EIA’s International Energy Statistics Updated

The EIA has finally updated their International Energy Statistics. They were a month behind so they caught up by updating two months of data. The last update had data through October. This update has the data through December 2013. They also updated their annual data page.

If you click on the link, then mouse over “Petroleum, Production” and click, you will get “Total Oil Supply”. That data is everything including ethanol, biodiesel, NGLs and even refinery process gain. I never use that data. After that page comes I go to the box labeled “Total Oil Supply” then click on the down arrow, then click on “Crude Oil including Lease Condensate” That is the data I use, that is all I use.

World Yearly

From the annual data I found total World C+C was up a mere 167 kb/d. US production was up 967 kb/d. That means that the World less USA was down 800 kb/d.

I have been following Russia pretty close on their website CDU TEK.

Russia CDU TEK

The data through December is from the EIA. The last four months, through April, I gleaned from the Russian website. Their data is daily in tons per day. I had to convert it and average it into monthly data but it is pretty close. Also, because the data on the above chart is non-zero based the increase appears greater than it really is. The increase averages out to be about one hundred thousand barrels per year.

I don’t know what the anomaly was in November. The JODI data does not show that but actually shows a peak in November 2013 above December.

Everyone has been expecting Russia to peak for several years. But their production has just kept inching up a little each year. This report is from five years ago: Alex Burgansky: Russian Oil and Gas Industry Surprises Analysts. Requires registration.

There are plenty of projects in Russia, both, new projects and existing brownfield projects. Russia is a very mature producer. If you exclude all the drilling activity taking place every year, then Russian organic decline in production is close to 19%. To compensate for that organic decline, Russia drills somewhere between 5,000 and 6,000 wells every year.

 This year, as I said before, some people expected production to collapse. We certainly never thought it would collapse, but we did think it would decline. Instead it’s actually growing as a result of benefits from past investments in the new fields coming on stream this year. But we’re simply running out of the pipeline of these new fields. Therefore, next year there will be a lot fewer fields coming on stream; in the absence of new incentives to put more money to work to grow Russian oil production, it will naturally start declining, with organic decline rates of around 19% and growing.

Russia was able to keep production growing with a massive infill drilling program and new fields in Eastern Siberia, primarily Vankor. But Vankor, the largest find in Russia in 25 years at an ERR of 3.8 billion barrels, came on line in 2009 and has almost reached peak production. It is expected to produce 428,000 bpd this year and top out at 462,000 bpd in 2016. 

Russia showed declines in each of the first four months of this year. Has the decline of Russian oil production finally arrived?


The biggest gainer in the last two months was Canada, up 487 kb/d since October.

United States

The USA was up 154 kb/d in the last two months and had a decline of 77 kb/d in December.

North Sea

The North Sea, primarily Norway and the United Kingdom, showed a surprising increase in November and December. Norway expects their decline to slow this year. We shall see.

Don’t miss this one: Total SA: Peak Oil Is Catching up to Big Oil

Sometimes, falling free cash flow is a short-term issue. Such was the case after the 2008 oil crash. Oil prices fell, and as a result free cash flow fell as well.

The current downturn is different. Oil prices have remained relatively stable and yet free cash flow is falling. The reason for this change is simple. Capital expenditures (capex) are rising at a rate far above revenue, thus cutting free cash flow.

Motly Fool

And revenue is falling because production is falling.

I have also updated the Non-OPEC Charts page with the data through December 2013.

And I also updated the World Crude Oil Production by Geographical Area page.

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207 Responses to EIA’s International Energy Statistics Updated

  1. Kum Dollison says:

    Okay, so, C+C has, since 2005, increased at somewhere over 200,000 bpd/annually. On a planet of Seven Billion people, that works out to a bit over one one-thousandth of a gallon per day, per year.

    Or, to look at it another way: 200,000 gallons is about 26 – 10,000ths of 76,000,000 bbl/day. (0.0026)

    I’d say, “Global Growth” is, or will be soon, an IMF Fantasy.

    • Jeffrey J. Brown says:

      Estimated Global Crude Oil Production (Excluding Lease Condensate), 2002 to 2012

      I assumed that the global Condensate/(C+C) Ratio was about 10% from 2002 to 2005 (partly based on an RBN Energy estimate that put the ratio at about 11% in 2010), and I assumed that the increase in global condensate production (a byproduct of natural gas production) increased at about the same rate as the rate of increase in global gas production, from 2002 to 2012.  

      Based on these assumptions, global condensate production would have increased from about 7.4 mbpd in 2005  to about 9.0 mbpd in 2012*, an increase of 1.6 mbpd, accounting for virtually all of the EIA’s reported increase in global C+C production from 2005 to 2012.  

      Based on the foregoing, the global Condensate/(C+C) Ratio would have increased from about 10% in 2005 to 12% in 2012, versus 11% to 15% for Texas (RRC data) and versus 3% to 6% for OPEC (based on EIA + OPEC data). 

      *And to about 9.3 mbpd in 2013, an estimated increase of 1.9 mbpd in condensate production over 2005

      • Watcher says:

        The crude vs condensate thing is a big deal.

        I remain curious about another level of complexity. One barrel of liquid at API 39, vs another barrel of liquid at API 39, might not yield the same amount of diesel.

        It seems possible for a blend to get to 39 so with different proportions of constituent parts.

        There are hints of this here and there, but there seems to be a strong desire to grade the liquid by API and sulfur content only (even though we know vanadium matters too).

      • Jeffrey J. Brown says:

        Basically, all key measures of global hydrocarbon production–natural gas, NGL and C+C–showed large increases from 2002 to 2005, as annual crude oil prices doubled from $25 in 2002 to $55 in 2005 (see normalized chart below).

        Then we had the C+C inflection point in 2005, and I think that any objective observer would have to conclude that virtually all of the post-2005 increase in global C+C production was probably due to rising condensate production, which is a byproduct of natural gas production.

        I suppose that one could argue that private and national oil companies “decided” to cut back on crude oil production, as annual Brent crude oil prices doubled from $55 in 2005 to $112 in 2012, while they “decided” to continue to increase natural gas and NGL production.

        But the voluntary crude oil cutback argument makes no sense to me.

        Global NGL production increased for 10 straight years, from 2002 to 2012, as global annual crude oil prices increased at an average rate of 15%/year.

        Private and national oil companies “decided” to continue to increase NGL production, but not crude oil production as the annual price of Brent doubled from $55 in 2005 to $112 in 2012?

        I think that Peak Crude Oil has been hiding in plain sight, but if there is anything more overlooked than the post-2005 decline in net exports, it may be the probable crude oil peak in 2005. It really is an interesting sleight of hand to price oil in terms of dollars per barrel of crude oil–but then produce production charts that show various combinations of crude + condensate + NGL + biofuels.

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          Hi Jeff,

          Note that this may be correct(crude peaked in 2005), but until C+C peaks, which has been the way oil has been measured for many years, nobody will pay attention.

          Also note that if it is crude only that matters most and crude peaked in 2005, that world real GDP growth has averaged 3.4% from 2005 to 2012[based on World Bank 2005 constant international $, PPP (purchasing power parity) method], not great, but 3% will suffice to keep things from falling apart.

          • Jeffrey J. Brown says:


            In regard to being noticed, I suspect that Peak Oil will almost never be acknowledged by the general population and by the MSM.

            But I would argue that the probable peak in global crude oil production has had a profound–although almost totally ignored–impact on the global economy.

            IMO, developed net oil importing countries are trying to keep their “Wants” based economies going through massive deficit spending, financed by real creditors and by accommodative central bankers, i.e., Quantitative Easing (QE). I wonder what OECD GDP growth would be without the post-2005 increase in QE?

            And of course, then we have the post-2005 decline in Global Net Exports of oil, compounded by increasing oil consumption in developing countries, led (so far at least) by China.

            GNE/CNI Vs. total global public debt chart follows, 2002 to 2012:

            • Dennis Coyne says:

              Hi Jeff,

              The quantitative easing would be expected to affect inflation, so far there has not been much of an issue on that front, but even if there were, the real GDP adjusts for inflation.

              Also keep in mind that a lot of the growth has been happening in China, which has much higher rates of saving than Western economies. Typically higher saving will lead to higher levels of debt as these savings become commercialized. As china modernizes more people deposit their savings in a bank and then lend the money to others. In the old days, the money saved was either just held (money in the mattress so to speak) or lent to friends and family (which is not reported and does not show up in international debt figures).

              Steven Kopits used a term called efficiency which is the $ of GDP per barrel of oil. As oil prices have risen since 1999 (3 year average real oil price in 2005 $) the $ real GDP (2005 international $) per barrel of C+C produced has risen from $1930 GDP/barrel C+C in 1999 to $2650 GDP/barrel C+C in 2012, where $GDP is World GDP in constant 2005 international $. When oil efficiency is related to oil price since 1999 we get the following linear relationship (R squared=0.98):

              oil efficiency=1733+oil price times 10.65

              where oil price is the trailing 3 year avg. real oil price in 2005$

              If real oil prices continue to rise and the relationship between oil efficiency and real oil prices continues to hold, real GDP growth may continue longer than many believe.

              In the scenario in the chart below real oil prices rise by 5% per year from 2014 to 2027 and real GDP rises by 3% per year until 2027 where oil (C+C) consumption peaks, at that point spending on oil is about 5% of GDP, then GDP growth is gradually reduced to 1% and the increase in oil prices gradually falls to a 3% rate of increase by 2040.

              So basically by 2027 either we are in serious trouble or the rate of increase in oil efficiency changes as we focus on the problem at hand (Peak oil is widely recognized and the World tries to solve the problem).

              • Dennis Coyne says:

                Note that 10X % oil spending is the % of World GDP spent on C+C times 10, plotted on left axis, C+C in millions of barrels per day is also on the left axis and real oil prices in 2005$ are on the right axis.

                • Woody says:


                  GDP is a manipulated number that leads to erroneous results for efficiency gains. By using it, you are perpetuating the same false sense of normalcy, continual growth, that the government continually tries to peddle to us.

                  • Watcher says:

                    As mentioned before, film libraries are on plastic, so oil relevant.

                  • Woody says:


                    How about owner equivalent rent and other imputations that are magically adjusted to show increases in GDP?

              • Eyeballing your chart you expect C+C to peak in 2027 at about 84 million barrels per day. That is 8 million barrels per day above what we are producing today.

                C+C production has increased 2 million barrels per day since 2005, 8 years ago. In the next 14 years you have it increasing by 8 mb/d. In the last 8 years C+C has increased by an average of 250,000 barrels per year. In the next 14 years you have C+C increasing by an average of 570,000 barrels per year.

                Eieballing the chart below, the IEA expects C+C production from current existing fields to be about 28 million barrels per day in 2027. Just where do you expect those other 60 million barrels per day to come from?

                • Dennis Coyne says:

                  Hi Ron,

                  For the US alone undiscovered technically recoverable resources are about 100 Billion barrels, add that to the 1600 Billion barrels of reserves world wide. We will cut OPEC proved reserves in half which reduces total proved reserves to 1000 Billion barrels. So about 757 Billion barrels are produced from 2013 to 2040 in this scenario, which assumes current trends continue, clearly that could be incorrect, but if you look at the trend of C+C output since 1985, the scenario follows it pretty closely until 2027.

                  I agree that the scenario is optimistic, and doubt that the current trends will continue.

                  My expectation is that oil efficiency will rise more rapidly than the linear trend in the chart below.

                  In fact from 1980 to 1985, oil efficiency was rising while prices were falling due to the lag in response to a very rapid rise in prices from 1978 to 1980 (doubling of prices in 2 years). So it is possible that the response to a spike in oil prices might be a faster increase in oil efficiency.

                  Also note that a faster rise in prices would result in an earlier peak. I need to work on this some more to come up with something more realistic.

                  Remember that we keep saying the peak will be next year, at some point we will be right.

                  More interesting is when do we expect to see a 12 month annual decline that is maintained for 12 months. That is the past 12 month average is less than the previous 12 months and this continues for 12 consecutive months. Other wise we are on a plateau we which have seen before on several occasions. Also there was the 1980 to 1983 decline followed by a rise in output, so maybe we need to wait 5 years. I think a plateau is pretty likely.

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    forgot chart

                  • For the US alone undiscovered technically recoverable resources are about 100 Billion barrels,

                    Well now, they are 100 billion barrels of undiscovered but technically recoverable oil in the USA? No, that is not correct. There are 500 billion barrels of undiscovered oil under US territory. No hell, let’s make it 1 trillion barrels of undiscovered crude oil. After all, if it’s undiscovered we can make it any number we wish.

                    add that to the 1600 Billion barrels of reserves world wide.

                    Strange, I think you forgot your smiley face after that comment.

                    We will cut OPEC proved reserves in half which reduces total proved reserves to 1000 Billion barrels.

                    Proven reserves? No, no, no, if they are proven then you cannot cut them. Proven means proven and that means they are really there. Why on earth would you cut reserves that are proven, reserves that you know are there?

                    So about 757 Billion barrels are produced from 2013 to 2040 in this scenario, which assumes current trends continue,

                    That comes out to be about 80 million barrels per day, average, for the next 26 years. No, that is not going to happen. We do not have 1 trillion barrels of proven reserves, not even close. Also, the amount of reserves depends on the price. There is a lot more $200 oil than there is $100 oil. Now I know why you think oil will go to $244 a barrel. That is the only way you can make your prediction work.

                    Remember that we keep saying the peak will be next year, at some point we will be right.

                    No, no, no, that is not right. You and some others may have been predicting such a thing but please don’t include me in your group of “we” folks. I have never, until this year, ever predicted when peak oil will happen. Now I am betting it will be by 2016, or 2017 at the latest. To the very best of my memory, that is the very first time I have ever made a peak oil prediction.

                    Now I can understand why you are being such a cornucopian when it comes to peak oil. You are deadly afraid of being proven wrong, so you just join the other side and say 84 million barrels per day by 2027.

                    I have been studying this thing for well over a decade now. Now I am going out on a limb and saying we are now very near the peak. After all, were it not for LTO we would have peaked a few years ago. Now we have found this stuff that is costing close to $80 bucks a barrel to produce and declines at over 6% per month, and you jump on the same bandwagon with the cornucopians.

                    Well enjoy the ride.

                    But right now I have some digging to do. I have 1 million dollars of undiscovered gold coins buried in my backyard.

                • Dennis Coyne says:

                  That figure assumes all investment stops.

                  Does that seem plausible?

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Post above is to Ron.

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Ron,

                    I noticed you said 26 years, Jan 2013 to Dec 2040 is 27 years and it works out to an average of 74 million barrels per day.

                    If we include all crude (deep water offshore and extra heavy from Canada and Venezuela, Jean Laherrere estimates about 2700 Billion barrels of ultimately recoverable resources (C+C+XH) see

                    and chart taken from post linked above is posted below.

                    About 1200 BBO of C+C have been produced from Jan 1850 to Dec 2013, this leaves about 1500 BBO left to be produced based on Mr. Laherrere’s estimates.

                    Note that there is no reason to assume that a logistic function will correctly model world oil production, changes in the rate of extraction can change the shape of the curve.

                    Note that in Mr. Laherrere’s chart World C+C+ XH (where XH is extra heavy oil from Canada and Venezuela) is the sum of the W Crude – XH prod curve and the W XH curve.

          • Jeffrey J. Brown says:

            Correct chart:

            • Watcher says:

              Back to my diesel issue, peripherally:

              Just found a link saying 40% of global oil consumption increases are presently from increases in diesel consumption.

              That’s rather a lot, considering the absolute diesel consumption number is between 5-10% (of total consumption).

              Which is why it matters.

        • Doug Leighton says:


          For what it’s worth, I think the big overlooked issue is the “creaming” of oil deposits to keep production rates as high as possible at the cost of longevity. You might call it the “nitrogen injection syndrome” after Cantarell though in reality it’s more often horizontal drilling in the caps of deposits. The result of course is increasing depletion rates and an illusion of sustained production capability. You probably realize this better than anyone, which is a shame.


          • Jeffrey J. Brown says:


            I agree, and it’s sobering to think that the global industry spent (per Kopits) about $3.5 Trillion on total upstream capex expenditures, to maintain, based on my estimates, an average global crude oil production rate of about 65 mbpd for 2006 to 2012 inclusive, versus about 67 mbpd in 2005.

            Arguably, this might even be a bigger story that the similarly ignored post-2005 decline in Global Net Exports of oil.

            A related (and also overlooked) depletion issue is the rate of depletion in post-2005 Global CNE (Cumulative Net Exports).

            Following is my Six Country Case History chart that shows post-1995 changes in key metrics. They had shipped more than half of their post-1995 CNE by the end of 1999, as their production increased by 2% over the 2005 rate.

            • Jeffrey J. Brown says:

              Always make this mistake with the Six Country Case History. Should read:

              They had shipped more than half of their post-1995 CNE by the end of 1999, as their production increased by 2% over the 1995 rate.

            • Dennis Coyne says:

              Hi Jeff,

              You said,
              “I agree, and it’s sobering to think that the global industry spent (per Kopits) about $3.5 Trillion on total upstream capex expenditures, to maintain, based on my estimates, an average global crude oil production rate of about 65 mbpd for 2006 to 2012 inclusive, versus about 67 mbpd in 2005. ”

              Kopits slide show can be downloaded at the link below:


              On slide 18 he notes that for crude oil legacy production 2.5 trillion dollars was spent from 2006 to 2013 (since 2005). That is a lot of money considering that production has decreased over that period.

              Note however that total revenue on C+C output (barrels produced per year times average oil price each year) from 2006 to 2013 was 19 trillion dollars and the 2.5 trillion spent on upstream exploration and production is only 13% of this total.

              Spend 2.5 trillion, get back 19 trillion, sign me up!

              • Spend 2.5 trillion, get back 19 trillion, sign me up!

                No, I don’t think that is quite right. You are not interpreting this right at all. We are talking about upstream spending here. That is money spent on exploration and drilling.

                Peak Oil is Real and the Majors Face Challenging Times
                About $2.5 trillion was spent on legacy crude oil production, which still accounts for about 93% of today’s total liquids supply. And despite that hefty investment, legacy oil production has declined by 1 mmb/d since 2005, said Kopits.

                2.5 trillion was spent to try to increase production, or at best maintain current production. In spite of that 2.5 trillion spent legacy production still declined by one million barrels per day. In other words they spent 2.5 trillion on upstream activities, trying to maintain or improve legacy production and still production fell by one million barrels per day.

                By comparison, between 1998 and 2005 the industry spent $1.5 trillion on upstream development and added 8.6 mmb/d to total crude production.

                Between 1998 and 2005 1.5 trillion spent upstream bought them 8.6 million barrels per day of new oil. Between that time and right now 2.5 trillion lost them 1 million barrels per day of oil they already had. That is, the new oil that the 2.5 trillion brought on line was not enough to replace the natural decline in their old fields.They spent the money trying to improve production or at least stay flat. They failed miserably.

                • Dennis Coyne says:

                  Money was spent to maintain output, output brought in 19 trillion, there was less of an increase in output, but 19 trillion minus 2.5 trillion is a lot of money. That is 16.5 trillion in net revenue over 7 years or 2.35 trillion per year.

                  Over the 1998 to 2005 period total revenue (oil (C+C)produced each year times average oil price for that year) was 5.9 trillion, upstream spending was 1.5 trillion or 25% of revenues.

                  So if oil companies are in business to make money, they were getting more money for their upstream capital spending over the 2006 to 2013 period then they were over the earlier period.

                  Also note that the spending is in nominal terms, so generally speaking if we do not adjust for inflation, we expect nominal capital expenditures to increase over time.

                  Also note that upstream capital spending is the money spent to explore for and produce oil and gas. It is not money spent on exploration and production of only the increase in oil output, it is money spent to keep the whole oil exploration and production system going.

                  Over 1998 to 2005, 202 BBO of C+C were produced and it cost 1.5 Trillion in capital expenditures or $7.42/barrel of C+C produced. The 2006 to 2013 period C+C output was 216 BBO and capital expenditures on exploration and production was $2.5 trillion or $11.57/barrel so costs rose, but prices rose by quite a bit more going from an average of $29/barrel to $88/barrel in the later period. So if the main objective was to increase profits rather than to increase oil output, then it does not look like a failure from a business perspective.

                • Dennis Coyne says:

                  I forgot the net revenue per year over the 1998 to 2005 period was 0.55 trillion per year compared to 2.35 trillion per year in the 2006 to 2013 period, so an increase by a factor of more than 4.

                  • Dennis, you still don’t get it. The capex was spent, not to maintain old production but to bring on new production to replace natural decline.

                    You are counting old production, production that would have been there if they had not spent one thin dime. Had they spent nothing, their production would have declined by about 5% per year, give or take, and they would have made billions without haven’t spent a dime of capex.

                    Dennis, you are counting, or assuming, that the capex was what was producing all that oil. For instance you say:

                    Over 1998 to 2005, 202 BBO of C+C were produced and it cost 1.5 Trillion in capital expenditures or $7.42/barrel of C+C produced.

                    No, no, no, it did not cost 1.5 trillion to produce 202 barrels of oil. That oil would have been produced if they had spent absolutely nothing trying to find more oil and drill more wells, minus 5% decline per year of course.

                    We are talking about money spend looking for new oil and money spent drilling new wells. The old wells have nothing to do with capex spent on new exploration and drilling. They are there and producing oil if they did no exploration and if they did no new drilling.

                    Dennis, you are a mathematician and can write formulas and algorithms that are way over my head. But this is so simple that I am at a loss as to why you do not understand it.

                    Come on, do you really not understand this or you just trying to be funny?

                    Okay here it is:
                    1998 to 2005 – 1.5 trillion in capex in search of new production.
                    Results 8.5 mmb/d of new production above decline.

                    2005 to 2013 – 2.5 trillion in capex in search of new production.
                    Result 1 mmb/d in lost production.

                    Of course 2.5 trillion in capex did bring on some new production. But it was not enough to keep up with decline. New production minus decline = 1 mmb/d in total decline.

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Ron,


                    Upstream is exploration and production, not only exploration. It includes both CAPEX and OPEX.

                  • I realize that Dennis, but oil well maintenance cost is so small in comparison to exploration and drilling cost it can almost be ignored.

                    The chart below shows the maintenance cost for a ten well lease. that comes to about 22,000 per year per well or about 3 tenths 1 percent of drilling cost.

                    That is for wells with above ground pumps. Pressurized wells of course would be different but probably much cheaper.

                    Oil Well Maintenance Costs

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    I am not convinced because there are many more wells operating than are drilled each year, about 363,000 oil wells in the US in 2009.

                    Let’s say we live in a world where equipment never needs to be replaced (because any purchase of durable equipment for exploration or production is an upstream capital expense.)

                    If we assume a 7% average decline rate from existing wells with no further capital spending. Over the period from 1998 to 2005 new production plus the well decline totals 2.14 BBO per year and for the period from 2006 to 2013 the total is 2.02 BBO per year. So there is a 5.6% decrease in new oil produced (replacing decline plus any increased production) with an increase in capital spending from $1.82 trillion to $2.5 trillion (1.82 trillion is 1.5 trillion adjusted for inflation using average inflation rates from the first and second periods).

                    And of course the increased oil price may have increased the demand for oil services and equipment and caused an increase in capital costs.

                    Finally, OPEX for the Bakken was estimated at $4/barrel by Rune Likvern, if we assume Worldwide that OPEX is half this level it would still be $404 billion over thee 1998 to 2005 period and $432 billion over the 2006 to 2013 period.

                  • Dennis go back and read slide 18 of Kopits’ report. $4 trillion was spent. That $3.5 trillion is a typo. I am almost sure it should be $1.5 trillion. But typo or not it is the money spent on maintaining production. That leaves $2.5 for exploration and production of new oil.

                    From slide 18, bold mine.
                    $3.5 trillion was spent maintaining the
                    2005 legacy oil and gas system
                    • About $2.5 trillion* was spent on legacy
                    crude oil production—94% of the
                    petroleum liquids supply today.

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Ron,

                    As we are talking about oil, it is the 2.5 Trillion that is relevant, which is the number I have been using, except I also talk about net revenue per year which is the total revenue(oil produced times the price of oil) minus upstream spending (OPEX plus CAPEX).

                    In slide 18 the 2006 to 2013 period has upstream spending of 2.5 trillion on oil and 1.5 trillion from 1998 to 2005.

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Ron,

                    I will put the slide up in a comment at the bottom so it is readable.

                    We have different interpretations of that slide. Maybe others can comment as well.

                    I interpret the 3.5 trillion as spending on oil and gas and 2.5 trillion as oil only, with the other 1 trillion spent on gas.

  2. Well it actually works out to be 285,000 barrels per year increase since 2005, 2,283 divided by 8. But you are close enough.

    But global growth is over, or soon will be. Growth depends on energy, or more specifically surplus energy. If there is no surplus energy there can be no growth. Well not for very long anyway. Oil is the lifeblood of modern civilization. When the supply of crude oil starts to contract, growth must also contract.

    • Watcher says:

      Thumbs up on transportation fuel and only transportation fuel relevance.

      Do we have a list of countries that count refinery gain and those that do not?

      How sure are we all countries define “oil” by the same API reqmt?

      • I think you are a little confused here. Refinery process gain is just something that the EIA keeps track of, it is not something that countries count or don’t count. The EIA does track refinery process gain from every country. That can be found here:
        Refinery Process Gain

        The EIA has these categories for petroleum liquids:
        Total Oil Supply That is all the listed below combined.
        Crude Oil, NGPL and Other Liquids That is Total Oil supply less Refinery Process Gain.
        Crude Oil including Lease Condensate Self explanatory and what I use.
        Natural Gas Plant Liquids
        Other Liquids Ethanol, biodiesel such as palm oil and any other thing you might think of.
        Refinery Process Gain

        All these, from every country, in monthly, quarterly or annual data can be found here:
        International Energy Statistics

        • Watcher says:


        • Watcher says:

          Curious item.

          Presumably the US number of 1.1 mbpd for refinery gain is because of the big 19 mbpd consumption (or 18 or 17 excluding whatever liquids we want to).

          China consumes about 10 mbpd? That’s a bit more than half the US number. But their refinery gain quotes at 241K bpd. Nowhere near half 1.1 mbpd.


          • RalphW says:

            The US processes low API heavy crudes into low density gasoline. Big refinery gain.
            China processes higher API lighter crudes into heavier diesel. Smaller refinery gain.
            Also US refines more oil and then exports the products. More refinery gain.

            • Watcher says:

              Maybe. China’s refining capacity is well beyond their 10 mbpd consumption so they would not seem to need to import gasoline.

              I just found a site saying in 2009 Chinese diesel consumption was about 525K bpd. That’s only 5% of total oil consumption.

              Oil viscosity is what it is, but one wonders at the point of diluent to Canada if there is some application to a refinery vs the other (just making it flow in pipelines). Venezuela is a different matter, and may support your idea.

              But yours is definitely an idea. I just don’t see how it makes up the difference in numbers.

              OTOH in support of your idea, Japan burns about half what China does and their refinery gain is similarly about half of China’s .

              Global total 2.5ish mbpd. Consumption can’t equal quoted production and expect no price pressures. That 2.5 mbpd difference is there.

              • Doug Leighton says:


                “I just found a site saying in 2009 Chinese diesel consumption was about 525K bpd. That’s only 5% of total oil consumption.”

                Unless I’m not understanding you correctly, I think you’re wrong here. Of course, different years, etc. and the conversions are mine.

                “Diesel fuel accounts for the biggest share of China’s consumption of refined oil products. In October 2013, overall diesel consumption dipped slightly to 14.35 million tons (105.34 million barrels), or 0.8 percent year-on-year.” So approximately 3.5 mbpd as opposed to 525K bpd. My source: http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2013-12/02/content_17146456.htm

                Note: 7.341 barrels of crude = 1 metric ton.


                • Watcher says:

                  Yup, I’m wrong, here’s my source:


                  It’s kilotons per year. Screwed up my calc.

                  The EIA btw says :

                  Although China remains an overall net oil product importer, the country became a net diesel fuel exporter in mid-2012 mostly to other Asian countries as the pace of growth in domestic oil product demand moderated.

                  Soo this means refining of imports to diesel FOR EXPORT, not even that steep domestic consumption, still only raised their refinery gain to 20% of the US quote. It’s still weird, but the 35% diesel consumption now is more interesting. If people think they are going to want low-diesel LTO and struggle to change the law to export it, boy are they in for a surprise.

    • Dennis Coyne says:

      Strange I did not realize that all energy is in the form of crude oil.

      Last time I checked there was natural gas, coal, nuclear, wind, solar, hydro, and geothermal energy sources as well.

      • Dennis Coyne says:

        Ron Said,

        “But global growth is over, or soon will be. Growth depends on energy, or more specifically surplus energy. If there is no surplus energy there can be no growth. Well not for very long anyway. Oil is the lifeblood of modern civilization. When the supply of crude oil starts to contract, growth must also contract.”

        My previous comment was a reply to Ron’s comment quoted above.

      • Last time I checked there was natural gas, coal, nuclear, wind, solar, hydro, and geothermal …

        When crude oil production starts to decline, the economy will start to decline. Now I know you may believe that the cars and trucks and tractors and planes and ships will start to run on electricity… well perhaps you don’t believe that about planes, but everything else.

        No, you will not run all these things off electricity or natural gas. Perhaps a few but not very many. And you will not make roads, tires, plastics and the thousands of other things we make out of oil, out of electricity.

        Dennis, I know you believe, deep down, that when petroleum starts to decline that we will just switch, almost seamlessly, to coal, natural gas and all those renewables you named. But I believe, just as deep down as you do, that that just will not happen. For transportation it is all a matter of scale, except for airplanes then it is a matter of impossibility.

        No, it is just not going to happen Dennis. The decline of crude oil means the decline of the economy.

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          We will see. Crude has been flat since 2005 according to Mr. Brown’s estimates, Global Real GDP has grown between 2.7% in constant US dollars to 3.4 % in constant purchasing power parity international dollars between 2005 and 2012.

          Oil production will not decline in a sharkfin manner, prices will rise and people will buy more fuel efficient transportation, travel less, use more public transportation. Much of this can be switched to natural gas and electricity and what can’t be switched will be willing to pay higher prices to get the scarce fuel that is needed.

          I do not think it will be seamless, I think it will be difficult and when the reality finally hits that peak oil has arrived, there will be a recession, likely a rather deep recession, but I do not think it will be permanent.

          Also note that over the 1979 to 1983 period when world output of C+C was falling, World GDP was rising by 1.76% (in constant US $), not great, but only 1.37% less than the average rate of real GDP increase over the 1983 to 2008 period (using World Bank data).

          The fall in C+C output over the 1979 to 1983 period averaged 4% per year.

          A lot depends on prices and how quickly they rise. A steady rise at 5% per year would allow the economy to adjust more easily.

          The quick spikes in price like during the 1972 to 1976 period where real oil prices more than quadrupled, during the 1978 to 1980 period where prices roughly doubled, (from 1972 to 1980 real oil prices increased by almost a factor of 8), and the 2003 to 2008 price rise where prices nearly tripled in 5 years while increasing by about a factor of 5 over the longer 1999 to 2011 period are what lead to a recession.

          The average rate of increase in real oil prices from 1972 to 2012 was about 5.4%. In fact the government could add a tax to fuel to attempt to create a 5.4% annual increase in fuel prices (including the tax), the tax could be adjusted monthly so that if market prices (without the tax) were flat or decreasing the tax would be set so that the annual price increase would be 5.4%, when the underlying market fuel price was rising by more than 5.4%, the tax would be reduced to zero. Revenue could be used to pay down the deficit or to build roads, bridges, and public transportation.

          I realize in the US this plan will not happen, but it would help with price volatility and reduce the chance of a major recession when the plateau is reached.

          • Jeffrey J. Brown says:

            To clarify slightly, the EIA shows that global C+C production was basically flat from 2005 to 2010, and only up by a material amount (relative to 2005) in 2012 and 2013, so I estimate that actual global crude oil production was below the 2005 rate for six years, and approximately flat in 2012 and 2013. I estimate that the average global crude oil production rate for 2006 to 2013 inclusive was about 65 mbpd, versus about 67 mbpd in 2005.

            Something else to consider is the gross underlying decline rate from existing production. A few years ago, ExxonMobil put it in the 4% to 6%/year range. Note that the recent 10 year net decline rate in Alaska’s C+C production was 6.5%/year. This was net, after new wells were added, so the gross underlying decline rate was higher.

            Given the shift to high decline rate tight/shale plays and given a global reliance on smaller, high decline rate conventional fields, e.g., Thunder Horse, I suspect that the gross underlying decline rate has only increased.

            In any case, let’s (conservatively) assume that the gross underlying decline rate from existing global crude oil production is about 7%/year, from a supply base of about 67 mbpd in 2013. Over the next 10 years, n order to maintain 67 mbpd of actual crude oil production*, we would have to put on line 47 mbpd of new crude oil production.

            Or at a gross underlying decline rate of 7%/year, we would have to replace 100% of current global crude oil production, i.e., put on line 67 mbpd of new crude oil production, in about 14 years.

            *45 or lower API gravity crude oil

            • Dennis Coyne says:

              Hi Jeff

              that is correct. Since 2005 the decline has been replaced by new production the question is how long it will continue.

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          Hi again Ron,

          Unlike you I do not believe that cars, tractors, etc must change to electricity, I think the available fuel will be used more efficiently, I do not believe that oil output will drop to zero overnight, prices will rise and people will adjust to the new reality, just as the economy has adjusted to the real price of oil rising by a factor of 9 since 1972. Can the economy adjust to another rise in prices over the next 41 years to $900/barrel (in 2013$) by 2054? Our answers to this question are very different?

          A 5.5% rise in prices each year for 41 years will result in a rise in price from $100 in 2013 to $900 in 2054.

          • Dennis, I now see the flaw in your reasoning. You think that if something happens gradually, then great change is possible because the change will be so slow we will adapt.

            Well it really doesn’t work that way. If your salary was cut by 1% per week you would adjust only for a short period. Soon you would be much poorer, and soon after that you would be starving. Or if you gained only one pound per week, you would likely be dead in four or five years.

            But I understand that is how your world view works and you will keep on believing that slow change means we will always adapt. But the world really doesn’t work that way. Slow change only means you die slowly but in the end you are just as dead.

            • Patrick R says:

              Ah Ron, I see the flaw in your reasoning, you use the word ‘change’ as synonymous with ‘decline’. Of course fast or slow decline is still decline; not so with change.
              What you really mean is that you reject any possibility of transition to a post oil economy. To which I answer, there will be because there has to be. And DC is absolutely right that pace is important. But we may not see signals if it too slow (frogs, pots), so policy and actions matter enormously. But am certain there will be shocks enough too.

              • Ah Ron, I see the flaw in your reasoning, you use the word ‘change’ as synonymous with ‘decline’.

                Well yes change can be a lot of things and decline is definitely change. How can it be otherwise?

                What you really mean is that you reject any possibility of transition to a post oil economy.

                Nonsense! I don’t reject any possibility of a transition to a post oil economy, or to an economy that uses a lot less oil. That will definitely happen. What I do reject is a painless transition to a post oil economy.

                There will be a transition to a post oil economy, then a few years later a transition to a post fossil fuel economy. Of course it won’t happen suddenly, it will take decades. And there will very likely be resource wars. The transition, far from being painless will be the most terrible thing humanity has ever gone through.

                • Watcher says:

                  Of course there will be transition. When it’s easy enough, aka, possible.

                  The smaller the population, the easier it will be.

                • Not for a moment do I think change is easy, but it is the only reality- it is unrelenting. And there is an easy laziness to constantly shouting ‘doom!’ in the face of it. Some change is feckin’ wonderful. Anyway here’s Greer:

                  “To shift temporal metaphors a bit, the long day of national delusion that dawned back in 1980, when Ronald Reagan famously and fatuously proclaimed “it’s morning in America,” is drawing on rapidly toward dusk, and most Americans are hopelessly unprepared for the coming of night. They’re unprepared in practical terms, that is, for an era in which the five per cent of us who live in the United States will no longer dispose of a quarter of the world’s energy supply and a third of its raw materials and industrial products, and in which what currently counts as a normal American lifestyle will soon be no more than a fading memory for the vast majority. They’re just as unprepared, though, for the psychological and emotional costs of that shattering transformation—not least because the change isn’t being imposed on them at random by an indifferent universe, but comes as the inevitable consequence of their own collective choices in decades not that long past.”

                  He writes so well about this, better than I. Here: http://www.resilience.org/stories/2014-04-24/refusing-the-call-a-tale-rewritten

                  The point is that a lot will be lost. And we humans are sentimentalists, we cling to what we know, ergo, heartbreak is universal. We live now in an era of rapid change, we are better to walk towards the future, to walk towards, as the saying goes, ‘the sound of gunfire’ [a metaphor for trouble, not, Watcher, necessarily literal war].

                  The wheel turns and those at the top slide down, while others rise. So it goes.

              • Doug Leighton says:


                I wasn’t going to say it, but you’re wrong. There isn’t going to be a nice transition (smooth or otherwise) to a more sustainable life. Or, we’re going to have chaos, anarchy, and madness first: As the Four Horsemen charge across the landscape. Ron is absolutely right.

                You can make as many lists of “progress” as you like but take a look at the real world then make another: Global warming, PO, water depletion, large fishery depletion, population increase, disease resistant germs, religious wars, drones bombing people, etc. Then take a look at some basic economics: decimation of the middle class and global debt levels will do perfectly. Then, see how vicious, widespread and sustained armed conflicts have become.

                No Patrick, your perspective is tainted by where you live. I’ve traveled extensively and one lesson learned is that when people have expectations their children will have a better life than their own, they can put up with almost anything: But the coin has two sides.

                Have a nice day down there but remember, winter is on its way. (little yellow face)


                • Patrick R says:

                  Doug you have me wrong. I am not saying everything’s gonna be sweet. I am saying I don’t know. It’s a complex system, and everything is under irresistible pressure to change and therefore will. In unpredictable and complex ways. The only certainty is there will be surprises.

                  So I am also saying all you gloomists don’t know either. My point is that there’s no nuance to to your change=chaos meme. Too flip, too simple.

                  Basically I’m a militant agnostic: I don’t know and you don’t know either.

                  As for your geographical determinism theory…. Perhaps…..

            • Dennis Coyne says:

              Hi Ron,

              A rise in prices changes behaviors. Oil prices have been rising on average 5.5% since 1972 (using 1972 to 2012 real oil prices from BP Statistical Review). Link below for BP Stats.


              Under my scenario real income rises slowly (1.3 to 2.7% per year)

              In an earlier comment you said proven reserves cannot be cut, I agree if they are truly “proven”.

              If you look at the Statistics from BP (which is what I used), they claim proven reserves are 1600 billion barrels (I think this includes C+C+NGL). Of these “proven” reserves 1200 BBO is from OPEC.

              You have argued in the past (I may be remembering incorrectly, but you can correct me), that the OPEC reserves are overstated.

              I do not remember by how much you think OPEC’s reserves are overstated, so I guessed by 100% and cut them from 1200 BBO to 600 BBO.

              Do you think OPEC reserves are 300 BBO, 100 BBO, zero?

              On US undiscovered technically recoverable resources (UTRR) I used estimates from the USGS (link below) of 40 BBO.


              The estimate from the USGS only covers onshore resources, for offshore resources I used the BOEM (Bureau of Ocean Energy Management) estimate of 60 BBO of UERR (undiscovered economically recoverable reserves) at 60 dollars per barrel.


              The total is 100 BBO.

              • Dennis Coyne says:

                Mistake UERR is undiscovered economically recoverable resources, I used reserves in place of resources mistakenly above.

              • Dennis, you live in a dream world. I never thought you would be one who would buy into the cornucopian bull crap but apparently you have.

                Undiscovered economically recoverable resources, not reserves, is unknown. You forgot to add the word “estimated”. What is undiscovered can only be estimated. And folks who live in never, never land estimates that there will be milk and honey forever.

                OPEC estimated reserves: I estimate OPEC reserves to be approximately what non-OPEC reserves are, perhaps slightly less. All nations basically produce all the oil they possibly can. The more oil you have to produce the more you do produce. If OPEC had 81% of the world’s oil reserves they would produce “approximately” 81% of the world’s oil. In 2012 OPEC produced 42.5% of the world’s oil (C+C). So saying that OPEC likely has 50% or less of the world’s oil reserves is not unreasonable.

                Under my scenario real income rises slowly (1.3 to 2.7% per year)

                Unbelievable! That would be an average of 2% per year. Do you really think that is a reasonable assumption?
                Median Household Income Growth: Deflating the American Dream(Median household Income)
                but if you adjust for inflation using the Census Bureau’s method, that nominal 614.2% total growth shrinks to 18.8%, a “real” annualized growth rate of 0.39%.

                Median household income, since 1967, has grown at a rate of .39%. And let me stress two very important things. One that is using so called “core inflation”. Core inflation is calculated without using food or energy as an input. If you were to include the inflation of food and energy, the two things that have risen the most, by far, then the median household income since 1967 would have shrank, not risen by a meger .39%.

                Point 2, and this is a big one. Notice they used the term “household” income. In 1967 most households had only one wage earner. Since then, due to the decline in per capita middle class income, most households have had to put the wife to work also. If we calculated wage “per capita” not per household, and used true inflation instead of “core inflation”, then true wages would show a dramatic decline since 1967.

                Oil prices rose dramatically from the late 90s until 2008. Then they collapsed, climbed again until 2011. Since 2011 Brent oil prices have been almost absolutely flat. They have averaged about $110 a barrel because that is all the economy can stand, with falling average real income and all that. People just cannot afford to pay more. If prices go much higher it would collapse the economy, middle class income being so low and all.

                So your scenario of continually rising oil prices is totally unrealistic. Almost as unrealistic as your continually rising real income. Almost but not quite.

                • Dennis Coyne says:

                  Hi Ron,

                  We are talking apples and oranges. I am talking about world income, I also am not using core inflation to estimate inflation.

                  Again oil prices have gone up and down over the years, but the average rate of rise in real oil prices since 1972 has been 5.5% per year.

                  Median incomes have fallen in the US due to poor tax policy. That is a different discussion.

                  Prices have been flat for a few years due to slow economic growth. If you are correct that prices cannot rise above $110/barrel in 2013$, then many of your other predictions may be correct.

                  In fact oil out put might follow a sharp shark fin decline because there will (by 2017 at the latest) no longer be enough attractive investment opportunities if the price of oil does not rise.

                  This is a fundamental flaw in your reasoning (if I understand you correctly), real oil prices will rise in the future.

                  In fact this is the mechanism in Hamilton’s analysis that leads to recessions, the high oil prices are thought to cause the recession and the recession then reduces demand for oil which brings prices down.

                  I also think you misunderstand what I mean when I say the economy will adjust, it does not mean it will not be difficult, it means that total social breakdown can be avoided, tough times along the lines of the Great Depression possibly (especially because Keynes is out of fashion), but not anarchy.

                  You also seem to misunderstand the scenario I presented. My premise was lets see how long the economy can grow at 2.5% in real terms if the apparent linear relationship between oil efficiency ($real GDP/barrel of C+C output) and real oil prices (trailing 3 year average) for the years 1999 to 2012 continues into the future. I had prices rise by 5% per year at the start and was trying to keep oil spending at less than 5% of GDP.

                  The scenario didn’t look that realistic to me either,
                  oil efficiency would need to rise faster.

                  Again I wonder how you expect prices of oil not to rise, I imagine you expect a price spike when oil output declines and then an economic crash or maybe you have something else in mind.

                  Maybe you could lay out your version of what you expect to happen. I know you think when oil production declines the economy will decline.
                  Let’s say this is true, oil production decline is the cause and economic decline the effect, wouldn’t you expect a decline in oil output to lead to a rise in oil prices, at least temporarily?

                  • If you are correct that prices cannot rise above $110/barrel in 2013$, then many of your other predictions may be correct.

                    I really don’t recall saying that anywhere. If I did I misspoke. What I said, or at least meant to say, was that prices cannot rise without affecting the economy negatively. Of course prices can go above $110. They can go to $125 a barrel or even $150. But if that happens they will knock down the economy.

                    Which was my whole point.

                    Prices have been flat for a few years due to slow economic growth.

                    You have the cart before the horse. We have had slow economic growth because of high oil prices. Prices have averaged $110 a barrel for three years now. That has dramatically slowed economic growth.

                    Maybe you could lay out your version of what you expect to happen.

                    I intend to do that in a new post within the next couple of days.

  3. Lloyd / Canuckistani says:

    From the Toronto Star:
    Railways ordered to stop using older tank cars in Canada


    “MONTREAL—The federal government is pulling the most dangerous rail cars off the country’s tracks in the next 30 days and will ban tankers not built to the current high standards by 2017 as a result of last summer’s deadly train crash and explosion in Quebec.” / snip

    “But the transport minister also said that she had to strike a balance between safety and the ability of rail operators of conforming with the new rules. In the United States, where no such rules have been introduced, there has been talk of phasing out older-model tankers over a longer period of time in order to help rail companies manage the costs of replacing their fleets.”


  4. Just how stupid are some folks, and I mean some peak oil folks, about what it would take to get off fossil fuel in order to reduce greenhouse gasses?

    Over on PeakOil.com there is a thread up called “Want to Stop Climate Change? Take the FF Industry to court”. The idea here is, apparently, take them to court and make them stop what they are doing, producing fossil fuel. I replied to the person who posted the link:

    Yeah, all we need to do is stop climate change is stop using fossil fuel. Problem is the cure would be far worse than the disease. We would all starve to death within a few weeks. And if that did not kill us we would all freeze to death this winter.

    We are totally dependent of fossil fuel for everything we eat, everywhere we go and for the basic necessities of life like heating and cooking fuel.

    To which some guy called Dohboi replied:
    Eskimos have managed to live in the coldest temperatures on earth for millennia, most of that time completely without recourse to any fossil fuels, so presumably that is possible for the rest of us, too.

    Should one laugh or cry?

    • Doug Leighton says:


      And the answer is: Laugh. The last “Eskimo” I talked to was a sharp lawyer negotiating royalty rights on a proposed pipeline: He was driving a fancy Mercedes at the time. Besides, the so-called “modern” Eskimos use the latest-and-greatest Ski-Doos (very fuel inefficient) and wouldn’t have a clue how to survive in the “old way”. Maybe they could look up dog sled construction on their i-pads.


        • Doug Leighton says:


          Great link, thanks. Hopefully Steve will pick up on this.


        • aws. says:

          March 2014 4th Warmest Globally

          By: Christopher C. Burt, Wunderground , 6:59 PM GMT on April 22, 2014

          Hot and Cold… the extremes.

          • CDR says:

            People who have studied the real mechanisms behind “climate change” and not the junk science pushed by the government and UN know that it is simply impossible to record the temperature everywhere in the world at the same time and get an exact average. Impossible to be exact!!!!

            But let’s say we do have the technology to be exact now. We certainly didn’t 10 years ago, let alone 50 to 100 years ago.

            And the biggest thing is the scientists who are true to the science and not ideology know we are heading into another ice age. As such, we will have cycles. You will have warm years and cool years, and in my life I have noticed cycles come in about 10 year increments.

            • RalphW says:

              Please post a link or reference to a peer reviewed scientific paper written in the last 30 years that reports that we are heading into the next ice age within the next 1000 years.

              • Watcher says:

                Better yet, post it somewhere other than an oil blog.

                How much oil production analysis is spammed to global warming blogs?

                • CDR says:

                  Um, the only reason I ever found out about this blog is because it was linked at http://www.energydepot.us/ which is run by the same people as climatedepot. Of course a lot “peak oil” is junk science too, peddled by the same communistic forces that want us all to convert to “renewable energy” and “sustainability” nonsense that would be certain to return us all to the cavemen days. Still the “global warming” AKA “climate change” religion is far more dangerous and destructive and pushed by the cadre of global elitists at the UN and idiotic hypocrites like al gore.

                  • Watcher says:

                    I don’t know what most of that means.

                    What was the numerical proportion of post count subject matter-wise?

                  • Doug Leighton says:


                    You’re lucky, I don’t know what ANY of it means. Surely it’s a joke and he forgot to insert the little yellow face. I do that all the time and someone, sometimes Ron even, thinks I’m serious: Like the time I suggested we get natural gas (methane) from Saturn’s moon Titan. Oh well.


                  • Okay, I know you were joking Doug, at least I do now. 😉 But CDR isn’t joking and neither is James Lovelock. They really believe that stuff. It just goes to show there is no limit to the absurd things the human mind is capable of believing.

                    Alice laughed. “There’s no use trying,” she said: “one can’t believe impossible things.”
                    “I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

                    It takes practice to believe the impossible. And these guys have had lots of practice.

              • CDR says:

                Maybe you should read the peer-reviewed papers for yourself in “Climate Change Reconsidered II” which was recently released. Of course you probably didn’t hear about it being released because the liberal elites who run the “mainstream” media deliberately suppress any form of truth that goes against the tax and spend “global warming” religion. Thank God for Fox News…


                • RalphW says:

                  That paper is peer reviewed by the NIPCC which is recognised by as a scientific institution by – the NIPCC.

                  It is a blatent denialist front. There are dozens of google hits and they are entirely circular in their references. Don’t waste our screen space.

                  • Flakmeister says:

                    This is from a correspondant who was at the NIPCC roll out:
                    The most encouraging thing about this press conference was its tiny audience. By my count, the 8 am room was occupied by:

                    5 Heartland participants
                    5 grumpy-looking old white guys
                    1 supporter from the American Enterprise Institute
                    2 bored looking middle-aged guys playing with electronic devices
                    1 journalist from CNS news (“The right news. Right now”)
                    1 guy running the Fox TV camera
                    2 women who came in late
                    Me and my co-conspirator.
                    A rerun at 9 am attracted even fewer people, most of whom were so dubious of Heartland’s claims that the organizers closed the session early to cut off the stream of inconvenient questions.

                    The tiny turnout showed that most people give this nutty fringe the attention it deserves.
                    Taken from a recent article at SkS….

                  • B says:

                    But yet Fox News was there and got the report exposure on international TV (Fox News is broadcast on most, or perhaps all, of the media platforms Rupert Murdoch has control of around the world). By that measure, the release of the report was still something of a success.

              • Drk Horse says:

                Here you go..here’s some research for you from a respectable international scientist to

        • SRSrocco says:

          Dave, Doug & aws,

          I don’t know…. you all sound like some of those global warming wackos to me. Don’t you realize that the 97% of climate scientists who believe in human induced global warming are on the TAKE. Not only do they receive $millions in grants and additional funds to write scientific papers that skew results in the favor of global warming… they also get to SUPER-SIZE their meals at McDonalds for free. Bet you didn’t know that. Just one of the perks of working for the corrupt GOVT.

          If you are going to get serious information on the climate, I suggest you stand clear of bought and paid for climate scientists and find someone who is more honest. That’s why I always get advice from ELMER FUDD on the subject of global warming and climate change.

          You see, ELMER just got back from the Great Siberian Forest where according to him, “WABBIT HUNTING SEASON” was a month early due to unseasonably high temperatures in that region.

          Seems like temperatures in Siberia were 5-18 C above normal for that time of year sparking more than 100 forest fires. Radio Free Europe reports more than 5,000 pieces of heavy equipment and an army of firefighters are battling the blazes there.


          Furthermore, the permafrost is melting causing methane to be released adding more FUEL to the fire. However, ELMER and I agree… this is just a typical cycle. Moreover, the fires actually flush out a great deal more WABBITS, which makes hunting much easier.

          Then that powerful storm in the Arctic that you guys are BELLY-ACHING about, broke up the weak ice, causing a NOSE-DIVE in Arctic Sea Ice volume. If this trend continues, it could be the lowest sea ice volume on record, beating 2012.

          However, this isn’t really bad news. That’s just pessimists and global warming wackos seeing only the bad side. Once the Arctic is completely free of ice year around… think about all the nice BOATS and SHIPY’S that can float up and down the Arctic Ocean without get’n stuck.

          In addition, BP and Shell can drill for oil to their heart’s desire without worrying about pesky Ice messing up their Rigs and Operations. It’s really a WIN-WIN for Big Business.

          Lastly, there also seems to be a lot of HYPE and ALARM about the methane releases coming from the Arctic. Just more BELLY-ACHING. Instead of drilling all those thousands of shale gas wells and wasting all that water and money… all we need to do is put up a few huge Tents above the Arctic Ocean and collect all that methane for FREE.

          All we need to do is lay some large pipelines and ship that NatGas to Canada and the U.S.

          You guys don’t realize that all this Global Warming MUMBO-JUMBO nonsense is ruining all the fun for the SERIOUS BORN-AGAIN CAPITALISTS…. shame on you.

          ELMER FUDD said it correctly. If you get WEMANS… den make WEMENADE.


          • aws. says:

            Recipe for Lemonade (Wemenade)

            – Water
            – Lemons
            – Sugar

            Of course the trick (perhaps I shouldn’t use that word, it might be misconstrued) for good tasting lemonade is getting the proportions right.

            Wherever one may be found, going forward, they will be faced with this dilemma.

            In some places there will be too much water… others too little.
            In some places there will be too many lemons… others too few.

            But one thing is certain there won’t be enough sugar.

    • I await dohboi’s response…
      As I’d previously writ on ye olde TOD (The Oil Drum), we’re living on borrowed time… which really makes my blood boil… Maybe if we all get a little more annoyed it will go some way toward a warmer next winter, seal skins and blubber notwithstanding… Or we can huddle at length like penguins.
      Good name for an East Coast music band; Blubber… which could be stocked with fiddleheads(?), Kunstler and Heinberg. ^u^
      Best wishes for having the dystem (dystopic system) sue itself… Go ahead, let your bitter laughter morph into a cry to the tune of Blubber band’s, ‘A Little Dab ‘ll Do Ya’ (nappy mix)

    • Caelan MacIntyre says:

      From the video’s description:
      “Thomas Linzey explains exactly why the constitution is not what people are talking about when they say ‘constitution’, they mean the bill of rights, which had to be rammed down the throats of the ‘founding fathers’ by the people.
      The constitution protects the wealthy few from democracy actually and was designed that way from the very beginning.”

      In the video, Linzey describes, rather clearly for the average person, some of the distortions and issues surrounding fracking, the corporates, local concerns, democracy and local, state and national governance, etc..

    • Old farmer mac says:

      There used to be a guy who posted with that handle on The Oil Drum.

      I believe he is or was an academic and academics are prone to argue such points without regard to practical considerations.

      It IS theoretically possible for us to live is a state of nature within the rules of the academic discussion game. Academic arguments of that sort seldom have anything to do with day to day reality.

      Fusion power is a theoretical possibility for 2024. It is theoretically possible that an immortality pill might be invented next year.It is theoretically possible that we will develop substitute energy sources to replace oil. If the inventor of one of them has a sense of humor he may name it dilithium crystal.

      It is theoretically possible we will be invaded by little green men with bad tempers and ray guns before I finish this comment.

      Theory to an academic means freedom to take any argument to any ridiculous extreme in any field other than the hard sciences such as physics and geology.

      Of course it is utterly impossible for more than an very minute percentage of the present population to live without fossil fuels in the real world and this has been true for the last couple of centuries.

      I think I could make a good argument for almost three centuries but I can’t remember for sure when we first started using coal rather than charcoal to smelt iron on a large scale. We have been gut hooked ever since because that is probably the one most important t key innovation that allowed the industrial revolution to really get rolling and the population to start running wild.

      • Joe Clarkson says:

        Englishman Abraham Darby, together with his son (also named Abraham) discovered a process to make coking coal around 1740. By 1784, mostly due to publicity by others, principally John Wilkinson, the use of coal for the production of iron was commonplace. This change came just in time, since England had burned through most of its wood by then and was relying on the Colonies for timber. These interesting facts are from John Perlin’s book, A Forest Journey: The Story of Wood and Civilization. I recommend it highly .

        • Old farmer mac says:

          Thanks I have been intending to read that book but never remember to order it. I was right -over two centuries but less than three.Putting a date on things is not as easy for me as it used to be.I suppose it has been at least twenty or thirty years since I read the history of the Industrial Revolution in a serious way.

          Another interesting thing about the trees of that time- the biggest and best oaks were getting in very short supply and that was what was used to build the battleships of that era which made England the ruler of the seas.

          The trees used for masts were a resource about as important as oil is today too. It was a hanging offense in some parts of the American colonies at that time to cut trees the Royal Navy wanted preserved for a mast.

          Thoreau wrote about people paying a laborer to cut mature timber that would bring an enormous price today and burn it where it fell just to clear the land.

          It s amazing how many times times we have dodged a bullet by switching from a depleted resource to another one just in the nick of time.

          The problem with economics based optimism is that people in that camp fail to realize that there will not necessarily be another resource handy to fill the empty spot when another one runs out.

          There are some green spots pun intended in the environmental map in spite of the growing population. The New England states are getting green again because the cities there are getting their food hauled in these days.

          In the Civil War era and after the country side up that way was all pasture and cropland. A farmer had to be pretty well to do to set aside enough land for a woodlot to cut enough wood to stay warm.

      • Caelan MacIntyre says:

        There used to be a guy who posted with that handle on The Oil Drum. ~ Old farmer mac

        Yes I had wondered where dohboi had gone. He seemed relatively bright, though, which is why I was curious about his subsequent response. Still none at time of writing.

        But this simple issue seems to illustrate deceptively-well what we’re up against.

  5. aws. says:

    In Landmark Ruling, Jury Says Fracking Company Must Pay $3 Million To Sickened Family

    By Emily Atkin, Climate Progress, April 23, 2014 at 1:22 pm

    A gradual increase in information about fracking’s health impacts was probably the reason the Parrs were able to prove to an unbiased jury that they were, in fact, harmed, Goldberg said.

    “[The companies] really had an effective campaign of secrecy that protected them,” she said. “But now, as we get more and more information about what the impacts of this industry really are, I think we’re going to see more and more of these kinds of verdicts.”

  6. Doug Leighton says:


    A bit of trivia.

    In 2004, Mexico’s Cantarell field produced over two mbpd, a significant amount considering that North Dakota at its current peak is producing around one mbpd. As of March 2014, Cantarell’s production has fallen to 0.353 mbpd, or about 17.5% of peak production; Cantarell production is currently decreasing about 1.6% per month averaged over the past 12 months. To me this is a significant milestone given that Cantarell was one of the world’s super-giants, and in just 10 years its production has fallen to less that 20% of peak. In the grand scheme of things a decade is nothing!


  7. Techsan says:

    Russia Falls Off Planet!

    More fascinating statistics from the Austin American-Statesman (4/23/14, p. B5):

    By the end of the year, Texas could become the world’s second-largest producer of oil behind Saudi Arabia.

    The original story, from the San Antonio Express-News, says larger than any OPEC producer but Saudi Arabia. But a little editing to shorten the story, and voila …

  8. Canabuck says:

    The encouraging signs are the U.S. increasing production by 2 mb/d over the last two years, and Canada on track to increase oil production by 2 mb/d over 10-12 years. This makes a real need to build two export pipelines every 10 years from Canada. No wonder the pipelines East, West and South are all under consideration.
    It is rather scary to think that global C+C production could peak in the next 24 months. Something tells me that we will continue to be able to pull the magic rabbits out of the hat for the foreseeable future.

    • Doug Leighton says:

      Canabuck, How do you define foreseeable future? Do you really believe in magic, rabbits or otherwise?


      • canabuck says:

        I see the foreseeable as my productive lifetime. Free enterprise has a good record of delivering the goods wanted by the marketplace. No magic in that.

  9. Canabuck says:

    I wonder what percent of Russia’s oil and NG production goes to Asia. And how fast that can goto 25% of production.
    I suspect that it will take 5 years or more. Then Russia will be in a better position as a seller.

    • Syndroma says:

      Russia exports oil to Asia via:
      – Kozmino port, supplied by East Siberia – Pacific Ocean pipeline. 415 kb/d in 2013, plans for 2015 and beyond 600 kb/d.
      – A spur from ESPO pipeline directly to China, 300kb/d capacity.
      – Sakhalin oil projects, 115 kb/d

      Also Sakhalin exports LNG, 15 bn cu m in 2013.

  10. Calhoun says:

    What the hell happened in Canada that produced such a huge increase in production?

  11. Quote of the day:
    We’re not even trying to solve the big problems of the future, warns Jason Pontin editor-in-chief of the MIT Tech Review in “Why We Can’t Solve Big Problems.” Reason: Because our leaders kowtow to myopic science deniers and Big Oil billionaires with zero moral conscience. America’s lost the ability to think long-term, lacks think-big leaders. And Silicon Valley’s leading innovators prefer social media problems like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Farmville and X-Prize PR hits, while Big Pharma solves the world’s great erectile-dysfunction pandemic.

    10 warnings: Big Oil stocks crash 50% by 2020
    But you will just keep betting on continued prosperity

    • Doug Leighton says:


      Useless negativism. And what about Steve’s idea? Put tents over thawing permafrost, collect that methane (almost free, no drilling involved), ship it south and we’re laughing. As Canabuck might say: “keep pulling the magic rabbits out of the hat”. As for all that global warming crap….


    • robert wilson says:

      Perhaps there is no technical solution. See Gauss’s Law of Competitive Exclusion. Below is an excerpt from The Tragedy of the Commons – Garrett Hardin 1968

      ‘…’The class of “No technical solution problems” has members. My thesis is that the “population problem,” as conventionally conceived, is a member of this class. How it is conventionally conceived needs some comment. It is fair to say that most people who anguish over the population problem are trying to find a way to avoid the evils of overpopulation without relinquishing any of the privileges they now enjoy. They think that farming the seas or developing new strains of wheat will solve the problem–technologically. I try to show here that the solution they seek cannot be found. The population problem cannot be solved in a technical way, any more than can the problem of winning the game of tick-tack-toe…’

      It is still fun to blame big oil, big pharma etc.

      • Robert, you are correct, there is no solution to the resource depletion problem, or the population problem, or even the climate change problem. I just thought the quote was funny, especially the part about “Big Pharma solves the world’s great erectile-dysfunction pandemic.” I thought that was hilarious.

        Yes I am very familiar with “The competitive exclusion principle”. I have been a Hardin reader for decades.

        And remember the competitive exclusion principle: if fertility varies in a population that is offered options in fertility, then as the generations succeed one another, the pronatalist elements in the population will, in time, displace the ones who conscientiously limit their fertility. You will have failed to internalize population control. (And unfortunately, some of the more competitive individuals may start thinking about violent alternatives. That means that you will get genocide secondarily.)
        – Garrett Hardin, The Ostrich Factor

        I have, on this blog and on the former TOD stated many times that we are but observers to this drama. We are all observing the end of civilization as we know it. We are but bit players who strut and fret our hour upon the stage.

        Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
        That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
        And then is heard no more: it is a tale
        Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
        Signifying nothing.

        • Watcher says:

          “I have, on this blog and on the former TOD stated many times that we are but observers to this drama.”

          This bespeaks inevitability.

          There’s a lot to be said for he inevitable.

    • Watcher says:

      “And Silicon Valley’s leading innovators prefer social media problems like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Farmville and X-Prize PR hits, while Big Pharma solves the world’s great erectile-dysfunction pandemic.”

      Software companies are not oil dependent.

      They also aren’t people dependent. People are burdens. They cost money in salaries and employee lawsuits.

      The fewer employees you have, the better.

      This is why that trend happens. All of those guys think they can be Bill Gates (if I just get rich enough, I can be a great humanitarian) and that handles all conscience balm. The idea of running from “big problems” isn’t even on their radar screens.

  12. Doug Leighton says:

    More trivia,

    Prudhoe Bay was the largest single oil field ever found in North America. Since production began in 1977, 1,114 wells have produced 11 billion barrels of oil out of a total recoverable reserve of 13 billion barrels — there are only two billion recoverable barrels left. Analysis indicates a field-wide decline of between 7 and 12% per year (since 1991). Field-wide water flooding began in 1984 and miscible hydrocarbon injection was introduced in phases starting in the 1980s. Horizontal drilling started experimentally in 1986 and in the 1990s, became routine. Production peaked at around 1.8 mbpd and for the current year is expected to average 230,000 bpd. Another super-giant seeing its final days.


  13. Tim E. says:

    S Sudan rebels say closing in on oil fields

    Rebels in South Sudan said they were closing in on key oil fields and two state capitals, predicting an imminent collapse of the government. A statement from the rebels’ spokesman, General Lul Ruai Koang, said on Thursday that forces battling President Salva Kiir captured the town of Renk, close to the border with Sudan, on Wednesday and were advancing on the Paloich oil fields, according to the AFP news agency.

    “The fall of Renk … leaves government troops trapped in Malakal with no supply and escape routes,” he said, referring to the strategic capital of Upper Nile state which has already changed hands several times in the four-month-old conflict.

    He also said the rebels “once again renew calls for oil companies to stop production and evacuate staff/employees to avoid being caught in crossfire”.

    The spokesman also said rebels loyal to former Vice President Riek Machar were advancing on Jonglei State’s capital Bor, situated just 200km north of the capital Juba.

    Searching Ron’s charts it shows Sudan production at around 350KBD in October 2013.

    • Tim E. says:

      I should have looked around a bit more…

      South Sudan Special Report – March 28, 2014

      Production of South Sudan crude oil fell by nearly 29 percent since the outbreak of the conflict last December. Production in Unity State remains halted. Production in Upper Nile State decreased from 245,000 barrels per day since the conflict began and has remained at about 160,000 barrels per day since January. Further escalation of the conflict threatens the continuity of oil production in Paloich, in Upper Nile state. The oil fields in Upper Nile account for 80 percent of South Sudan’s total production. With 98 percent of national revenue from oil, continued production deficits will have drastic consequences for the macroeconomic situation in the country.

  14. It is not rocket science to see that the oil production is not going to go to the moon. Exploitation of a resource with hyperbolic proportions is what has happened. It is insane.

    Different sources for fuel have to be used and be made commercially viable. Fuel cells for electric cars will be better than in place rechargeable batteries. Stop in at a changing station with a new fuel cell to replace the spent one that can be recharged for the next customer.

    Ammonia can be used as a fuel, too. A real need is there, too much oil consumption and coal consumption is going to break the world’s economy. It is a failed policy to depend solely upon oil where it looks like the Irish Potato Famine in the works. Build a new guzzied up steam engine and use coal as a fuel. What needs to be done is a diversification of all fuel sources, not depend upon just the one that was easiest to obtain and find super ways to use it; that is coming to an end.

    Just some musings and observations.

    Abuse of oil is wreaking havoc everywhere. It is unsoundly, inappropriately, with profligate reckless abandon, used for the wrong reasons and is clearly evident that is what is happening.

    It needs to stop.

    Nice day out there today in paradise.

    • TechGuy says:

      “Different sources for fuel have to be used and be made commercially viable. Fuel cells for electric cars will be better than in place rechargeable batteries.”

      Low Temperate Fuel Cells need to be rebuild every few thousand hours of operation as the ion membrane (usually Nafion) needs to be replaced. Plus there isn’t sufficient PM catalysts (needed for Fuel Cells) to support demand. Perhaps if Platinum and Palladium was as cheap as zinc we would have a large number of Fuel cell power cars as well as most portable electronics.

      “Ammonia can be used as a fuel, too. A real need is there”

      Not really a good idea as a leak can make a lot of people sick. Consider that a ammonia leak in a garage or parking garage could be deadly. FYI: Ammonia is made from NatGas and its no very efficient to convert hydrogen into ammonia.

      • Lots of ways to store energy, or at least potential energy. For example: Pass the Molten Salt:


        • TechGuy says:

          Molten salts are thermal storage and not suitable for mobile devices the original poster was discussing. Conversion efficiencies of molten salts are terrible as the salt is used to heat up water for steam. They work as a phase changing material, as the salt solidifies it gives off a bit of heat. To put in prospective an chemical battery can store close to a 100 times more energy than a phase change material per Kilogram. Thermal leakage is also very terrible as most of the heat will dissipate to the point its unsuitable for steam generation beyond a day. The Solar thermal system use excess power from the Peak solar collection to augment power generation for a few hours or during intermittent overcast conditions. Its not intended as a long duration storage system that batteries typically provide. It also can only be used in thermal power systems (ie can’t be used with PV or Wind systems)

          • So the 15+ hours that molten salt thermal extends to concentrated solar is of no value? This is an intermittency smoother that works. So it comes at some cost. Yet it still solves the problem of too much power at one time and not enough at another.

            Seems to me that you have unrealistic criteria. Making the mistake of not really understanding the predicament. Our future systems will not be like the 20thC models. We are moving from a time of easy get and careless to burn energy sources to one of harder to harvest and harder to manage ones.

            Chemical batteries as they exist now don’t scale. Great for your phone, but not for your house. Thermal and gravity [water] storage at grid level absolutely has a role.

            This is exactly the kind of trade-off that we will be happy to accept, if we are smart.

            • TechGuy says:

              Quoted from the article:
              “Thermal storage is extremely costly compared both to other forms of solar power and to other types of renewable energy. Although salts are cheap and plentiful, synthetic oil and specialized components like heat exchangers can be very expensive.”
              “On a technological level, some experts believe that thermal storage plants that use molten salt are at a major risk for corrosion. In general, salts are extremely corrosive, and the metal pipes and storage tanks used in facilities like Solana could be prone to problems. Although Abengoa maintains that corrosion is not a concern, it is possible that molten salt storage facilities may face problems over the long term.”

              [Another Solandra in the making?]
              “Incidentally, Abengoa is now facing federal inquiry and labor investigations from the US Department of Labor and US Immigration and Customs. According to reports, more than 20 different companies and subcontractors are owed about $40 million in payments, so it’s possible that the actual cost of Solana is well above what has been quoted.”

              Pat wrote:
              “Our future systems will not be like the 20thC models. We are moving from a time of easy get and careless to burn energy sources to one of harder to harvest and harder to manage ones.”

              Yup, but with an population boom and infrastructure supported by abundant and cheap resources. As soon as the prices rises and rationing begins it will lead to social instability as is happening in South America (Argentina/Venezuela) while Ar\Vz shortages are caused by political decisions forcing people to consume dramatically less which cause major social issues. Nonetheless, when shortages come the majority people will go berzerk as they always have done.
              The 20th Century may be gone, but humans still function the same way they have been since before civilization. You can see it today as we are in a constant war fighting trying to grab the remaining resources left. Turn on the TV or read the news. Everyday there is someone going berzerk killing people. In the last few of weeks, a high-schooler stabbed 23 people and an anti-semitic shot dead three people. So far in the USA we still haven’t faced any shortages or rationing yet. 99% of humans are completely irrational. This will not end well.

  15. Calhoun says:

    Looming Natural Gas Crunch

    I’ve been following the natural gas storage numbers closely. In March of this year storage hit a low of 822 bcf. How far back do you have to go to find a lower number? April 2003! And by EIA’s own estimates, the maximum storage we will hit this fall will be 10% lower that last year. So NG storage in storage will be 10% down at the same time that industry and homes have been switching to NG in droves. I’m betting on shortages and sharply higher prices come next December if we have anything like the winter we just saw. Maybe even a mild winter won’t be enough to make up for that 10% decline, if EIA’s estimate comes true.

    • Watcher says:

      Some time ago I did a check on natural gas consumption this past winter. The data only extended to December, at that time.

      It was up over the 2010 consumption number an amount consistent with GDP growth and population growth over 3 years. No more than that.

      The horrible winter narrative on lots of things is looking more and more shaky.

      • Calhoun says:

        Huh? You mean colder weather doesn’t lead to increased NG consumption? Can I send you my heating bills?

      • Calhoun says:

        Let me put it this way.

        In November 2012 there was high of 3,929 bcf in storage and in April 2013 there was a low of 1,673. A net draw of 2,256 bcf.

        In November 2013 there was a high of 3,834 bcf in storage and in Marchof 2014 there was low of 822. A net draw of 3,012 bcf.

        The the draw last heating season was 75% higher than the previous heating season. Did the economy grow 75% in the last year?

        So now we are at 1/2 the storage level of the year before. There’s a lot of work to be done to rebuild those stocks to previous levels and not even the EIA (hardly the most pessimistic group) thinks it can be done.

        • Watcher says:

          You can draw for reasons other than consumption. You may not have been flowing in at the same rate as previous years/seasons.

          The consumption numbers were what they were, at least to December.

          Comparing Nov and Dec 2013 to Nov and Dec 2010 showed a consumption increase of about 3% per year (as I recall). That’s not indicative of a winter so very much more horrible than 2010’s winter.

          Lemme get a link for that:

          January has now appeared. It is 11% above 2011’s January, which is a bit above 3%/yr — which . . . GDP 2% plus 1% population/year — it’s just not indicative of horrible winter vs natural increases.

          • Calhoun says:

            Dude, I don’t know where you were last winter, but I saw my consumption go up a lot, and it wasn’t because the thermostat was set higher — it was because we had one of the coldest winters on record. Did you miss that?

            And, if the draw down was, as you suggest, the result of lower inputs, that’s an even worse prospect, no?

            Anyway, you don’t think 11% is a significant increase in consumption? What would be a significant increase in your opinion? And you think that was caused by something other than one of the most severe winters on record?

            And now the EIA tells us that they expect this Fall’s peak storage will be 10% lower that last year’s. If that happens, it will be as if consumption jumped by 10% before the season even got going. So what happens then if we get another severe winter?

            You don’t see that as a problem?

            • Watcher says:

              Oh it’s a problem. It’s just not clearly weather related. It’s inadequate supply related.

              And it’s 11% over a 3 year period, not 1 year. That’s the increase you would expect from GDP and population. Supply apparently isn’t keeping up. And of course I picked 2010 as a year with pretty big consumption in and of itself. Must have been cold that winter.

              There was a guy here few weeks ago noting that the price does not say there’s going to be horrible scarcity this coming winter. This storage issue is not at all invisible. I have seen MSM articles about it. Yet the price isn’t exploding.

              I am wondering if there might not be storage in new places not traditionally monitored.

              • Jeffrey J. Brown says:

                Futures prices for natural gas are probably being held down because of heavy demand from gas producers for price hedges (under pressure from their bankers).

                • Watcher says:


                  I’m thinking about the often presented graph of refinery owned retail sales of gasoline in total freefall.

                  What didn’t get shown was refineries have sold lots of retail outlets. The measurement is no longer valid.

                  So . . . new places of storage?

  16. Peter Eckhoff says:

    With respect to global warming, my barometer is the volume of Arctic sea ice as depicted by this chart:

    The questions to ask are:
    What natural phenomena(e) would change the direction of those lines?
    Will the Sun’s output decrease, as it does every 180 years or so, have a cooling effect (e.g., Maunder Minimum). The last decrease was about 180 years ago.
    Will increasing anthropogenic CO2 emissions and Methane releases from the Arctic permafrost layers negate this trend?
    Will major volcanic eruptions in the topical areas throw enough SO2 into the atmosphere to cool the earth for several years?
    (if Yellowstone erupts, all graphs below are invalid.)
    Will some pandemic help us to decrease our fossil fuel usage? (Oh, that’s sick…)
    Would our reducing our fossil fuel input change any of this?
    By what amount?
    Do we have enough time?
    Will the Pacific Decadal Oscillator turning negative have a positive or negative on ice growth in the arctic?

    There are a lot of unknowns but the basic trend is self evident.

    • SRSrocco says:

      More global warming HOCUS-POCUS… we need to get back to the subject at hand… PEAK OIL.


    • Runyan says:

      I have seen this graphic before and while it shows some great data I think the projection is not very realistic. Below is another cut at anticipating what will happen, which assumes that while ice will continue to decline it will not abruptly go to zero, but will linger here and there for many years. Data is September ice volume, 1979 to 2013 fitted with an inverse logistic function and projected to 2030.

      • Perk Earl says:

        2013 arctic ice rebounded from 2012’s record melt. A rebound year was not unexpected in light of 3 straight years of decline’s, climaxing with 2012 that even broke 2007’s record minimum. The denialists adore pointing to a single year as proof of no global warming, then when a record year comes along like 2012 they all go silent like frozen sheep. They do not have the mental capacity to ignore the noise of annual changes and look squarely at the trends. No, Antarctic ice is not a substitute for Arctic ice. Arctic ice is in a death spiral that will continue until the seabed methane caltrates become unstable and release into the atmosphere adding yet another tipping point to climate change. Maybe once the temperature in summer reaches 135F and they are breathing their last stupid breath, will they rise to their apology and admit Al Gore was correct.

      • OldTech says:

        Be careful with curve fitting and extrapolation. As an example, I generated the following data series that looks somewhat similar to the PIOMAS chart above. See the following post for the explanation.

      • OldTech says:

        The problem is that data series posted above is from an auto correlated time series with a constant expected value. In other words there is no trend and the best fit model is f(x) = c. Here is the full series with the red box showing the range posted above.

        Note I am not saying that the generated series is in anyway a model for the arctic sea ice. I am only pointing out that extrapolation from curve fitting is dangerous and not a good practice.

        • Runyan says:

          “Note I am not saying that the generated series is in anyway a model for the arctic sea ice.”

          Good, but the PIOMAS data in fact do represent recent sea ice phenomena. It seem legitimate to consider how the current trend will behave as ice volume approaches zero, which it has been doing fairly steadily for the past three decades or so. The projections of these data that appear further above don’t make much sense in my mind, although they appear to be legitimately fitted curves.

          • OldTech says:

            Yes the PIOMAS is real and it looks like it is trending down, but it is a short series. We are not looking at several thousand years of data. For example, I wonder what it looked like during the medieval warm period when the US west was in a series of 100 year droughts.

    • Drk Horse says:

      The sea ice in the southern hemisphere just keeps on expanding to record levels. Now I don’t expect an answer from the ignorant warmists but how many years has this been going on now? I guess it must just be one of those ‘inconvenient truths’ your God Algore talked about, huh? I wonder how you and your globalist wealth redistributing friends are going to be doctoring up the charts to desperately cover up how your massive fraud is rapidly unraveling before your vary eyes.

      Satellites say Southern hemisphere sea ice area is at a record area again

      • aws. says:

        The PIOMAS charts show Arctic ice volume, which clearly is in precipitous decline.

        The chart you’ve posted is for Antarctic ice area, for which the present year is not particularly outside of the range. And the chart also leaves out half the year!

        Are you attempting to confuse?

        From Tamino…

        Antarctic Sea Ice Gain
        Posted on March 16, 2013

        Despite the fact that the southern ice pack is larger overall than the northern, its increases are much smaller than the decreases noted for the northern hemisphere, 1.96 million km^2 in extent and 1.92 million km^2 of area. This puts the lie to claims (oft repeated) that southern gain even “almost” balances northern loss — the northern extent loss is 3.4 times as great as the southern extent gain while northern area loss is 3.8 times as great as southern area gain. When one is nearly 4 times as big as another, they are certainly not “balanced” and anyone who claims so is either a fool or an outright liar.

        • Dave Ranning says:

          We have a winner.
          Antarctic sea ice mass is decreasing.

          • SRSrocco says:


            You realize they are going to the grave with that last cigarette in their mouth…. don’t you?


          • Dennis Coyne says:

            Hi Dave,

            That report is about ice sheets which are on land (Greenland and Antarctica), not about sea ice which floats on the ocean.

            Note that I don’t think that climate change is not a problem, just pointing out that your link is not relevant to a discussion of sea ice.

            • Dave Ranning says:

              You are correct—
              I should not of used Sea Ice.
              However, the Ice Mass of Antarctic is declining, not increasing, as the Urban Myth of our more science challenged denier friends claim.

              • Dennis Coyne says:

                Hi Dave,

                When Euan Mearns (who is a scientist, geochemistry phd) talks about sea ice, he means sea ice not ice sheets. Not all people who are skeptical of the current concensus on climate science are unable to understand science.

                I don’t agree with Euan, but I don’t think name calling is a persuasive form of argument.

                • cytochromeC says:

                  I check his site on almost a daily basis.
                  But engineers especially have issues with AGW, as they solve problems by moving dirt and building machines.
                  When this becomes the problem, they scream in a fetal position as reality comes into focus.
                  But some pf my best friends are engineers.

  17. aws. says:

    Regulator approves more steaming at leaking oilsands site

    By Andrew Nikiforuk, the Tyee, Published April 23, 2014 09:55 am

    Despite an unresolved leak, the Alberta Energy Regulator has given bitumen extractor Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. permission to once again start steaming parts of its Primrose and Wolf project in the Cold Lake Weapons Range.

    Last spring, the Primrose operation sprouted mysterious, bitumen-oozing fractures on the ground at four well locations over the sprawling 73,000-hectare project.

    From these fissures, more than 12,000 barrels of steamed bitumen has flowed onto muskeg and the forest floor, making the spill one of the largest in Alberta’s history.

    Secret federal briefing notes obtained by Postmedia reporter Jason Fekete earlier this year show that the government knew about satellite data that showed ground level deformation in the area from 2009 to 2013.

    Fekete reported that the satellite data showed that “the values of ground deformation (both subsidence and uplift) at the CNRL operation were often in the range of 10 to 30 centimetres over various sampled 24-day periods.” Such data indicates that CNRL may have injected too much steam into the formation.

    Many scientists now fear that continuous lifting and dropping of the earth combined with the force of injection near local faults and abandoned wells could fracture holes in the caprock, leading to extensive groundwater pollution and surface bitumen leaks.

  18. Kum Dollison says:

    In an interesting foreshadowing of things to come, Ukrainian forces are having a hard time keeping fuel in their tanks (they have run out of diesel a couple of times, already.)

    • BAU says:

      🙂 Got any links for that? thnx!

      • Kum Dollison says:

        Nah, caught it on “Morning Joe,” this morning. One of the talking heads.

        • Watcher says:

          The big Ukrainian refinery is east of center of the country. Close enough to central that sabotage there . . . well, hell, if I were organizing the resistance I’d damn sure be sabotaging it.

          Then Russia can offer to truck in fuel to the Eastern areas.

          That will be interesting.

          • Watcher says:

            Speaking of which, just occurred to me, if they don’t pay Gazprom, they can’t refine oil.

    • RalphW says:

      There are reports of a Ukrainian military helicopter being blown up on the ground by an RPG. No word on casualties, and not widely reported in MSM, so the details are probably unverifiable.

      I suspect Ukraine is heading into low level civil war. Neither US/Putin wants that, but neither is prepared to back down one inch.

      • Tim E. says:

        This is a war between the Western Oil Companies and the new Oil Companies of the East, all backed by the military power of the States involved. The Western powers want complete control over the resources of the entire World. The Upstarts in the East have managed to take back Russia after the Seven Sisters brought down the USSR and gained control over Russia’s resources. The Western powers want that lost control over Russia’s resources back. It has been a long and hard road for Putin to take back control, and the Western powers want him gone. Putin is working hard behind the scene to have the Chinese cover his back in the East. Putin and his allies are also encroaching into Africa and South America, with the Chinese as his spearhead.

        Neither side wants THIS confrontation, and neither side will give an inch. True.

        We see the Chinese threatening in the East. North Korea possibly getting ready to conduct a nuclear test, and Russia warning The West that it is prepared to use nuclear weapons to maintain control over their resources. This is a 21st. Century Cuban Missile Crisis over control of the last major supplies of oil. World powers must choose sides.

        February 27, 2014 India: Drawn To The Shanghai Cooperation Organization

        Why is membership important for New Delhi?

        Hussain highlights three points in response to this question.

        “First, some of the member countries of the grouping are rich in energy resources – both hydrocarbons and uranium – and they want to connect with big energy markets like India. The proposition of the SCO’s energy club is a proactive move to connect the resource rich region with resource hungry market like India. Second, the Asian-Eurasian block can play a key role not only in stabilizing Afghanistan post-2014, but also help form a joint platform against terrorism, reducing and minimizing the menace of drug trafficking, and ensuring energy security to all stakeholders. Third, an important factor is the promotion of India’s economic integration with the Central Asian republics, which is in line with India’s Connect Central Asia policy. Greater engagement of India with the SCO will undoubtedly add to the organization’s capability to enhance regional economic prosperity and security,” the scholar opines.

        Can the SCO be an answer to West’s political narrative in South and Central Asia?

        Opinions are divided. There are critics who argue that the inbuilt contradictions in the group are holding it back from emerging as Asia’s NATO.

        A deep trust deficit between Russia and China is not allowing the regional alliance to make a forward-looking move and devise a cohesive strategy. That is the reason the SCO Development Bank is still grounded. Moscow fears that Beijing might use it as a tool to entrench its economic interests in Central Asia, thereby weakening Russian influence over the region.

        It is this distrust that is coming in the way of formulating any cohesive security arrangement in the region.

        Even the expansion of the six member grouping will not sort out the contradictions. Instead it might further aggravate the differences. India, Pakistan, and Iran are pitching to be included in the list. If that happens, the political differences and contradictory geopolitical visions of these nations will come in the way of realizing the real value and potential of the SCO.

        Therefore, critics contend that unless internal differences are sorted out the novel experiment which started in 2001 might not live up to its potential.

        However, despite the differences, the SCO’s importance cannot be understated. The region covers almost 60 percent of the total Eurasian landmass, with over 1.5 billion in population, including some of the world’s leading energy-rich nations.

        WWIII will be the last chance to use the weapons that Industrialized civilization and the miracle of liquid energy made possible. They will be used, or lost forever. Then we are back to sticks and stones.

        • Old farmer mac says:

          Anybody who thinks the Seven Sisters brought down the USSR is utterly ignorant of modern history.

          Nor did they gain control of Russian resources.

          The Sisters were once upon a time a power on the world stage but that was back before the OPEC countries nationalized the oil industry within their borders.

          Anybody who actually believes such tripe has never bothered to read a few different sources of news.

      • TechGuy says:

        “I suspect Ukraine is heading into low level civil war. Neither US/Putin wants that, but neither is prepared to back down one inch.”

        I would not agree with that statement. The US has a huge hand in destabilizing the Ukraine and the US has a long history of destabilizing nations. Consider the US involvement in Syria and Libya. I will agree that Russia does not want a civil war on its door step.


  19. Watcher says:

    FYI as of this moment 24% of the posts on this oil blog are global warming spam.

    Not including this one.

    • Watcher says:

      err comments

    • Old farmer mac says:

      It is Ron’s blog and it is ok with him because global warming relates to peak oil.Hence comments on global warming are not spam until he tells us to drop the subject.

  20. Old farmer mac says:

    This is a little off the mainline but I am very eager to find an reasonably honest answer to this question.

    The background:
    Wind and solar power obviously require some fossil fuel backup to make up for intermittency except in the relatively rare case hydro is available and really a desirable option. Using hydro only becomes really desirable as I see it when backing off on the hydro while the wind and sun are good so as to allow the reservoir to fill to higher than usual level so as to run the hydro plant at max or close to it as needed. Allowing water to go over the dam rather than thru the turbines doesn’t save result in any benefit to the environment or load balancing.

    But in most cases there is not going to be much balancing of the load shouldered by hydro because there isn’t any hydro available – I realize that in some parts of the country and the world this is not true but I want to focus on places where hydro is not available for load balancing to any significant extent.

    So assuming that load balancing is not accomplished with nukes -which is generally considered impossible or impractical at least but is actually done by the French on a substantial scale anyway- then the load balancing must be accomplished by ramping up and down coal and natural gas fired plants.

    It seems safe to say that the vast majority of load balancing at least in most countries where gas is available is accomplished by ramping and damping natural gas fired plants.A small amount of load balancing may or may not be accomplished by coal fired plants.

    So the question is this.

    If we got four percent of our electricity from wind last year and no load balancing were needed we could have burned four percent less coal and gas- assuming no change in nukes and hydro utilization of course and ignoring very minor sources such as geothermal and solar.

    How much of that four percent of gas and coal did we actually save?

    Some anti renewables activists are claiming there is no net savings of fossil fuel at all.

    It is not easy to find any figures on this question coming from pro renewables advocates.For this reason I must assume they either are not too happy about them or else I am simply looking in all the wrong places.

    One thing is for sure and that is that antirenewables advocates are generally deliberately focusing on the current costs of wind and solar power without recognizing the indisputable fact that the existing wind and solar industries are going to be saving us that same actual amount of coal and gas for each of the next twenty to thirty years or for the life of the renewables plants.

    (My personal beliefs speaking as rule of thumb amateur engineer is that wind and solar farms will last just about forever because failing components can be replaced at comparatively very modest expense piecemeal as the failures occur. A huge part of the expense of a new renewables farm is land acquisition, rights of ways, transmission lines, permitting and financing etc.None of these expenses will apply to replacing a given turbine and generator twenty years from now. The cost can be paid out of then current revenues as necessary.)

    And if any reasonable estimates – reasonable to me any way- are given for the future real cost ( constant money cost) of DELIVERED coal and gas- then the case for wind and solar is enormously improved.Delivery counts big time . Coal in the American state of Georgia costs five or six times what it does in Wyoming.

    And in the future we can expect not only higher wholesale or ” market ” prices of natural gas; there will be additional substantially higher end user prices increases as delivery charges and taxes inevitably go up.

    Any links will be greatly appreciated and as usual thanks in advance!!!

    • Kum Dollison says:

      Mac, this link gives you a pretty good picture of how wind, and solar, work together in California.


    • Doug Leighton says:


      I’m not qualified to say but I know a couple of people working in the field who claim the missing link in renewables is electrical storage (i.e. batteries). These guys (and girls) say massive research should be directed toward the development of safe-cheep-reliable storage devices and when (if) these emerge it will be a game changer (sorry I hate cliches but the phrase just came to mind) for everyone involved. This seems reasonable: I’m thinking for wind, solar, tidal, whatever. Once I did some work (purely mathematical) on lithium based storage which holds some promise but there have been practical issues — like fires! I don’t know if this is the kind of thing you were wondering about but if so some internet cruising might fill in the blanks. At least the info would be current. It was a long time ago that I had any personal experience with this stuff.


      • Old farmer mac says:

        Thanks Doug,

        I think in the end that coal and gas are eventually get to be so expensive that batteries will be unnecessary to the growth of wind and solar power- we can adapt on the user end of the grid if not on the supply end. It is possible for instance to put a few gallons of water in a fridge and freeze it when the wind is blowing and juice is cheap and with a super insulated fridge you could probably manage – with a smart grid and a chip in the fridge – to use solar and wind one hundred percent for residential refrigeration for a trivial extra cost when buying a new refrigerator.

        Given the potential price of fossil fuels a couple of decades down the road I think we will be glad to pay for batteries ample to meet a lot of basic needs such as lighting – given the proven success already of LED lights–that can be kept charged almost all the time by wind and solar power.Ditto many millions of battery powered cars that are not going to be driven very much by older people and by people who live very near to the places they work and shop. I know a bunch of people personally who could manage a week on a single charge of a Nissan Leaf given their lifestyles.

        And let’s not forget that most people who buy a battery electric for the next decade or two likely will already have another car they can drive in a case of real need if they get caught with a flat battery in a pinch. Those people who own a pure electric and no other car are in my opinion the sort to be able to rent a gas car in a pinch or else the sort who seldom go very far at all unless it is on a plane anyway.A young urban female professional is not too apt to drive a lot and if she can get to her office and to the airport and back with a comfortable safety margin with her electric car she is apt to be satisfied.

        Being retired I could manage that myself and on the days I need to go up to close to the seventy or so mile practical limit I could easily make it up by sticking really close to home for the next day or two until I could get another cheap wind charge rather than a coal or gas fired charge.Or wait for cheap off peak hydro or nuclear juice if necessary the following night.

        I have just about worn out my keyboard trying different combinations of search terms.The question is a simple one after all.

        What is the net savings if any of natural gas and coal due to our getting four percent of our electricity in the US from the wind?

        If it weren’t for load balancing and hot spinning reserve the answer would obviously be that same four percent.

        Surely somebody has long since crunched the numbers and obtained the answer – if not on a national basis then on the basis of the fuel consumption of some particular utilities or grid operators at least.

        There are plenty of anti renewables activists who throw around numbers indicating that wind power does not save any coal and natural gas at all due to the inefficiencies generated by the need to ramp up and down gas and coal plants to balance the winds variability.

        I am just about one hundred percent convinced they are either honestly mistaken or fibbing but I can’t find any data to prove my case.

        Given the number of pro wind people on the net somebody should have uncovered this data and published it.UNLESS …. load balancing really does require so much coal and gas that wind is functionally useless. I refuse to believe that until I see some real proof.

        • Anonymous says:

          Four percent wind is very small. Wind is variable but it is also very predictable with modern weather forecasting at least 48 hours ahead. Demand is NOT predictable to within 4% 48 hours ahead. That means that you need very little extra ‘spinning reserve’ to cover wind, because you can schedule entire coal plants in that time frame from cold. Wind is saving the US all of that 4% of unburnt carbon.

          • Old farmer mac says:

            The amount saved in my opinion is certainly fairly close to four percent but it is not actually a simple tradeoff. Even renewables organizations acknowledge that the savings is not one hundred percent of the potential.

      • TechGuy says:

        “Once I did some work (purely mathematical) on lithium based storage which holds some promise but there have been practical issue”

        All Chemical batteries face degration over time as the cell anode disintegrates. Please google electrochemisty. There is no way chemical batteries will work for long term grid storage. The only two practical storage systems are pumped water storage and pumper air storage. Water can be pumped into a large reservoir to spin pelton turbines. However a lack of water, and suitable sites (you need a significant ground height distance for gravity potential). The other solution is compress air that is pumped into sand stone, but this is not very efficient since a lot of energy is wasted as heat during compression and appropriate geological formations (ie with a non-permeable cap rock) limits the number of installations.

        FWIW: I think investment in Wind and Solar is approaching its peak. Its vary easy to add in a few percent of intermittent power sources, but once it gets to be a significant portion it will quickly become extremely difficult to balance production with loads and it will lead to grid instability. It would not surprise me to see another regional blackout trigger by sudden changes in output from wind power. I see the Wind renewable cheer-leaders in the same pen as the fracking cheer-leaders. Both think that their solution will scale up and few of them understand the fundamental problems.

        • ‘FWIW: I think investment in Wind and Solar is approaching its peak.’

          I’m pretty sure you is wrong. Intermittency is not the disaster you assume within a connected system. In fact I’m pretty certain that those places that get into renewables fastest will come through the coming resource decline the best. Here is a post from Euan Mearns who you probably know is sceptical both about climate change and renewables. Big Nooclear fan. Anyhow the really important point is the impact of renewable energy on balance of payments, cos you don’t an Arab Sheik for the wind:


          Solar, Wind, and Geothermal look much more like they are ramping up to exponential growth to me than peaking. And given the cost dynamics of renewables; mostly front loaded, these results should keep improving for Portugal which otherwise has not been served well by having to have Germany’s currency and the EU’s preference for highway investment:


          • Arg! Typing with Pinot Noir. Should read: ‘Cos you don’t pay an Arab Sheik for the wind’

            • Doug Leighton says:

              Hi Patrick,

              Maybe you’re not talking to me anymore but with your interest in renewables you might be interested in Denmark; wind farms are making an amazing contribution there: Probably lots of info on the web. Actually, the entire North Sea region is spotted with turbines so something must to be working out.


              • Yes saw lots of turbines on a flight from London to Frankfurt recently. Re Denmark: I figure everyone knows about Denmark, I try to avoid talking about Denmark and the Netherlands in my core topic [transport/urban form] as there is an idea in the anglophone world that these places are full of special sensible people and what they do can’t be replicated anywhere else.

                This is clearly nonsense [perhaps you know this better than me!]. Policy is policy and can be changed and behaviour will follow it when done well. As anyone who knows the full histories of these places understand. But it seems to be a stubborn prejudice so tactically I look for other examples.

                I just wasn’t aware of Portugal’s wind situation until I saw Euan’s post.

                Love reading your views here. No one curious just wants an echo chamber do they?

          • TechGuy says:

            For you patrick:

            One could represent the intermittent sources as a polynomial equation that reflects is intermittent power output. a group of PV/Wind farms would become an even more complex polynomial equation. eventually you reach an equation that becomes very complex and impossible to solve.

            Perhaps a much simpler way of thinking about the problem is the act of juggling. Virtually any one can juggle a single object. Many people can juggle two objects. fewer can juggle three. At some point the number of objects exceeds any persons ability to juggle. This would be a very close analogy of adding intermittent power systems. Each new system is another object that needs to be juggled. At some point it becomes impossible to juggle. This is why there is a hard limit to the amount of intermittent system that can be added without destabilizing the grid. To be frank, I don’t know what that hard limit is, but I suspect we will find out over the next few years. Once the utilities say “no mas!” because they can no longer maintain grid stability it will be the end of any further investment in intermittent power systems, unless it tied to a storage system.

            The only solution is to add large grid storage systems that can can convert intermittent power into steady state outputs. Unfortunately, these are very expensive and in the case of pumped water storage, require large amounts of land and water to function.

            FWIW: Geothermal is out of context of this topic since I was discussing intermittent power system. In my earlier comment I discussed PV and Wind, not Geothermal. I do believe Geothermal power sources will increase, but they rely on geothermal sources that are not ample enough to displace a significant amount of fossil power system. Geothermal might increase 10 fold, but it will still come up too short.

            Geothermal systems are not without their own headaches. The water that is pumped underground absorbed dissolved minerals that are deposited as scale on pipes and heat exchangers. This can restrict flow as well as decrease thermal transfer in the heat exchangers. FWIW: even fossil and nuclear power plants have difficulties with scale and they are using surface water sources which has just a fraction of dissolved minerals contained in ground water from geothermal wells. In addition many geothermal sources only produce wet steam which limits the power output and increases turbine maintenance.

        • Doug Leighton says:


          Actually my battery comments referred to domestic (household) applications not statewide power grids and I agree re the battery degradation problem(s), which seem to be insurmountable. And, as acknowledged from the start, I’m not even qualified to comment there. However, it does seem that some kind of buffer can only benefit power systems at whatever scale and that research directed to that end would be money well spent.


          • TechGuy says:

            “Actually my battery comments referred to domestic (household) applications not statewide power grids.

            I don’t really see wide spread adaption of domestic battery systems, especially in urban regions with multi-family homes. Only the upper middle class and wealth can afford them and many in this group will likely to invest their capital in elsewhere since they can more readily absorb higher energy costs. Utilities are more likely to invest infrastructure in rich neighborhoods to mininum blackouts and brownouts. At best I see the poor reverting to systems setup like in africa which use small solar/wind to recharge cell phones, but I don’t see this being used to power standard household appliciances, (washing machine, dish washers, window fans). As energy become more expensive people will simply be forced to do without.

            • Doug Leighton says:


              You’re right but there are a lot of people living in rural areas (like me and maybe Mac) who are looking for ways to mitigate ever increasing hydro bills. Where I live it’s mainly done by wood burning in the winter and there is a fair amount of very small scale solar scattered about.

              Just for the hell of it I put up a windmill/solar system for my Daughter and family a few years ago which was a wast of time and money because there wasn’t enough wind. But, the main cost was for an inverter and expensive deep cycle batteries which had to be replaced in about three years. This got me interested in economics-of-process and I came to realize the week point of the system was battery life — leading to my (ill informed) comments above.

              Now, hopefully Ron won’t shut me down for off topic rambling.


              • Doug Leighton says:

                I apologize for the spelling/typos. Maybe another coffee will help.

                • Old farmer mac says:

                  Ron is not going to get upset with us discussing alternatives to oil and coal and natural gas because these topics and discussions are related to his primary topic of peak oil.I know because I asked him personally and if he changes his mind he can let us know with a few keystrokes.

                  Now as I see it the grid probably cannot be kept stable with too much more wind and solar too much longer AS IT IS CURRENTLY MANAGED.

                  And the owners may be able to convince the regulatory authorities to limit the amount of wind and solar connections for some period of time.

                  But in the end we are simply at some point be unable to burn enough coal and gas to meet our electrical needs for either or both of two reasons – a frying planet and unaffordable prices.

                  Coal and gas do after all come out of holes in the ground and it never rains either one to to the best of my knowledge..

                  When that time arrives we will be faced with some very hard choices.We can go the third world route and have intermittent fossil fuel electricity from the grid which will be sort of ironic after all the harping about renewables and intermittency.

                  But I think what will happen is that the reality will trump the hands of the utilities and the regulatory authorities will institute a whole new management paradigm.

                  People who are experts in such matter as the electricity grid are almost always totally blinded by their own expertise and cannot think far enough outside their current pun intended professional box to comprehend a new set of rules.

                  But when we REALLY went to war — the last time was WWII — we didn’t listen – or Washington and the Joint Chiefs of Staff – didn’t listen to any whining about the problems associated with going on a war footing.

                  IF Washington and the generals wanted a car factory to make tanks it happened in a hurry and if a sewing machine factory owner could manufacture parts for machine guns he found himself in the machine gun business.

                  When the fecal matter of unaffordable fossil fuel and runaway warming or both are well and truly getting into the fan and we are looking at shortages of electricity the changes that must be made to the grid will be made and there won’t be much discussion about it happening once natural gas prices are double or triple what they are today and the owners of wind and solar farms are making a killing on any production not pre sold at a fixed price.

                  IN THE LAST ANALYSIS the fossil fuel problem versus renewables problem is going to turn not on the falling cost of wind and solar but on the increasing cost of coal and gas.

                  IT will be more politically palatable a solution to build as much back up capacity as needed to match the renewables capacity as renewables ramp up and keep it on standby as needed than it will to allow the grid to operate the way it does in third world countries where rolling blackouts are the daily routine rather than the exception that scares rich westerners into peeing their panties.

                  We can afford high voltage DC lines from here to there no matter if here is DC or ATlanta or even Miami and ” there is NorthDakota” and the plains of Texas and the deserts of New Mexico a lot easier than we can afford daily rolling blackouts.

                  That sort of bullsxxt might work in India and Mexico but this is America and we will have juice or people will be burning public buildings in a weed and if the cops come down hard – well, I would rather not speculate very much in this forum about what my own neighbors would do if the people on Country Club Lane have juice and we don’t .But what they would do is not pleasant to contemplate.

                  It is a common saying around here that all it takes to ruin a man is one match.

                  I have never heard an electrical engineer say it is impossible to build a grid that can handle any amount of renewables. ALL they say is that the EXISTING grid is limited in its capacity to handle very large intermittent power supplies.

                  When renewables are cheap enough in relation to fossil fuels the grid will be modified to the extent necessary to handle the intermittency of sixty or seventy or even eighty or more percent of intermittent power.

                  To put this argument in terms of a simple analogy just about all of my neighbors who are still farming own largish trucks that they formerly used as personal transportation such as f250 and f350 Fords. They burn a hell of a lot of gas but they last just about forever and are very reliable and the additional cost of using one – if you needed it for the farm or business- used to be very modest in comparison to owing a car or compact truck to save driving the f250. When gas was a dollar or less you could afford to drive the 25o a lot of miles commuting or fetching groceries cheaper than you could buy a second compact car or truck and pay insurance and taxes and maintainence and depreciation on it.

                  But with gas approaching four bucks just about every body still has the f250 for the days it is really needed and a compact car or truck for commuting and fetching groceries.

                  Owning two vehicles is is nowadays less expensive than owning just one in our situation.

                  We will be in the same situation with the grid when fossil fuels reach a certain price point.

                  We will maintain a grid capable of doing the job on fossil fuel alone and a very large renewables capacity as well and use as much renewable juice as we possibly can.

                  The cost of coal and gas is going to trump all other considerations eventually.If the fossil fuel industry is held accountable for pollution and other environmental damage the cost tipping point may well arrive within a decade. If costs are computed strictly on the basis of dollars and cents it may be a considerably longer before renewables are unquestionably the cheaper option for the country and for the world in general.

                  You can bet your last can of beans on this observation:

                  The anti renewables folks never voluntarily bring up the future purchase cost of coal and gas.I follow a number of websites and blogs that deal with energy although I usually post only on this one and none of the anti renewables people are willing to say how much they think gas and coal are going to cost in ten or twenty years delivered to power plants.

                  My personal guess is that coal prices will be up at least 25 percent in constant money in ten years and that gas prices will actually be close to double what they are now.

      • Ovi says:

        I heard a speaker promoting vanadium batteries for storage. It is a flow thru type battery as opposed to a rechargeable type like lithium. Supposedly it’s forte is long life and some demos of its potential are forthcoming

  21. One quote from the provided link, a long paper, and a good read.


    In connection with Dr. Hoel’s report…note the unusually warm summer in Arctic Norway and observations of Capt. Martin Ingebrigtsen, who sailed the eastern Arctic for 54 years past. He first noted warmer conditions in 1918, since that time it has steadily gotten warmer, to-day the Arctic of that region is not recognizable as the same region of 1868 to 1917.


    Arctic sea ice waxes and wanes, the Pacific and Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillations are the culprits, the sun is the instigator, the outside agitator and the molten core keeps belching gases, etc.

    I am all for global warming, a world of cold will not be survivable.

    • Doug Leighton says:


      The earth’s core doesn’t belch anything. Burning coal, oil and gas belch a lot of CO2 and a warming planet releases a lot of loosely stored gas (mainly methane). You may like it warm but so do forest fires — more belching. My wife is Norwegian, quite a smart girl (PhD, mathematical physics) and she is extremely concerned by the warming you’re so fond of, because it may destroy the planet we’ve come to love — including Norway. Its true that volcanoes belch a lot of stuff from time to time, the really serious ones are capable of really serious results. Really serious belching!


      • I realize I oversimplified. A molten core the size of the moon is going to generate heat, that heat will vaporize anything as the heat makes its way through the mantle in the form of magma.

        A volcanic eruption like that of Tambora will cause climate change like what happened in 1816, the ‘year of no summer’.

        The earth’s molten core is the culprit there.

      • Coolreit says:

        Maybe, your wife need to study the science at http://wattsupwiththat.com/

        • Doug Leighton says:


          Then you suggest it. Even as an Old Dude, I still value my manhood.


        • Dennis Coyne says:

          Or she could try
          real climate or context earth

          • Dennis Coyne says:

            Hi Doug,

            I just re-read your post to Ronald, I am guessing that your wife would not take too seriously the material at Watt’s blog, and she probably knows the stuff at real climate already, she might find context earth interesting because she has the math skills to understand it.

            • Doug Leighton says:

              Hi Dennis,

              Thanks for the leg up on context earth, will pass it on. In fact, like most intelligent people, my wife seems more concerned about leaving a mess for grandchildren rather than perusing details about global issues. Sometimes I think she defines “global” in terms of quark-gluon plasma or matter plus anti matter; ignoring our old blue planet: Naturally leaving me, man-of-the-house, to deal with the “really important stuff”. Now I didn’t actually say that, it just appears that way, out of context.


  22. Tim E. says:

    Summed up:

    Resource scarcity marks the end of the 20th. Century. The formerly almighty convertible Dollar is reduced to meaningless promises and the ability to coerce the productive. Yields diminish while demands increase.

    The 21st. Century will be marked by Resource Wars.

    On August 15, 1971, President Nixon announced on TV 3 dramatic changes in economic policy. He imposed a wage-price freeze. He ended the Bretton Woods international monetary system. And he imposed a temporary surcharge (tariff) on all imports.


    • Tim E. says:

      Thanks to Jay Hanson:

      In a way, the world-view of the party imposed itself most successfully on the people incapable of understanding it. They could be made to accept the most flagrant violations of reality, because they never fully grasped the enormity of what was demanded of them, and were not sufficiently interested in public events to notice what was happening. By lack of understanding, they remained sane. They simply swallowed everything, and what they swallowed did them no harm, because it left no residue behind, just like a grain of corn will pass undigested through the body of a bird. —George Orwell, 1984


      CIRCUMSTANCE: The Age of Exuberance is over, population has already overshot carrying capacity, and prodigal Homo sapiens has drawn down the world’s savings deposits.

      CONSEQUENCE: All forms of human organization and behavior that are based on the assumption of limitlessness must change to forms that accord with finite limits.

      The Industrial Revolution made us precariously dependent on nature’s dwindling legacy of non-renewable resources, even though we did not at first recognize this fact. Many major events of modern history were unforeseen results of actions taken with inadequate awareness of ecological mechanisms. Peoples and governments never intended some of the outcomes their actions would incur.

  23. Dennis Coyne says:

    Slide 18 from Kopits presentation below.

    I interpret this slide as:
    1. $3.5 trillion spent on exploration and production(E+P) of oil and gas since 2005.

    2.$2.5 trillion spent on E+P of oil since 2005 (2006 to 2013)

    3. $1.5 trillion spent on E+P of oil from 1998 to 2005.

    Ron seems to interpret the slide differently.

    Link to presentation (it is slide 18 that we are discussing) below:


    • Dave Ranning says:

      “So we are in the grips of what Charles Hugh Smith calls the ‘Keynesian Cargo Cult’, chanting that if we just provide more stimulus to the banks, everything will get back to normal.”

      • Jeffrey J. Brown says:

        As noted up the thread, as trillions of dollars were spent by the global oil industry after 2005 and as annual Brent crude oil prices doubled from $55 in 2005 to the $110 range from 2011 on, I estimate that global crude oil production* (excluding lease condensate) averaged about 65 mbpd for 2006 to 2013 inclusive, versus about 67 mbpd in 2005.

        As I have noted, I think that developed net oil importing countries have been going heavily into debt, from real creditors and from central banks, trying to keep their “wants” based economies going, as global oil prices doubled, based on the premise that we will soon be back to cheap, plentiful supplies of crude oil.

        *45 or lower API gravity crude oil

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          Hi Jeff,

          1998-2005 spending 1.5 trillion(1.82 trillion in 2008 $)

          2006-2013 spending 2.5 trillion (2008 $)

          If we assume 7% average decline when no new wells are added and assume any increase from that level is from new wells (for example if 30 billion barrels were produced last year and 30 billion this year, then 2.1 billion must have been added to make up for the 2.1 billion decline in existing wells from last year).

          From that logic

          new production 1998-2005 was 16.1 BBO
          new production 2006-2013 was 15.1 BBO

          The extra capital spending is partly due to inflation, partly due to increased costs above the rate of inflation due to high demand for oil services, and partly due to the lack of cheap places to drill for oil. There is no doubt that the easy oil has already been developed.

          Note that when we adjust for inflation (it is unclear if Kopits did that or not, but if he did not) the 1998 to 2005 spending increases to 1.82 trillion dollars (2008 $, which is the average of the 2005-2013 period).

  24. SuddenDebt says:

    ….I think that developed net oil importing countries have been going heavily into debt, from real creditors and from central banks, trying to keep their “wants” based economies going,

    This I believe hits the proverbial nail firmly on its head.
    So what happens when credit dries up, debt deleveraging sets in and budgets needs to be balanced (no more deficit spending)?
    Oil prices are likely to decline as demand wanes, sadly this will create a false impression that “we are awash with oil” as most will point to the lower price.

    • Dennis Coyne says:

      It will be quite a while until we see that happen, currently OECD government debt to GDP is about 107% up from 80% in 2008.

      Japan is up to 200% and has been over 100% for years.

      When buying a home 3 to 1 debt to income is fine.

      • SuddenDebt says:

        “It will be quite a while until we see that happen, currently OECD government debt to GDP is about 107% up from 80% in 2008.”

        There is something called interest rates and low interest rates (or rather central banks’ interest rate suppression) allowed governments, companies and households to continue to take on more debt.
        Higher interest rates will make it harder for everyone to service their debts.
        The world is not only OECD, it is also about Brazil and China who continued going deeper into debt as OECD eased off after 2008. The effects from China’s credit expansion are now starting to show.

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          Hi Suddendebt,

          From Forbes


          “Since 2008, China’s total public and private debt has exploded to more than 200 percent of GDP — an unprecedented level for any developing country”, but

          “According to data supplied by the McKinsey Global Institute, the 10 largest mature economies in the world — Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, South Korea, UK and US — had total debt of almost 350 percent of GDP in 2011. If Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Spain and Greece, the countries worst hit by the debt crisis in Europe, are included, total debt was almost 400% of GDP.”

          Bottom line, China’s debt is not likely to be a problem.

    • Old farmer mac says:

      Huge amounts of personal and business debt will be written off.

      Just about all public debts will be paid but only in part.

      The banking system as we know it will fail spectacularly but that does not mean the end of public credit- which is basically what deficit financing is all about.

      Anti renewable advocates cannot think or refuse to think outside the box involving the grid and load balancing.It never occurs to them that when it becomes necessary the changes necessary to allow the grid to accommodate huge amounts of intermittent renewable energy will be made.These changes will no doubt be very expensive but they will be mandated by government state and federal regardless of the cost once the cost of coal and gas go high enough.The utilities will be allowed to recoup the cost. The share of the cost that will be borne by the renewables industry is debatable but no doubt the wind and solar producers will eventually have to pay some sort of tax to cover part of the cost of upgrading the grid to handle large renewable inputs.

      Likewise once the current banking system is on its knees and breathing its last it will be tossed on the trash heap of history and a new system put in place.

      IF the federal government cannot borrow money it can simply print it and no fxxking federal reserve system is necessary once congress repeals a few key laws and writes a few new ones.

      Somebody will decree that money is present in the Treasury sufficient to cover all expenses and it will be disbursed and accepted. The consequence of course will be massive and uncontrolled inflation and in the end this inflation will destroy the business as usual economy just as efficiently as a lack of credit.

      The difference is that printing money at will directly buys some time.
      A freezing and starving peasant in his final extremity burns such furniture as he has and eats his seed corn.

      By this means he postpones the final end.

      Inflation on the grand scale is baked into the cake but it there may be a period of deflation before the inflation card is played for keeps.

      Depending on the skill and luck we may buy a few months or a few decades of relative stability by inflating the hell out of our money.

      The process is already well under way and has been most of my life but people are generally too blind and stupid to see what they do not want to see.

      If you are holding money in a savings account or pension fund these days you are sure to lose your ass.There is almost nothing that really matters to your survival that is not increasing in price faster on average than the one or two percent interest you are collecting.

      The average pension funds stability is predicated on a totally unrealistic long term rate of return on investments in it and will not be able to meet its obligations.

      There is little reason to believe that Ford Motor Company for instance will be making big profits a decade from now but there are plenty of reasons to suspect Ford may not be making much at all.

      There are plenty of reasons to think most cities will not be able to pay their long term obligations as taxes keep on rising and businesses keep on packing up and leaving town.

      Demographics alone indicate the utter failure of growth of the welfare state involving free medical care old age checks and so forth. We are not having enough children to keep the pay as you go system alive much longer. It will have to contract barring miracles on the productivity front.

      So – a person who does not actually own a government debt instrument is never the less still the owner of government debt in the form of promised benefits -benefits he will collect only in part if at all.Quite a few people are going to die without collecting a dime from social security and medicare when the government raises the age of eligibility for instance by a year.

      • Doug Leighton says:


        I don’t see the problem: Last time I looked US unfunded liabilities was only about $138 trillion. Why can’t they just take a bit out of our pension fund? Or….unless our pension fund is in that $138 T . Maybe printing more money then…. Actually I don’t really understand much about this stuff but obviously the guys in charge will have a plan. Right?


      • Dennis Coyne says:

        Hi Mac,

        Simple solution, payroll taxes not limited to first x dollars earned, but to all income.

        If that’s not enough include income from dividends and interest on social security tax.

        Laws can be changed to accommodate the baby boom, and in another 50 years there will not be many baby boomers alive.

        Banking system will only fail if the government fails, you seem to think this is not a possibility. FDIC insurance keeps bank runs from happening in the US.

        If you mean the shadow banking system, I agree that may be toast when another serious recession arrives.

  25. Dennis Coyne says:

    Hi doug,
    Source for unfunded liabilities?

    • Doug Leighton says:


      U.S. National Debt Clock: Real Time. $128, 876 Million as of about now! I’m surprised that you asked. Lot’s of stuff on there!


      • Doug Leighton says:

        NB: $138T was typo, should have been $128T. Sorry

      • Dennis Coyne says:

        Did you mean trillion? A lot of these debt sites are not well done, and tend to make worst case assumptions. Medical costs continue increasing exponentially, taxes never increase, etc.

        • Doug Leighton says:


          Yes trillion is correct. Check it yourself: http://www.usdebtclock.org/

          It’s to complex (and dynamic) for me to repeat all the data presented. Includes National Debt $17.5T plus a myriad of additional stuff.


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