Opponents of peak oil theory

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Subprime JD's picture
Subprime JD
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Joined: Feb 17 2009
Posts: 562
Opponents of peak oil theory

 

Heres a quote from Times Online:

Production of oil is being constrained by several forces, none of them due to God’s failure to put enough of the black gold under our feet. Several countries that are important sources of supply are in political turmoil, and unable to bring to market the oil they are capable of producing. Think Nigeria, where security problems have shut down about 20% of the nation’s capacity of 2.5m barrels a day and discouraged new investment, and Iraq, where political paralysis and terrorists have kept production at less than half its potential.

Wow, you got to love this person's sense of entitlement. He believes that its a God given right to use cheap and easy fossil fuels. Of course the article makes no mention of peak oil discovery in the 70's and the fact that major fields are in decline.

http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/columnists/article3823656.ece

 

This article from reason.com, a bit better:

Most of today’s petro-doomsters base their forecasts on the work of the geologist M. King Hubbert, who correctly predicted in 1956 that U.S. domestic oil production in the lower 48 states would peak around 1970 and begin to decline. In 1969 Hubbert predicted that world oil production would peak around 2000.

Hubbert argued that oil production grows until half the recoverable resources in a field have been extracted, after which production falls off at the same rate at which it expanded. This theory suggests a bell-shaped curve rising from first discovery to peak and descending to depletion. Hubbert calculated that peak oil production follows peak oil discovery with a time lag. Globally, discoveries of new oil fields peaked in 1962. The time lag between peak global discoveries and peak production was estimated to be around 32 years, but peak oilers claim that the two oil crises of the 1970s reduced consumption and thereby delayed the peak until now. Hubbert’s modern disciples argue that humanity has now used up half of the world’s ultimately recoverable reserves of oil, which means we are at or over the peak.

The prophets of oily doom are opposed by preachers of energy abundance. Chief among the latter is the energy economist Michael Lynch, president of the Massachusetts-based Global Petroleum Service consultancy. “Colin Campbell has the worst forecasting record on oil supply,” says Lynch, “and that’s saying a lot.” He points out that in a 1989 article for the journal Noroil, Campbell claimed the peak of world oil production had already passed and incorrectly predicted that oil would soon cost $30 to $50 a barrel. As for Matthew Simmons, Lynch dismisses him with a sneer: “Petroleum engineers know a lot more about petroleum engineering than a Harvard MBA.”

One petroleum engineer— Michael Economides of the University of Houston—calls peak oil predictions “the figments of the imaginations of born-again pessimist geologists.” Like Lynch, Economides, who worked in Russia to boost that country’s oil production in the last decade, rejects Simmons’ analysis. Saudi Arabia, which currently produces about 10 million barrels of oil a day, “is underproducing every one of their wells,” he claims. “I can produce 20 million barrels of oil in Saudi Arabia.”

 

This article mentions peak oil discoveries and then assumes that production will be maintained for at least another generation. Perhaps this is true but what about the demand side that will continue to grow?? Also, notice his ad hominem attacks on peak oil proponents.

With regards to reserves:

For example, the USGS undertook a comprehensive analysis of world oil reserves in 2000. It calculated that the total world endowment of recoverable oil is 3 trillion barrels. (Its figure is higher because it includes estimates for undiscovered resources and projected increases in already producing fields.) In addition, the total world endowment of natural gas is equivalent to 2.6 trillion barrels of oil, plus 330 billion barrels of natural gas liquids such as propane and butane. The USGS figures that the total world endowment of conventional oil resources is equivalent to about 5.9 trillion barrels of oil. Proven reserves of oil, gas, and natural gas liquids are equivalent to 2 trillion barrels of oil. The USGS calculates that humanity has already consumed about 1 trillion barrels of oil equivalent, which means 82 percent of the world’s endowment of oil and gas resources remains to be used.

Total natural gas endowment is equivalent to 2.6 trillion barrels of oil? Ok. Maybe that will help with heating homes, but what about transport?

http://www.reason.com/news/show/36645.html

 

Myth of peak oil debunked

http://newsok.com/article/3234137

This one from the Mises Institute (unfortunately the austrian economists dont subscribe to the theory)

http://mises.org/story/1717

http://www.populartechnology.net/2008/11/peak-oil-is-myth.html

Most recent article: this one is split

http://seekingalpha.com/instablog/281185-lionel-badal/9677-peak-oil-myth-or-reality

woomera's picture
woomera
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Posts: 44
Re: Opponents of peak oil theory

G'Day, May I retort.

'Aussie Aussie Aussie...No Oil...No Oil...No Oil'

http://www.abc.net.au/rn/breakfast/stories/2009/2622047.htm

The LAST Australian oil field (Enfield) is currently being exploited now offshore.  
In 10 - 20 years...that's it. Finito for Australia.

NO MORE OIL!  Got heaps of gas though. I've got a LPG car myself. 
http://www.choice.com.au/goArticle.aspx?id=101665

VERY difficult procuring LPG in the bush, which is MOST of Australia. 
Diesel is the go and guess where that comes from.

I am a Petroleum Engineer. 
Let me see...There's North America, South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, Antarctica and AUSSIE...
1 out of 7 will be out of oil in a bit
Maybe we borrow a bit of oil from the penguins? 
 

Regards,
Woomera

 

RNcarl's picture
RNcarl
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: May 13 2008
Posts: 382
Re: Opponents of peak oil theory

well,

No one said that peak oil means oil is gone right? - - - -

This all assumes that the last half of the supply will be as easy to obtain as the first half. - - - -

I have a friend who's father holds patents on how to extract more oil from lagging wells. Thing is...... its EXPENSIVE. - - - -

I would guess, if/when the US economy finally crashes completely, the time table for "surplus" energy will be pushed back a few years. - - -

RNcarl's picture
RNcarl
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: May 13 2008
Posts: 382
Re: Opponents of peak oil theory

well,

No one said that peak oil means oil is gone right? - - - -

This all assumes that the last half of the supply will be as easy to obtain as the first half. - - - -

I have a friend who's father holds patents on how to extract more oil from lagging wells. Thing is...... its EXPENSIVE. - - - -

I would guess, if/when the US economy finally crashes completely, the time table for "surplus" energy will be pushed back a few years. - - -

Damnthematrix's picture
Damnthematrix
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 10 2008
Posts: 3998
Re: Opponents of peak oil theory

G'day Woomera.....

You wrote"The LAST Australian oil field (Enfield) is currently being exploited now offshore."  Is that the one in the Bight they were talking about when oil was over $100+?  And, is it still being worked on now that oil is this cheap?

I recently saw ABARE figures which showed Australia's import has gone up from 50% of consumption to 77% now.... in TWO years!

You may be interested to join http://groups.yahoo.com/group/roeoz/  It would be good to have an 'insider' in our little group (of >500)

Mike

Damnthematrix's picture
Damnthematrix
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 10 2008
Posts: 3998
Re: Opponents of peak oil theory

Well, how about this:

Convert to LPG now: former Holden expert


A leading car engineering expert has warned Australia could face an energy crunch that would dwarf the oil crises of the 1970s.

A former advanced engineering chief with General Motors Holden, Professor Laurie Sparke, says Australians should start converting their petrol-driven cars to LPG.

Professor Sparke has told Radio National that when the global economic downturn is over, demand for oil is going to far outstrip supply and prices will go through the roof.

"As soon as the countries that use large amounts of oil for their industry - China, India, Japan, USA - recover, demand will exceed supply," he said.

"There are signs already that the economy in China is starting to pick up and Japan's picking up, and already this year we've seen the price of oil double from January to July.

"So my expectation is within the next five years, we're going to have trouble."

I actually heard this guy on ABC NewsRadio last week, and he said Auistralia wouldn't be able to buy ANY oil, at ANY price within 4 years.....  and I agree with him.  Read this piece I wrote last year or the year before:

http://econews.org.au/peak-energy-and-limits-to-growth/

BTW, Sparke's assertion that we should all convert to LPG is baffling, because.....  LPG comes out of OIL!!!

MIke

mainecooncat's picture
mainecooncat
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 7 2008
Posts: 488
Re: Opponents of peak oil theory

I too am an opponent of peak oil theory insofar that it's not a theory!

How can a finite physical resource that requires significant technologies, investment and time to recover, process, and deliver not follow a bell curve style graph -- or at least a rough estimation of one in that there could be plateaus, micro ups and downs, and head-and-shoulders formations? That the milk, orange juice or barbecue sauce in your refrigerator will one day run out is not the controversial theory of a self-loathing Luddite but, quite simply, self-evident. Such is the case with oil.

This is the heart of the matter for me. What's up for intelligent, well-reasoned debate is the impacts this will cause, their degree of severity, their duration and the exact timing of their onset.

It's always been a indicator of the profound heaviness of the simple reality of peak oil that its "opponents" need to flail about in such a manner as described in the post that started this thread.The rhetoric of soft contempt, typically evidenced by words such as "myths" in need of "debunking" coupled with silliness like "oily prophets of doom" ring hollow and sophomoric to me.

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