DrumBeat: August 8, 2006

[Update by Leanan on 08/08/06 at 9:19 AM EDT]

The World at $100 A Barrel

...The dispute centers on the precise timing of what is variously described as "peak oil" or "the big rollover"? the predicted date when existing oil production, together with new discoveries of crude, can no longer replenish the world's reserves as quickly as consuming countries are depleting them.

When that day comes, the price of oil will skyrocket to heights never seen before. It's simply supply and demand economics. It will be a climatic threshold signaling the beginning of the end of the oil era; a small span of time covering only a dozen decades of Homo Sapiens existence.

[editor's note, by Prof. Goose] You may also want to check out Kurt Cobb's latest: Apocalypse always: Is the peak oil movement really just another apocalyptic cult?

Criticism flies over BP's pipeline maintenance

Energy Dept. has oil reserves on standby

WASHINGTON - The Energy Department is prepared to provide oil from the government's emergency supplies if a refinery requests it because of the disruption of supplies from Alaska, a department spokesman said Monday.

Variety of crudes seen filling gap left by Prudhoe Bay outage

'Dead zone' threat to US suburban dream

Petrol price rises may cause the housing bubble to burst, triggering global recession and the fall of America's Eden, writes Paul Harris in New York

Deconstructing Daniel Yergin, the "Energy Pope"

Food prices would soar in biofuels switch, says Unilever

BRITAIN faces soaring food prices, a shortage of staple foods and declining public health if the Government pushes ahead with plans to promote the use of biofuels, the UK’s biggest food producer has given warning.
Global warming may be killing palms
University of Florida scientists say widespread deaths of palms and other trees in low-lying coastal areas have been reported since 1992. But the researchers say their latest survey shows in some areas, 66 percent of mature palms have died since 2000.

...The researchers say rising sea level is the primary cause of the coastal forest decline. And the sea level rise -- expected to accelerate as the Earth becomes warmer -- is linked with the thermal expansion of water, as well as the melting of glaciers and ice sheets.

The New Frontier

As an unusually long and sweltering heat wave enveloped the traditionally mild San Francisco Bay Area, power outages knocked out air conditioning, and gas prices under $3.00 a gallon seemed like leisure suits or vinyl LPs, relics of a long forgotten era, those who have been warning of the consequences of global warming and the eventual decline of a fossil fuel-based life felt an awkward sense of vindication.

Though some progressive icons like Greg Palast still try to write the peak oil movement off using incomplete research and fallacious arguments, increasingly people are awakening to the limits of a system that is utterly dependent upon a finite substance; a substance that is becoming uneconomical and is destroying the earth’s life-support network.

Murky world of western oil interests in Africa

US looks to wean Georgia from Russian energy

Russians prepare for African energy, mining push

[Update by Leanan on 08/08/06 at 12:08 PM EDT]

EIA raises oil forecast $3 a barrel

The government Tuesday raised its forecast for the average price of oil in August by $3 a barrel, citing July's heat wave and decreased production from the closure of BP's oilfield in Alaska's North Slope.

The Energy Information Administration (EIA), the numbers arm of the Energy Department, said in its monthly energy forecast that oil is expected to average $76.50 a barrel in August, up from its prior forecasts of $73.50.

A fun bit in The Truth About Cars feature called General Motors Death Watch:

My God, how wrong can you be? At last Wednesday's press launch of GM's new(ish) pickup trucks, GM Car Czar Bob Lutz once again explored the possibilities. "The effect [of high gas prices] will decrease over time as people adjust to the thought of $3 a gallon, just as they did when it was $2 a gallon and just as they did when it was $1 a gallon." In other words, sooner or later, GM's truck sales will return to "normal" and everything will be allllllright. And then GM CEO Rabid Rick Wagoner stepped up to the microphone and raised the stakes on Maximum Bob's bluff. GM's new(ish) pickups are "the most important part of our North American turnaround plan."

If that statement doesn't send a shiver down Detroit's collective spine, nothing will. Last month, GM's pickup truck sales slumped thirty-two percent. While that's a year-on-year comparison against last summer's Fire Sale For All program, it's clear that GM's second string cash cow is being gored by gas prices and, less obviously, a downturn in the housing industry. A SMALL company called BIGresearch says over 50% of pickup truck drivers planning on buying a new vehicle in the next six months are considering a more fuel efficient sedan or... wait for it... a hybrid.


Delusional, isn't it? And consumers are following their lead. The blind leading the blind...

Gas prices don't put brake on SUV sales

Funny, though, the skyrocketing gas prices don't appear to have much effect on the type of vehicles sold at local car dealerships.

Joe Spinola is sales manager at Bowser, a large multiline dealership in Pleasant Hills. He said few, if any, customers recently have mentioned gas prices when negotiating for a new car, truck or SUV -- and he doesn't expect that to change as prices top $3 for a gallon of super unleaded.

"I don't think customers who are interested in buying trucks or sport utility vehicles are even concerned with the price of gas, because if they were, they would be looking at buying a small car," Spinola said. "It's just not an issue like they say on TV." ... only 3 percent of respondents to a poll indicated that gasoline prices would factor into a decision about buying a certain type of car.
I think, or at least I hope, that one's a puff-piece to make local dealers (advertisers) happy.

Here's one pointing the other way:

Higher gas prices mean lower SUV sales

Smart Motors Inc., a Toyota dealership in Madison, has had a shift in buyer interest, too. Three years ago, about 3% of its yearly sales were gas-electric hybrid vehicles. Now, general manager Allen Foster said, hybrid sales account for 20% - one of every five vehicles sold.

But perhaps nothing spells out more clearly the impact of $3-plus gas than the July statistics from the National Automobile Dealers Association. Sales of large new SUVs were down 19% through the first seven months of 2006, and sales of new hybrid vehicles were up 27%.

Not to burst your bubble, Odo, but it's a comparison that may not generalize well. On the one hand we're looking at what seems to be a typical affluent region (sprawl?) near Pittsburgh. On the other hand we're comparing it the somewhat self-righteous yuppie/professional but old-line region of Madison, Wisconsin close to the dealer, the sort of place where the houses are grand and old, the leafy curvy streets have sidewalks and are infested with speed bumps and "slow for kids" lawn signs, and despite all that, almost no one is walking (on most days of the year it's too hot, too cold, too rainy, or too icy.) And on the third hand - so much for that metaphor - Madison is sort of a Berkeley East to begin with.
Yeah I agree, it's Madison after all, of course they're going to be selling a ton of hybrids......
That was a quick google for stats.  I'm pretty sure the national numbers are running pretty hard against SUVs right now ... this one is a little old, March  06:

US Sales of Full-Size SUVs Continued Decline in March

Yeah, SUV sales are tanking, thank God. I look forward to that if only because there will be a great gain in humor nationwide watching obese ex-SUV-owners get in and out of small cars lol!
(SUVs aren't the only gas hogs out there these days though ... we won't know if the aggregate fleet MPG has really budged until the numbers come out.)
odograph -

Characteristic General Motors foresight and vision.

Suddenly it's 1976!

Surely the managers today were the new hires then.  You'd think they'd carry those years in their DNA!
Pickups have more places to put little flagpoles.
I can think of a few big car - small car - big car - small car cycles over the last 30 years, and as insane as it sounds, GM is not entirely unreasonable in assuming "this will pass".

And, I believe studies during the Great Depression showed that people will give up everything possible before giving up their car or the gas for it.

Don't have the data, but if I remember from classes wasn't per capita distribution light?  I remember the roaring 20's (the setup) and even at it's height car ownership was still a great status enjoyed by a few(including those ford workers paid enough to buy them, there were only so many of them too).  Just curious though.
While not the saturation it's at now in the US, I think by the 1930s car ownership was pretty high. Ford had been producing like crazy through the 1920s, had lowered and lowered the price of the T, and the other makers had all been producing like crazy in the 1920s also. Remember the 1920s were a period very much like our own - widening between the rich and poor, real estate speculation, tons of buying on credit, they were one big party - the 1930s were the hangover.

Ever read Archie Comics? They were written about the high school experience in the 1920s. It was a given that high school students had a car if they wanted one, even if it was a beat up old T like Archie had.

A minor correction: The timeframe the characters from "Archie Comics" inhabit is the late 1940's. Immediate post-war period.
Wow really? I read somewhere it was based on the creator's experiences in HS in the 1920s.
That may be true, however the first Archie comic wasn't produced until 1941.
Most of the inanimate items in the comics date from the 1940's (from black and white be-bops to roadsters and drive-ins).
Well, if the guy who came up with Archie comics went to HS in the 1920s, he'd be in his 40s or so in the 1940s and started the strip then. I think it was not only a neat and cute strip, but had some appeal as a nostalgic thing, looking back to those good times in the 20s which is understandable after the Depression, WWII, and the recession the US was in right after WWII.

Then, some "modern" things like drive-ins added to make it not seem too much of a nostalgia trip. Besides that, a lot of those things were first come up with in the 1920s. They just got big in the 1940s-50s.

OK, looks like the guy went to Haverhill HS in MA in the 1930s, and started comicking about it in the early 40s.

any truth to whats in that link? I tried searching theoildrum for "gull island" and got nothing

I think its BS myself, I highly doubt anyone could sit on an oil reserve of any size and not do something about it at this point in history.

To believe this you'd have to believe that all the IOCs of the entire world would willingly walk away from an oil field that sounds like it's about 3-4 times the size of Ghawar, or that the US government is part of some secret shadowy cabal that can control the IOCs and that they showed foresight in saving the largest deposit for after the time when they've drained everyone else dry. Given today's prices and demand, do you think that this would be true?

It sounds like the guy who claimed that there are gigantic oil reserves off the coast of Thailand that can power the world for hundreds of years. I expect more such silly announcements, especially if they can form a corporation outside the bounds US and European legal authority and get fools to invest.

But dang it! Them blanket trees'n'sausage bushes is there! I done seen 'em! I rubbed elburs wit' them rich folks and seen 'em! See, the thing is, them rich folks is just keepin' 'em to themselves, greedy barstids!
Yes, people have adjusted, but part of their "adjustment" is being done by buying cars with better gas mileage.

On the other hand, if what GM says is true, this is just another reason why we need to raise gas to at least
$10 per gallon in advertised increments or institute a rationing system.  

I wonder what the children of today will think about their gas guzzling parents and grandparents in about 30 years.  Well, maybe by that time they will have learned to enjoy a fried planet without oil and lots and lots of coal.

It is statements coming from GM like this that justifies GM bashing to the max.  They are counting on a phenomenon that will spell disaster for the United States and the people buying their vehicles.  I do not wish them well.

Did this story, TAPPED, get a TOD mention?  It might relate a bit to the 'Dead zone' article above.
I almost posted the NY Times article that post references.  (When it was still free.)

I didn't, because I decided it wasn't really peak oil related.

However, those people are going to be in a heap of hurt when TSHTF.  They're living off their savings, their home equity, and off government handouts now.  Probably not things we should expect to continue in the post-carbon age.

Yeah, I agree that TOD shouldn't be about every bad news story ... but when we start to think about how vulnerable the economy (in our respective nations) is to higher energy prices, and recession, ...maybe worth a quick mention.

I continue to wait and see if our US economy really can sustain growth with these oil prices ...

Speaking of the economy: "The federal government keeps two sets of books.

The set the government promotes to the public has a healthier bottom line: a $318 billion deficit in 2005.

The set the government doesn't talk about is the audited financial statement produced by the government's accountants following standard accounting rules"


Nothing like heading into trouble while riding a mountain of debt.
Actually, it is related, but on the demand side, not the supply side.  It also has a lot to say about American's ability to adapt.  Going back to the 70s/80s again, our consumption dropped in the early 80s because of a severe recession and people's decisions, starting in the 70s, to pay for greater efficiency.  This is one of those situations where the least painful way to deal with higher prices, due to less supply, is to spend money to save money.

If people don't have the money to spend, they can't buy efficiency upgrades.  Between high debt levels, borrowing on the back of the now-deflating housing bubble, stagnant incomes, increasing inflation, the trade deficit, and future unfunded mandates, most people aren't going to have two sticks to rub together, much less ten grand to plunk down for a solar setup or twenty grand for a more efficient car.

Almost makes me think we're doomed...  Woah, gotta go outside and get some sunshine quick!

My gut is telling me there will be a recession, but that might not happen.  If enough people believe in a "soft landing" they can make it happen.  After all "consumer confidence" is the big feedback loop.  As others like to point out, a lot of our US economy is based on people earning money from other people's discretionary purchases, spending it on their discretionary purchases, begin again ...

In terms of "The One Percent Doctrine" and worrying about scales of problems with their associated probabilities ... I think recession is lower scale but much higher probability than collapse.  And I think it is a mistake to only think of recession as a component of (the lower probability) collapse.

Consumers shrugged off higher gasoline prices in July and grew a bit more optimistic about the economy, a private research group said on Tuesday.

but also

Energy costs have had a cumulative effect over the course of the year on shoppers, said Janet Hoffman, managing partner of the North American retail division of Accenture, a consulting firm. "Consumers are just starting to feel their shrinking disposable income."


OK that TAPPED thing is a perfect example of what's going on here in the SF Bay Area. Older guys getting laid off, and being out of work for years because they have a house to refinance and live off of. The drop in status generally does mean their wives are likely to leave them, kids stop calling 'em, etc though. And the ones without financial reserves end up working at Home Despot or someplace. I suspect a certain number end up in the local homeless shelters. However the article is about guys who have options choosing not to work, and that sounds like a reasonable choice - if you don't have to work flipping burgers, why work flipping burgers? The problem is that most of the financial resources these people have are their "forever appreciating" houses which are not doing that so much any more, so they may well have to flip burgers soon.
House appreciation doesn't pay the monthly mortgage or property tax.
House appreciation has been so extreme in California coastal cities and other "boom" areas that it has been paying the mortgage and tax etc. And for a few years there interest rates were going down. So, people were re-financing, at a lower interest rate, taking $50,000 or more out, and living on that. I think there were ways to diddle the taxes too. That paid the mortgage and taxes, because of the decreasing interest rates the mortgage payment often ended up lower. It was insane. This was reality just a couple-few years ago. Since then, interest rates have stopped going down, and instead have been creeping up, People have been trying to just keep their mortgage payments the same instead of lowering them, and often doing that only by extending the length of the mortgage - 40 year mortgages are an option and there's been talk of a 50-year mortgage. And everyone's been hearing too much about the dreaded ARMs or Adjustable Rate Mortgage, where the first few years are interest-only if that.

A friend of mine was pulling money out of his house yearly and this last time got less, $20k instead of $50k. It's OK with him since he's figured out that he's not going to live to be 150 years old or something, and he'd rather pay payments that are about the same as rent would be, to keep living in his house that he's had forever. What's going to get interesting is when he can't pull anything out, since I think those house "withdrawals" are all he's really been living on.

And everyone's been hearing too much about the dreaded ARMs or Adjustable Rate Mortgage, where the first few years are interest-only if that.

So do you think the ARMS are not going to matter?

I took that to mean that they are a widely reported problem.

Also see "HELOCs"


No, I meant that to mean "we've all heard how horrible and dangerous ARMs are, no need to rehash that".

The nastiest is one called the "Option ARM" where you decide each month which of 3 options you're going to use to pay that month, the full regular payment, interest only, or some other thing that still allows the balance to grow and is the least out-of-pocket. Guess one the average overworked, overextended, American is going to most likely choose?

No, the ARMs are a huge problem and have been hugely instrumental in building up the bubble.

This is the classic case of MSM directing everyone to do something they shouldn't.  Can't blame 90% of the population for doing it... all their friends are!

Everyone will begin the move back to fixed now (at a much higher rate) since that's what the commercials are saying they should do (funny it's the same companies that said "get an ARM" 4 years ago).

The corporations are experts at getting into the "consumer's" pocket... they've been getting much better as time goes on too.

I misunderstood you.  I emphatically agree and believe that housing can bring it all down through defaults on fannie mae bonds, due to defaults on mortgages which would induce a radical recession, maybe a depression and prices do not rise.  I haven't made my mind up, but I can see that as a possibility.
So far Andrew McKillop seems to have accurately predicted the fact that increases in oil prices within a certain range (less than $100 per barrel) would paradoxically increase economic growth.  However, as implied above, $100 dollar a barrel oil would likely be a tipping point in terms of negative economic impact.  That said, obviously many people on the lower end of the economic scale are being very obviously hurt by the current prices.  Of course the poor have generally failed to benefit much from the US economic "growth" of the recent past anyway.
I know, that's a really interesting idea ... but of course I reject totally that someone can name a tipping price.

No, I think his effect is going on, but unfortunately other negative effects are also happening at the same time ... increasing debt, etc.

I thought economic activity slowed dramatically last quarter.  And I understood the reason was that although consumers had sucked up higher gas prices as long as they could by increasing debt and maintaining spending habits, it caught up with them: they can't increase debt more (especially in light of rising interest rates) and they've gone through savings.  So now they are cutting back spending and it's showing in the decreasing economic growth.
I was trying to remember, after I posted, if I got the formal definition of "recession" right.  Looking now:  "An extended decline in general business activity, typically two consecutive quarters of falling real gross national product."

We're not there yet, but you are right about slowing:

World political risk and uncertainty is keeping commodity prices way above equilibrium. Inflation-adjusted
GDP growth is slowing toward a 3 percent trend line, but this seems more a function of rising inflation, which is crowding out real growth.

Inflation is the biggest factor in the economic outlook. If it jumps to 4 or 5 percent in the next year, then real growth will surely slump and the balance of forces could conceivably slip into recession.


An abrupt oil spike to $90 or $100 would be a recessionary factor. And who can predict events in the Middle East? But back at home, the supply-side impetus within our resilient and durable free market capitalist economy is still underrated, or shall I say "misunderestimated" by the cult of the bear.


If you measured price inflation the old fashioned way (as it was in the 1980's) real economic growth would very likely be already negative and we would basically be in recession in the US by year end. Whether the growth numbers put out will become negative after the government has finished manipulting them is a mute point. If it walks like a recession and quacks like a recession, its probably a recession in all but name.
It's much more complicated than that. At the moment, people are seeing the hit from higher prices in three different timeframes: the price at the pump and other related higher prices, their current expenses vs. income - their deficit, and their debt level and future expectations about income. I think these operate at the daily, monthly, and semi-annual or annual basis, respectively. So Jack and Jill see the price at the pump and it ticks them off, but they don't worry about it too much and just keep spending. At the end of the month they get their credit card bill and realize they've spent more than they can pay off again. "What can we do? Just pay what we can and worry about it later, but we'll have to try to spend less this month." However, at some point the accumulating debt starts to look like a real problem, and their payments get larger and larger compared to their income. Then they start to really worry and may do something different.

That tipping point will come differently for different families, but a very key point is that it is based on cumulative debt a well as immediate prices. I think this is one of the keys to understanding the 70s. If in 74 they had not started rationing, we would have experienced the price increases only, and it would have been like today, with prices rising for everyone and debt increasing. Even with the rationing, *eventually* people ran out of money and debt available to cover the higher prices. However, it took a while, partly because unions were strong and could negotiate higher wages. It was also harder to increase your debt load back then. Today it's much easier to increase your debt, but much harder to increase your income.

From Michael Hodges "America's Total Debt Report 2006" (Has anyone seen a good median household debt to median household income chart that goes back to the 70s? The fed's debt service ratio only goes back to 1980 and isn't based on median.)

Looks to me like the "tipping" point may take similar amounts of time and greater accumulated debt this time, but will be more economically devastating because of all that debt.

Could you explain the 1974 part?  I wasn't alive so I can't speak with confidence, but your saying unions ended rationing through wage demands?  Or the tipping point was adverted by unions through wage demands?  

I could have swore Congress ended it, thats all.

Sorry for any confusion.  The unions had nothing to do with rationing, AFAIK.  They managed to increase pay for their members at rates that helped their members deal with inflation.  Since many people were unionized at that time, and many more got cost of living increases because other people were getting COLA increases, real wages didn't fall as fast as they are falling now.  

I would say the tipping point was delayed by wage demands, at the cost of increasing inflation.

I just downloaded an ebook the "Human Action" by Ludwig Von Mises.  Haven't started reading but its 900 pages and it's suppose to be the best marriage of econ and the pschological human action part.  He's from the Austrian School of Econ.  Has anyone here read this in its entirety?  I have the 99 reissue edition (3rd or 4th) with the added information after Mises translated it into English @ Princeton.  Im thinking DonSailorMan may be of assistance.  
Ya. Ist Gud.

But the problem with von Mises (whom I love in my heart) is that he never learned to be concise. Another Austrian very close to my heart is Friedrich von Hayek, who wrote better than von Mises, and in my opinion will repay close study at a ratio of 10:1 in favor of Hayek and against the prolix von Mises. Not that there is anything wrong with Mises: He is erudite and fascinating, but he does go on and on and on and on.

My advice:
First read any 500 pages of Hayek. Then and only then go on to Mises.

BTW, one of my favorite Hayek books is,

"The Counter-Revolution of Science,"

in which Hayek points out that the imitation of physics in economics (and other social sciences) has led to bad results.


One of those motors goes into Volume 2 of my science fiction series set in the near post-apocalyptic future.

Yeah, if electric motors work in models, why not scale them up?

Ah ey captn.  I heard that the first 200 pages of this 900 is philosophy and can be skipped.  I'll pick up a copy of your recommendation, but other than that book being one of your fav's, what is Hayke's definitive work based on?
(BTW, still free with name/password)
It's a TimesSelect for me.  
That's weird.  I went to the "Tapped" article I had bookmarked, and went to the Times story there this morning.  I put in my ancient name/password (plain old free registration) and it let me though.  I read the times article for the first time.  (I'd just read the Tapped article the time before.)

Now when I go back, it's TimesSelect for me too.  Maybe they are doing something strange like letting each person see it once?  That would be weird though.

LOL, they have a bug or a feature.

I cleared my private data (firefox), went back to the Tapped article, and then to the Times page.  They asked me for my name/password, I put it in, and saw the story again.

Go back again and they want me to "TimesSelect."

Shhh, that's enough now. Don't tell anybody else.
Some Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) vaporizers burn fuel to vaporize the gas, requiring 1.2-1.6% of the gas to do the job. Alternatives are to take heat from hundreds of millions of gallons per hour of seawater (which kills all microorganisms in it) or use massive air transfer towers (in hot climates, part of the year).

Why not put an electric power plant between the burner and the vaporizer? Efficiency in combustion power plants is Carnot-limited by the cold sink... and LNG is extremely cold.

To keep the technology simple, use a standard power plant, with one additional turbine that transfers heat from the steam condenser to the methane vaporizer.

Methane has a boiling point of -161.6 C (111.6 K), but that's at atmospheric pressure, and it's delivered at higher pressure. So to be pessimistic, I'll assume it has to be warmed to the triple point, at 190 K. Even then, the energy recovery should be extremely good: Carnot efficiency between boiling water (373 K) and 190 K is 49%--and that's on top of all the energy extracted by a standard power plant. (Carnot between 373K and 111K is 70%.)

I found a description of an LNG gasifier that planned to use air-transfer towers to dump the coolth. It planned to gasify on average 1.5 BCF/day. OK, 1% of that is 21 MMCF/day which corresponds to about 250 MW times the near-1 efficiency of the power plant. That seems worth building a power plant for. (The towers would only provide sufficient warmth 9 months of the year, and they'd have to burn LNG to supplement the other 3.)

(Reposted, slightly modified, from a dead DrumBeat thread on Sunday.) http://www.theoildrum.com/story/2006/8/6/91051/08126#201


The energy used to liquify the gas in Arabland is part of the total energy equation.
Looking at some DOE energy flow charts I saw that all the coal and nat gas used to generate electricity is nearly equal to the energy lost up the chimney and cooling towers.
What I think is the most interesting thing about peak oil is that it might not even occur at the geologic peak. Before anyone jumps on me, let me explain. I understand mathematics very well, and I have a fairly good grasp on the basics of geology. I understand that when we hit the top of the geological bell curve, that's it, global peak, game over for the Oil Era.

BUT, I'm not sure we will ever reach it. Why? While I have considerable grounding in mathematics, I understand human nature even better. When I look at what's going on in the world right now -the 'logistic' problems, all the political games, I see the probability there for the oil economy to come down before we ever reach the geologic peak. It may not be a high probability -certainly not a certainty -but I it is there.

I have been thinking this very thing recently -- the Prudhoe situation is kind of random in this context, but Iraq, Nigeria, the new leverage Iran has... these are all symptoms of being near peak.

Apparently non-geological constraints start to show up in a big way when the peak is in view...

They are all symptoms of low excess capacity, which in turn is predicted by peak oil theory.  I still think this is peak now, but I know it's possible that it's hysteresis ... an after affect of an entire industry lulling itself into underinvestment.

As I say, I think it's peak, but I think that's how I could be wrong.

Westexas noted awhile ago that what matters is the peak in exports, not total production; just because the oil is extracted doesn't mean it's going into a pipeline or tanker bound for some destination external to the producer. This was explored somewhat during our discussion of major exporter's increasing domestic demand on top of their decline rates. Data from BP's Stats show exports for:

2003--35,545 KBD
2004--37,149 KBD
2005--37,859 KBD

I was unable to find data for previous and current year(s). If monthly data for these years, including 2006 YTD, could be found, they would make an interesting graph. Remember, shut-ins by KatrinaRitas don't affect exports because that oil is used domesticly.

Of course, total crude exports could be broken down further by type and price, which I think is crucial. Top price would go to light, sweet crude; but, how much is available at that price and does it satisfy total demand or is some spare amount available. Then we have the question of longterm contracts that also governs the export market: How much of current exports aren't for sale since they've already been sold? I guess the main question is, how much oil is truely available on the spot market at its current price?    

With your comments and Matt Simmons book it makes a CLEAR point that the largest obstacle in our way is simple knowledge.  Those who are in the know stand to benefit like no one before.
While I do not have a strong grounding in Mathematics (never took any math beyond calculus 1), I do have a pretty solid understanding of human nature (I am an experienced psychiatrist) and I agree with you.  It seems to me that reaching the true fully geological peak of production at any specific point in time, there would have to be better cooperation between human groups (ie, less geopolitical obstruction). Given the absence of such cooperation, we really will not be pulling the max oil per unit time and would not that imply that the peak will get "squashed" into a plateu followed by the inevitable decline?  Still a max will be reached but not the geologically possible max per unit time.
David, I got my undergrad degrees in Chemistry and Engineering, realized I'd made a horrible mistake in my choice of field, and am now going to grad school for pyschology. I only mention it because it's nice to know that I'm not the only person here in a 'people' field!
Yes, there are actually a number of us here.  We tend not to post as often as the tech guys though clearly resource depletion dynamics will heavily impact and be heavily impacted by complex human dynamics.  Plus, given that I do have some science background on the way to and through Med School, it is kind of fun to try to follow the arguments of the engineers though they tend to be above my level of sophistication--particularly when the graphs and equations come thick and fast...;o)
Human dynamics is a huge interest of mine as well. My background is similar to yours in part (former grad student in neuro-anatomy at a medical school following first degree in neuro-science and psychology), although I have since become an academic jack-of-all-trades (environmental science, law, economics, energy etc). The human response to peak oil will be critical, if not definitive IMO. My view of how the economy and peak oil will interact is here.
What I think is the most interesting thing about peak oil is that it might not even occur at the geologic peak.

This is my "Peak Lite" scenario. The difference between this and a true geologic peak is that in theory, Peak Lite could be mitigated by bringing more production online. Geologic Peak can't be mitigated in this manner. But for most purposes, Peak Lite = Peak Oil, even if it is not necessarily permanent (yet). See my essay:

Peak Lite

An excerpt from the essay:

In reality, barring a worldwide recession, Peak Oil is here, it just doesn't look like you expect it to. It reflects an inability to secure the energy supplies you need. It means that rationing is here, but it will be rationing by price (at least in the beginning).
Like your work RR, but isn't, "the rationing is here - price rationing" a little economic voodoo talk?  :)
Like your work RR, but isn't, "the rationing is here - price rationing" a little economic voodoo talk?  :)

Not really. Any time you have a tight supply/demand situation, you have only a limited number of choices. You could leave prices where they are, and run out of product as demand increases. That is the "no rationing" scenario.

You can raise prices, which is rationing by price. The product is there for those who absolutely are willing to pay the price. As the price increases, product is rationed to those who are willing to pay the price. However, if you can't raise prices enough to stem the demand, you are still going to run out of product.

The final option is to keep prices low and just allocate a certain amount of product to each person. This is highly undesirable, because some people may be simply unable to cope at the present time with whatever ration they receive. They are the ones who are willing to pay almost any price for the product. The other bad thing about just flat out rationing is that it will cut deeply into profits which are needed for expansion of the business, or entering new markets.

I don't think that's economic voodoo talk.

I had a smiley after it.  I agreed, just making fun of the many people who refer to any price rationing as simply economic voodoo jargon.  I'm finishing a finance(econ minor) degree this school year FINALLY!
I figured your tongue was in cheek, but I thought I better clarify just in case. Given your major, I was probably just preaching to the choir.
Please check out my Sunday drumbeat post reporting some ethanol stories in local papers.  It seems the news is changing its tune quite dramatically in "corn country".  At first there was seldom a bad word about ethanol, lately there has gradually been more, and last Sunday was a well-done lengthy negative article about corn ethanol.  I especially thought of VK when the last sentence of one quote was "If you invest in ethanol, you are investing in politics.  Ethanol is made attractive only by federal policy."  It prompted me to contact the editor for a job well done, as well as give him some information on PO and why the public needs to be informed for what is ahead, referencing the Chicago Tribune's story from the week before.
Or let prices float to whatever level is dictated by supply and demand and ration.  Also, permit trading of energy credits. Keep prices high and ration. That's the ticket but allows people the freedom to buy and sell energy credits.  This rewards the frugal and lets those who really want/need extra energy to obtain some.  

The geological peak is the BEST CASE production rate. There is no guarantee that we will reach it.

In order to reach it there has to be no limits on access to reserves to develop, access to territory to explore, technology restrictions, limits on availablilty of rigs, pipes, pumps, experienced personnel, physical safety of workers, pipelines and tankers to move the product, refineries to process product, etc. etc.

When we have considered cases like East Texas, we very nearly approached ideal conditions, and were thus limited by the geology. I doubt that we will be so lucky for the world's peak.

When we have considered cases like East Texas, we very nearly approached ideal conditions, and were thus limited by the geology. I doubt that we will be so lucky for the world's peak.

Lucky?  What is this lucky of which you speak?

Seriously, a quick approach to geological peak would be the worst thing, because it would be followed by a similarly quick decline.  A slow approach, moderated by geopolitics and other factors, will hopefully give us a plateau of extended high (but not extraordinary) oil prices.  Given our tendency to wait until we're actually in pain before doing anything to prevent pain, a long moderately painful plateau seems like our best chance for avoiding a crash.

OTOH we may just wait till we're definitely off the plateau before seriously addressing the issues of peak oil.
The U.K. is worried about possible water riots:

Army on tap for water riots

LONDON'S emergency planners are preparing for the possibility that soldiers might have to be called into service to quell civil unrest should water shortages continue into next year.
There was a local TV report yesterday on water well problems in Parker County, on the west side of Fort Worth.  Several water wells are going completely dry.

Local aquifers are being hit hard for three reasons:  a drought; increased demand as a result of more and more homes being built in rural areas and increased demand for water from operators drilling Barnett shale wells.

A water well driller described a conversation he had with the proud new owner of a McMansion:

Driller:  You have to cut back on your water use.  You are watering your lawn every day.

McMansion Owner:   I just spent $2,000 on landscaping.  I"m not going to let it die.

Driller:  If your water well goes dry, you won't have a house that you can live in.

McMansion Owner:  Just tell me how I can get more water.

(In other words, hell no I won't cut back.  Just tell me how to get more natural resources.)

I suppose re-using is out of the question?  Use graywater for that $2,000 lawn?
'Merkans are generally appalled at the idea of using greywater to water their lawns. No. 1, the soaps, shampoos, dishwashing "liquids" etc would probably kill the lawn. No. 2, 'Merkans are used to using clean, pure, good, drinkable water to shit in, and needless to say for anything/everything else. It's kind of tied up with the idea of being The World's Best First-World etc Country. With perfect lawns.
My dog drinks that clean toilet water, so at least he benefits.  Come to think of it, he semi(work in progress) trained my kitten to drink out of it too, but he fell in and got terrified so it's been awhile since he tried again.  
I have a cat that only drinks running water. So the only place inside the house to reliably find running water is a just-flushed toilet. It's pretty funny to watch her dive under the rear end of the person flushing the toilet to get her "fresh" running water.

That cat has some major personality quirks.

i think i got yours beat :P
i have a cat that likes to watch the faucet of the bathtub for water drops which then she trys to get at. she also likes to lick up pools of water on the bottom of the shower and i have caught her once gnawing at the faucet. she also loves to be in the bathroom when you take a shower but not in the tub.
My cat takes showers too.  I always though cats hated water and this is my first cat I've adopted.  Pretty quirky fun animals to just watch!  My dog gets so jealous.
What landscaping do you get for $2000? For postage stamp Chicago "front yards", maybe 20 feet by 15 feet after subtracting paved areas I hear $100,000. For suburban McMansions 2000 does not do weekly service.
Just put Perrier on that lawn.
How do you export water? Tankers are expensive, towed plastic bladders are fragile, perhaps a pipeline but then Norway will get the business.

Wonder where the cutoff is between building and running a desalination plant and using tankers?

How about some supertankers with russian nuclear powerplants ferrying water between Norway or Sweden and GB and containers above deck?

Oil Falls as U.S. Offers Reserves to Cover Prudhoe Bay Closure

Aug. 8 (Bloomberg) -- Crude oil fell on speculation U.S. supplies will be adequate after the government offered to make up for shortfalls caused by the shutdown of Prudhoe Bay, the largest oil field in the country.

U.S. Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman offered to release oil from the emergency stockpile after BP Plc closed the Alaska field yesterday to fix pipelines. The nation holds 688 million barrels of oil in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve along the Gulf Coast. Valero Energy Corp. and Tesoro Corp., the largest refiners in the U.S., said they can meet near-term needs.


Re:  Oil Falls as U.S. Offers Reserves to Cover Prudhoe Bay

During the 1967 Arab/Israeli War, the Arab oil producers tried an oil embargo, which failed because the Texas RRC opened the taps and flooded the market with oil.  When the 1973 war and embargo rolled around, Texas was at the start of its long decline and couldn't do anything about the embargo.

Mathematically, based on the HL method, Saudi Arabia last year was at the same point at which Texas peaked, and note that Saudi Arabia could not increase production to make up for shortfall due to the hurricanes, and the IEA and the US had to do the largest ever coordinated release of emergency reserves.  

In other words, emergency reserves are now serving as the new "swing producer."  

If I am not mistaken, last year's release of oil from the US SPR has not been replaced, and we are already talking about another release.  See a pattern here?

SPR Inventory as of August 4, 2006.

Shows releases related to Katrina (going back 1 year)


That's a good one.
Seeing the sweet/sour breakdown is very enlightening. Do you have links to older reports, to see how the sweet/sour ratio is changing?
I notice it's interesting that if you do the math, 700 million barrels of oil would only last this country about 28 days, assuming we burned our normal amount each day, approximately 25 million barrels.

I guess even the government doesn't have the '3 month emergency fund' they encourage us to have.

From CNN.com front page:

The Israeli military dropped leaflets today over the southern Lebanese city of Tyre, warning of stepped-up operations and urging people not to drive. One leaflet said, "All cars and of any type will be shelled if seen moving south of the Litani River."

So I guess Israel has decided that any living human in S. Lebanon is Hezbollah.  sick, sick shit...

Angry Chimp, thanks for the link to Galloway's "interview" yesterday.  Speaking truth to power is a dangerous thing, I wouldn't want to be one of his bodyguards...And what a beautiful example that is of the workings of media propaganda!

Sickening, isn't it? It seems that genocide and colonialism are right back in vogue, due in no small part to resource scarcity.

What makes it even more sickening, if that is possible, is that this is survivors of the Holocaust and their descendants who are now perpetrating genocide on another people. So much for 'Never Again'. How quickly we forget.

FYI, this war is over the water in the Litani River, not Hezbollah. That's just a conveinent excuse to take over the half of Lebanon with actual water supplies.

"...this is survivors of the Holocaust and their descendants who are now perpetrating genocide on another people."

Webster's defines genocide thus: the deliberate and systematic destruction of a racial, political, or cultural group

Regardless of what one might think of Israel's activities in Lebanon, it seems a bit glib to label it with the g-word.

But I find your remark about the Litani River intriguing. Before I heard about PO, I'd been expecting one of the next big wars there to be over water. So how much water are we talking about here?  

It might be a bit glib to use the 'g' word for Lebanon, but definitely not for Palestine. I don't know how closely you follow Isreal, but most of their leaders have been making noises about completely 'eliminating' the Palestinians.

As for Lebanon, they are at the very least guilty of committing atrocious war crimes. They have bombed not only Hezbollah fighters, but every major road in the country, destroyed every bridge, hit factories, hospitals, schools, churches, mosques, residential complexes, etc. The UN observers post they destroyed had been there for 40 years. They had given multiple assurances that it would not be bombed, the UN had repeatedly reminded them it was there, it was clearly marked, and during the attack on the facility, the UN commending general in the region told them TEN times they were bombing a UN post and to stop immediately. They did not. They have been deliberately attacking civilians; in the more sickening incidents, they have told the civilian population to leave an area, and then deliberately bombed  cars loaded with civilians and with white bedsheets/flags on them. Also, they have said certain places would be safe for civilians, and then bombed them when large numbers gathered there. And on and on and on. I'm not trying to demonize Isreal -far from it -but they have been doing incredibly reprehensible things.

As for the water issue, in Gaza and the West Bank, annual water per person is below 100 cubic meters; the minimum to not be considered water scarce is 1000 cubic meters. Isreal and the Palestinians both draw their water from the West bank aquifiers, which in recent years have been drawn down much faster than they can be replinished. (Incidentally, the Israelis have forbidden the Palestinians from drilling new wells for years, and the water table has now dropped below the wells they do have, so they are facing a very, very critical water shortage there.) Now that the water table has fallen so low, Isreal too is facing a very severe water shortage, and has considered it of supreme national interest to 'secure' water supplies. The Litani River in Lebanon is the nearest, most dependable source of water that the Isreal could tap -if they have control over it. (See Box 5-1 in Chapter 5 of the 2005 State of the World report for more info on the water situation in this area.)

Optimist...didnt you know the G word and Jews would stir up a bunch of hornets?  Although it appears everyone is more busy looking into Alaska, so your words seem to have fallen on deaf ears.  

Lets get real though.  I won't delve into Jew & Arab debates.  This is a people debate.  If there are identifiable races that categorically hate me & want to eliminate me for the very simple fact that my family history is traced back to G. Kahn, then I shall not sit idly.  

I had a Rambo wannabe dad and he managed to teach me to defend myself.  The point to defending myself is so that you can not longer harm me.  If you punch me, I intend to punch you so hard and so many times that you will never again try me. And if you got a few extra guys, I'm not dumb, I'm getting my backup too.  And if there are people who support them, they must pay too.  I could care less that some people can't stand the brutish part of life, but I've only got one shot at it.  Survival instincts trumpt a whole lot IMO.

And I find it most ironic that the greatest struggles fought for are based in religion.

That should work for today....

Spoken like a true Nazi.......

   You are the on throwing around anti-semitic comments of late, what about his post had any thing to do with fascism or nazism?


OK, how about I take the nice, peace-loving Jewish attitude in life..... a little kid is playing around out here and the kids around here tend to be rock throwers, or pebble-tossers anyway, and my window gets broken. From everything I am hearing, the Righteous Jewish Approach would be to go out there, whip that kid's ass, break his arms and legs, then when his Mom shows up, shoot her. Then go over to their apartment and burn 'em out. After all, they are a danger to me! Look at the broken glass!

Isn't this a wonderful new world? Merely describing what's going on is "Anti-Semitic".

Go read Israel Shamir a while and come back later k?

I was referring to your soros/swartz comments and no jews in the foxhole.  

Although I see your logic:

Nonguided rocket aimed at civilian populace=pebble breaking window.

Retaliation strikes at military targets hidden inside (illegally) civilian populace=beating children and women.

You are enlightened fleam, I hope one day I can have the wisdom and insight you possess. Hopefully I can have a smidge of that positive mental outlook too.

Fleam, a lot of people here see you the way Oilrig Medic does, but it gets tiresome to point out the illogical extremism of your views on the Israel/Lebanon thing. There's got to be a Friends-of-Mel-Gibson web site somewhere out there where you would be welcome with open arms (one of them uplifted in salute). Peace.
Pebble hitting window = the Lebanese kidnapping two Israeli soldiers who were in Lebanon in the first place. And their reason was to exchange for prisoners, of which the Israelis have thousands and thousands, men, women and yes, children.

So, you haggle out a trade, make the exchange, and next time have your soldiers stay the heck out of other people's land so they don't get kidnapped. Easy.

But no, Israel's solution is kind of a final one, isn't it? Yeah, the g-word fits.

As for Gibson, I love him - he's been pissing off the Hollywood establishment for years. I don't know if he said those things, mainly he's an idiot for driving around drunk - he should do his jail time or do his Community Service, cleaning up a local park picking up  cigarette butts, lol. It sounds like the blatherings of a drunk, and he should get the full punishment for his drunk driving, not for whatever he supposedly said about God's Pets, sheesh! I go to the local library way in the back or some places and I can hear all kinds of choice things about white people, and my reaction is "Yeah, whatever".

Nothing wrong with self-preservation, but the things that Israel has justified in the name of security have clearly not done much to insure their actual security, have they?  They have some tough, bullying backups like the ones you said you might enlist, but once you've started down that path, you might not have a chance to find other routes that would have promised you a safer future.

What happens to Israel now, if her backups falter?

I think it was a warning by Gandhi, that the way we took on Hitler had sadly guaranteed that we would only end up fighting a thousand more Hitlers..

And don't think that those precision weapons (supplied by US taxpayers) can't nail a moving vehicle...



I take exception to the report that this ambulance was hit directly by a helicopter launched missile. If it was, it would not exist as a vehicle. Such missiles can destroy 60 ton armored tanks! Furthermore that hole is directly in the center of the roof. A helicopter fired missile would hit a vehicle at an angle tending toward level and more towards the side of the vehicle. The further launched from the vehicle, the flatter the trajectory, but if too close the helicopter cannot achieve the firing angle to even fire upon such vehicles. Finally, if a helicopter launched missile hit that ambulance with those people inside, none should have survived. Instead all survived with various wounds, only two listed seriously. Something smells fishy about that story. I do not doubt that something occurred but the story as reported smells wrong to a military vet who knows a wee bit about explosive munitions like missiles and artillery.
I take exception to the report that this ambulance was hit directly by a helicopter launched missile. If it was, it would not exist as a vehicle. Such missiles can destroy 60 ton armored tanks!

I don't think that's necessarily true. Remember that to destroy a tank, you don't need to take it completely apart. That would be very inefficient use of energy. In fact, anti-tank missiles and shells are designed to carry a shaped charge which upon impact produces a highly directed explosion. The idea is to punch a narrow hole through the armor and fill the soft, vulnerable insides of the tank with a shower of shrapnel and molten metal with the goal of killing the crew and/or causing critical damage to the tank's systems. In the absence of a heavily armored target, the shaped explosion might just pass straight through the ambulance (no ricocheting, most of the energy going into the ground), leaving it and the passengers relatively unharmed.

Furthermore that hole is directly in the center of the roof. A helicopter fired missile would hit a vehicle at an angle tending toward level and more towards the side of the vehicle.

Since I'm no expert in these matters, my theory above might well be wrong. The location of the hole, however, is far simpler to explain. Modern tanks have their heaviest armor in the front with thinner armor in the sides. The thinnest armor is in the rear and top (the crew hatches, for example, are usually located on top of the tank). Therefore, from the point of view of an attack helicopter, the most certain way to knock out a tank is to hit the top armor. And guess what? That's exactly how, for example, AGM-114 Hellfires work. Here's what their flight trajectory looks like: http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/missile/hellfire-trajectory1.gif  . That hole is exactly where it should be, if the ambulance in fact was hit by an anti-tank missile.

I do not doubt that something occurred but the story as reported smells wrong to a military vet who knows a wee bit about explosive munitions like missiles and artillery.

I'm not a military vet, but I do have the advantage of having toyed with high-tech military hardware since I was 10 years old. Helicopters, jet fighters, nuclear submarines, space shuttles; I've mastered them all... in PC simulations, at least. :)  

Israel drops leaflets, Lebanese want to obey and vacate the area, BUT, Hezbollah won't let them leave. Threats to kill them are common. So they are damned if they do and damned if they don't. Since they are being used as human shields.
CNN/FOX/MSNBC are all focusing on Lebanon being bombed, the daily struggle they must endure. Making this all look like it's Israels fault and Lebanon the victim. When infact Lebanon is the victim not because of Israel, but Hezbollah.

Bear in mind that Iran has been making threats to Israel for awhile now. Iran wants to attack Israel, but instead is doing it through Hezbollah. Iran is supplying Hezbollah the arms to attack Israel.

The diplomacy between the nations involved will amount to nothing, and if anything will only make the "powder keg" bigger.  

I wish those of you who want to discuss Israel-Lebanon would either present some real evidence its peak-oil related or take it elsewhere.
Hurin, as much as I also do not like the veering topic, the simple fact of the matter is that middle eastern instability and conflict fuels crude oil prices and, in some cases (such as Iraq or Iran), hinders supply.  Since this website and forum are about all aspects of "the oil problem", such discussion is, albeit a bit tangental, relevant.
It's also important because the US's support of Israel's acts of genocide are increasing greatly the no. of people worldwide who hate the US. Yeah, most of the world hates us already, but this is changing the minds of the holdouts. And it only takes one, or a few, motivated terrorists to create big changes in oil supply to the US through attacks on vulnerable points.
Also a valid point.
IMHO, the US no longer controls Israel. Bush can come out and say he is supportive, but where is the evidence that he has any say in the matter? You could make the argument Israel exerts as much control over US geopolitical and diplomatic strategy as the other way around.
A whole lot more.
"It's also important..."

But how does forcing us to listen to your continuous inane, uneducated and one-sided ranting in every topic thread help at all.

The only thing you have convinced me of is the need for an "ignore" function.

Then by all means ignore, but do so quietly. Only small children feel compelled to announce that they're ignoring someone!
This story is dated 8/5 and I've been away awhile so I don't know if anyone has posted this yet.

Colorado - and the nation - are experiencing a diesel-fuel shortage this summer that is hampering a variety of shipping businesses and has trucking companies scrambling for fuel.


Here's something for speculation...if Senators/Congressgirliemen, who have by this time probably been around when Roscoe Bartlett has given one of his speeches, truely believed in peak oil...would they not be greenlighting every drilling prospect that came their way?
If they really believed Bartlett, they'd want to shepherd domestic reserves very carefully.
I guess my thinking is influenced by my belief that The S will HTF at an ever increasing rate after 2008 or so.  So the lead time on any project started now would just barely start to come online as things really started to go downhill, softening the blow and allowing time to change.

But you bring up something interesting... would they believe in shepherding domestic reserves?  I mean, they don't have to believe everything Bartlett believes.  They could very well believe that peak is near and the best thing to do is to drill like mad and maximize for short term gain to keep the house of cards from falling while waiting for the techno-fairy to deliver us salvation.  That or just plain disbelief are the most likely candidates IMO.

My guess is that they don't wanna believe peak oil, and they do want to get re-elected, so they follow their short term party goals.  For Republicans that's generally pro-buisiness drilling, for Democrats that's generally pro-environment and non-drilling.

There's a lot of confirmation bais at work.  For aparachiks that would probably be a bias that their world would continue, just as some of us here have the opposite bias.

The Dems seem to be taking the oil companies statements that there is plenty of oil to still be pumped at face value. The oil companies must be deliberately holding down production in order to keep prices and profits high. If the oilies admitted that they can't suck it out off the ground any faster then they would be admitting we are at peak oil.
You forget the short term prespective that has gripped our entire country in recent years. Businesses don't think beyond the next quarter, politicians don't see beyond the next election, and most households survive paycheck-to-paycheck.

None of which is consistent with long-term planning. We've been mortgagin our collective futures for present gains.

DJ Global Oil Output Capacity To Rise 25% By 2015 - CERA

 NEW YORK (Dow Jones)--Global oil production capacity is set to increase by
as much as 25% over the next decade, enough to meet rising demand, according
to an updated report by Cambridge Energy Research Associates.
  In an overview of a detailed, field-by-field May 2005 analysis of the oil
industry, the Cambridge, Mass.-based consultancy said that world oil
production capacity is expected to increase to 110 million barrels a day in
2015 from 88.7 million barrels a day in 2006, with the Organization of
Petroleum Exporting Countries accounting for 60% of the growth.

Well, that's just lovely. Wish I could figure out where all that present capacity of 88.7 mbd can be found, though. I'm still shotr of 2 mbd.

More on this from Yergin -- seems to avoid specifics. Not sure if this interview was posted. Given to Der Speigel last month:

Yergin: I think the shock of demand from China has passed now. In 2004 we had this amazing 16 percent growth in Chinese consumption. But now the focus is shifting to supply. We are currently experiencing a slow-motion supply shock, the aggregate disruption of more than 2 million barrels per day. This has a lot to do with the unrest in Nigeria, but also with the production loss after the hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico, the decline in Iraq since the 2003 war, and the decline in Venezuelan output since 2002. So today we're standing at a historic juncture: After a quarter century, the great cushion of oil surplus production capacity that was created after the turbulences of the 1970s has been largely spent.

Spiegel: Is the current scarcity just a question of capacity or also one of geology? There are quite a few experts who believe that global production will reach a peak soon and decline fairly rapidly.

Yergin: This is not the first time the world has run out of oil. It is more like the fifth. Cycles of shortage and surplus characterize the entire history of oil. We experienced similiar fears in the 1880s, at the end of World War I and II. And we ran out in the 1970s. People always underestimate the impact of technology. To give you an example: In the 1970s the frontier for offshore development was 200 meters, today it is 4,000 meters.

Spiegel: But even the most sophisticated technologies have not been able to stop the decline in fields like the ones in the North Sea.

Yergin: The North Sea was supposed to run out in the 1980s. Then in the 1990s. And now production is still on-line. Nobody thinks that oil supply is infinite, but the point is: The sky is not falling. We have done a worldwide field-by-field-analysis of exploration projects, which indicates that the production capacity could increase by as much as 20 to 25 percent over the next decade, including greater output of nontraditional sources like Canadian oil sands, and increased recoverability from existing wells.

Spiegel: So the whole idea of peak oil is nonsense?

Yergin: The image is misleading. A more relevant description would be a plateau in production capacity that might be reached in the fourth or fifth decade of this century. So the major obstacle to the development of new supplies is not geology but what happens above ground: international affairs, politics, investment and technology.

Spiegel: Isn't it getting more and more difficult and expensive for oil companies to find new resources?

Yergin: Absolutely. The offshore oil costs went up 68 percent since 2000. And there is also the bottleneck in human resources: We had a CEO of one of the supermajors speak at a conference in Houston, and just as he finished speech, he said with a smile "Would everybody please leave their resumes by the door!" But eventually it's a question of access: Getting access to fields is on top of the oil companies' agenda. We see a substantial build-up of supply occurring over the coming years. But, after 2010, that growth is concentrated in a fewer number of countries, this is what is causing the unease and is accentuating security concerns.

Spiegel: Because it makes consumer countries more dependent and vulnerable.

Yergin: The importers really need to think about how to manage the energy security question. Inevitably, there will be new shocks to the market. Some disruptions may be roughly foreseeable, such as coordinated attacks by terrorists or turmoil in Latin America that affects the output. Some may come as a surprise: Nobody anticipated the devastation the storms would wreak on the facilities in the Gulf of Mexico last summer.

Spiegel: What can the industrialized nations do to ensure energy security?

Yergin: First, we have to find a common vocabulary for energy security. This notion has a radically different meaning for different people. For Americans it is a geopolitical question. For the Europeans right now it is very much focused on the dependence on imported natural gas. The starting point for energy security today as it has always been is diversification of supplies and sources.

Spiegel: What does that require?

Yergin: It means investing in new technologies. It's extraordinary how inventive one can be with ethanol right now. Within four or five years the US might be getting 10 percent of its gasoline from ethanol -- that would be like creating a new Indonesia. Even Silicon Valley investors have put well over a $1 billion in new energy technologies. But that's not enough: To maintain energy security, one needs a supply system that provides a buffer against shocks. It needs large, flexible markets. And it's important to acknowledge the fact that the entire energy supply chain needs to be protected.

He's short on specifics, all right.

I'd say he's just Yergin' us all off.

Yergin: This is not the first time the world has run out of oil. It is more like the fifth.


You just have to give him points for this though!

Nothing like the beacon of light that is Daniel Yergin and CERA...shortages?  We don't have no stinking shortages!  Move along, folks, nothing to see here...
CERA never gives up hope, do they?  
They cannot give up "hope." Too much of their reputation is invested in being consistent.

Sometimes it is better to be consistently wrong than to appear uncertain or (Heaven Forbid!) change one's mind as new evidence comes in.

Some people will pay for consistently good news, just as others gladly pay for fifty years of uninterrupted "doom and gloom" news.

You should'a seen some of those gold bug newsletters back in the fifties--just hilarious with the benefit of hindsight. With a few changes (Insert "Peak Oil" in place of "Soviet gains" or "World War III") these fifty year old newsletters appear to be alive and well today.

Oh, did I already reveal the secret? Gold is going to $2,000 and ounce, money is about to become worthless, and Ben Bernnake is a Secret Socialist who desires the Destruction of Capitalism through Hyperinflation.

Why should the Federal Reserve System --established 1913-- do hyperinflation when slow and steady theft has done so well for them?
"If in 1913 (year) I bought goods or services for $1.00 then in 2006 (year) the same goods would cost $20.45" Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis

The FED has been so successful our money is now worth less than 5¢ compared to when they started managing for us.
Well stated.

However, nothing succeeds like excess;-)

I guess they found the Constitution missplaced prior to 1913 and now figure it too onerous to correct. Oh well.
actualy a dollar is baiscly worth about 3 cents.
"A nickel ain't worth a dime anymore."

-Yogi Berra

Hmm, correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't we producing only about 85 mbd right now, not 88.7 mbd? Secondly, OPEC output is dropping, not increasing. Where exactly is 25 or 22 mbd (take your pick) increase going to come from? Riddle me this, why don't you.
Oh, it'll ooze right out of Yergin's pores, of course! =P
88.7 mbpd in 2006? Hahahahahahaha... You have got to be kidding me! Here we have Freddy Hutter, regularly dropping by TOD at the slightest mention of any production above 85 mbpd and CERA is saying that 2006 is 88.7 mbpd?

Someone is smoking funny weed up in Cambridge and I think his name starts with "Daniel" and ends with "Yergin".

Or maybe Freddy can explain how CERA concludes that 2006 is 88.7 mbpd?

I'm trying to get there, folks.
Despite the "aggregate disruption" of 2.3 mbd of production because of disruptions in the Gulf of Mexico, Nigeria, Venezuela, Iraq and on the North Slope of Alaska, total productive capacity continues to grow, according to the report.
84.361 (EIA) + 2.300 (Disruptions)  =  86.661

Still short by 2.0/mbd -- rounding up, of course!

You're being silly about discounting the 'disruptions', right?

There was a shopkeeper, recounting his week..
"Well, noone came in Monday, Tuesday a fellah bought a rake; saw some tourists on Wednesday, but they didn't spend nuthin',  Thursday, the guy returns the rake, and it was quiet Friday.  I quess I'd have to say Tuesday was my best day."

I used the EIA 2005 average. There's more in the 5 month average 2006.

84.527 (EIA) + 2.300 (disruptions)  =  86.827


86.827 - 0.400 (Alaska)  =  86.427

Ok, we're short 2.27/mbd. Damn! We're going backwards!

It was

  1. a typo
  2. a lie
  3. a small exaggeration
  4. wishful thinking
  5. an arithmetical error
  6. a confidence builder
I'll take #2 for $64,000! And the question is "What does Daniel Yergin tell every time he moves his lips?"
I think CERA is doing something like this:

84.4 (EIA) + 2.3 (disruptions) + 2.0 (Saudi spare capacity)
= 88.7 total current capacity

The only problem is that this "spare capacity" never materializes, no matter what the disruption or how high oil prices rise.  CERA talks about this spare capacity in nearly every print article in which it is quoted.  But what evidence is there that it even exists?  

Hello TODers,

AMLO protesters take over tollbooths, Federales discussing how to remove them:

Mexico's Peso, Bonds Drop as Lopez Obrador Steps Up Protests

The taking of toll booths is ``the first incident of breaking laws in Mexico and the market starts to inevitably price in a bit more political risk,'' she said.

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

"...and DOWN the stretch they come, neck-and-neck, but Humanbeing looks a little ragged, Yeast seems to be pulling ahead by a nose..."
"My God can kick your God's ass"
And since it's god's left leg kicking his right ass cheek and the right leg kicking the left ass cheek what's the net change?
"My Goddess gave birth to your God"

Favorite Bumper Sticker

I'm not always a Kurt Cobb fan, but I think that is one of his better pieces.  Reading quckly, I don't see much to disagree with.
Stephen Colbert on Peak Oil Cults ;->


For those few who still think water is not an issue, check out these headlines.  All are linked at energybulletin.net

South Africa: Hendricks warns of water shortages
Former Soviet leader Gorbachev says water, energy shortages could cause wars
Mediterranean farming risks water shortages
Water shortages as Sweden swelters
Water shortages in Croatia hurting tourism
Sierra Leone capital hit by worst water shortages in decades
Lebanon: UN Says Water, Fuel Shortages Threaten the Country with Epidemics
Washington Insight: EPI Warns of Increasing Stress on World Water Supplies
Qld Cabinet considers water 'state of emergency'

from the end of this page:

Here's another from today's St Louis Post Dispatch:

Parts of Missouri, Illinois are withering under drought conditions
By Phillip O'Connor
For the second year in a row, large sections of the Midwest, including parts of Missouri and Illinois, are withering under drought conditions.

For some western Missouri counties, January through July were the sixth driest since 1889.

Experts at the National Climatic Data Center predict that drought-related losses this year will again top $1 billion, making it one of the nation's costliest weather disasters of 2006. The intense heat of recent weeks only makes matters worse.


http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/news/stories.nsf/stlouiscitycounty/story/B09A7A1EC63B0089862571C400 5292E4?OpenDocument

With all the water in the ocean and atmosphere and so much wind and solar power waiting to be tapped the only reason for water shortages any where is because the rich find shortages to be more profitable.
that ranks up there with the one that says oil company's are keeping zpe from the public.
or the government has a village with all super high tech they are keeping from the people.
First non-corn ethanol plant in USA?:

Company Targets 100M Gallon Per Year Sugar Ethanol Plant in California.

Subject to financing :)

A new CO2 sequestration scheme - deep, under the ocean-


Blind Date

by Efraim Halevy  

The New Republic
Post date 08.03.06 | Issue date 08.14.06

As fighting between Israel and Hezbollah entered its third week, a senior Iranian representative named Ali Larijani arrived in Damascus, where he apparently talked with Syrian President Bashar Assad and Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah. A Kuwaiti newspaper reported that the aim of the meeting was to figure out how to keep supplying Hezbollah with Iranian arms. But my guess is that Larijani also carried a sobering message from his superiors in Tehran: The longer this fight drags on, the greater the risk to Iranian interests in the Middle East.  

Iran's president has publicly called for a cease-fire, and with good reason. Before Hezbollah attacked Israel, this summer was shaping up to be a promising geopolitical moment for Iran. In late May, Condoleezza Rice announced an about-face on U.S. policy toward the pariah state. With Washington signaling that it was ready to engage, Iran seemed on a path to eventually negotiating an understanding with the West, perhaps exchanging its nuclear program for some level of international acceptance. The deal would almost certainly have delivered what Iran has long coveted: widely acknowledged status as a regional power. But, whereas Iran was operating from a position of strength just one month ago, it now looks weaker by the day. It does not much matter whether Tehran seriously miscalculated by ordering Hezbollah to instigate this war or whether Hezbollah acted unwisely on its own. Either way, the terrorist organization that serves as an extension of Iranian power in the western Middle East is now in danger of emerging badly damaged from this conflict, and that is troublesome news for Tehran. Fortunately, Iran's sudden weakness is Israel's newfound opportunity. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's government should seize this moment to do what would have been unthinkable just weeks ago: negotiate with Iran face to face.

To understand why Iran might be willing to do this now, you have to understand just how worried it is about losing Hezbollah--or seeing the group's power severely curtailed. For more than 20 years, Hezbollah has produced rich dividends for Iran in return for a relatively modest investment. In its infancy, it more or less singlehandedly chased the United States out of Lebanon by bombing the U.S. Embassy and carrying out an attack that killed 241 American troops. During the 1980s, Hezbollah kidnapped a number of Western citizens and held them for ransom. The negotiations to win their release were torturous, and, at one stage, senior American officials offered to sell arms to Iran as part of the deal. The result was the Iran-Contra scandal. Later, with the help of Iranian intelligence, Hezbollah blew up the Israeli embassy and the Jewish community center in Buenos Aires. All these activities--and the publicity that accompanied them--enhanced Hezbollah's prestige, both inside and outside Lebanon.  

But it was on Lebanon's border with Israel where Hezbollah would truly earn its credentials in the Arab world. Starting in the early '90s, Iran and Syria decided to transform the organization into a highly effective guerrilla force. The group harassed Israeli troops policing the southern Lebanon security zone, and it was able to claim credit for then-Prime Minister Ehud Barak's withdrawal in 2000. Arabs throughout the Middle East greeted this development as the first time an Arab force had used violence to induce a major Israeli pullback from occupied territory. Building on this success, Syria and Iran would go on to arm Hezbollah with more than 10,000 rockets and missiles capable of targeting large areas of northern Israel. And, even as it was transforming into one of the region's most powerful military forces, Hezbollah was also strengthening its political arm by participating in elections: Two ministers in Lebanon's current government are Hezbollah representatives.

In sum, Hezbollah is no small achievement for Iran: a highly accomplished Shia guerrilla force flourishing on Lebanese soil, in the heart of the Arab-Sunni Muslim world. It is led by a brilliant political and spiritual leader who defers to Ayatollah Khaminei in Tehran and augmented by an independent Iranian military presence in Lebanon. All of this is cloaked in the legitimacy provided by Hezbollah's democratic participation in Lebanese politics and popularity with segments of the Lebanese people. What more could the mullahs hope for? Actually, things might only have gotten better. The Shia community, which makes up about 40 percent of Lebanon's population, could ultimately have gained control of the country, enabling Iran to establish a forward operational base on the eastern shores of the Mediterranean and improve its access to Muslim communities in the Balkans and the sizeable Shia community in Turkey. Until last month, Iran's prospects in Lebanon looked favorable indeed.

Now all could be lost overnight. True, as many commentators have pointed out, Hezbollah might emerge strengthened from this conflict. An effective draw in the present hostilities would be perceived in the Middle East as a spectacular success for Hezbollah, and it would contribute greatly to Iranian prestige. The dangers of such an outcome cannot be overstated: Growing self-confidence in Tehran could further encourage Iranian interference in Iraq or even entice the mullahs to reach out to the Shia minority in Saudi Arabia. Most disturbingly, it could jeopardize any chance that the West might convince Iran to suspend its nuclear program.

Yet there is good reason to believe that Iran will be weakened by this war. Hezbollah has so far sustained losses far greater than those to which it admits. Its basic infrastructure has been mauled, and it has almost certainly concealed the deaths of senior commanders in the field. Meanwhile, the group has been forced to accept a plan put forward by Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora intended to lead to its eventual disarmament. Its missile launches--designed to provoke fear in northern Israel--have not weakened the resolve of the Israeli public to see the war through. Nasrallah has acknowledged that morale within his group is suffering. His decision to fire missiles with escalating payloads and greater range deeper and deeper into Israel could be seen as an act of hubris on his part, but I suspect it is instead an act of desperation. Hezbollah's long-range missiles are its weapons of last resort. Once they are launched, and once Israel has withstood them and continued to fight, Nasrallah will have no other cards left to play.

All of which explains why Iran, desperate to avoid losing Hezbollah as an effective surrogate, might be willing to sit down with Israel and negotiate. But why should Israel negotiate with Iran? It is true that Israel must be seen to unequivocally defeat Hezbollah on the ground. But such a defeat cannot be made to stick without the true adversary in this conflict accepting the outcome; Hezbollah, after all, is a mere proxy, and its most important decisions are made by others to the east. For one thing, there is the matter of the two kidnapped Israeli soldiers: Israel cannot stop fighting until it has won their freedom, and, if previous experience with Hezbollah and kidnapping is any guide, their release will have to be authorized by Iran. Moreover, any cease-fire that does not include Syria and Iran will not last long. The government of Lebanon can assure Israel that Hezbollah will not be resupplied with weaponry, but such an agreement cannot really be guaranteed without Syrian and Iranian compliance. Thus, negotiation with Syria and--especially--Iran is the only way to achieve the results that Israel needs from this war.  

To be sure, there are serious barriers to such negotiations. Iran does not recognize Israel's right to exist, and its president has said that the Jewish state must be erased from the map. But, if Iran and Syria do not cooperate, then the conflict will either continue or be briefly postponed to a later date. Tehran and Damascus cannot accept either option. And, for Israel, anything less than clear success on the battlefield accompanied by political negotiations with Iran and Syria will be an exercise in self-delusion. Which is why, in the days to come, Israel would be wise to sit down at the negotiating table and talk to its most bitter enemies. And it would be in the interest of the United States to join them.

What would such negotiations look like? The agenda would begin with a focus on peace in southern Lebanon--Iran and Syria would have to agree to restrain Hezbollah, while Israel would promise to cease its attacks--but negotiations need not end there. The elephant in the room is Tehran's nuclear program, and, while that issue would not be resolved immediately, beginning the dialogue is, for now, more important than obtaining quick results.

Such talks may sound like an impossibility given the current climate; indeed, it is entirely possible that an outstretched hand from Israel and the United States would be slapped away by Tehran. But, if that happens, then Iran risks embarking along a path that could lead to national disaster. Tehran knows this, so there is a chance it will seize any opportunity to salvage an honorable exit from the situation. Thanks to events in Lebanon, the odds of Iran sitting down at the bargaining table and making major concessions are better now than they have been in a long time.

EFRAIM HALEVY is head of the Center for Strategic and Policy Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the author of Man in the Shadows: Inside the Middle East Crisis with a Man Who Led the Mossad.

What a fraud, what a liar, what a joke.
smekhovo -

Notice how the US media these last few weeks is being completely saturated with either imported or homegrown pro-Israel/anti Iran propaganda.

The idea is to con the American people into believing that what's good for Israel is good for the US and that Israel's enemies should be our enemies.

Well, yes, what is good for Israel is always good for the US! What's wrong with you!! The Iraq war has resulted in.... wait .... less oil.... better not talk about that....

And whatever you do, don't advocate boycotting Israel, you can't do that in the US, it's illegal! Look it up, it's in US Federal law, get you put in prison and fined $10,000 shekels, er, dollars, for each time.

Dubai's artificial, palm-shaped isle takes root

I wonder if they took global warming into account when they designed this...

Leanan -

They don't have to take peak oil into consideration, because islands (literally, in this case) of extreme affluence will probably become more common as the polarization between the haves and have-nots becomes more extreme.  There will always be enough oil for the super rich (even if they have to make sure that no one else gets any).

It is ordinary US middle-class suburbia that is going to get clobbered when peak oil becomes manifest, not these extravagant fantasies as in Dubai. Don't forget that some very large mansions were built in the US during the 1930s. Pain is seldom distributed evenly.

I said global warming, not peak oil.

I'm a Hawai`i girl, and I love the beach.  I grew up on the water.  But I'd really think twice about investing in oceanfront property these days.

I keep thinking I should buy a teeny-tiny little island just barely sticking out of Lake Erie.  Then when climate change causes Lake Erie to shrink I'll have a big island.

Of course, given the heat, I may want to retire further north.  I wonder if Lake Superior has any teeny-tiny little islands...

Yes, it does. However, suppose the water level rises by twenty feet or so . . . .
I've got a friend in Hawaii getting his masters now.  It totally floored me when he talked about the giant highway that everyone commuted to work every day on.  Somehow they've managed to turn a small island paradise into a giant commuter hell.  Pretty swift.
People are often bemused to discover that Hawaii has interstate highways.  :)

The problem is the population density, especially on the main island, Oahu.  Something like 80% of population lives there (and no, it's not the largest island).  That is usually the problem with islands.  

I love Hawaii, and almost all my family is there.  But I'm really hesitant to move back home.  I think it's going to be very nasty indeed when TSHTF.  Personally, I think Jay Hanson is bloody insane for moving to my hometown of Kona.  (Not as congested as Oahu, but it's getting there.  And it has far fewer resources, such as water and arable soil, with which to support the population.  Indeed, it's already undergone an Easter Island-like deforestation, though few realize it.  They think it's always looked like that.)

Actually while some large mansions were built in the 1930s, the big boom in real estate and ostentatious houses was in the 1920s. Yep those 20s again, so much like our time. One place we lived when  I was a kid, we used to play on the site of one 1920s, McPalace, all that was left was the large, sweeping, impressive  set of cement front steps and some flagstones. The rest was trees all grown over (a type of tree that grows horizontally as much as vertically) and that was about it. I guess if we'd dug around we may have found coins and odd artifacts, we we weren't the kind of kids to be that invasive. And there were the usual rumors about the old place, the story was it had been burned down because the people who lived there did this that or the other, but since it was in Hawaii which had a RE boom in the 20s along with the rest of the country, the residents probably just got burned out for being a different color than the surrounding people, a not uncommon thing there. You can go all over the place there and see all these old buildings with dates from the 1920s on the front. Learn the architectural styles and find even more buildings from that time - and learn which ones were "refashioned" or "refaced" and are really a 1920s RE boom building underneath.
Dubai is quite a place. If you have Google Earth installed you can click on these links and it will take you directly to these fabulous locations. Otherwise you can punch the coordinates into Google Maps.

Lat   25.119072°
Lon  55.132913°

The Palm-Tree island is clearly visible from an altitude of 60 miles in space.

Just two miles to the east is the Burj al-Arab Hotel, the tallest, most luxurious hotel in the world where Andre Agassi and Roger Federer played their famous Helicopter-pad match. (Click on link for photos)

Lat: 25.141185°
Long: 55.185349°


But I don't think Dubai will be having any problems with global warming.

Dubai's faux ski mountain will offer snow in 120-degree heat

Yes, that's right, an indoor 1300-foot trail with 200-foot vertical drop, cooled by 23 massive air-conditioners. I'm not making this up.

Courtesy of Dutch dregding and waterworks, that is.
I have been reading and learning from you guy's at the oil drum for about a year now and I must say there are some really smart people posting here. Much more educated than I am. I have never worked in the oil industry or been around anyone that has, nor have I any contacts in the government that could give me any insider info on peakoil. So i have no idea if oil will hit $100 a barrel or not. What I can tell you is that I am seeing some changes in my line of work that I feel are coming about due to the shortage of cheap oil. I work at Volvo and build big trucks for a living. This is a Swiss company as everyone knows and they are ahead of everyone as a country. From what I've seen they are very good at predicting the highs and lows of the big truck market. I've worked at several different places in my life making many differnt products and all of them had future forcasts. If Volvo says: There will be a downturn in 2007 your butt will be laid-off in 2007!
  As of right now we have two production lines making Mack and Volvo trucks. On the Volvo line we are building about 3000 trucks a month. We are at max production and this will last until Feb. of next year. At that time I will have a nice long vaction for awhile. This kind of up and down production has been the norm for years. In years past nothing really changed at the plant on a down turn except there were fewer people working. Now things are changing. What they are telling us is that sometime after the first of the year there will no longer be two production lines. Mack and Volvo will be built on one line. All the outside work will be moved in house. Things like axle build up and engine build up. Stuff that is built up outside of our plant so we can build 3000 trucks a month.
  Now the reasons given to us is that moving all this work in house will save jobs and I believe this to be true. I would guess that this make enough extra work to save 300 to 500 jobs at Volvo. The other reason given is that it will save money on shipping all those parts to outside factorys and then shipping it all the way back to Volvo. Makes sence to me. Cut out the middleman.
  This leaves me with just one question and I think it relates to $100 dollar oil and peak oil. How the heck are we going to build 3000 trucks a month if we have cluttered up our production space with parts that use to be built up somewhere else, and with one production line? We can't. I think Volvo knows that the days of building 3000 trucks a month are long gone and are ahead of the rest of the pack once again.
Bluecollar, you don't happen to work at Volvo heavy truck, in Dublin, Virginia?
Yes I do.
bluecollar you're already pulling your weight here, thanks and welcome!

Your insider info is much appreciated, we love the "feet on the street" perspective.

For instance, for years we in the public have been laboring under the misapprehension that Volvo is a Swedish company. Now we learn it's Swiss. I've been considering getting an old 240 wagon, and it's nice to know the thing will be Swiss not Swedish, since I like Swiss Army Knives and that cheese with the holes. I just hope the old Volvo I plan to pick up cheep turns out to be handy like the knife and not holey (and a bit smelly) like the cheese!

Indeed, the Volvo group is based in Gothenburg, Sweden.
Dang it! I just heard from a guy who builds the dang thing and he sez they're Swiss!! Now who am I supposed to believe! I'm tellin' ya, this story that they're Swedish is just a gov't cover up! For um, uh, some reason!


Thank you for pointing out my mistake.
> This is a Swiss company as everyone knows and they are ahead of everyone as a country.

Actually Volvo trucks is Swedish. If I remember right Mack were bought with money from selling the car business to Ford. Glad to hear that they finally is consolidating the models to run their business more like Scania, their Swedish arch enemy that they also bough a large part of with those money but EU blocked a merger.

Sweden wera ahead of everybody in the 70:s and some think we still are. Nowdays Denmark has better jobs policies, Norway better economy byt they are cheating by pumping up some kind of black goo :) and Finland have better schooling, defence, energy and industrial policies. Hmm, you might be right, Switzerland is better.

Do you know when Volvo will start to series produce their hybrid drivetrains?

All I have heard is rumors about a new hybrid truck and that has been in the last month or so. I doubt it will be ready for production any time soon.
Articles in the Swedish technology magazine Ny Teknik states that it will be field tested at the end of this summer and probably put into series production in 2009.

Its mostly intended for busss and trucks in city traffic where it is expected to save 35% of the fuel.

Its a parallell hybrid with a combined starting engine, electrical engine and alternator between the clutch and the mechanical gearbox. Auxilary functions such as preassurised air, hydraulic servo, AC and so on will be electrified to make them more controllable and efficient.

And it will use a new lighter and cheaper lead accumulator from  www.effpower.se

Scania is testing a series hybrid for busses with no mechanical connection between the combustion engine and the drive train and super capacitors instead of accumulators.

And the next generation of armoured wehicels called SEP for our military will be a series hybrid with two compact high RPM car diesel engines but I have not heard anything about what kind of battery it will use. It has been running as a prototype for 2-3 years and I think it is on the second generation of prototypes now. The project has been delayed to be syncronized with a Brittish effort.

There is also at least one successfull prototype for a hybrid forestry wehicle to get timber from the forests out to roads. Since it lacks a mechanical drivtrain it can be built lighter and get a larger load per ton of wehicle.

Heavy hybrids are soon of the shelf technology.

You know more about it than I do. All I'm saying is that if we have any at the plant I have not seen it. Most of the time when something new comes out they let us see it, and nothing new has went down the line. Right now all we are seeing are some of the new 2007 engines. I will ask around and see what I can find out.
Swiss company? Always thought it was Swedish?

Found this on Volvo web site:

Was it on May 11, 1915? The day when AB Volvo submitted an application to have the trade mark 'Volvo' registered as a name for several different products.

Or was it on July 25, 1924 when Gustaf Larson and
Assar Gabrielsson met by chance over a plate of crayfish, and after enjoying their meal agreed to start up production of 'The Swedish Car'?

Or was Volvo born on the June day in 1926 when the first prototype cars left Galco's premises in Stockholm.

No, Volvo considers April 14, 1927 as being the date when the company was born.

A Quarter Century of Growing Demand
Turning the corner?

With the inflationary excesses of the 70s behind it, the US economy increased energy demand at a rapid and sustained clip in the stable, low price environment of the 80s and 90s when foreigners were glad to supply nearly all marginal growth in petroleum demand. The sharp tightening in real prices between 1999 and 2006 produced a price spike that looks as though it too should have sent demand tumbling, as happened in the early 80s.  But this time the price spike hasn't affected demand.  Or hasn't affected it yet. The issue remains open whether very high real petroleum prices may still may cause demand to fall, if for no other reason than the obvious one that that is what price increases are supposed to do.  That it remains an open issue so long after the spike should have turned demand down, suggests that other factors are at play, including the Fed's failure to prudently raise interest rates as oil prices rose, the general decline in the intensity relationship between the amount of energy required to produce a new unit of GDP, and the apparent willingness of foreigners to allow the US to float vast amounts of new debt to finance a way of life it can no longer quite afford.

Those other delaying factors will soon have played out, leaving a nagging suspicion that, although slow to arrive, the first leg of the transition away from fossil fuels is going to be a difficult one.

A British fisherman trying to catch salmon caught a swordfish instead:

Fishmerman surprised with swordfish catch

Fishing commentator Sam Harris, 73, said it was the first time he had heard of a swordfish being caught in chilly British waters.

"This fish is two or three thousand miles off course," Harris told the domestic Press Association news agency.

"It just proves how the water temperature is hotting up. It is absolutely amazing, it shouldn't be up here," he said.

"They are found in the North Atlantic, the Pacific, the Mediterranean, but certainly not in the North Sea."

Oh global warming is pish and tosh!! Next thing they'll be telling us is manatees are being sighted up near New York!
An example of what farmers are reading about biofuels:

Growing Energy 7/29/2006 by Jeanne Bernick in Farm Journal, Top Producer,  AgDay, and US Farm Report, major farming publications under one ag publishing company, Farm Journal Media.

This is the first of a series of articles under "Growing Energy". I'll bet most farmers see these in one form or another.

I find it interesting that they're all under one company, which means ultimately there's one "old white man" dictating what's printed and what's not........
Pretty Grim Stratfor.com Assessment of Middle East

The break point has come and gone. The United States now must make an enormously difficult decision. If it simply withdraws forces from Iraq, it leaves the Arabian Peninsula open to Iran and loses all psychological advantage it gained with the invasion of Iraq. If American forces stay in Iraq, it will be as a purely symbolic gesture, without any hope for imposing a solution. If this were 2004, the United States might have the stomach for a massive infusion of forces -- an attempt to force a favorable resolution. But this is 2006, and the moment for that has passed. The United States now has no good choices; its best bet was blown up by Iran. Going to war with Iran is not an option. In Lebanon, we have just seen the value of air campaigns pursued in isolation, and the United States does not have a force capable of occupying and pacifying Iran.

As sometimes happens, obvious conclusions must be drawn.

From Schlumberger, via peakoil.com:
Iran OPEC Gov: OPEC Oil Too Heavy to Make a Difference
Guess the gap is going to be tough to fill.
Well, it's all our fault - TIME Magazine has decided that it's those darned bloggers, that's why Lieberman didn't win.

In reality, I think it's because Lieberman's basically a Republican squatting in the Democratic party.