Peak oil is upon us!

How do you personally feel about our future?

By on February 17, 2011 2:29:01 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Kamamura_CZ

Join Date 03/2006
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Recently, a Wiki Leaks cable indicated fears that Saudi oil supplies are overestimated by as much as 40 percent.

Global production is on a plateau for some 5 years, and most large, cheapest oil fields are in decline.

Many countries, like China, Indonesia, and notably Egypt stopped exporting oil and started importing.

Jeff Rubin sees the dwindling oil supplies in Egypt as a major reason for the current political changes - the country could not afford to subsidize food anymore, and the regime collapsed.

What are your thoughts?



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February 17, 2011 2:44:11 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Links would be helpful. Global oil reserves have been on the decline for years. They estimate by the end of this century oil will be nearly gone. This is what happens when you ignore common sense in favor of the almighty buck. They have no one to blame but themselves.

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February 17, 2011 4:02:20 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

We have plenty of reserves in U.S. territories, too bad we can't drill.

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February 17, 2011 4:23:45 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

The sooner we run out, the sooner something else will take it's place. 

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February 17, 2011 4:29:54 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I am in this industry and there were always rumors of the over reporting of reserves done in Saudi Arabia and the cover up that goes with it. 

@ Island Dog - there is oil here in the US but it is not as much or as easy to produce as other areas.

Natural gas is the fuel of the future though. Check out how many gas wells wells as opposed to oil wells have been drilled in the US over the last couple of years. No need to hit the panic button just yet

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February 17, 2011 4:31:33 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Island Dog,
We have plenty of reserves in U.S. territories, too bad we can't drill.

 

If there's a legit shortage- people will drill.  I just don't want kneejerk reactions to shortchange the future for the present.  We do enough of that already.   There's also synthetic oil from coal, and we have plenty of coal.

I don't think this will be a major problem for my lifetime.

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February 17, 2011 4:32:38 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

More hydrogen powered automobiles, more electric automobiles with solar panels to assist in charging, more hybrids! Why are automobile manufacturers even bothering with cars that run totally on gasoline! Get rid of the worlds dependency on fossil fuels completely, that's my take on it all. 

 

Oh, and I would not believe anything that comes from Wiki Leaks, ever.

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February 17, 2011 4:41:24 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

'And life goes on with a look of complete amazement on the faces of those who walk this planet.  Forgetting what has happened in the past, living for today and not caring what the future holds.' 

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February 17, 2011 4:50:33 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting LightStar,
More hydrogen powered automobiles, more electric automobiles with solar panels to assist in charging, more hybrids! Why are automobile manufacturers even bothering with cars that run totally on gasoline!

You're forgetting that we depend on oil to make plastic.  There's more than transportation that we "need" oil for.  (We could replace it with hemp oil, though...which is totally renewable, doesn't have to be drilled for, and we wouldn't need diplomacy with foreign nations to being farming/production).

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February 17, 2011 4:59:45 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

there is oil here in the US but it is not as much or as easy to produce as other areas.

there is more oil in Alaska than anywhere else in the world... DRILL IT ALREADY!

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February 17, 2011 5:05:41 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Fuck it all, the Zombie Apocalypse is just around the corner anyway.

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February 17, 2011 5:09:29 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting LightStar,
...  Oh, and I would not believe anything that comes from Wiki Leaks, ever.

Really? So the various Department of Justice actions and the State Department whinging PR are just more waste of taxpayer dollars?

I know more about organizational theory than the average bear, so I'm always inclined to think any waste complaint (GM, Congress, the UN, whatever) has a good chance of being valid. But if the Wikileaks info was all fiction, why is there a good chance we'll see a certain young Lady Gaga fan in court sometime?

And what about all the mil-blogs buzz about Wikileaks' failure to redact info that might well get some people in active war zones killed? I'm a 'liberal' and I used the word "failure" deliberately; I support increased transparency for all governments and corporations, but I believe it is irresponsible to leave the names of minor figures in a data dump when the only likely outcome of that info spreading is that the person will be killed for having 'aided the enemy' or somesuch.

Back on topic, the peak oil thing is a pretty serious matter to consider, especially if you're in a rich country that wallows in plastic, gasoline, and petro-fueled electricity grids. But unless we can bring population growth to a grinding halt, it will probably pale in comparison to water problems. Historically, wars over oil are a brief fad of a few centuries at best. Wars over water are at least as old as agriculture.

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February 17, 2011 5:32:05 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting RPGFX,

there is oil here in the US but it is not as much or as easy to produce as other areas.
there is more oil in Alaska than anywhere else in the world... DRILL IT ALREADY!

 

That's just flat out not true

Sincerely, somebody that works in the Alaskan oilfield.

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February 17, 2011 5:42:28 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting RPGFX,


there is more oil in Alaska than anywhere else in the world... DRILL IT ALREADY!

Nope. That would be Venezuela 

@ gumbostu thanks

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February 17, 2011 6:15:47 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Peak oil is a joke though.

 

Hell according so many doomsayers we should already be out of oil! (2010 was the magic year for them in the 90s).

 

Amazing what technology can do isn't it?

 

Not to say that I think we should continue along the oil economy we have built, but the crying about it is as bad as the GW-alarmists who also said by 2010 New York would be underwater.

 

A more important consideration is running out of rare earths (well running out isn't exactly correct, we're not 'burning' them the way we burn oil), and those are much harder to synthesize.

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February 17, 2011 7:17:29 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Back on topic, the peak oil thing is a pretty serious matter to consider, especially if you're in a rich country that wallows in plastic, gasoline, and petro-fueled electricity grids. But unless we can bring population growth to a grinding halt, it will probably pale in comparison to water problems. Historically, wars over oil are a brief fad of a few centuries at best. Wars over water are at least as old as agriculture.

 

Fuck that, I'm looking forwards to a return to glass bottles.

 

Plastic food containers are shit, the sooner the cancer inducing, nasty tasting crap becomes prohibitively expensive, the better.

 

We have unlimited marginal production for the things that just can't be replaced, oil is still being created and there are centuries of the stuff in shale deposits and such.  Plastics will end up being used only where they're truly superior, instead of just currently cheaper.  Power production, containers, etcetera, will simply switch to currently less cost effective methods that will, as prices rise, become more cost effective.  It's just a matter of cost, the doom and gloom is bullshit.

 

The stupocalypse might wipe out modern civilization, but it will have dick to do with an oil shortage.

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February 17, 2011 7:44:22 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

its basic economics.

 

They realized its cheaper to import oil now when its cheap and hang onto their own oil until oil starts running out and then they will have more oil to sell at a higher price.

 

This is a strategy that will play out over many decades... i don't see oil running out any time soon. However, prices are definitely going to go up in the US for a few months. I predict we will hit $4 / gallon this summer. It will then fall off before election time.

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February 17, 2011 8:04:23 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

"I predict we will hit $4 / gallon this summer"

Oh, gosh....

If US fuel prices ever matched the 'real world' ones we'd at last see an end to the 'Yank Tank'.

No-one really NEEDS a Hummer [except those blokes in Generation Kill - great series]...

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February 17, 2011 8:07:32 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Look at the graph carefully - the light blue part is the only one growing - existing fields are in steep decline. The light blue represents "oil to be found", but it anticipates growth in the amount of oil found - but no such thing is happening, oil discoveries peaked in 60s and are in decline now. 

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February 17, 2011 8:20:09 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Plus, there are other problems - the producing countries are increasing domestic consumption, which means exports are falling even faster than production. Many countries turned from exporters to importers recently - when everyone will import, who will be the exporter?

Peak oil is not about running out of oil. It is about reaching a global maximum of production and entering an era of terminal production decline. US oil has peaked this way, Brent has peaked too, why should be the global production different?

Peak oil is about running out of cheap oil - and by switching from old, vast Middle Eastern easily accessible fields that could produce barrel for 5$ or so to sources like deep sea oil that produce from 60$ up, the change will be noticeable.

About shales, tar sands and other sources - the key term here is EROI - energy return on investment. You can get quality, light, sweet crude from tar sands, but you must first heat the material and then refine it - a process that requires energy itself. That means you will end up with smaller net gain. Just for comparison - early large fields had EROI about 100:1, now oil declined to about 20 - 10:1. Tar sands may be as low as 3:1 - that means under current conditions (10:1 oil) you need three more times tar sands produced to get to the same net energy gain as with oil.

Naturally, sources with better EROI are developed first, since they are cheaper, so we end up with badly accessible sources that are expensive to produce. 

If you examine past recessions, most of them were precluded by oil price spikes - recently in 2008. Oil price also drives food price higher, and that destabilizes the poorer regions where people are already living in great poverty - that's what's going on in Egypt, Lybia now.

As for hydrogen economy - it's far too wasteful and inefficient to be scaled up. Read here, for example:

http://www.physorg.com/news85074285.html

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February 17, 2011 8:44:00 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Good, as much as I hate to remember it, mankind only advances when disasters start to shove them into track.

Look at the moon landing, was it for the science? No, that was just a side bonus, it was to prove to the world that USA leaded the space race and not the USSR.

The atomic revolution? Just to make better bombs.

America colonization? Slaves and resources.

All of the above, and many other examples, prove it, some had horrible consequences, but in the end, gave benefits (whenever they were better than the consequences, it's up to each)

I seriously think that oil needs to start to exhaust itself for people to look at solar, wind, geothermal, nuclear and such energy sources... that, or the biggest disaster mankind has seen, which practically has a sign pasted on it saying "Global Warming says hi" to push us in the correct direction.

Shame things have to be like that though... but in the end, it will be for the better (at least I hope so)

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February 17, 2011 9:03:33 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

We're not running out of oil per se, but once the easy oil starts to diminish, available oil (such as the huge reserves in Canada's oil sands) will need to be increasingly tapped. It'a very expensive to get out of the ground and creates a lot of dirty water and pollution. Incidently, the gentleman who stated huge reserves in Alaska was probably confusing the geography of that state with Canada's northern territories which lie beside it. Frankly, after comparing my grocery bill with the same items purchased two years ago, I am more concerned about food and water. That may turn out to be a much bigger problem as time goes on.

 

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February 17, 2011 9:18:22 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Oh....we're running out of it alright...

Don't be fooled.

It's finite in that its creation takes ONE HECK OF A LOT LONGER to create than it does to use.

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February 17, 2011 9:40:36 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

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February 17, 2011 10:25:17 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Jafo,
Oh....we're running out of it alright...

Don't be fooled.

It's finite in that its creation takes ONE HECK OF A LOT LONGER to create than it does to use.

Indeed.

psychoak was correct when he referred to the fact that new petrochemicals are being generated by ongoing geological processes, and he was rhetorically clever when he pretended not to know the timeframe involved in the production of those 'new' commercially viable mineral resources. Either that, or I missed some radical assumptions about life-extension technologies or somesuch...

Mind you, I have no patience with peak oil talk as a fearmongering thing. We're talking about a centuries-long resource consumption pattern, and being at the 'peak' means were somewhere in the middle of the mess. The time to freak out wildly would be, oh, 'tail oil' or some other phrase that hasn't been coined yet. Giving some serious thought to peak-oil talk is just being a reasonable citizen, at least as long as you can keep your pulse, BP, and respiration at reasonable levels.

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