DrumBeat: June 15, 2006

Update [2006-6-15 9:50:2 by Leanan]: The Atlanta Constitution-Journal points out: Sweet or sour? In oil, that's a big deal.

While the BBC has an article about Colorado:
The US Energy department thinks that the state is sitting on about a trillion barrels worth of oil, as much as the rest of the world's conventional oil reserves added together.

Trouble is, it's not quite ready to be extracted yet.

...If it was allowed to sit tight, a few more million years of heat and pressure would transform it into liquid pools ready to be drilled.

And RigZone has this article about the political ramifications of peak oil: Global Energy Crisis Cooks to Surface:

The growing scarcity of oil and natural gas has provoked worldwide political conflict and a mad rush for renewable resources.

Like a volcano before it erupts, the crisis has heated up for decades, out of sight of oil-heated homes and petrol-powered cars.

But the signs of trouble are now evident, and not only at the pump, where $70-a-barrel prices eat into the pocketbook.

Update [2006-6-15 10:25:24 by Leanan]: The American Chemical Society is excited about new developments in cellulosic ethanol. Genetically engineered organisms are being used to break down the cellulose.

There there's always conservation: Father of energy efficiency to get Fermi Award. Interesting article because it suggests we aren't likely to make the same kind of gains we made during the last energy crisis. The lowest fruit is already plucked:

[In the 1970s] new refrigerators, which had consumed 400 kilowatt-hours a year on average in 1959, were consuming 800 kilowatt-hours a year. To gain extra storage space, manufacturers removed insulation and gunned the refrigeration motor.
Update [2006-6-15 11:15:37 by Leanan]: On the political front: Former NYC mayer and possible presidential candidate Rudy Giuliania is criticizing fellow Republicans for not having an energy policy. His plan involves hybrid cars and easier permits for nuclear power plants, oil refineries, and gas terminals.

Meanwhile, Danny Williams, the "Chavez of Canada," is more popular than ever for standing up to big oil.

And World Energy Source is offering free video through its World Energy TV page.

Since 2001, WETV has been the leading source for an inside view of the energy industry. Frank exchanges between authorities such as Qatar's ministry of energy & industry, HE Abdulla bin Hamad Al-Attiya, Thomas E. Capps of Dominion and Simmons & Co., International's Matt Simmons have addressed a wide variety of hot topics--America's need for meaningful energy policy, the quest to balance economic and environmental interests, Americans' declining trust in high-ranking corporate executives, and other issues.
Free registration is required.


Is Arabia in decline?

This article reforce the Simmons Theory.

Speaking of Simmons, the author of the following article thinks that Peak Oil is a global conspiracy, with Simmons as one of the ringleaders:


Which I guess implies that the Peak Oilers on this blog are part of the conspiracy too.

Those financialsense guys mean well, and the Puplava guy conducts great interviews (he asks questions and then stays quiet), but they are gold-buggers and allow too much of this type of junk to litter their site.
I don't buy the theory, but I give Kirby top marks for original thinking. I was not aware that basically all of the world's oil reserves are north of the equator. It does seem like an important fact that is rarely mentioned, if at all.
I thought that they find gold, diamonds, and other valuable things underground in the southern hemiphere.  They also found trillions of barrels of "unfinished oil" here in the US.  Brazil has alot of thier own "in house" oil production to help with thier energy independance.

There are probably many people trying to keep the dollar in one piece.  
Does history have examples of "huge treasures" be it nat rescources, gold, silver, or oil with it never being leaked?  
I'll bet on greed here twice.  
Would Oil co's be exploring, finding and developing oil in warm countries that have a weak military vrs the artic cold?  ROI?  Seems too obvious...IMO, These poor southern countries wouldn't like some cash?  I think it is unlikely that there are huge reserves of oil waiting to be found
Who said "Look at what oil companies do not what they say" wasn't it Deffes?  
Pumping up gold - Just what do these guys own or have $ invested in?
On the otherhand I have some pre WWll German marks (paper)
from my wifes grandmother.  They changed in value so quickly that they didn't bother to reprint.  They would just use a rubber stamp of all things to "double" the value(seriously).  Looks absurd with a "rubber stamp" on it.

There's just much less land, and also fewer large rivers, low-lying plains etc. south of the equator, which would seem to explain it.
There are many explanations for this, mostly down to location and population. For instance it is no accident that the US, Russia and Europe have developed oilfields in close proximity- that is where the major demand is. Plus the presence of stable government is a clearly a critical factor for development of any kind.  

Although there are rumours there is a North Sea size field in the Great South Basin (google for it) to the southeast of New Zealand, which has never been developed due to lack of capital and distance to markets.

You guys are correct- it just seems like an interesting fact I had never heard before.  
Much of the land in the southern hemisphere is Antarctica.  To have "biotic" oil, Antarctica would have had to experience millions of years of sustained vegetative growth, right?
Well, it did ... but is geologically unpromising in other ways, as far as I know.
There have been coal seams discovered in Antartica.  Several times in geological history Antartica has had abindant plant & animal life, but not for a majority of the time.

Perhaps there is oil in Antartica, but the repeated addition and removal of ice sheets should surely stress the geology of Antartica and I would not be surpriced if most of the oil did not escape after repeated "flexing" of the cap rock and associated fractures.

Antartica is a small continent.  Slightly smaller than Australia from memory.  So I have little hope for more than a trickle of oil from there by 2150.

Sheesh... that article is real tinfoil-helmet stuff. But then they're gold bugs, aren't they? Most of the world's land is in the North; most of the world's continental shelf; most of the world's sedimentary basins; hence most of the oil.

Look here >>> http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-50720

They have asked me to write an article for them, but I am struggling a bit with what to write. I don't want to give financial advice, and I don't want to attempt to predict the markets. I have been reading their editorials trying to get an idea of what to cover.


I read the site regularly. IMO, most of their readers would be unaware that corn is a poor raw material for ethanol production because of the poor EROEI. You could also cover the expense involved in CTL production. You are probably aware of this, but quite a few of their articles are not financial in nature (these are usually geopolitical).
I may just write a bit on ethanol. I have also been asked to write up a summary of my Brazilian ethanol critique for World Energy magazine. So, I may as well just work on these articles in parallel.


I would say write about exports because it's PO, but with a "financial" twist.
Yes and the conspiracy started with an old nut at Shell back in the 50's... Dr. Hubbert right?

These guys really need to be introduced to the concept of Occam's Razor.

So I see you found the link interesting :)  "I think it was you I posted it to right?"


I read a book all about the CFR.  Scary thoughts at least, even worse if parts are true.  
Oil production base facing environment dilemma

Almost a century after becoming the site of China's first land-based oil well in 1907, northwest China's Yan'an city is facing a water crisis caused by the booming oil industry.

The city on the Loess Plateau was the base of Mao Zedong and the People's Liberation Army for 13 years, but now it battles to keep its water reserves uncontaminated by the thousands of nearby oil wells and pipelines.

A more serious problem exists in the Yan River basin, which has 26,000 wells and more than 800 kilometers of pipelines. Its water quality once dropped below class V, unsuitable even for agricultural irrigation.

Now that's a water problem.


Somebody here probably knows, are they still using surface disposal of water, or is this problem because of improper cementing and no surface pipe?
it's probably because china doesn't have the same regulations we have here.  they're probably dumping some rank solutions into rivers and whatnot.  the government regulates stuff here enough so that we don't have these problems.
Algiers, Algeria (capital of OPEC member) choses Light Rail Vehicles for their first Light Rail Line.  "Turnkey" system ready in 30 months.

Makes one wonder about several points.  Oil exporters are taking steps to reduce reliance on oil,  They can build, from contract award to in service, in just 30 months.
Alstom chosen to supply Algiers' first tramway
(14/06/06 17:40 CET)

A 225 million euros project


The operator Entreprise du Métro d'Alger (EMA) has just announced that it has chosen an international consortium led by ALSTOM Transport to supply a turnkey system for the first tramway line of the Algerian capital. The total value of this project is 225 million euros. Options may be added.

This project is part of the Algerian Government's development programme to meet the increasing demand for public transport and reduce traffic congestion in the Algerian capital. Algiers' first tramway line, which will link the city centre to the Eastern part of the capital, will be 16.3 km long with 30 stations. It was designed to transport 150,000 passengers daily. The first train sets will enter into service 30 months after the contract takes effect.

As a supplier of global solutions, ALSTOM will provide a turnkey system comprising the rolling stock, the tracks, the power supply system, the traction electrification, the signalling system and control equipment, part of the civil works and a workshop. ALSTOM has long experience in this field with references including the Barcelona tram and the KTX high-speed train for Korea.

Since the development of the first CITADIS in 1996, ALSTOM has sold 778 CITADIS cars to more than 20 cities around the world including Paris, Strasbourg, Lyon, Madrid, Rotterdam, Dublin, Melbourne, Tenerife and Tunis.

Most countries in the developing world don't have the same land ownership problems of the Developed World. They can accquire right of way by just declaring it and don't have to go through long compensation hearings-sort of like the US in the beginning stages of Rail Roads.
   If we would just use the ROW in the medians and shoulders of highways, or even close a few streets for rail, we could do the same. But this is heresy to gasoline marketers. and the automotive industry who wish to be the sole beneficiaries of the road subsidies.
Not posting this one up top, because it's only tangentially related to peak oil/energy...

Strapped States Try New Route, Lease Toll Roads to Foreign Firms

Half a century after President Dwight D. Eisenhower persuaded the nation to build the interstate highway system, the allure of privatization is a rethinking of the relationship between the government and its roads. It reverses the view of highways as a public responsibility, ingrained since the first half of the 19th century, when states took over roads, bridges and canals that had gone bankrupt in private hands.

Sounds like the libertarian dream.  But seen in the light of peak oil...a step toward a world where only the wealthy can drive?

If property and income taxes are cut enough then revenue must come from somewhere. Gasoline taxes have not risen in years, and at least here in Texas property taxes have been cut by increasing numbers of exemptions. This is all part of the change started under Reagan to make taxation regressive rather than progressive. They seem to forget that only rich people have much money.Our Governor wants to turn the interstates into toll roads. Oh well, at least he has good hair.
I understand that all of the massive highway development underway in China right now is done like this.  The government offers leases for toll-road monopolies to private bidders who take all the risks, and a vast highway system is appearing overnight at no public expense at all. In general this is how China does everything (the whole country is managed like concessions in a National Park).  It helps to have had a Revolution that put all land in Federal ownership!    
It also helps to have a society where only a tiny minority can afford cars.
You mean like every other society in the history of mankind and almost every other country during the 20th Century except post-WWII USA?
And Canada, Germany, France, Japan, etc.etc.etc.
I've posted on the Colorado Oil before...

Energy group Royal Dutch/Shell has been conducting field research in Colorado's Rio Blanco County for 10 years.

It is drilling holes and inserting electric heaters to gradually heat the rock to a temperature of 650-700 degrees Fahrenheit over a number of years.

The resulting product is one third natural gas and two thirds light oil.

Surface processing can then turn the oil into products such as diesel, jet fuel or petrol.

Royal Dutch/Shell says it will decide on whether to start a commercial project by the end of the decade.
Yes, I remember hearing about that.  Gotta wonder what the EROEI on that one is...
Still to early to tell as Shell is still pondering on whether to take it commercial.  (ponder = economically viable)

RE:Update [2006-6-15 9:50:2 by Leanan]:

I found this bit especially interesting...

"But the first signpost has been passed, he said. "Sweet crude has already peaked."

"Where is sweet crude coming from? The United States, where oil production has peaked. In the North Sea, where production has peaked. And in West Africa, which is peaking this decade.

"Only one region hasn't peaked --- and in the Middle East, most of their supply is sour."


Yes, I remember hearing about that.  Gotta wonder what the EROEI on that one is...

They claim 3.5 to 1. But, I am skeptical of oil shale as will be apparent with the article that I am writing.


Looking forward to it sir!
I know this is only a subtle shift in terminology, but wouldn't it be better to use "Liquid" ROEI rathen than EROIE.  I mean isn't this what tar sands, ethanol, etc. are all about?  Gasoline or diesel could be the "L" base liquid.  This would get around the "there's no shortage of coal and nuclear" retorts.
That's one of the problems with EROEI. The usage of terminology is pretty inconsistent.


''...If it was allowed to sit tight, a few more million years of heat and pressure would transform it into liquid pools ready to be drilled. ''

Or ''heat it up for a number of years according to Shell''.

I wonder how many years of heat?. And I suppose it would be from a nuke. Or would they burn coal to generate the electricty to heat the rod to fry the Kerogens to make the oil to warm the house that jack built.

I suggest we leave it to whatever comes after the Human race in a few million years. Typical eh? not content with screwing our children, we want to screw the next evolved life form...

From Shell's website...

Hydrocarbons have been recovered from shale containing kerogen for at least 600 years. Ute Indian legends
told of warriors who saw lightning hit certain rock formations causing the "rocks to burn." There is even a
story of a Parachute area rancher who built a rock fireplace in his new cabin. When the first flames heated
the fireplace, the chimney, primarily composed of oil shale, caught fire and burnt the entire structure to the
ground. Pioneers in the western United States fueled their campfires with shale and used its oily residue to
grease their wagon axles. Shale also was used to heat peach orchards during winters in Palisade.

In the 1850s, small amounts of shale oil were produced in the eastern United States. However, lack of
technology, prohibitive processing costs and inexpensive and then-reliable foreign crude oil supplies stalled
efforts to produce an economical and viable fuel source from oil shale. Oil shale development further diminished
when the first crude oil well was drilled in Titusville, Pennsylvania. There were few renewed attempts to
develop shale oil until World War II when the U.S. military consumed hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil.
As domestic oil supplies were used during the war, interest in developing the vast oil shale deposits in western
Colorado was revitalized.

Timeline-fast forward to 1997

1997 Shell conducts an in situ heating process experiment on Mahogany oil shale property.
Work postponed because of economic conditions.

2000 Bureau of Land Management asks for public comment on management of federal oil
shale lands.

2000-present Shell returns to Mahogany oil shale property in mid-2000 with an expanded in situ
heating technology research program.



In 2042, surplus wind turbine electricity, after having filled all available pumpes storage, is used to periodically heat oil shales and extract/create oil from the massive oil shale deposits.  Late winter and spring are the primary season for thsi "load dumping" into oil shale, but some heating also occurs in the fall.

It is possible that load shedding from solar thermal and/or PV might replace some fossil fuel generation in the late spring and summer.

If shell's electrical heating process works, it would be great if it were produced using renewables in part.  To my mind, producing light, sweet liquids with renewables even on an EROEI 1:1 basis might be worth it in the future.

I am in the process of writing an article on oil shale. I will have it up in a day or so.


The oil shale is not a new idea, and I believe Shell is gettting DOE grants to experiment. This prospect is a fire flood and involves pumping air down the hole and igniting the shale. There are also people talking about using geothermal and microwaves to heat the shale.
  The article is inaccurate in one key area. This shale will probably never turn to oil because of the depth of sediment. It will erode first.And of course, the cost.
  Depleted shales are the target of the Barnett Shale, the Fayetteville shale and the Woodford-Barnett Missipian shales in various western basins. These are mostly gas plays, although some gas liquids are produced by horizontal drilling and fracturing.
  And none of the cost to the environment is considered in their calculations.
  I expect we will see a lot of articles about how shale,tar sands,biodeisel,natural gas diesel and ethanol are going to save us from the consequices of profligacy.
Yep, we know it's not a new idea...

"Hydrocarbons have been recovered from shale containing kerogen for at least 600 years"

And I think you're onto something there "shale will probably never turn to oil because of depth of sediment"  

Let's see what RR digs up on his paper in the coming days.

List member Milton Maciel from Brazil made several posts on the Brazilian shale oil operation. I never did get information on the differences with the raw ore and what is available in the US. It is also likely that Petrobras is subsidizing the operation.


They also posted info that the test plot had a 3:1 EROEI based upon the electricity use (in kWh) and the heat (energy) content of the kerogen that was extracted.  

I think they (Shell) forgot that most electrical power "efficiency" is about 31-33% if burning coal, oil, gas or wood to supply energy to a steam turbine/electrical generator.  You get somewhat higher efficiencies from CT's and hydro is "cheap" and "efficient" once you spent all the time and energy to build the project.  There is no indication that Shell took this into account (and you wouldn't if all you were trying to figure is how many times the counter "turned").  But using the 33% value, you are back to 1:1 EROEI.  

Kinda the same problem as before.

Combined cycle gas turbines may be able to achieve efficiencies close to 60%.  I would imagine that Shell would use those, since its heating process produced NG.

Also, as AlanfromBigEasy pointed out above, Shell's operation might be a good place to dump excess wind-powered electricity, to which I have suggested solar thermal or PV in the late spring and summer months.  NG goes well with either of these renewables.

But then, who knows how it will work out.  

I'd prefer that at least some shale oil projects, if they ever work out, also produce heavier fractions.  Currently, ocean-going freighters are converting from diesel to heavy, and I could imagine a future in which heavies also would propel costal and Greak Lakes freighters, as well as tugs for river transport inland.  There might be more of a market for the heavies than we now contemplate.

In addition, I recall reading that the Western kerogen, when refined, yields considerable paraffins for grease and wax.  Don't discount the market for unscented candles for lighting purposes in the future!

Lots of people in Colorado are extremely sensitive to what happens to Western Slope water, and since any major oil shale development will take huge (compared to availability) amounts of water, just for the new workforce if nothing else, I would expect quite active state-level political opposition to oil shale development.  Utah might be more favorable.
Perhaps a sign of the times to come?  (and for some whose time is already here)


"Everything's so difficult. Prices keep going up, and there's too little fuel and electricity."


"But the problems that the Burmese face go much deeper than just a lack of money. There is a huge disparity between those allied to the ruling elite and the rest of the population - a distinction which permeates every aspect of day-to-day life."


"Petrol is another commodity where the black market reigns supreme. An ordinary citizen is only allowed two gallons (nine litres) per day at the government price - and even then, queuing can sometimes take hours."


"Despite living under one of the most draconian regimes in the world, some Burmese people still manage to find time for life's pleasures.

I spoke to a man in his early 20s who, over the last few months, has been using the rare moments of electricity to charge batteries so he can watch the World Cup.

I can imagine him now, glued to a television screen, escaping for a few precious hours from the chaos around him."

cherry picking quotes galore: read article for one's self

None of this seem related to peak oil in any way. The Burmese are living under one the worst dictorships in the world, which has ruined live for most of the people. I don't how it could be a sign of things to come.
I don't how it could be a sign of things to come.

Make use of your imagination.  In a world rocked by energy constraint and economic depression... corruption could go wild, the gap between the have's and have nots widen, rationing, quality of life drop, and people charging their batteries before the power failed just so they can have a few hours away from it all.  It's a window on what can happen when things go wrong.


     Yesterday, on two financial TV shows, there were two comments that the ethanol market was nearing saturation in the USA and to expect a collapse in the price of both ethanol and the stock of companies like Ande and the new one VSE.

Where did this come from?  The last I heard, there were still issues with getting the ethanol blend to all of the East Coast.  Did this change?

As I understand it the problems of getting ethanol to the East Coast has eased. Cramer on Mad Money was one of the pundits, while the other was a Bloomberg reporter.

The argument is that with so many new plants under construction that there will be a glut. An article on Monday in the Frisco Chronicle noted that the USA now produces more ethanol than Brazil (35.1% of total world production to 34.8% for Brazil. China was 3rd with 8.3%)

Thanks for pointing this out...I need to investigate a little more.
Somebody is not playing nice...

And they say a picture is worth a thousand words...

China ramped up its role as a global player on Thursday by hosting a summit of states encompassing almost half the world's population and some of Washington's most prominent opponents.

Da Da Da...people are strange...when you're a stranger...


Anyone think this meeting goes hand in hand with China cutting back their exports to heal their local demand for oil?

Hmmm...Or something more sinister afoot?

We shall see.

Well, what do you expect?

BCR diss the Chinese president on a State Visit, then they start poking the Russians with a pointed stick.

Of course they will get in a huddle at the other end of the schoolyard.

To plan the next move...

My god, BCR are supposed to be leaders.  Makes you shake your head in disgust.  I think they have made a bad situation worse by a measurable ammount.
Haha, lonly Ahmenijad.
What a pain without an edit function...
Senators overwhelmingly approve $94.5 billion in emergency funds

An earlier veto threat by Bush forced senators to strip some things out:

  • More than $14 billion for such things as aid to farmers outside the hurricane zone and for the Gulf Coast seafood industry.

  • Democratic initiatives to beef up port security and veterans medical services.

  • A controversial plan backed by Mississippi GOP Gov. Haley Barbour and the state's powerful Senate delegation to pay CSX Transportation $700 million for a recently rebuilt freight rail line along the coast so the state could use its path for a new highway.
Here's some insight into how high oil prices are affecting the transportation system here in Wisconsin.

First, higher oil costs are directly feeding into the higher costs of building and maintaining our road system: http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=434330

Second, vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in Wisconsin actually decreased last year for the first time in nearly a quarter century: http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=421717

Third, Wisconsin's transportation fund is shrinking. This is partly due to the first drop in vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in the state in nearly a quarter century. A drop in VMT generally equates to a drop in gasoline taxes paid into the transportation fund. It is also partly due to Wisconsin's elected leaders repealing the automatic gas tax increase last year (previously Wisconsin's gas tax increased automatically each year to keep up with inflation). You can argue that Wisconsin won't need to spend money on expanding road infrastructure in the future, but the gas tax is also Wisconsin's primary funding mechanism for state public transportation assistance.

The conclusion is that Wisconsin's transportation system is starting to feel the pinch of high oil prices.

Does Wisconsin have any light rail?  Madison and Milwaukee would both seem to be good candidates.  Does anyone have any figures on recent bicycle use in Madison?  Bike use has always been much higher than in the rest of the midwest due to official support and supportive citizenry.

Wisconsin has always struck me as one of the few states (Oregon and Washington also come to mind), that really understand the concept of auto-dependency, and has worked fairly hard to avoid that trap where possible.  I wouldn't say that your transportation system is "feeling the pinch" so much as making rational adjustments due to high oil prices.  It's too bad your legislators caved on the automatic gas tax inflation adjustments.  

The only rail transit in Wisconsin is the Metra commuter rail line that runs from Kenosha, WI to Chicago. Milwaukee has been looking at fixed-guideway transit for a while now, but the most recent proposal for a downtown circulator just got nixed. A separate proposal for commuter rail between Milwaukee, Racine, and Kenosha is gaining traction (it could be an extension of the Kenosha-Chicago Metra route). Madison has been studying rail transit for some time as well. But in typical Madison fashion, the political debate is not rail transit vs. no rail transit. The debate is streetcar vs. commuter rail.

The states of Wisconsin and Illinois jointly contract with Amtrak to provide the Hiawatha Service between Milwaukee and Chicago. It has seen record ridership over the past year and a half (as have other midwestern Amtrak routes)

There also are plans for a Midwest high-speed rail system.

There is also a small heritage (1940s PCCs) Kenosha streetcar line that was approved for extension a year or so ago (from memory).  With the extension, it begins to serve a transportation as well as tourist function.
Yes, I had forgotten about Kenosha's street car. Thanks for the correction!
You guys are making me homesick... I lived in Far North Suburb of Chicago for 12 years (McHenry County)... less than 1 hr drive to Kenosha :-(
Andy Muzi at yellowjersey.org would have the Madison # for you if it exists. Madtowners ride their bikes when it's below zero windy & icy

Husky, CNOOC find huge China gas field

"Like winning first prize"

HONG KONG/CALGARY (Reuters) - Top Chinese offshore oil producer CNOOC and Husky Energy have found a giant gas field in the nation's first deep-water discovery, boosting CNOOC shares nearly 6 percent.

If its potential is confirmed and it is commercially viable, the field in the South China Sea would add as much as 7 percent to China's gas reserves, as it strives to bolster natural gas consumption to diversify its energy base and curb pollution.

Husky, controlled by Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing, said the field could contain 4-6 trillion cubic feet of recoverable resources, ranking it among the country's biggest.

I always figured Viet Nam was about the oil resources of the Mekong Delta and the South China Sea.
I heard this on the Radio while in my dredge to work at 5am this morning.  They said that was enough to fuel China for about 6 months, is that correct?


Hi Toders!

Not really related to present discussions but related more to the way the web site is functionning.  I want to make a small advice.

I'm currently a Usability Professional mainly for websites.  Altough I dont have the time to do much because I'm involved getting my town prepared for PO, I do have a good background for this.

I think that each time I click on the more... or comments link in the front page of The Oil Drum, it always link to a named anchor (a name or a number with # in front) and the page load and the position itself at the begining of thoses comments or rest of articles.

This way of linking is not very good because of many things.  Because there is lots of information the page is almost always long to load and the graphics and small side boxes are the last to appear.  You can scroll down to start to read or find the comments you want to read but then it position itself back at the begining, wich I think is leathal.

Also to regain the power of the mouse wheel, visitors have to click on the page and if the click is done where there is no link but just a fraction of seconds before repositioning, it may go trough that link, thus loading a diferent page and  getting the time used to read less available.

That repositionnement interfere with the current job done by the visitor and alievates part of your visitor base.  

I dont know what can be done to fix that problem but doing it will have a definite effect on daily visits.  

For a second advice, I dont know what you can do to lower the loading time but if you can find a way (not a better server but less graphic on each page and leaner graphics when needed.  Leaner pages will help reduce the bandwith cost and the number of servers needed.  

Other good advices from other readers?

Other advice, do this also for the reply link.

I also think that showing a special page with only the comment you've just made is kind of a waste of time.  Find a way to get rid of it, you will free more bandwith there too.

Another issue. Maybe it's just me.  When I am trying to type in a comment, my cursor leaves the comment box and goes near the bottom of the page.  Then I have to scroll back to the comment box to make my comment. Odd. It did not do that for this comment.  
I've noticed the things you mention, but they don't really bug me much.  

What does bug me is what happens when a really long UL is posted.  It's automatically cropped, so the screen doesn't stretch, which is fine.

But if you click on the link, the end of the URL is displayed, and suddenly the left part of all the posts disappears.  

Very annoying.  It makes the whole page unreadable.  The only way to fix it is to reload the page, and then all the NEW tags are gone.

The obvious solution is not to post long URLs.  Use HTML coding, or TinyURL.  But IME, there's always a few who can't or won't do that.

Ok, on that general subject.  When I click on the enticing line  "there's more", eagerly seeking further enlightment, the local gods brush me heartlessly over to the comments only, and I am left weeping in bereavement for those lost words of wisdom.  Or is this just a special punishment meted out to me alone  for the many unrequited sins of my youth?  
If you will bury $10,000 in a dead black cat in your backyard the curse will be lifted. It only works with non-sequential small bills. And just what did you say is your address?
Most of what you are complaining about can be rectified by using Firefox.

On advice from Leanan, I added the AdBlock extension to my Firefox installation and pages now load A LOT faster.  The bulk of time that is (or was in my case) spent on loading pages are the advert graphics.  Get rid of them and the page loads in less than half the time (I know because I use the 'Fasterfox' extension).

Now I know that the adverts are there to help the editors regain some costs for doing this, but I think they would get better click-thru rates if they just mentioned these advertisers in their stories.  Perhaps even doing a story on a particular book, or service that is being advertised.

Also tabbed viewing helps me with the "There's more..." issues.

Basically, I start off at the main TOD page.  I then decide which stories I want to read today, and for each one I CTRL-click on the "Permalink" link.  This creates a separate tab for each story which all load in the 'background'.  Thus, by the time I get to the second and third tabs, they have already loaded.

Of course the searching for '[new' helps to find comments I haven't already read.

So, in my opinion, the site does not really need 'fixing'.  In fact, as a developer myself, I can't really see any way to make it much better (only different).  I've used all manner of other ways to do this (forums, slashdot, blogger, etc.) but none of them are inherently better than the current format.

Just my $0.02.

Firefox doesn't fix the cropped text problem, alas.
Leanan, have you tried reducing the font size until it fits and then setting it back to 'normal'?
Not sure if it has already been posted:

State of the Oil and Gas Industry


Saudi Aramco CEO Abdallah Jum'ah

 Our efforts begin with a stepped up oil and gas exploration program. We currently manage approximately 260 billion barrels of oil, or roughly a quarter of the global total. But we continue to expand our reserve base, and conservatively estimate our additional potential of recoverable oil to be in the range of 200 billion barrels. At Saudi Aramco's present production levels, that means we will have well over a century's worth of oil to produce.

He sure is a happy fella
Babies smile from their own gas pains.
Saudis smile from other people's gas pains.  :-0
I sure would like to "doodle" a goatee and some horns on him LOL
That's 460 billion barrels of reserves as soon as they locate that extra 200 billion barrel field. And all their giant fields are declining by about 8% per year. What's wrong with this picture.
Well, really we need to back off from the 260 even, since they really have about 80 Billion left if you discount the paper barrels that they added when everyone else in OPEC went nuts adding to their reserves so they could sell more back in the hay day.  

Also taking out what they've pumped so far... that leaves about 80 Billion Reserves sitting in the ground (If memory serves me)...and don't hold me to this as I'm not at my office where I can reference my spreadsheets! LOL of course I'm sure someone will drive by and bash me on this one...



I won't bash you Bradshaw. By my estimation and figures, they have about 65 billion barrels of recoverable oil left.

That figure is gleaned from Matt Simmons' book, though he never gives an exact figure on what he thinks they are. Also a Hubbert Linerization of Saudi Arabia gives about 65 billion barrels left.

Actually I was referring to Buck Futter or whatever that Canadian guy's handle is that did a drive by on another TOD here recently... LOL

Thanks for not bashing... 65 Billion is even more disheartening


Natural gas spikes 6%

NYMEX natgas futures rally on concerns that another active hurricane season could disrupt Gulf Coast output as well as above normal temperatures and a weaker-than-expected build in inventories.

And oil is back up above $70, too...

Hi All

Anyone read this over at Prudentbear.com?

It presents a very interesting analysis of household sector spending in the US (apparently now 20% of GLOBAL GDP!).

We might see some of the awaited demand suppression/destruction in the near term.

I did and it just piles on the the mountain of data that says this isn't going to work.  What's interesting is that a gentlemen already figured out we can live comfortably in a deficit world so long as the assets held appreciate faster than inflation.  I remember in some lower econ courses I was taught that the national debt wasn't bad and that it actually has a multiplier affect in the economy.  I sat in that classed stunned that someone would tell me it's ok to be in debt.  After learning more I realize he is strictly speaking of theory land where reality and fantasy don't meet, ever!
Amen!  I own an IT Company and I would not be in business for very long if I ran things the way our Government does.
The article is long winded and chock full of data.  Some other interesting morsels:

In other words, in the US household sector, we have underway what the late economist Hy Minsky would recognize as a form of Ponzi finance. Essentially, household borrowing against the value of existing assets is required to service prior debt (principal and interest payment) commitments. Sustainability of deepening US household deficit spending is thereby predicated on the sustainability of asset bubbles, or perhaps more realistically, the repeatability of asset bubbles.  

As displayed below, this has in fact been the case. The household financial balance has averaged $587b over the past four quarters. The increase in household sector total liabilities has been $1,288b over the past four quarters. Household debt has increased well in excess of that required to plug the gap between household income and expenditures.

Banks and other creditors reveal notoriously procyclical risk perceptions and risk preferences. Hence, the old saw that banks most desire to make a loan to you when you least need it. Competition also has a way of encouraging credit standards to erode cyclically, while moral hazard interventions by central banks insure that credit standards erode secularly as credit risk becomes increasingly socialized, ostensibly to prevent episodes of financial instability from spilling over into larger economic dislocations. Nowhere has this been more evident than in the creative loan financing for housing that has been arranged during the course of this US business cycle expansion.

The US household sector has been deficit spending since 1997. While this sector is normally a net saving sector, this trend has been sustained for nearly a decade. It has been sustainable. Over the past year, however, the decay in the household financial balance has taken on an unimaginable trajectory.

I want to point out the cyclical nature of bank lending.  We've hit the peak in terms of lending growth, we have to peak the other way now.  Also things have hummed a long for a while and we've been saying this can't be!  Turns out it could be but it's coming to and end.  This is why contrarians are dismissed so much, they are fundamentally sounds but miss the timing which does matter.

There may be a major problem with this deficit consumer spending analysis.   IF the comparison is consumer spending against consumer income, what about all the income from capital?   Does consumer income include dividends, cap. gains?   Clearly it does not include asset appreciation that has not been realized.  

I personally have not had a dime of ordinary income from wages in 15 years, but through investments have been spending more every year.  Asset appreciation is a form of inflation that is not measured in CPI and it is a form of wealth creation that may well not be measured in the analysis of consumer spending vs. income.

There's all kinds of issues with the CPI.  What you describe should be counted as income b/c div are taxed as income.  Assest appreciation not realized probably wouldn't be included b/c there's no transaction to tax.  I think much of this comes down to reporting.  We don't report cap gains, div taxes etc except for once a year.  So maybe they aren't counted which would further degrade the accuracy.  However I wonder what type of weight your group has because the CPI numbers are broken down for urban wager earners and other classifications.
Reporting from France :

Our national electricity production-distribution company "EDF" (électricité de France) with help from EURO-RSG is currently running a commercial about its research commitment. In the commercial they feature easter island and recount briefly it's controversial history in a purely hansonian style. Their conclusion is " the energies which have helped to build a civilisation can also undo it". Of course the last seconds are used to tell us that EDF invests 366 million Euros per year in research for alternative energy sources.

Total, whose CEO Thierry Demarest has acknowledged the concept of peak-oil since Feb 2006, runs also a commercial whithout any text in most of the devloppment showing different situations where we use energy (for work but also for personnal developpment and even for anxiolytic applications), says in the end "for you our energy is endless".

Thanks, neuriol, that's some interesting info.  Easter Island in an energy commercial, my my, that's getting to the heart of the matter.  I can't imagine seeing anything like that on our gov't controlled TV here in the red/blue states.
Are you honestly suggesting that the US governmnet would ban any reference to Easter Island in a TV commercial? That seems like a wild assertion without any evidence. We can write whatever we want in blogs. Why aren't we getting censored?
No, the US government doesn't censor commercials. Well, not before the fact anyway. A company would definitely get into trouble for showing a tit, or saying shit, or something like that. But there is only a decency standard, which also means you cannot show things like dead babies being thrown on a truck.

But otherwise you can say anything you wish. The government would definitely NOT censor anything about Easter Island. If they tried it would create a riot among the free speech advocates.

But yes, we do have a lot more latitude on the net than on the public airways, as also does cable TV.

I figured it was due time to bring this nugget up. Am I missing something or is that the biggest road of all time to be built as we are running out of go-go juice?

On the plus side, once the land is obtained by the government, the road can always be replaced with rail... ;)
So would Kansas City, MO become the defacto new Chicago of this century.  As history teaches me, my poor little STL, MO fell into disrepair following the decision to route all rail lines centrally through Chicago, not St. Louis.  I'll happily move my arse down Interstate 70 and prepare there, but I do like access to this thing called the Mississippi river.  Who knows.
The routing of this "new & enlarged I-35" is nonsensical.  I am struggling to see what markets are truly served by which producers.  Some Great Plains ag to Mexico, yes.  And ...

Actually St. Louis will NOT be the worst off.  Excellent rail connections, the Mississippi (and Ohio & Missouri) Rivers, nearby agriculture and some coal mines.  Solid old homes. Wind potential also close by.  And the beginnings of a decent light rail system (Good E-W main line built and first branch almost built.  Add three or so more branches and StL will have something.

Our new urban rail will be ready by sept/oct they said today.  It will be sweet when it's done.  I would seriously consider moving closer to the city in the "nicer" areas that it serves.  They are already drumming up ideas on how to expand this further.  Meetings are being discussed so the public can weigh in on the next expansion project.  Things are looking up, but these are being financed with bonds.
If history is a guide (a weak one IMHO), buying before it opens is the best time.  Walkable distance (within 4 blocks) of a station shows the most appreciation.  Oddly, a block away is "better" than accross the street from the station.

The greatest appreciation is often in the marginal neighborhhods close to a station athn the better areas. Often the marginal areas "pick up".

Makes sense to me, too noisy right next to it :)
The noise varies significantly from system to system.. Quality of maintenance is part of it, design may be a larger part.

(Absolutely flat top rails are quieter than those with a 1:20 slope (US freight rail).  1:20 slope rail is cheaper and more available.  This is one of many issues regarding noise).

Bonds to build light rail CAN pay for themslves, if you assume that bus service would otherwise have been provided.

Light rail transports a pax-mile at 2/3 to 1/2 the cost of a bus (at $1/gallon diesel) AND it attracts significantly more riders, many of them with cars.  And Light Rail usually (but not always) attracts development around it's stations, growing it's own ridership (and a tax base) over time.

So build light rail and one can often pay off the bonds with the savings & extra fares over the buses that they displaced.  Few transit agencies can create enough surplus revenue to build light rail for cash.

I can put you in touch with some of those working for more Urban Rail in St. Louis if you like.


I need to ask you a question though I don't want you to take it as a personal attack.

I have been following these replies and I am attempting to understand why it is that you would support building this toll road system? If you could please post about why you think this 10 lane toll road will be helpful to the US.

You misinterpret by posts.  

I called the choice of routes "nonsensical".  It is a massive waste of resources at a time when we DESPERATELY need to spend our limited resources on energy effective solutions.

How this economic farce ever got ANY political support is baffling and speaks poorly to our system.

Yes, there were capacity issues on I-35 due to increased NAFTA shipments.  But the solution is FAR in excess of what is needed to solve the problem (It may self correct).

But some politicans were irritated at seeing so many `18 wheelers' clogging the road to work.

I think there should be a moratorium on all major road building. We can't afford the energy to construct the roads. We should be transitioning away from truck and towards rail.  This will just encourage more trucks and more cars to take trips that would be better served by rail.

It is moronic to say that the nation is addicted to oil and then do things that only encourage and increase that addiction.

It's the NAFTA road.  Bypass the unionized US port workers and truckers.  Drive down worker salaries.  What could be more valuable than that? (yes, that was sarcasm)
What could be more valuable than that? -The land adjacent to the highway. This looks like a giant property development scheme.

Basically use dodgy laws to confiscate vast corridors of 'worthless' farmland under eminent domain, then sell it to the developers who convert the land next to the road- build new suburban, commercial and industrial areas, and voila- billions of dollars of wealth.

The only ones who lose are the farmers who are forced by the state to sell vast amounts of their land at a pittance, and taxpayers in general, who will probably end up paying for the construction.

Just my thoughts.

Both you and Twilight make good points. Also, viewed from Toronto, it appears that there is a slow, steady "unification" of Mexico and the USA. Is that the perception of US posters? Mexico treats the wealthy very well (the way the US wealthy would like to be treated), so it seems like a perfect fit. This road will be paid for by Joe Schmuck taxpayer, not the important people in the USA.    
Bernanke's speech today was about oil and nat gas. Quotes (paraphrase)
"we have enough conventional oil to last the world for 4 decades at current consumption rates"
"the days of cheap oil and gas are behind us"
"natural gas prices are unlikely to return to prior levels"
That 4 decades is still shorter than the official USGA report is it not?  We're moving forward.
One thing Big Ben did mention of interest was our huge supply of negawatt potential. He said Japan gets twice the US productivity per btu. Now how many manufactured goods are imported into Japan?
Anyone who has the gall to utter the "at current consumption rate" crap should be ridden out of town on a rail.
If we only had a rail.  We know China is going to increase their amount of consumption. So I guess Bernanke plans for others like the U.S. to decrease their rates. I anxiously await his plan.
"Gall"? Oh come on now -- all we have to do is figure out how to (1) grow consumption at exactly 0% per year for 40 consecutive years, (2) use exactly 100% of reserves, and (3) completely stop using oil in year number 41.
Here's a scary thought....

If you want another reason to be bullish about silver, then Ted Butler's essay at Investment Rarities.com is what you should read. He first starts of with the snide remark, "CFTC doesn't even bother to analyze the data it monitors and publishes", and then seamlessly goes on to say "According to the COT, for positions as of May 30, 2006, the 4 or less large traders in COMEX silver have a net short position that is more concentrated than at any time in history." I can sense that you are salivating at the potent of a short squeeze. Me, too! I make a note to myself on my saliva-soaked notebook, "Buy more silver!"

Mr. Butler is obviously repelled at all this salivating, what with dribbling down my chin and all. So he quickly goes on "It is far more lopsided in concentrated shorts compared to concentrated longs than any other major market. This short position is not only 3.5 times greater than the concentrated net position of the 4 or less largest long traders, it is also more concentrated and larger than any position held by the Hunt Brothers in the great silver manipulation of 1980. In the silver market, the concentrated short position towers over the concentrated long position to an extent not found anywhere."

"An extent not found anywhere."  Oops! More salivating!  I wipe my chin with my sleeve and underline my "Buy more silver!" note as Mr. Butler goes on to say "The actual numbers state that the 4 or less largest traders are net short the equivalent of 181,584,000 ounces, while the 4 or less largest traders are net long 52,506,000 ounces. To put this short amount into perspective, it is more than is produced annually on the largest silver producing continent, North America (Mexico, US and Canada). It's larger than the combined total holdings in the COMEX warehouses and the silver ETF (SLV)."

How to sum up? He does it easily when he says "The concentrated net short position is staggering in size."


I would say that this is mainly scary to the shorts. For the rest of us its an investment opportunity.
"the 4 or less large traders...have a net short position..."

Where would Butler get this data? I have never seen positions of individual entities reported in the COT. In fact CFTC/NFA regulations make it illegal for an FCM to disclose customer positions in a way which in not required in order to properly service the account.

Besides the illegality of the reporting, why would a gold bug br touting metals on TOD ? Are any of you chumps gonna bet on his inside info?
This double-ly doesn't make sense because the latest COT shows spec interest is net long anyway by over 43k contracts (June 6). -- and the pos change wk/wk is rather small <2k contracts.
I often question where these stats come from especially when it's a blanket statement that includes no real verifiable fact.  Alas, I don't know where to find half of the right info, so wstephens can keep us in check.
About making the investments and lifestyle changes for powering down: People are mostly unaware of the magnitude of the changes. They'll only think ahead a short time, and cut some expenses when it gets difficult, or make some investments, without fundamentally changing their lifestyle, and so on as the available energy dwindles.
At a certain point for every family or company or government or nation, there will be no more funds, no more credit opportunities, no more expenses to cut except for the vital ones. That happens at a different time for everyone, but the partial breakdowns reinforce each other and the system will become more and more unstable.


I wouldn't listen to any powerdown guru unless they were willing to parachute into a Guatamalan village with one suitcase and stay there.
Yes, I don't see happy times. John Howe recommends powering down only for one purpose. He thinks it is totally irresponsible to not save some fossil energy for the future. He recommends saving fossil energy for the period 2050-2150 to ease the suffering. He makes it clear that massive changes in our lifestyle have to occur to achieve this. Most everybody is thinking relatively short term. If you look out 100 years energy from fossil fuels is pretty much extinct. Any survivors will think we were a bunch of idiots. We are going to ride hubbert's curve. Hubbert's curve doesn't stop at 50% depletion. It goes all the way to 0 if you wait long enough.
Since we've now hit 2,500 US casualties in Iraq, it might be interesting to see how the war is going. File this under 'Geopolitics' of Peak oil.

The following data is all from icasualties.org. They've done a great job of keeping track of US casualties since the war began, and have kept fair data on reported Iraqi security force and civilian deaths since 2005. Make of them what you will.

Bush said that success in Iraq can be measured by:
1.    How strong their military is.
2.    How much electricity they can generate.
3.    How much oil they can sell (for the Iraqi people, of course).

Simple really - government is about guns and energy.

Well, government is about coercive power. It's a protection racket. Rome didn't have power plants.

Well, government is about coercive power. It's a protection racket. Rome didn't have power plants.

Roman power plants were called slaves and the stronger their legions were the more slaves they could put online.

Due to the increased use of body armour, 60% of the US wounded are head injuries ... not John Wayne style bullets in the shoulder.
This is interesting:
"Europe's largest oil company said proven global oil reserves ended 2005 at 1.2007 trillion barrels, little changed from 1.1941 trillion a year earlier."
It basically says that world reserves were unchanged between 2004 and 2005.  Didn't Stuart's "Do Reserves Prove Anything" article from a few months back show that peak usually occurs after reserves stop growing?
I was stunned to hear that GWB had done something for the environment:

President Bush bestowed monument status on the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, which span 1,200 nautical miles, on Thursday.


It just sounds - great. But then I also saw:

Baltimore police make tens of thousands of illegal arrests each year, subjecting innocent people to the humiliation of being hauled away in handcuffs and the degradation of strip searches, according to a suit filed today by the NAACP and the ACLU.

The suit names the mayor, present and past police officials and state corrections officials, as well as individual officers. It claims the department in effect has a quota system -- rewarding officers based on the quantity, rather than the quality, of arrests and punishing those who fall behind.


Really makes you want to hang out in "Charm City" doesn't it?  But staying home won't keep you safe from Big Brother, either:

Prosecutors can use evidence seized by police during a home search even though officers violated the Constitution by failing to knock or announce their presence before entering, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled.


I am more pessimistic about freedom than I am about energy.  I think we in the US will stave off the doom scenarios for quite a while, but many seem willing to sacrifice our freedoms as long as their comfort level isn't challenged.

I know!  I heard about this on NPR while driving home today...


I was stunned to hear that GWB had done something for the environment:

    President Bush bestowed monument status on the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, which span 1,200 nautical miles, on Thursday.

I assume that there's no offshore oil in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.

Washington, DBC
A research scientist from 2006, having been caught in a burst of high radiation fracturing the space time continuum finds himself thrust into the future.  He's disoriented and staggers a bit finding himself in the middle of a large but abandoned road and ahead a sign reads "Washington, DBC  208 kilometers."  Recognizing that he needs to find someone and figure out what happened he begins walking.  It doesn't take too long and he happens upon a town - there are people there!  He runs up to the first person he sees, a man perhaps in his fourties.  "Excuse me, but could you tell me where we are?"  The man gives him an odd look, but obliges "The United States of Lower Canada."  "What?  No such place exists!" exclaims the scientist.  The man appears quite puzzled.  Having watched too many sci-fi movies, the scientist asks the man, "What planet are we on?"  Rather amused now to be talking to this whack the old man replies "well, I think we're on Earth...what planet do you want to be on?"  The scientist replies, "I know you think I'm nuts right now, but just an hour ago I was in my lab in Virginia about to make a breakthrough.  I'd just made a call to my colleague in Washington, DC and he - "  "Washington DC?!" the man chimes in, "I haven't heard it called that in 20 years!"  The scientist stands puzzled, and then asks "What is Washington DBC?"  The man tells him, "Washington District of British Columbia, of course"  The scientist starts to realize that he's not in kansas any more - not that he ever was - but he's sure he's not there now.  "Can you tell me how the United States of Lower Canada formed?" he asks the man.  He replies, "Well, back when George Bush III was in office and during the fourth major oil recession he thought it might be a grand idea to invade Canada, since that's where a significant amount of our oil came from - he was a paranoid SOB, so he thought the supply would be safer in the hands of the 'good ol USA' and decided to take it over by force.  Canada shut off all the taps to their oil, and since mexico had long since declined, that was the majority of the US's oil supply off line.  Quickly Canada sunk every oil tanker headed towards the American coast and with their small force managed to hold off the american forces and starve them of oil - the war machine ground to a halt.  The USA might have had a chance if their military was in the US, but they were fighting another war in the middle east to keep their supply stable there.  Being Canadians, they at first just held the US off at their borders and were content at that.  Upon further reflection they recognized the need to destroy all of the war making infrustructure so they invaded into the heart of the US, all the way down to Texas.  I guess they liked the place so much - not Texas..a little too hot - but most everywhere else, so they stayed!"
... Having watched too many sci-fi movies ...


Please follow your own advice.


As a published Author of fiction, he meets the requirement that it is interesting and fiction.

Why not this way as opposed to the way you might think it happens, or how I might think it happens, or any single on of us.   In the end we are all pretty much guessing with or without graphs and charts and spreadsheets to back up our short or long term guesses.

Fiction has the power to make people think.  Fact has them so confussed that they think TV is real and Life is a Box of Chocolate.

Smiles Nicely,  hands you his latest fictional account of a computer running for president.

Thank you.  You pretty much captured my intent.  I had a random thought the other day about NAFTA, which lead to thinking about what would happen if Canada backed out of it so it could sell its oil to a higher bidder leaving the USA high and dry, or more likely (and reasonable) to retain the oil for its own citizen's needs, as I believe nafta has a lot of nasties that might otherwise prevent canada from being able to act in it's own self interest.  Obviously a doomer double-plus scenario and highly improbable, but not necessarily impossible.  At which point I remembered Jerome A Paris' "The Day of the Oslo Warning" and thought that would be the perfect format for a highly unlikely scenario, as you say, "to make people think."  I'm an advocate of thinking "out there"...it keeps things from sneaking up on you.  Figured it might be more interesting than dry conjecture, as well.
Nice little story. Could even happen.
Sorry to report some UK threads still have a spammer, daydaytop2008, sample here: http://uk.theoildrum.com/story/2006/4/23/6050/44818#8

Would appreciate their postings cleaned up when Super G reads this thread, tks.