Petroleum Supply Monthly, July Data

The EIA has just published their Petroleum Supply Monthly with July production data for the USA and all states and territories. There were really no big surprises.

Petroleum Supply Monthly

US C+C production was up 94,000 barrels per day in July to 9,358,000 bpd.

GOM

The gain came from the Gulf of Mexico. The GOM was up 147,000 bpd to 1,584,000 bpd. Without the GOM input US production would have been down 53,000 bpd.

Texas

Texas was down but not by much, only 12,000 bpd to 3,447,000 bpd. That is 197,000 bpd below their high in March of 3,644,000 bpd.

North Dakota EIA

This I don’t understand. The EIA’s now gets its estimates directly from the states yet there is a difference. Perhaps the NDIC had revised their data when the EIA called.

Oklahoma

Oklahoma was down 17,000 bpd to 339,000 bpd.

New Mexico

New Mexico was down 11,000 bpd to 410,000 bpd.

EIA USA

I took the Weekly Energy Review and averaged it into monthly average. As you can see it differs greatly from both the Monthly Energy Review and the Petroleum Supply Monthly. However for the last July and August it agrees pretty closely with the Monthly Energy Review. And it says production dropped just over 200,000 barrels per day from August to September.

US Weekly C+C

This is the weekly data, since December from the Weekly Petroleum Status Report. It has US production dropping every month since June.

I thought the below article said a lot about Russia.

Russian Oil Producers Head for Tax Showdown Amid Output Warnings

Russia’s Energy Ministry estimated last week that oil output would be stable until 2035 at a level of about 525 million metric tons a year, or 10.5 million barrels a day, as investment in new projects offset declines at older fields. If the government approves the planned tax hike, investments could slump by 50 percent and total oil production drop by 100 million metric tons over next three years, Energy Minister Alexander Novak said in an interview to state TV Friday.

“In a lower capex environment, the output decline at mature Russian fields may reach some 5 percent already next year,” Alexander Nazarov, oil and gas analyst at OAO Gazprombank, said by phone. “New projects won’t be able to cushion the total decline.”

They are saying that if they get enough investment in new projects to offset declines in their old fields, then they can keep production flat for the next 20 years. Otherwise they are headed lower. Their old fields will be declining at about half a million barrels per year. I don’t think even if they do get the tax breaks they can come up with that much new oil. And most certainly they cannot do it for 20 years.

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352 Responses to Petroleum Supply Monthly, July Data

  1. I have done stacked graphs for the US in my new post:

    30/9/2015
    US shale oil too expensive, peaks 1H2015
    http://crudeoilpeak.info/us-shale-oil-too-expensive-peaks-1h-2015

    • SouthLaGeo says:

      Gulf of Mexico production is up (close to, or perhaps at record levels) because deepwater production is close to or over record monthly levels. My guess is deepwater monthly production is at 1.35-1.45 mmbo (previous high ~1.25-1.3 mmbopd, though this is an annualized number from BSEE), with shelf production contributing the rest to get to the total of 1.58 mmbopd.
      New deepwater projects coming on line have contributed to the increase in production – Jack/St. Malo, Lucius, Tubular Bells, Olympus,,
      Deepwater drilling activity has not dropped off much since lower oil prices hit, but shelf drilling is down dramatically.

      • Ves says:

        what would be the main reason of one drilling dropping more (shelf) than the other (deepwater)?

        • SouthLaGeo says:

          Main reason is the maturity of the shelf – many remaining shelf opportunities are economic at $100 oil but not economic at $50 oil.
          Also, deepwater wells produce longer than shelf wells, and, the hope is, a well that is drilled today at $50 oil prices may be producing long enough so it realizes higher oil prices during much of it’s productive life.
          Also, many deepwater wells are part of major projects where, for example, multi-billion $ facilities have already been installed. Wells need to be drilled so sunk investments can start to be recouped, even if it is in a low price environment.

        • Blaine says:

          With the bigger platforms taking longer to construct, deepwater has a longer lag before it feels price effects.

      • BC says:

        https://app.box.com/s/6aju2cctaq9wxck2y6xwxdfbqidq95op

        https://app.box.com/s/u3icgvx6wbcddnijynhx257dshzm1dyr

        https://app.box.com/s/s0wyvm4xh7kvd4fxcwyxx3mfevtf8yub

        https://app.box.com/s/8rqnbk0mqgctg7vlt04su71711vumjs9

        https://app.box.com/s/npygb8t139jm69yjcz5nhzm8ygibd5pd

        https://app.box.com/s/0hroqkg7zym2us8em4k55a36affs4xmc

        http://www.bp.com/en/global/corporate/about-bp/energy-economics/statistical-review-of-world-energy/review-by-energy-type/oil/oil-prices.html

        US oil production per capita is down 45% since 1970 and at the level of the late 1940s.

        Thus, the log-linear US oil depletion regime’s trajectory per capita continues, despite the fastest 5- and 9-year rates of oil production since 1927-30 and the fastest YoY rate since the early 1950s.

        The oil price cycle is turning down as in the early 1960s and in 1986, implying WTI in the $20s-$30s in the years ahead, which will likely occur coincident with another global deflationary recession of the Long Wave Trough.

        • HR says:

          I’m seeing this all over the Internet. WTI in the 20’s for years, decades, forever. All in the context of a deflationary environment no less.
          That means no more LTO, deep water oil, tar sands oil, North Sea oil, many of the opec members out of business etc. etc .etc. So we are using what, 94 million barrels a day, so I’m assuming with this new vision for the oil markets the world will only need around 40 or 50 million barrels a day next year? That equates to around half the worlds GDP. Wow, food stamps are us. Here we go!

          I’m sensing a great new opportunity for the banksters here. They can finance the $150,000 Teslas for people in the hood with junk bonds. That’s gonna end well.

          And I love the whole deflationary environment associated with the price of WTI. A new Kenworth with custom PTO equipment, taxes, title and all the new fabulous EPA required DEF bells and whistles runs around $150,000. So in our our new WTI $20 a barrel world that’s going to last for thousands of years, those new KW’s need to cost about $40k. That means the union workers that make the KW’s need to make about 6 bucks an hour and no benefits. You know they like their benefits. This is not going to fly. Riots! Income inequality! Get the rich fat white guys!

          So no, I’m not buying the scenario. Frankly, I can make a more convincing argument for going back to horse and buggies.

          • BC says:

            HR, I appreciate the skepticism, but I also suspect that there are some missing elements of understanding of the likely global implications of Peak Oil; population overshoot; climate change; demographic drag effects; resource depletion per capita; fiscal constraints and falling gov’t spending per capita; a record low for labor share; decelerating productivity; wealth and income inequality resulting in falling money velocity; racial/ethic/religious conflict and violence; debt deflation; accelerating automation of paid employment and loss of purchasing power; diminishing returns to complexity and entropy; and loss of faith in institutions charged with keeping the system intact.

          • shallow sand says:

            HR. The way I see it, if this is the “end” what difference does it make to those of us who own an interest in oil production?

            What the heck good would it have done to have divested oil leases only to put the money in something else that will go down the tubes due to the end of BAU?

            Jeffrey keeps alluding to the Economist “$5 oil” article, and he is right to do so,

            I think $20 oil calls are that article all over again.

            Nothing works at $20. If something does, I’d sure like to know about it.

            I think oil has pretty much hit resistance in the 40s twice because a huge chunk of worldwide production needs $40s WTI or Brent to cash flow purely on an operating basis. I’d say there is 3 million BOPD that is underwater now on an operating basis, if we drill down well by well.

            • Jeffrey J. Brown says:

              My usual comment:

              The Economist Magazine ran their “Drowning in oil” cover story in early 1999, in which they suggested that we would see $5 to $10 oil for the indefinite future.

              At the time of the story, annual Brent crude oil prices were then in the early stages of three approximate price doublings:

              From $13 in 1998 to $25 in 2002;
              From $25 in 2002 to $55 in 2005;
              From $55 in 2005 to $110 range for 2011 to 2013 inclusive (about $99 for 2014).

              And . . . .

              In late 2004, Daniel Yergin predicted that oil prices would be down to a long term index price of $38 by late 2005 (which caused me to suggest that we price oil in “Yergins” with One Yergin = $38).

              Also in 2004, the Saudi oil minister reiterated their support for the OPEC price band of $22 to $28.

              In August, 2009, Michael C. Lynch predicted that oil prices would soon be back to a long term price in the low 30’s.

              In February, 2015, Ed Morse predicted that oil prices could fall as low as the “$20 range for a while.”

            • HR says:

              Yeah, I’m not buying it. The price just may dip down again but the economics do not work. It’s that simple. They can throw in all the financial jargon and charts that they want, but it doesn’t change the fact that people will not bring oil to the market if they’re going to lose money.
              I do think that we are seeing THE peak in governments. Sovereign debt defaults are the next batter up and the bond market will be the next crisis. How this plays into world GDP and demand for oil is the real question.
              Shallow, if we are lucky this time around, the current environment will wipe out many millions of barrels of production and our product will still have value while all other assets go down. But what to buy?

              • BC says:

                An escalating war in the Middle East, Central Asia, and potentially the Pacific would certainly challenge the $20-$30 oil call.

        • Paul says:

          There are two types of deflation: one occurs when there is a financial panic, but supply and demand eventually re-balance and establish anew equilibrium. The other type of deflation is caused by increases in productivity. It is permanent. That type of deflation occurred for almost the entire 19th century. Toward the end of the 19th C the rising supply of gold caused a mild inflation that lasted until the end of WWI. The great depression was a combination of both types.

          Productivity in oil drilling is declining compared to when oil was easy to find and produce. Much of the fracking drilling productivity is related to drilling only the richest part of the shale plays., forced by the price downturn.

        • Caelan MacIntyre says:

          BC, are those your graphs? I appreciate them in any case, and was just wondering if you or we (as a group hereon), could comparatively map (overlay) different, causal, correlative, and even seemingly unrelated social/economic/geopolitical/ect. elements/factors to help form pictures/visualizations of what’s going on (That is unless there are good sites that already do this and if so, which ones?), such as what you often mention hereon.
          Disparate/Isolated/Esoteric numerical statistics and quotes and so forth of course can often make things hard to understand and/or see within their holistic/systemic contexts.
          In fact, it might be really cool to have an article somehow about this, about patterns and interrelations vis-a-vis POB-related.
          I am interested in fleshing out otherwise-invisible or less-understood sociogeopolitical and financial/economic, etc., patterns.

        • Stavros H says:

          There is no way in hell the oil price remains low for the years ahead (let alone decades)

          Even at $50/bbl, many projects around the world are losing money at a tremendous rate, let alone the fact that many low-cost producers (Russia + ME) will have serious problems financing their budgets with current oil prices.

          The current low-price environment can only last for another year or so (2 at the super-maximum) before tremendous declines in production set in. At the current price, everyone from shale, to tar sands, to North Sea, to African and LatAm offshore are completely uneconomical. Many decided to go ahead with projects that were already underway before the price collapse and many in the shale patch had no choice but to keep going while praying for an oil-price rebound.

          Sooner or later (by 2017 at the max) there will be serious declines almost everywhere (if the current price remains, let alone $20, which cannot cover even the running costs of North American production) and the price will spike very steeply. The longer the low oil price, the more vicious the subsequent spike in oil prices.

          In short, the current low oil price (which strongly stimulates consumption growth by the way) is wholly unsustainable.

          • clifman says:

            What is the latest storage data? Stocks must be declining, but by how much? Once excess storage is burned through, production declines will surely bite the unsuscpecting masses in their asses, no?

            • Stavros H says:

              From what I realize there is still a considerable production surplus as well as relatively ample stocks.

              That is why I say that it will take another year (maybe more) before there is again a rising oil price. For the short-term, the oil price will surely remain low.

    • TechGuy says:

      Matt Concluded:
      “The world lives on borrowed oil. And on borrowed time because we don’t know how long this debt/oil blend will last.”

      Well said!

  2. AlexS says:

    Ron,
    why didn’t you post a newer article from Bloomberg on Russian oil taxes?

    Russia Reconsiders Tax Proposals to Ease Oil Producer Fears

    September 28, 2015
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-09-28/russia-may-slow-export-duty-cuts-to-soothe-oil-company-tax-fears

    • Russia won’t change oil extraction tax: Medvedev spokeswoman
    • Government discussion shifts to export duty on natural gas

    Russia will weigh lowering oil-export duties at a slower rate than planned instead of raising an extraction tax as the government seeks to plug its budget deficit without hurting the prospects for the country’s biggest crude producers.
    “The government is considering the variant where the export duty is reduced more slowly,” Natalya Timakova, a spokeswoman for Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, told reporters on Monday at his residence outside Moscow. Medvedev decided that Russia won’t make changes to an oil-extraction tax, she said.

  3. aws. says:

    Breaking the tragedy of the horizon – climate change and financial stability – speech by [Governor] Mark Carney

    Bank Of England, 29 September 2015, Speech given at Lloyd’s of London

    Our societies face a series of profound environmental and social challenges.

    The combination of the weight of scientific evidence and the dynamics of the financial system suggest that, in the fullness of time, climate change will threaten financial resilience and longer-term prosperity.

    While there is still time to act, the window of opportunity is finite and shrinking.

    • Ves says:

      Is that the same guy that kept 0% rates for 10 years in Canada as BofCanada big honcho (in tandem with Greenspan in US) and solely caused biblical housing bubble of empty condos that are right now sitting in major cities and biggest expansion of Gucci oil sands projects that no one can afford in this galaxy. Just those two created the biggest environmental degradation in the cities and in the prairies. And now he has the guts to talk about “window of opportunity” of profound environmental and social challenges !!!! Well that is called credibility gap.

      • aws. says:

        Mark Carney from wikipedia

        Governor, February 2008–June 2013

        Carney returned to the Bank of Canada in November 2007 after his appointment as Governor, and served as advisor to retiring Governor David Dodge before formally assuming Dodge’s job on February 1, 2008.

        • Ves says:

          regardless that is 5 years. his concern is more for Onion news. credibility gap stays.

    • Mike Lowinske says:

      What’s really being said here is more confirmation that socialism is an ideology based on “promises” of ever more justice and sharing. It depends on scarcity to realize a social “demand” for justice. People don’t care about wealth inequality so long as they have enough to eat, and limiting carbon emissions through a progressive tax is intended to be a win-win for both alternative energy special interests and the peddlers of this economic and prosperity destroying ideology.

      • Nick G says:

        Nah.

        Dealing with Climate Change doesn’t require progressive taxes. Just fuel and utility taxes, which we already have.

        There’s no need for anything complex or socialistic.

    • Recent paper discusses why bankers shouldn’t be discussing the climate in depth w/o understanding the uncertainty in climate sensitivity

      http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11625-015-0339-z?wt_mc=internal.event.1.SEM.ArticleAuthorOnlineFirst

      • Nick G says:

        It silly to focus on midpoints and averages. You have to factor in the very large costs of being wrong on the high end.

        In other words, you have to have an expected value for your cost which weights the various scenarios by the risks attached.

        Uncertainty is nothing new for insurance companies, and they’re very worried.

        Finally, of course, you have to factor in the fact that reductions in fossil fuel consumption will reduce a wide variety of costs: health (asthma, mercury poisoning, etc), military and security, etc. You could eliminate the cost of Climate Change from your calculations, and coal would still be the most expensive way to generate power, by far.

        • I don’t agree, doing what you want to do could create enormous damage to the world economy. Iver here in the world I inhabit I see the panic induced moves being proposed to be both irresponsible and dangerous.

          We are dealing with a very long term effect & right now the models can’t match actual temperatures worth a darn. If in ten years you can show a more solid answer we will see. . Face it, all you got left is political reasons.

          • Nick G says:

            Well, sure, think of all the health care expenditures that would be subtracted from GDP if we reduced coal pollution.

            Think of all the military expenditures that might be subtracted from GDP if we had fewer oil wars.

            Yes, less fossil fuel consumption might be quite bad for the economy…

  4. BC says:

    https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/graph/fredgraph.png?g=1Zr0

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gWttL4gs078

    Tejas is already in recession, y’all. It’s fixin’ to look bad, but will the Tejas slack go nationwide? 🙂

  5. ezrydermike says:

    Why would Exxon sell this refinery?

    A New Jersey-based oil refining company announced Wednesday that it will acquire Exxon Mobil’s damaged Torrance plant for $537.5 million, after repairs have been completed early next year.

    The acquisition isn’t expected to have any immediate effect on gasoline prices in the Los Angeles area, where consumers have paid as much as $1.50 more a gallon than the rest of the nation because of an explosion at the refinery in February.

    PBF Energy, a Fortune 200 company on the New York Stock Exchange, based in Parsippany, N.J., said Torrance will be the smallest in its fleet of three existing refineries and will be the fifth plant in the company’s operations.

    http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-exxon-refinery-20150930-story.html

    • Old Farmer Mac says:

      Maybe Exon management thinks it’s time to convert downstream assets into cash before the world figures out there are more refineries around than there will be crude oil to supply them in few years.

      • ezrydermike says:

        maybe, but this Cali, home of the special blend. only a few refineries even try to make it. maybe the Cali blend has low margin? not sure, but we are about a $1 a gallon higher than the national average.

    • TechGuy says:

      ezrydermike wrote
      “Why would Exxon sell this refinery?”

      Must be the soaring Hybrid and EV sales in CA making them nervous /sarc

      Here is the most probable cause:
      EPA adopts rules to limit oil refineries’ emissions into neighborhoods
      http://touch.latimes.com/#section/-1/article/p2p-84549972/

      • ezrydermike says:

        TechGuy..for some reason I cannot open your link.

        I did find this article that has a bit of background info. Still don’t understand specifically why Exxon is selling, but apparently it is part of a larger strategy and has been in the works for a while

        http://www.scpr.org/news/2015/09/30/54741/troubled-exxon-mobil-refinery-in-torrance-to-get-n/

        • TechGuy says:

          The EPA is imposing much more strict controls on air quality for refineries in Southern California. Its likely these refineries will become uneconomical to operate. My guess is they all get scraped. Parts reused in other refineries elsewhere.

          My understanding is that LA has a air problem that traps pollutants, and Thus the EPA is trying to address this issue.

  6. old Farmer Mac says:

    Does anybody have graphs handy that show oil consumption per capita over time for the world and the various larger countries?

    • Fred Magyar says:

      OFM,
      I found this graph for 2009 and I spot checked a few countries by getting oil consumption data from Mazama Science’s Data Export Browser and Population census data from this site:
      http://www.geoba.se/population.php?pc=world
      At first glance it seems that per capita oil consumption has declined a bit in the the US and Europe over the last few years but it seems to have increased in most of Asia. That’s just a hunch at this point since I didn’t do a whole lot of research. BTW there are lots of graphs and charts detailing overall energy consumption per capita for these countries on line.

  7. Old Farmer Mac says:

    I just copied these excerpts from a piece at BROOKINGS which is a very solid outfit but maybe a tad on the leftish side to my tastes in some respects. I will go back and get the link in a minute, somebody ought to fix the basic clipboard feature so it will hold multiple links.

    Everything below this point is excerpted.

    http://www.brookings.edu/blogs/order-from-chaos/posts/2015/09/30-shell-postpones-arctic-drilling-ebinger

    Everybody ought to read the entire article.

    This week, Royal Dutch Shell announced that it would postpone oil drilling in the Chukchi Sea and the broader American Arctic indefinitely. The decision came in the wake of disappointing output from its Burger field, the high costs associated with the project (already nearing $7 billion), the “challenging and unpredictable federal regulatory environment in offshore Alaska,” and a growing public relations problem with environmental groups opposed to Arctic drilling.

    This decision is a momentous one—both for the future of the U.S. energy policy and the ability of the international oil industry to balance global oil supply and demand.

    Shell and much of the rest of the international petroleum industry had viewed the Chukchi Sea as one of the last great oil frontiers. The Chukchi and adjoining Beaufort Seas are vital for meeting the estimated 12 to 15 million barrels per day (mmbd) of additional oil demand projected by almost all oil forecasts (both inside and outside the industry) needed between 2035 and 2040.

    Without the U.S. Arctic, the other areas projected to make major contributions by this time are Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, shale oil around the world (including North America), the Orinoco region of Venezuela, and the pre-salt offshore Brazil. Needless to say, given the political turmoil in Iraq, Iran, Venezuela, and Brazil—as well as concerns about the long term stability of Saudi Arabia—one has to wonder: Where will the world discover additional, reliable crude oil supplies without a major contribution from the Arctic?

    Many in the environmental community argue that we will not need fossil fuels in the future, predicting a turn to renewables, enhanced energy efficiency, large scale battery storage, and electric vehicles. Unfortunately, this has no basis in fact. Clearly renewables will grow exponentially as their prices fall, new technologies will increase energy efficiency, large scale battery storage will commence, and many electric vehicles will hit the road. But there are currently more than 260 million gas and diesel vehicles running on U.S. roads alone, with less than 1 percent of these running on electricity. With transportation fuel demand mushrooming globally, it’s unlikely that oil consumption in the transportation sector will die or even decline significantly.

    With the world’s population forecast to rise by 1.6 billion people by 2035, do we really think global oil demand won’t continue to rise?

    Alaska is a state, not a park.

    Arctic inhabitants—both natives and others—of course want to keep the Arctic safe, but they do not want to make it a museum.

    Development of the region’s resources accounts for nearly 95 percent of Alaska’s revenues. If we deny its development, are we prepared to make a line item in the federal budget to pay for Alaska to remain a park?

    Charles Ebinger, Director, Energy Security Initiative; Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy

    • Boomer II says:

      The United States should be actively involved in helping to ensure that Arctic resources are developed and used prudently—rather than sit on the sidelines with myopic dreams of leaving the region a pristine wilderness. Arctic inhabitants—both natives and others—of course want to keep the Arctic safe, but they do not want to make it a museum.

      But my impression was that Shell drilled in its best spot and came up short. What resources does the author of this piece think we’ll develop?

      • Fred Magyar says:

        The United States should be actively involved in helping to ensure that Arctic resources are developed and used prudently—rather than sit on the sidelines with myopic dreams of leaving the region a pristine wilderness.

        Myopic Dreams?! My ass!

        The United States and any other country whose leaders and citizens who have not yet fully grasped that we are living on a finite planet and still hold views such as those of the author of this article are the ones suffering from deep delusion and true myopia.

        The continuation of the status quo base on a linear and extractive economy that treats resources and waste sinks as ininite could indeed be called a dream, though this kind of dream is better know as a nightmare. It would be best if we all woke up from such horrendous dreams. Apparently Shell and other large players in the oil business are already getting a rather rude awakening and are being forced to smell the coffee.

        There is a much much better way and it depends precisely on a closer symbiosis and connection with nature and a deeper understanding of why we can no longer allow the individuals with such shortsighted vision to continue to lead us.

        Fortunately there is a crop of potential leaders and global citizens out there and with a completely new vision and understanding about the economic path we need to embark upon!

        We need to transition from the old linear economic model to a cicular one, that more closely emulates self sustaining regenerative complex ecosystems. This is not a dream, nature has done 3.8 billion years of R&D on how to make such systems work and the proof is in the pudding!

        I’m not normally a huge fan of economists but the guy in this video sums up both our predicament and what we need to do about it. I would like to suggest that everyone of us take his message to heart!

        https://goo.gl/YoOzVr

        • Ronald Walter says:

          Yes, I agree, and Native Americans can return to running buffalo over cliffs by the hundreds at the foot of the Rockies once more… As soon as the buffalo return to the landscape by the millions once more, until then, it’ll just have to be cattle.

          Humans are burning through oil like Buffalo Bill slaughtered bison.

          The pictures of buffalo bones by the wagonload are out there.

          Buffalo bones shipped to Iowa and points east were good fertilizer. Business was good. Mankind will always exploit what can be exploited, it will be done profligately. Buffalo bones happened to be easy pickins with a Sharps 50 calibre, the business kept on.

          Until it couldn’t and buffalo bones increased from eight dollars per ton to 22 dollars per ton, then there they were, gone.

          Believe me when I tell you that Lake Kluane will remain a wilderness area up there in The Yukon.

          I see productive farmland lay idle by the thousands of acres these days, land that was once farm and ranch land three decades ago. Back to wilderness, frontier, a return to the natural state. People left and they aren’t coming back.

          A future skyscraper over in China is on hold and the foundation is now a lake filled with fish by fish farmers, it happens sooner than one would think, it’s circular, just have to avoid all of the building and misuse of resources from the start and not build the skyscraper, fish to eat is better than 120 stories of concrete and copper.

          http://gizmodo.com/the-foundation-of-the-worlds-next-tallest-building-is-j-1717808851?utm_source=taboola

          • Fred Magyar says:

            A future skyscraper over in China is on hold and the foundation is now a lake filled with fish by fish farmers, it happens sooner than one would think, it’s circular, just have to avoid all of the building and misuse of resources from the start and not build the skyscraper, fish to eat is better than 120 stories of concrete and copper.

            LOL!
            When Broad’s proposal was first floated, the company’s General Manager in the US, Sunny Wang, told Gizmodo that the only thing stopping construction was gaining official clearance.

            Actually the Chinese used to be really good at fish farming at one time.
            Maybe it will make a comeback with them as well!

            Here’s another interesting idea, 3D ocean farming. These guys are among the 2015 finalists in the BFI challenge.
            http://greenwave.org/3d-ocean-farming/

            In any case, all I’m saying is, that as I look out at the world around me I can clearly see that the systems we have put in place are broken. I get the feeling I’m not the only one who has this impression.

            At the end of the day the only reason Shell is not going ahead with drilling in the Arctic is because it isn’t economically viable and neither are the systems we currently depend on. I’m a firm believer in: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”!

            Would all the people out there who wholeheartedly believe that the system ain’t broke, please raise their hands! Anyone?

            • MarbleZeppelin says:

              Don’t worry, anything they put on land will get sucked into ponds, bogs, divots and sinkholes as the permafrost melts. Alaska will turn into a park no matter what we do, one filled with mosquitos and black flies.

        • Glenn Stehle says:

          Fred Magyar,

          Yesterday you linked a video in which Larry Krauss says:

          (minute 42:20) Look, first of all most scientists can’t spell philosophy. And so, none of them read it. So I agree we are all ignorant philosophically…. But the point is, I’m an empiricist, so my empirical proof that philosophy is irrelevant is no scientists know anything about philosophy, but look what’s happened. In spite of the fact that we don’t know anything about philosophy, or at least we don’t read philosophy, we’ve been able to discover all these things about the universe, create vaccines, figure out the evolution of life. So somehow, the ignorance of philosophy hasn’t gotten in the way.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MFAko80vgwg

          So I wonder, comparing Krauss’s comments to those made by Potocnik:

          1) Potocnik portrays a rather unpleasant current reality. Are science worshipers like Krauss justified in taking that victory lap around the utilitarian track just yet?

          2) How do you reconcile Krauss’s Positivism and his sublime view of technology’s accomplishments with our current reality, as described Janez Potocnik?

          3) How is Krauss’ science going to concretely, or even theoretically, help us to prepare for the social, political and economic changes that are coming, as set out by Janez?

          4) If science takes all the credit for this wonderful universe Krauss claims it has created, does it not also have to take all the blame if things in the future don’t work out quite so well?

          • Fred Magyar says:

            Glenn,
            2) How do you reconcile Krauss’s Positivism and his sublime view of technology’s accomplishments with our current reality, as described Janez Potocnik?

            I’m not going to pretend to be able to speak for Krauss but I suspect that completely misses the point Krauss was making. To begin with I think you are confusing science with technology. While there is no technology without science. Krauss is defending the results of our increase in our general knowledge of how the universe works due to the contributions of science. He is not in my opinion professing a sublime view of technology but he is saying we wouldn’t have any technology for better or for worse without the contribution of science and scientists.

            3) How is Krauss’ science going to concretely, or even theoretically, help us to prepare for the social, political and economic changes that are coming, as set out by Janez?

            First, let’s be clear it isn’t Krauss’ science or any one individual’s either. Science is a highly collaborative enterprise. Krauss is a particle physicist working in cosmology so to ask him to have solutions in the social or political and economic realms is probably asking a bit too much and I think he would be the first to admit that!

            Now I think there are fields of science that certainly can and do help us on all those fronts. Biology, anthropology and neuroscience come to mind as fields that can help us better understand ourselves and our behaviors. We might then use that knowledge to consciously build better social cohesion among our different tribes.

            4) If science takes all the credit for this wonderful universe Krauss claims it has created, does it not also have to take all the blame if things in the future don’t work out quite so well?

            Again, lets be very clear, neither Krauss nor any other scientist that I’m aware of claims to take credit for creating the universe, wonderful though it may be. Krauss repeats over and over that the universe is the way it is whether he, or any of us likes it or not. The universe was not built for us nor does it care about us one way or another we are just one of the consequence of all those random quantum mechanical fluctuations that happened 13.72 billion years ago that lead to the big bang. Before which, BTW, there was no universe, as we conceive of it today, nor was there even time.

            Now if you wish to discuss Janez’s points, that’s a whole nuther ball of wax and a different dissertation altogether but Janez is saying that change is unavoidable not because of the laws of economics but because of the hard laws of physics and thermodynamics. Further more he claims that we need to learn from the complex non linear systems such as ecosystems to better understand how we might create such systems to found a completely new economic paradigm that is no longer based on an extractive linear model. To do that we are going to need all the help that science can possibly give us!

            • Glenn Stehle says:

              Fred,

              I am not confusing science with technology. But I do listen carefully to what people say.

              And if one listens to Krauss carefully, what Krauss says is that “I come up with predictions that are good and allow me to make tests and allow me to build technologies that make the world a better place.”

              But then later Krauss, at minute 59:55, says something very different:

              To me, the value of science is not technology. It’s the ideas. It’s the very ideas that have fired philosophers and theologians. It’s the ideas that are fundamental to our being. Why are we here? Where are we going? What are we made of? And science addresses them in the same that art, literature and music address them. It forces us to reassess our place in the cosmos. The minute we stop asking those questions it’s not worth being human any more.

              This of course sounds rather strange coming from someone who claims so adamantly to be an empiricist. I say this because Hobbes, the founder of empiricism, adopted Bacon’s notion that science must be practical rather than theoretical.

              Hobbes specifically rejected the teachings of the scholastics and the humanists which held that humans are motivated by high-flown ideals, and are equipped with a free will to act upon them. He instead opted for the Calvinist notion of predestination, which served as the basis of Hobbes mechanistic notion of causality. He thus saw humans as natural creatures subject to nature’s all-powerful will. Hobbes was, quite unlike Descartes and the rationalists, therefore not apt to see individuals humanistically as sovereign beings choosing of their free will their own actions. (This tenet of empiricism Krauss remains faithful to, and he repeats it in his closing remarks.)

              “For Hobbes,” Michael Allen Gillespie explains, “thinking begins not with a sense of the overwhelming and inexplicable bounty of being but with a recognition that misery and death are close at hand and that we need to preserve ourselves.” This leads us to a search for “the invisible causes behind all things.” The final step is the recognition that by understanding causes we can develop a science that will make us masters and possesors of nature and enable us to preserve ourselves in this world.

              The goal of empiricism is thus not merely to understand the world but to change it, to give human beings the power to preserve themselves and improve their earthly lot. So empiricism is very much a “this worldly,” mundane and pragmatic approach to knowledge. And as Gillespie goes on to explain, “it is not the rejection of religion that produces modern natural and political science but the theological demonstration of religion’s irrelevance for life in this world.”

              In De corpore, Hobbes asserts:

              The end of philosophy is, that we may make use to our benefit of effects formerly seen; or that by application of bodies to another, we may produce the like effects of those we conceive in our mind, as far forth as matter, strength, and industry, will permit, for the commodity of human life. For the inward glory and triumph of the mind that a man may have for the mastering of some difficult and doubtful matter, or for the discovery of some hidden truth, is not worth so much pains as the study of Philosophy requires; nor need any man care much to teach another what he knows himself if he thinks that will be the only benefit of his labour. The end of knowledge is power…and lastly, the scope of all speculation is the performing of some action, or thing to be done.

              Thus, as Gillespie goes on to explain, according to empiricism the “goal of philosophy or science is thus not theoretical, nor is it pursued because it brings its possessors fame. Rather it is eminently practical, pursued because it gives one power, security, and prosperity, and pursued not out of idel curiosity or piety but in response to the pervasive fear that unsettles human life. Science, as Hobbes understands it, will thus make it possible for human beings to survive and thrive in a chaotic and dangerous world.”

              Krauss, in typical Modernist fashion, of course believes none of this history and evolution of thought matters. He, like all Modernists, believes he made a clean break and left all that old philosophy and superstition behind. This is a necessary step for realizing the much-heralded scientific transformation of society.

              As Stephen Toulmin explains, “neither Descartes nor Locke had much doubt that the very diversity and contradictions of traditional, inherited, local ways of thought required philosophers to emancipate themselves from the constraints of those traditions.” But, as Toulmin goes on to observe, “there is no way of cutting ourselves free of our conceptual inheritance,” as Krauss and other Modernist thinkers would have us believe.

              Krauss claims to be an empiricist, but of course that’s not what he serves up. What he serves up instead is a smorgasbord of empricism, rationalism, and theology.

              And on top of this Krauss professes knowledge of everything, all the way from physics to human behavior and the “fundamental equations, which are second order differential equations,” which Krauss says determine human behavior. (Do I need to point out the extent to which this claim flies in the face of empirical epistemology?).

              So Krauss in the end winds up serving as a great example confirming something that Montaigne said:

              It is an almost universal characteristic of human nature that human beings think they know when in fact their thinking is mostly muddled and misguided. Their presumption leaves them prey to rhetoric (including poetry) and enthusasiasm that in turn produce misery and destruction.

              • Fred Magyar says:

                Glenn,

                The main purpose of pure science is to provide us with useful models of reality and to build up a body of knowledge that we can then use in applied science to address human needs.

                It does not in any way shape or form pretend to address human purpose or the so called great philosophical questions of how to live, what values to pursue, what meaning to give life, how to achieve a just and free society, and how to be a fully realized and free human being.

                That is for each of us to do according to how we see fit. We have to find our own value and purpose in our lives within our communities.

                • Glenn Stehle says:

                  Fred

                  I agree with everything you say.

                  But that’s not what Krauss said.

                  Let me repeat once more what Krauss said in the program you linked:

                  To me, the value of science is not technology. It’s the ideas. It’s the very ideas that have fired philosophers and theologians. It’s the ideas that are fundamental to our being. Why are we here? Where are we going? What are we made of?

                  So Krauss’s science is a far more ambitious science than the science of very limited scope which you speak of. His is a Modernist notion of science, which we’ve known for at least 70 years is in serious need of an overhaul.

                  For instance, Stephen Toulmin concludes in the final paragraph of Cosmopolis that:

                  Looking back at the intellectually challenging years between 1650 and 1950, from a position of lesser confidence but greater modesty, we can appreciate why the projects of Modernity carried the conviction they did. Not the least of these charms was an oversimplification that, in retrospect, was unrealistic… The seduction of High Modernity lay in its abstract neatness and theoretical simplicity: both of these features blinded the succesors of Descartes to the unavoidable complexities of concrete human experience.

                  But it doesn’t stop there, because Hobbes’ empiricism is now also very much coming under fire. For it’s beginning to look like not only do we not all reason alike, but we don’t even perceive sense stimuli alike.

                  Since Toulmin published his book in 1990, there have been revolutionary new insights made possible by the new technology of brain imaging which show that we don’t all perceive sense stimuli the same. Some of this human heterogeneity is genetic. For more on this, see these two lectures by VS Ramachandran, Director for the Center of Brain and Cognition and professor with the Psychology Department and the Neurosciences Program at the University of California, San Diego:

                  http://thesciencenetwork.org/programs/beyond-belief-enlightenment-2-0/v-s-ramachandran

                  http://thesciencenetwork.org/programs/beyond-belief-science-religion-reason-and-survival/session-4-1

                  This genetic uniqueness comes on top of earlier findings which show cultural differences in the way we perceive sense stimuli.

                  It sounds to me like Krauss probably follows empiricism pretty faithfully in his own field of physics. But when he begins pontificating on things like psychology, biology, the social sciences, epistemology, and theology — things which he obviously knows absolutely nothing about — then it’s all speculation. And even worse, it’s speculation completely disconnected from the concrete realities and complexities of human experience.

                  And on top of that is layered the militancy and combativeness. Krauss is extraordinarily polemical, verbally prolix, and always violently certain in his assertions. He speaks a great deal of nonsense which is frequently incoherent and irrelevant. Nevertheless, the cumulative effect of his words conveys pure idealism and the vibrancy of pure and total commitment.

                  So just like Richard Dawkins comes across as being the Donald Trump of evolutionary biology, Krauss comes across as being the Donald Trump of physics.

                  Krauss and Dawkins probably do this on purpose, because as Trump has demonstrated, a great many people, and the media, love it.

                  • Fred Magyar says:

                    Glenn,

                    Krauss makes no pretense about what he himself calls playing to the crowd. He is a popularizer of science. he is an entertainer as well. He writes books for a lay audience but he is also a real scientist who does science and research.

                    He also makes no bones about being quite rude to those who profess to haveing a deep and special knowledge about the universe such as theologians, but who in reality know absolutely nothing and have nothing of value to add to a scientific conversation.

                    I heard Krauss say these words too:

                    To me, the value of science is not technology. It’s the ideas. It’s the very ideas that have fired philosophers and theologians. It’s the ideas that are fundamental to our being. Why are we here? Where are we going? What are we made of?

                    He also said every human is a philosopher and that he himself is one despite the fact that he says he is not interested in answering philosophical questions. That may sound like a huge contradiction but in reality the questions he is interested in answering are questions that depend on empirical verification of reality.

                    Sure, all science by definition starts with questions, ideas, and hypotheses. But they only are accepted into the body of scientific knowledge once they rise to level of theory, and by theory I mean it in the scientific and not the layman’s sense.

                    Again I don’t want to put words in Krauss’ mouth but I think that what Krauss means by saying that he wants to answer questions such as why we are here, he isn’t seeking for some source of higher purpose. He is looking for the answers that Universe is providing him.

                    He says,that whether any of us likes it or not, it is looking like the universe we live in emerged from the Big Bang at the beginning of time, from bubbling brew of quantum mechanical fluctuations and this in and of itself does not provide us with a purpose. Krauss is saying that neither philosophy nor theology provide this knowledge. Only science does.

                  • Glenn Stehle says:

                    Fred Magyar said:

                    He [Krauss] is a popularizer of science.

                    Mounting a frontal assault on the overwhelming majority (religious people) is a strange way to “popularize” something. The logic of how that is a good tactic to win friends and influence people has always escaped me.

                    But maybe that’s not the real purpose of the belligerence. It could also have usefulness for political and economic entrepreneurs in their “group making,” as Rogers Bru.baker has described it. But again, how anyone could classify that as a scientific project is beyond me.

                    The only historical precedent I know of where advocates of a tiny minority, like the New Atheists, have so brazenly attacked a vastly larger majority in the way the New Atheists do is Act Up (Aids Coalition to Unleash Power). Act UP was a direct action advocacy group formed in the late 1980s to bring about legislation and funding for medical research to fight aids.

                    The Stop the Church protests organized by Act Up proved not only to be highly controversial outside the LGBT community, but also within. I am attaching an example of some of the art work Act Up used in its protests to give you an idea of the tone.

                    The Stop the Church protests were criticized as “stupid and wrong-headed” by Andy Humm, a spokesman for the Coalition for Gay and Lesbian Rights, while one ACT UP leader, Peter Staley, denounced the protest as an “utter failure” and a “selfish, macho thing.”

                    And as the LGBT movement became more mainstream, Act Up was pushed off the stage and the Madison Avenue folks took over.

                  • Glenn Stehle says:

                    Fred Magyar said:

                    He [Krauss] is a popularizer of science.

                    Mounting a frontal assault on the overwhelming majority (religious people) is a strange way to “popularize” something. The logic of how that is a good tactic to win friends and influence people has always escaped me.

                    But maybe that’s not the real purpose of the belligerence. It could also have usefulness for political and economic entrepreneurs in their “group making,” as Rogers Bru.baker has described it. But again, how anyone could classify that as a scientific project is beyond me.

                  • Glenn Stehle says:

                    Fred Magyar said:

                    He [Krauss] is a popularizer of science.

                    Mounting a frontal assault on the overwhelming majority (religious people) is a strange way to “popularize” something. The logic of how that is a good tactic to win friends and influence people has always escaped me.

                    But maybe that’s not the real purpose of the belligerence. It could also have usefulness for political and economic entrepreneurs in their “group making,” as Rog.. ers. Bru …baker has described it. But again, how anyone could classify that as a scientific project is beyond me.

                    The only historical precedent I know of where advocates of a tiny minority, like the New Atheists, have so brazenly attacked a vastly larger majority in the way the New Atheists do is Act Up (Aids Coalition to Unleash Power). Act UP was a direct action advocacy group formed in the late 1980s to bring about legislation and funding for medical research to fight aids.

                    The Stop the Church protests organized by Act Up proved not only to be highly controversial outside the LGBT community, but also within. I am attaching an example of some of the art work Act Up used in its protests to give you an idea of the tone.

                    The Stop the Church protests were criticized as “stupid and wrong-headed” by Andy Humm, a spokesman for the Coalition for Gay and Lesbian Rights, while one ACT UP leader, Peter Staley, denounced the protest as an “utter failure” and a “selfish, macho thing.”

                    And as the LGBT movement became more mainstream, Act Up was pushed off the stage and the Madison Avenue folks took over with a much softer, and much less muscular, touch.

                  • Mounting a frontal assault on the overwhelming majority (religious people) is a strange way to “popularize” something.

                    Glenn, fighting ignorance is an important part of popularizing science.

                  • Glenn Stehle says:

                    Fred,

                    I agree that Krauss is incoherent, such as with the example you cite of his conflicting statements on the purpose of science. He no sooner says one thing until, a few minutes later, he turns around and says something entirely different. Listening to him is kind of like reading the Bible.

                    Another good example of where Krauss conflates his science with his theology and becomes incoherent is when he talks about the freedom of the human will.

                    The debate over free will runs like a thread through Christian theology. (Krauss’s comments to Stefan Gustavsson indicate he is not knowledgeable of this fact). Some of the major participants in this dispute have been Augustine and Pelagius in the 4th century and Erasmus, Luther and Calvin in the 16th. When human thought began the long process of desacularization in the 17th century, then the debate became secularized, with the naturalists on the side of no free will and the humanists on the side of free will. The result is that now free will has become an area of contention in the atheist community between the humanists and the naturalists (a fact of which Krauss also seems to lack knowledge).

                    As I noted before, when Krauss practices his physics it sounds as if he adheres closely to the emprical method. For instance, I very much liked his comments describing how with mathematics he can createmany universes, some of them quite beautiful and elegant. But then afterwards, these universes must be put to the empirical test, regardless of whether they’re beautiful or not.

                    But compare that to when Krauss ventures into matters outside of physics, such as human behavior and the human will. Here once more he conflates his science with his theology, with the end result being that the empirical method suddenly gets tossed out the window once more. Take this exchange from Krauss, for instance:

                    Now what I did say is that I don’t think there’s free will except the universe acts as if there’s free will… So the world is so complicated that effectively, or operationally, we behave as if we have free will. It’s indistinguishable from a world in which there’s free will. Yet I know the fundamental equations, which are second order differential equations, are deterministic. So the underlying equations which govern reality are deterministic but the effect of the world that behaves as if we have free will….

                    Phew! Well I guess if you can’t dazzle ‘em with the facts, them baffle ‘em with bullshit. This is nothing but theology papered over with a veneer of mathematics to make it sound “scientific,” so as to put the imprimatur of science upon one’s own theology and philosophy.

                    If that is not the case, then why all the labyrinthine theorizing to deny the existence of human will? What has Krauss done with Occam’s Razor and the rule to keep scientific explanations as simple and unconvoluted as possible? What happened to Krauss’s earlier comments about how if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it’s a duck? Why does Krauss believe that the human senses have failed us and don’t reflect reality in this particular case? And what is his empirical evidence for coming to this conclusión? Did Krauss put the mathemarical model he created using “second order differential equations” to any empirical test? Does he really believe it is posible to use a few mathematical equations to create a model which captures “so complicated” a world? And what’s wrong with just saying: “I don’t know”?

                    It almost sounds like Krauss is channelling some neoclassical economist like Paul Samuelson or Milton Friedman. D. McClosky describes the practice they established in modern economics as the “Samuelson vice” – the tendency “in economics over the career of Paul Samuelson…[to] drift away from scientific values and towards mathematical ones” for their own sake. “An economist can paint with a mathematical brush no less than a Van Gogh can use a brush of another kind.”

                    Friedman made no bones about using the Samuelson vice. As Nassim Nicholas Taleb notes:

                    Economists often invoke a strange argument by Milton Friedman (1962, 1982) that states that models do not have to have realistic assumptions to be aceptable – giving them license to produce severely defective mathematical representations of reality. The problem of course is that these Gaussianizations do not have realistic assumptions and do not produce reliable results.

                    Or as John Gray puts it: “The decoupling of economics from history has led to a pervasive unrealism in the discipline.”

                    And now, beginning with the Great Financial Crisis beginning in 2007, we’re all paying the price for putting ideology over science.

                  • Glenn Stehle says:

                    Ron,

                    I agree that “fighting ignorance is an important part of popularizing science.”

                    But fighting ignorance with even more ignorance, as Krauss does when he ventures outside his field of expertise (physics), to me doesn’t seem like a very good way to go about it.

                  • Glenn quotes Krauss:

                    Now what I did say is that I don’t think there’s free will except the universe acts as if there’s free will… So the world is so complicated that effectively, or operationally, we behave as if we have free will. It’s indistinguishable from a world in which there’s free will. Yet I know the fundamental equations, which are second order differential equations, are deterministic. So the underlying equations which govern reality are deterministic but the effect of the world that behaves as if we have free will….

                    Then Glenn says:

                    Phew! Well I guess if you can’t dazzle ‘em with the facts, them baffle ‘em with bullshit. This is nothing but theology papered over with a veneer of mathematics to make it sound “scientific,” so as to put the imprimatur of science upon one’s own theology and philosophy.

                    Glenn, the fact that you call that paragraph bullshit tells me you really do not understand what Krauss is talking about. That paragraph makes perfect sense to me. In fact in my debates about free will I have often made the same argument. That is we do not have free will yet we all must behave as if we do have free will. And even though the universe is very deterministic it is indistinguishable from a universe where free will exist. That’s why free will is an illusion.

                    The fact that you don’t understand that argument of Krauss’ tells me you don’t really understand the argument about free will. I found his argument very lucid and understandable. Have you read my essay on free will?

                    The Grand Illusion

                  • Glenn Stehle says:

                    Ron,

                    There are many types of determinism, and the biological-cultural determinism which you believe in undoubtedly stands on much firmer ground than Krauss’s nomological, physical determinism, which was first articulated by Pierre-Simon Laplace in 1814.

                    Nevertheless, biological-cultural determinism has recently suffered some significant broadsides with the emerging science of epigenetics and brain imaging in neuroscience. Deepak Chopra explains in this article:

                    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/deepak-chopra/i-am-the-master-of-my-fat_b_6054828.html

                    As Chopra explains, what cutting-edge science is telling us is that “individual choice is the key to conscious evolution.” He concludes that, “Without knowing how much of your destiny you can master, it’s best to assume that your potential for mastery is much greater than anyone now supposes.”

                    The bottom line is that if we don’t believe we can make decisions and act to change things for the better, then the alternative is to fall into an orgy of passive nihilism and fatalism.

                  • The bottom line is that if we don’t believe we can make decisions and act to change things for the better, then the alternative is to fall into an orgy of passive nihilism and fatalism.

                    Quite obviously you didn’t read my essay, or you did and did not understand it at all.

                    Of course we make choices. Of course we can change things for the better. The point is, the point that you obviously do not understand, is all the choices we make are the product of our genetic makeup and our past experiences. We are our genes and all our past experiences and that’s all we are. Every action we have, ever wish we have, is the product of our genetic makeup and all of our past experience.

                    “There is no such thing as free will. The mind is induced to wish this or that by some cause and that cause is determined by another cause, and so back to infinity”.
                    Spinoza: Ethics

                    Either you understand that last sentence or you don’t. And you obviously don’t.

                    Let’s conclude this debate Glenn because you obviously do not understand what the free will – determinism debate is all about. You think it means we don’t make choices. Of course we make choices. It’s all about why we make the choices we make.

                  • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                    Hi guys, it has been ages since I thought about determinism/free will, but I seem to recall that one of my last thoughts about it was, along with the uncertainty principle, that if the universe is infinite and/or if there are an infinite number of universes, perhaps each slightly off (dissimilar), fractally, than the other whereby every possible choice at any given moment in time is made, then that might function as a kind of escape-hatch for deterministic bounds. And/Or (therefore) that free will is both possible and impossible, depending on what we’re talking about.
                    In any case, fundamental unpredictability along with infinity seems a little different than a closed (formal? black box?) system with set rules and predictable processes across the board. When consciousness interacts with matter, apparently sometimes it can affect its state randomly and unpredictably. And if the universe or universes, themselves, are infinite consciousnesses, then, Houston, we have a problem…

                    …But it’s been awhile… Now, if you will excuse me, I have to head over to repair my Heisenberg Compensator… In the mean time, I might still be here, or there, or both, it will just depend…

        • Glenn Stehle says:

          Fred,

          So I wonder, comparing Potocnik’s comments to those Krauss made on the panel discussion you linked yesterday:

          1) Potocnik portrays a rather unpleasant current reality. Are science worshipers like Krauss justified in taking that victory lap around the utilitarian track just yet?

          2) How can Krauss’s Positivism and his sublime view of technology’s accomplishments be reconciled with our current reality, as described Janez Potocnik?

          3) How is Krauss’ science going to concretely, or even theoretically, help us to prepare for the social, political and economic changes that are coming, as set out by Janez?

          4) If science and technology take all the credit for this wonderful universe Krauss claims they have created, do they not not also have to take all the blame if things in the future don’t work out quite so well (over-population, global warming, natural resource depletion, etc.)?

          • Are science worshipers like Krauss justified in taking that victory lap around the utilitarian track just yet?

            Glenn, that statement betrays a serious bias in your thinking. Krauss does not “worship” science. Some people who worship a deity believe that everyone must worship something. Therefore if they are scientists, and don’t worship a deity, they must therefor worship science.

            Is it not possible that some folks just don’t need to worship anything? Or is it necessary that a person must worship something?

            • Glenn Stehle says:

              Ron,

              It really doesn’t matter what you call it.

              You can call it scientism, logical positivism, the tyrrany of objectivism, scientific materialism, the dictatorship of the scientist kings, the positivist faith, the cultural rationalization of the modern West, excessive reductionism, scientific fundamentalism, scientific expansionism, the myth of Progress, scientific naturalism, the public rhetoric of science, Occidental rationalism, instrumental rationality, ideological scientificallity, the culture of technical control, or any number of other names which thinkers have used to identify it.

              But regardless of what you call it, we’re still sitting around, waiting for the scientific transformation of society, not unlike many are still sitting around waiting for the second coming of Christ.

              How long’s it been now? Almost 400 years?

              This is not to say that science has not had its victories. When it comes to improving the material standard of living of some of the world’s population, it has been a wonder to behold. But most of this largess has befallen a rather limited, but highly fortunate, minority. I include myself in this minority.

              But science, unless you’re a Valley Girl and share their vapid materialism, has utterly failed when it comes to adressing other human purposes such as the great philosophical questions of how to live, what values to pursue, what meaning to give life, how to achieve a just and free society, and how to be a fully realized and free human being. And in fact, some would argue that it has proved to be more than a hindrance. It has been a total disaster. This failure of science was the source of all the disillusionment in the wake of WWI, the Great Depression and WWII.

              And so now, when it looks like science may not even be able to continue bringing the bacon home, it is all of a sudden going to have revolutionary breakthroughs in the non-material aspects of human existence?

              Where is the empirical evidence of that? And I’m not talking about Krauss’s “second order differential equations.”

              • But regardless of what you call it, we’re still sitting around, waiting for the scientific transformation of society, not unlike many are still sitting around waiting for the second coming of Christ.

                Total absolute nonsense. You may be sitting around waiting for science to transform society but scientist surely are not. Really Glenn, that’s the first time I have heard that one. “We are all waiting for science to transform society”. Like sitting on a park bench waiting for Godot. What a joke.

                But actually science has already transformed society. All the inventions that brought on the industrial revolution was made possible by science. And for sure science brought on the green revolution. Because of science we are able to feed far more people from a partial of land than we were before the green revolution. And science made possible the medical revolution. Science is responsible for the population explosion! And if the population explosion was not a transformation of society then I don’t know what is. Of course that transformation, the population explosion, will eventually lead to great misery but that’s another story.

                But science has utterly failed when it comes to addressing other human purposes such as the great philosophical questions of how to live, what values to pursue, what meaning to give life, how to achieve a just and free society, and how to be a fully realized and free human being.

                Oh my goodness. What a straw man you have set up. It is not the job of science to answer any philosophical question whatsoever. Science is not a government, science is not law enforcement, science cannot change human nature and it is not the job of science to even attempt to change human nature.

                Good gravey, you point to all the problems of society and say: “See what a horrible mess society is in? Well that’s all the fault of science. Science has failed to deliver to us a perfect society, science has failed to give us Utopia.”

                Bullshit! It is not the job of science to do any of that. But it could be said that this is the job of religion. And in that case religion has utterly failed to give us a better society.

                One more thing, a short look at the world before science did transform it. A look at life after the Black Death. The Black Death ended about 1350.

                Life After The Black Death

                “Sennely is a typical self-sufficient village near the French City of Orleans. It consists of subsistence farmers whose needs are supplied locally: rye grain for bread, cattle, pigs, apples, pears, plums, chestnuts, garden vegetables, fish in the ponds, and bees for honey and wax.

                “Population and resources are more-or-less in balance because of the poor health of the residents: they tended to be stunted, bent over, and of a yellowish complexion. By the time children were ten or twelve, they assumed the generally unpleasant appearance of their elders: they moved slowly, had poor teeth, and distended bellies. Girls reached the age of 18 before first ministration.

                “Malnutrition was the norm. One third of the babies died in the first year and only one third reached adulthood. Most couples had only one or two children before their marriage was broken by the death of one parent. ‘Yet, for all that, Sennely was not badly off when compared to other villages.'”

                George Huppert, “After the Black Death” [p. 3]

                Science delivered the world from all that. But religion had tried for centuries to give us a better world and utterly failed. Religion has always been a failure.

                • Old Farmer Mac says:

                  Well expressed and on the money Ron, but I would not go so far as to say religion has always been a failure.

                  I am not at all sure the world would be any better place or any more advanced that it is had there never been any religions.

                  Some other organizing principle such as race might have dominated history with equal or worse results.

                  Incidentally there are PLENTY of free online history courses you can watch these days such as this one, which was recorded at YALE.

                  It’s largely about the reasons the Roman Empire lasted as long as it did, why it fell, and the role of Christianity in Roman history.

                  it is a SUPERB series of lectures. FREE.

                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZC8JcWVRFp8

                  I am gradually working my way thru a whole slew of such courses. Being stuck inside is not ALL bad.

                • Doug Leighton says:

                  “Another way in which the Catholic Church exerted its political power to control people was through its issuance of a new decree, one unique to Quebec that historians call “the revenge of the cradle.” The decree stipulated that Francophone women were to give birth every year. The clergy were very vigilant in making sure this was followed. If a woman had no children or stopped bearing children, she was subject to scorn and rejection, often to the point of expulsion from the church. Women lived in fear and carried this heavy burden. Even if a health risk was involved, women were required to bear children year after year; many women died as a result of this practice. It was not unusual to see families with 15-20, even 25, children.”

                  • Ronald Walter says:

                    The US Congress’ new decrees are also known as ‘individual mandates’, i.e. government replaces the religious decrees, i.e. you must obey, i.e. government becomes the newest religion you must follow, in essence, you are forced to follow the religion of government, albeit cleverly disguised as not a religion but is really a religion. har

                    Complicated stuff.

                    Another fool’s maneuver.

                    The only option is to reject it all, refuse any and all of it.

                  • Ronald, the government does not become a religion simply because it has laws that must be obeyed.

                    Religion – noun
                    1. a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.

                    People often call any belief that they don’t like a religion. People often call atheism a religion when it is the opposite of religion. People often call science a religion when it has nothing to do with religion. Now here is Ronald who calls government a religion.

                    A religion needs a non human deity that must be worshipped. And all religions are based of faith. Faith is belief without proof and far more likely belief in spite of proof to the contrary.

                    Atheism is not a religion.
                    Science is not a religion.
                    And for damn sure, government is not a religion.

                  • Boomer II says:

                    And all religions are based of faith. Faith is belief without proof and far more likely belief in spite of proof to the contrary.

                    I would think that is the main thing.

                    If your belief system allows for testing of ideas and is open to change when new information becomes available, I wouldn’t call it a religion.

                    If, on the other hand, your belief system requires you to accept it even when there is evidence to disprove it, then it more closely fits a religion.

                  • Glenn Stehle says:

                    The evolutionary biologist David Sloan Wilson says that one of the universal characterisitics of religions is that they depart from factual reality.

                    And in this regard, traditional religions are not significantly different from what he calls the “secular stealth religions” of Modernism and the Enlightenment.

                    Here’s a lecture to the Science Network where he talks about this:

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

                  • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                    Ron,
                    The state, as opposed to ‘government’ per se, seems to qualify as a religion, at least according to my interpretation of Wikipedia’s entry’s first paragraph:

                    “A religion is an organized collection of beliefs, cultural systems, and world views that relate humanity to an order of existence. Many religions have narratives, symbols, and sacred histories that aim to explain the meaning of life, the origin of life, or the Universe. From their beliefs about the cosmos and human nature, people may derive morality, ethics, religious laws, or a preferred lifestyle.” ~ Wikipedia

                    So, if so, you know where you can stick the state religion, which, by its seriously-flawed and corrupt laws and its coercion/violence, is not so different than what Doug’s women-must-make-lots-of-babies-or-else comment suggests.

                    But even so, I don’t care if it qualifies as a religion or not. It’s still no good, so you can shove it the same place.
                    If you want your state, knock yourself out, just don’t impose it on others– you know, like ‘bringing democracy to the world’ (one bomb at a time)?

                    We’re too old for this coercive undemocratic, ethically-bankrupt, irredeemable garbage, and it’s this garbage that’s bringing everything down.

                  • Caelan, that is absurd. If describe a religion only by what it may contain then you could include everything as a religion, the Boy Scouts, the Lions Club, the Rotary Club, the Army, the Navy and just about every other organization in the world.

                    Nonsense, a religion must have deity, worship that deity and must be based on faith.

                  • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                    Statism: The Most Dangerous Religion

                    Quote from video:
                    “It is a religion in every way. It has a superhuman deity- government- that has rights that mere mortals don’t. It isn’t restricted by the rules that apply to mortals…”

                    Is Statism A Religion?: 78% Yes, 22% No

                    “A statist government treats its political sovereignty as a platform for moral sovereignty. In other words, as ultimate sovereign, the state is therefore not subject to God, the Bible, natural law, or any other religion or ethical system. A statist government need not be accountable to its own citizens.

                    The philosopher Georg Hegel described the state as ‘God walking on earth’. In other words, as the state is the ultimate power in life, it assumes the status of God and can do as it pleases. This line of thinking influenced the political thought of Karl Marx. From the perspective of society at large, this attitude was summed up by William Marina as:

                    The significant question is: Why do a large number of people come to believe that only through increased state intervention can justice be achieved? To a great extent this belief is due to the overwhelming acceptance of the state as the source of value and law. Society not only looks for solutions within the paradigm defined by the state, but also find it difficult to consider the view that statism is a the heart of the problem…” ~ Conservapedia

                    I also looked up ‘religion’ on dictionary.com and saw no mention of ‘deity’, and also a few other definitions for the word that also don’t seem to include/involve it, though maybe it’s as another word. Nevertheless, there it is in one of the quotes I’ve provided.

                • Don Wharton says:

                  Ron, profoundly wonderful wordsmithing!! Most people are still trapped by mythical notions of reality. If humanity is to thrive and prosper we have to understand and relate to what is real. The clarity with which help people acknowledge reality is refreshing and delightful.

                • Glenn Stehle says:

                  °°°°Ron Patterson said:

                  You may be sitting around waiting for science to transform society but scientist surely are not. Really Glenn, that’s the first time I have heard that one.

                  Well I have no idea “what scientists think.”

                  But I do know what Larry Krauss said during the program Fred linked, as well as what he’s said in other lectures he’s given. And if you believe there’s anything unique or novel about what Krauss has to say, then I’d say you need to get out more.

                  °°°°Ron Patterson said:

                  But actually science has already transformed society. All the inventions that brought on the industrial revolution was made possible by science. And for sure science brought on the green revolution. Because of science we are able to feed far more people from a partial of land than we were before the green revolution. And science made possible the medical revolution.

                  Nobody’s disputing any of that.

                  But the Modernist faith, and even more so some of the splinter groups which sprung up in its wake, hold that science can serve as a source of human values (a traditional domain of ethics) or as the source of meaning and purpose (a traditional domain of religion and related worldviews).

                  °°°°Ron Patterson said:

                  Oh my goodness. What a straw man you have set up. It is not the job of science to answer any philosophical question whatsoever.

                  Well again, let me repeat what Krauss said during the program Fred linked:

                  To me, the value of science is not technology. It’s the ideas. It’s the very ideas that have fired philosophers and theologians. It’s the ideas that are fundamental to our being. Why are we here? Where are we going? What are we made of?

                  °°°°Ron Patterson said:

                  …religion has utterly failed to give us a better society.

                  Well from my own personal sense of morality that is certainly true.

                  But maybe we’ve mis-identified the true purpose of religion. For if the purpose of religion is not “to give us a better society,” but to provide a unifying belief system which serves as the “glue” which holds a society together, then perhaps it’s been more successful than we give it credit for.

                  A couple of good books on this subject are the evolutionary biologist David Sloan Wilson’s Darwin’s Cathedral and War and Peace and War: The Rise and Fall of Empires by the Russian Peter Turchin, whose training is in population biology, mathematical modeling and the statistical analysis of the dynamics of historical societies.

                  • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                    Every human being has a responsibility to ethically question what they are doing; how and why they are doing it; and how it affects their world around them, and so forth (and make appropriate responses accordingly).
                    This includes those doing science.
                    But I guess those who are sociopathic are exempt.
                    The moment you attempt to separate ethics from science, or any other human endeavor for that matter, is the moment you don’t have one worth anything, like one that cares and is holistic.
                    Insofar as we need more whistleblowing of certain kinds and the kinds of suggested moral characters behind them, for example, so, too, do we need less reasons for whistleblowing in the first place.

                    By the way, a ‘smooth transition’ isn’t just about swapping out some technologies for others, if, for the sake of argument, that’s what it’s going to be about, but about transitioning from an ethically-dubious form of social approach to another, ethically-robust one (which effects how technology is derived and implemented). That seems the real challenge, as opposed to merely crunching and spitting out new numbers that look good.

                    Conversations

                • Glenn Stehle says:

                  °°°°Ron Patterson said:

                  You may be sitting around waiting for science to transform society but scientist surely are not. Really Glenn, that’s the first time I have heard that one.

                  Well I have no idea “what scientists think.”

                  But I do know what Larry Krauss said during the program Fred linked, as well as what he’s said in other lectures he’s given. And if you believe there’s anything unique or novel about what Krauss has to say, then I’d say you need to get out more.

                • Glenn Stehle says:

                  Ron Patterson said:

                  Oh my goodness. What a straw man you have set up. It is not the job of science to answer any philosophical question whatsoever.

                  Well again, let me repeat what Krauss said during the program Fred linked:

                  To me, the value of science is not technology. It’s the ideas. It’s the very ideas that have fired philosophers and theologians. It’s the ideas that are fundamental to our being. Why are we here? Where are we going? What are we made of?

                  • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                    WRT Ron’s quoted comment; we don’t get to separate science from people. That’s not how it works.

                • Glenn Stehle says:

                  °°°°Ron Patterson said:

                  But actually science has already transformed society. All the inventions that brought on the industrial revolution was made possible by science. And for sure science brought on the green revolution. Because of science we are able to feed far more people from a partial of land than we were before the green revolution. And science made possible the medical revolution.

                  Nobody’s disputing any of that.

                  But the Modernist faith, and even more so some of the splinter groups which sprung up in its wake, hold that science can serve as a source of human values (a traditional domain of ethics) or as the source of meaning and purpose (a traditional domain of religion and related worldviews).

                  °°°°Ron Patterson said:

                  …religion has utterly failed to give us a better society.

                  Well from my own personal sense of morality, meaning and sense of purpose that is certainly true.

                  But maybe serving as a source for these things is not the purpose of religion. For if the purpose of religion is not “to give us a better society,” but to provide a unifying belief system which serves as the “glue” which holds a society together, then perhaps it’s been more successful than we give it credit for.

                  A couple of good books on this subject are the evolutionary biologist David Sloan Wilson’s Darwin’s Cathedral and War and Peace and War: The Rise and Fall of Empires by the Russian scientist Peter Turchin, whose training is in population biology, mathematical modeling and the statistical analysis of the dynamics of historical societies.

                  This lecture by Turchin gives a quick overview of his theory:

                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uy2VNiCVC78

                • Glenn Stehle says:

                  °°°°Ron Patterson said:

                  You may be sitting around waiting for science to transform society but scientist surely are not. Really Glenn, that’s the first time I have heard that one.

                  Well I have no idea “what scientists think.” It seems to me there’s quite a bit of diversity in what they think.

                  But I do know what Krauss said during the program Fred linked, as well as what he’s said in other lectures he’s given.

                  And there’s nothing unique or novel about what Krauss has to say. It’s been around for almost 400 years in one form or another.

              • Old Farmer Mac says:

                The study of history and great literature is at least as necessary to TRUE UNDERSTANDING of human nature and our place in the grand scheme of reality as the study of math, physics and biology.

                I frequently disagree with Glenn but he DOES have something IMPORTANT to say.

                • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                  Literature of history is not an objective study of history, nor would it be even if you had a time machine and could do it yourself.

                  “History is written by the victors.” ~ Walter Benjamin

      • Old Farmer Mac says:

        It does look bad that Shell struck out on this one exploratory well, but if I remember correctly, there were a lot more than half a dozen exploratory wells drilled in the North Sea before anybody hit a jackpot there.

        From my strictly amateurs point of view, just accepting the geologists prediction that there IS a lot of oil in the Arctic, it seems likely that somebody will eventually go back and drill enough wells to hit some jackpots. But it might be a while before it happens,and it might be done by a whole bunch of companies going in together to share the expense – and the jackpot, if one is discovered.

        • Mac, Ebinger doesn’t seem to understand the Arctic and Shell’s USA tax position:

          Shell has spent billions in this particular project. My guess is they could be carrying $4 billion in their tax books, which they get to write off fully if they walk away from their Chukchi licenses. The tax benefit is $1.4 billion, accrued in 2015.

          Moving forward means entering a path with numerous branches, decision points, outcomes, etc. When Shell maps this tree they assign probabilities to outcomes. At the end, they sum the pv (I believe Shell uses something a bit slicker than pv, but they’ll have to disclose it). The sum yields less than $1.4 billion, so they punted.

          A new player won’t have to offset the $1.4 billion so they start from scratch, except they have the lessons learned, oil prices will be higher, and the government will either crap or get off the pot on whether they want domestic oil or not.

          Given what we see taking place, waiting 5 to 10 years would be prudent. At that time the USA may be ready to open ANWR, etc.

          • Paulo says:

            The Canadian Arctic drilling rush in the late ’70s was sparked by a two for one tax incentive. Inuvik became a boom town because of it and died out just as quickly. Native protests stopped/delayed the Mackenzie Valley NG pipeline and now it will never be built. (Sound familiar??)

            The tax incentive sparked the activity beyond market fundamentals.

            “At the same time, tax provisions allowed investors to get substantial write-offs for investment in oil and gas drilling. The combination of high prices, big profit potential and generous tax breaks set off a huge gas-exploration boom in western Canada in the late 1970s. Canadian companies (eg, Dome Petroleum, Nova, Sulpetro) soared to prominence. Meanwhile the majors were saddled with their many less-profitable oil investments and were effectively barred from new corporate acquisitions by the Foreign Investment Review Act. ”

            http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/petroleum-industries/

    • BC says:

      @OFM: US wind and solar electricity production has peaked with the price of oil and appears headed for a 1990s-like decline in the change rates.

      https://app.box.com/s/pfdk6c7a9g9n5i0e3s5txnej16q7biav

      https://app.box.com/s/jemdqkdd23257oummtpjwl6348wigdlx

      EV sales have decelerated to a 5%/year rate since 2013 and have contracted YoY this year.

      https://app.box.com/s/gahek6355xja8ctn81sukibr0s375xzc

      http://finance.yahoo.com/q/ks?s=SCTY+Key+Statistics

      http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-08-21/solarcity-plunges-after-chanos-discloses-short-position

      SolarCity is breaking down from a very bearish technical pattern, setting up for a potentially huge crash coincident with Chanos shorting the stock.

      Growth of wind and solar is done.

      • SW says:

        Right.

      • Old Farmer Mac says:

        BC ,

        I believe your statistics are bullshit when it comes to wind and solar power production peaking.

        http://www.eia.gov/electricity/monthly/epm_table_grapher.cfm?t=epmt_1_01_a

        The EIA might not be very good at FORECASTING future production but there is no reason I am aware of to believe they don’t do a good job of gathering statistics.

        I don’t personally put much faith in technical stock analysis. Solar City seems to be doing ok in the market place so far as I can tell just reading the business news from time to time – and the company’s prospects appear to be excellent, given that it has a commanding market share and makes it easy for homeowners to go solar- just about the only thing the homeowner has to do is sign on the dotted line.

        NO DOUBT it would make more sense for a homeowner with the time and business acumen and access to credit at low rates, or money handy to pay cash and hire a more competitive contractor,rather than buy turnkey from Solar City but that sort of person is relatively rare.

        There are TENS of millions of people who will eventually buy a solar system who would not otherwise – so long as they think it is a GOOD deal- not necessarily the BEST possible deal- and so long as they do not have to put any significant amount of cash or time or headache into the purchase.Solar City seems to understand this sort of customer.

        Now if YOU THINK oil is going to STAY cheap, and that the costs of building electric cars is not going to fall in comparison to the cost of building conventional cars, then you might be onto something- the possible failure of the electric car industry.

        Personally I believe the new generation Volt and Leaf will sell well, starting within a year or so – when I expect the price of oil to start back up again.

        MAYBE every major auto manufacturer in the world is WRONG about the future price and availability of oil, but in my opinion , they all are perfectly well aware the handwriting is on the wall insofar as the oil fueled internal combustion engine and the personal car are concerned.

        If you are top management at a company in a business as capital intensive and as slow to change as automobiles, you have to be looking ten to fifteen years ahead at least. That is about how long it will take to really ramp up the electric car industry – starting almost from scratch- which is about where most companies are at this time in terms of production capacity and engineering expertise.

        Nissan, GM and Tesla are in my estimation the only companies with a really solid foot in the door so far, in terms of actual product, customer acceptance, and ready or nearly ready production capacity.

        I am ready to bet anybody who wants a bottle of good sipping whiskey that gasoline will average four bucks a gallon again in the USA within twenty four months.

        Hopefully one of the other regulars will be willing to hold the stakes.

        Do you think Ford went to the ENORMOUS expense of going to aluminum construction of the F150 pickup expecting oil to STAY cheap?

        Personally I believe in peak oil, and in peak oil being approximately NOW.

        I also believe in collapse economic and environmental, due to our species being in overshoot, but collapse is going to come piecemeal and there are going to be plenty of automobiles on the roads for a long time yet. There will be a LOT of electrics in the mix within ten years or so.

        A few countries that must import nearly all the oil used will probably tax the hell out of new ice cars and subsidize new electrics.The price of batteries is going to fall by half within five to ten years. At that point, a car sized battery is not going to cost very much more, if any more , than a COMPLETE conventional ICE drivetrain. The price of the electric motor is going to be a minor consideration in a fully electric car, electric motors are smaller, have only a few components, require little precision machining, etc.

        A typical hundred horsepower electric motor has only a few dozen parts – TOTAL, including the bolts that hold it together. A typical ice engine, automobile sized , including all the necessary accessory system parts, runs into THOUSANDS of parts.

        Beyond simplicity there is the advantage that a well constructed electric motor can be expected to last more or less forever. Swap out the battery in a properly rust proofed electric, install a few new suspension components such as shock absorbers and rubber bushings and you have a car ready to go another ten years rather than a heap of junk that all too often costs more to repair than it is worth..

        Incidentally you are hearing this sermon from a life long gear head who LOVES the sound of forty two V8’s wound up as tight as banjo strings doing 200mpg down the front straight at Charlotte and the smell of burning rubber and nitromethane at and the clouds of tire smoke at the drag strip..

        Now Fred Maygar may have a little fun out of me for being a redneck but he is an honest guy and will acknowledge that the jet he gallivants around in burns as much fuel ONE way from Europe to South America as all the cars on the track at Charlotte or Daytona or Indianapolis on any given day.

        I will laugh with him.

        • Fred Magyar says:

          Now Fred Maygar may have a little fun out of me for being a redneck but he is an honest guy and will acknowledge that the jet he gallivants around in burns as much fuel ONE way from Europe to South America as all the cars on the track at Charlotte or Daytona or Indianapolis on any given day.

          Well, Okay, I don’t mind a little laughing with y’all and I do have some close friends who are gear heads themselves and I’ve happily spent some time with them at the race track now and then while downing more than a few cold ones. And while I may not be the most handy guy with a wrench my friends have a healthy respect for my capabilities with using google to help them diagnose and find solutions to all kinds of technical, electronic and computer glitches that might ail their steel steeds, I’m pretty good at finding all kinds of obscure technical manuals too and by doing so I’ve saved them some big bucks on what would otherwise been very expensive repairs. But I digress 🙂

          For the record, (and I did google this), the big ole Boeing sky chariot that brought me down to the wonderful city of Sao Paulo, has a per passenger fuel consumption of about 2.84 L/100 km (83 mpg-US).

          Now I could be off base here, but I do believe that is a tiny bit better than the fuel economy of any one of the forty two V8’s wound up as tight as banjo strings doing 200mpg down the front straight at Charlotte… And yes, I’m pretty sure the 200 mpg is just a typo!

          OK, so full disclaimer: Round trip Miami Sao Paulo is about 8,000 miles at 83mpg and my old 2002 5 speed manual transmission, saturn SL1 gets about 38 mpg on the highway let’s say 30 mpg combined hwy and city, and this year its spending a lot of the year parked, I figure I will by the end of the year have barely put 5,000 miles on it for the entire year. So that means I will have burned fossil fuel for about 13,000 miles of travel this year. Rough back of the envelope calculation, I have personally burned maybe about 262 gallons of fossil fuel for my transportation needs this year. Nothing to write home about, but I suspect still better than most Americans…

          If we figure roughly 20 lbs of CO2 per gallon of fuel burned that comes to about 5,250 lbs of CO2 emitted by me for transportation alone. So next time I’ll try to come down to Brazil on a sailboat, anyone want to join me?

          • MarbleZeppelin says:

            “V8’s wound up as tight as banjo strings doing 200mpg down the front straight at Charlotte… And yes, I’m pretty sure the 200 mpg is just a typo! ”

            Yep, Indy race cars get 1.92 mpg and run on ethanol. That is a couple of orders of magnitude different. Burns fuel like it’s going out of style.

            • Old Farmer Mac says:

              No typo, 200 mph on the straights is common place at the longer tracks. Lap speeds are slower of course and race average speeds considerably lower still.

              If it weren’t for the cars getting into the spectators in the event of accidents, they would be running well over 200 mph lap speeds. The rules are adjusted periodically to keep speeds down to around two hundred max.The all time record was set thirty or so years ago by my cousin ”Awesome Bill” Elliot at Talladega two hundred twelve mph and he holds the record at Datoyna two hundred ten. The Charlotte lap record is almost one ninety nine. Ya gotta slow down in the corners.

              It doesn’t take much more fuel to run an auto race than it does to play a big time football game, since most of the fuel goes into the ten thousand plus cars in the parking lots.

          • clifman says:

            Yes.

          • Old Farmer Mac says:

            All forty two cars burn something in the neighborhood of four thousand gallons , up to five thousand or a little more, depending on the length of the race. It takes that much and more to fuel up the jet. Of course the per passenger fuel economy is a lot better.

            Maybe Nascar ought to start racing Greyhound style buses- the races would still be a lot of fun and you could buy a ticket to RIDE WITH YOUR FAVORITE DRIVER.

          • MarbleZeppelin says:

            Fred said “For the record, (and I did google this), the big ole Boeing sky chariot that brought me down to the wonderful city of Sao Paulo, has a per passenger fuel consumption of about 2.84 L/100 km (83 mpg-US). ”

            It’s getting a lot better than that as soon as the latest turbofans get in place. Until then, here is a highly detailed and very interesting film on how Rolls Royce builds it’s turbofans.
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qGDAczCDsTE
            Talk about high tech and complex, but then again any engine that reliably runs for 50 million miles has to be built well.

          • Synapsid says:

            FredM,

            I’ll be happy to join you on that sailboat trip down to Brazil.

            I could add the Equator to the Arctic Circle and the Prime Meridian! And re-learn all the batucada lyrics I’ve forgotten! And the food!

            (Ahem) The principal reason would be your stimulating company, of course.

            • Fred Magyar says:

              LOL! But it might not be the craziest idea in the world to do something like that for real!

              • Ronald Walter says:

                I would steer clear of the east coast of North America this time of year and especially today.

              • Old Farmer Mac says:

                HEY FRED,

                How about a detour to HAWAII ? You and I have mutual acquaintance there whose name I am not free to mention publicly – but you can be sure he would be GLAD to see you.

                If business ever brings you to my part of the world, you are welcome to stop in here for as long as you like free of charge for except for conversation and brainstorming.

                It looks as if I will be stuck at home for YEARS.

                • Fred Magyar says:

                  Hey OFM, Tks for reminding me of our mutual Hawaiian acquaintance, whose name shall remain unmentioned. I wonder how that person is doing I haven’t had contact in a while, probably should reach out and say hi to them…

                  And tks for the invite, never know where life can take us, might be fun to have a few cold ones down at the race track and laugh a bit!

                  Cheers!

              • wimbi says:

                REally for real, Fred, no kidding. Would be a great business to set up contests between high tech passenger sail boats having a continuous round the world race, with some sort of sophisticated payoff function involving distance, speed, number of passengers, happiness there of, max G force and so on.

                Winner gets significant reward, couple of megabucks, maybe. Assures insanely high level of effort all around.

                Each passenger would be “before the mast”, that is, do part of the ship’s duties, mostly watching dials and screens and betting on next leg. And watching the computer guess next best trajectory – keep off cape wrongwind.

                No tech limits to design of boats- cats, tri’s, kites, hydrofoil, etc.

                Getting there would be all the fun, not to mention the stimulating company, ahem.

        • Does land fill and excrement gas get a subsidy like solar gets in California? I ask because it sure looks like it generates a lot, and it’s definitely less intermittent. If it doesn’t get a subsidy it should. It’s much better than solar.

          • ChiefEngineer says:

            You would be dead without solar and don’t even have to pay for it

  8. Old Farmer Mac says:

    While I am highly optimistic that electrified cars will become common within a decade or so, I must agree with the author, Charles Ebinger. With the population growing, and the poorer parts of the world likely to become prosperous enough to start buying cars and trucks and tractors in large numbers, there is little hope or danger, depending on one’s pov, of the market for oil drying up anytime soon.

    We will actually be very lucky to escape a VERY hard economic crash as the result of oil production peaking and peak oil might be the one key factor that brings on the economic AND environmental crash we refer to as the consequence of overshoot.

    But maybe oil supplies will decline slowly and steadily and give us at least a fighting chance to adapt to using less oil as time passes.

    • Jeju-islander says:

      OFM: “While I am highly optimistic that electrified cars will become common within a decade or so…”
      I am not so sure.
      The two biggest markets for EV’s Japan and the U.S. are currently stagnant. Despite the Tesla marketing hype I don’t see things improving in the near future. It seems both the manufacturers and the early adopters have had their fingers burnt in this current cycle. The most important aspect of current EV technology is the battery technology. Research and Development is currently falling. It doesn’t change my mind that the technology will greatly improve and become viable in 15 years or so. Just that things don’t always go in straight lines. Yes, in some places EVs will become common (Norway, California, Holland, Jeju Island), but probably not for quite a few decades everywhere else.
      The fate of EV’s is of course tied to the economic cycle. I think we are likely to be heading into the next recession right now. What happens to all these predictions then?
      The current cycle of EV development also seems tied to the same 7 year cycle. I was wondering why. I found this. http://www.totalbatteryconsulting.com/industry-reports/xEV-report/Executive-Summary-Selections.pdf

      “Industry Overcapacity.
      Generous government subsidies have triggered the rapid and apparently premature construction of PHEV and EV battery plants. In the U.S., grants awarded by the federal and several state governments as part of the 2009 economic stimulus package covered 50 to 80% of the cost of new plants located in the automotive-industry states of Michigan and Indiana. Other grants and preferred-terms loans (in particular to Renault-Nissan) were awarded in France, the U.K., Portugal, China, and the U.S. Table E.6.2 details i) the plant capacities announced by major battery makers and scheduled to become operational by 2014, ii) an assessment of the actual installed capacity as of Q1 2013, and iii) the expected production level this year (2013). As the table indicates, the likely production volume this year will be a little over 3,000MWh, which is only 11% of the proposed 2014 plant capacity and about 21% of the capacity installed to date. This extreme overcapacity is the main reason why many xEV-battery manufacturers submit product quotations at or below cost. While the automakers benefit from lower pricing in the short term, a problem may develop in the long run since a healthy industry requires a profitable supply chain. While some plants will undoubtedly close, another likely outcome of this overcapacity is industry consolidation via mergers. “

      • BC says:

        Jeju, agree. See my post above to OFM.

      • Dennis Coyne says:

        Hi JejuIslander,

        The competition amongst those companies for business may lead to lower costs as output ramps up, higher oil prices will stimulate demand for EVs in the 2018 to 2030 time frame.

        When oil peaks (sometime between 2015 an 2020), oil prices will rise, if they rise fast enough that people start to buy more EVs and slowly enough that the economy doesn’t crash, then we may be able to transition to EVs, hybrids, better public transit (in the US where it is appallingly bad by European and perhaps Korean standards), and better urban and suburban design.

        One potential oil price scenario that might meet this “Goldilocks” oil price scenario is in the chart below. Oil prices would follow this general trend but would bounce above and below this line by up to 20% as oil prices never follow a smooth trendline.

      • MarbleZeppelin says:

        I notice a number of people have forgotten about the effects of peak oil. As oil production falls over the next year, the price of oil will rise. The price of gasoline will follow and hybrids plus EV’s will have a higher demand. The banks and oil companies can only keep oil production propped up for a short time. Eventually they do what makes economic and business sense, reduce.

        Right now people are getting bargain basement prices on fuel, but it is just a glitch in the system. Everyone here knows that production cannot keep up at these prices.

        There is also the double whammy of the CAFE requirements and the up and coming carbon taxes. Further demand for hybrids and EV’s.
        So you can follow the temporary glitch and make assumptions or look at the bigger long term trend worldwide. Your choice. I just prefer to try and keep the whole process in my view before making claims about the future of EV’s and ICE engine driven vehicles or about PV and wind.

        • I can see plug in hybrids becoming common. I just can’t visualize an electric vehicle being that practical for a one car family, such as prevails in Europe, Asia, Latin America and Africa. I can see a small electric being practical for people with two-three cars in the family, but I don’t think society benefits from giving them subsidies.

          The subsidies should go to very small light weight vehicles with very high overall passenger*distance per energy unit. Giving the Tesla a subsididy is criminal.

          • MarbleZeppelin says:

            Why not Fernando, the average daily miles per car in the US is 34? I doubt the Europeans or Asians travel further per day than Americans. With that in mind, a 200 mile/charge capability and the fact that the car sits most of the time (therefor can be charged up); why wouldn’t it work?
            No need for battery switching, or fast charges except for the occasional very long trip.

          • Old Farmer Mac says:

            How far does a typical European driver go on a typical day?

            How many days does he or she actually exceed a hundred miles in the course of a year?

            Working class people who must own a car will learn to live with range limitations if electrics get to be a lot cheaper than conventional cars. The money they save on driving expenses will be worth a lot more to them spent on groceries than on the occasional long trip – which might still be possible using a rental or transit or flying.

            • Stephen Hren says:

              EV car sales are bolting upwards in Europe, 50-60% yoy increase last year while oil prices plummeted. Don’t forget that much of Western Europe has high gas taxes, combined with shorter relative distances compared to the US. So EVs remain more attractive even with oil prices low. http://ev-sales.blogspot.com

              Google, Apple, Uber and other Silicon Valley bigwigs are pouring billions of dollars each into EVs. EVs are literally perfect for urban environments: lots of recharge stations many of which are FREE, hyper efficient compared with ICEs, zero local pollution, no noise, almost no maintenance, no trips to the mechanic because the steady flow of power from an EV vs. the continuously fluctuating power from an ICE means they run super smooth and have very little wear and tear.

              I bought a used 2013 LEAF this summer (24K miles) for $10K, battery is guaranteed to 100K miles, get to charge it up for nothing around town along with primo access on parking decks. Once you drive an EV you just get it, and especially once you look under the hood and see that there is almost NOTHING there to breakdown (no radiator flush, no oil change, etc). They are an improvement over ICEs on every level except range and refuel time, which is improving every year.

              Cars will be the equivalent of smart phones ~ they are just operating platforms for software in 5 years. They will be electric. By 2022 for instance, BMW will no longer produce any straight ICE cars, only PHEV and EVs. I suspect by 2025 or 2030 at the latest there will be virtually no new ICE sedans for sale – they just plain suck.

              • Old Farmer Mac says:

                ”Cars will be the equivalent of smart phones ~ they are just operating platforms for software in 5 years.”

                Cars are fast approaching commodity status whereby anybody with money enough to run an assembly plant will be able to manufacture cars.

                In my backwoods neighborhood, there is a factory that manufactures wiring harnesses, one that produces windshields, and another that manufactures wheels not too far away.

                A local carpet plant cuts carpet to order and molds it to specs, ready to install at a nearby heavy duty truck plant..

                Excepting the actual unibody and sheet metal parts, you can buy all the parts you need to build a car from commodities manufacturers.

                The same exact transmissions, brakes, shock absorbers, axles,springs, radiators, fuel pumps, batteries for instance may be found in twenty different models from four or five different auto manufacturers.

                Apple will be outsourcing ninety nine percent of the actual component parts of the car if they go into cars.

                Hell’s bells, APPLE will probably outsource the assembly of the car as well. If you want an APPLE car that you may well have to buy it directly from them.

              • wimbi says:

                All of what you said. We have had our Leaf for near 3 yrs so far and it is perfect for our use. When we need longer range – very seldom, we, like almost everybody, can borrow one in a minute. Friends are eager to swap their IC for our EV any time- just real chushy to drive, and as you say, no fuel cost.

                Can’t beat zero for $/gal.

  9. Toolpush says:

    Egypt, the hope!

    http://www.cnbc.com/2015/08/30/eni-makes-huge-natural-gas-deposit-find-off-egypts-coast.html

    Eni ‘supergiant’ gas field discovery a gamechanger: CEO

    and the reality!

    http://www.downstreamtoday.com/news/article.aspx?a_id=49341

    Egypt Takes Delivery of Second Floating LNG Import Terminal

    The current round of stories point to Egypt, being awash with Nat Gas, and they did used to be an exporter of LNG. But here we are, they are getting their second re-gassification plant, as the are currently not able to supply their own needs, let alone export to anybody else!

    • Old Farmer Mac says:

      I have read that the folks who sell LNG find it politically expedient – and safer in terms of business risks – to ship it via Egypt than any other country in that part of the world. The reasoning is that Egypt is a safer, closer ally of western governments and thus a much superior place to invest megabucks.

      Opinions?

      The gas field, which may or may not turn out to be a really big one, was discovered only within the last year or so. The business deal involving the LNG terminal was probably signed a long time before that.

      • Fred Magyar says:

        The reasoning is that Egypt is a safer, closer ally of western governments and thus a much superior place to invest megabucks.

        Very interesting point, actually. According to the ‘Good Country Index’ Egypt ranks #1 in the world for International Peace and Security. I know that may appear to be counter intuitive at first glance but I didn’t make that up. There is some method behind that madness…

        http://www.goodcountry.org/category/international-peace-security

        Cheers!

  10. Ronald Walter says:

    BNSF week 38 report.

    Petroleum cars at 8,858. Week 38 of 2014, there were 11,907 petroleum cars hauled, a 25 percent decrease, 3,049 fewer cars hauled in week 38 of 2015.

    http://www.bnsf.com/about-bnsf/financial-information/weekly-carload-reports/

  11. AlexS says:

    Global oil demand growing at fastest pace for five years: Kemp

    By John Kemp
    Sep 30, 2015
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/09/30/oil-demand-kemp-idUSL5N12031A20150930?feedType=RSS&feedName=everything&virtualBrandChannel=11563

    (Reuters) – World oil demand surged in the first six months of 2015 compared with the same period in 2014, according to national estimates submitted to the Joint Oil Data Initiative (JODI).
    Petroleum demand is responding in the expected manner to a halving in the price of crude and significant declines in the price of most fuels in most consuming countries, as well as continued economic expansion in much of the world.
    Fifty-nine countries, accounting for 75-80 percent of global oil consumption, have submitted demand estimates for both the first half of 2014 and 2015 to JODI.
    Submitters include all the world’s major consumers, with the notable exceptions of Russia, Iran, Indonesia, Venezuela, Malaysia, South Africa and United Arab Emirates.
    Submitters reported consumption averaged 71.4 million barrels per day (bpd) in the first six months of 2015, up from 69.1 million bpd in the prior-year period, an increase of 2.3 million bpd or 3.3 percent.
    China accounted for slightly over half the total increase, with reported consumption of petroleum products up by 1.3 million bpd, more than 13 percent.
    Other countries reporting substantial increases in demand included the United States (+470,000 bpd), India (+205,000 bpd), Turkey (+180,000 bpd), Saudi Arabia (+115,000 bpd) and Korea (+100,000 bpd).
    Smaller increases in demand were reported by Germany (+20,000 bpd), France (+18,000 bpd), Britain (+29,000 bpd), Italy (+74,000 bpd), Spain (+26,000 bpd), Argentina (+40,000 bpd) and Poland (+40,000 bpd).
    The increase in demand was broadly based, with 46 out of 59 countries in the data set reporting increased consumption in 2015 compared with 2014.
    JODI is a partnership between the International Energy Forum, based in Riyadh, and six international and regional statistical agencies (IEA, OPEC, Eurostat, APEC, OLADE and UNSD).
    The limitations of JODI data are well known and acknowledged by the partner organisations, but for many countries, especially the top 30 producers and consumers, “timeliness, coverage and reliability are at reasonable levels”, according to the secretariat.
    There are several obvious caveats with the increase in petroleum demand reported by JODI. The first and most obvious is the enormous increase in reported fuel consumption in China, where the quality of the data is less reliable than in many other countries.
    Without China, the reported increase in consumption is a little over 1 million barrels per day, or around 1.7 percent.
    There are major doubts about the amount of fuels and especially crude disappearing into the country’s strategic stockpiles.
    China’s national estimates may overstate oil demand, perhaps significantly, but the growth in the country’s consumption is unlikely to have been zero.
    So the probable envelope for oil demand growth lies between 1.0 million bpd (if China’s consumption has been flat) and 2.3 million bpd (if China’s consumption has grown as much as its own data show).
    The midpoint of the range is 1.65 million bpd, roughly in line with the 1.7 million bpd demand increase the International Energy Agency (IEA) is projecting for the world as a whole in 2015 (“Oil Market Report” Sep 2015).
    Confidence in this range estimate is bolstered because the increase in reported demand outside China is so broadly based and there could be further increases in countries accounting for as much as 20 percent of global demand.
    There is reason to doubt demand allocations to individual countries (for example the surge in Italy, which is three times the size of the increases reported in Britain, France or Germany).
    National statistical agencies may be struggling to discern between domestic consumption, exports and stock increases.
    But because the rise in demand is being reported in so many countries at the same time, it is unlikely to be a major error at global scale (national errors allocating between domestic and export demand should cancel out to some extent).
    Some of the increase in reported demand may actually be going into increased stocks held by refiners, distributors and end customers.
    But the continued strength of fuel prices and refining margins suggests that stocks have not built up to unwanted levels.
    According to the IEA, oil demand is climbing at the fastest rate in five years, and the national statistics collated by JODI appear to bear out that conclusion.

    • Old Farmer Mac says:

      Something tells me this comment will appear out of position. It refers back to Fred’s comment on the Brookings article I excerpted.

      Good morning Fred,

      While I agree with you wholeheartedly on the impossibility of continuing on the current bau path much longer and the utter necessity of getting OFF that path on a forced double time march, what ought to happen and what will happen are two different things.

      As I have often remarked before, our only real hope of a successful transition to a renewables economy paradoxically depends on the continuation of the bau economy for some time yet.

      Renewable technologies are not going to be invented, perfected, scaled up and deployed on the grand scale overnight. If the world economy is mired in deep depression, people, companies and governments are going to deal with the SHORT TERM problems of survival first.

      The long term is always an academic question when one is faced with unemployment at the mild end of the trouble scale and starvation and death by exposure or violence at the hot sauce end of the trouble scale.

      Brookings is an organization with the heart in the right place – and a realistic vision ( in my estimation ) of what IS possible- keeping in mind that politics is the art of the possible.

      So far I cannot see any reason to change my basic prediction for the future of our species and the biosphere – we are going to hit the brick wall of finite resource depletion and environmental degradation at high speed on the grand scale. I am not able to say when, nor is anybody else, not yet at least in my opinion, with any degree of precision. But methinks the world will have a LOT less people in it at the turn of the next century than it does today- maybe seventy five to ninety five percent less. OR maybe forty percent less. Most of the people who are still dirt poor might be able to survive after the fashion they have survived for the past thousand years – if the climate doesn’t go completely haywire. Starvation in one corner of India may have little to do with starvation in another corner- or in Pakistan or Bangladesh – once collapse is well under way.

      I suspect the guy who wrote this article thinks a lot like you do but he wasn’t given time and space to write a book.

      Your argument today is not all that different from mine a couple of days ago when I kept pointing out that just allowing refugees from Sand Country into Western European countries in large and growing numbers would not solve ANY serious problem- except for the personal problems of successful migrants of course.

      Western Europe is well into overshoot, like the rest of the world, but is also in a position to better deal with the consequences than just about any other part of the world, given that the people are well educated, the rule of law is well established, birth rates are very low and maybe even still falling, population peak in easy sight, etc etc etc.

      Allowing a flood of immigrants in might very well upset the Western European apple cart which with a little luck and a lot of hard work JUST MIGHT CONCEIVABLY remain upright.

      It hardly matters at all , one way or another , to me , what happens in Europe given my age – so long as European troubles don’t escalate into WWIII.

      If I were on the ground there,well away from a border, I would take the hard core line I have followed here because that would in my estimation be the best thing for me personally and for my extended family and my country. Being an ordinary guy as well as a realist, I would nevertheless admit quite a few migrants, especially children and adults who might assimilate easily.

      My primary method of dealing with the refugee crisis would be to physically obliterate as many as possible of the people who are the SHORT TERM CAUSE of the crisis. This would be a very messy and very expensive undertaking, but the doing of it is not at all a technically tough problem. We westerners have grown too squeamish since the invention of television to fight on the ground but killing people wholesale and leaving it to ALLAH to sort them out is not hard to do if you have a modern military industrial complex at your disposal- and Western Europe does have one.

      Long term – The people in Sand Country are going to have to lower their birth rates to well below replacement level if they are to survive. Period. Even if they were to establish a draconian policy of one child per woman, most of them would still probably die of starvation within the next twenty to forty years anyway without imported food. In some places, starvation would start reducing the population well within a year without imported food.

      When the oil is gone, or we manage a transition away from oil, these people are going to have no means of supporting themselves. Only a few countries such as Germany (maybe!) are going to succeed long term as importers of raw materials and exporters of finished goods.

      Maybe the best solution IS to provide every able bodied refugee with a rifle and a case of ammo and a back pack full of rations and a first aid kit and some moral support.

      You speak in terms of natural processes keeping the biosphere running in a smooth and stable state. I am pointing out – as the devil’s advocate- that the NATURAL process of a few naked apes slaughtering each other IS SOP as far as Mother Nature is concerned.

      And while numbers in the millions are enough to shock almost anybody, in relation to seven billion, a ten million is a trivial number.

      The PC multicultural all societies are equally worthy crowd ought to keep their fat mouths shut given that they would be getting the closest thing possible to what they want- our western noses kept out of the business of these tragically unlucky people.

      Somebody has to play the role of the hard core realist in any real discussion. Pretending is no good. Banning the works of a writer who has committed the ultimate pc sin of making a racist comment is no good.

      Mark Twain had the greatest and deepest understanding of the fact that black people are just PEOPLE – the same as white people- of any writer I have ever encountered, and there are none who are well known I have not encountered, at least not among english speakers.A number of his black characters are actually quite as saintly as any character created by any writer or known to any religion.

      Only a FOOL, or a person who has never read him, could possibly think he was a racist. Nevertheless he used the N word on many and many a page. Should we ban Twain?

      I repeat- if I happened to be ON the actual border scene, I would do everything I could to bring home a couple of little kids to live WITH ME. Maybe Momma too, lol. Maybe Daddy. But my primary interest would be the kids. My mid brain would trump my neocortex for sure. I’m programmed to protect little kids.

      Momma would have to work her ass off , to help with the bills, but the kids would grow up well read, well educated technically, and with sound habits that would help them succeed in their adult lives.

      • Therefore, since brevity is the soul of wit
        And tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes,
        I will be brief: your noble son is mad.

        Shakespeare … Hamlet

        • Old Farmer Mac says:

          Hi Ron, unfortunately there is nothing very funny about the current state of world affairs.

          • Mac, did you really miss the point that far? You thought I was trying to be funny?

            Mac, I really never read your post. I read the first two paragraphs then I realized the post was about two pages long so I just stopped.

            I never read really long, long posts. Almost nobody does.

            • Old Farmer Mac says:

              I agree most people are only interested in sound bites but electrons are basically free.

              • Bob Nickson says:

                Some advice from Stephen King:

                “How to evaluate criticism.

                Show your piece to a number of people – ten, let us say. Listen carefully to what they tell you. Smile and nod a lot. Then review what was said very carefully. […] If a lot of people are telling you something is wrong with your piece, it is. If seven or eight of them are hitting on that same thing, I’d suggest changing it. But if everyone – or even most everyone – is criticizing something different, you can safely disregard what all of them say.”

                “Remove every extraneous word
                You want to get up on a soapbox and preach? Fine. Get one and try your local park. You want to write for money? Get to the point. And if you remove all the excess garbage and discover you can’t find the point, tear up what you wrote and start all over again . . . or try something new.”

              • Lloyd says:

                Hi Mac.
                My feeling is that your increased typing speed has impacted your writing negatively: more is not necessarily more.>/i> I also think that the quantity of stuff you write makes the whole blog less usable for readers (particularly those of us who ignore your longer posts), as you measurably increase the amount of scrolling required to read the site.

                Re quantity of verbiage: I’m with Ron and Bob on this. I suspect there are occasional worthwhile thoughts in those thousands of words you write that I no longer bother to read; unfortunately, if it takes me 5 minutes to parse it out of a long, folksy, stream of consciousness where the lede is buried or, for all I know, non-existent, I’m going to let it go. As for electrons being free, well, just because you can doesn’t mean you should. I know you are capable of organizing your thoughts into cogent, concentrated arguments: perhaps you should use that typing speed to re-write rather than more-write.

                Re Scrolling: From a user experience standpoint for the rest of us reading this blog, your longer posts increase the amount of scrolling we have to do. I know it’s not your intention to waste our time, but you do, even when we don’t read your posts. I look at this blog twice a day; some of the recent posts are up for four or five days. I have to scroll by your posts as many as ten times. Beyond the sheer volume of scrolling, there is a greater cognitive load for the user when a comment spans across more than one scroll of the window, as many of your posts do: it becomes harder for the reader to stay oriented. Your hogging the bandwidth like this makes the whole blog less readable, both in volume of scrolling required and in the amount of attention required to do that scrolling.

                I will read longer posts, and am not suggesting that there should be a size limit. I do think one should consider how much inconvenience you want to foist on those who don’t read your stuff, and write with economy whenever possible.

                -Lloyd

                • Lloyd says:

                  Sorry about the over-italicization in the above comment: perfect storm of being caught in the spam filter, and being out of the house when Ron fixed it (so I couldn’t edit.).

                  -Lloyd

  12. AlexS says:

    3 other recent articles on oil demand by John Kemp:

    OPEC is winning battle to stimulate gasoline demand: Kemp

    By John Kemp
    Reuters, Sep 24, 2015
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/09/24/usa-gasoline-demand-kemp-idUSL5N11U31320150924?feedType=RSS&feedName=everything&virtualBrandChannel=11563

    In the first half of the year, gasoline deliveries into U.S. local markets jumped by 4.3 percent compared with the same period in 2014, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
    The United States is the world’s largest gasoline consumer and its gasoline demand accounts for 10 percent of all crude and condensates produced worldwide.
    In the first six months of 2015, U.S. gasoline consumption rose at the fastest rate since 1985 – another occasion on which the real price of oil halved over 12 months and stimulated demand
    U.S. gasoline sales have fallen or stagnated for the last decade as the high cost of fuel encouraged motorists to use their cars less and buy smaller and more fuel efficient vehicles.
    But the sharp drop in fuel prices since the middle of last year is stimulating demand again by encouraging more driving and motorists to purchase much bigger and heavier vehicles.
    According to the Federal Highway Administration, the volume of traffic on U.S. roads in the first half, measured in vehicle-miles travelled, was up 3.5 percent compared with 2014.
    Rising economic output, employment, wages and incomes are all helping spur increased driving as more drivers make the daily commute.
    But traffic volumes are increasing faster than most measures of economic activity, incomes and employment, so it seems likely cheaper fuel prices are also encouraging motorists to use their cars more.
    Cheaper fuel is also encouraging motorists to start buying larger vehicles. Car sales were down nearly 3 percent in January-August compared with 2014, but light truck sales surged 10 percent, according to Wards Auto.
    In the first eight months of 2014, the ratio of car/truck sales split roughly 48/52, but in the same period of 2015 the ratio split 45/55.
    Truck sales as a percentage of total light duty vehicle sales are running at the highest share on record, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, as low fuel prices make trucks more attractive.
    Prodded by federal fuel efficiency standards, both cars and trucks are using less fuel than before, but the shift towards bigger vehicles is helping stimulate more consumption.
    U.S. gasoline sales in the first half of this year were running 350,000 barrels per day (bpd) ahead of the first half of 2014, enough to make a small but significant dent in global oversupply.
    And the pick-up in motoring is not confined to the United States. The volume of traffic on Britain’s roads is growing at the fastest rate since 2002, according to the UK Department for Transport.
    The critical question for OPEC and the oil market is whether fuel demand will continue growing at this pace in 2016.
    The trend towards more light truck sales should keep boosting fuel demand, at least compared with the previous trend, provided gasoline prices remain low.
    Continued economic expansion, employment growth and income gains should also be positive for fuel sales in the United States and Europe.
    With demand increasing and non-OPEC crude oil supplies forecast to decline in 2016 the oil market is gradually moving back towards balance.
    ==============================
    U.S. jet fuel demand is rising strongly: Kemp

    Mon Sep 28, 2015
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/09/28/us-usa-airlines-fuel-kemp-idUSKCN0RS2M620150928

    Fuel consumption by U.S. airlines is growing at some of the fastest rates for a decade, according to data published by the federal government.
    U.S. carriers consumed 1.6 billion gallons of fuel in July, up 3.4 percent from the same month a year earlier
    =========================

    Britain’s oil demand is growing again: Kemp

    Mon Sep 28, 2015
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/09/28/us-britain-fuel-kemp-idUSKCN0RS1QV20150928

    UK petroleum consumption is growing at some of the fastest rates for a decade, as strong economic growth and cheaper fuel prices spur increased use.
    Consumption of petroleum products rose by 1.6 percent in the first six months of 2015 compared with the same period a year earlier, according to the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC)

    • Jeffrey J. Brown says:

      Annual Energy Review for the US, back to 1950:

      http://www.eia.gov/totalenergy/data/monthly/pdf/sec3_3.pdf

      It looks like the average annual price of Brent was about $99 in 2014, and the average annual price for 2015, through September, is probably about $56. An annual percentage decline of about 43%, through September.

      The most recent similar year over year large double digit percentage annual oil price decline was 2008 to 2009, when annual Brent prices fell from $97 to $62, a decline of 36%. Incidentally, the average price for the first 9 months of 2009 was $57.

      Based on above data table, note that total US product supplied fell from 19.5 MMBPD in 2008 to 18.8 MMBPD in 2009.

      Based on data through August, the EIA is showing that total US product supplied rose from 19.1 MMBPD in 2014 to 19.5 MMBPD in 2015 (through August). Year over year, total product supplied rose from 19.4 MMBPD in August, 2014 to 20.2 MMBPD in 2015.

      On the supply side, in regard to that stuff that corresponds to the two most common oil prices indexes, WTI & Brent, i.e., actual crude oil (generally defined as 45 API and lower gravity crude), my recurring question:

      If it took trillions of dollars of upstream capex to keep us on a post-2005 “Undulating Plateau” in actual global crude oil production, what happens to crude production given the large and ongoing cutbacks in global upstream capex?

      http://peakoilbarrel.com/jean-laherreres-bakken-update/comment-page-1/#comment-534101

      • BC says:

        http://www.wsj.com/articles/labor-day-deals-boost-fiat-chryslers-september-sales-1443700878

        https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/graph/fredgraph.png?g=1ZZl

        Despite a relative boom in US vehicle sales, per capita sales are at the level of 1980.

        Vehicle miles traveled per capita are at the level of 2000.

        Air passenger miles have returned to the level of 2007.

        • Ves says:

          Yes BC, the devil is in the fine print of how you look at the data.
          Collectively we are sinking, slow for now, but it is not unnoticeable. And if you want to see how fast you can sink you look at economic areas, like EU that don’t have increase of population (natural or immigration) at the US levels so the total car sales for example can mask what is really happening. And what is happening is that core-middle class is shrinking rapidly. But again car sales are very poor indicator of the wealth of population. Shifting the responsibility of the state like in US in areas like education and health care to the individuals created a paradox where citizens cannot afford hospital visit for even not serious health problem or 4 year non-Micky Mouse university but can afford new shiny Dodge truck, on credit of course.

          • Old Farmer Mac says:

            Why anybody would think universities exist to EDUCATE people is a MYSTERY to me. ( sarc light on )

            Universities exist for the same UNKNOWN reasons as ant colonies, but we can observe the fact that they persist and GROW- by any possible means.

            Selling useless diplomas for six figures is a good way to grow. Sarc light is OFF.

            Nobody so far as I know has ever come up with a good explanation for the existence of life other than that it might be an emergent property of matter- which only kicks the can down the road leaving the existence of matter a mystery.

      • Arceus says:

        Despite all the reasons that the price of oil should go up, the reality is that it just wants to go down. Any facts dictating otherwise will simply be ignored until at some point in the future that the market decides it wants to go up.

  13. Longtimber says:

    http://oilprice.com/Alternative-Energy/Nuclear-Power/Is-The-US-About-To-Break-One-Of-Its-Own-Nuclear-Treaties.html
    Yucca Flats – now this.. Community organizers scramble all DNA on the planet. US Gov completely negligent. May have to re-consider my opposition for spending money that we don’t have for a mars mission.
    What are these idiots going to tell their children ?

  14. Watcher says:

    1) Shell gave up after one dry hole in the Arctic. Seismic is better than it used to be, yes, but my recall is the North Sea’s flow wasn’t discovered until something like the 24th well. Odds would appear to be that wells 2 thru 24 in the Arctic won’t be tried any time soon. (Note ANWR would be cheaper exploration).

    2) The inevitability of higher price? Or lower price? Jeffrey notes the low prices of the past were for easier to extract oil. Valid. But post 2008 and global QE, the measurement of price is itself no longer valid, so we essentially know nothing. If the yardstick isn’t a yardstick anymore, you can’t measure with it.

    3) Car sales. hahahahahahaha seperate comment

    4) Japan’s pension funds will be buying US junk bonds (that fund shale). The bailout is coming from Japan. Whodathunk it.

    • Clueless says:

      I read somewhere that the last straw for Shell occurred shortly before they began their approved drilling. They wanted to drill two wells at the same time, but were prohibited because the “noise” from two rigs would disturb Walruses. I think that they correctly determined that they faced infinite odds of ever being able to drill economically. But, in 10 years, if prices are well over $100 and shortages are being forecast, maybe a majority of people will beg them to try again.

      • Watcher says:

        How about in 18 months, regardless of price, if shortages are present, not forecast.

    • There have been hundreds of wells drilled in the Arctic offshore. The industry has already found a lot of oil and gas. The structure Shell drilled this year was already drilled, the wells located a gas condensate reservoir.

      Further East there are known fields which can’t be developed because their reserves aren’t high enough.

      But the ice conditions are extremely tough, and we don’t design ice resistant structures based on IPCC reports. Our designs have to survive winter ice. And this really drives costs way way up.

  15. Watcher says:

    General Motors Co., Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV and Ford Motor Co. each turned in double-digit percentage increases [for Sept] over a year earlier as U.S. consumers splurged on pickup trucks and sport-utility vehicles.

    hahahahahahahhahahahahahahaahahahahahahah

    Nissan Leaf Sales Sept 2014 2881 units Sept 2015 1247 units 57% sales decline hahahahahahah

    Chevy Volt Sales Sept 2014 1394 units Sept 2015 949 units 32% sales decline hahahhahahaha

    What a revolution!

    No point in noting Tesla’s scam. There has never been a monthly report from them that was not a round number and they don’t report proper, audited, industry norm results.

    • Arceus says:

      Well, Tesla does have “ludicrous mode” as well as a bio-weapons defense mode… so there’s that

      • MarbleZeppelin says:

        Way too advanced for me, I’m still having difficulty with that female voiced gps unit telling me when to turn right and left. She’s way too nice and not realistic enough. Should say things like “YOU IDIOT, you missed the turn again! Now turn right in three hundred yards and listen this time or we are going to be late again. ” or “Don’t bother me now, can’t you see I’m on the cell phone. Figure it out yourself.”
        🙂

    • Dennis Coyne says:

      Hi Watcher,

      There is the possibility that fuel prices have an effect on what people choose to buy at the Auto Mall.

      As many have already pointed out, the Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt are being redesigned for the upcoming model year and many are waiting for the newer models as they are significantly better than the 2015 models, sales would be expected to decrease in that case.

      When gasoline goes back to $4/gallon (in 2014$), we will see if EV sales increase.

      Oh, and Tesla reports quarterly shipments to customers. So it is not clear what the “scam” is you are talking about, they easily sell everything they make and cannot produce fast enough to meet demand.

      • Old Farmer Mac says:

        And they sell all they produce without a dime in advertising .

      • Longtimber says:

        Tesla’s Limit is price and availability of Panasonic NCR 18650B’s. Like Ammo & Vodka, great barter item anytime TSHTF or not. Store at 60% charge in a cool place.

      • TechGuy says:

        DC Wrote:
        “Tesla reports quarterly shipments to customers. So it is not clear what the “scam” is you are talking about, they easily sell everything they make and cannot produce fast enough to meet demand.”

        How many people can afford to spend $140K on a car? My guess is very few. Mostly just the 0.1% of the population. Tesla should be written off since it does reflect the working class and poor which make up 99% of the population.

        “When gasoline goes back to $4/gallon (in 2014$), we will see if EV sales increase”

        But not enough to displace ICE sales. I expect that when Gas is back near $4/gallon. Over all vehicle sales will be down multiple times of EV sales even after sales of EV increase.

        Looks like we are heading back for another 2008-2009 round of layoffs. Companies are layoff employees to support stock buy-backs as well as matching production with declining sales. I think the FED will put its QE gloves back on by the late winter or early spring. Then will see commodity prices start to rebound.

        • Stan says:

          “How many people can afford to spend $140K on a car? My guess is very few. Mostly just the 0.1% of the population. Tesla should be written off since it does reflect the working class and poor which make up 99% of the population.”

          I guess you aren’t aware of Tesla’s secret plan? Its been out since 2006 but since it is a secret ignorance of it is understandable: http://www.teslamotors.com/blog/secret-tesla-motors-master-plan-just-between-you-and-me

          In that plan, they use the proceeds from luxury car sales to fund expansion of a start-up car company to drive to (pun intended) ever lower price points. In essence they plan to use ever increasing volumes to drive ever increasing economies of scale and thus enable them to move further and further down market. Thus, according to the plan they will start out with a limited run sports car, move to a high end sedan (and now an SUV based on the same platform to increase and sustain demand for relatively low extra development cost) while they gear up for a mid market vehicle. There a fair number of reports saying they will release their mid market car around 2017-2018.

          Most people don’t buy new cars anyhow. The vast majority of people buy used cars. Only about 30 percent of the population buys new cars. New car buyers tend to be a good amount wealthier than average. The high end cars will be increasingly available as used vehicles in time. Based on available info, these vehicles will have a very long life (with no battery replacements for well over 10 years and very low maintenance costs), and the company says it is working towards 1,000,000 miles of vehicle service.

          “But not enough to displace ICE sales. I expect that when Gas is back near $4/gallon. Over all vehicle sales will be down multiple times of EV sales even after sales of EV increase.”

          In addition to Tesla’s offerings, GM’s new Bolt arrives next year along with a slightly refreshed 2017 Volt (which is just now making deliveries of the 2016 version). Nissan is apparently planning an even longer range Leaf (roughly 200 miles) to replace the also just shipping 2016 Leaf with its 100 mile EPA range (again mentioned above). This new 2017(?) Leaf is also supposed to have less “divisive” looks. Mitsubishi will also bring their plug-in hybrid SUV to the U.S. in Spring of 2016. That vehicle is one of the best selling plug-ins in markets where is offered and, in fact, is out selling its ICE version. These are all mid market vehicles with very, very good sales prospects.

          Also in the same time frame, Ford is due for an update on its various plug-in vehicles. GM may well offer a CUV version of its Volt drivetrain. Chrysler claims it’ll be offering a plug-in mini-van (in volume?). BMW is supposed to continue expanding its plug-in range (to cover its entire range over the ten or so years). VW was saying they’d offer 20 plug-ins by 2020 before their diesel emissions problems fully surfaced. Will these be a higher priority (if they have any money)?

          Sure seems plenty enough product diversity and expected volumes to significantly impact global ICE sales. Global EV sales are increasing rapidly anyhow. Only U.S. sales have been down waiting on the new Leaf and Volt. In addition, fully autonomous vehicles will begin seeing the street before 2020 (2018?). Provided their usage is even remotely similar to livery vehicles, they should have major impacts on global vehicle markets regardless of drivetrain.

          • TechGuy says:

            Stan Wrote:
            “In that plan, they use the proceeds from luxury car sales to fund expansion of a start-up car company to drive to (pun intended) ever lower price points”

            yes, from $140K down to a measly $60K per car. What a bargain! At 60K, still very few can buy them.

    • Ovi says:

      Isn’t it amazing how such a Hi-Tech company needs all of those subsidies to survive. I wonder what will happen to sales in Denmark when the subsidy stops in 2016

      The government there taxes new cars as much as 180 percent, but EVs are still temporarily immune to the high rates.

      • Old Farmer Mac says:

        Denmark will be a net oil importer within ten to fifteen years but they have home grown electricity potential out the YING YANG.

      • Stan says:

        Their competition is heavily subsidized with both direct tax benefits and extremely large externalized costs. Despite that, this small start up firm has 25 percent plus margins. You are kidding yourself about which tech is dependent on subsidies.

  16. Jeffrey J. Brown says:

    Meanwhile, in the Middle East, a copy of my comment on the prior thread:

    Russia launches airstrikes in Syria:
    http://www.cnn.com/2015/09/30/politics/russia-syria-airstrikes-isis/index.html

    According to US sources, Russia is reportedly targeting anti-Assad rebel forces that are presumably supported by the US. Russia claims that they are targeting ISIS.

    In regard to history not repeating, but rhyming:
    A timeline of the First World War:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_World_War_I

    From the timeline, July 31, 1914:
    Germany warns Russia to stop mobilizing. Russia says mobilization is against Austria-Hungary only.

    Today’s news:

    Putin signs decree drafting 150,000 conscripts into the Russian military… as Iran and Hezbollah prepare major ground offensive in Syria with air support from Moscow’s bombers 
    • Russia launched airstrikes on rebel groups in Syria for second day straight
    • Country accused of targeting moderate rebels backed by U.S and not ISIS
    • Moscow foreign minister Lavrov has rejected the ‘rumours’ as ‘unfounded’ 
    • Hundreds of Iranian and Hezbollah troops ‘set to launch ground offensive’ 

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3255876/Russia-pouring-gasoline-fire-Syria-s-civil-war-says-America-Putin-defies-West-drops-bombs-non-ISIS-forces-fighting-Assad.html#ixzz3nLCmkMip

    • Jeffrey J. Brown says:

      And an item posted by TechGuy on the prior thread about growing unrest in the Saudi royal family, as power has been increasingly concentrated in one branch of the 35 surviving lines of the founder’s family:

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

      Excerpt from “On Saudi Arabia,” published a few years ago:

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

    • Watcher says:

      Odds seem good the Syrians don’t carry ISIS ID cards or “moderate anti Assad” ID cards, and given that some (most) of the “moderates” joined ISIS and handed over US arms, not clear what such accusations could mean.

      Looks unlikely there will be any pipelines for Qatar nat gas through Syria any time soon to reduce the GAZPROM monopoly in eastern Europe.

      • Arceus says:

        There will be pipelines for Iran and Russia if the axis of Russia/China/Iran get their way and I do not see why they won’t.

    • coffeeguyzz says:

      Mr. Brown

      Some of the commenters over on Zero Hedge, including a few from Russia, said that this 150,000 man conscription is just the normal, twice a year call up that still exists in Russia.
      If that is true, it may be yet one more example of ‘global information input’ via the net that enables accurate data to be accessible to all.

      I am firmly convinced, regardless of the relative importance of the Russian draft notice, that the Middle East is just one attack, one explosion away from a worldwide conflict.

      I hope I am wrong.

      • AlexS says:

        “Some of the commenters over on Zero Hedge, including a few from Russia, said that this 150,000 man conscription is just the normal, twice a year call up that still exists in Russia.”

        Exactly

      • Jeffrey J. Brown says:

        I wondered about that, but in any case the bigger story is Russia’s ongoing airstrikes, combined with the reports of Iranian and Hezbollah ground forces.

        Of course, recent conscripts will not be of any use this year anyway. A more ominous development, from a mobilization point of view, would be if Russia did not release experienced troops, after their normal enlistments are up.

        • coffeeguyzz says:

          Mr. Brown

          I agree completely.
          Not wishing to veer off into a political/ military tangent here (although anything involving the KSA is certainly energy related), the stakes that are in play over there are life and death for nations as well as individuals, intensely volatile, and obviously in full combat mode in an ever widening sphere.

          • Ves says:

            And despite all this gloom the price of oil did not even twitched upwards. It’s stuck on $45 number like ball at the roulette tables that have magnets underneath at certain numbers. Strange.

    • Article by former US presidential candidate Pat Buchanan about Putin’s UN speech

      http://www.theamericanconservative.com/buchanan/syria-and-the-danger-of-moral-imperialism/

  17. Huckleberry Finn says:

    Euan is hallucinating if he thinks current oversupply is 3 Million barrels per day.
    3 million barrels per day right now suggests that mismatch was even higher in December 2014 since demand has increased faster than supply decline since then.
    Even if we then use the average of 3 Million barrels per day mismatch then Inventories should have built at 3 Million X 275 days =825 Million barrels.
    Assuming US with about 1/4th the world’s consumption and inventories had a proportionate response, it would be expected that US inventories from December 31st Built by 210 Million barrels plus. But actual increase in total commercial inventories was about a 1/3rd of that.
    So what he needs to do is point out who is hoarding the remaining 700 Million barrels.

    • Arceus says:

      Trust me, your life will be much easier if you just go with the preferred narrative.

  18. Old Farmer Mac says:

    Does anybody have an estimate concerning the amount of oil that might be going into long term storage? It seems likely to me that China at least has plenty of cash on hand and would be buying in anticipation of higher prices later.

  19. Arceus says:

    More refinery trouble…

    First Houston, then California, then Midwest, now Chevron is reporting a leak at their Richmond facility (capacity of 245k bpd) – those guys just can’t seem to catch a break recently.

  20. AlexS says:

    Texas Alliance of Energy Producers (TAEP) is insisting that the state’s oil production is still growing. They say that Texas oil production in August totaled 110.5 million barrels (3,564 kb/d). This compares with the EIA’s estimate for July at 3,447 kb/d. I’m not sure if their source of data is reliable.

    From OGJ:

    “State crude output, meanwhile, continues to post higher year-over-year numbers. Production in August totaled 110.5 million bbl, up 12.3% year-over-year, and remains on schedule to break the annual record set more than 40 years ago.
    ….
    Ingham [economist and TPI creator] said even though the rate of production growth is slowing with each passing month, analysts have continued revising estimates of monthly oil production upward, both in Texas and across the US.
    “The Energy Information Administration has revised its production-estimation methodology and now says Texas production likely peaked in April,” Ingham said. “That may be right, but either way Texas production is still significantly higher this year compared to last, and that’s not likely going to change by yearend.”
    http://www.ogj.com/articles/2015/09/taep-oil-oversupply-pushing-down-economic-indicators-in-texas.html

    • Arceus says:

      The productivity of Texas oil wells is simply astounding. The surplus of oil will be a fantastic benefit to the economy and people everywhere. Now if the refiners could only get on the same page the price of oil would drop dramatically.

      • wimbi says:

        What kind of “fantastic benefit” is it to anyone to pour more and more grandchild killer into the biosphere at an ever increasing rate?

        People here are participating in a crime against the planet, and I am urging my politically active granddaughter to get her university friends to crank out a lawsuit against the government for failing to protect her and her age-mates from an undeniable highly probable threat to their life.

        I kid you not.

        • Doug Leighton says:

          Wimbi, I read Arceus’ comment and assumed he was being sarcastic. I’m still not sure. It’s possible there are people dumb enough to think we can have “fantastic benefit to the economy and people everywhere” by burning every last molecule of oil/gas in existence but surely not here on Ron’s Blog.

          • wimbi says:

            Hope you are right! I myself have written outrageous stuff here that has been taken seriously, so I understand full well that possibility.

            Of course I thought my stuff was SO outrageous that nobody could possibly take it seriously. Rong.

            Dang! Come to think of it, I haven’t taken my meds this morning. Maybe I’m not even alive.

            • Doug Leighton says:

              I know what you mean: Once I suggested we could always harvest NG (methane) from Titan and was taken seriously.

  21. Old Farmer Mac says:

    I would like to see more of this sort of trial.
    http://www.usnews.com/news/business/articles/2015/10/01/ex-massey-ceo-don-blankenship-arrives-for-federal-trial

    Somebody ought to ROT in jail for what went on at that mine.

  22. Old Farmer Mac says:

    More good commentary on Arctic oil:
    http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/33012-shell-s-interest-in-arctic-oil-grows

    Shell may be temporarily out but others will be anxious to get in.

    The title of this link says it all.

    If Japan is a good indicator, any country that grows to be well educated and highly developed may not have a population problem after two or three generations.

    http://japandailypress.com/japan-struggles-to-keep-its-population-above-100-million-0549072/

  23. Silicon Valley Observer says:

    I just did a google search on”oil prices 2016″ and all the article that came up are predicting continued low prices. But at the rate that drilling and exploration are being scaled back, I wonder how prices can continue this low into next year. It seems like artificial incentives (taxes, lease requirements, etc) have kept oil companies drilling since not drilling would cost more. But that situation can’t last, can it? Eventually, the lack of new drilling will reduce production to the point that prices have to rise, in my view. And if, as I believe, we are truly at the inflection point of peak oil, prices can only go one direction.

    I know, there is a price that will kill the world economy which will crush demand bringing prices back down, but I think the long-term upward trend will be relentless. There will always be those capable of paying more and they will. So here’s a WAG — 2016 will see $100 bbl oil again.

  24. Ronald Walter says:

    With the yen at 119.83 and the price of a tonne of oil at 36,210 yen, a metric ton of oil is 302 usd. 7.3 barrels per tonne, oil is $41.40 in Japan. A discount of 2.50 per barrel saves 10 million each day if they’re importing 4 million barrels per day. Adds up after a year and you’ll have more money later on to buy more oil.

    There is a power vacuum in Syria, the Russians must have been planning their military campaign for probably a year or so. They’re after a piece of the pie and if it takes military force, they can do that too. Looks like nobody can really stop them.

    • Old Farmer Mac says:

      It’s for sure nobody local can stop them if they decide to play hard ball.

      And for now it looks like the only country that COULD maybe stop them is the USA – and there is only a near zero chance that the Obumbler administration can put together a coalition of the sort of willing and get involved.Indications are that there is no DESIRE to get involved- or at least not nearly enough desire.

      Kicking some ass is one thing and easily accomplished if expensive in men and treasure. Sticking around afterward is another ball game altogether but they might succeed in installing a puppet government that suits their agenda and is strong enough to maintain itself.

      • Ronald Walter says:

        All wars are economic. During the American civil war, oil jumped to about 8 dollars per barrel in 1865 dollars.

        With gold at a price of 1100 2015 dollars, the price of oil during the Civil War hit an all time high.

        8/20ths of a twenty dollar gold piece, 40 percent, and a twenty dollar gold piece now worth 1100 dollars, it is equivalent to a 2015 price of 440 dollars per barrel.

        With the price of silver at 15 dollars, the price of oil in 1865 was just 120 USD per barrel. But, as the Great Mogambo always says, it’s not the same. Probably where it is indexed, but 440 dollars is more correct.

        If you have never heard of the Great Mogambo, the current issue is here:

        http://mogamboguru.com/current_issue.html

        War always causes increases in precious metal prices, and if there is oil, oil goes out of sight too. Either the price of silver is too low or the price of gold is too high.

        War reeks and wreaks havoc.

      • It won’t be a puppet government. The Russians have a very good relationship with Assad. I think the idea is to give Assad a breather so he can set up borders for a slightly smaller Syria on an interim basis. Once they achieve phase I they’ll move in on the Sunni territory if it’s convenient. Or they’ll let it fester to see if the USA decides to tackle the tough nut set up by Bush and Obama miscalculations.

        The debacle in Iraq and Syria prove the USA hasn’t had any common sense in foreign affairs for 14 years. Some pundits say it’s been over 23 years (ever since Clinton made his Mogadishu blunder it has been downhill all the way).

    • Silicon Valley Observer says:

      Perhaps the U.S. secretly wants Assad to defeat the rebels. It would make sense. The rebels aren’t going anywhere and only Assad is strong enough to combat ISIS. I can imagine Obama putting on an act to make it look like the U.S. disapproves of Putin’s actions. Our inaction speaks volumes. We aren’t going to do anything, nor should we.

      As far as “kicking ass” is concerned, those of us who have lost loved ones in pointless wars know what a stupid concept that is.

      • Old Farmer Mac says:

        In this case it appears that the loved ones lost in the kicking process will be Russians.

        I have been very lucky myself in terms of lost family except Vietnam and back.

        ISIS types would soon rule the world unless SOMEBODY fights back.

        The Russians are not exactly MODEL world citizens but the local people in Syria would be better off under a Russian dominated puppet government with the fighting stopped than they are NOW- at least in the short term and maybe longer term as well.

        By way of example, virtually all Russian women get a basic education and some get university training. If ISIS ever becomes well established, women will be chattel property for as long as ISIS lasts.

        • Aleksey says:

          The literacy rate in Russia, according to the 2002 census, is 99.4% (99.7% men, 99.2% women). According to a 2008 World Bank statistic 54% of the Russian labor force has attained a tertiary (college) education, giving Russia the highest attainment of college-level education in the world. 47.7% have completed secondary education (9 or 10 years old); 26.5% have completed middle school (8 or 9 years old) and 8.1% have elementary education (5 years old). Highest rates of tertiary education, 24.7% are recorded among women aged 35–39 years (compared to 19.5% for men of the same age bracket).

        • Strummer says:

          “some get university training”

          Ignorant comment of the year award candidate.

  25. aws. says:

    NextEra on Storage: ‘Post 2020, There May Never Be Another Peaker Built in the US’

    by Eric Wesoff, GTM, September 30, 2015

    When a player like NextEra Energy, a Fortune 200 firm with utility revenues of $17 billion and 44,900 megawatts of generating capacity, starts to tout energy storage, the utility industry and the renewables industry take notice. “Battery storage is the holy grail of the renewables business,” said the CEO, adding, “If we can deliver firm power to renewable customers at a cost-effective rate, you’ll see renewables explode even faster than they already are.”

  26. aws. says:

    Destruction of natural gas demand on the horizon.

    Moody’s: Cheap Batteries Could be ‘Credit Negative’ for Utilities and Power Generators

    by Jeff St. John, GTM, September 29, 2015

    Simply by charging with cheap nighttime power and discharging to mitigate demand charges, batteries can hit subsidy-free breakeven status at about $500 to $600 per kilowatt-hour in New York City, the country’s most lucrative market, Venkataraman said. That’s close to the $700 per kilowatt-hour all-in cost for SolarCity’s behind-the-meter peak-shaving system using Tesla Powerpack batteries, according to the U.S. Energy Storage Monitor report from GTM Research and the Energy Storage Association.

    “Another 20 percent decrease in prices, and you could be in the zone of viability in New York,” he said.

    • Old Farmer Mac says:

      Competition will reduce the cost of systems similar to the Solar City /Tesla Powerwall within five years- unless battery manufacturers can sell all they can make at higher prices- which seems unlikely but not impossible.Suppose the price of oil spikes sharply up within the next two or three years- which has happened before- and seems like a very real possibility to me at least?

      Auto assembly lines could suck up enough that the manufacturers could get net a nice profit on whatever is left over.

  27. Anton Koffield says:

    Whither goest Alaska?

    http://oilprice.com/Energy/Crude-Oil/Alaska-Facing-Tough-Choices-Without-Arctic-Oil.html

    What did KIC-1 reveal?

    http://www.gasandoil.com/news/n_america/3b38b087544a39c7dad052b6e7fd8d7f

    So the AK Governor wants to get cracking on a NG pipeline? Current NG prices will not support that. If we as a species and a country could manage to look more than beyond the next financial quarter, we probably should invest in an AK NG pipeline as a long-term insurance policy…and NOT to export to Asia..for our own use…while we have the wherewithal, we should exploit the furthest and most difficult oil and gas resources first, then work our way back to the core, sucking the lower 48 stuff dry last. We should have done the same internationally…suck oil from overseas, send our oil workers overseas to gain experience, maintain a lower extraction rate in the U.S., then as overseas dries up, finish exploiting our home oil and gas with our own workers.

    Here’s another idea: Make massive ongoing investments in solar and wind and efficiency technologies. Spend money now to manage our contraction to a lower energy, lower in quantity and quality, future.

    Build new nuclear only if we increase its safety and come up with a workable national strategy to deal with the waste…not too likely. Back to: Invest in transitioning to a lower energy future. Set people’s expectations….over and over again…drill it into their heads until they whisper the mantra of ‘less with less’ in their sleep.

    • Clueless says:

      “Build new nuclear only if we increase its safety and come up with a workable national strategy to deal with the waste”

      Caveman 1: “Joe, what the hell are you doing?”
      Caveman 2 (Joe): “I am building a fence. I am going to keep the cows in. Graze ’em and raise ’em for milk and beef.”
      Caveman 1: “Joe, that will never work. The world will never be able to figure out what to do with all of that cow dung.”

      • Fred Magyar says:

        Caveman 1: “Joe, that will never work. The world will never be able to figure out what to do with all of that cow dung.”

        Sure they will, they will use it to fertilize kelp beds…

        http://www.greenwave.org

        • wimbi says:

          Fred, that kelp bed idea is a really great one. No surprise, since I had already thought it up and teleported it to those guy’s heads.

          You could also add sport fishing islands on top of those beds and charge huge rents to the billionaires who are so inclined.

          And, while at it, put PV on top of the sportfisher’s paradise to keep off the rain – and hurricanes.

          But truly, a great idea. I love it.

  28. AlexS says:

    Russian Oil Output Reaches Post-Soviet Record in September

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-10-02/russian-oil-output-reaches-post-soviet-record-in-september

    Russian oil output rose to a post-Soviet record last month as producers took advantage of the weak ruble to push ahead with drilling. The nation’s production of crude and condensate climbed to 10.74 million barrels a day, 1 percent more than a year earlier and topping a record set in June, according to data from the Energy Ministry’s CDU-TEK unit

    My comment: Bloomberg (as some other sources) uses 7.33 barrels per ton conversion ratio for Russian oil.
    With the 7.3 ratio oil (which I prefer) production in September was 10,697 kb/d, up 43 kb/d from August levels and 20 kb/d above the previous peak in June.
    The average output for January-September was 10.65 mb/d, up 1.3% year-on-year.

    Russian oil production (mb/d)
    Source: Energy Ministry

  29. Fabio says:

    Brazilian crude oil output sets new record in August, C+C up 3.3% MoM and 9.5% YoY.

    Source: brazilian national petroleum agency
    http://www.anp.gov.br/?pg=76990

    • Fred Magyar says:

      Thanks Fabio, that’s a good resource. I’m sure that result will make Dilma happy, at least for the moment 🙂

    • AlexS says:

      Brazil pre-salt production is up 140% from January 2014.
      Other production is roughly at the same levels
      Source: ANP

    • AlexS says:

      After 3 years of stagnating/slightly declining output, Brazil’s C+C production started to increase in 2014 and this growth continued this year.

      • JODI gives a slightly different profile. This is through July 2015. The peak was in December 2014 at 2,503,000 bpd and in July 2,471,000 bp.

         photo Brazil JODI_zps2m94arsw.jpg

        • AlexS says:

          Ron,

          you’ve already said that JODI’s numbers for the US are not accurate.
          This also applies to Russia.
          BTW, the IEA’s numbers for June and August are the same, as Russia’s Energy Ministry’s preliminary estimates (they were slightly revised up).
          From the September OMR (p.27):
          “Russian oil production continued to defy low oil prices and international sanctions, posting nearly 150 kb/d annual gain in August. Crude and condensate output inched up 20 kb/d from July, to 10.68 mb/d, supported by high drilling rates. Russian producers have been benefitting from the rouble’s depreciation against the US dollar, with the dollar-based returns largely compensated for by rouble-based investments. The country’s flexible tax system is also sheltering producers from the price drop, with the government taking the brunt of the decline.”

          Note, that in the text, the IEA mentions C+C production.
          In the table, the numbers are for C+C+NGLs:
          June July August
          11.06 11.00 11.02

          • AlexS says:

            I am sorry, I sought your comment referred to Russia.
            But in Brazil’s case, too, I prefer using national statistics.
            They are quite detailed (by key basins and fields)

        • AlexS says:

          In fact, JODI numbers for Brazil are very close to ANP

      • Rune Likvern says:

        AlexS, thanks for sharing.
        Does anyone have any estimates on full cycle specific costs ($/b) to develop pre salt discoveries?
        Note that the growth in pre salt oil extraction grew in a period with high oil price.

        • AlexS says:

          Rune,

          I have seen estimates between $40 and $60 per barrel.

          Here is what Petrobras says (an article from World Oil):

          Pre-salt is still economically viable, Petrobras says

          http://www.worldoil.com/news/2015/1/9/pre-salt-is-still-economically-viable-petrobras-says

          The company says that its break-even price, planned at the moment when its pre-salt production projects were approved, is around $45/bbl, including taxes and not including natural gas transportation infrastructure spending. Inclusion of the latter spending may raise the total figure by $5 to $7/bbl.
          Furthermore, the stated break-even price assumes a well flow of between 15,000 and 25,000 bopd. Petrobras is currently producing average flows of 20,000 bopd in the pre-salt layer.
          Some wells in the Santos Basin Pre-Salt Cluster have attained flows of more than 30,000 bopd, making projects more economical. For example, this high productivity has enabled the pilot production units of the FPSO Cidade de São Paulo (operating in Sapinhoá field) and FPSO Cidade de Paraty (deployed in Lula field) to reach their maximum production capacity, of 120,000 bopd, using just four production wells connected to each one.

        • AlexS says:

          “Note that the growth in pre salt oil extraction grew in a period with high oil price.”

          Not exactly. However most of investments in incremental 2015 production were indeed made when prices were at $100

          • Rune Likvern says:

            AlexS, thanks!
            Try plotting pre salt versus the oil price since 2005.

            • Fabio says:

              Most would argue that in 2005 it had not yet been “discovered”, but I’m not so sure.
              Unlike fracking, however, the deepwater tech did evolve drastically over the last decades.
              Of notice also that Shell recently acquired BG and most analysts admit BG’s pre-salt assets played a major role on Shell’s decision, and this was when oil prices had already collapsed.

    • AlexS says:

      Petrobras has recently sharply revised down its medium-term oil production projections.
      Petrobras currently accounts for about 95% of Brazil C+C output

      Petrobras old and new projections vs. EIA’s forecast for Brazil (mb/d)

      • I reviewed some Brazil deep water oil developments a few years ago. The deep water presalt reservoirs are developed in 2000 meters+ water depth, which requires subsea completions connected to a Floating Production Storage Offloading vessel (FPSO).

        The FPSO is limited to. A set production capacity. For example

        “The Cidade de Itaguaí vessel had 12 modules built in Brazil, 10 at Empresa Brasileira de Engenharia’s site in Itaguaí and two at Schahin’s site in São Sebastião. The integration of these modules took place at the BrasFELS shipyard in Angra dos Reis.
        The platform vessel was procured by the Schahin/Modec consortium, which had the responsibility for

        The unit has the capacity to produce 150 thousand barrels of oil per day and compression of 8 million cubic meters of natural gas per day. Production is expected to begin in the third quarter this year.

        Anchored 240 km off the coast of Rio de Janeiro, at a depth of approximately 2 240 metres, the FPSO Cidade de Itaguaí will be connected to eight production wells and nine injection wells. The natural gas will be exported onshore through a sub-sea pipeline. Additionally, the unit has storage capacity of 1.6 million barrels of oil and injection capacity of 264 thousand barrels of water per day.”

        http://www.bg-group.com/~/tiles/?tiletype=news&id=800

        I know consultants who helped prepare the presalt development plans, and I know their software. This gives me an insight as to how this should evolve in the future. My guess is that Brazil’s total production would peak at about 4 mmbopd in about 10 years. Just a guess.

        The presalt oil reservoirs are very nice. Some wells are terrible, but some produce up to 36000 BOPD each. The eventual problem is well costs. They won’t be drilling this on tight spacing, nor will they be able to afford the usual workover jobs to shut off water.

  30. shallow sand says:

    New Bloomberg article on CHK debt refinance, including how same hurts unsecured bondholders, may be worth a link.

    • gwalke says:

      Hi Shallow,

      You’ve come across as a guy with some practical hands-on experience of shale, so I’d love to hear your thoughts on these two articles, written by the same journalist at Bloomberg:

      http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-09-30/america-s-oil-output-refuses-to-collapse-here-s-one-reason-why-

      http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-10-01/oil-drillers-bet-choking-wells-will-keep-shale-from-going-bust

      Exhibit A: US production has held up because companies are adding more proppant.

      Exhibit B: US production has held up because companies choke early production (?!)

      My two cents: more proppant will increase IP but may hurt/be indifferent to ultimate recovery, either simply front-loading production or ruining well integrity. Encana may be choking early production – and this may be a good thing to do if you are a company that wants to extract oil and sell it at a profit – but most companies are debt ponzi schemes not honest-to-God value creators. That is to say, most have the choke wide open to maximise IP, maximise the EUR they can state to investors and the SEC, and thus maximise PDP asset base and the lending they can get. This allows production to be flat short term because they are ‘borrowing’ oil from further down the decline curve.

      • Are they really producing with a wide open choke? A fractured horizontal well’s productivity index isn’t that high, practical considerations would tell me they should be on a half inch choke. I’m going by intuition, assuming they installed a 2 7/8 tubing string and have a slim flowline going to a nearby separator. Can anybody tell me what they are using?

        • gwalke says:

          Hi Fernando,

          See, this is why this place is such a good resource. I’m not an engineer (as is abundantly clear) – so what I mean by a wide open choke is the same as saying a wide open throttle i.e. they are purposefully overproducing in the early months. Clearly this is not the right analogy….

          • Old Farmer Mac says:

            Tech question for any hands on guy.

            Given that a choke is a piece of the well plumbing system used to control the volume of oil that enters the well – to the best of my knowledge at least-it makes sense that it would be at or very near the bottom of the well but it could actually be almost anywhere in the well from the top to the bottom so far as I can see, so long as the plumbing can withstand the pressure.

            But locating it ABOVE a pump would make no sense at all, it would cause the pump to work a lot harder.

            Just where is the choke device usually located and is it adjustable in place or does the operator have to pull it out and replace it with a different one to change the rate at which the well produces?

            • The choke goes in a choke body downstream of the Xmas tree valve.

              Wells on pump aren’t usually put on choke, wells on gas lift may require a choke to set tubing pressure and allow the gas injection control valves to work properly.

              Thus the “choke” is usually put on flowing wells. We can also introduce back pressure (raise the pressure at the top of the well) by connecting the well to a higher pressure gas separator.

              If I were running this set up I would use a very large choke, a high pressure separator, to avoid or reduce associated gas compression costs.

              This sort of gets complicated because the gas also has to be dehydrated. Which explains why I like multiwell pads interconnected to reduce the amount of equipment we have to use on each individual well.

              • gwalke says:

                The fundamental point I’m trying to get at is: can someone make a choice to juice IP or juice ultimate recovery? Seems like they can through choke management.

                That being the case, we have a prime suspect for why IP and UR in the Bakken don’t correlate in the simple way they would if there were no human manipulation of the numbers.

      • shallow sand says:

        gwalke. I do not have hands on experience with LTO.

        We own shallow, low oil volume low decline stripper oil wells.

        I have analyzed LTO finically, using my own simple metrics. I look on a well by well basis where things are at 60 months. I also try to roughly calculate what oil and gas prices US independents need to hold production flat and be cash flow neutral.

        This year has been a very tough one for us. Very tough for LTO also. I continue to be surprised by the continued exploration for oil and gas in the US given poor economics and very high debt levels.

        Thanks for sharing your insights.

        • Watcher says:

          When you HAVE to have it, economics won’t matter. Maybe they already don’t.

          If shale cut back production and price upticked a little, who is to say Russia would be willing to ship the increased import need? Why fuel your enemy? At any price.

        • shallow sand says:

          I read the article comparing EnCana to EOG. So, in the current price environment, EOG EFS wells pay out in 8 months and EnCana’s pay out in 12 months, on average?

          I would really like to see the lease operating statements for EnCana and EOG’s EFS wells.

          It is my understanding that many of the EFS wells have a 25% royalty burden.

          I do not doubt that there may be some wells in Karnes Co., TX that are capable of payout in 8-12 months at $45 WTI. However, I would note that we are never shown lease operating statements for these wells by the independent producers.

          It seems when I am able to look at lease operating statements on the auction, I find that many times things are not as rosy as the company presentations make them out to be. Maybe I am only looking at the weaker wells, as interests in those are maybe more likely to be placed on the auction block than the best wells?

          Will be interesting to see how Q3 turns out for EnCana, EOG and the other public LTO producers. Our Q3 stunk.

          • gwalke says:

            Many thanks for the reply, shallow. Your research/experience and ours seem to be in line with each other.

  31. Anton Koffield says:

    I stand by my prediction that Marco Rubio will rise to the top of the toxic stew that is the republican Presidential candidates:

    http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2015/10/why_jeb_bush_s_first_attack_on_marco_rubio_can_t_possibly_work.html

    A few daze ago someone posted that Jebbers will be the chosen one—incorrect!

    Feel the Bern!

    • Fuser says:

      I think Trump will ride republican xenophobia all the way to the convention. If and when he needs to, he’ll rally the birthers against Cruz, who was born in Canada. He can label Rubio and Jindal anchor babies if he feels the need.

  32. Interesting fact: the August 2015 electricity bill for my beachside apartment in SE Spain

    Total kWh consumed 283.

    Cost to generate electricity 24,01 €
    Grid cost 12,08 €
    Renewables surcharge 12,48 €
    Taxes 15,60 €
    “Other costs as per regulations” 10,41 €
    Total 73,81

    Total $81 USA dolllars

    Cost is $0.29 USD per kWh all inclusive. However my contract has a clause which allows me to ratchet up consumption to 5.5 kW, which allows us to run the clothes dryer and the oven and AC at the same time. The bill can be reduced by signing up to a lower capacity. The apartment usually gets a very nice breeze, we seldom run the AC. We cook w/ natural gas.

    • Old Farmer Mac says:

      What are the ”other costs an per regulations” ?

      Do you use gas to heat hot water?

      Our bill is about the same but your rate is three times as high.Spain is importing substantial quantities of coal ,oil, and gas.

      The renewables infrastructure you have built out already will enable your country to avoid the cost of purchasing a lot of coal and gas for another twenty to thirty years at least.

      With this long term savings in mind, the renewables charge you pay does not look quite so outrageous.

      Green Peace in a paper put out about five years ago says the subsidies paid directly to the domestic coal industry at that time were much larger that the ones paid to renewables developers.

      xxxx

      Currently, the Spanish coal industry receives direct subsidies of at least €1,710 million a 2
      year. Bycomparison,therenewableenergyindustryreceivesonly6.64%ofthisamount.If
      the other costs that coal incurs are taken into account, such as local health and environmental 3
      costs, or costs for research and development, the total subsidies rise to €2500 million a year . This figure does not include costs caused by climate change.
      The coal industry in Spain has been subsidised over the years because it has been viewed as a strategic national resource that contributes to Spain’s energy security, is abundant and stable in price. However, this view is no longer valid.
      Spain is not self-sufficient when it comes to using domestic coal to fire its 22 coal plants. 60%
      4
      Price stability can also not be guaranteed today. In recent years, from 2000 to 2007, prices for
      of the coal consumed in Spain is imported. Domestic coal only produces 7% of its electricity. Two-thirds of the wind power capacity already installed in Spain could produce the same amount of energy provided by the country’s domestic coal industry.

      xxxx

      You will always need some coal and gas for base load and to back up wind and sun but over the long haul it looks like the cheapest solution for the country would be to just maintain the coal and gas plants as backup and build more renewables to so as to avoid the purchase of oil and gas to the extent possible.

      Of course this personal opinion is based on my expectation that the price of both oil and gas will rise due to depletion and ordinary monetary inflation while any renewables that get built can be built with borrowed current day money and repaid with depreciated money over the next couple of decades.

    • Techsan says:

      Fernando, obviously the right thing for you to do is to install PV solar!

      Your electricity use can be satisfied by 2 KW of PV panels. At $2.50/watt (current US installed price, maybe Europe is cheaper — Germany is about half US price) that would be $5000. You are paying $1000 per year right now, so you could pay for the solar in 5 years.

      • A) we don’t have a place to put panels. B) if we did the panels wouldn’t be that attractive from a financial standpoint. C) panels require a lot of washing. If I had the space and the drive to lose money with panels I still wouldn’t do it, washing panels is almost as bad as washing a car.

        • Techsan says:

          I only wash my panels about once or twice a year. (I don’t wash my EV cars any more often.) Rain does some of the washing, and it only hurts output a bit (maybe 10%) if they aren’t washed.

  33. Longtimber says:

    Actual here in NW Florida. Note that commercial rate depends on Capacity Factor. (Mo Avg kWh/Peak kW). Fuel is primary 100% imported coal from Colombia according to the EIA Coal DataBrowser. PV @ $3.00 Installed has a nice risk free ROI. Future kWh shall be more DG Distributed Generation.

  34. Ronald Walter says:

    Volkswagen is 22 dollars and change today, has a 52 week high of 52.87, a loss of 30 dollars per share, that’s down 60 percent.

    It has a dividend of 1.09 per share, has earnings of over 4 dollars per share, and it is currently on the ropes because of their scandalous practices. They’ll muddle through, eventually emerge as a redeemed prodigal son, work it out and put it behind them, they’ll be able to do it. They should be whipped and dragged behind a horse for a quarter of a mile, a punishment they deserve, but just make them pay through the nose so the stock price will drop some more.

    Doesn’t look like they’ll go broke, so at some point, VW might be a buy.

    Then there is Whiting, words can’t explain what it is, they want to sell, no buyers, so they dilute the stock some more. 15 dollars per share explains their predicament. A fall from grace.

    Then there is Russia who says we’ll be choosing our bombing targets and the rest of you can go fly a kite.

    • It’s really interesting to see how the USA gets a conuption when Russians start behaving like Americans.

      • Amvet says:

        Fernando, True. My take is that the Russians are mad as hell. We used the UN no-fly resolution on Libya to fly 9,658 airstrikes killing Libyans to do regime change. We then had NATO fly in weapons and personnel to Turkey for regime change in Syria. Then there was Victoria Nuland and the coup regime change in Kiev. After our guys burned the building full of Russian speakers in Odessa, some of the Russian speakers revolted so our guys used cluster bombs, white phosphorus, and heavy artillery to kill a few thousand and force about 1.5 million out of their homes into the cold. Over one million fled to Russia. To compensate we sanctioned Russia. At some point things could go badly for us. Already Europe is flooded with people who will probably never fit in.

        • JR Ewing says:

          Well said Amvet. I couldn’t agree more.

        • Clueless says:

          I did not want to pile on. But, [as anyone could tell from some of my prior posts] I think that generally Russia gets a bad rap. They have their faults like every country. But, the US seems to want to pile on. In my cautioned opinion, they should be a reasonable ally, since they are no longer Communist dominated. If you rank England first [who we defeated in War twice], and Germany second, [who we defeated in War twice] who do you want? China? France? South Africa? Mexico? Brazil? Japan? I will give you Canada and Australia [and others], but they are not significant enough.

  35. dmg555 says:

    Supertanker rates turn.

    • Clueless says:

      I also read a few days ago that the Cantango was almost large enough to book them for storage.

      • AlexS says:

        Yes, it seems that more tanker capacity is used as floating storage

      • Old Farmer Mac says:

        For anybody who might know:

        It IS apparently possible to pump crude INTO an old oil well although the process might be sort of slow and expensive but this might not be so in all cases.

        If this were to be done, roughly how much of the oil pumped down could be recovered, and at roughly what round trip expense in energy?

        I have looked for cost estimates for building a tank farm but didn’t find any for the likeliest country – China- which has the cash on hand, and the industrial capacity to spare now that the Chinese economy seems to be slowing down.

        • Watcher says:

          The SPR reports significantly less than full recovery of what they add to storage.

        • It IS apparently possible to pump crude INTO an old oil well although the process might be sort of slow and expensive but this might not be so in all cases.

          I am not an oil man but that seems like a really dumb idea. Why would you do that? It would take energy to pump it back into the source rock and more energy to pump it back out. And it would have a lot of water in it and I am not at all sure you could recover all of it.

          I think there should be a whole lot better and cheaper places to store oil rather than pumping it back into the source rock.

          • Old Farmer Mac says:

            If you can buy it for forty and dump it in a stripper well and get it out again for another twenty, and expect it to sell for a hundred within four or five years or alternatively avoid buying it for a hundred, this would make plenty of sense.

            It might not be out of the question to store a few million barrels this way in a mostly exhausted oil field. One thing is for sure, the rental rate would be pretty close to ZERO, compared to renting a tank farm or tanker.

            All the tank farms and decrepit old tankers are probably full by now, and building a new tank farm might be a very risky proposition especially considering that by the time it could be finished, oil might be not be cheap enough to make buying it for long term storage a good bet.

            An enemy can bomb tank farms and ships into scrap,but it seems unlikely an oil field can be bombed to the point any oil still there cannot be recovered , given that most of the infrastructure that really counts is underground.

            This trick would enable a country with some suitable exhausted wells and money on hand, and all available conventional storage full up, to get rid of potentially risky cash and stock up MORE of a strategically critical commodity.

            If the world goes to hell in a hand basket, neither futures contracts nor ordinary buy and sell contracts will be worth the paper needed to print them out.

            Oil inside national borders would be available to keep essential industries running.

            Dollar debt or any foreign debt held by any country might depreciate in value VERY rapidly indeed.

            Blue water tanker transport might cease for the duration of a war- and it might be very limited for some years afterward if a lot of tankers are sunk.

            I am not saying anybody WILL put crude bought say from Saudi Arabia down a well in say China- but it could make sense to do so depending on future price assumptions the buyer might make.

            A hell of a lot of people buy stocks that don’t pay any dividends hoping to make no better returns than in the example I just made up.

            There is a LOT of money in the world right now chasing returns that hardly exist, a couple of percent a year on government paper for instance.

            If forty dollar oil is selling for seventy dollars five years from now and it costs twenty to get it out again, that is still a two percent plus compounded return.

            Some allowance would have to be made for not being able to get ALL of it out again, at least not quickly but that risk could be offset by the likelihood of getting a higher price.

            Somebody tell me why it would not be possible- in principle- to grind up spent nuclear fuel and pump it down an exhausted t oil well with Fracking equipment – not very much in any given well- and plug the well and forget about it, five or ten thousand feet down under capstone that has stood the test of time for millions of years.

            It might be possible to get a small portion of such spent fuel back up by redrilling the well – but with only a small amount sent down any given well to begin with, it seems damned unlikely anybody WOULD ever bring it up again..

            Thinking inside the box never got anybody on the techno thriller or anti utopian best seller list.

            • If you can buy it for forty and dump it in a stripper well and get it out again for another twenty, and expect it to sell for a hundred within four or five years or alternatively avoid buying it for a hundred, this would make plenty of sense.

              No, no, no, that was not the question? The question was why store it THERE? You could store in many places that would be much less expensive and not nearly as hard to recover. Why would you store it in the most unlikely place in the world? You could store it in tanks, or in a salt cavern like the government does. Pumping it back underground, back into the reservoir rock it was originally pumped out just makes no damn sense at all.

              It would take a lot of energy to force the oil back into the reservoir rock, and force the water out at the same time. And you have no guarantee which way the oil would go. It may go a way which would not allow it to be recovered. Just because you push it into a hole, there is no guarantee that you will be able to pull it back out of that hole.

              Really Mac, this just seems like a hair brained idea.

              • ChiefEngineer says:

                “hair brained idea”

                Remember, Mac’s a Liberal Conservative

                • Old Farmer Mac says:

                  You are not the first person to notice , Chief. Lol

                  I keep this long running charade up to point out that things that MAKE SENSE make sense if you THINK about them no matter your cultural background.

                  The expense of maintaining a very strong military establishment makes perfect sense to a conservative who wishes his homeland to be safe.

                  The expense of enforcing strong environmental regulations in order to protect the homeland makes perfect sense to a liberal.

                  If liberals were willing to give up their politics and had brains bigger than peanuts, they would recognize the need for a strong military establishment.

                  If conservatives would give up their double damned politics, they would recognize that their homes are in more danger from environmental degradation than they are from terrorists- and that Homeland Security in the end is a bigger danger to us than ANY outside enemy.

                  ANY well thought out policy or idea can generally be supported from the pov of a liberal or a conservative, if both are willing to give up partisan considerations.

                  Ditto any rotten idea or policy can be seen for what it is by a person of either persuasion if he is willing to give up partisan considerations.

                  In the last analysis hardly anybody THINKS. Everybody just looks around and decides which “in” group he belongs to and after that everybody else is an outsider and an enemy to some degree.The degree may be so slight that outsiders are still invited to dinner but it is still there.

                  Only a fool or a partisan would object to the Keystone pipeline on environmental grounds, considering that the oil is going to be burnt ANYWAY and that if it doesn’t move thru a brand new pipeline it will move on trains and in OLD pipelines – or new pipelines twice as long built east and west in Canada.

                  Only a fool or a partisan would object to pot being legalized since it is basically harmless- at least compared to beer or cigarettes- and on top of that the fool who believes pot should be illegal generally also believes government should mind its own business instead of individual’s business.

                  If chimps could talk they have some nasty things to say about humans claiming to be THEIR first cousins.

                  We NEED a Sky Daddy who loves us and looks after us because we are too stupid to look after ourselves.

                  • ChiefEngineer says:

                    “We NEED a Sky Daddy who loves us and looks after us because we are too stupid to look after ourselves.”

                    Clearly your Conservative side showing

                    “Only a fool or a partisan would object to the Keystone pipeline on environmental grounds, considering that the oil is going to be burnt ANYWAY”

                    I understand your argument. But you miss the point. This is about drawing a line in the sand about BAU and changing direction to conservation, waste reduction, efficiency, changing expectations and renewables.

                    Notice I didn’t say Conservative Liberal.

                    If you fail to plan, you plan to fail

                  • Old Farmer Mac says:

                    Out of place reply to Chief Engineer’s two twelve reply.

                    The closing sky daddy remark was intended as sarcasm.

                    The Keystone IS a line in the sand issue for a relatively small number of hard core environmentalists.

                    In terms of national politics it is a litmus test.You automatically want it stopped if you are a democrat. You want it built if you are a republican.

                    This holds true pretty much right across the board excepting union trades democrats. They LOVE pipelines.

                  • Don Wharton says:

                    OFM Only a fool or a partisan would object to the Keystone pipeline on environmental grounds, considering that the oil is going to be burnt ANYWAY and that if it doesn’t move thru a brand new pipeline it will move on trains and in OLD pipelines – or new pipelines twice as long built east and west in Canada.

                    The crappy expensive oil in the Canadian oil sands is better left in the ground. The Democrats are not likely to build the XL and I don’t see the Canadians building any pipelines going east or west. The use of trains might make it uneconomical to transport. There is a real chance that much of it will be left in the ground.

                  • Boomer II says:

                    The crappy expensive oil in the Canadian oil sands is better left in the ground.

                    That’s why I don’t want to see the pipeline built. I’m skeptical about oil sands both from an economic perspective and from land impact perspective. I think if we have come to the point where we “need” oil sands, it’s time to plan for the post-oil age.

                    The other issue, which I keep pointing out, is that the pipeline needs to go across private property and some folks who own that property don’t want it there. It’s not just a “liberal” issue. It’s a “conservative” property rights issue, too.

              • Old Farmer Mac says:

                Obviously you would have to test the idea and find out if it would work.

                Obviously enough it might not.I suspect the weight alone of the column of oil in the pipes going down a mile or more would be sufficient to help a great deal with the energy needed to do the pumping.

                Obviously enough the reason you would store oil purchased from one country in a well in another country is that the country doing the storing LACKS storage tanks.

                Sometimes it is necessary or at least prudent to do things without worrying TOO much about the costs. Most larger countries have spent enormous fortunes on military gear that was never used and is now obsolete but still functionally new- and on training soldiers that mostly never went into battle.

                • I suspect the weight alone of the column of oil in the pipes going down a mile or more would be sufficient to help a great deal with the energy needed to do the pumping.

                  Well I really don’t think so. It took years to drain all the oil out of those tiny pores in the source rock. It would take a long time to pump it back in. After all the pores are now filled with water and that water has to go somewhere else. So you are not just pumping oil back into source rock but you are also forcing water out of its current location and into another location. And it would be a very slow process, taking at least many months to pump the oil back into the tiny pores that it took years to drain out of.

                  And when you finally go to retrieve the oil, it would only come out very slowly, no faster than it originally came out. It would take years to retrieve it. And you would get a lot of water. And you would likely never retrieve all the oil you pumped into the well.

                  No, I don’t think the idea really needs to be tested.

          • Watcher says:

            Well, if you did this then you’d actually have a place for the alleged 3 mbpd since July 2014 to be stored. As opposed to now.

  36. Don Wharton says:

    Baker Hughes US rig count down this week.

    Land 776 down 24
    Inland waters 3 down 2
    Offshore 30 down 3
    Total 809 down 29

    Gulf of Mexico 29 down 2

  37. I completely forgot about this being Friday and Baker Hughes Rig Count Day. I think this is a far bigger decline than anyone expected.

     photo Baker Hughes_zpszm0xjvzp.jpg

    • AlexS says:

      Really big drop!
      Oil rigs down 26 to 614. This is 14 units less than previous low of 628 units on June 26th

  38. Yetanother Mike says:

    Sorry to hijack the thread (couldn’t figure out how to respond way on back in the discussion)but at 10/01/2015 5:27 PM Fred Magyar says :”Before which, BTW, there was no universe, as we conceive of it today, nor was there even time.” What an extraordinary statement. I was wondering if Mr. Magyar had any objective evidence of this, or if he would care to expound on how this conclusion might be reached.

    • Doug Leighton says:

      Such a discussion is off topic here but if you’re really interested Google Big Bang theory. Decades of research has put this on an extremely solid foundation. In order to pursue this topic in depth you will need a good grounding in both astronomy (astrophysics) and advanced mathematics.

    • Don Wharton says:

      Fred is likely to be quite wrong on this point. Inflation occurs with a probability that an additional doubling of the size will occur and a probability that some part of the inflationary mass will cease to double and fall into the normal space time condition of our universe. Since the number of doublings required to generate the mass of our universe would mandate that the probability of additional doublings is much in excess of the probability of falling into our type of space time, the logical conclusion is that inflation never ceased. Thus almost all theories of inflationary cosmology now talk about eternal inflation. This also implies that new universes are being created at a furious rate and time will extend back before our perceived Big Bang though an arbitrarily long, if not infinite, inflationary period.

      • Fred Magyar says:

        This also implies that new universes are being created at a furious rate and time will extend back before our perceived Big Bang though an arbitrarily long, if not infinite, inflationary period.

        Yes, that might indeed be the way it is and Krauss concedes that point in his lecture and in the debate following it. However he also says that he is only talking about our universe and that it began at the Big Bang and that is when time for our universe also started.
        Now if you disagree with that then you need to take it up with him.

    • Fred Magyar says:

      What an extraordinary statement. I was wondering if Mr. Magyar had any objective evidence of this, or if he would care to expound on how this conclusion might be reached.

      I was merely paraphrasing what Laurence Krauss had said in his lecture.
      https://goo.gl/zJSTMV

    • The theory says the universe is expanding. This is confirmed by the red shifted light we get from other galaxies. The expansion rate appears to be variable (my mental model says it ought to be accelerating, but there’s a lot of back and forth debate over the details). Some say the expansion rate was incredibly fast in the beginning, then it settled down to a slower rate which changes slowly over time.

      If we extrapolate backwards we can discern everything collapsing into a single point. However, we can’t really tell what happened in the early universe.

      We do know time is relative, and in some extreme circumstances time doesn’t “pass”, meaning we couldn’t tell if time was changing because everything would be “running extremely slow”. But those conditions are incredibly exotic and we don’t really have a way to get observe to the very beginning of this thing we call “our” universe. I think it’s impossible.

      • TechGuy says:

        “. Some say the expansion rate was incredibly fast in the beginning, then it settled down to a slower rate which changes slowly over time.”

        Gravity Paradox: The time when the universe cooled off when gravity split off as it own force would have been too small to prevent the universe from collapsing on itself. The maximum allowable escape velocity is the speed of light, which would have billions too slow to to permit the universe to collapse into a giant black hole. To “bend” or ignore this paradox, Cosmologist introduce some black magic by introducing the theory of inflation so that the universe could expand billions of time faster than the speed of light. The problem is that mass alters the speed of light, but to slow it down which would be the opposite of inflation.

        Also the Universe appears to be infinite. I recall seeing a show (perhaps NOVA) where they did an analysis of the universe. If the Universe was formed in a big bang it should have been spherical, instead it flat and infinite.

        Then there are anomalies like the Methuselah star which appear to be 14.46 Billion years old.
        http://phys.org/news/2014-10-universe-older.html

        Even if you assume be error margin +/- 800 Million years. It seems improbably that this type of star would have existed right at the beginning of the big bang. The first generation stars were all super giants which all went nova with in just a few dozen or hundred million years after formation. The odds that this star managed form as a low mass star and not get annihilated in 13+ Billion years since the beginning has to raise some eyebrows.

        FWIW: Science has been always under estimating age of objects. The Earth when to 20 Million years, to 200 Million years to 500 million years and so on. Peaking at about 4.5 Billion years. However this is probably in error since the Theta collision that formed the Earth Moon system happened 4.5 Billion years ago, which reset the clock. The issue is that all of the rocks measured are link to the Theta collision include meteorites. It very likely we still don’t have it right.

        Perhaps when the James Webb telescope becomes operational will have more data to make a better determination about the formation. The only evidence that the Big Bang happened is that the universe (at least from our prospective) indicates the universe is expanding. but it falls to account for the numerous anomalies. The issue is that scientist tend to make giant claims without sufficient data to substantiate them. It appears that astronomers and cosmologists are also casting doubt on the Big Bang Theory.

        http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/backlash-to-big-bang-discovery-gathers-steam/

        • Don Wharton says:

          The Scientific American article is not casting doubt on the Big Bang. There was just one scientist that questioned whether the asserted data on gravity waves precluded his particular alternative to the standard theory of inflation. The rest of the lame attempts to suggest doubts above should equally be ignored.

          • TechGuy says:

            Don there are many other articles published. This just one. The Inflation theory is virtually black magic. Researchers supporting Big Bang seem to go out of their way to find half-baked evidence, nor make up theories without any real data to support it. It stinks of Creationism.

            • It stinks of Creationism.

              Really now? Regardless of what you think of the inflation theory it does not remotely resemble creationism. God is never invoked in this theory.

              • TechGuy says:

                Ron Wrote:
                “Really now? Regardless of what you think of the inflation theory it does not remotely resemble creationism. God is never invoked in this theory.”

                Sure it does, Consider that one single event sparked the entire universe is very similar to creationism. Perhaps not a direct association with “God”, but linked to a the idea that everything was created from nothing in one giant event. The followers of creationism believe God created the Earth from nothing. There are many people now believe the big bang event was the hand of God, morphing science with religious beliefs. So instead of creating the Earth in six days, now God create the entire universe in 6 yocto-seconds.

                The Inflation theory is trying to keep an unsound theory alive with no real data to back it up. It reminds me 19th Century Paleontology when the discovers of the Iguanodon, broke the tail so that it would resemble a lizard, because they didn’t want to accept its true form, because would have made popular previous conclusion wrong.

                Don Wrote:
                ” I take this claim of yours as an explicit request to the rest of us to have zero respect for your understanding of science. The inflation theory has made a wide range of very detailed predictions that have been confirmed to an astonishing degree. ”

                Sorry that is not really true, researchers are cherry picking observations in order to support their view. Few cosmologist are looking at the data objectively. Without Inflation, the Big bang becomes completely bunk. Funny thing, is that everyone is taught the big bang theory, but the gravity paradox is almost excluded, until the grad level. Ask most STEM people about the Big bang theory and most of can explain it. Then ask them about the gravity paradox, and I bet 99% of them never heard about it. Biased?

                Fortunately, there is now an expanding group of astronomers and cosmologist examining the data objectively. Science should be about questioning everything and continuously re-assessing theories until there is not a smidgen that data that contradicts the proposed theory.

                https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inflation_(cosmology)

                “Since its [Inflation] introduction by Alan Guth in 1980, the inflationary paradigm has become widely accepted. Nevertheless, many physicists, mathematicians, and philosophers of science have voiced criticisms, claiming untestable predictions and a lack of serious empirical support”

                The very point that you become upset that someone like myself refuses to accept the status quo is evidence that of strong opinions. I am sure you bash religious followers, but it appears to me, you too follow a religion based upon unproven assumptions too. You bash me for not accepting unproven assumptions of a theory as if was fact! I wonder if you would burn me at the stake for my blasphemous views on the big bang theory 🙂

                FWIW: I do my very best to remain objective avoid getting trap in unproven assumptions. As long as people accept assumptions, they will not open their minds to seek out the correct answer. Question everything. Could have the Big bang really occurred? The answer is: I don’t know, and nor does anyone else.

                • Tech, if it does not invoke a creator then it cannot possibly resemble creationism. You are just making that accusation simply because you don’t like the inflation theory.

                  Creationism requires a conscious creator! It requires “In the beginning God created…..”

                  And because it does not invoke an “In the beginning God…” it does not remotely resemble creationism. End of story.

                  And by the way, I think Don hit the nail on the head with his post.

                • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                  The problem with God is that if he/she/it could see/control the universe, then there would be ‘information leakage’ from it into God’s world (and vice-versa), thus engulfing God in infinity and unpredictability as well and so seemingly rendering God irrelevant. (Sorry, God, nice try. See ya.) ^u’

                  I wonder if inflation theory can apply to my little pot belly during a good meal.

                  “…now God create the entire universe in 6 yocto-seconds.” ~ TechGuy

                  Yoctosecond

                  I used to have this song on my laptop for a very short time (cute/fun song but kind of boring after awhile), but its name transcended the event horizon of the black hole of my memory until now. So thanks TechGuy, you’re the techiest. ^u^

            • Don Wharton says:

              TechGuy, I take this claim of yours as an explicit request to the rest of us to have zero respect for your understanding of science. The inflation theory has made a wide range of very detailed predictions that have been confirmed to an astonishing degree. The open question in cosmology whether any other theory will remain as a plausible alternative.

  39. Yetanother Mike says:

    Fair enough. BTW, googling “Big Bang theory” got me 22+ pages of links to the TV show. Probably more, but I gave up. I have read both(?) of Stephen Hawking’s books, and I have a good working knowledge of the theory (for a layman). I have no serious quibbles about modern cosmology, it’s the finality of the statement that I find fascinating (“The sky is blue.” ” Kaley Cuoco is quite fetching.” ” Before which, BTW, there was no universe, as we conceive of it today, nor was there even time”). Wouldn’t an earnest contemplation of infinity lead one to the conclusion that everything that could possibly happen has already happened an infinite number of times? Mr. Magyar’s statement seems to quite boldly refute any such conclusion.

    • Doug Leighton says:

      My sincere apologies on the TV show links which never occurred to me: we don’t even own a TV set. I could discuss this topic ad nauseam but will close with one comment respecting time which you may have forgotten — time requires mass to exist and in spite of what Don Wharton says, Fred was correct in his statement(s). Oh yes, one other tidbit, inflation only lasted about 10^-33 to 10^-32 seconds.

      • Don Wharton says:

        Sorry quite false. That is only the incremental time required for the visible mass of our universe. I am citing people such as Max Tegmark and Alan Guth to support my position. If you have equivalently respected cosmologists to support your position feel free to show how and why they differ.

        http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/multiverse-controversy-inflation-gravitational-waves/
        Inflation might also mean that what we consider the universe—the expanse of everything we could see with the most perfect telescopes—is just one small corner of space, a pocket where inflation stopped and allowed matter to condense, galaxies and stars to form, and life to evolve. Elsewhere, beyond the observable universe, spacetime may still be inflating, with other “bubble” universes forming whenever inflation stops in one location.

        This picture is called eternal inflation. “Most inflationary models, almost all, predict that inflation should become eternal,” says Alan Guth, a theoretical physicist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), who first predicted inflation in 1980.

        • Doug Leighton says:

          Show me your math.

          • Don Wharton says:

            Doug, Max Tegmark describes the mathematics of this as derived from the logical necessities of the 160 doublings required to get to the mass of our universe. The reality of the mass of our universe constrains the permissible probabilities that can be assigned to the probabilities for an additional doubling or a possible degrading into what we would see as our normal space time. This means that relatively little of the inflationary mass as a proportion degrades into the bubble universes similar to what we experience. Note that this relatively little little still means the creation of new universes with an intensity beyond anything that we can imagine. Beyond this lay overview of the math you will need to consult the published documents.

            Tegmark and other cosmologists will say that there are some attempts at cosmologies that do not include eternal inflation. However, these are a small minority. They have little support and the problem described above basically means that their mathematics are not seen as very credible.

            I like this from Yetanother Mike above:
            Wouldn’t an earnest contemplation of infinity lead one to the conclusion that everything that could possibly happen has already happened an infinite number of times?

            Yes this is an implication of eternal inflation.

            To be clear here, there is not way to prove this beyond any doubt because we cannot access or test anything directly about the inflationary mass. All we have are the aftereffects in such things as the cosmic background radiation, gravity waves and the distribution of what can be seen in this universe. Eternal inflation is just the most likely understanding based on what we understand from the available evidence.

      • Fred Magyar says:

        I apologize for hijacking the thread with this highly off topic subject matter. I think I got a little carried away in my discussion upthread with Glenn but I’d just like to close with this incredible image of what might be proof of gravitational waves… And as Krauss says, the universe is the way it is whether anyone of us likes it or not and he readily admits that he is going to be forced to accept it whatever the evidence tells us… 🙂

        The BICEP2 telescope looks at polarization of light from 380,000 years after the Big Bang.

        • Synapsid says:

          FredM,

          Sadly, it turned out that the pattern of curlicues in the BICEP2 chart is matched very well by the pattern from dust in the Milky Way galaxy. The BICEP2 guys agreed with the new work, so now it’s a dust map.

          Still pretty, though.

          • Fred Magyar says:

            Yeah I heard that as well… still it was quite an amazing coincidence that that is exactly what it would look like if they were gravitational waves!

    • MarbleZeppelin says:

      Here is an interview of theoretical physicist Sean Carroll who is investigating time, the multiverse and the origins of universes. Trying to answer the question “What is time?”.

      http://www.wired.com/2010/02/what-is-time/

  40. The Wet One says:

    Okay, a rather off topic post, but one that is tangentially related to oil and oil concerns.

    Are there any economist who explain how infinite economic growth can occur? If so, can someone provide me with a citation (ideally an internet one, that I can look up without having to buy a book or journal article)?

    Second question, do the matters discussed here: http://www.vox.com/2015/3/12/8194065/inventions-improvements constitute economic growth? I think they do, but maybe they aren’t.

    Thirdly, in light of the foregoing, is infinite growth possible? I know that the reflexive answer here will be no, and I’m generally inclined to agree, but I’d love to know what the strongest argument going the other way is. And yes, I’m familiar with the “Do the Math” explanation of why infinite economic growth is impossible.

    I suppose my final question is this, what is “economic growth?” This article implies a definition of economic growth: http://freakonomics.com/2014/01/24/can-economic-growth-continue-forever-of-course/ that I can’t say I’m terribly familiar with. However, whatever that definition of economic growth is, it suggests that that growth can occur without an increase in energy consumption. Given this, I wonder what kind of “economic growth” they’re talking about.

    From that freakonomics article, I think this sentence:

    “GDP merely measures what people are willing to pay for, which is not necessarily connected to the use of energy, or any other physical resource”

    is rather key with respect to the definition of economic growth that is implied, but I’m not sure. I’m not sure if they mean that people trading electronic 1’s and 0’s constitute real economic growth or not, but they seem to suggest it. I’m not sure that any definition of economic growth accepted by us here at The Oil Drum would allow for such activity to constitute “economic growth.”

    I’m curious as to what the learned folk here have to say on the matter, since I pretty much don’t have anywhere else to ask with any reasonable hope of getting a decent answer.

    I thank you in advance for your willingness to engage in this intellectual adventure.

    Cheers!

    • Jef says:

      What economics should be is a complete assessment of ALL resources available vs the number of humans that those resources can reasonably and sustainably support.

      What economics IS is a way to rationalize crony capitalism.

    • MarbleZeppelin says:

      “GDP merely measures what people are willing to pay for, which is not necessarily connected to the use of energy, or any other physical resource”

      Every human activity involves energy and materials. If you get a massage, you both are burning food which had to be grown and transported, involving energy. The tables, furniture, rugs, room, building, lights, heat or air conditioning all involve materials and energy. Both of you had to transport yourself to the location. See the logic of materials and energy for even a simple act like someone rubbing stiff muscles?
      If someone pays for something, to get that money involved energy and materials in a vast network of civilization. Nothing is free of energy or materials in civilization.

      • wimbi says:

        Nothing is free of energy –.

        How about knowledge and wisdom to use it best?

        When i look out the window, i see tons of unused knowledge, on accounta lack of wisdom.

        Add K &W to the mix and we people can tread so lightly on the earth, to such a great benefit to all the rest, that we and all else can be much happier than now without ruining our planet.

        JUST DO IT. That’s what I try to do every day. I do it mostly for recreation, at dam little cost to anyone else, and maybe even some good, somehow.

    • Infinite economic growth is possible by infinitely growing our efficiency. It doesn’t require we consume more resources, it implies we gradually become more efficient.

      For example, in 2000 years your descendants could be genetically modified to think lettuce tastes like tuna, and eat only lettuce. Or they could be super robots feeding off sunlight they gather with “solar panel like” skins.

      These super robots could all be millionaires expanding through the Galaxy, scouting for other super robot civilizations. See how it works?

      • Anton Koffield says:

        Internet posts sometimes are not easy to interpret.

        This post was sarcasm, was it not?

    • Old Farmer Mac says:

      For what it is worth I don’t think either economists or physicists can prove the case for or against eternal growth in the sense of MATHEMATICALLY proving their case.

      Both parties must make assumptions in order to make their arguments. When I was just a kid taking my first shop class the teacher wrote ASS U ME on the board and LEFT it there , to emphasize that thinking is cheaper, faster, and safer than ASSUMING.

      The physicists argue about the size of the planet limiting growth – but they must acknowledge that getting off the planet is at least theoretically possible- and that a means of capturing the diffuse radiant energy of the sun very efficiently and cheaply MIGHT be discovered, or that some other means of obtaining useful energy in ( for practical purposes ) unlimited amounts might be discovered.

      Economists must admit that we MIGHT NOT get off the planet , and that we might not ever have access to ( for practical purposes ) unlimited cheap energy.

      Even MIGHTY CASEY struck out at least ONCE. 😉

      When you think about it, the economists are argueing that the physical scientists and engineers can do what the scientists and engineers themselves say they CANNOT do- at least for the foreseeable future.

      Either argument can be pursued to the point of absurdity. While it might be technically possible with unlimited energy and sufficient engineering expertise to EVENTUALLY create an artificial ecology capable of supporting people standing room only all over the planet…. nobody thinks this will ever happen.

      With enough energy, and enough engineering expertise, it is probably technically possible (not now but maybe at some future time) to produce more and more and more and more STUFF per capita- assuming the population doesn’t get to the standing room only density, lol.

      But there is probably a limit to the amount of STUFF people would really like to have- once their egos are satisfied. Would anybody REALLY want a third or fourth jet he never uses or an additional dozen bedrooms in his house when he prefers to never have more than a hundred guests and he HAS a hundred spare bedrooms already?

      As a practical real day to day world matter, for the foreseeable future, eternal growth is just not possible due to resource constraints if growth is measured as STUFF and STUFF is measured by mass and energy content.

      We just aren’t going to invent any new energy technology and scale it up, or scale any existing technology up, fast enough to outrun the depletion of fossil fuels.

      But if you measure growth by other metrics – well, there is apparently no practical limit to the amount of music to be composed, or novels to be written, or games to be invented, or services that might be invented.

      There s no theoretical limit to the percentage of one’s waking time time(allowing for eating etc ) that could theoretically be spent watching movies or fishing or playing cards – or even having sex, if the bioengineers are successful enough in adjusting our hormone production, lol. We could even adjust our hormones to sleep almost all the time, like a cat, and at least DREAM about continuos sex, with the aid of a few new drugs.

      There may be no limits to how much medical technology can be invented and used, other than cost. I am not a doc but I am a pretty decent mechanic and competent carpenter, and I have had a hand in spending fifty thousand bucks on an old car when a new one ten times as good could be bought for a quarter of the money. I have worked a few days on a house undergoing a historical restoration that cost over a million – where as a better house by far could have been built on the same spot for a quarter of that amount.

      My immediate family spent well over half a million (in time lost from paid work) and cash out of pocket keeping my mom alive her last ten years, plus over a million more in medicare and insurance paid services.She was in and out of intensive care and ambulances like a jet setter in and out of airports and nice hotels.

      Her last bed alone cost forty thousand bucks. It has computers and heaters and blowers and a ton of something very similar to fine sand in it and it FLOATS an invalid on warm dry air blown up thru the granules and porous cover under the special porous sheets – requiring ten thousand btu’s worth of ac to keep the sick room properly cooled. NO BEDSORES with such a bed, none at all, but two well paid husky technicians had to come from over a hundred miles away in a BIG truck every couple of months to service it.

      Was all that expenditure worthy of the name of GROWTH?

      Argueing such questions is just about pointless.

      Sometimes a checkers game works out with each player having one king left. If either player can retreat to a double corner, there is no END to the game.

      The answers, to the extent answers are possible, depend on the definitions of terms that are at best ill defined and mean different things to the people on opposite sides of the argument.

      The very fact that clear cut answers are impossible makes arguments of this nature academic favorites.

    • TechGuy says:

      “Are there any economist who explain how infinite economic growth can occur?”

      I am not an economist and I never played one on TV either, but I can give one possible way infinite economic growth can occur: Humanity starts off-world colonies. Of course this is a pipe dream.

  41. A total of five producing wells were completed today in North Dakota. Their initial production may say something about the state of sweet spots in the Bakken. They were:

    795 BOPD, 4885 BWPD
    273 BOPD, 1535 BWPD
    31 BOPD, 253 BWPD
    423 BOPD, 1169 BWPD
    916 BOPD, 1530 BWPD
    
    • AlexS says:

      Ron,
      the 31 BOPD well is not in the Bakken

      • Okay but it is in North Dakota.

      • shallow sand says:

        What zone did the low IP well target? TD? Horizontal?

        • Regex Wald says:

          Horizontal well, TD 7255′, drilled by Enduro in the conventional Newburg field of central Bottineau County. There, the target is the “Spearfish/Charles” pool, so named because in this particular field the Spearfish formation is in communication with the underlying Charles formation of the Madison Group, which is generally source rock in this area.

          Up until the price slide last year, Enduro had been busy in Bottineau County drilling horizontal Spearfish/Charles wells amid still-active vertical Spearfish/Charles wells dating back to the original discovery of oil in this region in the 1950s.

          Although overshadowed by the Bakken, the Spearfish formation had become a mildly hot conventional and unconventional target in recent years within Bottineau County and the adjacent part of Manitoba, where the term Amaranth formation is used. To read more about the history and characteristics of this formation, see this poster put together by the North Dakota Geological Survey.

    • Watcher says:

      re trucks, there was always a presumption that OPEX could be held down at out year wells as the oil flow rate dropped way down. We didn’t factor in water. The trucks may need to come only once per 2 weeks to offload oil from the onsite tank (and thus pay for the truck driver only then) but with these water cuts they are going to fill the water tank far more often. Trucks have to make the trip for those, too. Much higher OPEX than expected for low flow wells.

      • coffeeguyzz says:

        Watcher

        Couple of points concerning trucks/water/OPEX in the Bakken …

        The build out in the heart of the Bakken with lines to deliver water for frac’ing, taking away produced water, gathering lines for gas, and lines to take oil to bigger collection/storage locations is largely completed. While I do not have specific numbers handy, the bulk of production in ND is not as dependent upon trucks as in the earlier years, and the build out continues.

        Three of the above wells cited by Mr. Patterson are XTO wells that are being choked back due largely to flaring restrictions. XTO expected to ship the gas production to a processing plant, but right of way issues halted the takeaway pipeline from being built.
        There have been numerous observations posted on this site that compare conventional production with shale operations, often prompting questionable conclusions.
        Regarding water cut, as noted in the above examples, conventional production and quality/cost of same can be interpreted by the increasing amount of water produced.
        When shale wells are being frac’d with hundreds of thousands of barrels of water (I’ve seen several use over 350,000 bbls), the amount produced in the early months, even after the flow back, is large.
        Should anyone wish to track the next few months’ water output from the above wells, (info available on the ND DMR reports), one can verify this to be so.

        • shallow sand says:

          coffee. You are correct re produced water. Produced water in Bakken appears to decrease as production drops, although not always uniform.

          I have opined that Elm Coulee Bakken might be economic as, although wells flatten out to about 20 bopd, produced water is 0-300 barrels per month, which isn’t bad at all.

          Also, a system where water doesn’t have to be truck hauled, but can be pumped directly from the tank battery down SWD wells would save quite a bit on OPEX.

          I assume this infrastructure is not cheap to install in the Williston Basin. Also, keep in mind lines can plug up if the water is not treated with chemical prior to disposal.

          What would make the most sense would be to drill a SWD well right next to the tank battery.

  42. Ronald Walter says:

    Since the universe is almost all hydrogen, 92percent, and helium the second most abundant element and we all know how helium gets its mojo, can anyone explain how hydrogen became an element?

    How did those electrons, protons, neutrons all become physical entities? Where and when did the primordial substance all become the firmament?

    The amount of hydrogen must surely be increasing if the universe is constantly expanding, more helium, the universe is becoming an ever expanding amounts of hydrogen and helium, neutralized by the inert helium, otherwise the entire universe would explode like the Hindenburg. har!

    By the way:

    How is the Big Bang Theory any different than creation, absent a supreme being doing the work of creating the universe? It is nothing more than that.

    Just because some puny human brain comes up with some words to describe what happened doesn’t mean it happened that way.

    Somebody is trying to do the creating and not investigating what really happened.

    The Big Bang Theory is nothing more than creationism with all of the bells and whistles of science, nothing more than that and it all comes up short just like religions do.

    It is better to do, practice, science, not worship it like it is gospel or some other God we don’t need.

    Good God Almighty, it’s not nice to fool Mother Nature.

    You gotta have some dignity, ferkrissakes.

    • Don Wharton says:

      Wow! what crashing ignorance! To begin with the predicted and observed fraction of hydrogen in the early universe is 75%. This was calculated from a theory with elegantly simple assumptions but wildly complex mathematics to calculate its implications. There is no intelligence in this process. It is just what has been confirmed to be what is. There is no supreme being or anybody else doing this process. Consciousness occurs only after a long evolutionary process.

      • Greenbub says:

        Things occur in consciousness, not the other way around.

      • Old Farmer Mac says:

        It never pays to read Ronald literally.

        Some times he is serious, but not necessarily all the way thru in any given comment even then.

        Now astrophysics will always be over my head, given that I lack the math, the brains and the ten years or so it would take to get up to speed.

        But so far as I can see, there is no such thing as an ULTIMATE answer. We come up with answers to any given question- but the answer always implies two or more new questions.

        So far as I have been able to follow any line of reasoning explaining any physical phenomenon, the explanations involve understanding A in terms of B and C – which in turn in order to be understood require knowledge of and familiarity with D,E, F, G …..

        In the last analysis we either accept and understand things INTUITIVELY – without any reasoning being involved – or we understand them in terms of OTHER THINGS. We understand fire in terms of fuel and oxidizers for instance, and we understand oxidizers and fuels based on chemistry understandable thru the periodic table, with elements that yield electrons to the left and ones that accept electrons to the right .

        There may be absolute limits to how far our understanding can go, given the limitations of our intellects.

        I expect that given the survival of business as usual, a fairly large portion of current day astrophysics will be found to be in error within the next fifty years – better explanations, more REFINED explanations, will be found for OBSERVED data.

        But will any scientist ever be able to tell us WHY ANYTHING EXISTS?

        If I am right that we can only understand THINGS or processes in terms of OTHER things or OTHER processes, then an ultimate answer is an impossibility.

        We may peel a few more layers off of the onion of reality, but apparently there are always going to be layers yet unexplored.

        Will astrophysicists ever be able to demonstrate – even to themselves- that there is no NEED for an ultimate creator- or show proof that one does or did not exist?

        Personally I think some questions simply cannot be answered. I will always be an agnostic, technically speaking, although I see no EVIDENCE of the existence of a creator- unless maybe CREATION CREATED ITSELF ?

        Thinking too much about such things tends to leave one with a headache and talking about them publicly tends to create the impression one is a crack pot- except in philosophical circles.

        The fact that a theoretician can trace a POSSIBLE path back beyond the BIG BANG ( just another name for GOD? ) does not mean his possible path back can ever be followed to an ULTIMATE destination. If there IS an ultimate destination, and it is ever discovered , I expect it will be named the GOD particle or something along those lines. LOL

        Astrophysicists contemplating ultimate reality are not much closer to discovering it than I am to finishing my book- which looks as if it will take FOREVER -if forever exists, lol.

        Once upon a time, I was an adventurous young fellow and tried a number of hallucinogenic substances – and I can say with absolute certainty that they sometimes enable you to see new realities.

        The right hallucinogens may also enable you to understand that you are merely a figment of your own imagination.

        Nevertheless kicking a large stone HARD with the bare toes will convince MOST people who try this reality test that they do in deed exist.

        Anybody who takes any of this stuff seriously ( unless tenure and a paycheck are involved ) needs to relax with a couple of Douglas Adams books and a bottle of good whiskey until he gets it off his mind.

        • Enno says:

          I never understood how inventing a “Creator” could make explaining things any easier, except of course if there was a “Creator” for that as well.

          “Will astrophysicists ever be able to demonstrate – even to themselves- that there is no NEED for an ultimate creator- or show proof that one does or did not exist?”

          Why place such an impossible burden of evidence on science, and let religion slip away without any evidence? At least a good scientist will try to disproof himself, a quality not often found in religious people.

          • Old Farmer Mac says:

            I am not putting any burden on anybody, not personally. ALL I am saying is that physicists of various sorts are doing their physics thing, as best they can, peeling back one layer after another of the onion of reality.

            Personally I don’t believe it is possible to ever reach an “ultimate” inner kernel of reality. My layman’s opinion, for what is worth, is that IF it exists, we are not smart enough to discover it- because we apparently are only able to KNOW things in terms of OTHER things.

            So- it’s too deep for us, over our heads, above our pay grade, maybe not forbidden but INACCESSIBLE knowledge or data. I agree that assuming a god is not useful in terms of gaining a greater understanding, and might HINDER research- religions are notorious for hindering change.

            But other wise- what difference does it make?

            Personally I find it nearly impossible to imagine NULLITY, an ultimate non EXISTENCE.

            So the BIG BANG is ok with me, the evidence is satisfactory, so long as the physics community acknowledges that SOMETHING preceded it.

            I love good sci fi and sci fantasy. Anybody who wants a fun read can do no better than Robert Aspin’s MYTH Conception series. This series is not quite in the same league as David Adams books, but they are better than any others of the genre I know of and REALLY REALLY good light reading.

            If anybody ever wants to get me a birthday present -I want a D HOPPER.

            IF somebody gets me one-I will GO AWAY.

          • Don Wharton says:

            A claim that God did it will never be an explanation of anything. Operationally it is just an attempt by theists to tell scientists to not look for a natural explanation.

            • Caelan MacIntyre says:

              If the universe can produce us, such as to reflect on it, then imagine what a piece of work it must be!
              In fact it may ultimately be impossible to figure the universe out, such as if it can dream and invent reality, so the scientists might do well to quit while they’re ahead and just ‘go religious’. Same difference. ‘u^

        • Glenn Stehle says:

          OFM,

          Great stuff!

          Thanks.

      • Stilgar Wilcox says:

        “There is no supreme being or anybody else doing this process.”

        We know the Big Bang occurred about 13.7 billion years ago, and it all makes sense until someone tries to explain where the mass or the energy in the mass came from. In fact, forget the mass, just explain where the energy came from, remembering the Law of Thermodynamics which stipulates that energy cannot be created.

        • Enno says:

          Yes, it seems like we are in a terribly complex thing. We are apparently quite ill-formed to try to understand everything. We better use a process to figure out why and how by carefully examining the evidence, and find out how we could be wrong.

          Or we could banish asking difficult questions. Indoctrination is a pretty good solution for that.

        • Don Wharton says:

          There is no net matter and energy in the universe. There is a perfect balance between the observed matter and energy and the holes that were left in the field from which the energy was borrowed. Note that when we look around us and think there is a lot of stuff, this does not reflect the average for our universe. If you imagine a single hydrogen atom in a cubic meter of space it would be a more accurate representation of our universe, a nearly perfect vacuum. It is just that gravity sweeps up much of the mass into visible stars and planets.

  43. Ronald Walter says:

    Well, if you have four hydrogen and one carbon, some heat and pressure, what could possibly be the eventual result? Two elements to form methane, 80 percent of it hydrogen.

    Since carbon is seeking four of something and hydrogen wants to be with something sometimes, carbon just happens to be the willing partner, doesn’t really want to be all alone, better to be with something, hydrogen abides and can live over at carbon’s house too, it’ll be a gas when carbon and hydrogen are together. Not crowded at all even with four hydrogen in the house. When two carbon take up residence, well, then six hydrogen can hang around. Might heat up from time to time, that’s how it is going to be, so fit the labs with valves for natural gas flow at the lab table and turn the valve to feed the Bunsen burner, striker in hand, proceed with the experiments. Find out what happens and write it down, keep doing it.

    One carbon and four hydrogen can live in harmony until something comes along and lights it afire, then carbon tells hydrogen so long and hooks up with oxygen for a while. Both were born to be wild.

    A few billion years of sunlight, old dead organic material for the sourcing of carbon, some water sourcing the hydrogen, voila, oil. Takes hundreds of millions of years, but who cares?

    When someone can finally explain how hydrogen became an element, you’ll be able to explain the origins of the physical universe. Hydrogen was always there is not an explanation, it is a cop out.

    The most important and most abundant element in the universe just happens to be the most abundant element in oil too, that’s how important hydrogen is and no one on God’s green earth can explain how it came into existence, that body of knowledge isn’t there yet, the science is incomplete.

    The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.

    • Stilgar Wilcox says:

      “When someone can finally explain how hydrogen became an element, you’ll be able to explain the origins of the physical universe. Hydrogen was always there is not an explanation, it is a cop out.”

      I agree, RW. There also needs to be a complete explanation at to how the Big Bag occurred instead of, it was an accident.

      http://www.amazon.com/The-Theory-Opposite-Sub-Verses-oscillation/dp/1514722089

      In the above link in section 20 it states: “Historically there has always been polarized positioning between Science and Theology for the truth behind the origins of our universe. A classic example of this dichotomy was a debate that ensued between these two institutions, initiated in 1927 when Georges Lemaitre, a priest who taught physics at a Catholic University in Belgium, proposed that our universe must be expanding. He made this leap from Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. He stated that if the universe is held together by a space-time fabric then it must be expanding or it would have collapsed long ago. Einstein however ignored the implications of his own theory and adhered to the scientific theory of the time, the Steady State Theory, in which celestial bodies had always existed.

      Just two years later in 1929 Edwin Hubble discovered the Red Shift. An astronomical observation indicating galaxies are moving away proportional to their distance, meaning away from a point of origin, a Big Bang. However this did not quell the debate. In fact, cosmologist Fred Hoyle found the idea of a universe with a beginning to be philosophically troubling, as many including Hoyle argued that a beginning implies a cause and thus a creator.”

      But later of course as we now know the Big Bang was heralded by Science as proof of a scientific only universe. My how opinions and positions can change so quickly and with no information, data or conclusive evidence as to HOW the Big Bang initiated.

      • Synapsid says:

        Ron and Don and Enno and StilgarW and all:

        The difference between creationism Western style and the theory of the Big Bang is in where the idea comes from.

        Creationism is based on a reading of the Old Testament that tells us “God says He did it”, not on observation of the natural world. The Big Bang theory comes out of Hubble’s observation that galaxies farther away from us than those in our Local Group (yep, that’s its name) all show redshifts, and the more distant the galaxy the greater the redshift.

        The interpretation of Hubble’s observation is that the space between galactic clusters in expanding, carrying the clusters with it; it isn’t expanding into anything that’s already there, no–the expansion creates the space, in Alan Sandage’s words. That tells us that there is no central point of origin, because every point is a center of expansion.

        Or would be except: Turn Hubble’s observation around: the nearer, the less the expansion. That’s why the Milky Way galaxy and all other galaxies are not themselves expanding: on the galactic scale gravity overcomes expansion.

        Start with the idea of expansion based on Hubble’s observation, and run the film backwards: We see contraction continuing until all space goes to zero–and that’s all the farther the picture can take us. That’s the singularity, and physics doesn’t apply to it; the beginning of the expansion, which is the beginning of space-time, is the Big Bang. From the beginning of expansion–the beginning of time–physics works. “Before” the beginning is what Hawkins likened to “one mile north of the north pole.”

        What existed right at first was energy and as the expansion proceeded and the temperature of the Universe dropped matter condensed out through stages of quarks and electrons, to atoms and electrons, mostly hydrogen and helium. The Standard Model is the name of the theory, known to be incomplete, that describes that stuff.

        And we see there the second difference between creationism and the Big Bang theory: the Creation story cannot be changed, but theories in the natural sciences do change as we learn more and come to understand more.

        • Fred Magyar says:

          Looks like this 🙂

          • Synapsid says:

            FredM,

            Well, that certainly is easier to show than my mind’s-eye picture of being a raisin in a rising batch of raisin-bread dough, but the color jolt when it came up gave me a start. Visual ringing, as it were. Neat.

          • Ronald Walter says:

            I will be sarcastic, I’ll make no bones about it.

            This Red Shift business is very suspect, if I would play the Devil’s Advocate, I would be certain, as God is my witness, that Satan is behind this Red Shift and this Hubble character was a spawn, even if the evidence is contrary and provides indisputable proof, it is still Satan behind it all. Just ask God if you don’t believe me.

            All heresy and subversion of the dominant paradigm, the earth is the center of the universe and is also flat, nuff said.

            The word red is the all the evidence you need. har

            I would be a redneck going all redneck, I’d kick Satan’s sorry ass but good, he’d turn black and blue after being beaten beet red. The redneck mode would do the damage needed to make Satan cry and beg for mercy.

            Even if the devil went down to Georgia, I’d fly down there and make him wish he were back in hell. That would be your Red Shift, Satan running scared all the way back to hell.

            Later on down the road, I’ll see Satan in hell and kick his ass some more right out of hell and another Red Shift for Satan would take place. The daily business of kicking Satan’s ass would become routine. If it takes an eternity in hell to get the job done, so be it, amen. We all know Satan would have it coming and I wouldn’t need any help, although the line would be long.

            Might be my job to remain in hell for eternity just to keep Satan out of the place, clean house in hell too. Pump all that extra oil down there and burn it right now, there would be room with Satan on the lam, he’s always up to no good, the bum. You know you’ll never see him in church.

            If anything in this godforsaken universe is FUBAR, it would be Satan and yours truly will take the credit for making him that way.

            Probably to blame for all of the global warming too and the plethora of forest fires this year.

            Gotta be some reason for all of this madness here on earth and Satan is the nearest scapegoat, all to blame, the Judas Goat that he is.

            And besides, every human I know always will utter the words ‘It wasn’t me’.

            Here endeth the sarcasm.

            Happy Sunday

        • Synapsid says:

          Hawking not Hawkins.

    • Don Wharton says:

      The hydrogen formed from the gluon quark soup from the inflationary period.

  44. AlexS says:

    Oil at $30 Would Threaten a Lot of Stripper Wells

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-10-01/stripper-wells-burning-cash-at-30-oil-to-speed-u-s-output-drop

    The speed at which oil wells spitting out their final drops of unprofitable crude will be shut may hold the key to an eventual rebound if prices fall further.
    Crude prices tumbling to $30 a barrel would threaten the profitability of about 206,000 barrels per day of production from older wells that produce minimal amounts of oil, according to a report Thursday from Bloomberg Intelligence.
    The wells, which are most prevalent in Texas’ Permian Basin, are about 25 years old on average and produce no more than 15 barrels a day. They require regular maintenance to help pump even that much after years of sagging pressure.
    “These wells dance on the edge of profitability,” Peter Pulikkan and William Foiles, analysts at Bloomberg Intelligence, wrote in the report. “The reaction of smaller mom-and-pop operators to sustained low oil prices will dictate how quickly uneconomic supply is removed from the market.”
    Stripper wells represent more than 80 percent of total wells in the U.S. and 12 percent of total production, according to the report. In total, they generate about 1.1 million barrels of oil a day, nearly as much as Algeria, the third-largest African crude producer.
    The key decision will be whether operators continue to let the wells produce at losses to hold the lease in hopes that oil prices soon recover, or shut in production and potentially surrender the well, the analysts wrote. While most of the little wells are operated by tiny producers, the two companies with the greatest production from stripper wells are Chevron Corp. and Occidental Petroleum Corp.
    ——————————————
    My comment: in fact, the article shows that only a small part of stripper well production is uneconomic at today’s oil price
    Would be interesting to know shallow sand’s opinion

    • Jeffrey J. Brown says:

      On the opposite end of the cost spectrum would be high cost offshore areas, like the North Sea, where a lot of fields are just about fully depleted, but operators are continuing to postpone the decommissioning day of reckoning.

      An expensive sunset for the Brent Field:
      February, 2015

      http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/19/business/international/royal-dutch-shell-dismantling-brent-oil-field-in-north-sea.html?_r=0

      Shell estimates that cleaning up the whole field, which has four platforms, will require a decade and cost billions of pounds.

      Certainly the process will be closely watched, not least because Brent will be the largest North Sea field to be decommissioned so far. With many of the sea’s fields in decline and running at meager profit levels, or even losses, after the recent sharp fall in oil prices, other operators are facing the same gargantuan task now confronting Shell.

      The decommissioning will mark the beginning of an expensive sunset phase. “No one quite knows the full extent of the cost of decommissioning,” said Malcolm Dickson, an analyst at Wood Mackenzie, an industry consulting firm based in Edinburgh. Estimates of the costs keep going up year after year because “companies have not grasped the extent that could be involved,” he said.

      • It’ shows the flaw in using a high pv such as pv15 when optimizing a field development. An old North Sea field optimized on PV15 is likely to have the wrong type and size of platform.

      • Watcher says:

        Could be a lucrative specialty for university grads in the upcoming time frame.

    • shallow sand says:

      AlexS. I believe $30 oil at the well head puts much US stripper well production underwater. I have no idea how much, but $45 WTI is painful enough.

      One issue, as with shale, is whether debt is associated with the production. Notice how upstream MLP’s share prices have collapsed. LINE, BBEP, LGCY, etc purchased stripper production from private companies 2005-2014 at high prices, with borrowed funds.

      These companies show OPEX in the $20 range per BOE, but G&A, taxes and CAPEX must also be included. The only reason they have not defaulted yet is hedges.

      The problem with shutting down production is the potential for permanent loss. Water floods generally do not return to prior production levels if shut in for significant periods of time. Many stripper oil wells are part of a water flood. Also, a lease can be cancelled by the Lessor if production ceases for a specified period of time, one year seems to be a general rule.

      Furthermore, p &a costs can be significant. Shallow wells do not cost a lot individually to plug, but typically operators will have many to plug. Rarely does the salvage cover plugging and abandonment costs. Tank battery removal and restoration is also a significant cost.

      I really am surprised there have not been many stripper well company failures. Maybe we aren’t hearing about them as they are private companies? We are fortunate we are not having to service debt at $45 WTI, because we couldn’t. Most stripper well loans are 5 years, amortized, with monthly payments.

      Imagine a producer who paid $1.6 million for 20 BOPD in early 2014 and financed one half of the purchase. Total costs per barrel are $40.

      At $90 well head the production generates $365K pre income tax per year. At $40 well head, it generates $0. However, there would still be a monthly payment of $15K at 5% interest. Is suppose the banks have went to interest only on borrowers like this, hoping for a price rebound.

      Maybe the stripper wells will have to be shut in, as more loans are made available for shale, whose total costs are higher than most of the strippers. Art Berman calculated total costs for CLR, EOG and PXD recently. Seems like CAPEX plus OPEX plus G&A plus taxes is much higher than $40.

      It will be bad for US if many stripper wells are lost, but I am biased. One thing that hurts strippers is that owners are not willing to borrow forever, as generally personal guarantees are required for loans.

      Never would have been a shale boom if senior managemt had to guarantee pubco shale loans. LOL!

      Therefore, as stripper owners must be more responsible with debt, they may very well fall before LTO.

  45. Old Farmer Mac says:

    This one is WAY OUT along the foul lines, but it DOES relate to oil burning automobiles.

    VW came up with a diesel technology that must have seemed to good to be true to anybody else trying to build a good diesel auto engine at a low cost.

    WHY in HELL if you were an engineer at BMW or Mercedes or Nissan or at ANY company that builds automotive diesel engines would you not have bought one of these cars and put it in your lab to see WHY it SUPPOSEDLY runs so clean while still getting phenomenal fuel economy?

    Methinks it would have become obvious within the first few hours that these supposedly super clean diesels aren’t super clean.

    It follows that SOMEBODY ought to have called them out YEARS ago.

    I probably would have blackmailed the shit out of VW if I had been in a position to do so-and assuaged my conscience by giving half my ill gained loot to a charity. Well, a tenth anyway, lol.

    The back yard tech weenie guys will know how to preserve the cheat programming and reflash the computer once a year for smog tests.

    • wimbi says:

      I used to run a college ME lab, and we tested tailpipe emissions all the time and compared with requirements – most flunked real hard. Could have had a grate party with that VW test.

      Of course people knew! Why no crowing about it from sich-like people as me? Hard to understand.

  46. Kellyb says:

    Shallow sand,

    I’m curious if you’ve looked at mid-con energy? They’re a waterflood MLP that seems to fit most of what you say about stripper wells – about 800 active wells producing ~4500 bbl/day, but their all in costs are the lowest I’ve seen anywhere, around $50 which includes capex and $9/bbl distribution. I was thinking privately run companies with smaller production would have a much lower breakeven costs than shale drillers but after what you said above I have to question that. I wonder what mid-con does different to get their costs so low.

    • shallow sand says:

      KellyB. Thanks for the heads up on Mid-con. If you look at their SEC filings, you will see that they have greatly reduced OPEX in the last year.

      In 2014 they made several acquisitions. They also initiated the most new waterfloods in the state of OK, per their website.

      I haven’t had a chance to do an in depth analysis, but would note that OPEX will be lowest when a new waterflood “hits” becaus that is when the highest level of production will occur. Over time, decline will occur, and OPEX per
      BOE will increase. I don’t know enough about Mid-con’s operations to know if this is correct.

      Unfortunately for Mid-con, it appears they spent a lot on upgrades and acquisitions in 2014. They had $788K of cash compared to $200 million of long term debt at end of Q2, 2015, and only had $20 million available on their revolver, with a redetermination coming up this month.

      The high debt and much spending at the top is what I referred to above. If we bought a bunch of production in early 2014 with borrowed money, we’d be screwed.

      I note the 52 week high for Mid-con is $21.70, 52 week low is $1.99 and it closed 10/2/15 at $2.42. If Mid-Con had no debt, think they’d be in good shape given what little I know. Looks like OPEX plus prod taxes plus G&A is down to about $25 per BOE and they produce 95% oil. However, don’t have a good handle on how much CAPEX they need to spend to keep things going and production level.

      Hope they make it. If they do I think we should too.

      • shallow sand says:

        Kellyb I looked a little more at Mid-Con. The spent over $240 million on acquisitions in 2014, plus drilled 50 wells and converted 25 to injection. They issued stock to fund purchases, in addition to borrowing.

        I also looked at Texas RRC site and it appears some of their production has declined quite a bit. For example, their Liberty County water flood production has dropped from over 5,000 barrels per month to about 1,500 per month in a year. There are only 6 producers and 2 injectors there per their materials.

        I would be concerned about decline in the event they have a lot of new wells and/or initiated new floods recently.

        We do not drill many wells, none this year. We bought settled production primarily. Much developed in the 1980s and immediately placed on flood. On most the first few years have high production, but much higher decline than now, followed by almost three decades of low decline, stable production.

        An example would be a 160 acre lease drilled thirty years ago in a 5 spot pattern on 10 acre spacing that produced over 30,000 barrels in year one, but by year three was down to 13,000 barrels, and is now producing 5,000 barrels per year with a 2% annual decline. That is a common profile where I am.

        It appears Mid-Con has floods in the early stage, and high declines could occur.

        Also, they have over 200 inactive wells, which is not good in a low price environment.

        I am just speculating, but they could have lower lease operating expense due to having newer floods, but those lease operating expenses could go up significantly if new development slows and new floods quickly decline.

        I am aware of new floods where I am, that are producing more barrels per well on average, and therefore have lower per barrel OPEX. However, a lot of CAPEX was expended assuming a much higher oil price. Just like with LTO, flush production on those new water floods is being sold at a much lower price.

        New flood development has stopped completely, due to small operators actually having to pay loans back. LTO not as concerned about that issue, hence still rigs running.

        • Blaine says:

          I’m impressed that they eked out a small organic q/q production gain. Under the circumstances, on reduced CAPEX that has to be finishing wells but not starting many. At the current price, I’d find them attractive, if they had a stable capital structure.

          Except: (end 2Q numbers, except price)
          Fraction of revolving credit drawn: 91%
          Closing Price 2.42
          Units Outstanding: 29.733M
          Market Partner Equity $72m
          Revolving Credit Drawn $200m
          Drawn Bank Credit Line to Total Market Capitalization: 74%

          Even today, I find it hard to believe that the bank can extend and pretend again this quarter, when they already hold 74% of total market capitalization.

  47. Anton Koffield says:

    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/conniption

    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hare-brained

    http://etymonline.com/index.php?allowed_in_frame=0&search=harebrained&searchmode=none

    And here I thought it referred to someone who had all the smarts found in a a hare’s brain…kind of like birdbrain.

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

    So…was Buggs a hare or a rabbit?

  48. Heinrich Leopold says:

    The Oil Price and High Yield Bonds

    Over the last decades high yield was positively correlated to the oil price. A high oil price meant higher inflation and thus higher bond yields. However, the trend has changed over the last ten years as high yield bonds rose (and yields went down) when the oil price went up. This became obvious during the financial crisis in 2008/2009. In my opinion this was one of the main misjudgments of the FED (‘the housing crisis remains contained’) expecting bond yields to remain low when oil prices fell and the dollar went up. High yields of bonds below CCC grade were the main reason for the fall of the subprime housing, car and consumer loan market at the end of 2008. Currently, we are at the same point as in 2008. Oil prices are coming down and high yields doubled over the latest few weeks and are – again in my view – on the cusp of rising strongly over the next few months. This unfolds despite strong dollar, low inflation and low energy prices. My explanation for this trend is the huge gap of the US energy industry producing energy at a cost of roughly 1000 bn USD per year and selling it at 500 bn USD, which leaves a financing gap of 500 bn USD covered by bonds, equity and bank loans. As it is increasingly difficult to find investors to buy bonds and equity in the belief of strongly rising energy prices, the bond and equity markets are revolting against banks and oil and gas companies. The consequences are a significant rise of bond yields and a fall in equity investment, which leaves the banks to finance the gap by bank loans. The question is now how long can the banks sustain financing a 500 bn financing gap without the help from the bond and equity markets. In my opinion this situation is becoming much worse over the next few months and the crashing high yield bond market will lead to a serious recession in the US economy over the next year. The dismal employment numbers from last Friday (participation rate at 40 year low, 560000 more people in the categoy of not-in-labor-force in just one month) are the first signs of this trend.

    • HR says:

      Bravo Heinrich
      At some point these bond market problems will be front and center. Starting with EM dollar denominated debt, strengthening dollar, Euro debt, muni debt, Japanese debt, and eventually US debt. House of cards that is about to tumble down. I’ll bet you a lunch that the US equities markets skyrocket as money panics around the rest of the world and that money flies into US equities. There is no where else for it to go. And I am wondering how this will affect the price of WTI.

      BTW, I just read a Woods Mackenzie report stating that 85% of the LTO guys annual revenue goes towards interest on their debt. 85%! Their conclusion was that by the spring of 16 there will be serious consequences as this doesn’t work. That’s quite the understatement.
      Cheers

      • TechGuy says:

        HR Wrote:
        “House of cards that is about to tumble down. I’ll bet you a lunch that the US equities markets skyrocket as money panics around the rest of the world and that money flies into US equities.”

        US investors appear to be liquidating US investments too:
        http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/09/10/investment-mutualfunds-lipper-idUSL1N11G2YS20150910

        Money is likely to move into cash and high quality bonds, not stocks. What appeared to to prop up US stocks during the summer was stock buybacks. However Corp Stock buybacks will sooner or later tail off. With slumping corp. earnings and slumps in buybacks, US stocks will continue to decline.

        http://investorplace.com/2015/09/slowing-stock-buybacks-one-reasons-fear-q3-earnings/#.VhFgDDvh63g

        Also consider a lot of EM equities used a lot of margin debt to buy them. So for many they will not have any cash to move out as EM markets tank. At best, if the EU triggers a bank run with bail-ins, perhaps. Although I think the EU will be imposing capital controls to prevent capital outflows.

        I expect US stocks continue to decline until the Fed starts easing again with more QE.

      • Heinrich Leopold says:

        HR,

        It is still open where the money will be flowing. An interesting trend is also that the ratio of emerging market bonds and US high yield bonds is rising. So there is a good chance there is no flight to the USD and US equities.

  49. Ronald Walter says:

    Sorry to ask questions. Asking questions forces the questions do be answered, to find out what is really going on, to get to the bottom where it all begins, a beginning.

    Before the universe existed, there was no light, all darkness. No time, no space, all void, no matter, no gravity, no mass, no weight, not one single atom of any element yet to exist, all nothing, emptiness, the physical universe as it exists didn’t, it was not there, how can there possibly be a beginning if there is nothing? Not one thing exists, not even the primordial substance to provide the foundation for the big bang to begin. Not even energy existed, it was all nothing. Maybe.

    Yet, it did happen, a beginning began. 13.7 billion years ago, nothing became something seemingly overnight it seems. Just one of those things, you just never know what might happen anywhere. Hard to know where and when to start sometimes then all of a sudden, the start happens and the beginning begins.

    In fact, you are taken aback, fully surprised, you have to wonder how in the hell could it all begin from nothingness and become 92 regenerative elements existing everywhere you go, plus a few more that last a second or two. Light to see with, being in the dark all of the time will yield absolutely nothing, air to breathe, gravity to keep you in touch, a huge ball of hydrogen 93 million miles away to keep you warm enough to keep you from freezing to death inside of fifteen minutes, what more can you ask for? Time? Space? Dont be so greedy and doggone foolish, if you want time and space, you’re going to have to pay for them, that is final.

    If there is one thing to see and behold, it would be the sun, you gotta have time and space to see the sun, you’ll have to wait 500 seconds for the light to reach you, so that light is eight minutes old, so you are viewing light that was light at an earlier time. History happens now.

    The sun needs 800,000 miles of space to be the size it is, so space is necessary for the sun to be the size it is. If the sun is going to continue to shine, you’ll need time to make that happen. You’ll be vaporized instantly if there is no space between you and the sun. Might as well have the space, time can be used for the light and heat from the sun to get there, learn to be patient.

    Requires and necessitates a future, you have to have time for there to be a future and that takes time. Patience can teach you something, might as well use it to learn a thing or two about a thing or two.

    Time, seems to me, was the first thing to come into existence, and time needs nothing physical to exist. If you want to have a physical universe to observe, you’ll need time first. Creates the room for some space to get things really moving at light speed. Takes time to get to the light, you’ll have to wait for time to start to begin to see the light.

    Hardly any space required for a single atom of hydrogen to exist, yet hydrogen requires the whole of an ever expanding universe to be there, the full measure of all of space, and that takes time.

    Another hard day on the planet, have a nice day.

    • MarbleZeppelin says:

      Yes Ronald, we live on a Goldilocks planet in a Three Bears Universe. Wonderful for us, horrible and deadly for creatures from most other universes.

  50. Longtimber says:

    Bring IT ON – AUTOWARS – Lots of excitement bout floods of used car Batteries. keep Billions of PV Panels busy. Converted Photons need a home too.

    “There has been speculation that the ongoing Volkswagen emissions scandal could spell out the end of the diesel car. But Morgan Stanley thinks the consequences are far greater — that it could help kill off the internal combustion engine altogether.”
    Should get ” very Interesting” Now that Tesla’s engineers can now focus on an affordable Model 3 and
    the ramp up of the GigaFactory size Battery production.
    http://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?post=230755
    ——–
    “Tesla got germaphobes as well as doomsday preppers covered with this one: The Model X’s front fascia is designed with a duct that pushes air through “the first true HEPA filter system available in an automobile,” Musk said, which allows “medical-grade air to fill the cabin, no matter what is going on outside.” Apple cars will be for wimps – no useful collapse features. – Perfect – given US Gov refusal to responsible bury commercial nuclear spent fuel rods.
    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/why-reviewers-say-teslas-model-x-is-the-coolest-suv-on-the-planet-2015-09-30

    ———

  51. Longtimber says:

    Auto Marketing Focus – 1st Car for Preppers –
    Ask why not .. Subaru has dozens of options for all those dogs..

  52. Old Farmer Mac says:

    In reply to Don W way upthread

    It would be good for every body to leave it in the ground, in environmental terms. No argument.

    But what ought to be and what will be are almost dead sure to be two different things in this case.

    People and governments invariably have unlimited appetites for goods and services.

    Tar sands oil WILL pay for such services via taxes.

    ‘Nuf said.

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