Another Hockey Stick

by Rud Istvan

Fossil fuel availability affects how much CO2 will be emitted, which might or might not affect climate much. Hubbert’s 1956 insight suggests total peak oil is near (around 2020), and that gas and coal will peak by midcentury.

The most recent comprehensive analysis is Maggio and Cacciola, When will oil, natural gas, and coal peak?  There are many other studies and books (including mine) with similar estimates within ±10 years.

Presentation1

This issue is as vehemently disputed as CAGW. IPCC AR4 (WG3 section 4.3.1) says there is no peak in any fossil fuel production by 2100. This may prove as wrong as the AR4 equilibrium climate sensitivity estimates and extreme weather predictions deconstructed in my recent book,  The Arts of Truth.

IPCC’s AR4 view is supported by Harvard’s 2012 Maugeri paper “Oil, The Next Revolution”. Maugeri says additional 2020 oil capacity will be at least 17.6mbpd above the present 93, with ‘no peak in sight’ and prices falling.

This paper is another hockey stick. It is so fundamentally flawed in so many ways that, to quote physicist Wolfgang Pauli, “It is not even wrong”. Nevertheless, it has gotten wide mainstream media publicity.

Creaming curves, Hubbert linearizations, and probit transforms all say about 75% of all potential petroleum reserves have been discovered. So does the USGS.[1] Most of what remains to be discovered is unconventional oil.

Conventional oil has already peaked despite improving recovery factors from enhanced oil recovery (EOR) techniques like water flood, steam flood, MRC strippers, and CO2 injection. [2] Maugeri says this is not so even by 2020 (except in Norway and Mexico). For example, he says (p. 31) that 2020 capacity in Saudi Arabia will increase to 13.2mbpd. Simmons’ Twilight in the Desert (2005) explained why that is geophysically impossible. In 2011 wikileaked diplomatic cables proved Simmons correct, and Maugeri’s analysis just wrong.[3] Ghawar peaked in 1981 at 5.7 mbpd. In 2010, Aramco announced that Ghawar had 71 Bbbl of remaining reserves after reworking the Haradh section’s EOR, and would last another 38 years with future reductions from 4.8 mbpd (to limit rising water cut). Ghawar is (4.8/9.5) 50% of present Saudi production, and 6% of the world production. In 2011, Saudi Aramco drilled 161 exploratory wells with only one oil discovery, Wedyan-1, flowing 2.3kbpd. Aramco’s 2011 well average was 5.9 kbpd. Even Saudi Arabia will be hard pressed to maintain capacity to 2020.

Existing conventional global production is now declining 5.1% annually.[4] Conventional discoveries replaced half of produced reserves over the last decade.[5] The other half was unconventional oil: tar (Athabasca bitumen), extra heavy oil (Orinoco <10 API), and fracked tight oil.

Peak oil timing depends on the rate at which this unconventional capacity replaces declining conventional existing production. It does not depend on the amount of technically recoverable reserves (TRR, at any price). As oil’s price inevitably continues to increase, additional marginal capacity will become viable. But not at extraction rates commensurate with conventional oil’s decline.

(1) Canada estimates Athabasca bitumen TRR is at most 20% of resource in place for both geological and chemical reasons. That is about 340 Bbbl, just 40% of OPEC’s present true reserves (which include Venezuelan unconventional extra heavy oil). OPEC’s true near 900 Bbbl reserves did not prevent peak conventional oil production half a decade ago. The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) says ultimate economically recoverable syncrude UER (at about $100/bbl using new SAGD technology) is 175 Bbbl. This is less than remaining conventional Saudi reserves. CAPP estimated in 2012 that 3.2 mbpd could be produced by 2020 if oil prices hold or rise. That would be just a third of present Saudi capacity. Maugeri (p. 36) says it will be 4.3 mbpd with oil prices falling. It is doubtful Harvard knows more than CAPP about the $112 billion it is investing for 2020 capacity.

(2) Venezuelan production peaked around 2000 despite its unconventional Orinoco extra heavy oil reserves, the world’s second largest unconventional reserve (PDVSA estimates 235 Bbbl TRR). Venezuela now has the largest OPEC UER reserves. Saudi Arabia is second. Chavez depends on this income to support his regime. Arguments about Saddam Hussein like incompetence at PDVSA are implausible; it is considered the equal of Aramco. Maugeri’s (p. 28) estimate that Venezuelan 2020 production increases 1.2 mpbd defies the geophysics of low API oil’s slow extraction rates using steam flood.

Presentation2

(3) Tight oil shales are all the rage in US mainstream media (and now Australia’s with the Arckaringa discovery), as well as in Maugeri’s analysis. The five major US tight oil shale (not kerogen ‘oil shale’) formations are well known.[6] The largest is Bakken. In 2008 the USGS revised its technically recoverable Bakken estimate up to 3-4.3 billion barrels. In 2011 USGS re-estimated the second largest, Eagle Ford, up to ≤3.35 Bbbl. These estimates say less than (4.3+[4*3.35]) 17.7Bbbl is recoverable (at any price) from all five main formations based on present information. Maugeri says the 2008 USGS Bakken estimate is wrong because it only used production information through 2007. It would have been very difficult to do otherwise. (And in 2011 the EIA commissioned an independent TRR estimate of all US tight oil and gas. Bakken was placed at 3.6Bbbl TRR.) Maugeri bases his 42B bbl estimate (p. 47) on an unpublished USGS paper from 1999 written 6 years before any fracked horizontal Bakken wells existed! There are 6 ‘sweet spot’ fields within the US Bakken (at $100/bbl). These cover about 15% of the formation and were found by…drilling.

In 2011 DoE convened an expert advisory panel chaired by an oil major (Shell) and two smaller tight oil/gas development leaders (Anadarko, Chesapeake Energy). Their conclusion was that the US might reach 2-3mpbd by 2035 (at over $100/bbl) IF environmental restrictions were eased (e.g. the frack ban imposed by New York), and IF necessary infrastructure was permitted (e.g. the Keystone XL pipeline Obama deferred in 2012). Maugeri (p. 51) estimates 4.2mbpd by 2020 with prices declining, a stunning Mann-like hockey stick. Harvard knows more about this than the oil companies doing the producing?

Maugeri extrapolated to the US from the Bakken. His egregious error (p. 50) was assuming Bakken wells decline 15% over their first 5 years of production, and 7% per year thereafter, like conventional wells. Bakken wells decline by 80% in just two years, and exhaust to strippers in 5. Rather than 85% of well capacity remaining after 5 years, there is essentially none. The 2012 information for North Dakota’s Bakken is available from the North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources.

Presentation2

Drilling more wells is not the long-term solution. North Dakota says there is only room to drill 11,000 more wells on top of the 6000 that already exist in its 5 named ‘sweet spot’ fields. An EIA 2012 map shows that these are over near the Montana border, adjacent to Montana’s field. More discoveries are needed.

Maugeri has literally fabricated another hockey stick by hiding the decline in conventional oil, and by exaggerating unconventional oil capacity increases.


[1] One ‘official’ global creaming curve is the following. USGS’ 2012 estimate of remaining ‘to be discovered’ TRR is 565Bbbl, or (565/2300) 25%.

Presentation2

[2] Between 2006 and 2008. IEA World Energy Outlook (WEO) 2010 page 125.  WEO 2012 confirms this remains so. And mean recovery of 27% is below the median of 34%, as poorer quality reserves are brought into the reserve pool. Hubbert called this peak within 5 years in 1971. [Scientific American, Energy and Power at page 39] That is a stronger confirmation of peak oil than 16 years absence of warming falsifies GCMs.

[3] BP Energy Outlook 2012 gives remaining Saudi technically recoverable reserves (all economic) at 265 Bbbl based on OPEC. These are exaggerated because of the ‘quota wars’. Wikileaked diplomatic cables show the Saudis told the US their overstatement is about 40%, and that ‘official’ capacity of 12.6mbpd is actually about 10. Guardian.co.uk. This is not news, although the ‘secret’ ‘official confirmation is.

Presentation2

Remaining Saudi reserves are probably (265/1.4) 190Bbbl. Present Saudi production is about 9.5mbpd; they have little spare capacity. Since 2000 the Saudis have discovered substantial natural gas, but little additional oil.

[4] IEA, WEO 2008 pages 222-248

[5] IEA, WEO 2010 figure 3.14 page 116

[6] Mainly oil. Other formations, like Fayetteville and Marcellus, are mainly gas.

 

JC comment:  This is a guest post, comments will be moderated for relevance and civility.

507 responses to “Another Hockey Stick

  1. Willis Eschenbach

    Another Hockey Stick
    Posted on February 1, 2013 |

    … Creaming curves, Hubbert linearizations, and probit transforms all say about 75% of all potential petroleum reserves have been discovered. So does the USGS.[1] Most of what remains to be discovered is unconventional oil.

    This claim, that some oil is “conventional” and some is “unconventional”, is the last fig leaf of the peak oilers. When oil was first used, it came from pools on the surface. So if you want to get into conventions, that was the convention for literally billions of years … in fact, every drop of oil we use is “unconventional”.

    For an example of how stupid the definitions are, drilling straight down gives us “conventional oil”. So does “fracking”, fracturing the rock to give us more oil, when it is done on a vertical well, as has been common practice for four decades now.

    But when you drill horizontal wells and frack them, suddenly this is “unconventional oil” … can you see what a jive distinction this is?

    Anyone, and I mean anyone, who tries to tell you the oil resources are divided into “conventional” and “unconventional” oil is selling you a line of talk … and sadly, Rud Istvan is just the latest in a long line of folks looking to scare you. All oil is either conventional or unconventional. The only reason the concept exists is to try to rescue pathetic alarmists from their sad fallacies.

    I’d give this one a minus ten, Judith …

    w.

    • Either the peak oil alarmists are correct or the CO2 alarmists are correct.

      Ie Either peak oil puts brakes on CO2 rise, or CO2 keeps on rising to thermageddon.

      • Or people switch to really cheap natural gas that produces half the CO2.

        Which is what is happening. Coal is being replaced by NG for power generation and chemical companies are flocking back to the US to use cheap NG for feedstocks and they will quit using oil.

      • “Or people switch to really cheap natural gas that produces half the CO2.”

        Switch implies the old stuff isn’t used. But the old stuff (coal) is still being used. More than ever. It’s not a switch, although the propaganda tells people it is so, it’s actually an uptake of a new fuel source.

        The coal will still be burned. Whether by someone else *cough china* or by the same people when they want extra energy.

        End game is that more CO2 is emitted not less.

      • lolwot

        Don’t worry about “thermageddon” or “peak fossil fuels” anytime soon.

        If the 2010 study by WEC is correct, we had enough “total inferred recoverable fossil fuel resources” in place (2008) to last over 200 years at present consumption rates.

        These represent around 85% of all the fossil fuel resources that were ever on our planet.

        The first 15% got us from (preindustrial) 280 ppmv CO2 to 385 ppmv (2008), so the remaining 85% should get us to ~1000 ppmv CO2 when they are all 100% used up.

        If the WEC estimate is overly optimistic (by a factor of 2), the maximum theoretical CO2 concentration theoretically possible from fossil fuels would be around 700 ppmv.

        My guess is that long before we run out of fossil fuels we will have replaced them with other competitive energy sources (nuclear already works for electrical power).

        At any rate, this is not likely to happen very soon.

        Max

      • China will use NG when it is available in quantity when their fracking gets into overdrive. As will Europe if the greenies quit demonizing fracking.

      • “thermageddon?”

        Does this mean there IS a C in CAGW?

      • “China will use NG when it is available in quantity when their fracking gets into overdrive. As will Europe if the greenies quit demonizing fracking.”

        NG is not a replacement for coal. It’s in addition to coal. It means more CO2 emitted in the longterm.

        China is just the beginning. This century expect to see a wave of countries emulating what China has done and building a coal plant every week. So even if China does switch to nuclear or something, it won’t stop all the coal being burned.

    • “This claim, that some oil is “conventional” and some is “unconventional”, is the last fig leaf of the peak oilers.”

      Ok, sure. But also oil has little to do with global CO2 emission.

      The reason China emits so much CO2, is because China burns coal
      to make electricity.

      Wiki: CO2 emission, 2008:
      China: 7,031,916
      US: 5,461,014
      2011 emissions estimates [world total: 33,376,327]
      China: 9,700,000
      US: 5,420,000

      Why in 2011 was China getting close to 1/3rd global emission?
      Because burning so much more coal.

      “In 2011 coal was the fastest growing form of energy outside renewables. Its share in global primary energy consumption increased to 30.3% – the highest since 1969″
      Total Global Coal Production (including hard coal and lignite)

      7678Mt (2011e)
      7201Mt (2010)
      4677 (1990)
      PR China: 3471Mt
      USA 1004Mt

      http://www.worldcoal.org/resources/coal-statistics/

      So rising in Global CO2 emission since 1990 has been mostly
      about the increase in coal production 4677 Mt to 7678Mt
      and this rise is mostly a increase in China’s consumption
      of coal.
      A 3 billion tonne increase of coal is roughly 9 billion tonne of CO2
      per year.
      All global gasoline is a bit more about 3 billion and diesel is under
      4 billion tonnes CO2. Or China’s increase in coal use since 1990 is more than total world gasoline and diesel [plus airplane kerosene] emission of CO2.
      Oil production has very little to do with global CO2 emission.
      It’s mostly about Coal.
      And China is not going to run out coal by 2020. But by 2040 is a
      different issue. And coal use is different than oil. Coal is more like a cliff
      than a curve.
      Of course US peak oil was suppose to be in 1970′s, and since 2005 US has been increasing it oil production.

      http://www.indexmundi.com/g/g.aspx?c=us&v=88

      And with increase natural gas production US emission is lowering
      as less coal is being used [natural gas is cheaper].

      • “The reason China emits so much CO2, is because China burns coal
        to make electricity.”

        China consumed about 1.95 billion tonnes of coal in 2012 producing electricity.

        They consumed another 2 billion tonnes making steel, cement, chemicals and for residential heating.

        Looking at China’s coal consumption as a problem that can be addressed in ways that might work in the developed worlkd presents a false view.

        Cement and Steel require coal. You can not substitute it with ‘wind power’.

      • The reason China emits so much CO2, is because China burns coal to make electricity.

        FWIW:

        harrywr2 said:

        In 2012, coal-fired power output increased by 0.3% yoy to 3,911bn kWh.

        If we do the math that works out to be about 1.95 billion tonnes of 5500kcal/kg coal for 2012 for electricity.

        That leaves almost 2 billion tonnes of coal being consumed that have nothing to do with electricity. Residential heating, cement production(clinker), steel production and various chemicals.

        http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/collideascape/2013/01/30/why-you-should-root-for-clean-coal/#.UQxtW2fjEis

      • David Springer

        One of the reasons for the growth in dirty coal burning in China is because mining and manufacturing of goods have been leaving the United States for China for decades. When it’s cheaper to make and fly rubber dog shiit out of Hong Kong than it is from Des Moines then manufacturing moves to Hong Kong. It takes a lot of electricity to make rubber dog shiit, the synthetic rubber production produces a lot of air and water pollutants, it’s a hazardous working environment, and so forth. All kind of stuff that’s more expensive in the US because of things like labor laws, EPA rules, and so on, collectively called a regulatory environment and the cost of compliance the regulatory burden. Rick Perry is the man you wanted in Washington to bring some mining and manufacturing back to America and improve global air quality. Liberals just make policies that force it overseas where it’s even more polluting and other unsavory things like child labor, forced labor, and things of that nature. Way to go, Joshua. With friends like you who needs enemies?

        So who do we have to blame, in large extent, for global air pollution coming out of China? The United States of Green America. The law of unintended consequences strikes again.

    • David Springer

      Peak oil is already in the past. Peak price is coming next. The next decade or three will be economically challenging for transportation fuel costs and those costs wriggle their way into the end cost of all goods and services where transporation of raw materials or people is involved.

      The challenge is temporary. There is enough energy in sunlight reaching the earth’s surface in an area the size of Connecticut to power the US into the 22nd century. There is a technological challenge in economically transferring the energy in sunlight into liquid fuels that are suitable replacements for liquid fuels derived from petroleum. A key requirement is using the same or only slightly modified distribution and consumption methods i.e. you want fuel you can move like say gasoline and dispense into the gas tank of an unmodified gasoline vehicle.

      Nature has already provided the core technology but since nature has no use for ethanol she’s only provided the production technology as an inefficient and unavoidable consequence of metabolism and reproduction. Our job going forward is to reverse engineer what nature has already done and then use the knowledge to assemble new organisms that are optimized for turning sunlight into liquid hydrocarbon fuels.

      The reverse engineering process is quickly headed toward fruition. It’ll be complete before either a climate crisis from CO2 emission or an energy crisis from peak oil happens. There are plenty of unconventional fossil fuel sources to bridge the gap between peak oil and synthetic fuel from sunlight. If the reverse engineering were to require 100 years to finish there’d be a big problem but for 30 years or less no problem.

      The happy news is that synthetic fuels made by artificial organisms will be cheaper than petroleum based fuels ever were. Artificial organisms, unlike oil wells and refineries, reproduce and maintain themselves spontaneously and don’t demand paychecks, pensions, and health insurance in exchange for their labor.

      • There are several problems with your argument, but let me address two:

        1) “Peak” anything–oil or price–is a function of the economic incentives for us to find oil. All of the mathematical analysis of how much oil has been found over the past few years, which is intended to predict how much will be found over the next few years, is precision without accuracy. It’s been 10 years since I worked in the oil industry, so I don’t know if there’s more recent data, but when I left the non-biogenic theory of oil was still looking pretty feasible, and that would completely obliterate pretty much all estimates of total availability.

        In other words, it would be foolish to presume either that the current regulatory environment will remain as hostile to oil exploration as it does now, or that, when it becomes less hostile, oil discoveries will not accellerate. Those discoveries will, no doubt, continue to involve new technologies, meaning what was “unconventional” will likely become tomorrow’s “conventional.”

        In short, the supply might some day dry up, but we simply do not have sufficient data to suggest that it will, much less predict when it will happen; that is because, inter alia, “sufficient data” would require unknowable economic relationships.

        2) I believe nature has already provided us with a pretty efficient means of making alcohol–it’s just that corn isn’t it. Comparing the relative successes of ethanol in the US and Brazil, it seems difficult not to conclude that ethanol has been crippled in teh US by the relative powers of the corn farmer’s lobby vs. the combined power of the sugar farmers plus those worried about CO2. Not surprising, considering that the road to the white house always starts in Iowa.

        To my mind, the lesson ought to be that government should get out of the business of picking winners and losers. I think you’d be amazed how many of us climate skeptics would be delighted to buy cheap sugar-based ethanol, completely without regard to whether it has anything to do with CAGW. Just as long as the free market, and not our tax dollars, serves it up.

      • We have a twofer here, someone that used to work in the oil industry and is open to abiotic oil.

        Abiotic or non-biogenic oil is a crackpot theory. End of story.

      • No, Web, non-biogenic oil is an unproven, minority theory. In fact, it explains some data that no other theory explains (or at least it did 10 years ago.) Nontheless, it is, more likely than not, incorrect; that’s why it’s a minority theory. The label “crackpot,” from someone like you who is ignorant of petroleum science, is aimed at trying to persuade other people who are ignorant of petroleum science that we know more than we do–that the theory can be safely dismissed. But just as with the other arguments about concensus science, the theory will be dispatched, if it is, by the data, not by name-calling.

      • Methane, CH4 is a gas and it is a simple enough compound to be found on Mars.
        Long chained hydrocarbons with a particular signature, not.
        It is a crackpot theory.

    • David Springer

      Synthetic hydrocarbon fuels are just the first and arguably not the most transformative consequence of synthetic biology.

      Take a wood frame home for instance. Nature produced the wood. The only reason a tree needs to be processed into dimensional lumber and then assembled in the form of a home is that nature has no use for the wood frame we desire so she only produces wood that serves her purposes which in most cases is lifting sunlight-collecting leaves above those of other plants competing for the same sunlight. There’s nothing except our lack of expertise stopping us from reworking the genetic information controlling the production of wood in trees so that it comes out in the form of a wooden dwelling.

      Other types of organisms build structures out of calcium compounds for instance. There’s no technical reason we can’t rework those so the same basic construction method that forms a clamshell forms a bathtub, sink, or toilet. Nature builds all manner of durable materials out of carbon compounds. There’s little in the way of utilitarian goods that we manufacture today that cannot be manufactured by artificial organisms instead at essentially zero manufacturing cost.

      In fact, mark my words, carbon is such a flexible element for compounding into durable composite materials and the most widely available source of carbon is atmospheric CO2 or CO2 dissolved in seawater, that before the year 2050 we’ll need laws and international agreements limiting how much carbon can be REMOVED from the atmosphere rather than how much may be added.

      Hard to believe, isn’t it? Not really. Not if you’ve been following the progression of synthetic biology for 25 years like I’ve been doing. It all started, for me, with a book published in 1986 called “Engines of Creation: The Coming Era of Nanotechnology” by K. Eric Dressler.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Engines_of_Creation

      The J. Craig Venter Institute is IMO leading the pack in synthetic biology having already produced the first synthetic free-living bacterium with a minimal genome pared down to the essence of what it takes for metabolism and reproduction. The genome was designed on an engineering workstation and then assembled to specification from mail-order DNA snippets. It’s only a matter of time as the process of design, fabrication, and test of artifical organisms gets cheaper and faster. This is how the reverse engineering process proceeds and as the tools get faster and less expensive progress accelerates.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._Craig_Venter_Institute

    • Here, here.

      And no mention of unconventional finds such as the Israeli tight oil south of Jerusalem estimated at 250 Bbbl recoverable [next door to the Saudis]. Or the very large non-”oilsands” tight oil reserves that are being shown in Alberta. Or any discussion of shale gas reserves with very large liquids components [unconventional oil anyone?]. Add to this that well informed sources in Calgary will tell you that the 20% TRR mentioned under (1) is ultra conservative and wrong, and Istvan’s analysis/argument appears pretty skewed.

    • That was my immediate reaction too, Willis. If you start breaking oil down into ten different categories, then sure you may be able to manufacture a definition that allows you to say some type of oil (sweet, light crude) or whatever “peaked”. But properly understood, the economic argument that true “peak” events on commodities are very rare, is based on the fact (using oil as an example) that as the best (and easiest to extract) oil gets scarce and the price goes up, new technologies will be developed and the slightly poorer and harder to extract oil will become profitable AND alternate energy sources will be developed, whether naturally, or as a result of the increasing energy prices. In addition to the “conventional, unconventional”, he was also using “even if the Venezuelan super heavy” is included and this kind of thing. What is that fallacy called when you move the goalposts?

    • David L. Hagen

      Willis
      Try the scientific approach rather than rhetoric.
      Look at the hard evidence.
      Dig into the data.

      Question: Why did the international price of oil rise 1000% from $10/bbl in 1998 to > $100/bbl now?
      By Adam Smith, that is NOT due to an abundance of oil.

      Why does the International Energy Agency (IEA) 2012 now show “crude oil” declining from a peak in 2005?

      Why does the IEA distinguish “tight oil” and “other unconventional oil” from “crude oil”?
      Take up your beef with the IEA.

      I encourage you to explore the impact of viscosity on “oil” (hydrocarbon) recovery.
      Miss the ‘coon and strike “oil” – that flows easily from gas push or when you pump it.
      Bitumen (aka politically correct “oil sands”) in winter has the consistency of a Canadian hockey puck. Steam Assisted Gas Drainage (SAGD) had to be developed to heat it to 290 C(554 F) to get it to flow!
      Then try pumping coal – it doesn’t flow regardless, until you gasify it or pulverize it.

      Look at the “multi-Hubbert” analysis developed by TTad Patzek which very accurately reflect each of the new discoveries and technologies developed to recover them. Exponential growth, energetic Hubbert cycles, and the advancement of technology, Tad W. Patzek, Archives of Mining Sciences of the Polish Academy of Sciences, May 3, 2008 http://gaia.pge.utexas.edu/papers/PatzekManuscriptRevised.pdf

      For the most detailed graphs, see Jean Laherrere, hosted by Charles Hall, and at Hubbert Peak

      • Referencing Adam, Smith – that’s a hoot. Do you really believe that we operate in a free market? And that prices accurately reflect demand?

      • I would suggest you stick to the physics of the story.

        Do you have any understanding of what would happen to ANY hydrocarbon deposit when heated to 290C? Even the hardest anthracite coal would ignite spontaneously at that temperature.

        While you are at it, why not read up on the early stage experiments in Alberta to extract gas from very deep coal seams -too deep to mine conventionally- by a controlled burn of the coal in-situ, 6-10 km down.

        Oil -of any kind- in the long run is a red herring. Gas -of any kind and any source- is what hydrocarbon energy for the next considerable while is all about. Gas turbines are the most cost efficient -demand driven- way of producing electricity, and the all round most efficient internal combustion engines we have -turbo diesels- run just beautifully on gas.

        And gas – “conventional” or “non conventional”- we have in spades. And gas is putting the entire “green” energy story on its head – the shale gas revolution in the US, in displacing traditional coal, has seen US CO2 emissions drop to 1990 levels in the space of 6 years. So much for obscenely expensive, subsidy based corn ethanol and likewise inefficient wind mills and solar panels, carbon “taxes”, “trading” or “markets”.

        For the advanced, market driven economies, over the medium term its not oil that is the driver, but gas. Oil can’t do what gas can and gas can do oil that oil can and then some. And its way cleaner. And on the gas account, North America is the new mother load.

      • David L. Hagen

        tetris
        I recommend that you study combustion and SAGD.
        The method is SAGD – Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage, NOT OXYGEN Assisted Gravity Drainage.
        See:
        Baker Hughes hikes the SAGD operating bar to 250°C

      • David L. Hagen | February 2, 2013 at 10:55 am | Reply
        Willis
        Try the scientific approach rather than rhetoric.
        Look at the hard evidence.
        Dig into the data.

        Question: Why did the international price of oil rise 1000% from $10/bbl in 1998 to > $100/bbl now?
        By Adam Smith, that is NOT due to an abundance of oil.

        Why did it go down to 10?

        http://echochambers.wordpress.com/2008/05/21/petrodollar-inflation-oil-prices-rise-when-the-dollar-falls/

        And – http://www.coyoteblog.com/coyote_blog/2008/07/oil-prices-and.html

        “It can’t be that the world is really running out of oil. The Club of Rome warned 25 years ago of oil depletion by the end of the 20th century when proven reserves were at 643 billion bbl. Today they are at 1.2 trillion bbl. Yes, China and India are now serious consumers of oil, but they have not yet been explored to any significant degree.

        In fact, the world as a whole has not been explored for liquid oil, let alone for heavier oils.

        In the entire history of the world oil industry, a total of 4.6 million wells have been drilled, with the US accounting for 3.2 million of those!

        Africa is four times the size of the US (minus Alaska), yet in the last eight years there have been only 6,280 wells drilled on the continent while 209,400 have been drilled in the US.

        There is undoubtedly as much oil in Africa undiscovered as there has been produced in the history of the world oil industry.

        The same can be said for Latin America. As for the Middle etc. etc…”

        Perhaps you should explore how the US first raised the price of oil to get all oil trading in dollars.., and the consequences.

        Such as here: http://echochambers.wordpress.com/2008/05/21/petrodollar-inflation-oil-prices-rise-when-the-dollar-falls/

        “There is a direct relationship between Dollar value and oil prices. All crude oil purchases worldwide have been conducted exclusively in U.S. Dollars for over thirty-five years. [1] When Dollar value falls via inflation (i.e. the creation of money by the Federal Reserve and other banking mechanisms), oil prices rise. [2] [3] [4] This phenomenon could be called Petrodollar Inflation; it occurred during the 1970′s oil ‘price shock’, and it is occurring right now. [1]”

        &
        “The Financial Express: “We must be aware that it is not the price of crude oil that has risen but the dollar value that has weakened,” said Mohammad Ali Khatibi, Deputy Director of International Affairs at the National Iranian Oil Company.”

        Anyway, the whole thing is controlled by the fractional reserve banking fraud. Creating money out of thin air has given them the power to manipulate such markets at will, and given them the illusion of greatness which hides the reality they’re just common thiefs and worse in their creation of the industrial/military complex..

      • David L. Hagen

        Myrrh
        A major cause for the drop in oil price was Reagan’s cold war strategy of persuading Saudi Arabia to increase production to destroy the USSR’s oil revenues and bring about economic collapse.

        4. Then the final shove: In 1985, the Reagan administration persuaded Saudi Arabia to increase oil production.

        Between 1985 and 1986, Saudi Arabia increased oil production from two million barrels a day to five million barrels. The oil price tumbled as oil supply surged: from US$30 a barrel to US$20 in just a few months.

      • David L Hagen – embedded in the piece you linked is the bottom line, Russia had to borrow from the Banks..

        How about this for thinking outside the box? – http://www.absolutewealth.com/oil-power-and-the-petro-dollar/

        “A gallon of regular gas in the US costs around $3.90. Three years ago, it was about half that much. There are reasons for that cost rise, which I will go into in a moment…

        But do you know what a gallon of gas costs in OPEC countries?

        Not world prices, not by a long shot.

        In Saudi Arabia, a gallon of regular gas is about 91 cents.

        In Venezuela, it costs about 12 cents.

        Clearly, it pays to be in OPEC, doesn’t it?

        And clearly, we in the US are subsidizing cheap gasoline for consumers in OPEC in place like Saudi Arabia and Venezuela.

        Which begs the question: “Why shouldn’t domestically-produced oil be sold to Americans at a lower price?

        After all, there are very limited transport costs…

        There is certainly a captive market…

        And though it would be nice to pull a Hugo Chavez and price a gallon of gas at 12 cents, pricing it at say, $1.50 would certainly help out millions of Americans.”

        Different ball game now, Russia and Iran aren’t the easier pushovers like Iraq who went it alone into the euro..

        “This is known as the petro-dollar system, and it has kept the US as the dominant force in the world.

        In fact, black gold has single-handedly supported the US dollar, even in the face of huge deficits and massive money printing by the Federal Reserve.

        And it is the Fed’s money printing, by the way, that has caused the price of oil to rise the past three years…

        Since the price of oil is in dollars, with many more of them about in the world, the value of each declines on the world markets, where oil is bought and sold.

        Hence, the price oil goes up in dollars.

        Voila!

        You have your oil price inflation.

        But, since the world’s demand for oil keeps rising, and as long as oil must be bought with US dollars, there will be a demand for them, and the US will keep its spot as top economic and military dog in the world.

        So, given that reality, if US-produced oil were to compete with OPEC pricing, it would certainly jeopardize the petro dollar system.

        But at the same time, rising powers like Russia, China, and India, not to mention the mullahs in Iran, are chomping at the bit to dump the petro dollar system.

        If they were ever to do so, the dollar would be finished…as in overnight.

        Interest rates would rise so fast, your head would spin…

        Hyperinflation would be an understatement…

        And the US economy would collapse.”

        Anyway, there’s plenty of oil in them thar hills. Rumours of its demise are regularly programmed by the organised crime syndicate which is the banking cartel, believe them and you’ll believe anything.

      • Myrrh

        As you point out, the global crude oil (and net pre-tax gasoline) price has nothing to do with production costs, but is arbitrarily set by a price-fixing cartel that controls a major part of the global production and passes on much lower costs to its own residents while gouging the rest of the world.

        It seems to me that the next energy boom in the USA will come from “more difficult” sources, such as shale, which require a higher crude oil equivalent price to be competitive. So without OPEC, there would be no shale oil boom. The Canadian tar sands also require a high oil price to be competitive.

        So the very resources that could make North America energy independent depend on a high gasoline price to be economically viable.

        So I wouldn’t look for $1 gasoline anymore.

        The thing to guard against is higher taxes on energy or gasoline; these could drive the price at the pump even higher than it is today – and there are a lot of politicians licking their chops at the idea of slapping more tax on energy so they have more mad money to distribute and the power that goes with it.

        That’s the real danger – not OPEC.

        Max

      • So here is the scorecard. Largely the same clowns who are contrarians about CO2 AGW seem to also be contrarians about the reality of oil depletion.

        David Hagen is one exception who I have known about since he also comments at The Oil Drum. By the way, that is not unheard of, as the founder of The Oil Drum also does not believe the AGW line.

        For the rest, they are comprised of the same Aussies with their Larrikin schtick (“Sideshow Bob” Ellison and Myrrhh) and the incorrigible petrochemical players such as MAnacker and Willis and the lot.

        The realists in AGW are still the realists when it comes to oil depletion, giving credence to the fact that they know good science when they see it.

      • David Springer

        Too funny all the clowns disputing Hagen given Hagen is an engineer working on bleeding edge tight oil extraction.

        The clowns know who they are of course.

      • David L. Hagen

        David Springer and WebHubTelescope
        Thanks for the compliments re being an engineer.
        Yes I do seek truth, justice and how to provide abundant fuel. Business plans also necessitate accurate defensible facts and trends.

        PS Some of my patents cover how to drop capital costs (~ 40% in recovering oil sands) or improve fluid recovery from gas to bitumen. Questioning AGW projections at The Oil Drum is politically incorrect, unfortunately.

      • manacker:

        The ability of the cartel to control price has limits. If they set the price too high, it becomes too profitable to develop alternative sources. OPEC, in particular, is always watching closely and immediately lowers prices whenever it looks like there is a move in that direction.

        OPEC’s biggest friends, in this endeavor, are the European and the US governments. They continue to impose substantial burdens that prevent access to the oil that would otherwise be cheapest to recover. The observations about all the oil that must be residing in Africa are true, but it turns out that oil would be very expensive to get. Why? Well, when I worked for Schlumberger, your salary was multiplied by some coefficient, based on the country you were working in. Sometimes that was to account for cost of living, but more often it was to account for the unpleasantness of the environment. I think the girl at my office who had been working on the North Slope of Alaska had been making double what I made, in the Gulf of Mexico, for example. If I’d taken a job in Africa, I’d have made 50% more than that. In part, that was because Africa is unpleasant to work in. But a bigger part was the fact that the two employees who most recently left Africa, at the time, did so because the locals removed their heads from their torsos. I was content with my apartment in New Orleans.

      • David L. Hagen

        Myrrh
        Re: “In fact, black gold has single-handedly supported the US dollar,”
        Any evidence?
        See James Hamilton on Reducing Oil Imports, 21 Oct. 2012

        (In 2011) the U.S. spent $568 billion more on imported goods and services than we sold to other countries, with petroleum imports accounting for more than 80% of the total current account deficit. . . .
        I took the dollar value of oil imports each year since 1973 and calculated the value if that sum had been invested in Treasury securities which were rolled over up to the present day. That calculation leads to a cumulative wealth transfer since 1973 from the U.S. to oil-producing countries of some $10.3 trillion when valued in 2011 dollars. That comes to almost $33,000 from every person in America or $131,000 for a family of four. And much of that transfer has gone to support causes and regimes that are in fundamental opposition to America’s goals and values.

        That has major and growing challenges for the US dollar and for the Western civilization.

        Where have there been any significant costs from warming the earth? Where is there any problem of returning to the more balmy climes of the Medieval Warm Period, the Roman warm period, and the Holocene Climatic Optimum?
        Of far greater concern is descending into the next glaciation with far more severe consequences than the Little Ice Age that roiled Europe and left death an misery in its wake.
        The challenge for those positing catastrophic anthropogenic global warming is to quantitatively differentiate from the natural global warming trend from the Little Ice Age with superimposed natural ocean oscillations and solar cycles.

      • “Question: Why did the international price of oil rise 1000% from $10/bbl in 1998 to $100/bbl now?”

        Question: Why did the international price (annual average) of oil fall from $60.83/BBL in 1981 to $12.71/BBL in 1998? :)

        Question: what is the CAGR for average annual oil price from 1981 to 2012? Answer: 1.99% average annual increase in oil price.

        “Peak-to-peak” and “trough-to-trough” comparisons tell you about the rise in oil prices. Trough-to-peak comparisons tell you about the volatility in oil prices.

        Oil prices don’t only go up! :)

      • Max – on page 13 there’s a comparison of taxes on petrol, from 2010:

        http://energia.fi/sites/default/files/et_energiav_naytto_eng_040211.pdf

        But, correct me if I’m wrong, isn’t the reason US taxes are so low is that these are State taxes, ‘in common’ taxes’ to provide funding for state projects/infrastructure, the constitution not allowing for direct personal taxes. Sorry don’t know the terms in use here, but the personal tax on wages for labour not actually lawful, so states put taxes on common goods, such as sales taxes.

    • Latimer Alder

      Will I need to modify my car’s engine to run on ‘unconventional oil’?

      If not, this seems to be a distinction without a difference.

      • Probably not, but you will need to do something to replace your oil supplies in the UK.

        It is declining you know:

        https://www.og.decc.gov.uk/pprs/full_production/monthly+oil+production/0.htm

        A little earlier than I predicted the plateauing of world oil production, I blogged this UK North Sea prediction:

        http://mobjectivist.blogspot.com/2005/10/uk-north-sea-simulation.html

        So, where are you Brits gonna get your oil from now that the steep decline is on?

      • Willis Eschenbach

        WebHubTelescope | February 3, 2013 at 1:54 am |

        Probably not, but you will need to do something to replace your oil supplies in the UK.

        It is declining you know: … So, where are you Brits gonna get your oil from now that the steep decline is on?

        Ummm ….

        These are early days, and we do not yet know how much commercially exploitable shale gas there is in the UK. But the signs are encouraging. The first large discovery to be explored, the Bowland shale under the Blackpool area of Lancashire, turns out to be a thicker seam than any in the U.S.
        The company behind the exploration has announced that Blackpool is sitting on one of the biggest shale gas fields in the world — with a reserve of 200 trillion cubic feet lying under the Lancastrian countryside.
        To put that figure in perspective, it’s enough gas to keep the UK going for 50 years and create more than 5,000 jobs.
        There are other known deposits throughout a large part of the UK and this promises to be as important for Britain as the discovery and development of North Sea oil. It could even be bigger than that.

        and

        My understanding, briefly referred to in the print Bagehot column published last week, is that senior British officials were recently asked to pull together a briefing for the prime minister, David Cameron, on the potential of British shale oil and gas reserves. Those same officials take the view that shale gas could be pretty important. And that makes them worry about what some big cheeses in Whitehall see as an irrational European nervousness about science, technology and the environment.

        First country to grant a patent for the extraction of oil from shale?

        Britain …

        Just sayin’ …

        w.

      • Another guy that can not tell the difference between a gas and a liquid.

      • Web

        Smart Brits will make sure their governments stop wasting money on windmills and construct nuclear power plants for the big part of the energy demand (electrical power).

        The smaller part (motor fuel) will be set by world market prices, which are dictated by OPEC but constrained by costs in USA, etc. for “difficult” oil (shale, etc.).

        And, if Nigel Lawson is right, the UK may be sitting on another oil shale bonanza.

        http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2244822/Thought-running-fossil-fuels-New-technology-means-Britain-U-S-tap-undreamed-reserves-gas-oil.html#axzz2JvzfLAiD

        Drill, baby, drill! Frac, baby, frac!

        Max

      • Web

        A whole bunch of truck and bus engines can’t “tell the difference” between petroleum-based fuels and natural gas, either.

        Max

      • “A whole bunch of truck and bus engines can’t “tell the difference” between petroleum-based fuels and natural gas, either.”

        M.Anacker knows more than he lets on. Obviously a petrochemical plant site manager who retired from Dow knows the difference between a gas (natural gas) and a liquid (oil), but he does this continual strawman thing because he no longer has anybody to boss around in his twilight years.

      • David Springer

        It’s even better than that, Max. They can’t tell the difference between methane (natural gas) and carbon monoxide (syngas) either!

  2. I don’t see this a a big deal. It does not require ‘Progressives’ make decisions ans set regulations as to what the world should do. The market will decide, long before we extract remaining fossil fuels.

    A recently released US Navy research paper http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?AD=ADA539765 suggest that liquid fuels (jet fuel) can be made by extracting CO2 from sea water, splitting it into CO and O, combining CO with H2 produced from sea water (or I’d suggest from high temperature reactors like this one the Chinese are getting ready to market to small economies http://www.uxc.com/smr/uxc_SMRDetail.aspx?key=HTR-PM).

    John Morgan has taken the US Navy paper and argues it can be used for decarbonising the atmosphere and providing transport fuels as well:

    John Morgan (2013) Zero emissions synfuel from sea water

    http://bravenewclimate.com/2013/01/16/zero-emission-synfuel-from-seawater/

    All we need for all we want is cheap nuclear power!

    Lets get on with it. Get the anti-nukes out of the way. That includes Obama’s anti nuke, pro renewable energy, Energy Adviser, John Holdren.

    • The market fixes everything. Almost a tautology. But that’s because it is indifferent to slaughtering millions of children as part of the solution.

      • You’ve got that ass backwards. Its the planned and centrally controlled societies that do that.

        An article in The Australian this week said North Koreans have turned to cannibalism (10,000 died from hunger recently, some people boiled their children and ate them). That’s the final result of heading down the path lolowot and his naive comrades advocate.

      • The market will be just fine with solving peak oil by slaughtering millions of children (starvation). Or by solving climate change likewise.

        The market has no heart and it’s invisible hand holds a knife, ready to cut off any surplus human waste.

      • lolwot,

        The ‘Progressives’ have no heart either. Their moral values are repugnant. They want central planing so they can force everyone to do as they direct. Look what central planning is doing for North Korea, and did for Russia, Cuba, etc. You guys are a joke.

      • There isn’t a single government on Earth in history which hasn’t centrally planned. It’s human nature.

        The romans did, the greeks did. Even small tribes in the rainforest centrally plan. Hell even households centrally plan.

        Believing the market will save is akin to agricultural communities “praying for rain” rather than fixing the problem themselves.

        It’s a form of religious fatalism where it is said “peak oil, don’t plan for it, lets just let it happen. God (the market) will save us”.

      • Your comment is so silly, it’s not worth arguing with. The point is not whether any planning is done. The point is whether or not we need, or would be better off, using central planning to make regulations to move us from fossil fuels to some other energy source for reasons of a scarcity of fossil fuels. That is not a role for central planning. That is a role for the free market.

        You like using silly, irrelevant, examples to make your points. So here is an equivalent one for you.

        Was central planning used to make the decision to move from stones to metals (at the end of the Stone Age)? Please describe the planning process, the voting, the implementation of the regulations, the police force to ensure the regulators regulations were complied with, and the legal and disciplinary systems that were run to deal with offenders (who continued to use stones after the central planners had directed they change from stones to metals).

        Please also answer the above questions with respect to the decisions:
        - to move from hunter gatherer to farmer?
        - from bronze to iron to steel?
        - from wood to coal?
        - from coal to oil and gas?
        - from fossil fuels to renewables?

        Oh! Now I get it! The decision to move to renewables was made by the socialists / The self-claimed ‘Progressives’ / the loony Left. They are enforcing it. And what a disaster that decision is proving to be, eh?.

        Yea, lolwot, you are brilliant. You are either very young or have lived all your life in a cloistered community, with little or no experience in the real world.

      • Look what central planning is doing for North Korea, and did for Russia, Cuba, etc. You guys are a joke.

        What’s this I see? Ah, i know, the logic of a “skeptic.”

        Notice the selective use of examples to find a cause and effect without controlling for relevant variables.

        Remarkable levels of successful central planning in Singapore, not to mention extensive central planning in every other successful country in the Western World? Check.

        Lack of central in failed states that litter the path of history? Check.

        Lack of successful state in the history of the planet that did not employ central planning? Check.

        Central planning unnecessary for one caveman to knock the other over the head to steal his woman and his food? Check.

        Conclusion: nly a “skeptic” (seeking to confirm bias) would construct an argument that attributes success of lack thereof to a modern state on the simple basis of whether it employs central planning.

      • Ah, Joshua’s brilliant input again (sarc alert). This is Joshua the socialist and the conspiracy theorist. The one who believes that those who do not accept his doomsday beliefs about catastrophic AGW scenarios are part of a great big conspiracy hugely funded by business interests and the oil industry.

        He’s never recanted or managed to admit he is wrong on this or that he is a conspiracy theorist.

        However, he hounded me in many comments over an extended period about my comment about the cause of Climate Etc being taken down by WordPress (probably accidentally) in mid November 2012. He continued despite me recanting, he ignored that and kept on going.

        He’s never been able to bring himself to appologise.

        He provides a classic example of the complete lack of ethics and integrity of the socialists, Loony-Left, self-claimed ‘Progressives’.

      • The one who believes that those who do not accept his doomsday beliefs about catastrophic AGW scenarios are part of a great big conspiracy hugely funded by business interests and the oil industry.

        Actually, Peter – you’re mistaken – in more than one regard.

        You are mistaken w/r/t my beliefs about AGW scenarios and you are mistaken w/r/t my beliefs about the influence of business interests and the oil industry.

        Please feel free to quote any of my comments that you used to base your opinions about what I believe. Given that information, I will be more than happy to explain in more detail why you are wrong.

        Now of course, you did, indeed, babble on with some positively hilarious conspiratorial nonsense about WordPress being taken down by some “climate orthodoxy police” (or something to that effect) because of a comment that you posted here at Climate Etc. .

        If you’d like, I’d be happy to provide the evidence. It would be easy to find, and re-reading it would be certain to provide yet another good laugh.

        Evidence, Peter, evidence.

        It goes along with skepticism – and it distinguishes the “skeptic” from the skeptic.

      • And Peter -

        He continued despite me recanting, he ignored that and kept on going.

        Let me explain a little bit about accountability. Admitting that your laughable conspiracy was wrong is not being accountable. Explaining how you could have been so delusional to dream up your laughable conspiracy in the first place would be showing accountability.

        How did you come up with such a ridiculous theory, Peter? Why would you believe something so implausible – that some “police” force reads all posts at “skeptical” websites, and shuts down blogs based on just one comment? Why would you believe that even if such an implausible “police” infrastructure existed (laughable thought, isn’t it), why your comment which was not substantially different than any thousands? of blog comments posted in the “skept-o-sphere” on a daily basis, would so concern that “police” force that it would need to take action such as you worried about in your paranoid fantasies?

        Simple questions, Peter. Show some accountability. Answer the questions. “Admitting” that you were wrong tells no one anything that they didn’t realize the second they read your conspiratorial posts.

      • Joshua,

        Admitting that your laughable conspiracy was wrong is not being accountable.

        Another strawman argument from Joshua. I never said anything about ‘accountability’. You introduced that in another of your succession of strawman arguments. I said you lack integrity.

        You still haven’t acknowledge you are a conspiracy theorist have you? You still haven’t admitted you are pedaling total nonsense with your conspiracy about the hugely funded ‘skeptics’ of your doomsayers beliefs.

        You are joke. Certainly you are not the sort of person anyone should trust on anything.

      • Peter -

        You still haven’t acknowledge you are a conspiracy theorist have you? You still haven’t admitted you are pedaling total nonsense with your conspiracy about the hugely funded ‘skeptics’ of your doomsayers beliefs.

        You seem to be mistaken. I have made no comments about a conspiracy of “hugely funded ‘skeptics’ of [my] doomsayers beliefs.” Please excerpt what I said that you have interpreted as such. I notice that you have not done so, although I have asked you to. Is there a reason for that?

        Another strawman argument from Joshua. I never said anything about ‘accountability’.

        That is true, Peter. You never did say anything about accountability. I brought it up, because you failed to show any accountability for how you formulated your ridiculous conspiracy theory about how WordPress shut down Climate Etc. because of your (run of the mill “skeptical”) comment.

        What was your reasoning, Peter? How did you come up with such a wacky and paranoid belief, laughably inflating the value of your comment to think that some “police” were watching and needed to respond but shutting down Judith’s blog?

      • Joshua,

        I’ll reply on the Open Tread.

      • David Springer

        Joshua is confused about Singapore.

        Singapore is a constitutionally based parliamentary republic with a legal system based on English common law.

        https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/sn.html

      • David Springer

        And I forgot to add Singapore has

        a highly developed and successful free-market economy. It enjoys a remarkably open and corruption-free environment, stable prices, and a per capita GDP higher than that of most developed countries.

        ibid

      • Springer -

        Singapore is a constitutionally based parliamentary republic with a legal system based on English common law.

        A non-sequitur.

        Singapore built its economic success on highly centralized planning. Just because you fantasize mutual exclusivity between the structures you describe and centralized planning doesn’t make it a reality.

        As another example, consider Korea – which lifted itself out of the 3rd world through highly centralized planning and an extremely heavy governmental hand in it’s economic policy: Look up Chaebol.

        The point is that you and Peter are taking a complex mixture of phenomena and simplifying them to one simple variable — so as to confirm biases. What makes it even worse is that on top of that, you collect selectively biased sampling on which to base your inaccurate simplification.

        That’s “skepticism” – it is the antithesis of skepticism.

      • Steven Mosher

        Joshua let me suggest that singapore suceeded despite some of its tendencies for city planning. dont forget it is a city. and dont forget that its succes is a large function of geography and shipping. dont forget the caning. Then there is the subtle effect on creativity. Read the book by singapore most lauded entrepenuer, my friend and former boss Mr Sim. if you cant find it ill link later when on a computer. the no u turn syndrome. And if you want to discuss korea we can go there too. comparing north and south might be instructive

      • Steven -

        Joshua let me suggest that singapore suceeded despite some of its tendencies for city planning. dont forget it is a city. and dont forget that its succes is a large function of geography and shipping.

        Trying to make generalizations from Singapore is obviously very problematic. There are numerous elements that make it unique in some ways. Certainly, being a city-state is one of them. Of course, in some ways its success is in spite of (or despite) its heavy emphasis on centralized planning. That is a given All these questions involve give and take.

        My argument is not one that centralized planning doesn’t have dangers or inherent deficiencies. Of course that wouldn’t be true, and yes we have examples to help make that case. My argument is against a binary mentality, that says because there are inherent problems with centralized planning (or a lack thereof), therefore centralized planning is some sort of enemy, or inevitably leads to Stalin’s Russia.

        An anecdote. Some time in the mid-90′s, I was traveling around for a couple of years and I was in Indonesia and got sick. I waited until I got to Singapore (my next destination) before I went to a doctor, because I was dubious that I would get good healthcare on my meager budget in Indonesia (I also needed some immunization boosters that were going to be easier to get and cheaper in Singapore) . Now one of the things I was thinking about when I crossed the border into Singapore was some publicity about an American kid who was caned for chewing gum (as it turns out, the story was wrong and he was caned for vandalism – although it is true that chewing gum was illegal there). I had also heard something about laws about mandatory flushing of public toilets. I was expecting some sort of oppressive totalitarian state when I arrived – and what I felt when I got there was shock at the benefits of the “benevolent dictatorship” aspects of life in Singapore. I was amazed at the quality of life in Singapore relative to the other countries in the region where I had been traveling. Safe street food. Cleanliness. Good public transportation (including those circle with lines through time signs telling people not to eat durian on the subway – in contrast to those other countries where the stink of durian pervaded public transportation ). I received excellent medical care for a remarkably low fee. Traveling in Singapore was an interesting period of re-evaluating my biases.

        And yes, the question of the impact of different societal structures on creativity is very interesting – although certainly the issues cover a much wider spectrum than what is circumscribed by the existence, or lack thereof, of central planning. The question of Confucianism, among other cultural roots, are also very relevant and fascinating to me. (Some even claim that symbolic rather than phonetic writing systems comes into play – although I doubt that highly).

      • blueice2hotsea

        North Korea describes South Korea as a Fascist state. The label might have more to with sour grapes on the disparity between their economies and how poorly the Socialist and new-Progressive parties do in S.K. elections. Don’t have to be a Fascist to give those guys a wide birth.

      • BTW – steven – I’d like that link.

      • Here you go Joshua

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sim_Wong_Hoo

        At one point the leaders of singapore asked Sim for his help and advice on fostering creativity in Singapore. What came of that was his book in which he described NUTS. or the no u turn syndrome. Pretty simple. When you drive in singapore you will notice signs that prescribe when you can make a u turn. Sim noticed that in the US the opposite is true. We tell people where they cannot make U turns. Since Sim worked in both the US and Singapore splitting his time in silicon valley and singapore he had some pretty good insights into the differences between the two cultures.
        My team, heck we would just do stuff unless we were told we could not. Our counterparts in Singapore, would not do anything unless it was proscribed. Now, what to make of that? I wouldnt make too much out of it, but neither would I ignore it. But if you love singapore as I do, then
        you shouldnt miss reading Mr. Sim. A humble gentle man. a good uncle

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_U-turn_syndrome

      • Steven –

        Thanks for the links – the matrix of culture, language, creativity, and conventions of rhetoric is endlessly fascinating to me.

      • You’re mistaken, lolwot. The market is the most efficient means yet discovered of allocating scarce resources, according to the values of its participants. The only reason the invisible hand holds a knife, if it does, is because people do.

        And if you think any totalitarian form of governance (i.e., every known alternative to a market economy) is likely to select for any but the most blood thirsty among us… well, you seem to have missed out on about a century and a half of world history. I’d rather live under the kings of France or the emperors of China than the likes of Marx, Lennon, Stalin, Pol Pot, Kim fill-in-the-blank, Fidel Catro, Hugo Chavez…well, you get the idea.

    • Robert I Ellison

      People solve problems – the market merely determines which solutions are worth paying for.

      But as Peter implies – this thread is irrelevant and – typically – the repetition of insults and themes canvassed ad nauseum elsewhere. Go somewhere else.

      • But as Peter implies – this thread is irrelevant and – typically – the repetition of insults and themes canvassed ad nauseum elsewhere.

        Ever the unintentional ironist, eh? You must buy irons by the gross.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Suggesting that you take your obsessional nonsense to an appropriate. One obsessional nutlob per post is more than emough.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        A nutlob – works for me.

      • Another problem with sideshow bob, the chief proctologist — can’t control the liquor.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        So here is another obsessional nutjob – this one thinks it’s clever to call someone alcoholic on the basis of a typo. It does seem consistent with the evidence threshhold employed elsewhere.

      • You were the one talking about drinking and spitting on the condensation thread today. Passive aggression is often explained by drinking too much. You are all over the map when it comes to your personal psychoses.

        Using three sockpuppet handles on just this thread. When is Cappy Kangaroo gonna make an apperance?

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Passive agressive is a bit rich coming form the agressive abusive. Passive aggressive it seems consists entirely of me being a larrikin and not taking you at all seriously.

        I was actualy talking about spitting, swearing, drinking and riding bulls at the same time. It was a bit of a rhetorical flourish – and perhaps a job for Captain Kangaroo. But not for a humble toiler in the field of natural philosophy. One moreover, who prefers a cup of tea to alcohol or riding bulls.

        Thanks to you I have decided to resume the Chief Hydrologist – a comfortable old sockpuppet. The result of the experiment showed only one thing – dropping it made absolutely no difference in the tenor of the discourse. So I believe that is my real name and a sockpuppet who is gentle, charming, modestly learned, occassionaly scatological in the tradition of François Rabelais and regarded it seems with fondness by some. I am humbled and grateful. The third ‘sockpuppet’ entirely escapes me – but feel free to elucidate.

        I can of course neither confirm or deny that I am Captain Kangaroo. His true identity is one of the most closely guarded secrets of the climate war. All I can say is – who was that masked man on a blue horse. – http://s1114.photobucket.com/albums/k538/Chief_Hydrologist/?action=view&current=blue_horse.jpg -

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Passive agressive is a bit rich coming form the agressive abusive. Passive aggressive it seems consists entirely of me being a larrikin and not taking you at all seriously.

        I was actualy talking about spitting, swearing, drinking and riding bulls at the same time. It was a bit of a rhetorical flourish – and perhaps a job for Captain Kangaroo. But not for a humble toiler in the field of natural philosophy. One moreover, who prefers a cup of tea to alcohol or riding bulls. It is not so much riding as strapping yourself to an earthquake on four legs.

        Thanks to you I have decided to resume the Chief Hydrologist – a comfortable old sockpuppet. The result of the experiment showed only one thing – dropping it made absolutely no difference in the tenor of the discourse. So I believe that is my real name and a sockpuppet who is gentle, charming, modestly learned, occassionaly scatological in the tradition of François Rabelais and regarded it seems with fondness by some. I am humbled and grateful. The third ‘sockpuppet’ entirely escapes me – but feel free to elucidate.

        I can of course neither confirm or deny that I am Captain Kangaroo. His true identity is one of the most closely guarded secrets of the climate war. All I can say is – who was that masked man on a blue horse. – http://s1114.photobucket.com/albums/k538/Chief_Hydrologist/?action=view&current=blue_horse.jpg -

    • David Springer

      Yeah right. Nuclear power is being stopped by hippies with peace signs.

      It didn’t stop nukes in the 1960′s and it isn’t stopping them now. Not f*cking competitive with other energy sources it what stops them.

      Write that down.

      • So explain why the Chinese have 30 GW of nuclear under construction if it’s ‘not competitive’.

        Why are the Chinese sinking money into High Temperature gas reactors?

        Why have the Chinese effectively purchased Westinghouse Nuclear?

        Try writing this down.

        Every form of energy is competitive somewhere,under some set of circumstances.

        The way to recognize a shill for a specific form of energy is that they either say X form of energy is competitive everywhere under all circumstances or they say Y form of energy is non-competitive everywhere under all circumstances.

        It really doesn’t matter what they are shilling for or against…their approach is always the same.

      • Yeah right. Nuclear power is being stopped by hippies with peace signs.

        Uh oh. I agree with Springer. Prepare for the apocalypse.

      • So explain why the Chinese have 30 GW of nuclear under construction if it’s ‘not competitive’.

        So Harry – why don’t we have more Nuclear Power? HIppies with peace signs?

        Surely the association of reliance on nuclear power with government funding and centralized energy policies is not mere coincidence?

      • There’s more in the economics of nuclear power.

        What I know about is the case of Finland. We had our fires round of nuclear plants operational 1977-1983. All four units constructed at that time are still running and have been extremely economic as well as very reliable.

        Then we had a long break in construction. Now one very large unit is being constructed. it’s delayed badly (but in comparison with some of the worst cases elsewhere not that badly) and should be operational in two years from now. The agreed price was economically favorable again, but the actual cost has been much higher, most of that should be covered by the seller Areva.

        Last week offers were received for the next unit whose construction should start within two years. Both of the new units are on fully commercial basis with no government subsidies. Right now it’s not at all clear what the economics of the new offers is.

        In principle nuclear power plants represent such technology where costs should go down all the time. That has obviously not been the case. More stringent safety requirements are part of the reason, but cannot explain everything.

      • But WHY is it not competitive? The answer is, legal fees. And why is that? Because there’s an army of, well, for lack of a better word, hippies, who decend on any new plant with a bevy of injunctions to prevent them from turning on the power. It sucks to spend millions building a new nuclear power plant, only to discover, at the very end of the process, when you’re finally ready to start recouping your investment, that, oh, no, you’ve been enjoined. Given that utilities are government-regulated monopolies, this is not a formula for enthusiastic investing–tightly limited upside, couples to a good chance to completely lose your investment.

        Part of the problem is that anyone who does try to invest right now will run headlong into the full force of the entire anti-nuke establishment. Because no one is trying to build, right now, anyone who decides to try will draw fire from everyone opposed. It’s more likely that the status quo will change in a big way, when lots of investors all make a run for it at the same time, forcing the anti-nuke organizations to divide their resources.

      • Sadly, qb, the bundled sticks are in the Federal insurance being the decider.
        ==============

  3. Brandon Shollenberger

    In my first, quick read of this post my eyes were drawn to this line:

    Wikileaked diplomatic cables show the Saudis told the US their overstatement is about 40%

    This seemed an incredibly specific claim of overstatement, something I wouldn’t expect from government officials. Naturally, I followed the link provided to read more. When I did, I saw this:

    The cables, released by WikiLeaks, urge Washington to take seriously a warning from a senior Saudi government oil executive that the kingdom’s crude oil reserves may have been overstated by as much as 300bn barrels – nearly 40%.

    Saying reserves “may have been overstated by… nearly 40%” is a far cry from telling “the US their overstatement is about 40%.” Zero to forty percent is a much less worrying range than a straight forty percent. But this isn’t just a matter of exaggerating numbers. The actual cable makes clear what the Guardian article said: this is a warning from a senior Saudi government oil executive. That is, a single person said this. There was disagreement within the same cable. That is nothing like what this piece says.

    It is incredibly inappropriate to misrepresent simple facts like this. It is even worse when the same piece accuses an individual of “literally fabricat[ing]” things.

    • Barandon,

      Good dig, good quick research, and excellent point. Thank you.

      There is far to much BS floating around. IPCC, UN, “Hockey Team”, activist climate scientists, Paruchi, etc. have all played a role in lowering standards of academic integrity in climate science.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Thanks. Remember, that was in a footnote to this sentence:

        In 2011 wikileaked diplomatic cables proved Simmons correct, and Maugeri’s analysis just wrong.

        A glaring misrepresentation is the basis for claiming one person was proved right and another “just wrong.” Such a strong claim is based upon what is very nearly a complete fabrication. It’s… amazing.

    • Willis Eschenbach

      Well done, Brandon, quickly researched, clearly reported. I confess I got lost at “unconventional oil”, never made it to the Wikileaks.

      All the best,

      w.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Thanks. The reason it was quickly researched is it seemed like the easiest point to examine. I don’t know a lot about oil production rates so looking into some of these claims would be difficult. But checking to see if a source says what Rud Istvan claims it says? That just takes a few minutes of reading and clicking on a couple links.

  4. Brandon Shollenberger

    Um…

    Maugeri has literally fabricated another hockey stick by hiding the decline in conventional oil, and by exaggerating unconventional oil capacity increases.

    For someone to fabricate “another hockey stick,” wouldn’t he have to have a hockey stick? Where is it? I don’t see one in the post, and a skim of Maugeri’s paper doesn’t show one.

  5. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unconventional_oil

    I think what they mean by conventional oil relates to the time, when they poked a whole straight down, the oil spouted out and they danced in the black rain and got really drunk, and rich. That was easy oil. Not much of that going on these days.

  6. We need to develop Nuclear Energy and continue to use all the carbon fuels until they run out. Burn their carbon fuels first and burn our carbon fuels as late as we can.

  7. I am not graphically inclined, but if one were to make a graph out of this- Maugeri says additional 2020 oil capacity will be at least 17.6mbpd above the present 93, with ‘no peak in sight’ and prices falling.-could it look like a hockey stick?

    • Brandon Shollenberger

      Don Monfort, he did not say the change “will be at least 17.6mbpd.” He said “the net additional production capacity by 2020 could be 17.6 mbd.” In fact, while listing that value, he goes out of his way to say:

      Many variables could influence my findings, and I will address them in Section 10. However, until 2020, the variables that are likely to attenuate an increase in production have a higher probability of occurring than the variables that could accelerate it.

      In particular, although I significantly decreased the additional unrestricted production , I consider it unlikely that my revised figures could turn out to be higher; rather, the opposite is possible, because of projects delays, regulatory decisions, lower than expected investments, and political crises.

      He considers it unlikely the true results could be higher than 17.6 mbd. He thinks it is more likely the true results would be less than 17.6 mbd. That is a far cry from saying the true results “will be at least 17.6mbpd.”

      • Brandon, we should be happy if there is any net additional production capacity by 2020. What if we pretended it would be +15 mbd, and rising What would that graph look like?

        You are correct that this guy lacks a certain amount of precision in some of his assertions, but he is still about right on the big picture.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Don Monfort, I didn’t say anything about a lack of precision. From what I’ve read from Maugeri so far, I’m happy with his writing. Whether he’s right or wrong, he’s easy to understand.

        As for what the graph you mention would look like, I can’t say I know. I don’t know what a graph of past oil production rates looks like. That said, I don’t think it could be much of a hockey stick as I don’t think there’d be much of a shaft.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        If they’re creative enough to simply ignore data prior to ~2,000, I’m sure they could!

        And oh, I probably should have realized that’s who you meant. Istvan definitely has problems with clarity.

  8. Maybe peak oil is a bigger threat to civilization than climate change. Certainly it seems to be another example of a longterm threat sneaking under the short-term radar of politicians.

  9. Willis, a good point about horizontal unconventional oil vs vertical old oil.

    Saudi ARAMCO has excellent technology and the old 260 billion barrels, by 9.5 mbd lasts around 75 years. Horizontal drilling plus fracking is a game changer for fossil fuels. That will mean resource availability as far as we can realistically predict the future. Plus natural gas from associated oil and Khurais gas reserves means for forseable future oil is available in the middle east, russia and in the US, then natural gas and then methane hydrates offshore. So the fossils can last till fusion is up and running. Electrical power and sea water split for transportation fuels will carry high tech societies into the future. Keep pushing costs down on wind and solar till those prices become competetive and the world has options.

    Fusion is on the way, hold tight. There was a snag in 2012 but in five years it will break even and then we can start on the big fusion plant designs.

    Again Willis, good point.about horizontal and vertical. Wide spectrum of technologies will impact these shortages. Even coal can be gased
    Scott

    • John Plodinec

      Solar only makes a difference if you can store the energy. Instead of investing in solar technology (where we are seeing those offshore manufacturing cells much cheaper than we can) we should be investing in large scale energy storage. Helps in so many ways – reduces need for peaking (fossil) plants as well as making intermittent power sources really viable.

    • Scott: Fusion in five years? You have topped the old “fusion constant”; that was “fusion in 20 years”. But I am intrigued. Any recent publications I can read on this? Is it laser fusion that is close to commercialization? Fascinating.

    • Which fusion is on the way? hot or cold?

      • Scott Basinger

        Hot. It’s all based on using lasers for ignition.

      • Alex Heyworth

        As my brother in law would say, “People are terrified of nuclear power now, and these people want to put the sun in a box?”. He did his PhD in lasers and worked on the Tokomac in Sydney.

  10. From Benny Peiser GWPF Newsletter this morning:

    The Bowland basin does look promising. In places, it’s 6,000 feet thick; by comparison the Barnett and Marcellus formations in the US are generally around 300 feet thick. And then there’s the issue of probable under-estimating on the underlying resource. There’s speculation in the industry that the overall size of the Bowland Shale might be as high as 1,000 tcf.

    –John Roberts, Platts, 26 January 2013

    and this:

    The UK has vast shale-gas reserves that could cause domestic and European natural gas prices to tumble, according to author of a new report, due for release in the next few months. Gordon Pickering, director of Navigant Consulting, told Petroleum Economist that the company had been commissioned by the UK’s Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) to assess the country’s shale-gas resource potential. ”This is potentially a very significant resource in the UK. Compared to other countries in Europe there is a better chance of things moving forward in unconventional gas,” Pickering said. “It’s very promising and I’m very excited about the resources in the UK.

    –Helene Robertson, Petroleum Economist, 31 January 2013

  11. Robert I Ellison

    I will admit to glancing at the graphs and passing over the entire text. It is such an old and tedious story. I suggest that the US EIA has got it right n liquid fuels and the global outlook will be very similar – http://www.eia.gov/forecasts/aeo/images/figure_111-lg.jpg

    The key of course is economic substitution – without which no analysis of liquid fuels is complete. For the future there are dozens of options viable at ever changing price points.

    • Mr Ellison has found a good graph, Brandon. No hockeystick there.

      • Just noticed that is U.S. only, but it should be fairly representative. They even say we are going to overtake Saudi soon.

    • “The key of course is economic substitution – without which no analysis of liquid fuels is complete. For the future there are dozens of options viable at ever changing price points.”

      This statement should be bronzed and preserved for future generations to use when “experts” make predictions about the future. How many more times do we need to learn this lesson?

      • Bingo.

      • I’ve long thought those hydrocarbon bonds were much too lovingly formed to break them merely for the energy within them. We need the bonds for structure, to clothe, house and keep the people’s stuff in.
        ============================

  12. So, what are your recent production facts that would negate the above?

    • Brandon Shollenberger

      I don’t think whoever you were responding to knows it. You’ll probably need to point out what comment you were responding to.

  13. He actually mentioned Mann’s ‘hockey stick’ to reinforce his speculations? Do you think for an instant that Leftist-leaning liberal Utopian schoolteachers with Michael Mann’s ’hockey stick’ graph hanging over their heads like an oversized poster of Chairman Mao will ever admit AGW Global Warming is a scientific fraud on steroids? Will these schoolteachers of AGW ever bother to consider the moral implications of pushing their warmanist beliefs in the classroms?

  14. Coal has peaked in Europe and the US and for all intents and purposes South American and Africa.

    Coal with peak in China in 2014 at about 4 billion tonness. (2.1 billion for electricity production and 2 billion for steel,cement,residential heating and chemicals)

    China’s latest energy sector projections -

    http://www.thechinaperspective.com/articles/notesonchina039-9948/

    That leaves India which IMHO will peak at less then 1 billion ton.

    The global price of coal is about $100/tonne for 5500 kcal/kg coal. Wind/Nuclear and Hydro are all cheaper. Substitution is a matter of growing the necessary technical expertise in the developing world.

    • Sorry – should have checked for a post from you before making you famous above.

    • “China’s latest energy sector projections -

      http://www.thechinaperspective.com/articles/notesonchina039-9948/

      That leaves India which IMHO will peak at less then 1 billion ton.

      The global price of coal is about $100/tonne for 5500 kcal/kg coal. Wind/Nuclear and Hydro are all cheaper. Substitution is a matter of growing the necessary technical expertise in the developing world.”

      With fracking and natural gas availability it seems in sense further increase in coal in US and ROW seems unlikely. And at China current rate of use and the price they paying for coal, it seems China has certain hard limits on coal use in the future. China price of coal is already high and they have couple decades or so of domestic coal reserves. And their coal is mostly tends towards poor quality.
      But it seems to me more than excessive to say coal is more expensive [even in China] than compared to wind energy.
      In terms of nuclear energy, I would say there many advantages it’s always been possible to have lower than coal energy costs. But other than say French and some other countries [because political will and technological capability] coal is still cheaper than nuclear energy. And Hydro has always been cheaper and best way generate electrical power.
      So I don’t think it’s much to do with price of coal- except in regards to China
      and US because natural gas is cheaper in most situations [one alread has gas infrastructure and coal supplies requiring high transportation costs {US has had cheaper bulk transportation cost as compared to China}].

      Anyways your above reference, says:

      “The coal power generation target is 960GW by 2015 versus the China Electricity Council’s previous forecast of 928GW. There has been a recent slowdown in coal power due to poor returns on projects and increases in renewables. China added 45GW of new coal power in 2012 and the China Electricity Council expects 40GW in 2013. To meet the new 2015 target would require a surge of 70GW per year in 2014 and 2015.”

      So, according to above, China is continuing adding it’s coal power capability, fairly aggressively. And seems to hope to reduce further coal power addition in future. But not much more than hope.
      I would say it appears at planning level China is failing to adequately address it’s future electrical power needs.
      So China should doing something more than hope. Coal will fail them at some point.
      Or it’s simply not about price of coal. The price of Coal in China should telling them something, and they appear not to be listening. Typical politicians.
      And the price of coal in US isn’t the issue.
      “Once coal is mined, it must be moved to where it will be consumed. Transportation costs add significantly to the delivered price of coal. In some cases, as in long-distance shipments of Wyoming coal to power plants in the East, transportation costs can be more than the price of coal at the mine. ”
      “In 2009 the average sales of coal at the mine was $33.24 per ton and the average delivered price to electric utility power plants was $44.47 per ton, roughly implying a transportation cost of $11.23 per ton, or 25% of the total delivered price. ”

      http://www.newcenturycoal.com/newscentre/coalinfo.php

      And this reference:
      “This is not truly representative of what’s happening in the U.S., because coal is more of a local market, and coal is cheaper in the U.S. In the U.S. CAPP coal could be had for $58.50 per short ton. CAPP is betuminous coal and carries a 12,500 BTU/lb energy value; this translates to 27,557,750 BTU per metric ton. Doing the math, we arrive at $2.34 per MMBTU, still more expensive than natural gas (and the modern natural-gas fired power plants are less expensive to build and maintain, easier to permit, less polluting and more efficient). Historically coal has always been a lot cheaper, so having natural gas so cheap naturally pressures its prices lower.”

      http://seekingalpha.com/article/483091-the-problem-with-coal

      So, I would guess coal prices in US will drop, and coal prices in China will continue to rise.

  15. Rud Istvan

    There is no question that total fossil fuels reserves remaining on our planet are finite, as you write.

    Coal, oil and natural gas are interchangeable with current technology, so it makes sense to look at total fossil fuel resources rather than simply one or the other.

    A 2010 WEC report estimates that the total inferred recoverable reserves of fossil fuels (2008) were:

    Coal: 2462 Gt
    Oil: 5078 billion bbl
    Gas: 486 trillion cubic meters

    (Note that this is includes shale oil, tar sands, etc. and is considerably higher than the “proven reserves” or “proven reserves from conventional sources”, etc.)

    These resources would be sufficient to last us for over 200 years at current consumption rates (or 100 years at anticipated future consumption rates). So “peak fossil fuel” is not an imminent threat, if the WEC figures are correct.

    But what about increased levels of atmospheric CO2?

    These resources contain an estimated total of 3067 GtC.

    An estimated 25% of petroleum and 20% of natural gas are used for non-combustion end uses (petrochemicals, fertilizers, etc.), so that the total estimated CO2 generated from combustion of all remaining fossil fuels would be around 9,970 GtCO2

    This would raise atmospheric CO2 concentration to around 1000 ppmv when they are all 100% consumed.

    Another way to look at this is to look at past CO2 emissions and atmospheric concentrations.

    The WEC estimate of remaining fossil fuels represents 85% of the total that were ever on our planet, with 15% used up to date.

    15% got us from 280 ppmv CO2 (pre-industrial) to 385 ppmv (in 2008), so the remaining 85% should get us to around:
    385 + 0.85*105 / 0.15 ~ 1000 ppmv.

    If the WEC estimates should prove to be overly optimistic and we only have around half of the estimated recoverable fossil fuel resources in place, then the maximum CO2 concentration, which could ever be theoretically reached from fossil fuel combustion, would be around 700 ppmv.

    As far as climate change is concerned, this appears to me to be the critical consideration regarding remaining fossil fuel resources on our planet.

    Max

    • Manacker

      Thanks for this. I note that your estimate of the maximum CO2 concentrations is considerably below what the Australian Department of Treasury assumed in its write up to justify the Australian Carbon tax and ETS. Australian Treasury said CO2 concentrations are projected to reach 1500 ppm and global average temperatures will increase by 7 C by 2100 if we continue with BAU. Of course, it would all be much worse in Australia. Therefore, we must have a carbon tax and ETS. The world will follow Australia’s example. That’s what we’ve been told to justify the CO2 tax and ETS.

      The Treasury acted on the ‘impartial’ advice provided by the Climate Institute, which was set up by our socialist Labor-Green alliance government and funded to provide impartial advice to the government on climate change.

      Manacker, do you suspect we could have been misled by our elected government?

      • Peter Lang

        You ask:

        do you suspect we could have been misled by our elected government?

        The US writer and columnist H. L. Mencken said it best:

        “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”

        Yep. I think you’ve been hoodwinked by the ruling class.

        Max

    • Manacker,

      Nordhaus (2008) has used 6,000 t C as the amount of fossil fuels that could eventually be burnt (see bottom of p58 here: http://nordhaus.econ.yale.edu/Accom_Notes_100507.pdf)
      and p57 here http://nordhaus.econ.yale.edu/Balance_2nd_proofs.pdf says:

      In the new model, total resources of
      economically available fossil fuels are limited to 6,000 billion
      metric tons of carbon equivalent (approximately 900 years
      at current consumption rates)

      • Peter Lang

        There are as many estimates of remaining fossil fuel resources on our planet as there are pundits making such estimates.

        And you have to first analyze what particular “hobgoblin” the individual pundit is trying to sell: “peak oil”, “runaway greenhouse warming”, etc.

        The problem the doomsayers have is that the two doomsday scenarios are mutually exclusive: either we still have enough fossil fuel reserves to cause a potentially catastrophic increase in atmospheric CO2 or we are about to run out of fossil fuels and headed for darkness as a result.

        The WEC may have an axe to grind (I don’t know), but its 2010 report gives the most optimistic estimate I have seen out there on the “total inferred recoverable fossil fuel resources” on our planet. This study tells us that, as of 2008, we had “used up” around 15% of ALL the recoverable fossil fuels that were ever on our planet, leaving 85% still in place.

        From these figures we can estimate how many years it will take (at present consumption rates) before we run out (over 200 years)

        And it is also relatively easy to estimate the maximum possible CO2 concentration from human fossil fuel combustion (~1000 ppmv).

        Those are the constraints.

        So what would this mean (if WEC estimates are correct)?

        1. We are not about to run out of fossil fuels. As you have pointed out repeatedly, nuclear power is already an economically viable alternate for a major portion of the fossil fuel load (electrical power) and we have plenty of time to develop competitive alternates for the rest (principally motor fuel for transportation).

        2. We will not reach catastrophic warming levels from human fossil fuel combustion. At latest estimates of (2xCO2) climate sensitivity (around 1.7C) an increase to 1000 ppmv would result in theoretical GH warming of 2.3C, when all fossil fuels are 100% used up, some day in the far distant future.

        And if the WEC estimates are too optimistic by a factor of two, we will run out” of fossil fuels in 100 years and only reach 700 ppmv CO2 (1.4C warming).

        Bye-bye, hobgoblins…

        Max

  16. Brandon Shollenberger

    I cannot reconcile Rud Istvan’s piece with what I read. For example:

    In 2008 the USGS revised its technically recoverable Bakken estimate up to 3-4.3 billion barrels…. Maugeri says the 2008 USGS Bakken estimate is wrong because it only used production information through 2007. It would have been very difficult to do otherwise…. Maugeri bases his 42B bbl estimate (p. 47) on an unpublished USGS paper from 1999 written 6 years before any fracked horizontal Bakken wells existed!

    First, a minor nit. I couldn’t find a “42B bbl estimate” anywhere on page 47. In fact, I didn’t see that estimate anywhere. It isn’t important as that value is close to what I did see, but it is an oddity.

    Now for the real problems. Look at the second and sentences I quoted. Rud Istvan portrays Maugeri as rejecting results because they were based on data through 2007, which at the time were up to date, making Maugeri unreasonable. This is not what I read. For example, on the question of data:

    In particular, the USGC concluded its analysis of per-well recovery in Bakken in July 2007, when drilling rigs in the region were few and recovery rates were modest because of the early learning curve concerning the whole formation:

    As this shows, the problem Maugeri has isn’t which years the data covered. His problem is that data was from years before enough work had been done to collect good data. That’s a reasonable concern Rud Istvan simply ignores. Even if Maugeri is wrong, his argument doesn’t deserve to be misrepresented.

    But it gets worse. Look at the next sentence. Istvan claims Maugeri based an estimate on a single paper from 1999, before any drilling rigs were installed. This overlooks two points. Minor point: the paper wasn’t based on information gathered from drilling rigs so the lack of them is irrelevant. Major point: Maugeri cites over half a dozen other sources and lists multiple arguments Istvan doesn’t mention. Dozens of paragraphs spread across multiple pages discussing numerous sources and several arguments gets mockingly portrayed as:

    Maugeri bases his 42B bbl estimate (p. 47) on an unpublished USGS paper from 1999 written 6 years before any fracked horizontal Bakken wells existed!

    As I said, I cannot reconcile Istvan’s words with what I see with my own eyes.

  17. +1 Peter Lang @ 8.15pm.
    -1 lolwot @7.20pm.

  18. Brandon, see if you can find any other geniuses who are expecting/projecting/extrapolating up to 17.6 mbd increase in net oil production by 2020.

    • 7.6 mbd? Brandon?

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Assuming you’re re-asking the question from above with a lower value, I still have no idea why I would do what you tell me to do.

      • Sorry Brandon, I didn’t intend to make you feel like I was telling you to do something. It was meant as a suggestion. The reason I suggested it was that you seemed to have taken it upon yourself to defend Maugeri’s prediction. I thought it might help you let go, if you found out how ridiculously implausible it is. I should have known better.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        For what it’s worth, I took your comment as a suggestion, not some sort of imperative.

        I just don’t see why I should care how reasonable/ridiculous the prediction is. My interest has been in Rud Istvan’s post. I like this site, and I usually do a little checking of anything I see posted on it. That’s all this is. I’m not trying to figure out who is right. I’m just trying to make sure I don’t believe something I read here when it is wrong.

  19. Magueri’s projections founder on the rocks of diminishing returns:

    http://ourfiniteworld.com/2012/11/13/iea-oil-forecast-unrealistically-high-misses-diminishing-returns/

  20. David L. Hagen

    Rud Istvan
    Thanks for raising these energy issues.

    IEA (2012) shows crude oil peaked in 2005
    The 2010 IEA World Energy Outlook projected flat global oil production out into the future. Now for the first time the IEA in its November 2012 World Energy Outlook shows global oil production declining from a peak in 2005 and declining for the forseeable future. This is usually hidden underneath discussion of “total liquids” including natural gas liquids, condensates and unconventional oil.

    See the IEA’s 2012 graph 3.15 reproduced at:
    Kjell Alklett: An analysis of World Energy Outlook 2012
    Figure 3.15 World oil supply by type in the New Policies Scenario

    Over optimistic IEA projections
    Alklett observes:

     In 2004 when I for the first time said that the WEO-2004 was wrong they were stating that crude oil production in 2030 would be 108 Mb/d. The IEA has lowered the scenario output for 2030 by 42 Mb/d down to 66 Mb/d. That is a change of 40% in 8 years!

    Gail Tverberg similarly observes: IEA Oil Forecast Unrealistically High; Misses Diminishing Returns

     there is evidence that the “tight” oil referenced in Exhibit 1 is already starting to reach production limits, at current prices. The only way these production limits might be reasonably overcome is with higher oil prices–much higher than the IEA is assuming in any of its forecasts. . . .we could find ourselves reaching “peak oil” because of an economic dilemma: while there seems to be plenty of oil available, the cost of extracting it may be reaching a point where it is more expensive than consumers can afford. 

    Talk about “reliable” projections!

    The high price of fuel directly under girded the mortgage crisis, the economic crisis, and the housing crisis, by removing discretionary income from consumers. Growing population with declining availability will make this progressively worse until alternative non-crude fuels can be brought on line.

    • Growing population with declining availability will make this progressively worse until alternative non-crude fuels can be brought on line.

      And that progress is being blocked by the central planning “Progressives’!

    • David L. Hagen

      Exponential production hits geological constraints.
      Hard geophysics and engineering realities rule enthusiastic exponential projections.

      Tad Patzek quantifies key “Multi-Hubbert” analysis including each new region + technology in:
      Exponential growth, energetic Hubbert cycles, and the advancement of technology, Tad W. Patzek, Archives of Mining Sciences of the Polish Academy of Sciences, May 3, 2008

      http://gaia.pge.utexas.edu/papers/PatzekManuscriptRevised.pdf

      James Hamilton shows actual oil production curves by State.

      Oil Prices, Exhaustible Resources, and Economic Growth. This paper explores details behind the phenomenal increase in global crude oil production over the last century and a half and the implications if that trend should be reversed. I document that a key feature of the growth in production has been exploitation of new geographic areas rather than application of better technology to existing sources, and suggest that the end of that era could come soon. The economic dislocations that historically followed temporary oil supply disruptions are reviewed, and the possible implications of that experience for what the transition era could look like are explored.

      For further insight, see the consumate graph maker from TOTAL Jean Laherere

  21. Willis, I think you are incorrect when you say “This claim, that some oil is “conventional” and some is “unconventional”, is the last fig leaf of the peak oilers”.

    “Conventional” and “unconventional” are simpy convenient descriptors, which underline the fact that most oil being discovered now is a lot more diffficult and expensive to produce than the oil finds of the past. Rud Istvan explores the issue of whether “unconventional” oil will be able to maintain the growth of all-oil supply now that “conventional” oil supply is declining. As he points out, “Peak oil timing depends on the rate at which this unconventional capacity replaces declining conventional existing production. It does not depend on the amount of technically recoverable reserves (TRR, at any price). As oil’s price inevitably continues to increase, additional marginal capacity will become viable. But not at extraction rates commensurate with conventional oil’s decline.”. He then goes on to explain why.

    FWIW, I don’t think that “Peak Oil” is an alarmist message. As I see it, we are pretty close to “Peak Oil”, and it will be a non-event. All “Peak Oil” means is that oil production rates will cease to increase. There will still be a lot of oil, with production likely to plateau for quite a while. The world will satisfy its increasing energy needs from other sources of energy, probably (mainly) coal, gas and nuclear. A continuing high oil price would be sufficient to bring on “Peak Oil”, simply by making other sources of energy competitive. IOW, “Peak Oil” isn’t only a supply issue.

    • Mike Jonas,

      The world will satisfy its increasing energy needs from other sources of energy, probably (mainly) coal, gas and nuclear.

      Yes. Of course. Here is just one example – transport fuel from sea water using nuclear power to separate CO from CO2 in sea water and to combine it with hydrogen to make jet fuel.

      John Morgan (2013) Synfuel from sea water for $2.57/L:

      http://bravenewclimate.com/2013/01/16/zero-emission-synfuel-from-seawater/

      A recent US Navy research project suggested this as a way to avoid the need for supply from tankers (a vulnerable part of their supply system). They are proposing producing 100,000 gallons of jet fuel per day on board their nuclear powered aircraft carriers using the spare capacity of their two nuclear reactors.

  22. Exxon predicts steady growth in Oil & Gas production out to 2030. I am helping a US Oil equipment company develop montioring systems and I worked on drilling rigs for 5 years back in the last oil boom. The innovations in drilling that are occuring right now are bigger than just horizontal drilling and fracking. 3D sesimic is a 20 year old innovation that keeps getting better. Look EIA graphs on number of dry holes. With horizontal drilling, rigs can often be moved without breaking them down. They just drag them 100 feet to the next wellsite. Human ingenuity is one resource with no limits.

    • Buck Smith +1

      • No, Web–the problem is you’re looking for your wallet where the light is brightest, rather than where you dropped it. As i said, the entire project of trying to predict future production based on past performance is a fool’s errand. Any model that tries to do so is just like any other model that predicts the future of a market. It might work for a while, but it will inevitably break down, because it cannot address all of the controlling variables. You might as well be trying to predict hem lines from the history of the Dow Jones.

      • You are talking game theory of finance while I am just keeping track of material in the ground.
        The first is impossible while the second is doable.

    • ” Look EIA graphs on number of dry holes. “

      Actually, what you look at is the rig count and compare that against the amount of production.

      Worldwide, the rig count has about doubled in the last 3 years, yet production has flat-lined or gone down.

      How again does that work?
      Trying harder and getting less?

      • In the first place, you ignore the time lag between exploration and production. In the second, you haven’t even attempted to control for different types of rigs, nor for different missions for rigs, nor for external factors influencing productivity (such as weather). Seems to me that something important happened around ’09 that might have influenced the data…

        And that’s all apparent before I even start to look into the accuracy of your numbers. Your graph doesn’t even say what you claim it says. Production is up, not down, and would likely be up quite a bit more, if it weren’t for that big drop in rig count around the start of ’09. (Remember that time lag.) Furthermore, the rig counts in your graph are suspect, both because not all countries report their rig usage, and because Baker hughes’ definition of active rigs is rather peculiar. (It has the virtue of being operationalized, so not subject to manipulation.)

        The most important mistake in your reasoning is that you’re confusing drilling with production. Drilling rigs are used to create new wells, but production comes from the wells after they’re drilled. (There is separate production equipment. The industry is roughly divided into two halves, open hole, and cased, referring to the two sides of the business, divided by the operation that sets casing in the well.) Wells may continue to produce for decades after they’re drilled. Because they produce at different rates (because, inter alia, if you produce too quickly you’ll ruin the well), the relationship between the number of rigs drilling and the amount of oil those wells will be producing at x years in the future is pretty complex. Worse, which wells get drilled is an economic decision, based on the drilling company’s forcasts about future economic conditions.

        Having said all that, it is basically true that oil keeps getting harder to get, because we keep using up the oil that is easiest to get, first. Against this general trend, technology keeps making it easier to get oil, and also keeps discovering new oil. (Much of taht discovery is is just finding ways to produce oil reserves that we already know about, but were not previously feasible to produce. E.g. narrow reserves, via directional drilling, or fracking shale.) A better metric would be amount of oil produced per inflation-adjusted dollar invested.

        By that materic, incidentally, oil companies produce a steady return, but less than most other companies. Which is why growth in production is anemic–there are better places to invest.

      • The production plateau has been going on for awhile. I originally blogged about this in 2005 using a hypothetical example: http://mobjectivist.blogspot.com/2005/12/top-overshoot-point.html

        The Hubbert peak turned into a plateau after extraction pressure was raised on the nominal production in the model. http://img479.imageshack.us/img479/5508/expressc8sb.gif The extraction pressure was raised according to this curve. http://img468.imageshack.us/img468/8826/express4ac.gif

        I think the reality of increased extraction is proven out by the doubling of rig count in the last several years: http://www.theoildrum.com/files/world_rigcount+oilproduction_0.png

        The plateau can’t last forever even with increased extraction pressure and so the production will have to collapse at some point.

        QBeamus, perhaps you should read my book on oil depletion. It is the only model that actually includes the latencies that you mention. I wonder why no petroleum scientist has ever tried to write such a book? Does the truth hurt that much?

      • I seem to have misposted my reply–it’s attached to Peter Lang’s comment, above.

  23. The graphic showing fossil fuel peaks are barely readable due ro their poor resolution. But not to worry because no one will believe them. For example, coal production has already peaked according to the graph but we know there are huge proven reserves in Australia and the same applies to USA and other countries. The hockey stick graph was of temperature against time with horizontal and vertical scales deliberately chosen for maximum effect and inviting us to conclude that temperature was rising out of hand. Also it was for Northern hemisphere temperature , which is always hotter, not global.

    At the time a more informtive graph to publish would have berween the correlation of global temperature with carbon dioxide concentration against time, but this would have shown periods of zero or negative correlation so was never published. So right from the beginning this has been a propoganda effort rather than the truth.

  24. It’s difficult to get excited about burning coal when the climate models continue to fail:

    “Remember the evidence is overwhelming, and deniers deny the evidence. But in Oct 2012, two atmospheric scientists were reporting, yet again, the models are wrong. Twenty years after we started looking for the fingerprint of the amplification required to make the CO2 theory of global warming work, it still isn’t there. Forgive me for harping on. It’s still The Most Major Flaw in climate models.”

    http://joannenova.com.au/2013/02/yet-another-paper-shows-the-hot-spot-is-missing/

  25. John Robertson

    Predictions of peak oil are nice guesses, but has anyone got it right yet?
    Are all possible deposits explored?
    And the definition of recoverable resource changes with the price, as the price consumers are willing to pay rises, so increases the economically recoverable reserves.
    The market will work here, far better than central control by bureaucracy.

  26. Lolwot @9.54pm:

    Wot? lolwot? Central planning the history of everything?
    The Greeks?… The Spartans ‘did,’ the Athenians ‘did’ not.

    http://www.dcn.davis.ca.us/~sander/mensa/popper1.html

    Look, lolwot. this is wot’s good about free markets and why
    I wot them. We learn by trial and error, by conjecture and
    refutation, and markets are an aggressive form of trial and
    error. People out there,inventing, adapting, competing.
    Some fail, some succeed coming up with new technologies,
    new products, from which come productivity, jobs, wealth to
    a community, AT NO COST ter the populace. Regardless of
    who wins or fails in the market place, lolwot, the community
    benefits.

    Beth

    • Beth
      +1

    • Your worship of the free market is nothing more than Fatalism.

      I am glad your ilk hadn’t been in power in the 1940s or Hitler would have won. Because you’d have left the course of history to Fate. To your Market God. Who I wager wouldn’t have delivered and now we’d probably all be talking German.

      Markets are a tool, not the be all and end all you fanatics insist on. Nations have always planned for major and minor things.

      But perhaps you admit that is so? Perhaps behind the veneer of market worship you DO admit that certain problems cannot be left to the market and must be planned for. But that would be an awkward thing to admit because the immediate question is then how do you decide which problems are market ones and which can be planned for?

      Well for whatever reason Peak Oil has become one of your designated “Market Problems” and so must be left to Fate. Anyone who dares suggest that maybe it’s a problem that should be planned for, well they get compared to North Koreans. With the astounding logic that:

      1) You want to Plan something
      2) The North Koreans Plan things
      3) Therefore you are no better than the North Koreans.

      • Never mind the silly suggestion that the Nazis had any chance of winning WWII after 1941. The more outrageous error is the suggestion that it was a command economy that allowed us to overcome the Nazis. In fact, it was the facist and communists who were the command economies, economies that we dwarfed, precisely because we were a market economy.

        Remember “Bye bye, buy bonds?” That was fighting a war on a market economy. Unlike fascist and communist countries, the government couldn’t simply seize the means of production–they had to raise the money to hire them. I’m not one of those who believes the “arsenal of democracy” made the result inevitable, but to the extent it had an effect, it wasn’t bad for the anti-Nazi forces.

        You are correct, of course, that the choice between free markets, on the one hand, and “planning,” on the other, is a false dichotomy. But it is of your own devising. The choice is between free markets, on the one hand, and *centralized* planning, on the other. That is, between distributed decisionmaking, and centralized decisionmaking. And between those two, distributed decisionmaking produces predictably superior results, with a few narrow, predictable exceptions–exceptions that even Adam Smith himself recognized and wrote about 200 years ago. The role of centralized planning, at least with regard to economic policy, should be, merely, to look out for those narrow and predictable exceptions.

        Yes, “peak oil,” if it is any kind of problem, is one best left to distributed decisionmaking. Not because it is the only way to not be a moral monster, like the rulers of North Korean. Some central planners are monsters, while others are simpy laboring under a hopeless misunderstanding of their ability to calculate and predict the future. No central planning authority is smart enough, has the computing power, or the data, to compute a solution, but billions of human brains, communicating with each other through price signals, do.

  27. Now look here, Peter Lang. yer handin’ out all these
    ‘plus ones!’ Don’cha know I’ve got the franchise fer
    ‘plus ones?’ I’ll hav’ yer know this is a closed shop. :)

  28. Predictions are always hard, especially about the future; people have been predicting peak oil and catastrophic consequences since almost the first oil wells were drilled.

    “Hubbert called this peak within 5 years in 1971. [Scientific American, Energy and Power at page 39] That is a stronger confirmation of peak oil than 16 years absence of warming falsifies GCMs.”

    Seeing Hubbert invoked here as the prophet of Peak Oil should sound alarm bells- calling US peak in 1971 may have been more chance than anything else- Hubbert’s other predictions were wide of the mark. Hubbert certainly did not predict the recent uptake in US oil production from tight oil, nor considered the possibility that total N. American production might even exceed the 1970s peak within a decade or so.

    Citing Smil (2010) (who refers to Peak oil as a ‘cult’) and Dan Gardner’s excellent “Future Babble” I blogged on the topic here last year:

    http://skepteco.wordpress.com/2012/05/23/the-perils-of-prediction/

    ‘The book also considers the great-grandfather of peak oil, M.K. Hubbert, who correctly predicted in 1957 that US oil production would peak between the late 60s and early 70s; however his global predictions of global peak in 1995 were wide of the mark, and his expectations of rapid decline even more so: “By 2010 it would be down a terrifying 17%. ‘The end of the Oil Age is in sight,’ proclaimed Hubert in 1974.”

    Vaclav Smil, in his book Energy Myths and Realities also points out that while Hubberts’ date for US oil Peak was roughly correct, he had hugely underestimated the level at which this would occur, which was 18% higher- at 4.12 billion barrels/year rather than Hubbert’s 3.5billion. More importantly, says Smil, Hubbert predicted ultimate recovery for the US to be around 200billion barrels in total- for all time- yet by 2005 the US had already extracted 192bb, and continues to be the world’s third largest producer, with 30bb reserves, and is even today once again increasing output due to new techniques of shale oil extraction.

    Smil dismisses the peak-oil/collapse camp as a “cult”- Hubbert’s predictions suffered from the same shortcomings that today’s peak oil predictions have- assumptions of linear trends which take no account of improvements in technology of extraction and of efficiency of use, and changes in the way we use energy. Neither The Long Emergency nor other classic peak oil texts like Heinberg’s The party’s Over foresaw the shale gas revolution for example.

    “Thus” says Smil, “the post-peak decline of US oil extraction has not been a mirror image of the incline: Hubbert’s rate for the year 2000 production was 1.5billion barrels, while the actual extraction was 2.8bb, or nearly 90% higher- hardly and enviable accuracy for a 30-year forecast.” ‘

  29. OK, brief summary point: anyone who is genuinely sceptical about Peak Oil needs to develop an alternative explanation for the effective flatlining of crude production since 2005, despite the tripling of the oil price (ignoring the spike to near $150). If you can’t, then you’re just ignoring the data.

    To expand on that a little:
    - ‘crude and condensate’ is the marker to use as it is consistent over time and we can compare like with like. Those with a financial interest in obscuring the situation will push out information about ‘total liquid fuels’, eg including ethanol, which ignores all that is most important, eg the questions of net energy, energy content and substitutability;
    - the key problem is less about total available energy than about the availability of liquid fuel and the consequent impact on the transport system. Anyone interested in exactly what this means is invited to read the Hirsch report on the impact of peaking;
    - Hubbert was correct about US oil peaking, and what pushed his prediction about total global peaking back by about a decade was the development of OPEC and the contraction of oil supply then (triggered by the US loss of market power as a result of their peak);
    - Maugeri’s paper is worthless, and anyone who relies on it is thereby disqualifying themselves from joining in with an intelligent conversation;
    - big regular mistake made – to ignore the difference between reserves and resources – see Robert Rapier on this: http://www.financialsense.com/contributors/robert-rapier/setting-the-record-straight-on-u-s-oil-reserves

    In sum, having been watching the peak oil and global warming issues for very many years, the peak oil analysis is being *abundantly* validated by events, whereas the global warming analysis is – let’s be polite – stuck with trying to explain why the models aren’t matching the observed outcomes.

    • Sam Norton

      FORGET “peak oil”

      Coal, oil and natural gas are fully interchangeable with today’s technology. (Check SASOL or natural gas as a motor fuel, for example.)

      If we really reach a peak on petroleum, we can always switch to coal (or natural gas).

      And most “peak oil” projections underestimate the amount of oil equivalent recoverable from shale worldwide.

      So let’s talk about “peak fossil fuels”.

      You are correct on global warming – the GCMs have been programmed to predict grossly exaggerated warming and have shown that they are unable to make any meaningful projections.

      Max

      • Manacker, sorry, classic example of missing the key point. Converting oil to gasoline is much less energy-expensive than converting coal or gas to a transport fuel (and therefore the energy available for doing the transporting diminishes); it also misses entirely the issue of the dependency of existing infrastructure. Again, please read Hirsch to become informed of the significance of this. As for shale oil etc, please read the Rapier comment that I linked to. Peak Oil is not about “projections” – it is simply a deduction from observation, eg that something like 80% of oil-producing nations, including the US, have already gone past their peak. So there is lots of data confirming the phenomenon of Peak Oil, as against lots of hand-waving from those who say that it isn’t an issue.
        Glad we agree about the GCMs :)

      • Sam Norton

        Not to get into a debate with you on peak oil, but South Africa has been making motor fuel (and petrochemicals) out of coal for years and natural gas is used as a motor fuel (especially for trucks and buses) in several locations, so the real issue as far as I can see is “peak fossil fuels”.

        Shale oil and gas is also not included in many “peak oil” forecasts.

        Relative costs are important, of course. And these will dictate when shale kerogen, natural gas or coal are competitive with conventional crude oil as a source of motor fuel.

        I just do not see “peak fossil fuel” as an imminent problem for humanity (if the WEC estimates are anywhere near to correct).

        (Nor do I see CAGW as a real problem, where we agree.)

        Max

      • “Shale oil and gas is also not included in many “peak oil” forecasts.”

        Because natural gas is not oil. That is why it is not considered Peak Oil.

        Hard to believe that a chemical engineer can’t tell the difference between a liquid and a gas.

        Are you mentally retarded Max? Do you have Dow syndrome?

      • WebhubTelescope, what is “Dow syndrome”?

      • It’s when you work at Dow for too long and breathe in too many fumes.

    • Maugeri and others have always maintained that it is above-ground constraints that are the main restriction on oil production the past couple of decades; lack of investment up to 2001 resulted in price spikes; we are just at the beginning of reaping the rewards of the past ten years’ of new investment; so they say… Optimistic? Probably; but noone has even been right about peak oil yet, because they have underestimated new technology. Hubbert was only superficially correct about peak oil -he massively underestimated total production as well as being completely wrong about the shape of the putative decline. Nor can anyone predict with confidence what advances in technology we will see in the next 10-20yrs.. True that many countries appear tohave peaked but unlikely though it may seem it is at least plausible that N America as a whole could exceed its 1970s peak. Of course this is price-driven but our use of oil is also becoming much more efficient, even as energy return declines. Meanwhile the rest of the world has scarcely begun frakking for tight oil. But overall I agree with manacker, we are already substituting gas for transport fuels, we will give up oil for cheaper cleaner gas before it peaks in absolute terms.

      • ” But overall I agree with manacker, we are already substituting gas for transport fuels, we will give up oil for cheaper cleaner gas before it peaks in absolute terms.”

        So after all that you actually do believe in Peak Oil. Good going!

    • Come on Sam, we don’t need that light sweet crude. We got plenty of trees:

      • I notice nobody is actually addressing my first key point, ie providing an alternative explanation for the static production in the face of rising prices…

      • Don’t worry Sam, with advances in nanotechnology we will soon be driving nano cars and SUVs. Our increased understanding of basic physics will help too, as we learn to work around the laws of thermodynamics. And through genetic engineering we will soon come up with a very energetic bacteria that will run inside something like a nano hamster cage thing, to power out little bitty cars. Simon says.

      • Sam

        “static production in the face of rising prices”

        OR

        “rising prices in the face of static production”?

        How about simple “supply and demand” pressures, modulated by the fact that a large % of the total production is controlled by a price-fixing cartel (OPEC), who use the “supply” to increase the price?

        Seems like that can easily explain the phenomenon.

        Max

      • Max,

        OPEC surplus production capacity is only about 2-3 mbd. And that is almost all in Saudi Arabia. OPEC is pumping about as hard as they can:

        http://www.eia.gov/forecasts/steo/report/global_oil.cfm

        And oil prices adjusted for inflation are not high:

        http://inflationdata.com/inflation/Inflation_Rate/Historical_Oil_Prices_Chart.asp

    • The “effective flatlining” of production is, firstly, not a flat line, and, more importantly, is well explained by the lack of a good return on the investment in developing new production.

      The government has made oil production a poor return on investment, so we’re not getting much. It’s a very basic economic calculation.

      • “The “effective flatlining” of production is, firstly, not a flat line, and, more importantly, is well explained by the lack of a good return on the investment in developing new production. “

        Aggregate production is the convolution of a stochastic reserve profile with an extraction model. This includes all the latencies that are typically involved. Google “Oil shock model” for the full mathematical treatment.

        We are at the inflection of where production is starting to decline, due to constant extraction against decline reserves. So what happens is that the extraction pressure is increased to try to keep production at least level.

        “The government has made oil production a poor return on investment, so we’re not getting much. It’s a very basic economic calculation.”

        No, it is all flow-limited extraction from finite resources. This happens world-wide, so what exactly do you mean by “The government”?

      • I take it the point of your technical argument is to explain why a line that is not, in fact, flat, is fairly described that way? Because the line we get if we perform some mathematical operation on it is flat? Fine, I guess we can stipulate that there exists some mathematical operation for converting a line with a positive slope into one that is flat. Of course, that’s not what you said the first time, and I don’t think your revised statement has nearly as much rhetorical punch.

        Likewise, I suppose I have to agree that my statement was not perfectly correct. Instead of “the government,” I should have said “the governments.”

      • “Of course, that’s not what you said the first time, and I don’t think your revised statement has nearly as much rhetorical punch. “

        The first time I said it was years ago on a blog, and since then it has been repeated in a book.
        BTW, I am not looking for rhetorical punch, rather I am shooting for the dialectic solution.

  30. David Springer

    Willis Eschenbach | February 1, 2013 at 6:28 pm | Reply

    “This claim, that some oil is “conventional” and some is “unconventional”, is the last fig leaf of the peak oilers.”

    Convetional oil is that produced by conventional drilling straight down. This is the least expensive and oldest recovery technology. Willis’ comment is all heat and no light.

    Unconventional wells are generally more energy-intensive to operate.

    It takes producers (x) BTUs to deliver (y) BTUs of fuel to the consumer. So long as (y) is greater than (x) production continues. When (y) equals (x) the energy is no longer economically recoverable and production stops.

    Willis may in this case, and in all other cases as a general rule, be ignored and in that process economically recoverable time is harvested. In the review and correction of his latest knowledge-free emission there’s now 10 minutes of my life gone that I’m never going to get back.

    Just sayin’

    • All the oil patch needs to harvest the … err … “unconventional” oil is a good source of heat. Small, standardized nuclear reactors will fit the bill nicely.

      • David Springer

        With small standardized nukes you wouldn’t need unconventional oil.

        Small standardized nukes are pie-in-the-sky. Before those can become commercialized they won’t be needed any longer. Imagine the permitting process. You couldn’t even permit, build, commission, and amortize the capital cost of a new conventional nuclear power plant today before it became obsolete. Who’s going to invest big bucks in something that will never pay off? Only governments take those kinds of risks and you don’t see any of them rushing to greaty expand nuclear power do you? Nuclear power’s day has come and gone. It failed to live up to the promise 60 years and it wasn’t for lack of trying during all that time. Get used to it.

      • David Springer

        P.S. small standardized nukes have been around for many decades. What do you imagine powers nuclear submarines, Fukushima size reactors? What can be done has already been done in that regard. Get used to it.

      • @David Springer | February 2, 2013 at 2:26 pm |

        You can’t fuel your car with a small nuclear reactor, but you can extract liquid fuel with one.

        After the … err … progressives have fizzled out, we will see small nuke plant commercialized and used to extract heavier oil.

        Get use to it.

      • After the … err … progressives have fizzled out, we will see small nuke plant commercialized and used to extract heavier oil.

        Get use to it.

        So does that mean that the progressives and technocrats were right about Peak Oil?

        Why are we going after kerogen and bitumen (aka heavy oil), while the claim was that real oil (aka crude oil) would always be available, as long as we were allowed to “Drill, Baby, Drill” ?

        Better get used to the fact that the progs were proved right.

      • See my later posts:
        “A new global oil production record was set in 2011 at 83.6 million barrels per day. “

      • I am afraid that is an “all liquid fuels” value.

        Crude oil production is hovering around 75 since 2005.

        So essentially you are thanking an increase in biofuel production to help offset the increasing demand for crude. Own goal!

        BTW, these are very easy arguments to defend because it is pure bean-counting. Unfortunately, some people can’t count beans.

      • You fail again Web, see the

        http://www.energytrendsinsider.com/2012/06/25/how-much-oil-does-the-world-produce/

        link. No biofuels in that one.

        You are just embarrassing yourself at this point.

      • You seem to be unable to handle data.

        The EIA.gov site has crude oil data:

        http://www.eia.gov/cfapps/ipdbproject/iedindex3.cfm?tid=50&pid=57&aid=1&cid=ww,&syid=2000&eyid=2012&freq=Q&unit=TBPD

        You can see that global *crude oil* production is 75MB/day, just as I said.

        Since 2005, the rate of growth has been flat, about 0.1% increase per year. This is what the graph looks like:

        Funny that you skeptics can’t take a flat-lining when it comes to crude oil growth, but you think a flat-lining in global temperatures is the end of AGW!

        Now consider that I have this plateau covered in the oil shock model, which is in my book (a far better book, than Rud Istvan’s book BTW). Here is a link to my original blog post that describes plateauing in oil production:

        http://mobjectivist.blogspot.com/2005/12/top-overshoot-point.html

        Note the plateau with a separate graph below that which contains a rising curve of extraction rate necessary to support the plateau. The rationale for this extraction rate pressure is that the global economy will do anything it can to maintain oil production, which acts as the lifeblood of economic growth.

        Now, if you noticed elsewhere on this thread, I posted a graph showing the rapid increase in global rig count the last several years. Here is the link again:

        Notice that in the rig count curve that the number of rigs has nearly doubled in the last 3 years. That is a clear move by the oil companies to accelerate the extraction rate to make up for a decline in reserves that are directly available. Get it? That is how the plateau comes about.

        I did the blog post in late 2005, because everyone in the know realized that something odd was happening with global crude oil production. I showed how the plateau was going to happen, and here we are 7 years later and the plateau is still here.

        Ain’t that cool, and would you like to now take back your statement “You are just embarrassing yourself at this point.” ?

      • Robert I Ellison

        ‘The data show that global oil production grew between 1965 and 2011 by 163%, which represents an average annual growth rate of 2.1%. While many were convinced that crude oil had peaked in 2005, production in 2011 was around 2.7% higher than the 2005 production level. However, the average annual growth rate from 2005 to 2011 was only 0.4%, far below the historical average.’

        The difference btw is the inclusion of natural gas liquid – and nit biofuels.

        ‘The first graphic shows the growth in oil production from 1965 to 2011. A new global oil production record was set in 2011 at 83.6 million barrels per day. This figure includes production of crude oil and natural gas liquids (NGLs), which are not indicated separately. (In the U.S., around 25% of NGLs end up as refinery inputs; most of the rest is petrochemical feedstock).’

        OMG – he forgot natural gas. Ready to apologise to Jim?

      • Shove it chief.

        NGL is not crude oil. All liquids is crude oil plus other liquid fuels.

      • WHT – NGL’s ARE CRUDE OIL!!! You need some Maple Syrup with you big waffle. Just admit you are full of it and join us in reality. It’s not as bad as you seem to believe.

      • Let me explain something to you Web. Some reservoirs have a lot of liquid and a little gas, some have a lot of gas and a little liquid. The source rock can be sandstone, shale, coal, or coaly shale. The organic source material can be algal, woody, or mixed in nature. No matter how you slice it, they all end up as hydrocarbons. Any liquid hydrocarbon in any of these scenarios is crude oil. And nat gas is likewise nat gas no matter where it’s from. Get real Webby.

      • NGLs are becoming a greater fraction of the liquid fuels category.

        Why doesn’t the crude oil fraction follow?

        Easy, the crude is the most desirable and when that starts to deplete, the remaining less-energy dense gases start to look good. So the methane, ethane, butane, propane fraction starts to climb.

        Just like consumers who want to know that they buy propane for the grill and not gasoline, oil accountants also want to keep track of the constituents separately.

        It sounds like you can’t get it through your thick skull that this is all about accounting. The proper accounting is necessary to try to unravel the trends in oil depletion. You would think the MM Hockey Stick vigilantes would understand the importance of statistical trends and isolating principal components after all these years.

        It’s almost as if we are doing McIntyre-style work here, but put to some practical benefit instead of hyperactive naval-gazing.

      • Web – a portion of NGL’s is condensate, that is a hydrocarbon that is in the liquid state at STP. At this point, if you are fooling anyone, it is yourself.

      • Robert I Ellison

        It was merely accounting for the differeces between numbers – which does not include biofuels. Time for an apology webby? I’m not holding my breath.

      • You still haven’t answered the question of why the NGL’s are increasing to a much greater extent than the crude oil.

        The nature of the crude oil extraction is changing. This is either because less oil and more natural gas is being processed, or that the basic accounting is changing.

        Here are the world-wide numbers for NGL (in 1000b’s/day) according to EIA. Why has this gone up so much while crude oil has stagnated?

        2000 	2001 	2002 	2003 	2004 	2005 	2006 	
        6,376.4 	6,693.4 	6,809.3 	7,058.3 	7,280.1 	7,552.5 	7,775.6 	
        
        2007 	2008 	2009 	2010 	2011
        7,890.1 	7,889.5 	8,090.9 	8,433.0 	8,545.0 
        

        Eh?

      • The condensate portion of NGL IS CRUDE OIL. It is pretty much gasoline, just a lower octane rating. Some vertically-drilled wells produce the same stuff as the majority component. It all depends on the history of the formation.

      • Oh, I forgot to add, the volume of NGL condensate + oil produced from vertically drilled wells has increased pretty steadily at least until 2009, the last year I can find on the EIA web site.

      • OK, so I know you can get to the EIA site and that you can read.
        Look at NGPL, which is Natural Gas Plant Liquids, and notice that these are separated from Crude Oil. These are increasing much faster than Crude, and so when placed into an All Liquids category make it appear that Crude Oil is increasing faster than it is.

        So you still haven’t answered the question of why the natural gas liquids are increasing to a much greater extent than the crude oil fraction.

        It is obvious to me. Operators are going to natural gas sources to make up for the shortage in crude oil supply with respect to demand.

      • At the end of the day, a hydrocarbon liquid produced from rock underground is crude oil. It matters not how you choose to slice it and dice it for “predictive” calculations. It does matter, however, that you didn’t see the spike in NGL’s coming. There will be other developments that blindside you yet again.

      • “At the end of the day, a hydrocarbon liquid produced from rock underground is crude oil. “

        You evidently like to redefine accepted terminology. Conventional crude oil forms under specific geological conditions. Natural gas occurs under different conditions. Natural gas plant liquids are distinct from crude oil.

        I don’t understand how the Energy Information Agency is able to distinguish between the two forms of fossil fuels yet you are unable to.

        Perhaps the problem you are having is that the EIA separates production and consumption data. During production, they can keep tabs on the data. Under the consumption column, the distinct liquids get combined in various ways until they lose track. Yea sure, when it goes in the gas tank, it can get combined in various ways. Ethanol mixed with refined gasoline, for example.

        ” It does matter, however, that you didn’t see the spike in NGL’s coming. “

        You do realize that is part of the rationale for doing this detailed analysis, don’t you? We do the analysis so that we don’t get surprised. One separates the principle components of the various components and tracks these individually.

        So we start tracking the NGL’s and estimate how long those will last.

        You seem to think that if I can be proven wrong on some point, then you win. In reality, the only premise that is invariant by its truthiness is that every non-renewable resource is finite. Someone has to do the analysis work and so you fill in the niche and try to predict when the depletion starts to bite.
        That’s why I wrote a book on how to do general depletion modeling.

        Do you get it now?

      • Webby – does a refinery care where the petroleum liquid originates? I think not.

      • A refinery is irrelevant to the question of how much reserves you have of crude oil, natural gas, tar sands, oil shale, etc. Again, we are trying to get an accounting of the various types of fuel, not explaining what we need to do with it to make it practical.

        “jim2 | February 3, 2013 at 9:25 pm |

        Webby – does a refinery care where the petroleum liquid originates? I think not.”

        Where is Willard? as this is getting close to Chewbacca territory,
        “But Chewbacca lives on the planet Endor. Now think about it”

      • In order to know the limits of various types of fuel, you have to be all-knowing and all-seeing – you have to be able to predict the future. I’m guessing you aren’t there yet. I have no doubt there is an economic limitation on petroleum liquid fuels. And I don’t mind if you do your best to determine it. It’s just that you can’t do it. That’s my point. It’s fine with me if you continue on, but I’m not going to get very upset if you say this or that resource will peak at X date.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘Shove it chief.

        NGL is not crude oil. All liquids is crude oil plus other liquid fuels.’

        This charming response was occasioned by my saying that the difference in figures being quoted by the obsessional nutlobber (I am field testing a new word for a nutjob who busily lobs his nuttery around the web) webby and by Jim2 was liquefied natural gas and not biofuels. Nor did I even say that blaming it on biofuels – and roundly insulting Jim2 in the process – was quite unlikely given the relative volumes and somewhat suggested a poor grasp of the very basic numbers involved.

        There is of course no qualitative difference between oil sourced fuels or those from natural gas or even biofuel. They all come under the heading of liquid fuels and are projected to increase for decades to come.

        There is of course no acknowledgement of the error or apology to Jim2 for the gratuitous insults. I can assure you that an Australian larrikin – a real thing – regards with contempt a man who refrains from acting like one.

        The larrikin is in fact one of our most sacred ideals of nationhood. Forged in an unforgiving land and tempered on the battlefields of the 20th Century.

        ‘The myth of the digger and the larrikin hero is an important part of the Australian experience of pastoralism, the goldfields, bushranging, shearing and droving. In Settlers and Convicts, first published in 1847, Alexander Harris wrote of the relationship between male pastoral workers in the early days of the British colony:

        … working together in the otherwise solitary bush; habits of mutual helpfulness arise, and these elicit gratitude, and that leads on to regard. Men under these circumstances often stand by one another through thick and thin; in fact it is a universal feeling that a man ought to be able to trust his own mate in anything.

        The principles of mateship amongst pastoral workers were further adapted by gold diggers in the mid-1800s. There was a massive influx of migrants from around the world including Asia, Europe and the Americas when gold4 was discovered in Australia.

        The goldfields were frontier societies, where an unusual mix of men and women came together. Across the country, goldfields became cultural ‘melting pots’; over half the Victorian goldfields’ population of 150,000 in 1858 were British immigrants, and 40,000 were Chinese miners and workers.

        The stories and experiences of goldfield workers have become part of Australian folklore. Gold diggers were portrayed in stories and songs as romantic heroes, larrikins and villains who embraced the principles of democracy. Henry Lawson wrote in Shearers:

        They tramp in mateship side by side -
        The Protestant and Roman
        They call no biped lord or sir
        And touch their hat to no man!’

        It is the larrikin who in mateship has stood side by side with America in every godforsaken battlefield for close to a century. We have sealed our mateship in blood. As I say – it is a sacred thing and to disparage this is to strike at the core of the bonds of friendship. Of course it is likely to survive one utter dimwit on the blogosphere – just don’t push it.

      • Crude oil accounting is a subcategory of all liquids accounting according to the EIA spreadsheet.

        The difference is all the liquid fuels that aren’t classified as crude oil. That difference is growing faster than the crude, indicating the move to other liquid fuels as the crude plateaus and starts its inexorable decline.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Webby – the differences in figures being quoted was due to inclusion of liquified gas in one set and not in another. Not biofuels as you claimed amidst your usual string of insults and abuse – all of which typically at the standard of a schoolgirl bully.

      • The category of all liquids contains things like biofuels, coal-to-liquid, and NGPL. I pointed out biofuels as part of this because it is particularly egregious, not only is there double counting going on, but biofuels are controversial in terms of replacing food.

        Keep pointing this out and you will score more own-goals!

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘The first graphic shows the growth in oil production from 1965 to 2011. A new global oil production record was set in 2011 at 83.6 million barrels per day. This figure includes production of crude oil and natural gas liquids (NGLs), which are not indicated separately.’ You assumed the difference between the EIA cryde figure and this was biofuels and not NGL’s – and took the chance to go off on one of your ignorant and abusive rants.

        Lookin’ more like a schoogirl bully than a larrikin hero webby.

      • The difference is not just NGL.
        I linked to a graph that showed all the components.
        I used biofuels as a shorthand to indicate just one of e cocomponents that is making up the difference.

        NGL content is climbing percentage wise.
        Biofuels are climbing
        Coal-to-Liquids is climbing
        Crude oil is remaining flat..

        The graphs that are shown are either all liquids or crude. If you want to see how flat crude is, then go to a crude oil graph, Don’t use an all liquids chart.

        If you do that I will point out the extra additives.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        You linked to crude oil at the EIA. Jim2 linked to a graph that included natural gas liquids. The difference has nothing to do with biofuels as you aggressively and abusively claimed. All liquids can indeed be seen as well at the EIA site – which does include biofuels. We are all aware of the trends in each of them and of the projections for liquid fuels for the future.

        Your refusal to admit to either schoolgirl bullying or error is less than impressive but I am afraid par for the course.

      • You lose, I linked to a stacked chart that shows all the liquids on 9:38. It matches 83.8 MB/day and it includes NGL plus other liquids which includes biofuels

        That was right after the 83.8 number was mentioned.
        I can’t apologize for presenting the correct chart, and then making a comment about the biofuels, which skeptics can’t stand.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        webby The EIA.gov site has crude oil data:

        http://www.eia.gov/cfapps/ipdbproject/iedindex3.cfm?tid=50&pid=57&aid=1&cid=ww,&syid=2000&eyid=2012&freq=Q&unit=TBPD

        You can see that global *crude oil* production is 75MB/day, just as I said.

        webby I am afraid that is an “all liquid fuels” value.

        Crude oil production is hovering around 75 since 2005.

        So essentially you are thanking an increase in biofuel production to help offset the increasing demand for crude. Own goal!

        BTW, these are very easy arguments to defend because it is pure bean-counting. Unfortunately, some people can’t count beans.

        Jim2 You fail again Web, see the

        http://www.energytrendsinsider.com/2012/06/25/how-much-oil-does-the-world-produce/

        link. No biofuels in that one.

        You are just embarrassing yourself at this point.

        I lose nothing by being:

        1 right;
        2 consistent;
        3 insisting that clearly you made an error and continue to bluster and obfuscate to refuse to take resposibility as – in my larrikin books – a real man would. Error is neither terminal or criminal – the refusal to acknowledge error is a sign of poor character.

      • The EIA has this organization for data:

        Total Oil Supply
        1.Crude Oil, NGPL, and Other Liquids
        A. Crude Oil including Lease Condensate
        B. Natural Gas Plant Liquids
        C. Other Liquids
        2.Refinery Processing Gain

        The Total Oil Supply is (1) and (2)

        Notice that (1) is composed of (A), (B), (C)

        For 2011, (1) is 84.7 MB, which is close to the BP number of 83.6 MB/dat for PRODUCTION
        For 2011, (2) is 2.3 MB

        Adding (1) and (2) you get 87 MB which is close to the BP number of 88 MB/day for CONSUMPTION.

        The all liquids volume is estimated before it goes to the refinery. Refinery Processing Gain is the amount by which the total volume of oil products output is greater than the volume of crude oil and other feed stocks. This difference is due to processing of crude oil into products that, in total, have lower specific gravity than the crude oil processed. Therefore, in terms of volume, the total output of products is greater than the input volume.

        The BP data is here

        EIA says the difference between Production and Consumption of All Liquids fuel is Refinery Gain. BP just shows Production and Consumption and we have to infer that this is mainly Refinery Gain. The numbers are a little different, but they are a company that sells the product so who knows the details of their proprietary data and database scheme.

        Remember that (1) contains Crude Oil, NGL, CTL, Biofuels according to the EIA. It is all the stuff that the refinery gets before they refine and blend it to get a different density of liquid, and therefore a different volume, which you get by adding (1) and (2).

        http://www.eia.gov/cfapps/ipdbproject/IEDIndex3.cfm?tid=5&pid=53&aid=1

        Your problem is simple to explain. Basically, I have been doing this for a lot longer than you have and I made the rookie mistakes you are making years ago. When you guys mentioned global oil production, I pointed to (1) and immediately linked to this stacked line graph, where you can see the NGL and other liquids (including biofuels) increasing above the crude oil baseline.

        I will continue with this as long as you feel like misrepresenting the data. It is the easiest thing in the world to just lay out the data. The hard part is on your end, apparently.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        No – you shot your mouth off without thinking. A habit I suppose. The dfference in the numbers being discussed is clearly from NGL’s and not biofuel as you clearly said.

        It says so right there in the article and the EIA has a glossary of terms that I carefully checked. The EIA total liquids includes biofuels the graph linked to doesn’t – but the the difference between EIA crude and crude plus NGL is far too great to be slated to biofuels.

        This is just bullshit moving the goalposts.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        No – you shot your mouth off without thinking. A habit I suppose. The dfference in the numbers being discussed is clearly from NGL’s and not biofuel as you clearly said.

        It says so right there in the article and the EIA has a glossary of terms that I carefully checked. The EIA total liquids includes biofuels the graph linked to doesn’t – but the the difference between EIA crude and crude plus NGL is far too great to be slated to biofuels.

        This is just BS moving the goalposts. I am not interested in your long winded and pompous prevarication – and I don’t suppose you will ever acknowledge that you were wrong about biofuels being the difference.

      • No, I said this “So essentially you are thanking an increase in biofuel production to help offset the increasing demand for crude. Own goal!”

        I highlighted the key part to indicate that there were other offsets. Its smart to hold other evidence in reserve should dingos like you attack. And of course you always do attack, so I mentioned that the other offsets are such liquid fuels as NGL and CTL. Ain’t it cool to be prepared?

        “It says so right there in the article and the EIA has a glossary of terms that I carefully checked. The EIA total liquids includes biofuels the graph linked to doesn’t – but the the difference between EIA crude and crude plus NGL is far too great to be slated to biofuels. “

        That’s Robert Rapier’s blog. R2 would likely laugh at your nit-picking. I will comment on his blog and link the response here.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘I am afraid that is an “all liquid fuels” value.’

        No – it includes NGL but not biofuel.

        ‘So essentially you are thanking an increase in biofuel production to help offset the increasing demand for crude. Own goal!’

        No because the graph doesn’t include biofuel.

        ‘BTW, these are very easy arguments to defend because it is pure bean-counting. Unfortunately, some people can’t count beans.’

        Obviously beans ain’t beans.

      • “EIA makes projections of future supply and demand for total liquids, which includes conventional petroleum liquids such as conventional crude oil, natural gas plant liquids, and refinery gain in addition to unconventional liquids, which include biofuels, bitumen, coal-to-liquids (CTL), gas-to-liquids (GTL), extra-heavy oils, and shale oil.”

        I wonder why each one of these unconventional liquids is increasing rapidly as a relative proportion, while the conventional crude is barely nudging? Could it be due to peak oil?

        No, the chief proctologist Sideshow Bob, thinks it is due to accounting differences between EIA and BP.

        Meanwhile Raymond Pierrehumbert destroys the opposition with a devastating opinion piece calling for essentially a no regrets policy in the USA moving off of oil ASAP, and doing whatever we can with the reserves we have left to get alternatives in place.

        Thanks Brent for the link

        http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2013/02/u_s_shale_oil_are_we_headed_to_a_new_era_of_oil_abundance.html

      • Chief Hydrologist

        The figures being quoted both excluded biofuels – and webby thought that the difference was biofuels.

        It is a bit tedious when someone is ducking reality.

        The EIA projects increasing liquid fuels to 2035 in the US – which does include biofuels. I haven’t seen a global projection – but the trajectory would be similar. The growth in other fuels – including biofuels occurs as a result of a principle called economic substitution. At some price alternatives become economically competitive with a commodity whose price rises. Without a doubt there have been strong rises in the oil price.

        Btw – the causes of energy related recessions is the price of oil and not shortages. The US recession of late has more to do with asset bubbles fuelled by artificially low interest rates, toxic loans and subsequent banking losses. Although oil prices don’t help.

        Oil is a commodity for which there are many perfect substitutes and as the very many technologies evolve the prices will drop for a broad range of sources. So the problem of finite oil is one that the market is perfectly placed to solve.

        What we should really encourage is many technologies with low costs and negligible emissions. How to do that? There are a number of energy prizes – great as far as they go but a bit penny ante. I’d suggest that a billion dollar prize would generate some interest.

        Webby imagines that we are wilfully ignoring the dire problem of oil depletion. It is understood – but we just don’t think it is a problem on which to waste too much attention. Everyone is aware that we need to generate other sources of liquid fuels in the first half of this century. This is happening in sufficient quantities to keep up with global demand. The need is to accelerate this evolution.

        The great ideological divide between webby and us is that we understand that human ingenuity and the market can address this issue best.

      • “It is a bit tedious when someone is ducking reality.”

        The reality is that the Chief Proctologist grabbed some irrelevant detail out of Robert Rapier’s rear-end. Robert Rapier BTW is a contributing blogger to The Oil Drum and also for the Peak Oil site that caused this eruption of flatulence: http://www.energytrendsinsider.com

        Look at the mission of Energy Trends Insider:

        “We try to emphasize the various trade-offs that are made in exchange for our various energy supplies so that hopefully informed decisions can be made about how to best meet our complex and changing demand for energy.”

        Biofuels are sub-optimally knocked out of the long-term game but they are still increasing faster proportionally than crude oil is. Same goes for NGL and any other liquid fuel you can name.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        The reality is quite different – I compared the EIA figures with the BP graph and simply said that the difference with NGL and not biofuel. Webnutcolonoscope could have doen the same with just a little care instread of just jumping off into a false and quite silly assumption.

        The US projections from the EIA can be found in the 2012 report – there is a graph here 2nd story down – Biofuels and natural gas liquids lead growth in total petroleum and other liquids supply – http://www.eia.gov/forecasts/aeo/MT_liquidfuels.cfm

        These decisions are made optimally by the market. Biofuels made from grain and corn are perhaps problematical and the first step is not to subsidise. There are many other sources. The agricultural production problem is best addressed by improved techniques – and this will increase food security and put downward pressure on prices.

        I am sure that the laboured proctologist jibe is some som payback for calling him webnutcolonoscope – always with his head up his arse.

      • The chief is scoring more own-goals as he keeps the focus on the non-crude oil components of world liquid fuels production.
        Those other second-string liquids continue to rise in proportion as the crude-oil starts to fall.

        NGL up
        CTL up
        Biofuels up

        Something has to make up the difference and the non-crude liquid fuels are all the world has to offer, besides a higher rig count.

        All the major non-nationalized oil companies are seeing losses in crude production as their rig counts goes up.

        Goto http://petrole.blog.lemonde.fr

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Admit to errors or lose any respect due a real man – too late.

      • “Chief Hydrologist | February 9, 2013 at 2:26 am |

        Admit to errors or lose any respect due a real man – too late.

        Regarding these mythical errors that Chief speaks of and attributes to me.

        I suppose the OPEC members are “real men” because when they report crude oil they actually remove the lease condensate from the results.
        Compare EIA’s C+C data to that of the OPEC Monthly Oil Market Report, which happens to report the essential crude only. This is obvious when you look at data from Algeria for example.

        About a quarter is lower energy density gas condensate that EIA adds to the crude column, thus propping up the crude content.

        Again the point is that you have to be consistent about what you are counting. The original concept of Peak Oil refers to the depletion of oil, and it becomes intentionally convoluted when other liquids are added to the mix. The addition of larger amounts of NGL and lesser amounts of CTL and biofuels screw up the accounting.

        Incidentally, the production of biofuels has leveled off in the last year. Apparently, the main constituent of biofuels, ethanol, has finally reached its saturation level as an additive (E10) to gasoline. So as long as crude oil doesn’t rise, neither will ethanol (unless we go to pure ethanol engines).

        The Chief is absolutely barbaric in his outlook. Place yourself 150 years ago and imagine that someone brings up the fact that the numbers of Passenger Pigeon are declining. No problem, says the Chief, because here is the data for birds, and the Carolina Parakeet is not a Passenger Pigeon. That is how ridiculous the Chief sounds, absolutely desperate to win high-school debating points.
        Your problem, Chief, is this is not high school.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Still here webby –

        webby – ‘I am afraid that is an “all liquid fuels” value.

        Crude oil production is hovering around 75 since 2005.

        So essentially you are thanking an increase in biofuel production to help offset the increasing demand for crude. Own goal!

        BTW, these are very easy arguments to defend because it is pure bean-counting. Unfortunately, some people can’t count beans.

        me ‘The difference btw is the inclusion of natural gas liquid – and not biofuels.

        ‘The first graphic shows the growth in oil production from 1965 to 2011. A new global oil production record was set in 2011 at 83.6 million barrels per day. This figure includes production of crude oil and natural gas liquids (NGLs), which are not indicated separately. (In the U.S., around 25% of NGLs end up as refinery inputs; most of the rest is petrochemical feedstock).’

        It is a little error – you’d think he could admit it. A man takes responsibility for his actions – and admits error. He does not reveal a contempt for truth and hide behind obfuscation and prevarication. The Assie larrikin in me doesn’t understand this behaviour – but I find it contemptible.

      • “but I find it contemptible”

        … to argue with someone that uses multiple sockpuppet handles. There, I fixed the sentence for you.

        Since 2005 when the global crude oil production plateau was reached, natural gas liquids added 1 million barrels a day and other liquids (which includes biofuels) added another 1 million barrels a day to production. So about 2 million barrels a day were added to the total liquid fuel production, obscuring the fact that crude oil production was flattening out (predicted by everyone from Hubbert to Ehrlich).

        This can be seen from the following stacked line chart:

        where the flat crude line is pretty obvious, while the total liquids appears to grow.

        This is a standard bureaucratic trick known as Hiding the Decline. Even school kids know about this trick — when they get a “shake” from McDonald’s, they know it has thickening agents besides the dairy product, and of course they understand why their cafeteria’s burgers use Hamburger Helper.

        Yet people like the Chief Proctologist try to run interference and say things like “Look at that squirrel !” and figure this will be enough diversion for the skeptics to not concentrate on the actual data., and not notice the assorted “Crude Helpers” . And like McDonald’s renaming their Milk Shakes as Shakes, so we have Crude Oil relabeled as just Oil.

        So like I said before, cornucopians are thanking an increase in biofuel production to help offset the increasing demand for crude, thanking an increase in natural gas liquids production to help offset the increasing demand for crude, and thanking any increase in any other non-crude liquid fuel to help offset the increasing demand for crude. Do I have it comprehensively covered to your satisfaction? Likely, of course not, because all you are trying to do is score points for some imaginary high school debate competition that exists only in your head.

  31. John Robertson asks “Predictions of peak oil are nice guesses, but has anyone got it right yet?”

    The original “Peak Oil” was I believe Hubbert’s “Nuclear Energy and the Fossil Fuels” presented at the API March 1956.
    I have recorded the link as http://www.hubbertpeak.com/Hubbert/1956/1956.pdf but this link doesn’t seem to work now.
    If you can find the paper, Figure 21 shows US oil production peaking in the early 1960s or 1970, based on two estimates of reserves.
    US oil production exceeded Hubbert’s prediction, but he did get the date right. US oil production peaked in 1970. See BP’s Statistical Review of World Energy http://tinyurl.com/d422hx8
    Now I admit that it is possible that the US is going to be able to produce a lot more oil in years to come, thanks to recent technical advances, shale etc, but production has to increase 44% from 2011 levels just to get back to the 1970 production level. Yes it’s possible but it’s a big ask.

    Hubbert’s date of 2000 for world peak oil was obviously too early, but the concept still applies and forecasts placing it beyond 2035 look very optimistic. But, as I said before, peak oil will be a non-event. Peak Oil is Peak **OIL**, other energy sources can take up the slack.

  32. 2013 might yet be the year that hysteria about CO2 reaches it’s apogee as the anti-CO2 movement is clearly beginning to recognise just how much failure they have taken upon themselves.

    I predict peak-popcorn.

  33. David Springer, the surname of the nano-guy is K. Eric Drexler, not Dressler.

    And he’s made a good career out of SF, but that doesn’t make it true yet.

    Regarding his thesis Julius Rebek Jr. at Scripps said:
    “It showed utter contempt for chemistry…”
    “And the mechanosynthesis stuff I saw in that thesis might as well have been written by somebody on controlled substances.”

    Or Richard Smalley ‘s quip: “There’s not that much room” at the bottom.

    Feynman’s last joke is still running…

    • David Springer

      Simple typo and the first of many times I mentioned Engines with a misspelling. I have a friend named Dressler and sometimes substitute that for surnames that sound similar.

      The criticisms of Engines were for inorganic “assemblers” that could withstand extremes of heat & cold, vacuum, and pH. Synthetic organic life is considered a final stepping stone on the path to nano-technology. The organic assemblers were supposed to construct the first inorganic assemblers then, in order to secure the technology from mischief (gray goo) the organic stepping stones would be destroyed and the inorganic assemblers strictly controlled.

      I accept the criticisms of the technology as it pertains to inorganic assemblers but the organic ones have been around for billions of years and as such are a proven technology. There are no such criticisms for that portion and that’s all I ever describe is what can be done using synthetic biology. If nanotech stops short at biological assemblers the capabilities for engineers to exploit are still more transformative than anything that came before except perhaps language and writing.

    • “Or Richard Smalley ‘s quip: “There’s not that much room” at the bottom.

      Feynman’s last joke is still running…”

      Did you know that Richard Smalley was one of the biggest advocates for alternative energy schemes back in the day? He was presenting talks on what to do about fossil fuel depletion probably up to the year he died.

      Rice U still has his web site up, in the state he left it in

      http://cohesion.rice.edu/naturalsciences/smalley/index.cfm

  34. David Springer says @7.33am that it’s hard to believe there’ll be
    laws by 2050 limiting removal of CO2 from the atmosphere. Not so surprising, tho’ when you also consider, as EM Smith estimates,
    how effiiciently plants drain CO2 from the atmosphere.

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2010/10/10/got-wood/

    • Beth

      What David is getting at is that it will require a permit to plant a tree or any perennial plant, or to get more exact.

      “Any of various photosynthetic, eukaryotic, multicellular organisms of the kingdom Plantae characteristically producing embryos, containing chloroplasts, having cellulose cell walls, with or without a woody stem, lacking the power of locomotion and living for more than three years.”

      The permit will be granted by a newly formed UN agency responsible for global atmospheric CO2 control and regulation.

      The same UN agency will also administer the global CO2 tax, to be paid by anyone consuming energy or products containing an energy component, with the populations of certain developing nations excluded, as determined on a case-by-case basis by the agency.

      The ruling class will save us all from the ravages resulting from uncontrolled changes in atmospheric CO2, by taxing the serfs to incentivize CO2 neutrality.

      Rejoice!

      Max.

      • David Springer

        Natural trees won’t need permits. You’ll need permits to plant mansion seeds or seeds for a carbon composite jumbo jet body and things of that nature. Sucking carbon out of the atmosphere to produce durable goods out of carbon composites will be a huge problem. So much demand for durable goods and so little carbon in the air to make them from…

  35. Back in 1977, the Queens Jubilee, my English teacher made me write an essay
    “When the oil runs out”.
    The premise was that oil was known to be a finite resource and experts had suggested that by the end of the 80′s, or at the latest, in the early 90′s, oil production would collapse.
    It was a lousy essay, but a lousy premise.

  36. Taxing the serfs to incentivize CO2 neutrality?

    Max,

    That sounds like UN speak… ‘Oh no, what is that sound? Could it be
    the sound of the wind in the trees? No, it is the rustling of silk and whisperings in the corridors of power.’ (Not cardinal silk but UN silk.)

    Beth one of the taxed serfs :(
    * Say Max, when was the last Serfs’ Revolt?

    • Beth

      Last “Serf’s Revolt”?

      In Switzerland it was August 1, 1291 (Wilhelm Tell et al.)

      But the next one is long overdue.

      Max

      • Oh, no, they’re much more frequent than that. At least, that is, if you’re not referring specifically to SERF revolts, but, more generally, to any farmer or peasant uprising. 1524 was a major peasant revolt in Germany, for example, and wikipedia lists literally dozens since then.

        If you’re looking more specifically for a revolt under a feudal system that had proper serfs, I think Russia, in the late 18th Century (pretty much simultaneously with the American revolution).

  37. I went through the first 50 comments and briefly scanned the rest. No one appears to have commented on Julian Simon, who is the preeminent expert in this area. His work showed that human ingenuity outpaced resource scarcity — if a resource became expensive, the high economic reward for producing the resource, or a substitute, would over long periods of time lead to a reduction in the cost of the resource, or a replacement for the resource. Whale oil may have peaked, but petroleum took its place. Between the advances in nanotechnology, physics, and genetics, ultimately energy will get much cheaper in the next 50 years — not more expensive.

    JD

    • JD Ohio

      +100 for your mention of Simon

    • The history here could be off. Camphene was the market leader for lighting, and roughly the same cost as kerosene. It appears taxation imbalanced that by making camphene more expensive, and kerosene pulled ahead. It was probably inevitable anyway.

    • Yup. And what with the internet and everything, human knowledge and ingenuity can be disseminated more rapidly.

      I think there are good things ahead once all those Chinese scientists and engineers are trained and are wealthy and healthy enough such that they don’t have to grub in soil merely to stay alive.

      It doesn’t take much vision to see that the future comfort of humans and our planet is not going to be shaped by innumerate Western environmentalists who think we can legislate our way to heaven.

    • David Springer

      JD Ohio | February 2, 2013 at 11:28 am | Reply

      “…Julian Simon, who is the preeminent expert in this area. His work showed that human ingenuity outpaced resource scarcity”

      It takes work to do that? That’s been evident to the casual observer since the beginning of recorded history.

      • David Springer

        Necessity is the mother of invention. Every time we approach “necessary” in affordable energy OPEC backs off so it becomes unnecessary. Lather, rinse, repeat about every 15 years.

      • Apparently, Tim Jackson, who wrote “Prosperity without Growth: Economics for a Finite Planet” never got the message. The “fact” that we live on a “finite planet” is repeated over and over again by environmentalists. Read “The Ultimate Resource” by Simon and his efforts to employ reason against people who thought the earth was resource short and finite. Many, many people believe that Simon is self-evidently wrong.

        JD

      • Re: Springer — Simon, Also, would add that Andy Revkin of the New York times refers to a finite planet on his twitter account.

        JD

  38. Why is it that the majority of AGW contrarians are also resource constraint contrarians?

    Is it because both these topics involve thinking about the future?

    Is it because thinking about the future leads to the concept of planning, but planning hints of some communistical (i.e. “central planning”) , anti-free-market agenda, and so needs to be stomped out?

    The contrarian forces in both AGW and Peak oil –
    different circus, same clowns

    • David Springer

      I’m not a resource contrarian when it comes to fossil fuels, oh ye of little faith.

      I just trust that science and engineering will produce transformative technology that makes energy more available and less expensive than it ever was in the past by collection and storage of solar energy either through artificial leaves or synthetic biology

      Windmills are expensive feel-good toys. Nuclear can’t be used for transportation and nobody wants it in their backyard. Solar electricity can only be made during the day in perfect locations, can’t be easily stored, and is hideously expensive.

      Artificial life however can produce hydrocarbon fuels nearly or almost nearly ready to pour into a fuel tank or fire conventional electrical turbines. It’s carbon neutral. Distribution and storage infrastructure technology already exists for hydrocarbon fuels. It’s almost a no-brainer except for genetic engineering is still difficult and immature but it’s progressing like a speeding freight train going downhill without any brakes. It’ll be here long before either fossil fuels run out carbon emissions become a problem.

    • WebHubTelescope

      Why is it that the majority of AGW contrarians are also resource constraint contrarians?

      Because both “doomsday scenarios (“CAGW” and “peak energy”) are based on highly speculative assumptions (made by the same “clowns”?, as you write).

      But you are right: the total fossil fuel resource is constrained (another 200+ years at current consumption rates according to WEC 2010).

      And this constrains the maximum atmospheric CO2 concentration (from human emissions) to ~1000ppmv when they are all gone.

      Max

      • If we found a way to extract methane from methyl clathrates we could do a pretty good imitation of the PETM. CO2 skeptics, however, may not see the harm in going in that direction. The arguments for what type of energy to use should be guided by CO2′s effects, and at least they are now a part of the conversation.

      • Jim D

        Natural gas from methane clathrates at the ocean floor?

        Since the methane trapped there isn’t really a fossil fuel in the classical sense, but is being generated by the biosphere, that would be moving away from fossil fuels.

        But it is a “sci-fi” pipedream, Jim.

        There are much less expensive ways to extract or generate energy – shale or nuclear, for example – and there will be even more new ones developed in the future.

        Max

      • The “skeptics” should argue over this one:
        One gallon of gasoline required approximately 90,000 kilograms of ancient plant matter as precursor material.

        http://globalecology.stanford.edu/DGE/Dukes/Dukes_ClimChange1.pdf

        Fully combusted, that is what is being added to the environment, so at a rate of 80 million barrels a day, the equivalent of 300 trillion kilograms of ancient plant matter is being reprocessed and emitted as an equivalent level of CO2 per day.

        Since the earth is about 500 trillion square meters, this is the equivalent of reclaiming 0.6 kg per square meter per year and then expecting the earth to sequester the residual combusted CO2. There is no way it can keep up because the biota hasn’t evolved to handle that load. As we start burning more of the less dense forms of fossil fuel, we will get higher loads of by-products as well.

        Something has to give from both ends. One end is the futility of expecting endless oil. On the other end, expecting the earth to absorb the waste products is a pipe dream.

        That is reality folks.
        Write that down.
        Simples.
        Hope that helps.
        All the best, w.

      • manacker, that will be how it begins. This type of methane will be described as a non-fossil fuel and therefore OK to burn in some sense. Never mind that it hasn’t been in the carbon cycle for millions of years. Your argument would have to be that these clathrates are still being formed at the rate that they will be extracted and burned. Then you can make the renewable biofuel argument.

      • Jim D

        Not to get too deep into a hypothetical discussion of an imaginary pipe dream of commercially extracting clathrates from the ocean floor for natural gas, but do you know at what rate these are being formed?

        I think there will be many more less costly ways of extracting/generating energy in the future, so the question is a bit rhetorical, but I just wondered if you had any idea, and if so on what information your knowledge is based.

        Max

      • Webby

        There is nothing for anyone to “argue about” with your calculation of plant matter => crude oil => gasoline => CO2

        But it is beside the point.

        The key points are

        1. That (if the WEC 2010 estimates are anywhere near correct) we still have well over 100 years before we run out of recoverable fossil fuels. Nuclear fission already exists as a replacement for the bulk of this (which would extend the time period if used to the maximum) and new methods will undoubtedly be developed for the rest long before the fossil fuels run out. So: no panic.

        2. When they are ALL GONE, we will have raised atmospheric CO2 to somewhere just under 1000 ppmv. At the latest estimates of 2xCO2 climate sensitivity, this would get us to a theoretical temperature increase of around 2C over these 100-200 years, IF we really use them ALL up. Again: no panic.

        Max

      • manacker, natural carbon sequestration is a very slow process requiring geological time scales. If it wasn’t, the human influence would not have been so clearly visible in the atmosphere and oceans. Clearly our rate far dwarfs anything natural, just from the observation of how slowly it deceased from 1000 ppm in the last 50 million years, and we could put back an equivalent amount in 200 years (250000 times the rate).

      • Robert I Ellison

        Human emissions are still a small fraction of natural emissions. Natural sequestration process are very powerful. We could enhance that on agricultural land. Carbon sequestration is simple. Talk to the carbon farmers of America. Simplistic catastrope scenarios are growing a little thin.

      • Robert Ellison, yes, you could use a small tax on fossil fuels to incentivize those farmers to plant new acreage of carbon sequestration fields, either food crops, biofuels or forests. They could be paid according to how much carbon they can sequester permanently. This would be the right direction.

      • Jim D

        “A small carbon tax to incentivize…” is the wrong way to go.

        Government support for key R+D work (but not for disasters like Solyndra or corn ethanol) is OK, but otherwise keep the government out.

        And a “tax” is the dumbest idea of all.

        Max

      • Jim D

        Do you have any idea at what rate clathrates are being formed naturally on a global scale?

        At what rate are they decomposing naturally?

        Is the global clathrate mass growing or shrinking today?

        If you don’t know the current natural clathrate material balance, it’s hard to estimate what would happen in the unlikely event that humans tapped this resource.

        Max

      • If you think Robert Ellison’s farmers are going to do it out of the goodness of their heart, you would be waiting a long time. Incentives would be needed, and taxing fossil fuels is preferable to having it come out of your income tax. The biggest fossil fuel burners should pay more to repair their damage.

      • Jim D

        A carbon tax ends up being paid by the consumer of energy and all goods that have an energy component, i.e. the general public, not by the major producers of CO2 – they would simply pass it on.

        So the net result is essentially the same as an income tax.

        The government should stay out of “incentivizing” farmers to do this or that. Why? Because all farm subsidy programs are failures. Example: the corn-ethanol program is a disaster.

        If carbon sequestration methods make sense to produce more fertile and productive top soil, then smart farmers will employ these methods. From the video clip it appears that this is the case.

        But keep the government out of the equation.

        Max

      • Jim D

        A “carbon tax” is actually much worse for the average household than an income tax, which affects primarily the large earners.

        Max

      • manacker, a tax adds maybe 10% to fuel bills and less to transportation costs. It is not a big deal compared to potential fossil fuel price increases as fossil fuel demand becomes greater and oil prices double. I would be more concerned with a reliance on fossil fuel continuing and making raw prices higher, than with a 10 cent per gallon tax.

      • - Jim D

        A “carbon tax” is actually much worse for the average household than an income tax, which affects primarily the large earners.

        Max -

        I would say Income tax inhibits economic growth, which means large earners are inhibited from generating more wealth.
        If high earners make less wealth they *should* get less rich- market forces would dictate this. Or more service delivered has the consequence more wealth for those causing more services to occur.

        Governments or other factors can pervert market forces [subsidies as one example].
        So wealthy involved in writing tax codes, can generate more money without creating wealth in environment of higher taxes. Many have.

        Everyone agrees an energy tax is regressive in nature. Or if you wish to capture more wealth from poorer people, it’s works.
        A carbon tax is form of a flat tax or a consumer tax- those paying more their income towards heating, lighting and other energy costs will pay a higher percentage of income in taxes [what regressive taxes means].
        A reason to tax people to make more wealth is it is easier to collect the taxes- it’s more worth the paperwork and worth the enforcement cost per dollar gained by government. Plus you get more citizen support as it seems to majority of citizen they telling the other guy to pay more taxes instead volunteering to pay more taxes. So other guy is the smaller minority of evil rich people. Happy. Happy. BUT taxing the rich who actually are providing services, is actually taxing those who are buying those services.
        Example, say you increase taxes on lawyers- anyone using lawyers would be paying that extra cost. Obviously lawyer need to either do more lawyer work or increase the cost to their client to pay the higher tax.

        The above example indicates an advantage of having any tax- it can make people work harder. It can increase productivity.
        And increasing productivity is generally regarded as a good thing for any nation.
        But one can’t simply think the higher one taxes the more productivity
        you gain. Or other words there is optimal level to tax to increase productivity.
        It’s hopeless complex to actually figure out what that “number would be”- the exact number varies from person to person, from region to region and what happening regional and globally in terms general economics. My point there is such number.
        Now different number could be to to what is maximum amount one can tax people. That different number than first number. I would say politicians are constantly trying to find this latter number.
        So the first number isn’t something politicians are helping to find, but politicians are helping economist who can crunch numbers with the helping to find this latter number. Every time the market crashes we getting more data on latter number. And we are close and have been close to this number for decades.
        So, if your goal is to find the most one can possible tax people, before decide to murder you, there could some value to the regressive carbon tax.
        But not if you want to more wealth generated and people to be happier.

      • “we still have well over 100 years before we run out of recoverable fossil fuels.”

        A clear indicator of someone that does not get it.
        You say we will “run out of recoverable fossil fuels”. Actually, we will never run out. Instead the fuels will slowly get more and more expensive, as they get harder to extract, while companies and countries consolidate to determine who gets the remainder of the spoils. It’s not like a door closing suddenly after 100 years!

        Note that as of right now, most of the world’s reserves are tied up in nationalized oil companies, also known as state capitalism:

        “National Oil Companies Now Dominate World Oil”

        http://www.realclearenergy.org/charticles/2012/07/09/sovreign_oil_companies_now_dominate_world_oil_106619.htm

        “The One Capitalism That Dare Not Speak Its Name”

        http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-07-22/the-one-capitalism-that-dare-not-speak-its-name-pankaj-mishra.html

        “Beware the rise of ‘state capitalism’”

        http://www.newsday.com/opinion/mishra-beware-the-rise-of-state-capitalism-1.3864526

        “The visible hand – The crisis of Western liberal capitalism has coincided with the rise of a powerful new form of state capitalism in emerging markets”

        http://www.economist.com/node/21542931

        Not much you can do about it, as you don’t vote in those countries.
        They have their own growing economies (see Saudi Arabia) and will likely decide to keep more and more of the oil for themselves. They slowly shut-down their export channels as non-oil countries go begging.

        It’s called the Export Land Model, and it is verified by simple extrapolation from current trends.

        What did you really expect to happen?

      • “Jim D

        A “carbon tax” is actually much worse for the average household than an income tax, which affects primarily the large earners.

        Max”

        A carbon tax is just another way to kill poor people. We’ve already killed multiple millions of 3rd world poor people with stupid food for fuel policies that have driven up the price of corn. A carbon tax would just be another nail in someone’s coffin.

        I just did a little background research- a few years ago, when the kids were in K-12 we put about 35,000 miles a year on 2 cars. Through much of that period gas was ~$1.00 gal. Cost us ~$1800/ year about 4% of what I made. The price of gas, with only minor tax increases over the years has hit more than twice the inflation adjusted price to $3.50 +. Current cost for the same miles would be about 10% of the salary for the same job. 4% was major, but not disasterous. 10% of income is a disaster. Carbon taxes and policies in Europe have already created a large class of “energy poor” people who cannot afford to even heat their homes in what are turning out to be seriously colder than forecast winters.

        The same kind of increases are hitting folks making $1-2 a day in the third world. They can’t grow enough to eat(thanks to their governments) they can no longer buy enough food(thanks to food for fuel), and you want to add a “small” “carbon tax” on top that will balloon through the economy and knock another 20% off their income. Result- more dead kids.

        And this is just when many of the third world economies are just getting to the point where they can start to take off and become “developed” with all the life span, health, productivity, and quality of life that means.

        What a sadistic policy!

      • webby

        It appears to me that, despite all the statistics that are rattling around in your head, it is YOU that “do not get it”.

        There is no “fossil fuel crunch”. Even at present consumption rates, we still have over 200 years worth.

        As they get more difficult to extract, they will become more expensive. Duh!

        And other energy sources and technologies will slowly replace them (some of which have not even been discovered or developed to date).

        So we will most likely NEVER use them all up. EVER.

        But, EVEN IF WE DID, this would not cause catastrophic warming.

        So there is also no “CAGW threat”.

        Two doomsday scenarios eliminated with one swat of logic.

        Now, Webby, tell me why the above reasoning is false.

        Max

      • MAnacker, pedantic is good.

        You are doing perfectly fine in pointing out the Peak Oil reality that crude oil will continue to decline and alternatives will need to replace fossil fuels.

        The threat of climate change is a secondary effect that will get mitigated as we reduce the pace of adding CO2 to the atmosphere, in excess of what the environment can sequester,

        The reduction in crude oil will coincide with a rise in coal combustion, which will add more particulates to the atmosphere, likely changing the climate dynamics.

        Blame Curry and Rud for opening up this can of worms.

        Thank me and people like David Rutledge (who handles the coal question brilliantly) for providing a quantitative analysis.

        BTW, you are welcome,

      • Robert I Ellison

        Farmer are doing it because it makes economic sense. More productive – cheaper inputs. About 15% of Australian farmers are ‘conservation farmers’ and the number is growing strongly.

        And of course we are not concerced with just with crude oil – liquid fuels will expand for the foreseeable future.

    • Robert I Ellison

      There are at least two world views. For one the equation is people and the use of resources and the need is to reduce one or preferably both. The other understands that there are things that can be achieved in population management essentially through economic development, health and education and there is much we can do with technological innovation and the resources we have at hand. Indeed that there is much that can be achieved in ecological conservation and restoration and in carbon mitigation. Progress that has eluded us for decades. We believe that sustainable economic growth in free markets and democratic systems is not just possible but is the key to a bright future for humanity.

      One side wants a rich, resilient world building on our technologies. The other side promulgates dire prophecies in the hopes of creating a revolutionary moment in which societies and economies can be radically reshaped. The choice between hope and despair is a simple one. The future is limitless.

  39. One erratum, thankfully noticed by a commenter above. Maugeri’s estimate of Bakken TRR is something less than 45Bbbl, not 42, on page 50, not page 47. He estimates the total for Bakken plus Three Forks as 45 (page 50) after citing the 2011 state TRR estimate for North Dakota’s Bakken plus Three Forks at 11. The 2012 EIA map of the Bakken shows that about 80% of the formation is in North Dakota, the remainder in Montana. 5 of the 6 present named ‘fields’ are also in North Dakota. Maugeri’s large upward bias is still very obvious, which remains the point.

    From a broader perspective, if gas and coal also peak before 2050 (as many analyses suggest with respect to net energy) then liquefaction is not a future option for transportation fuels. Liquefaction is also only about 58% (Shell Pearl gas)-62%(Sasol coal) efficient, so would nearly double the amount of coal and gas needing to be produced per unit energy. Biofuels cannot fill the emerging gap in transportation fuel demand, even assuming 3x improvement in NPP via bioengineering (e.g. by Synthetic Genomics [cyanobacteria] or Sapphire [algae]). Both basic options are discussed in some detail in Gaia’s Limits.

    Even the IMF is getting quietly concerned. They are forecasting an oil price of $200/bbl by 2020 yet declining total production. See working paper WP/12/109. The economic disruption this causes is analyzed by working paper WP/12/256. Both are available at imf.org/external/pubs.
    Regards

    • David Springer

      The disruption is occasionally tested by OPEC, Rud. They play a delicate balancing act with price/bbl of escalating the price by limiting supply until world economy is teetering then before any serious programs to do something about the energy crisis du jour prices fall back to something tolerable. It happens over and over again. OPEC is playing us like a fiddle bleeding economic output until it hurts then backing off. In any other international trade OPEC would be in illegal collusion for price fixing but no one has the nuts to stand up to them because it would disrupt oil supplies and be extremely painful in the short run. So the game continues.

    • Rud

      Coal to liquid fuels at 62% yield sounds very good to me (South Africa has been avoiding getting gouged by the OPEC price-fixing cartel for years).

      The main increase in energy cost worldwide has been the work of OPEC.

      The good news is that the world has managed to survive despite this major increase in cost and it has opened the way for exploiting more difficult and costly resources, such as oil shale, etc.

      And it is only a matter of time until something better (and less costly) will be developed.

      History repeats itself.

      And human ingenuity is unlimited.

      Max.

    • Brandon Shollenberger

      You have got to be kidding me. Of all the things I discussed, the only thing you respond to is what I explicitly called “a minor nit”? You correct a page number and estimate, both by ~5%, but ignore things like the fact you flagrantly misrepresented a Guardian article (and underlying cable released by Wikileaks)?

      How do you decide to respond to the most minor, irrelevant thing I say while ignoring glaring untruths I exposed?

      • Brandon. it is a standard counter response to nit picking. So, lessons that some people choose to take away from this include the following.
        1. Dont co-mingle nit picks with glaring truths
        2. Number your points and keep track.
        You of course are free to take a different lesson away from the experience.
        However, it is a common enough pattern seen all over the internet. If you mix strong objections and weak ones, the defender will many times simply answer you weak objections. complaining that he didnt answer your other objections, doesnt always work.

      • Mosh, I always wanted to ask Brandon if he learned his reasoning skills as a result of attending the ITT Technical Institute of Tulsa.

        IIT is one of those schools that recruiters tell you to intentionally leave off your resume

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Steven Mosher, Rud Istvan completely ignored my first comment which demonstrated a gross distortion in his post. That comment had no minor point in it, and it provoked no response. My later comment, which had both a minor and major point, only provoked a response for the minor point.

        When I included a minor point, I got a response to the minor point. When I didn’t include a minor point, I didn’t get any response. This suggests Rud Istvan has no intention of responding to substantial points. If that’s the case, “co-mingl[ing] nit picks with glaring truths” had no effect on Rud Istvan’s repsonse.

        complaining that he didnt answer your other objections, doesnt always work.

        Definitely not. What it comes down to is how people view the exchange. People might view Rud Istvan’s response as meaningful and legitimate. If so, he “wins” the exchange. On the other hand, people might see his decision to ignore strong objections and focus solely on a weak ones as dishonest and pathetic. If so, I “win” the exchange.

        His strategy relies entirely upon misleading people. My strategy relies on having faith in people reading a few simple sentences. I hope mine is better, but…

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Apparently WebHubTelescope has long yearned to be pathetic:

        Mosh, I always wanted to ask Brandon if he learned his reasoning skills as a result of attending the ITT Technical Institute of Tulsa.

        I know I “always want” to ask people irrelevant questions to try to insult them. I mean, I’m too much of an idiot to raise actual objections to anything they say so it’s the best I can hope for. Oh wait, I’m not a pathetic wretch who hides behind petty insults to avoid admitting his failures.

        Mocking aside, I suppose I ought to discuss my going to ITT-Tech. I wanted to learn about a specific field (computer network security). I looked into the programs of a number of schools, and most had no course suited for such. When I visited those who did, ITT-Tech was the only one that had instructors who impressed me. Instructors at other schools often knew less than I did.

        As for ITT-Tech, while a degree from it may mean little to nothing to people, it taught me a great deal. The curriculum covered a wide range of subjects to ensure I’d know about anything I might encounter, and a number of excellent professors encouraged me to learn far more than was necessary. I now know more than 90% of the people in my field, and ITT-Tech helped me reach that point.

        A hack like WebHubTelescope may care about reputation and appearance so much he makes a fool of himself trying to look impressive. Me? I just want to know what I want to know. I don’t care what people think about it.

      • Steven Mosher

        Brandon. I pointed out the lessons that some learn. that is all. Some learn. take what you like. leave the rest and go in peace. That too is an interesting practice. Sometimes it is fun and instructive to change your practice or style. I won’t suggest you try anything.

      • Steven Mosher

        Brandon. you think people keep score and there is winning the exchange or losing the exchange. That’s interesting. I will note that some people may percieve a difference between whining and bringing a fact to peoples attention. Some people, not me of course, never award points to whiners, even when they are correct. Basically because being a whiner is worse , in some peoples eyes, than being wrong. Wrong can be corrected. Whiners never change, or so it has been reported to me. Statistically, whiners also happen to never admit they are wrong and they also tend to be nit pickers, thread jackers and serial contrarians.. just correlation and no cause. It’s rare to find somebody who has all these traits. I heard about one guy who had all these features. Still trying to verify that, so nothing to report on that. I think Don had a line of evidence on that. Not sure myself.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Steven Mosher:

        Brandon. you think people keep score and there is winning the exchange or losing the exchange. That’s interesting.

        Huh? I never said I think “people keep score” or “there is winning the exchange.” I specifically put “win” in quotation marks to indicate I wasn’t actually referring to winning. What I was referring to is whether I convince viewers my claims are right (or Rud Istvan convinces them his are right). Saying “win” just seemed like a way to cut down on words.

        I will note that some people may percieve a difference between whining and bringing a fact to peoples attention.

        Certainly. I brought facts to people’s attention; I didn’t whine. You imply I whined, but that’s as bogus as most of the things you say about me. Heck, the pettiness of your passive-aggressive insults is far more whiney than anything I ever say.

    • The issue is that insiders all know how fast the Bakken will deplete, but it is not well advertised.

      Realize that the petroleum engineers (and the specialist reservoir engineers) already know how to extrapolate how fast individual wells will deplete. However they only use this information to advance their company’s bottom-line.

      Everyone should realize that they won’t go beyond this point and discuss it with the rest of civilization. It’s a cut-throat business after all.

      So what happens is that the curious among us will pull together the data — however limited it is — and try to make sense of it.

      What we find is that the flow of oil out of a frac’d well is diffusion limited over time and shows an extreme drop from the initial peak. In a few years it will drop even below stripper status, as there is no real reservoir to draw from. Google “diffusion limited” + Bakken and you can read up on it.

      So what happens, is that the Red Queen phenomena starts to develop as more and more wells have to be drilled to make up for the severe declines of the previous ones Simple math really.

      NoDak becomes GhostTown, USA in no time.

      • No, webby. Unlimited human ingenuity will overcome the laws of physics and the law of diminishing returns. Nothing to worry about. Look what happened in WWII. The Nazis were almost totally cut off from oil supplies, yet they made do with coal to liquids. Of course it helped that they didn’t have many buildings to heat. And not so many locomotives to keep running as those were routinely strafed by P-51 Mustangs returning to base, after escorting the B-17s.

      • Robert I Ellison

        Even as the US has decreases in prices and the highest oil production in more than a decade – webby continues to promulgate dire warnings. What could be the motivation?

        Meanwhile the EIA projects growth in liquid fuels production to 2035 – http://www.eia.gov/forecasts/aeo/MT_liquidfuels.cfm – and suggests that the US could be the globes biggest source of liquid fuels.

        Odd that at a time when the market is working here at least – that we still hear nothing but tales of dire failure and doom.

      • David Springer

        @don monfort

        Which laws of physics do you imagine are violated by synthetic biology?

        If there any physical impossibilities in that path we wouldn’t be here to talk about it because we’d be impossible to make!

        LOL

      • WHT

        Your prognosis on the rapid decline of the shale oil industry is interesting, but rather speculative.

        I would think that companies like Shell probably know something that you do not know.

        But maybe I’m wrong and these guys are just stupidly pouring millions down a rat hole and you’ve figured it all out.

        Guess we’ll see.

        Max

      • David,

        Please point me to the specific synthetic biology that will produce energy at the equivalent of $100 a barrel crude oil.

        What company is it? I will sell the farm and go all in.

        Please tell me!

      • “But maybe I’m wrong and these guys are just stupidly pouring millions down a rat hole and you’ve figured it all out.”

        It is a rat-hole, a bigger rat-hole than even a German petrochemical plant.

        For being skeptics, you guys really are quite gullible. The Bakken companies are not big like Shell and the individual companies are using up investment money as fast as they can to cover expenditures.

        I didn’t come up with the Red Queen name but the behavior was obvious pretty quickly.

        http://theoilconundrum.blogspot.com/2012/05/bakken-growth.html

        http://theoilconundrum.blogspot.com/2013/01/deleted-comment.html

        The math is not that difficult. The Red Queen plateau is what we see and that is essentially described as an exponential increase of wells convolved with an average exponential decline of individual wells.
        The convolution of the two essentially tells us the growth. Once that exponential growth disappears, the aggregate will start to decline.

        So it has elements of a Ponzi or pyramid scheme in more ways than one. Early adopters make more money by siphoning off cash. Middle adopters get the crumbs, and the late ones get to close up the shop. Lots of fad-based companies work that way, so why should this be so surprising.

      • David Springer

        @Don Monfort

        How about $50/bbl?

        I’ve been watching this company for a while. The genetic engineering is done in Massachusetts. They have a pilot plant up the road from me in Texas, and a full scale production plant in New Mexico. They have patents on their GM organisms and some heavy hitters on the BoD.

        http://www.jouleunlimited.com/faq/how-does-joule-arrive-its-estimated-pricing-barrel

        How does Joule arrive at its estimated costs?

        At full-scale commercialization, we are targeting our costs for ethanol and diesel to be as low as $1.28/gallon and $50/bbl respectively – without subsidies. This is based on an industrial-scale plant of at least 1,000 acres, producing our commercial targets of 25,000 gallons/ethanol and 15,000 gallons/diesel per acre annually, and including our capital costs.

        Cost reductions come from improvements in the GM microbes which just takes time, experimentation, improvements in lab equipment used for genetic research, increasing knowledge across the board in genetics, biochemistry, microbiology, and perseverance.

        Joules’ technology needs an area about half the size of the state of Maine or 10% of the Texas panhandle devoted to fuel production to replace all fossil fuel consumption in the US. It’s aquaculture using unpotable water (brackish, municipal waste, seawater) so no farmland is sacrified. Municipal wastewater is ideal because it has lots of nutrients. Seawater needs nutrients (NPK & trace elements) added.

        Joule Unlimited is the research division. Joule Fuels is the commercial division. Joule Fuels didn’t exist last time I looked about a year ago.

        http://joulefuels.com/

        They are ranked #9 in all biofuel companies. There are many others. This one came to my attention because of proximity of the pilot plant made the local news a few years ago.

        This is just the tip of the iceberg in cost of synthetic fuel. Second generation. It’ll be under $20/bbl before you can possibly permit, construct, test, commission, operate, and amortize the capital cost of a nuclear power plant. This is why nothing is happening with nuclear power. Everyone with half a brain and money to invest knows nuclear will be obsolete before too much longer. Even the US federal government isn’t stupid enough to invest other people’s money into a nuclear power build-out and they’re pretty f*cking stupid.

      • I will have a look at that David. They sure do have nice “targets”.

    • The GEN IV Nuclear Initiative, the US NGNP and the Chinese HTR-PM nuclear reactor all have synfuels as project goals.

      The oil price will never get to $200/barrel for long…synfuels will kick in well before then. The only question is how ‘environmentally friendly’ synfuels will be.

      • David Springer

        What tortuous process making synfuel with nuclear reactor electricity!

        Efficiency is way too low to be economical. Storing electricity economically at high density is a holy grail. What can be done is extant in battery technology already even advanced batteries (fuel cells) which are rechargeable with hydrocarbon fuels or some other handy source of hydrogen.

        This has been done to death by the military, dude. We’d have had electrical aircraft long ago if the storage density problem could be fixed and/or if nuclear reactors could be made light enough for aviation use.

        Nukes (barring no expense) that fit inside submarines and aircraft carriers are as good as it gets and it isn’t for lack of trying.

      • David Springer

        “some other handy source of hydrogen.”

        A nuclear reactor with an outlet temperature of 950C creates a ‘handy source’ of hydrogen.

      • David Springer

        No, it doesn’t. Expensive (too expensive) catalytic devices have to be used with high temperature chemical cracking of water.

  40. David Springer

    How disruptive to powers-that-be would it be if instead of oil @ $200/bbl there was a breakthrough in synthetic fuel making oil uncompetitive at any price over $20/bbl?

    It’s only a matter of time, a few decades at most, until that happens. Oil exporters need to bank hard now because their business is headed the way of the dodo.

  41. With respect to Canadian oil sands. The recoverable reserves will expand greatly as new technology such as injection horizontal wells (re:Cenovis) becomes the norm rather than open pit extraction methods.

  42. John Robertson

    So I guess the peak, translates to as far as I can see from here.
    There are many drilled wells that are not economic at this time, for reason of distance and infrastructure cost, areas unexplored and much we can not foresee.
    As for why the market supply does not expand when oil goes above $100/barrel, when or if it stabilizes at a higher price this might happen.
    Currently its, a pull the rug exercise, the price falls back before the infrastructure costs can be recovered, most oil money is private and the risk level remains too high.
    As the oilsands show, our definition of recoverable resource is undefined.

  43. Pingback: Conventional Wisdom, Unconventional Oil | Watts Up With That?

  44. One day the Bakken will be regarded as similar to thePennsylvania oil of 1860—-it is noteworthy for being first, but was not too important, in the big picture. The are hundreds of “Bakkens” worldwide, many much bigger.

  45. David Springer

    Ha…

    http://newpapyrusmagazine.blogspot.com/2008/01/nuclear-synfuel-economy.html

    Only 1170 Fukushimas, Three Mile Islands, and Chernobyls would be required to generate enough electricity to in turn split hydrogen from water for feedstock into synthetic ethanol, diesel, jet-a, and what have you.

    Can you imagine 1170 operating nuclear power plants in the US? There are fewer than 500 in the entire world.

    Imagine the protests by people who don’t want them being built in their back yards. Just getting site permits alone would be tied up in court until 2030.

    • David Springer

      “enough electricity to in turn split hydrogen from water for feedstock”

      Maybe you missed the 950C outlet temperature. Room temperature electrolysis is an inefficient way to produce hydrogen at best and the outlet temprs on Gen III reactors are only around 600C.

      Only a crazy person would try to make synfuels using either electricity or a 600C outlet temperature.

      950C outlet temperature makes for efficient thermo-chemical reactions.

      http://www.gen-4.org/GIF/About/documents/19-Session1-7-Yvon.pdf

  46. OK. This is still “dream-scheming”, but serious R+D work is going on to develop synfuel processes that will be economically viable at less than $100/bbl crude oil equivalent.

    UOP is working on a biomass pyrolysis oil process that will produce a jet fuel range of products.

    A Princeton team is working on a variation of the old Fischer-Tropsch process using non-edible crops, such as “perennial grasses, agricultural residue and forest residue”, in addition to coal, to directly produce a range of transportation fuels.

    http://www.princeton.edu/main/news/archive/S35/39/49I49/index.xml?section=topstories

    In the Princeton research, Floudas’ team found that synthetic fuel plants could produce gasoline, diesel and aviation fuels at competitive prices, depending on the price of crude oil and the type of feedstock used to create the synthetic fuel.

    This process is stated to be cost competitive with crude oil at $60 to $100 per barrel:

    “Even including the capital costs, synthetic fuels can still be profitable,” said Richard Baliban, a chemical and biological engineering graduate student who graduated in 2012 and was the lead author on several of the team’s papers. “As long as crude oil is between $60 and $100 per barrel, these processes are competitive depending on the feedstock,” he said.

    Other groups are working on algae as a source of biofuels, including research into genetic engineering of the algae to make them more lipid-rich and productive.

    So there is a lot going on.

    And some of this work will undoubtedly bear fruit long before we ever run out of fossil fuels.

    There is every reason to be optimistic and none to panic about “peak fossil fuel”.

    Max

  47. “Trillions of cubic feet of natural gas have been discovered in several titanic fields off Israel’s coastline. They promise both an abundance of domestic energy, as much as 200 years’ worth by some estimates, and the possibility of the country’s becoming a major energy exporter. The total value of the gas is currently worth close to a half-trillion dollars. On the macro level, and from the point of view of ensuring the country’s national security, the prospective boon is almost unimaginably beneficial. The question, as always, is what is entailed in realizing it, and how to mitigate any attendant social and political costs.”

    http://www.oilinisrael.net/top-stories/fueling-israels-future

    • “Israel Opportunity Energy Resources LP announced that its Pelagic licenses indicate 6.7 trillion cubic feet (TCF) of gas and 1.4 billion barrels of oil. By comparison, the previously announced Tamar and Leviathan off-shore fields contain an estimated 9 and 17 TCF of natural gas. The amount of commercial oil, if any, has not been finalized, but estimates of possible oil in the Leviathan field have been downsized to 600 million barrels.”

      http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/156476#.UQ2ecmZt9-4

  48. Peak Oil is a myth and always will be. I will be speaking to a group of chemical engineers on Peak Oil and US Energy Policy in early February, 2013. I made a similar presentation in April 2011, at Tulane Law School in New Orleans (see http://sowellslawblog.blogspot.com/2011/04/speech-on-peak-oil-and-us-energy-policy.html?m=0)

    Peak Oil predictions are always failures because the models that are used are wrong.

    OPEC’s benchmark crude oil price is set to barely undercut the break-even price to convert US coal reserves into synthetic oil.

    From my speech: “It is very instructive to examine (the oil) price chart, and while I can’t go into all the details, I can say that $32 was the price Saudi Arabia chose for oil in 1980. That was the highest price they could get without triggering the USA building our coal-to-liquids plants.

    However, it is a fact that today, $80 per barrel is the same as that $32 in 1980, adjusted for inflation. Saudis maintain the price by adjusting production, and bring the price down to $80 as soon as possible. This happened in 2008, most recently. If the price of oil gets much above $80, we will drill for and produce much more oil, just like we did the last time that oil price shot up.We found oil in Alaska, the North Sea, Indonesia, and other places. Therefore, we will not see a doubling of oil price ever again. The threat of converting US coal to oil is simply too real. We know how. And, we could do it.”

    • So what you are saying is that “Peak Oil” is not a myth?

      Otherwise, how can you start talking about replacing crude oil with synthetic oil without admitting that crude oil is a finite resource?

      It is all rather simple, this Peak Oil idea, that crude oil is a finite resource and it starts to get more expensive as it gets scarcer. Yet the contrarians will go into gyrations to try to avoid admitting that they do in fact understand how the economics of finite resources works.

      This posturing is all rather sad and pathetic. Guys like Sowell want to reframe the arguments to make it look like they have the answers and their opponents were all proven wrong. It’s called framing and projection and we all understand how it works.

    • That’s true R.S. While at some point, there will be a peak, the peak-oilers can only model what they know at the moment. New technologies will always blow them out of the water.

    • It is not 1980 anymore, Roger. Try to catch up.

    • David Springer

      Roger Sowell | February 2, 2013 at 7:07 pm | Reply

      “Peak Oil is a myth and always will be.”

      Always is a long time. Fossil fuel production will cease for the same reason that whale oil production ceased. Not because we ran out of whales but because a superior alternative arrived. Solar energy is that superior alternative. Technology improvements will make harvesting solar energy cheaper than retrieving and refining fossil fuels from the earth.

      Even as we speak this company http://www.jouleunlimited.com/ is on track to be producing ethanol and biodiesel at $50/bbl equivalent before Obama leaves office (assuming he leaves when the law demands it).

      “OPEC’s benchmark crude oil price is set to barely undercut the break-even price to convert US coal reserves into synthetic oil.”

      I’ll give that statement two big thumbs up. Anybody with a pulse and triple digit IQ should be able to see that without needing to be told. I’ve been saying it for years. OPEC is milking the global economy for every penny it can while it still can.

      Joule’s core technology (synthetic biology) is transformative and its eventual arrival anticipated by myself and others since the mid-1980′s. The near-term $50/bbl target is just the opening round. The ultimate price is $0/bbl as the technology improves. The cool thing about microbes that produce liquid hydrocarbon fuels is that the microbes build more microbes and they perform their own maintenance on themselves. So it’s a just a matter of engineering microbes that need less and less human intervention to do what we want them to do. At some point human intervention becomes practically nothing and then so too does the cost of production.

      So what is OPEC going to do in the year 2040 when synthetic biology is producing an alternative to fossil fuels at $10/bbl? OPEC will hang a “Going out of business” sign on the door because that price is far below their production cost. Fossil fuels will be obsolete before they are depleted. Just like whale oil.

    • David Springer

      Roger Sowell | February 2, 2013 at 7:07 pm | Reply

      “However, it is a fact that today, $80 per barrel is the same as that $32 in 1980, adjusted for inflation.”

      You’re playing a little fast and loose with your facts there.

      http://data.bls.gov/cgi-bin/cpicalc.pl?cost1=32.00&year1=1980&year2=2012

      $32 in 1980 adjusted for inflation is $89.16 now.

      Close enough for government work though. Your point still stands but you should make sure your facts are as close to fact as possible.

    • David Springer

      I strongly suggest you follow up the link to Joule Unlimited and Joule Fuels. Joule is ranked #9 among all biotech companies. It’s well funded, the technology is ready to commercialize, they commissioned construction on their first commercially sized facility in New Mexico. The list of names on the board of directors is lengthy and world class in both energy and biotechnology industries. As they say, this isn’t your father’s Oldsmobile. Joules’ genetically engineered microbes are patented and require neither potable water nor arable land. Municipal waste water is a near perfect medium for the aquaculture, brackish and seawater both work with the addition of standard farm nutrients NPK and some elements. Sunlight, water, and CO2 are the only consumables and the products consist of nothing more than carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen atoms configured in the fuel of choice (first products are ethanol and diesel trademarked Sunflow-E and Sunflow-D) held together with bond energy from the sun. GM organisms were individually tailored for each product. Other products can be tailored on demand for feedstocks into other chemical industries, Jet-A, and so forth.

      If you were OPEC and you recognized the potential in synthetic biology to produce fuel below your production cost, which they most assuredly do, what would you do?

      From here on it’s a game where OPEC is walking a tightrope milking the world economy for all it possibly can while it can still do it. It can’t price fuel so high that global economy collapses because then demand will fall off a cliff and price with it. It can’t price it high enough for long enough that development of less costly alternatives will take place i.e. your point about a target price a few percent below liquified coal.

      Well, something a lot cheaper than liquified coal is about to come into the market. How much longer does OPEC have to live? I’m going to say we’ll be reading the obiturary in fewer than 20 years. So close I can almost taste it. I hate OPEC and fellow conspirators for keeping world economy on the brink of collapse in order to get as much money as they can before fossil oil goes the way of whale oil.

      • David Springer

        Actually I guess where I wrote “This isn’t your father’s Oldsmobile” I should have written “This isn’t your father’s, Audi”.

        Ha. Early in 2012 Audi entered into an exclusive partnership with Joule Fuels. Joule Unlimited remains the R&D division and Joule Fuels, the commercial division, is new and was probably created for the Audi partnership.

        The list of names at Joule Unlimited in the genetic engineering world is awfully impressive and begins with George Church at Harvard who is arguably the best in the world. It’s a sit-up and take notice cast and crew at Joule.

  49. Jest doesn’t seem like the glass is half empty, WHT.

  50. I vaguely recall that optimists make better predictors of the future than pessimists. But who the heck predicted this?

    “IN 1 8 9 8 , D E L E G A T E S F R OM A C R O S S T H E G L O B E gathered in New York City for the world’s first international urban planning conference. One topic dominated the discussion. It was not housing, land use, economic development, or infrastructure. The delegates were driven to desperation by horse manure…………………………
    The situation seemed dire. In 1894, the Times of London estimated that by 1950 every street in the city would be buried nine feet deep in horse manure. One New York prognosticator of the1890s concluded that by 1930 the horse droppings would rise to Manhattan’s third-story windows. A public health and sanitation crisis of almost unimaginable dimensions loomed……….”

    http://www.uctc.net/access/30/Access%2030%20-%2002%20-%20Horse%20Power.pdf

  51. Most of the people here who pick out random anecdotes about recent “big oil discoveries” are as ridiculous as those who point to one day’s worth of weather and say that it points to climate change in one direction or the other.

    Only a statistically quantitative historical view of past discoveries and how these have panned out allow us to predict the future pattern. Beyond any reasonable doubt, we are now into decline and are starting to evaluate “bottom of the barrel” resources (such as Bakken) and pipe-dreams (such as Green River shale) as secondary and tertiary options.

    Crude oil production is past peak and that was what the theory was all about. The hockey stick is turning down, while all the contrarians can do is bring up these minor anecdotes to “hide the decline”.

    • ” World oil production, 2003:M1-2010:M9. Includes lease condensate, natural gas plant liquids, other liquids, and refinery process gain. Data source: EIA.

      As for where world production is headed from here, if optimistic projections from Iraq are borne out, the global peak is still ahead of us.”

      http://www.economonitor.com/blog/2011/01/the-first-oil-shock/

      • Thanks for providing a good example of “hiding the decline” in crude oil production. A gradual decline in oil production past a peak is what peak oil is all about.

        Natural gas plant liquids is not considered a form of crude oil.
        This is a better view

        Notice that the alternatives to crude oil, but which are considered as liquid fuels, are rising to make up for demand, while crude oil is valiantly trying to stay on a plateau, mainly due to a doubling of rig count in the last few years.

        So a “hide the decline” chart is implemented by the bureaucrats simply by adding in natural gas liquids and biofuels and who knows what else.

        I will make you a steak but substitute tofu because of a shortage of cows, but I will claim that beef production is rising, because tofu is “meat-like”.

    • “The first graphic shows the growth in oil production from 1965 to 2011. A new global oil production record was set in 2011 at 83.6 million barrels per day. This figure includes production of crude oil and natural gas liquids (NGLs), which are not indicated separately. (In the U.S., around 25% of NGLs end up as refinery inputs; most of the rest is petrochemical feedstock).”

      http://www.energytrendsinsider.com/2012/06/25/how-much-oil-does-the-world-produce/

  52. Imagine the protests by people who don’t want them being built in their back yards. Just getting site permits alone would be tied up in court until 2030.

    Right up to the point they start suffering regular power cuts, or unemployment as industry leaves town. Then they’ll be rushing to sign up.

    People opposed cell phone towers bitterly in the very recent past, alleging all sorts of nonsense. Once they can’t live without cell phones their tune changes PDQ.

    Once the activist nutcases are outnumbered by enraged pensioners freezing to death, the nuclear industry may find it can build after all.

  53. Title of post: Another hockey stick

    Excerpt: This paper is another hockey stick. It is so fundamentally flawed in so many ways that, to quote physicist Wolfgang Pauli, “It is not even wrong”. Nevertheless, it has gotten wide mainstream media publicity.

    Comment by owner operator: This is a guest post, comments will be moderated for relevance and civility.

    Comment by commenter: Do not read this post while drinking coffee. The cognitive dissonance may damage your screen

    • Eli, I sympathize with you. Who could have imagined a hockey stick piece of “science” worse than Mann’s?

    • Those who favor marine crude as a seafood marinade and like benzene on their cornflakes ( Hey, it’s got the same carbon count as hexane and hexane is an alkane and so is edible apple polishing wax ) should join Willis in proposing organic and biodegradable Alberta tar sand as a valuable source of roughage worthy of service as a salad course at Heartland banquets & in ALEC approved school lunch programs.

  54. WebHubTelescope

    “Worldwide, the rig count has about doubled in the last 3 years, yet production has flat-lined or gone down. ”

    First of all production has not flat lined or gone down over the last three years. From 2008 to 201087 and 83 million bpd. The low end was not caused by lack of demand not capacity. Production for the last year is run 90 million bpd.

    Furthermore there is lag time between increased rig count and increased production.

    • Buck Smith can’t tell the difference between crude oil and “all liquid fuels”.

      This might help:

      He probably can’t tell the difference between steak and tofu either.

      • > He probably can’t tell the difference between steak and tofu either.

        This might become an evolutionary asset.

      • Robert I Ellison

        It is obviously too late for some – http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/talking_point/7490202.stm

        The source of liquid fuel is obviously not important as long as there is something available at a reasonable price. There are obviously many alternatives – with some relatively simple technologies.

        http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20121019-turning-the-oceans-into-jetfuel/1

        Carbon can even be captured on land quite simply.

        All it needs is a cheap power source to strip hydrogen like this – http://www.ga.com/docs/em2/pdf/FactSheet-TechnicalFactSheetEM2.pdf – power and waste heat for hydrolosis.

        But the response is hey you guys aren’t playing fair by tslking bout liquid fuels rather than oil and gas. Too much tofu I believe.

      • David Springer

        Ellison,

        I’m not from the “Show Me” state but I should be. There are a great many designs on paper that promise everything but actually deliver nothing when a construction attempt is made. Why don’t we just skip over fission and go straight to fusion? There’s some really nice fusion reactor designs. On paper anyhow. ;-)

      • Robert I Ellison

        These carbon capture systems are technically quite simple. Turning it into a liquid fuel then is then a simple matter of catalysing hydrogen with carbon. I could build one in my back yard – if I could get the planning permission. You want to build what?

        Here’s a fusion reactor from Eric Lerner – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yhKB-VxJWpg – apparently he has the temperatures in the plasmoid and just needs the diameter – in theory.

        The 4th gen reactors are quite cute and have been around in prototype since the 1960′s.

        Of course – you could always build one as a diy project.

  55. My take on this article is that it is a sneaky attempt to justify what the CAGW alarmists are saying, i.e., you might as well give up burining fossil fuels because there isn’t much left of them anyway.

    Depending on who you listen to, there is somewhere between 2 trillion and 150 trillion barrels of recoverable oil at depths of up to 10 miles below the surface of the continental US alone, let alone the rest of the world. I don’t know what the exact figure is, but it’s certain to be much more than the doomsayers are saying. And it will undoubtedly provide more grist for the mills of those in the US who want to stop domestic energy development.

    And of course, if we run out of motor fuels and can’t drive our cars, that will make it that much easier for the so-called “progressives” (translation: REACTIONARIES) to exert totalitarian control over us, fondly looking backwards to and following the model of that oh, so humane and enlightened system that obtained in that most noteworthy component of the ash heap of history – the Soviet Union.

    What color is hypocrisy? GREEN!

    • It’s not a “sneaky attempt”, it’s really a part of the No Regrets policy that anyone acquainted with decision making will understand.

      The premise is that we are all trapped between a rock and a hard place.

      The rock is that AGW is at least lukewarmly accepted by key figures on both sides of the issue.

      The hard place is that we are on this plateau of peak oil that is only being kept up by Hiding the Decline of a Down-turned Hockey Stick

      The stone is what you use to wedge between the rock and the hard place.

      The stone is the thing that you can kill two birds with.

      The stone is that we get off crude oil and start pushing alternatives.

      This is the No Regrets policy: We apply the precautionary principle and err on the side of caution while planning well in advance.

      There are four possibilities in this No Regrets truth-table:

      Peak oil is real, climate change is real : No Regrets for moving toward alternatives
      Peak oil finds a Black Oil Swan, climate change is real : No Regrets for moving toward alternatives
      Peak oil is real, climate change is a bust : No Regrets for moving toward alternatives
      Peak oil is a bust, climate change is a bust : No Regrets for betting on a very low probability outcome. The probability of both not happening is the multiplication of the two probabilities each not happening (assuming I.I.D).

      3 out of 4 clear no regrets, and 1 out of 4 low probability.

      Do you have trouble understanding this?

      • Good to have you back WHT. Your points are indeed true and your truth table wrt to no regrets policy clearly demonstrates need for proper planning and precautionary approach so as to facilitate adaptation toward abrupt weather events.

      • Robert I Ellison

        Economic substitution of fuels is somehing that has happened, is happening and will happen. It is a simple economic principle that substitution will occur at various price points. Reaseach is ongoing at thousands of locations world wide on alternatives. The supply of liquid fuels will continue to increase as the EIA confirms is happening in the US.

        No regrets climate policies ‘are by definition GHG emissions reduction (or sequestration) options that have negative net costs, because they generate direct or indirect benefits that are large enough to offset the costs of implementing the options’. (IPCC, 2007)

        It avoids the trade off in economic activity with emissions reduction that has been the main cause of the failure of kyoto. It aligns with pragmatic views of global economic aspirations as well as with legimate social and environmental ambitions.

        ‘The old climate framework failed because it would have imposed substantial costs associated with climate mitigation policies on developed nations today in exchange for climate benefits far off in the future — benefits whose attributes, magnitude, timing, and distribution are not knowable with certainty. Since they risked slowing economic growth in many emerging economies, efforts to extend the Kyoto-style UNFCCC framework to developing nations predictably deadlocked as well.

        The new framework now emerging will succeed to the degree to which it prioritizes agreements that promise near-term economic, geopolitical, and environmental benefits to political economies around the world, while simultaneously reducing climate forcings, developing clean and affordable energy technologies, and improving societal resilience to climate impacts. This new approach recognizes that continually deadlocked international negotiations and failed domestic policy proposals bring no climate benefit at all. It accepts that only sustained effort to build momentum through politically feasible forms of action will lead to accelerated decarbonization.’

        http://thebreakthrough.org/archive/climate_pragmatism_innovation

        There is a new program that promises progress where there has been only failure, badly needed human development wher there is hunger and want and sorely lacking environmental results where species loss is now a routine. None of this is technically difficult – just politiclly so for reasons I put down to sheer perversity. An inability to think beuond limits. Ask – for instance – the carbon farmers of America.

        .

      • David Springer

        There’s a high probability that the next transformative technology will require a carbon source for the fabrication of durable goods made of carbon composite materials. Atmospheric carbon is how nature makes carbon available for the use of living things.

        I therefore call BS on all “no regrets” policies that aim to reduce atmospheric carbon. These policies will be regretted in the near future.

      • Robert I Ellison

        I would say that there is a greater imperative to increase food production by 70% by 2050 on the same amount of land. A major part of that is increasing soil organic content on agricultural soils back to background levels.

      • Do we need 70% more food production if we peak around 10 billion?
        ==========

      • Kim

        Let’s see:

        70% more food by 2050 with the UN estimates telling us global population will grow by roughly 30% to 9 billion over the same time?

        Looks like Michelle Obama will be losing her global war on obesity.

        Max

        PS We did have a 2.4x increase in food crops from 1970 to 2010 at the same time as we had a 1.7x increase in world population; must’ve been that extra CO2 (plus a smidgen warmer temperature) that did the trick.

      • Robert I Ellison

        You forget the switch to more meat as populations get wealthier.

  56. Willis Eschenbach

    WebHubTelescope | February 2, 2013 at 3:05 pm |

    The “skeptics” should argue over this one:
    One gallon of gasoline required approximately 90,000 kilograms of ancient plant matter as precursor material.

    This paper seems to me like it uses a false method, which may be why it never got published. Their method consist of basically saying well, there were billions of tons of plant material produced in ancient times, and only a little coal was produced out of that, so divide one into the other and since not all plant material was turned into peat, you get a huge number of plants needed to make a kilo of coal …

    Color me unimpressed. The argument is not logically sound, it’s just another example of the Drake Equation at work.

    w.

    • What you talkin about Willis?

      The paper actually did get published.
      Dukes, J.S. 2003. Burning buried sunshine: human consumption of ancient solar energy. Climatic Change, 61(1-2): 31-44.

      http://link.springer.com/article/10.1023/A%3A1026391317686

      “This paper seems to me like it uses a false method”

      Oh yeah, the old “false method” ruse. Ha ha, you nailed him all right. Not.

      • Willis Eschenbach

        Thanks, Webbie. I identified exactly what and where I thought he was wrong. I’m sorry you don’t like that, I’ve done my part.

        w.

      • Mostly Willis your point was besides the point.

      • Eli,
        Points and Willis never coincide from what I can tell.

        He borrowed Rud’s topic and now has a parallel discussion going on at his bobo’s WUWT site, where unsurprisingly he has his minions going on and on about abiotic oil and other crank ideas.

        That is why WUWT is the “number one science blog” in the land. Not quite.

  57. ” Hubbert’s 1956 insight suggests total peak oil is near (around 2020), and that gas and coal will peak by midcentury

    This issue is as vehemently disputed as CAGW. IPCC AR4 (WG3 section 4.3.1) says there is no peak in any fossil fuel production by 2100.”

    Someone call the ASPCA and PETA. They’re having chicken little fights at Climate Etc. Oh the barbarity!

    • Not too difficult to look this up:

      http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg3/en/ch4s4-3-1.html

      “Fossil fuels supplied 80% of world primary energy demand in 2004 (IEA, 2006b) and their use is expected to grow in absolute terms over the next 20–30 years in the absence of policies to promote low-carbon emission sources. Excluding traditional biomass, the largest constituent was oil (35%), then coal (25%) and gas (21%) (BP, 2005). In 2003 alone, world oil consumption increased by 3.4%, gas by 3.3% and coal by 6.3% (WEC, 2004a). Oil accounted for 95% of the land-, water- and air-transport sector demand (IEA, 2005d) and, since there is no evidence of saturation in the market for transportation services (WEC, 2004a), this percentage is projected to rise (IEA, 2003c). IEA (2005b) projected that oil demand will grow between 2002 and 2030 (by 44% in absolute terms), gas demand will almost double, and CO2 emissions will increase by 62% (which lies between the SRES A1 and B2 scenario estimates of +101% and +55%, respectively; Table 4.1). “

      They are quite savvy in their statements. They suggest that “demand” will grow between 2002 and 2003. Well, demand is different than supply. Anybody can demand anything they want but if there is not enough supply to meet the production demand, it has to come from somewhere else.
      Likely it will come from coal and natural gas, and the secondary unconventional oil that requires lots of natural gas to extract.

      This is all part of the No Regrets policy of moving off of fossil fuels.

      • Robert I Ellison

        ‘The report, called “The Future of Global Oil Supplies: Understanding the Building Blocks,” shows how oil supplies will reach 115 million barrels a day around 2030, up from 92 million barrels today. They will remain at that level through 2050. (The report sets a lower peak level than in recent years, IHS said, because the recession had led companies to reduce their investments and demand is not expected to rise as high as previously thought.)

        Any long-term forecast is by definition tricky. But analysts at IHS said they have coaxed production data from more than 450 fields around the world, including in OPEC, as well as projects outlined by oil companies to develop new reserves.

        They found that the average decline rate in oil fields is 4.5 percent, less than many pessimists assume; second, 60 percent of world production still comes from nearly 550 so-called giant fields that are not in danger of suddenly plummeting; and finally, the world’s oil endowment is much bigger than many estimates about peak oil allow for.’

        http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/11/17/no-peak-in-oil-before-2030-study-says/

        ‘The data show that global oil production grew between 1965 and 2011 by 163%, which represents an average annual growth rate of 2.1%. While many were convinced that crude oil had peaked in 2005, production in 2011 was around 2.7% higher than the 2005 production level. However, the average annual growth rate from 2005 to 2011 was only 0.4%, far below the historical average.’

        http://www.energytrendsinsider.com/2012/06/25/how-much-oil-does-the-world-produce/

        Well we did have some malor economic hiccups in there.

        My question is – should we accept the typically facile and shallow analysis of webby go to actual experts. Such a quandary.

      • Notice how the chief can never think for himself?

        He immediately sides with bureaucrats and oil industry consultants who “publish” documents that don’t have to go through any kind of peer review.

        How “skeptical” of you.

        Kind of refreshing to turn the tables on some of you cretins.

      • Robert I Ellison

        Appeal to emotion – where an argument is made due to the manipulation of emotions, rather than the use of valid reasoning

        Poisoning the well – a type of ad hominem where adverse information about a target is presented with the intention of discrediting everything that the target person says.

        Appeal to ridicule – an argument is made by presenting the opponent’s argument in a way that makes it appear ridiculous.

        Thought-terminating cliché – a commonly used phrase, sometimes passing as folk wisdom, used to quell cognitive dissonance, conceal lack of thought-entertainment, move onto other topics etc. but in any case, end the debate with a cliche—not a point.

        Existential fallacy – an argument has a universal premise and a particular conclusion

        Fallacy of composition – assuming that something true of part of a whole must also be true of the whole

        Judgmental language – insulting or pejorative language to influence the recipient’s judgment

        Overwhelming exception – an accurate generalization that comes with qualifications which eliminate so many cases that what remains is much less impressive than the initial statement might have led one to assume.

        How can someone fit so many fallacies in one brief comment?

        The last refers to grey literature. It seems more hypocrisy than anything else given that grey literature is what there is in this discussion, that he himself refers to the EIA, the IPCC and even his own loser blog.

        It seems a version of the ‘tu quoque (“you too”, appeal to hypocrisy) fallacy – the argument states that a certain position is false or wrong and/or should be disregarded because its proponent fails to act consistently in accordance with that position. Instead in this case – we both used grey literature but mine was invalid for quite general reasons that applied to the gey literature as a whole. Should it be mihi quoque in my basic Latin?

        With grey literature – we are taught to assess the trustworthiness of the source. Let’s see – the New York Times and http://www.ihs.com/ or webbies loser blog? Gee that’s a hard choice. He will forgive me if I don’t play anymore – the games of abusive confrontation don’t serve truth well.

        I have quoted extensively from wikipedia here – my bad.

      • I agree Chief. Its time for us cretins to pick up our marbles and walk away from WHT. He had walked out of CE but shows no improvement on his recent return. This is a pity, because he has a lot of original thoughts on the science to share and I have learned a lot from many of his posts over the past year.

      • Web

        Moving off of fossil fuels is a no-brainer for the bulk of our energy demand: electrical power generation. It can be done competitively today with nuclear power.

        Doing this kicks all the growth projections you cited in the head.

        There are enough fossil fuels to last us well over 100 years, even with a growing world population and growing demand.

        Do the arithmetic yourself.

        Max

      • I noticed the Webby in his absence commented from time to time on Real Climate, but was very polite and self-effacing, not daring to be his usual obnoxious self. Speaking of a lack of skepticism. But now he graces us again with his talent for accelerating the descent to the gutter. Chief is entertaining, Webby you are the vinegar in the wine.

  58. ‘Cretins’ Web – Hub – Telescope? Tsk!
    I will repeat what I have said before…Seems ter me a cowardly act to bad mouth others under the the protection of a pseudonym.Tsk again, Kinda like a poison pen letter
    Beth Chalmers Cooper..

    • OK, so you are a nobody after all, with no scientific credentials to speak of. Good to know.

      BTW we have a high school called Cretin. All the kids that graduate are cretins.

      • WHT

        Just a question: Did you graduate from that high school?

        No offense intended.

        Max

      • No, its a private formerly boys-only high school which has mainly athletes as notable alumni. Baseball Hall-of-Famer Paul Molitor and current fave Joe Mauer are both Cretins.
        ,

      • John Carpenter

        WHT, serious question…. What are your credentials? I don’t find any information about you on your website. You’re obviously educated. There is an element of truth in Beth Coopers comment when you make disparaging remarks about others credentials/educations (i.e. comment about Brandon and ITT) and yet remain anonymous. Your website is quite impressive, yet you don’t want to take any cudos? Based on comments I see you make here, I doubt it’s due to being humble. Do you think your ideas are so controversial that you need to remain behind the curtain? Just curious.

  59. cassandraclub

    The subject energy return on energy invested (EROEI) is very important.
    Conventional oil, gushing from holes in the ground has an energy return of 20:1 to even 100:1. Investing one unit of energy will give you 20 to 100 units in return.
    Unconventional oil from shale or tarsand has a very low energy return, 3:1 or lower. Investing one unit of energy to heat the tarsand with steam will only give you 3 units of energy in return. This change from high energy return to low energy return is irreversible. The low hanging fruit (cheap and easy oil) is gone.

    • cassandraclub

      The subject energy return on energy invested (EROEI) is very important.

      I think that statement is not correct. EROEI is irrelevant if we have virtually unlimited energy available, which is the case with nuclear energy.

      EROEI is a red herring raised mostly by renewable energy advocates. But they do so while at the same time speaking derisively of the potential of nuclear power to provide the world’s present and future energy needs virtually indefinitely.

      • cassandraclub

        Peter, I am not an advocate for renewable energy.
        I think the future energy needs will be constraint by the laws of nature, especially by the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics.

    • Willis Eschenbach

      Cassandraclub, as you point out the EROEI is important. However, you say things like “Unconventional oil from shale or tarsand has a very low energy return, 3:1 or lower,” as though this were a fixed value. In reality, once again how much energy or other resources it takes to get the tar out of the sand depend on the strength of our imagineering.

      Vapour extraction
      One technology that could reduce energy requirements is called “vapour extraction” or VAPEX. In this method, pairs of parallel horizontal wells are drilled as in SAGD, but instead of steam, natural
      gas liquids such as ethane, propane or butane are injected into the upper well to act as solvents so the bitumen or heavy oil can flow to the lower well.
      An industry-government consortium is currently evaluating a VAPEX pilot project at the Dover lease northwest of Fort McMurray, and the technology is also being tested by several operators on their own leases.
      A number of other in-situ production systems, including solvents, electric currents, microwaves and even ultrasound, have been tried on an experimental scale.

      Here is one outcome of that kind of constant search for new improved methods (emphasis mine):

      Since the early 1990s, energy use per barrel in oil sands mining and extraction has been reduced about 45 per cent through the use of new technologies such as hydrotransport, which is more efficient than conveyors or truck transport. New, low-temperature extraction processes further reduce energy use.

      So the EROEI on the tar sands is rising every year, even as we speak.

      w.

      • David Springer

        You make a wonderful case for delaying extraction until we can do it more efficiently. A 3:1 EROEI wastes 50% of resource. That’s a lot of waste and it makes good sense to leave untapped for future generations with higher efficiency extraction.

        That’s probably not the case you wanted to make but in your case the case you make is seldom the case you think you’re making.

      • cassandraclub

        You are correct, Willis, the EROEI for oilextraction from tarsand (or shale) can vary a lot and may actually rise as new technology is implicated.
        But inevitably extraction will begin with the richest deposits and the easiest. So EROEI will gradually decline and will eventually become even lower than the 3:1 ratio I mentioned as an example.

      • willis

        It seems to me that the only way that the EROEI can be increased is by incrementally improving technologies as they are being implemented, as you have described

        This speaks for continuing operations and gradually increasing EROEI as you go along rather than shutting down operations and “waiting” for new technology.

        A further point. To me it is absolutely silly for a bunch of theoreticians to second-guess what companies like Shell are doing; if shale oil or gas are not competitive, Shell will be the first to know this – not some armchair analysts here on this blog.

        Max

      • You have to then first get the solvents, then you have to separate the solvents from the production, etc. Of course you are going to lose a lot of solvents in the process when they get hung up underground. You are substituting expensive hydrocarbons for inexpensive water so no, this is no slam dunk and you are not going to get order of magnitude improvements.

      • Willis Eschenbach

        Eli Rabett | February 3, 2013 at 1:01 pm |

        You have to then first get the solvents, then you have to separate the solvents from the production, etc. Of course you are going to lose a lot of solvents in the process when they get hung up underground. You are substituting expensive hydrocarbons for inexpensive water so no, this is no slam dunk and you are not going to get order of magnitude improvements.

        Did I say “slam dunk”? Did I say “order of magnitude improvements”? Hang on, lemme check … nope, not a word about anything like that.

        But since you’re sure it’s such a bad plan, Eli, you should call up the Canadians and give them the benefit of your vast experience extracting tar from sand. I’m sure they’ll pay at least as much attention to you as we do and as you deserve.

        w.

      • Eli

        Don’t know how much time you’ve spent running oil development and production operations, but the folks who do this sort of thing are doing it for (watch out, a bad word is coming) “profit”.

        Max

      • Profit is not a bad word, but it means that even marginal improvements that increase profit are worthwhile, however the amount by which they increase yields can be quite small.

      • Oh, oh, here be feedbacks, I’m positive.
        ==========

    • cassandraclub

      The “low hanging fruit” is always the first to be picked, but anyone who ignores all the rest is simply foolish.

      There are enough recoverable fossil fuels left to last us over 200 years at current usage rates or a bit more than 100 years at accelerated rates; longer if we switch most new electrical power generation to nuclear.

      There is no “fossil fuel crunch” – and long before there will be one, there will be new, less costly, sources of energy we haven’t even dreamed of today.

      “Peak fossil fuels” is just another silly doomsday prediction, along with CAGW.

      Human ingenuity has always outpaced the depletion of resources; this time will be no exception.

      Max

  60. Mooloo @ February 2, 2013 at 8:16 pm

    Imagine the protests by people who don’t want them being built in their back yards. Just getting site permits alone would be tied up in court until 2030.

    Right up to the point they start suffering regular power cuts, or unemployment as industry leaves town. Then they’ll be rushing to sign up.

    Once the activist nutcases are outnumbered by enraged pensioners freezing to death, the nuclear industry may find it can build after all.

    Yes,

    And who would want renewable energy if it requires this much area compared with nuclear?

    8 min video by Professor David MacKay, Chief Scientific Adviser to the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change, compares the areas of different types of renewable energy.

  61. quote
    My take on this article is that it is a sneaky attempt to justify what the CAGW alarmists are saying, i.e., you might as well give up burning fossil fuels because there isn’t much left of them anyway.
    unquote

    I suspect they will be disappointed by the response. If (if) peak oil has passed and it’s all downhill from here then there is no longer any problem with AGW. The new sensitivity papers mean that we can’t find enough carbon in handy liquid form to reach damaging temperatures, and if shale gas is going to run out really quickly we can burn as much as we can frack without a qualm. So let’s drill and frack like crazy while addressing the long-term problem by building nukes — the burn baby burn teens and twenties years will give us enough time to move to a nuclear economy. Well, that’s a relief. I bet Webby and Mr Springer are pleased that Thermageddon is cancelled.

    In the UK there seems to be a concerted PR campaign to prevent fracking. The campaign is professionally done, repeating the same simple bullet points over and over. I do hope it’s not the delectable and scrumptious Solitaire — if it is she’s really onto a loser with this one, especially when the ‘peak oilers’ are busy shooting themselves in the foot with articles like this.

    For those who’d like a bit of background reading, I find the No Hot Air blog a bit of an eye-opener. Nick Grealy sets out the big picture and, if you’ve got a lot invested in the AGW bandwagon then it’s chilly reading. He doesn’t touch on geopolitics, but the thought of a USA which doesn’t have to worry about its own energy supplies — a USA which can take the 5th and 6th fleets home because it is an exporter, not importer of energy — is enough to make even the most rabid UK ConLib defence budget cutter pause.

    quote
    What color is hypocrisy? GREEN!
    unquote

    I think (or at least I hope) that this isn’t true for the rank and file members of FOE, Greepeace, WWF etc. It’s the entryist leaders of those organisations who are the hypocrites, jetting round the world to the high life, leaving those of us who really care about nature and conservation to sort out the cynicism which is going to result when the AGW scare turns out to be a boondoggle. Personally I wouldn’t widdle on GreenPeace if it caught fire in a urinal, but I’m an old bomber pilot and I recognise its CND DNA, but with luck the goodhearted rank and file will realise they’ve been sold down the river and will rally to better causes. I won’t, however, hold my breath.

    JF
    Incidentally, Mr Wozniak, there’s the grave of a kinsman of yours in Coney Weston churchyard. The family farmed the land between Coney Weston and Riddlesworth Hall in the early 19th century — look for Lodge Farm Coney Weston and Lodge Farm Knettishall. He’s in good company — there’s an ancestral Bush and a Gates in there too.

    • David Springer

      Pleased that thermageddon is cancelled?

      ME??!!

      I’m a denier. Try to keep up. My position is whatever small amount of warming anthropogenic CO2 brings is welcome warmth that extends growing seasons and moreover CO2 makes plants grow faster and use less water in the process. A huge net benefit. Moreover when the era of synthetic biology arrives we’re going to want all that atmospheric for a construction material. By the year 2050 we’ll need laws limiting how much CO2 can be permanently removed to construct durable goods rather than laws about how much CO2 can be added.

      • Glad of that. So I expect you’ll be even more pleased.

        JF

      • David Springer

        Not really. The earth without ice caps is the normal state of affairs. Green from pole to pole. Still have winters. Poles are temperate not tropical. Tropics don’t get warmer, climate zones expand except for polar zones which are consumed by expansion of temperate zone.

    • “if it is she’s really onto a loser with this one, especially when the ‘peak oilers’ are busy shooting themselves in the foot with articles like this.”

      With a name like Julian, I take that you are from the UK. You should probably realize that the downturned hockey stick of oil depletion has hit your island pretty hard. It’s got be awfully difficult to “Hide the Decline” from your perspective.

      https://www.og.decc.gov.uk/pprs/full_production/monthly+oil+production/0.htm

      So the ‘peak oilers’ were right and the North Sea did not hold unlimited oil after all. That’s all that that the peak oil predictors said, and here you are trying to suggest that they shoot themselves in the foot by saying this. More like you shot yourself in the foot, and you don’t even realize that it’s bleeding.

      OK, now you are free to accuse me of being pedantic. Don’t mind at all, because the PO argument has always been pedantic — all the argument said was that finite natural resources meant finite oil.

      My suggestion:
      Move on, switch to alternative energies, and don’t mind the climate scientists, as we are all in on this together. Simple really, but all you can get is angry.

    • Julian -
      I certainly hope you’re right about the rank and file of the green organizations not being hypocrites. But if they aren’t, then they are something almost as bad – unthinking ignoramuses and dupes.
      The only “green” in them is the color of the back of a greenback – in the hands of conscienceless profiteers (the other evil of global warming alarmism) exploiting their ignorance.

  62. David Springer

    P.S. Julie

    There’s a buttload of coal still left in the ground. Burn baby burn.

  63. Julian Flood

    Either there is an imminent “peak fossil fuel” crunch (and we are threatened by the lights going out soon) OR there is a potential future threat from increased atmospheric CO2 caused by human combustion of fossil fuels (resulting in climate catastrophes too disastrous to mention).

    But YOU CAN’T HAVE BOTH. A dilemma for the “doomsayers”.

    In actual fact, it appears that you can’t have EITHER ONE.

    1. There are enough fossil fuels left to last us between 100 and 200 years, somewhat longer if we maximize the generation of electrical power by existing, economically competitive, nuclear fission technology. SO: no “fossil fuel crunch”

    2. Even if ALL the remaining fossil fuel resources were 100% used up (a highly doubtful assumption), we would only reach an atmospheric concentration of barely 1000 ppmv, which – at the latest estimates of (2xCO2) climate sensitivity – would raise temperature by a bit more than 2C over these hundreds of years. SO: no “Thermageddon”

    We should all rejoice.

    The only threat that we face is that we allow our politicians to regulate and tax the fossil fuel industry out of business while squandering taxpayer money chasing windmills and other will o’ the wisps in a futile attempt to change our planet’s climate.

    Max

    • MAnacker really does not understand what he is arguing about and why he is arguing.
      He says that “There are enough fossil fuels left to last us between 100 and 200 years”.

      This is really no different than what energy analysts assert, and what they use as justification for moving to alternative energies. Actually, they say that fossil fuels will stay around forever, but that the scarcity will jack up the price until alternatives will become more competitive. It is a gradual slide until 100 years, and alternatives are being geared up as we speak.

      So this all amounts to a bean-counting exercise, where we carefully monitor the oil that we extract, while trying to extrapolate the reserves available and how much CO2 is being adding to the air.

      That’s what I do in my spare time, why I have a lot of my analysis documented, and explains why people like MAnacker hate to see this being done. Because a simple exercise like this essentially shows how Max-like arguments are either counter-productive or pointless in the long term

      • Web

        I am fully aware that you are active in the fossil fuel “bean counting” business.

        But so is the WEC.

        And they have published a report listing the “proven total reserves of fossil fuels” as well as the “inferred total recoverable fossil fuel resources” left on our planet (the latter number being around 3x higher than the former).

        From this report we can conclude that there are enough fossil fuels to last us well over 200 years at present worldwide consumption rates. No doubt, world population will grow as will per capita FF consumption, but the latter can be slowed down by generating a larger portion of electrical power from nuclear, rather than coal, so we most likely still have close to 200 years before FFs are theoretically 100% used up. Add to that newly developed technologies and the time frame may get extended even further.

        And, yes, FFs will become more difficult and expensive to extract in the future, so that FF costs will rise, as you also predict. The present cost increase has not been caused by that factor, but rather by a greedy price-fixing cartel (OPEC), which controlled a large part of the world oil production, but it has indirectly made more difficult extraction methods cost competitive.

        As FF costs rise, other technologies and sources will move in to fill the gap. And there are many of these in the pipeline.

        So it is highly unlikely that the remaining FFs will EVER be totally used up.

        But, even if they should be completely consumed some day the amount of carbon contained would constrain atmospheric CO2 concentrations from human emissions to below 1000 ppmv.

        At the latest estimates of (2xCO2) climate sensitivity, this would theoretically add around 2C warming when all FFs are completely gone, some time a couple of centuries in the future.

        [If only half the FF resources are available in actual fact, the upper limit on human-caused CO2 would be around 700 ppmv, with a maximum temperature increase of around 1.4C.]

        So my point is simply that there is no “FF crunch” anytime soon and no “Thermageddon from human FF combustion” ever.

        Max

      • “From this report we can conclude that there are enough fossil fuels to last us well over 200 years at present worldwide consumption rates.”

        So what’s going to happen? 200 years of current consumption and then wham suddenly the next day there’s no fossil fuels?

        I think you need to think this through a bit more.

      • lolwot

        Tell me.

        Do you think if you had asked Napoleon in 1810 what should be done to prevent the avalanche of horse manure from the rapidly growing number of carriages from inundating us all within the next 200 years, would you have gotten a reasonable answer?

        Or would that just have been a totally stupid question?

        Max

        PS There will be new energy sources and technologies long before we run out of FFs. You can count on it.

  64. Never underestimate the resource-allocating efficiency of price in market economies. The broad social benefit arising from individual selfishness becomes obvious and apparent where freedom flourishes.

    • Thanks Diogenes, sock-puppet of Ellison, along with your other aliases Chief Hydrologist and Captain Kangaroo.

      You know that this doesn’t work, creating scores of sock-puppets to artificially show support for a concept.

      In the old days, the blog admin would kick the sock-puppet’s IP off the blog commenting section permanently, and others would scorn that person.

      It must be that in the USA, we feel pity on the loony Australian larrikins and let them run rampant.

      • Webby

        Get control of yourself.

        Diogenes posts a three-liner about the social benefit that arises from a market-driven economy.

        You waste three times that many lines to accuse Diogenes of being a sock puppet and a loony Australian larrikin, but you do not even address the point made by Diogenes.

        Come back down to Planet Earth.

        Max

      • The ability to deduce sock-puppets is like picking out song rip-offs. It’s an affliction I suppose.

        ” Diogenes | July 4, 2012 at 7:47 am |

        I think the science of climate is a lot more complex than that – most people don’t care or don’t know. I link to a lot of different peer reviewed sources – and think of what I say is fairly obvious. I am an environmental scientist – one of my favourite things is snorkelling over a coral reef in the area of world I live in. That’s why I focussed on responses to anthropogenic emissions of carbon – just in case. I am sure it could be a problem in a nonlinear rather than linear way. You need to have an understanding of no nonlinear dynamics to understand.”

        I don’t know, an environmental scientist from Australia who pushes complexity arguments and writes in an almost liturgical prose.
        No, Diogenes couldn’t be Ellison.

        He is likely deep asleep right now and will go into a diatribe when he wakes up and reads this.

      • Robert I Ellison

        Diogenes is of course famous for seeking an honest man. Diogenes is not me. Although it was quite obvious that Chief Hydrologist and Robert I Ellison is me and Diogenes in search of an honest man is a metaphor for bad faith in discourse. But Captain Kangaroo is a climate warrior on a blue horse – http://s1114.photobucket.com/albums/k538/Chief_Hydrologist/?action=view&current=blue_horse.jpg – who was that masked man?

        ‘From FOMBS

        Summary: Two effective self-cures for polemical denialism are to (1) get out in Nature and (2) look to a higher power.

        Why not try them, “Diogenes”?’

        Diogenes | July 4, 2012 at 7:47 am |

        I think the science of climate is a lot more complex than that – most people don’t care or don’t know. I link to a lot of different peer reviewed sources – and think of what I say as fairly obvious. I am an environmental scientist – one of my favourite things is snorkelling over a coral reef in the area of world I live in. That’s why I focussed on responses to anthropogenic emissions of carbon – just in case. I am sure it could be a problem in a nonlinear rather than linear way. You need to have an understanding of nonlinear dynamics to understand. I am sure your hunters and fishers are well meaning – but they just want a solution.

        But responses need to be balanced by the needs and aspirations of humanity. The only thing I deny is the effectiveness of taxes, caps and subsidies. We are looking for pragmatic and multi-objective solutions. Some of these emerge from the Millennium Development Goals, the Copenhagen Consensus and the Breakthrough Institute. As Lomberg says – we have the power to do amazing good. Don’t you want to do good?

        But this Diogenes is entirely correct – it is not me – and the price points at which alternative fuels are being provided are bearable and supplies are increasing as needed. I thought that was quite well established. Ptoblem solved – let’s move on.

        There is a type of person out who need a armosphere of crisis in which to create a political moment of economic transformation. So the theory of crisis goes. I think webby must be one of them. These people are increasingly marginalised as more and more people tune out.

        I can assure you as well that end of pipe environmental controls are the simplest to implement. There are many problems in ecology that have not been solved – and indeed have been pushed to one side in concerns for climate change. But not even there has there been substantial success. Thus we are on a new path.

        ‘The old climate framework failed because it would have imposed substantial costs associated with climate mitigation policies on developed nations today in exchange for climate benefits far off in the future — benefits whose attributes, magnitude, timing, and distribution are not knowable with certainty. Since they risked slowing economic growth in many emerging economies, efforts to extend the Kyoto-style UNFCCC framework to developing nations predictably deadlocked as well.

        The new framework now emerging will succeed to the degree to which it prioritizes agreements that promise near-term economic, geopolitical, and environmental benefits to political economies around the world, while simultaneously reducing climate forcings, developing clean and affordable energy technologies, and improving societal resilience to climate impacts. This new approach recognizes that continually deadlocked international negotiations and failed domestic policy proposals bring no climate benefit at all. It accepts that only sustained effort to build momentum through politically feasible forms of action will lead to accelerated decarbonization.’

        http://thebreakthrough.org/archive/climate_pragmatism_innovation

        Webby has rants and insults, bad science and warse manners. He is the ugly American personified – but he’s from Minnesota so it is all understandable.

        Webbies great contributions to blog climate science include – it’s all random with reversion to the mean, that energy is smeared across the spectrum in a classic Planck blackbody distribution by CO2 thus preserving the great hole in the emission sprectra, that average global wind speed is constant, that ocean warming is caused by the sky – although this somewhat evolved into the sky causing the oceans to warm by allowing SW preserving diffusional heat transfer from the atmosphere to the oceans and a spiffiing little two compartment carbon ‘model’. He has a talent for making the super complex simple enough for morons to understand – and yet somehow they don’t – and for science as a ‘contact sport’. He lives in his mother’s – Wilma Webnutcolonoscope – basement in northern Minnesota and wears leicra in the few days of summer while riding his carbon composite bicycle. He believes that all carbon should be managed by the government to ensure future supplies of cheap carbon composite materials for high tech bicycles. His heroes are Lance Armstrong and Winnie the Pooh.

      • There you go. I was right that Diogenes is Ellison and that he would go into a diatribe.
        Isn’t it funny how one can push buttons and watch them go all schizoid on us?
        Or is it actually not funny and consider that this Ellison dude actually does have multiple personalities, and is barely in control of himself when he comments here?
        Or is he just a Larrinkin, forever trying to mock authority?

        “Diogenes is of course famous for seeking an honest man. Diogenes is not me. Although it was quite obvious that Chief Hydrologist and Robert I Ellison is me and Diogenes in search of an honest man is a metaphor for bad faith in discourse. But Captain Kangaroo is a climate warrior on a blue horse”

        He speaks in the third person about his other personalities.
        What’s up with that?

      • OK.

        So the Chief allegedly operates under different pseudonyms.

        I’ll get worried when I find out that Web is just another sock puppet of the Chief.

        (I’ll get even more disturbed if I discover that I am a sock puppet of Web.)

        Max

      • Hey, wait, ‘The Ugly American’ was a beautiful guy. Go to the source. Not the mirror, you’re an ersatz Yanqui.
        =========

      • You evidently haven’t been following the news that science blog commenting is very effective at influencing how readers accept the science,
        Don’t read the comments! Online communities shape risk perception
        More people get science news from blogs, where commentary shapes opinions.

        How Blog Comments, Google Autocomplete Reinforce Scientific Bias
        A new journal article claims that blog comments and Google autocomplete influence the public on new scientific research.

        It really doesn’t help to have sock-puppets running around.
        I prefer to document the atrocities.

      • Web

        This site has a fairly diverse bunch of denizens.

        If you want to see “sock puppets” at work, go to RealClimate. The only ones that don’t get censored out are clones of Gavin.

        A mutual admiration society.

        Max

    • Robert I Ellison

      Well I must say this is entertaining. I repeat however that I am not Diogenes @ http://judithcurry.com/2013/02/01/another-hockey-stick/#comment-291511 – although I do approve the sentiments.

      di•a•tribe
      Noun
      A forceful and bitter verbal attack against someone or something.

      I wouldn’t have thought that bitterness was at all apparent – a description of webbies seriously appalling blog science, his mother’s basement and his love of Lance Armstrong – which we all know about – and the winnie the pooh bicycle helmet he wears.

      No – no bitterness there.

      Diogenes as I explained was a metaphor for a search for an honest man – certainly not something I would habitually ascribe to webby or the FOMBS (fan of more BS).

      Schizoid? Quite apart from the misuse of the term – ‘schizoid personality disorder (SPD) is a personality disorder characterized by a lack of interest in social relationships, a tendency towards a solitary lifestyle, secretiveness, emotional coldness and apathy” (which seems more classic projection than otherwise) – the allegation of sock-puppetry fails to pass any rational scrutiny. I have quite often signed off as Robert I Ellison – Chief Hydrologist – on comments I am particularly pleased with. It is all there in the blogosphere.

      Biosketch. Robert styles himself in the blogosphere as a Chief Hydrologist. ‘Cecil Terwilliger (brother to Sideshow Bob) was Springfield’s Chief Hydrological and Hydrodynamical Engineer. He opined that this was a sacred vocation in some cultures. The more I thought about this the more it resonated with me. I am an hydrologist by training, profession and (much more) through a deep fascination with water in all its power and beauty. Given the importance of water to us practically and symbolically, there is more than an element of the sacred.’

      It is a little subtle for most warministas – webby for instance included me on his climate clown list with the odd complaint that I self identified with a would be clown. But if webby is the ‘authority’ I’m mocking – the bar is set way too low. He once insisted that I was Captain Kangaroo and was too lazy to even try to hide it. Captain Kangaroo (retired) was an operative in the Climate War – his identity is still a closely guarded sceptic secret privy only to a few on a need to know basis – and to one or two purty cowgirls. All I can say is – who was that masked man?

      The question is what – despite the vagaries of climate science – the most effective response is. And the science is very vague as we are aware – or at least some of us are. (It is a little problematic how the space cadets can maintain such a determined ignorance. We posit groupthink as the most likely cause.) The models are theoretically probabilistic but in practice nonlinearity is glossed over. There are modes of natural warming and cooling that that we understand little and that are likely to shift seemingly randomly at unpredictable intervals. If they build me a climate machine I will say it trumps something or other – if it works. But until then deliver me from the pious platitudes, the simplistic memes superficially in the idiom of science and the moralistic would be bullying of the millennialist cult of space cadets.

      We offer practical and pragmatic responses – ones that will work in the real world and this is still not enough. Instead they need a crisis of catastrophe in which a revolutionary moment will emerge and the heroes of the intellectual vanguard can engineer a transformation of global economies and societies – with them taking their rightful place. Eh – I chié dans son chapeau.

      Remember – gentle reader – that if someone is selling you a mess of cataclysmic potage – it is probably a steaming pile of the stuff I left in his hat. And this is perhaps Joshua’s turn to remind me again of my scatological proclivities as if I were the butt (ha ha) of all their panderings. I preemptively claim the corruption of great literature.

      http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/r/rabelais/francois/r11g/book1.13.html

      Robert I Ellison
      Chief Hydrologist

      • Robert Ellison asserted:

        “Well I must say this is entertaining. I repeat however that I am not Diogenes @ http://judithcurry.com/2013/02/01/another-hockey-stick/#comment-291511 – although I do approve the sentiments.”

        Yes we all know that you are not actually Diogenes. Apparently Diogenes was a Greek philosopher that died over 2000 years ago.

        I think you may be suffering from random delusional episodes as you drift in and out of your sockpuppet identities. Perhaps you should go and take your medications now.

      • Robert I Ellison

        So really you are just chasing imaginary rabbits down a hole now? Ineptly at that. Oh God if these people had a spark of flair, of style, of imagination and creativity at least it would be worth a laugh. As it is – it seems that the bar is set at the level of the pathetically ludicrous. Meds? How original and witty. Spare us the embarassment of your lame comments.

      • So its all schtick on your part.
        I guess you are just a part of the climate clown circus, ain’t that right “Sideshow Bob” Ellison.

      • First this:

        his mother’s basement

        Then this:

        Meds? How original and witty.

        Ever the unintentional ironist. Must buy irons by the truckload.

      • Robert I Ellison

        Do you really think that this is clever and biting satire on the vagaries of circus life? As a metaphor of course for climate. And Joshua who is reduced to drooling the same line again and again like some demented gnome seen passing and passing again on a carousel. You have both come late and quite unlamented to the carnival and now all that remains is the empty and desolate lot blowing with the fragments of meaning that is all that remains – and the only redemption is to disappear through the smoke rings of your mind.

        ‘Then take me disappearin’ through the smoke rings of my mind,
        Down the foggy ruins of time, far past the frozen leaves,
        The haunted, frightened trees, out to the windy beach,
        Far from the twisted reach of crazy sorrow.
        Yes, to dance beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free,
        Silhouetted by the sea, circled by the circus sands,
        With all memory and fate driven deep beneath the waves,
        Let me forget about today until tomorrow.’

        I advise you to sing and dance as the Tambourine Man. Only then can the patterns in the stars be charted. Here the unicorn – there the phoenix. Only then can we apprehend meaning in chaos. The dancers approach only to fling wildly to the ends of the earth. Only then can we ride the surging waves to the fecund and welcoming shore and build if not securely on solid ground then at least a soaring, fragile and beautiful edifice supported by the unicorn, the phoenix and the turtle. Don’t cheat yourselves by settling for the miserable and penurious posturings of the mountebank. Demand poetry of life not mere dross.

      • “Do you really think that this is clever and biting satire on the vagaries of circus life? “

        Bob, You are the one that continually reminds us of your lineage to Sideshow Bob the circus clown and his partner in crime, who you seem to name one of your sockpuppets after. That’s where I got the idea for the clowns who comment here.

        It was your idea! Congratulations

      • Robert I Ellison

        Bob was my father. It is Chief to all crazed Minnesotan mountebanks sans poetry, sans common sense, sans civility, sans generosity of spirit and breath of intellect.

      • So it looks like “Sideshow Bob” Ellison is the correct appellation.

        Your father would be very proud of you taking on the persona of a villainous cartoon character devising devious arguments (“how about nonlinearity, that will show them!”) to chip away at the credibility of the scientific establishment.

        Kind of buffoonish, but it looks like you have your fans.

      • Robert I Ellison

        The Earth’s climate system is highly nonlinear: inputs and outputs are not proportional, change is often episodic and abrupt, rather than slow and gradual, and multiple equilibria are the norm. While this is widely accepted, there is a relatively poor understanding of the different types of nonlinearities, how they manifest under various conditions, and whether they reflect a climate system driven by astronomical forcings, by internal feedbacks, or by a combination of both. In this paper, after a brief tutorial on the basics of climate nonlinearity, we provide a number of illustrative examples and highlight key mechanisms that give rise to nonlinear behavior, address scale and methodological issues, suggest a robust alternative to prediction that is based on using integrated assessments within the framework of vulnerability studies and, lastly, recommend a number of research priorities and the establishment of education programs in Earth Systems Science. It is imperative that the Earth’s
        climate system research community embraces this nonlinear paradigm if we are to move forward in the assessment of the human influence on climate.’ Rial et al 2004 – NONLINEARITIES, FEEDBACKS AND CRITICAL THRESHOLDS WITHIN THE EARTH’S CLIMATE SYSTEM

        We call you webnutcoloscope for several reasons. One is the simple pretentiousness of the handle – so it is amusing to take you down a peg or 2. Secondly it is because you always have your head up your arse. This enables you to overlook the obvious while going around in circes of your own imaginings.

        The non-linear paradigm is the scientific establishment and I can and have quoted for the NAS and The Royal Society – as well as many others. Such as Tim Palmer the head of the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts.

        Lorenz was able to show that even for a simple set of nonlinear equations (1.1), the evolution of the solution could be changed by minute perturbations to the initial conditions, in other words, beyond a certain forecast lead time, there is no longer a single, deterministic solution and hence all forecasts must be treated as probabilistic. The fractionally dimensioned space occupied by the trajectories of the solutions of these nonlinear equations became known as the Lorenz attractor (figure 1), which suggests that nonlinear systems, such as the atmosphere, may exhibit regime-like structures that are, although fully deterministic, subject to abrupt and seemingly random change.

        http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/369/1956/4751.full

        I am sure this is in a language that you are incpable of understanding. What does ‘fractionally dimensioned space occupied by the trajectories of the solutions’ mean and what can it possibly have to do with climate? This reflects your limitations and not the limitations of science. It goes well beyond your pseudo scientific curve fitting to imaginary parameters.

        Finally, your repeated clumsy attempts to make something of the Simpsons allusion is a limitation of another order. As I have said befire – Cecil Terwilliger (brother to Sideshow Bob) was Springfield’s Chief Hydrological and Hydrodynamical Engineer. He opined that this was a sacred vocation in some cultures. The more I thought about this the more it resonated with me. I am an hydrologist by training, profession and (much more) through a deep fascination with water in all its power and beauty. Given the importance of water to us practically and symbolically, there is more than an element of the sacred.

        Your inability to understand the science and your inability to see the wisdom of The Simpsons is all a bit sad but all of a piece. It comes from a pedestrian imagination, a dulled intelligence, a lack of earnestness and diligent study in the field of natural philosophy and an overweening self regard. It expresses in the inability to frame a substantive comment but merely to repeat insults and abuse. What an odd little space cadet you are.

      • How many clinical symptoms does Sideshow Bob Ellison present?
        Well, multiple personalities for one.
        Then he has that rainman thing with the obssesive-compulsive copy-and-paste disorder.
        Then the Larrikin anti-authority pose, which is cultural.
        Wrap it up with Asperger syndrome borderline pathological and stay away if he crosses your path.
        Plus the delusions of grandeur that he always tries to project on me!

      • Chief Hydrologist

        The resort of the intellectually bankrupt weasel – create what are a series of ever wilder ad homs that are quite beneath my dignity to reply to.

        If I quote from Climatic Change and The Proceedings of The Royal Society – from leading climate science practitioners – it is some problem with cutting and pasting? The allegation had to do with nonlinearity and some sort of deliberate ploy on my part to confuse the science establishment – or perhaps at least the public discourse. The truth is of course is that nonlinearity is an intrinsic behaviour of complex dynamical systems – systems with control variables and multiple negative and positive feedbacks. Climate – and climate models – is in this broad class of chaotical, dynamical systems about which there are several expectations of behaviour (McWilliams, 2007). Inputs and outputs and not proportional – change is episodic and abrupt – the system exhibits multiple equilibria (Rial et al 2004).

        I will leave it to any who are remotely interested in truth and good faith in discourse – and in the integrity of science – to decide between extreme and improbable insults and peer reviewed science.

      • Oh I forgot to add, Sideshow Bob has a passive-aggressive affliction, and a liturgical style to his prose that is almost as archaic as the Myrrrh Man. A walking basket-case, if its not just for show.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Liturgy – a Christian sacrament commemorating the Last Supper by consecrating bread and wine Eucharist, Eucharistic liturgy, Holy Eucharist, Holy Sacrament, Lord’s Supper, sacrament of the Eucharist sacrament – a formal religious ceremony conferring a specific grace on those who receive it; the two Protestant ceremonies are baptism and the Lord’s Supper; in the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church there are seven traditional rites accepted as instituted by Jesus: baptism and confirmation and Holy Eucharist and penance and holy orders and matrimony and extreme unction.

        But you get the idea – a religious service with connotations of the solemn and serious. I hardly think that gels with either Cecil Terwilliger (Sideshow Bob’s brother) or my judgement that webby is about as meaningful as a monkey’s fart – and he looks like one too, my insistence that he has his head up his arse or my willingness to ‘chié dans son chapeau’. I have called this my scatological proclivities in honour of Joshua the Sh_thead – and blame it all on François Rabelais. Really though – it is the eschatological promise instead that bursts like a new and frightening dawn in the millenialist hearts of the warministas.

        Are we not bored with the relentless, pedestrian and witless prose of the webnutcolonoscope? Surely he should find some means to discuss science instead? I know it is a tall ask – but try to keep up webby. And do try to use words with some precision or no one will know what you are talking about. Oh wait…that’s already happened.

  65. To paraphrase an old “peacenick” saying:

    “They announced a global warming catastrophe but no warming showed up.”

    • Lots of things started at the end of the 1960′s. We finally started to pay attention to the environment and rivers stopped going on fire, and lakes began to recover, and smog started disappearing, and lead stopped poisoning our children.

      This one related directly to fossil fuel emissions shows how far we have come and what kind of forensic skills that our environmental scientists and statisticians have: Read Kevin Drum’s piece

      http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2013/01/lead-crime-link-gasoline

      Interesting that one can use the convolution algorithms of the oil shock model to effectively model the crime rate variation as it follows the gasoline lead content over the last century. Crime rate tracks the convolution of lead content over time with a delay function describing a distribution of adult maturation times (peaking around 20 years of age). I bet Drum is right in the correlating the data to the cause.

  66. Web

    I’m all for stopping pollution and eliminating waste wherever possible (as I believe you are, as well).

    Max

  67. Webby, I thought you had abandoned us for good. You can be entertaining if not really very enlightening. So, this lead/crime thing is just speculation. A more plausible explanation for falling crime rates is higher incarceration rates and more law abiding citizens carrying guns.

    • So, this lead/crime thing is just speculation. A more plausible explanation for falling crime rates is higher incarceration rates and more law abiding citizens carrying guns.

      Do you have any evidence on which you are reaching your conclusion w/r/t what is and isn’t more or less plausible? Specifically, do you have any evidence on which to attribute a causal (positive) relationship between (law abiding) gun ownership rates and crime rates? (I have seen some evidence attributing lower crime rates to efficiency in trying and incarcerating criminals – but none that attributes a causal connection to higher incarceration rates).

      • Sorry for messing the formatting – but I’m sure you’ll get it.

        If you have evidence that provides support for your conclusions – I would appreciate links.

      • Joshua

        Web is right: Getting riddled by lead bullets is the quickest way to die of “lead poisoning”

        Max

      • A lot of these CE “skeptics” think that my bringing lead into the discussion is somehow a doomerism thing.

        In fact it is not doomerism; the reduction in lead additives to gasoline is a signpost success in progressive environmentalism and the power of predictions based on scientific research.

        As the reduction in violent crime and mental retardation is likely due to elimination of lead in gasoline and housepaint, then this turned out to be a great thing. We didn’t avert catastrophe with this risk mitigation strategy but we did made lives of ordinary people better.

        And of course this is all in contrary to the Joe McCarthy’s on this site who seem to find commies hiding under every bed.

    • ” higher incarceration rates

      more law abiding citizens carrying guns”

      Nope, studies have been done all over the world. The USA is the only place that has the gun density and the huge prison population. Also, now the crime is more balanced between urban and rural settings, even though all the rural hicks carry guns, yet there were lower lead levels out in the country-side all along.

      The recent studies basically put to waste Giuliani’s claim to reducing crime in NYC when he was mayor. Prisons got loaded with the lead-damaged-sociopaths and then they got the lead out!

      “Meanwhile, Nevin had kept busy as well, and in 2007 he published a new paper looking at crime trends around the world (PDF). This way, he could make sure the close match he’d found between the lead curve and the crime curve wasn’t just a coincidence. Sure, maybe the real culprit in the United States was something else happening at the exact same time, but what are the odds of that same something happening at several different times in several different countries?

      Nevin collected lead data and crime data for Australia and found a close match. Ditto for Canada. And Great Britain and Finland and France and Italy and New Zealand and West Germany. Every time, the two curves fit each other astonishingly well. When I spoke to Nevin about this, I asked him if he had ever found a country that didn’t fit the theory. “No,” he replied. “Not one.””

      Here is another hockey stick for the skeptics to bang their head over.
      Go Team!

    • Robert I Ellison

      There is no good case to be made for lead in the environment. But applying simple ideas to complex issues is never correct. This for instance includes half a dozen other factors – http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/2010/0524/US-crime-rate-is-down-six-key-reasons

      To use lead and crime for the purpose of peddling the progressive agenda sems hugely absurd. Crime I know nothing of. In the environment – and this was cited as an environmental rather than a social issue – the failure to more beyond end of pipe measures has been discussed in environmental circles since the 1970′s. The twin obsessions of the pissant progressives with the evils of industry and the evils of carbon emissions result in ever more marginal and often misguided interventions at the ends of pipes but no progress in the areas of landscape and feral species managemen or fire eclogy. Both obsessions have led to dismal failure in biodiversity and emissions.

      The most effective policy is the one that works. So I repeat that we are on a new path and the obstrucionists – go space cadets – will be increasingly marginalised.

      The old climate framework failed because it would have imposed substantial costs associated with climate mitigation policies on developed nations today in exchange for climate benefits far off in the future — benefits whose attributes, magnitude, timing, and distribution are not knowable with certainty. Since they risked slowing economic growth in many emerging economies, efforts to extend the Kyoto-style UNFCCC framework to developing nations predictably deadlocked as well.

      The new framework now emerging will succeed to the degree to which it prioritizes agreements that promise near-term economic, geopolitical, and environmental benefits to political economies around the world, while simultaneously reducing climate forcings, developing clean and affordable energy technologies, and improving societal resilience to climate impacts. This new approach recognizes that continually deadlocked international negotiations and failed domestic policy proposals bring no climate benefit at all. It accepts that only sustained effort to build momentum through politically feasible forms of action will lead to accelerated decarbonization.’

      http://thebreakthrough.org/archive/climate_pragmatism_innovation

      If you have read this above – by all means go on to the rest.

  68. The richest deposits which can be easily reached and worked are the first exploited. As those are depleted less rich deposits are accessed with improved technology in inconvenient places. At some point even though there is considerable ore left in the earth the energy/money needed to access them cost more than the benefit to be derived from accessing them.

    For many/most resources if you plot benefit vs. time the fall off is exponential. There is always something left at the end, but it is not worth spit.

    • Nullius in Verba

      Yes. The Stone Age didn’t end because we ran out of stones.

      • No, it stopped because something better was discovered. The same is hardly true in this case.

      • Nullius in Verba

        The same will be true in this case, too. That’s the point.

      • …except some people are behaving as if that something better is already a viable reality. Like the politicians who tax our fuel until the pips squeak.

      • NiV and Phatboy

        For the largest portion of the total energy demand (electrical power) there already is an economically viable alternate: nuclear.

        And a whole bunch of people are working to find competitive alternates for motor fuel. There is no doubt that one of these alternates (or one we haven’t even thought of yet) will eventually replace fossil fuels, long before they run out.

        Human ingenuity has always kept ahead of resource depletion; there is no reason to think that this time will be any different.

        Max

      • phatboy

        I’d agree with you that the politicians are not helping out here.

        They rarely do.

        Max

      • “discovered”

        Discovered is the key word. The conventional crude oil lying underground has to be discovered first. The process of discovery is actually quite systematic when you think about it. In the earth we have a finite volume that is searched by armies of prospectors over the years.

        If we place uncertainties over the rates of search, the sub-volumes of search and the improvement over search over time, one can actually make some predictions and extrapolate from the historical numbers.

        The math formulation turns into what is called the Dispersive Discovery model. With one set of parameters this turns into the Hubbert logistic curve, which King Hubbert actually used as a heuristic to make his original Peak Oil predictions.

        Google “dispersive discovery” is you want to learn more about it. It is actually quite cool that the Hubbert discovery curve has a neat stochastic foundation.

        The point is that the world-wide peak in crude oil discoveries occurred in the early 1960′s and we have been draining from that pool of discoveries ever since.

        The dispersive discovery math model that supports the empirical data would suggest that the statistics of prospecting results would have to completely change for the course of oil depletion to divert from its downward path. Significant numbers of “black swan” outliers would need to be discovered, yet since the search for discoveries is statistical, this becomes more and more remote with each passing year.

        So the issue is one of gradual depletion of the high quality fossil fuels as Eli points out. Depletion and energy quality is a nasty one-two punch.

    • Webby

      Of course Eli is right when he says that the “richest deposits which can be easily reached and worked are the first exploited”.

      Duh!

      I can think of only one exception, which happened early in the North Sea exploration days. Both the Norwegians and the Brits moved very quickly right to the international border to get at the oil which was near there. But that was sort of like a dog marking his territory.

      New development and enhanced recovery technologies (plus higher oil prices dictated by the price fixing cartel, OPEC) have often made it attractive to go back to old fields to recover remaining oil.

      That’s the way the business works, as you know.

      Max

  69. Robert I Ellison

    OMG – the power of obsession. I understand webby that you have wasted years on this nonsense. I get it – I just don’t give a rat’s arse.

    What matters is that the supply of liquid fuels match demand into the future. What matters in other words is the principle of economic substitution. As prices rise – or technologies emerge – alternatives become price competitive. This clearly the case with development of ‘other fuels’ in the past 10 years. Mostly liquified natural gas. There is no problem here.

    Btw – you have no training in environmental chemistry, fluvial geomorphology, oceanography, limnology, hydrology or arts, politics, history, philosophy, environmental economics or arts and letters and show very little inclination or ability to go past the first parageaph in any document. You have as well very little couth. Ignorance and rudeness – a deadly one-two punch for any credibility at all.

    • Ellison:

      “Btw – you have no training in …. (laundry list)”

      That’s OK, because scientists are not “trained”, they are educated in how to solve general problems, and from years of experience working in an R&D environment, learn when someone is blowing smoke.

      • Robert I Ellison

        ‘OK, so you are a nobody after all, with no scientific credentials to speak of.’ Such a crude and vulgar boy you are. As I say no couth at all. And if you would learn to understand the English language you might get somewhere useful. And nothing at all in the way of climate credibility. So sad too bad.

        ‘Synonyms (Grouped by Similarity of Meaning) of verb train
        Sense 1:
        train, develop, prepare, educate’

        education
        Part of Speech: noun
        Definition: instruction, development of knowledge
        Synonyms: apprenticeship, background, book learning, brainwashing, breeding, catechism, civilization, coaching, cultivation, culture, direction, discipline, drilling, edification, enlightenment, erudition, finish, guidance, improvement, inculcation, indoctrination, information, learnedness, learning, literacy, nurture, pedagogy, preparation, propagandism, proselytism, reading, rearing, refinement, scholarship, schooling, science, study, teaching, training, tuition, tutelage, tutoring

      • You know Ellison, some of us are fed up with this Australian Larrikin schtick that you and Beth-The-Ocker and Stefan-The-Denier and Doug Cotton and Girma and Myrrh and other Aussies are all engaged in.

        We realize that you as Australians, feel proud of your cultural heritage to mock authority, but we as observers who are in on the joke, don’t think its all that funny.

        And about Larrikinism, check Wikipedia:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Larrikinism

        “A person may be classified as a larrikin if he or she meets some of these criteria. A larrikin is not concerned with the opinion of other people and so is not socially intimidated into modifying behaviour and structuring it around social norms. Larrikins are also not at all fazed by authorities of all kinds, including whatever power or authority they may possess themselves, and must not take themselves too seriously.”

      • Robert I Ellison

        Really – some of you are ‘fed up’ with mocking of authority? If I’d known you had any I sure would have been much more obsequious. As it is I have figured that you are just a vulgar Minnesotan with a jumped up sense of your own self importance and a line in massively misguided climate (and other) delusions. I am sure that you will find me much chastened in future. As I say above – I chié dans son chapeau. – http://judithcurry.com/2013/02/01/another-hockey-stick/#comment-291745 -

      • Its mocking of authority just for the sake of it, an anti-authority larrikin streak . You do it because you can.
        There is no rhyme or reason other than to make a mockery of any discussion within your reach.

      • Webby, Why I feel a certain missionary zeal to convert you to an actual human being is beyond me. How your mom can look herself in the mirror given how her progeny turned out is a study in human frustration. I thought you were “out of here.” Like all your statements, it looks like that one was totally false and unreliable. I am going to resist the urge to actually read your sarcastic postings more rigorously in the future. But alas, we all fall into the troll trap occasionally.

      • I am out of here when it comes to condoning the clowns of the anti-AGW circus.

        ” curryja | January 19, 2013 at 8:31 am
        It has nothing to do with their research and their views. I tolerate what I view to be scientific crackpottery. “

        This is special circumstances, because I thought that since anti-PO is a different circus, we’d see different opinions — different circus all right but the same clowns.

        Rud will appreciate this when I say that the people who read The Oil Drum would get a chuckle out of this comment thread.

      • Robert I Ellison

        It is just going around in circles with the bubble-headed gnome who insists that he has some credibility.

        Peak oil should not be confused with peak liquid fuels – and I have provided twice in this post the EIA projection to 2035. It follows that there is no critical shortfall in liquid fuels in a reasonable planning timeframe.

        Climate is another thing. The models are theoretically probabilisitc but in practice nonlinearity is glossed over and there are modes of natural warming and cooling that that we understand little and that are likely to shift seemingly randomly at unpredicitable intervals.

        ‘Natural, large-scale climate patterns like the PDO and El Niño-La Niña are superimposed on global warming caused by increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases and landscape changes like deforestation. According to Josh Willis, JPL oceanographer and climate scientist, “These natural climate phenomena can sometimes hide global warming caused by human activities. Or they can have the opposite effect of accentuating it.” http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=8703

        Both the chaos of models and natural large scale atmospheric and ocean patterns on decadal and longer scales are the consensus view of mainstream science. Yet both go right over webbies head – and he insists that this is a conspiracy of sceptics. It is the fallacy of wishful thinking – where the world is what he imagines it to be rather than according to evidence or reason.

      • Robert I Ellison | February 4, 2013 at 1:40 am |

        It is just going around in circles with the bubble-headed gnome who insists that he has some credibility.

        Ellison is also commenting as the sockpuppet trolll “Chief Hydrologist” on this thread.

        He is known by me for continuing to push the faulty equation

        dS/dt = Energy in – Energy out

        which I have many times in the past tried to correct him on.

        Note that the left hand side is written in terms of power (energy per unit of time) while the right hand side is in units of energy. These do not dimensionally match, which any engineering student learns to check in the first year of classes.

        This can be fixed trivially by just stating
        dS/dt = Power in – Power out
        which is just the definition of net rate of energy transfer or net power.

        Yet Ellison persists in posting this incorrect formulation. He even did it just today on another thread

        Why anybody listens to this Aussie sockpuppet troll Ellison/Diogenes/Chief Hydrologist/Captain Kangaroo is beyond my comprehension. He is the greatest scientific poseur that comments on this blog.

  70. We all know that the oil price today is set by an international price-fixing cartel known as the OPEC.

    The populations of the energy-hungry developed nations like the USA, Japan and many European and Asian nations pay the bill at the pump (and everywhere else), while the benefactors are the rulers (and to a smaller extent, the citizens) of the oil exporting nations,

    But, in a way, this artificially high price has had its good side effects (beside financing an indoor ski mountain for Dubai, for example)

    New technologies have been developed, which would not have been economically feasible at the old low oil price.

    These include not only new and improved development and enhanced recovery technologies, but also R+D efforts into non-petroleum based transportation fuels.

    So don’t cuss those Saudi sheikhs when you see them – thank them instead for having helped to support new technology.

    And the really good news is that we do not need a “carbon tax” to artificially increase the cost of energy – OPEC has already done it for us!

    Max

    • “We all know that the oil price today is set by an international price-fixing cartel known as the OPEC.”

      Do you think there is anything we can do about this?

      See the chart below:

      http://www.realclearenergy.org/charticles/2012/07/09/sovreign_oil_companies_now_dominate_world_oil_106619.html

      The top 10 oil reserve volumes are held by nationalized oil companies.
      USA is way down the list.

      • Willis Eschenbach

        Interesting chart, Web, thanks.

        w.

      • Web

        Do I think there is anything the USA can do to break the price-fixing monopoly called OPEC?

        No. They’ve got the (black) “gold” – so they make the rules.

        And the price they’ve set just makes some of the vast reserves of “unconventional” oil in the USA attractive to extract.

        So expect a shale boom, adding in natural gas as the wild card.

        Whether this will open up new reserves in the USA, which are roughly equal to those of Saudi Arabia today, is debatable.

        Estimates vary all over the place.

        But I doubt that these new resources will set a new lower crude oil price than the one set by the cartel today, since their recovery cost will be so high when everything is figured in that extraction is only economically attractive at a minimum of $60-80/bbl crude oil equivalent (if Shell estimates are correct). So don’t look for a massive cut in gasoline prices at the pump.

        I think you agree on that point as well.

        Max

  71. Go not ter sea. The boat might spring a leak.
    a rogue wave, or whale capsize thee,
    tempest, typhoon or hurricane sink the boat.
    Safer ter stay at home Columbas.

  72. Oops meant ter post on WIR.Responding ter Gary M

  73. Now that the posting fire has burned to embers and nobody will be reading this, let me thank you all. First for finding a minor mistake. Second, for teaching how to communicate better. Third, for reminding to always go back to original source material. For example, Mr. Schollenberger criticized my take on the Guardian report on the wiki leaked cables. But Guardian is not a primary source. Simmon’s book based on hundreds of Saudi technical papers, and the wikicables themselves, are. I think I will let my statements stand against his secondary sourced criticisms. Finally, for evidence that no matter how clearly and explicitly something is laid out, there are always alternative perspectives formed by different subjective beliefs and values.

    Nothing in the post about peak oil addressed peak energy, or energy policy directions, which many leapt to by false inference. It was specifically and only about a single bad paper contrary to an increasing weight of other peer reviewed papers and objective evidence.

    Energy policy involves much more complicated issues, covered directionally in my first book. It is not possible IMO to cover them with any exactitude. Our gracious host, Dr. Curry, is really onto something with her thoughts on communicating uncertain science.
    Regards to all, and now Good Night.

    • Thanks, this kind of analysis and debunking needs to be done.

    • BTW, I find it humorous how the cowards go to another thread to talk behind your back, yet you track them down!

      http://judithcurry.com/2013/02/03/week-in-review-20312/#comment-291773

      “Brandon Shollenberger | February 4, 2013 at 12:05 am
      Since we’re talking about a Week in Review, could we perhaps get a response to the ridiculous post Rud Istvan made on this blog? He flagrantly made things up to justify his post. Surely somebody would like to respond to that.

      (I have little knowledge in the field Rud Istvan’s post covers. I’d offer to write a rebuttal if I felt qualified, but I don’t. I can do basic fact checking to prove Rud Istvan’s claims wrong, but a real rebuttal would require someone knowledgeable in the field.)

      Rud Istvan | February 4, 2013 at 12:37 am
      Brandon, it is so evident that you do not have knowledge in the field covered by my post, as you admit above, that a further reply is unwarranted. You are obviously offended by my observations. Nature does not care one way or the other. Truth will prevail despite fervent hopes to the contrary.
      Normally I would not reply to such plaints, but you really left yourself wide open by an admission of ignorance about the subject on which you vehemently protest my studied conclusions, with all the references deliberately provided for public scrutiny and your criticism. I suggest that rather than projecting your obviously heartfelt but self proclaimed ‘ignorant’ opinions, you educate yourself, then bring facts and logic, not opinions and feelings, to the discourse.
      Regards to a fellow human”

      Indeed, That’s how it works.

      And Brandon, I recommend not putting the ITT Tech school degree on your resume. Just some friendly advice gathered from the job recruiters and human resource people.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        How in the world is it talking behind someone’s back to post a comment about what they’ve said on a thread they’re participating in? Not only had Rud Istvan posted on that same thread, I used his full name and posted links to discussions of what he said. That’s about the dumbest way of talking behind someone’s back imaginable.

        And Brandon, I recommend not putting the ITT Tech school degree on your resume. Just some friendly advice gathered from the job recruiters and human resource people.

        By “friendly advice,” you mean “personal attack I level against you because I’m a pathetic wretch who has no meaningful response to anything you say,” right?

      • Brandon, No one really cares to see you show off your high school debating team skills. Doesn’t cut it in the scientific world.

    • Brandon Shollenberger

      Rud Istvan:

      For example, Mr. Schollenberger criticized my take on the Guardian report on the wiki leaked cables. But Guardian is not a primary source. Simmon’s book based on hundreds of Saudi technical papers, and the wikicables themselves, are. I think I will let my statements stand against his secondary sourced criticisms.

      I used the source you provided. If you’re going to condemn the source, the only person you condemn is yourself. It’s silly to condemn me for pointing out you misrepresented your own source. If you didn’t like what your source had to say, you shouldn’t have cited it. It’s ridiculous to cite a source then criticize people for talking about what the source actually says.

      Besides, I provided a link to the underlying cable. It shows you were wrong and I am right. Your own, primary source agrees with what I said. Rather than address this simple fact, you misrepresent me in order to create a baseless attack. That is what I call doubling down on dumb.

      (Not that it matters, but there is no ‘c’ in my name.)

  74. Hey, if we’re about to run out of oil, why not just have the EPA pass a regulation forcing evil Big Oil to include biofuels in their gasoline products, regardless of whether the biofuels are either available, or economical? That way you can “harness the free market” (albeit in a socialist way) to free us from our addiction to oil.

    Oh wait, been there, done that, just got slapped down by a federal court.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/339340/epa-vs-reality-jillian-kay-melchior

    Well, if Governor Moonbeam can mandate 35.5 mpg average for all vehicles in California by 2016, what wrong with ordering the inclusion in gasoline of biofuels that don’t exist?

    Can you Canute?

  75. What. Are people *still* worried about this idiocy?

    Go ask Matt Savinar if his LATOC site is still being run and still selling their packed food for the survivors of the doom to come.

    JEEESH.

    • Matt and the doomers are not in the picture.
      Peak oil is about carefully monitoring the reserves of non-renewable resources so people can make their own decisions, free of the biases of the extreme cornucopians and the knee-jerk doomers.

  76. jim2 | February 5, 2013 at 8:41 am | Reply It is possible that the 1970′s US oil peak will be re-visited or exceeded.

    “Shale plays have gotten a lot of attention lately, as more and more news articles focus on the importance of U.S. shale in helping reverse the 40-year decline of U.S. domestic oil production. “Hubbert’s Peak” has ruled as production fell to under 5 mmboe/d from a peak double that in 1970. Outside of a rise in the late-1970′s/early-1980′s brought on by a 12-fold increase in the price of oil in 7 years, production had been in a multi-decade steep decline – until the U.S. shale revolution:”

    http://seekingalpha.com/article/1090721-5-hidden-oil-shale-plays-for-2013

    • Why would you believe anything posted from a market investment site ?!?
      Their motto : “Read.Decide.Invest.”
      I remember Ripley’s motto: “Believe it. Or not.”
      Or Faux News “We report. You decide.”

      Frac’d oil wells have a diffusion-limited output that declines quickly and is essentially a trickle after a few years. The math behind the modeling is uncertainty quantified diffusional flow, a technique that works on highly disordered regions. Google Bakken “diffusion-limited”

      As the data comes in, we will be able to get closer to an estimate of the ultimate recoverable resource (URR), and the results are already starting to look underwhelming.
      This is bottom-of-the-barrel stuff, compared to what we are used to.

      • Web. 1. They research the companies, talking to professionals in the field.
        2. The officers of the companies can go to prison if they mis-lead.

        Their information is better than your guesses.

      • Is gullibility the one trait that all climate skeptics seem to share?

        “Their information is better than your guesses.”

        That is nonsense, “guesses” are not the same as using data, models, basic physics, statistics, etc.

        The point of all this is to use methods that allows for less ambiguity and uncertainty than relying on “the officers of the companies”.
        You are just being dismissive out of principle.

        Again, quite the “skeptic” you are.

        jim2, you seem to me to be very tenacious in your defense of cornucopianism. I can hang on as long as you can. People actually Google this stuff, and as they read the nonsense that you peddle, their average IQ goes down.

      • You are free to believe as you wish, Web.

      • “jim2 | February 6, 2013 at 9:31 am |

        You are free to believe as you wish, Web.”

        No room for belief in science, except for motivational belief in the scientific method.

  77. What many fail to recognize is that North America’s oil and gas renaissance, which has the potential to fuel a U.S. industrial recovery with cheaper energy, is not a happy accident of geology and lucky drilling. The dramatic rise in shale-gas extraction and the tight-oil revolution happened in the United States and Canada because open access, sound government policy, stable property rights and the incentive offered by market pricing unleashed the skills of good engineers. Policy, not geology, is driving the extraordinary turn of events that is boosting America’s oil industry.

    –Christof Rühl, International Herald Tribune, 5 February 2013

    • Let me amend that reporting for a couple of years in the future:

      The dramatic rise (and fall) in shale-gas extraction and the tight-oil revolution (and collapse) happened in the United States was a result of a last gasp effort to extract remaining gas and liquid fossil fuel resources. The only reason the shale path was pursued was because the conventional crude oil reservoirs had been tapped, which had been predicted all along by the now rather obvious Peak Oil analysis of Hubbert and others.

  78. Imagine all of the additional shovel-ready, energy-related jobs (direct and indirect) that could have been created since 2008 in the oil and gas industry (and its supporting industries), if the Obama administration had been a little less friendly to the taxpayer-subsidy-dependent, high-cost, unreliable but politically-favored “green” energies, and instead had been a little more friendly to the low-cost, job-creating, dependable fossil fuel industry (think Keystone XL pipeline) that doesn’t require picking the pockets of the taxpayers.

    –Mark J. Perry, AEIdeas, 4 February 2013

    • What got us into the 2008 recession was mainly the shift from a supply surplus to a supply deficit of oil. A shift happens with every finite commodity, but the issue in 2008 was that crude oil is a huge driver in economic productivity and growth.

      • Well, that was actually the housing bubble. Didn’t have a lot to do with oil.

      • Most of the expensive foreclosures ended up in the far suburbs, the exurbs. Homeowners had a choice between mortgage payments or expensive commuting bills for gas. Lots of those turned into ghost towns.

        The amount of money lost by the banks in inner city homes wassmall as the disparity between inflated value and actual value wasn’t as great.

        Read some James Hamilton.

        Also note that about 10 of the last 11 recessions were preceded by oil price increases.

        Energy is the engine for a debt based economy, cheap energy that is. When the prices start increasing, large financed construction projects start to fold.

        Of course this is open to interpretation which is why I do the number crunching on the bean counted production and discovery data.

      • While the price of gasoline would be an additional strain, the primary problem was an over-leveraged financial system driven by home loans.

  79. “Coal consumption will peak below 4 billion tonnes,” Jiang Kejun, who led the modelling team that advised the State Counci(ed China)l on energy use scenarios, told Fairfax Media.

    http://www.smh.com.au/business/carbon-economy/time-for-change-china-flags-peak-in-coal-usage-20130206-2dxrv.html#ixzz2K81vDHr5

  80. First, let’s clear up the definition of crude oil:
    “Crude Oil Definition: A mixture of hydrocarbons that exists in liquid phase in natural underground reservoirs and remains liquid at atmospheric pressure after passing through surface separating facilities. ”

    Notice the type of reservoir rock, drilling technique, and production methods do NOT come into play in the definition.

    http://www.indexmundi.com/energy.aspx?product=oil&graph=production

    • So according to this definition it is not kerogen or bitumen, which are oil shale (solid) or tar sands (extremely viscous) respectively. There goes NA’s supposedly huge reserves of “crude oil” due to Green River and Athabasca. Good to have definitions, so we can keep track of the different grades of fossil fuel.

      Oil shale is also not the same as shale oil. The latter is crude that exists in shale cracks and crevices which gets extracted during hydraulic fracturing. This is pretty marginal stuff in terms of quantity (the stems and seeds of the crude oil world).

  81. Here we have a nice oil production forecast from the Oildrum, 2009. They weren’t right then and likely aren’t right now.

    • That is one guy “Ace” who made a prediction based on MegaProject data.

      He had production going below 70 MB/day by 2011. My prediction based on fat-tail discoveries and steady extraction pressure, drops below 70 MB/day in 2017. That is the oil shock model, which predicts plateauing with increases in extraction pressure. Support for at least some plateauing is due to the rapid 2X increase in rig count the last few years.

  82. Here is a chart of the growth of crude oil production, crude oil being hydrocarbons from the ground that are liquid at STP:

    http://www.bp.com/sectiongenericarticle800.do?categoryId=9037169&contentId=7068608

    • Thank You, Jim2.

      Download the BP spreadsheet and go to the “Oil – Refinery Throughputs” sheet. Look at World throughput which is “Input to primary distillation units only”.

      This number for 2011 is 75.5 MB/day. It has been bouncing around this point since 2005.
      EIA has an estimate 74.1 MB/day for 2011.

      Take either the BP (private industry) or EIA (government) value. Either one represents the crude oil component of the world oil production.

      The rest of the liquid fuels (such as NPL, biofuels, etc) push the prouction up beyond 83 MB per day, and the refinery gain further. These other liquid fuels constitute the bulk of the growth rate in “equivalent oil”.

      The down-turning hockey stick in crude oil is there, you just have to know where to look — as the bureaucrats will try to “Hide The Decline” to keep up the appearances of BAU. Unfortunately they can’t keep up this forever as the oil-producing regions are in the middle of toppling like dominoes as they pass their own respective peaks.

      Latest one is a biggie, Russia is declining in production output two months in a row

      http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/02/02/russia-oil-idUSL5N0B205720130202

      This is contributing to the non-OPEC, non-US/Canada production starting to head downward.

      Once this starts declining, that’s pretty much it except for secondary and tertiary recovery.

  83. The Myth of “Saudi America”
    Straight talk from geologists about our new era of oil abundance.
    By Raymond T. Pierrehumbert

    http://tinyurl.com/b2pcvtt

    • I knew it would eventually happen, a major league climate scientist aligning with the oil depletion analysts. Dogs and cats, living together.

      Raymond even mentions the Red Queen and links to Rune Likvern’s Bakken analysis. This is big news AFAIAC.

      • It would be big news if they’d abandon the pseudoscience CAGW proxy/hoax, and directly address the real issue, HC depletion.
        Then maybe we could make some real progress.
        Imposing CO2 emission limits acts as a Proxy (of sorts) for HC use/depletion. Although we often use proxies for valid reasons, one should never use them instead of directly addressing issues when this is practical. Use of imperfect proxies can induce some dysfunctional behavior compared addressing real issues directly.

        cheers
        brent

        “The solution to climate change is energy policy,” said Mr. Kerry, 69, who has long supported the need for sweeping efforts to mitigate man-made global warming.

        http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-investor/kerry-dodges-keystone-pipeline-question/article7822943/

        Kerry of course is misdirecting in the sense that TPTB should never have tried to ‘hide the HC decline” behind the Ruse/Hoax/Conn of CAGW

    • More evidence that Raymond T. Pierrehumbert doesn’t know jack squat.
      He argues that the oil can’t be mined and then says:
      “oil in Bakken and Eagle Ford amounts to a carbon pool of 81 gigatons, and the Green River shale adds up to 232 gigatons. ”
      Why worry about it, if it can’t be mined?
      Not only is he unbelievable, he doesn’t believe himself.
      Whines about the Keystone XL pipeline, yet a pipeline lowers costs and CO2 emission of transporting.
      Be against the pipeline if want more truckers trucking it, just don’t be so retarded as say it’s reducing CO2.

      • gbaikie says:

        “More evidence that Raymond T. Pierrehumbert doesn’t know jack squat.”

        Suddenly the cat has gbaikie’s tongue. Why aren’t you writing paragraph after endless paragraph over this situation, gbaikie? How about some crackpot idea of using outer space to fix the problem? The guy who doesn’t know jack-squat is gbaikie, ha ha,

      • +1
        A cynic might add that what he really thinks is “the answer to energy policy is climate change”.

        Why do so many persist with the green-shirt argument of “Energy prices can only go up gradually in the long run, therefore we must put them up rapidly now.” Which equates to “we’ll make the laws so we can feel self-satisfied, someone else can fix the problems.”

        Such reasoning introduces new problems and solves none.

      • that’s +1 for gbaikie

    • This suffers from the same common problem all peak oil analyses share: They can’t predict the future of technology. Period.

      • “This suffers from the same common problem all peak oil analyses share: They can’t predict the future of technology. Period.”

        Ask me some stuff and I will tell you if I predicted the future.Those who take the advice get a head-start over those who don’t.

        Those who misdirect, like jim2, are nasty impediments to progress. Why do people like jim2 do this? I don’t know, is it perhaps that misdirection propels their own selfish plans forward? It’s like GWB said “See, in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda.”
        What a knuckle-head that Bush was, good riddance.

        The future of technology is based on future needs. You don’t irresponsibly deplete the nation’s seed corn and feed-stock reserves of energy when you can use that energy to develop alternative technologies. Read Pierre’s parable on the plight of Wisconsin’s white pines to see what this means.

  84. Web – I’m OK with classifying solid hydrocarbons differently than liquids. But that won’t change the fact that they can be harvested and converted to liquid fuel. Technology has proved to be a irresistible force.

    • “Web – I’m OK with classifying solid hydrocarbons differently than liquids.”

      So you agree that peak oil is a challenging issue, and that we should apply a no regrets policy to use the dwindling reserves to help fund alternative sources of energy?

      • No, not at all. The no-regrets policy is to build out large and small nuclear reactors. That’s what I’m for. As to oil, leave it to science, technology, and the markets to bring us the cheapest hydrocarbon fuels possible.

      • I am part of the market, the market of ideas that is, so you evidently fear free markets, eh?

  85. In the real-world final analysis, the peak of fossil fuel production will be determined, not by some arbitrary sigmoid curve, but by science, the advance of technology, and the markets.

    • “In the real-world final analysis, the peak of fossil fuel production will be determined, not by some arbitrary sigmoid curve, but by science, the advance of technology, and the markets.”

      That’s OK, if nothing else, I will be around to document the atrocities. :-)

  86. As far as green energy is concerned, any energy company should get zero government dollars. It it can’t survive the free market it does not deserve to live. (Other than some special regs for nuclear.)

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  90. Gaia invented humans to reverse the suicidal sequestration of CO2 by plants and shellfish.

    100% of the O2 in the atmosphere was stripped out of primordial CO2 by photosynthetic plants.

    It is the Staff of Life.

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