Open Thread: Any Energy Related Subject

This is an open thread. Post on any subject if it relates to energy… even slightly.

JODI Russia

Russian production has flattened out during the last 12 months. Russia is the world’s second largest producer of crude oil, only slightly below Saudi Arabia.

Iran unveils a three stage plan to get its Persian Gulf oil back to pre sanction levels… in five years.

3-stage plan to raise oil production unveiled

Managing director of the Iranian Offshore Oil Company has explained details of Iran’s three-stage plan to increase oil production during the post-sanction era.

Explaining the detail of Iran’s three-stage plan to increase crude oil production in Persian Gulf, Saeed Hafezi said that, “currently, the natural decline in Iran’s oil production in offshore fields exceeds the decline in onshore fields.”

Pointing to the 10-12 percent drop in oil production at Persian Gulf fields, Hafezi asserted that, “accordingly, implementing plans to increase oil production in these areas will be time consuming and only after compensating for the natural decrease we can begin to increase our production capacity.”

This official reiterated that by the removal of sanctions, Iran will undertake a three-stage plan to increase oil production adding that, “based on this plan, during the first stage we will implement emergency techniques to increase daily production of crude oil in Persian Gulf by 32 thousand barrels.”

Announcing a medium-term program to increase daily production in Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz by 130 thousand barrels, Hafezi added that, “by undertaking a four to five-year plan, the natural drop in annual production capacity will be compensated in order to reach the quota of 800 thousand barrels per day.”

I found the above article extremely revealing. First, much of Iran’s decline during sanctions has been due to “natural decline”. Of course we knew that but I had no idea it was as high as 10 to 12 percent. That was just their Persian Gulf fields, but their inland fields have been declining also. It will be interesting to see how long it takes them to get those fields up to their previous levels.

US Oil Production Fall Will be Worse than Markets Expect

Based on our projections of a horizontal rig count of 500-500 in the tight oil plays (the industry has been running between 540-560 during the past three months), we expect U.S. oil production to fall by 600-800mb/d during 2016, with monthly volumes bottoming around 8.2mmb/d later next year. This is a bearish outlook relative to consensus, with the variance explained by the fact many forecasters continue to hedge their bets on what 2016 activity levels will be. 

August 2015 Had Highest Sea Surface Temperature on Record

Across the oceans, the August 2015 globally-averaged sea surface temperature was 0.78°C (1.40°F) above the 20th century average—the highest temperature for any month in the 1880–2015 record.NOAA analysis further shows that in August 2015, the sea surface on the Northern Hemisphere was 1.02°C (1.84°F) warmer than it was in the 20th century, as illustrated by the graph below.

Arctic News 1

As the image below shows, the August data for sea surface temperature anomalies on the Northern Hemisphere contain a trendline pointing at a rise of 2°C (3.6°F) well before the year 2030. In other words, if this trend continues, the Northern Hemisphere sea surface will be 2°C (3.6°F) warmer in about a dozen years time from now.

Arctic News 2

Such a temperature rise would be catastrophic, as there are huge amounts of methane contained in the form of hydrates and free gas in sediments under the Arctic Ocean seafloor. A relatively small temperature rise of part of these sediments could cause a huge abrupt methane eruption, further speeding up local warming and triggering further methane eruptions, in a spiral of runaway warming that will cause mass destruction and extinction, as described in the reference page The Mechanism.

And last I must apologize for posting a political link. But this does slightly relate to energy. If this man got elected what would our energy policy look like?

Ben Carson: Darwin’s Evolution Theory ‘Was Encouraged by the Adversary,’ Satan

Dr. Ben Carson, a pediatric neurosurgeon and author of six best-selling books, gave a talk about creationism vs. evolution and said he believes the theory Charles Darwin “came up with was something that was encouraged by the adversary,” Satan, the Devil.

“Interestingly enough, this [evolution theory] is a relatively modern science concept,” said Dr. Carson at the conference Celebration of Creation. “Before Darwin came along, it wasn’t.”

The man is second in the republican race for president.

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520 Responses to Open Thread: Any Energy Related Subject

  1. robert wilson says:

    One of my favorite posters on nuclear matters. http://www.hiroshimasyndrome.com/fukushima-accident-updates.html

  2. Dr. Don says:

    It would be great to see a Godly man like Dr. Carson as President of the US.

    • Of course it would. And if we could get both houses of congress, and a majority of the Supreme Court to be godly men like Dr. Carson we could institute a Christian version of sharia law in the United States. We could outlaw the teaching of Evolution, not just in public schools but outlaw it in all our universities as well. We could mandate that creationism be taught as true science in all of them.

      We could mandate that the Bible be taught as the inerrant word of God and no science would be allowed to taught if it disagreed with any Biblical text. The earth would be 6,000 years old and the center of the universe.

      Dr. Carson may be a medical genus but he is a blooming idiot as far as any other science is concerned.

      • JW says:

        “godly men like Dr. Carson we could institute a Christian version of sharia law in the United States.”

        Depends on how they read the Bible. If they read it the same way as atheist bloggers (to find evidence for what they already made up their minds about) then possibly yes. But if they read it to learn from it, then 1 Cor 5:12 is quite clear and leaves little room for interpretation:

        “12 What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? “

        • Depends on how they read the Bible.

          Of course it depends on how you read the bible. You are either a fundamentalist or you are not. And the more political power the church has, the more fundamentalist they become. And if they had ultimate political power they would dictate to the nation that the Bible is the law.

          There was a time when the church rule the world. It was called the dark ages.

          • Okay, no more religious bullshit. My post about Dr Carson was only to show what type of unscientific candidates can get on the ballot and get a lot of votes. It was meant as a comment on the American political system and that is all.

            If you want to argue creationism take it somewhere else. But if you have a comment on how religion influences politics then your comment is welcome.

            • Boomer II says:

              I pay no attention to Carson. He’s one of the least likely (perhaps THE least likely) of the GOP candidates to win the nomination.

            • A note of explanation as to why I don’t allow creationists arguments on this blog. First, this is just not the place for it. This is an energy blog, not a religious blog. And second, I used to debate creationist in the public forum. I enjoyed it immensely. But then I read one scientists comment on the subject. He said:

              These people are idiots. They should be ignored, not argued with.

              I agree. I will not argue with creationists here.

              • BC says:

                The rentier Power Elite want Jeb the Bushman in order to extend the oligarchical dynasty and maintain BAU. Trump and the rest of the GOP clown parade are distractions in extremis to make Jeb look like a reasonable choice in comparison, as well as pander to Latinos/Hispanics with his CIA Spanish. 🙂

                Hilbillary, the lady in waiting (. .. and waiting . . . and waiting), and flippantly considering Slick for VP (rather than First Gentleman), is shooting herself in the foot and other extremities, leaving poor jovial Joe Biden (who doesn’t want the job) to assume the more palatable role as opposition, and loser, to Jeb.

                The Power Elite and Bonesman have chosen Jeb, and that’s who we are likely to get to “affirm” for the next CEO of the Anglo-American, militarist-imperialist, rentier-socialist corporate-state.

                As for yours truly, I’m continuing the tradition of writing in Pat Paulsen for POTUS and Mr. Spock for VP. 😀

                • Anton Koffield says:

                  My Prediction for the R’s 2016 Ticket:

                  Either:

                  Marco Rubio
                  Carly Fiorina

                  or

                  Marco Rubio
                  John Kasich

                  Rubio is young, and reasonably well-spoken and intelligent-seeming, at least in relation to the rest of the the Republican Presidential wanna-be clown car. He is Hispanic, so the R’s will hope he attracts the Hispanic vote. He is a Senator from Florida, so they hope to bag FL, one of the two ‘must-have’ Electoral College states to win the Presidency.

                  Fiorina is a woman, so they would be chasing more women’s’ votes with her. She claims a strong business record, which is up for debate, and she confidently spouts red meat words to the base.

                  As for Kasich…he is from Ohio, so the R’s could attempt to bag both the must-have Electoral College states. He seems less crazy than most of his R Presidential peers…’tip your (Latina) maid’ gaffe aside….a Senator and a governor from the South and the North…Ohio and FL…may be a powerful ticket.

                  I am not thrilled about Hillary Clinton.

                  I would be more excited about a Sanders/Warren ticket.

                  What will happen is that we will get a ‘more BAU’ pair as P/VP, and Winter will still be coming.

                  All the declared R Presidential candidates, and a couple of potentials, including many I never heard of:

                  http://2016.republican-candidates.org/?sort=alphabetically&sex=&other=

                  All the declared D Presidential candidates, and a couple of potentials, including many I never heard of:

                  http://2016.democratic-candidates.org/?sort=alphabetically&sex=&other=

                  This site lists declared and potential independent and other party candidates…not that it matters.

                  • Glenn Stehle says:

                    Anton Koffield said:

                    He [Marco Rubio] is Hispanic, so the R’s will hope he attracts the Hispanic vote.

                    At this point in the game, that looks to be more wishful thinking than reality.

                    The Republicans need to win at least 40% of the Latino vote in the general in order to prevail.

                    “GOP 2016 Win Will Need More Than 40 Percent Of Latino Vote, Says Study”
                    http://www.nbcnews.com/news/latino/gop-2016-win-will-need-more-40-percent-latino-vote-n394006 )

                    Polls of Hispanics thus far show Rubio has demonstrated absolutely no ability to do that:

                    “New poll shows Marco Rubio won’t win the GOP Hispanic voters in 2016”
                    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/apr/12/marco-rubio-unlikely-to-earn-gop-new-hispanic-fans/?page=all

                    The only Republican who has demonstrated an ability to carry the minimum threshold of 40% of the Latino vote is Bush (he, along with his Mexican wife).

                    I always thought Bush married the daughter of some Mexican gazillionaire, like it was more of a merger than a marriage. But not so. He married a poor girl from Guadalajara. I guess he met her by chance somewhere, fell in love, and married her. And that is that.

                    It’s a wonderful Cinderella story that is bound to have broad appeal with working-class voters of Mexican heritage.

                    And not only that, but back home in Florida Rubio is struggling to win the hearts and minds of voters of Cuban heritage:

                    In their home county of Miami-Dade, Bush outpolls Rubio 43 to 31 percent among Cuban Americans.
                    http://townhall.com/tipsheet/cortneyobrien/2015/08/25/poll-only-40-percent-of-hispanics-know-who-cruz-and-rubio-are-n2043267

                  • Anton Koffield says:

                    Glenn,

                    Thank you for providing the solid info.

                    Be all that as it may, the R’s will make a grave mistake by nominating another Bush.

                    The people aren’t going to be too keen an another Bush. One can say the same about another Clinton…but between the two, I think the Bush legacy has more substantive baggage.

                    And also, Jeb’s heart doesn’t seem to be in it…he seems pretty low energy. Both Rubio and Bush’s poll numbers are rising.

                  • I think Dr Carson would be an excellent presidential candidate, but he’ll have to run with a VP who satisfies the neocons. The obvious choice would be Jeb Bush. A Carson/Bush ticket will win Florida.

            • JW says:

              Ron.
              I am not a creationist. At least not the traditional kind. I did not even bring up the subject. What are you writing about?

              • No, my reply to you had nothing to do with whether you were a creationist or not. My reply centered on this sentence of yours:

                Depends on how they read the Bible.

                That sentence actually had me rolling in the floor laughing my ass off. And of course I agreed with you. Every believer takes from the Bible what he desires to believe an decides the rest means something other than what it really says. The following quote says it perfectly:

                Doing theology is like doing a jigsaw puzzle in which the verses of Scripture are the pieces: the finished picture is prescribed by each denomination, with a certain latitude allowed. What makes the game so pointless is that you do not have to use all the pieces, and that pieces which do not fit may be reshaped after pronouncing the words “this means.”
                Walter Kaufmann:
                Critique of Religion and Philosophy.

                • JW says:

                  Here comes my delayed response:

                  Your quote is only partially right. Right because lots of these people do exist. Wrong because it is not the only way to read the Bible. I read some times that it is impossible to figure out the message of the Bible because everything is subject to interpretation. This is a totally silly statement. It would imply that someone living before the guthenberg era would take a quill and some ink and write a long text, then have lots of people copy it over and over, without having an intention to send any message at all. Lots of hard work for nothing. That is ridiculous. Of course there is a message. There are even a way to figure out what the message is, what the original author meant. It is called “systematic studies” and can be applied to any written text, even this one. And believe it or not, lots of Christians are actually trying it. I am one of them.

                  One thing that comes out if you do study the New Testament systematicly, with relevance to this discussion, is the following three points.

                  1: Don’t judge people. (Because Jesus said so).
                  2: The church shall not act as moral guardians of society. (No passage in the NT say we should, some say we should not).
                  3: Don’t get involved with politics.

                  Regarding point 3: The early church considered being a politician a sin. There are a preserved letter from an early church leader who write that if someone is wearing the purple robe he shall not be allowed into the church, until he removes it. The point is clear.

                  A thorough study of the NT and also of the early Christian tradition confirms these points. There really is no space for debate here, the Bible is quite clear on the topic.

                  What does this do to Christian political parties? First thing is, anyone NOT reading the Bible the way described in your quote above will reach this conclusion, and then abandon the concept. They may still be interested in politics, but specific Christian parties become obsolete. Thusly, parties like the Republicans will automaticly be purged off of people who read the Bible systematicly. We who do will not join. Second thing is, no such person will form a political entity to challenge those parties. For the same reason anarchists will never be politically successful, these guys wont: Ideology prevents it.

                  So what do we do? You’d be surprised to know how many US evangelicals are outspokenly negative to the Republican party. Or the entire right wing movement. One US evangelical said about the “Moral Majority” the following actual quote: “They are not the majority, and they are not even moral”. That is quite hard criticism to come from your own kind of people.
                  I also believe more and more people wake up and understand these things. It is not so that all US bible readers agree with them. They just don’t make it to the news.

                  • JW, thanks for the reply though I found it nothing but more typical religious bullshit.

                    Thanks for the exchange but I will not discuss this any more. We are already way too far from the subject of oil, gas and other energy.

                    Goodbye.

          • JW says:

            When the church were given political power by the Roman emperor Constantine, it resulted in that the church was corrupted with 3 main results:

            1: The church hurt people.
            2: The above point resulted in a lot of bad PR.
            3: The church lost focus on her real mission.

            Any of those 3 points were really bad. All 3 together was a full blown disaster. 1700 years later we are still cleaning up the mess. I have a hard time grasping why some people still want to try it again. It is like trying one more time with marxism.
            The church also needs to be kept pure from involvement from the state.

        • nNgass says:

          Here we go again. What has the Bible quote 1 Cor 5:12 to do with oil? I am again pretty frustrated to scroll through non-oil subjects. People just do not care, starting with Mr. Patterson who triggered numerous responses on his Carson remark culminating in religious bullshit.

          • Hey, it’s my blog and I will comment on anything I damn well please. I do care. Religion sticking their nose into places where they have no business is a serious problem in the USA.

            Yea, all religion is bullshit. But that bullshit is being injected into our political system. And I will register my objection to that interference on my blog whenever I goddamn well please.

            If that displeases you then go somewhere else.

            • Don Wharton says:

              Thank you Ron!

            • TechGuy says:

              Ron Wrote:
              “Hey, it’s my blog and I will comment on anything I damn well please. I do care. Religion sticking their nose into places where they have no business is a serious problem in the USA.”

              Yup. But Politics and Religion end up becoming a huge distractions. Better to just avoid it on a Oil topic. I would recommend you steer non-energy related discussions to non-oil threads. Its your blog and you have the “power”! Kindly (or not kindly) reply to these shenanigans: “No BS posting about politics or religion on Oil threads!” Otherwise people will “sucker-punch” you into a long debates, which usually just end up as a pointless task to nail Jello to a wall 🙂

              Take care

              • TechGuy, I find it better not to be so strict on what people post. I know some people don’t like it but I don’t like putting too many limitations on what people can post.

                Of course the religious threads can go on too far and get too far from the subject. At that point I just cut it off. I just did that a few minutes with one of JW’s posts.

                So I will continue to let things go as they have been going. Besides, I enjoy the occasional sojourn into the field of religious bullshit. We all need the occasional comic relief.

      • old Farmer Mac says:

        I do not want to see a Bible Thumper in the White House, but we have had some that were in the past who turned out to be pretty decent presidents- as presidents go.

        Carson may or may not be telling it like he believes it is. If a politician’s lips are moving, the odds are that he is fibbing at least every other breath.I have never read one of Carson’s books or anything he has written, so I do not KNOW very much about him.

        But my guess is that he is playing to his audience hoping to get enough traction among the thumpers to stay in the race. I have no idea right now who will win the repugnants nomination race, but I am almost dead sure it won’t be Carson and I am strongly of the opinion that it will not be the Trump Chump.

        Obama could come out of nowhere, virtually unknown, and win the D nomination for a couple of reasons. My opinion,for what it is worth, is that the D’s , the little ones with the small checkbooks and just one vote, were desperate to run anybody BUT Hillary. She was shopworn and questionable even ten years ago, and WORSE now. She has the charisma of a cow. Any body could dethrone her now , if anybody actually figure out a way around her money and her political machine. If you examine her organization closely, she is the ultimate modern day machine politician, considering she has not held any office except senator- which was bought and paid for, she is not even from the state and never really ever had any intention of staying there.. NOBODY as a rule can go into a state that way and get a Senate seat- except if the PARTY wants that person to HAVE THAT SEAT as a jumping off place.

        She has power enough THIS TIME around to steamroller the opposition working within the D party apparatus – and everybody knows it. Of course miracles do happen, the OBUMBLER outfoxed her, by being new and fresh and young and unknown and time for a minority prez and all that.

        It is too damned bad Sanders is so old , but if he manages to pull off the miracle he has my vote.

        The R party machine on the other hand hates the Chump’s guts. The R establishment is desperate for any body BUT the Chump, who is not even a party insider in terms of the party machine. He may own some R politicians but he has never paid any dues it terms of working inside the party.

        A good sized chunk of ignorant people will vote for him, but if there is ANYBODY in the race who can make HRC look good to a middle of the road voter- IT’S THE CHUMP.

        If there is a republican real or pretend in the USA who can get out the vote for the D’s , it’s the CHUMP. And the R party apparatus, the pros who have spent their life in the trenches, understands these things perfectly.

        The D’s who are not HRC true believers or bought and paid for apparatchiks understand that HRC will get out the vote for the R’s . This is why after being anointed again and again and again by her machine and the media, the rank and file is in rank rebellion and EAGER to vote for ANYBODY ELSE.

        Sky Daddy has turned his back on his drunks, little children and USA. I will probably get very very drunk on election day and stay home and cry for my country if it comes down to HRC and the Chump.

        • ChiefEngineer says:

          Mac says: “My opinion, for what it is worth, is that the D’s , the little ones with the small checkbooks and just one vote, were desperate to run anybody BUT Hillary”

          As a small “D”, I have no problem with Hillary, Biden or Sanders. What I have a problem with is the Republican clown bus and their Religious War chest pounding BS. Let’s make this clear, it’s Republicans that have a problem with Hillary, not Dems. Feed by Fox Noise machine for the last 20 years and southern hate FM radio. Hillary has more common sense than the whole Republican party put together and that’s just another reasons they hate her so much. She also supports the Iran nuke deal and not the XL pipeline which pushes their underwear up their ass for a little extra hate.

          • Boomer II says:

            I’ll vote for whoever is the Democratic nominee.

            The Republican Party isn’t offering me any reason to support it.

        • Anton Koffield says:

          OFM,

          Regarding this sentence in your post:

          “Obama could come out of nowhere, virtually unknown, and win the D nomination for a couple of reasons.”

          What on Earth are you talking about? Michelle Obama?

          President Obama, like any other President, can only serve two terms.

          Over to you…

          • ChiefEngineer says:

            I think he meant “Anyone like Obama could come out of nowhere”

          • old Farmer Mac says:

            I should have said ” Obama was able to come out of nowhere”.

            While I am currently serving as the token redneck southern white male conservative in this forum and enjoying the role playing,( keeping in mind that I define ”conservative” to suit myself Humpty Dumpty style and exclude republicans from the conservative camp ) I was at one time a card carrying long haired dope smoking war protesting nuke marching DIM RAT.

            I know a SHIT LOAD of democrats very well and I am telling anybody who is interested in hearing it that the middle of the road American who is mostly inclined to vote D is sick and tired of Hillary and her never ending scandals, wooden manners, self righteous attitude etc.

            Of COURSE hard core D’s will vote for HRC if she gets the nomination.

            But the fact is that the party SOUL , the passionate young hard core folks are out and wild for Sanders – or ANYBODY else .

            Anybody paying the SLIGHTEST attention with the brains of a fence post CANNOT fail to understand the IMPLICATIONS of HRC running like hell for the last fifteen or twenty years losing her ass in the early primaries to a near wheel chair ready ( due to old age ) candidate coming out of NOWHERE.

            HRC is the ultimate insider when it comes to machine politics. She OWNS the party apparatus – but she does not own the hearts of the people who put the OBUMBLER in office. (Incidentally I rate the OBUMBLER a middling decent prez, considering some of the others we have had. )

            The hard core R’s will vote for whoever the R’s run.

            Presidential elections are won or lost in the middle in this country. I read a lot of various papers and magazines and read the comments in a ton of forums-being stuck in the house these days with little to do.

            IF the R’s come up with a candidate with a touch of charisma and no STINK of the grave following him or her around, they are most likely going to win if HRC gets the nomination.

            How in hell can anybody paying attention overlook her wooden speeches and mannerisms? She comes out in control of hundreds of millions and getting six figures to talk a couple of minutes and says with a straight face she is flat broke?

            She ignores any rules that don’t suit her vision of herself as the FUCKING EMPRESS and when she gets her tail caught in the barn door on the way out she says , LITERALLY, it was CONVENIENT for the EMPRESS to ignore established procedures?

            Eight years ago the run of the party was ready for ANYBODY BUT HILLARY. There is NO escaping this undeniable fact.

            The odds are eighty percent or better that the R’s will win if they run anybody other than a child molester against her, assuming no major surprises between now and election.

            Anybody who is mathematically literate should read up on Cattle Gate and then contemplate the fact that HRC is a well educated woman who was perfectly willing to tell some obvious blatant lies knowing she would get away with telling them because the party faithful would protect her.

            About the only thing I can say FOR her is that she might not be any worse than whoever the R’s will run. She might even be better.

            You haven’t heard what I have to say about the R candidate yet because I am not yet sure who will get the nomination.

            I will vote for Sanders if he succeeds. Or Biden.

            • Glenn Stehle says:

              HRC hails from the Rubinite wing of the Democratic Party, so what’s the difference between that and the Bush Repbublicans, at least when talking about pocket-book issues and not the culture wars?

              I think the reason both parties now try to make it all about the culture wars (God, Gays and Mexicans) is that, when it comes to pocket-book issues, there’s not much difference between the two parties. (This is not in any way to suggest that the culture wars aren’t important, but they’re not the only thing that’s important.) Under the rules of BAU, the so-called “progressives” are allowed to score some victories in the culture wars. But when it comes to the economic wars? Never!

              One thing seems to be certain: the center (BAU) is struggling to maintain itself in both parties.

              It all harkens back to something Franklin Delano Roosevelt said many moons ago:

              Franklin D. Roosevelt began his “fireside chat” on June 24, 1938, as he had begun others, recounting New Deal battles won and lost during the most recent congressional session. But he ended the broadcast with a surprise. “And now,” the president intoned, “I want to say a few words about the coming political primaries.” ….

              As Susan Dunn emphasizes in Roosevelt’s Purge, her lively narrative of that vexed campaign, FDR was motivated not merely by personal pique and short-term legislative goals but by a vision of a refashioned party system. He explained in that extraordinary fireside chat that primaries should facilitate a “healthy choice” between the two parties in November, for “an election cannot give the country a firm sense of direction if it has two or more national parties which merely have different names but are as alike in their principles and aims as peas in the same pod.” According to Dunn, Roosevelt “believed that the nation should have two effective and responsible parties, one liberal and the other conservative.” Since the president attempted to accomplish in one frenzied summer what six decades of subsequent developments only haltingly produced, it’s perhaps no surprise that the effort failed. But what an exciting failure!

              http://prospect.org/article/frustrated-his-own-party-0

              And then of course there are these famous lines penned by Martin Luther King Jr.:

              First, there is need for a strong, aggressive leadership from the federal government….

              This dearth of positive leadership from the federal government is not confined to one particular political party… We must face the appalling fact that we have been betrayed by both the Democratic and Republican parties. The Democrats have betrayed us by capitulating to the whims and caprices of the southern dixiecrats. The Republicans have betrayed us by capitulating to the blatant hypocrisy of right-wing reactionary northerners.

              • Boomer II says:

                While the President is important to set the tone in the US (and to nominate people for the Supreme Court), Congress won’t necessarily cooperate.

                While eligible voters may get excited or not about the presidential nominees, if they don’t vote for senators and representatives that actually do anything, we’ll continue to have more political BAU.

            • jon kutz says:

              In my humble opinion – which is probably not worth a single photon – the Republican and Democrat parties are primarily a divide and conquer strategy by those who want to control the country/world.
              Split the people in half with one half democrats and the other half republicans. Then start building a big battle of democrats saying all republicans are bad and republicans saying all democrats are bad. And while the people who have allowed themselves to be herded in the party battles are fully engrossed with their political battles the people who want to and are controlling the country simply quietly do what ever they want with no one noticing.
              This is obviously an over simplification but I think you get the idea?
              A great many local elections (city/county) are run with NO political affiliations involved with no problems. And I think the people who run in those elections are on average a better sort than the political party hacks we get stuck with every election in state and federal elections.

        • Who the hell is the Chump?

        • Pete Mason says:

          “It is too damned bad Sanders is so old , but if he manages to pull off the miracle he has my vote”
          Good for you OFM for a vote for Sanders. The only one with anything sensible to say.

          • Ronald Walter says:

            I would vote for Sanders too.

            However, Bernie would immediately become compliant and just be another useful idiot in the long line of useful idiots, all transitioned from useless eater in their formative years to become powerful useful idiots, which helps little.

            Someone like Donald Trump can be viewed as the Supreme Useful Idiot, Useful Idiot Numero Uno, but he will remain THE useless eater, har. He will never attain the status of useful idiot, just a plain old idiot will have to do and useless eater for grins and giggles.

            Trump does galvanize support, which is proof that the number of useless eaters is greater than the number of useful idiots.

            If you don’t fit either the useless eater category, energy consumer with no real contribution, surplus human, or the useful idiot realm, tolerated human, energy consumer with a positive attitude category, you are a non-compliant and slated for extermination, so be careful out there.

            Here ends the humor.

            • Boomer II says:

              I just tried to post a comment with links to two articles, but it appears to have fallen into the spam folder. I’ll try doing them one at a time and see if they make it through.

              Donald Trump Is Saving Our Democracy — NYMag

              • canabuck says:

                Trump is an example of American exceptionalism. Sure he will make some mistakes, but he will make Americans proud to be Americans again. And he would be good for the Energy Ecomony, and not subsidize wind and solar.

                • Trump may be a real estate marketing genus but he is a complete idiot in just about everything else. I would really be scared if I thought he had a chance. But he is such an idiot I know he will sabotage his own campaign with his own stupid mouth.

                  • Ablokeimet says:

                    “Trump may be a real estate marketing genus but he is a complete idiot in just about everything else.”

                    There is an assumption shared by many people in the US that, if you have made a lot of money, you must be really smart. As a general rule, that’s not a bad assumption – but there are important exceptions. One of the exceptions concerns real estate.

                    It’s possible to make big money in real estate, not by being intelligent, but by force of personality. If a real estate boom is occurring, the way to make money is to do lots of deals – and the more the better. Some may turn out badly, but the boom conditions will ensure that your average is strongly positive. In these circumstances, what is required is an optimistic, extroverted personality with lots of bluster. Bring a lot of colour and movement to the scene, make sure you act quickly and encourage your counter-parties to act quickly, too.

                    If you get off the merry-go-round before the music stops, you’ll have made a packet. You’ll probably even come out well ahead if you refrain from upping the ante with each transation and, instead, just plug away making a few million here and a few million there. If you do that, you might have a couple of losing bets when the bubble bursts, but not nearly enough to send you out backwards after all your winning ones before that.

                    Here in Australia, we have a politician who fits that bill precisely. His name is Clive Palmer.

                • Boomer II says:

                  And he would be good for the Energy Ecomony, and not subsidize wind and solar.

                  Why do you assume he’d support fossil fuels over wind and solar (I haven’t paid any attention to whether he has addressed this).

                  Since Trump hasn’t had to take money from fossil fuel folks, I wouldn’t suppose he has any particular reason to be loyal to them.

                  And if he is all about money and it looks like wind and solar will be cheaper, maybe that’s how he will go. He’s run a lot of real estate projects and if wind and solar can keep operating costs of those facilities down (and if it is good marketing to say those are green facilities), I’m going to guess that he’d support that rather than fossil fuels.

                  Plus if you are in the tourism business, you don’t want your locations to be polluted. So you may have an incentive to encourage energy sources that pollute the least.

                  • old Farmer Mac says:

                    I am NOT saying Trump WILL come out for renewables or advocate any particular environmental issue, but it seems likely to me that before too long he is going to start looking for some “center ground” issues he can use to attract middle of the road people who tend to vote D rather than R.

                    The trick is to figure out what will buy some D voters without losing more R voters.

                    Since he is paying his own way, he has room to throw some R interests under his campaign bus.

                    Coming out in favor of the UNCLE negotiating drug prices rather than just paying what big pharma says would be a great issue for him. Free market types do not believe in just rolling over on prices, negations are always in order and some voters on the leftish or D side would be VERY IMPRESSED.

                    The risk is that big pharma is also a very big potential enemy and he might not want to kick that particular sleeping dog.

                    He has room to say favorable things about renewables on national security grounds, and on free market grounds, given the conventional utilities resistance to allowing homeowners to sell home generated juice etc.

                    He is the Trump Chump, the ultimate high card chump but whatever else he may be, he is NOT stupid.

                    I expect some fireworks before he bows out but I do not for now expect him to win the nomination, and do not think for now he will run as an independent.

                    His REAL goal may be simply to push the R party hard right as far as he can. If that IS his goal, he is apt to succeed brilliantly.

    • Glenn Stehle says:

      PBS segment on the Scopes trial:

      https://youtu.be/fLCbuKukVw4?t=2247

    • Don Wharton says:

      Yes Dr. Don, I presume that you are pleased with the “Godly” Christian leaders of Uganda who have been pushing for the death penalty for gays and lesbians. I presume that you are also pleased with the evangelical American efforts which nurtured this leadership. Is it good that they might settle for life imprisonment instead of the death penalty?

      It is sad that anyone is supporting the grotesque evil and stupidities stemming from these beliefs in ancient greater Mesopotamian deities. 23% of Americans no longer have a religious affiliation (Pew Research). 20% of those who remain affiliated have some measure of doubt about God including complete atheism. There are vastly more Catholics in the pews who can tell you that God does not exist than there are organized atheists.

      • Glenn Stehle says:

        Well you certainly stand ready with tar-brush and gold leaf, prepared to demonize the believers and sanctify the non-believers.

        If only life were so simple.

        What you fail to mention is that a full 2/3 of the non-affiliates in the US profess to believe in God. You also omit mentioning that, on the global stage, Pew polls show an increasingly religious world:

        Atheists, agnostics and other people who do not affiliate with any religion – though increasing in countries such as the United States and France – will make up a declining share of the world’s total population.
        http://www.pewforum.org/2015/04/02/religious-projections-2010-2050/

        And then there’s the great diversity within the atheist community. They’re all over the map when it comes to questions of materialism, mechanical determinism, spirituality, the human will, morality, and whether or not to harbor a deep animus towards religious folks.

        And what about the pope? He’s defying all the classic stereotypes of the Catholic church. He even wants to interject economic issues and global warming into the debate! Imagine that! Do I need to remind you that, with the BAU folks, that is nothing less than a burning-at-the-stake apostasy?

        I think the drive to polarize a continuum is a lost cause in the day of the internet and a time when Modernism is losing its mojo. We live in a day and age in which a thousand flowers can bloom, and appear to be doing so.

        • Ronald Walter says:

          I hate ta say it, but:

          The Pope is here to raise some money and it will be a successful fund raising campaign.

          The Pope’s visit is an advertisement, a slick Madison Avenue stealth money raising sthik.

          Where else would he go to raise some money?

          Sorry to be so cynical. The days of witch hunts and inquisitions are over, time to bank some big money.

          The easiest touch in the world is the compassionate murican with an extra fifty bucks or 50 or a hundred grand for the Pope.

          As much sense as that makes, it makes all the sense in the world.

          • Boomer II says:

            The Pope’s visit is an advertisement, a slick Madison Avenue stealth money raising sthik.

            Well, then I am all for it.

            We’ve been saying we need to move the discussion beyond BAU, and if the Pope is all about marketing, then it’s great that he is using his marketing to talk about where we need to go next.

            • I think the Pope explained he wants us to be Catholics who obey the Vatican, pay church contributions, are dues paying members of the international socialist, are against homosexual marriage and abortion, believe in fully open borders and offering refuge in the USA to 5 million Syrian, Iraqi, Afghan and Yemeni refugees, believe in local organic agriculture,are terrified of global warming, ignore human rights abuses, and support San Lorenzo (his football club).

        • Don Wharton says:

          Religious dogma is universally wrong where it conflicts with known science. Yes religion is growing in the majority of the world where education is sparse. Boko Haram is modestly right in that even the Muslim religion will moderate and die eventually if Western education is fully allowed. The belief in God that remains among the unaffiliated is generally of a very metaphorical sort and only 10% are seeking any possible affiliation. A friend of mine has God defined as a higher power, which to him really just means that people make good choices. And those that are seeking possible religious affiliation are obviously in general the less educated among the religiously unaffiliated. The reports that 94% of the National Academy of Science do not believe in a personal God are now almost twenty years out of date. A new survey would have the number closer to 100% Those who I know who work in high level hard science efforts report that none of their coworkers are believers. It is just not an issue to them.

          • Glenn Stehle says:

            “Known science”?

            That’s a good one. Just exactly what is “known science”? Are you trying to make science into a religion, so that it can better compete with religion in religion’s own ball court?

            Those who believe they are going to find sure truth — something permanent, certain and unchangeable they can use to assauage their doubts or hang their intuitive knowledge upon — in science are looking in the wrong place.

            Science is not a body of knowledge. It is a method. Nothing more. Nothing less.

            And in science there are only hypotheses. As soon as some scientist formulates a hypothesis, other scientists immediately go to work punching it, probing it, and trying to poke holes in it. And almost invariably, if they do not completely disprove an old hypothesis, they at least find ways to improve and refine it, to get a little bit closer to the truth. This is what is known as “science.” There is no “known science.”

            Now granted, it is undoubtedly true that, human nature being what it is, humans all too often fall in love with some pet hypothesis such that it can harden into a dogma. But then we’re no longer talking about science, but some form of secular stealth religion.

            As Carrol Quigley so eloquently explains:

            Closely related to the erroneous idea that science is a body of knowledge is the equally erroneous idea that scientific theories are true.

            One example of this belief is the idea that such theories begin as hypotheses and somehow are “proved” and become “laws.” There is no way in which any scientific theory could be proved, and as a result such theories always remain hypotheses.

            The fact that such theories “work” and permit us to manipulate and even transform the physical world is no proof that these theories are true. Many theories that were clearly untrue have “worked” and continue to work for long periods. The belief that the world is a flat surface did not prevent men from moving about on its surface successfully. The acceptance of “Aristoltelian” beliefs about falling bodies did not keep people from dealing with such bodies, and doing so with considerable success. Men could have played baseball on a flat world under Aristotle’s laws and still pitched curves and hit home runs with as much skill as they do today.

            Eventually, to be sure, erroneous theories will fail to work and their falseness will be revealed, but it may take a very long time for this to happen, especially if men continue to operate in the limited areas in which the erroneous theories were formulated.

            Thus scientific theories must be recognized as hypotheses and as subjective human creations no matter how long they remain unrefuted. Failure to recognize this helped to kill ancient science in the days of the Greeks. At that time the chief enemies of science were the rationalists…with all the prestige of Pythagoras and Plato behind them.

            We now live in an era not unlike that which Plato did, in a civilization in full decadence and decay. And once again, it’s full court press to destroy science. So the attacks on science — the attempts to corrupt it, pervert it, and use its authority to legitimize some predetermined political, social, moral, or economic agenda — come from all quarters, including some of our most prestigious “scientists” and thinkers. Where we see this tendency most acutely is in the fields of economics, evolutionary biology, history, and the social sciences.

            • Glenn, while it is true that science is “a method of investigation” there nevertheless exist a “body of scientific knowledge”.

              I do hope you are not denying that a body of scientific knowledge exist?

              In geology for example, we know many things we did not know just one hundred years ago. We know approximately the age of the earth. We know about continental drift, why and how mountains form and how they erode away. And you know that I could go on for hours.

              So I would not quibble when someone uses the term “known science”. They are obviously speaking about the body of scientific knowledge and I think you are just nit-picking to question the term.

              • Glenn Stehle says:

                Well it’s an old debate that’s been going on for about two and a half centuries, but in this debate you can mark me up with Kant. So no, I don’t believe in “a body of scientific knowledge,” and for very obvious reasons.

                If we’re going to have “a body of scientific knowledge,” what gets to be included in it and what doesn’t? What are the criteria? Who gets to determine the criteria? Who gets to decide whether the criteria are met or not?

                Science involves the use of the senses and observation. But that’s where the rub comes in.

                “Hume begins and ends with experience, but he does not investigate the structures of experience itself,” Michael Allen Gillespie notes. “Kant undertakes such an investigation in order to show that all experience occurs within consciousness and is governed by its laws. For experience to be, it must be a unity as my experience. All experience is thus associated with the I and occurs through consciousness. The structure of consciousness thus establishes the limits and laws of understanding.”

                I think Kant was on the right track, but a great deal of recent research by phsychologists and neuroscientists demonstrates that Kant got “the laws” that govern consciousness wrong.

                But if I were to err, I suppose I’d rather err on the side of Hume and the empiricists than on the side of the new brand of philosophers who emerged in Kant’s wake: Fichte, Schelling and Hegel being some of the better known of its practitioners. Unfortunately, all too much of modern science is based on this new epistemology and the enthronement of the absolute, “Imperial I.”

                • coffeeguyzz says:

                  Mr. Stehle, Mr. Patterson

                  Pretty highbrow stuff, I must say.

                  ‘ … the structure of consciousness …’.
                  This is exactly where Robert Pirsig’s phrase ‘pre cognitive awareness’ comes to the fore.
                  Pirsig’s Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance was prompted in part by his tearing into the Hume/Kant debate … and his conclusions are considered revolutionary.

                  We all of us, through all times and places, exist EXCLUSIVELY in that nano second of awareness prior to cognition.

                  Good stuff … apologies to all for the non-energy related tangent.

                  • Glenn Stehle says:

                    Yep. It looks like homo economicus may be near the end of his rope. Man is certainly not the “rational” actor he is hyped up to be.

                    The latest technology in brain imaging is also leading us in this direction:

                    Our brains, like other animal brains, are constantly trying to fine tune and speed up the central decision of all action: approach or avoid. You can’t understand the river of fMRI studies on neuroeconomics and decision making without embracing this principle. We have affectively-valenced intuitive reactions to almost everything… Reasoning by its very nature is slow, playing out in seconds.

                    Studies of everyday reasoning show that we usually use reason to search for evidence to support our initial judgment, which was made in milliseconds. But I do agree with Josh Greene that sometimes we can use controlled processes such as reasoning to override our initial intuitions. I just think this happens rarely

                    http://edge.org/conversation/moral-psychology-and-the-misunderstanding-of-religion

                    In the United States, somewhere along the way we made the transition from witch trials to a jurisprudence based on producing empirical evidence which proves causation of palpable, material harm. But one can see from the video documentary of the Scopes trial (or “monkey trial” as it was also known) how easy it is to corrupt this empirical approach. When you have a judge like John T. Raulston who has such a blatant selection bias, and is hell bent on manipulating the evidence so the jury never gets to hear the evidence which counters the outcome he wants, the desired outcome is all but a slam dunk.

                    https://youtu.be/fLCbuKukVw4?t=2247

                    But as it turns out, Raulston’s demonstration of empiricism was probalby the rule, and not the exception, of the way empricism works in practice as opposed to in theory.

                  • Glenn Stehle says:

                    Ron Patterson said:

                    Whew! But I am glad just about everyone else agrees with me.

                    Well I suppose that’s about as valid a method of truth-seeking as any, and especially in democratic societies like our own. Vox populi, vox dei, no?

                    But those who were witness to the trial of Socrates thought differently. The major thinkers of the day concluded that “the many” were “deceived by the trust they put in their senses, by the willingness to believe in the poets and be taught by the populace, when they should have been using their minds, and that, at worst, they were content to live for sensual pleasure and to be glutted like cattle.” (Hannah Arendt, The Life of the Mind)

                    Quigley lamented the fact that he, once again, was witness to the destruction of science:

                    The Pythagorean rationalists were able to…destroy science because the scientists of that day, like many scientists today, had no clear idea of scientific method and were therefore in no position to defend it. Even today few scientists and perhaps even fewer nonscientists realize that science is a method and nothing else. Even in books pretending to be authoritative, we are told that science is a body of knowledge or that science is certain areas of study. It is neither of these. Science clearly could be a body of knowledge only if we were willing to use the name for something that is constantly changing. From week to week, even from day to day, the body of knowledge to which we attribute the name science is changing, the beliefs of one day being, sooner or later, abandoned for quite different beliefs.

                    So I wonder, Ron, do you include the conclusions of Steven Pinker in your “body of scientific knowledge”? And if so, based on what criteria?

                  • So I wonder, Ron, do you include the conclusions of Steven Pinker in your “body of scientific knowledge”?

                    No, Steven Pinker is a body of flesh and blood. The “body” in “body of knowledge” does nor refer to a person’s body.

                    What scientists, not Ron Patterson but scientists, are referring to when they speak of the scientific “body of knowledge” is the organized body of knowledge people have gained using that system. Less formally, the word science often describes any systematic field of study or the knowledge gained from it.

                • So no, I don’t believe in “a body of scientific knowledge,” and for very obvious reasons.

                  Whew! But I am glad just about everyone else agrees with me.

                  What is science?

                  Science is both a body of knowledge and a process. In school, science may sometimes seem like a collection of isolated and static facts listed in a textbook, but that’s only a small part of the story. Just as importantly, science is also a process of discovery that allows us to link isolated facts into coherent and comprehensive understandings of the natural world.

                  The Nature of Scientific Knowledge

                  What is science?

                  Science consists of two things: a body of knowledge and the process by which that knowledge is produced. This second component of science provides us with a way of thinking and knowing about the world. Commonly, we only see the “body of knowledge” component of science. We are presented with scientific concepts in statement form – Earth is round, electrons are negatively charged, our genetic code is contained in our DNA, the universe is 13.7 billion years old – with little background about the process that led to that knowledge and why we can trust it. But there are a number of things that distinguish the scientific process and give us confidence in the knowledge produced through it.

                  What is Science

                  How do we define science? According to Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary, the definition of science is “knowledge attained through study or practice,” or “knowledge covering general truths of the operation of general laws, esp. as obtained and tested through scientific method [and] concerned with the physical world.”

                  What does that really mean? Science refers to a system of acquiring knowledge. This system uses observation and experimentation to describe and explain natural phenomena.

                  The term science also refers to the organized body of knowledge people have gained using that system. Less formally, the word science often describes any systematic field of study or the knowledge gained from it.

                  And there are dozens of other scientific web sites that refer to science as a body of scientific knowledge!

                  Nuff said Glenn. You are obviously wrong here so throw out as many dead philosopher’s names as you can dream up but it won’t change the fact that science is, among other things, a body of knowledge.

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Ron,

                    Glenn knows quite a bit more about philosophy than you seem to. What is knowledge? How can we know that something is true?

                    These are epistemological questions that philosophers continue to struggle with.

                    You may believe there is a consensus, but for every opinion on these matters, there are opposing opinions that are not easily settled.

                    In overly simplified terms, there are rationalists (DeCartes) and empiricists (Hume), and those that try to blend these two views (Kant).

                    I agree with Glenn that it is a more Kantian view that makes sense. Theory(rationalism) and experience (empiricism) interact.

                    The main question is what theories are accepted as “knowledge”. Thomas Kuhn’s seminal work The Structure of Scientific Revolutions is a great place to start, written in 1962.

                    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Kuhn

                  • Dennis, Bullshit! He stated:

                    So no, I don’t believe in “a body of scientific knowledge,”

                    I posted links to three scientific web sites that stated that science is a body of knowledge. I could have posted dozens. And you want to argue with them? Would you post me just one scientific web site that says science is not a body of knowledge?

                    How do we know something is true? Dennis, for Christ’s sake, even if we don’t know whether something is true or not, that does not invalidate the fact that science is, among other things, a body of knowledge. Well, unless there is n such thing as knowledge. Is that your position?

                    Dennis, this is a scientific question. Philosopher’s can debate “what is knowledge” all the while scientists add to the body of knowledge.

                    And I never heard of a philosopher named DeCartes. Did you perhaps mean René Descartes? And it is pronounced Day’ kart.

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Ron,

                    Yes it is Decartes.

                    Yes science can be construed as a “body of knowledge”. If you think the question of what does or does not constitute “knowledge” is not important, that is fine.

                    Glenn’s point was that where the boundries are drawn around what is included in the “body of knowledge” is important and is not very clear cut.

                    You tend to be very fact based, an empiricist as it were. Facts are informed by theory and vice versa.

                    We can say there is some “body of knowledge”, but if we don’t know what knowledge is (and this is less clear than you think), what is and isn’t “Knowledge” as in main stream accepted science becomes fuzzy especially on the cutting edge of hard science (physics, chemistry, and biology) and even more so in the social sciences, where experimentation is nearly impossible.

                  • Dennis, the point is science is first a method of investigation and second a body of knowledge.

                    And everyone in the world seems to agree with that definition with the exception of Glenn Stehle and Dennis Coyne. But Dennis Coyne now seems to be hedging a bit on the subject.

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Ron,

                    The question raised by Glenn is “What is the body of scientific knowledge?” Where are the boundries?

                    So it is not a question of, “is there some body of knowledge that people call science” (along with the scientific method which is more of a process than a body of knowledge), the question is what is included in that body of knowledge.

                    There is not universal agreement, there is lots of theory on the cutting edge where there are significant disagreements about what is “known” and what is not.

                    So I am not hedging at all and philosophers of science are not all in agreement on these matters, despite what you may think.

                  • Dennis, philosophers of science? And they agree with you and Glenn? Just what is a “philosopher of science”. I know a PhD of any scientific discipline is a “Doctor of Philosophy ” but that does not mean they are philosophers.

                    Anyway Dennis, please post me a link to one of the “philosophers of science” where they state there is no such thing as a “scientific body of knowledge”. Because Dennis, I just flat don’t believe it.

                    And Dennis, please read Don Wharton’s post below. He says it far better than I could.

                  • Synapsid says:

                    Ron,

                    I find your reply to Glenn S refreshing and I thank you for it. In my day it was not possible to complete a BS in geology in four years; we must have been spending all that time on something.

          • Don Wharton says:

            Wow! What an interesting discussion stemming from the obvious fact that there exists “known science.” It displays the obvious fact that there are many people such as Glenn who do not wish to accept either that science has demolished religious (and other) dogma on a great many occasions, and that there exists a body of known science that has been verified to a level that approaches absolute certainty. Obviously no qualified scientist will claim absolute certainty. The openness to valid evidence that things are other than currently conceived is such a central premise of the scientific method. Moreover, even when science has been wrong the only mechanism to correct the error is the application of the scientific method. One does not correct those errors by listening to hallucinated messages from God.

            What should we do to cogently respond to vendors of doubt such as Glenn and to a much lesser extent Dennis? First we have to accept that there is no clear boundary between known science and fiction. This is sometimes called the boundary problem. It is a fact of life and we should be laid back about this fact. There will be thinking occurring within and around this boundary and this is a good thing. It is a central part of the process by which known science expands to more richly inform our understandings of our universe.

            Most scientists very correctly pay little attention to Descartes, Hume, Kant and others. There is a huge amount of very bad thinking included in all of these authors. Their thinking were a necessary part of the process by which science became science. And to be clear here, the scientific method itself changes as we discover how and why we get things wrong.

            I personally like philosophy. However, if we are going to look as the categories of information that best inform us about how to get things right these older works of philosophy are just not it. Instead we should be reading things such as Daniel Kahnemann’s book Thinking Fast and Slow. There are an enormous number of ways in which our emotions or the nominal structure of information cause us derive very wrong understandings. The best information to assist us in getting things right is in fact the research showing how we systematically are likely to get things wrong. We need to make sure that mechanisms that we include in the scientific method takes these understandings into consideration.

            There is a war between science and religion. Yes there are scientists who are strong proponents of science who are also religious. Those who advocate the position of no war between science and religion are very careful to never ask these scientists what religious beliefs they have and how they make those beliefs consistent with science. This is a fraud that was needed in the past.

            Yes the secular world will welcome support from religious people for understandings and actions that make scientific sense. The support for action on global warming from the Pope is quite wonderful. However, the actual document written by him is just laced with bad thinking. I suggest that it does matter if a correct position is arrived at though bad thinking. We need to teach people how to think and systematically make our shared social actions based on good thinking.

            This is centrally relevant to our discussion on fossil fuels. The majority of support for global warming denial comes from religious communities. The gross anti-science accepted in those communities enable the easy assumption of additional absurdities. We would not be dealing politically with this nonsense now if archaic religious nonsense were just a relic of our cultural past

            • Enno says:

              Great post, thanks.

            • Yes, an absolutely fantastic post. I wish I were such a wordsmith as you Don.

              Thanks.

            • Glenn Stehle says:

              Don Warton said:

              The majority of support for global warming denial comes from religious communities.

              Can you marshall any empirical evidence to back up that claim?

              This Pew Research Center’s poll certainly seems to counter your claim.

              • Don Wharton says:

                Glenn, your graph demonstrates the big problem with white evangelicals. It does show that the unaffiliated have the least support for the anti-science position. I know you have made the claim in the past that the unaffiliated includes many who are religious. I made the point that most of them have a very minimal and metaphorical religiosity. However, maybe one in five will be retaining a deeper connection with counterfactual religious beliefs similar to the median of those who retain religious affiliation. Deeply secular people almost uniformly respect science. I regard it as a near certainty that the majority that do not respect science among the religiously unaffiliated would cluster among those with deeper remaining religious belief.

                Likewise there are now large numbers of the religiously affiliated who retain their affiliation because they enjoy the community, music, values etc. of their particular congregation. Many of these are for all practical purposes secular humanists who are very likely to respect science. I love the effort that PEW Research has put into informing us about the role of religion. I am also sure that the more detailed breakout that I would like to see would be possible from their excellent data. The fact that this particular graph only partially demonstrates the real relationship between religiosity and respect for science does not mean that it does not exist. I think it should be obvious even to you that those who deny evolution or are young earth creationist would be radically be more likely to be those who deny the science of global warming.

                I do fully accept your suggestion that partisanship is a good indicator for this particular category of disrespect for science. Unfortunately it also a good predictor for many other categories of disrespect for science.

            • Glenn Stehle says:

              Partisanship seems to be a much better indicator of global warming denial than religious affiliation.

              So not only are you looking for “absolute certainty” in the wrong place, but you’re looking for the enemy of your “war” in the wrong place too.

              • Nick G says:

                I don’t think he’s looking for “absolute certainty”.

                Do you feel that “absolute certainty” is necessary?

            • Dennis Coyne says:

              Hi Don,

              One needs to be careful about using the “body of knowledge” theme as it sounds a little like the Bible. I think Glenn’s point was that web should consider science a method an leave it at that.

              What is included in the “science bible” (aka the body of scientific knowledge) changes all the time as you said. I am not interested in the war between science and religion, but think it is better not to be too dogmatic in our faith in science and maintain a healthy skepticism.

              • One needs to be careful about using the “body of knowledge” theme as it sounds a little like the Bible.

                Baloney! Everyone in the scientific world uses the term. Why should Don, or anyone else be afraid of using such a commonly used term?

                What is included in the “science bible” (aka the body of scientific knowledge) changes all the time as you said.

                Well that is not what he said: I quote Don here:
                And to be clear here, the scientific method itself changes as we discover how and why we get things wrong.

                Of course the body of knowledge sometimes changes also. But it is just mostly “added to”. That is the body of knowledge keeps increasing as we find more and more about the nature of the world an the universe.

                The scientific body of knowledge has not one goddamn thing to do with the bible, religion, or any kind of war between science and religion. The scientific body of knowledge is what is found in every science text book, every geology text book, every astronomy text book, every medical book that doctors learn from, and just every thing we have learned since man first started walking on two legs. To abandon all that because you think we cannot know anything for certain would be the stupidest act ever preformed by humankind.

            • Fred Magyar says:

              This debate by a panel in Stockholm back in 2013 discussing Laurence Krauss’ Book ‘ A Universe from Nothing ‘ closely parallels the discussion in this particular thread. Krauss is the atheist scientist and the panel includes a cosmologist who is a christian, a science journalist, a professor of philosophy and last but not least a theologian…

              Krauss of course has no patience with the Theologian and very little with the professor of philosophy, pretty much telling her that the questions that interest her are irrelevant to his work as a scientist and he has very little interest in discussing them.

              Krauss is his usual abrasive self but I think I tend to agree with his basic premise.

              I think the debate is worth watching.

              https://goo.gl/E9PHih

              Enjoy!

            • The global warming problem has turned into a political conflict. As long as you continue to see it as an on-off, black & white, me genius you dummy, I’m virtuous you’re evil situation you’ll just polarize and create more enemies.

              I can’t help but notice the way these polls are framed, as if global warming experienced over the last 165 years could only be caused by humanity. There’s never an attempt to introduce nuances, or allow a discussion about HOW MUCH of that temperature increase observed over the last 165 years is attributable to greenhouse gases emitted by humanity.

              A very pertinent subject involves just how bad is it going to get, given the climate model ensemble inability to match current surface and troposphere temperature trends. But this topic can’t be discussed as science, it devolves into insults, disqualifications, and the common use of “the majority says so”, which demonstrates this whole debate is more about politics and/or has become like a religious conflict.

              As for religion, I don’t believe ANY of it. However, I think it’s fine if you wish to believe in supernatural intelligence, as long as you don’t use it as an excuse to slaughter or enslave each other.

              • Don Wharton says:

                Fernando, I don’t consider you to be evil as a person. I consider your views on global on global warming to be grotesque, evil, absurd stupidities not worthy of any consideration. We need make a sharp distinction between the people who come here and the views that they espouse. The fact that you hold these views reflects a problem with how humans tend to think combined with the massive investments by disinformation vendors. We need to accept the fact that those who make those investments would not make them unless they had some reason to think the investments would work with some people.

                There are massive debates going on about the nuts and bolts of the science. Most of that within the science community is done with great social decorum and mutual respect. When you voice absurdities that are radically outside the range of what is accepted as possible you should not be surprised when your views on this topic are not greeted with respect. They are not only absurdities. Shared social action based on them will be destructive to us as a species.

                Obviously you are a tremendously intelligent man. Your contributions on other topics are of great value to many of us here. Glenn recently posted a link to a study showing the great extent to which many people look to their peer group and how counterfactual views from a peer group will trump anything that comes from the science community. That is a central problem for humanity. If we want to act based on what is real we have to understand how and why there will be many who do not understand what is real.

              • Nick G says:

                The global warming problem has turned into a political conflict

                Of course. And it wasn’t the climatologists who made it political, it was the FF industry advocates (esp the Kochs), who wanted to prevent change.

        • Nick G says:

          Modernism is losing its mojo

          Well, no. That Pew projection simply tells us that there are some developing countries with fertility rates substantially higher than in developed countries.

          But, in developed countries, religion is losing ground slowly but steadily.

          • Don Wharton says:

            5% per year leaving religion is not particularly slow. This is the exponential yearly rate that can be calculated from the 2007 and 2014 Pew Research surveys. The secular revolution is in many ways parallel to the gay revolution. It used to be culturally unacceptable to defend same sex attraction. Everyone had gay friends but those friends were unable to be out about it. As people became out and the science supporting a reality based understanding became clear, anti gay bigotry became absurd.

            It is increasingly culturally acceptable to be out about having a secular world view. No magical religious claims will survive scientific analysis. Thus the secular revolution can be expected grow in the same way that attitudes toward gays have been transformed.

            • Nick G says:

              The percentage of adults who describe themselves as Christians dropped by nearly eight percentage points in just seven years to about 71 percent, according to a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center.

              “It’s remarkably widespread,” said Alan Cooperman, director of religion research for the Pew Research Center. “The country is becoming less religious as a whole, and it’s happening across the board.”

              At the same time, the share of those who are not affiliated with a religion has jumped from 16 percent to about 23 percent in the same time period. The trend follows a pattern found earlier in the American Religious Identification Survey, which found that in 1990, 86 percent of American adults identified as Christians, compared with 76 percent in 2008.

              That looks like a decline of roughly 1% per year.

              • MarbleZeppelin says:

                So the decline rate of identified Christians is similar to the decline rate of PV panel power production. That would mean they would have dropped to 50% in 70 years.

                There was a large rise in spirituality in the later 1800’s through early 1900’s, but of course back then they would not have dropped their major religious ID as much as they do today.

              • The figures yield 0.00687 exponential decline, which yields a 50 % reduction in 100 years. But nobody says it has to be exponential.

                The discovery of life on Mars, a comet approach within 100,000 km, a worldwide epidemic, running out of oil, and similar events can change this trend in a hurry.

              • Don Wharton says:

                Nick,

                You are not looking at the vast difference between age cohorts. The young are vastly less likely to be religious. You are also not looking at the extreme secularization that has occurred rapidly in much of Europe. In Scandinavia the only people who go to church are typically the old women. When people make a pledge to a church all they are getting is a season pass to a weekly drama presentation. There are a great many more interesting and informative media options out there.

                • Nick G says:

                  Historically, a 20% decline between generations is a dramatic decline. But, if generations take 20 years to turn over, then that’s roughly 1% per year.

  3. MarbleZeppelin says:

    As I commented on this blog about two months ago, if you want to see a thorough and detailed study of natural selection in action read the book Cuckoo: Cheating By Nature.

  4. islandboy says:

    Richard Branson urges business leaders to work towards a world powered by the sun

    ‘Branson told the gathering at the UN General Assembly in New York that the Paris conference, which will begin on November 30, is the ideal opportunity to make sweeping changes to the way the world sources and consumes energy.

    In his speech, the tycoon called for an end to oil drilling in the Arctic, a cap on coal use, an end to fossil fuel subsidies and a global carbon tax – an expense he himself is happy to bear in the short term.

    “Obviously I’ve got three airline, it won’t be great news in the short term, but it definitely needs to see a global carbon tax,” he said.

    Branson added that monies raised from a global carbon tax should be steered into a “big innovation pot”, with the end result being, by 2050, “a world where we’re powered by sun, we’re powered by wind… we’re powered by other innovations.”‘

    Walmart, Fortune 500 companies take 100% renewable energy pledge

    ‘On Wednesday, the world’s largest retailer and a group of seven other companies pledged to get 100% of their electricity from renewable energy, as part of The Climate Group’s RE100 campaign…..[snip]

    Organizers of the 100RE campaign stress that the move to renewable energy is a benefit not only to cmpany brands but also their bottom line.

    “The most ambitious companies have seen a 27 percent return on their low carbon investments – no wonder new names keep joining RE100,” noted Climate Group CEO Mark Kenber. “Lowering risk, protecting against price rises, saving millions and boosting brand is what shaping a low carbon economy is all about.”’

    California’s capitol buildings move to 100% renewable energy

    ‘California Governor Jerry Brown has been no slacker in pushing the state to transition to renewable energy. Less than a week after his ambitious 50% renewable portfolio standard passed through the California legislature, the state’s Department of General Services (DGS) announced that it will purchase 100% of the electricity for state buildings in downtown Sacramento from renewables….[snip]

    Participation in the program will incur a cost of $216,000 annually, which will ultimately be borne by taxpayers. DGS says that the move is part of efforts by the state to meet Governor Brown’s renewable energy and climate goals.

    The leadership shown by California’s state government includes not only embracing renewables in the electricity sector, but also electrifying transportation. A day after the DGS announcement, Envision Solar announced that it has delivered the first of its portable EV ARC electric vehicle (EV) chargers to the California Department of Transportation.’

    Is it just me or do the stories above indicate the development of a rift between those who believe in global warming and the possibilities of a future based on zero carbon or carbon neutral renewable energy and the deniers of global warming who almost always are the same people who claim that our modern civilization could never be powered without the use of fossil fuels. It is increasingly becoming easier to predict which side of this debate one will align with, based on whether or not one has vested interests in the fossil fuel industry.

    Far from saying that the end of the fossil fuel industries is at hand, I am merely pointing to stories that suggest a transition is starting. Whether the transition will ever be complete, is reliant on BAU being facilitated by current energy sources long enough and whether or not the collapse of our current civilization can be avoided during the transition.

    Maybe it’s because I avoid mainstream media and the kind of crap one tends to hear from outlets like Fox News but, it seems to me that certain realities are overwhelming attempts to deny them, despite the huge sums of money being spent on PR (denial) by certain quarters.

    • ‘On Wednesday, the world’s largest retailer and a group of seven other companies pledged to get 100% of their electricity from renewable energy, as part of The Climate Group’s RE100 campaign…

      Okay, someone tell me how a company, any company, that gets its power from the grid is going to insure that 100% of that gird supplied electricity is from renewable sources?

      • ChiefEngineer says:

        I’m guessing they mean that their grid tied solar panels produce more energy than the company consumes. The Walmart here in Huntington Beach, Ca. has solar panels on it’s roof. The local Costco here has 8 Tesla chargers in the parking lot and 5 of them were being used Wednesday afternoon. Grid tied solar panels showing up all over the city, residence, city hall, schools, all new homes and parking lots.

        islandboy says: Is it just me ? No, Gail Tverberg another example, but she doesn’t deny climate change. Just that we can’t do anything about it. Which is pretty much the same. We are at the beginning of a technological energy revolution.

        Honestly Ron, I’m more surprise to find a white male like yourself living in the deep south than mans ability to over come our current world energy problems. There is hope. Stay strong.

        • I’m guessing they mean that their grid tied solar panels produce more energy than the company consumes.

          That is just not true for WalMart. They are the world’s largest retailer and they do not produce near that much electricity, not even a tiny fraction.

          islandboy says: Is it just me ? No, Gail Tverberg another example, but she doesn’t deny climate change. Just that we can’t do anything about it. Which is pretty much the same.

          No, hell no, it is not pretty much the same. That is my position as well. There is global warming and it is most definitely man made. But there is no way in hell we are going to reduce emissions enough to make any difference. That is not the same thing as denying that there is any warming at all.

          Just how the hell did you arrive at that logic?

          • ChiefEngineer says:

            I’m not saying Walmart is already offsetting their energy needs. I’m pointing out how it can be done. When you deny the ability to change, you are locking yourself into BAU. Which is what deniers goal is for the status quo or special interest. Man will never squeezes out every pound of CO2 production from is life. But we can learn to manage it.

            I grew up in the Los Angeles basin during the 60’s when you couldn’t see to the end of the street most days(less than 900 feet). No one ever thought it could be changed, but it has been changed. The air quality standards of the world started here. I see the same changes happening here towards energy consumption and production. If you lived in an area like California were you see the change from BAU everyday. It would be easier for yourself to understand.

            Again, we are at the beginning of a technological energy revolution. Deniers are just speed bumps slowing the world down from progress. Don’t be part of it. Your better than that.

            • If things have gotten better in California since the 60s then things have gotten many times worse in China and in many other parts of the world. People are dying in China from the smog.

              But the emissions that are in the air today will be there for decades. And we, especially China and most other parts of the world, are still dumping the crap into the atmosphere like there is no tomorrow.

              China’s falling coal consumption is reducing their emissions right now. But I don’t see that as anything significant.

              • David L. Hagen says:

                China’s CO2 declining. https://qzprod.files.wordpress.com/2015/05/chinas_changing_energy_mix_coal_crude_oil_natural_gas_renewables_chartbuilder.png?w=640

                Why?
                Declining economy?
                Transitioning to more efficient coal fired power?
                A few plants converted to gas in Beijing.

                • BC says:

                  China’s potential real GDP per capita is ~0%, which is the same for the US, EZ, and Japan since 2007-08, and eventually the rest of the planet under conditions of Peak Oil, overshoot, LTG, and EOG.

                • I suspect the Chinese are masking their co2 emissions. An alternative would be an economic slump. Another alternative is a hard push to reduce harmful pollution from their coal plants.

                  • Boomer II says:

                    But switching to technology that generates less CO2 gives China a way to create jobs that not only reduce pollution, but also gives the country an edge in the future of energy technology.

                    Whether they have pulled it off yet, or are only giving it lip service, economically it makes sense for them to move in that direction.

                  • Boomer, económically it makes sense for China to install modern scrubbers in their coal plants, build hydro and nuclear, and discourage Chinese from driving personal vehicles.

                  • Nick G says:

                    Fernando,

                    Coal plants with scrubbers cost more than wind power.

                  • Nick, a coal plant equipped with scrubbers is a lot more cost effective than wind power. This is why the German firms have been building super critical steam coal plants equipped with very good scrubbers.

                    http://www.power-technology.com/projects/yuhuancoal/

                    Here’s an overview of modern coal technology

                    https://www.iea.org/publications/freepublications/publication/Power_Generation_from_Coal2011.pdf

                    Wind just can’t compete with coal. If it did we wouldn’t see modern (scrubber equipped) coal plants being built. I do notice there’s a nearly religious advocacy of wind in some quarters. The discussion requires a more rational approach.

                  • Nick G says:

                    Fernando,

                    This article says that the plants cost .9 Euros per watt. That’s about 20% of the cost in the US. It says they remove dust and sulphur, but I’d like to see evidence that they are fully compliant with US standards for all pollutants (e.g., mercury).

                    It’s cheap to build dirty coal plants…

                • sunnnv says:

                  They’re burning such crappy coal it has less carbon in it than assumed.

                  http://www.nature.com/news/china-s-carbon-emissions-overestimated-1.18199

                  China’s carbon emissions may be significantly lower than previously thought — about 14% less in 2013 than estimated by the Chinese government and others, according to research published this week in Nature (Z. Liu et al. Nature 524, 335–338; 2015). The analysis draws on data from more than 4,200 Chinese mines — including new measurements of the energy content of coal — among other sources.

                  “At the beginning of the project we thought that the emissions might be higher” than existing estimates, says Zhu Liu, an ecologist at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and lead author of the study. “We were very surprised.”

              • ChiefEngineer says:

                China learning from their mistakes. The world is changing.

                http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/25/world/asia/xi-jinping-china-president-obama-summit.html?_r=0

                Here in California you can have a conversation about climate change with the person in the checkout line next to you. The first step in fixing a problem is to recognize it. Denial is the first line of defense of the statist quo. We can change, but it takes vision.

                If you fail to plan, you plan to fail

            • wimbi says:

              http://bio4climate.org/

              Says cheap to get carbon out of the atmosphere by biomass.

              I say from personal experience with pyrolyzer – that’s right.
              Also from personal experience and observing lots of existing examples, easy and fun and highly personally beneficial to cut carbon by 90%

          • Longtimber says:

            Walmart is serious about energy, they are the worlds largest private kWh consumer. ALL Walmart roofs that can be, will be PV Ready as roof maintenance cycles runs course. They are expected to be the Largest private electricity producer on the planet that is not a Solar Yieldco. In the US, Expect a major jump in rooftop deployment before the end of 2016. With the planned efficiency upgrades, a PV system will produce about 50% of the stores requirements. Now you know why Arkansas has Net meter aggregation. An Installer I know well sets up solar farms in corn fields. Each site has dozens of meters that share accounts with Complexes in the City. It’s the Law.

    • Boomer II says:

      There will be a tipping point where the wealthy who know there is money to be made transitioning to alternative energy technology outnumber (in wealth and political clout) those with a vested interested in fossil fuels and their infrastructure.

      Perhaps one sign of this is that Scott Walker pulled out of the GOP primary. My understanding is that he was the one the Kochs were backing. So even with them donating money to their political causes and candidates, he didn’t last.

      Of course there is this article.

      Plutocrats still reign: Why Scott Walker’s withdrawal is no defeat for super PACs & the Kochs – Salon.com

      At any rate, I don’t think the wealthy are going to abandon politics. But I think the new wealthy (who have no loyalty to fossil fuels or ICE cars) will push out the old wealthy.

    • Stilgar Wilcox says:

      “Far from saying that the end of the fossil fuel industries is at hand, I am merely pointing to stories that suggest a transition is starting. Whether the transition will ever be complete, is reliant on BAU being facilitated by current energy sources long enough and whether or not the collapse of our current civilization can be avoided during the transition.”

      Yes, I agree Islandboy, the transition is underway regardless of whether it will collapse during the transition. I wrote about this a few days ago and the response in two opposing view posts didn’t even make sense. I’m not sure how people cannot understand a transition has been initiated. It could fail for economic reasons or due to a major climate change event, but it is occurring. Many might say it’s too late, but I have been encouraged by the increasing amount of renewables installed in recent years, with major companies and countries signing agreements to move forward in a much bigger way.

      I look at it now as a race against time. Time to deploy enough renewables to back way off of burning FF; Time to avoid the worst climate change events. Time may be against us or maybe we accomplish the transition. One way to look at it is what other choice do we have? Give up and wait for disaster or get busy deploying more renewables?

      • Caelan MacIntyre says:

        So-called renewables seem to have too much focus, to the exclusion of other forms of ‘transition’ that would appear to lend much more personal and individual empowerment, security and safety.
        It’s about realtime sunlight, realtime planet, immediacy and real democracy and the well-being that comes from those kinds of things.
        It’s quite possible that if or as the cultural yarn/fabric starts to unravel very quickly, we may wish we invested, or invested much more, in our own self-/local community-empowerment with regard to the fundamentals, such as food, shelter and clothing and practical knowledge thereof and social mutuality, than in PV’s and EV’s, fed to us like corporate television broadcasts or like we’re babies, and that depend on BAU and complex layers of it that are outside of our hands.

      • RDG says:

        Deploying more “renewables” is giving up because its deindustrialisation.

        Iceland is the goto province for the deindustrialisers: geothermal and hydro.

        Where are all the Icelands in the world?

        • Glenn Stehle says:

          RDG says:

          Deploying more “renewables” is giving up because its deindustrialisation.

          Is that a bad thing?

        • Techsan says:

          Why exactly is deploying renewables deindustrialization????

          Solar panel factories and utility-scale wind power seem pretty industrial to me.

  5. Jon Kutz says:

    I think that the three most likely society disrupting things in order of possibility are:
    1. Food shortages
    2. Water shortages
    3 Energy shortages
    All three are pretty intertwined, but I think food shortages will have the initial serious effects on society both locally and globally.
    Farming is based upon water falling from the sky when needed or irrigation from underground aquifers. Weather is becoming unpredictable and underground aquifers are starting to deplete and collapse meaning they will never refill. Also current agricultural practices requires large quantities of herbicides and pesticides to maintain yields. As more and more bugs and weeds become tolerant of the chemicals the yields will drop. As water and energy shortages begin to affect farming yields will drop significantly and food prices will continue to rise and start to price many people out of the food market which will bring about food riots.
    When farmers can no longer get diesel fuel to operate their farms, they will have to go back to the old way of farming by producing all their own energy. I don’t expect them to go back to oats and hay for draft animals, but to produce things like rape seed to produce their own biodiesel on the farm (Sending the seeds for off farm conversion to biodiesel will not guarantee that the fuel will come back to the farm as the government will control where the factory produced fuel will go.)
    Having to produce their own energy will take between 1/3 and 1/2 of their crop land to produce the required amount of fuel to run the entire farm. This will cut into food production in a big way and almost certainly bring on major food shortages – especially meat?
    When natural gas declines nitrogen fertilizer will become too expensive or unavailable and farmers will have to produce the manure on the farm to replace the natural gas produce fertilizer. Maintaining animals will take more cropland out of food production to maintain the animals.
    With food shortages already existing in many parts of the world, could one significant hiccup in food production start the downward spiral?
    I wish I had a better crystal ball, but without it the above is my best WAG (wild a-s guess) of what might happen. Assuming no Black Swans, I think we are probably 5-10 years out before major problems start affecting world society.

    • Mike Sydney says:

      It is curious how oil-age thinkers so completely dismiss draft animals as power source for farming. When I saw that in action in Africa, it struck me as pure genius. These self replicating machines (with assistance of the female counter part) do not require obscure spare parts from China, you don’t have to fight wars to get to the oil to power them, it is all purely local and very efficient. And by the way you don’t have to pollute the environment to make and run them either. Let us not forget that humanity was sustainably operated like this for thousands of years. Our ways are not sustainable and all this desperate clinging on to mechanical solutions for everything is only accelerating our downfall.

      • old Farmer Mac says:

        Most of the people in rich western countries would literally starve without oil driven agriculture.

        Anybody who actually knows anything much about the way food is produced these days needs no explanation. This comment is not directed AT Mike, it is very likely since he is commenting here he understands the big picture.

        Those who do not are so abysmally ignorant, unless they have some sort of scientific training, that explaining it to them is damned near impossible.Nevertheless I will try to make a point or two.There are always newcomers and kids who are lurking and some of them will benefit.

        First off housing does not exist where the land is that can be used to grow the necessary food.

        Secondly, the draft animals that would be necessary do not exist.

        Thirdly, the people who would suddenly be faced with growing their own food- and that would be eighty percent plus of us- haven’t a clue as to how to proceed, and half of that eighty percent would rather just die or start shooting people than give up the conveniences of modern life and go to grubbing in the dirt.

        We cannot eat without tractors and combines and truck and railroads and pesticides and refrigeration and inspection and regulatory agencies and highways and Sky Daddy alone knows how much more STUFF.

        Going back to farming by hand means most of the population of the western world will DIE in fairly short order.

        Fortunately there is little to no likelihood ( excepting flat out war) that we will be running OUT of oil anytime soon. Oil can be diverted to farming and hauling and processing food as necessary for a long time to come.

        At some future time we will probably be able to do enough farming using biofuels and alternatives such as coal to liquids to keep on eating- but not so high on the hog as we do these days.Whether we manage this trick will depend mostly on how fast oil supplies decline and how fast we can ramp up alternatives.

        Business as usual is a dead man walking, barring a few miracles.

        I am not going to categorically say such miracles will not come to pass, solar power might eventually be so cheap we can use it to manufacture diesel fuel. BUT I am dead sure these (near ) miracles are not going to happen fast enough to save more than a rather minor fraction of the human race.

        The last five or ten percent or so of us will hopefully have time to adapt to living a new generation low energy low consumption flat bellied hard muscled business as usual life style by husbanding the dregs of the fossil fuels and other one time gifts of nature.

        Anybody who truly believes collapse is NEAR should either party hearty and not worry about tomorrow at ALL- or get him and his hither to a farmstead near the headwaters of a stream in temperate latitudes, well away from any major highway or city, and start learning how to farm by hand.

        I caught the very tail end of that as a kid and know whereof I speak.

        If you plan properly and work like hell, and put every spare dime into getting your homestead right, you might survive. Getting a place like the ones my grandparents had well established will take years but you will always have something to eat and water to drink and a roof over your head and a fire in cold weather- so long as you are able to WORK at it.

        And so long as you can defend your place.

        It is absolutely true that no farmer has ever found a brand new baby tractor in his barn on a frosty morning. 😉

        • MarbleZeppelin says:

          Anyone know how much liquid fuel is used by agriculture in the USA?

          • Ralph says:

            An oft quoted statistic is that in a processed meal in a Western country there are 10 calories of fossil fuel consumed for each food calorie on the plate. That would include transport from farm to shop to home, and reheating in the microwave.

            As for draft animals, the figure I have seen is that 1 acre of arable land needed to be set aside for the horses that ploughed and harvested three more. Probably about the same proportion needed to grow biofuels to do the same job.

            • Nick G says:

              IIRC, the single largest food related energy consumption is for refrigeration at home. Driving the food home is probably 2nd.

          • Glenn Stehle says:

            “Agriculture’s Supply and Demand for Energy and Energy Products”
            http://www.ers.usda.gov/media/1104145/eib112.pdf

            There are about 6 million BTU in a barrel of oil.

            So if I’m doing my math right, if agriculture consumes 600 trillion BTU of liquid fuel each year, that works out to about 100 million barrels of oil per year, or about 275,000 barrels of oil per day.

      • Fred Magyar says:

        Our ways are not sustainable and all this desperate clinging on to mechanical solutions for everything is only accelerating our downfall.

        Mike, first a disclaimer:
        I do not subscribe to the notion that this planet will ever be able to support the 9 billion or so humans that so many sources claim will happen by about 2038. I also can’t see any way, to even continue to support, the current 7 plus billion people, already here, without machines, irrigation, chemical inputs in the form of fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, antibiotics, etc… etc… all of which require a highly complex industrial civilization and many many more machines! To be frank I can’t exactly picture billions of little gerbils, cute though they may be, running round and round on wheels in cages powering our office computers and lab equipment…

        The current system can not be sustained using draft animals unless there is a massive die off of the human population! When that occurs and I think it is indeed possible that it might, then a few draft animals might help a few isolated pockets of humans to survive… until that time OFM and his friends will probably be using their biodiesel powered tractors because they consume far less energy and produce less pollution than any draft animals.

        • jon kutz says:

          A biodiesel powered tractor only consumes energy when it is actually doing work. A draft animal is consuming energy 24/7/365.
          A biodiesel powered piece of equipment can work 24 hours a day in both colder and warmer/humid temperatures than any draft animal.
          When you have bad weather coming and field work that needs to be done, a tractor/combine beats a draft animal all to heck.
          Tractors don’t get sick and die. If tractor parts break they can easily be replaced. When draft animal parts break they usually die.
          Tractors don’t get sick from being out in the rain, snow, cold, heat but draft animals do.
          Vets are more expensive than mechanics.
          Just a few reasons I would never go back to draft animals on a farm.

          • Caelan MacIntyre says:

            A tractor is a one-trick pony. And even then, that insults the pony.

            Human-made devices will never be able to hold a candle to nature-made.

            • old Farmer Mac says:

              Within ten years fully autonomous tractors will be getting sort of common.

              And my fifty year old tractor can perform a lot of tricks. It can drive a pump or big generator or wood saw. It can pull plows, mowers, graders, it can push snow and gravel, it drags logs out of the woods , it even serves occasionally as personal transportation when the roads are REALLY bad and I am reluctant to take the four by four truck out to check up on things.

              I have towed trucks out of ditches with it.

              • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                Hi old Farmer Mac,
                Your tractor sounds like it spins a wheel or two and therefore can push, pull and spin other wheels and whatnot, and you can sit on it. It sounds great.
                I am unsure I like the idea of using animals as slaves anyway, but maybe in a kind of mutual win-win symbiosis, it might be ok.
                I am also unsure it would be fair to your tractor to compare it to a biological organism. I guess each have their place.

        • wimbi says:

          Diesels run fine on a pilot injection of any kind of oil- rape, soy, etc, and an admixture at the inlet of any kind of fuel gas- propane, bio, pyrolysis.

          So, farmer could set up a line focus solar concentrator, and on sunny days run any organic whatsoever thru it- corn stover, old boots, yard clippings, road kill, etc, to produce gaseous fuel for tractor and carbon to go back into ground from atmosphere, or on top of potty chair poop to smother the smell.

          Don’t think farm fuel is gonna do us in- any one of the other destroying monsters we all know about could suffice.

      • Draft animals work well in poor societies. The key to their use is being poor. Most farmers prefer to have a diesel powered tractor and a lot of well watered land with a steady climate.

        • Donn Hewes says:

          Interesting thought Fernando, What if we became poor? IE: It seems possible to me that one of the early manifestations of climate Change / peak oil / etc. etc. will be continually declining markets. Not because of a lack of demand, but because folks will continually be able to pay less and less. Farmers today have a great many things going for them, But I think the future growth in farming will not be in the commodity crops; but in local farms, feeding local folks; and this is exactly where things like draft animals and grazing and small scale vegetable production might be useful. I agree with you about being poor; working with draft animals requires more human labor (land is less of an issue than folks think, IMO) but the unemployed, and hungry might just show up into time to fill these positions.
          Side note: working on an Amish barn raising today. They had a terrible barn fire last Tues. We are putting up a new dairy barn and equipment shed. A new block foundation, and thousands of board feet were cut in the last few days.

          • Can’t have local farms around here. We have some local greenhouses, but most of the food comes from Murcia or whatever. The soil sucks and we don’t have enough water.

          • Fred Magyar says:

            They had a terrible barn fire last Tues. We are putting up a new dairy barn and equipment shed. A new block foundation, and thousands of board feet were cut in the last few days.

            That’s a lot of wood, eh?…

            I wonder if the Amish would be open to some biomimicry construction techniques… Who knows, they might be able to solve the traveling salesman problem with the help of some slime molds while they are at it.
            🙂

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L9MPI3PqlzA

  6. MarbleZeppelin says:

    As far as the methane hydrate “bomb” hypothesis goes, yes there is a huge amount of methane trapped in seafloor regions but the key is how long it takes to release the methane and what happens to it afterward.
    David Archer’s studies show a much more moderate rate to the release of methane from the methane hydrates.
    Abstract:
    Methane frozen into hydrate makes up a large
    reservoir of potentially volatile carbon below the sea floor
    and associated with permafrost soils. This reservoir intuitively
    seems precarious, because hydrate ice floats in water,
    and melts at Earth surface conditions. The hydrate reservoir
    is so large that if 10% of the methane were released to the atmosphere
    within a few years, it would have an impact on the
    Earth’s radiation budget equivalent to a factor of 10 increase
    in atmospheric CO2.
    Hydrates are releasing methane to the atmosphere today in
    response to anthropogenic warming, for example along the
    Arctic coastline of Siberia. However most of the hydrates
    are located at depths in soils and ocean sediments where anthropogenic
    warming and any possible methane release will
    take place over time scales of millennia. Individual catastrophic
    releases like landslides and pockmark explosions are
    too small to reach a sizable fraction of the hydrates. The
    carbon isotopic excursion at the end of the Paleocene has
    been interpreted as the release of thousands of Gton C, possibly
    from hydrates, but the time scale of the release appears
    to have been thousands of years, chronic rather than catastrophic.
    The potential climate impact in the coming century from
    hydrate methane release is speculative but could be comparable
    to climate feedbacks from the terrestrial biosphere
    and from peat, significant but not catastrophic. On geologic
    timescales, it is conceivable that hydrates could release as
    much carbon to the atmosphere/ocean system as we do by
    fossil fuel combustion.
    End of Abstract
    http://www.biogeosciences.net/4/521/2007/bg-4-521-2007.pdf

    The idea of a chronic release of carbon into the atmosphere due to natural feedbacks is also of great concern. It would mean that even if we shut down anthropogenic sources of atmospheric carbon, natural feedbacks due to increased temperature would continue the process for a very long time at least on the order of human production of CO2, possibly at a much greater rate.

    • Don Wharton says:

      Please understand that our rate of global warming increase is now roughly 20 times greater than what happened in the Paleocene. There is no way that we can be certain that the methane bomb will not go off. We are going through an unexplored global transition event. It will be vastly quicker than the Paleocene-Eocene global maximum.

      • MarbleZeppelin says:

        Don,
        I would be interested in any research paper references you have to support your proposal.

      • There’s no way of being certain about almost anything. I wouldn’t worry about global warming that much until we see the troposphere temperature satellite measurements start to climb.

        Right now we have a very odd discrepancy, the NOAA surface measurements are climbing but the NASA satellite sensors for the lower atmosphere (the troposphere RSS and UAH series) aren’t showing a similar trend. This isn’t supposed to be happening.

        • sunnnv says:

          Fernando is once again misinformed on climate issues.

          The troposphere is too warming.
          Roy Spencer (speaking of creationists – oops, sorry Ron) keeps making the same mistakes in not properly accounting for satellite orbit decay/drift.

          https://www.skepticalscience.com/satellite-measurements-warming-troposphere.htm

          • cytochrome C says:

            Yep—
            Urban myths die hard.
            The myth of antarctic ice increase is also a urban myth.

            Gravity data show that Antarctic ice sheet is melting increasingly faster
            Posted April 30, 2015; 02:30 p.m.
            by Morgan Kelly, Office of Communications
            Tweet
            e-mail | print

            During the past decade, Antarctica’s massive ice sheet lost twice the amount of ice in its western portion compared with what it accumulated in the east, according to Princeton University researchers who came to one overall conclusion — the southern continent’s ice cap is melting ever faster.

            The researchers “weighed” Antarctica’s ice sheet using gravitational satellite data and found that from 2003 to 2014, the ice sheet lost 92 billion tons of ice per year, the researchers report in the journal Earth and Planetary Science Letters. If stacked on the island of Manhattan, that amount of ice would be more than a mile high — more than five times the height of the Empire State Building.

            The vast majority of that loss was from West Antarctica, which is the smaller of the continent’s two main regions and abuts the Antarctic Peninsula that winds up toward South America. Since 2008, ice loss from West Antarctica’s unstable glaciers doubled from an average annual loss of 121 billion tons of ice to twice that by 2014, the researchers found. The ice sheet on East Antarctica, the continent’s much larger and overall more stable region, thickened during that same time, but only accumulated half the amount of ice lost from the west, the researchers reported.

          • That’s typical skeptical science website baloney. The UAH data issued by Spencer matches the RSS data. Both are used and endorsed by NASA.

            If you had bothered to think this through you could have easily argued the difference was caused by a positive lapse rate feedback. Then we could have gone on to discuss whether a positive lapse rate feedback has sufficient impact on water vapor feedback to slow down warming (or not).

            • Don Wharton says:

              No one should be so gullible as to accept Fernando’s claim above. It is profoundly regrettable was ever accepted as a climate scientist. Roy Spencer’s misrepresentation of the data started with his misunderstanding of orbital mechanics.

              • Sam Nickels says:

                “Hide the decline” ring a bell with you?

                I’m sure you are also familiar with the adjustment of surface stations to make the past look cooler and the present look warmer as well.

                The climate data has been changed, that much is certain. What’s unfortunate is that in many cases the researchers refuse to release the unadulterated data or claim they no longer have it (because they destroyed it?). Apparently becoming and remaining a climate scientist these days no longer necessitates adherence to the scientific method.

                • Arceus says:

                  The raw weather data was available until recently. Unfortunately, it was all stored on the Clinton home server.

                  • Sam Nickels says:

                    That’s a scary thought, but probably actually closer to the truth. Hard to tell what the left is capable of these days…

                  • Arceus says:

                    Left or right, I really don’t much care – they are equally unpleasant to me. However, I do find it incredibly foolish to store high-level information on a home server. The Russians and Chinese, both of whom almost certainly had access to all emails, almost certainly kept wondering to themselves if the Clintons were really that dumb or if it was all a set up.

                • Don Wharton says:

                  Conspiracy theory BS. The real world exists. Get over your delusions.

        • Don Wharton says:

          Boy you are vastly out of date Fernando. Roy Spencer’s BS analysis of the satellite data was debunked years ago. There never was an inconsistency between the NASA satellite data and surface readings. We just achieved more data on how extremely deluded some religious believers can be.

    • Tran says:

      Believe that if there is a viable use for these methane hydrates and there is a way to harness and utilize them for a profit, the private sector will do all that it can to find a way without the help of a nanny state government pushing certain agendas tied to possible global warming. The same holds true for nearly every scientific or technical advancement that benefits people heading into the future. Nothing motivates your average person more than the ability to make money. This is why the capitalistic system is so powerful and admirable.

      • Doug Leighton says:

        METHANE HYDRATES ARE A PROMISING ENERGY RESOURCE

        http://breakingenergy.com/2015/02/10/methane-hydrates-are-a-promising-energy-resource/

        “Japan has the most aggressive program to develop the gas hydrates since they have no indigenous fossil fuel resources and are completely dependent on imports of LNG for which they pay high prices. The Japanese have determined that there may be 100 years’ worth of gas supply in their territorial waters. They completed the most successful production test to date in 2013 where they produced gas continuously for a month. The Japanese have stated that they expect to have the technology ready by 2020 and will go into production after that.”

        • This may be terrible news. Methane hydrates are scattered like peanuts in the silt that has settled on the ocean bottom.They must plow this silt with some kind of sieve to collect the hydrates. This could completely destroy any and all sea floor life that lives on the thousands of square miles of ocean floor in Japanese territory.

          But what the hell do they care. They need the gas and nothing but trash fish and shellfish live there anyway so just like the thousands whales and dolphins they kill for food every year, they put their needs over the needs of a healthy ecology.. The sea life be dammed, food and fuel are more important so kill them all.

          • Doug Leighton says:

            “This may be terrible news.” I agree. More important, there are more than a few (Japanese) marine biologists who agree with you as well.

          • Caelan MacIntyre says:

            Methane hydrates?!
            Is this not the stuff some suggest we don’t want to see bubbling to the surface and into the atmosphere?!

          • Blaine says:

            The methane hydrates Japan is looking at appear to be hundreds of feet under the surface in sand, and of an unusually high concentration of the pore fraction. It really looks like a nearly ideal setup for extraction, unlike the majority of other methane hydrate deposits.

            Since there’s a good chance they’d melt eventually anyhow, I would think that extracting them would be less environmentally damaging than conventional or light gas, which if not extracted would stay where they are even with climate change.

            • Blaine, hydrates do not form in sand. They form in silt. Hydrates form from methane generated by decaying vegetable matter. Sand does not contain vegetable matter, not very much anyway. Silt does because silt basically is decaying vegetable matter.

              The hydrates that we are worried about expelling methane into the atmosphere are in the arctic, not those that are in extremely deep Japanese territorial waters.

              But… if Japan has a way of extracting the hydrate methane from the silt without plowing up the ocean floor then I am all for it.

              • Blaine says:

                Hydrates form anywhere you have water at low temperatures and methane at high pressures, hence the problems with hydrate formation in cold pipelines, which generally have quite little in the way of vegetable matter. Salt will lower the temperature and pressure requirements, but not remove them. The low temperature requirement sets a depth limit of about a few thousand feet below the surface (for natural hydrates), as otherwise the temperature gradient due to the geothermal flux would raise the temperature too high.

                Sand does not contain vegetable matter, not very much anyway. Silt does because silt basically is decaying vegetable matter.

                Your comment applies equally well to conventional oil and gas, which by that logic ought not ever be found in sand either.

                Yes, sand is an improbable source rock, but all you need is gas bubbling up through anything that has enough pressure at a low enough temperature. The source would have to be underneath the sand. Once the gas rises far enough that the temperature is low enough, the gas freezes into methane hydrates at that point and forms a cap, with the gas trapped beneath it.

                I suppose undersea mining is not obviously crazy, since, while it begins disassociating once the pressure drops, this does not tend to happen very quickly. The methods I’ve seen tested rely on wells. Just drilling a hole and reducing the pressure in the hydrate zone would produce some flow, but that would decrease as the temperature drops while melting hydrates. Conventional wisdom is that for commercial success you’d need a heat source, which mostly I’ve seen assumed to be injection of surface ocean water. I’m not sure which method exactly Japan has been using.

                The hydrates that we are worried about expelling methane into the atmosphere are in the arctic

                Actually, due to the pressure requirement, all methane hydrates are either in the deep ocean or at a depth where thermal diffusion from the surface is slow, on the millennial scale. This is timescale is also roughly correct for the deep ocean, which is not limited by diffusion. Presumably surface permafrost melting could lead to pressure reduction away from the surface, but this seems rather speculative. Some of the effects of warming would be transmitted to the deep ocean before conduction from the surface could transfer anything. I do agree that you are correct that people worry a lot more about the hydrates in the Arctic, but I don’t really see any logical reason for that.

                In any case, the point still remains that burning natural gas which otherwise would have remained in place for a thousand years still is a lesser ecological impact than burning natural gas which would otherwise have remained in place for tens of millions of years.

                • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                  Ok, thanks, guys, I feel a little better. Not much, but a little.

                • Your comment applies equally well to conventional oil and gas, which by that logic ought not ever be found in sand either.

                  No, my comment does not apply equally to oil and gas. Oil and gas are found in sandstone when it is the reservoir rock and in sand when it seeps to near the surface where the sand is sand and not sandstone.

                  Sand is ground up rock, mostly quartz, (silicon dioxide), except sand that is formed from ground up reefs which is mostly calcium carbonate. But quartz is by far the most common form of sand. It is the hard stuff of erosion. It is what is left over after the softer stuff has either been blown away or washed away.

                  Yes, it may be possible for hydrates to form in sand but hydrates are far more frequently found in silt or kaolinite. The hydrates that the Japanese are trying to harvest are in the Eastern Eastern Nankai Trough.

                  Gas Hydrate-Bearing Sediments in the Eastern Nankai Trough

                  Stratigraphic controls on the formation and distribution of gas hydrates were examined for sediments from a BH-1 well drilled in the landward slope of the Nankai Trough, approximately 60 km off Omaezaki, Japan. Three lithologic units were recognized in the 250 m-thick sequence of sediments: Unit 1 (0–70 mbsf) consists of calcareous silt and clay with thin volcanic ash layers, Unit 2 (70–150 mbsf) consists of calcareous silt and clay with volcanic ash and thin sand layers, and Unit 3 (150–250 mbsf) consists of weakly consolidated calcareous silt and clay with thick and frequent sand layers.

                  So the hydrates are found in calcareous silt, clay, volcanic ash and sand layers.

                  • Blaine says:

                    Yes, they’re more common if you start with more carbon originally. Thanks for the link. It’s more descriptive than what I found.

                    It is reporting hydrates in sand layers through which they are migrating, but nevertheless with thin layers only appears more ordinary and less likely to be a commercial success than the description I’d read.

        • TechGuy says:

          “Japan has the most aggressive program to develop the gas hydrates since they have no indigenous fossil fuel resources and are completely dependent on imports of LNG for which they pay high prices. The Japanese have determined that there may be 100 years’ worth of gas supply in their territorial waters”

          Japan hasn’t found an economic method to extract hydrates. The issue is that the hydrates can’t be pumped out, they would have to be mined since the hydrates are mixed with silt and sand. The only way would be to bury the hydrates with a gas-tight cap and heat the hydrates to subliminate the methane. Which would not be economical. Vacuuming? Forget-about-it. We are talking hydrates that are more than a mile under water and the water cut to vacuum hydrates off the sea floor would be 99.9%. Also hydrates is an ice mixed with slits, which would require a jack hammer to break apart.

          This is more or less a gov’t funded R&D program to support academics. Japan has been trying (and failing) to tap Hydrates for nearly 3 decades. Like Fusion, Hydrates will always remain the energy source of “tomorrow”.

      • I wouldn’t worry about the Japanese or anybody else working on subsea hydrate extraction. It’s not feasible (we looked at it).

        • Blaine says:

          Not that I really disagree that subsea the economics are very challenging, but how did you determine this? I’m wondering what you considered, since the basic methods aren’t really agreed on yet.

  7. Jeffrey J. Brown says:

    Six Country Case History Revisited

    The Six Country Case History consists of the major net oil exporters (100,000 bpd or more of net exports), excluding China, that hit or approached zero net exports from 1980 to 2010. In my paper introducing the Export Capacity Index Ratio (ECI Ratio, the ratio of production to consumption in net oil exporting countries), I compared the first seven years of declining net exports, after 1995 (when Six Country net exports peaked), to the seven year 2006 to 2012 inclusive time frame for the (2005) Top 33 net exporters.

    However, Six Country production was above 1995 levels until the year 2000. Net exports fell after 1995, from 1996 to 1999, because consumption rose faster than production, and that has been what we have seen for the (2005) Top 33 net exporters, i.e., a slow increase in production, with consumption increasing faster than production, resulting in declining net exports (and a declining ECI Ratio).

    When the ECI Ratio approaches 1.0, net exports approach zero (production = consumption). I’ve extrapolated the rate of decline in the ECI Ratio to estimate when net exports for a given region would theoretically approach zero. Using “Cowboy Integration,” one can then estimate post-net export peak CNE (Cumulative Net Exports), by multiplying annual net exports at the net export peak, times the number of estimated years to zero net exports, times 0.5 (area under a triangle), less annual net exports at peak.

    Since we saw (slowly) rising production from the Top 33 net exporters, through 2013 at least, it occurs to me that the appropriate time frame model for the Top 33 would be the Six Country Case History from 1995 to 1999, as they showed a slow increase in production, relative to 1995.

    Based on the rate of decline in the Six Country ECI Ratio from 1995 to 1999, estimated post-1995 CNE would have been 18 GB. Actual post-1995 CNE were 7.3 Gb, so based on extrapolating an ECI Ratio incorporating slowly increasing production (up at 0.5%/year from 1995 to 1999) and more rapidly increasing consumption (up at 1.7%/year) would result in a post-1995 Six Country CNE that would be about 150% too high (about 2.5 times higher than the actual value).

    Based on the 2005 to 2013 rate of decline in the (2005) Top 33 net exporters’ ECI Ratio, what I define as the contributors to Global Net Exports of oil, post-2005 Global CNE would be about 450 Gb (total petroleum liquids + other liquids). Note that the estimate is based on an ECI Ratio incorporating slowly rising production (up at 0.2%/year from 2005 to 2013) and more rapidly increasing consumption (up at 2.4%/year).

    As noted above, when we extrapolated the Six Country ECI Ratio, incorporating rising production and rising consumption, the CNE estimate was about 2.5 times too high.

    The problem of course is that it’s when, not if, that production declines.

    Following is the Sx Country Case History, showing normalized values for 1995 to 2002 (1995 values = 100%). Note the inflection point in net exports and the ECI Ratio in 1999, as production started to decline in the year 2000 (relative to 1995).

  8. Jeffrey J. Brown says:

    A similar normalized chart for the (2005) Top 33 net exporters, through 2012:

    • Watcher says:

      Been reviewing WSJ and NYT coverage of the oil price hit and what it means for shale.

      In November of last year there were a lot of articles about how the Saudis should cut production. There were none saying Russia would, and none saying shale would — and oddly none saying anyone else would. Just KSA.

      The rationale made no sense and it appeared that the reporters knew it made no sense in that you could see a common structure of things where something would be said about it and then a hunt for an expert quote would immediately follow, as the reporter realized it made no sense.

      There was also just about 1 yr ago the first appearance of talk about “shale producers might consider not producing the oil at this price and keep it the ground for a higher price”, but that particular rationale never was applied to KSA or Russia. They were never supposed to keep it in the ground for a later higher price. KSA was to keep it in the ground just because . . . because blah blah supply/demand it would increase the price.

      A particularly good NYT reporter got a quote from a Saudi official that “shale was a blessing”. Not a threat. A blessing. The reason being . . . shale was very light oil. KSA was medium and heavy. They were not competitors, and the light oil output might transform itself into the media’s “swing producer” and talk of voluntary (vs involuntary) production cuts would focus on them instead of KSA.

      There is a lot of merit in this concept. KSA and shale are indeed not competitors. The US doesn’t import much oil at all from KSA. Far more US oil is from shale. KSA’s competitors are Iraq, Iran and Russia, and China is the buyer.

      • Arceus says:

        >>>>KSA and shale are indeed not competitors.

        Lol wut? Would you say that Coke and Pepsi are competitors but A&W Root Beer is not their competitor because it is not specifically a cola? Probably not. But I think you are right that the shale industry was likely NOT the long-term concern when KSA decided to expand market share by approximately plus 8% by oil produced (and minus 50% in revenue generated).

        With more information available now with Russian and Chinese boots in the middle east and Iran now sanction-free and with an expanding interest in the region, the strategic game is starting to become more clear. With Ghawar now within reach of a Russian-supplied incendiary rocket, I would not put it past Putin to make use of it. More than likely, the Russians have been in close contact with the Chinese and that is why the Chinese have been buying and storing all the oil they can get their hands on. The Russia-Chinese-Iran axis will likely control the Middle East from here on out (Iran has sold China a large portion of one of their giant oil fields) while Obama is looking just a little silly prancing around so worried about his “renewable energy” legacy.

    • Verwimp says:

      Thx, Jeffrey!!!

  9. Rune Likvern says:

    “The bubble is bursting,” Cutter said. “And if oil stays where it is, the worst is yet to come.”

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-09-25/junk-debt-investors-fight-for-scraps-as-u-s-shale-rout-deepens

    • SRSrocco says:

      Rune,

      Holy smoke…. who the hell saw this one coming? Talk about being totally blindsided by this recent development.

      Steve

      • BC says:

        I continue to expect US “oil” production to decline 3-4Mbd and consumption to fall 2-3Mbd, with the oil cycle turning negative and the price of WTI falling to the $20s-$30s in the years ahead, coinciding with LTG, EOG, and another debt-deflationary recession and associated decline in demand, real GDP per capita, and trade.

        The energy sector bust will be at least as big as the early to mid-1980s to late 1990s to early 2000s, if not permanent because of Peak Oil and LTG.

        No one will get credit for this forecast, needless to say, including yours truly.

        • Caelan MacIntyre says:

          “No one will get credit…” ~ BC

          At 0% interest? How much credit do you need?

          But make it your epitaph then, for yourself; a little personal debt-bubble of gratitude for a future that never arrives.

          • BC says:

            “But make it your epitaph then, for yourself; a little personal debt-bubble of gratitude for a future that never arrives.”

            🙂

        • TechGuy says:

          “price of WTI falling to the $20s-$30s in the years ahead, coinciding with LTG, EOG, and another debt-deflationary recession and associated decline in demand, real GDP per capita, and trade.”

          Unlikely in my opinion. Sooner or later the Fed will start printing more (ie QE) and commodity prices will start rising again. Today the ECB announced it was increasing its QE purchases by another 20%.

          My guess is that when the Junk Bond market implodes (not just Energy debt, but other sectors too) the Fed will restart QE. I doubt we will see Oil in the $20s. perhaps mid $30s when the Junk bond crisis is triggered. Recall that during the 2008-2009 crisis, Oil bottomed out at about $32. At that point, Banks and large firms starting buying and storing oil in tankers.

          Its reasonable to expect Gov’ts to trash their currencies before permitting deflation. The US, EU, and most of Asia is buried in Debt. There is no gold standard to prevent broad money printing. That said, I do agree that we will see declines in consumption. Once the Junk Bond bubble pops its going to lead to more economic stagnation, and demand for oil will decline, but probably more than you forecast.

          I don’t see how global oil production will ever recover after the next economic crisis that is beginning to unfold. The combination of increasing extraction costs, lack of credit (after too many investors get burn investing in LTO), too much debt (both Private, Public and Personal), is going to have severe ramifications. I also think the the Middle East is likely to blow up soon causing export and production problems, and causing price shocks when it happens.

          FYR: (For your reading)
          Saudi Arabian Prince Makes Unprecedented Call for Removal of King in Palace Coup
          http://www.haaretz.com/news/middle-east/1.678048

          [Is Civil war coming to KSA?]

          • Blaine says:

            The Saudi royal family has a history of acting like a board of directors and appointing and removing the King, particularly when he gets old. Salman is almost 80, even if he only became King recently. This looks like fairly normal Saudi politics to me, except that it would usually be handled privately and not appear in the press.

            • Jeffrey J. Brown says:

              From the article:

              Prince Mohammed bin Salman, a new arrival to the Saudi senior leadership team, has quickly become one of the most controversial. Although still very young by Saudi standards – officially 35 but rumored to be much younger – he holds a multitude of posts including minister of defense and chair of the Council for Economic and Development Affairs, which is the country’s main economic policymaking committee.
              Nicknamed “Reckless,” the prince is regarded as being the main proponent of the war in Yemen, which continues to grind on, despite punishing attacks by the Saudi air force and ground forces.

              Now, many are accusing Mohammed bin Salman of rushing into the war without a proper military strategy or an exit plan.
              The letters from the unnamed prince call on the 13 surviving sons of Ibn Saud – specifically the princes Talal, Turki and Ahmed bin Abdulaziz – to unite and remove the leadership in a palace coup, before choosing a new government from within the royal family.

              “Allow the oldest and most capable to take over the affairs of the state, let the new king and crown prince take allegiance from all, and cancel the strange, new rank of second deputy premier,” states the first letter.

              A crucial difference this time is that this is the first time in recent decades that the line of succession is focused on one family out of the 35 surviving lines of the founder’s family.

              Following is an excerpt (emphasis added) from “On Saudi Arabia, which was published a few years ago:

              The Internet, and the power of knowledge that it provides to Saudis, may be the biggest threat to the Al Saud, but it is not the only one. If Saudi citizens increasingly are in touch, their rulers are increasingly out of touch. King Abdullah, eighty-nine, generally popular for his effort to make at least modest reforms, is seen as isolated by his retainers and, at any rate, was slowed by age and serious back surgery in 2010 and again in 2011. Despite his age and infirmities, the king has largely governed without a crown prince since taking the monarchy’s mantle in 2005 because Sultan, eighty-four, was suffering from cancer and Alzheimer’s and finally died in October 2011. The new crown prince, Nayef, is seventy-seven and said to be ailing from diabetes and poor circulation that leave him unable to walk unaided much of the time.

After them? No one knows.

              What scares many royals and most ordinary Saudis is that the succession, which historically has passed from brother to brother, soon will have to jump to a new generation of princes. That could mean that only one branch of this family of some seven thousand princes will have power, a prescription for potential conflict as thirty-four of the thirty-five surviving lines of the founder’s family could find themselves disenfranchised.

              Saudis know from history that the second Saudi state was destroyed by fighting among princes. Older Saudis vividly recall how this third and latest Saudi state was shaken by a prolonged power struggle between the founder’s two eldest sons after his death in 1953.

            • The Saudi royal family has a history of acting like a board of directors and appointing and removing the King, particularly when he gets old.

              Please give me a history lesson Blaine. When did Saudi royal family ever remove a king?

      • Rune Likvern says:

        Steve,
        Are you referring to the person who in early 2013 headed for some undisclosed monastery deep in the mountains in Tibet and not heard from since?
        The same person who expressed something about being tired witnessing what was referred to as “financial folly”, “snake oil salesmen”, “human stoopidity”, “wishful thinking”, “fantasy Islanders”…just to name a few from a looooong list.

      • Ves says:

        Steve,
        Oil bust/financial fraud worries are not real worries. Real “worries” are only what prez candidate tells you on TeeVee. Don’t you see that there are 100’s posts on oil blog about “worries” expressed by prez candidates? People are concerned. Anyway, sorry for my ignorance but do you know when this prez campaign will be over? Is it in couple of months? November? I am afraid there want’ be lot’s of oil discussion until this circus finish. More chance of talking about “oil” on cooking forums 🙂

        • shallow sand says:

          Ves. I’ll give you some oil information, but mine is also a broken record. I have presented this stuff before, because I consider our stuff competitive with Bakken on a 100/1 basis. We are in a 100+ year old stripper field, so I emphasize the comparison to show what is going on in Bakken at sub $50 is not working. If we are competitive, it means to me Bakken is not so hot, we are marginal.

          As I have noted, we don’t drill much and when we have, it has been infill wells going into a common tank battery, so only way to determine individual well production is through bucket tests at the well head, which isn’t the most accurate, or assume increase in total lease production is from new well.

          However, we do have a couple where we drilled a new lease, one well each. I looked up stuff to see comparison.

          The first had first production 3/2006. Through 7/31/15 its cumulative is 5,624 barrels. Cost just shy of $90K, which included $15K for tank battery. Have .875 NRI, 1.00 GWI. Our net 4,921 barrels. Have sold 259 gross barrels in 2015 through 7/31/15. OPEX has been $73K for life of well.

          The second had first production 6/2012. Through 7/31/15 its cumulative is 2,274 barrels. We have .8203125 NRI, 1.00 GWI. Our net barrels 1,865. It cost just about $85K including $15K for tank battery. Have sold 258 barrels through 7/31/15. OPEX for life of well = $22,000.

          These are anomalies for us, in that OPEX is low due to newer wells and not under water flood. Wish companywide OPEX that low, but its not. Wouldn’t be here whining all the time if it were.

          No drilling here to speak of this year, have personally seen two, one being SWD well.

          The above wells I consider average. Have another that we didn’t drill, but is one well by itself, drilled in 1976, so getting ready to turn 40. Cumulative is approaching 13K. Made 279 gross last year. Have another drilled in 1985. Cumulative 9,882 through 7/31/15. Made 262 last year. If you take those times 100, each are/soon will be 1 million barrel wells. Again, average. I know of a one well lease near us that has cumulative of 38K. Still cranking out 2 BOOD after 37 years.

          Look at NDIC records and see how many of the 10K+ Middle Bakken and Three Forks wells will gross 1 million.

          US LTO is all about scale, its expensive stuff that doesn’t make sense to develop at $30s-$40s with borrowed funds.

          I have tossed these examples out for about a year, and am glad to hear any criticism of my comparisons.

          • Ves says:

            Thanks Shallow.
            Ok so walk me through this first example 3/2006. You bought lease at 90k in 2006.What would be your average sale price per barrel in theses 9-10 years? $50-60? If you plug in your net barrels would you get your well paid off within 4 years? So we should not talk about break even price but about break even years?
            Okey, then that well had $73k OPEX for the 9 years. Would you say that is $8k on average year or it can vary greatly? If it’s $8k and let’s assume that net production in 2015 would be 500 barrel would that make that well profitable if you just consider OPEX? Should be? Although I plugged $45 WTI but probably you don’t get that price at this moment?
            I had a chat last week with laid-off foreman after this bust and he floored me with statement that usually you could drill conventional well in Canada for 1-2 mil. Do you remember that number that was tossed around here that it cost 8 mil to drill LTO in Bakken!! What to make out of this? Well to be honest I can smell a fraud. Not necessarily about actual cost but about intent to make a profitable business from the start.

            • shallow sand says:

              Ves. Just saw your post. I’ll try to break them down tomorrow. Had put the LOS statements away. Have all of second one on computer, but not first because we changed programs.

              Price was in the mid 50s at the well head when we did first one. Around 90 on the second. I’ll get the actual, but pretty tired now.

              You hit my point, though. If cannot pay out in 60 months better not be borrowing to D & C.

              • shallow sand says:

                Ves. 3/06 well annual gross

                06. 1251 bbl. First pro. 3/06
                07. 1051
                08. 768
                09. 433
                10. 346
                11. 511
                12. 312
                13. 356
                14. 337
                15. 259 through 7/31/15

                6/12
                12. 713 bbl.
                13. 783 bbl.
                14. 520 bbl.
                15. 258 bbl through 7/31/15.

                2006 avg price. $60.05
                2007. $65.95
                2008. $97.44
                2009. $55.23
                2010. $72.96
                2011. $88.79
                2012. $86.22
                2013. $91.59
                2014. $88.48
                2015. $47.03. Through 7/31/15

                Currently been hovering right around $40. Likely will have lowest annual price since 2004.

                Part of my point is that our wells flatten at .75 to 1.25. Some better ones up to 2 or so. Worse around .5.
                They do keep declining, but at around 2%.

                I guess compare this at 100/1 ratio to Bakken, Maybe not a valid comparison?

                • shallow sand says:

                  Few more comments, then need to go.

                  Not trying to show anything other than Bakken is all about scale, not a cheap resource.

                  The above wells are in areas that were already exploited, and wells plugged out. Many IP of 100-1000 BOPD when field discovered.

                  I think your comment on $1 million vertical wells may be accurate. Seem to recall 10, 000′ Wolfberry wells in Permian costing about that. Wonder how vertical/horizontal economics compare there in same productive zones.

                  Finally, I’m not a geologist, geophysicist, not petroleum engineer. Looking at things merely through dollars and cents.

                  • Glenn Stehle says:

                    shallow sand,

                    The last I heard was that a vertical wolfberry well in the Permian basin cost about $2.2 million to drill and complete.

                    They’re perforating everything from the Clearfork to the Atoka now and fracking the hell out of each zone with huge, multi-stage fracs. That isn’t cheap.

                    At that same time, which was about a year ago, a horizontal well with a 7,500′ horizontal ran about $10 million.

                    Both the cost to drill vertical and horizontal wells have since come down about 25%.

                    The economics of the horizontal shale wells look like they’re significantly better than those of the vertical, conventional wolfberry wells. That’s why just about everybody abandoned their vertical drilling programs and switched over to drilling horizontal shale wells.

                    I suppose one could argue that the big switch from conventional vertical to horizontal shale was because those huge IPs from the horizontal shale wells provided better hype for the fast talking Wall Street salesmen types.

                    But if you will take a look at actual well economics, I think you will see the horizontal shale wells do perform better than the conventional vertical wells.

  10. Silicon Valley Observer says:

    The world is doomed. Global warming, resource depletion, overpopulation — I need go no further. We all know the story. It’s just a matter of how fast. And as we head downward into the abyss irrational belief systems, which includes both religion and faith in technology’s ability to overcome all problems, will grow more extreme. I cannot forgive Ben Carson’s ignorant comments, even if they were only inteded to collect votes, which I do not believe. Neither can I forgive the likes of technology Gurus (think Elon Musk) who tell willing believers that expensive electric cars will pave the way to a golden future.

    Ignorance. Wishful thinking. Being positive. Call it what you will, irrationality seems to be more and more the rule every day. Yet when I see people covered with tatoos, dressed in what used to be considered underwear, wearing shirts that shout meaningless sayings, eating crap and barely able to get out of a chair all I can think is the human race really isn’t anything special. If God exists, he has a lot of explaining to do.

    • BC says:

      “If God exists, he has a lot of explaining to do.”

      The particular angry, fearful, jealous, vengeful, violent, genocidal tribal desert sky god of the Abrahamic delusional tradition has a multi-millennial record of his/her/its explanations and justifications, proving that the entity (entities) is (are) a raving, mentally ill, sociopathic, sadistic, mass-murdering monster(s).

      No wonder Satan rebelled and was cast out. 😀

      Were the rabble-rousing, homeless, itinerant rabbi, Jesus/Yeshua, here today, he’d be hangin’ with the sinners, including the Pope, the homeless/houseless, unemployed/underemployed, Occupy movement, druggies, prostitutes, convicts, the bottom 50%, illegal immigrants and migrant farm slave laborers, working-class long-haul and pick ’em up truck drivers at truck stops, lonely little ol’ ladies, and the sick and dying. If he were invited to Wall St. or The City, he’d probably bring a band of rabble to upend the place and send the rentier-parasites on the run.

      Imagine Jesus/Yeshua addressing a joint session of Congress in DC or Parliament in Westminster in which he advocated for the meek, lost, poor, and weary. He’d be called a commie-pinko, socialist spawn of Satan. 😀

      “Christian” nation, my a$$.

      • According to Bible scripture, Jesus WAS a commie. But he was a good commie, he never preached going out and murdering millions like Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot and other commies did. Neither did he preach nationalizing the means of production or silencing dissent via cruel methods (i.e. Inquisition, KGB, Cuban G2).

        I used to think Pope Francis was a good commie too. But then he went to Cuba and gave mass in churches full of atheist communist party officials, who were ordered to pack events as real Christian believers were arrested or otherwise impeded from approaching the Pope, because the regime didn’t want them to ask the Pope to free them from communist dictatorship.

        The Pope was fully aware about the set up, and connived and participated in the charade. Thus I have to conclude that, today, finding a good commie is really hard to do.

        • Glenn Stehle says:

          Well one thing is for sure, and that is that neither the extreme, reactionary right nor the extreme, transformational left is happy with Pope Francis.

          A few days ago one of Mexico’s hardline left-wingers, Guillermo Almeyra, published an article in one of Mexico City’s daily newspapers in which he unleashed a scathing, scorched earth condemnation of the church, the pope and his visit to Cuba.

          http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2015/09/20/opinion/016a2pol

          “Against socialism, which does not believe in divine salvation but in organization and rebellion of the oppressed against their oppressors, the Vatican’s fight is to the death,” Almeyra warns.

          Drawing comparisons to the last pope (Benedict XVI, or the “German shepard Ratzinger” as Aylmeyra calls him), who in his youth was a member of the Hitler Youth, Almeyra blasts Francisco, noting that he too, just like Ratzinger, was in his youth a member of a right-wing organization, the Guardia de Hierro (Iron Guard).

          The Guardia de Hierro, Almeyra explains, was a political-clerical organization of the Peronist right in the last government of Juan Perón, which defined itself as being “neither Yankee nor Marxist.”

          “Francisco, the Peronist pope, is the pilot chosen in times of rebellion of the peoples of Latin America, who continue to be the principal base of catholicism in the world,” Aylmeyra continues.

          “For this reason Francis goes to Cuba not as a friend of the regime, but as an enemy. The only difference between him and Obama and the U.S. State Department is over the timing and the methods to be used to return Cuba to being a colony.”

          • Cuba was t a colony when Castro took over. Nor is it going to be a colony even if Castro stays in power. That Mexican asshole doesn’t understand much about Cuba, which is understandable given his current condition.

            In my case, since I’m not Christian, I’m just fine with a comme pope. I think his ideas are quaint, sometimes medieval, but I can’t really meddle with religious beliefs.

            What bugs me is injustice and human rights violations. And his visit to Cuba was a mess in that area. There were thousands of people picked off the streets so he wouldn’t see them (they disappeared the homeless, the street drunks, beggars, the usual culprits). They arrested people personally invited by church authorities to be present. We have people dying in jail on hunger strikes, you name it. And even though he ALWAYS visits a jail, Cuba was the one place where he didn’t even bother to visit prisoners.

            And if you think I’m “far right”, that pretty much says how lost you are. I’ve suffered too much under communism, saw and met people who suffered or are suffering horrors and the far left just keep on chugging, covering up crimes, corruption, torture, rape, you name it.

            This case is poignant, a young woman put in jail for using Twitter to ridicule a Chavista National Assembly member:

            http://21stcenturysocialcritic.blogspot.com.es/2015/07/the-following-letter-was-written-by.html

            She’s been in jail for 10 months, without any charges. Has cancer, thus far they won’t charge her for her supposed “misdeeds”. They will operate her in a military facility.

            http://elcooperante.com/diagnostican-cancer-en-el-utero-a-presa-politica-detenida-en-el-helicoide/

        • Caelan MacIntyre says:

          Fernando, at some cutoff points, you don’t have Communism anymore, but something else, sometimes entirely.

      • Glenn Stehle says:

        It’s a national tragedy what religious “morality” in the United States has become. It is all about sex and honoring thy father, and it tactfully avoids other commandments, particularly the one about stealing.

        Only now is it dawning on us why “Christians” are so interested in preserving American innocence: they cheated millions of Americans of trillions of dollars in their manipulation of the financial-military-political complex.

        “Would Someone Just Shut That Pope Up?”

        Since the release of Evangelii Gaudium there have been countless articles and commentary about the economic portions of Pope Francis’s Apostolic Exhortation… American conservatives grumbled but dutifully denounced a distorting media when Pope Francis seemed to go wobbly on homosexuality, but his criticisms of capitalism have crossed the line, and we now see the Pope being criticized and even denounced from nearly every rightward-leaning media pulpit in the land.

        Not far below the surface of many of these critiques one hears the following refrain: why can’t the Pope just go back to talking about abortion? Why can’t we return the good old days of Pope John Paul II or Benedict XVI and talk 24/7/365 about sex? Why doesn’t Francis have the decency to limit himself to talking about Jesus and gays, while avoiding the rudeness of discussing economics in mixed company, an issue about which he has no expertise or competence?….

        Hadley Arkes has penned a characteristically elegant essay in which he notes that Francis is generally correct on teachings about marriage and abortion, but touches on these subjects too briefly, cursorily and with unwelcome caveats of sorts. At the same time, Francis goes on at length about the inequalities and harm caused by free market economies, which moves Hadley to counsel the Pope to consult next time with Michael Novak….

        These commentators all but come and out say: we embrace Catholic teaching when it concerns itself with “faith and morals”—when it denounces abortion, opposes gay marriage, and urges personal charity. This is the Catholicism that has been acceptable in polite conversation. This is a stripped-down Catholicism that doesn’t challenge fundamental articles of economic faith.

        And it turns out that this version of Catholicism is a useful tool. It is precisely this portion of Catholicism that is acceptable to those who control the right narrative because it doesn’t truly endanger what’s most important to those who steer the Republic: maintaining an economic system premised upon limitless extraction, fostering of endless desires, and creating a widening gap between winners and losers that is papered over by mantras about favoring equality of opportunity….

        The right’s contretemps with Pope Francis has brought out into the open what is rarely mentioned in polite company: most visible and famous Catholics who fight on behalf of Catholic causes in America focus almost exclusively on sexual issues…, but have been generally silent regarding a century-old tradition of Catholic social and economic teaching.
        http://www.theamericanconservative.com/2013/12/05/would-someone-just-shut-that-pope-up/

        • sunnnv says:

          Joh Cleese on religion:

          “I think that the real religion is about the understanding that if we can only still our egos for a few seconds, we might have a chance of experiencing something that is divine in nature. But in order to do that, we have to slice away at our egos and try to get them down to a manageable size, and then still work some practiced light meditation. So real religion is about reducing our egos, whereas all the churches are interested in is egotistical activities, like getting as many members and raising as much money and becoming as important and high-profile and influential as possible. All of which are egotistical attitudes. So how can you have an egotistical organization trying to teach a non-egotistical ideal? It makes no sense, unless you regard religion as crowd control. What I think most organized religion—simply crowd control.”

      • forbin says:

        LoL !

        +10

        in fact

        +100 !

        2nd try for right reply to right post 🙂

  11. old Farmer Mac says:

    I wonder why nobody has to my knowledge even seriously undertaken to answer this question.

    WHAT did the oil majors know and WHEN did they know it – before they made the decision public to cut WAY the hell back on upstream spending?

    • Jeffrey J. Brown says:

      They knew that their return on capex was falling, given very high (and rapidly increasing) drilling and completion costs.

      • old Farmer Mac says:

        Hi JJB,

        They knew that much for sure.

        What I would really like to know is whether their internal modeling predicted the price crash or a significant possibility of a price crash.

        The secrets may come out someday.

        • Mac, some companies model the market. Others buy an information package from IHS, Wood Mac, or others. I used to track things using a service which gathered oil price decks from companies on an anonymous basis (the price decks gave me an idea of what company economists were thinking). I used that “feel” to figure out how much we could get from a property we were selling or how much optimism we were facing when bidding on acreage or existing fields.

          I assume there were much more sophisticated approaches than what I saw, because I was more focused on technical issues, but did have access to commercial and legal information, and I had to decide how much time our technical team could devote to each problem or project.

          I think you over estimate how companies work, they have very large bureaucracies, there’s a lot of politics, and a huge resistance to change plans and budgets. So I imagine they just saw their costs increasing, too much competition by “amateurish” high risk prone companies financed by brainless bankers. It’s the same phenomenom we see when there’s a housing or dot com bubble, the market gets overheated by mullets.

          What I used to bug me was that sometimes I saw our management trying to outcompete the crazy mullets, when the proper response was to button down, build up cash, and buy shredded mullet meat once the crap hit the fan.

          • old Farmer Mac says:

            Hi Fernando,

            You may be right.

            BUT otoh, if I were the CEO of an oil company with plenty of money, I WOULD have a few sharp bean counters keeping track of every thing they could find out about what the entire industry is up to.

            Getting your hands on that sort of data ought to be easy if you are n insider spending megabucks. The salesman who sells drill bits ought to be willing to keep you informed as to how many his company is selling and maybe even to WHO. Ditto the pipe guy and the pump guy etc. Hell, that sort of info, once removed , is available to the public, when companies report quarterly results. If the contractors are all working overtime, even a farmer could see that maybe there will be TOO MUCH oil coming to market if the economy has the flu.

            An engineer like you, experienced in scheduling projects, might just take a look at that data and call me up and say something to the effect that the signs are that world wide production is fixing to out run consumption unless the economy takes off like a rocket.

            Then I would talk to my economic advisors. They would be divided into two groups like a debate team- one group tasked to prove to me that the economy is going to be sick or at least sluggish, the other to prove the economy is building up steam.

            Maybe the people at the top level of the bigger companies that cut way back EARLY well before the price crash were EXPECTING a soft market and a production glut. I am not saying they expected prices to crash as badly as they did.

            You do not need all the data, just a representative sample of it.

            • Mac, in some cases we hire people to visit bars frequented by drill hands working on competitors’ wells and take notes on their conversations.

              In my case, they used to sweep my office, cars and homes for bugs. Did I tell you one time we found they put a tv camera monitoring my apartment door? We traced the transmission to….the USA embassy.

    • SRSrocco says:

      Mac,

      From what I heard…. God told them to do it.

      Steve

    • sunnnv says:

      OFM – did you take the time to see Steve Kopits presentation,
      either the video
      http://energypolicy.columbia.edu/events-calendar/global-oil-market-forecasting-main-approaches-key-drivers

      (you can get the direct youtube link from above, but if I put it in, it would embed that in this blog)

      or the PDF of his slides?
      http://energypolicy.columbia.edu/sites/default/files/energy/Kopits%20-%20Oil%20and%20Economic%20Growth%20(SIPA,%202014)%20-%20Presentation%20Version%5B1%5D.pdf

      page 40 shows that from 2000 to 2012, of the 11 listed (on public stock exchanges) oil majors, their capital expenditures (capex) went from $50 billion (total for all 11) per year to $262 billion per year, yet their oil production went from 13.8 million bpd up to 16.1 (about 2005!) then back to 14.0.

      In other words, over 12 years, capex quintupled (increased 5x), but oil production went essentially nowhere.

      And starting about page 32 he shows that US demand is declining too.

      So, oil company people at least semi-numerate in an oil company fiscal position would realize:
      (1) we’re spending 5x the money for the same supply “pipeline”, and costs are likely increasing
      (2) our oil production is falling by about 5% per year even in spite of massive spending
      (3) our customers are shrinking demand.
      (4) the above 3 points do not bode well for a long term sustainable business.

  12. Ronald Walter says:

    I paid 2.40 USD today and bought 15 dollars worth of gas to get where I’m going.

    Had to do it if anything was going to get done.

    Had there been no gas, nothing would have been accomplished.

    For 15 bucks, a lot got done.

    I had food, electricity, everything I need and want, except for gas for the automobile. Might not look like a big deal, but it is.

    Hey, it’s energy related.

    • BC says:

      Ronald, in CPI terms as a share of working-class wages after tax, gasoline is cheaper than it was 25 years ago or longer.

      So, I expect you to seriously consider an SUV (or two) or a big truck that gets 12-14 mpg in order to get gasoline consumption back up to where “it belongs” instead of at recessionary levels per capita today.

      Come on, brother, do your part! 😀

  13. old Farmer Mac says:

    Tight oil people get a break on flaring gas.

    http://in.reuters.com/article/2015/09/24/north-dakota-energy-regulators-agree-to-idINL1N11U2BM20150924

    I suppose the agency people figured it is easier to cut them some slack than to go to bankruptcy court with them by the dozens.

    Every little bit helps when you are running deep in the red trying to get the black stuff out of the hole.

  14. Ronald Walter says:

    It’s history time!

    Mr. Peabody’s Wayback Machine at work.

    On September 16, 1920, at the corner of Wall Street and Broad Street in New York City, a horse-drawn wagon filled with explosives and nails and stuff like that exploded at approximately 12:01 PM.

    It did a lot of damage.

    The story from damn interesting:

    http://www.damninteresting.com/terror-on-wall-street/

    It’s energy related, dynamite has a lot of energy and when it is detonated, that energy is released.

    • old Farmer Mac says:

      Great link and all about a blast from the past , pun intended, that I had never heard about.

      Here is another from the same site-which goes to show a bit about how Uncle Sam does things compared to UNCLE JOE.

      http://www.damninteresting.com/up-in-the-air/#read-more

      Getting out of any country the USA has ever colonized has generally been as easy as just packing up and going. Of course the Soviets DID have reason to be vindictive when it came to the Germans, but they treated everybody else the same way.

  15. Enno says:

    A good article about uncompleted wells in ND, although misinformed about the trend. I especially agree with the one comment on the article.

    https://rbnenergy.com/incomplete-north-dakota-has-a-plan-to-keep-oil-wells-unplugged

    • Ronald Walter says:

      50,000 for a TA label on 950 wells waiting for completion is 47,500,000 dollars. Considering how much money has been spent, 47,500,000 is small change. If the producers are that broke, penniless, the wells will have to be temporarily abandoned, they won’t have the money to operate them. The State of North Dakota and the royalty owners will be the owners by default. The state will own the well, the oil. The producers are broke, the state must foot the bill. Enter the lawyers.

      The state has that much money, the work can be done and the wells are ready to complete when either the price rises or the oil is going to be needed, which ever comes first is my guess.

      The State of North Dakota becomes the winner. The banks and bondholders might balk, but that is a tough titty.

      Nobody wants expensive oil, 45 dollar oil burns as well as 110 dollar oil. The need for 45 dollar oil is greater than the need for 110 dollar oil, 45 dollar oil will be here now and 110 dollar can wait until the 45 dollar oil is gone, which might take a while.

      Ergo, the wells will remain temporarily abandoned indefinitely and the State of North Dakota will probably own them to boot.

    • shallow sand says:

      Enno. I notice on the internet auction that XTO has over 6,000 of un drilled acreage for sale in McKenzie Co. Ten year term leases which expire in either 2016 or 2017.

      Seems to me I recall reviewing 10K for the shale drillers and many have tens of thousands of acres that expire within 3 years.

      One issue would be lease terms in conjunction with temporary abandonment of wells. The TA of wells may not be helpful depending on lease terms.

      I think TA of drilled wells is a bad option, assuming the operator has borrowed the funds to drill the wells. Think framing up an apartment building or house, but not finishing it because it cannot be sold or rented other than at a loss. Think that happened a lot just a few years ago.

      If this is the economics, why are there still around 70 rigs running? Seems they are just digging the hole deeper. I might understand drilling a well to hold a large amount of acreage. However, lease extensions can be negotiated depending on the lessors.

      We will see Q3 numbers in about a month. Should be similar to or worse than the first.

      Thank you pointing out that the percentage of Three Forks wells is increasing. I think this is an important development that few are picking up on. I know I forget that it is generally a less prolific zone than the Middle Bakken.

      Is there much difference in cost of Middle Nikken wells v Three Forks? A TF well which produces 150K BO of oil in the first 60 months generates under $2 million of net income, pre interest, at current oil prices. No reason to even start a well like that IMO.

      • Blaine says:

        A Three Forks well will only be targeting around 75′-150′ lower. There’s a little more limestone in the limestone/shale mix. Well costs should be very slightly higher. Except, if these are the 5th – 7th wells on the pad, the marginal costs are lower than for the first 4, as are the marginal OpEx costs. The big push now is to drill out all the wells in both formations simultaneously in order to save on total buildout costs. Yes, it seems like a pretty awful time to try this to me also.

        There’s also been some activity in the Three Forks sweet spot in Dunn County, which still has production growth. There they have better wells in the Three Forks, but it’s away from the Bakken core, so overall I wouldn’t think they’d be doing any better.

        Take a look at this well map. They’ve got a 14 well pad next to a 12 well pad next to a very heavily fracked 5 well pad next to 3-secton long laterals. I guess it’s a success, because the singleton well there has pulled up 511k since March, so we don’t need to see what the other 24 new wells come up with.

        • shallow sand says:

          Blaine 511K since 3/15? That seems like a lot!

          On another play, Mississippian of OK and KS, see that Sandridge suspended preferred dividends. Shares now trading at .274 cents.

          HK also hit a new low. Today a pretty bad day all around for shale shares.

          Maybe we are getting near banks pulling the plug/companies running out of money to pay bills and interest?

          Was really surprised how much leeway service companies were giving shale on paying bills. Wonder if maybe that will soon end for some also.

          I know I’d be worried about selling anything on credit to a penny stock company.

          • shallow sand says:

            Blaine. Looks like the 511K cumulative well’s first production was 3/13. Still very good well.

            • Blaine says:

              Aah, you’re right it is 2013. I suppose its harder to misread if it check it with ND directly.

              The “Butterfly” pad numbers, all since 11/14
              27588 75k barrel oil, 27591 121k, both Bakken
              27587 294k, 27589 207k. 27590 234k, all Three Forks

              So at least some of them are coming in very well. There does seem to be a bit more of a variance, and also a trend of the first Three Forks wells in an area pulling in very good numbers, which explains some of the effort going into them. They’re still getting lower averages, though.

              As for the servicers, I suppose it depends on the price and the collateral they’re getting. They really ought to be able to file liens on the wells they service, but I’m not sure if it’s usually done that way. It does seem like they ought to be in nearly as much trouble as the drillers by now, though.

    • Watcher says:

      The unreliable nature of the data suggests other data is similarly unreliable and that makes precise analysis doubtful end to end.

      • Enno says:

        No, so far only certain numbers by the director have proven to be unreliable, and for those a disclaimer was given.

  16. shallow sand says:

    Also, there was a link on a previous thread concerning a meeting of energy bankers and the OCC (federal bank regulators). Interesting to me was the bankers’ argument that, because they have first lien, regulators should ignore the junior liens when rating energy loans.

    That to me means there are serious issues. Why would banks want to extend more credit to borrowers who are about to default on junior debt? If I am an unsecured creditor, I can lien the debtor’s property upon securing a judgment. I may not get anything, but might as well try to foreclose, may be able to get something. Further, if I supplied equipment or services, and timely file an Oil and Gas lien, I am superior to even the bank, unless I signed a lien waiver, which I would have no reason to do if payment were in doubt.

    The fact is that at the current oil and natural gas strips, almost none of the shale oil or gas producers qualify for a loan from a bank under the long term, well established guidelines. Those guidelines, which I have posted about before, are 50-65% of proved, developed producing reserves, discounted at 9-10%, using the current strip or something close (the bank’s price deck).

    For example, CLR likely has over $7 billion of long term debt. At the end of 2014 they had over $22 billion of PV10, but only about 1/2 were proved, developed, producing. They had a note buried in the 10K that using 2/15 pricing, PV10 dropped to $9 billion. Do not know how much of that would be proved developed, but I will guess and say $5.5 billion. Now, keep in mind current and futures prices are worse now.

    So lets say CLR PDP PV10 is worth $6.25 billion, to take into account wells completed in 2015. They should be afforded no more than $4 billion of credit. Does not matter if most are unsecured bonds not due till 2020 and beyond.

    CLR has over $7 billion of debt. They should not qualify for additional bank debt. I read where Whiting may have their borrowing base lowered. I do not see how they should have any borrowing base, given they are in worse shape than CLR.

    What is truly a joke is that CLR’s bonds are still investment grade. CLR has a negative net worth if we value their reserves at the current strip and subtract the debt.

    Notice that ExxonMobil is buying distressed assets but not distressed companies? There is just too much debt for any sales price to work. Even $1.00.

    Glenn, sorry I have seemed so distressed. We took a pretty big gamble a few years ago, but were well hedged and applied everything to debt. Once paid out assumed we were good. But oil and gas is always very risky. We forgot that. So did almost everyone else, apparently.

    • HR says:

      Check

      • HR says:

        Ok it works this time.
        Shallow,
        I’m hearing that all this debt nonsense with the bankers only applies to the smaller drillers and will only affect about 200-300k barrels of production a day. The bigger guys are unaffected by too much debt and will continue their not for profit ways.
        Further, the Canadian and North Sea production, and other similar production is where we will have to look for a more balanced market.
        Not good news of course. I’d say batten down the hatches but we all did that many moons ago.
        Good luck

        • Watcher says:

          This will devolve to the newly classic question . . .. where is the rationale and morality behind the concept of creating something from thin air, lending it to someone else, charging them interest and then if they do not pay that interest and repay that principal, a substance created whimsically from nothingness — completely destroy them and their employees.

        • shallow sand says:

          Good luck to you too, HR.

          Banks grade their loans and then the bank regulators rate them, many times with comments.

          Too bad that is confidential information. Would love to see the ratings and comments for the public shale companies. Might be entertaining.

  17. Jimmy says:

    Thanks for the awesome posts Ron.
    Re Carson:
    It seems to me that at least for the last several years the things a person has to say in order to win the Republican Primary are the same things that need to be said to lose an Election for President. In the age of the internet and a video camera in every phone it’s unlikely a Republican Primary contender can get away with appealing to their base via ridiculous statements and then have it go unnoticed by the American electorate. Due to this condition I feel it is unlikely we’ll ever again see a Republican President.

    • Jeffrey J. Brown says:

      Actually, I’ve thought for a while that Trump must be on the payroll of the Democratic Party, since his comments seem designed to drive Hispanics and females away from the GOP and to increase the Hispanic and female turnout for the Democratic Party.

      • Anton Koffield says:

        I wonder about that myself.

      • Jimmy says:

        He was until not too long ago a card carrying member of the Democratic Party. He’s chummy with the Clinton’s. I believe he is a pseudo-candidate. A false flag. A ruse. He is turning the GOP Primary into a laughing stock. He presents no policy platform, just odd offensive statements and talk about how he’ll make better deals etc etc. He is clearly behaving in a manner that creates wedge issues within the GOP. If he is a pseudo candidate he must have a very cynical view about the intelligence of the average american. He is acting like an idiot, he knows it, and the average American Right Wing voter loves him for it. I don’t believe he’s on the payroll but he has perhaps taken it upon himself to play this role. I believe he has been grooming his image for this event (Hillary’s run at the White House) for several years now.

      • Watcher says:

        Latest polling has him at 30%+ of the black vote. If that holds up,the election is already over.

      • Enno says:

        By that logic I would suggest that all Republican candidates are on the Democratic payroll.

  18. Silicon Valley Observer says:

    Given that ten year leases are expiring in 2016-2017 doesn’t that mean that the oil companies understood the potential of tight oil in 2006-2007, at a time when nobody in the peak oil world did? I don’t remember anyone saying anything about it on TOD or other peak oil sources. I’m not dissing anyone, just pointing out that there are unknowns that even smart people can’t see. But I think that blind spot was a mere speck on the horizon where the larger story of peak oil is conerned. And if anything, it may make things worse by creating the illusion of plenty.

    Just a thought.

    • SVO, had to search the comments to figure out what you were talking about. You were apparently replying to Shallow Sand who wrote:

      Enno. I notice on the internet auction that XTO has over 6,000 of un drilled acreage for sale in McKenzie Co. Ten year term leases which expire in either 2016 or 2017.

      6000 acres is not really that much, less than 10 square miles. And there was a lot of drilling going on in McKenzie County in 2007. Prices were getting to the point that, had it not been for the price collapse in 2008, the shale boom would have began a lot sooner.

      It had been known for years that there was a lot of locked up oil in the Bakken but the price was never high enough to make it profitable. When the price of oil recovered after the 2008 crash, it was then now profitable to start horizontal drilling an fracking in the Bakken.

      No, we did not see it coming and most oil companies did not either. Everyone was surprised at the extent of the boom.

      • shallow sand says:

        Ron. Agree 6000 acres is not much, but would note XTO is not in distress. There are just places in the Williston Basin that they don’t think will be worth their while any time soon.

        There is a map of the area where the acreage is located. Unlike some sections, which are covered with horizontal wells, just a few random ones here and there.

        Some of the large oil and gas companies have quite a bit of acreage that would not be considered in the sweet spot. Somehow it seems that is all OXY ended up with, and they haven’t had rigs running in the Bakken for awhile. Lots of wells making 30 bbl per day or less.

        • Glenn Stehle says:

          ExxonMobil Bolts On More Permian Acreage in Texas
          Carolyn Davis August 6, 2015

          ExxonMobil Corp. has secured more development rights in its most prolific liquids play in the U.S. onshore, the Permian Basin.

          Two agreements announced Thursday provide the largest U.S. producer with horizontal development rights in 48,000 acres of the Midland subbasin….

          XTO Energy Inc., ExxonMobil’s North American exploration and production unit, would operate the acreage.

          “We are continuing to grow our position in a prolific area of the Permian Basin,” said XTO President Randy Cleveland. “The recent emergence of strong Lower Spraberry results, combined with the established Wolfcamp intervals, demonstrates the significant potential of the stacked pays in the Midland Basin core.”

          ExxonMobil has executed five agreements in the Midland play since January 2014, providing the company with more than 135,000 operated net acres in the subbasin. Two Permian transactions last year were completed with Linn Energy LLC and one was with Endeavor Energy Resources LP (see Shale Daily, Sept. 19, 2014; May 22, 2014; Feb. 3, 2014).

          “We are encouraged by the horizontal well productivity and cost reductions we have achieved to date,” Cleveland said. “We expect to drive continued improvements in productivity and cost as we develop our substantial inventory of wells across the multiple stacked pays.”

          XTO currently is operating 11 horizontal and four vertical rigs across its Permian Basin leasehold of more than 1.5 million net acres, with net oil-equivalent production exceeding 115,000 b/d. Permian production during 2Q2015 was about half of the company’s total U.S. onshore crude oil output (see Daily GPI, July 31). Last October, investor relations chief Jeff Woodbury said ExxonMobil was continuing to look for more Permian bolt-ons (see Shale Daily, Oct. 31, 2014).

          http://www.naturalgasintel.com/articles/103234-exxonmobil-bolts-on-more-permian-acreage-in-texas

          • shallow sand says:

            As noted above, they seem to be acquiring acreage only, and not buying companies where they have to take on associated debt.

            • Synapsid says:

              shallow sand,

              There was an article last week on Bloomberg about XTO dealing with distressed small producers in the Permian basin. As I recall, what they were offering was a sort of partnership in which XTO would pay for drilling and “lease (?) assessment”, and take, I believe, two thirds of the proceeds. There was no upfront cash or bundle of shares.

              I should have kept the reference. Sorry.

            • Synapsid says:

              shallow sand,

              The article was September 18 at Bloomberg under the heading Oil&Gas. XTO is offering up to one-third of revenue on new discoveries to closely-held producers. One is Endeavor Energy.

              • shallow sand says:

                Syn. Thanks. Looks like another way to get acreage without having to take on shale co debt.

                I recall reading early on in the bust to expect a wave of mergers and acquisitions but there haven’t been many yet.

                Whiting tried to sell itself and that failed. Don’t recall what WLL was trading at then but I’m sure higher than the present $15-18 range it has been lately. I suppose that no one is interested is a sign we are in for long term low oil prices?

                • It’s much cleaner to buy properties and avoid buying companies. Buying a company requires a lot of due diligence due to environmental, labor, and tax liabilities. A property purchase is usually a slam dunk.

                  • AlexS says:

                    Another reason is that potential buyers want assets which have synergies with their existing acreage

    • There are unknowns: oil prices, supplier prices, wars, economic crises, reservoir performance for untested zones, and technology.

      The technology area has very little potential to deliver oil by itself. New technologies are enabled by high oil prices, the same way drilling marginal plays can become enabled as an economic move by high prices.

      Performance of untested zones has very low potential to stretch peak oil beyond 2035. If I stack them and assume they yield positive results we still have a very hard time reaching 100 mmbopd crude plus condensate and holding beyond 2035. So the variables seem to have us peaking any time between now and 2035 on the optimistic side. This excludes wars, economic crises, or epidemics.

      The other issue I like to bring up is that most climate disasters and adverse impacts predicted using computer models assume oil production keeps on climbing until it exceeds 160 mmbopd beyond 2060. And they have been using similarly wild estimates for natural gas and coal. Thus we have an interesting issue: most peak oilers ought to be rolling on the ground laughing at politicians, media, and scientists whining about the “business as usual” IPCC projections. Their latest projection, rcp8.5, is a joke. The EPA used an even zanier projection, equivalent to an RCP 8.6. It’s Mickey Mouse science driven by junk inputs.

      • Dennis Coyne says:

        Hi Fernando,

        If more than 2C of warming (long term such as several centuries) above the Holocene average temperature up to 1750 AD is a problem as most biologists and ecologists believe and equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS) is about 3C for a doubling of atmospheric CO2 (to 560 ppm) as most climate scientists believe, then a medium scenario for fossil fuel URR such as Steve Mohr’s case 2 is enough for there to be a problem. That would be roughly similar to RCP 6.0.

        Summary of Steve Mohr’s thesis at

        http://www.theoildrum.com/node/6782

        Full thesis at

        http://ogma.newcastle.edu.au:8080/vital/access/manager/Repository/uon:6530

        • I don’t see signs that ECS is 3 degrees. So far the models continue to overpredict temperatures, as they have been for a decade. Since those models are used to estimate the (apparently) exaggerated ECS I will continue looking at this matter but I don’t buy their numbers. The number of scientists who believe this or that is irrelevant. Thus far, the data says they are wrong.

          • Dennis Coyne says:

            Hi Fernando,

            Well I look at the same data as the climate scientists, I think the experts have this right on climate sensitivity. The data matches a Transient Climate response of about 2.25C for a doubling of CO2 using a CSALT model for data from 1880 to 2004. It will take some time for the oceans to warm so there is a built in lag in the system (probably of 200 years or so) before the ocean temperature rises ( CO2 levels in the atmosphere decrease very slowly) and equilibrium is reached.

            If we look at land only temperatures from the BEST study, CSALT for the 1880 to 2013 period gives a TCR for land of 3.25 C which is probably close to the eventual global ECS.

            • Phil Harris says:

              Dennis
              I see your estimates below for dates for ‘peak oil’, coal, NG. Carbon emission from burning fossil fuel will continue of course well beyond the peak. The current rate of increase in atmospheric CO2 however will presumably slow after mid-century. Based on interactions with ocean and terrestrial carbon sequestration, we can look forward eventually to Peak CO2 in the atmosphere.

              I did a back of envelope calculation combining the assumptions in this paper and its model of such interactions (see link http://sos.noaa.gov/Docs/ngeo1047-aop.pdf ) with my own dates for peak fuel burn, very similar to yours, and came up with Peak CO2 around 2100 at about the ‘double CO2′ concentration of around 570 – 590ppm. The shape of the subsequent decline curve of CO2 in air will define a ‘peak temperature’ resulting from this anthropogenic heat pulse sometime in the following century, or perhaps later? (‘We’ – whomever – will never see an ‘equilibrium’ temperature, just a passing ‘peak’?)
              best
              Phil

      • Fernando, you probably never considered how much extraneous CO2 can be emitted by going after low EROEI resources such as oil shale out west. That’s #whut has everyone spooked. Or is it an act of feigned naivete on your part? I thought you were a fossil fuel authority.

        @whut on twitter

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          Hi Webhubbletelescope,

          Are you talking about Kerogen? I doubt that resource will ever be used, if I am wrong then that will be a very big problem. The LTO will probably be no more than 100 Gb World wide.

          • Right. Name any low EROIE fossil fuel and multiply that by the wasted CO2 emitted. That is the fear, it is not the oil per se.

            Read this by climate scientist and geophysicist Raymond Pierrehumbert
            http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2013/02/u_s_shale_oil_are_we_headed_to_a_new_era_of_oil_abundance.html

            • Dennis Coyne says:

              Hi Webhubbletelescope,

              Our best hope is that the price of fossil fuels will rise enough to reduce their use (as they are replaced with non-fossil fuel energy).

              I expect a peak in oil in 2020, coal in 2025, and natural gas by 2030, the increase in prices that will follow the peak (assuming no economic collapse) will make alternatives more competitive and economies of scale in alternative energy may quickly make fossil fuels uncompetitive.

              If the ECS is about 3 C we may muddle through. It is doubtful that the very expensive fossil fuels will over be extracted and as alternative energy becomes less expensive even coal will not be able to compete.

  19. Ezrydermike says:

    rooftop solar issue brewing Cali….

    At issue is the practice of net metering, in which utilities credit solar users for surplus power their systems create, which gets fed back into the grid for use by other customers. Solar users are credited at the same rate they would pay the utility for electricity.

    Utility proposals call for crediting solar users at about half the current rates. Utilities would also charge monthly fees, based on the size of a homeowner’s solar system.

    The debate’s outcome could shape solar policies throughout the nation, as utilities seek to tinker with solar costs. Other states look to California as an innovator on solar policy. The state by far leads the nation in deployment of rooftop and utility-scale solar technology, followed by Arizona, New Jersey, North Carolina and Nevada.

    http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-solar-net-metering-20150927-story.html

    • Net metering provisions require a lower rate be paid for outgoing power, or a fixed hook up fee. I think the solar power sales should be priced at wholesale market plus say 4 cents per kWh.

      • Longtimber says:

        Much of the Grid is paid for by the Meter Charge.

        • Solar panel owners don’t pay their share if they freeload using a high price feed in. It’s very evident if you studied some basic engineering and how to use excel with macros.

    • MarbleZeppelin says:

      Even if solar electric providers are paid at full electric rates, the power company gets a line charge fee (here it is about 4.9 cents per kwh) from the consumer of that power. Considering that they did not have to generate any of that power and it is mostly used locally, they are making money both ways.

      To reduce provider fees and to add taxes for generating electricity is onerous at best and crooked at worst. It is a definite ploy to wreck solar PV growth. The grid operators need to be dragged kicking and screaming into the future or down the streets behind an electric car.

      • Arceus says:

        >>It is a definite ploy to wreck solar PV growth

        Hence the EIA’s flatline growth for solar for the next ten years or so. They are going to protect the utility companies and the grid.

        • Boomer II says:

          But protecting the grid doesn’t make economic sense. There would be more jobs by installing more solar. And if solar is able to bring down rates over the intermediate and long-term, that would also be a benefit.

          Again, I maintain that at some point, the wealthy pro-solar, pro-renewables, pro-EVs, and pro-distributed generation folks will have more clout than the fossil fuel and related lobbies.

          • Boomer II says:

            Also, at some point the collective news is likely to make an impression:

            1. The GOP in seemingly disarray.
            2. Shell shelving its Arctic drilling.
            3. Problems with fracking and financing.
            4. China due for a hard landing.

            So maybe we’ll see a quick turn toward renewables when we start seeing people, companies, and governments exhibiting fear of missing out.

            • Arceus says:

              Renewables will continue to grow, but in my opinion, they will be for the benefit of the established utility companies and larger business entities. It will fall on retail and smaller businesses to foot the bill for this “transition” to renewable energy.

              • Boomer II says:

                It will fall on retail and smaller businesses to foot the bill for this “transition” to renewable energy.

                That could be. But for that to happen, regulations can’t continue to discourage installation.

                If utilities develop a business model that works with increased small scale solar, then things might move quickly. And I believe the industry is talking about this, even if legislatively they continue to fight it.

                Again, we’ll need political money from individuals and companies that will benefit from solar and wind expansion.

                • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                  If large-scale centralized governments depend largely on oil to run/survive– jobs, tax-revenue, dependence on a growth economy for return on investments for social programs, etc.– renewables may threaten their very survival.
                  The whole system that ‘grew’ on oil looks to be in a catch 22 situation now.
                  Less energy means less work, so seems to mean less taxes, thus, less government, yes? No?

                  Anyone like to recommend any good sites for statistics on government cutbacks and layoffs, etc.?

  20. Don Stewart says:

    Dear Ron and Others
    A belated response to the ‘scientific ignorance’ demonstrated by many contenders for the Presidential nomination.

    First, a short digression and example of what I perceive to be broken. I was listening to an interview with a man named Alex Vasquez, now working in Spain but originally from Texas. Alex teaches at a medical college. The interviewer wanted his thoughts about how to rescue medicine from its slough of despond. Alex responded that ‘first, we have to figure out what human life is all about, and then we can figure out what medicine needs to do’.

    Previously, Alex had said that we should stop using the words ‘Chronic Inflammatory Disease’ to describe things like cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and autoimmune diseases. We should instead call them a ‘Sustained Inflammatory Response’. A ‘Sustained Inflammatory Response’ suggests that if we stop creating the inflammatory response with our life style and environment, then the problems will go away, whereas ‘Chronic Inflammatory Disease’ suggests that we have something incurable which is growing all on its own accord. The ‘Sustained Inflammatory Response’ suggestion is supported by the best current science, for the vast majority of what we call chronic diseases, for a substantial majority of those who are not healthy. For example, a different doctor stated that 90 percent of heart disease can be avoided, and he has demonstrated that it can be decisively reversed….stop feeding the inflammation and the arteries clear up.

    Yet Alex also remarked that some recent exciting research had ended with the same, lame claim that ‘these findings may provide clues to new drugs’.

    I’m not sure what the purpose of human life is, but I am pretty sure that for humans to achieve the purpose (‘rock their mission’, in current jargon), they need to master the arts of personal homeostasis in a world which exhibits sustainability. Thus, the two primary foci for medicine are repairing acute wounds (e.g., broken legs, severe infections) and helping patients achieve homeostasis by wise actions. Medicine does a very good job with acute wounds, and a terrible job on the homeostasis front. Yet we now understand in some detail what we need to do to maintain homeostasis, and avoid the evils of a Sustained Inflammatory Response. And we don’t need for medicine to turn every problem into something druggable.

    There ARE scientists who write and speak eloquently and do research on both personal homeostasis and environmental sustainability, but you would never know it from listening to most politicians and business people. And I think the general public is clueless….’surely they’ll think of something…or some drug will be invented’.

    I don’t know how to fix things.

    Don Stewart

    • Some cancers aren’t “inflammatory responses”. Sometimes cancer happens, it can be caused by something as trivial as a cosmic ray hitting DNA in a single cell. Sometimes they are caused by natural random mutations.

      • Don Stewart says:

        Fernando
        Some years ago autopsies were performed on Vietnamese and American soldiers who died in the war in Vietnam. Prostate cancer was extremely rare in Vietnam at the time, yet the autopsies showed that the Vietnamese had as many ‘micro-tumors’ as the Americans. The American’s micro-tumors tended to become large tumors, while the Vietnamese micro-tumors never developed into anything dangerous.

        Inflammation is a key component in helping a micro-tumor grow.

        Don Stewart

        • Don, my dad was a physician, specialized in pathology and oncology, my cousin a surgeon, my mom head nurse at a hospital (died of cancer caused by her work in an experimental radiation treatment for cancer), my sister is a microbiologist (she used to work at Harvard Medical), I live with an MD. I’ve been so exposed to this subject for so many years you wouldn’t believe what I’ve heard, seen, when physicians debate cancer in private, away from the public.

      • Don Stewart says:

        Fernando
        See link for explanation of a ‘foreign sugar’ in red meat, the inflammation response in humans, and the resulting causal chain leading to growth of cancers in those who eat red meat.

        http://health.ucsd.edu/news/releases/Pages/2014-12-29-sugar-molecule-in-red-meat-linked-to-cancer.aspx

        Don Stewart

    • Ronald Walter says:

      Gamma rays can and will be the cause of malignant gliomas and there is no fix for that, a grim prognosis indeed.

      Can’t control everything.

      • i had a brief chat with a physician after I saw this thread, and we speculated about the potential effect of a single ultra high energy neutrino on DNA. Here’s a brief article about these particles

        https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn25410-big-bird-space-neutrino-has-highest-energy-yet-seen/

        • Fred Magyar says:

          i had a brief chat with a physician after I saw this thread, and we speculated about the potential effect of a single ultra high energy neutrino on DNA.

          The effect of a single high energy neutrino on DNA would probably be negligible and would be highly unlikely to cause any significant or permanent damage and even less likely to be the underlying cause of any cancer due to the fact that we have specifically evolved repair mechanisms for precisely such random events.

          http://www.nature.com/scitable/topicpage/dna-damage-repair-mechanisms-for-maintaining-dna-344

          DNA repair processes exist in both prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms, and many of the proteins involved have been highly conserved throughout evolution. In fact, cells have evolved a number of mechanisms to detect and repair the various types of damage that can occur to DNA, no matter whether this damage is caused by the environment or by errors in replication. Because DNA is a molecule that plays an active and critical role in cell division, control of DNA repair is closely tied to regulation of the cell cycle.

          Now prolonged bombardment by such particles would be another matter entirely!

          • Synapsid says:

            Fernando, FredM,

            There’d be no effect on DNA from a neutrino, no matter how energetic, because the things don’t interact with much of anything.

            Sounds to me like the authors are fascinated by the energy level but overlooking neutrinos’ aloofness. Billions of the critters are going through us daily coming up from below, having passed through the whole planet, let alone the ones coming from above.

            • Fred Magyar says:

              Thank you Synapsid, I’m always happy to learn something new!

            • Dude, the Big Bird high energy neutrino detected at the Antarctica neutrino detector lit up over 1 km of solid ice with Cerenkov radiation. These neutrinos are rare, they each get a name. Big Bird, Bert, Ernie, etc. The neutrino strikes are creating particle showers and radiation over such a large volume they want to build a new one with a larger volume.

              Just speculating, since thus far they haven’t established the upper energy limit for a single neutrino, I’d say in a science fictiony way you could be in the way of an extragalactic neutrino which went right through the center of the earth, it could hit you in the arse, and light you up like a pin ball machine. You would have so many short lived particles and radiation flying through your body I bet your hair would fall off.

              • Synapsid says:

                Fernando,

                You see my point. There are over 5000 detector modules in the Ice Cube array, spaced in strings through a cube of ice one kilometer on a side. Ice Cube has been operating since the end of 2010 and has detected 28 neutrinos (very high-energy ones, some, at least, with names) from outside the Solar System.

                Neutrino flux at Earth is in the billions per square centimeter per second. We are still here. Earth’s biosphere has developed within that neutrino flux. We could consider the biosphere a neutrino detector that has been operating for 3.5 billion years plus. There must have been some interactions, during all that time, between neutrinos and atoms included in Earth’s biomass, including DNA; FredM pointed out how life deals with any mutations that might result.

                Cherenkov radiation, as you know, is blue light, very pretty. It can tell us about how fast the particle was traveling (faster than the speed of light in ice) that caused it, and thus how energetic the particle was. At Ice Cube “lit up” refers to what the detectors can pick up. They are very sensitive.

  21. Don Stewart says:

    Dear Ron and Others
    I stated that I do not know how to solve the problems of ignorance. Here is one effort to outline what we need to do:
    http://jsterman.scripts.mit.edu/docs/Sterman%20Sustaining%20Sustainability%206-19.pdf

    I will call attention to one sentence:
    We have been trained to view our situation as the result of forces outside ourselves, forces largely unpredictable and uncontrollable.

    which is closely related to Alex Vasquez’ distinction between Chronic Inflammatory Disease and Sustained Inflammatory Response.

    Don Stewart

    • sunnnv says:

      Thanks Don for that brilliant link to J D Sterman’s book chapter on sustainability.

  22. David says:

    Ron – in your OilPrice article “How Much Are The World’s Giant Oil Fields Depleting?” you have a table showing considerable depletion on discovered fileds. Oil isn’t getting easier to find. However, you do not have the recently discovered Shaikan field in Kurdistan. Any reason? 21bn bbls OIP mentioned by Todd Kozel a few years back and a new CPR due this week from GulfKeystone Petroleum – the field’s operator. The satellites Sheikh Adi, Al Qosh (Exxon) and even Behr Bahr are multi billion bbl fields too. This region seems to be being kept under the radar at the moment…

    • David, it’s not my table. The table was created by Mike Horn and Associates. You’ll have to ask them why the Shaikan field is not included.

  23. Ronald Walter says:

    If you have clear skies, there is a lunar eclipse going on right now. Don’t miss it.

  24. nnoxks says:

    Shell just announced, in the past couple hours, that it is abandoning drilling in the arctic for the foreseeable future because it didn’t find sufficient quantities of petroleum. That’s kind of mind blowing, don’t you guys think?

    • Boomer II says:

      Oh wow. Thanks for the heads up.

      This is significant in many ways.

      1. The drill-baby-drill political propaganda doesn’t make a lot of sense now.
      2. Economics and resource realities are handling what the environmental groups couldn’t do.
      3. Maybe, just maybe, people will start realizing we’ve got to plan for declining supplies of oil.

      Shell Says It Will Cease Alaska Offshore Arctic Drilling – ABC News: Royal Dutch Shell will cease exploration in Arctic waters off Alaska’s coast following disappointing results from an exploratory well backed by billions in investment and years of work.

      • I’ve seen this outcome in the past. Shell spent billions on this play. If they declare it a full loss they get about 36 % back from Uncle Sam. Say they spent $4 billion, Uncle Sam refunds $1.44 billion. The point forward exploration and development require that much risked pv10 (a tall order given the government regulatory and political risk).

        So now they’ll sit 5 to 10 years, wait for prices to increase and for the acreage to be offered again.

      • MarbleZeppelin says:

        From what I recall early test wells in the Arctic Ocean showed much more gas than oil, about 70:30. I wondered why oil companies were even thinking about starting drilling up there.

        • Jeffrey J. Brown says:

          Dwindling opportunities for large conventional oil fields.

        • Marble Zep, sometimes we find huge fields with a giant gas/condensate cap, and a giant oil leg under the gas cap. Prudhoe Bay Field has such a layout.

          I can’t remember all the details, but back in the 1980’s I had to study Iranian fields, and I recall one at Kharg island that had a giant gas cap and a huge oil zone, over 2000 ft tall.

          In these cases it’s fairly common to drill a well at the crest, to see cap rock, reservoir rock with gas condensate, rock. The trick is to catch very good samples and see if the gas condensate dew point is close to reservoir pressure. If it is, it’s almost a slam dunk the gas you found is in contact with an oil zone.

          I understand Shell had already located the gas condensate, but needed to drill down dip to locate the oil leg. I bet they found relatively low quality rocks with oil.

          The field may be pretty decent but the tax write offs are juicy in a low price environment.

      • AlexS says:

        Shell Halts Alaska Offshore Exploration After Failing to Find Enough Oil

        September 28, 2015
        http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-09-28/shell-to-stop-exploring-offshore-alaska-on-regulations-costs

        • Company quits Arctic search after dry well in Chukchi Sea
        • Shell hoped area would hold 10 times the resource of North Sea

        Royal Dutch Shell Plc will halt exploration in the U.S. Arctic after $7 billion of spending ended with a well off Alaska that failed to find any meaningful quantities of oil or natural gas.
        Shell said it expects to take financial charges related to the Alaskan operations, which carry a value of about $3 billion on its balance sheet with additional contractual commitments of about $1.1 billion. The Hague-based company will cease further offshore activity in the region for the foreseeable future.

        Ahmed Ben Salem, a Paris-based analyst with Oddo & Cie:“… in a $50 oil-price environment it’s not so bad to abandon that search because it’s expensive. Shell has enough resources already.”
        Europe’s largest oil company was targeting resources it said could be 10 times greater than the oil and gas produced so far in the North Sea.

        “This is a clearly disappointing exploration outcome,” Marvin Odum, director of Shell’s Upstream Americas unit, said in a statement. While indications of oil and gas were present in the Burger J well in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea, they weren’t sufficient to warrant further exploration, the company said. Shell will now plug and abandon the well.

        Exxon Mobil Corp., BP Plc and other producers have discovered more than 10 billion barrels of oil in North American Arctic seas since the early 1970s. Most of those resources remain locked beneath the sea floor because of a lack of pipeline capacity to haul them to faraway markets.

        • Arceus says:

          Love the last paragraph. Bloomberg editors remain on point – always. So transparent.

          • Don’t laugh. 10 billion barrels is enough oil to supply the world for 4 whole months. 😉

            • Fred Magyar says:

              Yeah, I noticed that. After a decade or so of following peak oil it’s really hard not to laugh at something that is so obvious to just about everyone who frequents this site… sigh!

        • Blaine says:

          Saying that they found oil and gas but not enough to be current commercially viable any time soon covers a very wide range at current prices. I’m still wondering whether or not they found something of significant size usable at prices which are not absurd.

      • Boomer II says:

        This article has some good info.

        Shell abandons Arctic oil quest after $7 billion bid yields ‘disappointing’ results – Fuel Fix: An oil discovery that would be viewed as commercially viable in other basins, such as a 1 billion barrel find in the Gulf of Mexico, wouldn’t pay off in the Arctic right now, noted Dave Pursell, head of securities at Houston-based energy investment bank Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co.

        “The challenge for this was given the remote nature and the expense it was going to have to be a massive accumulation to make it work,” Pursell said. For Shell, “this was an awfully big swing, and they didn’t even make contact.”

        • One billion barrels of 40 degree API sweet, 5 degree C pour point oil in a massive 20 % porosity 500 milidarcy carbonate, water depth 50 meters, all found within reach of two gravity platforms, is commercial in the Arctic. That field would take about 10 years to come on stream. But oil prices would be very attractive in 10 to 15 years. The deal won’t fly if it is overregulated by a government run by nitwits. In Russia, it makes a ton of money.

  25. Ezrydermike says:

    The climate change consensus extends beyond climate scientists

    J S Carlton1,3, Rebecca Perry-Hill1, Matthew Huber2 and Linda S Prokopy1
    Published 24 September 2015 • © 2015 IOP Publishing Ltd • Environmental Research Letters, Volume 10, Number 9

    4. Conclusions

    Though public awareness of the scientific consensus on climate change may be insufficient to spur large-scale adaptive or mitigative measures (Kellstedt et al 2008), prior work has suggested that it may be necessary. For example, public support for climate policies is affected by incorrect perceptions that the existence of anthropogenic climate change is scientifically controversial (Ding et al 2011, Aklin and Urpelainen 2014). Prior work has established that there is consensus among climate scientists that anthropogenic climate change exists (Doran and Zimmerman 2009, Anderegg et al 2010, Cook et al 2013). Our findings expand beyond these works to show that there is a general consensus among biophysical scientists across the United States that (1) climate change is occurring, (2) humans are contributing to it, and (3) climate science is a trustworthy, mature, and credible discipline. Scientists who continue to claim otherwise are operating outside of the consensus, not just of climate scientists, but also of scientists as a whole.

    However, the fact that cultural values and political ideology appeared to influence the scientists’ beliefs underscores the difficulty of climate change as a public issue. There is a temptation to think of those who don’t believe in climate change as uninformed or irrational. However, studies are increasingly showing that knowledge and rationality are just one piece of the complicated climate puzzle. Values and identity matter, among the general public (e.g., Kahan et al 2011) and, as this research shows, among putatively rational scientists. It is becoming increasingly apparent that effective climate change outreach, communication, and policy must account not just for the ‘facts’ of climate change, but for the ‘feel’ of it, as well.

    http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/10/9/094025/meta

    • Caelan MacIntyre says:

      Quite likely, by the time all this research is complete and becomes policy, if ever, the ‘feel’ of climate change is going to be too hot to do anything about.

    • What’s controversial is the amount of global warming we can expect. I think they overstate their case. I’ve had the benefit of being retired so I have the time to study the subject. Most of these scientists get their information reading scientific American, watching CNN and listening to Obama.

      • Fred Magyar says:

        Most of these scientists get their information reading scientific American, watching CNN and listening to Obama.

        Just curious, Fernando, how many working scientists do you actually know personally?
        Guess what, a lot of scientists are out in the real world, often times in the field doing research…

        This talk is by a working Brazilian scientist, the talk is in Portuguese but it is subtitled in English, though I imagine that you might be able to follow it due to the fact that you speak Spanish.

        https://www.ted.com/talks/antonio_donato_nobre_the_magic_of_the_amazon_a_river_that_flows_invisibly_all_around_us

        • Fred, I used to supervise a technical team which included engineers, scientists, technologists, etc. Because I worked in Arctic projects and I was in charge of the system dynamic models, I had to work with climatologists and arctic ice experts.

          As a consultant just before my retirement some of my assignments were to go in alone and review research work being done by a company, and report back to the corp that hired me on the merits of their research, quality of their personnel, and the potential I felt they had. These one man contacts are used when a company needs an expert opinion on R&D matters but doesn’t want to “taint” its personnel by exposing them to secret research being done by others. These inspections preceded signing agreements which did expose their personnel.

          Also, I come from a family loaded with MDs and PhDs.

          I got the feeling many of you don’t realize the amount of politics, tribal warfare, sexual harassment, plagiarism, crappy peer reviews, prima Dona syndrome, and the other shit that goes on in the high brow scientific community. I know because I had to make sure we avoided it, but I sure saw a shitload of it. After eating some of the junk written by scientists in recent years I have no doubt the whole field needs a serious overhaul. They can start by making scientists working with public money publish in open source journals. Nature in particular deserves to die.

          • Fred Magyar says:

            Also, I come from a family loaded with MDs and PhDs.

            So do I! And I have a ton of close friends who just happen to be scientists and MDs as well. My girl friend has two PhDs one in physics and and another in Chemistry. I too have managed teams of engineers and taught PhDs and MDs to use very complex digital imaging software, I even wrote material for a seminar to help Brazilian MDs to participate in international medical conferences and I really don’t think any of that is such a big deal!

            In any case, my experience seems to be a bit different from yours, I have found most scientists to be highly ethical and very hard working. At least the ones I know, do not form their opinions about scientific topics by just reading about them in SciAm or listening to Obama, most of them actually do research of their own and they tend to respect the work of other scientists outside their own fields.

            Are some scientists Prima Donna’s with big egos? Sure, they are only human, a lot like you…

  26. Jeffrey J. Brown says:

    Interesting comment by Steven Kopits on a China thread on Econbrowser:

    http://econbrowser.com/archives/2015/09/economic-importance-of-china#comment-192622

    For those interested, please find the first edition of my China Tracker here:

    http://www.prienga.com/blog/2015/9/27/china-tracker-sept-2015

    The evidence suggests that China most likely has been suffering the side-effects of an over-valued yuan since Q3 2014. Such a situation would benefit importers and consumers and hurt exporters and producers. And it has.

    For example, gasoline and jet fuel demand in China were both up more than 20% in August year on year–absolutely a blow-out month. Oil demand was up an impressive 6.6%. Similarly, Nike saw fabulous results in China in the three months ended August, with sales there up more than 30%.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/business-34355627

    All of these indicators directly contradict any notion of recession.

    On the other hand, the Chinese have resisted devaluing the yuan in line with the won, yen or Euro, and so China’s competitiveness has substantially eroded, and that’s clearly visible in capital flows, exports, and industrial production. In principle, if China devalues, the demand for Nikes and oil should ease off a bit, and exporters should be revitalized.

    I would add that China’s private debt-to-GDP ratio is very high, indeed, at levels associated with financial crisis in many other countries historically. However, the proximate issue in China is the exchange rate. We would get a better sense of the state of the underlying economy once that issue is addressed.

    Find more in the Tracker.

  27. Longtimber says:

    http://www.enrichcar.com A Future for personal transportation?? — Electric Skateboards ??

  28. MarbleZeppelin says:

    Scooterino, the new way to get around town quickly. The app finds a scooter driver headed in your direction and sets up the ride. Seems to solve the wasted fuel that taxis and Uber rides cause.

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/sep/27/rome-scooter-drivers-share-rides-app-scooterino

    • Fred Magyar says:

      Sure, I took this picture of a Motorcycle Taxi stop in a little town in Brazil back in 2013

      • wimbi says:

        Nah, better, a big people mortar carefully sized for minimal G’s. Customer dials in his coordinates, gives proof of G tolerance, drops down mortar tube. POOHA- nice smooth trajectory, chute pops, customer there, fast, totally satisfied.

        Cheap, reliable, sex appeal. Slightly perfumed of propellant.

        • Fred Magyar says:

          Great! When can you come down help me set a couple of them up in Sao Paulo.
          I’ll have no problem getting customers when I tell they will sail right over all the traffic 🙂

          • Wake says:

            Has there been any solution to the water shortage or are people just hoping El Niño brings rain? Cantareira still seems very critical ?

            • Fred Magyar says:

              Wake,
              If I understand correctly El Nino could be a pretty mixed bag for Brazil as a whole. In the south east it could bring lots of rain and with it severe flooding. In the north east it is expected to exacerbate the drought.

              In the city of Sao Paulo where I am, it has been raining recently and even the Cantereira reservoir system has had a bit of relief and is currently at about 16% of capacity up from an extreme low of close to 5%, not all that long ago. I myself am in the Southern part of the city and we get our water from the Guarapiranga system and that is at about 85% of capacity, so not terrible.

              Check out this site if you want more info, it is in Portuguese but Google does an ok job of translating.

              http://www.apolo11.com/reservatorios.php

              This is their graph of water levels in the different reservoir systems as of today, 9/29/2015.

  29. AlexS says:

    The EIA released its new Monthly Energy Review for September
    U.S. oil + condensate production estimates for July and August were revised up compared with the EIA forecast in the Short-Term Energy Outlook released on September 11.
    The new estimate shows a temporary spike in production in July.
    The August number is also 195 kb/d higher than in the previous estimate.
    As such, the declining trend remains intact, but it is slower than previously expected

    • AlexS says:

      U.S. C+C production excl. Alaska

      • AlexS says:

        Estimates in the Monthly Energy Review are “very preliminary” and tend to be inaccurate. Nevertheless, I think that the EIA’s previous estimates and forecasts (from the September STEO) were too low, particularly in the case of Eagle Ford and Texas in general.

        MER vs STEO estimates (kb/d)

      • AlexS says:

        EIA MER vs. STEO vs. weekly C+C production estimates (kb/d)

      • AlexS says:

        U.S. excl. Alaska

    • Dennis Coyne says:

      Hi AlexS,

      The Monthly energy review uses the 4 week average output from the weekly reports for its last two months, those weekly numbers are pretty rough estimates, the STEO estimates are also very rough, reality will likely be somewhere between the blue and red lines in your chart.

      Edit:

      I missed AlexS’s comment that he thinks the STEO might be low. I agree completely.

      • AlexS says:

        “The Monthly energy review uses the 4 week average output from the weekly reports for its last two months”
        Not exactly, but these numbers are indeed very close.
        Unfortunately, we will know more or less real numbers only a few months from now, when they will be less relevant for understanding the market trends

  30. ezrydermike says:

    Will Renewables Replace Fossil Fuels?

    1 September 2015By energy

    Renewable energy development has taken off in the United States over the past decade. Solar, wind, and other renewable technologies are projected to continue to grow rapidly. But renewables still have a long way to go to replace oil, coal, and natural gas as primary sources of energy. What will it take to reach that threshold and what obstacles and limits do we need to understand as we transition to a truly sustainable energy economy?

    We’ll examine these and other key questions regarding the outlook for renewable energy and what it means for America’s future.

    Guests:
    •Mark Jacobson – professor of civil and environmental engineering, Stanford University; senior fellow, Precourt Institute for Energy; co-author, A Plan to Power 100 Percent of the Planet with Renewables

    •David Blittersdorf – president & CEO, AllEarth Renewables; founder, NRG Systems

    •Tom Murphy – professor of physics, University of California, San Diego; creator, Do the Math , a blog about assessing energy options

    https://energyx.org/will-renewables-replace-fossil-fuels/

  31. Boomer II says:

    Another good Shell article. While some conservatives are trying to blame regulations for the death of the project, the industry itself is saying lack of oil is the reason.

    I am irritated the conservatives are placing blame in the wrong places, thus not correctly dealing with the problem, but I suppose it also means that even if regulations were loosened, economics aren’t in favor of drilling.

    As I have said before, while environmentalists may not always be able to stop certain projects, the economics may do so anyway. That’s what I see with the fracking battle in areas that don’t want it. If you aren’t sure oil and gas developments are sustainable, and they conflict with other land uses, then maybe you’ll think twice before favoring drilling over agriculture, tourism, and housing developments.

    Royal Dutch Shell suspends Arctic drilling indefinitely – The Washington Post: He said that though the company only completed one well, he said that it was the best prospect Shell had. “If you wanted to make a bet on one horse, this was the horse in for the money,” he said. “This was the best candidate.” In the 1990s, five wells were drilled in the area and abandoned after yielding natural gas, but by early 2008 oil prices had soared and Shell had taken another look at the seismic data.

    • WeekendPeak says:

      In the meanwhile Shell has a dividend of about 8.1% or so but it’s not clear that they have the cash to actually make the payment. They may have to either sell assets or borrow money to make the payments. they’ve been paying dividends since forever so if van Beurden cuts the dividend it likely would not be well received.

      rgds
      WP

      • Arceus says:

        Cutting the dividend would not be well received, you say? That might be a bit of an understatement.

        It’s looking somewhat likely they will, in fact, have to cut at some point, and would not be surprised to see the stock drop 20% the day they announce. And unfortunately, that drop will likely be the least of their worries.

        • WeekendPeak says:

          Agree, and borrowing money to pay dividends with a steadily falling stock price, a 26% replacement ratio also is problematic. Perhaps not quite a death spiral but not exactly what investors want to see. It may make sense for them to at some point split the melting ice cube part of the business (exploration etc.) from the refining/LNG businesses.

          Rgds WP

  32. WeekendPeak says:

    KSA withdrawing billions to plug deficit and finance war.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-09-28/saudi-arabia-has-withdrawn-billions-from-markets-estimates-show

    it’s probably a bit like their oil reserves – they may have a lot of assets but they’re not limitless. Just SAMA has about 670bn so they can sell for quite a while.
    What the selling tells us though is that net cash flow from overseas sales is not sufficient. Hello Jeffrey!

    rgds
    WP

  33. MarbleZeppelin says:

    Ever wonder where oil tankers went to die?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_8wCecMTbRQ

    At least they get recycled, into what I don’t know, but I did notice the workers were quite thin and did not look at all well off for doing all that dangerous work. The bosses seem well off. A good source of steel for Pakistan.

  34. Watcher says:

    Re Shell — my recall is this leaves the Kara Sea as the world’s ONLY Arctic exploration venue? And it’s on hold?

  35. old Farmer Mac says:

    We hear a lot about Tar Heels being redneck conservatives but NC is a leader in deployed large scale pv and may well soon be a leader in wind as well.

    The state seems eager to embrace whatever business may come its way, and if it comes with a good environmental report card, so much the better.

    There is a MASSIVE sport fishing industry in coastal waters, and it has not escaped the notice of the fishing industry that inshore wind farms are apt to have a substantial POSITIVE impact on sport fishing, given that artificial reefs have worked so well. The foundations of wind turbines are expected to serve well as habitat for sports fish species.

    http://www.newsobserver.com/opinion/op-ed/article36853989.html

    This paper is one of the more influential ones in NC.

    Now some very rich people up north are supposedly all in favor of looking after the environment, but perfectly willing to look like the world’s biggest hypocrites when it comes to having a few turbines way out barely visible on the horizon from THEIR eight figure vacation homes.

    Something tells me this calculus will not apply in NC. I have spent a bit of time here and there on the beaches , and watching the occasional ship pass ENHANCED the experience from my pov.

    Ya just don’t pay for a room on the water front and HUNT for blanket space on a public beach if you are out for a WILDERNESS experience, lol.

    I do not think the typical person who vacations on a NC beach is going to give a shit if he or she can see a wind turbine – or a hundred of them- just barely visible on the horizon.

    The local tourism industry will probably ADVERTISE any wind farm within sight of shore – and make sure some of the juice is used right on the water front.

  36. Longtimber says:

    NC is one of the 31 states that has an RPS. So the energy has to come from somewhere. Best not to export dollars and invest in state.
    http://www.strata.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/FINAL-RPS-North-Carolina.pdf
    http://programs.dsireusa.org/system/program?state=NC

  37. Ronald Walter says:

    Caterpillar, CAT, is at 63.79 USD, has a high of 107, down 44 dollars per share. From Nov of 2008 to March of 2009 Caterpillar fell to about 28 dollars and John Deere was under 25 dollars for a spell. John Deere is under 74 USD today. MMM was around 55 at that time, it was the end all hell was going to break lose, it was really, really scary.

    Back then the Dow Jones was a weak 6500. When Wall Street was broke and was on Capitol Hill begging for money, the stock market was looking grim, everything was wrong. Goldman Sachs doing God’s Work couldn’t get it right, they were about 47 USD per share or somewhere in there too.

    It just might be deja vu all over again.

    STO is under 14 dollars. Will Statoil be forced to cut the dividend on those 3.19 billion shares because it is losing 1.45 per share? They must have a lot of money in the bank to pay out more than 600 million in dividends every quarter, uff da.

    Didn’t use a thimbleful of gas today, needed electricity though, all day long.

    Buy utility stocks, people want electricity all of the time.

    • Watcher says:

      Utility stocks are priced at the mercy of prevailing interest rates. They are not a bunker to hide in.

  38. Boomer II says:

    I’m surprised that there isn’t more discussion of the Shell situation among our comments here. I seem to be posting the most about it.

    Shell to Cease Oil Exploration in Alaskan Arctic After Disappointing Drilling Season – WSJ: Shell had hoped that its best prospect, a drilling area called Burger-J, would prove the region’s huge potential. Instead, the field became one of the industry’s most expensive dry holes. Shell put the balance-sheet value of its offshore Alaska holdings at $3 billion, with a further $1.1 billion of future contractual commitments. That could translate into big write-downs when the company reports its third-quarter earnings, due Oct. 29.

    • Arceus says:

      I think the decision is a no-brainer for Shell in the current environment ($44 oil). Shell has already spent $5 billion or so on the project, and is in no position to continue burning that kind of money. Drilling in the Arctic s a very high-risk gamble, and Shell has had multiple problems with this venture already. My guess is there is likely oil in the Alaskan arctic, but that it will be too expensive to ever be accessed.

    • Toolpush says:

      Boomer,

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_petroleum_industry_in_Canada_(frontier_exploration_and_development)

      Alaska has a history or big expensive wells, that come up dry, or produce water!

      Across the International border, a well drilled in the US sector of the Beaufort – Mukluk by name – cost $1.5 billion, and came up dry.

      And this was in 1982!!

      The Shell Alaska campaign has been a disaster from day one. choosing the rigs they did was a total mystery. I have it on good authority, they were not the original picks, but understand the new CO2 rules penalizes the use of Dynamic positioned rigs. So instead of using a new state of the art drill ship, they used a 1960’s converted bulk carrier, that has been sold through half dozen companies in its time.
      In some ways, not finding any commercial oil, allows Shell to close the book on a sad chapter of its history.

      I see this a more of a problem for the operators of the TAPS pipeline, as i am sure they were counting of new oil supplies from Shell, to keep oil flowing a little longer.

      • Boomer II says:

        I see this a more of a problem for the operators of the TAPS pipeline, as i am sure they were counting of new oil supplies from Shell, to keep oil flowing a little longer.

        Yes, I was wondering about that. Does Alaska now have to face the fact that its oil bonanza is coming to an end and the state needs to find income beyond oil?

        • Boomer II says:

          I was also thinking about many of the environmental battles I remember over my lifetime. I seems that resource-based communities fight any attempts to regulate or control their resources, but then left to their own preferences, they use up those resources to such an extent they no longer have sufficient income from those industries.

          Lumber, fishing, and oil come to mind.

          Perhaps coal fits into this. And perhaps farming does, if you include running aquifers dry.

    • Anon says:

      This writes off North American Arctic production from any Peak discussion. Even if Shell changed their mind two years from now AND hit paydirt AND got environmental clearances AND solved all the logistical problems on paper, it’s easily another 15 years to bring something big online up there. Prudhoe Bay was 10, don’t forget.

      20 years out? Are you kidding me? Irrelevant.

  39. Heinrich Leopold says:

    50 years Fight for Market Share

    In 1969 the US had an almost 25% share of the oil market (see below picture). From 1969 to 1974 Saudia Arabia increased its market share aggressively and the US lost a large share of the market. The increased market share gave Saudi Arabia more power over the market and it could use oil as a political weapon in the seventies. However, in defense of high oil prices Saudi Arabia lost half of its market share in 1984. In the following ten years, Saudi Arabia increased its market share again through flooding the oil market in the eighties. During this time it was actually Saudi Arabia (and not President Reagan) who brought down the Soviet Empire through low oil prices. In the meantime the US lost constantly market share to a record low of just 7% until 2004. The shale industry then doubled again the market share of the US through an aggressive expansion of oil production until 2014. Nevertheless, Saudi Arabia started again a fight for market share in late 2014. Goldman Sachs estimates that we will have again a decade long fight for market share. In my view it will take much less time, as shale is a high cost source of oil and Saudi Arabia has probably not that much spare capacity to sustain a decade long fight for market share.

    • Enno Peters says:

      Can someone explain to me what the benefit is of having a large “market share” in a commodity market like oil? What kind of power can be achieved? Obviously not the power to set prices.
      In such a market, I don’t see any benefit of achieving market share by itself. I belief each actor is just trying to optimize his own long term profits, irregardless of his own market share, or that of others. The result may be an increase or decrease in market share, but it is a consequence, not an objective. Therefore, I think all the stories about oil producers and market share are seriously flawed.

      • Heinrich Leopold says:

        Enno Peters,

        It is a common business practice to reach first market share and than exert pricing power. The goal is to drive out high cost competitors and in the ideal case to gain a monopoly. In many cases this is not possible, yet any business would like to be in such position. Microsoft and Intel did it, Google and Amazon try it, in the case of diamonds we nearly have a monopoly…… So market share is important to have pricing power. It is not as simple in the oil market, yet Saudi does for sure not want to repeat the situation of 1974 to 1984 when it lost over half of the market (and also revenue). And pricing power is the main issue for OPEC. What other reason would be there for OPEC other than market share and pricing power?

        • Enno Peters says:

          Heinrich Leopold,

          Microsoft, Intel, Google and Amazon are all not in the commodity business. They are in markets where you can create a durable competitive advantage, and where moving first can create significant barriers for others. There is no durable competitive advantage in the oil business, except cost.

          If cost is the only factor, which benefit does market share has? No OPEC member wants to cut, as their extraction costs are still lower than the current oil price. They are simply maximizing profit, gaining market share as a consequence.

          Can you show me a case where an actor in the oil market went for market share, at the expense of profit?

          • Heinrich Leopold says:

            Enno,

            It has been exactly in the period of 1984 to 1998, when Saudi Arabia gave up its policy of price fixing towards a higher market share and lower profits. The goal is to drive out competitors and gain more profits in the future. Today Saudi Arabia is doing exactly the same.

            • Enno Peters says:

              So you think KSA gave up profits, for market share during that period?

              I think it is a false dilemma: KSA realized it would get less profits, if it cut unilaterally, as extra supply would come from elsewhere to benefit from the higher price. Total revenues (and more importantly, profit) would be down.

              Then as now, KSA just did not have the power to increase price, while maintaining the same profit. So they choose to act like any other profit-maximizing actor, and that is to produce as much as possible above the variable cost. Nice consequences are hurting other high-cost suppliers, and Iran.

              • Watcher says:

                Won’t belabor the supply/demand skepticism, but given Libya is shut in, and Iran is coming online, who would have believed what we’ve seen in price?

                And let me re-iterate the Saudi official’s quote about market share. “Shale is a blessing. Not a threat. We don’t compete with shale. It is very light oil. Our oil is medium and heavy. We export little to the US, who is shale oil’s only customer. ”

                The only market share issue for KSA is Asia.

      • old Farmer Mac says:

        IF a company or a country’s market share of a given commodity is large enough, it does have pricing power- at least in the short to medium term.

        The classic textbook case was steel in the USA at one time. USS was so dominant in the market you could not sell your steel for MORE – there was no need for any customer to pay you MORE.

        BUT otoh, there was no need to sell it for more than a fraction of a cent LESS either. Everybody got the same price- USS had pricing power.

        Domination of the oil commodity market in terms of price would appear to be impossible nowadays except in the short term in my estimation. I don’t believe the Saudis or anybody else has the reserves and the capacity to keep oil prices down very long- in historical terms- although it does seem very possible that any of the three biggest producers could CUT production and force the price up quite a bit.

        But concerted action has not worked ( CHEATING by the rest of OPEC )and the Saudis are not going to go it alone again.

        The Russians are not going to go it alone.

        There is no possibility that the USA will have a POLICY of limiting production.

        Any country with a big chunk of any essential commodity can use that market share as a weapon in case of war and a stack of gold chips at the economic bargaining table when negotiating business deals with other countries.

        Russia for instance would rather risk going broke ( will not happen for a long time ! ) due to the current low price of oil – rather than cut production and serve HARD NOTICE to Russian customers who are real past and future day potential enemies that Russia has their economic balls in a Russian iron fist.

        The faster the transition to renewables the greater the erosion of Russian power. A Russian engineered oil supply crisis would be an ENORMOUS Pearl Harbor Wake Up Brick upside the head of the rest of the world. The Russians do not wish for the world to wake up any sooner than necessary.

        So long as western Europe is dependent on Russian energy and maybe other Russian minerals and raw materials, Putin and company can pretty much do as they please. Nobody is going to invade Russia and nobody is going to impose any sanctions that REALLY hurt Russia.

        Russia has her every national enemy, real or potential, by the balls, due to her share of the oil and gas market.

        Any second looney will tell you the same.

        Of course this analysis is applicable only to the short and medium term. Long term, oil and gas are going away from us if we don’t go away from oil and gas.

        Depletion never sleeps.

        But being a realist, I expect the world to be dependent on oil and gas until both become so scarce as to be basically unaffordable. That time is probably thirty or forty years down the road.

        We hear all the bullshit about two hundred dollar oil breaking the back of the economy – and it WOULD- short term or medium term. But oil has extraordinary utility at any price in smaller quantities. Twenty dollar diesel fuel is a world class bargain burned in big truck hauling potatoes from the farm to the city compared to hauling them on horse drawn wagons or moving the city dwellers out to the deep country where they can starve trying to grow their own potatoes. Yes rail will work – but roads already go everywhere and rail does not and may never.

        Oil will go to two hundred plus in present day money. Eventually. Barring overshoot destroying the world economy SOONER.

        For now it would pay reckless politicians to remember that Russia is essentially immune to any military action and that Russia has the economy of just about every important country in the world by the balls in an iron Russian ifist. So far-Russia has never SQUEEZED.

        For now it is in Russian interests to maintain the rep of being a nice reasonable and dependable source of supply. They will occasionally turn off the gas and maybe the oil to some smaller inconsequential customer in order to force payment on Russian terms- and to not so subtly remind her traditional enemies ( basically the NATO countries) that they CAN turn off the taps. ANYTIME they please.

        Putin and company are NOT western political wimps.

        They came up thru a basically totalitarian system and they believe in power. They have it in certain respects. Not enough to invade very many nearby countries, not enough to dominate international trade like China , or finance like the USA.

        But enough for Russia to do pretty much as the Russians please otherwise.

        In light of these observations , it is obvious why market share in oil and gas is absolutely critical in economic and historical terms.

        • Enno Peters says:

          OFM, your posts are too long for me. Sometimes “less is more” 🙂

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          Hi Old Farmer Mac,

          This does not explain why either Saudi Arabia or Russia (or both) wouldn’t cut a little (maybe 1 Mb/d) to drive prices up a little (to $65/b say). This would benefit their economy. This is easier for KSA as they control output directly, but Putin could accomplish this with higher tax rates on the oil industry or control over drilling permits.

          • old Farmer Mac says:

            Hi Dennis,

            You have a good point. But what they are able to do and what they WILL do may be two different things.

            It seems likely to me that such decisions are made by committees in both countries.

            An elephant is a mouse built to committee specs.

            • Fred Magyar says:

              An elephant is a mouse hyrax built to committee specs 🙂

              • old Farmer Mac says:

                Well maybe if the committee is a very small one and has a very limited budget. 😉

                There are more factors involved that market share and profit when countries such as S A and Russia make production decisions.

                Both countries probably feel compelled to play hard ball for as long as they can hold out.

                I doubt any banker in the world would sniff at the Saudi’s collateral and credit report but Russia is on Uncle Sam’s shit list and may have a hard time before too long maintaining production- unless PUTIN can ramp up production at home of some necessary spare parts and new equipment, or maybe buy it from some other heavily industrialized country willing to give UNCLE the long finger.

                I wonder if the Chinese are able to make the necessary stuff. If they can’t NOW I bet they will be able too before much longer.

                The Russians have built a hell of a lot of truly sophisticated heavy stuff ranging from nuclear subs to space going vehicles and military gear as good or close to as good as any in the world.

                If they put their minds to it , they can probably build damn near anything if they HAVE to.

                This is not a pissing match from Putin’s pov.

                It’s a struggle of superpower status.

        • old Farmer Mac says:

          Hi Enno,

          I AM long winded, but being stuck in the house for now I can afford to be.

          Some people have the necessary background to understand such issues.

          A lot of people don’t.

          Short answers are for people who are not REALLY interested in understanding complicated questions.

          Sound bites are for simpletons.

          All I can say by way of apology – sort of- is that you are free to just scroll right on past any thing I post.

          If there is anything wrong with my reasoning , or if I have any facts wrong, I hope somebody will point out my errors.

          I would rather not include them in my book- assuming I ever finish it. 😉

      • Arceus says:

        Enno, I believe you are correct. In this case, it would seem that it makes little sense for KSA to fight for market share when their oil production by many accounts is running at full capacity AND their oil resources have likely peaked.

        There are a few situations where pumping all out or to “increase market share” would make sense for them.

        1. They expect the demand for oil to decrease in the coming years
        2. KSA believes the price point of $70 barrel will create new competitors primary or secondary
        3. They are doing this for unknown strategic reasons i.e. to stem the influence of Iran
        4. The Saudi elites feel they will not be in power much longer

        • Enno Peters says:

          Arceus,

          I don’t think you should equate “pumping all out” with “increasing market share. Pumping all out is what all producers seem to be currently doing, and for those producers where the current oil price is still above the variable cost, this is fully consistent with the aim of profit maximization.

          Only if oil is produced at a loss, there may be a specific aim for market share. The only current producers that operate at a loss I see are cases where shutting production down would cost even more (e.g. oil sands), or where management still has incentives to increase production despite the loss for creditors/owners (LTO). No aim for market share is involved.

          • Dennis Coyne says:

            Hi Enno,

            I agree that fighting for market share is silly for oil. Probably OPEC could cut and everybody would be better off. The problem is that there has been lack of discipline in OPEC and the agreed cuts are only followed by a few members of OPEC (usually KSA, Kuwait, UAE.) Saudi Arabia has tired of being the primary OPEC country that makes such cuts and is trying to make the other OPEC members suffer with low prices. At the next meeting KSA may tell the other OPEC members that if every member cuts by 5%, that they will do so, any cheating will end the deal (exceptions might be made for Libya, Iran, Iraq, and Venezuela).

            • Heinrich Leopold says:

              Dennis,

              Now you are saying just the opposite of Enno Peters. He says that it is not possible to influence the price over market share. And you are saying if OPEC cuts, the price would go up. OPEC is just in the position to influence the price, because it has a high market share. Or would you say that e.g. Columbia (market share less than 1 %) could bring up the price by cutting its production by 20%?

              • Enno Peters says:

                “He says that it is not possible to influence the price over market share.”

                I didn’t say that. I say it is not the direct objective of any individual producer. Profit is. Market share is the consequence.

                As a collective, the market share of OPEC does allow them some influence over prices. That doesn’t mean that any individual producer benefits from increasing his market share by itself, other than the related increase in revenue and profit.

                There are many industries where market share is an important objective, for example the aircraft industry. If Boeing would get too large a market share, Airbus would not be able to compete anymore, as it can’t maintain the same level of R&D spending. No such factors apply significantly to the oil industry.

                • Dennis Coyne says:

                  Hi Enno,

                  I agree with you that Saudi Arabia or OPEC driving down prices to increase market share seems to not make sense from an economics perspective. In fact they would increase their profits by restricting output by 1 Mb/d.

                  Heinrich’s reasoning that market share is important if a country wants to influence market prices, but an increase in market share by Saudi Arabia or OPEC is not necessary to accomplish this.

                  The best explanation (offered by Ron and others) is that the Saudis are tired of being the main OPEC nation that cuts back to raise prices, they want the pain to be shared. I think most OPEC members will be willing to cut in December if that is what the Saudis demand.

                  • Ves says:

                    Hi Dennis,
                    Why should other OPEC members that are profitable with current price be willing to cut now then a year ago? It is not in their interest.

          • Arceus says:

            I used “pumping all out” along with “increased market share” as that was the reason stated by KSA in explaining their decision to increase production in the teeth of a downturn in oil pricing.

            And obviously, their decision had nothing to do with “profit maximization.”

            Profit maximization would be achieved with a higher oil price, and KSA was clearly talking down the price of oil on a regular basis throughout the downturn so it’s safe to assume that profit maximization was not their goal – and neither was market share. Markets do not always behave rationally, of course.

            • Enno Peters says:

              “Profit maximization would be achieved with a higher oil price”

              Of course. It’s just that KSA doesn’t have the power to increase the oil price, while maintaining the same profit. There wasn’t sufficient support from other OPEC members/Russia to join in a cut, so the cost would have to be borne by KSA. Why would they want to turn that profit over to others? Therefore, it is a false dilemma: it was not really a choice available to them.

              This may change if production in the US & Canada declines further, and there is more willingness from actors other than KSA to join in production cuts. Too many OPEC members originally expected only KSA to act.

              “Talking the price down” doesn’t have much effect on the current price (as it doesn’t change demand and supply). The main benefit is that it may reduce further capital from investors into the market.

          • Ves says:

            Enno,
            Do you really expect that Bloomberg readers should be scared that there is asymmetrical warfare going on 🙂
            Fighting for market share – on the other hand is fuzzy, soft, it means anything to anybody. Perfect.

      • sunnnv says:

        I was going to say I was also a bit dubious of the “it’s only quest for market share” argument, because I wonder about the political power angle.

        But when I looked at things like:
        * competition with Iran – but this is essentially market share, at least in the form of starve your political competitors. They must have had a good idea that a deal with Iran was coming, and the LTO boom just provided the excuse.
        * competition with other OPEC, since they routinely cheat on quotas – this is totally market share. They’ve seen this in times past, and again, LTO boom -> temporary oil glut, but they won’t be fooled again. Youse guys want to make us Saudis suffer, well, we’ll see how long you can play this game.

        And of note:
        * competition for quotas to produce vs. leave in the ground fossil fuels.
        To meet 2 degrees C climate goals, 82% of existing fossil fuel reserves must be left underground.
        http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/jan/07/much-worlds-fossil-fuel-reserve-must-stay-buried-prevent-climate-change-study-says
        Given that those reserves are on some company/state’s books with some financial value, this would be a huge write off. Something in the range of 28 Trillion dollars!
        So who “gets to” commit financial suicide?
        Likely those with booked reserves, but NOT currently producing them.
        The corollary, who “gets to” avoid the worst of this?
        Those who ARE currently producing fossil fuels, particularly “developing nations”.
        And how would the cuts be allocated, say at some world climate meeting (like, say Paris Nov 2015 ?)?
        Likely a major factor would be – MARKET SHARE.

        Also, while Tesla is currently small beans, they are on the model T growth curve,
        http://cleantechnica.com/2015/08/12/tesla-on-sales-path-of-ford-model-t-sort-of/

        and other renewables are impacting fossil fuels (RWE spin off, etc.), so who is going to benefit from the remaining fossil fuel industry? Them that has market share during the transition period (which is essentially “now”).

        None of these are “market share” as is typical in a business school scenario of competition/monopoly/etc. with a strict financial motive, but I realized that having market share can be of value for reasons other than money.

  40. WeekendPeak says:

    Man camps in trouble:
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-09-29/man-camp-exodus-spurs-real-estate-crisis-across-u-s-shale-towns
    Almost exactly a year ago I had a meeting with a developer in that area who was looking to build almost an entire town (600+ houses, schools, stores, the works) and I mentioned the reliance on oil prices. His response was that although initially that was true, there were so many people there now that it housing needs/the economy was starting to feed on itself and that it was no longer reliant on oil.
    Oh well….

    Rgds
    WP

  41. Jeffrey J. Brown says:

    A column by a US Senator, on Foxnews.com:

    It’s time to unleash the power of American oil

    http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2015/09/28/its-time-to-unleash-power-american-oil.html

    President Obama is scheduled to meet this week with Vladimir Putin in New York. The president plans to discuss Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and its military support of the Assad regime in Syria.

    Putin is a bully. He only understands force. That force can come just as effectively from a barrel of oil as from the barrel of a gun. President Obama should back up his talk by unleashing the power of American oil to compel Russia’s cooperation.

    American energy is a master resource, a powerful tool that could be used against belligerent nations like Russia and Iran. President Obama has been far too eager to reject that tool or trade it away. 

    Since the 1970s, there have been tight restrictions on U.S. oil exports. Most of what we export goes to Canada. Yet American exports could quadruple if the law allowed it. . . .

    Energy can be deployed to restrain the ambitions of our enemies and support our allies around the world. Today, Poland gets 96 percent of its oil from Russia. Belgium gets 60 percent of its oil from Russia and Saudi Arabia. Japan gets 75 percent from Russia and the Middle East. When these countries are negotiating to buy more oil, why wouldn’t we want to give them the option of American oil as an alternative?

    My comment:

    As of last year the US was still a net natural gas importer, and we remain a large net oil importer.  

    Based on the most recent four week running average EIA data, the US was reliant on net crude oil imports for 42% (6.9 MMBPD) of the Crude + Condensate processed daily in US refineries.  On a total liquids basis, recent US net liquids imports (accounting for biofuels production and product exports) were 5.2 MMBPD.

    I remain puzzled as to how exports from a net oil importer are supposed to have a material impact on global oil markets.

    • Arceus says:

      Just wow. To see a Senator make such marks (approved by aides no less) is simply stunning. Do they not realize the feeble state of U.S. oil and at these prices we might be importing oil from Russia in the coming years?

      • Jeffrey J. Brown says:

        I’ve previously suggested that the US could cut Western Europe’s reliance on Russian crude oil if the US exported 2 MMBPD of crude oil to Western Europe, offset by the US importing 2 MMBPD of crude oil from Russia. Problem solved!

      • AlexS says:

        “To see a Senator make such marks is simply stunning”

        He is just lobbying to ease the export ban

        “at these prices we might be importing oil from Russia in the coming years”

        US imports of oil and petroleum products from Russia
        (source: EIA)

        • Ves says:

          “He is just lobbying to ease the export ban”

          Yes. Classic lobbying. When you make your Fear sandwich spread it thick 🙂
          Idea is to lift WTI price few bucks more in line with Brent. At this point even Brent price look like nirvana state for NA producers.

    • Boomer II says:

      I haven’t yet read the article or looked at any comments on it.

      So how will that play with American consumers?

      “We’re exporting oil, so you’ll pay more for gasoline, but hey, we’re helping our allies overseas.”

    • HVACman says:

      “Our self-imposed limit gives Russia an added advantage to use oil to fund its aggression.”

      The esteemed Senator makes his key logical error in this statement, He confuses a voluntary legal limitation (the export ban) with a very-involuntary geological one (not enough left to export), leading his argument to completely irrational conclusions. But Russia does not confuse the difference. They fully realize that there is no way for the US to “legislate” the return of her once-healthy, productive, low-cost conventional oil reservoirs. They deduct rational conclusions from the actual facts. And they press that advantage.

      • old Farmer Mac says:

        The likeliest explanation is that this particular senator is not worried about looking like a fool on the national and world stage but has good reasons to talk like one. His reelection may depend on contributions from certain backers with deep pockets who like to hear this sort of bullshit. We had one good D congressman in my end of the state of Va who was defeated last election cycle by his opponent who used the simple tactic of running against the OBUMBLER rather than the D congressman.

        It is not often that a politician loses an election in this country by overestimating the stupidity of the typical voter..

        Of course he might actually be as stupid as he sounds, but if so it is HARD to see how he ever got to be a senator. It takes a LITTLE BIT of brains to cut the necessary political deals to get elected.

    • Typical hyper aggressive American neocon making noise for public consumption. Right now Putin is playing chess, and has a defensive posture.

  42. AlexS says:

    So far, less pain than feared as U.S. shale firms renew loans

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/09/29/us-oil-usa-banking-idUSKCN0RT0BR20150929

    A number of U.S. shale oil and gas companies are securing unchanged or even increased credit allotments during their semi-annual loan reviews, defying expectations that banks would slash small firms’ credit lines in response to low crude prices.
    According to a Reuters review of disclosures made by 19 independent U.S. shale oil and gas companies since Aug. 1, at least 11 have said their borrowing bases have been or will be maintained or increased. In contrast, just five talked about cuts.
    It is too early to tell if the whole sector will emerge equally largely unscathed from the reviews. Many more companies from a batch of about 60 U.S. independents typically tracked by investment banks will probably make disclosures after the usual loan reset deadline of Oct. 1.
    But outcomes so far suggest an expected pullback by banks may be far less severe than many in the industry have feared.
    ……………………………………………

    • Ves says:

      ” as U.S. shale firms renew loans”

      It’s all peachy 🙂

    • Cracker says:

      AlexS,

      Thanks very much for your reasoned contributions to this site.

      I’m not surprised by this news. Banks must also show perpetual growth in the BAU world, and loans are assets. Right now, a bad loan is better than no loan from the bank’s perspective.

      Where else could they create assets/loans to offset the decline? Who would borrow the money at the lucrative interest rates charged to LTO? Probably few prospects for replacing the assets, and lower interest from better risks would hurt bank revenues. The banks probably feel they have no choice as they are now trapped in lending to LTO.

      Probably better to LCS (lie, cheat, steal) to try and hang on to what they think they have now.

      Extend and Pretend. Use Other Peoples Money. LCS. The new banking normal.

      One of the things I enjoy most about having paid off my mortgage is knowing that I took away a blue chip asset the bank had retained and leveraged something like 70 times. My little whack at global banking/thievery… Not with my money, not if I can prevent it…

      Jim

      • AlexS says:

        Cracker,
        I agree with you that banks are not interested in cutting credit lines for shale operators. And I think that loan redetermination in October will not be too painful for oil companies. But the banks have considerably cut NEW lending to the U.S. E&Ps.

    • Watcher says:

      This article is not consistent with the quote from the head of some energy finance coalition demanding a relaxation of rules defining lending.

      “We think the regulators are wrong about this. These are good loans with a solid history of repayment.”

      That quote would not have existed if a problem was not seen.

      • AlexS says:

        Watcher,

        The problem is real, but all interested parties (LTO producers, banks, other financial institutions, state governments, regulators and all kind of analysts and experts from the EIA, IEA, IHS, investment banks, etc.) will be hiding it as long as possible

  43. Longtimber says:

    Colleague from NOLA just sent me this flick – Macondo blowout corexit battle :
    http://prettyslickthemovie.com
    “Since there are no long-term environmental impact studies for the use of Corexit in these amounts or in this manor, the EPA and the Coast Guard responded to public pressure and issued a directive, on May 25th, to eliminate the use of surface dispersants, except in rare cases, however BP found ways to circumvent this directive.”
    Seems better exposed to UV on the beach and floating than suspended on the Gulf Floor?? Mother Nature likely knew best.

  44. Longtimber says:

    “n a rather interesting development, however, the EV market now has a most unlikely backer – Russia. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev signed an order on August 27 which states that all the Russian gas stations would have to equip their premises with EV charging stations by November 1, 2016.”

    Central Planing? Even a 5-10 year plan would be monumental. Took decades for liquid infrastructure. Putin gets ELM and needs the Oil weapon for Export use ??

    http://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/EV-Market-Has-An-Unlikely-Backer.html

    • How much does a charging station cost? $10,000 USD?

      • old Farmer Mac says:

        I don’t have an electric yet but I put in a 240 volt sixty amp capacity outside outlet in the carport nearest my house for under two hundred bucks. I DID do the job myself except for hiring a laborer to dig a short ditch in a tight spot not accessible to my backhoe. I use it to plug up a welder occasionally when I want use it outside in really hot weather.

        If you have a house with a satisfactory service drop and decent wiring, a couple of guys should be able to install an outside weather proof outlet to plug up ( if your car has a built in charger) in a day in most cases and in a couple of days almost every time. In the USA depending on local contractors rates this would run from less than a thousand bucks to maybe three or four times that in some places where the electricians make as much as doctors and lawyers. You still have to have a driveway at least- putting anything other than maybe a mail box on the public right of way is a big no no.

        A MULTI CAR high capacity fast charging station would run into six figures in most places.First off you would have to locate it where there is sufficient spare capacity on the local grid, then where the traffic density is high enough for it to get used by the relative handful of electrics on the road, and then pay for engineering and permits and contractors.

        It is hard to see how you could get by with less than a couple of thousand square feet and more likely twice that and the land alone in a suitable spot would probably be worth a lot of money, at least in most places in the USA- very near major highways, easy access, AT or VERY NEAR relatively upscale restaurants hotels shopping etc.

        Of course the land lord might WANT a charging station in order to enhance his prestige and attract customers able to afford six figure cars. In that case… he might even pay part of the cost of installing the equipment.

        In ten years I expect to see coin and card paid charging stations at a lot of department stores, supermarkets, and big box stores as well as some busy fast food restaurants near major highway interchanges where they can sell a traveler a quick charge while eating.

      • Fred Magyar says:

        No, it costs about the same as a regular gas station pump.

        On Alibaba:
        Charging station, with digital locker system, network digital signage APC-06B
        US $600-2500 / Set ( FOB Price) 1 Set (Min. Order)

        CS30 series fuel dispenser oil pump for gas station
        US $1000-2000 / Unit ( FOB Price) 1 Unit (Min. Order)
        Place of Origin: CN;HENBran

        Side note: I was just working on a technical translation for a large global chemical company that produces the material for the high voltage electrical connecters used in EVs and Hybrids. Business is looking good and they will be increasing production.

        OIL based BAU seems to be dying a much quicker death than most people anticipated.

  45. Watcher says:

    Oil impact of Russian sanctions:
    http://maritime-executive.com/editorials/op-ed-the-week-in-review-russia

    Note all this is an op-ed


    The sanctions are creating fears that what is already a humanitarian crisis in the Ukraine will become both a humanitarian and environmental crisis across the region.

    The Barents Observer reports the Russian Ministry of Energy as openly expressing concern about safety, security and progress in offshore development as a result of a lack of spare parts.

    According to the ministry, Russian companies might lack as many as 150,000 components needed for offshore platforms by 2020, the newspaper Kommersant reports. This could compromise safety at existing installations such as those at Sakhalin in the east and the Prirazlomnoye field in the Pechora Sea.

    • They’ll develop their own sparing if needed. Obama and his neocons are shortsighted. If they deny the Russians technology, the Russians will copy it. What doesn’t seem to sink in the heads of the retards playing cold wat in the White House is that Russians see the USA and Germany as invaders and aggressors. They will endure enormous hardships but they won’t bend. This reminds me of Clinton’s idiocy when he bombed Yugoslavia in 1999. He thought it would last three days.

    • Fred Magyar says:

      According to the ministry, Russian companies might lack as many as 150,000 components needed for offshore platforms by 2020, the newspaper Kommersant reports.

      This should create a huge demand for duct tape…

    • AlexS says:

      Sanctions do not apply to existing projects, such as Sakhalin 1 and Sakhalin 2, but only to new projects, including Sakhalin 3 (South Kirinskoye gas and condensate field) and Russia’s Arctic projects. As I said earlier, the only producing offshore field in the Russian Arctic is Prirazlomnoye. New projects will be delayed as a result of low oil prices and sanctions.
      I agree with Fernando that some spare parts can be produced locally; others can be bought in South Korea, Singapore and China.

      • AlexS says:

        From Bloomberg:

        Sanctions, Oil Slump Delay Russian Offshore Drilling 2-3 Years

        http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-09-29/sanctions-oil-slump-delay-russian-offshore-drilling-2-3-years

        Russia’s state-run energy giants Rosneft OJSC and Gazprom PJSC are delaying some offshore drilling by two to three years because of sanctions and weaker oil prices, according to the country’s Ministry of Natural Resources.
        The nation will drill two offshore wells in 2017, down from an original plan for 14, Denis Khramov, deputy minister, said Tuesday at a conference in Russia’s Far East. The delay means 28 wells will be drilled in 2019 instead of 19, he said
        U.S. and European Union sanctions prompted by Russia’s role in the Ukraine crisis have cut access to offshore-drilling technology and equipment, Khramov said.
        Russia’s efforts to tap its offshore resources, which are estimated at 14 billion to 15 billion metric tons of oil equivalent, are lagging other countries, Khramov said. Russia drilled 11 subsea wells last year, compared with 57 in Norway, he said.
        The ministry this year approved drilling delays in eight offshore licenses held by Rosneft and five by Gazprom, according to Khramov.

        • Watcher says:

          From previous thread, for some reason when shale guys start to talk about reducing output to await a higher price that all seems ever so profit pursuing.

          When Russia looks like they will have lower production (hasn’t happened yet, particularly, and sanctions since March 2014) somehow that is never about waiting for higher price.

          The narratives are getting a lot weaker.

          • AlexS says:

            I’m not sure I understand you correctly. But the delay in high-cost Arctic projects is primarily a result of low oil prices, and secondly, of the sanctions. However this will not affect near and medium-term production levels, as all of these projects were scheduled to come onstream in the next decade

            • Toolpush says:

              As for sanctions, I have worked on a Soviet era drillship, built in Finland, with all American equipment. The trick was all the spare parts and drawings, never used one US company part number. The Finnish ship yard, issued their own part numbers, and their own equipment manuals in Russian of course.
              So when the USSR required a spare part, that was under sanctions, they just bought it off the Finnish ship yard, who bought it off the US supplier. Everyone was happy. The Soviets got their parts, the US supplier got their money, the Finnish ship yards got their cut, and most importantly of all, the politicians got the warm fuzzy feeling they were in control. I am sure nobody was interested in telling them the real story.

              In short sanctions are just a rouse, to allow people to beat their chest and look important, while BAU is maintained.

  46. ezrydermike says:

    After nearly two years of delay, Tesla Motors Chief Executive Elon Musk will hand the first of the electric car company’s new Model X crossovers to customers Tuesday night at a ceremony near the company’s Fremont, Calif., factory.

    http://www.latimes.com/business/autos/la-fi-hy-tesla-model-x-20150929-story.html

  47. AlexS says:

    IEA denies its chief predicted $45 oil will last

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/09/29/us-energy-iea-birol-idUSKCN0RT0JQ20150929

    The International Energy Agency (IEA) denied on Tuesday that its chief, Fatih Birol, said in a newspaper interview that he expected the price of crude oil to stay around $45 a barrel “for a long time”, and the paper removed the quote from its online edition.
    Quoting the Reuters translation of a sentence published in Austrian daily Kurier on Tuesday, IEA spokesman Greg Frost said: “He categorically denies having said ‘Forty five dollars a barrel will remain the price for a long time.’”
    The sentence was removed from the version of the article published on Kurier’s website after the IEA denied Birol had said it, according to both Frost and the Kurier journalist who interviewed Birol.
    Elsewhere in the article, when asked whether prices would ever exceed $100 a barrel again, Birol was quoted as saying: “I can only say that the oil price will remain low for some quarters.”
    “Cheap oil is causing oil companies big problems,” Birol said in the interview. “This year, they have reduced their investments by a fifth. Never in the history of these companies has there been an annual reduction as strong as this year.”

  48. ezrydermike says:

    Solar energy becomes a major power player in the Middle East

    Daniel Cusick, E&E reporter
    ClimateWire: Monday, September 28, 2015

    http://www.eenews.net/stories/1060025361

    • longtimber says:

      Another CSP smoke and mirrors image by clueless media.
      Nakin calc.. Standard 330 watt $400 1000v grid tie pv allows exports of a gal diesel every 10 days.

  49. Ronald Walter says:

    The entire world was having all kinds of fun during the Winter Olympics in Sochi, everybody went home feelng good, medals in hand. Soon afterwards, the Russian Army made a triumphant return to Ukraine, much to the dismay of the rest of the world.

    The Russian Army said too bad, we’re going back home too.

    Lots of fussin’ and fightin’ ever since then, but that’s the way it goes moving west, even in Eurasia.

    A lot of energy is wasted on vying for the next day’s supply of oil.

  50. ezrydermike says:

    How much mined material will we need to build a 100-per-cent renewable world? Danny Chivers works it out.

    The problem with wind turbines, solar panels, ground-source heat pumps and electric cars is that they’re all made of stuff. When people like me make grand announcements (and interactive infographics) explaining how we don’t need to burn fossil fuels because fairly shared renewable energy could give everyone on the planet a good quality of life, this is the bit of the story that often gets missed out. We can’t just pull all this sustainable technology out of the air – it’s made from annoyingly solid materials that need to come from somewhere.

    So how much material would we need to transition to a 100-per-cent renewable world? For my new NoNonsense book, Renewable Energy: cleaner, fairer ways to power the planet, I realized I needed to find an answer to this question. It’s irresponsible to advocate a renewably powered planet without being open and honest about what the real-world impacts of such a transition might be.

    In this online article, I make a stab at coming up with an answer – but first I need to lay down a quick proviso. All the numbers in this piece are rough, ball-park figures, that simply aim to give us a sense of the scale of materials we’re talking about. Nothing in this piece is meant to be a vision of the ‘correct’ way to build a 100-per-cent renewably powered world. There is no single path to a clean-energy future; we need a democratic energy transition led by a mass global movement creating solutions to suit people’s specific communities and situations, not some kind of top-down model imposed from above. This article just presents one scenario, with the sole aim of helping us to understand the challenge.

    http://newint.org/blog/2015/08/15/material-requirements/

    • old Farmer Mac says:

      I have read a number of analyses similar to this one. I have no idea who the author may be but he knows some stuff.

      So does aptly named Mr MURPHY who writes the Do the Math blog. He is absolutely on rock solid ground – insofar as WHAT HE HAS TO SAY is concerned.

      What the folks who publish this sort of stuff FAIL to say is equally important AND utterly necessary to any actual understanding of what the future holds.

      Business as usual is a dead man walking. We are going to get by with a minor percentage of our present day per capita energy consumption NO MATTER WHAT within the foreseeable future.

      The population of the world may reach nine billion but it is extremely unlikely to stay so high for very long. Mother Nature has unpleasant ways of reducing populations in overshoot.

      I could go on all day but my point should be clear.

      We are going to downsize and simplify and do without a lot of stuff taken for granted in recent times and we are going to get twice or three times the utility bang out of every btu we can scrape up compared to today.

      We are going to go near naked in front of fans and bundle up in the winter and if we have a car it will most likely be hard wired at the factory so it will not exceed thirty five mph- so as to save fuel. It most likely will weigh less than fifteen hundred pounds and be a pure electric but there will also be some plug in hybrids.

      Wind farms will be as common near cities where the wind is dependable as industrial parks are today.Solar panels will be EVERYWHERE.

      New houses will be so well insulated and so well situated in respect to the sun that hardly any energy at all is needed for heating and cooling.

      Zoning and construction codes will mandate the establishment of fast growing shade trees in places with high summer temperatures. People will migrate away from places with extreme temperatures unless they stick around for some specific purpose.

      We will adapt in countless other ways large and small.

      Life might be pretty good if you are one of the lucky few. Most of us are going to perish and most of the survivors are going to have a pretty tough time of it.

  51. shallow sand says:

    Read an article discussing Trans Alaskan pipeline.

    Got me to thinking, what are long term projections for Alaskan production, given Shell venture has been tabled?

    The Alaska Department of Revenue puts out a publication which shows North Slope OPEX was $18 per barrel and CAPEX was $28 per barrel for FY 2015.

    Would appreciate some informed comment on the state of Alaskan oil production. Seems that it could be under quite a bit of distress. Given the state’s reliance on oil revenue, could be major fiscal problems?

    • Doug Leighton says:

      Hi Shallow,

      I know a couple of guys working on this very issue. Apparently when volumes finally get to the 300,000 bbl/d level they will most likely resort to periodic batch “shipments”. My guess would be that oil will still be coming down the pipe for another decade or so not that guesses count for much. Shell’s failure wasn’t that big a surprise to most of the real oil people. There have been countless holes in the Arctic shelf hoping to discover oil that turned out to be gas, especially on the Canadian side. I was involved in some of this stuff from the seismic side. Shell pulling out is a major blow to Alaska though, no matter how you frame it. Fernando might be the best person here to answer your question.

      • shallow sand says:

        Thanks Doug. I guess I wonder not just about the pipeline issues, but also revenue issues. It appears taxes are calculated after deduction of both CAPEX and OPEX. If the figures I cite are close to accurate, it would appear tax revenues may almost disappear.

        • Ves says:

          Hi Shallow,
          To know how things are dire economically worldwide is just the fact when Alaskan officials (after oil search bust that they probably knew for quite awhile) are scrambling to upsell their LNG prospects , which are not even on a drawing board, to the broke Japanese who were still in bewilderment when they saw the price tag for previously offered Russian LNG gas that is significantly cheaper and closer and with already built infrastructure then imaginary Alaskan LNG gas. So as result, Japanese promptly re-fired nuclear stations with all known risks. So that just shows you that we are collectively blowing fumes right now in terms of any future economic activity.

          • shallow sand says:

            Do not forget the leak issues BP had at Prudhoe Bay in 2006 which caused a shut down for several months.

            Given low prices, think enough attention is being paid to maintenance there? After all, that was ten years ago., almost. Ancient history.

            • shallow sand says:

              I did some more reading. Didnt realize that in 2014 North Slope had a record 17 rigs running. Also didn’t realize that each well adds 700-1000 bopd and that wells are typically vertical wells about 9,500′ deep.

              Also didn’t realize that the United Steel workers up there have been complaining about lack of facility upgrades for years.

              We focus on US shale so much, wonder what is happening to world wide conventional drilling and infrastructure as a result of the oil price collapse?

        • AlexS says:

          shallow sand,

          here is a recent article from Platts:

          Producers breathe new life into Alaska’s Prudhoe Bay: At the Wellhead

          http://blogs.platts.com/2015/09/21/prudhoe-bay-oil-producers/

          Alaska’s Prudhoe Bay producers are using innovating production and drilling techniques—some invented or first applied on the North Slope—to boost ultimate expected recovery rates.
          Producers had originally estimated a 40% recovery rate when Prudhoe was first discovered in 1968. But now they estimate a 60% recovery, or as much as 14.1 to 14.2 billion barrels.
          Gas re-injection for pressure maintenance and a miscible injectant made with natural gas liquids, used in enhanced oil recovery, have also been major factors in improved recovery, along with a field waterflood, said Bruce Laughlin, BP’s manager for Alaska reservoir development.
          As an oil field, Prudhoe is showing its age. The Prudhoe Oil Pool, the field’s largest oil reservoir, is now producing about 250,000 b/d, or one-sixth of its original rate of 1.5 million b/d. Its wells once produced 10,000 b/d or more but many are now at 1,000 b/d or less.
          The underlying reservoir, however, is still the largest slope producer and one of the largest US producing fields. It is also the economic linchpin of the North Slope, producing half of the overall slope output of about 500,000 b/d. It would be economically difficult to operate the Trans Alaska Pipeline System without Prudhoe, Laughlin said.
          ……………………………..
          So far, about half of Prudhoe’s production to date, about 12 billion barrels, can be credited to production enhancements like waterflood and the other half to the gas-cycling and vaporization and the injection of miscible gas fluids as EOR, Laughlin said.
          BP has also tested two new EOR techniques at Prudhoe Bay and Endicott, another North Slope field, and is now applying them worldwide. One involved a polymer injected to aid conventional waterflood, called “Bright Star.” The second is “Low Sal,” which uses low-salinity water in the waterflood, and which has shown very good results
          Prudhoe still has a long life ahead as an oil producer but the producers are now planning a new role for the field, as a gas producer.
          In the long run, thanks to gas production, there will be more oil recovery from the Prudhoe Oil Pool because infrastructure maintenance and operations will be shared between gas and oil production. Those costs are now being spread across a diminished number of oil barrels being produced which will decline further as production drops.
          It’s a synergistic relationship. Gas production needs oil to share the infrastructure costs, because the economics of gas are thin and needs costs to be shared. Conversely, sharing of the costs will extend Prudhoe’s life for decades, resulting in more oil recovery as operators figure out ways to tap bypassed pockets of oil.
          One pocket of bypassed oil, as an example, is in the lower parts of the Prudhoe Oil Pool reservoir. There is an estimated 1.2 billion barrels in a tar layer at the bottom, and while not much of this is likely to be produced, there are accumulations of oil of higher quality just above it that might be economic to tap, Laughlin said.
          Overall, there’s about 10 billion barrels of oil remaining in the Prudhoe reservoir after the expected 14 billion barrels are produced. That’s a lot of oil left in the rocks, and a big target for the future assuming continued improvements in technology.

  52. Pew Research documents the connection between religious belief and global warming.

    Just what is it with evangelical Christians and global warming?

    Just what is it with evangelical Christians and global warming? I doubt we’re ever going to get a satisfying answer to this long-running question, but it is being raised yet again by the publication yesterday of a survey by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.

    The poll canvassed views on climate change among the “major religious traditions” in the US. Surprise, surprise, it shows that “white evangelical Protestants” were the group with the lowest level – 34% of those surveyed – of acceptance that there is solid evidence that global warming is real and that it is attributable to humans. This compares with 47% of the total US population (still startlingly low), and 58% of those surveyed who “had faith” but who were unaffiliated to any particular religious tradition.

    In the chart below “unaffiliated” means atheist and agnostics and any others who just don’t buy all that bullshit.

     photo Pew Research_zpsilbgdjcj.jpg

    • Doug Leighton says:

      The bible states somewhere that God will provide. If he or she is going to provide food, water, oil, etc. for billions of his/her people, it’s pretty obvious that he/she will also provide a comfortable place for us to live, not a planet made impossible to live on owing to global warming. I don’t see why you find this such a difficult concept to embrace Ron. Perhaps you would benefit from some consulting at your local place of worship?

      • Yes, yes, perhaps you are right Doug. Pray for me.

        Question: You referred to God as He/She, indicating that you think God must be one or the other. Would an infinite being have a gender? If God is a male, would he have a penis, bowls and an asshole? After all man was created in his image. And if he has a penis then what would he use it for? Would there be a Mrs. God whom he would screw on rare occasions?

        P.S. I am on my third toddy tonight and I think it shows. 😉

        • Doug Leighton says:

          Those are difficult questions Ron. Fred has given these issues a great deal of thought and can likely provide The Answers. I too am on my second glass of Single Malt and more concerned with more important matters.

        • ezrydermike says:

          not sure about gender, but he does have at least one asshole, Pat Robertson.

        • Don Wharton says:

          The very early Jews had Ashera as the Goddess of fruitfulness and healing. She was the wife of Yahweh (southern Jews) or Elohim (northern tribes). Sometime after these tribes got together the male priests decided that they did not want the competition from the priestesses who organized the worship of Ashera. Such worship was declared an abomination by the then King and the scriptures were dutifully scrubbed of any positive stories about the female deity.

      • Southern Soul says:

        Genesis 1:27-28 (Easy-to-Read Version [ERV])
        27 So God created humans in his own image. He created them to be like himself. He created them male and female. 28 God blessed them and said to them, “Have many children. Fill the earth and take control of it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the air. Rule over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

        So, just look at the sky, the birds, a child’s smile, super green grass, and a field of wildflowers. These things are all God’s creation like no other. It is to deny yourself to deny God. We are made in His image and likeness. We shall praise Him in all the nations and glorify His holy name!

        • Caelan MacIntyre says:

          “Religion is something left over from the infancy of our intelligence; it will fade away as we adopt reason and science as our guidelines.” ~ Bertrand Russell

          It’s not exactly fading away, is it.

          • Don Wharton says:

            Actually it is. I have deduced a 5% increase in US religiously unaffiliated per year based on PEW Research data. This is a quite ferocious rate. Some people cite the increase in the religious based on the birth rate in undeveloped countries and some of the particular religions that coerce high birth rates based on their dogma. They will not remain religious if education becomes the norm.

          • Glenn Stehle says:

            Caelan MacIntyre said:

            It’s not exactly fading away, is it.

            That’s right, Caelan. Religion is not exactly fading away.

            The religious profile of the world is rapidly changing, driven primarily by differences in fertility rates and the size of youth populations among the world’s major religions, as well as by people switching faiths… If current trends continue, by 2050 …

            Atheists, agnostics and other people who do not affiliate with any religion – though increasing in countries such as the United States and France – will make up a declining share of the world’s total population.
            http://www.pewforum.org/2015/04/02/religious-projections-2010-2050/

            What’s the reason the New Atheists feel so compelled to spin the empirical data? It’s probably because of their belief that religion is not adaptive and can be erradicated, this despite the overwhelming evidence of its ubiquity and permanence.

            But in spite of the evidence (and lack of evidence which validates the non-adaptive theory) and Occam’s Razor — the rule of simplicity in scientific hypotheses — the New Atheists cling to the belief that religion is non-adaptive. Their labyrinthine theory holds that it is a social disease which can be cured, if not erradicated, with proper hygeine and treatment.

            The evolutionary biologist David Sloan Wilson explains the theory of the New Atheists as follows:

            Dawkins and I agree that evolutionary theory provides a powerful framework for studying religion, and we even agree on some of the details, so it is important to pinpoint exactly where we part company.

            Evolutionists employ a number of hypotheses to study any trait, even something as mundane as the spots on a guppy. Is it an adaptation that evolved by natural selection? If so, did it evolve by benefiting whole groups, compared to other groups, or individuals compared to other individuals within groups? With cultural evolution there is a third possibility. Since cultural traits pass from person to person, they bear an intriguing resemblance to disease organisms. Perhaps they evolve to enhance their own transmission without benefiting human individuals or groups.

            If the trait is not an adaptation, then it can nevertheless persist in the population for a variety of reasons. Perhaps it was adaptive in the past but not the present, such as our eating habits, which make sense in the food-scarce environment of our ancestors but not with a McDonald’s on every corner. Perhaps the trait is a byproduct of another adaptation. For example, moths use celestial light sources to orient their flight (an adaptation), but this causes them to spiral toward earthly light sources such as a streetlamp or a flame (a costly byproduct), as Dawkins so beautifully recounts in The God Delusion. Finally, the trait might be selectively neutral and persist in the population by genetic or cultural drift.

            Dawkins and I agree that these major hypotheses provide an excellent framework for organizing the study of religion, which by itself is an important achievement. We also agree that the hypotheses are not mutually exclusive. Evolution is a messy, complicated process, like the creation of laws and sausages, and all of the major hypotheses might be relevant to some degree. Nevertheless, real progress requires determining which hypotheses are most important for the evolution of particular traits….

            The late Harvard evolutionary biologist Stephen Jay Gould famously criticized his colleagues for seeing adaptations where they don’t exist….

            Dawkins argued on behalf of adaptationism in his debates with Gould and would probably agree with everything I have said so far. For religion, however, he argues primarily on behalf of non-adaptation. As he sees it, people are attracted to religion the way that moths are attracted to flames. Perhaps religious impulses were adapted to the tiny social groups of our ancestral past, but not the mega-societies of the present. If current religious beliefs are adaptive at all, it is only for the beliefs themselves as cultural parasites on their human hosts, like the demons of old that were thought to possess people. That is why Dawkins calls God a delusion. The least likely possibility for Dawkins is the group-level adaptation hypothesis. Religions are emphatically not elaborate systems of beliefs and practices that define, motivate, coordinate and police groups of people for their own good….

            I recently attended a conference on evolution and religion in Hawaii that provided an opportunity to assess the state of the field….

            No one at the conference presented a compelling example of a religious belief that spreads like a disease organism, to the detriment of both individuals and groups. The demonic meme hypothesis is a theoretical possibility, but so far it lacks compelling evidence. Much remains to be done, but it is this collective enterprise that deserves the attention of the scientific research community more than angry diatribes about the evils of religion.
            http://www.skeptic.com/eskeptic/07-07-04/

            • Don Wharton says:

              Glenn, please consider the premise that you are operating under an extreme state of self-delusion. The Islamic State exists. It literally has tens of thousands of active social media accounts promoting its views. Its practices are so vile and oriented toward death that it should be called a death cult. If this is not a demonic meme that acts against the interests of the host what is it? The members are being killed at a furious rate. However, they have no problem soliciting thousands of additional adherents.

              • Glenn Stehle says:

                I very much disagree with the argument that ISIS poses a threat to the life of the nation, even though we hear that argument repeated by the U.S. foreign policy establishment ad nauseam:

                Anyone paying even cursory attention to U.S. foreign policy in recent decades will recognize that Washington’s response to Egypt and Syria is part of a much bigger story. The story is this: America’s national security elites act on the assumption that every nook and cranny of the globe is of great strategic significance and that there are threats to U.S. interests everywhere. Not surprisingly, they live in a constant state of fear….

                These are not anomalous views. A 2009 survey done by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press found that 69 percent of the Council on Foreign Relations’ members believed the world was more dangerous than—or at least as dangerous as—it was during the Cold War. In short, the elite consensus is that Egypt and Syria are not the only countries Washington has to worry about, although they are among the most pressing problems at the moment. This grim situation means the United States has a lot of social engineering to carry out, leaving it no choice but to pursue an interventionist foreign policy. In other words, it must pursue a policy of global domination if it hopes to make the world safe for America.

                This perspective is influential, widespread—and wrong. Contrary to the conventional wisdom, the United States is a remarkably secure country. No great power in world history comes close to enjoying the security it does today….

                If the case for isolationism was powerful before Pearl Harbor, it is even more compelling today. For starters, the United States has thousands of nuclear weapons, which are the ultimate deterrent and go a long way toward guaranteeing a state’s survival. No adversary is going to invade America and threaten its survival, because that opponent would almost certainly end up getting vaporized. In essence, two giant oceans and thousands of nuclear weapons today shield the United States. Moreover, it faces no serious threats in its own neighborhood, as it remains a regional hegemon in the Western Hemisphere.

                http://mearsheimer.uchicago.edu/pdfs/America%20Unhinged.pdf

          • farmboy says:

            Religion is not diminishing. It is a vital filler for those gaps that knowledge and Science has no answer answer. For example how do we comprehend a universe coming into being from nothingness, otherwise we have to say that it just always was, which is just as hard to comprehend.

            Or how can we imagine that life came from nonliving matter on its own accord, when even science has not even been able to replicate it. Or how can we imagine that lower forms of life morphed into higher forms when we are observing genetic breakdown at such an alarming rate that The experts expect us all to become extinct in another 50 generations.

            Many religions have a person, they consider to be their founder, often someone that had some new revelation that caused them to split off from their peers, Buddha, Mohamed, Joseph Smith etc.

            For the evolutionists religion its Darwin.

            • Don Wharton says:

              farmboy, all matter and energy have been borrowed from the gravitational field itself. There is a theory of nucleogenesis that is part of this theory. It has been confirmed to great precision by examining light from our early universe. In particular, it predicted about 75% hydrogen, most of the rest helium, with very small amounts of lithium and deuterium. This borrowing of matter and energy existed within a process called inflation. Quantum mechanics were predicted to leave its fingerprint on the distribution of matter and energy. There was a six year study cataloging the distribution of all known matter and energy that confirmed this theory. The cosmic background radiation also richly confirmed this theory. Increasing accurate reading of this radiation has allowed science to modify the age of the universe from its prior 13.7 billion year estimate to its current 13.8 billion years.

              We may be extinct as a species in 50 generations but it will certainly not be because of some nonsensical notion of genetic breakdown. Please leave science to the scientists and attend to reports about science from those who respect what scientists do.

    • Glenn Stehle says:

      Ron Patterson said:

      Pew Research documents the connection between religious belief and global warming.

      Nah.

      What Pew Research documents is that there is very little, if any, connection between religious belief and the belief that the earth is warming due to human activity.

      http://www.pewinternet.org/2015/07/01/americans-politics-and-science-issues/pi_2015-07-01_science-and-politics_0-01/

      • old Farmer Mac says:

        Glenn S is dead on , the Pew chart HE links illustrates precisely my OWN basic point- that people believe what they want to believe.

        Ideology and or party trumps everything, followed closely by age. Older folks are correctly inclined to take what may be propaganda with a good measure of salt.

        It is not that climate science is not legitimate and real- but rather that so MUCH bullshit over the decades has been presented as science when it was only ADVERTISING.

        The older you are, the LESS likely it is that you have had any significant scientific training. Old people for instance are much more likely not to have any college than younger folks.

        And unfortunately, most younger folks who do go on to college do NOT get any significant training in science. You can graduate from most universities these days taking only one so called survey of science course.

        In effect, this means you know about as much about science as a semiliterate backwoods preacher. NOTHING – of any consequence.

        • Glenn Stehle says:

          OFM,

          It looks like Montaigne was centuries ahead of the pack when he bucked the Modernists and argued in his Essays that he did not believe that two humans would ever reason alike. Descartes, by contrast, was convinced that anyone who is freed from the prejudices and superstitions of the world and uses his good sense will arrive at exactly the same conclusions he did.

          Thus, according to Descartes and other Modernists of the rationalist stripe, all we had to do was put the old superstitions behind us and we could enter into the brave new world of the Age or Reason.

          This conviction would be one of the three cornerstone’s of Jefferson’s “political theology,” so it’s pretty much become a part of our national DNA.

          But as we now know, this philosophy rested on factually false assumptions, just as Montaigne postulated centuries ago.

          It gets worse, though, for the Moderniststs.

          For it looks now like that not only do we not reason alike, but we don’t even perceive sense stimuli alike. This undercuts the empiricist choice of neutral “sense data” as a rational starting point for constructing an intelligible world. So neither proposal for a rational philosophy — starting from either shared reasoning or shared sensations — still holds water today.

          Some of our sense perceptions are genetically determined and heterogenetic. V.S. Ramachandran has done extensive research using the new technology of brain imaging to study human uniqueness and to show how it can be innate.

          In this lecture on the Science Network, for example, he shows how different individuals perceive colors and numbers differently. These differing traits, he concludes, are genetically determined.

          http://thesciencenetwork.org/programs/beyond-belief-enlightenment-2-0/v-s-ramachandran

          In this lecture he argues that the ability to perceive religious and mystical experiences can also be geneticically determined. Imagine how an innate ability or innability to perceive religious experiences would change one’s perception of religion!

          http://thesciencenetwork.org/programs/beyond-belief-science-religion-reason-and-survival/session-4-1

          Americans in particular will find this new line of inquiry disappointing. The dream of a clean slate, of being able to throw off all the old superstitions and create a new world based on shared reason and rationality, was always attractive to people who believed by coming to a new Continent they had earned a chance to start again from scratch.

    • old Farmer Mac says:

      It does not do to put much weight on such surveys as these, except to compare results from one year to the next or one decade to the next if they are repeated. That way the lies sort of average out.

      Socalled and self identified evangelicals are as ready to lie about their beliefs as anybody.

      I live among them and if you ask one if he believes in evolution he says NO.

      If you ask him who Bishop Usher was, and if the world is only six thousand years old, chances are high he has never heard of the good bishop-VERY HIGH actually.

      And he will tell you the world is young and was created in seven days and all that sort of thing. He will tell you that nobody ( human ) knows how old the world is but that it is NOT REALLY OLD.

      And a week later you can get into a discussion with him about the dinosaurs living millions of years ago and he will not bat an eyelash and if he does not believe in global warming and has done a bit of reading he will tell you all about the past ice ages and natural variation and all that sort of stuff.

      I have had one to tell me in the course of one conversation that man CANNOT fuck up gods creation and also that we have just about destroyed the fish in the nearby Atlantic ocean. This guy happens to be an avid sport fisherman or else all he would likely know about fish is how much a flounder dinner costs at a local seafood joint.

      In other words , evangelicals are like just about every body else and believe what they please when they please – and what and when depends on the day of the week and the subject matter in the most amazing and amusing fashion.

      I am a dyed in the wool Darwinist but if somebody I do not know asks me in public if I believe in evolution within hearing distance of a neighbor I grin and remark that SOME people may be descended from apes but every body I know comes from good families. I want to stay in the good graces of my community after all.

      There has probably never been an entirely rational man and probably never will be.

      Having said all this , evangelicals are apt to be more ignorant than the average person on the street.

      They are also less likely to have bad habits such as drunkenness and are more likely to be law-abiding taken all around.

    • Glenn Stehle says:

      Ron Patterson said:

      In the chart below “unaffiliated” means atheist and agnostics and any others who just don’t buy all that bullshit.

      This empirical claim is also untrue. To wit:

      However, a new survey by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life, conducted jointly with the PBS television program Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly, finds that many of the country’s 46 million unaffiliated adults are religious or spiritual in some way. Two-thirds of them say they believe in God (68%). More than half say they often feel a deep connection with nature and the earth (58%), while more than a third classify themselves as “spiritual” but not “religious” (37%), and one-in-five (21%) say they pray every day. In addition, most religiously unaffiliated Americans think that churches and other religious institutions benefit society by strengthening community bonds and aiding the poor….

      Twenty-seven percent say they do not believe in God or a universal spirit.

      http://www.pewforum.org/2012/10/09/nones-on-the-rise/

      • Don Wharton says:

        As I have told you before, much of the reported belief in God among the religiously unaffiliated is very minimal and metaphorical. The fact that only 10% are seeking a religious community shows the minimal importance that they place on this belief. Get real. Religious belief is dying.

        And don’t forget the Einsteinian version of God. This is just a worshipful stance toward reality itself with an explicit repudiation of a personal God. There is also the Deist variant that say that God exists but does nothing to alter what happens in our lives. Again a full and complete repudiation of a personal God mucking around in our lives.

        • Glenn Stehle says:

          Don Warton said:

          And don’t forget the Einsteinian version of God.

          I wholeheartedly agree.

          But if one actually does take the time to read what Einstein had to say on the subject of science and religion, one will discover that he would hardly agree with your conviction that “There is a war between science and religion.”

          http://peakoilbarrel.com/open-thread-any-energy-related-subject/comment-page-1/#comment-540392

          For those interested in reading what Einstein had to say about religion and science, his writings on the subject can be found here:

          http://www.sacred-texts.com/aor/einstein/einsci.htm

          This passage is key:

          During the last century, and part of the one before, it was widely held that there was an unreconcilable conflict between knowledge and belief. The opinion prevailed among advanced minds that it was time that belief should be replaced increasingly by knowledge; belief that did not itself rest on knowledge was superstition, and as such had to be opposed. According to this conception, the sole function of education was to open the way to thinking and knowing, and the school, as the outstanding organ for the people’s education, must serve that end exclusively.

          One will probably find but rarely, if at all, the rationalistic standpoint expressed in such crass form; for any sensible man would see at once how one-sided is such a statement of the position. But it is just as well to state a thesis starkly and nakedly, if one wants to clear up one’s mind as to its nature.

          It is true that convictions can best be supported with experience and clear thinking. On this point one must agree unreservedly with the extreme rationalist. The weak point of his conception is, however, this, that those convictions which are necessary and determinant for our conduct and judgments cannot be found solely along this solid scientific way.

          For the scientific method can teach us nothing else beyond how facts are related to, and conditioned by, each other. The aspiration toward such objective knowledge belongs to the highest of which man is capabIe, and you will certainly not suspect me of wishing to belittle the achievements and the heroic efforts of man in this sphere. Yet it is equally clear that knowledge of what is does not open the door directly to what should be. One can have the clearest and most complete knowledge of what is, and yet not be able to deduct from that what should be the goal of our human aspirations. Objective knowledge provides us with powerful instruments for the achievements of certain ends, but the ultimate goal itself and the longing to reach it must come from another source. And it is hardly necessary to argue for the view that our existence and our activity acquire meaning only by the setting up of such a goal and of corresponding values. The knowledge of truth as such is wonderful, but it is so little capable of acting as a guide that it cannot prove even the justification and the value of the aspiration toward that very knowledge of truth. Here we face, therefore, the limits of the purely rational conception of our existence.

          • Don Wharton says:

            I do passionately disagree with Einstein on elements of the above. It does reflect the standard myth that science can have nothing to say about human values, only the facts about what is. There are two problems with the claim that this implies that there is no war between science and religion. One, many claims about values can in fact be answered by science. Two, a great many religious claims are grossly in contradiction to science. As long as that happens there will remain a war between science and religion. There is a constant effort to attack evolution in the schools or include religious activities as a part of public life. Abstinence only sex education does not work. Science shows there is very little difference in the rates of sexual relations with sex education classes based on secular or religious values. The difference is that the religious values result in much higher rates of sexually transmitted disease and teen pregnancies. Science say that the religious values are distinctly wrong. The major problem here is that there has been little effort to extend science to more globally answer moral claims and there is much polemical extremism used to defend religious claims about moral truth.

            • Glenn Stehle says:

              °°°Don Warton says:

              Two, a great many religious claims are grossly in contradiction to science.

              Yes, but global warming isn’t one of them.

              °°°Don Warton says:

              The major problem here is that there has been little effort to extend science to more globally answer moral claims….

              Well again, the problem is that your theorizing doesn’t hold up well when compared to the empirical evidence.

              When we look at actual empirical data, what we see is that in many cases enhanced science intelligence does not make individuals more amenable to accepting the scientific consensus. And in some cases, it can actually have the very opposite effect.

              http://www.climateaccess.org/sites/default/files/Kahan_Climate%20Science%20Communication.pdf

            • Dennis Coyne says:

              Hi Don,

              I have not studied ethics in detail, but generally I think of this as a sub-field of philosophy (and also religious studies).

              The passage from Einstein seems to point to ethics, I agree with Einstein that the scientific method does not really answer these questions.

              Your other points on evolution and sex education I agree with, but note that not all religions take the view that evolution or sex education should be opposed. Note that I am not religious, but have many highly educated, intelligent friends who are religious.

              • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                Hi Dennis,
                I was going to point out somewhere in this thread that the state is a religion at least according to the definitions I looked up some time ago, including on Wikipedia. So, if those definitions and my understanding of them hold and, say, you believe in government and/or the state, then you are religious.

              • Don Wharton says:

                Dennis, you are in good company in disagreeing with me on the possibility science being extended to include ethical claims. For me it is an obvious quasi-economics of maximum shared benefit within a social contract theory. In practice that rapidly becomes so complex that no one that I know has the patience to even work on the kinks in a very basic starting theory. Obviously economics itself is vastly complex. A moral economics would be much more complex.

                Thanks for agreeing with me on the sex education principle. It does illustrate the basic principle that I have in mind. There are a great many cases where a similar determination of moral inequality between competing claims can be demonstrated.

                Obviously I agree that many religious people do have decent understandings about shared benefit and harm on the subject of sex education. There will be allies from religious communities in almost every possible direction to achieve social good.

  53. Ronald Walter says:

    God is holier than thou, He doesn’t dwell on earth, He’s in Himmelstein.

    For Christ’s sake, the Son of God is proof alone without doubt that Mr. God is the father and Mrs. God is the Virgin Mary, so the story goes.

  54. BlackVoid says:

    American naivity is touching. You still think it matters who the president is???
    He/she is just a figurehead, an actor. Outsiders are not allowed in the presidential race.

    • old Farmer Mac says:

      All bullshit aside, if you take a serious look at religion from the view point of a biologist or other scientifically oriented observer, religion is just one more kind of scaffolding or framework that provides something for people to attach themselves to – a means of organizing themselves into an “US” group so as to better compete against all the other various outsiders lumped together as “THEM”.

      AND under the circumstances that have prevailed throughout known history, religion has worked very well indeed in helping the individuals that practice it survive- except when you are a member of one religion and engaging in WAR with the members of a DIFFERENT religion and getting your ass kicked.

      If collapse arrives before I am comforted by the thought that I live among Baptists rather than atheists or social workers. The Baptists will share and work together to a substantially greater extent, having been training themselves this way for a lifetime.The social worker shows up only so long as she gets paid.

      We don’t really NEED religion in a modern country anymore, we have a welfare state and secular law and law enforcement. Don’t laugh, the priest used to be cop, judge and jury. He could see to it you were jailed or burnt at the stake or exiled.

      When the shit hits the fan again, and it WILL, it is reasonable to expect religion to make a big comeback. Calling the welfare office- if the phone still works- will get you put on a waiting list. Calling on your local church will get you a package of food- if any is available.

      Calling the sheriff – if the phone works- will get a report taken of a burglary or murder. Calling on the “executive committee” of a local backwoods Baptist church will result in the swift application of a little frontier style justice. There will be other organizations of course, family clans, criminal brotherhoods, etc.

      Collapse is not a joke, it’s coming. Hopefully not within the next few years, I am getting too old to deal with it personally.

      • MarbleZeppelin says:

        Old Farmer,
        So anthropocentric in your views, as far as the rest of the species are concerned collapse occurred a while ago or it is occurring presently. We have been at war with the bacteria, bugs, the land animals, the plants, the birds, the land, the waters and the air for a long time. Very little escapes our omnipresent attentions.
        All this is logically upheld by various memes of profit, comfort, private ownership, maintenance of structure, patriotism and just plain hubris. Mustn’t forget hunger and entertainment.
        Although we really do not like each other, another of our inventions, government and industry, has a need for lots of people. Which has held us back from reducing our populations as we normally would. We are certainly capable. Religion is a side-show now, government, banking and industry are the players today. Lawyers are the monks who chant the mantras of civilization. Politicians are the modern day priests and corporations the new military.
        So where does oil production come in to this dismal system? Oil is a necessary commodity that will be fed money by bankers and investors until something better comes along. As long as people in power believe oil is the way, it will be supported. Once the belief fades, it will cease.

        Nature is battered but highly resilient, always pressing back on devastated areas like your lawn, garden, farm, house, etc. As soon as we fall back or weaken, nature will press forward.

        • wimbi says:

          Yep. Nature will press forward. Remove the people from the Korean DMZ, and from Chernobyl, and whatta ya got- nopeople= nature returns!

          So? just make the people weigh less heavily on nature, by any and all devices, and nature returns. That should be the target of us hardware guys, make stuff that lightens that boot on nature’s neck.

  55. Ronald Walter says:

    Deists reject revealed religions, Revelations, prophets, messiahs, saviors, etc. All bunkum and bosh to Deists.

    Deists rely on the acceptance of Natural Law and a Natural God.

    • MarbleZeppelin says:

      Ronald said “Deists rely on the acceptance of Natural Law and a Natural God.”

      As opposed to the synthetic gods of money, government, business, and self-delusional thinking?

      • Fred Magyar says:

        As opposed to the synthetic gods of money, government, business, and self-delusional thinking?

        Well, we can all sit on our hands and do nothing. I’ve chosen to act because I’m really sick and tired of listening to people stuck in the old paradigm and having them tell me that we just can’t do things differently. We can and there are of plenty of really smart people out there all over the world who are doing some serious outside the box thinking and they are beginning to make a real difference! I invite everyone on this site, especially, Fernando Leanme, to take part in the online Disruptive Innovation Festival of 2015. http://www.thinkdif.co

        This is video from the first one in sponsored by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation held in October-November 2014
        https://goo.gl/hsrgqj

        Come on everyone, we can all do one hell of a lot better than we are doing now!
        Do something that really matters for a change. And It’s ok if you call me delusional…

        Cheers!
        Fred Magyar

      • Glenn Stehle says:

        MarbleZeppelin says:

        Ronald said “Deists rely on the acceptance of Natural Law and a Natural God.”

        As opposed to the synthetic gods of money, government, business, and self-delusional thinking?

        Well that’s certainly my take.

        God really isn’t dead. We just replaced him with a newer, more secularized model.

        A great essay on one of the important milestones along this pathway is Thomas E. Buckley’s “The Political Theology of Thomas Jefferson”:

        Thus Jefferson articulated for his fellow Americans a set of shared beliefs fundamental to the development of a nationa faith. First, a sense of common beginnings rooted in historical events as distant as the time of the Saxons and oriented toward the achievement of liberty; second, an insistence on natural rights derived from a law of nature implanted by a creator in his handiwork and recognized as self-evident by reason; and finally, the acknowledgement of dependence on a divine Providence overseeing the American experiment. The Declaration of Independence repeats these themes.

        As OFM points out, it looks like every society needs a unifying belief system to hold it together. However, this “glue” that holds societies together has historically tended to be based more on fiction than fact. Our current reigning secular mythology is no exception.

        What happens when the gap between fiction and fact becomes too great?

        How maleable are these unifying belief systems? Or another way of asking that is: how much, and how fast, can a unifying mythology change while still performing its unifying function?

        • MarbleZeppelin says:

          Glenn said “What happens when the gap between fiction and fact becomes too great?”
          The new fictions and facts that have been trying to rise up and take over, then take over. In this case it is the fact that we need to shift energy away from fossil fuel and the fact that we can use the sun, wind, tide, geothermal and conservations to do this. The fiction is that things will be about the same as before and that this is going to solve all are problems.

  56. Jeffrey J. Brown says:

    Very interesting post by “Rockman” follows:

    http://peakoil.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=47&t=71873

    The Eagle Ford Shale Today
    by ROCKMAN » Wed 30 Sep 2015

    Now that the production data is coming in and we’ve see the reality of the decline of drilling efforts in the EFS I figured it was time to update the subject matter. We’re now well beyond some of the theories, speculations and silly predictions. And in another 6 months or so if oil prices stay at current levels we’ll be able to kill the rest of the unrealistic optimism. I’m showing the stats for just one month…July 2014. But month to months variations are minor:

    In July 2014: 125 Eagle Ford Shale wells began producing. I won’t use the July production because I can’t tell which wells produced for 31 days or 1 day: just the total monthly production. So I’ll use the August production for those wells and thus have a full 31 days.

    First shocker for some folks: by May 2015 40 of those 125 wells were no longer producing. Those depleted wells averaged just 56,000 bo and 0.11 bcf. So much for the BS about increased efficiency and productivity from longer laterals, lots of frac stages and pad drilling. And the 89 wells still producing in July 2015: average recovery to date: 122,000 bo and 0.36 bcf. And how much were those wells producing during July 2015: 178 bo/day and 17,000 mcf/day. And the initial production rate of those 129 wells: 556 bo/day. And the average initial production rate of the 89 wells still producing in July 2015: 586 bo/day.

    So to summarize: of the 129 EFS wells that began producing in July 2014: 40 wells (31%) suffered a 100% decline rate per year. Actually it’s higher since not all produced for the entire 12 months but I’ll let that slide: there were 4 wells that stopped producing after a month or so and only recovered less than 6,000 bo each. And the 89 wells still producing in July 2015: they have suffered a decline rate of 73%.

    The first take-away is that those 350,000+ bo URR’s numbers that were tossed around a few years ago were complete BS. Especially when you consider how some folks have been touting the great improvements in technology/efficiencies in the last year or two. But even more important: thanks to the lag time between drilling and first production we saw an increase in EFS production during 1Q 2015. So in addition to the lack of increase in EFS production in the near future from the lower rig count: those wells during 1Q 2015 that boosted production will see a significant decline by 1Q 2016. The only good news is that wells drilled before 2014 are in their lower decline rate phase. The bad news: that decline is from rates significantly lower than when they first started producing.

    As I said back when oil prices started to collapse and the cornies couldn’t give up their arguments: just wait until next fall…the data will eventually show the difference between hopium and reality. And now we have the data: much of the debate is over. And by the end of 2Q 2016 the arguments over how quickly the EFS production will decline will also be over assuming we don’t see significant increase in oil prices.

    As always: data trumps theory

    • shallow sand says:

      178 BOPD per well?

    • Jeffrey J. Brown says:

      The “Rock” makes an interesting point. The average oil production rate for the wells still producing after one year is 178 bpd, but the average production rate for all completed wells completed in the group was about 123 bpd after one year.

      My point is that if we look at average producing rates, and EUR, per well at the one year, two year, three year, etc. points, there is a “Survivor bias.”

      • Enno Peters says:

        In the data I post for ND, I always correct for this survivor bias, by including all wells, and padding 0 production at the end of the production history for wells that were shut in earlier.

        • Watcher says:

          This is mind boggling data. 1/3 of the Eagle Ford wells drilled had 100% decline rates for year 1.

          If you’re a lender, that’s how fast your money disappears.

          And yet they will still lend?

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          Hi Enno,

          I have pointed this out repeatedly to Jeffrey Brown, but he doesn’t pay attention.

          There is often missing data in the RRC database that is the basis for the Drilling info data. When output is reported as zero, it sometimes means the output has just not made it into the RRC public database. I think if Rockman picked an earlier date such as Jan 2012 and only looked out to Jan 2014 that would be more reliable, data earlier than Jan 2014 would be incomplete. The Texas data is not nearly as good as the North Dakota data.

          • Jeffrey J. Brown says:

            My point is that type well decline curves, especially ones used by the shale players, tend not to have any acknowledgement of the fact that a lot of wells don’t make it to the 12 month, 24 month or 36 month, etc. marks.

            I well remember Chesapeake’s assertion that the Barnett Shale wells on the DFW Airport Lease would produce for “At least 50 years.” Rockman looked into the data, and 50 months was more accurate. About half of the wells were plugged and abandoned within about four years of initial production.

          • Blaine says:

            I suppose the production rate before reporting stops should be informative in this respect. We could also look at estimated production if padded with the decline rate of the reporting wells instead of zeros.

    • MarbleZeppelin says:

      Nice to hear the reality that there is a wide range of outputs from shale oil fracked wells. Makes more sense than every well being a winner. Although, even the best wells do not appear to be able to even recoup the cost of drilling and fracking.
      Are they just looking for cash flow at this point, trying to hang on?

  57. Jeffrey J. Brown says:

    Mexico Strains to Lure World’s Oil Giants
    http://www.wsj.com/articles/mexico-strains-to-lure-worlds-oil-giants-1443569150

    CIUDAD DEL CARMEN, Mexico—The plunge in global crude prices has thrown workers out of jobs and cut Mexico’s revenues from dozens of fields off these shores. But damage from low prices is vexing the capital Mexico City in less visible ways: It is thwarting its historic, much-anticipated opening of the country’s oil industry to foreign companies.

    On Wednesday, Mexico will auction off nine fields in the shallow-water Gulf of Mexico in what analysts consider its best chance this year to attract private and foreign oil companies, which have been kept out for almost eight decades. The fields have proven and probable reserves, meaning that commercial quantities of oil have already been found, and are in an area where production costs have traditionally been below $20 a barrel. Twenty oil firms and consortia are qualified to bid, including Chevron Corp. , China’s Cnooc Ltd. , Royal Dutch Shell PLC, and deep-pocketed Mexican startups like billionaire Carlos Slim’s Carso Oil & Gas SA.

    But so far, the sweeping energy reform has foundered as the entire industry frantically cuts back on the very sorts of projects Mexico is now offering
    them. . . .

    It isn’t the landscape Mexican officials expected to face when they launched their heady reform in 2013. Pemex—which was created by President Lázaro Cárdenas after he nationalized the oil industry in 1938—was allowed to keep the bulk of the prospects it had discovered or begun to develop. But 17% of the country’s proven and probable reserves, which are estimated at 24.8 billion barrels of crude oil equivalent, were set aside for auction to private companies. The reform plan won plaudits from foreign companies, and Mexican officials became the darlings of international industry conferences.

    Then this July, as global oil prices had touched lows not seen in years, Mexico’s first auction failed to land a single foreign oil major—sparking a round of finger-pointing between the energy ministry, treasury, regulator and private companies over what went wrong. Mr. Zepeda, the head of Mexico’s National Hydrocarbons Commission, said he is optimistic the Sept. 30 auction will fare better.

    Assuming flat liquids consumption of 2.0 MMBPD, and based on April production of 2.5 MMBPD, Mexico’s net exports were down to about 0.5 MMBPD in April, versus their 2004 net export peak of 1.8 MMBPD (total petroleum liquids + other liquids, EIA data).

    • Jeffrey J. Brown says:

      Assuming average annual production of 2.5 MMBPD and consumption of 2.0 MMPBD for 2015, Mexico’s ECI Ratio (ratio of production to consumption) would be about 1.3 in 2015, versus 1.9 in 2004. At this rate of decline in the ECI Ratio, they would approach 1.0, and thus zero net exports, in about 8 years. Estimated post-2015 CNE (Cumulative Net Exports) would be about 0.6 Gb. At an estimated daily rate of 0.5 MMBPD in 2015, the annual volume of net exports for 2015 would be about 0.2 Gb. If we look at estimated post-2014 CNE, it would be about 0.8 Gb, so based on foregoing, in 2015 Mexico would have shipped about 25% of post-2014 CNE.

      This is of course what we observed with the Six Country Case History, i.e., an accelerating rate of depletion in remaining CNE.

      For example, in 2002 remaining CNE were 1.1 Gb for the Six Country Case History, and in 2003 they shipped 0.54 Gb, or about 50% of post-2002 CNE. So, in 2003, when Six Country net exports were still 1.5 MMBPD, they had about a 50% CNE depletion rate.

    • Glenn Stehle says:

      Jeffrey,

      What I wonder about are the political consequences of all this.

      Someone the other day linked this outstanding post about how peak oil and global warming created the underlying conditions from which the Syrian conflict arose:

      http://crudeoilpeak.info/syria-peak-oil-weakened-governments-finances-ahead-of-arab-spring-in-2011

      Mexico is already like a tinder box ready to explode. Over the past 33 years the minimum salary has lost more than 75% of its purchasing power and now ranks alongside those of Nigeria, Mauricio, Kazajstán, Indonesia y Botsuana.

      http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2015/09/29/opinion/002a1edi

      Over that same 33 years, the purchasing power of the average union worker’s pay has declined over 50%, and is still in free-fall:

      http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2011/07/17/economia/024n1eco

      And over that same 33 years the number of those living in extreme poverty has increased from 5 million to 22 million.

      http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2011/06/06/opinion/a12a1cul

      The only economic salvation to be found for Mexicans was in the 11 million who have fled to the United States and those who entered narco-trafficking. The rivers of dollars that pour into Mexico from the drug trade surpass all Mexico’s sources of FOREX combined. But narco-trafficking has turned Mexico into a Pax Mafiosa, and all the crime, violence and corruption have taken a heavy toll on the society and the polity.

      And now Mexico is going to experience peak oil and most likely a severe financial and economic crisis on top of everything that’s already come before?

      If Putin wants payback for what the US did in Ukraine and Syria, Mexico is certainly ripe for him to take it.

      Can you imagine millions upon millions of Mexicans flooding across the border into the United States if the political situation in Mexico destabilizes?

      • Jeffrey J. Brown says:

        I posted a note the other day speculating that what Europe is experiencing is a preview of coming attractions for the US, because of increasing civil unrest/civil war in Central and South America. In regard to climate change, see my note down the thread.

  58. Alhall says:

    Mr.magyar,i am respond to your question from earlier

    I am a ”’real”’ man,who`s is been reading this blog operate by mr.Patterson for long time,,,to find out more about oil industry,every since one,of my grandsons is leave his home here in =iowa,back in the 2012…for a big pay job in That bakken in n.dakota. that`s is my interest being here in figuring out more of the information,data.that`s is come out about the shale oil’. i am mostly a reading man,[here on this blog,,,take in they information from the many smarter men,and so usually i am just sit back and read, not make a comment on anything I am read. i did post 3-4 messages in this blog,some months ago/remember…but most day`s it`s very hard for me to write,MOST DAYS.due to a medical conditions,,,brain injured in the 1980`s,from a stray bullet in them streets i am spent walking around in that city call by a name call ”’DES MOINES”’…this iS why you will see i must look to GOD FOR HELP,EVERY DAY READING THAT BIBLE & asking for help understanding [Psalm 16;5-9]…

    I am know i know much about the bible,and how our lord Jesus bless each/every man,woman here on earth each day we live.thus i am wanted to spread some my knowledge around when mr.Patterson posted a questions about,doubting a religious belief in [Him]\with how we need to live our life each day in GOD image. Rev 7:9

    i am go now to prepare,for they glorious day\GOD BLESS`D TO YOU AND MR PATTERSON,,,And i will continue check in ever day to spend more time read this good blogs\THANK YOU MR PATTERSON…i offer up to thankfulness,Joshua 6:22-25~

  59. AlexS says:

    EIA C+C production statistics for week ending Sept. 25, 2015:

    Total U.S.: -40 kb/d
    Alaska: -19 kb/d
    U.S. ex Alaska: -21 kb/d

    • Ves says:

      is it in line with previous weeks?

    • AlexS says:

      New monthly production statistics were also released today.
      Revised numbers for January-June are slightly lower than previously estimated.
      New estimate for July shows an increase to 9358 kb/d from 9264 in June rather than a drop to 9238 kb/d predicted in September STEO.
      However the new estimate for July is significantly lower than 9503 kb/d in the Monthly Energy Review released last Friday.

      • Ves says:

        thanks. yes, i see that gap for July

      • AlexS says:

        The 94 kb/d increase in July production reflects a sharp increase in the GoM output (+147 kb/d), likely due to new project start-ups.
        Production in Lower 48 states ex-GoM was down 56 kb/d continuing the trend visible from April. Overall, L48 ex GoM production declined by 311 kb/d between March and July. Production in Texas declined by only 12 kb/d in July. Apparently, the EIA was expecting a bigger drop in Texas production, which was reflected in the STEO forecast for July and August.
        Total U.S. C+C output has peaked at 7.6mb/d in April and declined by 243 kb/d by July.

        U.S. C+C production in the Lower 48 states ex-GoM (kb/d)

        • Ves says:

          thanks, when you break it in Alaska, GoM, L48 then it is way better to look at what is going on. So L48 trend is firmly down.

          • Dennis Coyne says:

            Hi Ves,

            Yes about 75 kb/d for each month for the past 4 months, and we will be down by 675 kb/d from the March peak by years end if the trend continues.

            • Ves says:

              Hi Dennis,
              Do you know about projects in GoM that are coming online? How much they can influence overall production levels in the next year?

            • AlexS says:

              Ves,

              There are some 15 new projects in the GoM scheduled for 2015-16.

              Oil production in the GoM (kb/d)
              Source: EIA Monthly oil production statistics, September 30, 2015; Short-Term Energy Outlook, September 11, 2015

              • Ves says:

                what would that dip from July-Sep 2016 represent in the forcast? shutting & abdn some wells?

                • AlexS says:

                  Hurricane season

                • Hurricane season. The current trend is for less hurricanes due to wind shear, more due to warmer sea surface. This year the wind shear won in the Atlantic, lost in the pacific.

                  The high number of Gulf of Mexico field start ups is a result of Macondo, it caused a hiatus. Once the backlog is handled by late 2016 the GoM will go on a fairly steady decline.

  60. Jeffrey J. Brown says:

    While looking for a link on CNN about Russian airstrikes in Syria (shown below), I saw an item about very cold water in the Atlantic, link and excerpt follows, preceded by a previous Washington Post article.

    New studies deepen concerns about a climate-change ‘wild card’

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2015/09/07/new-studies-deepen-concerns-about-a-climate-change-wild-card/

    Two new studies are adding to concerns about one of the most troubling scenarios for future climate change: the possibility that global warming could slow or shut down the Atlantic’s great ocean circulation systems, with dramatic implications for North America and Europe.

    The research, by separate teams of scientists, bolsters predictions of disruptions to global ocean currents — such as the Gulf Stream — that transfer tropical warmth from the equator to northern latitudes, as well as a larger conveyor system that cycles colder water into the ocean’s depths. Both systems help ensure relatively mild conditions in parts of Northern Europe that would otherwise be much colder.

    The papers offer new insight into how rapidly melting Arctic ice could slow or even temporarily halt the ocean’s normal circulation, with possible effects ranging from plunging temperatures in northern latitudes to centuries-long droughts in Southeast Asia.

    Cold Atlantic ‘blob’ puzzles scientists
    http://www.cnn.com/2015/09/30/weather/atlantic-cold-blob/index.html

    (CNN)At first glance, it stands out like a sore thumb. That blob of blue and purple on the map. One of the only places on the globe that is abnormally cold in a year that will likely shatter records as the warmest globally.

    It’s being called the Atlantic “blob.” It’s a large area in the North Atlantic that is seeing a pronounced cooling trend. The ocean surface is much cooler than normal and in fact record cold in some locations. . . .

    If you combine the ice sheets of Antarctica and Greenland, you will find 99% of the freshwater ice on Earth. Scientists believe it is the melting of ice in Greenland that is causing the cold anomaly.

    A recent study by top climatologists shows massive ice-loss is occurring over Greenland and is disturbing the normal Atlantic Ocean circulation, called the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC). You may be familiar with part of this circulation, the Gulf Stream, which brings warm, tropical surface water northward along the East Coast of the U.S. and funnels towards the poles. The other main current in the AMOC is a return flow of deep, cold water that runs southward from the poles towards the tropics. This current has dramatic impacts on our weather globally. The heat and cold driven by the current transfer to the atmosphere and help to drive our weather patterns.

    Normally, cold salt water in the North Atlantic sinks, because it is denser, and it is replaced by warm water moving in from the south. It’s a similar process that drives the high and low pressure systems and Jetstream that drive our weather. In this case, the study suggests that the massive amounts of freshwater melting into the ocean from Greenland can prevent the sinking of the dense, cold, salty water and alter the AMOC circulation.

    Believe it or not, this was the very scenario in the popular movie “The Day After Tomorrow.”. In the movie, the global climate changes in a matter of days, causing tornadoes in Los Angeles, deadly hail in Tokyo, and a massive blizzard in New York City.

    Fortunately “The Day After Tomorrow” scenario is Hollywood fiction at its best, and not based on sound science. That said , there is cause for concern that the changes we have observed in both the Atlantic and Pacific. While there is certainly not scientific consensus that either the Pacific or Atlantic blob is related to climate change, there is evidence that is the case. The impacts, while not like the movie, could be bad enough.

    • Jeffrey J. Brown says:

      On The Oil Drum, I posted a link to a very interesting 2004 Fortune Magazine article, “The Pentagon’s Weather Nightmare,” which discussed the Pentagon’s attempts to model the consequences of a new Little Ice Age. Following is a link to a reposting of the 2004 article. I have excerpted a portion of the Pentagon model. It’s really uncanny, and literally more than a little chilling, to read this excerpt in light of how events have transpired in recent years. Remember, this scenario was developed 11 years ago:

      http://fortune.com/2014/01/12/the-pentagons-weather-nightmare-fortune-2004/

      A total shutdown of the ocean conveyor might lead to a big chill like the Younger Dryas, when icebergs appeared as far south as the coast of Portugal. Or the conveyor might only temporarily slow down, potentially causing an era like the “Little Ice Age,” a time of hard winters, violent storms, and droughts between 1300 and 1850. That period’s weather extremes caused horrific famines, but it was mild compared with the Younger Dryas.

      For planning purposes, it makes sense to focus on a midrange case of abrupt change. A century of cold, dry, windy weather across the Northern Hemisphere that suddenly came on 8,200 years ago fits the bill–its severity fell between that of the Younger Dryas and the Little Ice Age. The event is thought to have been triggered by a conveyor collapse after a time of rising temperatures not unlike today’s global warming. Suppose it recurred, beginning in 2010. Here are some of the things that might happen by 2020:

      At first the changes are easily mistaken for normal weather variation–allowing skeptics to dismiss them as a “blip” of little importance and leaving policymakers and the public paralyzed with uncertainty. But by 2020 there is little doubt that something drastic is happening. The average temperature has fallen by up to five degrees Fahrenheit in some regions of North America and Asia and up to six degrees in parts of Europe. (By comparison, the average temperature over the North Atlantic during the last ice age was ten to 15 degrees lower than it is today.) Massive droughts have begun in key agricultural regions. The average annual rainfall has dropped by nearly 30% in northern Europe, and its climate has become more like Siberia’s.

      Violent storms are increasingly common as the conveyor becomes wobbly on its way to collapse. A particularly severe storm causes the ocean to break through levees in the Netherlands, making coastal cities such as the Hague unlivable. In California the delta island levees in the Sacramento River area are breached, disrupting the aqueduct system transporting water from north to south.

      Megadroughts afflict the U.S., especially in the southern states, along with winds that are 15% stronger on average than they are now, causing widespread dust storms and soil loss. The U.S. is better positioned to cope than most nations, however, thanks to its diverse growing climates, wealth, technology, and abundant resources. That has a downside, though: It magnifies the haves-vs.-have-nots gap and fosters bellicose finger-pointing at America.

      Turning inward, the U.S. effectively seeks to build a fortress around itself to preserve resources. Borders are strengthened to hold back starving immigrants from Mexico, South America, and the Caribbean islands–waves of boat people pose especially grim problems. Tension between the U.S. and Mexico rises as the U.S. reneges on a 1944 treaty that guarantees water flow from the Colorado River into Mexico. America is forced to meet its rising energy demand with options that are costly both economically and politically, including nuclear power and onerous Middle Eastern contracts. Yet it survives without catastrophic losses.

      Europe, hardest hit by its temperature drop, struggles to deal with immigrants from Scandinavia seeking warmer climes to the south. Southern Europe is beleaguered by refugees from hard-hit countries in Africa and elsewhere. But Western Europe’s wealth helps buffer it from catastrophe.

      Australia’s size and resources help it cope, as does its location–the conveyor shutdown mainly affects the Northern Hemisphere. Japan has fewer resources but is able to draw on its social cohesion to cope–its government is able to induce population-wide behavior changes to conserve resources.

      China’s huge population and food demand make it particularly vulnerable. It is hit by increasingly unpredictable monsoon rains, which cause devastating floods in drought-denuded areas. Other parts of Asia and East Africa are similarly stressed. Much of Bangladesh becomes nearly uninhabitable because of a rising sea level, which contaminates inland water supplies. Countries whose diversity already produces conflict, such as India and Indonesia, are hard-pressed to maintain internal order while coping with the unfolding changes.

      As the decade progresses, pressures to act become irresistible –history shows that whenever humans have faced a choice between starving or raiding, they raid. Imagine Eastern European countries, struggling to feed their populations, invading Russia–which is weakened by a population that is already in decline–for access to its minerals and energy supplies. Or picture Japan eyeing nearby Russian oil and gas reserves to power desalination plants and energy-intensive farming. Envision nuclear-armed Pakistan, India, and China skirmishing at their borders over refugees, access to shared rivers, and arable land. Or Spain and Portugal fighting over fishing rights–fisheries are disrupted around the world as water temperatures change, causing fish to migrate to new habitats.

      Growing tensions engender novel alliances. Canada joins fortress America in a North American bloc. (Alternatively, Canada may seek to keep its abundant hydropower for itself, straining its ties with the energy-hungry U.S.) North and South Korea align to create a technically savvy, nuclear-armed entity. Europe forms a truly unified bloc to curb its immigration problems and protect against aggressors. Russia, threatened by impoverished neighbors in dire straits, may join the European bloc.

      Nuclear arms proliferation is inevitable. Oil supplies are stretched thin as climate cooling drives up demand. Many countries seek to shore up their energy supplies with nuclear energy, accelerating nuclear proliferation. Japan, South Korea, and Germany develop nuclear-weapons capabilities, as do Iran, Egypt, and North Korea. Israel, China, India, and Pakistan also are poised to use the bomb.

      The changes relentlessly hammer the world’s “carrying capacity”–the natural resources, social organizations, and economic networks that support the population. Technological progress and market forces, which have long helped boost Earth’s carrying capacity, can do little to offset the crisis–it is too widespread and unfolds too fast.

      As the planet’s carrying capacity shrinks, an ancient pattern reemerges: the eruption of desperate, all-out wars over food, water, and energy supplies. As Harvard archeologist Steven LeBlanc has noted, wars over resources were the norm until about three centuries ago. When such conflicts broke out, 25% of a population’s adult males usually died. As abrupt climate change hits home, warfare may again come to define human life.

      Over the past decade, data have accumulated suggesting that the plausibility of abrupt climate change is higher than most of the scientific community, and perhaps all of the political community, are prepared to accept. In light of such findings, we should be asking when abrupt change will happen, what the impacts will be, and how we can prepare–not whether it will really happen. In fact, the climate record suggests that abrupt change is inevitable at some point, regardless of human activity. Among other things, we should:

      –Speed research on the forces that can trigger abrupt climate change, how it unfolds, and how we’ll know it’s occurring.

      –Sponsor studies on the scenarios that might play out, including ecological, social, economic, and political fallout on key food-producing regions.

      –Identify “no regrets” strategies to ensure reliable access to food and water and to ensure our national security.

      –Form teams to prepare responses to possible massive migration, and food and water shortages.

      –Explore ways to offset abrupt cooling–today it appears easier to warm than to cool the climate via human activities, so there may be “geo-engineering” options available to prevent a catastrophic temperature drop.

      In sum, the risk of abrupt climate change remains uncertain, and it is quite possibly small. But given its dire consequences, it should be elevated beyond a scientific debate. Action now matters, because we may be able to reduce its likelihood of happening, and we can certainly be better prepared if it does. It is time to recognize it as a national security concern.

    • Dave Hillemann (Texan) says:

      See, here’s the problem I have with all these climate change stories getting mixed into the oil threads. So there’s a “blob” now in the Atlantic Ocean that is of no consequence to oil production or consumption. What do you intend for us to do with that information? What do you want us to do? I guess I must be missing the relevance or interest here. And it’s always the same procedure, too. Link, lengthy excerpt, and walk away. Apparently no need for any additional sustaining commentary. All I’m reminded of are link aggregators, tactical SEO pages, and the like.

      • Jeffrey J. Brown says:

        So there’s a “blob” now in the Atlantic Ocean that is of no consequence to oil production or consumption.

        Following is an excerpt from the (2004) Pentagon scenario regarding the consequences of a new “Little Ice Age.” If memory serves, this scenario was developed by an administration of a president from Texas.

        Oil supplies are stretched thin as climate cooling drives up demand. Many countries seek to shore up their energy supplies with nuclear energy, accelerating nuclear proliferation. Japan, South Korea, and Germany develop nuclear-weapons capabilities, as do Iran, Egypt, and North Korea. Israel, China, India, and Pakistan also are poised to use the bomb.

        The changes relentlessly hammer the world’s “carrying capacity”–the natural resources, social organizations, and economic networks that support the population. Technological progress and market forces, which have long helped boost Earth’s carrying capacity, can do little to offset the crisis–it is too widespread and unfolds too fast.

        As the planet’s carrying capacity shrinks, an ancient pattern reemerges: the eruption of desperate, all-out wars over food, water, and energy supplies. As Harvard archeologist Steven LeBlanc has noted, wars over resources were the norm until about three centuries ago. When such conflicts broke out, 25% of a population’s adult males usually died. As abrupt climate change hits home, warfare may again come to define human life.

        • Dave Hillemann (Texan) says:

          Making the connection you’re trying to make is up there with Alex Jones level of paranoia. But if this “blob” does cause an ice age in the next 12 months which then leads to wars over resources that kill you, me, and 25% of all the other men here, then I’ll be the first to let you proclaim, “I told you so.”

          • Jeffrey J. Brown says:

            As I noted a couple of times, the scenario was constructed by the Bush Administration.

      • scrub puller says:

        Yair . . . .
        DAVE HILLEMANN.
        Mate, there is more to the world than texas and, if you are an oil man don’t think the next twenty years of climate chaos is going to rattle your cage you must think texas is on another planet . . . in other words such posts are relevant and how you choose to use the information is up to you.

        Cheers

      • Silicon Valley Observer says:

        My son says similar things about learning english literature. ” What’s the point, I’ll never use it” he says. Maybe ignorance IS bliss after all. Commenting on oil will not produce a single barrel, commenting on climate change will not reduce it one whit. As Marge once said to Homer, “One person can make a difference but they probably shouldn’t bother.”

        But I want to know what’s going on. I can’t help it. And everyone here feeds that desire. Thank you all.

        • old Farmer Mac says:

          It is the responsibility JOB of certain people in the military to make sure EVERY possibility is covered. Deep in the bowels of the Pentagon, someplace, there no doubt are top secret plans outlining a possible invasion of Canada and Mexico. If it can happen, military think tank type guys are expected to make sure the generals know it can happen – and that long term decisions are made taking even remote possibilities into account.

          The top ranking officers are supposed to take such possibilities into account when they make long range plans- for instance getting on with asking congress for ice breakers to use up in Arctic before they are actually needed- getting them funded and built can take years or even decades.

          My opinion is that well over half of the regulars here are at least as much interested in the CONSEQUENCES of oil and fossil fuel depletion, and the consequences of burning and fighting over fossil fuels , as we are in the oil industry in and of itself.

          Ron has made it clear that he is himself very interested in the consequences of peak oil – these consequences being just one part of the overall consequences of human overshoot.

          Right up top it reads “of fossil fuels and human destiny”.

    • Stilgar Wilcox says:

      http://news.discovery.com/earth/oceans/mysterious-warm-water-blob-in-pacific-wreaking-havoc-150617.htm

      That’s interesting and coincidental, because there’s also a Warm Blob in the Pacific. Hmm? Maybe the conditions to generate a warm blob in the Pacific are the same one’s that lead to a cold blob in the Atlantic? Geologically and historically increasing amounts of fresh water runoff into the northern Atlantic have reduced the flow of warm water flowing north and led to small and large ice ages. It is one of the risks taken with increasing CO2 levels in the atmosphere.

    • Clueless says:

      The AMO [Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation] has been recurring for eons. It is now transitioning into the colder phase. Do not worry, in a few decades it will go back to a warming phase.

    • It’s the typical bull we see in the media nowadays. They dust off this line every two weeks. The North Atlantic has been showing a cold temperature anomaly for a while, but the Barents is running hot. The water conveyor runs mostly on the Barents, not the Atlantic.

      If they had bothered to look at data before writing his bullshit they could see Norwegian reports on subsurface current speeds. They are INCREASING.

      This is similar to the reports about giant Alaskan king crabs eating Antarctica, or Pacific islands disappearing under the waves. 😐

  61. Jeffrey J. Brown says:

    Russia launches airstrikes in Syria:

    http://www.cnn.com/2015/09/30/politics/russia-syria-airstrikes-isis/index.html

    According to US sources, Russia is reportedly targeting anti-Assad rebel forces that are presumably supported by the US.

    Russia claims that they are targeting ISIS.

    In regard to history not repeating, but rhyming:

    A timeline of the First World War:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_World_War_I

  62. Longtimber says:

    http://www.middleeasteye.net/columns/collapse-saudi-arabia-inevitable-1895380679

    “This could well underestimate the extent of the problem. According to the Export Land Model (ELM) created by Texas petroleum geologist Jeffrey J Brown and Dr Sam Foucher, the key issue is not oil production alone, but the capacity to translate production into exports against rising rates of domestic consumption….
    In 2008, they found that Saudi net oil exports had already begun declining as of 2006. They forecast that this trend would continue….. They were right. From 2005 to 2015, Saudi net exports have experienced an annual decline rate of 1.4 percent, within the range predicted by Brown and Foucher. A report by Citigroup recently predicted that net exports would plummet to zero in the next 15 years.
    From riches to rags
    This means that Saudi state revenues, 80 percent of which come from oil sales, are heading downwards, terminally.”

  63. Watcher says:

    Pretty big news just splashed on ZH.

    Japan, whose pension funds and central bank have almost no limits on assets which can be bought, have just announced they will be buying US High Yield bonds. They have lost enormous sums this year as the Nikkei has fallen, and their answer would appear to be shale.

    The narrative is utterly desperate to pretend normalcy. I guess too many people were watching for a domestic bailout of shale in various forms. This mechanism is nicely obscure.

  64. Dean says:

    Updated my corrected Texas #crude oil data with the latest #EIA data: quite close 🙂

    • AlexS says:

      Thanks Dean,

      My congratulations to the EIA for being almost as accurate as you in their estimates for Texas 🙂

      • Dean says:

        ahahahah! 🙂

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          Hi Dean.

          Thanks. Interesting that Texas output has been relatively flat since December (based on your central estimate), roughly 3500 kb/d for the past 8 months.

          A chart showing your central estimate for C+C output over the last 7 months would be interesting (that is your central estimate in Jan, Feb, March, April, May, June, and July.) Then we can see how it has changed over time, leave off the EIA estimate which is very close to your July estimate.

          • AlexS says:

            Dennis,

            If the EIA data is correct, Texas output in July was down by 200 kb/d from March levels

  65. ezrydermike says:

    Price of Solar Energy in the United States Has Fallen to 5¢/kWh on Average

    Berkeley Lab study reveals 70% decline in PPA prices since 2009

    http://newscenter.lbl.gov/2015/09/30/price-of-solar-energy-in-the-united-states-has-fallen-to-5%c2%a2kwh-on-average/

    • Silicon Valley Observer says:

      So, living in Silicon Valley I was interested in solar power. The company says it doesn’t make sense if your electric bill is less than $100 a month. Mine is about $60. We rely on windows, sky lights, LED bulbs, and turn things off when not needed. Seems like simple living is even more efficient than solar power.

  66. Boomer II says:

    I have a question about the operation of this blog.

    Until about four or five posts ago, I was able to subscribe to both new posts and new comments on PeakOilBarrel. I no longer get emails about new posts from WordPress. I get an email directly from Ron, but I used to get them from WordPress.

    And whenever I made a comment, I was able to indicate that I wanted emails for new comments. That box to check is no longer there. Trying to find out what happened, I read that it is up to the blog administrator whether a person can subscribe to comments. Did that function get removed from this blog?

    Now to see new comments I’m always having to check back on the blog, and that gets time consuming to scroll through them all. I can use RSS to see new comments, but it only gives me the most recent 10 or so. That means if I am not constantly checking the RSS feed, I don’t see them all.

    • Dennis Coyne says:

      Hi Boomer,

      I will try to fix that. Sometimes I change stuff by accident.

      Edit:

      It seems Ron has added an e-mail plugin that might have caused this, I will have to leave things as they are, sorry.

      • I haven’t added anything or done anything. I have no idea why you no longer get email notification. I had no idea that option was even there.

        If Dennis knows how to fix it then by all means have at it.

        Edit: I forgot to add, I have most definitely added NO email plugin.

        • Boomer II says:

          Thanks. If you guys figure it out, great.

          I don’t really mind not getting email notices about new posts, but getting a new email for every new comment really made things easier.

  67. The Wet One says:

    In the context of battling hopium as a barrier to hard thinking about energy topics I give you all this: http://physics.ucsd.edu/do-the-math/2015/09/you-call-this-progress/#more-1551

    Those who think that new technology might save us some how from the perils of Peak Oil and resource depletion might want to consider what is revealed in the linked article. Especially as it regards energy technologies.

  68. Don Stewart says:

    I am going to take advantage of the ‘only slightly related to Peak Oil’ language to post this:
    http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/07/20/the-really-big-one

    The devastation in the Pacific Northwest which is now overdue. Makes dealing with Peak Oil look relatively attractive.

    Don Stewart

Comments are closed.