to throw batteries in the trash.  I do it all the time.  

Most people do know that you're not supposed to dump used motor oil in storm drains.  But a lot of people do it anyway.  Or they put it in paint cans or milk jugs and throw it in the trash.

A couple of Platts stories:
Iraq to miss oil production capacity targets: US report

Dubai (Platts)--6Dec2006
Iraq will not be able to reach its crude production capacity targets or sustain higher output because of damage to overworked reservoirs, insufficient and cumbersome investment procedures, sabotage, corruption and the absence of a hydrocarbon law, according to a US government report.
     "Although US-funded projects have helped increase crude oil production capacity and exports, the security situation, poorly maintained infrastructure, corruption and a constrained budget and procurement execution at the Ministry of Oil continue to pose significant challenges to sustained development in the sector," said the latest report by the Office of the Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR).
     Oil production peaked at 2.47 million b/d in late August/early September but averaged 2.27 million b/d in the quarter after an attack crippled a key northern pipeline. Oil exports averaged 1.66 million b/d but closed at 1.62 million b/d in September against a target of 1.65 million b/d.
     Phase I of the delayed Qarmat Ali project, which will provide treated water for injection to maintain reservoir pressure in one of the biggest fields in the south, is complete. Phase II is 28% complete but even when
completed in December, it will not achieve the desired capacity target. [...]

Socar shuts 200,000 b/d Azeri crude output for 10 days on hitch

London (Platts)--8Dec2006
Azerbaijan's oil company Socar has shut in 200,000 b/d of Azeri crude production for at least 10 days following mechanical problems in three out of the four turbines working at the offshore Central field, a source at Socar
said Friday.
     "The field produces 260,000 b/d which will be reduced to 60,000 b/d as we have power supply problems with three of the compressor turbines which will take about 10 days to repair," the source said [...]  
"If the repairs do not finish on time by mid December, we may see two million barrels or more lost in January," the source said. However, "barrels in storage at Ceyhan and other areas will be used to alleviate the impact," the source added. [...]

"The U.S. Government Intends to Win the War in Iraq"


"if ... other nations are able to siphon... Persian Gulf oil for themselves the U.S. will not only be a very sore loser, but a very, very dangerous one."

I wonder what happens if for "some reason" chaos in the Oil Patch comes early, and causes an abrupt and dramatic drop in oil production and exports from the persian gulf region, instead of a slow "siphoning by other nations."

The Iranian mullah's know peak oil is here.  They know they can cripple the Great Satan.  And they "know" their 12th Imam will return in the chaos and save them.  

Or maybe the 12th Imam is just a silly old fable and the Iranians think like "rational westerners."

And maybe the Iranian Mullahs do not have their own Grand Designs for a Shiite-dominated middle east, let alone a Shiite World Order.

Afterall, in this age of enlightenment, No one really believes in that apocalyptic nonsense anymore right?  No need to be concerned - especially if it might insult some one.


The only insulting being done is that which you inflict upon the intelligence of the rest of us.

Ignorance is bliss franz, keep yawning and go back to sleep.
Ignorance is bliss franz...

Something you can testify to from personal experience, no doubt.

Of course.  Don't be a fool.  

We enter this world ignorant and probably remain so about most things the rest of our lives.

I remember once as a child believing in a Santa and a Jezus- now that was bliss!

Send: I hope you are not including yourself as one of these "rational westerners".
I do question that myself sometimes brian ;p.  
You know, I didn't think to mention this one at TOD at first.  It didn't seem directly oil-related.  But it just struck me that it is:


What if the industry prefers "overconfident predictions" of future supply for the same reasons?

I've certainly seen this in the software business.  You've got a hard problem and you start interviewing managers.  The first guy says he can do the project in 2 years.  The second says 1 year.  The third says 6 months.  They hire "6 month guy" who obviously does not understand the problem and totally messes things up.  (At which point we consulting vultures swoop in.)


Odo - I think this is highly relevant to a deep rooted problem permeating politics and commerce - IMO.  People like good news and will pay handsomly for it.  If the reality is bad news - folks just don't want to know - let alone pay to find out.
I laughed when I read Odo's remarks. This happened to me in real life just recently. I was in a planning meeting for a new project and the sponsor asks the newly annointed PM if he thinks we can meet the six week out milestone. The PM says he thinks we can beat it by two weeks. Some one else asks "don't you want to know what that milestone is first?" The PM answers, "Sure."
Odo: IMO, the optimistic scenarios painted by individual oil company leaders are necessary to maintain investor confidence/equity valuation/stock option value/executive renumeration. It is quite possible that as production declines, the increased price of product will compensate and earnings can continue to increase, but it would not be prudent to trouble investors at this time.
This is a common problem. At one company I worked for a number of years ago, they brought in a high dollar hired gun to develop and direct the project plan. His plan called for start on June 1 to completion on September 15 in 4.5 months. I told him and his boss that I thought the schedule was absurd. They asked me why so I gave reasons and they then asked me what I thought would occur. So I developed a schedule of my own based on my many years in the software industry. I gave my reasons for why I felt as I did and my schedule came out to 8 months total, ending January 31 of the following year. Needless to say, we did not make Sept. 15th at all and the product "went gold" on Feb. 2nd.

Shortly after that the company was facing a critical decision on a project that would affect the board's decision to accept a buyout offer or not. Again, the hired gun gave a wildly optimistic schedule. They asked me to look at it and I gave a schedule that was almost triple his in total man hours. At that point they decided to go further and have two more outside consultants do estimates. Both of the outside consultant estimates came within 10% of mine. The guy who had cost so much money was let go, the board took the buyout, and the new owners ran with my schedule. We delivered the next product only 3 weeks late (out of roughly 180 total man months in the project) on a 15 person project.

People very much do not want to hear "bad" news so they take the most optimistic choice and run with it. This may be one cause of why so many business startups fail - the startup owner has overestimated so much. And it may be why large corporations exhibit the same behavior - if the short time frame succeeds it mean more and longer profits and if it fails, almost never is anyone held to account for it except for the single fall guy who made the bad estimate. Never are his superiors who accept such estimates called into question, so they hire another person just like the one who failed before and the new one fails exactly the same way.

This can also be viewed as an embedded cultural meme specific to the USA.

America has always been known for a "can do" optimism, where the power of positive thinking (with positive thinking being a marketable product in America) is the major factor governing success. The American lower middle class is fueled by the belief that they too can become multi-millionaires irregardless of any statistical evidence to the contrary.

Europeans appear to be far more sceptical of the possibilties associated with individual or group exceptionalism. This "realism" in part explains the lack of support for US adventurism in the ME. This also shows in a greater European concern with issues such as Global Warming and a distrust of technological fixes such as GM foods.

Also of interest are anthropological studies which demonstrate that when the existential belief structure of a group is called into question i.e. reality asserts itself, the group has vastly diminished chances of survival and recovery. This does not bode well for a positive US response to evidence of PO.

This is classic, very important, and entirely overlooked.

The whole damn economy works (or 'works') like that. The biggest bullsh*t artist with the lowest price gets the tender and away we go. In some cases it is not important that the required work even gets done: what matters is that the right motions have been gone through and the lowest priced contractor has been obtained, even if the results are no improvement over doing nothing at all.

It's extraordinary. Capitalist 'efficiency' at work.

While I think it is global, it certainly seems worse in some economies rather than others. We might posit a split between 'bullshit economies' (US, UK, Hong Kong...) and 'actual performance economies' (Germany, Japan, Finland...)In the former, all that matters is 'the bottom line', even if the product or service turns out to be crap. Just do it! Do it now! Do it cheap! In the latter, people expect to be able to make a quality product and sell it at the appropriate premium.

Sometimes I think having been born in the Anglosphere and condemned to live in it was a great curse...

Bush 'must adopt all Iraq plan'

Former Secretary of State James Baker said the 79 points they put forward were not a "fruit salad" to be picked over, but a comprehensive strategy...

However, (Bush) appears already to have ruled out some proposals, like talking unconditionally to Syria and Iran.

He also appeared to rule out the the phasing out of the US combat role in Iraq...

Mr Baker said he saw a value in inviting Iran to regional talks, even if Tehran refused the invitation, an outcome he saw as likely.

"What do we lose by saying, 'we're getting all of Iraq's neighbours together, we want you to come, and if they say no, we show the world what they're all about?'"

Poor little guy :

Baker is right here. The US cannot lose by inviting Iran to the table (except that GWB loses face but that's already occurred anyway). In real geopolitical terms, if Iran comes to the table then refuses to cooperate, the entire world will see it. If Iran refuses to come to the table at all, the whole world will see that too. And if Iran comes to the table and does cooperate, then we get a stable Iraq. So what's to lose here? The first two possibilities further strengthen US position against Iraq and might turn fence sitters to the US side. The third possibility solves the problem. I see no loss here for the US by doing this, unless someone somewhere sees peace in Iraq as a losing situation.
"unless someone somewhere sees peace in Iraq as a losing situation."

Now you're beginning to understand.

I agree completely.  

It looks like a sensible approach for both domestic and geo-politics, and it looks like the US needs help in both areas.

But it does give Iran time for strategic preparations in both logistics (e.g. re-arming Hezbo) and regional politics.  And their foreign legions Hezbollah and Hamas can work on their profoundly local politics in the mean time (notice lebanon now... ;)

I guess it also gives the West and fence sitters time to make preparations too (if Lebanon "falls" to the hezbos... I wonder if France will stick around and if so ... ).


Hezbollah and Hamas are both legitimate domestic parties (although Isreal helped Hamas get going as an offset to the PLO).

They are not "foreign legions", but very much like the African National Conference accepted help from anyone in their struggle against apartheid, they accept help from anyone against Isreal.

Isreal has shown an amazing ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.  Hezbollah was negotiating (per reports) with the central gov't for withdrawal from Southern Lebanon (price was 3 cabinet members, debate over which 3, PM wanted to offer just 2).

Hamas was about to have a plebiscite among the Palestenians to accept Isreal's right to exist, a positive vote on that issue is a fundamental, and irreversible step towards peace.

Now that step was aborted by Isreal, and Hezbollah is MUCH stronger today, and the central gov't weaker, after Isreal bombed power plants and all sorts of infrastructure that had no military value.  If Hezbollah becomes the dominant force in Lebanon, Isreal need only look in the mirror to find the cause.


Yes, some of the Israelis and some members of Hamas and of the Lebanese government have geniune interests in peace and even share some trust.  

Meanwhile Iran waits for the return of the 12th imam, calls repeatedly for the wiping of Israel off the map, rearms Hamas and Hezbollah, and waits for The Chaos to begin...

But none of those Isrealis are part of the current gov't.


But many of those Iranians that believe in the return of the 12th imam are part of their current government.
A question on NGL's, expected to make up an increasingly important part of Total Liquids output in the next few years.  This was prompted by a second look at an article posted a couple of months ago (Tuesday October 17) by Euan Mearns:
which included in the subtitle to a table: "Crude oil 1 tonne = 7.5 bbls. NGL 1 tonne = 11.5 bbls". Comparing the two, 7.5/11.5 = 0.652, so does this means that a barrel of NGL only weighs 0.652 as much as a barrel of conventional crude?  What about the calorific (energy) value of a barrel of NGL - is that only around 2/3rds as much as for a barrel of typical crude?  Something of importance if NGL starts to account for several percent of global Total Liquids.
Earth is too crowded for Utopia.

Do you believe the extrapolation beyond 2010 is correct?

Red bar is for us in the high school class of 1956.

I don't think there's the smallest chance that the Earth can support more than about 8 billion even for a short period.  The best we can hope for is a peak at about that level and controlled descent from there.  The alternative -which may well happen - is a decline as steep as the ascent and as I think Colin Campbell once wrote "the means of its occurance do not bear consideration".
The idea that the earth is overcrowded seems to be a consensus view on TOD. I'd like to challenge that view. At 8 billion people, a level we have not reached yet, there would still be more than 4 acres of land area for each person on the planet. Since people normally live in families, that would be  more than 16 acres for each family of four. It's hard to imagine how a family of four could not live on 16 acres - even if two-thirds of it was not agriculturally productive.

I want to clarify that I am not defending the way we have spoiled the environment, wasted resources, or driven other species to extinction. I'm just saying that it is not clear to me why the earth cannot support the present population.

NASAguy: Your plan might work if you could get around the fact that 50% of the global population doesn't have a pot to piss in, much less 16 acres of land to farm for their own consumption.  

Have you done the ecological footprint survey? At the end, they suggest that we already at are a point of 4.5 biologically productive acres per person.

OK, I'll bite.

You are not an ecologist, are you? I'm betting you're an engineer of some sort. The problem isn't one of simple land area - it's... food, water, etc., etc.

An awful lot of the land area is unproductive, and that which is "productive" is often so because of subsidies of irrigation water and energy. Look up the concept of "ecological footprint".

And the very notion that the limit to the carrying capacity of Earth is how many could possibly eke out some sort of survival sounds like dystopia to me. A dystopia with absolutely no cushion for the occasional random glitch. And a standard of living of zilch.

You don't seem to have a very clear sense of where the ecological services that provide things like clean air and water come from. There needs to be un-messed-with land, lots of it, to provide these things. Then there are all the myriad other "resources" required. So subtract all the forest, agricultural, mining, grazing, etc.,  "resources" from your land area calculation.

We are already rather overshot, and we just don't know it yet. It seems a bit bizarre and demented to hear someone positing that we can sustainably support larger human populations.

- sgage

True, I am an engineer, and certainly not an expert on this subject. But to push the point a bit farther - there are some places in the world where the population is an order of magnitude more dense than the global average (Japan, Taiwan, etc.) and yet the standard of living is high. Now I realize that these countries import things from less crowded areas, yet I'm not sure the import dependency is that great. Japan, for example had 27 million people living on the island in 1852 - a population more dense than the world's average today - and that was when they were completely isolated from the rest of the world.
I'm just saying that raw population density in a place like, say, Japan, does not extrapolate out to The World. A great deal of the Earth is desert, tundra, high non-agricultral plateau, etc. Japan and Taiwan are now, of course, huge importers of everything, including 100% of their petroleum.

The import dependency IS that great. As an engineer, you are not afraid of numbers, so I will just say to you what I tell all my various Ecology and Environmental Studies students: Do The Numbers.

With anything like what you and I would call an acceptable standard of living, the carrying capacity of this planet is probably somewhere around a billion. Again I would ask you to look into the concept of "ecological footprint".


- sgage

FAO says cereal prices surge to 10-year high Cereal prices, particularly for wheat and maize, have reached a 10-year high, the Food and Agriculture Organization said in its latest Food Outlook report published on Thursday. Poor harvests in key producing countries and a fast-growing demand for biofuel have driven up grain prices, while supply constraints have also dominated the rice economy, the report said. http://english.people.com.cn/200612/08/eng20061208_330076.html grain prices are already at ten year highs I imaging that quite a few people will be starving as a result of this.
Japan, for example had 27 million people living on the island in 1852 - a population more dense than the world's average today - and that was when they were completely isolated from the rest of the world.

Whoah! Amazing factoid of the day... and missed by everyone, apparently.

I'm with you on this. Population is not the driver of our current problems. We are not reindeer or yeast (though we are as dumb as the latter in many ways. It is the particular political and economic system we have that may send us all the way of the dodo.

Doom: it doesn't have to be. But it probably will...

(I'm an eternal pessimist)

Right on. http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry.asp?userid=0LK059A66I&isbn=0125475705 http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=759906 http://www.aci.net/Kalliste/bw1.htm I am a SENIOR CITIZEN! http://www.prosefights.org/shattuck/shattuck.htm Thanks for biting!
right on. http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry.asp?userid=0LK059A66I&isbn=0125475705 best, and on evil intended.
Hello NASAguy,

Your quote: "It's hard to imagine how a family of four could not live on 16 acres - even if two-thirds of it was not agriculturally productive."

Thousands of acres/Anasazi Indian, but they still abandoned their societal infrastructure.  Climate change causing severe drought in a desert is a bitch-- exactly where the NA southwest is headed.

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

The idea that the earth is overcrowded seems to be a consensus view on TOD. I'd like to challenge that view. At 8 billion people, a level we have not reached yet, there would still be more than 4 acres of land area for each person on the planet. Since people normally live in families, that would be  more than 16 acres for each family of four. It's hard to imagine how a family of four could not live on 16 acres - even if two-thirds of it was not agriculturally productive.

The problem I see with that is what sort of lifestyle do you expect? Without specifying this, the acres/person is meaingless.

In the US the average person uses the equivalent of 24 acres each. That's 6 times more than your 4 acres. If everyone lived like the US, we would need 6 Earths.

Of course, if you want to live like a subsistence third-worlder, then 4 acres/person is maybe enough. Just don't expect to have electricity, or health care etc.

I encourage everyone to take the footprint test!

NASAguy wrote:
The idea that the earth is overcrowded seems to be a consensus view on TOD. I'd like to challenge that view. At 8 billion people, a level we have not reached yet, there would still be more than 4 acres of land area for each person on the planet. Since people normally live in families, that would be  more than 16 acres for each family of four. It's hard to imagine how a family of four could not live on 16 acres - even if two-thirds of it was not agriculturally productive.

Well, let's just do a little math. According to The World CIA factbook:
World population: 6,525,000,000
World area: (converting to acres) 36,796,608,000
Percent of that arable land: 13.31 percent.
Total arable land: 4,897,628,525 acres.
Acres arable land per person: 0.750 currently

At 8 billion people: .61 acres arable land per person.

Your figures are all wet NASA guy!

Ron Patterson

You apparently fail to grasp that life exists in complex ecosystems and that humanity taking over the entire ecosystem will have side effects (many nasty). Look at the disease situation. It's directly related to the number of possible hosts that homo sapiens represents versus other species, among other criteria. A bacteria or virus that hosts in humans has orders of magnitude larger survival chances on the short term (as a species) than one that hosts on gorillas for example.

Yes, humans can theoretically live at much higher densities but is it the right thing to do? Someone else once observed that if you place too many of any mammal in a confined space that those mammals will go crazy and exhibit self-destructive behaviors. Homo sapiens is the only species that does this to itself voluntarily.

Maybe we've already passed the point of comfortable density.
But it seems we have not reached that point yet.

Take Hong Kong and Tokyo. Both these places have very high population densities, but I observe much less aggro and anti-social behaviour amongst people in these places than in my own much more sparsely populated Australia. You may be right about a stress-crowding limit in humans, but you don't see it even in Hong Kong, at over 1200 people per hectare in some places (and an average of 600 / hectare).

Much of the stress we feel on crowding is cultural. In fact, I suspect simply by living in villages of over 100 people we have already drastically exceeded any natural human intolerance that exists... and it's 'doable', as it were.

Not a chance.  I'm of the Olduvai Gorge persuasion, myself.  Humanity is in at least a 25% overshoot situation. Our ecological niche (i.e. the ensure planet) is showing obvious signs of both depletion and fouling. The probability of either a Malthusian or catabolic collapse (or even a nightmare combination of the two) is climbing every year.

I expect to see "Peak People" within 25 years.  The United Nations isn't whistling past the graveyard so much as whistling on its way in.

But then, I'm a bit of a pessimist.  Who knows, the tea leaves could be spelling out "Cold Fusion", and I just can't read.

Of course, that is "the entire planet".
In my sixth grade class, in 1962, we were told about the dangers of overpopulation and the relationship to natural resources.  Even then, it seemed pretty obvious to me.  So obvious, in fact, that I presumed we'd "do something about it".  Certainly the "adults" would take care of this.
There were about two billion humans on the planet then.  Now there are 6.5 billion.  And not only have we not done anything about it, but few even acknowledge the problem anymore.
I should point out that I lived in Newton, MA.  I've come to realize that this sort of thing was unlikely to have been in the standard curriculum nationwide.  I expect any sixth grade teacher who presented such a thing in a classroom today would be in big trouble!
I'm a little younger than you but have had a similar experience.

For me it was my Earth Science class in high school, in 1975. I distinctly remember learning about greenhouse gases, overpopulation, and resource depletion.

This was confirmed in 1981, in a mindblowing college course called "Geology and Human Affairs." It was basically a peak fuels course, even though the term "peak oil" hadn't been invented.

We have no excuse for not having averted catastrophe. None.

Gilder: One point- I am not sure that people realize how uncommon a population decline is in a 3rd world country (i.e. the majority of the planet). In 1998, global life expectancy was 66 yrs. Currently it is 64 yrs. Looking at 3rd world life expectancy rates and population growth, it appears that a life expectancy under 35 yrs is necessary to curtail population growth (in the absence of direct government involvement as in China). My point is that the trend is for the global population to continue to increase
until most of the planet is in a state similar to Zimbabwe.Starving women can turn out a lot of babies, contrary to popular belief.          
I investigated global fertility rates a while ago, and found that (IIRC) 4 billion people live in countries with fertility rates over 3.0.  The global excess birth rate is about 73 million per year.  In order to stop population growth with the current birth rate we would need to increase our global death rate by that much - an increase of almost 250%.

WWII killed only 10 million people per year.  We would need seven times that death rate, continued in perpetuity, to stabilize our population.  That's OK, though.  This is one area in which I have every confidence that humanity will rise to the challenge.

I wonder if a Nuclear Iran would threaten all of Europe ???

Ahmadinejad, it is recognized, will not be deterred. He cleaves to a vision of Islamic hegemony, anticipating the 12th imam's apocalyptic messianic dawn, shunning and deriding those who would delay that era through compromise and capitulation.

His mentor, Ayatollah Taghi Mesbah-Yazdi, attacked even the infallible Ayatollah Khomeini for having halted the bloodshed that speeds that messianic arrival by agreeing to the Iran-Iraq cease fire...  

Maybe it's just all propaganda...

Maybe it's just all propaganda...

Coming from JPost.com?  No!    

Come on Leanan.  I think you know better than that.

For some reason people here seem to want to deny reality, or make excuses for it, instead of facing it.

BERNARD LEWIS understands that for the radicals among the "Shiite Muslims, the long awaited return of the Hidden Imam" ... is a "reality and indeed (an imminent) threat."
 Mr. Lewis is not the only one who understands this thank godz.

The point is to honestly evaluate the threats regardless of your own political, religious, national etc bias. Most here seem to be capable of doing that when looking at oil production but refuse to do it with "sensitive" subjects like geopoliTICS.

I am not advocating war - I do not have any "plan" to deal with this.  But it is childish to pretend The Danger is Not Real and to pretent that other nations do not have plans for war.

Iran may not be a direct threat to anyone here but Their planz on Their drawing boardz will affect everyone here indirectly - without notice and with a very great impact.

Bahktiari knows this and he is very much correct when he says, "But even during that rather benign T1, the unexpected might become the rule and the orderly 'Pre-Peak' rapidly give way to some chaotic 'Post-Peak.'

We are in "T1" now and the Chaos is likely to begin sooner than most here expect.

Bernard Lewis exists inside reality? God I would like to tell you all about my dinner with Bernard Lewis but then I might as well give you my name.
Be it said that even those who sponsored him for the fricking honorary degree found him so terminally embarrassing that not one person spoke to him all evening.The 80 year old female professor seated next to him on the dais told him loudly to keep his hands to himself but no other conversation. Practically got into a fight with the waiters.
And of course in an ordinarily very diverse setting the event had been purified - no one present from anywhere near the Middle East.
Lewis has never recovered from the publication of Said's Orientalism. He's a laughingstock who keeps digging the hole deeper. Unfortunately he is still politically useful.
Such are sendoilplease's fellow travelers.

I do not believe that the Iranian leadership is working for chaos to bring on the 12th Imam, are the "Witches of Tehran", or any of the other stuff sol keeps bringing up.

Best Hopes for less bigotry,


Thanks Alan
Look up the word "bigotry" alan.  You might find you are the bigot in this particular case.

You can "Believe in" anything you want but it will not change reality.

Head in sand, ass in air...
the Saps again were caught unaware.

Online dictionary: "Bigotry" refered me to "bigot"

A person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially : one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance

Nope, that's you, not me.

"Witches of Tehran" is one of your favorites terms I believe.  


"Witches of Tehran"

Well exscuuuuuse me.  I have a hard time telling the difference between them all - witch, warlock, father, reverend, mullah, whatever.

Alan, if they really do believe in the 12th Imam, you just said you will not accept that as reality.  That is intolerant of you.  It shows prejudice and a devotion to your own opinion.

Thank you for your anecdotal ad hom Mr. narcissistic Sap who had nothing to say about the Point Mr. Lewis made.

Forecaster sees high hurricane activity

FORT COLLINS, Colo. - The 2007 Atlantic hurricane season should have above-average activity, a top hurricane researcher said Friday.

Colorado State forecaster William Gray predicted 14 named storms next year, including three major hurricanes and four other hurricanes.

Gray and fellow researcher Philip Klotzbach said fewer hurricanes are likely to make landfall compared to last year, which had the busiest and most destructive hurricane season on record.

Fiddling while Rome burns?  

The band playing while the Titanic sinks?

How about shopping while the store burns down?  No, really!

Holiday shoppers keep buying during fire

MENTOR, Ohio - An electrical fire that filled a department store with thick smoke didn't deter holiday shoppers, and firefighters had to block the doors to keep customers from coming in, authorities said.

..."It was amazing," said Mentor fire Battalion Chief Joe Busher. "Even though there was heavy smoke in there, they all wanted to stay and shop. We even had to put people at the door to keep people from coming in."

"We even had to put people at the door to keep people from coming in."

Like the herd of cows, they enter the burning barn.

Or they've heard so much hyped-up rubbish from the health-and-safety nazis - it's winter, and there's an Alberta clipper passing through, so the world is ending and you need to PANIC NOW - it's summer, and the sun is shining and it's hot, so the world is ending and you need to PANIC NOW - that they've lost all perspective and simply don't believe anything any more.
Paul: You forgot Big Pharma: "You've got a serious problem you didn't know you had, but don't worry-we've got a new drug that will fix it".
One of my wife's favorite sayings is that individual persons may be smart but as a group people are stupid.
Might I add that 50% of the people are below average.
50% of the people are below average

That's poppycock.
It is well known that 90% of us are in the upper half.

Like Lake wobegon or whatever - where everybody's kids are above average.
When humans want to increase the population and cannot, the jig will be up.
Got my latest issue of playboy. Really nice interview of Boone Pickens, first artcile I ever read in playboy.
He does have his clothes on, right?
Yep, he does. Although the 12 playmates dont.
The interview was very good actually. I was surprised that he thinks that NG can actually help the oil situation albeit temporarily
I wonder if Boone is now considered "Hugh Hefner" cool?
I don't read the oildrum everyday. So I don't know if this was covered....but I didn't see it in the news. You'd think 200 billion barrels 6 miles off the coast of california would be newsworthy....

It is a GUSHER!!!!!!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

It's being called the biggest oil discovery in California in 30 years. Now, two oil companies -- including one with offices in Orcutt -- are competing for the right to drill off the coast of Vandenberg Air Force Base.

The proposed drilling project is 6 miles west of Surf Beach. The oil would be transferred to the Lompoc Oil and Gas Plant through a pipeline that already exists. if approved, 35,000 barrels of oil would be pumped daily.

A permit from the Santa Barbara County Planning Commission would be the first of many steps needed to move forward with this project.

Right now, a company called Plains Exploration & Production Company, or PXP, is the only one that submitted all the paperwork necessary to seek the rights to tap into this oil reserve. If they get the go-ahead, PXP would drill for the next 30 years.

Home to the snowy plover, Surf Beach also has another neighbor 6 miles went in federal waters, named "Irene." Irene is an oil platform ready to tap the Tranquillion Ridge Oil Field, which holds an estimated 200 billion barrels of crude oil. PXP is bidding for the right to tap that deep reserve.

Read the rest here...


How is 35K BPD newsworthy?
Yeah I think they got it off by 3 logs. 200 Billion is about as big as the Saudi's fictious reserves and the extractable portion of canadian oil sands under super-optimistic sceanarios. A field that size would not be bid on by 2 companies it would bid on by every existing company in the galaxy. That at current prices is 12 trillion dollars. About the size of the US economy.
Hi, honey. Ever hear of "The Google"? Great way to verify information.

What happened in your article is called a mistake:


Tranquillon Ridge Field

    * Production Began: 1997

    * Oil Information:
          o Source: Monterey Formation
          o Gravity: 16° API (assumed to be similar to Pt. Pedernales field)
          o Cumulative production through 2000: 200 thousand barrels (MBBL)
          o Percentage of total Pacific Outer Continental Shelf (POCS) oil/condensate landed in Santa Barbara County: <1%
          o Estimated reserves as of 2000: 225* MMBL

    * Gas Information:
          o Source: Monterey Formation
          o Cumulative production through 2000: 20 million cubic feet (MMCF)
          o Percentage of total POCS gas landed in Santa Barbara County: <1%
          o Estimated reserves as of 2000: 50* BCF


PXP is keen on tapping an oil field that holds an estimated 170 to 200 million barrels of crude oil and 30 to 50 billion cubic feet of natural gas, according to state estimates.


You're as bad as Heddy Frutter.

I know that few will read this but here it goes:
Theres CHAOS in the units of measure.
I do not know how to read the letters MBBL...

Is that Millions of Bubble Barrel Liquids?
Or perhaps Monster Bath Brittle Latin?

Why can't we just go something like:

"2*10^8" for two hundred million barrels

Dissing the wind...

Not only for "units of measure", dreaded american acronymania...

better 2E8,  
quad= E15B
or E18J, etc etc.  
Quicker to write, unambiguous, eliminates a bunch of mistakes,  and computes fast.

and I don't have to use any of my used-up memory.

AND (most important) the next reader can spot any goof immediately so he can  haul out his big sack  of bad words and scatter them all over the place.

Better yet, all numbers as ratios.  like 1/200 of daily consumption, etc.  This gives a quick feel for importance, as well as instantaneous check from common sense.

In fact, come to think of the obvious- how about a side bar with basic facts- number of units of this and that per capita, etc.

Honey? We hardly know each other!

Yes, I've heard of google. That is where I found the story.

  Upon further look, I have to agree that the writer of that story blew it....using billions instead of millions.

Good call.

How long should we wait for the writer, or his publisher, to issue a correction?