DrumBeat: July 9, 2006

Update [2006-7-9 9:49:36 by Leanan]:

Iraq's oil production could reach nine million barrels a day

LISBON (AFP) - Iraq's oil production could reach 9.0 million barrels a day in 2016, up from around 2.4 million barrels currently, the head of international oil producer Heritage Oil, said.

But the lack of a clear development strategy for Iraq's oil resources is delaying the much-needed foreign investment required to reach this level of production, Micael Gulbenkian warned in an interview with Portugal's Lusa news agency.

Violence in Basra rooted in oil smuggling

In the UAE: Cement price hike plan sparks angry backlash. High fuel and raw material costs are blamed.

From Jerome a Paris: Countdown to $100 oil: 'Mission Accomplished' - High Oil prices are here to stay.

Coal has power to fuel independence (about CTL).

Eyeing energy supplies from opposite ends of a telescope. Questions the reality of peak oil, but notes that China and India are behaving as if energy supplies are dwindling.

Asia is turning to nuclear in a big way. And dealing with the waste is becoming a challenge.

Strategic BTC pipeline ready for inauguration

Oil and gas pipeline deals hot

US DOE Releases Roadmap for Cellulosic Ethanol

HP predicts demand will rise for lower-power devices.

Spectres loom for booming BP. Investors are worried about where BP's future oil will be coming from. Companies with investments in unconventional sources like the tar sands are seen as better bets.

The other day, while waiting for a friend to show up to go hiking, I noticed several vehicles (SUV's of course) sitting around idling with people inside apparently waiting for something.  This led me to wondering how much fuel is wasted while idling.  In a quick search I found figures from 2.3 to 5.7 billion gallons (and many hours) wasted idling.  (I also found that 18 wheelers spent about 1 billions gallons idling while the driver was sleeping/resting/etc because they run the engine to keep the HVAC and electricity running).  I then quickly looked for a speed/fuel mileage graph (http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/driveHabits.shtml) to see how that looked, and it seems that up to about 25mph the engine is crap for efficiency.

Now on to the point:  Consider if the auto fleet were converted over PHEV or EVs which would 1: Not Idle, and 2: Remain in electric mode at least up to 25mph...how great a leap in efficiency that might represent., as well as how much liquid fuel that would displace.

As for 18 wheelers, they could be fitted with generators to run the amenities while significantly reducing the fuel usage (and this could probably be mandated).

In Japan, people turn off their engines at red lights.  As a matter of civic duty, apparently.
A large portion of the wear on an engine comes at startup.  There is no oil pressure, so you've got more metal to metal contact.  I've seen several systems to reduce this - One is an accumulator tank that stores pressurized oil when the engine is running, and releases it through an electrovalve at startup.  Another is an electric oil pump.  Anyone know how the hybrids do it?
An electric oil pump would be a natural solution for a hybrid.

There is trend for electrifing all auxilary power uses such oil pump, cooling liquid pump, AC compressor and so on to improve the ability to control the running and energy use. This has also to do with a proposal for raising the standard voltage in cars from 12V to if I remember it right 72V to better utilise the power leads and so on to lower weight and cost in expensive copper and high amp semiconductors.

In cold areas I would add a heated thermos with cooling liquid for the plug in hybrids. It would be kept close to boiling at all times to be used for initial cabin and block heating after starting the car and befor starting the fueled engine. I would also insulate the motor block and add electric condensation removers to all windows. If you know beforehand when you need to start your car in a cold climate you can prehet the block better with a regular block heater and run a hot air fan in the cabin.

72V sounds about right, now if they would just speed it up to 300HZ like the aircraft did in WWII  That would improve everything considerably.  Think of all the new start up companys building the necessary equipment to run the stuff.  

Basicly on the same subject.  You can thank G.E.,WESTINGHOUSE, and PHELPS DODGE, to name three, for the elecrical system we have in place in the USA today.  Using 7200V to 120/240V leads to nothing but trouble as the Utility companys are learning.  Think of most of the rest of the world, using 33KV to 240/440V for local distribution, smaller everything.

Why change car power from DC to 300 Hz AC?

The voltage limitation is due to what can be done securely with the simple insulation in regular car wiering.
One problem is that low amp 72V light bulbs are less vibration resistant then high amp 12V light bulbs but since we anyway are changing over to LED:s and high performance electronically controlled "xenon" this problem is going away.

I guess it will take decades before the battery systems for energy storage in electrical cars and plug in hybrids is standardised since the technologies are evolving. I dont think anybody know the optimal voltage and battery shapes.

220V 0 Hz AC has become 230V and then 240V over here in Sweden. We have had some DC systems and manny different voltages in towns but three phase 230V/380V took over a long time ago since three phase AC made it easy to get power from far away hydro powerplants.

The oddest system is the 16 2/3 Hz single phase one for electrifed rail since railway electrification started with 15 Hz AC since it made it easier to build strong engines with the first generations of electric motor technology. It then went 50 Hz / 3 to use rotating converters from the regular grid to avoind building a separate railway grid. We are any way getting more and more of a separate 130 kV 16 2/3 Hz grid due to recent optomizations but these are richer times.

10-12 kV is very common in old underground wiering in towns and archipelagos. There are some 6 kV systems but that voltage mostly lives on as a standard voltage for generators. 3 kV has died out. 20-24 kV is probably the most popular in rural areas and is nowdays no problem at all for cabels and when the ground allows it these systems are being cablified to make them storm resistant. I dont think 33 kV is very popular at all. The next level in the grid hierachy is 70, 130, 150 kV for regional distribution and the highest level is 220 och 400 kV national grid and HV DC links.

A new system could be a few kV DC or fairly high frequenzy AC in slim coaxial type cables. Such has been suggested for building parallell emergency power grids in towns for UPS:s, cell phone sites and so on. None of those suggestions has as far as I know it been implemented. The ones who realy need it buy larger batteries, local generators and connections to more then one transformation station in the local grid.


We don't have decades.

Even if we did, we don't have infinity.

And why would we want to continue the failed paradigm anyway?

That Titanic, she would run a whole lot better if we changed the electrics over to the more efficient granzenhammer system. Yes indeedy-doody.

Full speed ahead! Damn the torpedoes!! There ain't no stinkin' peak oil!!

I feel like I'm hogging the slow pitches here ... somebody else want to take it?
There were plent of ships built after Titanic.

General electrification and having a grid is far from a faild paradigm. It will probably become even more important as fossil fuels get expensive, it is so far the most efficient way to coordinate the use of manny different power sources for manny different needs.

If you can figure out a better way of building a grid and electricity distribution you can in a resource strapped future "mine" and recycle copper and aluminium from old inefficient circuits to build the new higher efficiency ones. Perhaps it will be 2 kV DC to your doorstep instead of 110 V AC? I dont know.

The local grid where I live would live for some 40 years or so with minimal maintainance but the maintainance isent minimal, its being upgraded on several levels.

Thanks - I really need to become more concise.

Sadly, even your fairly straightforward explanation of what an electrical grid represents is likely to be compared to rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic, or some such.

As for 72 volt auto electrics - I have read about 24 volt fuel cells being currently built into high end BMWs - I don't know more than that really, except they seem to take up a good amount of trunk space, in addition to the lead acid battery for starting the motor. The electrical system seems essentially split into electronic and electro-mechanical subsystems.

Thank you for correcting my voltage error.
"General electrification and having a grid is far from a faild paradigm."

Indeed, at least in the U.S. (if not the rest of the world), the power grid has so far proven to be very fragile. Every year, it's knocked out locally by storms. And some of the bigger weather events can effectively remove the grid from a region (Katrina, the Columbus Day storm of 1962, etc.), requiring extensive reconstruction (which, incidentally, requires quite a lot of fossil fuels to accomplish).

The grid, by the way, is particularly vulnerable to electromagnetic pulse and other forms of attack. These days, a power outage means all kinds of economic disruption, largely due to shut-down computers and related networks. A blackout in 1956 had a lot less of an effect on commerce and day-to-day life than one in 2006, and a blackout in 1926 had even less of an impact than in 1956. It is probably unwise to increase our dependence on "the grid" any more than we already have.

Reliability over 99.9% is quite reliable.  Repairing the grid is more labor intensive than anything else.

Backup sources for critical infrastructure is not a bad idea.

"Repairing the grid is more labor intensive than anything else."

Indeed, it is quite labor intensive.

However, it is interesting to note that to replace things like power poles (which topple rather readily extreme weather) requires gasoline-powered equipment (transportation being one), not to mention the road infrastructure that's also dependent on a large input of fossil fuels for maintenance and repair. Roads that, incidentally, can also be broken by the same storms that ruin the power grid.

And, of course, to make new poles requires cutting trees, transport, processing, etc., generally done by people who reach their job locations via gasoline-powered vehicles...

Hmmm... A supply chain issue: At what price point will energy costs seriously begin to slow down repair and maintenance of the power grid in the U.S.?

I returned home to New Orleans 3 days after the 82nd Airborne would let me back in.  The smell still lingered.  My power had just returned that day according to a neighbor.  I saw LOTS of utility repair (electric, telephone, gas, cable( in the months after.  I went all winter w.o natural gas heat or hot water.

ALL economic activity requires oil. How many gallons to write Microsoft Windows XX ?  But labor was the dominant cost for repairs.  My informed guess, 90%.

   you also left out the Northeastern ice storm of 1998, which many people involved in Y2K considered a fine foretaste of failing systems under extreme conditions.

   As for EMP, Congressman Bartlett presented a fine overview - the man really is quite the responsible pessimist. Of course, all of this is so 1980 that the nostalgia gets to be a bit much at times - I remember the 10 bomb scenario, where the Soviets would so utterly cripple America's oil infrastructure (imagine a well planned Katrina/Rita in terms of non-functioning oil infrastructure) that the choice would be to accept their blackmail (taking over Iran/Saudi Arabia, etc.) or mutual suicide.

   I think much of the point comes down to redundancy and maintenance - things which a profit oriented mindset tends to scoff at, until the system fails. Luckily, the American government currently has CEOs running it, unlike Germany, which has a chemistry PhD as Chancellor - strangely, various German systems do not seem to be failing in any noticeable way.

To keep with the theme here - I don't think chemistry is a failed paradigm either, but if you wish to discuss about CEOs and their paradigms, well, peak oil is a fine example of how many CEOs look at the world - maximum profit without regard to the long term is so much better than social responsibility. Tears of Allah indeed.

expat, Something to consider: A nuke isn't the only thing that can be used to generate a devastating EMP. A flux compressor with conventional explosives can be quite effective. Indeed, a car bomb, or van-bomb, coupled with a flux compressor, could take down quite a sizeable region. Power grid, magnetically stored data, fried computer infrastructure (say all those processors in our cars, and increasingly in other things we use in our lives), toasted.

The frightening thing about this is that, since the intention would be to generate an EMP and not necessarily cause much damage with the explosion, an EMP bomb could be transported anywhere and left to detonate (no suicide bombers required), say a park, garage, or neighborhood, and the EMP would still have a crippling effect on a fairly broad region.

I think we are at very different scales here. I am a 2nd generation Cold War kid, so to speak - for me, you can't even begin playing the game until you stop worrying about how accurate the megadeath rate is, because the difference between 290 and 305 million dead just doesn't really matter in any practical sense.

In other words, the 10 nuke EMP scenario was meant to do two different things - avoid the massive deaths which would make retaliation with a massive U.S. strike revenge, not suicide, and to so cripple an industrial society that apart from committing suicide, it had no other options.

I may add, this scenario was explicitly designed to remove the oil refineries in California, the Gulf Coast, and the Northeast - never think we are talking about new ideas here, except for the occasional brilliant insight or neglected observation being brought to light.

This fairly elegant Cold War nightmare hinged on oil, as did much of the late 70s and 80s strategic war planning.

And the major reason for EMP becoming so critical was the defection of a Russian pilot with his MiG to Japan in 1975? - the plane still used vacuum tubes, which seemed incredibly primitive or even a deception, until someone realized that this meant the MiG was immune to EMP. To be honest, I'm still not sure what the final verdict on the MiG was - deception, primitive, or proof that the Soviets would fight dirty by fighting clean in the ionosphere, so to speak.

> A nuke isn't the only thing that can be used to generate a devastating EMP. A flux compressor with conventional explosives can be quite effective

These devices do not put out sufficient RF energy to cause widespead damage. The largest devices constructed (about 2 tons) are capable of affect an area less than a 1km radius.

>say a park, garage, or neighborhood, and the EMP would still have a crippling effect on a fairly broad region.

This is incorrect. for a EMP device to be affective it must be detenated high above its target. These devices radiate RF energy in line of sight. if the pulse is blocked by a hill, building or other obstructions, it cannot affect electronic devices behind the obstruction. The RF energy produced by an EMP is mostly limited the lower bands ( < 300 Mhz) which limits its pentration through obstructions.

The stories hyped by the media, sci-fi, etc have exaggerated the potential of EMP. The story goes that a terrorist group gets a hold of a tactical nuke and detenates it high above the US disabling all of the country's infrastructure. Such a device would not be powerful enough to do this level of distruction. Even a large Multi-megaton device would not be affective enough, since these devices are implosion devices that pre-ionize the surrounding air which shorts out most of the RF energy before it reaches the ground.


To disable the entire US infrastructure it would probably require a dozen or more medium yield devices deployed regionally. This would not be possible accept for the large nuclear powers (US, Russia and possibly China).

Just thought of a new metaphor:
Warning--metaphor alert!

My most pleasant trip ever was on the P. & O. steamship Aurora from Sydney to San Francisco in 1961. The Aurora was a hospital ship in World War Two.

She was, I recall, torpedoed and sunk.

Then she was raised and floated and flourished again for many years.

"Aurora" means "Dawn"

Ho, my goodness, can we raise civilization after we run her aground on Peak Oil and Global warming?

Why the heck not????

Well, seeing as how the Swedes have literally had centuries of practice surviving in what could be called rigorous climatic conditions, somehow I doubt they are likely to share your framework that we are all doomed anyways.

And someone talking about electrical systems in place for what in some cases has to be several generations isn't talking about some 'failed paradigm' - they are just talking practical electrical engineering, a subject which just happens to predate the automobile, and a skill humanity is unlikely to give up at this point. Most of us find the paradigm of light at night pretty comforting, especially those people living in a place with a few hours sunlight per day in the winter.

The Swedes don't have a failed paradigm - they have an industrial society which realistically approaches problems with the sort of hard headed pragmatism you would expect from people who have never had much margin for error. But as the Germans say, the Swedes 'cook with water too' - that is, they are still facing a number of problems, and they do not have magical solutions. They could very well be living in condition familiar to their 19th, 18th, 17th, 16th, etc. century ancestors.

The Swedes simply don't have the decadent luxury of talking about failed paradigms at their keyboards connected to a planetary data network, since they are making concrete plans to continue to maintain a level of civilization even as other peoples' paradigms fail around them. (I do think the suburban U.S. 'buy a SUV to commute 2 hours a day to pay the mortgage' paradigm is about to hit a brick wall, though.) And who knows - it just might work in Sweden, since they will actually being doing the hard work of trying to live in the world surrounding them, and not worrying about whether their paradigm might fail. The winter is just a touch too cold to allow a true back to nature movement, after all - they are likely to stick to a paradigm involving insulation, I'll wager. I'll even wager that the Swedes know how to build fairly warm housing to survive in, without any need of fossil fuel at all - after all, they did for centuries. German Fachwerkhäuser, ca. 15th century, are surprising well insulated (they beat a concrete house from 1950 hands down), and fairly easy to maintain over centuries using nothing but local materials and skilled human labor - or is housing also a failed paradigm?

Peak oil is neither the alpha nor the omega - it is just change. Messy, perhaps catastrophic change for some, but less so for those able to see the future clearly and meet it. And yes, the paradigm involving cheap oil is about to die - this is not exactly unknown to large number of people living in places like Sweden or Germany - but speaking broadly, those people are REALLY worried about climate change, not whether the price of gas is 3 euros a liter. The Greens in Germany wanted to make it 2.50 euro a liter in the late 1990s, by the way (though tricky to compare, call it 10 dollars a gallon)- obviously, their paradigm of expensive gas leading to conservation and alternatives was just another example of failure, since peak oil is coming. As if the German Greens hadn't heard that, sometime around their college days.

I think the Swedes also had a clue about this peak oil thing, sometime in the 1970s.

Calm down, the "decades" seemed to refer to hybrid/EV battery standardization. Fortunately, vehicles can be built without such standardization - Toyota's been building them for some time. After all, the user accessories are most in need of standards, and user accessories don't, and need not, run at the same voltage as the motor. So you can have 12V for the radio, your notebook computer, and so on, regardless of the battery and other system voltages. The rest is merely a matter of convenience for the manufacturer, who has already taken care of it.

Increasing oil prices will drive hybrid and electric vehicles in any scenario except for Mad Max doom, so one might as well get over that. People will not go back to stoop labor, walking, and peasant existence - if that's the issue - without a major, violent, revolutionary fight. And in any case there are too many people for that to work any more. And let's face it, many if not most - even, these days, in the less developed countries - are in no physical condition to live in some previous century. So if Mad Max ever comes, all bets are off and these discussions simply will not matter...

See this is why I'm glad I let you guys go first.  Very substantive comments.  I would have gone with the shallower observation that the opening declaration was not very strong, falling back from "decades" to "infinity" in two lines:

We don't have decades.

Even if we did, we don't have infinity.

LOL, we don't have infinity, what will we do?

Second, I think decades are the correct timescale for energy transitions.  Projects take decades to come on-line, and reserves take decades to run their course.

I'm not a cornucopian though, we should be listening to what those projects are doing so that we can start any decade-long transitions we need to make.  You know, as stated in the Hersch report.

Hello Odograph,

Full credit to fellow TODer MHeisler for this PDF link:


I am especially interested in comments to frame 20, "Two Hubbert Curves of Conventional Output vs. Actual Global Output".

From frame 20:
Global crude oil production between 2003 and 2020 rises at a rate of 1.4% per annum (the CGES' base case for oil demand).
Thereafter, having peaked in 2022 at 86.5 mbpd, it declines at a rate that generates a cumulative output figure of 2,888 billion barrels (96% of the ultimately recoverable reserves) by 2100.

My read:
He seems to be gently saying the world political & economic powers purposely modified the global burn rate giving us much more time [preventing an earlier peak in 1988 or 2008]; a slowly rising plateau until 2022.

My Question:  Can we take this as evidence of a Foundation at work since the early 70s?  Can a Foundation prevent a 2008 Peak [how will they do it?], or is Dr. Duncan's Olduvai Gorge Theory [Brink Plateau until 2008] the higher probability outcome?

TODer Darwinian suggests that Russia may hold the key to any near-term Peaking.  Will the G8 purposely acquiese to Putin's demand for retaining 'energy supply security' as the best future path to control monopolistic export pricing: thereby providing a mechanism to choke the global burn rate once again and timeshifting the Peak one more time as Drollas's HL graph clearly indicates?

I cannot wait until this G8 Conference gets started; I think it will be fascinating!

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

I enjoyed flipping through that.  I'd have liked to have heard the presentation.

On the simple question of timescale, there are a lot of slides there that look at decade over decade changes.  Beyond that, the nature of changes since the 70's ...

My memory is that industrial societies mobilized in the 70's to reduce energy consumption, and that while that feeling of "crisis" has faded, we've continued on in a half-serious way.

They tell us that industry has remembered energy as a cost-cutting field and that might be a good part of it.  Consumers?  Pfft.  How many have compact fluorescents and SUVs?

IMO we are half-serious, but there are evidences of tipping points

Hello Odograph,

Thxs for responding.  I have no doubts that the world will gradually be driven to conserve, but I also surmise that yeast inside a wine bottle can gently swim away from their pollution or fellow yeasties to find new sugars until they are all hopelessly trapped.  I am enjoying the ice-cold, frosty results of a crashed ecosystem as I write.  

=D  Yea,baby!  I am getting pretty good at remembering to shout-out Peakoil when the long-neck is half-empty!

If a Foundation already exists, or can be created in time, can it prevent us from stupidly imitating the Yeast?  Can we optimize the Dieoff bottleneck?  Shouldn't all Peakniks encourage further Foundation controls?  Shouldn't we all be grateful that some ruthless dudes already Peak-shifted us by twenty years-->more time in the Bottle?

I have no idea what is the best answer to these questions.

Sip, Sip, Slurp, Guzzle--Peakoil!-- Guzzle, Slurp, Sip, Sip!

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

>Second, I think decades are the correct timescale for energy transitions.  Projects take decades to come on-line, and reserves take decades to run their course.

I think he means that we no longer have decades left to make the transistion. Considering the production declines in Q1 2006 (down by 1.3%) its seems very unlikely that very much time remains. We are probably less than five years away from steep declines, and will take at least five or more years to build a new Nuke or coal plant.

> those projects are doing so that we can start any decade-long transitions we need to make.  You know, as stated in the Hersch report.

The issue is that alterative energy projects don't appear to scale very well. For example, the massive cost overruns in alberta tar sands project. The Hirsch report also neglected to discuss food production problems, what do when Green revolution (farming using petrochemicals) is no longer viable.

A steep downslope would be exciting, but I'm not sure a steep downslope for old resevoirs means the same for the total aggregate (including new fields).

A slow decline would give everyone time to adjust, including those farmers who would perhaps drop luxury crops and concentrate on sutainable practices for core calories.

... I think that if a stong numbers-based case could be made for a steep decline, soon, we'd see a lot more action out there in the world.

>A steep downslope would be exciting, but I'm not sure a steep downslope for old resevoirs means the same for the total aggregate (including new fields).

All of the newer fields are far smaller and therefor have very steep rises and declines. World production hinges on the production of the dozen largest fields.

>A slow decline would give everyone time to adjust, including those farmers who would perhaps drop luxury crops and concentrate on sutainable practices for core calories.

To move to a sustainable system without fossil inputs, farmers will need to use 8 to 10 times the current land to produce the same amount of crops, or reduce crop yields to between 1/8 and 1/10 of current production. Considering that there is already a water shortage, I can't see them expanding farm land very much. We are already producing less crops because of the high fertializer costs.

>I think that if a stong numbers-based case could be made for a steep decline, soon, we'd see a lot more action out there in the world.

Yeah, When this happens, Oil and Gas Exporters cut back or end exports to preserve thier remaining reserves and the importers switch to Panic mode.

All of the newer fields are far smaller and therefor have very steep rises and declines. World production hinges on the production of the dozen largest fields.

I (as a consumer, not creator) of plots, have been reassured by TOD's own Stuart Staniford when he says "Hubbert Theory says Peak is Slow Squeeze."


Maybe that's the place to ground this discussion.  Before we talk about argiculture "without fossil inputs" let's see the oil depletion curve.

>I (as a consumer, not creator) of plots, have been reassured by TOD's own Stuart Staniford when he says "Hubbert Theory says Peak is Slow Squeeze."

While Stuart in indeed a very bright and analytical fellow his analysis is flawed. For instance the data model he is using is based on HL for Texas production, which peaked without the use of advance Oil recovery technology. The dozen of the largest fields, have all peaked more than a decade ago, but used Advanced Oil Recovery to sustain production, while new production was developed using smaller fields. But doing this the production curve of these fields no longer follows the standard bell curve. Instead it shaped more like a fliped Chi-Square curve, where the decline in the future is much steeper than the traditional bell curb.

Another words, we have applied stimulus to the field (using water injection) to force production to remain stable for a much extended and ultimate altering the production curve. Because of this, we can not rely on the HL to accurately map out future production.

DuncanK has done better analysis showing a more probably HL curve by accounting for Advanced Oil Recovery.


As you can see, the future production curve is much steeper than Stuarts HL model.

A flipped (right to left) Chi-Squared curve most likely accurately measures histortic oil production. Back in 1860, oil discovery and production was primative. As we studied geology and developed better technology we were able steady increase production over time. However since there is a finite supply and limits to applying new technology it is very presumable that production will decline rapidly in the future.

We also must seriously consider future rationing by oil exporters which will compound the problem. If your an exporter and oil becomes a precious consumable commodity, do you continue business as usual and quickly deplete your remain reserves, or do you act to preserve it? If you only had one tank of gas left forever, would you use to go on one more vacation trip, drive your neighbor to visit thier relative, or do you conserve it for something much more important?

I did not see a "world" plot at that URL.  That's the crux.
>I did not see a "world" plot at that URL.  That's the crux.

If you smell smoke there is bound to be a fire somewhere. We can't construct an accurate world plot because the majority of the worlds major exporters have choosen to hide their data (which in my opinion is hiding the truth). The HL plot data comes from exports, and doesn't reflect the state of remaining reserves. If we consider the rapid production declines from the North Sea and Yibal that used Advanced Oil Recovery, we should also consider similar results from other fields that used AOR.

We Also have leaked reports of Cantarell and Ghawar, which tell us that the remaining oil columns are very small and shrinking fast. If these fields are about to be exhausted global production will fall by about eight percent, and thats from just two fields. We should consider that the other ten largest fields probably have simialar issues.

To be honest, I am convinced by people like Stuart because they do the numbers first, and then leave us to establish our level of concern.

To do "worry first" and "get the numbers later" doesn't work for me.

Very large parts of the South were once farmland (much up till ~1950) and now grow pine trees.  Much of East Texas, Mississippi, Alabama for example.

Land left fallow for a half century or more.  Pretty well exhausted when abandoned, but viable in some futures.

Wind has a short time lag.  12 months to expand existing wind farm; ~30 months for green field wind farm.  

Time measured from financial decision to production (pre-decision wind measurements, design, bids, licenses & permits, etc.).  However, large #s of sites are being evaluated world wide,

Magnus Redin -

I can see the advantages of going to a 72V auto electrical system, which are pretty much the same advantages that prompted the change from the 6V system on old cars to the 12V system that is standard today.

However, I am curious as to what kind of a storage battery you would have to use with a 72V system.  A lead-acid battery produces approx 2 volts per cell, which is why a 12V battery has 6 cells. So, if you stuck with a conventional lead-acid battery, would you not have to have 36 cells? if so, then to keep the same weight battery, you would have to reduce the size of each cell by a factor of 6.  This strikes me as bit unweildy.

I suppose you could stick with a 12V system if you had a transformer in the charging circuit, but that introduces an additional complication, some energy losses, and probably a bunch of other problems. Also, a 72V system would increase the severity of electrical shocks when servicing the car, but that is secondary.

Maybe a different type of battery would be better for a 72V system?

GM was talking about a 24 V system a few years ago.  Battery limitations were a factor in that choice.  Higher voltage than 24 V DC > more cells and thicker insulation.

Also the hazards from "jump starting" a dead battery car go up with voltage (the US electrical code is much more safety minded than the EU, thus 120 V).

My biological memory system kept saying 72V is not the right number.

Finally, I overcame laziness and looked it up: it's 42 Volts

The reason has to do with increased delivery of power at lower amperage P=IV =(I^2)R. By reducing current, you reduce heat loss as the square of the current.

The insulation of 12v systems is more than enough for 42v use. 42v is viewed as a logical voltage because that's the voltage of electric hi-los. The battery, controller, and motor production lines already exist and can be duplicated without big engineering costs.
In N. Minn. where temps can dip below minus forty degrees (where Celsius = Farenheit), people sometimes keep their batteries warm in their cars or trucks by making a little itty bitty teeny tiny short circuit that even in a week hardly drains the battery at all.

And of course, we use block heaters for the engines.

Pilots like to heat the oil to maybe 150 C. and then pour it into the empty engine to make it easy to start aircraft.

Siberians also have a lot of neat tricks to deal with cold weather.

Sometimes I dump some kerosine into #1 diesel to thin it out.

IIRC it was for the reasons stated, but 42V. As voltage increases, it becomes more hazardous - so as you get into the 48 or 50V range, you get into real regulatory hassles that increase size and weight of wiring and connectors considerably. I think they picked 42V to stay relatively clear of that. Since each car seems to have more wiring than its predecessor, it's an issue that can't be ignored.

The hybrid and EV motor batteries are a separate issue since no one in their right mind would distribute the full voltage of the big battery all over the car to power accessories. High voltage wiring is fine in the benign envronment of a building. But it's a problem in vehicular environments, which are subject to rain, icing, extreme temperatures, and, on occasion, sudden disassembly.

FWIW, idle reduction is big in the trucking industry right now, driven by high fuel costs. There's no reason for a mandate: $70/barrel oil and market competition are seeing to this issue already. Of course, this won't make a dent in the fuel spent by folks sitting in their SUVs running the engine to power their air conditioners, but perhaps the add-on systems developed for the trucking industry can be adapted for smaller vehicles as well.
I can tell you this much there are alot more trucking foregoing idleing while stopped at truckstops then there were a year ago.. Many trucks used to run all night long with their heaters and airconditioning running for the comfort of the driver.. Now, and I'm guilty of this too, I don't run my truck at night, if at all possible, to save on fuel expense. And there are many other truckers doing the same.. Truck stops have become very quiet an night. HA!!

But I am also disturbed at the cost of desiel going over $3/gal.  This may be the straw that broke the camels back as many companies are refusing to raise fuel surcharges. I cannot make the money I'm used to so I may be finding another line of work..

One of the reasons that truckers leave their rigs idling is to provide power for air conditioning and other electical devices. The trucking industy and the utilities are working on ways to encourage truckers to plug their trucks into the grid when they are off road.
Well, I've said this before, but---.  I delivered a small stirling to Volvo in 1984 that was intended to run on diesel fuel and keep the truck engine warm, and keep the battery charged so the big engine could be turned off.  It worked fine, and Volve is to be commended to have taken the lead,  but maybe too soon. They dropped it.

Nowadays, thanks to tons of money from the defense dept and NASA, the same little engines are MUCH  better, and will outlast any diesel made.  The opportunity is there to put them into trucks, appliances, heating systems and lots of other things (my favorite is wood stove and solar).  If you have any source of fairly high temp heat (maybe over 500C) you could use these machines.  They are simpler than automotive stuff we are already making in huge numbers at low cost.

Last time I said this, somebody said  "Fine, tell me where I can buy ANY  stirling ".  Fair enough.  You can buy a portable cooler/freezer from Coleman (also Costco and other outlets) that has the very same machine in it, except made to cool rather than to run the other way and pump out electricity, but the guts are the same.  And it IS a stirling, not a thermoelectric.

I think California has some kind of program.  Web searching I see this 2004 proposal, maybe that's it:

The Air Resources Board (ARB or Board) will conduct a public hearing at the time and place noted below to consider adopting a regulation to reduce public exposure to diesel exhaust particulate matter (diesel PM) and other toxic air contaminants (TAC) by limiting unnecessary idling from specified vehicular sources.


"There's no reason for a mandate: $70/barrel oil and market competition are seeing to this issue already."

Move along.  Nothing to see here. The market will save us.

But at this point all we have in the US of A is "rationing through pricing". And this does have an impact on decreasing demand for transportation fuel. Obviously letting the market sort things out is a remarkably poor solution... if it can even be called a solution.


So you're unhappy that a problem getting solved, because it's getting solved without swaggering sumptuary police arrogantly strutting and swinging their paunches at hapless citizens?
We need humble free-market heroes to lead us forward. How about John D. Rockefeller?
Letting the market work is not ideal, but it is the reality in the US, given that politics is controlled by money and people vote in very small numbers.  I don't see anything on the horizon that is going to change this reality.

It is interesting - and well noted - that the market price of gas so far has had little or no impact on demand.  Gasoline demand at $3 is up slightly from a year ago when it was ... what?  $2.30?   There's a noticeable but small new-car buying shift from SUV's to Prius's, etc, but that makes little overall impact (unless multipled by many years of the same experience) and it's easily offset by the larger number of vehicles on the road and constant miles driven.   So Americans are really not phased much so far by gas prices.

What price might make a difference?   I'm still at a loss to predict it.  I did a little exercise with my brother who might buy a vacation house in the Berkshires.  What would be the impact of $10 a gallon gas on his commute from Boston?   Turns out that a $7 increase on a 300 mile round trip at 35 mpg works out to about $70. Given that the average American spends about half that at a lunch stop at Micky D's for a family of 4, it doesn't seem like $10 gas will stop too many Americans from using the car as much as always.  And pretty soon it will be easy to buy a large car with 50 mpg, so that makes the long trips even more easy to finance.   Scary.

I believe that you are forgetting all the other effects that $10.00/gal gasoline would have on American pocketbooks. The cost of transport goes up, so the cost of food and other goods goes up. The cost of maintaining and repairing roads goes up. As does the cost of other types of construction, including new homes, and maintaining existing homes. And the list goes on, because oil is the big essential player in global supply chains. It appears to be tied in to most aspects of modern life. This means that the simple $70.00 increase in price of vacation commute at $10.00/gal may not be so easy to absorb...
Actually, I think the effect would be the opposite of what you say.   True, $10 gasoline implies much higher energy costs throughout the economy, which will cause the price of most things to increase, a definite cost-push inflation factor.   However, that will make a $70 round trip cost increase(or any other example of car travel you want to hypothesize) seem even less important.

Of course, a doubling or tripling of the oil price from here may have more macro-econmic impacts than the recent trippling since '03 has had.  That seems to be your point.  But what I'm saying is that the impact on the average American's driving habits - just based on the actual cost of trips - may not be all that significant, even at $10 gas.   I think the perspective you bring makes this even more clear.

On second thought, you are clearly thinking about the macro economic impacts that may increase unemployment and put general pressure on wage-earners.  I agree, but would point out that wages will tend to rise as well in an inflationary economy.   We could hypothesize any number of general economic impacts of higher oil prices (as was done when oil started exceeding $40), but
   a. all forecasts are only educated guesses and the ones that have been made in the past few year relating to oil have all been wrong.
   b. it is not clear what any given macro condition will imply for gasoline usage.  

Sure, a big recession will cut oil usage.  But beyond the general macro impacts my point is that after people get over the shock of $10 gas as a general fact and start calculating the impact it has on their cost of driving in dollars, the impact is not that huge for the average wage earner.  Yes, those living on the economic edge will be impacted much more, but I wonder how much driving those folks do now.

I dont think wages will go up as higher energy prices will sop up any increase in the money supply. We will have prices rising and wages staying the same. That was dubbed stagflation I believe.
This reminds me of this:


"Truck Stop Electrification To Fight Pollution"

It's always the SUVs and the trucks that are idling. These people are living in a time warp. Around here, these people leave their engines on while they go into the post office.  Not for a quick pickup of their mail, mind you, but to go into gab with the postmistress.  I wish I had a vaporizer. There should be a national campaign to turn those damn engines off.
Here in New Jersey, there are now laws against large vehicles idling for more than three minutes, including most trucks and school buses, and it is about time!  This is certainly welcome news, if it is in fact difficult to enforce.  Do truckers understand (or care) that their incessant engine-running is a nuisance as well as a health threat?  Do most parents have any idea what their kids have been exposed to by these diesel-spewing buses?  
Pick your poison. How long will it be before somebody's kid dies waiting inside the bus because it was July and it was 140 degrees inside the bus with the sun beating down and no air?
Hey, I rode the bus without air conditioning all my school days. There was no such thing as air conditioning in those days. No one died, we just let the windows down when it was hot. Those busses do have windows you know. They would be really damn fools to keep the windows closed with no air conditioning. Somehow I just don't think they are that stupid.
A couple of somewhat-related comments:
a) highway coaches do not have openable windows, which is problematic at border crossings which don't allow engine idling (to run the AC) but also do not allow passengers off the bus until all the baggage is unloaded!
b) buses and trucks with air brakes may need to idle at startup in order to build enough air pressure to release the brakes.  It is simply not optional.

Both of these are design issues, but they affect a vast number of large vehicles!

People are adverse enough to riding a bus with air conditioning. I don't think getting rid of A/C on busses is good way to promote public transportation.

Sure, no one died without A/C, but how many well-paying jobs allow you to show up drenched in sweat?

I spent quite a few summers driving buses without A/C. The boss thought it would save money. They also had a rule of not idling for more than 3 minutes. Something odd happens when the fan stops on a hot engine. The starter motor gets hotter without that air flow. The shaft expands more than the bearings so say after 10 minutes of sitting the engine couldn't be restarted. This happened so often that the rule was dropped.  
What, the windows don't open?  Why would kids be inside a closed bus?
CTA in Chicago has many buses with windows that don't open and no working air. Crazy but true.
Another reason to recycle them then - be sure to put opening windows in the electric rail cars!
The new streetcars built in our shops in New Orleans (seven for Riverfront and 24 for Canal in 2004) had windows that coudl opne (about 4" due to arms broken on St. Charles). An almost unique attribute !
Chinese Plans

China May Spend 500 Bln Yuan on Urban Transit From 2010-2015

July 8 (Bloomberg) -- China plans to spend more than 500 billion yuan ($63 billion) on subways and light railway networks between 2010 and 2015 to ease pollution and traffic jams in its major cities.

The government wants to build 1,321 kilometres of rail lines during the period in 15 cities, Li Fengjun, deputy head of the railway division of the Ministry of Construction, said at a conference in Beijing today.

About 45 million people, more than the population of Spain, will move from China's rural areas to its cities and towns between 2006 and 2010, according to the National Development and Reform Commission. The migration is causing congestion and pollution across the country.

``The development of China's city rail network will peak in the next 10 years,'' Li said. ``The expansion will benefit'' related industries.

The number of cities that will have more than 10 million people will double to 6 by 2020 from 2003, Li said.

China also plans to spend about 500 billion yuan to build 1,500 kilometres of city rail links between 2006 and 2010, the commission said last year.

The country currently has 21 subways and light rail lines in operation, Shi Zhongheng, an academic with China Academy of Engineering, said at the conference. Shi is involved in the government's planning for the rail networks.

China will need more than 6,800 railcars between 2010 and 2015 to run on the new rail lines, Li said.

Tony Bailey

Chinese spending on new Urban rail lines will be roughly twenty times US spending.

About $145 million/year here for a 1.2 mile expensive river crossing.  It will open short of rolling stock due to "economies".


Light-rail extension under Allegheny River gets federal approvals

Saturday, July 08, 2006
By Joe Grata, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The now $435 million North Shore Connector project to extend the Light Rail Transit system via twin tunnels under the Allegheny River has received two key approvals -- from outgoing U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta and the Office of Management and Budget.

The Port Authority received notification yesterday from Washington, D.C.

The last three approvals appear on the way -- from the authority's nine-member board of directors, which has scheduled a special meeting for Thursday to award the first construction contract; from Congress after a 60-day review, which started yesterday and is usually a formality; and from the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission, which is expected to amend the region's transportation funding program July 31 to officially authorize the extra North Shore Connector spending.

The flurry of bureaucratic activity puts the project on track for a fall groundbreaking, followed by more than three years of work.

It also sets the stage for the Federal Transit Administration to sign a full-funding agreement in September, committing it to a $348 million share of costs.

The elevated First Avenue station that opened several years ago notwithstanding, the 1.2-mile extension will be the most transit work Downtown since the early 1980s, when Port Authority built the subway.

This time, the authority will excavate only two blocks on Stanwix Street, compared with more than 10 blocks on Liberty and Sixth avenues two decades ago, when major intersections through the heart of the city also were restricted.

Work on the T extension was supposed to have been under way by now, based on the original timetable, but low bids have twice exceeded budget.

The first round -- 25 percent over budget -- was rejected. The contract was repackaged and rebid.

In the second round, the low bidder extended a 120-day deadline to June 30 and then July 15 while the authority worked with local, county and state sources to cover a 14 percent overage.

When it meets Thursday, the board will beat the deadline by only two days. Several members are said to be skeptical, but a majority is expected to prevail and award a $156.5 million contract to the joint venture of West Mifflin-based Trumbull Corp. and Japan-based Obayashi Corp.

Allegheny County Chief Executive Dan Onorato, also said to have reservations, could not be reached for comment.

Although the Trumbull-Obayashi bid is $21.5 million over budget, the contract covers a significant amount of the total project.

Included are boring twin tunnels under the river and lining them with concrete; excavating 1,200 feet to transition the tracks to ground level west of PNC Park; excavating Stanwix Street between Fort Duquesne Boulevard and Liberty Avenue to extend the subway north of Gateway Center station; and building new station shells Downtown and next to PNC Park.

"We're very pleased that the project continues to meet all necessary approvals," Port Authority spokesman Bob Grove said. "The federal government, the primary funder of the project, continues to lend full support."

Budget-busting costs, which led the authority to eliminate a proposed spur from Steel Plaza station to the David L. Lawrence Convention Center and the purchase of eight light-rail vehicles, have been attributed to high energy, steel and cement prices causing civil construction costs worldwide to soar.

Records show $48.4 million has already been spent or authorized for various stages of planning, environmental clearance and engineering since 1999.

The final cost breakdown for the $435 million project: $348 million from the federal government, $72.5 million from the state, and $14.5 million from the county, to be paid in installments through 2010, when the 1.2-mile line is to be completed.

(Joe Grata can be reached at jgrata@... or 412-263-1985. )

URL is:



You might check this out:

http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/07/09/EDGOBIQ6N11.DTL&hw=bullet+train+trip& ;sn=001&sc=1000

No parking hassles, freeway traffic or weather delays. Instead, try a smooth train ride for the same price as a plane ticket.

That's the pitch by bullet-train backers, who want to supply a new option for frazzled California travelers. It's a tantalizing dream, officially sanctioned a decade ago by state government, but largely ignored since. High-speed rail remains a promising, but undeveloped, idea, starved of money, political support and public awareness.

The train, a steel-wheeled rocket capable of 220 mile-per-hour travel, is largely dissed in Sacramento. A $10 billion-bond measure to lay the first stretch of track from the Bay Area to Los Angeles was twice postponed, with the next chance for passage likely in 2008. It never made it into Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's massive infrastructure bill, losing out to education, schools, parks and housing.

But other strained budgets have found room for a new era of train travel. The rest of the world -- Europe, China, Japan, Mexico -- is pushing ahead with high-speed rail. France makes money on its elegant, high-speed TGV, which has zipped along for 25 years. By contrast, California has a pilot-light staff operating out of a small office in Sacramento. Its total budget since setting up shop in 1996: $30 million.

How are they going to get over the Tehachappi Mountains and up the Grapevine hill?

Did you know that some big fraction (10%+ I think) of all of the electricity used in Calif. goes to pumping water from N. Calif. to southern CA?

IMO, southern CA is not viable and should be abandoned by everyone who lives there. Or, with more fairness, just give it back to Mexico.

Don Sailorman,

Whatever is used to send water to southern California is too much!

We just drove from Central California to L.A. last weekend in our Prius. Going over the Grapevine we got 51mpg, and coming back 101 on the coast we got 52mpg.

Hello Jack and Don,

Maximum Power Principle [MPP] and global warming's head-on collision with Liebig's Minimal Constraints spells disaster for the increasingly arid Southwest: that is why Jay Hanson and Jim Kunstler think that much of LA, San Diego, Phx, Tucson, Albaquerque, Vegas, etc will become mostly ghost town ruins.

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


Funny you bring that up. I am planning on moving either north or east in the next few years.

I am familar with the California HSR and if there, I would likely vote against it.  (I am drawn to rail NOT because I am a "fan", but because it makes so much sense).

  1. Energy used is proportional to speed squared.  This is thick "Sea Level" air.  The new marginal demand for electricity will come from NG in CA.  There is unlikely to be any significant net energy savings vs. flying.  Just NG instead of oil.

  2. CA can do a *LOT* with $35 billion.

LA: Red Line to UCLA and then to the Sea.  Green to LAX and beyond, Blue Line grade seperation and longer trains, Gold, Downtown connector, more commuter trains, Vermont subway, streetcar feeders, electric trolley buses

Bay Area: BART to San Jose, more SF streetcar lines, Oakland streetcars, Sacramento light rail extensions, eBART,

San Diego has another 25 Light Rail miles in two lines

and enough left over for a much cheaper 110 mph pax trains coupled with 100 mph freight trains.  MUCH cheaper and more economic.

I agree. And in THIS context BART would work well rather than being a main engine driving the disaster of ever-more-distant exurbanization in the SF Bay Area that it is now.
Matt Simmons is guessing that Iraq's oil production will drop to 0.8 mb/d by 2018. I suspect 9 mb/d and 0.8 mb/d are both very wrong. Matt is guessing that Middle East production will drop from 18.2 mb/d in 2006 to 9.3 mb/d in 2018. I hope not.
Regarding the lead article about Iraq's oil production projected to reach 9 million bpd by 2016, I couldn't help but notice the name Micael Gulbenkian as the head of Heritage Oil. I wonder if this is a grandson or other relation to Calouste Gulbenkian, the fabulously wealthy financier, oil wheeler-dealer, and art collector who was quite prominent during the first half of the 20th Century. This guy was one ruthless businessman and super tough cookie, and compared to him the late Ken Lay would have looked like Ghandi. Anyway, it's nice to keep it in the family.

Getting back to this bold projection, does anyone have any feel for what the realistic long-term maximum production rate for Iraq might be?

Evidently, the Bush regime must think it's a lot higher than the max under Saadam, because it looks like we've planted ourselves there permanently, all the idle talk about troop withdrawls notwithstanding.

I'm no expert on the Middle East (ME), but I have read that Iraq has the best remaining exploratory potential in the ME.  As many people have noted, it's an odd coincidence that Iraq is where BCR chose to station a large permanent military force.
And I seem to recall that the American's went into Iraq after 2003 to assess the size of Iraq reserves and came up with the fugure of 46 billion barrels.. SO we'll see if they live up to any potential and for how long..
And don't forget that having a huge presence in Iraq is ever so handy if the help gets uppity in the Caspian Sea area.  I swear, if more Americans knew the geography of that area even passingly well, the connection between the current war and oil would be vastly more obvious to the population at large.
But would George Bush understand? According to my recollection, he is not the world's brightest bulb when it comes to geography.
That's just 'America-bashing' conspiracy nonsense! We fight for FREEDOM(c), not oil.

It's also just an odd coincidence that when we 'liberated' Baghdad the oil ministry just happend to be the only place we took the time and effort to guard while the rest of the city was looted and burned.

I'm no expert on physics or economics or Iraqi oil exploration, but.......

WE LIVE ON A SPHERE!!!!!!!!!!!!

That much is clear.

Once again we count the grains in a bin that we know is finite. Gee, we missed some grains!! We can keep running stuff the way we always have for another three years!!!

STAND DOWN EVERYONE!! We found three years of supply. No need to panic or get started changing the paradigm early. Everything is JUST FINE. Go back to your SUVs, fire them up, and wait for the traffic to start moving.

Not everyone assumes the bin has a bottom:
I expect Nano Tech to solve the problem of finite growth on a sphere!  It keeps the "realists" depression at bay!!!!
My WAG would be that Iraq may get back to 3.5 mb/d.
When you're a Gulbenkian,you can afford to smoke something really special.
The Lebanese Civil War (1975-1990) looks like what is happening in Iraq now.  Yesterday some 40 people were shot in the streets in Iraq, so their civil war is in full swing.  If Iraq follows the same time line as Lebanon they will be fighting for the next decade, till 2016.  Oil production will be cut at every opportunity and no company will invest in the oil infrastructure until it is over.  This scenario, which is already starting to play out, would probably give an upper limit to production of a litter more than they are produciing now, or some 3 million BPD.  That looks to be the upper limit.  If Baghdad and Basra start looking like swiss cheese (like downtown Lebanon) it could, and probably would, be significantly less.  Not much oil for our SUVs here.  Civil wars continue until those who want to kill or be killed are killed.  

It may only be temporary, but attacks on the Iraq pipelines and infrastructure has dropped off to near nothing the last couple of weeks and that has helped to increase Iraq oil production. Watch this space!

It would be interesting to see the where the funds are going, I wonder if some hands got greased to allow the flow to resume.
Slow-motion Yugoslavia is my favorite way to describe it.
Our problem in Iraq might be compared to our invovement in the Phillipines. We "liberated" that country from the Spanish Empire in 1898. Except for a few years of WWII American troops were stationed there for over 90 years. Islamic militants fought against the American troops for over a decade. We rationalized holding the Phillipines be caused our navy needed a reliable coaling station in that part of the Pacific. The Japanese brought the US into WWII in order to secure the flow of oil from Indonesia. Ironically we offered to sell the Phillipines to the Japanese 40 years earlier but they declined. How different the world might be today if Hirohito's daddy had accepted Teddy Roosevelt's offer.
Good comparison.

Despite its problems, I'd say that 108 years later the Phillipines is a success story of American Imperialism.

Two Questions Concerning Lease Concentrate

No, I know what lease concentrate is, but after googleing for a week I still cannot find the answer to two important questions I would like to know the answer to:

1. When the EIA gives Crude + Lease Concentrate figures, what percentage of this total is Lease Concentrate?

2. How is this Lease Concentrate treated? I mean what do they do with it?

Here is what I think but do not know. I think lease concentrate is about 1% of the total. And I think the lease concentrate is just dumped in with the crude, shipped out and refined as one product. But as I said I can find no confirmation of this theory. It may in fact be wrong.

At any rate finding the percnetage is not as easy as figuring out what percentage "other liquids" are of the total of "all liquids". For the past five years that has averaged 12.86%. The figure is gradually rising. The decade before this one it was averaging around 11.5%. But all you have to do to get this figure is subtract "Crude + Concentrate" from "All Liquids". But there is no way that I know of to get the percentage of lease concentrate in "Crude + Lease Concntrate"

Any help in this area would be greatly appreciated.

What a real dumb-ass mistake I just made!

In the above post, I wrote "consentrate" in every place I should have wrote condensate. Gad! What was I thinking?

But please overlook the stupid error on my part and answer the question if anyone can.

We had a discussion about this here about a month ago. I don't have time to look it up right now. You can check my site oilceo.blogspot.com for some stuff I posted. I believe I posted 3 of 4 things I posted here, there. Have to update now that EIA has released 2004 numbers. Percentages are all roughly the same as 2003. Let me know if this helps. I'll have more time tomorrow. Can answer any details.
I think that you mean "condensate."    Condensate is basically natural gasoline.  It's generally clear to slightly colored.   It will remain a liquid at standard tempeartures and pressures, but it is of course very volatile.  

Condensate is a byproduct of very rich associated gas (gas associated with oil reservoirs) and as a component of very rich (high BTU) gas reservoirs.  

As a percentage of total crude + condensate, I don't know what percentage that condensate represents.    

I would prefer to just use crude or crude + condensate when talking about "oil" production.

Fossil fuels can be viewed as a continuum:  natural gas; natural gas liquids; condensate; light, sweet crude; heavy, sour crude; bitumen and coal.  This ia a progression from gas, to liquid to solid--also from cleanest to dirtiest.

Note that light sweet is right in the middle, with three components on either side.  Light, sweet will give us the most liquid transportation fuels for the least expenditure of capital and energy.  Thus, it was the first to peak.  

Note that the Saudis have raised prices on light, sweet crude, while claiming that they had too few buyers.    The best case is that the world's largest source of light, sweet crude--Ghawar--is about 78% depleted.  

FYI--I sent this e-mail to a corresopndent in response to a question about natural gas

As usual, lots of trends, some contradictory.   Following is a link to Texas natural gas production:   http://www.rrc.state.tx.us/divisions/og/statistics/production/ogisgpwc.html  

Texas natural gas peaked in 1972 (same year as oil) at 9.3 TCF per year.  In 2005, we produced 5.8 TCF, which is a slight improvement over what looks like our post-peak low point, 5.4 TCF, in 1992.

IMO unconventional gas is to conventional gas as unconventional oil is to conventional oil.  

Both will initially slow the aggregate decline, and at some point perhaps show some rising production, but IMO unconventional sources will only ease our slide in aggregate energy consumption  The good news is that unconventional sources tend to be low production rate and long life--although highly capital intensive.  

But as you know, the problem is that we are trying to replace high production rate wells with low production rate wells--which results in the widespread confusion of production rate versus reserves of unconventional hydrocarbons.  The unconventional production also requires far more wellbores.  It may take 30 or more Barnett Shale wells to equal the production from a very high flow rate Gulf Coast gas well.   Personnel and equipment shortages complicate all of this.  Note that some tar sands projects are now costing about six times initial estimates.

In regard to the US, one has to differentiate between the energy industry and the overall economy.  IMO, we are going to see a long term energy boom, which at some point will be limited by the factors that your correspondent mentioned.    There will also be tremendous resentment against the energy producers, since the energy industry will an inflationary boom industry, within a contracting economy with lots of deflationary aspects.  But the only thing that will (temporarily) keep the US supplied with energy is high prices.

Short term, we are--depending on the hurricane season--looking at a probable natural gas glut, because of high prices and warm weather this past winter.    This will probably correct pretty quickly, but we could see some wells shut-in this fall.  

Hope this helps.

Is there an historical graph tracing the production of Saudi sweet vs sour oil?
I don't know about a Saudi graph but we have this from the Oil Drum of August 24, 2005 showing the world percentage of light verses the percentage of heavy in 2000 verses 2004.


From this, and the article, it is obvious that light sweet peaked prior to 2004.

The book "A Thousand Barrels a Second" has a graph of average oil density over time.  That's a good one for showing the shift.  I couldn't find an equivalent on-line.
What page is that, odograph? You're still the only other one here that has read that book.
Oh, and Dave. Sorry. 3 of us.
I gave my copy away, going from memory ...
There are a number of mistakes in that book; hence I did not buy it.
Such as?
For example, his number for the quantity of gas stations in MINNESOTA was off by a factor of 3 or 4. I think we have over 600 stations now with E-85, compared to about 500 last year.

His number is something ancient--under 200, I think. Sloppy, sloppy, sloppy research.

BTW, E-85 is a huge success in Minnesota and other corn-growing states.

My doctor has fueled his Ford Taurus on nothing but E-85 for the past six years and says there is NO cost-per-mile difference between E-85 and 87 octane regular gasoline.

In Minnesota the oil companies set the price of E-85 40 cents per gallon lower than on regular 87 octane--and this gives them a neat profit of 10 cents per gallon because of the 50 cent subsidy given to ethanol.

That's interesting.  Car and Driver's results based on a Tahoe are here:


Maybe he got it from this US DOE webpage.  It shows "211 Stations Found" today.  Can't trust those internets, eh?


This one says 205:


I did see a much bigger list at the site below, but it is prefaced by "The facilities below are open or will be coming soon"


In Minnesota, "Holiday gas stations" are the biggest chains. Every single one has at least one E-85 pump, and some have two.

SuperAmerica stations often have E-85 pumps, and I think they plan to require each franchise holder to install one, if this is not the case already.

Every single BP station I've been to has an E-85 pump, and they are all over.

Some Citgo stations (most in Minnesota? Don't know. In my car my their gas produces sulfer odor.) have E-85 pumps.

Many Standard stations have one or more E-85 pumps.

Some (I do not know how many) Shell stations have E-85.

Every Conoco (the brand I usually by) station in Minnesota that I've been to has at least one E-85 pump.

I do not know what the actual true count is, but I suspect that as of July 1, 2006 it is in the neighborhood of 1,000 and probably increasing at the rate of one more every day or two days. E-85 has been a HUGE success here, especially in the green-concious Twin Cities metro area.

A car salesman who has sold E-85 Ford products for about seven years told me that engine wear with E-85 is such that those who use the ethanol product instead of regular gasoline in their flex-fuel engines (such as Taurus or some Ford pickups) are typically getting 500,000+ miles on their engines with little or no trouble, compared to about half that many miles for the same engines running on 87 octane regular. Because the guy had no incentive whatsoever to lie to me, this claim bears looking into.

Just curious, with that many stations converting, did they drop a "grade" from their lineup, or did they all put in new tanks?
Each station has its own strategy. Diesel is unpopular in Minnesota, and I think some may have dropped diesel, scrubbed their tanks out somehow, and then put in E-85 instead. To the best of my knowledge, by law every NEW gas station for about the past eight years in Minnesota has been required by law to offer at least one E-85 pump. That is a lot of stations right there, and of course when you put in infrastructure it is much easier to do it at the planning stage than to retrofit.

Iowa and Illinois and I think (but am not sure) Missouri also have a heckuva lot of E-85 stations, maybe 1,200 between them.

Thus the guy who wrote "1,000 Barrels a Second" obviously did not do his homework. All he would have had to do was spend a few dollars on phone calls to the respective states' departments of energy--but alas the quality of popular books is pretty low when it comes to facts or accuracy.

For that matter, I'll give you extra credit;-) if you personally E-Mail the states I've mentioned (or check their websites; all their energy departments [I think] have good websites and find out the correct numbers.

Largely for political reasons (many corn farmers, extraordinary corn surpluses, ludicrously low corn prices, polics of two senators from each state) E-85 is a success and destined to become much, much bigger than it is now.

Forget about the economics of it. Look at the politics. Economists advise, but politicoes rule.

I don't think it was ever central to his argument.  Having more stations does not mean that E85 will save us.

... and you need to kick Car and Driver down the same stairs there ;-)

BT(other)W, I hope you didn't miss this post while you were gone:


BTW, did you notice that the July Car and Driver said:

"With fewer than 600 stations selling E85 fuel in 37 states, why have GM, Ford, and DaimlerChrysler been cranking out these flex-fuel vehicles by the millions?"

... information seems to be slow to percolate.

IMO the Internet tends to perpetuate a "reign of error." People quote what other people have posted from quotes that still others have posted, and the original info goes back to say, 1989, when it may have been true.

Reality is not static, nor I do I find much credibility in most people's numbers, unless (as many have on this site) the person has earned credibility over time.

For example, on this site I believe both WestTexas's numbers and Robert Rapier's numbers. What I find fascinating is that two such exceptionally knowledgeable and bright and clear-thinking people could come to rather different (but not radically different, only a few years) conclusions as to the date when we will look back and say, "Oh, that was the year of Peak Oil."

They differ mostly on interpretation rather than on what past numbers actually have been. Not only can we have no certain knowledge of the future, our "knowledge" of the past has substantial errors in it that may not be identified for decades--or sometimes much longer than that.

In such cases, my inclination is to split the difference, because there is no way that I am smart enough or know even a fraction as much as each of them about oil to judge who is closer to being correct.

I don't know Don, this cluster of numbers near 200 seems supported by more and more sources:

And of the 651 E85 stations nationwide, more than 200 are in Minnesota, according to the National Ethanol Vehicles Coalition.

Missourian News -June 18, 2006


"Michigan currently has just 12 E85 pumps, compared to more than 200 in Minnesota and 130 in Illinois."

South Bend Tribune - July 8, 2006

http://www.southbendtribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060708/News01/607080431/-1/NEWS01/CAT=N ews01

Pretty please, with sugar on top, just call the Minnesota DOE and get some reasonably accurate numbers.

The "200" E-85 pumps for MN was correct--around 1998 or '00.
The correct number now is fast approaching 1,000 in Minnesota, IMO.

BTW, 700 IS a number "greater than" 200;-)
I think the data is clustering around 600+ nationwide, and 200+ Minnesota.  I didn't see 700 Minnesota.

And no, I'm not going to call.  This started when you dropped a one-liner:

There are a number of mistakes in that book; hence I did not buy it.

As an old logic teacher I'm sure you are aware that you were making an appeal from your own authority.  You put your knowledge of the oil industry beyond that of the author, and rejected the book on that basis.

So I decided to ask "such as?" and got the e85 thing, and did a little investigation.  I got a nest of web and traditional sources (including "corn state" newspapers) supporting the book's number.

I think that puts us back to the book using a "conventional" number.  I don't think we need to reject the book or author on this basis.  It's possible at this point that the E85 business is booming, and the National Ethanol Vehicles Coalition is doing such a poor job that corn state newspapers are reporting the wrong number.

... it's also possible that you are making optimistic extrapolations based on local observation.

Jeez Don, the freaking National Ethanol Vehicle Coallition itself, in an Earth Day 2006 press release:

"Minnesota E85 Sales Up 320% in 1st Quarter of 2006"

"Approximately 207 E85 fueling outlets were operating at the end of March as compared to 106 in 2005. Currently, another three-dozen potential outlets are in some phase of development."


... man, don't go to the dark side of that logic knowledge.

As a guy who taught Principles of Accounting five days a week from 8 to 9 a.m. for seven years, I discovered a DUET:

If you want to know how many there are of something (e.g. tankers, rail cars, gas stations with E-85), just count them. Within a 30 minute drive of where I live I have counted more than 125 stations that sell E-85.

Now let us here from some others in Minnesota as to how many they have counted.

If the total comes to anything under 500 for July, 2006 I will eat six fully cooked crows.

No need to get out the roasting pan on my account ;-), and I'm only really thinking back to that book, Pub Date: 2006-01-19
A DUET is a

Deep Universal Eternal Truth.

IN MINN. I have observed that the ratio of gas stations selling E-85 to those who have at least one diesel pump is approximately five to one.

Thus, all you have to do is count the diesel pumps and multiply by five;-)

Interesting translation of an article on Iran from Die Welt

Atomic secrets: The man, who knew too much


Bruno Schirra, Die Welt:
When Chris Charlier arrived in Iran in April of this year, he was received the same way as had always been the case in each of over 20 visits to the Islamic Republic of Iran.

"Wherever we went, whatever we did, they always followed us, monitoring us with video cameras and capturing every single one of our conversations. Never letting us out of their sight for a second, watching everything over our shoulder."

"How the devil were we supposed to rationally do our work" comments the 64-year old Belgian.

Chris Charlier, who heads a team of 15 Atomic Energy inspectors of the IAEA have been inspecting the Islamic Republic's nuclear program since 2003.

Since we know now that the UN inspectors in Iraq were US  spies, some surveillance would seem very understandable.
Yup! They were ALL U.S. spies. You said it, and therefore it is the 100% pure truth. Yeah, right.
Doesn't matter if it was ALL. The well is poisoned.
Following your logic, perhaps we should abandon the U.N. because it is flawed. If it isn't perfect, then it must be worthless? Right?
nah the un can be fixed. it just needs to kick out the idea of permanent members and be more proactive in punishment for breaking rules.
If the UN had strictly enforced rules the US would have been booted out long ago.
For your implied logic to be correct it would be necessary to insert several premises that are not yet in the discussion.
The IAEA has come near a total halt a few times. That it continues to function is largely due to the personal prestige and honor of Mohammed ElBaradei.
The Bush crowd of course cannot tolerate an honorable man and misses no chance to sandbag ElBaradei.
In the case of nuclear inspections, which was what was being discussed, not the UN, it unfortunately does come down to a few personalities and not a well-established, well-accepted set of laws and institutions.
An old logic teacher made this response, eh? ;-)
I'm the old logic teacher! Was a fun class to teach. Also taught Ethics and Intro to Philosophy, 4 different classes in Economics (including Environmental Economics), Principles of Accounting, two different sociology classes and coached tennis at the college level.

I have had SO MUCH fun;-)


Historically, going way back, journalists, and diplomatic missions have almost always housed spies. I think in this case the Belgian was too good at his job, not that he was a spy.

More fundamentally, do any of you really think Iran does not want to make and possess a nuclear bomb. . . ?

I came up with an idea that I thought might be interesting to all of us.  Since I don't do any other forums, am not sure if any of you have seen this done before, but here goes... I'm going to try to do a survey.  If you want to participate, just enter your letters and number, and I'll try to report percentages tomorrow. No comments, please, just your 3 characters.

Question #1:  When do you think TSWHTF?  

A <1 year away
B 1-2 years
C 3-5
D 6-10
E 11-15
F >15
G Never, we'll have a gradual decline

Question #2: If you believe TSWHTF, how prepared are you?

1 No preps yet, just gathering information
2 Minimal, I'm storing a little extra food and water etc
3 Moderate, I have needed food and supplies in storage, am reading all I can and networking in my community.
4 Major, I've done major preparations, and have a real plan in place.  I've devoted many hours of time to this.
5 My plan is to return to where I grew up if and when the time comes so that I am near parents, other familiar people.
6 I will probably never be making preparations, either because I'm not a doomer or I don't think it will matter.

Questions #3: Do you plan to relocate(or already have) because of TEOTWAWKI?

X Yes
Y No
Z Not sure

C 1 X
D 2 Z
D 2 Y
B 2 Y
C(wishing d), 3, X
E 5 Z
None of the above.

 (I) try to act as if there is a 50% probability of TEOTWAWKI within one year and a 50% probability of business somewhat pretty much as usual for the next thirty years.

I plan to live and die where I am.

My tactics are based on the premise that if I'm quite ready for both extremes, then I optimize my strategy for dealing with whatever comes.

Perhaps the real purpose of the poll is to measure the level of social cohesion (and rule-following) ;-)
I hate rules and often find them irrelevant.
I was tempted, but figured I could raise my comments "post-tally,"
I'll take that as an A 1 and Y.
We've read about how smart you are, but you're obviously no test taker, so I'll help you out.
By the way, I was in a snipe fleet, if that gets any respect.
I LOVE Snipes. For one thing, the fleet is still active here, but mainly the high boom means I do not have to dive into the cockpit (as I do on an M or MC or C or A scow) to tack because of their low booms.

BTW, I'm acquainted or friends with at least 200 people who, IMO, are considerably smarter than I am. I try to be nice to them and listen and learn.

C3X. Peak about now, SHTF later in agonizingly slow motion.
Made my comment before reading down.  I will follow Don Sailorman, down his road.
That would depend on the meaning of TEOTWAWKI?

1950s?  1880?  1200? Mad Max?  Hunter-gatherer?  Post-nuclear hell?

Your life, July 2006
Blue-green algae and cockroaches.
I'll give that a Y, but I can't add any other symbols because I don't think that I'll be around to see that.
In  that case, E5X.  

However, having been a squirt in the late '50s, I wouldn't call that the end of the world.  At least if I could have a little online time!

#1) I think some S has hit TF already in the FSU and parts of the third world, and will cascade through the rest of the world. Wealthier elements in the wealthier countries may only sense a gradual decline, but the working class will definitely know that S is hitting the TF.

#2) 3

#3) Y

D 4 X
C 1 X
previously made mistake; b4y
C 3 Y
D 2 X
D 1 x

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

Who the Christ started this? And how did you get involved? What is this s***? I'm not even going to scroll back to see what this is all about. I'll find out soon enough. Probably something Sailorman started. D-1-Y ? Is that DIE?
Click on Jack's [Parent] and you'll know.
BTW, the [Parent] button is a much welcomed new addition to TOD.
Thank you Super G or whoever added it !!!
Aaaah! It's real. You're all zombies.
I wanna read everybody else's answers before I take part in this. How do you know people aren't lying? It's worse than a poll. No offense, Kalpa - I actually really like the idea of trying to quantify feelings. Especially here. Oh, no comments, sorry. Shhh.
I'm lying. Now you know.
Oil CEO,
We are all electronic zombies, fabricated by the great MAtrix computer. You are the ONE, the NEO, the only. The rest of us are unhuman electronic loops running at infinite levels of complexity with jist one goal in mind, to convince you of the insane idea that oil is finite and the planet may be hitting a maximum point, a saturation level if you will, in the extraction rate curve. It is a conspiracy. And we are it.
Hahaha. I'm going to have to go with D1Y. Although, on the first one, I simply don't know.

The best way to predict the future is to invent it.

moving for real is hard once you got roots
C 4 X
Re: Iraq's oil production could reach nine million barrels a day


The Question

How long until the sun becomes a red giant?

The Answer

The sun will become a red giant in about 5 billion years, which is slightly more time than it has already been a star. There's a lot of nice information about the sun at ...

Or, it could happen in 2016.

From Jerome's article:

"One reason, shown in the graph on the left above (from last year, but the correlation still holds up pretty well today) is the increase in Chinese demand - as well as that, slightly more unexpected, from oil producing countries themselves (the countries with the biggest increases in oil demand in the past 5 years are China, the USA, Saudi Arabia and Iran)."

My comments:

I assume that Jerome is using a percentage basis, but in any case note that the countries showing the biggest increases in consumption were the two top oil importers and two of the top four net oil exporters.   BTW, OAPEC (Arab oil exporters) reported that Arab oil consumption was up 5.6% year over year (2004 to 2005).


Did you read my post modelling the global fossil fuel supply chain (GFFSC) as a scale-free network characterized by a power low distribution?

Although I didn't mention your Export Land model by name, I very much had it in mind. In fact, such networks come into being by means of a "growth rule" called in the usual case "preferential attachment". For the GFFSC, I noted that the growth rule is

Them that's got shall get
Them that's not shall lose

Those who have the fossil fuels and export capacity and can easily support their own needs or can pay for their required imports will thrive -- the value of f(D,W) increases. Those who can not do either will suffer -- the value of f(D,W) decreases.

Leaving out the details (anyone can read the post), I was trying to explain at some kind of "deep" level why it is the case "the countries with the biggest increases in oil demand in the past 5 years are China, the USA, Saudi Arabia and Iran". This has great implications for our future as you know and I am now thinking about how the GFFSC network will evolve. I am also thinking about various oil shock scenarios in the network and how that would affect pricing.
That would be "power law" distribution, not "power low". Freudian slip?
I posted a couple of notes on the thread regarding Russia and Saudi Arabia--noting that Putin defiantly said that Russia would not sell energy for "Peanuts," and Saudi Arabia was raising light, sweet oil prices, when they said they didn't have enough buyers, "Even for light, sweet."

A really interesting question would be to try to predict which countries will be the "winners" in a bidding war for declining net export capacity--assuming that oil exports are not allocated on the basis of force.  

If, as I predict, the world economy increasingly focuses on providing "needs," instead of "wants," I assume that the winners in the oil export bidding wars will be the countries delivering essential needs to consumers for the lowest price (especially for the lowest energy input).   An exception to the "needs" prediction would be net oil exporting countries, where it will be  24 hour, seven day a week party, at least for a while.

If you look at the manufacturing capability of China versus the US, it's a reasonable assumption that China will have a competitive advantage over us regarding the upcoming bidding wars.

This is another way of saying that whether we want to or not, we are going to be forced to once again become a nation of producers, rather than a nation of consumers.

The "Tulip" analogy is hardly original, but I think that it is an increasingly apt analogy for the US real estate market.  During Tulipomania, the Dutch were convinced that people from around the world would come to Holland and pay ever higher prices for tulips. Of course, Tulipomania ended in tears, just the real estate boom in the US also appears to be ending.

Regarding the Strategic BTC pipeline, what are people's thoughts as to how it will work out? Will sabotage and earthquakes be such a problem that it will be down most of the time? Is the pipeline replacing transportation by ship? Can the pipeline lead to higher total production, because there is now a way to transport the oil? Can it lead to a higher proporation of the oil that is being produced being sold to the West?
This is a good question.

First off, the Russians don't even want oil to go through it since it not a Gazprom project. But some will. A good map is worth many words.

BTC Pipeline -- Click to Enlarge

Once you're in Turkey, you're probably OK. But getting from Baku to the Turkish border -- AH! that's the rub. By the way, the pipeline is buried as a security measure. As if separatists in South Ossetia can't get a backhoe.

best, Dave

Sorry, I guess I've got natural gas on my mind. Where my comment reads "Gazprom", substitute Transneft.
does anyone else find it interesting that it's within striking distance of iran?
As are US troops.
But isn't it more relevant that Iran is within striking distance of US troops? And the pipeline thingy, whatever, in Georgia. (I'm just saying - not for nuthin', though).
About a month ago during a cease fire in the verbal war between the U.S. and Iran, there were reports that Iran had some interest in piping through BTC.  Even though that might piss off the Russians, it would give Iranian oil another method of getting its oil to the West that would not be dependent on Russia.  Of course, the story vanished pretty quickly as things heated up yet again.
Back in April (I think it was then) Stuart (I think it was he--possibly not, maybe Professor Goose; I cannot remember for sure) posted part of an article from the London "Daily Telegraph" to the effect that the U.S. was planning to attack Iran and that the attack was imminent.

I pooh-poohed the story and came in for a lot of flak.

Well, I still say the U.S. not going to attack Iran. Why on earth would we?

And the "Daily Telegraph"? Well, I rank it on a par with "Weekly World News," though somewhat less entertaining.

Well, I still say the U.S. not going to attack Iran. Why on earth would we?

There is not rational reason to do so, IMHO ... but depending on who you believe ... the rational folks might have had a hard time getting their point across:


I still think we'll attack Iran by November, and I'm still prepared to eat crow for Thanksgiving if I'm wrong.  It's possible that the Democrats are SO lame that the present misadministration may not even be worried about them in the midterm election, in which case they may wait until next year.
I'll bet you 24 cents (that is 2 cents, adjusted for inflation since about 1940) that we will not attack Iraq in 2006.

Are you on?

And who will hold the stakes?   ;-)

I'd galdly pay 24 cents to be wrong - quite a bit more in fact!  If I'm right, you'd best hold on to that 24 cents, although it might not be worth as much then.
Don Sailorman,

The USA may well strike Iran and it will be ignoring the economic impact of such a strike. It will have an economic impact into all of our pocketbooks.

It may be to defang the regime for 5-10 years.

30/70 chance that it will occur before November is my guess, and that is a guess.

P.S. 13 countries are now on board monitoring and trying to check Iran and North Korea crazyness. Personally I do not like 13 so I look forward to 14.  

Many people have said many things regarding Iran in the past here. It is going to be very interesting seeing who was right and who was wrong. It will be more interesting seeing how people react to the news of their past predictions.
News changes.  Nimble minds will respond.  I feel sorry for anyone locked into a past prediction.
I predict that we will ALL have been wrong.

(Isn't that a paradox? But then again, I am lying right now.)

Well, since Bush seems to at least want us to believe that he is waiting for the second coming of Christ and the new Iranian leader, whose name I can't spell off the top of my head, is looking for the 12th Mahdi to return and maybe bring Christ with him, I'd say that there is some chance that the two of them will blow everything up.

If the Pubbies are looking bad in the polls, there may be an October Surprise, but somehow I think that it will have something to do with Osama and a terror alert/attack rather than carpet bombing of Iraq.  I get the impression that the U.S. military, with the possible exception of the Air Force, unfortunately, is not exactly interested in any new adventures.

But then again, all parties involved seem not to exist in the reality-based community.

Yeah, but the Air Force is really hot to test some of their new toys, and apparently is sure they can prevail just with air power.  No, really, THIS time it will work!  Sigh.  The process is called "keep asking until you get the right answer", and it doesn't matter if all the other forces say "NO" because "YES" is the right answer.  
Air Power is not in favor recently. See latest 'Foreign Affairs.' For years Air Power has been losing ground. It's a complicated issue and I have a definite opinion and argument about it, but we'll save that for some other time. $345 million for an F-22 does seem a bit whacky, though. Don't you think? Considering the Air Force Brass doesn't even want the UAVs Congress is pushing on them, or the fact that we are fighting Al Qaeda, not Russia.
"$345 million for an F-22 does seem a bit whacky, though. Don't you think?"

Ain't how I would spend it.

At that price I'd ask the Russians for a quote on MIGs.
I say, let us go back to tens of thousands of Sopwith Camels and P-47s and P-51s and A-1 Sky Raiders. They don't make planes like that anymore . . . because they are too cheap and effective.

Did you know that a Camel can easily outmaneuver an F-22?

A Hurricane is an awesome fighter/bomber, easy to make, easy to fly, relatively easy to fix. During the Battle of Britain Hurricanes shot down more German planes than all other causes (including the hard-to-fly and hard-to-fix spits, anti-aircraft, etc.). Cheez, even I can fly a Hurribox or a Mustang.

All of those old fighters have no chance at all against a modern jet fighter with a radar controlled gun flying wide circles around them and past them at will. There is even no need to waste expensive robots.

The retired JA37 Viggen fighter who were partly fly-by-wire have had that capability for some 20 years, letting the radar do the fine aiming by steering the direction the fighters body point. But I am not sure about the story that Saab had to make it less precise by making the pilot the center of rotation and not the gun since the pilots got air sick while using the feature. It must surely be standard everywhere since fly-by-wire were introduced.

Yes, but such programs are less about actual needs of the military than they are about corporate profit.  Look at the V22 Osprey.  If you spread the money and jobs through enough Congressional districts, you cannot kill the project.  Large parts of our defense budget are corporate welfare.

Currently our Army and Marine Corps are fully occupied in places other than Iran.

The U.S. Air Force currently faces serious budgetary problems--connected to . . . . guess what?

The U.S. Navy also has some severe budget problems and are low on all sorts of good stuff, from spare parts to cruise missles.

It does not help matters when members of the U.S. armed forces have incomes so low that they qualify for food stamps, as many service families do.

Well, according to Hersh, those are the (rational) reasons the Generals pushed back at the Whitehouse:

In 1986, Congress authorized the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to act as the "principal military adviser" to the President. In this case, I was told, the current chairman, Marine General Peter Pace, has gone further in his advice to the White House by addressing the consequences of an attack on Iran. "Here's the military telling the President what he can't do politically"--raising concerns about rising oil prices, for example--the former senior intelligence official said. "The J.C.S. chairman going to the President with an economic argument--what's going on here?" (General Pace and the White House declined to comment. The Defense Department responded to a detailed request for comment by saying that the Administration was "working diligently" on a diplomatic solution and that it could not comment on classified matters.)

... really in the whole Peak Oil thing we worry about non-rational players ... another example.

IMO Hersh is fully inflated with fecal matter.
How convenient.
BTW, I think there is some important subtext to the "spring of the generals" when they all came out, obstensively to criticise Iraq policy.  I'll never know, but I think it is quite possible (as some have reported) that the real subtext was Iran.

It's widely reported that the generals "didn't want to be on the wrong side of history."  In one variation of that reporting that I saw, it was "the wrong side" of an Iran attack.

The Russians want the pipeline empty.  It was built to limit their influence IMHO.

The pipeline will be wasted money unless some of the new (and old) Kazakhstan oil (they discovered the last two giant oil fields in the world, in 1988 & 2000 from memory) goes that way to market.

IMVHO, it is unlikely that significant quantities of Kazakh oil will go this way to market.

according to ASPO (http://www.peakoil.ie/downloads/newsletters/newsletter44_200408.pdf), the opening of the pipeline will triple Azerbaijan's production, from 300,000 bbl/day to 900,000, or an increase of 600k.  That's of course assuming that everything operates as smoothly as a well-oiled machine....pun intended.  Guess we'll find out in the coming months whether this will be enough to make a new worldwide production record.
Hello TODers,

If using food for ethanol is not bad enough, I was wondering what percent of total fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, and topsoil mixes are used by consumers and businesses for non-agricultural purposes.  When scootering around the Asphalt Wonderland, I am always amazed at the quantity of golf courses, upscale shopping mall landscaping, and green lawns.  Our plentiful snowbird resorts really go whole hog on the maximum green lawns year round, golfing acreage, and lavish flower and hedge displays, not to mention spectacular, but very wasteful waterfalls and water fountain displays.

If this trend is extrapolated internationally, is it safe to say that 20% of all FF-derived biogrowth inputs are currently misallocated and that this phenomena could account for alot of the current starvation? Or is it more like 10%?  Any ideas on how much liquid fuels is used by landscapers and the non-food horticultural industry?

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

Good point.  We don't hear "ornimental agriculture is evil" these days but it's really the same discussion.
Indeed.  How much fertilizer and fertile land is used for: golf courses; growing flowers/ornamental plants; growing luxury foods like asparagus; growing (getting controversial here) tobacco, vines, grain for booze; and (getting even more so) grain for feeding to meat livestock.  I'd estimate we could easily double production of human foodstuff per acre of land if we really had to.  Which we probably will, but only when "we" - in developed countries - start getting short of food rather than those in Africa, parts of Asia, etc.
doctorbob -

You can cut back on all those things: just leave those grape vines alone.

I warn you!

Hello Joule,

Agreed!  As PO & GW rams home, the world will gladly dive into the seclusion of the alcoholic bottle.  We are more like yeast than we will admit!  =D

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

I have no idea how much fertilizer is used for golf courses. But, living next to a golf course, I tried to calculate how much fuel this golf course uses on a daily basis just for cutting the lawn. Counting the heavy equipment they used, the number of hours in service and a rough consumption number, I arrived at about 75 gallons a day. If you include all the other energy used, pumping water, fertilizers, golf carts etc,  I think it is fair to say that total daily energy consumption could be easily doubled to 150 gallons of oil equivalents. There are about
30000 golf courses in the US, which gets the total daily consumption in the US to more than 100,000 barrels a day by playing golf,
just about as much as 50 million citizens in India consume every day.
Did you include the gas the golfers and staff burned driving to and from the course?
Maybe they should do like I do, Bob, and put a rotation of alfalfa and composted manure into their golf courses instead of using synthetic fertilizers.
Nobody credible is pushing this kind of Iraq growth, but the discussion does open up a broader look at global growth.  In our second major Scenario release of the year, we have charted amendments to five of our eleven models.  Our general comments are:

With ASPO-5 in Italy only days away, TrendLines is pleased to present above this super version with Outlook updates of the ASPO, BP, EIA, ExxonMobil & Jean Laherrère Scenarios.  Three models:  ASPO, BP & EIA have extended their exhaustion points with slight increases in URR.  Colin Campbell is up 80-Bbl;  BP has increased by 62-Bbl.  And EIA is higher by 45-Bbl.  None increased their extraction targets that have peaks in 2010, 2015 & 2030 respectively.  ExxonMobil has reduced its URR by 200-Bbl and cut its 2030 peak production forecast by 4-mbd.  Jean Laherrère's 2006 3-Tb Ultimate model is highlighted by the postponement of the Peak by four years to 2018 with increased production of 5-mbd capping at 92.6-mbd.  
The Exhaustion Exit is now demarked by each model's failure to produce 10-mbd (was 9-mbd).

compare to 2005 at: http://TrendLines.ca

and a crossed finger attempt at html:

What scares me is that even following the yellow line on that chart may dump enough CO2 into he atmosphere to melt Greenland.
Another major myth out there, my friend.  And coincidence that u picked the yellow line.  Jean Laherrere has been speaking out for over a year of the nonsense associated with IPCC scenarios wrt CO2 emissions.  See pg44-53 for his comments at Evora Univ on the misguided assumptions that are a basis for the AR3 & AR4 GCM's.  In short, almost all of the IPCC emission scenarios are based on volumes of hydrocarbon usage that far exceed the yet-to-be-used component of URR.
oops ... Jean is the fuchsia line.  Even more relevant.
I was hoping Laherrère's presentation would have a chart showing predicted peak CO2 level for the various predictions ultimate recovery for oil.

I wasn't comforted much by the data, the industrial age chart on page 47 seems to show smoothly rising CO2, from (guessing from the chart) ~280 ppm to ~375 ppm. I'm thinking it took half the oil and some significant fraction of the coal and natural gas to get there, should we burn the other half, I would expect to see CO2 rise well over 450 ppm, which is higher than it's been in millions of years.

Remember in your calculations that co2 does continue to accumulate indefinitely; it depletes from the atmosphere with time.
>Remember in your calculations that co2 does continue to accumulate indefinitely; it depletes from the atmosphere with time.

It is likely that CO2 emissions will increase as Oil and gas production decline, as other fuels are consumed in thier absence for home heating, gasification, electrical power, etc. The replacement fuels will be Coal and Wood. The wood is a double edge sword since, trees are are CO2 sink.

The yellow line is what I consider to be realistic and optimistic. Matt Simmons' line drops off much more sharply.
Matt Simmons hysteria about oil and his coming economic Depression rises in a direct correlation to his falling book sales.  Don't be duped.

WRT to the yellow line, please remember that  "it" has been a moving target since 1991 when it was forecasting a 61-mbd Peak.  Last year it was revised upward 5-mbd and thus far this year it has been pushed up 3-mbd (to 89-mbd or 32.5-Gb/yr) and the Hubbert 1/2-way Peak has been pushed to 2011.  ASPO-Italy will not be a happy place this year...

Everything that has been said at TOD about a 2006 Recession and a 2005 Peak have been laid to rest... RIP.


Public opinion demands a forecast precise to the year or better, doing the right infrastructure investments, research and technical development demands a forecast precise to the decade.
Like Matt Simmons needs to sell books.  

Talk about being duped.

Exactly, he's more coin falling out of his ass crack then he's getting from book sales.



Hello TODers,

Some more info to consider [see my earlier posts for details]:

1. Yeast introduced in a grape juice or hops and barley ecosystem solution grow at their genetically predetermined rate until Dieoff kicks in.  Yummy for us lucky fools that  we can partake of the 'Nectar of the Gods'.  =D


2. Fossil fuels introduced into the tool-using detritovore 'humanimal ecosystem' have allowed us to greatly expand at our genetically predetermined rate too.  

We long ago lost the ability to have our numbers tightly constrained by daily natural feedback loops.  That is why the rare croc, bear, shark, and puma attacks make the headlines, instead of being a constantly occurring daily fact of life.

  1.  The smooth Hubbert bell curve for the lower US 48, minus some minor perturbations by the TX RR Commission, is a graphic indicator of our inherent genetic rate of FF burning.  Imports obviously took up the postPeak supply shortfall to satisfy our collective genetic demand.  But the 'smoothness' is key as generally the market was unrestrained: genetic demand equally balanced by economic and infrastructure growth [nature & nuture] to provide supply.

  2.  If genetic demand and unrestrained genetic growth were allowed to occur in all areas, then ideally: every producing country's bell curve should resemble the lower US 48-- just as every grape juice bottle turns to wine within predictable timeframes-- and we would have seen the earlier peaking global bell curves as shown in Drollas's graph [frame 20].  {I am not exactly clear why he shows two bell curves, perhaps some other TODer can explain.}

  3. But massive distortions introduced by Foundation? planning through wars, and other political and economic means has resulted in many countries' bell curves being dramatically altered. Hubbertian charting has given TBTB a tool of predictive genetic detritus growth once FF discovery occurs and extraction begins in a country, then they can modify the inherent growth of the FF burn rate accordingly.  In short: they disrupt the inherent detritovore nature-nuture linkage.

Recall my earlier post entitled "Hell No, not on my watch!:


  1. Why would Iran-Iraq resort to a long, and very bloody war in the Eighties when both had tremendous energy reserves?  Normally [genetically], like yeast in a bottle--They should prefer to avoid conflict and Detritus Party like Hell-- until geologic depletion constrained them.  So instead of a natural bell-curve, these countries both had a remarkable output decline resulting in double Hubbertian peaks or more.  Political interference disrupted the Energy Party!

  2. The deals and decisions relating to Putin's Russia as a key swing producer [see TODer Darwinian's posts and other TODer replies] may be indicative of the next Foundation geo-political moves to timeshift the Peak:


But this G8 manoeuvring may all be a 'smokescreen'; a circus maximus to entertain the ignorant masses.  The real deals maybe occuring outside the context of the upcoming G8 conference.  Sadly, I do not have the expertise to tell.

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

     One of the reasons that gasoline prices are most of what's talked about when we discuss peak oil, is because they are in front of our face every day or every week, but there isn't too much we can do about it except to try to drive less.  The cost of the new hybrid vehicles is so great, and the problems getting service, that they are not an option for most people in the short term.  So let's take a look at the use of oil for heating, which we can do a lot about, quickly and relatively cheaply.  I live in an old farmhouse built during the Civil War.  It has been badly renovated a few times, but we are doing a major energy-saving job on it.  Putting in a new efficient furnace and a major insulation project will save us a lot of money (and oil) indefinitely, starting immediately.  I remember back when the Alaska pipeline was being proposed, someone did some calculations showing that, if the money for the pipeline was used instead to insulate all the homes in New England, the cost woluld be the same as that of all the oil we got from Alaska,  and the benefit would be essentially permanent, whereas the oil from the pipeline would eventually run out.  But of course the home-insulation businesses don't have the clout of the oil and automotive industries.  Which is why we have to take the government back from the big corporations and give it to the people, who have more common sense than you think, once they know the facts.  Democracy, not the dictatorship of the capitalists.  
Maybe we should go back to Victorian-type homes, too -- the kind that have lots of little rooms that can be closed off in the winter to conserve heat.

These giant McMansions with their "great rooms and "cathedral ceilings" are going to be hell to heat when energy gets expensive.

When I lived in Boulder, Colorado, in the '70s, it passed a code requiring all new homes to be energy-efficient and face south so that they could take advantage of passive-solar energy and and have roofs perpendicular to the sun for solar panels.

Colorado gets a lot of sun; it's amazing what a few south-facing windows can do for your house on a cold winter day.

we have to take the government back from the big corporations and give it to the people, who have more common sense than you think, once they know the facts.

... if the money was used instead to insulate all the homes in New England, the cost woluld be the same ... and the benefit would be essentially permanent, whereas the oil from the pipeline would eventually run out.


you've got a bunch of different concepts here all mashed together like soft potatoes.

Let's try to take them one at a time, slowly.

  1. The fact that a corporation is "big" neither makes it good mor bad. Of course, if it is hierarchically organized (power concentrated at the top of the pyramid) and it is organized for a gladiator style climb up to the top of the ladder (he who steps on the most dead bodies gets to the top), well then, you get what you asked for: a system that concentrates power in the hands of the most vicious and ruthless people, those who stepped on bodies to get to where they are.

  2. The "people" will never know all the facts, and it's true to say that a little knowledge is dangerous, especially if you think you know something and you don't truly know how much additional and essential knowledge you are missing. We see many times here at TOD that commentors with good intent but lack of detailed knowledge propose things that are unworkable. Nothing wrong with proposing. Just don't let them become the techno czars.

  3. I'm a great disbeliever in "common sense". Those are just a bunch of baloney words that people use when they are incapable of articulating any supporting rational. Oh come on, it's common sense that ... the sun goes around the earth or that ... you fill in the blank.

  4. On the last item about building things to last: a short story. Once in the supermarket I bought this really strong dishwashing pad. It lasted and lasted. Finally, after two years, when it was time to get a replacement at the supermarket, I found the company had gone out of business. You see, it is not a sustainable "business" to build things that last. And maybe that is a worthwhile insight to close on about how we use common sense to organize our affairs.




B = it's happening, now.

4. = we're prepared actually to live off the grid.

Y. = we've been here preparing for twenty years (without realizing we were preparing for Peak Oil, of course)and we have no plans of moving.

Bring It On.

It matters not that u prepared for 20 years.  You have another 20 coming to fine tune and get another pickup and more rifles.  You have not just wrecked your kids lives, but are about to disillusion your grandkids as well.  Two generations.  In only the last seven months, ASPO has upward revised the Peak a full 8-mbd and six years.  Laherrere too.  5-mbd and four years to 2018.

Making plans based on Peak Oil has been as much folly as those in the 70's that were awaiting a glacial age; and i won't even go to a Y2K discussion.

There are other ways to plan for a PO future then to become a nutty survivalist who hides in a hole stocked with cans, guns and ammo.

My pre peak oil awareness overall plan were to change work to the energy field since it were a promising one and I were tired of the computing and internet one. Good or bad, I need to be enthusiastic to do a very good job. You can find businesses that are good in a close or far away peak, if you can, choose one that suits you.

I complain about a lot of things but doing is better then only complaining, thus I have started in a low level in local municipiality politics. It is probably a good thing to be a constructive part of the local state authority. I have established a reputation for being a usefull nerd. Ask me and I can fairly often give new suggestions for solutions of practical problems. I dont have the people skills or drive to become a great leader but I am usefull for my community.

I dont like the downsizing of our military force but I had the opportunity to join the home guard. Another half year and I will be a usefull cog in the local machinery for solving emergencies that needs coordinated light military forces. Its most likely that I will help putting out forest fires and so on but we are prepaired to protect key infrastructure in an amergency. I regard this as good PO preparation for the worst kind of scenarios.

Both of these things are more or less a structured way of making new friends. You can not have too manny friends and constructive networks. I could of course do more, I do for instance hang out too much on TOD wich has a qustionable direct social value, it has not given me manny new active contacts. But you give me some new insights and I try to return the favor. I realy should party more. ;)

I plan to build a cottage and plant some fruit trees, nice regardless of peak oil. If my future is good I will invest some of it in land that produces biomass as a hedge against bad times. I dont think either will hurt me or the next generation if PO turns out to be a non issue.

If there will be another generation in my family depends on my girlfriends and our luck with finding jobs. Whatever you do you need to gather resources to do it. I am quite sure I can be constructive enough to be usefull but it is not easy to sell oneself, I am best at selling ideas. Wonder wich group I can become part of? Perhaps I am a little unusual, time will tell.

I dont think PO awareness in itself will destroy the next generation but being nutty will.

Have you considered a trading post + tavern + cafe business for a post-collapse future?

That is what I have, including a stockpile of Swedish military surplus goods, especially cold weather clothing and medical kits and picks and shovels, etc.

I am a skilled bartender and am now making ale.

No, farming as last ditch emergency and the main plan is some packaging of technical knowledge in an easy to use kit.
If I have something realy usefull to trade it is somewhere in my wide technical knowledge and reasonable ability to see connections between things and explain them.

I am not especially intrested in stockpiling stuff but I would like to own and maintain productive assets and low level infrastructure such as water works, small hydro powerplants and so on. But that is only dreams, its much easier to dream up what can and should be done then to size the opportunities to realy do things. :-(

But I would definately have a guest room or two for travelling people, all knowledged TOD contributors are welcome although I only got a sofa and a cheap guest room I can hire today. Send an email if you will pass by Linköping in Sweden. Be warned that I enjoy tech talk more then beer.

Seriously, there should be more of a social dimension with people meeting each other. Most of you seem so anonymous, perhaps I have made a grave mistake to allways use my name and allways stand for the good and stupid things I write but for me most of you seem so weary and anonymous. As if a pseudonym would help if someone evil realy is out after you...

If things go well for me I will ask to visit some of you, you are intresting people and I realy should visit USA among other countries.

Why does it matter what names we use?  We could use real-sounding names, without using our actual real names, and you'd never know.  On the Internet, no one knows you're a dog, and all that.  ;-)

To tell you the truth...I didn't realize you were using your real name.  (Not that it matters to me, one way or another.)  Neither of your names is commonly seen around here.

I never use my real name online.  It started in the early days of the Internet, when there were hardly any females online.  Anyone with a young or female-sounding name got harassed endlessly (usually by married men looking to cheat on their wives, or by would-be child molesters).  I wasn't worried anyone would show up at my door, but it was a pain, having those IMs popping up on the screen constantly.  Especially if you were connecting on slow dialup.

A pseud won't stop "someone really evil" (you know, like Dick Cheney), but it will discourage casual harassers.  They'll pick on someone more accessible.

I enjoy the illusion of talkig to people and prefer to slowly learn your main handles, that is names, instead of throw away ones. And real names tend to give a more serious discussion even if people of course can care as much about a handle as a given name.

I have used my name and the same email adress on the net since about 1989, I guess I could use a Google as a personal trend diary. :-)

Well, if it makes you feel any better, I've used this screen name since I first got online in 1994.  So it's hardly "throwaway."  :)
There was a scifi story I read in which the hero was told that the secret to anonymity was not in staying off gov't computers (meaning aliases, false IDs etc.), but in bombarding them with useless and trivial information.

But if I could think of something as clever as Tom dePlume, I'd probably invent a handle, too.


Don't know if I'd be so generous if I was you.

What if a crazed looking red headed wannabe cult leader and something that looks like a sasquatch were to show up?



Do they usually drink rhubarb lemonade?
Do come to Minnesota! We have all sorts of Swedish festival days to honor the ancestors of so many of us, but the main point would be to talk tech (which I'm good at, because I know so many engineers, physicists, some chemists and mathematicians too. I know lots of people and talk endlessly.) and to learn to sail.

You are welcome to stay with me as long as you like, and you can bring your girlfriend. I have a huge house and also a huge couple of tents in case I want to accommodate a couple of dozen or more people for a family reunion on my acreage of maple trees.

BTW, I have spare bicycles, and you are welcome to borrow one as long as you are here. You might like to try out my electric-assisted Giant LaFree bike, which is now my favorite two wheeler.

Also I have motorcycles, but let's not get started on those . . . .

Sounds very nice!  I will remember your invitation.

Motorcycles are not covered by my driving licence and more important my skillset, neither do I feel a need to extend my skillset.

Four Corners broadband special on Peak Oil is now available:


The report is a serious piece of investigative journalism, and while it necessarily neglects a lot of important details, really gets to the nub of the matter. This is not a piece of optimistic fluff from the commercial media - 4 Corners is probably the most respected current affairs program in the country. Peak oil has made it to the Main Stream Media in Australia.

The overall tone of the report is not optimistic, explaining that neither tar sands, CTL or biofuels are going to save us, and that it takes at least 20 years to change out infrastructure (Hirsch report). Features interviews with:

  • Colin Campbell
  • Chris Skrebowski
  • Andrew MacNamara (peak oil aware Australian member of parliament)
  • Guy Caruso (EIA)
  • Robert Hirsch
  • Sadad Al-Husseini