New Oil Age Poster

The folks at SF Informatica tell me that they have a new version of the Oil Age poster ready. If you need one for doing outreach, go buy it from them. It's a very nice piece of graphical design with a ton of good information in a small space. (They were kind enough to give me an early one when I gave a talk to our local peak oil group recently, so I have one on my wall already).

Very cool - should be on the wall in every high school classroom.
I have the old version struck on the wall behind me. It is very nice with lots of info, and besides anyone will know were the peakman sits.
Is their a higher res version?
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You'll just have to get one to read the fine print.

Great poster.

Everytime I see it, however, I can't help but be drawn to that great valley, 1980 to 1990.

It is still astounding.  That was it.  That was the Peak.   We now look for, and chatter like canaries about a drop in production of a few weeks, or a month!  Look at the "Great Valley"....a drop in world oil production of great magnitude, FOR A DECADE.
That was when it was all over, it MUST HAVE BEEN!  There could not possibly be anything but a world meltdown in a peak and then valley like that it! The great dieoff should have began then, and by Deffeyes type reasoning, it would have been "stone age" by 2005!

Instead, it led us into one of the most consumptive periods in world history, and the waste of resources "post-peak" what looked like the 1980 world peak was horrendous.

Even including that waste, there is a STAGGERING fact that most people ignore:
The truly advanced nations of the world, the U.S. and Europe, and Japan, use barely more crude oil today than they did in 1980, and in some cases not as much (!!!)  HOW can that be possible?  Look at the chart, there must be something not right! (??)

The growth you see on that chart is the picture of the third world trying to live a humane and modern life.  The giant peak in consumption, despite what you may think of America's horrendous fuel waste even now, is the picture of a world that wants to live something close to  the lifestyle that the elite wealthy nations have known for decades.

HOW are we, the elite, going to deny them, and show any last remaining shred of decency and humanity?

THAT is the question of our time.

Roger Conner  known to you as ThatsItImout

Good point that the latest downslope dident end the world.

My conclusion is that it feels moraly ok to try to outcompete other oil buyers by making ones company or economy more efficient and less oil depending. If the saved oil then goes to developing countries that desperately needs easy to handle energy to get a halfway decent living or SUV:s in the USA is nothing I can do anything about. But it would be moral, good for our environment, good for your local envronment, good for your trade ballance and so on if you tried the same and enterd an efficiency race.

I have more or less the same moral reasoning about nuclear power. Those with the skills to build and run nuclear powerplants should do so freeing up coal, oil, gas and CO2 allowances for less advanced regions.

Before you get too excited, think about how much oil was used for electricity generation and heating before that period, and how little after it.
Yes, I'm sure you would see a large increase in natural gas use during that decade to compensate for the less oil use.
Except here in NY, we still use a lot! We didn't really recover from the inflationary 1970s until the early 1990s.
Very naive observations.

The Iran/Iraq war brought production figures down, and the in 1982 USSR entered in plateau. As you can see from the poster from 1983 onwards production started growing.

In fact by the mid-eighties with North Sea coming heavilly on stream and investment on the Middle East brought production capacity well over Demand.

When we peak for real, nothing will bring production up again. It wont be a 2 year Demand destruction period, it'll be probably worst...

As for your last questions, US oil consumption grew 3% in 2004, and is now well above 1980 levels (BP's statiscal review). And besides US folk spend at least the double of everyone else (without creating better living standars).

And finally, why not give a try to the Depletion Protocol?

Which observation would you consider "niave"?

The chart speaks for itself.  
You say, "The Iran/Iraq war brought production figures down, and the in 1982 USSR entered in plateau."

Of course.  But what does that tell us, other than production still went down a huge amount WORLDWIDE.  (It does tell us one other thing, and I will return to that....)

You say, "you can see from the poster from 1983 onwards production started growing."  

Of course.  But it still took to the end of the decade for world production to return to old highs achieved almost a decade earlier!

You say,
"In fact by the mid-eighties with North Sea coming heavilly on stream and investment on the Middle East brought production capacity well over Demand."  
Of course.  And the use of natural gas in electric production, and the use of multi stage combined cycle electric generator plants, and the use of smaller and more efficient cars with more advanced engines, and the use of insulation and double paned windows in new homes, (there is still NO HOME in history more toasty than a well built early 1980's vintage!)...proving that demand and supply can move an ASTOUNDING amount in either direction, and that the complexity of the world energy market makes prediction VERY hard.

You say, "As for your last questions, US oil consumption grew 3% in 2004, and is now well above 1980 levels (BP's statiscal review). And besides US folk spend at least the double of everyone else (without creating better living standars).

When you say "well above", what do you mean exactly?  Take the annual growth, averaged over the number of years since the 1980's, and almost every other index (stocks, inflation, growth, job growth, medical costs, home costs, higher education enrollment and costs, on and on) grew at a faster annual rate than the growth in consumption of oil, which has been, if you look over that long a period, and take out the recovery from "The Big Valley", has been astoundingly flat in all of the modern technical nations.  What does that tell us?   That "wealth" per se, and "technology" per se, do not create proportional oil consumption in and of themselves!  It's astounding, but true!

On not creating better living standards, well, compare to Europe, Japan, Asia....I am not sure that argument holds, but it does depend on how you define "better living standards".

Back to our early point, where you mentioned the U.S.S.R "plateau" and the Iran Iraq war as reducing oil output, and I said, "It does tell us one other thing, and I will return to that...", well I am returning to that, and in fact to an ongoing theme of mine of great importance...

The Iran/Iraq war, the Russian plateau, the rapid rise of North Sea oil production that followed, and the fact that "investment on the Middle East" could bring "production capacity well over Demand" are examples of a LOGISTICAL PEAK.  A logistical peak is an entirely different breed of animal than a GEOLOGICAL PEAK  (being as West Texas so correctly refers to in the case of Texas and the lower 48 states in the U.S. after 1970)

Rigth now, we have to try to find out if we are in a "logistical peak" or a "geological" Texas style peak, writ large.  If it is logistical, we could have a replay of the 1970-1990 period all over again, and people will be wiped out not by "Peak Oil" but instead by misguessing the actual trends (just as happened to many in the late 1970's)

On the side of "geological peak" are:
Hubbert Linearization
Declining prospects for exploration
Smaller and smaller output from more and more wells
Declining oil quality (more and more heavy oil)

On the side of "Logistical Peak":
War- Iraq has large reserves that can't be developed, West Africa has large reserves that can only be worked under threat and terror.

Politics- Iran is not being optimally developed, Cuba may have reserves close at hand but politics keeps us out, Mexico has a currupt and semi-competent nationalized oil industry, Venezuala is moving toward same,  Russian oil is being "re-nationalized" thus costing efficiency and modernization, environmental issues surround Canadian and Arctic development and the U.S. still has political/environmental prohibitions on drilling OCS (Outer Continental Shelf) and Rocky Mountain oil and gas.

Economics- very "fast growth" industries compete for investment money with the oil industry, and often on favorable terms, since many regard "oil" as dirty, old fashioned, and passe', and instead give favorable tax, location and market breaks to "high tech"  and "service" type industries.

Demographics-workforce and technician shortages due to the aging of the baby boomers, and massive underinvestment/collapse in the industry in the 1980's.  Even if the oil is "out there" somewhere, you still need technicians and workers to get it.

Cyclical factors-The oil price throught the 1990's was ASTOUNDINGLY low compared to the overal history of the price of oil, just as the price in the 1970's/early '80's was ASTOUNDINGLY high compared to the average mean price over the history of the industry.  This means there had to be a MASSIVE shortfall of investment in the oil industry.  This implies that we must sooner or later be ready to "pay the piper" on the need for development and investment in this industry.  The time to pay may be now, plenty of oil out there or not.

So, the imporant points of my prior post and this one, taking a hard look at the "Big Chart" is this:

Believe only half of what you see, and none of what you hear unless you are willing to think and examine ALL SIDES of the facts, and be exhaustive in your acceptance of possibilities.

Do not assume ANYTHING from a one week, one month, one year, or even five year drop in oil production.  These DO NOT prove that true "geological" peak oil is correct.  This does not mean we should not ACT on even the "logistical peak".  It is in many ways as serious and as dangerous as "geological peak", BUT THEY ARE NOT THE SAME THING.

And lastly, and maybe most importantly, do not underestimate the complexity and surprise implicit in the business, politics, technology, and economics of the energy industry.  Example:

Who would have believed that mandating fuel efficiency standards (the so called CAFE regulations) on passenger cars in the 1970's would lead the public to look for a way to stay in large vehicles, and cause them to move to trucks as a way to do it, since trucks were exempted from many CAFE rules because they are often used for work, and even given tax advantages for the same reason.  One mis-use of law and the market desire of the public combined to create a long term energy catastrophe.  Could ANYONE have foreseen that outcome coming out of "The Big Valley"?

Roger Conner  known to you as ThatsItImout

Roger: Good points. IMO, we have peaked, but I feel the downslope will be more gradual than expected for the reasons you mentioned (and others).
"HOW are we, the elite, going to deny them, and show any last remaining shred of decency and humanity?"

I think what is going on now with AIDS in Africa already resolves any doubt about the decency and humanity of the global elites

But the answer would be in order of preference: exploit, ignore, and kill "them" if necessary.

"They" of course "get" this idea already, insert 9/11 reference here if you must.

john milton -

"..exploit, ignore, and kill 'them' if necessary."

That, I think, is the general modus operandi of the developed Western World.  Did the US government even attempt to lift a finger to stop the genocide in Rawanda that killed over a half million?  It could have been almost totally prevented at the cost of probably less than the cost of a day or two of our occupation of Iraq.  

A scene from the Mel Brooks movie, "History of the World, Part II" comes to mind.  The scene is in the Roman Senate, and one senator is standing up making an impassioned speech to the effect: "Are we going to continue building vast palaces for the rich, or are we going to at long last help the poor?" A hush falls over the senate, and there is a long pregant pause, after which all the Roman senators shout out in unison, "Fuck the poor!"

So, I think we both know the answer to the question: "Are we going to keep consuming huge amounts of oil, or are we going to at long last share it with the poor countries?"

I read somewhere that the human population is 4 billion beyond carrying capacity without oil.  Is this natures way of fixing a problem?  Isn't this modern (or not) biologigal darwinism?  "are humans smarter than yeast"???
Africa's biggest problem is massive corruption combined with significant incompetence, not aids. Of course, the former do not help the latter much. Consider the largest African country with the largest natural resources - S africa. Until recently, this country's leaders denied that aids existed. Even now most countries are no better than the us administration in handing out as much education, condoms and clean needles as the public is willing to absorb.
As far as not giving them sufficient aid in the form of the modern drug cocktail that prolongs life, it is clear that the cocktails actually aid and abet the spread of the disease (If this disease killed immediately, only one person would have died - there would have been no sexual or other transmission.)  Pretty amazing that recipients of cocktails are not required, as a condition of receiving the life-lengthening drugs, to accept some tattoo in a discreet location such that future sex partners are warned of the danger, regardless of insurance or country.  Aids activists, outraged at any suce requirement as humiliation to the sick victims, are actively aiding the spread of this disease to other victims.
Note that there were less people in the world during that time and more importantly, that the period of time was marked by class struggle.  Where the gap between the haves and the have nots began to grow.
In the 1980's, demand didn't want to keep going up.  In fact, it largely defined that donward slope, as I understand it.

But the big Peak will likely involve demand continuing to go up, but the donward slope being defined by decreasing supply.

Bumper-sticker rephrase: Prices didn't skyrocket then as supply and demand kissed.  They will this time.

I don't see production vs discovery on there. To me, that's a far more useful chart than global production per se. Once people figure out we haven't discovered enough replacement for current production for some time now Peak theory becomes much more plausible.
"The growing gap" graph is there.
oh, Ok I see it now. (Do'oh!) Sorry about that! :-)
I have a couple of these and one is displayed on my office wall.  I have given many peak oil talks to co-workers.  Most, sadly to say, don't care.  They look at me like I am a nut.  I keep talking though.  I guess once gas hits $5 or $6/gallon they will want to learn more about this topic.
I think many people new to the subject will be struck that at the time of World War 2, all the tanks, ships and planes in which men fought and died ran on oil, and yet the world produced barely a twentieth as much of the stuff as it does  now.
That's a good observation, and the US was also the top oil producer.
Actually the number is more like 1/12th, but who cares about accuracy? We're just trying to help people new to the subject, right? Plus, they must all be idiots, anyway. They would have to be, they obviously thought all those tanks and planes ran on corn-juice before you set them straight.
"Plus, they must all be idiots, anyway. They would have to be, they obviously thought all those tanks and planes ran on corn-juice before you set them straight."

No, but if they read Deffeyes "stone age by 2025" and some of the latest "hysteria monger" hanger ons to the "Peak Oil" frenzy, they would have to believe that a world running on 1/12th the amount of oil would not be able to fight a war or operate machinery, and that people would be running around in the woods wearing animal pelts!  :-)

Never, ever operate heavy machinery while wearing an animal pelt after running around in the woods! I learned this the hard way so that you don't have to.
Does the furry side go in or out?
Ha-Ha. I forget since there's no furry side left. It got all tangled up in the gears.
Question:IYO, for how many years and after what % of global oil production decrease will the MSM still be able to sell the story that any peak is temporary and will be eventually reversed? I will guess 15 years and 35% decrease (down to 62 mpd-all liquids).  
Depends what else transpires in the interim, but I think yours is an upper limit.

I have a feeling that after depletion sets in, the age of exporting massive amounts of oil will evaporate pretty fast.

Yeah, I have a feeling all this free trade stuff is a product of cheap oil...there will still be lots of trade and globalization...just lighter goods and mostly over the telephone/internet. I expect to hear more countries echo Brazil's "It treason to export oil"
Beautiful poster.
What is the data source for this graph? the ASPO?
If you were a GM employee in Flint, Michigan the early 80s was the end of the world as they knew it.
I wonder what the Hubbert curve would be be if we slid 1979 and before over to 2002 and subtracted the amount produced inbetween.  Essentially, blank out the period between 1979 and 2003, and correct for it.
Where do the numbers come from? The chart is definitely very pretty and very clear... but are the numbers behind it correct? What are the asumptions being made? What's the margin of error? For example, the chart indicated the deep water oil production to drop to zero; but I would expect this source to be one with the MOST potential. Maybe I'm wrong, but how can I argue the point if the authors of the chart aren't publishing their sources?


The source of the "OilPoster" numbers and projections are given at the website:

The poster's main chart features a year-by-year rendering of worldwide oil production from 1859 to 2050 with projections of future production based on Colin Campbell's Oil Depletion Model.

So if you accept Campbell's numbers, you accept the chart without further doubts.  If you question Campbell's numbers, then the chart becomes debatable.

This does present a few problems, some of which have been discussed before:
>Campbell allows that his own numbers are not set in stone and can be changed by events.
>Geological Peak vs. Logistical Peak.  Many believe the fast steep decline shown in the chart is only if no major investments are made.  Campbell, by way of understanding him, seems to say that even if the investments are made in E/P (exploration/production) that still does not greatly alter the big picture, that this is in fact a geological and NOT a logistical issue at it's core.

It is on the wings of the above discussion that all the controversy and all the "prophecy" hang in the balance.  

I take the position that even if the chart is a bit "doom and gloom" all indication are that we should be going down the road of the Hirsch report simply because:
>Even the optimists such as Yergin's CERA are now not arguing that we are all that far from a problem, with the "undulating plataeu" argument after 2015 to 2020
>Global warming and pollution indicate that without MASSIVE sequestration, carbon issues are starting to look critical faster than expected and
>Geopolitical issues.  Concentration of all energy power in smaller and smaller number of hands is risky, no matter who's hands they are.  Even if the world is not yet at geological peak, the concentration of effort to the Middle East that we are close to or at Non OPEC peak, (geological or logistical, we just don't know yet) and the concentration of wealth and power down to that small of a group is unhealthy.

In other words, if Peak didn't exist, we should probably invent it!  (but keep it nice and lose the "die off of 90% of the world" and that sort of unfriendly sort of thing....

So, take the chart, like everything else, with a grain of salt.  However, it has as much a chance of being accurate as half what's being taught in the school and put in the mainstream press, so keep publishing and spreading it, and let folks judge for themselves!

Roger Conner  known to you as ThatsitImout