OPEC Declines in February Despite Huge Iran Increase

All charts are through February 2016

The OPEC Monthly Oil Market Report just came out. The charts are “Crude Only” production and do not reflect condensate production.

Also the charts, except for Libya, are not zero based. I chose to amplify the change rather than the total. OPEC is now 13 nations with the the addition of Indonesia.

All Data is in thousand barrels per day.


OPEC production was down 174,800 barrels per day in February

Secondary Sources

OPEC uses secondary sources such as Platts and other agencies to report their production numbers. These numbers are pretty accurate and usually have only slight revisions month to month. The big gainer in February was Iran. The big losers were Iraq, Nigeria and the United Arab Emirates. 


Algeria peaked in November 2007 and has been in a steady decline since that point.


Angola has been holding steady since peaking in 2008 and 2010.


Ecuador appears to have peaked last year. It is likely production will be down, but only slightly, in 2016.


Sanctions were just lifted, in the middle of January, on Iran. Their production was up 187,800 barrels per day in February to 3,123,000 bpd. I expect their production to be up by from 500 to 600 thousand barrels per day by year’s end. However I believe Iran will be the only OPEC nation with any significant production increase in 2016. Most other OPEC countries will, I believe, be flat to down slightly.


Iraq took a huge hit in February, down 263,000 barrels per day to 4,156,000 bpd.\. This will likely be the norm for Iraq for several years, above 4 million bpd but below 4.5 million bpd.


Kuwait has increased production slightly in the last two months but I don’t expect that trend to continue.


Libya is struggling with their own Arab Spring. There is no way of knowing when, if ever, peace will break out there. I think it extremely unlikely they will produce as much as 1,000,000 bpd within the next 5 years or so. But right now production seems to be holding steady at around 400,000 bpd.


Nigeria is struggling with their own political revolution. But I think their natural decline is now obvious. In February they dropped 94,000 bpd to 1,754,000 1,754,000 bpd, the lowest since August of 2009.

Saudi Arabia

I believe Saudi is producing every barrel they possibly can. They will be lucky to hold this level for much longer.


Qatar has lots of natural gas but their oil production has clearly peaked and is now in decline.


The UAE’s infill drilling program, I believe, has petered out. I look for them to hold at around current levels for another year or so before beginning a slow decline.


Not much can be said about Venezuela. Their conventional oil is in decline but their bitumen production is keeping production relatively flat. They took a hit in January however, down 33,000 bpd but were up 2,000 bpd in Feburary.

OPEC less Saudi & Iraq

The combined production of OPEC, less Saudi Arabia and Iraq, peaked in January 2008 at 20,790,000 bpd and is down 2,810,000 bpd since that date 17,980,000 bpd.

Saudi + Iraq

In he last 12 months Saudi Arabia plus Iraq have increased their production by 1,329,000 bpd while the other 11 OPEC nations have increased theirs production by 308,000 bpd. But that run is over, any major increase in production in the next few years will come from Iran. It remains to be seen whether Iran’s increase will be greater than the decline of the other 12 OPEC nations.

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367 Responses to OPEC Declines in February Despite Huge Iran Increase

  1. Javier says:

    Thanks Ron,

    The 2016 world scenario right now looks like a continuation of the decline of the second half of 2015. But the price crisis is actually increasing distress on producers. For as long as it continues the chances of a negative event affecting some of them are increasing. This is not something that can be predicted from the graphs.

    The question of how much oil is really in surplus is also going to be a central issue. Jeff Brown pointed to a lot of it being condensate. And perhaps a significant part of Iran’s increase is also condensate, as it was said that much of what Iran had in those tankers that is now selling was condensate. Probably Iran is not getting a very good price on what it is selling now.

  2. Hickory says:

    Minor quibble Dennis.
    You commented- “Libya is struggling with their own Arab Spring”
    I think that characterization of what is going there on is off base.
    It looks more like the chaos of a failed state rather than a popular uprising to remove an authoritarian government.
    The implication of this difference is that a return of Libyan oil production to prior levels is highly unlikely until there is a massive stabilization achieved, and I wouldn’t be holding my breathe for that.

    • It’s Ron, not Dennis. It all depends on your definition of “Arab Spring” And I see you have provided your own definition, “a popular uprising to remove an authoritarian government.”

      Definition of the Arab Spring Bold mine.

      The Arab Spring was a series of anti-government protests, uprisings and armed rebellions that spread across the Middle East in early 2011. But their purpose, relative success and outcome remain hotly disputed in Arab countries, among foreign observers, and between world powers looking to cash in on the changing map of the Middle East….

      But the events in the Middle East went in a less straightforward direction.

      Egypt, Tunisia and Yemen entered an uncertain transition period, Syria and Libya were drawn into a civil conflict, while the wealthy monarchies in the Persian Gulf remained largely unshaken by the events.The use of the term the “Arab Spring” has since been criticized for being inaccurate and simplistic.

      The Arabs themselves cannot agree on the definition of “Arab Spring”. It is basically just an uprising of the general population protesting the hardships of their lives. I would say that the Arab Spring, in any country, is just the first stages of a failed state.

      I think there is no doubt that what is happening in Libya was caused by the same conditions that has caused similar uprisings throughout the Arab world. The people are hungry and without hope as long as conditions remain the way they are so they riot to try to change them.

      It is, very likely, just the first stages of world collapse.

  3. Coolreit says:

    Did Iran REALLY increase production or did they stop selling their oil to Russia, India or Iraq?

    Sanctions never really stopped the Iranians .

    • No one is claiming that sanctions stopped Iranian oil production. It did slow it down considerably. And those production numbers did not come from Iran, they came from others who monitor tanker traffic, pipeline deliveries and such.

      • Greenbub says:

        Does anyone monitor the Caspian sea?

        • AlexS says:

          What for? All countries in the Caspian region are energy exporters and do not need Iranian oil.
          There were talks with Russia on possible sales of Iranian oil to Russian refineries, so that Russia could sell more of its own oil for exports. But this plan was not realized for economic reasons.

    • AlexS says:

      Iran was not selling oil to Russia and Iraq. They were selling oil mainly to China, India and other countries in Asia. Now they are also selling to Europe.

      • Ves says:

        I have read your comment on the last thread and I completely disagree with your point 2 that you make:
        “shale companies have always been growth-oriented, and the market (investors and lenders) has been rewarding them for growth rather than capital discipline.”

        This a definition of ponzi scheme that you describe and ponzi always end when you run out of greater fools. And shale is at that point. Their relentless drilling of the remaining sweet spots AT ANY price will not change their financials at all.
        Oil price will steadily rise as shale start running out of the sweet spots and their production start decreasing so shale will never meet that imaginary price of $80-$100. Shale will run out of sweet spots long before the price is at $80-100 range.

        • AlexS says:


          What is wrong in my statement?
          You asked why companies are still drilling when oil price is $37 and they are making losses?
          I said that I do not see economic logic, but they were doing that in the past, continue to do so now, and will continue to drill and complete wells at loss in the future.
          I do not mind if you call it “ponzi scheme”, but this is reality.
          In the first 2 months of 2016 shale companies sold about $10 in equity, diluting existing shareholders, but they found new buyers.
          Bondholders are happy that oil companies’ bonds are up 20% in the past month and are ready to invest more.
          Private equity is ready to invest tens of billions in distressed companies.
          I do not mind if you call all them fools, but this is reality.

          Did I say that this is normal? I didn’t.
          Did I say that this will continue forever? I didn’t.

          • Ves says:

            If we both agree that shale is continuously drilling regardless of price and profit how can you claim (on the last thread) that shale will make new peak in production at some imaginary future higher price point?
            What is the basis of that assumption?

            • AlexS says:


              This is based on the assumptions that:
              1/ sooner or later the potential of infill drilling in the sweet spots will be exhausted.
              2/ drilling in less productive peripheral zones will not offset the gradual depletion of the sweet spots.
              3/ the impact of technological improvements will not offset the geological factors. In particular, there will be to technological breakthrough enabling a sharp increase in oil recovery rate in tight oil formations.
              4/ There will be no new Bakken or Eagle Ford.

              • Ves says:


                Well then I misunderstood you on the last thread. I have thought that you are saying that Shale production in BK and EF will return to their peak production once the oil price reaches $70-80? I had impression that you stated that several times in the last while.
                Also I got impression that you did not agree with Verwimp model displayed here: http://tinyurl.com/hrek3fd

                The model is built regardless of the price according to Verwimp (I don’t know the details). I thought that would neatly explain why shale was drilling relentlessly in the last year and half with disregard for profit, cash flow or shareholder value. The reason could be that there is nothing left there to save for the longer term when the price returns to a profitable level.

                This explanation makes sense even though we have to wait a year to prove it for the declines to become terminal in shale basins despite price going higher than it is today.

                • AlexS says:


                  I think that LTO production in the Bakken and EF can return to its peak levels by 2019-2020 or slightly later if oil prices gradually rise to $70-80.

                  But after reaching this new peaks (which are unlikely to be much higher than late 2014-early 2015 levels) production will start to decline. The decline will not be rapid, so we will see a “long fat tail”.

                  As you can see, my base-case estimate is different from Verwimp model. And I certainly believe that oil price is very important for LTO production curve, which, due to price cycles, may have at least 2 peaks.

                  • Ves says:

                    My scepticism of two or more peaks is based on the length of downturn in oil prices. It has been already quite long and violent and the longer it stays it will be harder to reach that second peak in shale oil production. But time will tell.

                  • AlexS says:


                    I would agree with you if it were a 15-years down-cycle, like in the 80-90-s.
                    But this time the downturn will be shorter. The oil market will return to balance by mid-2017, or even earlier.
                    And although there will be a lot of oil price volatility in the next several months, prices should gradually recover.

                    Meanwhile, shale oil reserves are still there; infrastructure is already built; there is significant surplus capacity of drilling and fracking equipment, limiting potential growth in services costs.

                    Assets of distressed companies will find new owners. Some lessons of the shale boom have been learned, so access to capital will be less easy than in the past. Shale companies themselves will be financially more conservative, trying not to overspend too much cash. Therefore I am sure there is no return to previous upstream spending levels, record oil rig counts, and ~1 mb/d annual growth in LTO production seen in 2012-14.

                    But annual growth of some 300-500 kb/d is possible, in my view. Assuming that the U.S. LTO output declines some 1.5 mb/d by the second half of 2017 from the peak of 4.6mb/d reached in March 2015, it could again reach this peak in 3-4 years.
                    2019 is probably too optimistic, but 2020 or 2021 is quite realistic, in my view.

                    BTW, this is what expects the IEA (see the chart below).

                  • shallow sand says:

                    AlexS. Note in the Bakken that the number of additional wells from 12/07 to 12/08 and again from 12/08 to 12/09 was very close. Yet production growth was significantly greater in 2008 than 2009. The same is true for 2011-12 and 2012-13.

                    2015 saw the addition of over 1,400 wells, yet production dropped. It appears that production was hitting a plateau in 2014, despite a record addition of over 2,000 wells.

                    I am open to interpretation of this data, but my initial reaction is, as in almost all previous US fields, developed in a “boom like” manner, that the Bakken was reaching its peak. The price crash accellerated this peak’s arrival, and likely capped the peak monthly production figure.

                    Assuming low activity in 2016, it appears that it would take until at least 2018 to return to 2014 well addition numbers. At that point, it appears to me in excess of 4,000 wells would need to be added annually to reach and then maintain production above 1.3 million bopd.

                    Again, these are “napkin” calculations of mine, I am open to a more detailed analysis.

                    Note, the monster wells of EOG and Whiting of earlier periods are no longer occurring, per Enno’s shale profile data. This also makes a big difference IMO.

                  • AlexS says:

                    Shallow sand,

                    The absolute increase in ND Bakken oil production was higher in 2014 compared with 2013. In percent terms the increase was only slightly slower, but annual growth rates were still very strong.

                    In 2015 annual average ND Bakken oil production increased by more than 100 kb/d, or 10%, despite much lower oil prices.

                    change in production
                    kb/d %
                    2013 195.6 32.6%
                    2014 228.0 28.7%
                    2015 102.4 10.0%

                    Production peaked in December 2014 at 1164 kb/d, but has remained in a relatively narrow range between 1106 and 1153 kb/d in January-November, despite rapidly declining rig count.

                    A clear declining trend emerged only in December 2015, when month-on-month output was down 28 kb/d, followed by a similar decline in January.
                    December 2015 and January 2016 were the first months, when Bakken ND production was lower than in the same month of the previous year (-5.8% and -5.4%, respectively).

                    ND Bakken oil production, kb/d

                  • Ves says:

                    ” I would agree with you if it were a 15-years down-cycle, like in the 80-90-s.
                    But this time the downturn will be shorter. The oil market will return to balance by mid-2017, or even earlier.”


                    What is the oil market at balance? Price always reflects balance even if manipulation is included. Price of the any stock on the market is always in balance since it is zero sum game. We are always in balance it just sometimes we don’t like the price.

                    We could easily have a floor price established by majority of producers that will meet next month and after that it is up to rest of high cost marginal oil market to sort out their production. And that is wild guess game how it will evolve since it depends on many things: demand side for oil, availability of credit supply, cost inflation. I can easily foresee that oil stay $40-60 range next 3 years and then where shale production will be in December 2018?

                  • AlexS says:


                    The balance is when global liquids consumption = global liquids supply.

                    Supply has exceeded consumption since early 2014, which resulted in a significant increase in inventories. The oversupply has peaked in 2Q15 and has declined since then. It should further decline in 2H16 due to higher seasonal demand and stagnant/declining supply.

                    According to the IEA, EIA and OPEC,
                    global consumption and supply will be balanced by mid-2017. Some people think that the balance could be reached by the end of this year.

                    After that, demand will exceed supply, leading to a drawdown in inventories.
                    Absent a deep global recession, the market will be tightening, leading to higher oil prices. Importanly, unlike the 80-s, OPEC spare capacity remains at low levels.

                    The only factor on the supply side that could deter the increase in oil prices in the medium term is a rapid recovery in US LTO production. But this seems not to be your scenario?

                    There is no other source of rapid growth in global supply.

                  • shallow sand says:

                    AlexS. I agree the way I am looking at the data is more in a leading nature compared to the way you are.

                    There is a lag, although admittedly shorter than off shore projects.

                    Still, despite over 1,400 wells, 12/15 production was less than 12/14 production. Will be interesting to see how it plays out.

                  • Ves says:

                    “The balance is when global liquids consumption = global liquids supply.


                    But through the exchange on the market. And the market is always in balance. It is the price that we don’t like but oil market is in the balance. Oil Producers don’t like the price, but market is in the balance. Some producers will not even like $80 per barrel and will say that market is not balanced.

                  • AlexS says:

                    I hope you understand that I mean the balance between supply and demand?

                  • AlexS says:

                    shallow sand,

                    What do you mean when you mention additional wells?
                    Is that the number of well completions during the year?
                    Or the difference between the number of producing wells in December 2015 vs December 2014,
                    or the difference between the average number of producing wells in 2015 and 2014?

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Shallow sand and Ves,

                    I think AlexS has this right.

                    For what it is worth, my models and those of Enno Peters confirm AlexS’s view.

                    About 1900 well completions per year are needed to reach a new peak. At the previous peak in output about 2200 completions were done annually.

                    Perhaps a new peak will not be reached, this will depend on the number of wells drilled in the future which in turn will depend on oil prices.

                    Let’s say oil prices climb to $90/b by June 2018 and remain above $90/b until 2020.

                    Do you think 160 new wells per month will not be reached at that price level?

          • likbez says:

            You asked why companies are still drilling when oil price is $37 and they are making losses? I said that I do not see economic logic

            There was a very simple, albeit pervert, economic logic in 2015 — top brass bonuses (along with several other factors like pipeline contracts, etc). Redistribution of wealth up should never stop 🙂

            But 2016 is a completely different game. “After me deluge” type of thinking on the top run its course: they run out of money and can’t get new loans. For most shale companies it was something like waking up the next morning after several days of binge drinking…

            Bondholders are happy that oil companies’ bonds are up 20% in the past month and are ready to invest more.

            Are you sure? Which of major banks anticipates bright conditions for junk bond market, and especially shale junk bonds, in 2017 ? I think most banks increased their loss provisions from junk for 2016. In view that survival of companies is in question, inquiring minds want to know, who are those happy investors who by trying to earn some extra points (chasing yield) already lost quite a bit of money and want to lose more. Or this is just new fools from never ending global supply. But like with oil there might be that “peak fools” moment is behind us 🙂 .

            The iShares iBoxx $ High Yield Corporate Bond ETF, a $14.4-billion exchange traded fund that tracks the performance of the junk-bond market, posted an annual loss of 5.5%, and ended 2015 off a startling 12.4% from its February high. Likewise, the S&P U.S. Issued High Yield Corporate Bond Index lost 3.99% for the year, while BofA Merrill Lynch U.S. High Yield Index fell 5% for the year, its first annual loss since 2008.

            BTW Vanguard increased the quality of bonds in their junk bond fund. And that means that they think that the storm is ahead not behind us.

            • AlexS says:


              There is a difference between bonds and bank loans/credit lines.

              Banks indeed almost stopped lending to the US E&P companies in early 2015, although in most cases they did not cut existing credit lines.

              But oil companies were able to raise billions of dollars in new bonds and equity sales during 2015. And this is likely to continue this year.

              From Bloomberg on equity sales:

              Battered U.S. Oil Firms Raise Most in Equity Sales Since `99

              • Energy companies announced $9.2 billion in stock offerings
              • Biggest share sale binge for sector since at least 1999


              From Reuters on bonds:

              Some bond funds bet on longer-lasting rally in energy debt


              Many bond investors who benefited from the recent rally in battered energy debt prices are maintaining or seeking to add to their holdings, viewing the rally as the start of a longer-lasting uptrend rather than a blip.
              Fund managers including MacKay Shields, Thornburg Investment Management and BlueBay Asset Management said they had increased their positions or initiated new ones in recent months after energy bond prices cheapened in 2015.

              They said energy debt remained attractive even after the latest rally.

              “Bad things in energy are already priced in,” said Andrew Susser, head of high yield at MacKay Shields in New York, which oversees $89 billion in assets.

              U.S. crude prices slid about 76 percent from June 20, 2014 to $26.05 a barrel by Feb. 11, 2016, nearly a 13-year low. Over the same period, the BofA Merrill Lynch U.S. High Yield Energy Index tumbled about 46 percent.
              Since then, U.S. crude has risen about 44 percent, settling at $37.84 on Thursday. Over the same period, the high-yield energy index was up 20 percent.
              “The reality of this price environment is setting in and really causing people to take a look at their businesses,” Erickson said. “It is a lot more interesting a place to be looking at today than it was even six months ago.


              From the same article in Reuters on private equity funds buying distressed energy companies:


              Investors said energy assets could remain solid investments even if companies default on payments or file for bankruptcy.
              Christian Busken, director of real assets at investment advisory firm Fund Evaluation Group in Cincinnati, said he was recommending clients invest in private equity funds that buy energy assets out of bankruptcy.
              “All the things that are happening in the energy markets are setting the stage for higher prices down the road,” Busken said, noting capex cuts. He said private equity funds buying assets of bankrupt energy companies stood to benefit once commodity prices recovered.
              A default can halt a company from further degrading its value by paying junior creditors or continuing to make capital expenditures, Susser of MacKay Shields said.
              “A default is not the end of the world,” he said.

              • Nathanael says:

                ” he was recommending clients invest in private equity funds that buy energy assets out of bankruptcy.”

                These are the new marks for the frackers’ land-flipping scams. The execs of the bankrupt company get paid to do the sale…

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          Hi Ves,

          When do you think oil will reach $90/b, if ever?

          In the Bakken, the number of well completions has fallen from 185/month for the 12 months ending in March 2015 to 70 well completions in January.

          If US falls by 1 Mb/d, that may be enough to balance the oil market, output in Canada may also fall, the low oil prices will eventually reduce output and oil prices will rise maybe by late 2016, eventually (probably 6 months later) oil output will gradually flatten and then rise, possibly reaching the previous peak, this will depend in part on demand for oil and the price of oil.

          • Ves says:

            ” When do you think oil will reach $90/b, if ever?”
            No idea.

            Dennis, If WTI is on average $40-45 by the end of the 2016 how much US shale and US total production will be on December 2016?

            • Dennis Coyne says:

              Hi Ves,

              The decline might be as high as 1.5 Mb/d for total US output if oil prices remain under $43/b, with shale maybe about half of this (800 kb/d), the EIA is predicting WTI at $35/b in Dec 2016 and $45/b in Dec 2017 (the EIA’s oil price forecast is too low in my view).

              Very difficult to predict, it may be that capitulation in the US oil sector is close at hand. In that case output falls by more than I have guessed, but there is no way the EIA price forecast turns out to be correct in that case.

              • Ves says:

                Hi Dennis,
                I agree on EIA price prediction in sense that I always stay away from predicting price for anything. Even for my weekly grocery shopping bag. 🙂

                • Dennis Coyne says:

                  Hi Ves,

                  You are smarter than me. I have no idea what oil prices will be, I should just stop guessing as I cannot get the future price right. It looks to me like the EIA’s most recent forecast of $35/b in Dec 2016 is too low, but like you I cannot predict my grocery bill today, so oil prices in 9 months time are out of the question.

          • If US falls by 1 Mb/d, that may be enough to balance the oil market,…

            And what do you think might happen in the rest of the world? In 2016 oil production will fall in most oil producing countries. Oil production will rise in a very few countries. The oil market may balance a lot sooner than a lot of people realize.

            • Dennis Coyne says:

              Hi Ron,

              You may be correct on that point. If we take the US and Canada out of the equation I think increases in Iran’s output might balance the declines in World minus US+Canada+Iran. The question then becomes (if my previous assumption is roughly correct), how much does US+ Canada decline in 2016? My guess is 1.25 Mb/d.
              I would be interested in your estimate, because you track the numbers more closely than me. Or just your estimate for World C+C decline in 2016 would be fine.

              • Thanks Dennis. I don’t think the increase in Iranian production will come close to offsetting the decline in the rest of the world minus the US and Canada.

                I believe the decline in ROW less US and Canada will be about twice the increase expected from Iran.

                Breaking it down, Iran may increase production, from February, another half a million barrels per day. That would be almost 700,000 bpd from their January production. The rest of OPEC will be flat to down, most likely down slightly. Non-OPEC, less US and Canada will be down from one million to 1.2 million bpd from their December production numbers.

                That is my estimate, for what it’s worth.

                • Dennis Coyne says:

                  Hi Ron,

                  Thanks. I was under the impression that there were projects coming on line in that would offset some of the 1.2 Mb/d decline in non-OPEC less US and Canada. I may be wrong of course (happens all the time). 🙂

                  • Dennis, you just have not been following the news. Yes there were projects coming on line. But those projects were cancelled.

                    Hey, start paying attention. 😉

                  • Ves says:

                    Hi Dennis,

                    Did you mean 1-2 oil sands project that are very close to completion in 2018? I think there is very minor one.
                    But here is some hush – hush info from oil sands patch that there will not be any new oil sands project even if the price goes much higher in the near future without export pipeline in place. But who knows.

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Ron,

                    I misread your post earlier, it looks like you are predicting about a 500 to 600 kb/d decline for the World minus US and Canada.

                    There are many people that follow the details of oil production more closely than me. The two that I am most familiar with are you and AlexS.

                    AlexS has pointed out to me that the project cancellations will affect output in 2 to 3 years. The projects that will come on line this year were past the point of no return in early 2015 and will continue regardless of the oil price. Whether these projects will be enough to offset the 550 kb/d of decline in the World minus US and Canada is not known (at least to me).
                    My guess is that it may be enough to offset decline elsewhere. Note that if we take OPEC, US, Russia, and Canada out of the mix we are left with about 26 Mb/d of 2015 average output from the remaining nations that produce oil. If those nations decline by 3% in 2016 (average output for 2016) that would be about 780 kb/d. If OPEC minus Iran is flat and Iran increases output by 700 kb/d, the World declines by 80 kb/d, but only if no new projects come online to offset the decline.

                    That assumption seems unrealistic to me. I expect average Iranian output to increase by about 400 kb/d for all of 2016, the rest of OPEC and Russia to be flat. If non-OPEC minus US+ Canada+Russia declines by 5% that would be about 1.3 Mb/d and adding Iran we are left with a 900 kb/d decrease. My guess is that output from new projects ramping up in 2016 may offset the 900 kb/d decline so that the decline in World C+C will match the decline from US and Canada, which I estimate at about 1.3 Mb/d (300 kb/d from Canadian decline and the rest from the US). I expect that Supply and demand will be in balance by Dec 2016 and that as demand continues to increase in 2017 the excess oil in storage will be sold off and oil prices will gradually rise reaching $75/b by Sept 2017.

                    Looking at your OPEC minus Saudi and Iraq chart, it looks like OPEC minus Iran is likely to be flat in 2016.

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Ves,

                    I do not have details on specific projects this is based on charts AlexS has presented from WoodMac and Rystad.

                    AlexS may have more details as he follows this more closely than me.

                  • AlexS has pointed out to me that the project cancellations will affect output in 2 to 3 years. The projects that will come on line this year were past the point of no return in early 2015 and will continue regardless of the oil price.

                    Dennis, there are some long term, very expensive projects, that were begun before the price collapse. Most of them will be completed but not all. Some were halted in place. Others, like infill drilling projects, have already been cut.

                    You are putting all new projects in one basket and assuming one size fits all. Every project is different. Many will be cut, some will not be cut.

                    So you just cannot declare that the price collapse will not affect production in 2016. If you cannot say that about the USA, if you cannot say that about Canada, then why on earth would you think the price collapse would have no effect on the rest of the world?

                  • AlexS says:


                    Thanks for your post.

                    Although a large number of oil and gas projects were posponed or canceled over the past 2 years, very few of them were scheduled to start production in 2016-2017. It just doesn’t make sense to freeze large investments made in the previous years, if remaining investments needed to complete those projects are relatively modest. Besides, most of those projects are led by oil majors which have solid balance sheets.

                    The chart below from Woodmac is based on their global project database, one of the best.

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    HI Ron

                    The US and Canada have some of the most expensive marginal barrels in the world.

                    For this reason there will be a big effect relative to other oil producers.

                  • George Kaplan says:

                    The time value of money, even in a ZIRP world, means projects are (or were) fast tracked if they could be. Brownfield developments, such as those to accelerate production from reserve growth, usually get done over one or two years – unless there is long lead items involved. There are also usually a few shorter term projects that can get to production from discovery in 2 to 3 years. Admittedly there are fewer of these now as discovery rates have fallen so much since 2010, and what is being found is mostly deep water which does not lend itself to fast turn around. However projects such as these that might have progressed would have been cancelled, but would not show on the Wood MacKenzie figures.

                    In addition major projects were being slowed and reassessed at the FEED stage as far back as 2012 because costs had risen so much, and some of those might have been expected to come on line around now.

                • likbez says:


                  My impression is a reasonable estimate of Iran increase of production in 2016 is only 0.5Mb/d. Mostly heavy oil and condensate, very little (less then 30% light oil):

                  Iran’s mature oil fields are in advanced stages of decline. The US Energy Information Administration estimates that Iranian oil fields have natural decline rates of 8-11% and recovery rates of 20-25%.

                  Iran had planned to employ water and gas injection for enhanced oil recovery. Gas injection in mature field was to have reached 330 million cu m/day by the end of 2016. Since 2011, however, Iran hasn’t been able to reach more than 60% of its gas-injection goals. The average of actual gas injected between March 2006 and March 2011 never increased more than 75% of what was originally planned.

                  Platts calculations based on current market consensus point to a 0.2Mb/d rise in the first quarter, growing to 0.45Mb/d by year-end. They are going mostly to Europe (Total should already started importing 0.160 Mb/d from around February 16, according to signed contract)

                  According to the IEA, 60% of Iran’s initial exports could be made up of Iranian Heavy, 30% of Iranian Light and the remainder consisting of a new heavy grade called West of Karun, which is due to make its debut in the second quarter.

                  Also this is a country on 80 million people, which is moving in the direction of becoming net importer of oil (but not gas). Domestic consumption is rising and a growing fraction of exported oil is returned as refined products.

                  “During these years which we launched five South Pars phases, it meant an increased production of 150 million cubic meters of gas and 200,000 barrels of gas condensates from the joint field,” Zangeneh added. “Our next priority is oil production from West Karoun fields so that in the next eight months, production will touch 200,000 barrels a day and will increase to 700,000 barrels by the end of the Sixth Five-Year Development Plan.”

                  “We also hope to increase production of condensates in South Pars field to one million barrels a day by the end of current government’s term,” the minister said. Zangeneh stressed development of petrochemical industry among the downstream projects and said that in less than 20 years, the value of petrochem products multiplied from one billion dollars to 18 billion dollars.

                  “In few years, it will catch up to 26 billion dollars and by the end Fifth Development Plan it will hit above 40 billion dollars,” he said.

                  “In the field of refineries, it is decided that the capacity will be boosted from the current 1.7 million barrels a day to 3 million barrels,” Zangeneh added. He anticipated that with continuation of support programs for the production chain, petrochemical production can hit 70 billion dollars a year.” (Source: Safana)

                  As fields are old, the production costs are rising and I doubt that they can make even tiny profit below $30 a barrel. So currently the incentive for them to increase production is almost non-existent. IMHO this is all PR talk. We will see the prof pro or contra on March 20th.

                  Iranian oil minister whom MSM like to cite is just trying to project an image favorable for the country. Reality is a completely different thing. For example Iran will get only around 55 billions from frozen funds and will be able to invest only a fraction of them in oil infrastructure as most of those money are already allocated for other projects. foreign money will probably come (Russians and French are interested) but much slower then expected.

            • SRSrocco says:


              Yes, the rest of the world may balance out a lot sooner. However, we just saw China’s exports were down a whopping 25% in February. Now, some of that was due to their Lunar New Year, but even if that was adjusted, Chinese exports were down a lot more than forecasted.

              Unless, the U.S. Govt sends out $5,000 checks to everyone in the next QE to Infinity policy, I don’t see a balancing out for a while.


        • How are the prices going to rise when the customer/end users are broke?

          Nobody comes up with compelling stories about how the ordinary people around the world are becoming wealthier. This wealth is needed to pay the high prices/offer the higher bid.

          Instead it is about how end users are being blown up in wars, are becoming refugees or migrants, are being slowly ruined by QE and central bank monetary policies, being ripped off by inflation/stagflation/deflation/currency depreciation; how their pensions are stolen, how education and medical care have become so costly as to require loans; how housing costs have skyrocketed; that the finance tendency since Day 1 has been — and is — to lend to firms rather than individuals … who cannot borrow infinite amounts even if they were to gain the same access to credit that firms have.

          Individuals have little or no collateral only the willingness to destroy capital. Individuals are the ultimate fools in the markets.

          When the customers cannot borrow they likewise cannot meet the price that finance is able to rig in wholesale markets. The outcome is our glut … not only a crude glut but a product glut as well:


          It isn’t just crude: trade, commodities, transports, basic manufacturing, retail, equities/junk finance = all into the toilet.

          The petroleum industry around the world is being destroyed systematically … that’s all people really need to focus on right now, not the mechanism which seems to be behind a (media driven) veil. High prices for commodities rationalize extraction of hard-to-get-at resource capital. Low prices strand both the capital and the means to get at it. High prices = there will always be some capital to burn. Low prices = burning regime goes out of business.

          So … low prices it is.

          • Hickory says:

            The last thing people will spend money on is food. The second to last is energy. And compared to manual or animal labor the cost of energy is still dirt cheap.
            There are more people in the world than ever who can afford to buy a gallon of gas.
            Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying all is rosy, in fact I think many segments of the population are out of the current and starting to drift back downstream.
            But the balance is still far tilted towards global increase purchasing power, big time.

            • Dennis Coyne says:

              Hi Hickory,

              I agree, wealth distribution has become worse, but income continues to rise. As the World economy grows by 2% per year (real GDP at market exchange rates), energy demand grows as well, the correlation is very good. The economy will continue to grow and so will demand for energy.

            • Dennis Coyne says:

              Energy intensity of the World economy has decreased from 1970 to 2014. Energy intensity is energy consumed by the economy divided by the real GDP produced.
              In 1970 314 tonnes of oil equivalent(toe) were needed for each million 2005$ of GDP produced and by 2014 energy intensity had fallen to 225 toe per million 2005$ of GDP.

              • SRSrocco says:


                While you produce some fine charts, I hope you don’t believe GDP and energy consumption will continue higher indefinitely. Also I hope you realize GDP figures are overstated due to understated inflation rates.

                For example the policy of substitution says if top sirloin beef is too expensive, then we switch to eating ground chuck. If chuck becomes too high, then its plain ole ground beef. Once ground beef becomes too costly, then we switch to ground rat.

                Lastly, why don’t you add the debt into your equations and see what the trend lines look like.


                • Dennis Coyne says:

                  Hi Steve,

                  No inflation is not understated, the Shadowstats stuff is not believable. If you believe the Shadowstats CPI adjustment and us those numbers to find the real oil price from 1970 to 2012 and do the same using the BLS CPI we get the following chart. Does the Shadowstats estimate for the real oil price in 1980 look reasonable?

                  You cannot be serious. 🙂

                  • Petro says:

                    “…Shadowstats stuff is not believable. If you believe the Shadowstats CPI adjustment…” ~D.Coyne

                    You did not understand any of it correctly. This has very little to do with being “believable”, or not.
                    Mr Williams is NOT inventing the data. He is simply calculating them exactly as BLS used to do PRIOR to 1990 and according to GAAP methodology.
                    There were major changes made to the data calculation in 1994 and 1997-1998 (and numerous minor ones since then).

                    -You are having that “unbelievable” divergence on the charts prior to 1994 because you incorrectly (for you did not understand at all and arrogantly ignored to ask and learn!) applied Mr.Williams’ methodology to data prior to ’90.
                    So, in simple terms, you REAPPLIED the calculation on the already calculated data.

                    -Many Fortune 500 companies rely on Mr. Williams’ data and I personally know a few Fortune 50 high level executives who heavily rely on his data for their strategic, long term planning.
                    A few months ago you dismissed
                    Ms Tverberg out of hand.. now you are doing to one of the BEST economists alive today…
                    Judging from what you know and write here about economy and finance, I kindly ask you to reconsider…again.

                    Be well,


                    P.S.: I am not taking sides with Steve, just trying to clarify things a bit…

                  • Nick G says:

                    -Many Fortune 500 companies rely on Mr. Williams’ data and I personally know a few Fortune 50 high level executives who heavily rely on his data for their strategic, long term planning.

                    Any sources or links for that?

                  • Petro says:

                    Dear Nick,

                    Mr William’s calculations are not “official” any more, so no links.
                    Private subscription to his site/data pool only.
                    As far as who do I know… I am afraid I am going to disappoint you and not answer that.
                    Again, Mr Williams does NOT have a proprietary methodology that he invented.
                    He is using GAAP and BLS methodology prior to ’90.
                    So his “stuff” (that Dennis does not believe today!) used to be “officially believable” prior to 1990
                    Be well,


                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Petro,

                    The shadowstats site gives “corrected” CPI.

                    I used that to find the real oil price (the usual calculation done with a price index and nominal prices). I compared that with the real oil price using the CPI.

                    The consumer basket of goods changes over time, a proper price index reflects that.
                    So perhaps you did not understand my chart. It was done correctly. If we use the shadowstats price index, the real oil price in 1980 was $350/b in 2012$.

                  • Petro says:

                    “The shadowstats site gives “corrected” CPI” ~ D. Coyne

                    -Let me write it for the 3rd time, since you did not understand the first 2:
                    there is no such thing as “corrected shadowstats CPI” before 1990.
                    Mr Williams calculates CPI and other data EXACTLY the SAME as the govt’offices did at that period.
                    So by applying the shadowstats “correction” prior to 1990 (and especially prior to 1994), you are applying the “correction” to something that was CORRECT in the first place!

                    “…The consumer basket of goods changes over time…” ~ D. Coyne.

                    Wrong again!
                    The basket does not change – IT IS CHANGED over time to “massage” data/results (again, I am not taking sides here – just stating facts!).

                    -I am not questioning your chart-building abilities!
                    I am trying to explain to you that your understanding of fundamental economic/financial concepts is narrow and flawed.
                    You can get upset about it, or try to learn…your choice

                    Be well,


              • likbez says:


                Energy intensity of the World economy has decreased from 1970 to 2014.

                This is probably due to deindustrialization of the Western countries. Aka “growth of service economy.”

                • Ulenspiegel says:

                  “This is probably due to deindustrialization of the Western countries. Aka “growth of service economy.””

                  The GLOBAL industrial production did not decrease, therefore, your argument does not make sense. It is only useful in a national e.g. US-centric discussion.

                  Or if you actually check data for developed countries with quite different share of industry to their GDP you do not see the correlation of low share of industry = low energy intensity!

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi likbez,

                    As Ulenspiegel says correctly, for the World your point does not apply. The World Energy intensity has fallen as I have used Global GDP and Global energy consumption.

                    As long as we don’t do a lot of interplanetary trade, this estimate will be close enough. 🙂

                  • likbez says:

                    Ulenspiegel ,

                    GDP does not reflect only production (compare with GNI). It is completely different metric which takes into account the “value” produced by financial services, prostitution (yes in some countries income from prostitution is included into GDP; GB (3-4% or ~£10 billion) and Italy (2% of national GDP) are two examples: https://www.rt.com/news/161140-italy-drugs-prostitution-economy/) and like.

                    GDP is defined as the total value of final goods and services produced within a territory during a specified period (or, if not specified, annually, so that “the UK GDP” is the UK’s annual product). GDP differs from gross national product (GNP) in excluding inter-country income transfers, in effect attributing to a territory the product generated within it rather than the incomes received in it.

                    So the country with zero production in which people just wash dirty linen for each for remuneration or trade on stock market has a positive GDP. Other classic example: if somebody marries his secretary and she stays home to look after children GDP drops.

                    GDP never measures economic efficiency of the country; it measures the level of economic activity. Healthcare is a classic example. The USA spends 20% to subsidize maladaptive behavior between producers and consumers in the medical food chain. Another example is sales of high sugar context flavored water called Coca Cola and Pepsi Cola. It is negatively affect children health leading to obesity and early diabetes, but it is positively reflected in GDP. And then medical expenses for treating diabetes further increase GDP. That brings us to the problem of conspicuous consumption or consumption for the sake of status. Which in the USA is a real national epidemics (Keeping up with Jones). Many other components of GDP (especially FIRE — finance, insurance and real estate) are partially anti-social and their fast growth is a sign of the problems inherent in neoliberal societies rather then social progress of the particular country. This is especially true for the USA, which in this sense is the most wicked (aka neoliberal) country in the world.

                    This voodoo cult of GDP that dominates US economic discourse since 1991 is just a sign of the level of degradation of economic science under neoliberalism.

                    See http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2014-05-23/counting-drugs-and-prostitution-in-gdp-makes-a-mockery-of-budget-rules

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Likbez,

                    In that case we just have no idea, GDP, or for the World GWP is the best measure we have, no it is not perfect, but it is what we have.

                    How do you measure World output?

                  • Ulenspiegel says:


                    it is claer for me that GDP has some issues. However, the basic point was that GDP is not correlated with energy consumption (some people stille assume), neither we find a correlation of share of industry and energy consumption per unit GDP.

                    And as long as you do not provide something better than GDP as metrics we should use it. 🙂

                • Oldfarmermac says:

                  Economic energy intensity is falling off pretty fast, in terms of the big picture, although you have to look at the trend over a period of years to see it clearly.

                  Cars and trucks last longer and get better mileage. Steel is mostly recycled, grain is mostly sod planted, led lights are displacing older types, electrified autos will soon be displacing conventional cars, tighter building codes are forcing building energy efficiency up, etc.

                  Airliners haul more people more miles per gallon of fuel, ditto cargo ships and containers.

                  So far as I can tell,Asian industries are improving their energy efficiency, because after all, a dollar saved on energy is a dollar added to the bottom line.

                  The trend to lower energy intensity per unit of GDP won’t last forever, but there is no reason, so far as I can see, to think it can’t last for a while yet.

                  The renewable energy industries are just now getting big enough to really matter, and have the potential to grow fast enough to offset the depletion of fossil fuels for quite some time, maybe even for several decades.

                  We are most likely headed to hell in a hand basket long term, but not necessarily within the next decade or two , or maybe even longer.

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Old Farmer Mac,

                    We may be headed for hell, but as energy intensity decreases, population peaks and declines (more education for women is key here as more educated women have fewer children), and wind and solar energy produce a larger share of total energy consumption, maybe not.

                    The rates that all of these processes follow will be key. And Yogi had it right, predictin is hard, especially the future…

                  • Fred Magyar says:

                    Dennis said:
                    “We may be headed for hell, but as energy intensity decreases, population peaks and declines (more education for women is key here as more educated women have fewer children), and wind and solar energy produce a larger share of total energy consumption, maybe not.”

                    Well, as we all should know by now correlation is not necessarily causation!


                    There is a need for more research on the relationship between various aspects of women’s status and fertility rates. In his 1991 study of comparative reproductive preferences, Charles Westoff of Princeton University’s Office of Population Research found,

                    “The relationship between education and the percentage of women who want no more children is positive in several of the countries, but weak or non-existent in many others. In fact, [the data] give the general impression that the intention to terminate childbearing is similar across educational levels…There is little evidence to support any strong pattern of diffusion or differential penetration of norms of family limitation across educational levels or from urban to rural areas. (pp. 5-6)

                    Abernethy (1993 correspondence) raises some interesting issues:

                    “Raising women’s legal, health, and social status, and providing women with educational opportunity are very worthwhile objectives in themselves. Nevertheless, only correlational data link these factors to fertility decline. On the contrary, participation in the labor market, particularly if a woman’s earnings make a significant contribution to family income, appears to significantly affect family size targets: Penn Handwerker and Diane Macunovich have found in Third World countries and the United States, respectively, that women prefer and have fewer children when child rearing carries an opportunity cost.

                    But yeah, I think we can we both agree with Yogi 🙂

                  • GoneFishing says:

                    I think a bigger factor than population is resources use. We have a huge variation in per capita resource use across the world.
                    The developing and developed nations promote greater resource use, which of course depletes the planet that much faster.
                    Meanwhile, some poor person living in a shack uses very little resources or energy.
                    The rich or well off are not equivalent to the poor, since their effect on the planet is so disparate.
                    Head count does not tell the real story, it’s food, water, materials and energy use per person that counts. It’s waste that counts.

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Fred,

                    Yes correlation does not necessarily indicate causation. Perhaps having fewer children makes women more educated. 🙂

                  • Fred Magyar says:

                    Yes correlation does not necessarily indicate causation. Perhaps having fewer children makes women more educated…

                    At the very least it might explain why women with fewer children tend not to be conservatives 🙂

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Gonefishing,

                    Good point. We should tackle the problem in both ways, fewer people due to a Worldwide demographic transition and more efficient use of resources by building products that last and designing products cradle to grave so that more materials can be recycled.

            • clueless says:

              Hickory says – “The last thing people will spend money on is food. ”
              Surely you mean the first thing??

              • Hickory says:

                I meant that if people are running out of money, that last thing they will forsake is spending on food,. I didn’t express that notion very well. Pardon.

              • piptee doop tay badoo pap says:

                Unless it is to put food on your family?

            • Nathanael says:

              “The last thing people will spend money on is food. The second to last is energy. And compared to manual or animal labor the cost of energy is still dirt cheap.”

              Sure, but *electricity is cheaper than oil*. So yeah, the solar panel factories will still be selling solar panels, but…

          • Demand seems to be increasing. World GDP is expected to grow. Production capacity is dropping. Prices will rise.

          • Brian Rose says:


            Demand for commodities is at record highs, and has grown steadily since 2009.

            Demand for products and services reflect the same reality.

            Rapid supply expansion after the 2008 collapse led to oversupply. This is true for most commodities due to a prolonged period of rising commodity prices from 2004-2013. This occurred in all commodities, not just oil.

            Don’t confuse oversupply with falling demand. They are two entirely different scenarios, but both lead to lower prices – just for different reasons.

            Global deflation is a product of a strong dollar and oversupply.

            Worried about slowing growth in China? Don’t forget that China’s economy is several times larger than in 2000. For China 7% GDP growth in 2016 is quite literally equivalent to 20% GDP growth in 2000.

            If I have a demand of 1 million smartphones and it grows by 7%, then my demand has grown by 70,000. If I have a demand of 300,000 smartphones, then it must grow by 23% for my demand to grow by 70,000.

            The increase in unit demand is the exact same, but the growth rates are radically different. Everyone is focusing on China’s GDP growth without appreciating that their demand growth in terms of volume is at record highs.

      • Ves says:

        “Now they are also selling to Europe.”

        They sold all 4 tankers to Europe. So pretty much nothing. Iran will not piss their oil at these prices until there is a deal in terns of production level between major producers. I believe there will be agreement and Iran will increase production gradually.

        • likbez says:


          “will not piss their oil at these prices”

          Iran behaves itself very strangely (or Western media distorts its position is such a way that it looks like caricature of itself). From one point of view they want a “fair” price for their oil, on the other Iranian oil minister makes multiple stupid statements that play directly into the hands of “low oil price forever” crowd.

          Such as “… According to the minister, Iran is not for selling oil at low prices. However, even if prices drop below $30 per barrel the country will increase oil output…”. Is not this a self-contradiction?

          And they sign contracts left and right to prove that they can increase exports, essentially replacing Saudi in predatory pricing for oil.

          They will supply 0.16Mb/d to Total from this March due to recently signed contract (airplanes for oil barter).

          • Ves says:

            Iran CANNOT in the low price environment dictate the level of their production. But Iran is in good position to get their production quotas increased as a geopolitical payback from the Russians after Syrian intervention that would not be possible without Iran and due to “pimple” on SA bottom in the form of money draining war in Yemen that Saudis would really like to wind down and where Iran’s “help” is crucial.
            Anyway, the announcement that meeting between Russians and Saudis is in Moscow and not Vienna (Opec HQ) speaks volume. All involved parties have interest to stabilize the price of oil at this point when this little hot war flare up is finished. The motions for that were actually set a month ago.

  4. Petro says:

    Thanks for the update, Ron and thank you for your time and work!
    While I sincerely hope that this respected forum continues to be interesting, I truly believe that Dennis has some “very large shoes” to fill!
    I shall visit these pages from time to time in hopes of reading brilliant mind teasers akin to “Of Fossil Fuels and Human Destiny”, “The Grand Illusion”…etc.
    -All the best to you and yours in/for whatever lies ahead!

    And Dennis, congratulations to you!
    Your time and input will certainly be appreciated.

    “…But that run is over, any major increase in production in the next few years will come from Iran. It remains to be seen whether Iran’s increase will be greater than the decline of the other 12 OPEC nations.”… ~ R.Patterson
    Remains to be seen indeed!

    Be well,


  5. So much for the media frenzy about Saudia pushing US frackers to the brink.

    So much for media frenzy about OPEC pushing US frackers to the brink.

    They’re at the brink all right but the push comes from elsewhere. Too much industry dependency on loans is a good place to start. Of course, what else do you have? It’s loans or nothing.

    • Oldfarmermac says:

      Sorry for the all bold if it comes out that way, but deleting and reposting will get this comment into the spam file.

      Debt is a hell of a problem, and no mistake.

      A debt overload may be the key factor in bringing down the entire economic house of business as usual.

      But debt is not the same thing as resources, human or natural.

      Most of the debts currently owed in this old world will never be repaid, and only a damned fool ever EXPECTED them to be repaid.

      The game plan has always been to inflate away the worst of the debts run up by government, since these debts have mostly been created at very low interest rates, or else, the plan has been simply to pretend they don’t even exist.

      The owners of all this debt, to put it politely, are mostly situated to enjoy some involuntary sex, without the aid of a lubricant. To this extent, I am fully with Steve.

      But for now, and for some time to yet to come, there are still plenty of resources, human and natural, to be exploited.

      And there is a significant possibility that the people who own the debt will lose the fight to collect. Debts have been repudiated before, and they will be repudiated again, at many levels, from personal to national.

      The pyramids were apparently built without debt.

      Nazi Germany managed to build the most awesome war machine in history, previous to the outbreak of WWII, while flat “busted”.

      Debt is not NECESSARILY going to be the end of the modern industrial economy.

      But for damned sure, the grip of the owners of all that debt on the levers of power is immensely strong, and we are going to see a fireworks show worthy of the watching when the shit hits the fan.

      Personally I believe it will basically be deflated away. It would be just about impossible to actually REDUCE the amount of money I get in my monthly old age welfare check, in terms of what the bank deposit shows, from the political point of view, but it is not so hard to finesse the economic data used to compute inflation and shrink my purchasing power thereby.

      It is hard to steal the pension of a Teamster who is collecting it NOW, but it is child’s play to steal it twenty or thirty years from now, by simply failing to fund it in a realistic fashion. Furthermore, it is as easy as falling off a log to fund it, but in such a way that the invested funds disappear.

      Stock in Kodak would be a prime example. Ownership of shopping malls dependent on suburban customers driving there is probably another, with delivery in the future promising to be far cheaper than picking up your own groceries .

      If the resources are there, and the people are there, the economy is at least potentially sheltered from the worst aspects of bad debts, assuming populist politics prevail.

      I think there is an excellent possibility populism WILL prevail. The Trumps and the Gates and the Koch brothers and their allies in politics may not prevail against the mobs with the torches and pitchforks.

      But let’s not forget Yogi. Predicting is hard.

      GO Bernie!

      Anybody who wants some INSIGHT into why the Trump chump is doing so well, and HRC is getting her ass kicked by Sanders, considering she has the entire D party establishment behind her , and a twenty year head start, can start by reading this opinion column.

      Most of us will strongly to violently disagree with some positions held by this guy Pruden,as I do myself.

      But when it comes to understanding the mood of the country, and insight into the workings of the minds of voters, I don’t know of anybody better.


      Hard core liberals will not enjoy many of his columns, because they are mostly aimed at D’s, and particularly at HRC.

      But this one is a gem, everybody ought to read it.


      • Nick G says:


        There’s nothing new about exploiting people’s problems, and diverting their anger towards scapegoats, like immigrants.

        Trump has proposed a massive tax cut for the 1%, and making life harder for immigrants only helps business exploit them better, and undercuts wages even more for working people.

        Trump is the same ol’, same ol’, only worse.

      • Brian Rose says:


        I’ve had jobs that were easy, paid well, and were less stressful than average.

        I’ve had jobs that were a daily struggle and didn’t pay their fair share.

        What I’ve found is that an easy, well paid job can FEEL like an unnecessarily difficult job that pays below market rates. It all depends on who you work with and what they talk about.

        We’ve all had co-workers that focus on the smallest faults and convincingly amplify small difficulties to seem large, absurd, and torturous. We’ve had peers that incessantly talk about their friends cousin who does the same job for more – even though your pay is at the top of the market in your area.

        The difference between impartial reality, and your peers attitude about reality, can create a convincing schism where you have it good, but it FEELS like an unfair, depressing injustice.

        The U.S. economy is 8 years into a steady and record setting expansion. Every month sets a new record for the longest streak of private-sector job growth on record – now at 72 straight months with 14.5 million new jobs over that time.

        I’ve know a number of people who truly, genuinely believe that terrorism in the U.S. is out of control… even though there hasn’t been a terrorist attack in the U.S. in 15 years.

        I know even more people who believe we’re in recession, unemployment is 10%, Obama is a Muslim (not that that should matter anyway), that illegal immigration from Mexico is out of control (even though there is currently net illegal emigration from U.S. to Mexico), that getting Iran to literally destroy its nuclear weapons program, through IAEA verification, is a sure path to Iran… acquiring nuclear weapons, that war is cheaper than diplomacy, that the Federal Deficit is increasing at record rates… even though it has been decreasing year-on-year-on-year since Obama’s 2nd year in office (and that is AFTER the Tea Party REJECTING the Obama-Boehner budget agreement for $4 trillion in spending cuts for… a sequester of $780 billion – yes, the Tea Party raised the deficit by $3.2 trillion because they… care about the debt?).

        The anger in this country is unique in that it is occurring during a period of steady economic expansion in a historic period of security. It is genuinely unprecedented.

        My mother is a 60 year old Pharmaceutical Sales Rep. She starts and ends the day with Fox News. She genuinely believes the U.S. is on the brink of collapse, crime and terrorism are out of control, the healthcare industry is doing worse than ever, and that we no longer have any allies internationally (good luck explaining that the Iran deal was a global agreement and the U.S. would have been a pariah by opposing it).

        Even though she emphatically believes all of these things she ALSO has this reality in front of her: Her income has increased EVERY SINGLE YEAR of Obama’s Presidency, she has never been let go during Obama’s Presidency, her companies stock has risen faster than before Obama’s Presidency, the entire healthcare sector has experienced rapid growth (in both employment and stock valuations) during Obama’s Presidency, not a single person she knows has been criminalized or experienced a terrorist incident.

        Long story short, I know a baby-boomer whose life is better than ever, and has experienced a period of income growth faster than any period of her 35 year career. I know this because she admits this. She simultaneously believes that we’re in an economic collapse, terrorism is out of control, and the U.S. is about to be invaded.

        This is the reason Trump exists. It is the result of 8 years of Republican media inventing an alternate reality that perplexes the entire rest of the world. Anyone who knows or talks to enough citizens of other countries sees that the situation we find ourselves in is unprecedented and, frankly, embarrassing.

        • Hickory says:

          Many valid points here, but surprised by your comment about “no terrorism” in the US in 15 years. If you define terrorism as ideological driven violence against civilians (or something like that), then don’t forget San Bernadino 2015, Boston Marathon 2013, Ft Hood 2009, Beltway Sniper 2002, and many other incidents that resulted in only 1-2 deaths, injuries, or were thwarted.
          Maybe you could characterize attacks on Jews as hate crime rather than terrorism- I don’t know the difference. Or on Muslims, or on gays, or Asians, or Blacks, or on Police for that matter.

  6. ezrydermike says:

    so, does anyone have an idea of the potential for offshore Atlantic oil and gas?

    Will this make any difference?

    “The Obama administration is reversing course on opening Atlantic waters to a new generation of oil and gas drilling, after a revolt by environmentalists and coastal communities that said the activity threatened marine life, fishing and tourism along the U.S. East Coast.

    The proposed offshore leasing program being released Tuesday eliminates the administration’s initial plan to auction off drilling rights in as many as 104 million acres of the mid- and south-Atlantic in 2021, according to an Interior Department statement. The proposal also sets the stage for selling oil and gas leases in the Arctic waters of the Chukchi and Beaufort seas, as well as Alaska’s Cook Inlet and the Gulf of Mexico, where 10 auctions were tentatively scheduled from 2017 to 2022.”


    • coffeeguyzz says:

      I actually worked on the first offshore drilling platforms off New Jersey in the late 70’s.
      The program involved a few oil companies spanning about two years and a couple dozen wells, IIRC.
      Although I, myself, departed after five months, the ‘word’ was that gas shows existed in many of the wells drilled, but in insufficient quantities to be commercially viable.
      In these type of wildcat operations, the data is usually kept highly confidential … but they would not be considering going back unless there were some upside potential.

      On a completely different topic, Lyft and GM announced a plan today to offer short term rentals to Lyft’s drivers (for free in some circumstances) in an effort to bolster the businesses. (Lyft is an Uber competitor). Eventually, the goal is to have autonomous vehicles.
      Absolutely brilliant strategy, if it works.

    • George Kaplan says:

      1.3 mmboed and rising by 2035 – more nat. gas than oil. 2 billion boe total recovered by then, but more reserves available:


      These are API estimates so probably on the high side.

    • clueless says:

      Even if the potential is trillions of barrels, the political production will always be zero.

    • sunnnv says:

      BOEM just released a new offshore assessment model.
      Mid-Atlantic estimation a whopping (/sarcasm) 2.41 billion bbls of oil UTRR, i.e. nice, but nothing huge,
      Western Gulf Of Mexico is 11.57 Bbo, Central GOM is 33.25 Bbo.
      Chukchi Sea is 15.38 Bbo, Beaufort Sea is 8.22 Bbo.
      For comparison, Bakken and Eagle Ford are around 8 and 5 Bbo respectively.
      US consumption is around 7 Bbo/year (“all liquids”, not just crude).


      A link to a nice map is there.

      The “Fact sheet” makes for interesting reading, includes comparisons with previous estimates and what’s economically recoverable at various oil prices.

  7. robert wilson says:

    ezrydermike says:
    03/15/2016 AT 3:14 PM
    so, does anyone have an idea of the potential for offshore Atlantic oil and gas
    I wonder? In the past I have seen references to the lack of economic oil and gas onshore or near offshore along the mid and south portions of the Atlantic. I assume that near offshore drilling would have been possible and permitted in this area during the early or mid 20th Century? Was the geology unsuitable?

    • John S says:


      Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. There hasn’t been near enough wells drilled in the Atlantic OCS to really know. But all one has to do is head north and look at the Hibernia fields developed in Canadian waters offshore Nova Scotia to get some idea of the potential.

      The risk of ice bergs is substantially lower along the US Atlantic coast so it is reasonable to assume that development costs will be less than Hibernia.

      From what I remember of my offshore days we were most interested in the Cape Hatteras area. Do t hold me to that though. It was a long time ago. I doubt the NIMBY crowd has lessened in that area so I am pretty skeptical that an OCS lease sale will ever be held in that area.

      Oh I just found this: Obama Bans New Atlantic Offshore Drilling.http://oilpro.com/post/23165/obama-reverses-arctic

      • John S says:


        This is a very interesting read on a possible exploration and production play by BP & Shell in the North Atlantic in Nova Scotia waters.

        • George Kaplan says:

          Hibernia is offshore Newfoundland not Nova Scotia – there are no ice bergs getting to Nova Scotia, and currently no oil production either. There are two gas developments which haven’t been outstanding successes. There have been previous exploration wells for oil, none successful and some (e.g. Marathon) very expensive, it is very stormy and deep water requires DP (dynamic positioned) drill ships. Shell is drilling at the moment but it also has had major problems as the drill ship dropped the riser (2 km of pipe) over the weekend in a storm (well secured previously so no risk to environment), so I assume activity is currently suspended. BP and Shell bid about a billion dollars each for rights there. Exploration success has been better in the Hibernia area, with Statoil particularly active recently.

      • Oldfarmermac says:

        If oil ever gets short enough the tourists quit coming , the people who own the water front will be happy to see oil produced off shore in NC.

        They will extract a sizable ransom from the industry in exchange for stepping aside.

        Till then, they will as John S suggests, not a prayer.

  8. Watcher says:

    Aren’t we missing the monthly Bakken report?

    • Dennis Coyne says:

      Hi Watcher,

      Yes we are, I would direct people to Enno Peters website.

      He does a fine job on this,

      Based on the latest NDIC data, total oil production in North Dakota fell to 1122 kbo/d in January, again a monthly drop of 30 kbo/d. This decline was slightly higher than I expected. The number of new wells producing dropped to 70.


      • Enno Peters says:

        Thank you Dennis!

        • Dennis Coyne says:


          You are the one who should be thanked for your awesome work!

          Thank you.

          • AlexS says:

            I concur,

            I guess Enno’s site required a huge amount of work.
            And it is very helpful for us.

            • Enno Peters says:

              Dennis, Alex,

              Thanks, I really appreciate that. I got inspired by the (in my eyes) lack of good information about the shale plays, the impact of shale oil on the global oil market and on many people’s lives, the many questions about it, and the many (again, in my view) incorrect reporting about it. I still read articles on a daily basis that I belief are incorrect based on the data I have presented. My hope is that the site provides easily accessible data that can lead to better informed discussions and understanding.

              I see that both of you also make tremendous efforts in understanding and presenting “the truth” in a rational and reasonable way, and I much value that. I also admire the amount of patience you both display in the debates here. 🙂

    • Pete Mason says:

      Yup, but would like to see Ron’s analysis. Always a highlight, and there’s been a fall similar to last month’s.

  9. aws. says:

    February Smashes Earth’s All-Time Global Heat Record by a Jaw-Dropping Margin
    By: Jeff Masters and Bob Henson , 7:46 PM GMT on March 13, 2016

    On Saturday, NASA dropped a bombshell of a climate report. February 2016 has soared past all rivals as the warmest seasonally adjusted month in more than a century of global recordkeeping. NASA’s analysis showed that February ran 1.35°C (2.43°F) above the 1951-1980 global average for the month, as can be seen in the list of monthly anomalies going back to 1880. The previous record was set just last month, as January 2016 came in 1.14°C above the 1951-1980 average for the month. In other words, February has dispensed with this one-month-old record by a full 0.21°C (0.38°F)–an extraordinary margin to beat a monthly world temperature record by. Perhaps even more remarkable is that February 2015 crushed the previous February record–set in 1998 during the peak atmospheric influence of the 1997-98 “super” El Niño that’s comparable in strength to the current one–by a massive 0.47°C (0.85°F).

    • Javier says:

      Yes. And we do know the cause.

      • And what caused the cause?

        • Synapsid says:


          I put that as “What caused 2015 to be the warmest El-Nino year on record?” Same thing, I guess.

        • Hickory says:

          Well said Ron!

          Javier- a big el nino year is a symptom of warmth, not a cause of a graph.

          Seriously, I have a question for you Javier- have you thought what it would take for you see the earth as being in the midst of a significant warming trend? A particular indicator that would reach the threshold for you? I am truly interested in your thoughts on this. Thank you.

          • Silicon Valley Observer says:

            Given the catastrophic impact that climate change will have, does it make more sense to wait until “all the evidence is in” or make changes now given the evidence that exists?

            But it’s pointless — nothing is going to change. Whatever is going to happen will happen and no action will be taken to prevent it.

          • likbez says:


            Seriously, I have a question for you Javier- have you thought what it would take for you see the earth as being in the midst of a significant warming trend?

            You are way too quick. I am with Javier on that.

            You know what Chinese premier said to French when asked about significance of French revolution for mankind or something like that.

            He said: Too early to tell.

            Returning to El Nino issues. Why not to wait for the next La Niña and see the real amplitude. There is close to a 50% chance for La Niña to develop by fall.

          • Jimmy says:

            It looks to me like 2011 was the record low Arctic sea ice annual maximum and 2012 was the record low Arctic sea ice annual minimum. If 2016 is both a record low sea ice annual maximum AND a record low Arctic sea ice annual minimum then perhaps Javier will get it through his thick skull. But I doubt. Javier states the current data indicates that the Arctic sea ice volumes are ‘doing just fine’; FYI we’re in second place for record low March right behind March 2011. Javier is either willfully blind, incredibly stupid, a troll or all of the above.


            Anybody who looks at the chart linked above and concludes that the data indicates Arctic sea ice volumes are ‘doing just fine’ is not worth taking seriously.

            There was a strong El Niño in 1998 however it appears that Arctic sea ice extent was much greater at that time than compared to today. I suggest one does not need a PhD in regressional analysis to come up with some ideas about why that might be. If El Niño is the only culprit, as Javier seems to be suggesting, then 1998 sea ice and 2016 sea ice should be in somewhat similar condition. Yet that is not the case.


            In my house when guests come over for dinner people like Javier are invited to go and sit at the kids table. However I’m doubtful even children would tolerate that much obvious stupidity.

            • Russell Boga Flores says:

              I hope you just earned yourself the ban that was promised if you kept up your disrespectful and antagonistic behavior toward another poster. Bye.

            • Caelan MacIntyre says:

              Jimmy, I hate to ask this, but if you could please ‘critique’ Javier’s comments, rather than Javier, it might save your ass on here and avert subverting your own voice, such as to the issue of climate change.
              It is suspected that Javier and ‘company’ and/or the drive-by’s, for examples, would like little better than to see you instrumental in your own banishment, thus maybe amplifying a particular chorus by your elimination.
              I’m also unsure Dennis would appreciate having to make the call.
              Besides, at the beginning, Ron Patterson did make it plain that he was relatively averse to, as he put it, ‘vile’ name-calling, even though he may have transgressed his own rule once and awhile, if not often.

              “Morpheus: ‘You have to focus, Trinity.’ ” ~ The Matrix

            • Javier says:


              I do not say that current El Niño is necessarily behind current low Arctic sea ice levels for the time of the year. It might have contributed not only through temperatures, but through precipitation changes, but we don’t know that for sure.

              You have to understand that a record low in Arctic sea ice is only one year data. What happens over several years is what matters. The recovery of 2013 in Arctic sea ice was so big that it surprised cryoscientists.

              The long term trend in Arctic sea ice is downwards, this is evident and logical and expected. After all ice is expected to melt if temperatures increase and the planet has been warming.

              The short term trend in Arctic sea ice however is not downward, as Arctic sea ice is at about the levels of 10 years ago. This is important to cryoscientists as some of their models (the more alarmists) do not allow for Arctic sea ice stabilization in the face of increasing CO2 and temperatures.

              It is also important to understand that Arctic sea ice has a more complex dynamic, and is more resilient to global warming that anticipated, and that even if global warming continues, we are not going to see an Arctic essentially free of sea ice during any summer of our lives.

              Perhaps you should stop looking at graphs and start trying to understand the causes of the data. That’s what scientists are doing, and that is why some of them are defending the importance of the link between Arctic sea ice and the North Atlantic Oscillation.

              • Brian Rose says:


                You cited that the Arctic is experiencing a multi-decade decline in sea ice minimums. Then mentioned that single year citations mean nothing. Any scientist would agree with all of this.

                Then, you cite 2013 as an unusual year, and note that it is out of trend… that it is an outlier… just after noting that trends mean everything and individual data points mean nothing.

                Frankly, using the Arctic as a proxy is in itself a secluded data point for global climate. One must analyze the growth/retreat of glaciers globally. This yields more data points, so any global picture can be smoothed by eliminating noise and local conditions.

                I’m fairly certain you are aware of the data on glacier volume around the globe, and how long that trend has marched forward.

                I mean, Javier, honestly, the cumulative impact of natural factors forcing the climate would be creating a period of global cooling for the last century.

                Humanity has known the Earth’s various processional cycles for a century, and those cycles, in the indisputable terms of physics and energy, mean that the Earth is receiving less energy from the Sun than a century ago… yet the Earth has been consistently warming for decades.

                I’m honestly curious.

                Do you deny that the Earth should be cooling? The Earth’s processional cycles are non-variable, and readily verified due to their simplicity. The net energy gained and lost as these cycles proceed is simple to calculate and verify.

                Do you deny that records of sunspot activity have correlated to solar output since continuous records by Galileo began in 1611? Is it not unusual that, globally, ice cores confirm that 400 years of Sunspot activity have matched with temperature records and processional data?

                Javier, where is it that this all goes wrong? The Earth SHOULD be cooling. It is warming. WHY?

                • Duncan Idaho says:

                  Well, it has been a gradual cooling trend for about 4000 years, until we “hockey sticked” all that carbon into the atmosphere.

                  We may have delayed the next ice age 100,000 years:

                • Javier says:

                  Hi Brian,

                  I agree with what you say. The multidecade decline in Arctic sea ice is linked to the multidecade warming trend. As you say any scientist would agree with this, and any person minimally knowledgeable about climate history.

                  I discuss about shorter periods because the decline appears to follow a sinusoidal oscillation of about 60 years linked to the North Atlantic Oscillation, as several scientists have demonstrated, and not an exponential decay as we read all the time on newspapers and alarmist scientists proclaim.

                  I also agree that the Earth is in a multi-millennial cooling trend due to orbital changes. But I do not agree that the Earth has been consistently warming for decades. This is a misrepresentation. The Earth has been warming for three and a half centuries. So present global warming, even if greatly enhanced by anthropogenic forcings, is part of a natural warming process.

                  We can readily see this three and a half centuries warming that predates anthropogenic forcings in the world glaciers that you mention. Have you looked when they started to retreat?

                  If you take the time to study Holocene temperature variations you will learn about a cycle of ~2500 years whose minima are characterized by serious cooling, that was discovered by scientists and to my knowledge first published in the journal Nature in the late sixties. Each minimum of this cycle is followed by a period of about 400 years of warming. The last minimum of this cycle was the Little Ice Age.

                  As we are within the period of recovery of that minimum, the Earth should be warming, not cooling. That period is expected to end around the mid-21st century, so about that time nature will start working on cooling the Earth again, and we will finally know how strong is our anthropogenic forcing, unless of course we eliminate it before that.

                  So the Earth is taking a temporary respite in its cooling. We know this temporary respites are a characteristic of global coolings at the end of an interglacial because we can see them in records of past interglacials. Let’s take for example MIS19 777,000 years ago, which is the closest astronomical analog to the Holocene. If you were near the top of one of those temperature bumps named AIM (Antarctic Isotope Maxima) would you be worried that the Earth is suddenly warming when it was previously cooling? Well, check what comes afterwards. As you see there is no reason to worry.

                  In the graph, Red is for the Holocene and Black is for MIS19.

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Javier,

                    The significant difference is that atmospheric carbon dioxide levels were between 180 ppm and 260 ppm between 800 ky BP and 700 ky BP. Note in the chart below that the steep rise in CO2 from 180 ppm to 210 ppm (which is equivalent to a rise from 290 ppm [1850-1900 level] to 338 ppm) took place from 740 ky BP to 717 ky BP. That is a 23,000 year period for a 17% rise in carbon dioxide levels. Since 1875 the atmospheric CO2 levels have risen by about 38% in 140 years. We do not have any Global events that are similar in the last 800,000 years.

            • Dennis Coyne says:

              Hi Jimmy,

              I will consider this strike two. In case you missed my warnings before. A third time and you are out as in banned from POB permanently.

              As Caelan suggested I would prefer not to do that, but ad hominem arguments are not acceptable.


          • Fred Magyar says:

            Seriously, I have a question for you Javier- have you thought what it would take for you see the earth as being in the midst of a significant warming trend?

            To me a much more important and telling question would be, at what point does someone with a PhD and a background in biology begin to accept that the rate of change in previously stable ecosystems is having negative impacts on the biosphere as a whole.

            While we can quibble about charts, hiatuses in warming and the state of Artcic sea ice, there is a much deeper issue which can only be addressed from a systems thinking approach. It is here, that IMHO, the denial and political agenda of those who continue to attempt to obfuscate reality are most stark and glaring!

            Humans are radically changing the biomes on which we have depended for the last 10,000or or so years at rates which are having major impacts. Sure, in theory at least if we wipe out top predators such as tuna and the oceans fill with giant jellyfish, or we destroy most of our coral reef ecosystems with agricultural runoff and other toxins life will adapt and new ecosystems will continue to form and exist but to deny that “Houston we have a problem!” is a bit ridiculous and pathetic! 7.3 billion humans are having major impacts on all systems and they are also affecting climate in a massive geoengineering experiment without precedent.

            It is the total synergistic effects that worry me and simplistic black and white depictions of complex systems have no place in the thinking of someone who calls himself a scientist! The precautionary principle should apply in spades to climate change, to argue that it might have beneficial consequences is at the very least dangerously naive!


            • Javier says:

              But on that, Fred, you and I essentially agree.

              While we can say for sure that any change is going to have a negative impact in some species, it is not so clear that the net impact of global warming is negative for the biosphere, as some of its side effects like increased productivity, greening and lengthening of the active seasons are probably beneficial to an ample majority of species.

              However the human influence on the biosphere independent of climate change is a huge negative. Being the main problems appropriation of resources including land and pollution. And these problems are proportional to population levels not to climate change.

              To me is amazing that we know how much damage we are causing to the biosphere, we know the cause and we know how to reduce that damage and even to invert the negative trend and yet we prefer to focus and divert most of the money and energy to a different problem, global warming, whose negative effect is not at all clear, and we don’t even know if we can solve it.

              That we are devoting so much time, effort, and money to discuss ways of stopping global warming for such ridiculous results 18 years after Kyoto, instead of trying to solve the problem of population, resource appropriation and pollution that are entirely in our hands to solve is speaking volumes of how stupid our supposedly sapiens species really is.

              It really saddens me that the ecologist movement has been all but bought by the climate change money to the point that the really important ecological issues are no longer publicly discussed.

              I am not advocating that we burn fossil fuels as if there is no tomorrow, quite the contrary we should save as much of them as possible for future generations. I am advocating that we stop the climate change insanity and dedicate our efforts to really undo the damage we are doing personally, directly, and every day to the biosphere, and that we just need to stop doing it to see a 100% effective reduction in that damage.

              • Dennis Coyne says:

                Hi Javier,

                You are correct that there is uncertainty about how much rising atmospheric carbon dioxide levels will affect temperature. I am also concerned about the biosphere and the human impact on the biosphere.

                Population is a big problem and better education for women would help reduce total fertility levels.

                Air pollution will be reduced by less coal use worldwide and a reduction in oil use would also help (though with appropriate modern pollution control the problem of oil use causing air pollution is reduced).

                Development of wind and solar power, as well as EVs, plugin hybrids, electrified rail, and light rail will help society to transition away from coal and oil use while potentially maintaining adequate levels of prosperity.

                Economic prosperity is a key condition for a Worldwide demographic transition to lower total fertility rates which may solve the population problem.

                Whether climate change is a problem or not, fossil fuels will deplete and we (people of the planet Earth) will need to transition to some other form of energy as well as use energy more efficiently.

                It seems arguing over climate change is a waste of time, nobody is ever convinced that their position is incorrect.

                The potential certainly exists for too much warming, as the policies to reduce this risk largely coincide with policies to reduce damage to the biosphere, the point does not seem worth arguing.

                • Javier says:

                  Your position seems reasonable to me Dennis,

                  I am more pessimistic about the energy transition and the population evolution that you are, but more optimistic about the climate issue. Time will tell.

                  However I disagree with your last paragraph. Even if the current favored hypothesis is correct, the contribution to the warming by human emissions of methane, nitrogen oxide and black carbon soot appears to outweigh the contribution by human emissions of CO2. The proposed curbs in CO2 emissions thus appear very little effective in reducing warming. There is a more reasonable proposal called “Fast Mitigation,” a new strategy to eliminate SLCPs (Short-Lived Climate Pollutants) including methane, black carbon, hydrofluourocarbons and tropospheric ozone. All of these factors are subject to human mitigation with existing technology and should have a dramatic effect on climate change if the hypothesis is correct.

                  Policies to reduce CO2 emissions will not address any problem. We will see very soon as it appears that CO2 emissions are no longer growing. We might even see that a reduction in human CO2 emissions does not translate into a reduction in the rate of increase of atmospheric CO2 levels.

                  Regarding biosphere pollution, atmospheric pollution is only a part of it. Water pollution and land pollution are very significant, and will not be addressed by any climate change initiative.

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Javier,

                    The other global warming gasses do not remain in the atmosphere as long as carbon dioxide, which has a half life of about 30,000 years. There is also the fact that a rise in carbon dioxide levels from 293 ppm (average from 1880 to 1900) to about 374 ppm from 2003 to 2013 has led to a rise in Global land temperatures of 1.27 C. If atmospheric CO2 rises to 516 ppm as suggested by my medium fossil fuel scenario, Global land temperatures rise to 2.94C above the 1880 to 1900 level, it is not clear that this will be a good thing, even 450 ppm might be too much, but it will be difficult to keep CO2 at that level.

                    Note that I agree keeping other emissions low is a good idea as well, we can solve many problems at once. Burning less coal and less diesel fuel are good first steps, reducing water pollution, and reducing soil erosion are also great ideas.

                    More development and education for women will lead to a Worldwide demographic transition which will cause population to peak and decline, also a problem that needs serious attention.

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Javier,

                    Yes atmospheric CO2 may continue to rise as the oceans warm because warmer water can absorb less CO2, of course fewer carbon dioxide emissions will reduce the rate of increase of atmospheric CO2, unless you have some doubt about conservation of mass. 🙂

              • Nick G says:

                I am not advocating that we burn fossil fuels as if there is no tomorrow, quite the contrary we should save as much of them as possible for future generations.

                That’s what puzzles me – this idea that fossil fuels are still valuable. Generations from now children will be puzzled that we ever used this polluting, inconvenient, expensive, risky stuff. So puzzled that we fought wars over it. Using fossil fuels will seem as odd (and repellant) as delivering parcels in Manhattan using horses.

                • Javier says:

                  Nick G.,

                  You have a narrow view of Fossil Fuels. Oil and gas are a treasure trove for chemistry. Burning them for energy is an awful waste and very inefficient. A lot of much more valuable things can be manufactured from them. They are required to manufacture from fertilizers to medical plastics. It is possible that future generations will curse us for burning something so valuable.

                  • Nick G says:

                    Oil and gas are a treasure trove for chemistry.

                    First, that’s a small percentage of fossil fuel consumption.

                    2nd, there are other sources of hydrogen and carbon – we don’t especially need fossil fuels, though they certainly appear a bit cheaper and more convenient at the moment.

                    Finally, using oil & gas for petrochemical feedstock doesn’t have to contribute to CO2 emissions or atmospheric pollution. So, reducing CO2 emissions is perfectly consistent with reducing pollution in general.

                  • Javier says:

                    Nick G,

                    I am with Dennis on this one. I don’t think CO2 emissions are going to raise much as we run into peak oil first and peak fossil fuels slightly later. I also think that if our understanding of the carbon cycle is not awful, atmospheric levels of CO2 could stabilize not much higher than 500 ppm. So CO2 emissions are not much of an issue to me. We can limit them or not, it won’t make much difference except that if we limit them too much we will harm the economy.

                    Oil is a miraculous compound. It is the highest energy density substance on Earth after radioactive material and it has not always been available. Of course you can make it (after all it has been made) but you have to use a lot more energy to do it that it will give back to you. Using oil and gas as petrochemical feedstock will always be energetically favourable over the alternatives so it will probably always be used for as long as humans have a technological civilization.

                    Reducing CO2 emissions is not the same as reducing pollution, as CO2 is not a pollutant. We would achieve more reducing diesel burning as it produces a lot of Nitrogen oxide and soot.

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    HI Javier

                    My medium scenario would result in about 515 ppm of atmospheric CO2,
                    I have suggested global land temperature might rise to 2.7C above 1850 to 1900 average temperature levels.

                    I am not qualified to judge if this will be a catastrophe.

                    Most biologists think it will not be good.

                  • Javier says:


                    That would be about 1.5°C above current decade average temperatures. About as much warming as we have had since the Little Ice Age without any ill effect.

                    But more importantly, it could be significantly less, as:
                    – ECS could be lower than you have estimated.
                    – Clouds could constitute a larger negative feedback.
                    – The Sun could reduce its output as expected.

                    So it might turn out to be a lot less warming than anticipated.

                  • Javier said:

                    “About as much warming as we have had since the Little Ice Age without any ill effect.”

                    He keeps on making these assertions, as if they have any validity, as opposed to being random opinions to any random topic that comes up.

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Javier,

                    I include changes in solar output in CSALT from 1880 to 2013, it has very little effect, it is unlikely that sunspots have a significant effect on Warming, the TCR for land is based on instrumental data, not models. Possibly another 1.5C of warming over land by 2112 will have no ill effects, I would love to hear comments by biologists, I think there are many who disagree with your assessment.

                    Yes it is possible I have overestimated the TCR, it is also possible I have underestimated. Yes the clouds might reduce warming, or they may increase the amount of warming.

                    In the face of uncertainty (of which there is much) it is better in my opinion to be cautious.

                    You also mention the economics. It will be better to develop alternatives to provide energy for society in case my “medium” estimates are too optimistic and the “low” scenarios turn out to be correct.

                    In that case fossil fuels are less likely to lead to dangerous temperature levels, but we will need wind, solar, hydro, and nuclear and better energy efficiency to replace rapidly depleting fossil fuels.

                    So as before, the answer on climate change doesn’t really matter we need to find replacements for fossil fuel in either case either because we are worried about depletion or we want to be cautious about the possibility of dangerous climate interference.

                  • Javier says:


                    On a good day I might agree on being cautious about global warming, but I am never going to agree on being alarmist or catastrophic because the evidence does not support that.

                    If one takes the effort to study human climate history, as I have done, it quickly becomes clear that the danger from climate change has always come from cooling and never from warming.

                    So that the warming, even if unprecedented, is going to become dangerous is a proposition that is not based on evidence, neither past nor present.

                    Of course if one thinks that we can increase our GHG emissions indefinitely then one can believe that sooner or later the warming will become dangerous, but one may as well believe that our economy might continue growing indefinitely or that our oil consumption can continue growing indefinitely, or that our population can continue growing indefinitely, and other impossible things.

                    Not the time to enter into the role of the Sun variability on climate change, but the small changes in TSI and the lack of correlation between the 11-year solar cycle and climate variability do not match the clear evidence that over centuries and millennia, changes in solar output correlate to an astounding level to climate changes. I think based on that evidence that our current knowledge of the Sun’s role in climate change is clearly underestimating its long term effect by a huge factor.

                  • Javier said:

                    “Not the time to enter into the role of the Sun variability on climate change, but the small changes in TSI and the lack of correlation between the 11-year solar cycle and climate variability do not match the clear evidence that over centuries and millennia, changes in solar output correlate to an astounding level to climate changes. I think based on that evidence that our current knowledge of the Sun’s role in climate change is clearly underestimating its long term effect by a huge factor.”

                    Amazing that this guy believes that the sun changes its output enough to make a significant difference in short time spans.

                    Its not the sun’s output over glacial time scales, but the orbital configuration, if anything.

                    That’s the problem with people like Javier – – they just tend to spew. They are smart, but its not in their political interest to critically look at the work one person is offering up– for example, in my case, to look at the orbital pattern of the lunisolar gravitation, which influences the stratospheric winds at short time intervals.

                    I would offer up that he joins the discussion at the Azimuth Project forum, where he can interact with other PhD’s, but I don’t think he has the courage to be seen floundering with equations and charts. He would rather score political points by criticizing and offering up FUD rather than adding any value.

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Javier,

                    The astrophysics understanding of solar output is that over the long term it will increase rather than decrease, so you have this backwards. The variability of solar output is very low, the Milankovitch cycles are very real, this is primarily a change in the solar input to the Northern Hemisphere in summer due to changes in the earth’s orbit and the orientation of the Earth’s axis of rotation. Currently we are in a cooling phase of this cycle. The cooling is being counteracted by global CO2 levels that are much higher than any in the last 800,000 years. The basic physics of this effect are well understood, though the effect of clouds and aerosols are not as well understood. This leads to varying estimates of ECS depending upon assumptions about the future effect of clouds and aerosols in a warming climate.

                  • Nick G says:

                    Oil is a miraculous compound.

                    This is very puzzling. It’s a kind of odd worship, almost a fetishizing.

                    Oil is polluting, expensive and tends to start wars and incite terrorism.

                    The only people for whom oil is miraculous are those who sell it.

                    It is the highest energy density substance on Earth after radioactive material

                    That’s just…..goofy. Lots of things are higher energy density: hydrogen, aluminum, etc., etc. Oil can be pretty convenient. period. full stop.

                    Oil has some advantages, and some disadvantages. It’s disadvantages are becoming clearer and clearer.

                    For instance, the British Royal Navy converted from coal to oil just before WWII because they could steam 20% faster. In war, that’s everything. But, in freight, it’s nothing.

                    To win the war, they sold their souls to the devil. They became dependent on Iranian oil, produced by British Petroleum, and became enmeshed in Middle East wars for the next 100 years and beyond.

                    and it has not always been available.

                    It’s always been in the ground, just as the sun has always been there. Humanity just figured out how to use it, that’s all. And now, we’re figuring out how to use better things, like EVs powered by clean sources.

                    Using oil and gas as petrochemical feedstock will always be energetically favourable over the alternatives

                    No. You’re assuming fuel has to be liquid. Solar electricity is far cheaper and more efficient than any fossil fuel.

                    Liquid fuels are convenient, but look at the Chevy Volt: it uses about 10% as much liquid fuel as the average US vehicle. At that scale, the cost per liter is just not that important. If synthetic fuel costs $2 per liter, it will be no big deal.

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Javier,

                    I am not saying the sky is falling, only that it may fall (in a metaphorical sense).

                    We should continue to do research. In any case we need to transition to other forms of energy because fossil fuels are not unlimited, there may be enough to cause problems, this is also uncertain.

                    What is certain is that fossil fuel output will peak and decline. When that will occur is open for debate.

                  • Javier says:


                    “The astrophysics understanding of solar output is that over the long term it will increase rather than decrease, so you have this backwards.”

                    That is the very long term. The Sun is a variable star, and besides the well known 11 year cycle it has longer cycles, like the de Vries 210 years cycle, the millennial cycle, and the Hallstatt 2500 years cycle that leave a visible impact on climate and cosmogenic isotopes. Both the de Vries cycle and the millennial cycle are about to decrease.

                    “The variability of solar output is very low”

                    Yes, and the effect on the climate appears disproportionate. While currently there is no accepted mechanism to explain this disparity, possible mechanisms for the amplification of solar forcing, like Svensmark hypothesis of cloud cover, are being investigated.

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Javier,

                    Some hypotheses are much better than others. Those with a physical mechanism rather than hand waving usually get more traction.

                    Yes there are very minor changes in solar output, whether those tiny changes are disproportionately affecting climate are unproven hypotheses.

                  • Javier says:


                    “Some hypotheses are much better than others. Those with a physical mechanism rather than hand waving usually get more traction. “

                    Hypotheses are popular/unpopular, successful/unsuccessful, right/wrong, but there is no association between those options. Since everything I say about climate is based on peer-reviewed scientific literature, at the very least the authors, referees and editor of the articles did not think it was just handwaving.

                    There is a lot more that we ignore about climate than what we know, so it is not surprising that we don’t have good mechanisms to explain everything is happening with climate.

                    That the Sun has a much bigger role on climate than we currently think possible is certainly a possibility. A possibility that is not without evidence supporting it. Evidence that has been published over the years in dozens to hundreds of scientific articles.

                    For example this correlation of the changes in the monsoon and solar activity published in the journal Nature. We don’t know the mechanism, but that doesn’t make it any less real.
                    Neff et al., 2001

                  • I guess this is the same Javier that comments at the kook crackpot site WUWT see link for evidence

                    From the paper Javier referenced:

                    “The variations in solar irradiance necessary to cause the observed changes in Δ14C are probably of the order of a few tenths of one per cent (ref. 2). Such minor variations are unlikely to have directly caused significant differences in sensible heating of the Tibetan plateau. It is more likely that solar variability leads to
                    changes in atmospheric or oceanic circulation that amplify this initial input”

                    So if the climate is that sensitive in the long term to changes of a “few tenths of one percent” to solar variation, then what do you expect to happen as we pour all this CO2 into the atmosphere? That is a much larger forcing than any solar changes happening right now.

                    That’s the reference that Javier brought up so he better explain himself.

                • Dennis Coyne says:

                  Hi Javier,

                  In science for a “real” effect there needs to be a physical cause, correlation by itself proves nothing.

                  You need both a physical mechanism based on well understood scientific principles and empirical evidence which confirms the theory.

                  Clearly you understand this. Just because something is published, doesn’t mean its proven, it can be interesting information for further research.

              • Brian Rose says:


                Have a discussion with a college professor in any Biology dept in any University. They are far more concerned with the immediate impacts of ecosystem destruction.

                I promise you, go to a local University, sit down with a professor in the Biological Sciences and ask “what is your perspective on species diversity and population numbers for amphibians around the globe?”

                You will enter a long discussion of the unprecedented loss of amphibians globally and how it relates to environmental destruction. Climate change is but a growing footnote in the immediate concerns of scientists in the biological sciences. Problem is, they inevitably get into how climate change is a growing environmental stress factor that is pushing ecosystems closer to collapse.

                The changes we are experiencing feel slow in human time scales, but are unprecedented geologically. For whatever reason, the rise in atmospheric CO2 levels is ALSO unprecedented in how rapidly it is occurring.

                • Javier says:

                  Brian, I am a biologist with a PhD in molecular biology, and I have always had the greatest concern about the environment, even when I was a child. I became a member of WWF at 16 with my own pocket money. I was hooked to Captain Jacques Cousteau’s Undersea World TV series where he was all the time speaking for conservation and the need to control ocean’s pollution. He was my hero together with Spanish conservationist Felix Rodriguez de la Fuente.

                  It is clear to me that all the problems of the biosphere relate to one big underlying cause: Human population growth. And nobody is even speaking of tackling that cause.

                  • robert wilson says:

                    I have spoken of it having once been a speaker for both ZPG and Planned Parenthood. I remain active in both. ZPG has been rejuvenated as Population Connection.

          • Javier says:


            The Earth is in the midst of a significant warming trend. A trend that started 350 years ago. While we are contributing to that trend we did not start it, nor will we end it. Scientists do not know of any threshold. Everything indicates there are no thresholds. So far the 350 year warming trend has been a blessing to humanity. Depending on how far the warming trend goes we might see the negatives outweighing the positives, but we don’t know when that will happen or if it will happen.

        • Javier says:

          Ron, as far as I know scientists do not know what causes ENSO and none of the hypotheses has ample support. They do know that ENSO has been taking place for the last 7000 years so it is unrelated to present global warming. IPCC has no idea if global warming is going to increase or reduce the frequency of ENSO.

          Without present El Niño, which is very strong, 2015 would have not been a record year, 2015-2016 winter would have not been so warm, and early 2016 would not be as warm as it is.

          Temperature records with an El Niño is like sports records with drugs. We have to wait the return to neutral conditions to know where we are in terms of temperatures.

          • Ron, as far as I know scientists do not know what causes ENSO and none of the hypotheses has ample support.

            Javier, you seriously misunderstood my question. My question was not what causes ENSO. What I meant to imply was: “Why was this the warmest El Nino on record? Well actually the data is not all in yet, perhaps this may turn out to be only the second warmest El Nino on record. The 1997-1998 El Nino may hold that record. But that still begs the question. Why are El Ninos getting hotter and hotter and hotter and….

            • Javier says:

              Yes Ron, I misunderstood your question.

              We do not have data supporting the view that Los Niños are getting any stronger with global warming. Maybe or maybe not. Actually this El Niño did not raise temperatures that much, It became a very strong El Niño because it got a head start from a weak El Niño condition in 2014 that had pre-warmed water temperatures prior to this El Niño.

              The 2015 yearly record and early 2016 monthly records are due to the very strong El Niño on top of the warmest decade on record. It is clear that we are at Peak Warmth, but given that climate still holds the capacity to surprise climatologists, it is clear also that the future climate is unknown to us. Even with the current records, every temperature projection from the 20th century for current emission levels has turned out to be too high. At this point catastrophism is unwarranted.

              • Javier said:

                “It became a very strong El Niño because it got a head start from a weak El Niño condition in 2014 that had pre-warmed water temperatures prior to this El Niño.”

                This is the kind of ridiculous rationalizing that’s referred to as “Just-so stories”. Rudyard Kipling wrote short stories for kids explaining (for example) how a leopard got its spots using the most plausible sounding yet ultimately absurd arguments one can imagine.

                Reasoning like Javier’s also explains why earth sciences in general is so ripe for a fresh analysis. So much of the understanding is based on swag interpretations that arm-chair warriors like Javier place on the table. They sound reasonable but no one can check them because they are purely qualitative. And qualitative does not cut it in the hard sciences.

                • Javier says:

                  You can tell that to NOAA, WebHubTelescope,
                  where they have this comparison of the strongest Niños since 1950 and the left axis is the standardized departure.

                  The point of start of the 2015 El Niño is the highest since 1950 according to NOAA. So your assertion that “They sound reasonable but no one can check them because they are purely qualitative,” is wrong. What I say is backed by NOAA, and NOAA thinks that it can quantify it. I definitely trust NOAA over you.

                  • Javier said 2014, not 2015. I’m not going to deal with Javier’s arm-chair hand-waving. If he wants to do serious data processing, he better step up.

                • Javier says:

                  Of course I said 2014, because the reason for a warm start for the 2015 El Niño, was a weak borderline El Niño condition in 2014.

                  2014 was so close to have an El Niño condition, that actually the Japan Meteorological Agency declared an El Niño in early December 2014:
                  The Guardian December 10, 2014: First El Niño in five years declared by Japan’s weather bureau.

                  I see that for being a self-declared El Niño expert, there are a lot of basic things about El Niño that you don’t know.

                  • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                    Which is in part why I posted this. Quote:

                    “(I wonder what would happen if someone on here, such as WHT, invited a few climate science friends from Realclimate or wherever over, seeing as Javier seems to like it here, so, for example, we could get less of a lopsided discussion, what with Javier’s questionable references and all.)”

                    This comment is continued here, as per my previous mention in previous thread about what seems to be a developing/growing (collapse/contraction?) phenomena…

          • Javier said:

            “Ron, as far as I know scientists do not know what causes ENSO and none of the hypotheses has ample support.”

            There are two significant standing wave phenomena that ring the equator. One impacts the ocean and the other the upper atmosphere, with some inferred correlation between the two. ENSO (El Nino Southern Oscillation) is the better known of the two and is essentially a sloshing of the equatorial Pacific oceans thermocline that cyclically exposes hot and cold water to the surface. The QBO (quasi-biennial oscillation) of stratospheric winds is a simple reversal in east-west direction of stratospheric winds.

            I have models for both ENSO and QBO, based on known mechanical forcings. I am confident in the QBO model because the agreement is very clean and highly plausible:

            I have less confidence in my model for ENSO, partly because of noise in the data, yet it may provide a starting point for being able to decode the mechanism in the future:

            “They do know that ENSO has been taking place for the last 7000 years so it is unrelated to present global warming.”

            What is interesting is that ENSO does have a proxy fingerprint, recoverable from coral ring measurements. It helps validate the model to some extent but the yearly sampling doesn’t quite give the resolution one would hope for:

            More important than what ENSO is currently doing is to be able to understand the physical mechanisms, so that we can better track climate variability and use it to our advantage in generating renewable energy. People like Javier are around to act as devil’s advocates, so we shouldn’t really be that upset about their viewpoint.

          • Wake says:

            You mean not a record when removing El Niño from this year and comparing to el nino year 1998?

            I do like your reasoned approach right now and appreciate differing views, but sometimes the way you talk makes it seem very likely you are paid to confuse

            If not versus 1998 what non elnino year would this be cooler than, and would it be longer back than the record string of hot years in the past decade

            • Javier says:

              I don’t understand, Wake,

              You cannot compare this year without El Niño. Every El Niño is different. I agree that the last 15 years have been the warmest continuous period in many centuries. This is only logical and expected after a 350 years warming trend. That one of those 15 years is the warmest on record is a trivial conclusion. Does it matter which one? Scientifically I would say it does not.

              If the warming continues we will see warmer years ahead. So stop the presses! El Niño years are warmer, so they make good candidates for record breaking news.

              A lot of people think that the warming is accelerating because we have increased the amount of CO2 that we put on the atmosphere every year by an average of about +1.5%. However scientists do not see much of an acceleration in the warming rate if at all.

              The UK Meteorological Office has a 2013 paper here:
              where they show this figure based on a peer reviewed published article about warming rates (see figure below).

              You can extract your own conclusions about if the warming is accelerating in response to increased CO2 or not.

              • Wake says:

                Thank you. I was responding to your statement that without El Niño 2015 would not have been a record year. Since you said that I wondered which year You thought would be a record, and if you were comparing apples to apples el nino years versus not

                As you say, many of the recent years are all near records and it does not matter much which, I thought you were minimizing the current record heat as some are wont to do

              • Dennis Coyne says:

                Hi Javier,

                No scientists don’t think the rate is accelerating, the relationship is logarithmic. So if atmospheric co2 increased exponentially, the response of temperature would be linear.

                Your claim that an acceleration in the rate of warming is expected is false. Perhaps the mainstream media believes that, scientists do not.

                A CSALT model was done using BEST land-ocean temperature anomaly data (from 1950 to 1980 mean). The data used in the regression was from 1960 to 2000 and the “model” temperature output using coefficients from the 1960-2000 regression on data from all years from 1898 to 2015 was calculated. The 60 month centered average of model and data was calculated and is presented in the chart below, the correlation coefficient is 0.98.

        • R Walter says:

          The sun?

          • Dennis Coyne says:

            Hi R Walter,

            Solar output(total solar irradiance or TSI) changes by about 0.07% over its 11 year cycle.

            • R Walter says:

              DC, you should invest in DC Comics. har

              Once upon a time a long time ago I was gandy dancing all the live long day on the railroad tracks. I had a short break and it was a bright bright sunshiny day. There was a welder’s hat/shield near my work, so I grabbed it along with a pair of welder’s goggles, strapped them on to my thick skull and took a look at the sun.

              Clearly visible were a few sunspots. I sometimes think that a sunspot is a mini black hole and the rest of the sun shines through.

              It was hotter than a pistol that day, probably in 1970, if I remember correctly. Probably the high mark on the graph between 1960 and 1980.

              I didn’t go blind, either.

              It was purdy darn cool to see sunspots like that. Yeah.

              The top of the irradiance near the 1960 timeline, I remember those years as dry and hot.

              “Too old to work, too broke to quit when I get to the end of the line.” – Stonewall Jackson, Picket Sign

            • Javier says:

              Dennis, your own graph shows how average TSI has been increasing until it reached a peak by late 20th century. You can take a 22 year smoothing on that data. It is clear that it is going down, as cycle 24 is significantly lower, and cycle 25 is already predicted to be about the same as cycle 24.

              We are probably going to experience first hand the effect of this decline on climate over the next couple of decades, and so we will be able to tell if we got our forcings calculations correct.

              • Dennis Coyne says:


                If we put a trendline through that data. We would find that the increase in solar output was 0.044% from 1890 to 2000. (0.6/1361)

                Do you think that is going to make a significant difference?

                The changes in TSI are included in the CSALT model (that is the T, the others are CO2 (C), SOI (S), aerosols (A), and length of day anomaly (L). The last factor reflects small changes in the angular momentum of the planet as the rate that the planet spins changes by small amounts from month to month, this affects oceans, atmosphere, and the magnetic characteristics of the planet as the fluid core of the planet is affected as well.

                Over short periods (centuries) the solar output of the sun changes very little, the orientation of the planet on its axis with respect to the plane of its orbit and changes in the eccentricity as well as the orientation of the elliptical orbit (all worked out by Milankovitch originally) are much more important than tiny changes in Total solar irradiance.

                • Javier says:


                  “Do you think that is going to make a significant difference?”

                  I do not know. Do you claim to know? If it all comes down to solar W/m2 the difference is too small to make a difference, but the correlation between climate variability and solar variability on the centennial to millennial scale is producing dozens of scientific articles every year. You can think that it amounts to nothing, but some scientists are very seriously researching solar forcing amplification mechanisms that reside within our climate system.

                  If any solar amplification mechanism turns out to be real, as the evidence suggests, it is clearly not introduced in any model, including CSALT. A big test is coming up over the next couple of decades.

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Javier,

                    How do those models stack up over the past 140 years, seems like so far there are not many who are convinced.

                  • Javier says:

                    Hi Dennis,

                    I don’t know any model built under solar amplification mechanisms.

                    Yes, most scientists are unconvinced, but we can say the same for about every hypothesis, including CO2 hypothesis, at some time. Some turn out to be wrong and some right, but popularity is never a criteria.

                    What we need is for conditions to change, and in the case of solar output that is what is happening. For the first time in over 100 years solar output is decreasing. As atmospheric CO2 is not decreasing the projections from both hypothesis are divergent. We should be able to know in a couple of decades.

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Javier,

                    Let’s say solar is the main cause of warming, du to some poorly explained amplification factor. We can test the hypothesis using TSI data and temperature. The chart of the model is below, data from 1880 to 2000 was used for the regression. R^2 is about 31%, compared to 60% for a c only model. A model with c and t only has an r squared of 62%.

                • Dennis Coyne says:

                  For the Carbon dioxide and TSI model (c and t) we have the chart below. Regression on 1880 to 2000 data. Model extended to 2013, 60 month centered average of temperature data and model output presented. Last data point for 60 month avg is May 2012, 11.4 years out of sample. Model has r squared of 62%, the csalt model over the same 1880 to 2000 period has an r squared of 72%.

        • A surge of warm water which lies below the surface makes its way from the Western to the Eastern Pacific, overwhelms the cold water upwelling from Antarctica, and makes a finger like temperature anomaly for thousands of miles along the equator.

          In a sense, the El Niño works like a capacitor. The fairly unique behavior we are seeing is the extended time period, which started in 2014 with a weak event followed by a strong event in 2015-16.

          I try to study the data as much as I can, but there aren’t enough buoys in the Western Pacific for me to tell if it’s absorbing an anomalous amount of energy. Another item I sure wish I could get is the total column water vapor in the Tropics (+20 to -20 latitude). Unfortunately, while NASA is pretty good about laying out propaganda pieces, they don’t publish well crafted key analyses to the public.

          • Javier says:


            Why do you think that there is a high chance of no La Niña next winter?

            Your prediction appears to run contrary to others that I have seen. For example CIRES/CDC give now a 50% chance of La Niña by next fall.

            • Duncan Idaho says:

              Not a given—
              We have 2 models going with a continuing El Niño this Fall.
              Most are trending toward neutral.

              The Euro has been the most reliable, with the most data and computing power.
              US is falling back.
              We shall see, as we are in waters never experienced as Homo Sapiens.
              I say all bets are off.

              • Amanda Di Gironimo says:

                All the models and all the suspicious scientists are speculating and I genuinely think all of them lack any kind of evidence for the speculations. One of the facts (not an opinion) is not a single model can run “backward” to explain the past so how can they be expected to explain the future. Once again that’s fact, not opinion. So since they can’t even explain what happened in the past (much less the how’s or the why’s of what happened) any chance the scientists extremely limited understanding can be used to predict the future is mighty slim-at joke levels even.

                • “One of the facts (not an opinion) is not a single model can run “backward” to explain the past so how can they be expected to explain the future.”

                  I can run my ENSO El Nino backwards, with a rather short training interval and match the past.


                  There is a stationary aspect to ENSO that has only recently been recognized. In other words, the oscillations are not as chaotic as one would imagine.

          • Fernando has to pipe in of course:

            “In a sense, the El Niño works like a capacitor. “

            ENSO is a standing wave phenomenon. To get something to oscillate as a standing wave you need the equivalent of a capacitor AND an inductor.

            But that behavior is built in to a body of water, since fluids follow the wave equation, which is a second-order differential equation (i.e. one order for capacitance and another for inductance to follow that analogy).

            The only question is how the ENSO is stimulated. And that is more than likely due to changes in angular momentum of the rotating earth.

            “I try to study the data as much as I can, but there aren’t enough buoys in the Western Pacific for me to tell if it’s absorbing an anomalous amount of energy. “

            So do you squint at the data real hard?

            “Unfortunately, while NASA is pretty good about laying out propaganda pieces, they don’t publish well crafted key analyses to the public.”

            I am sure the master squinter Fernando can do so much better than JPL, lol.

    • Jimmy says:

      Oh Christ now you got Javier going with his bullshit again….

    • Dennis Coyne says:

      Hi AWS,

      We should not get excited about weather, it is the long term (20 years or more) averages that are important. From Best land-ocean 20 year averages from 1860 to 2005 we have a definite upward trend. February was indeed warm, at least where I live.

    • aws. says:

      From Jeff Masters and Bob Henson’s blog post at Wunderground.

      Perhaps even more remarkable is that February 2016 crushed the previous February record–set in 1998 during the peak atmospheric influence of the 1997-98 “super” El Niño that’s comparable in strength to the current one–by a massive 0.47°C (0.85°F).

      Looking like this El Nino will be hotter than the last one?

      WMO temerature anomaly graph with El Nino and La Nina indicated

      Figure 2: Global annual average temperatures anomalies (relative to 1961-1990) based on an average of three global temperature data sets (HadCRUT., GISTEMP and NOAAGlobalTemp) from 1950 to 2014. The 2015 average is based on data from January to October. Bars are coloured according to whether the year was classified as an El Niño year (red), a La Niña year (blue) or an ENSO-neutral year (grey).Note uncertainty ranges are not shown, but are around 0.1°C.

      • Amanda Di Gironimo says:

        Those commies at wunderground have no clue about any of the realitys of the world, only what they hear from the biased journals. Who cares if Feb. “crushed” all the other records, the basic point is the record set is much to small considering the billions of years history of the planet. Temperature records now are meaningless because there’s not enough years in them. Consider, there’s been times in that history where the planet has been significantly warmer and CO2 levels have been significantly higher. Neither was a catastrophe as life flourished, mammals appeared, etc. Also why should rising CO2 and a warming planet automatically be considered a bad thing? People around here in the NE loved the warm winter this year as it allowed them more time to get outside and they didn’t have to spend as much on heating. Myself, I’d been considering moving south to get away from the cold but if global warming will make all future winters will be like the last I may as well stay put. Local governments will enjoy people sticking around instead of leaving because of the cold. And nationally there’s no reason to send $billions to some third world countrys to think we can combat global warming, that would just punish us for no reason for our economic successes.

  10. Frugal says:

    Great to see that Ron is still posting these great graphs. Much appreciated.

  11. aws. says:

    TransCanada Defends by Invading

    By Liam Denning, Bloomberg/gadfly, Mar 11, 2016 8:30 AM EDT

    With natural gas from the Marcellus and Utica shales not only displacing Canadian gas in the northeastern U.S. but also pushing back across the border, TransCanada faces a long-term threat to one of its main pipeline systems. Over time, more and more gas from those shale basins will also migrate westward, competing with volumes shipped by TransCanada to the Midwest.

    One way to hedge the threat, of course, is to simply own the pipelines shipping that shale gas, taking advantage of the growth there to offset the pressure it puts on the business elsewhere. And that is where Columbia can potentially help:

  12. Pingback: OPEC Declines in February Despite Huge Iran Increase | Energy News

  13. Daniel says:

    Interesting reading re “shale-oil” specifications from shale-oil


    As somebody (forgot who now) points out repeatedly, there could be too much condensate in storage

  14. R Walter says:

    The Republicans, the God-awful phony party that it is, just complete morons, are ready to deny Donald Trump the nomination.

    They are working night and day to make sure Donald Trump is not the nominee. Which would be a blessing in disguise for Trump, hells bells, it will be a blessing in disguise for everybody.

    Republicans are deniers, not climate change deniers or global warming deniers, but deniers just the same. Republicans have always been deniers, nothing new there.

    Somebody please call Loretta Lynch and inform her about the fraud the Republicans are foisting on the murkan people.

    Have the Justice department arrest and incarcerate every rotten Republican in the United States for being deniers.

    Anything to to bring an untimely demise to a bunch of crooks and liars like Mitt Romney et al, and anybody else stupid enough to be a sympathizer of Republicans. Knaves and fools, one and all.

    Since the Democrats are making a vain and foolish attempt to help stupid Republicans deny Trump the nomination, please arrest and incarcerate every dumb Democrat too, denial is a rampant disease in America.

    The nomination deniers need to be charged with a crime of some sort.

    Thought crime nonpareil. That’s it, thought crime.

    Anything to rid the world of Republicans. I suppose the Democrats could be exonerated, but that would be far too kind a thing to do.

    Draconian measures are necessary to stop this madness.

    Lorreta Lynch could arrest PeakOil deniers too, there are a lot of them.

    Maybe about 80 percent of the US population would have to be placed in prisons and concentration camps, but something really needs to be done.

    Wouldn’t have to listen to Hillary anymore at all. America would be saved from doom.

    And keelhaul Javier too.

    • Hickory says:

      To R Walter- (and moderator)
      to say “And keelhaul Javier too.”
      is extremely rude, inappropriate and ignorant. Just because one might disagree with another about a topic should not be cause to demonize them.

      I ask the moderator to consider such personal attacks as a strike to be consider for banning from the forum.

      • R Walter says:

        Do I have to place the word ‘sarcasm’ after the sentence?

        • Javier says:

          I didn’t take it personally. More like a “beat up the piñata” type of behavior.

          A certain degree of hostility to my heretic ideas is expected. Nobody likes their beliefs being poked. But it is best not to let it get personal because it isn’t. At least not to me.

          • R Walter says:

            Javier, I write it in jest simply because there is a plethora of attacks targeted at you and the content of your comments.

            I am poking fun at those who continue to doubt the veracity of your work and your education credentials.

            Believe me, there is no ad hominem intended.

            • Javier says:

              R Walter,

              Your comment was mildly amusing to me. I did not take it as any kind of personal attack. There is no need for any explanation. You are welcome to criticize my ideas and beliefs as much as you want without me holding any grudge for it. That’s what ideas and beliefs are for. If they are not able to withstand criticism and attacks, they are not much worth it. I get along very well with a lot of people that have very different ideas and beliefs to me. The important thing is not in what we believe, but how we are, because we can always change our beliefs if they no longer suit us.

            • GoneFishing says:

              Yes, nature does produce a wide variety of physical and mental variations even within a given species. We should accept that.
              Having someone here who waves the big sign
              THERE IS NO PROBLEM!
              is merely demonstrating the other end of the distribution from the one that waves the sign

              Just a great example of the wide variation that nature provides, a mental Darwinian test for the rest of us.

          • Some people sure are intolerant. They treat you as if you were Osama.

            • Synapsid says:


              What is the situation on the ground in Venezuela?

            • Dennis Coyne says:

              Hi Fernando,

              Yes there are people who are intolerant. R Walter was making fun of those people, but some people don’t understand satire/sarcasm.

      • Dennis Coyne says:

        Pretty clear to everyone but you that R Walters comment was intended as satire.

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          My post above was to Hickory.

          • Hickory says:

            Sorry, I missed the sarcasm and took it literally. Apologies R Walter.
            I think I’m tweaked by all the character assassination that’s been going on here, and it reminded me of Trumps juvenile behavior- which is pissing me off.

            • shallow sand says:

              R Walter being sarcastic?

              I think his middle name is Sarcastic.

              Ronald Sarcastic Walter.

              R Walter, I don’t comment on what you post because it has been clear to me you are the POB jester since I first located POB. I just laugh instead. Keep em coming.

  15. Oldfarmermac says:

    The MSM are doing their usual thing this morning, managing, like the referee at a pro wrestling match, to miss the real action. It is true that a win is a win in a winner take all state when it comes to delegates, but when the results are as close as three points, one or two voters out of a hundred changing sides changes the results.

    The people are obviously sick and tired of our old establishment politicians.

    Trump is winning because he is NOT the establishment. Sanders, coming out of nowhere, with only PEOPLE rather than the establishment behind him, is running a fantastic race against a well oiled machine going on twenty years in the building of it.

    When the actual election rolls around, the people who are pissed at the establishment, meaning damned near everybody except the handful at the top of the economic and political heap, are going to wish they could vote for an outsider.

    The right wing outsiders will get their wish from the looks of things. They will be voting AGAINST INSIDERS rather than FOR Trump. Their fires will be burning hot and bright, unless he goes totally nuts campaigning.

    This looks BAD for the country imo. The D’s are in great danger of running a CLASSIC insider.

    It’s time for a change, and the younger people of this country feel it in their bones.

    And about this old climate change issue, ahem. We can basically go to bed at night, not worrying about it very much, in terms of people’s beliefs, because all that is really left is a mopping up operation as far as public opinion is concerned.

    My generation will soon be either dead or in nursing homes, and the younger generation will vote the scientific consensus, after a while.

    I remember LOTS of people who were DEAD set, pun intended, in their belief that smoking is a harmless pleasure. It has been a decade at least since I heard even an illiterate moron claim that smoking is safe, although I do still hear an occasional smoker in denial say that when your time comes, your time has come, and it does not matter about the WHY of it coming.

    This is not to say we can abandon the fight, but that victory is assured, so long as we keep it up.

    After all, the actual EVIDENCE is accumulating that the world is warming up pretty fast.

    I have no doubt at all than unless the last ten days of this month are very close to RECORD COLD, we will be setting a regional record for the warmest March ever. My personal estimate is that the odds of a frost kill of the tree fruit crop locally are among the highest ever. All it takes is ONE good frosty night once the buds are too far advanced.

    The Koch brothers and their buddies will continue to fight a dirty and ferocious rear guard action of course, but in another decade, the issue will no longer be in doubt, as far as the general public is concerned.

    • The people are obviously sick and tired of our old establishment politicians.

      Guess who has far more votes than any other candidate running, even more than Donald Trump?

      It appears that some of the people are obviously not all that sick.

    • Nick G says:

      Trump is winning because he is NOT the establishment

      Nobody is more establishment than Trump. He’s a perfect example of a crony-capitalist.

      Again, this is the classic strategy of exploiting people’s problems, and diverting their anger towards scapegoats, like immigrants and foreign countries.

      Trump has proposed a massive tax cut for the 1%, and making life harder for immigrants only helps business exploit them better, and undercuts wages even more for working people.

      Trump is the same ol’, same ol’, only worse.

      • Oldfarmermac says:

        There is more than one way do define the word “establishment”.

        In one sense Trump IS the establishment, but in the sense I used it , he is the ANTI establishment, no doubt, but he is also a new face on the political scene, running against the D party as WELL as his own NOMINAL party.

        No real republican thinks of Trump as a republican, if we define republican as somebody who agrees with most or all of the positions and values of the republican party for the last couple of decades.

        What I am saying is that the foot soldiers of the R party have been ready to mutiny for a long time now, and Trump has provided them the leadership necessary to do so.

        The working class conservative voters are THOROUGHLY pissed at the R party establishment, feeling betrayed at every turn.

        People who used to work for a living in the industries sent overseas by the D and R parties working in collusion have felt trapped until today, betrayed by the D party on the social consensus they held dear, right or wrong, and fucked over by the R party they have been voting for as the lesser of two evils.

        Not many such people still believe in the American Dream, because they are simply not able to get ahead anymore, no matter how hard they work.

        And while they are mistaken to believe in Trump, at least Trump has not be been lying to them continuously for the last few decades, AS THEY SEE IT.

        ( That he is lying to them now , in substantial ways, is irrevelant. He is a NEW face. )

        Trump IS Wall Street, and HRC is in the vest pocket of Wall Street, except on cultural issues.

        Now these comments may not make much sense to hard core liberals, because hard core liberals have an incredibly hard time believing anybody who disagrees with them has a brain, or morals, or a culture that suits THEM.

        In actuality, at least half of the country disagrees with the D party social agenda, for reasons that TO THEM are valid and more than adequate.

        • Nick G says:

          I agree: Trump has sold himself as an advocate for the working class.

          It’s the same strategy Republicans have been using for 40 odd years: using people’s fears and hopes to get them to vote for people who proceed to betray them.

          Not that Democrats are enormously better, but, with our current political system they can’t be. If they get too progressive, the other party can move to the middle and cut them out.

      • ChiefEngineer says:

        Hi Nick,

        It’s nice to see you posting again. Your spot on. The Republican establishment has been exploiting their base for the last 50 years with a whisper campaign of racism and bigotry for their own 1% economic gain. The Donald has only removed the whisper from the campaign and increased the amount of lies.

        “Trump is the same ol’, same ol’, only worse”

        “That’s what puzzles me – this idea that fossil fuels are still valuable.”

        Nick, you over estimate the educated gray matter of your fellow humans. Most don’t have your vision and will not see it until EV’s are the norm(10+ years from now). The fossil fuel Republican parties base will be the last in the world to see the light. If they aren’t already.

    • Javier says:

      US will just follow the rest of the world’s trend towards more extremist politicians and options. It is just a sign that these are not good times at least in peoples’ minds.

      The extreme right is doing great in Northern and Central Europe, while the extreme left is doing the same in Southern Europe creating a rift in almost every issue, but specially the immigration policy. many countries are becoming difficult to govern at a time when separatism, both national (Scotland, Catalonia) and supranational (Brexit) is on the increase.

      If we move to the rest of the world we see the very negative result of the Arab Spring. Essentially no single country that underwent those social revolutions has come better afterwards. Even Tunisia, a moderate country, has seen its tourism badly damaged and it is now the biggest contributor to Sirian foreign fighters. Saudi Arabia has a more extremist government that it is making a policy out of foreign intervention, minority repression and confrontation against Iran, while its population is cheering the change.

      So don’t be so surprised by developments in US politics that follow what is happening elsewhere. It is a product of the times we live.

      • Nick G says:

        the world’s trend towards more extremist politicians

        There’s nothing new about demagoguery, in the US or elsewhere, or revolutionary sentiment (I guess I shouldn’t have said Trump was “worse” – he’s just a little less subtle about it than has been the norm lately in the US).

        Have you seen any actual data suggesting that there is a real change in “extremism”, separatism, social discontent or other similar things?

        • Javier says:

          Nick G,

          “Have you seen any actual data suggesting that there is a real change in “extremism”, separatism, social discontent or other similar things?”


          French National Front best results ever in 2014-2015 elections. They were the first party in the last EU parliamentary elections in France with almost 5 million votes.

          Alternative for Germany. New party in 2013. Best results ever in 2016 state elections, receiving second and third place in the three states that held elections.

          Freedom Party of Austria second best result ever in 2013 elections with 20,5% of the vote and 30% in Vienna.

          Coalition of Radical Left (Syriza) best result ever in 2015 elections with 36.3% of the votes.

          Podemos (Radical left in Spain). New party in 2014. Best result ever in 2015 elections with 21% of the votes.

          Populism and demagoguery are taking the developed world by storm. New radical (right or left) parties go from zero to taking second or third places in mere months.

          Do you have a better explanation?

          • Nick G says:

            That’s recent, and it’s just Europe. It might have something to do with the Eurozone’s problems.

            You were talking about the world, and a longer term.

            You might want to look at data series that quantify the level of democracy in the world over time: I think you’ll find that far more encouraging.

            • Javier says:

              “That’s recent, and it’s just Europe. It might have something to do with the Eurozone’s problems.”

              Of course, that’s my point. You can add MENA too, so that’s two big world regions.

              And in the US people are fed up with increasing inequality and decreasing labor compensation.

              Everything was going fine until Peak Oil and the Great Financial Crisis came along. As things start to go worse in more and more countries, Brazil, Venezuela being next, the democracy is not going to come reinforced.

      • Oldfarmermac says:

        ”US will just follow the rest of the world’s trend towards more extremist politicians and options. It is just a sign that these are not good times at least in peoples’ minds.”

        WELL SAID, Javier.

        • ChiefEngineer says:

          Javier and Mac,

          Playing the fear card is only going to work on your Republican base friends.

          President Hillary Clinton will prove the two of you wrong, again.

          Fear is for cowards

          • XT5 says:

            Now Trump is setting the ground work to not debate Clinton in the General. Trump is the leader of cowards.

          • Oldfarmermac says:

            I don’t have more than the foggiest idea about Javier’s personal political beliefs, other than that he occasionally makes a remark indicating he leans more to the left than to the right. I don’t think you do either.

            Folks who are so TRIBALLY oriented that they cannot distinguish a skeptic from a partisan will always of course assume that anybody who questions anything associated with their IN group is a member of their OUT GROUP, and a fraud or a phony or an enemy of some sort.

            I disagree with Javier’s assessment of the potential risk of forced climate change, but he on the other hand he never has anything to say, other than about the extent of forced climate change, that sets off my personal alarm bells when it comes to environmental issues. On every other environmetal question, unless I have overlooked something, he is very much in one hundred percent agreement with the overall “big picture ” environmental camp consensus.

            It is GOOD politics to remember what RR had to say about a man who agrees with you just about all the time. Such a man is a FRIEND, in political terms, and an ally, rather than an enemy.

            Now about that fear card- both parties play it on a regular basis.

            In case you haven’t noticed, I support the larger part of the D party platform, except I go FARTHER, in some cases, as in supporting single payer for the heath care industry. I have made it clear that I am NOT a republican, and stated many times that I am basically a single issue voter, that issue being the environment.

            Now HERE is why I am supporting Bernie Sanders, nicely summarized, although I do not take every line of this article seriously.


            Any democrat who is not afraid to remove his or her rose colored glasses, and take a CRITICAL look at HRC as a candidate, will come away with a hell of a lot to think about if he or she reads this link.

            I personally know a lot of people who have voted D most of their lives who would rather vote for ANY other D than HRC. It is extremely hard for a lot of people to accept it, but she STINKS, ethically, in the opinion of a HUGE swath of independents, and a substantial number of committed democrats . A good many of them may stay home rather than vote for her, but they will vote for Sanders, out of party loyalty and fear of Trump.

            Sanders polls better,virtually across the board, in terms of the actual election, and he does not have the negative baggage. I WANT a Democrat in the WH next time around.

            Read this , and think, if you are not so immersed in party and personal politics that you can’t deal with it.

            Millions and millions of D voters have digested it already, for themselves, over the last decade or two, which is why Sanders is getting half the vote, excluding minorities in the south, even though he is coming out of nowhere, without the support of the party establishment, without big money backing him, against HRC who has been organizing and campaigning just about forever.

            I am not saying this guy is right in every respect, but he has his finger on the pulse of many tens of millions of D voters, or potential D voters.

            If it comes down to Trump versus HRC, I am not at ALL sure HRC will win, but if Sanders gets the nomination, I think he WILL, because even though he has been around forever, he is the NEW face of the D party, and the PEOPLE of this country are SICK and TIRED of the old faces, D and R both.

            Trump and Sanders have in ONE important thing in common . Both of them are new faces, promising to bring new life to their parties.

            • GoneFishing says:

              OldFarmer said “On every other environmetal question, unless I have overlooked something, he is very much in one hundred percent agreement with the overall “big picture ” environmental camp consensus.”

              That makes no sense to me at all, since the environmental changes occurring and that will occur from climate change will produce an environment unlike what we have now. The views on the current environment will be simply academic , it will no longer exist. To be pro-environment yet anti-climate change is a nonsensical and non-viable position.
              The “big picture” is that the current picture is ceasing to exist already.

              • Oldfarmermac says:

                This position is NOT nonsensical and non viable IF you happen to be very well informed about environmental issues but happen to believe that the danger of forced climate change is over emphasized.

                I disagree with Javier on this issue, because I personally think the evidence DOES indicate the climate change threat is real and substantial.

                Now maybe he has an intellectual blind spot, or maybe he is troll, out to spread FUD. I personally will give him the benefit of the doubt, because I believe in a couple of things out of the mainstream myself, especially when politics get to be intermingled with science.

                I might eventually find out I have been right about these things all along, lol.

                I must agree with him that climate change gets all the attention, while dozens of other environmental issues are starving for attention.

            • Hickory says:

              I like a lot about what Sanders is bringing to the table. But sorry Mac, I think its going to be Clinton.
              I’m non-aligned (anti-partisan), but I’d vote for Clinton a thousand times over Trump. And I think a strong majority of the country will as well.

              • Oldfarmermac says:

                Hi Hickory,

                The odds are, you are right, about HRC being the nominee, but it is still a race, and it ain’t over till it’s over.

                I hope like hell you are right about TRUMP LOSING, regardless of who wins, but I have been following politics since the fifties, and HRC has had a hint of dead fish smell following her from day one. They used to talk about RR being the teflon prez, but compared to HRC, he was Velcro.

                Almost every regular in this forum seems to be mathematically literate. I challenge anybody here to explain Cattle Gate as any thing except fraud, pure and simple, in realistic terms.

                Hey, this ain’t YET North Korea, where we actually believe our leader made a hole in one the first time he ever tried golf, on a day so foggy nobody could see the green.

                I absolutely will never vote for EITHER HRC or TRUMP.

                If the D’s run HRC, the best hope for the country is that the R’s broker their convention, and Trump gives up crashing the R party and his own personal hard core stays home. That would make the election safe for HRC, assuming the FBI decides in her favor. Not many prez candidates have ever had a hundred agents on their case.

                Six months ago I was almost sure Trump was a flash in the pan, and would be forgotten by now. I now fear that there is a very real possibility he may win.

                The political waters are so muddy it is impossible to say what will happen a year from now.

                Trump is the sort of fellow who successfully “aw shucks” away most of his nasty rhetoric once he has the nomination, and then he will turn his guns on HRC. He won’t have far to go to look for ammo, and he will make damned sure everything smelly is on the front pages from day one, all the way back to Arkansas.

                Sanders is a far more desirable candidate in the actual election.

                This is basically why:


                She stinks in terms of the public’s opinion of her, and elections are generally decided in the middle in this country.

                If she can take her ten years plus campaigning advantage into a big industrial state, Obama’s political home, with the party establishment behind her, and win by only TWO POINTS points, what does this tell you?She should have won by thirty points or more, if the people were really behind her, rather than beholden to the party machine.

                The deep south will vote for Trump in preference to HRC, with a couple of exceptions, maybe three or four. So her big delegate lead from there doesn’t prove a THING in terms of the actual election. She is taking all the delegates elsewhere in winner take all states by only very narrow margins. The BURN in D voter’s hearts is mostly for Sanders.

                Trump would likely be in worse shape in terms of public opinion, except he is a new face, politically, and it takes a long time to build up such negatives, it doesn’t happen overnight.

                My personal opinion of HIS ethics is that he makes HRC look like an altar girl.

                • Oldfarmermac says:


                  • Puffalar (Your Five-Alarm Puff) says:


                  • Wikipuff says:

                    Nice to see you back, Puffalar (yes, you’re my five-alarm puff). <3 <3 <3

                    You looking forward to crushing all the democrats this November, proving once and for all that America functions best under full Republican control?

                • robert wilson says:

                  I recall hearing about HRC and the $1,000 to $100,000 profit when Bill was the poorly paid governor of Arkansas, ($35,000 if memory serves). Drudge was one of the mysterious presences on Prodigy. I was just learning to have fun on the internet. Tyson foods sold Arkansas chickens to the world and had connections with commodities. It was a little beyond suspicious.

            • Javier says:

              Thank you for your words, OFM.

              People tend to put tags way too easily.

              I am not too interested in politics, and even less in US politics. The Republican party is too far to the right for most Europeans, including me. And as of late it seems to even be going farther to the right (Tea party, Trump, etc).

              I do not find myself much of a political space because I do not agree much with both left and right parties in Europe. I am more of a traditional European liberal, which doesn’t translate well into a US political leaning, and even in Europe is very minoritarian. Let’s just say that I believe that individual rights are above collective rights and I believe in small government. I also think that the economy should be strictly regulated to avoid dominant positions that always go against the individual, and that medical care and education should be affordable to anybody.

              But I am afraid all these belong to a pre-Oil Peak world and we are going to see very different politics being played out as our economy starts to suffer from lack of affordable oil. Right now oil is not affordable because producers cannot afford it, but if it goes up significantly in price consumers will not be able to afford it.

  16. Greenbub says:

    Regarding the storage at Cushing and other places in the U.S., isn’t the high number much less significant after the export ban was lifted? Couldn’t it get shipped out in a hurry to Asia or wherever?

    • likbez says:

      There was a possibility to sell condensate abroad even before export ban lift. After almost two years of oil prices slump Cushing mainly reflects the greed of speculators and condensate glut. Search previous discussions for more elaborate explanation.

  17. Amatoori says:

    Libyan oil production drops to 295,000-350,000 bpd in past two weeks
    I saw in Rons post he had Libya at 400.000, looks bad for them in so many ways.

    The oil trading world is staring at the US numbers, while the rest of the world is slowing production fast.
    There will be a rude awakening from that staring quite soon in my opinion.


  18. Verwimp says:

    So we had countries with declining production, countries with increasing production and countries with production that went up and down or down and up or yoyoed somewhat randomly. All of this during the same 11 year period with the well known oil price evolution. Could anyone please teach me how price dependency of oil production reflects in these data?

    • Dennis Coyne says:

      Hi Verwimp,

      Output doesn’t correlate very well with the price of oil, sometimes oil price changes to a shortage (1973-74 and 1979-1982) or over supply (1999 and 2015), in other cases there is a lack of demand due to a recession as in 2008-2009. Oil output correlates much better with real GDP, though the correlation is not perfect because sometimes higher oil prices lead to substitution away from oil (in heating and power during the 70s and 80s).

      Over the long term low oil prices will lead to marginal producers to stop producing and oil supply will decrease, that is basic economics.

      If the World produces 80 Mb/d, but consumers only want 78 Mb/d at a price of $55/b, what do you think the people who can’t sell their 2 Mb/d of oil will do? Will they raise their offer price?

      My strategy would be to offer a lower price, so that I could pay my bills. YMMV.

      Now when the price falls to $30/b, I don’t see much point in completing new wells because I will lose money at this price, even on my best wells. That is the reason only 70 new wells were completed in the North Dakota Bakken/Three Forks in Jan 2016 compared to 149 new wells in Jan 2015 and 111 new wells in Jan 2014. The trailing 3 month average for new well completion in Jan of 2014, 2015, and 2016 were 148, 179, and 73 respectively. The reason for this change in completion rate was the drop in oil prices from $100/b to $30/b.

      • Verwimp says:

        Hi Dennis, Thanks for your response to my question (which was actually set up as a trap to catch your attention, as you undoubtably must have understood. Sorry about that. 🙂 )
        I understand falling prices may lead to less wells, according to the marginal producer principle. Still: 70 extra wells were completed. These wells are still profitable at $30/b? I mean: once a critical price is reached completing a well is no longer a profitable affair for anyone at the same time? (There is propably not one critical price, this price may vary from company to company, but is that variety so great in one single play?)
        On the global scale we see countries with declining production in times of low or decreasing prices (that is still in accordance with the marginal producer principle), but we see declining production too in countries while prices were going up! That may be post-peak decline (despite heavy investment.)
        We also see increasing production in some countries in times of high or rising prices. Again that looks economically correct. But we also see increasing production in some countries in times of low or decreasing prices. Is that all post-big-problem recovery (wars, sanctions, …)?
        What I want to say is: the entire picture consists of a wide variety of contexts, where the one on one correlation between price and production is very often obscured by other external or more important factors than price.
        Bottomline: I believe it might be the recent drop in ND Bakken production is a pure price driven evolution, but it might just as well have been driven by other external factors, among which natural deline. In the end: “Only 70 wells…” 70 wells at $5 million/well is still an investment of $0.35 billion.

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          Hi Verwimp,

          It does not make sense to complete the wells at these prices, but these companies are just trying to live to fight another day. It is a game of last man standing, each company is secretly hoping the other guy goes bankrupt so supply will go down and prices will go up.

          Some countries have reached peak and their output will decrease regardless of price, the price will mainly affect the rate of decrease in output.

          In the Bakken the main story is low prices have reduced the completion rate, why it hasn’t fallen faster, I don’t know really my explanation above is my best guess. I am not in the industry and the industry guys don’t get it either. A mystery.

          • Verwimp says:

            Hi Dennis,

            The other guy must go bankrupt first. That is preferably the next door fracker in ND. But there are a lot of Iranians now, pumping like there is no tomorrow, releaved as they are now, without sanctions…
            Do you consider the interational oil market as a level playing field? Or do you see artificial/political bounderies? If the latter is the case, dou you see these bounderies becoming lesser or stronger in the foreseeable future?

            • Dennis Coyne says:

              Hi Ves,

              For the most part there is an international market for oil which used to be controlled to some degree by OPEC and before that by the RRC of Texas. That seems to be gone at least for now perhaps never to return.

              This was not expected to occur so the LTO players thought they could pump all the oil they wanted and OPEC would cut output if prices got too low. They were wrong. In the future, small oil companies may be a little more careful about their assumptions about the future price of oil.

              I doubt there will be cooperation on oil output in the future so oil prices are likely to be volatile. At some point marginal oil production that is not profitable will stop. Then oil supply decreases and oil price increases, if you think that LTO output of 4.5 Mb/d can go to zero and OPEC, Canada, and Russia can make up that difference, I believe you are incorrect.

              Is that your assumption? Do you believe OPEC will fill that 4.5 Mb/d gap (it will be more than this because demand will increase and there is depletion as well)?

              What are your assumptions about the future price of oil?

              I believe the EIA’s STEO oil price forecast is very far from the mark. Do you think the Brent oil price will be $35/b in Dec 2016 (STEO forecast)?

              • Ves says:

                Hi Dennis,

                is this addressed to me or Verwimp? I see it is under Verwimp post. No worries. Catch you later.

  19. Caelan MacIntyre says:

    Continued from here

    “Dennis has my complete name and publication record.” ~ Javier (Rubio?)

    Just Dennis (and/or Ron)? Why’s that?
    So is this ‘proprietary, private or ‘black-box’ science‘, then, or what is it? Is this a good thing? Can Dennis C./Ron P. release this info please?

    Did TOD, for example, ever publish any articles this way? I know there were those with pseudonyms, but did ‘the public’ always know their full real names and could access their publications?

    I caught something of two people with ‘Rubio’ as a last name under the previous article. One of them was Javier. Is that Javier’s last name?

    Speaking of which, do we know who Sam Carana is? Or Tyler Durden (from the film, ‘Fight Club’?)? Are they real? Or who’s behind them?

    What about David Wasdell, Guy McPherson, Judith Curry or ‘Javier’
    Connections? Commonalities?
    Anyone see where I am going with this? If so, is this good for science or what?

    If so, or even if not, what happens to science/knowledge/wisdom/clarity/confusion in collapse mode, post peak oil?
    And are we already experiencing its ‘wavefront’.
    That good for the public?

    Will/Do we have a whole lot of vested-interes-funded/jumbled/confusing/anonymous/quasi-anonymous/quasi-scientific armchair opinions/arguments/self-described-promos/etc. from those who may have at one time or another supposedly practiced, or not, the (dying/collapsing?) institution of what some call science?

    What of that?

    “Curry receives ongoing funding from the fossil fuel industry…

    In September 2010, Curry started a weblog, Climate Etc., which takes the same ‘stress-the-uncertainties’ approach also seen in other efforts to thwart science-based policy actions, as documented by Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway in their book Merchants of Doubt…” ~ Sourcewatch


    “…1. a broad shallow dish used in ancient Rome for pouring libations
    2. a broad, shallow bowl-shaped feature on a planet’s surface.” ~ Google dictionary

    “A libation is a ritual pouring of a liquid as an offering to a god or spirit or in memory of those who have died.” ~ Wikipedia

    • Dennis Coyne says:

      Hi Caelan,

      Javier has sent me information to verify that he is a PhD scientist with many publications, I will respect his privacy.

      • Caelan MacIntyre says:

        “But the harassment argument should not be used as an excuse to bar access to scientific research that the public is paying for and has a legitimate interest in seeing.

        Whenever scientists argue against transparency, they inevitably tie themselves up in contradictions…

        NOAA, too, has found itself on both sides of the transparency debate.

        About 10 years ago, the agency released emails showing that officials in the administration of George W. Bush squashed a NOAA statement and that Bush political appointees were selecting which NOAA scientists could speak to the media based on their willingness to deny connections between climate change and hurricane activity.

        The emails released by the agency also included ones from NOAA’s own scientists. They complained to their superiors that the agency was misrepresenting hurricane science, and that NOAA had published inaccurate information on its website regarding links between hurricanes and climate change

        Scientists who profess agreement with transparency only when it is on their terms are really not for transparency at all. The public should be alarmed.” ~ NY Times

        Of course, I am not looking for emails, just the research (which should reveal the one behind it).

        • “What about David Wasdell, Guy McPherson, Judith Curry or ‘Javier’…
          Connections? Commonalities?”

          Curry is really bad in that way. She allows a person named Tomas Milanovic to post on her blog. Except that the Tomas is a pseudonym of some unknown person that only she knows. The issue I have is that people think the “Tomas” is a real name instead of someone trying to hide their identity. When “Tomas” makes an appearance he talks about quantum mechanics, N-body mechanics, and chaos — this helps Curry play her uncertainty monster card by suggesting how difficult climate science is and that no progress can be made in understanding climate.

          If one uses a nonsense handle like mine, you know that it is just a means to avoid getting junk mail, etc., but if they want they can go to my blog and figure out who I am … or as Dennis posted up at the top of the previous thread 🙂

          • Dennis Coyne says:

            Sorry Web,

            I thought because your name could be pretty easily found at context earth, that you were not concerned with privacy. If you would prefer I will use your Webhubbletelescope name instead in the future.

            • Dennis, No that’s OK. Just wanted to say that the fewer times it is written, the less spam I tend to get. Perhaps nowadays that doesn’t even matter.

          • Caelan MacIntyre says:

            That’s also an interesting dynamic with ‘Tomas’ and thanks for bringing the phenomenon up.

            Here’s part of the thing… The normal channels between science– maybe how science is supposed to ‘work’– and the general public are being short-circuited and/or subverted in different ways and it seems to be getting ‘worse’, or let’s say, ‘evolving’.

            For example, the general public, with various backgrounds, are now arguing with relatively anonymous people billed as scientists.

            Bear in mind; specialization is in large part what makes civilization.
            When we have ‘specialists’ ‘running rampant’ and arguing with non-specialists, and everyone else that constitutes the general public, what do we have? What happens? And is it necessarily good or clearer or filled with less FUD?

            One problem with ‘Javier’ and their likes, is that they bill– maybe better, frame– themselves as ‘scientists’ and maybe with a ‘Phd’ and field of specialization, such as in ‘molecular biology’.
            But at the same time, they and/or their research manage to remain anonymous, so that one effect is that they can’t normally be ‘vetted’ either.
            Is this ‘how science works’? Maybe now, but how is it ‘working’ and what are the implications/ramifications?

            This ‘bill’ may be important, because of course, ‘people look to scientists’ and could be used as a leverage by making members of the general public, for example, appear more ignorant, to sway opinion yet without having to reveal their backgrounds. That sounds pretty convenient, yes?

            It is one thing to argue between those who practice science about science and yet another to argue between those who supposedly practice(d) science (of what kind or quality?) and the ‘general public’ who may or may not practice science nor necessarily in the same fields nor to the same depths or breadths.

            I could write more about this, but I’ll leave it at that for now in part because I’d like to elicit some thought in these regards and because I have less time to devote here, apparently unlike Javier– which is remarkable, given their ‘billing’, since one would think they’d be far too busy and hard at work in a field or lab somewhere, rather than hereon, ostensibly trying to sway opinion.

            Incidentally, I saw a video some time ago featuring David Wasdell and in it, if recalled, he suggested something to the effect that the normal speed and/or modus-operandi of at least climate research may be too slow for what is happening and the potential responses required. IOW, it is not keeping up with ‘realtime’ and there is a suggestion that ‘scientists should get radical’.

            And since then, we have witnessed, for examples; Guy McPherson (GM) bailing from his position and going online with a blog; a science site– Arctic News– featuring a possible pseudonym of Sam Carana (that features GM, among others); Judith Curry’s ‘uncertainty-focused public climate-outreach communication’ efforts/blog, along with your Tomas character; and so on.

            “That’s not how science works.” ~ Javier

            “I don’t know if I trust Javier in explaining how science works.” ~ WebHubTelescope

  20. GoneFishing says:

    Everything you ever wanted to know about the radiative forcing of climate change (global warming).


    • Amanda Di Gironimo says:

      That just goes to show ya, global climate has many variables not understood well at all, if there is even any understanding in the first place. Plus likely many unknowns still to be discovered. We have but a tiny period of objective measurements relative to the whole time the planet has existed and climate has changed. The few things we know for sure are that much of the past was way different to now with ice ages and warming trends and whatnot. We know just about nothing about why, but speculations run into the 100’s of volumes at this point with no single person able to claim complete knowledge. We see the low understanding emphasized by the wildly variable climate forecasts to come and go from all sorts of folks trying to figure out science over the last 100 years and more.

      • Caelan MacIntyre says:

        Which is why it is important to behave as though we ‘don’t know’ and err on the side of caution where anthropogenic global warming or anthropogenic climate change is concerned and a very real threat, such as if it turns out to be true within the iron vice of a vast fossil-fuel burning and C02 spewing global industrial hierarchical machine as this.

        This is not a private planet for the elite to wreck.

        “Now, all that appalonian, platonic model is what the building industry is predicated on, and there are a number of things that exacerbate that…One is that, all the professionals– all the tradesmen, vendors, inspectors, engineers, architects– all think like this: And then it works its way back to the consumer who demands the same model. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy, we can’t get out of it…” ~ Dan Phillips

        “Modern industrial civilization has developed within a certain system of convenient myths. The driving force of modern industrial civilization has been individual material gain, which is accepted as legitimate, even praiseworthy, on the grounds that private vices yield public benefits, in the classic formulation. Now, it has long been understood, very well, that a society that is based on this principle will destroy itself in time. It can only persist, with whatever suffering and injustice that it entails, as long as it is possible to pretend that the destructive forces that humans create are limited, that the world is an infinite resource, and that the world is an infinite garbage can. At this stage of history either one of two things is possible. Either the general population will take control of its own destiny and will concern itself with community interests, guided by values of solidarity, sympathy and concern for others, or alternatively there will be no destiny for anyone to control…In this possibly terminal phase of human existence, democracy and freedom are more than values to be treasured, they may well be essential to survival.” ~ Noam Chomsky, ‘Manufacturing Consent’

        “According to him, the dystopia of the Wachowski Brothers’ Matrix trilogy is already here: the technological-industrial ‘machine’ is already running the world, a world where individual humans are but insignificant little cogs with barely any autonomy. No single human being – neither the most powerful politician, nor the most powerful businessman – has the power to rein in the system. They necessarily have to follow the inexorable logic of what has been unleashed.”
        ~ G Sampath on John Zerzan

        “If you still have a job, get everything in order, and quit. Do it as soon as you can, because we’ve never had a more important work to do.” ~ Kyle Chamberlin


      • GoneFishing says:

        Hi Amanda,
        Your statements seem to ignore the fact that science is based on physical laws which are well understood and can be applied generally. Yes we do understand the basic principles and they can be applied to larger systems because those systems follow the laws. Just because a system has internal variability, does not mean the basic mechanisms cannot be used or applied. Turbulence in a wind does not mean we can’t figure out the general wind direction. You said “We know just about nothing about why…”. Of course we know why, it’s very explicit. The energy coming in is now greater than the energy leaving, that is why there is global warming which generates energy differentials and climate change. As anyone who has done spectroscopy knows, the interaction of electromagnetic waves and molecules is very well known.
        I am sure “all sorts of folks” come up with all sorts of forecasts, but science has come up with the simple forecast of a 3 to 6 degree C rise in planetary temperature due to the changes in carbon dioxide levels in our atmosphere which then in turn cause changes in the natural world, causing a further overall rise in temperature. CO2 is merely the starting point, much as a match or lit cigarette is the starting point for a fire.
        Science is well beyond global warming right now and has moved on to studying the details of the effects of global warming. Those involve multiple variables, both manmade and natural. There is not question that the planet is heating, there is no question that weather and climate is changing, there is no question that migratory patterns and timings are changing.
        The difficulty is that we have so screwed up the ecosystem already that there is some difficulty in separating climate effects from other man made effects on the ecosystem. In the long run it will make no difference. Global climate change will trump other locally induced effects as it progresses.
        I would say at this point in time we know all we need to know about climate change and global warming to act upon it. Anyone who says otherwise is either following a political/business agenda or is truly delusional.

  21. Oldfarmermac says:

    This link has per capita per year energy consumption data for many countries.


    Consider the example of Switzerland, which uses less than half the energy per capita, per year, as the USA.

    Now there are some good reasons we use more energy, such as the fact that we are a spread out country with a lot of towns and cities located many miles from the next town or city, etc.

    But the Swiss are living better than we do, on less than half the energy per capita. Most of their advantage appears to be due to the fact that they have worked hard, for a long long time, on organizing their economy to be very energy efficient, compared to the American economy.

    There is no doubt in my mind that our national economy, and the world economy, can continue to grow, everything else held equal, even in the face of declining energy supplies, so long as the decline is fairly steady, and very small, say one or maybe two percent, per year, max.

    We can increase the efficiency of energy use faster than one percent per year,and we can change our ways to use less as well. I am not arguing that we WILL do so, but rather that we CAN, if we put our collective minds to it.

    I don’t know how long we would be able to pull off this trick, but it seems likely to me we could manage it for at least a decade, and probably two.

    • GoneFishing says:

      Old farmermac,
      Yes, Switzerland uses it’s energy quite efficiently for a manufacturing country, But it is smaller than West Virginia (not much transport energy needed) and produces less than half of it’s total primary energy use. Switzerland is also densely populated. One of the ways cities appear to be energy efficient is to stack people tightly and have all of their resources and energy produced elsewhere, everything gets transported in (that energy is not counted). So per capita it looks efficient. In the cases of small dense places, one needs to look at all the energy used elsewhere to provide energy, materials and products to that small dense area, city or country.

      Look at the huge divergence of energy per capita across the US.
      Wyoming uses 5 times the energy per capita than New York state.

      Another way to look at is at the farm level. Just a few people use large amounts of energy to produce crops. Any inputs to the farm and outputs need to travel long distances. The city guy can walk and use short distance transport and uses imported water, food, products and resources (all that embedded energy is not counted for the city).

      Electricity consumption for New York City alone is 55.000 GWh annually.
      Electicity consumption for the state of Wyoming is 16,500 GWh annually.

      Meanwhile Wyoming produces water,oxygen and food while New York city produces pollution.

      If a rural mine is producing ore to be used to build city infrastructure, where is the energy and pollution counted? Hmmmm? If a rural farm produces food and it must be transported to a city (where the mouths and anuses are), where is energy and pollution counted for that?
      Seems we have a major accounting problem with embedded and external energy. Until that is straightened out, there is no way to accurately compare anything.

      • Oldfarmermac says:

        Excellent points all , Gone Fishing

        But in the end , they get by with a LOT less per capita, and my point is that we can too, once we are forced to face up to the necessity of doing so.

        Our biggest challenge will be our spread out suburbs, meaning mass transit doesn’t work very well. But there is no doubt in my mind that hundred mpg cars are possible, and that electric cars are capable of meeting the needs of almost every commuter in the country.

        • GoneFishing says:

          I lived in suburbia and had commutes of about 2 miles. When I moved into a town, my commute went up to 11 miles. Later I moved back to suburbia and had a commute of about 5 miles. Believe it or not, a huge number of businesses and industries are embedded in and around suburbia. The commutes are often not that far, although for various reasons some people chose to live far away from their work.
          With an average drive of 34 miles per day, 100 mpg would mean only 1/3 gallon per day per car instead of the 1.4 gallons per day per car.

          One must also realize that the individual only has a fraction of control over fuel use. Business, industry, and government use a lot of the fuel and that is out of private control. It’s not just commuters or suburbia.
          Mass transit is a sham in much of the US and I don’t see it changing much in the near future. I waited 25 years for a passenger rail line that was supposed to come near me. Twenty-five years, lots of expensive studies, many meetings and two miles of rail were laid and never used. The rails end in the dirt and have been rusting for four years now. The right of way and bridges were already there.

  22. robert wilson says:

    I would like to see a special post with discussion dedicated to the question of what can be done on an international basis to stop or minimize global warming and sea level rise.

    • wimbi says:

      Yeah, I second that motion, I’m dam tired of hearing endless laments on how screwed we are and nothing on what to do about it.

      As if, for example, maybe people couldn’t think of anything to do about it!

      After a long weary airplane trip, I arrive in Madras and go to my fancy hotel, courtesy of US government. I immediately head for the shower and jump in. Water is tepid, like everything else. Annoyed, I call the desk and complain, manager gets on the phone and mumbles feebly that he can’t heat the water, no propane!

      I yell that I’m there for a conference on solar energy, the sun is beating everybody’s brains out, the hotel roof must be hot enough to fry a zebu, and — he’s got no hot water!!

      “Ah”, says he, “hadn’t thought of that”.

      Yep, that’s it alright. Hadn’t thought of that.


      • robert wilson says:

        I have thought about it. Don’t complain.
        Consider showering in the tepid water.

        • wimbi says:

          Oops, sorry robert, I had meant that as a thank-you for your bringing up the subject. I totally agree it’s a good idea.

          My “think about it” was aimed at the rest of the world, not you.

          On the shower, yep, tepid turned out ok. Anyhow, I was way too tired to care one way or other.

      • Fred Magyar says:

        I had a similar problem in Sao Paulo Brazil. Wanted to go for a swim and the water was really cold but the sun was blazing in a crystal clear blue sky and the buildings next to the pool had plenty of area for solar collectors. I could have thrown a couple of coils of black hose up there and with a PV solar powered pump have circulated the pool’s water through my makeshift solar collectors. But nah, too much trouble. People are F’n idiots!

  23. R Walter says:


    Coal cars just over 30,000 cars, down some 16,000 cars compared to week 10 of 2015.

    Petroleum cars in week 10 of 2016 were 7,685. Week 10 of 2015 had 8,100 carloads of rock oil.

    The petroglyph chiseled into the rock, the handwriting on the wall: the warm winter required less coal for power plants.

    Last week had record high daytime temperatures for March. Instead of ten below zero F, the temps were near 60 degrees Fahrenheit. I thought I was in heaven.

    Everybody is going green today, today is the day to dine on corned beef and cabbage. The beer will flow like wine.

    There are many good reasons for drinking,
    One has just entered my head.
    If a man doesn’t drink when he’s living,
    How in the hell can he drink when he’s dead?


    I have to link the page.

  24. Jef says:

    Boy Javiers prolific AGW denialism is impressive. Personally I can’t understand why someone would work that hard.

    “German CO2 emissions rise 1% in 2015”


    • robert wilson says:

      Stop nuclear power. Stop coal. Let the Germans freeze in the dark.

      • wimbi says:

        Or, do what the Norwegians did when they got to Minnesota. Dug a hole, made a cattle shelter, built a sod house on top, facing south. Arctic blizzards howl, Norges nice and cosy on sun, cattle, and poop.

        And those AngloSaxons froze like they didn’t at home in their clammy mild little island, where pretty near no shelter at all did good enough if wearing a thick sweater and bred to many generations of not quite fatal misery.

    • Duncan Idaho says:

      Even worse:

      Us rapacious apes had better modify our behavior.
      (not likely given our traits for genetic fitness, that may at this point be a liability)

      • Javier says:

        2015 saw a decrease in human global CO2 emissions after a few years of near stagnation. So it wasn’t us. WebHubTelescope already told you that it was the El Niño from warm water outgasing.

    • Cracker says:


  25. robert wilson says:
  26. 70%H2O says:

    Every once in a blue moon XKCD makes a comic that have some relevance to what is discussed here.


  27. shallow sand says:

    AlexS. I dropped down here to widen the view.

    I am referring to active wells per the North Dakota Bakken pdf, as of December of each year.

    I refer to this pdf instead of the entire North Dakota production pdf, so as to hopefully exclude old wells that may be shut in due to low volume, and to just illustrate what has happened since the “boom” commenced in 2007.

    Here is what is reported for December each year:

    12/2007 446 wells producing 33,164 barrels per day
    12/2008 868 wells producing 112,784 barrels per day 422 wells added 79,710 bopd added
    12/2009 1,332 wells producing 164,578 barrels per day 464 wells added 51,794 bopd added
    12/2010 2,064 wells producing 273,809 barrels per day 732 wells added 109,231 bopd added
    12/2011 3,275 wells producing 470,173 barrels per day 1,211 wells added 196,364 bopd added
    12/2012 5,048 wells producing 704,206 barrels per day 1,773 wells added 234,033 bopd added
    12/2013 6,840 wells producing 866,092 barrels per day 1,792 wells added 161,866 bopd added
    12/2014 8,950 wells producing 1,163,996 barrels per day 2,110 wells added 297,904 bopd added
    12/2015 10,372 wells producing 1,096,315 barrels per day 1,422 wells added (67,681) bopd (lost)

    I think I took all the data down correctly, but am appreciative if any errors are found and pointed out.

    AlexS, what do you take from the above. My take is that the ND Bakken hit the limit in 2014, partly because of reduced completions, but not entirely.

    Assuming 500 or less completions in 2016 (we shall see) I would expect a fall to under 900K bopd by 12/16. I further assume no more than 1,500 completions in 2017. That would cause production to fall to maybe high 700K bopd. It would take in excess of 4,000 completions, per year, IMO 2018-post to achieve 1.3 million bopd and maintain same under that scenario. 4,000 may be too high, but I think the number would surely be above 3,000, given that “sweet spots” may be running low by that time.

    • Dennis Coyne says:

      Hi Shallow sand,

      Your 4000 well per year completion rate is off by a factor of more than 2. Remember that the legacy decline rates will fall during 2016 with so few wells drilled. By Dec 2016 it will have fallen to 36 kb from 57 kb in Dec 2015. It will only take 1900 completions per year starting in 2018 to get to a new peak, by August 2019 the Dec 2014 peak would be surpassed (if my guesses and yours for completions are correct) see my scenario further down thread.

  28. Ves says:

    from up there,
    “For what it is worth, my models and those of Enno Peters confirm AlexS’s view. About 1900 well completions per year are needed to reach a new peak. ”

    I am not sure 🙂 All I am sure that none of us know what will happen. Look, just drilling certain numbers of wells does not guarantee certain production level. If shale would like to just practice drilling they can drill in my backyard 🙂 They will not find anything 🙂

    Look how many times we have been wrong: call for WTI bottom in January 2015? It turned out was wrong, prediction of steep decline of Bakken in 2015? Did not happen. Not yet. and etc, etc, etc , prediction of merger & acquisitions in 2015? did not happen. we were wrong., prediction of huge number of oil & gas bankruptcies in 2015? did not happen. not yet., $10 oil from Bloomberg? did not happen. wrong., prediction of US energy independence? Ok that one was Sainfield material 🙂 but wrong again.

    EIA,IEA, OPEC were wrong on every major prognostication in the last 20 years. So it is tough business figuring out the future.

    Well, why not my call for the price between $40-60 for the next 3 years? So how shale is going to drill 1900 wells with that price?

    • Dennis Coyne says:

      Hi Ves,

      If the oil price forecast is correct, then 1900 wells will not be completed in 2018. In my opinion your guess of under $61/b through 2018 will not be correct. As you point out my oil price forecasts have been very bad so you’ll need a pound of salt with that. 🙂

      Oh and on drilling the wells, they claim there are 7000 Gb pf proved reserves plus cumulative production, when probable reserves are added we get to about 10 Gb. The oil is there, when oil prices rise it will be profitable to do so.

      You don’t think oil prices will remain less than $61/b forever, do you?
      Why would oil prices remain that low? Low prices will lead to a fall in output eventually and demand will continue to increase as the World economy continues to grow (not forever, just for the next 35 years on average.)

      Lets take Shallow sands guess of 500 wells in 2016 and 1500 wells in 2017 and assume by 2018 we are up to 1900 wells per year. Note that I assume the average new well EUR starts to decrease in June 2017, the maximum rate of EUR decrease is reached in June 2018 at 6% per year.
      It is assumed that 1900 wells per year are completed until August 2033 and no new wells are completed after Dec 2034 (a gradual decline between those dates in completions per month).

      • Dennis Coyne says:

        Just so people don’t think that output stays high forever, here’s the scenario to 2040.
        Output declines steeply after 2034. Scenario is the same as above, the chart just extends further into the future.

        • shallow sand says:

          Dennis. How do your modeled wells compare to historical well data. For example, how many BO at 60 months.

          • Dennis Coyne says:

            Hi Shallow Sand,

            My well profiles are based on the historical data and are a hyperbolic fit to that data with exponential decline after 16 years at 5.5% per year. The well is shut in at 10 b/d for the jan 2016 well at 21.5 years. EUR is 336 kb, 227 kb, and 149 kb for Jan 2016, Jan 2021, an Jan 2031 wells respectively.

            At 60 months for the same three wells cumulative output is 208 kb, 171 kb, and 92 kb and output in month 60 is 1340 b/month, 1100 b/month, and 590 b/month.

            Link to file with data below

      • Ves says:

        Hi Dennis,
        ” Why would oil prices remain that low?” ($40-60)”

        Low price of $60 could be just perception. $60 is a hell lot of higher than $26 that we had in January 🙂
        For 2016 year: Because there is only talk about “freeze” and not cuts among major producers. And the best outcome from the oil production freeze project would be to reach the average oil prices of 2015.

        For 2017 & 2018: depends on many other things like: deeper austerity measures in EU (that is pretty much given) and even possibly in the US with new administration, gradual increase in Iran production (I think they have target of 4 mbd), and just simply because some smaller producer don’t even have a choice but to pump more oil as this is their only income.

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          Hi Ves,

          To keep it simple. Low oil prices will reduce oil output eventually, demand for oil will increase over time (at least until 2020, probably until 2030 unless a severe recession intervenes).

          If you agree with the above propositions and we take your average price of $50/b, do you think an average oil price of $50/b in 2019 is very likely?

          I do not, I think it highly unlikely that the price of Brent Crude will average less than $51/b for the year in 2019.

          I have indeed been wrong on oil prices before, this will no doubt continue in the future.

    • likbez says:


      All I am sure that none of us know what will happen.

      What do you mean? Here most posters are adherents of the peak oil hypothesis. If so, this is a nonsense statement.

      Bets when oil will , say, above $80 belong to the casino, but if trend is predicted right then it is clear that the prices should rise at least to the max level they reached before (above $100) within some reasonable period (say before magic 2020). And to above $70 within much shorter time period. Probably with some crazy spikes in both directions in between. When Wall Street speculators see profits around 25% a quarter they are ready to kill own mother.

      The key factor here is that the amount of oil to replace natural depletion of existing wells that can be extracted at prices below $70 is low to compensate natural depletion. For example, despite all this buzz about rising efficiency of shale production, the US shale does not belong to this category.

      It will be more difficult to induce the second oscillation of oil prices by repeating the same trick again with forcing debt burdened producers to produce at a loss. When oil producers were caught naked in 2014 with a lot debt to service they have no choice but to continue production. That was an interesting neoliberalism induced wealth redistribution play in which oil producing countries started to subsidize oil importing countries (aka G7) to the tune of 0.5 trillion a year. They did it instead of working together on conservation and keeping oil price at reasonable level they destabilized the system using Saudi in a bait and switch fashion. It might be an Obama attempt to bring Russia to knees, attempt to save economy from secular stagnation or sling to new recession, whatever. What is done, is done. But this racket can’t run forever. And what can’t run forever will eventually stops.

      Low oil price regime started to show crack already in early 2016, when agreement to freeze production was first discussed. Essentially in plain English that is a message to oil importing countries “f*ck yourself”.

      The next step will be agreement to limit production based on natural decline rates and low capex environment. The huge, paranoid level of fear of such an agreement is clearly visible now in MSM. And of course the US state department along with EU will do the best to crash such a possibility.

      But if such an agreement materialize despite all efforts to block it, it will have effect of the A-bomb on Wall street speculators and the second nail into “oil price forever” myth coffin. The same speculators who drove the oil price down from this point will drive it up like there is tomorrow. And as GS trading desk change their bets, those despicable presstitutes from Bloomberg instantly will change tone and start crying loud about coming oil crisis. Financial oligarchy has no allegiance to any country, only to their own bank accounts.

      In other words this shale/Saudi induced price crash just speeded up the day of reckoning by several years and will make the next spike of oil prices much closer and much higher.

      How long the oil prices can be suppressed by the threat of resumption of shale production remain to be seen, but if there will be a bounce in shale production at below $80 prices it will be a “dead cat bounce” and will not last long as if prices drop again all those guys who tried to anticipate higher price environment and started “carpet bombing”, sorry, drilling, again will be swimming naked again. Shale is a Red Queen race in any case. That means that shale will add to amplitude of the oscillations of the oil prices and might somewhat prolong the agony, but can’t prevent oil price rise to above $80 level.

      • Hickory says:

        Russia can’t afford to have the oil price stay low for too long. Neither can many other oil export dependent countries like Venez and most of the rest of OPEC. Who can last longest is an interesting topic. But Russia is not that country, and Russia is the one country with wherewithal and leadership to make a move to change the whole landscape.

        I wouldn’t be all that surprised to see Russia make a desperate/bold move to raise the price of oil. Simply, they could make a clandestine strike on Ras Tanura or Yanbu- the big Saudi oil export terminals. I suspect they would try to engineer it to look like someone else, like ISIS, did it.

        One of many possibilities.

      • Ves says:

        Ves: “All I am sure that none of us know what will happen”

        likbez: “What do you mean? Here most posters are adherents of the peak oil hypothesis. If so, this is a nonsense statement.”


        It is not nonsense statement. It is just your mind telling you a story that is a nonsense statement. Do you understand the difference between reality and your mind telling you certain story? There is huge difference.

        Did you know that oil will go down from $110 to $26 in just year and half? No. Who knew that on this forum? Nobody.

        Did you know that oil will go 50% up since January? No. Who knew that on this forum? or on Bloomberg? or in White House? Nobody.

        Humans LOVE stories. They love telling the stories and they LOVE listening to the stories. But they are just stories. You see, there are people here that love listening to EIA stories. They adopt their stories and say “This is MY story” and then post a link to tell you how much they love their stories. Then there are people who LOVE ZeroHedge stories so they just put a link here to tell you ” You see that is the REALITY!!”. But that is just someone’s story that they like.

        It is just stories. Are you American, Chinese, Indian or French? Who are you? No you are not either of them. Somebody told you a story when you very little that you are American, Chinese, Indian or French and you adopted that story and kept repeating that story until end of your life. Do you see what is going on? It is a story that you adopt.

        I asked my friend Jerry? Who are you? He replied “I am Jerry” I said ” Are you sure that you are Jerry? How come do you think you are Jerry and you did not even give yourself the name Jerry? Someone just gave you that name and was telling you all your childhood that you are little “Jerry” and you adopted that story that you are “Jerry”. But you are not “Jerry”. Do you see where this is going?

        It is just stories that we adopt. Some stories could be true, some stories are partially true and majority of them are not true at all but we really like them.

        • Bob Nickson says:

          “Als das Kind Kind war,
          war es die Zeit der folgenden Fragen:
          Warum bin ich ich und warum nicht du?
          Warum bin ich hier und warum nicht dort?
          Wann begann die Zeit und wo endet der Raum?

          Wie kann es sein, daß ich, der ich bin,
          bevor ich wurde, nicht war,
          und daß einmal ich, der ich bin,
          nicht mehr der ich bin, sein werde?”

          Lied Vom Kindsein (Song of Childhood) – Peter Handke.

          • Ves says:

            Hey Bob,

            Thanks for Handke
            everything is right there in that poem

            parts in english:

            “When the child was a child,
            it had no opinion about anything,
            had no habits,
            it often sat cross-legged,
            took off running,
            had a cowlick in its hair,
            and made no faces when photographed.

            When the child was a child,
            It was the time for these questions:
            Why am I me, and why not you?
            Why am I here, and why not there?
            When did time begin, and where does space end?
            Is life under the sun not just a dream?
            Is what I see and hear and smell
            not just an illusion of a world before the world?

            How can it be that I, who I am,
            didn’t exist before I came to be,
            and that, someday, I, who I am,
            will no longer be who I am?”

        • likbez says:

          Do you understand the difference between reality and your mind telling you certain story? There is huge difference.

          Good point. Thanks.

          • Ves says:

            No problem. Thank you also since if I did not write response to you I would not be reminded of Handkes’s poem by Bob. So it is just circle helping each other, the whole life is just circle. After spring is summer, and then fall, then winter and then starts again in circle. Oil price go up, oil price go down, then oil price go up again – circle again 🙂
            There is not much to it.

  29. R Walter says:

    Impact on agriculture during the Little Ice Age:

    People keep records of their most important crops, grapes for wine-making being no exception. Ladurie (1971) notes that there were many “bad years” for wine during the LIA in France and surrounding countries due to very late harvests and very wet summers. The cultivation of grapes was extensive throughout the southern portion of England from about 1100-1300. This area is about 300 miles farther north than the areas in France and Germany that grow grapes today. Grapes were also grown in northern France and Germany at that time, areas which even today do not sustain commercial vineyards. At the time of the compilation of the Domesday Survey in the late eleventh century, vineyards were recorded in 46 places in southern England, from East Anglia through to modern-day Somerset. By the time King Henry VIIIth ascended the throne there were 139 sizeable vineyards in England and Wales – 11 of them owned by the Crown, 67 by noble families and 52 by the church (English-wine.com). In fact, Lamb (1995) suggests that during that period the amount of wine produced in England was substantial enough to provide significant economic competition with the producers in France. With the coming cooler climate in the 1400’s, temperatures became too cold for grape production and the vineyards in southern England gradually declined.


    What you call natural climate change.

  30. Toolpush says:

    Arn’t these the people, that maxed out their revolving credit,and paid their execs 18 months salary?
    I wonder what they knew at the time? sarc.
    You rob a bank with a gun and take $10,000, you get ten years.
    You rob share holder and other creditors of millions of dollars, you get a pat on the back, and a job well done!


    Linn Energy Says It Will Shut-In 1,000 Wells In A Catastrophic Financial Report

    Linn Energy, a highly leveraged US independent structured as an MLP, reported earnings yesterday but skipped holding the usual conference call to discuss results.

    The financial press release was so catastrophic that it was tough to read. No hyperbole here. Linn has been particularly hard hit during the downturn and likely needs a restructure to survive. The company made an ill-timed purchase of Berry Petroleum for $4.3bn back in 2013, an acquisition for which Linn lacked the cash flow to make good on. Linn’s shares have fallen from $38 before the downturn to less than $1 today.

  31. Greenbub says:

    India in driver’s seat as fuel demand roars at fastest rate ever

    “Hundreds of thousands of Indians, spurred by cheap credit and rising incomes, are buying cars each month to free themselves from creaky, unreliable public transport.

    This is expected to help push India ahead of China as the energy demand growth leader, with its total fuel consumption rising by a tenth to a record in the fiscal year-to-date”

    Hmm, did someone here post something first-hand about this a couple of weeks ago?

    • shallow sand says:

      Some green guy did indeed.

      • Watcher says:

        Now the #3 consumer. China has them and Japan to choose from when it comes time to take oil from someone else to feed their own populace.

  32. Caelan MacIntyre says:

    Peak science

    “We’re familiar with the idea of peak oil, peak fish, and other resource peaks. Some large, but finite resource, gets exploited to a point where either it gets too difficult to extract, or is drained faster than it can be renewed.

    Could there be peak science?

    Might there be a point where we can’t keep doing more science?

    And could we already be past the peak?

    • • • • •

    There are a lot of worrying signs.

    Declining support for public funding of science. Obviously, science isn’t alone in this regard. Budgets are poor for a lot of worthwhile endeavours.

    Administrative burdens. You need to go through a fairly complex approval process before you can even run some experiments. And once you have any sort of external funding, the accounting and effort certification is widely considered to be much more onerous than it used to be.

    Disenfranchised junior researchers. People who want to be scientists are facing long training at low pay and little stability. It’s not a healthy situation where senior scientists get compared to plantation owners and sweatshop operators. (Jenny Rohn published an opinion piece in Nature last week discussing this problem at the post-doc level.)

    Bigger questions means bigger equipment. Answering bigger questions often requires bigger infrastructure. For basic physics, can we get much larger than the Large Hadron Collider? Not for the near future, certainly.

    Energy constriction. And peak research might be more tied to peak oil than people like to think. Research doesn’t take just human energy, it takes physical energy. How many pipette tips and other plastics (which is often petroleum-based, remember) does an active biomedical lab go through in a week? Has anyone calculated the carbon footprint of active biological research labs?

    Each one alone is a formidable problem. But combined, they might start to squeeze and constrict scientific output…

    In some ways, I don’t believe my own arguments. Scientists often criticize business and governments about pursuing ‘business as usual’ policies regarding energy despite overwhelming evidence that they are not sustainable.

    Yet in reading commentary from researchers about these problem, particularly in the United States, the discussion almost always seems to center around grants from government agencies: business as usual. I’m struck by how few people… are proposing anything but ‘business as usual’ policies: make sure the federal grants keep coming.”

    • Fred Magyar says:

      How many pipette tips and other plastics (which is often petroleum-based, remember) does an active biomedical lab go through in a week? Has anyone calculated the carbon footprint of active biological research labs?

      You are kidding, right?!

      If you want a little sense of perspective check out Chris Jordan’s ‘Running the Numbers! I guarantee that compared to the the waste Americans produce in every other aspect of our lives the impact of scientific research is negligible and the payoffs far outweigh any possible negative impacts. I’ll take the the LHC any day…


      Plastic Bottles, 2007, 60″ X 120.” From Running the Numbers: An American Self-Portrait. Depicts two million plastic beverage bottles: the number used in the US every five minutes.

      • Caelan MacIntyre says:

        Yes I thought that might be a bit of a stretch– pipette tips? lol (but who knows)– but was nevertheless thinking more of the overall or general financial and energy requirements/costs/feasibilities of research and large-scale scientific endeavors, including the colliders, helicopters and ships to exotic locations, space missions and space telescopes, scientists’ salaries, tuition increases and student debt peonage, etc..

        My own point behind all of this perhaps and in any case is the idea of scientific endeavors collapsing and/or declining/eroding along with everything else.
        I am also unsure scientific endeavor necessarily needs to be the most wasteful of the facets of pseudogovernment-cum-business-as-usual for it to do so.

        My other point or question about this is whether the dynamics that we see of scientists abandoning or short-circuiting ‘normal or classic channels’ and apparently spending (more of) their time online ‘like this’ is also one function or result of the dynamics of societal decay.

        Maybe Guy McPherson sees the writing on the wall more than he realizes or we realize.

        New Seeds

  33. Longtimber says:

    Future prospects for LTO outside US ?
    “The key to success therefore is finding the sweet spots, with systematically higher EUR’s. Even within a single sweet spot area well performance is highly variable, however. So far the industry has not been very successful in predicting sweet spots.”

  34. shallow sand says:

    There is a fortune article about missing barrels. Given that we do not have crude storage reports for the producers of close to 70% of worldwide crude oil, this should come as no surprise.

    Keep in mind, even with the recent run, WTI for Q1 2016 will be at lows not seen since 2003. Earnings will be non-existent. The price is still below SEC 2015 of $50.28.

    Volatile market. Up over 50% in 5 weeks.

  35. Daniel says:

    Not a good day for Statoil:
    Well Control Situation offshore Norway (no details but potentially during well testing of subsea well)
    Rocket Attack in Algeria (In Salah this time)

  36. Enno Peters says:

    For those interested in US shale oil production, I just added an update on the Niobrara (Co)

    • Fred Magyar says:

      OMG! it even incinerates birds and blinds pilots! Shut the damn thing down today. And, The plant only generated 45 percent of expected power in 2014 and only 68 percent in 2015, according to government data. The article says nothing about why that is or if in 2016 will continue improving…

      The Associated Press cited statistics presented by environmentalists in 2014 that “about a thousand… to 28,000” birds are incinerated by Ivanpah’s heliostats every year.

      Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2016/03/17/obama-backed-solar-plant-could-be-shut-down-for-not-producing-enough-energy/#ixzz43GWEEqW6

      So how come nobody is upset about this?
      Silent Spring, 2014 44×58″ and 60×80″; Chris Jordan and Rebecca Clark; made from 28 graphite drawings by Rebecca Clark
      Depicts 183,000 birds, equal to the estimated number of birds that die in the United States every day from exposure to agricultural pesticides.

      The whole article sounds like a typical anti solar and alternative energy diatribe paid for by your fossil fuel industry lobby! Lot’s of hype and spin with no substance or real data.

      Maybe read this as well so you can put things in a bit of perspective!
      Ivanpah Solar Production Up 170% in 2015

      • GoneFishing says:

        There are also purposeful mass poisonings of birds for agricultural purposes and pest control purposes. State run nest destruction goes on every year. Forget Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds”, the reality is “The Humans”.

        The Chris Jordon artwork set displays much of the excessive waste going on in the US and the world, a subject that come up in this blog occasionally.

      • Oldfarmermac says:

        You can find plenty of such deliberately misleading data about renewable energy , day in, day out. There is no doubt in my mind that half of it is posted by people who are actually dumb enough, and poorly informed enough, to believe it, and pass it on.

        But Fred is for sure right it is originally composed and spread around by people who have a financial stake in the fossil fuel industries, or who have political axes to grind. There are plenty of people who believe renewable energy is a liberal plot, and that renewables energy causes their power bills to go up.

        And like all lies, the lies about renewable energy work best when mixed in with a LITTLE BIT of actual truth. Renewables FOR NOW do often cause power bills to go up a little. Concentrating solar power plants do kill some few birds, and wind turbines kill some more.

        But the anti renewables crowd will NEVER EVER mention the number of birds killed by house cats, or pesticides, or windows they cannot see, or loss of habitat.

        Such lies work because millions of people WANT to believe them.

        But a little at a time, ever so slowly, the truth is becoming known.

        It is no longer unusual to run up on an old country guy or girl who will tell you that most of the cancers, heart attacks, strokes, etc that plague us are due in large part to pollution.

        It’s been at least ten years since I have heard even a moron say that smoking is a harmless indulgence. Most people, even the worst educated, will tell you that consuming a lot of sugar leads to obesity and diabetes.

        Unfortunately, it takes a lot longer to convince people to take action than it does to convince them of the need to do so.

        • GoneFishing says:

          I haven’t read it yet but have listened to two interviews of Jane Meyer concerning her book Sounds interesting, just ordered it through my library (saves money, saves energy, supports the library).
          “Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right”
          About the billionaires that want their cake and eat it too by squashing government oversight of their industries and lowering their taxes. Much about the Koch brothers, their organization of billionaires and their push against renewables.
          ” The chief figures in the network are Charles and David Koch, whose father made his fortune in part by building oil refineries in Stalin’s Russia and Hitler’s Germany. The patriarch later was a founding member of the John Birch Society, whose politics were so radical it believed Dwight Eisenhower was a communist. The brothers were schooled in a political philosophy that asserted the only role of government is to provide security and to enforce property rights.
          When libertarian ideas proved decidedly unpopular with voters, the Koch brothers and their allies chose another path. If they pooled their vast resources, they could fund an interlocking array of organizations that could work in tandem to influence and ultimately control academic institutions, think tanks, the courts, statehouses, Congress, and, they hoped, the presidency. Richard Mellon Scaife, the mercurial heir to banking and oil fortunes, had the brilliant insight that most of their political activities could be written off as tax-deductible “philanthropy.”
          These organizations were given innocuous names such as Americans for Prosperity. Funding sources were hidden whenever possible. This process reached its apotheosis with the allegedly populist Tea Party movement, abetted mightily by the Citizens United decision—a case conceived of by legal advocates funded by the network.
          The political operatives the network employs are disciplined, smart, and at times ruthless. Mayer documents instances in which people affiliated with these groups hired private detectives to impugn whistle-blowers, journalists, and even government investigators. And their efforts have been remarkably successful. ”

          Sad when the people who should be our top citizens merely look on the country as a cash cow. Will this era be remembered as “The Rise of the Sociopaths” ?

    • Longtimber says:

      Gubberment Top down. Centralized power Gen is loosing ground to DG every day. Capital cost per actually watt is frighting on most new central plants.

  37. The Baker Hughes Rig Count is out. US Land Rigs down 13. Texas down 12, Permian down 6, Eagle Ford down 3. Canadian oil rigs down 22. They have only 28 oil rigs left in the field.

     photo Baker Hughes.jpg_zps5rwal1cb.png

    • Stu from New Jersey says:

      Ron, they had the wrong file up for a while. The new one is out and oil rigs up 1, gas down 5 (new record lows for gas and for combined.)
      Canada down another 29 (-16 for oil to 12, -13 for gas to 57). Canada’s total of 12 oil rigs – are they really shutting down, or is this seasonal?

      • Dennis Coyne says:

        Hi Stu,

        I think its mud season and they shut down because the roads are too soft.

        Comments from Canadians are appreciated, I am near Canada, but not Alberta where most of the oil gets produced.

        • Toolpush says:

          Here is a link to this weeks rig count.


          The news is, there isn’t much news.
          Canada is in there spring break. Mud season, as Dennis states. The news will be when the ground dries out, and how many rigs return. I suspect we will not have to be familiar with large numbers!

          On a related side note, on the ND rig count site, SM energy has a second rig working Divide county. It popped up today. Start date 12/17/2016! Not sure if they are ahead of themselves, or got a really convoluted typo?
          It looks like I am not the only person who screws up dates. /smiles

  38. daniel says:

    Looks like new texas data is out. Cannot acces it properly from my bloddy phone

  39. R Walter says:

    Greece buys Iranian oil.


    347 A.D. Oil wells are drilled in China up to 800 feet deep using bits attached to bamboo poles.


    How in the world can humanity wean itself from oil when it has been used by humans for some 1670 years?

    It is not going to happen, no matter how filthy the stuff is, it is not going to go away.

    About two weeks ago, I saw a falcon attack a pheasant. The pheasant instantly ran into the caragana to avoid being a tasty treat for the falcon. Of course, had the falcon been successful catching the pheasant, the falcon would have been in big trouble. I would have attacked the falcon, thrown rocks at it, then I would have had a great evening meal of pheasant strips. Top of the food chain, you know.

    What worries me is the decline of Eastern and Western meadowlarks.

  40. Oldfarmermac says:

    So how bad is Trump?

    So bad it is hard to find words to describe how bad he is, but here is a well written piece published by an old standby conservative publication, the WEEKLY STANDARD.

    If I weren’t a worry wart, I would just quit worrying about him ever being the prez.

    Here are the facts about him, as a candidate, as they are perceived at the Weekly Standard. In this case, I think they are just about dead on.


    The only thing is, he has dumbfounded every body so far, and I am afraid he may continue to fool enough people long enough to get into office. Stranger things have happened, but not in this country, at least not YET.

    • HRC says:

      Speak for yourself:

      “The only thing is, he has dumbfounded every body so far”

      BULLSHIT !

      He has only “dumbfounded” Republicans. The white, lowly educated men that sleep with their guns and pray to the sky.

      How the ‘Party of Stupid’ Birthed Trump and Carson-


      More Americans have voted for Hillary Clinton than Donald Trump.

      • R2D2 says:

        Mac, I thought you Republicans were the party of responsibility. Time to man up.

        How the Republicans created their Trump problem



      • Oldfarmermac says:

        I should have expressed myself more carefully.

        Six months, or a year ago, I didn’t know a single Democrat,Republican, or indepentent who thought Trump would actually ever get the R nomination. So he dumbfounded everybody then.

        He is still dumbfounding every body by running so strongly, including me.

        I agree that only the lesser lights of the R party are Trump enthusiasts.Most liberal partisans seem to believe that all conservatives are Republicans and that all conservatives and Republicans are nitwits, or worse. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Yes, this remark is pointed at you HRC. I think maybe you just joined up today, and have no real idea at all about what I have been saying in this forum.

        You might go a little lighter on the insults. Bill and Hillary are known to attend church, and tote Bible’s on occasion.

        I will go a bit farther and take a chance on being called a racist for pointing out that I know a LOT of black people, and a number of Mexicans, and a few other immigrants of working class status.

        The black people of this country are probably and most definitely in my opinion far more apt to be seriously religious than working class white folks.

        I don’t think you would ever refer to Obama as worshiper of Sky Daddy, but he attended a rather famous, or infamous, as you please, church for a long time.

        I doubt you would ever say black folks worship Sky Daddy, but there are tens of thousands of black churches in this country that are packed on Sundays, and a couple of week nights as well.

        Incidentally, my parttime black farm hands eat at the kitchen table, with my family, any day they work for me. We don’t HAVE a dining room.Well, we do, but there is no table in it,because I converted it into an office and man cave. I invite them over when I have a cook out, and go to their weddings and funerals, and they come to ours. They hunt and fish with me, with the overall situation being that they are about as close to me socially as anybody except family members.

        Now here is a bit of GOOD advice, for anybody with sense enough to APPRECIATE it.

        Calling people names , and bad mouthing them, is a virtually GUARANTEED method of hardening their attitudes, and making sure they will never ever listen to anything you have to say.

        And IF you believe in democracy, then you will have to admit that right or wrong, people are entitled to their own beliefs.

        Reaching too far too fast, trying to impose new cultural norms on people who are not interested in changing their way of life, is a sure way to help create an uncontrollable backlash, as for instance the R party mopping the floors of Congress with the D party just recently.

        Incidentally, I posted this link up above , which is one hundred percent about Trump’s faults, and why he is bad not only for the R party but also bad for the country. I will post it again for anybody who missed it.


        I announced my intention of voting for Sanders a good while back.

        • HRC says:

          “He is still dumbfounding every body by running so strongly, including me.”

          Not me Mac, I’m not at all surprised 45% of Republicans are dumb enough to vote for Trump.

          Quit insulting those of us who don’t fall for your Republican Trump culture.

          “including me”

          Your not better than everyone else

          • Fred Magyar says:

            “Although it is not true that all conservatives are stupid people, it is true that most stupid people are conservative.”
            John Stuart Mill

            • R Walter says:

              It is probably thyme to burn any and all writings by John Stuart Mill!

              45 years ago, a group of towns people did burn Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughter House Five in a small community of Germans near where I was raised.

              There is no room for thought crimes on this earth anymore!

              Stop it! har

              Any attempt to silence any kind of opposition to climate change or AGW is akin to burning books.

              “Goebbels was in favor of free speech for views he liked. So was Stalin. If you’re really in favor of free speech, then you’re in favor of freedom of speech for precisely the views you despise. Otherwise, you’re not in favor of free speech.” – Noam Chomsky, psycholinguist extraordinaire

              • Fred Magyar says:

                I hate FREE speech! It doesn’t add anything to the bottom line… and you end up getting what you paid for. Ask Hillary if her speeches are free? 🙂

                • HRC says:

                  I’m all for free speech and also accountability. There needs to be checks and balances. Those that spew misleading garbage need to be called out for the good of the public community.

                  Trump is toxic to what I consider modern civilization. I don’t fear Trump as much as the people who follow him. Which is about 45% of the Republican party today. Don’t think for a second that what happen in Germany in the 30’s couldn’t happen again in the USA today. The Republican party has a cancer they need to eradicate. It just pisses me off when Mac groups me in with those that didn’t see this happening.

                  He needs to lean to speak for himself and the Republican party needs to take responsibility for how they got themselves in this situation. That responsibility will be part of the cure.

    • Stilgar Wilcox says:

      The thing that confounds me about Trump is how that percentage of people voting for him are unwavering in light of some really odd and dangerous things said. My best guesstimate is it’s a rebellion against the established GOP as many other pundits have conjectured. The GOP is in danger of changing to the Tea Party if Trump gets in. At a certain threshold of power it’s a different party and what higher power is there than president? This will be a remarkable battle that may get decided at the convention. A battle royale and if the winner is Trump and that momentum springs him into the presidency over Hillary, then we will have a fascist president. It’s not like he’s running on a fascist ticket, but rather that’s his natural personality, much like Mussolini.

      • Caelan MacIntyre says:

        Trump may very well help accelerate the decline of global industrial civilization/empire and is likely a function of it at the same time. He may prove, paradoxically, to be the perfect catalyst for its hard erosion. Beard-to-tail baste.

        In any case, you can’t get any more juicier than Trump, can you? Gawd I am already salivating in his anticipation…

        Go Trump!

        • HRC says:

          “decline of global industrial civilization/empire”

          “I am already salivating in his anticipation”

          Caelan, you need a lot of help. I hope your on the list that are not allowed to buy guns.

          • Caelan MacIntyre says:

            Well, just in case you took what you wrote and what you write seriously, yes, I say we throw the whole global industrial crony-capitalist plutarchy into the wood-chipper? How’s that? And if Trump can help drag it in that direction, why not? Who am I with or without a gun that Trump could do merely by ‘blowing’ in some direction?

            Besides, it’s your dystem, isn’t it? But if it isn’t, then what and/or whose is it?
            And what are you going to do about it?

            I don’t vote. Why should I? I concern myself with the system, and how it affects and is affecting us, the planet, the creatures on it, and our (un)realities.
            I also try to be careful about making any fundamental attribution errors, which you may do well to do also.

            But yes, I need a LOT of help, but not in the way you may think, but in the form of Permaea. The kind of help that all of us may need, including you. But somehow I doubt I will get it or as much of it, perhaps in part because…

            “MORPHEUS: The Matrix is a system, Neo. That system is our enemy. But when you’re inside, you look around, what do you see? Businessmen, teachers, lawyers, carpenters. The very minds of the people we are trying to save. But until we do, these people are still a part of that system… You have to understand, most of these people are not ready to be unplugged. And many of them are so inured, so hopelessly dependent on the system, that they will fight to protect it.” ~ The Matrix

            I edited something out of that quote, because I guess it depends on where you and others stand and what you’re going to do and not do about it.

          • Caelan MacIntyre says:

            “The tensions between these two camps are so contorted and dishonest that even trying to unpack the issues puts the un-packer in jeopardy of being branded as one kind of thought-criminal or another.” ~ James HK


      • Fred Magyar says:

        Yeah, but the question remains, can Drumpf make the trains run on Thyme?

  41. Kellyb says:

    Any of you’ll have any good guesses on about how many working rigs the U.S. needs to maintain production?

    • Dennis Coyne says:

      Hi Kellyb,

      I only have bad guesses. I am pretty sure the number would be higher than the count at present.
      Probably 700 to 800 rigs might do it, though it might be lower as old rigs are retired and the newer rigs are probably more efficient, possibly as low as 600 rigs might keep output at January levels.

  42. Dennis Coyne says:

    Hi all,

    I just checked the Eagle Ford page at the RRC. In February there were 234 oil wells added to the “schedule od completed wells” in the Eagle Ford. The March 1, 2016 oil well count is 10,675 and on Feb 1, 2016 the oil well count was 10,441. It amazing that they continue to complete wells at current prices.

    I have revised my outlook based on this resilience. Chart below for Eagle Ford scenario on the optimistic side.
    Note this includes both crude and condensate, Enno Peters data is crude only. Roughly 20% of Eagle Ford output is condensate so my 1400 kb/d estimate for C+C would be about 1100 kb/ of crude only.

  43. R Walter says:

    Over at Real Clear Politics, Hillary is leading Trump in the latest poll, 47-41, the average.


    Donald Trump should probably drop out of the race, but he isn’t going to do that.

    It is a moonshot for Trump, he ain’t gonna turn back now.

    Hillary is too old, she is wearing herself out. Hillary would be wise to drop out too.

    American politicians are a tenacious foolhardy driven tribe of political animals, even at their own expense.

    Hillary at 68 is over the hill.

    Milankovitch Cycle explained:


    Due to this wobble a climatically significant alteration must take place. When the axis is tilted towards Vega the positions of the Northern Hemisphere winter and summer solstices will coincide with the aphelion and perihelion, respectively. This means that the Northern Hemisphere will experience winter when the Earth is furthest from the Sun and summer when the Earth is closest to the Sun. This coincidence will result in greater seasonal contrasts. At present, the Earth is at perihelion very close to the winter solstice.

    When the aphelion is during winter here on earth, it is going to be cold.

    • likbez says:


      Hillary is too old, she is wearing herself out. Hillary would be wise to drop out too.

      I appreciate your insight (“tenacious foolhardy driven tribe of political animals” is good), but as for this particular point you are wrong. Hillary is a power hungry puppet of financial oligarchy (which appropriated Dems after Bill sold them down the river). If you are a puppet, then it’s not up to you to decide whether to drop, or fight to the bitter end. And being power hungry does not help with this decision either.

  44. Longtimber says:

    Must want it Bad: The U.S. Is Exporting Its Oil Everywhere
    “With American stockpiles at unprecedented levels, oil tankers laden with U.S. crude have docked in, or are heading to, countries including France, Germany, the Netherlands, Israel, China and Panama. Oil traders said other destinations are likely, just as supplies in Europe and the Mediterranean region are also increasing.”

    • Oldfarmermac says:

      You can learn some stuff from Bloomberg, but it always pays to take anything from Bloomberg with a generous dose of salt and skepticism.

      Reading this article , and others similar to it, will result in the typical reader assuming that the USA is an oil exporting nation, where as the truth as we all in this forum know, is that we import many times more than we export.

      Nobody ever went broke overestimating the stupidity and or ignorance of the public. I don’t know who said it first, but he probably lived even before the invention of writing.

      • Toolpush says:


        I wonder if these people, read what they write.

        Enterprise Products Partners LP, one of the biggest operators of oil ports in the U.S., told investors this month it alone expected to handle exports of crude and condensates — a form of ultra-high quality oil — of about 165,000 barrels a day during the first quarter, up almost 28 percent from the 2015 average.

        So one company, increased their exports by 28% or 46,200 bopd, ie they were already exporting 118,800 bopd, before the “ban” was lifted.

        Normal people, would have assumed during the ban, exports would have been zero. So obviously we are not talking about normal people!

        I feel this little slip by the reported, puts into perspective, what the lifting of the oil exporting ban means, ie very little.

        • likbez says:


          Condensate was not covered by the ban. What ban lifting allows is export of “artificial WTI” that US refineries reject, and there was a first shipment to Israel I think.

          • Toolpush says:


            Condensate had previously been considered in the oil export ban, until a few companies applied for export licences, back in mid 2014, if my memory serves me correctly. The market was surprised, when the authorities allowed the export of this condensate, as long it had passed stabilizer, and had to be kept separate from embargoed oil. The industry was in the middle of gearing up for these changes, when they lifted the complete ban on crude and condensate.

            The fact that the new unencumbered exports are only 28% of the convoluted described previous exports, says to me, it is not much in the scheme of things.
            As for the artificial WTI. My understanding is, it is made up of WCS plus, condensate/ light oil from the US. With the correct blending and separation during transport, this artificial WTI could have been legally exported. But to my knowledge, it was never attempted, for reasons unknown.
            I have yet to see any defining information on what sort of oil is being currently exported. Do you have any info or links? It could be very enlightening, into what is unwanted in Cushing, and what is in demand in the rest of the world.
            It would definitely help Jeffery Brown,and his Cushing is full of condensate theory.

      • Longtimber says:

        “I wonder if these people, read what they write.” Bingo
        Nut’s when when one can’t discuss oil flow’s impact on the future of football to the Average Joe without being branded a Nutcase. What would we do without the POB shredder? MAD magazine needs to do a Peak Oil Issue. Humph ! what do you not understand about “The U.S. Is Exporting Its Oil Everywhere”

  45. Oldfarmermac says:

    This University of Califorornia Television presentation will be my continueing education project for tonight.

    It runs into some time, but otoh, you can learn very very little from sound bites. Sound bites are for people who want other folks to do their thinking for them.


    The actual talk starts at about 4 and fifty seconds, but the first five minutes are well worth your time, especially the summary of Cicerone’s career as a scientist.

  46. Toolpush says:

    Firstly, I love Enno’s graphs. I know they have been up for a while, but today is the day I have really had a chance to explore.

    I got a shock when I looked at EOG well quality. 2013, was obviously a high water mark for well quality. But it is the poor performance of 2014 and 2015, that caught my eye. I do know EOG were one of the first to cut back drilling, and also made even deeper cuts in completions. I can understand the severe cut backs, and EOG could afford them, but I don’t understand any reason why they would be selectively completing their poorer wells, especially when the drop in productivity starts in 2014. It is not just the initial production that is down. The 2014/15 continue dropping, with both about to fall below the 2010 line, which is the lowest water mark.

    I have read all about the sweet spot and certainly understood the concepts, but maybe I put a little too much belief in the corporate presentations. It is had to find a good balance, with so much information at hand, but it is also hard to come to any other conclusion with EOG, that their sweet spots are just not so sweet these days!

    EOG were the first in, and maybe the first to show the longer term future, or lack of it?

    • shallow sand says:


      Look at Whiting. Another early entrant. 2008, 2009 and 2010 far superior to all years thereafter.

      Look at these two in Niobrara also.

      • Toolpush says:


        I love Whiting Niobrara, 2015 well productivity. So much for all the “productivity” improvements. lol

        These graphs, really cut though the gloss put out by the companies.

    • Enno Peters says:


      I also found the EOG results quite shocking. Do note though that their average well is still performing nicely compared with other operators. I get the strong impression that EOG is only interested in clearly profitable operations, and not the unprofitable/marginal stuff. EOG has also hardly drilled into the Three Forks formation, which is clearly (>15%) performing worse than the Middle Bakken, while other operators have shifted new wells to a great extent (up to 50%) to the Three Forks. The annual total number of new wells in the Middle Bakken formation already peaked in 2012.

      EOG was the first big operator to rapidly pull back from Bakken in 2014, and its production has halved by now since Sep 2014.

      Although we don’t yet see a major deterioration of new wells in ND overall yet, there are several areas within the Bakken where this can be found – so far this effect gets compensated in other areas. It is also striking to me that despite a drop in completions of > 30% from 2014 to 2015, there has not been a marked improvement in well productivity which you would expect as operations shifted to better areas.

      • Toolpush says:


        If the meme of retreating to the sweet spots and bigger better completions was true, then we should be seeing an increase in well productivity during 2015. Certainly across some of the major companies, this is shown not to be true. This must bring doubt upon the validity of closer well spacings, that have been the flavour of the day, and allowed high intensity well pad drilling.

  47. Bp19 says:

    Thoughts on the missing barrels report out of the WSJ?

    This last happened in 1998. There was a 10 year rally in prices after that.

    If 800k/d doesn’t exist, my belief is that the inventory build is due to weak demand and not oversupply.

    Regardless it is amazing that big dollar decisions are made on very imprecise data…aka survey estimates and models.

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