« Open Thread 22 July 2015 | Main | Afghan Buzkashi (FB Ali) »

23 July 2015

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

William R. Cumming

It appears a long time decline in petroleum usage as fuel beginning world-wide. Given PEAK OIL and other postulates about the energy future I have always wondered if the one that goes petroleum too useful to modern society to be utilized and perhaps used up as fuel. That concept is derived from the many many petroleum derived products including all plastic products.

Thoughts?

turcopolier

WRC

Your response sounds more like an ideological or indeed theological position than a fact based view. What is the EVIDENCE for "peak oil?" I, too would like to see fossil fuels replaced with something else but what is the EVIDENCE for "Peak Oil?" pl

r whitman

Historically, the amount of developed oil reserves has always been price dependent. If we have fairly constant $150/bbl oil, people will be drilling and developing the oil reserves at the North Pole. There has always been a surplus of oil.

Oil prices are by nature, unpredictable. Try the following experiment: Mark down your best guess on your calendar for the price of WTI on Feb 1, 2016. Report back to SST then on how wrong you were.

BabelFish

I've always thought Peak Oil meant, 'we've tapped all the easy stuff' that we can find. I worked for Chevron USA for two short years and that was the understanding. The rest of the petroleum was supposed to be too expensive to be economically viable to access. FYI, we did fracking but it was pretty limited.

And, I believe that was the key. The lure of rewards from higher prices for a barrel of oil seems to have resulted in development of more sophisticated technologies and knowledge of how to find the stuff (the Dakotas and Colorado, for instance) and access it. That gain is applicable anywhere world wide, to increase discovery and production. Coupled with efficiencies in cars and other items that use petroleum and we arrive at a place where production has exceeded use.

There have always been individuals who believe the planet has huge deposits of oil and gas that we simply are not yet equipped to detect, yet alone access. If that is correct, we are not even close to having used the planet's treasure of petroleum and gas.

Karl Boyken

Peak oil is simple mathematics, not ideology. Given a finite resource, extraction will peak. As your own "wiki -peak oil" quote shows, the easy oil has been extracted. What we're now extracting is more difficult to get, more expensive both monetarily and in terms of net energy produced.

turcopolier

Karl Boyken

Your argument is not an argument. It is an exhortation calling upon the "unwashed" ignorami like me to accept your word for what you think must be the situation. You offer no data. "Arithmetic?" Where are your numbers on ultimate available reserves? pl

Pete Deer

Pat,
The evidence lay in the fact that many billions of dollars of Wall Street investor money was required to maintain the fracking boom that this country experienced over the past several years. The fact that many U.S. corporations were driven to such extremes to access such a marginal source of oil given the huge capital investment would tend to confirm the decline of supply of oil from conventional sources. These companies were not making profits with oil at $110/ barrel much less being able to pay off the enormous debt they had taken on to make that investment possible. Many have and will now go belly up at the current price.
I think you are also confusing the excess amount of oil on the world market with a decrease in petroleum use, which accurately reflects a downturn in the world economy rather than a bonanza of cheap, conventional oil. The current (relatively) cheap price for oil (WTI last I looked was 49 something and dropping) is a curse in that such a low price greatly prohibits exploration and development needed to replace current reserves for future extraction. At these prices the fracking boom will stay busted, as well as arctic or deep water projects.
The facts are every oil field ever discovered has experienced the same production characteristics of increase followed by decline. Hydraulic fracturing, horizontal drilling, sea water, co2 and nitrogen injection are all neat tricks but ultimately are just very expensive ways of squeezing just a little more of the black stuff out of the ground.
So to directly answer your question, no, I don't feel like an idiot. The human species has managed to suck up and burna huge amount of liquid hydrocarbons out of the ground in a blindingly fast amount of time (geologically speaking, that is), and given that we are having to resort to such increasingly expensive, complicated and technically challenging lengths to keep the black stuff flowing should in itself be a signal that the age of oil is peaking if not already. We've all stuck our collective straws into the milkshake and we done drink it up...

turcopolier

Pete Deer

More theology. You express the self-righteous anger of the mother Gaea crowd against the "ravaging" of the planet. "many billions of dollars of Wall Street investor money was required to maintain the fracking boom that this country experienced over the past several years" Yes. "Wall street investor money" This is and was private money. The market prices the hoped for outcome against risks. So far, the calculation in private investment has been on the side of optimism. If that calculation was flawed then the investors will lose. Tant pis pour eux. pl

MS2

I am confident that peak oil will continue not happening as long as we continue tripling the percentage of business investment directed to exploration related activities each decade, as we did in the 2003-2013. It currently stands at 12%. There is an obvious limit to how long we can go on tripling this percentage.

http://www.businessinsider.com/energy-investment-a-small-share-of-gdp-2014-12

The article above says not to worry, as 12 percent of business investment is a small share of GDP. What this is really pointing out is that business investment within the US is a small share of GDP, but that is a separate topic, the secession of capital.

steve

If Swanson's Law continues to hold, and Colorado's efforts with wind can be duplicated or improved elsewhere, we might even reach a peak demand for fossil fuels in the not too far off future. Its a pipe dream to think they go away entirely, but they may lose out on a cost basis for a lot of what they do now, especially as the supplies of easy oil are depleted.

Steve

JJackson

PL the arithmetic is that oil creation is a very slow process taking many millennia, extraction is a very quick process taking a century or two. The oil will run out it if we continue to use it as fuel. The question is what can be used instead and how quickly can it be deployed in meaningful volume? The medium/long term answer is probably fusion if it can be made to work efficiently. My concern is the time scales, we need to ween our selves of fossil fuels, for electrical generation, quickly so they can be reserved for aviation fuel, and other uses for which there is no other light weight high energy alternatives. The related bottleneck is battery technology which has not advanced at the same pace as most other technologies.
I don't care if peak oil has been been and gone, or is yet to come, it is inevitable given the vast disparity in the rate of creation and the rate of extraction.

Karl Boyken

I have no statistics for ultimate available reserves; I don't need any. Given a finite resource, extraction will at some point reach zero; ergo, there has to be a peak (or multiple peaks) at some point. As I said, that is simply math. As to when that peak will occur, I don't have any idea. I'm not a geologist.

turcopolier

Karl Boyken

"... when that peak will occur, I don't have any idea. I'm not a geologist." well, then, perhaps you should stop claiming that you know anything about this. pl

turcopolier

J Jackson

"The oil will run out it if we continue to use it as fuel." You don't know that. You are guessing. As I said, I also support substituting something else for burning fossil fuels. What do you suggest? pl

Karl Boyken

I don't have to know auto engineering to know that if I am sitting behind the wheel of a stopped car, I hit the gas, speed up, and then hit the brakes and stop again, that my speed will have peaked at some point. I don't have to know anything about producing Oreos to know that if I sit down and open a bag and start eating, at some point, all the Oreos will be gone, so at some point, the rate at which I ate the Oreos peaked. Take any finite resource, begin withdrawing from it, plot the rate of extraction, and you will have a curve that starts at ends at zero and has at least one maximum point--a peak. You don't have to know physics or astronomy or Zoroastrian mythology--that is simply a mathematical fact.

turcopolier

MS2

Private money is private money. is it not? If you want an argument talk about federal subsidies. pl

turcopolier

Karl Boyken

"any finite resource" You have no idea how "finite" this asset is. It must be finite but neither you nor I know what the numbers are. But you, nevertheless, insist that you know "the truth." pl

William R. Cumming

IMO at this moment PEAK OIL not on the horizon!

William R. Cumming

How much of the world's NAVIES nuclear?

William R. Cumming

BTW most PROVEN RESERVE figures are rigged for many different reasons.

Production for domestic usage by the NOCs [National Oil Companies] increasing and most heavily subsidize their citizens and residents with cheap oil well below market. Include GB.

Matthew

Bablefish: Technological innovations is actually increasing the availability of the "easy stuff." Domestic oil production ramped quickly because old oil fields became viable again.

The problem is these fields deplete quickly so cheap oil makes them economically infeasible.

For a good summary, please see the book "The Frackers" by Gregory Zuckerman.

Matthew

Col: There is finite and then there is finite. Sunlight is finite, but I'm not worried about the Sun becoming a red giant in 5 billion years!

As you noted, the Peak Oil theory assumes we will run out of petroleum during the Fossil Fuel age. That seems like a dubious proposition.

Karl Boyken

When and where did I insist anything, other than the math? I never claimed to know amounts or dates or anything along those lines. "You have no idea how 'finite' this asset is"--what the heck does that even mean? Something is either finite, or it is not finite. I agree with you, I do not know the numbers. I never claimed I do. I do not understand the vehemence, the insistence on putting words in my mouth.

turcopolier

Karl Boyken

you cannot cite "math" if you have no numbers. Try some other argument. This might best be expressed in iambic pentameter. I put no words in your mouth. Don't pretend that I did. pl

Pete Deer

Pat,
I'm not sure where the self righteous anger of the Gaea crowd come into this discussion. I cited
Facts to you and in return you belittle what I had to say. That private money you mention is a part of a lot of people's pensions or retirement fund. When they end up living out of a cardboard box eating dog food out of a can because their sure thing investment (minus the fat commissions for Goldman Sachs, et al) went belly up, I'm sure they will understand the vagaries of the market are a fickle thing and beyoiund their control. The fact it was a Ponzi scheme of gargantuan proportions is a matter of little consequence.
As it happens, Im laying in a hospital ED waiting for a cardiac cath to determine if I have to engage the services of a cardio thoracic surgeon to fix my heart, so I'm not inclined at this moment to continue our dialogue, such as it is.

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

August 2020

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
            1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31          
Blog powered by Typepad