More goings-on around the world

TGIF! Let's survey what's happening around the world these days!
  • Venezuela's oil minister (also president of Petroleos de Venezuela!) wants OPEC to cut production by 500,000 to 1 million barrels a day.

  • China and Iran are about to finalize a multi-billion dollar oil and gas deal:
    The report said that an agreement would seal a memorandum of understanding signed in October 2004 under which China's Sinopec would develop Iran's Yadavaran oil field in exchange for buying 10 mln tons of Iranian liquefied natural gas annually for 25 years at a cost of 100 mln usd.

  • What do individual countries want: oil that's already been refined in Russia, or their own refineries that can handle the crude they'll buy from Russia?
Let's see....

Ghana is forced to raise fuel prices

Nigerian militants are threatening "total war"

In the U.K., natural gas prices are up

Indonesian growth hit by doubling of fuel prices

This is a wake up call. You might recall that I posted Nigeria Is a Mess and Getting Worse a little while back. This from Bloomberg Oil Jumps on Report `Total War' Declared on Nigerian Producers.

As much as 9 percent of Nigeria's oil production was interrupted last month when rebels blew out pipelines and kidnapped oil-company workers. Militants have said previously that oil companies should leave Nigeria. Last month, they vowed to cut Nigeria's oil export capacity by 30 percent in February.

The threat is supposedly from the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) and the oil companies must leave the delta by midnight tonight or it will be "total war".

We've heard this kind of thing before but I think these folks are getting serious... NYMEX LSC Future is up $1.32 as of now and rising. Could be an interesting weekend.

Things definitely seem to be heating up in Nigeria:

Shell oil well on fire in Nigeria

New Nigeria helicopter attack in delta

One of the mods has a father in Nigeria (petroleum engineer, I think).  He says no one is allowed to leave the Shell/BP compound.  (He also thinks the end of oil is nigh, and warns that the American way of life is going to change drastically.  I think Big Oil knows what's coming.  They may not admit it in public, but they know, and they've known for a long time.)

Actually I found the Video List not quite as shocking as another fire in Nigeria. I quess Shell is upset because they didn't start that one themselves? Their flares are bigger.
Nigeria suspends 380,000 bpd oil exports after attack

Royal Dutch Shell suspended exports from the 380,000 barrel-a-day Forcados terminal on Saturday after militants bombed the tanker loading platform, a senior oil industry source said.

The company is still trying to ascertain the damage to the platform, which is located three miles offshore, but has already begun shutting oilfields in the area which feed the terminal, the source added.

"Of course no ships can go near there now. This is going to be a major deferment," the senior industry source said.

"If we can't export, we can't produce," he added.

Oil workers kidnapped in Nigeria

Nine foreign oil workers have been seized by armed militants from a barge in Nigeria's Niger Delta.

The group, including three Americans, two Thais, two Egyptians, a Briton and a Filipino, were on a pipelaying barge.

Shell's Forcados export terminal was also set on fire, and oil loading there has been suspended.

Here's a rather unsettling story from Zimbabwe:

Bodies of fetuses, newborns clog Harare's sewers

Gasoline shortages and 613% inflation are blamed.  The sewers are also being clogged by sand.  People can't afford detergent any more, and clean their dishes by scrubbing them with sand.

Today Zimbabwe, tomorrow the U.S.?
I don't think we should reason too far from Zimbabwe - that country was FUBAR before oil prices went high. Completely corrupt and incompetent government.
Completely corrupt and incompetent government.

Good thing we don't have one of those.  ;-)

No you do not. The Zimbabwe government is worse then North Koreas. There is a long way to fall before any western government reaches the Zimbabwe level. Even south Italian mafia would run a better government.
Or the northern ones.
Some distinctions have to be made here. You can't  measure corruption just by its impact.

First: a poor country can be devastated by a level of corruption that will have a far less noticeable impact on a developed country.

Second: what constitutes corruption? Does the removal of resources at bargain basement rates from a poor country (or use of its labor) by a corparation, constitute corruption? Or is it only the bribes paid by the corporation to officials in that country that count?

Third: I believe that the top levels of our gov't are totally corrupt, but that the corruption has not yet infected everything all the way down the line. So the top of our gov't could be just as corrupt as the top there, but here there are many more layers below that are, if not healthy, at least still functioning.

You might be right about the mafia doing better, but they would also have done a better job with Katrina if only because you can't do business where there are no people.

I'd take my chances with the mafia.  Tony Soprano for president.  ;-)

Seriously, though, I sometimes wonder if those at the top know what's coming...and are looting the country now, while they can.

But the reason I posted the link to that article wasn't that I think that's what will be happening here (at least, anytime soon).  The point was demand destruction is occurring.  Mostly in the Third World, but it is occurring.  

I think this could go one for quite awhile.  As long as we can outbid everyone else for the remaining oil, we may be relatively unaffected.  As long as the dollar holds up...

The BBC recently deployed its worldwide network of correspondents to produce "Fueling the Future."  Go to to read, hear and watch the results.  A diverse snapshot of energy related developments from Cambodia to Canada.  Remind your British friends to pay their telly tax!
I've been doing a good deal of listening to BBC world service this last week to catch these programs. They have steered fairly well clear of apocalyptic views but generally it has been a balanced and informative set of (many) programs and parts of programs. I think it's fair to say it has permeated just about all aspects of BBC WS news and current affairs this week, so very well done. The best radio station in the world got even better.

Howleyj's link is the main page for this extravaganza, here's a direct one to the listenable radio programs, many are well worth the time (don't dally, sometimes BBC radio archives evaporate after a week):

Perhaps consider it a relaxed version of what will come to a news station near you sometime sooner than you would like. Rather like an erudite after dinner discussion, midst walnuts, port and cigars, in an english country house dining room in 1938...

"I say, that Hitler looks a rum chap."
"Perhaps, but the Sudettenland seems happy enough with the arrangement."
"Algy says he has his eyes on Russia."
"That may be no bad thing, keep 'em both busy for a while, haw, haw, haw!"
"Dash and blast, the fire's getting low and we seem to have run out of logs. I'll ring for Jeeves."

BTW, one does not need a telly licence to listen to radio in UK any more. UK also abolished the dog licence over 30 years ago.

agric, They know where you live. As BBC says themselves, "If you don't pay your telly license, that's fine." Get it?
Everyone's favorite media outlet is the one that confirms his or her opinion. Truth is usually in the eyes of the beholder. Don't confuse me with the facts or details.
The BBC World Service is a strange radio station. I wouldn't say it confirms my opinion, I quite often disagree with opinions when expressed there, it is more about information - I've yet to hear any radio station that comes close to BBC WS in providing factual world news and information, and I've listen to many.

If you've never listened to it I strongly suggest you do, you may be very pleasantly surprised. What better place to start than these programs about a subject that interests you?

I like the BBC.  Much more intelligent and in-depth than any American news source.  (Don't listen to the radio much, but I read their web site regularly, and watch their TV news when in London.)

Though they did let me down with their coverage of Hugo Chavez kicking out the missionaries:

That's the kind of coverage I'd expect from CNN.  :-P

Sorry: I wasn't referring specifically to you, and I should have said, the one that confirms his or her opinion most often.
Tis OK, I read it the way you intended and took no offence, I agree with your sentiment, thanks for the apology. But do please give the BBC WS a listen, you won't regret it. I make a distinction between it and other BBC broadcasting (which I find relatively poor and close to the mid point of BBC WS and the better US news media) and it is a largely separate organisation.

This is the index to all the world service programs in the Fuelling the Future series.

Duh - I now see Agric posted them above!
take this! 1994 date but a lot of useful engineering & chem data. Includes full system designs for bio->gas treating->burning in IC engines /inc engine mods.
Good find, lots of interesting ideas and techniques, thanks
I was particularly impressed by the solar greenhouse info: 0of%20solar%20greenhouse

Temperature increases of +20 to +30 C  ( +36 to +54 F ) in midwinter. Intercropping with mushrooms to increase CO2 availability is synergistic, too: nd%20plant%20complementary%20ecosystem%20in%20ch

There's a lot we could learn from these folks in China, India and some other developing countries about relatively small scale energy and argiculture.

Ya that's the real beauty ...the symbiotics. Let's coin a new phrase "symbiofuels". Did you see the wind power-aquaculture one? In the west we think we know everything often forgetting that we forgot everything we knew at least three times.
I haven't got to that one yet, but I will. Time is coming that it will probably pay us to learn the technologies which will be more appropriate in future and which these countries are developing now.
Seems that we usually only learn when the ROI looks favourable.
Here are a few "good news" energy items from

At new battery for hybrid cars from MIT I still vote for the lead-acid Firefly battery at this point -

This clip claims 1,000 gallons per acre from switch grass

How to run your desiel partially on vegetable oil - as he says, "Just bung it in the fuel tank" to about 10-33%   

64 MW solar plant in Nevada at 9-13 cents per kWh;jsessionid=aQBm7uEQ5P2d?id=43336

Power from solar cells using heat (it would be great if they could combine this with a conventional solar cell).;jsessionid=aQBm7uEQ5P2d?id=43498

Power from gravity

A new way of making hydrogen from solar

Underwater windmill

Spray on solar cells

Another fun old "Free Power" Patent (in German)

Jesus! There is NO free lunch!

Excerpt from the link:

"In 2003, the biologist Jeffrey Dukes calculated that the fossil fuels we burn in one year were made from organic matter "containing 44 x 10 to the 18 grams of carbon, which is more than 400 times the net primary productivity of the planet's current biota."(1) In plain English, this means that every year we use four centuries' worth of plants and animals.

The idea that we can simply replace this fossil legacy - and the extraordinary power densities it gives us - with ambient energy is the stuff of science fiction. There is simply no substitute for cutting back. But substitutes are being sought everywhere. They are being promoted today at the climate talks in Montreal, by states - such as ours - which seek to avoid the hard decisions climate change demands. And at least one of them is worse than the fossil fuel burning it replaces.

The last time I drew attention to the hazards of making diesel fuel from vegetable oils, I received as much abuse as I have ever been sent by the supporters of the Iraq war. The biodiesel missionaries, I discovered, are as vociferous in their denial as the executives of Exxon. I am now prepared to admit that my previous column was wrong. But they're not going to like it. I was wrong because I underestimated the fuel's destructive impact."

Well, Reed, when you say "there's no free lunch" quoting from that Monbiot article, you are addressing the "shadow side" of TOD and many other peak oil websites.

Alternatives are not in place nor will they ever be in place to provide non-fossil fuels-based replication of energy services available from oil, natural gas and coal. It is powerdown or nothing, long term.

I don't much want to say this on TOD, so I don't. But since you have, I can only agree with you. I tend to focus on fossil fuels supply issues--which are crucial to the way we live now, in the near-term and also on climate change scenarios. About the best scenario I see is low-emissions use of fossil fuels (eg. coal gasification with carbon sequestration) as we powerdown to an entirely type of living arrangement on this planet. The sooner the better for these types of technologies. Interesting what Monbiot said about these Palm Oil plantations that are destroying terrestrial GHG sinks to make biodiesel fuels and releasing huge amounts of stored carbon into the atmosphere as the forests are burned (including storage in the underlying soil or peat). Wow, I mean, how fucked up is that?

So, nope, there is no free lunch and sometimes I wish people would quit pretending that there is one.

Thanks Dave, Sorry to get so cranky, but I do appreciate having you sorta share my pain. Too many
glibly optimistic tech fixes in a row get me hyperventilating.

Agric:  Sorry, don't fret, I should have included the next paragraph from the Monbiot link:

"Before I go any further, I should make it clear that turning used chip fat into motor fuel is a good thing. The people slithering around all day in vats of filth are perfoming a service to society. But there is enough waste cooking oil in the UK to meet one 380th of our demand for road transport fuel(2). Beyond that, the trouble begins".

For the engineers among us, it's hard to ignore the fact that coal gasification and wind power are the only things where the equipment and the process actually exists now.  Gasification has centuries of development behind it, and sequestration is too simple to fail.
I was ready to give you an "Amen, brother!" until I read it a bit more closely.

You missed storage batteries.  They're nearly as old as gasification (the Planté cell was invented in 1859 so it's got a sesquicentennial coming up) and are improving even faster than gasification tech; the new nanoparticle Li-ion cathodes look like they're going to see some competition from... Planté's invention with carbon-foam electrode backings.  These things exist now, going to market in products like power tools.

And then there's ultracapacitors.  Right now they're the playthings of the low-rider and boomer-car set, but the prospect of storing megawatt-hours in a volume of a 2-car garage seems to be coming fast.

Wind and gasification are great, but we've got other things that aren't quite as mature but are going to be very important in the next ten years or even less.

I would add my two favorites.  One is electrification of transportation (especially freight rail with some medium distance pax service and Urban Rail (subway to streetcars) but also trolley buses) and the other is hydroelectric pumped storage.

Both century old, extremely well proven technologies.  Latest advance (last ~25 years) is regenerative braking where braking feeds power back into the line for electric transportation.

I think it's clear that we have to move away from carbon as an energy source" it's far to valuable for so many other things.

My gut feeling (yet to be backed up by any really solid literature review) is that there is enough wind and solar resource out there to support a reasonably comfortable level of energy supply for everyone in the world if we change our ways a little. The biosphere could be sustainably harvested to provide carbon-based materials of manufacture (all the way from bamboo to carbon fibre and synthetic polymers).

Compressed air, batteries or electified rail could provide almost all of our transport needs.

I really think that these things are possible, or close to possible with current technology.

The main problems facing us now as a species are political and organisational (including economic), not technical. If the problems were primarily technical I would be much more optimistic than I am.

If the calculation of 72 GW of wind power worldwide is correct, wind alone could supply 8 kW of electricity per capita to a world population of 9 billion.  Current US per-capita consumption is about 1.5 kW average.
That's pathetic! We are only consuming 400 years' worth per year? What are we, wimps? Let's get it up to 1,000 years! Go America, go humans, go lemmings!

Don't we have 5 billion years to play with? LOL (Yes, I am very aware of the numerous fallacies, errors and stupidities in my statement, no need to respond).

But it should worry the 'biblicals' if they still think it was all created 4004 years ago.

It does kinda make one think: WTF we gonna do when nearly all the frozen sunshine (all kinds) is gone?

BTW, what are the hazards (apart from fuel tax evasion consequences) of brewing up diesel from waste oil and fat my local chip shop (you call them fries over there) would otherwise throw away?

agric...if you're interested, here's how the boys over at path to freedom do biodiesel. it's a transesterification prcess using methyl alcohol and lye. it is a number of steps,as you can see.
Thanks for the link, Steverino, I have a few other biodiesel cookbooks, that one looks a goody :-))

Now I guess I'll soon need to take the plunge and exchange my aging but fun (and surprisingly efficient) VW Corrado for something practical and diesel :-((

I put pure veg oil in my diesel ford escort van. I sometimes top her up with a bit of petrol!!

90% veg oil 10% petrol

the petrol thins it down, the problem is the injectors get furred up, so using "red-ex" occasionally probably helps, if the car seems to be using a lot of veg oil, then flush through with a tank full of diesel.

I get my veg oil from the local curry house, they give it to me for free, i usually get 20-30 litres a week, I sieve this through a cloth (old t-shirts). apparantly used veg oil is thinner and better for the engine.

i buy old cars that are on there last legs for a few hundred pounds and drive them till the mot/tax runs out and then buy another

Thanks for the tip BFV, might give it a go :-))
well so far I've had a renault clio 1.8d that ran very well for 8 months then the tax ran out.

after that I had a peugot 405 1.8 grdt that didnt run so well, it lost power going up hill, I think it might have had something to do with it being a turbo???

the escort is going ok, but I am definetly going back to a clio next time, only two doors and bit of a girls car but ran lovely on the veg

Does anyone have a link for the details behind that 400 years figure? There is nowhere near that much carbon actually being burned (we burn about 8Gt fossil carbon a year currently, and plants fix about 120Gt gross each year). Presumably the 400 year figure comes from some kind of calculation of how much ancient net primary productivity actually made it into the fossil fuel reserves. I'd like to see how that calculation was done.
Maybe this?

If that's not enough detail, try Googling burning buried sunshine, and more technical papers may come up.

Re: "Presumably the 400 year figure comes from some kind of calculation of how much ancient net primary productivity actually made it into the fossil fuel reserves."

Absolutely. Since we are screwing with the Carbon Cycle, we are adding ancient sequestered carbon to the current budget. As you of all people know, the 8 Gt versus the 120 Gt figure is misleading since we're interested in how much of that carbon winds up in the atmosphere. So it's pretty important, for example, if we disperse another 1 Gt of terrestrial carbon sequestered over geological time in a short timeframe now due to human activities in the tropics. As David Byrne said in "Life During Wartime",

This ain't no party, this ain't no disco,
this ain't no fooling around
No time for dancing, or lovey dovey,
I ain't got time for that now
The oceans take up the carbon very slowly on long time scales because the surface ocean gets saturated and the mixing time with the deeper ocean is long, as you yourself have pointed out. Screwing around with the terrestrial carbon sink is a very serious problem indeed in southeast Asia and the Amazon. Not to mention the terrestrial Arctic.

I'm not talking to you, Stuart. I'm just making a general TOD point here.

1000 gallons of ethanol per acre of switch grass would mean 1.43 acres to produce 1000 gallons of petroleum, assuming 1 gallon of ethanol equals 0.7 gallons of petroleum.

Current US per capita consumption of petroleum is 1050 gallons per year.

Current US per capita arable land = 1.43 acres.

So therefore, we can either grow food or grow switch grass?
This is of course assuming the very optimistic figures quoted!

Sorry to bring you back to reality, Rajiv, but "arable" land means land suitable for plow cultivation. We have plenty of that, way more than we need. Switchgrass is most efficiently grown where it is now, in the soil bank, or on range land, of which we have a superabundance.

Don't know where you got your numbers, but please check them out and find out who is putting bogus info out there.

Switch Grass:

Better known as Miscanthus Giganticus. I grow this in my backyard as a hearty ornamental. A slow grower until I started fertilizing and watering regularly, and that's in the temperate and fertile Willamette Valley of Oregon. Good luck on converting Great Basin scrubland into rich topsoil and irrigated acreage. A crop is a crop, you don't something for nothing.

Who said anything about the Great Basin?

When you fly over this country, you get a feeling of how big it is and how much damn grass and timber there is still out there, despite the major depredations of the past 350 years.

Check the numbers for acreage of switchgrass currently in the soil bank.

There is no substitute for homework.

Switchgrass is Panicum Virgatum, a native tallgrass prairie species; Miscanthus is Asian.
Rajiv, this online calculator shows 18.7% of agricultural land required to replace 100% of consumption at 70% ethanol:gas mpg. According to Wikipedia, new flex-fuel cars in Brazil get 85%+ of gas mpg. And the new Saab BioPower reputedly gets 115% on the highway!
Every time I see something about some new fule or energy technology, I come to this site or some other PO site and see it completly ripped apart.  So could some technically minded person out there tell me why this won't do us any good?  That was a bit sarcastic.
This is the interesting part:

flowing the liquid waste through a submerged electric arc between coal electrodes. The arc decomposes the liquid molecules into atoms and forms a plasma around the tips of the electrodes at about 10,000o F.

So it involves passing a current through some organic slop and, hey presto:  Methane (and ethane).  The next question is EREOI:

 energy produced by the carbon combustion is over twenty times bigger than the electric energy used by the arc.

Obviously the energy inputs to the waste are considered so we can say that 20times is theoretical top.

Its biogas / biomass.

*NOT* considered.  

Damn my fingers

I'm sure that "invention" is quite efficient at taking money from investors.  All you have to do is read one line in the stupid site.

"Rather complex new laws of hadronic mechanics then permit the achievement of new clean energies and fuel via a judicious control of flow, pressure and temperature per each liquid considered, plus additives and a variety of peripheral processes. "

Anytime somebody claims new laws of nature as the basis for their invention, you know it is a scam.  He is talking about using an electric arc furnace in liquid wastes (which are mostly water) to generate a gaseous fuel.  He claims that you generate heat through a esoenergetic reaction.  I have a master's degree in engineering, and I am 99.9999% sure that is not a real word.  He obviously could't claim that is is an exothermic (the real word) reaction, since it ain't.

Crap in sites like that really piss me off.

How dare they take my surname in vain (my adopted online full name is Agric S. Hadron), let me know if they get rich so I might consider suing them.

At first glance it is 99.9% utter tosh, one only has to read the adjectives to be disposed to that conclusion. On further reading: 99.999%.

HOWEVER, human and animal waste, biomass, fats, oils, dead rats (and other corpses one might wish to dispose of) can be converted into methane by anerobic 'digesters', and thence used for: automotive fuel for appropriate engines, heating, electricity generation.

Now, a PLEA. I'm interested in very small scale anerobic digester technology. I did a brief trawl, it only produced large scale applications, and I don't anticipate having 100+ cows' manure to ferment. If anyone reading this has useful links to small scale (10 to 30 person / animal waste plus some biomass) technologies I would be most grateful.

Viet Nam is doing a lot of them on tiny family plots. I thought they were too small for me, so I didn't save the links when I found them before, but I just found a couple new ones for ya'. Maybe all one & same study. They all look alike to me.:-) and this one! Viet Nam Integrated farming system
Excellent, many thanks. They are a bit short on 'how to do' details but give me ample to find that kind of info. If you see any good tech / how to small scale biogas variants sites I'd be most grateful if you would save them and dump them on me at some appropriate time.

Viet Nam is a most interesting place. It's near 10 years since I was last there but it was vibrant then, I think it is / will be a more agile version of China. Its people are wonderful.

To Agric:

For small scale poop power, try googling "gobar gas". For starters, there's a diagram and brief description of one working in India here:

and here

That's great, many thanks, CarterganSweater. Looks like a bit of thinking will be required to get a good result in UK winter climate, would be nice to devise some secondary storage , perhaps pressurised, too.
I've got an XLS (somewhere) that does biogas production calcs. Shows the process to be very temp sensitive. Much better outputs when you keep the temps optimizes.
Yes, saw some data about that on one of the large scale biogas sites. If I recollect correctly 97 F was optimal and stray by more than 10 F and the drop off is significant. Might have to put the biogas generator at one end of the solar greenhouse, methinks.
Yes, one of the links they give is to a paper by RM Santilli that describes "the insufficiencies of quantum mechanics" it also mentions his isorelativity with varying speed of light in a vacuum. Clearly he is not inhibited by false modesty from overthrowing only one of the pillars of 20th century physics.
He discloses that the gas produced by the process is 55%hydrogen 44%carbon monoxide 5%oxygen 2%carbon dioxide and 1% other. However he claims that the gas contains 'magnecules', molecules that are bound together by a new form of magnetic bonding as attested by the fact that balloons of the stuff are attracted to iron beams. They are created by the arc that is superconducting due the presence of Cooper pairs of electrons despite the fact that conventionally the bonding of Cooper pairs if disrupted above about 80K

Interestingly this paper links Santilli's work with R Mills Blacklight work with "hydrino energy"

Santilli's paper is spattered with just about every quantum mechanical buzz word with little detail which makes it hard to refute. About the only bit I feel confident to call rubbish is his claim that conventional quantum mechanics would predict that all molecules would for ferromagnetic as this is my field.

However, a more down to earth dampener is the mention of using magnegas to generate electricity. They claim that the gas generated has twenty times the energy of the electrical input but that "MagneGas Recyclers ARE NOT selfsufficient for the production of their own electricity in the version current in production and sale for various technical reasons."

Since you would only need 5% conversion of gas energy to electricity to do so and you are inputting a fuel stream in the form of a the waste liquid and getting less than zero net energy out you have wonder about the other claims

I suspect that THE paper magnetically bonds well with much current political opinion.
I appreciate the sarcasm.
This is a technical web site for distributors, fleet owners, municipalities, farms, ships, corporations and investors seriously committed to control their own future via their production of their own, clean burning, cost competitive fuel from liquid waste feedstocks.... [and later]

The MagneGas combustion exhaust is dramatically cleaner than gasoline exhaust because it has been certified by an EPA accredited automotive laboratory to surpass EPA exhaust requirements without catalytic converters....

But mostly I enjoyed the pictures.

Click to enlarge

For some reason, I am reminded of the movie Little Big Man. Here's a quote.

Jack Crabb: General, you go down there.

General Custer: You're advising me to go into the Coulee?

Jack Crabb: Yes sir.

General Custer: There are no Indians there, I suppose.

Jack Crabb: I didn't say that. There are thousands of Indians down there. And when they get done with you, there won't be nothing left but a greasy stain. This ain't the Washite River, General, and them ain't helpless women and children waiting for you. They're Cheyenne brave, and Sioux. You go down there, General, if you've got the nerve.

General Custer: Still trying to outsmart me, aren't you, mule-skinner. You want me to think that you don't want me to go down there, but the subtle truth is you really *don't* want me to go down there!

Don't ask me why. Sometimes my mind takes a weird turn. So, you on down into that MagneGas Valley, General Custer, if you've got the nerve....

General George Armstrong Custer
Uh huh.  Right.  Actually I have a design that runs on the power of flatulence.  A hose from the car seat runs directly to the air intake and a gravitometric, gyroscopically stabilized feed tray hangs from the steering wheel - filled with boston baked beans.

CHATSWORTH, CA--(MARKET WIRE)--Feb 13, 2006 -- Gravitomatic, Inc. is happy to announce that our 5 years long research of gravity resulted in a breakthrough discovery of a new energy source for humanity. Our revolutionary technology generates heat from the energy of the gravitational field of our planet. The latest round of experiments not just confirmed our theory, but also dramatically extended it. Based on our latest results, we see our road map as follows:

--  In three years we'll have the first commercially available
    gravitational electrical power plant.
--  In four to five years the first commercial car engine powered by
    gravity will hit the road.

Cars, trucks, ships which do not need refueling, cleaner air in our cities and many, many more things, are becoming reality thanks to our discovery.

Effective immediately this revolutionary technology is available for licensing.

Oh great, now we have to worry about depleting the earth's gravitational field.  How long until we all start to float off into space?

This one is even better than the new laws of nature.  These guys are complete lunatics.

"Gene gives the example of a high fever.  The body's normal temperature is 36.6 ºC.  The difference of 3.4 ºC present in a high fever of 39 ºC represents enough energy to boil four cups of water from room temperature.  "Where did the body draw that energy?" he asks.  "From gravitational fields", comes his answer."

And here I thought it came from ATP produced by the body.  What a fool I have been, eating food to provide energy for my body.

The world's slowing down on the angular velocity anyway. I'm just glad somebody found a way to use it before that's gone too.
You missed my cow flatulence will save the world post a few months back?

Cows are being genetically engineered to store their methane emissions in bladders which are emptied at milking time. Animal rights and air control organisations have complained about the lead booties that will be fitted to prevent them floating off if 'milking' is delayed. (jest, BTW)

Russia is concerned about the huge discount its lower grade Ural oil is bought on the world market. Refineries world-wide, already strained because of underinvestment in recent years, are obviously lagging far behind with investing in heavy/sour oil processing capacity. Hence the desire of the russians to process it at home instead of selling it cheap to the open market. The same thing is happening in Saudi Arabia AFAIK.
Also possible reasons:
  1. Lots of acreage on which to dump mountains of sulfur extracted from high-sulfur crude (like the Kashagan sulfur mtn.)
  2. Lots of NG from which to get the extra hydrogen necessary to turn heavy crude into light crude products.
Another thing occurs to me: I'm not at all expert in the engineering of this but I think it is possible to combine several processes whereby NG is stripped of H, the H goes into the heavy crude effectively turning it into light crude and the NG turns into NG liquid, easier to ship. Others more knowledgeable please chime in.
Altogether, the value-added aspect of domestic refineries in Russia seems fairly compelling, rather than being a third-world oil mine for the first world.
Kashagan is in Kazahstan.
AFAIK the largest part of its sulfur content is removed and disposed in situ (don't know how) without the need of full-scale refinery.
I know where Kashagan is. I was partly just being flip about the acreage the Russians have. It seems obvious, though, that even just going through the sulfur extraction process before exporting the crude, if not entirely refining the crude into end products, would make the crude easier to market. Leave the sulfur in Russia.
I'm sorry, I misread your post. I completely agree with you.

For the NG used to make sour crude light, I think that after you strip H the remains is a coal-like coke. I heard that in US they ship that to China where it is burnt, probably in Russia they burn it themselves.

IMO a lot more enviromentaly friendly solution will be to use electrolysis to obtain the hydrogen. For the purpose you may use dedicated wind farms - a much more effective application for them than connecting to the grid, IMO. Unfortunately will not work for Russia, they have lots of NG and will prefer the easier way.

H2S requires much less energy to "free" the hydrogen than does H2O.  Available from sour oil & NG as well as geothermal steam.

Also, Dr. Bragi Arnason discovered that it takes 14% less electricity to "free" hydrogen from 100 C water than from 25 C water.  Both sources point to hydrogen production near geothermal sources.

Steam reforming of natural gas:

CH4 + H2O -> CO + H2  

It's just the reverse of the methanation step in coal gasification.

Since electrolysis is not 100% efficient, all you have to do is not cool the vat of water and it will get plenty hot by itself. I wonder what you get when you electrolyse supercritical water? Supercritical water will dissolve salt, but is it still ionically conducting when it does?
The old way was to do a controlled burn of the H2S to get water and solid sulfur.
China ... buying 10 mln tons of Iranian liquefied natural gas annually for 25 years at a cost of 100 mln usd

- I keep wondering about these long term deals.  Why would Iran want to commit to selling a bunch of NG at a fixed price (?) for a long term (25 years!), and denominated in USD of all things?!  Or is this journalistic oversimplification - the deal may actually be in another currency, or have a sliding price component?

A fixed-price contract of that enormous size also struck me as a little odd, and I suspect there is much fine print in it that includes some sort of price schedule and/or escalator clause.  

Giving the Iran Oil Bourse that is soon to open, it is also very odd that such a contract would be in dollars. Then again, maybe the journalist got it wrong and confused actual dollars trading hands with a price of contract value just being measured in dollars.

Neither should we rule out the possibility that money may not be the only thing with which China is buying the oil from Iran.  Weapons systems can also be a form of currency.

Notice how the US is slowly getting squeezed out by the Chinese and others. Its$400 billion (by September 2006) effort in Iraq and Afganistan doesn't seem to be buying the US very much, is it?

Afterthought:  Maybe the Chinese feel that having the contract in dollars is a convenient way to slowly start getting rid of its huge reserve of dollars without precipitously dumping dollars onto the the global currency markets. (?)
Exactly. And it also provides Iran with $ that would be harder to come by other trading given current US policies. Iran may be less pleased should the $ tank or become less than currently useful for trade.

China does all the hard work and gets a relatively guaranteed supply at close to current day prices, Iran gets today's 'high' price guaranteed. Then there are the geopolitical benefits. Both countries happy. Perhaps US foolishness might open an opportunity for China to re-absorb Taiwan.

Perhaps the journalist simply converted the price in Euros to USD equivalent. There's a lot of websites out there making the conversion pretty easy. I'm sure even a journalist could do it :-)
When is the IOB set to open? Jack and I need to put that on our calendars.
I think it's 20th March but can't swear to that (nor could the Iranians, lol)
Even if the US were to respond to the IOB, I'm not sure it would have to act to prevent it from ever opening.  It would be sufficient to shut it down before too long, which would give at least a few months more time.

BTW, did anyone read this from Ron Paul?

Indeed. We'll definately have to have an Iranian Oil Bore (as I now call it) grand opening party here at TOD.

One song request:

REM: It's the end of the world as we know it

It's the end of the world as we know it
It's the end of the world as we know it
It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine

and that is why I'm "Losing My Religion"
I think it's just their way of paying for the infrastructure required to produce the gas.  They can't pay for it themselves.  So they let China pay for it, and in exchange, sell them some of the gas at a low price.  

There are also political considerations.  China is likely to take a dim view of any bombing of their "investment."

The sentence is badly written. The USD100 million is the price of the entire agreement (including the buy-in to the field), not the sales price of the LNG over 10 years. 1 tonne of LNG is about 47,000 cubic feet of gas. At, say, USD3/mmBTU (~1000 cubic feet), each tonne of LNG would cost about USD145. One year's shipment of 10 million tonnes would be about USD1.4 billion. All LNG contracts have an adjustable price component that is linked to other prices, often crude oil in the past. It's even doubtful these days that they could get USD3/mmBTU--world prices of LNG have risen strongly since China got their first sweetheart deals from Australia and Indonesia.
I think the USD100mln. figure is a journalistic mistake.
Here for example the total value of the deal is estimated to 70bln., close to $3bln per year.
The item that struck me most was:

"The report said there was some disagreement over intended capacity, with Iran asking China to agree to daily output of 300,000 barrels of oil, while Sinopec preferred to set a target of 180,000 to avoid excess production."

Perhaps China wanted to reduce their capital investment, but it sounds like a difference in approach to reservior management.  Iran wants to max output ASAP, China wants supply for a L-O-N-G time.

Iran may be driven by pressing domestic needs (lots of young adults, etc.) and China by fear of Peak Oil.


Jim Hansen, the scientist the Bush administration tried to gag, has some sad words about global warming. His argument is that change is accelerating (is not linear as has been supposed before). He has some interesting satellite data to back up his position. If he's right, us Houstonians might want to move inland. His 25 feet of water would put most of Houston under.

And no, he is not saying this will happen at the end of the century or centuries from now. He says it's coming far faster than that.

"Our understanding of what is going on is very new. Today's forecasts of sea-level rise use climate models of the ice sheets that say they can only disintegrate over a thousand years or more. But we can now see that the models are almost worthless. They treat the ice sheets like a single block of ice that will slowly melt. But what is happening is much more dynamic.

Once the ice starts to melt at the surface, it forms lakes that empty down crevasses to the bottom of the ice. You get rivers of water underneath the ice. And the ice slides towards the ocean.

Our Nasa scientists have measured this in Greenland. And once these ice streams start moving, their influence stretches right to the interior of the ice sheet. Building an ice sheet takes a long time, because it is limited by snowfall. But destroying it can be explosively rapid."

The whole Hansen case is disturbing, if not really surprising.  

George Deutsch has had his 15 minutes of fame, which in his case, seems at least 14 minutes too long.

Deutsch, a political appointee at NASA's Washington office, surfaced in the news story about James Hansen, a climate scientist at NASA: Hansen recently told The New York Times that Bush administration officials were squelching his comments about the dangers of global warming. Hansen said that NASA's political appointees, including Deutsch, were watering down his Web presentations, refusing interviews and trying to control his comments. When confronted about his efforts, Deutsch said his job was "to make the president look good."

The 24-year-old Deutsch obviously has also tried to make himself look good. After the Hansen story broke, the Times and other newspapers reported that the undergraduate degree that Deutsch claimed to hold from Texas A&M doesn't exist. When his fraud was uncovered, Deutsch resigned.

...But beyond Deutsch, this White House seems to have a real knack for putting people, regardless of their education or experience, into jobs for which they are ill-equipped. And it has a maddening tendency to try to twist science to benefit its political agenda.

The image of a 24-year-old college dropout trying to control the words of a respected scientist is sadly emblematic of this administration.

Leanan -


If one has to wonder whether 'the US political system is able to react to Peak Oil', the inherent question that formed the title of a lenghty recent TOD thread, one has to look no further than this pathetic little Hansen/Deutsch episode to have the answer: NO it clearly is not!

And it's not just a pathology endemic to the Bush regime, though in that respect they are among the worst in US history.  All modern US presidential administrations have been characterized by egotistical, incompetent, bone-headed sycophants holding highly critical positions. As far as I can tell, the only required qualification for such positions is unswerving political loyalty and a finely honed ability to lie.  Nothing else matters. Smoke comes out of my ears when  think that this 24-year-old little snot has the say over whether a respected scientist like Hansen should be heard on such a critical matter.

Even if a mile-wide asteroid were headed on a collision course with Earth, this adminstration would probably be spinning away how it is not a problem right up to the moment of impact. What possible chance do we have that they will do anything meaningful in the way of preparing for Peak Oil?

The fundamental flaw in any political system is that the people who have the skills to get themselves placed in positions of power rarely have the skills to effectively govern once they are there.  I don't know if this can be corrected; it might just be inherent in human nature. If so, it doesn't bode well for our collective prospects.  

Well, at least the  Hansen story got out to the general public, and I guess we should be grateful for that.

The Bush administration is far from the first corrupt administration we've had.  The Peter Principle rules.  Perhaps this is evidence of Tainter's arguments about the cost of complexity.  

But the Bush administration is uniquely hostile to science.  They are politicizing science to an unheard of degree.  Scientists are getting seriously ticked off.

The Administration is even more hostile to attorneys, legal process and the organized bar.  Rational thought process present a definite threat.
You mean like a quarter-mile wide asteroid with a non-zero estimated likelihood of impacting on August 1st. It is called Asteroid (2006 BQ6). They expect it to miss, but the beautiful blue planet is within the trajectory error bars. Here is a link to JPL's orbital path simulation.

I think it's more than a stretch to call it "within the error bars".

According to the list of potentially hazardous asteroids for the next year, this asteroid is 157 standard deviations away from hitting the Earth given current orbit knowledge uncertainty.  That makes it the least unlikely such object to hit in the next year, but that's hardly saying much.

That puts the risk of collision at about 1 part in 10^78, which is somewhere around the order of the number of protons in the universe if I recall.

There are other asteroids scheduled to pass a good bit closer than this one even in the next year (one of them in July at about 1 lunar distance vs. 14 for this asteroid).  But they appear to have much smaller uncertainties on their orbits.

Glad to see that GreyZone is awake. The news
that the previous models for the future
meltdown of Greenland glaciers are seriously
defficient is actually the most important news
item of the week, if not so far this the
century. The ice in Greenland is not behaving
like a huge block that slowly absorbs solar
radiation and heat from the air, but more like
an avalanche on a mountainside that shifts
spectacularly and unpredictably.  

The fact that water is not lapping at the door
today does not mean it won't be a decade or two
from now. Speculation about the theoretical
amounts of oil that can be extracted from
various locations around the world, though
interesting, become meaningless if substantial
sea level rise is going to put much of the oil
extraction infrastructure and most of the oil
refineries on the planet under water by 2020 or

And then of course there is the matter of the
devastating effect substantial a rise in sea
level will have in combination with very much
higher storm intensity.

As we all know (or should by now), everything
we do, from manufacture of steel to putting
out forest fires, adds to the global warming

I personally don't think the current oil-based
society will last another ten years,
irrespective of when peak oil cuts into the
supply, because environmental meltdown will
become the dominating factor for almost
everything in the future.

But in the meantime, I guess it keeps the
generally dumb public distracted from reality
and still flocking to the shopping malls if
politicians carry on with the farcical plans
for the reconstruction of New Orleans or the
equally idiotic plans for development in other
locations that will be under water in a matter
of a decade or two if we are lucky and even
less if we are not.  

If Hansen is right, it would be somewhere between idiotic and criminal to rebuild New Orleans.
"somewhere between idiotic and criminal"

I know just the right folks for a job like that!

"somewhere between idiotic and criminal"

Yes, but moxt of those folks haven't returned to NO yet. They lived in the flooded neighborhoods.

I was referring to Deadeye Dick and the gang.
The bulk of the Netherlands is below sea level, and properly protected.

Protecting New Orleans properly will require less than FEMA is currently wasting.

HOWEVER, San Francisco and Los Angeles are soon due for devastating earthquakes !  We should start Monday morning to evacuate them to a new location, a massive suburb of Phoenix !

The Netherlands doesn't have many hurricanes.

And did you read the article?  He's predicting a 25 meter rise in sea level. That is 82 feet!

That will not only drown New Orleans, it will take out many other coastal cities.  (Houston, Boston, New York...)

I wouldn't evacuate LA or SF.  But if they are destroyed by earthquakes tomorrow, I would not be in favor of rebuilding them.

The Netherlands get hurricane force winds every decade or so.

Hansen said "None of the current climate and ice models predict this".

In addition, the Greenland ice sheets in toto do not have enough water to create even close to that much sea level rise.

So you are proposing that the hand wringing of a minor scientist whose greatest claim to fame is a political statement against interference should be decisive factor in the fate of one of the most culturally valuable cities in the world ?  As well as being one of the most important economically ?

BTW, before Katrina was tied with NYC for fewest miles driven per capita by residents among US cities; and we use  much less other energy than NYC per capita.  We are much better prepared for the disaster of Peak Oil than anyone else.

What if his his GUESS is wrong ?

He does not even have a coherent theory, just hand waving at this time.

I can hand wave a dozen disasters that would require the evacuation of the dozen largest US cities.

With a 25 m sea level rise, NYC is gone.  MUCH larger than New Orleans.

As you may or may not have noticed, I said "If Hansen is right."

He may be right, he may not be.  But he's a brilliant man, by all accounts, and his paper was published in Science, a well-respected peer-reviewed journal.

In any case, the fact that the "models don't predict" what is actually happening is reason for alarm, and reconsideration.  Greenland may not have enough water to raise sea level that much, but the same thing that's happening there seems to be happening everywhere else, too.

I think this is much bigger than New Orleans.  The BBC recently ran a program that suggested New Orleans would be the first city lost to global warming...but far from the last.

And it's not just coastal cities.  There are mountain cities that depend on glacier melt for drinking water, and the glaciers may be gone in ten years.

Seems like every article on climate change you see today says it's worse, and happening faster, than predicted.  Something to keep in mind when picking your peak oil hideout.  

Ya: and it helps with government grants too.
I don't think so.  This adminstration is extremely hostile to science, particularly environmental science.  They have slashed funding for everything except military/defense research, and have pressured scientists to change their reports on global warming in order to be "more friendly to industry."  
OK: Grants.   Birds of a feather hang together, also fish of similar scales.
NOBODY has a coherent theory yet if the data from Greenland are correct. But what we DO know is that the progression of effects from global warming is not linear, as previously expected. It's accelerating. Got that? It's accelerating. Let that sink in for a moment. It means we're on one of those nice geometric curves that Stuart loves to plot and when we pass the knee in the curve, all hell is likely to break loose. Given that melt rates in Greenland already last year exceed by a factor of 2 the previous predictions, I'd say things are starting to noticeably diverge from the "everything is ok" rantings of the Bush administration.

Second, even without global warming, New Orleans may be a really bad candidate for rebuilding. It's steadily sliding southward but unlike other coastal cities, it doesn't have miles and miles of continental shelf upon which it can further slide. Instead, due to the deposits from the Mississippi River, New Orleans ended up being built far out on the contintental shelf already. And today, it sits nearly on the lip of that shelf with 4000+ feet of water not far away. And it's still sliding towards that precipice. From an investment standpoint, does it make sense to invest hundreds of billions in a city that is literally going to slide into the deep ocean in a century or two? Couldn't we do better for both the current people of New Orleans and successive generations by building a new port in a better location?

Well let's see 75 miles to the closest point to the continental shelf that is quite a lip. In the next 100 to 200 years that would be 2000 to 4000 feet per year. And I haven't noticed I-10 displaced anywhere yet.
Hell I'm going fishing now, the lake may be contaminated with seawater by sundown, OTOH may be the red fish and flounder will be better sustenance.
With any luck, when the ice melts off of Greenland it may turn out there are significant oil deposits underneath, which will permit us to keep up with our driving.
which will permit us to keep up with our driving.

or boating. . .

And in the US ?

While crude imports and extraction seem to be lower now than they were a year ago, does the consumption decrease accordingly ? OK crude stocks seem to be increasing, same for gasoline, gasoil and fuel. But it should be noticed that more and more finished products are imported now. And comparatively, fuel imports are huge.

Now these imported products are of course made from crude (I dont think NG conversion is yet made on an industrial scale). How would you reverse-estimate the amount of crude required for these end products (should be around 2 mb/d) ?

My first step was to look at american production and to compare refinery input to product output. 1 barrel of crude give rise to about 0,56 barrels of gasoline, 0,25 b of gasoil, 0,1 of kerosene and 0,04 of residual fuel (heating oil mostly).

But the proportions of the products imported don't match mainly because of the huge fuel imports. Total fuel import/total distillate imports=1.5 wheras total fuel produced/total distillate produced = 0.15 !

So which proportions would you use to back-estimate the barrels of crude really put into the american economy ?

I'm not sure exactly what you are asking. You seem to already have an excellent grasp on the situation and details.

We use almost exactly 9mbpd of gasoline in February. Our yearly oil consumption averaged to daily usage is basically whatever it is now, I think 21.7mbpd.

The EIA provides a breakdown of what a barrel of crude refines to in terms of gasoline, kerosene, heating, etc.

One barrel of gasoline requires two barrels of crude to produce. You probably had a more accurate factor of .56, but who knows.

So if we were importing 1mbpd of gasoline post Katrina, somewhere in the world they would have had to have been producing 2mbpd of crude(roughly) to supply that.

Conversely, those were 2mbpd we either couldn't or didn't have to produce. But then you have to factor in the other refined products and figure out where they went and what they offset. What were the refining mixes of the GOM plants that were damaged?

Then add in all the inventories and buffers everywhere and you're lost. The more you think about it, it gets so complicated, we probably couldn't calculate more than a general guess.

Good question though.

I just stumbled on this forum (from Asia Times forum link) and first want to congratulate the creators/managers. Very well put together. Good decorum too.

I am no expert on this stuff (background is futures trading systems plus being just yr average ordinary world citizen who likes to know what's going down in the world). I am not yet sold on Peak Oil (the abiotic argument makes a certain amount of sense to me) but I am certainly not against it either. I am against the perpetual growth wastefully consume industrialisation-based economic model we all know live off.

All that doesn't matter: my question/issue to you guys - many of whom really know a lot about the oil markets/industry obviously:

let us assume that peak oil is true; however what if: the fact that it has been almost free up to now (or cheaper than water anyway) might have influenced exploration and extraction methods, n'est-ce pas? For example, the Candadian tar sands deal. Granted it isn't all that efficient I gather to extract but what about this one?

Right now, a huge percentage of the retail cost of oil products is government taxes. Take gasoline: what if govts charged a simple 10c per gallon (or whatever) versus a 10% (or whatever it is) of cost. In other words, each person pays a certain amount of tax based on use, but this amount does not vary based on the price. Now: let us take oil at $150.00 a barrel. How much would gasoline cost if taxes were at 10c a gallon? And at that level, how many deep, remote, different types of oil sources and/or refining methods would become viable?

Furthermore, perhaps solar and wind would start to become more economically viable as well?

In other words, maybe part of the crisis is not simply that we are running out of oil per se, but rather we are running out of cheap and easy oil?

This does not address the longer term structural issues like global economic structure, ecology, warming etc., but I can't help but feel that people approach the whole issue far too simplistically, i.e. either that there is plenty of super-cheap stuff or we are suddenly going to have nothing at all. Is it really that cut and dried?

Well, peak oil is actually defined as the end of cheap oil. About half of the oil will still be in the ground, it'll just become more rare and more expensive.

We've been living for a hundred years off "the low-hanging fruit," so to speak.

Abiotic oil has been pretty well demolished by the scholars at this site, by the way. Where's all the abiotic oil that should have replenished the old Texas fields and Prudhoe Bay by now?

Speaking of Venezuela, Venezuela Oil Min: Private Firms Can't Book Reserves February 16, 2006: 12:54 a.m. EST CARACAS -(Dow Jones)- Oil firms that are being forced to migrate 32 operating contracts into "mixed companies" with Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PVZ.YY) will not be able to continue booking reserves with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez reiterated Thursday. Last month Repsol YPF (REP) slashed its recoverable reserves estimates, and cited contract changes in Venezuela as one of the reasons. Other firms, like BP PLC (BP), have said they hope to continue booking reserves and hope to resolve the issue through negotiations with PdVSA. PdVSA is demanding a 60% to 80% stake in each field under the "mixed company" framework. Oil majors Chevron Corp. Total, Shell PLC are involved in the contract changes. PdVSA plans to extend the life of the contracts as compensation for accepting minority stakes in the new ventures.,,1712580,00.html

British Gas bills to rise by 22%

"Average energy bills for British Gas customers are set to top £1,000 a year after the company announced it was increasing gas and electricity bills by a record 22% from the beginning of next month."

British Gas blamed the increase on the soaring cost of wholesale gas, which it said was now 63% higher than last year and more than 200% above the levels seen in 2003. It said its residential energy business had lost money in the second half of 2005 because it had not passed on the full extent of wholesale price increases to its customers.

"The energy map is being redrawn with Britain now dependent on gas imports from Europe," the British Gas managing director, Mark Clare, said. He noted the European commission had said this week that the market was "seriously malfunctioning", while events in Russia had shown the degree to which energy markets were now connected.

Mine was £110 last year (2005) down from £135 the previous year (2004). Guess conservation does make a difference.
If any of your friends want to understand why the oil supply/demand situation is so tight you might refer them to this link:

It's a great short summary although much of it will be familiar to regular readers of this site. They hit an amazing number of the key issues in a very short and readable piece.

I guess this is the sum of things going on around the energy world.  Came out in Sept 2005.  Lots of charts in one handy reference.  Got BP logos all over it.
My appologies if its already been played on the drum, but maybe some newbies (me) might not have seen it before.

MIT Colloquium Koonin-1.pdf
Energy for the coming decades: Trends and Technologies
51 slides

p2. Energy use grows with economic developent  
Nice chart from UN and DOE
p8. Income Dependency of Mobility
p13. US energy use road map
p18. GOM Deepwater projects
     Note Thunderhorse is 18,000 psi, 275 ºF and corrosive.
     (I bet it is at that)
p22. Venezuela Heavy stuff (probably API 9.4)
     My old Conoco-Maraven VEHOP Project is last field on the left
p29 CO2 and Sea Temps
p32 CO2 by GDP/per capita
p36 Energy per Capita <USA you're damn near off the chart!>
p40 Two Major axes of Concern <The TEOTWAWKI 4 state payoff matrix>
p45 CO2 reinjection
p47 Low HC Tech Evaluation

In Regard To (IR2): What do they want? Oil Refined in Russia? Considine is head of Downstream TNK-BP (Ya! That's 50% BP). Before TNK-BP, he worked at (guess where) BP. He's obviously planning on going back to 100% BP. Since BP has a large PCT of European market, I don't think he wants the competition from new Russian refineries to be built in western Russia. That's why he's saying they should build them in eastern Russia.. for the Chinese market. Russians want to build new western refineries because the old western refineries probably (as he himself says) are too inefficient to compete now. What else is he going to say? But, let's remind him why he can't (or shouldn't) do it himself when he gets back over to London or the USA.
ExxonMobil 2005 Reserves Dominated by Qatari Natural Gas

Anyone catch this article on SLB's web site?

"ExxonMobil Corp. (XOM) booked more hydrocarbon reserves than it extracted in 2005 - but almost all of the additions come in the form of natural gas from Qatar."

My gosh!!  That means that without gas from Qatar, Exxon would have booked nearly nothing in new reserves in 2005.  What happens in the future is Qatar stops letting foriegn firms book reserves, like Saudi Arabia, Iran, and now Venezuela?

The games Exxon plays with its quoted reserves don't bother me much, from one year to tne next they signify not much IMO.

More interesting to me is Venezuela's games, I tried to follow Gets It's link about this earlier but it failed for me. To be honest I was surprised they hadn't done this before, after all, it became virtually standard procedure for many OPEC countries a long while back. But times are different now so it will be interesting to see how this plays out.

I was musing earlier today about how the major oil producers might act when the words 'imminent peak oil' are seriously uttered on the world stage. I have a hunch (no, not a 'hunch' ;) ) that they will almost immediately cap production levels a bit below current. Say, 25 mbpd vs current 28 mbpd, in order to probably maximise and extend revenue. I would, lol. Perhaps that's another reason for the dreaded words being unspoken?

ExxonMobil will have one heck of a bad day.
I'm just going to say this.

I think we have reached peak oil now.

I'm going to write one of those long posts I do from time to time to attempt to back up that claim.

As George Clooney said recently, Good Night and Good Luck.


Not fair to leave us hanging like this...

My ma used to say, about life etc: "It's not fair, it's dark"

Best get used to it, lol.

What is "peak-oil"? I'm serious. I hope you will devote a decent part of your post to a definition.
The moment / month / year of maximum production, all other definitions are largely irrelevent in comparison. Such quibbles can be toyed with after, let the man have his piece first.
Production of what? These are hardly quibbles, they lay down the ground rules for a debate on one of the most important issue facing the human race.
Now, now, tetchy tonight are we?

I was assuming the EIA definition of all oil equivalent liquids (since peak conventional has passed). It's about as broad as one can reasonably get, I've quoted its definition here at least twice before.

My point was: when someone gets a maybe visionary moment it is critical to let them go with it, to interrupt may destroy it. There will be plenty of time afterwards to dissect, define, criticise, amplify.

I take this stuff seriously, and you know that, so stop pulling my chain, you silly goofball and go to bed.

FSO has an energy roundtable discussion in its second hour this week, not yet listened to it but should be fun for the gloom-mongers 'mongst us since it has Heinberg and Kunstler:

Just listened to it, a very civil and wide ranging discussion. It covered many of the subjects we debate here. Heinberg is, as almost always, excellent, Kunstler is very good and unsensationalist too, which might surprise some in the light of some of his recent comments. Jim Puplava does his usual outstanding job in managing the discussion.

TOD gets a very strong recommendation, Stuart gets name dropped, heheh. Very well worth an hour of your listening time.

"Production of what?" indeed!

Could someone try to explain to me (yet again) why everyone insists on using "all liquids"?  This seems like a complete corruption of the data.  It would seem to me that we are trying to determine when the crude oil has peaked.  So include those things made from crude, fine.  But anything else makes no sense. The discussion of what we could replace crude with should be a separate one.

I do understand your problems with using the 'all oil equivalent liquids' measure, and share some of them myself.

There are two reasons I'd give. Firstly a practical one: it's what the EIA reports data as and that's probably as accurate and consistent a measure as we've got. Secondly appropriateness: it does represent the total of all oil equivalent production and that is the most relevent and critical measure that will constrain our usage.

Yes, it will understate the drop in fossil oil production as substitutes such as ethanol and biodiesel grow.

Actually Agric, The EIA breaks out the numbers. Unfortunately the separated numbers appear to only come out yearly, although they are better since they contain every oil producer in the world.

Their t11-table series which is released monthly and therefore suits our purposes more only includes the top 30 producers minus Kazakhstan - and then provides a world total(the other 45 or so countries are lumped under "other," which is a little suspect). The t11 series lists "all liquids".

Good point, Twilight, when you say that peak oil tabulation should be based on conventional reservoir crude oil production only (along with the liquids that have naturally occurred with it). If you're going to start to muddy the Hubbert math water with all the newer replacement liquids like NGL, sands and shale, deep water reservoirs (which behave more like gas reservoirs than the dependable conventional fields), why not toss in all the replacements like bio-fuels, solar, wind power, and cow flatulence ?
Oil Ceo,
I'm working on final grades for this quarter, and you just got you A+ for the term. Without clarity of definitions we are spinning our wheels in mud.

From what I have seen on this site there appear to be about three (am not sure of the exact number) overlapping definitions of "Peak Oil." Each Bigwig seems to craft his or her own definition.

Of course, there is no one "right" definition. The trick is to get a single clear, unambiguous, precise and measurable definition that we can work with, then let the others fade into obscurity.

Don, Don, the clarity and definitions are critical, true, but I have a big but...  provided approximate definitions and parameters are known and understood let people have their visions rather than destroy them with defining terms of reference first. The scientists, semanticists (?) etc can have their part in refining and perhaps discarding later. But let the vision rip first.

Yes I consider there to be three definitions:

  • peak production
  • 50% URR production
  • big rollover (demand exceeds production)

The first has most import, to my mind.
  1. You can't have three definitions, unless you want three debates. So you can only have one definition.

  2. If you choose your first - peak production - I will ask the question again,"production of what?"
I can have as many definitions as I like and so can you, lol. But it helps clarity if we choose to agree on some definitions before we come to blows over the details. I refer you to the answer I gave earlier:

I, personally, choose the first. By the definition above.

But I must to bed presently (Shakespearian definition), apologies for not waiting on your reply. Night and sleep well when you do.

Regarding your post above, has conventional past? Holy Christ, how did I miss that? What was the date? Maybe I've miscalculated. Anyone know a good place on the net where I can load up on 7.62 tracer rounds and birdshot?


Great minds . . . .

They've got a $9.97 special on surplus Russian helmets.
Even Freddy Hutter says we passed peak conventional oil back in '04, "Peaksters around the globe mocked my pronouncement that Peak Oil had passed unceremoniously in the Spring of 2004."
I think the odds favour the year of peak production being 2005 (though my rational prediction is 2008), but the result depends on future geopolitical / disruptive events.

Unfortunately your bet (which I, most definitely, would not take) will probably have to wait till at least 2010 for payout.

This does feel a 'moment', I have turned off all my lights and lit a candle in its respect, it will be my only light afore bed tonight. (just used my electric kettle, though)

Good luck with your post, it will be easier and truer if you do not equivocate or justify, let the quibbles come later.


My definition of "peak oil" is maximum production ± 2% from current levels of all liquids within a finite & small future time range, never exceeding 2% over current levels and including
  • conventional oils
  • NGLs
  • condensates
That is the "peak" in my view. No other definitions make sense. It's about available peak flows, not reserves or uneconomical (non-positive EROEI) alternatives. I will not refer to supply & demand--these are economic terms as Halfin and Don Sailorman have pointed out. I will refer to production only, both top-down (Stuart, Hubbert Linearizations) and bottom-up (decline rates as offset by new production) on a country-by-country basis. But I will throw in the geopolitical aspects of all this as well. There are uncertainties around all these things but I think the preponderance of the evidence (eg. Cantarell/Mexico, Canada, Burgan (Kuwait), Russia, GOM, Nigeria, Iran, Iraq, etc.) points to a peak now as defined above.

The phrase "within a finite & small future time range" I used above would seem to be a hedge. It is not. I would claim that we're in the undulating plateau now and that monthly production will stay within the range I said and then there will be a definite year-on-year decline from which the world never recovers.

I will only make an argument, an analysis for discussion based on the best data I can find. Give me a few weeks.

Chavez threatens to cut off oil to U.S.

He now says he has other places he can sell 1.5 million barrels/day.

Hardly surprising in the light of Condi's silly statements. Perhaps unfortunately Chavez can quite legally sell Venezuelan oil to whomsoever he chooses whereas the only effective options open to the US are mostly illegal. I wonder if the US will get upset with the countries who buy Venezuelan oil if / when it is switched from the US market?
Ha!  We wouldn't let a little thing like legality get in the way, now would we?
It's rather ironic, really.  After the oil crises 30 years ago, we made an effort to wean ourselves off Middle East oil, so we wouldn't be so dependent on the fanatics over there.  We felt smug about getting so much of our oil from Venezuela, which was more stable and closer to home.  

Only Chavez is turning out to be a bigger pain than the Middle East.  It's especially annoying that he was democractically elected, so we have to be really  secretive about our attempts at regime change.

Why should we want to change the regime in Venezuela, and what would make us think we have that right?  It is not our country.  Chavez is perfectly willing to sell us oil - he appears to want us to behave reasonably, however.  I realize this is an unacceptable concept.
Don't you remember Bush praising the coup in Venezuela that temporarily displaced Chavez?  Even though Chavez was democratically elected, Bush supported the coup, because it put a pro-business faction in power.  Many suspect the CIA was actually behind it.

Chavez is not good for business.  And that, really, is the CIA's purpose: to make the world safe for U.S. business interests.

Yes, I'm quite familiar with it, and I suspected your comments were a bit tongue-in-cheek.  As a nation, we seem to be utterly unable to exercise any measure of self-restraint - if we want it, then we should have it.  It's an indication of our national lack of maturity.  A country of 7yr olds.  I thought the grown ups were in charge now?
So you're saying it's a travesty that democracy prevailed in Venezuela, despite U.S. behind-the-scenes fiddling?  I guess you'd prefer an iron-fisted dictatorship, since it's more stable for the U.S.?  I hear an angel gets it's wings each time the U.S. subverts a democracy and installs a brutal dictatorship.  Sorry, but your post really has a myopic, "screw-everyone-but-the-U.S." feel.  In it you are wishing the U.S. government didn't have to be so secretive about it's coup attempts.  Is that not immoral?  I guess not to a Republican...
Please adjust your irony detectors.  Thank you.
You forgot the sarcasm tags.
I didn't think they were necessary.  I read my post again, and can't believe anyone took it seriously.  

But then, I can't believe George Bush hasn't been impeached yet, either.  

leanan -

I think some people around here would greatly benefit by adjusting that little dial in their head a few notches away from the LITERAL-MINDED setting and a few notches  closer to the FIGURATIVE setting. It would make for more satisfying conversation and eliminate the need for unnecessary clarification.

Even I didn't take it seriously.