Petroleum Supply Monthly + Guest Post

The EIA has published their Petroleum Supply Monthly with all US production numbers through December 2014. The chart below shows the largest changes in December and Yearly production. Almost every state had a production increase. The largest decliner was Wyoming, down 7,000 bpd. Below are the biggest gainers and the amount of their production increase in thousand barrels per day for December and the whole year.

  December 2014
US 187 1366
Texas 49 684
North Dakota 39 297
GOM 68 157


The Gulf of Mexico was up 68,000 bpd in December but was down 56,000 bpd in November. The EIA had great hopes for the GOM expecting it to hit 2 million barrels per day in 2016. I don’t think that is going to happen. GOM production now stands at 1,441,000 bpd


Alaska’s decline seems to be slowing down slightly. They are now at 520,000 bpd.


The US oil production was up 187,000 barrels per day in December and 1,366,000 bpd for the year to 9,226,000 bpd. The consensus among many in the media is that US production will just keep on increasing.

Business Insider says Rig Counts Don’t Matter. They said, bold theirs:  

“The rig count decline is still not sufficient, in our view, to achieve the slowdown in US production growth required to balance the oil market.”

And they posted the below chart to prove it. (The oval and circle inserts are mine.)

Markets Chart


The rig count turned down two months ago but production has not started to drop yet. Therefore we can infer that rig counts don’t matter. But rig count started to rise in 2009 and it was late 2011, two years later before production started to rise by very much. Even then there continued to be over a one year lag time between increasing rig counts and increasing production.

The following is a guest post by Ovi Colavincenzo

Reverse Engineering the North Dakota Bakken Data: Part 2

In February 2014, Part 1 of this post was published. The purpose of the post was to assess whether it was possible reverse analyze the North Dakota Bakken data to estimate the newly added gross monthly production and associated decline. The objective being to provide further insight to what is happening in the ND Bakken.

In response to the post, D Coyne and Enno provided more information. Dennis familiarized me with the Arps hyperbolic decline function, which can be used to project a well’s future production. Enno shared his detailed Bakken well data  with Dennis, who used it to derive a decline function for an average Bakken well. David Hughes provided his average Bakken decline curve. This update uses the Coyne/Enno decline function and the D. Hughes decline function to analyse the ND Bakken data.

Fred W and Enno have posted well data on POB and Fred’s is shown below. Note that it has a first month droop of close to 25% and as noted by Ron above, that result is due to all wells not coming online at the beginning of the month. The decline curve posted by David Hughes does not show a droop. The model has been updated to account for the first month production droop.

Ovi 1

The original D. Hughes decline function was converted to a pseudo monthly decline curve by assuming that one well came online each day within a 30 day month.  The first chart below shows the original curve and the resulting pseudo field curve.  It has the first month droop and interestingly after about 6 months closely follows the original single well decline curve.

Ovi 2

Note that the second month production is higher than shown by Fred W and the first month is about the same, i.e. ~300 b/d, but lower percentage wise relative to the peak.

Ovi 3

Above is a comparison of the normalized Enno/Coyne decline curve with the pseudo Hughes field curve. They are reasonably similar except for the first month droop and a 5% difference in decline rate at 12 months, 60% vs 65%. In Ron’s post above, the first year decline rate in 2014 is shown as being 66%.

Ovi 4

Both the Enno/Coyne and DH normalized decline curves were then used to estimate the incremental production required each month to match the ND published data.  Due to the irregularity in the monthly data, the estimated new monthly supply rates and associated monthly declines shown match the three month production moving average. The results using the Hughes field curve are shown above and the Enno/Coyne results are shown below.

Ovi 5

In both cases, the first month production in the ND Bakken peaked in the May to August 2014 timeframe and is in the 70 kb/d to 75 kb/d range. The December net decline rates are between 46 Kb/d for the Enno/Coyne decline curve and 53 kb/d for the Hughes curve.

Ovi 6

The interesting thing to note in the above chart is that the 25% first month droop results in the second month production being 33% higher than the first month.

This has some interesting implications. For instance if no wells are brought online in January, the December wells would add 20.5 kb/d to the Bakken field offset by a legacy decline of 73.7 kb/d for a net decline of 53.2 kb/d, using the D Hughes field decline curve.

So the question is what does it take to offset the 53.2 kb/d decline. Using the first month field average production of 300 kb/d shown in the Fred W chart would require 177 wells to be brought on in January to the offset the decline. Using the Enno/Coyne decline curve, 155 wells are required.

These well numbers to offset decline are larger than the more typical quoted numbers in the 130 to 140 range. If Fred W’s first month production rate of 300 bbl/d is correct, then 130 new wells to offset decline implies a decline rate of 39,000 bbls/d, which seems low according to my model.

Looking at Ron’s well numbers for Sept to December below, Oct and Nov show that a high number of wells are required to offset the decline. However, Sept with only a few more wells than Oct brought on an additional 53,486 b/d. I think this shows the difficulty of coming up with a realistic estimate for the number of new wells required to offset the decline. The December numbers show a larger number of new wells and a lower change in production. This variability is why the above analysis uses a 3 month moving average for production.

Ovi 7

I would appreciate seeing information confirming or rejecting the 70 kb/d to 75 kb/d first month production numbers estimated for May to August? More interestingly, did the ND Bakken sweet areas peak in August? If someone is interested in the details of the analysis, forward your request through Ron.


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460 Responses to Petroleum Supply Monthly + Guest Post

  1. I have spent the last few days watching Youtube videos on the ecological condition of the earth. My conclusion is we are in the death throws. If we were in the ICU the doctor would recommend that we pull the plug. Here are a couple of really good ones.

    Jeremy Jackson: Ocean Apocalypse

    It’s Too Late To Stop Climate Change, WE ARE DEAD, Guy McPherson

    • Tom F says:

      “We are just walking around to save on funeral expenses.”
      – Dr. Guy McPherson

    • Jeju-islander says:

      The Jeremy Jackson video is excellent. It does seem we will all be eating reconstituted jellyfish protein in the not too distant future. Guy McPherson however is cherry-picking all the examples of positive feedback in climate change and ignoring the negative feedbacks. This approach brings forward and exaggerates all potential consequences. Yes things are bad but not as bad as he makes out.

      • sam Taylor says:

        Yeah, Macpherson’s the opposite of a climate change skeptic in a way. His science is dodgy at best, and really isn’t supported by the research. Just a secular version of a rapture cult leader as far as I’m concerned.

        • SRSrocco says:


          Normally I agree with you, but for you to say his science is dodgy…then you must also claim the 100 plus scientific papers that he sites is also dodgy.

          Maybe Guy is a bit extreme in his forecast for near term human extinction… but I don’t see his work as dodgy one bit. He quotes new research from Shakova and Beckwith that claim methane is now more of a problem than carbon.

          Regardless…. debating how long it takes us to destroy our ability to live on this earth is an insane indeed.


          • Sam Taylor says:


            Macpherson is very guilty of cherry picking data, misrepresentating research results and ignoring any kind of negative feedbacks which tend to add to system stability. I’ve read a fair chunk of climate literature and nothing that Macpherson says really tallies with most of the science. He takes the most extreme scenario from every paper he reads and then makes it that much worse. The man is not a credible source for climate change science.

            There’s a very thorough rebuttal of a lot of his claims (and examples of how he misrepresents many papers that he quotes) here:

            • Futilitist says:

              Quit focusing on the messenger. Macpherson doesn’t matter. What he is saying does.

              • Sam Taylor says:

                But ultimately what he’s saying is very, very overblown. It’s just a secular doomsday cult!

                I mean, look, yes global warming is a serious and possibly existential threat to human civilisation. But almost certainly not within the next 15 years and almost certainly not to the extent that we’re be facing near term extinction on that timescale.

                • Futilitist says:

                  Why do you think it is “almost certainly” unrealistic? That sounds definitive. What evidence do you have? Otherwise you are just making the argument from personal astonishment.

                  Are you familiar with the concept of the Dragon’s Breath? Do you understand what the ‘mystery’ holes are, and why they have climate scientists so worried?

                  By the way, did you check out some of the videos I posted? They seem to present a pretty bleak outlook. What do you think of them?

                  • Sam Taylor says:

                    Because it’s based on a misinterpretation of facts and some relatively shoddy geophysics. Almost none of the science on the issue has apocalyptic near-term extinction as a likely outcome. Even the most aggressively bad climate simulations don’t come close by end century to what macpherson is predicting in a decade or so.

                    As for runaway methane release, I quote AR5: “Anthropogenic warming will very likely lead to enhanced methane emissions from both terrestrial and oceanic clathrates. Deposits of methane clathrates below the sea floor are susceptible to destabilization via ocean warming. However, sea level rise due to changes in ocean mass enhances clathrate stability in the ocean. While difficult to formally assess, initial estimates of the 21st century feedback from methane clathrate destabilization are small but not insignificant. It is very unlikely that methane from clathrates will undergo catastrophic release during the 21st century (high confidence). On multi-millennial timescales, such methane emissions may provide a positive feedback to anthropogenic warming and may be irreversible, due to the difference between release and accumulation timescales.”

      • Mikeb says:

        It may be true that the planet is in a dire condition, but citing Guy McPherson is a prime of example of why the peak oil/environmental movement loses credibility. He is a hyper-crank who cavorts with uber-crank Vandana Shiva.

        It’s unwise for one to agree with anyone and everyone who happens to agree with one on some issue. Surely, if a hypothesis is robust enough, there must be enough smart, credible people to cite in support. If not, then that must mean something…

        • Paulo says:

          It is similar with David Suzuki (Canadian with his own CBC TV show…..which is excellent by the way). When Fukishima was destroyed…what 3 years ago now?, his response was to tell the news interviewer that we should “evacuate the northern hemisphere, right now”.

          I’m still here on the BC west coast, we have negligible measured radiation, and winter spring salmon fishing has never been better. Yes, I am still worried about Fukishima and pleased it has slowed nuke developments, but evacuation was probably a little strong of a warning.

          David Suzuki is a very intelligent scientist. However, his wild statements take away from his message. I now look at many dire warnings with a well-intentioned grain of salt. They are warnings, not certainties. We had best heed them. Indeed, Rachael Carson’s ‘Silent Spring’ changed the rampant use of DDT. But McPherson and others like him are probably more alarming than right. Just an opinion and it was free, so don’t jump too hard.

          • Mikeb says:

            Yes, Suzuki, like McP, is also an anti-GMO zealot.

            And your comment about his response to Fukushima–“evacuate the northern hemisphere, right now”–is nearly identical to Matt Simmons’ hysteria around both peak oil–“all we can do is pray!”–and the Macondo disaster–[paraphrased]”evacuate the Gulf coast, right now!”

            Hence, my current very ginger handling of any peak oil claims.

          • TechGuy says:

            Paulo Wrote:
            “When Fukishima was destroyed…what 3 years ago now?, his response was to tell the news interviewer that we should “evacuate the northern hemisphere, right now”.

            I think that was under the content that that the spent fuel pool that was dangling 3 stories on top a compromised building was close to collapse. Had that spent fuel pool had indeed collapses, Japan would have become uninhabitable. FWIW: Fukashima still represents a major problem. Its still possible for Fukashima to become a much worse problem. Evacuating Japan is probably impossible. I do believe that Nuclear energy is playing russian roulette with the enviroment. It just a matter of time before there is a spent fuel incident that results in global crisis. Not that we don’t already have several big global crisises underway.

            That said, I doubt global warming is going to be human extinction event. Perhaps for non humans it will be extinction, but humans are more likely to press on.

            I do 100% on his believe that Global warming has been propagandize to make a few people very wealthly. The Talk-show host was most annoying bring up the most crank\crack pot theories. I had to stop watching because he was just too damn annoying.

            • clifman says:

              “That said, I doubt global warming is going to be human extinction event. Perhaps for non humans it will be extinction, but humans are more likely to press on. ”

              Humans aren’t ‘pressing on’ w/out other species in a healthy, vibrant biosphere. Not possible.

              Silent Running is a pretty good flick on the topic.

            • Allan H says:

              The problem with radioactivity is the effect it has on DNA. Unleashing any type of mutagen, whether it be chemical or radioactive, upon the landscape is a nightmarish enterprise.
              Despite all the horrible cataclysmic occurrences in earth’s history, DNA has trudged forward dispersing into new species and re-populating the earth with a vast variety of life forms. Mutagens and radioactivity can wreck the DNA strands and other life molecules. Most mutations are negative and when sperm or eggs are damaged, the error can carry on and grow, debilitating populations.
              Since this is an uncontrolled experiment over a vast area and population, we have little idea if many of the diseases or conditions of modern time are not the result of chemical mutagens from vast chemical industry or from radioactivity introduced from bomb tests and nuclear power plants.
              How much of the ADHD, autism, cancers, and nerve problems are due to human introduced factors is not something that is generally known or even researched on a large scale. Probably too convoluted to unravel at this point.

          • Futilitist says:

            Hi Paulo.

            “It is similar with David Suzuki (Canadian with his own CBC TV show…..which is excellent by the way). When Fukishima was destroyed…what 3 years ago now?, his response was to tell the news interviewer that we should “evacuate the northern hemisphere, right now”.”

            I think you may be misinterpreting Suzuki a bit. Somehow I doubt he was trying to issue a serious evacuation order when he said that. Sounds more like pretty good gallows humor to me, considering the circumstances. Be real. Try to put yourself in his shoes.

            “David Suzuki is a very intelligent scientist. However, his wild statements take away from his message.”

            Science is not perfect and neither are scientists. So what? Get over it. You expect too much. Sometimes a scientist needs to let off some radioactive steam.

            Insisting that scientists be super humanly perfect undermines science itself, and it is just another variant of the argument from authority. It is anti-science.

            “I now look at many dire warnings with a well-intentioned grain of salt. They are warnings, not certainties.”

            What you say is more of a wish than a reflection of reality. And science is not about certainty. It is about knowing as much as we can.

            Demanding unattainable levels of precision and certainty from science is actually anti-science.

            “We had best heed them. Indeed, Rachael Carson’s ‘Silent Spring’ changed the rampant use of DDT. But McPherson and others like him are probably more alarming than right.”

            Okay. Let me see if I have this straight. We should heed dire warnings, because it has been proven correct to have done so in the past, but, at the same time, we should also ignore dire warnings since they might be wrong.

            I don’t see how that could be useful in any way.

            How do we determine which dire warnings to pay attention to and which dire warnings to ignore? I guess you just pick your favorites. The ones that feel safest to you.

            Picking your favorite from a list of dire predictions, based on which one sounds the most pleasant and least worrisome, is just wishful thinking. It is a product of the optimism bias shared by all humans. Science tries to control for this and weed it out to get the right answer. It is not scientific to pick favorites. It is anti-scientific.

            “Just an opinion and it was free, so don’t jump too hard.”

            Sorry, I only have one setting for comments containing transparent patterns of DENIAL.

        • I understand your position. McPerson says it is just too goddamn late to save the world. And that really, really pisses people off. No one wants to believe that so they call him names like hyper-crank. But I do understand that McPerson does not go deep enough into explaining just why it is too late to save the world. And indeed he could do a better job in that department. McPerson really needs to do better job of explaining his position.

          However one person does do a very good job of explaining his position, which is essentially the same as McPerson’s. That man was the late David Price.
          Energy and Human Evolution by David Price

          Or if you like short news releases along with pictures go here:
          Desdemona Despair, Blogging the End of the World
          Here you will find about a thousand articles, stories and pictures that tell the true ecological state of the world. The argument here must be digested piecemeal. And you will get very, very depressed reading it. So don’t go there if you don’t want to get depressed.

          • Mikeb says:

            The Price link is something you showed me a long time ago, and I’m still grateful for it.

            And I still take it with huge doses of salt.

            • Mikeb says:

              I’d add that, evolutionarily speaking, we’ve always been neck-and-neck with doom.

              • Futilitist says:

                “I’d add that, evolutionarily speaking, we’ve always been neck-and-neck with doom.”

                And I would add that, scientifically speaking, what you are saying is not relevant.

                In fact it is just silly. So, more of a distraction than an argument. We will exist until we don’t. Just because we have always been on the edge, it doesn’t indicate anything at all about how long we might be able to balance there. It certainly doesn’t imply that we will always be able to maintain that balance. It actually implies that we have been very lucky up till now, and that our luck could run out at any moment. If you think about it enough, it further implies that the longer we maintain that balance, the nearer we are to doom, since we obviously are stressing the system over time. So, in effect, you are really making my argument for me. Thanks.

            • Mike, the Price article can be looked at as containing two things:

              1) Facts

              2) Conclusions drawn from those facts.

              Now I know you don’t disagree with the facts stated in the article. It is the conclusions drawn from those facts that you “take with a huge doses of salt.” Of course you do. And I understand your position completely.

              However the destruction of the natural world is already well underway. Every day we use up more and more of the world’s nonrenewable natural resources, and we are using the renewable resources many times as fast as they are being renewed. Water tables are dropping, rivers are drying up, lakes and inland seas are drying up, topsoil is being blown away and washed away, species are going extinct, deserts are expanding, forests are being clear cut and a hundred other things I could name.

              Those are facts. Draw the conclusions from those facts that make you feel comfortable. You’ll sleep a lot better if you do.

              • canabuck says:

                And one needs to compare that with the Gates Foundation Annual Letter 2015:

                The lives of people in poor countries will improve faster in the next 15 years than at any other time in history. And their lives will improve more than anyone else’s.

                1. Health:
                2: FARMING
                3: BANKING
                4: EDUCATION

                • Lloyd says:

                  The lives of people in poor countries will improve faster in the next 15 years than at any other time in history. And their lives will improve more than anyone else’s.

                  I think you forgot the smile face…though I doubt there is an appropriate one for this kind of gallows humour.


                • Lidia17 says:

                  Mobile banking! LOL…
                  Would that run on Windows?

                  People like Gates are not, and have never been, in touch with the real world.

                  • Ilambiquated says:

                    Mobile banking is an East African invention that is slowly spreading to the rest of the world. Nigeria and South Asia are hotspots. I think it will be coming to the US soon as well. It actually has made a huge difference in East Africa already.

                  • John B says:

                    More like in touch with controlling the real world.


                  • canabuck says:

                    Look up M-Pesa in Kenya.
                    18 million active users.
                    M-Pesa Kenya

                  • canabuck says:

                    re: John B.
                    The Gates foundation invested $23 million in Monsanto, a $13 billion company. I don’t think this is a controlling position. They have $70 billion to invest. I imagine they have invested in most major companies.

                  • Old farmer mac says:

                    Lidia I would suggest to you that Bill Gates has had as much influence and experience touching the real world as just about anybody.

                    Of course if he had not done what he has done in computers somebody else would have done it not much later.

                    And while we all love to bitch about his stuff it does RUN.

                    And as friend of mine says he is tired of hearing all the bullshit coming from people who compare two thousand dollar Macs to five hundred dollar pcs.

                    Incidentally I have a Mac myself but I am going to get another pc pretty soon because it is SO MUCH easier to get help when you get stuck doing something.

                    I can get ten people on the phone free who know pcs inside out.

                    The one friend I have who talked me into buying this Mac died on me.

                  • Wake says:

                    the gates foundation charity work seems to me, as someone who worked briefly in some of the same arenas, to be remarkably smart and on target.

                    I have extreme admiration for them, and it made me rethink Bill Gates as well. very sharp programs

                • El Capitan says:

                  Don’t let the quantity of Bill Gate’s wealth persuade one to believe that it correlates to greater intellectual capabilities, (at least that go beyond how to maintain a lucrative monopoly). It is laughable to hear Gates go on and on about how the solutions to nearly all problems lie within software, or increased-Internet access. He puts the lion’s share of his charity into the third world-basically pissing in the ocean. It would be nice if he would look at non-science fiction solutions, starting with the United States.

                  • robert wilson says:
                  • Wake says:

                    I dunno. If you read about him, or follow him, he does seem to have been an extraordinary intellect tied to crazy fixation from a very early age.

                    He didn’t just luck into Microsoft (well fine, h did) but he also spent 18hrs a day from 7th grade on on computers, nearly driving his parents nuts. he is far from an ordinary guy

                    Which does make me wonder how he misses the energy thing.

                    Still, software is amazing. Think of all the impossibilities of building out public transport at scale, of scaling electric cars before oil turns too far south, of redesigning cities around different energy cost.

                    Then think of uber, which can match up rides and triple the fuel economy of the US passenger car economy, essentially overnight, with no cost.

                  • shallow sand says:

                    Old Farmer Mac. Look into a Microsoft surface. I have one and really like it. Have had over a year with no problems. I think price is reasonable.

                  • ilambiquated says:

                    Gates knows as much as anyone in the world about health care and issues around governance and running huge (government sized) projects in very poor countries. He knows the health trends are positive. Also he knows what an impact mobile technology is making. So he is optimistic.

                    He isn’t particularly well informed about agriculture, energy or ecology. But he is really smart.

              • MikeB says:

                “Those are facts. Draw the conclusions from those facts that make you feel comfortable. You’ll sleep a lot better if you do.”

                Ron, this stuff is Old Hat for me. I’ve been reading about it for years. Who am I to draw conclusions from Price’s “facts”? Nobody.

                As a lay person who finds there is absolutely NO major consensus on these issues, I intend to remain staunchly agnostic and to just dig in my heels and observe. This is nothing like climate science or evolution, where the chorus from the experts is overwhelming.

                I refuse to “believe” anything because belief is a dangerous drug:


                (Thanks for the “error” message that forces me to type in my name.)

                • MikeB, you are sorely confused. You are using belief as: Belief – noun – confidence in the truth or existence of something not immediately susceptible to rigorous proof.

                  That the earth is in deep, deep overshoot is not a belief, it is a fact. That the human population is driving millions of species into extinction is not a belief it is a fact. That the long term human carrying capacity is dropping every year is a fact.

                  And about scientific consensus, just as there is a scientific consensus among climate scientists that the earth is warming, there is a strong scientific consensus among Naturalists and Oceanographers that the earth and her oceans are in a downward spiral that is spinning out of control and disaster is certain unless we do something drastic soon.

                  I could name dozens of them, Lester Brown, Peter Sale, Jeremy Jackson, Alan Weisman and hundreds of others. They have written hundreds of books on the subject and they all agree.

                  As Jeremy Jackson said in the video, it doesn’t matter whether you ask the oceanographers at the Scripps Institute in San Diego or those at Woods Hole Institute in Massachusetts they will all tell you the same thing, that the oceans are on the verge of collapse. The scientific consensus on this issue is overwhelming.

                  • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                    MikeB, Nick G, John B… Perhaps they are from Flatland?

                    “…and we all scurry about and we can go into our houses and do our flat business…” ~ Carl Sagan, ‘Cosmos’

                  • MikeB says:

                    “…the earth and her oceans are in a downward spiral that is spinning out of control and disaster is certain unless we do something drastic soon.” Point granted, I agree, except that I see this as natural selection in action, not necessarily as a “disaster” for us. We have brains that could allow us to adapt in real time and not have to wait for genes to mutate. Cultural evolution is “Lamarckian,” if you will.

                    We’ve change the environment, and the situation for wildlife is adapt, or die. The fowl and bovines are doing well in this environment.

                    We are transitioning into an era of a planet “changed utterly.” This is not something I necessarily like, because it will consist of humans and all the crops/animals essential for human existence and not much else.

                    What we humans are “doing” simply embodies the pitiless, implacable powers of nature that have always been operating.

                    For example, those awful cyanobacteria filled the atmosphere with toxic oxygen!

                    Be aware of “What you see is all there is.” Speculating about the future is just that–speculation.


                  • Futilitist says:

                    “What we humans are “doing” simply embodies the pitiless, implacable powers of nature that have always been operating.”

                    Another implacable power of nature is collapse. You fail to account for it.

                    “I refuse to “believe” anything because belief is a dangerous drug.”

                    Are you sure about that? If you are sure, doesn’t that certitude, in itself constitute a “belief”, which you say you cannot hold? If you believe that belief is dangerous, you should perish the thought as soon as you have it! Perfect. You are caught in an anti-science loop of denial.

                    Holes in fundamental logic are a sign of a weak position. Maintaining that position in the face of powerful evidence to the contrary is a sign of DENIAL.

          • SRSrocco says:


            Guy does explain it in detail. You have to go to his site and click on videos. Look at some older ones where he is in a classroom. He spends an hour explaining the details

            I have watched a dozen of his presentations and believe he has an excellent grasp of the situation.


          • Desdemona is hard to read on an ongoing basis, very depressing.

            I don’t agree with McPherson but the difference between his position and mine (and others) is actually very small. Unlike McPherson, I believe we do have control over our own fate but refuse to even discuss the problem so controls are not deployed.

            Controls require sacrifice … this is something that Americans feel entitled to shift onto others: these others refuse to sacrifice as well … they react accordingly. In MENA there are millions of young persons who refuse to live like dogs so Americans can live like archdukes. They demand cars, freeways, flat-screens, Hollywood, tit-bars, tract houses, dope, hip-hop, celebrities, corner offices; they want luxury jobs in vast, anti-human concrete towers just like the people they see on TV. They will kill- or die for the chance at these things … the killing- and dying by themselves indicate the social force behind our cannibalizing of resources. We permit/finance/promote more waste, more equitable waste or these people will kill us … or whomever else they can get their hands on.

            Art Berman himself mentioned on Chris Martenson a few weeks ago; our petroleum ‘problem’ orbits around transportation; solving the problem would mean getting rid of the cars … that is a sacrifice too far, particularly for Americans.


            Underway is the de-carring of the world; ‘Conservation by Other Means ™’ … by way of war, economic collapse, theft by bosses and environmental degradation … one way or the other, easy — voluntarily — or hard, by force of events.

            • In MENA there are millions of young persons who refuse to live like dogs so Americans can live like archdukes.

              I reject the idea that people in other parts of the world living like dogs is what enables Americans to live the way they do. That idea is without any foundation whatsoever. Third world people are living as good a life or better than their ancestors ever lived. Only massive overpopulation keeps their lives from being a lot better.

              But I don’t blame them for their overpopulation or any of their predicament any more than I blame Americans for living their lives the way they do. We are all just living our lives in the only way we know how, playing the cards that have been dealt us in this game of life.

              I don’t play the blame game. We are all either victims or beneficiaries of our heredity and environment. We didn’t deal ourselves this hand, it was dealt to us.

              • Yr misreading what I’m saying.

                Wars in MENA are usually considered to be about ideology, instead they are about access to resources. The Egyptians and Syrians in Tahrir Square or Aleppo did not riot/go to war to gain democracy or social justice, they erupted because they want to have the nice things they see on TV; they want to live like Americans. They can’t have any of this because their bosses steal everything that isn’t bolted down, leaving them with scraps: Allah, Internet cafes, meager payouts, food rations, gasoline subsidies; also secret police, torture and ‘disappearances’. There isn’t so much wealth in these places that the bosses can steal what they please and leave enough for the ordinary citizens; they become impoverished outcome is resentment, conflict. That in turn causes more poverty and resentment in a vicious cycle.

                Living like dogs and worse is what Syrians, Lebanese, Libyans, Gazans, Egyptians, Iraqis, Pakistanis, Ukraines, Belorussians, Nepalese, Tibetans, Argentines, Venezuelans, Nigerians, Angolans, Congolese, Sudanese, Kenyans, Somalis, Yemenis — also Greeks, Portuguese, Italians, Japanese, Chinese, Mexicans, Saudis and Iranians/all the above — are doing right now! This is the consequence of the developed West’s resource hogging, ongoing wars waste even more resources. The falling countries become the developed world’s thermodynamic sink; because the conversation is not framed this way people don’t understand, they do not see that what they want is poison, that the outcome is killing of their countries. Fuel shortage today results in tank burnouts, insurgencies, barrel bombs, credit collapse as well as concentration camps and iron cages … not ‘odd-even days’ and the hated ‘double-nickel’. We are good at fooling ourselves, so we are better at fooling our dupes, best at sowing confusion. We must do so because there simply aren’t enough resources to go around, for everyone to live like New Yorkers, we don’t have the four extra planet Earths we need … for us, for all of our cars and our cows.

                We always deal our own hand, we give our bosses permission to loot and kill us because we hope to use the same permissions ourselves. We have met the enemy and it is us.

                • Old farmer mac says:

                  In any case very few of the young people of the world are going to get the stuff they see on television.

                  What most of them are going to get is a hard life and a harder end to it.

                  Most of the young people even in a country such as the USA are not going to get the stuff they see on tv and in real life every day. Not much of it anyway and not if they are very young and their parents aren’t rich.

                  I do not accept collapse as INEVITABLE but BUSINESS AS USUAL is done for. BAU might last another months or a few more years or maybe as long as a couple of decades in a few countries. Not much longer than that anywhere. Probably not that long.

                • Futilitist says:

                  Hi steve from virginia.

                  “We always deal our own hand, we give our bosses permission to loot and kill us because we hope to use the same permissions ourselves. We have met the enemy and it is us.”

                  It has ever been thus. We know no other way.

                  That is why we put so much effort into not noticing.

      • wimbi says:

        When I read all this stuff I continually am puzzled by its contrast with what I actually see right here and right now. Not a few people I personally know around here really are doing all the good stuff. They are working hard on reducing heat/cooling by heavy insulation, they are buying solar to replace coal electricity, they are getting together in sharing co-ops, and so on.

        My wife has an over-sized garden, has had it for 50 yrs right where it is. She has NEVER bought any ff-derived fertilizer. Produces what we have decided is too much, even with all the sharing, so she is cutting back this year.

        And dare I say it? People are noticing my wife’s Leaf, and are amazed when she tells them we have paid for its fuel up front (PV) and will not have another dime on that the rest of our lives (of course, we were both born near the beginning of the great depression). That’s why I say that when that news soaks in, there will be a run on EV’s.

        So, from my window on the world, things are moving in the right direction very nicely, and- no government involvement required or asked for.

        How do we pay for it? Real simple. Paid for the Leaf by not-the pickup, paid for the PV by not-broadway visits, and so on. We have so many not-pay-fors available to us that it is real easy to pay for the yes pay-for.

        I refuse to believe that we are any way out of the ordinary. There must be millions of us doing all that. Maybe not where you live, but for sure where I live-semi-poverty hillbilly country.

    • Old farmer mac says:

      Good morning Ron ,

      I think maybe the odds of WWIII starting within the next few days went from ten thousand to one against to only a thousand to one against with the murder of a major opposition figure on a Moscow street. But a thousand to one is still good enough for me to do something rather than work on forting up today.

      But just in case – I am at the little fella end of a grape vine of retired military folks who know things sometimes without really knowing anything if that makes sense.

      You have probably heard the stories about how a couple of really famous reporters used to keep pizza delivery guys on their personal payroll in pre cell phone days. When they got a big totally unexpected odd hour order in Foggy Bottom or CIA or FBI headquarters the delivery guys called the reporters as soon as they could get to phone.

      Dead man walking is one of my favorite phrases these days. We may really be dead men walking , collectively. I have acknowledged that this is entirely possible and possibly even highly probable.

      If a substantial number of retired officers were to get a phone call about a recall to duty , or a few particular units were to be put into a high state of alert, the MSM would probably miss it but the grapevine would not. All I would get would be a message from a retired relative who was an officer who keeps up with her old friends still on active duty. The message would be no more than that something is up and thus keep a VERY close eye on the news. I wouldn’t actually know WHAT was going on of course but I might get motivated to run to town and get a big truck load of non perishables that would be impossible to buy a few minutes after the first mushroom cloud climbs into the sky.

      You guys who are totally convinced of your doom and gloom apocalyptic conclusions are certainly entitled to them. I share them to a substantial extent.

      But I find it hard to understand why a person as intelligent as you obviously are will not acknowledge that you MIGHT just possibly be wrong.

      The scale would be entirely different between what you could do and what a society can do but consider this. Suppose you personally were in a precarious position in a foreign country, living there, as a prosperous citizen. A citizen with significant assets. Suppose you become convinced that the country is going to collapse , or that you are on a list of people targeted to be purged -in the final sense of DEAD purged.

      GIVEN that you are a man with a brain and willing to use it , what would YOU DO?

      Now what I would do would be to get together as quickly and quietly as possible with anybody I really trust and make plans to get out or at least fort up or simply disappear into the masses giving up my identity for an assumed new one.. Getting out would be the better option by a factor of a thousand if it could be done.

      Now this would certainly result in you losing whatever portion of your assets you could not readily convert to currency or precious stones and smuggle out of the country – or maybe send out via bank transfers before the authorities seized your accounts.

      You might get out with ten percent or eighty or ninety percent of your assets. You might get out with the shirt on your back and your wife’s wedding rings and sell them for a few days lodging and food.

      MY point is that there would be a SUBSTANTIAL possibility that you WOULD survive.

      There is a substantial possibility in MY OPINION that societies taken as a whole will survive when collapse arrives. These societies are most certainly going to lose a substantial portion of their wealth real or imaginary. The people who constitute them are going to suffer severe hardships for extended periods of time, decades at least. The business as usual life style will be a fast forgotten fond memory because people do die off and whatever the survivors get used to becomes the new normal pretty quick.

      Whole countries cannot just convert assets and sneak on a plane or under a fence or build a raft of course in the way an individual is at least free to ATTEMPT.

      But whole societies or more properly countries CAN fort up.

      I believe anybody who has an open mind in this respect – meaning he is willing to consider the possibility he is wrong – and who knows a good bit about history and human nature must admit that countries will at least TRY to fort up..

      Now it could be that the damage to the biosphere overall has already passed a tipping point and that it really is irreversible and that we are TOAST as a result. I fully understand that this IS a possibility.

      But I think it is far more LIKELY that some most countries and societies will collapse with the result that most of the pollution and environmental destruction will peak and fall off pretty damned fast . In my estimation – based on some real expertise in biology given that I am a pro trained ag guy plus a huge amount of reading of NON DOOMER literature – there is a substantial probability that ENOUGH of the biosphere will be left in functioning condition to support something at least RESEMBLING life as we know it now for the survivors.

      I might be wrong of course.

      I might even be a Nazi or a spokesman for the Koch Brothers. I leave it up to others to decide for themselves if I have made credible arguments.

      I welcome differences of opinion given that I have starting some years ago posted my thoughts at the old TOD site and now here in order to get them run thru the grist mill with the chaff separated for me for free by the many sound thinkers who posted there and who post here now..

      At some point in the not too far distant future I intend to organize everything I have said and thought about into a book and have high hopes of riding your coat tails to fame and fortune lol.

      I can just see the both of us now on you tube -you being the principal attraction of course with me there for color and to explain why I think maybe you are a tad too pessimistic. We could parlay that into a speaking tour. LOL Just enjoying fantasy daydream of course. Reality is such that both of us will probably be dead before the evidence is in.

      I have it from two major contributors at the old TOD site – on a personal confidential basis – that one expects a financial collapse within the next five years at the outside whereas the other one things collapse is inevitable but that it will not arrive ” as such ” for another twenty years or so or longer.

      The end of ocean fisheries would be a first order disaster resulting in many millions of people starving to death. But I have not yet seen a convincing argument that supposedly dead oceans necessarily mean a dead land ecology. Photosynthesis will continue unless the entire planetary ocean flips to an anoxic state. The odds of this happening appear to be slim indeed from my pov.

      I believe I posted a link to the Jeremy Jackson talk here myself some months ago or maybe even longer.

      Mc Pherson is a credible scientist. The earth may well heat up as much as he thinks it will but I sort of doubt it because I think fossil fuel depletion and PARTIAL PIECEMEAL collapse will prevent it from getting quite that hot.

      But so long as the planet doesn’t get so hot that citrus won’t grow in New York state it will probably not mean the end of industrial civilization. We naked apes are remarkably resilient and adaptable creatures as you have occasionally pointed yourself..

      We can easily survive as a nation with a third of the primary out put of our farms today. We can survive as a nation with a third of the gasoline we burn today. With NO new houses for decades. No new shopping malls. No pleasure trips on jets. Dropping down the consumption ladder a few rungs or a dozen rungs is not the same thing as collapse.

      Bread is infinitely cheaper than ribeye. Flour costs only a small fraction as much as bread at the same store. We need food water and a basic functioning public health care system to survive.

      My own dear dead Momma consumed more in the way of health care in the last few years she lived than the whole rest of our immediate family of seven has consumed so far in our entire live time combined. The ones of us who are still around would still be around if she had died a few years younger.

      If believing Leviathan is not helpless in makes me a fascist so be it. I am not alone in coming to this conclusion although it would be silly of me to think that very many people will agree with me in a self selected peak oil forum.

      If understanding that the Nazis proved a country in dire straights can accomplish miraculous things – although the world would have been a million times better off if somebody had assassinated Hitler when he was still a corporal – makes a Nazi out of me then so be it.

      The old USSR actually had a criminal statue entitled roughly ” Praise of the Enemy. I can never remember how to spell his name but Russian dissident who wrote The Gulag Archipelago” related the stories of several men who got ten years in Siberia for stating the obvious truth- that the Nazis were tough and capable enemies.

      I will just go ahead and remind futilista that he is an idiot with a personality problem now and save myself the trouble later.

      The fact that the Nazis did what –in terms of todays conventional doomer thinking should have been impossible in ten years– is all the proof I need to conclude that a current day Leviathan with all the advantages possessed by the US allied with Canada just MIGHT survive the next century or two in more or less recognizable form.

      I am not talking about forever. Something is going to get us all EVENTUALLY.

      • Mac, the word is that Nemtsov’s murder was a false flag. On the other hand it could have been ultranationalists (ie a group like the one that blew up the Oklahoma City federal building).

        The location tells me it was more likely a false flag.

        If you want to look into war risk, focus on trying to get through the pro war propaganda in the USA media. It seems to be very similar to the campaigns you were fed before the USA started bombing Yugoslavia, or the 2003 Iraq invasion. If you can’t figure out the disinformation then the USA could indeed trigger a nuclear war.

        • Old farmer mac says:

          I have no argument with your thinking today Fernando.

          But a false flag operation might be INTENDED to raise the danger level.

          The Germans used a false flag just prior to invading Poland.

          False flags are not easily interpreted without a lot more information than I have at present.

          It would suit me very well if my country were more isolationist and meddled less in world affairs.

          What we have spent securing access to middle eastern oil alone would have been enough to get us well past halfway to the promised land of self sufficiency. Wind and solar farms and electric cars and subways and super insulated houses are EXPENSIVE as hell but they last a LONG time. A billon dollars worth of imported oil lasts only a few days.

          We wouldn’t have Homeland Security Gestapo or KGB in the making because there would have been no nine eleven.

          Wimbi is right.

          We could adapt our way out of most of our energy troubles if we would only make the necessary collective effort.

          I am afraid we may not make the effort SOON enough however.

        • John B says:

          More likely a Putin housecleaning operation.

          • John: A successful false flag is usually followed by comments like yours. A Russian president with an 88 % approval rating doesn’t have to order a murder 300 meters from the Kremlin.

            • John B says:

              That’s just the official excuse. Along with official made up numbers. Think Castro.

          • Theoltd says:

            You mean Putin is so stupid? Nemtsov was a looser guy, with 1% of support and almost unknown by the population. he was assimilated to Eltsin era (the one who sold it’s country to Oligarchy). The opponent number one to Putin is clearly Navalny. So, what would be the gain for Putin to kill Nemtsov? To receive more sanctions for it’s country? To be treated as Hitler? You really things that Russian are so stupid?

            I remain you that Russia was the only place with some real growth in Europe before Maidan. Do you think that Russia really needed a war in Ukraine?

            This is Peak oil, and this is a forum for Peak oilists, so, some of the consequences of Peak oil, are that countries with huge reserves are under attacks by other countries. This is just wild life on our planet. And the gain of this murder is clearly not for Putin, I think everybody can understand this.

            • AlexS says:


              I generally agree with you and Fernando. But, to clarify the numbers, it is Navalny who has 1% of support, and clearly he is not the real opponent to Putin.
              Nemtsov was very well known in Russia from the Yeltsin era, and that’s why his support was probably no more that 0.1%, or probably 0.01%.

            • Nemtsov’s focus on defending Ukrainian (and therefore NATO) control of Crimea was driven by his peaceful Ghandi like nature. We must also understand he was having sexual relations with Anna Durystka, an Ukrainian 23 year old:

          • Caelan MacIntyre says:

            John B, what with the flavor and character of your posts– this one, almost spam-like– they seem to occupy another dimension, namely, Flatland.

      • Mac, I do wish you would shorten your posts a bit. It is just hard to respond to so much dialogue since I don’t write long posts. However I will respond to part of it.

        But I find it hard to understand why a person as intelligent as you obviously are will not acknowledge that you MIGHT just possibly be wrong.

        Mac, I might be wrong about economical collapse, but I am not wrong about ecological collapse. I know I am not wrong because the collapse began long ago and is now well over half way complete. And the destruction gets a little faster each year. I see no way to stop the destruction that is already underway.

        To say that I might be wrong about the ecological destruction of the world is just another way of asking: “Ron, how can you possibly believe your lying eyes?”

        The end of ocean fisheries would be a first order disaster resulting in many millions of people starving to death. But I have not yet seen a convincing argument that supposedly dead oceans necessarily mean a dead land ecology. Photosynthesis will continue unless the entire planetary ocean flips to an anoxic state. The odds of this happening appear to be slim indeed from my pov.

        I find that paragraph extremely strange. You seem to be implying that you know the oceans are dying and will likely die. And this will result in millions of people starving to death. But most people, you believe, will survive. So let’s just play this disaster down a little because as the world as a whole is concerned, it is not all that serious.

        I think you are wrong, dead wrong.

        What Will Happen to Us When the Oceans Die?

        What the great majority of people do not understand is this: unless we stop the degradation of our oceans, marine ecological systems will begin collapsing and when enough of them fail, the oceans will die.

        And if the oceans die, then civilization collapses and we all die.

        It’s as simple as that, and the choice is between committing mindless mass collective suicide i.e. the ultimate total homicide or standing up and fighting for survival.

        One thing for certain however is that we are running out of time.

        Mac, Google it. There are many web sites stating studies and opinions of the world’s scientists. And they all say the same thing:

        If the Oceans Die – We Die

        Have a nice day.

        • Maybe evolution will help. In 5000 years we could see groupers evolved to eat plastic bottles, digest them with a super duper gut flora, and fart methane at 10 atmospheres.

        • Old farmer mac says:

          Dead means one thing to some people and another to others. An ocean full of jelly fish is NOT DEAD in any absolute sense.

          It may be said to be dead of course.

          I have posted many times that I expect most of the population to die off. HERE in this forum. Don’t get caught in Egypt I have been repeating this mantra
          not even for a harem of young virgins would I move to Egypt to stay.

          But there just is not any reason at all that I can see to assume die off is going to be swift and universal on a global basis.

          And the truth is that while a major die off of species is underway we do not have a realistic idea of how far it can progress before it starts causing serious difficulties for US as a species.

          I think the odds are pretty high that Africa will be just about totally wiped clean of wild animals big enough to eat them within half a century and probably a lot sooner due to habitat loss, population growth , and bush meat hunting.

          But except for the mineral resources coming from Africa – It would not matter much to the survival of the US if the entire continent and every body on it sank under the waves Atlantis fashion except that would probably change the way the wind and ocean currents blow. It might also seriously upset the fisheries of the world.

          There are some birds that migrate to Europe from Africa. The loss of those birds might or might not cause serious problems for Europeans. Birds are adaptable and opportunistic and if competition is removed other species can and will expand the niche they occupy..Losing a given species MIGHT result in major problems. It might not. We lost the passenger pigeon which was a major species and we are still here.

          We do not know how far we can go in losing species.

          The real question in terms of human survival and extinction of species so long as the O2 CO2 carbon cycle functions is whether we will lose major crops or pollinator species.

          I am going to give this issue a rest for a while since it doesn’t do any good to just argue about it.

        • clueless says:

          Not trying to get anyone mad, just trying to express my opinion. The world is really big. The oceans are just huge. I do not think that humans could destroy the oceans if they tried. You can do a little exercise in size: Everything that every human, since humans first arrived on earth, has constructed or made or grown can easily fit in a cube 60 miles on each side. Every house, road, building, all of the oil produced, all clothing, furniture, automobiles, planes, factories, coal mined, all cities ever – well, without naming other things, just everything. 60 cubic miles is a miniscule fraction of the earth. If all that can destroy it, then earth is more fragile than I thought. A number of events have happened throughout the eons – ice ball earth; meteors etc. that have brought things to a pretty bleak state – but, earth always has recovered. Could a collision with another huge meteor end life as we know it – sure. But can humans do it? Not really in my opinion. My opinion only and I guess I will claim my constitutional right to it without arguing with others about it.

          • Clueless, there is something you really don’t understand. No one is talking about literally destroying the oceans. Hell, where would they put all that water? 😉 We are talking about destroying the ocean ecosystem. You know, fish, whales, coral, plankton and stuff like that. And we are not even talking about destroying all life in the ocean. We are talking about replacing one kind of life with another. Replacing fish with jellyfish, replacing plankton with slime. We are talking about acidification which prevents shellfish and coral from building their shells and skeletons.

            And all this is from 50 to 100 percent complete already. What percent depends on what species you are talking about. We are talking about facts, we are talking about things that have already happened. But for God’s sake, before you say you don’t believe it, watch the video then say you don’t believe it. People are always denying stuff when they haven’t a clue as to what the hell they are denying.

            Jeremy Jackson: Ocean Apocalypse

            • Ron, i think ocean acidification will happen, but it’s not that bad. The key premise is the overall CO2 concentration limit. I worked out a number: 630 ppm.

              I have an empirical observation: sea water temperature almost never exceeds 31 degrees C. This means the worldwide average may go up, but it will be capped.

              Take 30 degree C sea water, a 630 ppm CO2 atmosphere, toss in a bunch of carbonate rock, and you will see pH doesn’t really change that much. What will change is the nature of the critters, species with tiny populations will increase their numbers and so on.

              Cold water fish will suffer some discomfort as well, but they should adapt. I think those giant fish trawlers are a lot more harmful.

              • MikeB says:

                “Ron, i think ocean acidification will happen, but it’s not that bad.”

                Not that bad for us, maybe, but it sucks if you’re cirripedia, Cnidaria,et al.

                • Right, ocean acidification is already quite bad but the alarming thing about it is the pH of the ocean continues to drop. It will continue to drop. It is dropping because of the continuing rise of C02 in the atmosphere. But it has been worse and it will continue to get worse.

                  Stanford scientists link ocean acidification to prehistoric mass extinction

                  In a paper published April 26 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a team of researchers led by a Stanford geologist said that as carbon dioxide gas dissolved in the oceans, it raised the acidity of seawater.

                  The research team said it was a deadly combination – carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and higher acidity in the oceans – that eventually wiped out 90 percent of marine species and about three-quarters of land species, in a cataclysmic event 250 million years ago known as the “end-Permian extinction.”

                  No, not that bad at all. /sarc

                  • Futilitist says:

                    Hi Ron.

                    Wow. Patterns of denial are amazing, yes?

                    Climate Change Denial, Peak Oil Denial, Ocean Death Denial, Holocaust Denial, Collapse Denial. They are all the same. They arise out of basic human nature I guess, but…

                    …I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

                  • Ron: I take it you dont disagree with my average pH estimate, 7.85 at the surface at peak CO2 concentration=630 ppm?

                  • I really have no idea what the pH will be at 630 ppm. But 7.85 sounds very reasonable at that concentration. I never said I disagreed with that figure.

              • Old farmer mac says:

                Fernando I have to disagree with you on this one.

                Most of the broad base of the world wide ocean food chain is built on micro or tiny creatures that probably will not survive a big increase in acidity. They gotta have their calcium based shells and structural ” skeletons” and they are physiologically adapted to a ph level near todays.

                If the oceans acidify to any substantial extent the fishing industries are going to be mostly toast or totally toast almost for sure.

                But this does not mean the oceans will be wiped clean of life and it does not mean the oceans will not continue to absorb co2 and release o2 via photosynthesis.

                I am afraid ocean acidification to the extent of severely disrupting fisheries is a very real possibility barring something preventing the continued and increased burning of coal.

                (That something could be a die off of most of humanity due to economic collapse or war.)

                I am NOT qualified to do the calculations myself and there may be some feed backs that either increase or decrease the rate of both atmospheric co2 build up as well as the rate of ph decline of the seas.

                Calculations are one thing. Predicting the actions of a planet’s worth of naked apes is another.

                (I would not be too surprised if for instance India and Pakistan depopulate each other substantially one of these days. Or if the moonson rains were to fail two or three years in a row and people starve by the tens of millions in place and are machine-gunned by the additional million at the borders of other countries.)

                This sort of thing touches closely enough on my own background that I have no trouble at all understanding the science involved. It is sound science.

                Nevertheless I don’t see any real indication that a sea full of jellyfish and slime NECESSARILY means the end of industrial civilization on land.

                • Mac, I have been trying to tie peak oil, gas, and coal to the CO2 concentration problem. So first we estimate the peak CO2 concentration. My rough estimate is 630 ppm. Then we can estimate the average pH at the surface: 7.85. This pH changes areally and seasonally. Then we can try to understand if there may be increased buffering (rain water will be more acidic, dissolve minerals, and so on). Then we have to read about individual critters and their ability to live in a given pH range. You are pretty smart. Follow that rabbit and tell me what you think. But it’s important not to fall in a trap by reading the hyper panicky literature. It’s better to read solid science papers.

                  • Futilitist says:

                    “It’s better to read solid science papers.”

                    Then why don’t you do that instead of conspiring with your fellow deniers to offer up crack pot theories under a smoke screen of pseudoscience. You are just trying to create distraction and confusion. What you are attempting is not scientific. It is anti-scientific.


              • Futilitist says:

                Hi Fernando.

                I don’t know about your empirical observation. Or the 630 ppm number you worked out (how? or why?). But scientists think the Arctic Ocean can’t absorb anymore CO2.


                Loss of sea ice is unlikely to enable Arctic waters to mop up more carbon dioxide from the air.

                As climate scientists watched the Arctic’s sea-ice cover shrink year after year, they thought there might be a silver lining: an ice-free Arctic Ocean could soak up large amounts of CO2 from the atmosphere, slowing down the accumulation of greenhouse gases and climate change.

                So a cap on the ability of the oceans to absorb CO2 is not exactly a good thing, is it? Your battle is on too many fronts.

                But back to your original hypothesis:

                “I have an empirical observation: sea water temperature almost never exceeds 31 degrees C.”

                Great. How did you happen to make this empirical observation? What is it based on?

                “This means the worldwide average may go up, but it will be capped.”

                I have no idea if that is true or not. Can you prove it somehow, or perhaps offer some supporting evidence? Does anyone else share your conclusion?

                You then conclude:

                “Cold water fish will suffer some discomfort as well, but they should adapt.”

                Based on what? I don’t see how this conclusion follows from your experiment, or your original empirical observation. You give no justification at all. It seems like you ‘jumped the shark’ a bit here, so to speak.

                Fancy science talk that boils down to just your opinion.

                “I think those giant fish trawlers are a lot more harmful.”

                Again, no support is given for the above statement.

                Sounds like DENIAL to me. And you are working real hard at it, too. Are you a pro? Or just a natural?

                • Futilist, a scientist who writes the Arctic Ocean can’t absorb any more CO2 must be living in an alternate reality. Nature is no longer a reliable source in this field, they have a heavy political slant. I recommend a more professional source, which I list below. My CO2 saturation estimate is here:



                  • Futilitist says:

                    Hi Fernando.

                    From the article I referenced:

                    …research published in Science today suggests that part of the Arctic Ocean has already mopped up so much CO2 that it could have almost reached its limit.

                    “…a scientist who writes the Arctic Ocean can’t absorb any more CO2 must be living in an alternate reality.”
                    ~Fernando Leanme

                    You aren’t arguing against what the article actually said. You are creating a straw man and arguing against it. This type of deception is typically found in the arguments of deniers.

                    “Nature is no longer a reliable source in this field, they have a heavy political slant.”
                    ~Fernando Leanme

                    That is completely ridiculous. You are the one with the heavy political slant, as evidenced by the link you provided to your blog. You are clearly a nut. I would invite everyone here to read the insane bullshit you write, but I am afraid you are just looking for hits to your blog.

                    “I recommend a more professional source, which I list below.”
                    ~Fernando Leanme

                    And the source you recommend is very nice. You might try actually reading it sometime.

                    “My CO2 saturation estimate is here:”
                    ~Fernando Leanme

                    Who cares? Are you a climate scientist? Marine Biologist? What a joke.

                    “I´m very familiar with the oil and gas industry, and I know a little about coal. My background really helped, this estimate took me about three hours….”
                    ~Fernando Leanme

                    I’ll bet it did. Real PhD level stuff there. Impressive. Ha ha.

                    “So where do I go from here? Nowhere. Beyond this point it´s a climatology issue. “
                    ~Fernando Leanme

                    You should leave it to the climatologists then.

                    You are just making shit up.

            • Cave Bio says:

              Hi Ron and Clueless,

              I would like to make a couple of points relative to this discussion.

              First, for Clueless, the majority of the ocean, even before our ancestors began to walk upright, were less productive than arctic tundra and only slightly more so than desert. This image is from the seventh edition of Campbell Biology, the textbook I use when teaching general biology 1 and 2 for biology majors. In other words, the open oceans are almost as dead as a desert. So it is not hard to “destroy” the productivity of the oceans because one must only disturb those areas that are or have been highly productive (and therefore are of economic/societal importance to humans), and as a percentage of the ocean’s area, these areas are small.


              Second, for Ron, collapse is not something that is going to happen. We are in the early stages of collapse right now.

              I have been following the peak oil story since they late 90’s. But my larger concern has and remains environmental degradation. I somewhat disagree with you when it comes to the consequences of peak oil because I think the technologies exist to largely replace oil with renewable energy. But if we continue to extract fossil fuels at prices that economies can afford, economists and politicians will continue to ignore the larger cost of entropy, which never enters their calculus. I have felt for some time that we need high fossil fuel prices to drive the transition forward. I have been relatively optimistic until recently–those who have followed my posts will understand what I mean here. I am hopeful that production does start to decline, prices rise and changes are forced upon individuals and economies.

              I will end with this, the oceans have enormous capacity to regenerate, if we but give them some room. The technologies exist and we have the capability to live at some level of balance with the biosphere. But changes must occur rapidly, both to our economies and our fundamental beliefs about what our place in the biosphere should be.


              • Second, for Ron, collapse is not something that is going to happen. We are in the early stages of collapse right now.

                Try telling me something I didn’t already know.

                I think the technologies exist to largely replace oil with renewable energy.

                I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. Of course we can replace some oil with renewable energy but only a small fraction of it. But that is a long argument which I don’t wish to engage in right now.

                I will end with this, the oceans have enormous capacity to regenerate, if we but give them some room. The technologies exist and we have the capability to live at some level of balance with the biosphere.

                Surly you jest. The C02 in the atmosphere continues to rise therefore the acidification of the oceans continues to rise. Over fishing continues. Plastics continue to be dumped into the ocean. Pollutants continue to be dumped in the oceans therefore the dead zones are getting bigger.

                And the technology exist to stop this? Geeze… give me a break. People, way too many people dumping too much shit into the atmosphere and into the oceans. That is what is doing this. Technology cannot control human behavior.

                • Cave Bio says:

                  Hi Ron,

                  The technology exists, right now, to produce 100% of Earth’s electrical demand using renewable energy. Here is one company in particular that I have been following. I have brought this company to the attention of this blog multiple times, and it has been completely ignored each time.


                  They have a 1.5 mw pilot plant in operation right now in the Negev Desert in Israel. They recently announced that they will invest 77 million of their own money to build a 10 mw plant. It will produce electricity from solar thermal for approximately 20 hours per day and from biomass for the other four. Importantly, they claim they are producing and will produce electricity at costs competitive with current fossil fuel technologies.

                  There is more than enough solar energy striking the Earth’s surface to not only replace all electricity generation but also to electrify a significant portion of the world’s vehicle fleet. An important point to make here is that we do not need to completely replace all fossil fuels. If we shut down coal fired power plants and electrify a significant portion of the world’s vehicle fleet, we can stabilize atmospheric CO2 and ocean pH will stop declining.

                  If you want to argue that the issue of energy transformation cannot be solved because of political dysfunction, economic hegemony, societal lethargy or sheer ignorance, then I would be strained to produce a strong counterargument. But the technology exists to begin the transformation in earnest right now.

                  I only hope that peaks in oil and gas production begin to bite soon, so that the impetus to move forward can occur all the sooner.


                  • The technology exists, right now, to produce 100% of Earth’s electrical demand using renewable energy.

                    Making statements like that are just that, statements of belief. My statement of unbelief means just as much, absolutely nothing.

                    They have a 1.5 mw pilot plant in operation right now in the Negev Desert in Israel.

                    I worked at Ghazlan I in Saudi Arabia. It could produce 1600 megawatts. Since I left they have built Ghazlan II right next to it. It can produce 2400 megawatts. That’s 4,000 megawatts megawatts between them. These plants power only a small part of the Eastern Provence of Saudi Arabia. And they have a 1.5 megawatt plant? I think they have a ways to go before powering the world, or even a tiny part of the world.

                    Pardon my skepticism CB, but I just flat don’t believe it.

                    the technology exists to begin the transformation in earnest right now.

                    Technology is not energy and 1.5 MW is not much of a start. But hey, hang in there.

              • wimbi says:

                Thanks. bio. My thoughts exactly- altho far less informed.

                As to replacement tech. As a tech guy all my life, I and my kind would LOVE to get a chance at replacing all ff’s with honesttogod permanent sustainables.

                Sure, Ron is right that it would be tough to replace all that petroleum as it is used today. But as it is used today is totally nuts and unnecessary. We could do just fine with very much less energy. From any source.

                Proof. I look around the room I am sitting in. Right, lots of stuff made of petroleum. That plastic chair. But next to it is a wooden chair made by my wife’s great grandpa. Good as new, and far better looking.

                Bananas? Sure, I love ’em. They come from central america, a long way off. I could do without another banana the rest of my life. Easy.

                And so on, those knives in the kitchen. Steel and wood. We have been making good knives for a hell of a long time, How much ff did those Japanese sword smiths use to make the things they carved each other up with so effectively? We could make even better ones right now, using no wood and no ff’s. Electricity is great for making steel. Electricity can come from ever so many sources, like, for example, a simple windmill made of wood and cotton.

                Yep, could not support BAU. BAU should never have been supported in the first place.

                And, I think the vote is unanimous here- BAU will not be supported in future.

                • Old farmer mac says:

                  RIGHT ON WIMBI

                  My Daddy with some help from his brothers and Dad logged the timber to build our first family home and he built it with the help of just one carpenter in a couple of months. It was basic shelter and no more but I was a happy child in it.

                  We have a house full of old solid wood furniture that was mostly locally hand made by long gone relatives that is as good as new and will last for centuries barring fire or abandonment to the weather. None of it was ever boxed or shipped or retailed.

                  Mom laughed at a visitor twenty or thirty years ago who offered her a thousand bucks for a hand made cupboard.

                  A New York antique shop would probably price it at four or five thousand or maybe even more. The man who made it was quite an artist.

                  He only made a few hundred pieces in his lifetime because he worked at staying alive all day most days and making furniture only when he was snowbound or caught up with his farm work..

                  I built airtight wood stoves for most of my immediate friends and family members using just the basic welding equipment found on most serious farms these days and scrap steel plate headed for the recycling plants.

                  I built the first ones back during the early eighties and guaranteed them to be trouble free ”as long as you can find me”.

                  So far I have not been called on to make a single repair.

                  If they are kept dry and used properly they will last for centuries.

                  They are not as efficient as stoves with cats but otoh they burn nice and clean with virtually no visible smoke if PROPERLY operated and the wood burned in them is virtually all locally harvested and generally harvested within a very few miles of where it is used.

                  I get our hot water spring to fall almost entirely from a solar system I built out of mostly salvaged materials as well.

                  Sometime this summer I am going to add a loop thru the wood stove which will enable me to turn off the electric water heater anytime it is cold enough to have a fire.

                  Now it is obvious enough that most people can’t heat with wood as things stand now but a truly well built house needs hardly any heat at all at my latitude at least. A quarter of an acre of woodland managed for firewood in my part of the world would produce enough to heat a truly well built house on a sustainable basis. All that would really be necessary in the way of fertilizer would be to put the ashes religiously back in the woodlot and maybe take a pee there as well once in a while.

                  There ARE solutions and they WILL work , especially after most people world wide die off and the survivors realize that the remaining reserves of fossil fuels are going to have to be strung out to last a very long time.

                  Some people believe that society as a whole will be unable to collectively make such a wise decision but we made the decision to have universal education and public health laws etc etc etc .

                  Personally I don’t believe the world will wake up and go renewable and sustainable soon enough to prevent die off on the grand scale.

                  But die off even on the grand scale is probably going to be piecemeal in time and place.

                  The Asians are never going to have food enough to supply themselves never mind Europe or the Americas in the event OUR food supply crashes suddenly.

                  And we aren’t going to have enough to supply them. There are not any big carryovers of staple food anymore.

                  We yankees could pull thru if we lost fifty percent or more of all our basic crops any given year by dropping down the food chain and eating our livestock.

                  AND at the end of the year we would collectively be healthier by a mile.

                  Asia and Africa don’t have that option. Most of the world does not have that option.

                  The survivors of die off just might make the decision to live a low energy low impact lifestyle rather than perish once the choice becomes obvious.

                  • Futilitist says:

                    Hi Old farmer mac.

                    “There ARE solutions and they WILL work , especially after most people world wide die off…”

                    Great. That’s a relief.

                    But why leave so much to chance? Perhaps the US should consider some sort of genocidal action against the rest of humanity. Is that the policy you favor?

                    You say sure, it will be real hard, but we CAN do it! Well, prove it.

                    Are there any historical examples from the 20th century, that you might be able to think of, in which a civilization managed to accomplish anything remotely like this? I think the Germans tried it. Maybe, through your vast studies in this area, you know of some ways that they could have achieved a better success rate than they did in the Holocaust?

                • Cave Bio says:

                  Thanks Wimbi,

                  I have admired your resolve and your comments for sometime. I hope to be in a position to follow your lead very soon.


          • Fred Magyar says:

            The oceans are just huge. I do not think that humans could destroy the oceans if they tried.

            YOU ARE WRONG! We are destroying ocean ecosystems right now.

      • Lidia17 says:

        Ocean photosynthesis produces half the planet’s oxygen.

        Oxygen as a percentage of the atmosphere used to be in the high twenties and thirties millions of years ago. Now it is 20-21% or less. Half of that and we really cannot function. Then you have the effects on the domestic species we rely on for food. These are human effects at various levels. Not sure about a chicken or a cow.

        * 20.9 percent: Percentage of oxygen found in normal air. No effect.

        * 19.5 percent: Minimum permissible oxygen level. No effect.

        * 15-19 percent: Decreased ability to work strenuously. May impair coordination and may induce early symptoms with individuals that have coronary, pulmonary, or circulatory problems.

        * 12-15 percent: Respiration and pulse increase; impaired coordination, perception, and judgment occurs.

        * 10-12 percent: Respiration further increases in rate and depth; poor judgment and bluish lips occur.

        * 8-10 percent: Symptoms include mental failure, fainting, unconsciousness, an ash-colored-face, blue lips, nausea, and vomiting.

        * 6-8 percent: 8 minutes – 100 percent fatal; 6 minutes – 50 percent fatal; 4-5 minutes – recovery with treatment.

        * 4-6 percent: Coma in 40 seconds, convulsions, respiration ceases – death.

        Of course, the reduction won’t only be in the oceans. The trees are dying world wide right now, too. We are poisoning and burning and chopping away at our own lungs, yet we somehow expect to survive! Really bizarre!

        • Allan H says:

          At greater than 25% oxygen even wet wood will burn readily, thus destroying land based species of plants. At less than 15% oxygen it will be difficult to start and sustain burning thus stopping the loss of plants due to burning.
          The drop in oxygen to levels where large complex life have difficulty existing would take quite a long time (geologic time) since all the existing rock has already combined with oxygen along time ago, it would take the formation of new exposed rock to cause a loss of oxygen from the atmosphere, if all plant life ceased.

      • TechGuy says:

        OFM Wrote:

        “I think maybe the odds of WWIII starting within the next few days went from ten thousand to one against to only a thousand to one against with the murder of a major opposition figure on a Moscow street”

        Did you write off my suggestion that the west is antagonizing Russia a few weeks ago?

        Here is another interesting interview with John Browne (Former UK Parliament Member) – Discusses some of the issues that the West is doing which is pushing Russia into a corner:

        • Old farmer mac says:

          Hi Tech Guy,

          Not at all. See my answer to Fernando’s comment above.

          Diplomacy is a very dangerous game. The US may be right or wrong in pursuing the current path.

          Allowing Russia to do as she pleases short term will not likely work any better than allowing Hitler to do as he pleased in the thirties. Remember the ” peace in our time” speech?

          Life is dangerous and the final destination of men and countries is the grave.

          I think Russia has sufficient historical claim to the Ukraine to at least half way justify wanting the territory. If by some freak occurrence we were to cede let us say the lower part of California to Mexico I suppose the rest of the US would soon want to go to war to get South Cal back.

          There aren’t any easy answers.

          Personally I am convinced that resource wars are baked in with energy wars in particular being a foregone conclusion. These wars will wipe out a lot of people but more importantly they will wipe out a hell of a lot of consumption when the question is the survival of the rest of the world.

          The air will be cleaner short term and the remaining oil coal etc will be available to stretch out the lie of conventional energy systems based on fossil fuels for the rest of the world.

          It may seem paradoxical but one of my greatest hopes is that the CURRENT DAY BUSINESS AS USUAL scenario lasts another decade or two. For one reason I will be dead within two decades lol.

          But the other is that so long as plenty of capital is still available research in every basic field of science is progressing at tremendous pace.

          Now INFRASTRUCTURE such as a highway or power line can be built pretty quick by throwing money at the job.

          But research does not respond so well to money as the construction industry.

          It takes a while for a new discovery to be disseminated and various companies to incorporate the new knowledge into their products. New knowledge and new inventions are discovered or invented mostly by little guys standing on the shoulders of giants who preceded them in time.

          It will take ten or twenty years just for what is known already by research scientists to be incorporated TO BEST EFFECT in for say powerful batteries for electric automobiles.

          In ten more years maybe we will actually have lots of new stuff that will help offset depletion of energy and other one time thru resources.

          In ten years residential scale pv in the US will cost HALF what it does today turnkey. They do it for half what we can in Germany already.

          I find the overall situation scary as hell but not hopeless by any means.

          • SRSrocco says:

            Farmer Mac,

            If you actually believe RUSSIA is instigating the events in Ukraine, I am sorry to say, you have been taking by the BS from the MSM. France’s Holland and Germany’s Merkel already agreed with the Minsk accord.

            They don’t want a MILITARY CONFRONTATION, either does Putin.

            The top politicians pushing for war are the warmonger McCain and that horrible excuse of a Sec. of State, the idiot, John Kerry.

            John Bachler has a great radio talk show, in which he interviews some of the top American journalists. However, he has a much different opinion of the situation in Ukraine.

            He has a weekly interview with Prof. Steven Cohen from the University of Princeton on the situation in the Ukraine.

            If anyone really wants to get a more TRUTHFUL understanding of what is taking place, I suggest you check out the most recent interview posted here at TFmetalsReport:


            There is a new one each week at the TfMetalsReport site.


            • John B says:

              I’m no big Obama fan, but at least he’s not murdering his political opponents. You can’t say the same for Putin.


              When you claim that there’s Russian troops fighting in Ukraine, and end up shot in the back, there’s probably something to the story.

            • Old farmer mac says:

              Steve I don’t really know what to believe about the Ukranian situation since I am not devoting a WHOLE LOT of time to following it.

              But there is NO DOUBT that Russia would like to have the Ukraine back. They had that territory for a long time and it is very valuable territory.

              I will point out that a lot of countries have at times wanted to take in territory without fighting IF they could manage it.

              For now I am not sure WHICH of us has been taken in. At any rate I don’t REMEMBER saying Russia started the fight or is making sure the fighting continues.

              I just said they do have some legit claim to the territory according to the way things have usually worked in this world.

              Sufficient claim? Don’t know that is a moral question.

              How many people living in the Ukraine want to merge with Russia? Don’t know that either.

              But as far as morality is concerned the size of the party that wants to join with Russia would be the key factor in my deciding on the basis of right and wrong.

              Unfortunately right and wrong are probably not going to have a lot to do with it.

            • I agree with the above. I suggest reading Russian history. Those of you who research the historical context will have a better understanding of what’s going on, and also begin to see how you are being brainwashed. All I can say is to remember the fake WMD story used by Bush to justify invading Iraq, the fake story used by Clinton to justify the intervention in Kosovo, the fake story about the Gulf of Tonkin, the fake story used to justify invading Cuba in 1898. Hell, once you research it you will realize a lot of conflict is made up to justify wars.

              • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                Did anyone mention the ‘Military Industrial Complex’ that Eisenhower, himself– you know, that USA chef– warned about?
                A little sauteed onion of economic sanctions, a pinch of coup salt, a dash of False Flag brand pepper, a marinade of secret back-room deals and mutual back-scratching, et voila, the simmering pot is ready for the boil. Garnish with a few drone strikes and some shredded civilians to taste. Serve with a tall glass of bubbly propaganda and a twist of lemon.

                ISIS? Ukraine? Bah. They’re just part of the menu.

      • clifman says:

        OFM – I hope that in the event that you do get that call from a retired relative you would take the moment to post even a cryptic acknowledgement of such here before heading into town for beans…

        • Old farmer mac says:

          Cliffman you can count on it but the odds are pretty high it will be a false alarm. Most of these things turn out okay.

          I am myself only going to keep a very close eye on the news if I get the call until there is some indication the shit is headed for the fan above and beyond the call.

          That could come in any number of ways. If the net goes down or the power goes off without explanation at that time along with the phones going out I am headed for town. The power phones and net could stay up here but if they go dark in any country worth mentioning and communications are cut with any important country I am headed for town.

          The WORST scared I have ever been for my own ass and the state of the world was on nine eleven. I was way out in the woods that day with no phone or anything and all of a sudden the air was fucking swarming with fighters hauling ass not much above treetop level. I mean a shitload of them. Choppers galore.

          Fort AP Hill would get a nuke for sure and it would have been close enough if it missed a few miles in my direction to vaporize me and would have killed me in any case.

          The Defense General Supply Center was only five miles or so from my house in south side Richmond. This is one of the biggest military warehouse complexes in the world and would definitely be targeted.

          Now at that time I was between Washington DC and some major air bases and very near to Fort AP Hill so I was where the jets were scrambled, apparently as many as they could get into the air. There are no jets at AP but there are often plenty of choppers there and if the choppers are there so are the pilots.

          If there is news of a really serious crisis that results in the emergency mobilization of any major country’s armed forces I will be headed for the stores IMMEDIATELY. Whatever I buy I will use up eventually ANYWAY. Plenty of safe storage on a farm such as this one. The REALLY important stuff is already on hand except an adequate stock of non perishable food. It is cheaper to buy ahead anyway because prices keep going up. Everything I have ever stockpiled is more expensive now than it was when I bought it.

          The closest probable target for a nuke is over a hundred miles away unless they decide on carpet bombing with nukes. I would most likely have a whole day to get under shelter with a little luck with the wind.

      • Futilitist says:

        Hi mac.

        “If believing Leviathan is not helpless in makes me a fascist so be it.”
        ~Old farmer mac

        Please give it a rest, Old farmer, or I will make you regret it. I did not say that believing that Leviathan is not helpless makes you a fascist (I believe Leviathan is powerful, just no where near enough to make any difference). But your constant insistence that Leviathan will save us shows that you have fascistic tendencies, i. e. you would welcome fascism. You are, in effect saying that fascism is the answer to our problems. You seem to be promoting fascism. Maybe recruiting?

        Old farmer mac, you and I have a lot more in common than you might think.

        For example, you and I both know a lot about the history of Germany. We just study it from very different viewpoints. I am a student of the Holocaust. That is because I am Jewish and most of my relatives were wiped out by the Nazis. What was it that attracted you to German history in the first place?

        And as long as we are on the subject, you keep bringing up (over and over) the fact that you once had a Jewish wife. So what? Is that supposed to prove you aren’t a fascist? Why would you even think to use your ex-wife as some sort of shield? It seems overly defensive. It gives you away.

        I, for example, am Jewish. My ex-wife was Catholic. What does that prove? Nothing. That is why I never thought to bring it up. Till now.

        Your seemingly endless verbosity reveals more about you than you intend it to. There is a lesson in that somewhere.

        Do they pay you by the word?

        • Old farmer mac says:

          You are still a fucking idiot and an asshole to boot and there is NOTHING you can make me regret.

          You post what you please and so will I and maybe eventually Ron will ban either or both of us. If so there are other forums and other handles. It’s Rons blog.

          Go off someplace in a corner and play with yourself or post as many insults as you feel up to posting.

          You started it . You can cut it out whenever you please. Till then you are still a worm without so far saying anything at all other than making an argument based on authority or your supposed lofty ideals or some such bullshit.

          I actually ENJOY such exchanges as this one.

          • Futilitist says:

            Old farmer mac,

            “I actually ENJOY such exchanges as this one.”

            You must be a masochist as well as a fascist! 😉

            I do not really enjoy exchanges such as these. Except, perhaps, for the humor it provides. All in all, I think it is a distraction. You enjoy such exchanges because your goal is to create such a distraction. It is what you are best at.

            I did not start this. That is just what you want everyone to believe. You are having a meltdown. You keep saying weirder and weirder things. This started when I asked you what changed your mind when you went from doomer to non-doomer. For some reason that hit a nerve. And I have told you more than once to drop the complaining about my charge against you. Especially if you don’t have the guts to face me directly. This mini thread comes in response to you making sideways comments at me in the middle of your posts to others. Quit trying to make everyone feel sorry for you. It’s pathetic.

            I told you before what will stop this feud between us and you continue to choose to ignore my warning. It is all on you Old farmer mac. Do yourself and everyone else a favor.

            And think more, type less.

            • Old farmer mac says:

              I have done more thinking in the past hour than you have , judging by what you have posted at this site, in your entire life.

              You haven’t had anything to say YET other than to quote authority.

              I have read all your authorities and could quote others who think differently but I prefer to post my own thoughts and reasoning.

              I enjoy typing. I enjoy watching you making a fool of yourself.

              A person has to be REALLY dumb to not even know when he is making a fool of himself.

              You are the first one THAT dumb I have run across in a while in a forum such as this one who has posted more than a couple of comments before realizing the audience is smarter than he is and disappeared.

              • Futilitist says:

                “A person has to be REALLY dumb to not even know when he is making a fool of himself.”
                ~Old farmer mac

                Ha ha. That’s right Old farmer.

                Your desperate personal embarrassment seems to have produced a classic psychological projection! You are very confused.

                “I have read all your authorities…”

                No you haven’t. You just claim to have read them. You certainly don’t understand them at all.

                We all just witnessed a hilarious example of how carefully you examine evidence in your ludicrous rebuttal of the Korowicz paper. I never answered that post because it was basically unintelligible. Do you think that your refutation of the Korowicz paper was sufficient? Seriously?

                I would invite anyone who enjoys a good laugh to take a look at Old farmer mac’s amazing critique of the Korowicz paper:


                “…and could quote others who think differently…”

                Yet you didn’t. I’ll bet you really can’t.

                “…but I prefer to post my own thoughts and reasoning.”

                I noticed that.

                “I enjoy typing.”

                I noticed that, too.

    • Fred Magyar says:

      Hey Ron,

      I had already found and watched Jeremy Jackson: Ocean Apocalypse, in the past. But even if I hadn’t I have a background in biology and even though I never pursued a career in biology I’ve spent almost 40 years scuba diving on coral reefs and still do it today. I also keep up to date on a lot the science of what is happening with our oceans today.

      Personal anecdote: Last October while diving on the reefs near my home in Florida I found significant coral bleaching, curiously I also found the water to be unseasonably warm at the time. In December I was diving in places where I had been diving almost 40 years before off the coast of Brazil, guess what, I also found significant coral bleaching there.

      But I wouldn’t worry about it too much it must just be another of those funny coincidences… Party on dudes and dudettes, the economy is booming again and gas is cheap!


    • Futilitist says:

      Hi Ron.

      I agree with you about the ecological damage that humans have caused. We are on the verge of extinction. I have always believed this to be true. I became convinced that runaway climate change would eventually cause human extinction when I learned about the carbon cycle and the Permian die-off in my freshman Bio 104 class in 1980. I have only become more convinced of the likelihood of (methane release induced) runaway climate change over the years, especially lately. I am certain it is well underway.

      I became very Peak Oil aware in 2005, and came to believe that economic collapse would certainly overtake us before the climate did. Now I’m not so sure.

      In all my journeys to discover scientific truth, what I have really been learning more about is something else entirely: MECHANISMS of DENIAL.

      Thank you for the Siberian ‘mystery’ hole post. I was not aware that things had gotten this far.

      I’ve been looking for some good videos to help convince deniers that they are dead (literally) wrong about the climate change issue (as well as collapse). Here is where I found the best:

      This first one is about an upcoming documentary on my favorite subject: DENIAL. The parallels with the discussion here on the Siberian ‘mystery’ holes is alarming. And amusing. We are surrounded by deniers.

      And it is no accident:

      Expecting the Unexpected: Abrupt Climate Change:

      A Symphony in the Climate System: Dr. Maureen Raymo:

      The State of the Climate: Scientists on the Hottest Year:

      South Florida and Sea Level Rise:

      Meltwater Pulse 2B:

      Historic Storms, Flooding U.K. West Coast

      El Nino 2014: What are the Odds?


      With deniers, it is best not to argue about the data. It works better to confront DENIAL directly. Name it. Call it what it is. Make fun of it. Make it totally uncool to say such shit. Shove their faces in that shit. And shove the evidence in their faces so they can’t look away. And make them finally shut up so people can learn the truth.

      It is already too late to stop the coming catastrophic multi-phasic collapse of civilization, subsequent human die-off, and likely eventual extinction. But it is not too late to understand it. And perhaps even come to terms with it.

      • canabuck says:

        Where did you learn the scientific method on how to discover truth?

        • Futilitist says:

          Do you have a better one?

          You can’t really discover truth, just always seek it. And refine it. I like meta science and consilience as tools for doing so. I also very specifically study how human nature effects collapse by applying general aspects of Social Theory and Social Psychology, and my own extension of mimetic theory I call: The Dark Thesis. I think the most overlooked element in understanding collapse is the (Group) psychological one.

      • canabuck says:

        The last video was posted in May 2014 predicting an El Nino event in 2014.
        It sounds more like fear mongering to me.

        An El Nino event started in late 2014 or early 2015. And so far it is “weak” – with a 0.6 degC temperature rise on the ocean surface. El Nino events happen every two years or so.
        From 1982 – 1997 there were 4 strong El Nino events.
        In the last 15 years there has been 1 strong El Nino event.

        • Futilitist says:

          I think the El Nino prediction seems pretty good.

          I also think you are being kind of nit picky here. That video was the last and least startling one I selected. Why did you pick that one to comment on? Did you watch any of the others? What did you think?

          Insisting on overly precise forecasting is not scientific, it is anti-science. It is a sign of DENIAL.

          • canabuck says:

            Strong El Nino events seem to be in decline. It is possible that you are the one in denial of the facts in this case.
            I only watched one video. If it does not support your case, you should not have posted it.

            • Futilitist says:

              The El Nino video does support my case. It is just your opinion that it doesn’t.

              Why do you think that incorrectly nitpicking one small detail can amount to a serious refutation of the entire argument that climate change is accelerating much faster than previously expected?

              Please watch all of the videos I posted. Then list all of your objections. Thanks.

              • canabuck says:

                You need to convince me to keep talking with you. Why? If you are not willing to discuss one issue, then what is the point of discussing anything else? We can take things one point at a time, and both of us can increase in our understanding of each other and learn something. You raised the El Nino issue. I presented some hard data that shows El Nino happening about every two years, and that they seem to be weaker than 20+ years ago. This seems to show that the climate swings are decreasing. I didn’t read this anywhere and copied them. You raised the issue, and I researched it. That is all. If you are not willing to change your mind on minor issues based upon the data, why do you expect others to change their minds?

                • Futilitist says:

                  “If you are not willing to discuss one issue, then what is the point of discussing anything else?”

                  Your one issue isn’t relevant to the big picture at all. Even if you were right, which you aren’t, it would not prove that global warming isn’t happening.

                  If you are not willing to discuss what I posted, but instead want to waste my time on tivialities, then it is not worth talking to you.

                  “We can take things one point at a time, and both of us can increase in our understanding of each other and learn something.”

                  That sounds so reasonable. But it isn’t. It is deceptive. You aren’t really here to learn. If I engage in a long technical discussion with you, people will assume you must have a good point. You don’t. You just want to create the impression that the science is not in consensus when it really is. What you are doing is a common, transparent tactic used by DENIERS to trick people. Why do you do it?

    • Allan H says:

      I am going to skip past all the MacPherson discussion, which is not even relevant to reality now. The fact is that scientists examine the boundaries of occurrences, basically what are the maxima and minima of possible results from say, global warming. From my studies of this subject for well over a decade, the minimum rise would could expect from our current incomplete knowledge is 3C, which is enough to ensure major natural feedbacks. The maximums are much higher. James Hansen and co-authors produced a paper in 2013 that describes potential 12C rises with 9C more likely. However the maxima (mostly from paleontological data not models) are around 18-24C positive with the poles and central continents being much higher. Hansen explains why a maximum global runaway in temperatures is not possible until all the of the oceans are varporized, which would not happen on the 10,000 year timescale that CO2 will stay high.

      Predictions of 7C rise by 2100 should be enough to stop anyone in his tracks and consider a full reversal of our activities. Even 3C by then is extremely dangerous considering a negative 0.5 watt/meter2 is enough to initiate an ice age. 3 to 6 watts/m2 would be even more devastating.

      The collapse scenarios so often cited here may or may not be effective in slowing global warming and all of it’s devastating effects. Even if most civilizations collapse to the point of reducing population and the use of fossil fuels falls significantly, the interim period will play havoc with the ecosystems and the guaranteed outbreak of wars will dump CO2 into the atmosphere in large amounts. Fires will go unchecked, cities, towns, forests and fields will burn across the globe; further loading the CO2. The remnants of population will become heavily dependent upon wood fires.
      Since we may have already or will soon cross the threshold into natural feedbacks dominating the global warming scenario, crashing civilization could be the worst thing to occur. Humans have the potential to actually reverse the driving forces of global warming, thus ending it much sooner than nature would. This can only occur if civilization remains intact to a large degree. With civilization broken, nature will just take it’s course and the jellyfish will rule with the slime.

      • D.Blakely says:

        Wow, a lot to to correct here. . .

        First — about that James Hansen — the head of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies. The reason he had to publish that paper you reference is because global temperatures have flat-lined for the last 17 years, contrary to the predictions of the vast majority of climate models.

        Let’s repeat that — he’s trying to explain away why the temperatures haven’t risen like the “peer-reviewed” climate literature — as typified by the predictions back in the 80’s — had said they would.

        Second — the group of people who are quite dependent upon fostering the specter of catastrophic global warming are the “ones” who get more “research grants” so they can publish yet more papers. Those who call the results into question — such as Steve McIntyre, a Canadian statistics expert, receive money from no one. This is in contrast to scores of “climate scientists” who literally receive billions of dollars in government and non-profit grants taken from taxpayers like myself.

        Third — the so-called “experts” who make the temperature predictions that aren’t coming to pass — are quite reluctant to release the data that form the basis of their predictions. They strenuously object to anyone challenging their conclusions or recommendations. Now this might not be a problem in and of itself, but all of their recommendations, if put into place, would guarantee a complete annihilation of our economy.

        Fourth — the entire planet has been warming for the last 300 years — since the end of the “Little Ice Age”. The warming has been quite beneficial to humans — as it’s hard for us to live in areas covered by glaciers.

        What cannot be challenged is the fact that the vast majority of the the “scientific climate computer simulations” have failed miserably in trying to predict temperature trends over the past seventeen years. . . . regardless of how much the “peer reviewed literature” agreed that the computer simulations were the best thing since sliced bread.

        • D.Blakely says:

          And for just a little more perspective, in 1977 I watched a movie in 5th grade from these same so-called climate experts who said within 30 years, we would be out of clean drinking water and that the glaciers would once again be moving south across Canada. As a ten year old kid, it REALLY freaked me out — I don’t think I slept very well for a night or two. But looking back, we all know how far off that prediction of disaster turned out. Its just another reminder of how we can’t trust academic bureaucrats living high on the hog of taxpayer monies to tell the truth of anything to the public.

          • Futilitist says:


            “…it REALLY freaked me out — I don’t think I slept very well for a night or two.”

            Please just go back to sleep and spare us all. You aren’t ready for the truth. DENIER

        • canabuck says:

          You make some good points. However, we need to consider a Top-5 or Top-10 list of evidence for AGW. Does anyone have such a list?
          It is always good to consider both sides of a debate.

          Another datum to consider is this:
          Fiddled Data?

        • Allan H says:

          To DBl and anyone who that post.
          These are not corrections, merely blathering with no scientific basis and a waste of energy. Amazing how science and industry has placed high tech tools in the hands of people and they are used in such wasteful ways and harmful.
          If you actually read Hansen’s paper and understood it, you would know he did not generate results from computer simulations.
          If you want anyone to believe you, you are on the wrong site.

          • thrig says:

            Pretty short for a gish gallop.

          • Ronald Walter says:

            From the UK Independent, Monday, March 20, 2000:

            According to Dr David Viner, a senior research scientist at the climatic research unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia,within a few years winter snowfall will become “a very rare and exciting event”.

            “Children just aren’t going to know what snow is,” he said.

            Snowfalls are now just a thing of the past

            News flash:: Wrong!

            • Miws says:

              Yup, I often go back to that gem of a statement when arguing with a progressive about their global warming fantasies. They just tell me global warming now means meeting or breaking cold and snow records set since before Global Warming was said to have even begun. Which logic and the scientific method now leads me to believe that global warming hasn’t actually been happening at all and all we have been experiencing is simply the natural cycles of the planet that are greater than the average life span of the average human.

  2. Caelan MacIntyre says:

    “The renewables are a part of real GDP per capita. As fossil fuels deplete, financial capital previously used for fossil fuel extraction, will be used to build renewables. If private industry cannot get the job done, the government will step in.” ~ Dennis Coyne

    Just like that?

    There would seem to be another kind of Red Queen, one that has to run faster and faster toward the decreasing-energy/renewables build-out horizon to keep it from receding away and disappearing forever.

    This is with regard to the ongoing and increasing decouplings from a grounding in reality of the current uneconomic system.

    Financial capital? From where? (Shrinking?) government (what kind?) ‘stepping in’ as it struggles with other governments’ energy-grabs as well as its own increasing demons (that put us in this mess in the first place?) and decreasing energies? Skeleton-crew government for a renewable energy-skeleton?
    Renewables requiring BAU for build-outs and for the continued build-out of renewables required to run increasingly on the renewables and their decreasing output?
    How would all that work in a debt-/social-unrest-/unemployment-exploding, energy-/tax-income-shrinking post peak oil world? (Historical precedents? I.E., previous civilizations?)

    Do tell.

    “One thing I would say about the prospects for government action. Governments are crowds. They are reactive not proactive. And essentially it means that whatever they do, they’re… extrapolating past trends forward and not anticipating trend changes. So that’s like driving your car, flooring it, while looking only looking in the rear view mirror. It’s practically a guarantee of a really nasty accident. Plus the people who are in power tend to have the most invested in the status-quo. They tend to have benefitted greatly from that. These are not the people you are going to look to to change that kind of system.” ~ Nicole Foss (David Korowicz is also in the link.)

    • Old farmer mac says:

      Good Morning Caelan,

      I want to go off topic a second and get back to the discussion of alternative medicine here late yesterday.

      ”Agreed, OFM. I looked cursorily into poppies and if recalled some potent anesthetics come from them. Morphine?
      You may be able to find seeds for any kind of variety online if you fiddle around.
      Monolithic centralized governments and their unethical legal structuress are no match for decentralized networks of strong, close-knit communities.”

      I personally would NEVER buy anything such as opium poppy seed online.

      I presume you are acquainted with the now totally pervasive nature of surveillance of the internet. Anybody who has not read summaries of Edward Snowden’s revelations is way behind the curve.

      I would suggest the Gaurdian or Der Spiegel to start as having the best writers and most comprehensive free coverage that I am aware of. Other really good papers mostly charge for access enough to really get into the details.

      • Caelan MacIntyre says:

        Hi Old farmer mac,
        I am well aware of the surveillance issues, but at some point it starts to eat its own tail and/or gets its ass eaten– bacon and all that.

        “The ‘United Nations’ today is neither united nor represents nations… Many true nations, such as the Iroquois confederation or any tribal alliance with a common ethic, are not represented by such a body, nor are whole nations such as the Basques, Tartars, Kurds, Palestinians, Hawaiians, Hopi, Tibetans, Pitjatjantjara, Misquito, Aranda, Basarwa, Herrero etc…. Most nations in the United Nations repress a majority of peoples on earth…

        At present, many thousands of organisations, affinities, tribes, bioregions, and spiritual and non-government organisations aspire to… beneficial ends; in every continent, a majority of people– the ethical majority— want peace; a clean and forested earth; a cessation to torture, malnutrition, and oppression; and a right to work towards these ends. It would take very little additional organisation for these groups to meet together, count their numbers, and recognise each other’s rights. There are, for instance, far less paid-up or active members of political parties or oppressive societies now than there are organic gardeners whose life works seek peace and plenty. As groups discuss, and accept, the minimal ethic… they can quickly proceed to recognise each other…” ~ Bill Mollison

        Happy poppyseed hunting! ^u^

      • Caelan MacIntyre says:

        By the way, Old farmer mac: We do ethical things because they’re ethical. We do not not do ethical things we have to because we are afraid to. That’s not a good reason and you already know that.

        • Caelan MacIntyre says:

          …There might be some exceptions in there, but I think you get my point. ‘u’

    • Nicole Foss is one smart lady. The idea that the government will fix things when they start to fall apart would be hilarious if it wasn’t so sad. So when I read things “the government will step in…” I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

      Many people, who do see serious trouble ahead, see the government as the savior of last resort. When the situation gets to that point, and it will, the government will be in chaos. There are some things the government just can’t fix.

      • Philip Backus says:

        Hello Ron, Frighteningly I think you hit the nail on the head. I an quite sure at this tine that our “leaders” or at least the more intelligent ones are thoroughly aware of the fragility of the situation and are putting off the responsibility of informing the public as there really is no plan B to transition to anything else that would preserve intact their power and privilege. Perhaps they ARE being responsible as I believe that PANIC would be the likely result of such info. Thank you for your work.

        Best regards, Philip

        • Futilitist says:

          Hi Philip.

          “Perhaps they ARE being responsible as I believe that PANIC would be the likely result of such info.”

          That is correct. No one likes to be the ‘bearer of bad news’.

          Our so called leaders are simply following their instincts. People really do tend to ‘kill the messenger’.

          Sometimes it is best to just ‘go with the flow’ and ‘kick the can down the road’.

          Especially when you really have no ‘solutions’.

          Even just mentioning this is considered to be ‘rocking the boat’.

      • Old farmer mac says:


        OR NOT?

        The question is not whether the government will TRY to fix things but to what extent it will succeed.

        The wind has let up and it is nice outside now and I have had enough doom and gloom for now. Time to go for a walk in the woods and fields.

        Anybody who is a truly intelligent and capable doomer who is interested in possibly forting up with me and a few old friends of mine if it becomes necessary is welcome to post an email address where I can get it touch with them.

        MY farm is well on the way to being a first class doom stead.I am like the cartoon frog in the storks bill with it’s front paws around the neck of the stork choking it.

        I recognize the danger but I ain’t giving up. LOL

        • Lloyd says:


          Took ’em four years, not a couple of days.

          Seems to me that millions of people died in the process, too…might have been something better avoided.

          And what if one’s government is more prone to National Socialism than Democracy? We don’t know when the collapse will be, and we don’t know the government. In 1975, I sure wouldn’t have expected Bush 2, and I wouldn’t have recognized Obama’s policies as Democrat.


          • Old farmer mac says:

            I meant only a couple of days to get started doing something of course.

            Now I wouldn’t want to live in a world dominated by Nazis but it is nevertheless obvious that a world dominated by Nazis had they won WWII would still be an industrialized world with most of the material things that really matter such as readily available electricity and water and sewer and food in stores. Cops on the street too.

            And as far as the killing goes- It may sound VERY callous of me for pointing it out but we are obviously a violent species. There is a chance we will kill ourselves out to the point we revert to a stone age culture with nuclear weapons but even that is not certain. Some places might survive a nuclear WWIII more or less whole. That would depend on luck and where the bombs are aimed.

            I am not debating morality but the survival of industrial civilization. Big Difference.

            • Futilitist says:

              Old farmer mac,

              “Now I wouldn’t want to live in a world dominated by Nazis but it is nevertheless obvious that a world dominated by Nazis had they won WWII would still be an industrialized world with most of the material things that really matter such as readily available electricity and water and sewer and food in stores. Cops on the street too.”

              And the Nazis were famous for running the trains ran on time, too.

              Why, when you get right down to it, those Nazis weren’t so bad after all. Just a little misunderstood, right?

              “We used to raise hogs for our own consumption.”

              You sure know how to dress a pig, Old farmer mac.

              • Old farmer mac says:

                Go off and masturbate in private .

              • Lloyd says:

                All I can say is that you are doing yeoman’s work here:

                You seem to be making OFM’s responses pithier.


                • Futilitist says:

                  Thanks, Lloyd.

                  He seems pretty pithed off at me.

                  I guess OFM and I are having a some kind of pithing contest.

                  • Old farmer mac says:

                    For anybody who cares

                    What we are having is a grand old pissing contest with Futilista constantly just shouting ” denier” and quoting authority.

                    I am actually pointing out some relevant arguments while he is spending his time doing what he can to make me look like a Nazi or at least a fascist.

                    Anybody with a brain understands that knowing about the history of the Nazis is no indication that one is a sympathizer.

                    If believing in big government ( which incidentally I do not except when big government is the only solution to a given problem.I believe in small government when small government works and the market when the market words. ) makes one a fascist, then everybody in this country who supports Obama care is a fascist. Only a cretin could possibly think socialized medicine is anything other than an offspring of big government.

                    Believing in social security must according to Futilista ‘s thinking must make one a fascist.

                    He said my belief in big government equals me being a fascist. If anybody doubts it it is here in either this article or maybe the last one.

                    Big government is just about our only hope of preventing the biosphere being destroyed at an even faster pace than it is already.

                    Big government is our only real hope of containing a truly bad epidemic if a new fast moving contagious disease emerges.

                    I am not a DEVOTEE of big government but neither am I a fool who believes it is possible for people to live close together by the millions WITHOUT big government.

                    The idea is to keep it from getting any bigger than it needs to be.

                    George Orwell is a man who knew a little bit about human nature politics socialism capitalism and most of the other major isms.

                    He said as early as the mid forties that fascism was a word that no longer meant anything except something bad.

                  • Futilitist says:

                    Old farmer mac,

                    I find myself having to answer you yet again.

                    If you would just stop trying to dig yourself out of the hole you made, I would leave you alone. You are just making it worse for yourself.

                    I would invite any reader who even cares about this stupid shit to review the conflict between us to understand how it really unfolded. OFM’s attempt here to rewrite history and brush it under the rug with a whole bunch of lame excuses looks exactly like what it is. Damage control. The fact that he keeps doing this shows that he suspects our little feud may have harmed his reputation and standing in the group. I sure hope it did.

                    You just keep giving yourself away, Old farmer mac.

                    “A person has to be REALLY dumb to not even know when he is making a fool of himself.”
                    ~Old farmer mac

          • John B says:

            The attack on Pearl Harbor was something of a pyrrhic victory.

            None of the US carriers were docked when the attack took place. The sub base was not damaged, or headquarters, or any of the docks, repair facilities, or fuel depots. The battleships that were sunk, were in 40′ of water. Most were repaired and returned to service. Battleships were not key to victory in the Pacific anyway.

            I believe the Japanese Commander halted attacks after losing 29 aircraft, and having another 70 or so damaged, mostly from AAA. This was approximately 25% of their force at the time.

            • (MBP) ManBearPig says:

              Two other reasons:

              1) The location of the US carrier fleet was still unknown to the Japanese. Nagumo was fearful that if they were close after the time it took to get refueled for a third strike the American carriers could be close enough for a counter-attack.
              2) A third strike went against the Japanese navy thinking at the time. The mission, to Nagumo, had been completed (destroying the Pacific fleet). The policy of the navy was to preserve their forces over total destruction of the enemy. As you said, the American anti-aircraft fire had greatly improved during the second wave and it was a risk to send a third.

              Obviously sparing the oil depot, dockyards, and other key targets would come back to haunt Japan, but at the time Nagumo though he had accomplished his mission.

            • Old farmer mac says:


              For purposes of discussing the survival of industrial civilization it matters not a whit if Japan had actually won and taken over Asia.

        • TechGuy says:

          OFM Wrote:
          The question is not whether the government will TRY to fix things but to what extent it will succeed.”

          The gov’t really didn’t fix anything, The world became ever dependent on the same reasons why WW2 & WW1 happened: The battle of control of strategic resources on finite planet. Second the US hasn’t had a major miltary victory since WW2. All wars after WW2 have ended as stalemate or just make the problems worse. Even after WW2, close half of the planets population fell under totaliarian rule, Soviet Union, China, and the spread of dictatorships/communism in Latin america, south asia, etc

          The US is completely different today than then. back than people were much less reliant on technology and infrastructure to get by. The US has morphed from a society of “us” into society of “me”. Americans have pretty much chained themselves to a live of near instant gratification and trying to impress everyone else with bling (fancy import cars, McMansions, Coach Handbags, Smart phones, Supersized TVs). Its like the entire American society has become addicted to a drug worse than Heroin and nobody recognizes the problem. That said, the USA isn’t alone in the “me” society as it seems to have been nearly a global disease. Although as an American I see it up from and close.

          • Old farmer mac says:

            Tech Guy,

            Nobody ever has or ever will fix everything forever. The game is not forever but one generation of life at a time. The game will continue on this planet probably until the sun expands enough to heat it well past the boiling point of water. But eventually this marble will disappear altogether.

            Given the size of the universe I suppose it is VERY likely that there is life in millions or billions of other places.

            With a substantial amount of help , the biggest part of it coming from the old USSR, the US fixed the German and Japanese expansion problem for at least half a century – already well past – to probably a century at least – third or so years to go yet.

            Of course we mostly packed up and left the locals to manage their own affairs in places we occupied. The Russians mostly stayed put.

            War is part of human nature. Built into our behavior by the drive to reproduce . When resources are short you fight for them.

            We used to raise hogs for our own consumption. The biggest hog took to sleeping in the bathtub we used as a feed trough. I stopped that by putting in a couple of cinderblock that made it too painful.

            But he still wouldn’t allow any other hog to eat until he was stuffed himself.

            We are feeding a lot of birds right outside our picture windows right this minute. This is my old Daddy’s way of passing the day now watching the birds and remembering ninety springs on the way and past.

            The bigger and stronger birds of each species chase the smaller ones away from the feeders.

            Aggression is built in at the most fundamental level.

      • Ron, she sounds very Latinamerican. Quite often their culture seems to be “let the government provide it”.

        • Caelan MacIntyre says:

          Hi Fernando, Nicole Foss was suggesting the opposite.
          You may see fit to re-read it in context with my own comment, and even see the video link with Nicole and David Korowicz in it.

        • Caelan, sorry, I read it backwards. I’m not watching videos right now, they interfere with the music.

          • Caelan MacIntyre says:

            What music is that? And while I’m at it, how do some of you post the graph images and stuff? Is Ron modding them?

            • At the bottom of your “reply” box you will see two boxes. The top one is the “post comment” box. You know what that one is for. But the second box says “Choose File”. You have a “Pictures” file in your computer where you can file graphs, charts or pictures. Click that box and then type the open the file you wish to post and when you post your comment it will appear at the bottom of your post.

    • Longtimber says:

      The government on all levels is dead man walking. Take Grid Tie Solar, If they wanted non poison power for us poor surfs, they would not legislate hundreds of unnecessary barriers. In Germany you call the Utility up and tell them you have a bi-directional toaster or whatever. Here in the US, it’s not a job that a mortal can do unless you take months/years out of you life to figure the BS out. Also the utilities mandate much Utility out of Grid Tie Solar. Is there is the slighest blip, the Inverter must die for 5 minutes. Would you buy a car that locked up for 300 seconds for every little bump in the road? Can you imanage an internet that can only receive email, not send? Just think.. Radio Shack could have been bigger than Apple.. 🙂

      • long timber, I suggest you try gaming your proposed solar power solution. By gaming I mean grab ten friends and try imitating real life. Five hook up your solar panels, five don’t. Find an 11th friend who plays the role of the utility. Have rounds. 60 % of the time the sun goes out on a regular basis. Your panels don’t generate anything. The sun also goes out on a fairly random basis. Just work it out. I assume you understand the technical limits on coal and nuclear baseload plants.

        • Longtimber says:

          I live off grid, it’s not easy, but much easier than it used to be. Built a Lodge in the 90’s with 10 – 55 watt panels. 550 watts. Needed ~ 50 gals per year with generator to supplement. Powered another Lodge last year, 40 – 270 watt panels. 5 chest freezers that run during the day, 27 SEER HVAC, the works. Plenty of power even on cloudy days, the challenge is using the surplus when the weather is good and storing as little as possible in Batteries. For many choice locations.. too expensive to run lines anymore. Few Utilities will bring grid to “efficient” low use customers like they would 10 years ago. It’s also high dollar to maintain the easements.

          • Long timbre proposes grid connected solar power, with the ability to get grid electricity, and sell the excess he generates at a high feed in price. It’s not really the same. I think he needs to game it to see what happens.

    • Dennis Coyne says:

      Hi Caelan,

      Prices of fossil fuels rise, people and society switch to alternatives. If there is mass unemployment the government uses deficit spending and tax increases on the wealthy to speed the transition to wind, solar, geothermal, HVDC transmission, buildout of light rail (in densely populated areas) and electrification and expansion of existing rail. Once peak oil arrives, there will still be some oil and high prices will mean that it is allocated to its most important uses. Study some economics.

      • Caelan MacIntyre says:

        Hi Dennis,

        Does your particular mental model or brand of economics insist on applying the ethically-bankrupt practices of particular forms of violent government-cum-industry?

        How’s that working out? (Planet? Society? Future?)

        the financial crisis of 2007–08 and the response to it revealed a crisis of ideas in mainstream economics and within the economics profession, and call for a reshaping of both the economy, economic theory and the economics profession. They argue that such a reshaping should include new advances within feminist economics that take as their starting point the socially responsible, sensible and accountable subject in creating an economy and economic theories that fully acknowledge care for each other as well as the planet.” ~ Wikipedia

        Bjørnholt and McKay argue that

        Capitalism only values a person as representing a certain amount of the commodity called ‘labour power’, in other words, as a thing. Instead of being valued as an individual — a unique human being with intrinsic moral and spiritual worth — only one’s price tag counts. This replacement of human relationships by economic ones soon results in the replacement of human values by economic ones, giving us an ‘ethics’ of the account book, in which people are valued by how much they earn [like your so-called ‘rich’]. It also leads, as Murray Bookchin argues, to a debasement of human values:

        ‘So deeply rooted is the market economy in our minds that its grubby language has replaced our most hallowed moral and spiritual expressions…

        With human values replaced by the ethics of calculation, and with only the laws of market and state ‘binding’ people together, social breakdown is inevitable. Little wonder modern capitalism has seen a massive increase in crime and dehumanisation under the freer markets established by ‘conservative’ governments… and their transnational corporate masters. We now live in a society where people live in self-constructed fortresses, ‘free’ behind their walls and defences (both emotional and physical).”

        …Or might you be good with, say, Anarchist economics?

        If you are unsure, please feel free to ‘study some economics’ too, and get back to me.

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          Hi Caelan,

          Capitalism is not perfect, just better than all other systems that have been tried in the last 2000 years or so for large populations. If you want to imagine some non-existent utopian social disorder, feel free. I will continue to think in terms of the world that exists.

  3. Jeffrey J. Brown says:

    From Ron’s discussion:

    Even then there continued to be over a one year lag time between increasing rig counts and increasing production.

    There was about a one year lag between the Haynesville Shale Gas Play final rig count peak, late 2010, and the production peak, in late 2011. Presumably, there are three principal factors: (1) The least productive areas are abandoned first; (2) It takes a while to work through the backlog of drilled and cased, but not completed, wells and (3) In some cases, it may take a while to get a gas well hooked up to a pipeline.

    • jjhman says:

      I think we shouldn’t underestimate an additional factor: All of these drillers and producers are in it for the money (as Rockman reminds us frequently on other forums) and so they will work as hard as they know how for cash flow. So even at well sites where there is little probability of long term profit they will struggle to maintain cash flow.

      I’m reminded of the story of the home builder who was still building houses when it seemed there was no one to buy them: “If I build a house I might make some money. If I don’t build a house I definitely won’t make any money”

      • Caelan MacIntyre says:

        Image of Chinese ghost city (Is image showing up? If not, why? code/how-to?)

        The premise to the money-profit-motive is fundamentally flawed because it enforces a tragic dynamic of those with more ‘money’ to enclose Mother Earth from others with less ‘money’. The planet is not for sale.

        And the planet will ultimately resist being sold through ecocide and collapse.

        • Caelan MacIntyre says:

          Second image posting attempt (without width and height parameters but using img and src html tags):

          Third (no html tags, just image address):

          • Caelan MacIntyre says:

            Fourth attempt (with this text below image instead and using img src tags but closing the tag with a ‘/’):

        • I just watched a Jim Rickards video where he says the Chinese economy is a Ponzi scheme and when it collapses it will take the US economy down with it. Damn, it seems everyone is predicting a collapse these days.

          Anyway, I got curious and googled “chinese economy ponzi scheme” and was shocked at the number of hits I got.

          China’s ghost cities are being built with investor’s money. New wealth in China needs places to go. The Chinese are forbidden from investing in foreign markets. They have to invest in China. So they invest in apartments, office space, shopping malls and such. And now they all stand empty but they just keep investing and they just keep building stores, office space and apartments that will never be occupied.

          That bubble has to burst. It just has to. The only question is when? Kinda like peak oil, we know it will happen but when?

          I have made my prediction concerning peak oil, but I wouldn’t dare predict when the Chinese economic Ponzi scheme will pop.

          • Caelan MacIntyre says:

            Yes, I seem to recall reading something about why this effect is happening. When I was in China in 2006, some of the sights were kind of terrifying. It is very possible that I saw a ghost city without realizing what it was and it was one of the sights that kind of terrified me. I remember hoping it was not the future for all places around the world.
            Ron, I can’t seem to post images in my comments. Do some of your commenters have special magical abilities that I lack in this regard?

            • Yes, I just posted up-thread instructions on how to do that. But here it is again:

              At the bottom of your “reply” box you will see two boxes. The top one is the “post comment” box. You know what that one is for. But the second box says “Choose File”. You have a “Pictures” file in your computer where you can file graphs, charts or pictures. Click that box and then type the open the file you wish to post and when you post your comment it will appear at the bottom of your post.

              • Futilitist says:

                Hi Ron.

                “Damn, it seems everyone is predicting a collapse these days.”

                Consilience. And that is one of the main reasons I say we must already be in collapse. I don’t think people are predicting a future collapse as much as they are sensing the collapse that has already begun.

                Many people in the peak oil ‘community’ have always maintained the hope that people would finally “get it”, and then be galvanized into some sort of great collective action. But that isn’t really how human nature works. The denial impulse is just too strong. Just look at all the examples on this very page. When the great collective unconscious finally begins to wake to the idea of collapse, the collapse will already be well under way.

                I was never one of those peak oilers that thought we would ever “get it”. I was pretty sure that that went against our basic human nature. I wanted to find out. So denial is what I have been studying for the last 10 years.

                That is why my outlook is so bleak. For example:

                It is progress of a sort when many people start to make collapse predictions. But, unfortunately, turning tangible sensations of current collapse into predictions of future collapse is yet another example of denial.

          • Heinrich Leopold says:


            According to the IMF, China national debt stands at 7,7 trillion USD versus 18 trn for the United States. Chinese GDP is now bigger than the US GDP and debt based on GDP is 40% for China versus 105% for the US. According to the FED total liabilities for the US are 38 trn USD, which is double of Chinese total liabilities. In short China is financed very solidly. Above all what really counts is the ability to get more debt in the future – and not the level of debt. And this is a big plus for China as per capita debt is extremely low in China and at least ten times lower than in the US.

            In addition, China has room to lower short term interest rates, which have been cut this weekend from 5,6% to 5,35%, yet is far from zero. The Cinese bubble has still a long way to go.

            • Heinrich, Government Debt Isn’t the Problem—Private Debt Is

              The government of China is not in a bubble, the private sector is in one huge bubble. I don’t know long it has to go. I don’t know how many more ghost cities can be built with the public sector’s money. But the longer this bubble takes to burst, the greater the destruction.

              Chinese private debt in 2013 was 200% of GDP

              Imagine what happens the entire Chinese public sector of china goes bankrupt.

          • PeterEV says:

            Don’t forget that a 1% increase in Chinese population is 14 million people or the approximate size of Los Angeles. That thought blew my mind.

  4. Old farmer mac says:

    There should be a NOT between could and readily in my 11:52 AM COMMENT.


  5. Paulo says:

    For you oil folks with historical perspective, when do you think production number decline figures will migrate into the mind of general messaging…(news, CNBC, etc.)? If drill rig count doesn’t matter, (unbelievable statement, isn’t it), how long do you think it will take? This time next year?

    Or, do you feel LTO collapse will kick the economic rug out from underneath and the resulting ‘noise’ will cover up reality (once again).?

    Jeffrey Brown’s post about Haynesville sparked this question.

    • Paulo, I think it will sink in by August 2015. Activity declines, this leads to a slow down in new source additions.

      As the signal becomes stronger oil industry players will change project timing to start up when prices are higher. There’s also a lot of negotiating going on to lower supplier costs (I’ve done it in the past and I assure you contractors will drop prices to the bone because they will prefer to keep working).

      The whole system gets really muddled by these effects, but eventually you will see debates about excess capacity dropping, and the market will signal higher and higher prices in the future. Eventually this gets picked up by the NY Times, and the conventional wisdom overswings and everybody talks as if we had no oil whatsoever.

      Evidently the fastest swing should take place in North Dakota because the decline rates are pretty steep. If you want to see how this works in a more normal environment keep an eye on the oil production rates for Argentina, Angola, and Russia. The OPEC monthly report is a good source.

      • Jeffrey J. Brown says:

        Steven Kopits’ outlook for global supply minus demand:

        • Jeffrey J. Brown says:

          Kopits = Prienga

        • Jeffrey J. Brown says:

          One item to keep in mind about these lag times is that several major oil companies, e.g., ExxonMobil, started cutting capex expenditures prior to the oil price decline.

          • Old farmer mac says:

            Hi JB,

            I have not run across much commentary by actual people in the oil biz or economists I consider honest ( meaning not on somebody’s payroll paying for opinions they want to hear) about just exactly precisely WHY the majors starting cutting CAPEX so soon.

            The usual refrain is that they thought they would not be able to make a profit at THEN current prices on NEW production – the production that WOULD BE brought about by NEW CAPEX.

            Not a soul seems to have anything to say about them actually anticipating a short term glut but if ANYBODY had the data to be able to see it coming – that anybody would have been high level management at a major oil company.

            Maybe -MAYBE they anticipated this current glut. If so they would have kept their mouths shut individually and collectively so as to avoid upsetting their owners/ stockholders and driving down their stock prices.

            Anybody else have an opinion on this speculation?

            I have friends in the real estate biz who anticipated the last housing crash in time to sell out every thing they owned and wanted to sell with the exception of just one unit.

            They did it basically by watching just one metric- whether the average local person would be able to get a mortgage at the prices houses were selling for locally in a typical credit market..

            Speculators were bidding prices past the point rents could cover payments.Rents weren,t going to go up because incomes weren’t sufficienct to pay those rents. Speculators weren’t going to hold those houses forever.A rush for the exits followed.

            Damned few people in the msm were talking much about housing prices being unsustainable.Such people have a powerful incentive not to notice certain things as their jobs ultimately depend on advertising revenues.Ditto oil execs except their jobs depend on turning a profit quarter after quarter.

            Incidentally these friends held onto their older and better investments -houses that were bought (much sooner – as much as twenty years ago ) at prices enabling them to generate cash flow even if rents fell quite a bit.

            The big oil companies aren’t trying to sell much either – except newer fields that have very high costs. The only real exception seems to be BP selling to pay for the blowout.

            Just speculating.

            • Jeffrey J. Brown says:

              Here is a link to a very good hour long presentation that Kopits gave a year ago, in February, 2014. The key capex discussion starts around the 45 minute mark:


              Basically, the majors were seeing historically high, but recently flat oil prices versus rapidly rising costs, and thus they were seeing declining profitability. He has a slide showing the planned upstream capex reductions by company (at a time when Brent was over $100).

              I’ve previously used the Stephen King book and movie “Thinner” as a metaphor. A guy had a curse placed on him and no matter how much food he ate, he lost weight. Only by consuming vast quantities of food every day was he able to minimize the weight loss.

              In contrast to the 2002 to 2005 pattern, post-2005 globally we were only able to maintain actual global crude oil production by consuming trillions of dollars in upstream capex. Or, as I put it, it appears that actual global crude oil production (45 and lower API gravity) effectively peaked in 2005, while global natural gas production and associated liquids, condensate and NGL, have so far continued to increase.

              But as noted above, the problem the majors were looking at was rising costs versus flat oil prices (and flat to declining actual crude oil production).

              Another way to look at the situation is the narrowing margin between the price ceiling, that consumers can and will pay in order to support current liquids production, and the price floor, that oil companies need to maintain current liquids production.

            • Jeffrey J. Brown says:

              Normalized Global C+C, gas and NGL 2002 to 2012:

        • Sam Taylor says:


          I have immense respect for Kopits and his work, however I’ve been thinking about things recently and I don’t know how much I agree with his projection for consumption this year. While he’s absolutely right that there are many parallels between the collapse in prices in the 1980’s and now, there are some key differences. Namely back in the 80’s the average consumer had very little debt on their balance sheet, and was able to take on lots more to be able to increase their consumption. These days the macro environment is somewhat different, since many consumer balance sheets are saturated with debt (Europe particularly, also possibly China, though the US seems to have delevered somewhat) and interest rates are so much lower. The question of whether consumers are going to be able to finance the huge increase in consumption that Kopits predicts is far from straightforward.

          • Jeffrey J. Brown says:

            Here’s a link to the full report, and excerpt from same:


            The Prienga scenario envisions both a strong supply and demand response to low oil prices.  This is consistent with the historical record, which may or may not prove applicable to the current situation.  If it does, the effects will be visible by mid-year.  In such an event, a deficit appears and excess inventory is consumed in short order.  By the last quarter of the year, prices have recovered to a level sufficient to bring forth incremental supply.

    • Old farmer mac says:

      Hi Paulo ,

      Given that the msm media has an attention span of about five minutes and an intellectual mindset that equates next year with forever it is quite understandable that they would say rig count doesn’t matter.

      It DOES NOT MATTER – for the next six months or so given that the tracking crews are at least that far behind. ;- )

      Six months to the msm is just about forever.

      The msm often remind me of an old off color joke about a young guy who has just lost his first serious girl crying about it and his older brother consoling him by pointing out that there are lots of girls and he can get another one pretty soon – maybe in just a week or two.

      And the kid burst into tears again bawling ”What about TONIGHT?”

  6. Jeffrey J. Brown says:

    Remember the year 2000? George W. Bush was elected (or selected, depending on one’s point of view) as President. The year 2000 is to the year 2015 as the year 2015 is to the year 2030, 15 years hence.

    Albert Brooks wrote a novel a few years ago called “2030,” which looks interesting, but which I have not yet read.

    2030: Albert Brooks’s Dark Vision of the Future

    As a comedian and filmmaker, the very gifted Albert Brooks has specialized for more than 30 years in cooking up quandaries with no ready solution except humiliation. His often ingenious first novel is no exception to that rule. In the future America of “2030,” the national debt has long since surpassed the gross national product. Why anyone would want to be president is “more and more of a mystery.” On the rosy side — well, sort of — a cure for cancer has been found, turning the man who did it, Dr. Sam Mueller, into a billionaire and a guru.

    The bad news? Along with a stock of lesser rejuvenating drugs and gadgets, Mueller’s breakthrough has left spry hordes of senior citizens cheerily hogging most of the country’s remaining resources. Seeing their own chance at the good life shrink to zero, young people are forming “resentment gangs” and committing acts of escalating violence against “the olds.” The White House’s first Jewish occupant, the brainy but melancholy Matthew Bernstein, would like to give them a fairer share of the pie, but even he doesn’t dare risk the wrath of AARP.

    If you mourn Kurt Vonnegut’s passing — and what sane reader doesn’t? — Brooks’s synthetic equivalent isn’t half bad. But the disaster he invents to start his plot’s multiple threads playing cat’s cradle has recently become less fanciful. Early in “2030,” Los Angeles is finally hit by “the big one”: an earthquake with a magnitude of 9.1 that kills nearly 50,000 people while leaving most survivors homeless. Even though Brooks’s scenario thankfully leaves out nuclear meltdowns, his descriptions of the aftermath resemble the images from Japan more than he would probably wish.

    • Jeffrey J. Brown says:

      At the 2005 to 2013 rate of decline in the GNE/CNI Ratio*, in the year 2030, China & India alone would theoretically consume about 80% of GNE, versus 20% in 2013.

      *GNE = Global Net Exports, Combined net exports of oil from (2005) Top 33 net exporters

      CNI = Chindia’s Net Imports of oil

    • Jeffrey J. Brown says:

      I’ve started to read “2030,” and something that NickG will be happy about is that electric vehicles are pretty much the only vehicles on the road in 2030, but a major theme of the book is a 9.1 super quake that hits Southern California. Following are an excerpt from a 2014 news item and an excerpt from the book:

      How Los Angeles plans to survive the Big One

      Everyone knows that a really big earthquake is going to hit Los Angeles sooner or later. L.A. is as little as 35 miles from the San Andreas Fault, which isn’t just the longest fault in California — it’s the longest in the Lower 48. Historically, the average amount of time between quakes on the most dangerous part of the southern San Andreas is 100 to 150 years. The last one ripped through L.A. more than 300 years ago.

      There’s a reason, in other words, why the City of Angels was recently ranked the most vulnerable metropolis in the world outside of Asia.

      But knowing that L.A. is overdue for a Big One and understanding what a Big One would actually do to L.A. are two different things — and that difference was on vivid display at City Hall Tuesday morning, where Mayor Eric Garcetti was releasing a report with the buzzwordy title “Resilience by Design.”

      The product of a yearlong collaboration between scientists and stakeholders, the 126-page package of earthquake safety recommendations focuses on fixing the three weakest elements of L.A.’s urban infrastructure: its pre-1980 buildings, its creaky, convoluted water system and its vulnerable telecommunications network. All in all, the report represents a “tectonic shift” in the city’s thinking, according to Garcetti. . . .

      “A disaster is one thing,” Jones says. “But a catastrophe — an event that fundamentally changes the nature of a community — is another.” According to Jones’s research, that’s exactly what would become of L.A. after a 7.8 on the southern San Andreas. Commuters wouldn’t be able to return to work. Business assets would be destroyed. Companies would begin to fold. University students would be transferred out of the region. Residents who had left L.A. during the recovery would decide not to return. And tens of thousands of people would have to go without permanent shelter or jobs — or both — because their buildings sustained so much damage.

      Excerpt from “2030” follows, about a super quake centered around the LA area, comparable in magnitude to the 2004 earthquake in Indonesia:

      So this was the big one. This was the one scientists said in 2010 had a fifty percent chance of happening in the next thirty five years. Fifty-fifty. Red or black. The San Andreas Fault had not moved substantially in over three hundred years. “Overdue” was an understatement.

      The initial shake was a 9.1. The first aftershock was an 8.7. the second was 8.2. The third, an 8.0, was bigger than anything that had ever been predicted. . . .

      Los Angeles was not prepared for this. No city could be. No freeway was drivable, no buildings were okay, and many came down completely. Ninety-eight percent of the property in Los Angeles County was severely damaged.

      The death toll was close to fifty thousand and the number of injured was incalculable. First reports said up to half a million people were seriously hurt. Hospitals could do nothing. They were damaged beyond repair; all they tried to do was to keep the patients who were already there alive.

      • Techsan says:

        Water is the big factor. LA is basically in a desert with 16+ million people. People die after 3 days without water. An earthquake will break lots of water pipes and take out electricity that pumps water.

        So, I would add to OFM’s adage “don’t live in Egypt” another, “Don’t live in LA.” Or, if you must, buy one of those hand-operated desalination pumps.

        • Old farmer mac says:

          Techsan as I see it only a person without a clue as to the nature of reality physical and economic would have his assets located in a place such as LA unless it were ABSOLUTELY necessary for some reason. Some people might have businesses that simply cannot be moved – a successful real estate agent for instance would have to start over without a following and contacts in the legal banking and construction industry in another city. But if she were smart she would diversify her own holdings away from LA.

          It isn’t going to matter very much if you have insurance on your house and business in LA when the big one hits. The losses are going to be beyond what the insurance industry is able to pay and what the country is going to be able to afford to bail them out.

          There is an eventual limit to the usefulness of printed money. We are getting somewhere not too far from it already in my estimation.

          The financial/ banking/ credit based economy the FIRE economy is without a doubt in my mind a ponzi scheme .

          That makes it by definition it MUST collapse eventually .

          The collapse may bring on the end of life as we know it . It may not.

          Personally I have some knowledge of MARXISM – not enough- and of other alternative economic and banking theories.

          There ARE some alternatives to the current banking scenario..

      • Caelan MacIntyre says:

        Hi Jeffrey,
        Civilization might collapse a fair time before the next big one. We were already conserving water back in 1995 when I was there.
        LA looks like golden glittery fabric from the air on a clear night and is quite pretty by the way…
        It is imagined that our descendents, if we have them, in the medium-to-far post-collapse future, are likely going to wonder, perhaps quite strenuously, what life was like now, but maybe more importantly, why it is like it is now. Like, ‘What were they thinking?!’. And some projects that are started now, might remain unfinished like some of those stone monuments or yore.

        If I was an ‘anthropologist’ of the future, whether alien or human or an entirely new species, and I had a choice, it might be this time-period I would choose to devote my time to study… and, in this regard, I would likely be in a long lineup with others.

        …Nice edit function, kudos– and even with a 30-minute countdown (courtesy, OFM ‘u^ ) … OMG, 1 minute left!…

        …Futilitist, how about a collapse-o-meter?
        (Seriously, though, we could have a site dedicated to metering some of the most important variables of collapse, like hectares of soil degrading and desertifying; numbers of species going extinct; percentage of fish disappearing; global temperature rise; polar ice-sheet melts, and so on… I might see if something like this is already online…)

        • Futilitist says:

          Hi Caelan.

          I’m afraid my collapse-o-meter is already pegged and has been so for quite a while. Dennis Meadows said in 1972 that once we reached the point we are at now, it would be useless to try to predict the exact details of collapse with any kind of exact accuracy. We just have a pretty good outline of what to expect. That will have to be good enough.

          They say that close only counts in horse shoes and hand grenades. It should say that close only counts in horse shoes, hand grenades, and apocalypse.

      • Jeffrey J. Brown says:

        Link to, and an excerpt from, an essay I wrote in 2011:

        Will we be able to maintain & replace our energy & transportation infrastructure in a post-peak oil world?

        Developed countries worldwide are facing enormous financial costs associated with maintaining and ultimately replacing their aging energy and transportation infrastructure of pipelines, refineries, power plants, electric transmission lines, roads, bridges, tunnels, dams, etc. Given the reality of an energy-constrained global economy, especially in the context of a long-term decline in global net oil exports, it seems inevitable that, at best, our current energy and transportation infrastructure will only be partially replaced in future years.

        Given a long-term expectation of partial infrastructure replacement, it seems likely that inevitable natural disasters — like earthquakes/tsunamis such as recently hit Japan, and hurricanes like Katrina and Rita that hit the US Gulf Coast in 2005 — will only aggravate the infrastructure problem. It seems likely that many areas heavily damaged by natural disasters will not be rebuilt, or will only be partially rebuilt. Government officials in Japan are considering exactly this scenario regarding many coastal fishing villages that were damaged by the recent earthquake and tsunami.

    • Jeffrey J. Brown says:

      Trailer to a film being released this year (May) on a major earthquake along the San Andreas fault:

      Link to 1990 film about the “Big One,” centered around LA:

  7. Cave Bio says:

    Hello everyone,

    My apologies if this was posted in the last thread. I doubt this will silence the deniers, but perhaps the accumulation of these types of data will begin to turn the public toward demanding action.

    First direct observation of carbon dioxide’s increasing greenhouse effect at Earth’s surface

    Scientists have observed an increase in carbon dioxide’s greenhouse effect at Earth’s surface for the first time. They measured atmospheric carbon dioxide’s increasing capacity to absorb thermal radiation emitted from Earth’s surface over an 11-year period at two locations in North America. They attributed this upward trend to rising carbon dioxide levels from fossil fuel emissions.


    • Cave Bio, as a follow up I suggested:

      “Watch this short you tube video: “CO2 Surface Forcing Time Series”. It was put up by Berkeley Lab yesterday.

      The graph shows the CO2 concentration increasing gradually, with seasonal oscillations. The forcing also oscillates seasonally.

      Look at the Alaska time series and stop the video at 18 seconds. Focus on the last four forcing oscillations…use a ruler and check the slope. It seems the Alaska CO2 concentrations are increasing over those 4 years but the forcing increase seems to be flattening? The effect appears to be more pronounced during the seasonal minima (the lowest pont in the forcing curve appears to be descending, but the lowest point in the CO2 concentration keeps increasing).

      I suspect their corrections may need a bit of fine tuning.”

      I suppose nobody watched the video.

      • Cave Bio says:

        Found the video–will be interesting to see the data as it continues to come out.


        • Tom, I don’t think that data is being acquired anymore. I see a tendency to suspend funding projects just when it’s getting really interesting.

          I used to work for NOA many years ago, and I have a little bit of an idea about how this works. In the private data gathering projects we experience the same problems.

  8. AlexS says:

    “The Gulf of Mexico was up 68,000 bpd in December but was down 56,000 bpd in November. The EIA had great hopes for the GOM expecting it to hit 2 million barrels per day in 2016. I don’t think that is going to happen. GOM production now stands at 1,441,000 bpd”


    The EIA actually expects average GoM oil production at 1.61 mb/d in 2016, up 220 kb/d (+16%) from 2014.
    December 2016 output is projected at 1.66mb/d, up 250 kb/d from December 2014 (see the latest monthly report).
    Wood Mackenzie expects similar growth of 13% from 1.4 mb/d in 2014 to an average of 1.58 mb/d in 2016.
    The reason is that there are several new projects at final stages of development that should come onstream in 2015-16.
    To note, unlike land rigs, the number of offshore rigs in the GoM has only marginally decreased from last year’s peaks. Moreover, Wood Mackenzie expects the number of oil rigs working in the Gulf to increase by more than 30% this year compared with 2014.

    Here is a link to a recent article in Bloomberg:
    “Rigs Running Hot Offshore as Shale Scales Back”

    • Yeah, I was going by this EIA chart. The Pacific offshore is only 50,000 bpd so the GOM is the bulk of it. I guess this chart is a bit out of date.

      • Doug Leighton says:

        Totally ridiculous cartoon. For one thing, how can Alaska be expected to produce more-or-less the same amount of oil for another 25 years? Prudhoe Bay and her satellites will be down at 50,000 bbl/day by then. Perhaps if you add in a bunch of undiscovered oil? But who can get away with projections based on undiscovered oil?

        • SRSrocco says:


          You must remember the EIA is a political organization and produces forecasts to continue delusion of growth for the next several decades.

          If it is understood by the market that peak oil is indeed here then we have the collapse of net present value and with it the value of most paper assets.

          Because 98% of the world is invested in paper assets its not a realistic graph, but a cartoon illusion to keep business as usual for another couple years.


          • Old farmer mac says:

            Hi Steve,

            I am not QUITE as cynical about our leadership as you are but nevertheless I am compelled to agree with you.

            Anybody who works at any of the government operated economic forecasting agencies learns pretty damned quick not to send any analysis upstairs that makes what his boss has sent upstairs for the last twenty years look bad.

            And the boss is not going to submit anything that makes the people in control of congress and Wall Street look bad or that scares them.

            Keeping your mouth shut is part and parcel of keeping the cushy job.

        • AlexS says:


          The EIA (in the Annual Energy Outlook 2014) projects a gradual decline in Alaska’s oil production to less than half of current levels by 2030

          • Doug Leighton says:

            Which would be a decline rate of 2.75 % per year, a miracle! The decline rate between 2010 and 2015 (4 years) was 21.2% or about 5%/year. The Parnell administration project a 45% decline in oil production over the next decade, which is reasonable. Only 50% in 25 years, no way!

            • Doug, your math is a bit off. It is only 15 years to 2030, not 25.

              • AlexS says:

                They are actually projecting a decline from 510 kbd in 2013 to 227 kbd in 2031, 4.4% per year.
                As far as I know however, the Transalaskan pipeline could face serious operational problems with such low volumes of crude.
                What’s more interesting, the EIA expects a temporary rebound in Alaska oil production thereafter, to 388 kbd in 2034. Perhaps, they expect some volumes from offshore projects.

              • Doug Leighton says:


                “Doug, your math is a bit off.” It’s not a bit off it’s away off. And that’s not math, it’s arithmetic. Maybe I should have stayed in bed this morning. Sorry guys. 🙂

                PS: I love the text editor.

    • shallow sand says:

      Also, we may not see rigs continue to drop as fast as we might expect. Instead of bond issuance, now the US shale companies are issuing more stock to raise more cash to continue the hamster wheel spinning. Of course, the wall street banks are assisting in this process, and are again generating fees. Also, they are finding unsuspecting buyers for these shares.

      Furthermore, most debt issued by the US shale companies is not due until at least 2020. So I look for the train to keep on rolling longer more than it should. They day of reckoning is farther off in the future than I originally thought.

      If shale drillers had to drill out of cash flow plus loans that required principal payments this year, drilling would virtually stop. But that is not the case, so I am afraid this situation will last much longer than we expect. The companies will continue to sell their best oil and gas production for low prices, continue to accumulate more debt, if possible, and if that is not possible, continue to dilute their equity shares.

      It appears to me that to drill at the pace they did in 2014, out of cash flow only, no borrowing, the companies would need WTI at $120-$250 per barrel, depending on the company, assuming $4.00 per mcf for gas. This is staggering, and shows where they are ultimately headed, if prices do not rebound to $175+ by 2020. But, 2020 is a long time off, and in the mean time, they will slow down, but not as much as they would if they were drilling strictly out of cash flow, or had to pay principal on at least an annual basis.

      They are going to drain the oil out of EFS, Bakken and Permian as fast as wall street will permit. The money banks win both ways. They keep shorting oil and natural gas, while enabling the over drilling to continue by raising the dumb money, and generating nice fees to boot. Its a heck of a good deal for those banks, they don’t want it to stop.

      • jjhman says:

        “It appears to me that to drill at the pace they did in 2014, out of cash flow only, no borrowing, the companies would need WTI at $120-$250 per barrel,”

        Are you assuming the full cost of discovery, drilling, fracking, etc in these numbers? I’ve read that production costs could be in the range of $20-$30 in some fracked wells. If that’s the case than with $50-$60 oil these guys may be able to extend their operations for a very long time at near break even finances. And perhaps continue to borrow if they can convince the banks that prices will rise within a reasonable time.

        • shallow sand says:

          The operating costs of completed wells is not the big expense, it is the drilling and fracking expense.

          Few, if any completed wells will be shut in. Further, there is some cash flow to drill new wells, as Opex and G & A is $10-15.

          What I am merely doing is adding CAPEX, operating expenses and g & a expenses for 2014, and dividing by BOE produced, plugging in $4 for natural gas.

          Very rudimentary, but gives an idea of borrowing, dilution necessary to keep drilling at 2014 pace. It will slow, but not stop, even if many of the wells are not projected to payout at the current strip.

          • shallow sand says:

            I guess I just compare these companies to what I am familiar with. I realize they have many talented people who work very hard. That is not the issue. The assets are the issue.

            I hear all the time how superior the reserves are. As I have pointed out many times, we operate in a 100+ year old field. A typical well costs $60-$ 80 thousand to drill and complete. A typical IP is 3-20 bopd, 100% oil. Typical year 1 production is 500-1000 barrels. After 5 years, 2,000-2,500 range. Thereafter, 200-500 barrels per year with decline of 2-4%. A $3,000 acid job can bump a wells production back up. I agree OPEX is higher, more wells, less production. We have 4 times the number of people in the field on a pro rata basis, so I agree that is a difference. I have posted an example of a well of ours before.

            Tell me what is markedly better about shale than the above, other than the scale and maybe required operations labor? The scale is the whole enchilada with shale. If not for the scale, just another high cost field.

            Multiply the above numbers by 100. Look familiar with a certain basin in Western North Dakota? No one from Citi or GS would want to float us a $10 million bond issue so we can drill 125 new wells, even though the IRR would be the same, maybe better. Don’t tell me about how flush these companies are compared to us, they are not. They have almost no cash. And mucho debt.

            We are roughly 1/1000 the size of Continental on a BOE basis, and we have no gas production in our mix. 12/31/14, Continental had $24 million of cash on their balance sheet. If we had $24,000 on our balance sheet, I would crap my britches. CLR has $6 billion of long term debt. I would more than soil my shorts if we owed $6 million bucks, even if no principal due till 2020.

            If Continental doesn’t complete a well in 2015, their production at year end will be off by over 25% of 12/31/14. If we don’t, (and looks like we won’t) we will be off 2-3%. If we can somehow sneak in some low cost workovers, we can maybe keep it flat.

            When we plan for a year, or do anything for that matter, the question is all about cash flow. If we borrow to buy settled production, it is on a 5 year amortization. Thankfully, production got too pricey and we haven’t bought any for awhile, so no debt. If we drill, money comes from drilling account. Drilling account is built up from cash flow.

            We would never think of running negative cash flow, year after year in our field. Not lucrative enough. Neither is shale. Scale is the whole ballgame. Predictability is too, but there are old fields all over the US that have predictable in fill drilling.

            Not counting proceeds from the hedges they cashed in, CLR spent about $6.8 billion while taking in $4.2 billion of oil/gas income in 2014. That is with a much higher oil price. Plug in todays price of oil to 2015 projections, they will take in about $2.4 billion in income against $4 billion of expenses and CAPEX. These are not tech start up companies. Long term negative cash flows for energy companies make little sense. Maybe early in a good discovery, but not 7-8 years later.

            Wall street values these companies way too high. They value most oil producers way too high. Go to the summer of 2014 and you will find some ridiculous valuations per flowing barrel. They still are today. $150,000+ per flowing BOE? Total out of touch in this environment. Unless you think $100+ oil is right around the corner.

            PV10 is completely ignored. Enno Peters pointed out CLR PV10 drops from 22.8 billion to 9 billion if you plug in current oil price strip, why have I never heard anyone on CNBC ever talk about PV10. I was taught that was the key valuation metric for oil production. Why is it ignored now? I was taught a good rule of thumb for valuing oil production is 70% of PDP PV10. At the current strip 70% of CLR PV10 is $6.3 billion. Half of that is PUD. Yet they have an enterprise value of $23.65 billion. Why?

            I still have yet to have anyone challenge me on this stuff. I’m waiting, because id like to know what mistakes I’m making. I really would.

            In closing, they can blow about 800,000 BOE, 30% gas EUR for $7-10 million a well and half cycle costs (whatever the heck that is) all they want. We have locations here that will produce 10,000 barrels of oil or more in 30 years, at a cost of $60-80 thousand per well. Big deal. Its just the scale.

            • Old farmer mac says:

              Good morning SS ,
              ”Unless you think $100+ oil is right around the corner” is in my opinion the key – but maybe not in precisely the way one would think at first.

              It seems obvious and perfectly reasonable that most of the money that was lent BEFORE the price crash WAS lent on the basis of hundred buck oil and probably a rising price as on top of that.

              Now the bankers who made the decisions to do the lending are on their knees praying the price goes back up BEFORE THEY LOSE THEIR JOBS.

              The whole game for the actual people who actually lent the money is to hope and pray that they can find new jobs before the bad loans come due or that prices go up enough to enable them to roll over the loans and get the hell out before the shit hits the fan. Each and every person in a bank involved in this mess has a super powerful incentive to keep his mouth shut individually and the group has the same incentive collectively . The job the bennies the bonus the pension.

              My old Daddy in law was on a carpentry job in Richmond in the depths of the depression when that job was the only hope of paying the taxes on the farm and buying a little coffee etc.

              The foreman laid out a bunch of walls wrong and all the carpenters except old Buck my pappyinlaw tried to tell him he was wrong. Buck just did what he was told to do. A few weeks later he was the only carpenter still on the job out of the lot..

              This foreman more or less ” owned” this job and managed to cover his mistake. The bankers are doing the same in my estimation.

              If I were a financial analyst I would advise my clients to get out of any bank that loaned very much money to the tight oil industry. There may be a bail out. There might not. AND with the repuglithans in control in Washington the odds are much reduced.

              • Futilitist says:

                “Good morning SS…”~Old farmer mac.

                Sorry, I couldn’t resist.

                This stuff literally just writes itself. 😉

            • Longtimber says:

              PDP, PUD?
              Executive Summary
              * “Long term negative cash flows for energy companies make little sense.” * Oh My, >Unless you are a Banker
              The Wolf “retooling” his valuation metrics. ?!?
              Buffet dumps XOM since he no likely XTO?
              A Matrix of PV10’s vs Oil Price for key players would be golden. Time to revisit the BAK Post from a week ago.

    • clueless says:

      Pemex just prematurely terminated contracts on 3 Diamond Offshore rigs (Gulf of Mexico).

      • toolpush says:


        The yard I was working in Singapore have been building derricks for new jack ups for Pemex, They have been pumping them out, about one every 6 weeks. The last one was #10 in the series. I suspect you just told me where they will be heading.

        • coffeeguyzz says:

          I just read an article in the current online issue of American Oil and Gas Reporter (dated 3/1/15, A lead story was “Permian Well Shows Benefits of CTFS”, a detailed recounting of a 29 stage horizontal in the Perminan (NM) that XTO – wholly owned subsidiary of some outfit called Exxon – using Coiled Tubing Frac Sleeves. Impression was that it was Baker Hughes Optiport, but the step by step process is not only fascinating, it would seem inevitable that in a couple years time, if not sooner, this technique will be THE premier method of fracturing (and probably re-fracturing) most every horizontal in the world, literally. It is just that effective.
          Dennis, I didn’t see/respond to your last comment on previous thread until moments ago, but the 50/80/100 stage laterals will NOT be comparable in cost with Continental’s process because this Coiled Tubing stuff is way, WAY more cost effective than CLR’s sliding sleeve frac’ing.
          Suggest one and all glance at that aogr article because, even if some of the technical stuff doesn’t resonate, the mere fact that Whiting is displaying immense daring (stupidity?) in continuing to drill AND frac in the Bak when their oil is selling for less than cheap bottled water, is due in large measure to their embracing this new, highly, highly improved method of fracturing.
          (Final observation, all the predictive production charts may need a little revising …)

          • shallow sand says:

            coffee. Take a look at Whiting’s 2014 10K.

            Whiting produces the most barrels of oil per day in the Bakken and has started drilling the Niobrara shale also.

            Yet look where almost 20% of their PV10 comes from. The North Ward Estes field in the Permian Basin. Folks, it is not shale, but a CO2 flood targeting the Yates sand at 2,600 feet and the Queen sand at 3000′. Tertiary recovery. Producing 9,700 barrels of oil per day.

            So a tertiary project in a field discovered in 1929, and that has been under water flood since 1955, has double the PV10 on a flowing per BOE basis than the Bakken production from the largest producer in the Bakken? And the proof is right there in Whiting’s 2014 SEC filed 10K for all to see.

            Again, no offense to the employees of whiting, my aim is at the assets, as well as the MSM who hypes them without having a clue what they are talking about.

            I’m trying to wean myself from beating the dead horse on shale, but this is just too good to pass up.

            KSA and the Russians knew this all along and I bet their oil people are laughing their collective asses off at the “US shale revolution” as we speak.

            • coffeeguyzz says:

              I’ll take a stab at checking out the 10K, tnx for the heads up. One of my main focus points is how much hydrocarbon is underground and how the operators get, or plan to get it out.
              The financials/economics always play a dominant role in these and other matters, but there has always been way too many components – players, shades of integrity, competence, etc. – for me to ever attempt to analyze this aspect in depth.
              You, being intimately involved in this industry, need to monitor the economics for a whole host of obvious reasons.
              Whiting’s decision to continue to drill/frac/produce in these conditions has enormous ramifications … whether they succeed or fail. By mid summer, we may see show how this plays out.

            • Shallow sand, maybe the tertiary flood has a higher pv10 but it may also have required a large investment. A comparison requires a full cycle analysis. And then there’s the lack of additional EOR opportunities. They may have carried out this investment then moved on to the light tight oil?

              • shallow sand says:

                The Co2 flood project does require a large initial investment, and their 10k indicates they have many more phases of the CO2 flood expansion to complete, which I assume are included in the PV10 calculation.

                I also agree with you that they and the other companies moved on to shale due to new conventional projects, especially in the onshore US, being few and far between.

                My concerns are the exaggerations, to put it mildly, of the shale economics, which has resulted in a boomtown frenzy, with mountains of debt, and an oil price crash that has hit many people, me included.

                Self interest is much of my motivation, I do agree. I just need to exercise patience.

              • MBP says:

                First, the ManBearPig part of my name is gone. Ron’s last post and the discussion within it showed me that my name caused too much drama from people taking it to mean I have a specific view on Al Gore or climate change. I don’t, I just like South Park and happened to be watching that episode when I first posted on this blog. I don’t want something like my name to distract from anything that I post here. Ill think of another acronym for MBP shortly.

                Second, I would disagree that CO2 floods don’t require a large initial investment. It has been my experience that they in fact do require quite a large upfront cost. Most waterfloods are not setup to handle CO2, so new line has to be laid down, the wellheads have to be replaced to work with WAGing, old wellbores (many of these are from the 20’s) what would have issues with CO2 corrosion are plugged and new wells with casing meant for CO2 are drilled, compressors have to be built, new disposal wells have to be drilled to deal with the increase in water production, and finally you have to get a contract for CO2 from a supplier. These contracts are difficult to negotiate and are generally set to guarantee delivery for years, which is expensive. Then you just have to lay pipe from the existing CO2 line to your field and then you’re good to go.

                That’s not to say that shale wells have better economics, but setting up a CO2 flood is a process that takes years and a good bit of money. But in the Permian Basin CO2 floods are big business, and I think >250mbopd comes from main pay CO2 floods. The next thing that companies are working on are TZ/ROZ CO2 floods, but who knows how much production those will add.

                • What’s a Tz/roz co2 flood?

                  • shallow sand says:

                    MBP: I agree there is a tremendous cost in setting up a CO2 flood, although I do admit I have never had anything to do with one, so what I know of them is from reading technical papers. I am sure you could give me a lot of good information about them.

                    I have also read about the attempts to recover oil out of the residual oil zone in the Goldsmith Field in Ector Co. I think Kinder Morgan bought that project from Laredo, have read about that in American Oil and Gas reporter.

                    My point is in comparing economics of shale to what is, I think, considered higher cost production, being a CO2 flood. It is my understanding that corrosion is high, requiring continuous chemical treatment and lined tubing. I beat to death my frustration with Citibank’s claims of shale profitability at low oil prices, knowing they are very short oil in the short term. I of course smell a rat as their largest shareholder is a well known Saudi prince who likely knew whether KSA would cut or not before it was announced Thanksgiving day.

                  • MBP says:

                    Transition and residual oil zone CO2 floods. These are floods where CO2 is used to produce hydrocarbons below the OWC that otherwise would not be moveable under primary of secondary production methods. There are a few places that I know of where these conditions exist: the Persian Gulf, the Cooper Basin in Australia, some of the basins in the Rockies and the Permian Basin. In the Permian I know of 8 fields that are currently ROZ floods.

                • John B says:

                  Ill think of another acronym for MBP shortly.

                  How about “SexCrazedPoodle” ?

                • I cant see the diference between a transition zone and a “residual zone” located under an oil zone. They both have high water saturation and low oil fractional flow. If they inject CO2 to displace that residual oil they must be moving a huge amount of water.

                  • MBP says:

                    The difference is the relative oil saturation. The transition zone begins when, under primary production, water production first starts. This % water production will continue to increase with depth until production is 100% water, which is the start of the ROZ.

                    Image below is from “Permian basin production proves ROZ viability” by Abdallah Harouaka, Bob Trentham and Steve Melzer in the Oil and Gas Journal

  9. Ovi: one way to fix the “first month riddle” is to use half months. Just slip the data to use half the last month you have available. It’s not perfect, but it’s close. I have done it using the actual date (I worked in areas with lots of wells with hyperbolic decline rates, and I had all the actual test figures, not the allocations which is what you see). The results are fairly close.

    You guys do pretty good matching the data, but the forecast gets thrown off by random swings in well results, inability to produce wells flat out if they are really good, and things like that.

    • Ovi says:

      Fernando please clarify. Are you referring to the 3 month moving average. I am not what the “first month riddle” is in the context of “use half the last month available”. A simple example would be appreciated.


      • Ovi says:

        Its working Ron. I see click to edit. Very good.

      • coffeeguyzz says:

        I don’t know if you guys are referring to the exact number of productive days in the first month’s production in the Bakken, but that number is available with the basic subscription through the ND DMR. I think it’s about $100/yr.

      • Ovi, the first month riddle is the inability to peg the start date for each well.

        There are several approaches to solve this problem. One is to simply double the first month’s rate. Another is to use it plus half the second month’s rate and create a pseudo first month. Then take the other half of the second month and add it to half of the third month. And so on.

        There are more mathematically exact solutions, but what I found is that it really doesn’t make that much difference.

        • Ovi says:

          Got it. Thanks.

          In this case I am not sure how that would work, since I am trying to calculate the first month rate for each month.

          • Do you have each individual well’s production data? What is your objective? In my case I was required to plan ahead whatever we needed to keep a plant full at 50 thousand BOPD. We didn’t want excess capacity, neither did we want to fall below plateau. So I had to estimate the production from existing wells and place the new wells to keep production as dictated by the higher ups. We were also asked not to disrupt the labor force, keep the number of rigs steady. As you can imagine we worked the problem in extreme detail.

  10. Watcher says:

    Yo Ron.

    Don’t think this was tried before.

    Note there is a timeout. It occurs to me the last experiment performed may have had at zero seconds default timeout, in which case comment editing would not be possible.

    • Okay, the “Ajax Edit Comments” plugin has been installed and activated. Hope it works okay for you. I think it works.

      Ajax Edit Comments allows users to edit their own comments for a limited time. Administrators can edit all comments on the front-end.

      Everyone should see an edit button after they post now.

      • Watcher says:


        This is called a successful edit.

        There IS a God.

        • Watcher says:

          Ron, the optimal gizmos prohibit edit not just after a time period, but also if there’s been a reply. Dunno about that one, but you earned your pay today.

          • Watcher says:

            Oh cool, counting down from 5 mins.

            • Watcher says:

              You’ll have to go set it to 30 mins for farmer guy. haha

              • Watcher says:

                Majorly cool, the edit button is gone after 5 mins.

                I would go back and change my system clock for a real thorough test, but I’m sure someone else will do that. haha

                Testing if an edit resets 30 mins.


            • Watcher says:

              Just to prove, this edit is done AFTER the “majorly cool” comment below.

              Of course, someone could presume I planned all this, but that’s less credible than a snowplow causing a plane crash.

              Editing here, oops, the comment I was editing hit 5 mins as I was typing, so it put it down here. Pro tip.

              haha 30 now

        • Old farmer mac says:

          Hi Watcher,

          I spent a good bit of time once trying to get a handle on Eastern philosophy in general and Zen in particular.

          Here is some Zen for everybody. I wonder how many of this audience will get it.

          A God that is not there is there.

          I wonder how many here will get it.

          More proportionally than most audiences for sure.

          This in an intellectual way anticipates a lot of modern physics- a subject which I must admit is in many aspects beyond my comprehension.

      • I changed the “Time to edit” from 5 minutes to 30 minutes. That should give even Mac time to re-read his posts and correct any errors. 😉 And you should still be able to edit even after someone has commented.

        • Watcher says:

          Nice job. The reading I did said Ajax was the best, so you chose the best.

          This is a significant thing.

          • shallow sand says:

            Appreciate the edit ability being added. Thanks.

            Sorry for my hick post. I am really missing something when I compare oil production I am familiar with to the shale revolution, I suppose. I just can’t get anyone interested enough tell me what I’m missing. Someone please convince me why, other than massive scale, shale is so great.

            Also, for all of the oil industry people who read here, tell my why PV10 is irrelevant and why the fact that shale co PV10 has dropped 50-75% in 6 months is not huge financial news?

            • Watcher says:

              Maybe you should think about what such a business looks like that funds oil well development with low interest borrowed money and hopes to not pay it back. How do the spreadsheets look then?

            • Mike says:

              Shallow, shale oil is not great. It never was great. It represents less than 5 % of daily world production. It was never going to save anybody, not ever. Its all people can focus on because that is all there is to focus on. You are not being hick, whatever that means; you are not missing anything. The net present value of a shale oil income stream, how many shale wells can be drilled with one rig each year, CT frac’s, HY paper, exponential or hyperbolic, diffusional or delusional…the unconventional LTO business does not work at 45 dollar oil. It didn’t really work at 100 dollar oil. I know that, you know that, a few smart people here know that; 95.4% of the worldwide oil business looks at this shale stuff in America, and all the clatter about it, and can’t figure out what all the hubbub is about. Its a high cost, low return flash in the frying pan.

              Don’t beat a dead horse, I say. Your kind of production is going to be worth a lot of money some day. Get ready.


              • Watcher says:

                “Its all people can focus on because that is all there is to focus on.”

                And THAT is why upheaval cometh. Lots of oil flows. Tens of millions of bpd. It’s not enough to provide a BAU vibrant life for 7 billion.

                Those who have such a life won’t tolerate its loss.

                Russia can say we’ll feed our people, and we’ll keep the rest in underground storage, deep underground. KSA can say we’ll feed our people and keep the rest in deep underground storage.

                That’s when those who have such a life . . . won’t tolerate its loss.

                • shallow sand says:

                  Sorry about hick reference. I’m from the middle of nowhere, of course, and get tired of reading and hearing so much crap from people on the east coast, who are heralded as oil experts, but are just pulling out stuff from where the sun doesn’t shine, with no in depth explanation of what they say.

                  I’ll try to stop beating a dead horse. Really just using this as a place to vent, as opposed to dumping on wife, kids, other family, guys in field, etc.

                  Need to quit reading/listening to the bs. Just need to lock the truck satellite radio into channel 58 and watch ESPN while eating the bran flakes.

                  Again, thanks for the forum. There is some wild stuff on here , but at least people are trying to think here. Not enough of that going on in many areas of our great USA, IMHO.

                  • Mike says:

                    Shallow, I understand hick, bro; I am as country and they come. I for one appreciate your insights in the economics of the shale oil well manufacturing process. You understand the oil business. In the end its not about big IP’s and frac stages, how many wells you can cram into a pad, decline rates and all that jazz, its about the money these guys make. That’s ALL that matters as to sustainability of the development of any oil play. If you could collectively get all these shale guys in a room and ask them to “sho you the money,” they couldn’t. They have not made a dime.

                    Because of the internet, people need immediate answers to problems that, in the oilfield anyway, often take lots of time to sort themselves out. This shale thing will sort itself out soon enough. I understand its significance in the peak oil community and respect that. IMO however, net export stuff that W. Texas is onto, and decline in other parts of the world that Ron is onto, is far more important in the big scheme of things. Shale oil was a nice little bump; it ran out of gas however. It couldn’t hang.

                    If the non shale oil industry-real oil industry can arrest it’s decline rates by just 1% annually, even a half percent, over a short period of years that gain in production will far surpass that of all the Bakken and the Eagle Ford production that can ever be produced, IMO. That’s the story.


              • toolpush says:

                G’day Mike,

                The problem is shale has caused a blip in production, combined with slowing of growth rates, and this has effected everyone in the oilfield. Until shale can come to its natural conclusion, we all have to suffer.
                The only bright side I see, is the lower price will give demand a sugar high, which will most likely coincide with the decline of shale, and we will be all back in business.
                The way the Bakken rig numbers are dropping, we shouldn’t have to wait too long.

                • Mike says:

                  Push, howzit, mate?

                  You are right, of course. The uncontrolled, out of control, short sighted development of shale resources in America has thrown everything out of whack. The temporary surplus of oil and the unprecedented increase in development costs caused by the mad dash to shale oil is killing me right now. And you, and Shalllow, and everyone else in the oil business. I hate ’em. The wankers.

                  Relief is on the way. You know that. By year end most of the mighty shale oil business is going to be on the street selling pencils. We’ll be rolling again by next year.

                  I hope you are turning to the right by now somewhere.


                  • toolpush says:


                    You do have the lingo down I just came off the rig last Wednesday. Welded the doors shut and padlocked the rest. I still have another pay to come, and I have a mate moving companies early April. He will be moving me in shortly after.
                    As you know, this business is about people not iron, and it is who you know, or should I say who knows you, that keeps things turning to the right, at times like these.

                  • lgnorant lurker says:


                  • Jeffrey J. Brown says:

                    Check out the Kopits graph up the thread, regarding his outlook for supply less demand globally.

                    In any case, if (and it’s a big if), but if you can get the funding I would argue that now is the time to be drilling conventional wells.

                  • Mike says:

                    Jeffery, I could not agree with you more, sir. The timing is important, however; find the trough in drilling and completion costs but be able to see the sun peaking out from under the clouds with regards to crude oil prices. I think that will be 3rd -4th quarter 2015.

                    Thank you for your work, sir. You have a keen eye for the big picture.


                  • Old farmer mac says:

                    For all you guys in the oil biz hands on,

                    You make my days now that I am old and mostly stuck in the house go by a lot faster.

                    I have never laid hands on an oil rig but I know what your life is like better than you might expect.

                    I still get grease all over me a lot of days and a late frost or a hurricane putting our annual income to less than zero occasionally is probably close enough to what it feels like to hit too many dry holes.

                    And while we always grew the very finest quality stuff we can no longer compete at our small scale with folks from other places with big budgets.

                    I never packed up and lived in a man camp for years at a time but I did it once in a while for a few weeks to grab some quick cash and I could still probably pass to weld pipe with a few hours practice and a new pair of glasses. LOL

                    One time every bite I ate for a solid month came out of a vending machine on site or a twenty-four hour restaurant adjacent to a plant where I worked a shutdown. There wasn’t time to go anyplace else or energy enough left to fix anything anyway. Work , eat , sleep. Lose ten pounds in that month even eating like a pig.

                    Hang in as best and as long as you can.

                    So far as I am concerned you guys are all heroes.

                    Guys that play pro ball are oversized little boys who never grew up.

                  • Mac, the idea is to avoid getting dirty. I have always been very finicky about this point. For example, I had a rig hand use a rag and cleaner to make sure all the hand rails were spotless. I hated getting my gloves dirty, then taking them off and shoving them in my pants pockets.

            • coffeeguyzz says:

              Hey, shallow, sorry that I do not engage much in the financial end of things because, as you know, I do not follow it too closely. That being said, I have been running small business for decades so, like yourself, I’m keenly aware of the importance of paying the bills.
              The Denver/Joulesberg Basin in Colorado is said to contain over 70 million barrels of Original Oil In Place per square mile. Now, I’m not gonna go digging to check myself, but, say, take half that number, halve it again for optimistic recovery rate, give a selling price of, say, $50/bbl, and an operator may be sitting on about 900 million bucks worth of hydrocarbons.
              If the outfit puts 16 wells on this single pad (1 sq. mile) at even $10 mil per, there is still a theoretical gross profit in the hundreds of millions. Per square mile.
              Now, I’m not saying ANY of the above info is valid in the real world, nor am I saying there is not an asston of hurdles/objections to this example, but the money guys, the operators, all the people in between use this general view to justify the enormous expenditure of capital that we all have witnessed these past few years.
              Hang in there, man.

              • shallow sand says:

                coffee. Look at my whiting post above. If I was just looking at shale from the technology angle, I agree it would be cool. Drilling 10,000 feet down, 10,000 feet sideways and coaxing oil out of concrete.

                But the name of the game in any business is $. We sell about 75,000 barrels of oil per year. So when oil drops $50 a barrel, it is not too funny to us. And when the drop is due in part to overproduction of an over hyped resource, that no one will call out, you can see why I am having trouble letting it go.

                Coffee, look into PV10 of shale compared to conventional onshore US production. I gave you an example above. It is an eye opener and in my opinion the biggest missed story re shale.

                The fact that a bunch of ivy league business school graduates at Citibank, Goldman, etc, never mention it, shows me that they are liars. I have a BS in finance from a non ivy league school. We were making present value calculations of future cash flows all the time. It is finance 101.

                The fact that half a trillion bucks of debt could be generated with no regard for the future cash flow to service the debt is something I will never get over. Ever.

              • Watcher says:

                25% recovery of shale oil is not optimistic. It’s bizarre.

                The latest OOIP estimate for NoDak is 167 billion barrels. USGS upgraded their estimate of recovery to 7.5ish billion barrels.

                That’s 4.5%. Note that USGS reassessed recoverable by adding 3ish billion barrels to the previous estimate. That’s what achieved 4.5%. It was lower for their old estimate.

                • coffeeguyzz says:

                  Watcher, the numbers you posted are highly relevant regarding this entire shale industry.
                  While I personally shy away from speculation, I will strongly reiterate what I said above … if the latest developments in the completion/fracturing arena prove to be as viable as early data indicate (Whiting’s three high stage Federal wells have 60 day IPs ranging between 90k and 110k boe), the hydrocarbon recovery rate, the financial rate of return, the increased density of wells with fracs extending no farther than 300′ laterally, all trend positively for future development.
                  There may be several tens of thousands of miles long wellbores spaced 300’/600′ apart (Carrizo is successfully placing laterals 300′ apart). The potential for future EOR with that kind of infrastructure is enormous.
                  Watcher, 12 months from now, Whiting’s actions will be highly instructive … however it plays out.

                  • Watcher says:

                    You need to go read about the porosity of that rock. It is about 4%, as I recall. The most magical technology you want to imagine can’t create oil in a volume of rock where it doesn’t exist. The horizontal has a length and the frack radius is what it is. That defines a cylinder of a certain volume and There Is Only So Much Oil In It. I don’t care what companies claim what. If they get bigger numbers, it means they have a larger volume cylinder, and that means they eat up their acreage faster.

                    There is no free lunch. When the time comes that finances don’t matter, it will be because the oil MUST FLOW or people will starve. That will be when oil workers are forced to work at gunpoint. Or more obliquely, money is printed to pay them when the finances of the wells can’t.

                    So you’re right not to care much about the finances. A time approaches, soon, when indeed they won’t matter.

                  • Just speculating, but I think a CO2 huff and puff may work in a light oil, but I’m not sure. I would try it in the Eagle Ford oil window to see if it works.

        • Old farmer mac says:

          Thank you Ron,

          I believe we will ALL agree that Ron is the ”hostest with the mostest” as they say in Hollywood.

  11. Lloyd says:
    The Wankband, from PornHub

    I saw this and what can I say? Electric power with minimal fossil fuel use, even in the dark (especially in the dark.) If we can get them into the hands of teenage boys, an almost endless source of electric power.


    • Philip Backus says:

      I think we have hit a new low in energy ideas that will save us all. Oh well, I was growing weary of hearing about cold fusion anyhow. Those trying to keep BAU going are just doing a lot of mental masturbation anyway .


    • Planet Suction Cup says:

      We have tapped into your internet transmissions through a couple of superheated wormholes and, using what you would describe as a universal translator, just wish to say that this, your product, would be optimal on our planet! We have a decentralized wireless electrical grid and a large and very-populated planet with a very active population. Think about it!

      We understand by your other transmissions that you would think that aliens such as ourselves would be more formal about contacting you, like contacting your governments or leaders or whatever, but we guess that you also know that that’s not how it works in reality.

      Best wishes for most happy wanking from your friends over at Planet Suction Cup!

  12. John B says:

    This is not your father’s Oldsmobile.

  13. Ronald Walter says:

    The total number of wells in the Williston Basin is now at 11744. December production totals out at 38 047 672 barrels. If there wasn’t any oil, nobody would drill at all, so apparently, the oil is there in sufficient quantities to drill for more, so that is probably what is going to happen long into the future.

    The wells will pump oil until they’re dry. The Bakken will pump oil for another 30 years. If the production results in the price of oil to be at an affordable range for the consumers, it is better. Finally, some relief for the overtaxed, underpaid worker who slogs along with little hope of ever gaining something in this world.

    The price can fall to 35 or less, it will help, not hinder the economy, how it can function.

    If it kills the Bakken, that will be just too bad, but that’s the way the cookie crumbles, the ball bounces. Right now, the Bakken is doing the job it is supposed to do, produce oil at an affordable price so the consumer isn’t being ripped off.

    100 dollar oil is not affordable for the local yokel on the street. You will have people stealing oil everywhere. Chaos will be the norm.

    If the oil industry can’t survive at 50 dollars per barrel, there is something wrong with the industry, can’t face the reality. It will just have to grin and bear it. A cut in pay will do wonders, gets the kids off of the street.

    Welcome to the real world.

  14. Watcher says:

    The graphs now say they are updated to the *2014* BP data source, and China consumption is up above 11 mbpd with a delightful uptick last year from all those decidedly oil burning vehicles they added (and will continue to add).

    Their oil production is a little south of 5 mbpd with nearly flat growth (far outpaced by consumption gain).

    Now then, we all know their semi-slave labor configuration feeds Walmart the products that wipe out everyone else’s factories, but given the economic computations about oil production in shale and elsewhere, isn’t it interesting that despite their no doubt low oil worker pay, that production graph is nearly flat.

    Now, yes, they are consuming all their own oil, at least on net, so maybe they price it internally however they damn well please — but still, with labor costs that low, they clearly can’t ramp production up sharply.

    • Jeffrey J. Brown says:

      To clarify slightly, I believe that they updated the charts with calendar year 2013 production and consumption data, and it looks like BP shows China’s liquids consumption increasing from 10.4 mbpd in 2012 to 10.8 mbpd in 2013. The EIA shows China’s consumption increasing from 10.0 mbpd to 10.3 mbpd for the same time period, which I believe has been revised upward slightly (from 10.1 for 2013).

      • Watcher says:

        The little blurb under the charts say 2014 (it said 2013 last time I looked). I don’t know if they make the raw numbers available. I recently saw a seperate 11+ mbpd 2014 Chinese consumption number, I think as a formal EIA projection. Their chart looks well past 10.

        Ooh, I can edit: Here it is —

        “EIA forecasts that China’s oil consumption will continue growing through 2014 at a moderate pace to approximately 11.1 million bbl/d, and its net oil imports will reach 6.6 million bbl/d compared to 5.5 million bbl/d for the United States.”

        • Jeffrey J. Brown says:

          It’s the 2014 BP report (which has annual data through 2013). No one, insofar as I know, has released annual consumption data yet for 2014.

  15. Old farmer mac says:

    Here is a link to a guy at Forbes who seems to think tight oil can be produced for less money that Canadian tar sands and some other semi conventional or conventional oil.

    My opinion is that he either hasn’t got a clue or else he is speaking with forked tongue hoping maybe to get his money out of tight oil investments.

    • He doesn’t have a clue. Every oil play has its own internal price range. And every oil play will see reduced costs as activity is dialed down. Dialed down activity leads to lower production, which increases prices.

      The fracked horizontal wells can be dialed up and down quicker. I assume deep water is next, then comes the Canada heavy oil. Large scale Venezuela heavy oil investments are not feasible at this time. Their production should continue falling gradually.

      Conventional oil is on its last legs, there are very few quality exploration plays, and no really new technology looms over the horizon. That leaves Arctic exploration plays, which have incredibly long lead times and require very high prices.

      Conclusion: the tight light hydrocarbons will fill some of the newly emerging void, but refineries need something chewier. Eventually every play will have a role.

  16. clueless says:

    Ron – I think that you knew that when I used the phrase “destroy the oceans” I was jsut responding. I was not saying that they were going to disappear.
    Sometimes I feel lonely – there take a shot.
    With climate warming let’s assume that the oceans warm. From what I have read, the oceans release carbon dioxide as they warm and absorb more when they cool. I thought that absorbing CO2 is what made them less alkaline (acidification – but, not acidic). And, if global warming melted Antarctica (which holds over 80% of the fresh water on earth) that would add a lot of water to the oceans that would not be acidic.
    The oceans PH is over 8. They have to be less than 7 to be acidic. They are a long way from being acidic. If humans could convert Lake Superior to 100% hydrochloric acid and then pump it all into the oceans, it would not be enough to turn them acidic.
    And, why is the only bad carbon dioxide man made? Every place that more CO2 shows up, it is always man made. Was “Science” magazine wrong when they wrote an article that claimed that termites release more greenhouse gas (methane that converts to CO2) than all of the activities of man? If they are right, I think that money would be better spent eradicating termites. Now we need an Entomology expert to post that killing termites will destroy life as we know it (maybe I need to stop using Terminix). And don’t suggest killing other animals. My diet is 80% meat and dairy products.
    Note – none of the above is a “denial” of climate warming.

    • Doug Leighton says:


      If the entire 2,850,000 cubic km of Greenland’s ice sheet were to melt, it would lead to a global sea level rise of 7.2 m (24 ft) and add 0.21% to the ocean’s volume. If this were to happen you could add flooding of most of the world’s major cities to the “big problems” list. And yes, the more voluminous oceans may be very slightly less acidified than otherwise. Antarctica loosing its ice would follow a tad later perhaps and help to reduce acidification slightly more — if anyone would care at that point!

      • Doug Leighton says:

        “Thomas Lovejoy, former chief biodiversity adviser to the World Bank, has suggested that acidity of the oceans will more than double in the next 40 years. This rate is 100 times faster than any changes in ocean acidity in the last 20 million years, making it unlikely that marine life can somehow adapt to the changes.” And, OCEANS ARE 30% MORE ACIDIC THAN BEFORE FOSSIL FUELS, according to David Braun of National Geographic as reported on Dec. 15, 2009.

      • Greenland ice won’t melt. It didn’t melt during the Eemian interglacial.

        • Doug Leighton says:

          My comment was: “If the entire 2,850,000 cubic km of Greenland’s ice sheet were to melt…”

          Drilling to the base of 126,000-Year-Old Ice in central Greenland hit bedrock containing some old grass and a few pine needles. Interesting but I doubt this time scale will make the slightest difference to us, our children or our great-great-great grandchildren. I was responding to a silly comment that melting ice would (could) dilute oceanic water with fresh water and counteract acidification.

          • Doug, read the reference here:


            The presence of unscoured tundra soil indicates the ice mass doesn’t move. They interpret it to be older than 2 million years old (at the point where the core data is taken the ice is stuck to the ground, doesn’t move).

            I was curious as to why this would happen, and I found a paper which attributed it to the topography. The majority of that ice mass anchored in place by peripheral mountains. The top surface is elevated, gets a little bit of snow. In the future it will melt and move at the edges, where glaciers do enter the ocean, but 2 to 4 degrees temperature change just doesn’t melt it. The Eemian proves it.

            When it comes to this global warming topic it’s important to drill down and investigate each individual item, because there’s a ton of bs flying around from all sides. Dude, I read some of the posts at Neven’s and the authors seem to be rooting for the ice to melt. You start reading that junk mixed into the good material and cone out with the wrong impression.

            • Doug Leighton says:


              Thanks, I hadn’t run into that particular article before. However, your comment is an over-generalization. Even the material you cited had the following conclusion:

              “Bierman and his team hope to investigate the base of ice cores elsewhere in Greenland to see whether other parts of the ice sheet likewise survived, or melted and reformed. Even if some of the ice sheet retreated or melted away completely at some point during this time, the ice over Summit, at least, has remained stable.”

            • Doug, that’s right. But there is additional work which easily helps one conclude the Greenland ice sheet doesn’t go away during interglacials. The topography locks in the ice mass.

              I do find this an interesting subject, because it’s used as a panic pressure point. Things are bad enough as it is, but we sure have a lot of bs being written. I love the super hurricane stories, and the ones about global warming causing more tornadoes at this time are a real hoot.

              • Futilitist says:

                Hi Fernando.

                What did you think of the videos I posted from the Yale group?

                Those senior climate scientists disagree with everything you say (make up). In fact, those videos were produced because so much disinformation has been spread by people like you, that the scientists realized they had to find a better way to communicate. These are basically the top climate scientists in the world coming together to communicate a scientific consensus that climate change is real and very serious.

                What is it you hope to accomplish?

    • Yeah, I knew you were not talking about literally destroying the ocean. That’s why I put a smiley face there, though belated. I got to thinking about it and thought “he might misunderstand my comment. So I got up out of bed, restarted my computer, and inserted a smiley face after the comment about where they would put all that water.

      The oceans PH is over 8. They have to be less than 7 to be acidic.

      No, that is not quite correct. Less basic or less alkaline, even 8.1 does not mean it is not acidic. a pH of 7 does not mean the ocean is not acidic, it only means that the acidity and the alkaline are in balance. The ocean needs to be highly basic to be healthy.

      Ocean AcidificationCarbon Dioxide Is Putting Shelled Animals at Risk

      On the pH scale, which runs from 0 to 14, solutions with low numbers are considered acidic and those with higher numbers are basic. Seven is neutral. Over the past 300 million years, ocean pH has been slightly basic, averaging about 8.2. Today, it is around 8.1, a drop of 0.1 pH units, representing a 25-percent increase in acidity over the past two centuries.

      You Wrote:

      And, why is the only bad carbon dioxide man made? Every place that more CO2 shows up, it is always man made. Was “Science” magazine wrong when they wrote an article that claimed that termites release more greenhouse gas (methane that converts to CO2) than all of the activities of man?

      Sorry Clueless but Science Magazine never published any such thing. That is crap published by the climate change denier web site Ice Age Now

      They say: Scientists have calculated that termites alone produce ten times as much carbon dioxide as all the fossil fuels burned in the whole world in a year. And that is a fucking lie! See the chart below? Termite population is not on on the increase. That kind of increase can only be caused by one thing, fossil fuel burning.

      • Marty Denomme says:

        There is no real evidence that CO2 has any effect on climate. And even if it did, CO2 is very beneficial to plants. I was reading this article in Scientific American just the other day mentioning how greenhouse growers purposely pump CO2 into greenhouses in order to get the plants to grow better. So trying to do the virtually impossible and return civilization to the Dark Ages by trying to lower CO2 emissions is a huge misguided waste of time and effort, especially since other articles I read in Scientific American discuss how the reality of the climate change we have been experiencing has been caused simply by the sunspot activity and ocean currents that didn’t exist 20, 30 years ago. In other words, there’s nothing we can do to stop the current climate change, we are just going to have to learn to adapt to it because it will continue to go on for eons whether man exists or not.

        Speaking of man existing or not, I do agree with you in other posts that a much bigger threat to the environment than anything the ignorant weathermen could drum up paranoia about is man’s out of control population in a finite world with finite resources. If man does not control his own population then nature is going to have to, catastrophically. Rather then expending so much effort on something we cannot control, climate change, we should expend it on something we can control, human population.

        • Sam Taylor says:

          “There is no real evidence that CO2 has any effect on climate.”

          That is utter, utter horse shit. There’s ample evidence in basic radiative physics, the geological record and recent observations to suggest that CO2 impacts climate. Hell, even half the online sceptic movement has recently shifted based to being “lukewarmers” because the evidence for increased radiative forcing due to CO2 was so overwhelming. Try to keep up.

          The Sci Am article about greenhouses is utterly irrelevant. An ecosystem is not a greenhouse, it’s much more complex, boosting global CO2 concentrations to levels not seen in the last few million years is not simply going to cause people to be able to grow bigger vegetables!

          • Doug Leighton says:

            Well I don’t know Sam. If we were to melt all the ice off Greenland and Antarctica there would be lots of extra space to grow tomatoes. Trouble might be finding places for all the displaced people though, starting with the Dutch. On the other hand, maybe your friend Marty could move over to Venus, lots of CO2 so it’s a natural spot for growing bigger vegetables. Always good to have an open mind on this stuff, right?

          • Marty Denomme says:

            Did I ask to be responded to with profanity? I don’t believe I did. It pretty much ends whatever chances you had to sway me with your argument. Unfortunately I do find this occurs rather frequently among those on the left side of the political spectrum. They can’t win arguments with any kind of facts or knowledge, so they just resort to personal attacks and insults. Sad, but at least those of us on the right know what kind of people we’re dealing with in the phoney baloney climate change crusaders.

            • sam Taylor says:

              You get what you deserve, not what you ask for.

            • Fred Magyar says:

              It pretty much ends whatever chances you had to sway me with your argument.

              Good! Now please leave and take your profound ignorance someplace else. Thank you kindly!

              • Old farmer mac says:

                RIGHT ON FRED,

                But this guy isn’t ignorant he is just trolling his bullshit.

                There actually are articles in SCI AM that say about what he claims.I have about two hundred pounds of back issues so I know.

                But there are at least fifty times as many articles about forced climate warming etc brought on by that same old CO2.

                He knows that but he was hoping the readership here is too ignorant to know it.

                JUST another bau mouthpiece.

              • Riban Conbajos says:


                I know from the Oil Drum days that our view points are very closely aligned, but it makes me very uncomfortable when someone is told they should take their ball and go play elsewhere because of their opinion (or ignorance).

                If posts regarding climate change are tolerated on this peak oil site, why should posts about that subject only be tolerated from views that align with the consensus?

                Although I understand completely why Sam responded the way he did, I can also understand why Marty would feel like he was being attacked rather than his position being refuted with fact.

                And then he is just told to go away.

                It does create the impression of censure, or group think.

                • Riban, If the theory of AGW was invalidated, it would be the most significant reversal of thought and backwards movement in scientific history.

                  • Riban Conbajos says:

                    I’m convinced about the science. The question is how best to respond to contrarians.

                • Futilitist says:

                  Riban Conbajos,

                  “It does create the impression of censure, or group think.”

                  But refuting a denier’s position with facts is far worse. It creates the incorrect impression that the denier actually even has a position in the first place! Treating deniers as if they have a position that requires such polite scientific refutation artificially inflates the denier position to that of the scientist, which is incredibly unrealistic. I think that is the impression to worry about.

                  Climate change denial is not science. It is anti-science.

                  Physicists no longer argue (with a straight face) with those who insist that the sun revolves around the earth. Should the physicist reconsider his position? Perhaps he should reexamine the evidence. Why jump to conclusions before all the facts are in?

                  If we lend this false credibility to deniers, we are no longer debating science. The debate about climate change has moved on.

                  Denial is a danger to us all.

                  Deniers have to be confronted directly with their own dumb-assed denial, by rubbing their faces in it to embarrass them. And as an example to others.

                  That is all the respect that deniers are worthy of. Period.

                  • Riban Conbajos says:

                    A simple link to the most relevant paper in refutation would suffice. Settled science doesn’t have to be re-argued each time.

                • Fred Magyar says:

                  Hey Riban,

                  I know from the Oil Drum days that our view points are very closely aligned, but it makes me very uncomfortable when someone is told they should take their ball and go play elsewhere because of their opinion (or ignorance).

                  The reason I replied to him the way I did was because I am pretty much convinced that he is not an honest broker. Furthermore he seems more interested in politicizing things by framing this as a legitimate debate, there is no debate and this isn’t about left or right wing politics, it is about reality.

                  • kertzman says:

                    there is no debate and this isn’t about left or right wing politics, it is about reality

                    Speak for yourself there. Once the ‘climategate’ scandal and coverup got exposed, the whole global warming worldview lost whatever connection it might have ever had to real science and became a pure political messaging game. Fortunately as far as our sustained economic prosperity and personal American freedoms are concerned, the liberals, progressives and communists are losing the political messaging game by a wide margin. And that, you see, is the ONLY fact that matters in the whole anthropogenic global warming debate: 😆

                  • Riban Conbajos says:

                    Understandable Fred, and perhaps I shouldn’t have commented, but note that I didn’t criticize you, I simply said that sort of response makes me uncomfortable. It seems to me to validate their assertion that ‘the Other Tribe’ is intolerant of dissent, even if in reality the fact based community is simply sick of responding to the relentless onslaught of nonsense generated by the Merchants of Doubt.


                    Even with the smiley, I’m entirely unable to tell whether your comment is brilliant satire or just a memo from an alternate reality.

                    “Eight committees investigated the allegations and published reports, finding no evidence of fraud or scientific misconduct.”


                  • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                    “A simple link to the most relevant paper in refutation would suffice. Settled science doesn’t have to be re-argued each time.” ~ Riban Conbajos

                    I’m inclined to agree. Some sort of canned response that everyone could use. Even a link to a thread about it on TOD, as some threads seemed pretty good, even brilliant.

            • Greasygreens says:

              Phoney baloney versus horse shit. 🙂

              • Futilitist says:

                “Phoney baloney versus horse shit.”

                I guess the truth must ‘lie’ somewhere in the middle. (pun)

                Otherwise we might break the law of averages. And we wouldn’t want to be lawbreakers now, would we?

        • Synapsid says:

          Dunning-Kruger alert.

        • notanoilman says:

          Many food crops produce less at increased CO2 levels. It is NOT universally beneficial to plants. They like to live within close bound ranges of the gas.


      • Ron, at 630 ppm CO2 concentration the ocean surface pH will be around 7.85, but this won’t be uniform. Right now that pH is observed at the surface around say New Zealand. I think what may work to reduce impact is fast paced evolution and some buffering. For example, the mountains all over this region where I live are pure carbonate. All we need to do is pray for a lot of rain.

        • Fred Magyar says:

          Let me get this straight you are hoping evolution will solve the ocean acidity problem?! Well, in a way you are probably right but you may not be very happy with the results.

          • Old farmer mac says:

            Nor will he be happy with the pace in case he likes seafood.

            But he is probably right to some extent. With the species dependent on the current ph level gone or nearly gone other species capable of dealing with the new lower ph will for sure explode.

            Hopefully all of them won’t be jelly fish.

            • Mac, jelly fish is fine in paella, but you need to mix in the genetically modified Siberian green peppers.

              • Fred Magyar says:

                There is nothing wrong with eating some Medusozoa.
                However I kind of like the ocean ecosystems as they are now…


                Despite their venomous reputation, Tucker explains, some types of jellyfish are edible:

                “About a dozen jellyfish varieties with firm bells are considered desirable food. Stripped of tentacles and scraped of mucous membranes, jellyfish are typically soaked in brine for several days and then dried. In Japan, they are served in strips with soy sauce and (ironically) vinegar. The Chinese have eaten jellies for 1,000 years (jellyfish salad is a wedding banquet favorite). Lately, in an apparent effort to make lemons into lemonade, the Japanese government has encouraged the development of haute jellyfish cuisine—jellyfish caramels, ice cream and cocktails—and adventuresome European chefs are following suit. Some enthusiasts compare the taste of jellyfish to fresh squid. Pauly says he’s reminded of cucumbers. Others think of salty rubber bands.”

                • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                  Maybe you could use it as a thickening agent too, or in place of tofu. If it might be too rubbery, then you could perhaps fry it a little longer and make it crispy like bacon. Crispy bacon-fried jellyfish strips. Ñamñamm…

                  “If acidification decreases marine emissions of sulfur, it could cause an increase in the amount of solar energy reaching the Earth’s surface, speeding up warming—which is exactly what the Nature Climate Change study predicts. It’s one more surprise that the oceans have in store for us.” ~ Wikipedia

                  Oh I love surprises. Do you? Everyone loves a good surprise…

          • Evolution won’t solve the lower pH, it just allows species to exist in seawater with a lower pH.

            Think of the Galapagos finches and their beak sizes. In the Galapagos the finches evolve in decades to have larger or smaller beaks depending on the climate, it seems to be linked to the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, which I understand also changes salmon migration timing, and has other effects.

            I’m not expecting it to be pretty, but I think the super doom scenarios are a bit overdone. And I expect we will eventually research geoengineerng and sensible means to sequester carbon. I got some really funky ideas I want to try.

            • And I expect we will eventually research geoengineerng and sensible means to sequester carbon. I got some really funky ideas I want to try.

              Something about this Fernando character that rubs me the wrong way. Saying he would like to try out “funky ideas ” on geoengineering makes him sound like Dr. Evil.

              • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                Geoengineering, depending on how it is defined, strikes me as a catastrophe or catastrophes-on-the-drawing-board.

                But if it meant planting a lot of native species and plants back where they were/belong, and nurturing that kind of thing– basically rehabilitating the planet from BAU and upholding care of Earth and of people– I’d be good with that.
                As much as I despise the crony-capitalist plutarchy, if it would be part of the vehicle for this pipe dream, I think I could let my feelings temporarily slide.

                • Ca élan, I’m afraid we can’t afford to organize research programs using personal biases and slanted views. This is serious business, it can pull us out of trouble, and it does need to be researched. I find opposition to such experiments a bit odd. I imagine it’s caused by a political stance.

                  • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                    What is your ‘research program’ if not a ‘technopolitical’ bias, possibly of the worst kind insofar as using ‘technopolitics’ to fix the problems of technopolitics?
                    My bias is nature, freedom, equality, ethics, inclusivity and things like that, as opposed to a bunch of myopic-by-career ‘specialists’ in suits and ties or lab-jackets and clipboards telling the rest of us what’s right for the rest of the world, and then doing it often through a glorified drive-by mugging that is taxation, whether we like it or not. That’s a no-no on many levels, Fernando as you should know, si? And that is in large part precisely why we are in the pickle we are in. No bueno.

                  • The experiments I have in mind involve the release of a few tens of thousands of tons of iron and other chemicals in the ocean, in areas we would have instrumented with moored buoy arrays. We would also have to take sediment bottom samples, measure water column properties, take air samples, and catch fish to see what happens to them.

                    A supplemental program would involve towing communists behind slow boats to measure large marine predator behavior.

                    I would direct the field work together with Emma Thompson and any other actresses who are interested in protecting the environment.

                  • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                    Oh ok, you mean like Russ George’s work?

                    I think leftover burnt restaurant butterfat might work better. Maybe you could get funding for frying-pan scrapers at minimum wage, or even as volunteers if you suggest how exciting the research would be on the ocean ‘n’ stuff.

            • Fred Magyar says:

              Evolution won’t solve the lower pH, it just allows species to exist in seawater with a lower pH.

              While what you say is true to a point, I don’t think you really understand how evolution works at all. Let alone what happens to biodiversity in a mass extinction such as the one that humans have currently set in motion. Our own survival depends on the stability of the intricate and complex interactions of various ecosystems within the biosphere. Keep pulling threads out of that tapestry and sooner or later it all unravels. There will certainly continue to be life on this planet and you will probably be left with ecosystems of sorts but there is very little guarantee that the environment won’t be completely hostile and unlivable for most species currently still alive including humans.


              The Earth’s biodiversity — the variation of life at all levels — is the result of 4 billion years of evolution. And now it’s vanishing in the blink of an eye. Under relentless pressure from exploding human populations, animal and plant species are going extinct at 100 to 1,000 times the natural rate. The diversity of life that sustains both ecological systems and human cultures around the world is collapsing.

              As for geoengineering I don’t know of a single biologist or ecologist who thinks that is a good idea. Only engineers with a very superficial knowledge of the biosciences make such claims and they are a prime example of those who have only barely enough knowledge about a topic to make them extremely dangerous.

              • Fred, my sister has a PhD in microbiology, and I got interested in Motoo Kimura’s work in part to be able to brag I understood a little bit about what my sister did, and in part because I’m a real nerd.

                I have graduate school material about mathematical evolutionary genetics in my collection, and I know a little bit about the overall subject.

                If I may suggest a little tip: never assume the people who disagree with you don’t know. They may just have a different opinion.

                • Futilitist says:

                  “If I may suggest a little tip: never assume the people who disagree with you don’t know. They may just have a different opinion.”

                  If I may also suggest a little tip for you:

                  Your ridiculous arguments and unsound reasoning make it comedically obvious to anyone with a brain that you, in fact, don’t know much of anything. You seem to have no idea how foolish you sound.

  17. Rune Likvern says:

    Interview with IEA’s Birol

    The United States will not develop into the “next Saudi Arabia” of the energy market despite its position as one of the biggest new producers in the world, warned the head of the International Energy Agency.
    “The United States will never be a major oil exporter. Their import needs are getting less but the US is not becoming Saudi Arabia,” said Mr Birol.
    “Their production growth is good to diversify the market but it will not solve the world’s oil problems.”

    • AlexS says:

      The IEA, in its MTOMR 2015, projects the U.S. tight oil production to rise from 3.6mb/d in 2014 to the peak of 5.2mb/d in 2020.
      This is implies a significant deceleration from growth seen over the previous 3-4 years

      • Rune Likvern says:

        I believe the future developments in tight oil is now constrained by financial dynamics (fundings impaired from a low oil price).

        If present oil price is sustained (WTI at $50/b or thereabout) I now expect it will affect the companies funding for manufacturing additional LTO wells. This will likely lead to a slight decline in LTO extraction during 2015, may be as early as from February. I am not sure about January as companies likely spent whatever they had left on their AFE’s for 2014.
        2015 is a new budget year, and its budgets appears to have been produced under assumptions of a higher oil price than present. These could of course become revised reflecting present oil price.

        • Watcher says:

          “2015 is a new budget year, and its budgets appears to have been produced under assumptions of a higher oil price than present. These could of course become revised reflecting present oil price.”

          Budgeting for these companies is an exercise in spending other people’s money. They aren’t drilling with their own cash.

          So it is the budget of the lenders that decides if this stuff happens. What these people say they plan to do doesn’t happen if no one lends them the money to do it.

          • Watcher, that’s a misconception. Companies don’t try to go broke on purpose. Some management teams have optimistic price perceptions, but that cavalier attitude you are presuming is a bit silly.

            • Watcher says:

              What is the difference between cavalier and desperate?

            • shallow sand says:

              Fernando. I agree with your premise that companies do not try to lose money.

              However, why would whiting and continental each plan to spend over $2 billion on CAPEX this year, when oil in Bakken is presently selling under $40 per barrel? Each has over $6 billion of debt, less than $100 million of cash, and will burn through another billion or more each, carrying out these plans.

              I estimate CLR PV10 using current strip is $9 billion and WLL is $5 billion. Shouldn’t both be in survival mode and suspending drilling activities? I guess contract penalties to steep to stop?

              You have many years experience in this industry, so maybe you can shed some light on their actions.

              And I don’t mean to pick on them, almost all are following their lead of slowing down, but not stopping.

              • Rune Likvern says:


                Key word is ….plan.

              • TechGuy says:

                Shallow Wrote:
                “Fernando. I agree with your premise that companies do not try to lose money.”

                Perhaps do not “plan” to lose money. I am not so sure “try” is the right word. If that was true they won’t not try to bury themselves in debt.

                FWIW: I think at least some of these companies know that shale is boondogle but they do it anyway to separate investors from their money, while collecting large salaries and bonus, enough to retire when the go bust. I recall reading many (too many) stories about bankers hoping to make enough on the housing bubble to retire before it goes bust. They knew early on that it was housing bubble and that NINJA (No Income, No Job or Assets) loans were doomed to fail, but since the collected large salaries and bonuses, they played along. It just seems to obvious that insiders would have known that LTO was scam. Unless you believe they are really stupid?

              • Shallow, maybe they are using this angle:

                1. CAPEX drops 20 %. My experience shows its a reasonable target.

                2. They think they will high grade well locations and improve completions to achieve a slight improvement in recovery.

                3. Their oil price forecast is tied to a future market (not today’s price).

                4. They are willing to have pv7=o

                You guys have a means to estimate the returns. What are the reserves per well a company has to have if a well starts up in September 2015?

                • shallow sand says:

                  Fernando. I don’t have software to perform PV calculations.

                  My primary purpose for addressing PV10, or whatever number that should be used, is that I thought the banks determined loans based on these parameters and further thought corporate bonds of upstream producers were priced using these parameters.

                  We have on more than one occasion communicated with a US based energy bank concerning financing a large project we were considering buying (at least large where we are concerned). Ultimately we were never the high bidder. We went to the energy bank, as opposed to our local bank, due to the ability to enter SWAPS or collars without having to post margin.

                  Each time, we paid for engineering, which was presented to the bank. The bank then took this report, plus other property information, and performed its internal engineering, with its own price deck. The bank then indicated the amount they would loan. In each instance, it was around 50% of PV10. Most recently, it was 50% of PV9. VP of bank said reason for 9 was historically low interest rates, which makes sense. Maybe should be using lower PV?

                  In any event, it appears to me that PV is not focused on for shale financing. Maybe it is, but is not reported. I presume it is used in determining borrowing base.

                  I assume the banks credit lines with shale companies are secured by the leases, equipment etc., while the bonds held by the public are unsecured. So maybe that is why we have companies with debt equal to or in excess of PV10 based upon the current WTI strip, discounted to wellhead?

                  I’ll stop harping on it as I’m sure its getting boring.

                  • I think the debt exceeds pv10 because it was issued when price expectations were higher, CAPEX was projected to be lower, and or they knew they would find mullets buying the bonds. I met a British shyster in Moscow, who was funding our Russian partners using $100 million usd, which he got assigned out of an “emerging market bond fund”. I warned him we needed to slow down work until we had better terms, and he answered he didn’t give a hoot, he needed to place the cash, the Russians were willing to pay 12 % interest and that juiced up their fund. They were running a scam and never bothered to hide it.

  18. Rune Likvern says:

    The LTO extraction has been and still is a financial play and will therefore be subject to financial dynamics going forward, fetched oil price key parameter.

    I browsed through the 10-K filings for Continental, EOG and Whiting (all considerable operators in Bakken). EOG appears to have deleveraged during 2014, but not the other 2. They took on more debt during 2014, likely before the collapse of the oil price.
    The10-K filings contains a lot of useful information regarding debt (its retirement, interest), hedges, prices fetched, dividends paid etc, and is the best sources to get detailed information about financial status for the companies.
    From Whiting recent 10-K filing:

    “Our debt level and the covenants in the agreements governing our debt could negatively impact our financial condition, results of operations, cash flows and business prospects.

    As of December 31, 2014, we had $1.4 billion in borrowings and $3 million in letters of credit outstanding under Whiting Oil and Gas Corporation’s (“Whiting Oil and Gas”) credit facility with $3.1 billion of available borrowing capacity, as well as $3.9 billion of senior notes outstanding and $350 million of senior subordinated notes outstanding. We are allowed to incur additional indebtedness, provided that we meet certain requirements in the indentures governing our senior notes and our senior subordinated notes and Whiting Oil and Gas’ credit agreement.

    Our level of indebtedness and the covenants contained in the agreements governing our debt could have important consequences for our operations, including:

    • requiring us to dedicate a substantial portion of our cash flow from operations to required payments on debt, thereby reducing the availability of cash flow for working capital, capital expenditures and other general business activities;
    • limiting our ability to obtain additional financing in the future for working capital, capital expenditures, acquisitions and general corporate and other activities;
    • limiting our flexibility in planning for, or reacting to, changes in our business and the industry in which we operate;
    • placing us at a competitive disadvantage relative to other less leveraged competitors; and
    • making us vulnerable to increases in interest rates, because debt under Whiting Oil and Gas’ credit agreement is subject to certain rate variability.

    We may be required to repay all or a portion of our debt on an accelerated basis in certain circumstances. If we fail to comply with the covenants and other restrictions in the agreements governing our debt, it could lead to an event of default and the acceleration of our repayment of outstanding debt. In addition, if we are in default under the agreements governing our indebtedness, we would not be able to pay dividends on our capital stock. Our ability to comply with these covenants and other restrictions may be affected by events beyond our control, including prevailing economic and financial conditions. Moreover, the borrowing base limitation on Whiting Oil and Gas’ credit agreement is periodically redetermined based on an evaluation of our oil and gas reserves. Because oil and gas prices are principal inputs into the valuation of our reserves, if oil and gas prices remain at their current levels for a prolonged period or go lower, our borrowing base could be reduced at the next redetermination date or during future redeterminations. Upon a redetermination, if borrowings in excess of the revised borrowing capacity were outstanding, we could be forced to immediately repay a portion of our debt outstanding under the credit agreement.

    We may not have sufficient funds to make such repayments. If we are unable to repay our debt out of cash on hand, we could attempt to refinance such debt, sell assets or repay such debt with the proceeds from an equity offering. We may not be able to generate sufficient cash flow to pay the interest on our debt or future borrowings, and equity financings or proceeds from the sale of assets may not be available to pay or refinance such debt. The terms of our debt, including Whiting Oil and Gas’ credit agreement, may also prohibit us from taking such actions.

    Full document from the link below (access the full document or portion as needed)

    • shallow sand says:

      I have been reading the 10K. Noteworthy PV10 calculated using an oil price of over $90 per barrel. Assuming PV10 is still important and banks use price deck based off the WTI strip, I assume shale co PV10 is 50-75% below what is reported at 2014 year end. It should eliminate borrowing for 2015, but I suspect banks lending to shale are ignoring their traditional oil and gas lending parameters.

      • shallow sand says:

        Also noteworthy is much of the shale debt is bond issuance. Wonder what percentage of shale debt is held in pension plan funds, which have been fighting a losing battle against financial repression, and 401k plan participants in the same boat? Desperate search for yield’s unintended consequences.

        • Rune Likvern says:

          I am not sure how the laws and regulations in the USA are with regard to converting bonds to stocks.
          In Norway there is an oil company (that struggles) that are in negotiations with some bondholders looking into converting a portion of the bonds into stocks.

          • Watcher says:

            Rune, let me quote some dynamite from your text above, but before that . . . converting bonds to stock is usually (not always) a consequence of the a priori capitalization structure and the instrument used is the convertible debenture. It is explicitly defined as convertible to X number of shares of either common or preferred. The conversion event may or may not be discretionary, and the discretion in question is seldom with the agreement of those debenture holders.

            Exceptions to everything, but convertibles are well known instruments. If a company is faced with a need to convert bonds to stock with no prior agreement, it’s going to take a lot of maneuvering by the board.

            But let’s see those quotes, because they are deadly:

            “Our debt level and the covenants in the agreements governing our debt could negatively impact our financial condition”

            Operative word: covenants

            “requiring us to dedicate a substantial portion of our cash flow from operations to required payments on debt, thereby reducing the availability of cash flow for working capital, capital expenditures and other general business activities;”

            Bingo, I’ve been gently harping on this wrt the various calculations of breakeven. Breakeven doesn’t mean much if covenants FORCE you to service debt in a deleveraging way. The paying off of loans is a balance sheet neutral event, but it can create a avalanche of other cash events — meaning, if you are FORCED to spend money on loan retirement, that money can’t pay for operations and various production predictions are just absurd. Result: the companies become Greece and inform lenders that they WILL lend more or lose all the money loaned so far.

            “making us vulnerable to increases in interest rates, because debt under Whiting Oil and Gas’ credit agreement is subject to certain rate variability.”

            That’s interesting. No one rational is looking for a rate spike, but if it happens, the lenders protected themselves.

            And the piece de resistance:

            We may be required to repay all or a portion of our debt on an accelerated basis in certain circumstances. If we fail to comply with the covenants and other restrictions in the agreements governing our debt, it could lead to an event of default and the acceleration of our repayment of outstanding debt.

            Q E abracadabra D.

            • Rune Likvern says:

              I thought citing from a 10-K would show that there are other players on the scene that may have a word on future developments.

              Creditors/lenders have leverage and may swing priorities. What these covenants are is likely not to be found in the public domain, but leverage is very likely one important metric.

              • shallow sand says:

                Look at Halcon. Ticker symbol HK. They drill in Bakken, EFS. Sunk alot into TMS and Utica, but have suspended those operations.

                Still intend on spending $350-400 million in CAPEX in 2015, after spending $1.2 billion in CAPEX in 2014.

                Some highlights:

                42,000 boe per day current average production.

                PV10 using WTI oil price of $94.99 $3.26 billion.

                Cash on hand 12/31/14 $43.7 million.

                Long term debt $3.75 BILLION.

                They have more debt than PV10, with PV10 using $94.99 WTI. Assume PV10 with $49 WTI around a billion, maybe? Just guessing.

                If you want to read about their debt covenants, etc., be prepared to spend some time.

                They do have a lot of hedges in place. But how will that debt ever be repaid without $200 oil for a few years?

                See, the point is Continental and whiting are considered the strong shale companies. Many of the smaller companies financials are like HK.

                • Rune Likvern says:

                  Shallow thanks and I agree wrt Continental and Whiting.
                  My point was merely to point out that there are other (and not so visible) players that makes LTO happen.

                • Do t use pv10 in this case. Try their cost of money plus half a percent. What’s the result?

              • Watcher says:

                Very good. I have for some time presumed that a key covenant in all the debt is oil price. It’s a very obvious thing for a lender to insist upon.

                Price falls, more and more cash has to go to retire debt. Less and less for proppant. The companies, of course, can translate this into public statements about “choosing to forgo well completion until higher price is available for initial month production”.

      • Rune Likvern says:

        What happens if for some reasons the discount rate (for NPV) is lowered from 10% to say 7%?

        • PV increases. The increase in heavy oil projects is huge. By the way, I have my own dual discounting technique for long term projects (say longer than 30 year life). Using two different rates allows much smarter project optimization. But people have trouble visualizing it.

          • Rune Likvern says:

            Fernando, agreed looking at various discount rates may result in differing results.
            The discount rate and maturity schedule very much defines how operations may be financed with debt.
            I will illustrate this with a simplistic example.
            A company in 2015 sold a bond for $1,000M with an interest rate of 5% and which matures in 2025.
            At a discount rate of 10% the NPV of that bond is $675M.
            If the discount rate is lowered to 7% the NPV of the same bond becomes $850M.

            • Rune, I use dual discounting for large company internal optimization. The net cash flow afit is discounted at the target cost of capital (this is say 8%), until the project reaches discounted payout. The subsequent discount rate is the inflation rate. This is a really useful method you can use to optimize the project.

        • Ovi says:

          PV10 is an interesting calculation but one really has to question its value. I was checking PV10 analyst calcs back in 2000 when oil was in the $25 range and wondering, what was it with these analysts using a 10% discount on Cdn oil sands companies that had 50 years of oil and I understood the significance of peak oil.

          At that time I was guessing oil was heading for $75 by 2006/7 since the peak oil guesstimate year at that time was around 2006 as I recall. After 10 years the PV calc valued stuff in the ground at almost zero value. Luckily, I said this is nuts and went with my own instincts.

          I think the same problem applies to PV10 today. I am with Ron in believing that today’s oil glut headlines will look foolish a few years from now.

          • Ovi, please read my comment above yours. I saw the problem around 1990,chewed on the math and went with the dual rate approach. However I could only use it internally, company management never bought it. Later I heard from a friend working for a supermajor that he was using it, and his management was paying attention. So it seems to be a boutique approach some of us can use, and others don’t like.

            • shallow sand says:

              Ovi, Fernando, I agree with your comments re PV10. Very oil price dependent.

              My point is I thought banks’ lending standards were tied to PV10, or at least some similar valuation metric.

              Also, none of us really know where oil price will go. Best guess, although not a good one, is the futures strip. Is it good lending practice to ignore current economics/futures and just continue to lend, hoping double to triple oil prices will save the day?

              • shallow sand says:

                Not just banks’ lending standards, but should be relevant regarding bond issuance. I would hope a calculation of future revenue stream would be important with regard to issuance of any kind of debt.

                I guess were are finding in the “bubble” economies that keep spawning, maybe debt repayment is irrelevant. After all, look at the national governments, including USA.

              • Shallow, I have usually worked or consulted for large companies. When we prepare project plans we don’t deal with financing until the project is really mature. I have helped prepare packages for smaller partners seeking finance, but these were given to partners, who dealt with their bankers. A couple of times I was asked to give a talk to consultants working for finance companies, who didn’t impress me very much. And I had to deal with finance bankers working for the Russians who were mostly fancy suits who didn’t know much about the business. They may use pv10 or pv15, but they don’t really face that much risk and tend to trust us as far as I can tell.

                • shallow sand says:


                  I am just going on past experience in dealing with energy banks. My focus is always cash flow and keeping debt manageable.

                  We drill few wells in relation to operations, and growth has been primarily through acquisition of existing leases.

                  I admit, leasing up a new play and establishing it is totally different than what we do, is more risky and requires quite bit of upfront debt/equity infusion.

                  My point is negative cash flow year on year for 8 years, plus the ever increasing debt is not a good model, but yet has been pushed heavily by US finance, just like they pushed mortgages a few years ago.

                  Rant over, I need to move on. Thanks for all the oil knowledge you provide!

  19. Farmer Mike says:

    You guys are far too pessimistic –we have done the damage we can do the repair:

    China on the Loess Plateau

    Perennial crop systems:

    Worlds best fish farm

    • Greasygreens says:

      These populists always leave out some detail in their savior du jour. For example, Geoff Lawton doesn’t cue the audience to the tremendous volumes of organic material he took from neighboring agricultural lands to make his swales. The sustainability gurus deemphasize inputs and scalability of their projects to make the projects look “greener”.

      • Farmer Mike says:

        I dont think so.. A swale is just a ditch on contour to slow down and infiltrate water on the property. My swales capture leaf little dropped from the over story trees and plenty of duck manure. No outside compost brought in. An old Amish I met told me to never sell hay off my property as he felt it was mining away the soil fertility . Instead sell the milk and meat which are mostly water and leave the the hay byproduct (manure) on your property. Sage advice. We are rapidily creating perennial systems that increase fertility are permanent and getting into the calories per acre of heavy fossil fuel input systems and roundup ready GMO corn and soy without the heavy inputs. Low tech move able electric fencing systems to move animalss make the system go and move the fertility around. This food is much healthier too–grass fed beef–pastured-eggs- chestnuts and hazelnuts in a silvopasture system . This type of strip grazing between rows of perennial trees is awesome and productive.

        • Greasygreens says:

          A farm that doesn’t have to sell product, so all waste is recycled would be sustainable. Market farm products are converted to pee and poop and flushed down toilets to create dead zones at the mouth of rivers. Market farms are not ecosystems. They are a pump on the environment, a survival machine for the farmer. Moving your animal paddock around doesn’t move the fertility around. The fertility is still lost from the land via market product, be it hay or meat. Besides nitrogen and carbon, which may be extracted from air, other essential elements lost at market must be replaced by external inputs or are continually depleted from the soil.

          • FarmerMike says:

            You never get to hear about systems that are thousands of yrs old and still increasing in productivity like Acorn fattened hog in 1000 yr old oak orchard/ forests. Or terraced systems of duck and rice in Asia with no soil runoff or loss in productivity.

            • Greasygreens says:

              Populists like Lawton are popular because they rely primarily on emotional language rather than hard data to present their cornucopian visions. In this video for example, he emphasizes the details within the system (i.e specific plants present) rather than placing the forest within the proper context of a larger system.

              The food forest looks to be situated in a dry river bed and so it is probably fed by a decent supply of subsurface water and periodic influx of nutrients during flooding. Such an explanation makes more sense than Lawton’s slant that biodiversity is the primary driver of the forest stability. Biodiversity is a secondary driver, preceded by availability of abundant water and nutrients. inputs.

              • FarmerMike says:

                Common sense. All crops need water and nutrients. The bottom line though is that perennial systems (trees) with animal grazing systems in between tree strips harvest sunlight (3d) instead of a 2D flat field. These systems will also photosynthersize 9-12 months where a corn crop is done in 5 months-then you have a bare field suseptible to top soil loss. The systems here are self mulching with leaf litter and manure in the system making it more regenerative and self fertile. Also, eliminating the plow–keeps the soil microbiology intact an eliminates a whole host of fossil fuel input costs. Perennial systems well designed are ecological polycultures which reduce pest problems and are approaching corn and soy in nutrients per acre. Anything thing you can do with corn you can do with the carbs and starch in a perennial chestnut or hazelnut that will get more productive over generations as the trees get bigger. We Just need to scale up these systems that we know how to do to industrial scale. See Badgersett for info on Hybrid Chestnuts and Hazels. The pessimists on this board are talking about eating reconstitiuted jelly fish for crying out loud.. Ill take my grass fed beef, acorn and mulberry fattened hog, pastured duck eggs and unsprayed fruits and nut all while my trees get bigger and more yield yr after yr.

                • TechGuy says:

                  Farmer Mike Wrote:
                  “Anything thing you can do with corn you can do with the carbs and starch in a perennial chestnut or hazelnut that will get more productive over generations as the trees get bigger.”

                  The issue with Perennial is harvesting. its far easier and less energy/labor intensive to use a combine harvester on a flat field. Yes I am aware of mechanical pickers. But these machines are significantly slower. A single grain harvester can harvest about 120 acres a day. Its just easier to mow than to pick. Thats why grains have become the dominate crops. There are many practical methods that can be applied to address problems with grain crops that aren’t being done.

                  Of course for small scale farming, you approach makes sense, and that what I am planning to do when I relocate.

                  Farmer Mike wrote:
                  “Ill take my grass fed beef, acorn and mulberry fattened hog, pastured duck eggs and unsprayed fruits”

                  What do you do to manage pest control for fruits?

                  FWIW: You have to be careful raising Hogs and Ducks together since they can lead to influenza.

  20. FreddyW says:

    Hi. Nice to see that one of my graphs came to use. My name is Fredrik by the way. If you multiply month zero with two, you get the average production for the first two weeks. I think the reason it looks like my graph is moved a bit to the right compared to Hughes is that the meaning of the x-axis could be different.

  21. “If the economic gradient between rich and poor is in some sense analogous to a temperature gradient in thermodynamics, and acts in much the same way – the steeper the gradient, the greater the energy flow along it, and the more active the system. A society with perfect socio-economic justice would therefore be in equilibrium, and like a thermodynamic system in that state would exhibit little or no activity [LOL].” ~ Paul Chefurka, by way of Harry Gibbs

    (I wonder if this has any relation to Webhubtelescope ‘s mention of, if recalled, ‘diffusion’.)

    “Americans could very easily feed themselves and clothe themselves and have a place to live, working maybe 100 days a year… There’s really no reason to work more than maybe a third of your time… But if you want to build a huge empire and have endless economic growth, and have the largest number of billionaires on the planet, then you have to work over 40 hours a week all the time, and if you don’t, then you’re in danger of going bankrupt. So that’s the predicament that people have ended up in. Now, the cure of course is not to do the same thing even harder… what people have to get used to is the idea that most things aren’t worth doing anyway…” ~ Dmitry Orlov

    “The idea of the world existing on high tech renewables, while everything else disappears [LOL], is so absurd that a person wonders how anyone could think it could come to pass.” ~ Gail Tverberg

    @ Old farmer mac: Where are you located? Can I bring Futilitist along if he wants to go too? …We could always put him in one of the barns. Make him a nice space in the hay loft. ^u^

    @ Futilitist: The Oil Drum access? Sure. (I trust you will go easy on me with regard to my own time-constraints?) ‘u’

    • Futilitist says:

      Hi Caelan.

      I just got an idea to save you some work. Provided it wouldn’t compromise your security in any way, why not take direct political action against internet censorship?

      Why not just post your login info here? Make it public. Then I can just do my own research. And so could anybody else. TOD is tax exempt, supposedly chartered in the public good. What do they have to hide?

      Come on Caelan, let’s start dismantling the system today. This is what grass-roots action looks like.

      • Old farmer mac says:

        ”Come on Caelan, let’s start dismantling the system today. This is what grass-roots action looks like.”

        What is to be lost is the trust placed in Caelan to not abuse his privileges.

        Trust and honesty matter.

        And Super G would revoke Caelan’s privilege as soon as it became obvious his password is floating around.

        I am not afraid to meet strangers even out here in the backwoods.ESPECIALLY out here.

        A hillbilly like me is as apt to feed a stranger to the pigs or rob HIM as the stranger is to rob ME.

        But lots of people have plenty of excellent reasons to post under a pseudonym.

        I am for instance reluctant to advertise the fact that I am a Darwinist locally. There is no danger of my getting lynched but otoh it would distress a lot of nice old folks who have been good to me without accomplishing a thing.

        They have enough problems without worrying about a family member or old friend burning in hell forever.

        Other people have jobs to worry about and can only say what they think without revealing their identity.

        • Futilitist says:

          Hi Old tattle tail mac.

          “And Super G would revoke Caelan’s privilege as soon as it became obvious his password is floating around.”

          Are you going to tell Super G? How would it look to the public if he did this?

          “I am for instance reluctant to advertise the fact that I am a Darwinist locally.”

          Figures. Deception is always better, right?

          “Trust and honesty matter.”

          They certainly do. But it is very ugly when you try to apply the rule in this case. It is unethical. And it is just another attempt at DENIAL.

          Are you paid by the word?

          Back off, old man. For someone who wants to be left alone by me, you sure fuck with me a lot.

          • Old farmer mac says:




            IDIOT TWICE OVER.




          • Ronald Walter says:

            Internecine warfare going on here.

            Nihilism, all nihilism, complete nihilism.

            total rejection of established laws and institutions.
            anarchy, terrorism, or other revolutionary activity.
            total and absolute destructiveness, especially toward the world at large and including oneself:
            the power-mad nihilism that marked Hitler’s last years.
            an extreme form of skepticism: the denial of all real existence or the possibility of an objective basis for truth.
            nothingness or nonexistence.
            (sometimes initial capital letter) the principles of a Russian revolutionary group, active in the latter half of the 19th century, holding that existing social and political institutions must be destroyed in order to clear the way for a new state of society and employing extreme measures, including terrorism and assassination.
            annihilation of the self, or the individual consciousness, especially as an aspect of mystical experience.

            • Caelan MacIntyre says:

              I would also suggest it as a kind of saving-face dynamic and it is kind of public insofar as an internet blog comment section can be which may exacerbate it.
              To suggest the two exchange emails and continue off-blog would likely miss the point/defeat the purpose. ‘-`
              Then there’s the issue of signal-to-noise, naturally.

            • Futilitist says:

              Hi Ronald.

              “Internecine warfare going on here.”

              I suppose. I see it more as a reductio ad absurdum.

              “Nihilism, all nihilism, complete nihilism.”

              A non sequitur. I don’t see what Nihilism has to do with it.

              Please explain. Thanks.

              (I hope you don’t think I am some sort of Nihilist. I am a Futilitist. Futilitism is actually a form of anti-Nihilism.)

              But I am still curious why Nihilism popped into your mind.

      • Caelan MacIntyre says:

        Hi Futilitist,
        I had written something previously, but might have hit an area outside the editor pop-out field and it collapsed everything I wrote, speaking of collapse.
        So I am heading to sleep and will be back later this week, maybe tomorrow if I can swing it. Sleep well if you are not a night owl, or on the other side of the planet, and dream of dreams where you and OFM are sitting together on a swinging love-seat on some quaint vernacular wraparound porch, sipping mint juleps and talking about climate change, on a hot, steamy, sultry summer evening with a hazy full moon in Southwest Virginia. ^u’

        …Hey, did you know that Betelgeuse is in the Orion constellation and that it is apparently a very large red giant star that may soon supernova? If you have good eyes, and a clear sky, you can even faintly make out its color.

        • Futilitist says:

          Hi Caelan.

          “Sleep well if you are not a night owl, or on the other side of the planet, and dream of dreams where you and OFM are sitting together on a swinging love-seat on some quaint vernacular wraparound porch, sipping mint juleps and talking about climate change, on a hot, steamy, sultry summer evening with a hazy full moon in Southwest Virginia.”

          Why would you wish such a nightmare on me? I thought we were friends. 😉

          Anyway, sweet dreams yourself. Please think about what I asked you to do. I will await your return.

          Be the change. The revolution begins maybe tomorrow, or later this week.

          • Hi Futilitist,
            I made my name, upthread and here, selectable.
            Via it, you will notice ‘Permaea’. I am just polishing its ‘manifesto’ (which I had considered having it crowd-written, but it’s almost done and is really just a simple hey-everyone-let’s-get-the-ball-rolling kind of work anyway) for a hope at its publishing on the Permaculture Research of Australia’s blog. Permaea is for everyone including you, because it is about you governing your own life for yourself, perhaps in the context of a real community, as opposed to something increasingly gutted and veering toward the sterile, such as the way the oceans and rest of the planet seem to be going.

  22. Old farmer mac says:

    Caelan you will be welcome to visit someday if you can manage the trip but I am at present and for the indefinite future in a spot where I can have visitors for only a few hours and sometimes not at all.

    I am tied up more or less constantly with looking after my Dad who is VERY OLD and frail and is showing all the classic signs of developing ALZ.

    Every once in a while I can get out and work a few hours so long as I stick very close to home which is basically why I shut down the farm plus some more things happening that are kind of personal and sensitive that I won’t mention.We weren’t making any money but we were making wages on average and enjoying the work.

    Daddy can’t tolerate visitors anymore unless they are old old friends or immediate relatives. The ones who used to visit are mostly dead or unable to get out now.

    Looking after him now is mostly just a matter of actually being where he is and doing the housework and cooking and keeping him out of trouble. Most of the time. But pretty soon it is going to be one hell of a tough job and there is nobody (willing ) left to help and while we aren’t BROKE we are at exactly the wrong spot money wise – too much to get a welfare paid day care nursing assistant and too little to pay the going rate.

    I will NEVER put my Dad in a nursing home where he would be suffer immensely on a minute to minute basis in a strange place surrounded by strangers.

    THANK SKY DADDY and Jesus too for the internet and this forum in particular. I get tired of reading these days and I can spend only so many hours on the phone. I can check back here every few minutes like somebody flipping channels on tv.

    This is the best spot known to me in terms of intelligent regulars and important interesting subject matter.

    I gave up tv forty plus years ago and have never regretted breaking THAT habit.

    Unfortunately there are very few places on the net that are devoted to interesting topics where you can get up an interesting discussion with intelligent people. At some point I plan on having a site of my own but not until the family issues resolve.

    We are located in the Blue Ridge Mountains within easy hiking distance of the Blue Ridge Parkway ( a National Park ) in southwest Virginia. This used to be one of the most wonderful places in the world but unfortunately we have been ” discovered ” and gentrification is proceeding rapidly.

    It is now a resort area and the woods are full of cabins and dude ranches and rich people are putting up no trespassing signs right and left. Hardly any of the old local people have kids making enough money to hold onto family farms due to the property taxes getting out of hand and farming in these mountains being a chancy business at best. So they have to sell out sooner or later.

    You and I share some common ground and we could enjoy some long conversations.

    Just about any of the regulars here or at the old TOD site would be welcome. Even Futulitist if he will refrain from calling me a fascist etc. I promise not to call him an idiot or worse..

    In a few minutes I will have more to say about your five fifty pm remarks.

    • Caelan MacIntyre says:

      Hi Old farmer mac,
      Thank you, just let us know, and that is commendable with regard to your father. My sympathies, empathies, and best wishes. As you know, probably everyone (including Futilitist) or soon near everyone, is/will be struggling with this or that, as that is part of life. I guess life is everythingness and after-life is nothingness, depending of course on personal beliefs.

    • Nick G says:

      we aren’t BROKE we are at exactly the wrong spot money wise – too much to get a welfare paid day care nursing assistant

      For what it’s worth – there is no such thing. Neither Medicaid nor Medicare will pay for in-home daycare. They probably should – but they don’t.

    • The Wet One says:


      What other places on the Web do you recommend? I enjoy this website and its predecessor (TOD) immensely, and wish I could find more sites like it.

      Any recommendations?

      Thanks in advance for any suggestions you provide.

  23. Old farmer mac says:

    Back atcha Caelan,

    On second thought Futulitist will never be welcome here. Changed my mind after reading the tail end of the above. Trust matters.

    Now the ORLOV quote is not quite something I agree taken all the way around but he nails it when he says we Americans are rich enough in resources to live well if only we had sense enough to do so– and work less than half the time.

    I totally agree that most of what we do is useless or worse than useless.

    I drive a twenty four year old truck that was paid for the day I brought it home ten or fifteen years ago. A couple of weeks ago an acquaintance with a fancy new one ran into me at a restaurant as I was going in and started having a little fun with me about maybe getting a nice new truck myself someday. So I ordered the top of the menu ribeye while he had the lunch special.

    He looked my steak once in a while like a hopeful puppy but he didn’t ”get it”.

    I have paid a hundred bucks for my dinner in New York – and that over thirty years ago. It was enjoyable and the food was ok. But I have baked a chicken and a pork shoulder in the back yard in my homemade smoker grill with the same people and enjoyed it more. So did they.And we collectively saved close to a thousand bucks in one afternoon.

    The FACT that this country – Canada too- is so incredibly wealthy even after the excesses of the past is a MAJOR part of the reason I believe we MIGHT be able to avoid an outright economic and ecological collapse in North America. We have resources enough to do it if we get the necessary wake up call and get with it . If we were to spend as much on renewables and conservation and efficiency as we do on throw away junk and mindless entertainment we could all have net zero houses and electric cars within a couple of generations and probably sooner.

    BAU in the present day sense is a dead man walking but something more or less recognizable as business as usual is possible as I see things. By this I mean food in the stores water and sewer working public health working electricity in houses cops on the streets and simpler but still dignified and meaningful lives.

    Maybe even a few very small super efficient cars. Plenty of bicycles and street cars for sure.

    Tverberg is not too awfully smart in my opinion. I heard her speak once and have examined her work.

    She has a message and sticks too it and so it is hard to say just what she actually believes. I have often found that what people say publicly does not reflect what they say in private once they trust you enough to honor their privacy. This is ESPECIALLY true of people who get PAID to speak. I am not accusing her or anybody else of dishonesty.

    There are lots of other people around with basically the same message , there is nothing much new from her.

    There was a question and answer after her talk and she sure as hell wasn’t interested in talking much with me. Neither were a couple of other people who are well known on the net and rubber chicken circuit.

    John Michael Greer was there and he came over to my campsite when I introduced myself as OFM from TOD and spent two very long and very enjoyable evenings with me and my companion.

    He may be wrong about slow collapse .

    I may be wrong about industrial civilization surviving.

    Nevertheless he is a man with an astounding intellect.

    I am not at all easily impressed even in the company of full professors at snooty schools but he impressed me as one of the three or four all around smartest people I have ever met.

    It might seem strange that a rolling stone such as yours truly living a life mostly far from the academic scene would meet a lot of brilliant people but it is amazingly easy. You just send them a letter or email with a few questions that indicate you have a brain and want to know what they think about some topic and you will find yourself offered an appointment quite often. Sometimes they just say drop in anytime these are my open office hours.

    There are four great universities within easily doable driving distance and they all have lots of visiting scholars who are almost always ready to retire to a conference room with a couple of dozen students and instructors and anybody else who wants to attend. Plus the regular faculty often hold talks open to the public.

    Unfortunately I can’t get out very often to hear these talks anymore.

    • TechGuy says:

      OFM Wrote:
      “She has a message and sticks too it and so it is hard to say just what she actually believes. I have often found that what people say publicly does not reflect what they say in private once they trust you enough to honor their privacy”

      It takes some effort and strong convictions to stick your neck out and make a grand claim that Civilization is going to collapse. I doubt Gail private beliefs differ much from her very public views. I can’t see how she can profit from her views. It would have been far, far more “profitable” to speak just the opposite.

      FWIW: I don’t see any major faults in Gail’s message. I doubt it will play out exactly as she forecasts, but then again its not possible to provide an exact time table or order of future events. I my opinion, she will get most of it right. In my own conclusion, at some point the big industrial nations will go to war and that will be the end to civilization for most of population. Perhaps some pockets of civilization will escape and figure out how to localize enough production to avoid a complete collapse. I very much doubt civilization will survive in N. America, Europe and Asia. Too many people consuming a declining set of strategic resources.

      Lets presume that the USA, some how manages to avoid collapse. What about India, China, Russia and Europe? What are the odds that they will all managed to escape resource depletion and not go to war than ends up entangling the USA?

      • Old farmer mac says:

        Hi Tech Guy.

        She probably does believe what she says but there is actually no way of knowing. She makes a living out of her position.

        There is nothing in her economic analysis they don’t cover in sophomore text books used at good universities. Not much in her comments on ecology I didn’t hear back in the dark ages in biology classes.

        Other people make a living out of going the opposite route and predicting easy street. They also probably believe most or all of what they say but you can never be sure unless you know them well.

        I got the rock solid impression she was delivering a canned talk and was afraid to stray away from it in a discussion with somebody who might know as much or more than she did or does. As I said she makes a go of a website and speaking. Lots of teachers in public schools know hardly any more about the subject matter they teach than they cover in class.

        It is easy to do a canned talk at the sort of conference I saw her because it was not a SCIENTIFIC conference. Just about everybody there was a layperson of some sort with hardly any real professionals in the relevant fields there. There was no professional economist speaking, no professional petroleum engineer, no professional biologist etc.

        The whole thing was sort of a new age affair. I met a woman a lot like Julia Butterfly of tree sitting fame . A few people who believed they could forage food in the middle of a wilderness in the winter time. People who think they can find water with sticks.

        In other words most of the audience was a typical lay audience. I went mostly for the opportunity to get away a few days with an old friend and to meet JMG and lucked out on that part.

        Maybe her knowledge is deep. Maybe not. I hardly ever say that I THINK I am smarter than somebody else but in her case she argues from authority. I actually have a pretty solid background in the relevant sciences. She sure as hell didn’t want to get into a question and answer with me asking deep questions.

        NOTE that I have NOT said any country WILL avoid collapse or anything dogmatic of that nature. I am waiting for ANYBODY anywhere to explain to me why collapse WILL NOT be piecemeal in time and place – this allowing the possibility at least of some countries pulling thru for some period of time. I have never said the USA or a Fortress North America would last forever or even a thousand years. I have said I think there is a good possibility they could last a century or two or three and maybe longer.

        It doesn’t take much strength or conviction in MY opinion to take a position either way unless taking it interferes with one’s employment or career or personal relationships with family and friends and so forth.

        I have gained very little beyond entertainment from posting a zillion comments here and at the old TOD site.

        Otherwise the only thing I am getting a lot of free fact checking and useful input from people who respond to my comments with their responses widening and deepening my own understanding of the big picture. This is a payday of sorts and at some point I am going to go back thru it all and use it to write a book or two. I don’t expect to get PAID to write the book or sell it. Most likely I will have to give it away on the net.

        But there is a very good possibility that I will make some friends in the process.

        I made a few at the old TOD and have standing invitations to visit with some of the contributors when circumstances permit. I correspond almost daily with one who used to be a world class heavy weight on the environmental scene. He would think it is hilarious that anybody could be stupid enough to read my comments and then call me a denier.

        I have invited others who tell me they will drop in if their business ever brings them to my part of the world, including a few who are posting here these days. They know where I live and that I will pick them up at the airport and take them back in the event they get to this part of the country.

        • TechGuy says:


          No need to explain yourself. I am not questioning your commitment or judgement. Merely pointing out observations.

          FWIW: The only people I find “disturbing” are the cornucopians that believe in the PV and wind unicorns that poop out free energy, yet can’t tell the difference between a triode and field effect transistor, but believe themselves to be experts 🙂

          OFM Wrote:
          “Maybe her knowledge is deep. Maybe not. I hardly ever say that I THINK I am smarter than somebody else but in her case she argues from authority”

          Well It’s not really a difficult topic, all it really takes is applying some critical thinking. Its always better to see as many sides as possible than blindly following the status quo. If all the schools taught that 2+2=5, all it takes is some basic critical thinking to realize its wrong. BAU will not last forever. Survival is best for those that can adopt to change. Better to discuss change and prepare than ignore until its too late.

    • shallow sand says:

      That is pretty neat Old Farmer Mac. Someday, when I have more time, may try to meet some of these people too.

      For now though, just have to hit this site in 10-15 minute spurts.

      • Old farmer mac says:

        For Tech Guy continued,

        Of course there is nothing wrong with her message and there is a very good possibility she has gotten most of it right. I basically agree with her message and believe it is mostly correct.

        I have often predicted there will be wars hot cold and indifferent and that they may ultimately be resolved with a cbn exchange that will pretty much wipe out civilization sure enough.

        There is no way to know we won’t get entangled in wars with any imaginable combination of foreign powers but with Europe it is unlikely imo.

        If we don’t make it in North America Europe or Asia that leaves basically South America and Australia. Possible survival of industry there for sure. Being below the equator might be a big help especially in the case of nuclear war.

        Actually North America is probably by far richer in the things that really matter than any other part of the world in relation to the population and existing infrastructure. Australia hasn’t a prayer defending herself without help from the US and western Europe except by maybe going nuclear. Her population and industrial base are too small.

        South America is rich in resources but lacks the strong established continent wide government we have in the USA and Canada and also lacks most of the infrastructure we have built up over the last couple of centuries. We are far less apt to suffer from armed conflict between states and provinces than South America is between countries.

        Nobody whatsoever is going to fuck with the USA militarily except maybe sending a few terrorists to kill a few people or a few thousand and cause a panic. Hardly any other country in the world can say the same excepting the other nuclear powers. China and Russia are extraordinarily powerful countries on their home turf but cannot project power across oceans.

        I maintain my position that given sufficient incentive to get started and stay with it we have a shot at adapting a low energy conservation and efficiency minded economic system and life style and avoiding outright collapse.

        Everybody is entitled to an opinion of course. None of us as Daniel Patrick Moynihan put it is entitled to our own facts. Time will tell, and events may prove my case.

        We will just have to wait and see. If I am right promise not to gloat and say told ya so. If I am wrong I am dead of old age anyway. You too probably.

        My money is on survival my own and my country’s not because we are exceptional except in the usual sense .

        We are however extraordinarily lucky in our situation going forward compared to everybody else.

        IF you win you lose anyway.

        • Nick G says:


          No, you’ve got it right. I’ve tried a number of times to engage Gail on the details of her ideas – she can’t really defend them, and at a certain level of detail she gives up on trying.

          • Futilitist says:

            Hi Nick.

            That is one possible interpretation of your experience. Can you think of another?

    • Good article. Unfortunately peak gas will also arrive. Most of the gas being developed now was found many years ago. Other than the tight rock gas, we have the gas in geo pressured aquifers, and that’s it.

    • Jeffrey J. Brown says:

      And of course the Economist Magazine, in 1999, predicted that we were on the threshold of an indefinite period of $5 to $10 oil prices.

  24. shallow sand says:

    Thought it might be interesting to see who has the most rigs drilling in the Bakken of North Dakota at present. What I found makes me wonder if I’m wrong about the lack of profit in the Bakken at sub $40 oil prices. I still believe the numbers don’t lie, but:

    Number one with most rigs at present is ExxonMobil, through subsidiary XTO, with 15.

    Other large oil companies, not known primarily for shale, with several rigs running are:
    Hess 13
    ConocoPhillips 9 (via subsidiary Burlington Resources)
    Statoil 7
    Marathon Oil 5
    SM Energy 6 (I think used to be St. Mary Land & Mineral)

    So these have roughly half the rigs running, companies not just known to be big shale drillers.

    Of the ones maybe more thought of as shale drillers specifically,
    Whiting 12
    Continental 12
    Oasis 8
    EOG 5
    QEP 5

    Of the remaining, which there are several, I have Petro Hunt with 3 and the rest with 1 or 2.

    Interesting, at least to me. Could be many reasons for this, wonder who will drop some more? So the 800 pound gorilla is leading the way in the Bakken at present. Wouldn’t have guessed it.

    • toolpush says:


      Hess, still has a few more to lose.

      Greg Hill, President and COO, stated: “We are reducing our 2015 spending in the Bakken to $1.8 billion, compared with $2.2 billion in 2014. In 2015, we plan to operate an average of 9.5 rigs and bring approximately 210 new operated wells online, compared with 17 rigs and 238 operated wells brought online in 2014.

      They started with 17 rigs last year, down to 13 current, and plan to be at 9.5 later in the year.

      Yes interesting that Exxon top the list. It would be great to have a microphone in their board meeting to know their thinking. You would have to imagine if they think the prospects are good up there, a few of the cash strapped companies with good acreage, must be on the menu?

      • shallow sand says:

        Toolpush, I wish I could tell from list if XTO is just trying to get more HBP acreage, or not. I’ll try to read up on. Can’t sleep a lot, so maybe help me get sleepy trying to look up.

        I guess in a way maybe seeing XOM up there active is a bullish thing for crude. Tends to show, as with their large tar sands holdings, that they realize what is left is expensive to extract stuff. They have long term view, assume they see much higher oil or they wouldn’t be messing with it.

        Could see them try to swallow up one of these guys in a tax free stock exchange. Maybe Harold Hamm would like to own $12 billion of ExxonMobil stock. $375 million a year in dividends wouldn’t be too shabby. Plus, it would give him a much more diversified energy portfolio. Might also give his employees a better situation if he can negotiate their retention. Maybe a board seat too, as $12 billion in stock would make him a pretty darn big shareholder.

        • shallow sand says:

          WTI Brent spread is almost $13 and RBOB gasoline is almost 75 cents off its low, in just about a month. This has to be a nightmare?

        • shallow sand says:

          From what I could find, ExxonMobil is just maintaining the number of rigs they had running there in early 2014. Will be interesting to see if they drop any.

          Only state they have more running is in Texas, and there don’t have many more.

          And that did it for me, good night!

        • Regex Wald says:

          I just went through the GIS data for you. None of the XTO rigs are drilling in areas where XTO doesn’t already have at least one active well. I doubt HBD is a motivating factor. Also, every rig but one is on a multi-well pad that already has 2-5 active wells. The one exception is the rig XTO has going right next to the Billings County border in Golden Valley County. In that area, they are drilling a new well right next to a Bakken horizontal well dating to 1989. I presume they’re drilling a more modern Bakken or Three Forks horizontal well in this area, but maybe not. Typically when you think of Golden Valley County, the Red River formation comes to mind first, or maybe the Birdbear formation, but the Bakken/Three Forks, not as much.

  25. Old farmer mac says:

    This article is well worth reading.

    Combine this sort of technology with fast falling birth rates and JUST MAYBE a few million people will be able to live better and longer.

    Renewable power is getting cheaper faster than I ever expected or even hoped.

    Nowadays I have actually gotten to be pretty optimistic that it will really be cheaper without subsidy than coal and gas within the next decade or so. This will allow the places that go into renewables in a big way to substantially stretch out their depleting fossil fuel supplies if they have their own and at least reduce the cost of buying imported if they don’t.

    • wimbi says:

      Renewable getting cheap faster than thought. Of course. Reason, nobody paying attention to all the great opportunities just lying there. At risk of being stamped cornucopian by good ol tech guy up there, I will shove out a few, for the general amusement of the multitudes here present.


      We all know the old story of the little girl who saw a 100 dollar bill lying on the sidewalk but didn’t pick it up because grandpa, when asked, replied

      “Oh, don’t bother, if it were real, somebody else would have picked it up by now.”

      Well, that’s our problem with energy opportunities lying right before our eyes. Here’s a few examples of very many, and easy ways to pick them up.

      Opportunity- greatly increase energy efficiency of transportation.
      Easy way- Uber. Done! Good, can be done a lot better. Will be.

      Opp. Huge waste of energy in heat/cool old buildings.
      Easy way- put an outer skin on them, first a thick layer of any kind of fuzzed up discarded stuff, then an outer shell of weather protection. Leave the building itself un-modified for thermal storage.

      Opp. Wind at higher altitudes, always stronger.
      Easy way- kites pulling a rope wrapped around the shaft of a ground based alternator. One very simple arrangement is the rope splits near the kite, one side going up to an upper wing, around a pulley, then down to a mirror image wing below, around its pulley, and then back to the single rope to the windup. The two wings move like hands clapping, pulling and releasing the windup.

      Opp. Solar/wind energy storage.
      Easy way- Compressed air. Any extra energy not going into heat storage by pumping up hot water tank or space heat sink goes into compressed air stored in a discarded pipeline, well hole, underwater balloon or whatever. When power needed to fill in for solar/wind, compressed air goes thru a heater into a turbine expander, which can be as small as a motorcycle turbocharger.

      Opp, Fuel gas/carbon pyrolyzer,
      Easy way. Heat any hydrocarbon without oxygen, take volatiles & use for fuel, dump carbon out to go to ground, or any other use. Carbon negative, can be done at scale of domestic wood stove.

      Opp. Poor people making poor choices for space heating.
      Easy way- Set up special loan bank to allow purchase of better (first, insulate!), take the saved money, split between lender and borrower.

      Now add your own favorites, select among infinite number, all just waiting to be picked up

      • TechGuy says:

        Wimbi wrote
        “Easy way- kites pulling a rope wrapped around the shaft of a ground based alternator. One very simple arrangement is the rope splits near the kite, one side going up to an upper wing, around a pulley, then down to a mirror image wing below, around its pulley, and then back to the single rope to the windup. The two wings move like hands clapping, pulling and releasing the windup”

        Not feasible. To transfer any significant amount of power the transfer cable would be too heavy. Kite power system will never be a practical source of power.

        “Easy way- Compressed air. Any extra energy not going into heat storage by pumping up hot water tank or space heat sink goes into compressed air stored in a discarded pipeline”

        Not practical. I believe the best compressors have about 15% loss and Compressors are high-maintenance and expensive. Pumped water storage is a better solution. but also impractical because lack of water and appropriate land with sufficient potential energy storage.

        “Fuel gas/carbon pyrolyzer,
        Easy way. Heat any hydrocarbon without oxygen, take volatiles & use for fuel, dump carbon out to go to ground, or any other use. Carbon negative, can be done at scale of domestic wood stove.”

        OK for small scale systems (ie households), Not practical to scale up to industrial sizes required to displace current global energy consumption. I don’t see how it can be carbon negative even at small scale. At best carbon neutral for small scale when you just harvest dead wood. As soon as you start cutting down trees its no longer carbon neutral. The only way to make it carbon negative is to plant many new trees every year. FYI Using a pyrolysis with steam instead of water still produces CO2. The Carbon reactions with Steam to produce CO (Carbon Monoxide) + H2. When the syngas is burned CO converts to CO2. CO2 sequester is not practical since about 30% to 40% of the energy produced from combustion must be used to separate and compress the CO2. I also think that over time the CO2 could escape (Earthquake).

        FWIW: I do plan to use pyrolysis for my own energy needs, but this is small scale, and I don’t expect to be carbon negative or even carbon neutral.

        “Easy way- Set up special loan bank to allow purchase of better (first, insulate!), take the saved money, split between lender and borrower.”

        Unfortunately slapping on insulation isn’t really going to solve the problem. To get decent gains, most home will need to be gutted and retro-fitted. Homes need to be made near air tight, which can’t be done by slapping on insulation. The walls need to opened up and filled with close cell foam insulation and caulked (internally), the Pipes need to be properly wrapped, the Windows need to be replaced, Foundation needs to be insulated, and so on. Most homes were built as cheaply as possible and presumed that cheap energy would be around forever. The proper way is to build an energy efficient home from the ground up. You can’t obtain the same level of efficiency with a simple retrofit.

        Installing Radiant hydronic heating system and using solar thermal can have a big reduction. Traditional, convection system need Water temp. of about 180F to work. A Hydronic radiant heating system can operate with a water temp. of about 80F.

        I can tell you that this simply isn’t going to happen on a grand scale anyway. OT: I still see lots and lots of home with window freak’n air conditioners still in windows despite temperatures in the teens. WTF!?!

        • wimbi says:

          Ok, fine. Thanks for the long reply. I feel honored.

          So, I do it my way, you go do it your way. But I have an advantage, I already did all that to great or less degree, and it worked. All, of course, in a slapdash first try sort of way. It’s my hobby and by astounding hodge-podge string of good luck, I am able to try this sort of thing on real situations right here.

          On the kite. Look up dyneema.– and the ship kites used right now, and all the kite experiments already tried and published.

          I never mess with any grand scale anything. Right here, right now, one on one is my style.

          I am amused by all the heavy stuff put out here that’s just mere opinion, but stated seriously as facts about the whole society in the future. I don’t know nuthin’ about the future, especially the full scale future. Nobody does, it’s way too fuzzy. Dam near anything can happen, just as likely as any other thing.

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  27. lgnorant lurker says:

    Can someone pls explain why gasoline futures rebounded strongly from the Jan lows, but not WTI?

    • Philip Backus says:

      Lurker, I don’t have an answer for you but I was myself wondering about that and also why it has not yet shown up in local prices as this tends to have happened very quickly in the past.


      • shallow sand says:

        RBOB is much more strongly correlated with Brent than WTI. Refiners still need to import significant amounts of heavier crude due to way refineries are set up. Brent/WTI spread his hit $12-13 range.

      • Jeffrey J. Brown says:

        There are also some ongoing strikes at refineries + some accidents at refineries + the changeover from winter blend to summer blend gasoline always causes a price spike (summer blend is less volatile, with more BTU’s per gallon than winter blend, and there are number of boutique blends for specific geographical regions, based primarily, I believe, on EPA requirements).

    • canniBAU says:


  28. Old farmer mac says:

    This link from the WSJ which is mostly a bau sort of paper contains some excellent commentary on the pros and cons of renewables. The first off guy is big on gas and obviously has an anti renewable bias which is no doubt justifiable from his pov.

    Time frames are everything in such debates. He would probably readily admit gas might be much more expensive in ten or twenty years.

    The rest of the article is a well balanced discussion of the pros and cons of renewables.

  29. Old farmer mac says:

    Question for anybody with actual oilfield expertise.

    Everybody seems to agree that the Canadian tar sands production can only be ramped up rather slowly.

    I do not understand SPECIFICALLY why this is so.

    I understand that it takes a LONG time to develop any one tar sands mining operation so that any ONE company working in any ONE GIVEN SPOT can only increase production from that particular spot slowly.

    BUT I do not quite understand why the twenty odd companies working the Canadian sands are not able to just double up on men and machinery and start working in untouched areas. Assuming they have the money of course.

    Is this a matter of capital and manpower or is it that they are actually out of elbow room and in each others way already?

    It hardly seems possible but maybe they ARE rubbing elbows.

    I understand that roads and houses and pipelines and rail must be built and that doubling the money will not necessarily double the rate of construction but it would sure as hell increase it substantially.

    In layman’s terms – why can’t the tar sands be developed FASTER if enough effort is put into it? WHAT is the limiting factor?

    WHY can’t more money applied across the board increase production faster? Manpower ? Geology? Elbow Room? Politics?

    Twice as many men with twice as many machines can build a road twice as fast.

    Twice as many men with the right equipment working in two different spots ought to bring on twice as much production.

    Is there some fundamental reason why twice as many men and as much equipment cannot be put to work in the tar sands?Twice as many building roads housing restaurants stores etc?

    • MBP says:

      There are two main ways to produce tar sands: surface mining and steam assisted. Obviously the surface mining is the more visible of the two, but it only has a possibly max area of roughly 2,000 square miles of the over 55,000 square mile extent of the tar sands (still, surface mining 2,000 square miles is a lot). Currently, I think there are >130 tar sands projects going on, with only 5-6 being surface mining. Regardless, most of the growth seems to be coming from the steam assisted production, so understanding it would help.

      The main way these tar sands are produced is through steam assisted gravity drainage (SADG). This is where two parallel wells are drilled on top of another, about 30 feet apart, and steam is injected into the top well to produce out of the bottom well. With this, I have read it takes anywhere between 3-18 months of continuous injection before the oil’s viscosity has been reduced enough to allow it to be brought to the surface. That might be why doubling manpower does not automatically mean doubling production. Even if you drill twice as many wells, they do not add instant production like a shale well does. However, the advantage of SADG wells is they, in theory, will decline very little to not at all for the duration of their production (or so I’ve read).

      Hope that helps.

      • shallow sand says:

        MBP: Thank you for the information! I was unaware of the ratio of surface mining to steam injection. Is the steam injection process similar to that occurring in California?

        Also, I never thought about the issue of burning through gas to produce more oil, but I am sure that process is very energy intensive.

        Kind of like in our case. Our highest non-labor expense is electricity. How much coal/natural gas is burned each year to produce oil in the US?

        I learn a lot here, plus helps keep an open mind.

        • Watcher says:

          Suncor extracts its own natgas to fuel the burners making steam.

        • MBP says:

          It is currently a slightly different process from California, though how California steam floods work is how the tar sands were first produced. Most steam floods that I know of use vertical wells and either use huff-n puff or really tight spacing with dedicated injectors and producers. The tar sands are are produced from sets of two parallel horizontal wells, one on top of the other. The steam heats the hydrocarbons and gravity assists them to the lower wellbore. For a more detailed look at this process, as well as for info on gas use for tar sands production, check out Robert Rapier’s post on the process here (he was a contributor to ToD):

          But in summary it looks like its around 840 cf/bbl oil produced, which is around 1:7 in terms of BTUs (from 2012 data).

      • MBP, the two horizontals are set x vertical distance away from each other. X can be say 3 meters. The process begins by installing a slotted liner, and inside the liner a steam injection tubing all the way to the well toe.

        There are slight variations, but the next step is to circulate steam to heat the interwell layer. The amount of heat delivered depends on the reservoir properties. Some reservoirs have oil at 50 k cp, others at 500 k cp.

        Once the interwell layer is warmed by circulating in both wells the top well becomes the steam injector. The key is to keep a hot water and oil layer above the producer. This allows all the steam to rise and move sideways. What we want to force is steam condensation in the chamber (we want the steam to condense).

        The speed used for the process is highly variable. I’ve supervised teams modeling this process for new developments and we moved on to the injection cycle within months. We also modeled variations to the standard SAGD, adding butane to the steam.

        The wells don’t really produce at a steady oil rate, and we have operational changes due to steam allocation. A good rule of thumb has been to design for a steam to oil ratio = 3.

    • Doug Leighton says:


      As you probably know, the Athabasca oil sand deposit covers about 54,900 square miles. Some estimates suggest Alberta has the capacity to produce 175 billion barrels of oil meaning the oil sands contain enough oil to produce 2.5 million barrels of oil per day for 180 years. However, even with almost 3,000 oil sands lease agreements in existence approximately 70% of Alberta’s possible oil sands areas are still available for exploration and leasing so they are not bumping into one another. There are many constraints, however, including: environmental factors, resistance by tribal councils, economic viability of many locations, plus pipeline limitations and lack of skilled labor. In spite of these constraints if pipelines are extended to markets in Asia, for example, development may be accelerated. But there is something else.

      To date, oil sands development has been fueled largely by natural gas. While many factors are contributing to the increase in price of natural gas in Western Canada, massive demand from the oil sands is a major factor (Is it logistical t use a relatively clean-burning fuel such as natural gas to aid in the extraction of an extremely dirty form of crude oil for the purposes of export? ). So producers are faced with the rising cost of natural gas and expected shortages due to increasing demand from competing oil sands projects. In my opinion this is an important consideration limiting development acceleration. Of course I’m certainly no expert and I expect others will disagree.

      • Synapsid says:

        Doug L,

        There are two plays in NW Alberta and over into BC that may, down the road, help a lot with supplying NG to the oil-sands industry: Duvernay and Montney. For a while it looked like everybody and his Airedale, supermajors, majors and juniors, were throwing money into them. Things are slowing down now, there as everywhere else. They look like ones to watch, anyway.

        • Doug Leighton says:


          Yeah, you’re probably right. My impression was Montney , in BC, was looking mainly to provide feedstock gas for grassroots LNG projects. Honestly, I don’t follow this stuff closely and expected input to flesh out the various contributing factors. Duvernay could be a different beast entirely?

      • I think a good option is to build a nuclear plant to make steam at 300 degrees C. This can be used to provide heat to a central plant, heat a pipe still, preheat a vessel feed, and deliver steam to the field. It reduces the CO2 emissions and allows a much better crude to be produced. And it can also serve as a cogen electricity generator.

        I know this sounds crazy but I’ve seen a feasibility study for such a plant.

        • Doug Leighton says:

          Hi Fernando,

          “I know this sounds crazy but I’ve seen a feasibility study for such a plant.”

          Indeed, a nuclear plant to make steam is undoubtedly the best solution. This has been proposed on a number of occasions and even I’ve seen at least one version of one of these proposals: However, doubt it will come about. In fact, I’d be willing to bet natural gas will continue to be the fuel of choice — Lots of nice clean fuel (gas) to produce lots of very dirty fuel (bitumen).

          • Doug, there’s technology to convert 8 degree API into 38 degree sulfur free syncrude. The extra hydrogen is obtained from natural gas. The process doesn’t involve a coker, most of the hydrocarbon molecules are used. Because the hydrogen addition “swells” the crude we get an upgrader gain (more barrels of syncrude come out than bitumen goes in). The same reactor used to make the steam for a SAGD array is used to provide heat for the upgrader and the hydrogen plant. The end result is a syncrude, or even a syndiesel, manufactured from bitumen with extremely low process emissions, completely sulfur free.

            I think the industry will migrate in that direction in say 20 years. If we do get that skunk works fusion reactor to work we may have super clean syncrude and land into a less traumatic transition.

        • Caelan MacIntyre says:

          Fernando, I recall, such as over at The boarded-up Oil Drum, a lot of talk about how nuclear power plants– across their entire lifecycle– were not (as) carbon-neutral or EROEI-positive (or whatever the terms are) as some people had promoted or thought.
          Some things worth mentioning that concern me about them in general, if not necessarily with respect to your particular application here (What kind is it?), are:
          1. They rely on the coercive collection of taxes with no or little choice in the matter, such as to opt out. Most people do not really seem aware, either, of the issues surrounding nuclear energy.
          2. They would seem to almost certainly perpetuate the existence of the nation-state (a kind of dubious lock-in path– i.e., see David Korowicz), which has a number of inherent problems and dangers.
          3. The can has been, and is being, kicked down the road with regard to nuclear waste that is accumulating.
          4. There seems to be no or little accounting of the cost of decomissioning and/or of waste disposal/storage
          5. There seems to be little or no accounting of the issues of storage, themselves, once the waste has been stored. Apparently, it needs to be stored for a length of time that transcends typical human notions of time or changes over time.
          6. There seem to be a lot of other, better, things people could be spending their time and efforts on than nuclear power plants.
          7. Nuclear power, like most, if not all, forms of technology, seems to be looked at less holistically, from a systems perspective, as well as from a natural and community/democratic perspective.
          8. Human error, accidents, attacks.
          9. The future generations that will have to deal with nuclear waste don’t have a say, such as ‘No thanks.’.
          10. We don’t need it. It has been said that it is ‘like cutting butter with a chainsaw’.

          • Ca élan I think the oil industry can use a simple nuke, most of the energy is used to turn water to steam, and the plants can be modular. The waste is a concern, but I’m pretty sure it can be stored in a salt dome or in deep wellbores. Once the oil is depleted the energy can be used to generate electricity.

  30. Ronald Walter says:

    Monday musings:

    Anybody here remember a web site called ‘The Oil Drum’? smiley face

    It was a place I visited now and then, knew that the studied, trained motley crew there were fairly wonkish, had the lexicon and the argot to go with it all, all down pat.

    The link provided was about the Bakken ‘oil rush’ and was compared to the gold rushes in California and Alaska.

    I read through the article, the comments, all the way to comment 210, if I remember correctly. Since I would go to The Oil Drum now and then just to see what was happening in the world of oil and what is happening with it, to it, I didn’t really question too much of what it was all about, it was about oil and peak oil.

    I wasn’t comfortable with the idea of commenting on a web site where there were such a great number of posts each time, anything I would contribute would go unnoticed.

    However, as I read through the comments, there was something missing. Not a peep about Leigh Price’s study, the paper, on the Bakken HCS.

    I joined, risking the chance of being shot down as some kind of kook, a nut. So, I took a chance, since nobody else there was mentioning anything about Leigh Price, I posted a link to the study.

    Scroll down to the 211th comment, it’s mine. Back then at TOD, my screen name was wardpierce. It was my first comment, but I was well aware of TOD quite some time before I ever made comments.

    Anyhow, I don’t like debate stifled. Anyone can state their opinion, right or wrong, if it’s right, it’s right, if it’s wrong, it’s wrong. Let it roll, give it all a chance, it can’t hurt one single solitary thing.

    ‘The time to speak up has passed, now is the time for senseless bickering’

    Google Giordano Bruno, Libertes Philosophica, the freedom to think.

    Nobody here is the Pope, no official decrees can be issued, careful examination to find fault, even if the close scrutiny is born from crazy ideas based on theological rule.

    We’re watching you, so you better behave, you heathen, you! You, you, you… sinner!

    I have faults of my own, books filled with a complete list of everything where I was at fault, all the faults ready to be redeemed like a book of S&H green stamps. When you find my faults, you can laugh and point at every one of them. I am a heretic not willing to recant, I am guilty of having many faults. If I am burned at the stake for having faults, so be it, amen, hallelujah.

    Didn’t NASA launch a mission to Mars and crash the hardware onto the surface because the mission specialists forgot to make the conversion to metric? Everybody makes mistakes. They can be expensive in terms of dollars and cents, very expensive.

    Humans exist on earth, they live and breathe, and when they do, they exhale CO2, just so you know. When they burn wood, coal, oil, that activity is going to contribute CO2 gas in the atmosphere.

    Good thing there was a Carboniferous Period with the CO2 gas present in the atmosphere with concentrations of 4000 ppm and possibly higher, the earth formed a lot of coal from the geologic time period. Plants grew like there was no tomorrow.

    As you burn the coal, oil, wood, the fixed carbon in the fuels are released into the atmosphere in a gaseous state, carbon emissions. Burning coal is done by humans, anthropogenic. If there are open coal veins and lightning strikes them, they will burn for years, so it is not all from human activity.

    Suffice it to say that human activity will have some kind of effect on the earth’s natural systems.

    I once traveled on an old gravel road that more or less meandered along a lake for about twenty miles. The old gravel road is now covered by water every inch of the way, it’s gone, all twenty miles of it. The hydrological cycle works in mysterious ways.

    Raising tolerances raises awareness.

    Have a nice day.

    • DuaneX says:

      I have faults of my own, books filled with a complete list of everything where I was at fault, all the faults ready to be redeemed like a book of S&H green stamps. When you find my faults, you can laugh and point at every one of them. I am a heretic not willing to recant, I am guilty of having many faults. If I am burned at the stake for having faults, so be it, amen, hallelujah.

      poetry RW

  31. d says:

    Excellent history of oil/Rockefeller/International Cartels: Jalel Sager: UC Berkely Lecture.
    Energy and Resources C200 UC Berkeley Lecture

  32. clueless says:

    Ron, you probably know by now that I only post what I believe to be correct, although I am subject to making errors just as anyone is. So –
    Science, vol. 218, 5 November 1982, pgs 563-565
    “Termites: A Potentially Large Source of Atmospheric Methane, Carbon Dioxide, and Molecular Hydrogen”
    by: Zimmerman and Greenberg -National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder CO; Crutzen – Max Planck Institute for Atmospheric Chemistry, Mainz, Germany; and Wandinga -University of Nairobi, Kenya
    ABSTRACT: Termites may emit large quantities of methane, carbon dioxide, and molecular hydrogen into the atmosphere. Global annual emission calculated from laboratory measurements could reach 1.5 x 10 to 14th power grams of methane and 5 x 10 to the 16th power grams of carbon dioxide. As much as 2 x 10 to the 14th power grams of molecular hydrogen may also be produced. Field measurements of methane emissions from two termite nests in Guatemala corroborated the laboratory results.
    Man now releases more CO2, etc than in 1982, but somebody who can do the math can compare the above figures to current releases by humans and decide which source of greenhouse gases is higher – man or termites. [Sorry, I have no idea how to superscript 10 to a power in a post. Clueless.]
    The article is behind a pay wall and cost me $20, and I can print it. But, it blocks me from moving it to Microsoft Word, emailing it, etc. or even storing as an icon on the desktop.

    • Fred Magyar says:

      “Termites: A Potentially Large Source of Atmospheric Methane, Carbon Dioxide, and Molecular Hydrogen”

      Yes, BUT!

      Termites have been around for a very very long time emitting methane, carbon dioxide, and molecular hydrogen into the atmosphere and their numbers haven’t suddenly had an exponential increase in just the last two or three centuries… However, guess what fossil fuel burning species has?

      The oldest unambiguous termite fossils date to the early Cretaceous, although structures from the late Triassic have been interpreted as fossilized termite nests.[13] Termites have been common since at least the Cretaceous period. Termites also eat bone and other parts of carcasses, and their traces have been found on dinosaur bones from the middle Jurassic in China.[14][non-primary source needed] Given the diversity of Cretaceous termites, it is likely that they had their origin at least sometime in the Jurassic.[15] Weesner believes that Mastotermitidae termites may go back to the Permian[16] and fossil wings have been discovered in the Permian of Kansas which have a close resemblance to wings of Mastotermes of the Mastotermitidae, which is the most primitive living termite
      Source: Wikipedia

      • clueless says:

        Right – but, essentially what I said in a previous post was that we can end civilization as we know it(stop using fossil fuels), or we can start killing termites. And Ron had indicated that he thought that no such article existed.
        And, just kind of an anecdote. If anyone on this site believes in intelligent aliens who can travel outside of their solar system, well, that means that they have discovered another source of energy much more powerful than anything we know of today. In which case, who knows what the future will bring.

        • Fred Magyar says:

          Right – but, essentially what I said in a previous post was that we can end civilization as we know it(stop using fossil fuels), or we can start killing termites.

          While it might in theory, be possible for us to stop using fossil fuels and end our current civilization, perhaps embarking on the path of a less energy consumptive but still viable civilization of some sort. However, I can absolutely assure you that there is no way that we could start eradicating all termites without very dire consequences to the biosphere.

          When dealing with complex systems such as ecosystems there are always feedback loops and the law of unintended consequences to contend with.

          Just like you can’t arbitrarily decide to remove a few nuts and bolts or a couple of gears from a complex machine and expect it to magically continue functioning as it did before. It will fall apart or grind to a halt!

          Then all the kings horses and all the kings men won’t be able to put Humpty together again!

    • Clueless wrote in an earlier post up thread: Was “Science” magazine wrong when they wrote an article that claimed that termites release more greenhouse gas (methane that converts to CO2) than all of the activities of man.

      And Clueless said a couple of posts down: Right – but, essentially what I said in a previous post was that we can end civilization as we know it(stop using fossil fuels), or we can start killing termites. And Ron had indicated that he thought that no such article existed.

      And I still maintain that no such article exists. The science article says nothing more than termites emit a lot of methane. Well hell, cows emit a lot of methane. The phrase: “termites release more greenhouse gas (methane that converts to CO2) than all of the activities of man” was simply added by you, or some climate change denial web site. That is not in the Science article or at least not in any part you quoted.

      However if you do find that phrase I am sure the copyright “fair use” clause would allow you to quote it. So if anything like that is in the article please quote it.

      I would wager that the amount of methane emitted by termites, which eventually oxidizes into C02, does not equal one one-hundredth the human caused C02 emissions.

      Clueless, that is how these stories get started. Science says that termites emit a lot of methane. Then the denier web site Ice Age Now picks that up and turns it into:

      Scientists have calculated that termites alone produce ten times as much carbon dioxide as all the fossil fuels burned in the whole world in a year.

      Science Magazine says: “Termites emit a lot of methane.” Then that denier web site turns that into: “Ten times more carbon dioxide than all the fossil fuels burned in a whole year”. That a crock of shit.

      • Cattle and rice are worse methane emitters. I have estimated we can reduce methane concentration by killing and eating 30 % of the world’s cattle. Instead of eating beef we can consume chicken, pork and medusas.

        • Fred Magyar says:

          You forgot grasshoppers, they are much more efficient at transforming vegetation into protein than cattle, they also do it on much less water and produce infinitely less waste products.

          But don’t take my word for try non other than the Wall Street Journal…

          Raising insects for food would avoid many of the problems associated with livestock. For instance, swine and humans are similar enough that they can share many diseases. Such co-infection can yield new disease strains that are lethal to humans, as happened during a swine fever outbreak in the Netherlands in the late 1990s. Because insects are so different from us, such risks are accordingly lower.

          Insects are also cold-blooded, so they don’t need as much feed as animals like pigs and cows, which consume more energy to maintain their body temperatures. Ten pounds of feed yields one pound of beef, three pounds of pork, five pounds of chicken and up to six pounds of insect meat.

          Insects produce less waste, too. The proportion of livestock that is not edible after processing is 30% for pork, 35% for chicken, 45% for beef and 65% for lamb. By contrast, only 20% of a cricket is inedible.

          Raising insects requires relatively little water, especially as compared to the production of conventional meat (it takes more than 10 gallons of water, for instance, to produce about two pounds of beef). Insects also produce far less ammonia and other greenhouse gases per pound of body weight. Livestock is responsible for at least 10% of all greenhouse gas emissions.

      • Ronald Walter says:

        Good thing there’s aardvarks, the original terminator.

        Go aardvarks

  33. Longtimber says:

    In addition to ” Jesus Hates Fracking” Now we have “Bomb Trains”


    More Gas recovery regs = additional costs for LTO.
    I’d guess they would have to remove the gas molecules for pipeline transfer also. ??

    • toolpush says:

      I like how Robert Rapier, put this at the end of his piece, and something so many people like to forget. Without demand, there would be no crude on the rails.

      But back to the question of why we ship oil by rail. The reason is that consumers demand oil, and that drives the price higher. Where consumers are willing to pay, the oil is going to get to market one way or the other. In this case, insufficient pipeline infrastructure out of the Bakken is the major driver of the oil to rail development, but blocking pipelines will have the same effect as long as the demand is there.
      Everyone who uses oil is culpable to some extent for these sorts of incidents. People will shake their heads at this latest incident, but few will change their driving habits to use less oil. Until that happens on a large scale, the oil will keep moving, perhaps right through your home town.


      The advantage of pipelines is the fact they operate under pressure, and therefore can safely transport high vapour pressure liquids, without any issues. There are no air gaps in a pipeline, for the vapours to escape to. They are held in the liquid and dissolved in solution, with no means of escape, and they allow a large amount of NGLs to be shipped with oil, which the railways are finding out to their detriment, they can’t with tank cars at atmospheric temperatures.

  34. Caelan MacIntyre says:

    “March 2nd, 2014 (David Biello). The U.S. government has given industry permission to use of lethally loud seismic devices up and down the East Coast. David Biello reports.

    By exploding compressed air underwater, scientists map the subsurface of the seafloor. The process can reveal new deposits of fossil fuels and other important information—and now industry has permission to use airguns off the U.S. east coast. Which means more dead whales.

    Cetaceans and other marine life rely on their ears to navigate. Air guns deafen them, if not kill them outright, as the U.S. Department of Interior admits. The sound is 250 decibels or more, much louder than a jet engine. Dozens of melon-headed whales washed up dead on Madagascar beaches following similar seismic air gun testing by ExxonMobil in 2008.” ~ The Ocean Update

    • Fred Magyar says:

      By exploding compressed air underwater, scientists map the subsurface of the seafloor.

      Whoever those people are they are NOT scientists! They are murderers pure and simple. I would have no problem putting them in a tank and turning the air guns on them!

      Disclaimer: I have very close friends who do scientific research with dolphins and other cetaceans. They often dive with these creatures in the wild. So to me this is very personal!

      • Caelan MacIntyre says:

        I hear you, Fred. It is simply ununconscionable, and yet it, and countless other ununconscionables like it, continue. I welcome collapse with open, impatient arms.

  35. toolpush says:

    It looks like after all this time, Western Canadian Select (WCS) crude has only just found its way by pipeline to the gulf coast. Apparently it has not been until the Seaway Twin opened a short while ago. So now the race has begun to displace Mexican and Venezuelan heavy crude and maybe Saudi crude out of the gulf coast refineries.

    The story amazes me, as I thought the idea of the reversed Seaway pipeline a couple of years ago was the beginning WCS reaching the coast.

    Since December about 240 Mb/d of heavy Canadian crude has flowed into the Houston Enbridge ECHO terminal on the Seaway Twin pipeline where it must now duke it out with incumbent suppliers to the Gulf Coast’s 1.5 MMb/d of heavy crude “coking” capacity.

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