EIA Quarterly Crude + Condensate Production Data

The EIA publishes all kinds of energy production data but I collect and chart only Crude + Condensate data. But that comes in three flavors, monthly, quarterly and yearly. I decided to chart the quarterly data and see if that looks any clearer than the monthly data.

Quarterly C+C production in kb/d. The last quarter, 3rd, ends September 2013.


World C+C production has increased 2 million barrels per day since the 2nd quarter of 05. Who were the big gainers that caused this 2 million barrel per day increase?

World Less USA

Turns out it was all USA.

Non-OPEC is up about 1.5 million barrels per day since the second quarter of 2005.


However Non-OPEC less USA is down about 750 kb/d since 2005 and down 1.25 million barrels per day since peaking in the last quarter of 2010.


World crude oil production outside the USA has clearly peaked. It is only the shale oil bubble that is keeping peak oil from being obvious to the rest of the world.

The EIA’s Monthly Energy Review is out with the US production figures through December. This enabled me to plot the US quarterly production through the last quarter of 2013 in kb/d.

United States

This data enabled me to average US production for the entire year of 2013. That figure turned out to be 7,492,583 barrels per day, subject to revision of course. That turned out to be 263 kb/d below what AEO 2014 had predicted.

AEO 2014

This means that the prediction above made by the EIA’s AEO 2014 is already over a quarter of a million barrels per day below prediction.

Another chart of interest would be OPEC C+C. This chart is though the 4th quarter of 2013, that is through December 2013.


Opec C+C in the 4th quarter of 2013 averaged 31,479 kb/d. That is 1,700 bp/d below the peak which was the second quarter of 2012 which averaged 33,179 kb/d.

All OPEC data through the 3rd quarter of 2013 is from the EIA. The last quarter of data was taken from the OPEC MOMR then I added 1.9 mb/d of condensate which is about the OPEC average for condensate production. Or more correctly 1.9 mb/d is the approximate difference between the EIA’s C+C data and OPCE MOMR’s Crude Only data for the last couple of years.

Switching gears to Weekly Production, will the trend continue? The last data point is for week ending January 24th. The data is kb/d.

Weekly C+C

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255 Responses to EIA Quarterly Crude + Condensate Production Data

  1. Old farmer mac says:

    Some of the following may be redundant but I have had some problems getting comments posted recently due to a poorly functioning internet connection so I’m posting this copy of some rough notes for a long essay I hope to publish in considerable detail someday.

    Wind supplied four percent of our electricity in the states last year and there is no reason wind power cannot continue to grow substantially for years to come.Ditto solar, both technologies are getting cheaper fast.

    People who know all about the way things such as the electrical grid works are among the worst when it comes to understanding how people may react to changes in the future.

    An electrical engineer sees only the difficulties of integrating wind into the existing grid and covering that all important base load.

    But a cold storage operator faced with the fact of ever rising electricity bills can double the insulation in his next new facility and add a meter of crushed stone inside an insulated foundation as a cold sink and run the hell out of his compressors when the wind is blowing and maybe cut his four figure monthly electricity bill in half if he can buy wind power cheap when the wind is blowing. It blows sometime during most weeks most places and that’s enough for him to come out ahead by following this kind of plan.

    Homeowners and other end users such as schools can also pursue such strategies if the decline in fossil fuel supplies comes about gradually enough to allow them to realize what is happening-and for local authorities to tighten up building codes and so forth.

    I would lay a pretty good bet that Elon Musk has a set of plans buried someplace for a subcompact stripped down electric car that would get just about any commuter to and from his mcmansion in the farthest out suburbs at a price that makes it look like a world class bargain compared to giving up the mcmansion and moving into a cramped apartment near his job in the event than gasoline becomes prohibitively expensive-which is sure to happen eventually.

    He might have to farm out most of the actual construction of such a car when the time for it arrives due to a lack of adequate manufacturing capacity of his own but the technology is now off the shelf and well proven and improving noticeably from year to year even as it gets cheaper.

    Nissan could for sure build a fore and aft two seater using Leaf components slightly modified and new sheet metal that would go well over a hundred miles reliably on a single charge and sell it probably for less than twenty thousand bucks if it sells in large numbers.They could have it in showrooms inside a year if the feds were to decide that an economic crash is a bigger danger to the country than than cars that are somewhat more dangerous than an economic crash.

    The feds are apt to make such a common sense decision once the shit hits the fan, and hopefully in they will make it in time for it to do some good.

    One day within the next ten years and probably sooner people are suddenly become more afraid of an empty gas tank than they are of a dead battery.Electric cars are going to sell like ice water in hell when this happens and the assembly lines on which they are built are going to run twenty four seven while the lines set up to build hotrods and 6000 pound 4×4 beer haulers are going to be running a day a week.

    I think the odds are pretty high that peak oil will bring about a bad economic crash and that due to positive feedback loops this means the end of business as usual on a world wide basis.

    But pretty high is not one hundred percent and the crash need not bring down business as usual all over the world unless it brings about wide scale hot war between the larger and more powerful countries- which unfortunately seems to me to be altogether too likely a possibility.

    But the USA and Canada aren’t at risk of invasion for the foreseeable future unless we lose a nuclear exchange and after that, well…. I doubt that there will be any body left to invade in groups larger than can fit on some old tramp steamer that survives the bombs.

    We don’t have as many AK’s as such potential visitors are likely to have but we are nevertheless not exactly sitting ducks and I doubt many of them would last more than a few days.

    The cost of a real future war with a major power is not going to hurt us to even a small fraction of the extent that most people think it will because the munitions we will use to fight it are sunk costs.

    It hardly matters if a thousand aircraft or a hundred navy ships are shot out of the sky or sunk or scrapped because they eventually become obsolete when the chips are all on the table.

    We can worry about replacing them after the fighting is over.

    We can’t whip a full grown and well entrenched guerrilla army because we are too squeamish to just go in and kill ‘em all and let God sort ‘em out-and for that I am grateful, that my society has at least some semblance of a conscience.

    But any strategic war will be fought at long distance with strategic weapons.

    We don’t have to cross either the Atlantic or the Pacific to fight a defensive war but any enemy contemplating doing so would have that near insoluble problem to solve given our robust armed forces and the fact that the needed quantity of ocean going transport barely exists anyway.

    If we do fight a conventional war overseas any time soon against any likely opponent such as another Saddam Hussein his conventional forces are toast in a month of actual combat.

    We aren’t going to challenge the Chinese or the Indians or the Russians on the ground and there isn’t really any body else big enough and potentially powerful enough to worry about in the near or midterm.

    It’s true that the current administration doesn’t seem to have the managerial skills needed to run a carwash but that is probably mostly the consequence of knowingly trying to accomplish a literal revolution on the sly in terms of Ocare.

    If the planning for that had been done out in the open rather than in secret( mostly) in order to get it done in face of the determined opposition of the republicans the many problems would have been obvious and most of them would have been fixed before the rollout even if that meant a long delay.

    (I’m now of the opinion that the top inside leadership of the democratic party has succeeded in pulling of the revolution knowing all along just how bad the Ocare roll out would be and how bad it would hurt the party in the near term but also knowing that in the end they will emerge the big winner.Assuming the republicans don’t succeed in repealing it of course.)

    When -not if-peak oil starts taking obvious large chunks out of our collective backsides then there will be action taken in DC on the grand scale and it will be taken on a bipartisan basis and it will be taken mostly in the open. These actions may not be very welcome to most of us but they will most likely be adequate to prevent the country from descending into outright chaos.

    I could probably list a hundred ways we can save a figurative ton of oil that can be put into effect immediately. For instance the average high school these days has a parking lot with hundreds of student cars in it even though a school bus passes right in front of the houses the students live in.
    There is no tax on commercial aircraft fuel which is patently unfair to the majority of the public because most of us fly only once in a long while.
    Potatoes are very cheaply delivered in comparison to potato chips.

    A pound of chicken has less than half as much embedded fossil fuel as a pound of beef as well as being healthier.

    Painting a stripe along side the the right hand lane on a city street that is wide enough and creating a bike lane costs almost nothing other than the hot air expended in the fight to approve the painting of it.

    Given the fact that most people have smart phones these days, it must be possible for strangers to share rides without undue worry about getting robbed or raped or kidnapped by simply transmitting a picture of the involved cars and parties to an archive designated for that purpose. The insurance issues involved in such an undertaking can and will be solved legislatively when the need for such ridersharing becomes critical.

    And giving everybody, driver or not a fuel ration card, will be enough to convince enough drivers to share their cars since fuel will be rationed by that point in time.

    I’m sure that every member of this forum can come up with a long list of ways to save energy that might be inconvenient and painful but not crippling to the economy.

    We aren’t going to just run out of oil like forgetting to fill up and running out of gas and we aren’t going to run short of coal at all any time soon.

    I am not too sure about natural gas but I don’t think we have even half as much as the cornucopians think we do.

    Coal to liquids is a proven technology and we can and will keep the basic critical parts of the economy running on coal based synthetic liquids once we have no other choice.Not forever but for a few decades any way.

    Biofuels, barring some truly miraculous breakthroughs, aren’t ever going to support business as usual.

    Maybe there is a small chance that some new tech will be perfected whereby biofuels can be manufactured in some sort of industrial plant but the fundamentals of such a process look pitifully bad because the energy must be captured either from the biomass itself or from the sun and just gathering the biomaterials together is a highly energy intensive process.

    Beyond that just about all the available biomaterials have other uses and can probably be used more efficiently in other ways. Wood for instance can just be burned directly near it it’s point of origin to generate electricity and for heat on any scale from single house up to a grid scaled generating plant. Manures including humanure is likely to prove to be more valuable for fertilizer than as a feedstock for biofuels once the fecal matter is well and truly in the fan because the manufacture of fertilizer is in and of itself a very energy intensive process and manures can be applied directly to the land with the only really tough problem associated with this practice being the transportation of the manures to the fields where they can be used.

    It sounds sort of crazy but there is a possibility that pipelines will be built from cities to farms in major farming areas and partially treated sewage trucked to the fields on a grand scale at some not too distant point in time. One of my neighbors bought chicken manure so processed is this fashion by the tractor trailer load this past year and was pleased with his results .

    I used to be able to get a dump truckload directly from local poultry farms for nothing. About five or six years ago they started charging for it and now the entire amount produced is sold by contract to fertilizer manufacturers and I have a hard time getting a even a pickup truck load from somebody whose Daddy did business with my Daddy for forty years.

    If a biofuel manufacturing process depends on sunlight for energy then it seems very likely that it will be more efficient and more economical to just use the sun to generate electricity and use the juice to manufacture free hydrogen or ammonia and burn that in lieu of synthetic gasoline and or diesel.

    We sure as hxxl not ever going to grow crops on farms and produce enough biofuels in that way to provide more than a very minor fraction of the fuel needed to maintain BAU but we could given a war footing effort produce enough to keep the farms running so long as the fertilizers and pesticides arrive in bau fashion.

    None of this is to say that the rest of the world is going to survive the coming hard crash being brought on by overshoot without most of the population there perishing over the next century or so.

    What might come to pass in a century is impossible to say but there is at least a fair chance that Fortress North America will weather peak oil with out experiencing chaos on the ground although long term martial law is a very serious possibility.

    • Doug Leighton says:

      “An electrical engineer sees only the difficulties of integrating wind into the existing grid and covering that all important base load.”

      I don’t really like the implication(s) of this statement. As a retired geologist/geophysist I’ve been told “we” don’t understand the implications of what “we” are doing to the world more times that you could count. I disagree and counter that my associates are among the most environmentally aware and concerned people that exist. I’m a Canadian and I don’t think tar sands should be developed, mainly because of global warming, but if I were working on that project it would be to help get things moving in the safest most efficient way possible. I/we don’t only see this or that. I have helped find/develop resources, true. I also walk my dog in the forest every day, feed wild birds, contribute to conservation projects, even walked to “save whales” once. Please be careful with generalizations.

      • Old farmer mac says:

        Hi Doug,
        I’m afraid I’m guilty of choosing my words poorly and apologize for doing so.

        What I meant to say is that specialists in general are very frequently guilty of tunnel vision brought about due to working within their specialty and therefore all to often unable to see the future in terms of problems associated with their specialty being solved by outsiders just detouring around any given problem.

        For instance the question of how much wind can be integrated into the grid almost always draw responses from utility engineers focused on the limits imposed by current infrastructure and regulations and the supposed inability of the utilities to do things much differently than they are done today.

        This sort of tunnel vision seems to be characteristic of just about every profession and trade. Truckers can’t envision life without trucks.

        Being a farmer I honestly cannot envision our current civilization surviving without fossil fuel based industrial farming although I know that in principle it is possible that we could manage to produce enough food without fossil fuels ; but the size of the challenge is such that imo there is essentially no chance it can be met.

        In the case of the storage of energy generated by wind and solar farms the engineering community seems to be fixated on the idea that unless the utilities can solve the storage problem that wind and solar energy just can’ t be used efficiently.

        But their customers are not thinking inside the same box and can come up -given time – with ways to use intermittent juice efficiently and in a cost effective manner.

        I’m not an engineer but I do have some appreciation of the profession and can imagine being one trying to design a house and the appliances in it to take advantage of as much intermittent juice as possible because my customer expects to buy that juice at a sharp discount whenever it is available in excess of actual immediate demand.

        I’m just guessing at these numbers but I suppose for example I could double the insulation and increase the size of the storage tank of a hot water heater and add an embedded control unit that would allow it to heat up to say 160 instead of 140 when the wind is howling and save the homeowner some money.

        There must be hundreds of ways intermittent electrical energy can be used efficiently but a typical engineer told to solve the storage problem is going to spend much time on just sidestepping the problem in most cases. That’s not what management is paying him for and management is not interested in losing control of the industry the to upstart new competitors.

        My sometimes overly broad remarks are not intended to apply to individuals such as you yourself.

        The very fact that you are participating in this forum is ample proof that you are not professionally blindered like my grandfather’s mule and only able to see what is directly in front of you.

        • Doug Leighton says:


          Of course you’re right. And I confess that some of the dumbest people I know have PhD s — beyond their narrow specialty. Sometimes I get worked up about nothing or in this case the wrong things. At least that’s what my wife says.


    • Dennis Coyne says:


      Very nice essay.

      One thing that occurs to me is that you think the rest of the world will suffer, but North America will not. For the poorer areas of the world, They are already suffering and may be less dependent on international trade than the developed world (not sure this is in fact the case). For the rest of the developed world do you envision resource wars and such? It seem that countries in Europe are actually in much better shape as far as preparing for less fossil fuel availability. My understanding id that the coal resources in Canada are quite large (though undeveloped) and that if the US is unwilling to sell its coal to Europe, that they can get it if necessary from Australia and Canada when the natural gas runs short.

      Also what is meant by BAU? It seems that when one argues how things might change, people say that is just BAU, the changes that you advocate (all of which I agree with), do you consider those BAU (I don’t)? Sometimes it seems that many people see black (chaos and doom) or white (things the way they are now), all I see are shades of gray.

      • Old farmer mac says:

        I didn’t mention long term martial law for nothing. North America will certainly suffer when peak oil hits and the suffering will be widespread and lasting for sure. But things might not be nearly so bad here as most doomers expect.

        What I actually said was that we might avoid experiencing “chaos on the ground ” while mentioning long term martial law in the very same sentence as a real possibility.Chaos on the ground is in my mind widespread looting and that sort of thing right on up to something approaching warlords controlling cities and stretches of the country side and people dieing of starvation and exposure in large numbers -numbers large enough to put deep dents into local populations.

        think we might be able to keep the grid up and reasonably reliable and keep the water and sewer systems functioning -except maybe in the southwest and to keep people from starving of freezing to death and so forth. If we can manage this much life for most people in the US and Canada might be at least tolerably comfortable and secure.

        But I am not at all sure things will work out this way and am only throwing out these thoughts as a possible middle ground between hard core doomerism and happy go lucky confidence in more of the same meaning another century of life similar to the last half century or so here.

        Speaking in the broadest possible terms I think it is ok to call this scenario “business as usual” in comparing what I expect to come to pass in the parts of the world without much in the line of resources to to trade for food and fuel.Imo hot resource wars are certainties and massive unrest in impoverished countries a certainty. Famine is a certainty in many poor countries.

        Elsewhere in this thread I have said that I think the population of the world will be two billion max a century from now.That implies a short and brutally hard life for billions of people alive today and yet to be born.

        From the perspective of a typical person who pays little or no attention at all to things such as climate change and peak oil and expects life to continue on indefinitely as he knows it, meaning a new car and sending the kids to college and an occasional vacation and lots of little unappreciated little luxuries such as a ribeye steak or unneeded new clothes …..from that perspective, business an usual will soon be a fond memory in my opinion.Hamburger will be the new caviar.

        The new car will be a super subcompact with two seats fore and aft
        and the owner of it will hang onto it for dear life because the sales tax on a new car might exceed one hundred percent.

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          Hi OFM,

          Interesting. I guess I am more of an optimist than you. So you envision, it seems, a situation maybe 2 or 3 times worse than the Great depression within 20 to 30 years (maybe 50 years in your more optimistic moods).

          It seems hard to square this with other comments that you make about scaling up of wind and solar, people buying more fuel efficient and electric cars, storing energy to help with intermittency in the power grid (if wind becomes dominant), and moving sewage from the cities to the farms to deal with a nitrogen (and other ingredients, I am not a farmer) shortage when natural gas and NGL runs short. So I guess you would call yourself a soft doomer, if the chaos on the ground is your expectation(though maybe you are saying we might avoid that, lets say you think there is a 45% chance we will not see the “warlord” scenario.)

          My guess is that if we stay on a plateau in world output for 10 more years and people finally realize that a decline in liquid petroleum fuels (not including biofuels here) will soon be upon us, that social changes could happen quickly.

          Imagine for a moment that in the face of a crisis, rather than the World falling apart into a warlord environment, that societies pull together to solve the problems at hand similar to Great Britain and the United States (and some others such as Canada, Australia, and New Zealand) during World War 2.

          When the decline in liquid fuels begins there will likely be a rapid rise in oil prices and because this will be too fast for the economy to adjust to there will likely be another Great Depression and a huge amount of suffering. Possibly fuel will be rationed, though if this were done a white market for trading rations should be created or a criminal black market would spring up in its place. It is at this point that World War 3 could begin (as Watcher asserts is a virtual certainty), but if the fear of a nuclear war causes us to avert this, there could still be significant governmental and societal action to find solutions.

          It is at this point that much that would seem impossible (such as a huge ramp up in wind, solar, geothermal, HVDC transmission and other needed grid upgrades, more passenger and freight rail lines, light rail, hybrid and electric cars, fuel cells, pipelines for moving sewage to the farm, and no doubt lots of ideas that have not yet been conceived) may become possible.

          Will this be quick or easy? Absolutely not. It will likely be a 30 to 50 year process and will happen unevenly throughout the world. Possible? I think so.

          • “My guess is that if we stay on a plateau in world output for 10 more years and people finally realize that a decline in liquid petroleum fuels (not including biofuels here) will soon be upon us, that social changes could happen quickly.”

            The only thing keeping us on the current plateau is US LTO. And that is unlikely to last for more than two more years at the most.

            “pipelines for moving sewage to the farm,”

            Not very likely. That would take millions of miles of pipeline to millions of farms. And the stuff is mostly water. It would have to be distributed through the irrigation systems. Not sprinkler systems because they would be clogged very easily but flow systems. These don’t exist in most places.

            I think this is rather comical. You are dreaming up all kinds of things that are going to save the world. Nothing can possibly go wrong… go wrong… go wrong… go wrong… :-o

            • Dennis Coyne says:

              Hi Ron,

              So certain are you. Always with you it cannot be done.

              It would be interesting to hear OFM’s take on moving sewage to the farm, it was his suggestion. There are natural substances which can be used as pesticides and a huge amount of food is wasted feeding it to cattle. OFM also pointed out that chicken is a much more efficient way to produce protein.

              Again Ron you seem to think that oil, natural gas, and coal will magically disappear overnight (I know I am overstating the case, you never said that). How quickly do you envision that oil and natural gas will become so scarce that there will be none available to power tractors and produce pesticides and fertilizer?
              As prices of oil and natural gas rise to prohibitive levels, you don’t think that chemists will be able to find alternatives to petroleum as an input? The amount of the total petroleum that goes into pesticides is very small, nitrogen fertilizers can be produced using the energy intensive Haber-Bosch process, if less expensive methods cannot be found. Again as natural gas becomes more expensive much less will be used for electricity production and heating homes and most of it will be used to produce fertilizer, and if there is not enough the importance of food will mean that a solution will be found. For example the sewage could be piped to a manufacturing facility that produces fertilizer in a form appropriate to be used on the farm, when natural gas becomes expensive enough there will be a demand for such facilities and if someone can make money doing it, it will be done.

              Will it be easy no, possible yes. I would love to hear OFM’s thoughts on commercial agriculture, I agree that this must continue, but could battery powered tractors be used? How about natural ingredients to the Agro chemical industry in place of petroleum for pesticides? What about moving compost and sewage to the farm (or a fertilizer plant) from the cities and suburbs?

              Currently about 2 % of the BTU’s of petroleum refinery input in the US is used for machinery on the farm (not including irrigation which I assume can run on electric power), based on 1% of total energy (all forms 8000 Trillion BTU per month from EIA) is used in Agriculture (based on info on direct energy use from Wikipedia) not including indirect energy in fertilizer and pesticides. In fact it is less than this 2 % level because the direct energy use includes energy for pumps, cooling, and drying equipment all of which could be provided by electricity(but I do not know the proportion of these various direct energy inputs so the 2% may be close if the bulk is for tractors, combines, etc that use gasoline and diesel). How long do you think it will be before we get to under 360 kb/d input to US refineries (current input is about 18 million barrels per day)? Rockman often points out that the cliff like decline in oil output that is proposed by some people is unlikely in his view, but he doesn’t usually comment here.

            • Dennis Coyne says:

              Hi Ron,

              You are dreaming up all kinds of things that are going to save the world.

              When the world needs saving, that’s what people do, and lot’s will go wrong, there is no doubt.

              You have very little faith in society’s ability to change and for humans to learn from past mistakes. I do not share that view, but it is great nonetheless to talk about it. I know that population will peak and then decline just as you do, but I hope that we will get to 1 billion or what ever number is necessary to establish the proper balance with the ecosystem, without the catastrophe that you view as almost certain (though you never said that, I think you would give catastrophic chaos a 95 to 99% probability).
              As I said before a spike in oil prices followed by a great depression, will make people peak fossil fuel aware. At that point 6 billion people will be focused on solving the problem (probably less than that, but more than at present). I actually think its too bad that you can only envision catastrophe, it must be depressing. But hey that’s what makes life interesting, if we all agreed on everything life would be pretty boring.

              • Dennis, the only question is when the catastrophic collapse will happen. Will it happen is a lead pipe cinch. The earth, without fossil fuel, can support less than one billion people. Fossil fuel will one day no longer come out of the earth. Will that be 50, 100 or 150 years from now? I don’t know but it will come to pass.

                6 billion people will not be working on the problem. However at least 6 billion people will be rioting in the streets demanding that the government do something.

                But reading your above post you say: ” I hope that we will get to 1 billion or what ever number is necessary to establish the proper balance with the ecosystem, without the catastrophe that you view as almost certain…”

                I am very curious here. Do you really believe that the world could go from well over 7 billion people down to under 1 billion via peaceful means? I mean like family planning or something like that? Do you really believe that? Please answer that one question, that is very important.

                • Dennis Coyne says:

                  Hi Ron,

                  Do you mean do I think there will not be any war in the future? No. However I do not agree that it is certain that there will be catastrophic collapse, though you have not laid out clearly your vision, I think you mean something like 50 % unemployment (which I would call 2 times worse than the Great Depression) or maybe worse.

                  Yes I think that the world population can level off and then decrease, but only if alternatives to fossil fuels are developed and ecological limits are recognized by humans. You think that cannot happen, I disagree. If you are correct then catastrophic collapse will happen, but the conclusion depends on your premise (humans will never adjust their behavior in recognition of ecological limits, and that solar, wind, nuclear, geothermal, hydro, and tidal power along with improved energy efficiency can never replace the energy and other services provided by fossil fuels.)

            • Old farmer mac says:

              You may not see this , nor anybody else at this late date, but I will reply any way.

              I am a bit more pessimistic than Dennis because I personally think that society won’t react as quickly as he does in response to the coming troubles.

              For instance imo we will eventually get moving in a very big way on renewables and conservation but not until a lot of precious capital and lead time have been wasted.

              Never the less a country as rich in resources as this one can do things, once the government finally institutes adequate emergency measures, that seem impossible to people blindered by their knowledge of the status quo way of doing things.

              Germany for instance under Hitler was flat broke, totally busted, when he came into power during the Depression but nobody starved unless he decreed it.

              And within half a decade built the most formidable war machine in history and did so within the confines of a country desperately short of many critical natural resources.

              W hen the US gets deep enough into the fecal matter we will hopefully succeed in pulling of a similar miracle with the focus on renewable energy and conservation rather than bombs and bullets.

              Now as to whether sewage will ever be transported to farms:
              I am not predicting that this will actually happen on the grand scale but it is not such a far fetched idea as it sounds.

              First off sewage actually is mostly water and that fact in and of itself means that the water needed to transport it is a wash in terms of water supply because it is already in the system having been put there by the city water system in the form of potable water used to flush toilets.

              It is easily and routinely pumped every day in every city in the country but the pumps certainly do suck up a lot of juice.

              Cleaning up sewage is a very energy intensive process and it additionally costs quite a bit in capital intensive infrastructure, expendable chemicals, skilled workers and so forth.

              Any sewage diverted to farms will thus save the expense of treating it or at least a substantial portion of than cost ; partial treatment may prove to be necessary.

              Pipelines are expensive sure enough but on the other hand sewage disposal is pretty much a government dominated activity and the government can lay a sewage line along side a highway almost at will and nobody can say otherwise.

              Such lines do not have to go every where any more than existing pipelines and railroads go every where.

              They will extend into farm country within some workable distance of the city where they originate. There is one hxxl of a lot of farm land with in a hundred miles of a lot of cities.

              Raw sewage is nasty smelly stuff but it is a very rich source of the big three nutrients and well worth the cost of hauling it twenty or thirty miles in a specially designed truck that has large flotation tires.

              Such trucks are routinely used on a daily basis to deliver and distribute lime and fertilizers directly in the fields and have been a common sight on country roads for some years now.

              The cost of the pipeline may well be less than the cost of treating the sewage in order to discharge the water in it back into a river and any farmer close to a terminal will be willing to pay for it or at least glad to pay for the hauling of it.

              There are substitutes for oil, at least in part and in principle, and at least to a significant extent.

              There are none for N, P , and K.

              These are the fundamental chemical feedstocks of industrial agriculture and I can no more grow grains or fruits or vegetables on an industrial scale without them than I can call up a demon or an angel.

              Nor can anybody else.

              We will recycle them at some point within the next half century or we will starve.

              Half of us are eventually going to starve anyway on a world wide basis and another quarter will perish in wars or epidemics.

              But with a little luck we Yankees and Canadians can pull thru peak oil because we are still relatively rich in everything that really,really matters and we are still the meanest SOB’s around when the chips are all on the table.

              Nobody is going to cross either the Atlantic or the Pacific to invade us, at least not within the next half century or so.

              • Dennis Coyne says:

                Hi OFM,

                Thanks. So only governments in Canada and US will be able to react to this crisis, European countries, India, Japan, Korea, Brazil, Indonesia, Russia and China will all be unable to take similar actions to whatever magic happens in North America? I assume we will have forgotten how to produce medicine and medical equipment as well as all medical knowledge and that will result in epidemics? I agree war is likely, I am assuming you envision a nuclear war, in which case losing a quarter of world population may be optimistic, I am hopeful that is not the road taken.

                I am not seeing the “half starving”. Don’t you think if natural gas becomes very short in supply, that all of it will be used for fertilizer?

                You give a persuasive case for how some fertilizer needs and eventually perhaps all (though you did not say all)could be done with sewage. What about a industrial plant where sewage is shipped and converted to some kind of fertilizer product that can be shipped to farms, in much the same way that fertilizer products are currently shipped to farms? Is the NPK the main problem?
                As far as fuel for tractors, combines, and other farm equipment, pumps and cooling can be run from electricity and the liquid fuels could come from the limited liquid fuel supply, which when it runs out might be replaced with ethanol, or coal to liquids, but I am guessing that if needed the government would direct any remaining liquids to farms and military only if necessary.

                I don’t think any of these adjustments will be easy or quick, I am envisioning a process that happens over 50 years.

                When you say half of us will starve, do you mean the already impoverished many of whom are undernourished already?

          • clifman says:


            Two things. First, I must presume that you’re familiar with Tom Murphy and this analysis: https://physics.ucsd.edu/do-the-math/2011/10/the-energy-trap/ But by your comments along these lines it does not appear so. I’m wondering what are your thoughts on Tom’s Energy Trap, which just makes plain ol’ common sense to me.

            Second, wrt a WWII type of response to our energy predicament – from what I have observed of history & human nature, we monkeys seem to require some ‘other’ to blame for our ills, and against whom to become motivated. The Allies did indeed do great & amazing things together during WWII – but all aimed at defeating the Axis. If/when the awakening to our declining energy comes, there will be all sorts of scapegoats offered up for sacrifice. But it just does not appear to be human nature to accept blame ourselves. To point the finger at ourselves and make the sea change required seems to be outside of our DNA.

            Along similar lines, this is why I shake my head every time someone raises the Montreal Protocol as an example of our ability to come together to solve a global environmental problem and offers it as a model for combating AGW. CFC’s played a relatively minor, specific role that could be substituted rather easily. Carbon is in everything we do, deeply & broadly, and we will not make the changes that would be required to reduce emissions and stablizie the climate.

            Put these things – the energy trap, our propensity to blame anyone but ourselves, and the degree to which the energy/climate predicament is embedded within industrial civilization – and collapse seems the only possible outcome. (And I didn’t even mention over population and the decimation of the biosphere…)

            • Dennis Coyne says:

              Hi Clifman,

              I will be brief because you are probably the only person who will see this.

              I am familiar with Dr. Murphy’s blog and the analysis you linked to and I re-read it to make sure I wasn’t missing anything. (I think his blog is great by the way.)

              Towards the end of the analysis, he shows one possible way forward, but dismisses it because society never plans ahead and always goes for the short term fix.

              I am not sure this is true of people in general, my family for example has sacrificed short term enjoyment in order to save for college and retirement, though I realize that not all people do this, a fairly large percentage of people do save some (about 75%) though many may not save enough.

              The basis of Dr. Murphy’s analysis is EROEI. The problem is very clear when framed in this way, but luckily this is not how most people view investment decisions.

              Let’s start with liquid fuels, when production starts to decline prices will rise, they will spike at first, but once people become accustomed to the notion that oil output is decreasing and will continue to do so, they will expect ever higher prices. Nobody will be looking at EROEI, only at how am I going to get from A to B at reasonable cost. There will be demand for more fuel efficient vehicles and the transition will be quicker as oil prices rise to higher levels. Similar things will happen with natural gas when it declines and coal when it starts to decline.

              Also remember that there are many people who thing that fossil fuel output will either never decline or that it will not happen for 50 years or more. When oil output begins to decline (likely between 2015 and 2030), people will begin to realize that the same will happen to natural gas and coal and the thinking about future energy prices in general will see a major shift.

              If someone builds a new home once the oil decline has begun, they may decide on a passive solar house using a ground source heat pump for example when considering future energy costs and the likely steep rise in future natural gas prices.

              For a utility company, decisions are also not made on a EROEI basis but on the NPV (net present value) of any new project considered. High expected future natural gas and coal prices would make investments in new fossil fuel power plants much less attractive than wind or (if solar costs continue to decrease) solar. EROEI does not really play into the decision and based on the conclusions that might be drawn based on Dr. Murphy’s analysis that is probably a good thing.

              I definitely am with you on the climate problem though, that is much more likely to be a problem, I personally am hoping the decline in oil begins ASAP, but I also do not like to overstate the case and claim that it will happen next year because a rise in prices may keep us on a plateau for longer than people realize.
              This is a problem in my opinion because prices may only rise slowly and nobody will see the coming crisis.

              I know I strike everyone as overly optimistic, but regarding climate change I am not optimistic, the only way we might avoid 3 to 4C of climate change is if by 2020 oil declines enough that it is clear to the majority and prices rise significantly (2% per year on average for 5 to 10 years). That would likely lead to a great depression and possibly a transition to something that approaches sustainability.

              My apologies for taking so long to respond I was busy this weekend. I also made a few changes in hopes of helping with bandwidth. I cannot do anything about the comments, I don’t have the skills, but if you do and would like to help let me know.

    • islandboy says:

      Hi Mac, as far as your paragraph “Nissan could for sure build a fore and aft two seater …[snip]. They could have it in showrooms inside a year….” goes, see:


      The above story is about a vehicle based on a low cost ev, with two tandem seats that, is being manufactured and sold in Europe by Nissan’s sister company, Renault so, I would say you made a pretty safe bet!

      If you really want to keep on top of the cutting edge of green vehicle/ev technology I recommend the following two sites:


      If I had not been made aware of peak oil 7 years ago, this story at autobloggreen.com doesn’t mince words:


      I quote: “What’s behind this trend? While the “peak oil” theory was discredited by many analysts, the truth is that oil companies need to spend more and are still producing less oil lately. “The world’s cheap, easy-to-find reserves are basically gone; the low-hanging fruit was picked decades ago,” Businessweek’s Matthew Phillips wrote. “Not only is the new stuff harder to find, but the older stuff is running out faster and faster.”

  2. aws. says:

    Video: Peace River Tar Sands Community Impacts
    Interview with Carmen Langer

    Resident of Three Creeks, near Peace River Alberta, Carmen Langer talks about how he has lost his cattle and experienced negative health impacts due to emissions from tanks heating bitumen near his home.

    “As the Alberta government was celebrating the State Department analysis into the effects of the KeystoneXL tar sands pipeline, several Peace River residents were at a hearing talking about the tar sands emissions that they’ve been dealing with since 2011.

    Since 2011 residents have watched as their cattle got sick, then as their family members did as well.
    The main source of the problem is believed to be emissions from a Baytex tar sands facility. But Shell, Husky, Murphy Oil, and Tervita operations (some of which are also tar sands facilities) also seem to be contributing to the worrisome situation.

    The emissions have forced many in the region to pick up stakes and leave, simply abandoning their farms and dreams.

    The residents claim the emissions coming off heated bitumen tanks were causing health problems, including headaches, dizziness, and cognitive impairment — symptoms that went away when they moved away.”


  3. aws. says:

    From NOAA…

    Wunderground with details.

    • Doug Leighton says:


      This is scary stuff you’re coming up with, very scary stuff. Not sure if you should be getting a gold star sticker on your next report card or be shot-on-sight. Perhaps the latter would be best so we can all sleep better.


      • aws. says:

        : )

        What ocean heating reveals about global warming

        The increase in the amount of heat in the oceans amounts to 17 x 1022 Joules over the last 30 years. That is so much energy it is equivalent to exploding a Hiroshima bomb every second in the ocean for thirty years.

        Sure is a lot of energy!

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          Another way to look at it is in W per meter squared.

          The area of the ocean is 361 million square kilometers or 361 trillion square meters (3.61 x 10^14 m^2). A Watt is Joules per second and in 30 years there are
          946,728,000 seconds (using 365.25 days per year as an approximation). So the average number of Watts being put into the ocean over these 30 years is 170,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 J divided by 946,728,000 sec or 179,565,830,000,000 W (1.79566E14W). Over the area of the ocean (area given above) this is 0.497 W per meter squared. This is big part of the ups and downs in the rate of global warming. Since 2005, the data from the Argo floats have enabled more precise tracking of ocean heat content(OHC) and over that period the rate of increase in OHC has gone up to 0.77 W per meter squared.

          Paul Pukite (aka Webhubbletelescope)discusses this at his Context Earth Blog
          (note this is math heavy but mostly algebra except the OHC analysis in a separate blog post, where differential equations are involved)
          From Paul’s blog:

          This analysis resolves a couple of issues. First, it explains why the land surface is warming at twice the rate of the ocean surface — in spite of the smaller than anticipated OHC rate of increase. Secondly, it explains how the “missing heat” is a confusion in how the excess thermal energy gets redistributed by latent actions due to the significant evapotranspiration mechanism at the oceans surface as shown below in Figure 2.

          Figure 2 is below.

    • Dennis Coyne says:

      I am pretty sure the data prior to 2002 or so is not very good. The part of that graph from 1960 to 2000 is likely based on data to 700m and then making some assumptions about 700m to 2000m, based on recent data and extrapolating backwards. It is the best we can do, but it seems to me that a better graph would show more clearly that this is the case. Maybe include the data to 700 m and the data for 0-2000 m and a dashed line for the extrapolated part of the 0-2000 m chart.

      Edit: I looked into this a little more and my concern above is unjustified.
      When the 0-2000m chart is compared with the 0-700m chart, they line up around 1990 (shown as the zero level on the chart that aws posted), then it is pretty easy to interprolate between 1990 and 2000 when we start getting the real data for 0-2000m. I’ll post a chart.

  4. Eduardo Martinez says:

    Peak oil world is with us now. People in European cities are driving less miles per year, cycling more. In the UK the average person uses 200 kWh of energy per day. I reckon that we can get that down by three quarters to say 50 kWh per day. We won’t do that voluntarily of course but will be driven by the price of energy. That, and the capital I’ve accumulated during our energy ascent, should see me out for the remaining 30 or 40 years of my life. No children. How can you have children when we are using all their share of oil and resources for ourselves now, leaving them in the s**t ? It’s immoral. By the way, 1kWh is enough energy to power a 40W light bulb for 24 hours.

    • canabuck says:

      Just a tad too pessimistic, I’d say. We can face the challenges of the future with confidence.
      My family will be happy to dig up the oil in Canada and sell it to the world. The jobs are good, and the life is good here. And the future will be good as well.

  5. aws. says:

    U.S. natural gas futures fall; cash rockets to record

    While March futures prices slid on Wednesday, prices for
    Thursday delivery across the country spiked, some to record
    highs, due to the cold.
    In the cash market, trades for Thursday delivery at Henry
    Hub GT-HH-IDX, the benchmark supply point in Louisiana,
    averaged $7.91 per mmBtu, according to the Intercontinental
    Exchange (ICE), the highest average price in 5-1/2 years. Henry
    Hub gas traded as high as $8.40 earlier in the day.
    In the West and Midwest, prices rose by unprecedented
    amounts as threats of production freeze-offs were also expected
    to strain supply. Gas on the Opal pipeline W-OPT-IDX in
    Wyoming reached an all-time high of $29.50, up by $21.44. Its
    previous record high was around $13, according to Reuters data.
    Prices on New York’s Transco Zone 6 pipeline E-TSCO6NY-IDX
    rose $12.74 to $21.87, while Chicago prices MC-CHICIT-IDX rose
    $18.12 to $26.73, ICE data showed.

  6. aws. says:

    EIA : Weekly Natural Gas Storage Report

    for week ending January 31, 2014 | Released: February 6, 2014 at 10:30 a.m.

  7. aws. says:

    Cochin pipeline not shut down

    Aitkin Independent Age (Minnesota), Posted: Thursday, February 6, 2014 5:00 am

    Hoisted from the comments…

    This is reporting? It’s a direct copy of a Kinder-Morgan press release for PR purposes:


    – and in the interests of journalistic integrity it should be labeled as such.

    Still, one can extrapolate out the consequences of putting the proposed Keystone XL pipeline — and America — at the mercy of Canadian resources. The risks of striving for “energy independence” by relying on the goodness of our neighbors to the north show that with the Cochin line as well as with the Keystone fiasco, the U.S. is still dependent on another land.

    As was said over 100 years ago by a noted member of the royal empire: “Nations have no friends, only interests”. It is always prudent to look after ourselves first.

  8. aws. says:

    Pipeline operator: Don’t blame us

    By Jan Shepel, Wisconsin State Farmer, Feb. 3, 2014 | MADISON

    A pipeline company, which operates a dedicated conduit for propane from the production fields in Canada, wants the public to understand that their pipeline is open and operational — and that it is not to blame for the current propane situation.

    Kinder Morgan, the company that owns and operates the Cochin pipeline wants the public to know that it is fully operational and is in fact being underutilized.

    After Wisconsin State Farmer published a story on the propane shortage last week, we were contacted by the firm, which operates the shipping conduit for propane and other products.

    A spokeswoman, Melissa Ruiz, said the company didn’t want the story to be that the pipeline is not operational. She said they wanted to set the record straight and contradict the many mentions of the pipeline in the press.

    The Cochin pipeline is a 1,900-mile pipeline (12-inch diameter) between Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta and Windsor, Ontario with five U.S. terminals — in Carrington, ND, Benson and Mankato in MN, New Hampton, IA and Milford, IN.

    Ruiz explained that the pipeline transports propane and other products for third-party shippers-customers. With an estimated capacity of 50,000 barrels per day, it is not being contracted to its fullest capacity, she said.

    The story may have gotten started because the pipeline was down for a short time this fall.

    There was an “outage” of the Cochin pipeline, she said, from Nov. 27-Dec. 17, but it was planned and all the customers who use it were aware it would be happening. The pipeline was back in full operation on Dec. 18, she added.

    I wonder why the KM spokesperson neglected to mention this?

    The Midwest will also need to prepare for the coming reversal [2014] of Kinder Morgan’s Cochin Pipeline, which delivers HGL from Canada to the upper Midwest. Kinder Morgan plans to reverse the flow to deliver light condensate to Canada. This reversal will change supply dynamics in the Midwest.

    • aws. says:

      Reading EIA’s TWIP from a couple of week’s ago I kind of assumed that the maintenance shutdown of the Cochin pipeline had an indirect affect on propane supply into Eastern Canada. I was mistaken, seems it had a direct affect on supply.

      The Cochin pipeline is a 1,900-mile pipeline (12-inch diameter) between Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta and Windsor, Ontario

      The reversal of Cochin this year might have quite the impact on households in Eastern Canada next winter.

      If only people realized that the low EROI Tar Sands are going to suck resources to it, and away from them. The full picture will ultimately show that scraping the barrel to produce low EROI bitumen won’t bring a windfall to Canada’s citizens… more likely it will probably leave them poorer financially when all is said and done.

    • Watcher says:

      Condensate dilutes the tar sands low API oil and raises the API to refinery benign levels. There is also a regulatory benefit of border traverse (hmm, forgot the details).

      Note this also will look like “petroleum product exports”, even though it will re-enter, post dilution.

    • Dennis Coyne says:

      Hi aws,

      Are you interested in doing something along the lines of the old TOD drumbeat, maybe once or twice a week? I think if you click on my name you can get my e-mail

  9. Watcher says:

    Recent presentation from Carrizo — a shale producer.


    Page about 10 is talk of lateral spacing in the Eagleford — 500 ft reducing to 320 ft.

    Involvement in Niobara, Marcellus and Utica, see page 17.

    The seem to plan a 3 rig year in 2014 in the Eagleford and can get 20K bpd with that.

    It’s a presentation to analysts and the hype is thick.

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