Podcast

Peak Prosperity

Jeffrey Brown: To Understand The Oil Story, You Need To Understand Exports

Peak Oil is very much alive
Sunday, September 13, 2015, 5:31 PM

Despite the attention-grabbing economic volatility that is grabbing headlines, it's important to keep our eye on the energy story firmly in focus. This is especially true as the headlines we regularly read about Peak Oil being dead " are "manifestly false" according to this week's podcast guest, petroleum geologist Jeffrey Brown. 

As concerning as the fact that global oil production has plateaued over the past decade, despite trillions invested in trying to goose it higher, are Brown's forecasting model for oil exports. His Export Land Model shows how rising internal consumption can swing (and has swung) countries from major exporters to permanent importers within a dizzyingly short period of time:

The crucial issue to understand about what has happened after 2005 is that we’ve had a very large increase in global gas production and natural gas liquids, but a much slower increase in crude plus condensate. So, what I think has happened is the actual crude oil production has basically flatlined while the liquids associated with natural gas production, condensate and natural gas liquids, have continued to increase. So, we ask for the price of oil, we get the price of Brent or WTI; but when you ask for the volume of oil, you get some combination of crude, condensate, natural gas liquids, biofuels. So, the fact is that substitution has worked and is working in that they’re bringing on alternative substitutes, but they're only partial substitutes. The actual, physical volume of crude oil production has probably been flat to down since 2005. Over the past ten years, it has taken us trillions of dollars, basically, to keep us on an undulating plateau in actual crude oil production. What happens going forward?

So, basically, the conventional wisdom is the fact that we’ve seen an increase in liquids production, seems there’s no evidence of the peak in sight. And, I think in regard to crude oil production, that argument is manifestly false. I think that we’ve probably seen a peak in actual crude oil production, 45 and lower API gravities, despite trillions of dollars of upstream capex expenditures.
 
I started wondering in late 2005 what happens to oil exports from an exporting country, given a production decline and rising consumption. And, so I just started, I just constructed a simple little model. I assumed a production of about two million barrels a day or so at peak, consumption of one, and assumed production falls about 5% per year, basically what the North Sea did, and assumed consumption increases to 2.5% per year. What the model showed was that exports, net exports would go to zero in only nine years, even though a roughly modest production decline. So, the easy way to state it is giving an ongoing, inevitable decline in production, unless an exporting country cuts their domestic oil consumption at the same rate as the rate of decline in production, or at a faster rate, it’s a mathematical certainty that the net export decline rate, what they actually ship out to consumers will exceed the rate of decline in production. And, furthermore, it accelerates. 

Click the play button below to listen to Chris' interview with Jeffrey Brown (43m:48s)

Transcript: 

Chris Martenson: Welcome to this Peak Prosperity podcast. I am your host, Chris Martenson. I want to refocus your gaze on energy, oil specifically. I know, I know, the world is awash in oil, so who cares, right? Well, everyone should care, because oil is currently selling for far less than the average cost to replace oil. So, understandably, oil projects are being delayed, slashed, and sometimes completely canceled. And, as sure as the sun rises, failure to invest today will result in oil shortages in the future. So, we have to look forward, too.

But, there are two other things even more powerful than simple production that we have to know about. One, of course, is the energy return on energy invested, or EROI, but that’s not the topic of today’s discussion. The other thing is how much oil is available for export. After all, if you’re an oil importing nation (and most are), then all you really care about at the end of the day is whether or not you can import as much affordable oil as your local economy needs. If so, great. If not, you’re in deep trouble.

On this front, to help us understand and appreciate the importance of export quantities, we have Jeffrey Brown with us today, a licensed professional geoscientist. He’s responsible for the discovery of several oil and gas fields in West Central Texas, and currently manages an exploration program searching for oil and gas fields in this region. Jeff has conducted analysis of peak oil issues for many years. I’m thoroughly familiar with his work, and he’s authored numerous article with a special emphasis, however, on global oil exports.

It was in early 2006 Jeff first proposed a simple, mathematical model for oil exporting countries called the "export land model," or ELM, which I featured in the Crash Course video series and book, because it’s essential to understanding the future of oil. I’ll let Jeff explain more, but it’s as simple as this: Oil importing nations are dependent on oil exports. Period. Shouldn’t we really be tracking export quantities as carefully, if not more carefully than anything else? Welcome, Jeff.

Jeffrey Brown: Thank you. I’m happy to talk to you today.

Chris Martenson: Well, all pleasure is ours. Thank you. First, as someone on the front lines of the oil story, how obvious is it to petroleum engineers and geologists that the age of cheap and plentiful oil is behind us—or is it?

Jeffrey Brown: Well, if you look at liquids production, I think a critical issue is to separate crude oil from crude condensate, natural gas liquids and biofuels. When people ask for the price of oil, what you get is the price of actual crude oil, which is most commonly West Texas Intermediate, WTI, or Brent, and that’s got an API gravity, American Petroleum Institute gravity in the high 30s average. The dividing line between crude and condensate is about 45 API gravity. The higher the gravity, the lighter the liquid. Now, condensate is basically natural gas lean, and it’s a useful product, but it’s got very little diesel component.

But, the crucial issue, I think, to understand about what has happened after 2005 is that we’ve had a very large increase in global gas production and natural gas liquids, but a much slower increase in crude plus condensate. So, what I think has happened is the actual crude oil production has basically flatlined while the liquids associated with natural gas production—condensate and natural gas liquids—have continued to increase. So, you want to ask for price of oil, we get the price of Brent or WTI, but when you ask for the volume of oil, you get some combination of crude, condensate, natural gas liquids, biofuels. So, the fact is that substitution has worked and is working in that they’re bringing on alternative liquids, partial substitutes. But, actual, physical volume of crude oil production has probably been flat to down since 2005.

Chris Martenson: Well, now…

Jeffrey Brown: So, then the question…

Chris Martenson: Well, since 2005, we’ve spent how many, what, I think, three, maybe four trillion dollars trying to get more crude out of the ground. You’re saying what we’ve really done is kept crude flat, but maybe gotten a little more of the other stuff.

Jeffrey Brown: Correct. So, it took trillions of dollars, basically, to keep us on an undulating plateau in actual crude oil production. So, what happens going forward with the ongoing reductions in drilling and reductions in upstream capex, you would think that the decline in actual crude oil production is going to be most pronounced. So, basically, the conventional wisdom is: the fact that we’ve seen an increase in liquids production, seems there’s no evidence of the peak in sight. And, I think in regard to crude oil production, that argument is manifestly false. I don’t think anybody argued that substitution would not be a factor. There are always some types of partial or full substitutes, and condensate natural gas liquids are partial substitutes. But, I think that we’ve probably seen a peak in actual crude oil production, 45 and lower API gravities, despite trillions of dollars of upstream capex expenditures.

Chris Martenson: It sounds like you’re describing to me, like a farmer, he grows potatoes… We love to measure potatoes, because that’s what everybody eats. But, somehow, over time, we’re not just counting the potatoes that comes out of the field, but any edible weeds that also happen to be grown, or something like that. I mean, we’re mixing substances at this point in time, whereas crude oil is the feedstock for all sorts of chemical processes. It gives us all the distillates we love. You get gasoline, diesel, heating oil, stuff like that, asphalt, all the by-products. But, now we’re starting to count this other stuff, which you say we can use partially. It’s a partial substitute, but maybe it’s not an ideal substitute. Is that fair?

Jeffrey Brown: Yes. The analogy I've used is it’s like asking a butcher for the price of beef, and he gives you the price of steak. If you ask him how much beef he has on hand, he gives you total pounds of steak, plus roasts, plus ground beef. So, I would argue that if you’re—the quantity of the item you’re pricing should relate to that item and not to the quantity of partial substitutes.

So, the condensate and natural gas liquids can be used as transportation fuel, and condensate is basically natural gasoline. So, they’re certainly useful products, but the key point is that the cornucopians are arguing that there’s no evidence of any kind of peak in sight, that liquids are going up in perpetuity. And, I’d argue that that’s manifestly false in regard to actual crude oil production.

But, the point is if crude oil production has flatlined, despite trillions of dollars in upstream capex, it’s when, not if, that natural gas and associated liquids, condensate and natural gas liquids also peak. So, it’s simply the crude oil peaked first. But, the fact we’re seeing still rising combination of crude and condensate and then a large increase in natural gas liquids, cornucopians argue there’s no evidence of a peak in sight. I’d simply argue that whether it was peaked first is actual physical crude oil, and all the refiners can process some condensate, although it’s basically, just generates gasoline. But, they need the crude oil, actual physical crude oil to provide the complete spectrum of refined products. And, I suspect the U.S. refiners probably hit the limit late last year of how much additional condensate they could take.

Reuters had in their article earlier this year where refiners are actually rejecting what they call these "dumbbell crudes." They were blends of a barrel of condensate and a barrel of heavy crude that had the high 30s average API. But, it was critically deficient in distillate content. So, they called it a toxic blend that didn’t meet their output requirements. So, refiners are basically increasingly rejecting condensate, 50% condensate, 50% heavy crude volumes.

Chris Martenson: And, hence, all the calls to export oil from the United States. Those are really, mostly calls to export all this condensate we’ve got, because we’re swimming in the stuff, more than we need. It doesn’t quite serve our energy needs, but it happens to come out as a consequence of certain wet shale gas efforts and other things like that. So, we’re swimming in one, just one cut, if you will, of the kind of oil that we’ve been living on all this time.

Jeffrey Brown: Well, and it actually may be a global phenomenon. If you look at global numbers, the best database we’ve got for an approximation of global data is OPEC. They report crude only, and EIA has crude plus condensate so you can subtract the two, the OPEC crude from EIA, crude plus condensate, you got an implied condensate number. And, so basically all the increase in OPEC crude plus condensate production since 2005 has actually been condensate. There are widespread reports that Iran’s got tens of millions of barrels in oil flooding offshore, but it turns out that the bulk of that is reportedly condensate, and they’re actually having difficulties getting rid of it.

Chris Martenson: Yeah, this is where the complexity that’s actually involved in the oil story is so important. And, what we get is really cartoonish headlines in the media. One of the things I say all the time is that the closer you follow the media on this story, the more likely you are to be misled, although with some notable exceptions. There are a few reporters out there doing some really good work right now. I’m thinking of Aslin [PH] Yoder [PH] out of Bloomberg does a good job, and Kemp out of Reuters also does a great job, I think, really nice.

Jeffrey Brown: Yeah, Kemp is a great reporter.

Chris Martenson: Yeah, really good. So, let’s turn to these oil exports then. Your export land model, what does the name mean?

Jeffrey Brown: Well, I started wondering in late 2005 what happens to oil exports from an exporting country, given a production decline and rising consumption. And, so I just constructed a simple little model. I assumed a production of about two million barrels a day or so at peak, consumption of one, and assumed production falls about 5% per year, (basically what the North Sea did), and assumed consumption increases to 2.5% per year. What the model showed was that net exports would go to zero in only nine years, even though a roughly modest production decline. So, the easy way to state it is: giving an ongoing, inevitable decline in production, unless an exporting country cuts their domestic oil consumption at the same rate as the rate of decline in production, or at a faster rate, it’s a mathematical certainty that the net export decline rate—what they actually ship out to consumers—will exceed the rate of decline in production. And, furthermore, it accelerates.

So, you look at exponential declines in oil production and hyperbolic—hyperbolic just means that the decline rate slows with time. Well, this is an accelerating decline rate. So, it’d start out like at 5% and then 10% and then 15% and 25%. Then if you further look at actual case histories, I summed the production consumption and net exports from six exporting countries that hit or approached zero net exports from 1980 to 2010, excluding China. I excluded China because they became a net importer prior to production peak, because their consumption grew so fast. But, in any case, the six countries basically showed exactly what the model predicted, and after a fairly modest production decline, they hit combined zero net exports in only 12 years once their net exports peaked.

Now, one of the stunning things about what I call net export math is depletion. If you look at that six-country case history, their net exports peaked in 1995. Their production actually was still increasing, but because the rate of increase and consumption exceeded their rate of increase in production, their net exports fell. But, in only four years, from 1995 to 1999, their production went up by 2%, their net exports fell, but they shipped more than half of their post-1995 cumulative supply of net exports. So, of all the cumulative net oil they would deliver to the global import market, they’d already shipped more than half in only four years after the net export peak.

Chris Martenson: Now, Jeff, how would you determine that? Because, a couple of big concepts, first, very simply the land model says, “Look, if your production is falling and your consumption is rising, you’re squeezing your available exports from two sides at once.” That creates a faster than you might intuitively expect fall. That seems very intuitive to me. This idea, though, that a country has cumulative net exports, are you making a guess as to how much they have available to export based on what data you can get. Or, how does that number—how did you derive that?

Jeffrey Brown: Well, for the six-country case history, that’s all historical data. We just looked at the total petroleum liquids production and liquids consumption, and we just did a data table looking at it by year. So, these are all hard numbers for the six-country case history.

It’s exactly what the model says, and the only way that you’re not going to see an astronomical depletion rate like that is if they cut consumption at the same rate that production falls.

Chris Martenson: Well, then how many countries actually have—are past peak at this point? What I’m trying to counter here for any of our listeners who have been following the media, is this idea that the world is awash in oil, that there’s just lots and lots out there, that there’s a huge oversupply and all of that. From that, you might get the impression that any country that wants to can increase its oil any time it wants. How many of these countries now are past peak?

Jeffrey Brown: Well, as far as net export peak, what I looked at, my global database, is the top 33 net exporters in 2005. I just simply update that database year-by-year as we get additional EIA data. Off the top of my head, I think roughly 20 out of 33 have shown a decline in net exports since 2005. In aggregate, they fell from—their combined net exports fell from 46 million barrels a day in 2005 to 43 million barrels a day in 2013. We don’t have complete annual data for the 2014 consumption yet.

BP has some partial data out. For example, Saudi net exports fell from 9.5 million barrels a day, total petroleum liquids in 2005, and they fell to 8.4 million barrels per day in 2014.

Chris Martenson: And, this is with them pumping near 10 million barrels a day?

Jeffrey Brown: Correct. Now, they’re up, they’re showing a year over year increase for 2015, so we’ll have to see what 2015 shows. But, I seriously doubt if they’re going to exceed the 2005 net export rate. I think it’s very likely that Saudi Arabia will show ten straight years of net exports below their 2005 rate.

But, the critical question is depletion. I’ve got a little mathematical concept I call the export capacity index, or ECI ratio. I just divide the production by consumption, and it’s roughly analogous to gross income to expense ratio.

Chris Martenson: So, if I’m pumping ten million, but consuming two and a half, I’ll get a four. So, I have…

Jeffrey Brown: Correct.

Chris Martenson: …I have, yeah, I’ve got headroom to export, okay, yep.

Jeffrey Brown: So, it’d be like if you had ten million gross income, two and a half million expense, it’d be an income to expense ratio, four to one. If that ratio’s declining, if the production’s falling and consumption is flat or increasing, the ratio falls, or if the rate of increase in consumption exceeds the rate of increase in production—which is where we’ve seen Saudi Arabia—the ratio falls. But, in any case, you can extrapolate that ratio out to where it’s 1.0. So, it’s where production equals consumption, or it would be 1.0 income to expense ratio, where income equals expense. So, it’s at that ratio of 1.0, net export equals zero, net income equals zero.

Chris Martenson: So, nothing to export, nothing on the world market at that point in time. It’s all being consumed domestically by whoever’s producing it at that point.

Jeffrey Brown: Yeah, theoretically.

Chris Martenson: Yeah, all right, so if you draw that straight line, what kind of a year do we come to, like some year like 2128?

Jeffrey Brown: Yeah, based on the 2005 to 2013, it’d be 55 years. So it’ll be the year 2060. But, the key point of the depletion is it’s front-end loaded, so roughly, a rough rule of thumb is about one-third of the cumulative net exports are shipped—I’m sorry, about one-half are shipped one-third of the way into the decline period. So, taking 30 years to hit zero, by the ten-year mark, you have already consumed half of cumulative net exports. Now, when you extrapolate that decline ratio out based on Saudi data for 2014, it suggests that they’re already approaching the 50% depletion mark. I suspect that Saudi Arabia may have already shipped close to half of all the cumulative net exports of oil that they will ever net export.

Chris Martenson: Half.

Jeffrey Brown: They’re already half-depleted.

Chris Martenson: And, so that depletion being front-loaded like that, it means that we’re depleting a little bit more rapidly on the front end of this than the back end on a percentage basis?

Jeffrey Brown: Yeah, and not only that, it’s an accelerating rate of depletion. At high rates of consumption, it’s basically a mathematical certainty, whether you’re talking the total remaining reserves or total remaining exportable reserves. At high rates of consumption, what we’re dealing with is an accelerating rate of depletion. So, we’re consuming remaining resources at a faster rate.

Chris Martenson: When you draw that line out—to ask the question when does consumption and when does production equal one, so they’re matched and there’s allegedly nothing left for export, that’s for the 33 countries, I assume, that are on your list. But, we have, how many countries are importing? So, what happens when we take the increase in imports from other countries, and we start to weld those into that model, which you said you straight-line it out, gets you out about 50 years from now. But, I’m thinking about China and India, obviously.

Jeffrey Brown: Oh, yeah.

Chris Martenson: And, in 2014, I read that China became the largest net importer of crude oil, and I just read, I think it was just yesterday that China’s use of gasoline was up by a stunning 17% in the first months of 2015 as compared to the same period in 2014. So, how long would it be at current rates of import growth before China and India are essentially consuming 100% of what you would determine are the globally available world crude exports?

Jeffrey Brown: Well, you can do the same thing, what I call available net exports, which is global net exports less China and India’s net imports. That metric fell from 41 million barrels a day in 2005 to 34 million barrels a day in 2013. So 41 to 34, and again, we don’t have complete data for 2014 yet, but the pattern, apparently, continued in 2014. And, by all available data suggests it's continuing in 2015.

Now, the math is quite similar. The problem is given an inevitable decline in global net exports, which we have seen since 2005, unless China and India cut their net imports at the same rate as the rate of decline in global net exports, the resulting rate of decline in available net exports to other importing countries—other than China and India—will exceed the rate of decline in global net exports and the rate of decline in available net exports will accelerate.

Now, for example, the observed rate of decline in global net exports was 0.8%, slightly less than 1% per year from 2005 to ’13. But, the rate of decline in available net exports was almost 2.3% per year, three times higher than 2005 to ’13. So, it’s a mathematical certainty that the only way that the volume of oil available to importers other than China and India will not show an accelerating rate of decline is if they cut their net imports at the same rate as the rate of decline in durable net exports or at a faster rate.

Chris Martenson: Well, they’re not going to do that willingly, obviously. No country would. India’s already on record saying, “Hey, you Westerners had your run at this energy story. We still have a big chunk of our population without electricity, without cars. We’d like to get them access to that. Then we can talk about these other issues you might want to talk about.” But, what you’re saying is that available net exports are declining by, what, 2.5 percent per year, rounding a little bit, and so if we just follow that math out, how long is it before just China and India are consuming 100% of available world exports?

Jeffrey Brown: Well, if you extrapolate, what you can do is do an ECI ratio, but it’d be the global net exports divided by Chindia's net imports. I call it the GNE over CNI ratio. If you extrapolate that out, they would be theoretically consuming 100% of global net exports around the year 2032. So, basically 17 years from now.

Chris Martenson: Yeah, and obviously, that’s not going to happen. I think other countries would have a say in that, because, obviously, Europe, very heavily dependent on oil imports. The United States is, too, to many people’s surprise, to discover we still import a lot of crude oil in this country. And, of course, by 2032, I think we’ll be importing even more if we had our druthers, EIA reports of massive and steady oil output until then notwithstanding. So, it seems likely what you’re saying is that there’s this idea that exports really matter if you’re an importing country. Almost all countries are importing countries, and somewhere between here and 17 years from now, we’re going to have to find a new way of divvying up the oil that is available. Otherwise, what, conflicts? I mean, this either gets resolved through price or by some other form of rationing, I guess.

Jeffrey Brown: Yeah. The optimists would say that continued falling solar costs and increased electrification is going to save our bacon. But, the problem is that the aggregate increase in liquid transportation fuels from fossil fuel-powered cars is so high, even as electric vehicles as a percentage increases. But, I think the estimate for 2015 was something like one-half of one percent of total vehicle sales worldwide would be electric or plug-in hybrid. So, it’s 99 to 99.5% of vehicles are still powered by gasoline or diesel or some other fossil fuel.

Chris Martenson: Yeah, and obviously, it takes energy to make an electric car in the first place. So, leaving that—well, I guess I just heard on the radio today, I haven’t looked into the details, but California, apparently, has a goal to cut its gasoline consumption in half, by 50% by 2030. Now, I haven’t looked at the details, and I’m going to have to do that, because I would think that that would be really stunning for a nation state, if you could call it that, as large as California with 34 million people in it, would be able to cut its gasoline consumption in half in just 15 years. Have you seen that plan?

Jeffrey Brown: No.

Chris Martenson: No, me neither. I’m going to trust it’s got a lot of wishful thinking in it, because it’s extremely hard. Here’s the only thing I’ve seen in the data so far, and correct me if you see it differently, the only thing I’ve seen that cuts gasoline consumption is a recession.

Jeffrey Brown: Well, and price, but that’s kind of the two sides of the same coin. What cuts consumption is the fall in demand. So, the question is: what calls the demand to fall? It’s inability to afford it, and that’s… There’s a New York Times article from years ago that looked at what caused people to actually curtail gasoline consumption in the first half of 2008. And, basically, to a 90% probability, it’s they reduced their gasoline consumption when they were physically no longer able to afford to buy it. So, as economists accurately argued, demand is what you want and what you can afford to buy. So, people want a lot of things, but they can’t afford to buy them all. So, the fall-off in demand would certainly reduce consumption. But, it’s got to be either inability to buy it because they don’t have the money, and/or basically the price is too high. So, it’s basically two sides of the same coin. They just basically can’t afford it. And, the only way to do that, of course, is with much higher fuel consumption taxes.

Chris Martenson: Well, I guess, I was astonished to see that in—I guess it was the last quarter of 2014, the three most popular vehicles were all SUVs or trucks. And, so that was after oil had been falling and gasoline prices had lagged it a bit. So, I think we’d only had three or four months of really obviously falling gasoline prices, and all of a sudden, we were right back to Chevy Tahoes and F-150s and so on. So, it would take a really, pretty stunning price increase that was persistent, I think, to really change people’s behavior.

Jeffrey Brown: Yes, and well, of course, you see it in Europe. They’ve got far smaller cars, very small engines, much more efficient, but of course, a lot of places you see, or did see until the price decline, six, seven, eight-dollar per gallon equivalent to gasoline prices. I’m sure it’s probably still five or six dollars in most parts of Europe.

Chris Martenson: Absolutely. Well, they also have access to better vehicles than we do in terms of mileage. It’s astonishing what they are able to buy that literally we’re not able to for reasons that still escape me. They say it’s air quality, but I don’t buy it.

So, all due respect, it’s a very simple model. It seems easy enough to calculate for any country. You’ve got production and you’ve got consumption, and look where those two things are tracking and you can make some pretty profound conclusions from that. Who else, besides people in the peak oil community, are asking you about the model and reviewing your data and trying to incorporate it into their thoughts and planning?

Jeffrey Brown: Well, probably the most illustrative comment was a meeting a group of peak-oilers had with senior EIA personnel and Department of Energy personnel, I guess, I think it was, it was either 2012 or 2013. Steve Coppitz [PH] was there, I was there, a couple of other geologists, and a couple of other _____ [0:31:06] people, and I gave a very brief—and, we had the director of the EIA there—and I gave a very brief export presentation and asked the question: Is anyone at the EIA modeling future exports globally, assuming a gradual decline in demand and gradual increase in consumption in the oil exporting countries? And, the answer was: no. I think it’s a question that they don’t want to ask, because they don’t want to see what the answer is.

Chris Martenson: Well, I’d be surprised if the military isn’t doing that, because they don’t seem afraid of these things. Their joint operational threat assessment every year is a real tour de risks. They’re out there looking at everything. They talk about economic collapse, peak oil, all of that. So, it seems the military side at least is ready to look at these sorts of things. I don’t know if they’ve looked at this export issue yet. I think they might’ve, given how concerned they are about liquid fuels going forward and the efforts they’re taking.

But, on the civilian side, on the EIA side, you’re saying they’re—they said "no," and not only "no," but "no and we’re not going to," because there’s been no follow-up, right?

Jeffrey Brown: I’ve had some email conversations, but certainly nothing really inquiring about, doing anything official on forecasting exports.

Chris Martenson: Yeah. Well, it’s not that surprising.

Jeffrey Brown: Yeah, well, it’s, if you don’t want to know the answer to the question, most people tend not to ask the question.

Chris Martenson: Absolutely. No, I get it. And, we don’t have—politically, there’s no Plan B that’s been floated yet to say what we would do if we got that answer. Plan A is: we’re clever, there’s a lot of shale oil, we’ll be able to get as much from that as we want for as long as we want, and that’s our plan. And, at least that’s what I saw under the last two presidents, and I would be surprised to see any difference under the next one. It seems to be the state of things at this point.

Jeffrey Brown: Well, the conventional wisdom now is that we’ve got virtually infinite fossil fuel supplies, while as I said, I think the reality is that all this is based on an accelerating rate of depletion, both remaining crude oil reserves and the reserves of all type, but especially remaining cumulative net exports.

Chris Martenson: Well, here’s the funny thing, Jeff, for me, is that even the EIA, who I think is a little—I think they’re being a little generous—but, let’s even use the EIA’s data. They were saying that shale oil was going to peak in the year 2020. As a father of now three teenagers, I can tell you time passes quickly, and so that’s like five years from now. It’s really coming very soon. My question to you then is that that lack of current capital expenditures by the oil companies that I opened with—do you see that as a potential future trouble spot, or is that potentially just a bit of bother about nothing? We’ll just dial up our expenditures later and won’t be a problem?

Jeffrey Brown: No, I think it’s going to cause an overall net decline in global crude plus condensate with virtually all the decline coming on the crude side. And, I would think that, probably not 2015, but probably certainly 2016, we’re going to see an overall net decline in crude plus condensate.

Chris Martenson: And, that’s simply because of projects that were deferred, delayed or otherwise not prosecuted and so A.) we have depletion going on, or decline I should say, well, both. We have decline going on, and output from existing fields, many of which are aging, that has to at least be offset by new discoveries. And, then if we want output to grow, of course, we need even more than that. Where do you—you’re saying that our level of investment won’t even be sufficient to offset the declines you anticipate.

Jeffrey Brown: Correct. And, I would guess with any observed decline in crude plus condensate globally, it probably, starting in 2016, would be probably 90% crude oil, actual crude oil, 45 and lower API gravity. So, I think you’re going to have refiners really start scrambling, trying to get sufficient crude oil supplies and they’re going to have to start bidding the price up. And, so the problem is the bulk of the stuff being produced in the U.S. is 45-plus. I think the EIA estimated that the increase from 2011 to ’14 was a million barrels per day of the increase is actually just condensate and the rest was a small increase of 45 or lower, or actual crude oil.

Chris Martenson: Right. So, for people listening who are not versed in this, it just, again, you explained it, Jeff, that this 45 and above is very light stuff, it’s like natural gasoline, which explains why when these trains that are carrying this stuff, say from the Bakken formation, when they derail, why they explode so violently. It’s not, they’re much more combustible than your standard train full of crude oil. It’s actually kind of hard to get crude oil lit on fire. You can do it, it’s not easy. Gasoline, totally easy. So, that’s what’s happening, that’s the direct reflection. We’re seeing this really, really light stuff coming out of those shale plays, Bakken in particular, Eagle Ford as well, and that, at least, in part explains the exploding train car phenomenon.

Jeffrey Brown: Correct.

Chris Martenson: In your mind as you look into this, what decisions have you come to, given the information that you have? And, how does this play into your thinking about how you personally—I don’t know—are preparing yourself, your family, your children, grandchildren, for—what future do you think is coming based on this?

Jeffrey Brown: Talk about a complex subject. I’m an energy producer and I plan to spend the rest of my career looking for oil fields in West Central Texas at shallow depths. We've got low drilling completion costs, low operating costs, and so I kind of compare myself to a small organic farmer. A small organic farmer can’t make a material impact on the food supply, but he can be a net producer and he can feed his family and put people to work. So, I’m basically doing the same thing.

But, as far as broader advice, I had a little essay I wrote years ago called, “Economize, Localize, Produce,” and advised people to economize, to try to live on half or less of their current income and localize, minimize distance between home and work to as close to zero as possible. Ideally live in a walkable urban community along a mass transit line. And, P is produce; try to work for, become, invest in providers of essential goods and services, ranging all the way from food producers to energy producers to solar, wind power, alternative energy suppliers.

Chris Martenson: Boy, we’re…

Jeffrey Brown: So, try to prepare yourself. One way I think I've phrased it before is that cheap is the new chic. So, prepare yourself for a different future. I think you've got to plan on a much more austere lifestyle in the years ahead.

Chris Martenson: We’re just totally on the same page on that, and that’s some advice we’ve been giving as well, which is not only should you probably cut your consumption down now on your own terms, but if you do that you save a bunch of money. It’s probably good for the environment overall, and you’ll be less exposed in the future if either things become expensive or unavailable, all of that.

But here’s the mystery thing that I discovered in my life, Jeff, was that when I cut my standard of living on my own terms, when I cut that in half, my quality of life actually doubled. So, my commute involves walking from one building to the next on my property right now. And, I produce a lot of my own food in my own garden, buy from local farmers otherwise. I’ve got wood stoves, solar thermal hot water panels, solar photovoltaics, all that. So my future expenditures—my cash flows out to keep myself fed and heated—are lower.

But, here’s the best thing, my house is more comfortable, I’m eating better food, I really love my local relationships. So, to me, that’s the bright side of all this, such as it is, is that these changes that I think we really should make so that we’re more resilient, more insulated, are also changes you might want to make if you want to be—if you just want to live better anyway. So, yeah, once I was able to cut that cord between standard of living and quality of life, which, frankly, Jeff, it got sold to me and I bought it at an early age. Once I cut that, lots of things opened up, possibilities were much more, shall we say flexible than I thought they would be.

Jeffrey Brown: I agree. And, especially as people age, I think in these suburban communities, the people that live that are more connected, the more walkable communities, as they lose their ability to drive, the ones that are in the more walkable urban communities are psychologically far healthier. The rates of depression and suicide tend to go up much higher in people that are in isolated little suburban enclaves, especially as they lose their ability to drive.

Chris Martenson: Yeah.

Jeffrey Brown: And, I think, basically, sort of the Main Street, U.S.A. lifestyle, there’s a lot to be said. It hearkens back to all of Jim Kunstler's work that he called suburbia the biggest misallocation of resources in the history of the world.

Chris Martenson: Yep. I mean, he’s right. And, it wasn’t always the most beautiful allocation of resources, so absolutely.

I think you’re doing—I really love your work. It’s why I featured it. I think it’s a really important concept. We have to be looking at exports and that’s quietly trundling along and I wanted to raise that at this point for people. Because, I think with all the world stuff going on with China and the emerging market disasters that are unfolding, this idea of oil gets lost in the shuffle, particularly given what I’ll call the marketing campaign—as generous as I can be—to convince us that the world is awash in oil, there’s nothing to worry about. I’m really worried about the steep decline in capex that we’ve seen in the oil business. I know that we’re, in a couple of years, that’s going to bite us in terms of supply. And, that’s coming right at the same time that we have a number of other issues coming up, not least of which is this idea that decline and overall depletion of existing reserves is ongoing. Your model points out why that’s important, plus everybody who can produce oil seems to want to consume it themselves, too. That’s happening as well. So, really important concept. So, I just wanted to shine some light on that and thank you for your work in bringing that to us.

Jeffrey Brown: You’re very welcome, and happy to talk to you.

Chris Martenson: And, if people want to follow more or read more about that, where’s the easiest place for them to do that?

Jeffrey Brown: Well, actually, I don’t have a blog, and I don’t—I really don’t even have any current papers right now. I’m waiting for the EIA data to come out with the 2014 data. When they do I’m going to update our global data. But, tell you what, when I do that, I’ll actually just, when I get the paper done, I’ll just shoot you a copy and then you could post it on your website if you want to.

Chris Martenson: All right. Well, very good, I’d love that. Thank you much, and I do follow you, such as it is, on PeakOilBarrel.com. That’s a place that you drop a few a comments and it’s a site I visit all the time when I want to know what’s going on with the data. Because, the data here is still vitally important. So, again, Jeff, thank you for your time today. Thank you for your work, and I look forward to work from you whenever it’s done.

Jeffrey Brown: Yes, sir. Will do.

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44 Comments

AKGrannyWGrit's picture
AKGrannyWGrit
Status: Gold Member (Online)
Joined: Feb 6 2011
Posts: 276
Export Numbers

To understand the oil story we need to understand exports.  Well I listened to the podcast twice and I am shocked and confused. It sounds to me like the Bobble Heads in charge aren't on top of the export data or are minimizing, obfuscating or ignoring the information.  Isn't this information and data that should be shouted from the roof-tops?  The Bobble Heads said the Titanic was UNSINKABLE, oops wrong.  Now it's we are awash in petroleum, don't worry be happy. Soon it's oops, wrong again ..... really?  And people are using "implied numbers" or the "available data" this tells me there is some room for error. This wasn't an - "ah ha" podcast this was a Holy Shit podcast.  

Looking forward to others feed back.

AKGrannyWGrit

jturbo68's picture
jturbo68
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Posts: 203
Export Land Model

Im glad to see this information being discussed on PP.   When I came across it on the oil drum a number of years ago, it really clicked with me.  Powerful Stuff.

John

Uncletommy's picture
Uncletommy
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Posts: 169
Export what you can make money on

Great examination of the variables in the oil business. Funny that a graph on Canadian exports wasn't included in this analysis. Watching the performance on the Canadian crud (oops, I mean't crude) stocks tumble, his analysis hits the nail on the head. Canadian heavy crude producers are facing huge discounts and they have had to use the condensate to blend heavier sources just pipe it to market. And if it doesn't hit the refiner's specs, it is either rejected or priced even lower, as Mr Brown points out. The CAPEX on these Alberta sources has been cut way back and they are only shipping existing heavy crude and conventional production just to keep the lights on. Layoffs in western Canada haven't been this high in a long time. I wonder why?

The interesting thing I see is that the major refiners in the US are making comfortable margins on finished products that most of the exporting countries are importing. Has your gasoline dropped as much as the price of crude? Doubt it. I'm not saying the refiners are having a cakewalk, but low priced base products certainly don't hurt. Bottom line - the good stuff is getting scarce. The 7 billion of us will soon be 9 billion. Just one more affirmation of PP's message. Great discussion and another good slant on the topic. Keep up the good work, Chris.

dryam2000's picture
dryam2000
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Posts: 189
"What happens going forward?".....

"What happens going forward?"

Gail Tverberg has a new article somewhat related to this.  It seems to me that things will continue pretty much as the status quo up to a critical event which will lead to an abrupt (over night?) total collapse of the financial ponzi scheme as a result of the progression of the oil story.  All ponzi schemes end abruptly; one day Bernie Madoff was worth billions, the next he was flat broke and behind bars.  For me, reading the following article reinforces what Chris always advocates in regards to preparing for the future:  "I'd rather be a year early than a day late".

http://ourfiniteworld.com/2015/09/14/how-our-energy-problem-leads-to-a-d...

Btw, nice interview.  I love the interviews regarding energy as I believe it's the biggest E of the the 3 E's.

cmartenson's picture
cmartenson
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Posts: 4622
Shale Bust Gathers Steam

Step one of the oil bust was for companies to turn to the capital markets and borrow more and issue more equity. They did both to the tune of $44 billion over the first half of 2015 in the US.

The next step was to just keep pumping as fast as possible, even to the possible extent of harming the wells, in a last ditch attempt to squeeze cash out during lean times to meet hefty operational and debt interest expenses.

Step three…?

Well, that involves selling off your assets, kind of like holding a tag sale after you’ve lost your job and tapped out every borrowing line from every friend and relative.

Shale Drillers Turn to Asset Sales as Early Swagger Wanes

Sept 10, 2015

The first wave of deals is already looming: sales of land holdings in prolific oil regions. Oil market gyrations since July have made valuations hard to pin down, dimming the outlook for sales of whole companies. Instead, executives are looking to shore up their balance sheets by selling land or wooing deep-pocketed private equity groups or hedge funds to invest in their operations in exchange for a share of revenue, Samji said.

Sales Announced

Cobalt International Energy Inc. sold off discoveries in Angola last month and EOG Resources Inc. has begun an auction for acreage in Colorado and Wyoming. Anadarko Petroleum Corp. said it will continue to weigh offers, and Chesapeake said Tuesday it’s still pursuing asset sales. The Oklahoma City-based producer is said to be seeking buyers for dry gas acreage in the Utica shale formation, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

“Chesapeake is not desperate,” Chief Executive Officer Doug Lawler told investors Tuesday. “We are not going to have a fire sale on any asset.”

Illustrating the tough choices companies are facing, W&T Offshore Inc. announced Sept. 1 the sale of acreage in West Texas’s Permian basin, the highest oil-producing area in the U.S., for $376 million. The price amounted to about $8,000 an acre, less than a fourth what was paid for similar land in another deal just months ago, according to an analysis by Raymond James.

The Houston-based producer spent $120 million more than it made during the first six months of the year, and has drawn about half of a $500 million bank loan. A sale of prime Permian acreage might allow W&T to double its liquidity, or the amount of money it has on hand in cash and credit to pay for drilling and other expenses, according to Bloomberg Intelligence.

And here’s your handy list of bankruptcy targets:

Of course, in a couple of years, as declines mount and new production fails to materialize things are going to get serious. Keep a close eye out for activity in the Middle East, the last known place on earth with cheap, untapped deposits in Iraq and Iran.

Obama has apparently taken the diplomacy route with Iran, there are others who would prefer to demonize Iran with trumped up charges of being an existential threat to world peace, attack them, and take their oil.

One of these two approaches will win out….

davefairtex's picture
davefairtex
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more shale

Saw this article, referred by TAE.  Some big write-downs are coming for shale oil assets.  I thought it was due to land in 1Q 2015, but apparently its based on a 12-month average of oil prices.  If oil prices stay low, there will be more writedowns every quarter.

The key: will this affects the ability to get new cash from our friendly bankers?  The moment the banks turn off the tap, the depletion clock starts ticking on the shale drillers.  That 45% decline rate will then take hold...and each quarter production will drop, the tide will go out, and all the naked swimmers will all be exposed.

Theoretically anyways.

http://www.wsj.com/articles/write-downs-abound-for-oil-producers-1442184600

U.S. oil-and-gas producers have written down the value of their drilling fields by more in 2015 than any full year in history, as the rout in commodity prices makes properties across the country not worth drilling. A group of 66 oil and gas producers have taken impairment charges totaling $59.8 billion through June, according to a tally by energy consultancy IHS Herold Inc.

U.S. securities regulators require exploration-and-production companies to value drilling properties and reserves according to energy prices over the previous 12 months.

That means the formulas used to calculate their value at the end of June still included prices from the second half of last year, before oil prices had made much of their descent to their current price around $45 a barrel. “There’s a disconnect between the 12-month average and reality,” said IHS analyst Paul O’Donnell. “There will be pricing impairments for the next two quarters, at least.” Prices used to determine asset values at the end of June were $71.50 a barrel for oil and $3.40 a million British thermal units for natural gas, IHS says. That compares with U.S. crude prices of $59.47 a barrel and $2.83 for natural gas on June 30. The consultancy expects the prices used at year-end to determine asset value will be around $50.50 and $2.80, respectively.

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pyranablade
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Let's Keep a Focus on Peak Oil/Personal Consumption

Thank you Chris and Jeff for an excellent post/podcast!

Peak oil is now the most underrated, most ignored, and most dismissed issue that could put an end to industrialized civilization. With sites like The Oil Drum being no longer active, we need to take up the slack here at Peak Prosperity.

Sure, the trends of peak oil have the potential to ruin us if we ignore them, but I really appreciate the excellent point made that all the cheap oil we've had in the "Happy Motoring era" has made people depressed and isolated from other people. As Jeffrey Brown says, "Lose your ability to drive and you become happier."

robie robinson's picture
robie robinson
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Posts: 977
Kelsey and Drew, helped me

cut about 7 acres of hay this weekend. we were much happier than we would have been had the 100hp climate controlled john dear been used. we will tedder today and bale thurs.(will use a tractor for the baling)

stevejermy's picture
stevejermy
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OFFSHORE OIL&GAS

The other area to keep an eye on is offshore - where 30% of world production now comes from. Working in offshore renewable energy, we watch the offshore oil & gas sector like hawks - we charter offshore assets from the same pool - its carnage. CAPEX reductions of 20% to 30%, similar figures for lay offs. And, being offshore, it will take time to turn this particular tap back on.

charleshughsmith's picture
charleshughsmith
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Posts: 483
energy frugality and energy consumption

I just want to add a very small scale comment about energy frugality. This subject is actually difficult because the total real lifetime costs of Prius-type hybrids and Tesla-type all-electric vehicles are hard to come by. I recall reading a report (from Tesla) defending the total lifecycle cost of their vehicles, which use Lithium-ion batteries. I don't have enough information on this topic to make an assessment, but I do know buying used cars means the production cost has already been spent. I also know that compact vehicles with efficient engines get mileage that compares very favorably with hybrids. My 1998 Honda Civic got 36 MPG on a recent camping trip that required a climb to 8,200 feet (Lassen Nat'l Park), a descent to near-sea level and then another climb of 3,500 ft (Trinity Alps)--all with a load of camping equipment. Based on my limited experience with hybrids, I sincerely doubt a hybrid could have done much better--perhaps 10% more mileage for quadruple the cost of the used Civic.

We camped next to two guys camping out of a large recent-model Subaru with a storage pod on racks. They complimented us on camping out of a Civic with no racks--and we had open space in our trunk. We eat extremely well while camping and carry a full complement of cooking gear, including a wok, saucepan, frying pan, etc., so it's not a lack of equipment. It's just being efficient, nothing fancy.

I have read that 5% of all US electricity consumption goes to powering zombie appliances--TVs, DVD players, game consoles etc. that are plugged in and draining power even while on sleep mode or standby. That equates to something like 30+ entire power plants devoted to nothing but keeping millions of devices on standby. Is this necessary, or a prudent use of limited resources? Is it something we can address in our daily lives?

Sadly, the rise of financialization has pushed the cost of buying a home/flat in bikeable urban zones to the moon. If you're lucky enough to get into such a zone, you can bike about as many miles as you drive. At least that's our experience--roughly 1,200 miles for the auto and the bike annually, not counting long trips/camping.

Here's a question: what's the price point for real conservation? I would say $6/gal. minimum, with real conservation kicking in at $8 to $10/gallon. On the other hand, people in Europe pay $7+/gallon and they keep driving, so maybe it's more like $10-$12/gallon...

Mark_BC's picture
Mark_BC
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Posts: 377
cmartenson wrote:The next

cmartenson wrote:

The next step was to just keep pumping as fast as possible, even to the possible extent of harming the wells, in a last ditch attempt to squeeze cash out during lean times to meet hefty operational and debt interest expenses.

Was this after prices dropped? I haven't been following the oil story too closely since The Oil Drum shut down but I had this suspicion that the shale oil bubble created by Wall Street was inversely contributing to the severity of the oil price crash because if the companies respond to decreasing prices by pumping faster then that would cause even greater price crashes since oil cannot be stored significantly for any length of time. The only way to distort oil price is to subsidize the producers with free money like Wall Street has done, or to subsidize consumers. In this sense oil is acting as the polar opposite of gold due to its low stock to flow ratio.

If this is the case then because of the shale oil boom, oil is behaving like a giffen good, but on the supply side, not the consumption side. I don't know, is there a name for such a situation? This cannot end well and the future rebound up on the other side will be equally violent. I wonder how the timing of shale well supply running dry might coincide with a collapse of the financial system and loss of the US dollar as reserve currency, which would entail that the US will lose its ability to import oil via its trade deficit and the drop in supply will even further intensify the oil shortages in the US. Scary to think about, and Alberta oil sand cannot ramp up quickly to make up the difference.

RW's picture
RW
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Posts: 14
Energy frugality

Charles,

Your comment strikes at a subject near and dear to my heart. When we installed solar power to our house a few years back, I realized it would behoove us to reduce consumption in order to maximize the benefits of a grid tied system which pays you for your production. By paying attention to all the phantom power loses and being more mindful of use, we were able to cut our consumption far more than anticipated. Turning computers, TV's etc off at the powerstrip rather than leaving things plugged into the outlet made a difference. It adds up. Thank you for bringing this into the conversation. Powerstrips to the people! I would encourage you, Chris, Adam...whoever has the podium to explore and encourage this more. Here in the NW we aren't burning coal for electricity but we do have too many dams on rivers. Reducing aggregate demand in combination with renewables seems the best path forward to me.

cmartenson's picture
cmartenson
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Posts: 4622
Damaged Oil Wells

Mark_BC wrote:

cmartenson wrote:

The next step was to just keep pumping as fast as possible, even to the possible extent of harming the wells, in a last ditch attempt to squeeze cash out during lean times to meet hefty operational and debt interest expenses.

Was this after prices dropped? I haven't been following the oil story too closely since The Oil Drum shut down but I had this suspicion that the shale oil bubble created by Wall Street was inversely contributing to the severity of the oil price crash because if the companies respond to decreasing prices by pumping faster then that would cause even greater price crashes since oil cannot be stored significantly for any length of time. 

Yes, the overpumping of wells is a phenomenon we've covered here before...and here's the evidence.

An oil well obtains its pressure from the gas mixed in....gasses compress where liquids don't...so it's the gas in there that pushes the oil to the surface..

Ordinarily the so-call "Gas-Oil-Ratio" (GOR) is carefully managed and if it were plotted you'd see the amount of gas and oil produced stay in a reasonably tight ratio.  

Indeed, this was true across the universe of Bakken wells for many years in a row but, wouldn't you know it, broke apart and has drifted an eye popping 30% higher ever since the price of oil began its slide (note the black and red lines).

This tells me that the desperate operators are over-working their wells, and quite probably damaging them in their haste to generate revenue to service their debts.

More gas is being produced...the chokes have been opened up, and the wells are producing as much as they can...for a while...the out years are likely to be vastly reduced for a host of complex reasons. 

Waterdog14's picture
Waterdog14
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Only the Juniors are overpumping

I don't believe that all of the oil companies are overpumping their wells.  My evidence is anecdotal, but I do keep my ear to the ground.  Last month I spoke to a "company man" with Marathon oil as he delivered some used 5/8" sucker rod to my farm (for building raised beds).  The rod was from an Anadarko site, so he was fairly plugged into several companies "on the ground".

As we offloaded pipe, I specifically asked about how they were operating their wells these days.   He said they were running them slower, to get a longer well life and produce less while prices were low.  He also said used sucker rod was harder to find, because companies were trying to make things last longer (i.e., getting a longer service life from materials used in production).  He said they were *continuing* development drilling at a fast pace, which was a surprise to me given how many unemployed or underemployed geologists I'm seeing.  

Marathon is big player, with a market cap at about #170 of US companies and about #275 in the world.  And I only spoke with one person on the ground.  But the information I got did not indicate they were overpumping, instead it indicated they are managing their wells for the long term.  I think this links back to an earlier post by Chris that talked about the difference between what the deep-pocketed large players are doing vs. what the desperate debt-funded junior players are doing.  It's a good idea to keep both concepts in play as we evaluate future energy.

kaimu's picture
kaimu
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Posts: 114
PEAK DENIAL

Aloha! Come on ... it is human nature to deny negative events and changes. Who wants to admit the gravy train is over? Certainly not one single politician in Washington DC or any other global capital.

I have a direct relationship with Chesapeake. They have just bought rights to drill on one of my family's oil and gas properties on the Haynesville Shale play just outside Shreveport, LA. During the gold rush days when exploration was booming for gold mines in 2003-2008 I wrote an article for Northern Mining and Goknet entitled Micro Mining. I interviewed people who were mining engineers and also CEOs of exploration companies. One of the best take away tips I got was that the best place to drill for gold was at or near a former producing gold mine. Just replace the word "gold" with the word "oil" or "gas" and guess what? You now know why Chesapeake is coming back to the Haynesville Shale and drilling new wells. Not reworking old wells but drilling new ones. They are also getting good land deals the second round since the land owners are now used to a higher lifestyle and want it to continue. Even when depletion sets in and it does rapidly on frac wells the royalty checks are still $3k-$10k per month over a longer period of years. Our family gas wells started with monthly checks of over $50k in 2008. The first year was great but after that depletion set in more rapidly. Now we are in the $3k-$8k monthly royalty range. Naturally royalties depended on the market price of NG and production rates. Now production rates are at record lows and market prices are also at record lows. I would expect Chesapeake to back off production.

I agree that Chesapeake has slowed production rates which is only prudent during market lows, but revenue growth rates which translates to free cash flow is going to dry up. This causes budgets for exploration to shrink. It makes sense then to use your exploration and development budgets to go back to known producing regions.

The industry is consolidating and I see buyouts and mergers on the horizon. Exxon is moving its global operations to a little town outside Houston, Texas called The Woodlands, which is right where I am. I can tell you that even with major cuts in oil and gas futures The Woodlands is a boom town! I count no less than seven high rise cranes in this small town north of Houston. Go anywhere and you immediately notice traffic overload and the shopping areas are packed to the max. I just saw regular gas here at $1.89USD. What I see here is the complete opposite of the Big Island and Puna. I still have our place in Hawaii though. Even with all that "boom" the two enemies of all booms "time and debt" will eventually come to visit. The boom will bust, but I think the bust in the rest of the US and the world will be at riot levels before Houston goes bust. I also just read that Houston will move ahead of Chicago as the third largest US city. Thanks to politics and debt Chicago is one more city to add to the Walking Dead tv show.

The end of Empires has always been the toxic mix of politics and debt in excess. Denial is alive and well in the shale fields as it is alive and well at the recent televised Republican Debate. The brainwashing in DC is extremely evident as the only viable Republican candidates who had a smidgen dose of reality were the ones who never held public office. The epitome of DENIAL came when Jeb defended his brother W as a US president who made America safe. Did history just get re-written at that debate or did the WTC collapse on W's watch? More Americans died on US soil in 2001 than died in 1941 at Pearl Harbor and even the Hawaiians will debate that Pearl Harbor was not US soil in 1941. The invaders in 2001 were not a well equipped highly trained military from a developed Nation with a long standing army like Japan. It was 13 religious kooks who took last minute flying lessons and took advantage of a super lax security system in a country with a $1T annual military budget. How in God's name then did W keep America safe in 2001? Nobody in that debate challenged Jeb on that fact. It was as if 11 future president wanna-bes suddenly were hit with a huge dose of complete amnesia.

Lets be real here. Peak oil is just one thing. Historically at the end of Empire everything goes "peak"! Maybe we should just call it PEAK DENIAL, because once denial runs it course all that is left is the dirty filthy remains of total reality. PEAK THAT!

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HughK
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Not just a river in Egypt

kaimu wrote:

Lets be real here. Peak oil is just one thing. Historically at the end of Empire everything goes "peak"! Maybe we should just call it PEAK DENIAL, because once denial runs it course all that is left is the dirty filthy remains of total reality. PEAK THAT!

Hmmmm...love the post, Kaimu.  Don't underestimate denial, though.  It's much more than a river in Africa.

Denial may live as long as we do, and not just as one of Pandora's evils in a general sense, but very specifically, denial may reign supreme for peak oil, climate change, false flags and the complexity of ethics until the last scapegoat and deviant have been incinerated and there is nothing left but a pale outline of our own face in whatever murky puddles are remaining.  

Sorry to be grim...I'm channeling my inner-Mark Twain, and that's the old Sam Clemens, not the young jolly one who wrote about jumping frogs and raft trips down the river.

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jgritter
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So here we are

Post peak oil.  The United States capitulates, unable to hold Iraq, unable to take Iran.  Russia moves his queen to the center of the board, Syria, check.  China can now buy Iranian oil using any currency they chose, sucks to be India.  What will Saudi do?  Defect now in an attempt to retain some shred of self control, or submit to Chinese occupation after collapsing under the unrealistic expectations of a mountain of princes and paupers who have been over indulged.  What of Israel?  Tightly cornered with a knife to her throat, a ticking bomb capable of who knows what.  Yah but, yah but, yah but, think of the humanity!  Irrelevant.  Both the Russians and the Chinese have a history of throwing tens of millions of civilians under the bus, collateral damage.  Only issue with civilians is going to be how disruptive are they going to be as they thrash around starving to death.  Perhaps shopping malls with watch towers really are for "first responders".  Not intended to be used to inter dissidents but as forward operating bases to be used to protect vital infrastructure like keeping civilians from clogging transportation routes with derelict automobiles.

Fascinating

John G

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aggrivated
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Dear Mr Old Sam Clemens

Having been raised by a European survivor of WWII bombing raids I strongly agree that some may be looking at reflections in murky puddles if they can see.  However, rather than sarcaz about where we will end up I will vote for jumping off the train of denial as soon as possible.  The rate of survival for deniers is way less than train jumpers.

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Not to worry, says OPEC.

I want some of what they are smoking.

OPEC says no $100 oil until 2040.  Maybe they mean internally they won't pay that much for oil since it looks like they won't be exporting much by 2040.

http://www.cnbc.com/2015/09/16/oil-prices-steady-after-big-jump-following-us-stock-draw.html

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CHS: Denial and Bargaining

Charles chips away the bargaining efforts of us idealist (speaking for myself) with today's OfTwoMinds essay:  Why the Status Quo is Doomed.

Efforts to save the status quo might focus on:

1. Get money out of politics
2. Re-impose the Glass-Steagall Act on banking
3. Close the tax loopholes exploited by corporations and the wealthy
4. Overturn the Supreme Court decision giving corporations personhood
5. Restrict the Imperial War Powers of the president
6. Restore the civil liberties stripped by post-9/11 legislation
and so on.

All good-governance, all prudent, all necessary.

The Problem:  This is a world optimized for growth

The world optimized for growth begins with little or no debt. Debt, as we know, is a way to consume future earnings today. If $1 in income can be leveraged into $10 of debt, the worker earning the $1 can consume $10 of goods and services today, or buy $10 of assets.

The world optimized for growth is also optimized for banks and central states.  Banks earn money as debt expands, and government tax revenues explode higher as population, earnings, productivity, commerce and profits all expand.

  •  Once the number of workers starts declining, the social security/old-age pension system implodes.
  • Once households and enterprises stop borrowing more and start defaulting on existing debt, the banking sector implodes.
  • Once household consumption starts declining, the retail sector implodes.
  • Once tax revenues plummet and nation-states destroy their currencies with excessive borrowing and/or money-printing, nation-states implode.

The problem is the Status Quo only works in a world with plenty of room to expand.

None of this will work.  We are heading into a period of great change.  I cannot imagine any way that this will not be absolute chaos.  Can you?

How is the garden doing?  The chickens?  Any thoughts on expanding efforts to neighbors so that they all become allies?   Once collapse is visibly present, denial will falter.  Sooner or later.  Maybe much later....  How do we support neighbors get started gardening?

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robie robinson
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get your

mare settled!!!

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sand_puppy
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Mare lives in the suburbs, Robie!

She's hard to settle...

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robie robinson
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sorry SP

is there a PP community 'tween us?

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Time2help
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Garden yourself

sand_puppy wrote:

How is the garden doing?  The chickens?  Any thoughts on expanding efforts to neighbors so that they all become allies?   Once collapse is visibly present, denial will falter.  Sooner or later.  Maybe much later....  How do we support neighbors get started gardening?

Garden yourself.  They see you doing it, then then wonder why that guy is so busy out in the garden. Then summer and fall comes. They see you picking fresh lettuce/tomatoes/zucchini/etc, and every so often you hand them some. The kick comes in when they are looking through the produce section and see the prices going up.

Then for some odd reason...the think of you smiley.

(Oh, I know, zombie hordes an all. Head's up, they are coming either way....)

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Re: Shopping Malls

jgritter wrote:

Perhaps shopping malls with watch towers really are for "first responders".  Not intended to be used to inter dissidents but as forward operating bases to be used to protect vital infrastructure like keeping civilians from clogging transportation routes with derelict automobiles.

Had an up-close look at one of these myself.  Much better suited as a place to house and protect from than to intern. Can't see much of anything that happens inside from the towers. But, you'd have a defensible position with hard exterior walls, built in shelter, 360 degree long distance observation, a cafeteria and electrical/plumbing facilities with backup power generation. Just throw some barbed wire loops around the thing and you are good to go.  That being said, the big open parking lot in front of the towers is anyone's guess...

Think I'll try to avoid going "shopping" if things go sideways.

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You should read that

.I will start with a statement from the terminator:

“If you are listening to this (and understands it), you are the resistance”.

It is just mind boggling to see lucid people with eclectic wisdom (as many people on this site are) unable to funnel their grave frustration into productive measures in order to abort this inner-planetary suicide mission, which is led by insane representatives of an insane population.

I think that the late Professor Albert Allen Bartlett’s, famous statement: “The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function." is a perfect example of the fundamental cognitive dissonance that is shared among the Professor Albert Allen Bartlett’s flock, which may result in the “greatest shortcoming of the human race”

Prof. Bartlett’s statement is missing one overlooked fundamental factor that must be included in the statement in order to turn it valid:

“The greatest shortcoming of the human race, is Professor’s Albert Allen Bartlett (and similar individuals) inability to comprehend that they belong to one group of humans (~5% of the population) with a brain setup for System Thinking, while the majority of the human race are another group with a brain setup for Categorical Thinking and these all share the inability to understand the exponential function and it is an inherent pathological and clinical condition."

It is the past failure of individuals such as Professor Albert Allen Bartlett’s to understand this fact may result in the annihilation of all the planet’s life forms.

The main thing to understand is that we are facing an imminent situation, of a major cluster-fuck, because we the people, who are similar to Prof. Bartlett, have failed to recognize one very important factor:

There are two types of humans which coexist in the world population, and the differences between these two groups are as profound as those which might exist between any two separate species that share the same ecosystem but do not share the same level in the food chain, such as - lions and zebras.

But unlike the example above, the differences between the two type of humans are not external or visually apparent and they emerge in all ethnic groups – irrespective to race, color, culture, nationality or gender, these differences are an inherent brain tendency which inhabit two different types of cognition which come with a whole different set of traits and behaviors, much more distinctive then the difference between the bonobo and the common chimpanzee.

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Robie: Meaning of Getting Mare settled?

I have asked a couple of horse-people friends and we know that it has to do with getting a female horse impregnated.

But what do you mean by this?

Dust off you keyboard and explain please.

:-)

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Thanks Kaimu!

The end of Empires has always been the toxic mix of politics and debt in excess. Denial is alive and well in the shale fields as it is alive and well at the recent televised Republican Debate. The brainwashing in DC is extremely evident as the only viable Republican candidates who had a smidgen dose of reality were the ones who never held public office. The epitome of DENIAL came when Jeb defended his brother W as a US president who made America safe. Did history just get re-written at that debate or did the WTC collapse on W's watch? More Americans died on US soil in 2001 than died in 1941 at Pearl Harbor and even the Hawaiians will debate that Pearl Harbor was not US soil in 1941. The invaders in 2001 were not a well equipped highly trained military from a developed Nation with a long standing army like Japan. It was 13 religious kooks who took last minute flying lessons and took advantage of a super lax security system in a country with a $1T annual military budget. How in God's name then did W keep America safe in 2001? Nobody in that debate challenged Jeb on that fact. It was as if 11 future president wanna-bes suddenly were hit with a huge dose of complete amnesia.

Thank you for reminding us all of the TRUTH that George W. Bush did NOT keep us safe.  This canard has been repeated enough that it has become conventional wisdom.

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Ram D, I must be unique in that I have left brain & right brain

Ram D, thank you so much for pointing out that most people are incapable of think with one of their two brain halves.

I never realised that there were not one, but two kinds of people fundamentally different from me. I had assumed that people -- including yourself -- were capable of categorizing when categorizing was called for, and ALSO capable of logical thought, when logical thought was called for.

So... I suppose I needs must ask myself which you yourself are. I believe you just categorzed everyone into two groups, without any logical reasoning whatsoever.

So I take it, you are a zebra?

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How are the chickens... Please don't laugh!

Sand_Puppy,

Thanks for asking how are my chickens doing. I have no chickens, and I plan to have a few probably next year. However... I looked at the municipal laws last week and this is what I found (Please don't laugh, not yet).

- We have the right to raise chickens (Yipeee!)

- All domestic animals are measured by "Animal unit". This is to keep fairness among species.

- Examples:
     A Horse unit = 1 horse.
     A laying hens unit = 125 hens
     A chicken for roasting unit = 250 chickens.

-  I am allowed to raise:
     - 2 horse-unit = 2 horses.
     - 0.05 (Yes, 0.05) chicken-unit = 6.25 hens or 12.5 chickens for roasting.

6 hens should be ok (6 eggs a day for a household of two is not that bad). But 12 chickens is definitely not enough. This is like eating 1 chicken a month during one year. We need more than that.

This is the result of HOA lobbying. This is how some people are very active to impose their view of neighborhood (No noise, no smell, polished lawn, etc...). Of course, the rest (including me) just don't bother until they (and me) find themselves prisoners of some stupid municipal rules.

This is also an example of a city that wants to raise its brand image to attract more families and raise more taxes, etc... The cost being less resilience.

Anyway, I just wanted to post an example of something that makes preparation a bit more challenging than it should be. May be the coming chaos will help obsoletes this kind of laws?

Now you can laugh!

JM

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robie robinson
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a settled mare is more tractable

has a replacement within her, and, in the draft world, means you've a commitment to a relationship which includes real solar power. with grass and hay a team can do quite a lot.

my relationship with Kelsey, oddly more since conception, is very co-dependent. alot of conversation and behavioral influence runs 'tween us. at the risk of anthropomorphisation... when all is in order, life is good. When the farms solar power is "settled" all will be OK. therefore its a metaphor for all being right in the world. i will take care of Kelsey...she will take care of me and mine. she hasn't the prescience to plan for a future longer than an hour. i plan her feed and care for a year or more (foal included) she can pull ayears firewood out of the wood in an afternoon. she and Drew, her brother, mowed 8 acres of hay in two days, teddered the same and(diesel powered tractors will bale). if necessary all could have been horse powered/solar powered.

ie. if the mare(progenitor)is settled(happy) all are happy and secure

a good ar10 or several help

robie robinson's picture
robie robinson
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a settled mare is more tractable

has a replacement within her, and, in the draft world, means you've a commitment to a relationship which includes real solar power. with grass and hay a team can do quite a lot.

my relationship with Kelsey, oddly more since conception, is very co-dependent. alot of conversation and behavioral influence runs 'tween us. at the risk of anthropomorphisation... when all is in order, life is good. When the farms solar power is "settled" all will be OK. therefore its a metaphor for all being right in the world. i will take care of Kelsey...she will take care of me and mine. she hasn't the prescience to plan for a future longer than an hour. i plan her feed and care for a year or more (foal included) she can pull ayears firewood out of the wood in an afternoon. she and Drew, her brother, mowed 8 acres of hay in two days, teddered the same and(diesel powered tractors will bale). if necessary all could have been horse powered/solar powered.

ie. if the mare(progenitor)is settled(happy) all are happy and secure

a good ar10 or several help

robie robinson's picture
robie robinson
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my daughters computer is, well less familiar to me than my

mare

robie robinson's picture
robie robinson
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Posts: 977
a settled mare is more tractable

has a replacement within her, and, in the draft world, means you've a commitment to a relationship which includes real solar power. with grass and hay a team can do quite a lot.

my relationship with Kelsey, oddly more since conception, is very co-dependent. alot of conversation and behavioral influence runs 'tween us. at the risk of anthropomorphisation... when all is in order, life is good. When the farms solar power is "settled" all will be OK. therefore its a metaphor for all being right in the world. i will take care of Kelsey...she will take care of me and mine. she hasn't the prescience to plan for a future longer than an hour. i plan her feed and care for a year or more (foal included) she can pull ayears firewood out of the wood in an afternoon. she and Drew, her brother, mowed 8 acres of hay in two days, teddered the same and(diesel powered tractors will bale). if necessary all could have been horse powered/solar powered.

ie. if the mare(progenitor)is settled(happy) all are happy and secure

a good ar10 or several help

robie robinson's picture
robie robinson
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New England PP'rs an event of drafts

might enjoy a week end at draft animal power field days.

http://www.draftanimalpower.org/

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Thanks Robie

I think I understand now.  :-)

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It's just the way we are.

Interesting post Ram_d. I agree that recognition of the distinction between System Thinking and Categorical thinking is highly germane to our predicament. But it's just part of the picture.

Most people seem to be  totally unable to integrate multiple threads of information into their 'internal map of reality'.I have long suspected  this to be related to an unwillingness or inability to modify core beliefs. ie. if the information conflicts with a core belief it will simply be ignored.

Patterns of thinking are also fundamentally important. I recall previous comments suggesting the Myers Briggs type INTJ is likely the prevalent behavioural style of PP members. (Guilty as charged in my case). INTJ's tend to be system thinkers I suppose.

Also relevant and related is the characteristic of autodidacticism ie.engaging in self directed learning and following strands of information wherever they lead.  Probably this is another trait of systems thinkers.

Now I'm going to disagree

'It is the past failure of individuals such as Professor Albert Allen Bartlett’s to understand this fact may result in the annihilation of all the planet’s life forms.'

There's no way I can buy that. It is not Albert Bartlett's fault or your or mine. This is just the way we are as a species. In order to communicate effectively with others it is certainly useful to understand their behaviour style, dominant modalities, world view, levels of development etc etc. But it's hardly anyones fault that most of the worlds population can't see what's blindingly obvious to most of us here. It's just how they are.

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System vs categorical thinking IS important

David Allen, I agree with your post. My problem -- at which I MUST take offense, is that Ram D is saying that 95% of the people are absolutely incapable of system thinking, and therefore will destroy the human race.

What he is implying and pressing toward is that we need to stop thinking, and start exterminating, and we need to do it with categorical thinking.

Do you see massive evil in this? I do. I also see the same extreme illogic of the Nazi myths; I also foresee the same eventual implosion, and the same final disposition "we failed, therefore we must be unfit, therefore we must destroy ourselves".

So I find it very important to gut such a viewpoint NOW, when it is first presented.

I really do think, based on experience, that all humans -- including retarded children -- are capable of both categorical and systemic thinking. Moreover, we are all capable of neurotic thought, and being trapped into one, wrong mode of thinking, for some time.

So it is entirely possible that Ram_D's views could take hold, and cause an implosion here from "trust yourself" into a political cult.

I don't want that to happen.

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System thinking

Michael

I didn't take such an extreme interpretation as you from Dam_d's comments. Actually I thought they may have been born out of frustration with the majority that don't / won't get it.

Terms like System Thinker are just labels as are categories like Myers Briggs behavioural types. They describe tendancies and preferred styles and can be useful guidelines - we shouldn't take them as gospel - the map is not the territory. As you say, pretty much everyone has some system thinking ability. However it seems to me that those of us with strong system-thinking bias are most likely to see through the 'consensus trance'

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Response to Michael.

I like your ideals MR.

Now we must convince Mr. Darwin. He is the arbiter of good taste. 

We have produced a rich offering for his inspection, and he is expected soon. According to this prognostication he is anticipated to choose unthinking, fast breeders that are short lived.. 

If we grasp the bull by the horns now we could flee to the high ground and escape. But we are in thrall to the Savanna Ape who wishes to expend every last cent on beating someone,  anyone on the head with whatever passes for a club these days.

I hold it to be a self evident truth that no two people are equal by any measure at all. 

Me.

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Here are more details

I will start with a statement from the terminator:

“If you are listening to this (and understands it), you are the resistance”.

It is just mind boggling to see lucid people with eclectic wisdom (as many people on this site are) unable to funnel their grave frustration into productive measures in order to abort this inner-planetary suicide mission, which is led by insane representatives of an insane population.

I think that the late Professor Albert Allen Bartlett’s, famous statement: “The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function." is a perfect example of the fundamental cognitive dissonance that is shared among the Professor Albert Allen Bartlett’s flock, which may result in the “greatest shortcoming of the human race”

Prof. Bartlett’s statement is missing one overlooked fundamental factor that must be included in the statement in order to turn it valid:

“The greatest shortcoming of the human race, is Professor’s Albert Allen Bartlett (and similar individuals) inability to comprehend that they belong to one group of humans (~5% of the population) with a brain setup for System Thinking, while the majority of the human race are another group with a brain setup for Categorical Thinking and the last group shares the inability to understand the exponential function and it is an inherent pathological and clinical condition."

It is the past failure of individuals such as Professor Albert Allen Bartlett’s to understand this fact may result in the annihilation of all the planet’s life forms.

The main thing to understand is that we are facing an imminent situation, of a major cluster-fuck, because we the people, who are similar to Prof. Bartlett, have failed to recognize one very important factor:

There are two types of humans which coexist in the world population, and the differences between these two groups are as profound as those which might exist between any two separate species that share the same ecosystem but do not share the same level in the food chain, such as - lions and zebras.

But unlike the example above, the differences between the two type of humans are not external or visually apparent and they emerge in all ethnic groups – irrespective to race, color, culture, nationality or gender, these differences are an inherent brain tendency which inhabit two different types of cognition which come with a whole different set of traits and behaviors, much more distinctive then the difference between the bonobo and the common chimpanzee.

A manifest for a revolution of the mind

We are independent thinkers, working on the “Homo anthropophagus” hypothesis for a very long time, the hypothesis focused on reexamining the current archeological data in order to reconstruct a context for the early human evolution which we think holds the key for understanding the “human condition”. 

We were able to identify the evolutionary events and processes that had led to the emergence of certain attributes, which were responsible for multiple sets of cognitive traits in the early human evolution, these traits and the behaviors they represent were responsible for altering the “normal” evolutionary process that would have otherwise been expected from a somewhat intelligent and peaceful primate (such as the gorillas).

This change started sometime in our early evolutionary process around 14-7 million years ago, during the late Miocene, a time period in which the human and the chimpanzee lineages split, and according to latest evidences, has peaked around 2.5 million years ago in the homo naledi and such.

At the end of a period of ~4.5 million years a peaceful frugivore living in the forest canapé becomes an aggressive cannibal living in dry savannas with no significant changes in morphology and physiology

A tropical peaceful frugivore living in the safety of the forest canapé becomes a cannibal living in fear and terror in dry savannas and taking refuge underground (suggesting the first development of stone tools as means for digging which may explain the h. naledi’s strong opposing thumbs to support the thrust, and maybe the loss of hair), all of that, with no other significant changes in morphology and physiology, preserving the features of a tree climbing primate as it was 4.5 million years earlier: 

This is quiet odd considering the immense differences between the multiple landscapes, weather conditions and resources constrains of each of the different habitats which they inhabited during that transition.

By comparing the cannibalistic chimpanzees social organization with that of modern human we can clearly observe that throughout our evolutionary process the homo lineage have preserved the unique social organization of a hierarchy of classes governed by a group of non-kin adult males (which started in a certain event which resulted in the split of the lineages).

If the hierarchy structure survived since the dawn of our lineage, than the reason for the original form of the hierarchy has also prevailed.

After the split of the lineages early Hominidae managed to become the first species that can live almost independently of its environment’s resources constrains.

Without natural constrains and unlike any other species in its habitat, the Hominidae were immune to the most crucial fitness factor:  the need to adapt to changes in its habitat in order to feed. 

The early Hominidae achieved the ability to support its nutritional needs regardless of environmental conditions by exploiting its own kin and this ability, we think was the most crucial element in the survival of our lineage. 

These newly emerged cannibalistic traits were the true force driving our early evolution and the same traits are playing a crucial part in the more recent sociocultural evolution which created civilization. These attributes can explain the pathological delusional tendencies expressed in the irrational believes and denial which inhabits the majority of the population’s cognition.

And all of this we think should be considered as the real first leap forward (which we consider to be the big backward-flip)

Maybe one of the causes for the human condition of denial is not the fear of death itself but the fear of the terror before death: inflicted on them by their own kin. Just watch the victims (a member of neighboring chimpanzee group) of our closest living relatives, the chimpanzees as its being ripped apart, devoured and eaten by a mob while it still alive.

A new perspective on how to define a species in the human lineage

Considering the assumptions above we can suggest that in the human lineage a species is not determined by its physical and morphological features, but rather can be mainly identified by its mental traits and mindset (Just imagine someone in the future with no prior knowledge, digging out the remains of a 7 foot Viking in Scandinavia and another remain of 4.5 foot pygmy in Central Africa, and when comparing their physiology and considering the geographical distance concludes that they are two different species, even though they had both hunted and killed their brothers).

The current branching in the human lineage and a new perspective on the big leap forward event

We think that the second most crucial event (the currently accepted hypothesis of the big leap forward) is connected to our encounter with the Neanderthals which somehow stimulated the evolutionary branching of modern humans in a way similar to the branching of the bonobo from the chimpanzees. We think that the Neanderthal may have been the “bonobo” of the human lineage and its genes presented in our genome holds many keys that will become handy when we will finally come to term and accept the true human origin.

We, the members of the new emerging homo species, are currently stranded by the narratives of the well-established cannibalistic culture and politically correctness, confused by contradicting data from numerous indoctrinated disciplines which cause us to focus on isolated small events with multiple details without any real context and without easy access to cross-disciplines frameworks.

We are all experiencing the cognitive dissonance and the aggravating frustration of individuals who are more mentally evolved and may belong to a different homo species living within the cannibals.

Many evolved humans have lost their hindsight, which is the only mean we have if we are to solve our evolutionary puzzle, we need a fundamental change in the way we treat knowledge:

To redefine the dictionary to include an absolute definition for facts as absolute truth, so myths and opinions will be easily filtered out

To create a central data base containing all the evidence, observations and knowledge of humanity, and we need to create dynamics models to factor the data and to place it in the right context

We need to support easy access to all the available data for everyone, and we need to oppose rewords, degrees and intellectual property in order to eliminate competition between individuals and groups.

We need to support cooperation between researchers and any other thinkers and judge people by their contribution and not by their fancy piece of paper.  

But most of all, we need to reorganize the whole human domain in accordance to reality and truth and I think we can finally achieve that by factoring the new evidences into the whole human domain.   

Many of the people that do recognize that they are different from the majority of the population are so castrated and broken by this culture that they can’t even think of doing what the bonobo eventually did after a long period of fear and terror – 6 million years of it!

But maybe now, with the new discoveries in South Africa of the homo naledi, and the unique place were the remains were found which we think is an evidence for repeated acts of cannibalism (see more below), some of us will come to term with our not so “PC” origin, and we will finally be able to do the same move that the bonobo did, when they branched out and left behind the fear and the abuse to the chimpanzees and their cannibalistic hierarchies, persisting by its rotating members, males who are not necessarily kin, which are promoted according to their level of aggression and abuse and their level of contribution to wealth/wellbeing of the leaders of the gang, the same gang of males that we can find at the top of every abusive hierarchy (government, military, police, any corporation, business, religion, and worst of all the education system with the rotten apple of the universities).

Homo naledi the cannibal – placing the evidence in the right context

We think the cave is a crime scene portraying repeated acts of hominid cannibalism utilizing members of their own species as livestock that resulted in the first evidence for refugees chased there by males of their own kind and preferred to die of thirst and hunger then being eaten alive by the males lingering outside their chamber.

Contemplating the chain of events that could have brought these individuals in to that challenging location, the scenarios that seem the most compatible are that the chamber was either a shelter or a livestock pantry.

Firstly, we can assume rather confidently that the option of a burial site is highly unlikely regarding Homo naledi’s brain size and structure. And moreover, even if indeed they had had the sufficient mental complexity that would have enabled them to develop burial rituals, the immense challenges that this site imposed and principally the drastic size limitations, revokes almost any probability that this hasty theory might have had. It is just too far-fetched.

Another improbable speculation is that the Homo naledi was living in those caves. Even though there are no data supporting any significant use of tools, or fire.

Along these rather barren theories, we are left with the simple scenario of escape. Something must have caused them to crawl alive into that chamber, and it must have been scarier than the dark, which means something that was threatening their lives.

Now, we should speculate on, what was it that had caused them to flee so deep into the cave and through such a narrow gap? So narrow that it was mostly females, elders and children who were able to pass through, along with what seems to be some exceptionally slender male hominid. The animal chasing them must have had the ability to follow them for a substantial distance into the cave, and perhaps even through the first narrow passageway (that is about 25 centimeters wide) which would have caused them to move all the way down that second gap (about 20 centimeters high) and into the chamber. 

The threat, must have also lingered for a long enough time to keep them in their hopeless sanctuary, which may suggest that these homo naledi were a primary food source of that predator. Of course, there is the chance that they have simply been unable to get out of the chamber, although the data imply that they were adaptable climbers. still, even if they were in fact trapped in that chamber, the amount of findings suggests that the hominids did not all enter the chamber on a sole incident, but rather one or few at a time, and that would mean that over more than one occasion a H. naledi was chased into that same cave, by something that perhaps could pass through the first 25 centimeters width passage and follow it into the first chamber, but could not have fit through the smaller 20 centimeters gap leading to the last chamber.

A new perspective on “Paleo Diet”

We should also consider this as a case of storing livestock. Utilizing members of their species as livestock, enabled them an easy transition when they migrated from the tropical forests to open savannas (having your nutrition resources migrating with you, increases your fitness dramatically), and the halt in physical evolution since the splitting from the chimpanzees until around 2-3Mya in the homo genus was in contrast to the obvious need to adapt physically in order to utilize the different types of available food sources and shelters, during the migration period. This may also hold the key for the frequent amount of reproduction cycles in the human genus when comparing them to other primates (similar to the use of chickens in recent history).

And here enters a crucial subject that has not been addressed yet, one of the first matters that should be approached when reading the data, “what were they eating?” or to be more to the point, what was available to them that could support their nutritional needs? Without considering this issue you cannot complete the puzzle. 

Without going into considerable details signifying this matter, we would merely suffice in noting that according to the dental specimens and jaw structure, it appears as though the H. naledi were not adaptable carnivores, although their morphology and its resemblance to that of modern humans seems like one that would require a rich diet. 

The plausible answer is cannibalism

Once you factor our ancestors’ cannibalistic and abusive behavior into the human domain, a lot of blind spots will unravel.

It is about time that somebody picks up the glove, and slaps all the rest back to consciousness with it.

It’s disgusting to see how the “scholars” have turned from lions serving as the gate keepers of knowledge into pussies that serve their masters the milk of knowledge that they had milked from their students and instead of guarding it, they serve the milk of knowledge to their masters just the way their like it the most: overly sweetened or camouflaged by the PC color of chocolate.

`These self-acclaimed scholars that shove in everyone’s face the certificate of authority they had received from their masters and have more headshots than brad pitt are the ones that hold the ultimate power of keeping the revealed “truth” in-line with the master’s narratives and filter and bury the ideas that oppose it.

Sadly, our universities have turned into churches, where the choir boys are nothing but protégées, collecting bits and pieces of information, documenting it and then leaving it for the local patriarch (head of research and conformity) to decide where, how and if it will fit in the “PC” puzzle of the masters.

These unquestionable patriarchs of the scientific community have dug their churches of knowledge underground, the same thing we did millions of years ago during our evolution, isolating and segregating their communities in large structures and separated chambers with restrictions on their hypothesis and on the knowledge they can share with others outside their gated community.

Researchers are segregated from others by the walls of faculties and disciplines, individualism is celebrated and communal effort is being discouraged, instead of developing communities of knowledge the current generation is sitting in cubicles, afraid of each other and from other communities as cannibals are afraid of their own kin.

The leaders of the scientific world have become as vain and remote from reality and normality as the kardiachiens are: and just like the “patriarch” of this twisted family, they are too seeking for the courage reward for removing their own balls (Nobel Prize (named after the guy that gave us better means to kill our brothers – explosives)).

Just look at the charade (press release celebrations) of the latest discoveries in South Africa producing a show that have everything for everyone (complied with the ISO 9000 of the retard code) like cable TV and other abnormality shows it got x factor for females when the factor is being skinny and attractive enough to crawl into a hole in front of the drooling male judges (scientists).

it’s got its spirituality channel were the preachers/shamans/yogis of the excavation preach the “beautiful ape” narrative and how it went on several occasions into a cave through two dark chambers to buried its slender dead’s and mourn them as we are the modern “compassionate” ape do while we slaughter our brothers by the thousand every day, as we did from the down of our lineage: If you start a cannibal and you still a cannibal 7 million years later how in the world can you think that a small brain ancestor was Gandhi????.

A picture of a dark skin leader previously oppressed by light skin homo, kissing the skull of a prehistoric victim of cannibalism is all over the place and symbolizing this charade! try to make this Kosher, and reverse the conclusion after such contribution to the foundation of the PC madness, try to rewind the narrative of the “kind” ape and replace it with the dark truth of a vicious cannibal after that image.

And since when important evidence belongs to the whole humanity is being held from the public for two years, finds its way to someone’s lips and held by bare hands. I know more about these new celebrities than I knew about their finds, but as soon as I saw that women crawled through a hole where adult males couldn’t pass, it was already out.

It’s about time the kids of the scientific world will call out the naked kings of their subjugating kingdoms:

These “Kings” think that they are thinking out side of the box don’t understand that any box that they think that they are out of is nothing more than the space between a bigger babushka to a smaller one, and what they are doing instead of trying to expose the layers above them until the last one and examine the whole babushka in its environment to get some context? (and maybe finally they will notice that the babushka is standing on a burning shelve), instead they are digging-in deeper into the details the smallest and smallest babushkas and there is where they think the truth is , symbolizing the pyramid of any abusive hierarchy where the ones at the top causing every layer underneath them to focus on exponentially growing details in a narrower subjects to the point that one may invest his life investigating the left tow of the back leg, on the right side of the unicorn.  

Wake up and grow some balls, think about hypotheses (such as ours) as a way of communal brain-storming and not as a tool for fame and glory for individuals.

If you want to save the brain of Athens, you must have the courage of Sparta!

kaimu's picture
kaimu
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 20 2013
Posts: 114
CANARD AHOY!

Aloha! Mahalos HotRod and HK!!

I think there should be a new ship launched by the Cunard Line called HRA DUBYA! That ship not only assumed that spending 1/2 $T on a global military was enough. He never studied how guerilla warfare in the 1770s brought down Britain and got America independence.

Please recall the other canards from the Iraq War on W's watch:

1-The Iraq War would only cost $7.2B because oil profits would pay for it.

2-Then Tres Sec O'Neil was fired by W for not agreeing to the first Iraq War budget.

3-Unarmoured Humvees.

4-Halliburton convoys of death.

5-WMDs

6-Saddam's death meant total Iraq stability and US victory.

7-Mission accomplished.

Of course nobody ever truly defined what the "mission" was. If it was for Halliburton to get rich off US youth corpses then ... yes ... MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! If the "mission" was to destabilize the entire Middle East and lay the ground work for perpetual war whereby all US defense contractors are guaranteed unending profits then ... yes ... MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! If the "mission" was to show the world just how foolish and inept US Foreign Policy is then ... yes ... MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

Who here can even remotely debate that the $3T in war costs due to W's many miscalculations and complete foolishness has made Iraq and the Middle East more stable? It was complete and total US Foreign Policy failure supported by both sides of the isle. Remember this was not some Rep vs Dem war it was supported by all but a few DC politicians.

Now we have debates where none of this is reality. History has been either totally ignored or totally re-written. If Obama was President then instead of W would it have been different? ASOLUTELY NOT-T-T!!!

All the clocks struck 13!!!

HughK's picture
HughK
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 6 2012
Posts: 757
Falsifiablity and peak oil theory + Gregor Macdonald

Both the Jeffrey Brown and the Kurt Cobb podcasts are outstanding, but a busy fall schedule means that I've listed to both in fragmented snippets, and I need to read over the transcripts. Lots of great nuggets in both of these.

While there is a lot of great stuff at PP, for me the peak-oil related info is some of the best, since evidence suggests that oil is indeed our master resource and a lot of what is happening in the economy can be best understood if we understand the dynamics of fossil fuel production.

In the spring of 2013, while investigating peak oil with students, we had also been looking at Karl Popper's work in a different class, and so it seemed fit to put forward the peak oil theory with some falsifiable assertions that would allow the theory to be tested.  At the time, here is what we came up with:

The theory:  The production of petroleum will peak and eventually start to decline.  All else equal, this will lead to economic contraction since approximately one-third of human energy use is derived from oil. 

Falsifiable hypotheses:

1 The peak for conventional crude oil was 2005/2006. Crude oil production in the future may remain on a plateau, but it will not increase, and it will be decreasing within ten years of the peak.

2. The price of oil will rise as production falls.

3. Energy return on energy invested (EROI) will fall, at least for oil.

4. The pace and structure of our global industrial economy depends on growth in energy production.  Even a plateau in conventional crude oil production will result in an economic slowdown since debt will continue to increase but the economic growth that we need in order to pay off that debt will not occur.  

5. Once the production of petroleum begins to decline in earnest, there will be a severe economic contraction.

So, if I put myself in the position of a student that was in the class in 2013 and who is now at university, then I might be tempted to discard the peak oil hypothesis because the oil price has fallen so much.  In early 2013 I was just becoming aware of Tverberg's position that peak oil would be deflationary, not inflationary, so I didn't really allow for that in the hypotheses that we drew up. The more complex feedbacks that Tverberg talks about were not part of my original understanding of peak oil, which I assumed would be consistently inflationary, and these feedbacks make it less likely for people more immersed in the mainstream narrative to consider the idea.

It seems clear that as long as oil prices are low, people will be less likely to accept the idea that entering the downhill side of the peak oil graph is a major problem for our civilization.  

Thanks for having both Brown and Cobb on, Chris.  I appreciate just about everything that you offer, but my favorites is still the energy-related content.  I hope that Gregor Macdonald can come back soon as well!

Hugh

aggrivated's picture
aggrivated
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 22 2010
Posts: 301
Degrowth and system thinking to categorize people

I have a system of putting people into categories that will hopefully help me choose team members in the future of "degrowth" as Charles Hugh Smith calls it.

In order of increasing value to the team

Entitled--expect reward for no work

BNPL- buy now pay later  -probably willing to consider work, but reward is to be enjoyed before work

HTM- hand to mouth  -will work for food

SIC-  saving and investing crowd-  will work harder than necessary to set aside for their future

SOS- survival of the species-- will work harder and longer to provide for future generations

Identifying these people now through discussion and observation will allow you to have a 'go to' group when the degrowth awareness tipping point arrives. 

And as a final note to Blackeagle's domestic livestock dilemma. How many rabbit units are you allowed?  They grow faster than chickens and can live in an 'overstory' hutch with your layers doing the vacuuming and scrubbing duties.

I agree with HughK that keeping us up to speed on the energy outlook is one of the most critical contributions of this site!

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