Sunday, March 19, 2006

Peak Oil, Sigh, Again...

Have at it. Convice someone.


Anonymous said...

Are you finally willing to concede that peak oilers are no more "convincable" than the sidewalk dirt-faced doom shouters, that invincible ignorance is, well, invincible?

Rob Dawg said...

I was hoping to isolate individual claims and disect them individually.

Anonymous said...

Still enjoy pulling the wings off of fly's, do we?

Anonymous said...

FYI Exploding exurbs.

Rob Dawg said...

Thanks Anon, good read. I guess I'll just pretend somebody thinks Peak Oil is real nad respond to one element:

We've extracted more oil since 1975 than was known to exist in 1975 and still have as many years left as we had in 1975.

Anonymous said...

"We've extracted more oil since 1975 than was known to exist in 1975 and still have as many years left as we had in 1975."

That is truly hysterical, and your blog is about depopulated as mine.

Just so you know, you spelled Malthusian incorrectly on your Salon comment located here:

"Two Words...
Maltusian Luddites.

-- Robert Cote

PermalinkThursday, March 30, 2006 11:39:06 AM"

Good day sir.

Anonymous said...

Here is a claim in the form of a question. Please, "dissect" away.

What was US crude oil production (bpd) at in the year 1970? What are the present bpd rates? Take 2005 data...

While you're at it, find out total world reserves. Also find out total barrel production from the advent of oil drilling in Pennsylvania in 1869 all the way up to 2005. Add those two numbers together and you have the total amount oil bestowed to us as a finite resource (at least for our purposes, since it takes spans of geological time to form substantial increases for crude oil based hydrocarbons.)

Essentially all "peak oil theory" is, is this dude M. King Hubbert (no no! not the cult leader L. Ron Hubbard!) said in the mid-fifties that *US* oil production would reach a maximum between 1968 and 1972, which he later revised correctly approaching the actual peak date for US production--1970.

There are about 4 ways to calculate peak, and then methods for tapering your results. I won't go into them because it would take too long--but can if you wish... The IEA and USGS predict 2037. Goldman Sachs, a successful investment banker on the council of foreign relations, and a emeritus Princeton professor (along with a hole truckload of other respectable people) say the world production is plateauing right now, light sweet crude is starting to get harder to find and produce, and crude prices are rising while supply plays catch-up with demand stemming from massive emerging markets like China and India. Alas, this is all a big bore, and hell, I don't really care whether people "believe peak oil." Fact is, it hardly matters if you believe it or not, the car is headed off the same cliff. We're all just primates staring at screens anyway....

Rob Dawg said...

I notice that there is no response to the original claim: "We've extracted more oil since 1975 than was known to exist in 1975 and still have as many years left as we had in 1975."

Instead we are treated to the 4 times modified Hubbert peak in US production number. US production declined because it was cheaper elsewhere. As I live near Venutura California, an early west coast oil town I can use my eyes to tell you the spot price of oil. Below $30 no rigs pumping, above $60 all rigs pumping. These are wells dating to 1914. Another set of historical facts that are impossible under the theory of peak oil.

Let us procede to your prediction as to the finiteness of oil. Mexico last week announced a field potentially larger than the peak oil theory allows for as the highest possible amount left undiscovered.

Look, that's three cases of im[possible under peak oil. It only takes one impossible to prove a theory incorrect.

At least you move on to the USGS. That's more than most every get to. In June 2000 the USGS raised its previous estimates of the the world's crude oil reserves by 20 percent to a total of 649 billion
barrels. This after a five year study. Don't mistake on hand inventory for actual supply. But maybe you were relying upon:

* ". . . although an estimated two-thirds of our reserve is still in the ground, . . . the peak of [U.S.] production will soon be passed--possibly within three years." --David White, Chief Geologist, USGS

Is that the quote you recall? Writen in 1919.

As the final nail in this coffin, I note the conflation of the car with the impending peak oil crisis. This is what it is really about for the peakinese; hatred of the automobile and their mistaking American development patterns as tied to the auto. Deep down the peakinese believe that a reduction in oil production will send the frightened and cold exurbanite scurrying back to the cities of yesteryear that in truth never really existed except in the minds of the Malthusian Luddites. (Thanks for the spelling correction, sticky keyboard not gummy brain.)

Anonymous said...

I wasn't conflating the car with oil depletion, or imminent disaster. I was just throwing in a bad metaphor for our energy situation vis-a-vis specifically the transportation sector (also, electricity, although that my be less of a problem.) You must at least admit that US energy trends are not sustainable in the short term. It is interesting to observe that your knee jerk response is to accuse my statement as showing my utter "hatred for the car". Hrmmm, I think not. I reserve my hate for things like dirty dishes and extremely windy days.

The fact remains that this sector in the US is 97% dependent on crude for energy. Even going by your "we're never going to run out of oil [which I concur with--we will only run out of *the ability to increase production* at some point], we're only going to increasingly run out of $60+n (where n is increments of $10) barrel of oil"--there comes a point where you must admit that EROEI starts to have drastic affects on the incentives corporations have to "produce" crude. Of course, these things could always be mitigated by government subsidy, like is already happening with almost 100% retraction of royalties big oil is supposed to pay to the Federal government. In order to make it desirable to put tons of money into E&P, deep water and new production technologies Uncle Sam is essentially letting the big US energy companies do whatever they wish and saying "please, please save our asses". IMHO, our government already engages in enough dreadful subsidy, particularly in agriculture, but a million other pork-like things too. Our taxes could be lower if it wasn't for this lunacy. Also, I personally think applying economics to the second law of thermodynamics is not the wisest decision for our future.

I'm still young, so what the hell do I know. I'm compiling some data, and will get back to you on the(my) numbers. On one final note, I read the Wall Street Journal every day and am fairly conservative is many ways (paleo, not neo) when it comes to economics (I'm more of a "social liberal"--being the elitist, New York narcissist that I am). So, I'd just like to put a halt to unnecessary assumptions on either of our parts. I won't think you're a suit wearing, heritage foundation lackey if you don't think I'm a Birkenstock bearing, tyed-died apocalyptic peak-oil doomer. Deal?