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23 July 2015


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How many 18 wheelers ran on whale oil?



You have become boring in your condescension. You are done here. pl



congratulations. pl


"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?"

If one defines peak oil as maximum production of crude oil then we may see it actually, a certain percentage what increased in the last years and what is now published as oil are condensates which have an lower quality.


"which means major heart surgery in the next few days"

Be well, and God speed, Pete. I wish you all good wishes and a most successful operation.


My take:

1) We have resources, that is the stuff in the ground.

2) A fraction of these resources we can produce with available technology.

3) Only a fraction of these reserves can be produced economically.
Hence, the volume of recoverable reserves depends on the price of crude.

My Conclusion: Most of the oil will stay in the ground, we do not run out of oil, but out of cheap (conventional) oil.

"Where are your numbers on ultimate available reserves?"

Nobody can give you these numbers IMHO, you would have to assume price levels (see 3) and to analyse the economic carrying capacity of various countries. 2008/9 showed that crude oil at 140 USD/b is not economically sustainable at current consumption levels. For the USA 115 USD/b is IIRC the accepted maximum. This may be higher for other countries.

OTOH we could assume a redcution of consumption (efficiency, substitution in heating sector, EVs) and as result a higher "carrying capacity" of the economies, this would increase the reserves.

Another aspect is synthetic fuel: The production of a product that is better than diesel costs around 250-300 USD/b with renewable energy at current price levels; therefore, 200-250 USD/b number would define the upper price, at which production of conventional and unconventional crude is useful IMHO.


With your first part I have no problems, however, your

"Peak is, as such is the function of net energy gain hen product energy is larger by at least a factor of 3 the total energy needed to produce it. when energy requirement is larger then that gained by production it is the end of the game."

is debatable. The economic usefulness of various forms of energy is different, therefore, I can make a energetical net loss in some fields, i.e. I burn two units waste methane to produce one unit crude. The EROEI aspect is IMHO only an additinal facette of the discussion, not the most important one.


Here an opinion of a real expert in this field:


The Virginian

What is hard to extract now will not be so hard tomorrow. While peak oil as a theory seems plausible, the moment of steady decline is being pushed out constantly by technology. I would suggest that reliance on O&G as fuel will end due to the discovery of viable alternatives that match the energy output of hydrocarbon and meet environmental requirements before the moment of peak - much less decline - is upon us. Another reason for decreasing demand is increases in efficiency. Compare a demand curve for the US from ten years ago to today.


Babelfish: the most interesting part of the book is the discussion of "Gold Rush" economics. Companies like Chesapeake put so much land under lease that they were literally forced to drill, drill, drill (or the leases would expire). Consequently, production ramped up much faster than the companies probably wanted!


You really shouldn't think of anything as the sole source of energy. Keeping that in mind, wind has the potential to provide a significant percentage of energy needs at competitive costs.


As far as solar goes, there was concern in the mid-2000s that Swanson's Law was not holding, but since then costs have resumed their steady downward trend. IIRC, it should be competitive w/o subsides around 2020. For both of these, we still need fossil fuel back up (or nuclear), but we could be looking at peak demand, not supply, for oil in 10-20 years.

Babak Makkinejad

MRW is correct about that theory:


Babak Makkinejad

2 things:

Solar Energy will become practicable when solar cells become as cheap as concrete.





That makes some sense but I wonder how much of this is them creating the setting for them to be able to justify a rise in refined. But I'm not a petroleum engineer.



market manipulation.


Tidewater to MRW and Pete Deer,

MRW: Thank you very much for your response. I had understood that even the United States Navy had some predictions of a "blue water" Arctic Ocean by 2016.

I am going to walk back into the whole methane question.

Have you ever looked at Peter Wadhams's cv? Among other things he has made a lot of submarine trips up there. He has been working on the ice conditions since 1971.

Most recently he said something that I noticed: that TWO other ships, which are not identified, though perhaps easily discovered, one Norwegian, I think, and perhaps one Swedish, have now done further research in other parts of the Arctic Ocean.

I assume that this would mean that they are bringing up ice cores. From these ice cores a great deal can be inferred and understood as to the ongoing condition of the methane hydrates.

My understanding of Peter Wadham's presumed collegial review of the conclusions of these Skandinavian researchers is that they did not disagree with the Shakhova conclusions.

There is a YouTube video of this process being carried out. The students doing the work seemed to believe that the methane hydrates were not stable.

I would assume that a significent increase in methane readings from satellites come October would be an occasion for a reevaluation of the whole situation.

Also there would be, of course, the condition of the ice--including thickness-- and the amount of blue water at the end of September.

There are still two months of warming. I had understood the warming this year to be intense.

Pete Deer: I wish you well with the surgery and look forward to hearing more from you after you come out of anesthesia.


He is correct that the theory exists, not that the theory is correct. There isn't a shred of evidence that there is an abiotic rate of synthesis even remotely high enough to balance the current rate of extraction. Just because a given behavior may be possible within a system, e.g. there exist plausible reaction mechanisms for hydrocarbon synthesis at high temperature and pressure, doesn't mean that it is a common occurrence or even that it is actually occurring at all. Conservation of mass is harsh reality. Rates matter.

Please note that I am not asserting that it is NOT true, just that the case has not been made.

William R. Cumming

Many thanks!

William R. Cumming

Wishing you good luck in the OR!

William R. Cumming

Wondering if coyotes yet on Long Island?

William R. Cumming

How many countries have SPRs?

Babak Makkinejad



William, according to this article they haven't quite made it to Long Island yet but are expected any time:

Coyotes Are New York’s Newest Immigrants http://www.newsweek.com/2015/05/08/coyotes-are-new-yorks-newest-immigrants-324929.html

According to this article (dated the same day!) they are starting to be seen on LI... and there's a plan to study their growth there...

Coyote breeding on Long Island 'inevitable,' researchers say http://www.newsday.com/business/technology/coyotes-arrival-on-long-island-inevitable-researchers-say-1.10334723

We have coyotes pretty much everywhere in Massachusetts except Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket.


Here's a graph of US production versus hubbert's 1956 prediction for US production.


Obviously, his prediction has been way off for the last few years. But he was remarkably accurate for a few decades. You may question his technique and reasoning, but that's some mighty fine predicting. Anyone care to offer up oil production predictions for the next 50 years?

Hubbert's peak is a bit like Moore's law. These are not fundamental laws of nature. The man who'd bet his house on these predictions and the man who dismisses them out of hand are equal fools. As we steer into the future, we ought to use every bit of wisdom and intuition at our disposal. We need to keep on thinking and hubbert strikes me as pretty good food for thought.

So am I a peak oil enthusiast? Sure. Its no doubt wrong in a thousand small ways, but it may be right in one or two big ones. Kinda like Taleb's black swan idea ....


Except that the huge Donetz-Dneiper oil field in Eastern Ukraine was brought in using the abiotic oil theory.
From the archives. Dr. JF Kenney--the American scientist who worked with the Russians--on NPR Science Friday after his paper was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science in the early 00s. There is tremendous controversy over this, but for the time being, no one has bothered to translate the 4,000 scientific papers that Russian scientists have on abiotic oil, so from my POV, they are speculating.

This is the introductory page for a whole slew of articles about it:

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