Are these links too pessimistic?

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I remember waiting is gas lines in the 70's because of the Arab oil embargo. Hubbert predicted a peak for US oil production which occured in the 70's. Hubbert's peak oil theory predicts world peak oil peaks around 2005-2009 according to most sources.

I remember years ago when Alan Greenspan was giving speeches warning about shortages of natural gas in North America.

I'm planning on getting one of these kits and building a wood furnace for emergency use and supplimenting the heat from the gas furnace.

Maybe eventually everyone will have to convert their furnaces to something else, like a heat pump, oil burning or even coal and wood. I remember a long time ago when I was at my grandfather's house in Pennsylvania, I asked him why his furnace was so big and looked the way it did. He said it was a coal burning furnace that had been converted to natural gas. As long as the power plants can get enough coal and enriched uranium, they can keep producing electricity. A heat pump might be the easiest solution. Looks like I'll have to put in more insulation. I've worked on that some before (crawl spaces and under the house) and went around caulking cracks in the doors and windows. Insulated windows seem like a good idea. I keep towels and blankets on most windows and doors if they don't have heavy curtains already.
Eventually we'll run out.
For now we need to burn it, Biofuels take a long time to break even because you have to clear land to plant the crops. Solar panels take too much energy to manufacture. By the time a solar panel gets close to breaking even it is worn out.

We need to use what we have more efficiently and eventually go nuclear as a stopgap until whatever comes next.

Until we run out we'll sell you our gas, we have plenty. At least another 30 years at current usage rates.
Solar panels are more efficient than plants. Sugar cane which is one of the most efficient plants is only about 2.5 % efficient with sunlight. Corn is less efficient. Check out this article from the Wall Street Journal about First Solar.

One problem with supplying more natural gas is that in some cases, when they want to put in more LNG (liquified natural gas) terminals somewhere, some people oppose them because they think they're too dangerous and a possible terrorist target. LNG is shipped across the ocean in tankers. We can import LNG from the mid east or other places. Alaska and northern Canada have natural gas resources, but there's no pipelines there and will take years to build them. Coalbed methane is also another source.
scott wurcer said:
Another stupid question, why does searching for carbon dating of crude oil turn up nothing? I know nothing about this stuff, just asking, so there might be an obvious answer. OTOH maybe the oil biz is like the diamond cartel.

I get lots of links.


I found and heard a couple things in the media (ie. Wall Street Journal and CNBC on TV) that the higher oil prices are mainly driven by the futures/commodity traders and falling US dollar. Bernanke thinks recession is worse than inflation so he's not going to raise rates any time soon (according to one article I read). One thing that seems to be feeding the rising commodity prises is inflation and traders that want to make money from investments that benefit from inflation (ie. commodities)

This article is more optimistic about oil supplies.


Posted by Royal Dutch Shell at March 4th, 2008
Chad Crowe
March 4, 2008; Page A17

Many energy analysts view the ongoing waltz of crude prices with the mystical $100 mark — notwithstanding the dollar’s anemia — as another sign of the beginning of the end for the oil era. “[A]t the furthest out, it will be a crisis in 2008 to 2012,” declares Matthew Simmons, the most vocal voice among the “neo-peak-oil” club. Tempering this pessimism only slightly is the viewpoint gaining ground among many industry leaders, who argue that daily production by 2030 of 100 million barrels will be difficult.

In fact, we are nowhere close to reaching a peak in global oil supplies.

Given a set of assumptions, forecasting the peak-oil-point — defined as the onset of global production decline — is a relatively trivial problem. Four primary factors will pinpoint its exact timing. The trivial becomes far more complex because the four factors — resources in place (how many barrels initially underground), recovery efficiency (what percentage is ultimately recoverable), rate of consumption, and state of depletion at peak (how empty is the global tank when decline kicks in) — are inherently uncertain.

- What are the global resources in place? Estimates vary. But approximately six to eight trillion barrels each for conventional and unconventional oil resources (shale oil, tar sands, extra heavy oil) represent probable figures — inclusive of future discoveries. As a matter of context, the globe has consumed only one out of a grand total of 12 to 16 trillion barrels underground.

- What percentage of global resources is ultimately recoverable? The industry recovers an average of only one out of three barrels of conventional resources underground and considerably less for the unconventional.

This benchmark, established over the past century, is poised to change upward. Modern science and unfolding technologies will, in all likelihood, double recovery efficiencies. Even a 10% gain in extraction efficiency on a global scale will unlock 1.2 to 1.6 trillion barrels of extra resources — an additional 50-year supply at current consumption rates.

The impact of modern oil extraction techniques is already evident across the globe. Abqaiq and Ghawar, two of the flagship oil fields of Saudi Arabia, are well on their way to recover at least two out of three barrels underground — in the process raising recovery expectations for the remainder of the Kingdom’s oil assets, which account for one quarter of world reserves.

Are the lessons and successes of Ghawar transferable to the countless struggling fields around the world — most conspicuously in Venezuela, Mexico, Iran or the former Soviet Union — where irreversible declines in production are mistakenly accepted as the norm and in fact fuel the “neo-peak-oil” alarmism? The answer is a definitive yes.

Hundred-dollar oil will provide a clear incentive for reinvigorating fields and unlocking extra barrels through the use of new technologies. The consequences for emerging oil-rich regions such as Iraq can be far more rewarding. By 2040 the country’s production and reserves might potentially rival those of Saudi Arabia.

Paradoxically, high crude prices may temporarily mask the inefficiencies of others, which may still remain profitable despite continuing to use 1960-vintage production methods. But modernism will inevitably prevail: The national oil companies that hold over 90% of the earth’s conventional oil endowment will be pressed to adopt new and better technologies.

- What will be the average rate of crude consumption between now and peak oil? Current daily global consumption stands around 86 million barrels, with projected annual increases ranging from 0% to 2% depending on various economic outlooks. Thus average consumption levels ranging from 90 to 110 million barrels represent a reasonable bracket. Any economic slowdown — as intimated by the recent tremors in the global equity markets — will favor the lower end of this spectrum.

This is not to suggest that global supply capacity will grow steadily unimpeded by bottlenecks — manpower, access, resource nationalism, legacy issues, logistical constraints, etc. — within the energy equation. However, near-term obstacles do not determine the global supply ceiling at 2030 or 2050. Market forces, given the benefit of time and the burgeoning mobility of technology and innovation across borders, will tame transitional obstacles.

- When will peak oil arrive? This widely accepted tipping point — 50% of ultimately recoverable resources consumed — is largely a tribute to King Hubbert, a distinguished Shell geologist who predicted the peak oil point for the U.S. lower 48 states. While his timing was very good (he forecast 1968 versus 1970 in fact), he underestimated peak daily production (9.5 million barrels actual versus eight million estimated).

But modern extraction methods will undoubtedly stretch Hubbert’s “50% assumption,” which was based on Sputnik-era technologies. Even a modest shift — to 55% of recoverable resources consumed — will delay the onset by 20-25 years.

Where do reasonable assumptions surrounding peak oil lead us? My view, subjective and imprecise, points to a period between 2045 and 2067 as the most likely outcome.

Cambridge Energy Associates forecasts the global daily liquids production to rise to 115 million barrels by 2017 versus 86 million at present. Instead of a sharp peak per Hubbert’s model, an undulating, multi-decade long plateau production era sets in — i.e., no sudden-death ending.

The world is not running out of oil anytime soon. A gradual transitioning on the global scale away from a fossil-based energy system may in fact happen during the 21st century. The root causes, however, will most likely have less to do with lack of supplies and far more with superior alternatives. The overused observation that “the Stone Age did not end due to a lack of stones” may in fact find its match.

The solutions to global energy needs require an intelligent integration of environmental, geopolitical and technical perspectives each with its own subsets of complexity. On one of these — the oil supply component — the news is positive. Sufficient liquid crude supplies do exist to sustain production rates at or near 100 million barrels per day almost to the end of this century.

Technology matters. The benefits of scientific advancement observable in the production of better mobile phones, TVs and life-extending pharmaceuticals will not, somehow, bypass the extraction of usable oil resources. To argue otherwise distracts from a focused debate on what the correct energy-policy priorities should be, both for the United States and the world community at large.

Mr. Saleri, president and CEO of Quantum Reservoir Impact in Houston, was formerly head of reservoir management for Saudi Aramco.

Copyright © 2008 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved
We might be seeing a commodity bubble which might burst over time.

Oil Prices: A Correction is in the Cards
Predictions of soaring oil and gasoline prices fly in the face of the fundamentals -- oil stocks are flush and fuel demand is ebbing.
By Jim Ostroff, Associate Editor, The Kiplinger Letter

March 3, 2008

This large run-up in oil prices will be difficult to sustain. Though the weak U.S. dollar is encouraging traders to buy oil and other commodities as a hedge, ample oil supplies and weak economic growth presage a price correction in coming weeks.

"Oil prices have been gyrating violently … but [economic fundamentals] make it likely oil is set to fall below $85 and keep going to the $70s by June," says John Kilduff, a senior vice president with MFGlobal, a commodities trading firm. There are plenty of other, more dire, forecasts on oil, including some calling for oil to climb to $200 a barrel. But Kilduff believes lessening energy demand will dictate otherwise.

As for gasoline at the pump, we expect the national average price to decrease by about 10% by June from the same date a year ago.

Note that there’s currently a surplus of oil worldwide: It’ll reach 1.5 million barrels a day this spring, a significant jump over last spring’s 500,000 barrels a day. The surplus will cushion the market against supply disruption risks that have fed oil price escalation since 2004 by emboldening traders who bid up prices knowing prices wouldn’t slide for long.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will have a role in moderating oil prices. When ministers of the OPEC meet this week in Vienna, Austria, they’ll brush off calls to slash oil export quotas made by the usual suspects, Iran and Venezuela.

Why? The cartel’s oil ministers know that the sluggish economies in the U.S., Canada and other nations will slice motor fuel demand. They fret that $100-plus oil prices in perpetuity will give even greater vigor to the development of ethanol- and electric-powered cars and trucks, which would permanently reduce demand for oil.

In fact, the current economic slowdown in the U.S. already has knocked down demand for gasoline by more than 1% from a year ago -- the U.S. consumes around a quarter of the world’s oil. The U.S. is burning about 6% less distillates -- mainly diesel fuel, says Timothy Evans, an energy analyst at Citigroup Global Markets.

Fuel usage will fall further as consumers tighten the reins on spending, take fewer car trips, step up use of public transportation and vacation closer to home this year in response to tough economic times. OPEC knows that cutting oil exports to keep prices north of $100 a barrel "means consumer demand for gasoline won’t just be dead in the water by summer, but so too will oil usage," says Evans.

Barring a major disruption, of course, we expect gasoline prices to average around $2.85 per gallon this year, up a nickel or so from last year. For diesel fuel, expect to pay an average of $2.95 per gallon, up a dime.

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Time to switch to electric vehicles then?

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Joined 2006
7n7is said:
Can you imagine if all the roads had electrified strips for powering electric cars? How about beaming microwaves to cars for power? All of it could be computer controlled and the electric bill can be prepaid or put on your credit card. Fast breeder reactors can stretch the uranium supply to about 1000 years.
That's only assuming you use mineable uranium. There's a hell of a lot more uranium in seawater, and you can also use thorium as fuel, and there's a great deal of that that can be mined as well.
.... How about beaming microwaves to cars for power? All of it could be computer controlled and the electric bill can be prepaid or put on your credit card....

Heh Heh. Does the lead apron come with this car when you buy it or is it sold seperatly.:D Then again, I suppose a little public birth control may be a good thing these days.....:warped:

more data

This is of course just part of the picture but oil, as a commodity, is going to cost more when your dollar is worth less, no thanks in part to 'King Ludwig II' and his spending binges, and the fact that ~60% of US dollars are held by foreign parties. Wars cost lots of money, especially when you’re paying the bill for contracts when the contract issuers are working for the contract receivers, so on and so forth, ect, ect. And don't forget the taxpayer funded bailout of broken private investment banks so they don't go under. This is a first, BTW. There is a strange criminal sentiment about these recent exploitations. We, the working American, will ultamately pay for these shenanigans in everything we buy for a long time coming. But I digress as this thread subject cannot help but be tied, at some level, to politics and therefore should be held on a different forum that is more moderator friendly to such conversations.
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