We Will Never Run Out of Oil

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etsan
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We Will Never Run Out of Oil

Hello,

I just read an interesting thought about our oil situation and it does make some sense

We will never run out of oil:

"At least not in a physical sense. There will still be oil in the ground 10 years from now, and 50 years from now and 500 years from now. This will hold true no matter if you take a pessimistic or optimistic view about the amount of oil still available to be extracted. Let's suppose that the supply really is quite limited. What will happen as the supply starts to diminish? First we would expect to see some wells run dry and either be replaced with new wells that have higher associated costs or not be replaced at all. Either of these would cause the price at the pump to rise. When the price of gasoline rises, people naturally buy less of it; the amount of this reduction being determined by the amount of the price increase and the consumer's elasticity of demand for gasoline. This does not necessarily mean that people will drive less (though it is likely), it may mean that consumers trade in their SUVs for smaller cars, hybrid vehicles, or cars that run on alternative fuels. Each consumer will react to the price change differently, so we would expect to see everything from more people bicycling to work to used car lots full of Lincoln Navigators.

If we go back to Economics 101, this effect is clearly visible. The continual reduction of the supply of oil is represented by a series of small shifts of the supply curve to the left and an associated move along the demand curve. Since gasoline is a normal good, Economics 101 tells us that we will have a series of price increases and a series of reductions in the total amount of gasoline consumed. Eventually the price will reach a point where gasoline will become a niche good purchased by very few consumers, while other consumers will have found alternatives to gas. When this happens there will still be plenty of oil in the ground, but consumers will have found alternatives that make more economic sense to them, so there will be little, if any, demand for gasoline."

Before we even come close to running out, the demand for it will be so low and we would have already transitioned to a different economy that doesn't depend on oil. So maybe we should not be so panic.

What do you guys think?

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Re: We Will Never Run Out of Oil

It is true that the last drops of oil probably won't be found and consumed.  We, nevertheless, are concerned about the coming mismatch of supply and demand (understood as ability to pay), which will be very disruptive and inconvenient, and terminal for much we had come to take for granted.

There will be a transition to alternatives, including other ways, but since humans don't operate on we're all in this together, it will be in fits and starts -- very awkward.

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Re: We Will Never Run Out of Oil

Its the area under the supply curve and demand curve as they overlap that will lead to alot of hunger and sickness. It takes alot of dino fuel to farm (1000-1500 gallons/year for us,not including what is used producing the fert etc.)

 

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Re: We Will Never Run Out of Oil

Catchy title, "We Will Never Run Out of Oil'" but, I'm sorry to write, you make a rather weak argument.  It appears you've only considered oil used to produce gasoline used in cars.  There is virtually nothing in this world that isn't either made from oil derivitives or required oil derivitives to produce.   

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Re: Because of ROE

That actually is a correct opening statement (dicussion title).  However, the main reason the planet will not run out of oil is Return on Energy (ROE) equations.   Once it takes more energy, which costs $$, and it is fossil fuel (FF) energy, specifically oil and coal that we must talk about here, to extract the FF than the amount of energy produced by the FF that is extracted then it is no longer cost effective to do the extraction.  And that's if your FF product is just an energy product. 

There will be someone somewhere pumping oil because maybe after the ROE equations run their course, and since especially oil has so many other products produced from it, that a product made from oil, other than an energy product, could become so valuabe that the oil will be sought for that reason.  Then again, we don't need more plastic products in the world either.  I was in Bora Bora last year and didn't like seeing plastic drinking water bottles littering the ground in some places there, on the most beautiful island in the world. 

The costs spikes have already begun.  The economy was expeirmented upon a couple summers ago when gas went up to $4.50 and a barrel of oil was selling for $100.  People did react by driving less.  It was extremely noticable here in LA where the car is king.  That spike in the cost of gasoline didn't help much an economy teetering on the real estate bubble explosion.  So we saw what will happen.  And it will be more dramatic each time.  Hang on to your seats.   

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Re: We Will Never Run Out of Oil

Another more abstract question is:  what if oil was a dollar a gallon, but nobody could afford it?  This is the end result of deflation.

Consumption of oil will decline when the population at large cannot afford it.  Precipitous decline of oil consumption will also come after a precipitous decline in the global population that would occur without ready availablility of oil.

M3 the broad measure of money supply is falling exponentially.  Money is created exponentially by loaning it into existence.  It therefore is destroyed exponentially when the loans default.

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Re: We Will Never Run Out of Oil

 

I find if even more disturbing that the electric car goes back as far as the late 1800's and you're telling me in 2010 your average car only get 20-30 miles per gallon!!!!  The way we run society will not continue with the way we use up oil and other resources.  It's the paradigm we are in that is the culprit or bullshit and Bullshit consists of two parts, first is 75% cotton, second 25% linen or as I like to call it MONEY!!! 

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Re: We Will Never Run Out of Oil

I support the idea that there will be a significant transition period away from Peak Oil. How that will effect/affect us long term is harder to predict.

I personally buy in to the idea that conservation/alternative energy will provide a somewhat less-bumpy transition away from our dependence on Peak Oil. 

I am not promoting stock investing one way or the other, but if anything, this website shows there is significant research and development from companies trying to ease the transition/prolong the Peak Oil concept.  http://www.altenergystocks.com/

Unfortunately, energy, imo, is politicized.  Can you imagine how inefficient our current grid system is?  Just by updating that system, how much could we save?

Just my inflation-adjusted 2 cents.

 

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Re: We Will Never Run Out of Oil

http://www.countercurrents.org/goodchild220510.htm

The B.S. Factor In Post-Industrial Society

By Peter Goodchild

22 May, 2010
Countercurrents.org

I was having a rather intense but friendly argument with somebody one day, and I metaphorically said, “Two plus two equals four.” My opponent replied, “No, well, okay, but it depends on how big the twos are.” At that point we became so engrossed in the irrationality and humor of his comment that the main topic of our debate is lost to history. What I think of as the b.s. factor is the illusive something when I say, with several pages of proof, that something is the case, and my opponent comes up with something that is beyond the average use of hair-splitting, non-sequitur, or general hot air. The term “b.s.,” of course, refers to “blood out of a stone.”

One of my favorite examples is the bromide that if, when fossil fuels are gone, there will be no means of running the Earth’s one billion automobiles, then all we have to do is switch to bicycles. Fossil fuels not only provide the fuel for automobiles, they also provide the entire system of manufacture. When fossil fuels are gone, we are basically back in the Stone Age, as Richard Duncan and others have explained.

While up in cottage country on an early-summer morning, I have often had my Alternate Lifestyle disturbed by the realization that the bicycle under my buttocks is not exactly providing me with a day of voluntary simplicity. This expensive toy is virtually the epitome of high technology. I can’t even calculate how many parts it has. The frame is perhaps aluminum alloy, perhaps titanium alloy, perhaps carbon fiber, perhaps advanced steel alloy. Where are we going to get Space-Age materials when we’re living in the Stone Age?

That’s where the b.s. factor comes into play. You can’t get blood from a stone, but you can get prevarication and prestidigitation from any Alternate Lifestyle true-believer. All you have to do is attach solar panels to a giant corkscrew, resembling the sort that cottagers use at their Saturday-night barbecues but a thousand times larger. You keep on screwing until you get to China, and then you can suck up all those rare-earth metals that keep wind turbines, solar panels, and all the other Alternate Nonsense operating.

Never mind. The precursor to the bicycle was made of wood, so perhaps we can learn to whittle our transportation.

The b.s. that I’ve heard over the last couple of years is immeasurable. If I point out that the world’s nearly seven billion humans will have to be reduced to less than a billion in a few decades, what I generally face is a torrent of ad-hominem arguments to the effect that I am a heartless Nazi butcher and murderer. (All that money spent on liberal education in the 60s obviously didn’t extend to training in elementary logic.) When that fails to shame me, I am usually presented with something to the effect that billions of people won’t necessarily have to die, it might be sufficient for them to be severely injured, or perhaps whisked off to Neverneverland, whichever is more cost-effective. Whatever keeps the wine flowing, the badminton games going, and the hamburgers sizzling up there in cottage country.

Actually, cottage country in Canada probably has a different ambience to that of the American version I used to experience in my childhood days. If I mention peak oil to a Canadian neighbor, as we stow our kayaks and clamber up the bank toward the barbecue, he is likely to give me a big grin and announce that he’s sent a considerable amount of email to his local Member of Parliament on that very issue of oil decline. The b.s. never ends.

The only gleam of light that has pierced my brain lately is the thought that if early Stone Age technology was adapted to nearly 100 percent of the Earth’s land surface, whereas agricultural technology was adapted only to the Earth’s 10 percent that is arable, then the fortunate irony is that a return to early Stone Age technology would mean being able to re-enter the 90 percent that has been largely off-limits for the last few thousand years. If salmon and blueberries are to be our diet, we’ll have a better chance of finding them in the remote wilderness than in the middle of a city. Primitivism isn’t really an “ism,” it’s just a fancy name for death, but switching the locomotive of the brain around by 180 degrees presents a fascinating challenge.

FFF [I mean, “feel free to forward,” not “find the flow of the funds.” The latter applies to David Suzuki, Al Gore, Rajendra K. Pachauri, the Sierra Club, etc., and that’s far too big a job for the next 24 hours.]

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Re: We Will Never Run Out of Oil

Is There Rehab For This Oil Overdose?

By Carolyn Baker

22 May, 2010
Carolynbaker.net

It's been almost a month since the sirens of the Deep Water Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico lacerated the night with tortured warnings of impending doom. Chief electronic technician Mike Williams, who nearly perished in the catastrophe, recounted in excruciating detail on CBS's 60 Minutes on May 16 the horror of that night and the appalling negligence that contributed to the worst human-made disaster in recorded history.

Essentially what Williams tells us is that the Deep Water drilling operation was under unparalleled pressure to drill faster and deeper, cutting corners and defying essential aspects of the industry's well established drilling protocol. We can argue about whether BP and other oil giants are ramping up drilling due to the end of cheap and abundant oil on this planet or simply because of greed and a voracious obsession with profits. To engage in that kind of debate, however, is to ignore the most fundamental issue at the root of this disaster. Corporate culture, media, politicians, and the misguided American public are all failing to grasp the issue, and I suggest, are behaving like enablers responding to an addict's fatal overdose, as well as failing to recognize the extent to which they themselves are addicts.

Let me clarify: The addict is the oblivious citizen of industrial civilization who delusionally demands that he/she must at all costs maintain a lifestyle made possible by cheap hydrocarbon energy. That citizen overdosed on April 20, 2010 and may have taken the planet to their grave with them.

Now let me count the ways in which this cataclysmic oil spill is very much like a fatal drug overdose. In order to fully understand the analogy, it's necessary to grasp the extent to which the culture of industrial civilization is addictive. What makes it addictive?

Quite simply, an uncompromising-yes relentless insistence on maintaining the lifestyle to which it has become addicted, and like the addict, willing to do whatever it takes to do so, despite voluminous evidence to the contrary. This includes evidence that the addiction itself will ultimately and invariably prove fatal for the addict, for the addict has little interest in rational, scientific research. He is obsessed with only one thing: lifestyle. It doesn't matter what it costs him or anyone else. Life is all about the next fix, period. The fix could be a possession, a person, or a position in life.

So when the addict, the culture of empire, overdoses and takes everyone and everything with him, he can use the defense mechanism of blame. It wasn't my lifestyle that caused this, he says, but the corporation that pumped the oil. Furthermore, it was the administration's fault for not adopting tougher regulation. While these factors may have entered into the equation, they are not the fundamental issue. Focus on blame works beautifully for awhile to distract attention from the devastation caused by the addict. But eventually, it wears thin.

Another favorite distracting tactic of the addict is "Look how I'm trying to fix it." He mobilizes his enablers to convince the world that something is being done to reverse the repercussions of his latest shitstorm. First we'll try a dome structure to cover the oil leak and capture the oil. Or if that doesn't work, we'll blast garbage into the leak. Or if that doesn't work, we'll use a siphoning tube. In fact, even as I write this article, BP is proclaiming that it has "turned a corner" in the oil spill. This should reassure all the oil addicts, facilitating their craving and assuaging any embarrassing traces of guilt. It's all better now; this temporary nightmare is going to go away. Ya see, human ingenuity, especially of the corporate kind, will solve all problems and clean up all messes created by the addict.

Then there's my favorite addict appeasement approach: alternative energy. Don't worry, says the enabler. We'll get wind or solar or something online for you as soon as we can so that your lifestyle won't miss a beat. Yes, that may take fifty years, but meanwhile, we'll think of something to keep it going for you because this is America, and the lights never permanently go out here.

Before the addict experiences a fatal overdose and ravages everyone and everything around him, there is always the choice to end the addiction and enter treatment. Treatment involves withdrawal from the substance, then taking a long, exhaustive, meticulous look inside
oneself to confront the demon of the addiction. Much support is necessary; the addict cannot make the journey alone.

The Transition Handbook frames our dependence on hydrocarbon energy in terms of an addiction. We can blame, rationalize, project, deny-we can employ whatever defense mechanism we choose from humanity's vast repertoire of them, but like the hard core addict, the human race is
committing suicide. It is willing to kill every form of life in the oceans, cause the extinction of every species on earth, pollute every cubic inch of breathable air, poison every drop of water on the planet, and yes, enable an unfathomable cataclysm such as we are witnessing in the Gulf of Mexico at this moment, in order to perpetuate the lifestyle to which it feels entitled. Like all addictions, this one is both irrational and insane.

Every person who has chosen to research Peak Oil, climate change, global economic meltdown, species extinction, and population overshoot
is not unlike an addict who has some moment of clarity in which he can actually choose to walk to the nearest rehab facility and fall on his
face screaming for help. None of us can do that investigative work without the massive support of other "cheap energy addicts in recovery". None of us can do it without a spiritual as well as a logistical recovery program which all authentic recovery absolutely requires.

Like the recovering addict there will be moments of terror about what the future holds, and the greater the devastation we have created, such as the largest oil spill in the history of the world, the more daunting the future will feel. Like the recovery of the addict, our recovery will require rigorous honesty and a commitment to finding meaning and purpose, not in the substance, which is killing us and the planet, but in a different kind of lifestyle. This will be a lifestyle of simplicity, cooperation, and deep connection with nature and our fellow humans. It may mean alterations in our behavior that feel like sacrifices until we realize that the joy, meaning, and contentment they bring us are what we wanted all along.

Therefore, as we witness the spread of the most devastating and widespread oil slick in history; as we see the photos of oil saturated wildlife and watch frantic fisherman in despair because they have lost their livelihood; as we watch enablers blaming and scrambling to fix the un-fixable, let us do as they say in Twelve Step programs, and take a searching and fearless moral (and energy) inventory of our lives and notice where we are in our recovery from addiction to cheap and abundant fossil fuels. Richard Heinberg's book The Party's Over documents how brief in the history of the human race the party was, how much fun it was, and of course, how lethal it was and is. So while the enablers are blaming and fixing, it behooves all of us to ask of ourselves the toughest question of all: What are we doing to recover?

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Damnthematrix
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from roeoz

Thought this very good
http://twobeerswithsteve.libsyn.com/index.php?post_id=629329

Here is Her Original talk at Totnes June 2010 "Making Sense of the Financial Crisis in the Era of Peak Oil" this is a MUST Listen

http://sheffield.indymedia.org.uk/2010/06/453356.html

Yes, that was a pretty good talk.
I must for the sake of accuracy correct one thing she said, and others have said too, which is about this chart:

 
The fact is that the Hubbert Curve already has the net energy factor built into it, and doesn't need to be corrected. She said, and I would agree, that the net energy is dependent on the ERoEI of oil extraction, and she said that it has fallen from 100 to approx 5-10.
Do you think Hubbert didn't know about that ?
 
If the ERoEI stayed the same, then all oil would be equally accessible, and the production curve would be an exponential curve until a vertical cliff drop-off. An exponential curve has the property that the rate of change of the curve is itself an exponential:
N = e^t
dN/dt = e^t
The ERoEI is roughly proportional to the fraction of the total oil that remains: = 1 - N/URR
The Hubbert Curve is a measure of the rate of change of N with time taking both of those factors into account:
dN/dt = e^t(1 - N/URR)
which is the derivative of the standard logistic curve

 
What she didn't mention, perhaps because it is too obvious, is that the Hubbert Curve represents the BEST that can be done,
and that the systemic fragility of the production process, which she rightly commented on with respect to nuclear power,
means the oil production process will certainly fail to reach the Hubbert target due to the complexity of it all and tendency for complex systems to collapse.
 
For example, Yemen has passed its Peak Oil, the Government's budget is dropping fast and dissention this causes amongst the tribal regions means that the remaining oil-fields will probably be unworkable soon - much sooner than Hubbert would predict. Same for Iraq, Mexico, etc.
 
She also thinks the inflation/deflation debate is definitely going to be deflation, and based on that, everything she said that follows is correct. But printing money doesn't necessarily just reinflate the housing bubble ready for another collapse - it would only do that if the money was directed at mortgages.
 
Governments could, and should, print money and use it to maintain Social Security, so that the unemployed/pensioners at least have enough money to put food on the table and pay the rent without having to resort to crime and ultimately revolution.
 
Greece and the PIIGS are in a different situation since they cannot print Euros. If they don't leave the Eurozone and become like the UK, then they will indeed have deflation and revolution/military rule. But why would they let that happen when the inflationary route is so much less painful ?      
Dave
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Re: We Will Never Run Out of Oil

DMT

I agree that the Hubbert curve may well predict the future.  I just don't understand how that leads to the end of capitalism.  I can see how it could lead to the death of Socialism, because central goverment requires huge energy investment to survive and maintain so many nonproductive government workers and retirees.  I can forsee devolution to local economies, but these are probably going to be much more capitalistic and barter type economies.  Probably even feudal type systems as there will be no energy to provide country wide order.  I think the "end of capitalism" is a leap of wishful thinking and an insight into the political ideology of the author of the article.

Just my 2c.Wink

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Re: We Will Never Run Out of Oil

I completely disagree. You say we will never run out of oil. Your wrong. There is a limited amount of oil on this planet and it can run out. You are arguing that we will never need all of the oil because as you say prices raise and we find alternative fuels. That may be true but it is not the point you are arguing. So that is why I disagree with your orignal post idea that "We Will Never Run Out of Oil".

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Damnthematrix
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Re: We Will Never Run Out of Oil
TheResearcher wrote:

I completely disagree. You say we will never run out of oil. Your wrong. There is a limited amount of oil on this planet and it can run out. You are arguing that we will never need all of the oil because as you say prices raise and we find alternative fuels. That may be true but it is not the point you are arguing. So that is why I disagree with your orignal post idea that "We Will Never Run Out of Oil".

We will only ever run out of CHEAP OIL......

The $10,000/barrel oil will stay in the ground forever......

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Re: We Will Never Run Out of Oil
TheResearcher wrote:

I completely disagree. You say we will never run out of oil. Your wrong. There is a limited amount of oil on this planet and it can run out. You are arguing that we will never need all of the oil because as you say prices raise and we find alternative fuels. That may be true but it is not the point you are arguing. So that is why I disagree with your orignal post idea that "We Will Never Run Out of Oil".

 

I'm falling deeper into the camp that oil is not a fossel fuel, but in fact continuosly generated from the earths core.  But, and this is a huge BUT, while it may be a virtually unlimited source, it does not have an unlimited production rate, and we've been using it faster than it could be produced for years (decades), and the earths population has been steadily increasing the usage.  The net result is somewhat similar to having a limited production, exponentially increasing pricing.

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Re: We Will Never Run Out of Oil
etsan wrote:

 

If we go back to Economics 101, this effect is clearly visible. The continual reduction of the supply of oil is represented by a series of small shifts of the supply curve to the left and an associated move along the demand curve. Since gasoline is a normal good, Economics 101 tells us that we will have a series of price increases and a series of reductions in the total amount of gasoline consumed. Eventually the price will reach a point where gasoline will become a niche good purchased by very few consumers, while other consumers will have found alternatives to gas. When this happens there will still be plenty of oil in the ground, but consumers will have found alternatives that make more economic sense to them, so there will be little, if any, demand for gasoline."

Before we even come close to running out, the demand for it will be so low and we would have already transitioned to a different economy that doesn't depend on oil. So maybe we should not be so panic.

What do you guys think?

 

I think that, as in all past crisis, things eventually stabilize and from the rear view of history almost anything seemes like a reasonable transition.

For example, the thousand years of the dark age after the fall of the Roman Empire dont typically seem like a big deal to us.  For the people that worked their way thru a thousand years of lost science, fudalism, starvation, persecution, and so on....  Im sure it wasnt the best.

Sure the 'market' will eventually correct the imbalance we have created.  To think that it will be a smooth market transition driven by easily moving to other energy sources based on price drivers, is holding a lot of (perhaps blind) faith in markets.  Our markets have been teetering on collapse for several years, with virtually none of the constraints that are coming.

 

John

 

 

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Re: We Will Never Run Out of Oil
docmims wrote:

DMT

I agree that the Hubbert curve may well predict the future.  I just don't understand how that leads to the end of capitalism.  I can see how it could lead to the death of Socialism, because central goverment requires huge energy investment to survive and maintain so many nonproductive government workers and retirees.  I can forsee devolution to local economies, but these are probably going to be much more capitalistic and barter type economies.  Probably even feudal type systems as there will be no energy to provide country wide order.  I think the "end of capitalism" is a leap of wishful thinking and an insight into the political ideology of the author of the article.

Just my 2c.Wink

 

In a low energy density world, will capitalism even look like what we think of as capitalism today?  Probably that depends on your definition.  Seems unlikely that we will be trying to commoditize everything under the sun. Nor do I think we will so busy be creating derivatives of primary wealth.

There may be lots of freedom to create food and necessities for your community and even trade on a regional scale, one could call that capitalism if its not done at the behest another, but I dont see it being the same as what we do now.

 

 

 

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inga
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Re: We Will Never Run Out of Oil

Selling the shirt of your mother's back could be called capitalism.

We have an awful lot of people on a planet with very limited resources.

When it takes more energy to extract an energy precursor is it even a resource any more?

Really when you look at it, we don't have much water you can drink straight from the source any more.

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Re: We Will Never Run Out of Oil

i think great disscusion is already done and i am completely against the writers point of view

just check this out if some one is not sure

 

 

 

 

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