By Chris Nelder
Posting in Energy
The latest outlooks from BP and ExxonMobil project a rosy future for oil, while bottom-up forecasts see world oil production declining before 2020. Who you gonna believe?
The world's "supermajor" independent oil companies -- BP, ExxonMobil, Chevron, Royal Dutch Shell, and Total -- project a rosy future, assuring us that oil will be abundant for decades to come. But in fact they're spending record amounts to keep oil flowing, while their production is actually falling.
The BP Energy Outlook 2030, released in January 2013, confidently asserts that oil production will keep pace with demand. Through 2030, it projects, "More than half of the growth will come from non-OPEC sources, with rising production from U.S. tight oil, Canadian oil sands, Brazilian deepwater and biofuels more than offsetting mature declines elsewhere." Indeed, BP says, the "once-accepted wisdom has been turned on its head. Fears over oil running out –- to which BP has never subscribed –- appear increasingly groundless."
Peak oil was never about "running out." That's a strawman argument. The word "peak" in peak oil simply refers to the maximum production rate of oil, as I have explained ad nauseam. While oil producers constantly trumpet new discoveries and rising reserves, they tend to avoid talking about production rates.
But reserves are meaningless if they don't amount to an increasing rate of production. If you had a billion dollars to your name, but could only withdraw $1,000 a year, would you be worried about running out of money or paying your bills?
So let's look at BP's forecasts versus its actual production history in the chart below by geophysicist Jean Laherrère, who worked for 37 years at the French oil company Total S.A. and headed their exploration techniques group.
(The above chart and many others are featured in this excellent March 11 post by Matt Mushalik, which I encourage SmartPlanet readers to explore.)
Clearly, BP has a horrible forecasting record, with actual production continuously sagging well below its forecasts since 2005. Not even the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster can account for that.
Sadly, as Mushalik's post details, BP is hardly alone in this regard.
In its new Outlook for Energy: A View to 2040, ExxonMobil sees, with admirable candor, conventional oil declining (hello, peak oil!). But it asserts that this will be "more than offset by rising production of crude oil from deepwater, oil sands and tight oil resources."
How's ExxonMobil's predictive accuracy? Again, Laherrère has the chart (below):
(Source: Matt Mushalik)
Not quite as abysmal as BP's, but still pretty awful. Since 2004, the only Exxon forecast which undershot actual production was the one from 2009, and its 2010 forecast was correct for 2011.
A fusillade of fantasies
But do these optimistic forecasts for tight oil, tar sands, biofuels and deepwater hold water?
SmartPlanet readers know what I think about tight oil: It's impressive, but it has been ridiculously oversold (see here, here, here, and here). I won't elaborate on that today, but I will note that BP's opaque forecast for tight oil to grow by 7.5 million barrels a day by 2030 is at sharp variance with the detailed, bottom-up, highly transparent forecast of veteran geologist David Hughes, who finds that U.S. tight oil could peak in 2016 at less than 2.5 million barrels per day, and then decline.
(Source: J. David Hughes, "Drill, Baby, Drill")
Tar sands production has another long track record of failing to meet expectations. Consider the chart below illustrating wretched forecasts by the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers and actual Canadian oil production, which comes from the recent U.S. State Department report on the Keystone XL pipeline.
(Hat tip to Elana Schor.)
Biofuels also seems a strange thing on which to pin much hope. According to Pike Research, the United States is the world's top biofuels producer. Nearly all of that is ethanol produced from corn, as mandated by the Bush-era Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. But, as I explained one year ago, the energy return on energy invested of corn ethanol is so low that it was always destined to be an uneconomic source of liquid fuel. When the federal tax credit for ethanol production expired at the end of 2011, the sector began to struggle. Now, as the New York Times reported last weekend, about 10 percent of the nation's ethanol plants have ceased production, with dozens more "hanging in the balance." Consumption of gasoline, with which ethanol is blended, has shrunk by 1 million barrels a day since the heady days of 2007. And the first commercial cellulosic ethanol plant in the U.S. went bankrupt last month.
Deepwater production may yet grow, but its future is far from certain. As we all learned in 2010, it's risky. It's also extremely expensive. Worse, the production from deepwater wells declines steeply, just as unconventional tight oil and shale gas wells do. The jagged production history of Thunder Horse, the flagship deepwater project in the Gulf of Mexico developed by BP and ExxonMobil, shows it's been declining at around 4 percent per month, or 50 percent per year.
(Source: Jean Laherrère, from a forthcoming paper)
As for the much-ballyhooed "pre-salt" deepwater oil off the coast of Brazil, most analysts agree that there's probably a good deal of oil there (as much as 80 billion barrels recoverable), but it's very challenging and extremely expensive. One recent paper by a World Bank analyst said that the new production might permit Brazil to remain self-sufficient in oil, but will never make it a major exporter.
The faith that BP, ExxonMobil and others place on tight oil, tar sands, deepwater and biofuels seems misplaced at best.
Turning up the treadmill
Unconventional oil is undoubtedly expensive. Bringing the next tranche of supply online will require another repricing of oil, just as the repricing from $31 a barrel at the beginning of 2004 to $111 a barrel at the end of 2012 (in Brent benchmark prices) enabled the recent boom from tight oil and other unconventional sources.
But how much new production did that tripling of oil prices bring? A mere 5.4 percent increase in supply -- world production in November 2012 was just 3.9 million barrels per day over the January 2004 level, according to the EIA. This is success?
As the chairman of energy consulting firm Douglas-Westwood explained in a March 2012 slide deck, $2.4 trillion in capital expenditures from 1995 to 2004 produced 12.3 million barrels per day of additional oil production. From 2005 to 2010, the same amount of spending produced a decline of 0.2 million barrels per day. Why? Because "each marginal barrel will be more expensive and will require more equipment and services to extract."
If you don't believe that prices need to go higher -- much higher -- in order to fulfill the forecasts of the oil majors, then you should go back and read my Feb. 20 post. That's the only way to explain why the oil industry is trying to convince the United States to become an exporter of crude oil and natural gas, when it's still a net importer of both.
Indeed, price is the one thing that the forecasts of the oil majors studiously avoid talking about. There wasn't a single mention of it in ExxonMobil's outlook, and although BP's outlook did not offer actual cost figures for new supply, it did note that "High prices are also supporting the expansion of supply, and not just from conventional sources."
What we do know is that the oil industry is spending an enormous amount of money to accomplish very little. According to a March 4, 2013 article in the Oil & Gas Journal, the supermajors have been spending about $100 billion dollars a year, collectively, on exploration and production since 2008.
And what did they get for their money?
According to another excellent post by Matthieu Auzanneau in Le Monde, they got a 25.8 percent decline in oil production since 2004. Leaving out the Russian oil assets of Tymen Oil Company (TNK), which BP acquired in 2003 and subsequently sold to pay for the damages of the Deepwater Horizon disaster, the supermajors' production actually has been declining since 1999.
(Source: Matthieu Auzanneau)
The underlying problem, of course, is that production from the world's old (and cheap) oil fields is continuously declining at over 5 percent per year -- another dirty little fact that the oil majors studiously avoid discussing. Thus, global oil production is a treadmill, where you have to run just to stay in place.
I'm sorry, Nick Butler, but Exxon's outlook is unimportant and worthless, and a piece of corporate propaganda is precisely what it is. And while Ed Crooks is right that Chevron "replaced through discoveries 74 percent of the resources it produced over the past decade," another way of putting that is that Chevron failed to replace 26 percent of the oil it produced.
Who you gonna believe?
Oil company outlooks aren't real forecasts based on known projects and costs; they're simply projections of what those companies would like to happen, and would like you to believe. Ignoring the decline rates of mature fields, their own production declines, the costs of new production, and the price tolerance of consumers is the equivalent of a magician setting off a smoke bomb while he performs a trick. The latest outlooks from the likes of BP and ExxonMobil are just whistling past the graveyard.
To obtain a more realistic assessment of what the future of oil production might look like, one must estimate the remaining recoverable oil with some complicated "backdating" of discoveries, take into account the actual production history, and apply a lot of mathematical wizardry.
Fortunately Laherrère has done just that, to produce this three-century model (below) of global liquids production, including regular crude oil, natural gas liquids, extra-heavy oil, biofuels, and the kitchen sink.
(Source: Jean Laherrère, from a forthcoming paper)
Unfortunately, the quality of the data that anyone who attempts such a model must work with is poor. Only three countries publish reliable field data, Laherrère notes: the United Kingdom, the United States, and Norway. Without accurate field data, it's impossible to know what the future of oil looks like.
But after a decade of studying such data, I've come to regard Laherrère's work as some of the best in the world. It's highly transparent, and based on the best available sources. In this model, world liquid fuel production peaks before 2020 and begins its inevitable decline, while the forecasts of BP, IEA, EIA, and OPEC soar through 2040 and beyond.
So. Who you gonna believe? The oil majors or your own lyin' eyes?
Photo credit: gregor_y/Flickr
Mar 19, 2013
I have myself made use of biofuelled transportation, in a fashion several times as efficient as the 18th century. Back then, a gentleman with a 7 mile trip to travel in half an hour, would ride a horse. I did such a trip, to and from work, for years, on a bicycle. My consumption of grain was far less than would have fed the horse. But, alas, I cannot recommend the option to persons who would have to use roads infested with automobiles. I knew that I was risking life, limb, and epidermis. Ethanol and biodiesel are obvious failures, but the best option of biofuels to show that they are not going to put oil and coal out of business, is either miscanthus (a tall grass) harvesting, or short rotation coppicing of willow or aspen. It turns out, by my calculations, that although these techniques require relatively little fertilizer compared with maize and sugar-cane, they still would need something like a thousand square miles of field or coppice to provide as much heat energy as required by a 1000 MW coal burner. If it were possible by some extreme cleverness of genetic modification (whether by traditional breeding or the more obviously intrusive modern techniques) to develop micro-organisms to convert the lignin, cellulose and so forth to liquid fuels, it is unlikely that the heat energy of the fuel would be better than 2/3 of the heating value of the wood.
The solar energy proponents correctly observe that in an hour, the Sun delivers more energy to this planet than all human industrial activity is recorded as needing in a year. I have included the word industrial, because every morsel of food that we eat also comes from photosynthesis, and every pound of beef has required the provision of energy to some animal for at least a year, including the consumption of the energy of photosyntesis by the grass and the grains. The trouble is, that the Earth has to GET RID of more energy in an hour than all human industrial activity produces in a year. It is well established that the more CO2 in the atmosphere, the higher must be the energy needed by the infrared photons to penetrate that CO2. The fact that some coal mines and oil deposits are tapped out, means than in a couple of hundred years we have reversed some thousands of years' worth of the activities of the Carboniferous Era. Anthropogenic Global Warming, to give AGW its full expansion, is proven by the fact that fossil carbon is not being renewed by Nature as fast as it is being consumed, by human activities. To provide the oxygen we breathe, and all the coal, oil and probably methane that we burn, took 64 million years of photosynthetic and tectonic activity. There is another issue: Is it possible that, by going back to the energy sources that fossil carbon ousted -- sailing ships, watermills, windmills, biomass -- we can push back and even compensate for the loss of coal, oil, and hydrocarbon gases? I believe the answer is NO. I also doubt that the energy of rotation of the planet (tidal forces) and the residual radioactive heat of the mantle (geothermal) will not supply enough either. The world receives a significant amount of electrical energy, in the USA more than twice what it gets from hydroelectricity, from the tiny amount, 7 parts in a 1000, of the natural uranium mined. As a matter of fact, we don't even get to use all 7 thousandths. But there is a well known phenomenon, which can be harnessed to produce as much fissile fuel from the non-fissile part, as is consumed by the nuclear fission reactions. The USA, oddly enough, has successfully pioneered this technology in the laboratory, and could deploy it as soon as the fear of the dreaded "plutonium" is dispelled from the minds of those who cannot separate it from their entirely justified loathing of nuclear weapons. It would suffice to shut down all of the damnable oil drilling shale cooking, and gas "fracking" as well as the extraordinary filth of coal burning. The actual quantity of genuinely waste fission products from the USA's nuclear power reactors, totals perhaps as much as 100 tons per year. The rest of what we call "nuclear waste" is a fewtens of tons of plutonium, which is a very good fuel, and the original unspent uranium.
Since Mr. Nelder is looking at the oil industry's predictions, let's look at his. In 2008 he had an interview on Fox in which he said oil production oil production had plateaued, wouldn't increase for another two years and "at that point  supply will be permanently maxed out." (see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vQ_5S0bbjwU at about two minutes in). Didn't happen, instead oil production rose. Today, of course, Mr. Nelder talks about tight oil as "Its impressive, but it has been ridiculously oversold ". But if he completely missed the tight oil revolution 5 years ago, how is he qualified to comment on oil production a decade or more from now? He clearly doesn't have a very good crystal ball himself. He's no expert in new oil exploration technologies or the economics that drive them. As for BP's oil production shortfall, most of that was because their Gulf oil spill in early 2010 shut down most of their operations in the Gulf. Management at the company went into crisis mode and oil production took a back seat. They are still recovering as a much reduced company today. And when I look at Exxon's graph, two things stand out. The most optimistic predictions for production were in 2004 and 2006. The prediction from 2007 flattened, and predictions since then have risen again. What happened in late 2007 and into 2008? Why, the start of the Great Recession. What you are looking at is the reduction in production because of lack of demand due to the recession (something Mr. Nelder himself pointed out in a column last year). It's not because the oil suddenly ran out, it's just that not as many people wanted it. The sharp rise starting in 2009 is evidence of the increased production because of a slowly improving economy and the sudden glut of tight oil. So maybe you can fault Exxon for not seeing the coming recession in 2004 and 2006, but neither did any of our political and economic leaders either. The truth is that I've heard people predict global oil shortages since at least 1965. Back then these doomsayers were saying that by 2000 the world's population would be starving in cold huts, living in a polluted environment that would be killing us all. Never happened.
Almost no statistical analysis ca be taken at face value...few ordinary people know enough to tell the difference between good and bad analysis, almost nobody can tell with most data because the actual methods and data aren't disclosed. Billions of times as much power as we can possibly use pass over our heads every day--power we have been technically able to capture for use for over 30 years, but which is largely not even mentioned by the pundits. Most oil reserves (which largely are 'public' resources) have been 'sold' by governments to oil exploitation companies for pennies or less on the barrel (China recently bought a huge amount (50%) of the Argentine and Brazilian reserves at 50 cents per barrel.) Meanwhile, the US has been dumping Helium on the market--Helium is one of the least replaceable resources we have, as it rapidly leaves the planet when released, and it is vital for all sorts of research using low temperatures. At least methane is being constantly produced under vast areas of the ocean floor. An easy way to increase the use of renewable resources is to prevent power companies from giving discounts to large industrial and commercial users, which would force them to become more efficient. Allowing discounts encourages inefficiency. The Solar System is full of available hydrocarbons, there's no reason for us to act as if the only source is our planet. And of course, for energy itself, the Sun generates far more than we can use.
From my website: 11/3/2013 International oil companies' oil production peaked in 2004 and declined by 2.1% pa http://crudeoilpeak.info/international-oil-companies-oil-production-peaked-in-2004-and-declined-by-2-1-pa
Mr. Nelder does indeed regularly point out that peak oil is not end oil, as have Ken Deffeyes and others. Both devotees and opponents continue to make this mistake in about equal proportions, and so he will have to continue to do so for many years to come. Unfortunately, in his deeply political diatribe, Mr. Nelder fails to examine the past history of failed predictions by Mr. Laherrere and others in the Peak Oil camp, which are similar to those of companies and countries. Why not acknowledge that there is very large uncertainty about the future of oil production? Because Mr. Nelder peddles nothing quite so much as certainty. Laherrere remains wedded to symmetric models of growth and decline in the manner of M. King Hubbert, who can possibly at least be credited for having recognized that there should be a connection between resource estimates and production projections. Hubbert's own preferred curve to fit history would have predicted a peak in oil production in less than ten years for nearly every year, starting in 1879, and its prediction of the peak year continues to move out a few months every year, even forty years after the peak. Mr. Nelder fails repeatedly to note that the oil business has always been a scramble, with steady growth in the investment required to sustain the huge system that delivers this fuel to the world. No other energy source will supplant it without becoming part of the same type of scramble. I suspect that the decline of oil production will be a response to its replacement with other energy sources, and I hope to see the crossover between traditional and new energy sources in my lifetime. But, as the Arab proverb says, "If you think the problem will be solved in your lifetime, you haven't taken on a big enough challenge." The current energy transition does not suffer from this problem, but shrill self-righteous diatribes don't do much to advance the solution.
Hi Chris, I'm a big fan of your analysis of production trends in the liquid fuels industry. In fact, I started a Ph.D. in Economics, because I wanted to better understand and participate in conversations about the effects of peak oil. One thing I've noticed in Jean and your work is that you appear to underestimate the effect that a higher price for oil has in making new unconventional sources of fuel economically viable to produce. I would love to read an analysis of future oil production that directly addresses assumptions about the rising price. My hunch is that the botched forecasts of the major oil companies were significantly effected by lower prices than they anticipated. A lower price meant that they delayed low margin high cost new production projects. What do you think? Could you do some original research or a meta-analysis on the connection between price and production levels?
Well, Chris Nelder comes equipped with an environmental and global warming agenda, and thus, he's going to find the studies that he can agree with, and run with them. The other studies which he disagrees with, he'll either disregard or will spin to sound very negative or ill-prepared, or full of lies. It's the liberal way. One thing that Mr Nelder won't talk about, is that, the oil companies are answerable to their investors, and most of those investors are very savvy, and they'll pick up on the lies pretty quickly. Because investors can't be lied to all the time, it's in the best interests of the oil companies' executives to tell the truth, and the future prospects for oil exploration and extraction are part of that truth. In the case of Mr. Nelder, his only worry is his agenda, no matter what the facts.
Relying on unconventional oil to make up the decline in conventional production will depend on the Keystone XL dilbit pipeline from the Alberta oil sands to the Gulf Coast. This will be a tough sell. Although the proponents have framed the debate as about CO2 (where the usual Green zealots will make the opposition ridiculous), other issues may supervene, where strawman opponents can't help them. The protracted approval process may draw attention to the high price of gas and American energy security, raising the question why approve exporting to China while gasoline is stuck over $4? Another topic Big Oil would prefer to avoid is the environmental degradation of Alberta and its $3B budget deficit from hosting rip-and-ship exploitation -- another example of the resource curse. A prudent general would avoid battle, so investors must wonder: is corporate survival at stake here? Is KXL a desperate attempt at a Big Oil bailout? If denied, as seems likely, what are the consequences?
Thanks Chris. Ad Nauseum Thanks that is! Post a link to your previous article wherein you describe what constitutes the relativistic term "MBOE". The inflated industry numbers get paler every time I think of everything that comes out of the downhole.
Chris has written about the [i]narrow ledge[/i] in the past. It's the idea that when gas prices hit a certain high point, demand is destroyed as people find more cost-effective alternatives, thus causing prices to drop. This up and down as demand is slowly destroyed is called the "narrow ledge". It ends when all of the easily destroyed demand has been destroyed. Then prices keep going up. If you live in a major urban centre, you're already ahead of the game, especially if it's an old urban centre. Older cities were designed before the existence of cars and thus, are still designed for life without cars. By bicycle, feet, or public transit, you can get anywhere where you need to. Newer cities were designed with the expectation that everyone would own at least one car. They're going to have problems. And Gen-Y is already figuring out that cars are too expensive and making the switch. And we have seen many solutions to the urban situation. But rural folk are going to be hit probably the hardest. Admittedly, rural folk often have more resources for dealing the issues (such as wood stoves and wood-fired furnaces that eliminates the need for heating oil), but it's still going to be problem. Even with vertical farms and gardens, it is unlikely that any city will be able to produce 100% of the food it needs survive. Therefore, you're still going to have rural farmers. And there will still be the various people who will live in the rural areas to provide services to those farmers (e.g. the family that runs the hardware store, the one that runs the clothing store, etc. In my case, I provide network support services for the rural area in which I live. [This means I climb telecommunications towers to fix things so people have internet.]) Farmers drive pick-up trucks for a reason. These are not eco-friendly nor fuel efficient vehicles. But if you're a farmer, what else are you going to drive? And that's a real issue for the future. If farmers can't get around to do their work, then they can't provide food for the cities. (And as anyone who has studied history of civilization knows, when the cities starve, it gets ugly and they collapse. It may be a long time down the road, something our grand kids will need to worry about, but still, we want to avoid that.) I mention this because the "pick-up truck problem" is needing a solution and I have not seen many ideas proposed for it. So I want to challenge people to come up with solutions to this problem. What will the farmer of 2050 be driving and how will it be powered? Also, how will farmers get their produce to market at a reasonable price when the price of petroleum is prohibitive?
So, you want an arbitrary edict from government to force the oil companies to sell as much oil as they wish. That's pure socialism, and very counterproductive, and very damaging to all economies. The problem with those who think like a socialist, is that, they never think about repercussions and the effect on the economies of the world, where real people need jobs, and jobs are destroyed every time government gets in the way.
and the consumer is still getting the amount of product they need. The oil companies and the oil producing countries will, from time to time, reduce the level of production, simply to control prices or to comply with reduced demand.
And you fail to mention that discovery has lagged behind production for decades. You also fail to mention flow rates. Do you realize that the world consumes more oil in 10 minutes than a $10,000,000.00 fracked oil well in the Bakken will produce in its 30 year lifetime? You also fail to mention that Hubbert did predict the US peak in oil production. Seems you are failing to mention anything that adds value to this discussion.
Hi Cory, To predict future production, one needs to know the forward price of oil, yes, but also the cost of production. And that means knowing exactly where the new production is going to come from, because costs vary pretty widely depending on whether you're talking about, for example, a new tight oil well on an existing lease, or a fully-costed new tight oil well including leasing and O&M, or deepwater, or an operation in Africa, or what. Unfortunately it's difficult to get reliable data on new projects. But I encourage you to explore that and see what you can find. You may find these columns from last year helpful, but bear in mind that the costs have changed somewhat since then (they're generally higher now). http://www.smartplanet.com/blog/energy-futurist/the-future-of-oil-prices/508 http://www.smartplanet.com/blog/energy-futurist/the-cost-of-new-oil-supply/468
fossil fuels: have the prices really gone up? If you do understand anything about economics, then you cannot honestly say that fuel prices have gone up. But, there is an attempt to make fuel prices to go higher, in order to make the other energy sources seem "competitive" and in parity.
"Chris Nelder comes equipped with an environmental and global warming agenda..." Because it is a fact that humans are destroying the environment and that the climate is warming due to increases in greenhouse gasses mainly caused by human activity. The only people that still deny that (like you) are doing so for emotional reasons, not logical.
We'll get our products to market the same way we got everything to market before: by the cheapest means possible. The cheapest then and now using the least energy has been water. Oil and coal energy has been the cheapest for the last 100 years or so but it will again be water, rail, wagon and on our backs eventually. Horses work pretty well.Once oil gets to a few hundred/gallon, things will begin to change. Industrial civilization will balk and slow down but amazingly, the poorer countries will ante up because even at those prices , they will still derive more benefit that the richer countries out of each joule of energy. By then everyone will be clamoring for subsidies: farmers, fishermen, doctors, the military. The rich will not mind paying more until eventually supplies will have to be rationed. At this point I would not be buying a new pickup truck or even a tractor if I could avoid it. And I do farm!
Marie, in the current issue of Home Power Magazine (to which I've been a subscriber for over a decade) there's a good article about a guy who retrofit his pickup to be all-electric, first with FLA batteries and then with lithium-ion. Interesting--worth checking out.
Farmers won't have to wait for 2050 for EVs. They'll have them in the next three or four years. (http://news.pickuptrucks.com/2011/12/electric-pickup-truck-to-debut-at-2012-detroit-auto-show.html) How're you going to power them? Wind! (http://www.treehugger.com/renewable-energy/iowa-and-south-dakota-approach-25-percent-electricity-wind-2012-unprecedented-contribution-wind-power-us-midwest.html)
http://advisorperspectives.com/dshort/updates/Gasoline-Sales.php US Consumption is down, mainly, due to economic recession. http://ourfiniteworld.com/2013/02/22/twelve-reasons-why-globalization-is-a-huge-problem/
Production has continued to increase after an economically driven pause. I did mention Hubbert's 1955 paper in which he predicted a peak in about 1965 (his graph shows the actual peak would be in 1963), and, if he assumed a larger ultimate recovery number, a peak in about 1970 (actually in 1969 in his hand-drawn plot). So, he predicted a peak about ten years away, with about a 50% margin of error. Half a dozen other analysts in the same time period made similar predictions. U. S. cumulative production has now exceeded the amount assumed by Hubbert as the outer limit of his estimate - the one that lead to ~1970 as a bounding limit on his prediction. Global oil production rates have substantially exceeded Hubbert's prediction for them. Thus, my note on the fact that Hubbert's curve, still widely used, predicts a U. S. peak in nearly every year since 1979 is a relevant fact. It has almost always been true that a single well provides only a tiny fraction of current use rates, so the factoid about the Bakken has no meaning. If one cares to read the literature around Peak Oil (on both sides of the argument) one can find a variety of outdated predictions of the peaking of oil production, among them Jean Laherrere's. It's been a few years since I put much trust in his projections, so I confess I can't provide a mindlessly easy citation. However, the argument is sufficiently shrill on both sides that I don't think it would take more than a few minutes on Google to find a wide range of negative views of Mr. Laherrere's predictions. While discovery rates are not meeting current production rates, the addition of new reserves to existing oil fields has assured that the crossover date continues to move outward, and those additions average out to about 2% per year for up to 70 years in some cases. As I noted, it is my expectation that oil production will decline as alternative energy resources become easier and cheaper to produce in the massive quantities demanded by an energy-addicted (not oil-addicted) world. No energy source climbs the higher rungs of that ladder easily. SelfGov did not apparently read what I wrote very well.
and every time someone things we're coming close to the "peak", new discoveries are made that destroy those predictions to bits. So, why not allow the oil available to be dug and processed and deliverd to the people? Why try to stop it? If it ends up being too expensive, the consumer will either use it or not. If an oil company spends too much on oil exploration and in development of a field, then, that's their problem and that of their investors, but, "oil peak" (whether real or not) should not hamper the production and delivery of it. It's the consumers that should decide whether they want fossil fuels, whether expensive or cheaply. Government should not be in the business of intervening in the market of productions or consumption. Let the consumers decide what they want, and what the consumers want and demand, is what should be driving business. Government agendas and political agendas, should not decide for the people. Now, go and get acquainted with the real world. Things aren't looking too great lately, and a lot of the reasons for that, were created by government intrusion into the marketplace.
Other than that, I don't bother to argue about much, and if there is something that makes no sense, or is highly illogical, like global warming, I'll be right there to set the record straight. So, why do you feel that you and the democrats need to lie to the people. My agenda is simply the truth, while the democrats use junk science and other means to gain power over people Science should never be influenced by agendas, because then, the science becomes completely corrupted.
It has been proven, via actual science that, CO2 is not the danger which the junk science proponents want people to believe that it is. Nelder and all of the global warming shysters have an agenda, and when liberals have an agenda, they will do whatever it takes to advance it, including cheating, lying, and stealing. "The Mini-Ice Age has Arrived" http://www.theospark.net/2013/03/the-mini-ice-age-has-arrived.html "Since climate is cyclical, it is not surprising that the MIA followed the Medieval Warm Period, also known as a climate optimum. Crops flourished, empires rose and declined, and neither cycle had a thing to do with so-called greenhouse gas emissions such as carbon dioxide (CO2) and everything to do with what was happening on the sun. " WHEN YOU REALLY WANT TO KNOW THE TRUTH... "One of the worldâs most respected long-term climate forecasters is Piers Corbyn, an astrophysicist whose expertise is relied upon by corporations and others who need to know what the weather will REALLY be as opposed to the criminally false claims about global warming. His website, WeatherAction, is well worth visiting." "In his own words, âWeatherAction is involved in the Global Warming/Climate Change debate where we point out that the world is now cooling not warming and there is no observational evidence in the thousands and millions of years of data that changes in CO2 have any effect on weather or climate. There are no scientists in the world who can produce such observational data. There is only effect the other way, namely that ocean temperatures control average CO2 levels.â __________________________________ So, forget the junk science and the liberal agenda, and start learning the real truth!
I never heard of of Home Power magazine before today. We get at the local drug store, all sorts of magazines for back-to-the-landers and home-steaders, but for some reason, the drug store doesn't carry Home Power. I'll need to see that fixed. Here's my concern with the article: "... the vehicle is not without some shortcomings. It struggles to keep up with traffic on steep hills ..." I live in a very hilly region. And of course, I drive a 4x4 SUV so I can drive along 100 year old cart tracks to get to some very wonky locations which are always on top of hills and mountains. There is one, I swear they must have used a helicopter to install it, because I need to winch up there along the only available path which, thanks to the stone fences on both sides, is barely wide enough for my truck. Would I want to risk it in an EV? Now the article does say how he could have overcome that problem, but even so, it's something that going to be a concern. While electric motors are the only ones that develop 100% torque at 0rpm, good for getting up that hill, the volumetric energy density of lithium ion batteries is no where near the energy density of gasoline or diesel fuel. The last thing I want is to be stranded on a dirt track on the side of a mountain, 10 miles away from any one. So while EVs may eventually be the answer, they need to do better before some of us are going to trust them for work. I'd prefer in the short term if the car companies started producing diesel-powered small 4x4 SUVs. I think a lot more farmers in the short term will head for the bigger diesel pick-ups and adapt them for SVO and other biofuels, but longer term, they may want diesel hybrids. It's not like vegetable oil is difficult to get when you're a farmer.
might be down a bit, but that's to be expected when energy efficiency is improve in automobiles and within industry. The rest of the world is catching up, and then, perhaps the overall consumption level will be down for the world as well. However, consumption is not driven by just energy efficiency. It's also an effect of people trying to save in a rotten economy, and people won't be driving as much when prices of just about everything is going through the roof. Fewer trips and taking the bus or subway, is a way to save, and even working closer to home, is another way which Americans have learedn to "conserve".
"Production has continued to increase after an economically driven pause." There has been no sustained increase in global crude oil production. Sweet light crude production has actually declined. If you look at the "All liquids" category that has been flat since 2005 +/-2.5% while the price of oil has increased more than 100%. How do you plan on spinning that fact? Also, what about peak oil makes you think it won't have economic effects? "While discovery rates are not meeting current production rates, the addition of new reserves to existing oil fields has assured that the crossover date continues to move outward, and those additions average out to about 2% per year for up to 70 years in some cases." Reserve numbers mean nothing when it takes more and more effort to pull it out of the ground. It doesn't matter if you have $17,000,000,000,000,000,000.00 in the bank if you can only withdraw $17 per day. It seems you lack lady parts and lady smarts... Go figure... "It has almost always been true that a single well provides only a tiny fraction of current use rates, so the factoid about the Bakken has no meaning." I think it has quite a bit of meaning. It takes about 55 days for a deep water well to produce the same amount of energy as a tight oil well will produce in 30 years. The best Saudi wells produce that much in less than a week and cost way less to drill and operate. That, "factoid," which is really just a fact that you're trying to diminish the importance of by calling it a, "factoid," is incredibly important when one is trying to understand our energy predicament.
adornoe, In some ways I pity you since you will increasingly suffer the frustration of people ignoring you as the science moves on and becomes even more solid. No one is demonizing CO2. It is a necessary ingredient in the atmosphere to help maintain a livable planet. However the level of CO2 in the atmosphere is important and artificially changing it by burning fossil fuels will affect our lives on this planet and likely not for the better. You are right that repeating a lie over and over won't make it the truth but that applies as much to you as it does to me.
Your critic, adornoe, is doing exactly that which he/she accuses you of doing. All deniers of the reality that carbon dioxide hinders a planet's ability to rid itself of solar-induced heat, have bought into the junk science of the fossil carbon vendors.
and repeating a lie, over and over again, won't ever make it the truth. None of the junk science is ever right, and will never be right. The demonization of CO2 is a means towards an end, and the end never justifies the means, and junk science being the means, is never justified. It's not that I think of those people as "junk scientists"; they have earned that title on their own, with the shoddy research they've produced. Nobody who truly believes in real science would believe any of the garbage produced by those people.
And yet the people you think of a junk scientists keep getting it mostly right. The globe continues to warm, the ice continues to melt, the oceans continue to acidify and the weather continues to get more erratic. Just because you're not perceptive enough to see what's happening doesn't mean it isn't happening. I still think your opposition is more ideologically driven than anything that has anything to do with science. You just don't like the necessary actions to combat it.
science formerly known as "global warming". None of that science is credible enough to even warrant calling it "science",, and the only people who refer to it as "science" are those committed to the flawed science and liberal in government and the left-wing media who are enamored with anything that liberals support. Isn't is about time that you too started using your head?
and in many areas, it's actually cheaper than decades ago. What is bringing prices up, for oil and a lot of other goods and services, is the devaluation of the currencies, and inflation. If we were to compute the price of oil while accounting for inflation and devalued currencies, we might find that, oil is actually a big bargain. And power over the people is what socialists are about, and the democratic party has morphed into a socialist organization. They are constantly looking for new ways to gain power over the people, and CO2 junk science is a means towards an end. Communists are all about "the end justifies the means", and democrats will do anything to grab more power over the people That's what Obamacare was about, and that's what repeal of the 2nd amendment is about, and that's what control of the internet and the media is about. It's about absolute power, otherwise, it won't be a socialist haven to them. Now, go and east some fish food, and perhaps you'll grow a few more brain cells to give you the ability to think clearly and to start taking notice of the real world around you. Heck, even I was a liberal at one time, but that was in my young, dumb, and idealistic youth. So, isn't it time even you grew up?
Yes the oil is becoming more expensive but that doesn't equate to higher profits for the oil companies. Just maintaining profitability which wouldn't exist without all of the subsidies they get (indirectly). Alternative energy relies too much upon fossil fuels to have much of an effect. http://dgrnewsservice.org/2013/03/17/joshua-headley-morality-unsustainability http://dgrnewsservice.org/2013/03/21/root-force-why-wind-power-is-a-sham/
The physical world we live in doesn't give a damn about what you think. It's going to do what it's going to do according to the physics and chemistry of the situation. So far climate scientists have been mostly right about what was going to happen. When they start getting it wrong maybe I'll listen to you.
The oil companies know that oil is going to get much more expensive, but that just means bigger profits for them as long as people are forced to buy it. If we make the transition away from petroleum fuel now, they'll miss out on a lot of windfall profits.That's the real reason for the rosy forecasts. Alternative energy and energy efficiency set people free, able to produce their own energy. The idea that combating global warming will give the Democrats power over people is ridiculous. The only "freedoms" that will be lost are the energy companies' "freedoms" to pollute the environment and gouge the consumer.
Yes, the Sun is the single biggest factor in the climate of the Earth. Nobody is arguing that. But the Sun has been intensely monitored since the 1950's and since about 1980 monitored in detail by satellites. The simple fact is that the Sun's output hasn't changed enough to have caused more than about 5% of the changes that we've observed recently. So something besides the Sun is causing the majority of the changes we've seen.
Look, my major in college was physics, with a minor in mathematics. That would make me a bigger believer in science than you, and a much better practitioner of the scientific method. As a thinker, I question everything, and I don't automatically accept anything that might sound reasonable or even logical. I want the evidence and the proof. Neither you nor the junk science that you so ardently believe in, have the facts to back it up. All that you have is the junk that has been circulating for over 20 years, and all of it has been debunked, every effectively, if I say so myself. Heck, even the shysters have stopped talking about the "hockey stick" theory, because, it was proven to be very flawed science, but, it was the mainstay of that science for a very long time. So, because the "science" of global warming was basically destroyed, the "consensus" scientist had to change the name of their "science", and lately it has been "climate change". But, crap by any other name is still crap. Regarding "creationism", there is nobody in the world, now or in history, who can claim with certainty that, there is or there is not a "God". Whatever exists, was "created" by who or by what, nobody knows, and it would be too presumptious to believe that, it all happened by "accident". All of what exists, follows an order, and a design. That design is what we call the laws of the universe, and the math that explains it all, also had to be "designed". The underlying foundation of the universe is the math that explains it all. That didn't just "happen", and it wasn't an accident. In fact, not even humans were "accidental", nor were we the product of some "accidental" chemical interaction with the forces of nature. All of what is around us, is "ordered" and it all has a design, even what we think of as the chaotic forces in galaxies and "black holes" and all of the other "natural phenomena" we observe. I don't believe in the sort of God we find mentioned in bibles or holy books, but there is something or an entity (or entitities) that is/are a lot more powerful than we can imagine.
side, and that "science" has been debunked, over and over again, and even many who were former "global warming" proponents saw the shoddy science being used, and had to call it quits. There are still many in that junk science environment who, while they know better, will continue insisting that, what they have is "science". But, what they have is not science, and it's mostly about an agenda, and about universities getting grants to continue starying employed and in operation. One of the best gauges when it comes to the "science", is their refusal to engage the opposition in debates about their "discoveries" and their conclusions, and their methods of gathering and in the massaging of the data, and in the downright manufacturing of the data. Then, there are the very flawed models which those shysters use to conduct their "science". The end result with that kind of "science" will always be junk, hence the term "junk science". GIGO!!! Professors and their respective universities were caught red-handed when their e-mails revealed the lies being perpetrated on the unsuspecting public. Those people are, in reality, criminals, and should be be brought up on charges. Lying in order to secure grants and funding for their phony research, should be enough to persecute those criminals, and to put them away for a long time. The reality is that, in the last 15 years, the globe has cooled or remained stable, and the junk science predictions were all proven wrong. Those junk scientists wouldn't admit their lying even if the world suddenly entered a deep ice age. What is needed is for the people to become better informed and to beware of those who would conduct "science" with the sole purpose of bringing forth an agenda to control industries and people. The CO2 agenda lie has gone too far, and you are nothing but a useful idiot to those shysters. .
The Sun provides the energy that allows Earth to have a climate. Tell me, why do you not freeze to death when the sun goes down? You can't answer that question without relying on the fact that air has a heat capacity and that different types of air molecules have different heat capacities. I'm quite familiar with the link you presented and every claim he has ever made about climate and CO2 is debunked quite successfully in the link I replied with from Skeptical Science. So will we be seeing moar pseudo-science from you, Adornoe?
"So, why did you feel compelled to bring up "creationism"? "But, even though I'm not much into religion, there is more to be said for an "intelligent creator" than for "evolution", which still is a theory with not much by way of proof, other than charts and assumptions made from observations." I brought up creationism because the people that tend to deny the science of climate change also tend to deny the science of evolution. It seems you are fitting the stereotype very well. Later, Othello... http://www.cassandralegacy.blogspot.com/2013/03/desdemonas-trap-facing-denial-in.html
plaguing America, and in reality, the world. Without "liberalism", the whole world would be a much better place. Liberal use to have a better meaning, but, it has morphed into socialism, thereby making it a threat to the whole world. And, junk science does exist, and one of its results is that global warming" nonsense. I notice that you didn't even bother to read the article which I linked to, which does have a scientist that those that need real science, listen to. Global warming (lately, climate change), are agenda items for the socialists in society, who want to attain more power over the people. If it's part of an agenda, it's not sciecne, and it it's full of flaws in the data and the analysis and in the results, then it can only be called "junk science" or garbage. So, why did you feel compelled to bring up "creationism"? But, even though I'm not much into religion, there is more to be said for an "intelligent creator" than for "evolution", which still is a theory with not much by way of proof, other than charts and assumptions made from observations. So, take your "alsos" and go read up on the material that you are absolutely ignorant about.
and everything else is very low in significance. Anybody that would deny that, is purely in denial of the facts. So, "It's the sun, stupid!". (To borrow from the political world).
People who use the word Liberal the way you do invented junk science. Take creationism, for example.
That is an old argument which has been put to rest several times. http://www.skepticalscience.com/solar-activity-sunspots-global-warming.htm When you understand why you don't freeze to death when the sun goes down come back and debate.
Agreed. After all, Rudolf Diesel invented his engine to give farmers a way to grow their own fuel for their tractors, instead of being beholden to petroleum companies. Originally it ran on peanut oil. EVs aren't going to be the best solution for everything. It's hard to beat liquid fuels for the kind of uses you're talking about.