Oil Price Poll Redux

With oil prices around $73/bbl and news of reduced demand in the DrumBeat today, it's time for another poll: where are oil prices heading in the next two months?

(here's a link to our first poll a couple of weeks ago...I shortened the time horizon a bit in this one, just to shake it up a bit.)

Here you go...
We will be averaging over $80 a barrel by the end of the year, but I don't see breaking $83 in the next two months unless some really severe supply disruptions occur.

I don't agree with that kind of curve fitting. If it were really credible, market investors would all use it and would bid up the price in advance, negating the predictive value of the curve.

Unless we have a supply disruption due to hurricanes or political events, I don't think we'll get anywhere close to either 63 or 83 in the next two months. More like 69-77 or so. However I think the upside risk is a lot greater than downside, i.e. it's much more likely that we'll see 83 in the next two months than 63.

Well, in the six months since I first came up with this projection, it has been fairly accurate.  As I have updated the chart with the latest closing prices, the projections have converged on the "realistic case."  

As for traders (read speculators), they don't deal in multi-year trends, they ride the two to three month cycle of rally / sell-off.  Plus, they are all economists at heart and still believe that demand creates supply.  We know better.

I am a trader and I have an education in physics. I know many traders. Most have nothing to do with economics. I don't believe demand "creates" supply, whatever that means.

Curve fitting might work short term through luck, but it absolutely doesn't make any sense as a predictive tool for oil.

Curve-fitting is a model, not absolute reality (like any model). Yeah, perhaps the model's predictive power is weak, but I still find it interesting. It's been posted and now we can see how well it does through the end of the year. Perhaps someone out here in TOD-land might be able to make a better model for predicting future oil prices. I think that would be interesting, too. Of course, a well-functioning model would best be kept secret, I imagine. ;o)


curve fitting is not a model. it's two completely different things.
Well, in the six months since I first came up with this projection, it has been fairly accurate.

Six months? Yeah, right. Your first post is 10 days ago. Try again. Or at least post us some links to where your genius comes from.

I find all this very fascinating.  Yes, my first post here was ten days ago and from that you conclude that I didn't exist prior to those ten days?  I've been posting over on PeakOil.com for a year now as Geko45.  I guess you don't bother visiting any other sites on this topic, eh?  As for my chart above, this and several more like it were turned in by me as part of my class project in Quantitative Reasoning (MBA program).  All my projections are available in the Depletion Modeling forum of PeakOil.com.

Professionally, I work in IT, but being located in Houston, TX, I have been in and around the energy industry for my whole career (13 years).  I worked on one application that managed well-log data and another that was an online data room for oil and gas properties.  Yet another project was an online marketplace for new and used oil field equipment.  I'm not a geologist or a reservoir engineer, but I'm not new to the industry either.

Back to the chart, I think that there is at least some predictive value in projecting a four year old trend out another six months.  However, I did not intend for this chart to be a stand alone argument.  I seem to have underestimated the amount of hostility I would encounter to the concept of $80 a barrel for oil though.  I guess I expected that people here would be better versed in these issues.  For the sake of completeness, here are the highlights from my project which I now submit as inductive support for the price projection I first posted.

The above two charts are year-on-year percent change and projected supply.  Ya'll may recognize them as Stuart Staniford did the exact same thing not that long ago (from whom I initially obtained the idea for my project).  Stuart actually helped me out (I've been a reader here for longer than ten days) by sending me the ASPO dataset for pre-1965 since the BP dataset only goes back that far.  I used that data to complete my world linearization and Hubert curve charts as seen below.

Finally, I took the results of my linearization(s) and used them to extrapolate future discovery and production and combined these on a single world overview chart that also shows demand as projected by the EIA at 1.9% per year out to 2025.  Doing that, I came up with the following.  As you can see, one of these plots is not like the others.

Oh and BTW, I got an "A" on the project and the class and the program as a whole to date (4.0 GPA), so you cynics can just go take a flying leap for all I care.  At least I can tell you why I think the price of oil is going up without having to rely on nothing more than unsupported "hunches" and "gut feelings".

Nice going. I liked your "take a flying leap" approach.I have been coming hear for a long time and have noticed a degeneration in the quality on many posts. Over all TOD concepts are good but I'm sure they can not control the neighborhood like many other web sights. Hope you stay with us here. ;o).
The experts now say we may have as many as twenty one tropical storms/hurricanes coming across the Atlantic. Of these as many as nine will become major. I believe the minute one peeks into the Gulf we will see oil prices make a big jump upward...certainly over $80.
If Cantarell declines at 7% per 6 months, that is 300,000 bbl/day off the market by the end of this year.  The North Sea is plummeting an in a year it will produce 200,000 bbl/day less. Only God and the Saudis know what the Saudies are doing and Kuwait has announced it is now in decline (reduction in Burgan production of 200,000 bbl/day last fall). Chavez is now taking over the Venezuelan heavy oil production so it will now begin to fall as did the conventional production when he took over.  I guess I would say that in order for the price to drop, one needs to have demand drop faster than this over the next year. Given all the problems, I can't see that happening.
We can have demand drop in the US, and thus prices, if the Real Estate bubble deflates fast enough, which it may do, if China gets out of the dollar, which she may do, if some act happens that brings on "wartime austerity measures" within the US which may happen.... of course we may simply get a collapse of the dollar, where, as Bernanke said with glee, we can keep the dollar going but not gurantee how much it will buy......
I agree fleam. This is a scenario that could reduce the oil price over the short term, but I'd make a couple points. If the dollar really collapses, you may see the oil price fall in all major cuurency terms except the dollar. It may still be strong in dollar terms, because it will look cheaper to the Chinese and Japanese etc. That won't really help the US consumer much. Who knows what will actually happen, but commodities do tend to be negatively correlated to the dollar. Also what is interesting to me is that if you look at 1920-1930 you see global oil consumption went up that decade. Also over 1970-1980. That was despite the economic problems. So if we get some slower demand for energy it will only likely be for a few years.
Buzzard (URR 550m bbls) is due to come onstream at end of 2006 and operator plans to rapidly ramp up to peak rate of around 200k bopd.  Latest report from DTI's Energy Trends is that UK N Sea output declined by 150k bopd between 1Q 05 and 1Q 06.  On this basis we might expect Buzzard to arrest UK decline for around 16 months.

Of course pulling Buzzard at 200k bopd would deplete entire field in under 8 years thus we should expect rapid decline to set in by late 2010 at which time Buzzard would pass the 50% Qt point.

Irrespective of Buzzard's contribution N Sea output could still decline by some 200k bopd over next 12 months as SeismicBob refers to given that sizeable decline rates are being seen in the Norwegian sector also.  Norway's output is higher than UK's therefore a (say) 8.5% decline would take out some 200k bopd.
But other fields will decline faster than Buzzard ramps.

I agree. It may fall a little bit, but where will all this oil come from to drive down the price so much? It's probably a better bet to talk about the yearly trend though. I would be quite confident to claim that a year from today the price will be higher than 73.

I think we've all seen that there isn't going to be a whole lot of demand destruction unless the price stays high, recession or no.

My dad told me that the best prediction of the price of a stock tomorrow is the price you pay today.
I like this. It makes a certain amount of sense to me. But I have to ask,"what did your father mean?"

Did he mean the price "you" as in you(his son(or daughter), as a proxy for him) would pay? Or did he mean "you" as in what your average person would pay? Or did he mean what the aggregate of all those "yous" would pay, as in the market's going rate.

I suspect your Dad was pretty smart.

Yep your Dad was a genius!! If only I'd followed his dictate to buy tech stocks in 1999, I'd have laughed my way to the bank in 2001! They just went up and up and up didn't they?

Of course I had no money to buy stocks, darn, that kept me from becoming rich.....

Huh?...Oh, yeah. I understand. OK. sorry for your loss.
Oil CEO wrote:
I like this. It makes a certain amount of sense to me. ... I suspect your Dad was pretty smart.

So you reject hard data in favor of clever colloquialisms?  Nice try, but as you say "try again."
My dad told me that the best prediction of the price of a stock tomorrow is the price you pay today.
Well, that is in fact a simple statement of conventional economic wisdom. Stock and commodity markets are forward looking and are always trying to guess tomorrow's prices, today. That's why fears and expectations of future oil shortages make the price high now, even though today's supply and demand do not justify such high prices. This is why some people see market manipulation and hold-back of oil supply. That's not true; rather, there is widespread expectation of higher prices next year, causing intentional reduction in supply today.
I agree with Booch, despite the criticism. But as we can see in his graph, oil price rises aren't linear, they are volatile. What is really linear is the trend, so tend to agree with the yeloow line in the graph if, and only if, it is called a trend. Because if you call it the exact line of price increses, it's obviously wrong... As for the poll, I belive we will still hit a price beyond 80$ dollars this summer, but don't know exactly if it will be 81, 82 or 83, and it really dosen't matter. What matters is next year, by this time, we will be close to 90$ and the next close to 100$, and the only thnig that can stop it is a global recession.
Booch, Oil CEO slapped me down when I first started posting here about 4 weeks ago - so I'd tend to ignore it.

In the past the oil price has been notoriously difficult to forecast - in fact it used to be impossible.  That was because the price was not controlled by market forces.

Things have changed and since 2002 market forces have been more in control and I think your chart is as good a way as any of pointing the future direction.

Have to note that your red line is labelled pessimistic and on this basis it seems you are a driver and not an investor.

The precarious state of oil supplies is amply illustrated by concerns of sea breezes blowing down GOM way.  My understanding is that El Nino contributed to last year's severe hurricanes and that El Nino has now reverted to a more benign position this year.  So a repeat of last year is perhaps less likely.  What will happen in the absence of severe weather is that ocean temperatures will get hotter and hotter and the next time El Nino flips all Hell may break loose.


Thanks for the advice.  I really don't mind criticism, but pointless heckling gets on my nerves.  I can make a case why I believe the way I do, I expect others to make a case for what they believe not just throw rocks.

As for my "pessimistic" curve, the company I work for now actually benefits from high energy prices, so indirectly I do as well.  We have already noticed a substantial up turn in new business lately.  Still, I recognize what this means for the economy and the country as a whole and that is why I labeled it such.

Yes, before 2002 there was more supply than anyone could possibly need, so the price was more a function of geopolitics than anything else.  But that has changed, shut-in capacity has been reduced to next to nothing which means the rules of supply and demand are now king.  That is why we are now seeing a bull market that is 4.5 years old with no signs of a slow down in sight.

I expect others to make a case for what they believe not just throw rocks.

Never mind, you will have to get used to that ;-)

A severe disruption to supply could take the price above $83 in the next two months, and, on the other hand, an unexpected upswing in Iraqi and/or Nigerian production (not all that implausible either) could take them at least briefly below $63 (although not below $60, I would say). So, I think the "base case" is that the prices remain between these limits.
Lets not forget hurricane season..
Que Será, Será, Whatever Will Be, Will Be"

Majik 8-Ballz Sayz: "Expect a Change...

I buy that.  IMHO The Direction and Velocity of Change depends mostly on Current Windowz of Opporunity and How Quickly they might slam shut...

... in other words, TimezUp.  And Now All Dependz ...

On PoliTICz, Mice and ManzThingy... (oh joy...)


Diplomacy: Babel on The Border

A number of long-held assumptions about the Israeli-Arab conflict have been thrown overboard during the first two weeks of the current battle.

The first is that this is an Israeli-Arab conflict. Wrong. It is fast turning into an Israeli-Islamic conflict, as the true power behind the throne is not located in Bnit Jbail, Beirut, Cairo, Damascus, Riyadh or any other Arab capital, but rather in Teheran. And the Iranians are not Arabs.

Another comfortable assumption was that the conflict is over territory, and that if Israel would just cede territory, the conflict would dissolve. Wrong. Hizbullah's attack on Israel two weeks ago had nothing to do with territorial claims, except maybe claims on Haifa, Nahariya, Kiryat Shmona and Safed.

And, finally, the war has put paid the notion that Israel learned the lessons of May 1967 and would never again entrust its security to the hands of an international force that could be withdrawn at a whim. Wrong again...


Ditto and amen.

I remain behind my 100% correct and invincible forecast: The price of oil will fluctuate.

I expect to see greater volatility over the next two years than the past two years.

Is there a floor under the price of crude? Yes, but I do not know where it is. Barring a major global depression, it would surprise me to see light sweet crude ever below forty dollars again.

Is there a price ceiling? Yes. It is political. At some point there will be rationing and price controls. When? Dunno. Would not surprise me to see various controls and excess profits taxes by late summer of 2008, as the U.S. presidential election heats up. Thus, IMO, going long on any oil company at this point is folly. So is going short;-)

I don't think I would argue with anything you say here except for the last couple lines - about going long or short any oil company.

For most people what you are saying is probably true at this point in time. And I may very well be among that group for all I know... but if you knew which companies were the Most Susceptible to Disruptions (from weather or war) and you knew which companies were the LEAST sensitive and therefore most reliable...

Panic Sellers and Panic Buyers with Wrong and Right Companies in the Wrong and Right Profoundly Locales ("location!, Location!,Location!" meets "Energy is non-negotiable").

BUT... who the hell knowz all that stuff right?

Oil majors currently sell for p/e's of around or under 10 times 2006/2007 earnings.

They pay large dividends, and tend to be valued by analysts on the assumption of $40-$50 oil.

I think they all the large oil co's look pretty good value regardless of the oil price, because Wall St doesn't believe in peak oil.

They believe that discoveries have dropped off the last 20 years because people haven't been looking for the stuff, and when they find some the oil price will drop again. If you disagree, you could do worse than buy some BP, Royal Dutch, Statoil, Total, Chevron, Exxon etc.

Don, what you say makes sense about too-high prices leading to the introduction of price controls, and no doubt that would be a big hit on oil stocks. At the same time, "Babble" is right that the stocks are attractively valued now if you think oil is going to continue to go up. You could always hope to make a nice profit over the next year or two and sell out when things get too hot.

Or, there is now the USO crude oil Exchange Traded Fund which can be bought and sold like a stock. It is supposed to track the spot price of West Texas Intermediate, so I don't know if that would be affected by price controls or not. Even if so, its price would not collapse even if price controls came into existence (as the oil companies' might), but rather would merely stabilize. But I would imagine that price controls would only be applied in the retail market; the last thing the government would want to do is to discourage domestic production by artificially lowering the value of domestic oil.

I can see that Israel would be really happy to have a buffer zone on the northern border, staffed by other countries, whose soldiers would be targeted by Hezbollah and who would prevent Hezbollah firing rockets. Even if it didn't last it would buy time.

What I don't see is that any country is going to be stupid enough to volunteer its soldier for this somewhat unenviable task.  France has said no and the rest are walking around looking in the air and making uninterested noises. Even Kofi Annan hasn't much hope or anything soon.  

Would you sign up your finest?
I would not, certainly not for Toady B.Liar


When UK parliamenarians and US Congessmen start to put theire children in harms way, then the rest of us can start to cough up.

This is exactly why Israel targeted the UN observation post.
You just pinned yourself.
Oh, he pinned himself long before that.
What is the Jerusalem Post (Israel's most right wing mainstream paper) editorial supposed to be for?  Is it supposed to provide an interesting insight?  (In that case, Fox News which keeps repeating same right wing Israeli views must be the most insightful source of information around!)

I assume you are smart enough to go to more than one source for your information.  So you must know that the reality is very much the opposite of what you copied and pasted.

Hezbollah has never been as popular in the Arab world.  In Cairo people are putting Hassan Nasrollah's pictures next to Nasser's.  What the discredited Hashemite and Saudi Kings say don't represent just the opposite of what their people think and want.

It's very strange how out of touch people seek out vindication from sources of misinformation just to keep.

Unless you are a trader, this obsession with the day to day, week to week , month by month tracking of the oil price is becoming quite sterile.

Yes, it will go up, yes it will go down, it may ramp, it may slump. During this last year, ''good news'' is a drop of a buck n a half. Also known as a 'slump in oil prices'.

To me at least a slump is a drop of 25 %.

There will be ups and downs for a variety of (yet) unknown factors. A hurricane here, a pipeline attack there etc.

It may well be a rollercoaster determined by fear, euphoria and greed, but fundamentally, the position is still as follows:

  • There is no swing producer now.
  • The number 2 , Cantarell is depleting.
  • Kuwait may change the game rules in quite a fundamentally new way.
  • Any new oil is way off and will never be enough to make up the difference
  • Iraq is breaking up.
  • Nigerians may get cheesed off with living on less than $3 / day and decide to take control of their own resources.
  • Nobody has told China that the sweet oil party has moved on to another frat house.
  • A new Salah al Din may emerge in the middle east and kick some serious crusader ass.
  • Israel has worked out the regional demographics and has decided that the best way forward is to make life unviable for the Lebanese and Palestians by destroying the infrastucture required for life. (Water, power, transport etc)

Who knows?

Hope for the best, but plan for the worst. Drive your miles,but cut your budgets as if you are paying $3.75 a gallon. (ie 'tax ' yourself)
Then if it falls, dont go splurging it on a new flat screen TV, or Chinese Garden Furniture, but kitty it for when it turns up to $4.00 a gallon.

Ditch the SUV - You know it makes sense. Especially if the price of oil falls: Euphoria will kick in and you will offload your future liability at a better price than when oil ramps up in price later.

Drive like its rationed to 1 tank a week - You will amaze yourself how 'soft footing' improves your mpg.

It may jump about, but the long term fundamentals point north.

"Unless you are a trader, this obsession with the day to day, week to week , month by month tracking of the oil price is becoming quite sterile."

Indeed!  Heck, I am a trader now and even I don't sweat monthly fluctuations.

Live like oil is finite.

''Invest in land - 'cos they aint making anymore more of it''

Mark Twain (I think)

Will Rogers on Real Estate
April 13, 1930
(paraphrased) put your money in land ...ETC

Both Will and Mark were sharp cookies.

Twain was a disastsrous investor with tragic personal consequences.
Land is a strange good. You can even bomb it and it still doesn't break. (Also one of those Dad-Son lessons from 25 years ago)

Land mines are a real pisser.
So are floods. Even a 1-foot sea-level rise can eat up a lot of coastal land. Then there's contamination, heavy metals, say, or depleted uranium, or who-knows-what-else. An aquifer can be polluted from afar, and eventually turn one's well into a slow poison, or worse.

And, of course, land can be created, too. Drain a lake (like Lake Washington). Build a dike (risky, but doable). Etc. So, "they" are, indeed, making "it" in some places.


Sigh. I wish my Dad had been supersmart and told me all this stuff..... anyway, let's all buy some of that DU-filled land over there in the ME, after all, it's been bombed but it ain't broken. Or, for the more cautious, some of that farmland here in the US that's been irrigated and is all full of salt.... after all, ya can't break it......
Maybe your old man wasn't that bright. But he probably wished his son didn't try so hard to be a douchebag. C'mon, man. Knock off the act.
when I was ten or eleven years old, my Dad gave me a copy of "Where are the Customers' Yachts?"

My son had a hard time, because his dad is an economist and old blowhard knowitall. So he (and two of his sisters) majored in economics, and because he is smarter than I am and found a good woman to be his wife, I think he'll do just fine.

His favorite book was "Stuart Little," and after reading it to him more than one hundred times, I came to the conclusion that it contains most of the wisdom humans have come by during the past six thousand years. Also the prose is superlative; too bad the movie did not live up to the book.

In regard to important things, what you have not learned by the age of twelve you probably never will learn.

Moral: Spend more time with kids, both your own children and also others'.

"Soft footing" does help a lot. All of this makes a lot of sense, I use less than a tank a week but you are right, set up an upper limit of a tank a week, that might be a new experience for a lot of people.

Hurricane season isn't in full swing, this hot spell was country-wide, how much heat does that mean is in the water?

I dont know, I am surprised that the hurricane season has not already started. Perhaps the heat is distributed differently this year in California and until now, Europe.

We are cooking at present.

I think what may happen is that the Hurricane season may shift so that frequency and intensity may become greater in the latter part of the season.

Who knows?
Just like oil prices:
Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.

it's not just hot water that makes hurricanes...there is a good deal of hot dry air coming off the sahara that is putting the cabosh on the east atlantic, and further west wind shear is breaking up anything that gets going...but it's still early ...mid august is normal ramp up for hurricane season.

After reading the latest National Geographic on hurricanes I've now become interested in deep warm water. These are areas where the warming extends well below the surface. They really get a hurricane kicking with only wave height keeping them under control.

Deep hot water probably results thus in monster storm surges.
The longer hurricanes don't form the worse they will be if if water continues to be abnormally warm since it will warm deeper. If global warming is really driving things people will be happy when we have early busy hurricane season since it probably will mean less mega-storms. I'f I'm right then we will look back on 2005 as a mild season.

I use way less fuel than you. WAY LESS. Weekly. Daily. Hourly. You want to play games?

Play with me.

Play with me motherfucker. Otherwise, nobody will pay attention. People only pay attention when you use bad words.

I use way less fuel than you. And I'll guess Roger Conner and many others do as well. What do you have to say for yourself?

I have had the same gas in my tank as I did um, 2 months ago, if I average it out it is now at 3 miles a day.  but I did not drive any in the last 3 weeks.

But, I have been a passager in a van hauling a trailer, from Arkansas to Alabama, and back again in about 6 hours.  The Trailer though was rebuilt by me and my dad about two weeks ago  from an  old 60's tent camper, and should serve us for another time period until we have to hook it to a horse team to get it to town with the market goods.

OilCEO were you having a bad day or something?

But you sure contribute to global warming with your own hot air.

If the USA ever signed up for Kyoto, they would need a second, additional protocol for you.

"Yes, it will go up, yes it will go down, it may ramp, it may slump."

I agree.  My prediction is $80 +/- $40. ;-)

A new Salah al Din may emerge in the middle east and kick some serious crusader ass.

Funny you should mention him. He came from a Kurdish background, not an Arab one:


This goes to show that Arabs will unite behind a warlord outside of their extended tribe if he professes Islam and speaks Arabic.

Interesting fact probably not peak oil related:

Sultan Baybars (not Saladin) drove the crusaders from the middle east and halted the mongolian invasion of the tartars in about 1260. He was born in Kipchak, mongol russia (A russian finally drove the westeners for the middle east!).

He foundered the first marmaluke (slave soldiers) dynasty in Egypt and succeded in organising Egyptian society into a military society capable of finishing off what Saladin could not do.  

Strangely, in general, the west seems to remember Saladin, who failed to get the crusaders totally out of the middle east, but can not seem to remember the name of the man of succeded. The middle east remembers Saladin as the one who failed to capatalise on his victories and Sultan Baybers is the hero who finished of the job.

Sorry about the spelling.

The "arabs" are a mixed bunch whose main commonality is their language. There are loads of "arab" christians which the American media are very careful so as to rarely mention. For example, 10% or Iraqis are Christian as as 10% of Egyptians. Over 30% of Lebanese are Christian.

When the arabs/moors invaded spain, they had a jewish general and lots of jewish soldiers. Think about that!

Historically, the leadership of countries like Egypt, Syria and Iraq were frequently non-arabs. The most militarily successful Egyptian ruler was an Albanian - Mohammad Ali Pasha. This ruler occupied what is now Israel, Lebanon and Syria - he grabbed them from the Turks..

Even Anwar Sadat, who was a vastly better commander than Nasser and who gave the Israelis a real scare and who managed to regain Sinai in exchange for peace, is from Sudanese extraction - that is why is was so dark-skinned.

Ditch the SUV

No way...My new RAV4 gets 30mpg on the highway!!!  Not all SUVs are created equal.

Is this a joke. The RAV4 isn't an SUV. It is just a car squeezed into a different shape. Hence the 4.
Second that CEO; it looks like an aborted elephant.
Ha...I'd drive an aborted wildebeest if the mileage was decent and I could haul all my stuff around in it.

Actually the new RAV4 is longer and more sporty looking than previous models.

Care to share what you are driving around in these days?

We see how you have demonstrate how American marketing works on the average American.. You think 30 mpg is a good thing.. I guess for now and yes its better than most but it still contributes to the problem.. So tell us do you drive it more since you get "better" mpg's than most thus use more gas in the process??  
Well...I have 2 kids and a large dog so my wife's Prius can't handle that and luggage.   I used to have a Subaru wagon that got worse mileage.  In the class of vehicles that can handle such a load (wagons, small SUVs), the RAV4 was the best mileage...so ya...I think 30 mph is the best thing available to me until my city gets enough mass transit built for me to get around.

No, I don't drive it more...if we need to go long distances without the dog and luggage, we drive the Prius.

Americans have to work with the choices that are given to them. If you look at the vehicles offered for sale in the US, coupled with the suburban culture we have, most of us are unfortunately stuck with a need to drive to some degree. For instance, it's 6 miles from my house to my workplace now. I don't drive much besides to and from work, aside from trips to the mall (2.7 miles), the Walmart (1.8 miles), or various movie theaters about once or twice per month (4-7 miles depending on which theater). If critical sections of the roadways between here and my workplace were made safe for bikes, I'd probably bike to-from work at least part of the year, although biking to an office job in Houston in the summer is probably not wise. ;)

Against this backdrop of a world built around "easy motoring" as Kunstler likes to call it, we don't have many choices in the 30mpg range and higher, especially if someone has a family (spouse and children) to haul around places as well. From what I can see, the RAV4 is not a horrible choice given the choices we Americans are allowed right now.

Yes, lots of us hope more and better choices will continue to come to market. But those of us living in the US have to live with the limits of what "the market" will offer us, rather than what we might actually want.

Personally, I am considering a VW Jetta TDI now, although the Ford Escape hybrid at 36 mpg city looks attractive too. The Escape would drop already small commuting costs further and give me lots of room for hauling things to and from the local garden center and local Lowe's hardware store.

I gotta tell you this. I have a TDI Passat (think bigger Jetta) and a TDI Golf. The Golf is considerably more useful. The hatchback is key, you can put the seats down and haul stuff. After a while... you decide it even looks better <g>.
Gets slightly better milage (than Jettas) since the shape is more aero.

Drive one. It might remind you of the old BMW 2002's. Great visibility.  

God...would you really trust a Ford hybrid with the way Ford is headed these days?  I had seriously considered one, but my local Ford dealer is pathetic service-wise.

Toyota has excellent service and that, in part, sealed the deal for me.

A Honda Civic LightFoot gets 41MPG here in suburban Maine. Kids use their bikes to get to the movies.

Add to you list that even though we are doing all we can to keep up with demand it is not helping. From Simmons in todays SF Chronicle
Simmons, the investment banker, says that he believes the global supply of oil has reached its peak, and that from this point on, prices will soar as demand increasingly outstrips available resources.

"We're using every rig in the world," he said. "We're doing everything we possibly can. And we still can't keep up with demand."

The average increase in Crude prices for the last seven years is 35% per year assuming it hits 81 or 82 in the next 6 months. However the curve seems to be getting steeper. I think it will be local events, ie. wars, hurricanes, ego's like Hugo's or some Exocet hitting Ras Tanura that would dramatically tip the scale in the short term. I do not see either Iraq or Nigeria fixing their problems anytime soon. In the long term, the continued increase in demand, India, China, Japan, U.S., Western Europe, most producing countries etc. coupled with the seemingly rapid decline in some of the existing basins, Cantarell, Ghawar, Burgan, North Sea, etc. added to by the realization  by Kuwait and perhaps others, that limiting production might be in their best interest, I see prices continuing to accelerate the curve, until they are high enough to cause demand destruction by the big boys. We've pretty much have already crushed the third world demand for counties like Bangladesh or Zimbabwe. They will both we staring at famine this year. The real pricing takes off when we start agressively bidding against China. That is going to be one hell of a ride. In the next two  months  I see $85 easy as one or more of the shitty things above is bound to happen.
You may well be right.
The poor boys will go first. Look at it as a rising tide: Those nearest the beach will drown first.

Sad really.

Treeman is right.

On the hurricane front -- there may be a chance that global warming may cause a shift in the normal hurricane formation, shifting storms south. Remember that the planet experienced the first hurricane to ever hit below the equator in the Atlantic.

Ya...totally unscientific..but I've noticed the tropical waves shooting out of Africa have all tracked a more southerly route.  Most of what's coming into the Gulf of Mexico is bubbling up from the West and spinning somewhat clockwise...odd!!!
my prediction is oil will reach $20/bl

I'm trying to outdo Michael Lynch here.  And I think I'm having a great chance.  

ML beat Ron Patterson to the punch a couple of times but predicting lower prices.

We don't have a gold standard.

We don't have an energy standard.

All this implying we decoupled the price/commodity relationship.  The govt/market can say whatever or set whatever prices they want.

Very funny.

But True any number on a given scale can be reached, the when is not given in your statement.  It could reach zero dollars, when the ants are the only creatures left on  earth that still inhabit wall street, because humans have died off.  It could reach 100,000 dollars a barrel when hyperinfaltion makes the Dollar equal to the price of a double bubble gumball.

All  subsets can be met given enough time and study of the possible futures of the events ahead.

You have said about as little as I just did, and It means about as much as my  post.  

Getting back to the demand creates supply issue I see how over a long enough time period it can be true for fuels. The high oil price is already creating more investment in bitumen, CTL, and BTL. It is the time lag that is the challenge before us. As consumers we don't buy petroleum, we buy gasoline. What the gasoline is made from doesn't matter to most consumers. High prices also creates negabarrels i.e. more hybrids and BEVs or just less use of guzzlers.
I'd like to see a more fundamental poll: which year do you think will turn out to have been the oil peak?

Later than 2010?

I'd be very interested in the collective wisdom of TOD readers on this. Maybe one of the editors can make it a poll.

Of course, it's easy to say, "I don't know when the peak will be". But think of it like this: imagine that you can make one guess, and if it turns out you were right, you will win a big prize. In other words, you have to try to pierce your own uncertainty and come up with the best estimate you can. Such guesses have been shown in many situations to be surprisingly accurate, when enough people guess and nobody knows other people's guesses until afterwards. TOD polls are perfect for getting this kind of information.

Good idea, Halfin. I'll stay my hand on saying when I think it was / will be until the poll but then I will guess the month and EIA all liquids peak amount.
That's a good point, is it all liquids or just oil, etc. I am inclined to agree that the EIA all liquids definition is a good one - for one thing it is the graph we always see. It makes sense that it includes the Canadian tar sand liquids, but maybe not so much sense that it includes ethanol. Still it is a useful benchmark.
Peak Year = 2001

Net Liquids Peak, that is.

Well, there, Halfin... regarding your question about, when the peak will be, Booch's projection says 2007. I get this by reading his graph and seeing where the rate of change in oil output reaches zero (no more growth) and then falls below zero (negative growth). Sounds like the definition of the peak to me. And this also would seemingly be consonant with Stuart's recent work (based as I understand it on current IEA numbers) that show oil extraction continuing to grow but at a decreasing rate. Kudos to both of them, I've seen nothing better out there.
Kudos to both of them, I've seen nothing better out there.

Thanks, but comparing my work to Stuart's is like comparing an amateur song writer with a modicum of natural talent to Mozart...